On the MediaAuthor: WNYC Studios
16 Jan 2022

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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    A Question of War

    Since the insurrection on January 6, warnings of a second American Civil War have been sounded. This week, On the Media explores whether the civil war talk is an alarmist cry, or actually a sober assessment. Plus, hear how the myth of “the Dark Ages” paints an unfair portrait of medieval times. 

    1. David Remnickeditor of The New Yorker and host of the New Yorker Radio Hour, on the risk of second civil war. Listen.

    2. Barbara Walter [@bfwalter], professor of International Relations at the University of California, San Diego, on the tell-tale signs that a country is headed for insurgence. Listen.

    3. Charlie Warzel [@cwarzel], journalist and contributing writer at The Atlantic, on when journalists should sound the alarm (and how loud we should ring it). Listen.

    4. David M. Perry [@Lollardfish] and Matthew Gabriele [@prof_gabriele], authors of The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe, on how the Dark Ages might have not been so dark. Listen.


    Wade in the Water by Hank Jones and Charlie Haden
    The Glass House - Marjane’s Inspiration by David Bergeaud
    Seinfeld Theme - Jonathan Wolff
    Lowland’s Away by Gregory Blavenz - The Us Army Fife And Drum Corps
    Harpsichord - Four Tet
    Ad summan missam: Santus II by Ensemble Aeolus

  • Posted on 14 Jan 2022

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    Is New York Times v Sullivan on the Chopping Block?

  • Posted on 13 Jan 2022

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    Road To Insurrection

    It’s been one year since the armed insurrection at the Capitol, what do we know now about how it happened? On this week’s On the Media, hear about the signs that reveal militia groups were preparing for that day — or something like it — long before January 6th. Plus, how the attack may have transformed the far-right in America. 

    1. OTM reporter Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] on the efforts to shape the media narrative among gun rights activists at Virginia's Lobby Day. Listen.

    2. OTM reporter Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] and Militia Watch founder Hampton Stall [@HamptonStall] investigate how a walkie-talkie app called Zello is enabling armed white supremacist groups to gather and recruit. Featuring: Joan Donovan [@BostonJoan] Research Director of the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University, and Megan Squire [@MeganSquire0] Professor of Computer Science at Elon University. Listen.

    3. OTM reporter Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] on Zello's role in the January 6th insurrection, and what the app is finally doing about its militia members. Featuring: Marcy Wheeler [@emptywheel] national security reporter for Emptywheel, and Cynthia Miller-Idriss [@milleridriss] Director of Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab at American University, and Jared Holt [@JaredHolt] Resident Fellow at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab. Listen.


    Tick Of The Clock by Chromatics
    Cyclic Bit by Raymond Scott
    Genocide by Link Wray

    Procession Of The Grand Moghul by Korla Pandit 
    Gormenghast by John Zorn

  • Posted on 07 Jan 2022

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    Aaron Swartz: The Wunderkind of the Free Culture Movement

    In 2013, 26-year-old software developer and political activist Aaron Swartz died by suicide. He had been indicted on federal charges after illegally downloading 4.8 million articles from JSTOR, a database of academic journals, and potentially faced a million dollar fine and decades in jail. While his death made headline news, Swartz had long been an Internet folk hero and a fierce advocate for the free exchange of information. In his book, The Idealist, writer Justin Peters places Swartz within the fraught, often colorful, history of copyright in America. Brooke talks with Peters about Swartz's legacy and the long line of "data moralists" who came before him.

    Music in this podcast extra:

    "Moss Garden" by David Bowie
    "Heroes" by David Bowie; performed by The Meridian String Quartet
    "Life On Mars?" by David Bowie; performed by The Meridian String Quartet.

    This segment originally aired in our January 15, 2016 program, "Terms of Engagement."

  • Posted on 05 Jan 2022

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    Should we cancel the word “cancel”? On this week’s On the Media, find out who benefits from the newest culture scare, and a history of "cancellation." Plus, hear how three women reporters covered the Vietnam War against all odds.

    1. Michael Hobbes [@RottenInDenmark], co-host of Maintenance Phase, on the anecdotes that fuel "political correctness" and "cancel culture" panics. Listen. 

    2. Erec Smith [@Rhetors_of_York], associate professor of rhetoric and composition at the York College of Pennsylvania, on his experience being "cancelled" within an academic context. Listen. 

    3. Clyde McGrady [@CAMcGrady], features writer for The Washington Post, on the derivation and misappropriation of the word "cancelled." Listen.

    4. Elizabeth Becker [@Elizbeckerwrite], author of You Don't Belong Here, on how women journalists covered the Vietnam War in groundbreaking ways, and yet were forgotten by history. Listen.


    Middlesex Times by Michael Andrews
    Bubble Wrap by Thomas Newman
    You Sexy Thing (Remix) by Hot Chocolate
    John’s Book Of Alleged Dances  by Kronos Quartet
    Carmen Fantasy by Anderson & Row

  • Posted on 31 Dec 2021


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