Linton Weeks

Linton Weeks joined NPR in the summer of 2008, as its national correspondent for Digital News. He immediately hit the campaign trail, covering the Democratic and Republican National Conventions; fact-checking the debates; and exploring the candidates, the issues and the electorate.

Weeks is originally from Tennessee, and graduated from Rhodes College in 1976. He was the founding editor of Southern Magazine in 1986. The magazine was bought — and crushed — in 1989 by Time-Warner. In 1990, he was named managing editor of The Washington Post's Sunday magazine. Four years later, he became the first director of the newspaper's website, Washingtonpost.com. From 1995 until 2008, he was a staff writer in the Style section of The Washington Post.

He currently lives in a suburb of Washington with the artist Jan Taylor Weeks. In 2009, they created The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation to honor their beloved sons.

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Pop Culture
11:53 am
Fri February 3, 2012

3 Hidden Themes Of This Year's Super Bowl Ads

Many of this year's Super Bowl ads, like this one from CareerBuilders.com, play off our affection for animals.
CareerBuilders.com AP

Originally published on Sat February 4, 2012 8:01 am

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Presidential Race
7:40 am
Tue January 31, 2012

The Slimary Process: Is This The Nastiest Race Ever?

Republican presidential hopefuls former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney debate in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:04 am

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Presidential Race
10:18 am
Thu January 26, 2012

The Baffling, Befuddling Primary Season

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters during a campaign event at Paramount Printing in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 11:38 am

It was so clear for a moment: Mitt Romney was in the lead in the presidential nomination race. Newt Gingrich was a distant second. Rick Santorum — the youthful candidate — was appealing to the socially conservative voters. And Ron Paul was hanging on.

Then things got weird.

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Politics
5:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Is The State Of The Union Address Obsolete?

President Obama delivers last year's State of the Union Address on Jan. 25, 2011.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 3:07 pm

Given the nonstop, stereo-rock news cycle, the warp speed tempo of geopolitics and the constant to-and-fro between the media and the president, has the State of the Union address become obsolete?

Traditionally, the speech — an annual where-we-stand lecture delivered by the president to a joint session of Congress — has for decades been an opportunity for the professor in chief to issue a national report card and put current events in calm, codifiable context.

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Presidential Race
1:22 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Does Regionalism Matter Anymore, Y'all?

The presidential election brings out the media's obsession with regional differences. Reporters and politicians do stand-ups from cornfields in the Midwest, beaches in California, honky-tonks in Texas — and in front of this sand sculpture of the GOP candidates in Myrtle Beach, S.C., last weekend.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

The race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is fixing to get, as we Southerners tongue-in-cheekly say, about as slippery as a greased pig in a hog wallow. Nasty as a old possum in a croaker sack. Murky as South Carolina swamp mud.

The Republican primary focus is shifting to the South, where folks talk and act different from the rest of the country. And where they look for different characteristics in candidates than other regions of the ...

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Politics
10:30 am
Fri January 13, 2012

When Did 'Kumbaya' Become Such A Bad Thing?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry greets voters Jan. 10 after speaking to a town hall meeting in Indian Land, S.C. He has said that if voters want someone to sing "Kumbaya," "I'm not your guy."
Jeff Siner MCT/Landov

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Around the Nation
4:07 am
Sun January 8, 2012

A Year After Tucson Tragedies, Incivility Continues

Captain Mark Kelly hugs his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at the White House in October.
Pete Souza The White House via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:09 am

When a gunman opened fire on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and others at a shopping center near Tucson exactly a year ago — killing six people and injuring Giffords and many others — some people were quick to blame the episode on the overheated political climate.

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Presidential Race
10:20 am
Wed January 4, 2012

U.S. Politics: Hurrah For The Red, White And Screwy

Voters register to cast their ballots during Republican caucuses at a school in Des Moines, Iowa, on Tuesday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

The American political system — as corny, eclectic, chaotic and screwed up as it is with its straw polls, caucuses, primaries and contested elections — somehow gets the job done time after time.

It's weird, really: In this country that celebrates unity and national spirit, a president is chosen via quirky, jerky state-by-state (sometimes precinct-by-precinct) methods. In this society that seeks perfection, the leader is selected in a painfully imperfect process.

But, to paraphrase the old saw: Our funky form of democracy may just be the least worst way to govern.

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Around the Nation
1:11 pm
Fri December 30, 2011

'Haters' Are Going To Hate This Story

The word "Hater" — as it's often used today — is derived from the term "Player Hater," a phrase popularized by late rapper Notorious B.I.G., shown here clutching his Billboard Music Awards in 1995.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Sat December 31, 2011 5:20 am

Haters are here. And there. And everywhere. And the word "hate" is in the air.

Fox has a new sitcom: I Hate My Teenage Daughter. A recent issue of Us magazine tells us "Why Scarlett Johansson Hates Blake Lively." Psychology Today explains "Why We Hate Airport Security." Dick Meyer, formerly of NPR and now executive producer for news services at BBC America, wrote a provocative book called Why We Hate Us.

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Presidential Candidates: Did You Know?
8:52 am
Wed December 21, 2011

5 Things You May Not Know About Jon Huntsman

GOP hopeful Jon Huntsman speaks in Milford, N.H., on Dec. 8.
Cheryl Senter AP

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 12:58 pm

He is former governor of Utah and the namesake of a very rich man. His father, a Salt Lake City bazillionaire, owns a chemical company that really blossomed when it created packaging for McDonald's Big Macs. His father also served in the Nixon administration, so Jon Huntsman Jr. lived in Washington as a young boy.

