February 26, 2009

Pt 1: G.O.P Hip-Hop - Michael Steele is a man on a mission ... re-make the Republican Party and make it cool. He's the new chairman of the Grand Old Party. He's also the first African American to hold the post. And his plan is a -- quote -- "off-the-hook" public relations campaign to take the party's core values and apply them to -- quote -- "urban-suburban hip-hop settings."

 
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Pt 2: Unembedded - We started this segment with a news report from September 13th, 2004 about Canadian journalist Scott Taylor's kidnapping in Iraq. It took 20 trips to that troubled country, but the veteran war correspondent finally broke the first rule of war reporting that fall. He became the news he was meant to be covering. Mr. Taylor's ordeal features prominently in his new memoir, Unembedded: Two Decades of Maverick War Reporting. And Scott Taylor was in our Toronto studio.

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Pt 3: Satire Talk Tape and Letters- Inspired by a listener e-mail, The Current takes on As It Happens to find out who's funnier or at least who gets better hate mail.

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Today's guest host was Gillian Findlay

It's Thursday Feb 26th.

Controversial Roman Catholic Bishop Richard Williamson has arrived back in Britain after being deported from Argentina due to his holocaust denying views.

Currently, first stop for the Bishop is a Prince Harry costume party.

This is the Current.


G.O.P Hip-Hop - Williams

Michael Steele is a man on a mission ... re-make the Republican Party and make it cool. He's the new chairman of the Grand Old Party. He's also the first African American to hold the post. And his plan is a -- quote -- "off-the-hook" public relations campaign to take the party's core values and apply them to -- quote -- "urban-suburban hip-hop settings."

And you just had to know that would get Jon Stewart's attention. We aired a clip.

But while it might be fair to poke fun at the Grand Old Party's street cred, there is a potentially serious political shift happening here. And Michael Steele isn't the only Republican trying to push the boundaries of the Grand Old Party. There's also Bobby Jindal, the Republican Governor of Louisiana ... a rising star in the party who also happens to be the son of East Indian immigrants.

Earlier this week, the party brass tapped him to give a high-profile response to President Barack Obama's address to Congress. So to find out how much traction Republicans might find here, The Current canvassed the opinions of a few young African Americans in Boston ... to find out what they thought about a Hip-Hop G.O.P.

For his thoughts on the Republican Party's outreach efforts, we were joined by Armstrong Williams. He's a well-known American conservative broadcaster and columnist as well as a third-generation Republican. He was in Washington, D.C.

G.O.P Hip Hop - Salim Muwakkil

So, have the Republicans been given a bad rap? And will young African Americans see the Grand Old Party's outreach efforts as sincere?

Salim Muwakkil has a few thoughts about this new G.O.P strategy. He is a Senior Editor for In These Times magazine. He's also the Crime and Communities Media Fellow at the Open Society Institute and a talk show host at WVON in Chicago. He was in Chicago.

G.O.P Hip Hop - Satire

And our friends at The Content Factory were so taken by the G.O.P's outreach efforts that they couldn't help pitching in with some musical help. So give it up for M.C. Cain.

 

Unembedded - Scott Taylor

We started this segment with a news report from September 13th, 2004 about Canadian journalist Scott Taylor's kidnapping in Iraq. It took 20 trips to that troubled country, but the veteran war correspondent finally broke the first rule of war reporting that fall. He became the news he was meant to be covering. Mr. Taylor's ordeal features prominently in his new memoir, Unembedded: Two Decades of Maverick War Reporting. And Scott Taylor was in our Toronto studio.

Scott Taylor is the Publisher of Esprit de Corps magazine and the author of Unembedded: Two Decades of Maverick War Reporting. And if you'd like to hear more from Scott Taylor, tune in to The Hour tonight, when he'll sit down with George Strombolopoulos. The Hour is at 11 o'clock on CBC Television.

 

Satire Talk Tape and Letters

Inspired by a listener e-mail, The Current takes on As It Happens to find out who's funnier or at least who gets better hate mail.

And if the two shows melded this would be our opening to introduce our letters segment today.

This morning ...

Why can't you be more like As It Happens? A listener laments the parodies lost.

Tased and unamused. We present a defense of stun guns. You fire a shot off our bow.

Great moments in work-life balance and other assorted works of fiction.

And ... You say bitumen-blighted stain on the earth ... I say inevitable march of economic progress. Aw, let's call the whole thing off.

The Current's mail bag ... Letters that will tar and flatter you.

Our Current producer, Dominic Girard unveils the truth about our satire and asks you to take on the challenge and write a satire for The Current. Consider it Citizen Satire ... ism. Satirists should write a satire targeting North Korea in some way... or come up with their own. E-mail us through our website here or call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. The deadline is Wednesday and we'll produce our favorites for next week's letters and credit the winners. Click here to download guidelines for the Citizen Satire Challenge.

On to other mail:

Oil Sands - Last week, The Current devoted an hour to the future of the Alberta Oil sands. The industry faces tighter regulations, environmental pressures, and a U.S. President who isn't necessarily keen on importing energy from so called, dirty oil... no matter how cheap. So we asked the question ... Have the Alberta Oil Sands reached a tipping point? We aired a clip of Alberta's Minister of Finance and Enterprise, Iris Evans speaking on the Current last Wednesday. After hearing this item, our listeners responded.

The issue of the term Tar Sands vs. Oil Sands came up in some of our letters so we thought we'd address this. Neither the CBC nor the Canadian Press has an official policy on whether one term should be used over another. So we decided to get to the bottom of this. First we spoke to Dan Woynillowicz, a senior policy analyst with The Pembina Institute and we also called out to Travis Davies, a public affairs officer with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. (The ERCB he was referring to is the Energy Resources Conservation Board.)

Workaholics - On Monday's program, The Current looked at the emotional consequences of being a "workaholic" and wondered if the recession was putting more pressure on work-life balance. One listener was prompted to share her own personal story with us. She writes that she is a single mother of a 7 year old boy, who found herself at a crossroads in December between work and life. So she made a choice. We've agreed to keep her anonymous because of a legal agreement she signed that prevents her from identifying her former employer.
The Current's producer Alison Cook, caught up with her yesterday as she was walking her son to the school bus.

Tasers - On Tuesday's program, we weighed in on the always contentious issue of police use of tasers. As an inquiry continues into the death of Robert Dziekanski in British Columbia -- the Calgary Police Commission is proposing to expand the use of tasers among local police. Diane Colley-Urquhart is a Calgary alderman and a member of the Calgary Police Commission. She defended the use of tasers, saying there is no direct evidence that the weapons are lethal. A number of listeners wrote in with concerns on the use of the phrase "excited delirium".

And lastly today, we heard from our host, Anna Maria Tremonti. She will be hosting the Current from Jerusalem next Monday and Tuesday. We heard from her with a preview on next week's programs.

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