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On the Media

WNYC

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.

Location:

New York, NY

Networks:

WNYC

Description:

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.

Language:

English

Contact:

On the Media 160 Varick Street New York, NY 10013 646-829-4074


Episodes

Measuring Bias in Israel-Palestine Coverage, and Mehdi Hasan's Approach to Covering the Region

3/1/2024
A Palestinian-American college student was shot in Vermont last fall. On this week’s On the Media, he reflects on the explosive media attention he’s received. Plus, what the data says about allegations of biased media coverage of Israel and Palestine, and former MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan explains his approach to covering the war. 1. Suzanne Gaber [@SuzanneGaber], producer at Notes from America, speaks with Hisham Awartani, a Palestinian-American college student, about the explosive media attention he received after he was shot in Vermont last fall. Listen. 2. William Youmans [@wyoumans], professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, and Mona Chalabi [@MonaChalabi], data journalist and illustrator, on the allegations of biased media coverage about Israel and Palestine and what data reveals. Listen. 3. Mehdi Hasan [@mehdirhasan], former MSNBC host and CEO of the new media company Zeteo, on his approach to covering Gaza, and his goal of making his audience care about news beyond the borders of the US. Listen.

Duration:00:50:30

American Patriots Support... Vladimir Putin?

2/28/2024
In February, Donald Trump praised Russia for being a "war machine" and said that Russia should “do whatever the hell they want” to NATO allies that do not contribute enough to the military alliance. Far-right figures like Nick Fuentes, who referred to Vladimir Putin as "my Czar," have also shown support for the Russian president and his war on Ukraine. And while more mainstream Republican pundits like Tucker Carlson have walked back past praise for Putin, the American far-right's obsession with Russia goes back almost two decades. Brooke sat down with Casey Michel, writer and investigative journalist, to discuss why white nationalists like David Duke, Richard Spencer, and Matthew Heimbach have long since looked to Putin's Russia as inspiration for their far-right movements in this country, and why Putin's attempts to create a nationalist Christian ethnostate serve as their model. This segment originally aired on our March 4th, 2022 program, The Fog of War.

Duration:00:12:29

Christian Nationalism is Reshaping Fertility Rights, and Books Dominate at the Oscars

2/23/2024
An Alabama Supreme Court ruling on frozen embryos threatens fertility treatments across the state. On this week’s On the Media, hear how a particular branch of Christian nationalism influenced one justice’s decision. Plus, how film adaptations of books have come to dominate our screens. 1. Matthew D. Taylor [@TaylorMatthewD], senior scholar at the Institute for Islamic, Christian, & Jewish Studies, on how a particular strain of Christian Nationalism, once on the fringe of America’s religious landscape, is slowly emerging as a political force. Listen. 2. Alexander Manshel [@XanderManshel], assistant professor of English at McGill University and author of Writing Backwards: Historical Fiction and the Reshaping of the American Canon, on how literary prizes have changed over the last few decades, and how much they actually matter. Listen. 3. Cord Jefferson [@cordjefferson], writer and director of the new film American Fiction, on his movie's critique of Hollywood and the process of adapting a novel for the screen. Listen.

Duration:00:50:06

Revisiting the Documentary, "Navalny"

2/21/2024
Russia's jailed opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has died in prison. Navalny had been living behind bars since shortly after landing in Moscow in January of 2021. He had been returning home following months of recovery in Europe, after he fell violently sick on a flight between Siberia and Moscow. In the months following Navalny’s poisoning, Christo Grozev, former lead Russia investigator at Bellingcat, was stuck in Vienna with filmmaker Daniel Roher. The two had just been booted from Ukraine, where they had been trying to film an investigation. Grozev suddenly had a lot of time on his hands, a laptop, and a fresh stack of data from the Russian black market so naturally he began to investigate who was behind the poisoning. Daniel Roher directed the documentary “Navalny,” which portrays the story of the close collaboration between Navalny, his team, and Grozev, in the hunt for the dissident’s would-be killers. Last year, Brooke spoke to Roher and Grozev about the making of the documentary, which won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. This is a segment from our February 10, 2023 show, Hide and Seek.

