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, 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.



Wed August 10, 2011

Think You Know Iowa? Five Things You've Got Wrong


Call it what you will — an August Occasion, Summery Judgment, Iowa ... wa ... whatever — the hype is hyperbolic this week as Republican presidential aspirants converge on Ames, Iowa, like storm clouds on an open prairie. The candidates will debate Thursday night at Iowa State University and then be subjected to a straw poll on Saturday.

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Wed August 3, 2011

Procrastination Nation: The Out Years

President Barack Obama walks back to the Oval Office after speaking in Rose Garden of the White House, Aug. 2, after the Senate passed the debt ceiling legislation.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Ah, the Out Years.

During the recent debt-ceiling debate, the phrase became a recurring motif. "You've got to look at the deficit not just in the next 10 years," White House political adviser David Plouffe told NPR, "but does it also produce savings in the out years."

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) told the Los Angeles Times that enforcement of the plan will be the key to its success, but "it's always in the out years and it never happens."

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Tue July 19, 2011

America's Attack On Lemonade Stands

Matt Grozier, 8, and his neighbor, Alyssa Boyd, 5, at her lemonade stand near Lightstreet, Pa., in 2007.
Bill Hughes AP

If lemonade stands are symbols of the American dream, and if lemonade stands are under attack in the United States, then the American dream is under attack.

Sure, it's a somewhat breathless syllogism, but there is truth in it.

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Mon July 4, 2011
Pop Culture

I Was Absent That Day

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:42 am

Malaka Faye Gharib

Perhaps you know that pickles come from cucumbers. That the Washington Redskins are in Washington, D.C., and not Washington state. And that Roy Orbison was not blind.

But all around you are intelligent, upstanding citizens who do not know these — and other — things.

Trust us.

Part of being an adult is finding out stuff you should have known for years but somehow didn't.

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Fri July 1, 2011
Around the Nation

Lazy In America: A Brief Social History

Even when we're relaxing, we're multitasking. A UC Berkeley student with his mobile device.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Pop open a can of beer, pull up a deck chair and let's talk about laziness in America.

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Thu June 23, 2011

The End Of Gender?

Look closely and you may see signposts.

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Fri June 17, 2011
Around the Nation

Time To Mark National Theme Day Appreciation Day

Today is National Theme Day Appreciation Day.

OK, we made that up. We can find no such thing. At least not on the various lists of official theme days in the United States.

But have you noticed? Americans give everything a special name — days, weeks, months.

Some are serious and draw attention to grave issues. June, for instance, is Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome Awareness Month — which puts a spotlight on a syndrome that leads to miscarriages, thrombosis, strokes and heart attacks. June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month and National Safety Month.

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Fri June 10, 2011
Monkey See

Putting The Attitude In Gratitude: A Story In Three Thank-You Notes

Andrews McMeel

Dear CNN,

Thank you for telling us, in a recent story, when to send a thank-you note by email and when to send one by snail mail. You snarkfully instructed us to send a handwritten card when we get a present in the mail; an email when we receive a gift in person. And both — an email, then a card — after a job interview. And thank you, thank you for reminding us to never offer personal thanks in a public Facebook message. Nobody "likes" that.

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Thu June 9, 2011

The Feminine Effect On Presidential Politics

Victoria Woodhull
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

By one count, of the more than 200 people who have run for president over the years, fewer than 30 have been women.

While women have made headway in the nation's boardrooms and science labs — and even in politics — in recent times, they have not received top-of-the-ticket nominations from the Democratic or Republican parties.

With Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann considering runs as Republican candidates, the 2012 political race might be a game-changer.

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Sun June 5, 2011

The 5 Most Unusual Nominees For President. Ever.

Parley Parker Christensen
Courtesy of John Sillito

If the contemporary era thinks it has cornered the market on presidential candidates who think outside the box — such as Ron Paul and Herman Cain — it should think again. American history is chock-full of one-of-a-kind politicians with White House aspirations.

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Sat May 28, 2011
Around the Nation

The Fa-Word: An Insulting Slur In the Spotlight

Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant (above) was recently fined $100,000 by the NBA for calling a referee the Fa-word. Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls was fined $50,000 by the league for saying it to a fan.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Is the Fa-word the new N-word?

What is the Fa-word, you ask? It's a six-letter, two-syllable term that starts with the letters fa and rhymes with maggot. It's not to be confused with the F-word.

In April, basketball superstar Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers was fined $100,000 by the NBA for calling a referee the Fa-word. In May, Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls was fined $50,000 by the league for hurling the anti-gay slur at a fan.

These are just recent incidents in a tumultuous timeline that includes:

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Fri May 20, 2011

Pumped Up: Are Americans Addicted To Oil?

Beth Terry of Oakland, Calif., doesn't own a car and takes her bike out to do shopping. She keeps tallies of her plastic waste on her blog.
Courtesy of Beth Terry

As many Americans struggle with higher gas prices, others look for ways to live using fewer fossil fuels. They pursue a personal form of energy independence — and they are finding that it's no easy feat.

