Diversity of thought is the focus of “Radio Wrongthink,” sophomore Emma Philbrook’s contribution to KWCW talk radio. Controversial topics and challenging ideas are plentiful in this unconventional show, during which Philbrook presents the opposite point of view to whatever the popular opinion is on campus. The show is hosted from 3 to 4 p.m on Tuesdays.
In starting “Radio Wrongthink,” Philbrook noticed that there is an unspoken expectation on campus that determines what opinions one is “supposed” to have.
“I think there actually is a fairly sizable community on campus that…[is] not what we think of when we think of the Whitman mindset,” Philbrook said. “I think [there are] a lot of people, even if they don’t agree with everything I say…who want sort of a change of pace, who want to be able to consider other things.”
Philbrook strives to provide hard facts in her discussions. Her shows have covered controversial issues and are backed by reliable sources. One week, in response to the idea that Trump is like Hitler, Philbrook looked up Dr. Lawrence Britt’s fourteen points of fascism and found that Trump did not fit the bill as well as some anti-Trump protesters claimed. Another week she focused on the recent immigration ban and brought up the fact that the Obama administration also cracked down on immigration.
Philbrook recognizes that many people may disagree with the points she raises, but she strives to give people the opportunity to think about these controversial subjects from multiple angles.
“Sometimes I’ll express my views, sometimes I’ll play devil’s advocate,” Philbrook said. “I had initially started the show with the intent of showing that there’s more than one point of view, but as soon as I got started writing stuff down and thinking up ideas I realized that it was really more like showing that there’s more than two points of view…there can be a middle ground and there is room to think up your own opinion.”
One of Philbrook’s goals in doing this radio show is to get people thinking outside the box, or in this case, thinking outside the bubble.
“They talk about Whitman sort of culturally being a bubble; I think ideologically it can be a bit of a bubble too,” Philbrook said.
Philbrook hopes that by presenting a range of viewpoints that challenge the Whitman norm, her show can also help bridge the gap between Whitman and the Walla Walla community.
“The prevailing Whitman perspective and the prevailing Walla Walla Valley perspective are different…so I would like to use the station to promote dialogue between Whitman and the larger Walla Walla community in a way that doesn’t rely on hearsay and general impressions,” Philbrook said. “Both [Whitman and Walla Walla] communities are a lot more complicated and dynamic than that, and I think if I can use this show to promote a mutual understanding that I will have done something important.”
Ultimately, “Radio Wrongthink” holds a thought-provoking nature.
“I try to have fun with it,” Philbrook said. “I don’t want to seem like some sort of raging ideologue. I want to be as hard as possible to paint into any given ideological corner. I’m just sort of being unconventional.”