Story of the Week with Joel Stein

By Pushkin Industries

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Description

On Story of the Week, “journalist” Joel Stein chooses an article that fascinates him, convinces the writer to tell him about it, and then interrupts a good conversation by talking about himself. Sometimes the story will be the one everyone is talking about, like the New Yorker article on smoking hallucinogenic toads. Other times we’ll find a story you might have missed, like the one in the Verge about the rock groupie turned hacker who had huge corporations at her mercy. These are stories you’ll tell your friends about. Stories that stick with you long after you forget whatever headline you just doom-scrolled through.

iHeartMedia is the exclusive podcast partner of Pushkin Industries. 


Episode Date
The Weirdest Poker Hand of All Time
1653

Robbi Jade Lew broke the world of poker with an incredibly unlikely win against Garrett Adelstein. Her win went viral and the internet exploded with dueling accusations of sexism and cheating. Andrea Chang reported on the scandal for the Los Angeles Times and recounts all the suspicious details.

You can read the full story here: https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2022-12-14/poker-cheating-investigation-ends 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jan 26, 2023
Carnivorous Plants Will Ruin Your Life
1756

Inside the flourishing world of online plant fanclubs lies a deep, dark obsession: people who dedicate their entire lives to caring for Nepenthes, or carnivorous pitcher plants. On this week’s episode, Brian Howey, a former “Nephead” tells us about the carnivorous plant subculture that nearly ate him (and many others) alive. 

You can read the full story here: https://www.wired.com/story/nightmare-houseplant-obsession-nepenthes/

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jan 19, 2023
Hawaii's Zombie Cats
1377

Hawaii’s Kauai island is overrun by half a million feral cats, many of which are infected with toxoplasmosis. These infected cats pose an existential threat to the native habitat, including Kauai’s endangered monk seals. The island's animal-loving community has fallen into chaos; It's zombie-cat people versus everyone else. Paul Kvinta covered the story for Outside Magazine.  

You can read the full story here: https://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/environment/hawaiis-crazy-war-over-zombie-cats 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jan 12, 2023
The Bad Boy of Chess
1481

Magnus Carlsen, the greatest chess player in the world, accused 19-year-old Hans Niemann of cheating. Why? Because Niemann beat him twice. Carlsen and the chess world can't prove Niemann is cheating, but they're convinced he is. The accusations are tearing apart the chess world and raising questions about maintaining fair play in a high-tech world. David Segal covered the story (and yes, the anal beads theory) for The New York Times.

You can read the whole article here: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/04/business/chess-cheating-scandal-magnus-carlsen-hans-niemann.html 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jan 05, 2023
Queen of the Phone Hackers
1479

One of the first computer hackers was a woman. She pulled some of the most elaborate computer hacks of the 80's and yet no one knows her name.

Host Joel Stein speaks to Claire L. Evans about her article in the Verge, “Searching for Susy Thunder.”

You can read the full story here: https://www.theverge.com/c/22889425/susy-thunder-headley-hackers-phone-phreakers-claire-evans

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Dec 29, 2022
Christmas Tree Mafia
1447

New York’s curbside Christmas tree business is run by a small group of ruthless, shadowy men. Owen Long, a tree salesman in Brooklyn, takes us into his world and reveals the characters, crimes, and even murders of the New York City “tree men.”

You can read the full story here: https://www.curbed.com/article/christmas-tree-trade-secrets-gregs-trees-nyc.html 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Dec 22, 2022
Hunting the Crypto Drug Lords
1761

A group of DEA agents from Fresno, California figures out the real name of a Dark Web drug kingpin. But before they can make the arrest, they have to follow him to Thailand and into the on-line world of pick-up artists. Andy Greenberg's sprawling Wired article is so intense it made host Joel Stein want to take drugs. 

You can read the whole 6-part series here: https://www.wired.com/story/alphabay-series-part-1-the-shadow/ 

The Wired series is excerpted from Andy's book which you can find here: https://www.amazon.com/Tracers-Dark-Global-Crime-Cryptocurrency/dp/0385548095/

 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Dec 15, 2022
How to Be a Good White Savior
1837

Iranian-American scholar Reza Aslan talks about his article for The Atlantic, "How to Avoid the White Savior Industrial Complex," which tells the story of his childhood hero, missionary Howard Baskerville. Reza argues that the world needs more good, white saviors like Baskerville. Joel wants nothing to do with trying to be a good, white anything in today's political climate. Reza tries to convince him anyway. 

