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American Scandal

American Scandal

Every scandal begins with a lie. But the truth will come out. And then comes the fallout and the outrage.

Scandals have shaped America since its founding. From business and politics to sports and society, we look on aghast as corruption, deceit and ambition bring down heroes and celebrities, politicians and moguls. And when the dust finally settles, we?re left to wonder: how did this happen? Where did they trip up, and who is to blame? From the creators of American History Tellers, Business Wars and Tides of History comes American Scandal, where we take you deep into the heart of America?s dark side to look at what drives someone to break the rules and what happens when they?re caught. Hosted by Lindsay Graham.

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Episodes

Big Tobacco | The New Frontier | 5

It's been over 20 years since a major settlement forced the tobacco industry to reform?and pay billions of dollars for its mistakes. Still, despite a sea change in the public?s attitude toward smoking, the tobacco industry remains strong. And it continues to win over new customers. Annice Kim, a public health expert, joins Lindsay to discuss the explosion in e-cigarettes? popularity, and the ways in which companies now use social media to sell these products.

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2020-08-04
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Introducing The Sneak: Murders at Whiskey Creek

The Sneak: Murders at Whiskey Creek follows a world champion surfer as he pulls off the biggest jewel heist in American history. Things turn deadly as he is implicated in two murders afterwards. Interviews with him and his accomplices expose even more murders, and an even darker story.

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2020-07-29
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Big Tobacco | Killing the Marlboro Man | 4

Jeffrey Wigand steps into the national spotlight. But with all the attention, he now faces a very real threat. The tobacco industry could launch its most vicious counterattack. Or, if Mike Moore has his way, Big Tobacco may waive the flag of surrender.

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2020-07-28
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Big Tobacco | Retaliation | 3

Mike Moore files a landmark lawsuit. Jeffrey Wigand comes under attack. And the producers of 60 Minutes face a major roadblock, as they try to tell the story about Big Tobacco.

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2020-07-21
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Wondery Presents Blood Ties Season 2

Blood Ties Season 2 is out now!

Blood Ties is a scripted audio drama starring Gillian Jacobs, Josh Gad, Dominic Monaghan, Amy Landecker, and Wayne Knight.  

After the sudden death of Michael and Eleonore Richland?s billionaire father, disturbing allegations emerge about his dark past. These revelations thrust them into a fight they?re completely unprepared for. As the stakes of telling the truth continue to rise, they grapple with their father?s legacy and what to do with it. 

Listen today at wondery.fm/bloodties_as.

2020-07-15
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Big Tobacco | The Whistleblowers | 2

A group of ambitious lawyers builds a case against Big Tobacco. But first, they'll need to convince the whistleblowers to speak up.

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2020-07-14
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Big Tobacco | Smoking Guns | 1

Merrell Williams stumbles on a terrible secret, one that's been hidden for decades. Jeffrey Wigand starts a new job with the tobacco industry, only to come face to face with a bitter truth. Soon, both will have to make a choice that could put them in danger.

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2020-07-07
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Boston College Gambling Scheme | Paid Athletes | 4

Dan Murphy is a staff writer with ESPN. He?s been covering the changing landscape in college sports, in which athletes could soon make money from endorsements. He and Lindsay discuss the wide-reaching effects of a recent proposal, and look at the history of scandals in the NCAA.

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2020-06-30
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Boston College Gambling Scheme | The Final Score | 3

The FBI investigates the ties between Boston College basketball players and Jimmy Burke?s crime ring. As the point-shaving trial gets underway, the athletes discover there?s a larger game being played?and they?re the pawns. 

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2020-06-23
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Boston College Gambling Scheme | You Can Bet Your Life | 2

Pressure mounts as the mafia starts pouring money into the betting scheme. But the players begin to crack, and mobsters start disappearing. And soon, the FBI launches its pursuit.

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2020-06-16
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Boston College Gambling Scheme | Against the Odds | 1

Criminals in Pittsburgh have a plan. It involves gambling and manipulating the scores of college basketball games. But to pull it off, they'll first need some help from the basketball players themselves.

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2020-06-09
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Encore: Exxon Valdez | Winner Take Nothing | 4

The fishermen run a blockade. Alyeska Pipeline goes to extremes to root out a mole. Exxon and the fishermen face off in court. 

