WBEZ | Stephen Colbert http://www.wbez.org/tags/stephen-colbert Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The Emily Bazelon interview http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-04/emily-bazelon-interview-106721 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Emily Bazelon_Credit Nina Subin.jpg" style="height: 423px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="Photo: Nina Subin" />You&#39;d think that with the It Gets Better project and a lower tolerance for bad behavior, bullying would be on its way out as a social phenomenon. Unfortunately, it seems like every day another story comes out about someone who took his or her own life due to torment they received from their peers. Today&#39;s interviewee has been very busy discussing what she learned while researching her book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Sticks-Stones-Defeating-Rediscovering-Character/dp/0812992806/ref=la_B00ABOMYSG_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1366306956&amp;sr=1-1">Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy</a>. In addition to that, she is a writer and senior editor of Slate, where she edits the legal column, &quot;<a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence.html">Jurisprudence</a>&quot;,&nbsp; is co-editor of its blog on women&#39;s issues, <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor.html">XX Factor</a> and regularly appears on <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/gabfest.html">Political Gabfest</a>, a weekly Slate podcast with David Plotz and John Dickerson. She is also a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine and her writing has also appeared in The Atlantic, Mother Jones, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The New Republic, and other publications.&nbsp; You can find out more about her <a href="http://emilybazelon.com/">here</a>.</div><p dir="ltr"><strong>If you had to choose between your child being a bully or being the victim of bullying, which would you pick?</strong><br />If I had to choose&mdash;of course I would rather not--I would actually rather have my kids be targets. The reason is not actually that I think that would make their lives easier. When you look at the research, the targets of bullying (now, it doesn&rsquo;t happen to everyone)&mdash;but most kids can overcome this kind of adversity, but there is a higher risk of psychological problems in the short term and long term. And there also is a link to low academic performance. And I just care enormously about my kids&rsquo; treating other people well. It would kill me if they were singling out another kid to persecute them, which is what I think bullying is--that&rsquo;s the definition I think we should use. My book has made me think a lot as a parent about whether we collectively emphasize individual achievement and happiness more than we do moral development and the sense of the collective good as we&rsquo;re raising our kids.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>When I was a kid, I was really obsessed with my friends talking about me, and when you write online, that happens in real time. So I&rsquo;ve sort of been amazed by the thick skin that I&rsquo;ve been able to build up over time writing online because you can&rsquo;t take it all to heart. I wonder whether you&rsquo;ve noticed if kids have been able to develop any coping mechanisms in terms of dealing with online bullying, or whether being able to take it or ignore comes more with adulthood.</strong><br />You know, I haven&rsquo;t seen anyone compare adults and kids. My sense is that kids are not going to be as good at having a thick skin. I agree with you, I try to have a thick skin, but a lot of adults actually don&rsquo;t. I think the issue with kids is that developmentally speaking, they&rsquo;re just more vulnerable. They don&rsquo;t have it all figured out. It&rsquo;s harder sometimes for them to have perspective, even to separate the short term from the long term, right? I think that cyber bullying can be really damaging for kids. Luckily, as we were saying earlier, that&rsquo;s not always the case, and most kids can make it through. But when you see some of the cruelty that goes on online, it&rsquo;s not surprising to see findings for example, that 25% of 12 and 13-year-old girls say that they saw something written online that made them not want to go to school the next day. That kind of finding suggests we&rsquo;re not talking about stuff that every kid can just shrug off.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>How do you know, based on being a mom but also the research you&rsquo;ve done, what&rsquo;s the fine line between letting the kids work it out for themselves and when do authority figures intervene?</strong><br />I feel like, you take your cue from your kid. You listen and talk to your kid really carefully about what&rsquo;s going on. If you feel like your kid is becoming withdrawn and depressed and it&rsquo;s continuing over a significant period of time, then you have to step in. I don&rsquo;t think that your first instinct should be to jump in and try to intervene in a really policing sort of way, because a lot of times kids do need space to solve their own conflicts. If you talk to your kid, they may not want you to take that kind of step, because they&rsquo;ll be worried about what the consequences will be with their peers. Sometimes you have to override children about those types of instincts. But I think it&rsquo;s a good idea to start off relatively cautiously. One thing I always say, is that parents should talk to kids about what they think the solution should be. Because then you end up often with both an attempt at a solution that makes more sense, but also you&rsquo;re giving kids the capacity to problem-solve. One of the hallmarks of resilience is that you learn to believe that when you work hard to make a problem better and to overcome adversity, you&rsquo;re going to succeed. So it seems like in here is an opportunity for parents to really help kids build up exactly the kind of skills they need later in life to overcome problems, because obviously they are going to face trouble and conflict later on.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Do you think bullied kids have it easier now, because more people have an eye out for them? Or is it harder, because of the internet?</strong><br />I think the internet can make it harder because it feels very 24/7 and prevalent to kids, and they can feel exposed in front of a bigger audience. There&rsquo;s the sense of the visibility of the bullying, and the permanence of it. But I think you&rsquo;re also right about the heightened awareness--it just totally depends where you are. There is still a big problem with teachers turning a blind eye and underreacting. At the same time, we are seeing more vigilance and in some cases overreacting. It&rsquo;s this weird moment culturally where both of those things are going on.