Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

In Times Of Crisis, 'Look For The Helpers' Should Be Just The Beginning

Gene J. Puskar
Fred Rogers pauses during a May 27, 1993 taping of his show " Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," in Pittsburgh.


Fred Rogers' famous advice "look for the helpers" has been a salve for many this week as Pittsburghers struggled to cope with the shooting deaths of 11 people in Squirrel Hill on Saturday.

Rogers' line, which he attributed to his late mother, offered a sophisticated message for little ones looking for immediate comfort. Ian Bogost, a contributing editor for The Atlantic and journalism professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, says he finds wisdom in the words, but argues Rogers' oft-repeated advice was meant for children, not necessarily adults -- and certainly not those unwilling in the long-term to address the complex societal ills that contribute to repeated tragedy. 

Elsewhere in the program, Democrats across the country are saying protections for pre-existing conditions will be lost if Republicans again attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. WITF's Brett Sholtis reports that Democrats have been able to pivot on the once-controversial stance of supporting Obamacare.

As Pennsylvanians prepare to visit the polls on Tuesday, 90.5 WESA’s Lucy Perkins takes a look at the state’s 28th House District race. In recent months, the contest between Republican incumbent Mike Turzai and Democrat Emily Skopov has led to clashes over gun control.

WHYY's Avi Wolfman-Arent reports on one of the most contentious issues at hand in Pennsylvania's gubernatorial race: education. Both incumbent Governor Tom Wolf and Republican nominee Scott Wagner have traded barbs over their opponent's stance on issues like school funding, school consolidation, and school choice.

And University of Pittsburgh student organizers Kathryn Fleischer and Chey Goodman debrief from what they say was a successful student-led rally at Schenley Plaza. Dubbed Unite Against Hate, the service Wednesday called for an end to white nationalistic rhetoric and featured members of Pittsburgh's Jewish community, as well as representatives of the Brady Campaign, Moms Demand Action and Tree of Life Congregation, where a deadly mass shooting occured Saturday. Fleisher says the group formed this past winter after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. 
Several organizations are providing grief counseling and other services to help those affected by the Tree of Life mass shooting. Here's a list of places to seek help and ways to give.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here.

Kiley Koscinski is a general assignment reporter for 90.5 WESA. She previously produced The Confluence and Morning Edition. Before coming to WESA, she worked as an assignment desk editor and producer at 1020 AM KDKA. She can be reached at
Recent Episodes Of The Confluence