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On the Media

English, Media, 1 seasons, 218 episodes, 5 days 12 hours 36 minutes
About
The Peabody Award-winning On the Media podcast is your guide to examining how the media sausage is made. Hosts Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield examine threats to free speech and government transparency, cast a skeptical eye on media coverage of the week’s big stories and unravel hidden political narratives in everything we read, watch and hear. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, Snap Judgment, Death, Sex & Money, Nancy and Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin.
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Measuring Bias in Israel-Palestine Coverage, and Mehdi Hasan's Approach to Covering the Region

A Palestinian-American college student was shot in Vermont last fall. On this week’s On the Media, he reflects on the explosive media attention he’s received. Plus, what the data says about allegations of biased media coverage of Israel and Palestine, and former MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan explains his approach to covering the war. 1. Suzanne Gaber [@SuzanneGaber], producer at Notes from America, speaks with Hisham Awartani, a Palestinian-American college student, about the explosive media attention he received after he was shot in Vermont last fall. Listen.  2. William Youmans [@wyoumans], professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, and Mona Chala
01/03/202450 minutes 30 seconds
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American Patriots Support... Vladimir Putin?

In February, Donald Trump praised Russia for being a "war machine" and said that Russia should “do whatever the hell they want” to NATO allies that do not contribute enough to the military alliance. Far-right figures like Nick Fuentes, who referred to Vladimir Putin as "my Czar," have also shown support for the Russian president and his war on Ukraine. And while more mainstream Republican pundits like Tucker Carlson have walked back past praise for Putin, the American far-right's obsession with Russia goes back almost two decades. Brooke sat down with Casey Michel, writer and investigative journalist, to discuss why white nationalists like David Duke, Richard Spencer, and Matthew Heimbach have long since looked to Putin's Russia as inspiration fo
28/02/202412 minutes 29 seconds
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Christian Nationalism is Reshaping Fertility Rights, and Books Dominate at the Oscars

An Alabama Supreme Court ruling on frozen embryos threatens fertility treatments across the state. On this week’s On the Media, hear how a particular branch of Christian nationalism influenced one justice’s decision. Plus, how film adaptations of books have come to dominate our screens. 1. Matthew D. Taylor [@TaylorMatthewD], senior scholar at the Institute for Islamic, Christian, &amp; Jewish Studies, on how a particular strain of Christian Nationalism, once on the fringe of America’s religious landscape, is slowly emerging as a political force. Listen.  2. Alexander Manshel [@XanderManshel], assistant professor of English at McGill University and author of <a href
23/02/202450 minutes 6 seconds
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Revisiting the Documentary, "Navalny"

  Russia's jailed opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has died in prison. Navalny had been living behind bars since shortly after landing in Moscow in January of 2021. He had been returning home following months of recovery in Europe, after he fell violently sick on a flight between Siberia and Moscow.  In the months following Navalny’s poisoning, Christo Grozev, former lead Russia investigator at Bellingcat, was stuck in Vienna with filmmaker Daniel Roher. The two had just been booted from Ukraine, where they had been trying to film an investigation. Grozev suddenly had a lot of time on his hands, a laptop, and a fresh stack of data from the Russian black market so naturally he began to investigate who was behind the poisoning.  Daniel Roher directed the documentary “Navalny,” which portrays the story of the close collaboration between Navalny, his team, and Grozev, in the hunt for the dissident’s wou
21/02/202422 minutes 25 seconds
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Breaking News: Biden is Old. Plus, Bobi Wine’s Fight For Democracy

Coverage of President Joe Biden’s age has reached a fever pitch. On this week’s On the Media, hear whether the quality of the reports has matched their volume. Plus, meet Bobi Wine, a pop star and opposition politician who is fighting for democracy in Uganda. 1. Judd Legum [@JuddLegum], founder of the newsletter Popular Information, Charan Ranganath [@CharanRanganath], a neuroscientist at UC Davis and author of the forthcoming book, Why We Remember: Unlocking Memory’s Power to Hold on to What Matters, and Jack Shafer [@jackshafer], senior media critic
17/02/202450 minutes 7 seconds
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Tucker Went to Russia and Got a History Lesson

Last week we learned that ousted Fox blowhard Tucker Carlson had gone to Russia. He was spotted eating fake McDonalds and watching a ballet at the Bolshoi theater. But Tucker was there for more important things than fast food and culture; he was there for a sit down with President Putin. Carlson was mainly silent as Putin delivered an almost 40 minute long speech on the history of how Ukraine belongs to Russia. But the myths in Putin's and Russia's state-sponsored version of history are not new. Last summer Brooke spoke to Mikhail Zygar who had traced it back at least as far as the middle ages.    This is a segment from our August 4, 2023 show, Making History.
14/02/202417 minutes 26 seconds
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If You Can’t Beat ’Em… Join ’Em? Journalism in an AI World

In December, the New York Times sued OpenAI for allegedly using the paper’s articles to train chatbots. On this week’s On the Media, a look at how media outlets are trying to survive in this era of generative AI. Plus, why New York’s oldest Black newspaper is joining forces with an AI startup to address biases in the technology.  1. Kate Knibbs [@Knibbs], senior writer at Wired, on AI clickbait flooding the internet. Listen. 2. John Herrman [@jwherrman], tech columnist for New York Magazine, on the love-hate relationship between AI companies and journalism. Listen. 3. Elinor Tatum [@elinortatum], editor in chief o
09/02/202450 minutes 25 seconds
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Naomi Klein's Trip to the Mirror World

Naomi Klein has been confused for writer Naomi Wolf for much of her career. Wolf rose to prominence with the book The Beauty Myth in the 90s, establishing herself as a bestselling feminist, liberal writer. Klein, on the other hand, wrote acclaimed critiques of capitalism such as No Logo and The Shock Doctrine. To say Klein is often mistaken for Wolf is an understatement. In the interview she did just before ours, a TV host mistakenly called her by Wolf's name. The confusion is incessant on social media, and escalated when Wolf became notorious as a peddler o
07/02/202417 minutes 17 seconds
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What the Media Gets Wrong About Immigration, and Chris Hayes Wants More Trump Coverage!

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has threatened to defy the federal government’s control over the border as the surge of migrants continues. On this week’s On the Media, a look at what might be a brewing constitutional crisis. Plus, hear MSNBC’s Chris Hayes make a case for why journalists should be paying even closer attention to Donald Trump. 1.  Adam Serwer [@AdamSerwer], staff writer at The Atlantic, on the humanitarian and constitutional crisis at the Texas border. Listen. 2. Jonathan Blitzer [@JonathanBlitzer], staff writer at The New Yorker, on what the media misses when it covers immigration. Plus, how and why U.S. immigration changed in the 21st century.<a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/media-misses-sourthern-border-on-th
03/02/202450 minutes 13 seconds
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Micah Speaks To Kyle Chayka About The Filter World

Micah Loewinger is hosting this episode, he introduces it with a personal reminiscence: "Before I landed a job at this show, I worked for a few years, on and off, at a couple record stores around New York City. And some of my favorite albums to this day, were recommended to me by my coworkers. Men and women who I consider to be archivists –– not just of old formats like vinyl records, CDs, and cassettes –– but of underappreciated artists and niche genres. A knowledge of music history that can only come from a lifetime of obsessive listening, research, and curation.  Nowadays, I pay for Spotify. I try to learn about music off the app and then save it for later listening on Spotify, but sometimes I find myself just letting its recommendation algorithm queue up the next track, and the next. And it definitely works. Spotify has helped me discover great music, but it’s never been as revelatory as a personal recommendation from a friend or an expert
31/01/202420 minutes 31 seconds
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DeSantis' Failed Campaign Has Lessons For the Political Press. And A Public Radio Parody.

After New Hampshire and Iowa, the GOP field is narrowing to Donald Trump's benefit once again. On this week’s On the Media, hear how Florida governor Ron DeSantis went from right-wing media darling to the party outcast. Plus, what gets lost in the blow-by-blow coverage of Trump’s legal woes. 1. Nick Nehamas [@NickNehamas], politics reporter for the New York Times, Mary Ellen Klas [@MaryEllenKlas], opinion writer at Bloomberg and former capital bureau chief for the Miami Herald, and Tom Scocca [@tomscocca], creator of the Indignity newsletter, on the rise and fall of Ron DeSantis' presidential campaign, and the lessons it offers about how to cover elections. Listen. 2. Dahlia Lithwick [<a href="https://t
27/01/202450 minutes 7 seconds
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OTM presents - Blindspot: The Plague in the Shadows

This week we're featuring the work of our colleagues at WNYC: Valerie Reyes-Jimenez called it “The Monster.” That’s how some people described HIV and AIDS in the 1980s. Valerie thinks as many as 75 people from her block on New York City’s Lower East Side died. They were succumbing to an illness that was not recognized as the same virus that was killing young, white, gay men just across town in the West Village. At the same time, in Washington, D.C., Gil Gerald, a Black LGBTQ+ activist, saw his own friends and colleagues begin to disappear, dying out of sight and largely ignored by the wider world. In our first episode of Blindspot: The Plague in the Shadows, we learn how HIV and AIDS was misunderstood from the start — and how this would shape the reactions of governments, the medical establishment and numerous communities for years to come. You can listen to more of Blindspot: The Plague in the Shadows <a href="https://link.chtbl
24/01/202435 minutes 39 seconds
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Trouble at The Baltimore Sun, and the End of an Era for Pitchfork

This year has had a rocky start for journalism. The Baltimore Sun changed hands again, and layoffs loom at the LA Times. On this week’s On the Media, hear how private investment firms broke local news. Meanwhile, nonprofit publications try to repair the damage. Plus, a music critic reflects on the job cuts at Pitchfork and the power of the album review. 1. Margot Susca [@MargotSusca], assistant professor of journalism, accountability, and democracy at American University and author of "Hedged: How Private Investment Funds Helped Destroy American Newspapers and Undermine Democracy," on the tactics used by private equity firms and hedge funds to reshape local news. Listen. 2. Milton Kent [@SportsAtLarge], professor
20/01/202450 minutes 22 seconds
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What Israeli's are seeing on TV - EXTENDED VERSION

EXTENDED VERSION; Nightmarish images of destruction in Gaza have filled the news and social media feeds for months. But within Israel, mainstream media outlets tell a very different story. This week, Micah Loewinger speaks with Oren Persico, a staff writer at The Seventh Eye, an independent investigative magazine focused on media and freedom of speech in Israel, about the Israeli media landscape in the months following October 7th, and the "dome of disconnection" it created.  This is a segment from our January 12th, 2024 show, Israeli TV News Sanitizes the Bombing of Gaza. Plus, a Plagiarism Fight Gets Political.
17/01/202429 minutes 10 seconds
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Israeli TV News Sanitizes the Bombing of Gaza. Plus, a Plagiarism Fight Gets Political

The conflict in the Middle East has already killed tens of thousands of Palestinians. On this week’s On the Media, hear how Israeli media outlets are broadcasting a sanitized version of what's happening in Gaza to the Israeli people. Plus, how one billionaire is going after the media for an article about plagiarism. 1. Oren Persico [@OrenPersico], staff writer at The Seventh Eye, an independent investigative magazine focused on freedom of speech in Israel, on how Israeli mainstream media outlets are sanitizing the destruction in Gaza. Listen. 2. Will Sommer [@willsommer], media reporter at The Washington Post, on how fights over plagiarism have become a political tool. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/ot
12/01/202450 minutes 22 seconds
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Mysteries of the Euroverse!

50 years ago ABBA won the contest for the song Waterloo.  Recently Brooke's old friend Charlie asked her to take part in a new podcast born of his love of and obsession with Eurovision, an international song contest organized annually by the European Broadcasting Union, or EBU, with reps from some 70 countries!  This week's midweek podcast is episode three of the new series "Mysteries of the Euroverse," hosted by Charlie Sohne and Magnus Riise.  <a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mysteries-of-the-euroverse/id1719849486" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mysteries-of-the-euroverse/id1719849486&amp;source=gm
10/01/202445 minutes 5 seconds
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How a Whistleblower Changed the Course of History

Daniel Ellsberg, the famed whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the Washington Post, died six months ago. On this week’s On the Media, hear about his life, how the Pentagon Papers made it to print, and the impact he had on generations of whistleblowers. Plus, the women who covered the War in Vietnam.  1. Tom Devine, legal director for the Government Accountability Project, on Daniel Ellsberg's legacy and the ways he changed public perception of whistleblowers in the U.S. Listen. 2. Les Gelb, former columnist and former Defense Department official, on his experience leading the team that wrote the Pentagon Papers, subject of the Hollywood drama, "The Post." <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/what-press-miss
05/01/202450 minutes 32 seconds
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The Reporter Who Said No to the FBI

On February 23, 1972, oral arguments began in the Supreme Court for a case that would shape the course of journalism. In the case known as “Branzburg v. Hayes,” the arguments rolled together three related cases that explored the reporter's privilege to protect confidential sources in the face of a legal investigation. The most important of these three cases was United States v. Caldwell. Earl Caldwell was a New York Times reporter who covered the civil rights movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and activities of the Black Panther Party. Caldwell was approached multiple times by the FBI to give up sources and additional details surrounding his coverage of the Black Panther Party. OTM host Micah Loewinger mined oral history interviews with Earl Caldwell and spoke with Lee Levine, an attorney and media law expert who is writing a book about Ea
03/01/202420 minutes 37 seconds
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What a Year

And just like that, the year is coming to a close. On this episode of On the Media, hear about the challenges that await journalists in the upcoming election in 2024. Plus, what reporters uncovered about our courts this year. And, a look back at one of the deadliest years for journalists in recent memory, in large part due to the Israel-Hamas war. With excerpts from: Inside CNN's Turbulent Year E. Jean Carroll and the Progress of #MeToo The Press Is Still Failing to Responsibly Cover the GOP and Trump <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/what-media-coverage-trump-movement-missing
29/12/202352 minutes 8 seconds
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Where Did 'White Jesus' Come From?

During this holiday season, you likely encountered public nativity scenes depicting the birth of Jesus, presenting the family with very rare exceptions as white. And the same can be said of his ubiquitous adult portrait –– with fair skin and hair a radiant gold, eyes fixed on the middle distance. In this segment from 2020, Eloise talks to Mbiyu Chui, pastor at the Shrine of the Black Madonna in Detroit, about unlearning Jesus's whiteness. She also hears from Edward Blum, author of The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America, about how the image came dominate in the U.S., and psychologist Sim
27/12/202318 minutes 57 seconds
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The Rise of 'News Avoiders,' and a Stand-Up Comedy Scandal

In the run up to the 2024 election, polls are frontpage news. On this week’s On the Media, a guide on which polls to pay attention to, and how to interpret them. Plus, hear about a growing segment of the population: news avoiders. What they can teach us, and what they're missing out on. And, a look at changing expectations of truth in comedy — from Lenny Bruce to Hasan Minhaj. 1. Ruth Igielnik [@RuthIgielnik] on the limitations of polls, and the insights we can draw from them leading up to the 2024 election cycle. Listen. 2. Benjamin Toff [@BenjaminToff] on the rise of news avoiders, and what they're missing. Listen.</spa
22/12/202351 minutes 47 seconds
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Who Cares About Literary Prizes?

This holiday season, book store displays — and Christmas stockings — will be filled with novels minted with gold and silver medals. Those gilded stamps denote recognition by literary prizes like the National Book Award, which was announced just last month. Alexander Manshel is the author of Writing Backwards: Historical Fiction and the Reshaping of the American Canon. With Melanie Walsh, he recently wrote a piece about how literary prizes have changed over the past few decades, leading to the recognition of more authors of color, for one. This week, Brooke as
20/12/202318 minutes 6 seconds
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Climate Delay-ism and the Real Goals of the Book Banning Movement

An unprecedented deal on transitioning away from fossil fuels was struck at the United Nations’ COP 28 summit, but many scientists say the timeline is too slow. On this week’s On the Media, hear how climate denialism is being replaced by the increasingly popular climate delayism. Plus, a pulse check on the book-banning movement. 1. Tim McDonnell [@timmcdonnell], energy and climate editor for Semafor, and Michael Mann [@MichaelEMann], climate scientist and geophysicist at the University of Pennsylvania, on the deal made at COP 28, and how climate denialism has turned to "delayism." Listen. 2. Adam Laats [@AdamLaats], prof
15/12/202350 minutes 52 seconds
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Celebrating Norman Lear

Norman lear the veteran writer and producer behind such hit TV shows as All in the Family and The Jeffersons, died last week at the age of 101. Back in 2015, Anna Sale, host of the podcast Death, Sex and Money interviewed Lear at his luxury apartment in Manhattan. He told Anna he wanted to make sure his kids would never be "desperate for a dollar" — but what "desperate" meant has fluctuated along the way. "I guess now it’s 60 billion," he deadpanned, adding, "That’s a joke."  Lear's own childhood had a degree of desperation: When Lear was nine, his father, Herman, was sent to jail for selling fake bonds. Lear's mother scrambled to make ends meet. "My mother tried to warn him," he said. "But nobody ever told Herman anything." When his father returned from prison three years later, tensions remained high. "I used to sit at the kitchen table and I would score th
13/12/202320 minutes 51 seconds
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How Media Fueled a Shoplifting Panic, and an AI-Journalism Experiment Gone Wrong

This holiday season, media outlets across the country are raising the alarm about an apparent crisis in retail crime. On this week’s On the Media, how the data about shoplifting don’t back up the alarmist coverage. Plus, the cost and consequences of media outlets turning to AI to generate stories. 1. Daphne Howland [@daphnehowland], senior reporter at Retail Dive, traces how one baseless data point about retail crime spread unquestioned in media. Listen. 2. Nicole Lewis, engagement editor at The Marshall Project, digs into the data that supposedly proves a shoplifting crisis. <a href="http
09/12/202350 minutes 25 seconds
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Happy One Year Anniversary Since George Santos Became a Thing!

