Washington Post correspondent Thomas Ricks has recently returned from Iraq — where senior military commanders now say that the key threat facing the U.S.effort isn’t terrorists, it’s the intransigence of the Shia-dominated government. Ricks, a regular Fresh Air guest, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of the best-selling Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq.
PLUS, Say “Christopher Plummer,” and some people automatically think of The Sound of Music, in which he played the Baron von Trapp. But that’s just one of about 100 films Plummer has been in; recent highlights from his big-screen career include Syriana, The Insider, A Beautiful Mind, and Inside Man. He’s also had long stage career, won two Tony Awards, and performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Now, in the new independent film Man in the Chair, he’s playing an old-school curmudgeon who worked on a legendary film. Michael Schroeder’s movie centers on a high-school kid who enlists a group of retired film crew members to help finish his student feature. Plummer plays Flash Madden, a former gaffer who crewed on Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane. The character is a bitter, cranky alcoholic — “a wonderful old drunk,” Plummer tells Terry Gross. The actor’s own battles with alcoholism have been no secret; “research,” he jokes, “was not a problem.” Plummer’s other films include A Beautiful Mind and Twelve Monkeys. He’s done Broadway and television, too, in addition to a lot of voiceover work — including on the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
We get two opinions on U.S. policy in Iran. Our guests are SCOTT RITTER, former United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq and author of Target Iran: The Truth About the White House’s Plans for Regime Change. And PATRICK CLAWSON, Deputy Director for Research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He is author of “Eternal Iran: Continuity and Chaos.” Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3
Your Thanksgiving meal will cost more than it did last year. That’s because the price of food in general has increased over 4% compared with the general inflation rate of roughly 2.6%. We talk about the rising cost of food prices – why and what’s in store for the future. Our guests are KEVIN HALL, economic correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers and NANCY CHILDS, St. Joseph’s University food marketing professor. Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3
Thursday, November 22nd, 2007
Allison Krauss & Robert Plant
World Cafe host David Dye welcomes Allison Krauss and Robert Plant to discuss their first joint-effort, Raising Sand. Despite wildly divergent musical backgrounds, the two have come together to celebrate some of the greatest contemporary songwriters, covering songs by the likes of Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt, and the Everly Brothers. The resulting duets are stunning — even exceeding what one might expect from either artist individually.
THE EVERLY BROTHERS: Bye Bye Love