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The Outline World Dispatch

By The Outline

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Tired of the daily news doom and gloom? Looking to explore curious stories instead? Every Monday through Thursday, we bring a story on the theme of Power, Culture, and the Future, handpicked from The Outline. We guarantee you’ll feel smarter and more hydrated.

Customer Reviews

Generally good

I'm glad I put this in my regular rotation. It's definitely a "News of the World as experienced by freelance writers in Brooklyn" kind of production, but they're at least interesting and succinct freelance writers in Brooklyn.

A Performative Contradiction

I just listened to two obnoxious hipsters denounce capitalism for half an hour on a website supported by whiskey and car ads. On a show meant to be played on a smartphone designed and built by a multinational corporation. So yeah, that’s about the level of discourse you can expect here.

Childish, Insubstantial, and Mean

If you're looking for intelligent, objective reporting, go elsewhere. I gave this pod a two-episode audition, and it flunked. The first, about NYC taxis, was a weak This American Life knockoff, the dominant notes of which were the hosts' "Look at us!" vibe and the penchant of James T. Green for middle-school diction ("like ... like ... like ... like"). Not a big deal, just not worth listening to.

The pod's hatchet job on Jordan Peterson, on the other hand, is a very big deal. The reporter, Paris Martineau, came out of the chute blasting Peterson with sneering sarcasm. There is no doubt that public figures are fair game for opprobrium, but Martineu made no effort to support her case. She simply—and "simply" is the right adjective—categorized Peterson as a man to hate because, we are implicitly expected to understand, she says so. She played just a few seconds of a Peterson talk, and offered absolutely none of the substance of his ideas. She did, however, accuse him of racism and misogyny without offering a shred of evidence for these charges, and linked him to the nebulous "Alt-Right," again with no evidence. And she childishly dimished Dr. Peterson's significant professional credentials. The host, James T. Green, swallowed Ms. Martineau's harsh and conclusory claims whole, not once asking for evidence. The episode contained a long embedded excerpt from another pod on which Martineu disparaged Peterson in a likewise unsubstantiated manner, and host of that program played the fawning sycophant, just like Green. Ms. Martineau's lack of journalistic integrity and fairness of mind is matched by her lack of compassion for persons with depression who, it seems, often tune into Peterson's talks.

These are not serious people.