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Still Watching?

Still Watching?

2022-12-0952:06

A 2020 story about Hunter Biden's hacked laptop keeps finding its way back into the news cycle. On this week's On the Media, a look at Elon Musk's so-called Twitter Files and whether they’re newsworthy. Plus, the meteoric rise and fraught future of HBO, which turned 50 this year. 1. Blake Montgomery [@blakersdozen], tech news editor at Gizmodo, and Olivia Nuzzi [@Olivianuzzi], Washington correspondent for New York Magazine, on the Twitter Files and their relationship to the story of Hunter Biden's laptop. Listen. 2. Christopher Grimes [@grimes_ce], correspondent for the Financial Times, on Disney's foray into the culture wars and its ongoing battle with the governor of Florida. Listen. 3. John Koblin [@koblin], co-author of It's Not TV: The Spectacular Rise, Revolution, and Future of HBO, on the history and lasting impact of HBO. Listen.
In the 1970s, talk radio was hitting its stride, with hosts and listeners from all political persuasions. But the radio dial was about to change forever. Community needs assessments, requirements to offer public service programs and multiple perspectives, and limits on how many stations a single company could own were all eradicated. Technological and legal changes would consolidate the radio industry exponentially, allowing conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh to take over the airwaves. In this episode, we look at radio’s last four decades to understand how we got to where we are today, and how conservative talk radio came to dominate a medium that once thrived on varied viewpoints.   The Divided Dial is hosted by journalist and Fulbright Fellow Katie Thornton. Her written articles and audio stories have appeared in The Atlantic, 99% Invisible, The Washington Post, BBC, NPR, WNYC, Minnesota Public Radio, The Guardian, Bloomberg’s CityLab, National Geographic, and others. She is a lifelong radio nerd who got her start in media as a teenager, volunteering and working behind the scenes at radio stations for many years. You can follow her work on Instagram or on her website. The Divided Dial was edited by On the Media's executive producer, Katya Rogers. With production support from Max Balton and fact-checking by Tom Colligan, Sona Avakian, and Graham Hacia. Music and sound design by Jared Paul. Jennifer Munson is our technical director. Art by Michael Brennan.  With support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.
The Oldest Trick

The Oldest Trick

2022-12-0251:482

An ancient scapegoat for society’s woes is back in the news. On this week’s On the Media, a deeper look at the confusing landscape of modern anti-semitism. Plus, a conversation with some of the dogged reporters who spent years uncovering the truth behind the 2014 Malaysia Airlines crash in Ukraine. 1. Leo Ferguson [@LeoFergusonnyc], the Director of Strategic Projects for the Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, on the rise of modern anti-Semitism. Listen. 2. Aric Toler [@AricToler], Director of Research and Training at Bellingcat, an investigative news outlet, and Roman Dobrokhotov [@Dobrokhotov], the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Insider, a Russian investigative online news outlet, on what it took to uncover the truth behind the 2014 Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine. Listen. 3. Christo Grozev [@christogrozev], the lead Russia investigator with Bellingcat, about how he uncovered the real identity of a Russian "sleeper" agent who went by the name Maria Adela. Listen.
This week, we’re sharing a chat Brooke had with her longtime colleague Brian Lehrer for Interview Magazine. Brian hosts his inimitably thoughtful daily talk show for WNYC, where he rallies a community of callers and experts to talk about the issues they care about most. But you may not know that Brian was once the first ever host of this very show. In this conversation, Brooke and Brian discuss how they made their ways into public radio, parasocial relationships, and the difference between accuracy and objectivity. This conversation appears in full on Interview Magazine's website, with the headline "Brian Lehrer Points the Mic at Brooke Gladstone."
How did the right get their vice grip of the airwaves, all the while arguing that they were being silenced and censored by a liberal media? In this episode we look at the early history of American radio to reveal that censorship of far-right and progressive voices alike was once common on radio. And we learn how, in the post-war and Civil Rights period, the US government encouraged more diverse viewpoints on the airwaves — until it didn’t. The Divided Dial is hosted by journalist and Fulbright Fellow Katie Thornton. Her written articles and audio stories have appeared in The Atlantic, 99% Invisible, The Washington Post, BBC, NPR, WNYC, Minnesota Public Radio, The Guardian, Bloomberg’s CityLab, National Geographic, and others. She is a lifelong radio nerd who got her start in media as a teenager, volunteering and working behind the scenes at radio stations for many years. You can follow her work on Instagram or on her website. The Divided Dial was edited by On the Media's executive producer, Katya Rogers. With production support from Max Balton and fact-checking by Tom Colligan, Sona Avakian, and Graham Hacia. Music and sound design by Jared Paul. Jennifer Munson is our technical director. Art by Michael Brennan. Special thanks this episode to Tianyi Wang. With support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.
Bark and Bite