This month marks the anniversary of when most of us first heard about George Santos and his ever-expanding list of lies from a New York Times report published after the midterm election, but a local newspaper called the North Shore Leader was sounding the alarm months before. The New Yorker staff writer Clare Malone took a trip to Long Island to speak with the Leader’s publisher, Grant Lally, and its managing editor, Maureen Daly, to find out how the story began. “We heard story after story after story about him doing bizarre things,” Lally told her. “He was so well known, at least in the more active political circles, to
06/12/202321 minutes 24 seconds
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Word Watch: “Genocide,” and Do We Have to Care About OpenAI?

After a seven-day ceasefire, fighting has resumed in Gaza. On this week’s On the Media, how the word “genocide” entered discussions of the Israel-Hamas conflict, and the legal implications of the term. Plus, why boardroom drama at the tech company OpenAI received so much media coverage. 1. Ernesto Verdeja [@ErnestoVerdeja], executive director of the Institute For The Study of Genocide at the University of Notre Dame, on the debate and legal implications surrounding the charge of "genocide." Listen.  2. Max Read [@readmaxread], journalist and writer of the "Read Max" newsletter, on why internal theatrics at OpenAI's made so many headlines. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/why-headlines-about-sam-
01/12/202350 minutes 53 seconds
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Media Coverage of the Trump Movement is Missing Vital Context

In his Veteran’s day speech a couple of weeks ago former President Donald Trump said this about his political enemies; TRUMP: the threat from outside forces is far less sinister, dangerous and grave than the threat from within. We pledge to you that we will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country.  Jeff Sharlet, author of The Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War, argues that Trump's narratives of martyrdom, a persecuted in-group, a mysterious out-group, and a rhetoric of violence are all hallmarks of fascism. Brooke spoke with Sharlet in June about what the rhetoric, aesthetics, and myth-making of Trump and the movement he rode to power can tell us about a rising fascist movement in the United States, and why Sharlet argues we'r
29/11/202319 minutes 35 seconds
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Is the New York Times a Tech Company Now?

This year has seen record layoffs in the media industry, with some digital news giants closing down altogether. On this week’s On the Media, hear how The New York Times became a profitable powerhouse at a time when other outlets are struggling to survive. Plus, instead of reaching for top profits, some new publications have opted for a humbler mission: survival. 1. Ben Smith [@semaforben], editor-in-chief and co-founder of Semafor, on what went wrong for BuzzFeed News, and why digital media is splintering. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org
24/11/202350 minutes 35 seconds
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The Hasan Minhaj Saga and Evolving Expectations of Truth in Comedy

In September, The New Yorker published an article by Clare Malone titled “Hasan Minhaj’s Emotional Truths,” fact-checking moments from the comedian’s stand up specials. The article reportedly cost Minhaj the hosting gig for The Daily Show, and Minhaj posted a lengthy Youtube video responding to its claims. The New Yorker has stood behind its story, even after Minhaj called it misleading. The scandal, which has been covered by almost every major news outlet, brings into question what audiences expect from comedians — especially ones who do Jon-Stewart-style political commentary. This week, Brooke speaks to Jesse David Fox, author of <a href="https://bookshop.org/p/books/comedy-book-th
22/11/202320 minutes 11 seconds
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TikTok In the Crosshairs... Again. And Saying Goodbye to Jezebel

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17/11/202350 minutes 31 seconds
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FTC chair Lina Khan is Kicking A** and Taking Names

As we've discussed on the show at length, most recently with Cory Doctorow in our series The Enshittification of Everything, Amazon has slowly been inserting itself into seemingly every facet of our lives. All the while using its status as a monopoly in the market to squash competition, take advantage of its users and skew prices for everyone. At the end of our series Doctorow described how he has hope in among other people, Lina Khan, the chair of the Federal Trade Commission.  Says Khan; “Amazon has actually quietly been hiking prices for consumers in ways that are not always clearly visible but at the end of the day can result in consumers paying billions of dollars more than they would if there was actually competition in the market.”  In this midweek episode, we are airing a conversation our colleague and host of the <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/
15/11/202319 minutes 19 seconds
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Trump Coverage is Still Terrible. Plus, Podcasting’s First Boom and Bust

Donald Trump was out of sight at the GOP presidential primary debate – but definitely not out of mind. On this week’s On the Media, a look at how the press is covering the former president and his threats against democracy. Plus, a deep dive into the meteoric rise and stumble of the podcast industry.  1. Dan Froomkin [@froomkin], editor of presswatchers.org, on how the press is failing the public in covering Donald Trump in this moment. Listen. 2. OTM Producer Molly Rosen [@mollyfication] with Kevin Marks [@kevinmarks], a software engineer who wrote the first script that downloaded "audio blogs" onto iTunes, and Rob Walch, VP of Podc
10/11/202351 minutes 46 seconds
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Making Television After #MeToo

Last week on the show, Brooke spoke to two writers about new wrinkles in the now 6-year-old #MeToo movement. But we had one additional interview that we wanted to share. In this midweek podcast extra, Brooke sits down with Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post television critic, to discuss three phases of TV post-#MeToo. Plus, Loofbourow explains how series like "Fleabag," "The Morning Show," and "Unbelievable" have internalized lessons from the movement, and what we can expect going forward.
08/11/202316 minutes 3 seconds
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Warring Narratives in the Israel-Gaza Conflict and a New #MeToo Movement

Israel began a ground operation in Gaza as a conflict that’s already left thousands dead continues to escalate. On this week’s On the Media, reflections on the unique difficulty of covering this war. Plus, six years after explosive allegations against Harvey Weinstein helped launch a movement, how MeToo lives on in the media. 1. David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, on striving to balance perceptions and narratives, and the challenges posed to a reporter covering the Israel-Hamas war. Listen. 2. Vickie Wang [@VickieDeTaiwan] is an interpreter, writer, and stand-up comic, on how one television show sparked a movement in Taiwan. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/netflix-show-sparked-tai
03/11/202352 minutes 26 seconds
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The Evolution of Opinions Online and "Statementese"

There's been no shortage of opinions across the globe as the Israel-Hamas conflict rages on. But stateside, there's also been an abundance of statements: from individuals, brands, and even colleges and universities. That isn't uncommon in the social-media age, but do all those words actually tell us something? In this midweek podcast extra, Brooke sits down with Sam Adler-Bell, writer and co-host of the podcast “Know Your Enemy,” to talk about the phenomena of "statementese," when we started expecting comments from institutions, and the potential downside of thinking that Instagram posts are all we can do.
31/10/202316 minutes 45 seconds
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Breaking News Consumer's Handbook: Israel/Gaza Edition

Experts say disinformation around the Israel-Hamas war is running rampant. On this week’s On the Media, a guide to understanding your feed in the midst of armed conflict. Plus, a deep dive into Saudi Arabia’s rebranding experiment. 1. Mike Caulfield [@uwcip], a research scientist at the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, Aric Toler [@AricToler], a reporter at the visual investigations team at the New York Times, and Shayan Sadarizadeh [@Shayan86], a journalist at BBC Monitoring and BBC Verify, on how to navigate your social media feed in the midst of the war in Israel and Gaza. Listen.  2. OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger [<a href="https:
27/10/202350 minutes 52 seconds
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How Right Wing Media Created The House Speaker Fiasco

It's been over 20 days since the United States has had a Speaker of the House. Republican Kevin McCarthy was ousted by the right flank of his party earlier this month, and the tumultuous race for a new Speaker has revealed deep divisions in the Republican party. On Tuesday morning, House Republicans selected Tom Emmer, the majority whip from Minnesota, as their next man up. He's the third nominee the GOP has offered up in the past three weeks, after Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan each failed to secure enough Republican votes to win on the House floor. And with conflict brewing in the Middle East and government shutdown looming on the horizon, House Republicans have left Congress in paralysis with their inability to elect a speaker.  For the midweek podcast, OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger speaks with Brian Rosenwald, a Scholar in Residence
25/10/202323 minutes 52 seconds
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The Fog of War, and the Deadly Toll of Reporting from Gaza and Israel

More than twenty journalists have been killed during the recent Israel-Hamas conflict. On this week’s On the Media, hear about the deadly challenges facing reporters on the ground. Plus, why comparisons of the Hamas attack on October 7th to September 11th serve as a warning for the geopolitical fallout that may lie ahead. 1. OTM host Brooke Gladstone [@OTMBrooke] on the worsening fog of war surrounding Israel and Palestine, and the confusion and disinformation in the coverage of the conflict. Listen. 2. OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] and Sherif Mansour, the Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, on the sharp rise in cases of violence against reporters in Gaz
20/10/202351 minutes 35 seconds
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What Comparisons to 9/11 Tell Us about the Israel-Hamas Conflict

This week, amid the deluge of coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict following Hamas’ surprise attack on October 7th, a certain historical analogy kept coming up: "this is Israel's 9/11." The analogy has been widely repeated, by officials abroad and stateside.For some invoking 9/11 explains Israel's retaliation. For others, the analogy is a warning, a reminder of the still unfolding violence and death that the American response wrought around the globe. This week, Brooke sits down with David Klion, contributing editor at Jewish Currents, who
18/10/202315 minutes 41 seconds
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We Don't Talk About Leonard: Episode 3

In the third episode of "We Don't Talk About Leonard," Leonard Leo is in Maine, a man in his castle, at the height of his powers. He has helped remake the American judicial system, and now he has a plan to do the same for society and politics — to make a Federalist Society for everything. ProPublica reporters Andrea Bernstein, Andy Kroll, and Ilya Marritz drill even further into the fight to gain influence over state courts, and reveal what Leo and his allies are planning for the future. 1. Big money starts pouring into state Supreme Court races in Wisconsin and across the country. Listen. 2. Leonard Leo takes over a network of conservatives trying to shape American culture. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/we-dont-t
13/10/202350 minutes 52 seconds
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How Elon Musk's X Failed During the Israel-Hamas Conflict

This week, Bloomberg reported that social media posts about the Israel-Hamas conflict have led to a sticky cesspool of confusion and conflict on Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter. On Saturday, just hours after Hamas fighters from Gaza surged into Israel, unverified photos and videos of missile air strikes, buildings and homes being destroyed and other posts depicting military violence — in Israel and Gaza — crowded the platform. But some of the horror, not all of course, were old images passed off as new. Some of this content was posted by anonymous accounts that carried blue checkmarks, which signals that they had purchased verification under X’s “premium” subscription service. Some military footage circulating on X were drawn from video games, and some of the
12/10/202316 minutes 52 seconds
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We Don't Talk About Leonard: Episode 2

Leonard Leo realized that in order to generate conservative rulings, the Supreme Court needs the right kind of cases. In this episode of “We Don’t Talk About Leonard,” ProPublica reporters Andrea Bernstein, Andy Kroll, and Ilya Marritz investigate the machine that Leonard Leo built across the country to bring cases to the Supreme Court and fill vacant judgeships, and the web of nonprofits he’s created through which to funnel dark money into judicial races. 1. The rise of a conservative lawyer through the ranks demonstrates the growing importance of state solicitors general. Listen. 2. Leonard Leo cultivates wealthy donors, and a fishing trip sets off a Supreme Court ethics scandal. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/we-dont-talk-about-leonard-e
06/10/202350 minutes 30 seconds
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Why You Should Pay Attention to Trump's Civil Fraud Case

Donald Trump is in court this week in New York City, again, for a multimillion dollar civil fraud trial. He, his sons, and the Trump organization have been accused of using false financial statements and inflating their net worth by billions. In addition to this case, Trump is facing four criminal indictments: the January 6th insurrection case in DC, the Stormy Daniels hush money case in New York, the classified documents case in Florida, and the political interference case in Georgia. It’s a lot to keep track of, but this civil trial is worth one's attention. If NY State Attorney General Letitia James succeeds, Trump could lose control of his businesses and his most valuable assets, like Trump Tower — along with whatever’s left of the public image he spent decades constructing on television and in the press. Russ Buettner is a reporter on the New York Times Investigation Desk, the team that hunted down Trump’s
04/10/202320 minutes
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We Don't Talk About Leonard: Episode 1

In this first episode of our new miniseries, We Don't Talk About Leonard, ProPublica reporters Andrea Bernstein, Andy Kroll, and Ilya Marritz investigate the background of the man who has played a critical role in the conservative takeover of America's courts — Leonard Leo. From his humble roots in middle class New Jersey, to a mansion in Maine where last year he hosted a fabulous party on the eve of the Supreme Court decision to tank “Roe.” 1. The night before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Leonard Leo threw a lavish party at his house in Maine. Listen. 2. Leonard Leo's journey from a high-schooler with the nickname "Moneybags Kid" to a high-ranking member of the Federalist Society. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/se
29/09/202350 minutes 40 seconds
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The Story Behind Gannett's AI Debacle

In late August, Gannett, the country’s largest newspaper company, rolled out a new artificial intelligence service that promised to automate high school sports coverage across the country. And within a matter of days it had gone horribly wrong. People on Twitter quickly discovered that bizarre phrases like “close encounters of the athletic kind,” or how one team “took victory away” from another, had shown up on Gannett news sites in Florida, Indiana, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. As Scott Simon explained on NPR, in some of these AI articles there were robotic place holders where there should’ve been a mascot’s name. Jay Allred is the CEO of Source Media Properties, which includes Richland Source, a local news organization in Ohio, and LedeAI, the company that built the technology that Gannett was using t
27/09/202317 minutes 2 seconds
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Suing to Save the Planet, and How Climate Activism Got a Bad Rap

Thousands of protesters descended on New York as the United Nations convened its Climate Summit. On this week’s On the Media, hear how Big Oil is being taken to court for lying to the public about fossil fuels. Plus, a look at a global network of think tanks that’s been vilifying climate activism for decades.  1. Rebecca Leber [@rebleber], senior climate reporter at Vox, on why some climate activists are turning to lawsuits to make change. Listen. 2. Amy Westervelt [@amywestervelt], host and producer of the podcast Drilled, on how a network of think tanks is shaping perceptions of peaceful climate activism as dangerous and extreme. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/
23/09/202350 minutes 28 seconds
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How the Food Industry is Influencing Your TikTok Feed

  In July, the World Health Organization issues a report indicating that aspartame, an artificial sweetener used in many low calorie sodas and snacks, was "possibly carcinogenic to humans." The new statement on a widely utilized artificial sweetener led to controversy in the medical community, with the Federal Drug Administration saying they saw no concern over aspartame consumption. Some dietitians even took to social media to voice their contradicting opinions. Anahad O’Connor, a health columnist at The Washington Post, the response to the announcement on social media smelled a bit fishy. In a report released earlier this month with colleagues Caitlin Gilbert and Sasha Chavkin, O’Connor found that dozens of registered dietitians, some with more than 2 million followers each, were paid to counter the WHO’s announcemen
20/09/202314 minutes 51 seconds
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The “Too Old” President and Political Doppelgängers

The House has opened a formal impeachment inquiry into President Biden. On this week’s On the Media, find out exactly what Republicans are looking for–and why they should’ve already found it. Plus, geriatric men are the likely presidential nominees. Is there such a thing as “too old” for the job? 1. Stephen Collinson [@StCollinson], CNN senior political reporter, on the impact of a baseless impeachment inquiry on the institution of Presidential impeachments. Listen. 2. James Fallows [@JamesFallows], writer of the “Breaking the News'' newsletter
15/09/202350 minutes 24 seconds
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How 9/11 Broke Our Brains

Twenty-two years ago, two planes crashed into the Twin Towers. Another plane hit the Pentagon, and another crashed in Pennsylvania — killing nearly 3,000 people in total. The attacks became the pretense for a sprawling, ongoing war on terror that has directly and indirectly claimed some 4.5 million lives in post-9/11 war zones, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, according to a 2023 estimate from Brown University.  In his 2021 podcast, 9/12, Dan Taberski brought us the story of a documentary filmmaker named Dylan Avery, whose 2005 film Loose Change helped embolden the 9/11 Truther Movement. In this piece, OTM reporter Micah Loewinger speaks with Taberski about Loose Change, and the complicated notoriety it brought to A
11/09/202317 minutes 9 seconds
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Another Proud Boy Goes to Jail and A Media War in 1980's NYC

This week a former Proud Boys leader received the longest prison sentence for the insurrection so far. On this week’s On the Media, why conspiracy theories that the FBI planned January 6 live on. Plus, in the aftermath of a 1984 subway shooting, hear how the New York press crowned the gunman a hero.  1. Tess Owen [@misstessowen], senior reporter at Vice News, on the latest fallout from the January 6th insurrection. Listen. 2. Leon Neyfakh [@leoncrawl], host of the podcast Fiasco: Vigilante, available exclusively on Audible, on how the press covered a
08/09/202350 minutes 52 seconds
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Is "Rich Men North of Richmond" a MAGA Anthem or Nah?

