Slow Burn

Slow Burn

By Slate Podcasts

Clarence Thomas is one of the most powerful figures in America today. Nearly every issue of national consequence has his fingerprints all over it, from voting rights to gun rights and from abortion access to affirmative action. But nothing about his journey from rural Georgia to the Supreme Court was inevitable.In the eighth season of Slate’s Slow Burn, host Joel Anderson traces Justice Thomas’ surprising path from youthful radical to conservative icon. You’ll hear about why he came to despise the race-based admission policies that personally benefitted him, how he credited his political rise to the Black self-sufficiency preached by Malcolm X, and what the American people didn’t hear during his explosive confirmation hearings.

Episodes

Decoder Ring: The Gen X Soda That Was Just "OK"

Thirty years ago, a new kind of soda arrived in select stores. Instead of crowing about how spectacular it was, it offered up a liquid shrug, a fizzy irony. OK Soda was an inside joke for people who knew soda wasn’t cool. But what exactly was the punchline? In today’s episode, we’re going to ask how Coca-Cola, a company predicated on the idea that soda is more than ‘OK,’ ever bankrolled such a project. It was either a corporate attempt to market authenticity or a bold send-up of consumer capitalism; a project that either utterly, predictably failed or, perhaps more surprisingly, almost succeeded. This episode was written by Willa Paskin. It was edited by Jenny Lawton. It was produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd, along with Evan Chung. Derek John is Executive Producer. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director. You’ll hear from Sergio Zyman, Brian Lanahan, Robin Joannides Lanahan, Charlotte Moore, Peter Wegner, Todd Waterbury, Dustin Ness, and Matt Purrington. Special thanks to David Cowles, Art Chantry, Seth Godin, Jeff Beer, Gabriel Roth, Mark Hensley for all the OK Soda commercials and Mark Pendergrast, whose book For God, Country, & Coca-Cola was indispensable. If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, please sign up for Slate Plus. Members get to listen to Decoder Ring and all other Slate podcasts without any ads and have total access to Slate’s website. Your support is also crucial to our work. Go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/02/24·43m 48s

Announcing Slow Burn Season 9

Hosted by Christina Cauterucci. Coming in May 2024. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/02/24·1m 0s

Decoder Ring: Why Do So Many Coffee Shops Look the Same?

The eerie similarity of coffee shops all over the world was so confounding to Kyle Chayka that it led him to write the new book Filterworld: How Algorithms Are Flattening Culture. In today’s episode, Kyle’s going to walk us through the recent history of the cafe, to help us see how digital behavior is altering a physical space hundreds of years older than the internet itself, and how those changes are happening everywhere—it’s just easier to see them when they’re spelled out in latte art. This episode was written by Willa Paskin and produced by Katie Shepherd. Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin, Katie Shepherd and Evan Chung. Derek John is Executive Producer. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director. Special thanks to Ben Frisch and Patrick Fort.  If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, please sign up for Slate Plus. Members get to listen to Decoder Ring and all other Slate podcasts without any ads and have total access to Slate’s website. Your support is also crucial to our work. Go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/02/24·33m 59s

One Year: 1990 | 5. The Angry Death of Kimberly Bergalis

Before 1990, there had never been a documented case of a patient getting HIV from a health care worker. Kimberly Bergalis changed that. Her claim that she’d been infected by her dentist would captivate and terrify the country. And the dentist, David Acer, would be made into a villain without America ever knowing who he really was. This episode was written by Kelly Jones and Josh Levin, One Year’s editorial director. One Year’s senior producer is Evan Chung. This episode was produced by Kelly Jones and Evan Chung, with additional production by Olivia Briley.  It was edited by Joel Meyer and Derek John, Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is senior technical director. We had mixing help from Kevin Bendis. We had production help this season from Jabari Butler. Join Slate Plus to get a special behind-the-scenes conversation at the end of our season about how we put together our 1990 stories. Slate Plus members also get to listen to all Slate podcasts without any ads. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
21/12/23·56m 3s

One Year: 1990 | 4. Art on Trial

Robert Mapplethorpe was one of the most famous photographers in the world—and one of the most controversial. When his work came to Cincinnati in 1990, it would be at the center of a vicious fight over obscenity and the First Amendment, one that threatened the future of art in America. This episode of One Year was written by Evan Chung, One Year's senior producer. It was produced by Kelly Jones and Evan Chung, with additional production by Olivia Briley. It was edited by Josh Levin, One Year’s editorial director, with Joel Meyer and Derek John, Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Join Slate Plus to get a special behind-the-scenes conversation at the end of our season about how we put together our 1990 stories. Slate Plus members also get to listen to all Slate podcasts without any ads. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/12/23·58m 14s

One Year: 1990 | 3. Bush vs. Broccoli

In March 1990, a story broke that shocked the nation: George H.W. Bush had banned broccoli from Air Force One. The frenzy that came next would change the fate of a vegetable—and maybe even alter the course of a presidency. This episode was written by Olivia Briley and Josh Levin, One Year’s editorial director. One Year’s senior producer is Evan Chung. This episode was produced by Olivia Briley and Kelly Jones.  It was edited by Joel Meyer and Evan Chung. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts.  Merritt Jacob is senior technical director. Join Slate Plus to get a special behind-the-scenes conversation at the end of our season about how we put together our 1990 stories. Slate Plus members also get to listen to all Slate podcasts without any ads. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/12/23·40m 44s

One Year: 1990 | 2. Mandrake the Magician

A middle-aged single dad in Chicago was outraged by all the cigarette billboards popping up in Black communities. In 1990, he picked up a paint roller and became an anti-tobacco vigilante. And he did it all under a secret identity. This episode was written by Josh Levin, One Year’s editorial director. One Year’s senior producer is Evan Chung. This episode was produced by Kelly Jones, Olivia Briley, and Evan Chung. It was edited by Joel Meyer and Derek John, Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts.  Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. We had mixing help from Kevin Bendis. Join Slate Plus to get a special behind-the-scenes conversation at the end of our season about how we put together our 1990 stories. Slate Plus members also get to listen to all Slate podcasts without any ads. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/11/23·50m 46s

One Year: 1990 | 1. Pizzastroika

Pizza Hut’s adventure in the Soviet Union was unlike any restaurant opening before or since. It involved a fleet of submarines, a very special pizza topped with tuna and salmon, and a casual dining spot on a mission to change the world. This episode was written by Kelly Jones and Josh Levin, One Year’s editorial director. One Year’s senior producer is Evan Chung. This episode was produced by Kelly Jones and Evan Chung, with additional production by Olivia Briley.  It was edited by Joel Meyer and Derek John, Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Join Slate Plus to get a special behind-the-scenes conversation at the end of our season about how we put together our 1990 stories. Slate Plus members also get to listen to all Slate podcasts without any ads. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/11/23·57m 7s

Decoder Ring: The Forgotten Video Game About Slavery

In 1992, a Minnesota-based software company known for its educational hit The Oregon Trail released another simulation-style game to school districts across the country. Freedom! took kids on a journey along the Underground Railroad, becoming the first American software program to use slavery as its subject matter. Less than four months later, it was pulled from the market. In this episode, we revisit this well-intentioned, but flawed foray into historical trauma that serves as a reminder that teaching Black history in America has always been fraught.  This episode was written by Willa Paskin. Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. This episode was also produced by Benjamin Frisch, and edited by Erica Morrison. Derek John is executive producer. Joel Meyer is senior editor-producer and Merritt Jacob is senior technical director. We’re grateful to Julian Lucas for his expertise, reporting, and generosity, without which this episode would not have been possible. His New Yorker article, “Can Slavery Reenactments Set Us Free?,” revisits the Freedom! story as part of an exploration of the live Underground Railroad re-enactments that Kamau Kambui pioneered. Thank you to Jesse Fuchs for suggesting this topic. Thanks also to Coventry Cowens, Brigitte Fielder, Bob Whitaker, Alan Whisman, Wayne Studer, Alicia Montgomery, Rebecca Onion, Luke Winkie, and Kamau Kambui’s children: Yamro Kambui Fields, Halim Fields, Mawusi Kambui Pierre, Nanyamka Salley, and Kamau Sababu Kambui Jr.  If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, please sign up for Slate Plus. Members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads and have total access to Slate’s website. Your support is also crucial to our work. Go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/11/23·47m 23s

Decoder Ring: The Dating Manual Unlike Any Other

From the moment it was released in 1995, The Rules was controversial.. Some people loved it—and swore that the dating manual’s throwback advice helped them land a husband. Others thought it was retrograde hogwash that flew in the face of decades of feminist progress. The resulting brouhaha turned the book into a cultural phenomenon. In this episode, Slate’s Heather Schwedel explores where The Rules came from, how it became so popular, and why its list of 35 commandments continue to be so sticky—whether we like it or not.  Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Willa Paskin. Derek John is executive producer. Joel Meyer is senior editor/producer. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. We’d like to to thank Benjamin Frisch, Rachel O'Neill, Penny Love, Heather Fain, Elif Batuman, Laura Banks, Marlene Velasquez-Sedito, Leigh Anderson, Caroline Smith. We also want to mention two sources that were really helpful: Labour of Love by Moira Weigel, a paper called Shrinking Violets and Caspar Milquetoasts by Patricia McDaniel If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, we’d love for you to sign up for Slate Plus. Members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/11/23·37m 35s

Decoder Ring: Mailbag - The Recorder, Limos, and “Baby on Board” Signs

We receive a lot of fantastic show ideas from our listeners—and we’re grateful for each and every one. For our latest mailbag episode, we’re tackling five of your questions, including “Why the hell do we teach kids to play the recorder?” (We’re paraphrasing a bit.) Also: We’ll explore the rise and fall of the stretch limo, the incredible versatility of the word “like,” the meaning of the “Baby on Board” sign, and why it took so long to develop luggage with wheels.  Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. This episode was also produced by Rosemary Belson. Derek John is executive producer. Joel Meyer is senior editor/producer. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Thank you to every listener who has submitted a suggestion for an episode. We truly appreciate your ideas. We read them all, even if we don’t always respond. Thanks for being a listener and for thinking creatively about this show.  If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, we’d love for you to sign up for Slate Plus. Members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
01/11/23·40m 50s

Decoder Ring: When Art Pranksters Invaded Melrose Place

In the mid-1990s, the prime time drama Melrose Place became a home to hundreds of pieces of contemporary art—and no one noticed. In this episode, Isaac Butler tells the story of the artist collective that smuggled subversive quilts, sperm-shaped pool floats, and dozens of other provocative works onto the set of the hit TV show. The project, In the Name of the Place, inspired a real-life exhibition and tested the ability of mass media to get us to see what’s right in front of our faces.  Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. This episode was written and reported by Isaac Butler and produced by Benjamin Frisch. Derek John is executive producer. Joel Meyer is senior editor/producer. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Thank you to Jamie Bennett, JJ Bersch, Mark Flood, and Cynthia Carr, whose book On Edge: Performance at the End of the 20th Century inspired this episode. If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, we’d love for you to sign up for Slate Plus. Members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
25/10/23·41m 34s

Decoder Ring: The Fast Decline of the Slow Dance

Judging from teen dramas on Netflix, the slow dance seems to be alive and well. But when you talk to actual teens, it’s clear this time-honored tradition is on life support. In this episode, we trace the history of slow dancing from its origins in partner dances like the waltz to the modern “zombie sway” seen at middle-school dances and high-school proms. Plus, former slow dancers offer up stiff-armed, nostalgia-soaked stories about a rite of passage that’s fading fast. Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Zakiya Gibbons. Derek John is executive producer. Joel Meyer is senior editor/producer. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Thank you to Benjamin Frisch and Carlos Pareja. Special thanks to everyone who shared their slow dancing stories, including Ralph Giordano, Matt Baume, Meryl Bezrutczyk, Ari Feldman, Ava Candade, Eileen Zheng, and Harper Kois. Here’s the article by Kyle Denis that we mentioned in the episode: The Death of the Slow Dance? How the One-Time Rite of Passage Has Evolved for Gen Z.  If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, we’d love for you to sign up for Slate Plus. Members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/10/23·45m 43s

