Crushing Dissent in Sochi, Banning the R-Word, and More

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Friday, February 07, 2014

A look at media dissent in Sochi, scrubbing the R-word from the Washington Redskins, and Game Theory on Jeopardy.

"Winter Chill" for Russian Media

As the global spotlight fixes on Sochi this weekend, the Russian government is crushing dissent...and there’s a lot of it. As the Committee to Protect Journalists notes in a new report, people there have suffered long-lasting power outages, environmental damage, evictions, corruption, and widespread violation of labor laws. But local news organizations are silent on these issues, instead functioning as public relations agencies for the government. Brooke talks with Nina Ognianova about the stories that aren't being told in the Russian media. 

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In Russia, Not Covering Sports

NBC spent $775 million for the rights to the Olympic games, and will provide more than 1500 hours of coverage - most of it on the events themselves. But its also sent reporters to cover Russia’s many political subplots. Bob speaks with NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel about being deployed to cover the political backdrop to the Olympics.

Olympics Forever

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"Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing"

On Sunday before the Super Bowl kickoff,  President Obama sat down with Bill O'Reilly for a rare one-on-one interview. O'Reilly asked the President about the rocky roll out of Obamacare, the attack in Benghazi, and the alleged targeting of conservative groups by the IRS. What did we learn? Conor Friedersdorf, staff writer for the Atlantic, says... nothing much at all. Bob talks with Friedersdorf about the performance and spectacle in this presidential sit down.

Down to Earth

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I'm Matthew Mills

This week, a man named Matthew Mills interrupted the post-Super Bowl MVP press conference to let the world know that 9/11 was perpetrated by the US Government. News outlets pounced at the chance to interview him, flocking to the internet to locate his web presence. A few ended up contacting a different Matthew Mills, who gamely played along. PJ Vogt talks to the non-conspiracy minded Matthew Mills about his run-ins with the news media. This story originally aired on TLDR -- OTM's new blog and podcast.

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What's In A Name

Over the past few years, a number of media outlets have made the editorial choice not to publish the word "Redskin" when referring to Washington's professional football team. OTM producer Chris Neary has the story of one Pennsylvania paper that stopped using the word. 

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Knox Found Guilty...Again

Last week an Italian court found Amanda Knox guilty of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher. Again. Knox was first found guilty in 2009. In the almost seven years since this story broke, an industry of books, websites and made-for-tv movies has emerge to exploit  - or investigate - the case of Amanda Knox. Brooke speaks to author Nina Burleigh, who wrote one of the best accounts of the Knox case, “The Fatal Gift of Beauty, The Trials of Amanda Knox."

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A Rabble-Rouser On Jeopardy

The latest Jeopardy sensation has thus far amassed $102,800 dollars on a four-game winning streak -- but his playing style is making traditionalists shudder. Arthur Chu has rejected the unwritten rule that the guy (or gal) with the most facts wins, and replaced it with the idea that you can outwit your opponent with the wily application of game theory.

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