In early August, Christopher Anthony Lunsford, who goes by Oliver Anthony, quietly released a song called "Rich Men North of Richmond." A week later, the folk song had rocketed to the top of the Billboard charts — a historic feat for someone with no chart history to speak of. But the ascent wasn't without controversy. The song, to some, sounded like a right-wing anthem. And it was heralded as such online by right wing pundits, and included as a part of the first question of the opening Republican presidential primary debate. But Oliver Anthony's politics, and the song's appeal, have turned out to be a little more complicated. This week, OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger sits down with Chris Molanphy, Slate’s pop-chart columnist, and author of the forthcoming book "Old Town Road," to talk about how such an unlikely song rose
07/09/202320 minutes 5 seconds
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How Big Tech Went to Sh*t

Why does every social media platform seem to get worse over time? This week’s On the Media explores an expansive theory on how we lost a better version of the internet, and the systems that insulate Big Digital from competition. Plus, some solutions for fixing the world wide web. 1. Cory Doctorow [@doctorow], journalist, activist, and the author of Red Team Blue, on his theory surrounding the slow, steady descent of the internet. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm
01/09/202350 minutes 41 seconds
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Lina Khan Is in the Hot Seat

In March 2021, when President Joe Biden announced the nomination of Lina Khan to be a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission, the decision was met with a rare kind of excitement for the otherwise sleepy agency. The excitement seemed bipartisan as 21 Republican senators voted to confirm the commissioner. Not long after, then 32-year-old Khan was promoted to chairperson of the agency, making her the youngest chair in the FTC's history. Since then the tone around Khan has changed dramatically, as Republican commissioners at the agency have pushed back against what they see as a radical agenda. Back in March, OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger spoke to Emily Birnbaum, technology and lobbying reporter for Bloomberg, about a growing anti-antitrust movement emerging in the press and in Washington,
30/08/202322 minutes 46 seconds
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Mysteries of Sound

In late 2016, American diplomats in Havana, Cuba started hearing a mysterious buzzing sound and experiencing debilitating symptoms. On this week’s On the Media, why the government now disputes theories that it was a secret Russian weapon. Plus, what the electric hum of your refrigerator and the uncanny hearing ability of pigeons reveal about the world we live in. 1. Adam Entous, staff writer at The New York Times, Jon Lee Anderson, staff writer at The New Yorker, and Robert Bartholomew, sociologist and author of Havana Syndrome: Mass Psychogenic Illness and the Real Story Behind the Embassy Mystery and Hysteria, on the investigation into the mysterious affliction that spread across the globe. Listen. 2. Jennif
25/08/202350 minutes 39 seconds
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The Wilhelm Scream

When two blockbuster movies, Barbie and Oppenheimer, premiered in U.S. theaters on the same day in July 2023, they ushered in a renewed enthusiasm for the double feature, and introduced the word "Barbenheimer" to moviegoers' vocabularies. For this midweek podcast, we’re returning to an old OTM piece by David Serchuk about a sound—more specifically, a scream—that's lived an amazingly long and storied life on the silver screen. 
23/08/20238 minutes 54 seconds
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Read All About It

This summer’s extreme heat has contributed to disasters around the world--but some of them are hard to see. On this week’s On the Media, why extreme heat is one of the most challenging climate disasters for reporters to cover. Plus, the story of how historical fiction became the unexpected darling of the literary world. 1. Jake Bittle [@jake_bittle], staff writer at Grist, on this year's scarily hot summer and the impacts of extreme heat. Listen. 2. OTM producer Eloise Blondiau [@eloiseblondiau] takes a deep dive into how historical fiction became a rich resource for reckoning with our past, feat: Alexander Manshel, assistant professor of En
18/08/202350 minutes 38 seconds
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The Lasting Impact of the Library of Alexandria

In the first half of the last school year, PEN America has recorded almost 900 different books pulled from library shelves across the country. As long as libraries have existed, people have tried to police what goes in them. The burning of the Library of Alexandria is a metaphor that gets invoked any time we lose access to a treasure trove of books. But for centuries it has also inspired scientists and inventors, philosophers and programmers to dream about creating an ideal library, one that provides access to all the knowledge in the world. OTM producer Molly Schwartz goes to a birthday part
16/08/202316 minutes 21 seconds
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Go Woke, Go Broke

When the US women’s soccer team was knocked out of the world cup, they became the latest target of a right-wing media campaign. On this week’s On the Media, the state of discourse around gender. Plus, the quality of coverage around trans rights, and how it’s changed. 1. Alex Abad-Santos [@alex_abads], senior correspondent at Vox, on the right-wing outrage against the US women's national soccer team after their elimination from the World Cup. Listen. 2. Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger], OTM correspondent, on the state of coverage of trans rights, and how it has changed since New York Times contributors wrote an open letter to the paper accusing it of biased reporting several months ago. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm
11/08/202350 minutes 38 seconds
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The Trump Case Against E. Jean Carroll and The Progress of #MeToo

This week, another legal blow for former president Donald Trump after a judge ruled to dismiss Trump's counter defamation lawsuit against E Jean Carroll for statements she made about a ruling on civil case earlier this year. Back in May, a Manhattan federal jury found that former president Donald Trump sexually abused writer E. Jean Carroll in a luxury department store dressing room in the mid 1990s, and awarded her $5 million for defamation and battery. The jurors, however, rejected Carroll's claim that she was raped. This came at the end of a seven-day trial, during which Carroll testified against Trump's claims that she was lying, and that he had never met her. The day of the verdict, Carroll strolled out of the courtroom onto the New York City sidewalk, sunglass-clad and triumphant. Rebecca Traister is a writer-at-large for New York magazine, and author of “Good and Mad: The Rev
09/08/202318 minutes 37 seconds
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Making History

This year, the Department of Defense began renaming military bases that honor the Confederacy. On this week’s On the Media, a former general explains why the reckoning with the myth of the “lost cause” is overdue. Plus, hear how Russian propaganda about the war in Ukraine has been hundreds of years in the making. 1. Ty Seidule [@Ty_Seidule], the Vice Chair of the National Commission on Base Renaming, on the military's efforts to reckon with the "Lost Cause." Listen.  2. Alexis Akwagyiram [@alexisak], Managing Editor of Semafor Africa and former Reuters bureau chief in Nigeria, on the potential widespread impact of the coup in Niger. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/pod
04/08/202350 minutes 34 seconds
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Presidential Debates: Yay or Nay?

According to a New York Times-Siena poll released this week 54 percent of republican voters said if the election were held today they would vote for Donald Trump. DeSantis trails by 37 percentage points and the others in the field are in single digits.  Despite, (or because of?) his solid lead, Trump is wavering on whether he will show his face at the first Republican presidential debate set for August 23rd. As he told Maria Bartiromo on Fox; “You’re leading people by 50 or 60 points, you say, why would you be doing a debate? It’s actually not fair. Why would you let someone who’s at zero or one or two or three be popping you with questions?” Trump’s debate snubbing is just the latest example of the GOP resistance to a longstanding political norms. refusal by Republicans to meet political norms. Last year Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Commi
02/08/202315 minutes 47 seconds
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To Catch a War Criminal

Click here to support this work. President Biden just ordered U.S. investigators to share evidence of Russian war crimes with The International Criminal Court. On this week’s On the Media, what will it take to secure justice for Ukraine? Plus, a moving look back at the early days of the conflict. 1. Mstyslav Chernov [@mstyslav9], a video journalist for the Associated Press and director, on the making of the documentary, "20 Days in Mariupol," and what footage from Ukrainian frontlines didn't make it to American newsreels. Listen.  2. Deborah Amos [@deborahamos], a veteran Middle East correspondent and this week's
28/07/202351 minutes 52 seconds
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Investigating Russia's War Crimes Against Ukrainian Children

The researchers at Yale's Humanitarian Research Lab gather in a carpeted underground bunker, beneath the campus library, to steadily gather evidence of Russia's alleged war crimes. In a report published earlier this year, in collaboration with the State Department, they presented evidence of the Russian government operating more than 40 child custody centers for Ukrainian children who have been forcibly removed from their homes to Russia. On the other hand, Russia's embassy in Washington has claimed that the children were forced to flee to safety due to the war. About a month later, on March 17, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian president Vladimir Putin, accusing him of the war crime of illegally deporting children from Ukraine. For this week's midweek podcast, we're airing a piece by our guest co-host Deborah Amos, first broadcast by <a href="http
26/07/20237 minutes 35 seconds
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Staying Alive

This year has seen record layoffs in the media industry, with some digital news giants closing down altogether. On this week’s On the Media, how did The New York Times rise to the top of the bleeding news business? Plus, instead of reaching for top profits, some new publications have opted for a humbler mission: survival. 1. Ben Smith [@semaforben], editor-in-chief and co-founder of Semafor, on what went wrong for BuzzFeed News, and why digital media is splintering. Listen. 2. OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] examines why The New York Times is expanding, and thriving, even amongst record layoffs at other media outlets. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.o
21/07/202350 minutes 52 seconds
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A. G. Sulzberger on Bias and Objectivity at The New York Times

For the big show this weekend OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger is working on a piece about the extraordinary transformation of the New York Times from a struggling newspaper into a digital behemoth. In the meantime, and as kind of background research for you guys, we’re airing a fascinating interview about the Grey Lady from our colleagues at the New Yorker Radio Hour. Host David Remnick spoke to A. G. Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times, whose family has owned the paper since 1896. Sulzberger says he wants to push back on a culture of “certitude” in journalism. “In this hyper-politicized, hyper-polarized moment, is society benefiting from every single player getting deeper and deeper, and louder and louder, about declaring their personal allegiances and loyalties and preferences?” he asks. 
18/07/202340 minutes 30 seconds
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Money, Money, Money

Over the past year, the federal reserve has raised interest rates repeatedly in its attempt to curb inflation. On this week’s On The Media, is greed to blame for our inflation woes? Plus, how a century-long PR campaign taught Americans to love the free market and loathe their own government.  1. Lydia DePillis [@lydiadepillis], economy reporter at The New York Times, on what "greedflation" actually is. Listen. 2. Naomi Oreskes [@NaomiOreskes], professor of the history of science at Harvard University and the co-author, with Erik M. Conway, of “The Big Myth: How American Business Taught Us to Loathe Government and Love the Free
14/07/202350 minutes 52 seconds
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The Decline of AM Radio Will Hurt More Than Conservative Talk Shows

This spring, Volkswagen and Mazda announced that they will be removing AM radios from their upcoming fleets of electric vehicles.Tesla, BMW, Audi, and Volvo have already gotten rid of AM radios in their electric fleet. The automakers cited engineering difficulties. AM's already crackly reception is vulnerable to even more buzz and interference when installed near an electric motor. This announcement, however, incited a burst of outrage from conservative talk radio hosts, such as Charlie Kirk, who called it an "all-out attack on AM radio," and Mark Levin, who claimed, "they finally figured out how to attack conservative talk radio."  But it isn't just conservatives lambasting the automakers' moves — a bipartisan group of lawmakers are joining forces to stop the exclusion of AM radios from these cars. In May, Senator Ed Markey and Representative Josh Gottheimer, both Democrats, helped introduce bills that would require car companies t
12/07/202317 minutes 14 seconds
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I, Robot

This year, headlines have been dominated by claims that artificial intelligence will either save humanity – or end us. On this week’s On the Media, a reckoning with the capabilities of programs like ChatGPT, and declarations that machines can think. Plus, the potential implications of handing over decision-making to computers.  1. Tina Tallon [@ttallon], assistant professor of A.I. and the Arts at the University of Florida, on the love-hate relationship with AI technology over the past 70 years, and Nitasha Tiku [@nitashatiku], tech culture reporter for The Washington Post, on what ChatGPT can actually do. Listen. 2. Geoffrey Hinton
07/07/202350 minutes 52 seconds
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Why the Supreme Court Broke Up Hollywood's Studio System

The dominance of giant streaming services like Netflix and Disney Plus has led to the current strike by television writers, who say their ubiquity has led to lower pay, shakier job security, and perhaps even worse writing. In order to understand our current media moment, historian Peter Labuza directs us to a pivotal time for the film industry, when the government successfully broke up the major studios that ruled Hollywood in the 1930s and ‘40s. Earlier this year, OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger asked Labuza about how independent film flourished in the aftermath, and the lessons that apply to media in 2023.
05/07/202314 minutes 9 seconds
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On the Trail With RFK Jr.

Almost as soon as an armed rebellion flared in Russia last week, it fizzled. On this week’s On the Media, how the brief revolt compares to military coups from history, and how it’s different. Plus, how to cover a new kind of conspiracy theory candidate, and what it might mean for the country. 1. Naunihal Singh [@naunihalpublic], author of "Seizing Power: The Strategic Logic of Military Coups," on the brief rebellion in Russia, and how paying attention to the narratives in the aftermath of the mutiny is equally as important as the mutiny itself. Listen. 2. Anna Merlan [@annamerlan], author of "Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power," on the mistake the media have made in covering RFK Jr. <a href="https://www.wnycs
30/06/202350 minutes 52 seconds
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Trump Caught On Tape Talking About Classified Documents

On Monday, CNN aired a bombshell recording in the classified documents case against former president Donald Trump. The recording, released to CNN by the special counsel working on the Department of Justice’s indictment of Trump, is reportedly of a 2021 meeting in Bedminster, New Jersey, where Trump discussed and seemingly showed secret documents to a group of onlookers. It was just the latest revelation in the government's case against the former president. Classified documents that belonged to former high-level government officials, including but not limited to former President Trump, former Vice President Penc
28/06/202315 minutes 17 seconds
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The Whistleblower Who Changed History

Daniel Ellsberg, the famed whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the Washington Post, has died. On this week’s On the Media, hear about his life, how the Pentagon Papers made it to print, and the impact he had on generations of whistleblowers. Plus, the women who covered the War in Vietnam.   1. Tom Devine, legal director for the Government Accountability Project, on Daniel Ellsberg's legacy and the ways he changed public perception of whistleblowers in the U.S. Listen. 2. Les Gelb, former columnist and former Defense Department official, on his experience leading the team that wrote the Pentagon Papers, subject of the Hollywood drama, "The Post." <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/what-press-
23/06/202350 minutes 32 seconds
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The Battle to Save Reddit

Last Monday, Reddit moderators from nearly 9,000 subreddits shut down their forums in what might be the largest moderator-coordinated social media protest in internet history. They're battling against Reddit CEO Steve Huffman's decision to start charging for access to the platform's software framework, or API, in an attempt to spin a profit, woo investors, and eventually IPO in the second half of 2023. Although the blackout began to die down within 48 hours of its inception, over 3,000 subreddits, such as those with over 30 million followers each like r/funny, r/gaming, and r/music are still dark to this day. On this week's podcast extra, OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger speaks with Jason Koebler, the editor-in-chief at Motherboard, Vice’s tech section, to discuss the intricacies of the protest and why he dubbed it "a battle for the soul of the human internet.”
21/06/202329 minutes 3 seconds
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Indicted (again)

On Tuesday, former president Trump was arraigned following his federal indictment. On this week’s On the Media, debunking claims that the former president is being targeted for his politics. Plus, one reporter’s cross-country examination of fascism in the United States. 1. Eric Levitz, [@EricLevitz], features writer covering politics and economics for New York Magazine, on the political narratives around Trump's federal indictment. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/politics-indicting-trump-on-the-me
16/06/202350 minutes 12 seconds
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Understanding "Greedflation"

In late 2021, Isabella Weber, an economist at University of Massachusetts, Amherst published a paper with a new idea. The theory, what she called "seller's inflation," sought to address the confounding fact that the economy was seeing rising high prices and skyrocketing corporate profits. The idea quickly moved from the halls of academia to the political arena. And quicker still, it was dismissed—at one point called a "conspiracy theory." But now, in 2023, "greedflation" is popping up across headlines. This week, OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger sits down with Lydia DePillis, a reporter on the business desk at The New York Times, to talk about her 2022 article dissecting the arguments for and against greedflation’s impact on the e
14/06/202318 minutes 27 seconds
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CNN’s No Good, Very Bad Year

CNN recently ousted CEO Chris Licht after a bombshell profile brought up questions about CNN’s editorial direction. On this week’s On the Media, what the turmoil at CNN can teach us about how to cover politicians who continually lie on air. Plus, a deep dive into newspaper archives reveals that we’ve been having the same debates for over a century.  1. Brian Stelter [@brianstelter], former anchor of CNN's now-discontinued Reliable Sources, on the origins of CNN's tumultuous year and the ongoing fallout inside the network. Listen. 2. Jay Rosen [@jayrosen_nyu], a press critic and professor of journalism at New York University, on CNN's dilemma of trying to both interview GOP candidates and pursue accuracy, and how networks should learn how to cover Trump in 2
09/06/202350 minutes 32 seconds
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TAYLOR SWIFT TICKETS!

On January 24, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Ticketmaster. The hearing followed in the aftermath Taylor Swift's "Eras Tour" tickets going on sale last November, a debacle during which Ticketmaster broke down during the presale, leaving millions of fans without tickets. Senators convened to hear testimony from a top Live Nation executive (Ticketmaster’s parent company), competitors in ticketing and concert promotion, antitrust experts, and a musician. The hearing represented a step toward a potential antitrust case against Live Nation and Ticketmaster, which merged in 2010.  Moe Tkacik and Krista Brown are researchers at the American Economic Liberties Project, a left-leaning think tank which is part of a consortium that is pushing
07/06/202314 minutes 8 seconds
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Objection!

