Uncommon Knowledge

Uncommon Knowledge

"Uncommon Knowledge" was a weekly 30-minute current affairs show hosted by Peter Robinson and co-produced and presented by San Jose, California, PBS member station KTEH from 1997 to 2005. It was distributed first by American Public Television and later by PBS to public television stations throughout the United States and internationally by NPR Worldwide.

The show was funded by various foundations and organizations, including the conservative John M. Olin Foundation and produced by the Hoover Institution (where Peter Robinson is a fellow). However, its format and involvement with public television helped ensure a fair hearing from both sides of the issue.


In 2006 and 2007, the Hoover Institution produced a sporadic series of for-web interviews involving Peter Robinson called "Directors' Forum Video". In July 2007, these "Directors' Forum Video" webcasts were rebranded under the old "Uncommon Knowledge" moniker, starting with the newly produced episode "Land of Lincoln."

Starting in 2008, each of these new webcasts premiered on "National Review Online" in five parts through the week before being published on the Hoover Institution web site. New episodes are published every few weeks.


Typically, the show invites up to three expert guests with opposing points of view on controversial issues and/or matters of international/public policy to debate each other on the air. Robinson moderates and posits devil's advocate-type arguments, recites quotations to elicit the perspectives of his guests, and questions his guests in order to generate thought-provoking, in-depth discussion. After several segments the show concludes with Robinson asking the guests to predict what the future held for the issue in question.

Archives of streaming video, transcripts, and mp3 audio are available from the website for most episodes after 2000. For previous years, transcripts are available, though over time some videotapes of these episodes have been recovered and are being posted on YouTube under the account name [http://www.youtube.com/user/UKHoover "UKHoover"] .

External links

* [http://www.hoover.org/multimedia/uk/ "Uncommon Knowledge"]
* [http://www.hoover.org/bios/robinson.html Peter Robinson's Hoover Institution biography]

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