NPR: Linton Weeks

Linton Weeks joined NPR in the summer of 2008, as its national correspondent for Digital News. He immediately hit the campaign trail, covering the Democratic and Republican National Conventions; fact-checking the debates; and exploring the candidates, the issues and the electorate.

Weeks is originally from Tennessee, and graduated from Rhodes College in 1976. He was the founding editor of Southern Magazine in 1986. The magazine was bought -- and crushed -- in 1989 by Time-Warner. In 1990, he was named managing editor of The Washington Post's Sunday magazine. Four years later, he became the first director of the newspaper's website, Washingtonpost.com. From 1995 until 2008, he was a staff writer in the Style section of The Washington Post.

He currently lives in a suburb of Washington with the artist Jan Taylor Weeks. In 2009, they created The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation to honor their beloved sons.

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10:17am

Thu March 22, 2012
U.S.

An Open Letter ... About Open Letters

Anneke Schram iStockphoto.com

Dear Open Letter Writers,

Are you open to the idea that the open letter has become the victim of its own success?

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1:08pm

Wed March 14, 2012
U.S.

Please Read This Story, Thank You

Politeness seems to be falling by the wayside these days, with phrases like "you're welcome" replaced by the more casual "you bet" or "no problem." Good manners were more the norm in 1960, when these kids at a junior theatrical school learned how to curtsy and bow.
Chris Ware Keystone Features/Getty Images

Listen to the conversations around you — colleagues at the office, customers in the coffeehouse line, those who serve you, those you serve, the people you meet each day. "Give me a tall latte." "Hand me that hammer." "Have a good one."

Notice anything missing? The traditional magic words "please" and "thank you" that many people learn as children appear to be disappearing.

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10:00am

Tue March 13, 2012
It's All Politics

Like Grits? You Just Might Be A Republican Candidate

You know you're campaigning in the South if you've got comedian Jeff Foxworthy by your side. Foxworthy introduces Mitt Romney at a campaign stop at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Monday, in Mobile, Ala.
John David Mercer AP

"Strange things are happenin' to me" a bewitched Mitt Romney said recently to a crowd of Mississippi supporters. The former Massachusetts governor is right: Strange things do happen to folks, especially national political candidates, when they talk to us Southerners. They start drawling and twanging, trying to sound like us. Sometimes, they're mocking us; sometimes they're just trying to be friendly. We know the difference.

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12:24pm

Wed March 7, 2012
News

Public Apology: The 'Mea Culpa' Matching Game

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 1:29 pm

Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh talks with guests at the White House in 2009. Limbaugh apologized March 3 to Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke after he branded her a "slut" and "prostitute."
Ron Edmonds AP

March 7, 2012

"Sorry" may seem to be the hardest word, but a lot of famous folks seem to always be saying it. Rush Limbaugh and President Obama both apologized recently. When a public figure makes a mistake, the public wants an apology. A public apology. In this quiz, match the apology with the famous apologist.

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2:08pm

Wed February 29, 2012
Digital Life

Google Wins. He's Giving Up On Privacy

Google new privacy rules, which are set to take effect Thursday, have drawn scrutiny from privacy advocates and state officials.
Jens Meyer AP

That's it. They win. He's giving up his privacy.

Trying to maintain privacy in contemporary America is just too time consuming, too complicated, too exhausting. He can't tell the good guys from the bad guys anymore. He doesn't know whom to trust.

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6:05pm

Tue February 28, 2012
Politics

Found Time: How To Spend The 24 Hours Of Leap Day

Leap day is the perfect moment to contemplate time. Here a man looks at the Seine river through the giant clock of the Orsay Museum in Paris.
Pierre Verdy AFP/Getty Images

Found time! An extra day. How will you use it? Here are 24 ideas. None of them takes longer than an hour. Because time is tight, time is of the essence, time is money. And if you don't have time to get to everything on the list, don't worry. Maybe in 2016.

Feb. 29, 2012 Hour By Hour:

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10:11am

Tue February 28, 2012
Around the Nation

A Nation Divided: Can We Agree On Anything?

