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On the Media

WNYC Studios

631
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7.7K
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On the Media

On the Media

WNYC Studios

631
Followers
7.7K
Plays
OVERVIEWEPISODESYOU MAY ALSO LIKE

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About Us

The Peabody Award-winning On the Media podcast is your guide to examining how the media sausage is made. Hosts Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield examine threats to free speech and government transparency, cast a skeptical eye on media coverage of the week’s big stories and unravel hidden political narratives in everything we read, watch and hear. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, Snap Judgment, Death, Sex & Money, Nancy and Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin. © WNYC Studios

Latest Episodes

"Defund the Police" revisited

On Wednesday morning, former president Barack Obama appeared on “Snap Original Good Luck America,” which is an interview program on Snapchat — and thus a proper setting to chasten the young. He warned young activists, "I guess you can use a snappy slogan like 'defund the police,' but you know you've lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done." When the idea— not slogan — first became audible to the mainstream this summer, some politicians immediately sought to water it down, reinterpreting abolition as just another go at reform.Proponents, though,say that they mean exactly what they say. Theyalsoemphasize that the demandto remove money from police departments and redistribute it toimprove the socialconditionsthat drive criminality isn't new. In June, Bobspoke withAmna Akbar, law professor atThe Ohio State University,about where the demand comes from, and what "abolition" really means. Thisinterview originally aired as part ofour June 12, 2020 program,It’s Going Down.

12 min13 h ago
Comments
"Defund the Police" revisited

No Ado About Much

With the an apparent second wave of COVID-19 in full force, themedia are sounding the alarm on a deadly virus growing out of control. But during the Spanish Flu 100 years ago, the media downplayed the pandemic. On this week's show, a look at how the Spanish Flu vanished from our collective memory. Then, how Shakespeare, a British icon, became an American hero. 1.John Barry[@johnmbarry], author ofThe Great Influenza, on how America forgot about the pandemic of 1918.Listen. 2.JamesShapiro, author ofShakespeare in a Divided America,on what the Brit's playsteach us about life in the US.Listen. Music:Berceuse in D Flat Major, Op. 57 Chopin - Ivan MoravecCrows of Homer - Gerry O'BeirneThe Dancing Master: Maiden Lane (John Playford) - The Broadside Band & Jeremy Barlow John’s Book of Alleged Dances (John Adams) - Kronos QuartetFife Feature: Lowland’s Away (Roy Watrous) - Gregory S. Balvanz & The US Army Fife and Drum Corps Ballad No. 2 in F, Op. 38 (Chopin) - Ivan MoravecLittle Rose is G...

49 min6 d ago
Comments
No Ado About Much

Epidemics Show Societies Who They Really Are

Communicable disease has haunted humanity for all of history. As such, the responses to coronavirus in our midst have a grimly timeless quality. In fact, to one scholar, epidemics are a great lens for peering into the values, temperament, infrastructures andmoralstructures of the societies they attack.Frank M. Snowden is a professor emeritus of the history of medicine at Yale and author ofEpidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present.An epidemic, he writes, “holds a mirror” to the civilization in which it occurs.In this podcast extra, he speaksto Bob about what we can learn about ourselves from the infectious diseases we've faced, from the bubonic plague in the 14th century to the Ebola outbreak in 2014 to COVID-19 today. Thisinterview originally aired as a segment in our March 6, 2020 program,Our Bodies, Ourselves.

14 min1 w ago
Comments
Epidemics Show Societies Who They Really Are

EXTENDED VERSION The Ancient Heresy That Helps Us Understand QAnon

EXTENDED VERSION (includescontentwe had to leave on the cutting room floor to make the interview fit into the broadcast) It’s been two weeks since Trump lost the election to Biden. But he and his followers arestillclaiming victory.Jeff Sharlet, who has been covering the election forVanity Fair, credits two Christian-adjacentideas for these claims.The first is the so-called “prosperity gospel”: the notion that, among other things, positive thinking can manifest positive consequences. Even electoral victory in the face of electoral loss.But the problem with prosperity gospel, like day-and-date rapture prophecies, is that whenits betsdon’tpay off, it’s glaringly obvious. Asprosperity thinking loses its edge for Trump, another strain of fringe Christianity — dating back nearly two millennia — is flourishing. Jeff Sharlet says an ancient heresy, Gnosticism, can help us understand the unifying force of pseudo-intellectualism on the right. Sharletexplains how a gnosticemphasis on "h...