One Year: 1955 | 6. The Hiroshima Maidens

Ten years after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, 25 women who’d been disfigured by the blast came to the United States. Those Japanese survivors would go to the White House and end up on a bizarre proto reality TV show. They’d also put their lives in the hands of American doctors, hoping that risky, cutting-edge surgeries might repair their injuries and give them a chance for a fresh start. Josh Levin is One Year’s editorial director. One Year’s senior producer is Evan Chung. This episode was produced by Kelly Jones and Evan Chung, with additional production by Sophie Summergrad.  It was edited by Joel Meyer and Derek John, Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts.  Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Holly Allen created the artwork for this season. Join Slate Plus to get a bonus 1955 episode at the end of the season. Slate Plus members also get to listen to all Slate podcasts without any ads. Sign up now to support One Year. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
06/10/23·54m 56s

One Year: 1955 | 5. The Cutter Incident

Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine transformed America and the world in ways that seemed unimaginable. But in 1955, there was a moment when everything was in doubt. This week, Josh Levin talks with Dr. Paul Offit about the medical mystery that threatened to derail one of history’s most important scientific breakthroughs. Josh Levin is One Year’s editorial director. One Year’s senior producer is Evan Chung. This episode was produced by Kelly Jones, Evan Chung, and Sophie Summergrad.  It was edited by Josh Levin, Joel Meyer, and Derek John, Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts.  Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Join Slate Plus to get a bonus 1955 episode at the end of the season. Slate Plus members also get to listen to all Slate podcasts without any ads. Sign up now to support One Year. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/09/23·35m 28s

One Year: 1955 | 4. Siberia, USA

When Alaskans wanted their own mental-health facility, a rumor took hold all over America. This week, Evan Chung traces the origins of that far-right conspiracy theory: that the government was building a concentration camp where Americans would get imprisoned for their political beliefs. Get ready for a strange tale that involves a brainwashing manual, Scientology, and a vast network of Communist-hunting housewives. Josh Levin is One Year’s editorial director. One Year’s senior producer is Evan Chung. This episode was produced by Kelly Jones and Evan Chung, with additional production by Sophie Summergrad.  It was edited by Josh Levin, Joel Meyer, and Derek John, Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts.  Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Join Slate Plus to get a bonus 1955 story at the end of the season. Slate Plus members also get to listen to all Slate podcasts without any ads. Sign up now to support One Year. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
21/09/23·55m 39s

One Year: 1955 | 3. The Weather Girls

In the early days of television, women struggled to find their place. In 1955, they got it: forecasting the weather, on stations all across the country. But as these “weather girls” transformed the airwaves, a group of powerful men hatched a plan—one that had the potential to push women weathercasters off the air forever. Josh Levin is One Year’s editorial director. One Year’s senior producer is Evan Chung. This episode was produced by Kelly Jones and Evan Chung, with additional production by Sophie Summergrad.  It was edited by Joel Meyer and Derek John, Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts.  Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Join Slate Plus to get the first three episodes of One Year: 1955 right away—and a bonus 1955 story at the end of the season. Slate Plus members also get to listen to all Slate podcasts without any ads. Sign up now to support One Year. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/09/23·45m 34s

One Year: 1955 | 2. The Crockett Craze

In 1955, the frontiersman Davy Crockett became the most famous man in America, more than a century after his death at the Alamo. This week, Evan Chung dives into a cultural phenomenon nobody saw coming. Not the kids in coonskin caps who started the craze, not the parents whose money fueled it, and least of all Walt Disney, the legendary studio head who created it totally by accident. Josh Levin is One Year’s editorial director. One Year’s senior producer is Evan Chung. This episode was produced by Kelly Jones and Evan Chung, with additional production by Sophie Summergrad.  It was edited by Joel Meyer and Derek John, Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts.  Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Join Slate Plus to get the first three episodes of One Year: 1955 right away—and a bonus 1955 story at the end of the season. Slate Plus members also get to listen to all Slate podcasts without any ads. Sign up now to support One Year. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/09/23·57m 28s

One Year: 1955 | 1. The Team Nobody Would Play

The Cannon Street All-Stars dreamed of playing in the 1955 Little League World Series. Their biggest obstacle didn’t come on the field. In the year that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a public bus, these Black 12-year-olds became unlikely civil rights pioneers—and faced the wrath of a white society that wasn’t ready to change. Josh Levin is One Year’s editorial director. One Year’s senior producer is Evan Chung. This episode was produced by Kelly Jones and Evan Chung, with additional production by Sophie Summergrad.  It was edited by Joel Meyer and Derek John, Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts.  Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Join Slate Plus to get the first three episodes of One Year: 1955 right away—and a bonus 1955 story at the end of the season. Slate Plus members also get to listen to all Slate podcasts without any ads. Sign up now to support One Year. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
31/08/23·57m 49s

Decoder Ring: Think Catchphrases Are Dead? Eat My Shorts.

Once you start listening for catchphrases in everyday life—you can’t stop hearing them. From the radio era’s “Holy mackerel!” to Fonzie’s “Ayyy!” to Urkel’s multiple go-to lines on Family Matters, we explore the irresistible quotables from sitcoms, movies and social media that have burrowed into our collective lexicon. Oh, just one more thing… bazinga! (Did I do that?) This episode was written by Willa Paskin, who produces Decoder Ring with Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Joel Meyer. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Thank you to Luke Winkie, Stephen Langford, Doug Dietzold and The Good, the Bad and the Sequel podcast, and Shawn Green for the suggestion and Urkel clips.  If you have any cultural mysteries you want us to decode, you can email us at DecoderRing@slate.com If you haven’t yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus. As a member, you’ll get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads—and your support is crucial to our work. Go to slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/08/23·40m 23s

Decoder Ring: The Quest for a Homemade Hovercraft

When Slate’s Evan Chung was a kid, he was obsessed with a mysterious advertisement that ran for decades in the scouting magazine Boys’ Life. Under the enticing headline “You Can Float on Air,” the ad assured Evan—and generations of scouts—that a personal hovercraft could be theirs for just a few bucks.  In this episode, the adult version of Evan journeys halfway across the country to wield power tools, summon his latent scouting skills, and conscript his father into a quest three decades in the making.  Will Evan float on air? Scout’s honor: You’ll just have to listen.  This episode was written by Evan Chung, who produced this episode with Decoder Ring’s Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. It was edited by Willa Paskin and Joel Meyer. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus. As a member, you’ll get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads—and your support is crucial to our work. Go to slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/08/23·42m 20s

Decoder Ring: A Brief History of Making Out

Kissing—the romantic, sexual, steamy kind—is so ingrained in us that it just seems like a fact of life. Like breathing or eating, we just do it. But what if it’s not like that at all?  In this episode, we’re going to look at passionate kissing, well, dispassionately, not as something instinctual and innate but as a cultural practice. We’re going to backtrack through history in search of the origins of the kiss, with some surprises along the way.  This episode was written by Willa Paskin, who produces Decoder Ring with Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Andrea Bruce and Joel Meyer. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Thank you to Marcel Danesi. If you’re interested in the papers we mentioned, you can read about Justin Garcia and William Jankowiak’s research, Troels Pank Arbøll and Sophie Lund Rasmussen’s essay, Sabrina Imbler’s When Was the First Sexy Kiss? and the herpes study. (Here’s that bronze-age statue, too!) If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus. As a member, you’ll get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads—and your support is crucial to our work. Go to slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/08/23·36m 59s

Decoder Ring: The Great Parmesan Cheese Debate

Parmesan is a food—but it’s not just a food. Italy’s beloved cheese is often paired with a deep craving for tradition and identity. But its history also involves intrepid immigrants, lucrative businesses and an American version that’s probably available in your local grocery store. After a notorious debunker of Italian-cuisine myths claims this Wisconsin-made product is the real deal, we embark on a quest to answer the question: Has an Italian delicacy been right under our noses this whole time? Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin with Katie Shepherd. This episode was written by Willa Paskin and edited by Andrea Bruce. We had production help from Patrick Fort and editing help from Joel Meyer. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Thank you to Giacomo Stefanini for translating. Thank you to Fabio Parasecoli, Ken Kane, Thomas McNamee, Dan Weber, Irene Graziosi, James Norton, and Ian MacAllen, whose knowledge and book Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American were very helpful.  You should also read Marianna Giusti’s article in the Financial Times. If you feel like really nerding out, we also recommend the 1948 academic study Italian Cheese Production in the American Dairy Region. We also included clips in this episode from David Rocco’s YouTube channel about how Parmigiano-Reggiano is made and from Gennaro Contaldo’s YouTube documentary on the same subject. If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus. As a member, you’ll get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads—and your support is crucial to our work. Go to slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
26/07/23·44m 18s

Decoder Ring: What's Really Going On Inside a Mosh Pit?

The mosh pit has a reputation as a violent place where (mostly) white guys vent their aggression. There’s some truth to that, but it’s also a place bound by camaraderie and—believe it or not—etiquette. In this episode, we explore the unwritten rules of this 50-year-old, live-music phenomenon with punks, concertgoers and a heavy metal physicist. Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin with Katie Shepherd. This episode was written by Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Willa Paskin and Andrea Bruce, with help from Joel Meyer. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Thank you to Vivien Goldman, Paolo Ragusa, and Philip Moriarty whose insights and research on moshing were crucial to this episode. You can create your own mosh pit using this simulator developed by Jesse Silverberg and his colleagues. If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus. As a member, you’ll get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads—and your support is crucial to our work. Go to slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/07/23·34m 45s

S8 Live Announcement & Bonus Conversation

Join host Joel Anderson and special guests for Slow Burn: Becoming Justice Thomas LIVE in D.C. (July 25, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.) You’ll see a live performance of an extended story from the season (spoiler: it will be a…slam dunk). You’ll hear even more insights into Clarence Thomas’ life and career—and his decades-long battle with affirmative action. And you’ll watch as Anderson gets grilled about the making of this season and what it was like to interview Justice Thomas’ mother in his childhood home. Special guests include Thomas’ college friend Eddie Jenkins; legal scholar and MSNBC commentator Melissa Murray; Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse from the Senate Judiciary Committee, and more. (Slate Plus members will receive a discount off your purchase. Use the discount code found on the Events page in your account.) In addition, please enjoy this bonus conversation with Joel conducted by Slate's Dahlia Lithwick for the Amicus podcast. Joel talks about Clarence Thomas’ anger issues, and what his mother really thinks of Ginni Thomas.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/07/23·25m 45s

S8 Ep. 4: A National Disgrace

Anita Hill’s accusations launched urgent and heated conversations about racism and sexual harassment. They also stoked an anger in Clarence Thomas that’s never stopped raging. Season 8 of Slow Burn is produced by Joel Anderson, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, and Sofie Kodner. Josh Levin is the editorial director of Slow Burn. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Susan Matthews is Slate’s executive editor. This episode was edited by Josh Levin, Derek John, Sophie Summergrad, and Joel Meyer. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Our theme music is composed by Alexis Cuadrado. Artwork by Ivylise Simones. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
21/06/23·1h 6m

S8 Ep. 3: I’m Their Guy

When Clarence Thomas got nominated to the Supreme Court, his behavior during the 1980s would get put under a microscope. To understand who Thomas was then and who he is today, you need to hear how he treated the women he worked with. You also need to hear from the woman who knew him best during those critical years: his ex-girlfriend Lillian McEwen.  Season 8 of Slow Burn is produced by Joel Anderson, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, and Sofie Kodner. Josh Levin is the editorial director of Slow Burn. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Susan Matthews is Slate’s executive editor. This episode was edited by Josh Levin, Derek John, Sophie Summergrad, and Joel Meyer. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Our theme music is composed by Alexis Cuadrado. Artwork by Ivylise Simones. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/06/23·55m 45s