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 6:09 pm

Chris McDonough, a Republican (left), and Robert O'Brien, a Democrat, argue about political issues outside a caucus in Portland, Maine, in February.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Like baseballs in a batting cage, the controversies that divide us just keep on coming. Fast and unpredictable.

Last month it was the flap over the Susan G. Komen foundation and its move to cut financial support of Planned Parenthood. The resulting imbroglio dredged up deeply held convictions among Americans about women's health issues and "cause marketing" that, in this case, has resulted in profits for companies promoting breast cancer awareness and research through pink and omnipresent product tie-ins.

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7:59am

Wed February 22, 2012
Presidential Race

6 Reasons We're Feeling Debate Fatigue

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 8:03 am

Depending on how you tally them up, there have been 26 debates so far this GOP primary season. How many is too many?
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

Oh no. Not another debate among those guys who are running for the Republican presidential nomination. By at least one count, Wednesday night's Dustup in the Desert — sponsored by CNN and Arizona's Republican Party — is the 26th such face-off — if you count forums and head-to-head encounters.

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11:39am

Sun February 19, 2012
Pop Culture

The Deep-Seated Meaning Of The American Sofa

The sofa can be the epicenter of our lives. It is home base, North Star, study carrel, dining booth and royal throne rolled into one.
Dierk Schaefer Flickr

A tale of two couches: The first, pictured recently in the New York Daily News, is where NBA supernova Jeremy Lin reportedly spent nights — perhaps battling Linsomnia — before erupting into a game-changing beast and leading the New York Knicks to a euphoric win streak.

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11:38am

Wed February 15, 2012
Politics

Why America Pursues More Perfect Politics

Americans are always searching for a "more perfect union." Volunteers roll up a giant banner printed with the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution during a demonstration against the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on Oct. 20, 2010.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Americans are obsessed with perfection.

We implement zero-tolerance policies in our schools and businesses. We improve on the atomic clock with the quantum-logic clock that is twice as precise. We use multi-angle instant replay cameras in certain professional sporting contests to make sure the referees' calls are flawless. We spend millions on plastic surgery. We strive for higher fidelity, resolution, definition, everything.

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12:21pm

Mon February 13, 2012
Politics

America Is Angry, Very Angry. Why That's Not All Bad

For so many reasons, Americans are seething. Here, a protestor shouts as he holds an American flag after storming the Wisconsin State Capitol on in Madison, Wis., March 9, 2011 after Republicans in the state Senate voted to curb collective bargaining rights for public union workers.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Through the smog and the smeariness of the seemingly ceaseless process of selecting a president, one thing is clear: Americans are seething.

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3:46pm

Thu February 9, 2012
Around the Nation

Over Bowls Of Soup, Donors Find Recipe For Change

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 6:15 pm

Jon Landau serves others at PhilaSoup, a soup group based in Philadelphia.
Linton Weeks NPR

The Soup Movement in America is based on a simple recipe: Bring a bunch of people together to eat soup. Ask each person for a modest donation — say $5. Listen to a few proposals about how people might use that pool of money for a worthwhile project. Vote on the best proposal, and give all the money to the top vote-getter. Go home full and fulfilled.

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1:53pm

Fri February 3, 2012
Pop Culture

3 Hidden Themes Of This Year's Super Bowl Ads

Originally published on Sat February 4, 2012 10:01 am

Many of this year's Super Bowl ads, like this one from CareerBuilders.com, play off our affection for animals.
CareerBuilders.com AP

9:40am

Tue January 31, 2012
Presidential Race

The Slimary Process: Is This The Nastiest Race Ever?

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:04 am

Republican presidential hopefuls former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney debate in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday.
Matt Rourke AP

12:18pm

Thu January 26, 2012
Presidential Race

The Baffling, Befuddling Primary Season

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 1:38 pm

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters during a campaign event at Paramount Printing in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

It was so clear for a moment: Mitt Romney was in the lead in the presidential nomination race. Newt Gingrich was a distant second. Rick Santorum — the youthful candidate — was appealing to the socially conservative voters. And Ron Paul was hanging on.

Then things got weird.

