Romney's Bain Departure Date, E-books That Read You, And More...

« previous episode | next episode »

Friday, July 13, 2012

A website that lets you argue with a complete stranger about politics over the phone, how online books sellers can monitor you reading a book WHILE you read it, and Bob examines his practice of binge-watching TV shows.

The Fight Over Bain Capital

This week saw both news organizations and the Romney presidential campaign arguing over the veracity of claims made by the Obama administration about Romney's tenure at Bain Capital, the financial services company Romney co-founded. Political scientist and media critic Brendan Nyhan says that part of the problem is that the media has fallen down on the job in properly reporting this story.

Comments [47]

Political Screaming Match

The Pew Research center recently disclosed that America is more divided along partisan lines than at any other time in the past 25 years. As a society, research reveals, we’re more divided by politics than we are by class, race, or gender. Developer Pascal Rettig has created a website called Political Screaming Match that's supposed to help fix by pairing visitors via telephone with someone on the other end of the ideological spectrum. Bob talks to Rettig about his invention.


Rebecca Gates - Suite Sails

Comments [2]


Bob reads from a few of your letters and comments.


Introducing Joe Olivo

In the past few weeks, two NPR reporters have interviewed New Jersey small business owner Joe Olivo. What both reporters neglected to note was Olivo's affiliation with the lobbying organization The National Federation of Independent Business. Bob talks to Olivo, and NPR Ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos about whether disclosing Olivo's relationship with the NFIB was necessary context for listeners of those stories.

Smog - Held

Comments [17]

Rolodex Journalism


Journalists are only as good as their sources, which is why their potency is often measured by the size of their rolodexes. Why is it then, that so few experts are called upon again and again for quotes in scores of newspaper articles and TV news appearances? Maybe it has to do with going to that Rolodex too much for the same old sources. Bob looks into the practice of Rolodex journalism.

Original Air Date - June 21, 2002


Comments [3]

eBooks That Read You

Last month, the Association of American Publishers announced a milestone. 2012 is the first year that adult eBooks have outsold adult hardcover books. For the book industry, those sales are especially valuable because they bring in not just revenue but data. As you read from your Kindle, Nook or iPad, the device transmits all the details of how you do your reading – data that is beginning to shape the way books are written. Wall Street Journal reporter Alexandra Alter tells Bob that the new data is a big deal for an industry that has traditionally been unable measure its audience.

Comments [5]

The Problem of Knock-Off Books

Buying a cheap knock-off is not just a problem with watches and hand bags—if you go onto Amazon's website to buy the latest bestseller, you might accidentally end up with an imitation book. Bob speaks to Fortune senior editor Stephen Gandel, who looked into the knock-offs on Amazon, and found a number of books that he says were clearly meant to confuse people by trading off of more popular titles.

Original Air Date - April 20, 2012

Comments [1]

33 Episodes in 3 Days

Bob watched the first three seasons of Breaking Bad (33 episodes) in three days. Season Five starts this Sunday. (Will Bob finish season 4 in time?) Finally able to turn away from the TV, Bob speaks with Slate's Jim Pagels who says he's cheating himself by watching that many episodes that quickly. 

Comments [9]