Reporter-s Notebooks Make for First-Class Fourth

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Today, we present a special archived edition of To the Point, a compilation of some of our favorite "Reporter's Notebook" segments. Ranging from presidential golf and preparing for war in Iraq, to literary life in Iran and the amazing survival story of a solitary hiker, each is followed by its original air date.

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  • Foreign Aid Worker-s View of Daily life in North Korea
    With military weapons aimed at North Korea from the South, and at South Korea from the North, a propaganda weapon is set to be launched in coming weeks. When the wind is right, thousands of balloons carrying pamphlets and tiny radios will drift from the South to offer prohibited access to the world. A German physician is behind the effort. Norbert Vollertsen spent almost two years in North Korea with a German aid organization before being expelled in December, 2000. He spoke with us in March before his balloon plan had gained altitude.(March 10)
  • Presidential Links
    President Bush and his father got together on Fathers' Day weekend for a couple days of golf. The Bushes normally finish 18 holes in about two hours. On the other hand, according to our guest, Bill Clinton often needs six hours. An investigative reporter for the New York Times, Don van Natta, Jr. is author of First Off the Tee: Presidential Hackers, Duffers and Cheaters from Taft to Bush. Van Natta says that golfing style reveals a great deal about Presidents. (June 13)
  • Karl Rove, Texas Politics and George W. Bush
    A new book says that President Bush owes a lot to his long-time political advisor, Karl Rove. It also illuminates the President-s in its focus on Texas, where Rove helped Mr. Bush become Governor. Wayne Slater, who covers the state house in Austin for the Dallas Morning News, is co-author of Bush-s Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential. (June 4)
  • Presidents and Anti-War Protestors
    Just as President Bush faced anti-war demonstrations earlier this year, President Richard Nixon dealt with anti-war fervor in the late 60's and early 70's. Nixon saw demonstrations that were larger and more intense than any in US history. In this segment, taped before the war in Iraq, former Nixon counsel John Dean remembers how the late president took to anti-war protests. (February 18.)
  • A Taste of Combat at County-USC
    It used to be that doctors learned on the battlefield, but since Vietnam, there have been no big wars-except in American cities. So, for duty in the war in Iraq, the US Navy is training doctors at the County-USC Hospital in Los Angeles, where Commander Peter Rhee is director of the Navy Trauma Training Center. (April 2.)
  • Literary Life under the Mullahs
    After the fall of Bahdad, some leaders of Iraq-s Shia majority demanded a religious state like that of its neighbor. A new book by a professor expelled from Iran for refusing to wear the veil, describes the repression of women after the Islamic revolution, and the refuge some found in Western literary fiction. Azar Nafisi is a visiting fellow at the Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies and author of Reading Lolita in Tehran. (April 23.)
  • Hiker Who Amputated Own Arm Recounts His Tale of Survival
    The outlines of the story are well known. After being trapped by an 800-pound rock while hiking alone, Aron Ralston figured out how to cut off his arm-rappelled down a 60-foot cliff and hiked 6 miles until he was rescued. After only a week of hospitalization, he looked remarkably fit and was even playful in Grand Junction, Colorado. Nancy Lofholm, who was at the news conference for the Denver Post, recalls Ralston's feat of courage and endurance. (May 9.)



Warren Olney