On the Media

On the Media

By WNYC Studios

The Peabody Award-winning On the Media podcast is your guide to examining how the media sausage is made. Host Brooke Gladstone examines threats to free speech and government transparency, cast a skeptical eye on media coverage of the week’s big stories and unravel hidden political narratives in everything we read, watch and hear.

Episodes

Making Fun of Public Radio

In January 2023, a TV show called In the Know debuted on Peacock. The comedy is a parody of a daily NPR show produced in New York City, with rather cringey characters portrayed by stop-motion puppets. Each episode also features an interview with a real person who appears on Zoom. The show is written by Zach Woods, Brandon Gardner, and Mike Judge, creator of Beavis and Butthead (who also voices the character of Sandy the movie critic). Woods, known for playing Gabe on The Office and Jared from Silicon Valley, plays the central role of Lauren Caspian, billed as the third most famous NPR host. Brooke speaks with Zach Woods and Brandon Gardner about why public radio provides such rich ground for satire, and how comedy can restore complexity to the world. This interview originally aired on our January 26, 2024 show. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
10/07/2420m 22s

The Sound of Patriotism

Every year on the Fourth of July, households across America embrace the aesthetics of patriotism. On this week’s On the Media, find out how the early country music industry got a major boost from the US military and became associated with the “sound of patriotism.” Plus, how a song written by a Canadian became an anthem for the Confederate “lost cause.”[01:00] Host Micah Loewinger speaks with Joseph Thompson, a professor of history and author of the new book Cold War Country, about how hillbilly music transformed into the powerful country music industry, starting with a little assistance from the US military in the 1940s and 50s.[18:40] Micah continues his conversation with Joseph Thompson about how country music came to be linked to a certain type of American patriotism, and why some of country music’s most famous jingoistic songs are more complex than many listeners think. [32:15] Brooke Gladstone speaks with Jack Hamilton, pop critic for Slate and author of the book Just Around Midnight: Rock and Roll and the Racial Imagination, about how “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” became an anthem for the Confederate ‘Lost Cause.’ This interview originally aired on our January 8th, 2021 show.Further reading / listening:Cold War Country: How Nashville's Music Row and the Pentagon Created the Sound of American PatriotismJust Around Midnight: Rock and Roll and the Racial Imagination On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
05/07/2450m 38s

Clarence Thomas' Unshaken Belief in Big Money

Last month, Clarence Thomas acknowledged several luxury trips that were gifted to him by billionaire Harlan Crow. But the pair’s financial ties had long been public knowledge, thanks to a bombshell report by ProPublica in 2023.  The gifts included lavish vacations, trips on private yachts and jets — and even a trip to Indonesia valued at as much as half a million dollars. Most of these gifts went undisclosed, despite that being required by law. But this isn’t Thomas’ first rodeo. He has reportedly accepted a slew of gifts in the past, including $1200 worth of tires from an Omaha businessman, and a bust of President Lincoln valued at $15,000.Brooke speaks to Corey Robin, a journalist and political science professor at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York Graduate Center, about Clarence Thomas relationship with money and power, and Robin’s article in Politico, "The Clarence Thomas Scandal Is About More Than Corruption. It’s about his jurisprudence." This interview originally aired on April 21, 2023. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
03/07/2422m 4s

No, Joe Biden Didn’t Poop His Pants. Plus, the Supreme Court’s Fact-Checking Problem

Some of the most outrageous stories about President Biden are originating from a single, unverified source. On this week’s On the Media, hear about the shadowy organization that’s influencing election narratives. Plus, factual errors are at the heart of a recent Supreme Court decision. Learn how we can reform the system.[01:00] Host Brooke Gladstone interviews Judd Legum, author of Popular Information, about how a rightwing outlet is presenting itself as a neutral news source, all the while pushing coordinated messaging about President Biden.[18:04] Host Micah Loewinger speaks to Mark Joseph Stern, senior writer at Slate, about the factual errors in a recent Supreme Court ruling concerning guns.[35:48] Micah interviews Allison Orr Larsen, professor of law at William and Mary, about how so many contested facts reach the highest court via amicus briefs. Plus, how to reform the so-called “amicus machine.”Further reading:“Sinclair floods local news websites with hundreds of deceptive articles about Biden's mental fitness,” by Judd Legum“Clarence Thomas’ Opinion Legalizing Bump Stocks Is Indefensible,” by Mark Joseph Stern“The Supreme Court Decisions on Guns and Abortion Relied Heavily on History. But Whose History?” by Allison Orr Larsen“It’s a Fact: Supreme Court Errors Aren’t Hard to Find,” by Ryan Gabrielson (2017) On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
28/06/2450m 39s

Do Sperm Whales Talk to Each Other?

This week, we turn away from the media for a moment, to a realm thousands of feet beneath the ocean’s surface – where sperm whales swim. These behemoths spend most of their lives in complete darkness, surfacing only for a few minutes at a time. They have the largest brains of virtually any other creature on earth, and they grow to be the size of one school bus, even two – and weigh as much as ten of them. But despite leading wildly different lives, scientists say they may communicate with each other – much like we do. In May, scientists at CETI, or Cetacean Translation Initiative, published a study claiming that they use a complex phonetic alphabet that echoes the structures of human languages. This week, host Brooke Gladstone speaks with Shane Gero, a biologist focusing on the acoustic complexity and social behavior of whales and Biology Lead at CETI, about this phonetic alphabet, and how it might be the first of many steps that could lead to translating what these sea giants are saying – and saving their lives.  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
26/06/2427m 59s

The Ensh*ttification of Everything

Why does every social media platform seem to get worse over time? This week’s On the Media explores an expansive theory on how we lost a better version of the internet, and the systems that insulate Big Digital from competition. Plus, some solutions for fixing the world wide web.[01:00] Host Brooke Gladstone interviews Cory Doctorow, journalist, activist, and the author of Red Team Blues, on his theory surrounding the slow, steady descent of the internet. [15:59] Brooke asks Cory if the troubles that plague some corners of the internet are specific to Big Digital, rather than the economy at large—and how our legal systems enabled it all. Doctorow explains how the antitrust practices of the early 1900s went awry, and what exactly he means by “twiddling.” [31:29] Cory and Brooke discuss possible solutions to save the world wide web.  Among them: better enforcement of privacy laws, interoperability, and the ever elusive "right-to-exit." Plus, hear about the one industry that so far has been mostly immune to the forces of "enshittification." This episode originally aired on our September 1, 2023 program, How Big Tech Went to Sh*t.Further reading:“The ‘Enshittification’ of TikTok” by Cory Doctorow“Too big to care,”  by Cory Doctorow On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
21/06/2450m 38s

The Drip, Drip, Drip of Bad News at The Washington Post

Over the past few months, The Washington Post has weathered a slate of unfavorable news. In May, publisher and CEO Will Lewis revealed the Post lost 77 million dollars last year. Lewis also announced a big restructuring and, as reported by Semafor’s Max Tani, the paper’s chief technology officer should have "AI everywhere in our newsroom." But then things started changing at the top of the news organization. Sally Buzbee, who had served as the executive editor for the Post over the last three years, resigned. And in the wake of her departure CEO Will Lewis, and his chosen replacement for Buzbee, Robert Winnett, became the center of multiple investigations. Allegations of paying sources, using informants who secured scoops via deception, and even approving destruction of evidence have now made headlines. This week, Micah sits down with NPR media correspondent,  David Folkenflik to make sense of the news, and what it all might mean for one of America’s most storied papers.  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
21/06/2430m 45s

UK Elections: They’re Not Like Ours! Plus, the Messy Family Behind Paramount

Over the past two decades, 900 British postal workers were wrongfully prosecuted for fraud. On this week’s On the Media, hear how a TV show about the Post Office Scandal sparked a political reckoning in the U.K. Plus, meet the Redstones – the complicated family behind Paramount Global.[00:00] Host Brooke Gladstone interviews Jonathan Freedland, columnist at the Guardian and host of the Politics Weekly America podcast, about how coinciding election campaigns in the US and the UK this year are influencing each other from across the pond.[00:00] Brooke explores how a recent British TV drama about the "Post Office Scandal" sparked a long overdue political reckoning in the U.K., and shone a light on the stories of British postal workers wrongfully prosecuted for fraud. Brooke interviews reporter Rebecca Thomson, who first broke the story in 2009; reporter Nick Wallis, author of The Great Post Office Scandal and consultant for the television drama; and Lee Castleton, a former subpostmaster in East Yorkshire.[00:00] Lastly, Brooke interviews Rachel Abrams, senior producer and reporter for The New York Times Presents and co-author of Unscripted:​​ The Epic Battle for a Media Empire and the Redstone Family Legacy. They discuss the Redstones, the family behind the media empire Paramount Global.Further reading:The Great Post Office Scandal by Nick WallisMr. Bates vs The Post Office, PBSUnscripted:​​ The Epic Battle for a Media Empire and the Redstone Family Legacy by Rachel Abrams and James B. Stewart On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
14/06/2450m 51s

Is Love is Blind a Toxic Workplace?

This week's midweek podcast comes from our colleagues at the New Yorker Radio Hour:On the Netflix reality-TV dating show “Love Is Blind,” contestants are alone in windowless, octagonal pods with no access to their phones or the Internet. They talk to each other through the walls. There’s intrigue, romance, heartbreak, and, in some cases, sight-unseen engagements. According to several lawsuits, there’s also lack of sleep, lack of food and water, twenty-hour work days, and alleged physical and emotional abuse. New Yorker staff writer Emily Nussbaum has been reporting on what these lawsuits reveal about the culture on the set of “Love Is Blind,” and a push for a new union to give reality-TV stars employee protections and rights. “The people who are on reality shows are a vulnerable class of people who are mistreated by the industry in ways that are made invisible to people, including to fans who love the shows,” Nussbaum tells NYRH host, David Remnick. Nussbaum’s forthcoming book is “Cue the Sun! The Invention of Reality TV.”  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
12/06/2425m 21s

A Former Disinformation Reporter is Running The Onion. Plus, Birds ARE Real.

This week, the Department of Justice accused one of the most influential right wing outlets of laundering tens of millions of dollars. On this week’s On the Media, a former reporter on his progression from defining the disinformation beat to running one of the most famous fake news outlets, The Onion. Plus, a satirical movement about birds illuminates the inner workings of conspiracies.[01:09] Host Micah Loewinger interviews Ben Collins, newly minted shareholder and CEO of the satirical site The Onion, about how his background in disinformation reporting led him to his latest gig. [18:03] Host Brooke Gladstone speaks with Ian Beacock about Birds Aren’t Real, a prank conspiracy theory that is itself a case study in how misinformation spreads.[34:41] Lastly, Brooke interviews Annalee Newitz about their latest book, Stories Are Weapons: Psychological Warfare and the American Mind. They discuss how stories have long been spun as a means of controlling people — from the 18th century to today’s culture wars. Further reading:“Trump, QAnon and an impending judgment day: Behind the Facebook-fueled rise of The Epoch Times,” by Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins“Birds Aren’t Real: The Prank That Turned Misinformation on Its Head,” by Ian BeacockStories Are Weapons: Psychological Warfare and the American Mind by Annalee Newitz On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
07/06/2450m 49s

Mr. Beast Reigns Supreme on YouTube

Something happened on the internet this week that was at once HUGE and also kind of a foregone conclusion. Jimmy Donaldson better known as Mr. Beast has been for many years basically the king of YouTube. But, as of this week, Mr Beast is now officially the most subscribed YouTuber in the world with 271 million followers at time of recording. His clickbaity game-show style videos, with their extravagant sets and giant payouts, have come to define this era of the site. Remember Squid Game, the Korean Netflix sensation? That show got around 265 million views. Mr Beast’s “real life” Squid Game video got 616 million views. That’s why he’s number 1. And there’s actually a very interesting history of jockeying for YouTube’s top spot. Mr. Beast has overtaken a giant Indian entertainment company, T-series (266 million subscribers) which had reigned unchallenged for years. In 2019, Micah worked with Brooke on a piece about the last time a big Western YouTuber went head to head with T-series. Back then it was a guy who was sort of the Mr Beast of that time, a youtuber known as PewDiepie. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
05/06/2418m 4s

Trump Found Guilty; The Right-Wing Media Were Prepared For It

When Donald J. Trump was found guilty on all counts in the hush money trial, some in the press were caught off guard. But the former president and conservative pundits primed for this result with a strategic messaging campaign. On this week’s On the Media, hear how Trump uses Truth Social to disseminate talking points to a web of right-wing influencers.[01:10] Host Micah Loewinger analyzes the media coverage following the announcement of the verdict in Trump’s hush money trial and the ways that rightwing media had been primed to respond. He also interviews Sarah Ellison of the Washington Post about how a network of right-wing influencers amplify Donald Trump’s Truth Social posts, carrying their reach far beyond the platform. [22:58] Micah speaks with Matthew Goldstein, business reporter at the New York Times, about the short, rocky history of Trump Media and how the company became the latest memestock. [35:58] Lastly, host Brooke Gladstone interviews Lynsey Addario, an award-winning photojournalist who has covered humanitarian crises abroad for over two decades, about how accurately Alex Garland’s film “Civil War” depicts what it's like to report on violent conflict and her real-life experiences covering wars abroad.Further reading:“How Trump’s allies amplify his Truth Social messages to the wider world,” by Sarah Ellison“How Donald Trump’s Financial Future Became Tied to Trump Media,” by Matthew Goldstein On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
01/06/2450m 48s

How Tech Journalists Are Fueling the AI Hype Machine

Micah breaks down media hype about AI. According to Sam Harnett, a former tech reporter, journalists are repeating lazy tropes about the future of work that once boosted companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Fiverr. Plus, Julia Angwin, founder of Proof News, debunks fantastical claims by AI companies about their software. And Paris Marx, host of Tech Won’t Save Us, explains how AI leaders like Sam Altman use the press to lobby regulators and investors. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
29/05/2421m 35s

How Tired Tropes Drive AI Coverage. Plus, is the Vibecession Back or Not?

