On the Media

On the Media

www.wnycstudios.org/shows/otm
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
Technical Foul
May 25 • 50 min
Rudy Giuliani has been warning the press that the president may not testify in the Russia investigation, but Trump has signaled otherwise. This week, we untangle the White House’s mixed-up messaging on the Russia investigation. Plus, after reports that…
Glenn Beck Reverses His Reversal
May 24 • 19 min
In November 2016, Bob spoke to Blaze bloviator Glenn Beck to hear about how he was a changed man. More compassionate, a better listener and very opposed to Donald Trump. This weekend, Beck proudly donned a MAGA hat. Why the turnaround? According to Beck,…
Africatown
May 18 • 50 min
Just outside of Mobile, Alabama, sits the small community of Africatown, a town established by the last known slaves brought to America, illegally, in 1860. Decades after that last slave ship, The Clotilde, burned in the waters outside Mobile, Africatown…
The Recording of America
May 16 • 9 min
Studs Terkel, born 106 years ago on this date, May 16, spent the majority of his life documenting the lives of others – very often everyday, working-class people he believed were “uncelebrated and unsung.” From coal miners and sharecroppers to gangsters…
This Is America
May 11 • 50 min
Today, more than 45 million Americans live in poverty. The problem has been addressed countless times since the nation’s founding, but it persists, and for the poorest among us, it gets worse. America has not been able to find its way to a sustainable…
An Extended Trip Through Wild Wild Country
May 8 • 33 min
Back in the early 1980s, thousands of followers of the Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh descended upon a 64,000 acre piece of land in central Oregon to found their utopia. The Rajneeshees had millions of dollars at their disposal and an ideology based…
Dark Twisted Fantasy
May 4 • 50 min
After last month’s terrorist attack in Toronto, the media attempted to make sense of the term “incel,” or involuntary celibate. We situate the subculture within the complex ecosystem of aggrieved men online. Plus, a conversation with the directors of the…
Mayday, May Day
May 2 • 24 min
International Workers’ Day is celebrated with rallies and protests all over the world on May 1st, but it’s not a big deal in the United States. In this podcast extra, Brooke speaks to Donna Haverty-Stacke of Hunter College, CUNY about the U.S. origin of…
Dog Whistle
Apr 27 • 58 min
This week, we explore the ways white Americans — in the voting booth, and on T.V. — deal with a changing society. A new study finds that many white voters supported Donald Trump out of a fear of losing their place in the world. “Roseanne” gets a reboot,…
Introducing Nancy: a podcast about all things LGBTQ
Apr 24 • 24 min
This week we want to introduce you to some friends of ours at WNYC. Nancy podcast is hosted by best friends Tobin Low and Kathy Tu and its about all things LGBTQ. This week’s episode has Kathy solving a mystery on behalf of our WNYC colleague Kai Wright.…
Moving Beyond the Norm
Apr 20 • 50 min
Alex Jones built his Infowars brand on conspiratorial thinking and table-pounding rage. This week, we look at the three lawsuits testing whether Jones can sustain his business on lies alone. After the LGBT-rights advocate David Buckel committed suicide in…
The One and Only, Carl Kasell
Apr 18 • 11 min
This week the venerable Carl Kasell, legendary newscaster and Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me scorekeeper, died aged 84, from complications related to Alzheimer’s. Brooke sat down with Carl back in 2014 on the occasion of his retirement to commemorate a…
Who’s In Charge Here?
