You're Wrong About

By Michael Hobbes & Sarah Marshall

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Category: History

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Subscribers: 1457
Reviews: 12

Maggie Foster
 Feb 5, 2020

 Dec 9, 2019

 Nov 13, 2019

 Oct 2, 2019
I love this podcast so, started by listening to topics that interested me but now listen to everything, even the US political stories (I'm from New Zealand). Love the rapport between the hosts and their excellent senses of humour.

 Sep 11, 2019
This Podcast is so great, I might be too young to remember any of these stories but I've loved learning about the things we've misunderstood and misremembered, especially coming from such lovely, entertaining hosts.


Mike and Sarah are journalists obsessed with the past. Every week they reconsider an event or person or trend that's been miscast in the public imagination.

Episode Date
Valentine’s Day Re-Release: Anna Nicole Smith
Valentine’s Day re-release! Sarah and Mike reflect on one of the only love stories they’ve ever covered on the show. Continue reading
Feb 14, 2020
Why Didn’t Anyone Go to Prison for the Financial Crisis?
“Every big fish you catch, you end up with a hole in the net.” Mike tells Sarah how America’s white-collar crime spree got so bad. Digressions include self-checkout kiosks, Barbie dolls and moonshine. Homeless shelters and teacher pay feature prominently. By the standards of this podcast, this episode is relatively upbeat. Continue reading
Feb 10, 2020
D.C. Snipers Part 2
Mike tells Sarah how a nice Jamaican kid became the disciple of a mean American adult. Digressions include Tonya Harding (of course), “Sliding Doors” (again) and Anne of Green Gables (Sarah has an English degree). Mildred re-appears just after the hour mark. We are unable to conceive of a content warning comprehensive enough for all the horrors contained in this episode. There is less crying in this episode than the last in this series, but only slightly. Continue reading
Feb 03, 2020
The O.J. Simpson Trial: Kato Kaelin Part 2
Sarah tells Mike the ending to the story of the mimbo and the alibi. Digressions include O. Henry, Nigerian e-mail scams and Dave Coulier. Mike wildly over-simplifies the Brexit vote. Continue reading
Jan 20, 2020
The D.C. Snipers
“If you’re black, you can’t get work as a serial killer even if you’re manifestly qualified.” Mike tells Sarah how a military veteran became an abuser, a murderer and, eventually, a footnote in his own crime spree. Digressions include Jim Jones, the Addams Family and “The Gillooly Gang.” The episode gets super dark about two-thirds in, but brightens just before the big twist. We describe—again, unfortunately—domestic abuse in great detail. Continue reading
Jan 06, 2020
The O.J. Simpson Trial: Kato Kaelin
Sarah tells Mike how an aspiring actor protected and then betrayed Nicole Brown Simpson without knowing he was doing either. Digressions include '80s movie tropes, ski-resort etiquette and the need for a process of "un-faming." Unfortunately, this episode contains graphic descriptions of violence and abuse. Continue reading
Dec 16, 2019
The O.J. Simpson Trial: Paula Barbieri Part 2
"There’s no precedent for women in this family being treated like they matter." Sarah tells Mike about the Bronco chase as Paula Barbieri experienced it. Then, she recounts  how a poor kid from Panama City, Florida, made it all the way to the high-fashion world of Paris, France—and discovered that she had jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. Sarah continues to compare everyone to Erin Brockovich. This episode begins with a lengthy discussion of O.J. Simpson's suicide attempt on the day of the Bronco chase. We go on to describe scenes of domestic violence and attempted sexual assault; Paula deserved better. Support us! Continue reading
Dec 02, 2019
Human Trafficking
Mike tells Sarah how NGOs, activists and George W. Bush resurrected the 'stranger danger' panic for the modern era. Digressions include Reply All, muffins and Yelp for massage parlors. Mike's vocal fry is even worse than usual. Continue reading
Nov 25, 2019
The O.J. Simpson Trial: Marcia Clark
Sarah tells Mike how Marcia Clark got the slam-dunk case that ended her career as a trial lawyer. Digressions include string cheese, "Inception" and what calling women "difficult" means in 2019. We go on the record in favor of a wide range of frivolous hobbies. Continue reading