About a year ago, following the Deepwater Horizon oil rig catastrophe that released millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, Mary Richert decided that she wanted to live a life free of oil. "I quit," she told American Public Media's radio program Marketplace. "I just want to stop using oil completely. I just don't want to ever see it or think about it again."

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Fri May 13, 2011
Your Money

When Wall Street Cheats, Do We Lose?

When you read stories of insider trading — resulting in multimillion-dollar profits — by crafty people like hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam or arbitrageur Ivan Boesky, it seems like the average investor is at a constant and insurmountable disadvantage.

After all, these are the guys who got caught. What about all the slicksters who don't get nabbed? And all the big dog investors who don't have day jobs and watch the stock tickers like vultures? And what about the automated algorithm-driven trading programs designed to squeeze an advantage out of trades-by-the-nanosecond?

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Thu May 12, 2011
Monkey See

'Better Book Titles': Don't Judge A Book By Its Existing Cover

Dan Wilbur

Inspired really, the web site: Better Book Titles.

Conceived by Dan Wilbur, it's a wit-crit site that reconfigures book titles.

Sometimes pithy, sometimes inappropriate, Wilbur posts old book covers with new titles. The Great Gatsby he calls Drink Responsibly. And he reimagines Eric Carle's children's classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar as Eat Until You Feel Pretty.

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Tue May 10, 2011

The Reluctant Republican Can'tidates

Where are all the gung-ho Republican candidates for the 2012 presidential election?

The last time the racetrack looked like this and the GOP was up against an incumbent Democrat, it was 1995. Bill Clinton was in the White House. But by this mid-May point in the election cycle, a roster of Republicans was already champing at the bit to run against him. And eight of them had announced their intentions to run — Bob Dole, Phil Gramm, Arlen Specter, Lamar Alexander, Pat Buchanan, Richard Lugar, Bob Dornan and Alan Keyes.

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Tue May 3, 2011
Around the Nation

The Long War Against Deadly Tornadoes

The recent tornadic destruction and loss of lives across the United States echoes another era more than 100 years ago — a time when humans began trying to outwit and even defeat tornadoes.

In the 1880s, American newspapers were peppered with reports of deadly tornadoes all across the nation. Nearly 100 people were killed by a storm in south Missouri. Another 22 died in a Mississippi disaster. Forty more were killed in Texas and Iowa. More than 300 died from tornadoes in 1882.

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Thu April 28, 2011
William And Kate: The Royal Wedding

Royalty, Schmoyalty: Revolting Against The Wedding

If you listen carefully — amid all the royal wedding clatter about Prince William popping the question on an African vacation, Kate Middleton keeping her gown's designer a secret, the bride-to-be's arrival in a Rolls-Royce at Westminster Abbey, the post-ceremony horse-drawn carriage rides to Buckingham Palace and the rest of it — you can hear a few voices representing America's anti-monarchical origins.

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Wed April 27, 2011
Digital Life

Privacy 2.0: The Garbo Economy

Like sex and money, many people crave privacy.

But in the Digital Age — with the insidious ease of online trackers, global positioning system devices and omnipresent security cams — privacy is becoming an increasingly rare commodity. The more rare something is, the more valuable it is. The more valuable it is, the more savvy entrepreneurs want to traffic in it — buy and sell, swap and pawn. And so we are seeing the rise of a new economy — commerce that works overtime to give the rest of us some alone time.

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Tue April 26, 2011
Digital Life

Privacy 2.0: We Are All Celebrities Now

Originally published on Wed April 27, 2011 12:22 pm

Actress Reese Witherspoon is among a number of celebrities who yearn for privacy.
Peter Kramer AP

Privacy is an endangered species.

Just ask teen heartthrob Justin Bieber. On a recent trip to Israel, he was hounded by photographers. "You would think paparazzi would have some respect in holy places," Bieber posted on Twitter.

Or actress Reese Witherspoon. In the May issue of Vogue, she says it is so hard for her to go out in public, she sometimes just stays in her car and cries.

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Fri April 15, 2011
Around the Nation

Whatever Happened To The Anti-War Movement?

The United States is knee-deep in at least three international military conflicts at the moment — in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

American lives are being lost. Innocent civilians are being killed. Several of the engagements appear to be primed for protraction. The wars are expensive in other ways, too.

At least since the stormy 1960s, whenever America has gotten involved in deadly combat on foreign soil, large crowds of peace-promoting citizens have gathered in Washington and other cities to demonstrate against war.

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Tue April 12, 2011

The Rampant Rise Of Ayn Rand-O-Mania

Every once in a while, a movie comes along that captures a slice of the zeitgeist. Could Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 — due to be released on April 15 — be that kind of film?

In the way that Rebel Without a Cause in the 1950s or Wall Street in the 1980s spoke to a certain time and displacement in American history, will the Hollywood depiction of Ayn Rand's 1957 novel serve as some sort of easy-to-read cultural thermometer? Will the film flop or will it become the movie manifesto of America's nascent Tea Party?

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Thu April 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Not All Will Suffer If The Government Does Shut Down

[We asked NPR's Linton Weeks to think about some things that might benefit from a federal government shutdown. Here's what he reported back.]

We have all heard dire predictions surrounding the possible closing down of the federal government.

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