Five at 8 – 9/28/09: Health care’s lab rat

The wind just blew in the Monday Morning Rouser:

1) The Massachusetts model. The Bay State’s health care program — everyone has to have health care insurance — has been targeted by political candidates outside of the state (Tim Pawlenty plans to use it to beat former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney over the head during the upcoming presidential campaign). If it’s so bad, how come Massachusetts residents support it by a 2-to-1 margin? Seventy-nine percent said the law should continue, although some recommend changes.

2) My favorite line of the following story: “Classical music has to get over itself. It has to get out where people live.” It’s almost as if the Chicago Tribune music critic who said it thought this was a story about classical music.

3) The Star Tribune comes out of bankruptcy today. People are no more likely to subscribe to a newspaper than they were when the paper went in. There’s talk about making some of the startribune.com site a pay site, which would be good news for the sites that plan to stay free. But, clearly, the future of news is online in some capacity.

The blog, Content Bridges, looks at what’s happening in San Francisco. The once-groundbreaking newspaper Web sites have become humdrum.

But let’s get right to the headlines:


Public radio is a logical successor to daily newspapers, as they give up much of their traditional reporting. With fewer bodies able to cover fewer stories, many stories and beats are no longer being covered. Think about it: which other locally and regionally focused news organizations hold similar values to print journos? I’d say public radio news people are the closest, preferring more depth than their commercial broadcast peers. KQED’s website is starting to look more news-like and less programming-oriented. That’s a trend we’re seeing take root nationally, as the Twin Cities MPRNews.org and WBUR now read increasingly like newspaper sites, with more multimedia tossed in.

4) William Safire is dead. He was preceded in death by the English language (if you’d followed me on Twitter, you’d have gotten that one 24 hours ago). Here’s a blast from the recent past.

5) This is one of the best questions I’ve ever seen. What would you say if you wrote a letter to your 18-year-old self?

TODAY’S QUESTION

At this time of year it can be hard to find vacancies along the North Shore or the St. Croix River Valley. But there are plenty of other spots to enjoy the weather and color of the season. What’s your favorite place in Minnesota to enjoy the fall?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Can newspapers make money online? The guests are “the usual suspects.” It’s nothing personal; it’s just after awhile you see a cottage industry spring up of people whose only jobs seem to be giving speeches and writing about the failings of mainstream media.

Second hour: Would you change your buying habits if you knew more about where the products you buy come from? Related: Knowing where products come from brings joy… and angst (New York Times).

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Professor Bill Beeman of the University of Minnesota discusses the situation in Iran. Beeman is author of several books on the U.S. & Iran, including “The ‘Great Satan’ vs. the ‘Mad Mullahs': How the U.S. and Iran Demonize Each Other.”

Second hour: Ken Burns speaks at the National Press Club about his new PBS series on national parks.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Dr. Michael Kurtz rarely sees flu so early in the season, but swine flu makes this year different. He’s seeing 30 to 50 patients a day test positive for swine flu. Still, many feel the threat is overblown.

Second hour: TBD

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Minnesota’s national park is water-access only. As a result, some say the number of visitors has been a disappointment, while locals say they love having their own private park. What is the park’s legacy so far? What are the plans for its future? MPR’s Tom Robertson will report.

By the way, Twin Cities Public Television will air Minnesota’s National Parks Legacy next Sunday:

MPR’s Annie Baxter has the story of architects who have been hit hard in the downturn, and laid-off workers will likely continue to struggle as the commercial real estate sector continues to worsen.

NPR looks at people who get health insurance through work. They’re happy. But, of course, the big story will be the countdown to Israel launching a strike against nuclear facilities in Iran.

  • Bob Moffitt

    Loved the Robert Palmer rouser. That song hold up pretty well, although it was odd to see him perfom without the “Kabuki girls” in the background.

  • Momkat

    I thought the suit and wingtips didn’t match the song.

  • Mike R

    I think that suit is actually fused to his body, like a second skin.