You are browsing the archive for 2015 June 04.

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Running Out of Other People’s Money

June 4, 2015 in Economics

While federal budget deficits have improved over the past few years, the reprieve is purely temporary.  In the new issue of Cato Policy Report, Cato scholar Michael D. Tanner breaks down the tremendous amount of U.S. federal debt, and shines a light on the true culprit: entitlement spending. “Clearly, we are on a course that cannot continue,” says Tanner. “Will we find our way to a soft landing that minimizes disruption, or are we on the road for the turmoil and economic stagnation that we see in countries like Greece?”

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Walt Disney Comes to American Experience in September

June 4, 2015 in History

June 04, 2015 9:15 a.m.

American Experience is very excited to announce a project that our Executive Producer Mark Samels has had in the forefront of his mind for years. A four-hour biography of Walt Disney will premiere on PBS this September (see the preview and the press release below), before which we will share a huge collection of stories, images and factoids on our social media pages and our web site. Stay tuned!

(BOSTON, MA) June 4, 2015 — In 1966, the year Walt Disney died, 240 million people saw a Disney movie, 100 million tuned in to a Disney television program, 80 million bought Disney merchandise, and close to seven million visited Disneyland. Few creative figures before or since have held such a long-lasting place in American life and popular culture.

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE offers an unprecedented look at the life and legacy of one of America’s most enduring and influential storytellers in Walt Disney, a new two-part, four-hour film premiering Monday and Tuesday, September 14-15, 2015, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings). Executive produced by Mark Samels, directed and produced by Sarah Colt, and written by Mark Zwonitzer, the film features rare archival footage from the Disney vaults, scenes from some of his greatest films, and interviews with biographers and historians, animators and artists who worked on Snow White and other early films, and designers who helped create Disneyland.

“Walt Disney is an entrepreneurial and cultural icon,” said AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Executive Producer Mark Samels. “No single figure shaped American popular culture in the 20th century more than he.”

From Steamboat Willie to Pinocchio to Mary Poppins, Disney’s movies grew out of his own life experiences. He told stories of outsiders struggling for acceptance and belonging, while questioning the conventions of class and authority. As Disney rose to prominence and gained financial security, his work became increasingly celebratory of the American way of life that made his unlikely success possible.

Yet despite the success he achieved, he was driven and restless, a demanding perfectionist on whom decades of relentless work and chain-smoking would take their toll. He wanted his films to make people feel deeply, yet often buried his own emotions. Aspiring to create great artistic films, he felt he wasn’t taken seriously by the movie industry, and was stung when critics panned his productions. Never satisfied with his previous efforts, he always pushed forward to a “new adventure,” but …read more