The Story of Kim Jong-il's Personal Chef
This is, quite possibly, one of the craziest things I’ve ever read.
“I can absolutely assure you that ITVS does not want your film to be buried.” She said of the title [Citizen Koch], “I think you understand why it’s problematic… . We live in a world where we have to be aware that people with power have power.”—How Far Did PBS Go to Avoid Offending a Sponsor? : The New Yorker
“What is it we’re looking for in Moscow? During the Cold War, some 40 percent of the CIA was dedicated to spying on the Soviet Union. One old hand described meeting a woman whose full-time job at the Agency was tracking the canned-goods industry in the USSR. Since the end of the Cold War over two decades ago, counter-terrorism has become the priority, and Russia has become, for the most part, just another country. These days, we’re mostly concerned with Russia’s still well-stocked nuclear arsenal and their counterterrorism operations in the volatile North Caucasus.”—The Spy Who Shot Himself in the Foot by Julia Ioffe
“Acting on the suggestion of her top data crunchers at the department’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released an enormous data file on May 8 that reveals the list—or “chargemaster”—prices of all hospitals across the country for the 100 most common inpatient treatment services in 2011. It then compares those prices with what Medicare actually paid hospitals for the same treatments—which was typically a fraction of the chargemaster prices. As a result, Americans are a big step closer to being able to compare what hospitals charge them for goods and services with what they actually cost. CMS public-affairs director Brian Cook told me that Sebelius’ action today comes in part as a response to “Bitter Pill,” TIME’s special report on health care pricing practices in the March 4 issue.”—
This is some of the best reporting Time has ever done. Congrats to Steve Brill on for journalism that will make a real difference.