Linton Weeks

Linton Weeks joined NPR in the summer of 2008, as its national correspondent for Digital News. He immediately hit the campaign trail, covering the Democratic and Republican National Conventions; fact-checking the debates; and exploring the candidates, the issues and the electorate.

Weeks is originally from Tennessee, and graduated from Rhodes College in 1976. He was the founding editor of Southern Magazine in 1986. The magazine was bought — and crushed — in 1989 by Time-Warner. In 1990, he was named managing editor of The Washington Post's Sunday magazine. Four years later, he became the first director of the newspaper's website, Washingtonpost.com. From 1995 until 2008, he was a staff writer in the Style section of The Washington Post.

He currently lives in a suburb of Washington with the artist Jan Taylor Weeks. In 2009, they created The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation to honor their beloved sons.

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The Protojournalist
11:26 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Why America May Be Ready For Some Futbol

William West AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 3:07 pm

Ante-millennium America was ho-hum about soccer as a sport, because it is a game with: nonstop motion, international players, loose rules and corruption, low expectations of scoring and an imprecise ending.

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Sat June 21, 2014

The Runner-Up Religions Of America

Courtesy of the ASARB

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 8:30 am

Glance at the map above, Second Largest Religious Tradition in Each State 2010, and you will see that Buddhism (orange), Judaism (pink) and Islam (blue) are the runner-up religions across the country.

No surprises there. But can you believe that Hindu (dark orange) is the No. 2 tradition in Arizona and Delaware, and that Baha'i (green) ranks second in South Carolina?

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Tue June 17, 2014

A Native American Take On Tornadoes

1904-05. Red Stone Church Built Winter
Courtesy of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Musuem of Natural History, University of Oklahoma

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 7:50 am

While tornadoes continue to tear across America's midsection — taking lives and destroying property — we continue to search for explanations of the phenomenon, in hopes of developing better warning systems and protection.

But after decades of research, funded by decamillions of dollars, the fundamentals of wind funnels remain somewhat mysterious.

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Wed June 11, 2014

5 TV Shows That Deserve Another Chance

LeVar Burton, the face of Reading Rainbow.
From the Reading Rainbow website

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 9:05 pm

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The Protojournalist
11:11 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Should There Be A University Of Politics?

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 7:07 pm

In France, many high-level politicians — such as Prime Ministers Francois Hollande, Jacques Chirac and Valery Giscard d'Estaing — developed their statecraft skills at the Ecole Nationale d'Administration.

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Art In A Jar 2: Details, Details

Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 11:17 am

When we posted the first Art in a Jar in April, we learned a couple of lessons: 1) Folks liked the idea. 2) The puzzle was way too easy.

So we try, try again.

The Puzzle

The challenge: Guess the masterpiece — by looking at its pieces — in the jar.

Please post your guesses in the comments section.

The Expert

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The Protojournalist
11:25 am
Sat May 17, 2014

5 Fab Fads That Just Faded Away

Originally published on Sat May 17, 2014 3:02 pm

Fads sweep across America like thunderstorms.

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The Protojournalist
7:01 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

13 Spliffy Jobs In The Marijuana Industry

Say what you will about the morality of marijuana, now that 21 U.S. states — and the District of Columbia — have passed some type of pot-friendly legalization, selling weed is big business.

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The Protojournalist
11:29 am
Thu May 1, 2014

The State Department Is 'Deeply Concerned'

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee in 2010.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 11:14 am

Considering the month of April alone, the State Department said it was "deeply concerned" about each of these situations: justice in Turkey; peaceful challenges of official Chinese policies; restrictions of freedom in Egypt; a Ugandan raid on a U.S.-funded medical facility; the humanitarian crisis in Burma and certain actions of the Republika Srpska, among other various and diverse issues — many extremely serious.

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The Protojournalist
11:17 am
Tue April 29, 2014

A Life Story In 6 Songs — Part 3

Erica Werner and Perry, the parrot
Erica Werner

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 6:50 pm

To a lot of us, music is essential. So are animals. Often the two coincide, as we discovered when we asked people to Tell Us The 6 Songs Of Your Life.

For folks of a certain age, How Much Is That Doggy in the Window? is the first song they remember. Cat lovers cite Our House by Crosby, Stills and Nash, which refers to "two cats in the yard." The Bob Marley song Three Little Birds is a favorite of many.

