On the Media

Mondays at 10 am

WNYC’s weekly investigation into how the media shapes our world view. Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield give you the tools to survive the media maelstrom. Produced by WNYC Studios.

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Podcasts

  • Tuesday, September 19, 2017 1:47pm

    Alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos recently released a list of speakers for his upcoming "Free Speech Week" at University of California Berkeley, a four-day event featuring Steve Bannon, Ann Coulter, and a host of other conservative voices. Yet, according to Berkeley officials, the Berkeley Patriot, the on-campus student publication that invited Yiannopoulos in the first place, has flubbed basic logistical planning and put "Free Speech Week" in jeopardy.

    And if it falls apart, says historian Angus Johnston, then it will look like Berkeley had planned to censor the event all along. He and Brooke speak about why news consumers should focus less on the issue of campus free speech and more on Yiannopoulos’s PR strategy.

  • Thursday, September 14, 2017 8:00pm

    A week after President Trump cut a surprise deal with Democrats, and 100 years after it was created, is the debt ceiling still serving its intended purpose? Plus, inside the alt-right idolization of Taylor Swift and medieval history and how some are trying to fight back. Finally, a new book argues that we may need less technology, even--or especially--if it means we become more bored.

    1. Zachary Karabell, author of "The Leading Indicators: A Short History of the Numbers that Rule Our World," discusses the debt ceiling's history and frequent use as political football.

    2. Mitchell Sunderland, Senior Staff Writer at Vice, on Taylor Swift's fascist following

    2. Historian David M. Perry on how medieval historians should respond to white supremacist affection for their field.

    4. Manoush Zomorodi, host of the WNYC's Note to Self, on her new book, "Bored and Brilliant," and the dire need to disengage from technology.

  • Tuesday, September 12, 2017 7:45am

    President George W. Bush, speaking at a mosque on Sept. 17, 2001: "The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace."

    Donald Trump, campaigning for president on March 9, 2016: "I think Islam hates us."

    David Yerushalmi was living in an Israeli settlement near Jerusalem speaking on the phone with his father when the planes hit the towers on Sept. 11, 2001. "We got it wrong," Yerushalmi remembers telling his father. Before Sept. 11th, Yerushalmi thought terrorism was about nationalism, a fight over land. Afterward, he decided terrorism committed by Muslim extremists was driven by Islam itself -- and underpinned by Islamic Shariah law.  

    So he packed up his family and moved to New York to become part of a fledgling community of conservatives who would come to be known as counter-jihadists. They had an uphill battle to fight: In the aftermath of Sept. 11, President Bush and most Americans, according to polls, did not equate Islam with terrorism. 

    But 16 years later, even though there hasn't been another large-scale terrorist attack on American soil committed by a Muslim, America's perspective on Islam has changed -- evidenced most notably by the election of a president who believes the religion itself hates the country.

    Yerushalmi is a big reason for this change of heart. He's a behind-the-scenes leader of the counter-jihad movement, filing lawsuits pushing back against the encroachment of Islam in the public sphere and crafting a series of anti-Sharia laws that Muslims and civil rights groups decry as Islamophobic.

    "Do I think that the United States is weak enough to collapse either from a kinetic Jihad, meaning war, or even a civilizational Jihad that the Muslim Brotherhood talks about? No. At least not in my lifetime. But do I think it's an existential threat that allows for sleeper cells and the Internet-grown Jihadist that we see day in and day out wreaking so much havoc here and in Europe? Yes. Do I see it as a threat to our freedoms and liberties incrementally through their so-called civilizational Jihad where they use our laws and our freedoms to undermine our laws and our freedoms? Absolutely."

    WNYC reporter Matt Katz speaks to Yerulshami about what he thinks is the creeping threat of Sharia law for the podcast "The United States of Anxiety" produced by New York Public Radio. 

     

  • Thursday, September 7, 2017 8:00pm

    The Trump administration has announced the end of the DACA program. We examine the rhetoric used to justify the decision. Plus: the Southern Poverty Law Center faces questions from across the political spectrum about its messaging and fundraising; and the surprising history of FEMA's Cold War origins and what it means for emergency response today. 

    1. Mark Joseph Stern [@mjs_DC] of Slate dissects the rhetoric used by the Trump administration to justify ending the DACA program. 

    2. Peter Beinart [@PeterBeinart] of The Atlantic on how Democrats frame immigration and what gets ignored in the discussion. 

    3. The Southern Poverty Law Center has faced criticism from the left and the right. Ben Schreckinger [@SchreckReports] of Politico breaks down concerns surrounding the group's messaging and fundraising. Then, SPLC President Richard Cohen [@splcenter] responds to the criticism and rebuts recent, dubious accusations from right-leaning media outlets. 

    4. Garrett Graff [@vermontgmg] wrote about "The Secret History of FEMA" for Wired this week. He explains FEMA's origins as a Cold War civil defense agency and how its mission has evolved.

  • Thursday, August 31, 2017 8:00pm

    Hurricane Harvey makes landfall, bringing with it a familiar set of reporting tropes. We unpack the language of storm reporting and why it falls short, and why these disasters expose a society's priorities. Plus: why there's no such thing as a "natural" disaster; and a conservative commentator on what would really bring a "breaking point" to Trump's relationship with Republicans. 

    1. Neena Satija of The Texas Tribune and Reveal discusses last year's investigative report, "Boomtown, Flood Town," about Houston's risk for flooding. 

    2. The American Storm Edition of the Breaking News Consumer's Handbook, with: Robert Holmes, national flood hazard specialist and coordinator for the U.S.G.S.; risk communication consultant Gina Eosco; and disaster historian Scott Knowles

    3. One of the most widely misreported stories of Hurricane Katrina involved deaths at St. Rita's nursing home in a New Orleans suburb. James Cobb, their lawyer, talked to Brooke about media scapegoating in disasters. 

    4. Noah Rothman of Commentary Magazine on why the Republican party isn't distancing itself more from President Trump.