Nov 14, 2019
The O.J. Simpson Trial: Paula Barbieri
"Centering conversations around blame is not the most useful thing for us to be doing." Sarah tells Mike about the woman who broke up with O.J. Simpson on the morning of the murders — then stayed by his side through the trial. Michael Bolton makes an extended cameo appearance. Continue reading
Nov 01, 2019
Re-Release: Poisoned Halloween Candy and Other Urban Legends
Few topics have been suggested to us in the last year as often as the razor blade in the apple. Luckily we've got you covered with last year's Urban Legend Spectacular! Come for the poisoned candy, stay for the high beams and rainbow parties. Continue reading
Oct 31, 2019
Halloween Re-Release! Ed Gein and Slasher Movies
Sarah takes Mike on a grisly journey from Wisconsin bachelor Ed Gein's house to the horror movies he inspired. This is a re-broadcast of our 2018 Halloween episode, whose themes are evergreen. Continue reading
Oct 30, 2019
The O.J. Simpson Trial: Nicole Brown Simpson Part 2
“You can’t expect people to know the exact kind of help they need.” We continue our deep dive into the O.J. Simpson case with the history of Nicole Brown Simpson's marriage to O.J., their 1992 divorce and the last weeks of Nicole's life. Digressions include Julia Roberts, Malibu real estate and Madonna’s "Erotica." Mike is fighting a cold and apologizes for his raspiness. This episode contains even greater detail on the violence and domestic abuse Nicole suffered. Plus, a correction! Sarah forgot to mention that O.J. Simpson received two years of probation for the 1989 incident. Continue reading
Oct 17, 2019
The O.J. Simpson Trial: Nicole Brown Simpson Part 1
Mike and Sarah begin their epic journey into O.J. Simpson's trial for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, beginning with the story of Nicole's life with O.J. until their marriage in 1985. This episode contains descriptions of violence and domestic abuse. Like so many of the women we talk about, Nicole deserved better. Continue reading
Oct 03, 2019
The Wardrobe Malfunction
Our first live show! Mike tells Sarah about Janet Jackson, the 2004 Super Bowl Halftime show and the 9/16ths of a second that destroyed her career. Digressions include Puff Daddy, Jessica Simpson and Edward James Olmos. Like all positive developments regarding this show, performing live is something we feel weird about and so we spent the first few minutes talking about it! Continue reading
Sep 19, 2019
‘Yoko Ono Broke Up The Beatles’
Mike tells Sarah how the myth of meddling wives serves to exonerate terrible husbands. Digressions include "50 Shades of Grey," Marie Antoinette and the end of the 1960s. This episode, we’re sorry to say, contains descriptions of domestic abuse. Continue reading
Sep 10, 2019
“Isn’t it amazing how we can only imagine our monsters capitalistically?” Mike tells Sarah how police, prosecutors and journalists accidentally conspired to invent the perfect suburban menace. Digressions include IKEA, the "Godfather" trilogy and Fleetwood Mac. Mike takes big gulping breaths when he reads out loud. Continue reading
Aug 22, 2019
The Victims’ Rights Movement
“When you allow emotion into the courtroom, bias rushes in alongside it.” Special guest Rachel Monroe tells Mike and Sarah how a good-faith critique of the justice system led to a decades-long crackdown. Digressions include Charles Manson, Ronald Reagan and a billionaire mugshot. Mike’s similes are worse than Sarah’s. Continue reading
Aug 16, 2019
Sex Offenders
“Things are not going to get better if we make the people who scare us seem more powerful.” Mike tells Sarah about the myths of sex crimes, the reality of child abuse and the importance of unsympathetic protagonists. Digressions include frozen pizza, millennials (obvs) and vaccination rates. Mike can only name one state that borders Nevada. Continue reading
Aug 07, 2019
Tonya Harding Part 2
“The story that did the most damage to the people in it was the one that made the most money.” Sarah tells Mike about the low-rent conspiracy that sparked a ratings bonanza.  Digressions include "Out of Sight," Robert De Niro and the ancient sexting technology known as landlines. Mike continues to laugh confusedly at references he does not know. Continue reading