Duration:00:22:25

Breaking News: Biden is Old. Plus, Bobi Wine’s Fight For Democracy

2/16/2024
Coverage of President Joe Biden’s age has reached a fever pitch. On this week’s On the Media, hear whether the quality of the reports has matched their volume. Plus, meet Bobi Wine, a pop star and opposition politician who is fighting for democracy in Uganda. 1. Judd Legum [@JuddLegum], founder of the newsletter Popular Information, Charan Ranganath [@CharanRanganath], a neuroscientist at UC Davis and author of the forthcoming book, Why We Remember: Unlocking Memory’s Power to Hold on to What Matters, and Jack Shafer [@jackshafer], senior media critic at Politico, on the flood of coverage around Biden's age following the release of the Hur report last week and the consequences of the media's minute focus on it. Listen. 2. Lili Loofbourow [@Millicentsomer], television critic at the Washington Post, on Jon Stewart's return to The Daily Show after nine years, and whether the unique form of political comedy he pioneered still holds up in today's drastically different political landscape. Listen. 3. Bobi Wine [@HEBobiwine] and Moses Bwayo [@bwayomoses], co-director of the new Oscar-nominated documentary Bobi Wine: The People's President, on the journey of Wine, a popstar-turned-politician, who has used his music as a platform to fight for democracy in Uganda. Listen.

Duration:00:50:07

Tucker Went to Russia and Got a History Lesson

2/14/2024
Last week we learned that ousted Fox blowhard Tucker Carlson had gone to Russia. He was spotted eating fake McDonalds and watching a ballet at the Bolshoi theater. But Tucker was there for more important things than fast food and culture; he was there for a sit down with President Putin. Carlson was mainly silent as Putin delivered an almost 40 minute long speech on the history of how Ukraine belongs to Russia. But the myths in Putin's and Russia's state-sponsored version of history are not new. Last summer Brooke spoke to Mikhail Zygar who had traced it back at least as far as the middle ages. This is a segment from our August 4, 2023 show, Making History.

Duration:00:17:26

If You Can’t Beat ’Em… Join ’Em? Journalism in an AI World

2/9/2024
In December, the New York Times sued OpenAI for allegedly using the paper’s articles to train chatbots. On this week’s On the Media, a look at how media outlets are trying to survive in this era of generative AI. Plus, why New York’s oldest Black newspaper is joining forces with an AI startup to address biases in the technology. 1. Kate Knibbs [@Knibbs], senior writer at Wired, on AI clickbait flooding the internet. Listen. 2. John Herrman [@jwherrman], tech columnist for New York Magazine, on the love-hate relationship between AI companies and journalism. Listen. 3. Elinor Tatum [@elinortatum], editor in chief of The New York Amsterdam News, on a push to make AI technology and data diverse. Listen. 4. Abbie Richards [@abbieasr], misinformation researcher and a senior video producer at Media Matters, on the AI-generated conspiracy theories multiplying TikTok. Listen.

Duration:00:50:25

Naomi Klein's Trip to the Mirror World

2/7/2024
Naomi Klein has been confused for writer Naomi Wolf for much of her career. Wolf rose to prominence with the book The Beauty Myth in the 90s, establishing herself as a bestselling feminist, liberal writer. Klein, on the other hand, wrote acclaimed critiques of capitalism such as No Logo and The Shock Doctrine. To say Klein is often mistaken for Wolf is an understatement. In the interview she did just before ours, a TV host mistakenly called her by Wolf's name. The confusion is incessant on social media, and escalated when Wolf became notorious as a peddler of covid-19 conspiracies. A few weeks ago, Wolf discovered that a fellow anti-vaxxer was spreading a conspiracy theory, this time about her. Ultimately, Klein decided to plunge down the rabbit hole to follow Wolf, and emerged with a new book Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World, a wide-ranging exploration of doubling in our lives, culture, and politics. Brooke speaks to Klein about how social media has given all of us doppelgangers; why she's proud of her "bad" personal brand; and the value of "unselfing." This segment first aired in our September 15, 2023 show, The “Too Old” President and Political Doppelgängers.

