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!   

Brooke Gets Mindful

If you find yourself fuming at the Thanksgiving table this week when the conversation turns political, rather than losing your cool in front of your friends and family, consider pausing and taking a deep breath. According to Robert Wright, author of Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment, so much of the tribalism and animosity that fuels our political moment could be mitigated if more Americans adopted mindfulness techniques. In this podcast extra, Brooke speaks with Wright about how living a mindful life can make us savvier, saner news consumers and help us avoid outrage fatigue.

The Reckoning

As allegations of sexual misconduct continue to dominate the news, a look at how we are dealing with high-profile offenders and who is being ignored. Plus, a critical reexamination of Bill Clinton's reputation, the difficulty of processing good art made by bad people, and how to brace ourselves for the potential backlash.
  1. Rebecca Traister [@rtraister], writer-at-large for New York Magazine, on how sexual harassment stories at the national level resonate with our own familiar relationships to power and gender. 
  2. Michelle Goldberg [@michelleinbklyn], columnist for The New York Times, on the claims of sexual misconduct made against Bill Clinton. 

  3. Sarah Smarsh [@Sarah_Smarsh], writer and reporter, on the sexual harassment accusations that won't make the news, especially those of the working poor. 

4. Lily Loofbourow [@Millicentsomer], culture critic for The Week, on preparing for a public backlash against the Continue reading "The Reckoning"

Rebecca Traister Says “the Anger Window” is Open

New York Magazine writer Rebecca Traister says that every new revelation about sexual harassment confirms what women have always known. In her most recent article she asks "as stories about abuse, assault, and complicity come flooding out, how do we think about the culprits in our lives? Including, sometimes, ourselves." Brooke spoke with Rebecca on Tuesday; it was a long and impassioned interview, a shorter version of which will be in this week's show (a full hour about the "#metoo" moment), but in the meantime, here is a lightly edited version of their conversation. 

The Ecstasy of Gold

Another massive data leak has cast scrutiny on the world of the ultra-wealthy, but some doubt whether much will change. A look inside the Paradise Papers and at the secretive industry of "wealth management" that makes sure the wealthy remain rich and hidden. Also, in the wake of the shuttering of Gothamist and DNAinfo, how journalism is contending with its "billionaire problem," and a look at the recent standoff between Disney and journalists. Finally, the story of how a Syrian man's journey to the West found him experiencing America's Wild West in Sweden.
  1. Marina Walker Guevara [@MarinaWalkerG], Deputy Director at The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, on how the group reported the Paradise Papers.
2. Brooke Harrington, author of Capital without Borders, on the secretive industry of "wealth management" and the real threat of offshore wealth.
  1. Julia Wick [@sherlyholmes], former editor-in-chief of LAist Continue reading "The Ecstasy of Gold"

12 Months Later: Brooke and Bob on Covering Trump

So it's now a year since Election Day 2016. Back in July we revisited the day after: the mood was tense, and our Executive Producer Katya Rogers seized the opportunity to offer listeners some ultra transparency, documenting the moment when Brooke and Bob were at their most doubting. The result: a raw podcast extra, in which the hosts argued about how the show should cover the Trump administration. Flash forward to this this summer; Bob and Brooke re-listened to their November conversation and then turned on the mics. Eight months later, Bob expressed some regret about his approach.

Off the Radar

Following the announcement of the first indictments in Robert Mueller's special investigation, the media were scrambling to put together the pieces...or else ignoring the news completely. How to make sense of the details, and the silences, in Mueller's first public release and in some of the media's apparent apathy. Also, how the NPR newsroom responded when one of its own was brought down for sexual harassment. And a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner talks about unredacting the bestseller he wrote behind bars and what he's learned about America's opaque military and justice systems.
  1. Bob looks at how Rupert Murdoch's media empire spins all things Trump. And Sarah Ellison [@sarahlellison], special correspondent for Vanity Fair, helps to explain the mogul's long game.
  2. Marcy Wheeler [@emptywheel], independent investigative journalist, breaks down what we know from the first Mueller indictments, what we can surmise and what the media need to be Continue reading "Off the Radar"