Photos of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill can be found here

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2020-06-03
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Encore: Exxon Valdez | The Spin Cycle | 3

After Captain Hazelwood?s arrest, Exxon tries to clean up its public image. President Bush tells Exxon to pick up the pace on the cleanup. Fisherman Riki Ott takes on Big Oil in the Alaska State Legislature.

Photos of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill can be found here

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2020-05-26
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Encore: Exxon Valdez | The Mosquito Fleet | 2

The fishermen find that damage from the spill is even worse than expected, while a winter storm destroys Exxon?s plans for a quick cleanup. Captain Hazelwood disappears.

Photos of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill can be found here.

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2020-05-19
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Encore: Exxon Valdez | Oil Meets Water | 1

A supertanker carrying 53 million gallons of crude oil runs aground in Prince William Sound sparking the worst man-made ecological catastrophe in the country?s history at the time. As Exxon struggles to get the cleanup underway, fishermen worry that this is the end of life as they know it

Links to recommended reading:

Not One Drop by Riki Ott

Out of the Channel by John Keeble

The Spill: Personal Stories from the Exxon Valdez Disaster

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2020-05-12
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Waco - The Fire Rages On | 7

Eric Benson is a senior editor at the magazine Texas Monthly. In 2018, Benson wrote a series of articles that helped shed new light on the tragedy at Mount Carmel. He and Lindsay discuss how the event still shapes American life today.

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2020-05-05
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Waco - Day 51 | 6

The Branch Davidians prepare to surrender. But their plan unravels when they face the FBI, which is under intense pressure to get quick results.

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2020-04-28
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Waco - Broken Promises | 5

The Branch Davidians remain locked in a tense standoff with the federal government. And with the FBI now in charge, negotiators try to secure a peaceful surrender. But the FBI?and the Davidians?face a major obstacle: the always-unpredictable David Koresh.

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2020-04-21
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Waco - The Raid | 4

The federal government prepares for a raid at Mount Carmel. But a chance encounter eliminates the element of surprise?and sets the course for a massive battle between federal forces and David Koresh's community.

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2020-04-14
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Waco - Ranch Apocalypse | 3

The Branch Davidians are accused of child abuse and stashing illegal firearms. With a federal investigation now underway, paranoia grows at Mount Carmel. And a government raid appears imminent.

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2020-04-07
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Waco - The Betrayal | 2

Vernon Howell faces criminal charges in court. And soon, his followers begin to turn against him?fueling his paranoia, and setting the stage for his fateful standoff against the U.S. government.

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2020-03-31
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Waco - The New Messiah | 1

In 1993, a massive conflict erupts in rural Texas. The federal government launches a siege against the Branch Davidians, a religious group based in the outskirts of Waco. What follows is the longest firefight in the history of American law enforcement. And it?s a battle that ends in tragedy. But the standoff has its genesis years before. It?s then that Vernon Howell comes looking for a new religious community to call home. He finds it with the Branch Davidians, and soon, he begins working to seize power.

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2020-03-24
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The Lenny Bruce Obscenity Trial - Lenny?s Impact | 3

Brett Gary is a professor at NYU who studies media and American culture, and focuses on the public battles over censorship. He joins Lindsay to discuss the enduring influence of Lenny Bruce and the comedian?s obscenity trial.

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2020-03-17
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The Lenny Bruce Obscenity Trial - I?m Not a Comedian | 2

Lenny Bruce faces a terrifying moment, when his health takes a sudden downturn. But a recent Supreme Court case lifts his spirits, and raises the prospects that he'll triumph over his own legal troubles. The trial winds down, and soon, the verdict is in.

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2020-03-10
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The Lenny Bruce Obscenity Trial - The Obscenity Circus | 1

In the 1960s, Lenny Bruce was a trailblazing standup comedian who took aim at American culture. Bruce clashed frequently with law enforcement, but his decisive legal battle began in 1964. Bruce faced obscenity charges over one of his performances. He also faced a criminal-justice system bent on silencing an outspoken social critic.