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The Protojournalist
3:33 pm
Sun April 27, 2014

Keeping An Eye On The KKK

CHRIS KNIGHT ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 6:48 am

Just when you think the Ku Klux Klan – with its sordid history of racism and violence – is a thing of the past, it rears its ugly, white-sheet-hooded head.

In the aftermath of the tragic killings at Jewish Community Centers in Kansas City on April 13 – and reports that the accused gunman belonged to a KKK group in North Carolina – you wanted to see if there is other news about the KKK in contemporary America.

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The Protojournalist
11:20 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Tweet Suits: Social Media And The Law

Levent Konuk istockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 9:29 am

In the past several years, as more and more people are connected through more and more social media, the idea of turning personal grievances into class actions has been popping up, well, more and more.

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The Protojournalist
1:15 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Why Are Most Rampage Shooters Men?

A makeshift memorial hangs on a lamp post across the street from the Washington Navy Yard, on Sept. 20.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 2:29 pm

Aaron Alexis, the man who police say killed more than a dozen people at the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16, has joined a heinous parade of mass murdering shooters, nearly all men.

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The Protojournalist
12:16 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

The Customization Of You — And Everything Else

NPR

While reading this story on the customization of everything, YOU would discover that it's even possible these days to make yourself the subject of an NPR news story on customization.

In other words, you are reading the story that you are co-writing – about yourself.

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Sat August 31, 2013

The Rise And Fall Of Slackers

iStock

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 12:15 pm

As we pause this Labor Day weekend to celebrate the Great American Worker, we can't help but wonder: Whatever happened to the Great American Slacker?

It wasn't that long ago that slackers ruled the earth. OK, maybe ruled is a bit over the top because slackers, by definition, didn't really rule — or try very hard or take full responsibility. Whatever. But they sure were omnipresent there for a while.

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Tue August 20, 2013

5 Odd Things You Can Buy

Roadside trash.
eBay

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 1:14 pm

For the person who has everything — or maybe wants everything — we go Windows-shopping at Why I'm Broke, a portal to outrageous gift ideas.

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Mon July 8, 2013

The Life Of Paula Deen: In A Four-Course Menu

Cooking show host Paula Deen visits FOX Studios in December.
Slaven Vlasic Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 3:19 pm

Appetizer: Hogs In A Sleeping Bag

These hearty kielbasas, partially hidden in puff pastries, represent Paula Deen's first catering company The Bag Lady — begun in 1989. It offered "lunch and love" ... in a bag.

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The Protojournalist
5:10 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Wanna Talk Gunsmack? OK, Shoot

For a nation dealing with serious and tragic firearms issues — trying to balance personal rights with potential lethality — we use guns an awful lot. Metaphorically speaking. Football teams employ pistol formations and shotgun offenses.

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U.S.
12:56 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

What Boston Means To America

Faneuil Hall, in downtown Boston, was built in the 1740s.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:20 pm

As a city, Boston is at the crux of this country's past, present and future.

This was brought home on April 15 — Tax Day, Patriots Day, Marathon Day — when two deadly bombs exploded on historic Boylston Street near the finish line of the 117th running of the Boston Marathon.

The tragic blasts occurred so close to the Boston Public Library that the building — home to the personal book collection of Founding Father John Adams — is included in the crime scene.

The bombs struck at the very heart of the heart of America.

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Around the Nation
12:00 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Maybe We Should Retire The Word 'Retire'

The official portrait of retirement has changed, and it didn't change to this.
iStockphoto.com

Retirement ads are everywhere these days. The Villages lures retirees to come live, love and golf in Florida. USAA offers financial counsel to retiring military personnel.

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Pop Culture
12:42 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

V Reasons To Love Roman Numerals

The Roman numerals for NFL Super Bowl XLVII float on the Mississippi River on Feb. 2 in New Orleans.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 9:55 pm

Pope Benedict XVI has left the Vatican.

Love the Catholic Church or not, you have to admit the Roman numerals following a pope's name are distinctive. They set the pope apart from the rest of humankind. (As if he needs it.)

Roman numerals always stand out. In an increasingly computer-driven world run by the numbers — population totals, unemployment figures, mortgage payments, health care bills, credit card codes, "the last four of your social" — the occasional brash appearance of an X or an MCM can be surprising and sometimes a little unsettling.

