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February 03, 2012

The Global Threat from Deadly Bacteria
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Antibiotic resistant germs infect over 2 million Americans, and kill 100,000 each year. But on expert says the worst is yet to come. Then, what would you think of the US Government subsidizing news organizations? Before you answer, you may be surprised to find out its been going on for 200 years.
Episode Segments:
InfoTrak: Rising Plague
Anti-biotic resistant microbes infect more than 2 million Americans and kill over 100,000 each year. Dr. Brad Spellberg author of Rising Plague: The Global Threat from Deadly Bacteria and Our Dwindling Arsenal to Fight Them talked about this increasing problem, and why research and development of new antibiotics has ground to a screeching halt.
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InfoTrak: Government Subsidizing the Press
Via tax breaks, postal rate discounts, government advertising and more, all levels of government in the US have subsidized the press for more than 200 years. Professor Geoffrey Cowan of USC co-authored a report that examined why the funding is rapidly shrinking today. He also discussed how these subsidies affect news coverage of the government and why the public knows so little about it.
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InfoTrak: The Health Insurance Con
The tough economy has created a wave of fraudulent offers for health insurance and other health plans. Jim Quiggle, Director of Communications at the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, explained what state regulators are doing to track down the con men, and what consumers can do if they are targeted by a suspicious offer.
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Geoffrey Cowan
For more than 30 years, Geoffrey Cowan has been an important force in almost every facet of the communication world - as a public interest lawyer, academic administrator, best-selling author and award-winning teacher, playwright, television producer, and government official. From 1996-2007, he served as dean of the USC Annenberg School. In 2006, he was named the inaugural holder of the Annenberg Family Chair in Communication Leadership at the Annenberg School and director of the School's Center on Communication Leadership and Policy. He holds a joint appointment in the USC Gould School of Law, teaches courses in journalism, and is directly involved in the work and research of a number of major centers and projects at the Annenberg School, including the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, which he founded, the Norman Lear Center, the USC Center on Communication Law and Policy, the Charles Annenberg Weingarten Program on Online Communities and the USC Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future. An award-winning author, Cowan wrote See No Evil: The Backstage Battle Over Sex and Violence on Television (Simon & Schuster, 1980), and the best-selling The People v. Clarence Darrow: The Bribery Trial of America's Greatest Lawyer (Random House, 1993).

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Dr. Brad Spellberg
Brad Spellberg is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and is based in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He received his BA in Molecular Cell Biology-Immunology in 1994 from UC Berkeley. He then attended medical school at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where he received numerous academic honors, including serving as the UCLA AOA Chapter Co-President, and winning the prestigious Stafford Warren award for the topic academic performance in his graduating class. Dr. Spellberg completed his Residency in Internal Medicine and subspecialty fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he received the Department of Medicine Subspecialty Fellow of the Year award.

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James Quiggle
James Quiggle is the coalition's director of communications and fomenter of buzz. A 20-year veteran of public relations and journalism, Jim joined the coalition staff in March 2000. He's stirring public outrage and stoking consumer support with outreach campaigns that tell the tale of fraud, wag the tail of reform, and unite society to combat it. He oversees the coalition's outreach strategy, positioning the coalition as one of America's most-trusted authorities on insurance fraud. Jim's award-winning career has ranged from smoke-filled newsrooms to mahogany-paneled boardrooms. He has headed public relations for two major national trade associations the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents and the American Society of Civil Engineers. Most recently he was a public relations consultant and business journalist, specializing in high-tech, banking, trucking, youth services and other industries. Jim also was an editor and reporter for a small-town daily newspaper, manager of communications for a Washington think tank covering the media's reporting of business, and lead writer for a public relations firm promoting prominent national sports events. He has been published in news outlets such as The Washington Post, Miami Herald, Chicago Sun Times, Reno Gazette Journal, Virginia Business and others. Jim also has won several public relations awards. Jim received a BA (cum laude) in psychology from Dickinson College.

Coalition Against Insurance Fraud