Brooke Gladstone

Host, On The Media

Brooke Gladstone appears in the following:

Fact Checking the End of the World

Friday, September 21, 2012

Citing the Mayan calendar, many people believe that the world will end on December 21, 2012. Some of those people email NASA scientist David Morrison who, unlike most scientists, takes their concerns seriously enough to explain that there is no science to back up the 2012 prophecy. Brooke speaks to Morrison about the possibility of dissuading people from believing the end of the world is near.

Two Steps From Hell - Master of Shadows

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Checking in on Fact Checking

Friday, September 21, 2012

This election season, fact checking has become a story in itself. But what do we really know about how different media outlets fact-check their stories, and what could they be doing better? Brooke speaks with "This American Life" host Ira Glass, The New Yorker's Peter Canby, "All Things Considered" producer Chris Turpin and Poynter's Craig Silverman about the process of trying to get things right.

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"A Wilderness of Error"

Friday, September 21, 2012

In 1970, the wife and daughters of a Green Beret doctor named Jeffrey MacDonald were stabbed to death, and MacDonald himself was found guilty of the crime. In his new book A Wilderness of Error, Errol Morris writes a revisionist history of the case, suggesting that MacDonald may actually be innocent. Brooke speaks to Morris about why, for him, the facts of the original case just didn't add up.

UNKLE - Cut Me Loose

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The Problem with Getting it Wrong

Friday, September 21, 2012

The misreporting of facts can have harsh consequences for the people involved. Brooke explores some of the cases that have tarnished the reputations of individuals—and even a whole town.

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"THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT"

Friday, September 21, 2012

In 2005, The Believer magazine paired a fact-checker with a contributing writer working on a piece. Seven years later some version of their epic, contentious back and forth—first about facts, then about the genre of non-fiction and finally about the nature of truth itself—is a book. Earlier this year, essayist John D’Agata and erstwhile fact-checker Jim Fingal spoke with Brooke about The Lifespan of a Fact.

Sufjan Stevens - Barcarola 

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Does NPR Have a Liberal Bias?

Friday, September 14, 2012

OTM takes up the question posed by Ira Glass: Does NPR have a liberal bias? Brooke wrestles first with the (surprisingly hard to define) terms. What is liberal? What is bias? What is NPR? We then hear three different perspectives on NPR’s political leanings from political scientist Daniel Hallin, media researcher Tom Rosenstiel and conservative volunteer-listener Sam Negus.

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Conclusions on NPR's Liberal Bias

Friday, September 14, 2012

The final installment of our exploration into the question: Does NPR have a liberal bias? In this segment we hear from conservative listeners Sam Negus and Kevin Putt. Then FAIR's Steve Rendall provides his take on our endeavor. PEW's Tom Rosenstiel reports his findings in examining NPR's coverage for bias. And finally, Ira Glass returns to discuss what he learned from our coverage.

Comments [48]

Ira Glass's Challenge

Friday, September 14, 2012

This American Life's Ira Glass drops by to issue a challenge to Brooke and Bob to investigate what he sees as the false charge of liberal bias in public radio and NPR.

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A Brief History of Bias Accusations Against NPR

Friday, September 14, 2012

In this rebroadcast of our investigation into whether NPR has a liberal bias, Brooke looks at the recent history of NPR scandals, and the consistent drumbeat by conservative lawmakers to defund public broadcasting.

Jun Miyake - Lillies in the Valley (from the Pina soundtrack) 

Comments [112]

Slouching Towards Charlotte

Friday, September 07, 2012

John Sides says that at conventions, a journalist’s job is to measure how well politicians have riled up their supporters. But, polls take time, while coverage of speeches starts minutes after the speakers open their mouths. So how should journalists fill the void?  Should they be striving, as they do, to be the nation’s emotional first responders?  Novelist Walter Kirn covered the DNC for The New Republic. He said that watching reporters take the emotional temperature of the room was an alienating experience.

