CNN's Malaysia Air Obsession, Bad Political Memoirs, and More

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Friday, April 25, 2014

CNN's never-ending coverage of the lost Malaysian Airlines plane, an FCC blow to net neutrality, and why there are so many terrible political memoirs.

CNN and Malaysian Airlines Flight 370

After 7 weeks CNN remains the go-to channel for an exhaustive amount of Malaysian Flight 370 coverage. Bob talks with Andrew Tyndall of The Tyndall Report who says the network's fixation on the flight is eroding its reputation as a news network. 

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The Death of Net Neutrality?

This week the FCC announced that it would consider a new draft of the Open Internet rules which, if passed, would all but kill net neutrality, the principle that all content should be treated equally. Manoush talks with Siva Vaidhyanathan about how this development might radically affect online innovation as we've known it.

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Banning Truthiness?

This week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Susan B. Anthony List vs. Driehaus, a case that could help decide whether it’s illegal to lie during a political campaign. Bob speaks with Adam Liptak, The New York Times Supreme Court correspondent about the case and whether banning lying impinges on free speech.

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Bad Campaign Memoirs

It used to be that politicians' lives were recounted after their careers, by professional biographers. Today, writing a memoir has become de rigueur for political aspirants looking to garner votes. Manoush speaks with Politico's Casey Cep, who says these books amount to little more than press releases that consistently fall flat.

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The Customer Isn't Always Right

Users of the app-based car service Uber probably already know that passengers get to rate their drivers after a trip. But they might be surprised to discover that the drivers are rating passengers too. Manoush speaks with Uber driver Ganu Salami about the passenger rating system, and with University of Denver law professor Nancy Leong about its potential to be discriminatory.

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E-Commerce and Free Speech

If the process of unmasking anonymous negative commenters is too easy, then defamation lawsuits could be used to intimidate consumers. If it’s too hard to find out who’s slandering your business online, then business owners are basically being told to sit there and take it. Alex Goldmark of WNYC’s New Tech City takes a closer look at both sides of this complicated issue.

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Dear Editor

"Brevity is the soul of wit" is an adage lost on many an opinionator, but not on Felicia Nimue Ackerman, who's among the most published letters-to-the-editor writers in the country. Since 1987, more than 200 of her letters have been printed in the New York Times alone. Bob talks to Ackerman as well as Tom Feyer, letters editor for the Times, about the art of the epistolary retort.

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