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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: Fri, 22 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Copyright: © WNYC
 



Trust Issues

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Facebook is under fire for allowing Russian propagandists to buy ads during the 2016 election. This week, how we do and don't hold tech giants accountable.

1. Max Seddon [@maxseddon], Moscow correspondent for The Financial Times, on the push by the US government to register RT and Sputnik under the Foreign Agents Relations Act and why the effort to "do something" about Russian propaganda is misguided.

2. Julia Angwin [@juliaangwin], investigative journalist for ProPublica, on their new crowdsourcing project that aims to monitor otherwise inscrutable Facebook political advertisements.

3. Matt Stoller [@matthewstoller], Fellow at the Open Markets Institute, on understanding Silicon Valley's behavior through the lens of monopoly and why he believes Americans can, and must, demand more.

4. Utsav Sanduja [@u], Chief Operating Officer of the alt-right-favored social media network Gab, on their antitrust lawsuit against Google and why they see a need for a pro-free speech social media platform.

5. Paul Ford [@ftrain], tech author and commentator, on the difficult ethical questions that surround massive tech platforms.

Trust Issues


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm170922pod.mp3




What Lies Ahead For Puerto Rico

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 18:06:44 -0400

Following Hurricane Maria’s landfall on Wednesday morning, we have only scarce images and reports from which to comprehend the scale of devastation in Puerto Rico right now. Perhaps due to disaster fatigue, perhaps due to the territory’s second-class status, the media coverage has been perfunctory.

While the coverage to date has focused on the flooding and widespread power outages on the ravaged island, Rutgers professor Yarimar Bonilla says there's an important context to the problems with the electric grid. She and Bob discuss how the damage from Maria is related to the debt crisis, and how it may provide an excuse to justify another wave of privatization on the island.

What Lies Ahead For Puerto Rico


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm170921_podextra.mp3




"Free Speech Week" Puts Berkeley Back in the Crosshairs

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:47:38 -0400

Alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos recently released a list of speakers for his upcoming "Free Speech Week" at University of California Berkeley, a four-day event featuring Steve Bannon, Ann Coulter, and a host of other conservative voices. Yet, according to Berkeley officials, the Berkeley Patriot, the on-campus student publication that invited Yiannopoulos in the first place, has flubbed basic logistical planning and put "Free Speech Week" in jeopardy.

And if it falls apart, says historian Angus Johnston, then it will look like Berkeley had planned to censor the event all along. He and Brooke speak about why news consumers should focus less on the issue of campus free speech and more on Yiannopoulos’s PR strategy.

"Free Speech Week" Puts Berkeley Back in the Crosshairs


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm170920_podextra.mp3




Look What You Made Me Do

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0400

A week after President Trump cut a surprise deal with Democrats, and 100 years after it was created, is the debt ceiling still serving its intended purpose? Plus, inside the alt-right idolization of Taylor Swift and medieval history and how some are trying to fight back. Finally, a new book argues that we may need less technology, even--or especially--if it means we become more bored.

1. Zachary Karabell, author of "The Leading Indicators: A Short History of the Numbers that Rule Our World," discusses the debt ceiling's history and frequent use as political football.

2. Mitchell Sunderland, Senior Staff Writer at Vice, on Taylor Swift's fascist following

2. Historian David M. Perry on how medieval historians should respond to white supremacist affection for their field.

4. Manoush Zomorodi, host of the WNYC's Note to Self, on her new book, "Bored and Brilliant," and the dire need to disengage from technology.

Look What You Made Me Do


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm091517pod.mp3




The Counter-Jihad Movement & the Making of a President

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 11:45:53 -0400

President George W. Bush, speaking at a mosque on Sept. 17, 2001: "The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace."

Donald Trump, campaigning for president on March 9, 2016: "I think Islam hates us."

David Yerushalmi was living in an Israeli settlement near Jerusalem speaking on the phone with his father when the planes hit the towers on Sept. 11, 2001. "We got it wrong," Yerushalmi remembers telling his father. Before Sept. 11th, Yerushalmi thought terrorism was about nationalism, a fight over land. Afterward, he decided terrorism committed by Muslim extremists was driven by Islam itself -- and underpinned by Islamic Shariah law.  

