American Scandal

American Scandal

Wondery
History
137 episodes
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.
  • A woman's body is found at the bottom of a gorge. It belongs to a member of the Osage Nation, a tribe that's grown incredibly wealthy from oil. When the victim's sister goes looking for answers, she begins to uncover a shocking conspiracy, one that puts her life in danger. This is a sneak preview o...
    Play44m 4s
  • President Kennedy signs a bill that transforms mental healthcare in America. With his legacy on the line, Walter Freeman begins a desperate—and dangerous—quest to redeem the lobotomy. Listen to new episodes 1 week early and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges...
    Play44m 41s
  • It’s a case that has haunted Jefferson Township, New Jersey, for more than 30 years. On a snowy January night, 14-year-old Tommy Sullivan did the unthinkable: he murdered his mother in cold blood, set fire to their house, and then took his own life. Out of the flames of this horrible tragedy, inves...
    Play7m 16s
  • Walter Freeman goes public with his ice pick lobotomies. But that earns him new enemies—including some who are determined to stop him. Listen to new episodes 1 week early and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available...
    Play41m 19s
  • Walter Freeman and James Watts begin to experiment with the lobotomy. But their partnership is tested when a high-profile patient suffers disastrous results. Listen to new episodes 1 week early and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad fre...
    Play43m 21s
  • Walter Freeman is devastated when he learns the truth about mental asylums. The medical care is barbaric, and for patients, everyday life is a nightmare. So Freeman begins searching for an alternative. It's a quest that leads him to one of the most controversial procedures in medical history. Liste...
    Play42m 12s
  • The press has a long, troubled relationship with celebrities, from Marilyn Monroe, to Tupac Shakur, to Britney Spears. The paparazzi are often relentless, and media coverage can be vicious. Which raises a question: Does the press bear responsibility for celebrities' meltdowns? In this special interv...
    Play30m 6s
  • Two young Silicon Valley entrepreneurs set out to rid the world of smoking with an incredible new product. The device stands to disrupt the tobacco industry and make them rich, until it falls into the wrong hands and lives are ruined. From classrooms to hospitals, boardrooms to the Oval Office, what...
    Play6m 12s
  • Floyd Landis goes public about performance-enhancing drugs. Lance Armstrong struggles to contain the fallout, as the truth comes out. Listen to new episodes 1 week early and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available i...
    Play43m 23s
  • Greg LeMond struggles to find allies in his fight against Lance Armstrong. Floyd Landis is caught in a difficult position, one that forces him to take a big risk. Listen to new episodes 1 week early and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and a...
    Play42m 38s
  • Lance Armstrong becomes an icon around the world. But when a former cycling legend begins asking questions about doping, Armstrong goes on the attack.  Listen to new episodes 1 week early and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free lis...
    Play38m 30s
  • Lance Armstrong enters the cutthroat world of professional cycling. But after a string of humiliating losses, he's left searching for a new way to win. Listen to new episodes 1 week early and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free list...
    Play43m 37s
  • Joseph McCarthy was one of the most consequential politicians in American history. He upended Washington, and even influenced foreign policy for years to come. In this interview, Lindsay chats with Larry Tye, the author of Demagogue, a biography of McCarthy. The two discuss the early stages of the R...
    Play35m 35s
  • Accusations emerge that Joseph McCarthy blackmailed the military. He faces investigations in the Senate, and a potentially devastating outcome. Listen to new episodes 1 week early and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening....
    Play42m 12s
  • Joseph McCarthy searches for communist infiltrators in the U.S. government. He lands on a big target, one that earns him a formidable enemy. Listen to new episodes 1 week early and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Avai...
    Play43m 11s
  • Joseph McCarthy gets help from powerful allies in Washington. As McCarthy’s influence grows, other senators weigh the political cost of challenging him. Listen to new episodes 1 week early and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free lis...
    Play42m 38s
  • Joseph McCarthy dreams of a bigger life. He wants something beyond the farms of Wisconsin, something more important than cornfields and local disputes. He wants political power in Washington, D.C. And he has a plan to get it. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here. Support us by supporting our sponsors!...