This week, the White House agreed to restart student loan payments to broker the debt ceiling deal. On the latest On the Media, hear how a prominent lawsuit against Biden’s student debt relief plan falls apart under scrutiny. Plus, a look at ways journalists have faltered in covering the Supreme Court.  1. Eleni Schirmer [@EleniSchirmer], writer and research associate with the Future of Finance Initiative at UCLA's Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy, on the legal battle being waged against relieving student debt. Listen. 2. Dahlia Lithwick [@Dahlialithwick], lawyer and writer at Slate, on how we cover the Supreme Court
02/06/202350 minutes 37 seconds
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Leaving the Extreme Right, and a Marriage, Behind

Last week, Tasha Adams watched her ex-husband, Stewart Rhodes, get sentenced to 18 years in prison for seditious conspiracy. Rhodes both founded and led the Oath Keepers, a far-right anti-government militia group that marched on the Capitol during the January 6th insurrection. Earlier the same week, Adams also finalized her divorce proceedings against Rhodes — ending over twenty years of a marriage that culminated in abuse and isolation. In our last episode, OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger and Anna Sale, host of Death, Sex &amp; Money, traveled to Montana to speak to Adams about her marriage with Rhodes. Now we're giving you an extended look at that conversation through <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/deathsexmoney/episodes/leaving-extreme-ri
31/05/202350 minutes 12 seconds
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Seditious Conspiracy

On Thursday May 25, founder of the Oath Keepers Stewart Rhodes was sentenced to 18 years in prison for his role in the January 6th attack on the Capitol. On this week’s On the Media, hear how OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger’s reporting became evidence in a federal trial. Plus, what can history tell us about when journalists are called to testify. 1. OTM reporter Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] speaks with senior editor of Lawfare, Roger Parloff [@rparloff], about becoming a federal witness in the trial of Oath Keeper Stewart Rhodes. Listen. 2. Micah talks to Lee Levine, first amendment lawyer, about the case of civil rights reporter Earl Caldwell and the impact it continues to have on jo
26/05/202352 minutes 10 seconds
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Ben Smith on the Death of BuzzFeed News

On April 20, 2023, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced that BuzzFeed would be closing down its newsroom and laying off 15 percent of its staff. The news came amidst a deluge of headlines about struggles in the media industry, including: layoffs at NBC, Vox, NPR, Spotify, Insider, News Corp, ABC, and Gannett; the closure of MTV news; bankruptcy at Vice. But the end of BuzzFeed News in particular symbolized the end of an era. BuzzFeed's rapid rise and success in the late aughts and 2010s helped define the style and format of digital media. In 2013, BuzzFeed was getting 130 million unique viewers a month. Disney made an offer to buy BuzzFeed for half a billion dollars that same year, which Peretti turned down. In 2016, BuzzFeed was valued at $1.7 billion. And then, last fiscal quarter, BuzzFeed reported $106 million in net losses. In this conversation, Brooke talks with Ben Smith, the Editor-i
24/05/202320 minutes 53 seconds
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REGULATE ME

This week, the CEO of OpenAI testified at a senate hearing about the dangers of artificial intelligence and called for its regulation. On this week’s On the Media, how long-term fears about AI are shaping perceptions of the technology today, and steps Congress could take to fix problems with internet platforms. Plus, debunking myths about the writers’ strike. 1. Will Oremus [@WillOremus], technology and the digital world reporter for The Washington Post, on the fears and hopes circulating around AI in Congress and Silicon Valley. Listen. 2. Emily St. James [@emilystjams], TV critic turned TV wr
20/05/202350 minutes 44 seconds
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Debunking Myths About the Writers' Strike

On Tuesday we entered the third week of one of the largest entertainment strikes in recent memory, the first TV writer's strike since 2007. More than 11,000 people are participating in the action by the Writers Guild of America, resulting in shows like The Tonight Show and Last Week Tonight going dark.  At the heart of the strike are concerns about the changes streamers like Netflix have presented for writer pay and career development. For one, the streamers don’t pay writers residuals, the cut of money they would traditionally get every time their show was rerun on television. Now writers are more likely to be paid for the number of days they work on any given show. But while writer's fight for a new contract some old myths are resurfacing about the strike's impact, including the idea that when writers stopped working in 2007, there was an explosion of reality tv shows. For this week's podcast extra, Brooke speaks wit
17/05/202320 minutes 5 seconds
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Her Day in Court

This week, E. Jean Carroll was awarded 5 million dollars in damages in a trial that found Donald J. Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation. Shortly after, Trump mocked Carroll in a town hall on CNN. On this week’s On the Media, hear what Carroll’s case, and its coverage, tells us about the progress of the Me Too Movement. Plus, how Big Tech has made the internet harder to use. 1. Our host Brooke Gladstone [@OTMBrooke] on what the CNN town hall actually revealed. Listen. 2. Rebecca Traister [@rtraister], writer-at-large for New York Magazine, and author of Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger, on what E. Jean Carroll's case can tell us about the #M
12/05/202351 minutes 49 seconds
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Episode 5 - The Divided Dial

If you discovered this series through Apple podcasts, or because you heard that we won a Peabody Award for our work; WELCOME! For our longtime listeners who have heard these episodes before, your weekly dose of On the Media will be available as ever, on Friday afternoon. Enjoy!   Episode 5: There's Something About Radio Highly politicized, partisan companies like Salem have a hold on the airwaves — and they don’t plan to give it up. Senior Vice President of Salem, Phil Boyce speaks candidly to Katie about the personalities he handpicked to spread Salem’s message and about the company’s plans to expand into the media world off the airwaves. And in this final episode of the series we ask the perennial question: peddling election denialism seems to be a solid business model — but is it legal?    The Divided Dial is hosted by journalist and Fulbright Fellow Katie Thornton. Her
11/05/202348 minutes 29 seconds
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Episode 4 - The Divided Dial

If you discovered this series through Apple podcasts, or because you heard that we won a Peabody Award for our work; WELCOME! For our longtime listeners who have heard these episodes before, your weekly dose of On the Media will be available as ever, on Friday afternoon. Enjoy!     Episode 4: From The Extreme to The Mainstream In the 1970s, talk radio was hitting its stride, with hosts and listeners from all political persuasions. But the radio dial was about to change forever. Community needs assessments, requirements to offer public service programs and multiple perspectives, and limits on how many stations a single company could own were all eradicated. Technological and legal changes would consolidate the radio industry exponentially, allowing conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh to take over the airwaves.
09/05/202336 minutes 17 seconds
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Episode 3 - The Divided Dial

If you discovered this series through Apple podcasts, or because you heard that we won a Peabody Award for our work; WELCOME! For our longtime listeners who have heard these episodes before, your weekly dose of On the Media will be available as ever, on Friday afternoon. Enjoy!   Episode 3: The Liberal Bias Boogeyman How did the right get their vice grip of the airwaves, all the while arguing that they were being silenced and censored by a liberal media? In this episode we look at the early history of American radio to reveal that censorship of far-right and progressive voices alike was once common on radio. And we learn how, in the post-war and Civil Rights period, the US government encouraged mo
08/05/202332 minutes 8 seconds
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Episode 2 - The Divided Dial

If you discovered this series through Apple podcasts, or because you heard that we won a Peabody Award for our work; WELCOME! For our longtime listeners who have heard these episodes before, your weekly dose of On the Media will be available as ever, on Friday afternoon. Enjoy!   Episode 2: From Pulpit to Politics How did the little-known Salem Media Group come to have an outsized political influence? In this episode we trace the company’s rise to power from its scrappy start in the 1970s to the present day — a growth that paralleled and eventually became inextricable from the growth of the Religious Right. We learn that Salem is tightly networked with right wing political strategists, pollsters, big donors, far right leaders and Republican party mainstays thanks to their involvement with the Council for National Policy — a secretive group of Evangelical and conservative leaders
07/05/202332 minutes 52 seconds
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Episode 1 - The Divided Dial

If you discovered this series through Apple podcasts, or because you heard that we won a Peabody Award for our work; WELCOME! For our longtime listeners who have heard these episodes before, your weekly dose of On the Media will be available as ever, on Friday afternoon. Enjoy!   Episode 1: The True Believers In 2016, Christian talk radio host Eric Metaxas begrudgingly encouraged his listeners to vote for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. By 2020, he pledged his life to fighting the “stolen election” while talking with Trump on the air. Ahead of the midterm elections, Metaxas and many of his fellow talk radio hosts made sure the falsehood of massive 2020 election fraud was top of mind — on the airwaves and beyond. And while election-denying candidates didn't do as well as many on the right had hoped, at least 170 such candidates have been elected to state and national offices, some of
06/05/202329 minutes 5 seconds
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Once Upon A Dream

Two decades have passed since George W. Bush gave his “Mission Accomplished” speech about the U.S. invasion of Iraq. On this week’s On the Media, hear how Iraqi journalists have fought to tell their stories over the last twenty years. Plus, what coverage of the Disney v. Florida lawsuits is missing, and a theory to account for the internet’s creeping demise. 1. Mark Joseph Stern [@mjs_DC], a senior writer covering courts and the law for Slate, on Disney taking Ron DeSantis to court. Listen. 2. OTM producer Suzanne Gaber [@SuzanneGaber] takes a closer look the troubles and triumphs of Iraqi journalism, twenty years after George W. Bush delivered his famous “Mission Accomplished” speech. <a href="https://www.wnyc
05/05/202350 minutes 45 seconds
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The Day Saddam Hussein’s Statue Came Down

On April 9, 2003, a US marine battalion rolled triumphantly into Firdos Square, in the center of Baghdad, two and a half weeks after the US invasion of Iraq began. Hours later, the marines toppled a statue of Saddam Hussein, amongst what seemed like a roaring, jubilant crowd of Iraqis. It became, perhaps, the most televised image of the Iraq War — and it seared itself into the minds of its viewers. Twenty years later, that image is still circulated, and sometimes celebrated. Peter Maass, then a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, stood at the edge of Firdos Square that day. What he witnessed, was vastly different from what viewers were seeing on their television screens across the world. Years later, Maass reconstructed the chain of events that led to the toppling to see what went wrong. For this week's podcast extra, he speaks with Brooke about how the media su
03/05/202324 minutes 31 seconds
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Boom!

In late 2016, American diplomats in Havana, Cuba started hearing a mysterious buzzing sound, followed by debilitating symptoms. On this week’s On the Media, why the government now disputes theories that it was a secret Russian weapon. Plus, what the electric hum of your refrigerator and the uncanny hearing ability of pigeons reveal about the world we live in. 1. Adam Entous, staff writer at The New York Times, Jon Lee Anderson, staff writer at The New Yorker, and Robert Bartholomew, sociologist and author of Havana Syndrome: Mass Psychogenic Illness and the Real Story Behind the Embassy Mystery and Hysteria, on the investigation into the mysterious affliction that spread across the globe. Listen. 2. Jennifer Munso
29/04/202350 minutes 38 seconds
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Meet the Redstones, the Complicated Family Behind a Media Empire

The Redstone family controls Paramount Global, formerly known as ViacomCBS, Inc., — one of the biggest entertainment companies out there. (Think CBS entertainment, MTV, Nickelodeon.) The family is also one of the inspirations for HBO's Succession, which makes sense the more you get to know them. Sure, Rupert Murdoch plays his kids off each other and broke up with one wife on email. But Sumner Redstone, who died at 97 in 2020, had a love life that shook his media empire to its core, never mind the tabloids. This week, Brooke speaks to Rachel Abrams, a senior producer and reporter for The New York Times Presents, and the co-author with James B. Stewart of Unscripted:​​ The Epic Battle for a Media Empire and the Redstone Family Legacy.   
25/04/202317 minutes 23 seconds
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Rupert. Logan. Clarence.

Fox News settled with Dominion Voting Systems for over 780 million dollars on Tuesday. On this week’s On the Media, the impact media moguls, and their families, have had on our culture at large. Plus, the bigger lessons we can learn about money and free speech from the revelations surrounding Clarence Thomas. 1. Jim Rutenberg [@jimrutenberg], writer-at-large for the New York Times and its Sunday magazine, on the Dominion lawsuit settlement and what's next for Fox News. Listen. 2. Robert Thompson, professor of television, radio, and film at Syracuse University, on the impact of the Murdoch family and their media empire, and what can be learned about their real-life power from the fictional tv show. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/real-life-
21/04/202350 minutes 43 seconds
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The Life and Times of the FDA

Earlier this month, a Texas judge issued a contentious decision about a drug named Mifepristone, widely used as an abortion pill and a medication to aid treatment of people who suffer miscarriages. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump-appointee with documented anti-abortion views, ruled to suspend use of the drug across the entire country, saying that the Food and Drug Administration didn't properly vet the drug when it was cleared for market over twenty years ago.  The FDA has spent quite a bit of time in the national limelight the past few years, largely due to the pandemic. But despite its occupation of headlines, the FDA’s history–and at times contentious relationship with the government that created it–aren’t always as widely covered. This week, Brooke sits down with Daniel Carpenter, the Allie S. Freed Professor of Government at Harvard University and author of the book,
19/04/202326 minutes 5 seconds
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Inside Russia’s Crackdown on Journalists

For the first time since the Cold War, an American reporter has been charged with espionage in Russia. On this week’s On the Media, hear about one journalist who stayed to cover Putin’s invasion, and from one who left. Plus, a look at why NPR has sworn off Twitter for good, and how it will affect people who get their news from the app. 1. OTM producer Molly Schwartz [@mollyfication], takes a deep dive into the imprisonment of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, and the challenges of reporting on the ground in Russia right now. Listen. 2. Nikita Kondratyev, reporter for Novaya Gazeta Europe, on leaving Russia and covering Putin's invasion in exile. <spa
14/04/202350 minutes 41 seconds
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How (Not) to Cover Trump’s Indictment

Donald Trump is the first ever president to be charged with criminal activity. And leading up to his arraignment, cable news has dug in, breathlessly tracing his every movement — his jet touching down in LaGuardia, his short journey from Trump Tower to the courthouse, and even his expressions and body language inside the courtroom. TV news hosts left no detail unturned, offering up 24/7, wall-to-wall coverage. According to Alex Shephard, staff writer at The New Republic, the coverage saw media outlets stumbling back into some of its "worst habits." In this week's podcast, Shephard tells Brooke about what reporters missed about the indictment.
11/04/202321 minutes 40 seconds
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Made In America

Today, more than 37 million Americans live in poverty. The problem has been addressed countless times since the nation’s founding, but it persists, and for the poorest among us, it gets worse. America has not been able to find its way to a sustainable solution, because most of its citizens see the problem of poverty from a distance, through a distorted lens. So in 2016, we presented "Busted: America's Poverty Myths," a series exploring how our understanding of poverty is shaped not by facts, but by private presumptions, media narratives, and the tales of the American Dream. This week we're revisiting part of that series.  1. Matthew Desmond [<a
07/04/202350 minutes 40 seconds
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When Presidents Go to Trial

On Tuesday, April 4, former President Donald Trump was arrested and appeared in court for his arraignment in New York. The charges stem from hush money paid to Stormy Daniels in 2016, allegedly to cover up an extramarital affair. The entire case leads to larger questions about how democracies, where everyone is supposed to be equal under the law, do or don’t hold their leaders to account. Guest host Ilya Marritz spoke with Rick Perlstein, a journalist, historian, and author of The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan, about perhaps the most
05/04/202312 minutes 55 seconds
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Indicted

For the first time in our history, a former U.S. president has been indicted. On this week’s On the Media, what Israel can teach us about when a nation’s leader runs afoul of the law. Plus, social media companies are back in the hot seat, facing serious legal threats at the local and national levels. 1. Yael Freidson [@YaelFreidson], legal correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, on why the crisis in Israel reached a boiling point after Prime Minister Netanyahu's attempts to cut down systems of accountability. Listen. 2. Julia Bacha [@juliabacha], the director of the documentary film ‘Boycott’ and the creative d
31/03/202350 minutes 48 seconds
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It's not TV it's...

In 2022 HBO picked up nearly forty Emmy awards — many of which went to The White Lotus. That year also happened to be the Home Box Office's 50th birthday. John Koblin co-wrote the book It's Not TV: The Spectacular Rise, Revolution, and Future of HBO with Felix Gillette. Last winter, guest host Ilya Marritz spoke to Koblin, who covers the television industry for The New York Times, about how the network came to be a critical darling, and HBO's fraught future under its new owner, Discovery+.  This is a segment from our December 9, 2022 show, <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/episodes
29/03/202317 minutes 25 seconds
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Is Lying On the Radio...Legal?

Highly politicized, partisan companies like Salem Media Group have a hold on the airwaves — and they don’t plan to give it up. This week, Senior Vice President of Salem Phil Boyce speaks candidly to reporter Katie Thornton about the personalities he handpicked to spread Salem’s message and about the company’s plans to expand into the media world off the airwaves. Peddling election denialism seems to be a solid business model — but is it legal?  This episode is an adaptation of our latest series, The Divided Dial. You can listen t
24/03/202350 minutes 48 seconds
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How Neoconservatism Led the US to Invade Iraq

If you ask Democrats why the US invaded Iraq in 2003, many will say that President George W. Bush cynically lied about weapons of mass destruction. Meanwhile, some Republicans will say that President Bush meant well, but had been led astray by faulty intelligence.  As we pass the 20th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, both of these narratives persist — and both distort the past, according to New York Times columnist Max Fisher. Fisher argues that the invasion was instead simply the natural unfolding of the neoconservative worldview. In this week's pod, we revisit his 2018 conversation with Brooke to unpack the hubris behind this worldview and examine how it grew from an esoteric, academic ideology into a force that still shapes American policies and minds today.
22/03/202315 minutes 3 seconds
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How did Talk Radio Get So Politically Lop-Sided?