A majority of Americans believe that the economy is in a recession even though it’s not. On this week’s On the Media, hear why there’s a mismatch between facts and feelings about the economy. Plus, how the outlandish claims of AI companies often go unchecked by the press.[01:09] Host Micah Loewinger interviews Jeanna Smialek of The New York Times about whether the ‘vibecession’ is back and the factors that are shaping negative perceptions of the economy.[14:41] Micah speaks with Gordon Hanson, economist at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, about how President Biden has adopted, and even escalated, former President Trump’s tariffs on China, and why the political narratives around tariffs don’t always match up with the economic realities.[29:29] Lastly, Micah breaks down media hype about AI. According to Sam Harnett, a former tech reporter, journalists are repeating lazy tropes about the future of work that once boosted companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Fiverr. Plus, Julia Angwin, founder of Proof News, debunks fantastical claims by AI companies about their software. And Paris Marx, host of Tech Won’t Save Us, explains how AI leaders like Sam Altman use the press to lobby regulators and investors.Further reading:“High Interest Rates Are Hitting Poorer Americans the Hardest,” by Ben Casselman and Jeanna Smialek“Washington’s New Trade Consensus,” by Gordon Hanson“How Tech Media Helped Write Gig Companies into Existence,” by Sam Harnett“Press Pause on the Silicon Valley Hype Machine,” by Julia Angwin“AI is Fueling a Data Center Boom. It Must Be Stopped," by Paris Marx On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
24/05/2450m 47s

Rightwing Media is Obsessed with the Darien Gap

Immigration consistently polls as one of the most important topics for voters. According to a recent Gallup poll immigration is the most polarizing issue of the last 25 years, with 48 percent of Republicans saying it’s the most important issue compared to just 8 percent of Democrats. This probably has something to do with the coverage of immigration in conservative media. And recently, right pundits have begun to focus on one of the most dangerous parts of a migrants’ journey north from South America. In March, New York Times reporter Ken Bensinger reported a story from the Darien Gap in Panama, which was once thought to be too perilous to cross but which now sees thousands of migrants make their way through every month. For this week's podcast extra, we bring you a recent episode of the podcast What Next, hosted by our former WNYC colleague Mary Harris.  Mary spoke to Ken Bensinger about the right wing media obsession with the Darien Gap. Further reading / listening:Right-Wing Influencers Descend on the Darien Gap On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
22/05/2422m 33s

What Bush v. Gore Revealed About Contested Elections

On this week’s On the Media we revisit another fraught moment in American democracy: the contested  election between Al Gore and George W. Bush in 2000. Hear about the extraordinary legal battle that ensued, and what it can teach us about partisan politics today. Leon Neyfakh, host of the podcast Fiasco, takes us back in time to witness how the Gore and Bush campaigns fought for recounts; how “chads” and “military ballots” became central to the contest; and the role of the so-called Brooks Brothers riot.Further listening:Fiasco: Bush v Gore On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
17/05/2450m 47s

The Story Behind Biden’s New Tariffs

This week, President Biden announced major new tariffs on $18 billion worth of imports from China. The goods that will be affected include batteries, steel, aluminum, and semiconductors. Tariffs on electric vehicles will go up from 25 percent to 100 percent. These new tariffs signal a reversal from Biden’s messaging on tariffs during the 2020 campaign, and also a reversal of a decades-long consensus in Washington that lower tariffs are better for the American economy. To understand how we got here, Micah spoke with Gordon Hanson, an economist and a co-director of the Reimagining the Economy Project at Harvard University’s Kennedy School.Further reading:Help for the Heartland? The Employment and Electoral Effects of the Trump Tariffs in the United StatesWashington’s New Trade Consensus On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
15/05/2431m 22s

What the Media Get Wrong About Campus Protests

In reports about pro-Palestinian college encampments, comparisons to the anti-war demonstrations of 1968 abound. On this week’s On the Media, hear how historical analogies distract us from what makes today’s protests unique. Plus, a reporter debunks a theory that Bill Gates is somehow funding campus activism.[01:09] Host Micah Loewinger speaks with Danielle K. Brown, a journalism professor at Michigan State university, about how coverage has detracted focus from students’ demands for universities to cut ties with Israel. Plus, Rick Perlstein, a columnist at The American Prospect, says reporters’ fondness for drawing parallels with 1968 has obscured the singularity of today’s encampments.[16:54] Micah continues the conversation about pro-Palestinian protest coverage with Andrew Perez, senior politics editor at Rolling Stone. They explore the inaccurate reporting on “outside agitators” and funding sources of campus demonstrations.[31:38] Micah speaks with Oren Persico, a staff writer at The Seventh Eye, about how current events like a potential Israeli invasion of Rafah and the ongoing Israel-Hamas ceasefire negotiations are being covered by Israeli media.Further reading / listening:Media coverage of campus protests tends to focus on the spectacle, rather than the substance by Danielle K. BrownThe New Anti-Antisemitism by Rick Perlstein‘Politico’ Misses Mark in Story on Who’s Funding Pro-Palestine Protests Against Biden by Andrew PerezWill Israel shut down Al Jazeera by Oren Persico On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
10/05/2450m 47s

Revisiting a Conversation with Paul Auster

Last week, news broke that writer Paul Auster died from complications related to lung cancer. The New York Times called him “the patron saint of literary Brooklyn;” elsewhere he was dubbed "the dean of American postmodernists." He was the author of many novels such as The New York Trilogy, and he wrote screenplays, memoirs, and nonfiction, including Burning Boy: The Life and Work of Stephen Crane.He was also a long-time friend of Brooke and her husband Fred Kaplan — they lived a few blocks away from each other in their Brooklyn neighborhood. In November of 2021, Paul Auster walked over to Brooke’s home studio to talk about Stephen Crane.   On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
08/05/2424m 49s

How to Read a President, with Carlos Lozada, Vinson Cunningham, and Curtis Sittenfeld

When politicians publish their autobiographies, often they reveal more than intended. On this week’s On the Media, find out how one reporter sifts through political memoirs for truths about politicians and the people they lead. Plus, in vivid detail, a novelist imagines the private lives of former presidents.[01:00] Host Brooke Gladstone speaks with Carlos Lozada, New York Times Opinion columnist and a co-host of the weekly “Matter of Opinion” podcast. Lozada explains how he mines political memoirs for deeper understanding of our political figures by examining what they include and what they omit.[16:59] Brooke speaks with Vinson Cunningham, author of the new novel Great Expectations. Cunningham, who is now a theater critic at The New Yorker, worked on the 2008 Obama campaign and later in the White House. Great Expectations is inspired by that time in his life, and the difficult-to-read candidate for the presidency.[35:19] Brooke interviews novelist Curtis Sittenfeld about her exploration of the minds of political figures through fiction, first in American Wife (inspired by Laura Bush) and next in Rodham, which considers what Hilary Clinton’s life would have looked like if she had never married Bill. They discuss the questions that led Sittenfeld to write those novels and why fiction based on real people makes readers so uncomfortable — especially the sex scenes.Further reading:The Washington Book by Carlos LozadaGreat Expectations  by Vinson CunninghamAmerican Wife and Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
03/05/2450m 53s

'The Three Body Problem' And the Rise of Chinese Science Fiction

Chinese science fiction has gone from a niche, underground genre to the country's hottest new export. On Saturday, at the 8th China Science Fiction Conference hosted in Beijing, an animated presenter unveiled graphs detailing the meteoric rise of the genre, claiming that China had raked in nearly $16 billion in revenue from its sci-fi industry in 2023. And in late March, an adaptation of one of China's  biggest cultural exports, 'The Three Body Problem,' premiered on Netflix. The show, based on a book by Liu Cixin, follows a group of modern-day scientists battling an alien invasion, triggered by one cataclysmic decision made by an aggrieved physicist during the Cultural Revolution in China. The show garnered roughly 15.6 million views in its first week. But the seed of this science fiction craze was first planted in 2008, with the publication of the book, which quickly became an unexpected global phenomenon. The book and its two sequels have exceeded the total sales of all literary works exported by China so far — thus piquing the interest of the Chinese government. For the midweek podcast, host Brooke Gladstone speaks with Jing Tsu, professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures & Comparative Literature at Yale, about the rise of science fiction in China as a soft power tool, the genre's complicated relationship with the Chinese government, and its evolution through the twentieth century. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
01/05/2419m 0s

How Not to Cover the Trump Trials. Plus, the Latest Push To Defund NPR

Trump is back in court for his hush money trial hearing, and his immunity case was argued at the Supreme Court. On this week’s On the Media, hear what gets lost in the blow-by-blow coverage of Trump’s legal woes. Plus, an essay from a former NPR editor has lawmakers calling to cut funding to the public radio network.[01:10] Host Brooke Gladstone speaks with Dahlia Lithwick, who covers the courts for Slate and hosts the podcast Amicus, about her frustration with pundits' obsession with solving political problems involving Trump with the law. [15:14] Host Micah Loewinger speaks with Kelly McBride, NPR’s public editor, about the push to ‘defund NPR’ sparked by a former NPR editor’s essay and whether his points have any salience. [32:59] Brooke continues the conversation about NPR with Alicia Montgomery, vice president of audio at Slate and former editor at NPR. They explore the real problems brewing at the public radio network.Further reading / listening:The Law Alone Cannot Curb Donald Trump’s LawlessnessThe relentless focus on GazaThe Real Story Behind NPR’s Current Problems On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
26/04/2450m 41s

A War Photographer Watches Alex Garland's 'Civil War'

Alex Garland's new film, 'Civil War,' debuted at no. 1 at the box office earlier this month, and  follows four journalists on a road trip from New York City to D.C. in the midst of societal collapse. The beating heart of the film is Lee, a veteran photojournalist played by Kirsten Dunst, who's determined to interview the president as his administration is on the verge of collapse to rebel forces. Lynsey Addario is an award-winning photojournalist who has covered humanitarian crises abroad for over two decades, including the ongoing war in Ukraine, and  conflicts in the Middle East and Africa. For the midweek pod, Brooke Gladstone speaks with Addario about her real-life experience covering wars abroad, and how accurately the film depicts what it's like to report amidst a dangerous war.  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
24/04/2423m 7s

Meet the Media Prophets Who Preach Christian Supremacy. Plus, Journalism in ‘Civil War’

Former president Trump says he wants to make America pray again. On this week’s On the Media, hear how Christian nationalism is shaping American politics. Plus, what the new film Civil War has to say about the role of journalism when civilizing norms have broken down. [01:08] Host Brooke Gladstone speaks with Matthew D. Taylor, scholar at the Institute for Islamic, Christian, & Jewish Studies in Baltimore and author of the forthcoming book, The Violent Take It by Force: The Christian Movement That Is Threatening Our Democracy. They discuss different strains of Christian nationalism — from the sentimental view of America as a Christian nation, to the desire to uphold Christian supremacy. Plus, how the phenomenon has shaped American politics for centuries.[17:42] Brooke continues her conversation with Matthew D. Taylor. Taylor introduces Brooke to the world of independent charismatic Christianity and its media, where an extreme form of Christian nationalism has taken root. Plus, the Christian leaders who stoked violence on January 6th.[35:27] Brooke speaks with Zack Beauchamp, senior correspondent at Vox, about Alex Garland’s new film Civil War, the power it derives from avoiding ideological warfare, and what it reveals about the role of journalism during complete civil collapse.Further reading / listening:How the Alabama IVF Ruling Was Influenced by Christian NationalismChristian Nationalism (Un)Defined“Civil War” has little to say about America — but a lot to say about war On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
19/04/2450m 44s

Happy Bicycle Day!

April 19th, which is this Friday, marks an odd holiday known as Bicycle Day — the day, now 81 years ago, when Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann rode his bike home from work after dosing himself with his lab concoction, lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD. The first acid trip.Hofmann’s wobbly ride is what launches us into an exploration of a moment, when Ken Kesey, an evangelist of acid would emerge from a Menlo Park hospital lab, and plow through the nation’s gray flannel culture in a candy colored bus. Some know Kesey as the enigmatic author behind One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest — others, as the driving force in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe’s seminal work in New Journalism. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the release of Acid Test, Brooke speaks with Wolfe and writer River Donaghey about how acid shaped Kesey, spawned the book and de-normalized American conformity.Songs:Holidays B by Ib GlindemannIm Glück by Neu!Apache '65 by Davie Allan and the ArrowsSelections from "The Acid Tests Reels" by The Merry Pranksters & The Grateful DeadAlicia by Los MonstruosThe Days Between by The Grateful Dead (Live 6/24/95)  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
17/04/2421m 42s

The Rise and Fall of Alt-Weeklies, and Backpage.com vs The Feds

New York City’s alternative weekly newspaper, The Village Voice, birthed a generation of legendary writers. On this week’s On the Media, how the Voice transformed journalism and what’s being lost as alt-weeklies across the country die off. Plus, why the feds brought America’s most controversial alt-weekly mogul to court.[02:17] Host Micah Loewinger speaks with Tricia Romano, author of The Freaks Came Out to Write, about the early days of The Village Voice, including one reporter’s mission to stop Robert Moses and its revolutionary music section. [15:09] Micah continues his conversation with Tricia Romano, getting into the Voice’s sale to Rupert Murdoch, the tensions within the paper, and how Craigslist led to its ultimate demise.[29:11] An alt-weekly mogul, Mike Lacey, became the Larry Flynt of the internet age. The hosts of the new Audible show Hold Fast conducted a series of interviews with Lacey to tell the story of the alt-weekly chain’s rise and fall. Further reading / listening:The Freaks Came Out to Write: The Definitive History of the Village Voice, the Radical Paper That Changed American CultureHold Fast: The Unadulterated Story of the World’s Most Scandalous Website On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
12/04/2451m 47s

How The Village Voice Changed Journalism

The Village Voice, founded in 1955, is widely credited as the first alternative weekly newspaper, or alt-weekly. The big show this week is all about the rise and fall of the alt-weekly—the type of off-beat, fearless publication that, once-upon-a-time, you could pick up on a street corner in cities across the country. For the mid-week podcast, Micah interviewed Tricia Romano, the author of a new oral history titled, The Freaks Came Out To Write: The Definitive History of the Village Voice, the Radical Paper that Changed American Culture. Their conversation about this legendary New York publication was wide-ranging, and too long for the radio. And too profane for the radio. So we’re bringing you a longer, uncensored version here. Don’t listen to this one with kids. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
10/04/2444m 14s