(image)

So he packed up his family and moved to New York to become part of a fledgling community of conservatives who would come to be known as counter-jihadists. They had an uphill battle to fight: In the aftermath of Sept. 11, President Bush and most Americans, according to polls, did not equate Islam with terrorism. 

But 16 years later, even though there hasn't been another large-scale terrorist attack on American soil committed by a Muslim, America's perspective on Islam has changed -- evidenced most notably by the election of a president who believes the religion itself hates the country.

Yerushalmi is a big reason for this change of heart. He's a behind-the-scenes leader of the counter-jihad movement, filing lawsuits pushing back against the encroachment of Islam in the public sphere and crafting a series of anti-Sharia laws that Muslims and civil rights groups decry as Islamophobic.

"Do I think that the United States is weak enough to collapse either from a kinetic Jihad, meaning war, or even a civilizational Jihad that the Muslim Brotherhood talks about? No. At least not in my lifetime. But do I think it's an existential threat that allows for sleeper cells and the Internet-grown Jihadist that we see day in and day out wreaking so much havoc here and in Europe? Yes. Do I see it as a threat to our freedoms and liberties incrementally through their so-called civilizational Jihad where they use our laws and our freedoms to undermine our laws and our freedoms? Absolutely."

WNYC reporter Matt Katz speaks to Yerulshami about what he thinks is the creeping threat of Sharia law for the podcast "The United States of Anxiety" produced by New York Public Radio. 

 

The Counter-Jihad Movement & the Making of a President


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm091217_podextra.mp3




Duck and Cover

Fri, 08 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The Trump administration has announced the end of the DACA program. We examine the rhetoric used to justify the decision. Plus: the Southern Poverty Law Center faces questions from across the political spectrum about its messaging and fundraising; and the surprising history of FEMA's Cold War origins and what it means for emergency response today. 

1. Mark Joseph Stern [@mjs_DC] of Slate dissects the rhetoric used by the Trump administration to justify ending the DACA program. 

2. Peter Beinart [@PeterBeinart] of The Atlantic on how Democrats frame immigration and what gets ignored in the discussion. 

3. The Southern Poverty Law Center has faced criticism from the left and the right. Ben Schreckinger [@SchreckReports] of Politico breaks down concerns surrounding the group's messaging and fundraising. Then, SPLC President Richard Cohen [@splcenter] responds to the criticism and rebuts recent, dubious accusations from right-leaning media outlets. 

4. Garrett Graff [@vermontgmg] wrote about "The Secret History of FEMA" for Wired this week. He explains FEMA's origins as a Cold War civil defense agency and how its mission has evolved.

Duck and Cover


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm090817pod.mp3




Unnatural Disaster

Fri, 01 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Hurricane Harvey makes landfall, bringing with it a familiar set of reporting tropes. We unpack the language of storm reporting and why it falls short, and why these disasters expose a society's priorities. Plus: why there's no such thing as a "natural" disaster; and a conservative commentator on what would really bring a "breaking point" to Trump's relationship with Republicans. 

1. Neena Satija of The Texas Tribune and Reveal discusses last year's investigative report, "Boomtown, Flood Town," about Houston's risk for flooding. 

2. The American Storm Edition of the Breaking News Consumer's Handbook, with: Robert Holmes, national flood hazard specialist and coordinator for the U.S.G.S.; risk communication consultant Gina Eosco; and disaster historian Scott Knowles

3. One of the most widely misreported stories of Hurricane Katrina involved deaths at St. Rita's nursing home in a New Orleans suburb. James Cobb, their lawyer, talked to Brooke about media scapegoating in disasters. 

4. Noah Rothman of Commentary Magazine on why the Republican party isn't distancing itself more from President Trump. 

 

Unnatural Disaster


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm090117_cms792920_pod.mp3




Bob's Docs Finale: Conflicting Narratives

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 15:51:25 -0400

For the month of August, we’ve been running a series of interviews Bob has done with documentary filmmakers. We’ve been calling it “Bob’s Docs," and each we’ve week we’ve gone through some of the themes of documentary filmmaking — from the personal journey to the gift of extraordinary access. We have one more bonus episode of “Bob’s Docs," and this one is about what happens when documentaries dig into conflicting narratives.