How did the right get their vice grip of the airwaves, all the while arguing that they were being silenced and censored by a liberal media? This week, we look at the early history of American radio to reveal that censorship of far-right and progressive voices alike was once common on radio. And reporter Katie Thornton explains how, in the post-war and Civil Rights period, the US government encouraged more diverse viewpoints on the airwaves — until it didn’t. Plus, the technological and legal changes that led to conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh taking over the airwaves.  This episode is an adaptation of our latest series, The Divided Dial. You can listen to the full series here.  The Divided Dial is r
17/03/202350 minutes 52 seconds
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Silenced Samples: How Copyright Laws Infringe on Hip Hop

Iconic hip hop group De La Soul's music is finally available on streaming platforms, just in time for the fiftieth anniversary of hip hop. To say listeners are overjoyed is an understatement. Only a few days after their streaming debut, De La Soul's 1989 debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, soared to no. 5 on the UK album chart, even topping their original 1990 high of no. 13. For fans this was a long time coming. The hip hop group had a towering presence in the 80s and 90s, their playful ingenuity and eccentricity even inspired other greats like the Beastie Boys, Childish Gambino, OutKast, and the Pharcyde. But what kept De La Soul's tunes out of rotation for decades — and thus, largely out of the public imagination — was an infuriating entanglement of legal restrictions surrounding sampling, an art form where producers take snippets of songs and stitch them together to form sonic collages. For this wee
15/03/202324 minutes 26 seconds
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The Most Influential Christian Talk Radio Network You've Probably Never Heard of

In 2016, Christian talk radio host Eric Metaxas begrudgingly encouraged his listeners to vote for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. By 2020, he pledged his life to fighting the “stolen election” while talking with Trump on the air. Ahead of the midterm elections, Metaxas and many of his fellow talk radio hosts made sure the falsehood of massive 2020 election fraud was top of mind — on the airwaves and beyond. And while election-denying candidates didn't do as well as many on the right had hoped, at least 170 such candidates have been elected to state and national offic
10/03/202350 minutes 42 seconds
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How Lina Khan Became Antitrust Critics' Favorite Target

In March 2021, when President Joe Biden announced the nomination of Lina Khan to be a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission, the decision was met with a rare kind of excitement for the otherwise sleepy agency. The excitement seemed bipartisan as 21 Republican senators voted to confirm the commissioner. Not long after, then 32-year-old Khan was promoted to chairperson of the agency, making her the youngest chair in the FTC's history. Since then the tone around Khan has changed dramatically, as Republican commissioners at the agency have pushed back against what they see as a radical agenda. For this week's pod OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger speaks with Emily Birnbaum, a technology and lobbying reporter for Bloomberg, about a growing anti-antitrust movement emerging in the press and in Washington and why Khan has become its m
08/03/202326 minutes 36 seconds
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Historical Fictions

A billion dollar defamation lawsuit has given the public an unprecedented view into the inner workings of Fox News. On this week’s On the Media, how the network’s election falsehoods reveal the company’s commitment to profit over truth. Plus, the story of how historical fiction became the unexpected darling of the literary world. And, how a historian grapples with gaps in our historical record. 1. Andrew Prokop [@awprokop], senior politics correspondent at Vox, and David Folkenflik [@mjs_DC], media correspondent for NPR News, on the latest revelations in Dominion Voting Systems' lawsuit against Fox News. Listen. <a href="https://w
03/03/202350 minutes 45 seconds
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The OTHER Lawsuit Involving the Murdochs

Fox News is in the fight of its legal life right now. Dominion is suing Fox News for 1.6 billion dollars in damages over false claims that it helped rig the 2020 elections for President Biden. Dominion’s legal team draws a direct line from the heated rhetoric of Fox hosts to the January 6, 2021 protests that became a violent siege of the US Capitol. And that forms the basis of an entirely different defamation suit, filed roughly 10,000 miles away. This time, the suit was filed by Lachlan Murdoch against a small Australian paper for an opinion piece that implied the Murdochs had some responsibility in the events of the January 6 insurrection. Guest host David Folkenflik speaks with Lachlan Cartwright, the Editor at Large of the Daily Beast where he covers power, crime, celebrity and justice, to get a look into the lawsuits and what they mean for the
01/03/20238 minutes 55 seconds
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Who Profits?

The Supreme Court heard two cases this week that could upend Silicon Valley. On this week’s On The Media, a look at the fragile law holding the modern internet together. Plus, how a century-long PR campaign taught Americans to love the free market and loathe their own government.  1. Emily Birnbaum [@birnbaum_e], tech lobbying reporter with Bloomberg, Mark Joseph Stern [@mjs_DC], senior writer at Slate, and Emma Llanso [@ellanso], director of the Free Expression Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology, on two cases argued in front of the Supreme Court this week and how they could impact the future of the internet. Listen. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/wha
24/02/202350 minutes 45 seconds
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Brooke on the Press in Times of War

This week we're airing an interview that Brooke did while on a fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. She and her husband Fred Kaplan (author of the War Stories column in Slate), sat down with Mark Hannah, host of the podcast "None of the Above," produced by the Eurasia Group Foundation.  From the Crimean War of 1853 to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this year, journalists, reporters, and the media have shaped the public’s understanding of war. But do the stories we read and the photos we see provide an impartial picture of the wars they document? As Hannah explained in Foreign Policy, certain aspects of American war coverage—reliance on government s
22/02/202334 minutes 29 seconds
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Off the Rails

1. Julia Rock [@jul1arock], reporter at the The Lever, and Allison Fisher [@citizenfisher], director of the Climate and Energy Program for Media Matters for America, on why the Ohio derailment was a foreseeable disaster and how dearth of early media coverage, which failed to hold parties accountable, left space for distrust. Listen. 2. Gönül Tol [<a href="https://twitter.com/gonultol?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp
17/02/202350 minutes 27 seconds
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Joke, Threat, Obvious

YouTube is one of the biggest media companies in the world. In 2020, we uploaded 500 hours of footage to the site every minute. And on average we watched over 5 billion videos every day. It’s a broadcasting machine so complex, it would make Marshall McLuhan’s head explode. OTM Correspondent Micah Loewinger has been obsessed with YouTube since he was 13. Last fall he sat down with journalist Mark Bergen to discuss his new book, Like, Comment, Subscribe: Inside YouTube’s Chaotic Rise to World
15/02/202319 minutes 10 seconds
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Hide and Seek

It’s a bird, it’s a plane… no, it’s a spy balloon. On this week’s On the Media, how to grasp a news event that’s equal parts concerning and absurd. Plus, the hunt for who poisoned the Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, and re-reading classic Russian novels in the shadow of the Ukraine war. 1. Jon Allsop [@Jon_Allsop], freelance journalist and author of the Columbia Journalism Review's newsletter The Media Today, on how to understand polarizing reactions to the Chinese spy balloon. Listen. 2. Christo Grozev [@christogroze
10/02/202350 minutes 51 seconds
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David Remnick Speaks to Salman Rushdie About Surviving the Fatwa

Thirty-four years ago, the Ayatollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, issued a fatwa calling for the assassination of the novelist Salman Rushdie, whose book “The Satanic Verses” Khomeini declared blasphemous. It caused a worldwide uproar. Rushdie lived in hiding in London for a decade before moving to New York, where he began to let his guard down. “I had come to feel that it was a very long time ago and, and that the world moves on,” he tells David Remnick. “That’s what I had agreed with myself was the case. And then it wasn’t.” In August of last year, a man named Hadi Matar attacked Rushdie onstage before a public event, stabbing him about a dozen times. Rushdie barely survived. Now, in his first interview since the assassination attempt, Rushdie discusses the long shadow of the fatwa; his recovery from extensive injuries; and his writing. It was “just a piece
09/02/202350 minutes 10 seconds
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Too Big to Fail?

On this week’s On the Media, what the data says about how boys and men are struggling today. Plus, the history behind Ticketmaster’s dominance in the live music industry, and how Hollywood trust-busting in the 1930s and 1940s unleashed an era of indie films. 1. Richard Reeves [@RichardvReeves], a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution and author of the book Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male Is Struggling, Why It Matters, and What to Do About It, on the research that shows gender disparities growing in a surprising direction. Listen. 2. Moe Tkacik and Krista Brown [@moetkacik and @KristaKBrown], researchers at the American Economic Liberties Project
03/02/202350 minutes 45 seconds
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Puerto Rico in 8 Songs

Former OTM producer Alana Casanova-Burgess is back with season 2 of her critically acclaimed podcast series, La Brega. This one is all about the music! For over a century, Puerto Rican musicians have been influential across the hemisphere. From the Harlem Hellfighters of WWI who helped develop jazz to the reggaetoneros who dominate today’s charts, Puerto Rican music is everywhere. We start the season with the island’s most celebrated composer Rafael Hernandez, who wrote beloved songs like “Lamento Borincano,” “Ahora Seremos Felices,” and “Perfume de Gardenias” – and one of the island’s unofficial anthems, “Preciosa.” It’s a love song written for Puerto Rico that praises the island’s beauty and, remarkably, also calls out the forces that oppress it. When Bad Bunny exploded onto the scene and became the most-streamed artist in the history of the world, it became undeniable that Puerto Rican lyrics – the poetry of what people sing about, the bregas in every chorus – reson
01/02/202327 minutes 38 seconds
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Sorry, That's Classified

If millions of Americans have access to classified documents, can we really call them secrets? On this week's On the Media, a former Pentagon official explains how America’s bloated classification system came to be. Plus, a look at the stories we tell about Baby Boomers, and how our country might change after they’re gone. 1. Oona Hathaway [@oonahathaway], professor at Yale Law School and former special counsel at the Pentagon, on the complicated nature of classified documents. Listen. 2. Noah Smith [@VildeHaya], contributing reporter for The Washington Post<s
27/01/202350 minutes 45 seconds
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Operation Podcast: What the CIA's Latest Media Venture Can Teach Us About the Agency

For decades, the Central Intelligence Agency has cultivated its appeal as an organization shrouded in secrecy, engaged in cutting edge tech and no-holds-barred espionage in defense of the US. It’s an image that sells in Hollywood. The CIA also assisted in the making of some movies about some real life operations. But as the agency ages, it continues to strive to stay up to date. In 2022, when the CIA turned 75, the agency launched operation:podcast. Brooke speaks with David Shamus McCarthy, author of Selling the CIA: Public Relations and the Culture of Secrecy, about the latest venture for the agency and the CIA's long history of public relations initiatives.   
24/01/202326 minutes 26 seconds
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Great Expectations

Many of us are still cookin’ with gas, but should we? On this week’s On the Media, a look at why gas stoves, and the political flame-war over appliances, are back in the news. Plus, why new research says we’ve left the golden age of science and technology. 1. Paris Marx [@parismarx], the host of the podcast ‘Tech Won’t Save Us,’ and the author of ‘Road to Nowhere: What
20/01/202350 minutes 11 seconds
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Salvation Through Technology?

Human aspirations for technology are vast. One day, maybe we'll develop technologies that cure cancer. Rid us of viruses. Perhaps fix that pesky climate change. Even, deliver us from death altogether.... But is the increasing belief in salvation through technology just religion in new clothes? Meghan O'Gieblyn is the author of the book God, Human, Animal, Machine: Technology, Metaphor, and the Search for Meaning. In the fall of 2021 Brooke spoke to O'Gieblyn about the shared assumptions of Christian creationists and transhumanist tech leaders, the flawed metaphor of the mind as a computer, and the relationships of humans to the machines we build. This is a segment from our October 15th, 2021 program, <a hr
18/01/202317 minutes 53 seconds
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It’s a Machine’s World

Schools across the country are considering whether to ban the new AI chatbot, ChatGPT. On this week’s On the Media, a look at the ever-present hype around AI and claims that machines can think. Plus, the potential implications of handing over decision-making to computers. 1. Tina Tallon [@ttallon], assistant professor of A.I. and the Arts at the University of Florida, on the love-hate relationship with AI technology over the past 70 years, and Nitasha Tiku [@nitashatiku], tech culture reporter for The Washington Post, on history of the tech itself. Listen. 2. Geoffrey Hinton [@
13/01/202350 minutes 42 seconds
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HBO's "The Last of Us" and The Curse of Video Game Adaptations

This week HBO is set to release its latest show, The Last Of Us, about two strangers, who end up on a perilous journey together through a zombie-infested post-apocalyptic America. The show, starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, is based on a hit video game series of the same name. It should be an easy hit for the network. Yet, the show's creators have had to contend with what's known as the “video game curse.” Dating back to the 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie, adaptations of video games into film and television have left us with a long list of critical failures. From 2022's Uncharted, to the 2021 Mortal Kombat, and the 2016 Assassin’s Creed movie, which earned a whopping 19% on Rotten Tomatoes. This week, OTM Correspondent Micah Loewinger speaks with New Yorker writer and editor, Alex Barasch,<spa
11/01/202321 minutes 8 seconds
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Caution: Fragile!

The start of a new year is a time to look both forward and back. On this week’s On the Media, hear how facing our climate’s fragility could inspire hope, instead of despair. Plus, a physicist explains how creation stories help us understand our place in the universe. 1. Luke Kemp [@LukaKemp], a Research Associate at Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, on a new study that says we need to put more attention on the possibility of human extinction and other climate catastrophes. Bryan Walsh [@bryanrwalsh], editor of Vox’s ‘Future Perfect,’ also explains why our brains have a hard time processing catastrophes like climate change. Listen. <s
06/01/202351 minutes
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A Taxonomy of TikTok Panics

At the end of 2022, Congress passed legislation to ban TikTok from all government devices, citing data privacy concerns and potential ties between the app and the Chinese government. But this isn't the first time the incredibly popular social media platform occupied headlines. Ever since TikTok exploded worldwide in 2018, news outlets across the country have breathlessly reported on TikTok challenges, which they claim range from the bizarre (licking toilet seats) to the dangerous ("National School Shooting Day"). However, the actual reach and impact of these challenges remain mysterious — or, more often, minimal.  On the Media correspondent Micah Loewinger breaks down a short history of these TikTok panics, and looks into the failures of news outlets to judiciously report on overblown TikTok virality, as well as the cyclic paranoia that arises when we face new technology (think: comic books corrupting youth in the 1950s). He po
04/01/202321 minutes 56 seconds
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Bookish

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30/12/202249 minutes 58 seconds
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The Origins of America's White Jesus

During this holiday season, you likely encountered public nativity scenes depicting the birth of Jesus, presenting the family with very rare exceptions as white. And the same can be said of his ubiquitous adult portrait –– with fair skin and hair a radiant gold, and eyes fixed on the middle distance. In this segment from 2020, Eloise talks to Mbiyu Chui, pastor at the Shrine of the Black Madonna in Detroit, about unlearning Jesus's whiteness. She also hears from Edward Blum, author of The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America, about how the image came dominate in the U.S., and psychologist Simon Howard
28/12/202218 minutes 59 seconds
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In Retrospect

And just like that, 2022 is coming to a close. On this week's On the Media, a look back at our year of coverage, from Russia’s war on Ukraine, to an unprecedented rise in book bannings at home. Tune in to hear about the fights, fictions, and things we’re still figuring out. With excerpts from: Is Talk of a Possible 'New' Civil War Useful? The Perils of a Gauzy History How Meduza is Adapting to Russia's Crackdown on Speech When the World Starts to Look Away<
24/12/202250 minutes 54 seconds
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The Divided Dial - BONUS EPISODE!

We covered a lot of ground in the series, so in this bonus episode we wanted to give space to some of the voices we couldn’t fit into the story; a concerned citizen who tried to take the issue of combatting on-air conspiracy theories into her own hands, a journalist who went into the belly of the beast, a former talk radio host and some of the people on the receiving end of the right wing broadcasts...the listeners.  
21/12/202216 minutes 25 seconds
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The Good Ol' Days

This year, right-wing groups at home and abroad were animated by wistful recollections of the past. On this week's On the Media, hear how nostalgia is weaponized in politics. Plus, a deep dive into newspaper archives reveals that we’ve been having the same debates for over a century. 1. Sophia Gaston [@sophgaston], social researcher and the Head of Foreign Policy &amp; UK Resilience at UK think tank Policy Exchange, on the use of nostalgia as a cultural and political force in Europe. Listen. 2. Adam Serwer [@AdamSerwer], staff writer at The Atlantic, and the author of “The Cruelty Is the Point," on weaponized nostalgia in American discourse. <a href="https:
16/12/202250 minutes 53 seconds
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The Divided Dial: Episode 5 - There's Something About Radio

Highly politicized, partisan companies like Salem have a hold on the airwaves — and they don’t plan to give it up. Senior Vice President of Salem, Phil Boyce speaks candidly to Katie about the personalities he handpicked to spread Salem’s message and about the company’s plans to expand into the media world off the airwaves. And in this final episode of the series we ask the perennial question: peddling election denialism seems to be a solid business model — but is it legal?    The Divided Dial is hosted by journalist and Fulbright Fellow Katie Thornton. Her written articles and audio stories have appeared in The Atlantic, 99% Invisible, The Washington Post, BBC, NPR, WNYC, Minnesota Public Radio, The Guardian, Bloomberg’s CityLab, National Geographic, and others. She is a lifelong radio nerd who got her start in media as a teenager, volunteering and working behind the scenes at radio stations for many years. You can follow her
15/12/202249 minutes 34 seconds
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Still Watching?