Duration:00:17:17

What the Media Gets Wrong About Immigration, and Chris Hayes Wants More Trump Coverage!

2/2/2024
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has threatened to defy the federal government’s control over the border as the surge of migrants continues. On this week’s On the Media, a look at what might be a brewing constitutional crisis. Plus, hear MSNBC’s Chris Hayes make a case for why journalists should be paying even closer attention to Donald Trump. 1. Adam Serwer [@AdamSerwer], staff writer at The Atlantic, on the humanitarian and constitutional crisis at the Texas border. Listen. 2. Jonathan Blitzer [@JonathanBlitzer], staff writer at The New Yorker, on what the media misses when it covers immigration. Plus, how and why U.S. immigration changed in the 21st century. Listen. 3. Chris Hayes [@chrislhayes], host of “All In with Chris Hayes” on MSNBC, on reasons why the media should re-up their focus on Donald Trump. Listen.

Duration:00:50:13

Micah Speaks To Kyle Chayka About The Filter World

1/31/2024
In Micah Loewinger's introduction to this interview, he shared this personal anecdote: "Before I landed a job at this show, I worked for a few years, on and off, at a couple record stores around New York City. And some of my favorite albums to this day, were recommended to me by my coworkers. Men and women who I consider to be archivists –– not just of old formats like vinyl records, CDs, and cassettes –– but of underappreciated artists and niche genres. A knowledge of music history that can only come from a lifetime of obsessive listening, research, and curation. Nowadays, I pay for Spotify. I try to learn about music off the app and then save it for later listening on Spotify, but sometimes I find myself just letting its recommendation algorithm queue up the next track, and the next. And it definitely works. Spotify has helped me discover great music, but it’s never been as revelatory as a personal recommendation from a friend or an expert at a record store or an independent radio station. This feeling … that I’ve traded convenience for something deeper is what made me want to read Filterworld: How Algorithms Flattened Culture by Kyle Chayka, a staff writer at the New Yorker."

Duration:00:20:31

DeSantis' Failed Campaign Has Lessons For the Political Press. And A Public Radio Parody.

1/26/2024
After New Hampshire and Iowa, the GOP field is narrowing to Donald Trump's benefit once again. On this week’s On the Media, hear how Florida governor Ron DeSantis went from right-wing media darling to the party outcast. Plus, what gets lost in the blow-by-blow coverage of Trump’s legal woes. 1. Nick Nehamas [@NickNehamas], politics reporter for the New York Times, Mary Ellen Klas [@MaryEllenKlas], opinion writer at Bloomberg and former capital bureau chief for the Miami Herald, and Tom Scocca [@tomscocca], creator of the Indignity newsletter, on the rise and fall of Ron DeSantis' presidential campaign, and the lessons it offers about how to cover elections. Listen. 2. Dahlia Lithwick [@Dahlialithwick], lawyer and writer at Slate, on how our legal system isn't designed to save our democracy, and what's wrong with mainstream media's coverage of Trump's trials. Listen. 3. Zach Woods, actor known for his role of Gabe Lewis on The Office, and Brandon Gardner [@BrandonJGardner], improviser and writer, on their new Peacock show, In the Know, which parodies public radio, and reflects our current culture wars. Listen.

Duration:00:50:07

OTM presents - Blindspot: The Plague in the Shadows

1/24/2024
This week we're featuring the work of our colleagues at WNYC: Valerie Reyes-Jimenez called it “The Monster.” That’s how some people described HIV and AIDS in the 1980s. Valerie thinks as many as 75 people from her block on New York City’s Lower East Side died. They were succumbing to an illness that was not recognized as the same virus that was killing young, white, gay men just across town in the West Village. At the same time, in Washington, D.C., Gil Gerald, a Black LGBTQ+ activist, saw his own friends and colleagues begin to disappear, dying out of sight and largely ignored by the wider world. In our first episode of Blindspot: The Plague in the Shadows, we learn how HIV and AIDS was misunderstood from the start — and how this would shape the reactions of governments, the medical establishment and numerous communities for years to come. You can listen to more of Blindspot: The Plague in the Shadows by subscribing here. New episodes come out on Thursdays. Blindspot is a co-production of The HISTORY® Channel and WNYC Studios, in collaboration with The Nation Magazine. A companion photography exhibit by Kia LaBeija featuring portraits from the series is on view through March 11 at The Greene Space at WNYC. Photography by Kia LaBeija is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

