On Friday, December 10, 2010, USA Network premieres a new documentary special hosted by NBC News Special Correspondent, Tom Brokaw. This project, entitled Tom Brokaw Presents Bridging the Divide, seeks to look beyond the often-inflammatory rhetoric that seemingly saturates the media whenever hot button issues such as immigration, racism, and gay rights are discussed.
With the help of the 2nd Annual "United or Divided" survey conducted by Geoff Garin of the Democratic-leaning Hart Research Associates and Glen Bolger of the Republican-leaning Public Opinion Strategies, Bridging the Divide seeks to reveal the true feelings of Americans today on various civil and human rights issues that are at the forefront of the American political discussion.
Several vignettes throughout the special highlight the struggles of ordinary people who are fighting bias and discrimination that they feel they are encountering in their own lives. We meet Luma Mufleh, an American woman born in Jordan, who organized the children of refugee population of Clarkston, Atlanta into a soccer team called The Fugees after the town had denied them access to many of its playing fields. We meet Charlene Strong, a woman from Washington State who was denied hospital visitation to her dying partner because the hospital did not recognize these same-sex partners as relatives. Ms. Strong now works around the country fighting for equal treatment of same-sex partners. Other stories include a single mother whose 11 year old son committed suicide after being bullied, and a woman who had both legs amputated and became a scholar, track athlete, and role model for the disabled.
Mr. Brokaw, Mr. Garin, and Mr. Bolger held a press conference call to discuss the findings of their survey and to preview the documentary. We were on hand to ask the panel several questions, and the entire interview is presented below in its entirety. Please excuse the feedback noise in the background as it was the result of several conflicting phone lines on the call.