Journalists Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal scour the internet for its craziest, silliest, most sociopathic content, part of an obsessive and ill-conceived attempt to extract kernels of meaning and humanity from a landscape of endless raging dumpster fires. (And sometimes they talk about other stuff, too.)
For more content, including premium episodes, check out the Blocked and Reported Patreon page: http://patreon.com/blockedandreported
January 25th, 2021 | 56 mins 55 secs
ethan watters, interview, moral panics, recovered memories
Katie and Jesse bring on Ethan Watters, an author and freelance journalist who helped debunk the recovered-memory craze back in the 1990s, to discuss the most recent development in that area: an article in The Cut that Watters does not think does a good and accurate job relating the (scant) scientific evidence for recovered memories. The hosts and Watters also discuss certain arguable therapeutic parallels between the recovered-memory movement and treatment for youth gender dysphoria, as well as the general tendency of liberals to violate their "We <3 Science" stance fairly regulary when moral outrage is afoot.
January 18th, 2021 | 54 mins 16 secs
andy ngo, ben shapiro, deplatforming
After Jesse addresses the totally baseless rumor that he went to Yale Law School, the best law school in the country, where (in this false scenario) he got very good grades, the hosts talk a bit more about online content moderation and then discuss two recent stories about controversial right-wing media figures: the backfired attempt to deplatform Andy Ngo's book, and the widespread outrage among Politico employees that Ben Shapiro was allowed to author an edition of the Playbook newsletter.
January 14th, 2021 | 32 mins 50 secs
censorship, deplatforming, donald trump
This one's pretty straightforward: Should social media platforms have banned Trump? What about all those other people? Also, now that he has moved Jesse finally reveals a dark secret about one of his old building-mates. (Jesse has a new audio setup and his sound quality will be better next time. It's Katie's fault, somehow, probably.) This was originally a patrons-only episode, so please consider becoming a susbcriber: https://patreon.com/blockedandreported
January 11th, 2021 | 1 hr 6 mins
donald trump, far-right media, insurrection, online outrage, terrorism
After discussing whether Blocked and Reported led directly to the siege on the Capitol, the hosts discuss that strange, terrifying event. They debate whether it can be safely examined in something of a vaccuum, or should be put in the broader context of what appears to be a rise in political violence in the U.S. They also discuss some of the most unhinged responses. Then they talk about Bean Dad. Remember Bean Dad? We yearn for a world in which Bean Dad is the day's most important story on Twitter.
Two White Podcasters Resolve The Issue Of Racial Slurs And The Controversy Over Alec Baldwin's Esposa Latina
January 4th, 2021 | 55 mins 31 secs
After reflecting on what a great year 2020 was, except for the many serious hardships Katie endured, the hosts start 2021 with a bang: specifically, a bang that sounds a lot like a racial slur neither of them can say. A white teenager in Virginia didn't get the memo, though -- what should the punishment be, if any? Then Jesse and Katie turn their attention to a story that is rather 'picante': Hilaria Baldwin's attempt at identity-forgery. What an estupido time to be alive!
December 28th, 2020 | 1 hr 17 mins
aella, hanukkah, intercultural understanding, julie bindel, religion, sex work
Jesse relates the story of Hanukkah to Katie. Then Jesse makes a fun announcement and an angry announcement. Then the hosts throw to a lengthy interview they did with Aella (@aella_girl on Twitter), a sex worker, OnlyFans one-percenter, and occasional rationalist provocateur who has lived a very interesting life. They talk about drugs and sex and life and online controversy. Plus, Julie Bindel pops in to raise issues with certain contemporary understandings of sex work.
December 21st, 2020 | 1 hr 1 min
gender dysphoria, media criticism, mental health
In a true sign that anything is possible in this crazy universe of ours, the hosts note that there were some errors in the previous episode and explain exactly what they were. Then they discuss some mental-health-talk from Jesse that rubbed one reader the wrong way and continue on to the show's main event: a major court decision on youth gender dysphoria in England and an incredibly shoddy article in Foreign Policy about it.