24 min1 w ago
Comments
EXTENDED VERSION The Ancient Heresy That Helps Us Understand QAnon

Believe It Or Not

As the pandemic spreads, officials are imposing new public health policies. On this week’s On the Media, why so many of the new rules contradict what science tells us about the virus. Plus, what a fringe early Christian movement can tell us about QAnon. And, a former White House photographer reflects on covering presidents in the pre-Trump era. 1. Roxanne Khamsi [@rkhamsi], science journalist, on howpolitical leaders have failed to consistently explain the science behind their policies.Listen. 2. Jeff Sharlet [@jeffsharlet], professor of English at DartmouthCollege and author of This Brilliant Darkness: A Book of Strangers,explains how an ancient heresyserves as a blueprint for right wing conspiracies.Listen. 3. Pete Souza [@petesouza] examines the role of the chief White House photographer.Listen. Music from this week's show: Chopin —Nocturne for piano in B flat minorGotan Project — Vuelvo al SurHans Zimmer/The Da Vinci Code soundtrack — There Has To Be MysteriesMichael W. Smit...

50 min1 w ago
Comments
Believe It Or Not

Rewatching "Contagion" in a Pandemic

Back in February we spoke toPulitzer Prize–winning science writerLaurie Garrett, author ofThe Coming Plague,in an episode wecalled "Black Swans". The coronavirus had yet to make landfall in the US but the anxiety was building. After the segment aired, New York Timescritic Wesley Morristold us that after he heard the part where Garrett described her role as a consultant on the movie,"Contagion"he felt compelled to rewatchthe2011 thriller. In the film, competency — specifically, within federal government agencies — is the solution to a destructivecrisis. This is comforting to watch, like a sort of public health "West Wing." It is also unnerving, and heavy, to watchthe thrilling procedural un-spool as people, on- and off-screen, die. Brooke spoke to Morris in March about how for him, it was the pandemic film that most perfectly fit with the current moment — down to Kate Winslet, playing a dogged pathogenic detective, reminding her colleague to stop touching his face.

11 min2 w ago
Comments
Rewatching "Contagion" in a Pandemic

Another World Entirely

With President Trump refusing to accept the results of the election, analysts are asking if he’s trying to wage a coup. On this week’s On the Media, why so many Republicans support the president’s claims, despite the evidence. Don’t miss On the Media, from WNYC Studios. 1. Bob on the latest Trumpian Big Lie,concerning the veryfoundation of democracy.Listen. 2. Casey Newton [@CaseyNewton], author of the Platformer newsletter, on the surging post-election popularity of the social media platforms Parler and MeWe.Listen. 3. Matthew Sheffield [@mattsheffield], former conservative journalist and host of the Theory Of Change podcast, on why he hopes to "free people" from the verymedia ecosystem he helped build.Listen. 4. Samanth Subramanian [@Samanth_S], journalist, on the Trump administration's assault on public data.Listen. Music: Hidden Agenda - Kevin MacLeodSlow Pulse Conga - William PasleyAccentuate the Positive - Syd Dale Double Dozen and Alec GouldBlues: La dolce vita dei Nobili...

