This American Life

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The latest news from Chicago Public Radio's "This American Life." Hosted by Ira Glass, "TAL" is an award-winning radio program and was also an Emmy-winning series on the Showtime network. The weekly radio show features first-person stories and short fiction pieces that are touching, funny, and surprising. Regular contributors include David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell, John Hodgman, Dan Savage, Jonathan Goldstein, and Chris Ware.
Updated: 38 min 32 sec ago

This Week on the Radio: "The Secret Recordings of Carmen Segarra"

September 28, 2014 - 8:00pm
An unprecedented look inside one of the most powerful, secretive institutions in the country. The NY Federal Reserve is supposed to monitor big banks. But when Carmen Segarra was hired, what she witnessed inside the Fed was so alarming that she got a tiny recorder and started secretly taping. ProPublica's print version.

Broadcast September 27 to September 29

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Our Questions for the New York Fed and Goldman Sachs

September 26, 2014 - 3:49pm

In the course of reporting our story "The Secret Recordings of Carmen Segarra" with ProPublica, we sent lots of questions to the New York Fed and Goldman Sachs. We wanted to share those with you, along with the institutions' responses.

Our questions to the New York Fed are here.

The New York Fed responded with a statement and later this email.

Our questions to Goldman Sachs are here.

Goldman Sachs' response is here.

And one last document that plays an important role in our story: the confidential report Columbia professor David Beim wrote for the New York Fed in 2009, as it was trying to figure out why it failed to anticipate the financial crisis and what it should do to make sure it wouldn't fail to catch the next one.

You can listen to our story here, and read ProPublica's story too.

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"The Ray Rice Video for the Financial Sector Has Arrived"

September 26, 2014 - 9:44am

Ira writes:

Michael Lewis — the author of Moneyball, Flash Boys and The Big Shortwrites about this weekend's episode of our show.

Morning Edition led today's show with a story about the revelations in our episode.

The episode is up today! You can listen now!


Image of Carmen Segarra by Nabil Rahman for Pro Publica

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This Week on the Radio: "Origin Story 2014"

September 21, 2014 - 8:00pm
This week we bring you little-known and surprising stories of how all sorts of institutions began. An updated version of a 2009 episode.

Broadcast September 20 to September 22

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A Brand New Series! From the Creators of This American Life!

September 19, 2014 - 11:32am

Ira writes:

For weeks now I’ve been sitting in on edits of our new podcast and it’s killing me that we have to wait another two weeks before we release it to the world. It’s so good! It’s made by two of our longtime producers here – Sarah Koenig hosts and Julie Snyder produces – and it feels like the greatest stories we ever do on This American Life and it also feels like something totally new.

I’m writing today to say it premieres on Friday October 3rd. It’s called Serial. We’re releasing not just one episode, but two episodes that day. You can subscribe to the series and hear a preview here.

Wait, did I bury the lede? Yes, this is our very first spinoff show! We have a spinoff! We’re making two shows, not one! That’s news, right? It’s the first brand new show from the staff of This American Life since 1995. And yes – we’re old. Sorry about that. And yes, this is not going to be on the radio. Podcast only!

We’ve tried to continually reinvent how we tell stories on our show and this is the next step. Instead of bringing you a new theme and a new set of stories each week the way we do on This American Life, Serial brings you back every week to the same story, to tell you the next chapter. Our hope is to give you the same experience you get from a great HBO or Netflix series, where you get caught up with the characters and the thing unfolds week after week, and you just have to hear what happens next, but with a story that’s true. And no pictures. Like House of Cards or Game of Thrones but you can enjoy it while you’re driving.

Each season of Serial will be a different story and the first season is about a murder. Sarah Koenig is – no question – the best radio reporter in the world for this job. Did you happen to catch the hour-long story she did, where she re-investigated a murder committed by this doctor named Gilmer? I felt like every ten minutes, I learned something that changed my whole idea of the case and the story and in the end, she found exculpating facts nobody at the trial on either side knew about. It was perfect radio. It’ll be amazing to hear Sarah do this once a week.

Subscribe now, while you’re thinking of it. Listen to the preview. You won’t be sorry.


Serial staff: Dana Chivvis, Emily Condon, Sarah Koenig, Ira Glass, and Julie Snyder.
Photo by Meredith Heuer.

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