Warring Narratives Around UNRWA. Plus, Media Bets on Sports Gambling

President Joe Biden is calling for a ceasefire in Gaza as famine looms. On this week’s On the Media, hear how warring media narratives have jeopardized UNRWA, the largest humanitarian aid organization in the region. Plus, what the explosion in sports gambling means for the future of sports journalism.  1. Mehul Srivastava [@MehulAtLarge], Financial Times correspondent, and Chris Van Hollen [@ChrisVanHollen], US Senator from Maryland, on the warring media narratives around UNRWA. Listen. 2. Lex Takkenberg [@LTakkenberg], humanitarian law expert and a former Chief of Ethics for UNRWA, on the lessons to be learned from the agency's founding and its predecessor, the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine. Listen. 3. OTM producer Rebecca Clark-Callender [@Rebecca_CC_] explores how sports media and the gambling industry's relationship keeps evolving, featuring: Brian Moritz [@bpmoritz], sports media scholar at St. Bonaventure University, Danny Funt [@dannyfunt], reporter and contributor to the Washington Post, and Albert Chen, author of Billion Dollar Fantasy: The High-Stakes Game Between FanDuel and DraftKings That Upended Sports in America. Listen. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
05/04/2451m 26s

Happy Birthday to Basketball Great, Walt "Clyde" Frazier

With his cool rhymes and even cooler clothes, Basketball Hall of Famer Walt "Clyde" Frazier made a successful transition from NBA star to sports broadcaster on the MSG Network. Frazier sat down with Brooke back in 2012 for a live event to discuss basketball, broadcasting, and the art of being cool. We're re-airing it now because a) it was Mr. Frazier's birthday this week! and b) we're in a sporting mood — we have a big piece in the hopper for this week's show all about sports betting, reported by OTM producer Rebecca Clark-Callender.  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
03/04/2418m 32s

Boeing Conspiracy Theories Take Flight. Plus, the Politics to TV News Pipeline

Following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, conspiracy theories proliferated. On this week’s On the Media, hear how memes and misinformation obscure the real causes of tragedies, from bridges to planes. Plus, what Ronna McDaniel’s hiring and firing from NBC News tells us about the revolving door from politics to tv news. 1. David Gilbert [@daithaigilbert], reporter for Wired covering disinformation, and Katya Schwenk [@ktyschwnk], reporter at The Lever, on why disasters are fertile ground for conspiracy theories, which obfuscate real quality control issues. Listen. 2. Michael Socolow [@MichaelSocolow], media historian at the University of Maine, on the history of the revolving door between politics and news.Listen. 3. Calvin Trillin, contributor at The New Yorker, on his career and his latest book, The Lede: Dispatches from a Life in the Press. Listen. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
29/03/2450m 21s

Beyoncé and the History of Black Country Music

Beyoncé’s new album, Cowboy Carter, comes out on Friday — and the record has already sparked plenty of conversation about race and the country music genre. This week, we're sharing an episode from our friends at the podcast Today, Explained from Vox media, on this very topic. Hear co-host Noel King take a journey through the history of black musicians making country music, and more. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
27/03/2423m 48s

Trump’s Rhetoric Intensifies, and Russia’s Fake Journalists

Donald Trump said if he isn’t elected there will be a bloodbath. Or did he? On this week’s On the Media, how to understand the GOP nominee’s double speak, eight years into his political career. Plus, a deep dive into Russia’s latest disinformation invention– journalists that don’t really exist. And, life in Russia-occupied Ukraine. 1. Jennifer Mercieca [@jenmercieca], professor at Texas A&M University, on how Trump's rhetoric has intensified. Listen. 2. Steven Lee Myers [@stevenleemyers], disinformation reporter at The New York Times, explains how Russia is creating fake journalists and fake stories to sow animus against Ukraine. Listen. 3. Shaun Walker [@shaunwalker7], central and eastern Europe correspondent at The Guardian, on Russian propaganda and re-education in occupied regions of Ukraine. Listen. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
22/03/2451m 58s

Evan Gershkovich Has Been In Prison In Russia For A Year

On Wednesday, March 29 2023, Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was detained by the FSB, Russia's security service, and charged with espionage. It was the first time that an American journalist in Russia has been charged with espionage, which carries a potential 20-year prison sentence, since the Cold War. OTM producer Molly Schwartz spoke to Valerie Hopkins, international correspondent for The New York Times, Gordon Fairclough, World Coverage Chief for The Wall Street Journal, Gulnoza Said, the Europe and Central Asia program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and Dan Storyev and Maria Kuznetsova from OVD-Info, a Russian human rights group, about how the Kremlin is using Gershkovich as a pawn in a game of hostage diplomacy. This is a segment from our April 14, 2023, show Inside Russia's Crackdown on Journalists. The email address mentioned at the end of this piece where people can write Evan Gershkovich letters in prison is freegershkovich@gmail.com.  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
20/03/2416m 6s

Why Banning TikTok Might Backfire. Plus, a History of Book-Banning Moms

Recently, the House passed a bill that could ban TikTok from the US unless the app’s Chinese owners divest. On this week’s On the Media, hear how the bill will likely fail to live up to its promise. Plus, a pulse-check on the book-banning movement, and a look into the larger mission behind Moms for Liberty.  1. Julia Angwin [@JuliaAngwin], opinion writer for The New York Time and founder of the new outlet Proof News, on why this TikTok legislation won't do what lawmakers claim it will. Listen. 2. Adam Laats [@AdamLaats], professor of education and history at Binghamton University, on the long history leading to Moms For Liberty. Listen. 3. Jennifer Berkshire [@BisforBerkshire], lecturer at Yale’s Education Studies Department, on why Moms for Liberty election losses are not a reason to ignore the group's power. Listen. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
15/03/2450m 18s

A Journalism History Lesson from Calvin Trillin

Writer Calvin Trillin joined The New Yorker in 1963, and he continues to contribute today. Trillin’s trademark humility and humor show up in all of his writing, whether it’s a story about the invention of the buffalo chicken wing, or the civil rights movement, or an old ditty about our political woes. Brooke recently sat down with him to discuss his career and his latest book, The Lede: Dispatches from a Life in the Press. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
13/03/2420m 43s

What Can Musk Offer Trump? And Defining “Decolonization” for Gaza

Donald Trump recently held a meeting with Elon Musk, the owner of the site formerly known as Twitter. On this week’s On the Media, hear how the significance of the social media platform has changed as fewer people tune into traditional right-wing media. Plus, a deep dive on terms like “colonialism” and “decolonization,” and what they mean in the context of Israel-Palestine. 1. Philip Bump [@pbump], columnist for the Washington Post, on what Donald Trump might want from an allegiance with Elon Musk. Listen. 2. Iyad el-Baghdadi [@iyad_elbaghdadi], human rights activist, writer, and co-author of “The Middle East Crisis Factory,” on why the words we use to describe the war in Gaza should be clear and precise. Listen. 3. Valerie Hopkins [@VALERIEinNYT], an international correspondent at the New York Times covering Russia, on the growing intensity of Putin's crackdown on dissent in Russia, and Mstyslav Chernov [@mstyslavchernov], on his now Oscar-nominated documentary depicting the early days of Russia's siege on Ukraine. Listen.   On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
08/03/2450m 15s

It's That Time Again!

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. Reporter 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. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
06/03/2410m 45s

Measuring Bias in Israel-Palestine Coverage, and Mehdi Hasan's Approach to Covering the Region

A Palestinian-American college student was shot in Vermont last fall. On this week’s On the Media, he reflects on the explosive media attention he’s received. Plus, what the data says about allegations of biased media coverage of Israel and Palestine, and former MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan explains his approach to covering the war. 1. Suzanne Gaber [@SuzanneGaber], producer at Notes from America, speaks with Hisham Awartani, a Palestinian-American college student, about the explosive media attention he received after he was shot in Vermont last fall. Listen.  2. William Youmans [@wyoumans], professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, and Mona Chalabi [@MonaChalabi], data journalist and illustrator, on the allegations of biased media coverage about Israel and Palestine and what data reveals. Listen.  3. Mehdi Hasan [@mehdirhasan], former MSNBC host and CEO of the new media company Zeteo, on his approach to covering Gaza, and his goal of making his audience care about news beyond the borders of the US. Listen.  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
01/03/2450m 30s

American Patriots Support... Vladimir Putin?

In February, Donald Trump praised Russia for being a "war machine" and said that Russia should “do whatever the hell they want” to NATO allies that do not contribute enough to the military alliance. Far-right figures like Nick Fuentes, who referred to Vladimir Putin as "my Czar," have also shown support for the Russian president and his war on Ukraine. And while more mainstream Republican pundits like Tucker Carlson have walked back past praise for Putin, the American far-right's obsession with Russia goes back almost two decades. Brooke sat down with Casey Michel, writer and investigative journalist, to discuss why white nationalists like David Duke, Richard Spencer, and Matthew Heimbach have long since looked to Putin's Russia as inspiration for their far-right movements in this country, and why Putin's attempts to create a nationalist Christian ethnostate serve as their model. This segment originally aired on our March 4th, 2022 program, The Fog of War.  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
28/02/2412m 30s

Christian Nationalism is Reshaping Fertility Rights, and Books Dominate at the Oscars

An Alabama Supreme Court ruling on frozen embryos threatens fertility treatments across the state. On this week’s On the Media, hear how a particular branch of Christian nationalism influenced one justice’s decision. Plus, how film adaptations of books have come to dominate our screens. 1. Matthew D. Taylor [@TaylorMatthewD], senior scholar at the Institute for Islamic, Christian, & Jewish Studies, on how a particular strain of Christian Nationalism, once on the fringe of America’s religious landscape, is slowly emerging as a political force. Listen.  2. Alexander Manshel [@XanderManshel], assistant professor of English at McGill University and author of Writing Backwards: Historical Fiction and the Reshaping of the American Canon, on how literary prizes have changed over the last few decades, and how much they actually matter. Listen.  3. Cord Jefferson [@cordjefferson], writer and director of the new film American Fiction, on his movie's critique of Hollywood and the process of adapting a novel for the screen. Listen.    On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
23/02/2450m 13s

Revisiting the Documentary, "Navalny"

  Russia's jailed opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has died in prison. Navalny had been living behind bars since shortly after landing in Moscow in January of 2021. He had been returning home following months of recovery in Europe, after he fell violently sick on a flight between Siberia and Moscow.  In the months following Navalny’s poisoning, Christo Grozev, former lead Russia investigator at Bellingcat, was stuck in Vienna with filmmaker Daniel Roher. The two had just been booted from Ukraine, where they had been trying to film an investigation. Grozev suddenly had a lot of time on his hands, a laptop, and a fresh stack of data from the Russian black market so naturally he began to investigate who was behind the poisoning.  Daniel Roher directed the documentary “Navalny,” which portrays the story of the close collaboration between Navalny, his team, and Grozev, in the hunt for the dissident’s would-be killers. Last year, Brooke spoke to Roher and Grozev about the making of the documentary, which won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. This is a segment from our February 10, 2023 show, Hide and Seek. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
21/02/2422m 28s

Breaking News: Biden is Old. Plus, Bobi Wine’s Fight For Democracy

Coverage of President Joe Biden’s age has reached a fever pitch. On this week’s On the Media, hear whether the quality of the reports has matched their volume. Plus, meet Bobi Wine, a pop star and opposition politician who is fighting for democracy in Uganda. 1. Judd Legum [@JuddLegum], founder of the newsletter Popular Information, Charan Ranganath [@CharanRanganath], a neuroscientist at UC Davis and author of the forthcoming book, Why We Remember: Unlocking Memory’s Power to Hold on to What Matters, and Jack Shafer [@jackshafer], senior media critic at Politico, on the flood of coverage around Biden's age following the release of the Hur report last week and the consequences of the media's minute focus on it. Listen.  2. Lili Loofbourow [@Millicentsomer], television critic at the Washington Post, on Jon Stewart's return to The Daily Show after nine years, and whether the unique form of political comedy he pioneered still holds up in today's drastically different political landscape. Listen.  3. Bobi Wine [@HEBobiwine] and Moses Bwayo [@bwayomoses], co-director of the new Oscar-nominated documentary Bobi Wine: The People's President, on the journey of Wine, a popstar-turned-politician, who has used his music as a platform to fight for democracy in Uganda. Listen.  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
16/02/2450m 14s

Tucker Went to Russia and Got a History Lesson

Last week we learned that ousted Fox blowhard Tucker Carlson had gone to Russia. He was spotted eating fake McDonalds and watching a ballet at the Bolshoi theater. But Tucker was there for more important things than fast food and culture; he was there for a sit down with President Putin. Carlson was mainly silent as Putin delivered an almost 40 minute long speech on the history of how Ukraine belongs to Russia. But the myths in Putin's and Russia's state-sponsored version of history are not new. Last summer Brooke spoke to Mikhail Zygar who had traced it back at least as far as the middle ages.    This is a segment from our August 4, 2023 show, Making History. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
14/02/2417m 28s

If You Can’t Beat ’Em… Join ’Em? Journalism in an AI World

In December, the New York Times sued OpenAI for allegedly using the paper’s articles to train chatbots. On this week’s On the Media, a look at how media outlets are trying to survive in this era of generative AI. Plus, why New York’s oldest Black newspaper is joining forces with an AI startup to address biases in the technology.  1. Kate Knibbs [@Knibbs], senior writer at Wired, on AI clickbait flooding the internet. Listen. 2. John Herrman [@jwherrman], tech columnist for New York Magazine, on the love-hate relationship between AI companies and journalism. Listen. 3. Elinor Tatum [@elinortatum], editor in chief of The New York Amsterdam News, on a push to make AI technology and data diverse. Listen. 4. Abbie Richards [@abbieasr], misinformation researcher and a senior video producer at Media Matters, on the AI-generated conspiracy theories multiplying TikTok. Listen.   On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
09/02/2450m 32s

Naomi Klein's Trip to the Mirror World

Naomi Klein has been confused for writer Naomi Wolf for much of her career. Wolf rose to prominence with the book The Beauty Myth in the 90s, establishing herself as a bestselling feminist, liberal writer. Klein, on the other hand, wrote acclaimed critiques of capitalism such as No Logo and The Shock Doctrine. To say Klein is often mistaken for Wolf is an understatement. In the interview she did just before ours, a TV host mistakenly called her by Wolf's name. The confusion is incessant on social media, and escalated when Wolf became notorious as a peddler of covid-19 conspiracies. A few weeks ago, Wolf discovered that a fellow anti-vaxxer was spreading a conspiracy theory, this time about her. Ultimately, Klein decided to plunge down the rabbit hole to follow Wolf, and emerged with a new book Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World, a wide-ranging exploration of doubling in our lives, culture, and politics. Brooke speaks to Klein about how social media has given all of us doppelgangers; why she's proud of her "bad" personal brand; and the value of "unselfing." This segment first aired in our September 15, 2023 show, The “Too Old” President and Political Doppelgängers. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
07/02/2417m 19s

What the Media Gets Wrong About Immigration, and Chris Hayes Wants More Trump Coverage!