50 min2 w ago
Comments
Another World Entirely

The Pfizer Vaccine Isn't a Home Run Yet

Pfizer announced Monday that its coronavirus vaccine demonstrated more than 90% effectiveness and no serious bad reactions in trial results — an outcome that should enable the company to obtain an emergency authorization soon.Between the vaccine and the unveiling, also on Monday, of a Biden-ledcoronavirustask force, it seemed like the rare pandemic-era day in which the good news could compete with the tragic.But Pulitzer Prize–winning science writer Laurie Garrett wrote this week in Foreign Policy that even if this vaccine works as advertised,there are still plenty of reasons to worry about much good it can do.In this podcast extra, Garrett tells Brooke about what she views as caveats to thepotential breakthrough. CORRECTION: This podcast contains an error concerning the timing of testing after the second dose of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine candidate. According to aprotocol released by Pfizer, Phase 3 study participants were tested for coronavirus "at least7 days after receipt of...

20 min3 w ago
Comments
The Pfizer Vaccine Isn't a Home Run Yet

This Is Us

With Joe Biden approaching victory, Donald Trump and his political allies flooded the internet with conspiracy theories. This week, On the Media examines the misinformation fueling right-wing demonstrations across the country. Plus, why pollsters seemed to get the election wrong — again. And, how thehistory of the American right presaged the Republican Party's anti-majoritarian turn. 1. John Mark Hansen, professor of political science at the University of Chicago, explains what exactly it would take to steal a presidential election.Listen. 2. Zeynep Tufecki [@zeynep],associate professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, argues in favor ofdoing away with election forecasting models.Listen. 3. Rick Perlstein [@rickperlstein], author ofReaganland: America's Right Turn 1976-1980,on the history of anti-majoritarian politics on the American right.Listen. Music from this week's show: White Man Sleeps — Kronos QuartetL’Illusionista — Nino RotaGerman Lullaby — The Kiboom...

50 min3 w ago
Comments
This Is Us

Imprecision 2020

For election night 2020, whilecable news had white boards and talking heads, the OTM crew hostedcomedians, singers and friendsfor some great conversation with occasional updates on what was happening in the presidential race. In this podcast extra we highlight one of those conversations. Mychal Denzel Smith is awriter and fellow at Type Media Center. Brooke spoke to him about his most recent book titled Stakes Is High: After The American Dream whichfocuses on the perils, for the individual, and the nation of embracing the American myth, better known as the American Dream, the idea that everything is possible for those who work hard. And she asked him what kind of changes theoutcomeof thiselection might herald. To round out thebroadcast, Bob and Brooke answered some audience questions...and revisited some of the issues in the conversation they had the day after the 2016 election,Now What?

23 minNOV 6
Comments
Imprecision 2020

Latest Episodes

"Defund the Police" revisited

On Wednesday morning, former president Barack Obama appeared on “Snap Original Good Luck America,” which is an interview program on Snapchat — and thus a proper setting to chasten the young. He warned young activists, "I guess you can use a snappy slogan like 'defund the police,' but you know you've lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done." When the idea— not slogan — first became audible to the mainstream this summer, some politicians immediately sought to water it down, reinterpreting abolition as just another go at reform.Proponents, though,say that they mean exactly what they say. Theyalsoemphasize that the demandto remove money from police departments and redistribute it toimprove the socialconditionsthat drive criminality isn't new. In June, Bobspoke withAmna Akbar, law professor atThe Ohio State University,about where the demand comes from, and what "abolition" really means. Thisinterview originally aired as part ofour June 12, 2020 program,It’s Going Down.

12 min13 h ago
Comments
"Defund the Police" revisited

No Ado About Much

With the an apparent second wave of COVID-19 in full force, themedia are sounding the alarm on a deadly virus growing out of control. But during the Spanish Flu 100 years ago, the media downplayed the pandemic. On this week's show, a look at how the Spanish Flu vanished from our collective memory. Then, how Shakespeare, a British icon, became an American hero. 1.John Barry[@johnmbarry], author ofThe Great Influenza, on how America forgot about the pandemic of 1918.Listen. 2.JamesShapiro, author ofShakespeare in a Divided America,on what the Brit's playsteach us about life in the US.Listen. Music:Berceuse in D Flat Major, Op. 57 Chopin - Ivan MoravecCrows of Homer - Gerry O'BeirneThe Dancing Master: Maiden Lane (John Playford) - The Broadside Band & Jeremy Barlow John’s Book of Alleged Dances (John Adams) - Kronos QuartetFife Feature: Lowland’s Away (Roy Watrous) - Gregory S. Balvanz & The US Army Fife and Drum Corps Ballad No. 2 in F, Op. 38 (Chopin) - Ivan MoravecLittle Rose is G...

