The Government Shutdown's Damage, Brooke's DNA, and More

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Friday, October 18, 2013

The long term cost of the shutdown is ignored by the media, Glenn Greenwald's new investigative reporting outfit, and Brooke shares the results of her mail-order DNA test.

We Didn't Really Dodge a Bullet

This round of budget clashes are over (for now), but how should we assess the damage done by these regular crises? Bob talks with Reuters financial blogger Felix Salmon who says that the real story of these political battles is the slow motion, irreversible damage they're doing to America's financial standing. 

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TV Coverage of the Shutdown (and Moose Mating Calls)

Two weeks ago we talked with James Fallows about rampant false equivalency by newspapers in covering the federal government shutdown. This week, Bob speaks with Andrew Tyndall of The Tyndall Report who says broadcast news had its own weakness -- choosing anecdotal stories of real people hurt by the shutdown over informative analysis. 

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Healthcare dot UGH

Healthcare.gov launched in the beginning of the month to much frustration, as hundreds of thousands of people flocked to buy insurance from the online exchange. Because of technical glitches, the majority of these users were turned away due to website problems. Bob talks to programmer and Bloomberg Businessweek contributor Paul Ford who says while healthcare.gov was open for business at the beginning of the month, it’s failure may be attributed to its closed code.

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Glenn Greenwald's Departure From the Guardian

This week, Glenn Greenwald, now a household name for his role in reporting the Edward Snowden leaks, announced he was leaving The Guardian for a "a once-in-a-career dream journalistic opportunity." Brooke talks to pressthink.org's Jay Rosen about that opportunity and how it could differ from current journalistic endeavors.

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Genetic Testing Anxiety

Brooke and OTM producer PJ Vogt prepare to send their saliva off to 23andMe, a company that analyzes DNA information. Before they prepare their samples, Brooke and PJ talk with OTM senior producer Katya Rogers, and former OTM producer Jamie York about what they hope to find out from their genetic testing, what they’re concerned about discovering, and the value of having their genetic information online.

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Lost, Then Found

While PJ and Brooke wait for the genetic test results to come in, WNYC reporter Mary Harris brings us a cautionary tale about a family of sorts, reunited by a gene data bank.

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The Results Are In

Brooke and OTM producer PJ Vogt get their genetic tests back and reveal the results to each other. Then, to help them understand what their results really mean, Brooke and PJ speak to geneticist Greg Lennon, co-founder of SNPedia, a wiki-pedia for genetic information that aims to make “DNA stuff” real. Lennon answers some of Brooke and PJ’s pressing questions about their results. Among other things, Brooke finds out she doesn’t have as much Neanderthal in her genes as she hoped.

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