September 30, 2022

Setting the Record Straight

Getting to the facts can be difficult, but it’s always the right thing to do. Except when it isn’t.

Matt Chase

Note: The internet version of this episode contains un-beeped curse words. BEEPED VERSION.



Tobin Low tells Ira about Paul, who intended to have an anonymous, romantic rendezvous but instead wound up having to decide whether or not to clear up a big misunderstanding. (10 minutes)

Act One

Home Test

Valerie Kipnis tells the story of 12-year-old Ilya, a Ukrainian refugee eager to figure out whether his hometown can still feel like home. He and his family return to Mariupol, a city badly damaged in the war, and now under Russian control. (14 minutes)

Act Two

Oh What A Hangled Web We Weave

Lilly Sullivan talks with former science reporter, Kelsey Padget, who’s on a mission to disabuse the world of its incorrect assumptions about an allegedly murderous creature: the black widow spider. (10 minutes)

Kelsey Padgett will be hosting an upcoming weekly podcast about big history rivalries and gossipy petty feuds. Dr. Catherine Scott, who helped with research for this story, has a blog called Spider Bytes about black widow behavior and misinformation.

Act Three


David Kestenbaum desperately wants to set the record straight for everybody about whether aliens regularly visit earth. They don’t, he says. David looks for help from the U.S. Congress. (18 minutes)

Mick West’s website, looking into UFO’s and other phenomena is metabunk.org.