found 52 audio documents tagged with Politics

The Power of Sound

If there was any doubt about the power that old fashioned radio still holds in the digital age, consider this NYTimes article about its use by the Taliban.


Obama Soda

New French soda carries Obama's name.

Republican Caucus insists it be referred to as "Freedom Fizz."

But seriously, this story segues into some really interesting things about French society.


Producer: Eleanor Beardsley
Program: Morning Edition
Playtime: 4 minutes 42 seconds
Date: December, 2008


Interesting, Weird, Design, Politics

The Church of Stop Shopping

This is pretty long but worth at least checking out.

Pacifica radio calls them "one of the great treasures of American culture."

Reverend Billy (subject of the Morgan Spurlock documentary "What would Jesus Buy") was arrested at Disney World, demonstrating, the day after Christmas.

Half joking (but only half), the church preaches the gospel of "stop shopping." They try to save people from "The Shopocolypse."

This is audio of one of their services after a brief interview with one of its leaders.



Program: Pacifica National Special
Playtime: 1 hour 51 minutes 38 seconds
Date: November, 2007


Weird, Politics, Religion

Where Does Storm Water Go?

Soundprint Story about how Baltimore is trying to keep toxic storm runoff from polluting Chesapeake Bay.

Part "The Wire," part Environmental Hydrology.

[Realplayer required].


Producer: Katie Gott
Program: Soundprint
Playtime: 28 minutes 30 seconds

Inaugural Sound

Great piece with clips of every inaugural address since Calvin Coolidge.  This is from a show (Day to Day) that NPR has canceled.


Producer: Barrett Golding
Program: Day to Day
Playtime: 8 minutes 57 seconds
Date: January, 2009

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.


The Tragedy of Juarez

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.


Producer: Scott Carrier
Program: Hearing Voices
Playtime: 52 minutes
Date: January, 2009

Audio News: Senator Says She Wants the Fairness Doctrine Back

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.


Program: The Bill Press Show

The History of U.S. Government Surveillance: Didn't start (or end?) with Bush

Here is a website called Tracked in America that 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.


Now For Something Really Unimportant

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.


Today in History: Mandela Freed, Edison Born

On this day in 1990 Nelson Mandela was freed after 27 years of captivity.  Radio Diaries has a 5 part series, Mandela: An Audio History, done by Joe Richman, which includes a cool audio time line.  And here is Richman talking about the project for the (recently canceled) NPR program News and Notes last December.

On this day in 1847. Thomas Alva Edison was born in Milan, Ohio.  "Earliest Voices," an audio gallery from the Vincent Voice Library, has his earliest recording from 1878.  Lots of rare, old recordings in this collection.


Producer: Joe Richman


Race, Politics, History

Praying for the Auto Industry

From Rueters:  An audio slideshow on a church service entitled "A Hybrid Hope" at the Greater Grace Temple in Detroit, Michigan December 7, 2008.


Producer: Carlos Barria

Slide Show: Life in Haiti

A powerful slide show from Ruxandra Guidi for the International Reporting Project at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International studies.


Producer: Ruxandra Guidi
Playtime: 7 minutes 45 seconds


Politics, Economy

Radical Children's Literature

On Talking History we found this story about "an often neglected body of left-wing children's literature promoting nonviolence and social justice, and attacking bigotry and war."

From Dr. Suess to Carl Sanberg...  Aired on Pacifica Radio's "Against the Grain."


What Poverty?

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.


Program: All Things Considered
Playtime: 2 minutes 31 seconds

Subversive Ring Tones

NPR story about banned ring tones in Tibet.


Producer: Anthony Kuhn
Program: All Things Considered
Playtime: 4 minutes 32 seconds
Date: February, 2009


Technology, Politics

New This American Life Espisode 381: Turncoat

Main story is about a radical activist who starts spying on his fellow activists for the FBI.


New This American Life Espisode 382: The Watchmen

This American Life returns to the financial crisis again this week, holding its own "hearings" to get to the bottom of things.


Program: This American Life


Politics, Money, Economy

History of Alcohol in America

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.


Playtime: 53 minutes

Planet Money Controversy

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.


Female Punk Thai Forensic Scientist Takes on the System

Her "spiky red hair" - done by Thailand's top hair dresser - protects her.   She says the Thai police hate her after she took them on in some high profile cases - even implicating the police themselves in some cases.


Playtime: 22 minutes 34 seconds
Date: June, 2009


Science, Politics, Death, Crime

Mormons Educating Indians

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.


[Story starts a little before 15:00]


Date: May, 2009

Brush Up On Your Iranian History

No better time for this 6 part Audio doc on Iran.



Politics, History

Settling Elections Old West Style

Iran is not likely to accept much interference from the west with regard to its disputed election.  But this western-style solution is perhaps particularly unlikely.


Producer: Rene Gutel
Program: Morning Edition
Playtime: 2 minutes 4 seconds
Date: June, 2009


Politics, Gambling

Iranians debate on BBC

This is a really fascinating dialogue from the BBC between a group of Iranians -- both inside and outside Iran -- about the election "protests" going on there.


Playtime: 7 minutes 40 seconds


Politics, Interview

Who Invented Parenthood?

Harvard author speaks about how demographic changes have caused parenting skills to decline and expert advice to proliferate - a "culture of parental advice" that leaves parents feeling inadequate.



Politics, American Issues

Who is Mousavi?

