Category Archives: Politics

Homework for a Nation: ‘The Vietnam War’

There is something undoubtedly daunting about “The Vietnam War” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings), the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick epic that begins the first of its 10 episodes tonight. The sheer weight and depth of 18 hours — presented night after night over two weeks — makes it seem burdensome as homework (There [...]

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McCain and Kerry Agree on Vietnam

There will be scores of community talk-backs associated with the Ken Burns-Lynn Novick opus ”The Vietnam War” that starts Sunday on PBS. Perhaps none will be as prestigious as the one this week at the Kennedy Center, that featured three Vietnam veterans that rose to heights in the government. There, Sen. John McCain, former Secretary of [...]

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With Obama Goes the Anger Translator

The end of Barack Obama administration Friday also means the end of Luther, Obama’s Anger Translator. While the 44th President was cool and calm in the Oval Office, what he really was thinking was interpreted in the character created by Keenan Michael Key in “Key & Peele.” Key performed it most memorably with Obama himself [...]

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Tuesday TV: Only the Future of Mankind

First, go vote. Then you can be more invested in both the country and in 2016 Election Night Coverage (ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, C-SPAN, CNN, Fox News, Telemundo, Univision, 8 p.m.). I wouldn’t watch a second of coverage until results come in; enough with the predictions already. And I’d avoid cable news networks just because [...]

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RNC, Night One: Melania Loves Chachi

You thought those three-hour finales for “The Apprentice” stretched things out. The four day Republican National Convention (MSNBC, 5p.m.; Fox News, 6 p.m.; CNN, CSPAN, 7 p.m.; PBS, 8 p.m.; ABC, NBC CBS, 10 p.m.) begins today in Cleveland, with most networks weighing in at different times, but which are also just as likely to [...]

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Frank Underwood Bares His Knuckles

It’s not like he threw me in front of the Metro train as he did poor Zoe Barnes. But I feel a little bit of what it’s like to be witheringly dismissed by Francis J. Underwood, the ruthless politician at the heart of Netflix’ hit “House of Cards.” It was at the unveiling of a [...]

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Dispatch from Iowa’s Political Front

So much of politics is pageantry, and rarely is it in play as much as at the annual Jefferson Jackson Day dinner in Des Moines the year before a Presidential Election. If the caucuses in Iowa is the first test of the presidential primaries, then, for the Democrats, the JJ Dinner is the place where [...]

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‘The Mole’ Host Moderates Debate

Presidential debates so far this cycle have brought cable news networks their biggest ratings in years, but also on the Republican side, some changes to the formats. Not just in breaking the large field into two tiers, but in changing the format that would have prevented, say, CNN moderator Candy Crowley from correcting a matter [...]

Also posted in Reality Bites, What's On TV | Comments closed

When Business Writes History

I expected another benign array of American dates, names and artifacts when the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History opened its new Innovation Wing last week. Zippier display cases, sure. A greater emphasis on interactive materials, well, that’s just what the times demand to wrest kids from staring at their phones. But a wholesale change in [...]

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Azar Nafisi on the U.S.-Iran Deal

I had the author of “Reading Lolita in Tehran” on the line. Azar Nafisi was about to receive the 2015 Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate in the Humanities and Public Service from the Smithsonian Associates and Creative Foundation. So I felt I had to ask her about the recent announcement that the U.S. and Iran had reached [...]

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