S8 Ep. 2: Smiling Faces

Clarence Thomas went to Yale Law School because he thought it was a good fit for his left-wing politics. But when he arrived, it seemed like all the white liberals thought he was only there because he was Black. The sting Thomas felt fueled a lifelong resentment of affirmative action. It also drew him to a group of conservatives who helped sharpen his political beliefs. Season 8 of Slow Burn is produced by Joel Anderson, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, and Sofie Kodner.   Josh Levin is the editorial director of Slow Burn. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Susan Matthews is Slate’s executive editor. This episode was edited by Josh Levin, Derek John, Sophie Summergrad and Joel Meyer. Merritt Jacob is Slate’s senior technical director. Our theme music is composed by Alexis Cuadrado. Artwork by Ivylise Simones. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/06/23·50m 11s

S8 Ep. 1: America’s Blackest Child

Growing up in Georgia, Clarence Thomas wanted to make his mark. His goal was to become his hometown’s first Black Catholic priest. But in the 1960s, he abandoned that dream. Instead, he embraced campus activism and the teachings of Malcolm X. Season 8 of Slow Burn is produced by Joel Anderson, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, and Sofie Kodner. Josh Levin is the editorial director of Slow Burn. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Susan Matthews is Slate’s executive editor. Editorial direction by Josh Levin, Derek John, and Joel Meyer. Merritt Jacob is Slate’s senior technical director. Our theme music is composed by Alexis Cuadrado. Artwork by Ivylise Simones. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
31/05/23·54m 31s

Season 8 Trailer: Becoming Justice Thomas

Clarence Thomas is one of the most powerful figures in America today. Nearly every issue of national consequence has his fingerprints all over it, from voting rights to gun rights and from abortion access to affirmative action. But nothing about his journey from rural Georgia to the Supreme Court was inevitable. In the eighth season of Slate’s Slow Burn, host Joel Anderson traces Justice Thomas’ surprising path from youthful radical to conservative icon. You’ll hear about why he came to despise the race-based admission policies that personally benefited him, how he credited his political rise to the Black self-sufficiency preached by Malcolm X, and what the American people didn’t hear during his explosive confirmation hearings. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
17/05/23·2m 4s

Decoder Ring: Who Owns the Tooth Fairy?

We pride ourselves on being grounded, rational beings, but flitting amongst us is a mystery: the Tooth Fairy. This flying piece of folklore is alive and well in the 21st century, handed down to kids in whatever way their parents see fit.  In this episode, with the help of Tinkerbell, Santa Claus, and some savvy humans who are trying to exploit this strange creature’s untapped intellectual property, we’ll explore the origins of this childhood ritual, its durability—and its remarkable resistance to commercialization.  This podcast was written by Willa Paskin, who produces Decoder Ring with Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Jamie York. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Thank you to Charles Duan, Jim Piddock, Purva Merchant, Hannah Morris, Laurie Leahy, Torie Bosch, and Rebecca Onion. Also, a big tip of the hat to Rosemary Wells, the dental school instructor who in the 1970s began exploring the Tooth Fairy’s, ahem, roots . Much of Wells’ work is out of print, but you can find one of her pieces in a collection called The Good People: New Fairylore Essays. If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, sign up for Slate Plus. You’ll be able to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads—and your support is crucial to our work. Go to www.slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Decoder Ring is now available on YouTube. Listen here: https://slate.trib.al/ucMyTst Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/05/23·38m 7s

Decoder Ring: Why You Can’t Find a Damn Parking Spot

Parking is one of the great paradoxes of American life. On the one hand, we have paved an ungodly amount of land to park our cars. On the other, it seems like it’s never enough.  Slate’s Henry Grabar has spent the last few years investigating how our pathological need for car storage determines the look, feel, and function of the places we live. It turns out our quest for parking has made some of our biggest problems worse. In this episode, we’re going to hunt for parking, from the mean streets of Brooklyn to the sandy lots of Florida. We’ll explore how parking has quietly damaged the American landscape—and see what might fix it. This episode was written by Henry Grabar, author of Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World. It was edited by Willa Paskin, who produces Decoder Ring with Katie Shepherd. We had extra production from Patrick Fort and editing help from Joel Meyer. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Thank you to: Jane Wilberding, Rachel Weinberger, Donald Shoup, Andrés Duany, Robert Davis, Micah Davis, Christy Milliken, Fletcher Isacks, Victor Benhamou, and Nina Pareja.  If you have any cultural mysteries you want us to decode, you can email us at DecoderRing@slate.com If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. (Even better, tell your friends.) If you’re a fan of the show, sign up for Slate Plus. You’ll be able to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads—and your support is crucial to our work. Go to www.slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Decoder Ring is now available on YouTube. Listen here: https://slate.trib.al/ucMyTst Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/05/23·37m 31s

Decoder Ring: The Artist Who Was Both Loved and Disdained

We bring you a special episode from Sidedoor, a podcast about the treasures that fill the vaults of the Smithsonian. This story is inspired by “Big Band,” a defining work by the painter LeRoy Neiman.  Neiman was a character, a cultural gadfly and an omnipresent artist who sat for decades right at the nexus of professional success, cultural ubiquity, and critical disregard. What made him so popular? What made him so disdained? And what can we learn from how he resolved this dissonance?  Sidedoor is produced by the Smithsonian with PRX.  The Sidedoor podcast team is Justin O'Neill, James Morrison, Stephanie De Leon Tzic, Ann Conanan, Caitlin Shaffer, Tami O'Neill, Jess Sadeq, Lara Koch, and Sharon Bryant. The show is mixed by Tarek Fouda and the theme song and episode music are by Breakmaster Cylinder.  Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. Derek John is Executive Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our Technical Director. Special thanks to Joel Meyer, the LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation, especially Tara Zabor, Dan Duray, Heather Long, and Janet Neiman. Also thank you to the team at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History: Stephanie Johnson, Ken Kimery, Theo Gonzalvez, Eric Jentsch, John Troutman, Krystal Klingenberg, Valeska Hilbig, and Laura Duff. Thank you to Smithsonian Folkways Recordings for contributing music for this episode, and also to the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.  If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, sign up for Slate Plus.  Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today.  Decoder Ring is now available on YouTube. Listen here: http://y2u.be/D8cLqWAffJ8 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
26/04/23·37m 12s

Decoder Ring: The Curious Case of Columbo's Message to Romania Part 2

Last week, we put on the proverbial raincoat and made like Columbo to investigate Peter Falk’s claim that he recorded a special Cold War message telling Romanians to “put down their guns.” This week, we’re back on the case, and what started out as a zany inquiry goes to some serious and surprising places. Part two of this caper, involves dubbers, propagandists, a couple of 90 year olds and the legacy of a brutal dictatorship. It’s a story about celebrity, diplomacy, memory, and the limitations of all three—and about the power of television not to get Romanians to put down their guns, as Falk would have it, but to pick them up. This podcast was written by Willa Paskin who produces Decoder Ring with Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Joel Meyer. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is senior technical director. Special thank you to Oana Godanu Kenworthy who was instrumental in figuring this all out as well as Andrada Lautaru who translated and worked with us from Romania. Thank you to: Andrei Codrescu, Cameron Gorman, Gabriel Roth, Ilinca Calugareanu, Harry Geisel, Elaine McDevitt, Michael Messenger, Gerald Krell, Ash Hawken, Tom Mullins, Jessica Leporin, Jerry Gruner and Marie Whalen. There’s a number of documentaries that were instrumental to reporting this episode: Videograms from a Revolution; Chuck Norris vs Communism; The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu, The Rise and Fall of Ceausescu: and Whatever Happened to Blood Sweat and Tears.  If you can’t get enough Columbo, make sure to listen to our previous two-parter on McGruff the crime dog, who was directly inspired by Peter Falk’s detective, and features a wild soundtrack. If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, we'd love for you to sign up for Slate Plus.  Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to www.slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/04/23·40m 33s

Decoder Ring: The Curious Case of Columbo's Message to Romania Part 1

Not too long ago an old clip surfaced of Peter Falk on David Letterman, in which he told an intriguing tale about recording a special Cold War message for Romanian state television. The clip went viral and got our attention — but was it actually true? Did a fictional American detective really help quell a communist revolt? We donned the proverbial raincoat and started sleuthing—at which point Falk’s late night anecdote cracked open into an intricate geopolitical saga that stretches from DC to Bucharest; from a Los Angeles hotel room to the palatial estate of a despot. It’s a story that involves dueling ideologies, dozens of diplomats, and millions of viewers. It’s an honest-to-goodness cold war caper about American soft power behind the iron curtain, and it’s so involved it’s going to take two episodes to solve.   This podcast was written by Willa Paskin, who produces Decoder Ring with Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Joel Meyer. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is senior technical director. A special thank you to Andrada Lautaru who translated and worked with me from Romania. Thank you to Carol and Joel Levy, Jonathan Rickert, Alan and Aury Fernandez, Katie Koob, Felix Rentschler, Richard Viets, Jock Shirley, Gabriel Roth, Cameron Gorman, Torie Bosch, Delia Marinescu, David Koenig, Don Giller, Forest Bachner, Corina Popa, David Langbart, William Burr, Asgeir Sigfusson, John Frankensteiner, Tom Hoban, and everyone else who helped with this episode. Thank you to Evan Chung.  For research into Romanian T.V., Willa relied heavily on the scholarly work of Dana Mustata, Alexandru Matei, Annemarie Sorescu‐Marinković, and the screening socialism project from the University of Loughborough. She also relied on the work of Dennis Deletant and Timothy W Ryback’s Rock Around the Bloc, a history of rock music in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union You also heard a song in this episode from the Romanian band Phoenix.  If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to www.slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/04/23·43m 52s

Announcing Slow Burn Season 8

Hosted by Joel Anderson. Coming in May 2023. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
24/02/23·34s

Decoder Ring: The Mailbag Episode

We’re really lucky to get a lot of listener emails, suggesting topics for the show. In this episode, we’re going to dig into a handful of the most fascinating ones that we’ve yet to tackle on the show. We’re taking on five listener questions that run the gamut—from kids menus to succulents to the chicken that crossed the road. It’s an eclectic assortment of subjects that come to us thanks to you. So let’s jump into our mailbag. Thank you to Mark Liberman and Susan Schulten. This podcast was written by Willa Paskin who produces the show with Katie Shepherd. This episode was also produced by Sam Kim. Derek John is Slate’s Executive Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director. If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus.   Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/01/23·39m 16s

Decoder Ring: ‘You’ve Got Mail’ Got It Wrong

(This episode originally aired in March 2020.) The 1998 romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, is about the brutal fight between a beloved indie bookstore, the Shop Around the Corner, and Fox Books, an obvious Barnes & Noble stand-in. On this episode of Decoder Ring we revisit the real-life conflict that inspired the movie and displaced independent booksellers on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This conflict illustrates how, for a brief time, Barnes & Noble was a symbol of predatory capitalism, only to be usurped by the uniting force at the heart of the film: the internet. Some of the voices in this episode include Delia Ephron, the co-screenwriter of You’ve Got Mail, the illustrator Brian Selznick, Laura J. Miller, author of Reluctant Capitalists: Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption, Joel Fram, founder of Eeyore’s Books for Children, and Boris Kachka, book editor for the Los Angeles Times. This podcast was written by Willa Paskin and produced by Benjamin Frisch and Cleo Levin was research assistant.  Thanks to Steve Geck, Maris Kreizman, Emma Straub, Jacob Bernstein, Gary Hoover, Peter Glassman and June Thomas.  Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. Derek John is Slate’s Executive Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director. If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus.   Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Sponsored by Saks.com. Check out the Holiday Gift Guide on saks.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/12/22·41m 0s

Decoder Ring: Cellino & Barnes, Injury Attorneys, 800-888-8888

Ross Cellino and Steve Barnes were two Buffalo-based lawyers who became the literal poster-men for personal injury advertising. They poured millions of dollars into ads that did more than just bring in clients: it turned the duo into household names and faces—at least in New York. In this episode, we’re going to look at their rise and everything that happened after. It’s a bumpy ride full of ambition, accidents and tragedy and at its center are two men who, for 25 years, wanted to be at the front of our minds when we got hurt, but who we didn’t really notice until it all fell apart.  We hear from Ross Cellino, Rich Barnes, Jeremy Kutner, John Fabian Witt, Trish Rich, Ken Kaufman, Mike Breen, and David Rafailedes.   This podcast was written by Katie Shepherd. It was edited by Andrea Bruce and Willa Paskin. Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. Derek John is Slate’s Executive Producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director. Thank you to Rachel Strom and Meryl Scheinman, host of Prank You.  If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus.   Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
27/12/22·40m 55s