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Is it realistic to try to raise your kids offline?</strong><br />Forever? No. The way I think about it is this: As much delay as you can and then taking it step by step. So, I don&rsquo;t think that having ten and 11 year olds on social media sites is a good idea, and I&rsquo;m always amazed when parents just sort of seem to be like, &ldquo;Oh, I couldn&rsquo;t stop them!&rdquo; Well, why not? Don&rsquo;t they live in your house?</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>They didn&rsquo;t want to try to stop them.</strong><br />Yeah, exactly! I don&rsquo;t really get that. At the same time there&rsquo;s some point at which access to the technology becomes a really important form of social capital. When I was growing up, my parents hated that I talked on the phone, but if they had taken the phone away from me entirely, that would have left me out of all kinds of things, right?</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>I had parents who were strict with television</strong><strong>&mdash;</strong><strong>we didn&rsquo;t have cable when I was a kid, and I wasn&rsquo;t allowed to watch prime time TV until we were a certain age.</strong><br />I think limit setting is really helpful in this context. Some of the examples I give are like, maybe you feel your 13 year old is ready for a phone. But does your teen need a smart phone or would a &ldquo;dumb&rdquo; phone, that doesn&rsquo;t have the internet and doesn&rsquo;t have a camera would be a better match for what he can really handle technologically. That is the choice we have been making for our own son, who just actually lost his dumb phone! Perhaps he&rsquo;s not ready for the much more expensive item he would like to have. There are ways you can limit access in terms of hours of the day. One night, we realized our 13-year-old was sleeping with his phone under his pillow. It was innocent--he just wanted to know how a friend of his had done on her basketball game. But like, he doesn&rsquo;t need to know that at 10:30 at night. And also, what if he had gotten an upsetting message late, after we were all asleep, then what, you know? It seems like nothing good can come of any of that. There&rsquo;s no reason he needs the phone in the middle of the night. So we made a rule that the phones sleep downstairs and the people sleep upstairs.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Have you noticed since your book has come out any changes from any social media platforms, or schools that are in line with your book in terms of trying to counteract or prevent bullying?</strong><br />I think schools are becoming more and more aware of this. I hear about things like the &ldquo;delete day&rdquo; idea that I wrote about, which isn&rsquo;t my idea but I highlighted that idea&mdash;I&rsquo;ve heard that other schools are taking that on. I think the social media companies have been studiously ignoring this whole conversation and the only way that&rsquo;s going to change is if we their customers demand from them that they change how they deal with teenagers.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>One thing that frightens me, with having a little baby, is that the whole conversation that&rsquo;s happening right now about bullying is scary enough, but then I think, something will come along that will make it even easier for him to make someone&rsquo;s life or have his life made into a living hell. Facebook and Twitter will be so over.</strong><br />Well, it&rsquo;s happening already--the kids are migrating on to Instagram and Twitter, as their parents are slightly more clued in. I don&rsquo;t know what the next next thing will be&mdash;of course I don&rsquo;t know that, I&rsquo;m like the lamest early adopter ever. And also the whole point is that adults aren&rsquo;t supposed to know, right? But, I do think this: The reason why I wrote <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/03/how-to-stop-bullies/309217/">in the Atlantic </a>about Henry Lieberman (at MIT), about his idea of an algorithm to help prevent cyberbullying, is I think that right now we are being too passive about the underlying architecture of the web and just assuming there&rsquo;s nothing to be done about it. The only thing we can do is throw up our hands. I just cannot believe that is true. These are sophisticated companies with an enormous level of resources. If they wanted to make these online environments take into account teenagers&rsquo; social welfare, they could figure it out how to do it. They could work with schools--they could just simply give school administrators and guidance counselors an email dropbox where they could send Hey! Help! kind of alerts. And none of that is happening right now. This is the Mark Zuckerberg line: privacy is an evolving standard, i.e. we will just have less and less of it--and that&rsquo;s just the way it is? But no, we have control over these norms.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>When you were on Stephen Colbert and <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/life/bulle/2013/02/emily_bazelon_on_colbert_report_stephen_colbert_cries_during_show_with_slate.html">you made him cry</a>, I was just curious to know how that went down ahead of time: What you were told, how did the bit came together, who came up with it and so on?</strong><br />I&rsquo;ve been on Colbert a few times now. The producer had called me and we had talked about my book, but I didn&rsquo;t know Colbert was going to ask that question. I have thought about it... I figured that either he was going to accuse me of being a bully or he was going to ask me whether he was a bully. It seemed like an obvious way for the show to go. They&rsquo;re very wary of anything that sounds rehearsed or canned. I will say, having been on a few times, I realize it&rsquo;s all about the situational, in-the-moment comedy. It&rsquo;s because he&rsquo;s incredibly quick, he&rsquo;s really good at it. You just try to say your thing and see what comes of it.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>You&rsquo;ve talked about raising your sons to be feminists. What practical things have you told them so far about how they should interact with girls? I&rsquo;m thinking back to when my brother was growing up my mom told him to always say yes if a girl asks him to dance.</strong><br />Oh that&rsquo;s great, I&rsquo;m gonna steal that one! I love that! &nbsp;I have said to my sons, you have to treat girls and women well, as a basic baseline, and that boys who are good listeners... girls really value that. That&rsquo;s something they should really make sure to try and develop. I don&rsquo;t go around preaching about feminism very much in my house, just because &ldquo;preaching&rdquo;&mdash;I mean, my kids roll their eyes.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>I read that poor <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-09/hanna-rosin-interview-102548">Hanna Rosin</a>&rsquo;s son <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/28/hanna-rosin-talks-about-a_n_1837066.html">is sick of her it seems</a>.