July 22, 2011

« previous episode | next episode »

Friday, July 22, 2011

Is the public - and the media - getting bored of the Murdoch News of the World scandal? Were they ever interested to begin with? Plus the history of pie throwing as political statement, the relative ease of hacking a cell phone, and the 100th birthday of Marshall McLuhan.

The Murdoch Family's Endurance

Since last week, the British tabloid phone hacking scandal has worked its way into the highest levels of power in England.  The Metropolitan Police Commissioner has resigned, and even British Prime Minister David Cameron has come under intense public pressure.  The Murdoch family, however, seems to have survived, mostly unscathed. Reuters’ finance blogger Felix Salmon talks to Bob about Rupert and James Murdoch’s unlikely endurance. 

Comments [2]

Muted U.S. Public Reaction to British Tabloid Scandal

The U.S. media has been fascinated with the British tabloid phone hacking scandal and its widespread fallout. But according to polling by the Pew Research Center, the public doesn’t share the media’s obsession. Brooke speaks to Pew Research Center President Andrew Kohut, who says that when  the public was asked which story they were following most closely, only 4 percent chose the phone hacking story.

Comments [3]

What Does a Pie to the Face Really Mean?

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.

Comments [5]

Phone Hacking: A Guide

As the effects from the News of the World phone hacking continue to ripple throughout Britain, many are still wondering how those journalists and private investigators managed to do it.  This may not have been their method, but for WNYC's John Keefe, voicemail hacking was surprisingly (and shockingly) easy.  He tells Brooke all you need is a computer, a phone number, and $10.

Comments [5]

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

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.

Comments [4]

Happy Birthday, Marshall McLuhan

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.

Comments [2]

Calvin Trillin Looks Back on The Freedom Riders

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.

Comments [4]