523 Comments
Feb 2·edited Feb 2

Unsurprising considering Mills is a radio pro, but this is a very auspicious start to Katie’s Singal parenthood of the podcast. Excellent episode, and one that’s likely to net some new subscribers.

People who are curious and question orthodoxies are Good, Actually, regardless of what those orthodoxies are! We need more journalists like Andy Mills.

Expand full comment

So apparently Andy's co-workers and "friends" weren't comfortable with some of his behavior and... decided the best way to handle it was through goddamn HR? What utterly spineless buffoons.

I get it, I'm conflict-adverse, but HR are every employee's enemy! You call them as a last resort!

Expand full comment

As a bearded guy from a small town that follows the One True and Correct PNW Logging Culture everything about the weird, cold, degenerate customs of big city people in this episode spoke strongly to me. When I went to college I genuinely felt like people in cities had no actual friends, that they were all very Machiavellian and unfeeling, and that they had all gone crazy from being stacked on top of each other like cord wood.

I no longer quite feel this way, but whenever someone expresses a feeling to me that sounds totally crazy, I have to remind myself of how totally and completely different cultures can be. I’m probably one of the weirder people here in this comments section, but I’m actually one of the sanest and most boring people from where I come from.

Expand full comment

Today's NYT's Opinion piece:

"As Kids, They Thought They Were Trans. They No Longer Do." (Pamela Paul).

Wow. Sea-change? Reader responses running 10 to 1 in favor of reality. (Wonder if we're going to get another staff revolt on this: "These words are causing GENOCIDE!. Putting staff in DANGER!," etc., etc. I think we may be past that point. We'll see...)

Expand full comment

I really enjoyed listening to Andy and hearing about his grace in the face of so much bullshit, but my main takeaway from this was what a massive favour Elon Musk has done us all by sending Twitter down the toilet. It's an odious place that brings out the very worst in nearly all of us and I sincerely hope that it, and all its imitators, dies a resounding death

Expand full comment

Good lord, the end with the roommates.

Andy is very gracious, but it is very striking how seemingly everyone in this media landscape is just…a weak loser.

They really thought they’d lose a job for not signing an open letter? How caught up in Twitter bs do you need to be to actually believe that

Expand full comment
Feb 2·edited Feb 2

Loved this conversation. The detail about the misunderstanding of the workplace shoulder rub struck me, as someone who—like Mills—went to a Christian college. I had not been from a very touchy-feely part of Christian culture, but one summer I worked as a camp counselor at a camp affiliated with my Christian college. It was a completely different subculture from what I was used to on campus during the academic year: lots of hugs, interpersonal warmth, and significantly more charismatic theology/beliefs than would have been characteristic of the students on the main campus. Tl;dr: The culture of Christian camps can be really demonstrative, and this is seen as a good thing within the culture.

I can totally understand how someone from a similar Christian-camp culture might rub someone's shoulder in support and have not the faintest idea how NYC media folks might take the gesture amiss.

Expand full comment

The lesson here is not to drink with people from work, or live with people from work, or date people from work, or even talk to people from work. Even working with people from work is... oof, big yikes.

My boss told me in my review not to talk politics with people in the workplace, which is something I took to heart. I like talking politics, and I am in a strongly left-leaning industry, but I get it.

Then this week some absolute moron during an all-staff meeting asked if we're going to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. That got shut down fast, but damn.

Makes me glad to work from home.

Expand full comment

Wow - I think this might be one of the best episodes of BARpod ever. So good I stopped what I was doing to pull up a chair and listen as closely as I could. I hope this interview spreads far and wide. Truly one of the best, most clear-headed, and compassionate conversations I've listened to about the phenomenon of social shaming and cancel culture. Great work, Katie!

Expand full comment

The most interesting part was him mentioning the Times investigating and finding it was only like 19 accounts and some of those were probably sockpuppets

There’s a Youtuber who’s been talking about the online post-2014 culture wars and he has a phrase: “12 psychos on Twitter”

Many cancellation campaigns were from absolute sociopaths coordinating with each other and using alt accounts to trick “normies” into thinking whatever they cooked up was what was popular at the time. As Katie said, people want to be liked.

The question I always scratch my head over though is why the hell did this all really start to explode in 2014?

Always that year, the year social cohesion in the West began to crumble.

Expand full comment

This drunk guy was at a bar with his drunk coworkers, one drunk coworker called him a 'fucking hipster', and he dumped water/ beer on them. Fast forward ~6 years and he has to prostrate himself in front of coworkers at a completely different company over this incident.

I would lose my mind if management/ HR wanted me to apologize for something I did off the clock half a decade ago while working somewhere else. Is this normal for professions outside of media?

Expand full comment

“I think your analysis is exactly correct I also think you’re more generous than I am these people are fucking assholes.” Pure gold Katie.

Expand full comment

What a great interview.

Andy's mentioning of This American Life took me back to the journey I made into slowly becoming aware of the Great Awokening a decade ago. I think you can take the subject matter of each episode and slowly trace the growing obsession with intersectional categories over time.

TAL: "What is it like to grow up in a small town in Kansas...."

Me: "Oh cool, this should be interesting."

TAL: "...when you are a female Muslim immigrant from Somalia?"

Me. "Oh. Right."

Expand full comment

Katie is a great interviewer. Looking forward more of these!

Also: “my colleagues were wonderful during this experience” (during the reporter investigation into watergate). That’s great but also Jesus Christ. He dumped water on someone while drunk in a bar. He didn’t beat a homeless guy to death. This is such a crazy thing that there were investigations and trainings etc after this. A stupid thing to do but come on.

Expand full comment

Great episode!

Andy Mills is an excellent reporter and an even better human. As I was listening I was congratulating myself for unsubscribing to the NYT, WAPO and stopping all donations to NPR because of the rot they’ve allowed to fester. Then, at the end, he says how much he respects the NYT and I know I am way too spiteful to ever get to such an enlightened place.

Expand full comment

Good morning, everyone. Just started the show. Not sure if Andy’s cancellation was Rowling related, but this is a really good example of how people’s opinion of who deserves censure is often uninformed: https://youtu.be/zIPPpsJY39c?si=M8NFt3OuXRWN_bQB

ps, Any journalist who did roofing every summer implicitly has my trust.

Expand full comment