The 21st Show

Reactions To Obama’s U of I Speech; Illinois Election Security; Muslims In ‘Jack Ryan’ Amazon Series


Sara Burnett/AP

On The 21st: With the midterms less than two months away, how secure is our state's election system? And, we speak with Loyola's Omer Mozaffar about his consulting on the Amazon Prime series Jack Ryan. But first, we discuss Illinois politics and follow up on Barack Obama's visit to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

On Friday, President Barack Obama addressed a crowded Foellinger Auditorium on the University of Illinois’ Urbana campus. The former president was there to accept the 2018 Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government from the Institute of Government and Public Affairs. 

It was his first major political speech since leaving office and those us here in Illinois got a preview of the case the former President will now make on the campaign trail this fall.

But, we wanted to know how that will that affect races right here in Illinois. To help answer that question, we were joined by Sara Burnett. She’s a politics reporter for the Associated Press covering Chicago and Illinois and she was in in Urbana last Friday for the speech. 

Also joining us was Joe Bustos from the Belleville News-Democrat.


In less than two months, Americans in Illinois and across the country will decide who will represent them in local, state, and national offices.

And for election officials, these upcoming midterms represent a big security challenge because, as we’ve been learning over the past year, Russian intelligence officials tried to tamper with the 2016 election in various ways.

One of those attempts took the form of hacking. In Illinois, state election officials believe that voter information was in fact, stolen by Russian agents.

So what is our state doing to make sure this doesn’t happen again and, what does this look like across the country?

Matt Dietrich is a spokesman with the Illinois State Board of Elections. He joined us on the line from Springfield. Also joining us was Liz Howard, counsel with the Democracy Program at NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice. She’s also a former Deputy Commissioner for Virginia Department of Elections.


The Amazon Prime Video series Jack Ryan that just debuted last week. Have you seen it yet?

It’s the most recent adaptation of the Tom Clancy character. It’s true to the original novels in its intensity and blockbuster action sequences.

But in this modern adaptation, all the characters including James Greer, Jack Ryan’s soon to be wife Cathy and the new character, the terrorist Suliman. are different than what we normally see on TV.

Loyola University Chicago professor and chaplain Omer Mozaffar consulted on the series. He’s also a longtime contributor to and he joined us to talk about how Muslims are depicted in this tv series.

Story source: WILL