Podcasts of the Week


Here are the podcasts I recommend listening to from the past week.

Code Switch – “No Words

This extra podcast reflects on the horrible week of atrocity and death in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and Dallas.

ProPublica – “How New Jersey Has Embraced ‘State-Sanctioned Loan Sharking’ to Students

The title really says it all, but it’s really shocking to hear how one state’s student loan program is so exploitative.

Life of the Law – “Bail or Bust

“There really are two systems of justice. There’s one for people who can make bail, and one for people who can’t.” So begins another story of how the incarceral state is rigged against the least privileged in America.

Ben Franklin’s World – “Age of American Revolutions

Revolutions broke out across North and South America in the late 1700s and early 1800s.  These are their stories, and how the United States – itself a revolutionary republic – responded or didn’t to their fellow seekers of independence.

Song Exploder – “Kill V. Maim by Grimes

The amazingly talented Claire Boucher, who records as Grimes, breaks down the creation of one of her latest songs. 

Podcast of the Week: “Uncovering the Stark Disparities Behind School Money”


The Podcast of the Week from ProPublica strikes close to home as we’re dealing with serious underfunding of urban school districts in Massachusetts while other communities have invested in creating some of the top public schools in the nation. Sadly this is a problem throughout all of the United States.

For more on the issue follow the NPR School Money series

Podcast of the Week: This American Life – 581. Anatomy of Doubt


I promise that I won’t recommend This American Life every single week, but this is an episode that I think many people should hear.  Be warned that the topic of this episode is rape and discusses in some detail what happens to some rape and sexual assault victims.  Anatomy of Doubt starts with the story of one woman who not only was doubted by the police, but the people closer to her turned against her, leading to the investigation to be shut down.  In another town, another woman got much more support and the police went out of their way to work with investigators in other jurisdictions to help solve her case.  Not to give too much away, but the two cases end up being related.

The Marshall Project and ProPublica have published a print story to go along with this podcast.

In our day and age, it is too easy for people to doubt victims of rape and sexual assault and put them on trial – at least figuratively – than to believe them and seek justice.  I hope listening to Anatomy of a Doubt will help people reconsider that attitude.

Podcast of the Week: “How Did the Flint Water Crisis Happen?” by ProPublica


How Did the Flint Water Crisis Happen? is an important podcast by the investigative journalism agency ProPublica about one of the greatest criminal acts performed by a government against its people in American history.  This is an important listen for gaining better understanding of this still under-reported humanitarian crisis in Michigan.