In this rebroadcast of our investigation into whether NPR has a liberal bias, Brooke looks at the recent history of NPR scandals, and the consistent drumbeat by conservative lawmakers to defund public broadcasting.
Jun Miyake - Lillies in the Valley (from the Pina soundtrack)
This American Life's Ira Glass drops by to issue a challenge to Brooke and Bob to investigate what he sees as the false charge of liberal bias in public radio and NPR.
The final installment of our exploration into the question: Does NPR have a liberal bias? In this segment we hear from conservative listeners Sam Negus and Kevin Putt. Then FAIR's Steve Rendall provides his take on our endeavor. PEW's Tom Rosenstiel reports his findings in examining NPR's coverage for bias. And finally, Ira Glass returns to discuss what he learned from our coverage.
OTM takes up the question posed by Ira Glass: Does NPR have a liberal bias? Brooke wrestles first with the (surprisingly hard to define) terms. What is liberal? What is bias? What is NPR? We then hear three different perspectives on NPR’s political leanings from political scientist Daniel Hallin, media researcher Tom Rosenstiel and conservative volunteer-listener Sam Negus.
Brooke Gladstone, managing editor and co-host of On the Media, discusses the role of fact checkers and facts — particularly in political coverage.
John Sides says that at conventions, a journalist’s job is to measure how well politicians have riled up their supporters. But, polls take time, while coverage of speeches starts minutes after the speakers open their mouths. So how should journalists fill the void? Should they be striving, as they do, to be the nation’s emotional first responders? Novelist Walter Kirn covered the DNC for The New Republic. He said that watching reporters take the emotional temperature of the room was an alienating experience.
This is the time when most Americans start paying attention to the campaigns, but political reporters have been on the election beat for more than a year and, according to Politico's Dylan Byers, are just plain sick of it. Brooke Speaks to Dylan about why journalists can't wait for this election cycle to be over with.
Galaxie 500 - Summertime
Last month, we ran a story about real-life headlines that sound like headlines from The Onion. We asked listeners to send us more examples of Onion-esque headlines, and former Onion editor Joe Garden returns to help Brooke choose the best one.
For many reporters, covering conventions is a chore. Literally, a chore - something that an authority makes you do even though it's unpleasant and seems pointless. But conventions do matter -- to voters at least. Brooke talks with political scientist John Sides who says that the post-convention polls you'll be seeing next week are a pretty good indicator of who's going to win.
Brooke speaks to Justin Robert Young, who, along with Brian Brushwood, inspired their podcast fans to write a fake erotic e-book and improve its ranking in the iBook store by buying it and leaving 5-star reviews. The idea was to mock the success of Fifty shades of Grey and its sequels. The book reached #4, but then something funny happened - people not in on the joke started buying and positively reviewing the book.
Andrea True - More, More, More
The Republican National Convention was a scripted, curated affair. Yet so many news stories from Florida are genuinely odd. Brooke speaks with Florida crime reporter Will Greenlee and novelist Karen Russell (a Floridian herself) about some of the weirdest stories and why Florida is such fertile ground for strangeness.
Fats Waller - Alligator Crawl
Turns out Sheldon Adelson, casino magnate and, as of late, Mitt Romney supporter, also owns Israel’s most popular daily newspaper, Israel HaYom. Freelance Jerusalem-based journalist Matthew Kalman says the free, aggressively pro-Netanyahu paper has quickly come to dominate the market while its competitors downsize and slash staff.
Jessie Ware - Still Love Me
This summer has seen a host of natural disasters, from wildfires across the U.S. to Hurricane Isaac. Back in 2009, while wildfires burned in Los Angeles, Brooke spoke with LA Times then-media reporter James Rainey about how the wildfires were unfolding for him in his backyard and on his television screen.
Peter Gabriel - Down To Earth
In pursuit of balance, there is a journalistic inclination to shy away from fact-checking in favor of reporting both sides of a debate. Brooke reflects on fact-checking assertions made at the Republican National Convention, and talks to The Atlantic's James Fallows who says that Journalists are - slowly and painfully - becoming more courageous in embedding fact-checks in their stories.
This week, a Romney pollster responded to several critical fact-checks of a campaign ad by saying "we're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers." Brooke talks to former New Hampshire governor and former White House Chief of Staff John Sununu about the ad and the institution of fact-checking.
In January, Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren agreed to “the People’s Pledge,” a voluntary enforcement scheme designed to banish Super PAC and special-interest advertising from their campaign. To the amazement of campaign-watchers everywhere, thus far, it has worked. Brooke talks to Boston University Mass Communications professor and Campaign Outsider blogger John Carroll about why and what, if anything, the success of the Pledge means for the rest of the country.
When Nigerian prince scam spam hits our inboxes, most of us know to politely decline requests for assistance. One might wonder why scammers don’t come up with something a bit more believable. But according to a new paper (pdf) by Cormac Hurley of Microsoft Research, the email’s overt scaminess helps identify the biggest suckers. Psychology professor Daniel Simons, who wrote about the phenomenon in the Wall Street Journal, explains.
This week came news that the Homicide Watch D.C. might go on hiatus because its founder and proprietor Laura Amico has been awarded the Nieman-Berkman fellowship. Amico is attempting to keep Homicide Watch alive with a Kickstarter campaign to turn the website into a teaching lab for burgeoning crime reporters. In this interview from November, 2011 Brooke talks to Amico about the site's mission and how it works.
You can find the Homicide Watch Kickstarter campaign by following this link.
Ballake Sissoko & Vincent Segal - Oscarine
Bob and Brooke announce the triumphant return of Media Scrutiny Theater, the webseries where they watch and comment on the latest batch of campaign ads.
JD Samson & Men - Simultaneously
In the past month there have been high profile ads supporting both major presidential candidates. Many have skewered for being untrue. The Annenberg School's Kathleen Hall Jamieson says that in the post Citizens United world you can expect to see more ads and more inaccuracy than ever before.
Blood Orange - Can We Go Inside Now