</strong><br />I know, I know, Jacob. I used to write a family column about my kids for Slate but then I stopped because they were getting old enough that people were starting to ask them about it and I felt it was enough. Which is too bad in some ways because they&rsquo;re only continuing to be more and more hilarious as they get older. It&rsquo;s not that I never mention them, I mean, I&rsquo;m talking about them with you. So I would say that what I mostly feel about my kids, is that they are seeing their parents with not a whole lot of aplomb. My husband and I juggle things together all the time. He isn&rsquo;t very involved in their lives and I don&rsquo;t think they have the idea. They have been surprised when they have learned that women didn&rsquo;t used to be able to vote, or women used to work less. Those are sort of revelations to them.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/12/magazine/12ginsburg-t.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0">Your 2009 interview with Ruth Bader Ginsburg</a> was cited in <a href="http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/?&amp;sid=cp112SUHud&amp;r_n=hr496.112&amp;dbname=cp112&amp;&amp;sel=TOC_84201&amp;">the United States House of Representatives&#39; Committee Report in support of the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2012 </a>sex or race-based abortion. Some states are working on laws banning sex or raced-based abortion. Is that a thing that is happening very much?</strong><br />My sense is, and I&rsquo;m not hugely expert in this, is that this is something that happens to some degree in countries like India and China. And that there&rsquo;s very little evidence that it&rsquo;s happening here.</p><p dir="ltr">I think that sex selection laws are essentially symbolic because like you said, people are not going to give this reason. Even if they might feel it, they aren&rsquo;t going to say it, right? And then when you look at the other laws about admission privileges, or there&rsquo;s these one that are called &ldquo;trap laws,&rdquo; where the abortion clinic has to have the same specifications as an ambulatory surgical center. So that sentence is totally boring. But what that means in practice is that we&rsquo;re going to shut down this clinic by making it so expensive to operate because we&rsquo;re going to make it have all these &ldquo;safety conditions&rdquo; in place, but really it means it&rsquo;s a lot of red tape and the clinic can&rsquo;t operate any more. That&rsquo;s what&rsquo;s really going on.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>What is going to be your next big project?</strong><br />That&rsquo;s a good question, do you have any ideas for me? I really am trying to figure that out, but I really don&rsquo;t know the answer right now.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>I think you should write Young Adult fiction!</strong><br />You know it&rsquo;s so funny, I wish that I could write Young Adult fiction novels--I have no reason to think I can do that well. There are a few different things I&rsquo;m really interested in right now, but honestly I&rsquo;m so depleted and I&rsquo;m still talking about my book! So I think I need a couple months to get my bearings. But I&rsquo;m really looking forward to having a new project!</p><p><strong>How does it feel to be the 345th person interviewed for Zulkey.com/WBEZ?</strong><br />It feels great! You ask such smart and interesting questions.<br /><br /><em>Follow me <a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a>. To see previous interviews, go <a href="http://www.zulkey.com/interviews.php">here</a>. </em></p></p> Fri, 19 Apr 2013 08:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-04/emily-bazelon-interview-106721 'South Park,' 'Book of Mormon' creators banking on Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-01/south-park-book-mormon-creators-banking-chicago-104847 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/stone-parker.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><object align="right" height="200" width="200"><param name="movie" value="https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F70270707&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;player_type=artwork" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed align="right" allowscriptaccess="always" height="200" src="https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F70270707&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;player_type=artwork" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="200"></embed></object></p><p><strong>&#39;MATT AND TREY WITH A LOT OF MONEY? BE AFRAID.&#39;</strong>&nbsp;And Chicago&#39;s partly responsible for that joking warning from Comedy Central&#39;s chief, Doug Herzog, to&nbsp;<em>The New York Times&nbsp;</em>about&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/14/business/media/south-park-creators-to-start-company-important-studios.html?_r=0">the creators of &quot;South Park,&quot; Matt Stone and Trey Parker, launching their own studio</a>. Some of its funding will come from the roughly $1.5 million a week generated by the Chicago production of their musical, &quot;The Book of Mormon,&quot; which the new studio may turn into a movie. Mayor Emanuel&#39;s brother Ari played a role in the deal, too.<br />* From December: <a href="http://soundcloud.com/afternoonshiftwbez/matt-stone-and-trey-parker">Stone and Parker visit WBEZ</a>.</p><p><strong>MARTIN LUTHER KING &#39;WOULD BE PRO-GUN JUST AS SURELY AS JESUS WOULD BE PRO-NAIL.&#39;</strong> <a href="http://www.colbertnation.com/full-episodes/mon-january-14-2013-piers-morgan">Stephen Colbert&#39;s Double Barrel Blam-o-Rama</a> previews Saturday&#39;s Gun Appreciation Day.<br />* New poll finds <a href="http://www.people-press.org/2013/01/14/in-gun-control-debate-several-options-draw-majority-support/">widespread support among Americans</a> for requiring background checks at private and gun-show sales, preventing the mentally disabled from buying guns.<br />* Journ prof Jeff Jarvis on publication of gun-permit applicants&#39; names: &quot;<a href="http://buzzmachine.com/2013/01/14/public-is-public-except-in-journalism/">Should gun permits be private then? ... I say no</a>. There is a public interest in this information being available and accessible. It allows the public, journalists and neighbors included, to keep watch on the process of government issuing permits. ... At a personal level, it enables me as a parent to know whether the homes where my children go play have arms. ...&quot;<br />* Ann Coulter: &quot;If you compare white populations, <a href="http://mediamatters.org/video/2013/01/14/ann-coulter-if-you-compare-white-populations-we/192232">we have the same murder rate as Belgium</a>.