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American Politics




Dick Gregory On Voting and Choice.

Activist Dick Gregory recently gave a speech for the Ford Hall Forum that was recorded by NPR. Today, Fresh Air will play an excerpt of that speech, on the subject "Are Minorities Really Powerless?" The topics addressed in the excerpt are the 1980 presidential election, Gregory's distaste for the concept of "voting for the lessor of two evils," and the "choicelessness" the common voter feels. The speech was given prior to the election.


Taking Nationalism Too Far

Linguist Geoff Nunberg believes that the American disdain for foreign language education is a holdover from our isolationist past -- and a detriment to our culture.


Oliver North Takes the Stand

TV critic David Bianculli has been following the networks' coverage of Oliver North's congressional testimony on the Iran-Contra affair. While each station uses the same camera feeds, they deploy commentary and supplementary information in different ways, in alternately successful and distracting ways.


Legislating Language

Linguist Geoff Nunberg reflects on recent efforts to make English the official language at the state and federal levels. He says that such measures only hurt immigrants seeking essential services.


War and Language.

Language Commentator Geoffrey Nunberg discusses the sanitized language defense experts use to describe nuclear war and weapons.


Making Sense of Patriotic Fervor.

In celebration of Flag Day, Language Commentator Geoffrey Nunberg discusses the wording of the Pledge of Allegiance and "The Star Spangled Banner." (Rebroadcast. Original broadcast 6/10/87.)


Covering the Democratic National Convention

TV critic David Bianculli wasn't impressed by the often intrusive coverage of last week's DNC. But watching clips of past conventions on C-SPAN, he was thrilled to see footage of politicians in their prime.

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