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Inside Podcasting

Inside Podcasting (Apr 24th, 2017)

Bill O'Reilly will return tonight with the first new episode of his "No Spin News" podcast since April 11th. The podcast will mark O'Reilly's first public statements since the short response he issued when the news broke that he had been fired from "The O'Reilly Factor" by Fox bosses. O'Reilly's exit followed a glut of sexual harassment charges that had begun causing major advertisers to balk. The conservative host will make $25 million from his Fox exit deal. The first episode of the "No Spin Zone" since April 11th will be released to subscribers at 7 pm EDT. – LAT

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"Other: Mixed Race in America," is a podcast from the Washington Post featuring host Alex Laughlin that will examine the lives of mixed race Americans. Laughlin, who is half-Korean, half-White, was inspired by a literary rule called "the mulatto canary in the coal mine," which says that "the treatment and depictions of mixed-race people in art and culture is a reflection of the broader state of race relations in America at that moment." 50 years after Loving v. Virginia wiped out anti-miscegenation laws, has it become any easier to be mixed race in today's America? The show will premiere on May 1st, with new episodes publishing every day for a week afterward. – WAPO

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Sitcom legend Norman Lear will be featured on PodcastOne's new "All of the Above with Normal Lear" series. The 94-year-old Lear, who created classic socially-minded American sitcoms like "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons," will co-host the series with actor Paul Hipp. “Circling 95, I wanted to wait until half my life was over to launch a podcast. Whatever my age, I think of myself as your peer–whatever your age. Subscribe, and see if you don’t agree," said Lear. Among the first wave of guests on Lear's show will be modern-day sitcom stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Amy Poehler. – ADWEEK

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The latest "Rolling Stone Music Now" features an interview with Arthur Baker, who produced "Empire Burlesque," Bob Dylan's most "ultra 80s" record. Dylan actually started producing the record himself, before eventually bringing in Baker, who had previously produced albums for New Order and Afrika Bambaataa. At the time, Dylan was quoted as saying, "I'm not too experienced at having records sound good. I don't know how to go about doing that. With Arthur Baker...I just went out and recorded a bunch of stuff all over the place, and then when it was time to put this record together, I brought it all to him and he made it sound like a record." – RS

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Paste shares their selection of the best episodes from Radiotopia's "Criminal" podcast. Writer Muira McCammon says host Phoebe Judge is a "killer interviewer" and possesses the most "entrancing voice" in the podcasting world. Among McCammon's episode choices are "Animal Instincts," a "labyrinthine" story about a man attempting to connect the feathers of an owl to the death of a woman; "We Lost Them," which investigates the aftermath of a hate-crime shooting in a small Kansas City suburb; and "Final Exit," featuring Judge's interview with a woman who serves as an "exit guide," a person who sits with people as they choose to end their own lives with euthanasia. – PASTE

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The new "Cowboy Crossroads" podcast aims to keep the rich tradition of cowboy poetry alive. Hosted by 36-year-old cowboy poet Andy Hedges, the show sheds light on a tradition that was born in the 20 years after the Civil War ended, a period when cattle-driving cowboys would improvise poetry on the long trail from Texas to Kansas. Hedges hopes to "connect today’s vibrant cowboy culture with a world only vaguely aware of its existence," via interviews with working cowboy poets and musicians. As for the way he conducts his notably relaxed interviews, Hedges says, "I let them take it whatever direction they want. I don’t feel there’s very many opportunities for that.” – ATLANTIC

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PODCAST SPOTLIGHT

Hopefully, I'm not breaking the news of this remarkable podcast series to anyone, as it's one of the best, most rigorously researched and passionate series out there. This, then, is an appreciation of the latest episode of the latest season of host Karina Longworth's investigation into old Hollywood legends and lore. For this season, Longworth has focused on "Dead Blondes," a knowingly glib title for a series of shows about blonde women who either got chewed up and spit out by the Hollywood machine, or figured out a way out.

The latest episode is about the relatively obscure Barbara Loden, who in fact may be most famous these days for figuring so strongly in Elia Kazan's autobiography, "A Life." In fact, Loden left behind very little personal info in the form of journal writings or interviews after her death, so Longworth is forced to lean hard on the Kazan book. Kazan's autobiography is highly-regarded, but as with any autobiography, the history on display is subjective. When you add into the mix that fact that Kazan is such a divisive figure (directing some of the finest, most progressively naturalistic movies of the 1950s but also playing ball with Joseph McCarthy's communist witch hunt to save his career), we are reminded that so much of the 20th century was filtered through the perception (and corrupted POV) of paternalism, even the work of a major auteur like Kazan. 

Loden's childhood was no dream, and she found her modeling career dissatisfying and limiting. Her big acting break came with regular "sidekick" appearances on early TV genius Ernie Kovacs' popular show. Kazan and Loden were both married when they started their affair, and the elder director was 23 years older than the young actress. Kazan brought Loden onto the set of his Montgomery Clift masterpiece "Wild River" (a failure at the time) and then gave her the plum supporting role of Warren Beatty's sister in the more successful "Splendor in the Grass." 

The pair split up, then came back together and got married. When Kazan was directing Arthur Miller's "After the Fall" for the New York stage, he knew that Miller had based the lead character on his own wife, Marilyn Monroe. He cast Loden in the part. But Loden's career dried up under Kazan's admitted overprotection, and it was only when she struck out on her own to make a movie that she found her greatest glory. (Kazan based much of his oft-derided but very compelling late 60s freak-out "The Arrangement" on their marriage.)

"Wanda" was written, produced, and directed by Loden, and she cast herself in the lead for the small movie set in the anthracite coal region of eastern Pennsylvania. The movie won a major prize at the 31st Venice International Film Festival, and Longworth cannily notes that the film's naturalism predates the startling 70s work of John Cassavetes. In her way, then, Barbara Loden bridges the two major advancements in mid-century movie naturalism, from Kazan to Cassavetes. 

It wouldn't be an entry into the "Dead Blondes" season if the story didn't have a sad ending, but we'll leave it to Longworth and her unparalleled knowledge of movie history and behind-the-scenes drama to take you there. It's a highly compelling listen.

THE BASICS
Title: "You Must Remember This"
Episodes Available: 104
Episode Length: 45-60 mins
Where to Download: youmustrememberthispodcast.com
Host: Karina Longworth

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