Apr 13 • 50 min
After Mark Zuckerberg’s two-day testimony before Congress, we consider whether a reckoning for the social media giant might finally be on the horizon. A new documentary looks at how the state of Montana has been fighting back against dark money ever since…
Trump Inc.: Trump, the Ex-Lobbyist and ‘Chemically Castrated’ Frogs
Apr 10 • 20 min
From our colleagues in the WNYC newsroom who produce Trump Inc.: This week, we’re doing a couple of things differently on Trump, Inc. Instead of focusing on President Trump’s businesses, we’re looking more broadly at business interests in the Trump…
Paved With Good Intentions
Apr 6 • 50 min
With a caravan of activists making its way through Mexico, President Trump signed a proclamation to send troops to defend the border. This week we examine that caravan’s unintended consequences, as well as the unintended consequences of a bill, recently…
TV News Anchors Speaking From the Heart — Uh, TelePrompter
Apr 3 • 11 min
Did you see the video that was making the rounds this weekend? It features a seemingly endless parade of Sinclair Broadcast Group TV news anchors — those smiley folks so trusted by their local audiences — speaking from the heart. OK, not from the heart,…
We, the Liberators
Mar 30 • 50 min
In March of 2003, U.S.–led coalition forces invaded Iraq, sparking a seemingly endless conflagration that claimed tens of thousands of lives and continues to shape events both international and domestic. Fifteen years later, what have we forgotten? What…
Iraq’s Accidental Journalists
Mar 28 • 18 min
Last week marked the fifteenth anniversary of the night of “Shock and Awe” exploding across the night sky over Baghdad, the opening salvo in an ongoing war. It was a deadly conflict to cover and foreign reporters increasingly relied on Iraqis to take the…
Big, If True
Mar 23 • 50 min
Cambridge Analytica claims that, with the help of 50 million Facebook users’ data, it was able to target ads so specifically and so effectively that it helped swing the election for Donald Trump. The media have been more than happy to boost the claim, but…
Crowdsourcing Justice: The Truth Behind the Steubenville Rape
Mar 20 • 15 min
Five years ago, two high school football players in Steubenville, Ohio were found responsible in juvenile court for the rape of a 16-year-old girl. For much of the national media, that was the end of the story — but for those in Steubenville who lived…
The Past Is Never Dead
Mar 16 • 49 min
This week, we look at how selective coverage shapes our view of foreign borders, conflicts and historical figures — from Syria to Winston Churchill. Plus, a conversation with the editor-in-chief of National Geographic about their latest issue unpacking…
Did Farhad “Unplug”?
Mar 13 • 12 min
Last week we spoke with New York Times tech columnist Farhad Manjoo after he published an article titled, “For two months, I got my news from print newspapers. Here’s what I learned.” He wrote that, earlier this year, “after the breaking-newsiest year in…
Like We Used To Do
Mar 9 • 45 min
In an age of constant breaking news, it can be hard to tell what matters and what’s just noise. This week, a look at what we’ve learned from recent coverage of the Russia investigation, and what we’ve missed everywhere else — particularly in West…
Everything You Love Will Burn
Mar 7 • 30 min
Last week, we put out a special show hosted by The Guardian US’s Lois Beckett, devoted to how reporters should approach the alt-right, and white supremacy, in America, called ”Face the Racist Nation.” As a bonus, we’re putting out a full interview with…
Face the Racist Nation
Mar 2 • 49 min
For the past year, Lois Beckett [@loisbeckett], senior reporter at The Guardian US, has been showing up at white nationalist rallies, taking their pictures, writing down what they say. And she finds herself thinking: How did we get here? How did her beat…
Follow The Money
Feb 28 • 24 min
The podcast Trump Inc. is a collaboration between WNYC Studios and ProPublica. A team of investigative reporters is examining whether and how the Trump family is profiting from the presidency, and they’ve organized the show around an “open investigation”…
Back to the Future
Feb 23 • 49 min
Since the Parkland school shooting, the student-led #NeverAgain movement has kept gun control in the headlines. This week, we look at how the movement began — and how pro-gun internet trolls have tried to undermine its message. Plus, how the world of…
Rinse and Repeat
Feb 22 • 14 min
In the wake of the school shooting in Florida we are recycling two interviews that we recorded following two other mass shooting tragedies. The first is about a chapter in the NRA’s history that not many people know about. We’ve become accustomed in the…
Devil in the Details
Feb 16 • 49 min
This week, we dive headfirst into the uncomfortable and the untrue — on the international stage, in the White House, and in your local newspaper. How claims from Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] press releases sometimes end up, almost verbatim,…
The Safety Net Just Got a Little Less Safe
Feb 14 • 27 min
On Monday, Donald Trump released the second budget proposal of his presidency. There’s lots in it — more money for defense, veterans and border security and some tax changes too. But what really jumps out is the proposal to cut funding for federal…
Blame It On The Alcohol
Feb 9 • 49 min
This week, we devote an entire hour to what one important scholar deemed “the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.” From its earliest role as a source of nourishment to its depictions in ancient literature, we examine the roots of mankind’s…
Trump Inc.
