Honest-to-goodness journalist Steven M. Schwartz joins Kevin, Joe, and Toren to talk about the caustic side of news gathering. We discuss bad journalists (who spy on people and tamper with evidence) and when bad things happen to good journalists. We had so much stuff we had to split it into two episodes!

Music: “Dies ist Unverschamtheit” by The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets

Charity: Reporters Without Borders



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Showing 26 comments
  • Ruud

    Hi Friends, thanks for the entertaining and informative podcasts. I love them.

    About Rwanda, it wasn’t the Dutch who were messing up things there, it was the Germans. Wikiipedia puts it like this:

    “Europeans had become obsessed with race, and this had an impact on life in Rwanda. The Germans believed the Tutsi ruling class was a superior racial type who, because of their apparent “Hamitic” origins on the Horn of Africa, were more “European” than the Hutu. Because of their seemingly taller stature, more “honorable and eloquent” personalities, and their willingness to convert to Roman Catholicism, the colonist, including powerful Roman Catholic officials, favored the Tutsis. They were put in charge of the farming Hutus (almost in a feudalistic manner), the newly formed principalities, and were given basic ruling positions. Eventually, these positions would turn into the overall governing body of Rwanda. The Tutsi oppression of the Hutus seemed somehow normal and expected.”

    After WWII the Belgians took over in Rwanda. There was no Dutch involvement there.

    Thanks anyway, it’s still a good podcast.

    • Nick Curnow

      It didn’t help when both the Belgians and the French started to supply the Interahamwe (or Genocidaires) with arms to help the slaughter.

  • Steven Schwartz

    Sorry guys, my bad about the Dutch, it was the Belgians. If I offended any Dutch relax you still have your history in South Africa.

  • Ruud

    Hi Steven,

    I’m not sure if the Dutch history in SA is a good example. The British took over from the Dutch in 1795. If you want to rant about the wrongs of the Dutch, check out their history in Indonesia and Surinam.

    And by the way, it wasn’t the Belgians either who divided the Hutu and the Tutsi by race. That was done by the Nazis.

    Your rant should have been directed to the them. That’s why your mistake hurts.

    • Generaleesimo

      Nazis are such an easy target, I think it’s especially brave of Steven to call out the Dutch whether they had anything to do with these atrocities or not. They could use some come-uppance, with their clogs and their tulips!?!

  • Jan


    I’m not sure if you’ve discussed “superstition” before, but search didn’t give me anything of the sort, so maybe not. Stuff like this sounds pretty caustic and I’m sure it’s just a drop in the ocean of superstition you could talk about.


    Thanks a lot for the show!


  • Derek

    While you we’re searching for stuff on Russian journalists, did you come across this one? An editor was sacked for not accepting a “request” for Putin to get involved in her nature story about geese, primarily because she didn’t want it ridiculed. She got work elsewhere, so it’s not hugely caustic, but interesting nonetheless, IMHO.

  • Marlo

    Great episode. What an awesome guest you guys got! I wanted to know more about why The Guardian is “another fish wrapper”, because I have heard that about Murdock’s papers plenty, but I haven’t heard many bad things about the Guardian before.

    i’m excited for part 2!

    • Tom

      Hi, I live in the UK, and i’m not sure why Mr. Schwartz referenced it as “another fish wrapper”. It’s actually one of the few relatively reputable newspapers over here. They also broke the Wikileaks news along with New York Times, El Pais, Der Spiegel and Le Monde.

      • Generaleesimo

        Maybe Mr. Schwartz likes his fish wrapped in a higher class of paper…..

  • Derek

    Anyone else reminded of this ep of Blackadder: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dish_and_Dishonesty? “accidentally brutally stabbed himself in the stomach while shaving” or “accidentally brutally cut his head off while combing his hair”

    Possibly just me. 🙂

    • Generaleesimo

      Blackadder 3 is my personal favorite series of the bunch, so I am definitely familiar.

  • banks!

    Can I make a request? When you have a guest that tells you he’s taken shrapnel through the hand in a war zone or that he was thrown out of Russia for filming drunk soldiers gunning down civilians, can you please follow those stories up with more questions?

    Mr. Schwartz sounds like he’s lead an interesting life with some interesting stories, some even caustic. Hoping we get to hear more of him in part 2.

    • Charles Mair

      hear hear.

    • Toren Atkinson

      I blame Joe.

    • Nic Steele

      Or show pics!!!!

  • Steven Schwartz

    I am always willing to take questions here or on a follow-up, so ask away. And thanks to all of you who enjoyed my first spot.

    • Marlo

      I would like to hear your thoughts on the Guardian!

  • Keeffer

    Great episode. Can’t wait for part 2. Love that this was stretched to a 2 parter to cover all the good bits and not leave anything out.

    I need to catch up on my American Horror Story- Asylum because from the 2 episodes I’ve watched I’ve gotten a Nellie Bly vibe from the Sarah Paulson character. Did you guys already talk about her in another episode? I feel like you’ve discussed her before.

  • Canewell

    Looking forward to a defenestration episode!

  • Jon Paynter

    Once again, you guys knock it out of the park with your guests! This show keeps delivering!

  • sarya

    First thing that I thought of when starting this episode was actually a story my professor just told us in my American History class. An Italian journalist named Fabrizio Gatti went undercover as an immigrant worker in Puglia and found out what horrible conditions they were under. They are basically slaves. Gatti won the 2006 Journalist Award of the European Union for this story called, “Io schiavo in Pulgia” (I was a slave in Pulgia).


    I don’t think the article really covers Gatti’s escape but according to my professor, as Gatti escaped and even reached the police the slave owners continued after him yelling such things as “He belongs to me!” Crazy that these owners believed they were somehow entitled to these methods of slavery. Guess this is kinda a two part follow-up!

  • bred

    Just wanted to let you know, I’m one of the other 10 people who has seen the Newsroom, and you are right, it is fantastic. The humor is very dry, fans of the British Office should check it out for sure.

  • Derek

    On the early 2015 massacre at Charlie Hedbo satirical newspaper in Paris, France, in which 11 people, including 2 police officers and several cartoonists, were gunned down in their offices:


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