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This Week: What's the Matter With Kansas?
This Week
July 9, 2004

This week on NOW:

As Democrats and Republicans battle for the hearts and minds of voters in key swing states, author Thomas Frank turns his attention to the traditionally red-voting state of Kansas which, he says, is a microcosm of a sea change in the voting patterns of working class Americas. Blue collar workers, says Frank, are embracing a conservative moral agenda centering on opposition to abortion and gay marriage and support for school prayer. The American working class, he argues, is voting against its own economic interests. What can the Sunflower state tell us about why Americans struggling to provide for their families would vote conservative and against their own economic futures? Bill Moyers interviews Frank, who argues that a culture war has led to a political deck stacked against America’s working poor, the topic of his new book WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH KANSAS?: HOW CONSERVATIVES WON THE HEART OF AMERICA. "We're fighting over shadow issues, and ignoring the bread and butter things, the things that determine the way that we lead our lives, that determine the quality of life at the most basic, fundamental level” Frank tells Moyers, "Instead we're fighting over, you know, are there liberals in the Yale English Department?"

With the Kerry-Edwards ticket confirmed, the airwaves are abuzz with a fresh crop of political ads highlighting the Democratic vision of America. And this week the news is all about politics. But what's behind the sound bites and images that we see on television? One of the country's most respected political analysts, Kathleen Hall Jamieson is Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and author of EVERYTHING YOU THINK YOU KNOW ABOUT POLITICS... AND WHY YOU'RE WRONG. Bill Moyers talks Jamieson to analyze the campaign ads, and rhetoric that is defining the agenda of both tickets.

To date, as many as 30,000 people have already been killed in what many have called ethnic cleansing in Sudan, with experts estimating hundreds of thousands more if aid doesn't arrive soon. Forensic anthropologist Clea Koff is someone who knows what these crimes look like up close. Her job is to piece together clues about the dead, extracted from their bones and other remains, the topic of her new book THE BONE WOMAN. Koff has provided critical evidence for international trials prosecuting crimes against humanity and genocide in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. David Brancaccio talks to forensic sleuth Clea Koff about finding truth in mass graves in the aftermath of war. "The bones have gone beyond their politics, their opinions. They simply tell you who they are and what happened to them."

In Depth

Donkey and Elephant

Election 2004 and the Culture Wars


Fact-checking Campaign Ads

Statue of Justice
Forensic Anthropologist Clea Koff

International Courts

The Geneva Conventions

State Attorney Generals Map

Class Action Reform Bill

Tracking Legislation Online


Talk about the economy on the message boards.


Learn more about the issues discussed on NOW.

Read the complete transcript.

Streaming Video

[NOTE: RealPlayer is required to view NOW segments.]

Bill Moyers talks with Thomas Frank about WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH KANSAS? (17:08)

Bill Moyers talks with Kathleen Hall Jamieson about Election 2004 (15:41)

David Brancaccio talks with forensic anthropologist Clea Koff (17:32)

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