In 1977, a former beauty queen with a 168 IQ named Joyce McKinney became British tabloid fodder when she supposedly kidnapped her Mormon boyfriend at gunpoint and, for four days, kept him as her sex slave. Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris' 2011 documentary Tabloid looked into the claims and the tabloid coverage. Brooke spoke with Morris six years ago about what he learned about sensational reporting and the trouble of getting to the bottom of a he-said, she-said.

Bob's Docs Finale: Conflicting Narratives


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm083017_cms792550_pod.mp3




This American War on Drugs

Fri, 25 Aug 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.

1. Our Breaking News Consumer's Handbook: Drugs Edition: a critical look at what the press gets wrong about drugs and drug addiction, featuring Dr. Debbie Dowell of the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionDr. Carl Hart of Columbia University, and author Maia Szalavitz.

2. Historian Alexandra Chasin and author Johann Hari tell the story of Harry Anslinger, the man who set our seeming eternal drug war in motion, and his ruthless pursuit of jazz singer Billie Holiday.

3. University of California Santa Cruz's Dr. Craig Reinarman examines how American presidents encouraged and harnessed hysteria around drugs for political gain.

4. Journalist Sam Quinones argues for the importance of aggressive policing in the effort to end America's opioid crisis.

This American War on Drugs


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm082517pod.mp3




Bob's Docs Episode Four: It's Personal

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 02:00:00 -0400

For the month of August we've been running a series of interviews Bob has done over the years with documentary filmmakers. In the OTM office, the producers have been referring to the collection as "Bob's Docs." Over the past few weeks, we've gone through some of the themes of documentary film-making, from prurience to access to manipulation. This week we conclude with the personal journey. 

This episode features two interviews, and the first is actually a guest spot from Brooke Gladstone. Last year, Brooke spoke with James Solomon about his documentary, "The Witness", about the story of Kitty Genovese -- a young woman who was famously murdered on a New York City street in 1964. Her murder came to symbolize urban apathy and the "bystander effect". Solomon documents Kitty's brother Bill Genovese's lengthy pursuit to discover the truth behind her life and murder. 

Then, Bob speaks with filmmaker Ken Dornstein about his three-part series on PBS's Frontline called "My Brother's Bomber" about his investigation into the 1988 Lockerbie airplane bombing. Dornstein's brother died in the attack, and Dornstein spent years trying to locate other figures who were suspects. 

 

Bob's Docs Episode Four: It's Personal


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm170823_podextra128.mp3




Gutted

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0400

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. 

1. Sinclair Broadcasting is poised to expand to more households. Felix Gillette of Bloomberg discusses the company's frugal — and right-wing — approach to local news.

2. Richard Andrews, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Policy at UNC Chapel Hill, and William Ruckelshaus, former EPA administrator, help us understand the history of the EPA and how the environment became a political battleground.

3. Heidi Cullen, chief scientist at Climate Central, explains how climate attribution science can help us better describe global warming’s role in extreme weather events.

4. Slate columnist Dan Engber explores how the idea of a great garbage patch in the Pacific has helped us make sense of a changing climate that can be hard to visualize.

Gutted


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm170818pod.mp3




Bob's Docs Episode Three: Prurience

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 02:00:00 -0400

For the month of August we’ll be running a series of interviews Bob has done over the years with documentary filmmakers. In the OTM office, the producers have been referring to the collection as “Bob’s docs.” Over the next few weeks we’ll go through some themes of documentary film-making, from prurience to access to the personal journey. This week's theme is prurience. 

This episode features Bob's interview about the documentary "Weiner", about the disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner's attempt at redemption with an attempt at running for mayor of New York City. Weiner had agreed to let a pair of documentary filmmakers record his campaign (and his entire life) in the hopes that they would capture his triumph. Instead, the cameras were rolling as he faced yet another slew of sexting allegations. Elyse Steinberg is a writer and documentary film director. Josh Kriegman is a director and former political political consultant. Together, they produced and directed "Weiner". 

Since this interview, Weiner has pled guilty to a felony obscenity charge for sending pictures and messages to a 15-year-old girl. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for September. 