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7:00am

Tue January 24, 2012
Politics

Is The State Of The Union Address Obsolete?

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 5:07 pm

President Obama delivers last year's State of the Union Address on Jan. 25, 2011.
Evan Vucci AP

Given the nonstop, stereo-rock news cycle, the warp speed tempo of geopolitics and the constant to-and-fro between the media and the president, has the State of the Union address become obsolete?

Traditionally, the speech — an annual where-we-stand lecture delivered by the president to a joint session of Congress — has for decades been an opportunity for the professor in chief to issue a national report card and put current events in calm, codifiable context.

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3:22pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Presidential Race

Does Regionalism Matter Anymore, Y'all?

The presidential election brings out the media's obsession with regional differences. Reporters and politicians do stand-ups from cornfields in the Midwest, beaches in California, honky-tonks in Texas — and in front of this sand sculpture of the GOP candidates in Myrtle Beach, S.C., last weekend.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

The race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is fixing to get, as we Southerners tongue-in-cheekly say, about as slippery as a greased pig in a hog wallow. Nasty as a old possum in a croaker sack. Murky as South Carolina swamp mud.

The Republican primary focus is shifting to the South, where folks talk and act different from the rest of the country. And where they look for different characteristics in candidates than other regions of the ...

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12:30pm

Fri January 13, 2012
Politics

When Did 'Kumbaya' Become Such A Bad Thing?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry greets voters Jan. 10 after speaking to a town hall meeting in Indian Land, S.C. He has said that if voters want someone to sing "Kumbaya," "I'm not your guy."
Jeff Siner MCT/Landov

6:07am

Sun January 8, 2012
Around the Nation

A Year After Tucson Tragedies, Incivility Continues

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:09 am

Captain Mark Kelly hugs his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at the White House in October.
Pete Souza The White House via Getty Images

When a gunman opened fire on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and others at a shopping center near Tucson exactly a year ago — killing six people and injuring Giffords and many others — some people were quick to blame the episode on the overheated political climate.

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12:20pm

Wed January 4, 2012
Presidential Race

U.S. Politics: Hurrah For The Red, White And Screwy

Voters register to cast their ballots during Republican caucuses at a school in Des Moines, Iowa, on Tuesday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

The American political system — as corny, eclectic, chaotic and screwed up as it is with its straw polls, caucuses, primaries and contested elections — somehow gets the job done time after time.

It's weird, really: In this country that celebrates unity and national spirit, a president is chosen via quirky, jerky state-by-state (sometimes precinct-by-precinct) methods. In this society that seeks perfection, the leader is selected in a painfully imperfect process.

But, to paraphrase the old saw: Our funky form of democracy may just be the least worst way to govern.

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3:11pm

Fri December 30, 2011
Around the Nation

'Haters' Are Going To Hate This Story

Originally published on Sat December 31, 2011 7:20 am

The word "Hater" — as it's often used today — is derived from the term "Player Hater," a phrase popularized by late rapper Notorious B.I.G., shown here clutching his Billboard Music Awards in 1995.
Mark Lennihan AP

Haters are here. And there. And everywhere. And the word "hate" is in the air.

Fox has a new sitcom: I Hate My Teenage Daughter. A recent issue of Us magazine tells us "Why Scarlett Johansson Hates Blake Lively." Psychology Today explains "Why We Hate Airport Security." Dick Meyer, formerly of NPR and now executive producer for news services at BBC America, wrote a provocative book called Why We Hate Us.

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10:52am

Wed December 21, 2011
Presidential Candidates: Did You Know?

5 Things You May Not Know About Jon Huntsman

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 2:58 pm

GOP hopeful Jon Huntsman speaks in Milford, N.H., on Dec. 8.
Cheryl Senter AP

He is former governor of Utah and the namesake of a very rich man. His father, a Salt Lake City bazillionaire, owns a chemical company that really blossomed when it created packaging for McDonald's Big Macs. His father also served in the Nixon administration, so Jon Huntsman Jr. lived in Washington as a young boy.

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11:34am

Mon December 19, 2011
Presidential Candidates: Did You Know?

