Oscars 2013: The 85th Annual Academy Awards
7:50 am
Sun February 24, 2013

The Four Biggest Best Picture Oscar Upsets, Statistically Speaking

The cast of Crash celebrates after its surprise upset of Brokeback Mountain for best picture, at the 78th Academy Awards in 2006.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 2:28 pm

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Elise Hu is a reporter who covers the intersection of technology and culture for NPR's on-air, online and multimedia platforms.

She joined NPR in 2011 to coordinate the digital development and editorial vision for the StateImpact network, a state government reporting project focused on member stations.

Before joining NPR, she was one of the founding reporters who helped launch The Texas Tribune, a non-profit digital news startup devoted to politics and public policy. While at the Tribune, Hu oversaw television partnerships and multimedia projects; contributed to The New York Times' expanded Texas coverage and pushed for editorial innovation across platforms.

Local News
7:47 am
Sun February 24, 2013

What We're Reading | 2.24.13

Credit Creative Commons

Each week, members of the WFPL News team spotlight interesting stories we've read and enjoyed, for your weekend reading pleasure:

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7:45 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Jennifer Lawrence is the Favorite for Best Actress. But What Does That Mean?

Jennifer Lawrence
Credit Creative Commons

Going into tonight's Academy Awards, Louisville native Jennifer Lawrence is the favorite to win Best Actress—but no shoo-in.

Lawrence, star of Silver Linings Playbook, would become the second-youngest Best Actress winner in history and the win would be another indicator—on top of the $408-million domestic gross for last year's Hunger Games, in which she also starred—that the 22-year-old is among Hollywood's elite.

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Movie Interviews
7:44 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Affleck On 'Argo' And The 1979 Hostage Crisis

Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez in Argo. Affleck also directed the film, which is based on events surrounding the Iran hostage crisis of 1979.
Keith Bernstein Warner Brothers

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 1:18 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on Jan. 15, 2013.

At the Golden Globes, Ben Affleck looked genuinely surprised and delighted twice toward the end of the evening: first when he won best director for Argo, and then again when the film won for best motion picture/drama.

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Local News
6:00 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Little Hope Remains for Staving Off Child Care Subsidy Cuts in Kentucky General Assembly Session

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Little hope remains for staving off drastic cuts a child care subsidy program for low-income, working Kentucky families to pay for child care costs before the first round of cuts go into effect in April.

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10:28 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Noise and Notes: Congressman John Yarmuth

Congressman John Yarmuth
Credit U.S. Congress

Congressman John Yarmuth is the lone Democrat in Kentucky’s federal delegation.

That makes Yarmuth the only liberal voice arguably in the region, and the lawmaker that the Obama administration confers with over potential federal appointments in the state.

Now in his fifth term in Congress, Yarmuth is the co-sponsor of a number of progressive bills, including campaign finance reforms and gun control measures.

But since 2010, he has been in the minority railing against the Republican-controlled House.

In terms of politics, Yarmuth has been the chief cheerleader for Ashley Judd, who is the rumored top-contender to run against Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell.

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Strange Fruit
10:00 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Strange Fruit: Penny Tration Waxes Philosophical on Drag Performance

Drag artist Penny Tration has a local icon to thank for her performing career. "I grew up in L.A., so I've seen a couple drag queens," she explains. But for the longest time, it wasn't something she thought of doing herself. "I've also seen people garden, but I'm not attracted to doing that."

All that changed one night at The Connection, the first time she saw our local Mistress of Mayhem, Hurricane Summers, on stage. "Hurricane kind of embodied for me, for the first time, somebody who wasn't just doing drag. She was hilarious. She picked up the mic, and she was really funny. And that's something I hadn't seen before."

Penny was a contestant on Season Five of RuPaul's Drag Race, and though she didn't win, she was a fan favorite, and says the experience opened up more opportunities to act, perform, and, according to some of her fans, even change lives. "Now let's be clear: how did drag change anyone's lives? I don't get it," she concedes. But she once met an audience member who told her she'd lost her partner two years before. "She hadn't been able to leave her house, and it was the first time she'd smiled in years."

Penny says she knows drag isn't forever, and like any job, it has its ups and downs. "It's kind of like being a nurse in a nursing home. Half the time your cleaning up vomit and poop, and then you'll get somebody who's like, 'Oh my god, you changed my whole day because you were here!'"

She's in town to perform tonight at Pandora Productions' fundraiser, Masquerade Fire and Ice, and she took a few minutes earlier this week to talk to us about her work.

Elsewhere in the news this week, President Obama gave a speech about violence, which seemed to implicate absent black fathers. As Kaila explained, this idea is nothing new. "This idea that the problem of the Black community is the problem of absent Black men—this has been reiterating and resounding commentary, probably since the Moynihan Report," she reminds us. In his report, Daniel Moynihan said the problem in Black communities was largely the fault of Black women. "They were too strong, they drove their men away, and their men either ended up in jail, on drugs, or absent fathers."

Dr. Brittney Cooper had some great analysis of the problems with Obama's speech, and we talked about it this week in our Juicy Fruit segment. Clive Davis came out of the closet as bisexual this week (at age 80!), and a gay porn star broke into a Louisville Fire Station and performed a lewd act over the equipment (yes, really!). And we wish Kaila bon voyage as she heads to Stanford this week to be a panelist at The Pleasure Principle: A Post Hip-Hop Search for a Black Feminist Politics of Pleasure! She'll be checking in with us by phone for next week's show, and we can't wait to hear all about her trip. Until then, have a great week, Fruitcakes!

Monkey See
6:37 am
Sat February 23, 2013

'Argo' Is The Best Picture Frontrunner, But Why?

John Goodman, Alan Arkin and actor-director Ben Affleck in Argo.
Claire Folger AP

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 9:42 am

Programming Note: Sunday night, we'll be live-blogging the Academy Awards here at NPR.org, and the Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! team will be covering the red-carpet fashions, so be sure to join us to share your thoughts and see whether Affleck, Argo, and Daniel Day-Lewis have the big nights predicted for them.

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It's All Politics
6:36 am
Sat February 23, 2013

States Take Sides As Court Revisits Voting Rights Act

President Lyndon Johnson and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. discuss the Voting Rights Act in 1965. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court hears arguments on whether a key part of the law is still needed nearly a half century after its passage.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 5:13 am

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments next week in a case that tests the constitutionality of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the law considered the most effective civil rights statute in American history. At issue is whether a key provision of the statute has outlived its usefulness.

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