Feb 7 • 26 min
Back in January last year, Donald Trump, newly elected, not yet sworn in, tried to quell concerns about his many conflicts of interest by declaring he would turn over the day-to-day running of his company to his sons. Did he follow through on that? Has he…
This Is Not A Test
Feb 2 • 51 min
It was yet another week of will-he-won’t-he: Will President Donald Trump authorize the release of the House Intelligence Committee’s “memo,” in spite of senior FBI and Justice Dept. officials’ warnings not to do so? (Spoiler alert: He did.) Will he…
Gitmo Is Back in Business
Jan 31 • 16 min
In his State of the Union speech this week the president announced - to rapturous applause from congressional Republicans, that he had just signed an order to keep open the detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay. When Mohamedou Ould Slahi was released…
Rallying Cry
Jan 26 • 60 min
A year into the Trump Administration, thousands continue to take to the streets but has the press lost interest? This week we look at the nature of protest in an era of never-ending distraction. We also take a deep dive into the world of right-wing…
Unsettled: A Story from the Global Refugee Crisis
Jan 23 • 33 min
Over these last few months, WNYC reporter Matt Katz has been reporting the story of a congolese man named Andre and his wife, Lisette. They were living in a Malawi refugee camp, but then Andre was given the chance to be resettled in Elizabeth New Jersey.…
The End Is the Beginning
Jan 19
Recent accusations of sexual misconduct have led some to claim that the #MeToo movement has gone too far. We break down the arguments and look back at a 1994 conversation about feminism to explore where the movement might be headed next. Plus, a change to…
A Journalist of Consequence
Jan 17 • 38 min
During his career as a national security reporter for The New York Times, James Risen reported several major scoops about the CIA. Risen exposed the Bush administration’s phone surveillance program and misrepresentations of weapons of mass destruction in…
Outrage Machine
Jan 12 • 49 min
The book that took D.C. by storm; evaluating our first year under President Trump; the story of the Pentagon Papers, from someone who helped write them; and the latest scholarly research on “fake news” — that is, using the original, vintage meaning of the…
What ‘The Post’ Missed
Jan 10 • 29 min
Leslie Gelb, the man who supervised the team that compiled the Pentagon Papers, wasn’t a character in the new Hollywood drama, The Post. He is rarely called for comment in documentaries and films about the Pentagon Papers leak. Back in 1971, Gelb was…
“Shmashmortion”
Jan 5 • 51 min
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. 1. Jill Lepore, staff…
The Man Behind Black Mirror
Jan 3 • 16 min
When the British TV show Black Mirror first arrived in the US in late 2014, it was applauded for imagining dystopian, technology-centric scenarios that did not seem terribly far off. Now, as the show launches its fourth season, real life seems to be…
The Feelings Show
Dec 29, 2017 • 50 min
Father Time — his 2017 sash bloodied and muddied, no doubt — will soon hand off the baton to Baby New Year and, like the reluctant old fellow reaching the end of his tenure, we have some feelings about it. It’s been a weird one, and we’re obviously not…
Fire With Fire
Dec 22, 2017 • 49 min
When it comes to fighting fire with fire, common knowledge would have us leave the pyrotechnics to the trained professionals. This week, though, we take a look at those taking matters into their own hands, no matter the heat. With far-right internet…
Don’t Expect Filing Your Taxes to Get Any Easier
Dec 20, 2017 • 16 min
In selling their new tax bill to the public, Republicans have leaned heavily on the theme of simplification. According to them, one of the primary benefits of overhauling our mammoth tax code is that it would make the dreaded filing process easier for…
After the Storm
Dec 15, 2017 • 50 min
Three months after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico’s recovery story is far from over and far from simple. For some, it’s a story of resilience. Others, resignation. For all, it is a story of frustration. Where some adapt, or become acostumbrados, and others…
Power Trip