Bark and Bite

2022-11-2552:143

Conspiracy theories and disinformation have found a home on right-wing talk radio, where falsehoods often escape scrutiny from regulators and fact-checkers. On this week’s On the Media, hear how one Christian radio network grew a gargantuan audience and served up the Big Lie. Plus, a look at how the rise in LGBTQ hate online is connected to the deadly shooting in Colorado. 1. Jo Yurcaba [@JoYurcaba], a journalist focused on LGBTQ+ issues for NBC News, on how anti-trans rhetoric contributed to increasing fears in the queer community in the days leading up to the shooting in Colorado Springs. Plus, Sophie Bjork-James [@sbjorkjames], Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Vanderbilt University, on the impact of religious fundamentalism in supporting ant-LGBTQ+ talking points. Listen. 2. Journalist Katie Thornton, host of "The Divided Dial," on the how right-wing talk radio embraced election lies. Part 1 & Part 2.
11/22/63

11/22/63

2022-11-2311:291

In television's younger days, going live was extremely difficult, costly and rare. But in November of 1963 a monumental tragedy made live coverage essential, no matter the cost, whenever a president left the White House. WNYC’s Sara Fishko recollects those dreadful days in November when everyone was paralyzed in front of the small screen.  
Episode 2: From Pulpit to Politics How did the little-known Salem Media Group come to have an outsized political influence? In this episode we trace the company’s rise to power from its scrappy start in the 1970s to the present day — a growth that paralleled and eventually became inextricable from the growth of the Religious Right. We learn that Salem is tightly networked with right wing political strategists, pollsters, big donors, far right leaders and Republican party mainstays thanks to their involvement with the Council for National Policy — a secretive group of Evangelical and conservative leaders. For decades, the CNP has been working behind the scenes to get a specific, highly influential subset of voters to act. And Salem has been a megaphone for their cause. The Divided Dial is hosted by journalist and Fulbright Fellow Katie Thornton. Her written articles and audio stories have appeared in The Atlantic, 99% Invisible, The Washington Post, BBC, NPR, WNYC, Minnesota Public Radio, The Guardian, Bloomberg’s CityLab, National Geographic, and others. She is a lifelong radio nerd who got her start in media as a teenager, volunteering and working behind the scenes at radio stations for many years. You can follow her work on Instagram or on her website. The Divided Dial was edited by On the Media's executive producer, Katya Rogers. With production support from Max Balton and fact-checking by Tom Colligan, Sona Avakian, and Graham Hacia. Music and sound design by Jared Paul. Jennifer Munson is our technical director. Art by Michael Brennan. With support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.
Flipping The Bird

