In his new book, Race-Baiter, media critic Eric Deggans says modern media outlets trade in bigotry and bias to build audience and sell advertising.
Deggans dissects media coverage of events such as Hurricane Katrina, the Trayvon Martin case and the 2012 presidential election to build an argument that Americans lack the right vocabulary for having important conversations about race, and that the echo chambers of our fractured media landscape aren't helping. The fix, he says, is a more savvy audience that demands better conversations.
Thomas E. Ricks is also the author of the best-seller Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq and its follow-up, The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The war in Afghanistan has gone largely unmentioned by both presidential campaigns. When it does come up, conversations focus not so much on what happening now but withdrawal.
If timetables hold, the U.S. and NATO will hand over combat operations to Afghan forces by the end of 2014, but plans call for American troops to stay on for many years in support and counterterrorism roles.
Last week, after Donald Trump asked President Obama to produce more records to prove his citizenship, the president used an appearance on "The Tonight Show" to dismiss the issue with a one-liner. Host Jay Leno asked, what's this thing between you and Trump?
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO")
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This all dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya.
A life-sized cardboard cutout of actor, director and politician Clint Eastwood stands next to an empty chair cutout north of Los Angeles, California. Eastwood's 12-minute conversation with an empty chair representing President Obama sparked much attention at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 11:49 am
Just five days before Election Day, President Obama returned to the campaign trail after spending several days preoccupied with overseeing the federal response to the devastation in the Northeast in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
Obama began his campaign re-emergence Thursday with a rally in Green Bay, Wis., a state where his once-substantial lead in polls over Republican Mitt Romney has narrowed to only a few points in a majority of the polls.
Mitt Romney was on CNN not long ago defending the claims in his campaign ads — "We've been absolutely spot on," he said. Politics aside, the expression had me doing an audible roll of my eyes. I've always associated "spot on" with the type of Englishman who's played by Terry-Thomas or John Cleese, someone who pronounces "yes" and "ears" in the same way — "eeahzz." It shows up when people do send-ups of plummy British speech. "I say — spot on, old chap!"
Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 11:24 am
"After Sandy, Wired New Yorkers Get Reconnected With Pay Phones: Coin-Eating Retro Devices Baffle Some, Frustrate Many; Moment Merits a Tweet."
That Wall Street Journal story today, about folks in lower Manhattan who have been forced by the power outages and damages in the wake of Superstorm Sandy to seek out an old-fashioned way to make a call, has struck a chord.
The presidency has remained a male-only office throughout American history. Despite changing demographics and huge gains by women in other walks of life, some experts still don't see a female president on the horizon.
Millions of Americans are dealing with the aftermath of Sandy, including the responsibility of comforting children who may not have a frame of reference for the storm. For tips on helping kids cope, host Michel Martin speaks with Suzanne McCabe of Scholastic's classroom magazines. The magazines cover the aftermath of all kinds of disasters.
Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 9:03 am
More than five million people in the U.S. claim some form of Native American identity, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. November is Native American Heritage Month and host Michel Martin kicks it off with the first in a series of conversations with author Anton Treuer. He talks about who is Native American and how that identity is determined.