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September 10, 2019
Mike tells Sarah how the myth of meddling wives serves to exonerate terrible husbands. Digressions include "50 Shades of Grey," Marie Antoinette and the end of the 1960s. This episode, we’re sorry to say, contains descriptions of domestic abuse. patreon.com/yourewrongabout Continue reading →
August 22, 2019
“Isn’t it amazing how we can only imagine our monsters capitalistically?” Mike tells Sarah how police, prosecutors and journalists accidentally conspired to invent the perfect suburban menace. Digressions include IKEA, the "Godfather" trilogy and Fleetwood Mac. Mike takes big gulping breaths when he reads out loud. patreon.com/yourewrongabout Continue reading →
August 16, 2019
“When you allow emotion into the courtroom, bias rushes in alongside it.” Special guest Rachel Monroe tells Mike and Sarah how a good-faith critique of the justice system led to a decades-long crackdown. Digressions include Charles Manson, Ronald Reagan and a billionaire mugshot. Mike’s similes are worse than Sarah’s. patreon.com/yourewrongabout Continue reading →
August 7, 2019
“Things are not going to get better if we make the people who scare us seem more powerful.” Mike tells Sarah about the myths of sex crimes, the reality of child abuse and the importance of unsympathetic protagonists. Digressions include frozen pizza, millennials (obvs) and vaccination rates. Mike can only name one state that borders Nevada. patreon.com/yourewrongabout Continue reading →
July 26, 2019
“The story that did the most damage to the people in it was the one that made the most money.” Sarah tells Mike about the low-rent conspiracy that sparked a ratings bonanza.  Digressions include "Out of Sight," Robert De Niro and the ancient sexting technology known as landlines. Mike continues to laugh confusedly at references he does not know.   patreon.com/yourewrongabout Continue reading →
July 18, 2019
Sarah tells Mike the story of a world-class figure skater who worked at a mall potato restaurant. Digressions include “Sleepless in Seattle,” mall walkers, synchronized diving and the difficulty of skating a perfect pentagram. This episode unfortunately contains descriptions of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Tonya deserved better. patreon.com/yourewrongabout Continue reading →
June 27, 2019
“Humans aren’t good at remembering what got us where we are.” Mike tells Sarah how a turning point in the gay rights movement became an immediate controversy, a lasting inspiration and a never-ending debate. Digressions include “Newsies” (of course), “True Romance” and “Norma Rae.” Mike's creaking chair and Sarah's rustling blanket-fort are heard throughout. patreon.com/yourewrongabout Continue reading →
June 20, 2019
“Once you tell a story incorrectly once, you can’t control where it goes.” Sarah tells Mike how The New York Times turned a suburban murder into an urban legend. Digressions include Billy Joel, the World’s Fair and “Ferngully.” This episode marks a triumphant return to Long Island and an unexpected celebration of Pride Month. patreon.com/yourewrongabout Continue reading →
June 11, 2019
“We’re uncomfortable with the evidence that teen girls have sexual agency.” Special guest Amy Hasinoff tells Mike and Sarah how a moral panic became a legal nightmare. Digressions include Cosmo advice columns, Grindr etiquette and the revolutionary hugging of the "Avengers" movies. Due to the ongoing hex placed on this podcast, the sound quality is worse than usual. https://www.patreon.com/yourewrongabout Continue reading →
June 5, 2019
“He’s been punished even more than the American prison system can aspire to punish anyone”: Mike tells Sarah how John Walker Lindh became a terrorist in the media, a freedom fighter in his own mind and something between the two in reality. Digressions include “Newsies," Bruce Willis and “Candide.” Sarah sneakily reveals her lifelong affection for Howard Stern. patreon.com/yourewrongabout Continue reading →
May 28, 2019
"It just seems like capitalism masquerading as religion": Sarah tells Mike how a horror movie resurrected a ritual and established an industry. Digressions include “Avatar,” the NFL and the ethics of book publishing. The final five minutes are an unintentionally concise description of the core moral principle of this show. patreon.com/yourewrongabout Continue reading →
