September 24, 2010


Crybabies are annoying. They whine, they complain, sometimes they ruin it for the rest of us. But being a crybaby can be a really effective tactic. We have stories of crybabies in sports, in politics, on Wall Street, on the streets of California, including a new story by David Sedaris.
Correction: In the original broadcast of this episode, Adam Davidson incorrectly stated that Stephen Schwarzman’s company, the Blackstone Group, benefited from Treasury Department contracts related to the bailout of Wall Street. They did not. Blackstone did directly benefit from the bailout in several ways — including a $107 million commitment to a bank they own, BankUnited. The audio and transcript have edited with this correction. We regret the error.


Host Ira Glass with Dave Weigel, political reporter for Slate.com, about manufactured outrage in American politics, and how it's an effective way to bring in cash and mobilize your followers, as Christine O'Donnell and former Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer have demonstrated. (6 minutes)

Act One

Wall Street: Money Never Weeps

Ira with Planet Money economics correspondent Adam Davidson on why—even after everything President Obama has done to save Wall Street, actions which have led to record profits and bonuses—Wall Street seems ungrateful. Adam and producer Jane Feltes head out to a Wall Street bar where they're told by three finance guys that there's no reason to thank the President for saving their jobs. Planet Money is a co-production of This American Life and NPR News. (16 minutes)

Act Two

Foul Play

Ira with This American Life producer Alex Blumberg, about a kind of institutionalized crybabying in pro basketball called "the flop." Alex started to wonder if the story basketball fans tell themselves about the origins of the flop is true, and turned to Tommy Craggs at the sports blog Deadspin.com. (11 minutes)