Adam returns from a NSF-funded workshop on makerspaces. Adam and Ralph also discuss the recent sad news of Alex Trebek.
I love their conversations together. I love Ralph’s view on media and find that it seems like we have similar takes (though his is obviously more academic than mine) and are consuming a lot of the same sources including quirky ones that include the history of photos of dead people.
At the top of the show Adam mentions wanting to ask the question of his students “What are you subscribed to?” as a means of getting to know them and their viewpoints on the world. I find this an interesting question in general, but I suspect many people would fib about what they’re actually watching and listening to. Media is an externally important thing in expressing one’s identity that way. It makes me wonder how much “faux” signaling people are doing when they talk about the media that they consume?
I’m sure they don’t, as very few people do, but I’m curious what Adam and Ralph’s watch and listen posts would look like on an expanded version of social media. I think it would be an interesting supplement to their podcast if they did. I do wish more people would keep feeds of these things for better discovery the way I do: watch posts, listen posts.
Ralph Beliveau discusses a trip to a pop culture conference, which sounds like a fun thing to do, it also makes me think that this sort of area (and perhaps podcast) in which Kimberly Hirsh would have some interest.
There was also a mention of the show John from Cincinnati as being an exemplar of the surf noir genre. I’ll have to take a look at it. It also reminds me that I need to go back and finish reading Kem Nunn’s Tapping the Source. I wonder if there are exemplars of this genre that precede this?
After years of waiting, journalists finally began digging into the redacted version of the Mueller report. On this week’s On the Media, how the special counsel’s findings confirm years of reporting about turmoil within the White House. Plus, what the Notre Dame fire and the Sacklers show us about the dark side of philanthropy, and how the Justice Department stopped prosecuting executives. And, an undercover investigation shines a light on the NRA’s PR machinery.
1. Eric Umansky [@ericuman], deputy editor at ProPublica and co-host of the Trump Inc. podcast, on the Mueller revelations. Listen.
2. Anand Giridharadas [@AnandWrites], author of Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, on the dark side of philanthropy. Listen.
3. Jesse Eisinger [@eisingerj], author of The Chickenshit Club, on how the Justice Department stopped prosecuting executives. Listen.
4. Peter Charley, executive producer of Al Jazeera's "How To Sell a Massacre," on the NRA's PR machinery. Listen.
Some interesting thoughts in the last couple of segments on the last Guilded Age and the one we’re potentially about to exit soon??
I definitely want to see the documentary discussed in the last segment about the NRA.
Purdue Pharma has settled a lawsuit with the state of Oklahoma for $270 million, a larger figure than two other cases the company has settled with other states. In doing so, the company also avoided a televised trial in May at a time when there's been growing public pressure on Purdue and its owners, the Sackler family, amid allegations that they misled the public about the dangers of OxyContin.
In the aftermath of white supremacist attacks in New Zealand, there's a tension between reporting on the shooter's motivations and not amplifying his message. This week, On the Media examines how the press can navigate that persistent dilemma. Plus, the debate over whether online archives of jihadi terrorist propaganda should be open to the public.
1. Joan Donovan [@BostonJoan] describes the way the press has evolved in its responses to far-right terrorism, and argues for continued caution in coverage of white supremacists. Listen.
2. Kathleen Belew [@kathleen_belew] describes the White Power roots of the Christchurch attack, and argues that to effectively fight this hate, we must understand the movement in which it grows. Listen.
3. Dan Feidt [@HongPong] of Unicorn Riot [@UR_Ninja] on what alt-right groups are discussing in their secret online chatrooms, and what we learn by reading them. Listen.
As I was listening to the last two segments I was thinking that there are some interesting bits of user interface and ethics hiding in here for the IndieWeb community to examine. They’re definitely worth a listen and some thought for how we design public versus private and what we archive or don’t. Some in the academic arena may want to consider how we make research facing sites that don’t create more harm than good.
There was a spark of recognition on my part as I was listening to the Unicorn Riot segment, but I couldn’t put my finger on it until I looked at the episode notes just after. The interviewee is Dan Feidt (aka HongPong) a member of the IndieWeb community whose Drupal work relating to webmention I’ve always been a big fan of. His work here is far more interesting and valuable however (and that’s really saying something because I LOVE webmention).
