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Author: Michael Hobbes & Sarah Marshall

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Mike and Sarah are journalists obsessed with the past. Every week they reconsider a person or event that's been miscast in the public imagination.
135 Episodes
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Cancel Culture

Cancel Culture

2021-06-0701:20:5327

Mike and Sarah have big feelings about an enduring debate. Digressions include “Carrie,” party planning etiquette and Whole Foods cafeterias. Sarah’s sound quality changes midway through because she moves from a McDonald’s parking lot to a Hardee’s parking lot.Special thanks to Meredith Clark and Allissa Richardson for helping us with the history section of this episode! Support us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, You Are Good Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseLinks!Natalie Wynn's "Canceling" Drag Them: A brief etymology of so-called “cancel culture”The Long and Tortured History of Cancel CultureThe strange journey of ‘cancel,’ from a Black-culture punchline to a White-grievance watchwordWhy Attacking ‘Cancel Culture’ And ‘Woke’ People Is Becoming The GOP’s New Political StrategyTales From the Teenage Cancel CultureGenerational Cycles in American Politics, 1952–2016It’s Not Callout Culture. It’s Accountability.An Incomplete (but growing) History of Harassment Campaigns since 2003The State of Online Harassment“Did We Create This Monster?” How Twitter Turned Toxic Morally Motivated Networked Harassment as Normative ReinforcementSupport the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
The Chicks vs. The Iraq War

The Chicks vs. The Iraq War

2021-05-0301:29:2922

Mike tells Sarah about an impending conflict, a dissident singer and America's first internet-enabled cancellation. Digressions include "Freedom Fries" and 1990s record company shenanigans. The co-hosts harmonize for the first time; Mike struggles not to call the Chicks by their former name. Content note: This episode includes misogynistic, racist and fatphobic language. Support us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseLinks!The Chicks' "Ready to Run" videoKaren Pittelman's "Another Country"James Dickerson’s “Dixie Chicks: Down-Home and Backstage”Elites, Masses, and Media Too Famous to Protest: Far-Right Online Community Bonding Over Collective Desecration of Colin Kaepernick, Fame, and Celebrity ActivismBlacklists: The Dixie Chicks Controversy Chicks in the WildernessChicks In the Line of FireThe Dixie Chicks Were Cancelled For Criticizing The President. Now, They’re Heroes.We’re Changing The Way We Do Business: A Critical Analysis Of The Dixie Chicks And The Country Music IndustryThe Country Connection: Country Music, 9/11, and the War on TerrorismFree Expression After September 11th: An Online IndexFreedom Under Fire: Dissent in Post-9/11 AmericaExploring Iraq War News Coverage and a New Form of CensorshipThe LSE's analysis of the Freedom Fries controversyDestroying The Dixie Chicks – Ten Years AfterAOC’s Anti-FansRacial Profiling And The War On Terror: Changing Trends And PerspectivesMan Eats Dogs: The Hot Dog Stands of Chicago Support the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
"Political Correctness"

"Political Correctness"

2021-04-1901:21:4431

Mike tells Sarah how liberal magazines turned a "kids these days" moral panic into a national crisis. Digressions include Law & Order, Dave Foley and swimming pool etiquette. This episode contains detailed descriptions of sexual assault, mass shootings and suicide. Support us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseLinks!John Wilson’s The Myth of Political CorrectnessJon Weiner's Historians in TroubleNeil Gross’s Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care?Political Correctness: How The Right Invented A Phantom EnemyThe Fraying Of AmericaThe Rising Hegemony of the Politically CorrectAre You Telling Me That I'm Politically Correct?Are You Politically Correct?The Rising Hegemony of the Politically CorrectThere Is No Campus Free Speech Crisis: A Close Look at the EvidenceSupport the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
Bob Shapiro is on a mission from God, F. Lee Bailey joins the Dream Team, and we get in our DeLorean to meet two of the most notorious Florida Men of the '60s: Carl Coppolino and Murph the Surf. Digressions include Linda Evangelista, Patty Hearst, "The Commitments" and the upside of peaking in your 50s. Support us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseSupport the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
Special guest Cassie da Costa tells Mike and Sarah how Vanessa fell from grace and picked herself back up. Digressions include Stephen Sondheim, Rush Limbaugh and Joan Rivers. The tyranny of abs is discussed at length.Here's Cassie's episode of You Must Remember This and her website!Support us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseSupport the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
Bonus: Dr. Oz

