December 19, 2008

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Show Summary: Comprehending all the numbers in the news; The Obama Administration and the media; the essays of George Orwell.

A Number of Challenges

Journalists and audiences are struggling to comprehend the many numbers in the news these days. How much is $14 billion, or $50 billion, or $700 billion, besides well...a lot? And how can reporters help people understand these figures? Journalist and co-author of The Numbers Game, Michael ...

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I'll Shoe You

Throughout this week’s flying shoe coverage, the comedic details of the debacle dominated headlines. But humor couldn’t dominate the essential moral. Bob ruminates on what the hurling of the footwear revealed about the extent of Iraqi discontent and of President Bush’s denial of the same.

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The Language Legacy

The Bush Administration leaves office in a month, but will its linguistic oeuvre remain? From the "Clean Skies Inititive" to "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques," Bushies paid close attention to the power of words. Republican wordsmith Frank Luntz, however, doesn't expect the terms to stick.

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At Obama's Podium

Robert Gibbs, tapped by President-elect Obama as the new press secretary, will guide the administration's relationship with the media. But New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich says Gibbs' combative style may be a surprise to those expecting the transparency and openness promised during the election.

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Beg Your Pardon?

It’s that time of year again, the season of the presidential pardon. Much used and little understood it’s the one truly discretionary power of the president. Pardon historian P.S. Ruckman explains why the get-out-of-jail-free card is a constant subject of fascination and frustration for the public and the ...

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Orwell and the English Language

Best known for his novels 1984 and Animal Farm, George Orwell's mastery of clear language is nowhere more evident than in his essays. New Yorker staff writer George Packer, who has compiled some of these shorter works into two volumes, says Orwell's voice was irascible and ...

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Death of a Source

W. Mark Felt, Deep Throat of Watergate fame, died this week at the age of 95. Brooke remembers a champion of transparency who, in reality, wasn’t.

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