Jul 26, 2019
Tonya Harding Part 1
Sarah tells Mike the story of a world-class figure skater who worked at a mall potato restaurant. Digressions include “Sleepless in Seattle,” mall walkers, synchronized diving and the difficulty of skating a perfect pentagram. This episode unfortunately contains descriptions of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Tonya deserved better. Continue reading
Jul 18, 2019
The Stonewall Uprising
“Humans aren’t good at remembering what got us where we are.” Mike tells Sarah how a turning point in the gay rights movement became an immediate controversy, a lasting inspiration and a never-ending debate. Digressions include “Newsies” (of course), “True Romance” and “Norma Rae.” Mike's creaking chair and Sarah's rustling blanket-fort are heard throughout. Continue reading
Jun 27, 2019
Kitty Genovese and “Bystander Apathy”
“Once you tell a story incorrectly once, you can’t control where it goes.” Sarah tells Mike how The New York Times turned a suburban murder into an urban legend. Digressions include Billy Joel, the World’s Fair and “Ferngully.” This episode marks a triumphant return to Long Island and an unexpected celebration of Pride Month. Continue reading
Jun 20, 2019
“We’re uncomfortable with the evidence that teen girls have sexual agency.” Special guest Amy Hasinoff tells Mike and Sarah how a moral panic became a legal nightmare. Digressions include Cosmo advice columns, Grindr etiquette and the revolutionary hugging of the "Avengers" movies. Due to the ongoing hex placed on this podcast, the sound quality is worse than usual. Continue reading
Jun 11, 2019
The American Taliban
“He’s been punished even more than the American prison system can aspire to punish anyone”: Mike tells Sarah how John Walker Lindh became a terrorist in the media, a freedom fighter in his own mind and something between the two in reality. Digressions include “Newsies," Bruce Willis and “Candide.” Sarah sneakily reveals her lifelong affection for Howard Stern. Continue reading
Jun 05, 2019
"It just seems like capitalism masquerading as religion": Sarah tells Mike how a horror movie resurrected a ritual and established an industry. Digressions include “Avatar,” the NFL and the ethics of book publishing. The final five minutes are an unintentionally concise description of the core moral principle of this show. Continue reading
May 28, 2019
“We want stories that don’t exist in systems”: Mike tells Sarah what happened when Utah set out to solve one of America's most intractable problems. Digressions include the Paleo diet, the planet Mars and the inadequacy of the term “up the river.” Jimmy Carter makes an extended cameo appearance. Continue reading
May 16, 2019
Dan Quayle v. Murphy Brown
“Why did we make fun of Dan Quayle for misspelling the word ‘potato’ when we should have made fun of him for arguments like this?” Mike tells Sarah how a real vice president blamed a fictional single mom for causing one of the most divisive events of the 1990s. Digressions include "Designing Women," "Alien" and "The Brady Bunch." Listeners finally learn that Sarah has a lovely singing voice. Continue reading
May 09, 2019
Elián González
Mike tells Sarah how a 5-year-old kid transformed a city, divided a political party and (maybe) determined a presidential election. Digressions include World War II, Clarence Darrow and something called "Like, News with Skeeter." Both co-hosts conclude that this episode is somehow an equal-parts mixture of Satanic Panic and Terri Schiavo. Support us: Continue reading
Apr 25, 2019
The Preppy Murder
Sarah tells Mike how an aspiring rich kid became an emblem of a world he didn't belong to. Digressions include drill teams, prep schools and eating disorders. The p-pops are worse than usual. Continue reading
Apr 18, 2019
The “Ebonics” Controversy
Mike tells Sarah how a simple idea in a single school district became a nationwide racial panic. Digressions include slasher movies, Space Invaders and homeschooling. The taglines are becoming more esoteric. Continue reading
Apr 04, 2019
Terri Schiavo
Mike tells Sarah how the media, the president and the Pope turned a simple medical story into a complicated legal one. Digressions include canine loyalty, unionized space-workers and polyamory logistics. Both co-hosts recorded in tiny rooms, but with very different acoustics. Continue reading