May 16, 2019
“We want stories that don’t exist in systems”: Mike tells Sarah what happened when Utah set out to solve one of America's most intractable problems. Digressions include the Paleo diet, the planet Mars and the inadequacy of the term “up the river.” Jimmy Carter makes an extended cameo appearance. www.patreon.com/yourewrongabout Continue reading →
May 9, 2019
“Why did we make fun of Dan Quayle for misspelling the word ‘potato’ when we should have made fun of him for arguments like this?” Mike tells Sarah how a real vice president blamed a fictional single mom for causing one of the most divisive events of the 1990s. Digressions include "Designing Women," "Alien" and "The Brady Bunch." Listeners finally learn that Sarah has a lovely singing voice. https://www.patreon.com/yourewrongabout Continue reading →
April 25, 2019
Mike tells Sarah how a 5-year-old kid transformed a city, divided a political party and (maybe) determined a presidential election. Digressions include World War II, Clarence Darrow and something called "Like, News with Skeeter." Both co-hosts conclude that this episode is somehow an equal-parts mixture of Satanic Panic and Terri Schiavo. Support us: patreon.com/yourewrongabout Continue reading →
April 18, 2019
Sarah tells Mike how an aspiring rich kid became an emblem of a world he didn't belong to. Digressions include drill teams, prep schools and eating disorders. The p-pops are worse than usual. Continue reading →
April 4, 2019
Mike tells Sarah how a simple idea in a single school district became a nationwide racial panic. Digressions include slasher movies, Space Invaders and homeschooling. The taglines are becoming more esoteric. Continue reading →
March 5, 2019
Mike tells Sarah how the media, the president and the Pope turned a simple medical story into a complicated legal one. Digressions include canine loyalty, unionized space-workers and polyamory logistics. Both co-hosts recorded in tiny rooms, but with very different acoustics. Continue reading →
February 20, 2019
Sarah tells Mike how a poor Texas girl made herself into an icon and America made her into a punchline. Digressions include massage technique, “Death Becomes Her” and (obviously) “The Godfather.” Mike sounds even sicker than he did last week. Continue reading →
February 15, 2019
Mike tells Sarah how an environmental problem became a national rallying cry, a sticky diplomatic issue and, eventually, a conspiracy theory. Digressions include “Alien,” Field & Stream and NRA public service announcements. Both hosts are recovering from colds and at least one spends the episode under a blanket.  Continue reading →
February 7, 2019
Sarah tells Mike how a sex scandal ruined a rising star and established a new template for American elections. Digressions include "Good Will Hunting," People Magazine and Linda Ronstadt. Michael Dukakis is described, for the first time ever, as "the soulmate who was there all along." Continue reading →
January 25, 2019
“She only said one thing her whole life”: Sarah tells Mike how two decent women became scapegoats for the actions of one terrible man. Digressions include Larry Flynt, NPR tote bags and Playboy back issues. The co-hosts discover they have wildly different relationships with “Saturday Night Live." Continue reading →
January 16, 2019
Mike tells Sarah how a "bad apples” explanation kept us from seeing the real scandal at the heart of America's largest corporate bankruptcy. Digressions include “Casino,” Thanksgiving economics and corruption catchphrases. Neither co-host truly understands how the stock market works.   Continue reading →
January 3, 2019
It wasn’t an accident. Mike tells Sarah how the infamous space shuttle disaster came to be seen as a white-collar crime. Digressions include the Donner Party, George Lucas and “Jurassic Park.” Both co-hosts are audibly recovering from colds. Continue reading →
December 19, 2018
Sarah tells Mike how a tragic story became a hacky catchphrase. Digressions include raccoon anarchists, flu remedies and late-night Arby’s. Sarah's Google Alerts will surprise none of our listeners. Continue reading →
December 12, 2018
Mike tells Sarah how a close election and an even closer Supreme Court decision established the political template we're still living with today. Digressions include quarks, Ouija Boards and (sorry) moral philosophy. The "lemonade theory" turns out to be less fun than it sounds.  Continue reading →
