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On the Media



The smartest, wittiest, most incisive media analysis show in the universe. The weekly one-hour podcast of NPR’s On the Media is your guide to how the media sausage is made. Hosts Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield examine threats to free speech and gove



Last Build Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2017 15:26:00 -0400

Copyright: © WNYC
 



Not Repealed, Not Replaced

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 15:26:00 -0400

After the Republican Party’s seven-year attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act kicked the bucket this week, Donald Trump declared that he would “let Obamacare fail.” He has plenty of options for moving that failure along and his actions inevitably would hit poor people the hardest, a fact that does not surprise Jack Frech who spent 30 years serving the poor in Appalachian Ohio. Frech was saddened but not surprised by the proposals put forward by house and Senate Republicans. He says such ideas are both perennial and bipartisan. For example the Clinton administration bundled what was once federal welfare assistance into block grants to states where the money often is misdirected or hoarded by the states, even as its shriveled by inflation. For context in the ensuing healthcare battles we are replaying a conversation Brooke had with Jack just after the house bill was passed.

 

Not Repealed, Not Replaced


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm071917_podextra.mp3




Three-Dimensional Chess

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The press are calling Don Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer a “smoking gun.” Why Trump supporters see it otherwise. Plus, the White House’s plan to cement the voter fraud narrative in service of future voter suppression. And, an Iraqi radio broadcaster puts his life on the line fighting ISIS propaganda in Mosul and a group of Syrian citizen journalists push back on the narratives about Raqqa.

 

1. Buzzfeed's Charlie Warzel on how the right-wing media is spinning the Don Jr. emails  and how it reveals something deeper about the pro-Trump media ecosystem.

2. Russian journalist Alexey Kovalev on what the American media get wrong in its reporting on Vladimir Putin.

3. ProPublica's Jessica Huseman on the mistaken reporting on the backlash to the "election integrity" commission's attempt to gather data about voters from the states.

4. City of Ghosts director Matthew Heineman describes the efforts of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a band of citizen journalists led by Abdel Aziz al-Hamza who risk their lives to report on conditions in Raqqa, Syria.

5. Radio Al-Ghad's Mohammad Al-Musali describes how his pirate radio station defied the media blackout in Mosul under ISIS rule in order to shine a light onto the city.

Three-Dimensional Chess


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm071417_pod-rev.mp3




In Which Brooke Explains OTM's Secret Sauce To Jesse Thorn

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 02:00:00 -0400

Bullseye host Jesse Thorn has just launched a new podcast called The Turnaround. It’s a series of longform interviews with interviewers about interviewing, with people ranging from Ira Glass to Larry King to Marc Maron and this week, with Brooke. Jesse really wanted to get into how On The Media is made, and why it sounds the way it does.

In Which Brooke Explains OTM's Secret Sauce To Jesse Thorn


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm071117_podextra.mp3




Apocalypse, Now

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Science fiction has always been an outlet for our greatest anxieties. This week, we delve into how the genre is exploring the reality of climate change. Plus: new words to describe the indescribable.

1. Jeff VanderMeer @jeffvandermeer, author of the Southern Reach Trilogy and Borne, on writing about the relationships between people and nature.

2. Claire Vaye Watkins @clairevaye talks about Gold Fame Citrus, her work of speculative fiction in which an enormous sand dune threatens to engulf the southwest. 

3. Kim Stanley Robinson discusses his latest work, New York 2140. The seas have risen 50 feet and lower Manhattan is submerged. And yet, there's hope.

4. British writer Robert Macfarlane @RobGMacfarlane on new language for our changing world.

Throughout the show: listeners offer their own new vocabulary for the Anthropocene era. Many thanks to everyone who left us voice memos!

 

Apocalypse, Now


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm070717pod.mp3




It's the End of the World and We Know It

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 03:00:00 -0400

In our upcoming episode we’ll examine how science fiction has taken on the challenge of imagining life after global warming. There’s drought, flood, grievous loss and even some optimism. So with that in mind, we thought we’d whet your appetite for annihilation by replaying this interview Brooke did with author Ben Winters a few years back. In his trilogy “The Last Policeman” it isn’t the slow creep of  melting glaciers and devastating drought that heralds the end of the world, it’s an asteroid.

