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The Peabody Award-winning On the Media podcast is your guide to examining how the media sausage is made. Hosts Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield examine threats to free speech and government transparency, cast a skeptical eye on media coverage of the week’s big stories and unravel hidden political n…

WNYC Studios


    • Jul 6, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 35m AVG DURATION
    • 345 EPISODES

    Listeners of On the Media that love the show mention: media analysis, media criticism, best media, otm, la brega, media landscape, best npr, behind the news, newspapers, wnyc, slate's political, informed consumer, story behind the story, favorite npr show, media coverage, tldr, great media, best journalism, mass media, dissected.



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    Latest episodes from On the Media

    Hong Kong's Rewritten Histories

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2022 13:06

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

    Locked and Loaded

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 1, 2022 50:23

    The overturning of Roe v. Wade will remain the most discussed opinion of this Supreme Court term. But just a day earlier, the high court issued another monumental opinion — this one on guns. On this week's On the Media, hear why this latest ruling will send lawyers scrambling into historical archives. Plus, an inside look at Justice Clarence Thomas' unique strain of conservatism.  1.  Timothy Zick, professor of law at William and Mary Law School, about what's next in the debate over gun control, and why it will be all about history. Listen.  2. Corey Robin [@CoreyRobin], writer and professor of political science at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center, on all that we've missed (or ignored) about Justice Clarence Thomas. Listen. Music: Dream Machine - John ZornSign and Sigil - John ZornWhispers of  A Heavenly Death - John Zorn   

    The End of Roe in the Armed Forces

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2022 18:59

    As the country reels from last Friday's decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, people, politicians, and health care providers are scrambling to figure out what's next. But pregnancy was already an especially complicated process, full of rules and regulations, for one particular sector of the population — the military. According to a 2018 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, women made up just 16.5% of active-duty service members in the Department of Defense; however, military women are more likely than their civilian counterparts to have unintended pregnancies. They're also more likely to suffer a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, making medical care an essential should the department continue to diversify. This week, Brooke sits down with Kyleanne Hunter, senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation and a Marine Corps combat veteran, to talk about how the department had just begun to make positive changes, and now sits in a complex limbo.  

    Struck From the Record

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 24, 2022 50:20

    This week, the Supreme Court officially struck down Roe v. Wade, overturning fifty years of legal precedent and abortion rights across the country. On this week's On the Media, hear about the case that almost defined the abortion debate instead. Plus, the Jan 6 committee's latest bombshell evidence of Trump's manipulation of the justice department.  1. Alana Casanova-Burgess [@Alanallama], former OTM producer, and Jessica Glenza [@JessicaGlenza], health reporter at the Guardian, look at the case that Ruth Bader Ginsburg wished the Court heard instead of Roe v. Wade. Neil Siegel, a professor of law and political science at Duke University School of Law, puts the Susan Struck v. Secretary of Defense case in context. Dahlia Lithwick [@Dahlialithwick], who writes about the courts at Slate, untangles what the justices actually decided in Roe. Listen. 2. Michael Waldman [@mawaldman], president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, discusses how the January 6 committee's findings could aid a Justice Department indictment. Listen. Music: The Water Rises (Laurie Anderson) - The Kronos QuartetJohn's Book of Alleged Dances - The Kronos QuartetTateh's Picture Book - Randy NewmanAtlantic City - Randy Newman

    The 'Country Queers' Who Don't Want to Flee Rural America

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 23, 2022 16:28

    All across the country this month, people are celebrating queer and trans pride with parades, cookouts, dances, and family gatherings. And yet the future of the community feels darker than it has in a long time. Threats from Proud Boys and elected officials seem to reinforce the idea that LGBT people cannot survive or thrive in places outside a few coastal cities. But a study from the Movement Advancement Project in 2019 revealed that at least 3 million queer people live in rural America. And many have no interest in fleeing to big cities for protection. This week, Annalee Newitz sits in for Brooke, and talks to Rae Garringer about their oral history project, Country Queers. When Garringer was attending college in the early 2000s, the only queer rural representation they saw was in crime stories. Country Queers features LGBT people who are living in rural parts of the United States, in small towns and remote farms, and they're often taking great joy in it. 

