Monday, February 16, 2009
When he began poking around America's workplaces as the labor correspondent for the New York Times, Steven Greenhouse says he was taken aback by what he found --- "squalid treatment, humbling indignities, relentless penny pinching." Greenhouse examines the decline in the status and treatment of American workers in his book, The Big Squeeze. It’s now out in paperback. Then, on August 7, 1974, a young Frenchman named Philippe Petit pulled off the "artistic crime of the century." After eight months of planning, Petit, aided by a band of co-conspirators, rigged a high wire between the tops of the two then unfinished Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Petit then spent nearly an hour dancing on the wire hundreds of feet above Manhattan. The police were waiting for him, and unsure of what crime Petit had committed, the NYPD charged him with "Man on Wire." That's the name of the Oscar-nominated documentary about Petit directed by James Marsh.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Chronicling the inside stories of the Bear Stearns deal, Lehman Brothers' collapse, the propping up of insurance giant AIG, and the $700 billion bailout, Frontline producer Michael Kirk examines what Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke didn't see, couldn't stop and haven't been able to fix. Kirk describes his investigation from Wall Street to Washington, to be featured in Inside the Meltdown, airing February 17th on PBS.
Then, writer Alison Weir has made a career of writing detailed and highly readable biographies about some of England's most notable historical women. In Mistress of the Monarchy: The Life of Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster, Weir turns her attention to the little-known but fascinating life of Katherine Swynford.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Brigadier General James P. Cullen was one of forty generals on hand when, on his second day in office, President Barack Obama signed three executive orders that banned torture, closed Guantanamo Bay, and ended the CIA's use of secret prisons. Cullen discusses the history between the generals and President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and why he thinks that day "will be remembered as a turning point in the struggle with Al Qaeda." Then, journalist Joshua Hammer examines how Protestants and Catholics are adjusting to a more peaceful climate, 10 years after the peace treaty in Northern Ireland. "Getting Past the Troubles" will appear in Smithsonian Magazine's March issue.
Thursday, February 19, 2009:
Dan Baum arrived in New Orleans two days after Hurricane Katrina and has reported on the disaster and its aftermath ever since. In 2007, he returned for four months, filing daily dispatches from New Orleans for The New Yorker and he has written a book, just released, called Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans. Then, Tia Lessin and Carl Deal were horrified by the destruction Hurricane Katrina brought to New Orleans. The filmmakers flew to Louisiana a week after the storm hit, with an idea of focusing on National Guardsmen. Then they met Kimberly Roberts and her husband Scott who filmed the storm and its aftermath on a secondhand camcorder. Lessin and Deal incorporated that raw footage -- documenting a frustrating wait for help -- into their film,Trouble the Water. It has been nominated for Best Documentary Feature in this year’s Academy Awards.
Friday, February 20, 2009
David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob to talk live about the latest news from the capital and beyond. Next, Bob talks with astronauts Sandy Magnus and Mike Fincke as they orbit the Earth aboard the International Space Station. Magnus has been up there for four months now and is scheduled to return to Earth on the next Space Shuttle mission. Then, Bob talks with LA Times film critic Kenneth Turan for his picks in this year's Academy Awards.