American Scandal

By Wondery

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Category: Society & Culture

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Subscribers: 6100
Reviews: 20

Oregon John
 Jun 4, 2020
Excellent storytelling, informative and surprising US History, and reenactments & sound effects to keep things interesting.

Tassie Girl
 May 4, 2020
I thoroughly enjoy this podcast. The storytelling is very engaging, with an interesting array of topics. Good quality production. I'm not an American, but I found these stories addictive and binge-worthy.


 Mar 30, 2020

Louise
 Jan 29, 2020
Great podcasts, great topics, well told and an enjoyable listen! Keep doing what you're doing!


 Jan 9, 2020

Description

Every scandal begins with a lie. But the truth will come out. And then comes the fallout and the outrage.

Scandals have shaped America since its founding. From business and politics to sports and society, we look on aghast as corruption, deceit and ambition bring down heroes and celebrities, politicians and moguls. And when the dust finally settles, we’re left to wonder: how did this happen? Where did they trip up, and who is to blame? From the creators of American History Tellers, Business Wars and Tides of History comes American Scandal, where we take you deep into the heart of America’s dark side to look at what drives someone to break the rules and what happens when they’re caught. Hosted by Lindsay Graham.



Episode Date
The Riot at Comiskey Park
00:28:39

In 1979, disco was a dominant force in American music. It took the top spots in the Billboard charts, and sold countless records. But with its culturally diverse audience, disco faced a major backlash. And that would lead to a crisis one evening in July of 1979, when a promotional event at a baseball game turned into a riot. Vince Lawrence was at that game, and has since become a music producer and documentary filmmaker. He and Lindsay discuss the meaning of that infamous night, and how disco’s legacy is still with us today, in music and in culture.

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Trailer for Vince Lawrence's film "Legacy": https://twitter.com/i/status/1321898855546429440

Nov 24, 2020
The Feds vs. the Activists | COINTELPRO | 5
00:34:02

From the mid-1950s to the early '70s, the FBI employed a secret program known as COINTELPRO. It aimed to disrupt a wide range of social activism, from anti-war protests, to the fight for racial justice. At the time, Clayborne Carson was on the front lines of the battles for civil rights. He’d go on to become the founding director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute, at Stanford University. He and Lindsay sit down to discuss the FBI's investigations of civil rights leaders. They also discuss how those events echo what's happening now between law enforcement and activists.

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Nov 17, 2020
The Feds vs. the Activists | The Heist | 4
00:40:53

Antiwar activists hatch a risky plan. Led by a physics professor, the group decides to burglarize an FBI office. The goal: to find incriminating documents, and to expose decades of federal abuses.

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Nov 10, 2020
Wondery presents Do No Harm
00:04:04

Subscribe today: http://wondery.fm/Do_No_Harm

From Wondery, the makers of Dr. Death and Dirty John, and NBC News the team behind Dateline and The Thing About Pam - Do No Harm. 

Melissa Bright thinks she's living every parent's worst nightmare when her five-month-old baby tumbles from a lawn chair and hits his head on the driveway. But after she rushes him to the hospital, a new nightmare begins.The Brights are thrust into a medical and legal system so focused on protecting children from abuse, it has targeted innocent parents. With exclusive audio captured as the events unfolded, this harrowing six-episode series takes you inside the Brights' fight to hold their family together, against a system that can sometimes do more harm than good. Hosted by NBC News National Investigative Reporter Mike Hixenbaugh.

Nov 10, 2020
The Feds vs. the Activists | Fred Hampton | 3
00:40:32

Fred Hampton is a rising star in the civil rights movement. But when he challenges police brutality, he finds that his life is suddenly threatened.

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Nov 03, 2020
The Feds vs. the Activists | MLK | 2
00:38:57

The FBI goes after Martin Luther King, Jr., after the civil rights leader calls for an end to racial injustice. The bureau begins to spy on King—and forces him to make an impossible decision.

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Oct 27, 2020
The Feds vs. the Activists | Billie Holiday | 1
00:41:01

Billie Holiday makes a decision. The jazz singer will perform "Strange Fruit," the protest song about lynchings, no matter what happens to her—and no matter how many times law enforcement tells her to stay quiet. But that puts her in the crosshairs of one federal official, who uses any means necessary to silence Holiday.

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Oct 20, 2020
Three Mile Island | Responding to Crises | 4
00:41:00

It's been over 40 years since the crisis unfolded at Three Mile Island. But the nuclear accident still lingers with us today, as the United States confronts new public health emergencies. At the time of the accident, Peter Bradford was a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He joins Lindsay to discuss what went wrong at Three Mile Island; who was responsible for the crisis; and how nuclear power could play a larger role in the future, as the world looks to fight climate change.

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Oct 13, 2020
Three Mile Island | Fight or Flight | 3
00:42:26

A large bubble of hydrogen emerges in the nuclear reactor, threatening to cause a catastrophic explosion. President Carter dispatches an envoy. The goal: to get control of the crisis. And Pennsylvania's leaders face a big moment, as they decide whether to evacuate the region.

