Podcast Recommendation: You’re Wrong About
Rarely have I found myself binging a podcast with the same devotedness as I have “You’re Wrong About” since I discovered it a few weeks ago.
Being born in the mid-nineties, I fall into the fringes of millennialism. The boundary for being considered a millennial is different depending on what you read, but usually I just so make the cut. Let’s leave aside the fact that the idea of generations cannot withstand scientific investigation for a moment — they are a helpful tool for talking about youth culture in an abstract sense. This means that most of the culture shaping events of the ’90s and early 2000s are part of my memory in name only. Sometimes I have a vague recollection of what happened, but mostly I only know the superficial punchline, gathered from hearsay. Because of this it is a relief for me when “proper” millennials (LOL), such as Sarah Marshall and Michael Hobbes, figuratively take my hand and walk me through the unfamiliar stories behind the familiar titles.
The premise of “You’re Wrong About” is simple: one of the two hosts revisits a controversial event from the past, mostly from the ’80s, ’90s or early 2000s, and researches all they can find about it. At the same time the other host — and the listeners — usually only remember some vague outline of the incident. Then the hazy public perception of the event and what really happened, with a couple of years of hindsight, are confronted.
While this sounds somewhat dry the podcast is nothing like that. It isn’t educational in style, but rather colloquial. In the beginning I expected the hosts squabbling and fooling around to get on my nerves quickly. Instead it became the thing that kept me hooked. The podcast’s light, conversational style, even when discussing serious topics gives it a very easy-going flow. At the same time it never becomes inappropriate — instead it feels honest and intimate.
My favorite episodes
These are the most mind-blowing episodes so far:
- The 2000 Election: Mike tells Sarah how a close election and an even closer Supreme Court decision established the political template we’re still living with today.
- Enron: Mike tells Sarah how a “bad apples” explanation kept us from seeing the real scandal at the heart of America’s largest corporate bankruptcy.
- The Challenger Disaster: It wasn’t an accident. Mike tells Sarah how the infamous space shuttle disaster came to be seen as a white-collar crime.
- Guilty Pleasure: All the episodes on the O.J. Simpson Trial (there are seven so far), meticulously researched by Sarah — this is probably the most culture shaping event that I missed.
However there has not been a single one yet that I found of no interest. I suggest you drop whatever you are doing and go subscribe to “You’re Wrong About” wherever you get your podcasts.
You’re Wrong About — Mike and Sarah are journalists obsessed with the past. Every week they reconsider an event, person or phenomenon that’s been miscast in the public imagination.