Attacking the Koch Brothers, Remembering Rwandan Genocide, and More

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Friday, April 11, 2014

A fond farewell to Stephen Colbert's character, remembering the genocide in Rwanda 20 years ago, and a report on the skin lightening industry.

On Letterman, Colbert and America

David Letterman, who boasts the longest tenure of a late night host on broadcast TV, announced his retirement. The news was quickly followed by the announcement of his replacement – Stephen Colbert. Brooke and Bob discuss the problems of bringing a comedian so associated with the political left onto network television, and the loss of a national satire icon.

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Someone Has a Koch Addiction

Democrats have made the Koch Brothers and the millions they've spent on political ads a central issue in midterm elections. Fiery language has been thrown around on both sides, with Harry Reid calling the brothers "un-American" and Charles Koch saying his opponents are "collectivists." Brooke talks with New York Times reporter Carl Hulse, who says the intensity of this clash of the titans is only going to go up.

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Muzzled

Every year on or around April 13th, Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, has celebrated by issuing Jefferson Muzzles. These are booby prizes, awarded to individuals and institutions who act against Mr. Jefferson's admonition that freedom of speech  “cannot be limited without being lost.” Bob speaks with Josh Wheeler, director of the Center, about this year's chief offenders.

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Pistorius TV

How the new Oscar Pistorius Trial Channel - a pop up satellite-TV channel that covers the court proceedings 24/7 - has irrevocably altered the South African media landscape.

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100 Days in Rwanda

Monday marked the 20th anniversary of the start of Rwandan Genocide. In the massacre, which took place over one hundred days, more than 800,000 minority Tutsis were slaughtered by members of the Hutu majority. In 2002, Brooke spoke with director and producer Nick Hughes about his film 100 Days in Rwanda, and about creating an historical fiction which used a love story to humanize the slaughter.

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The Camera and the Color Line

As a kid, writer and photographer Syreeta McFadden was never satisfied with the way she looked in pictures. But it wasn't physical appearance that bothered her; it was the way the camera captured—or, failed to capture—her dark skin. Brooke talks to Syreeta about how racial bias lies within the chemistry of photography.

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The Dark Side of Fair Skin

A few days before she won an academy award for 12 Years A Slave, actress Lupita Nyong'o read a letter from a fan at the Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon. The letter detailed a personal concern about the lightness of her skin tone and reignited a conversation that has gone on for centuries. Arun Venugopal, host of the WNYC series Micropolis, takes a closer look at the multibillion dollar, global industry of skin whitening. 

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