49 min6 d ago
Comments
No Ado About Much

Epidemics Show Societies Who They Really Are

Communicable disease has haunted humanity for all of history. As such, the responses to coronavirus in our midst have a grimly timeless quality. In fact, to one scholar, epidemics are a great lens for peering into the values, temperament, infrastructures andmoralstructures of the societies they attack.Frank M. Snowden is a professor emeritus of the history of medicine at Yale and author ofEpidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present.An epidemic, he writes, “holds a mirror” to the civilization in which it occurs.In this podcast extra, he speaksto Bob about what we can learn about ourselves from the infectious diseases we've faced, from the bubonic plague in the 14th century to the Ebola outbreak in 2014 to COVID-19 today. Thisinterview originally aired as a segment in our March 6, 2020 program,Our Bodies, Ourselves.

14 min1 w ago
Comments
Epidemics Show Societies Who They Really Are

EXTENDED VERSION The Ancient Heresy That Helps Us Understand QAnon

EXTENDED VERSION (includescontentwe had to leave on the cutting room floor to make the interview fit into the broadcast) It’s been two weeks since Trump lost the election to Biden. But he and his followers arestillclaiming victory.Jeff Sharlet, who has been covering the election forVanity Fair, credits two Christian-adjacentideas for these claims.The first is the so-called “prosperity gospel”: the notion that, among other things, positive thinking can manifest positive consequences. Even electoral victory in the face of electoral loss.But the problem with prosperity gospel, like day-and-date rapture prophecies, is that whenits betsdon’tpay off, it’s glaringly obvious. Asprosperity thinking loses its edge for Trump, another strain of fringe Christianity — dating back nearly two millennia — is flourishing. Jeff Sharlet says an ancient heresy, Gnosticism, can help us understand the unifying force of pseudo-intellectualism on the right. Sharletexplains how a gnosticemphasis on "h...

24 min1 w ago
Comments
EXTENDED VERSION The Ancient Heresy That Helps Us Understand QAnon

Believe It Or Not

As the pandemic spreads, officials are imposing new public health policies. On this week’s On the Media, why so many of the new rules contradict what science tells us about the virus. Plus, what a fringe early Christian movement can tell us about QAnon. And, a former White House photographer reflects on covering presidents in the pre-Trump era. 1. Roxanne Khamsi [@rkhamsi], science journalist, on howpolitical leaders have failed to consistently explain the science behind their policies.Listen. 2. Jeff Sharlet [@jeffsharlet], professor of English at DartmouthCollege and author of This Brilliant Darkness: A Book of Strangers,explains how an ancient heresyserves as a blueprint for right wing conspiracies.Listen. 3. Pete Souza [@petesouza] examines the role of the chief White House photographer.Listen. Music from this week's show: Chopin —Nocturne for piano in B flat minorGotan Project — Vuelvo al SurHans Zimmer/The Da Vinci Code soundtrack — There Has To Be MysteriesMichael W. Smit...

50 min1 w ago
Comments
Believe It Or Not

Rewatching "Contagion" in a Pandemic

Back in February we spoke toPulitzer Prize–winning science writerLaurie Garrett, author ofThe Coming Plague,in an episode wecalled "Black Swans". The coronavirus had yet to make landfall in the US but the anxiety was building. After the segment aired, New York Timescritic Wesley Morristold us that after he heard the part where Garrett described her role as a consultant on the movie,"Contagion"he felt compelled to rewatchthe2011 thriller. In the film, competency — specifically, within federal government agencies — is the solution to a destructivecrisis. This is comforting to watch, like a sort of public health "West Wing." It is also unnerving, and heavy, to watchthe thrilling procedural un-spool as people, on- and off-screen, die. Brooke spoke to Morris in March about how for him, it was the pandemic film that most perfectly fit with the current moment — down to Kate Winslet, playing a dogged pathogenic detective, reminding her colleague to stop touching his face.

