February 22nd Show : Blog Of The Nation In our first hour of Talk of the Nation, state budgets and Oscar-nominated documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop. In our second hour, Groupon and oil prices.
NPR logo February 22nd Show

February 22nd Show

Sites like LivingSocial and Groupon offer big discounts at a variety of retailers, like cupcake bakeries. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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State Budgets
In Detroit, the public schools submitted a budget plan to the state that would increase some class sizes to 60 students and close half of the city's schools. Arizona has made deep cuts in programs for organ donations and mental health care. Local police and fire fighters face significant layoffs in Camden, N.J. Many states face multi-billion dollar budget holes, and almost everything is on the table. Host Lynn Neary talks about the programs and services being cut across the country and the effects those cuts may have on taxpayers and the budget.

'Exit Through The Gift Shop'
Next in our series of conversations with the filmmakers behind the five Oscar-nominated documentary films: Exit Through the Gift Shop. This film tells the story of Thierry Guetta, a videographer who sets out to capture world of street art. Through a series of unlikely events, the filmmaker becomes the subject — and a street artist, himself. Banksy, the elusive British street artist and director of the film does not give interviews, so guest host Lynn Neary talks with producer Jaimie D'Cruz about the film, the street art movement and the flood of questions surrounding the film's authenticity.

LivingSocial And Groupon
Nurtured by hard economic times and innovative technology, sites like LivingSocial and Groupon have boomed in recent years. The websites take coupons to a new level as would-be buyers recruit their friends to share in deals on everything from jewelry to take-out. Retailers have also jumped on board — though with mixed results. Guest host Lynn Neary talks with freelance writer and contributor to Wired, Matt Schwartz, LivingSocial C.F.O. John Bax, and bed and breakfast owner Janice Fitzgerald about the next evolution in shopping and the ways many shoppers are beating the system.

Oil Prices
Oil prices surged to a two-year high this morning — more than $93 a barrel — as unrest grows in Libya. A number of oil companies have pulled their staffs out of the country and market analysts worry that tensions in the Middle East and North Africa will threaten crude production. Guest host Lynn Neary talks with an oil market expert about the effects of the rising oil prices on U.S. businesses and how violent protests in the Arab world may affect prices at the pump.