Excerpt: "For the first time in history, more than one in every 100 American adults is behind bars. For black men between the ages of 20 and 34, that figure is one in nine. Our incarceration rate dwarfs that of every other nation, but our overall crime rate is average for Western countries."
Audio News (in case you missed it): Ginsberg to Kissinger in '71 "Let's get naked!"
At the end of last year, transcripts from more Nixon administration audio recordings were released by the National Security Archive. One of the more entertaining tidbits is a phone conversation between Henry Kissinger and Allen Ginsberg in which Ginsberg proposes that they meet to talk about how to end the Vietnam War. Kissinger seems surprisingly open to the idea. But then, kind of out of nowhere Ginsberg makes a strange suggestion.
G: It would be even more funny to do it on television. K: What? G: It would be even more useful if we could do it naked on television. K: (Laughter )
...don't think that meeting ever took place.
The National Security Archive has posted audio of some of Kissinger conversations HERE but, sadly, not this one.
This is a haunting profile of the troubled city of Juarez, Mexico - just across the U.S. border. Done by the great Scott Carrier, Salt Lake City resident and long time This American Life contributor. There is no better voice in Public Radio than Carrier's. That is unless you count the cowboy in this story.
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) this morning told radio host Bill Press that she thinks that so-called "Fairness Doctrine" -- or something akin to it -- should be brought back to the airwaves.
The Fairness Doctrine refers to an FCC policy, eliminated under Ronald Reagan, that requires broadcasters who use publicly owned airwaves to present both sides of controversial issues. It was used during the civil rights era to keep radio in the Deep South from using their stations to oppose civil rights.
The basic concept is that the airwaves are a finite resource, owned by the public and, therefore, should not be used to promoted a biased point of view. But some conservatives fear that the revival of the doctrine is an attack on conservative talk radio which came of age after the doctrine was abolished.
Here is a website called Tracked in Americathat tells (with audio from various experts and historians) the history of U.S. Government surveillance going back to the 1798 Alien and Sedition Act - long before the Nixon or Bush administrations were spying on American journalists and citizens.
But Lawrence Wright (one of those spied-on journalists) was asked on On The Media last week about the Obama administration saying they want more transparency. He said he had recently made a Freedom of Information Act requests that was denied. Wright said he "just do[es]n't think that the government is moving in the direction that the president has indicated." That is - they are not being more open and transparent.
A reporter from the Washington Post used his only question to the President of the United States -- at his first ever press conference -- to ask about a sports player named A-Rod.
Maybe if people didn't take steroids use so seriously, the players would realize the public doesn't take the sport so seriously, and then they might not think it was worth it to take steroids just be good at a sport that people don't take very seriously.
Leonard Lopate talks to John Tallbott, the guy who predicted the housing crash. He now says things will get worse. He also says players in the financial system -- not the government or consumers -- are at fault. There has been lots on the economy but this guy has a unique perspective. Dire.
"This is a dead cat. This is not bouncing [back]."
Ever wonder why politicians these days always talk about helping the Middle Class but not about helping the poor? FDR sought to lift Americans out of poverty. LBJ had a War on Poverty. So what happened? NPR Daniel Schorr considers the question in this commentary.
This is from a great (relatively new) monthly show from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities called Back Story (with the American History Guys). This is a really interesting history of alcohol in the U.S. The three historians posit that the origins of big government can be found not in the new deal but in prohibition. The war on drugs and the legislation of morality first came around during prohibition. But back then, it was considered progressive.
It's nice to hear a southern accent on public radio that is a host and not a subject. Also interesting in that they take calls. The callers, in fact are so coherent it makes me wonder how they are screened.
This is audio of part of an interview Planet Money's Adam Davidson did with TARP watchdog Elizabeth Warren. It features Warren and Davidson going at it pretty heatedly about what Warren's role should be. The interview subsequently illicited this apology (at about 1:50) in which someone hinted that Davidson's interview was sexist ( he wouldn't have spoken with Tim Geithner like that) and then this scolding by NPR's Ombudsman. All of which made the interview all that much more interesting and people. I am sure it is the most even listened to Podcast from Planet money.
This is from a recent episode of Third Coast Festival's Re:Sound. The third segmant is about how Mormons - who believe Native American Indians are a lost tribe of Israel - took 20,000 Indian children from their reservations and brainwashed them - and how some of them might have been happy to go along with it.
Did you know there was coup planned by wealthy fascists in 1930's America? Did you know that Grandpa Prescott Bush was allegedly involved? Check out this 2007 BBC doc.
It was a time in which the U.S. was in a serious, prolonged recession. The president was intervening in the U.S economy in ways that the right wing did not approve of. The White House was trying to empower the poor and working class. Right Wing fanatics were hinting at revolution and civil war.
New Yorker audio interview with Kelefa Sanneh, who profiled the bombastic, enigmatic talk show host Micheal Savage for the magizine. This piece is unique for the New Yorker in that it uses multiple clips from Savage's radio show.
About the U.S. Government policy prosecuting terrorist before they strike or... punishing people before they are guilty er... stopping the gonna-be-guilty while they are still innocent... talking people into doing bad things then arresting them for considering doing them. Let's call it "entrapment."
But seriously, the subject of this story is hard to feel sorry for.
"After an historic, generation-long prison expansion, American prisons are now releasing more than 600,000 inmates each year. The punishment doesn't end at the prison gates. On the outside, ex-prisoners face tattered connections to family and more closed doors. They also pose a challenge for the places they go home to"
NYTimes audio slide show about Paul Fusco's "RFK Funeral Train" project. Fusco was a photog for Look Magazine on board the train carrying Robert Kennedy from L.A. to D.C. Found as part of Benjamin Chesterton's "Mulitmedia of the Month" series on Resolve: "A collaborative online community that brings together photographers and photo industry professionals of every kind to find ways to keep photography relevant, respected, and profitable."
42 years ago this week (August 30 1967) Thurgood Marshal became the first African American on the Supreme Court, opening the door for three women and two more minorities subsequently. American Radio works did this documentary in 2004 called "Thurgood Marshall Before the Court."
Another multimedia piece that skews the lines between visual and audio mediums. New York Times report on the 2006 tracing the Pentegon's reaction to the 2006 "General's Revolt" in which retired generals started calling for Rumsfeld's ouster.
I still see it as audio documentary because of the de-emphasized of the visual and the independent cohesion of the piece's audio (i.e., it makes sense if you just listen and don't watch).
This series from the Center for Documentary Studies was apparently released this past spring but is a perfect listen for the fall harvest season. Five American family farms profiled including a traditional Hopi farm family.
Connor Walsh alerts us to this BBC doc about the mother of President Barack Obama. Ann Dunham is described as a globe trotting "peacnik." She studied archaeology and anthropology of agricultural blacksmiths. She got grants from the Ford Foundation and loans from the World Bank and worked to help rural people get loans to start small businesses.
The BBC's weekly environmental programme, One Planet, goes on an American road-trip. The Englishmen see big cars, generous people, and the inventor of lithium-ion batteries. All on the road to Copenhagen.
A team of creative types, a radio producer, and a medical interpreter (who happens to be creative at radio) have come together to create a new show – words escape me. It's well named. Episode one admits being influenced by CBC's WireTap, and then gets un-Canadian and competitive about it. Episode two of this radio show is about annoying noises. Very promising.
A clever if cynical critique of public apathy in the face of pervasive U.S government surveillance, We Are Always Listening secretly places recording devices in public places around New York City to record the conversations of unassuming New Yorkers. It then publishes them on their website. Yep.
Watch what you say New York. They are always listening...