WSJ NOT The Assignment Desk For NPR

Yesterday the hardworking staff wondered if there was any relationship between the Wall Street Journal’s Weekend Interview with Paul Johnson and a segment on Weekend All Things Considered, since both compared the current Middle East uprisings with the widespread European revolutions in 1848.

So we wrote to ATC host Guy Raz and asked: Any connection between the two? Or is this the serendipity of contemporary news coverage?.

Here is his prompt and gracious response:

Greetings!

Thanks for your query and for listening to our program, Weekends on All Things Considered. The short answer is neither.

I am a big fan of Paul Johnson’s work. He’s an estimable figure. Unfortunately, I missed the piece you refer to that ran in the WSJ. I am happy to hear him make that comparison.

We’ve been mulling the 1848 idea for some weeks now but couldn’t quite figure out how to make it good radio until this weekend.

I saw Anne Applebaum make a brief reference to it in her WP column about 3 weeks ago and I thought it was smart. So we started to look around for historians who specialize in the revolutions of 1848. We found Jonathan Sperber at Univ. of Missouri who wrote a book on that period. And indeed, he was intrigued by the similarities between then and now. So we interviewed him and, voila! the sausage was made.

But now that I know about THIS blog…you can be sure I’ll be checking it out a lot for interesting ideas.

Thanks

Guy Raz

Host, Weekends on All Things Considered from NPR News

I guess after ten years in daily news, I just assumed everything was produced day-of.

I need to get out more often, eh?

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