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Tired of Covering the Campaigns

Friday, September 07, 2012

This is the time when most Americans start paying attention to the campaigns, but political reporters have been on the election beat for more than a year and, according to Politico's Dylan Byers, are just plain sick of it. Brooke Speaks to Dylan about why journalists can't wait for this election cycle to be over with.

Galaxie 500 - Summertime

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Why Conventions Matter

Friday, September 07, 2012

For many reporters, covering conventions is a chore. Literally, a chore - something that an authority makes you do even though it's unpleasant and seems pointless. But conventions do matter -- to voters at least. Brooke talks with political scientist John Sides who says that the post-convention polls you'll be seeing next week are a pretty good indicator of who's going to win.  

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The Thrilling Conclusion of the Real World Onion Headlines Contest

Friday, September 07, 2012

Last month, we ran a story about real-life headlines that sound like headlines from The Onion. We asked listeners to send us more examples of Onion-esque headlines, and former Onion editor Joe Garden returns to help Brooke choose the best one.

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"We're Not Going to Let Our Campaign be Dictated by Fact-Checkers"

Friday, August 31, 2012

This week, a Romney pollster responded to several critical fact-checks of a campaign ad by saying "we're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers." Brooke talks to former New Hampshire governor and former White House Chief of Staff John Sununu about the ad and the institution of fact-checking.

Jenny Scheinman - A Ride With Polly Jean

Comments [50]

Fight or Flight

Friday, August 31, 2012

This summer has seen a host of natural disasters, from wildfires across the U.S. to Hurricane Isaac. Back in 2009, while wildfires burned in Los Angeles, Brooke spoke with LA Times then-media reporter James Rainey about how the wildfires were unfolding for him in his backyard and on his television screen.

Peter Gabriel - Down To Earth

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Why Nigerian Email Scams Work

Friday, August 31, 2012

When Nigerian prince scam spam hits our inboxes, most of us know to politely decline requests for assistance. One might wonder why scammers don’t come up with something a bit more believable. But according to a new paper (pdf) by Cormac Hurley of Microsoft Research, the email’s overt scaminess helps identify the biggest suckers. Psychology professor Daniel Simons, who wrote about the phenomenon in the Wall Street Journal, explains.

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The People's Pledge Holds, For Now

Friday, August 31, 2012

In January, Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren agreed to “the People’s Pledge,” a voluntary enforcement scheme designed to banish Super PAC and special-interest advertising from their campaign. To the amazement of campaign-watchers everywhere, thus far, it has worked. Brooke talks to Boston University Mass Communications professor and Campaign Outsider blogger John Carroll about why and what, if anything, the success of the Pledge means for the rest of the country.

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A Surprisingly Successful "Fake" "Erotic" E-book

Friday, August 31, 2012

Brooke speaks to Justin Robert Young, who, along with Brian Brushwood, inspired their podcast fans to write a fake erotic e-book and improve its ranking in the iBook store by buying it and leaving 5-star reviews. The idea was to mock the success of Fifty shades of Grey and its sequels. The book reached #4, but then something funny happened - people not in on the joke started buying and positively reviewing the book.

Andrea True - More, More, More

Comments [16]

Fact Checking and "post-truth" Politics

Friday, August 31, 2012

In pursuit of balance, there is a journalistic inclination to shy away from fact-checking in favor of reporting both sides of a debate. Brooke reflects on fact-checking assertions made at the Republican National Convention, and talks to The Atlantic's James Fallows who says that Journalists are - slowly and painfully - becoming more courageous in embedding fact-checks in their stories.

Comments [16]

Citizen Adelson

Friday, August 31, 2012

Turns out Sheldon Adelson, casino magnate and, as of late, Mitt Romney supporter, also owns Israel’s most popular daily newspaper, Israel HaYom. Freelance Jerusalem-based journalist Matthew Kalman says the free, aggressively pro-Netanyahu paper has quickly come to dominate the market while its competitors downsize and slash staff.  

Jessie Ware - Still Love Me

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