Decoder Ring: How Preppy Became Streetwear

We bring you a special episode from the Articles of Interest podcast hosted by Avery Trufelman about the incredible reach and adaptability of preppy clothes. It’s a story about the great modernizer of Ivy style, Ralph Lauren, and how he and his label, Polo, were themselves modernized by customers who helped push preppy in a whole new direction, from the runway to the streets.  We encourage you to listen to the entire American Ivy series from Radiotopia. Articles of Interest is created by Avery Trufelman. It’s edited by Kelly Prime, mixed and mastered by Ian Coss, fact checked by Jessia Siriano, with music by Avery, Rhae Royal, Sasami, and the Beazlebubs, the Tufts University Acapella Group.  Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. We had mixing help on this episode from Sam Kim. Derek John is Slate’s Executive Producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director. If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/12/22·37m 8s

Decoder Ring: The New Age Hit Machine

For this episode, a story from Slate senior producer Evan Chung about how Yanni, John Tesh and a number of other surprising acts made it big in the 1990s. It’s a throwback to a simpler time—when musicians struggled to find their big break, but discovered it could be possible with a telephone, a television, and our undivided attention. This story originally aired in 2019 on Studio 360 from PRX. We hear from George Veras, Pat Callahan, and John Tesh.  This Episode was written and produced by Slate’s Evan Chung. Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. Derek John is Slate’s Executive Producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director. If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
20/12/22·29m 55s

Slow Burn: Roe v. Wade special announcement

Slow Burn: Roe v. Wade has been named Apple Podcasts Show of the Year! We’re so honored by this award and want to thank everyone who has listened and supported the show. On this season, we looked to the past to understand what the future of abortion might look like in America. We tell the forgotten story of the first woman ever convicted of manslaughter for getting an abortion. We introduce you to the unlikely Catholic power couple who helped ignite the pro-life movement. And we look at how a rookie Supreme Court justice appointed by Nixon, tackled one of the most pivotal cases in American history. To celebrate this award, we made a special behind-the-scenes episode on how we created the show, as well as five all new Extra episodes—with new interviews, perspectives, and ideas about what might happen next in the fight over legal abortion. To hear those Show of the Year Extras visit: https://apple.co/showoftheyear2022 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/11/22·2m 8s

S7 Ep. 5: Creating a Winning Show

The team who made Slow Burn: Roe v. Wade tells the story that unfolded behind the scenes of Apple Podcasts Show of the Year, from the original pitch to the leak of the Dobbs decision. We’ll hear how host Susan Matthews first came up with the idea, how the producers dug up rare archival tape and hard-to-find sources that helped bring the story to life, and how the show tried to fairly represent both sides of the issue. Plus, we dive into what changed after the Dobbs opinion was leaked in May, a month before the show launched. Featuring host Susan Matthews, producers Samira Tazari and Sophie Summergrad, editor Josh Levin, and executive producer Derek John. To hear all of our other Show of the Year Extras visit: https://apple.co/showoftheyear2022 For even more Slow Burn, join Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get exclusive episodes each season. If you’re not already a member, join today and save 50 percent on your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/11/22·45m 30s

One Year: 1942 | 6. The Black-Japanese Axis

In 1942, federal officials targeted a group of Black Americans who were allegedly hoping for a Japanese invasion. They uncovered a plot that included stockpiles of weapons and secret passwords—but was any of it true? This week, Joel Anderson tells the story of a shadowy organization in East St. Louis, Illinois, the group’s mysterious leader, and an alleged conspiracy against America during World War II. This episode of One Year was produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, Joel Anderson, Sol Werthan, and Josh Levin. Derek John is executive producer of narrative podcasts and Merritt Jacob is senior technical director. Slate Plus members get to hear more about the making of One Year. Get access to extra episodes, listen to the show without any ads, and support One Year by signing up for Slate Plus for just $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/11/22·40m 56s

Decoder Ring: The Butt and the Bustle

For about two decades towards the end of the Victorian era, in the 1870s and 1880s, a large bustle-enhanced bottom was the height of fashion. In this episode we explore how it’s connected to today’s big booty craze. We look at the bustle’s history with a curator fascinated by old undergarments; consider the various theories about its popularity with the author Heather Radke; and then hone in the tragic story of Sarah Baartman. The bustle may be old-fashioned, but it still has a lot to tell us about race, sex, power and how much people know, or let themselves know, about what they put on everyday. We hear from Heather Radke, author of Butts: A Backstory, as well as Kristina Haughland, Janell Hobson, Pamela Scully, and Maria Garcia.  This podcast was written by Willa Paskin, who produces Decoder Ring with Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Andrea Bruce. Derek John is Slate’s Executive Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director. If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, I’d love for you to sign up for Slate Plus.   Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/11/22·46m 38s

One Year: 1942 | 5. When Internment Came to Alaska

Six months after Pearl Harbor, Japan launched another attack on the United States. This time, Axis forces actually invaded, turning the Aleutian Islands into a battleground. What the country did next, in the name of “protecting” Alaska’s indigenous people, is a shameful chapter of the war. And it’s one the nation has never fully reckoned with. This episode of One Year was produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, Sol Werthan, and Josh Levin. Derek John is senior supervising producer of narrative podcasts and Merritt Jacob is senior technical director. Slate Plus members get to hear more about the making of One Year. Get access to extra episodes, listen to the show without any ads, and support One Year by signing up for Slate Plus for just $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
17/11/22·42m 15s

Decoder Ring: The Truth About #TheDress

In the history of viral images, #TheDress has got to be in the top 10. This unassuming photo of a party dress kicked off a global debate when people realized they were seeing it completely differently. Is it black and blue, or white and gold? In today’s episode, we’ll talk to someone who was there when the photo was first taken, and the BuzzFeed writer whose post briefly broke the internet. Then we go down the optical rabbit hole with a neuroscientist who’s been studying the The Dress for years. What does it reveal about the nature of truth? This podcast was written by Willa Paskin, who produces Decoder Ring with Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Andrew Adam Newman. Derek John is Slate’s senior supervising producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is senior technical director. We’ll hear from Paul Jinks, Cates Holderness, Pascal Wallisch, and David McRaney author of the book How Minds Change. Here’s the optical illusion of the strawberries mentioned in the episode and created by Professor Akiyoshi Kitaoka. If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, I’d love for you to sign up for Slate Plus.    Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring — and every other Slate podcast — ad-free. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Check out Remote Works here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/11/22·38m 18s

One Year: 1942 | 4. The Info Wars of World War II

In March 1942, a new nightly radio show hit the American airwaves. The stated goal of Station Debunk was to correct all the lies getting tossed around about America’s involvement in the war. But the real story was a whole lot stranger and more devious than it appeared. One Year is produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, and Josh Levin. Derek John is senior supervising producer of narrative podcasts and Merritt Jacob is senior technical director. Slate Plus members get to hear more about the making of One Year. Get access to extra episodes, listen to the show without any ads, and support One Year by signing up for Slate Plus for just $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/11/22·48m 59s

One Year: 1942 | 3. The Day the Music Stopped

On Aug. 1, 1942, the nation’s recording studios went silent. Musicians were fed up with the new technologies threatening their livelihoods, so they refused to record until they got their fair share. This week, Evan Chung explores one of the most consequential labor actions of the 20th century, and how it coincided with an underground revolution in music led by artists like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. One Year is produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, and Josh Levin. Derek John is senior supervising producer of narrative podcasts and Merritt Jacob is senior technical director. Slate Plus members get to hear more about the making of One Year. Get access to extra episodes, listen to the show without any ads, and support One Year by signing up for Slate Plus for just $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/11/22·57m 16s

One Year: 1942 | 2. The Year Everyone Got Married

There were 1.8 million weddings in 1942, the most that had ever been recorded in a single year in American history. But how many of them would last? 98-year-old Millie Summergrad tells the story of one that did: her own. And a pair of brothers explain what it was like to grow up inside the busiest chapel in Yuma, Arizona—the wedding capital of the United States. One Year is produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, and Josh Levin. Derek John is senior supervising producer of narrative podcasts and Merritt Jacob is senior technical director. Slate Plus members get to hear more about the making of One Year. Get access to extra episodes, listen to the show without any ads, and support One Year by signing up for Slate Plus for just $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
27/10/22·44m 33s

One Year: 1942 | 1. The Most Hated Man in America

At the beginning of World War II, the greatest threat to the American war effort wasn’t the Nazis or the Japanese—it was runaway inflation. The man in charge of stopping it was the country’s “price czar,” Leon Henderson. In 1942, he controlled how much coffee ordinary people could drink and how many tires they could buy. Those rules made him a nationwide villain. But would they save the country? One Year is produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, and Josh Levin.  Derek John is senior supervising producer of narrative podcasts and Merritt Jacob is senior technical director. Slate Plus members get to hear more about the making of One Year. Get access to extra episodes, listen to the show without any ads, and support One Year by signing up for Slate Plus for just $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
20/10/22·47m 1s

Decoder Ring: McGruff Takes a Bite Out of Crime Pt. 2

McGruff the Crime Dog arrived on the scene at the dawn of the 1980s, just as a firehose of anti-drug PSAs was inundating the youth of America. These messages didn’t always work as intended—but they did work their way into the long term memories of the kids who heard them.  In the second episode of our two-part series on the weird world of PSAs and very special episodes, we look at how the McGruff Smart Kids Album influenced everything from straight-edge hardcore to a couple’s wedding playlist. We’ll hear from Sarah Hubbard, Dan Danger, Joseph Cappella, David Farber, Mike Hawes, Robin Nelson, Daisy Rosario, and Tatiana Peralta. This podcast was written by Willa Paskin, who produces Decoder Ring with Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Jamie York. Derek John is Slate’s Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Merritt Jacob is Sr. Technical Director. Thank you to Tatiana Peralta, Ari Merkin, Wendy Melillo, Dan McQuade, Dale Mantley, Larissa Zargeris, Dave Bledsoe, Larre Johnson, Duane Poole, Eric Greenberg, Charles and Karen Rosen, and Jennifer Holland, Orla Mejia, Andres Martinez and everyone else at the Rutgers library who helped me listen to some old cassette tapes.  A few things that were helpful in working on this piece: How McGruff and the Crying Indian Changed America: A History of Iconic Ad Council Campaigns by Wendy Melillo, Taking a Bite out of Crime: the Impact of the National Citizens Crime Prevention Media Campaign by Garrett J O’keefe and others, and “This McGruff Drug Album Might As Well Be By Weird Al,” by Dan McQuade for Defector Media. You can hear Daniel Danger’s McGruff cover album in it’s entirety or you can purchase it here. And lastly, if you are interested in hearing the full McGruff educational program or any of Puppet Productions productions they are available for purchase at puppetsinc.com, part of a company that Rob Nelson still runs. If you have any cultural mysteries you want us to decode, email us at DecoderRing@slate.com If you love the show and want to support us, consider joining Slate Plus. With Slate Plus you get ad-free podcasts, bonus episodes, and total access to all of Slate’s journalism. Check out Remote Works here.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/10/22·47m 24s

Decoder Ring: McGruff Takes a Bite Out of Crime Pt. 1

McGruff the Crime Dog arrived on the scene at the dawn of the 1980s, just as a firehose of anti-drug PSAs was inundating the youth of America. These messages didn’t always work as intended—but they did work their way into the long term memories of the kids who heard them.  In the first of two episodes, we take a look at PSAs and their strange afterlife through the lens of a trench-coat wearing bloodhound and his bizarre, yet catchy anti-drug songs. We’ll talk to Dan Danger, Sherry Nemmers, Joseph Cappella, David Farber, Mike Hawes and Robin Nelson to discover how the McGruff Smart Kids Album came to exist in the first place. This podcast was written by Willa Paskin. Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. We had production help from Sam Kim.  Editing by Jamie York and Derek John, Slate’s Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Merritt Jacob is Sr. Technical Director. Thank you to Wendy Melillo, Dan McQuade, Dale Mantley, Larissa Zargeris, Daisy Rosario, Drew Bledsoe, Larre Johnson, Duane Poole, Ari Merkin, Charles and Karen Rosen and Eric Greenberg.  If you have any cultural mysteries you want us to decode, email us at DecoderRing@slate.com If you love the show and want to support us, consider joining Slate Plus. With Slate Plus you get ad-free podcasts, bonus episodes, and total access to all of Slate’s journalism. Check out Remote Works here Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/10/22·37m 48s