    Play42m 12s
  • Bernie Madoff conned some of the smartest people in the world, from savvy investors to famous artists. All the while, he deceived government regulators. So how did he fool so many people, and for so long? Diana Henriques is a journalist and author who's written extensively about Madoff. In this inte...
    Play39m 9s
  • The U.S. economy begins to fall apart. So Bernie Madoff takes a risk, and makes a fateful decision about his Ponzi scheme.  Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here. Support us by supporting our sponsors! See our Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and our California Privacy Notice at https://art19...
    Play37m 49s
  • A financial analyst raises red flags about Bernie Madoff's record. Madoff faces an investigation from the SEC.  Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here Support us by supporting our sponsors! See our Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and our California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#...
    Play38m 20s
  • Bernie Madoff is young and broke. And he's hungry for a big paycheck. So he sets out for Wall Street. But a market crash forces him to make a difficult decision, one that will haunt him for years. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here Support us by supporting our sponsors! See our Privacy Policy at http...
    Play41m 2s
  • For decades, the U.S. has led covert campaigns abroad. These campaigns—spearheaded by the CIA, among others—have shaped the balance of power in the world. The U.S. has even helped topple foreign governments. In this new interview, Lindsay chats with Stephen Kinzer, an author who's written extensivel...
    Play39m 16s
  • Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh sets his sights on the White House and tries to answer the question everyone has been asking: Exactly how much did President Reagan know and when did he know it? This episode originally aired on December 24, 2018. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here Support us by su...
    Play44m 30s
  • Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh is called to D.C. to investigate Iran-Contra and bring those responsible to justice. But what he discovers will shake his political allegiances, and drive a wedge through the heart of the country.  This episode originally aired on December 18, 2018. Listen ad-fr...
    Play43m 5s
  • When the story breaks that senior U.S. government officials secretly traded arms for hostages, Congress and the American people demand answers. Chief of Staff Don Regan and Attorney General Ed Meese begin building a wall around the President.   This episode originally December 11, 2018. Listen ad-...
    Play41m 33s
  • Two of Reagan’s top priorities are in jeopardy: American hostages are still in the hands of terrorists, and the Contras are losing their fight against the Sandinistas. In early 1986, the two operations merge. In the middle of it all is Lieutenant Colonel Ollie North. This episode originally aired o...
    Play41m 45s
  • In July of 1985, the National Security Advisor to President Reagan, Robert “Bud” McFarlane, puts a plan in motion that could change the course of history and turn the Reagan administration upside down.   This episode originally aired on November 27, 2018. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here See our Pr...
    Play47m 48s
  • Ted Kaczynski warned that technology was crushing the human spirit—and harming the planet. Since 1995, when his manifesto was published, Kaczynski has gained a large number of followers. John H. Richardson, a journalist and author, corresponded with Kaczynski, and joins Lindsay to discuss the wide-r...
    Play29m 17s
  • The FBI gets closer to the Unabomber. But a leak to the media threatens the case. And soon, agents are forced to take action.  Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here See our Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and our California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
    Play41m 2s
  • A fight erupts between Ted Kaczynski and his brother, David. And when tragedy strikes, the Kaczynski family begins to break apart. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here Support us by supporting our sponsors! See our Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and our California Privacy Notice at http...
    Play39m 21s
  • Ted Kaczynski falls in love. But soon, he's shocked by some news—and retreats into the wilderness in Montana. It's there that he pushes forward with a deadly bombing campaign. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here Support us by supporting our sponsors! See our Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/priv...
    Play39m 32s
  • Ted Kaczynski faces a painful rejection in high school. Then he endures an abusive psychology experiment at Harvard. Kaczynski may be an academic prodigy, but he feels lonely and out of place. His solution? He's going to get revenge on modern society. Listen to new episodes 1 week early and to all...
    Play40m 31s
  • In 1979, disco was a dominant force in American music. It took the top spots in the Billboard charts, and sold countless records. But with its culturally diverse audience, disco faced a major backlash. And that would lead to a crisis one evening in July of 1979, when a promotional event at a basebal...