A 2020 story about Hunter Biden's hacked laptop keeps finding its way back into the news cycle. On this week's On the Media, a look at Elon Musk's so-called Twitter Files and whether they’re newsworthy. Plus, the meteoric rise and fraught future of HBO, which turned 50 this year. 1. Blake Montgomery [@blakersdozen], tech news editor at Gizmodo, and Olivia Nuzzi [@Olivianuzzi], Washington correspondent for New York Magazine, on the Twitter Files and their relationship to the story of Hunter Biden's laptop. Listen</a
09/12/202250 minutes 48 seconds
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The Divided Dial: Episode 4 - From The Extreme to The Mainstream

In the 1970s, talk radio was hitting its stride, with hosts and listeners from all political persuasions. But the radio dial was about to change forever. Community needs assessments, requirements to offer public service programs and multiple perspectives, and limits on how many stations a single company could own were all eradicated. Technological and legal changes would consolidate the radio industry exponentially, allowing conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh to take over the airwaves. In this episode, we look at radio’s last four decades to understand how we got to where we are today, and how conservative talk radio came to dominate a medium that once thrived on varied viewpoints.   The Divided Dial is hosted by journalist and Fulbright Fellow Katie Thornton. Her written articles and audio stories have appeared in The Atlanti
06/12/202236 minutes 33 seconds
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The Oldest Trick

An ancient scapegoat for society’s woes is back in the news. On this week’s On the Media, a deeper look at the confusing landscape of modern anti-semitism. Plus, a conversation with some of the dogged reporters who spent years uncovering the truth behind the 2014 Malaysia Airlines crash in Ukraine. 1. Leo Ferguson [@LeoFergusonnyc], the Director of Strategic Projects for the Jews for Racial &amp; Economic Justice, on the rise of modern anti-Semitism. Listen. 2. Aric Toler [@AricToler], Director of Research and Training at Bellingcat, an investigative news outlet, and Roman Dobrokhotov [@Dobrokhotov], the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of <a href="https://thei
02/12/202250 minutes 35 seconds
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Brooke and Brian Lehrer Interview Each Other

This week, we’re sharing a chat Brooke had with her longtime colleague Brian Lehrer for Interview Magazine. Brian hosts his inimitably thoughtful daily talk show for WNYC, where he rallies a community of callers and experts to talk about the issues they care about most. But you may not know that Brian was once the first ever host of this very show. In this conversation, Brooke and Brian discuss how they made their ways into public radio, parasocial relationships, and the difference between accuracy and objectivity. This conversation appears in full on Interview Magazine's website, with the headline "Brian Lehrer Points the Mic at Brooke Gladstone."
01/12/202224 minutes 29 seconds
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The Divided Dial: Episode 3 - The Liberal Bias Boogeyman

How did the right get their vice grip of the airwaves, all the while arguing that they were being silenced and censored by a liberal media? In this episode we look at the early history of American radio to reveal that censorship of far-right and progressive voices alike was once common on radio. And we learn how, in the post-war and Civil Rights period, the US government encouraged more diverse viewpoints on the airwaves — until it didn’t. The Divided Dial is hosted by journalist and Fulbright Fellow Katie Thornton. Her written articles and audio stories have appeared in The Atlantic, 99% Invisible, The Washington Post, BBC, NPR, WNYC, Minnesota Public Radio, The Guardian, Bloomberg’s CityLab, National Geographic, and others. She is a lifelong radio nerd who got her start in media as a teenager, volunteering and working be
29/11/202232 minutes 39 seconds
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Bark and Bite

Conspiracy theories and disinformation have found a home on right-wing talk radio, where falsehoods often escape scrutiny from regulators and fact-checkers. On this week’s On the Media, hear how one Christian radio network grew a gargantuan audience and served up the Big Lie. Plus, a look at how the rise in LGBTQ hate online is connected to the deadly shooting in Colorado. 1. Jo Yurcaba [@JoYurcaba], a journalist focused on LGBTQ+ issues for NBC News, on how anti-trans rhetoric contributed to increasing fears in the queer community in the days leading up to the shooting in Colorado Springs. Plus, Sophie Bjork-James [@sbjorkjames], Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Vanderbilt University, on the impact of religious fundamentalism in supporting ant-LGBTQ+ talking points. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/anticipated-tragedy-anti-lgbtq-rhetori
25/11/202250 minutes 38 seconds
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11/22/63

In television's younger days, going live was extremely difficult, costly and rare. But in November of 1963 a monumental tragedy made live coverage essential, no matter the cost, whenever a president left the White House. WNYC’s Sara Fishko recollects those dreadful days in November when everyone was paralyzed in front of the small screen.  
23/11/202211 minutes 29 seconds
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The Divided Dial: Episode 2 - From Pulpit to Politics

Episode 2: From Pulpit to Politics How did the little-known Salem Media Group come to have an outsized political influence? In this episode we trace the company’s rise to power from its scrappy start in the 1970s to the present day — a growth that paralleled and eventually became inextricable from the growth of the Religious Right. We learn that Salem is tightly networked with right wing political strategists, pollsters, big donors, far right leaders and Republican party mainstays thanks to their involvement with the Council for National Policy — a secretive group of Evangelical and conservative leaders. For decades, the CNP has been working behind the scenes to get a specific, highly influential subset of voters to act. And Salem has been a megaphone for their cause. The Divided Dial is hosted by journalist and Fulbright Fellow Katie Thornton. Her written ar
22/11/202233 minutes 27 seconds
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Flipping The Bird

Since Elon Musk took over Twitter, there has been nothing short of crisis — leading to massive layoffs and lost advertisers. On this week’s On the Media, what this chaos means for activists worldwide who used the platform as a public square. Plus, how political predictions distort coverage of elections.  1. James Fallows [@JamesFallows], writer of the “Breaking the News” newsletter on Substack, on the political press' obsession with telling the future and the narratives that have a chokehold on elections coverage. Listen. 2. Zoë Schiffer [@ZoeSchiffer], Managing Editor of Platformer, on the mass
18/11/202250 minutes 18 seconds
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Mastodon: The Platform Taking Twitter's Worn and Weary

In the wake of the five alarm fire at Twitter, a small, quiet social media alternative has been quietly attracting the tweeting weary. Mastodon, named for the prehistoric elephant relatives, was originally created by a German programmer named Eugen Rochko in 2016. And even though it shares similarities to its blue bird peer, the two platforms possess many differences. For one, Mastodon is organized by groups called "servers" or "instances," there's no universal experience like on Twitter. It's also completely decentralized — each server is run by individuals or small groups — with no overseeing company. But is it here to stay? This week, Brooke sits down with Clive Thompson, a tech journalist and author of the book Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World<em
16/11/202225 minutes 39 seconds
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The Divided Dial: Episode 1 - The True Believers

Episode 1: The True Believers In 2016, Christian talk radio host Eric Metaxas begrudgingly encouraged his listeners to vote for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. By 2020, he pledged his life to fighting the “stolen election” while talking with Trump on the air. Ahead of the midterm elections, Metaxas and many of his fellow talk radio hosts made sure the falsehood of massive 2020 election fraud was top of mind — on the airwaves and beyond. And while election-denying candidates didn't do as well as many on the right had hoped, at least 170 such candidates have been elected to state and national offices, some of whom will be in charge of future elections. We meet the company whose hosts never backed down from the lies of the stolen 2020 election: Salem Media Group, the largest Christian, conservative multimedia company in the country – and perhaps the most influential media company you’ve never heard of. <em
15/11/202229 minutes 31 seconds
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Infinite Scroll

Across the county, librarians are fighting to keep libraries open and books on the shelves. On this week’s show, hear what the American Library Association is doing to stand up to unprecedented challenges, and what a suit against the Internet Archive could mean for the future of e-books. Plus, how the legend of the ancient Library of Alexandria continues to inspire utopian projects today. 1. Emily Drabinski [@edrabinski], incoming President of the American Library Association, on the greatest threats to libraries today, and how to fight them. Listen. 2. Nitish Pahwa [@pahwa_nitish], web editor at Slate, on how a lawsuit against the Internet Archive could affect how libraries lend out e-books for good. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/internet
11/11/202250 minutes 14 seconds
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Re-Sorting the Shelves: A Look at Bias In the Dewey Decimal System

Jess deCourcy Hinds is the solo librarian at the Bard High School, Early College library in Queens, New York. In 2010, she received a new order of books about the civil rights movement, but Hinds noticed something strange: all of the books had Dewey Decimal numbers in the 300s, meaning they were supposed to be shelved in the social sciences section. She thought that some of the books belonged in the 900s, the history section. Like books on President Obama. Because texts about the 44th President were classified as social science, he would be separated from all the other books about U.S. presidents in her library. It seemed like part of a trend. "When it came to the LGBTQ books, and the women's history books, and books on immigrant history, all of those were in the 300s as well," says Hinds. So she and her students decided to rebel, to put books about President Obama into the history section: "we just started moving them."
09/11/202220 minutes 14 seconds
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Free and Fair

As the midterms approach, conspiracy theories about election fraud are shaping some races. On this week’s On the Media, a deep dive into the impact of the Big Lie on local elections, and the people who run them. Plus, how misinformation about the attack on Paul Pelosi spread like wildfire. 1. Angelo Carusone [@GoAngelo], President and CEO of Media Matters, on how conspiracy theories around the attack on Paul Pelosi spread all the way up to Fox News. Listen. 2. OTM Correspondent Micah Loewinger[@MicahLoewinger] traveled to Georgia to speak to activists who are challenging peoples' right to vote, those who've been challenged, and election workers caught in the crosshair
04/11/202256 minutes 1 second
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Inside the Sunken Place: A Conversation with Betty Gabriel

When Jordan Peele’s horror film Get Out hit theaters in 2017, it became an unexpected blockbuster and cultural phenomenon. The movie follows a black man named Chris, played by Daniel Kaluuya, who goes to visit his white girlfriend’s family in the country. Shortly after arriving, Chris starts to notice that something seems off and the other black people he encounters act... strangely. Slowly it’s revealed that Chris’ girlfriend, Rose Armitage, played by Allison Williams, and her family are a part of a cult that hijacks black people’s bodies and transplants the brains of their white members inside them. Their victims are still conscious but trapped in "The Sunken Place,” alive but unable to change their fate.  Betty Gabriel played Georgina the maid, whose body is possessed by the white matriarch of the Armitage family. Gabriel, in a sense, played two characters at once. This Halloween, OTM producer <a href="https://
02/11/202210 minutes 12 seconds
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Fear Itself

With early midterm voting underway, Fox News has been increasing crime coverage to drive voters to the polls. On this week’s On the Media, a look at the ways fear impacts our minds and bodies, both on and off screen. Plus, how filmmakers like Jordan Peele have inspired a renaissance of the Black Horror genre. 1. Philip Bump [@pbump], national correspondent at The Washington Post, on what Fox News' focus on crime can tell us about the Republican party's midterm strategy. Listen. 2. Nina Nesseth [<a target="_blank" class="c-link" data-stringify-link="https://twitter.com/cestmabiologie" delay="150" data-sk="tooltip_parent" href="https://twitter.com/cestmabiologie" rel="noopener norefe
28/10/202250 minutes 2 seconds
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The Digital Divide

An investigation by nonprofit newsroom The Markup found that four internet providers disproportionately offered lower-income and least-White neighborhoods slow internet service for the same price as speedy connections they offered in other areas. According to Leon Yin, Investigative Data Journalist at The Markup, homes in historically redlined areas were offered internet speeds so slow, the FCC doesn’t consider it to be broadband. This week, guest host Micah Loewinger asks Yin how he trawled through more than 800,000 internet service offers with his team to arrive at his findings, and what's at stake. (Responses from the internet providers that Yin surveyed can be found in The Markup article, <a href="https://themarkup.org/still-loading/2022/10/19/dollars-to-megabits-you-may-be-payin
27/10/202212 minutes 7 seconds
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The F Word (Rebroadcast)

Early in the pandemic, weight was named a risk factor for severe covid-19. But what if the greater risk is poor medical treatment for fat people? This week, On the Media dives into the fictions, feelings, and fraught history of fat. Including how sugar and the slave trade laid the groundwork for American beauty standards.  1. Dr. Yoni Freedhoff [@YoniFreedhoff], Associate Professor of Family Medicine at University of Ottawa, on what we do and don't know about the relation of weight and the severity of a Covid infection. Listen. 2. Katherine Flegal [@
21/10/202249 minutes 59 seconds
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SPECIAL OFFER! ONLY 50 LEFT!!!

What counts as media? For us, its any medium through which we express ourselves — whether from one to one, from one to many, or just from one... to one’s own self.  We can do it with our style. Our hair. Even our glasses. They're choices that express not just our aesthetics, but our politics, too.  It was the idea of Poppy King, lipstick designer extraordinaire, whose Frog Prince lipstick was listed by Elle Australia as one of the most iconic lipstick shades of all time. King's a devoted listener, so, in collaboration with the show, she designed a special lipstick. It's called Well Red and she offered a batch of them to us as a donation so that we can pass them on to you. We are offering these very special lipsticks to you for a donation of $12 a month or $144 for a year's worth of support for this show.  Go to<s
19/10/202212 minutes 1 second
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At What Cost?

A jury recently ordered Alex Jones to pay nearly one billion dollars to the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. On this week’s On the Media, a former Alex Jones staffer struggles with the damage his participation wrought. Plus, does social media really turn nice people into trolls? 1. Elizabeth Williamson [@NYTLiz], features writer for The New York Times, on the Sandy Hook defamation trials against Alex Jones and what the trials taught us about the spread of misinformation. Listen. 2. Josh Owens [@JoshuaHOwens ], a former InfoWars employee, on what can be done to help people who have become consumed by conspiracy theories. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/alex-jones-doesnt-care-
14/10/202250 minutes 22 seconds
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The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee

Monday was Indigenous People’s Day, renamed from Columbus day to honor the lives and history lost to centuries of colonization. Often the stories shared about the first people here are those of loss, like the Trail of Tears and the Massacre at Wounded Knee. This week, David Treuer, an Ojibwe professor of literature at the University of Southern California, offers a counter-narrative to this tragic account in his book, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America From 1890 to the Present. 
12/10/202221 minutes 51 seconds
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So Sue Me

This week, two cases headed to the Supreme Court that could change the internet as we know it. On this week’s On the Media, a look at the legal gray areas of how news gets shared online. Plus, how one reporter’s prolific coverage of Trump earned her friends and enemies alike.  1. Daphne Keller [@daphnek], director of the Program on Platform Regulation at Stanford University's Cyber Policy Center, on how two new Supreme Court cases may reshape social media as we know it. Listen. 2. Lachlan Cartwright [@LachCartwright], editor at large at the Daily Beast, on the recent lawsuits plaguing Fox News, and how they reveal glimpses of a future news empire. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/murdo
07/10/202250 minutes 17 seconds
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Still Loading...

Are the women-led protests in Iran powerful enough to force change when past attempts have failed? On this week’s On the Media, a look at the moments that ignite movements, both online and in the streets. Plus, how silly videos built one of the largest media companies in the world, and the story of how one Twitch streamer successfully took down an army of harassers.  1. Fatemeh Shams [@ShazzShams], poet and professor of Persian literature at the University of Pennsylvania, on how the recent wave of protests in Iran differs from previous movements. Listen. 2. Ben Collins [@oneunderscore__], senior reporter for NBC, on how a famous Twitch streamer got an online forum taken down. <a href="https:
30/09/202250 minutes 19 seconds
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In John Waters' Home (But Not In His Colon)

John Waters is the writer and director of such cult classics like Pink Flamingos, Serial Mom, and his biggest mainstream success, Hairspray. He’s been making movies since the 1960s and this year he released his debut novel, Liarmouth: A Feel Bad Romance. The novel is an incredibly dirty romp filled with the kind of taboo storytelling that John Waters revels in. In his work, he shines a light on the worst of us but rarely to ridicule, more as a reminder of how gloriously sinful we can be, as we discussed when I spoke with him in his Manhattan home. His interest in the carnal, though, has its limits. “When I got a colonoscopy, they said, do you wanna watch? No!” he told us. “Why do I wanna go on a fantastic voyage up my
28/09/202232 minutes 52 seconds
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Case Closed?

Adnan Syed, the subject of the hit podcast Serial, left prison this week after serving two decades for a murder conviction. On this week’s On the Media, Brooke speaks to the friend whose call to the podcast producers started the chain of events that ended this week with Syed's release. Plus, how Ron DeSantis’ decision to fly migrants to Martha’s Vineyard was a made-for-Fox News event. 1. Philip Bump [@pbump], national correspondent The Washington Post, on the manipulative plan for 48 Venuzulean migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard. Listen. 2. Rabia Chaudry [@rabiasquared], attorney and friend of Adnan Syed, on Syed's recent
23/09/202250 minutes 5 seconds
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No. The Medieval Times Were Not All Game of Thrones

Today, when we encounter the medieval world it’s mostly a dark time. Un-enlightened by reason, but also literally gloomy – all bare stone and grey skies. We know it as a brutal time, dominated by white men with steeds and swords, or drenched in blood by marauding Vikings. But in their new book, The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe, historians Matthew Gabriele and David M. Perry trace the harm of the myths of the “Dark Ages,” and illuminate the medieval stori
21/09/202214 minutes 32 seconds
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The Fine Print

The federal court is hearing a case that could change the publishing industry as we know it. On this week’s show, hear what readers will lose if conglomerates further monopolize the market. Plus, print sales far exceed expectations — it turns out readers do not want to curl up with a good ebook.  1. Alexandra Alter [@xanalter], reporter at the New York Times, on how the booming publishing industry is wrestling with supply chain nightmares and more to meet reader demand. Listen. 2. Katy Waldman [@xwaldie], writer at The New Yorker, explains what's at stake in the DOJ v. Penguin Random House case. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/emergence-next-mega-publisher-on-th
16/09/202250 minutes 6 seconds
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How a Russian Sleeper Agent Charmed Her Way Onto NATO's Social Scene

This week, Brooke talks to Christo Grozev, lead Russia investigator with Bellingcat, about how he uncovered the real identity of a Russian "sleeper" agent who went by the name Maria Adela. Grozev tells Brooke about how rarely these kinds of spies are discovered, what made "Maria Adela" an unlikely spy and what kind of information she could have gathered on NATO.
14/09/202235 minutes 9 seconds
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Lock Him Up?