All the action takes place in the 6 final months before the the date of impact which spurs responses ranging from frolicking on beaches to suicide to murder. But the central character in Winter’s trilogy is a policeman who just wants to do his job.

 

It's the End of the World and We Know It


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm070517podextra.mp3




What Ails America

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Our northern neighbor is celebrating its 150th birthday this weekend, yet many Canadians don’t care. Why Canada’s lack of patriotism might be a good thing. Also, how families of black people killed by police often have to grieve under the media spotlight. And the tale of a composer's search for the sound of America. 

1. Canadian writer Stephen Marche @StephenMarche on the differences between Canadian and American views on diversity and culture.

2. Writer Mychal Denzel Smith @mychalsmith on the "obligation for black families to mourn in public."

3. WNYC's Sara Fishko on composer Aaron Copland's quest to capture American identity in music. 

What Ails America


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm063017pod.mp3




"The American people elected a fighter"

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 21:59:47 -0400

Bob's take on this week's back and forth between the President and the press who cover him. 

"The American people elected a fighter"


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm062917podcastextra.mp3




Newton Minow Still Cares About the Media

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 14:51:20 -0400

This week, at the annual conference of the National Association for Media Literacy Education, Bob sat down with former FCC chairman Newton Minow to survey the "vast wasteland" of television. They discuss the Kennedy administration, the changing landscape of TV, and... Gilligan's Island.

Newton Minow Still Cares About the Media


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm062817pod.mp3




Stand And Be Counted

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Following the Republican victory in Georgia this week, a look at how gerrymandering makes some political outcomes inevitableand why the media aren't talking about it. Also, the US Census is on the rocks, and the repercussions could be severe. Plus, how Mexico's most prominent journalists and activists have been targeted by sophisticated government spyware.

1. FairVote's David Daley (@davedaley3) on the vast influence of gerrymandering on American politics. 

2. Former Census director Kenneth Prewitt on recent shakeups at the Bureau and the implications of a crippled Census.

3. Sociologist Cristina Mora (@GCristinaMora) on how Univision helped create a new Census category for the 1980 survey: "Hispanic."

4. Citizen Lab senior researcher John Scott-Railton (@jsrailton) on the use of spyware against Mexican activists and reporters, and Mexican journalist Salvador Camarena (@SalCamarena) on being targeted firsthand.

Become a member of the On the Media community today. Sign up to donate just $7 a month and we'll send you a copy of Brooke's new book "The Trouble with Reality." OntheMedia.org/donate 

Stand And Be Counted


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm062317pod.mp3




The Slants Win the Day!

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 16:49:48 -0400

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that a law denying federal trademark protection to names deemed disparaging is unconstitutional. Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the unanimous decision that “it offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend.”

The suit was brought by the Portland dance-rock band The Slants, a group of Asian-American musicians who have taken their name from an ethnic slur and worn it with pride. The musicians sued because when they tried to register trademark for their name, the US Patent and Trademark Office said, “The Slants? No no no no no no."

Bob spoke to the founder of The Slants, Simon Tam, exactly 2 years ago, when the band had just lost its appeal at the Federal Circuit Court.

The Slants Win the Day!


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm20170620_podextra.mp3




Sterner Stuff

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Become a member of the On the Media community today. Sign up to donate just $7 a month and we'll send you a copy of Brooke's new book "The Trouble with Reality". Donate now

After the politically charged shooting at a Virginia baseball field this week, a look at how politicians and the press blamed everyone from Democrats to William Shakespeare. Plus, trying to get behind the secret deliberation over the Republican healthcare bill with Senator Ron Wyden, and Puerto Rico's search for new words and symbols to define itself.

1. Following the shooting in Virginia, Bob offers a Breaking News Consumer's Handbook: Political Violence Edition.

2. The Guardian's Lois Beckett on what critics of The Public Theater's production of "Julius Caesar" get wrong and why theater is so essential in our current political moment.

3. Senator Ron Wyden on attempts by Republicans to form healthcare policy in secret.

4. Bob on the Trump administration's adherence to talking points regarding ongoing investigations.

5. Slate's Dahlia Lithwick on how the courts are contending with Trump's tweets.

6. On the Media producer Alana Casanova-Burgess on Puerto Rico's attempt to clarify its identity through new words and symbols.

