America’s got talent! So does Britain…Pakistan, Nigeria, Greece, Vietnam, Sweden, Slovakia and a number of other countries in on the “Got Talent”, “Idol” or “X-Factor” franchises of reality TV talent shows. As Meg Wolitzer put it in an essay for Financial Times: “Regardless of your locale, at some point you will be confronted with a fetching, trembling little girl with a voice that’s powerful enough to shatter your eardrums, while still tender enough to break your frozen heart."
Wolitzer is the author of many books, most recently of The Interestings. Her essay, “In Search of the Real Thing” is a meditation on how our culture has come to equate talent with success.
The reality television industry could be in for a rude awakening – a lawsuit filed last year by David Hester could threaten to change the foundations of the immensely popular genre. Still functioning after its explosive success near the turn of the century, reality TV has begun to face declining ratings in many of its shows. Last December, Hester filed a lawsuit against A&E after producers of “Storage Wars” allegedly rigged the outcome of the show’s competitors – with damaging results. Eriq Gardner is senior editor for the Hollywood Reporter and joins us to discuss the suit.
For U.S. defense officials, knowledge is power. It’s clear, in-depth and actionable intelligence that makes the difference in keeping the country safe. So officials at the pentagon and in homeland security are gathering huge amounts of raw data. And who, who can help them sort through thousands of hours of video to find and stop these existential threats? Most of us don’t associate the cast of Jersey Shore with U.S.