    The Conspiracy Machine

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 17, 2022 50:37

    In this week's January 6th committee hearings, a documentary selling election conspiracies was laughed off by the likes of Bill Barr. But myths about a stolen election are no joke. On this week's On the Media, hear about a pundit's efforts to revitalize and repackage The Big Lie. Plus, one man's escape from the conspiracy theory machine.  1. Philip Bump [@pbump], national correspondent at The Washington Post, on debunking election myths made for the silver screen. Listen. 2. Nina Jankowicz [@wiczipedia], former head of the Disinformation Governance Board, on the lessons learned from government-led attempts to counter disinformation. Listen. 3. Josh Owens [@JoshuaHOwens], former staff member at InfoWars, on what made him leave, and how he's come to terms with his past role in dangerous movement. Listen. Music in this Week's Show:Ava Maria D. 839 - Pascal Jean and Jean BrendersFirst Drive - Clive Carroll and John RenbournBoy Moves the Sun - Michael AndrewsExit Music (For A Film) - Brad Mehldau Trio

    Alex Jones Doesn't Care About You

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 16, 2022 34:55

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

    Worth a Thousand Words

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 10, 2022 50:21

    Gun control legislation appears doomed once again, even as Congress heard heartbreaking testimony from parents of the children killed in Uvalde. On the latest episode of On the Media, why some activists and journalists now advocate for publishing the gruesome photos of victims. Plus, how one family grappled with the brutal video of their loved one's death in prison. 1. Susie Linfield, professor of journalism at New York University, on the push to share photographs of victims, and the limited political power of an image. Listen. 2. Spencer and Gail Booker, family of Marvin Booker, who was killed by police in 2010, share what their family went through, and why Marvin's death being caught on camera remains so difficult. Listen. 3. Lois Beckett [@loisbeckett], senior reporter for The Guardian, on why our coverage of gun violence tends to focus on just one kind tragedy, and how we could make it better. Listen.  

    The Messy Politics of Oprah and Dr. Oz

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2022 22:57

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

    When the Fog Clears

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 3, 2022 50:24

    This week, On the Media looks ahead to the January 6th committee hearings that will air live in primetime this month. Find out which questions reporters hope the hearings will answer — like what really happened inside the White House that day. Plus, how a lie about a suitcase full of fake ballots took on a life of its own. 1. Ilya Marritz [@ilyamarritz] and Andrea Bernstein [@AndreaBNYC], creators of the award-winning series Trump, Inc., break down why the upcoming January 6th committee hearings could be the most consequential yet. Listen. 2. Ilya Marritz [@ilyamarritz] and Andrea Bernstein [@AndreaBNYC] return in an excerpt from their new show Will Be Wild, examining the forces behind the January 6th insurrection with stories from those who tried to stop the attack, and those who took part. Plus, some pineapple. Listen.

    How The Media Failed Amber Heard

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2022 41:22

    This Wednesday afternoon, in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia, a jury awarded Johnny Depp $15 million in damages in libel suit against Amber Heard, and gave her $2 million in her countersuit against him. All this, over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as "a public figure representing domestic abuse." Depp's lawyers say he was defamed by the article even though it never mentioned his name. This case, argued over six weeks before a seven-person jury and judge, and a noisily expanding online audience, drove much of the internet crazy with guilty pleasure. Thus ensued a collective hurling of feces at Amber Heard, despite the evidence gathered meticulously in a 2020 British libel case also focused on Depp's spousal abuse. The only quarter of the media that seemed reluctant to engage in the facts of the case was the progressive press, or the liberal media. There you could find coverage of the social media chaos, but not the underlying reality. This bothered journalist Michael Hobbes, host of the podcast Maintenance Phase, who observed that usually reliable outlets tended to steer around the facts, and sold an already victimized woman down the river. 

