Alex here, Senior Producer on the night shift today ... All is going pretty much as planned. We've only added one major addition to the show. We've been curious for a while about the graphic nature of the images coming out of the rubble in Haiti. Our partner The New York Times was too. So we're planning a discussion on the changing norms of photojournalism. Are we bound forever more to see the most graphic pictures on front pages as newspapers are forced to keep pace with amateur photographers and social media distribution? Or is there something special about Haiti and coverage of this earthquake?
UPDATE: Sunday 8:30pmEST
Alex here on the Sunday shift ... and credit to my friends from Friday. Much of what they planned is still as relevant now after the weekend's news. We'll still start our pre-State of the Union analyses as planned with a look at some possible changes President Obama may be preparing to announce on Wednesday. Our Haiti coverage will continue and shift to more forward looking as the grim rescue efforts end with a look at how they might begin to rebuild and compare the obstacles now with past disasters.
The most surprising of our stories on tap for tomorrow may turn out to be our weekly family segment. This week we hear an unexpected but well researched theory on child sexual abuse. We might be understanding the notion of trauma all wrong. And if we get it right, maybe that would encourage more than just 5% of abused children to come forward.
We're also following the rumblings around the re-confirmation of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, still hearing and receiving responses to last week's Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance and yes, we'll have a preview of the Superbowl and recap of the NFL championship games last night.
According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, major U.S. aid organizations have received over $305 million dollars for Haiti. Big photogenic disasters close to home generate big donations, but that’s not always the best way to save the world, says Economist writer Matthew Bishop.
Alex here shepherding tomorrow's show through the night ...
As already posted on this website, John Hockenberry interviewed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen today. We'll run that tomorrow along with our continuing coverage of the political fallout from the electoral upset in Massachusetts. Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner (NY) will tell us why the Dems are OK without a filibuster proof majority in the Senate.
We might have heavy hitters from Washington (or right outside Washington in the Pentagon anyway) but we're not letting up on watching the relief efforts in Haiti. After a serious aftershock today a friend of the show wrote us to say "the aftershock was stronger than I realized and we are concerned more buildings have collapsed. People are screaming outside." So tomorrow we'll get the full update live. We're also following a few different 'big picture' angles. For one, we want to know if the medical risks to patients and doctors are evolving or growing over time with so many victims remaining injured and bodies still unburied. And on a political level, three prominent female political leaders were victims of the quake, so we're looking into what that means for gender progress in Haitian politics.
Plus graphic journalist Joe Sacco, how Starbucks bounced back, and an examination of the Apple buzz-making machine.
See ya tomorrow.
It's looking steady here on the evening shift as we wait for the polls to close in the Massachusetts special Senate election.
We've lined up reporters from Boston and political strategists to parse out the final results. One theme on our radar if Republican Scott Brown wins: did the democrats lose it or does the credit go to Republicans for a well-organized, long-shot campaign. No matter who wins, we'll discuss what the outcome and the race mean for Obama's agenda.
Alex here, manning the evening shift.
Always on the hunt for a good conversation with American newsmakers, we'll be talking with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius tomorrow. She'll update as on U.S. relief efforts in Haiti.
In general, our continuing coverage of the aid efforts in Haiti have sparked a slew of questions in our editorial team. After a doctor we reached mentioned treating bloody patients without gloves, we're trying to sort out how Haiti's rate of HIV/AIDS (2.2 percent of the population) hinders or alters aid efforts. That might be on the show tomorrow, or later in the week. We also want to compare mobilization of international relief this past week, with past disasters like the tsunami of 2004, so we're gathering some experts who have worked on, or studied both. We've found some fascinating music from Haiti too, so we'll take some time to share that.
And we love elections. So we'll go live to the polling booths in Massachusetts, where Democrats are getting a shockingly tight run for their money in the race to fill the Ted Kennedy's old Senate seat.
Plus a few surprises, because, hey, this is live radio.
Alex here, senior producer on the evening shift today.
There are plenty of big stories on tap for our Martin Luther King day show. The biggest story: We are deepening our ongoing coverage of the earthquake in Haiti. Tomorrow we'll bring you some specific personal stories that we think paint the larger picture of how average Haitians are scrambling to survive. We have two Haitian-Americans coming into our WNYC studio who were in Port-au-Prince during the eathquake visiting relatives and then turned their half-crumbled home into an impromptu medical center. Amid these tales of shoestring survival, we'll also try to sort out why it's been so hard to get official aid distributed. Interesting fact I just learned: for many people Blackberrys (or is it Blackberries?) seem to be working far better than other lines of communication.