&quot;<br />*&nbsp;<a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/obama-gun-control-specifics-come-within-days-0">Obama gun-reform plan</a>&nbsp;due within days.<br />* Tonight at 7 on the University of Chicago campus, Tom Brokaw moderates a panel on &quot;The Politics of Guns in America,&quot; with Mayor Emanuel and others. Free admission with advance sign-up <a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dG1ha21nOWMtN1MtQ21JSnhuUGhFTGc6MQ#gid=0">here</a>. Or watch live on the Web <a href="https://www.facebook.com/uchicago?sk=app_191025314254993">here</a>.<br />* Dallas levels <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-usa-dallas-oswaldbre90e03g-20130114,0,7825189.story">building where JFK shooter lived</a>.<br />* Chicago <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130112/wicker-park/bath-house-once-frequented-by-capone-set-reopen-any-day">bathhouse that used to host Al Capone</a> set to reopen -- with microchip-embedded wristbands.</p><p><strong>COMPUTER WARNING.</strong> Despite an emergency repair for the Java software present in most Web browsers, <a href="http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h0am1pRXUx5r1Y_i5UqcD9mtZWGQ?docId=4f626e922ec348b9b30e519fb60b744e">the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is recommending users disable Java</a> &quot;unless absolutely necessary.&quot;<br />* <a href="http://www.slashgear.com/turn-off-java-they-warn-heres-how-you-do-it-12265037/">How to disarm Java</a>.</p><p><strong>ARMSTRONG ADMITS ...&nbsp;</strong>Reports indicate that, after denying for a decade that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France, <a href="http://bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/01/14/source-armstrong-sorry-livestrong-staff/xGKNzkGmy4fgrJLjhIOXqI/story.html">Lance Armstrong has confessed</a> to Oprah Winfrey.</p><p><strong>JOURNALISM TODAY.</strong><br />* A much-honored dying journalist&#39;s final thoughts on challenges facing the news business: &quot;<a href="http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/everyday-ethics/200321/gene-pattersons-final-thoughts-on-journalism-get-over-the-pain-new-stuff-happens/">Opportunities will be ample when the press re-casts this page of its history. Get over the pain. New stuff happens</a>.&quot;<br />* <a href="http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/200524/cnet-reporter-quits-among-reports-cbs-impinged-on-editorial-decision/">CNET editor quits</a>, fearing parent CBS &quot;no longer ... committed to editorial independence.&quot;<br />*&nbsp;<em>The Atlantic</em>&nbsp;runs &quot;sponsor content&quot; for Scientology, but&nbsp;<a href="http://businessjournalism.org/2013/01/14/the-atlantic-runs-sponsored-content-on-scientologys-milestone-year/">telling it&#39;s an ad isn&#39;t easy</a>, and criticism prompts campaign&#39;s suspension &quot;<a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/misc/notice/">pending a review of our policies</a>.&quot;<br />* Newspaper hopes <a href="http://jimromenesko.com/2013/01/14/north-carolina-newspaper-tries-to-get-ad-bucks-from-roe-v-wade-anniversary/">Roe V. Wade anniversary brings in ad dollars</a>.<br />* Newspaper chain cuts <a href="http://jimromenesko.com/2013/01/14/gatehouse-newspapers-cut-coffee-service-office-supplies/">coffee service, paper plates</a>.<br />* <em>Chicago Tribune</em> series examines <a href="http://graphics.chicagotribune.com/brokendeal/">where Tribune Co. deal went wrong</a>.</p><hr /><p><em>Are you paying attention? Countdown&#39;s on to the next WBEZ Meyerson blog news quiz, this Friday. If you missed last week&#39;s, it&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://cpm.polldaddy.com/s/meyerson-news-quiz-no-1">not too late</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 15 Jan 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-01/south-park-book-mormon-creators-banking-chicago-104847 Daily Rehearsal: Bruce Norris revokes rights to 'Clybourne Park' for German theater http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-10/daily-rehearsal-bruce-norris-revokes-rights-clybourne-park-german <p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>-&nbsp;Steppenwolf&#39;s excited</strong></span></span> because&nbsp;<em>Who&rsquo;s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?</em> has been extended on Broadway through February 24, 2013.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- The&nbsp;2013 Lookingglass <em>gglassquerade </em></strong></span></span>(woah.) will be hosted by Stephen Colbert on March 2, 2013 at 6 pm at the Four Seasons.&nbsp;&ldquo;The fact that Stephen is uncannily brilliant, desperately funny, and irritatingly good-looking is not particularly important, or something we should hold against him (but we do so anyway),&rdquo; said&nbsp;Artistic Director Andrew White, who went on to remind us that Colbert has had a long relationship with the theater. He&#39;ll also be getting a&nbsp;Lookingglass Civic Engagement Spirit Award.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- All <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-10/daily-rehearsal-its-getting-be-spooky-season-103077">those Halloween show</a></strong></span></span> options have a lot of reviews, <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/halloween-shows-at-various-venues/Content?oid=7626343">courtesy of the <em>Reader</em></a>.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- For some humor, </strong></span></span>check out these <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23theatricalsitcoms&amp;src=hash">#theatricalsitcoms</a>, trending on Twitter. My personal favorite: &quot;Everybody Hates Hamlet.&quot; The internet party <a href="https://twitter.com/HESherman/status/258981743955152896">was launched by Howard Sherman</a>, unsurprisingly.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/bruce%20blackface.jpg" style="float: left; height: 168px; width: 280px; " title="(Screenshot of the petition Against Black-Face Roles in German Theatre)" /><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Bruce Norris released <a href="http://www.dramatistsguild.com/eventseducation/latestmedia.aspx">an open letter</a> </strong></span></span>via the Dramatist&#39;s League over a German theater company&#39;s decision to cast a white woman wearing blackface in a production of his play <em>Clybourne Park</em>.&nbsp;&quot;When we write plays, among other things, we are creating employment for working actors, and often we intend to employ a specific diverse body,&quot; writes Norris. &quot;Whatever rationale the German theatre establishment might offer for their brazenly discriminatory practice is of no interest to me.