Mar 05, 2019
Anna Nicole Smith
Sarah tells Mike how a poor Texas girl made herself into an icon and America made her into a punchline. Digressions include massage technique, “Death Becomes Her” and (obviously) “The Godfather.” Mike sounds even sicker than he did last week. Continue reading
Feb 20, 2019
Acid Rain
Mike tells Sarah how an environmental problem became a national rallying cry, a sticky diplomatic issue and, eventually, a conspiracy theory. Digressions include “Alien,” Field & Stream and NRA public service announcements. Both hosts are recovering from colds and at least one spends the episode under a blanket.  Continue reading
Feb 15, 2019
Gary Hart
Sarah tells Mike how a sex scandal ruined a rising star and established a new template for American elections. Digressions include "Good Will Hunting," People Magazine and Linda Ronstadt. Michael Dukakis is described, for the first time ever, as "the soulmate who was there all along." Continue reading
Feb 07, 2019
Tammy Faye Bakker and Jessica Hahn
“She only said one thing her whole life”: Sarah tells Mike how two decent women became scapegoats for the actions of one terrible man. Digressions include Larry Flynt, NPR tote bags and Playboy back issues. The co-hosts discover they have wildly different relationships with “Saturday Night Live." Continue reading
Jan 25, 2019
Mike tells Sarah how a "bad apples” explanation kept us from seeing the real scandal at the heart of America's largest corporate bankruptcy. Digressions include “Casino,” Thanksgiving economics and corruption catchphrases. Neither co-host truly understands how the stock market works.   Continue reading
Jan 16, 2019
The Challenger Disaster
It wasn’t an accident. Mike tells Sarah how the infamous space shuttle disaster came to be seen as a white-collar crime. Digressions include the Donner Party, George Lucas and “Jurassic Park.” Both co-hosts are audibly recovering from colds. Continue reading
Jan 03, 2019
“A Dingo’s Got My Baby”
Sarah tells Mike how a tragic story became a hacky catchphrase. Digressions include raccoon anarchists, flu remedies and late-night Arby’s. Sarah's Google Alerts will surprise none of our listeners. Continue reading
Dec 19, 2018
The 2000 Election
Mike tells Sarah how a close election and an even closer Supreme Court decision established the political template we're still living with today. Digressions include quarks, Ouija Boards and (sorry) moral philosophy. The "lemonade theory" turns out to be less fun than it sounds.  Continue reading
Dec 12, 2018
Amy Fisher
Sarah tells Mike about the sad reality — and the terrible man — behind the infamous Long Island Lolita. Digressions include software terms of service, the rise of beepers and Monica Lewinsky’s LinkedIn profile. Mike, a 36-year-old man, appears not to understand what pimps do.  Continue reading
Dec 03, 2018
Roe v. Wade
Special guest Megan Burbank tells us about the history, limitations and loopholes of a landmark court ruling. Digressions include Betty Ford, "Maude" and naming conventions for anonymous defendants. The glories of Washington State politics are examined in depth. Continue reading
Nov 21, 2018
The Duke Lacrosse Rape Case
Mike tells Sarah how a false rape allegation became a right-wing rallying cry and a left-wing conspiracy theory. Digressions include JonBenet Ramsay, “24” and “The Vagina Monologues." Mike regrets not commenting on the metaphorical significance of being trapped in the closet throughout the episode. Continue reading
Nov 14, 2018
Lorena Bobbitt
Sarah tells Mike how a case of marital rape and spontaneous mutilation became a national punchline. Digressions include Ron Jeremy, Alan Dershowitz, Motörhead and the tortures of self-reflection. Sarah reviews John Wayne Bobbitt's later works.   Continue reading
Nov 07, 2018
Stranger Danger
How inflated statistics, cultural anxieties and moral crusaders turned a tiny number of missing children into a decade-long political project. Digressions include 1870s parenting, “E.T.” and the lack of parks in Los Angeles. Both co-hosts secretly believe that the popularity of TV movies in the 1980s explains all of America’s social problems. Continue reading
Oct 31, 2018
Urban Legends Spectacular!