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has threatened to defy the federal government’s control over the border as the surge of migrants continues. On this week’s On the Media, a look at what might be a brewing constitutional crisis. Plus, hear MSNBC’s Chris Hayes make a case for why journalists should be paying even closer attention to Donald Trump. 1.  Adam Serwer [@AdamSerwer], staff writer at The Atlantic, on the humanitarian and constitutional crisis at the Texas border. Listen. 2. Jonathan Blitzer [@JonathanBlitzer], staff writer at The New Yorker, on what the media misses when it covers immigration. Plus, how and why U.S. immigration changed in the 21st century.Listen. 3. Chris Hayes [@chrislhayes], host of “All In with Chris Hayes” on MSNBC, on reasons why the media should re-up their focus on Donald Trump. Listen. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
02/02/2450m 20s

Micah Speaks To Kyle Chayka About The Filter World

In Micah Loewinger's introduction to this interview, he shared this personal anecdote: "Before I landed a job at this show, I worked for a few years, on and off, at a couple record stores around New York City. And some of my favorite albums to this day, were recommended to me by my coworkers. Men and women who I consider to be archivists –– not just of old formats like vinyl records, CDs, and cassettes –– but of underappreciated artists and niche genres. A knowledge of music history that can only come from a lifetime of obsessive listening, research, and curation.  Nowadays, I pay for Spotify. I try to learn about music off the app and then save it for later listening on Spotify, but sometimes I find myself just letting its recommendation algorithm queue up the next track, and the next. And it definitely works. Spotify has helped me discover great music, but it’s never been as revelatory as a personal recommendation from a friend or an expert at a record store or an independent radio station.  This feeling … that I’ve traded convenience for something deeper is what made me want to read Filterworld: How Algorithms Flattened Culture by Kyle Chayka, a staff writer at the New Yorker."     On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
31/01/2420m 34s

DeSantis' Failed Campaign Has Lessons For the Political Press. And A Public Radio Parody.

After New Hampshire and Iowa, the GOP field is narrowing to Donald Trump's benefit once again. On this week’s On the Media, hear how Florida governor Ron DeSantis went from right-wing media darling to the party outcast. Plus, what gets lost in the blow-by-blow coverage of Trump’s legal woes. 1. Nick Nehamas [@NickNehamas], politics reporter for the New York Times, Mary Ellen Klas [@MaryEllenKlas], opinion writer at Bloomberg and former capital bureau chief for the Miami Herald, and Tom Scocca [@tomscocca], creator of the Indignity newsletter, on the rise and fall of Ron DeSantis' presidential campaign, and the lessons it offers about how to cover elections. Listen. 2. Dahlia Lithwick [@Dahlialithwick], lawyer and writer at Slate, on how our legal system isn't designed to save our democracy, and what's wrong with mainstream media's coverage of Trump's trials. Listen. 3. Zach Woods, actor known for his role of Gabe Lewis on The Office, and Brandon Gardner [@BrandonJGardner], improviser and writer, on their new Peacock show, In the Know, which parodies public radio, and reflects our current culture wars. Listen.  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
26/01/2450m 13s

OTM presents - Blindspot: The Plague in the Shadows

This week we're featuring the work of our colleagues at WNYC: Valerie Reyes-Jimenez called it “The Monster.” That’s how some people described HIV and AIDS in the 1980s. Valerie thinks as many as 75 people from her block on New York City’s Lower East Side died. They were succumbing to an illness that was not recognized as the same virus that was killing young, white, gay men just across town in the West Village. At the same time, in Washington, D.C., Gil Gerald, a Black LGBTQ+ activist, saw his own friends and colleagues begin to disappear, dying out of sight and largely ignored by the wider world. In our first episode of Blindspot: The Plague in the Shadows, we learn how HIV and AIDS was misunderstood from the start — and how this would shape the reactions of governments, the medical establishment and numerous communities for years to come. You can listen to more of Blindspot: The Plague in the Shadows by subscribing here. New episodes come out on Thursdays.  Blindspot is a co-production of The HISTORY® Channel and WNYC Studios, in collaboration with The Nation Magazine. A companion photography exhibit by Kia LaBeija featuring portraits from the series is on view through March 11 at The Greene Space at WNYC. The photography for Blindspot was supported by a grant from the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, a nonprofit organization that promotes coverage of social inequality and economic justice. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
24/01/2435m 39s

Trouble at The Baltimore Sun, and the End of an Era for Pitchfork

This year has had a rocky start for journalism. The Baltimore Sun changed hands again, and layoffs loom at the LA Times. On this week’s On the Media, hear how private investment firms broke local news. Meanwhile, nonprofit publications try to repair the damage. Plus, a music critic reflects on the job cuts at Pitchfork and the power of the album review. 1. Margot Susca [@MargotSusca], assistant professor of journalism, accountability, and democracy at American University and author of "Hedged: How Private Investment Funds Helped Destroy American Newspapers and Undermine Democracy," on the tactics used by private equity firms and hedge funds to reshape local news. Listen. 2. Milton Kent [@SportsAtLarge], professor of practice in the School of Global Journalism and Communication at Morgan State University, and Liz Bowie [@lizbowie], education reporter for The Baltimore Banner and former reporter for The Baltimore Sun, on the purchase of The Baltimore Sun by David Smith, the executive chairman of Sinclair Broadcast Group, and what it means for Baltimore's local news landscape. Listen. 3. Ann Powers [@annkpowers], critic and correspondent for NPR Music, on Condé Nast's gutting of the influential music publication Pitchfork, and what this means for the future of music journalism. Listen.  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
19/01/2450m 29s

What Israelis Are Seeing on TV - EXTENDED VERSION

EXTENDED VERSION; Nightmarish images of destruction in Gaza have filled the news and social media feeds for months. But within Israel, mainstream media outlets tell a very different story. This week, Micah Loewinger speaks with Oren Persico, a staff writer at The Seventh Eye, an independent investigative magazine focused on media and freedom of speech in Israel, about the Israeli media landscape in the months following October 7th, and the "dome of disconnection" it created.  This is a segment from our January 12th, 2024 show, Israeli TV News Sanitizes the Bombing of Gaza. Plus, a Plagiarism Fight Gets Political. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
16/01/2429m 10s

Israeli TV News Sanitizes the Bombing of Gaza. Plus, a Plagiarism Fight Gets Political

The conflict in the Middle East has already killed tens of thousands of Palestinians. On this week’s On the Media, hear how Israeli media outlets are broadcasting a sanitized version of what's happening in Gaza to the Israeli people. Plus, how one billionaire is going after the media for an article about plagiarism. 1. Oren Persico [@OrenPersico], staff writer at The Seventh Eye, an independent investigative magazine focused on freedom of speech in Israel, on how Israeli mainstream media outlets are sanitizing the destruction in Gaza. Listen. 2. Will Sommer [@willsommer], media reporter at The Washington Post, on how fights over plagiarism have become a political tool. Listen. 3. Masha Gessen [@mashagessen], staff writer at The New Yorker, on how the politics of memory around the Holocaust damages our ability to understand the conflict in Gaza and Israel. Listen.  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
12/01/2450m 29s

Mysteries of the Euroverse!

50 years ago ABBA won the contest for the song Waterloo.  Recently Brooke's old friend Charlie asked her to take part in a new podcast born of his love of and obsession with Eurovision, an international song contest organized annually by the European Broadcasting Union, or EBU, with reps from some 70 countries!  This week's midweek podcast is episode three of the new series "Mysteries of the Euroverse," hosted by Charlie Sohne and Magnus Riise.  On Instagram: @euroversepodcast On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6GlG8M6PKJOxfx5vk9jRiA www.euroversepodcast.com On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
10/01/2445m 6s

How a Whistleblower Changed the Course of History

Daniel Ellsberg, the famed whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the Washington Post, died six months ago. On this week’s On the Media, hear about his life, how the Pentagon Papers made it to print, and the impact he had on generations of whistleblowers. Plus, the women who covered the War in Vietnam.  1. Tom Devine, legal director for the Government Accountability Project, on Daniel Ellsberg's legacy and the ways he changed public perception of whistleblowers in the U.S. Listen. 2. Les Gelb, former columnist and former Defense Department official, on his experience leading the team that wrote the Pentagon Papers, subject of the Hollywood drama, "The Post." Listen. 3. Seymour Hersh, on how he broke the story of My Lai — the massacre now regarded as the single most notorious atrocity of the Vietnam war. Listen. 4. Reporters Kate Webb, Jurate Kazickas [@juratekazickas], and Laura Palmer on how they covered the Vietnam War and why they went. Listen.   On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
05/01/2450m 39s

The Reporter Who Said No to the FBI

On February 23, 1972, oral arguments began in the Supreme Court for a case that would shape the course of journalism. In the case known as “Branzburg v. Hayes,” the arguments rolled together three related cases that explored the reporter's privilege to protect confidential sources in the face of a legal investigation. The most important of these three cases was United States v. Caldwell. Earl Caldwell was a New York Times reporter who covered the civil rights movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and activities of the Black Panther Party. Caldwell was approached multiple times by the FBI to give up sources and additional details surrounding his coverage of the Black Panther Party. OTM host Micah Loewinger mined oral history interviews with Earl Caldwell and spoke with Lee Levine, an attorney and media law expert who is writing a book about Earl Caldwell, to learn about legal precedents for journalists being called on to testify in federal investigations, the limits of First Amendment privileges for the press, and the sometimes tenuous relationship between journalists and the government.  Special thanks to the Maynard Institute For Journalism Education for allowing us to use its Earl Caldwell oral history. This segment originally aired in our May 26, 2023 show, Seditious Conspiracy. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
03/01/2420m 40s

What a Year

And just like that, the year is coming to a close. On this episode of On the Media, hear about the challenges that await journalists in the upcoming election in 2024. Plus, what reporters uncovered about our courts this year. And, a look back at one of the deadliest years for journalists in recent memory, in large part due to the Israel-Hamas war. With excerpts from: Inside CNN's Turbulent Year E. Jean Carroll and the Progress of #MeToo The Press Is Still Failing to Responsibly Cover the GOP and Trump What Media Coverage of Trump’s Movement is Missing CNN's Impossible Dilemma Naomi Klein Isn't the Only One With a Doppelganger We Don't Talk About Leonard: Episode 2 Clarence Thomas' Unshaken Belief in Big Money The Supreme Court is in Crisis. Here's How the Press Should Cover It. Reporting on Russia's War in Exile The Arrest of Journalist Evan Gershkovich The Deadly Toll of Reporting From Gaza and Israel On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
29/12/2352m 13s

Where Did 'White Jesus' Come From?

During this holiday season, you likely encountered public nativity scenes depicting the birth of Jesus, presenting the family with very rare exceptions as white. And the same can be said of his ubiquitous adult portrait –– with fair skin and hair a radiant gold, eyes fixed on the middle distance. In this segment from 2020, Eloise talks to Mbiyu Chui, pastor at the Shrine of the Black Madonna in Detroit, about unlearning Jesus's whiteness. She also hears from Edward Blum, author of The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America, about how the image came dominate in the U.S., and psychologist Simon Howard on how White Jesus has infiltrated our subconsciouses. Lastly, Eloise speaks to Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas, womanist theologian and Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary, about the theology of the Black Christ. This is segment first aired in our October 1st, 2020 program, God Bless.   On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
27/12/2318m 59s

The Rise of 'News Avoiders,' and a Stand-Up Comedy Scandal

In the run up to the 2024 election, polls are frontpage news. On this week’s On the Media, a guide on which polls to pay attention to, and how to interpret them. Plus, hear about a growing segment of the population: news avoiders. What they can teach us, and what they're missing out on. And, a look at changing expectations of truth in comedy — from Lenny Bruce to Hasan Minhaj. 1. Ruth Igielnik [@RuthIgielnik] on the limitations of polls, and the insights we can draw from them leading up to the 2024 election cycle. Listen. 2. Benjamin Toff [@BenjaminToff] on the rise of news avoiders, and what they're missing. Listen. 3. Jesse David Fox [@JesseDavidFox] on the Hasan Minhaj scandal, and what it reveals about the relationship between truth and comedy. Listen.  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
22/12/2351m 54s

Who Cares About Literary Prizes?