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Oct 06, 2020
Three Mile Island | The Ticking Clock | 2
00:40:12

When politics intervene, the engineers at Three Mile Island find themselves up against a wall. Mike Pintek airs a stunning interview on the radio, and causes a panic. And Bill Scranton tries to restore calm to the shaken residents of Pennsylvania.

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Sep 29, 2020
Three Mile Island | The Domino Effect | 1
00:40:20

On March 28, 1979, Bill Zewe hears an alarm at Three Mile Island. Something has gone terribly wrong at the nuclear power plant, in southern Pennsylvania. And now, the operators at the plant must move fast—before a crisis engulfs the region. 

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Sep 22, 2020
The Breakup of Big Oil | American Monopolies | 6
00:32:39

The United States is home to a large number of big businesses, from entertainment conglomerates to the giants of tech. Increasingly, members of the public and politicians are raising concerns about these companies—and the power that they wield. Chris Sagers, a law professor at Cleveland State University, joins Lindsay to discuss monopolies in the U.S., both in the past and the present. The two also discuss how the current, heated debates about big business may play out.

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Sep 15, 2020
The Breakup of Big Oil | Judgment | 5
00:41:06

John D. Rockefeller is on the run. His company is under assault from state and federal lawsuits, and now, Rockefeller is moving from house to house, doing whatever he can to avoid a courtroom. But soon enough, his fate will be decided for him. Because the U.S. Supreme Court is about to issue a landmark decision.

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Sep 08, 2020
The Breakup of Big Oil | The Hunt | 4
00:39:48

Ida Tarbell begins to investigate Standard Oil. And as she digs deeper, she receives help from some unexpected sources. Soon, John D. Rockefeller learns that his deepest secrets could come spilling out into the light.

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Sep 01, 2020
The Breakup of Big Oil | The Flood | 3
00:37:35

John D. Rockefeller makes a bold move, one that helps him crush his opponents. Soon, disaster strikes in Titusville, Pennsylvania. And that means it's time for Ida Tarbell to return home—and to take on Standard Oil.

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Aug 25, 2020
The Breakup of Big Oil | Going to War | 2
00:38:01

Standard Oil faces an organized resistance. But that doesn't slow down John D. Rockefeller. The oil titan continues to build his empire, and soon, some of his enemies have to make a terrible choice. They can keep fighting—and go bankrupt. Or they can team up with Rockefeller.

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Aug 18, 2020
The Breakup of Big Oil | Rise of Rockefeller | 1
00:39:05

John D. Rockefeller is a poor boy with a dream. He's going to become a businessman. And he's going to be wildly rich. Soon, he stumbles on the product that will seal his fate: oil. Thick, crude oil is gushing from the ground across America. It's creating boomtowns—and a new economy. Rockefeller begins to conquer the industry, but he quickly makes enemies, including a young woman who will challenge Rockefeller's growing empire.

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Aug 11, 2020
Big Tobacco | The New Frontier | 5
00:30:11

It's been over 20 years since a major settlement forced the tobacco industry to reform—and pay billions of dollars for its mistakes. Still, despite a sea change in the public’s attitude toward smoking, the tobacco industry remains strong. And it continues to win over new customers. Annice Kim, a public health expert, joins Lindsay to discuss the explosion in e-cigarettes’ popularity, and the ways in which companies now use social media to sell these products.

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Aug 04, 2020
Big Tobacco | Killing the Marlboro Man | 4
00:37:05

Jeffrey Wigand steps into the national spotlight. But with all the attention, he now faces a very real threat. The tobacco industry could launch its most vicious counterattack. Or, if Mike Moore has his way, Big Tobacco may waive the flag of surrender.

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Jul 28, 2020
Big Tobacco | Retaliation | 3
00:38:28

Mike Moore files a landmark lawsuit. Jeffrey Wigand comes under attack. And the producers of 60 Minutes face a major roadblock, as they try to tell the story about Big Tobacco.

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Jul 21, 2020
Big Tobacco | The Whistleblowers | 2
00:38:09

A group of ambitious lawyers builds a case against Big Tobacco. But first, they'll need to convince the whistleblowers to speak up.

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Jul 14, 2020
Big Tobacco | Smoking Guns | 1
00:37:22

Merrell Williams stumbles on a terrible secret, one that's been hidden for decades. Jeffrey Wigand starts a new job with the tobacco industry, only to come face to face with a bitter truth. Soon, both will have to make a choice that could put them in danger.

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Jul 07, 2020
Boston College Gambling Scheme | Paid Athletes | 4
00:24:38

Dan Murphy is a staff writer with ESPN. He’s been covering the changing landscape in college sports, in which athletes could soon make money from endorsements. He and Lindsay discuss the wide-reaching effects of a recent proposal, and look at the history of scandals in the NCAA.

