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Tonight on TDS, Jeremy Paxman, BBC journo, TV presenter and author of On Royalty: A Very Polite Inquiry into Some Strangely Related Families.

Appearing on TCR is William Langewiesche, former pilot and author of The Atomic Bazaar: The Rise of the Nuclear Poor.

The spoiler thread is attempting an ocean-crossing world distance record tonight, so someone call Guinness! Or just drink one, if that's your preference.

New Zealand is known for its cows and dairy exports, but today it's diary exports. Tonight's spoiler thread comes about 7000 miles from the home of Daily Kos. That's a long trip across the Pacific and the electrons get pretty tired, so some dtaa curorptoin is inveitalbe. Yes, the Daily Show revolution was late reaching Kiwiland but it is changing the way we live, work and think.

  • 2005: The dark ages. No TDS.
  • 2006: The awakening. Weekly half-hour TDS highlights show, the Global edition. No TCR.
  • 2007: The revolution. TDS free-to-air four nights a week, only 5-7 hours behind the eastern USA. Still no TCR.
  • 2008: TDS and TCR four nights a week? One lives in hope.


THE DAILY SHOW

Jeremy Paxman (images) is, according to Wikipedia:

an English BBC journalist, news presenter and author. He is most famous for his abrasive and forthright style of interviewing on the BBC's Newsnight programme. Any kind of tough questioning is routinely described as Paxmanesque in recognition of his style. Paxman is a well-known public figure, nicknamed "Paxo", which is both a contraction of his surname and a popular brand of British stuffing mix.

Stuffing mix? Paxo sounds like an apt guest for John Stewart. (groan...)

In 2003, Bushpoodle™ Tony Blair chose Paxman as TV interviewer for his attempt to sell the case for war with Iraq. Paxman asked if Bush and Blair prayed together. The answer: "No, Jeremy....we don't pray together."

Jeremy Paxman has been a long-time host of the BBC quiz programme University Challenge. I could describe the show, but quoting the 1980s Young Ones episode imitating it (with young guest stars Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson) is more fun:

Bambi (show host, played by Griff Rhys-Jones): Born in 1311 of Manchurian stock, he came to ... [Lord Monty buzzes in]
Lord Monty (Hugh Laurie): Alright, now, eh, wasn't it, wasn't it Monk d'Wally d'Honque?
Bambi: Yes, well, you're almost there, can you give me any more?
Lord Monty: Certainly, will fifty pounds do?
Bambi: Absolutely spot on, well done Footlights, 10 points.

...

Bambi: What is the chemical equation... [Buzz]
Miss Money-Sterling (Emma Thompson): I've got a Porsche. Hee hee!
Bambi: Yes, well, that's not exactly what I've got written on the card, but I knew your father, so Footlights leads by 25 points.

Paxman's latest book is On Royalty: A Very Polite Inquiry into Some Strangely Related Families. When a book needs Very Polite in its title, you know it's probably not very polite at all. His previous literary topics include biological/chemical warfare, Central America, the English people, and character traits of politicians.


THE COLBERT REPORT

William Langewiesche (images) is a former pilot, now an author and journalist. He wrote prominently from Baghdad and other locations for The Atlantic Monthly; perhaps most notable was the May 2005 feature Hotel Baghdad: Fear and Lodging in Iraq. He now writes for Vanity Fair.

Langewiesche's many accolades include being a shortlist finalist in both 2004 (American Ground) and 2005 (The Outlaw Sea) for the Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage.

His father Wolfgang Langewiesche was an aviator and wrote Stick and Rudder (1944) which is still read by pilots today. William himself has written books including American Ground : Unbuilding the World Trade Center and The Outlaw Sea: A World of Freedom, Chaos, and Crime.

His latest book is The Atomic Bazaar: The Rise of the Nuclear Poor. Sounds interesting. The official publisher description includes this:

In his shocking and revelatory new work, the celebrated journalist William Langewiesche investigates the burgeoning global threat of nuclear weapons production. This is the story of the inexorable drift of nuclear weapons technology from the hands of the rich into the hands of the poor. As more unstable and undeveloped nations find ways of acquiring the ultimate arms, the stakes of state-sponsored nuclear activity have soared to frightening heights. Even more disturbing is the likelihood of such weapons being manufactured and deployed by guerrilla non-state terrorists.

...

This searing, provocative, and timely report is a triumph of investigative journalism, and a masterful laying out of the most critical political problem the world now faces.

Searing? The word should be made illegal in the literary world under punishment of imprisonment. It's a shame how often a book by a respected author is diminished by a junior editor who browsed the manuscript for all of five minutes and cannot write a single cliche-free sentence.

And so ends my searing, provocative, and timely (couldn't resist!) preview of the shows tonight.

Streuth mate, it's a down-under poll! (Explanation may be added in comments.)

Originally posted to retrograde on Mon May 14, 2007 at 07:53 PM PDT.

Poll

The down-under phrase I pledge to say most often this week

5%2 votes
15%6 votes
39%15 votes
0%0 votes
10%4 votes
28%11 votes

| 38 votes | Vote | Results

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