This holiday season, book store displays — and Christmas stockings — will be filled with novels minted with gold and silver medals. Those gilded stamps denote recognition by literary prizes like the National Book Award, which was announced just last month. Alexander Manshel is the author of Writing Backwards: Historical Fiction and the Reshaping of the American Canon. With Melanie Walsh, he recently wrote a piece about how literary prizes have changed over the past few decades, leading to the recognition of more authors of color, for one. This week, Brooke asks Manshel how much these prizes actually matter. And according to another study he co-authored (with J.D. Porter and Laura B. McGrath, titled "Who Cares About Literary Prizes?"), the influence of literary awards is undeniable... On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
20/12/2318m 8s

Climate Delay-ism and the Real Goals of the Book Banning Movement

An unprecedented deal on transitioning away from fossil fuels was struck at the United Nations’ COP 28 summit, but many scientists say the timeline is too slow. On this week’s On the Media, hear how climate denialism is being replaced by the increasingly popular climate delayism. Plus, a pulse check on the book-banning movement. 1. Tim McDonnell [@timmcdonnell], energy and climate editor for Semafor, and Michael Mann [@MichaelEMann], climate scientist and geophysicist at the University of Pennsylvania, on the deal made at COP 28, and how climate denialism has turned to "delayism." Listen. 2. Adam Laats [@AdamLaats], professor of education and history at Binghamton University, on the long history leading to Moms For Liberty. Listen. 3. Jennifer Berkshire [@BisforBerkshire], lecturer at Yale’s Education Studies Department, on why Moms for Liberty election losses are not a reason to ignore the group's power. Listen.   On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
15/12/2351m 0s

Celebrating Norman Lear

Norman lear the veteran writer and producer behind such hit TV shows as All in the Family and The Jeffersons, died last week at the age of 101. Back in 2015, Anna Sale, host of the podcast Death, Sex and Money interviewed Lear at his luxury apartment in Manhattan. He told Anna he wanted to make sure his kids would never be "desperate for a dollar" — but what "desperate" meant has fluctuated along the way. "I guess now it’s 60 billion," he deadpanned, adding, "That’s a joke."  Lear's own childhood had a degree of desperation: When Lear was nine, his father, Herman, was sent to jail for selling fake bonds. Lear's mother scrambled to make ends meet. "My mother tried to warn him," he said. "But nobody ever told Herman anything." When his father returned from prison three years later, tensions remained high. "I used to sit at the kitchen table and I would score their arguments," he says of his parents. "I would give her points for this, him points for that, as a way of coping with it." Lear has been married three times, and has six kids — ranging in age from 28 to 77. That range of ages has presented its own challenges. "My middle daughter was ... hoping, wishing, trying to be pregnant," he says. "And her dad is suddenly married to a younger woman, and in a year’s time or less, she’s pregnant. That was not an easy time." He spoke about the lessons he’s continued to learn over the years, how he’s managed to bring his family closer together despite their differences, and what he’s anticipating for the final stage of his life. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
13/12/2320m 51s

How Media Fueled a Shoplifting Panic, and an AI-Journalism Experiment Gone Wrong

This holiday season, media outlets across the country are raising the alarm about an apparent crisis in retail crime. On this week’s On the Media, how the data about shoplifting don’t back up the alarmist coverage. Plus, the cost and consequences of media outlets turning to AI to generate stories. 1. Daphne Howland [@daphnehowland], senior reporter at Retail Dive, traces how one baseless data point about retail crime spread unquestioned in media. Listen. 2. Nicole Lewis, engagement editor at The Marshall Project, digs into the data that supposedly proves a shoplifting crisis. Listen. 3. Jeff Asher [@Crimealytics], co-founder of AH Datalytics, explains why perception of crime is often out of step with reality. Listen. 4. Jay Allred [@jayallred651], CEO of Source Media Properties, explains how a collaboration with Gannett and a non-generative AI model went wrong. Listen. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
08/12/2350m 32s

Happy One Year Anniversary Since George Santos Became a Thing!

This month marks the anniversary of when most of us first heard about George Santos and his ever-expanding list of lies from a New York Times report published after the midterm election, but a local newspaper called the North Shore Leader was sounding the alarm months before. The New Yorker staff writer Clare Malone took a trip to Long Island to speak with the Leader’s publisher, Grant Lally, and its managing editor, Maureen Daly, to find out how the story began. “We heard story after story after story about him doing bizarre things,” Lally told her. “He was so well known, at least in the more active political circles, to be a liar, that by early summer he was already being called George Scamtos.” Lally explains how redistricting drama in New York State turned Santos from a “sacrificial” candidate—to whom no one was paying attention—to a front-runner. At the same time, Malone thinks, “the oddly permissive structure that the Republican Party has created for candidates on a gamut of issues” enabled his penchant for fabrication. “[There’s] lots of crazy stuff that’s popped up in politics over the past few years. I think maybe Santos thought, Eh, who’s gonna check?” This story first ran on the New Yorker Radio Hour in January of this year.    On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
06/12/2321m 27s

Word Watch: “Genocide,” and Do We Have to Care About OpenAI?

After a seven-day ceasefire, fighting has resumed in Gaza. On this week’s On the Media, how the word “genocide” entered discussions of the Israel-Hamas conflict, and the legal implications of the term. Plus, why boardroom drama at the tech company OpenAI received so much media coverage. 1. Ernesto Verdeja [@ErnestoVerdeja], executive director of the Institute For The Study of Genocide at the University of Notre Dame, on the debate and legal implications surrounding the charge of "genocide." Listen.  2. Max Read [@readmaxread], journalist and writer of the "Read Max" newsletter, on why internal theatrics at OpenAI's made so many headlines. Listen.  3. Deepa Seetharaman [@dseetharaman], reporter covering artificial intelligence for the Wall Street Journal, on the journey of "effective altruism" from the halls of Oxford University to the boardrooms of Silicon Valley. Listen.    On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
01/12/2351m 0s

Media Coverage of the Trump Movement is Missing Vital Context

In his Veteran’s day speech a couple of weeks ago former President Donald Trump said this about his political enemies; TRUMP: the threat from outside forces is far less sinister, dangerous and grave than the threat from within. We pledge to you that we will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country.  Jeff Sharlet, author of The Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War, argues that Trump's narratives of martyrdom, a persecuted in-group, a mysterious out-group, and a rhetoric of violence are all hallmarks of fascism. Brooke spoke with Sharlet in June about what the rhetoric, aesthetics, and myth-making of Trump and the movement he rode to power can tell us about a rising fascist movement in the United States, and why Sharlet argues we're in the midst of a slow civil war.   This is a segment from our June 16, 2023 show, Indicted (Again).  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
29/11/2319m 37s

Is the New York Times a Tech Company Now?

This year has seen record layoffs in the media industry, with some digital news giants closing down altogether. On this week’s On the Media, hear how The New York Times became a profitable powerhouse at a time when other outlets are struggling to survive. Plus, instead of reaching for top profits, some new publications have opted for a humbler mission: survival. 1. Ben Smith [@semaforben], editor-in-chief and co-founder of Semafor, on what went wrong for BuzzFeed News, and why digital media is splintering. Listen. 2. Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] examines why The New York Times is expanding, and thriving, even amongst record layoffs at other media outlets. Listen. 3. Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] takes a look at a growing cohort of new outlets around the US trying to wrestle journalism away from big capital through a co-operative business model. Listen. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
24/11/2350m 42s

The Hasan Minhaj Saga and Evolving Expectations of Truth in Comedy

In September, The New Yorker published an article by Clare Malone titled “Hasan Minhaj’s Emotional Truths,” fact-checking moments from the comedian’s stand up specials. The article reportedly cost Minhaj the hosting gig for The Daily Show, and Minhaj posted a lengthy Youtube video responding to its claims. The New Yorker has stood behind its story, even after Minhaj called it misleading. The scandal, which has been covered by almost every major news outlet, brings into question what audiences expect from comedians — especially ones who do Jon-Stewart-style political commentary. This week, Brooke speaks to Jesse David Fox, author of Comedy Book: How Comedy Conquered Culture and the Magic That Makes It Work, about why the saga provoked such a strong reaction. Plus, Fox explains the changing role of truth in comedy: from the authentic acts of Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor, to the vulnerability of Tig Notaro. Fox also notes that the fall from grace of Louis C.K., who pre-#MeToo was often proclaimed the "most honest" comedian, informs the rise of the hyper-performative, absurdist comedy of John Early and Kate Berlant. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
22/11/2320m 14s

TikTok In the Crosshairs... Again. And Saying Goodbye to Jezebel

President Joe Biden and Xi Jinping just recently met face-to-face for the first time in a year. On this week’s On the Media, a look at why Chinese state media released glowing content about the U-S leading up to the summit. Plus, the rise and fall of the online feminist publication Jezebel. 1. Daniel Sneider [@DCSneider], lecturer in East Asian Studies and international policy at Stanford University, on what the media made of President Biden's meeting with President Xi Jinping. Listen. 2. Drew Harwell [@drewharwell], tech reporter for The Washington Post, on TikTok's place in the Israel-Hamas war. Listen. 3. Anna Holmes [@AnnaHolmes], founding editor of Jezebel, on the birth, life, and death of a website devoted to women. Listen.   Music from this week's show: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - AvalonSkylark - Anita O’DayWhat's That Sound - Michael AndrewsJesusland - Ben FoldsTilliboyo - Kronos Quartet On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
17/11/2350m 38s

FTC chair Lina Khan is Kicking A** and Taking Names

As we've discussed on the show at length, most recently with Cory Doctorow in our series The Enshittification of Everything, Amazon has slowly been inserting itself into seemingly every facet of our lives. All the while using its status as a monopoly in the market to squash competition, take advantage of its users and skew prices for everyone. At the end of our series Doctorow described how he has hope in among other people, Lina Khan, the chair of the Federal Trade Commission.  Says Khan; “Amazon has actually quietly been hiking prices for consumers in ways that are not always clearly visible but at the end of the day can result in consumers paying billions of dollars more than they would if there was actually competition in the market.”  In this midweek episode, we are airing a conversation our colleague and host of the New Yorker Radio Hour, David Remnick had with Lina Khan about her plan to sue Amazon for violating antitrust laws.    On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
15/11/2319m 22s

Trump Coverage is Still Terrible. Plus, Podcasting’s First Boom and Bust

Donald Trump was out of sight at the GOP presidential primary debate – but definitely not out of mind. On this week’s On the Media, a look at how the press is covering the former president and his threats against democracy. Plus, a deep dive into the meteoric rise and stumble of the podcast industry.  1. Dan Froomkin [@froomkin], editor of presswatchers.org, on how the press is failing the public in covering Donald Trump in this moment. Listen. 2. OTM Producer Molly Rosen [@mollyfication] with Kevin Marks [@kevinmarks], a software engineer who wrote the first script that downloaded "audio blogs" onto iTunes, and Rob Walch, VP of Podcaster Relations at Libsyn, on Apple's power over podcasts. Listen. 3. Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] takes stock of how we got to this moment in podcasting and the role public radio stations will play in the future, feat: Alex Sujong Laughlin [@alexlaughs], supervising producer and co-owner at Defector Media, Anna Sale [@annasale] host of Death, Sex & Money, Felix Salmon [@felixsalmon], host of Slate Money, and Nick Quah [@nwquah], podcast critic for Vulture and New York Magazine. Listen.   On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
10/11/2351m 53s

Making Television After #MeToo

Last week on the show, Brooke spoke to two writers about new wrinkles in the now 6-year-old #MeToo movement. But we had one additional interview that we wanted to share. In this midweek podcast extra, Brooke sits down with Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post television critic, to discuss three phases of TV post-#MeToo. Plus, Loofbourow explains how series like "Fleabag," "The Morning Show," and "Unbelievable" have internalized lessons from the movement, and what we can expect going forward. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
08/11/2316m 6s

Warring Narratives in the Israel-Gaza Conflict and a New #MeToo Movement

Israel began a ground operation in Gaza as a conflict that’s already left thousands dead continues to escalate. On this week’s On the Media, reflections on the unique difficulty of covering this war. Plus, six years after explosive allegations against Harvey Weinstein helped launch a movement, how MeToo lives on in the media. 1. David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, on striving to balance perceptions and narratives, and the challenges posed to a reporter covering the Israel-Hamas war. Listen. 2. Vickie Wang [@VickieDeTaiwan] is an interpreter, writer, and stand-up comic, on how one television show sparked a movement in Taiwan. Listen. 3. Yomi Adegoke [@yomiadegoke], columnist for The Guardian and British Vogue, on the powerful intersection of #MeToo and the internet. Listen.   Music: Frail as a Breeze - Erik FriedlanderWhispers of a Heavenly Death - John ZornFallen Leaves - Marcos CiscarI Am - India Arie Boy Moves the Sun - Michael AndrewsQuizas Quizas Quizas - Ramon Sole     On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
03/11/2352m 33s

The Evolution of Opinions Online and "Statementese"

There's been no shortage of opinions across the globe as the Israel-Hamas conflict rages on. But stateside, there's also been an abundance of statements: from individuals, brands, and even colleges and universities. That isn't uncommon in the social-media age, but do all those words actually tell us something? In this midweek podcast extra, Brooke sits down with Sam Adler-Bell, writer and co-host of the podcast “Know Your Enemy,” to talk about the phenomena of "statementese," when we started expecting comments from institutions, and the potential downside of thinking that Instagram posts are all we can do. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
31/10/2316m 47s

Breaking News Consumer's Handbook: Israel/Gaza Edition

Experts say disinformation around the Israel-Hamas war is running rampant. On this week’s On the Media, a guide to understanding your feed in the midst of armed conflict. Plus, a deep dive into Saudi Arabia’s rebranding experiment. 1. Mike Caulfield [@uwcip], a research scientist at the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, Aric Toler [@AricToler], a reporter at the visual investigations team at the New York Times, and Shayan Sadarizadeh [@Shayan86], a journalist at BBC Monitoring and BBC Verify, on how to navigate your social media feed in the midst of the war in Israel and Gaza. Listen.  2. OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] looks at Saudi Arabia's strategy to shore up its power, and the role the nation could play in negotiations for peace between Israel and Palestine. Featuring: Justin Scheck [@ScheckNYTimes], a reporter at the New York Times, and co-author of Blood and Oil: Mohammed Bin Salman’s Ruthless Quest For Global Power, Ahmed Al Omran [@ahmed], a reporter based in Saudi Arabia, and Kim Ghattas [@KimGhattas], a writer at The Atlantic and author of Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East. Listen.  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
27/10/2350m 59s

How Right Wing Media Created The House Speaker Fiasco

It's been over 20 days since the United States has had a Speaker of the House. Republican Kevin McCarthy was ousted by the right flank of his party earlier this month, and the tumultuous race for a new Speaker has revealed deep divisions in the Republican party. On Tuesday morning, House Republicans selected Tom Emmer, the majority whip from Minnesota, as their next man up. He's the third nominee the GOP has offered up in the past three weeks, after Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan each failed to secure enough Republican votes to win on the House floor. And with conflict brewing in the Middle East and government shutdown looming on the horizon, House Republicans have left Congress in paralysis with their inability to elect a speaker.  For the midweek podcast, OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger speaks with Brian Rosenwald, a Scholar in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Talk Radio’s America: How an Industry Took Over a Political Party That Took Over the United States, about how the long-deteriorating relationship between conservative media and the GOP led us to this point. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
25/10/2323m 56s

The Fog of War, and the Deadly Toll of Reporting from Gaza and Israel

More than twenty journalists have been killed during the recent Israel-Hamas conflict. On this week’s On the Media, hear about the deadly challenges facing reporters on the ground. Plus, why comparisons of the Hamas attack on October 7th to September 11th serve as a warning for the geopolitical fallout that may lie ahead. 1. OTM host Brooke Gladstone [@OTMBrooke] on the worsening fog of war surrounding Israel and Palestine, and the confusion and disinformation in the coverage of the conflict. Listen. 2. OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] and Sherif Mansour, the Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, on the sharp rise in cases of violence against reporters in Gaza and Israel. Listen.  3. Tareq Baconi, president of the board of Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network, and David Klion [@DavidKlion], contributing editor at Jewish Currents, on why comparisons of 9/11 to the Hamas attack forewarn us of geopolitical conflict. Listen.     On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
20/10/2351m 42s

