11.04.15: What to Watch For in the Debates & The Importance of Movie Musicals

Nov 4, 2015

When it comes to stump speeches, presidential contenders want their words to resonate with as many voters as possible – which may explain why Donald Trump speaks to the public at a 4th grade reading level. Today, the strategy of simplicity. Then, from speech to song…later in the show we go behind the glimmering façades and dance numbers to examine how movie musicals reflect American culture.

Listen to the full show. 

Are the Candidates Smarter Than a 4th Grader?

According to a recent review by the Boston Globe, Donald Trump’s speeches operate at the fourth-grade level. To some, Trump’s simplistic rhetoric and bombastic swipes at rivals reveal that he’s too crude to hold high office…but it’s working on a broad level. Matt Viser wrote about the results for the Globe. 

What the Wonks Don't Want You to Hear

Darren Samuelsohn is senior policy reporter at Politico – he recently wrote about how policy experts, lobbyists, and lawmakers watch the presidential debates differently than the rest of us

Pulling the Real Strings

If you’re tired of lobbyists pulling the metaphorical strings, head to Banff, Canada for a look at the real thing - the careful art of modern puppetry.  This story was produced by Brian Cauley in association with the Banff Centre

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.

Dangerous Rhythm

Richard Barrios joins us to discuss his new book Dangerous Rhythm: Why Movie Musicals Matter which is full of razzly-dazzly hits, dismal flops, sharp criticism, and enough insider gossip to make the case for the movie musical. 

Dangerous Rhythm is now available in paperback