Punishing Propagandists, Covering Climate Change, and More

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Friday, April 04, 2014

A conversation with former FCC commissioner Michael J. Copps, communicating climate change to the public, and EU sanctions against Russia's chief propagandist.

Section 317

The Supreme Court ruled this week to raise the limit for individual campaign contributions from $123,000 to $3.6 million dollars. Limits are in place to prevent deep-pocketed donors from corrupting the democratic process, which includes political advertising. Brooke speaks to former FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps about Section 317 of the Communications Act, the FCC's as-yet-enforced dictum that we are entitled to know by whom we are being persuaded. 

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Fact Checking Affordable Care Act Numbers

The deadline for signing up for Obamacare was this week, and the White House says it has reached its projected number of 7 million new enrollees. But how accurate is that claim? Bob talks with Glenn Kessler, who writes for the Washington Post's Fact Checker blog, about what we know and don't know about the ACA's numbers.

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Case Closed

A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) not only presents dire evidence of global warming's impact, it also offers a different narrative about who is at risk, putting humans at the center of the story. Brooke talks with science journalist Cristine Russell about the IPCC's media-ready case.

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Correcting False Balance

This week the UK Parliament released a report that recommended ways to improve communicating climate change to the public, criticizing the media in particular for promoting false balance. Bob talks with Bob Ward of the London School of Economics about the report and the chief offender.

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Should the EU Punish Propagandists?

Dmitry Kiselyov is a Russian television host and head of Russia's state news agency, a role he was appointed to by Vladimir Putin himself in December. That role has prompted the EU to issue sanctions against Kiselyov for being a "central figure of the government propaganda supporting the deployment of Russian forces in Ukraine." Bob speaks with the Committee to Protect Journalists' Joel Simon about the dangerous precedent set by punishing propagandists.

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Television Without Pity

Television Without Pity began as a Dawson’s Creek fan site in the late 90s, and was bought by NBC Universal in 2007. Now NBC Universal is shutting down the site, and the forums it spawned. Brooke speaks with Emily Nussbaum, the New Yorker’s television critic, who came to TWOP early and then stayed and stayed. 

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Hunting For YouTube's Saddest Comments

YouTube's infamous for having one of the worst comment sections on the internet. There's no reason to ever read them. Unless you’re writer & filmmaker Mark Slutsky.

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