Radio Atlantic

By The Atlantic

SHOW DESCRIPTION

A weekly flagship podcast from The Atlantic hosted by Jeffrey Goldberg (Editor-in-Chief, The Atlantic), Matt Thompson (Deputy Editor, The Atlantic), and Alex Wagner (Co-host, CBS This Morning: Saturday; Contributing Editor, The Atlantic). We're living in historic times. Who better than a 160-year-old magazine to help you make sense of them? Each week, The Atlantic's top editors sit down with leading voices to explore what's happening in the world, how things became the way they are, and where they're going next.


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EPISODES LIST
01.17.2019
01.10.2019
12.20.2018
12.14.2018
12.06.2018
11.29.2018
11.16.2018
11.09.2018
11.02.2018
10.26.2018
10.19.2018
10.12.2018
10.05.2018
09.28.2018
09.21.2018
09.14.2018
09.07.2018
08.31.2018
08.23.2018
08.17.2018
08.10.2018
07.20.2018
07.13.2018
07.06.2018
06.21.2018
06.15.2018
06.08.2018
06.01.2018
05.25.2018
05.18.2018
05.11.2018
05.04.2018
04.27.2018
04.20.2018

Becoming White in America

In her new book Futureface, Alex Wagner writes that “immigration raises into relief some of our most basic existential questions: Who am I? Where do I belong? And in that way, it’s inextricably tied to an exploration of American identity.” In the book, Alex explores her own American identity – daughter of a Burmese immigrant mother and a small-town Irish Catholic father – and asks how true the stories we grow up with really are.Along with co-hosts Matt and Jeff, Alex is joined by The Atlantic’s deputy politics editor Adam Serwer to discuss the tangled intersections of history, heritage, family, race, and nationality. Is America truly a melting pot? Can nationalism be liberal? And is that stalwart American immigrant story just a history written by the victors? Links- Futureface (Alex Wagner, 2018)- “The Nationalist's Delusion” (Adam Serwer, November 20, 2017)- “America Is Not a Democracy” (Yascha Mounk, March 2018 Issue)- ”The End of Identity Liberalism” (Mark Lilla, New York Times, November 18, 2016)- ”How Can Liberals Reclaim Nationalism?” (Yascha Mounk, New York Times, March 3, 2018)- “Why Are We Surprised When Buddhists Are Violent?” (Dan Arnold and Alicia Turner, New York Times, March 5, 2018)- “The Americans Our Government Won’t Count” (Alex Wagner, New York Times, March 30, 2018)- “Huapango” by José Pablo Moncayo (South West German Radio Kaiserslautern Orchestra, 2007)- Black and White: Land, Labor, and Politics in the South (Timothy Thomas Fortune, 1884)- Pogrom: Kishinev and the Tilt of History (Steven Zipperstein, 2018)

04.13.2018

News Update: Who Could Tame Facebook?

As Atlantic staff writer Robinson Meyer recently wrote, Facebook “is currently embroiled in the worst crisis of trust in its 14-year history.” This week, the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the U.S. Congress for the first time. It’s not clear whether Congress will seek to exert more regulatory control over the company, even after revelations that as many as 87 million people unwittingly had their Facebook data given to the political firm Cambridge Analytica, which may have used some of that data to influence the 2016 U.S. election. And the questions senators asked of Zuckerberg suggest they may not yet understand Facebook well enough to regulate it effectively, even if they wanted to.In this Radio Atlantic news update, Rob shares what he learned from his exclusive interview with Zuckerberg, and from the CEO’s testimony before Congress. We discuss with Atlantic senior editor Gillian White whether Facebook can be regulated, and whether it will.Links- “Mark Zuckerberg Says He’s Not Resigning” (Robinson Meyer, April 9, 2018)- “The 3 Questions Mark Zuckerberg Hasn’t Answered” (Robinson Meyer, April 10, 2018)- “How Facebook’s Ad Tool Fails to Protect Civil Rights” (Gillian B. White, October 28, 2016)- “Facebook Lets Advertisers Exclude Users by Race” (Julia Angwin and Terry Parris Jr., ProPublica, October 28, 2016)- Sarah Jeong on Twitter- “The Most Important Exchange of the Zuckerberg Hearing” (Alexis C. Madrigal, April 11, 2018)- “Mark Zuckerberg Is Halfway to Scot-Free” (Alexis C. Madrigal, April 11, 2018)- “My Facebook Was Breached by Cambridge Analytica. Was Yours?” (Robinson Meyer, April 10, 2018)- “Can Anyone Unseat Mark Zuckerberg?” (Robinson Meyer, March 22, 2018)- “The Cambridge Analytica Scandal, in 3 Paragraphs” (Robinson Meyer, March 20, 2018)