    Imperfect Immunity

    Play Episode Listen Later May 27, 2022 50:23

    As we trudge through our third year of the pandemic, what is the state of our immunity to COVID? On this week's On the Media, hear how vaccines and reinfections interact with fast-evolving variants. Plus, why we should take the recent monkeypox outbreak seriously, but avoid panicking.1. Katherine Wu [@KatherineJWu], staff writer for The Atlantic, on building immunity three years into the pandemic. Listen. 2. David Robertson, doctoral candidate at Princeton University, on what the press got wrong when covering herd immunity. Listen. 3. Fiona Lowenstein [@fi_lowenstein], journalist and founder of Body Politic, on how to write about Long Covid. Listen. 4. Jon Cohen [@sciencecohen], writer at Science, on why we shouldn't compare the recent monkeypox outbreak to Covid. Listen. Music: Sleep Talking by Ornette ColemanSonata for Violin and Guitar (Mauro Giuliani) by Itzhak Perlman and John WilliamsSuperstition (Stevie Wonder) by Jung SunghaI Got A Right To Sing the Blues by Billy KyleJohn's Book of Alleged Dances by The Kronos Quartet

    Again and Again and Again and Again (and Again)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 25, 2022 20:33

    Last week's show was titled “Again and Again” and it led with an essay about the then latest devastating mass shooting, in Buffalo. We combed our archives for all those people we'd spoken to in the past about the  tropes and mistakes that litter the coverage of these abominations. We didn't gather new tape because...honestly? We've said it all before. And then it happened again. This time in Texas at an elementary school. August of 2019 saw another moment where 2 shooting rampages occurred within days of each other; one in El Paso, Texas and the next in Dayton, Ohio.  At the time, Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan wrote, “When a mass shooting happens, even when it happens twice in a 24-hour period — even when the death tolls soars into the dozens — we reflexively spring into action. We describe the horror of what happened, we profile the shooter, we tell about the victims' lives, we get reaction from public officials. It's difficult, gut-wrenching work for journalists on the scene.  And then there's the next one. And the next one. If journalism is supposed to be a positive force in society — and we know it can be — this is doing no good.” Lois Beckett is a senior reporter for The Guardian. She covered gun violence for many years, now gun policy. She says that mainstream coverage of the issue is flawed because it's focused mainly on one type of tragedy. She explained to me when I spoke to her 3 years ago, how better coverage would mean focusing on the root causes of gun violence. This is a segment from our September 6th, 2019 program, Pressure Drop.

    Again and Again

    Play Episode Listen Later May 20, 2022 49:54

    In the wake of yet another racist mass shooting, this time in Buffalo, New York, media outlets are churning out heartbreakingly familiar stories, with the same tropes and the same helplessness. On this week's On the Media, how we've become mired in patterns and lost sight of the potential solutions. Plus, how journalists should cover the ongoing siege on democracy. Then, a deep dive into the forgotten legacy of one of America's most influential writers.   1. Brooke Gladstone [@OTMBrooke], OTM host, on the tropes that choke coverage of every mass shooting, and why we should focus on consequences and the 'rot at the root.' Listen. 2. Jay Rosen [@jayrosen_nyu], professor of journalism at New York University and media critic for PressThink, on why journalists should still be in "emergency mode." Listen. 3. Paul Auster, acclaimed novelist and author of Burning Boy: The Life and Work of Stephen Crane, on the 19th century writer's forgotten legacy. Listen. Music: White Man Sleeps by The Kronos QuartetFergus River Roundelay by Gerry O'BeirneMiddlesex Times by Michael AndrewsA Ride with Polly Jean by Jenny ScheinmanCellar Door by Michael Andrews

    Where in the World is Brooke?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2022 34:19

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

    Seeing Is Believing

    Play Episode Listen Later May 13, 2022 50:17

    With Roe v Wade under threat, some politicians and media outlets are trying to turn the national conversation away from abortion and toward civility. On this week's On the Media, how the GOP has mastered the art of setting the narrative. Plus, how moral panics surrounding dangerous TikTok trends follow a century-old pattern of blaming new technology for the deviant behavior of teenagers. 1. Paul Waldman [@paulwaldman1], opinion writer for the Washington Post, on Republicans decrying the draft opinion leak and protests to motivate their base ahead of the midterms. Listen. 2. Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger], OTM correspondent, on alarmist news coverage of TikTok challenges and its misleading influence on panicked parents. Listen. 3. Brandy Zadrozny [@BrandyZadrozny], senior reporter for NBC News, on the story of Tiffany Dover, and how misinformation about her death fueled anti-vax messaging. Listen. Music: Fallen Leaves by Marcos Ciscar The Camping Store by Clive Carroll and John Renbourn Coffee Cold by Galt MacDermot Middlesex Times by Michael Andrews 

