The NYPL Podcast
Podcast #168: Jelani Cobb, The Half-Life of Freedom
The New York Public Library Podcast features your favorite writers, artists, and thinkers in smart talks and provocative conversations. Listen to some of our most engaging programs, discover new ideas, and celebrate the best of today’s culture.
This week's episode features a two-part lecture delivered by Columbia Journalism School professor and New Yorker staff writer Jelani Cobb titled "The Half-Life of Freedom." He spoke at the Steven A. Schwarzman Building last month for the Cullman Center’s Joanna Jackson Goldman Memorial Lectures on American Civilization and Government.
Cobb looks back to Joseph McCarthy as a master manipulator of the media, inspecting the Wisconsin senator's behavior toward the press for clues about today's relationship between politicans and journalists. He examines the dynamics at play in the 2016 election, the role played by print, broadcast, and social media, and the implications of those dynamics for the fourth estate on the more immediate and long-term futures of American politics. Cobb also uses his experience teaching in Russia to help think through what could have made Russia interested in influencing the American presidential election in the first place.
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