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Shaping Opinion


People, events and things that have shaped the way we think.

People, events and things that have shaped the way we think.


Pittsburgh, PA


People, events and things that have shaped the way we think.




Encore – Berlin’s Wall that Killed

Historian, author and Heritage Foundation Distinguished Fellow Lee Edwards joins Tim to talk about the Berlin Wall, the world that created it, the Cold War that fostered it, and the free world that brought it down. This episode was originally released April 1, 2019. The Berlin Wall was as much a symbol for communist oppression as it was a barrier created to contain citizens of communist East Germany. At the end of World...


Encore – The “Lost Colony” is Found

Historian and author Scott Dawson joins Tim to talk about his team’s discovery of what actually happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island on the Outer Banks. He has spent the past 11 years working with a team of archaeologists, historians, botanists and geologists to try to uncover the truth behind the story of the Lost Colony. This episode was first released on September 20, 2020. It was August of 1590, and...


D-Day: God – Family – Country

In this episode, we tell the story of D-Day on its 78th anniversary through a historical narrative where Tim also talks about his family’s connection to one of the most pivotal events in our history. The June 6, 1944, allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France through Operation Overlord was one of the biggest military undertakings in world history. This event marked the beginning of the end for Hitler and Nazi Germany....


Encore: Mike Vining – A Delta Force Original

One of the original members of the U.S. Army’s Special Forces Delta unit, Mike Vining, joins Tim to talk about his highly decorated career that started in Vietnam and ended in the late 1990s, encompassing many historical missions. Mike was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) operator in the Delta Force, among many other responsibilities. He tells us what goes through the mind of an explosives specialist when time is tight and it could be a matter of life and death. This episode was...


Are Labor Unions Making a Comeback in America?

Attorney Dan Johns of the Cozen O’Connor law firm in Philadelphia joins Tim to talk about why, all of a sudden, employees at some well-known companies organizing to unionize their workforces. Dan has been consistently named to the Best Lawyers in America list for employment law, labor and employment litigation. Are unions in America making a comeback? Let’s find out. Amid some union victories at some major...


End of Watch: The Story of Officer Drew Barr

Cayce, South Carolina Police Chief Chris Cowan joins Tim to talk about something both of us wished we didn’t have to talk about. He tells the story of the recent and tragic loss of one of his officers who was shot and killed while responding to a call. He tells the story of and pays tribute to Officer Drew Barr. In the process, he tells the story of the risks and sacrifices police officers take every day to ‘protect and serve.’...


Eric Heinze: Free Speech is the Most Human Right

Author and professor Eric Heinze joins Tim to talk about freedom of speech and expression at the most fundamental level. He recently wrote a book on free speech, but it’s not exactly what you might expect. He explores free speech in a larger more fundamental context than America’s First Amendment. He talks about it in the context of universal human rights. Eric tells us about the thinking behind his new book called, “The Most Human Right: Why Free Speech is Everything.”...


Neuromarketing: Getting Inside Your Head

Uma Karmarkar joins Tim to talk about neuromarketing. It’s a leading-edge way scientists have developed to get inside your head to understand your attitudes, preferences and perhaps future behavior when it comes to marketing to you. Uma is an assistant professor of marketing at the University of California at San Diego. Her work takes a closer look at the things that consciously and unconsciously influence how people make decisions. More deeply, she studies how people make buying decisions...


Bill Toti: Life & Work After the Military

Retired Navy Captain and former corporate CEO Bill Toti joins Tim to talk about life and work after military service, particularly for leaders. You may remember Bill from two of our episodes on the story behind 9/11. He was in the Pentagon when the planes hit. In this episode, Bill talks about a new book he wrote that’s all designed to help military leaders find their place in leadership of society. The book is called, “From CO to CEO: A Practical Guide for Transitioning from Military to...


Encore – How Business Influences TV News

TV news industry veteran and consultant John Altenbern joins Tim to talk about the business of TV news. John runs a consulting firm named Crawford Johnson & Northcott, Inc., that specializes in helping TV news operations get better ratings and grow their audiences. John tells what it takes for TV news operations to compete against each other for your time and attention. He gives a glimpse of some of the methods and strategies those news directors, producers and reporters use to keep us tuned...