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Presidential Candidates: Did You Know?
9:34 am
Mon December 19, 2011

5 Things You May Not Know About Rick Santorum

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum listens during a presidential debate Oct. 11 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.
Scott Eells-Pool Getty

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 3:24 pm

Born in the spring of 1958, former Sen. Rick Santorum — the son of a psychologist and a nurse — was the second of three children in a Catholic family. The Pennsylvania Republican spent most of his childhood in the Pittsburgh suburbs.

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5 Things...
11:50 am
Thu December 15, 2011

5 Things You May Not Know About Michele Bachmann

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann speaks at The Gift of Life movie premiere in Des Moines on Wednesday night.
Jim Young Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 3:35 pm

She was born Michele Amble. Her parents divorced when she was young. She studied political science and literature in college and was a student volunteer for Jimmy Carter's 1976 campaign for president.

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Rick Perry
11:17 am
Wed December 14, 2011

5 Things You May Not Know About Rick Perry

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition 2012 Presidential Candidates Forum in Washington, D.C., last week.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 9:36 am

The eyes of Texas have been upon James Richard "Rick" Perry ever since he boot-scootin' boogied onto the public-service stage. Now political observers are watching Perry's fortunes fluctuate as a Republican candidate for president.

Political junkies have followed the career of Perry — an Eagle Scout, veterinary student and son of a farmer and a bookkeeper — from his initial election as a Democrat to the state House of Representatives in 1984. They have studied his endorsement of Al Gore for president in 1988. They watched him as he changed parties in 1989.

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News
11:04 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Home Sweet Home: The New American Localism

Americans are craving food grown locally: There are now more than 6,000 farmers markets across the country. Here Ron Samascott organizes apples from his orchard in Kinderhook, N.Y., at the Union Square Greenmarket in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

You can talk about the global village, a mobile society and the World Wide Web all you want, but many in our country seem to be turning toward a New American Localism.

These days, we are local folks and our focus is local. We are doing everything locally: food, finance, news, charity. And maybe for good reasons.

"One bedrock thing that is going on," says Brad Edmondson, founder of ePodunk and former editor of American Demographics magazine, is that "because of aging and the recession, people aren't moving around as much."

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Presidential Race
3:36 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Haiku D'Etat: The Endorsements Could Be Verse

In the ever-swirling pool of Republican presidential candidates, political endorsements — formal and informal — are being tossed around like life jackets. Will they help the struggling wannabes sink or swim?

"Endorsements are only one of many cues that determine how a person votes," says Robert C. Wigton, a political science professor at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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Presidential Race
10:05 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

The Tweets, Tics And Turns Of Twitter Politics

Texas Rep. Ron Paul's passionate base of support could explain a new study that finds he received more favorable treatment on Twitter than any other GOP hopeful.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 6:14 am

The tweet might go something like this:

Political convo on Twitter is more opinionated, more negative. Diff from that in blogs or lamestream media, sez new study by Pew. Like duh!

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Ron Paul
4:03 am
Sat December 3, 2011

5 Things You May Not Know About Ron Paul

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul speaks with voters after a town hall meeting in Keene, N.H., on Nov. 21.
Cheryl Senter AP

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 1:42 pm

Everybody knows that Ron Paul is a doctor from Texas. Born in Pittsburgh in 1935, he graduated from Gettysburg College and Duke University's medical school. He was a flight surgeon in the Air Force. His wife's name is Carol. He has served as a Republican congressman for years and years.

Everybody knows that Paul has made bids for the presidency three times — as a Libertarian in 1988 and as a Republican in 2008 and this time around. And everybody knows he lost the first two.

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Mitt Romney
12:01 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

Five Things You May Not Know About Mitt Romney

A button from George Romney's 1968 Republican campaign for president.

Will the conventional take on Mitt Romney – that he aims to please everyone – take him to the convention in 2012 and on to the Republican presidential nomination?

Time will tell.

For now, the electorate is getting acquainted (and reacquainted) with the man who has seemingly been in the spotlight his whole life.

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U.S.
8:00 am
Tue November 22, 2011

Occupy America: The Commemorative Game

What began in the fall of 2011 as the amorphous Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City morphed into Occupy America, a nationwide diorama drama containing many elements of a board game — positive steps, punishing losses of turn and, in some cities such as Hartford, Conn., occasional free parking.

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Newt Gingrich
3:55 am
Sat November 19, 2011

5 Things You May Not Know About Gingrich

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, speaks to supporters during a rally in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday.
Stephen Morton AP

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 9:38 am

In the crowded race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney may be the tortoise, but Newt Gingrich is the newt. And newts are highly adaptive salamanders that regenerate limbs when wounded and emit poison when challenged.

Conventional — and up-to-the-minute contemporary — wisdom pegs Gingrich as the ascendant favorite, knocking other candidates off their posts and platforms like an Angry Bird.

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Pop Culture
1:24 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

The Hipsterfication Of America

Concertgoers move in a spray of cooling mist as they dance amid the heat of the desert at the hipster Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., in April.
Mike Blake Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 3:00 pm

The hotel lobby in Franklin, Tenn., has an ultra-urban loft-esque feel — exposed air ducts, austere furniture and fixtures, music videos projected onto a flat panel. Everywhere there is lava-lampish aqua and amber lighting.

Sale racks near the front desk display chargers for iPods and BlackBerrys and a variety of snacks, including Cocoa Puffs and Red Bulls. Every room features a media box for digital video and music.

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