Duration:00:35:39

OTM presents - Blindspot: The Plague in the Shadows

1/24/2024
This week we're featuring the work of our colleagues at WNYC: Valerie Reyes-Jimenez called it “The Monster.” That’s how some people described HIV and AIDS in the 1980s. Valerie thinks as many as 75 people from her block on New York City’s Lower East Side died. They were succumbing to an illness that was not recognized as the same virus that was killing young, white, gay men just across town in the West Village. At the same time, in Washington, D.C., Gil Gerald, a Black LGBTQ+ activist, saw his own friends and colleagues begin to disappear, dying out of sight and largely ignored by the wider world. In our first episode of Blindspot: The Plague in the Shadows, we learn how HIV and AIDS was misunderstood from the start — and how this would shape the reactions of governments, the medical establishment and numerous communities for years to come. You can listen to more of Blindspot: The Plague in the Shadows by subscribing here. New episodes come out on Thursdays. Blindspot is a co-production of The HISTORY® Channel and WNYC Studios, in collaboration with The Nation Magazine. A companion photography exhibit by Kia LaBeija featuring portraits from the series is on view through March 11 at The Greene Space at WNYC. Photography by Kia LaBeija is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

Duration:00:35:39

OTM presents - Blindspot: The Plague in the Shadows

1/24/2024
This week we're featuring the work of our colleagues at WNYC: Valerie Reyes-Jimenez called it “The Monster.” That’s how some people described HIV and AIDS in the 1980s. Valerie thinks as many as 75 people from her block on New York City’s Lower East Side died. They were succumbing to an illness that was not recognized as the same virus that was killing young, white, gay men just across town in the West Village. At the same time, in Washington, D.C., Gil Gerald, a Black LGBTQ+ activist, saw his own friends and colleagues begin to disappear, dying out of sight and largely ignored by the wider world. In our first episode of Blindspot: The Plague in the Shadows, we learn how HIV and AIDS was misunderstood from the start — and how this would shape the reactions of governments, the medical establishment and numerous communities for years to come. You can listen to more of Blindspot: The Plague in the Shadows by subscribing here. New episodes come out on Thursdays. Blindspot is a co-production of The HISTORY® Channel and WNYC Studios, in collaboration with The Nation Magazine. A companion photography exhibit by Kia LaBeija featuring portraits from the series is on view through March 11 at The Greene Space at WNYC. The photography for Blindspot was supported by a grant from the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, a nonprofit organization that promotes coverage of social inequality and economic justice.

Duration:00:35:39

Trouble at The Baltimore Sun, and the End of an Era for Pitchfork

1/19/2024
This year has had a rocky start for journalism. The Baltimore Sun changed hands again, and layoffs loom at the LA Times. On this week’s On the Media, hear how private investment firms broke local news. Meanwhile, nonprofit publications try to repair the damage. Plus, a music critic reflects on the job cuts at Pitchfork and the power of the album review. 1. Margot Susca [@MargotSusca], assistant professor of journalism, accountability, and democracy at American University and author of "Hedged: How Private Investment Funds Helped Destroy American Newspapers and Undermine Democracy," on the tactics used by private equity firms and hedge funds to reshape local news. Listen. 2. Milton Kent [@SportsAtLarge], professor of practice in the School of Global Journalism and Communication at Morgan State University, and Liz Bowie [@lizbowie], education reporter for The Baltimore Banner and former reporter for The Baltimore Sun, on the purchase of The Baltimore Sun by David Smith, the executive chairman of Sinclair Broadcast Group, and what it means for Baltimore's local news landscape. Listen. 3. Ann Powers [@annkpowers], critic and correspondent for NPR Music, on Condé Nast's gutting of the influential music publication Pitchfork, and what this means for the future of music journalism. Listen.

