On the MediaAuthor: WNYC Studios
29 Sep 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. Host Brooke Gladstone examines 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.

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    The Subversion Playbook

    By now, we’re familiar with voter suppression tactics, from long voting lines to voter ID laws. On this week’s On the Media, hear how election subversion takes the anti-democratic playbook to the next level. Plus, how the Russian government is using bureaucracy to stifle elections — and the press. 

    1. Dan Hirschhorn [@Inky_Dan], assistant managing editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, on why his paper won't use the word "audit" to describe the wave of partisan "election reviews." Listen.

    2. Rick Hasen, [@rickhasen], professor of law and political science at the University of California Irvine, on why election subversion is such a dangerous threat to our democracy. Listen.

    3. Tanya Lokot [@tanyalokot]media scholar and associate professor at the Dublin City University School of Communications, on why Google and Apple caved to the Kremlin on fair election technology. Listen.

    4. OTM producer Molly Schwartz [@mollyfication] on the lives and trials of Russian journalists under siege, featuring: Sonya Groysman [@sonyagro], Russian journalist and podcaster; Joshua Yaffa [@yaffaesqueMoscow correspondent for The New Yorker; Tikhon Dzyadko [@tikhondzyadko], editor-in-chief of TV Rain; and Alexey Kovalyov [@Alexey__Kovalev], investigations editor at the news outlet Meduza. Listen.

    Music from this week's show:

    Chicago Sunset - Charlie Musselwhite

    Time is Late ft. Joakim Johans

    Unnamed Track - Mark Henry Philips

    Unnamed Track - Mark Henry Philips

    Baba O'Rilеy - The Who

    From Russia With Love - Huma-Huma

    Дальше действовать будем мы (“We will continue to act”) - Kino 

     


  • Posted on 24 Sep 2021

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    From Birtherism to Election Theft

    In their new book "Peril," Bob Woodward and Robert Costa released a previously unpublished memo by a man named John Eastman, who served as an attorney advising President Trump during the 2020 election. That memo outlined an anti-democratic six-step plan for Vice President Pence to overturn the election results — stealing the election in favor of Trump — by refusing to tally votes from states with "multiple slates of electors," throwing the final decision to the House of Representatives. It was presented to Pence by Trump and Eastman in the Oval Office during the days leading up to January 6th, and offers a chilling look at the lengths to which Trump was prepared to go in order to maintain power. 

    It also offers a new opportunity to examine the activities of John Eastman, who entered the spotlight in 2020 when he published an op-ed in Newsweek making the false claim that Kamala Harris was ineligible for the Vice Presidency. Back then, Brooke spoke with Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, who described the origins of this birtherism falsehood and how Eastman and his organization, the Claremont Institute, used the media to spread it.


  • Posted on 22 Sep 2021

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    Fire and Brimstone

    Throughout the pandemic, religious rights advocates have protested some public health measures like bans on large gatherings. Now, some Americans are making the case for religious exemptions to President Biden's new workplace vaccine mandate. On this week’s On the Media, why religious protections are deliberately vague. Plus, hear how the current Supreme Court has been quietly bolstering the power of Christian interest groups. And, a look at climate coverage during storm season, and how the fossil fuel industry became so good at selling its own story.

    1. Winnifred Sullivan [@WinniSullivan], Indiana University Bloomington professor of law and religious studies, explains why the constitution doesn't define "religion." Listen.

    2. Linda Greenhouse, writer and clinical lecturer at Yale Law School, on the Supreme Court's recent rulings on religious liberties. Listen.

    3. Mark Hertsgaard [@markhertsgaard], executive director of Covering Climate Now, on why the press should remind us of climate change's impact on so-called "natural disasters." Listen.

    4. Amy Westervelt [@amywestervelt], climate writer and host of the podcast Drilled, on how fossil fuels companies advertised their way out of a public backlash. Listen.

    Music from this week's show:

    In the Hall of the Mountain King - Kevin MacLeod 

    Smells like Teen Spirit - The Bad Plus 

    Equinox - John Coltrane

    Sacred Oracle - Bill Frisell

    Roary’s Waltz - John Zorn

    Cops or Criminals - The Departed Soundtrack


  • Posted on 17 Sep 2021

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    The Trial of Elizabeth Holmes

    In 2014, Fortune magazine ran a cover story featuring Elizabeth Holmes: a blonde woman wearing a black turtleneck, staring deadpan at the camera, with the headline, “This CEO is out for blood.” A decade earlier, Holmes had founded Theranos, a company promising to “revolutionize” the blood testing industry, initially using a microfluidics approach — moving from deep vein draws to a single drop of blood. It promised easier, cheaper, more accessible lab tests — and a revolutionized healthcare experience.

    But it turns out that all those lofty promises were empty. There was no revolutionary new way to test blood. And now, years later, Holmes is being charged with 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Two weeks into the trial, we're re-airing a conversation from 2018 between Brooke and John Carreyrou, host of the narrative podcast Bad Blood: The Final Chapter and the investigative journalist who exposed Holmes's alleged fraud.


  • Posted on 15 Sep 2021

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    Aftershocks

    Twenty years after the Twin Towers came down, we’re still wrestling over how to make sense of what happened. On this week’s On the Media, how the conspiracies birthed in the aftermath of 9/11 set the stage for the paranoia to come. Plus, how Afghanistan’s thriving new media scene hopes to survive Taliban rule. And, how Ivermectin became politicized.

    1. Tolo founder Saad Mohseni [@saadmohsenion the mounting threat to journalism in Afghanistan. Listen.

    2. NYTimes television critic James Poniewozik [@poniewozikon the documentary styles used to remember 9/11. Listen.

    3. OTM's Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] reports on the legacy of Loose Change. Listen.

    4. Mother Jones senior editor Kiera Butler [@kieraevebutler] on how Ivermectin became so politicized. Listen.

     


  • Posted on 10 Sep 2021

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