Radiolab Update: Privilege in the Podcast, Hope in the Comments

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About Matthew Salesses

Matthew Salesses was adopted from Korea at age two and lives in Boston with his wife, baby, and cats. He has written for The New York Times Motherlode blog, NPR, Hyphen, The Rumpus, and other venues. His new book is I'm Not Saying, I'm Just Saying. See more at his eponymous website. Contact him via email or @salesses.


  1. Speaking of Point #4, on the court order, Capello writes:

    “Robert did not tell her to get a court order. Rather he said
    ‘what the reporters gather is the proprietary product of the reporter, and what we produce is open to inspection to anybody. And under court order you can always reveal other things. But generally we separate things. The things we gather we keep; the things we broadcast we make openly available to anyone.’”

    And this, in a very roundabout way, is saying, You’re free to listen to our broadcast production, but if you want the whole thing you need to get a court order. Capello’s entire response is insulting to the intelligence of NPR listeners, who really aren’t a stupid bunch.


  1. [...] From my perspective as a scholar of rhetoric, communication, and debate, to call Radiolab’s game rigged would be an understatement. The interview was not conducted on an even playing field and it smacks of a white Western privilege that the writers and producers failed to fully acknowledge even in their on-air discussion following the interview. Radiolab determined the questions, edited the exchange, and retained the capacity to both frame and amend the discussion (there is a debate concerning whether or not the Yangs knew the questions prior to the interview—this discussion can be found here, Radiolab’s response here , and answer to Radiolab’s claims here.). [...]

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