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FROM THIS EPISODE

Republican Senator Trent Lott says right-wing talk radio has defined the debate on immigration and may be able to kill the fragile compromise supported by President Bush. How have conservatives come to dominate talk radio? Are they the voice of democracy or its undoing? Also, Tony Blair becomes the Quartet's special Middle East envoy and, on Reporter's Notebook, Gordon Brown takes over as Prime Minister of Britain. What will that mean for the Grand Alliance?


Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Christian Bordal
Frances Anderton

Making News PM Tony Blair Appointed Special Middle East Envoy 5 MIN, 47 SEC

Hours after he stood down as Prime Minister, came the long-expected announcement that Tony Blair will be Middle East envoy for the co-called Quartet, the US, Russia, UN and European Union.  Addressing his goals today in the House of Commons, he stressed the absolute need for a two-state solution, comprised of a secure Israel and a viable Palestinian government and institutions.  Bronwen Maddox is chief foreign commentator at the Times of London.

Guests:
Bronwen Maddox, Prospect magazine

Reporter's Notebook Gordon Brown Takes Over as British Prime Minister 7 MIN, 57 SEC

Tony Blair is now Middle East Envoy for the Quartet of the US, Russia, the UN and the European Union. Britain's new prime minister is his long-time understudy. During the ten years of Blair's Labour Party government, Gordon Brown has been Chancellor of the United Kingdom, but he's never disguised his ambition to become the top dog. Today, he got the job without an election--the first time that's happened in 17 years.  Michael White is associate editor of the Guardian newspaper and a commentator on the BBC.

Guests:
Michael White, Associate Editor of the Guardian

Main Topic Talk Radio and the Immigration Debate 35 MIN, 10 SEC

The immigration bill now in the Senate would beef up border security, create a guest-worker program and create new rules for newcomers, but a new poll shows that 65% of Americans think it's all about "amnesty" for 12 million undocumented workers.  The legislation is supported by President Bush and a fragile coalition of Democrats and Republicans who are feeling the heat of grassroots campaigning by the conservative right wing. Both Republican Senators from Georgia started out as co-sponsors, but backed off after an onslaught of phone calls, e-mails, faxes and letters sparked, in part, by conservative talk radio.  How influential are these and how did get that way?  When did they break ranks with President Bush?

Guests:
Nicole Gaouette, Bloomberg News
Faiz Shakir, Research Director for the Center for American Progress
Michael Harrison, Editor and Publisher of Talkers magazine
Eddie 'Piolin' Sotelo, Spanish-language radio personality
Stephen Wayne, Professor of Government at Georgetown University

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