Duration:00:50:22

What Israelis Are Seeing on TV - EXTENDED VERSION

1/16/2024
EXTENDED VERSION; Nightmarish images of destruction in Gaza have filled the news and social media feeds for months. But within Israel, mainstream media outlets tell a very different story. This week, Micah Loewinger speaks with Oren Persico, a staff writer at The Seventh Eye, an independent investigative magazine focused on media and freedom of speech in Israel, about the Israeli media landscape in the months following October 7th, and the "dome of disconnection" it created. This is a segment from our January 12th, 2024 show, Israeli TV News Sanitizes the Bombing of Gaza. Plus, a Plagiarism Fight Gets Political.

Duration:00:29:10

Israeli TV News Sanitizes the Bombing of Gaza. Plus, a Plagiarism Fight Gets Political

1/12/2024
The conflict in the Middle East has already killed tens of thousands of Palestinians. On this week’s On the Media, hear how Israeli media outlets are broadcasting a sanitized version of what's happening in Gaza to the Israeli people. Plus, how one billionaire is going after the media for an article about plagiarism. 1. Oren Persico [@OrenPersico], staff writer at The Seventh Eye, an independent investigative magazine focused on freedom of speech in Israel, on how Israeli mainstream media outlets are sanitizing the destruction in Gaza. Listen. 2. Will Sommer [@willsommer], media reporter at The Washington Post, on how fights over plagiarism have become a political tool. Listen. 3. Masha Gessen [@mashagessen], staff writer at The New Yorker, on how the politics of memory around the Holocaust damages our ability to understand the conflict in Gaza and Israel. Listen.

Duration:00:50:22

Mysteries of the Euroverse!

1/10/2024
50 years ago ABBA won the contest for the song Waterloo. Recently Brooke's old friend Charlie asked her to take part in a new podcast born of his love of and obsession with Eurovision, an international song contest organized annually by the European Broadcasting Union, or EBU, with reps from some 70 countries! This week's midweek podcast is episode three of the new series "Mysteries of the Euroverse," hosted by Charlie Sohne and Magnus Riise. On Instagram: @euroversepodcast On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6GlG8M6PKJOxfx5vk9jRiA www.euroversepodcast.com

Duration:00:45:05

How a Whistleblower Changed the Course of History

1/5/2024
Daniel Ellsberg, the famed whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the Washington Post, died six months ago. On this week’s On the Media, hear about his life, how the Pentagon Papers made it to print, and the impact he had on generations of whistleblowers. Plus, the women who covered the War in Vietnam. 1. Tom Devine, legal director for the Government Accountability Project, on Daniel Ellsberg's legacy and the ways he changed public perception of whistleblowers in the U.S. Listen. 2. Les Gelb, former columnist and former Defense Department official, on his experience leading the team that wrote the Pentagon Papers, subject of the Hollywood drama, "The Post." Listen. 3. Seymour Hersh, on how he broke the story of My Lai — the massacre now regarded as the single most notorious atrocity of the Vietnam war. Listen. 4. Reporters Kate Webb, Jurate Kazickas [@juratekazickas], and Laura Palmer on how they covered the Vietnam War and why they went. Listen.

Duration:00:50:32

The Reporter Who Said No to the FBI

1/3/2024
On February 23, 1972, oral arguments began in the Supreme Court for a case that would shape the course of journalism. In the case known as “Branzburg v. Hayes,” the arguments rolled together three related cases that explored the reporter's privilege to protect confidential sources in the face of a legal investigation. The most important of these three cases was United States v. Caldwell. Earl Caldwell was a New York Times reporter who covered the civil rights movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and activities of the Black Panther Party. Caldwell was approached multiple times by the FBI to give up sources and additional details surrounding his coverage of the Black Panther Party. OTM host Micah Loewinger mined oral history interviews with Earl Caldwell and spoke with Lee Levine, an attorney and media law expert who is writing a book about Earl Caldwell, to learn about legal precedents for journalists being called on to testify in federal investigations, the limits of First Amendment privileges for the press, and the sometimes tenuous relationship between journalists and the government. Special thanks to the Maynard Institute For Journalism Education for allowing us to use its Earl Caldwell oral history. This segment originally aired in our May 26, 2023 show, Seditious Conspiracy.

Duration:00:20:37