Katie Couric and the presidential election of 2008

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Eve MacSweeney interviews Katie Couric in Vogue magazine about her memorable interviews in the 2008 election, her skills as a journalist, and her impact on the news and the industry.

The article maintained its fashion agenda without skimping on the significant details of what makes Couric important as a journalist. In the beginning MacSweeney described her as being  "buffed to a high polish: shiny blonde bob, apple-cheeked smile, crisp white shirt, sharp black pencil skirt, and smooth, honey-colored legs." But what followed afterward was anything but superficial.   

I found it interesting that this profile feature highlighted Couric's struggles and successes in relation with each notable candidate she had previously interviewed: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, and John McCain.  

McCain: When she accepted the position as anchor for the CBS Evening News back in September of 2006, Couric described it as "almost like being John McCain, running for office in a really tough environment." She had to deal with new audiences that have been accustomed to cable shows, the Internet, and changing lifestyles. In the midst of all this, Couric also had to face certain realities. The show lost more viewers and ratings fell with Couric anchoring the CBS Evening News. They were rated third place among the other networks.

Clinton: Many critics found pleasure in seeing Couric struggle with the ratings, as they did with Clinton and her decline in voters' support. Couric was criticized for aiming too high, but to a certain extent encouraged at the same time. MacSweeney described it as wanting "to see Couric, like Hillary, chastened but not persecuted."

Palin: There were also some similarities between Couric and Palin. Both women wanted objective and non-judgmental reporting. When Couric reminisced about her interview with Palin, she described it as fascinating when she watched her formulating answers. She wanted to remain neutral. "I was just a conduit to get her point of view out there," Couric said.

Obama: Like Obama, she earned the trust of viewers as time went along. Through quality news stories and objective journalism, she had proven herself once again to the public.  

A taste of Tianjin, China in Chanhassen, Minn.

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In Peter Lilienthal's consumer guide feature, he talks about his experiences at Ryan Ran's restaurant in Chanhassen, Minn. Serving authentic Szechuan and Mandarin dishes, Lilienthal was not disappointed with the entrees.

Based on how Lilienthal has structured his article, he not only rates the restaurant, he also adds a lot of color to the feature by describing his experiences at Tian Jin. I thought his narrative was interesting because through the details he provided, you felt as if you were experiencing the food and the atmosphere along with him.

He starts out by giving a description of the scene and atmosphere at the restaurant. The walls were painted red, assorted lanterns hung from the ceiling, and ornate dark wood tables filled the restaurant.

After taking in the scenery, Lilienthal indulges in more than 12 entrees. What was served was not the typical kung pao chicken. He sampled "mandarin beef with golden garlic, chung king chicken (light, colorful, and bursting with spices), head cheese-style ma la beef, herbal cumin lamb, and boiled fillet of sole served in a piquant Szechuan sauce."

Although Lilienthal's overall experience was an enjoyable one, he wants the readers to be aware of the inconsistent pace of service. "At times the pace is too swift and at others it can be on the slow side. It's a small price to pay for a truly memorable experience," Lilienthal said.

His other recommendation? Leave the ordering up to the waiters and waitresses, and prepare your palettes for some amazing Chinese cuisine!  

Sweet treats: Minnesota's best pastry chefs

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From traditional chocolate chip cookies to elaborate buttermilk sorbets, the Mpls St. Paul Magazine has picked out some of the best pastry chefs in the Twin Cities.  

In this feature Andrew Zimmern emphasizes the differences of each chef's personal history, culinary background, and techniques. The individuality of each chef is reflected in the delectable desserts that they create.

Zimmern gives a description of, what he considers, the top five pastry chefs in the Twin Cities. Christina Kaelberer of Chambers Kitchen, Leah Henderson of D'Amico Cucina, Carrie Summer of Spoonriver, Khanh Tran of Cosmos, and Michelle Gayer of La Belle Vie are among those that made the list.    

At Chambers Kitchen, Kaelberer is known for her "passion fruit soufflé with passion fruit caramel and bitter chocolate sorbet." It is considered as "one of the three best desserts in the Twin Cities." 

Over at D'Amico Cucina, Henderson likes to whip up a "lemon mascarpone panna cotta with roasted black mission figs, ruby port glaze, and candied spiced pecans."