Dec 8, 2017 • 49 min
From Capitol Hill to the workplace to the darkest corners of the internet, it can feel like our world is increasingly being manipulated by threats and intimidation. This week we look at the role of bullies in our lives and how we should and shouldn’t…
A Reckoning in Our Own House
Dec 5, 2017 • 36 min
Update: On Wednesday, following the release of this pod extra, New York Public Radio announced that Jonathan Schwartz and Leonard Lopate had been placed on indefinite leave as the station investigates “accusations of inappropriate conduct” filed against…
Flim-Flam Nation
Dec 1, 2017 • 49 min
It was yet another week of outrageous and consequential stories piling on top of one another at a head-spinning pace. A failed attempt to discredit the Washington Post. A bombshell plea from a former Trump official. A secret button. Poison in the Hague. A…
About that Nazi Next Door
Nov 27, 2017 • 11 min
The New York Times’ profile of Tony Hovater, a white nationalist and Nazi sympathizer, set Twitter on fire last weekend — and not in a good way. Bob speaks with Charlie Warzel, senior technology writer at Buzzfeed, about what the story got wrong. As…
Apocalypse, Now
Nov 24, 2017 • 49 min
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…
Brooke Gets Mindful
Nov 21, 2017 • 27 min
If you find yourself fuming at the Thanksgiving table this week when the conversation turns political, rather than losing your cool in front of your friends and family, consider pausing and taking a deep breath. According to Robert Wright, author of Why…
The Reckoning
Nov 17, 2017 • 50 min
As allegations of sexual misconduct continue to dominate the news, a look at how we are dealing with high-profile offenders and who is being ignored. Plus, a critical reexamination of Bill Clinton’s reputation, the difficulty of processing good art made…
Rebecca Traister Says ‘the Anger Window’ Is Open
Nov 14, 2017 • 31 min
New York Magazine writer Rebecca Traister says that every new revelation about sexual harassment confirms what women have always known. In her most recent article she asks “as stories about abuse, assault, and complicity come flooding out, how do we think…
The Ecstasy of Gold
Nov 10, 2017 • 49 min
Another massive data leak has cast scrutiny on the world of the ultra-wealthy, but some doubt whether much will change. A look inside the Paradise Papers and at the secretive industry of “wealth management” that makes sure the wealthy remain rich and…
12 Months Later: Brooke and Bob on Covering Trump
Nov 8, 2017 • 21 min
It’s now a year since Election Day 2016, and a year since we gathered in our office the day after Election Day to figure out what exactly had happened. The mood was tense, and our Executive Producer Katya Rogers seized the opportunity to offer listeners…
Off the Radar
Nov 3, 2017 • 50 min
Following the announcement of the first indictments in Robert Mueller’s special investigation, the media were scrambling to put together the pieces…or else ignoring the news completely. How to make sense of the details, and the silences, in Mueller’s…
Monumental Questions
Oct 31, 2017 • 26 min
Speaking this week on Fox News, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly warned against the removal of Confederate monuments on the grounds that it would erase important history. But the statues in question have never been about preserving a neutral version…
Chokehold
Oct 27, 2017 • 50 min
Since the news about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual predations, allegations have surfaced against other powerful men. We look back at the early days in the fight against sexual harassment with the woman who coined the term. Plus: journalist Matt Taibbi…
Scary Clowns
Oct 25, 2017 • 13 min
The days are getting shorter, the leaves are changing and Halloween is on its way. And with these annual rites comes another yearly tradition: the coming of the clowns. Last year at this time, to believe the reporting, the country was overrun with…
Under the Influence
Oct 20, 2017 • 50 min
As the opioid crisis in America rages, the government struggles to react. A look at how a 2016 bill weakened the Drug Enforcement Agency and why nobody noticed. Also, how painkillers took off in America, thanks to industry-sponsored junk science; the…