5 Things You May Not Know About Rick Santorum

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 5:24 pm

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum listens during a presidential debate Oct. 11 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.
Scott Eells-Pool Getty

Born in the spring of 1958, former Sen. Rick Santorum — the son of a psychologist and a nurse — was the second of three children in a Catholic family. The Pennsylvania Republican spent most of his childhood in the Pittsburgh suburbs.

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1:50pm

Thu December 15, 2011
5 Things...

5 Things You May Not Know About Michele Bachmann

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 5:35 pm

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann speaks at The Gift of Life movie premiere in Des Moines on Wednesday night.
Jim Young Reuters /Landov

She was born Michele Amble. Her parents divorced when she was young. She studied political science and literature in college and was a student volunteer for Jimmy Carter's 1976 campaign for president.

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1:17pm

Wed December 14, 2011
Rick Perry

5 Things You May Not Know About Rick Perry

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 11:36 am

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition 2012 Presidential Candidates Forum in Washington, D.C., last week.
Alex Wong Getty Images

The eyes of Texas have been upon James Richard "Rick" Perry ever since he boot-scootin' boogied onto the public-service stage. Now political observers are watching Perry's fortunes fluctuate as a Republican candidate for president.

Political junkies have followed the career of Perry — an Eagle Scout, veterinary student and son of a farmer and a bookkeeper — from his initial election as a Democrat to the state House of Representatives in 1984. They have studied his endorsement of Al Gore for president in 1988. They watched him as he changed parties in 1989.

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1:04pm

Tue December 13, 2011
News

Home Sweet Home: The New American Localism

Americans are craving food grown locally: There are now more than 6,000 farmers markets across the country. Here Ron Samascott organizes apples from his orchard in Kinderhook, N.Y., at the Union Square Greenmarket in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

You can talk about the global village, a mobile society and the World Wide Web all you want, but many in our country seem to be turning toward a New American Localism.

These days, we are local folks and our focus is local. We are doing everything locally: food, finance, news, charity. And maybe for good reasons.

"One bedrock thing that is going on," says Brad Edmondson, founder of ePodunk and former editor of American Demographics magazine, is that "because of aging and the recession, people aren't moving around as much."

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5:36am

Sun December 11, 2011
Presidential Race

Haiku D'Etat: The Endorsements Could Be Verse

In the ever-swirling pool of Republican presidential candidates, political endorsements — formal and informal — are being tossed around like life jackets. Will they help the struggling wannabes sink or swim?

"Endorsements are only one of many cues that determine how a person votes," says Robert C. Wigton, a political science professor at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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12:05am

Thu December 8, 2011
Presidential Race

The Tweets, Tics And Turns Of Twitter Politics

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 8:14 am

Texas Rep. Ron Paul's passionate base of support could explain a new study that finds he received more favorable treatment on Twitter than any other GOP hopeful.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The tweet might go something like this:

Political convo on Twitter is more opinionated, more negative. Diff from that in blogs or lamestream media, sez new study by Pew. Like duh!

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6:03am

Sat December 3, 2011
Ron Paul

5 Things You May Not Know About Ron Paul

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 3:42 pm

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul speaks with voters after a town hall meeting in Keene, N.H., on Nov. 21.
Cheryl Senter AP

Everybody knows that Ron Paul is a doctor from Texas. Born in Pittsburgh in 1935, he graduated from Gettysburg College and Duke University's medical school. He was a flight surgeon in the Air Force. His wife's name is Carol. He has served as a Republican congressman for years and years.

Everybody knows that Paul has made bids for the presidency three times — as a Libertarian in 1988 and as a Republican in 2008 and this time around. And everybody knows he lost the first two.

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2:01pm

Mon November 28, 2011
Mitt Romney

Five Things You May Not Know About Mitt Romney

A button from George Romney's 1968 Republican campaign for president.

Will the conventional take on Mitt Romney – that he aims to please everyone – take him to the convention in 2012 and on to the Republican presidential nomination?

Time will tell.

For now, the electorate is getting acquainted (and reacquainted) with the man who has seemingly been in the spotlight his whole life.

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