As the government continues its investigation into classified documents found at former President Donald Trump’s home, a tough question has emerged. On this week’s On the Media, hear how democracies around the world have grappled with whether to prosecute a former leader. Plus, why new leadership at CNN is reigniting the debate over the place of objectivity in journalism. 1. James D. Long [@prof_jameslong], associate professor of political science at the University of Washington, on the consequences of modern democracies across the globe prosecuting — or choosing not to prosecute — their former leaders. Listen.  2. Rachel Donadio [@RachelDonadio], a journalist and contributing writer for The Atlantic, discusses what we can l
09/09/202250 minutes 25 seconds
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"Library With A Turret On Top"

This week saw the conclusion of the campaign to shut down one of the internet’s most toxic forums, Kiwi Farms. Twitch streamer Clara Sorrenti aka “Keffals” led the charge against the site after she was targeted by anonymous users of Kiwi Farms for being a trans woman and speaking out against anti-LGBTQ laws. Stalkers repeatedly doxxed her and her family members, and left them threatening voicemail messages. Harassment campaigns against trans people, journalists, influencers, activists, sex workers, all sorts of people, effectively became the site’s raison d'etre after it was founded in 2013. OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger spoke to NBC's Ben Collins about <a href="https://www.nbcne
07/09/202216 minutes
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Ukraine's Fight

Six months into Russia’s invasion, Ukrainians are still fighting back on all fronts. On this week’s show, hear how Ukraine’s newest struggle is for our attention, and how Big Tech is letting Russian propaganda spread. Plus, the story of a Ukrainian gaming influencer who turned to video games and his internet community to survive the conflict. 1. Olga Tokariuk [@olgatokariuk], Ukrainian journalist, describes watching international attention on the war wane in real time, and its consequences. Listen. 2. Andrey Boborykin [@mediaborscht], Executive Director of Ukrainska Pravda, one of Ukraine's biggest independent outlets, speaks with Brooke about how big tech companies continue to platform Russi
02/09/202249 minutes 55 seconds
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Big Tech vs. Ukraine's Local Media

For most of the 20th century, during which time it was the control of a Moscow-based government for nearly 70 years, Ukraine didn't have an independent press. Over the past two decades, an ecosystem of independent press has grown in Ukraine. This Ukrainian press corps has been tirelessly covered the Russia's invasion of Ukraine over the past six months. But even as their audiences grow, funding from advertising for their reporting has dried up as Ukraine's economy struggles. Ukrainian media have also been subject content bans on Facebook for "glorifying violence" as they report on the war. Andrey Boborykin, Executive Director of Ukrainska Pravda, one of Ukraine's biggest independent outlets, speaks with Brooke about the ongoing information war between Ukraine and Russia, how big tech companies continue to platform Russian propaganda, and what local Ukrainian media outlets are doing to keep their doors open. 
31/08/202214 minutes 23 seconds
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Russia's War

Six months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Putin has rallied the Russian population around the brutal conflict. On this week’s On the Media, hear how the Kremlin’s crackdown on the press paved the way for war. Plus, a look inside the world of Russian propaganda, and how it influences people. 1. OTM Producer Molly Schwartz [@mollyfication] speaks with Alec Luhn [@ASLuhn] and Veronika Silchenko [@NikaSilchenko], freelance journalists for Vice, on reporting in Russia under repressive new laws. And Kirill Martynov [@kmartynov], Editor-in-Chief of Novaya Gazeta Europe, and Katerina Kotrikadze [@katyakotrikadze], news director and anchor at TV Rain, and Roman Dobrokhotov [<a href="https
26/08/202249 minutes 58 seconds
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Softening Expectations

This week OTM shares the third and final episode of Hard, a series about Viagra from our colleagues at Death, Sex &amp; Money. In this episode we hear from Viagra users past and present whose ideas about sex have shifted—from being a goal-oriented pursuit to one that is much more about pleasure and acceptance.  You can hear more from Death, Sex &amp; Money here.
24/08/202232 minutes 46 seconds
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We Are Family

When you hear the word “Neanderthal,” you probably picture a mindless, clumsy brute. It’s often used as an insult — even by our president, who last year called anti-maskers “Neanderthals.” But what if we have more in common with our ancestral cousins than we think? On this week’s On the Media, hear how these early humans have been unfairly maligned in science and in popular culture. 1. John Hawks [@johnhawks], professor of anthropology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, on our biological family tree—and the complicated branch that is Neanderthals. Listen. 2. Rebecca Wragg Sykes [@LeMoustier], archeologist and author of Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art, on and what we know about how they lived. <a href="https://www.wnycstu
19/08/202250 minutes 13 seconds
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Little Pill, Big Pharma

This week OTM shares the second episode of the three-part series, Hard, produced by our WNYC colleagues at Death, Sex &amp; Money. In this installment, the team dives into the scientific advancements that led to Viagra's FDA approval in 1998. From an unforgettable conference presentation...to an overnight drug study, where an unexpected side effect kept popping up. Also the intentionality around the early marketing of Viagra—when former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole encouraged men to summon the bravery to talk to their doctors—and how that message has shifted over the years.  You can hear more from Death, Sex &amp; Money here. 
17/08/202231 minutes 14 seconds
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Reading the Room

An old threat has returned to classrooms across the country — and it’s made of pages and ink. On this week’s On the Media, hear what it means to ban a book, and who has the right to choose what kids learn. Plus, meet the student who took his school board all the way to the Supreme Court in the 80s.  1. Kelly Jensen, editor for Book Riot who writes a weekly update on “book censorship news,” on what it means to ban a book. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/how-book-removed-classrooms-on-the-media2?_=8f486b53&amp;content_type_id=24&amp;object_id=
12/08/202250 minutes 2 seconds
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Erectile Disappointment

In 1998, when Viagra was approved by the FDA, it suddenly opened up new sexual possibilities for people who had previously had none. The drug also sparked an earnest and very public conversation about erectile dysfunction — one that quickly veered toward late-night punchlines. And yet, despite the millions of prescriptions written during its nearly 25 years of existence, for some, Viagra did not prove to be the quick fix they had hoped for. This month, OTM shares the first episode of a compelling 3-part series about the drug from our colleagues at Death, Sex &amp; Money.  You can hear more from Death, Sex &amp; Money here.
10/08/202231 minutes 45 seconds
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Handle with Care

A group of climate scientists warn that the potential for humanity's mass extinction has been dangerously underexplored. On this week’s On the Media, we hear how facing our planet’s fragility could inspire hope, instead of despair, and a physicist explains how creation stories are essential for understanding our place in the universe. Luke Kemp [@LukaKemp], a Research Associate at Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, on a new study that says we need to put more attention on the possibility of human extinction and other climate catastrophes. Bryan Walsh [@bryanrwalsh], editor of Vox’s ‘Future Perfect,’ also explains why our brains have a hard time processing catastrophes like climate change. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/wh
05/08/202250 minutes 6 seconds
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Under The Table

This week’s podcast extra is about podcasts, but this story has its roots in the early days of rock 'n' roll. Alan Freed was a celebrity DJ on WINS in New York, famous for helping popularize the nascent genre through the 1950s. But, unbeknownst to his listeners, record promoters were secretly bribing Freed and other popular disc jockeys across the country for extra air time for their artists — in a rampant practice known as “payola,” which eventually caught the eye of regulators. In 1960, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) outlawed payola, requiring broadcasters to disclose any payments received. However, members of the music industry would continue to blow the whistle on similar behavior in the decades that followed. According to Bloomberg reporter Ashley Carman, a similar culture of pay-to-play is taking hold in the world of podcasting. Her latest piece is tit
04/08/202215 minutes 12 seconds
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The Cold Shoulder

Former president Donald Trump is trying to bury the January 6th committee’s findings, but his old allies aren’t helping. Meanwhile, we take a look at the governor of Florida’s polarizing press strategy, and why reporters think presidential hopefuls are no longer returning their calls.  David Folkenflik [@davidfolkenflik], media correspondent for NPR, on the resurgence of Trump-related news. Listen.  David Freedlander [@freedlander], freelance political journalist, on why he thinks Republicans are no longer speaking to the press. Listen.  <span
29/07/202249 minutes 50 seconds
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Great White Lies

It's Shark Week. This year's Discovery programs boast flashy titles like Stranger Sharks, Air Jaws, Great White Serial Killer, and Rise of the Monster Hammerheads, and feature sharks writhing through murky water, their jaws clenching on dead fish bait, sharp teeth snapping at divers.  Sharks first splashed into Hollywood — and widespread infamy — with the 1975 blockbuster Jaws. It's the type of horror film that sticks with you, especially when you're on a swim at the beach and think, what's out there? Over the last few decades, beachgoers have encountered a slight uptick in shark sightings and incidents. This summer is no exception.  But even as these predators shut down beaches, many marine biologists have waged a counter PR campaign for sharks, arguing that popular media have far overstated their danger. Chris Pepin-Neff is a senior lecturer of Public Policy at the University of Sydney, and author of the book
28/07/202218 minutes 21 seconds
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In This Economy?

Gas prices are coming down. Inflation is still going up. Jobs are strong, yet recession fears abound. This week, On the Media dives into the contradictory mess of money news – and what it ultimately says about us.  1. John Cassidy [@JohnCassidy], staff writer at the New Yorker, on why Americans feel gloomy about the economy, even when it isn't affecting their spending. Listen. 2. Rani Molla [@ranimolla], senior data reporter at Vox's Recode, on the data behind today's weird job market. Listen.   3. Felix Salmon [@felixsalmon], chief financial correspondent at
22/07/202249 minutes 46 seconds
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Escaping the Kremlin's Propaganda Machine

This weekend marks five brutal months since Russia invaded Ukraine — with no end in sight. And in Russia, support for the war has remained high. 77% approve of Putin’s actions in Ukraine, according to a survey conducted in late May by the Levada Center, Russia’s only remaining independent pollster. The war, at least in its neatly repackaged, Kremlin-approved form, is somewhat popular amongst Russians. On March 4th, Putin signed a "fake news" law, which threatens imprisonment for any journalist who deviates from the Kremlin's depiction of the war in Ukraine, shielding the operation of a durable and effective propaganda machine — which has been turning its gears for decades.  Independent journalist Anastasiia Carrier was born and raised in Russia. She’s spent the last few years in the US working as a reporter, and actively wrenching herself away from the propaganda she grew up believing about Russia’s unequal pro
21/07/202228 minutes 46 seconds
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How to Report a Cold Case

In 2014, the brutal killing of John and Joyce Sheridan, a prominent couple with personal ties to three governors, shocked even the most cynical operatives. In February 2015, the Somerset prosecutor announced that John Sheridan had murdered his wife in cold blood and then killed himself. In 2017, the manner of death was updated to “undetermined.” In this episode of On the Media, hear Nancy Solomon's investigation into their brutal deaths, and the damning evidence of corruption she found at the highest levels in the Garden State. Dead End: A New Jersey Political Murder Mystery is hosted by Nancy Solomon. You can (and you should!) listen to all 8 episodes here
15/07/202250 minutes 10 seconds
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Why Reporter Nancy Solomon Chose True Crime

Earlier this year, the New Jersey Attorney General opened up an investigation into the killings of John and Joyce Sheridan, a well known couple with personal ties to three governors. In 2014, they were found stabbed to death, and their home set on fire. Local police thought that John Sheridan murdered his wife and then killed himself. That was eight years ago. So why is the Attorney General revisiting the case now? Well, this year, our WNYC colleague Nancy Solomon released an investigation into their brutal deaths, and found damning evidence of corruption at the highest levels in the Garden State. The series is called Dead End: A New Jersey Political Murder Mystery. In this midweek podcast, Nancy tells Brooke how she used the true crime format to get listeners to care about corruption in New Jersey.
13/07/202216 minutes 39 seconds
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The F-Word

Early in the pandemic, weight was named a risk factor for severe covid-19. But what if the greater risk is poor medical treatment for fat people? This week, On the Media dives into the fictions, feelings, and fraught history of fat. Including how sugar and the slave trade laid the groundwork for American beauty standards.  1. Dr. Yoni Freedhoff [@YoniFreedhoff], Associate Professor of Family Medicine at University of Ottawa, on what we do and don't know about the relation of weight and the severity of a Covid infection. Listen. 2. Katherine Flegal [@CeriseFlegal], epidemiologist and former senior scien
08/07/202249 minutes 59 seconds
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Hong Kong's Rewritten Histories

This fall, students in Hong Kong will learn a new version of history — one that erases the fact the region was ever a British colony. According to four history textbooks currently under development in China, Hong Kong has always been a part of China, despite over a century of British dominion. And so continues a pattern of effacing and repainting histories.   During her years as a reporter in Hong Kong, Louisa Lim, author of the new book Indelible City: Dispossession and Defiance in Hong Kong, stumbled across shards of her city's various, conflicting histories — some imposed by colonial forces, others originating from Hong Kongers themselves. This week, Annalee Newitz talks to Lim about the myths that obs
06/07/202213 minutes 6 seconds
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Locked and Loaded

The overturning of Roe v. Wade will remain the most discussed opinion of this Supreme Court term. But just a day earlier, the high court issued another monumental opinion — this one on guns. On this week's On the Media, hear why this latest ruling will send lawyers scrambling into historical archives. Plus, an inside look at Justice Clarence Thomas' unique strain of conservatism.  1.  Timothy Zick, professor of law at William and Mary Law School, about what's next in the debate over gun control, and why it will be all about history. Listen.  2. Corey Robin [@CoreyRobin], writer and professor of political science at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center, on all
01/07/202250 minutes 23 seconds
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The End of Roe in the Armed Forces

As the country reels from last Friday’s decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, people, politicians, and health care providers are scrambling to figure out what’s next. But pregnancy was already an especially complicated process, full of rules and regulations, for one particular sector of the population — the military. According to a 2018 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, women made up just 16.5% of active-duty service members in the Department of Defense; however, military women are more likely than their civilian counterparts to have unintended pregnancies. They’re also more likely to suffer a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, making medical care an essential should the department continue to diversify. This week, Brooke sits down with Kyleanne Hunter</sp
30/06/202218 minutes 59 seconds
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Struck From the Record

This week, the Supreme Court officially struck down Roe v. Wade, overturning fifty years of legal precedent and abortion rights across the country. On this week’s On the Media, hear about the case that almost defined the abortion debate instead. Plus, the Jan 6 committee’s latest bombshell evidence of Trump’s manipulation of the justice department.  1. Alana Casanova-Burgess [@Alanallama], former OTM producer, and Jessica Glenza [@JessicaGlenza], health reporter at the Guardian, look at the case that Ruth Bader Ginsburg wished the Court heard instead of Roe v. Wade. Neil Siegel, a professor of law and political science at Duke University School of Law, puts the Susan Struck v. Secretary of Defense case in context. Dahl
24/06/202250 minutes 20 seconds
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The 'Country Queers' Who Don't Want to Flee Rural America

All across the country this month, people are celebrating queer and trans pride with parades, cookouts, dances, and family gatherings. And yet the future of the community feels darker than it has in a long time. Threats from Proud Boys and elected officials seem to reinforce the idea that LGBT people cannot survive or thrive in places outside a few coastal cities. But a study from the Movement Advancement Project in 2019 revealed that at least 3 million queer people live in rural America. And many have no interest in fleeing to big cities for protection. This week, Annalee Newitz sits in for Brooke, and talks to Rae Garringer about their oral history project, Country Queers. When Garringer was attending college in the early 2000s, the only queer rural representation they saw was i
23/06/202216 minutes 28 seconds
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The Conspiracy Machine

In this week's January 6th committee hearings, a documentary selling election conspiracies was laughed off by the likes of Bill Barr. But myths about a stolen election are no joke. On this week’s On the Media, hear about a pundit's efforts to revitalize and repackage The Big Lie. Plus, one man’s escape from the conspiracy theory machine.  1. Philip Bump [@pbump], national correspondent at The Washington Post, on debunking election myths made for the silver screen. Listen. 2. Nina Jankowicz [@wiczipedia], former head of the Disinformation Governance Board, on the lessons learned from government-led attempts to counter disinformation. <a href="http
17/06/202250 minutes 37 seconds
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Alex Jones Doesn't Care About You

Josh Owens was an InfoWars employee from 2013 to 2017. In an essay published on CNN.com this week, Owens described his deep regret over the past 5 years as he grappled with the damage his work caused. OTM reporter Micah Loewinger spoke to Owens this week about Jones' role in the dissemination of disinformation in the light of what we are learning about the January 6th insurrection. 
16/06/202234 minutes 55 seconds
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Worth a Thousand Words

Gun control legislation appears doomed once again, even as Congress heard heartbreaking testimony from parents of the children killed in Uvalde. On the latest episode of On the Media, why some activists and journalists now advocate for publishing the gruesome photos of victims. Plus, how one family grappled with the brutal video of their loved one's death in prison. 1. Susie Linfield, professor of journalism at New York University, on the push to share photographs of victims, and the limited political power of an image. Listen. 2. Spencer and Gail Booker, family of Marvin Booker, who was killed by police in 2010, share what their family went through, and why Marvin's death being caught on camera remains so difficult. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/family-
10/06/202250 minutes 21 seconds
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The Messy Politics of Oprah and Dr. Oz

Back in the before-times, when we used to go into the radio station every day, our office next-door neighbor was WNYC host Brian Lehrer. He hosts a 2 hour live radio call-in show every day from 10 to noon in New York city. In this segment from his show he examines the relationship between Dr. Oz and Oprah Winfrey. The Trump-endorsed Dr. Oz recently won the Republican Senate primary in Pennsylvania. One reason the doctor is so popular, despite the many critics who say he promotes unscientific therapies and cures, is his many appearances on Oprah Winfrey's long-running daytime talk show. Kellie Jackson, historian, associate professor of African Studies, Wellesley College and host and executive producer of the Oprahdemics podcast, and Leah Wright Rigueur, associate professor of history, Johns Hopkins Unive
08/06/202222 minutes 57 seconds
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When the Fog Clears

This week, On the Media looks ahead to the January 6th committee hearings that will air live in primetime this month. Find out which questions reporters hope the hearings will answer — like what really happened inside the White House that day. Plus, how a lie about a suitcase full of fake ballots took on a life of its own. 1. Ilya Marritz [@ilyamarritz] and Andrea Bernstein [@AndreaBNYC], creators of the award-winning series Trump, Inc., break down why the upcoming January 6th committee hearings could be the most consequential yet. Listen. 2. Ilya Marritz [<a href="https://twitter.com/ilyamarri
03/06/202250 minutes 24 seconds
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How The Media Failed Amber Heard

This Wednesday afternoon, in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia, a jury awarded Johnny Depp $15 million in damages in libel suit against Amber Heard, and gave her $2 million in her countersuit against him. All this, over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as "a public figure representing domestic abuse." Depp’s lawyers say he was defamed by the article even though it never mentioned his name. This case, argued over six weeks before a seven-person jury and judge, and a noisily expanding online audience, drove much of the internet crazy with guilty pleasure. Thus ensued a collective hurling of feces at Amber Heard, despite the evidence gathered meticulously in a 2020 British libel case also focused on Depp’s spousal abuse. The only quarter of the media th
02/06/202241 minutes 22 seconds
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Imperfect Immunity

As we trudge through our third year of the pandemic, what is the state of our immunity to COVID? On this week’s On the Media, hear how vaccines and reinfections interact with fast-evolving variants. Plus, why we should take the recent monkeypox outbreak seriously, but avoid panicking.1. Katherine Wu [@KatherineJWu], staff writer for The Atlantic, on building immunity three years into the pandemic. Listen. 2. David Robertson, doctoral candidate at Princeton University, on what the press got wrong when covering herd immunity. Listen. 3. Fiona Lowenstein [<a hre
27/05/202250 minutes 23 seconds
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Again and Again and Again and Again (and Again)

Last week’s show was titled “Again and Again” and it led with an essay about the then latest devastating mass shooting, in Buffalo. We combed our archives for all those people we’d spoken to in the past about the  tropes and mistakes that litter the coverage of these abominations. We didn’t gather new tape because...honestly? We’ve said it all before. And then it happened again. This time in Texas at an elementary school. August of 2019 saw another moment where 2 shooting rampages occurred within days of each other; one in El Paso, Texas and the next in Dayton, Ohio.  At the time, Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan wrote, “When a mass shooting happens, even when it happens twice in a 24-h
25/05/202220 minutes 33 seconds
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Again and Again

In the wake of yet another racist mass shooting, this time in Buffalo, New York, media outlets are churning out heartbreakingly familiar stories, with the same tropes and the same helplessness. On this week's On the Media, how we've become mired in patterns and lost sight of the potential solutions. Plus, how journalists should cover the ongoing siege on democracy. Then, a deep dive into the forgotten legacy of one of America's most influential writers.   1. Brooke Gladstone [@OTMBrooke], OTM host, on the tropes that choke coverage of every mass shooting, and why we should focus on consequences and the 'rot at the root.' Listen. 2. Jay Rosen [@jayrosen_nyu], professor of journalism at New York University and media critic
20/05/202249 minutes 54 seconds
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Where in the World is Brooke?