    How the Depp v. Heard Trial Became a Meme

    Play Episode Listen Later May 12, 2022 12:53

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

    Crime and Punishment

    Play Episode Listen Later May 6, 2022 50:00

    Across news outlets, crime reporting often relies on police sources and incomplete data. On this week's show, hear how to spot bias in crime stories and what more nuanced coverage looks like. And, the struggle to protect whistleblowers calling out police abuse. Plus, the story of one powerful tabloid that has stymied bail reform for decades. 1. Laura Bennett, the co-author of ​“Freedom, Then the Press: New York Media and Bail Reform,” on how to read a crime story. Listen. 2. Matt Katz [@mattkatz00] WNYC reporter, on what bad coverage of bail reform looks like. Listen. 3. Tom Devine, legal director of the Government Accountability Project, on how to protect whistleblowers on police misconduct. Listen. 4. Tauhid Chappell [@TauhidChappell], Philadelphia Project Manager for Free Press, on abolishing the crime beat. Listen.

    The Abortion Underground

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2022 33:18

    This week, OTM presents a story from our colleagues at The Experiment. There's a common story about abortion in this country, that people have only two options to intentionally end a pregnancy: the clinic or the coat hanger. They can choose the safe route that's protected by Roe v. Wade—a doctor in a legal clinic—or, if Roe is overturned, endure a dangerous back-alley abortion, symbolized by the coat hanger. But a close look at the history of abortion in this country shows that there's much more to this story. As a draft of the majority opinion overruling Roe v. Wade was leaked to the media this week, activists are once again preparing to take abortion into their own hands. Reporter Jessica Bruder explores the abortion underground to learn about the movement's origins, and reveals how activists today are mobilizing around effective and medically safe abortion methods that can be done at home.  A transcript of this episode is available.  Further reading: “A Covert Network of Activists Is Preparing for the End of Roe”

    Ghost in the Machine

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 29, 2022 49:19

    After news broke that Elon Musk is likely to purchase Twitter later this year, the billionaire began sharing a controversial vision for the app. On this week's On the Media, hear why Musk's plan to turn Twitter into a so-called free speech platform could spiral out of control and how urban planning can make safer digital spaces. Plus, how science fiction inspired some of Silicon Valley's most powerful men. 1. Anand Giridharadas [@AnandWrites], author of Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, Erika D. Smith [@Erika_D_Smith], LA Times columnist, and Natalie Wynn [@ContraPoints], YouTuber and political commentator, on the implications and possible outcomes of Elon Musk's potential purchase of Twitter. Listen.  2. Eli Pariser [@elipariser], co-director of Civic Signals, on how urban planning can manage the problems of social programing to create digital spaces that don't exploit us. Listen.  3. Jill Lepore, Harvard historian and staff writer at the New Yorker, Annalee Newitz [@Annaleen], former Editor-in-Chief of Gizmodo and science fiction author, and Gene Seymour [@GeneSeymour], longtime cultural critic, on tech moguls' obsession with science fiction. Listen. 

    Dead End

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 27, 2022 30:23

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

    Work Work Work Work Work

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 22, 2022 50:12

    Checking in on the so-called Great Resignation. On this week's On The Media, hear why the trend is a logical response to the cult of work. Plus, when technology makes our jobs harder, maybe being a 'luddite' isn't such a bad thing.  1. Sarah Jaffe [@sarahljaffe], journalist and author of Work Won't Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone, on how love and meaning became intertwined with our jobs. Listen. 2. Anne Helen-Peterson [@annehelen], writer and journalist, and Charlie Warzel [@cwarzel], contributing writer at The Atlantic, on how technology is—or, dramatically is not — making life easier at work. Listen. 3. Gavin Mueller [@gavinmuellerphd], assistant professor of New Media and Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, on what modern lessons can be learned from the Luddite workers of 19th century England. Listen. Music from this week's show: Sign and Sigil by John ZornBROKE by Modest MouseMiddlesex Times by Michael AndrewsBlues by La Dolce vita Dei NobiliLiquid Spear Waltz by Michael AndrewsStolen Moments by Ahmed Jamal Trio

