🎧 Sheila Nevins on Age, Sex, Love, Life, and Everything Else | Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda

Listened to Sheila Nevins on Age, Sex, Love, Life, and Everything Else by Alan Alda from Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda

Sheila Nevins has explored the human condition in the thousand or so documentaries she produced for HBO. From more than 30 years of telling us stories about ourselves, to her experience as a woman in the workplace, Sheila has plenty to say about communicating. And she never holds back. In this delightful episode, Alan Alda talks with Sheila about her life, how she feels about aging, the movement, sex, divorce, documentaries, storytelling, and just about everything else! This episode is sponsored by Calm. Check out www.calm.com/alda for more details.

I always forget that Sheila is as old as she is. She does have a great sense of humor.

She makes an interesting point about humility that people with power (and especially within the entertainment industry) should be aware of and work to improve.

Most shocking was the story she tells about her me too moment and how she viewed it. Definitely a perspective I wouldn’t have expected.

Her perspective about looking at individuals as a way into human problems and making documentaries is similar to a philosophy I remember hearing from Masha Gessen in an interview that Jeffrey Goldberg did with her. The upshot is that, especially for righting wrongs and general atrocities, focusing a story on a particular individual has a lot more power than focusing on the nameless and faceless masses. Sheila’s example of the Holocaust survivor is a particular apt one. (As I think about it Masha would be a great interview for this podcast.)

In fact, I recently watched an immigration related documentary on Frontline and while I didn’t personally find the lead woman very relate-able or sympathetic, I was still pissed off at the process because her individual story was still so powerful.

This general ideal also reminds me of the gut-punch scene at the end of the film A Time To Kill (1996) [spoiler alert] which ends with the command to the jury “Now imagine she’s white.”

🎧 Crossing the Line | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Crossing the Line from On the Media | WNYC Studios

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. FergusonListen.

🎧 The World’s Biggest Problem | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to The World's Biggest Problem from On the Media | WNYC Studios

The messaging behind the Green New Deal; a former insider's look at Facebook's problems; a potential solution; and the godfathers of the modern newspaper column.

At Tuesday's State of the Union, President Trump continued to call for a wall at the southern border. Meanwhile, some Democrats point to the real crisis: climate change. A look at the messaging of urgency and hope around the Green New Deal. And, a former mentor to Mark Zuckerberg lays out his deep criticisms of Facebook. Then, a Facebook employee makes the case for one potential solution. Plus, a new documentary about Pete Hamill and Jimmy Breslin, two New York City reporters, who helped turn column writing into an art form.

1. Kate Aronoff [@KateAronoff], contributing writer with The Intercept, on how Democrats are selling the urgent need to address climate change. Listen.

2. Roger McNamee [@Moonalice], author of Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe, on the damage that Facebook has done. Listen.

3. Andy O'Connell [@facebook], manager of content distribution and algorithm policy at Facebook, on the network's new "Supreme Court" for content moderation.  Listen.

4. Jonathan Alter [@jonathanalter], filmmaker and journalist, on the legacy of two masterful newspaper columnists. Listen.

🎧 The End of Magical Thinking | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to The End of Magical Thinking from On the Media | WNYC Studios

How the summary of the Mueller's findings has been spun; historical amnesia, from the frontier to Iraq to Trump.

With the Mueller investigation complete, talking heads have given the short public summary their usual spin. This week, On the Media looks at why the framing of the report produced so much misunderstanding. Plus, how historical amnesia and old ideas about limitless growth have influenced American psychology and foreign policy. 

1. Dahlia Lithwick [@Dahlialithwick], writer for Slate and host of the Amicus podcast, on how the summary of Mueller's findings is being spun. Listen.

2. Corey Robin [@CoreyRobin], political science professor at Brooklyn College, on Americans' flawed historical memoriesListen.

3. Greg Grandin [@GregGrandin], history professor at New York University, on his latest book, The End of The Myth: From Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of AmericaListen.

The last segment was particularly good here.

🎧 The Daily: The Brief, Controversial Tenure of Kirstjen Nielsen | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: The Brief, Controversial Tenure of Kirstjen Nielsen from New York Times

As homeland security secretary, she enacted and publicly defended the family separation policy. In President Trump’s eyes, she didn’t go far enough.

👓 Trump is removing US Secret Service director | CNN

Read Trump is removing US Secret Service director by Jake Tapper, Evan Perez, and Betsy Klein (CNN)
United States Secret Service director Randolph "Tex" Alles is being removed from his position, multiple administration officials tell CNN.

🎧 The Daily: Dispatches From the Border, Part 2 | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Dispatches From the Border, Part 2 from New York Times

A visit to one of the deadliest places in the United States for migrants shows that even for those who’ve made it across the border, a treacherous journey often awaits.

I’m really appreciating this series and how they’re bringing some actually reporting and storytelling about what is actually happening at the border. It’s far better than the simple pontificating we’re hearing from politicians who seem to have some broad strokes, but never quite seem to have the whole picture.

🎧 The Daily: A Republican Congressman From Texas Who Opposes the Wall | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: A Republican Congressman From Texas Who Opposes the Wall from New York Times

Representative Will Hurd’s district runs along the southwestern border. His vision for border security is starkly different from the president’s.

🎧 The Daily: Dispatches From the Border, Part 1 | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Dispatches From the Border, Part 1 from New York Times

We joined our colleagues as they set out on a trip of nearly 2,000 miles along the U.S.-Mexico border.

🎧 The Daily: What a Border Sheriff Thinks About the Wall | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: What a Border Sheriff Thinks About the Wall from New York Times

A sheriff in Arizona tells us how President Trump’s immigration policies have played out in his county, and why his interpretation of the president’s message has changed.

🎧 The Daily: The Republicans’ Shutdown Strategy | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: The Republicans’ Shutdown Strategy from New York Times

As the shutdown drags into its 20th day, both President Trump and Democratic leaders appear to be doubling down.

🎧 The Daily: Trump’s Prime-Time Address | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Trump’s Prime-Time Address from New York Times

The president made a televised appeal to the nation for a border wall, but Democrats showed no signs of giving in.

🎧 The Daily: Is There a Crisis at the Border? | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Is There a Crisis at the Border? from New York Times

President Trump says there’s a problem, but it may be one of his own making.

🎧 The Daily: Chuck Schumer on the Wall, the Shutdown and the Era of Divided Government | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Chuck Schumer on the Wall, the Shutdown and the Era of Divided Government from New York Times

On the eve of a new Congress, the Senate minority leader sat down with “The Daily” to discuss his hopes — and his strategy for getting things done — before the next election rolls around.

👓 $20 million raised in GoFundMe for Trump border wall to be refunded | TheHill

Read $20 million raised in GoFundMe for Trump border wall to be refunded (TheHill)
GoFundMe said Friday that it would refund $20 million raised by more than 300,000 donors for President Trump's border wall after an account aiming to raise $1 billion for the wall changed part of its campaign.

I’m glad that GoFundMe has some protocols in place to prevent screwwy fraud like this.