Monday, March 30, 2009
Journalist Bryant Urstadt got his hands on a U.S. government oil delivery contract drafted by the Minerals Management Service (MMS) and discovered that the government is frittering away our oil riches.In the April issue of Harper’s magazine, Urstadt dissects the practice that has gone largely unnoticed. The spokesperson for the MMS, Drew Malcomb, refused to cooperate with Urstadt on the story, stating, “I won’t put a band-aid on a piece of sh**.” Then, we remember historian John Hope Franklin. We bring back Bob’s interview with Franklin about his autobiography titled, Mirror to America. The nonagenarian has been involved in some of the most important events in American civil rights history. He’s worked with Thurgood Marshall, served as the first black department chairperson of an American all-white college, and marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He died last Wednesday at the age of 94.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
During his prime-time press conference last week, President Obama emphasized that an overhaul of the US healthcare system is crucial to getting the economy back on track. The scale of the problem facing the Obama administration has been compounded by lay-offs, home foreclosures, bankruptcies and other unexpected life changes. Now more than 46 million Americans are uninsured and millions more underinsured or uninsurable. Today, the PBS program FRONTLINE investigates the failures of America's health care system in "Sick Around America." Jon Palfreman is the producer of the program. Then, during World War I, the Woman’s Land Army (WLA) brought thousands of women from all walks of life into rural America to take over the farm work after men were called to war. The Land Army insisted its “farmerettes” be paid wages equal to male farm laborers and be protected by an eight-hour workday. Elaine Weiss tells about the remarkable effort of American women to feed a nation at war in her new book Fruits of Victory:The Woman's Land Army of America in the Great War.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Erik Reece’s first book, LostMountain, was the backbone for Bob’s documentary about mountain top removal coal mining. Now Reece has written his second book, An American Gospel: On Family, History and the Kingdom of God. Reece, the son and grandson of fire-and-brimstone Baptist preachers, began searching for an alternative to the Puritan reading of the Gospels after he could no longer square Christianity’s “easy and ultimately unholy alliance with industrialism, consumerism, and corporatism.” Then,our resident folklorists Steve Winick and Nancy Groce from the Library of Congress bring us songs and stories of wealth and poverty.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
The day after his inauguration, President Obama signed an order to close the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention camp. In recent years, Guantanamo Bay has become a lighting rod for controversy, symbolizing either freedoms protected or freedoms robbed. The crew for the National Geographic Television film, Inside Guantanamo was allowed unprecedented access inside the camp, and Bob talks with director Bonni Cohen and coordinating producer Kathryn Wallace about Guantanamo's day-to-day operations, as well as what closing this facility will mean to the U.S. and the detainees.
Friday, April 3, 2009
David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob to talk live about the latest news from the capital and beyond. Then, in July 2005, Scott Hicks began filming a documentary about Philip Glass to celebrate his 70th birthday in 2007. Over the next 18 months, Hicks had unprecedented access to the composer, following him across three continents – from his annual ride on the Coney Island “Cyclone” to the world premiere of his new opera in Germany to a didgeridoo concert in Australia. On April 8th, GLASS: a portrait of Philip in twelve parts premieres nationally on the PBS show American Masters. Hicks is best known for writing and directing Shine, a film about the pianist David Helfgott starring Geoffrey Rush. He's also the director of the upcoming Clive Owens movie The Boys Are Back in Town.