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FROM THIS EPISODE

Conservatives and liberals may never agree about the details of American history, but there's only one College Board. Now conservatives have forced a change in advanced placement standards for high school students. Has a "balance" finally been achieved?

Also, Japan is set to reactivate its nuclear reactors next week. On today's Talking Point: how political enemies Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley changed network news coverage…for better or worse.

Photo: National Archives

Producers:
Jenny Hamel
Charlotte Duren
Christine Detz

Japan Set to Reactivate Nuclear Reactors Next Week 6 MIN, 14 SEC

Seventy years ago, Japan became only nation ever hit with an atomic weapon. Four years ago, it suffered one of history's worst nuclear accidents. Now Japan is about to do something that's never been done before: re-start the fleet of nuclear reactors mothballed after the meltdowns at Fukushima. Edwin Lyman is senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington.

Guests:
Edwin Lyman, Union of Concerned Scientists (@UCSUSA )

Fukushima

David Lochbaum

Who Shapes American History? 32 MIN, 46 SEC

The College Board designs advance placement courses for high-school students, providing what critics call a monopoly on American History. But historians disagree about slavery, the rationale for various wars, the nature of government and what’s called "American Exceptionalism."  College Board standards set last year were called "unpatriotic" by conservatives, including the Republican National Committee, which accused the Board of a "radically revisionist view…the emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history while omitting or minimizing positive aspects." Now they have been revised--but the controversy is not going away.  Is "neutrality" even possible?

Guests:
Maria Montoya, New York University (@socialmedia)
Lyndsey Layton, Washington Post (@LyndseyLayton)
Williamjames Hull Hoffer, Seton Hall University
Peter Wood, National Association of Scholars (@NASorg)

More:
Layton on conservatives convincing College Board to rewrite American history
Newsweek on revised AP History standards emphasing "American Exceptionalism"

'Best of Enemies' and the Rise of Punditry 10 MIN, 21 SEC

Political coverage on broadcast and network TV wouldn’t be what it is without liberals and conservatives pitted against each other — with the competition often getting in the way of the substance. We hear how it all began.

The year 1968 was critical in American politics. Lyndon Johnson had declined to run for re-election, and Richard Nixon was striving to make a comeback. As the party conventions opened, NBC and CBS were dominating ABC in broadcast ratings. So ABC came up with a gimmick. Two intellectuals with utterly different political views were brought together during convention coverage. Best of Enemies is the title of a new documentary about Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley. The producer and director is Academy Award winner Morgan Neville.

Guests:
Morgan Neville, filmmaker (@MorganNeville)

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