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Jun 30, 2020
Boston College Gambling Scheme | The Final Score | 3
00:38:29

The FBI investigates the ties between Boston College basketball players and Jimmy Burke’s crime ring. As the point-shaving trial gets underway, the athletes discover there’s a larger game being played—and they’re the pawns. 

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Jun 23, 2020
Boston College Gambling Scheme | You Can Bet Your Life | 2
00:36:48

Pressure mounts as the mafia starts pouring money into the betting scheme. But the players begin to crack, and mobsters start disappearing. And soon, the FBI launches its pursuit.

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Jun 16, 2020
Boston College Gambling Scheme | Against the Odds | 1
00:39:50

Criminals in Pittsburgh have a plan. It involves gambling and manipulating the scores of college basketball games. But to pull it off, they'll first need some help from the basketball players themselves.

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Jun 09, 2020
Encore: Exxon Valdez | Winner Take Nothing | 4
00:44:21

The fishermen run a blockade. Alyeska Pipeline goes to extremes to root out a mole. Exxon and the fishermen face off in court. 

Photos of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill can be found here

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Jun 03, 2020
Encore: Exxon Valdez | The Spin Cycle | 3
00:41:22

After Captain Hazelwood’s arrest, Exxon tries to clean up its public image. President Bush tells Exxon to pick up the pace on the cleanup. Fisherman Riki Ott takes on Big Oil in the Alaska State Legislature.

Photos of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill can be found here

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May 26, 2020
Encore: Exxon Valdez | The Mosquito Fleet | 2
00:42:39

The fishermen find that damage from the spill is even worse than expected, while a winter storm destroys Exxon’s plans for a quick cleanup. Captain Hazelwood disappears.

Photos of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill can be found here.

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May 19, 2020
Encore: Exxon Valdez | Oil Meets Water | 1
00:37:14

A supertanker carrying 53 million gallons of crude oil runs aground in Prince William Sound sparking the worst man-made ecological catastrophe in the country’s history at the time. As Exxon struggles to get the cleanup underway, fishermen worry that this is the end of life as they know it

Links to recommended reading:

Not One Drop by Riki Ott

Out of the Channel by John Keeble

The Spill: Personal Stories from the Exxon Valdez Disaster

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May 12, 2020
Waco - The Fire Rages On | 7
00:37:31

Eric Benson is a senior editor at the magazine Texas Monthly. In 2018, Benson wrote a series of articles that helped shed new light on the tragedy at Mount Carmel. He and Lindsay discuss how the event still shapes American life today.

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May 05, 2020
Waco - Day 51 | 6
00:39:25

The Branch Davidians prepare to surrender. But their plan unravels when they face the FBI, which is under intense pressure to get quick results.


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Apr 28, 2020
Waco - Broken Promises | 5
00:37:07

The Branch Davidians remain locked in a tense standoff with the federal government. And with the FBI now in charge, negotiators try to secure a peaceful surrender. But the FBI—and the Davidians—face a major obstacle: the always-unpredictable David Koresh.


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Apr 21, 2020
Waco - The Raid | 4
00:34:59

The federal government prepares for a raid at Mount Carmel. But a chance encounter eliminates the element of surprise—and sets the course for a massive battle between federal forces and David Koresh's community.


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Apr 14, 2020
Waco - Ranch Apocalypse | 3
00:37:40

The Branch Davidians are accused of child abuse and stashing illegal firearms. With a federal investigation now underway, paranoia grows at Mount Carmel. And a government raid appears imminent.


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Apr 07, 2020
Waco - The Betrayal | 2
00:38:24

Vernon Howell faces criminal charges in court. And soon, his followers begin to turn against him—fueling his paranoia, and setting the stage for his fateful standoff against the U.S. government.


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Mar 31, 2020
Waco - The New Messiah | 1
00:40:48

In 1993, a massive conflict erupts in rural Texas. The federal government launches a siege against the Branch Davidians, a religious group based in the outskirts of Waco. What follows is the longest firefight in the history of American law enforcement. And it’s a battle that ends in tragedy. But the standoff has its genesis years before. It’s then that Vernon Howell comes looking for a new religious community to call home. He finds it with the Branch Davidians, and soon, he begins working to seize power.


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Mar 24, 2020
The Lenny Bruce Obscenity Trial - Lenny’s Impact | 3
00:43:38

Brett Gary is a professor at NYU who studies media and American culture, and focuses on the public battles over censorship. He joins Lindsay to discuss the enduring influence of Lenny Bruce and the comedian’s obscenity trial.


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Mar 17, 2020
The Lenny Bruce Obscenity Trial - I’m Not a Comedian | 2
00:39:42

Lenny Bruce faces a terrifying moment, when his health takes a sudden downturn. But a recent Supreme Court case lifts his spirits, and raises the prospects that he'll triumph over his own legal troubles. The trial winds down, and soon, the verdict is in.