Bonus: Dr. Oz

2021-03-1501:02:2614

Mike reached new levels of rantiness on his other show and we wanted to make sure all our beloved debunkmates knew. PLUS: A special announcement! Subscribe to Maintenance Phase hereSubscribe to Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads, hereSupport us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchSupport the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
Mike tells Sarah how a 20-year-old singer, actress and French horn player became Miss America with less than six months of practice. Digressions include Ted Bundy, Stephen King’s “It” and a bonus debunking of the "bra-burning feminist" trope. We're sorry to say that this episode includes a description of child sexual abuse. Support us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseClips! Opening musical numberVanessa introduces herselfTalent competitionSwimsuitVanessa wins!Links!Sarah's Miss America piece!Vanessa and Helen’s memoir, “You Have No Idea”Margot Mifflin’s “Looking for Miss America”Vanessa Williams, Whitney Houston and Hollywood’s Misogynoir ProblemVanessa Williams: A Beauty Queen’s Crown of ThornsMiss America--The Inside StoryFirst Black Miss America Finds Unforeseen IssuesAin’t I a Beauty Queen?: Black Women, Beauty, and the Politics of Race Life with Daughters: Watching the Miss America Pageant'A Felony Just to Own': The Sleazy Story Behind Penthouse’s Most Controversial IssueThere She Goes, Miss AmericaMost Famous Miss America In History1989 People magazine articleIn Black and WhitePutting on a Happy FaceSupport the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
Bonus: "The Dark Knight"

Bonus: "The Dark Knight"

2021-03-0101:20:4411

Sarah's other show has a special guest! Maintenance Phase co-host Aubrey Gordon visits Why Are Dads to talk about Christopher Nolan, trash masculinity and the dwindling number of non-problematic superheroes. Support us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseSupport the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
To tell the story of the "dream team" we must begin by going back to the future. This week we learn why O.J. Simpson fired the man who defended John DeLorean and why a briefcase of cocaine isn’t always a smoking gun. Digressions include Bob’s Big Boy, Margaret Thatcher and the Fonz. Support us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseLinks!1970 GTO Humbler commercial 1981 DeLorean commercialHoward Weitzman on John DeLorean in 2013 The "better than gold" tape John DeLorean Reinvented The Dream Car. Then He Totaled It.Delorean is Freed Key Witness Against DeLorean Begins Testimony Government Paid Informer Support the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
Mike tells Sarah the real reason Congress called a bunch of rockers to Washington D.C. Digressions include cartoon violence, sleeveless tees and Trixie Mattel. Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher" and Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" are dissected at length. Support us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseLinks! The hearing transcript Dee Snider's memoirFrank Zappa's memoirRunning with the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal MusicMusic-Evoked Emotions—Current Studies Don’t Let The Man Get You Down: Rock and Roll and The Development of The Parents’ Music Resource CenterSave the Children: The Parents’ Music Resource Center and Media ActivismHighway to Hell: Laws, Lawsuits, and Moral Panic over Heavy Metal MusicThe Parents’ Music Resource Center: From Information to Censorship“Leer-Ics” or Lyrics: Teenage Impressions of Rock 'n' RollParental Advisory – Explicit Content: The Parents Music Resource Center, Conservative Music Censorship, and the Protection of ChildrenAndrew Hartman’s A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture WarsThe Effects of Violent Music on Children and AdolescentsA Comparative Historical Analysis of Post-war Moral Panics and the Construction of Youth from 1938 to 2010Support the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
Mike tells Sarah how a congressional wife started a moral crusade. Digressions include Sheena Easton, Satanic rhymes and teen homicide statistics. Ozzy Osbourne's bat story is recounted in full.Support us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseLinks!Save the Children: The Parents’ Music Resource Center and Media ActivismEverything you need to know about Ozzy Osbourne biting the head off a bat in Des MoinesHighway to Hell: Laws, Lawsuits, and Moral Panic over Heavy Metal Music, The Emergence of Youth Suicide: An Epidemiologic Analysis and Public Health PerspectiveThe Role of Gun Supply in 1980s and 1990s Youth ViolenceThe Parents’ Music Resource Center: From Information to CensorshipParental Advisory – Explicit Content: The Parents Music Resource Center, Conservative Music Censorship, and the Protection of ChildrenAndrew Hartman’s A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture WarsTrends in Premarital Sex in the United States, 1954–2003'I'd Sell You Suicide': Pop Music and Moral Panic in the Age of Marilyn MansonA Comparative Historical Analysis of Post-war Moral Panics and the Construction of Youth from 1938 to 2010“Children Having Children,” the 1985 moral panic article in Time Support the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
The Anti-Vaccine Movement