&quot; The entirety of his letter is worth a read, as is&nbsp;Kenneth Jones&#39; of Playbill, which includes&nbsp;<a href="http://www.playbill.com/news/article/171262-Pulitzer-Winner-Bruce-Norris-Retracts-Rights-to-German-Troupes-Clybourne-Park-Over-Blackface-Casting/pg2">some helpful context</a>&nbsp;as to how different theaters that may or may not have access to a diverse group of actors to cast in their productions make do. Additionally, the Guild explained their thought process behind publishing the letter:&quot;While we do not, as a general matter, allow members to use the Guild&rsquo;s communications network to advocate for their particular views, we are making this statement and petition available to the membership because it relates directly to an author&rsquo;s right of casting approval, which is a critical right reserved to authors and one at the heart of the Guild&rsquo;s purpose in advocating for authorial ownership and control of their work.&quot; You can sign the petition <a href="http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Against_BlackFace_Roles_in_German_Theatre/?crleCdb">&quot;Against Black-Face Roles in German Theatre</a>&quot; at the link</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Thu, 18 Oct 2012 12:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-10/daily-rehearsal-bruce-norris-revokes-rights-clybourne-park-german Daily Rehearsal: Chicago theater 6/21 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-20/daily-rehearsal-chicago-theater-621-88054 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-June/2011-06-20/seth3.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>1. Stephen Colbert's commencement speech at Northwestern is on Youtube, and its a winner.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="312" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/m6tiaooiIo0" width="500"></iframe></p><p>2. Just for Laughs wrapped up this weekend, and which means that The A.V. Club can finally get some sleep. Their <a href="http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/just-for-laughs-chicago-riffing-on-the-best-of-the,56802/">original piece of best-bets</a>&nbsp;included big names like Demetri Martin (whose set they were <a href="http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/demetri-martin-special-guests-who-are-also-comedia,57702/">definitely impressed wit</a>h) and Louis C.K., but they also paid tribute to local talent;&nbsp;Cameron Esposito,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.avclub.com/artists/chris-condren,88475/" target="_blank">Chris Condren</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.avclub.com/artists/dj-douggpound,39822/" target="_blank">DJ Douggpound</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.avclub.com/artists/lord-of-the-yum-yum,2782/" target="_blank">Lord Of The Yum Yum</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.avclub.com/artists/mary-mack,28059/" target="_blank">Mary Mack</a>, MC Mr. Napkins, and Mike O’Connell, who were at the Lincoln Lodge on Friday and Saturday nights in an evening entitled <em>Sounds: Comedy + Music.</em></p><p>3. A Chicagoan (Bob Bullen) was so committed to seeing the New York Philharmonic's <em>Company </em>that he drove to Rosemont to see the filmed version of it. I was unaware people actually went to the theaters to see theater (though River East has tried to convince me that it's worth my time/money), but I digress. Bullen mentions that Patti LaPone's Joanne <a href="http://chitheatreaddict.com/2011/06/20/some-thoughts-after-watching-sondheims-company-in-the-movie-theatre/">throws a drink on the audience</a>, so perhaps if you were lucky enough to get tickets to <em>Company</em>, you weren't actually that lucky.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="320" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-January/2011-01-26/seth3.jpg" title="(Julie Coe)" width="240"></p><p>4. Everyone's all about Seth Meyers; <a href="http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2011/06/seth-meyers-returns-to-chicago.html">Chris Jones</a> proclaims that Meyers has "groupies" here in Chicago and bound for his own talk show,&nbsp;while TimeOut's&nbsp;Jason A. Heidemann believes he should have made more political jokes. Unfortunately for Jeffrey Ross, <a href="http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2011/06/roastmater-jeffrey-ross-mauls-ryan-dempster-at-just-for-laughs.html">neither</a> found his Friday roast of Chicago (yes, he roasted the city)&nbsp;<a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/comedy/14818113/live-review-jeffrey-ross-roasts-chicago">particularly </a>revelatory.</p><p>5. <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/theater-review-steppenwolf-next-up/Content?oid=4064151">Zac Thompson is calling</a> Steppenwolf's <i>Where We're Born </i>(part of Next Up)<i>&nbsp;</i>a throwback to the work the company has done in the past: "Akin's production is visceral, volatile, violent—a throwback to the sort of work that earned Steppenwolf a reputation more than 30 years ago. If this is the future, it looks a lot like the past." The question remains: was Thompson alive to have seen that work? I guess he's going on lore alone.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.</p></p> Mon, 20 Jun 2011 14:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-20/daily-rehearsal-chicago-theater-621-88054 Stephen Colbert: In good 'Company' on Broadway http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-15/stephen-colbert-good-company-broadway-87872 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-15/115950217_custom.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Stephen Colbert has run for president. He's testified before Congress, created a political action committee and assisted the U.S. Olympic speedskating team in the role of assistant sports psychologist. He has a spider named after him (the <em>Aptostichus stephencolberti</em>) as well as a Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor (the Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream) and a NASA treadmill (the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill, or COLBERT).</p><p>And now, the political satirist and award-winning host of <em>The Colbert Report</em> can add a new line to his resume: Broadway star.</p><p>The comedian and television host recently grabbed a straw hat and cane and performed as Harry in the 2011 New York Philharmonic production of Stephen Sondheim's <em>Company</em>. The revival, which also starred Neil Patrick Harris, Patti LuPone, Christina Hendricks and Martha Plimpton, has been made into a film that plays this week in limited showings.</p><p>Colbert tells <em>Fresh Air</em>'s Terry Gross that he didn't fake "a single smile" during the show's entire run. "It's what I imagined I would be doing when I went to theater school," he says. "It was such a bungee into an old dream to go do something like that."</p><p>Colbert, who attended the theater program at Northwestern University, says he's a huge musical theater fan and that it was always his intention to spend his life acting on the stage.