WBEZ | Benno Nelson http://www.wbez.org/tags/benno-nelson Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Fact-checking politics: 'There cannot be a thing that's a wrong fact' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-09/fact-checking-politics-there-cannot-be-thing-thats-wrong-fact-102229 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/herman%20cain%20DS.jpg" style="float: right; height: 213px; width: 300px; " title="Herman Cain on 'The Daily Show'" />&quot;There cannot be a thing that&#39;s a wrong fact,&quot; said writer Benno Nelson at <em>The Paper Machete</em>. But he points out that, despite this, politicians these days seem to be arguing quite the opposite.</p><p>Like&nbsp;Herman Cain, for example, who, when making an appearance<a href="http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/wed-august-29-2012-herman-cain"> on <em>The Daily Show</em></a> last week said to John Stewart, &quot;Here&#39;s where we differ on the facts. And I would challenge you on the facts. Your facts are wrong. This happens all the time when people have the wrong facts.&quot;</p><p>Read an excerpt of Nelson&#39;s thoughts below or listen above:</p><p><em>For me, listening to politicians talk is like listening to an audio recording of a live performance. I know there are things going on that I don&#39;t have access to. I know the medium is controlling my impression of the truth but its difficult to diagnose the scope of that control without more information. In the case of a recorded performance you&#39;re just out of luck; you may or may not be missing something and there&#39;s no way for you to know how good or bad that thing you might be missing might be. </em></p><p><em>But in politics, the control for this, the anchor, should be facts. Like 100 percent of America, I haven&#39;t read the Affordable Care Act, haven&#39;t read the Ryan budget, haven&#39;t read Bowles-Simpson. And so we enter a contract where we pick people who we trust to tell us the facts. But we know they&#39;ll also tell us their opinion, they&#39;ll also try to sell us something or get us to vote for them. But the facts will anchor us.</em></p><p><em>Following the Republican National Convention, there&#39;s been a lot of attention paid to the extent to which politicians are failing at this; saying things sort of specifically provably wrong.&nbsp;</em></p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a><em>&nbsp;is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It&#39;s always at 3 pm., it&#39;s always on Saturday, and it&#39;s always free. Get all your</em>&nbsp;The Paper Machete Radio Magazine<em>&nbsp;needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/paper-machete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Sat, 08 Sep 2012 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-09/fact-checking-politics-there-cannot-be-thing-thats-wrong-fact-102229 Newt Gingrich and why we make news items out of non-news http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-05/newt-gingrich-and-why-we-make-news-items-out-non-news-98967 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/6843965566_9a3f9c2c39_z.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; height: 227px; " title="Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista campaigning in Louisiana in March. (Flickr/Peter Clark)">2012 GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/75838.html">dropped out of the race last week</a>, which was not particularly surprising to most people, even perhaps Gingrich himself; this week,<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/06/newt-gingrich-romney-vp_n_1489546.html"> he told</a> CBS's <em>Face of the Nation</em>&nbsp;that "[i]t would be inconceivable" for him to be considered for vice president now that Mitt Romney is the presumptive nominee.</p><p>"Gingrich's departure was treated as news," said writer Benno Nelson at <em>The Paper Machete</em>. "But why do we make news items out of things that aren't interesting or surprising at all?&nbsp;His campaign has been dead for months, yet he emerges...as a leading story by saying precisely the thing that has the least impact on anyone's life." Read an excerpt below or listen above for more.</p><p>"<em>So you probably heard that Newt Gingrich suspended his 2012 presidential campaign. And it's likely that the only way anyone was surprised was people learning that it hadn't be true before.</em></p><p><em>Newt has had a stranglehold on nonsense throughout the course of campaign. And he's rarely had much of a grasp on anything else-- voters or priorities, for example. According to his website -- which, &nbsp;for some reason, it's hilarious to me that it's <a href="http://www.newt.org/">newt.org</a> -- number eight of his <a href="http://www.newt.org/2012/05/02/top-10-most-important-policy-initiatives-of-newt-2012/">top 10 priority initiatives</a> is what he calls the 'Gingrich Treaty,' which would extend the right to bear arms to the entire world.</em></p><p><em>I'm not kidding, that is priority number eight. So granted, that's below 'Maximizing Medical Breakthroughs in Brain Science,' which is number seven. But it is above bringing judges in line with the constitution, which is number nine, and it's above the government committee on ensuring religious liberty, which is number ten, above any mention of education, which doesn't make the list at all. And it is the </em>only <em>mention of foreign policy. The </em>only <em>foreign policy priority that Gingrich has is arming the entire world.