As we look back at 2013, we’re struck by the number of mishaps made by politicians, celebrities, athletes and companies…followed of course, by the oh-so-heartfelt public apology. Word of Mouth's senior producer Maureen McMurray and producer Taylor Quimby join Virginia Prescott to talk about the year of saying sorry…or in some cases, the year of the non-apology.
Not sure how you're going to muster the energy to rake another pile of leaves this weekend? Let us make the chore a little easier by distracting you with a solid hour of public radio encouragement. The Word of Mouth Saturday show is carefully designed to take you on a sound odyssey that's perfect even if you decide to forgo the leaf raking for another day.
On this week's show:
Please don't send shoes: Jessica Alexander makes the case for sending money instead of food or clothing when disaster strikes.
Talking about death: It's not an easy subject, but a new Showtime series, "Time of Death" approaches the taboo with unflinching realism. Jaweed Kaleem from the Huffington Post, and Miggi Hood, co-executive producer of the series join us to talk about death.
The Warren Commission 50 years later. Justice Richard Mosk was a 23-year-old attorney when he became the youngest member of the commission established by President Johnson to investigate the murder of JFK and his assassin. He tells us about the commission and why conspiracy theories can be harmful.
Fifty-years ago, on November 22nd, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was shot while traveling in his motorcade through Dallas. Kennedy was pronounced dead at 12:30 pm central time that day. By Monday, 45,000 letters of condolence had arrived at the White House. Two months later, nearly 800,000 had arrived -- addressed mostly to Jackie Kennedy and her family. Over the next two years, that number doubled. Handwritten, typed, and cabled, those letters captured the collective grief of the nation and the world and were then filed away for nearly forty six years.
Letters to Jackie, released in 2010, was a compilation of hundreds of those letters by history scholar, UNH professor, author and our guest Ellen Fitzpatrick.
“Letters to Jackie: Remembering President Kennedy” is a new documentary based on her book and features a selection from those letters read by movie and theater actors. The special makes its television premiere on TLC this coming Sunday, November 17th.
If you’ve ever avoided a conversation about death, you are not alone. While death scenes are plentiful in movies and on television, witnessing the real, degenerative, disorienting process of death and dying is avoided…unmentionable…a taboo. A new Showtime series faces that taboo head-on. “Time of Death” follows eight terminally ill people ranging in age from nineteen to seventy-seven over the course of nine months to their final hours and even moments of life.
Reviews and conversations cropping up around the series praise its raw, sometimes agonizing realism and wonder if anyone will watch; if our death denying culture can take such an unflinching look at death? The Huffington Post’s religion reporter Jaweed Kaleem wrote about the series. He’s covers one of HuffPo’s most unusual beats: death.
Also joining us is Miggi Hood co-executive producer for the Showtime series, “Time of Death.”
Early in June, the Supreme Court cleared the way for police to take DNA samples for people they arrest, without a warrant. The decision has stirred concerns among criminal justice and privacy advocates. The challenge of legally obtaining DNA samples from suspects is an essential plot point in police and court dramas – driving the action across two or even three commercial breaks. New York Times television critic Neil Genzlingerwondered what effect the high court ruling could have on TV crime shows.
From the outside, Doctor Who has never been anything but strange. The BBC’s long-celebrated protagonist is a time-bending, space-traveling alien, whose adventures can, and have, taken him anywhere and anytime in the universe. He can also regenerate into a new body when he dies, a plot trick which has gifted the show a much longer than average life-span. For the past fifty years now, the doctor has been portrayed by no less than eleven, white, British men. Matt Smith, who plays the current incarnation of the Doctor, has announced that he plans to leave the series this winter. The question many Whovians are now asking is: should the next Doctor Who be played by a woman?
Mac Rogers is a Brooklyn based playwright and culture writer, who contributes to Slate’s “Doctor Who TV Club”. He spoke with Word of Mouth’s Zach Nugent about gender-bending the BBC series Doctor Who.
Premium TV channels like HBO, Showtime, and AMC are pricey, and with many programs available on Netflix, Hulu, and other online sources, viewers are cutting the cable cord. Those hanging on say they want to watch what they want, when they want it.
After every errant tweet from another major news outlet, or the announcement of fresh layoffs from another print newsroom, many shake their heads and talk about the good old days, before false reports of WMD’s and internet news aggregators. We remember a time when Edward R. Murrow and other icons of objectivity were our revered national watchdogs, serving up the truth...one newspaper column or TV broadcast at a time. But what if our idealistic view of American journalism's "golden age" is nothing but a nostalgic myth? Todd Gitlin teaches journalism and communications at Columbia University. His recent article “The Myth of Journalism’s Golden Age” was recently featured in the Utne Reader.
Springfield’s evangelical Ned Flanders and Hindu Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu are frequent foils to satirize and explore religious belief systems on The Simpsons -- America’s longest running scripted TV show. Mike Reiss, four-time emmy winning writer for The Simpsons is interested in teasing out another brand of animated spirituality – Judaism. He’s presenting “Jews in Toons” -- discovering Jewish themes across Springfield’s twenty-four year history. His talk takes place at the New Hampshire Jewish Film Festival at Concord’s Red River Theatres on April 14th.
Northern New England has lost its most famous cowboy. Rex Trailer died this week at his home in Florida. He was 84.
For decades Trailer hosted the children’s TV show “Boomtown” from Boston’s WBZ-TV. To look back at his life and career we turn to Boston filmmaker Michael Bavaro. He worked with Rex Trailer for a number of years and filmed a documentary about his career. He talks with NHPR's Brady Carlson about Trailer's life and career.