This week we're airing an interview that Brooke did while on a fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. She and her husband Fred Kaplan (author of the War Stories column in Slate), sat down with Mark Hannah, host of the podcast "None of the Above," produced by the Eurasia Group Foundation.  From the Crimean War of 1853 to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this year, journalists, reporters, and the media have shaped the public’s understanding of war. But do the stories we read and the photos we see provide an impartial picture of the wars they document? As Hannah recently explained in Foreign Policy, certain aspects of American war coverage—reliance on government sources and incentives to simplify geopolitics as battles
18/05/202234 minutes 19 seconds
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Seeing Is Believing

With Roe v Wade under threat, some politicians and media outlets are trying to turn the national conversation away from abortion and toward civility. On this week’s On the Media, how the GOP has mastered the art of setting the narrative. Plus, how moral panics surrounding dangerous TikTok trends follow a century-old pattern of blaming new technology for the deviant behavior of teenagers. 1. Paul Waldman [@paulwaldman1], opinion writer for the Washington Post, on Republicans decrying the draft opinion leak and protests to motivate their base ahead of the midterms. Listen. 2. Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger], OTM correspondent, on alarmist news coverage of TikTok challenges and its misleading influence on panicked parents. <a href=
13/05/202250 minutes 17 seconds
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How the Depp v. Heard Trial Became a Meme

This week, we take a look at the latest celebrity trial to ensnare the national attention. Johnny Depp is suing Amber Heard, his ex-wife, for defamation, and she’s counter suing him for the same. Depp’s suit takes issue with an op-ed Heard wrote back in 2018 for the Washington Post in which she identifies herself as a survivor of domestic violence. She first came forward with allegations against Depp in 2016. In 2018, Depp sued British tabloid, The Sun, for defamation over headlines that accused him of abuse, but he lost that case. Given the history, you might expect to see fewer headlines over this latest trial. But, not so. The ratings for Court TV, which is broadcasting every moment of the trial, have more than doubled. Pair the live visuals with Depp’s rabid online fanbase, and you’ve got a case being watched billions of times over — in fact, the #JusticeforJohnnyDepp hashtag has upwards of 10 billion views on TikTok and it’s spawned several viral sounds and trends and … comedy
12/05/202212 minutes 53 seconds
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Crime and Punishment

Across news outlets, crime reporting often relies on police sources and incomplete data. On this week’s show, hear how to spot bias in crime stories and what more nuanced coverage looks like. And, the struggle to protect whistleblowers calling out police abuse. Plus, the story of one powerful tabloid that has stymied bail reform for decades. 1. Laura Bennett, the co-author of ​“Freedom, Then the Press: New York Media and Bail Reform,” on how to read a crime story. Listen. 2. Matt Katz [@mattkatz00] WNYC reporter, on what bad coverage of bail reform looks like. Listen. 3. Tom Devine, legal director of the Government Accountability Project, on how to prote
06/05/202250 minutes
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The Abortion Underground

This week, OTM presents a story from our colleagues at The Experiment. There’s a common story about abortion in this country, that people have only two options to intentionally end a pregnancy: the clinic or the coat hanger. They can choose the safe route that’s protected by Roe v. Wade—a doctor in a legal clinic—or, if Roe is overturned, endure a dangerous back-alley abortion, symbolized by the coat hanger. But a close look at the history of abortion in this country shows that there’s much more to this story. As a draft of the majority opinion overruling Roe v. Wade was leaked to the media this week, activists are once again preparing to take abortion into their own hands. Reporter Jessica Bruder explores the abortion underground to learn about the movement’s origins, and rev
04/05/202233 minutes 18 seconds
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Ghost in the Machine

After news broke that Elon Musk is likely to purchase Twitter later this year, the billionaire began sharing a controversial vision for the app. On this week’s On the Media, hear why Musk’s plan to turn Twitter into a so-called free speech platform could spiral out of control and how urban planning can make safer digital spaces. Plus, how science fiction inspired some of Silicon Valley’s most powerful men. 1. Anand Giridharadas [@AnandWrites], author of Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, Erika D. Smith [@Erika_D_Smith], LA Times columnist, and Natalie Wynn [@ContraPoints], YouTuber and political commen
29/04/202249 minutes 19 seconds
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Dead End

On this week's podcast extra we present episode 1 of a new series from our colleague, Nancy Solomon. She’s our New Jersey specialist at WNYC and she’s got quite the tale to tell. It’s about a murder on a Jersey cul de sac that was never solved. And it involves some of the most powerful people in the state. It’s even got a waterfront land deal. It’s sort of like Chinatown meets American Hustle. It’s a seven episode podcast, and we think you’ll like it. Listen and subscribe here: https://link.chtbl.com/M_a20dat?sid=otmwebsite
27/04/202230 minutes 27 seconds
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Work Work Work Work Work

Checking in on the so-called Great Resignation. On this week’s On The Media, hear why the trend is a logical response to the cult of work. Plus, when technology makes our jobs harder, maybe being a 'luddite' isn't such a bad thing.  1. Sarah Jaffe [@sarahljaffe], journalist and author of Work Won't Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone, on how love and meaning became intertwined with our jobs. Listen. 2. Anne Helen-Peterson [@annehelen], writer and journalist, and <
22/04/202250 minutes 12 seconds
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The Holiday You May Have Missed

International Workers' Day is celebrated with rallies and protests all over the world on May 1, but it's not a big deal in the United States. Back in 2018, Brooke spoke with Donna Haverty-Stacke of Hunter College, CUNY about the American origin of May Day — and about how it has come to be forgotten. The first national turnout for worker's rights in the U.S. was on May 1, 1886; contrary to what you may have heard elsewhere, it wasn't the same thing as the Haymarket Affair. Haverty-Stacke is also author of America’s Forgotten Holiday: May Day and Nationalism, 1867–1960, and she explains that the fight over May 1, or May Day, is also about the fight for American identity and what it means to be radical and patriotic at the same time.   The OTM crew (in 2018) sings "I
20/04/202217 minutes 49 seconds
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How Cassettes Changed the World

Cassette tapes mostly gather dust these days. But back in their heyday, they fundamentally changed how we communicate, in ways we’re still making sense of today. On this week’s On the Media, hear how the cassette tape fueled the Iranian revolution, helped pierce the Iron Curtain, and put human connection in the palm of our hands. 1. Simon Goodwin on his innovation to broadcast computer software over the radio back in 1983. Listen. 2. Computer programmer Fuxoft explains his role in 'Sneakernet,' which saw pirated material of all types smuggled into 1980s Czechoslovakia via cassette tape. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/did-cassettes-help-bring-down-iron-curtain-on-the-media2?_=595f6d73&amp;content_
15/04/202251 minutes
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It's Tax Season!

Few clichés are as well-worn, and grounded in reality, as the dread many Americans feel towards doing their taxes and the loathing they have for the IRS. But as much as the process is despised, relatively little is known about how it could be improved. Pro Publica's Jessica Huseman said that's largely because tax prep companies keep it that way. Brooke spoke to Huseman in 2017 about what an impr
13/04/20229 minutes 55 seconds
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Our Unfinished Pandemic

Congress is threatening to cut billions in COVID aid even as a new variant emerges. On this week’s On the Media, how our policy debate reveals an indifference for long COVID disabilities and death on a staggering scale. And, how that apathy tracks with a pattern of past pandemics. Plus, a look at the novelist Kurt Vonnegut’s theory of storytelling, and what it tells us about why so many Americans have stopped paying attention to the virus. Ed Yong [@edyong209], staff writer at The Atlantic, on why mass deaths from COVID have failed to provoke a strong political and social reckoning. Listen. Laura Spinney, [@lfspinney], author and science journalist on how pandemics have historically disabled people, and what this teaches us about Covid long-haulers.
08/04/202253 minutes 12 seconds
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New Variant on the Block

Hey waddayaknow? There are more variants in the news. Back when Omicron was first making headlines at the end of last year, we made a Breaking News Consumer's Handbooks: Variant Edition. Brooke spoke to Katherine J. Wu, a staff writer at The Atlantic who covers science, to review the steps a news consumer can take to stay informed minus the anxiety.  Breaking News Consumer's Handbook: Variant Edition (Andrea Latimer/WNYC) For a linkable text equivalent, a pdf version is available <a href="https://media.wnyc.org/media/resources/2021/Dec/03/BN
06/04/202216 minutes 24 seconds
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Still Armed, Still Dangerous

More than a month into Putin’s invasion, Ukrainian resistance has proved mightier than the Russian leader seems to have anticipated. On this week’s On the Media, hear how Russia is following the well-established American track record of entering wars without plans for ending them. Plus, a sober look at Russia’s nuclear strategy. And, how the threat of nuclear apocalypse has shaped American culture since World War II. Then, a look at the 1983 made-for-TV film that spurred a national conversation about disarmament.  1. Gideon Rose, author of How Wars End, on what Russia should've learned from America's misadventures in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Listen. 2. Kristin Ven Bruusgaard[@KBruusgaard], postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oslo, on the actu
01/04/202252 minutes 59 seconds
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The Simpsons in a Time of Nuclear War

A new poll this week from AP-NORC found that when asked, close to half of Americans say they are very concerned that Russia would directly target the U.S. with nuclear weapons, and an additional 3 in 10 are somewhat concerned. Given that Vladimir Putin put his nuclear forces on high alert at the start of his invasion of Ukraine, and with the rhetoric heating up as the war continues, it's hardly surprising that people are worried.  All the talk of nukes got us thinking about a segment from a few years back in which Brooke spoke to playwright Anne Washburn, about her work Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play. In it she imagines a world that has been devastated by a nuclear incident and how the remaining civilization would process the destruction over time...by retelling an episode of The Simpsons and about what the episode
30/03/202217 minutes 50 seconds
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All the World's a Stage

This week’s confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson were filled with dog whistles and distractions. On our latest episode, hear how Republicans are using rhetoric about pedophiles to discredit their opponents. Plus, the story of an American author who learned and unlearned Putin’s myth about Ukrainian nazification. 1. Melissa Gira Grant [@melissagira], staff writer at The New Republic, on the cruel new Republican buzzword: "grooming." Listen. 2. Lili Loofbourow [@Millicentsomer], staff writer at Slate, on the eerie experience of watching Zelesnsky act in the television show, "Servant of the People" and more. Listen. 3. OTM pre
25/03/202251 minutes 6 seconds
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A Handy Guide to How the Supreme Court Works

The Supreme Court is an opaque and difficult to understand institution. Luckily, drawing on the expertise of seasoned SCOTUS reporters, we've put together a handy guide for the discerning news consumer to make sense of the court, its decisions, and its coverage. Song: "Jeopardy! (Theme and Variations)" by the Resonance Flute Consort
23/03/202215 minutes 57 seconds
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We Were Warned

As the horrific violence in Ukraine escalates, the global far-right is justifying Russia’s invasion with outlandish conspiracy theories. On this week’s On the Media, guest host Matt Katz digs into one viral lie that went mainstream. Plus, how internet sleuths are collecting digital evidence of alleged Russian war crimes to be used in international courts. And, we hear from the author of a new book about four foreign correspondents who shaped early American coverage of World War II. 1. Ben Collins [@oneunderscore__], senior reporter with NBC News, on the viral Ukrainian "bioweapon labs" conspiracy theory. Listen. 2. Eliot Higgins [<a href="https://twitter.com/EliotHi
18/03/202250 minutes 25 seconds
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The Death of Historical Memory in Russia

Russia's Memorial International maintained an archive whose purpose was to amass and preserve the crimes against humanity committed in the Soviet Union. On March 3rd it was closed down by order of the Kremlin. It was only a month ago that we first aired this piece about the threats to the archive, but already the information and media landscape in Russia is unrecognizable. Unknown numbers of journalists have fled draconian new laws that could land them in prison for 15 years for contradicting the party line on the war in Ukraine and state controlled media has has tightened its stranglehold l of the airwaves. In the chaos of the past few weeks, Memorial’s closing was - tragically, just another data point…another nail in the cof
16/03/202214 minutes 17 seconds
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The Escape

The refugee crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may be the fastest-growing displacement of people in Europe since World War II. On this week’s On the Media, hear the story of an internet community that guided an influencer and his family through the warzone. Plus, how Russia’s draconian anti-press laws have driven journalists out of the country. 1. Michael Wasiura [@michael_wasiura], writer and former pundit, on how his role giving the American perspective on Russian state TV became obsolete and what he's doing now. Listen. 2. Alexey Kovalev [@Alexey__Kovalev], investigative editor at Meduza, on his experience fleeing Russia after the Kremlin tightened it's grip on information about the war, choking out independent media. <a href="https://www
11/03/202251 minutes 15 seconds
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The Kremlin's M.O.

This is a piece we first ran last September. It's reported by OTM producer Molly Schwartz who until the war in Ukraine started was a fellow on a journalism program in Moscow. Molly’s recounted for us the effects of a bizarre and cumbersome law - one of the many tactics used by the Kremlin to silence dissenting voices.  Following widespread protests across Russia last year in support of jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny, Putin's government has engaged in a wave of crackdowns on dissent, expelling and imprisoning opposition leaders, and shutting down independent news outlets. They'
09/03/202215 minutes 44 seconds
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The Fog of War

Footage captured and shared by Ukrainian civilians is helping the world see through the fog of war. But not every video in your news feed is the real deal. On this week’s On the Media, how to sift fact from fiction with our new Breaking News Consumer's Handbook: Ukraine Edition. Plus, how journalists and analysts are using OSINT to track the war. Then, how an international white Christian nationalist movement is fueling Putin’s views and violence.  1. Jane Lytvynenko [@JaneLytv], senior research fellow at the Technology and Social Change Project at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center, on how to sort out the real from the fake while keeping up with the news from Ukraine. <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/breaking-news-consumers-handbook-ukraine-edition-on-the-media
04/03/202250 minutes 18 seconds
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'La Brega' in Puerto Rico

This week, OTM presents stories from Puerto Rico as told in a podcast series called "La Brega," hosted by Alana Casanova-Burgess. Hear what that term means, how it's used, and what it represents. Also, how one of the most famous homebuilding teams in American history tried to export American suburbanism to Puerto Rico... as a bulwark against Cuban communism.  1. Alana [@AlanaLlama] explores the full meaning(s) of la brega, which has different translations depending on who you ask. According to scholar and professor emeritus at Princeton, Arcadio Diaz Quiñonez, the closest English word is "to grapple." Alana also speaks to Cheo Santiago [@adoptaunhoyo]
25/02/202250 minutes 4 seconds
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How SPAM built a town—and tore it apart

This week, OTM presents the second installment of a new series by our colleagues at The Experiment. In this episode, we learn that SPAM is at the center of one of the longest and most contentious labor battles in U.S. history. In 1985, workers at the Hormel Foods plant in Austin, Minnesota, went on strike, demanding better working conditions and stable wages. Generations of meatpackers had worked at the plant, some for most of their lives—and that gruesome, difficult work afforded them a sustainable, middle-class life. So when that way of life was threatened, they fought back. SPAM boycotts spread to cities and towns around the world. The strike went on for almost two years, pit neighbor against neighbor, and turned violent; the National Guard was called in to protect those who crossed the picket line. In the end, the strike is a Rorschach test: either a lesson in what is possible when workers unite, or a cautionary tale about biting the SPAM that feeds.  This ep
23/02/202243 minutes 9 seconds
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Good As Gold

Mainstream journalists keep falling for crypto scams that can end up costing their audiences a fortune. On this week’s On the Media, hear why all of us might want to become at least a bit literate in crypto-technology. Plus, the story of an American pundit living in Moscow, who’s being paid to be Russian TV’s favorite punching bag. 1. Adam Davidson [@adamdavidson], founder of NPR's Planet Money, on the need for market context when reporting on cryptocurrency. Listen. 2. Katie Notopoulos [@katienotopoulos], senior tech reporter at BuzzFeed and Maxwell Strachan [<a href="http
18/02/202250 minutes 22 seconds