The Anti-Vaccine Movement

2021-02-0146:5927

Special guest Eric Michael Garcia tells Mike and Sarah about the deep roots of a pernicious modern myth. Digressions include Mary Tyler Moore, British place names and supermodel dating habits. Mike finally gets to talk about Swedish statistical methods. Here's some of Eric's work on autism and here's his book!Support us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseSupport the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
This week, we put on our suits and head back to the courtroom. O.J. Simpson pleads not guilty, Marcia Clark finishes questioning Kato Kaelin and Bob Shapiro continues to furrow his brow. Digressions include "Speed," the Kuleshov effect and the intentional boringness of American law. In the final ten minutes, we talk briefly about the crime scene and Marcia’s reaction to it. If you'd like to see the arraignment footage for yourself it's here.Support us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseSupport the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
Mike tells Sarah how a troll-ish experiment turned a South Carolina teenager into one of the most maligned women of the 1990s. Digressions include Sally Ride, Anne Hathaway and, as usual, "Newsies." Mike struggles with the word "infirmary" throughout.The pictures of Shannon we discuss in this episode are here.Support us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseLinks! Catherine Manegold's "In Glory's Shadow: Shannon Faulkner, the Citadel, and a Changing America"Susan Faludi’s “The Naked Citadel”Marching In Step: The Citadel And Post World War II America A Judicial Blow for "Jane Crowism" at The Citadel in Faulkner v. JonesThe Citadel's Lone Wolf, Shannon FaulknerSurviving the Company of MenShannon Faulkner and The Citadel: The Effects of Using Litigation as an Instrument of Social ReformSaving The Males: The Sociological Implications of the Virginia Military Institute and the Citadel (since we recorded this episode we've learned that the author of this piece has been accused of sexual harassment. Apologies for not mentioning it on the show!)Single-Sex Education: New Perspectives and Evidence on a Continuing ControversySupport the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
This week we talk about the early days of Paula and O.J.’s relationship and the celebrity cameos reach either a high or a low point. Digressions include date etiquette,  cat scams and room-temperature Diet Coke. Mike has his head in his hands for long periods. In this episode we discuss domestic abuse, including the violence Nicole Brown Simpson experienced and the circumstances of her 911 calls.Support us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseSupport the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
This week we return to the  O.J. Simpson trial and learn what Paula Barbieri did after the Bronco chase. Digressions include fish, beef and grocery shopping while conventionally attractive. Neither co-host has a firm grasp on the meaning of the word "festive."Support us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseLinks!Paula on "Primetime Live" The Time cover Support the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
The Stanford Prison Experiment

The Stanford Prison Experiment

2020-12-2101:10:2028

Mike tells Sarah the complicated story of an over-simplified study. Digressions include Tonya Harding, "The Meg" and Kitty Genovese. The Milgram obedience studies and the "broken windows" theory of policing receive bonus debunkings. Thanks to Thibault Le Texier for helping us with this episode! Here's his book, "The History of a Lie," and the English-language summary, "Debunking the Stanford Prison Experiment."Support us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseLinks! The Original StudyPhilip Zimbardo's "The Lucifer Effect"Zimbardo's 1973 NYT articleDavid Jaffee’s precursor study at Toyon HallBen Blum's "The Lifespan of a Lie"The Stanford prison experiment in introductory psychology textbooks: A content analysisThe Real Lesson of the Stanford Prison ExperimentRevisiting the Stanford Prison Experiment: Could Participant Self-Selection Have Led to the Cruelty?Interpersonal Dynamics in a Simulated Prison: A Methodological AnalysisThe Obedience Alibi: Milgram's Account of the Holocaust Reconsidered Obedience in Perspective: Psychology and the HolocaustUnchaining the Stanford Prison Experiment: Philip Zimbardo’s famous study falls under scrutinyThe Secrets of Abu Ghraib Revealed: American Soldiers on TrialSupport the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
Mike tells Sarah what makes older Americans more vulnerable to misinformation — and who is delivering it to them. Digressions include "Supernatural," the Rachel and a fake university in Pennsylvania. We recorded this episode before the election but tried not to make it too obvious.Here's the article Mike wrote with all the research he did for this episode: Support us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseSupport the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
Sarah tells Mike about the thrilling conclusion to a children’s labor action and an overlooked Disney musical. Digressions include cronuts, carrier pigeons and Sylvester Graham’s crackers.  Both hosts agree that they love saying the word "papes."Most of the information in this episode comes from Sarah's two new favorite books, Vincent DiGirolamo’s “Crying the News” and David Nasaw’s “Children of the City.” And here's the link to the newsboy footage we watched: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gatfLuD-DoSupport us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseSupport the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
Sarah tells Mike about media history, labor organizing, century-old moral panics — and the unlikely Disney musical that introduced her to all three. Digressions include Sting, "The Princess Bride" and 19th century graphic design. Both co-hosts recount their extremely millennial work histories.Support us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseSupport the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
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Comments (268)

Stephanie Stovall

Joe Montana was the quarterback for the 49ers. Jerry Rice was a wide receiver.