As for Summer, she likes to stick to the classics, but adds a modern twist to all her dishes. Her "chicory-chocolate cream and sake apricots," are recommended at Spoonriver.    

At Cosmos, Tran likes to play with contrasting textures and flavors. Her chocolate tart is a great example of this. She tops it off with white pepper ice cream, smoked hot chocolate, spiced figs, and salted almond praline.   

And last but not least, Gayer of La Belle Vie impresses customers with her rustic and classical style. Her menu has not yet been finalized, but customers should be expecting a lot of browned butter.  

This piece combines a consumer guide feature and a profile feature into one article. Zimmern not only provides an index of their restaurant's information, but he also personalizes each pastry chef's profile with entertaining anecdotes. I thought providing information about what their "favorite sweet" was was an interesting touch to the feature.  Throughout the feature Zimmern provided intricate details, but still kept everything clear and concise.  

6 more Minnesotans die from the H1N1 flu

Another six new H1N1 deaths have been confirmed in Minnesota. In total, 32 Minnesotans have died from the swine flu, according to WCCO reports. So far only pregnant women, health care workers, and children from the ages of six months to four years old, but the Health Department has been changing their guidelines so that more people will be eligible for the vaccine.                                          As of Nov. 21 The Associated Press confirmed 1,767 people have been hospitalized because of the swine flu. That number has increased to about 70 people over the last week. Although 10 new cases have been detected in Minnesota schools between Nov. 15 through Nov. 21, the number continues to decrease since October.                                                                                                State epidemiologist Ruth Lynfield recommends that people should still remain cautious of the H1N1 virus. "I don't want to say that we have peaked, because we do want to have several weeks of data. We have seen in other parts of the country that there have been a decrease in hospitalizations, and then an increase the week after or the following week," Lynfield said.       

South Carolina governor faces ethics violations

            South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford will be charged on 37 counts of ethics violations. As stated in The New York Times, he has been charged for using the state's money to fly first class, in addition to flying the South Carolina's aircraft to attend both personal and political events. This is not the first time Sanford has faced ethics charges. Back in June of 2009, Sanford had also used public resources to set up a private trip to Argentina to visit his mistress.                                The Legislature has already filed an impeachment resolution ahead of time, while the Ethics Commission thoroughly investigate Sanford's financial and travel records. An ethics panel will likely take place sometime next year, and if cases rule against him, Sanford will be facing nearly $74,000 worth in fines.                                                                                                                                    According to NPR Sanford's lawyers claim that the charges were minor, and said that the governor was not likely to face criminal charges. Many are still waiting for more details from the ethics commission about Sanford's allegations. These allegations will determine whether Sanford will be forced out of office in January 2010.  

Confessions of a Peruvian gang: killing for human fat

CNN reported on Saturday that four gang members in Peru were arrested on a charge of killing people for human fat. It was said that the fat was sold to the European market for thousands of dollars, and potentially used it for reconstructive surgery and cosmetic products.                                                     

The disappearances of at least 60 other people have been linked to the same gang, and Jorge Sanz Quiroz, the lead prosecutor, said the police will continue to follow up on the case.  Back in September of this year, officials found a small container of what seemed to be human fat at the the Bella Durmiente bus station in Lima, the capital of Peru.

The Associated Press has also reported on the story, however in a different angle. Medical expert, Julio Castro at Peru's Medical College in Lima, found the Peruvian police reports highly unlikely.                                                                          Castro said that human fat was easy to acquire from liposuction, so he doubted that the gang members could have sold it for thousands of dollars, as was reported by police officials. "It doesn't make sense that the (body) fat would be sold at prices of US$15,000 dollars a liter," said Castro. Claims of the police reports have not been verified yet.  

Recent Comments

  • funkx077: I think this is a great feature, especially around the read more
  • wang1065: This is such a sweet feature that talks about the read more
  • jacks572: When I was looking at your articles, this one caught read more
  • wang1065: This is a great profile feature. The author chosed an read more
  • wang1065: I think this is a pretty good piece as a read more
  • Carly: This was a great feature because it highlights a restaurant read more
  • audet032: What a fun feature article! As I was scanning the read more

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