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Reveal

Author: The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX

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From prisons to protests, immigration to the environment, Peabody Award-winning Reveal goes deep into the pressing issues of our times. The Atlantic says “the experience of each episode is akin to a spoonful of sugar, even when it’s telling a story about Richard Spencer’s cotton farms or a man’s final days as a heroin addict.” Reveal is a project of The Center for Investigative Reporting and is co-produced with PRX. The show is hosted by Al Letson and partners with reporters and newsrooms around the world, including The Washington Post, ProPublica, APM, The Marshall Project and The Investigative Fund. Reveal is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and has won many broadcast journalism awards, including a duPont and three national Emmys.
369 Episodes
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Sixteen-year-old Myon Burrell was sent to prison for life after a stray bullet killed an 11-year-old girl in Minneapolis in 2002. Amy Klobuchar, who was Minneapolis’ top prosecutor, brought first-degree murder charges as part of a national crackdown on gang violence – a crackdown that engulfed young men of color.   Burrell maintained his innocence for 18 years in prison. Associated Press reporter Robin McDowell spent a year looking into his case and found that multiple people had lied about Burrell’s involvement in the shooting and that police didn’t talk to his alibi witnesses. In December 2020, the state commuted Burrell’s sentence, allowing him to walk free.  This end to a prison sentence is rare: Burrell’s case was the first time in at least 28 years that Minnesota commuted a sentence for a violent crime case. But the factors that put Burrell in prison are not rare at all. According to The Sentencing Project, over 10,000 people are serving life sentences in the U.S. for crimes committed when they were juveniles. Half of them are Black. Burrell’s long shot reveals just how difficult it is to right a wrong in our criminal justice system. How many others like Burrell are there?
Guatemala sends more migrants to the U.S. than anywhere in Central America. What is driving so many people to leave? Crusading prosecutor Iván Velásquez has been called the Robert Mueller of Latin America. He’s known for jailing presidents and paramilitaries. But Velásquez met his match when he went after Jimmy Morales, a television comedian who was elected president of Guatemala. Morales found an ally in then-U.S. President Donald Trump. Like the alleged quid pro quo with Ukraine that prompted Trump’s impeachment, the details can seem confusing – but, ultimately, Velásquez says, both parties got what they wanted: Morales got Trump to pull U.S. support for an international anti-corruption force that was going after his family. And he says Trump secured Guatemala’s support for some of his most controversial policies, both in the Middle East and on immigration. Veteran radio journalist Maria Martin teams up with Reveal’s Anayansi Diaz-Cortes for this week’s show. Martin takes us to Huehuetenango, a province near Guatemala’s border with Mexico that sends more migrants to the U.S. than anywhere in Central America. There, she shows that Trump’s hard-line immigration policies did nothing to slow the movement of people from Guatemala to the southern border of the U.S. This is an update of an episode that originally aired Aug. 29, 2020. Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.
Sick on the Inside

Sick on the Inside

2021-04-0352:22

For decades, the United States has operated a system of private “shadow prisons” to house noncitizens convicted of federal crimes. Now, President Joe Biden has ordered these contracts to be wound down. We revisit an investigation with Type Investigations and The Nation Magazine into these prisons – and ask what will happen to them now. This show has been updated with new reporting, based on a show that originally aired Feb. 6, 2016. Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.
Minor League Pay

Minor League Pay

2021-03-2753:413

From the Frisco RoughRiders to the Dayton Dragons, minor league baseball teams are a classic American tradition. But their players are not covered by some classic American laws: Players can earn less than the equivalent of minimum wage and don’t get paid overtime. We explore how that’s even possible with the podcast The Uncertain Hour from our colleagues at Marketplace. This season, they’re looking at how certain companies – and whole industries – maneuver around basic worker protections. Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.
Juvenile (In)justice