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Mar 10, 2020
The Lenny Bruce Obscenity Trial - The Obscenity Circus | 1
00:39:27

In the 1960s, Lenny Bruce was a trailblazing standup comedian who took aim at American culture. Bruce clashed frequently with law enforcement, but his decisive legal battle began in 1964. Bruce faced obscenity charges over one of his performances. He also faced a criminal-justice system bent on silencing an outspoken social critic.


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Mar 03, 2020
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal - Uncovering the Truth | 5
00:34:45

Cynthia Giles was a senior official at the Environmental Protection Agency. She helped negotiate a major settlement with Volkswagen, as the automaker faced fallout from its diesel emissions scandal. She joins Lindsay and tells behind-the-scenes stories from the scandal.


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Feb 25, 2020
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal - The Wheels Keep Turning | 4
00:36:41

Federal prosecutors kick into high gear, and soon, VW executives meet their fate. Meanwhile, Matthias Müller faces his own changing fortune, as company insiders initiate a power play. It's the beginning of a new era for Volkswagen.


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Feb 18, 2020
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal - Crash | 3
00:35:44

Martin Winterkorn takes a drastic step, as Volkswagen faces withering criticism. U.S. officials prepare their case against the automaker. And VW struggles to defend itself, as drivers file a blizzard of lawsuits.


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Feb 11, 2020
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal - The Defeat Device | 2
00:37:18

Alberto Ayala fights to get the truth from Volkswagen. But the carmaker stonewalls the government—again and again. That is, until a VW employee offers a shocking confession, and sets the course for a massive fight.


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Feb 04, 2020
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal - Whatever It Takes | 1
00:35:53

In 2006, Volkswagen executive Martin Winterkorn hatches a plan to boost auto sales in America. The way to do it? Clean diesel cars. But VW's engineers run into a wall, and so they take a troubling shortcut—one that a group of graduate students will inadvertently expose.


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Jan 28, 2020
The Plame Affair - Inside the Fight in Washington | 4
00:34:35

Washington, D.C., erupted in a political firestorm in 2003, after Valerie Plame’s identity was revealed to the public. Host Lindsay Graham talks with Matthew Cooper, a journalist who covered the story for Time magazine. Cooper also became part of the story, when he was held in contempt of court for refusing to name the sources who disclosed Plame’s identity to him.


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Jan 07, 2020
The Plame Affair - Justice Served | 3
00:35:10

Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson make a surprising announcement. Scooter Libby faces a day of reckoning in court, and Patrick Fitzgerald’s case comes to an end.


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Dec 31, 2019
The Plame Affair - The Investigation | 2
00:34:39

The Bush administration comes under investigation for its role in the Plame leak. Meanwhile, Valerie Plame begins receiving alarming threats, which put a strain on her career and personal life. New York Times reporter Judith Miller faces an agonizing choice about her role in the leak.


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Dec 24, 2019
The Plame Affair - Exposed | 1
00:34:23

In 2003, America is at war with Iraq, as part of its global campaign on terror. Former diplomat Joe Wilson sharply criticizes the war, making him an enemy of the White House. Payback is swift, but the crosshairs are aimed at someone else: Wilson’s wife, covert CIA agent Valerie Plame.


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Dec 17, 2019
Encore: Interview with Filmmaker Alex Gibney | 5
00:42:51

Host Lindsay Graham talks with Alex Gibney, director of “Client 9,” a documentary that examines the rise and fall of Eliot Spitzer.


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Dec 03, 2019
Encore: New York State of Crime - Two Men in a Cell | 4
00:40:37

Preet Bharara investigates Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos. The explosive trials and the aftermath. 


Links to NY Times articles mentioned:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/11/04/nyregion/sheldon-silver-trial-highlights.html


https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/11/19/nyregion/dean-and-adam-skelos-trial-highlights.html


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Nov 26, 2019
Encore: New York State of Crime - Pay to Play | 3
00:38:21

Governor Cuomo tries to stamp out corruption with an independent commission who deals with interference from unexpected places. Attorney Preet Bharara lasers in on the committee’s findings.


Links to NY Times articles mentioned:

The Many Faces of New York’s Political Scandals:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/07/23/nyregion/23moreland-commission-and-new-york-political-scandals.html?_r=0

NY Times article about Moreland Commission:

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/23/nyregion/governor-andrew-cuomo-and-the-short-life-of-the-moreland-commission.html


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Nov 19, 2019
Encore: New York State of Crime - An Affair to Remember | 2
00:42:03

Troopergate explodes. Governor Spitzer finds himself embroiled in a scandal. Senator Bruno is investigated by the FBI.

