Once in a while, in this space, we offer you an episode of another podcast that we think is pretty aligned with our goals here at On the Media. This week, we’re offering you the first episode of a new podcast from WNYC Studios, called . The angle is: we built the society we've got. And maybe it's time to build a new one.
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Harm To Ongoing Matter
After years of waiting, journalists finally began digging into the redacted version of the Mueller report. On this week’s On the Media, how the special counsel’s findings confirm years of reporting about turmoil within the White House. Plus, what the Notre Dame fire and the Sacklers show us about the dark side of philanthropy, and how the Justice Department stopped prosecuting executives. And, an undercover investigation shines a light on the NRA’s PR machinery.
1. Eric Umansky [ .
2. Anand Giridharadas [ .
3. Jesse Eisinger [ .
4. Peter Charley , executive producer of Al Jazeera's "How To Sell a Massacre," on the NRA's PR machinery. .
Okami by Nicola Cruz
Capicua by Animal Chuki
Colibria by Nicola Cruz
Let's Face the Music and Dance by Harry Roy
Lost, Night by Bill Frissell
This is NRA Country by Justin Moore
Who Profits When You File Your Taxes?
Tax Day is behind us, but the Taxpayer First Act is not. The bipartisan proposal passed the House last week and is now under consideration in the Senate — and one of the provisions is exactly what the for-profit tax preparation industry has been pushing for.
Through an agreement with the IRS, companies like H&R Block and Intuit currently offer free tax filing services to taxpayers making less than $66,000 dollars a year. But only 1.6 percent of taxpayers actually use Free File, and critics say that the companies engage in aggressive up-selling through the portal. A provision in the Taxpayer First Act would bar the IRS from developing their own free system.
Dennis Ventry is a tax scholar at the University of California, Davis. He has from an industry group.
Wake Up, Sheeple!
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in London, and now faces prosecution. On this week’s On the Media, a look at what Assange’s arrest may mean for press freedom. Plus, what the new image of a black hole tell us about the power of science in the face of a conspiracy theory minefield. And, a look at a new documentary about former Trump strategist Steve Bannon.
1. Bob [ .
2. Yale astronomy and physics professor Priyamvada Natarajan [ .
3. New York Magazine's Madison Malone Kircher [ @4evrmalone ] on how YouTuber Logan Paul stokes the conspiracy flames. .
4. New York Magazine's Max Read [ @max_read ] on how the Matrix's "red pill" idea has been so foundational for modern-day skeptics. .
5. Alison Klayman [ @aliklay ], director of "The Brink," a new documentary about Steve Bannon, on what we can learn by looking at Bannon's role in our political and media world. .
Spy vs. Spy
New York Times reporter set out to investigate a series of assassinations in Ukraine with low expectations. Reporting on a homicide as a member of the foreign press is daunting enough to begin with. His assignment was formidable beacuse many of the murders were linked to Russia — a government hostile to the media at best and notorious for murdering foreign journalists at worst.
But when Schwirtz approached alleged Russian assassin Oleg Smorodinov to question him about a murder, the accused provided an unexpected bit of testimony: a confession. And on top of that, Smorodinov disclosed the specific role the Kremlin played in ordering and directing his crime.
Schwirtz published his findings in a feature last week. Bob spoke with Schwirtz about spies, state-facilitated assassination and the experience of following a true story that reads like a Russian mystery novel.