11 min2 w ago
Comments
Rewatching "Contagion" in a Pandemic

Another World Entirely

With President Trump refusing to accept the results of the election, analysts are asking if he’s trying to wage a coup. On this week’s On the Media, why so many Republicans support the president’s claims, despite the evidence. Don’t miss On the Media, from WNYC Studios. 1. Bob on the latest Trumpian Big Lie,concerning the veryfoundation of democracy.Listen. 2. Casey Newton [@CaseyNewton], author of the Platformer newsletter, on the surging post-election popularity of the social media platforms Parler and MeWe.Listen. 3. Matthew Sheffield [@mattsheffield], former conservative journalist and host of the Theory Of Change podcast, on why he hopes to "free people" from the verymedia ecosystem he helped build.Listen. 4. Samanth Subramanian [@Samanth_S], journalist, on the Trump administration's assault on public data.Listen. Music: Hidden Agenda - Kevin MacLeodSlow Pulse Conga - William PasleyAccentuate the Positive - Syd Dale Double Dozen and Alec GouldBlues: La dolce vita dei Nobili...

50 min2 w ago
Comments
Another World Entirely

The Pfizer Vaccine Isn't a Home Run Yet

Pfizer announced Monday that its coronavirus vaccine demonstrated more than 90% effectiveness and no serious bad reactions in trial results — an outcome that should enable the company to obtain an emergency authorization soon.Between the vaccine and the unveiling, also on Monday, of a Biden-ledcoronavirustask force, it seemed like the rare pandemic-era day in which the good news could compete with the tragic.But Pulitzer Prize–winning science writer Laurie Garrett wrote this week in Foreign Policy that even if this vaccine works as advertised,there are still plenty of reasons to worry about much good it can do.In this podcast extra, Garrett tells Brooke about what she views as caveats to thepotential breakthrough. CORRECTION: This podcast contains an error concerning the timing of testing after the second dose of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine candidate. According to aprotocol released by Pfizer, Phase 3 study participants were tested for coronavirus "at least7 days after receipt of...

20 min3 w ago
Comments
The Pfizer Vaccine Isn't a Home Run Yet

This Is Us

With Joe Biden approaching victory, Donald Trump and his political allies flooded the internet with conspiracy theories. This week, On the Media examines the misinformation fueling right-wing demonstrations across the country. Plus, why pollsters seemed to get the election wrong — again. And, how thehistory of the American right presaged the Republican Party's anti-majoritarian turn. 1. John Mark Hansen, professor of political science at the University of Chicago, explains what exactly it would take to steal a presidential election.Listen. 2. Zeynep Tufecki [@zeynep],associate professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, argues in favor ofdoing away with election forecasting models.Listen. 3. Rick Perlstein [@rickperlstein], author ofReaganland: America's Right Turn 1976-1980,on the history of anti-majoritarian politics on the American right.Listen. Music from this week's show: White Man Sleeps — Kronos QuartetL’Illusionista — Nino RotaGerman Lullaby — The Kiboom...

50 min3 w ago
Comments
This Is Us

Imprecision 2020

For election night 2020, whilecable news had white boards and talking heads, the OTM crew hostedcomedians, singers and friendsfor some great conversation with occasional updates on what was happening in the presidential race. In this podcast extra we highlight one of those conversations. Mychal Denzel Smith is awriter and fellow at Type Media Center. Brooke spoke to him about his most recent book titled Stakes Is High: After The American Dream whichfocuses on the perils, for the individual, and the nation of embracing the American myth, better known as the American Dream, the idea that everything is possible for those who work hard. And she asked him what kind of changes theoutcomeof thiselection might herald. To round out thebroadcast, Bob and Brooke answered some audience questions...and revisited some of the issues in the conversation they had the day after the 2016 election,Now What?

23 minNOV 6
Comments
Imprecision 2020
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