    The Holiday You May Have Missed

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 20, 2022 17:49

    International Workers' Day is celebrated with rallies and protests all over the world on May 1, but it's not a big deal in the United States. Back in 2018, Brooke spoke with Donna Haverty-Stacke of Hunter College, CUNY about the American origin of May Day — and about how it has come to be forgotten. The first national turnout for worker's rights in the U.S. was on May 1, 1886; contrary to what you may have heard elsewhere, it wasn't the same thing as the Haymarket Affair. Haverty-Stacke is also author of America's Forgotten Holiday: May Day and Nationalism, 1867–1960, and she explains that the fight over May 1, or May Day, is also about the fight for American identity and what it means to be radical and patriotic at the same time.   The OTM crew (in 2018) sings "Into The Streets May First," a never-before-professionally-recorded 1935 Aaron Copland anthem:  

    How Cassettes Changed the World

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 15, 2022 51:00

    Cassette tapes mostly gather dust these days. But back in their heyday, they fundamentally changed how we communicate, in ways we're still making sense of today. On this week's On the Media, hear how the cassette tape fueled the Iranian revolution, helped pierce the Iron Curtain, and put human connection in the palm of our hands. 1. Simon Goodwin on his innovation to broadcast computer software over the radio back in 1983. Listen. 2. Computer programmer Fuxoft explains his role in 'Sneakernet,' which saw pirated material of all types smuggled into 1980s Czechoslovakia via cassette tape. Listen. 3. The role of cassette tapes in the Iranian Revolution. Listen. This episode was reported, produced, scored and sound designed for Radiolab by Simon Adler with original music throughout by Simon. Top tier reporting and production assistance was provided by Eli Cohen.

    It's Tax Season!

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 13, 2022 9:55

    Few clichés are as well-worn, and grounded in reality, as the dread many Americans feel towards doing their taxes and the loathing they have for the IRS. But as much as the process is despised, relatively little is known about how it could be improved. Pro Publica's Jessica Huseman said that's largely because tax prep companies keep it that way. Brooke spoke to Huseman in 2017 about what an improved system might look like and how tax prep companies work to thwart any such changes. One of the primary roadblocks to change, said Huseman, is an organization called the Free File Alliance, a public-private partnership whereby private tax companies agree to provide a free service for most Americans in exchange for the IRS not offering any such service itself. Brooke spoke with Tim Hugo, Executive Director of the Free File Alliance, about whether it is really the best way to help American taxpayers.

    Our Unfinished Pandemic

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 8, 2022 53:12

    Congress is threatening to cut billions in COVID aid even as a new variant emerges. On this week's On the Media, how our policy debate reveals an indifference for long COVID disabilities and death on a staggering scale. And, how that apathy tracks with a pattern of past pandemics. Plus, a look at the novelist Kurt Vonnegut's theory of storytelling, and what it tells us about why so many Americans have stopped paying attention to the virus. Ed Yong [@edyong209], staff writer at The Atlantic, on why mass deaths from COVID have failed to provoke a strong political and social reckoning. Listen. Laura Spinney, [@lfspinney], author and science journalist on how pandemics have historically disabled people, and what this teaches us about Covid long-haulers. Listen. Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger], OTM correspondent, on how to make sense of Covid's ever-changing plot, using Kurt Vonnegut's theory of "the shapes of stories." Listen. Music:Agnus Dei by Martin PalmeriLove Theme from Spartacus by Fred HerschPassing Time by John RenbournMisterioso by Kronos QuartetBewitched, Bothered and Bewildered by Brad Mehldau Trio    

    New Variant on the Block

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 6, 2022 16:24

    Hey waddayaknow? There are more variants in the news. Back when Omicron was first making headlines at the end of last year, we made a Breaking News Consumer's Handbooks: Variant Edition. Brooke spoke to Katherine J. Wu, a staff writer at The Atlantic who covers science, to review the steps a news consumer can take to stay informed minus the anxiety.  Breaking News Consumer's Handbook: Variant Edition (Andrea Latimer/WNYC) For a linkable text equivalent, a pdf version is available here. This is a segment from our December 3rd, 2021 program, Pigeon With A Mustache.