Razorblades in apples, babysitters on acid, killers in backseats and "rainbow parties": In this episode, Mike and Sarah investigate the scary stories Americans tell each other and discover the actual anxieties behind them. Turn on your high beams for this one.  Continue reading
Oct 24, 2018
Halloween Special! Ed Gein and Slasher Movies
Sarah tells Mike how Ed Gein became one of America’s most famous serial killers despite not actually being one. Plus, the cinematic villains Gein inspired and what the slasher movies of the 1980s were really about. Digressions include Freud, summer camp logistics and the T-1000. Mike continues to awkwardly insert his teenage crushes into every conversation. Continue reading
Oct 17, 2018
Shaken Baby Syndrome
Mike tells Sarah how an over-simplified diagnosis, over-confident doctors and over-zealous prosecutors combined to get thousands of innocent parents thrown in prison. Digressions include food poisoning, Sherlock Holmes and 1950s medical ethics. Mike wanted to mention Louise Woodward but he forgot.  Continue reading
Oct 08, 2018
Multiple Personality Disorder
Sarah tells Mike how pop culture created a two-decade-long obsession with multiple personality disorder and repressed memories. Digressions include Dead Poets Society, restless leg syndrome and the low editorial standards of the American publishing industry. The Satanic Panic makes a cameo appearance. Continue reading
Oct 01, 2018
The Obesity Epidemic
Mike tells Sarah that America has sent the wrong messages and done the wrong things about obesity for more than half a century. Digressions include height (again), sweatshops and Julianne Moore. Sarah and Mike’s mothers both make extended appearances.  Continue reading
Sep 19, 2018
Special guest Rachel Monroe (re-)joins Mike and Sarah to talk about all the myths surrounding the second-biggest news event of the 1990s. Digressions include car crashes, September 11, Diane Sawyer and the terrors of teenage journaling.  Continue reading
Sep 17, 2018
Mike tells Sarah why the biggest scandal of Reagan's presidency provides more (depressing) lessons about current politics than Watergate. Digressions include Mormons, Top Gun and the X-Files. Both co-hosts have considered what they will name their deliberately boring tax-shelter corporations. Continue reading
Sep 10, 2018
Jeffrey Dahmer
Sarah tells Mike that shoddy policing (and Milwaukee generally) are responsible for one of America's most prolific serial killers. Digressions include panel vans, Anita Bryant, early man and Hannibal Lector. Mike struggles, as usual, not to cry during the gross parts. Continue reading
Sep 01, 2018
Mike tells Sarah that the D.A.R.E. program did not, in fact, keep kids off drugs. But that’s just the beginning of the debunking. Digressions include Martin Scorsese, Iceland and control groups. Neither co-host was cool enough to be offered drugs in high school. Continue reading
Aug 18, 2018
Alpha Males
Sarah tells Mike that animal behavior is an imperfect template for human society. Digressions include rabbits, Bob’s Burgers and online dating. Mike makes an awkward observation about locker rooms. Continue reading
Aug 04, 2018
Kurt Cobain and “Copycat Suicide”
Special guest Candace Opper tells Mike and Sarah about how the death of a rock star changed the field of suicidology (which is a thing). Digressions include eating disorders, car crashes and the insane grimness of the term “family annihilation.” The cringe-worthiness of Mike’s teenage years reaches new depths.  Continue reading
Jul 28, 2018
“The Godfather”
Sarah tells Mike about how America's favorite gangster movie is really its favorite killing-the-American-Dream movie. Digressions include the Mona Lisa, Bruce Springsteen and the tyranny of height-ism. The sound quality continues to worsen.  Continue reading
Jul 21, 2018
10th Episode Spectacular!
