The 24-hour news cycle and social media provided consumers with up to the minute images and information about the toll of Sandy. Too bad some of those images and information were both woefully incorrect and deliberately misleading. Brooke and Bob talk to the New Jersey Record's John Brennan and Salon's Laura Miller about how disasters plunge us into a media mix of the real, the unreal, and the unknown.
Tom Phillips, the man behind a website called "Is Twitter Wrong?" worked hard during Sandy to debunk many of the false images of the storm and its aftermath. Bob speaks to Phillips about how easy it is to differentiate the real images from the fakes.
Less than a week before the election, many observers across the political spectrum say that they believe a victory for President Obama is highly likely. Others say that it's reckless to predict the future with any kind of certainty. Nate Silver of the New York TimesFiveThirtyEight blog explains to Brooke the difference between forecasting and fortune-telling, and defends his belief that an Obama win seems probable.
The Seattle Times Company has undertaken an experiment it says will show newspapers deserve more political ad dollars: buying and publishing political ads on its own pages. Readers have seen full-page ads in favor of the Republican candidate for governor, as well as ads in support of a referendum that would legalize gay marriage. Bob Garfield speaks with Eli Sanders of Seattle's alt-weekly The Stranger, about why the ads have infuriated subscribers and the newspaper's staff, while leaving everyone else scratching their heads.
In the latest issue of Superman, Clark Kent quits his job at The Daily Planet while soliloquizing about how poor print journalism has become. Brooke talks to Larry Tye, author of Superman: The High Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero about Clark Kent's history as a journalist, the ethical conundrum of covering his alter-ego, and the Man of Steel's potential future as a blogger.
Last week's storm highlighted Twitter's role as a useful (and occasionally infuriating) source of information during an emergency. OTM producer PJ Vogt talks to Bob about how to find accurate information on the platform while mostly avoiding the chaff.
A few weeks ago, Brooke asked listeners to visit our Media Scrutiny Theater website, and gave the address with a "backslash", a mistake that turned out to be like nails on a chalk board for some of our listeners. OTM's acting Senior Producer Jamie York asks for your forgiveness, and vows to do better.
The United States once led the world in internet speed and infrastructure. Now, according to one estimate, it ranks at about 29. Brooke talks to David Cay Johnston, journalist and author of The Fine Print: How big companies use plain english to rob you blind, who says that companies continue to raise prices and engage in lobbying efforts to rewrite regulation, while avoiding necessary upgrades to infrastructure that would speed up America's internet.
Cody Wilson, who leads Defense Distributed, is working on an open-source schematic that will let people print out a plastic pistol at home using a 3D-printer. Wilson talks to Bob about his project, and explains why he's not worried the guns will fall into the wrong hands.