Raqqa Liberated
Oct 18, 2017 • 22 min
News came this week that the US backed Syrian Democratic Forces had finally liberated the city of Raqqa from the grip of ISIS. For the past three years the people trapped inside the oppressive ISIS regime suffered daily. Yet, reports of torture and…
Losing Power
Oct 13, 2017 • 50 min
The President is once again threatening the press, but it’s unclear whether he will be able to follow through. A look at which threats to the First Amendment we should be taking seriously. Also, looking beyond the “adults in the room” trope; reporting on…
Puerto Rico’s Never-ending Emergency
Oct 10, 2017 • 13 min
David Begnaud of CBS was in Puerto Rico before Hurricane Maria hit on September 20. Then, he and his team reported for two weeks straight, posting videos on Twitter and sending dispatches to the network. He tracked the logjam of aid stuck in ports, the…
More Human Than Human
Oct 6, 2017 • 50 min
The news has been awash in reports of the rising death tolls for the Las Vegas shooting and the ongoing devastation in Puerto Rico. This week, why the media’s emphasis on the numbers distorts our understanding of tragedies. Also, a case for using the word…
After Vegas
Oct 2, 2017 • 8 min
On Sunday night, a gunman opened fire on an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas, NV. Since then, reports of deaths and injuries have been mounting, making for what’s being called “the deadliest mass shooting” in modern American history. Amid the tragedy,…
OTM live at the Texas Tribune Festival: The Journalists
Sep 30, 2017 • 25 min
Last week Brooke was at the Texas Tribune Festival, an annual event that gathers hundred of speakers and thousands of citizens to discuss big issues of the day, ranging from education to climate change to politics. She moderated a couple of sessions: One…
Insult to Injury
Sep 29, 2017 • 49 min
As Puerto Rico rations resources and seeks help from the US government, the mainland media has mostly been preoccupied with Donald Trump’s provocations towards the NFL. This week, what’s actually happening on the island (and with the NFL). Also, a look at…
Among Many Victims in Mexico, There Was One Who Never Existed
Sep 28, 2017 • 10 min
In Central Mexico, rescuers continue to sift through piles of rubble left by last week’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake. Hundreds of volunteers have joined the rescue effort. One of the most widely reported stories from the earthquake reveals how the people in…
OTM live at the Texas Tribune Festival: The Politicians
Sep 27, 2017 • 26 min
When Brooke was at the Texas Tribune festival in Austin last week, she moderated two sessions, one with reporters and one with couple of US Representatives from Texas. Democrat Beto O’Rourke of El Paso, and Republican Will Hurd of Helotes. The two - who…
Trust Issues
Sep 22, 2017 • 52 min
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…
What Lies Ahead For Puerto Rico
Sep 21, 2017 • 15 min
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…
“Free Speech Week” Puts Berkeley Back in the Crosshairs
Sep 19, 2017 • 25 min
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,…
Look What You Made Me Do
Sep 15, 2017 • 49 min
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…
The Counter-Jihad Movement & the Making of a President
Sep 12, 2017 • 32 min
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.”…
Duck and Cover
Sep 8, 2017 • 50 min
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…
Unnatural Disaster
Sep 1, 2017 • 50 min
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”…
Bob’s Docs Finale: Conflicting Narratives
Aug 30, 2017 • 11 min
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…
This American War on Drugs
Aug 25, 2017 • 50 min
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…
Bob’s Docs Episode Four: It’s Personal
Aug 23, 2017 • 29 min
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…
Gutted
Aug 18, 2017 • 50 min
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.…
Bob’s Docs Episode Three: Prurience
Aug 16, 2017 • 15 min
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…
You’ve Been Warned
Aug 11, 2017 • 50 min
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…
Bob’s Docs Episode Two: Access
Aug 9, 2017 • 25 min