The Takeaway talks about the history of the, sort of, accidental reformist figurehead in Iran.



Politics, History

Archive: 1930's United States Coup

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.


Bill Moyers: Hate Radio

Chilling story from Bill Moyers Journal about "right-wing" talk radio.


The Gates Audio

9-11 call about famously arrested Harvard Professor Henery Lous Gates Jr.  The police dispatch is here too.


The Privatization of Apartheid?

BBC doc about the gated communities in South Africa - a country with 7 times the murder rate compared to The U.S.  Includes an interview with a black resident of these overwhelmingly white communities - discussing the familiar issues of "selling out" or "trying to be white."



Politics, Race


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.


Stuck in Folsom Prison

In the wake of a big Chino, California prison riot, NPR goes to Folsom Prison.  Once a model for prisons around the country, Folsom has degenerated into a "pressure cooker" that does nothing but prepare prisoners for more crime.  The prison population has exploded in recent years and there is not enough money.

Now, a federal court has ordered California to cut the prison population by 25%.  They also look to cut $1.2 billion from the corrections budget.



Violence, Race, Politics, Law, Crime, Bad News

American Radio Works: Life After Prison (Real Audio)

From the website:

"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"


On the Train With Another Fallen Kennedy

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."


NYT Audio Something or Other: Rumsfeld Message Machine '06

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).


All the President's Mom

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.


Playtime: 22 minutes 26 seconds
Date: September, 2009

Is Bilderberg Running the World?

Came across this BBC doc.  Not sure when it is from.  A secret meeting of world movers and shakers is held every year in various locations around the world.  What's the big secret?  Is it okay for big wigs to meet and not say what they talk about?  Do these meetings have some secret, undemocratic sway over world events?



Politics, Interesting, History

Letter from Prague: There Goes the Neighbourhood Again

A monologue from Prague on what happens when you go home to find police all around your house…

- Audio Documentary London Bureau


Playtime: 3 minutes 52 seconds
Date: October, 2009


Politics, American Issues

26 July – Revolt in Cuba

An old-school radio feature, with actorly presentation and interviews with Fidel Castro, from 1958. Brought to us by CBC's archive programme, Rewind.

- Audio Documentary London Bureau


Playtime: 51 minutes 3 seconds

Street Cred

And indie podcast out of Montreal submitted by an AD user.



Politics, Interview

All Things Considered

NPR's All Things Considered just turned 39.  Hard to imagine but it's first day it featured a 24 minute documentary of a war protest.  Click the link to listen.


Kent State Killings 40th Anniversary

May 4 1970 the National Guard opened fired on anti-war protesters at Kent State in Ohio. The Kent State Radio Station WKSU just launched a May 4 1970 audio archive. 

Two years ago newly enhanced audio recordings from the occurance seemed to show an order to fire.  KBOO, WKSU, and NPR had the story then.

If you are interested in a career with the Army National Guard click this link!



Audio from Cairo, charting how the authorities have clamped down on the hundreds of thousands of people calling for political change. Linked in the title, a vivid Audioboo from a woman watching molotov cocktails being thrown at Tahrir Square (via Jan25Voices on Twitter); and here, recordings made over a few days by Heba Morayef, a local expert with Human Right's Watch.

Image: Al Jazeera Creative Commons Repository 

Connor Walsh, AD, London.


Date: February, 2011

Audio Doc on Freedom of Expression in SE Asia to play on BBC

This should be interesting.  I know in Vietnam, there are instances of lines being crossed (or trying not to cross).  Often, it's not the politcal things that a westerner would expect but maybe just a strong sense of pride or tradition.  And the standards can vary depending on who is delivering the message. Vietnamese people will tell you straight, there is not freedom of the press here - it goes through the Ministry of Culture.  It's a matter of fact.  I find, frankly that people don't expect to be able to say whatever they want.   Could that be considered more respectful toward the power of words?

David Maxon AD - Hanoi



Radio, Politics, Asia

On a roof in Tripoli

LPC #Tripoli: woman who climbed to the roof to help spot snipers. Very moving ending. (mp3)

As fighting continues in Libya, a woman goes onto the roof of her building in Tripoli. She spots snipers. She talks about fear, and what's happening around her. Gripping.


Playtime: 8 minutes 48 seconds
Date: August, 2011


History, Violence, Politics

Occupy London Stock Exchange (Updated)

The Occupy movement has spread to London, where the nearest open lcoation to the stock exchange is in front of St Paul's Cathedral. Two clergymen have resigned over how the tents and protestors have been dealt with. It's being reported outside the mainstream media by the likes of student radio station SOAS Radio (Part 2 is here) and citizen journalists including The Shout (in multiple Audioboos).


Playtime: 6 minutes 24 seconds
Date: October, 2011

RIP Christopher Hitchens

The indomitable contrarian Christopher Hitchens said "This profane marriage between tawdry media hype and medieval superstition gave birth to an icon which few have since had the poor taste to question," about MOTHER TERESA.  About his own cancer: "All of the cheer-up stories I'm afraid have made me an esophageal cancer snob."

Hitchens died yesterday at 62. Here is last year's All Things Considered interview.



Politics, Interview, Death, Bad News

What is LBJ admitting here?

I'm not completely sure but he was apparently drinking beer in a car that nearly had an accident...


via @gothamist: Freelance Spys are Publishing Your Conversations

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...