Sterner Stuff


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm061617pod.mp3




No One Is Above the Law

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 02:00:00 -0400

This week Attorneys General from DC and Maryland alleged in a lawsuit that payments by foreign governments to President Trump's businesses violate anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution. With a president who is also a real estate tycoon, reality TV star, and personal brand -- and who actively receives revenue via each of these personae -- the possibilities seem endless for political corruption, particularly in light of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which forbids the receiving of gifts, titles, and emoluments from foreign countries without Congress's consent.

The problem, according to law professor Jed Shugerman, is that without access to Donald Trump's tax documents, it's impossible to know the full extent of his financial dealings -- and thus difficult to move forward on any potential corruption charges. Bob talks with Shugerman about a legal strategy that could bring Trump's entanglements into the light.

But Trump's taxes are only necessary if we define "corruption" as the explicit exchange of payments for favor, or "quid pro quo." This definition, which the Supreme Court used in the controversial Citizens United ruling and which countless politicians have leaned on ever since, argues that unless you can demonstrate explicit exchange, you can't prove, or prosecute, corruption.

But according to Zephyr Teachout, author of Corruption in America, this was never what America's founders envisioned when they set out to fight corruption. Brooke talks with Teachout about the overwhelming passion for anti-corruption present at the founding of the nation, the "bright line" rules it inspired, and how we have drifted so far from our original understanding of the concept.

Support On the Media as a Sustaining Member today! Sign up to give just $7 send you Brooke's new book "The Trouble with Reality". Donate now

No One Is Above the Law


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm20170614_podextra.mp3




Enough With Reality

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The Trump administration has been threatening to crack down on leakers for months, and this week, it did. We examine how a news outlet inadvertently helped the government arrest a 25-year-old NSA contractor. Also, the story of how the AP made deals with Nazi Germany for journalistic access. And, a deep look at the dystopian potential of augmented reality. 

1. Security expert Barton Gellman on how The Intercept may have led the NSA to its source and what leakers need to do to be as safe as possible.

2. Journalist Matti Friedman on what a recent report detailing the Associated Press's compromises with Nazi Germany can teach us about reporting today; and the Associated Press's John Daniszewski on whether the AP's Nazi cooperation wasn't justified.

3. Janet Murray, Ken Perlin, Ryan Pamplin, Robin Alter, John Werner, Keith Boesky and Bob on the future of augmented reality, for better or worse.

Enough With Reality


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm060917pod.mp3




Doug Stamper Is A Very Bad Man

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 02:00:00 -0400

Help us meet the OTM listener challenge by becoming a member today! Sign up to donate just $7 a month and you'll unlock $25,000 from the Tow Foundation to support On the Media. Donate now

A couple of years back Brooke did On House of Cards, a recap show of season 3 of House of Cards. We invited political scientists, journalists, old white house hands and actors from the show to join her to talk about each episode. If you haven’t listened, it definitely holds up (if we say so ourselves).

On the occasion of the release last week of season five of House of Cards, we thought we’d throwback to the episode where Brooke sat down with Michael Kelly who plays Frank Underwood’s lethally dedicated chief of staff, Doug Stamper.

Doug Stamper Is A Very Bad Man


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm20170606_podextra_v2.mp3




Mind the Gap

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Help us meet the OTM listener challenge by becoming a member today! Sign up to donate just $7 a month and you'll unlock $25,000 from the Tow Foundation to support On the Media. Donate now

A recent anti-Muslim hate crime in Portland has sparked a debate about free speech. Plus: conspiracy theories that appeal to liberals; the media's obsession with the Trump-Russia story; and what drives hyper-partisan clickbait. 

1. Corey Pein @coreypein, reporter for Willamette Week in Portland, on the recent hate crime in that city and what the national media are missing. 

2. Jonathan Martin @jmartNYT, correspondent for the New York Times, discusses the disconnect between national priorities (the Russia investigation) and local ones (healthcare, environment, etc.)

3. Thomas Patterson @tompharvard of Harvard's Shorenstein Center discusses a recent report dissecting the coverage trends of Trump's first 100 days (it's mostly negative). 