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Around the Nation
5:40 am
Sat January 19, 2013

12 Half-Truths We Live With

Koalas aren't really bears, but we don't seem to mind.
Gabriella Garcia-Pardo NPR

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 1:12 pm

Say it isn't so. Various news organizations have recently reported that on occasion the Subway sandwich chain's $5 footlong measures 11 inches instead of 12 — as advertised. Sure enough, the bacon, lettuce and tomato jewel we bought Friday fell a little short.

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Around the Nation
10:45 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Saying No To The Inauguration

A U.S. Capitol Police officer secures the area surrounding the west front of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 5 as preparations are under way for President Obama's second inauguration.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 3:22 pm

As supporters of President Obama prepare for his toned-down but glammed-up second inauguration over the long weekend of Jan. 19-21, the president's detractors are making other plans.

Across the country, disenchanted Americans are engaging in forms of protest — some public, some private — to signal their displeasure with November's election outcome.

How do they NOT love Obama? Let us count the ways.

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Around the Nation
12:36 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

The Great American Signature Fades Away

John Hancock's famously large signature is part of our visual heritage, but handwritten signatures are used less and less.
www.archives.gov

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:04 pm

Much has been made recently of the loopy signature of Jack Lew, the Treasury secretary nominee whose name — if he is confirmed — will appear on new U.S. currency.

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Around the Nation
12:11 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

The Second Amendment: 27 Words, Endless Interpretations

The Second Amendment is short on words but long on dispute.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 1:00 pm

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is like:

  • an Etch A Sketch. You can make it into pretty much whatever you want.
  • an optical-illusory M.C. Escher staircase that climbs back into itself.
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Around the Nation
11:17 am
Wed December 26, 2012

A Lull Until New Year's? Not So These Days

The CambridgeSide Galleria was bustling with people exchanging gifts and taking advantage of sales the day after Christmas 2011.
Suzanne Kreiter The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 1:32 pm

Time was, the stretch following Christmas Day until New Year's Day was a quiet, sleepy spot on the American calendar. The six-day span hung like a lazy hammock between the holidays.

Not anymore.

Nowadays, the WAC — Week After Christmas — is busy and abuzzing. All around the country, Americans continue to celebrate — Kwanzaa, the Christmas afterglow and the coming New Year.

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Around the Nation
9:03 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Table For One, Please. A Solo Thanksgiving

Some people just aren't into the big Thanksgiving Day extravaganza.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 8:19 pm

This is America, where Thanksgiving is portrayed in popular culture as a time for gatherings of loving families and friends, holding hands while saying grace over a roast turkey, passing casseroles and footballs, reminiscing about the past and dreaming of the future.

But. This being America, we also know that traditions — just like every other aspect of contemporary life — become more complex the more we examine them.

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It's All Politics
8:03 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Do We Really Need A Second Inauguration?

President Obama dances with first lady Michelle Obama on the night of his inauguration, Jan. 20, 2009, in Washington.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 3:53 pm

For the sake of argument, let's agree that when we use the word "inauguration" in this particular post, we are talking about the multiday, ball-bestrewn, soiree-soaked, tuxedo-dappled extravaganza that costs tens of millions of dollars and often leaves many Americans out in the cold — figuratively and literally.

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It's All Politics
11:43 am
Thu November 8, 2012

5 Foul-Ups In The Romney Campaign

Mitt Romney talks to reporters on his campaign plane on Election Day. "I'm very proud of the campaign we've run," he said. "No campaign is perfect."
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 12:37 pm

File this under the Strange Case of the 2012 Presidential Campaign. It was a long, tortuous trip that ended up at a very familiar destination: the re-election of President Obama.

But along the way, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney did garner more electoral votes than a lot of losers, including John McCain in 2008, Bob Dole in 1996 or Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Romney must have done some things right. And he must have done some things wrong.

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It's All Politics
2:16 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

5 Truisms About the 2012 Election ... That Weren't True

The taller candidate always wins? Think again.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

The balloons have fallen, the bunting's down, and President Obama has been re-elected.

That means Mitt Romney has been defeated — and with him, many election aspects that we presumed to be true. (You know what they say about presume — it makes a pres out of u and me.)

Maybe it's because we're sailing into a new and uncharted century. Maybe it's because of climate change or polar shift or Mayan calendrical mayhem. But the presidential election of 2012 provided a highly unusual, if not unique, set of circumstances.

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