</p><p>"I imagined myself living in New York in some sort of open, large but sparse studio apartment with a lot of blond wood and a futon on the floor and a bubbling samovar of tea in the background and a big beard — living alone but with my beard — and doing theater," he says. "That's what I thought my life would be. It has not been — and I love what I do — but to be asked to do this and then to accept the challenge of it. ... I can la-di-da my way through things ... but to sing Sondheim is a completely different beast."</p><p><strong>Let Me Entertain You</strong></p><p>It was Sondheim, in fact, who wanted Colbert to perform in <em>Company</em>. After appearing on Colbert's show, Sondheim invited Colbert to appear in the production. But Colbert's agent turned the role down, saying that there was absolutely no way Colbert could fit the limited engagement into his busy taping schedule. That's when Sondheim wrote Colbert a personal note.</p><p>"[He said that] against his instincts, he had a good time on my show and would I consider playing Harry in <em>Company</em>?" he says. "And he ended the letter with the sentence 'You have a perfect voice for musical theater.' And I read it to my wife and she said, 'Boy, you have to do this. No one, let alone Stephen Sondheim is going to ask you to do Sondheim.' And I said, 'You're right, I have to do it.' "</p><p>Once he was cast, Colbert started taking voice lessons and gained a new respect, he says, for professional singers. "What I rediscovered was the therapeutic nature of singing lessons," he says. "They're like doing yoga but for [the] inside of your body. You open up and use muscles that you don't think of as malleable. ... You can turn your head into a bell. ... That's what we kept working on: resonance and projection and relaxation and just remembering or relearning how to breathe through a phrase. The technical aspects of it are fascinating to go through in the lessons. And then you have to forget all of it, and sing."</p><p>Because of the cast members' busy schedules, most of the rehearsals were conducted via the Internet. Colbert was given recordings of his harmonies and told to practice them alone. The cast got together infrequently to rehearse lines and choreography — and then performed live at Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic.</p><p>"On one level, it was impossible," he says, of the limited-run engagement. "In another way, it was the only way it could have gotten done — because you couldn't have gotten all of these people to commit to doing <em>Company</em>. ... I literally left rehearsal for <em>Company</em> [one night] and went and did "Friday" on Jimmy Fallon and then went back to <em>Company</em>. It was just a tremendous experience."</p><p><strong>In The Company Of The Colbert Report</strong></p><p>Colbert says he specifically chose not to mention his role in <em>Company</em> on his show <em>The Colbert Report</em> for two reasons. The first, he says, was to protect the production from any kind of "fake" endorsements.</p><p>"People could ascribe an insincerity to the things that I tout on the show," he explains. "And I didn't want to ascribe any insincerity to trying to go do this [musical] at Lincoln Center. Because I knew that I was dealing with somebody else's delicate product and I didn't want to invest it with my character's ego."</p><p>The second reason he chose not to mention <em>Company</em> on his TV show, says Colbert, is that he was worried that his performance wouldn't live up to his expectations.</p><p>"I had no idea if I wanted anyone to know I was doing it, because I knew how hard it was going to be," he says. "I was afraid I would suck. I don't mind failing so much, but I am a perfectionist. ... If you're a perfectionist and you know you're about to do something at which you cannot be perfect ... then that is daunting because you know what your heart is like and the way you approach your work. ... It was difficult to say 'Hold onto your socks America, I'm singing Sondheim.' "</p><p>After the production's run, Colbert sent a note to Sondheim, thanking him for getting him into "the most joyous trouble" he's ever been in.</p><p>"I tell a lot of young performers, 'Go get in trouble. Go commit yourself to something you're not sure you can do,' " he says. "And I followed my own advice. It was something I desperately wanted to do — not as a career — but an invitation I knew I couldn't refuse and yet had no sense of whether or not I could do it. And that is trouble — but it was all so joyful. I'm very grateful to Mr. Sondheim that he got me in such trouble."</p><p><h3></h3></p><p><hr /></p><p><h3>Interview Highlights</h3></p><p><strong>On becoming part of <a href="http://www.colbertnation.com/video/tag/Anthony+Weiner">the Anthony Weiner story</a> (when it was revealed that some of his text messages included messages about <em>The Colbert Report</em>)</strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p>"I couldn't be more thrilled to find out that we ourselves were part of the content because it's my character's greatest dream — it's all he wants to do, is be the news. ... That's one of the reasons we ran for president in 2007-2008 because [my character] didn't like that the story was getting bigger than him. He has to be at the center of the story. One of the touchstones for the character is Bill O'Reilly, and years ago, I heard Bill O'Reilly say to President Bush, 'Guys like us.' And I thought 'Wow, he thinks of himself just equal to the president.'</p><p>"So my character thinks of himself as at least equal with any story and so while this Weiner thing was just consuming the world of news, to be part of it, to be in the reporting — to have my name in there — was a complete validation. As much as [my character] may demur and say he doesn't want to be associated with such unsavory details, in fact he was thrilled. I was, too, to have such a pure expression of his ego right there on paper."</p><p><strong>On how mainstream media cover stories by using his jokes instead of talking about the salacious details</strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p>"They can obviate the sin of it by playing our jokes. That's nice."</p><p><strong>On his <a href="http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/388583/june-06-2011/paul-revere-s-famous-ride">recent segment</a> about Sarah Palin and Paul Revere [see <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/06/06/136997415/sarah-palins-had-her-say-now-lets-hear-from-paul-revere">NPR story</a> for background]</strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p>"That entire bit came around because my executive producer Tom Purcell said, 'Wait a second. Play that again. Did she just say 'warning shot'? That's completely a 19th or 20th century idea that you can fire a warning shot. That's a repeating rifle idea. You don't fire a warning shot with a muzzle-loading gun. It takes three minutes or something to load it. Why would you waste it on a warning shot? That's what 'Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes' is about. We don't get a second shot.' So I said 'I should try to do that. I should try to show them how impossible that is. That's how it came about."