‘You’re Wrong About’ podcast comes to Detroit

The podcast examines the missteps of the media and the general public when it comes to the stories that captures the public’s fascination.

Graphic that reads, "You're Wrong About 2023 Spring Tour. YWA host Sarah Marshall and friends present a live You're Wrong About event in your town. Music! Mayhem! More!"

You're Wrong About 2023 spring tour poster.

The You’re Wrong About podcast has spent the past five years digging into the events and people that were able to grab the public’s collective consciousness.

People like Anna Nicole Smith and Lorena Bobbitt were often treated poorly — and phenomena like the invention of  “political correctness” were often mis-covered by traditional news media. The podcast aims to set the record straight.

You’re Wrong About host Sarah Marshall is taking the show on the road and the tour stops at the Majestic Theater on Tuesday, March 21.

Marshall spoke with WDET’s Russ McNamara about why she decided to start the podcast. She says that with some outlets, the mistakes of the past are being repeated in coverage of today’s stories.

“Physically, all these people (reporters) had to go to where you were, and camp out outside of wherever you were, and wait for you to do anything — and then try and make copy out of it. And we would have one of these big stories at a time,” Marshall says. “And now, I think that the the media cycle — and therefore the misinformation cycle — is much swifter and there’s more space for nuance, but then there’s also more space for dramatic, baseless falsehood, it turns out.”

She says former Tonight Show host Jay Leno’s bad monologues drove discourse in the 1990s, because so many people undeservedly became punchlines.

“Jay Leno was part of so many 90s media practices that captivated America for a few weeks or a couple months or something. And it’s so funny also that the media world was so small that a single person could drive discourse to that extent, which I don’t think is true anymore. But I don’t know if  things have improved. I think things in culture move laterally for the most part, unfortunately.”

A recent episode of You’re Wrong About discusses the impact of the 24-hour news cycle on news media as a whole. She spoke with Jessica McClure, who fell down a well as a baby in Texas in 1987. Marshall says McClure’s story effectively created the 24-hour news cycle.

“This was the first event that proved the need for around-the-clock news coverage,” Marshall says. “And then what happened since then is that when there were not baby Jessica’s every day, if there’s not a baby down a well, we have to invent a baby down a well equivalent.”

She says the podcast balances sad and often tragic subjects with humor and levity because that’s her natural response — but the result is making those subjects more approachable for the listeners and guests.

“I think humor just relaxes the body, relaxes the mind… I think that’s part of what makes it (the show) appealing to people who feel like it’s easier to approach a topic if they feel like a real person is talking to them, and helping them emotionally through what they understand to be something really difficult to think about.”

The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are available for $35 online or $40 at the door.

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  • Russ McNamara
    Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners. He's been an avid listener of WDET since he moved to metro Detroit in 2002.