Throughout the show we'll hear vignettes from civil rights activists honoring MLK with thoughts on the future progress of the work he started.
We're also following the special election in Massachusetts for Edward Kennedy's old Senate seat. We want to know how Democrat Martha Coakley came to be in a dead heat after leading by double digits in the polls not too long ago. Will Massachusetts, the bluest of blue states, turn purple?
For music lovers, movie fans and history buffs, the highlight tomorrow might be an audio packed interview we've lined up with Danny Glover and another of the producers of a new film, 'Soundtrack to a Revolution.' Hear how contemporary artists are re-recording classic civil rights anthems.
Plus we'll recap the Golden Globes, the upsets and upstarts in the NFL playoffs and hear from a woman who fought the IRS and won.
Alex here at the Takeaway news desk.
As the first wave of rescue supplies arrive and aid efforts intensify, we'll hear from aid workers on the challenges and progress they've seen: one in Port-au-Prince, one near the border in the Dominican Republic and one coordinating plans from back here in the U.S.
We at The Takeaway are dialing (and skyping, tweeting, emailing...) furiously trying to reach reporters and aid agencies on the ground for their reports on the damage and for the tales of survival.
Alex here, on the evening shift. We're monitoring the after effects of the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti, the strongest ever to hit the island nation. Right now phone communication with Port au Prince is still limited, but on the show tomorrow we're planning on checking in with reporters monitoring the story from Miami, and, as soon as we get communications, with reporters and aid workers in Haiti.
You might have heard of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and the role they played in the housing crisis, but have you heard of a 'synthetic CDO?' Gretchen Morgensen and Louise Story report in today's New York Times, ("Banks Bundled Bad Debt, Bet Against It and Won,") on how banks used this special category of bundled debt to bet against the housing market, and win. Sometimes it meant the banks profited while their clients lost out.
Louise Story joins us to explain synthetic CDOs and the three government investigations that are already underway about the practice. The government wants to know if investment firms may have exacerbated the housing crisis as they tried to hedge their vulnerable mortage positions. We also speak with Sylvain Raynes, a structured finance consultant, to give us details on how firms used synthetic CDOs and how they pitched them to clients.
Last night the storytellers at The Moth in Detroit took on the topic closest to Motor City's heart: cars. Alex Trajano, host of the event, shares the winning story with us and some observations on what happens when you make an open call to Detroiters to tell car stories in public.
It's election day, and Atlanta may be on the verge of electing their first white mayor since 1969: Mary Norwood, a city council member for eight years. Georgia Public Broadcasting's Susanna Capelouto surveys the scene and the potential for making history and joins us from outside the polls. She also explains why turnout is expected to be as low as 30% today.
Yesterday the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the symbolic threshold of 10,000. New York Times finance reporter Louise Story says the news is interesting, but it doesn't say much about the overall health of the economy. Something that might: the banking sector. Also joining the conversation is New York Times economics correponsdent Edmund Andrews with a look at how the U.S. Treasury wants some bailed-out banks to start paying back their loans.
Last week, a horrifying cell phone video put the Chicago Public School system under a national spotlight. It captured dozens of teenagers in a street brawl using wooden beams as weapons. An innocent boy named Darrien Albert was brutally beaten to death. He is one of five teenagers who have been killed in Chicago this school year.
This morning, Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will be having breakfast with Mayor Daley of Chicago to discuss the high levels of youth violence in the city. Linda Lutton, a reporter with WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, talks with us about school violence in Chicago.
Key economic indicators are still giving mixed signals about the recovery of the nation's economy. Housing numbers were up, but now they are down; consumer confidence was rising, and now it's sagging. Adding to the agita, analysts still can't say if we have hit bottom or not. New York Times finance reporter Louise Story tells us what Wall Street is making of the ups and downs in housing and consumer confidence figures.
A year after short selling stocks was decried for adding fuel to the fire of the financial meltdown, the Securities and Exchange Commission is considering cracking down on the practice. But some banks are pushing back. Louise Story, finance reporter from The New York Times, explains why.