Flipping The Bird

2022-11-1851:431

Since Elon Musk took over Twitter, there has been nothing short of crisis — leading to massive layoffs and lost advertisers. On this week’s On the Media, what this chaos means for activists worldwide who used the platform as a public square. Plus, how political predictions distort coverage of elections.  1. James Fallows [@JamesFallows], writer of the “Breaking the News” newsletter on Substack, on the political press' obsession with telling the future and the narratives that have a chokehold on elections coverage. Listen. 2. Zoë Schiffer [@ZoeSchiffer], Managing Editor of Platformer, on the mass exodus of employees from one of the world's most significant social media sites. Listen. 3. Avi Asher-Schapiro [@AASchapiro], tech reporter for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, on the impact of Musk's leadership on Twitter users around the world. Listen. 4. Clive Thompson [@pomeranian99], journalist and author of Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World, on the website many are fleeing to amid chaos at Twitter. Listen.
In the wake of the five alarm fire at Twitter, a small, quiet social media alternative has been quietly attracting the tweeting weary. Mastodon, named for the prehistoric elephant relatives, was originally created by a German programmer named Eugen Rochko in 2016. And even though it shares similarities to its blue bird peer, the two platforms possess many differences. For one, Mastodon is organized by groups called "servers" or "instances," there's no universal experience like on Twitter. It's also completely decentralized — each server is run by individuals or small groups — with no overseeing company. But is it here to stay? This week, Brooke sits down with Clive Thompson, a tech journalist and author of the book Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World, to talk about why people like Mastodon, who it's for, and why we should watch its latest evolution. You can find Clive Thompson on Mastodon at @clive@saturation.social and OTM by searching @onthemedia@journa.host.
Episode 1: The True Believers In 2016, Christian talk radio host Eric Metaxas begrudgingly encouraged his listeners to vote for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. By 2020, he pledged his life to fighting the “stolen election” while talking with Trump on the air. Ahead of the midterm elections, Metaxas and many of his fellow talk radio hosts made sure the falsehood of massive 2020 election fraud was top of mind — on the airwaves and beyond. And while election-denying candidates didn't do as well as many on the right had hoped, at least 170 such candidates have been elected to state and national offices, some of whom will be in charge of future elections. We meet the company whose hosts never backed down from the lies of the stolen 2020 election: Salem Media Group, the largest Christian, conservative multimedia company in the country – and perhaps the most influential media company you’ve never heard of. The Divided Dial is hosted by journalist and Fulbright Fellow Katie Thornton. Her written articles and audio stories have appeared in The Atlantic, 99% Invisible, The Washington Post, BBC, NPR, WNYC, Minnesota Public Radio, The Guardian, Bloomberg’s CityLab, National Geographic, and others. She is a lifelong radio nerd who got her start in media as a teenager, volunteering and working behind the scenes at radio stations for many years. You can follow her work on Instagram or on her website. The Divided Dial was edited by On the Media's executive producer, Katya Rogers. With production support from Max Balton and fact-checking by Tom Colligan, Sona Avakian, and Graham Hacia. Music and sound design by Jared Paul. Jennifer Munson is our technical director. Art by Michael Brennan. With support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.
Infinite Scroll

Infinite Scroll

2022-11-1151:592

Across the county, librarians are fighting to keep libraries open and books on the shelves. On this week’s show, hear what the American Library Association is doing to stand up to unprecedented challenges, and what a suit against the Internet Archive could mean for the future of e-books. Plus, how the legend of the ancient Library of Alexandria continues to inspire utopian projects today. 1. Emily Drabinski [@edrabinski], incoming President of the American Library Association, on the greatest threats to libraries today, and how to fight them. Listen. 2. Nitish Pahwa [@pahwa_nitish], web editor at Slate, on how a lawsuit against the Internet Archive could affect how libraries lend out e-books for good. Listen. 2. Molly Schwartz [@mollyfication], OTM producer, takes us inside the quest for a "universal library," from the Library of Alexandria to today. Listen.  
Jess deCourcy Hinds is the solo librarian at the Bard High School, Early College library in Queens, New York. In 2010, she received a new order of books about the civil rights movement, but Hinds noticed something strange: all of the books had Dewey Decimal numbers in the 300s, meaning they were supposed to be shelved in the social sciences section. She thought that some of the books belonged in the 900s, the history section. Like books on President Obama. Because texts about the 44th President were classified as social science, he would be separated from all the other books about U.S. presidents in her library. It seemed like part of a trend. "When it came to the LGBTQ books, and the women's history books, and books on immigrant history, all of those were in the 300s as well," says Hinds. So she and her students decided to rebel, to put books about President Obama into the history section: "we just started moving them." The Dewey Decimal Classification System is a method that dates back to 1876 and is used by most libraries around the world. The second most popular system, the Library of Congress Classification System, was published in the early 1900s and based on the organization of Thomas Jefferson's personal library. These systems help patrons find books on the shelves and facilitate resource-sharing between libraries. But they also encode bias into the structure of libraries. To understand what that means for our current collections, On the Media producer Molly Schwartz spoke with Wayne A. Wiegand, a library historian and author of Irrepressible Reformer: A Biography of Melvil Dewey, Caroline Saccucci, former Dewey Program Manager at the Library of Congress, Emily Drabinski interim chief librarian of the Mina Rees Library at CUNY, and Dartmouth librarian Jill Baron from the documentary Change the Subject.   This segment originally aired in our September 3, 2021 program, Organizing Chaos. 
Free and Fair

