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Tuesday, August 30, 2016
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Panelist Bio


Robert Mann
Guest Moderator, Louisiana Public Square

A journalist and political historian, Robert Mann holds the Manship Chair at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University. He is the author of critically acclaimed political histories of the U.S. civil rights movement, the Vietnam War and American wartime dissent. A recent book, Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds: LBJ, Barry Goldwater and the Ad that Changed American Politics, was named by the Washington Post as one of the best political books of 2011. He is also a columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune/NOLA.com.

Mann’s essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Politico, Smithsonian, and Salon. He is also the creator of the Louisiana political blog, "Something Like the Truth." Mann teaches courses in political communication. He is also editor of the Media & Public Affairs book series, published jointly by the Manship School and LSU Press.

Before joining the LSU faculty in 2006, Mann spent more than 20 years in the political arena, working for three United States senators and a Louisiana governor. He was communications director to Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, before serving 19 years as a U.S. Senate aide. He was state director to U.S. Senator John Breaux of Louisiana, and served as Breaux’s press secretary. He also served as press secretary to U.S. Senator Russell Long of Louisiana. He was also press secretary for the 1990 re-election campaign of U.S. Senator J. Bennett Johnston of Louisiana, the 1992 and 1998 Breaux re-election campaigns and the 2003 Blanco campaign.

In the early 1980s, Mann covered Louisiana politics as a reporter for the Shreveport Journal and the Monroe News-Star.

Current Topic


08/16 - Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference (encore)

What difference has a decade made?

Due to severe flooding in Baton Rouge and the surrounding communities, the recording of “Black & The Blue,” which was to be the August episode of Louisiana Public Square, was cancelled. Instead we will be broadcasting an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference.” More information, including broadcast dates and times, is below.

“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference”
Eleven years ago, Hurricane Katrina swept through Southeast Louisiana, triggering what would become the nation’s costliest disaster. Less than a month later, Hurricane Rita inundated Southwest Louisiana forever altering the landscape. The storms uprooted residents, while the rest of Louisiana and its neighboring states welcomed them with open arms.
What affect did the storms have on economic development along the I-10 corridor? Just over a decade later, how have public services changed? How prepared is Louisiana to handle hurricane evacuees? And how did the hurricanes change the demographics of the state?
This month Louisiana Public Square takes a look at where the state is now on an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” airing Wednesday, August 17 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, August 21 at 11 a.m. on LPB HD.

The panelists are:
· Andy Kopplin, Office of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu
· Paul Rainwater, Rainwater Consulting, LLC
· Stephanie Riegel, Greater Baton Rouge Business Report
· Nihal Shrinath, The Data Center

The program includes interviews with Jason El Koubi, One Acadiana; Chris Guilbeaux, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP); Kathy Kliebert, Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals; Allison Plyer, Executive Director of the Data Center; John White, State Superintendent of Education; and Christopher Bohnstengel and “Byrdie” Lane, owners of Byrdie’s Gallery and Café in New Orleans.

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney, and Kim Hunter Reed,Ph.D., who served in the Blanco administration during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, moderate the discussion.
“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” will also air in New Orleans, on WLAE. It can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

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Special Presentation


05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


09/16 - Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System

How well is the state’s public school system really performing?

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06/16 - Symbol or Statement? History in Public Spaces (encore)

Is the display of Civil War statues in public justified or do they belong only in museums?


05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?


04/16 - Opiates & the Bayou State

How is Louisiana tackling this serious addiction epidemic?

»»» View all Topics!
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