Juvenile (In)justice

2021-03-2052:473

Larissa Salazar grew up in Wyoming, and when she was in eighth grade, she got in a fight on a school bus. That snowballed into her spending 16 months in a state juvenile facility.  Reporter Tennessee Watson follows Larissa’s experience in the juvenile justice system in Wyoming, a state that locks up kids at the highest rate in the nation. Larissa’s mom says that instead of helping her daughter, the system made things worse. Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.
For years, the Pentagon mishandled sexual assault cases involving kids living on military bases, until an Associated Press investigation jolted lawmakers into action. Reporter Holly McDede brings us to Berkeley High School in California, where students were fed up with what they saw as a culture of sexual harassment and assault among their peers.  Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.
Residential care homes seem like the perfect place for Mom or Grandpa to live out their golden years, but their home-like facades are hiding rampant wage theft and exploitation of caregivers. Reveal’s Jennifer Gollan takes us into her investigation of the care-home industry. Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.
Remember Me This Way

Remember Me This Way

2021-03-0312:071

In this special episode of the podcast, we hear the story of one of more than 500,000 Americans who’ve died from COVID-19. David León was a father of six; a small-business owner in Fresno, California; and a leader in the city’s Latino community. His death left a hole in that community and with the family he left behind.    Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.
Into the COVID ICU

Into the COVID ICU

2021-02-2754:003

Dr. Paloma Marin-Nevarez graduated from medical school during the pandemic. We follow the rookie doctor for her first months working at a hospital in Fresno, California, as she grapples with isolation, anti-mask rallies and an overwhelming number of deaths.  Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.
An American journalist and her mom are found murdered in Istanbul. Police say they caught the killer. Friends and family say the investigation was incomplete. In collaboration with ABC News and freelance reporter Fariba Nawa, we dig into the investigative files against the convicted killer and learn that the U.S. government chose not to get involved in the investigation. This show was originally released on Oct. 10, 2020. Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.
Timber Wars

Timber Wars

2021-02-1353:174

Thirty years ago, activists and scientists turned a fight over the spotted owl and ancient trees into one of the biggest environmental conflicts of the century. The process transformed the way we see – and fight over – the natural world. Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.
The Ticket Trap

The Ticket Trap

2021-02-0651:543

Sports, theater and concert fans are itching for events to start happening again. So are clever ticket sellers who’ve figured out ways to cash in on unsuspecting customers shopping online. Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.
Racial justice, police accountability, mutual aid, climate activism and warp-speed vaccines – we examine the ways our COVID-19 year changed American society.  Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.
A Transfer of Power

A Transfer of Power

2021-01-2351:312

Rage, chaos and conspiracies defined Donald Trump’s last days as president. As the nation swears in Joe Biden, we look at the long shadow cast by the White supremacist and anti-immigrant forces that brought Trump to power. Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.
Long before the attempted coup by his supporters, Trump fanned the flames of white supremacy & domestic terrorism. This week on Reveal, we track the increase in right-wing domestic terrorist attacks since 2016—and ask whether law enforcement has taken these violent threats seriously enough. This is a rebroadcast of a show that originally aired June 27, 2020.  Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.
Democracy Under Siege

Democracy Under Siege

2021-01-0949:447

A mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, aiming to block the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory. How did we get here? We examine President Donald Trump’s rhetoric over the last four years, as he stoked conspiracy theories, coddled White supremacists and laid the groundwork for inciting violence.  Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.
This episode originally was broadcast July 28, 2018.  In December 1944, Frank Hartzell was a young soldier pressed into fierce fighting during the Battle of the Bulge. He was there battling Nazi soldiers for control of the Belgian town of Chenogne, and he was there afterward when dozens of unarmed German prisoners of war were gunned down in a field.  Reporter Chris Harland-Dunaway pieces together what led up to that event, who was responsible and why no Americans were held accountable for this war crime. Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.
This week, we present a special episode of Reveal produced by our partners at StoryWorks, a documentary theater company. “When Lighting The Voids” is an audio drama inspired by Reveal’s investigation into a deadly explosion at a Mississippi shipyard. This deconstructed mystery is based on real accounts, real events and real people. Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.
Policing Pregnancy

