Have You Listened to “You’re Wrong About”?

I’ve been absent for a few days while visiting family in Virginia, which involved two 15-hour drives from and to St. Louis. I’ve made the drive a number of times now, but the time seemed to pass faster this time thanks to an excellent podcast we dove deep into.

The podcast is called You’re Wrong About, and it’s hosted by Sarah Marshall and Michael Hobbes. In each episode, they pick a topic–typically a major newsworthy event from 15-20 years ago that the average person knows a little about–and explore the truth of what really happened.

For example, there’s an episode about the space shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986. My recollection of it is that the shuttle exploded during takeoff due to some faulty parts. That’s partially true, but Sarah and Michael delve much deeper into what really happened and why it happened.

Like one of our other favorite road-trip podcasts, How to Save a Planet, the dynamic between Sarah and Michael is just as entertaining as it is informative. They use a clever model in which one of the two researches the event and provides the full story, while the other person essentially plays the role of the audience, sharing what they recall and expressing dismay at the truth. It’s great.

They’ve covered a broad range of topics, giving us a great archive to listen to; here’s what we’ve heard so far:

  • The Challenger Disaster
  • Enron
  • A Dingo’s Got My Baby
  • The 2000 Election
  • The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
  • Acid Rain
  • The Y2K Bug
  • The Electoral College
  • Losing Relatives to Fox News
  • The Stanford Prison Experiment
  • The Anti-Vaccine Movement

Have you listened to this podcast? If so, are there any particular episodes you highly recommend (or any similar podcasts)?

10 thoughts on “Have You Listened to “You’re Wrong About”?”

  1. Thanks for this. Sounds like an interesting listen.

    I still recall watching TV when Challenger happened and the show (I think I was watching the cricket) cut over to show the horrific, Y-shaped aftermath. When watching For All Mankind (have you watched that? We loved it) I couldn’t watch a shuttle taking off from a particular angle without flinching, expecting “it” to happen again.

    The Azaria Chamberlain episode should be interesting too. I wonder how “wrong” I, as an Australian, will be about that one. Is it a good episode?

      • I’ll check it out.

        I was only 8 years old when it happened; however, the saga of the trial and the eventual overturning of the original decision to right before I graduated from high school.

        I recall a lot of talk about the “matinee jacket”.

        I do remember that -everyone- thought she was guilty in 1980. “Guilty as sin” was a phrase I heard from more than one adult in my life back then.

  2. Oh, the Stanford Prison Experiment. Which could also have been titled, how one man became so exceptionally famous from an unpublished and un-peer-reviewed study.

    Zimbardo (the study’s PI) is an interesting guy. Attended a talk he gave around 13 years ago while promoting his newest (at the time) book. He draws some exceptionally powerful conclusions from a single-case borderline unscientific event with no real capacity for statistical analysis.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t disagree with most of the common conclusions drawn from that study, but too many people associate psychology experiments with wacky tricks as a result of stuff like this.

  3. Hey again!

    So the wife and I listened to this episode, and it pretty much confirmed a lot of the stuff that I knew, particularly about the attitude of the general public and the media at the time regarding Lindy’s guilt.

    I’m not sure that what they said about dingoes being “cute wildlife” in Australia was quite true — your average Australian has probably never even seen a wild dingo, and I did cringe a bit at the “everything there wants to kill you” trope 🙂

    The episode and incident in general is part of what, in my formative years, constructed my revulsion with regard to capital punishment. We don’t have it here, thankfully, but we have in the past. What if Lindy Chamberlain had been executed? She was far from alone at the time when it came to dodgy policing or just incompetence leading to wrongful convictions. I recall the case of John Button, a man who was wrongfully convicted of running down his girlfriend with his car, and Darryl Beamish, a deafmute man who went away for fifteen years for supposedly murdering a woman in her apartment in Cottesloe which is just around the corner from the antique shop where my mum worked for years. I seem to remember Mum knowing someone who was impacted by that case… I’ll have to ask her. Both are interesting and tragic cases and are well worth looking into. I can’t imagine being convicted and imprisoned for something you didn’t do, much less executed.

    • Thanks for listening and checking back, Mike! I appreciate your thoughts on capital punishment, and I 100% agree with you (I also don’t agree with capital punishment on a moral level).

  4. I keep meaning to add “You’re Wrong About” to my podcast list (runs off to do it now)…

    As an Aussie, I’ll start with the Lindy Chamberlain episode. I was just a little kid when it happened, but there was enough kerfuffle that I remember it.

    Michael is the co-host of another podcast I listen to, “Maintenance Phase”. It’s all about debunking the junk science around nutrition and it’s absolutely fascinating. I’m working my way through all the back episodes.


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