Free and Fair

2022-11-0457:532

As the midterms approach, conspiracy theories about election fraud are shaping some races. On this week’s On the Media, a deep dive into the impact of the Big Lie on local elections, and the people who run them. Plus, how misinformation about the attack on Paul Pelosi spread like wildfire. 1. Angelo Carusone [@GoAngelo], President and CEO of Media Matters, on how conspiracy theories around the attack on Paul Pelosi spread all the way up to Fox News. Listen. 2. OTM Correspondent Micah Loewinger[@MicahLoewinger] traveled to Georgia to speak to activists who are challenging peoples' right to vote, those who've been challenged, and election workers caught in the crosshairs of conspiracy theories about election fraud in Georgia. Listen. 3. OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] traveled to Georgia to talk with Anne Dover, a Republican in charge of elections in one of Atlanta's most conservative areas, about how her role has changed since the rise of the Big Lie, and what she's doing to stand up to it. Listen. 
When Jordan Peele’s horror film Get Out hit theaters in 2017, it became an unexpected blockbuster and cultural phenomenon. The movie follows a black man named Chris, played by Daniel Kaluuya, who goes to visit his white girlfriend’s family in the country. Shortly after arriving, Chris starts to notice that something seems off and the other black people he encounters act... strangely. Slowly it’s revealed that Chris’ girlfriend, Rose Armitage, played by Allison Williams, and her family are a part of a cult that hijacks black people’s bodies and transplants the brains of their white members inside them. Their victims are still conscious but trapped in "The Sunken Place,” alive but unable to change their fate.  Betty Gabriel played Georgina the maid, whose body is possessed by the white matriarch of the Armitage family. Gabriel, in a sense, played two characters at once. This Halloween, OTM producer Rebecca Clark-Callender did a deep dive on the history of Black horror movies, and sat down with Gabriel to ask about how she prepared to play a woman possessed. For this midweek podcast we’re bringing you an extended cut of their conversation. 
Fear Itself

Fear Itself

2022-10-2851:433

With early midterm voting underway, Fox News has been increasing crime coverage to drive voters to the polls. On this week’s On the Media, a look at the ways fear impacts our minds and bodies, both on and off screen. Plus, how filmmakers like Jordan Peele have inspired a renaissance of the Black Horror genre. 1. Philip Bump [@pbump], national correspondent at The Washington Post, on what Fox News' focus on crime can tell us about the Republican party's midterm strategy. Listen. 2. Nina Nesseth [@cestmabiologie], science writer and author of "Nightmare Fuel: The Science of Horror Films," on the neuroscience behind horror films. Listen. 3. OTM producer Rebecca Clark-Callender [@Rebecca_CC_] takes a deep dive into the history of Black horror to see what it is and who it is for, featuring: Robin R. Means Coleman, Ida B. Wells and Ferdinand Barnett Professor of Communication Studies at Northwestern University and author of Horror Noire: A History of Black American Horror from the 1890s to Present; Tananarive Due, an author, screenwriter, and lecturer on Afrofuturism and Black Horror at University of California, Los Angeles; Rusty Cundieff, writer and director of Tales from the Hood (1995); and Betty Gabriel, actor widely known for her acclaimed performance as "Georgina" in Jordan Peele's blockbuster Get Out (2017). Listen. 
The Digital Divide

