This is what the news should sound like. The biggest stories of our time, told by the best journalists in the world. Hosted by Michael Barbaro. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, ready by 6 a.m.
The Sunday Read: ‘Can Virtual Reality Help Ease Chronic Pain?’
Chronic pain is one of the leading causes of long-term disability in the world. By some measures, 50 million Americans live with chronic pain, in part because the power of medicine to relieve it remains inadequate.
Helen Ouyang, a physician and contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, explores the potentially groundbreaking use of virtual reality in the alleviation of acute pain, as well as anxiety and depression, and meets the doctors and entrepreneurs who believe this “nonpharmacological therapy” is a good alternative to prescription drugs.
A lush forest, a snow-capped mountain, a desert at sunset — could these virtual experiences really be the answer for managing chronic pain?
A Better Understanding of Long Covid
Throughout the pandemic, long Covid — symptoms that occur after the initial coronavirus infection — has remained something of a medical mystery.
Now, amid the latest surge of infections, a series of major studies are shedding light on the condition.
Guest: Pam Belluck, a health and science reporter for The New York Times.
Inside Operation Lone Star
In the post-Trump era, some red states have moved aggressively to rebuke the Biden administration at the local level and signal to voters what a Republican-led country might look like.
In Texas, immigration is a key battleground. Today, we speak to Hunter Schuler, a member of the National Guards, about why Gov. Greg Abbott has sent him and thousands of other security officers to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Guest: Lulu Garcia-Navarro, a Times Opinion podcast host; and J. David Goodman, the Houston bureau chief for The New York Times.
The Battle for Azovstal: A Soldier’s Story
For the past two months, a group of Ukrainian fighters has been holed up in the Azovstal steel plant in the city of Mariupol, mounting a last stand against Russian forces in a critical part of eastern Ukraine.
On Monday, Ukraine finally surrendered the plant.
After the end of the determined resistance at Azovstal, we hear from Leonid Kuznetsov, a 25 year-old soldier who had been stationed inside.
Guest: Michael Schwirtz, an investigative reporter for The New York Times.
The Mexican Model of Abortion Rights
When the Supreme Court decriminalized abortion with Roe v. Wade, it established the United States as a global leader on abortion rights, decades ahead of many other countries.
Now, with Roe likely to be overturned, we look to Mexico, a country where the playbook for securing legalized abortion could be a model for activists in the United States.
Guest: Natalie Kitroeff, a correspondent covering Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean for The New York Times.
The Racist Theory Behind So Many Mass Shootings
Over the weekend, an 18-year-old man livestreamed himself shooting 13 people and killing 10. Within hours it became clear that the shooter’s intent was to kill as many Black people as possible. The suspect wrote online that he was motivated by replacement theory — a racist idea that white people are deliberately being replaced by people of color in places like America and Europe.
What are the origins of this theory, and how has it become simultaneously more extreme and more mainstream?
Guest: Nicholas Confessore, a political and investigative reporter for The New York Times.
Annoying Speech Pattern
Why, are so many, podcast hosts. Speaking in this disjointed, two, and three syllable… format? Stop it! You have great content. Just, speak normally. In normal flowing sentences. Like. Kara Swisher. Or, Marc Maron. Or Tara Brach or Scott. Galloway or Krista Tippet. There are enough things in this world to be irritated by. I can’t be the only one in your audience who feels that this affected way of speaking is unnecessary.
Cadence and delivery needs improvement
The delivery can be too slow at times and the lengthy pauses are unnatural. I love much of the content and Michaels voice, just the pace of delivery gets irritating after a while and I must put the post cast aside for a few months before able to come back to it.
I came back to the podcast 2x after a break, but have since cancelled it again because the cadence drives me nuts. And the delivery can be breathy and overly emotional. I want the news and facts not to be hyped.
Compelling story and rescue
Listened to this Re-telling of the events…and then immediately listened again. Chilling, surreal, real and human. As an injury/ptsd survivor I found it compelling and relatable.