One Year: 1986 | 7. The Man From Fifth Avenue

After Joe Mauri gets evicted from his New York apartment, he becomes a star in the USSR, the subject of a documentary about the injustices of capitalism. But this Cold War icon was using the Soviets just as much as they used him. One Year is produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, Madeline Ducharme, and Josh Levin. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts and Merritt Jacob is Sr. Technical Director. Slate Plus members get to hear more about the making of One Year. Get access to extra episodes, listen to the show without any ads, and support One Year by signing up for Slate Plus for just $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/09/22·58m 6s

One Year: 1986 | 6. The Miracle of Cokeville

On May 16, 1986, a man with a bomb held an entire elementary school hostage in the tiny town of Cokeville, Wyoming. Yet instead of becoming victims of unimaginable tragedy, all of the hostages in this predominantly Mormon community survived. But how? This week, Evan Chung explores what—or who—saved the children of Cokeville. One Year is produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, Madeline Ducharme, and Josh Levin.  Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts and Merritt Jacob is Sr. Technical Director. Slate Plus members get to hear more about the making of One Year. Get access to extra episodes, listen to the show without any ads, and support One Year by signing up for Slate Plus for just $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/09/22·1h 7m

One Year: 1986 | 5. Herschel vs. the Blubber Busters

In Seattle, a pack of voracious sea lions decimates the local fish population. When fireworks and an underwater air horn don’t scare away the whisker-y mammals, bureaucrats and scientists are faced with a thorny question: Who decides which creatures get to live, and which have to die? One Year is produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, Madeline Ducharme, and Josh Levin.  Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts and Merritt Jacob is Sr. Technical Director. Slate Plus members get to hear more about the making of One Year. Get access to extra episodes, listen to the show without any ads, and support One Year by signing up for Slate Plus for just $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/09/22·51m 35s

One Year: 1986 | 4. A Boycott in Mississippi

Black residents of Indianola, Mississippi, were fed up with decades of separate-and-unequal classrooms. When a white outsider got hired as school superintendent, they decided to take a stand. This week, Joel Anderson tells the story of how their boycott of white businesses transformed the community and captivated the nation. One Year is produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, Madeline Ducharme, and Josh Levin. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts and Merritt Jacob is Sr. Technical Director. Slate Plus members get to hear more about the making of One Year. Get access to extra episodes, listen to the show without any ads, and support One Year by signing up for Slate Plus for just $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/09/22·59m 18s

One Year: 1986 | 3. The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults

Rumors about the legendary gangster Al Capone’s buried treasure transform an abandoned Chicago hotel into the center of the entertainment universe. Will Geraldo Rivera’s excavation on live TV turn up money, skeletons, or nothing at all? One Year is produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, Madeline Ducharme, and Josh Levin.  Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts and Merritt Jacob is Sr. Technical Director. Slate Plus members get to hear more about the making of One Year. Get access to extra episodes, listen to the show without any ads, and support One Year by signing up for Slate Plus for just $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
01/09/22·1h 3m

One Year: 1986 | 2. The Ultimate Field Trip

This week, Evan Chung tells the story of the American teachers who competed for an unprecedented prize: a spot on the January 1986 launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Three of the finalists describe the grueling selection process and the tragedy that killed one of their own. One Year is produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, Madeline Ducharme, and Josh Levin.  Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts and Merritt Jacob is Sr. Technical Director. Slate Plus members get to hear more about the making of One Year. Get access to extra episodes, listen to the show without any ads, and support One Year by signing up for Slate Plus for just $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
25/08/22·1h

Slow Burn presents... One Year: 1986 | 1. No Crime Day

Basketball star Isiah Thomas had an audacious plan to transform Detroit: asking criminals to stay on the good side of the law for 24 hours. Would “No Crime Day” set the city on a new path, or was it a recipe for failure? One Year is produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, Madeline Ducharme, and Josh Levin. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. Slate Plus members get to hear more about the making of One Year. Get access to extra episodes, listen to the show without any ads, and support One Year by signing up for Slate Plus for just $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/08/22·55m 59s

Decoder Ring: The “Sex” Scandal That Made Mae West

In the early 1930s, Mae West’s dirty talk and hip swiveling walk made her one of the biggest movie stars in America. But before West hit the big-screen, she was prosecuted for staging not one, but two scandalous plays. In this episode, we look at how West honed her persona when she was under the bright lights of Broadway and the flashbulbs of the tabloids — and briefly behind bars. More than a century later, her career arc offers a blueprint on how to survive a scandal…and maybe even come out ahead. This episode relied heavily on a lot of archival material and innumerable books: When I’m Bad, I’m Better: Mae West, Sex and American Entertainment by Marybeth Hamilton; When Brooklyn was Queer by Hugh Ryan; Lillian Schlissel’s introduction to Three Plays by Mae West,  Mae West: a biography by George Eells and Stanley Musgrove; Mae West: An Icon in Black and White by Jill Watts;  Becoming May West by Emily Wortis Leider; Gay New York by George Chauncey;  Mae West, She Who Laughs Last, by June Sochen: Goodness Has Nothing to Do with It by Mae West; and Linda Ann Losciavo’s play “Courting Mae West” and her blog, which you can find at Maewest.blogspot.com.  This episode of Decoder Ring was written by Willa Paskin. It was produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our Technical Director. Thank you to Benjamin Frisch for this topic.  If you have any cultural mysteries you want us to decode, email us at DecoderRing@slate.com If you love the show and want to support us, consider joining Slate Plus. With Slate Plus you get ad-free podcasts, bonus episodes, and total access to all of Slate’s journalism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/08/22·46m 13s

Decoder Ring: The First Alien Abductees

When you think of an alien abduction, what do you picture? Humanoid creatures, medical experiments, lost memories retrieved through hypnosis? That narrative was largely unknown until Betty and Barney Hill went public about their own alien abduction in the 1960s. Betty Hill’s niece, Kathleen Marden, recounts how the story went viral and her aunt and uncle became unwitting celebrities. Then professors Susan Lepselter, Chris Bader, Joseph O. Baker and Stephanie Kelley-Romano explain how the Hills’ alien abduction changed science fiction forever. Thanks to Eric Molinsky for bringing us this story that originally aired on his terrific podcast Imaginary Worlds. Eric’s got a lot more stories like this one so subscribe wherever you listen.  Decoder Ring is written by Willa Paskin and produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our Technical Director. If you have any cultural mysteries you want us to decode, email us at DecoderRing@slate.com If you love the show and want to support us, consider joining Slate Plus. With Slate Plus you get ad-free podcasts, bonus episodes, and total access to all of Slate’s journalism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/08/22·41m 6s

Decoder Ring: The Most Famous Poet No One Remembers

Rod McKuen sold multiple millions of poetry books in the 60s and 70s. He released dozens of albums, was a regular on late night, and was even nominated for an Oscar. So, how did the most salable poet in American history simply disappear? On today’s episode, Slate writer Dan Kois went searching for Rod McKuen, a famous poet who isn’t so famous anymore. We’ll hear from Stephanie Burt, Mike Chasar and Barry Alfonso, author of Rod’s biography A Voice of the Warm. Along the way, Dan meets Andy Zax, a guy who, like him, was bewildered by this forgotten star—until he became an accidental fan, and then somehow the only person keeping Rod McKuen’s flame alive. This episode of Decoder Ring was written by Dan Kois and edited by Willa Paskin. It was produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our Technical Director. If you have any cultural mysteries you want us to decode, email us at DecoderRing@slate.com. If you love the show and want to support us, consider joining Slate Plus. With Slate Plus you get ad-free podcasts, bonus episodes, and total access to all of Slate’s journalism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/08/22·48m 12s

Slow Burn presents: Decoder Ring - The Mall is Dead (Long Live the Mall)

(While we work on the next season of Slow Burn we're showcasing Slate's other narrative podcasts, starting with a new season of Decoder Ring.) What do we lose if we lose the mall? 70 years into their existence, these hulking temples to commerce are surprisingly resilient and filled with contradictions. In this episode, Alexandra Lange, the author of the new book Meet Me at the Fountain: an Inside History of the Mall walks us through the atriums, escalators, and food courts of this singular suburban space. We also hear from mall-goers whose personal experiences help us make sense of this disdained yet beloved, disappearing yet surviving place. This episode of Decoder Ring was written by Willa Paskin and produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our Technical Director. If you have any cultural mysteries you want us to decode, email us at DecoderRing@slate.com If you love the show and want to support us, consider joining Slate Plus. With Slate Plus you get ad-free podcasts, bonus episodes, and total access to all of Slate’s journalism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
26/07/22·50m 36s

S7 Ep. 4: Roe Against Wade

Harry Blackmun wasn’t Richard Nixon’s first choice to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. But after Blackmun was confirmed, he got the assignment of a lifetime: writing the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade. His approach to that case would have consequences he never imagined. Season 7 of Slow Burn is produced by Susan Matthews, Samira Tazari, Sophie Summergrad, and Sol Werthan. Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Editorial direction by Josh Levin, Derek John, and Johanna Zorn. Merritt Jacob is our Technical Director. Our theme music is composed by Alexis Cuadrado. Artwork by Derreck Johnson based on a photo provided by Robert Wheeler. The season’s reporting was supported by a grant from the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/06/22·1h 4m

S7 Ep. 3: Women vs. Connecticut

Soon after Ann Hill arrived at Yale Law School in 1968, she realized she was pregnant. Her options were limited: she could give birth—or get an illegal abortion. The decision she faced inspired her to take on Connecticut’s abortion ban. The legal battle that followed would set the stage for Roe v. Wade. Season 7 of Slow Burn is produced by Susan Matthews, Samira Tazari, Sophie Summergrad, and Sol Werthan. Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Editorial direction by Josh Levin, Derek John, and Johanna Zorn. Merritt Jacob is our Technical Director. Our theme music is composed by Alexis Cuadrado. Artwork by Derreck Johnson based on a photo provided by Robert Wheeler. The season’s reporting was supported by a grant from the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/06/22·54m 17s

S7 Ep. 2: Life or Death

Jack and Barbara Willke got their start on the Catholic speaking circuit talking about the pleasure of sex within marriage. Their daughter would convince them to shift their focus to another hot-button issue. The Willkes’ Handbook on Abortion, and the photographs they distributed along with it, would help kickstart the right-to-life movement. To see the cover of the Handbook on Abortion, some of the photos the Willkes used, and the brochure “Life or Death,” go to slate.com/handbook Season 7 of Slow Burn is produced by Susan Matthews, Samira Tazari, Sophie Summergrad, and Sol Werthan. Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Editorial direction by Josh Levin, Derek John and Johanna Zorn. Merritt Jacob is our Technical Director. Our theme music is composed by Alexis Cuadrado. Artwork by Derreck Johnson based on a photo provided by Robert Wheeler. The season’s reporting was supported by a grant from the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/06/22·56m 43s

S7 Ep. 1: Get Married or Go Home

In 1970, 22-year-old Shirley Wheeler got an illegal abortion in Florida. When she refused to tell the police who performed the procedure, she was arrested and charged with manslaughter. In the months that followed, she’d be prosecuted and publicly condemned. She’d also become the unlikely face of the fight for reproductive rights. Season 7 of Slow Burn is produced by Susan Matthews, Samira Tazari, Sophie Summergrad, and Sol Werthan. Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Editorial direction by Josh Levin, Derek John and Johanna Zorn. Mixing by Merritt Jacob and Kevin Bendis. Our theme music is composed by Alexis Cuadrado. Artwork by Derreck Johnson based on a photo provided by Robert Wheeler. The season’s reporting was supported by a grant from the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
01/06/22·57m 55s