04.13.2018
04.06.2018

King Remembered

In his last speech, known to history as “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” Martin Luther King Jr. began by remarking on the introduction he’d been given by his friend, Ralph Abernathy. “As I listened to ... his eloquent and generous introduction and then thought about myself,” King said modestly, “I wondered who he was talking about.”The facsimile of King that America would fashion after his assassination—saintly pacifist, stranger to controversy, beloved by all—might have provoked something well beyond wonder. To create a version of King that America could love, the nation sanded down the reality of the man, his ministry, and his activism. In this episode of Radio Atlantic, Vann Newkirk and Adrienne Green join our hosts, Jeffrey Goldberg and Matt Thompson, to discuss the truth of King in the last year of his life and after.Links- KING: Full coverage from The Atlantic of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy- “The Whitewashing of King’s Assassination” (Vann R. Newkirk, MLK Issue)- “The Chasm Between Racial Optimism and Reality” (Jeffrey Goldberg, MLK Issue)- King’s Three Evils (Martin Luther King Jr., May 10, 1967)- “The Civil-Rights Movement’s Generation Gap” (Bree Newsome, MLK Issue)- “Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'Letter From Birmingham Jail'” (Martin Luther King Jr., August 1, 1963)- “How Much Had Schools Really Been Desegregated by 1964?” (Martin Luther King Jr., MLK Issue)- “Martin Luther King Jr. on the Vietnam War” (Martin Luther King Jr., MLK Issue)- “Generational Differences in Black Activism” (Conor Friedersdorf, June 30, 2016)

03.30.2018
03.23.2018
03.16.2018

If We Could Learn From History

Discarding the limits on a leader's time in office is a classic autocrat's move. So when Xi Jinping began to clear a path for an indefinite term as China's president, he dimmed many once-bright hopes that he would speed the nation's path toward a new era of openness and reform. For James Fallows,The Atlantic's national correspondent, it was a sad vindication of a warning he issued two years ago in the magazine, of “China’s Great Leap Backward.”As the 15th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq approaches, we review the developments in China, and look back at another warning that proved prescient: Fallows's National Magazine Award-winning essay, "The Fifty-First State?" Fallows joins our hosts, Alex Wagner and Matt Thompson, along with The Atlantic's global editor Kathy Gilsinan.  Links- “China’s Great Leap Backward” (James Fallows, December 2016 Issue)- “Xi Jinping Reveals Himself As An Autocrat” (James Fallows and Caroline Kitchener, February 26, 2018)- “China Is Not a Garden-Variety Dictatorship” (David Frum, March 5, 2018)- “The Myth of a Kinder, Gentler Xi Jinping” (Isaac Stone Fish, February 27, 2018)- “China's Surveillance State Should Scare Everyone” (Anna Mitchell and Larry Diamond, February 2, 2018)- China's Trapped Transition (Minxin Pei, 2006)- “The Fifty-First State?” (James Fallows, November 2002 Issue)- “The Obama Doctrine” (Jeffrey Goldberg, April 2016 Issue)- Steve Coll on “The Atlantic Interview” (February 7, 2018)- A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East(David Fromkin, 1989)- On Grand Strategy (John Lewis Gaddis, 2018)- An American Tragedy (Theodore Dreiser, 1925)- “Babylon Berlin” on Netflix- “Christopher Steele, the Man Behind the Trump Dossier” (Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, March 12, 2018)

03.09.2018

Goodbye Black History Month, Hello Black Future

Moviegoers across America are filling theaters to see, as The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer describes it, “a high-tech utopia that is a fictive manifestation of African potential unfettered by slavery and colonialism.” Wakanda, the setting of Marvel’s blockbuster film Black Panther, is suddenly everywhere, which means people the world over are seeing something that’s never had this widespread an audience: Afrofuturism.“Blockbusters rarely challenge consensus, and Disney blockbusters even less so,” Vann Newkirk wrote for The Atlantic in an essay about the film. “That’s what makes the final provocation of Black Panther so remarkable and applicable today.” But what is Black Panther’s remarkable provocation, and how does it apply to our world?Black Panther is only one part of a sudden explosion of Afrofuturism into mainstream American culture, from a new visual concept album by Janelle Monae to Children of Blood and Bone, a forthcoming YA book series by Tomi Adeyemi that has already become part of a seven-figure deal. Adam Serwer and Vann Newkirk join our hosts to talk about what this genre encompasses, and what its newfound popularity means.Links - “The Tragedy of Erik Killmonger” (Adam Serwer, February 21, 2018)- “The Provocation and Power of Black Panther” (Vann Newkirk, February 14, 2018)- “What Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong'o Learned About Wakanda” (David Sims, February 28, 2018)- “Why Fashion Is Key to Understanding the World of Black Panther” (Tanisha C. Ford, February 14, 2018)- “Why I'm Writing Captain America” (Ta-Nehisi Coates, February 28, 2018)- “‘Black Panther’ and the Invention of ‘Africa’” (Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, February 18, 2018)- “The Surprising Optimism of African Americans and Latinos” (Russell Berman, September 4, 2015)- Standing at Armageddon (Nell Irvin Painter)- Autonomous (Annalee Newitz)

