On the MediaAuthor: WNYC Studios
09 Mar 2021

On the Media

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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

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    Encyclopedia of Betrayal

    La Brega is a seven-part podcast series hosted by OTM producer/reporter Alana Casanova-Burgess. The series uses narrative storytelling and investigative journalism to reflect and reveal how la brega has defined so many aspects of life in Puerto Rico, and is available in English and Spanish. This is episode three.

    Photographer Chris Gregory-Rivera examines the legacy of the surveillance files known in Puerto Rico as las carpetas — produced from a decades-long secret government program aimed at fracturing the pro-independence movement. Gregory-Rivera looks at las carpetas through the story of one activist family, the traitor they believed was close to them, and the betrayal that holds more mystery than they realize.

    Chris' photographs and photos the police took as part of their surveillance are here.

    If you're in the New York area, you can see his show at the Abrons Art Center until March 14, 2021. 

    The documentary "Las Carpetas" is here. 


  • Posted on 09 Mar 2021

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    Are We There Yet? Are We There Yet?

    The Johnson and Johnson vaccine was approved this week, expanding the nation’s supply and moving us closer to the end of the pandemic. On this week’s On the Media, why unvaccinated people should resist the urge to comparison shop. And, how will we know when, if ever, the pandemic is over? Plus, how New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s TV persona has helped him skate past previous scandals in the past — and why it’s not working as well this time.

    1. Rachael Piltch-Loeb, preparedness fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and associate research scientist at the NYU School of Global Public Health, on when the pandemic will be over, and what people can safely do now. Listen.

    2. Helen Branswell [@HelenBranswell], senior writer about infectious diseases at STAT, on why people should resist the impulse to "vaccine shop" for a seemingly superior vaccine. Listen.

    3. Derek Thompson [@DKThomp], staff writer at The Atlantic, on overcoming vaccine hesitancy. Listen.

    4. Alex Pareene [@pareene], staff writer at The New Republic, on how the recent reporting about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has allowed television news consumers to see what close readers of newspaper coverage of the governor have been seeing for some time. Listen.

     

    Music:

    Prelude 7: Sign and Sigil - John Zorn

    Tilliboyo (Sunset) - Kronos Quartet

    Ain’t Misbehavin’ - Hank Jones

    Tomorrow Never Knows  - Quartetto d'Archi Dell’Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi


  • Posted on 05 Mar 2021

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    The Decline of Cuomo, the TV Personality

    During the pandemic, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo transformed into a fully fledged TV star — propelled by his daily coronavirus briefings, which reassured an anxious, leaderless public. Comedians fawned over him. New fans declared their adoration in TikTok videos, memes, and... song. And the chummy treatment of the governor of course extended to news networks like CNN, where his brother asked him the tough questions.

    But in the past few weeks, Cuomo’s television persona as the deeply principled, self-aware fatherly truth-talker has faltered. A report from the state attorney general and a court order found the official count of deaths of nursing home residents was nearly double the figure first reported by Cuomo’s administration. Plus, so far three women have accused the governor of sexual harassment, including two former aides. But for close readers of reporting on the governor in print media, this fall from grace is less surprising.

    This week, Alex Pareene, staff writer at The New Republic, talks to Brooke about the collision of Cuomo’s “newspaper” and “television” personas in this moment.


  • Posted on 03 Mar 2021

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    OTM Presents: La Brega

    This week, OTM presents stories from a new series hosted by our own Alana Casanova-Burgess, called "La Brega." Hear what that term means, how it's used, and what it represents. Also, how one of the most famous homebuilding teams in American history tried to export American suburbanism to Puerto Rico... as a bulwark against Cuban communism. 

    1. Alana [@AlanaLlama] explores the full meaning(s) of la brega, which has different translations depending on who you ask. According to scholar and professor emeritus at Princeton, Arcadio Diaz Quiñonez, the closest English word is " to grapple." Alana also speaks to Cheo Santiago [@adoptaunhoyo], creator of "Adopta Un Hoyo" (Adopt a Pothole), which encourages people to paint around and photograph potholes to alert other drivers. Because the roads are rarely fixed properly, the challenges of potholes and what people do to get around them is a metaphorical and literal brega in Puerto Rico. Listen.

    2. Next, Alana turns to the boom and bust of Levittown, a suburb that was founded on the idea of bringing the American middle-class lifestyle to Puerto Rico during a time of great change on the island. Alana (herself the granddaughter of an early Levittown resident) explores what the presence of a Levittown in Puerto Rico tells us about the promises of the American Dream in Puerto Rico. Listen.

    Created by a team of Puerto Rican journalists, producers, musicians, and artists from the island and diaspora, "La Brega" uses narrative storytelling and investigative journalism to reflect and reveal how la brega has defined so many aspects of life in Puerto Rico. All episodes are out now, and available in English and Spanish. 

    Listen to the full series: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

    Music in this series comes from Balún and ÌFÉ


  • Posted on 26 Feb 2021

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    Beware Trump Investigation Big-Talk

    With the news this week that the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance to obtain key financial documents relating to Donald Trump, some news consumers may find themselves wrapped up in the delectable prospect of seeing a rule-breaking, tax-dodging, Constitution-shedding president on trial. They have been encouraged by commentators who claim that every little investigatory development is "very, very bad for Trump"; that the prosecution of Donald Trump "could go to trial sooner than you think"; and that Trump's post-election behavior "basically guarantees" criminal charges. 

    Writer, lawyer, and former federal prosecutor Ankush Khardori has his critiques of this genre of punditry — in August he described some of it as "insane" in the Wall Street Journal — but he has also published his own theory for prosecuting the president. In this interview, originally recorded in December, he and Brooke discuss what he sees as the "structural flaws" in most discussions of post-presidential prosecution.

    This interview originally aired as part of our December 11th, 2020 program, Last Wish.

     


  • Posted on 24 Feb 2021

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