Policing Pregnancy

2020-12-1953:555

If the Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade, states could set their own rules about abortion.  Some states have already closed clinics, and for those that remain they’ve added obstacles—like collecting personal data about people who get abortions and declaring that fetuses have civil rights from conception. Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.
President Donald Trump has granted clemency to several controversial people, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Trump’s friend and political operative Roger Stone. But what about the people who have applied through the official process and are waiting for answers? We go beyond the headlines and tell the story of a pardons system that’s completely broken down. In 2019, we focused on the case of Charles “Duke” Tanner, a former boxer who was sentenced to life in federal prison after being convicted of drug trafficking. His arrest came during the war on drugs, which started in the 1980s, disproportionately putting tens of thousands of Black men in prison for decades. Tanner applied for clemency twice, his application just one among 13,000 others waiting for a decision at the federal Office of the Pardon Attorney when our show first aired. In this episode, we learn what happened after the president heard about Tanner’s case. Next, we look at why the mechanism for granting pardons has stopped functioning. We meet a pardons advocate and a former staff member of the pardon attorney’s office and learn that the system stalled after then-President Barack Obama attempted to reduce mass incarcerations from the war on drugs. The pardon attorney’s office has been without leadership for more than four years, and the Trump White House is largely ignoring its recommendations.  We end our show by looking at the rarest of pardons: when the person receiving a pardon is the president. Trump has tweeted that he has the authority to pardon himself, a concept that first was discussed during the Nixon administration. In that case, former President Richard Nixon eventually was pardoned by the next president, Gerald Ford. In this story, we hear Ford explain in his own words why he decided to pardon his predecessor. Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.
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Comments (87)

Alexa Nebula

Handcuffed to the bed while brain dead (as a result of their indifference) is exactly what you get from a penitentiary with little to no oversight, private funding (and all the influence of investor interests that comes with that) that is bathed centuries of racist views and decades of normalized racist habits.

Apr 11th
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Alexa Nebula

It's almost comical how surprised the reporter sounds reporting this whole story. This is the military, they're basically glorified mercenaries. This is especially true for America. Abuse in the military is not only tolerated, but it's approved of and even encouraged to the point of being glorified. It can't be stopped, just get the families out of there. I don't understand why anyone could think that kind of environment is healthy for a child.

Mar 30th
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listener like you

Proper forest management does not necessarily equate clear cutting old growth forests as you seem to want to imply.

Feb 21st
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Bea Kiddo

Great episode and shows that religion can be very powerful and scary at that. Great reporting on this episode. 👍🏻

Jan 24th
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Alexa Nebula

"the people who look to America as the example of democracy..." hah that is so five years ago.

Jan 9th
Reply

Sara A. Hornsby

Which episodes are 1, 3 and 4

Oct 4th
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Sara A. Hornsby

It says this is part 2 of 4... Which ones are 1, 3 and 4?

Oct 4th
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Curtis Miles

Oh boi... This episode is so relevant today. W😲W

Aug 13th
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sirenasd

I don't know if it's better that the MAGA nation listen to this show (or actual journalism in general) or if the trolling proves that confirmation bias nullifies any educational value for them.

Jul 26th
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Kay Kolesnyk

It's so great to listen to this episode when Oleg is free

Jun 9th
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Christopher Band

mostly a rerun episode

Apr 26th
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sirenasd

Octavia Butler!!

Apr 19th
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Rebecca Mullins

Loving the name of the episode! Gotta appreciate a good pun when you see one!

Mar 14th
Reply (1)

Ann Perkins

This doesn't just affect our Veterans it affects poor middle and upper class people

Mar 9th
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Rebecca MA

Jenifer speaks in such a clear and concise way. Such a great episode on such a grave issue.

Feb 26th
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Angela Johnson

the first time I've ever cried while listening to a podcast. WOW that was powerful.

Feb 21st
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Foreverlee

Thank you for covering so many angles of an issue that most of us take for granted; due to a lack of knowledge and understanding. Absolutely loved it.

Feb 18th
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Jeff Comstock Sr.

Why didn't the reported say anything before the hearing!? Infuriating

Feb 16th
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Chase Pipes

love your show.,.. but did not really enjoy this... not a fan of dramatization... but you guys do you! I Love your work either way!

Jan 23rd
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Alee M

this man Keith is obviously embarrassed. besides that did you ever think perhaps his mind has changed somewhat because of what al has done for him? EVERYONE who uses or promotes violence in the name of peace is part of the problem. if there is ever as many antfas as there was Nazis then they will do the same things. the difference is not morals it's power.

Jan 21st
Reply
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