If you enjoyed American History Tellers, be sure to check out Lindsay Graham’s other shows, American History Tellers and American Elections: Wicked Game

Nov 12, 2019
Encore: New York State of Crime - Three Men in a Room | 1
00:39:09

In 2006, Eliot Spitzer is elected governor on a promise to tackle corruption in the most dysfunctional state capital in the country--Albany, NY. He is quickly challenged by one of the most powerful men in the state. Will the governor change Albany or will Albany change him?


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Nov 05, 2019
Enron - Reckoning | 5
00:46:29

A federal task force is formed to bring Enron’s corrupt executives to justice. Sherron Watkins arrives in Washington to participate in congressional hearings and struggles to process the staggering costs of Enron’s downfall.  

For the next few weeks, American Scandal will be taking a short break while Lindsay Graham hosts an important mini-series on the Jeffrey Epstein story. Subscribe today at wondery.fm/TMME

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Sep 24, 2019
Enron - Into the Death Spiral | 4
00:34:52

The Wall Street Journal works to expose the shady financial deals key to Enron’s success. With his company pushed to the brink of bankruptcy, Ken Lay engages in a desperate ploy to avert disaster.


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Sep 17, 2019
Enron - Damage Control | 3
00:38:20

Ken Lay fights to restore public confidence in Enron as the bad publicity mounts and the stock price continues to fall. Sherron Watkins is encouraged when an internal review of company practices is launched, but stunned when it appears to backfire.


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Sep 10, 2019
Enron - The Black Box | 2
00:41:21

Enron manipulates California's electricity market for financial gain, and the state is plunged into an energy crisis. Meanwhile, the schemes of a corrupt CFO, a rocky transition of power, and an alarming discovery by Sherron Watkins, threaten to tear the company apart.


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Sep 03, 2019
Enron - A Sense of Urgency | 1
00:44:44

In the mid 1990s, Enron Corporation solidifies its position as the number one energy company in America. Investment manager Sherron Watkins lands a dream job there, but quickly learns that Enron's office culture and accounting practices make it a treacherous place to work. 


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Aug 27, 2019
The Standoff at Wounded Knee - The Reign of Terror | 4
00:35:49

Mounting violence forces Dennis Banks and the rest of the occupation to decide how much they’re willing to sacrifice for their cause. Federal negotiators face a deadline to end the standoff at all costs, and Banks and Russell Means meet face to face with the FBI. 


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Aug 06, 2019
The Standoff at Wounded Knee - A Nation Reborn | 3
00:34:20

After defying a federal ultimatum to leave Wounded Knee or face a full-scale assault, the occupation doubles down by declaring themselves the Independent Oglala Nation. A new proposal from the feds causes Russell Means to ponder how much he’s willing to sacrifice for Lakota sovereignty. FBI Special Agent in Charge Joseph Trimbach reluctantly accepts an unexpected new mission.


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Jul 30, 2019
The Standoff at Wounded Knee - We’ve Bet with Our Lives | 2
00:38:44

Emboldened by their takeover of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, AIM takes its campaign for Indian rights to the border towns of South Dakota. But now AIM is a top law enforcement priority, and violent clashes with police follow. When the Oglala Lakota of Pine Ridge ask for AIM’s help in their fight against corrupt tribal president Dick Wilson, the occupation of Wounded Knee provokes a fearsome federal response.


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Jul 23, 2019
The Standoff at Wounded Knee - The Trail of Broken Treaties | 1
00:39:07

In early 1973, the militant civil rights group the American Indian Movement (AIM) takes control of the town of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The action launches a 71-day standoff between Indians and federal forces. But before they make their stand at Wounded Knee, AIM leaders Dennis Banks and Russell Means are already on a collision course with the U.S. government — starting when they lead more than a thousand Indians from across the country to the steps of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington DC.


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Jul 16, 2019
Tuskegee Syphilis Study - Parallels | 5
00:28:57

Black babies in the United States are twice as likely as white babies to die before their first birthday. It’s an alarming statistic that further highlights the wide disparities in healthcare that exist between black and white Americans. And while there is no direct connection to the Tuskegee Study there are parallels. We’ll talk with Priska Neely, reporter for Southern California Public Radio, who has dived deep into the issue of black infant mortality, its causes and why it has persisted for decades.


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Jul 09, 2019
Tuskegee Syphilis Study - What Was Done Cannot Be Undone | 4
00:42:36

After 40 years, the Tuskegee Study has been exposed, condemned, and ended. But for the survivors and African-American community at large, this is not the end of the story. A fight begins to ensure the deceived test subjects are properly compensated, and formally apologized to, by the United States government. 


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Jul 02, 2019
Tuskegee Syphilis Study - Controlled Genocide | 3
00:37:12

In the 1960s, as cultural attitudes shift and more doctors in the U.S. learn of the study, objections are raised on moral and political grounds. When the government refuses to end the experiment, a whistleblower goes public, and the test subjects turn to a civil rights lawyer for justice. 


