Monthly Archives: October 2004

Upset in Underdog Nation

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The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry has always had a bit of the David and Goliath dynamic: the towering, formidable well-paid enemy, taking on the brave, optimistic, and totally outclassed underdog. But now that David finally pulled one out of his slingshot, what next? Much of the Red Sox identity has been built around what they couldn’t do, namely beat those big boys from the Big Apple. So now that the Red Sox have accomplished that feat, what happens to the drama, the passion and the taste for tragedy?


Howard Bryant, Sports Columnist for The Boston Herald

Buster Olney, Sports writer for ESPN The Magazine and author of “Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty”

Fear Factor 2004

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This week, fear seemed to be the political tactic of choice for the presidential candidates: their ads and speeches raised the specter of terrorism at home, flu epidemics, and losing Social Security. Vice President Cheney even evoked fear of nuclear annihilation on a campaign stop in Ohio.

Fear-raising by campaigns is not new. Images of a mushroom cloud were used effectively by Lyndon Johnson during his 1964 presidential race against Goldwater. Likewise, the specter of Willie Horton haunted the final weeks of the 1988 Bush-Dukakis presidential campaign.

Hear a discussion on how candidates use fear in the closing days of a political race.


Walter Shapiro, Political Columnist for USA Today and author of “One-Car Caravan: The Amazing True Saga of the 2004 Democratic Race form Its Humble Beginnings to the Boston Convention”

Peter Wallsten, Washington Correspondent for The Los Angeles Times

Shimon Peres

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At the age of 81, Shimon Peres is one of Israel’s elder statesmen. Ten years ago, along with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, Peres received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the Oslo Accords. But the very principles and agreements reached under this plan have unraveled over the past decade.

The former Israeli prime minister believes peace with the Palestinians is possible. But it’s been a rough year, and a rough decade for those like him who still dream of peace.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict rages on as a focal point of global politics while Shimon Peres is still in the Knesset, as leader of the parliamentary opposition.


Shimon Peres, Former Israeli Prime Minister and Nobel Laureate

Lawyering up for the Election

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In the days following Election 2000, a lot of people were pledging that never again would the U.S. electoral system be allowed to fail so spectacularly.

But as Election 2004 approaches, the lawyers are back and out in full force. In swing states across the country, legal teams from both parties are challenging election laws.

Though Democrats and Republicans will mobilize their forces to monitor polling stations on Election Day 2004, will this year’s election be decided again by judges or by voters?


Dan Trevas, Communications Director of the Ohio Democratic Party

Jason Mauk, Communications Director of the Ohio Republican Party

David Harsanyi, columnist with the Denver Post

Heather Gerken, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School;

Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee

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There is perhaps no journalistic source more legendary than Deep Throat. The Nixon administration insider who led young Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein through a maze of information led to Watergate.

To this day, the identity of Deep Throat remains a mystery. Only Woodward, Bernstein and their editor, Ben Bradlee, know who he is. Their refusal to expose him even after thirty years shows the lengths to which reporters will go, to protect their sources. Today, reporters are facing jail for refusing to reveal sources as part of a government’s investigation into the identity of a CIA operative, and the lessons of Watergate seem strangely relevant.


Ben Bradlee, Vice President at-Large of the Washington Post and author of numerous books including his memoir, “A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures”

Egypt's Ambassador to the United States

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As both Bush and Kerry try to position themselves as the man best able to fight the war on terror, many in the Middle East are wondering whether they will be considered allies or enemies in that war.

For many years, the U.S. and Egypt have been close friends, but the war in Iraq and the deteriorating conditions in the Middle East are straining relations between Cairo and Washington. Some say the recent bombings in Taba were payback against an Egyptian government seen as too friendly to the U.S. Others fault Egypt for allowing Islamic extremism to grow.


Nabil Fahmi, Egyptian Ambassador to the United States

The Future Farmer

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The story of the American farmer is often more romantic than realistic. But Cheryl Rogowski is out to change all that. In a world of huge agribusiness and dwindling crop prices, this MacArthur Genius is determined to make her farm, and others like it, thrive.

Digging in the dark earth of Pine Island, New York, Rogowski helped transform her family’s onion farm into a cornucopia of crops. Rogowski has survived by diversifying her fields and growing new connections with others farmers. Her’s is a farming pedigree that goes back to the 1300s in Poland, so walking away from the farm for her has never been an option.


Cheryl Rogowski, owner of the W. Rogowski Farm in Pine Island, NY and winner of a MacArthur Genius Award

Examining the Nader Factor

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Two weeks away from the presidential election, Ralph Nader is again emerging as a possible spoiler. This is deja u all over again for Democrats who believe Nader cost Al Gore the Oval Office in 2000.

Nader’s on the ballot in more than 30 states. Democratic diehards including Howard Dean and Nader’s own running mate from 2000 are urging him not to run, but Nader isn’t listening.

Despite reports of Republican money and fraudulent signatures fueling his candidacy, Nader remains unbowed.


Ralph Nader, Consumer Activist and Reform Party Presidential Candidate

Saving Yiddish Literature

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As a graduate student during the 1980s, Aaron Lansky embarked on an unusual mission. He set out to save the world’s Yiddish books. Scholars then thought that only 70,000 of these books remained in existence.

Rummaging through dumpsters, basements and nursing homes, Lansky ended up finding more than a million books. He went on to found the National Yiddish Book Center where those books now are being preserved, reprinted and read by new generations.

Hear about the place that houses what is now regarded as the literary legacy of millions of Jews who lived in Eastern Europe before the Holocaust.


Aaron Lansky, founder of the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA and author of “Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Book.”

Stem Cells Heat Up

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While the presidential candidates wrangle over stem cells on the campaign trail, researchers at Harvard University are preparing to cross over into some scientifically uncharted territory and start cloning human embryos. They say that the potential benefits balance or even outweigh the risks and moral concerns.

Opponents caution that morally-charged decisions such as cloning need to be made in public, not in private research labs. They fear that if private institutions in America are allowed to tinker with the makings of life without national oversight, cloned humans could be next.


George Daley, stem cell researcher at Harvard University and Children’s Hospital Boston

George Annas, professor of Bioethics at Boston University

Jonathan Moreno, co-chair of the National Academy of Science’s Committee on Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research