Bob's Docs Episode Three: Prurience


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm170816_podextra.mp3




You've Been Warned

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0400

After a week of fury and fire, On the Media takes a chill pill. We look at chilling warnings and opaque impediments, from reporters working with whistleblowers or trying to cover immigration courts, to media organizations reckoning with their future in the post-Gawker era. 

1. Dana Gold of the Government Accountability Project speaks with us about the incomplete patchwork of legal protections for journalists in light of the government’s newfound zeal for cracking down on “leakers.”

2. Immigration reporter Julia Preston of the Marshall Project discusses the challenges journalists face covering immigration courts. Then, Judge Dana Leigh Marks, President of the National Association of Immigration Judges, describes the unique challenges facing judges in the immigration court system. 

3. InSight Crime’s Steven Dudley debunks some of the myths around the notorious MS-13 and explains why it’s not all that the Trump administration describes.

4. Brian Knappenberger, producer and director of Nobody Speak: The Trials of the Free Press, gives us a behind-the-scenes look at his film, and describes the role of big money and morality in commanding the free press.

You've Been Warned


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm081117pod.mp3




Bob's Docs Episode Two: Access

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 02:00:00 -0400

For the month of August we’ll be running a series of interviews Bob has done over the years with documentary filmmakers. In the OTM office, the producers have been referring to the collection as “Bob’s docs.” Over the next few weeks we’ll go through some themes of documentary film-making, from prurience to access to the personal journey. This episode is about the gift of access. 

This episode features Bob's interview with the filmmaker Dan Reed about his 2003 documentary "Terror in Moscow", about the 2002 attack by Chechen terrorists on a Moscow Theater. Reed had access to remarkable footage filmed by the terrorists themselves and used it to present an extraordinary view of the crisis. 

Then, Bob revisits his interview with Matthew Heineman about his documentary "Cartel Land" in 2015. Heineman's relationship with his subjects allowed him to capture moments of violence, corruption, and even adultery -- all recorded with the subjects' full participation. 

Bob's Docs Episode Two: Access


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm20170809_podextra.mp3




"Shmashmortion"

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The surprising political history of abortion in America; how the language of the abortion debate impacts us all; state lawmakers are tightening the rules around how doctors communicate with their patients about abortion; and more.

Support On the Media by becoming a member today at OntheMedia.org/donate.    

"Shmashmortion"


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm080417podnew.mp3?awparams=otm%3Afalse




Bob's Docs Episode One: Manipulation

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 15:41:03 -0400

For the month of August we’ll be running a series of interviews Bob has done over the years with documentary filmmakers. In the OTM office, the producers have been referring to the collection as “Bob’s Docs.” Over the next few weeks we’ll go through some tropes of documentary film-making, from prurience to access to the personal journey. Episode one is about the deadly sin of manipulation.

Documentaries are supposed to represent the truth. But who decides what the truth is exactly? Patricia Aufderheide, professor and documentarian, who looked into some suspicious instances of manipulation in wildlife docs, explained her effort to interview documentary film-makers anonymously about their ethical lapses.

This episode also features an interview about the timeline manipulating HBO series, "The Jinx," directed by Andrew Jarecki. Bob spoke with documentary film-maker Joe Berlinger, co-creator of the "Paradise Lost" trilogy, about modern film-making, the responsibility of the artist, and different interpretations of "truth."

Bob's Docs Episode One: Manipulation


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm170802_podextra.mp3




Essential Coverage

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

The battle over Republican Senators' most recent attempt at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act dominated the media this week, and seemingly at all hours of the day. We take a look at a few players in the saga, from the putative maverick who brought the process to a halt with a quick thumbs-down, to a reporter trying to follow a process somewhat devoid of transparency, to the war of words that could determine the future of the American health care system. Plus, a retrospective view on the media's role in Charlie Gard's life. 

1. The Atlantic's James Fallows explores Senator John McCain's long history in the media spotlight — a story of dualities, cozy jokes, and the occasional, genuine maverick choice. 

2. Kaiser Health News's Julie Rovner describes the opaque and convoluted experience of covering the GOP process to repeal and replace Obamacare. 

3. The Daily Beast's Sam Stein examines the new anti-Obamacare propaganda coming from within the Trump Administration. 

4. Florida State University's Jill Quadagno leads us through the hundred-year messaging war over universal healthcare in the U.S., including a recent rise in public support for a single-payer system. 

