Thursday, May 10, 2012

Introducing The FDH Lounge Bringing Back The USA Series

By Rick Morris
We at The FDH Lounge are very proud, justifiably I believe, of being the talk show with the widest variety of subject matter anywhere.  That’s why we say “nothing is off-topic” (Duh!).
Having established our roots first in fantasy sports, then in the wider world of sports, we have searched for ways to communicate the true scope of our magnitude.  Other talk shows have veered from sports into pop culture and occasionally movies, TV and music, so we’re not completely unique in that regard.
But from Day One, we’ve wanted to go even broader than that.  Our Senior Producer, Steve Cirvello, speaks of having wanted to become a part of our enterprise when he heard us having a conversation on our second program in January 2007 with military blogger Bill Roggio – who was just back from a media embed in the field in Iraq.
We’ve never really had a framework for our segments that cross into the most substantive areas in life, but that changed recently when our friend Platinum Smalls of DOU Productions – a fellow member of The 21st Century Media Alliance – pitched me on a segment having to do with the changing nature of education.  I thought it was a very good idea and it made me think about how we could come up with an overall framework for promoting segments such as these.  Shortly thereafter, The FDH Lounge Bringing Back The USA Series was conceptualized.
Although this is an election year, our concept has nothing to do with politics.  Granted, our country has been down and out economically since 2008, but the previous seven ones weren’t so great for our country, either.  Ever since the 9/11 attacks, over a decade ago, this country has been in the dumper.  A divisive war in Iraq bridged the 9/11 aftermath and the economic gloom of recent years.  Americans have simply not been able to feel very good about anything for a prolonged period of time and I hope that we could all agree that needs to change.
As such, our series has two major pillars: innovation in critical thinking in areas that can benefit society and notable examples of philanthropy.  While not every “serious” subject that we tackle meets these criteria – I am quite certain we’ll be having more “horse race” coverage of the presidential race later this year – I feel that it is imperative that we have a common theme for otherwise disparate segments that people could relate to in a better way if they see them as part of a bigger picture.
For this announcement, I have singled out 10 segments that we have done previously that certainly would have fit under this banner had it been in place from the outset.  Again, all of them relate either to innovation in areas that could benefit society or exemplary philanthropy (please remember that some of these videos were created under our previous model of distribution and as such, reference that now-outdated mode):
^ Dominic Chianese: This actor is leveraging the success he built through a lengthy career – which crested with his role as “Uncle Junior” on The Sopranos – by trying to improve the lives of the elderly in nursing homes.
^ Chris Nowinski: A Harvard-educated former professional wrestler who had to retire due to multiple concussions, he is using his education to benefit others by raising awareness of this epidemic in pro wrestling, the NFL and the NHL.
^ Art Schlichter: This former big-time quarterback has worked to save others from going down the dark path of gambling awareness that enveloped him – although, sadly, he himself had backslid at the time of this conversation.
^ Tom Wilson: The legendary second-generation Ziggy cartoonist has thrown himself headlong into cancer-cure fundraising, wishing to spare others the ravages of the disease that claimed his wife.
^ Tom Piatak: This lawyer and columnist pushes a public policy philosophy, paleoconservatism, that has been marginalized in the modern political culture – yet contains ideas that are wildly popular with both Democrats and Republicans.
^ Alex Cone: The CEO of CodeFab is one of the world’s leading experts on how to exploit the possibilities of ever-changing, cutting-edge mobile device technology.
^ Joe DioGuardi: The first practicing CPA to be elected to Congress, this longtime activist on the subject of the federal debt is always looking for ways to leverage his expertise – gained by his participation in the federal bailouts of New York City and the S&L industry – to educate the American public on the catastrophe that lies ahead unless we start paying our bills.
^ Ryan Grim: This political columnist wrote a startling account of the Drug War, challenging every piece of conventional wisdom about how to reduce the toll these substances take on our society.
^ Bill Roggio: In the above-referenced conversation, this military veteran-turned-milblogger describes his recent time spent in the field in Iraq – just prior to the implementation of the surge – and how his journalism helps to make sense of some of America’s most challenging geopolitical considerations.
^ Craig Newmark: The founder of Craigslist shares insight into the development of a company that greatly affected both the Internet and the newspaper industry.
I am very confident that these 10 segments illustrate the point of our series in tremendous fashion.  And while we love our sports/pop culture/entertainment segments very much, the elements contained in the Bringing Back The USA Series demonstrate the extra gear that we have that is not duplicated by anyone. 
And I do mean anyone.

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