You can read the full story here: https://www.theatlantic.com/books/archive/2022/10/howard-baskerville-persian-constitutional-revolution/671787/

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Dec 08, 2022
Park Slope Panthers
1509

A crime in Park Slope, Brooklyn – the heart of gentrified Brooklyn – leads residents to form a neighborhood watch group. Esther Wang, who writes for Hell Gate, attended the group's tiny first meeting, which somehow managed to showcase all the divisions roiling liberal politics. Host Joel Stein does his best to keep up. He doesn't do a great job. 

You can read the full story here: https://hellgatenyc.com/saturday-morning-with-the-prospect-park-panthers  

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Dec 01, 2022
Introducing Some of My Best Friends Are
761

While we're spending time with our families this week, here's another Pushkin show you'll like. On Some of My Best Friends Are, Khalil Gibran Muhammad and Ben Austen have real talks about race in America. In this clip, author and political professor Saladin Ambar talks about the complex stakes of interracial friendships throughout U.S. history. You'll hear about the famous bond between Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe, and the relationship between former president Barack Obama and his VP Joe Biden. It’s a frank conversation about the political challenges, and political purposes, of interracial friendship in a fraught society.

You can hear more from Some of My Best Friends Are at https://link.chtbl.com/sotwbestfriends

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Nov 24, 2022
The Mobster and the Mormon
1710

Michele McPhee traces a wild scam to bilk the U.S. Government out of $500 million. The plan was hatched by a young man from a polygamist Mormon sect in Utah and it soon involves the Armenian mob and the President of Turkey. McPhee lays out all the twists and turns in her article in Los Angeles Magazine. Host Joel Stein tries to keep up while still making as many polygamy jokes as possible. 

Read the full article here: https://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/bleeding-the-beast-crooked-cops-an-armenian-mob-boss-a-500m-scam-and-an-unlikely-love-story/

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Nov 17, 2022
Living Like Founding Fathers
1454

A.J. Jacobs spent a month following the most conservative interpretation of the Constitution possible. One not far from how the current Supreme Court has been ruling. Host Joel Stein, talks to him about his article for the Guardian, "Party Like It's 1789! My Weird, Enlightening Month Living Strictly by the U.S. Constitution." Does A.J. wind up pointing his musket at Joel? Tune in to find out.

You can read the full story here: https://www.theguardian.com/law/2022/oct/01/supreme-court-roe-v-wade-abortion-gun-rights-us-constitution

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Nov 10, 2022
Fake Gay-Conversion Camp
1854

In this week's episode, we're LARPing, live-action roleplaying that gets you to step out of your own shoes and into a character's. Writer and first-time LARP-er Jason Anthony decides to go to Denmark to roleplay at a fake gay-conversion camp, which all seems like fun – until his queer American brain snaps. Also, host Joel Stein talks about his own experience crossing a fake Mexican-U.S. border. All of the above is handled in a culturally sensitive manner.

You can read the full story here: https://www.wired.com/story/my-4-days-in-fake-gay-conversion-therapy-nordic-larp/

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Nov 03, 2022
10 Straight Years on Tinder
1385

Allison P. Davis wrote “My Tinder Decade” a New York Magazine cover about being on the dating app from the very beginning. And never going on more than five dates with anyone. How has Tinder changed her? How has it changed all of us? Host Joel Stein tries to find out without being creepy. He fails.

You can read the full story here: https://www.thecut.com/article/dating-apps-relationship.html

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Oct 27, 2022
Billionaires Prepping for the Apocalypse
1590

Douglas Ruskhoff was invited to speak to a group of tech guys at a conference in the middle of the desert. Instead, they asked him questions about how to build their bunkers to prepare for The Event. Host Joel Stein speaks to him about his Medium story “Survival of the Richest.”

You can read the full story here: https://onezero.medium.com/survival-of-the-richest-9ef6cddd0cc1

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Oct 20, 2022
The Hallucinogenic Toad Doctor
1576

A Mexican doctor and former crack addict’s TED talk at Burning Man helped popularize hallucinogenic toad poison as a treatment for addiction…and a shortcut to enlightenment. Host Joel Stein speaks to Kimon De Greef about his New Yorker article “The Pied Piper of Psychedelic Toads.”

You can read the full story here: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/03/28/the-pied-piper-of-psychedelic-toads

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Oct 20, 2022
Introducing Story of the Week
144

Every week host Joel Stein picks a long magazine article that fascinates him – and then actually reads the whole thing, all by himself. Then he calls his fellow, but greatly superior journalist friend who wrote it, and gets them to tell him all about it. He does the work and you get the stories. More accurately, some great journalist does the work and Joel Stein puts his name, Joel Stein, on the podcast. Coming October 20th.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Oct 06, 2022