Brian Braiker

This Week Online

Country Music Hall Of Famer: I wrote songs like "The Fightin' Side of Me," "Okie From Muskogee." I'm actually not afraid to do things of that nature nowadays, but my wife and family are.

Buckeye Battle

It's a political platitude to posit that "as Ohio goes, so goes the nation." But if it's true, the GOP is probably a bit nervous about the Buckeye state. Most Ohio polls are showing that if the midterm elections were held today, the state would have a new senator.

This Week Online

New York Times Columnist: What has happened around the issue of green is that, very subtly, its opponents named it--"liberal, tree-hugging, sissy, girly-man, unpatriotic, vaguely French." What we're trying to do in this film, and really with everything that I've been writing, is to rename green as "geostrategic, geopolitical, capitalistic, patriotic." Being green is going to be a source of so much industry in the 21st century, whether it's green appliances, green design, green manufacturing,...

Stoic Laureate

It's fitting that Donald Hall learned via fax that he would be the next poet laureate of the United States. He had no idea he was even being considered for the position, but there it was in writing (he had apparently missed the earlier phone call from the Library of Congress). "I'd rather read it in print than hear it anyway," he tells NEWSWEEK. "You hold it in your hand."The author of 15 volumes of poetry, including "White Apples and the Taste of Stone," a new collection of his work spanning...

'Not Your Parents' Energy Crisis'

Thomas L. Friedman is known to most as a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter-turned-columnist and author of several best-selling books. But he's also got a side gig hosting occasional documentaries for the Discovery Channel that explore topics ranging from the Israeli West Bank barrier, the roots of 9/11 and outsourcing.

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Charles Gibson, "World News Tonight": I ran into Bob Schieffer at a ball game, and I was complimenting him on the fact that they had great success with his period of time at CBS.

The Anchor

With the ascendancy of Charles Gibson to the "World News Tonight" anchor seat this week, ABC News hopes to bring an end to a months-long streak of bad luck.

Gnarls Barkley Goes 'Crazy'

Listening to Gnarls Barkley's debut album feels like peeping into the diary of a madman. One minute we catch an earful about necrophilia on "Necromancing," the next we're treated to an ode to OCD (obsessive-compulsive décor) on "Feng Shui." And the music, catchy throughout, swerves almost schizophrenically from spare to sweeping, frightening to fun.Who, you might be excused for asking, is Gnarls Barkley?

Rethinking Rudy

The new documentary " Giuliani Time ," takes its title from the scandal surrounding Abner Louima, the Haitian immigrant who was sodomized with a broomstick by New York City police in 1997.

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NEWSWEEK: Do you see parallels between satellite radio and the early days of public radio? Bob Edwards, XM satellite radio host; former NPR anchor: Yeah, I'm pioneering for the second time.

Second Time Around

Arts Extra - NewsweekSecond Time AroundBob Edwards's Sly Return to Public RadioBob Edwards was ousted from NPR two years ago. Now his satellite-radio program is returning his famous voice to many public-radio stations.In 2004, Bob Edwards, the anchor of National Public Radio's "Morning Edition," was unexpectedly shown the door.

Desert Samurai

More often than not, the words "British cinema" evoke either lily images of Merchant and Ivory period pieces or the gritty realism of "My Beautiful Laundrette" and "Trainspotting." And if you think of Indian cinema at all, it's likely to be of lavish musical Bollywood productions, heavy on melodrama and schmaltz.

'A Love for Silliness'

In the first episode of "Stella," a comedy trio's eponymous new show, three roommates are evicted by their elderly German landlord. Sounds like a typical sitcom premise until the absurdity kicks in: following a day of homelessness--they are reduced to splitting a bean three ways for sustenance--they find themselves sporting giant skunk tails to impress a New York City co-op board ...

'A Beautiful Party'

But Farrell isn't one to give up. He has gutted his baby and is bringing a remixed Lollapalooza to Chicago later this month. No longer a traveling three-ring circus, Lolla is setting up shop in just one place for two days, July 23 and 24, a sign of the times as destination festivals like Coachella and South by Southwest have become de rigueur.

'The Gloves Are Off'

The retirement announcement came later than Supreme Court watchers expected. And when it was made--four days after the court ended its term with a series of landmark decisions--it was from Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to sit on the country's highest bench. "It has been a great privilege indeed to have served as a member of the court for 24 terms," the 75-year-old justice wrote in a one-paragraph letter to President George W.

'This Is the Year'

Twenty years ago, Bob Geldof asked if starving people in Africa knew it was Christmastime at all. He organized Live Aid, a mega-multi-venue star-studded concert to raise money for famine victims in Ethiopia, and the former Boomtown Rats frontman was knighted for his efforts.This week Geldof returns to the world stage with Live 8, a mega multi-venue star-studded concert, natch, this time to raise awareness about poverty in Africa.

A Python in the Himalayas

If you only know Michael Palin as a member of the legendary comedy troupe Monty Python (or, for that matter, as stuttering Ken in "A Fish Called Wanda"), then you just don't know Michael Palin.

When Stars Align

Sure they're occasionally prone to phone throwing and couch hopping. Granted, they're famously self-indulgent, famously scandalous and famously ... well, famous.

Live 8's Lineup

Live 8 just keeps getting bigger. In an announcement yesterday, Bob Geldof, the organizer of the international series of free concerts to raise awareness of poverty and AIDS in Africa, said that Tokyo, Toronto and Johannesburg were being added to the five-city July 2 lineup.

Encore

The past week was a big one for the music industry: three of the summer's most anticipated albums hit stores Tuesday. Coldplay, Black Eyed Peas and the White Stripes dropped new releases amid a swirl of publicity and the high hopes of more than just fans.

Boomers on Tour

The Rolling Stones aren't the only old-timers hitting the road this summer. A who's who of baby-boomer rock stars will be making their way through the arena circuit this season, serving up warmed-over renditions of classic tunes to aging eardrums and graying temples.

New Kid on the Blog

Does this mean that blogs are ready for prime time ... or does it signal that the fad is in its death throes? Arianna Huffington--everyone's favorite Greek-born conservative-turned-progressive-activist pundit--is getting into the game.

Putting the Hype in Hyperspace

It sounds like an elaborate Jedi mind trick--but it's unclear who the trick is on. This week, about 100 people began lining up in front of Grauman's famous Chinese theater in Hollywood in hot anticipation of the sixth and final installment of the Star Wars series.

With a Wink and a Toke

Over the course of her six-year stint on "Saturday Night Live," Ana Gasteyer created sketch comedy staples like NPR radio host Margaret Jo and middle-school music teacher Bobbie Moughan-Culp--that is, when she wasn't delivering deadly impersonations of Martha Stewart and Celine Dion.

High Priestess of Punk

A pioneer of New York City's vibrant punk scene, Patti Smith is arguably the most influential woman in rock. Despite virtually nonexistent airplay since her debut, the 1975 classic "Horses," she has never slowed, never softened.

Rock and Rent

As far as cultural icons go, it's not much to look at. It's dank. It's dark. It smells a little funny. But CBGB is, after all, a punk icon, and those who love the rock club wouldn't have it any other way.

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