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Media History

The Brian Lehrer Show

The Future Is Now

Friday, March 06, 2015

Generation X novelist Douglas Coupland and Shumon Basar talk about their new book, modeled on The Medium is the Massage.

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On The Media

Game Changer

Friday, June 13, 2014

Tetris, the world's most ubiquitous and probably most addictive video game, turned thirty this week. To celebrate, we revisit Bob's conversation with the creator of Tetris, Alexey Pajitnov, on the game's twenty-fifth anniversary back in 2009.

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On The Media

The History of the Quiz

Friday, March 28, 2014

The BuzzFeed quiz is ubiquitous; it seems as irresistible as it is inescapable. But when did we first start taking quizzes? Writer Sarah Laskow recently embarked on a quest to find out. She takes Brooke through her search for the Ur Quiz.

Try On the Media's first (and maybe last) quiz: Which 19th Century Media Baron Are You?

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On The Media

The Retro Report

Friday, September 06, 2013

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.

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On The Media

The Collaboration

Friday, September 06, 2013

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.

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On The Media

The Stories They Carried

Friday, August 16, 2013

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

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On The Media

Axis Sally

Friday, July 19, 2013

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

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On The Media

Missile Crisis Memories

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Cuban Missile Crisis was one of the most politically tense moments of the Kennedy presidency, and one of the most memorable media moments of the Cold War. In an interview which originally aired in 2002, Fred Kaplan talks about how the media covered the crisis then, and how that coverage led to people drawing the wrong lessons from the crisis.

Bauhaus - Bela Legosi's Dead

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On The Media

The Gentleman Hacker of 1903

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hackers frequently release insecure information to demonstrate the vulnerability of new technologies. It's a novel approach, but certainly not new. Bob talks to New Scientist's Paul Marks, who tells the story of Nevil Maskelyne, and magician and inventor who, in the interest of exposing the technology's insecurity, hacked Guglielmo Marconi's first demonstration of the wireless telegraph.

Quantic And His Combo Barbaro - Cancao Do Deserto

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On The Media

Remembering Stetson Kennedy

Friday, September 02, 2011

Author, Journalist, historian, and activist Stetson Kennedy began his long career collecting oral histories for the US government's Federal Writer's Project during the great depression. Kennedy passed away last Saturday at the age of 94. Peggy Bulger, director of the American Folklife division of the Library of Congress, talks to Bob about Kennedy's life and accomplishments.

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On The Media

The Media and the West Memphis Three

Friday, August 26, 2011

In 1994, three teenagers were convicted of killing three second graders in a supposed Satanic ritual. Last week, the men now known as the West Memphis three made a plea deal that secured their release. Brooke talks to Mara Leveritt, author of the book The Devil's Knot about the "Satanic Panic" that precipitated the case, and the media's involvement after their conviction.

Song: Dial

Artist: Deaf City

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On The Media

What Does a Pie to the Face Really Mean?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Earlier this week, Rupert Murdoch joined a long list of powerful people who’ve had pies thrown in their face. Thomas Friedman, Bill Gates, and Anita Bryant have all been victims of the classic prank. Brooke talked with Jacques Servin (a.k.a. Andy Bichlbaum) of The Yes Men, a group with a long history of executing public pranks on the mighty, about why pie-rs pie and what pie-ing does to the pie-d.

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On The Media

The Love Triangle, Murder and Missing Head that Sparked a Tabloid War

Friday, July 22, 2011

In the summer of 1897 the story of a dismembered body and a sordid love triangle wasn't likely to dominate the papers.  But William Randolph Hearst saw the story as an opportunity for his newly launched New York Evening Journal to beat out its major competition, Joseph Pulitzer's New York World, and a tabloid war ensued.  Bob spoke with Paul Collins, author of The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City and Sparked the Tabloid Wars.  He says that in their quest to cover the story, the papers employed tactics reminiscent of today's News of the World phone hacking scandal.

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On The Media

Calvin Trillin Looks Back on The Freedom Riders

Friday, July 22, 2011

Covering the Civil Rights movement for Time's Atlanta bureau taught reporter Calvin Trillin some important lessons. How to report in a place where you're not liked (he says he felt 'a little like a foreign corespondent' in the South), the importance of knowing the subject (race) of your reporting very well, and the importance of not just giving every side of an argument equal weight. Brooke talked with Trillin about his piece "Back on the Bus" which will appear in the July 25 issue of the The New Yorker.

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On The Media

Happy Birthday, Marshall McLuhan

Friday, July 22, 2011

Marshall McLuhan, born 100 years ago this week, became an academic celebrity by examining our relationship with media. He argued “that we shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.” WNYC’s Sara Fishko looks back at the hugely influential ideas of an enigmatic man.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Marshall McLuhan Today

Thursday, July 21, 2011

On the centennial of Marshall McLuhan's birth, Paul Levinson, professor of communication & media studies at Fordham University and author of Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millenium, discusses McLuhan's work and legacy.

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Features

The Medium is the Massage: Celebrating Marshall McLuhan's Legacy

Friday, July 15, 2011

Long before Facebook friends, RSS feeds and online shopping became part of everyday lingo, the Canadian media guru Marshall McLuhan studied the development of mass communication and the effects it would have on America's social landscape.

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On The Media

How Nintendo Saved the Video Game Industry

Friday, July 01, 2011

The original Nintendo console, the NES, turned 25 this year. OTM producer PJ Vogt reports the cautionary tale of Nintendo’s rise and (relative) fall, and why both were good for video games.

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On The Media

Infant Mortality

Friday, March 26, 2010

During debate last weekend on the health care bill, Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) yelled out "It's a baby killer!" on the House floor and, in doing so, joined legions who have invoked this powerful defamation. American University professor Allan Lichtman says the phrase holds a prominent place in the catalog of ...

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On The Media

Sex.com

Friday, February 26, 2010

On March 18th, a public auction will be held in Midtown Manhattan. On the block? Sex.com, one of the most coveted pieces of internet real estate, ever. But be warned. Sex dot com comes with a long and troubled past. It’s all chronicled by Kieren McCarthy in

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