The Turnaround with Jesse Thorn

Anna Sale

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Show: 
The Turnaround
Guests: 
Anna Sale

New to The Turnaround? Subscribe in Apple Podcasts or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get two new interviews a week through August 18th.

Anna Sale is the host of WNYC Studio's Death, Sex, and Money. As she puts it, her show is about "The things we think about a lot, and need to talk about more." Anna sits down with celebrities like Kevin Bacon or Mahershala Ali, but more often than not she's talking to someone you've never heard of. She is interested in the stuff that sometimes gets skipped over in other interviews. The downfall before the success, and poverty before the wealth.


Photo: Amy Pearl

Before Death, Sex & Money Anna was a political reporter for 9 years. She worked for news outlets like CNN and MSNBC, covering elections and talking to voters and elected officials alike. She was interested in learning why people vote the way that they do, which was one of the inspirations for her show. Since its debut in 2014, Death, Sex, & Moneyhas been on all sorts of "Best Of" lists, and Anna herself won a Gracie Award for best podcast host in 2016.

Anna and Jesse talk about her past career covering politics and elections, and how her decade doing that work aids her in the kind of interviewing that she does now. They get into how to ask really sensitive questions without it feeling exploitative, and why it is important to talk about the hard or shameful parts of a person's life.

New episodes of Death, Sex & Money come out every other Tuesday. You can listen and subscribe here.

The Turnaround is a production of Maximum Fun in partnership with the Columbia Journalism Review. Visit their website to learn more about their "mission to encourage excellence in journalism in the service of a free society," and to read edited transcripts of our other Turnaround episodes.

Hosted and created by Jesse Thorn
Produced by Kara Hart and Nick Liao
Senior Producer: Laura Swisher
Managing Director: Bikram Chatterji

Music for The Turnaround provided by Mobius Van ChocStraw.

Special thanks to Kyle Pope and his team at CJR, Darrel Frost, and Emilie Erskine.

Errol Morris

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Show: 
The Turnaround
Guests: 
Errol Morris

New to The Turnaround? Subscribe in Apple Podcasts or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get two new interviews a week through August 18th.

Jesse's guest this week is documentarian Errol Morris.

Errol Morris is a critically acclaimed documentary filmmaker who has dozens of film and tv credits to his name. He won an Oscar for his 2003 film, The Fog of War, and has taken home many other awards for his films.


Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Morris has a really unique interview style that becomes very apparent to anyone who has seen one of his films or television ads. He invented a machine called an interrotron to assist him when interviewing, which allows his subjects to see him to look into his eyes while being filmed straight on. He is also known for yelling questions off screen, and those moments making it into the final edit.

Errol's films often transcend the barrier of the theater screen and jump into reality. One of his most well known films Thin Blue Line, which was about a young man convicted of shooting a police officer and was maintaining his innocence, has been attributed to the man's release the from prison the next year.

Errol and Jesse talk about how he got into interviewing, and in particular his time spent interviewing mass murderers, before he was a documentary film maker. Errol tells Jesse about the impact Truman Capote had on his career. Finally, they discuss his other career, making television commercials, and about how he learned his greatest interviewing tip: to shut the fuck up.

Errol has a new Netflix program Wormwood debuting which is being called a "hybrid series" of real life interviews and dramatizations set to come out later this year. You should also check out one of Jesse's favorite projects from Errol's, a docuseries made in partnership with ESPN called It's Not Crazy, It's Sports.

The Turnaround is a production of Maximum Fun in partnership with the Columbia Journalism Review. Visit their website to learn more about their "mission to encourage excellence in journalism in the service of a free society," and to read edited transcripts of our other Turnaround episodes.

Hosted and created by Jesse Thorn
Produced by Kara Hart and Nick Liao
Senior Producer: Laura Swisher
Managing Director: Bikram Chatterji

Music for The Turnaround provided by Mobius Van ChocStraw.

Special thanks to Kyle Pope and his team at CJR, Darrel Frost, and Emilie Erskine.

Brooke Gladstone

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Show: 
The Turnaround
Guests: 
Brooke Gladstone

New to The Turnaround? Subscribe in Apple Podcasts or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get two new interviews a week through August 18th.

This week on The Turnaround Jesse sits down with Brooke Gladstone of WNYC Studio's On The Media.

Brooke began her career working for NPR, as an editor on both Weekend Edition with Scott Simon, and All Things Considered. She also worked as a foreign correspondent for NPR in Moscow. Now she co-hosts and edits the weekly show On The Media. The award winning show has been around in its current iterations for over 15 years covering, you guessed it, the media. She and co-host Bob Garfield cast a critical eye on their peers in the media, asking questions that are larger than that week's headlines.


Photo: Janice Yi

Brooke interviews all kinds of people on the show. She and Bob make an effort to represent many points of view on any given topic, to give the listener a better understanding of all the issues involved. Her interview style is direct and respectful, though you never feel like she hasn't asked the question that you want answered.

In her conversation with Jesse, Brooke shares how such a tightly edited weekly show gets made, and how she and her team choose to edit their show when cutting down for time and content. She also talks about journalistic objectivity, an ideal that she believes has no business dictating any part of the relationship between the media consumer and producer.

Brooke has won two Peabody awards among many others, and she has written two books. One of them is a non-fiction graphic novel starring Brooke herself that covers changes in the media over the last 2,000 years. It came out in 2011 and is called The Influencing Machine.

Her most recent book, The Trouble With Reality: A Rumination on Moral Panic in Our Time came out earlier this year. It deals with the proliferation of "fake news" in our time, examining how the Trump administration uses these lies to shape reality. You can listen to On The Media every week on your local public radio station, or you can download the podcast. If you're not already subscribed, do it! Seriously.

The Turnaround is a production of Maximum Fun in partnership with the Columbia Journalism Review. Visit their website to learn more about their "mission to encourage excellence in journalism in the service of a free society," and to read edited transcripts of our other Turnaround episodes.

Hosted and created by Jesse Thorn
Produced by Kara Hart and Nick Liao
Senior Producer: Laura Swisher
Managing Director: Bikram Chatterji

Music for The Turnaround provided by Mobius Van ChocStraw.

Special thanks to Kyle Pope and his team at CJR, Darrel Frost, and Emilie Erskine.

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