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…
“Shmashmortion”
Aug 4, 2017 • 51 min
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. 1. Historian and New…
Bob’s Docs Episode One: Manipulation
Aug 1, 2017 • 21 min
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…
Essential Coverage
Jul 28, 2017 • 50 min
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…
Armchair diagnosing do’s and don’ts
Jul 26, 2017 • 22 min
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…
Doubt It
Jul 21, 2017 • 50 min
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…
Not Repealed, Not Replaced
Jul 19, 2017 • 13 min
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…
Three-Dimensional Chess
Jul 14, 2017 • 50 min
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…
In Which Brooke Explains OTM’s Secret Sauce To Jesse Thorn
Jul 12, 2017 • 46 min
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…
Apocalypse, Now
Jul 7, 2017 • 51 min
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…
It’s the End of the World and We Know It
Jul 5, 2017 • 13 min
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…
What Ails America
Jun 30, 2017 • 50 min
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.…
“The American people elected a fighter”
Jun 29, 2017 • 10 min
Bob’s take on this week’s back and forth between the President and the press who cover him.
Newton Minow Still Cares About the Media
Jun 28, 2017 • 34 min
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…
Stand And Be Counted
Jun 23, 2017 • 50 min
Following the Republican victory in Georgia this week, a look at how gerrymandering makes some political outcomes inevitable—and why the media aren’t talking about it. Also, the US Census is on the rocks, and the repercussions could be severe. Plus, how…
The Slants Win the Day!
Jun 20, 2017 • 8 min
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…
Sterner Stuff
Jun 16, 2017 • 58 min
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…
No One Is Above the Law
Jun 14, 2017 • 20 min
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…
Enough With Reality
Jun 9, 2017 • 49 min
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…
Doug Stamper Is A Very Bad Man
Jun 7, 2017 • 33 min
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…
Mind the Gap
Jun 2, 2017 • 50 min
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,…
The United States of Anxiety: America’s Allergy to Intellectualism
May 31, 2017 • 25 min
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…
Focus
May 26, 2017 • 50 min
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…
Drawing New Lines
May 24, 2017 • 8 min
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…
Curtains!
May 19, 2017 • 50 min
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…
The Trouble With Reality
May 16, 2017 • 29 min
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…
Shiny Objects
May 12, 2017 • 49 min
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…
The United States of Anxiety is Back!
May 10, 2017 • 34 min
The United States of Anxiety: Culture Wars introduces you to people who have been battling to shape America’s political culture for decades. The WNYC team profile culture warriors, past and present, who have influenced debates over race, religion,…
Rewriting the Right
May 5, 2017 • 49 min
The passage of the Obamacare repeal bill this week—hailed as a triumph of conservative ideology—didn’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…
Climate of Poor Rhetoric
May 3, 2017 • 9 min
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…
In Other Words
Apr 28, 2017 • 49 min
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…
The Art of Winning a Pulitzer
Apr 26, 2017 • 13 min
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…
“We’ll Do It Live!”
Apr 21, 2017 • 50 min
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…
Closing the Blinds
Apr 20, 2017 • 15 min
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…
This American War on Drugs
Apr 14, 2017 • 49 min
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…
How the Press Gets Seduced By War
Apr 12, 2017 • 16 min
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…
Out With The Old…
Apr 7, 2017 • 50 min
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.…