I hope you all had a good weekend. I certainly wasn’t cowering in a ball of fear about the whole fabric of women’s rights being taken away in the US, no sir.
In that regard, there is a lot going on in the audio world in response to the destruction of the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade† organizing podcasts, Slate is running a stunt campaign in areas where abortion is now restricted, and Howard Stern may be running for president.
But first, a very special Hot Pod announcement (elegant transition, right?)
Hot Pod Summit goes Hollywood
Big news: we’re bringing Hot Pod Summit to Los Angeles. on Nov 3 at KCRW, we’ll have a day filled with conversations about how the podcasting industry is shaped by West Coast tech giants and increasingly intertwined with legacy Hollywood institutions. The summit is held in collaboration with work x work and On Air Fest LAwhich runs from November 3 to 5, and is co-presented by KCRW† I’m excited to play geek on audio, meet some of you IRL, and dare I say, get a little tan?
We’ll keep you posted on the lineup and other details as they become available. I hope to see you there!
Podcasters organize pre-roll campaign for abortion rights
In the wake of the overthrow of the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade, dozens of podcasters band together to record and post pre-roll posts advocating for abortion rights. Started by EarBuds Podcast Collective Founder Arielle Nissenblattthe campaign managed to get some big shows on board, including My favorite murder and Getting curious with Jonathan Van Ness†
Nissenblatt worked with writers and producers to come up with various script templates to meet the needs of different hosts (30 seconds vs. 60 seconds, US-based vs. international) and compiled links to abortion resources for podcasters to post in their show notes. The campaign also enlisted voice actor and podcaster Matt Cundill to record different versions that can post shows if they don’t want to record them themselves.
When the decision was announced, “my first thought was, how will podcasters uniquely respond to this?” Nissenblatt told Hot Pod† “They can provide resources, they can provide support, they can spread the word, and we can get there from a united place.”
So far, at least three dozen shows have participated in the campaign. Nissenblatt Says Karen Kilgariff And Georgia Hardstark Are Out My favorite murder jumping on board did a lot to encourage other podcasters to do the same. Other big names who have expressed an interest in getting involved include Alex Steed from You are good and Jamie Loftus and Caitlin Durante from The Bechdel cast†
Slate put up billboards that advertise slow combustion in states with trigger laws
Slate launches a provocative new campaign to celebrate its latest season of slow combustion, which tells the story of Shirley Wheeler, the first woman convicted of manslaughter for having an abortion. The outlet has posted billboards in states that now have some of the strictest abortion laws in the country, urging passersby to “defend Shirley Wheeler.”
The URL of the campaign, defendshirleywheeler.comredirects to slow combustion‘s show page. The billboards are placed in Jackson, Mississippi; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Phoenix, Arizona; Boise, Idaho; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Daytona Beach, Florida, where Wheeler lived when she had her abortion. It’s a clever (if dystopian!) campaign that should draw attention to those areas, for better or for worse.
Howard Stern 4 Prezo
Since there hasn’t been enough chaos in the past week, radio star Howard Stern has responded to the abortion ruling by saying he probably run for president in 2024. “If I run for president, and I’m not screwing around, I’m really thinking about it,” he said in his SiriusXM show Monday“As soon as I become president, you will have five new Supreme Court justices who will overthrow all this nonsense.”
Another pillar of the Stern platform: “one vote, one person, no more from this Electoral College, I’m getting rid of it.” That would be nice, if it were legally impossible.
If he stepped into the fray, it wouldn’t be Stern’s first attempt at running for office. He ran for governor of New York in 1994 until he stopped because he refused to disclose his personal finances. He may not have money from Mike Bloomberg, but at $85 million a year, Stern has plenty of money to play with if he wants to run (or at least do some kind of stunt campaign). Anyway, President Biden probably won’t be happy.
SCOTUS won’t rewrite the defamation law (but they say a lot of things!!!)
On Monday, the Supreme Court dismissed a petition to hear a case in which an evangelical Christian ministry accused the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) of falsely calling it an anti-LGBTQ hate group. If they had picked it up, my . writes roadside colleague Adi Robertson, it would have opened the window in court to make it easier for public figures to win libel cases against media outlets.
By not taking the case, SCOTUS abandons the “actual malice” standard from the 1964 New York Times Co. v. Sullivan case, which established that public figures must demonstrate that a false statement was made knowingly or with reckless disregard for its truth in order to prove defamation. Podcasters and publishers in the US are also covered by this protection.
Judge Clarence Thomas, who does not have much respect for precedents, wrote a dissenting opinion, saying the “true malice” norm should be reconsidered. “This case is one of many showing how” [NYT v. Sullivan] and his progeny have enabled media organizations and advocacy groups to “deploy false slanders on public figures with near impunity.” In this particular case, he seems to be the only person in court with that opinion. But as Robertson points out, Judges Neil Gorsuch and Elena Kagan have questioned the standard of “true malice” in the past, so this may not be the last we hear about the issue of libel.
Pushkin Industries is also going to Hollywood
Malcolm Gladwell’s audio company Pushkin Industries has signed a deal with independent studio A24. Bloomberg reports† The deal allows A24 to have the first crack in Pushkin’s audio properties, including hit podcast Revisionist history.
The first project that A24 will develop as part of the deal is a documentary series based on Gladwell’s most recent book, The Bomber Mafia† The deal will also pay Pushkin to get a development manager. The company hired Meghna Rao from Topic Studios to fill the role.
The Black Effect Podcast Festival is coming to Brooklyn this summer
iHeartMedia and Charlamagne Tha God are hosting the first Black Effect Podcast Festival this summer, featuring live recordings of some of the network’s biggest shows, such as The 85 South Show and all smoke† The festival will be held at The Brooklyn Mirage in Avant Gardner.
The Black Effect Podcast Network is a collaboration between iHeart and its biggest star, The breakfast club co-host Charlamagne Tha God. “The Black Effect Podcast Network was created to amplify black voices for new and established content creators and storytellers,” he said in a statement. “I’m excited to celebrate the first-ever Black Effect Podcast Festival, where talented black creators and aspiring podcasters come together for a day to cheer and inspire each other.”
The festival will take place on August 28, and tickets go on sale on July 6th†
That’s all for today! I’ll be away next Tuesday, thanks to Vox Media’s extremely lit four-day July 4th weekend, so I’ll be back in your inbox on July 12th.