Back to the Future

Since the Parkland school shooting, the student-led #NeverAgain movement has kept gun control in the headlines. This week, we look at how the movement began — and how pro-gun internet trolls have tried to undermine its message. Plus, how the world of Black Panther taps into a long history of black liberation struggles, and why Black History Month, in the Trump era, can feel both righteous and corporate, dignified and farcical. 
  1. Emily Witt [@embot], writer and reporter at the New Yorker, on the genesis of the #NeverAgain movement
2. Jason Koebler [@jason_koebler], editor-in-chief at Motherboard, on the "crisis actor" conspiracy
  1. Adam Fletcher [@bicyclingfish], co-founder of the Freechild Project, on the history of student-led movements. 

  2. Doreen St. Félix [@dstfelix], staff writer at the New Yorker, on the commercialization of Black History Month.

  3. Nathan Connolly [@ndbconnolly], history professor at John Hopkins University, on the origins of "Black Panther"'s Wakanda

Devil in the Details

This week, we dive headfirst into the uncomfortable and the untrue — on the international stage, in the White House, and in your local newspaper. How claims from Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] press releases sometimes end up, almost verbatim, in local reporting on deportations; why a New York City immigration advocate's history muddies the waters around his advocacy; what Poland's new Holocaust law really means for the country; and how personal stakes can shape our understanding of the plight of the Rohingya in Myanmar.  Featuring: 
  1. Bob, on the Trump White House getting caught up in lies once again. 
  2. Gaby Del Valle [@gabydvj], staff writer for The Outline, on how ICE press releases make their way into local news reporting

  3. Errol Louis [@errollouis], host of Inside City Hall on NY1, on the press's coverage of immigration advocate Ravi Ragbir.

4. Geneviève Zubrzycki, sociology professor at the University Continue reading "Devil in the Details"

The Safety Net Just Got a Little Less Safe

On Monday, Donald Trump released the second budget proposal of his presidency. There’s lots in it — more money for defense, veterans and border security and some tax changes too. But what really jumps out is the proposal to cut funding for federal assistance programs including a 20 percent cut to Section 8 housing, a 22 percent cut to Medicaid and a brutal 27 percent cut to SNAP (the benefit formerly known as food stamps). Bobby Kogan, who on Twitter identifies himself as “chief number cruncher for the Senate budget committee”, points out that SNAP benefits are already small at just $1.40 per meal, and that “cutting the program by a quarter is extremely cruel.” The proposed cuts evinced outrage from advocates for the poor, who have also noted that the social safety net has big holes and vulnerable people have been falling through them for years. In the fall of 2016, Brooke reported a series we called Continue reading "The Safety Net Just Got a Little Less Safe"

Blame It On The Alcohol

This week, we devote an entire hour to what one important scholar deemed “the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.” From its earliest role as a source of nourishment to its depictions in ancient literature, we examine the roots of mankind’s everlasting drinking problems. Plus, how a bizarre 60 Minutes piece spread the idea that red wine has medicinal effects. Then, a look at how popular culture has incorrectly framed Alcoholics Anonymous as the best and only option for addiction recovery. And, a scientist cooks up a synthetic substitute for booze. 1. Iain Gately, author of Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol, on the ancient origins of our core beliefs about booze.  2. Robert Taylor, assistant managing editor at Wine Spectator, on red wine's constantly changing reputation as a healthy substance.
  1. Gabrielle Glaser [@GabrielleGlaser], author of Her Best-Kept Secret: Why Women Drink - Continue reading "Blame It On The Alcohol"