PUBLIC FORUM: Tony Kushner and Rachel Maddow Ask and Tell

On December 2, two of America’s leading progressives met at Joe’s Pub at The Public for the latest installment of Public Forum Duets, the series of conversations pairing an artist who has been vital to The Public with a leading voice from outside the theater.

Their fast-moving conversation swung from the political right — with Maddow noting that “progressive” had become the epithet that people fling at her in all-caps over Twitter, and Kushner wondering if the conservatives who wrote in praise of Lincoln might be joking — to the political left, with Maddow acknowledging that she felt embarrassed by the way she criticized President Obama’s handling of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and Kushner voicing his frustration with the powerlessness of his fellow lefties.

(And, late in the program, he briefly dropped into character as Senator Lindsey Graham.)

Public Forum Duet: Alec Baldwin and David Brooks

Public Forum Duet: David Simon and Anna Deavere Smith

To follow the Public Forum on Twitter, click here.

THE PUBLIC FORUM presents the theater of ideas. Curated by Jeremy McCarter, this series of lectures, conversations, and performances features leading voices in politics, media, and the arts.

About thepublictheater

Founded by Joseph Papp as the Shakespeare Workshop and now one of the nation’s preeminent cultural institutions, The Public is an American theater in which all of the country’s voices, rhythms, and cultures converge.


  1. My computers won’t play this. Is there an error with your video or do I need a particular player?

  2. Kathryn Kennedy

    excellence is very refreshing, thank you

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