OTM Goes Inside Washington

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Friday, May 09, 2014

OTM has traveled the world exploring the nexus of media and society, reaching such far off places as Russia, China, and Egypt. But the center of American politics and power had been overlooked—until now. This week Bob travels to Washington, DC to investigate perception and reality, money and celebrity and the evolving role of the media in the nation’s capital.

Palm Monday

To start his journey, Bob goes to the iconic Palm Restaurant, where DC A-listers go to see and be seen. There he meets with his guide Mark Leibovich, chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and author of "This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral—Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!—in America's Gilded Capital." Over one very expensive lobster, Mark prepares Bob for the ways of Washington.

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The Powers That Used To Be

Used to be that traditional media outlets like The Washington Post set the news agenda in the nation's capital. But the new media landscape is shifting the power to influence to some unlikely players. Bob visits The Washington Post, Politico and Buzzfeed to see how each of them is trying to dominate the DC conversation.

Song: Officer Officer by Anika

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Frustration in the White House Press Corps

Frustration is growing in the White House press corps due to limited access to the "transparency" president. In a piece that originally aired last year, Bob goes to the White House to find out how the role of the press corps is changing under this media savvy administration.

Music: Slim Jenkins' Place by Booker T. and the MG's.

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Hollywood on the Potomac

There are currently more than a dozen television shows set in or around the world of Washington, DC—dramas like Netflix's "House of Cards," comedies like HBO's "Veep," and thrillers like FX's "The Americans." Bob speaks with Grantland TV critic Andy Greenwald, and the creators of "Veep" and "House of Cards" about why Hollywood is shining a spotlight on DC.

And if you want to hear more about DC television, listen to this extended cut of Bob's interview with "Veep" creator Armando Iannucci.

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Blurred Lines

In Washington, the lines are increasingly blurring between politicians, lobbyists and the media. Bob meets with a journalist turned lobbyist, the man known as the "doorman to the revolving door," and perhaps the most infamous lobbyist of all time to talk about the industry of DC.

Song: I Am the Slime by Frank Zappa

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Watchdogs in Tuxedos

Bob ends his DC journey on the red carpet of the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, where journalists rub elbows with the very people they cover. Oh, and a bunch of celebrities show up too.

Song: Washington D.C. by The Magnetic Fields

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