03.02.2018
02.23.2018

Who Killed Jeffrey Young? (No Way Out, Part II)

In part one of our three-part series "No Way Out," Barbara Bradley Hagerty told the story of how Benjamine Spencer was convicted for the murder of Jeffrey Young, and how much of the evidence that led to that conviction has fallen apart under scrutiny. But if Spencer did not kill him, who else could have? And if the evidence does point to another assailant, is that enough to free Spencer?In this episode, part two of three, Barbara explores an alternate theory of the crime. She talks with two friends of another man they say boasted about committing it. Their story, coupled with the shoddiness of the evidence that convicted Spencer, was enough to secure a recommendation that Spencer be given a new trial, "on the grounds of actual innocence."---Key individuals mentioned in this story (listed in order of appearance):From Part I:Benjamine Spencer, the prisoner, convicted in October 1987, retried and convicted in March 1988, given life in prisonJeffrey Young, the victim, murdered in Dallas in March 1987Jay Young, Jeffrey’s son, the elder of twoCheryl Wattley, Spencer’s current attorneyTroy Johnson, a friend of Jeffrey Young’s, who tried calling him the night of his murderHarry Young, Jeffrey’s father, a senior executive in Ross Perot’s companyJesus “Jessie” Briseno, a detective for the Dallas Police Department, the lead investigator on the murder of Jeffrey YoungGladys Oliver, the prosecution’s star eyewitness in the trials of Benjamine SpencerRobert Mitchell, another man convicted a week after Spencer in a separate trial for the same crime, now deceasedFaith Johnson, the current district attorney in DallasFrank Jackson, Spencer’s defense attorney in the original trialAndy Beach, the prosecutor in the trial that sent Spencer to prisonAlan Ledbetter, the foreman of the jury that convicted SpencerDanny Edwards, the jailhouse informant who testified in Spencer’s original trials that Spencer had confessed to himDebra Spencer, Benjamine Spencer’s wife at the time of his convictionChristi Williams, the alibi witness who testified in Spencer’s defense at his trialsJim McCloskey, the founder of Centurion Ministries, the group that has aided Spencer's quest for exonerationDaryl Parker, a private investigator who has helped re-examine Spencer’s case and Young’s murderJimmie Cotton, one of three eyewitnesses for the prosecution in Spencer’s original trialsCharles Stewart, another of three eyewitnesses for the prosecution in Spencer’s trials, now deceasedSandra Brackens, a potential witness in Spencer’s defense who was not called to testify at his trialsNew to Part II:Michael Hubbard, an alternative suspect in Young's deathFerrell Scott, a childhood friend of Hubbard'sKelvin Johnson, a friend of Hubbard's who claims to have committed robberies with himCraig Watkins, a newly-elected District Attorney interested in reinvestigating claims of innocence Judge Rick Magnis, the judge of Texas' 283rd DistrictSubscribe to Radio Atlantic to hear part three in the “No Way Out” series when it's released.

02.20.2018

No Way Out, Part I

In 1987, Jeffrey Young was robbed and killed, and his body was left on a street in the poor neighborhood of West Dallas. Benjamine Spencer was tried and convicted for the attack.Spencer was black, 22 years old, and recently married. Young was 33 and white, and his father was a senior executive for Ross Perot, one of the most prominent businessmen in Dallas. No physical evidence connected Spencer to the murder. Instead, he was convicted based on the testimony of three eyewitnesses and a jailhouse informant who claimed Spencer confessed to the crime. Spencer has now been in prison for most of his life.From behind bars, Spencer amassed evidence to support his claim of innocence, and secured the assistance of Centurion Ministries, a group that re-examines cases of prisoners like him. Together, they were able to convince a Texas judge of Spencer’s innocence. In investigating this story, not only did we confirm Centurion’s findings, but we’ve gathered new, exculpatory evidence, some of which appears first in this special, three-episode series of Radio Atlantic. ---Key individuals mentioned in this story (listed in order of appearance):Benjamine Spencer, the prisoner, convicted in October 1987, retried and convicted in March 1988, given life in prisonJeffrey Young, the victim, murdered in Dallas in March 1987Jay Young, Jeffrey’s son, the elder of twoCheryl Wattley, Spencer’s current attorneyTroy Johnson, a friend of Jeffrey Young’s, who tried calling him the night of his murderHarry Young, Jeffrey’s father, a senior executive in Ross Perot’s companyJesus “Jessie” Briseno, a detective for the Dallas Police Department, the lead investigator on the murder of Jeffrey YoungGladys Oliver, the prosecution’s star eyewitness in the trials of Benjamine SpencerRobert Mitchell, another man convicted a week after Spencer in a separate trial for the same crime, now deceasedFaith Johnson, the current district attorney in DallasFrank Jackson, Spencer’s defense attorney in the original trialAndy Beach, the prosecutor in the trial that sent Spencer to prisonAlan Ledbetter, the foreman of the jury that convicted SpencerDanny Edwards, the jailhouse informant who testified in Spencer’s original trials that Spencer had confessed to himDebra Spencer, Benjamine Spencer’s wife at the time of his convictionChristi Williams, the alibi witness who testified in Spencer’s defense at his trialsJim McCloskey, the founder of Centurion Ministries, the group that has aided Spencer's quest for exonerationDaryl Parker, a private investigator who has helped re-examine Spencer’s case and Young’s murderJimmie Cotton, one of three eyewitnesses for the prosecution in Spencer’s original trialsCharles Stewart, another of three eyewitnesses for the prosecution in Spencer’s trials, now deceasedSandra Brackens, a potential witness in Spencer’s defense who was not called to testify at his trialsSubscribe to Radio Atlantic to hear part two in the “No Way Out” series when it's released.