4. Craig Silverman @craigsilverman, media editor for Buzzfeed, digs into the world of hyperpartisan news sites and the outrage that drives them. 

5. Zack Beauchamp @zackbeauchamp of Vox on the left-wing conspiracy sites that peddle misinformation about the Trump-Russia story.

Mind the Gap


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm060217pod.mp3




The United States of Anxiety: America's Allergy to Intellectualism

Wed, 31 May 2017 02:00:00 -0400

Help us meet the OTM listener challenge by becoming a member today! Sign up to donate just $7 a month and you'll unlock $25,000 from the Tow Foundation to support On the Media. Donate now

During the last election, when asked his opinion about experts and intellectuals, Trump supporter Fiore Napolitano voiced a fairly common sentiment from his cohort, "I've got more brains in my little thumb." That led the United States of Anxiety team to wonder whether hostility to intellect is an underestimated feature of American politics.

Where does this wariness spring from, and what role did it play in the rise of Donald Trump — who was opposed by just about every intellectual associated with either party but whose supporters simply did not care about that issue?

Reporter Jim O'Grady talks to the learned and those who loathe them, including writers and commentators, a neuroscientist, and a gun shop owner in a red-voting part of upstate New York. He quotes a fiery pamphlet penned by a yeoman farmer from the Revolutionary Era, and delves into the 1963 book that describes and frames this issue better and more enduringly than any other.

 

The United States of Anxiety: America's Allergy to Intellectualism


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm053017_podextra.mp3




Focus

Fri, 26 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Help us meet the OTM listener challenge by becoming a member today! Sign up to donate just $7 a month and you'll unlock $25,000 from the Tow Foundation to support On the Media. Donate now

In the wake of the Manchester attack, tech companies are again under pressure to fight extremism online. A look at whether they’re really doing all that they can. Also, can reporters inform the public about terrorist attacks without supplying the very notoriety the killers crave? Plus: how the South is grappling with taking down monuments to the Confederacy -- and what to put in their place.

Focus


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm052617pod.mp3




Drawing New Lines

Wed, 24 May 2017 02:00:00 -0400

This week, the Supreme Court struck down two congressional districts in North Carolina, deciding that the majority-black districts were created to diminish the voting strength of African American democrats in the state. It's an opinion that opens the door for more challenges to gerrymandering at a time when civil rights advocates are looking for legal avenues to fight the redistricting system and when Republicans control most state legislatures. 

We're taking the opportunity to revisit a conversation we had in October with David Daley, author of the book, Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy. He spoke with Bob about the history of gerrymandering and how Republican strategists have taken the practice to new levels in the last decade.

Drawing New Lines


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm_/otm_170523_podextra.mp3




Curtains!

Fri, 19 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Help us meet the OTM listener challenge by becoming a member today! Sign up to donate just $7 a month and you'll unlock $25,000 from the Tow Foundation to support On the Media. Donate now

The Trump-Comey story is largely missing from the far right-wing media. A look at how pro-Trump outlets choose to cover, or ignore, unfavorable news. Plus: the Montana special election has been described as a "referendum" on Trump... but the truth is actually more interesting. And we hear from a reporter who is training citizen journalists in Syria to cover life, not just war. 

Curtains!


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm051917pod.mp3




The Trouble With Reality

Tue, 16 May 2017 23:05:00 -0400

We're living in an era of smoke and mirrors as never before. Do you find yourself wondering how we reached this pass, where basic facts have no impact and fundamental norms are violated at will? Or, at the very least, would you like to follow Brooke down a rabbit hole as she searches for an explanation? Because after the election, in what amounted to a two-week fever dream, she wrote "The Trouble with Reality: A Rumination on Moral Panic in Our Time," and came to a kind of answer. As this week's podcast extra, we have for you a conversation Brooke had about her book with our colleague, WNYC morning show host Brian Lehrer.

The Trouble With Reality


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm051717_podextra.mp3




Shiny Objects

Fri, 12 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

With an administration that seems to break new traditions every day, we look at the rapid-fire changes to the White House story about Comey's firing. What they mean for communications between the President and the public. Plus, some worry that the media are too reliant on old tricks to keep up. How is the press adapting? And, why local TV news may soon take on a more conservative agenda.