S6 Ep. 8: Damages

After the largest civil disturbance in American history, Los Angeles faced a daunting task. Dozens of people had been killed and thousands injured. The city had sustained more than a billion dollars in property damage. And the riots had exposed that much of the population faced grinding poverty and hostile policing. Los Angeles would need to be rebuilt in more ways than one. The question was, what type of city did the people of Los Angeles want? And were they capable of building it? Season 6 of Slow Burn is produced by Joel Anderson, Jayson De Leon, Ethan Brooks, Sophie Summergrad, and Jasmine Ellis. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. To listen to these interviews in full, learn more about the making of this season, skip all the ads, and support Slow Burn, sign up for Slate Plus now. It's only $1 for your first month. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/12/21·53m 57s

S6 Ep. 7: Into Ashes

On April 29, 1992, Los Angeles had erupted into chaos. Over the following days, thousands of people took to the streets. Some were unleashing their anger at the police and the justice system. Some were driven by frustration at living in poverty in one of the world’s richest cities. And some just saw a chance to plunder while law enforcement was scrambling. This is what happened next.  Season 6 of Slow Burn is produced by Joel Anderson, Jayson De Leon, Ethan Brooks, Sophie Summergrad, and Jasmine Ellis.  Mixing by Merritt Jacob. To listen to these interviews in full, learn more about the making of this season, skip all the ads, and support Slow Burn, sign up for Slate Plus now. It's only $1 for your first month. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/12/21·44m 17s

S6 Ep. 6: No Peace

In March 1991, Black people in Los Angeles had seen the videotape of Rodney King being beaten. In November, they’d seen Soon Ja Du sentenced to probation for killing 15-year-old Latasha Harlins. On April 29, 1992, a jury failed to convict the officers who beat King. That was the last straw.  Season 6 of Slow Burn is produced by Joel Anderson, Jayson De Leon, Ethan Brooks, Sophie Summergrad, and Jasmine Ellis.  Mixing by Merritt Jacob. To listen to these interviews in full, learn more about the making of this season, skip all the ads, and support Slow Burn, sign up for Slate Plus now. It's only $1 for your first month. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/12/21·45m 33s

S6 Ep. 5: The System

A year after they were caught on tape beating Rodney King, four LAPD officers went on trial. None were convicted.  How did the prosecution make its case against the cops? How did the officers hold up under questioning? And what happened when the verdict was announced?  Season 6 of Slow Burn is produced by Joel Anderson, Jayson De Leon, Ethan Brooks, Sophie Summergrad, and Jasmine Ellis.  Mixing by Merritt Jacob. To listen to these interviews in full, learn more about the making of this season, skip all the ads, and support Slow Burn, sign up for Slate Plus now. It's only $1 for your first month. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/12/21·45m 48s

SB6 Extra: Leading Up to the Riots

This week, we're highlighting a few excerpts from this season's Slate Plus episodes—interviews with George Holliday, professor Edward Chang, L.A. Times journalist Jim Newton, and Rodney King’s best friend Johnnie Kelly—all who help to explain the cultural and social tensions building in Los Angeles in the 1980s and 1990s. To listen to these interviews in full, learn more about the making of this season, skip all the ads, and support Slow Burn, sign up for Slate Plus now. It's only $1 for your first month. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
01/12/21·22m 56s

S6 Ep. 4: Glen

Rodney King never asked to be famous. The video that captured his beating at the hands of four LAPD officers plunged an ordinary man into an extraordinary situation. So how did he navigate his new life in the public eye? How did he think about what had happened to him? And how would his struggles affect the trial of the four officers who beat him? Season 6 of Slow Burn is produced by Joel Anderson, Jayson De Leon, Ethan Brooks, Sophie Summergrad, and Jasmine Ellis.  Mixing by Merritt Jacob. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
24/11/21·39m 23s

S6 Ep. 3: The Chief

In 1991, Daryl Gates was the face of the LAPD. Over the course of his 13-year tenure as chief, he had built his police department into a paramilitary-style force that enforced the racial boundaries of the city.  Rodney King’s beating had exposed the brutality of Gates’ police force to the city. In the weeks after the video aired, L.A.’s most powerful institutions joined together to call for an end to Gates’ career and the style of policing that had resulted in King’s beating.  But even with much of the city’s political leadership unified against him, Gates was ready for a fight. Season 6 of Slow Burn is produced by Joel Anderson, Jayson De Leon, Ethan Brooks, Sophie Summergrad, and Jasmine Ellis.  Mixing by Merritt Jacob. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
17/11/21·50m 8s

S6 Ep. 2: No Justice

In March 1991, the video of the Rodney King beating was national news. The LAPD was under intense scrutiny and many white Americans were seeing a side of policing they’d never seen before. Just a few days after George Holliday’s tape aired, the residents of South Central, Los Angeles were forced to confront yet another devastating act of violence: The killing of 15-year-old Latasha Harlins. How did a deadly altercation at a convenience store set off a battle between Los Angeles’ Black residents and its immigrant shopkeepers? And how did the justice system respond? Season 6 of Slow Burn is produced by Joel Anderson, Jayson De Leon, Ethan Brooks, Sophie Summergrad, and Jasmine Ellis.  Mixing by Merritt Jacob. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/11/21·50m 38s

S6 Ep. 1: The Tape

On the night of March 2nd, 1991, at a remote intersection just outside of L.A., four police officers surrounded an unarmed Black man. They struck him 56 times with their batons before arresting him.  Across the street, standing on his second-floor balcony, a bystander named George Holliday recorded the scene on his home video camera.  This is what happened after the camera stopped rolling.  Season 6 of Slow Burn is produced by Joel Anderson, Jayson De Leon, Ethan Brooks, Sophie Summergrad, and Jasmine Ellis. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/11/21·45m 9s

Season 6 Trailer: The L.A. Riots

In 1992, a jury failed to convict the four Los Angeles police officers who'd been captured on videotape beating Rodney King. The city erupted into fire and chaos – the culmination of decades of unchecked police abuse and racial injustice. For the sixth season of Slate’s Slow Burn, Joel Anderson returns to explore the people and events behind the biggest civil disturbance in American history – a story that’s still playing out today. Slow Burn Season 6 is hosted by Joel Anderson. He is the host of Slow Burn Season 3: Biggie and Tupac, a co-host of Slate's Hang-Up and Listen, and covers the intersection of race, politics, and sports for Slate. The season begins on Wednesday, November 3rd. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
26/10/21·2m 26s

One Year: Jesus on a Tortilla

After Maria Rubio saw Jesus on a tortilla, her family got besieged by believers and gawkers and the national press. But for the Rubios, the tortilla wasn’t just a public spectacle. It was the miracle that changed their family. And decades later, they’re still reckoning with how that tortilla upended everything. One Year is produced by Josh Levin, Evan Chung, and Madeline Ducharme. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. To support this show, subscribe to One Year on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
20/08/21·55m 25s

One Year: Roots: The Saga of Alex Haley

Alex Haley’s Roots displayed the brutal realities of slavery to more than 100 million Americans. The book and mini-series also made a bold claim: that Haley was the first Black American to trace his lineage all the way back to Africa, and to a specific ancestor captured into slavery. What would it mean, for Haley and America, if he hadn’t found what he said he’d found? To support this show, subscribe to One Year on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/08/21·57m 24s

One Year: Mr. Marijuana and the Drug Czar

America’s top weed evangelist and the nation’s drug czar shared the same goal: to loosen up the country’s marijuana laws. In 1977, everything was trending their way—until a blowout Christmas party destroyed their plans, and transformed the future of marijuana in the United States. One Year is produced by Josh Levin, Evan Chung, and Madeline Ducharme. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. To support this show, subscribe to One Year on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/08/21·50m 53s

One Year: Elvis, the Pledge, and Extraterrestrials

Three stories from one day in August 1977. Elvis Presley dies, and the National Enquirer goes after the ultimate tabloid scoop: a photo of the King in his coffin. A New Jersey high schooler becomes a pariah when she refuses to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. Astronomers in Ohio get a mysterious signal from outer space—could it be a message from aliens? One Year is produced by Josh Levin, Evan Chung, and Madeline Ducharme. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. To support this show, subscribe to One Year on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
05/08/21·59m 54s

One Year: The Miracle Cure

Medical authorities said that Laetrile was dangerous quackery. It became a sensation anyway. Diana Green saw this drug made from apricot pits as her son Chad’s best chance to survive leukemia. Her shocking actions, and the little boy affected by them, became the focus of a heated national debate over freedom of medical choice. One Year is produced by Josh Levin, Evan Chung, and Madeline Ducharme. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. To support this show, subscribe to One Year on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/08/21·1h 2m

One Year: Mary Shane's Rookie Season

Mary Shane made history with the Chicago White Sox, becoming the first woman hired as a legitimate major-league baseball announcer. But in 1977, she had to fight to be taken seriously in one of America’s most sexist industries. One Year is produced by Josh Levin, Evan Chung, and Madeline Ducharme. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. To support this show, subscribe to One Year on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/07/21·54m 32s

Decoder Ring: The Sign Painter

Decoder Ring is Slate's show about cracking cultural mysteries. In each episode, host Willa Paskin takes a cultural question, object, or habit, examines its history, and tries to figure out what it means and why it matters. This episode introduces you to Ilona Granet, who was a New York art-scene fixture who won the praise of the art world when she put up anti-harassment street signs in lower Manhattan in the mid- 1980s. Her career seemed like a sure thing, but three decades on, and so much more art later, it still hasn’t materialized, even as her contemporaries are now hanging in museums. This episode is not about the familiar myth of making it, but the mystery of not making it. What happens, to an artist—to anyone—when they’re good enough, but that’s not enough? If you like the show, subscribe to Decoder Ring on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/07/21·1h 2m

One Year: Anita Bryant's War on Gay Rights

Slate's new podcast One Year and will introduce you to people and ideas that changed American history--one year at a time. The show is hosted by Josh Levin, Slate's national editor and host of Slow Burn Season 4. And our first season covers 1977: a year when gay rights hung in the balance, Roots dominated the airwaves, and Jesus appeared on a tortilla. In this show, we’ll focus on key moments that transformed politics, culture, science, religion, and more. This episode you’re about to hear will take you into a courtroom in Miami, Florida, where a local fight over gay rights was about to become a huge national standoff, one with life-altering stakes for millions of Americans. And at the center of it all was a pop singer and orange juice spokesperson named Anita Bryant. How does the nation’s past shape our present? Subscribe to One Year on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/07/21·1h 5m

S5 Ep. 8: Shock and Awe

The Bush administration didn’t just fail to plan for post-war Iraq. Before and during the invasion, they made choices that compounded the mistake of going to war. Those decisions had lasting consequences for the world and for the Iraqi people. Who’s most responsible for that tragedy?  The last two episodes of this season are available only to Slate Plus subscribers. You can sign up by going to slate.com/slowburn. It’s only $15 for your first three months. Season 5 of Slow Burn is produced by Noreen Malone, Jayson De Leon, and Sophie Summergrad. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/06/21·9m 39s

S5 Ep. 7: Judy

In the months before the invasion of Iraq, the media mostly backed the Bush administration’s narrative about weapons of mass destruction. No reporter was more influential on that beat than the New York Times' Judith Miller.  How did she get the story so wrong—and why was she the only person to take the fall? The last two episodes of this season are available only to Slate Plus subscribers. You can sign up by going to slate.com/slowburn. It’s only $15 for your first three months. Season 5 of Slow Burn is produced by Noreen Malone, Jayson De Leon, and Sophie Summergrad. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/06/21·5m 32s

S5 Ep.6: Big, if True

On Feb. 5, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell went to the United Nations to make the Bush administration’s closing argument for war with Iraq. Powell didn’t know it at the time, but one major piece of intelligence he cited came from a shady source—a man code-named Curveball.  How did Curveball’s bad information make it into Powell’s speech? And why did no one listen when a woman from the CIA tried to warn everyone? The last two episodes of this season are available only to Slate Plus subscribers. You can sign up by going to slate.com/slowburn. It’s only $15 for your first three months. Season 5 of Slow Burn is produced by Noreen Malone, Jayson De Leon, and Sophie Summergrad. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/06/21·46m 9s

