While maintaining the civility and fairness that are the hallmarks of public radio, OTM tackles sticky issues with a frankness and transparency that has built trust with listeners and led to more than a tripling of its audience in five years.
Since OTM was re-launched in 2001, it has been one of NPR's fastest growing programs, heard on more than 300 public radio stations. It has won Edward R. Murrow Awards for feature reporting and investigative reporting, the National Press Club's Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism and a Peabody Award for its body of work.
April 21, 2017
Bill O'Reilly was the bombastic, blustery face of Fox News. Now that he's out, what happens to the identity and future of the channel? Plus, how to read the scary headlines about US-North Korea relations; why erratic foreign policy can be effective foreign policy; how China sees Trump; and what role do referendums really have in shaping our democracy?
April 20, 2017
Breaking from an open government initiative started by President Obama, the White House announced last Friday that visitor logs will no longer be published due to "national security concerns." It's the latest move in a plethora of actions the White House has taken to make historically public data, private.
Bob speaks to Alex Howard, Deputy Director of the Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit advocate of open government, about the newly privatized logs, covert meetings at Mar-a-Lago, and secret ethics waivers that are allowing former lobbyists to shape policy from within the administration.
April 14, 2017
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has signaled that he'd like to revamp the War on Drugs. We take a look at the history of the battle, and how sensational media depictions of crack, heroin, and meth have helped fuel it. Plus: our Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook: Drugs Edition. Then, a look at how America’s first drug czar used racist propaganda to outlaw marijuana. And why the debate between treatment and law enforcement is blurrier than you might think.
April 12, 2017
Last week, President Trump ordered the firing of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on Syria in retaliation against the chemical attack allegedly committed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against his own people. The coverage of the strikes appeared to present a stark choice between good and evil, rather than a Gordian knot of geopolitics, regional politics, domestic politics, and the proliferation of terror. But is it really that easy?
Bob speaks with Stephen Kinzer, Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University and a columnist at the Boston Globe, who argues that the public is being presented with a deceptively simple version of reality because the media aren't asking the right questions.
April 7, 2017
Neil Gorsuch is the newest Supreme Court Justice and all it took was the destruction of a Senate tradition. A look at the colorful history of filibustering. Also, how tax season could potentially be more pleasant and why tax companies don't want it to be. And, how human impact on the planet has sparked a debate about what to name our current geological era.
April 4, 2017
In the midst of several days of his Supreme Court confirmation hearings last week, Judge Neil Gorsuch took a moment to wax nostalgic for the days when the process took only 90 minutes and a nominee could relax, even smoke cigarettes, throughout the process. Later, one of Gorsuch's interrogators, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, did some reminiscing of his own, pointedly recalling a time when nominees offered up useful answers to questions and engaged in sincere discussion. Ah, the good old days.
But was it ever thus? Slate's Dahlia Lithwick took up the question on the most recent episode of her Amicus podcast, speaking with Supreme Court scholar Lori Ringhand about the actual history of Supreme Court confirmation hearings. We loved it and we think you will too.
March 31, 2017
When President Trump signed an order dismantling environmental protections, the photo-op included coal miners. We consider the symbolism and reality of coal country, and what the stereotypes miss. Plus, Congress revoked a rule banning ISPs from selling your browsing; what's really at stake? And, a look at the shift in the True Crime genre, from proving guilt to proving innocence.
March 28, 2017
Donald Trump made many, many pronouncements on the campaign trail, one of them was that he would "cancel the Paris climate agreement".
While he can’t cancel the Paris agreement, he can and has walked away from it with an executive order this week substantially erasing President Obama’s climate legacy and signaling to the world that the US is not going to meet its carbon emission goals set in Paris.
So what exactly was agreed upon in Paris?
To find clarity among the conflicting commentary Brooke spoke in 2015 with Andrew Revkin who writes the Dot Earth blog for the New York Times, and Jonathan Katz who covered the talks in Paris for the New Republic.
March 24, 2017
An expensive TV ad campaign has been selling Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch to the American people. We speak with the group behind the effort. Plus, Trump's accusations of wiretapping may be false, but they remind us that someone is always listening. And, decoding North Korea panic; and why the diplomatic press corps helps actual diplomacy.
March 22, 2017
At his confirmation hearing this week, supreme court nominee Neil Gorsuch - according to the New York Times - cast himself as "a humble Westerner, reared on fly-fishing.”
And yet, for all the care put into his biography, Judge Gorsuch also seemed to say… nevermind. He rules on the law, not on people.
It’s a needle that’s been tricky for judicial nominees to thread: they want to seem human, but not too human. In this podcast extra, taken from a show we aired last year, Brooke and Thane Rosenbaum, Director of the Forum on Law, Culture and Society at NYU, examine some art and culture about the Supreme Court, and consider just how human we want our justices to be.