Poisonous Politics

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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill discuss the long overlooked history of mercury poisoning and the debate over its link to autism. Then, our election series, The Big Picture, looks into why nearly no one is talking about climate change and the environment in the midterms. Also, photographer Gregory Crewdson on his portraits of abandoned film studios. Plus, New York Times columnist Gail Collins helps us answer the question, How Did Politics in America Get So Weird? And Paul David Pope discusses how his family created a media empire that includes the National Enquirer.

Note that the Leonard Lopate Show has a new call-in number: 646-829-3985.

The Age of Autism

Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill trace the long overlooked history of mercury poisoning. In their book, The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-made Epidemic, they write about how mercury has been used in medicine, and why it's one of the earth's most toxic substances. They present their findings about the link between mercury and illness, and investigate how chemical and environmental clues may be overlooked by medical experts.

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The Big Picture: The Environment

The 2010 midterms are heating up, but none of the candidates seem to be talking about global warming. For the latest installment of The Big Picture, New York Times columnist Andy Revkin joins us to talk about why climate change and the environment are MIA in this election, along with Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker’s Washington correspondent. His article “As The World Burns” can be found in the most recent issue of the magazine.

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Photographer Gregory Crewdson talks about his photographs of the legendary film studio Cinecittà, where Federico Fellini and Roberto Rossellini shot their iconic works. His book of photographs, Sanctuary, presents haunting black-and-white portraits of deteriorating buildings and deserted streets.

Photographs from Sanctuary are currently on view at Gagosian Gallery, 980 Madison Avenue, through October 30.

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Gail Collins: How Did Politics in America Get So Weird?

New York Times columnist Gail Collins joins us for another installment of our series looking at the outlandish things politicians have been saying and doing lately, How Did Politics in America Get So Weird?


The Deeds of My Fathers

Paul David Pope discusses the family that created the tabloid: National Enquirer. The Deeds of My Fathers: How My Grandfather and Father Built New York and Created the Tabloid World of Today draws on more than 500 interviews, as well as voluminous documentary and archival sources. He's joined by Philip Turner, the books editor and publisher.

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Guest Picks: Gregory Crewdson

Gregory Crewdson shares some of his favorite picks with us after his recent appearance on The Leonard Lopate Show.


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