July 17, 2009

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Show Summary: Sotomayor hearings, online ads and Food, Inc.

Bench Warming

During confirmation hearings for Supreme Court hopeful Sonia Sotomayor, some senators were troubled by the revelation that judges are not, strictly speaking, umpires. As for the nominee, Slate senior editor Dhalia Lithwick says that answering questions is an elaborate calculus of how to speak at length without really ...

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Broken Record

President Obama promised to bring transparency to the White House, but one opaque practice has continued unabated: off-the-record briefings. The AP's senior managing editor, Michael Oreskes, explains why these secret conversations prevent reporters from doing their jobs.

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Best Selling

Online advertising is a delicate balance. Most of us like ads tailored to our interests and don’t mind sacrificing a little privacy for something that helps fund free media, search and email. But just how much information are we willing to give away, and do we trust who ...

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Just Eat It

There are a few things you can do with a printed newspaper that you can't with websites: start a fire, wrap a present or make paper-mâché. But you can also eat it. Todd Wheeler of the marketing company US Ink is working to get flavor strips into food advertisements. He ...

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The Child in White

You discover that your mother has a long-lost sister who was reportedly institutionalized as a child. But you're a journalist, so you dig deeper. Steve Luxenberg, associate editor of the Washington Post, talks about his experience unearthing the ghosts in his family’s closet.

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Letters

Bob responds to a few of your letters and ... makes a couple of corrections.

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Covering Big Food

Robert Kenner set out to make a documentary about the food industry, thinking he'd hear from both activists and industry insiders. But he quickly realized that the insiders wouldn't talk, farmers who did suffered consequences and, by the way, he needs a lot more lawyers. Kenner says the process was ...

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How the Sausage Was Made

Kevin Mattson is a historian who's written about the food industry's original scourge, Upton Sinclair. Sinclair is famous for writing "The Jungle," a novel that exposed some of the more stomach-turning goings-on in meatpacking factories at the turn of the century. Mattson discusses some of the surprising facets ...

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