Shiny Objects


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm051217pod.mp3




The United States of Anxiety is Back!

Wed, 10 May 2017 08:38:00 -0400

Our colleagues in the WNYC news department are back with season 2 of The United States of Anxiety. We liked the first episode so much we're bringing it to you as this week's podcast extra. Here's how they describe the new series:

"If you want to control the debate over how to build say, a health care system, you first have to capture our political culture -- our values, norms, shared assumptions, what we feel and believe about ourselves. 

And the battle to capture America’s political culture has a long history. On race and gender, science and religion, matters of sex and media and war and peace — all of it — there's a backstory, and characters like Donald Trump. Somebody who went all in to change what Americans feel and believe about a given issue. 

The United States of Anxiety: Culture Wars introduces listeners to people who have been battling to shape America’s political culture for decades. We profile culture warriors, past and present, who have shaped debates over race, religion, science, sexuality, gender and more. We connect those debates to real people, with real stakes in the outcome. We’re filling in the blanks--hopefully answering questions you didn’t even know you had--and we’re asking, what are you willing to fight for? Because if you want to control American politics, you’ve first got to capture American culture." 

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios

 

The United States of Anxiety is Back!


Media Files:
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Rewriting the Right

Fri, 05 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The passage of the Obamacare repeal bill this weekhailed as a triumph of conservative ideologydidn’t come out of nowhere. We examine the decades-long, carefully orchestrated right-wing campaign to influence academia and politics. Plus: what's going on with the Heritage Foundation and other conservative think tanks in the Trump era, how a climate change skeptic became an advocate, and what the media miss about health care. 

Rewriting the Right


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm050517pod.mp3




Climate of Poor Rhetoric

Wed, 03 May 2017 17:50:05 -0400

The New York Times' new conservative columnist, Bret Stephens, immediately stirred up controversy when he used his inaugural column to criticize liberals for being too "certain" about climate change. But while many piled on Stephens for seemingly undermining the seriousness of climate change, the New Republic's Brian Beutler wrote that it wasn't Stephens' opinions that we should be worried about. Bob talks to Beutler about the failure of Stephens' rhetoric and why we should ask for more from our columnists and the papers that hire them.

Climate of Poor Rhetoric


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/on_the_media_podextra/on_the_media_podextra050317.mp3




In Other Words

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Trump has backed off his signature campaign promise to build a border wall right away. We look at the symbolism of a barrier on the southern border, and how it obscures the truth about immigration. Also, how our president has long managed to succeed without actually succeeding, the challenges of tracking hate crimes without good data, and an attempt to reclaim the word "Jew." 

In Other Words


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm042817pod.mp3




The Art of Winning a Pulitzer

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:28:41 -0400

Northwestern Iowa’s Storm Lake Times is a twice-weekly county newspaper with a circulation of 3,330. It has a staff of about 10, including the recipes editor. Its top advertiser is "Builders Sharpening and Service." And it just...won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing, taking on three sets of county commissioners and Big Agriculture in one fell swoop. Bob speaks with Art Cullen, editor and co-owner of the paper, about the editorials that won him the award -- and what it's like to argue for progressive aims in a bastion of conservatism.

The Art of Winning a Pulitzer


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm_/otm_170426_podcast_extra.mp3




"We'll Do It Live!"

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Bill O'Reilly was the bombastic, blustery face of Fox News. Now that he's out, what happens to the identity and future of the channel? Plus, how to read the scary headlines about US-North Korea relations; why erratic foreign policy can be effective foreign policy; how China sees Trump; and what role do referendums really have in shaping our democracy? 

"We'll Do It Live!"


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm04212017pod.mp3




Closing the Blinds

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 11:41:00 -0400

Breaking from an open government initiative started by President Obama, the White House announced last Friday that visitor logs will no longer be published due to "national security concerns." It's the latest move in a plethora of actions the White House has taken to make historically public data, private.

Bob speaks to Alex Howard, Deputy Director of the Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit advocate of open government, about the newly privatized logs, covert meetings at Mar-a-Lago, and secret ethics waivers that are allowing former lobbyists to shape policy from within the administration.