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Jun 25, 2019
Tuskegee Syphilis Study - Treatment by Autopsy | 2
00:42:40

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study is underway, with hundreds of African-American men unknowingly serving as human guinea pigs. Though it's initially scheduled to last only a few months, the doctors in charge of the experiment land on a nefarious scheme to perpetuate the study indefinitely.


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Jun 18, 2019
Tuskegee Syphilis Study - First, Do No Harm | 1
00:39:32

In early 1930s America, segregation is the law of the land, and syphilis remains a grave public health concern. A handful of white government doctors aims to treat African Americans in a rural Alabama county where infection rates are especially high. But several officials conspire to alter the program’s goals, launching a decades-long program that will stain medical history.


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Jun 11, 2019
Payola - Anything for a Hit | 6
00:37:54

Records stuffed with cash. Cassette cases full of cocaine. The details revealed at record promoter Joe Isgro's payola trial shock the public. And the trial's outcome is an even bigger surprise.


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May 28, 2019
Sponsored | American Epidemics - Dark Days in Dallas | 2
00:59:01

This episode is brought to you by Wondery in partnership with National Geographic in anticipation of their new series, The Hot Zone. In 2014, Ebola is tearing through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, but the deadly disease hasn’t yet made landfall in the United States. Then Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian visiting his fiancee and son in Dallas, stumbles into a local hospital with a fever. His eventual diagnosis — Ebola — sets off a nationwide panic that a full-scale outbreak might be looming. As local healthcare workers and epidemiologists put their lives on the line confronting a crisis they were never trained for, government officials struggle to mount an effective response.

May 24, 2019
Sponsored | American Epidemics - The Great Pandemic | 1
00:50:30

This episode is brought to you by Wondery in partnership with National Geographic in anticipation of their new series, The Hot Zone. The three-night limited series is inspired by true events surrounding the origins of the Ebola virus and its arrival on US soil in 1989.

In the final months of World War I, the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1919 brings U.S. society to the breaking point, killing more than 675,000 Americans in a single year. But President Woodrow Wilson insists newspapers keep silent about the outbreak to preserve wartime morale. As the death toll mounts, Philadelphia runs out of coffins, New York City officials outlaw uncovered sneezing and coughing, and scientists race to find a cure.

May 23, 2019
Payola - Music and the Mob | 5
00:34:59

In 1986, federal prosecutor Marvin Rudnick is close to cracking the biggest payola case in decades. It might even involve the Mafia and one of the record industry's most notorious figures, Morris Levy. So why do his bosses abruptly take him off the case?


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May 21, 2019
Payola - The Network | 4
00:42:42

Twenty years after new federal laws were supposed to eradicate payola, it's back. Now a mysterious group of record promoters called the Network are using it to control access to Top 40 radio. And to enforce their monopoly on the airwaves, they've enlisted a dangerous new ally — the Mafia.


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May 14, 2019
Payola - Rock ’n’ Roll on Trial | 3
00:43:07

The Congressional payola hearings of 1960 are out to expose corruption in the music industry. But they're also out to discredit a dangerous new form of music called rock 'n' roll. To do that, they've set their sights on rock's most famous champions: DJ Alan Freed and American Bandstand host Dick Clark. Will their testimony save them or disgrace them?


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May 07, 2019
Payola - The Devil's Music | 2
00:44:04

In 1959, rock 'n' roll is on the rise. But parents and politicians are alarmed by this rebellious new style of music and its powerful effect on America's youth. So when Congress learns that some rock records are getting on the radio thanks to a system of bribes and payoffs called payola, they decide to take action -- which spells trouble for rock's most vocal advocate, DJ Alan Freed.


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Apr 30, 2019
Payola - The $50 Handshake | 1
00:40:08

The delicate system of secret bribes and kickbacks used to transform a mediocre record into a hit -- that’s payola. And on the eve of rock ‘n’ roll, it’s consuming the music industry. As the public catches wind of the corruption, DJ Alan Freed and American Bandstand host Dick Clark will be caught in the crosshairs of the investigations.


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Apr 23, 2019
Michael Avenatti's Rise and Fall | 8
00:34:48

Stormy Daniels, secret hush money payments, and the lawyer at the center of it all: Michael Avenatti. In 2018, we saw an American scandal unfold right before our eyes -- live on television.

On this special episode, Los Angeles Times political reporter Michael Finnegan joins to discuss the rise and fall of Avenatti and what his story reveals about the way our society consumes scandal.


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Apr 16, 2019
The Hare Krishna Murders: Inside and Out | 7
00:40:54

Former Hare Krishna Henry Doktorski talks about what led him to join the faith, day to day life on the West Virginia commune, and why he finally left.

Read more about the Hare Krishna’s in Henry’s book, Killing for Krishna: The Danger of Deranged Devotion.


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Apr 09, 2019
The Hare Krishna Murders: Retribution and Reform | 6
00:46:16

Keith Ham’s chief enforcer is summoned back to New Vrindaban for a mission. He enlists the help of a friend of the commune who turns informer. Steve Bryant goes into hiding. Deputy Westfall works with the state police to finally make some arrests, but will he be able to bring down Keith Ham?