    Still Armed, Still Dangerous

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 1, 2022 52:59

    More than a month into Putin's invasion, Ukrainian resistance has proved mightier than the Russian leader seems to have anticipated. On this week's On the Media, hear how Russia is following the well-established American track record of entering wars without plans for ending them. Plus, a sober look at Russia's nuclear strategy. And, how the threat of nuclear apocalypse has shaped American culture since World War II. Then, a look at the 1983 made-for-TV film that spurred a national conversation about disarmament.  1. Gideon Rose, author of How Wars End, on what Russia should've learned from America's misadventures in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Listen. 2. Kristin Ven Bruusgaard[@KBruusgaard], postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oslo, on the actual threat of Russia's nuclear arsenal. Listen. 3. Alex Wellerstein [@wellerstein], historian of science at Stevens Institute of Technology, on why the threat of nuclear apocalypse can be hard to comprehend. Listen.  4. Marsha Gordon [@MarshaGGordon], professor of film studies at North Carolina State University, on one of the most important films about nukes. Listen. Music: Sacred Oracle by John Zorn Horizon by Thomas NewmanIn The Bath by Randy NewmanLa Vie En Rose by Toots ThielemansGormenghast by John ZornWhite Lotus Theme by Cristobal Tapia De Veer99 Luftballoons by Nena

    The Simpsons in a Time of Nuclear War

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 30, 2022 17:47

    A new poll this week from AP-NORC found that when asked, close to half of Americans say they are very concerned that Russia would directly target the U.S. with nuclear weapons, and an additional 3 in 10 are somewhat concerned. Given that Vladimir Putin put his nuclear forces on high alert at the start of his invasion of Ukraine, and with the rhetoric heating up as the war continues, it's hardly surprising that people are worried.  All the talk of nukes got us thinking about a segment from a few years back in which Brooke spoke to playwright Anne Washburn, about her work Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play. In it she imagines a world that has been devastated by a nuclear incident and how the remaining civilization would process the destruction over time...by retelling an episode of The Simpsons and about what the episode's evolution over the decades says about society's need for stories and about the role of comedy in the face of tragedy. Excerpts taken from the 2013 production at Playwrights Horizons, directed by Steve Cosson, and a 2017 production at Amherst Regional High School, directed by Nathan Baron-Silvern. Music by Michael Friedman.

    All the World's a Stage

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 25, 2022 51:06

    This week's confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson were filled with dog whistles and distractions. On our latest episode, hear how Republicans are using rhetoric about pedophiles to discredit their opponents. Plus, the story of an American author who learned and unlearned Putin's myth about Ukrainian nazification. 1. Melissa Gira Grant [@melissagira], staff writer at The New Republic, on the cruel new Republican buzzword: "grooming." Listen. 2. Lili Loofbourow [@Millicentsomer], staff writer at Slate, on the eerie experience of watching Zelesnsky act in the television show, "Servant of the People" and more. Listen. 3. OTM presents a story from The Experiment, featuring Franklin Foer [@franklinfoer], on his family's debt to Ukrainians. Listen. Music: Sarabande (Barry Lyndon OST) by National Philharmonic OrchestraGerman Lullaby by The KiboomersJuliet of the Spirits (Main Theme) by Nino RotaHeroes by David BowieLost, Night by Bill Frisell