</em></p><p><em>So I'm authentically really sad to see him go. But the way he left is worth worrying about for what it says about the news, about credibility and the pragmatism of naming self-evident truths.</em>"</p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a><em>&nbsp;is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It's always at 3 p.m., it's always on Saturday, and it's always free. Get all your</em>&nbsp;The Paper Machete Radio Magazine&nbsp;<em>needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/paper-machete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 09 May 2012 11:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-05/newt-gingrich-and-why-we-make-news-items-out-non-news-98967 The Paper Machete Radio Magazine 9/10/11: The Passage of Time http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-14/paper-machete-radio-magazine-91011-passage-time-91994 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-14/interviewshow.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-14/tavi interview.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 227px; height: 250px; " title="Tavi, as discussed by Megan Steilstra">Christopher and Ali talk way too much about cats, so skip the beginning of this week's issue if you're not so inclined. First up, Benno Nelson discusses how art hasn't changed as much as you'd think it might have since 9/11. Megan Stielstra celebrates the launch of&nbsp;Tavi Gevinson's <em>Rookie Magazine </em>by diving back to the 90's, to its predecessor <em>Sassy</em>. Sad Brad Smith brings our sad&nbsp;weather report. And there's a word from our sponser O'Reilly's artisan wafers, courtesy of Doug Hurley. Music from Chris Damiano on your way out. And as usual, if you can hear us, this magazine is LIVE (and recorded this week by&nbsp;Nick Freed).&nbsp;Download it&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=450280345" style="color: rgb(0, 104, 150); " target="_blank">here</a>, or listen below.</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483721-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/2011-09-10-papermachete-radio-mag.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><div>This Saturday, we FINALLY have <a href="http://vocalo.org/amp">Brian Babylon</a>, and also Dan Sinker, who's book reminiscing about his time as the <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/MayorEmanuel">Twitter sensation @MayorEmanuel</a>. They'll be joined by <a href="http://ianbelknap.com/">Ian Belknap</a>&nbsp;of the Writer Club; Mel Evans of <a href="http://www.comedysportzchicago.com/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=491&amp;Itemid=166">ComedySportz</a>; &nbsp;<a href="http://chicago.ioimprov.com/performers/6">Nancy Friedrich</a> and <a href="http://chicago.ioimprov.com/performers/237">Colleen Doyle</a> team up; <a href="http://www.english.northwestern.edu/people/savage.html">Dr. Bill Savage</a>, Northwestern professor and <em>Chicago Tribune</em> contributor; and <a href="http://www.hobojunctionproductions.com/page1/page1.html">Josh Zagore</a>n will be back with his good puppet friend Chad the Bird. They'll be talking about the pregnant Beyonce, Mayor Daley's newly reduced bodyguard posse, and James Franco's all-over-the-place-ness. And music from <a href="http://www.blanefonda.com/">Blane Fonda</a>.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Wed, 14 Sep 2011 15:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-14/paper-machete-radio-magazine-91011-passage-time-91994 The Paper Machete Radio Magazine 9/3/11: The Great Flood http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-08/paper-machete-radio-magazine-9311-great-flood-91699 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-08/2011-09-03 Julia Sweeney photo by Erin Nekervis.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-08/julia sweeney.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 294px; " title="Julia Sweeney brings down the house (Photo by Erin Nekervis)"></p><p>When it rains outside the Horseshoe, it rains inside the Horseshoe. But that didn't put a damper on things! We have&nbsp;Julia Sweeney ragging on strollers at the acquarium. Stephanie McCanles comments on reality television and the Emmy season. Bond Benton reports on pro-wrestling. Michael Patrick Thornton with Ed Flynn, a famous LA Storm Trooper, talks politics. Paper Thick Walls wails along with the storm.&nbsp;As usual, if you can hear us, this magazine is LIVE.&nbsp;Download it&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=450280345" style="color: rgb(0, 104, 150); " target="_blank">here</a>, or listen below. And a shoutout to&nbsp;Aadam Jacobs, who recorded the whole thing.</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483711-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/2011-09-03-PaperMacheteRadioMagazine.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><div>&nbsp;</div><div>On Saturday, <em>The Paper Machete</em> takes on America, which is obviously falling apart at the seams. 9/11, the post office, pro-football, and the end of summer will all be discussed. People joining us; Megan Stielstra of <a href="http://2ndstory.com/">Second Story</a>; Benno Nelson from the <a href="http://thenewcolony.org/">New Colony Theatre</a>; writer and editor <a href="http://www.joelcreese.com/">Joel Reese</a>; comedian <a href="http://www.neilarsenty.com/">Neil Arsenty</a>, and <a href="http://www.sadbradsmith.com/">Sad Brad Smith</a>. With music from Chris Damiano. Be sure to be there, as Christopher Piatt will reveal his real talents!</div></p> Thu, 08 Sep 2011 16:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-08/paper-machete-radio-magazine-9311-great-flood-91699