December 3, 2018
Sarah tells Mike about the sad reality — and the terrible man — behind the infamous Long Island Lolita. Digressions include software terms of service, the rise of beepers and Monica Lewinsky’s LinkedIn profile. Mike, a 36-year-old man, appears not to understand what pimps do.  Continue reading →
November 21, 2018
Special guest Megan Burbank tells us about the history, limitations and loopholes of a landmark court ruling. Digressions include Betty Ford, "Maude" and naming conventions for anonymous defendants. The glories of Washington State politics are examined in depth. Continue reading →
November 14, 2018
Mike tells Sarah how a false rape allegation became a right-wing rallying cry and a left-wing conspiracy theory. Digressions include JonBenet Ramsay, “24” and “The Vagina Monologues." Mike regrets not commenting on the metaphorical significance of being trapped in the closet throughout the episode. Continue reading →
November 7, 2018
Sarah tells Mike how a case of marital rape and spontaneous mutilation became a national punchline. Digressions include Ron Jeremy, Alan Dershowitz, Motörhead and the tortures of self-reflection. Sarah reviews John Wayne Bobbitt's later works.   Continue reading →
October 31, 2018
How inflated statistics, cultural anxieties and moral crusaders turned a tiny number of missing children into a decade-long political project. Digressions include 1870s parenting, “E.T.” and the lack of parks in Los Angeles. Both co-hosts secretly believe that the popularity of TV movies in the 1980s explains all of America’s social problems. Continue reading →
October 24, 2018
Razorblades in apples, babysitters on acid, killers in backseats and "rainbow parties": In this episode, Mike and Sarah investigate the scary stories Americans tell each other and discover the actual anxieties behind them. Turn on your high beams for this one.  Continue reading →
October 17, 2018
Sarah tells Mike how Ed Gein became one of America’s most famous serial killers despite not actually being one. Plus, the cinematic villains Gein inspired and what the slasher movies of the 1980s were really about. Digressions include Freud, summer camp logistics and the T-1000. Mike continues to awkwardly insert his teenage crushes into every conversation. Continue reading →
October 8, 2018
Mike tells Sarah how an over-simplified diagnosis, over-confident doctors and over-zealous prosecutors combined to get thousands of innocent parents thrown in prison. Digressions include food poisoning, Sherlock Holmes and 1950s medical ethics. Mike wanted to mention Louise Woodward but he forgot.  Continue reading →
October 1, 2018
Sarah tells Mike how pop culture created a two-decade-long obsession with multiple personality disorder and repressed memories. Digressions include Dead Poets Society, restless leg syndrome and the low editorial standards of the American publishing industry. The Satanic Panic makes a cameo appearance. Continue reading →
September 19, 2018
Mike tells Sarah that America has sent the wrong messages and done the wrong things about obesity for more than half a century. Digressions include height (again), sweatshops and Julianne Moore. Sarah and Mike’s mothers both make extended appearances.  Continue reading →
September 17, 2018
Special guest Rachel Monroe (re-)joins Mike and Sarah to talk about all the myths surrounding the second-biggest news event of the 1990s. Digressions include car crashes, September 11, Diane Sawyer and the terrors of teenage journaling.  Continue reading →
September 10, 2018
Mike tells Sarah why the biggest scandal of Reagan's presidency provides more (depressing) lessons about current politics than Watergate. Digressions include Mormons, Top Gun and the X-Files. Both co-hosts have considered what they will name their deliberately boring tax-shelter corporations. Continue reading →
September 1, 2018
Sarah tells Mike that shoddy policing (and Milwaukee generally) are responsible for one of America's most prolific serial killers. Digressions include panel vans, Anita Bryant, early man and Hannibal Lector. Mike struggles, as usual, not to cry during the gross parts. Continue reading →
August 18, 2018
