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FROM THIS EPISODE

Republicans took over Congress promising big change, but internal battles and refusals to compromise have made them historically unproductive. With public approval at 14%, is this Congress more dysfunctional than those of the past? Also, a British Panel finds Rupert Murdoch unfit to run News Corporation, and the largest fossil forest ever discovered is 300 million years old. Was it done in by climate change?

Producers:
Anna Scott
Gideon Brower
Christian Bordal

Making News British Panel Finds Murdoch Unfit to Run News Corporation 7 MIN, 11 SEC

"Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company." That's the conclusion of a committee of Britain's parliament after months of investigation. But it's not unanimous. Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson is Media Editor for the Financial Times.

Guests:
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, Financial Times (@Edgecliffe)

Main Topic Are Congress' Extreme Politics Eroding Our Democracy? 37 MIN, 6 SEC

Even some long-time Republicans are calling the current Congress the most dysfunctional since the Civil War. Public approval is 14 percent -- up from nine. What do Tea Party members have to do with it?  Are they idealistic Mr. Smiths lost in Washington or another group of obedient servants to special interests? Are both parties helping plutocrats hijack the government, despite the priorities of most voters? How does this Congress compare to those of the past when it comes to addressing the urgent problems that face the American people?

Guests:
Robert Draper, journalist and author (@DraperRobert)
Heidi Przybyla, Bloomberg News (@HeidiPrzybyla)
Jacob Hacker, Yale University
Gregory Wawro, Columbia University

Reporter's Notebook A Fossil Forest in an Illinois Coal Mine 6 MIN, 20 SEC

Springfield Coal is a series of coal seams under southern Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana.  Miners have known them for years and now, after all that digging, paleontologists are studying what's been left behind. They have to go down… and look up, because the largest fossilized forest ever discovered is on the roof of a massive coal mine. One scientist calls it "the closest thing you'll find to time travel." Bill DiMichele, curator of fossil plants at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, is one of those who discovered the 300-million-year-old forest.

Guests:
Bill DiMichele, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

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