There has long been a quiet exception to the constitutional protection against warrantless search and seizure. It happens routinely at every US border, where federal agents are free to confiscate--and copy--contents of hard drives, cell phones, and other electronic data. Bob talks to New York Times contributor Susan Stellin, who broke a story this week with new insights into how the US government exploits the loophole to target journalists, activists and who knows who else.
The conversation about American strikes in Syria shifted this week, after Bashar Al-Assad suggested he would surrender his chemical weapons, and President Obama called on Congress to delay a decision on missile strikes. Bob takes a look at this week's Syria developments in the media, including the supposed gaffe by Secretary of State John Kerry that may have allowed the US to avoid going to war.
Andrew Bird - Ophelia Looks Back
Barrett Brown is a journalist and activist who has been in jail for a year awaiting trial on a number of charges - chief among them copying and pasting a link to leaked documents into an IRC chat room. Ed Pilkington of The Guardian talks to Bob about Brown's case, and the implications it has for other journalists.
This week, Jimmy Kimmel revealed that he had faked a viral video that has racked up over 12 million views. Producers and hosts of TLDR, PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman have been arguing all week about whether this falsehood represents some kind of betrayal of its viewers. So they decided to hash the argument out on the air.
Los Lobos - La Iguana
In the 1930's, Hollywood studios agreed to censor and sometimes cancel films in order to remain active in Nazi Germany. Bob talks to Ben Urwand, author of The Collaboration: Hollywood's Pact With Hitler about this oft-forgotten chapter of American history.
Coverage of the proposed military intervention in Syria is attracting inevitable comparisons to the run-up to the Iraq war, which began 10 years ago. But this time around, with Iraq still fresh in the country's collective memory, the media seem to be more careful. Bob speaks to Max Fisher, foreign affairs blogger for the Washington Post, about the media's coverage of Syria, and how the inevitable comparison to Iraq may not be that useful.
On the Media's own PJ Vogt wrote a story for our new blog TLDR about the difficulty outlets like The Onion and The Daily Show are having finding humor in the situation in Syria as it becomes more complex. Bob talks to PJ about what the outlets are doing wrong, and how they can improve.
In his new book This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral—plus plenty of valet parking!—in America's Gilded Capital, Mark Leibovich provides a panoramic view of the ugly behavior Washington elites—journalists, politicians, and lobbyists—engage in. Bob talks to Leibovich about all the sordid details of "This Town."
Beginning its second season this week, The Retro Report is a video series that looks at reporting from the past to re-examine its accuracy, and follow up on what happened after the media moved on. Bob talks to Retro Report publisher Taegan Goddard about the stories the Retro Report has looked back on.
As audiences for media splinter and advertising with it, how will the journalism concerns that we've grown to know and love keep the lights on? Bob talks to Alan Rusbridger of the Guardian, Mike Perlis of Forbes, M. Scott Havens of The Atlantic, Erin Pettigrew of Gawker, Evan Smith of The Texas Tribune, Richard Toffel of ProPublica and Pam Horan of the Online Publishers Association about all the ways they're striving mightily to keep journalism financially viable.
John Lennon - Imagine (Instrumental)
After years of hemorrhaging money from piracy, the music industry placed its faith in online subscription services like Spotify and Pandora. But a decade on, streaming music appears to be a triumph of hope over experience. Tim Carmody, senior writer for The Verge, says that streaming services and the music industry are clinging to the belief that profitability is ... just over the next hill.
Vitamin String Quartet - Champagne Supernova
As the internet economy emerged, many companies zeroed in on niche groups of consumers to stay in business. ESPN, however, made big money bets on huge sports. Bob talks with the Atlantic's Derek Thompson about how that bet paid off handsomely and about Fox Sports 1 - a new competitor in the cable sports market.
The Who - Baba O'Riley
The Federal Writers' Project put thousands of people to work including Zora Neale Hurston, Stetson Kennedy, and John Steinbeck. They recorded oral histories, folkways, music and wrote everything from state guides to children's books. In an interview that originally aired in 2008, Bob speaks to Jerrold Hirsch, author of Portrait of America, who describes the legacy of "introducing America to Americans," and how the program upended the American story.
Lunasa - Killarney Boys of Pleasure
Two years ago, NPR aired a heartbreaking series on government failures in child welfare on South Dakota Indian reservations. Earlier this month, NPR Ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos released a comprehensive report on the series, saying that it was deeply flawed and should not have aired. Bob looks at the series and Schumacher-Matos' response.
Clint Mansell - Cruel Mistress
Television viewers under a certain age think of the big three broadcast networks as having existed since the dawn of time. A misconception, of course - but largely because of what it omits. In TV's earliest days, there was also the DuMont Network, a pioneering enterprise that aired some of its era's most popular programs. Bob talks history with David Weinstein, author of book that chronicles the rise and fall of DuMont.
Fifty years ago, 17,000 New York City newspaper workers went on strike, shuttering the city's seven daily papers for 114 days. Rooted in fears about new "cold type" printing technology, the strike ended up devastating the city's newspaper culture and launching the careers of a new generation of writers including Tom Wolfe, Gay Talese, and Nora Ephron. Vanity Fair contributor Scott Sherman talks with Bob about the strike and its legacy.
As the new owner of the Post, Jeff Bezos becomes one of the most important people in journalism. So who is Jeff Bezos? Bob talks with journalist Brad Stone about Bezos and how he might lead the paper. Stone is the author of The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon -- it'll be released in October.
Bob speaks with Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi about the scene at the Post when Post CEO and Chairman Don Graham announced the paper's sale to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Farhi had a unique perspective on the sale as the only reporter who knew the announcement was coming. Farhi also lays out the legacy of the Graham family.
It was a big week of news on the national security front. While NSA contractor turned leaker Edward Snowden was securing asylum in Russia, the Guardian newspaper, which first published his revelations, uncovered more about the agency's controversial surveillance programs.
This week saw the conviction of Bradley Manning, congressional hearings on intelligence, and more stories broken from the leaks of Edward Snowden to The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald. Bob reflects on the public perception of government surveillance programs, the threats journalists face, and more.
Stateless - Miles to Go