</p><p><strong>On <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1T75jBYeCs">testifying</a> before the House Subcommittee on Immigration in 2010 [see <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/09/24/130096668/colbert-bringing-more-truthiness-to-capitol-hill-today">NPR story</a> for background]</strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p>"People went crazy. Two days before I was supposed to go down there, they said, 'Can we confirm that you're coming?' And I said, 'Yeah, I like the speech we're working on and I'm prepared to do this.' An hour after they announced it, they were ready to cancel it because the press had gone crazy and Republicans had gone crazy. And I said, 'Well, just tell me now because I don't want to work on the speech for another 24 hours because we have a show to do.' And the congresswoman [in charge of the committee] was really nice. She said, 'No, I said that you can come and I'm going to stand by my word.'</p><p>"... So when [John] Conyers (D-MI) said, before anything started, 'I'd like you to submit your statement [and then leave before testifying],' I was really confused because I was told everything was fine. And I said, 'Are you asking me not to talk?' And he said, 'I'm asking you to leave.' And that's when I actually started getting <em>not</em> nervous because something was happening that I didn't expect — and I thought, 'Oh this is fascinating. This is far more interesting than I thought. I'm watching a fight that I don't know about and I'm the subject of the fight.' It's not an ego stroke but it makes you interested in the fight in ways that you can't imagine."</p><p><strong>On his gratitude for the military</strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p>"There is a residual sense for me, having grown up in the early '70s, that I did not know I had, which was a sense that the military are different than I. Because there was such a divide between the military world — and there still is, because there's no draft — and the civilian world is one of the rotten harvests of the Vietnam War, was this sort of bifurcation of America in that way.</p><p>"There was sort of a negative association with the military. Maybe growing up in the South or being in a family with members of the military, I didn't have that negative connotation, but I did have this 'separate' connotation. I was ashamed to realize I had it and did not realize I had it until I was [in Iraq]. I was so impressed by the people I met over there and there was just a sense of connection and gratitude towards those people.</p><p>"I called my daughter from Baghdad and she said, 'What's it like, Daddy?' And I said, 'Well, honey, however you feel about the war, when my show started, this was the worst place on Earth in 2005. And these young men and women have worked hard to make it someplace that might be a functioning democracy someday and you cannot help but feel proud for your nation in ways that I never have before.' " <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio.</p> Wed, 15 Jun 2011 18:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-15/stephen-colbert-good-company-broadway-87872 Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater 6/14 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-14/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-614-87824 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-June/2011-06-14/CST_Gala_3_adj.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>1. Expect a little blood and gore this summer; Drury Lane Theatre has a production of <a href="http://www.drurylaneoakbrook.com/live_theatre/full_season.php"><em>Sweeney Todd</em></a> starting previews August 11. Tony nominated Gregg Edelman plays our title character, and the production is choreographed and directed by Jeff Award winner Rachel Rockwell. Also part of the 2011-12 season is <em>The Sound of Music</em>, <em>Broadway Bound</em>, <em>Gypsy </em>and <em>Aida</em>.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-14/CST_Gala_3_adj.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 332px; " title="Rick Boynton, Heather Headley, Barbara Gaines, Gary Griffin,Sir Derek Jacobi, Michael Cerveris, Criss Henderson (Photo by Joan Hackett) "></p><p>2. Shakespeare is still very much alive in Chicago; last week, WBEZ's neighbor, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, celebrated its 25th season during their <a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=14,2">Silver Jubilee Gala</a>. They honored "those who keep the spirit of Shakespeare alive through community service and artistic leadership," which meant performances by past and present ensemble members. Tony Award winners Heather Headley and Michael Cerveris were there, as well as the usual motley crew of CST actors, old and new.</p><p>3. Strawdog and A Red Orchid <a href="http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2011/06/new-seasons-at-a-red-orchid-strawdog.html">have announced their 2011-12 seasons</a>. Strawdog also has a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=136288243112816&amp;ref=mf">fundraising event</a> this Saturday with entertainment provided by their very own ensemble members at the William H. Reid house, a <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/chicagogeek/5566055095/">mansion on Prairie Avenue</a> that was built in the 1800s.</p><p>4. Sneak in to Northwestern's graduation this weekend and hear <a href="http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2011/01/stephen-colbert-northwestern-commencement.html">Stephen Colbert's commencement speech</a>. Colbert's a graduate of the University; no word on whether his alter-ego, or himself, will be giving the speech. And for a preview, remind yourself of the potential for hilarity/disaster and rewatch his White House Correspondents' dinner speech.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/qa-4E8ZDj9s" width="480"></iframe></p><p>5. Collaboraction's <a href="https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=136156076461493"><em>Workbook: Devolve</em></a> is this Friday and Saturday nights. In conjunction with <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-02/working-weekend-critics-picks-63-65-87333"><em>Sketchbook: Evolution</em></a>, the show is, as usual, a few shorter works by different theater troupes.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.</p></p> Tue, 14 Jun 2011 14:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-14/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-614-87824 Stephen Colbert to receive honorary degree from Northwestern University http://www.wbez.org/content/stephen-colbert-receive-honorary-degree-northwestern-university <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-05/colbert_Getty Dimitrios Kambouris.