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2020-03-03
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Volkswagen Diesel Scandal - Uncovering the Truth | 5

Cynthia Giles was a senior official at the Environmental Protection Agency. She helped negotiate a major settlement with Volkswagen, as the automaker faced fallout from its diesel emissions scandal. She joins Lindsay and tells behind-the-scenes stories from the scandal.

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2020-02-25
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Volkswagen Diesel Scandal - The Wheels Keep Turning | 4

Federal prosecutors kick into high gear, and soon, VW executives meet their fate. Meanwhile, Matthias Müller faces his own changing fortune, as company insiders initiate a power play. It's the beginning of a new era for Volkswagen.

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2020-02-18
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Volkswagen Diesel Scandal - Crash | 3

Martin Winterkorn takes a drastic step, as Volkswagen faces withering criticism. U.S. officials prepare their case against the automaker. And VW struggles to defend itself, as drivers file a blizzard of lawsuits.

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2020-02-11
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Volkswagen Diesel Scandal - The Defeat Device | 2

Alberto Ayala fights to get the truth from Volkswagen. But the carmaker stonewalls the government?again and again. That is, until a VW employee offers a shocking confession, and sets the course for a massive fight.

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2020-02-04
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Volkswagen Diesel Scandal - Whatever It Takes | 1

In 2006, Volkswagen executive Martin Winterkorn hatches a plan to boost auto sales in America. The way to do it? Clean diesel cars. But VW's engineers run into a wall, and so they take a troubling shortcut?one that a group of graduate students will inadvertently expose.

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2020-01-28
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The Plame Affair - Inside the Fight in Washington | 4

Washington, D.C., erupted in a political firestorm in 2003, after Valerie Plame?s identity was revealed to the public. Host Lindsay Graham talks with Matthew Cooper, a journalist who covered the story for Time magazine. Cooper also became part of the story, when he was held in contempt of court for refusing to name the sources who disclosed Plame?s identity to him.

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2020-01-07
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The Plame Affair - Justice Served | 3

Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson make a surprising announcement. Scooter Libby faces a day of reckoning in court, and Patrick Fitzgerald?s case comes to an end.

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2019-12-31
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The Plame Affair - The Investigation | 2

The Bush administration comes under investigation for its role in the Plame leak. Meanwhile, Valerie Plame begins receiving alarming threats, which put a strain on her career and personal life. New York Times reporter Judith Miller faces an agonizing choice about her role in the leak.

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2019-12-24
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The Plame Affair - Exposed | 1

In 2003, America is at war with Iraq, as part of its global campaign on terror. Former diplomat Joe Wilson sharply criticizes the war, making him an enemy of the White House. Payback is swift, but the crosshairs are aimed at someone else: Wilson?s wife, covert CIA agent Valerie Plame.

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2019-12-17
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Encore: Interview with Filmmaker Alex Gibney | 5

Host Lindsay Graham talks with Alex Gibney, director of ?Client 9,? a documentary that examines the rise and fall of Eliot Spitzer.

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2019-12-03
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Encore: New York State of Crime - Two Men in a Cell | 4

Preet Bharara investigates Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos. The explosive trials and the aftermath. 

Links to NY Times articles mentioned:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/11/04/nyregion/sheldon-silver-trial-highlights.html

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/11/19/nyregion/dean-and-adam-skelos-trial-highlights.html

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2019-11-26
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Encore: New York State of Crime - Pay to Play | 3

Governor Cuomo tries to stamp out corruption with an independent commission who deals with interference from unexpected places. Attorney Preet Bharara lasers in on the committee?s findings.

Links to NY Times articles mentioned:

The Many Faces of New York?s Political Scandals:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/07/23/nyregion/23moreland-commission-and-new-york-political-scandals.html?_r=0

NY Times article about Moreland Commission:

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/23/nyregion/governor-andrew-cuomo-and-the-short-life-of-the-moreland-commission.html

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2019-11-19
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Encore: New York State of Crime - An Affair to Remember | 2

Troopergate explodes. Governor Spitzer finds himself embroiled in a scandal. Senator Bruno is investigated by the FBI.

