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Government transparency may be one of the casualties of the bipartisan budget deal approved by the General Assembly. The public affairs television network CT-N took a budget hit that may force the network off the air as early as Wednesday when its current contract expires.

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Kurt Andersen's new book is Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire. It's a 500-year history "of America jumping the shark." The idea, largely, is that our present post-fact, fake-news moment is... nothing new.

This hour, we look back at the history. We look at our present -- which is to say, we look at our present president: "To describe [Trump] is practically to summarize this book," Andersen says in Fantasyland. And we wonder if there's any way to regain and retain reality in America.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Senator Richard Blumenthal is calling on officers of the Federal Communications Commission to pledge their support of free speech.

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The mass shooting in Las Vegas is dominating the media news cycle. Since the tragedy Sunday night, TV news and social media have displayed a continuous stream of images and video of the chaotic scene at the Highway 91 Harvest Festival that left at least 59 dead.

Hugh Hefner created Playboy at his kitchen table in Chicago. The magazine was blamed for (or credited with) setting off a cultural revolution in America, but within a few years Hefner was branded a male chauvinist. He was a proponent of free speech and a champion of civil rights who was decried as a merchant of smut.

Hefner died Wednesday at the age of 91, the magazine announced in a statement, writing that he "peacefully passed away today from natural causes at his home, The Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones."

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Sam Waterston says he's been been lucky to have good fortune in his career and personal life. He's been nominated multiple times for Emmy, Academy, and Tony Awards and he won Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards for performances playing men whose moral compass points north.  

Race is again proving to be the sharpest dividing line of the Trump era.

This week, President Trump and conservatives went after ESPN, the cable sports network, for comments made by Jemele Hill, who hosts one of the flagship SportsCenter shows.

It all started on Monday when Hill, who is black, tweeted in reply to someone else: "Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists."

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called Hill's comment a "fireable offense."

Updated at 12:25 p.m. ET

Chicago-based Tronc, the newspaper chain that owns The Chicago Tribune, has struck a deal to buy The New York Daily News.

The venerable tabloid, long a staple of New York's working class and subway patrons, will reportedly be purchased for $1 and the assumption of operational and pension liabilities, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Updated at 7:40 pm ET

Steve Bannon has lost his job as chief White House strategist.

The White House described the departure as a mutual agreement between Bannon and chief of staff John Kelly.

"We are grateful for his service and wish him the best," said press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is proposing legislation that would stop the president from firing the special counsel investigating allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday the Justice Department will aggressively pursue the leaking of classified information that undermines national security. This announcement was made following the release by the Washington Post of transcripts between Trump and leaders from Mexico and Australia. 

The Fox News Channel and a wealthy supporter of President Trump worked in concert under the watchful eye of the White House to concoct a story about the death of a young Democratic National Committee aide, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The explosive claim is part of a lawsuit filed against Fox News by Rod Wheeler, a longtime paid commentator for the news network. The suit was obtained exclusively by NPR.

Warning: This post contains some very graphic language

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET

The newly installed Trump White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, unloaded on the White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, and adviser Steve Bannon with some harsh language that would make a sailor blush.

Gage Skidmore / flickr creative commons

You might say that we’ve done a lot of coverage of The Trump Era.

It began with a show sixteen months ago that imagined a Trumpian future. We didn't take it terribly seriously then. We do now.

This hour, we've gathered a number of the people we've talked to along the way for a retrospective: Where have we been since last March, since Election Day, since Inauguration Day?

Michael Vadon / Creative Commons

Almost nine months after the 2016 election, there still isn’t one generally agreed-upon theory of what happened.

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