The Madeleine Brand Show for January 4, 2012

Mercer 18938
Mitt Romney may have won the Iowa caucuses last night, but he won by a mere 8 votes. Rick Santorum's rise propelled him to a close second and Ron Paul came in third. Michele Bachmann, who came in sixth, announced today that her bid for the presidency is over. Here to talk about the latest in the GOP primary race is Christina Bellantoni, political editor for PBS' Newshour.
Mercer 19180
The Church of Scientology is no stranger to bad press. Critics call it a cult. And former members say the Church's leader, David Miscavige, is mismanaging the organization. Now Scientology is facing another PR crisis. This time, from the inside. A former high ranking member of the church, Debbie Cook, has blasted Miscavige in an email sent to 12,000 followers. It's rare for someone at this level to make such a public criticism. Janet Reitman joins the show to explain why it matters. She's the author of the book, "Inside Scientology - The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion."
Mercer 11886
Lots of prominent Republicans have weighed in on the 2012 GOP primaries. But one well known politician has been left from the discussion: George W. Bush. Jack Pitney is a professor of politics, an author and a longtime Republican strategist. He joins the show to discuss why Republicans have been mum on the topic of their last successful presidential pick.
Mercer 10552

Los Angeles bishop admits he has children, resigns

Pope Benedict XVI today accepted the resignation of a Los Angeles bishop. Bishop Gabino Zavala confessed last month to the Pope that he has two children. At the same time, the church is waiving the celibacy rule for some Episcopal priests if they decide to convert to Catholicism. This would allow them to be ordained as Catholic priests even if they are married. John Allen, senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and the preeminent reporter for the Vatican beat, will join the show to explain.

Study finds female TV writers on the decline

Recently the Center for the Study of Women in Television surveyed the writing rooms of primetime TV shows. They found the number of working women dropped dramatically. In 2007 women made up 35% of the writing workforce, now they are only 15% What caused the drop and will TV audiences notice the difference?
Simon Wiesenthal Center Honors Rupert Murdoch
Luke Burbank, host of the podcast Too Beautiful to Live, joins us for his weekly analysis of the headlines. This week: Rupert Murdoch joins Twitter while a fake Wendy Deng Murdoch account is mistakenly verified by Twitter. A California group is calling for a millionaire's tax and using the Kardashians as unwilling spokespeople. And Luke also talks about Nederland, Colorado, a town that has an annual festival in honor of a frozen dead guy.
Find an archived Episode: