September 1st: What's On Today's Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, the future of Afghanistan, and the media coverage of Hurricane Irene. In the second hour, the author of Blur talks about the blurred line between news and spin, and what can be learned from romantic comedies.
NPR logo September 1st: What's On Today's Show

September 1st: What's On Today's Show

As Hurricane Irene approached the East Coast last week, airports shut down, subway systems closed and thousands of coastal residents evacuated. Some areas of North Carolina and the Northeast are still reeling from damage, but many regions sustained minimal damage. In our first hour, we'll explore whether the dire warnings were over-hyped, or helped to prevent even greater damage. NASA Handout/Getty Images hide caption

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NASA Handout/Getty Images

August was the deadliest month for U.S. troops in the decade long war in Afghanistan. Earlier this summer, President Barack Obama announced the phased withdrawal of troops, with a plan for a full transition of power to Afghan forces by 2014. While some welcome the beginning of the end of the war, others worry that hard-fought progress will be lost as troops leave. Washington Post senior correspondent Rajiv Chandrasekaran and Jonathan Landay, national security and intelligence correspondent for McClatchy newspapers, join host Neal Conan to assess the latest fighting season and the future of Afghanistan as U.S. troops begin to leave.

Hurricane Coverage: Hype Or Helpful?
A week ago, Hurricane Irene bore down on the East Coast as a huge category three storm. Many people prepared for the worst: Airports shutdown, subway systems closed and thousands of residents evacuated towns up and down the coast. The storm will likely be one of the most costly disasters in U.S. history. Still, the devastation failed to live up to the sometimes dramatic and dire warnings, and many people complained that the news media over-hyped the storm and the danger. Host Neal Conan reads from opinion pieces about the news coverage and warnings of Hurricane Irene. Were the warnings justified given what happened where you live?

The lines between journalist and news consumer have blurred in the past decade. And Tom Rosenstiel argues in a new book that everyone must now think like a journalist to separate the real news from the propaganda. People who watch the news, listen to the radio, read the papers, blogs and magazines now need to vet their many news sources — with many of the tools now used by reporters and editors. Rosenstiel, the director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, joins host Neal Conan to discuss the book, Blur, How to Know What's True in the Age of Information Overload.

Romantic Comedies
Moviegoers typically go to the theater for an escape — especially when watching a romantic comedy. But, Chloe Angyal argues that there are important lessons to be learned from watching "rom coms" — and she saw every one of them released this summer. Neal Conan talks with Angyal, the editor of, about her piece in the Atlantic titled, What I Learned From a Summer of Romantic Comedies.