Covering Conventions, the Legacy of Sun Myung Moon, and More

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Friday, September 07, 2012

Covering the totally predictable conventions, why political journalists are tired of this campaign season, and a service that gauges the hostility of your emails.

Covering the Totally Predictable Conventions

Political conventions used to be places where decisions were made and delegates truly participated. Now, they are just a series of scripted speeches covered by the media as though they are breaking news stories. Bob reflects on the last two weeks of this modern convention style.

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Tired of Covering the Campaigns

This is the time when most Americans start paying attention to the campaigns, but political reporters have been on the election beat for more than a year and, according to Politico's Dylan Byers, are just plain sick of it. Brooke Speaks to Dylan about why journalists can't wait for this election cycle to be over with.

Galaxie 500 - Summertime

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Why Conventions Matter

For many reporters, covering conventions is a chore. Literally, a chore - something that an authority makes you do even though it's unpleasant and seems pointless. But conventions do matter -- to voters at least. Brooke talks with political scientist John Sides who says that the post-convention polls you'll be seeing next week are a pretty good indicator of who's going to win.  


Slouching Towards Charlotte

John Sides says that at conventions, a journalist’s job is to measure how well politicians have riled up their supporters. But, polls take time, while coverage of speeches starts minutes after the speakers open their mouths. So how should journalists fill the void?  Should they be striving, as they do, to be the nation’s emotional first responders?  Novelist Walter Kirn covered the DNC for The New Republic. He said that watching reporters take the emotional temperature of the room was an alienating experience.

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Sun Myung Moon

This week, Sun Myung Moon, media tycoon and spiritual leader of the Unification Church, died at the age of 92. In this interview from 2008, Bob talks John Gorenfeld, author of Bad Moon Rising: How Reverend Moon Created the Washington Times, Seduced the Religious Right and Built an American Kingdom about Moon's newspaper The Washington Times.

Strange Names - Broken Mirror

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Brooke and Bob read from a few of your letters and comments.

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Tone Check

What if your email service could tell you, before you even press send, just how aggressive or angry your email is? Bob talks to Josh Merchant, CTO and co-founder of Lymbix, a Canadian software company whose program ToneCheck promises emotional spell-check for overheated emailers. 

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Comments on Comments

In an interview from 2008, Bob talks with This American Life host Ira Glass about the inherent worth of online conversations, as at the time, This American Life had recently disabled user comments on his show's website.

Bibio - Saint Christopher

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The Thrilling Conclusion of the Real World Onion Headlines Contest

Last month, we ran a story about real-life headlines that sound like headlines from The Onion. We asked listeners to send us more examples of Onion-esque headlines, and former Onion editor Joe Garden returns to help Brooke choose the best one.

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