Closing the Blinds


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm042017pod-extra.mp3




This American War on Drugs

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has signaled that he'd like to revamp the War on Drugs. We take a look at the history of the battle, and how sensational media depictions of crack, heroin, and meth have helped fuel it. Plus: our Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook: Drugs Edition. Then, a look at how America’s first drug czar used racist propaganda to outlaw marijuana. And why the debate between treatment and law enforcement is blurrier than you might think.

This American War on Drugs


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm041417pod.mp3




How the Press Gets Seduced By War

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 13:04:17 -0400

Last week, President Trump ordered the firing of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on Syria in retaliation against the chemical attack allegedly committed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against his own people. The coverage of the strikes appeared to present a stark choice between good and evil, rather than a Gordian knot of geopolitics, regional politics, domestic politics, and the proliferation of terror. But is it really that easy?

Bob speaks with Stephen Kinzer, Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University and a columnist at the Boston Globe, who argues that the public is being presented with a deceptively simple version of reality because the media aren't asking the right questions.

How the Press Gets Seduced By War


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm04122017podcast.mp3




Out With The Old...

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Neil Gorsuch is the newest Supreme Court Justice and all it took was the destruction of a Senate tradition. A look at the colorful history of filibustering. Also, how tax season could potentially be more pleasant and why tax companies don't want it to be. And, how human impact on the planet has sparked a debate about what to name our current geological era.

Out With The Old...


Media Files:
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The (Nonexistent) Good Old Days

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 19:50:00 -0400

In the midst of several days of his Supreme Court confirmation hearings last week, Judge Neil Gorsuch took a moment to wax nostalgic for the days when the process took only 90 minutes and a nominee could relax, even smoke cigarettes, throughout the process. Later, one of Gorsuch's interrogators, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, did some reminiscing of his own, pointedly recalling a time when nominees offered up useful answers to questions and engaged in sincere discussion. Ah, the good old days.

But was it ever thus? Slate's Dahlia Lithwick took up the question on the most recent episode of her Amicus podcast, speaking with Supreme Court scholar Lori Ringhand about the actual history of Supreme Court confirmation hearings. We loved it and we think you will too. 

You can find more episodes of Slate's Amicus on iTunes or wherever else you get your podcasts. You can find more of Dahlia's writing here, and follow her on Twitter here

The (Nonexistent) Good Old Days


Media Files:
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It's Just Business

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

When President Trump signed an order dismantling environmental protections, the photo-op included coal miners. We consider the symbolism and reality of coal country, and what the stereotypes miss. Plus, Congress revoked a rule banning ISPs from selling your browsing; what's really at stake? And, a look at the shift in the True Crime genre, from proving guilt to proving innocence. 

It's Just Business


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm033117pod.mp3




We'll Always Have Paris

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 17:35:00 -0400

Donald Trump made many, many pronouncements on the campaign trail, one of them was that he would "cancel the Paris climate agreement". 

While he can’t cancel the Paris agreement, he can and has walked away from it with an executive order this week substantially erasing President Obama’s climate legacy and signaling to the world that the US is not going to meet its carbon emission goals set in Paris.

So what exactly was agreed upon in Paris? 

To find clarity among the conflicting commentary Brooke spoke in 2015 with Andrew Revkin who writes the Dot Earth blog for the New York Times, and Jonathan Katz who covered the talks in Paris for the New Republic.

We'll Always Have Paris


Media Files:
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Highly Irregular

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

An expensive TV ad campaign has been selling Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch to the American people. We speak with the group behind the effort. Plus, Trump's accusations of wiretapping may be false, but they remind us that someone is always listening. And, decoding North Korea panic; and why the diplomatic press corps helps actual diplomacy.

Highly Irregular


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm032417pod.mp3




Better Know a Justice

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:47:50 -0400

At his confirmation hearing this week, supreme court nominee Neil Gorsuch - according to the New York Times - cast himself as "a humble Westerner, reared on fly-fishing.”  

And yet, for all the care put into his biography, Judge Gorsuch also seemed to say… nevermind. He rules on the law, not on people.

It’s a needle that’s been tricky for judicial nominees to thread: they want to seem human, but not too human. In this podcast extra, taken from a show we aired last yearBrooke and Thane Rosenbaum, Director of the Forum on Law, Culture and Society at NYU, examine some art and culture about the Supreme Court, and consider just how human we want our justices to be.

