Strong Convictions: Unshakable Faith and Covering Poverty

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Anna Sale fills in for Leonard Lopate. On today’s show: Journalist Will Storr discusses tracking down climate change skeptics, devout creationists, and Holocaust deniers for his book, The Unpersuadables. Our Strapped series continues with a look at how the media reports on poverty and why the issue remains largely under-covered. Tony Dokoupil tells how his father went from small-time pot dealer to smuggling multiple tons of marijuana in the 1980s, exploding his life in the process.


Anna Sale

Deniers, Believers, and the Enemies of Science

While excavating fossils in Australia with a celebrity creationist, journalist Will Storr asked himself a simple question: Why don’t facts work? He set off on a search for people who cling to far-fetched stories, in spite of overwhelming evidence against them. In his new book, The Unpersuadables: Adventures with the Enemies of Science, Storr talks to creationists, tours Holocaust sites with famed denier David Irving and a band of neo-Nazis, experiences “past life regression” hypnosis, and investigates the tragic life and death of a woman who believed her parents were high priests in a baby-eating cult.

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Can 23andMe "Solve Health"?

The company 23andMe has attracted the ire of the FDA for offering at home-genetic testing for dozens of complex diseases. The company has already extracted and analyzed the DNA of 650,000 people, making it one of the biggest genetic banks in the world. New York magazine contributing editor Lisa Miller talks about speaking with the company’s founder, Anne Wojcicki, about her quest to “solve health” through big data analysis of her customers genetic information.

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The Poverty Beat

For this week’s installment of our series Strapped: A Look at Poverty in America, Dale Maharidge, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Columbia Journalism School professor, and Greg Kaufmann, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and former poverty correspondent for The Nation, discuss reporting on poverty and how poverty is portrayed—and why it’s under-covered—in the media. Kaufman is launching TalkPoverty.org on May 19.

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My Father the Marijuana Smuggler

Tony Dokoupil's dad rose from hippie pot dealer to multi-ton smuggler. His memoir is a chronicle of pot-smoking, drug-taking America from the perspective of the generation that grew up in the aftermath of the Great Stoned Age.

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Tributes: Rubin (Hurricane) Carter

Rubin Carter, otherwise known as Hurricane, had a powerful left hook and a ferocious, mesmerizing presence in and out of the ring. But his promise as a star prizefighter was cut short after he was wrongly convicted of murder, twice. He was imprisoned for 19 years before the charges were finally dismissed. His life became the subject of the 1999 movie “The Hurricane,” starring Denzel Washington. Carter told The New York Times shortly after his second conviction in 1977, “They can incarcerate my body but never my mind.” Carter died Sunday, April 20, of prostate cancer. He and his biographer James Hirsch spoke with Leonard on January 11, 2000.


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