    A Handy Guide to How the Supreme Court Works

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 23, 2022 15:56

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

    We Were Warned

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 18, 2022 50:25

    As the horrific violence in Ukraine escalates, the global far-right is justifying Russia's invasion with outlandish conspiracy theories. On this week's On the Media, guest host Matt Katz digs into one viral lie that went mainstream. Plus, how internet sleuths are collecting digital evidence of alleged Russian war crimes to be used in international courts. And, we hear from the author of a new book about four foreign correspondents who shaped early American coverage of World War II. 1. Ben Collins [@oneunderscore__], senior reporter with NBC News, on the viral Ukrainian "bioweapon labs" conspiracy theory. Listen. 2. Eliot Higgins [@EliotHiggins], founder of Bellingcat, on how his organization uses open source investigations to track alleged Russian war crimes. And Alexa Koenig [@KAlexaKoenig], Executive Director of the Human Rights Center at the UC Berkeley School of Law, on how such digital evidence may be used by future war crime tribunals. Listen. 4. Deborah Cohen [@DeborahACohen], professor of history at Northwestern University, on her new book about four foreign correspondents who sounded the alarm on WWII. Listen.

    The Death of Historical Memory in Russia

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 16, 2022 14:17

    Russia's Memorial International maintained an archive whose purpose was to amass and preserve the crimes against humanity committed in the Soviet Union. On March 3rd it was closed down by order of the Kremlin. It was only a month ago that we first aired this piece about the threats to the archive, but already the information and media landscape in Russia is unrecognizable. Unknown numbers of journalists have fled draconian new laws that could land them in prison for 15 years for contradicting the party line on the war in Ukraine and state controlled media has has tightened its stranglehold l of the airwaves. In the chaos of the past few weeks, Memorial's closing was - tragically, just another data point…another nail in the coffin for truth seekers.  OTM producer Molly Schwartz - who was in Moscow but has since left, visited Memorial International and spoke with archivist Nikita Lomakin about the importance of preserving Russia's oldest Human Rights organization. In this piece, Molly also interviews historian Ivan Kurilla, author of The Battle for the Past: How Politics Changes History, about how the attacks on the archive resonate with Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This is a segment from our February 11, 2022 program I'm No Expert.  

    The Escape

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 11, 2022 51:15

    The refugee crisis sparked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine may be the fastest-growing displacement of people in Europe since World War II. On this week's On the Media, hear the story of an internet community that guided an influencer and his family through the warzone. Plus, how Russia's draconian anti-press laws have driven journalists out of the country. 1. Michael Wasiura [@michael_wasiura], writer and former pundit, on how his role giving the American perspective on Russian state TV became obsolete and what he's doing now. Listen. 2. Alexey Kovalev [@Alexey__Kovalev], investigative editor at Meduza, on his experience fleeing Russia after the Kremlin tightened it's grip on information about the war, choking out independent media. Listen.  3. Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger], OTM correspondent, on the Ukrainian Twitch streamer who used his virtual military skills and online community to get his family to safety when the invasion began. Listen.  Music:Frail as a Breeze by Erik FriedlanderGlass House (End Title) by David BergeaudTime is Late  by Marcos Ciscar Horizon 12.2 by Thomas NewmanPeace Piece (Bill Evans) by Kronos Quartet

    The Kremlin's M.O.

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 9, 2022 15:44

    This is a piece we first ran last September. It's reported by OTM producer Molly Schwartz who until the war in Ukraine started was a fellow on a journalism program in Moscow. Molly's recounted for us the effects of a bizarre and cumbersome law - one of the many tactics used by the Kremlin to silence dissenting voices.  Following widespread protests across Russia last year in support of jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny, Putin's government has engaged in a wave of crackdowns on dissent, expelling and imprisoning opposition leaders, and shutting down independent news outlets. They've also, since April 2021, added 30 Russian journalists or news outlets to the government's list of "foreign agents."  Journalists or news organizations who are labeled as "foreign agents" don't have to to shut down or stop publishing. Instead, they have to jump through various bureaucratic hoops — like reporting all their income and expenses to the Ministry of Justice (to be publicly posted on its website), and, perhaps most Kafkaesque of all, including a 24-word legal disclaimer on top of everything they publish. This includes every article, every advertisement, every tweet, every Instagram story, every response to a friend's comment on social media.  This is a segment from our September 24th, 2021 program, The Subversion Playbook.