Better Know a Justice


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm032217podextra.mp3




Doesn't Add Up

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The President’s proposed budget seems to prioritize national security over pretty much everything else. We examine how the lowest-income Americans could be affected, and what's missing from the media debate. Also, how the White House might be manipulating data to forecast unrealistic economic growth, and why the Congressional Budget Office is so central to the American legislative process. Plus, how Wikileaks played the media with the recent CIA data dump. 

Doesn't Add Up


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm031717pod.mp3




This Is Not a Safe Space

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 08:46:00 -0400

Earlier this month libertarian political scientist Charles Murray and author of the book “the Bell Curve,” derided by many as a racist take on the relationship between genetics and intelligence, was invited to speak at Middlebury College in Vermont. Murray only made it a couple of words into his talk when more than half of those crowding the hall stood up, turned their backs on him and proceeded to read a long prepared remark, en masse. When Murray and the liberal professor who was to interview him after his talk were walking to the car, the crowds jostled him, and injured her. Thus, with violence, liberal students curtailed the free speech rights of a visitor.

We dove into the issue of political correctness on campus last September after noticing a letter sent to incoming freshmen at the University of Chicago that said, quote, “We do not support so-called ‘trigger warnings,’ The university's position, the letter insisted, was based on the administration's "commitment to academic freedom" and their dedication to "fostering the free exchange of ideas" and "diversity of opinion and background." we spoke to former Uchicago student, Cameron Okeke, professor of philosophy at Cornell University Kate Manne, and Geoffrey Stone, professor of Law at the University of Chicago,

This Is Not a Safe Space


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Seeing Is Believing

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

In the 1960s, pollution was a visible, visceral problem, and public pressure led a Republican president to create the Environmental Protection Agency. Now, the GOP wants to slash the agency's budget and roll back "burdensome" environmental regulations. The story of how the environment went from bipartisan issue to political battleground.

Also, journalists and politicians have long avoided drawing a straight line between natural disasters and climate change. How that's changing, thanks to new "extreme weather attribution" science. And, the myth of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a useful—yet misleading—container for our collective anxieties about the planet. 

Plus, President Trump’s new ban on travelers from Muslim-majority countries was released with little fanfare—intentionally. What the optics tell us, and what the law tells us. 

Seeing Is Believing


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm031017pod.mp3




When the Press Sues Over "Fake News"

Tue, 07 Mar 2017 21:54:00 -0500

“Fake news.” What began as a description of utterly false articles, fabricated for political advantage or profit, was immediately co-opted by Donald Trump to attack any story or opinion piece in the mainstream media that has the temerity to correct him. Back in November, famed First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams said that in the age of Trump the press should consider a form of defense it has long avoided: suing its opponents for libel.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, a small paper in Colorado, may act on that advice. Accused by a Colorado state senator of publishing fake news, Jay Seaton, the paper's publisher, has threatened to retaliate with a libel suit, the very legal weapon that news organizations have historically fended off. Bob speaks with Seaton about this new strategy and how it could backfire on the rest of the media.

When the Press Sues Over "Fake News"


Media Files:
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Follow the Money

Fri, 03 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

As the Trump-Russia saga continues to unfold, how the Obama administration spent its final days scrambling to preserve evidence of Russian interference in the election. Also, the old Soviet-era art of "kremlinology" is back -- but does it really help us understand what Putin is thinking? Plus, a potential key to unveiling Trump’s tax returns, how our understanding of corruption has strayed from the vision of the founders, and more.

 

 

 

 

Follow the Money


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm030317pod.mp3




This Gene Was Edited By Brooke

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 18:06:06 -0500

CRISPR is a new technology that enables scientists to quickly alter the genetic makeup of the entire population of a species. It's so powerful that just one genetically-modified mosquito could eradicate malaria. It's so easy to do that a grad student could (accidentally) enact these global ecological changes from their kitchen. It's also under-regulated. Under science's current culture of secrecy, ensuring that scientists are taking necessary precautions with gene-drive research is next to impossible, says CRISPR innovator Kevin Esvelt. Writing in Nature last summer, Esvelt urged the scientific community to open all experiments to public scrutiny, beginning with the revolutionary and potentially world-changing gene-editing research he helped advance.

