Our Week in Politics & Culture: COVID Relief & Royal Memes

Hope is a difficult concept to grasp, especially after going so long without experiencing much. But after a full year of COVID-19 quarantining, lockdowns, and restrictions, the light at the end of the tunnel might be real. Much needed relief is coming to (most) Americans, Biden plans to have every American adult vaccinated by May, and the weather feels like it’s getting warmer by the day. Not everything is perfect, of course—how could it be after so much suffering and struggle?—but here’s hoping that encouragement we’re currently feeling isn’t seasonal. (Although if states continue opening up too soon, it could be.)

We dive right into the biggest political news of the week alongside artist interviews, Meghan and Harry (and Oprah) memes, and a TikTok conspiracy theory that needs to be heard to be believed.


On Art Uncovered, Kimberly speaks with Parker Thornton, an artist and writer who lives and works in Atlanta, Ga. Her practice ranges from lens-based media to sculpture, writing, and performance. She has exhibited work nationally at Whitespace, Historic Oakland Cemetery, and SOUP Experimental. Parker was the 2020 winner of the Andrew M. West Scholarship at Georgia State University.

On this week’s Book Talk, Kory speaks with author Kate Quinn about The Rose Code, heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over.

On Radio Dispatch, the Knefels discuss new CDC guidelines say that vaccinated people can be together indoors. Plus a stimulus bill round-up including the highs and lows of the Democratic Party.

On BreakThru Radio Weekly, associate producer Joe Virgillito speaks with Mikey Biddlestone, a political psychology PhD researcher at the University of Kent, about a conspiracy theory propagated on social media app TikTok that questions the truth of Helen Keller’s life story. Charles Hinshaw and J. McVay discuss the film, One Night in Miami… directed by Regina King and starring Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, and Leslie Odom Jr. (now available on Amazon Prime). Plus a live performance from Soul Honey Records, recorded exclusively for BTRtoday.


When she was eleven, a tumultuous age when the need to fit in is strong due to a lack of self-confidence, Courtney befriended the “cool kids” at the local pool. When her neighborhood friends, who did not fit the ideals of coolness, asked to play with Courtney and her clique, she actively excluded them in fear that she would be rejected by the popular crowd. Years later, she still regrets her actions and on 1st Person shares how the experience taught her to never compromise who she is just to be accepted.

On Video Dispatch, John Knefel comments on the long and continuing battle for a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour after a vote failed to pass the Senate as part of an amendment to the most recent COVID relief bill.


Cable news hosts and Democratic Party bosses loved Andrew Cuomo as a foil to Trump. But now that Trump is gone, Cuomo’s usefulness has all but dried up. So what’s next for the scandal-ridden governor?

When a television format lends itself to memes— like, say, a back-and-forth interview between Oprah Winfrey, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry—online posters strike quickly with memes.

As states begin reopening fully against many health experts’ advice, we’re reminded that consuming whatever, wherever, and however they want is the only “freedom” most Americans deem worth fighting for.

There’s far more to be encouraged about in the latest COVID relief bill than just stimulus checks.

Passing the latest COVID relief bill is an enormous win for Biden, and there are more wins on the horizon if Democrats continue pushing.

Other Politics & Pop Culture News …

In Nevada, the entire staff of the state’s Democratic Party quit after socialists ran the table and won all five party leadership positions.

As non-fungible tokens (NFTs) grow in popularity, Everest Pipkin explains their downside, which goes far beyond ecological damage and power consumption.

For Slate, Ben Mathis-Lilley provides a useful guide to “the GOP’s ascendant congressional wing of bullshitters, cranks, zealots, and personal-life disasters.”

The New York Times provides a deeper look into the Lincoln Project’s insidious grift.