"Meritocracy" was coined as satire; the messaging for and against Medicare for All; and Dutch economic historian Rutger Bregman.
A college admissions scandal has highlighted what people refer to as "the myth of meritocracy." But actually, meritocracy itself is a myth. This week, On the Media looks at the satirical origins of the word and what they tell us about why the US embraces it. Plus, the messaging for and against Medicare for All, as well as a historical look at why we don't have universal healthcare. And economic historian and Tucker Carlson antagonist Rutger Bregman.
1. John Patrick Leary [@JohnPatLeary], professor at Wayne State University, on the history of the satirical origins of the word "meritocracy". Listen.
2. Paul Waldman [@paulwaldman1] of The Washington Post on the messaging war over Medicare for All and what the media is getting wrong about the proposal. Listen.
3. Jill Quadagno of [@floridastate] on the history of why the U.S. has shunned universal healthcare. Listen.
Will Fox News darling Tucker Carlson have to pay a price for newly unearthed despicable comments from his past? Eh, probably not.
To suggest that Tucker Carlson has a tendency to hint at deeply discriminatory tropes would be cliché — but also dead-on. Just this week, thanks to newly unearthed audio released by Media Matters, the Fox News darling ditches his signature dog whistle in exchange for unmistakable and unapologetic hate speech.
Who is Tucker Carlson, really? In this week's pod extra, Bob delves into the origins of the now-notorious commentator with Lyz Lenz, a writer for Columbia Journalism Review who profiled Carlson in September.
A secret government database of immigration reporters, new questions about the Obama Presidential Center, and the history of Plessy v. Ferguson
Mexican officials and U.S. Customs and Border Protection are using a secret database to target journalists and advocates at the southern border. This week, On the Media speaks with a reporter on the list who was detained for questioning by Mexican authorities. Plus, what the Obama Library’s unique arrangement with the National Archives means for the future of presidential history. And, the grotesque origins of segregation.
1. Mari Payton [@MariNBCSD], reporter at NBC 7 in San Diego, and Kitra Cahana, freelance photojournalist, on the secret government database of immigration reporters and advocates. Listen.
2. Tim Naftali [@TimNaftali], historian at New York University and former director of the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, and Louise Bernard, director of the museum at the Obama Presidential Center, on the Obama Foundation's decision to curate its own presidential museum. Listen.
3. Steve Luxenberg [@SLuxenberg], author of Separate, on the history of Plessy v. Ferguson. Listen.
The Cohen testimony, a new Breaking News Consumer's Handbook, the risks of laundering our hot takes through history, and the story of an infamous Nazi rally.
When President Trump’s former personal lawyer testified in front of Congress this week, it was both captivating and oddly familiar. This week, On the Media looks at the tropes that ran through the hearings, and offers a guide to news consumers trying to understand the tangled threads of the Mueller investigation. Plus, a sideways glance at historical hot takes and a second look at an infamous Nazi rally in the heart of New York City.
1. Bob and Brooke on Michael Cohen's enthralling testimony this week. Listen.
2. Eric Umansky [@ericuman], co-host of Trump, Inc. from WNYC Studios and ProPublica, on how news consumers can best understand Mueller-related news. Listen.
3. Corey Robin [@CoreyRobin], political theorist, on the tendency for journalists to launder their hot takes through history. Listen.
4. Marshall Curry [@marshallcurry], documentary filmmaker, on his Oscar-nominated short, A Night At The Garden. Listen.
CORRECTION: In the opening segment, we describe U.S. Representative Jim Cooper, of Tennessee, as belonging to the wrong political party. Rep. Cooper is a Democrat.
Our 2012 conversation with Seth Mnookin, author of The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science and Fear.
This Tuesday, lawmakers in Washington heard from an 18-year-old who, against all odds, got his shots. Ethan Lindenberger, who fought with his own mother to get vaccinated, told senators, "for my mother, her love, affection, and care as a parent was used to push an agenda to create a false distress."
That "anti-vaxx" agenda, the dangerous legacy of a thoroughly debunked 1998 study in the British medical journal Lancet, was dealt yet another devastating — though not mortal — blow this week, courtesy of epidemiologists from Denmark’s Staten Serum Institute. Their new study, which included more than 650,000 children, found that the MMR vaccine did not raise the risk of developing autism.
How the utopian kingdom at the center of Black Panther falls into a long history of black liberation struggles.
