Politics

On The Media

Politicking During Tragedy

Friday, April 19, 2013

Between battling for high profile legislation on guns and immigration and consoling a nation, Obama had to walk a tightrope this week. Brooke talks to Glenn Thrush, Senior White House Correspondent for Politico, who says that reconciling what was happening inside and outside Washington, was not as hard as it might seem.  

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On The Media

Why the Press Can't Play Referee, and Why they Should

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Atlantic’s James Fallows believes that the failures we’re seeing in the sequestration coverage suggest a larger problem with our political system and the press that’s supposed to cover it. Fallows tells Bob that our press isn't comfortable playing referee, but they might need to start.

 

Hauschka - Radar

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On The Media

How to Accidentally Start a Rumor About a U.S. Senator

Friday, February 22, 2013

This month, the conservative site Breitbart.com suggested that Senator Chuck Hagel, Obama's nominee for Secretary of Defense, had secret financial ties to a group called “Friends of Hamas.” It did not look good: a U.S. politician had allegedly received money from a terrorist organization that's called for Israel’s destruction. Turns out though, it  wasn’t true. New York Daily News reporter Dan Friedman tells Brooke about his theory that he was the source of the rumor.

 

Tanlines - Rain Delay

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On The Media

To Bork

Friday, December 21, 2012

Supreme Court nominee and Constitutional originalist Robert Bork died this week at the age of 85. In a segment that originally aired in 2005, Brooke muses over the verb "to bork," coined in honor of the man whose unsuccessful bid for the bench earned him a place in Webster's.

Frank Ocean - Crack Rock

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On The Media

The World's First Political Consulting Firm

Friday, October 12, 2012

In the 1930's, married couple Clem Whitaker and Leone Baxter founded Campaigns, Inc., the world's first political consulting firm. In the ensuing 30 years, Campaigns Inc. pioneered tactics like the out-of-context quote, relentless pamphleteering, and what we now call opposition research, all techniques that are part of the modern campaign playbook. Bob talks to Jill Lepore, New Yorker contributor and author of The Story of America: Essays on Origins about Whitaker and Baxter's political legacy.

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On The Media

The Dirty South

Friday, October 12, 2012

Lee Atwater became one of the most complicated and successful Republican political operatives in history by employing a triple threat: spin when you can, change the subject when you can’t, and if all else fails, appeal to the voters’ resentment and fear, usually of African-Americans. In this conversation from 2008, Brooke talks to Stefan Forbes, director of "Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story", about the dark legacy of Atwater’s Southern strategy.

Kenneth Sandford - When All Night Long a Chap Remains

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On The Media

And I'm Not Going to Take it Anymore

Friday, August 24, 2012

NPR Congressional Correspondent Andrea Seabrook left NPR recently, citing frustration with the daily grind of covering politicians who "lie" to her face, all day, every day. Seabrook is starting a new project called DecodeDC, where she hopes she can blog and podcast her way to some deeper truths about Washington. Bob does an exit interview with Seabrook to discuss why political reporting is broken, and what might be done to fix it.

Zammuto - Wasn't That Lucky 

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On The Media

Twitter and Political Humor

Friday, August 10, 2012

Comedian Rob Delaney's tweets about Mitt Romney are so popular that, at times, they get re-tweeted more than Romney's own tweets. Brooke speaks with Delaney about those tweets and the rise of Twitter in the world of political humor.

 

White Rabbits - Back For More

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On The Media

Following Politicians' Deleted Tweets

Friday, August 10, 2012

It makes sense to assume an off-key tweet will disappear by itself in the ever-expanding Twitter-verse without consequence.  But some politicians don’t risk it, and delete tweets that might get spun into gaffes.  Enter the Sunlight Foundation’s Politwoops site, which keeps track of politicians’ tweets, lest a cover-up slip through the cracks.  Bob talks with Tom Lee who’s in charge of the project.

 

Errors - Tusk

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On The Media

Campaign Finance Reform Bill Dies

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Obama and Romney campaigns have been slugging away at each other this week about transparency and disclosure. And yet Tuesday, the Disclose Act, which would have allowed you to better know the people behind superpacs was smothered in the Senate by filibuster without earning a single Republican vote. Huffington Post reporter Dan Froomkin explains to Brooke what happened.

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On The Media

The Fight Over Bain Capital

Friday, July 13, 2012

This week saw both news organizations and the Romney presidential campaign arguing over the veracity of claims made by the Obama administration about Romney's tenure at Bain Capital, the financial services company Romney co-founded. Political scientist and media critic Brendan Nyhan says that part of the problem is that the media has fallen down on the job in properly reporting this story.

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On The Media

Political Screaming Match

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Pew Research center recently disclosed that America is more divided along partisan lines than at any other time in the past 25 years. As a society, research reveals, we’re more divided by politics than we are by class, race, or gender. Developer Pascal Rettig has created a website called Political Screaming Match that's supposed to help fix by pairing visitors via telephone with someone on the other end of the ideological spectrum. Bob talks to Rettig about his invention.

 

Rebecca Gates - Suite Sails

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On The Media

Combatants and "Combatants"

Friday, June 01, 2012

According to an article in The New York Times last week, the Obama administration treats “all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants”. Brooke talks to Chris Woods, reporter for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, who has been working with reporters on the ground to confirm and put names to civilian casualties of drone strikes, about the discrepancies between his reporting and the reports of the US government.

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On The Media

Dear Government: Make Yourself Plain

Friday, April 27, 2012

Bob speaks with former government employee Dr. Annetta Cheek who began advocating for clearer government writing after seeing a single, beautifully clear regulation.

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On The Media

Forecasting Political Scandals

Friday, April 13, 2012

Brendan Nyhan is a Dartmouth political scientist who studies why scandals break when they do. According to Nyhan, before this month's GSA fiasco, President Obama had the longest streak of scandal-free coverage of any President in recent history. Nyhan tells Bob that according to his theory, we can expect the coming months to be full of scandal coverage.

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On The Media

Rumblings of War with Iran

Friday, February 24, 2012

The prospect of attacking Iran is making its way back into the media and political discourse, despite the fact that national security experts think a pre-emptive strike would be a bad idea. Brooke speaks to New York Times reporter Scott Shane about why talk of war is on the rise.

Errors - Tusk

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On The Media

The Story That Continues to Dog Romney

Friday, January 13, 2012

In 1983, Mitt Romney took his family on a road trip from Boston to Canada, with the family dog Seamus strapped to the roof of the car. Almost 5 years ago, the Seamus story made it into a Boston Globe story, and to this day, the anecdote of Seamus the dog continues to haunt Romney.  Bob speaks to Boston Globe Magazine writer Neil Swidey, the person to first dig up the Seamus story.

The Dodos - Companions

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On The Media

The Problem With Likely Voters

Friday, December 23, 2011

Political polls need to determine who's likely to vote and who isn't. Pollsters rely on people to tell them whether they're going to vote or not - but it turns out that may not be the best plan for creating accurate polling numbers. Bob talks with Slate's Sasha Issenberg about a study which found that 55 percent of voters who tell pollsters they won't vote actually do.

Nicolas Jaar - Problems With the Sun

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On The Media

Journalists Predicting the Political Future

Friday, September 16, 2011

Republican Bob Turner defeated Democrat David Weprin to take control of New York’s 9th congressional district, the seat vacated by Anthony Weiner in June. This was widely reported as a sign that voter frustration with President Obama had trickled down into New York politics. Bob talks to political stat guru Nate Silver about whether he thinks this is a sign of things to come, or just over-extrapolation by the press. 

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