Shaping Opinion Unplugged: Take Your Podcast to the Next Level

In this episode we introduce something new to our schedule. It’s in addition to our regular Monday interview episodes, which will not be changing. Every Monday, we’ll continue to serve up interesting interviews with interesting guests. But during the week, we’re going to add something new to our schedule. We’re calling these episodes “Shaping Opinion Unplugged.” We’re going to talk podcasting...


Encore: How Rush Limbaugh Changed the Media Landscape

Brian Rosenwald joins Tim to talk about the rise of Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio. Brian is the co-editor of a daily Washington Post history blog called “Made by History.” He’s a Scholar in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania. He’s also the author of a new book called: “Talk Radio’s America: how an industry took over a political party that took over the United States.” This Encore Episode was first released February 10, 2020....


Encore: The Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing with Jay Baer

Jay Baer, the author of the book, “Talk Triggers: The complete guide to creating customers with word of mouth,” joins Tim to talk about the power of word of mouth to sell products or services, increase awareness, educate the public and create a brand. Jay is a very popular keynote speaker, an inductee into the Word of Mouth Marketing Hall of Fame and the author of several books. This Encore Episode was first released in April 2019....


Encore: How the Nuclear Bomb Came to Be

Richard Rhodes won a Pulitzer Prize for his definitive book on the development of nuclear weapons called “The Making of the Atomic Bomb.” It’s one of 26 books he’s written, several of them focused on the world in the nuclear age. He joins Tim to talk about the wartime effort that changed everything, The Manhattan Project. This Encore Episode was first released November 4, 2019. In 1938, nuclear fission was...


Encore – Larry Gatlin: A Life In Country Music

Country music star Larry Gatlin joins Tim to talk about a life in country music, as a songwriter, as a performer and as a member of one of the most famous vocal groups in the history of country music. Larry is the oldest of the three Gatlin Brothers who hale from West Texas. He is an award-winner, a chart-topper and a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. This Encore episode was first released May 25, 2020....


Scott Tillema: Secrets of a Hostage Negotiator

FBI-trained hostage negotiator Scott Tillema joins Tim to talk about how to negotiate when the stakes are high, even when lives are on the line. Scott teaches organizations how to use the power of life-saving negotiation principles to get results. Scott Tillema was trained by the FBI in hostage negotiating. He spent over seven years as a negotiator with the Northern Illinois Police...


Adam Carroll: Managing Your Moolah

Financial literacy expert Adam Carroll joins Tim to talk about all things money, from financial freedom, managing your own finances, and the current trend towards a cashless society. Adam is the author of “Winning The Money Game,” “30 Days To $1K,” and “Mastery of Money for Students.” He is a two-time TED talk speaker, with one of his talks surpassing 4 million views. Money. You either have a little or a lot,...


Charles H. Rose, III: The Art of Cross-Examination

Advocate, author and attorney Charles H. Rose, III, joins Tim to talk about the art of cross-examination in the court of law. Charles is a successful lawyer, a trial advocate, an author, and currently, he’s the Dean of the Pettit College of Law at Ohio Northern University. In this episode, he talks about one of the most dramatic features of any courtroom, the cross-examination of a witness at trial. Cross-examination is often where cases are won or lost in the court of law....


Laila Mickelwait: Child Sex Trafficking and ‘Big Porn’

Laila Mickelwait joins Tim to talk about her work and a movement she founded to fight child sex trafficking. She’s the founder of the Justice Defense Fund and the founder of a global movement called #Traffickinghub. That movement is supported by millions around the world. Laila talks about the role “Big Porn” websites play, and her work to hold sex traffickers and their enablers around the world to account.


Barry Schwartz: Freedom and Choice

Psychologist, author, researcher and professor Barry Schwartz joins Tim to talk about his landmark book called Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less. While Barry has written several books and is a popular public speaker, this book is about how having more choice may not be all it’s cracked up to be. In this episode, he discusses the balance between having the freedom of choice and the potential to be held captive by having too much choice....