Sarah and Mike take a break from debunking to reflect on the first 10 episodes and tell the secret history of how they met. Digressions include “Portlandia,” Snapchat and the The New York Post. The recording quality, as usual, is wildly inconsistent.  Continue reading
Jul 14, 2018
The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
Mike tells Sarah that America’s most devastating oil spill was not, in fact, a DUI. Digressions include “Titanic" (obviously), the Cuyahoga River, Jennifer Lopez and marshmallows. Punitive damages make a triumphant return. Mike, a professional writer, continues to misuse the word “literally.”  Continue reading
Jun 30, 2018
Snuff Films
Sarah tells Mike about how snuff films don't exist but lots of near-snuff films do. Digressions include "Basic Instinct," gymnastics and YouTube’s righthand bar. Mike is palpably grossed out for at least two-thirds of the episode.  Continue reading
Jun 25, 2018
The Jonestown Massacre
Special guest Rachel Monroe tells Mike and Sarah what's really behind the phrase “drinking the Kool-Aid.” Digressions include David Koresh, East Germany and how flower children were the first millennials. Mike inadvertently reveals his prejudice against extroverts. Continue reading
Jun 16, 2018
The Clinton Impeachment
Part two of our epic dissection of the Clinton impeachment scandal. This week: The story breaks, the House indicts, the Senate demurs and Mike rants more than usual about the media. Digressions include Mark Fuhrman, “Broadcast News” and gay porn.  Continue reading
Jun 09, 2018
Monica Lewinsky
Sarah and Mike talk about what America forgot — and never learned — about history’s most famous intern. Digressions include generational resentments, 1990s fashion and off-brand colleges. Also, Mike’s microphone breaks about 25 minutes in, so he sounds like he’s recording in a submarine. Sorry! Continue reading
Jun 02, 2018
Anita Hill
Mike tells Sarah about the complicated legacy of Anita Hill and the not-particularly-complicated facts of her case. Digressions include “Tootsie," Garrison Keillor and the Donner party. Mike, for reasons unknown, seems to believe that one flies “down” from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Washington, D.C. Continue reading
May 26, 2018
Stockholm Syndrome
It’s not a real thing! … OR IS IT? Sarah tells Mike about the convoluted history of a contested term. Digressions include James Bond, Charlie Manson and rat poison. Continue reading
May 20, 2018
Matthew Shepard
But not how you think! Special guest Mike Owens tells Sarah and Mike about the (attempted) debunking of the gay-bashing victim. Digressions include Leopold and Loeb, Basic Instinct and Rolling Stone. The sound quality is even worse than usual. Continue reading
May 12, 2018
Afterschool Specials
Mike tells Sarah that the TV movies of her childhood were both less and more problematic than she remembers. Continue reading
May 05, 2018
Crack Babies
Sarah tells Mike about the long history of white anxiety over black motherhood. Continue reading
May 04, 2018
Going Postal
Mike tells Sarah about the rash of mass shootings carried out by postal workers in the '80s and '90s, then brings out the debunkin' turducken. Continue reading
May 03, 2018
The Satanic Panic
The 1980s were real but the Satanists weren't. Sarah tells Mike about why America spent a decade worried about witches running daycare centers. Continue reading
May 03, 2018