If you enjoyed American History Tellers, be sure to check out Lindsay Graham?s other shows, American History Tellers and American Elections: Wicked Game

2019-11-12
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Encore: New York State of Crime - Three Men in a Room | 1

In 2006, Eliot Spitzer is elected governor on a promise to tackle corruption in the most dysfunctional state capital in the country--Albany, NY. He is quickly challenged by one of the most powerful men in the state. Will the governor change Albany or will Albany change him?

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2019-11-05
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Enron - Reckoning | 5

A federal task force is formed to bring Enron?s corrupt executives to justice. Sherron Watkins arrives in Washington to participate in congressional hearings and struggles to process the staggering costs of Enron?s downfall.  

For the next few weeks, American Scandal will be taking a short break while Lindsay Graham hosts an important mini-series on the Jeffrey Epstein story. Subscribe today at wondery.fm/TMME

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2019-09-24
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Enron - Into the Death Spiral | 4

The Wall Street Journal works to expose the shady financial deals key to Enron?s success. With his company pushed to the brink of bankruptcy, Ken Lay engages in a desperate ploy to avert disaster.

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2019-09-17
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Enron - Damage Control | 3

Ken Lay fights to restore public confidence in Enron as the bad publicity mounts and the stock price continues to fall. Sherron Watkins is encouraged when an internal review of company practices is launched, but stunned when it appears to backfire.

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2019-09-10
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Enron - The Black Box | 2

Enron manipulates California's electricity market for financial gain, and the state is plunged into an energy crisis. Meanwhile, the schemes of a corrupt CFO, a rocky transition of power, and an alarming discovery by Sherron Watkins, threaten to tear the company apart.

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2019-09-03
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Enron - A Sense of Urgency | 1

In the mid 1990s, Enron Corporation solidifies its position as the number one energy company in America. Investment manager Sherron Watkins lands a dream job there, but quickly learns that Enron's office culture and accounting practices make it a treacherous place to work. 

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2019-08-27
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The Standoff at Wounded Knee - The Reign of Terror | 4

Mounting violence forces Dennis Banks and the rest of the occupation to decide how much they?re willing to sacrifice for their cause. Federal negotiators face a deadline to end the standoff at all costs, and Banks and Russell Means meet face to face with the FBI. 

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2019-08-06
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The Standoff at Wounded Knee - A Nation Reborn | 3

After defying a federal ultimatum to leave Wounded Knee or face a full-scale assault, the occupation doubles down by declaring themselves the Independent Oglala Nation. A new proposal from the feds causes Russell Means to ponder how much he?s willing to sacrifice for Lakota sovereignty. FBI Special Agent in Charge Joseph Trimbach reluctantly accepts an unexpected new mission.

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2019-07-30
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The Standoff at Wounded Knee - We?ve Bet with Our Lives | 2

Emboldened by their takeover of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, AIM takes its campaign for Indian rights to the border towns of South Dakota. But now AIM is a top law enforcement priority, and violent clashes with police follow. When the Oglala Lakota of Pine Ridge ask for AIM?s help in their fight against corrupt tribal president Dick Wilson, the occupation of Wounded Knee provokes a fearsome federal response.

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2019-07-23
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The Standoff at Wounded Knee - The Trail of Broken Treaties | 1

In early 1973, the militant civil rights group the American Indian Movement (AIM) takes control of the town of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The action launches a 71-day standoff between Indians and federal forces. But before they make their stand at Wounded Knee, AIM leaders Dennis Banks and Russell Means are already on a collision course with the U.S. government ? starting when they lead more than a thousand Indians from across the country to the steps of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington DC.

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2019-07-16
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Tuskegee Syphilis Study - Parallels | 5

Black babies in the United States are twice as likely as white babies to die before their first birthday. It?s an alarming statistic that further highlights the wide disparities in healthcare that exist between black and white Americans. And while there is no direct connection to the Tuskegee Study there are parallels. We?ll talk with Priska Neely, reporter for Southern California Public Radio, who has dived deep into the issue of black infant mortality, its causes and why it has persisted for decades.

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2019-07-09
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Tuskegee Syphilis Study - What Was Done Cannot Be Undone | 4

After 40 years, the Tuskegee Study has been exposed, condemned, and ended. But for the survivors and African-American community at large, this is not the end of the story. A fight begins to ensure the deceived test subjects are properly compensated, and formally apologized to, by the United States government. 

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2019-07-02
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