Sunday Long Reads: Joan Burton's quickfire questions, bisexuality in cinema and a look at American Crime Story

Kick back with a cup of coffee and enjoy the best long reads from Newstalk

Joan Burton, GE16,  Dublin West, drinking, Dail, Sean Moncrieff, interview, Taoiseach, Ursula Halligan

Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton | Image:

As the election kicks into high gear, this week's long reads take a look at the childcare policies being proposed, as well as grilling Joan Burton on her favorite pop stars when she was a teenager.

There's also a look ahead to the first series of American Crime Story, which focuses on the O.J. Simpson trial, a look back at China's fruitless World Cup adventure in 2002 and the invisibility of bisexuality in cinema. 

Joan Burton tells all, including when she broke the law

As part of Newstalk's Election Coverage,  Seán Moncrieff has been testing some of the candidates in a series of quick-fire questions that they will likely not be asked anywhere else.

Earlier this week, it was the turn of Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton, the Labour TD candidate in the Dublin West constituency to reveal all about the posters she had on the walls of her bedroom as a teenager, and the time she broke the law.

Trying to understand the invisibility of bisexuality in cinema

Think of a gay male character, and it's relatively easy: Robin Williams in The Birdcage, Daniel Day Lewis in My Beautiful Laundrette, Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon, or Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain.

Thinking of a gay female character, and it's also not difficult; Annette Bening or Julianne Moore in The Kids Are Alright, Naomi Watts in Mulholland Drive, Lea Seydoux in Blue Is The Warmest Colour, or Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in Carol.

In a year when alternative sexualities are getting more attention than ever from the big awards ceremonies, how is that bisexuality is getting unanimously ignored by cinema?

#RealityCheck: Are the parties' promises on childcare realistic?

The promises keep rolling on on the campaign trail, and one of them comes in the form of childcare proposals that are being put forward by the various parties.

In terms of childcare proposals in general, this is one of the areas where the government has developed a lot of spin both before the last election and this election. There is entirely a possibility that once the party who gets elected enters government, they could announce the fiscal space has shrunk and there isn't any money for their policies. 

So, what are the proposals and could they work?

They came, they saw, they crumbled ... a gander through China's World Cup woe

While we were disagreeing over the events of Saipan and The Guardian had to write a piece explaining what a metatarsal was after David Beckham's pre-World Cup 2002 injury, Chinese football was celebrating its most momentous achievement.

The nation of over a billion people had reached the men's FIFA World Cup for the first time in their history that summer, and with the recent explosion in transfers to the Chinese league, we take a look back at their last big adventure on the global footballing stage. 

American Crime Story's retelling of the OJ trial is pulp television at its best

It’s highly unlikely that any of the viewers who tune into the first episode of The People vs. OJ Simpson on Monday night won’t be familiar with his murder trial, arguably the most famous in American history.

But the makers behind American Crime Story – a new anthology television series that will focus on Hurricane Katrina in its next iteration – kick off proceedings in this glossy and wickedly good drama with footage that pre-dates the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in Brentwood, California in 1994.

The People vs. OJ Simpson revels in filling in the blanks, showing there's a lot more to the story than just the black and white.