On the Media
On the Media
WNYC Studios
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.
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 Remnick, editor 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. Music: Wade in the Water by Hank Jones and Charlie HadenThe Glass House - Marjane’s Inspiration by David BergeaudSeinfeld Theme - Jonathan WolffLowland’s Away by Gregory Blavenz - The Us Army Fife And Drum CorpsHarpsichord - Four TetAd summan missam: Santus II by Ensemble Aeolus
Jan 14
50 min
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. Music: Tick Of The Clock by ChromaticsCyclic Bit by Raymond ScottGenocide by Link WrayProcession Of The Grand Moghul by Korla Pandit Gormenghast by John Zorn
Jan 7
50 min
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."
Jan 5
29 min
Reputation
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. Music: Middlesex Times by Michael AndrewsBubble Wrap by Thomas NewmanYou Sexy Thing (Remix) by Hot ChocolateJohn’s Book Of Alleged Dances  by Kronos QuartetCarmen Fantasy by Anderson & Row
Dec 31, 2021
50 min
An Interview With Basketball Great Walt "Clyde" Frazier
Basketball Hall of Famer Walt "Clyde" Frazier made a successful transition from NBA star to sports broadcaster on the MSG Network. With his cool rhymes and even cooler clothes, Frazier sat down with Brooke for a live event in 2013 to discuss basketball, broadcasting, and the art of being cool. This segment originally aired in our March 29, 2013 program, "Culture and the Courts, The Legacy of Rand Paul's Filibuster, and More."
Dec 29, 2021
16 min
Scene of the Crime
On this week’s On the Media, a look at the journalists and newspapers we lost in 2021, and hopes for the press in the year ahead. Plus, is the ever-popular genre of true crime good for us? And the mob gets a podcast. 1. Micah Loewinger [@micahloewinger], tells Brooke about a year of newspaper closures, murdered journalists, and the end of the Trump Bump. Listen. 2. Emma Berquist [@eeberquist], author of Devils Unto Dust, on how the true crime genre can rot our brains. Listen. 3. Rachel Corbett [@RachelNCorbett], author of You Must Change Your Life: The Story of Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin, on why the feds love podcasts by mobsters. Listen. Music:After The Fact by John ScofieldThe Hammer of Los by John ZornSmooth Criminal by 2Cellos
Dec 24, 2021
50 min
Ten Things That Scare Brooke Gladstone
Merry Christmas, to those who celebrate! To those who don't (and, aw heck, to those who do too) we offer a very special end-of-year gift: fear. More specifically, Brooke's greatest fears, courtesy of our WNYC colleagues 10 Things That Scare Me. Fear is a subject — and experience — near and dear to our beloved Brooke, so we can assure you that this is not a conversation to skip. 
Dec 22, 2021
6 min
Fame and Misfortune
Text messages obtained by the January 6 commission revealed the panic of Fox News hosts — even as they downplayed the insurrection on camera. On this week’s On the Media, how to hold the news station accountable. Plus, an investigation of the celebrity profile – from the biting to the banal. Angelo Carusone [@GoAngelo], President and CEO of Media Matters, explains what the new January 6th revelations say about the state of Fox News. Listen. Anne Helen-Peterson [@annehelen], writer and journalist, on why the profile of Jeremy Strong in The New Yorker struck a chord. Listen. Bobby Finger [@bobbyfinger] and Lindsey Weber [@lindseyweber], co-hosts of the podcast "Who? Weekly," talk about the scrappy, B-list celebrities do for fame. Listen. Music: Il Casanova di Federico Fellini by Nina RotaPaperback Writer by Quartetto dell'Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe VerdiThe Art Of War by Richard BeddowInvestigations by Kevin MacLeodNewsreel by Randy NewmanHard Times by Leftover Salmon
Dec 17, 2021
50 min
Everything You Never Knew About Movie Novelizations
Write a great book and you're a genius. Turn a book into a great film and you're a visionary. Turn a great film into a book...that's another story. Novelizations of films are regular best-sellers with cult followings -- some are even more beloved than the films that spawned them -- but respected they are not. Instead, they're assumed to be the literary equivalent of merchandise: a way for the movie studios to make a few extra bucks, and a job for writers who aren't good enough to do anything else. But the people who write them beg to differ. Back in 2016, former OTM producer Jesse Brenneman went inside the world of novelizations; featuring authors Max Allan Collins, Alan Dean Foster, Elizabeth Hand, and Lee Goldberg. Songs: "The Blue Danube Waltz" by Johann Strauss "The Throne Room and End Title" by John Williams (from the film "Star Wars")   *Correction: In the piece it is stated that the Star Wars novelization begins, "Another time, another galaxy." In fact it begins, "Another galaxy, another time." 
Dec 15, 2021
11 min
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