5. The Times of London's Melanie Phillips discusses the role the American right-wing media played in the media storm surrounding Charlie Gard's tragic, short life. 

Support On the Media by becoming a member today at OntheMedia.org/donate.    

Essential Coverage


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm072817pod.mp3




Armchair diagnosing do's and don'ts

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 18:14:00 -0400

In March, the American Psychoanalytic Association emailed its 3500 members giving them the go ahead to bring their professional judgement to bear in commenting publicly about the president’s words and deeds.

But Tuesday, the much larger American Psychiatric Association was obliged to reiterate its so-called Goldwater Rule, it’s ethics policy forbidding members to diagnose or speculate on anyone who they haven’t examined. The rule sprang from a Fact Magazine article claiming that 1189 psychiatrists found hawkish 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater psychologically unfit to be president.

Last summer Bob spoke to Paul Appelbaum, a professor of Psychiatry, Medicine and Law at Columbia University, who explained that he is a strong proponent of mental health experts staying out of the pundit business.

And to Bill Doherty, a therapist and Psychology professor at the University of Minnesota, who believes the integrity of the profession depends precisely on speaking out. He’s the creator of the online manifesto, Citizen Therapists Against Trumpism, which garnered thousands of signatures from mental health specialists.

 

Armchair diagnosing do's and don'ts


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm072617podcastextra.mp3




Doubt It

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

There’s new research about how people process information, errors, and corrections. A look at what those findings tell us about the efficacy of journalism. Plus, how unethical research practices and liberal bias have created a cloud of doubt in the world of social science research. And, eight months after the election, Brooke and Bob reflect on OTM’s coverage of the Trump administration.

1. Dartmouth College's Brendan Nyhan on new research that challenges the "backfire effect," the theory that make people double-down on their false ideas.

2. University of Toronto's Uli Schimmack on the replication crisis throughout the field of psychology, and the effort to promote more ethical research practices.

3. New York University's Jay Van Bavel on how social psychology is trying to face the possibility of a liberal slant, both in research subjects and in the system itself.

4. Brooke and Bob revisit their post-Election Day confrontation, and discuss how best to cover Trump going forward.

Support On the Media by becoming a member today at OntheMedia.org/donate.    

Doubt It


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm072117pod.mp3




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.

Support On the Media by becoming a member today at OntheMedia.org/donate.    

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!

Support On the Media by becoming a member today at OntheMedia.org/donate.    

 

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. 

Support On the Media by becoming a member today at OntheMedia.org/donate.    

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.

Support On the Media by becoming a member today at 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

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.

Support On the Media by becoming a member today at OntheMedia.org/donate.    

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.

Support On the Media by becoming a member today at OntheMedia.org/donate.    

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

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.

Support On the Media by becoming a member today at OntheMedia.org/donate.    

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

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.

Support On the Media by becoming a member today at OntheMedia.org/donate.    

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

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. 

Support On the Media by becoming a member today at OntheMedia.org/donate.    

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.

Support On the Media by becoming a member today at OntheMedia.org/donate.    

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:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm051017_podextra.mp3




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. 

Support On the Media by becoming a member today at OntheMedia.org/donate.    

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." 

Support On the Media by becoming a member today at OntheMedia.org/donate.    

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? 

Support On the Media by becoming a member today at OntheMedia.org/donate.    

"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.

1. Our Breaking News Consumer's Handbook: Drugs Edition: a critical look at what the press gets wrong about drugs and drug addiction, featuring Dr. Debbie Dowell of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Carl Hart of Columbia University, and author Maia Szalavitz.

2. Historian Alexandra Chasin and author Johann Hari tell the story of Harry Anslinger, the man who set our seeming eternal drug war in motion, and his ruthless pursuit of jazz singer Billie Holiday.

3. University of California Santa Cruz's Dr. Craig Reinarman examines how American presidents encouraged and harnessed hysteria around drugs for political gain.

4. Journalist Sam Quinones argues for the importance of aggressive policing in the effort to end America's opioid crisis.

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.

Support On the Media by becoming a member today at OntheMedia.org/donate.    

Out With The Old...


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm040717pod.mp3