Blog Of The Nation
1:31 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

March 13th: What's On Today's Show

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 10:28 am

U.S. Role In Afghanistan
Relations between the United States and Afghanistan have been strained even further, after the alleged murders of 16 Afghan civilians by a U.S. Army staff sergeant. Afghans have expressed outrage and the Taliban has vowed to avenge the deaths of the civilians, which included men, women and children. The shootings come less than a month after the U.S. military said it accidentally burned copies of the Quran and six U.S. troops were killed in retaliation. The Obama administration says it's committed to the current strategy in Afghanistan, but the latest killings raise questions about that strategy and what the U.S. hopes to accomplish there. Guest host Jennifer Ludden talks with guests about the recent incident, and how this complicates the U.S. role in Afghanistan.

Homeless Hotspots
An advertising agency sparked controversy at the South by Southwest technology conference when it hired homeless people in Austin to act as "Homeless Hotspots." BBH Labs asked a number of homeless people to carry around Wi-Fi cards for people to exchange donations for Internet access. The project, according to BBH Labs, is "a charitable innovation ... to modernize the Street Newspaper model employed to support homeless populations." Critics charge that it exploits the homeless. Megan Garber, a staff writer for The Atlantic, sees some good in the project, and calls it a welcome change of pace from the "ignoring and ignorance" that most people have towards the homeless in America. Garber adds that ultimately "Homeless Hotspots" provides a chance for the homeless "not just to make some money, but to tell their stories." Guest host Jennifer Ludden speaks with Garber about the controversial project and why she thinks it's not as horrible as critics say.

Grief And Depression
Grief is part of a natural process of healing after the loss of a loved one. For years, therapists and medical professionals avoided diagnosing major depression in people who had just lost a loved one. It's known as a "bereavement exclusion." But a new proposal for the next edition of the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic manual would eliminate that exception. The change to a draft of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders raises a number of important questions about the role of grief, and how professionals draw the line between and treat normal grieving and major depression. Guest host Jennifer Ludden talks to psychiatrist Michael Craig Miller of Harvard Medical School and Tammy Blackard Cook, a therapist in Raleigh who treats grief and also experienced it herself when she lost her father to cancer last year.

Key And Peele
Comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele push stereotypes to new — and sometimes uncomfortable — levels in their jokes. On stage, on MadTV and now in a Comedy Central show, both find the humor in their biracial upbringings and the roles and perceptions of black men in America. In recent sketches and live stage bits they've taken on President Obama, code-switching and famous films. Guest host Jennifer Ludden talks with Key and Peele about their new show and tackling difficult issues in their comedy.

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