We had two tapings for Overheard with Evan Smith on Tuesday, June 26th. Despite the 106-degree heat outside, Smith talked to one of the most cool, calm, and even-keeled guests to date: Michael Morton. Morton was released from prison last year after it was discovered he was innocent of his wife’s murder. He’d spent 25 years behind bars. Smith asked Morton about the challenges of serving time, the murder of his wife, and his eventual release from prison. Throughout the interview, Morton reiterated his disinterest in revenge but expressed a desire to make public officials accountable. Audience members asked Morton about his renewed faith, hopes for the future, threats of violence behind bars, and coping with the death of his wife. The show will air on July 19th and will be available for viewing online and on the PBS App after that date. Watch the entire audience q&a now:
Next, Smith interviewed Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Leonard Pitts. According to Pitts, he has both the best (writing novels) and second best (writing columns) jobs in American Literature today. He discussed his latest novel, Freeman. This work of historical fiction follows a former slave and Union soldier in the months following the Civil War. Beyond historical fiction, Pitts writes columns for the Miami Herald where he challenges readers to think critically about race in America. Smith asked Pitts about the challenges of writing historical fiction, the public’s reaction to the killing of Trayvon Martin, racism in the age of Obama, and the newspaper business. The show will air on July 12th and will be available for viewing online and on the PBS App after that date. Watch the entire audience q&a now:
About the blogger: Rhiannon Goad is LBJ Public Affairs and Gender Studies graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. She’s spending her summer interning for KLRU, cooking out, and anticipating Shirley Maclaine’s debut on Downton Abbey.