Also in the podcast, the idea of human cloning captivates and terrifies. Depictions of human clones in science fiction reflect some of our deepest fears about what it means to be human. But not everyone shares those anxieties. For example, the creators of the hit BBC series Orphan Black have developed a show which decidedly diverges from the canon of popular culture clone portrayals. Brooke talks with bioethicist Gregory Pence, author of What We Talk About When We Talk About Clone Club, about how Orphan Black reflects and challenges dominant ideas in the debate on human cloning.

 

This Gene Was Edited By Brooke


Media Files:
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Smoke & Handcuffs

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

With a president who would rather watch TV than receive intelligence briefings, CNN’s Brian Stelter helps unpack the symbiotic relationship between Fox News and the White House. Plus, whether Trump’s new guidelines for mass deportation of undocumented immigrants are more PR than sound policy, how the term “sanctuary cities” may oversell how much safety is actually provided, and the Supreme Court sheds light on violence at the US border. Also, a former FEC Commissioner explains why the Commission has ceased to function as intended.

Smoke & Handcuffs


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm022417pod.mp3




Leak State

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Republicans decry the leakers; Democrats applaud them...oh, how the tables have turned. How to make sense of the Flynn affair and revelations about the Trump team's communications with Russia. Plus, the steady stream of information from within the government has the media debating the power of the so-called “Deep State” -- invisible officials pulling the strings. Also, deploying the word "treason" with care, what Slobodan Milošević teaches us about Donald Trump, and what Hugo Chávez does not. 

Leak State


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm021717pod.mp3




Out Like Flynn

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 20:13:26 -0500

In response to scandals large and small, first the Trump campaign and now the Trump White House has relied on the fact that each successive lie or outrage will be washed over by the next and the next. And its worked. Until now. Bob ponders whether this week's resignation of General Flynn from his position as National Security Adviser has thrown the White House media machine (momentarily) off its axis. 

Out Like Flynn


Media Files:
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See You In Court

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

With the president and the judiciary at odds over the travel ban, the term "constitutional crisis" is ubiquitous. Why it should be deployed carefully. Plus, protests are sweeping the nation – but so are efforts to crack down on free speech. How lawmakers are trying to curtail the rights of demonstrators, and how cities can push back. Also, the surprising history of the “anti-fascist” movement, a guide for making sense of protest coverage, and more. 

 

See You In Court


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm021017pod.mp3




What We Know About the Border

Wed, 08 Feb 2017 21:14:00 -0500

The Trump administration's so-called "Muslim ban" has created chaos and confusion at airports around the country, but horror stories at the border go back much further than this year. In 2014, we devoted an hour to trying to shred the veil of secrecy obscuring Customs and Border Protection, the huge police force tasked with guarding our borders. We discovered a lack of basic rights and accountability, along with countless stories of dehumanizing detentions and intrusions that thrive within a massive legal grey area.

 

What We Know About the Border


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm020817podextra.mp3




The Ties That Bind

Fri, 03 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

From incendiary phone calls with world leaders to a sloppy military operation in Yemen, a look at what we've learned so far from "the leakiest White House in a very long time." Also, in a week when one journalist was fired for declaring that "objectivity is dead," we examine whether traditional standards of journalistic neutrality need to be re-imagined for a new era. And how the utopian promise of the Internet was overtaken by algorithms and monopolies that threaten to erode our democracy.

The Ties That Bind


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm020317pod.mp3




#PresidentBannon

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 18:44:00 -0500

WH chief strategist Steve Bannon is credited with influencing the president's every move, from speeches to executive orders. This week it was announced that he will take the place of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the National Security Council principals committee so we thought it was a good time to revisit an interview Brooke did with Joshua Green who profiled Bannon for Bloomberg News.

#PresidentBannon


Media Files:
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New Reality

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

The first week of the Trump administration was a frenzy of executive actions, falsehoods, and attacks on the media. Bob goes to the White House to talk with the press corps about how they're handling a moving target. Plus, how Trump's first executive action on abortion is a symbolic continuation of the decades-long war over reproductive rights. And, the swift rise and fall of the term "fake news." 

New Reality


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm012617pod.mp3