    The Fog of War

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 4, 2022 50:18

    Footage captured and shared by Ukrainian civilians is helping the world see through the fog of war. But not every video in your news feed is the real deal. On this week's On the Media, how to sift fact from fiction with our new Breaking News Consumer's Handbook: Ukraine Edition. Plus, how journalists and analysts are using OSINT to track the war. Then, how an international white Christian nationalist movement is fueling Putin's views and violence.  1. Jane Lytvenenko [@JaneLytv], senior research fellow at the Technology and Social Change Project at Harvard University's Shorenstein Center, on how to sort out the real from the fake while keeping up with the news from Ukraine. Listen. 2. Peter Aldhous [@paldhous], science reporter at Buzzfeed, on how open-source intelligence is changing how we all experience war. Listen. 3. Casey Michel [@cjcmichel], writer and investigative journalist, on white Christian nationalism—here and in Russia. Listen. 4. Jason Stanley [@jasonintrator], professor of philosophy at Yale University, on the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that plague eastern Europe. Listen. Music:  Exit Music For A Film by Brad MehldauMotherless Child by LaTonya PeoplesEye Surgery by Thomas NewmanThe Artifact & Living by Michael AndrewsTrance Dance by John ZornUsing the Apostate Tyrant as His Tool by Kronos QuartetFinal Retribution by John Zorn Waltz (From Swan Lake) by Europa Philharmonic Orchestra

    'La Brega' in Puerto Rico

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 25, 2022 50:04

    This week, OTM presents stories from Puerto Rico as told in a podcast series called "La Brega," hosted by Alana Casanova-Burgess. Hear what that term means, how it's used, and what it represents. Also, how one of the most famous homebuilding teams in American history tried to export American suburbanism to Puerto Rico... as a bulwark against Cuban communism.  1. Alana [@AlanaLlama] explores the full meaning(s) of la brega, which has different translations depending on who you ask. According to scholar and professor emeritus at Princeton, Arcadio Diaz Quiñonez, the closest English word is "to grapple." Alana also speaks to Cheo Santiago [@adoptaunhoyo], creator of "Adopta Un Hoyo" (Adopt a Pothole), which encourages people to paint around and photograph potholes to alert other drivers. Because the roads are rarely fixed properly, the challenges of potholes and what people do to get around them is a metaphorical and literal brega in Puerto Rico. Listen. 2. Next, Alana turns to the boom and bust of Levittown, a suburb that was founded on the idea of bringing the American middle-class lifestyle to Puerto Rico during a time of great change on the island. Alana (herself the granddaughter of an early Levittown resident) explores what the presence of a Levittown in Puerto Rico tells us about the promises of the American Dream in Puerto Rico. Listen. Created by a team of Puerto Rican journalists, producers, musicians, and artists from the island and diaspora, "La Brega" uses narrative storytelling and investigative journalism to reflect and reveal how la brega has defined so many aspects of life in Puerto Rico. All episodes are out now, and available in English and Spanish.  Listen to the full series: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts Music in this series comes from Balún and ÌFÉ

    How SPAM built a town—and tore it apart

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 23, 2022 43:09

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

    Good As Gold

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 18, 2022 50:22

    Mainstream journalists keep falling for crypto scams that can end up costing their audiences a fortune. On this week's On the Media, hear why all of us might want to become at least a bit literate in crypto-technology. Plus, the story of an American pundit living in Moscow, who's being paid to be Russian TV's favorite punching bag. 1. Adam Davidson [@adamdavidson], founder of NPR's Planet Money, on the need for market context when reporting on cryptocurrency. Listen. 2. Katie Notopoulos [@katienotopoulos], senior tech reporter at BuzzFeed and Maxwell Strachan [@maxwellstrachan], features writer and editor at Motherboard at VICE, on the backlash from covering crypto investors who'd rather remain anonymous. Listen. 3. OTM producer Molly Schwartz [@mollyfication], on how Russian TV downplays talk of war using an American as a straw man. Listen. Music: I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles by Classic Carnival Circus Calliope MusicNewsreel by Randy NewmanAve Maria - Pascal Jean & Jean Brenders Avalon by Randy NewmanFergus Roundelay by Gerry O'BeirneSonata for Violin and Guitar (Mauro Giuliani) by Itzhak Perlman & John WilliamsPeter and the Wolf (Prokofiev) by Mario Rossi & Wiener Opernochester