Have you ever looked at a stop light, a slice of pizza, or the hot air coming out of your hair dryer, and wondered: What and who went into making this? A new four-part PBS series called “America Revealed” delves into this question; scaling back from small everyday items to give viewers a big picture view of how America functions. Along the way, it doesn’t just unveil the secrets of how stuff is made; it also tells a story of America’s history and people. The series is hosted by Yul Kwon, an attorney, businessman, and technology expert, who you might also recognize as the 2006 winner of the reality show “Survivor.”
This week, the big players in American democracy, media players, candidates, politicians, even passionate voters got a lesson in intelligent civic democracy from the quiet intensity of measured debate and smart talk from nine justices and a couple of top notch lawyers. John Hockenberry reflects on the week of debates in the Supreme Court. It wasn't just about the health care law this week, argues Hockenberry. It was the way the Court handled the issue – regardless of your political persuasion. The court made a real point about the value of a civic space free of noise and full of intelligence.
In the past few weeks we've seen the power of a single person wielding only the weapons he could carry: in Toulouse, France, in a village in Afghanistan, in a peaceful gated community in Florida. In our age of instant communication a single armed person IS an entire army, with a power sometimes greater than that of a traditional army. In an audio essay, John Hockenberry talks about lone gunmen.
John Hockenberry reports on his week in London, where he participated in a week-long "job swap" with Dan Damon from the BBC. Hockenberry reports on the preparations being made for the Summer Olympics and the Queen's 60th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee celebration, the London Underground and more. Hockenberry also enjoyed a break from the U.S. primary. "At one point I heard something about Rick Santorum's sweater vests on the air and thought, I'm really happy to be away," Hockenberry said.
After Georgetown University Law student Sandra Fluke spoke on Capitol Hill about her university's coverage of contraception, radio host Rush Limbaugh criticized her on his show. Those comments quickly went viral, and over 40 of Limbaugh's advertisers have pulled their sponsorship of the radio show.
The dialogue of the 2012 election has been defined in a large part through social media, and Super Tuesday was no different. Republican presidential candidates, journalists, and voters from across the country tweeted yesterday about their opinions of the GOP primary race.
The unlikely story of Jeremy Lin continues in dramatic fashion. Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin made a tie breaking 3-pointer with less than a second to play to cap his finishing flurry of six straight points as New York rallied to beat Toronto, extending its winning streak to six games. Joining us now is Takeaway director and super fan Jay Cowit.
Sunday's Chrysler Super Bowl ad caused some political reaction, but maybe America needs a pep talk from America's outlaw and tough guy Clint Eastwood. Host John Hockenberry looks at the Eastwood speech in the context of his epic career and America's need for some tough love in these troubled times. Half time in America? Maybe, but we could sure use some encouragement from Clint.
With an increasingly sophisticated crop of small, inexpensive digital cameras — in addition to those built into the tops of computer monitors and cell phones — more people are making movies than ever before. Equally significant, these little vignettes are reaching a greater audience than ever before. But not everyone's filmmaking skills have caught up.
Since its humble beginnings in the Bronx during the 1970s, hip hop has become a global musical phenomenon with attendant forms of style and protest. Perhaps one of the greatest examples of hip hop's recent impact is in the Arab world where formed the soundtrack to the revolution with rappers like Hamada Ben Amor from Tunisia, Cheikh Oumar Cyrille from Senegal, and Mohamed el Deeb from Egypt.
Next month, the final volume of the Dictionary of American Regional English will be released. A project initially undertaken in the 1950s by linguist Federic Cassidy, the goal was to record all the words and phrases that are unique to specific parts of the U.S. Listeners responded with their favorite regionalisms.
While football may have supplanted baseball as the national pastime, it's not necessarily a universal language. Perhaps you carelessly yell "foul!" during the game, don't fully understand what the "end zone" is, or mistakenly throw up your arms when the opposing team gets a touchback. But fear not: The Takeaway will teach you how to sound smart on Super Bowl Sunday.
In a world where one team must face off against another not once, but twice, on the world stage tempers will flare, bodies will be pushed to the limit, and reveling fans will discover if the underdog can triumph over tragedy… or if the top dog will rise again. Cliched? Absolutely, but appropriate: just as they did in 2007, the New England Patriots will face off against the New York Giants in this year's Superbowl.
Political die-hards know how to truly gauge the mood of the country this primary season. You have to keep one eye on the television and one eye on Twitter. Sure you can read the story in the paper the next day, but the excitement develops in real time through a stream-of-conscious and subconscious that comes right into our laptops and iPhones. Takeaway co-host John Hockenberry takes a look at how the story of Florida's GOP primary unfolded on the ubiquitous social media tool.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has had a long political career. But along the way, as Mitt Romney's SuperPAC Restore our Future gleefully points out, he accrued 84 ethics complaints during his tenure in the House, and accepted a $1.6 million donation from Freddie Mac. But that's not the whole list of Gingrich's malfeasance, public or personal. The Takeaway looks back at the triumphs — and scandals — that have trailed him.
Considering Kodak's recent financial woes, the imaging giant's Chapter 11 filing should have come as no surprise. But that hasn't lessened the cultural impact of losing such an iconic American institution. Kodak has been a part of American culture for more than a 100 years. The company made the first consumer camera, and people even called cameras "Kodaks" at the turn of the century. In this commentary we explore the rise and fall of one of America's most identifiable brands.
When President Obama's political opponents describe his administration's ideological bent, harsh words are often tossed into the fray. Whether it's Socialism, Marxism or Fascism, the President’s first term has been marred with accusations of adherence to a number of controversial ideologies. Is there any truth behind these heavily loaded terms? James Morone, political scientist and author, speaks about the many "isms" used to describe the Obama administration.
The anti piracy laws being considered in the U.S. have produced worldwide internet turmoil. Perhaps you are already aware that the giant Wikipedia website in English is down not because of some pirates, but in protest to what the Wikipedia people think this would do to the internet. Well Wikipedia's message today is that we in the 21st century world community need the open architecture of the internet and sites like Wikipedia. Just check out what it is like suddenly not to have them.
The battle for the New Hampshire primary plays out on TV screens, newspapers, and the internet as results come in throughout the night. One way to tell the story of this event is through Twitter, by seeing how pundits, politicians, pranksters and across the country reacted to the results. Takeaway co-host John Hockenberry tells the story of the New Hampshire primary according to tweets.
It seems like every time Tim Tebow is about to run out of miracles, that's when you're most likely to watch him kneeling in the end zone with another crazy victory in hand. And after taking down the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime last night, maybe the Denver Quarterback has stopped the calls to bench him for at least one week.