The Digital Divide

2022-10-2712:07

An investigation by nonprofit newsroom The Markup found that four internet providers disproportionately offered lower-income and least-White neighborhoods slow internet service for the same price as speedy connections they offered in other areas. According to Leon Yin, Investigative Data Journalist at The Markup, homes in historically redlined areas were offered internet speeds so slow, the FCC doesn’t consider it to be broadband. This week, guest host Micah Loewinger asks Yin how he trawled through more than 800,000 internet service offers with his team to arrive at his findings, and what's at stake. (Responses from the internet providers that Yin surveyed can be found in The Markup article, here.)
The F Word (Rebroadcast)

The F Word (Rebroadcast)

2022-10-2151:512

Early in the pandemic, weight was named a risk factor for severe covid-19. But what if the greater risk is poor medical treatment for fat people? This week, On the Media dives into the fictions, feelings, and fraught history of fat. Including how sugar and the slave trade laid the groundwork for American beauty standards.  1. Dr. Yoni Freedhoff [@YoniFreedhoff], Associate Professor of Family Medicine at University of Ottawa, on what we do and don't know about the relation of weight and the severity of a Covid infection. Listen. 2. Katherine Flegal [@CeriseFlegal], epidemiologist and former senior scientist at the Centers For Disease Control, on our flawed understanding of the data around weight and death, and Katie Lebesco [@KatieLeBesco], researcher focusing on food, pop culture, and fat activism, on why the "obesity epidemic" is a moral panic hiding behind a thin veil of scientific language. Listen. 3. Sabrina Strings [@SaStrings], sociologist at the University of California, Irvine, on how European attitudes about fat dramatically changed in the 18th century. and set the standards Americans still see today. Listen. Music in this Week's Show:Slim Jenkins Place - Booker T and the MGsEye Surgery- Thomas NewmanString Quartet No. 5 (Phillip Glass) - Kronos QuartetDisfarmer - Bill FrisellLost, Night - Bill FrisellIn the Bath - Randy NewmanThe De Lessup’s Dance - Gavin WrightBreakaway - Regina Carter
What counts as media? For us, its any medium through which we express ourselves — whether from one to one, from one to many, or just from one... to one’s own self.  We can do it with our style. Our hair. Even our glasses. They're choices that express not just our aesthetics, but our politics, too.  It was the idea of Poppy King, lipstick designer extraordinaire, whose Frog Prince lipstick was listed by Elle Australia as one of the most iconic lipstick shades of all time. King's a devoted listener, so, in collaboration with the show, she designed a special lipstick. It's called Well Red and she offered a batch of them to us as a donation so that we can pass them on to you. We are offering these very special lipsticks to you for a donation of $12 a month or $144 for a year's worth of support for this show.  Go to onthemedia.org/donate or text lipstick to 70101. Thank you so much! PS here's a video we made of all of us trying it on      
At What Cost?

At What Cost?

2022-10-1452:152

A jury recently ordered Alex Jones to pay nearly one billion dollars to the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. On this week’s On the Media, a former Alex Jones staffer struggles with the damage his participation wrought. Plus, does social media really turn nice people into trolls? 1. Elizabeth Williamson [@NYTLiz], features writer for The New York Times, on the Sandy Hook defamation trials against Alex Jones and what the trials taught us about the spread of misinformation. Listen. 2. Josh Owens [@JoshuaHOwens ], a former InfoWars employee, on what can be done to help people who have become consumed by conspiracy theories. Listen. 3. Michael Bang Petersen [@M_B_Petersen], political science professor at Aarhus University, on the difference (or lack thereof) between on and offline behaviors, and how social media might not be affecting us in the ways we think. Listen. Music: The Artifact and Living by Michael AndrewsCellar Door by Michael AndrewsBoy Moves the Sun by Michael AndrewsExit Music (For A Film) by Brad Mehldau TrioEye Surgery by Thomas NewmanHammer of Los by John Zorn  
Comments (77)

Frank Butler

Will there be a show with climate scientists that think perhaps we are overreacting?

Aug 6th
Reply (1)

Go Billers

ya'll seriously trying to tell me that Johnny Depp is the figurehead of the anti-me too movement?

May 22nd
Reply

Dylan Blok

This aged very well hasn't it

May 11th
Reply

Donna Morris

I can wholeheartedly recommend "Bad Women: The Ripper Retold". True crime perspective, addresses victim blaming, many other women's issues from history that are in many ways still true today.