S5 Ep.5: Four Dicks (and Vice President Cheney)

Four men in Congress—two from each party—helped determine whether President George W. Bush would be given the authority to invade Iraq. All of them were named Dick. Which of these Dicks scrutinized the case for war the most closely? And who was making obvious political calculations? Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Season 5 of Slow Burn is produced by Noreen Malone, Jayson De Leon, and Sophie Summergrad. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
26/05/21·49m 58s

S5 Extra: More on the Road to Iraq

This week, we're highlighting a few excerpts from this season's Slate Plus episodes—interviews with Ann Curry, Slate writers and editors who blogged about the war in 2003, and people who personally knew Ahmad Chalabi. To listen to these interviews, learn more about the making of this season, skip all the ads, and support Slow Burn, sign up for Slate Plus now. It's only $1 for your first month. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/05/21·19m 41s

S5 Ep.4: Fighting Words

In the year leading up the invasion, George W. Bush sketched his justification for the war: good vs. evil, us vs. them. The president wasn’t interested in fleshing out the details beyond that, but lots of other people were. How did intellectuals, on both the right and left, help bolster the Bush administration’s case for war? And how much responsibility should they bear for one of America’s deadliest mistakes? Season 5 of Slow Burn is produced by Noreen Malone, Jayson De Leon, and Sophie Summergrad. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/05/21·50m 6s

S5 Ep. 3: Mushroom Clouds

To start a war of choice, you need a casus belli—a case for war. Why did the Bush administration settle on weapons of mass destruction as their case for war? And how did they make that case to the American people? Season 5 of Slow Burn is produced by Noreen Malone, Jayson De Leon, and Sophie Summergrad. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
05/05/21·47m 48s

S5 Ep. 2: Terror

Just hours after 9/11, American decision makers had already started thinking about attacking Iraq. When the anthrax attacks began a month later, those ideas went into overdrive. Did Iraq have anything to do with mailing anthrax letters? Did it matter? Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Season 5 of Slow Burn is produced by Noreen Malone, Jayson De Leon, and Sophie Summergrad. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/04/21·49m 46s

S5 Ep. 1: The Exile

Eighteen years have passed since the United States invaded Iraq. It’s a war that killed hundreds of thousands of people and destroyed America’s credibility on the world stage. How much can that war be traced to one Iraqi exile’s longstanding quest to return to Baghdad? Season 5 of Slow Burn is produced by Noreen Malone, Jayson De Leon, and Sophie Summergrad. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. Production help from Margaret Kelley. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
21/04/21·53m 55s

Season 5 Trailer: The Road to the Iraq War

In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq without provocation. Most Americans supported the war—as did most politicians and intellectuals, both liberal and conservative. Today, it’s universally considered a disaster. Hosted by award-winning reporter Noreen Malone, the fifth season of Slow Burn explores the people and ideas that propelled the country into the Iraq war, and the institutions that failed to stop it. How did the Iraq catastrophe happen? And what was it like to watch America make one of its most consequential mistakes? Slow Burn Season 5 is hosted by Noreen Malone. Formerly, she was the editorial director of New York Magazine, and a host of Slate’s “The Waves.” Her magazine reporting has earned a George Polk Award. The season begins on Wednesday, April 21st. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/04/21·2m 7s

Introducing: I Spy

We're excited to introduce you to I Spy, a production of Foreign Policy. Each week on I Spy, a former intelligence operative from somewhere around the world tells the story of a single mission. They've featured guests from the CIA, Mossad, MI5, the KGB, and more. The host is three-time Emmy winner Margo Martindale, who played Claudia the KGB handler on FX’s hit show The Americans.  In this first episode of season 3, DEA special agent Steve Murphy describes his role in the hunt for narco-terrorist Pablo Escobar in Colombia in the early 1990s. This is part one of a two-part episode. To hear part 2, make sure to look for I Spy wherever you get your podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/01/21·28m 54s

S4 Extra: What We Can Learn From 1991

A few excerpts from Season 4's bonus interviews, and a special Slow Burn announcement. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free episodes of all Slate podcasts. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/10/20·36m 39s

S4 Ep. 6: A Concerned Citizen

In the fall of 1991, David Duke looked like a real threat to become the governor of Louisiana. On the sixth and final episode of Slow Burn's fourth season: What arguments did David Duke's opponents make? Who did they hope to persuade? And what did it mean, in those four weeks in 1991, to stand up and be counted? Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. Mixing by Paul Mounsey. Slow Burn’s production assistant is Madeline Ducharme and Sophie Summergrad is the podcast’s assistant producer. The last two episodes of this season are available only to Slate Plus subscribers. You can sign up by going to slate.com/slowburn. It’s only $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/07/20·9m 22s

S4 Ep. 5: The Road to Hell

Edwin Edwards was a towering force in Louisiana politics. Buddy Roemer dethroned him and promised to modernize the state. In 1991, David Duke challenged both of them—and was soon on the verge of the biggest victory of his life. In Episode 5 of Slow Burn: How a Louisiana governor’s race became one of the most consequential elections in modern American history. Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. Mixing by Paul Mounsey. Slow Burn’s production assistant is Madeline Ducharme and Sophie Summergrad is the podcast’s assistant producer. The last two episodes of this season are available only to Slate Plus subscribers. You can sign up by going to slate.com/slowburn. It’s only $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/07/20·13m 38s

S4 Ep. 4: A Silent Army

David Duke wasn’t content being a state representative. He wanted to go national, and in 1990 he expanded his base of white voters to try to attain that goal. In Episode 4 of Slow Burn: How David Duke made himself a political sensation—and the message that his supporters sent when they cast their ballots. Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. Mixing by Paul Mounsey. Slow Burn’s production assistant is Madeline Ducharme and Sophie Summergrad is the podcast’s assistant producer. The last two episodes of this season are available only to Slate Plus subscribers. You can sign up by going to slate.com/slowburn. It’s only $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/07/20·53m 2s

Cold Call

In 1989, a Black 12-year-old girl in New Orleans found the David Duke phenomenon, and Duke himself, hard to comprehend. So she called Duke on the phone to ask him some questions. In this Slow Burn interlude: how a budding journalist outdid the professionals. Plus, why we won’t be interviewing David Duke for our series. Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. Mixing by Paul Mounsey. Slow Burn’s production assistant is Madeline Ducharme and Sophie Summergrad is the podcast’s assistant producer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
01/07/20·27m 57s

S4 Ep. 3: The Nazi and the Republicans

In 1989, David Duke got a foothold in American politics. To build on that victory, he’d have to fend off a Republican official determined to bring him down. In the third episode of our series: the people who tried to stop David Duke’s rise, and the ones who accommodated him. Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. Mixing by Paul Mounsey. Slow Burn’s production assistant is Madeline Ducharme and Sophie Summergrad is the podcast’s assistant producer. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn every season, plus zero ads. Sign up now to listen and support the show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
24/06/20·56m 28s

S4 Ep. 2: Robe and Ritual

David Duke dreamed of becoming the charismatic leader who’d bring racism to the masses. He tried to make that dream a reality by seizing on America’s most powerful symbol of white supremacist terror. On the second episode of Slow Burn’s fourth season: what David Duke’s years as a leader in the Ku Klux Klan reveal about his beliefs and ambitions, and why Duke decided to leave the Klan behind. Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. Mixing by Paul Mounsey. Slow Burn’s production assistant is Madeline Ducharme and Sophie Summergrad is the podcast’s assistant producer. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn every season, early access to episode 3, plus zero ads. Sign up now to listen and support the show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
17/06/20·53m 14s

S4 Ep. 1: White Knight

In the first half of the 1980s, it looked like David Duke’s career as a professional racist was over. But the former Ku Klux Klan leader had a comeback plan: He was going to keep quiet about his most hateful beliefs—and run for the Louisiana House of Representatives. On the first episode of Slow Burn’s fourth season: the campaign that changed David Duke’s life, and that made him a threat to take control of Louisiana. Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. Mixing by Paul Mounsey. Slow Burn’s production assistant is Madeline Ducharme and Sophie Summergrad is the podcast’s assistant producer. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn every season, early access to episodes 2 and 3, plus zero ads. Sign up now to listen and support the show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/06/20·51m 31s

Season 4 Trailer: David Duke

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a white supremacist became an American political phenomenon. David Duke’s rise to power and prominence—his election to the Louisiana legislature, and then his campaigns for the U.S. Senate and the governorship—was an existential crisis for the state and the nation. The fourth season of Slate’s Slow Burn will explore how a Nazi sympathizer and former Klansman fashioned himself into a mainstream figure, and why some voters came to embrace his message. It will also examine how activists, journalists, and ordinary citizens confronted Duke’s candidacy, and what it took to stop him. Slow Burn Season 4 is hosted by Josh Levin, Slate's national editor and a native Louisianian. The season begins on Wednesday, June 10. That day, Slate Plus members will get the first three episodes of Slow Burn, while non-members will get Episode 1. Subscribe to Slate Plus here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/06/20·2m 49s

S3 Live: Party & Bullshit

Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn every season, plus zero ads. Sign up now to listen and support the show. A special edition of Slow Burn features Joel Anderson live on stage, with legendary producers Nashiem Myrick and Easy Moe Bee, and Reverend Conrad Tillard, known in the 90s as "The Hip Hop Minister." Plus, a story from the season 3 cutting room floor.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/03/20·56m 34s

Announcement: Slow Burn's Watergate Season on TV

Slow Burn's Watergate season is now a TV docu-series, premiering Feb. 16 on Epix. Read more about it in this interview with host Leon Neyfakh. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/02/20·41s

Introducing: Broken Record

Hey Slow Burn listeners. We have something special for you this week. It's an episode of Broken Record, a music podcast from Pushkin Industries, co-hosted by Malcolm Gladwell and music producer Rick Rubin. In the episode, Malcolm and Rick talk to Questlove about his memories of the MOVE police bombing in Philly, the music of his childhood, and Quest gets behind the drums to show the evolution of his playing.  Being the music lover he is, Questlove can't help but turn the tables to ask Rick about his own Hip Hop history: working on the Beastie Boys' first album, License to Ill, and LL Cool J's first album, Radio. Then it all culminates in one of the best Obama stories ever. You can subscribe to Broken Record wherever you get your podcasts, and see some amazing studio session photos on Instagram, @TheBrokenRecordPod. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
27/12/19·51m 18s

S3 Epilogue: Got a Story to Tell

Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. This is a preview of the bonus episodes released this season:—interviews with Slow Burn host Joel Anderson and producer Christopher Johnson about the making of the series, and extended interviews they conducted with Tupac's attorney Shawn Holley, hip-hop journalist Matty C, and Biggie biographer Cheo Hodari Coker. To listen to all eight bonus episodes from this season in full, sign up for Slate Plus now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
20/12/19·51m 43s

S3 Ep. 8: Dead Wrong

Questions have swirled around the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls ever since their deaths. Who killed them, and why? How come no one was ever charged in either case? Is Tupac still alive and hiding out somewhere? On the final episode of the season, we look at the investigations into the deaths of two rap legends and the competing theories of their cases. We also explore their enormous legacies, and what hip-hop lost when they died. The last two episodes of this season are available only to Slate Plus subscribers. You can sign up by going to slate.com/slowburn. It’s only $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/12/19·7m 6s

S3 Ep. 7: To Live and Die in LA

In this week's episode: After Tupac’s murder: Revenge killings in Compton, a day of atonement in Harlem, and Biggie Smalls risks everything by going back to Cali. The last two episodes of this season are available only to Slate Plus subscribers. You can sign up by going to slate.com/slowburn. It’s only $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/12/19·5m 51s

S3 Ep. 6: Til Somebody Kills You

In this episode: In the summer of 1996, Tupac Shakur seemed to be on the verge of a decision—about what kind of career he wanted to have, and what kind of life he wanted to live. And then he went to Las Vegas. The last two episodes of this season are available only to Slate Plus subscribers. You can sign up by going to slate.com/slowburn. It’s only $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/12/19·32m 4s

S3 Ep. 5 Plus: "East vs. West"

Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. To listen to the rest of the bonus episodes this season, sign up for Slate Plus now. In this Slow Burn bonus episode, host Joel Anderson and producer Christopher Johnson discuss the growing feud between Tupac and Biggie and the role of Faith Evans. Then, you’ll hear an extended interview with Larry “The Blackspot” Hester, a former staff writer at Vibe who interviewed Tupac, Biggie, and other people at Death Row and Bad Boy as their drama heated up. Production by Chau Tu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/11/19·1h 13m

S3 Ep. 5: Wrath of a Menace

In this episode: Tupac claims—loudly, publicly, and with very little evidence—that he’s been sleeping with Faith Evans, Biggie’s estranged wife. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
27/11/19·34m 18s

S3 Ep. 4: Against Those Thugs

In this episode: Gangsta rap becomes a huge money maker. Civil rights activist C. Delores Tucker and conservative culture warrior Bill Bennett launch a crusade against offensive lyrics. And hip-hop divides black leaders along generational and gender lines. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
20/11/19·33m 10s

S3 Ep. 3: What's Beef?

