Browse our archive by

Filter by

Act Three: Aw, Do We NAFTA?

Ira explains that when Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton all seemed to be against free trade agreements, he got genuinely confused. Is free trade good or bad? Was NAFTA good or evil? Are we down with TPP? He asked Jacob Goldstein of NPR’s Planet Money podcast to explain, once and for all, the pros and cons of free trade.

Act Four: Seriously?

We’ve been wondering about some of the things President Obama thinks about the current election, but can’t say publicly. But since he hasn’t told us his thoughts explicitly, we asked singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles – who did the Broadway musical “Waitress” – to imagine those thoughts for us.

Prologue

A year ago, we did a story about a study that found that a simple 20-minute conversation could change someone’s mind about controversial issues like gay marriage and abortion. But a few weeks after we aired the story, the study was discredited.

Act Two: Not Our Town

When Jon Mooallem went to see his six-year-old daughter in a musical at her after-school program, he didn't know what to expect. But it certainly was not the performance saw.

Act Three: The Spy Who Didn't Know She Was A Spy

On September 29th a medical researcher in Philadelphia fired off a simple, well-meaning tweet, and then barely thought twice about it. Little did she know that by doing that, she was perpetrating covert propaganda on behalf of the U.S. government.

Prologue

Ira talks to cyber cafe workers around the world about something that lots of Americans have never heard of, but that people in other countries know all about: a lottery run by the U.S. government where the prize is a visa to come to America. Each year people flock to cyber cafes to enter it, hoping for a lucky break that will change their life.

Act One: Reluctant Sailor

Kirk sleepwalks through an open window and into a completely different life. He explains how he starts compiling a list of Iraqis who’d worked with the U.S. government after the invasion, whose lives were now in danger because of that.

Act Five: Cairo, Egypt

It's been a tumultuous week of protests and demonstrations in Egypt. NancyUpdike talks to two Egyptian men whose ideologies are completely opposite,except one thing unites them: Their anger at the United States.

Prologue

Ira Glass rides around with a man in the man's hometown...a man who doesn't want us to say his name on the radio. Why? Because he's secretly a Democrat, in a small town dominated by Republicans.

Act One: I Know You Are, But What Am I?

We surveyed hundreds of people around the country, from every part of the political spectrum, about the ways in which politics are interfering with their friendships and families. Producer Lisa Pollak reports.

Act Two: Nothing in Moderation

A portrait of what it looks like when politics gets polarized, and how hard it is for people in the middle to hang on. Producer Sarah Koenig explains what happened when a wave of Republican politicians swept to power with a three-to-one majority in 2010.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass plays tape from a political rally in support of a Chicago politician named Derrick Smith, who had just been arrested for accepting a bribe. His supporters likely believed that Smith had erred...but they also believed that the other candidate was even worse.