Jan 14th
Reply

Janet Lafler

Well, the celebrity gossip segment was predictably inane.

Dec 19th
Reply

jordan rush

I already listen to radiolab assholes

Nov 28th
Reply

Frank Butler

Your first interview subject conveniently forgot to mention how Biden's immediately destroying the energy independence of the US as one of the causes of our current economic problems.

Nov 20th
Reply (1)

Donna Morris

So this is high school online. Perhaps you should write an etiquette on social media for all of us dinosaurs who don't know our posts, likes, comments are so cringe worthy. I would read that book

Oct 19th
Reply

Frank Butler

The left and right agree on PAPER BALLOTS!!!

Sep 25th
Reply

Midnight Rambler

lol lefty bs

Jun 15th
Reply

Midnight Rambler

lol leftists sacking another old white lib

May 18th
Reply

Andi-Roo Libecap

wow wow wow! such an enlightening episode!

Apr 16th
Reply

Les Morsillo

A fantastic, inspiring story - I never thought I'd be thrilled to see LeBron lose but here it is.

Apr 8th
Reply (1)

duckrabbit

Wonder if/when OTM will discuss the (imho unwarranted) forced hiatus (cancellation?) of Mike Pesca over offline/internal discussion of the n-word usage. It seems important this doesn’t get left to print editors opinionating, and podcasters (Pesca’s former colleagues even) hash this out. Unless new info comes out, this seems yet another victim of tge only *real* cancel culture, ie NOT voices on the RIGHT being silenced (they have OAN or FOX News etc to go to) but NUANCED LEFTwing voices being overly scrutinized & held to ridiculous standards. It is the Media’s JOB to investigate & interrogate media standards, so why is there a taboo on discussing something so extremely fraught with difficulty as the word N..., when it *is* a word with a much more complicated history & usage than some simpler voices tend to suggest. (What with reclaiming the word by the Black community, what with *other* equally heinous slurs, what with Free Speech issues, what with quoting racist ppl & not wanting to whitewash thr speech…etc…)

Mar 6th
Reply

duckrabbit

Wonder if/when OTM will discuss the (imho unwarranted) forced hiatus (cancellation?) of Mike Pesca over offline/internal discussion of the n-word usage. It seems important this doesn’t get left to print editors opinionating, and podcasters (Pesca’s former colleagues even) hash this out. Unless new info comes out, this seems yet another victim of tge only *real* cancel culture, ie NOT voices on the RIGHT being silenced (they have OAN or FOX News etc to go to) but NUANCED LEFTwing voices being overly scrutinized & held to ridiculous standards. It is the Media’s JOB to investigate & interrogate media standards, so why is there a taboo on discussing something so extremely fraught with difficulty as the word N..., when it *is* a word with a much more complicated history & usage than some simpler voices tend to suggest. (What with reclaiming the word by the Black community, what with *other* equally heinous slurs, what with Free Speech issues, what with quoting racist ppl & not wanting to whitewash thr speech…etc…)

Mar 6th
Reply

Joe Weyek

Many Boomers hated Reaganism. Plus, the post war period of prosperity was an anomaly anyway. You aren't going to duplicate that easily. Plus, the millennial woman's vocal fry makes me cringe.

Oct 10th
Reply

Phillip Hair

im trying to decide if they are even gullible enough to believe what they're saying. I know everyone looks at the world through their own lense but the effort to paint everyone with a different perspective as a racist bigot homophobe is impressive.

Sep 24th
Reply

Otto Bruun IV

This is the so difficult to listen to. Not even close to a fair observation of the JRE. Joe's ONLY 'issue' with Trans people is WITHIN SPORTS. He's a comedian and pokes fun a a bazillion things. I wish I could have a conversation with both Brooke and this Atlantic writer. This is a very unfair description of Joe Rogan.

Sep 17th
Reply

Top Clean

Thanks for the very very good episode. (^^,) Truly a 5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 and million. (^^,) https://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/thankyou

Aug 31st
Reply
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