In this episode: Biggie releases “Who Shot Ya,” an instant hip-hop classic that Tupac takes as a personal affront. Tupac calls out Biggie and Puffy in a jailhouse interview. And the Death Row and Bad Boy crews start preparing for war. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
13/11/19·39m 41s

S3 Ep. 2: Cops on My Tail

In 1992, Ronald Ray Howard shot and killed Texas state trooper Bill Davidson. His lawyer argued he’d been driven to murder by the music he’d been playing in his car: a dubbed copy of Tupac Shakur’s first album, 2Pacalypse Now.  On the second episode of Slow Burn’s third season: How gangsta rap and law enforcement found themselves at war.  Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
06/11/19·35m 55s

S3 Ep. 1: Against the World

On the first episode of Slow Burn’s third season: How a violent robbery severed Tupac’s friendship with Biggie Smalls and sparked a bicoastal beef that consumed the world of hip-hop. In November 1994, while on trial for sexual abuse, Tupac Shakur is shot five times in a New York recording studio. In the aftermath, he starts to suspect that his erstwhile friend Christopher Wallace, better known as Biggie Smalls, might be involved. It was the start of a beef that would consume the world of hip-hop and end with both men dead. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/10/19·35m 43s

Season 3 Trailer: Biggie and Tupac

In its first two seasons, Slow Burn looked back at two of the biggest stories of the late 20th century—the Watergate scandal and the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Season three of the show tackles another: the murders of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. The story takes place at a moment when hip-hop was taking over pop culture, and the world’s two most famous rappers were a former theater kid from the Bay Area and a one-time crack dealer from Brooklyn. In just a few years, they changed music forever. They went from friends to enemies. And they ended up victims of a deadly rivalry between two rap scenes.    How is it that two of the most famous performers in the world were murdered within a year of each other—and their killings were never solved? Find out in Slow Burn season three: Biggie and Tupac. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
24/10/19·2m 2s

Introducing The Queen

Linda Taylor was a con artist, a kidnapper, maybe even a murderer. She was also America’s original “welfare queen,” the villain Ronald Reagan needed to create a vision of a country being taken advantage of by its poorest citizens. In this new narrative mini-series, Josh Levin, one of the editors behind Slow Burn, reveals the never-before-told story of a woman whose singular life was forgotten in the rush to create a vicious American stereotype. This podcast is based on Josh Levin’s new book, The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/06/19·23m 34s

Slow Burn Live: The Kingdom and the Power

A special edition of Slow Burn features Leon Neyfakh live on stage. In the second of two episodes, Leon was joined in by Emily Bazelon, Wesley Morris, Dan Savage, and Andi Zeisler to explore lingering questions about the Clinton legacy. Plus, Clara Jeffery discusses Hillary Clinton.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
05/12/18·57m 3s

Slow Burn Live: Keyholes

A special edition of Slow Burn features Leon Neyfakh live on stage. In the first of two episodes, Leon was joined in by Ruth Marcus and Rick Perlstein to explore lingering questions about the Clinton legacy. Plus, a story from the season 2 cutting room floor.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/11/18·58m 17s

S2 Ep. 8: Move On

Juanita Broaddrick told Ken Starr’s team of prosecutors that Bill Clinton had raped her in 1978. Her story wasn’t included in the Starr Report—but members of congress found out about it anyway, and had to decide how it would affect their vote on impeachment. In the final episode of our series on Clinton’s impeachment, Leon Neyfakh talks to Broaddrick, and to Lisa Myers, the NBC News reporter whose interview with Broaddrick became a cause célèbre during the impeachment trial. What does it mean that Broaddrick’s story has never really become a part of Bill Clinton’s? -- The last two episodes of this season are available only to Slate Plus subscribers. You can sign up by going to slate.com/slowburn. It’s only $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/10/18·6m 34s

Secret Tracks

Every week, Slate Plus members get a special episode of Slow Burn in which Leon Neyfakh talks to people connected with the Clinton impeachment saga. This week, we’re presenting excerpts from those bonus episodes, featuring interviews with Linda Tripp, consultant Dick Morris, former acting solicitor general Walter Dellinger, and Dillon Teachout, an intern in the independent counsel’s office. Learn more about Slate Plus membership at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/10/18·34m 23s

S2 Ep. 7: Bedfellows

Today it’s conventional wisdom that all feminists hypocritically turned their backs on Monica Lewinsky. In fact, the scandal provoked an intense debate within the feminist movement about sex, power, and consent. For some, it was obvious that Clinton had victimized Lewinsky and needed to be thrown overboard. For others, it was just as obvious that the scandal was part of a political war in which Clinton was the good guy. In the seventh episode of our series on Clinton’s impeachment, Leon Neyfakh excavates the arguments and ideas that divided liberals—and feminists in particular—at the height of the scandal.  The last two episodes of this season are available only to Slate Plus subscribers. You can sign up by going to slate.com/slowburn. It’s only $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
26/09/18·6m 19s

S2 Ep. 6: God Mode

Some of the most withering criticism of Clinton came from a coalition of conservative activists whose political views were bound up with their faith. The influence of the Christian right within the Republican Party had been growing steadily since the Reagan years. When the Lewinsky story broke, the movement’s leaders pounced on it with righteous vigor. In the sixth episode of our series on Clinton’s impeachment, Leon Neyfakh charts the religious right’s campaign against the president and how it failed. The last two episodes of this season are available only to Slate Plus subscribers. You can sign up by going to slate.com/slowburn. It’s only $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/09/18·52m 57s

S2 Ep. 5: Tell-All

Aside from Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, the most pivotal player in the Clinton impeachment saga may have been Linda Tripp—an ordinary person who made extraordinary choices that precipitated the entire crisis. In perhaps the deepest and most intimate interview she’s ever given, Tripp talks to Leon Neyfakh about what she did, and why.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/09/18·51m 46s

S2 Ep. 4: Alone, Together

What happened between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky? Why did it happen? And what are we supposed to do about the fact that the whims and impulses of individual men can—and constantly do—alter the course of history?  In the fourth episode of our series on Clinton’s impeachment, Leon Neyfakh details Clinton and Lewinsky’s reckless affair.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/08/18·45m 20s

S2 Ep. 3: Cred

When Bill Clinton went to Washington, rumors and accusations from his Arkansas past went with him. But even his most dedicated political enemies couldn't predict where their efforts would lead. Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/08/18·45m 39s

S2 Ep. 2: There There

In 1993, Bill and Hillary Clinton moved into the White House on a swell of optimism. In less than a year, the new administration was mired in a sea of scandals: Travelgate, Filegate, Nannygate, and, most consequentially, Whitewater. What went wrong? Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/08/18·46m 54s

S2 Ep. 1: Deal or No Deal

For 11 hours, Monica Lewinsky faced off against federal prosecutors who wanted her to help them take down the president and threatened her with decades in jail. Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn Audible is the world's largest audiobook publisher. For a 30-day trial and a free audiobook, go to audible.com/slowburn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/08/18·41m 25s

Season 2 Trailer: The Clinton Impeachment

The saga of Bill Clinton’s impeachment is rich with forgotten characters, surprising subplots, and opportunities to reflect on just how much America has changed over the past 20 years. Whether you’re well-versed in the tale of Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, or you’re fuzzy on the details, this season of Slow Burn will take you further into the story than you’ve ever been. From its origins in the Whitewater real estate controversy, the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit, and the suicide of Vince Foster, Clinton’s near-removal from office was the culmination of a process that remains poorly understood—and continues to reverberate through our political system today. While Season I of Slow Burn captured what it was like to live through Watergate, Season II offers a fresh reexamination of the choices, circumstances, and manipulations that nearly destroyed the 42nd president and forever changed the life of a former White House intern. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/07/18·3m 1s

Live in New York

A special edition of Slow Burn features Leon Neyfakh live on stage in New York City. On April 19th, Leon was joined by Bob Woodward, Virginia Heffernan, Gail Sheehy, Mary DeOreo and Marc Lackritz to discuss Trump, Watergate and Nixon’s legacy.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/05/18·57m 15s

S1 Ep. 8: Going South

What had to happen for the Watergate scandals to end Richard Nixon’s career? And was his downfall inevitable? In the final episode of Slow Burn’s first season, Leon Neyfakh assesses the president’s desperate final campaign to save himself—and the people and institutions that finally brought him down. The last two episodes of this season are available only to Slate Plus subscribers. You can sign up by going to slate.com/slowburn. It’s only $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/01/18·5m 48s

Extra, Extra

Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. This week, we're releasing some samples of those episodes—interviews with people with a unique perspective on Watergate. Next week: The end. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/01/18·28m 20s

S1 Ep. 7: Saturday Night

What did Richard Nixon do when he felt the walls closing in? How did the country respond? And what did it feel like when people finally got to hear those tapes? The last two episodes of this season are available only to Slate Plus subscribers. You can sign up by going to slate.com/slowburn. It’s only $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/01/18·6m 25s

S1 Ep. 6: Rabbit Holes

Why were so many Americans ready to believe conspiracy theories after Watergate? How did those beliefs help trigger Nixon‘s downfall? And given what we know about Watergate—what separates a conspiracy theory from just a theory? The last two episodes of this season are available only to Slate Plus subscribers. You can sign up by going to slate.com/slowburn. It’s only $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/01/18·38m 11s

S1 Ep. 5: True Believers

At a bar in Queens, and in the Senate offices, Nixon's supporters stood with him long after it was clear his hands were dirty. How did they rationalize their position? And what, finally, made them waver? Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/01/18·40m 49s

S1 Ep. 4: Lie Detectors

How a folksy segregationist senator, a team of young investigators, and a few whistleblowers staged the hearings that made Watergate must-see TV. Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/12/17·38m 2s

S1 Ep. 3: A Very Successful Cover-Up

Woodward and Bernstein, Walter Cronkite, and a host of other journalists tried to make people care about Watergate in the run-up to the 1972 election. They totally failed. Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/12/17·35m 59s

S1 Ep. 2: The Defeat of Wright Patman

In 1973, the Senate Watergate hearings gripped the nation. But the first congressional hearings on the scandal took place a year earlier—and featured an angry Texan shouting at four empty chairs. Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
05/12/17·33m 41s

Martha

People called her crazy, and to be fair she must have seemed crazy. But she was onto something. How Martha Mitchell, the celebrity wife of one of Nixon’s closest henchmen, tried to blow the whistle on Watergate—and ended up ruining her life. Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/11/17·30m 43s

Season 1 Trailer: Watergate

It took two years for the Watergate scandal to unfold—for a break-in at the Democratic Party's headquarters to go from a weird little caper to a constitutional crisis that brought down a president. What was it like to experience those two years in real time? Hosted by Leon Neyfakh. An eight-episode podcast series made possible by Slate Plus members. Coming Nov. 28. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
17/11/17·2m 42s
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