The Bob Edwards Show, November 14-18, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011: TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline would carry oil extracted from Canada’s tar sands all the way to refineries in Oklahoma then along the Gulf of Mexico. The proposed pipeline is very controversial, and this week the State Department’s inspector general announced that he will conduct a special investigation “to determine to what extent the department and all other parties involved complied with federal laws and regulations” relating to the pipeline permit process. Steven Mufson has been reporting on the TransCanada pipeline for the Washington Post, and he brings us up to date on its history and controversy. Then, Dr. Richard Muller is a prominent physicist who had been skeptical about human’s role in global warming. Now, as the founder and director of Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature, Dr. Muller recently published a report that shows the earth is indeed warming. The study was funded in large part by the Charles Koch Foundation – the Koch brothers are oil tycoons and deniers of global warming. Dr. Muller joins Bob to discuss the report, how the findings compared with their expectations, and the value of skepticism in science.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011: Writer and literary critic Umberto Eco is most famous for his international best-seller In the Name of the Rose. His most recent novel, The Prague Cemetery, is a literary whodunit that was recently criticized by both the Vatican backed newspaper L’Osservatore Romano and the Chief Rabbi of Rome. Set in Europe in 1897, the story follows secret agent Captain Simone Simonini as he investigates an assassination and political intrigue. Then, Bob talks new books for winter’s cold days with Salon.com senior book critic Laura Miller.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011: Bob talks with Chris Thile, Noam Pikelny and Chris Eldridge, members of the bluegrass group The Punch Brothers. They discuss their musical philosophy, their nicknames, how the band formed and how it got its name. The group just finished recording their latest CD for release next year, but Thile and Pikelny also have brand new side projects out now. Banjoist Pikelny’s solo debut is called Beat the Devil and Carry a Rail while Thile appears on Yo-Yo Ma’s CD The Goat Rodeo Sessions.
Thursday, November 17, 2011: There are always new ways to read and interpret the classics, even ones that are 2700 years old. Several years ago, Stephen Mitchell translated the first stanza of The Iliad for fun and then stuck his handiwork in a drawer. He came back to it later, and now he’s the translator of a new version of Homer’s epic poem that tells the story of a few weeks in the final year of the Trojan War. Next, long before pay-per-view, the WWE and Hulk Hogan, the world of professional wrestling was like the Wild West. And Memphis was like Dodge City. A new documentary from director Chad Schaffler tells the story of Memphis wrestling, from the carnival days of Sputnik Monroe, to integration, female wrestlers, and Jerry “The King” Lawler, who famously wrestled Andy Kauffman. The film is titled, Memphis Heat: The True Story of Memphis Wrasslin’. Then, we’ll visit a professional wrestling school in West Memphis, Arkansas that carries on the tradition of regional training and performances.
Friday, November 18, 2011: Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times joins Bob to discuss the latest political news. Next, former investigative journalist Mark Feldstein’s book Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson, and the Rise of Washington’s Scandal Culture examines the relationship between muckraking journalist Jack Anderson and the Washington political world in the 1960s and ‘70s. FBI head J. Edgar Hoover once called Anderson “a flea-ridden dog” who was “lower than the regurgitated filth of vultures.” Poisoning the Press is now out in paperback. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Jocelyn Fong. The United States is a nation of immigrants, and no holiday acknowledges that cultural history more than Thanksgiving. For Jocelyn Fong, Thanksgiving meant gathering at her Chinese grandmother’s house with all of her cousins, and piling her plate high with rice — topped with gravy. Fong says her family is an “American blend of a Chinese past and a multicultural future.”