GOOD

Using “Serial” To Explore Whether The Law Is Truly Objective

Podcasts, primetime dramas, and even the mountains help explore whether or not justice is truly blind.

image via youtube screen capture

Here’s an idea...


If you’re familiar with PBS’ Idea Channel and its mercurial host Mike Rugnetta, you know that after those introductory words, you’re likely to have your head filled with nearly as much critical theory, philosophy, and sociological analysis as most college freshmen get (or at least, retain) in an entire semester.

In its latest episode Idea Channel sets its sights on Serial, the uber-mega-gargantuan smash hit podcast, in which journalist Sarah Koenig explores the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, and the subsequent arrest and conviction of Adnan Syed for the crime. But rather than delve into the specifics of the case, or contest Adnan’s guilt, Rugnetta uses Serial as a jumping off point to explore broader questions at play. As he explains in this episode, the intense debate around the podcast and its subjects:

“...bumps into two other tensions of which Serial is maybe a symptom, or maybe of which Serial takes knowing advantage. Specifically the tension that arises from the expectation that both the law, and journalism be, or attempt to be, ‘objective’”

Rugnetta has a point. Certainly Serial’s exploration of a shocking crime isn’t, in and of itself, something altogether new. Television shows, magazines, and even other radio broadcasts have focused on true crime stories for decades. But Serial, whether by virtue of its production, medium, or simply the quality of its storytelling, has tapped into something else. And if we’re to understand what it is that makes Serial so compelling, we should start by understanding our own expectations of law, justice, and order – not simply because it will help with our cognitive digestion of a popular podcast, but because it will help explain the world in which we all live.

Articles
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
test
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less
Health

Villagers rejoice as they receive the first vaccines ever delivered via drone in the Congo

The area's topography makes transporting medicines a treacherous task.

Photo by Henry Sempangi Senyule

When we discuss barriers to healthcare in the developed world, affordability is commonly the biggest concern. But for some in the developing world, physical distance and topography can be the difference between life and death.

Widjifake, a hard-to-reach village in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a population of 6,500, struggles with having consistent access to healthcare supplies due to the Congo River and its winding tributaries.

It can take up to three hours for vehicles carrying supplies to reach the village.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via Keith Boykin / Twitter

Fox News and President Trump seem like they may be headed for a breakup. "Fox is a lot different than it used to be," Trump told reporters in August after one of the network's polls found him trailing for Democrats in the 2020 election.

"There's something going on at Fox, I'll tell you right now. And I'm not happy with it," he continued.

Some Fox anchors have hit back at the president over his criticisms. "Well, first of all, Mr. President, we don't work for you," Neil Cavuto said on the air. "I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just report on you."

Keep Reading Show less
Politics