Politics

On The Media

The "Department of Jokes"

Friday, May 16, 2014

The notion of using broad laws to suppress the arts has a long and horrifying tradition in Russia. Bob talks with comedian Yakov Smirnoff about performing in the Soviet Union, where comics had to submit jokes to a Department of Humor for approval.

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On The Media

Four Filthy (Russian) Words

Friday, May 16, 2014

Last week Vladimir Putin signed a law prohibiting swearing in public performances as well as movies and television. Bob talks with The New Yorker Editor-in-Chief David Remnick about the shadow language of obscenities that runs deep in Russian culture.

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On The Media

A Conversation With Veep's Armando Iannucci

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

For OTM's special hour on Washington DC, Bob spoke with Armando Iannucci, the creator and executive producer of HBO's hit comedy "Veep." We liked that conversation so much, we decided to put up an extended cut here. Iannucci tells Bob about his fascination with American politics, how the show manages to capture the unglamorous details of the nation's capital, and why everyone inside the beltway claims to know a "Jonah," but no one claims to be one.

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On The Media

Watchdogs in Tuxedos

Friday, May 09, 2014

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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On The Media

Blurred Lines

Friday, May 09, 2014

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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On The Media

Frustration in the White House Press Corps

Friday, May 09, 2014

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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On The Media

Palm Monday

Friday, May 09, 2014

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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On The Media

Hollywood on the Potomac

Friday, May 09, 2014

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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On The Media

The Powers That Used To Be

Friday, May 09, 2014

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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On The Media

OTM Goes Inside Washington

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.

On The Media

Newt Gingrich Will Answer Your Question

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Newt Gingrich is a panelist on CNN's political debate show Crossfire. Also, he has a funny Twitter tic that New York's Stefan Becket noticed. 

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On The Media

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

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.

On The Media

Bad Campaign Memoirs

Friday, April 25, 2014

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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On The Media

On Letterman, Colbert and America

Friday, April 11, 2014

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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On The Media

Section 317

Friday, April 04, 2014

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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On The Media

Punishing Propagandists, Covering Climate Change, and More

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.

On The Media

Obamacare In Spanish, Cartographers vs. The World, and More

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Obamacare advertising blitz tries to reach the young and uninsured, the annexation of Crimea creates a dilemma for map makers, and the history of those ubiquitous online quizzes. 

On The Media

The World According to Google Maps

Friday, March 28, 2014

On Google Maps, Crimea is still a part of Ukraine, though Vladimir Putin is urging the mapping behemoth to redraw Russia's borders to include the Black Sea peninsula. Whatever Google decides, it’s sure to be politically and culturally fraught.

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On The Media

So Many Keys

Friday, March 21, 2014

Four times a year, members of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICAAN, take part in an elaborate ceremony (iris scanners!) designed to assure the world that the organization is doing its best to keep the web connected and safe. Brooke explains the meeting of the keyholders, with insight from Guardian reporter James Ball, who attended one of the ceremonies last month.

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On The Media

The Shifting State of Internet Governance

Friday, March 21, 2014

The seemingly arcane business of running the web recently made headlines when the United States government agreed to cede control of the Internet's global address book, also known as the Domain Name System (DNS). Bob talks with Bloomberg Businessweek's Brendan Greeley about the move and the future of internet governance.

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