‘Tyranny of the Media’: Will New FCC Regs Enforce Majority Rule?

Controversy over corporate media consolidation has been brewing for decades. In 1975, the Federal Communications Commission enacted a rule prohibiting a single media company from owning both a newspaper and radio or TV station in the same city. Twenty-eight years later, the issue drew national attention when former FCC Chairman Michael Powell introduced a plan […]

Is Web Video Really Hurting TV?

The current conventional wisdom is that the rise of Internet video may mean the end of television as we know it — a view that extends to the music industry as well, as we’ve seen before. Viacom’s $1 billion copyright infringement suit against the Google-owned YouTube continues to lumber on, and the TV writers’ strike […]

The Complete History of Dirty Politics: A Q&A on Anything for a Vote

Today, you’ll recall, is Election Day. Which means that one year from now, we will be electing a new president (as if it really matters). The race is starting to heat up, as candidates shed their friendly veneers and start getting nasty with their rivals. (For what it’s worth, on the Republican side, Ron Paul […]

The Economics of Sugar Daddying

Not long ago, Levitt wrote about a Craigslist posting in which a woman solicited advice in marrying a man who made more than $500,000 a year. That posting eventually made the international media rounds, from the Times to the BBC News to Scientific American. But journalists have yet to jump on the wealth of posts […]

Politicians Aren’t the Only Ones Who Use Fuzzy Math; Journalists Like It Too

This week’s New Yorker features an interesting article by Hendrik Hertzberg about American presidential dynasties. He quotes an A.P. article by Nancy Benac which states that “[f]orty per cent of Americans have never lived when there wasn’t a Bush or a Clinton in the White House.” Really? That’s amazing. Hertzberg quotes Benac further in the […]

Can Religion Offset the Effects of Child Poverty?

Dubner and Levitt have written quite a bit about parenting, both in Freakonomics and on this blog. In particular, they’ve focused on what parents can do to help produce “successful” offspring. The key, they’ve found, is this: be well-educated and successful yourself, and your children are more likely to follow suit. But what about children […]

Here’s Why Yankees Fans Aren’t the Only Ones Rooting Against the Red Sox

Earlier this year, Massachusetts furniture chain Jordan’s Furniture announced a marketing gimmick that would delight any diehard Red Sox fan: if the Sox went on to win the 2007 World Series, all furniture sales made between March 7 and April 16 of this year would be refunded. The chain, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway […]

The Case for Open Immigration: A Q&A With Philippe Legrain

A British economist and journalist, Philippe Legrain has served as special adviser to the director-general of the World Trade Organization and worked as the trade and economics correspondent for the Economist. For his latest book, Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them, he spent over six months interviewing immigrants across the globe and researching immigration policies in […]

Man Masters Flight, and Music Goes Digital

Between the lawsuits against file-sharers and news of Radiohead’s digital-only album release, the digital distribution of music has become a big story. We recently hosted our own discussion on the issue here.. But for some people, this is very old news. Take the case of Peter Alexander, an economist in Washington, D.C., who has been […]

Crime, Celebrity, and Kissing On Screen: A Q&A on The King of Bollywood

Anupama Chopra knows first-hand about Bollywood, India’s burgeoning film industry. As a former film writer for India Today magazine and the wife of famed Indian writer/director Vidhu Vinod Chopra, she’s spent more than 15 years watching from the inside as the industry weathered widespread social change, rapid expansion, and economic globalization. Her new book, King […]