show episodes
 
X-Files Diaries features Annie and Jenn, two X-Philes who connected through twitter and decided to take their shared enthusiasm (and shipper perspective) to a podcast. Join them for fun, thought-provoking conversations where they obsess/rant/swoon over all aspects of The X-Files, with an unabashed emphasis on MSR.
 
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show series
 
Misinformation, disinformation, propaganda — the terms are thrown around a lot but often used to describe the same general trend toward conspiratorial thinking that spread from the post-Soviet world to the West over the past two decades. Peter Pomerantsev had a front seat to this shift and is one of the people trying to figure out how to make the I…
 
Our guest this week argues that, much like democracy itself, public education is an ideal that we’ve never quite lived up to. We discuss the constitutional right to education and how it’s ebbed and flowed over the years, following many of the same trends as support for and access to other democratic institutions. The Trump administration infamously…
 
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner joins us to discuss the promise and peril of institutional reform and how he built a coalition of voters who are traditionally overlooked in politics. He spent his career as a civil rights attorney, not a as a prosecutor like his predecessors. He’s part of a growing movement of progressive district attor…
 
The FBI recently reported that it’s opened 2,000 domestic terrorism investigations since 2017. How the United States responds to these threats touches on some of democracy’s most basic tensions. We explore those tensions this week and discuss where things might go from here. When the social fabric and institutions the hold a democracy together are …
 
If you’re an Al completest you’re watched his 2000 interview with Donny and Marie. If you found the longer clip you get to meet Stefanie, a young fan from California that the show brought in to introduce to Al. She brings gifts and does some dance moves. We tracked her down, 21 years later, and got to talk to her about her experience that day, as w…
 
Journalist, author, and historian Anne Applebaum says that democracy is not like running water — something that we know will always be there when we turn on the tap. Her latest book Twilight of Democracy, highlights the ways in which countries around the world are coming to terms with this fact and provides suggestions for how we can do our part to…
 
The U.S. Capitol insurrection broke open a lot of conversations that had long been simmering under the surface about social media and democracy. Michal and Chris discuss this inflection point and our guest, Sinan Aral, shares ideas for how we might move forward. Sinan Aral has spent two decades studying how social media impacts our lives, from how …
 
Despite ongoing threats of violence, the wheels of democracy continue to turn, and in 2021 that means redistricting. States will draw new electoral maps this year using data from the 2020 Census. Our guest this week has spent the past decade covering attempts by politicians to draw those maps to their advantage in a practice known as gerrymandering…
 
This episode was recorded on Friday, January 8, 2021, two days after the day that many of the things we’ve talked about on this show came to a head — political and epistemic polarization, delgitimation of the opposition, degradation of democratic norms, racial inequity, and many other factors. Democracy Works hosts Michael Berkman, Chris Beem, and …
 
Many, many articles, books, documentaries — and even podcasts — have been produced over the past four years to explain who Donald Trump’s base is and what motivates people to vote for and otherwise support him. Our guest this week offers answers to these questions that are grounded in social science and political psychology. John Hibbing is the Fou…
 
Democracy takes center stage on Wynton Marsalis’s latest album, The Ever Fonky Lowdown and his forthcoming work, the Democracy Suite. However, he’s been thinking about the connection between jazz and democracy for his entire career. We are thrilled that he took a few minutes to talk with us about it this week. Listen to this episode while you wait …
 
More than 2,000 local newspapers have closed over the past 20 years, leaving some parts of the country in what’s known as a “news desert.” This week, we examine what impact that’s had on civic engagement and democratic participation — and look at ways people are trying to make local news great again. The connection between local news and democracy …
 
National Voter Registration Day is September 22. In a normal election year on a college campus, that would mean lots of canvassers with clipboards and pizza parties to encourage students to register. Those activities can’t happen the same way this fall, but our guest this week argues that the pandemic should not detract colleges and universities fr…
 
The phrase “laboratories of democracy,” coined by former U.S. Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis, is typically used to describe experiments with new social and economic policies that occur at the state level — things like voting systems and public financing of elections. This week’s episode explores a different side of that approach when state an…
 
We are excited to begin a new school year with a new cohost, Candis Watts Smith, who you may remember from an episode earlier this summer on her book Stay Woke, or from a roundtable discussion on Black politics back in February. In this episode, Michael, Chris, and Candis discuss: The dynamics at play in national, state, and local elections this fa…
 
It’s the end of Season 2, and what else could we do, but invite the guy who ended Season 1 for us back to talk. Nathan Rabin is our guest again and he talks about the update to his book The Weird Accordion To Al. In his update he covers, The Complete Al, UHF, all of The Weird Al Show, and the last season of Comedy Bang Bang. Check out his new book …
 
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