Line by Line

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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Elliott Forrest fills as guest host. He’ll speak with David Wessel about the federal budget as the United States approaches the so-called fiscal cliff. Photographer Lawrence Schiller tells us about his relationship with Marilyn Monroe. Charles Yu discusses new collection of short stories Sorry Please Thank You. And D. L. Hughley describes why he thinks America is in need of a wake-up call.


Elliott Forrest

The Politics of the Federal Budget

David Wessel dissects the federal budget, a subject that is fiercely debated in the halls of Congress and in the media, yet is misunderstood by the American public. In Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget, Wessel looks at the 2011 fiscal year to see where all the money was actually spent, and why the budget process has grown so far out of control.

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Remembering Marilyn Monroe

Lawrence Schiller talks about his memoir Marilyn & Me: A Photographer's Memories, about his friendship with the star, which developed when he photographed her in 1960 and 1962 on the sets of “Let's Make Love” and the unfinished feature “Something's Got to Give,” the last film she worked on. The book includes 18 of Schiller’s own photographs, some never previously published.


Charles Yu's Sorry Please Thank You

Charles Yu, author of the widely praised debut novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, talks about his new collection of short stories, Sorry Please Thank You. Drawing from both pop culture and science, Yu is a sharp observer of contemporary society, and his stories combine humor and insight into the human condition.

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D. L. Hughley on the Audacity of Dopes

Comedian and political commentator  D. L. Hughley explains why he thinks the nation is heading in the wrong direction. In I Want You to Shut the F#ck Up: How the Audacity of Dopes Is Ruining America, he points out that despite the country’s pride in itself, we are no longer the best. In terms of life expectancy, we're 36th—tied with Cuba; in terms of literacy, we're 20th—behind Kazakhstan. He offers his opinions on what might improve our future.

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Tributes: Gore Vidal

It’s hard to list all the professions Gore Vidal managed to juggle over the course of his long life.  He wrote his first novel while he was still in a US Army uniform at the end of WWII.  The grandson of Senator T.P. Gore of Oklahoma, he ran unsuccessfully for the US Congress as a Democratic-Liberal candidate in New York in 1960. And you can see his play, “The Best Man,” in a revival on Broadway right now. The novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and essayist (to name just some of his accomplishments), did not suffer fools (or conservatives!) lightly, and was gifted with an acerbic wit.  He always enjoyed being interviewed by Leonard over the years, however.  He recently died at the age of 86, and you can hear some of their conversations below.


Gore Vidal dead at the age of 86

Gore Vidal was many things—a writer, social critic, playwright, political candidate, sometime actor, and perennial iconoclast. He was on the Leonard Lopate Show several times. You can listen to two of his more recent conversations below.

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