What Comparisons to 9/11 Tell Us about the Israel-Hamas Conflict

This week, amid the deluge of coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict following Hamas’ surprise attack on October 7th, a certain historical analogy kept coming up: "this is Israel's 9/11." The analogy has been widely repeated, by officials abroad and stateside.For some invoking 9/11 explains Israel's retaliation. For others, the analogy is a warning, a reminder of the still unfolding violence and death that the American response wrought around the globe. This week, Brooke sits down with David Klion, contributing editor at Jewish Currents, who wrote about the analogy for n+1 magazine, to discuss why we should see it the invocation of 9/11 as a lesson and a warning. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
18/10/2315m 44s

We Don't Talk About Leonard: Episode 3

In the third episode of "We Don't Talk About Leonard," Leonard Leo is in Maine, a man in his castle, at the height of his powers. He has helped remake the American judicial system, and now he has a plan to do the same for society and politics — to make a Federalist Society for everything. ProPublica reporters Andrea Bernstein, Andy Kroll, and Ilya Marritz drill even further into the fight to gain influence over state courts, and reveal what Leo and his allies are planning for the future. 1. Big money starts pouring into state Supreme Court races in Wisconsin and across the country. Listen. 2. Leonard Leo takes over a network of conservatives trying to shape American culture. Listen. 3. Leonard Leo faces pushback in a town where people know who he is. Listen. This podcast was created in partnership with ProPublica, a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive their biggest stories as soon as they’re published. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
13/10/2350m 59s

How Elon Musk's X Failed During the Israel-Hamas Conflict

This week, Bloomberg reported that social media posts about the Israel-Hamas conflict have led to a sticky cesspool of confusion and conflict on Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter. On Saturday, just hours after Hamas fighters from Gaza surged into Israel, unverified photos and videos of missile air strikes, buildings and homes being destroyed and other posts depicting military violence — in Israel and Gaza — crowded the platform. But some of the horror, not all of course, were old images passed off as new. Some of this content was posted by anonymous accounts that carried blue checkmarks, which signals that they had purchased verification under X’s “premium” subscription service. Some military footage circulating on X were drawn from video games, and some of the lies were, as usual, pushed by far-right pundits on the platform, for clicks or, possibly, ulterior motives. For the midweek podcast, Brooke speaks with Avi Asher-Schapiro, who covers tech for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, about how Musk's policy changes at X have led to a stronger initial surge of misinformation than usual during this conflict, and how an algorithmically-driven "fog of war" impacts our historical record of this conflict.      On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
11/10/2316m 54s

We Don't Talk About Leonard: Episode 2

Leonard Leo realized that in order to generate conservative rulings, the Supreme Court needs the right kind of cases. In this episode of “We Don’t Talk About Leonard,” ProPublica reporters Andrea Bernstein, Andy Kroll, and Ilya Marritz investigate the machine that Leonard Leo built across the country to bring cases to the Supreme Court and fill vacant judgeships, and the web of nonprofits he’s created through which to funnel dark money into judicial races. 1. The rise of a conservative lawyer through the ranks demonstrates the growing importance of state solicitors general. Listen. 2. Leonard Leo cultivates wealthy donors, and a fishing trip sets off a Supreme Court ethics scandal. Listen. 3. Leonard Leo gains power and prominence as the author of former President Trump's list of potential Supreme Court appointees, and a Federalist Society donor becomes disillusioned. Listen. This podcast was created in partnership with ProPublica, a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive their biggest stories as soon as they’re published. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
06/10/2350m 37s

Why You Should Pay Attention to Trump's Civil Fraud Case

Donald Trump is in court this week in New York City, again, for a multimillion dollar civil fraud trial. He, his sons, and the Trump organization have been accused of using false financial statements and inflating their net worth by billions. In addition to this case, Trump is facing four criminal indictments: the January 6th insurrection case in DC, the Stormy Daniels hush money case in New York, the classified documents case in Florida, and the political interference case in Georgia. It’s a lot to keep track of, but this civil trial is worth one's attention. If NY State Attorney General Letitia James succeeds, Trump could lose control of his businesses and his most valuable assets, like Trump Tower — along with whatever’s left of the public image he spent decades constructing on television and in the press. Russ Buettner is a reporter on the New York Times Investigation Desk, the team that hunted down Trump’s tax returns and other elusive financial documents, in an effort to understand how exactly the former president got his money and how he lost so much of it. For the midweek podcast, OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger called Russ to learn about what Trump’s history of fraud means for his future, the revelations of the trial so far, and what details have gotten lost in the deluge of coverage. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
04/10/2320m 3s

We Don't Talk About Leonard: Episode 1

In this first episode of our new miniseries, We Don't Talk About Leonard, ProPublica reporters Andrea Bernstein, Andy Kroll, and Ilya Marritz investigate the background of the man who has played a critical role in the conservative takeover of America's courts — Leonard Leo. From his humble roots in middle class New Jersey, to a mansion in Maine where last year he hosted a fabulous party on the eve of the Supreme Court decision to tank “Roe.” 1. The night before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Leonard Leo threw a lavish party at his house in Maine. Listen. 2. Leonard Leo's journey from a high-schooler with the nickname "Moneybags Kid" to a high-ranking member of the Federalist Society. Listen. 3. Leonard Leo and the Federalist Society turn their attention to the state supreme courts. Listen. This podcast was created in partnership with ProPublica, a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive their biggest stories as soon as they’re published. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
29/09/2350m 47s

The Story Behind Gannett's AI Debacle

In late August, Gannett, the country’s largest newspaper company, rolled out a new artificial intelligence service that promised to automate high school sports coverage across the country. And within a matter of days it had gone horribly wrong. People on Twitter quickly discovered that bizarre phrases like “close encounters of the athletic kind,” or how one team “took victory away” from another, had shown up on Gannett news sites in Florida, Indiana, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. As Scott Simon explained on NPR, in some of these AI articles there were robotic place holders where there should’ve been a mascot’s name. Jay Allred is the CEO of Source Media Properties, which includes Richland Source, a local news organization in Ohio, and LedeAI, the company that built the technology that Gannett was using to automate its high school coverage. For the midweek podcast, OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger speaks with Jay about what went wrong, why he wanted to build this technology in the first place, and whether this disaster had shaken his belief in its potential. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
27/09/2317m 4s

Suing to Save the Planet, and How Climate Activism Got a Bad Rap

Thousands of protesters descended on New York as the United Nations convened its Climate Summit. On this week’s On the Media, hear how Big Oil is being taken to court for lying to the public about fossil fuels. Plus, a look at a global network of think tanks that’s been vilifying climate activism for decades.  1. Rebecca Leber [@rebleber], senior climate reporter at Vox, on why some climate activists are turning to lawsuits to make change. Listen. 2. Amy Westervelt [@amywestervelt], host and producer of the podcast Drilled, on how a network of think tanks is shaping perceptions of peaceful climate activism as dangerous and extreme. Listen. 3. Leah Sottile [@Leah_Sottile], extremism reporter and the host of the podcast Burn Wild, on how eco-terrorism became security priority for the U.S. government. Listen.   Music:Il Casanova de Federico Fellini - Nino RotaPrelude 8: The Invisibles - John Zorn It’s Raining - Irma Thomas Middlesex Times - Donnie Darko - Michael Andrews Way Down in the Hole - Tom WaitsPuck - John ZornFinal Retribution -John Zorn On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
22/09/2350m 35s

How the Food Industry is Influencing Your TikTok Feed

  In July, the World Health Organization issues a report indicating that aspartame, an artificial sweetener used in many low calorie sodas and snacks, was "possibly carcinogenic to humans." The new statement on a widely utilized artificial sweetener led to controversy in the medical community, with the Federal Drug Administration saying they saw no concern over aspartame consumption. Some dietitians even took to social media to voice their contradicting opinions. Anahad O’Connor, a health columnist at The Washington Post, the response to the announcement on social media smelled a bit fishy. In a report released earlier this month with colleagues Caitlin Gilbert and Sasha Chavkin, O’Connor found that dozens of registered dietitians, some with more than 2 million followers each, were paid to counter the WHO’s announcement. He and his colleagues followed the money back to industry groups like American Beverage, which represents companies like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. This week, OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger sits down O'Connor to learn more about the growing trend of influencer dietitians and the long history of food and beverage lobbies attempting to influence our eating habits.  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
20/09/2314m 57s

The “Too Old” President and Political Doppelgängers

The House has opened a formal impeachment inquiry into President Biden. On this week’s On the Media, find out exactly what Republicans are looking for–and why they should’ve already found it. Plus, geriatric men are the likely presidential nominees. Is there such a thing as “too old” for the job? 1. Stephen Collinson [@StCollinson], CNN senior political reporter, on the impact of a baseless impeachment inquiry on the institution of Presidential impeachments. Listen. 2. James Fallows [@JamesFallows], writer of the “Breaking the News'' newsletter on Substack, and the former chief speechwriter for the Carter administration, on if the press is tackling the age question correctly. Listen.  3. Dr. Steven N. Austad [@StevenAustad], The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Protective Life Endowed Chair in Healthy Aging Research, on what the science of aging can tell us about a potential Biden second term. Listen.  4. Naomi Klein [@NaomiAKlein], journalist and author of Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World, on being confused for writer and conspiracist Naomi Wolf for much of her career, and her exploration of doppelgangers and the mirror world the other Naomi inhabits. Listen.  Music:72 Degrees and Sunny - Thomas NewmanEye Surgery - Thomas Newman Lost Night - Bill Frisell Young at Heart - Brad Mehldau TrioDisfarmer Little Girl - Bill FrissellPavane, Op. 50 - Gabriel Faure - Academy of St. Martin in the FieldsThe First Time Ever I saw Your Face - Bert Jansch On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
15/09/2350m 31s

How 9/11 Broke Our Brains

Twenty-two years ago, two planes crashed into the Twin Towers. Another plane hit the Pentagon, and another crashed in Pennsylvania — killing nearly 3,000 people in total. The attacks became the pretense for a sprawling, ongoing war on terror that has directly and indirectly claimed some 4.5 million lives in post-9/11 war zones, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, according to a 2023 estimate from Brown University.  In his 2021 podcast, 9/12, Dan Taberski brought us the story of a documentary filmmaker named Dylan Avery, whose 2005 film Loose Change helped embolden the 9/11 Truther Movement. In this piece, OTM reporter Micah Loewinger speaks with Taberski about Loose Change, and the complicated notoriety it brought to Avery. He also interviews Korey Rowe, a producer on Loose Change, about how Google Video helped it become the internet's first viral film. Then, Micah speaks with Charles B Strozier, author of Until the Fires Stopped Burning: 9/11 and New York City in the Words and Experiences of Survivors and Witnesses, about the moment when exactly 9/11 conspiracy theories broke into the mainstream. This segment originally aired in our September 10th, 2021 program, Aftershocks. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
11/09/2317m 12s

Another Proud Boy Goes to Jail and A Media War in 1980's NYC

This week a former Proud Boys leader received the longest prison sentence for the insurrection so far. On this week’s On the Media, why conspiracy theories that the FBI planned January 6 live on. Plus, in the aftermath of a 1984 subway shooting, hear how the New York press crowned the gunman a hero.  1. Tess Owen [@misstessowen], senior reporter at Vice News, on the latest fallout from the January 6th insurrection. Listen. 2. Leon Neyfakh [@leoncrawl], host of the podcast Fiasco: Vigilante, available exclusively on Audible, on how the press covered a notorious and divisive 1984 New York City subway shooting. Listen.   On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
08/09/2350m 59s

Is "Rich Men North of Richmond" a MAGA Anthem or Nah?

In early August, Christopher Anthony Lunsford, who goes by Oliver Anthony, quietly released a song called "Rich Men North of Richmond." A week later, the folk song had rocketed to the top of the Billboard charts — a historic feat for someone with no chart history to speak of. But the ascent wasn't without controversy. The song, to some, sounded like a right-wing anthem. And it was heralded as such online by right wing pundits, and included as a part of the first question of the opening Republican presidential primary debate. But Oliver Anthony's politics, and the song's appeal, have turned out to be a little more complicated. This week, OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger sits down with Chris Molanphy, Slate’s pop-chart columnist, and author of the forthcoming book "Old Town Road," to talk about how such an unlikely song rose to the top. Micah speaks to Molanphy about how the Billboard charts have gotten weirder, and more anarchic, and what "Rich Men North of Richmond" has in common with "Ballad of the Green Berets," a song released almost 60 years prior. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
07/09/2320m 7s

How Big Tech Went to Sh*t

Why does every social media platform seem to get worse over time? This week’s On the Media explores an expansive theory on how we lost a better version of the internet, and the systems that insulate Big Digital from competition. Plus, some solutions for fixing the world wide web. 1. Cory Doctorow [@doctorow], journalist, activist, and the author of Red Team Blue, on his theory surrounding the slow, steady descent of the internet. Listen. 2. Brooke asks Cory if the troubles that plague some corners of the internet are specific to Big Digital, rather than the economy at large-- and how our legal systems enabled it all. Listen. 3. Cory and Brooke discuss possible solutions to save the world wide web, and how in a sea of the enshittified there's still hope. Listen. Music:I’m Not Following You - Michael AndrewsI’m Forever Blowing BubblesThe Desert and Two Grey Hills - Gerry O’BeirneLa vie en rose - Toots ThielemansAll I Want (Joni Mitchel) - Fred Hersch On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
01/09/2350m 48s

Lina Khan Is in the Hot Seat

In March 2021, when President Joe Biden announced the nomination of Lina Khan to be a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission, the decision was met with a rare kind of excitement for the otherwise sleepy agency. The excitement seemed bipartisan as 21 Republican senators voted to confirm the commissioner. Not long after, then 32-year-old Khan was promoted to chairperson of the agency, making her the youngest chair in the FTC's history. Since then the tone around Khan has changed dramatically, as Republican commissioners at the agency have pushed back against what they see as a radical agenda. Back in March, OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger spoke to Emily Birnbaum, technology and lobbying reporter for Bloomberg, about a growing anti-antitrust movement emerging in the press and in Washington, and why Khan has become its main target.  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
30/08/2322m 49s

