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December 29th show

by Gwen Outen
Dec 29, 2010

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Gwen Outen

The Political Junkie
As 2010 comes to a close, we're looking for Talk of the Nation's "Politician of the Year". Friends and neighbors of the Political Junkie give us their picks. Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page, Republican lobbyist Alex Vogel and Alaska Public Radio Network correspondent Libby Casey will chime in. Host Neal Conan and NPR Senior Washington editor Ron Elving judge the nominees and wrap up the other political news of the week.


Modern celebrity culture can be mystifying — if you're not a Britney Spears fan, you might be wondering why she's famous at all.  And if you are wondering, you're in good company: Homer, Plato and Horace all asked where the true heroes had gone. Host Neal Conan speaks with Tom Payne, author of Fame: What the Classics Tell Us About Our Cult of Celebrity, about why the rest of us need celebrity.

What's Changed for African-Americans in 2010?
For African Americans, the end of the decade started a new conversation on traditional divisions in black-white relationships. In politics, the firing of Shirley Sherrod, the rise of the Tea Party, and a new wave of Black Republicans took centerstage, while outside of the beltway, many African Americans questioned the term "post-racial", the role of a white editor-in-chief at Essence magazine, and most recently, South Carolina's secession ball. Neal Conan talks to Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor for The Atlantic, about what's changed for African-Americans in 2010.

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