After the Storm

Three months after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico's recovery story is far from over and far from simple. For some, it's a story of resilience. Others, resignation. For all, it is a story of frustration. Where some adapt, or become acostumbrados, and others demand political solutions. Where tragedy and privation is relieved not just by clean tap water or dependable electricity, but by jokes, music and defiance. This week, we look at the on-the-ground reality of Puerto Rico's recovery and explore all that has been exposed by the storm and its aftermath.
  1. Sandra Rodriguez Cotto [@srcsandra], host at WAPA Radio, on community radio's role in supporting Puerto Rico's recovery. Omaya Sosa Pascual [@omayasosa], investigative journalist and co-founder of the Center for Investigative Journalism, on Maria's death count and understanding who is really in charge of Puerto Rico. 
  2. OTM producer Alana Casanova-Burgess [@alanallama] speaks Continue reading "After the Storm"

Is It Okay For Kayla Moore to Say “Jew”?

Roy Moore just lost the election in Alabama, but not before his wife Kayla Moore caused an uproar at his final campaign rally. Defending her husband against "fake news" and accusations of antisemitism, Kayla Moore announced: "Our attorney is a Jew." Mark Oppenheimer, host of the podcast Unorthodox, has argued that we should start using the word "Jew" rather than "Jewish." Brooke spoke with him earlier this year about the history of the term, its use as a racial slur, and how it could be re-purposed. After the Kayla Moore debacle, Brooke reconnected with Oppenheimer to talk about the possible limits of his argument, whether the Moores really have Jewish friends, and how to spell "Hanukkah."

Power Trip

From Capitol Hill to the workplace to the darkest corners of the internet, it can feel like our world is increasingly being manipulated by threats and intimidation. This week we look at the role of bullies in our lives and how we should and shouldn’t respond. Plus, as the GOP tax bill moves through Congress, a look back at the historical struggle over taxation in America. And finally, the story of an MSNBC contributor fired and rehired within the past two weeks and the far-right troll who was responsible. 
  1. Brooke on WNYC's own revelations of sexual misconduct and bullying and Dahlia Lithwick [@Dahlialithwick], writer for Slate and host of the Amicus podcast, on the potential danger for Democrats when they take the "moral high ground" on sexual misconduct. 
2. Molly Michelmore [@MollyMichelmore], historian at Washington & Lee University, on the history and evolution of political Continue reading "Power Trip"

A Reckoning in Our Own House

This weekend, New York Magazine published investigative reporter Suki Kim's personal experiences and reporting on sexual harassment by John Hockenberry, former host of the WNYC program, "The Takeaway." The article alleges that over the past decade, Hockenberry sexually harassed interns, producers, and a guest on "The Takeaway." It also details a culture of bullying; in particular Hockenberry's behavior towards three female co-hosts, none of whom remained on the show.  In August 2017, John Hockenberry retired from WNYC as a highly regarded, award-winning broadcast and radio journalist. Most staff members at WNYC were unaware of his alleged behavior until we read Suki Kim's article.  This podcast is a tick-tock of a station reckoning with its own sexual harassment allegations; the on-air conversations between hosts, reporters, listeners and WNYC management.  

Flim-Flam Nation

It was yet another week of outrageous and consequential stories piling on top of one another at a head-spinning pace. A failed attempt to discredit the Washington Post. A bombshell plea from a former Trump official. A secret button. Poison in the Hague. A computer glitch that could ruin Christmas. And the FCC's upcoming vote on "net neutrality," a bureaucratic thicket with potentially catastrophic consequences. All of this, plus radical transparency in journalism, bots bringing down public comment and the history of America's love of hoaxes. 
  1. Brooke leads us through a week that was, as she says, a "ceaseless and accelerating volume of crazy"—coming both from the news at large and the Oval Office. 

  2. Margaret Sullivan [@Sulliview], columnist for the Washington Post, on how her colleagues' adroit response to the failed Project Veritas "sting" could help rehabilitate the public's faith in news organizations. 

  3. Tom Wheeler [@tewheels], former Continue reading "Flim-Flam Nation"

About that Nazi Next Door

The New York Times' profile of Tony Hovater, a white nationalist and Nazi sympathizer, set Twitter on fire last weekend — and not in a good way. Bob speaks with Charlie Warzel, senior technology writer at Buzzfeed, about what the story got wrong.  As Warzel wrote earlier this week, in a piece titled "The New York Times Can't Figure Out Where Nazis Come From in 2017. Pepe Has an Answer":  "Save for a passing mention of 4chan and some description of Hovater's more contentious Facebook posts, the Times piece does little to describe the online ecosystem that has helped white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the alt-right organize, amplify its message, and thrive in recent years. And, simply put, any attempt to answer what exactly led Hovater to "gravitate toward the furthest extremes of American political discourse" is incomplete without it."

Apocalypse, Now

Science fiction has always been an outlet for our greatest anxieties. This week, we delve into how the genre is exploring the reality of climate change. Plus: new words to describe the indescribable.
  1. Jeff VanderMeer [@jeffvandermeer], author of the Southern Reach Trilogy and Borne, on writing about the relationships between people and nature.

  2. Claire Vaye Watkins [@clairevaye] talks about Gold Fame Citrus, her work of speculative fiction in which an enormous sand dune threatens to engulf the southwest. 

  3. Kim Stanley Robinson discusses his latest work, New York 2140. The seas have risen 50 feet and lower Manhattan is submerged. And yet, there's hope.

  4. British writer Robert Macfarlane [@RobGMacfarlane] on new language for our changing world. 

Throughout the show: listeners offer their own new vocabulary for the Anthropocene era. Many thanks to everyone who left us voice memos!