Hedrick Smith is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of bestselling books The Russians, Who Stole the American Dream? and many others. Over the course of his nearly 60 years in journalism, he's interviewed some of the biggest politicians and power brokers on the national and international stage. Now, his reporter's curiosity has led him to places like Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Hartford, Connecticut to report on efforts to end gerrymandering, remove money from politics, and fight corruption through grassroots organizing.
Smith joins us this week to talk about what he learned from these organizers while filming his latest project, a documentary called "The Democracy Rebellion: A Reporter's Notebook with Hedrick Smith" that will air on PBS this January. He says that the grassroots are not nearly as polarized as politicians and political insiders, as evidenced by the fact that many of these pro-democracy ballot initiatives passed with large bipartisan majorities.
Smith also reflects on the state of the media today and why grassroots movements can't seem to capture the attention that horse race politics do. It's part of the reason why he's still out there pounding the pavement as a reporter and getting out of his home in Washington, D.C. to meet people doing the hard work of democracy every day.