The Takeaway

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  • Hosted by John Hockenberry

A daily newsmagazine featuring unique conversations with both news makers and diverse voices.

These are the guys and gals responsible for finding the dirt on would-be elected officials

1 hour ago

Running for political office is a dirty business. And if you’re going to throw your hat in the ring, you better be prepared to grab a shovel and dig.

That's where opposition researchers come in. They work around the clock trying to find dirt that can be used against a candidate in an election.

How the Bernie Sanders campaign uses imagery to appeal to younger voters

10 hours ago
Rick Wilking/Reuters

How did Bernie Sanders capture an astounding 84 percent of Iowa voters aged 17 to 29? Or 58 percent of voters aged 30 to 44?

One reason is a portrayal of the Vermont senator as unafraid, unassuming and unaffected by celebrity and the trappings of public life. It's Arun Chaudhary's job to keep that portrayal in the forefront, whether it’s videos featuring Simon & Garfunkel songs or impassioned speeches about inequality.

Beck Diefenbach/Reuters

Innovative new ideas slowly move society forward. When a new product hits the market, an older technology becomes obsolete.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Will the most symbolic position in the United States — the office of the president — be forever changed now that Barack Obama has held the office?  

What a President Cruz's foreign policy might look like

Jan 29, 2016
Rick Wilking/Reuters

The Iowa Caucuses are less than a week away, and the GOP’s two frontrunners — Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz — are in a statistical tie, according to the latest poll from Quinnipiac University.

What would happen to US foreign policy if one of these frontrunners won in November? For one, Cruz has promised to get aggressive with ISIS.

Panel calls for depression screening for pregnant women, new moms

Jan 28, 2016

This week, one of America’s leading independent preventive medicine panels — the US Preventive Services Task Force — updated its guidelines for screening adults for depression to specifically include pregnant and postpartum women.

Phil Roeder/Flickr

Have you seen this video? Of course it's a good ad, as advertising goes. It's a well-cut, imaginatively made swirl of positivity and enthusiasm showing Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders beaming amid his undeniably large rallies. The crowds show their love.

No words are spoken, no claims nor promises uttered. The visual montage of good feeling comes wrapped in Simon & Garfunkel's "America."

WhisperToMe/<a href="">Wikimedia Commons</a>

When Erik Jensen was just 17, he was sentenced to life without parole for a murder he witnessed but did not commit. He turned to his father and mother as he was led from the courtroom with no understanding of what his sentence really meant.

“He was bewildered,” says Erik’s father, Curt Jensen. “He had no concept at that point of what [his sentence] really meant — how long that really meant and what was going to happen to the rest of his life.”

That was in 1998. To date, Erik has spent nearly half of his life behind bars.

Colorado officials expect that 100,000 people will migrate to the city of Denver in the next decade. That booming population growth won't just bring new residents, but new businesses as well.

And the trend is already beginning — major corporations like Lockheed Martin have relocated to the Mile High City in recent years. 

The search For America's greatest innovation

Jan 25, 2016

We want you to help us celebrate American ingenuity with our new series, "The Search for America's Greatest Innovation." Cast your ballot for one of nine fantastic innovations, or can nominate one yourself. Our series is produced in partnership with ASME, the American Society for Mechanical Engineers, and the Lemelson Foundation. Please, have a look and a listen, and then VOTE!

The Electric Guitar

Rebecca Cook/Reuters

This week, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder apologized to the citizens of his state and to the residents of the city of Flint — people who have been dealing with the aftermath of lead-tainted water for more than a year, something that's led to brain damage in some children.

"I'm sorry most of all that I let you down. You deserve better. You deserve accountability. You deserve to know that the buck stops here with me," Snyder said during his State of the State address.

Courtesy of the&nbsp;US&nbsp;Mission to the United Nations

It’s a chilly afternoon in lower Manhattan at the Xavier Mission on 15th Street. Every Sunday for the past 33 years, the Xavier Mission has been offering meal service to those in need — this busy community kitchen feeds the hungry by the hundreds each week.

It’s there on Martin Luther King Jr. Day that I met 3-year-old Rian and 6-year-old Declan — two children volunteering to clean and scrub this vast dining hall, along with adults and some refugees from the Middle East and south Asia.

"Heads are spinning!"

"Rock the cradle!"

Unless you've been under a rock, you may have known that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has endorsed Donald Trump.

The occasion prompted Takeaway Technical Director Jay Cowit decided to have some fun with her speech. Take a listen to this rap mashup above or below.

You're welcome.



Why the crisis over Flint's water could really happen anywhere in the US

Jan 20, 2016
Rebecca Cook/Reuters

Over the weekend, President Barack Obama declared a federal state of emergency in Flint, Michigan, where residents have been dealing with the aftermath of lead-tainted water for more than a year now. It's a situation that's led to lead poisoning and brain damage in some children.

Joshua Lott/Reuters

Last week, an order from a federal judge allowed for the release of another police shooting video in the city of Chicago. This time, a white officer is shown shooting a black teenager while the young man tries to flee on foot. 

Brian Snyder/Reuters

Would you like paper or plasma? That's the question book lovers face now that e-reading has gone mainstream. And, as it turns out, our brains process digital reading very differently.

Courtesy of&nbsp;NBC

At its peak, Aaron Sorkin's television drama "The West Wing" was a top 10 show with more than 17 million viewers. On air from 1999 to 2006, the program gave Americans a window — albeit a fictional one — into life in the White House’s West Wing.

Stephen Lam/Reuters

While elite colleges tend to publicize their diversity, a new report finds that the admissions process at selective colleges actively works against high-performing, but low-income students.

“When I was schools chancellor, I thought if you were really poor and really smart, you could write your own ticket,” says Harold Levy, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and former chancellor of New York City schools. “That turns out to be just wrong.”

Daniel LeClair/Reuters

A few days after Sandy Hook, Attorney General Eric Holder traveled to the site of the mass shooting, spoke with first responders and looked at the pictures.

“I was crying. It was without question the worst day that I had as attorney general, and maybe the worst day in my professional life,” Holder said.

From gun control to the financial crisis to defending his legacy: We spoke with former Attorney General Eric Holder at length. He says he fully supports Obama's gun control actions of the past week, and that if the public could see the images of some of the damage caused by gun violence, like those of Sandy Hook, more action would be demanded. While Holder is now back in the private sector, he hopes to continue to be a force for change in the areas that he spent so much time defending during his tenure as Attorney General. Below is the transcript.