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FROM THIS EPISODE

We start today with a two-part look at the news, revealed today, that two aid workers were accidentally killed by a U.S. drone strike in January. They were being held by Al-Qaeda. What kind of intelligence was behind the strikes, and how did it go so wrong? We also get the backstory on Adam Gadahn, an American member of Al-Qaeda originally from Orange County. Gadahn was also accidentally killed by a separate U.S. drone strike in January. Next, in our weekly web roundup, we look at the controversy surrounding Belle Gibson, the wellness blogger who faked having cancer. Then, Poet and memoirist Sarah Manguso on keeping a diary for 25 years. And finally, a look at Facebook’s attempt to bring in more revenue by pulling entire news articles onto its site, rather than just allowing for links.

Banner Image: A member of the Carabiniere's paramilitary police stands outside Giovanni Lo Porto's family house in Palermo, April 23, 2015. A U.S. drone strike in January targeting an al Qaeda compound in Pakistan near the Afghan border inadvertently killed an American and an Italian who had been held hostage for years by the group, U.S. officials said on Thursday. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Producers:
Jolie Myers
Matt Holzman
Anna Scott
Christian Bordal

The "Fog of War" in the Age of Drones 8 MIN, 35 SEC

President Obama spoke this morning about the two aid workers accidentally killed by a U.S. drone strike in January. American Warren Weinstein and Italian Giovanni Lo Porto were being held hostage by Al-Qaeda near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. During his speech, Obama said that in the “fog of war,” deadly mistakes can happen. But in an age of drone strikes, orchestrated from a distance, isn’t the business of war supposed to be a lot less foggy?

Guests:
Yochi Dreazen, Foreign Policy magazine (@yochidreazen)

The Story of Adam Gadahn 8 MIN, 1 SEC

Adam Gadahn, a.k.a. Azzam the American, was a senior operative and spokesman for Al-Qaeda. And he was one of the Americans killed in the January drone strikes. Gadahn grew up and was homeschooled on a remote goat farm in Riverside County. He left home as a teenager in the mid-90s and moved in with his grandparents in Orange County. Soon after, he converted to Islam and became radicalized at a mosque in Garden Grove. Eventually he moved to Pakistan, joined Al-Qaeda, and in 2006 he became the first American in 50 years to be charged with treason.

Guests:
Peggy Lowe, KCUR (@peggyllowe)

Web Roundup: The Belle Gibson Hoax 9 MIN, 34 SEC

Food activist Belle Gibson had a simple plan for curing her brain cancer: eat good food, drink more water, meditate. You could cure your own cancer if you just tried hard enough, she seemed to suggest. Gibson spread her message of clean living to thousands of online followers, parlaying her own story into a cookbook, an app, a book deal… except Belle Gibson never had brain cancer. She admitted this week to concocting the entire diagnosis. We talk about that and more in this week’s regular web roundup.

Guests:
Xeni Jardin, BoingBoing.net (@xeni)

Ongoingness 12 MIN, 25 SEC

Sarah Manguso can measure her life in words. The poet and memoirist kept a diary for 25 years, writing roughly 800,000 verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs… but over those decades of daily diary entries, the freedom from forgetting all the details of life began to feel more like a prison. We heard yesterday from novelist Heidi Julavitz about how the diary form gave her the structure she needed to go wild with her new memoir, The Folded Clock. Today, we get a different perspective on the diary.

Guests:
Sarah Manguso, author, 'Ongoingness'

Ongoingness

Sarah Manguso

Facebook Grabs at News Biz 8 MIN, 25 SEC

Online readers get 40% of their news through Facebook, according to estimates. At least, that’s where people find the news. Click on a link and you’re launched from Facebook onto the New York Times, Buzzfeed or even KCRW.org. But Facebook doesn’t like it when you click and go to another website. They lose ad revenue that way. So, now they’re telling news outlets to put the whole story on Facebook and promising to share the revenue in return. Is this good news or bad for the news biz?

Guests:
Joshua Benton, Harvard University (@jbenton)

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