How does the Devil work? We hear stories from five different people who say they found themselves inexplicably doing something random and bad, something which made no sense to them at all. Host Ira Glass explains why this might be, cadging a bit from C.S.
Faron Yoder lives in Amish country in Indiana. When he was a teenager, like every Amish sixteen-year-old, Faron was allowed to abandon the restrictions of Amish life and live as a regular American teenager.
Host Ira Glass talks with Sarah Koenig, about the first and only time a movie star came over to her family's house when she was a kid, and how it didn't go too well, for the celebrity or for her. The movie star, Robert Redford, ended up stealing all her parents' attention, attention they usually lavished on Sarah, the youngest.
Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. already had one other man in his life who shared his name—his world famous father, the Jesse Jackson. But then right before his most recent primary race, an aide told him that he now had another Jesse Jackson to contend with.
Host Ira Glass explains that when you name names, when you whistleblow, when you tell on someone, you often do it anonymously. We hear from one anonymous squealer, who was done wrong by her doctor—he messed up a procedure and then refused to fix it.
We hear excerpts from two autobiographies which each describe the same moment, but in very different ways. Elia Kazan and Arthur Miller agree that they met with each other in 1952, around the time Kazan named the names of his old friends to the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
Host Ira Glass surveys the effects DNA has had on the criminal justice landscape. He talks with Huy Dao, at the Innocence Project, where they are waist-deep in 2,000 letters from prisoners claiming DNA can prove them innocent.
The story of how common and perfectly legal police interrogation procedures, procedures without violence or torture, were able to get an average fourteen-year-old suburban kid to confess to murdering his own sister...even though DNA evidence later proved that he hadn't done the crime.
Host Ira Glass plays tape from the documentary TV series American High of a teenager fighting with his parents about which car he can take out that night. Every family has its own way of fighting and its own particular family dynamic, and if things go terribly bad, it's often hard to figure how the bad things could've been prevented.
We hear three stories of how conflicts are resolved in offices. Two of those stories come from sociologist Calvin Morrill, who studied the executive suites at a number of large companies in his book The Executive Way: Conflict Management in Corporations.
Host Ira Glass talks with a bunch of special ed students. By and large, they thought of themselves as regular kids—until each experienced a shocking moment of revelation when they discovered that they were not the same as other kids, and that the other kids already knew that...and had known for a long time.
Ira interviews three of the people involved in making the documentary How's Your News?, about a team of developmentally disabled people who travel across the country doing man-on-the-street interviews. He talks to two of the developmentally disabled reporters, Susan Harrington and Joe Simon, and to the film's non-disabled director, Arthur Bradford.
Alex Blumberg talks with sailor Prevon Scott, who stocks vending machines on the Stennis.
Ira summarizes the results of an informal poll of about a hundred people, about whether they were living their Plan A or Plan B... and recounts a moment from a short story by author Ron Carlson, called "Plan B for the Middle Class," from his book by the same name. (2 minutes)
Ira talks with Barry Keenan, who was living a lot of people’s plan A in the early 60’s. He was rich, he was successful.
Host Ira Glass explains that the show this week consists of one long story, the story of something very small that was part of something very large in the history of our country.
We hear a tape that a man named David Cossin made for a woman in Italy named Allesandra whom he'd met during a week he spent there, and with whom he'd fallen in love. He sent her a dozen tapes, including one where he tries to convince her to move to New York and be with him.