Jun 22nd
Reply

Phillip Harkin

my boobs are full is the funniest thing I've heard in a long time

Jun 21st
Reply

Vali May

Kinda wish the tidbit about Margaret Atwood also touched on her public support letter for the UBC head of creative writing accused of sexual assault - relevant to the topic of cancel culture ! she also likened the event to the Salem witch craft trials....

Jun 10th
Reply (1)

Tony Rickman

4 superfluous "like"s in the first sentence before the intro music. After that it gets worse.

Jun 7th
Reply (4)

Janeanne Tippy Malone

Sarah, Jack McCoy was an ex hippie, he was very liberal on the show

May 28th
Reply

C.J. Morrison

is this lady wearing a tambourine? the jangle is extremely annoying.

May 26th
Reply

A Gannon

You do stare at one object, at least in dancing. You track by moving your head to face it directly, then whipping it around when you can't keep turning. Works GREAT. Your inner ear does adjust to it for many people, but the fixed point is a thing. /irrelevance

May 25th
Reply

A Gannon

Oof. This has good info about the system being set up to punish people, AND criminalize non criminal behavior,, but also is very excuse-y of people who deliberately do this sort of thing, even once. THOSE people belong in prison forever.

May 25th
Reply

Carolyn Osborne

I knew a colleague of Cornelia Wilbur when she was at University of Kentucky and I ended up teaching music to one of the hapless patients. I agree that she was a charlatan.

May 24th
Reply

Alison Edwards

great episode. love this podcast, so intelligent

May 24th
Reply

A Gannon

Yo, great episode, but manual and oral sex ARE SEX and if those acts were being performed during a work transaction between a client and massage provider, that IS prostitution. Because those are both "actual sex". The idea that anything besides penis in vagina or anus type sex is not "actual sex" is a product of shit sex ed, misogyny, and homophobia, and it is EXTREMELY harmful, especially to victims of rape, who have their trauma minimized because it was "only" touching or oral sex. It's also homophobic as shit. Queers fuck all the time without putting penises anywhere, and I assure you, it's real sex. And it is real rape and assault when these acts are performed on someone without consent, and can be equally harmful. Okay? I know someone who was assaulted as a child with oral sex and I promise, it was just as harmful. If you care about exploited people, rape victims, and queer people, you need to adjust your shit accordingly. Otherwise, this was really insightful and I have seen so many queer and poor and abused kids harmed and driven into unsafe lives because nobody gives a shit or wants to actually help them with what they need. No resources is an understatement; there's not just no resources, there is active PUNISHMENT.

May 23rd
Reply

Audrey C Eisele

I just love Sarah so much, she's hysterical 😂

May 22nd
Reply

Nichole A

The only airline that would allow the possessed boy to fly was Spirit Airlines.

May 17th
Reply

Fangs Alot

Nope. 20 minutes in and I can't cope with the 'Every other word is 'like'' irritation. Stop. Just Stop it.

May 16th
Reply

Fangs Alot

Okay, if you want to skip the boring 100th episode blurb, the actual podcast starts at just after 10 minutes in.

May 16th
Reply

Ashleigh Epps

Ok question. Does he ever stop calling sex workers prostitutes or will this continue in future episodes?

May 14th
Reply (1)

Amber Arnold

i was just a barely pre teen when all this happened and in Canada so I remember proudly screaming Cowboy Take Me Away with no idea why people were upset

May 7th
Reply

Krista Wieland Boos

I learned quite a bit from this episode. The guest was great and his personal perspective was valuable. I was, however, disappointed to hear the hosts be so incredibly judgmental and cynical towards parents who were raising children at that time and who did question the nearly mainstream link between vaccines and autism. As a parent who was raising and birthing children at that time, I can tell you that it was very scary. Kids were being diagnosed all around me. I knew a set of twins who went in to be vaccinated and one was shortly thereafter diagnosed on the spectrum. I knew other families who were desperately trying to help their kids and making decisions based on the information that was available at that time. It was confusing and scary and we all did the best we could with the information we had. Your approach was often insensitive, insulting and completely lacking in empathy or sympathy. I know that hindsight is 20/20 and that we now have more and very different information so we can make better decisions for our families. But when you are sitting there with the benefit of that information and judging people who didn't have it at the time, it is damaging and just mean. I hope you will consider this for future episodes.

Apr 29th
Reply

ABR

Great episode! I love that you put the title in quotation marks too... sums up how I feel about the modern definition and misapplication of this term.

Apr 23rd
Reply

Robin Michelle Goldblum

OMG, the Obesity Epidemic episode opened my eyes! It was describing my entire life! Yo-yo dieting and getting bullied at school and comments from my mom and always gaining the weight back plus some no matter how hard I try. This could change my life.

Apr 20th
Reply
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