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FROM THIS EPISODE

Britain’s Prime Minister has to take public questions from opponents in Parliament once a week. After President Obama wowed Washington with his Q&A with Republicans, a bipartisan group is asking him to do the same kind of thing here. But the White House has said no. Can Congress demand a “President’s Questions?” Guest host Matt Miller explores whether direct dialogue would reduce the political polarization in this country. Is there an audience for nuance? Also, recovery remains slow despite a drop in the unemployment rate, and advocacy ads reach the Super Bowl, one of America’s favorite pastimes.  

Producers:
Frances Anderton
Sonya Geis
Katie Cooper
Christian Bordal

Making News Despite Drop in Unemployment Rate, Recovery Remains Slow 7 MIN, 47 SEC

The Labor Department reports that the unemployment rate dropped to 9.7 percent last month, in an encouraging sign for economic recovery. But the economy still lost 20,000 jobs and market reaction today has been mixed. Michael Mandel, former chief economist at BusinessWeek magazine, is now editor in chief at Visible Economy, LLC, a new venture that combines news and education.

Guests:
Michael Mandel, Editor in Chief, Visible Economy

Main Topic Questions for the President? 34 MIN, 20 SEC

President Barack Obama made political theater last week when he fielded questions from Republicans. Politics watchers on both sides of the aisle loved the sparkling Q&A, and now a coalition of Democrats and Republicans is demanding he repeat the process, in regular debates akin to Britain’s Questions for the Prime Minister. But the White House says no. Why? Could more direct dialogue help Obama get his message out? Could it benefit the republic?

Guests:
David Corn, Mother Jones magazine (@DavidCornDC)
Mindy Finn, Republican Political Consultant, Engage
Susan Jacoby, journalist and author
Robert Guest, Washington Correspondent, Economist
Eric Dezenhall, Dezenhall Resources

Reporter's Notebook Advocacy Ads Reach the Super Bowl 8 MIN, 51 SEC

The Saints-Colts match-up is not the only draw on Sunday's Super Bowl. Millions also tune in to see the clever ads. But CBS is stirring up controversy by airing the first-ever advocacy ad on one of the most divisive issues. College football star, Heisman winner and hero of Christian conservatives, Tim Tebow will appear in an ad sponsored by Focus on the Family, highlighting his mother's decision to give birth against doctor's advice. The spot has viewers anticipating Sunday's commercials more than ever, says Stuart Elliott, advertising columnist for the New York Times.

Guests:
Stuart Elliott, Advertising Columnist, New York Times

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