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Apr 02, 2019
The Hare Krishna Murders: The Fracture | 5
00:43:20

Steve Bryant is forced out of the commune at gunpoint and heads to California where he finds evidence that the Gurus are frauds. Berkeley Temple Leader Hansadutta has a meltdown that lands him in jail. An attempt to start a Guru Reform movement divides the movement and leads to death threats. A devotee attacks Keith Ham.


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Mar 26, 2019
The Hare Krishna Murders: The WhistleBlower | 4
00:37:52

When a devotee in West Virginia goes missing, his wife suspects murder. Deputy Westfall is thwarted by the DA when he tries to take action. Keith flexes his muscles and expands his power over New Vrindaban.


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Mar 19, 2019
The Hare Krishna Murders: A Vigil of Vultures | 3
00:44:07

When the Swami dies, eleven senior disciples declare themselves gurus and take control of the movement. In Berkeley, Hansadutta becomes paranoid and starts amassing an arsenal of weapons. In West Virginia, Keith Ham finishes constructing his palace of gold. But when new devotees with records for violent crime join the commune, Deputy Westfall grows alarmed. A drug smuggling operation at the Krishna Temple in Laguna Beach ends in murder when temple leaders pair up with ex-mafia informants.


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Mar 12, 2019
The Hare Krishna Murders: Sowing the Seeds | 2
00:40:21

When devotees at the NYC temple confront Keith Ham, he decides to found a commune of his own in West Virginia. Krishnas in temples across the country come up with illegal ways to raise money for the group, including drug dealing and money scams.


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Mar 05, 2019
The Hare Krishna Murders: Go West, Old Man | 1
00:41:19

An elderly swami from India captures the zeitgeist of 1960s counterculture in America with his message of peace and love. But his western disciples are hungry for power, and one of his most trusted devotees betrays him.

You can find new episodes of American Scandal, completely ad-free, only on Stitcher Premium. For a free month of Stitcher Premium, go to stitcherpremium.com/wondery and use promo code ‘WONDERY’.


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Feb 26, 2019
Exxon Valdez: 30 Years Later | 5
00:38:55

It’s been 30 years since the Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Port William Sound, but the disaster still reverberates. A conversation with marine conservation professor and Alaska fisherman Rick Steiner about the state of things today. Plus, journalist and author Antonia Juhasz on how Exxon Valdez compares to the 2010 BP oil spill.


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Feb 19, 2019
Exxon Valdez: Winner Take Nothing | 4
00:44:10

The fishermen run a blockade. Alyeska Pipeline goes to extremes to root out a mole. Exxon and the fishermen face off in court.

Photos of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill


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Feb 12, 2019
Exxon Valdez: The Spin Cycle | 3
00:41:20

After Captain Hazelwood’s arrest, Exxon tries to clean up its public image. President Bush tells Exxon to pick up the pace on the cleanup. Fisherman Riki Ott takes on Big Oil in the Alaska State Legislature.

Photos of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill


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Feb 05, 2019
Exxon Valdez: The Mosquito Fleet | 2
00:42:37

The fishermen find that damage from the spill is even worse than expected, while a winter storm destroys Exxon’s plans for a quick cleanup. Captain Hazelwood disappears.

Photos of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill


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Jan 29, 2019
Exxon Valdez: Oil Meets Water | 1
00:37:16

A supertanker carrying 53 million gallons of crude oil runs aground in Prince William Sound sparking the worst man-made ecological catastrophe in the country’s history at the time.  As Exxon struggles to get the cleanup underway, fishermen worry that this is the end of life as they know it

Links to recommended reading:

Not One Drop by Riki Ott

Out of the Channel by John Keeble

The Spill: Personal Stories from the Exxon Valdez Disaster

Jan 22, 2019
Iran Contra: Inside | 6
00:44:06

How does the Iran Contra investigation compare to the Russia investigation today? We go behind the scenes with Michael Bromwich, a lawyer who worked on the Iran Contra case. He tells us what it’s like to delve into the dealings of America’s most powerful players.


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Jan 01, 2019
Iran Contra: The Inner Circle | 5
00:44:21

Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh sets his sights on the White House and tries to answer the question everyone has been asking: Exactly how much did President Reagan know and when did he know it?


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Dec 25, 2018
Iran Contra: Walsh | 4
00:43:10

Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh is called to D.C. to investigate Iran-Contra and bring those responsible to justice. But what he discovers will shake his political allegiances, and drive a wedge through the heart of the country.


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Dec 18, 2018
Iran Contra: Don and Ed | 3
00:41:40

When the story breaks that senior US government officials secretly traded arms for hostages, Congress and the American people demand answers. Chief of Staff Don Regan and Attorney General Ed Meese begin building a wall around the President. 