02.16.2018

From 'I, Tonya' to 'Cat Person,' Is 'Based On a True Story' Better?

Conor Friedersdorf recently argued in The Atlantic that in this moment, when the truth is bitterly contested, fiction presents us an opportunity. It allows us to step into another person’s perspective and talk about gray areas without the problems of detailing an actual person’s private moments. But does blurring the lines between truth and fiction undermine the messy complexities of the real world? David Sims and Megan Garber join to discuss the spate of recent pop culture that aims to recast reality.Links- “‘The Arrangements’: A Work of Fiction” (Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, The New York Times Magazine, June 28, 2016)- “Remote Control” (Sarah Marshall, The Believer, January 2014 Issue)- "Re-Examining Monica, Marcia, Tonya and Anita, the 'Scandalous' Women of the '90s" (Sarah Marshall, Splinter, April 19, 2016)- “The Crown: Netflix's Best Superhero Show” (Sophie Gilbert, December 9, 2017)- “How #MeToo Can Probe Gray Areas With Less Backlash” (Conor Friedersdorf, January 18, 2018)- “'Cat Person' and the Impulse to Undermine Women's Fiction” (Megan Garber, December 11, 2017)- “Aziz Ansari and the Paradox of ‘No’” (Megan Garber, January 16, 2018)- “Dinner Discussion” (Saturday Night Live, January 27, 2018)- “Grease Dilemma” (CollegeHumor, 2011)- Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine (Joe Hagan, 2017)- “One Day at a Time Is a Sitcom That Doubles as a Civics Lesson” (Megan Garber, January 17, 2017)- An epic 200-plus tweet thread on Janet Jackson (October 23, 2017)

02.09.2018
02.02.2018
01.26.2018
01.19.2018

The Presidential Fitness Challenge

As the anniversary of his inauguration nears, a new book filled with salacious claims about the Trump administration has become a bestseller. Faced with renewed questions about his mental and temperamental fitness for the office, President Trump has pushed back, declaring himself a “very stable genius” and attacking his critics. But no new claims or revelations, James Fallows wrote recently for The Atlantic, have been more telling than Trump's public behavior. If the stories presented in a book about the president constitute a scandal, Fallows asks, what does it mean that the scandal continues in public view? What dangers are courted by speculating about the president's mental acuity? What steps could be taken to make such speculation unnecessary? Fallows joins our hosts to discuss.If you listen to Radio Atlantic, we value your feedback. Please help us out by answering a quick survey. It should only take a few minutes. Just to go theatlantic.com/podcastsurvey.Links- “It's Been an Open Secret All Along” (James Fallows, January 4, 2018)- ”Is Something Neurologically Wrong With Donald Trump?” (James Hamblin, January 3, 2018)- “The Case for Hillary Clinton and Against Donald Trump” (The Editors, November 2016 Issue) - “A Time Capsule of the Unpresidential Things Trump Says” (James Fallows, May 23, 2016, to November 20, 2016)- Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President (Justin Frank, 2004)- “John Dean: Nixon ‘Might Have Survived If There’d Been a Fox News’” (Edward-Isaac Dovere, POLITICO Magazine, January 02, 2018)

01.12.2018
Radio Atlantic Podcast

LAST EPISODE

Is the President a Russian ...

01.17.2019

On Friday, the New York Times published a startling story: In 2017, days after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, the bureau opened an inquiry into whether the president was secretly working on behalf of Russia. It was an explosive ...