Last Saturday, George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Since then, everyone from protesters to politicians to pundits have weighed in. Brooke talks to Tampa Bay Times media critic Eric Deggans about the reaction and how the verdict has reignited discussions of race in the U.S.
More than fifty years ago, Mildred Gillars was released from prison. Known more widely as Axis Sally, Gillars broadcasted pro-Nazi propaganda during World War II on German state radio. After the war, she became one of the only women ever convicted of treason in the United States. In an interview from 2011 Brooke talks to historian Richard Lucas, who wrote Gillars’ biography, about her broadcasts, her trial, and her quiet life in Ohio after her imprisonment.
Toots Thielemans - La Vie En Rose
We are often reminded of the privileges we enjoy as Americans, but here's one thing we can't do on native soil - tune in to Voice of America. The U.S. government radio station that was created as a propaganda tool during World War II was prohibited from broadcasting at home. In an interview that originally aired in 2003, Brooke talks to lifetime VOA staffer Alan Heil about his book Voice of America: A History.
George Zimmerman's acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin is re-igniting calls for a national conversation about race. CNN news analysts and other on-air personalities repeated the phrase several times over the weekend as emotions ran high. But is it the media's job after racially charged events like this to facilitate the conversation?
Last year the single largest corporate lobbyist was General Electric. The second biggest? A new arrival, called...Google. Time Magazine White House correspondent Michael Scherer tells Brooke what took the tech industry so long to get lobbying and what they're doing to influence politics.
The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation has been creating some of the world's slowest TV - shows like a 7 hour train ride or 18 hours of salmon fishing. Norwegian audiences are loving it. Brooke speaks with Rune Moklebust of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation about why he thinks so-called "boring TV" is actually quite exciting.
Unlike the Egyptian revolution of 2011, the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi is a story without a clear protagonist or an easy, happy summary. Brooke talks with NPR's Deb Amos about the way the media both here and in the region has been handling that complexity. Amos covers the Middle East for NPR News.
When the shooting of Trayvon Martin became national news in 2012, it opened up a discussion about race and the criminal justice system in the United States. But since the trial of George Zimmerman began three weeks ago, coverage has taken a turn toward the sensational. Brooke talks to Tampa Bay Times media critic Eric Deggans about the evolving quality of coverage of the Trayvon Martin story.
Ivan Oransky is a doctor and journalist and founder, along with Adam Marcus, of a blog called Retraction Watch. The site monitors scientific journals and investigates why articles were retracted. Brooke talks with Oransky, who says that since he and Marcus started the site in 2010 retractions have become more and more frequent.
A hundred years ago, a human-like skull and ape-like jaw were presented at a special meeting of the Geological Society in London. The so-called "Piltdown Man" became widely accepted as a crucial link in the human evolutionary chain; crucial, that is, until 1953, when the bones were exposed as a total hoax. In an interview from December of last year, Nova Senior Science Editor Evan Hadingham talks to Brooke about this tantalizing example of "scientific skullduggery."
In spite of the ongoing leaks by the Guardian and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, there is still much that the public doesn't know about government surveillance. Brooke talks to Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, who says that the government needs to better inform the public, and when it does, it needs to be a little more accurate and a little less misleading.
Tom Waits - Clap Hands
Famous Boston gangster Whitey Bulger is now on trial in Boston. He’s accused of committing 19 murders, and has also been revealed as a long-time informant for the FBI. Reporter Kevin Cullen was the first to report that Bulger was an FBI informant years ago, and he kept up with the case. Brooke speaks to Cullen about Bulger, and about his new book “Whitey Bulger, America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt that Brought Him to Justice.”
Cops and Criminals - Howard Shore
Despite the Prop 8 and DOMA rulings, groups like the National Organization for Marriage will continue fighting gay marriage in many states in coming years. Brooke speaks with Thomas Peters, the communications director for the National Organization for Marriage about the past, present and future of the group's messaging.
Four Tet - Harps
The next battles over gay marriage will happen in the states where each side has changed and refined their messaging over the past few years. Brooke talks with Amy Mitchell from the Pew Research Project for Excellence in Journalism about the growing acceptance of gay marriage. Also, gay marriage advocate and researcher David Dodge explains that pro-gay marriage campaigns have only recently found messages that work.
B. Fleischmann - Lemmings
Lori Ruff committed suicide on Christmas Eve, 2010, by shooting herself in her in-laws' driveway. The details of her death are clear. But the family she married into knew virtually nothing about her life. After her death they learned that she'd stolen the identity of a child who had died in a fire in 1971. But who was Lori Ruff, really? Brooke talks to The Seattle Times’ Maureen O’Hagan, who's asking readers to help solve this mystery.
Lúnasa - Killarney Boys of Pleasure
This week, President Obama told Charlie Rose that he would like to have a national conversation about government surveillance. Brooke explores what it means to truly have a "national conversation" with the American Library Association's Lynne Bradley, the Constitution Project's Sharon Bradford Franklin, and California Congressman Henry Waxman.
Last week, a bill called the We Are Watching You Act was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives. It's meant to protect consumers from new technology that could monitor them as they watch TV or play video games. Brooke speaks to Rep. Walter Jones, one of the bill's cosponsors, about why he feels these regulations are necessary.
In a Guardian livechat this week, NSA leaker Edward Snowden advised Americans to consider the trade off they make between privacy and security: "Bathtub falls and police officers kill more Americans than terrorism, yet we've been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it." These "X kills more people than Y" comparisons crop up all the time, in discussions of terrorism, gun control, even obesity. Brooke talks to risk analyst Peter Sandman about why they aren't very persuasive.
As hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, continues its spread throughout the nation, oil industry representatives and environmentalists vie for control over coverage of the issue. Brooke speaks to ProPublica's Abrahm Lustgarten about how advocates on both sides of the issue are attempting to control the narrative.
While the US is focusing on leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, international journalists have been reporting stories from a massive trove of documents called the "Offshore Leaks" that reveals the mysterious world of offshore tax havens. Brooke talks to Gerard Ryle, the Director of the Center for Public Integrity's International Consortium for Investigative Journalism about coordinating the reporting on these leaks around the world.