On The Media
On The Media, hosted by Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone, is America's only national radio program devoted to media criticism and analysis, lifting the veil on how the media works.
The Justice Department just vastly expanded the government’s power to hack into your devices... but you probably haven't heard about it. We examine how this change flew under the radar, and why it could be dangerous. Also, a growing threat to free speech: billionaires using libel suits to damage and destroy media outlets. And, how a fringe conspiracy theory involving pizza is a parable for our time.
After a mistrial this week in the case of Michael Slager, the police officer caught on camera shooting Walter Scott in the back as he ran away, we revisit two interviews we did this summer. Patrice Cullors is the co-founder of Black Lives Matter and Eugene O'Donnell is a former police officer, we spoke to them after two deadly shooting incidents involving young black men targeting police officers.
We devote this hour to a question put to us pretty much daily since election day: How to cover President Trump?
First, we ask the AP, Univision, NPR, USA Today, and other news outlets about how they are defining a relationship with a president-elect who flaunts traditional rules, spreads misinformation, and criticizes the press.
Then we turn to language. Listeners help us highlight moments in media coverage that obscure the truth, and journalist Masha Gessen warns of the "impulse to normalize."
Plus, linguist John McWhorter describes the phenomenon of partisan words, and cognitive scientist George Lakoff argues that the principles of journalism need to be redefined... because of how our brains work.
In 1957, Fidel Castro was believed to be dead -- until New York Times writer Herbert L. Matthews conducted an interview with Castro in the Cuban jungle. Matthews' portrayal of a romantic figure and a promising leader was trusted, until Castro revealed himself and his planned revolution as communist. Brooke speaks with Anthony DePalma, author of The Man Who Invented Fidel: Castro, Cuba, and Herbert L. Matthews of The New York Times, about the infamous coverage of Cuba's infamous leader. Also, the OTM guide on how (not) to cover Cuba.
A few years ago, Brooke spoke with the writer Paul Ford about the remarkable connection between Bing Crosby, magnetic tape, Nazi technology, and the computer hard drive. We're putting it down the podcast feed again this week, just before the Thanksgiving holiday, to get you in the mood. You can read Ford's post about Crosby on the New Yorker Elements blog.
In the months leading up to the election, some fake news stories generated more engagement on Facebook than real news stories. We consider the landscape of misinformation and how to separate truth from fiction.
Plus: Steve Bannon, Trump's chief strategist, hasn't just influenced political discourse through the incendiary Breitbart News -- he's also sabotaged his chosen politicians through investigative journalism.
And we interview a man who the Southern Poverty Law Center calls the “cultivated, cosmopolitan face of white supremacy” to find out what he wants wants from the Trump administration.