This week Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told law enforcement agents that he and his brother learned how to make their homemade bombs from Inspire, the English-language magazine of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Bob talks to JM Berger about the magazine, which has gone from being a late-night punchline to something much more terrifying.
Kelan Philip Cohran & The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - Spin
Bob reads from a few of your letters and comments.
Jim James - All Is Forgiven
The Boston bombing has become a Rorschach blot for the media, who have tied it to everything from immigration to welfare to national security. Bob talks to The Daily Beast's Peter Beinart about the media and the culture's desire to impose meaning on tragedy.
Surveillance camera images of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev catalyzed not only the manhunt which caught them, but calls for more surveillance cameras around the country. It’s worth remembering that, right now, video surveillance is a blunt tool. Bob speaks with Christoph Bregler, an NYU computer science professor, about the ways that surveillance will soon be much more effective.
As a manhunt for the Boston bombing suspects unfolded in the wee hours of Friday morning, Twitter was the place to be for coverage. Brooke speaks with OTM producer Alex Goldman, who captained the late (really late) night Twitter coverage for On the Media.
Implode - Bottom Of A Well
As the Senate debates gun control for the first time in decades, we’re awash in stories we might never have heard but for Newtown. Brooke speaks with New York Times op-ed writer Joe Nocera, who's tracking gun violence daily on his blog The Gun Report. And Bob speaks with reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg about why we're stuck with anecdotes instead of data in the gun discussion.
Lúnasa - Killarney Boys Of Pleasure
In China, a new form of avian flu, called H7N9, has killed 10 people and infected an additional 28. China’s gotten plaudits from the global health community for its transparency and responsiveness to this outbreak. But that's partly because many remember how China lied about SARS in 2002, a decision that killed hundreds. Public health reporter Maryn McKenna talks to Bob about what the standards are for reporting health epidemics in a wired world.
Bonobo - Cirrus
Former Congressman Anthony Weiner says he’s interested in running for New York City mayor, two years after a Twitter sex scandal derailed his career. Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, granted an extensive interview to The New York Times Magazine, and swam right back into the political waters this week.
Bitcoin is an online currency backed by no government, central authority or bank. Invented in 2009 as a response to the global financial crisis it's now worth over a billion dollars. Reuters financial blogger Felix Salmon talks to Bob about Bitcoin's impact on the real world and how every conversation about Bitcoin is making it a little bit stronger.
In Somalia the relative calm and stability of the last few years has resulted in a burgeoning journalism scene. But the practice is a deadly one, journalists are targeted for offending powerful interests, and most experienced journalists have fled. NPR's East Africa correspondent, Gregory Warner, talks to Bob about who's stepped in to do the incredibly risky reporting in Somalia - children.
Kronos Quartet - Mai Nozipo
On Tuesday the Associated Press eliminated the phrases "illegal immigrant" and "undocumented" from its stylebook. Previous OTM guest Jose Antonio Vargas has been campaigning for this change for months on the grounds that “actions are illegal – not people.” The AP has conceded this point of view, but it’s not because of political correctness. Bob talks to AP editor Tom Kent, who explains that the change is part of a broader overhaul of the AP stylebook.
William Tyler - We Can't Go Home Again
In early March, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul used a 13-hour filibuster to draw attention to the Obama Administration's drone programs. This week, Slate's David Weigel noticed that public opinion about drones has changed significantly since that filibuster. Bob spoke with Weigel about the connection.
Errors - Tusk
The question of same-sex marriage landed in the Supreme Court this past week, and marriage equality supporters are hoping for a landmark ruling that will legalize same-sex marriage. If it happens, it’ll be one in a series of history-making Supreme Court rulings. But how does it work? Does the Supreme Court have the power to change the culture, or does our culture influence the decisions of the justices? NYU law professor Barry Friedman has written a book on that very question. He tells Bob that for the most part, the Supreme Court tries to shape their decisions according to what the public wants.
Anthony Lewis passed away this week at 85 after a long and storied career covering the Supreme Court for The New York Times. In a segment originally aired in 2008, Brooke spoke with Lewis about his book Freedom for the Thought We Hate, an examination of the First Amendment. He explained that the amendment that governs free speech and the press might not be as familiar as we think.
Oddisee - Frostbite
Last Sunday saw a guilty verdict in the case of two high-school football stars, Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays, who were accused of raping a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio. For six hours, the severely intoxicated victim was dragged from party to party by a number of her peers, a humiliating journey photographed and joked about by the accused and others on sites such as Instagram and Twitter. The ensuing coverage of the verdict revealed a culture still deeply conflicted about rape. Bob talks to Slate's Amanda Marcotte about rape culture and the media.
Even as the media and public fitfully reckoned with the Steubenville verdict, a similar case is playing out in Torrington, Connecticut. Like Steubenville case, a lot of bullying and ridicule of the victims has taken place on social media. Unlike the Steubenville case, the local paper, the Connecticut Register Citizen, chose to publish the bullying tweets from high school students, with their twitter handles and images unredacted. The editor of the newspaper, Matt DeRienzo talks to Bob about his decision to print that information.
Four Tet - 0181-01
Infamous internet troll Andrew “weev” Auernheimer was sentenced to three and a half years in prison this week. He was prosecuted under the controversial Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which critics call too stringent and punitive. Bob talks to Gawker writer Adrian Chen about whether Weev's prosecution will undermine attempts to reform the CFAA.
Plan B - Ill Manors
For over 20 years a voracious personal finance industry has tried to help us make smarter investments and sound financial choices. And it's created a number of stars in the process, television personalities and best-selling authors.
In the next couple of months the Supreme Court will issue a decision in the case of Fisher vs. University of Texas at Austin. The case may determine the future of Affirmative Action, but news coverage that centers on the sympathetic plaintiff in the case misses a fascinating back story. Bob talks with ProPublica reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones about the case.
We have known for years that certain words and phrases can get Chinese internet users flagged for surveillance by the Chinese government. Now a computer science graduate student at the University of New Mexico has compiled an extensive list of the sometimes surprising words and phrases that put Chinese internet censors on alert. Bob talks to Jeffrey Knockel about how he cracked the code of the Chinese version of Skype to compile the list.