Links to books:

Firewall: The Iran-Contra Conspiracy and Cover-up - Lawrence E. Walsh

Under Fire: An American Story - Oliver L. North

Special Trust - Robert C. McFarlane

Iran-Contra: Reagan's Scandal and the Unchecked Abuse of Presidential Power - Malcolm Byrne


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Dec 11, 2018
Iran Contra: Ollie | 2
00:41:17

Two of Reagan’s top priorities are in jeopardy: American hostages are still in the hands of terrorists in Iran, and the Contras are losing their fight against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. In early 1986, the two operations merge. In the middle of it all is Lieutenant Colonel Ollie North.

Links to books:

Firewall: The Iran-Contra Conspiracy and Cover-up by: Lawrence E. Walsh

Under Fire: An American Story by: Oliver L. North

Special Trust by: Robert C. McFarlane

Iran-Contra: Reagan's Scandal and the Unchecked Abuse of Presidential Power by: Malcolm Byrne


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Dec 04, 2018
Lindsay Graham's Newest Podcast: 1865
00:11:54

April 15, 1865. President Lincoln is dead and the country in turmoil. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton takes control, determined to bring the assassin to justice.

Heavily researched, this historical political thriller is an audio drama that explores America’s darkest hours. The story is astonishing—and all of it is based on true events.

Dec 03, 2018
Iran Contra: Bud | 1
00:47:05

In July of 1985, the National Security Advisor to President Reagan, Robert “Bud” McFarlane puts a plan in motion that could change the course of history and turn the Reagan administration upside down. 


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Nov 27, 2018
New York State of Crime: Interview with filmmaker Alex Gibney | 5
00:42:50

Host Lindsay Graham talks with Alex Gibney, director of “Client 9,” a documentary that examines the rise and fall of Eliot Spitzer.


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Nov 20, 2018
New York State of Crime: Two Men in a Cell | 4
00:40:36

Preet Bharara investigates Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos - the explosive trials and the aftermath.

You can read more about the Sheldon Silver trial here, and read about the Dean Skelos trial here.


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Nov 13, 2018
New York State of Crime: Interference | 3
00:38:23

Governor Cuomo tries to stamp out corruption with an independent commission who deals with interference from unexpected places. Attorney Preet Bharara lasers in on the committee’s findings.


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Nov 06, 2018
New York State of Crime: An Affair to Remember | 2
00:42:03

Troopergate explodes. Governor Spitzer finds himself embroiled in a scandal. Senator Bruno is investigated by the FBI.


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Oct 30, 2018
New York State of Crime: Three Men in a Room | 1
00:39:08

In 2006 Eliot Spitzer is elected governor on a promise to tackle corruption in the most dysfunctional state capital in the country--Albany, NY. He is quickly challenged by one of the most powerful men in the state. Will the governor change Albany or will Albany change him?


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Oct 23, 2018
BALCO: Interview with authors Mark Fainaru Wada and Lance Williams | 6
00:37:03

Host Lindsay Graham talks with the journalists who broke the BALCO scandal and almost went to jail.   Mark Fainaru Wada and Lance Williams are the authors of “Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports.”


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Oct 16, 2018
BALCO: Winners and Losers | 5
00:37:36

Victor Conte loses his battle when he’s sentenced to prison. Marion Jones’ carefully crafted defense threatens to collapse because of a bitter divorce. And agent Novitzky’s case hits some snags as Barry Bonds fights for his reputation. After investigating for eleven years at a cost of a hundred million dollars, can agent Novitzky claim victory? Or has Victor Conte won the war?


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Oct 09, 2018
BALCO: Liars and Leaks | 4
00:36:32

The raid on BALCO succeeds beyond Agent Novitzky’s wildest dreams. He gets all the evidence he needs to prove that some of the top athletes in the world have cheated their way to records and medals. But Barry Bonds isn’t going down without a fight and neither is Marion Jones. And when confidential testimony gets leaked to the press, all hell breaks loose.


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Oct 02, 2018
BALCO: Syringes and Secrets | 3
00:36:34

A syringe with a mysterious substance sets off a race to save the Olympics from a doping scandal. Backstabbing, recriminations and a dedicated team of investigators threaten to destroy everything Victor Conte has created. And agent Novitzky plants an undercover agent to try to bring down Barry Bonds.


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Sep 25, 2018
BALCO: Gold Medals and Bad Blood | 2
00:33:27

Track star Marion Jones gets caught in the middle of an Olympic steroid scandal and turns to Victor Conte for help. In baseball, Barry Bonds is fed up watching other players beat records and garner fame. He teams up with a trainer who sets him on a path that will have unexpected results.


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Sep 18, 2018
BALCO: Steroids and Snake Oil | 1
00:36:18

A college dropout with no background in science turns himself into an expert on performance enhancing drugs. Soon he attracts some of the world’s best athletes—along with the attention of a determined federal agent.


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Sep 18, 2018