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-05/colbert_Getty Dimitrios Kambouris.jpg" style="width: 594px; height: 396px;" title="(Getty/Dimitrios Kambouris)"></p><p>It's the truthiness: Stephen Colbert is getting an honorary degree from his alma mater, Northwestern University.</p><p>The host of "The Colbert Report" will join an impressive class of honory degree recipients at the Evanston campus during the commencement on June 17. The group includes opera singer Jessye Norman, computer science expert Barbar Liskov and death penalty and international criminal law scholar William Schabas. Colbert is a 1986 graduate of Northwestern's School of Communication.</p><p>Colbert was a member of the Second City comedy group before joining Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."</p></p> Thu, 05 May 2011 15:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/stephen-colbert-receive-honorary-degree-northwestern-university Forget federal funding for NPR - give it all to morning zoos http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-03-09/forget-federal-funding-npr-give-it-all-morning-zoos-83458 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/vivian-schiller.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="Caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-09/vivian-schiller.jpg" title="Vivian Schiller (Steven Voss) " style="width: 498px; height: 373px;" /></p><p>If I were a conspiracy theorist, I&nbsp;would guess that the recent uproar about NPR&nbsp;and today's startling news that <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/03/09/134388981/npr-ceo-vivian-schiller-resigns">Vivian Schiller has resigned</a> was staged for pledge drive purposes.&nbsp; Nothing like a backlash against NPR and federal funding to get public radio lovers riled up. &nbsp;&nbsp; Throw in a few new totebags?&nbsp; Done.</p><p>If you are just joining the story, a<a href="https://www.theprojectveritas.com/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&amp;id=9"> conservative blogger posed as a charity trying to give millions to NPR</a>. It seems that they were more interested in getting NPR&nbsp;to take money from&nbsp;Muslims (they posed as an organization affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood), but when VP Ron Schiller (no relation, but what's with all the Schillers at NPR?) took the meeting and said some nasty stuff about the Tea Party movement, they got gold.&nbsp; Even though did Schiller go out of his way to make it clear that many of the opinions he expressed were his and not NPRs, gotcha is gotcha and the highly-edited video was released to the internet.</p><p>See, this is what happens when you consolidate commercial radio. What, you say? Let me explain.</p><p>Well, friends, the consolidation of commercial radio has put more than a few shock jocks and their sidekicks out of work over the years.&nbsp; No longer able to prank-call athletes or Chinese restaurants for their Morning Zoo programs, they had to go in search of new outlets. So, these talented secret-recorders are finding audiences on line and in political arenas. Now we have bloggers pranking Wisconsin governors and wannabee Ashton Kutchers setting up media executives. I&nbsp;suggest a federal bailout of Morning Zoos. Take the money from&nbsp;NPR&nbsp;and federally fund morning radio, therefore putting these important public servants back where they belong. Tricking 14 year olds.</p><p>Moving on...</p><p><strong>B story</strong>:&nbsp;Columbia College professor and @MayorEmanuel Dan Sinker made an appearance on The Colbert Report last night.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div style="background-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); width: 520px;"><div style="padding: 4px;"><embed height="288" width="512" src="http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:video:colbertnation.com:376731" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" base="." flashvars=""></embed></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>It was a great interview and I was super excited (more than I ever have been) that Columbia College got name-checked! Yeah!&nbsp;My alma mater is killing it nationally!&nbsp;As an alum, I&nbsp;watched Dan Sinker become the new face of my institution, whether the Chronicle likes it or not. Sinker now rises to top 5 Columbia College staff/students making national names for themselves. If he keeps this up, he might rise to the top to usurp Pat Sajak. Which is really what every Columbia College alum aspires to.</p><p><strong>C story</strong>:&nbsp;Nobody reached out to me about my generic invitation for outgoing <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-03-08/grassroots-groundswell-viral-campaign-whatever-you-call-it-lets-get-">Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley to come do a Wikipedia Files interview with me at my cubicle</a>. I&nbsp;am upping the ante here. I&nbsp;will provide cake. Here's how this whole thing will go down:&nbsp;If I get the mayor here, it will be a great interview, we'll enjoy some cake and then Daley will tell me it was the best interview he's ever done.&nbsp;Then he will give me his cell and tell me to text him becuase they are going to&nbsp;Sunda later. I'll meet up in the VIP&nbsp;(bottle service only) with Daley, Rahm and probably Jennifer Hudson. We'll party like crazy, roll out to Meigs (secret runway) and take a private G6 jet to Milan. We then party with a bunch of runway models, cruise to some awesome restaurants, get inspired by some architecture and get home by the next day for his press conference at City Hall. So yeah, this interview has to happen.</p><p><strong>Weather: </strong>Sprinkle, sprinkle.</p><p><strong>Sports: </strong>The <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/sports/4210014-419/exclusive-obama-white-house-wanted-thibodeau-coaching-bulls.html">Sun-Times has an exclusive today</a> about how the White House 'lobbied' the Chicago Bulls and owner Jerry Reinsdorf to hire Head&nbsp;Coach Tom Thibideau. Not just the White House, but President Obama himself!!!!&nbsp;The columnist and Reinsdorf act as if this is a great thing, but I have to ask the question: Why the hell is the White House lobbying NBA&nbsp;franchises over head coaches? What's next? Who should be the Cubs 5th starter? Very weird.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Kicker:&nbsp;</strong>Mission&nbsp;Amy&nbsp;KR&nbsp;has a<strong> </strong>very simple mission this week. She is <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/mission-amy-kr/2011-03-07/mission-63-grip-it-or-why-life-game-basketball-83396">sharing with you a piece her 14 year old daughter wrote</a>. Her birthday is today. And her birthday present? For this <a href="https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1z7WD9YCjDw0tep-yMrNtFsWF5Vsab5htXSB5QAr15VU">essay to go viral</a>.&nbsp;Do your part!&nbsp;Happy Birthday Paris!&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 09 Mar 2011 15:36:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-03-09/forget-federal-funding-npr-give-it-all-morning-zoos-83458