    Play27m 32s
  • From the mid-1950s to the early '70s, the FBI employed a secret program known as COINTELPRO. It aimed to disrupt a wide range of social activism, from anti-war protests, to the fight for racial justice. At the time, Clayborne Carson was on the front lines of the battles for civil rights. He’d go on...
    Play34m 2s
  • Antiwar activists hatch a risky plan. Led by a physics professor, the group decides to burglarize an FBI office. The goal: to find incriminating documents, and to expose decades of federal abuses. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here See our Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and our California...
    Play40m 53s
  • Fred Hampton is a rising star in the civil rights movement. But when he challenges police brutality, he finds that his life is suddenly threatened. Listen ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App. https://wondery....
    Play38m 38s
  • The FBI goes after Martin Luther King, Jr., after the civil rights leader calls for an end to racial injustice. The bureau begins to spy on King—and forces him to make an impossible decision. Listen to new episodes 1 week early and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives...
    Play38m 57s
  • Billie Holiday makes a decision. The jazz singer will perform "Strange Fruit," the protest song about lynchings, no matter what happens to her—and no matter how many times law enforcement tells her to stay quiet. But that puts her in the crosshairs of one federal official, who uses any means necessa...
    Play40m 0s
  • It's been over 40 years since the crisis unfolded at Three Mile Island. But the nuclear accident still lingers with us today, as the United States confronts new public health emergencies. At the time of the accident, Peter Bradford was a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He joins Lindsay...
    Play38m 2s
  • A large bubble of hydrogen emerges in the nuclear reactor, threatening to cause a catastrophic explosion. President Carter dispatches an envoy. The goal: to get control of the crisis. And Pennsylvania's leaders face a big moment, as they decide whether to evacuate the region. Listen ad-free on Wond...
    Play40m 34s
  • When politics intervene, the engineers at Three Mile Island find themselves up against a wall. Mike Pintek airs a stunning interview on the radio, and causes a panic. And Bill Scranton tries to restore calm to the shaken residents of Pennsylvania. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here Support us by supp...
    Play39m 12s
  • On March 28, 1979, Bill Zewe hears an alarm at Three Mile Island. Something has gone terribly wrong at the nuclear power plant, in southern Pennsylvania. And now, the operators at the plant must move fast—before a crisis engulfs the region.  Listen ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusive...
    Play37m 24s
  • The United States is home to a large number of big businesses, from entertainment conglomerates to the giants of tech. Increasingly, members of the public and politicians are raising concerns about these companies—and the power that they wield. Chris Sagers, a law professor at Cleveland State Univer...
    Play30m 23s
  • John D. Rockefeller is on the run. His company is under assault from state and federal lawsuits, and now, Rockefeller is moving from house to house, doing whatever he can to avoid a courtroom. But soon enough, his fate will be decided for him. Because the U.S. Supreme Court is about to issue a landm...
    Play38m 56s
  • Ida Tarbell begins to investigate Standard Oil. And as she digs deeper, she receives help from some unexpected sources. Soon, John D. Rockefeller learns that his deepest secrets could come spilling out into the light. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here Support us by supporting our sponsors! See our P...
    Play37m 33s
  • John D. Rockefeller makes a bold move, one that helps him crush his opponents. Soon, disaster strikes in Titusville, Pennsylvania. And that means it's time for Ida Tarbell to return home—and to take on Standard Oil. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here See our Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy...
    Play37m 35s
  • Standard Oil faces an organized resistance. But that doesn't slow down John D. Rockefeller. The oil titan continues to build his empire, and soon, some of his enemies have to make a terrible choice. They can keep fighting—and go bankrupt. Or they can team up with Rockefeller. Listen ad-free on Wond...
    Play35m 52s
  • John D. Rockefeller is a poor boy with a dream. He's going to become a businessman. And he's going to be wildly rich. Soon, he stumbles on the product that will seal his fate: oil. Thick, crude oil is gushing from the ground across America. It's creating boomtowns—and a new economy. Rockefeller begi...
    Play37m 59s
  • 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 pub...
    Play30m 11s
  • 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. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here Support us by...
    Play36m 1s
  • 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. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here Support us by supporting our sponsors! See our Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privac...
    Play38m 28s