No one could mistake North Korea for an ally this week. Hostile rhetoric from the hermit kingdom has ramped up, peaking at levels not seen in years. Both South Korea and the United States have responded to Pyongyang's threats which include "preemptive nuclear strikes."
American reaction to this round of bellicosity seems more careful and less dismissive. Some officials acknowledge any threat ought to be taken seriously, but then they pivot back to North Korea's pattern of bluster and bluffs. Others, like U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, say this time might be different.
B. R. Meyers has been reading propaganda from DPRK for years. He's the author of The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters and says the west is wrong in the way it perceives North Korea, and the cost could be high. He tells us more on Day 6.
Roger Ebert, who brought film criticism to the masses, died Thursday following a long and public battle with cancer. Ebert was a writer and broadcaster with a deep streak of humanism magnified by the physical disfigurement of his final years.
When he lost his voice and part of his jaw to cancer, Ebert remained in the public eye, embracing social media, cranking up his output and reflecting on life in his deeply personal essays. He would not be silenced, and he wasn't afraid to be seen.
Who knew a critic could amass so much love and respect?
Werner Herzog was a friend and admirer. He tells us why he loved Roger Ebert.
AP Drops "Illegal Immigrant"
If you've been following American politics then you've heard the phrase "illegal immigrant". It's been a part of the political discussion of the last two Presidential elections and it's been around far longer than that.
This week the Associated Press which provides news copy for over 6000 newspapers and radio and television broadcasts decided "illegal immigrant" should not be used in their copy.
AP finally accepted the argument made in many quarters: that only an action- not a person- could be deemed illegal. AP is calling for their journalists to use the phrase "undocumented immigrant" instead.
There's pushback. Some fear the switch is imprecise, and others see ideological implications. Inez Gonzalez, Executive Vice President of the National Hispanic Media Coalition tells us why she supports the move.
Do Not Call
Charges were laid this week in the robocall scandal Elections Canada has been investigating for 22 months. The issue is fraudulent calls made to voters in Guelph during the last federal election. But Canadians don't much like robocalls even when they're legitimate.
Aaron Foss has designed a service that he says will evaluate incoming recorded calls and screen out the illegal ones, and do it so seamlessly you won't even notice. His design, called NomoRobo, nabbed a big prize this week in the U.S. Aaron say NomoRobot should be available soon in Canada too.
And Aaron admits he was surprised when he learned how much people despise robocalls. Really.
Late Night Wars
NBC confirmed this week that Jimmy Fallon will be the new host of The Tonight Show, replacing Jay Leno early next year. The last time this happened, when Conan O'Brien was given the job, it was a huge mess and Bill Carter wrote a book about it, The War for Late Night.
Things were looking complicated last week when Jay Leno starting aiming jokes at NBC executives, but it now appears the transition is on track.Bill Carter xplains why things got smoothed over and how NBC brought Leno onside.
The ascension of Fallon means The Tonight Show will return to New York where it was born in 1954.
Dick Cavett worked on an early edition of The Tonight Show writing jokes for hosts Jack Paar, Johnny Carson and eventually guest hosting for the first time in 1962. Cavett went on to have a distinct and storied late night career of his own with The Dick Cavett Show.
We talk to Cavett about Carson, Paar and the coveted job at The Tonight Show.
And that's Day 6 for another week. We're back in seven. Have a great weekend.