On Sunday night, Marvel’s Black Panther film won the Oscar for three of its six Academy Award nominations: Ludwig Göransson for Best Original Score, Ruth E. Carter for Best Costume Design and Hannah Beachler and Jay R. Hart for Best Production design — just a few of the artists who helped bring Wakanda, the Black Panther’s mythical homeland, to life.
A persistent site for utopian longing, Wakanda has once more captured the public imagination: endowed with unlimited access to the most precious natural resource in the world, unsullied by the ravages of colonialism, Wakanda has reignited conversations about what black liberation can and should look like. According to Johns Hopkins University history professor Nathan Connolly, this latest chapter is part of a much longer tradition of imagining and reimagining black utopias. Connolly speaks with Brooke about how Wakanda arises from a 500-year history — from Maroon communities to Haiti to the actual Black Panther movement — a journey that takes us from "dreams to art to life, and back again."
This segment originally aired on February 23rd, 2018.
Twitch is a video streaming platform where millions of people broadcast their lives in real-time. Like unedited, raw, reality TV.
Twitch.tv is a video streaming platform where millions of people broadcast their lives and video game action in real-time. It's like unedited, real, reality TV. This week, On the Media digs into why so many people want to share so much on Twitch, and what it tells us about the future of entertainment. First, a look at a couple of the biggest streamers of the platform, Ninja and Dr. Disrespect, who command devoted audiences and giant paychecks. Then, Bob dives into the inaugural season of the Overwatch League, the most expensive and highly produced pro gaming venture to date. Finally, Brooke speaks with Radiolab's Jad Abumrad about the life of a homeless streamer who's life was saved by Twitch.
2. Cecilia D'Anastasio [@cecianasta] a reporter with Kotaku, Saebyeolbe [@saebyeolbe] and Pine [@tf2pine], two pro gamers, and Farzam Kamel, a venture capitalist with Sterling VC, on the inaugural season of the Overwatch League. Listen.
3. Jad Abumrad [@JadAbumrad] of Radiolab and VP Gloves, a homeless Twitch streamer, on the murky ethics of Twitch's IRL (in real life) section. Listen.
This hour was originally broadcast on August 18th, 2018.
Even a year ago, this would have been pretty behind the times…
A documentary film takes us back to the most notorious event of the German-American Bund.
Founded in 1936, the German-American Bund had approximately 25,000 members and 70 chapters around the country. While the Nazis were building concentration camps, the Bund held pro-Hitler retreats and summer camps. February 20th marks the 80th anniversary of the Bund’s most notorious event when 20,000 of its members gathered at Madison Square Garden for a "Pro-American Rally" featuring speeches and performances, staged in front of a 30-foot-high portrait of George Washington.
Poor coverage of female candidates; re-examining Lorena Bobbitt's legacy; and the farce of Black History Month.
The 2020 Democratic field is the most diverse ever, and five women are running to be the party’s presidential nominee. This week, we look at the sexist coverage of female candidates with a new Breaking News Consumer's Handbook: Gender and Politics Edition. Then, a re-examination of a 90's tabloid spectacle, Lorena Gallo (Lorena Bobbitt), arrested for cutting her husband's penis off after he raped her. Plus, how Black History Month undermines black history.
1. Lili Loofbourow [@Millicentsomer], staff writer at Slate, on the sexist coverage of women in politics. Listen.
2. Joshua Rofé [@joshua_rofe], filmmaker, and Lorena Gallo (FKA Lorena Bobbitt) on the new documentary "Lorena." Listen.
It’s really stunning to look back at major media coverage of Lorena Bobbit, Anita Hill, and Monica Lewinsky and see how terribly wrong they all managed to botch it up. I’m glad that some of the record is beginning to be corrected.
Where do our modern notions of free speech come from? A new book goes back to 1919.
For this week's pod extra, we feature a conversation from WNYC'S Brian Lehrer Show. Brian talked with Columbia University President Lee Bollinger and University of Chicago Law Professor Geoffrey Stone, editors of The Free Speech Century, a collection of essays by leading scholars, marking 100 years since the Supreme Court issued the three decisions that established the modern notion of free speech.
Whether it’s fake news or money in politics, we’re still arguing over the First Amendment, and their book lays out the origins of the argument just after the first World War.