Mike tells Sarah that the D.A.R.E. program did not, in fact, keep kids off drugs. But that’s just the beginning of the debunking. Digressions include Martin Scorsese, Iceland and control groups. Neither co-host was cool enough to be offered drugs in high school. Continue reading →
August 4, 2018
Sarah tells Mike that animal behavior is an imperfect template for human society. Digressions include rabbits, Bob’s Burgers and online dating. Mike makes an awkward observation about locker rooms. Continue reading →
July 28, 2018
Special guest Candace Opper tells Mike and Sarah about how the death of a rock star changed the field of suicidology (which is a thing). Digressions include eating disorders, car crashes and the insane grimness of the term “family annihilation.” The cringe-worthiness of Mike’s teenage years reaches new depths.  Continue reading →
July 21, 2018
Sarah tells Mike about how America's favorite gangster movie is really its favorite killing-the-American-Dream movie. Digressions include the Mona Lisa, Bruce Springsteen and the tyranny of height-ism. The sound quality continues to worsen.  Continue reading →
July 14, 2018
Sarah and Mike take a break from debunking to reflect on the first 10 episodes and tell the secret history of how they met. Digressions include “Portlandia,” Snapchat and the The New York Post. The recording quality, as usual, is wildly inconsistent.  Continue reading →
June 30, 2018
Mike tells Sarah that America’s most devastating oil spill was not, in fact, a DUI. Digressions include “Titanic" (obviously), the Cuyahoga River, Jennifer Lopez and marshmallows. Punitive damages make a triumphant return. Mike, a professional writer, continues to misuse the word “literally.”  Continue reading →
June 25, 2018
Sarah tells Mike about how snuff films don't exist but lots of near-snuff films do. Digressions include "Basic Instinct," gymnastics and YouTube’s righthand bar. Mike is palpably grossed out for at least two-thirds of the episode.  Continue reading →
June 16, 2018
Special guest Rachel Monroe tells Mike and Sarah what's really behind the phrase “drinking the Kool-Aid.” Digressions include David Koresh, East Germany and how flower children were the first millennials. Mike inadvertently reveals his prejudice against extroverts. Continue reading →
June 9, 2018
Part two of our epic dissection of the Clinton impeachment scandal. This week: The story breaks, the House indicts, the Senate demurs and Mike rants more than usual about the media. Digressions include Mark Fuhrman, “Broadcast News” and gay porn.  Continue reading →
June 2, 2018
Sarah and Mike talk about what America forgot — and never learned — about history’s most famous intern. Digressions include generational resentments, 1990s fashion and off-brand colleges. Also, Mike’s microphone breaks about 25 minutes in, so he sounds like he’s recording in a submarine. Sorry! Continue reading →
May 26, 2018
Mike tells Sarah about the complicated legacy of Anita Hill and the not-particularly-complicated facts of her case. Digressions include “Tootsie," Garrison Keillor and the Donner party. Mike, for reasons unknown, seems to believe that one flies “down” from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Washington, D.C. Continue reading →
May 20, 2018
It’s not a real thing! … OR IS IT? Sarah tells Mike about the convoluted history of a contested term. Digressions include James Bond, Charlie Manson and rat poison. Continue reading →
May 12, 2018
But not how you think! Special guest Mike Owens tells Sarah and Mike about the (attempted) debunking of the gay-bashing victim. Digressions include Leopold and Loeb, Basic Instinct and Rolling Stone. The sound quality is even worse than usual. Continue reading →
May 5, 2018
Mike tells Sarah that the TV movies of her childhood were both less and more problematic than she remembers. Continue reading →
May 4, 2018
Sarah tells Mike about the long history of white anxiety over black motherhood. Continue reading →
May 3, 2018
Mike tells Sarah about the rash of mass shootings carried out by postal workers in the '80s and '90s, then brings out the debunkin' turducken. Continue reading →
May 3, 2018
The 1980s were real but the Satanists weren't. Sarah tells Mike about why America spent a decade worried about witches running daycare centers. Continue reading →
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