December 14th, 2020 | 1 hr 2 mins
artificial intelligence, dei, google, jon stokes, tech, timnit gebru
A major blowup at at Google led to the firing or resignation (depending on who you ask) of Timnit Gebru and accusations that the company's social-justice efforts are performative at best. But behind the scenes, some Googlers are telling a different, slightly more complicated story. Who's right? Katie and Jesse bring on Jon Stokes, an Ars Technica founder who is much better connected in the tech world than they are, to help explain this tangled controversy.
Inside The Vicious, Deranged, Literally, Metaphorically Violent World Of Young Adult Fiction Twitter
December 7th, 2020 | 57 mins 6 secs
jessica cluess, online outrage, online shaming, social justice, ya twitter
One would not expect an online community devoted to discussion of dragons, vampires, and teenage heroes to be a cesspool of almost unimaginable toxicity. And yet! In this episode, Jesse walks Katie through a recent history of young adult fiction Twitter, aka "YA Twitter," attempts to explain how it got to be such a Hobbesian hellscape, and dives into the latest 'scandal' involving allegedly racist and violent tweets.
November 30th, 2020 | 1 hr 5 mins
gender identity, jordan peterson, media, self-id, suzanne moore, the guardian, trans rights
After a very tense intro during which Jesse berates Katie for not being there when he needed her most, the hosts discuss a Vice News story about staffers at Penguin Random House Canada so overwhelmed by the existence of Jordan Peterson's new book that they broke down crying, and Guardian staffers so overwhelmed by the existence of a debate over certain claims about sex and gender that they drove columnist Suzanne Moore out.
November 23rd, 2020 | 52 mins 4 secs
antiracism, appropriation, barack obama, neuroticism, race, republicans
After the hosts celebrate a major achievement and Jesse goes on a little rant that is Super Political, Katie and Jesse delve into three stories of profound internet nonsense involving privileged white people doing antiracism, a Toronto editor VERY mad about a new broth-joint, and some of Twitter's most neurotic people getting super mad about Barack Obama's college conduct.
November 16th, 2020 | 1 hr 7 mins
bari weiss, censorship, helen lewis, liz bruenig, rock paper shotgun, video games
After Katie talks about her new dog-testicles-centered newsletter, the hosts discuss the latest events in the ongoing saga of Helen Lewis's voice getting erased by Ubisoft, and then turn their attention to a New York Magazine article about the internal tumult at The New York Times that, like everything else which happens in this crazy world of ours, simply proves the hosts were right all along.
November 6th, 2020 | 55 mins 49 secs
culture wars, democracy, democrats, white supremacy, wokeness
In a very special episode, Katie and Jesse discuss a long, stupid week in which democracy had its way with the American people. What should we make of the fact that the election was closer than many expected and the Democrats were denied their "blue wave"? Patriarchy? White supremacy? Wokeness? Also: Jesse dissects Donald Trump's incredibly lazy, half-assed meltdown.
November 2nd, 2020 | 1 hr 16 secs
censorship, glenn greenwald, online media, section 230
After Jesse tells Katie a harrowing story about his recent journey into the heart of 'Manhattan,' the hosts discuss Glenn Greenwald's departure from The Intercept, an outlet he helped found back in 2014. Then they turn their attention to Section 230, a law that made the internet what it is today (for better and for worse), and which seems to be attracting bipartisan ire of late, especially among people who don't really understand technology.
October 26th, 2020 | 55 mins 25 secs
#metoo, dave rubin, eric weinstein, idw, intellectual dark web, james lindsay, jeff toobin, mike rosenberg
Lotta dicks this week. After addressing some reader reactions to their The 1619 Project segment last week, Katie and Jesse critique the idea of "involuntary conservatives" so enraged by wokeness that they have to vote for Donald Trump. Then the hosts turn their attention to a salacious media story involving a certain New Yorker staff writer and, well, there's no more polite way to put this, but, um, his penis.
October 19th, 2020 | 49 mins 15 secs
censorship, facebook, free speech, media, nikole hannah-jones, the 1619 project, twitter
Katie and Jesse discuss the recent and not-so-recent controversy over The 1619 project, the reputational perils of getting in constant fights with idiots on Twitter, and the tangled story of Hunter Biden, a blind guy at a laptop-repair shop, and a controversial New York Post story. Along the way, Jesse engages in some shockingly casual anti-Ukrainianism.