🎧 Is True Crime Jinxed? | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Is True Crime Jinxed? by Bob Garfield from On the Media | WNYC Studios

We revisit Bob's conversation with filmmaker Joe Berlinger, about the ethics of HBO's "The Jinx."

Whether Robert Durst confessed on camera will become a relevant legal matter in the real estate figure's upcoming trial. The supposed confession — "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course." — at the end of HBO's The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst has recently been revealed to have been seriously, deceptively edited. In 2015 Bob spoke with documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger, co-creater of the Paradise Lost trilogy, about modern filmmaker, the responsibility of the artist and different interpretations of "truth." It's a relevant conversation to revisit, this week in particular.

Some interesting ethical questions here. Something to think about with respect to documentaries, truth, and entertainment value. Some pieces not too dissimilar to how some cable news stations are approaching the news these days.

🎧 Solving the Facebook Problem at Home and Abroad | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Solving the Facebook Problem at Home and Abroad by Bob Garfield from On the Media | WNYC Studios

When former Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes penned a New York Times op-ed calling for the breakup of the platform, he was lauded by anti-corporate politicians and the press. Then came a series of hard questions: how exactly would breaking up Facebook, which owns WhatsApp and Instagram, address free speech concerns? Or help stifle the spread of propaganda on the platform? And how would American regulations affect the majority of Facebook users, who live in the global south? According to Michael Lwin, an American-born antitrust lawyer living in Yangon, Myanmar, US regulators should tread lightly. He and Bob speak about how calls to break up Facebook could have wide ranging unintended consequences, especially outside of the US.

As bad as Facebook is, there are some potential second and multiple-order effects to be careful of when considering breaking them up or heavily regulating them.

🎧 Harm To Ongoing Matter | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Harm To Ongoing Matter from On the Media | WNYC Studios

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 Charleyexecutive 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.

🎧 The Opioid Narratives | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to The Opioid Narratives from On the Media | WNYC Studios

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. 

Back in 2017, Bob spoke with Barry Meier about how public discourse about chronic pain and treatment have been shaped by companies like Purdue with help from physicians, consultants, and the media. Meier is a former reporter for The New York Times and author of Pain Killer: A "Wonder" Drug's Trail of Addiction and Death

Bob also interviewed journalist Anna Clark about her reporting for the Columbia Journalism Review on opioid-related death notices. Sites like Legacy.com, she explained, have often chronicled the crisis' individual human toll. 

🎧 Hating In Plain Sight | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Hating In Plain Sight from On the Media | WNYC Studios

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.

4. Charlie Winter [@charliewinter], Rukmini Callimachi [@rcallimachi], Ali Fisher [@WandrenPD], Amarnath Amarasingam [@AmarAmarasingam], Pieter Van Ostaeyen [@p_vanostaeyen], and Seamus Hughes [@SeamusHughes] on the debate over whether online archives of jihadi terrorist propaganda should be open to the public. 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).

Way to go Dan!

🎧 The Myth of Meritocracy | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to The Myth of Meritocracy from On the Media | WNYC Studios

"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.

4. Rutger Bregman [@rcbregman] on the myths about wealth and who creates it. Listen.

Loved hearing about the early origins of the meaning of meritocracy. Obviously we haven’t come close to helping level the playing field.

🎧 Tucker Was Tucker All Along | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Tucker Was Tucker All Along from On the Media | WNYC Studios

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.

🎧 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.

👓 On the Media | Wikipedia

Read On the Media (Wikipedia)
On the Media (OTM) is an hour-long weekly radio program, hosted by Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone, covering journalism, technology, and First Amendment issues. It is produced by WNYC in New York City. OTM is first broadcast on Friday evening over WNYC's FM service, and syndicated nationwide to over 400 other public radio outlets. The program is available by audio stream, MP3 download, and podcast. OTM also publishes a weekly newsletter featuring news on current and past projects as well as relevant links from around the web.

🎧 Look Back in Anger | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Look Back in Anger from On the Media | WNYC Studios

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 GardenListen.

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.

🎧 The Myth That Fuels the Anti-Vaxx Agenda | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to The Myth That Fuels the Anti-Vaxx Agenda from On the Media | WNYC Studios

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

And yet, even in the face of study after study, and even as websites like Pinterest have moved to stamp out the spread of anti-vaxx materials on their websites, the debunked vaccine-autism link and its impact on public health live on. In this 2012 interview, Brooke spoke with Seth Mnookin, author of The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science and Fear, about why these myths persist.

No responsible journalist should be reporting on studies with N being so small. If they do, then they should be banned from any future science journalism.

🎧 Longing for Wakanda | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Longing for Wakanda by Brooke Gladstone from On the Media | WNYC Studios

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 and Shout | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Twitch and Shout from On the Media | WNYC Studios

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.

1. Julia Alexander [@loudmouthjulia] and Allegra Frank [@LegsFrank], two writers with Polygon, on the pitfalls and para-social allure of Twitch. Listen.

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…

🎧 When 20,000 Nazis Gathered in New York | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to When 20,000 Nazis Gathered in New York from On the Media | WNYC Studios

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.

The rally is the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary short "A Night at The Garden" by filmmaker Marshall Curry. In this On the Media podcast extra, Brooke talks with Curry about how the film's themes resonate today and how a 30-second broadcast spot has had a media moment of its own.

This interview was awesome. Also it’s a bit ironic that the interview is longer than the film they’re talking about.

🎧 Bad Reputation | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Bad Reputation from On the Media | WNYC Studios

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.

3. Doreen St. Félix [@dstfelix], staff writer at The New Yorker, on the commercialization of Black History MonthListen.

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.