Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career, "hired to write for every small paper in Washington, D.C., just as it was about to fold," saw that jink broken in 1984, when he came to NPR.

For more than a quarter-century, Mondello has reviewed movies and covered the arts for NPR News, seeing at least 250 films and 100 plays annually, then sharing critiques and commentaries about the most intriguing on NPR's award-winning newsmagazine All Things Considered. In 2005, he conceived and co-produced NPR's eight-part series "American Stages," exploring the history, reach, and accomplishments of the regional theater movement.

Monkey See
1:27 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

DVD Picks: 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'

Acorn Media

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 5:36 pm

Time now for a home-viewing recommendation from our film critic, Bob Mondello. With a new movie version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy opening this week, Bob's suggesting the TV original.

At some point in my youth, I must have known the nursery rhyme "Tinker, tailor/ soldier, sailor/ rich man, poor man/beggar man, thief," but since 1979, the instant someone says "Tinker Tailor," the next two words that occur to me are "Alec Guinness."

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It's All Politics
1:07 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Maryland Robocall Conviction Puts Political Dirty Tricksters On Notice

Election-day dirty tricksters be forewarned: getting caught trying in a voter-suppression scheme can draw you a prison term, at least in Maryland.

That's one take away message from Tuesday's conviction of the man who served as campaign manager for the effort of Maryland's former Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr.'s to regain the governorship.

A Baltimore jury found Paul Schurick guilty of election fraud on state charges related to 2010 voter-suppression robocalls meant to keep some African American voters, predominantly Democrats, away from the polls on election day.

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U.S.
1:04 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

For Unions, Democratic Convention Means Business

Many local businesses fear they won't win contracts for the 2012 Democratic National Convention because they can't boast a "union bug," like the small blue oval above, that can be found on some material printed by Consolidated Press.
Courtesy of Consolidated Press

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 8:26 pm

Organizers of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., face a bit of a conundrum as they try to honor their party's deep ties to organized labor in a state with the lowest percentage of unionized workers in the nation. Local businesses worry they'll be passed over for unionized competitors, which are few and far between in the right-to-work state.

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Obama: 'This Is A Make Or Break Moment For The Middle Class'

"This is a make or break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class," President Obama said in a speech in Osawatomie, Kansas. The speech threw the president in the middle of the conversation about economic inequality that's been central to the demands of the Occupy movement.

The speech also laid down some markers in preparation for the president's reelection battle and he did so with a big bow to Teddy Roosevelt, who delivered a speech calling for a "New Nationalism" in the same city more than 100 years ago.

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The Record
12:00 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Remembering Larry Levan, 'The Jimi Hendrix of Dance Music'

Larry Levan, who made the highlight of a new collection of DJ mixes recorded at London superclub Ministry of Sound. Levan's work at New York club Paradise Garage was the inspiration for the London club.
Unknown.

The audio link above is a radio story for All Things Considered about the late Larry Levan, the producer and DJ whose residency at New York's Paradise Garage between 1977 and 1987 remains the most storied in clubland.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Steve Jobs Bio Takes Top Spot In Amazon's 2011 Best-Seller List

Walter Isaacson's biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was published in late October.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

This piece of news is perhaps a testament to the mystery that was Apple's late CEO Steve Jobs: Walter Isaacson's authorized biography of Jobs, a 656-page epic that has been well received critically, has just taken the top spot on Amazon's 2011 best-seller list.

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The Salt
11:34 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Here Come The Food Trend Lists

A pawpaw ripe for the picking
Zac Visco for NPR

It's that time of year when media organizations, consultants and marketers try their hands at summarizing and forecasting the past year and the coming year's food trends. It's a tricky business, because it really depends who you're talking about and where they actually eat (home, work, out?).

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Tue December 6, 2011

U.S. Unveils Virtual 'Embassy' To Iran

Days after angry Iranian students overran the British embassy in Tehran, The U.S. has opened its new "embassy" for Iranian citizens. Senior U.S. diplomats haven't returned to Tehran after more than 30 years - this department is web only.

The front page features a welcome video from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the seal of the State Department, with the banner "Virtual Embassy of the United States, Tehran - Iran" set at the very top.

But as the welcome message reads,

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