Mysteries of Sound

In late 2016, American diplomats in Havana, Cuba started hearing a mysterious buzzing sound and experiencing debilitating symptoms. On this week’s On the Media, why the government now disputes theories that it was a secret Russian weapon. Plus, what the electric hum of your refrigerator and the uncanny hearing ability of pigeons reveal about the world we live in. 1. Adam Entous, staff writer at The New York Times, Jon Lee Anderson, staff writer at The New Yorker, and Robert Bartholomew, sociologist and author of Havana Syndrome: Mass Psychogenic Illness and the Real Story Behind the Embassy Mystery and Hysteria, on the investigation into the mysterious affliction that spread across the globe. Listen. 2. Jennifer Munson, OTM Technical Director, and Nasir Memon, New York University professor of computer science and engineering, on the obscure technology called electrical network frequency analysis, or ENF, and the world of audio forensics. Listen. 3. Robert Krulwich [@rkrulwich], co-creator and former co-host of Radiolab, and John Hagstrum, a geophysicist emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey, on the mysterious avian disappearance that rocked world headlines. Listen. Music:Meet Tina - Havana SyndromeHistory Lesson - Havana SyndromeOkami - Nicola CruzElectricity - OMDWallpaper - Woo On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
25/08/2350m 46s

The Wilhelm Scream

When two blockbuster movies, Barbie and Oppenheimer, premiered in U.S. theaters on the same day in July 2023, they ushered in a renewed enthusiasm for the double feature, and introduced the word "Barbenheimer" to moviegoers' vocabularies. For this midweek podcast, we’re returning to an old OTM piece by David Serchuk about a sound—more specifically, a scream—that's lived an amazingly long and storied life on the silver screen.  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
23/08/238m 55s

Read All About It

This summer’s extreme heat has contributed to disasters around the world--but some of them are hard to see. On this week’s On the Media, why extreme heat is one of the most challenging climate disasters for reporters to cover. Plus, the story of how historical fiction became the unexpected darling of the literary world. 1. Jake Bittle [@jake_bittle], staff writer at Grist, on this year's scarily hot summer and the impacts of extreme heat. Listen. 2. OTM producer Eloise Blondiau [@eloiseblondiau] takes a deep dive into how historical fiction became a rich resource for reckoning with our past, feat: Alexander Manshel, assistant professor of English at McGill University [@xandermanshel], and novelists Alexander Chee [@alexanderchee] and Min Jin Lee [@minjinlee11]. Listen. 3. Tiya Miles [@TiyaMilesTAM], professor of history at Harvard University and author of All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake, on rediscovering lost histories. Listen. Music:Misterioso - (Monk) - Kronos QuartetNon Pusc SofirPrincipio di VirtuGoing Home - Hank Jones, Charlie HadenThe Beatitudes - Kronos QuartetTilliboyo - Kronos QuartetTraveling Music - Kronos Quartet On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
18/08/2350m 45s

The Lasting Impact of the Library of Alexandria

In the first half of the last school year, PEN America has recorded almost 900 different books pulled from library shelves across the country. As long as libraries have existed, people have tried to police what goes in them. The burning of the Library of Alexandria is a metaphor that gets invoked any time we lose access to a treasure trove of books. But for centuries it has also inspired scientists and inventors, philosophers and programmers to dream about creating an ideal library, one that provides access to all the knowledge in the world. OTM producer Molly Schwartz goes to a birthday party for Wikidata at the Brooklyn Public Library, where she talks to Wikimedia New York City president Richard Knipel, Wikimedia software engineer James Forrester, and long-time Wikipedia editor Jim Henderson about how the free online encyclopedia has made strides toward providing knowledge to the sum of human knowledge. She also speaks with library historian Alex Wright, author of the book Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages, and software engineering consultant Gyula Lakatos, creator of the Library of Alexandria application suite, about the history of universal library projects and what keeps the dream alive.  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
16/08/2316m 24s

Go Woke, Go Broke

When the US women’s soccer team was knocked out of the world cup, they became the latest target of a right-wing media campaign. On this week’s On the Media, the state of discourse around gender. Plus, the quality of coverage around trans rights, and how it’s changed. 1. Alex Abad-Santos [@alex_abads], senior correspondent at Vox, on the right-wing outrage against the US women's national soccer team after their elimination from the World Cup. Listen. 2. Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger], OTM correspondent, on the state of coverage of trans rights, and how it has changed since New York Times contributors wrote an open letter to the paper accusing it of biased reporting several months ago. Listen.   On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
11/08/2350m 45s

The Trump Case Against E. Jean Carroll and The Progress of #MeToo

This week, another legal blow for former president Donald Trump after a judge ruled to dismiss Trump's counter defamation lawsuit against E Jean Carroll for statements she made about a ruling on civil case earlier this year. Back in May, a Manhattan federal jury found that former president Donald Trump sexually abused writer E. Jean Carroll in a luxury department store dressing room in the mid 1990s, and awarded her $5 million for defamation and battery. The jurors, however, rejected Carroll's claim that she was raped. This came at the end of a seven-day trial, during which Carroll testified against Trump's claims that she was lying, and that he had never met her. The day of the verdict, Carroll strolled out of the courtroom onto the New York City sidewalk, sunglass-clad and triumphant. Rebecca Traister is a writer-at-large for New York magazine, and author of “Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger.” This week, she speaks with Brooke about the place that this nearly thirty-year-old case holds in the landscape of Me Too, the premature death bells of the movement, and just how long it takes for movements to fully permeate laws, practices, and attitudes. This is segment originally aired in our May 12, 2023 show, Her Day in Court.   On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
09/08/2318m 39s

Making History

This year, the Department of Defense began renaming military bases that honor the Confederacy. On this week’s On the Media, a former general explains why the reckoning with the myth of the “lost cause” is overdue. Plus, hear how Russian propaganda about the war in Ukraine has been hundreds of years in the making. 1. Ty Seidule [@Ty_Seidule], the Vice Chair of the National Commission on Base Renaming, on the military's efforts to reckon with the "Lost Cause." Listen.  2. Alexis Akwagyiram [@alexisak], Managing Editor of Semafor Africa and former Reuters bureau chief in Nigeria, on the potential widespread impact of the coup in Niger. Listen.  3. Mikhail Zygar [@zygaro], investigative journalist and founder of the independent Russian TV channel Rain, on debunking some of Russia's most powerful myths about itself. Listen. Music:The Last Bird - Zoe KeatingTomorrow Never Knows  - Quartetto D’Archi Dell’orchestra Sinfonia di Milano Giuseppi VerdiWinter Sun - Gerry O’BeirneAli Farka Toucche  - Jenny ScheinmanAirborne Toxic Event  - Danny ElfmanLieutenenent Kije  - Sergei ProkofievLieutenenent Kije  - Sergei Prokofiev On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
04/08/2350m 41s

Presidential Debates: Yay or Nay?

According to a New York Times-Siena poll released this week 54 percent of republican voters said if the election were held today they would vote for Donald Trump. DeSantis trails by 37 percentage points and the others in the field are in single digits.  Despite, (or because of?) his solid lead, Trump is wavering on whether he will show his face at the first Republican presidential debate set for August 23rd. As he told Maria Bartiromo on Fox; “You’re leading people by 50 or 60 points, you say, why would you be doing a debate? It’s actually not fair. Why would you let someone who’s at zero or one or two or three be popping you with questions?” Trump’s debate snubbing is just the latest example of the GOP resistance to a longstanding political norms. refusal by Republicans to meet political norms. Last year Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, wrote a letter to the commission on presidential debates, the independent, bipartisan organization that has convened general election debates since the 80s. In her letter, she said that the RNC would boycott the presidential debates during the upcoming election cycle. That is, unless the commission was willing to meet its demands. Between the RNC’s demands and now the potential absence of the Republican front-runner the question is; what, if anything, would be lost if the presidential debates didn't happen? Brooke spoke to Alex Shephard - senior editor at The New Republic, last year after he wrote an article titled, Let the Presidential Debates Die. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
02/08/2315m 49s

To Catch a War Criminal

Click here to support this work. President Biden just ordered U.S. investigators to share evidence of Russian war crimes with The International Criminal Court. On this week’s On the Media, what will it take to secure justice for Ukraine? Plus, a moving look back at the early days of the conflict. 1. Mstyslav Chernov [@mstyslav9], a video journalist for the Associated Press and director, on the making of the documentary, "20 Days in Mariupol," and what footage from Ukrainian frontlines didn't make it to American newsreels. Listen.  2. Deborah Amos [@deborahamos], a veteran Middle East correspondent and this week's guest co-host, on how war crime investigators focusing on Ukraine first learned how to document war crimes in Syria, and what this means for holding Russia accountable. Listen.  3. Nathaniel Raymond [@nattyray11], war crimes investigator and Executive Director of Yale's Humanitarian Research Lab, about his report confirming the Russian government held at least six thousand Ukrainian children in re-education camps. Listen. 4. Philippe Sands [@philippesands], professor of law at University College London, on why Western nations are hesitant to charge Putin for the “crime of aggression.” Listen.  Music:The Glass House (End Title) -David Bergeaud Yesterdays - Fred Hersch and Bill Frizell When Doves Cry (Prince) -Starr Parodi Whispers of a Heavenly Death - John ZornBertotim - John Zorn Night Thoughts - John ZornRobert’s Sermon - John Renbourn On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
28/07/2351m 59s

Investigating Russia's War Crimes Against Ukrainian Children

The researchers at Yale's Humanitarian Research Lab gather in a carpeted underground bunker, beneath the campus library, to steadily gather evidence of Russia's alleged war crimes. In a report published earlier this year, in collaboration with the State Department, they presented evidence of the Russian government operating more than 40 child custody centers for Ukrainian children who have been forcibly removed from their homes to Russia. On the other hand, Russia's embassy in Washington has claimed that the children were forced to flee to safety due to the war. About a month later, on March 17, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian president Vladimir Putin, accusing him of the war crime of illegally deporting children from Ukraine. For this week's midweek podcast, we're airing a piece by our guest co-host Deborah Amos, first broadcast by NPR's Morning Edition in February, in which she reported on the devastating evidence unearthed by the Yale researchers, and what this means for leveraging accountability against Putin.      On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
26/07/237m 36s

Staying Alive

This year has seen record layoffs in the media industry, with some digital news giants closing down altogether. On this week’s On the Media, how did The New York Times rise to the top of the bleeding news business? Plus, instead of reaching for top profits, some new publications have opted for a humbler mission: survival. 1. Ben Smith [@semaforben], editor-in-chief and co-founder of Semafor, on what went wrong for BuzzFeed News, and why digital media is splintering. Listen. 2. OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] examines why The New York Times is expanding, and thriving, even amongst record layoffs at other media outlets. Listen. 3. OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] takes a look at a growing cohort of new outlets around the US trying to wrestle journalism away from big capital through a co-operative business model. Listen. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
21/07/2350m 59s

A. G. Sulzberger on Bias and Objectivity at The New York Times

For the big show this weekend OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger is working on a piece about the extraordinary transformation of the New York Times from a struggling newspaper into a digital behemoth. In the meantime, and as kind of background research for you guys, we’re airing a fascinating interview about the Grey Lady from our colleagues at the New Yorker Radio Hour. Host David Remnick spoke to A. G. Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times, whose family has owned the paper since 1896. Sulzberger says he wants to push back on a culture of “certitude” in journalism. “In this hyper-politicized, hyper-polarized moment, is society benefiting from every single player getting deeper and deeper, and louder and louder, about declaring their personal allegiances and loyalties and preferences?” he asks.  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
18/07/2340m 30s

Money, Money, Money

Over the past year, the federal reserve has raised interest rates repeatedly in its attempt to curb inflation. On this week’s On The Media, is greed to blame for our inflation woes? Plus, how a century-long PR campaign taught Americans to love the free market and loathe their own government.  1. Lydia DePillis [@lydiadepillis], economy reporter at The New York Times, on what "greedflation" actually is. Listen. 2. Naomi Oreskes [@NaomiOreskes], professor of the history of science at Harvard University and the co-author, with Erik M. Conway, of “The Big Myth: How American Business Taught Us to Loathe Government and Love the Free Market,” on century-old PR campaign, conducted by big business, to imbue Americans with a quasi-religious belief in the free market. Listen. 3. China Miéville, a speculative fiction writer and author of the recent book, "A Spectre, Haunting: On the Communist Manifesto," on the ebb and flow of the text’s popularity through the decades, and what we might draw from it today. Listen.Music:Nocturne No.1 in B-Flat Major Op.9. No1 (Chopin) - Ivan MoravecBallade No. 2 in F, Op. 38 (Chopin) - Maurizio PolliniMarch for the 3rd Regiment of Foot - Liberty Tree Wind PlayersThe New East Louis Toodle-Oo (Duke Ellington)The People United Will Never Be Defeated - Carla Bley, Charlie Haden, Don CherryStolen Moments - Ahmad Jamal Trio On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
14/07/2350m 59s

The Decline of AM Radio Will Hurt More Than Conservative Talk Shows

This spring, Volkswagen and Mazda announced that they will be removing AM radios from their upcoming fleets of electric vehicles.Tesla, BMW, Audi, and Volvo have already gotten rid of AM radios in their electric fleet. The automakers cited engineering difficulties. AM's already crackly reception is vulnerable to even more buzz and interference when installed near an electric motor. This announcement, however, incited a burst of outrage from conservative talk radio hosts, such as Charlie Kirk, who called it an "all-out attack on AM radio," and Mark Levin, who claimed, "they finally figured out how to attack conservative talk radio."  But it isn't just conservatives lambasting the automakers' moves — a bipartisan group of lawmakers are joining forces to stop the exclusion of AM radios from these cars. In May, Senator Ed Markey and Representative Josh Gottheimer, both Democrats, helped introduce bills that would require car companies to include AM radios. And in late June, Senators Ted Cruz and Ed Markey co-wrote a letter to seven major automakers asking them to commit by July 7 to keep radios in new vehicles. For the midweek podcast, OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger speaks with Katie Thornton, a freelance journalist and host of OTM's Peabody Award-winning miniseries, "The Divided Dial," about the dangerous myth of AM radio's reputation as a solely conservative platform, the medium's potential as a highly accessible source of local news, and what this story means for the future of AM radio.    On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
12/07/2317m 17s

I, Robot

This year, headlines have been dominated by claims that artificial intelligence will either save humanity – or end us. On this week’s On the Media, a reckoning with the capabilities of programs like ChatGPT, and declarations that machines can think. Plus, the potential implications of handing over decision-making to computers.  1. Tina Tallon [@ttallon], assistant professor of A.I. and the Arts at the University of Florida, on the love-hate relationship with AI technology over the past 70 years, and Nitasha Tiku [@nitashatiku], tech culture reporter for The Washington Post, on what ChatGPT can actually do. Listen. 2. Geoffrey Hinton [@geoffreyhinton], a cognitive psychologist and computer scientist, on holograms, memories, and the origins of neural networks. Listen.3. Matt Devost [@MattDevost], international cybersecurity expert and CEO and co-founder of the global strategic advisory firm OODA llc., on the rise of AI-powered weapons and what it means for the future of warfare. Listen. Music:Original music by Tina TallonHorizon 12.2 by Thomas NewmanBubble Wrap by Thomas NewmanSeventy-two Degrees and Sunny by Thomas NewmanEye Surgery by Thomas NewmanFinal Retribution by John ZornLachrymose Fairy by Thomas Newman On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
07/07/2350m 59s

Why the Supreme Court Broke Up Hollywood's Studio System

The dominance of giant streaming services like Netflix and Disney Plus has led to the current strike by television writers, who say their ubiquity has led to lower pay, shakier job security, and perhaps even worse writing. In order to understand our current media moment, historian Peter Labuza directs us to a pivotal time for the film industry, when the government successfully broke up the major studios that ruled Hollywood in the 1930s and ‘40s. Earlier this year, OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger asked Labuza about how independent film flourished in the aftermath, and the lessons that apply to media in 2023. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
05/07/2314m 9s

On the Trail With RFK Jr.

Almost as soon as an armed rebellion flared in Russia last week, it fizzled. On this week’s On the Media, how the brief revolt compares to military coups from history, and how it’s different. Plus, how to cover a new kind of conspiracy theory candidate, and what it might mean for the country. 1. Naunihal Singh [@naunihalpublic], author of "Seizing Power: The Strategic Logic of Military Coups," on the brief rebellion in Russia, and how paying attention to the narratives in the aftermath of the mutiny is equally as important as the mutiny itself. Listen. 2. Anna Merlan [@annamerlan], author of "Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power," on the mistake the media have made in covering RFK Jr. Listen. 3. Claire Wardle [@cward1e], co-founder and co-director of the Information Futures Lab at the Brown School of Public Health, on the backlash to content moderation, and the impacts of these changes as candidates like RFK Jr., an anti-vaccine activist, enter the 2024 presidential race. Listen. 4. Paul Offit [@DrPaulOffit], a pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases, vaccines, immunology, and virology and the co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine, on the science community's response to RFK Jr. over the years, and the dangers of elevating such conspiracies to the White House. Listen. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
30/06/2350m 59s

Trump Caught On Tape Talking About Classified Documents

On Monday, CNN aired a bombshell recording in the classified documents case against former president Donald Trump. The recording, released to CNN by the special counsel working on the Department of Justice’s indictment of Trump, is reportedly of a 2021 meeting in Bedminster, New Jersey, where Trump discussed and seemingly showed secret documents to a group of onlookers. It was just the latest revelation in the government's case against the former president. Classified documents that belonged to former high-level government officials, including but not limited to former President Trump, former Vice President Pence, and President Biden, have been found in unauthorized locations in recent months. These cases vary greatly in volume and severity, but they point to a larger, systemic problem in the American government: the problem of overclassification. The latest data that the government released, in 2017, showed that around 50 million government documents are classified a year by over four million people, including outside government contractors, costing American taxpayers around $18 million, says Oona Hathaway, professor of law at Yale Law School, former special counsel to the Pentagon, and author of the Foreign Affairs article "Keeping the Wrong Secrets." In this conversation with Brooke, Hathaway talks about the incentives driving government employees to classify so many documents, the differences between the Trump and Biden document dramas, and why labeling so many things as "secret" makes these secrets less safe.  This is a segment originally aired on our January 27, 2023 show, Sorry, That’s Classified. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
28/06/2315m 17s

The Whistleblower Who Changed History

Daniel Ellsberg, the famed whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the Washington Post, has died. On this week’s On the Media, hear about his life, how the Pentagon Papers made it to print, and the impact he had on generations of whistleblowers. Plus, the women who covered the War in Vietnam.   1. Tom Devine, legal director for the Government Accountability Project, on Daniel Ellsberg's legacy and the ways he changed public perception of whistleblowers in the U.S. Listen. 2. Les Gelb, former columnist and former Defense Department official, on his experience leading the team that wrote the Pentagon Papers, subject of the Hollywood drama, "The Post." Listen. 3. Seymour Hersh, on how he broke the story of My Lai — the massacre now regarded as the single most notorious atrocity of the Vietnam war. Listen. 4. Reporters Kate Webb, Jurate Kazickas [@juratekazickas], and Laura Palmer on how they covered the Vietnam War and why they went. Listen. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
23/06/2350m 39s

The Battle to Save Reddit

Last Monday, Reddit moderators from nearly 9,000 subreddits shut down their forums in what might be the largest moderator-coordinated social media protest in internet history. They're battling against Reddit CEO Steve Huffman's decision to start charging for access to the platform's software framework, or API, in an attempt to spin a profit, woo investors, and eventually IPO in the second half of 2023. Although the blackout began to die down within 48 hours of its inception, over 3,000 subreddits, such as those with over 30 million followers each like r/funny, r/gaming, and r/music are still dark to this day. On this week's podcast extra, OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger speaks with Jason Koebler, the editor-in-chief at Motherboard, Vice’s tech section, to discuss the intricacies of the protest and why he dubbed it "a battle for the soul of the human internet.” On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
21/06/2329m 3s

Indicted (again)

On Tuesday, former president Trump was arraigned following his federal indictment. On this week’s On the Media, debunking claims that the former president is being targeted for his politics. Plus, one reporter’s cross-country examination of fascism in the United States. 1. Eric Levitz, [@EricLevitz], features writer covering politics and economics for New York Magazine, on the political narratives around Trump's federal indictment. Listen. 2. Jeff Sharlet [@JeffSharlet], journalist and author of The Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War, on the rhetoric, aesthetics, and myth-making of Trump and a rising fascist movement in the United States. Listen. 3. Jim Fallows [@JamesFallows], this week's co-host and writer of the “Breaking the News” newsletter on Substack, speaks with OTM host Brooke Gladstone [@OTMBrooke] about the journalistic portrayal of middle America and how not to cover presidential elections. Listen. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
16/06/2350m 19s

Understanding "Greedflation"

In late 2021, Isabella Weber, an economist at University of Massachusetts, Amherst published a paper with a new idea. The theory, what she called "seller's inflation," sought to address the confounding fact that the economy was seeing rising high prices and skyrocketing corporate profits. The idea quickly moved from the halls of academia to the political arena. And quicker still, it was dismissed—at one point called a "conspiracy theory." But now, in 2023, "greedflation" is popping up across headlines. This week, OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger sits down with Lydia DePillis, a reporter on the business desk at The New York Times, to talk about her 2022 article dissecting the arguments for and against greedflation’s impact on the economy, and everything that's happened since.  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
14/06/2318m 29s

CNN’s No Good, Very Bad Year

CNN recently ousted CEO Chris Licht after a bombshell profile brought up questions about CNN’s editorial direction. On this week’s On the Media, what the turmoil at CNN can teach us about how to cover politicians who continually lie on air. Plus, a deep dive into newspaper archives reveals that we’ve been having the same debates for over a century.  1. Brian Stelter [@brianstelter], former anchor of CNN's now-discontinued Reliable Sources, on the origins of CNN's tumultuous year and the ongoing fallout inside the network. Listen. 2. Jay Rosen [@jayrosen_nyu], a press critic and professor of journalism at New York University, on CNN's dilemma of trying to both interview GOP candidates and pursue accuracy, and how networks should learn how to cover Trump in 2024. Listen. 3. OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] speaks with political scientist Paul Fairie [@paulisci] about the big media narratives that still animate online debates and press coverage, and how little has changed in our political discourse from decade to decade. Listen. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
09/06/2350m 39s

TAYLOR SWIFT TICKETS!

On January 24, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Ticketmaster. The hearing followed in the aftermath Taylor Swift's "Eras Tour" tickets going on sale last November, a debacle during which Ticketmaster broke down during the presale, leaving millions of fans without tickets. Senators convened to hear testimony from a top Live Nation executive (Ticketmaster’s parent company), competitors in ticketing and concert promotion, antitrust experts, and a musician. The hearing represented a step toward a potential antitrust case against Live Nation and Ticketmaster, which merged in 2010.  Moe Tkacik and Krista Brown are researchers at the American Economic Liberties Project, a left-leaning think tank which is part of a consortium that is pushing for the DOJ to break up the Live Nation monopoly. In February Micah Loewinger spoke to them about an article they co-wrote for The American Prospect about Ticketmaster’s forty-plus-year-history, and how the company came to dominate, and in some ways reshape, the live music landscape. This is a segment from our February 3, 2023 show, Too Big to Fail?. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
07/06/2314m 10s

Objection!

This week, the White House agreed to restart student loan payments to broker the debt ceiling deal. On the latest On the Media, hear how a prominent lawsuit against Biden’s student debt relief plan falls apart under scrutiny. Plus, a look at ways journalists have faltered in covering the Supreme Court.  1. Eleni Schirmer [@EleniSchirmer], writer and research associate with the Future of Finance Initiative at UCLA's Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy, on the legal battle being waged against relieving student debt. Listen. 2. Dahlia Lithwick [@Dahlialithwick], lawyer and writer at Slate, on how we cover the Supreme Court when it doesn't act like one. Listen. 3. Dan Charnas [@dancharnas], associate arts professor at NYU, on how music copyright law suppresses the artistic voices of hip hop producers. Listen.   On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
02/06/2350m 44s

Leaving the Extreme Right, and a Marriage, Behind

Last week, Tasha Adams watched her ex-husband, Stewart Rhodes, get sentenced to 18 years in prison for seditious conspiracy. Rhodes both founded and led the Oath Keepers, a far-right anti-government militia group that marched on the Capitol during the January 6th insurrection. Earlier the same week, Adams also finalized her divorce proceedings against Rhodes — ending over twenty years of a marriage that culminated in abuse and isolation. In our last episode, OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger and Anna Sale, host of Death, Sex & Money, traveled to Montana to speak to Adams about her marriage with Rhodes. Now we're giving you an extended look at that conversation through a segment that originally aired on Death, Sex & Money.  Anna and Micah talk to Tasha about her decades-long marriage with Stewart, from their courtship in a ballroom dance class in Las Vegas, to abuse and isolation as Stewart became transfixed on politics and apocalyptic ideas. Plus, Tasha sits down with Kelly Jones, ex-wife of far-right radio host Alex Jones, and they compare notes on their marriages, and reflect on their secret text exchanges from 2018, when Tasha was plotting her escape from Stewart with her six kids. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
31/05/2350m 18s

Seditious Conspiracy

On Thursday May 25, founder of the Oath Keepers Stewart Rhodes was sentenced to 18 years in prison for his role in the January 6th attack on the Capitol. On this week’s On the Media, hear how OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger’s reporting became evidence in a federal trial. Plus, what can history tell us about when journalists are called to testify. 1. OTM reporter Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] speaks with senior editor of Lawfare, Roger Parloff [@rparloff], about becoming a federal witness in the trial of Oath Keeper Stewart Rhodes. Listen. 2. Micah talks to Lee Levine, first amendment lawyer, about the case of civil rights reporter Earl Caldwell and the impact it continues to have on journalists testifying in court. Listen. 3. Micah and Death, Sex, & Money host, Anna Sale [@annasale], speak with Stewart Rhodes' ex-wife Tasha Adams [@That_Girl_Tasha] on her relationship with Rhodes and the impact of his 18-year prison sentence. Listen.  On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
26/05/2352m 17s

Ben Smith on the Death of BuzzFeed News

On April 20, 2023, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced that BuzzFeed would be closing down its newsroom and laying off 15 percent of its staff. The news came amidst a deluge of headlines about struggles in the media industry, including: layoffs at NBC, Vox, NPR, Spotify, Insider, News Corp, ABC, and Gannett; the closure of MTV news; bankruptcy at Vice. But the end of BuzzFeed News in particular symbolized the end of an era. BuzzFeed's rapid rise and success in the late aughts and 2010s helped define the style and format of digital media. In 2013, BuzzFeed was getting 130 million unique viewers a month. Disney made an offer to buy BuzzFeed for half a billion dollars that same year, which Peretti turned down. In 2016, BuzzFeed was valued at $1.7 billion. And then, last fiscal quarter, BuzzFeed reported $106 million in net losses. In this conversation, Brooke talks with Ben Smith, the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Semafor and author of the new book, Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race to Go Viral, about his goals in building a newsroom at BuzzFeed, the lessons he learned, and what he thinks about the future of of news. On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
24/05/2320m 56s

REGULATE ME

This week, the CEO of OpenAI testified at a senate hearing about the dangers of artificial intelligence and called for its regulation. On this week’s On the Media, how long-term fears about AI are shaping perceptions of the technology today, and steps Congress could take to fix problems with internet platforms. Plus, debunking myths about the writers’ strike. 1. Will Oremus [@WillOremus], technology and the digital world reporter for The Washington Post, on the fears and hopes circulating around AI in Congress and Silicon Valley. Listen. 2. Emily St. James [@emilystjams], TV critic turned TV writer, on the age-old myths around Hollywood writers' strikes. Listen. 3. Cory Doctorow [@doctorow], journalist, activist, and the author of Red Team Blue, on solutions to the enshittification of the internet. Listen.   On the Media is supported by listeners like you. Support OTM by donating today (https://pledge.wnyc.org/support/otm). Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @onthemedia, and share your thoughts with us by emailing onthemedia@wnyc.org.
19/05/2351m 51s
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