That Time the Falwells Met Their Match in a Pool Boy
Shocking! Lurid! Tawdry! A History of American Scandals
by Kasey Howe & Mark Peikert
6M ago
There's just something about seeing hypocrites fully exposed that is so satisfying, particularly when the takedown is as juicy and salacious and, yes, tawdry as that of Jerry Falwell Jr. You no doubt remember the Pool Boy Scandal of 2020, which began as a rumor that evangelical Christian and President of Liberty University Falwell was having an affair with a younger man named Giancarlo Granda... before Falwell released a statement saying that his wife, Becki, had the affair. And then Granda gave an explosive tell-all interview in which he recounted Falwell's participation in that affair. Now ..read more
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That Time the CIA Got Very Into LSD
Shocking! Lurid! Tawdry! A History of American Scandals
by Kasey Howe & Mark Peikert
6M ago
It's an unintentional double-header of acid heads, as Kasey follows up Mark's episode about Unmask Alice with a deep dive into an aside from the book about the CIA's Operation Midnight Climax. Yes, it sounds like some horny high school boys started a band, and no, it's not actually that much different from that. Turns out, the CIA was so adamant that no Americans could possibly have committed war crimes or found Communism interesting that the only solution to veterans saying these things is... brainwashing. If the Russians could, so could we! Except... well, things get very weird very fast. Wo ..read more
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That Time Barbara Hershey Went on The Dick Cavett Show
Shocking! Lurid! Tawdry! A History of American Scandals
by Kasey Howe & Mark Peikert
6M ago
Some things never change. Well, not Barbara Hershey's name. Born Barbara Lynn Herzstein, Hershey changed her professional name to Barbara Seagull for a period of time in the early 1970s. Much against the advice of literally everyone. She appeared on The Dick Cavett Show to discuss the reasons behind the change (buckle up) and ended up breastfeeding her son during the broadcast. Since this was 1975, you can imagine the hysteria. This week, Mark walks Kasey through the madness of early '70s Hollywood, the perils of being "kooky," and a whole lot of spoilers for decades-old films. Plus, casual Ry ..read more
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That Time Alexander Hamilton Invented the Treasury and Political Sex Scandals
Shocking! Lurid! Tawdry! A History of American Scandals
by Kasey Howe & Mark Peikert
6M ago
Before the musical, before the Got Milk? commercial brought him back into relevancy, Alexander Hamilton was one of the more combative founding fathers. The most scandal-plagued founding father? That is TBD. But today, Kasey explains how Hamilton ended up in an extramarital affair, then blackmailed, then welcomed into cuckolding and then published an entire pamphlet years after the fact about what went down. Did that kill his chances at higher office? And why exactly was Aaron Burr in everyone's lives? Grab your powdered wig and travel back in time to the invention of the political sex scandal ..read more
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That Time Janet Cooke Won a Pulitzer
Shocking! Lurid! Tawdry! A History of American Scandals
by Kasey Howe & Mark Peikert
6M ago
Before Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair, there was Janet Cooke. A reporter at The Washington Post, her byline appeared on a story headlined "Jimmy's World" about an 8-year-old heroin addict... who didn't exist. But before anyone found that out, "Jimmy's World" became a national sensation and made Cooke the first Black female Pulitzer Prize winner—an award she returned almost immediately upon winning. But there's a lot more to Janet Cooke's story than just blind ambition. Mark unpacks the OG newspaper scandal for Kasey, along with a quick rave about Margaret Sullivan's incredible memoir Newsroom ..read more
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That Time Sumner Welles Called for a Pullman Porter
Shocking! Lurid! Tawdry! A History of American Scandals
by Kasey Howe & Mark Peikert
6M ago
Sumner Welles was a career politician whose career was always being interrupted by personal biases. First Calvin Coolidge kicked me out because he married a friend of the Coolidges. Then FDR had to speak with him because his direct manager was shit-talking Welles and a boozy night on a train that involved propositioning a Pullman porter.  Kasey walks Mark through the tangled web of political rivalries that led to Welles resigning in the middle of World War II and reminds us all that no one is as bitchy as a mediocre white man. Logo: Jessica Balaschak Music: Caveman of Los Angeles by Party ..read more
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That Time Alexander Hamilton's Great-Grandson Was Front-Page News for Years
Shocking! Lurid! Tawdry! A History of American Scandals
by Kasey Howe & Mark Peikert
6M ago
The whole thing began for Bill Shaffer with a fountain. Granted, the fountain is one of the few remaining examples of its kind in Manhattan and was designed by the team behind Grand Central Station. But who knew that reading a plaque one night would lead to the discovery of a half-forgotten scandal involving Alexander Hamilton's great-grandson, a sex worker, a murder, and two years of lurid headlines? That's the story that Shaffer told in his recent book The Scandalous Hamiltons: A Gilded Age Grifter, a Founding Father's Disgraced Descendant, and a Trial at the Dawn of Tabloid Journalism. He j ..read more
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That Time They Called the Cavalry on WWI Vets
Shocking! Lurid! Tawdry! A History of American Scandals
by Kasey Howe & Mark Peikert
6M ago
The American veterans of the Great War just wanted that bonus the United States had promised them a little bit early. Guaranteed to pay out in 1945, a little thing called the Great Depression had them all impatient to cash it in 12 years early—so the Bonus Army traveled to Washington, D.C., to make their case. Herbert Hoover had quite enough of Hoovervilles, however, and somewhere along the way, Douglas MacArthur swooped in with the U.S. Cavalry and a tank or four to clear out the marchers' campsite. The U.S. was unprepared to care for its veterans? How shocking! Kasey walks Mark through this ..read more
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That Time Zsa Zsa Gabor Slapped a Cop
Shocking! Lurid! Tawdry! A History of American Scandals
by Kasey Howe & Mark Peikert
6M ago
It was the slap heard around the world. No, not the Oscars 2022. We're talking Los Angeles 1989 when Zsa Zsa Gabor was pulled over for expired plates and ended up embroiled in a three-week trial that made Depp v Heard look boring. How did the Hungarian personality wind up in an El Segundo jail doing clerical work? Why was the nation so transfixed by the story of a woman slapping a police officer? And why didn't we ever get the Zsa Zsa memoir written from her dog's point of view? Mark asks all of these questions and only answers a few of them in this week's episode. Logo: Jessica Balaschak Musi ..read more
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That Time Designing Women Invented Drama
Shocking! Lurid! Tawdry! A History of American Scandals
by Kasey Howe & Mark Peikert
6M ago
Designing Women was hardly the first show to feature clashes between performers and producers (go read about All in the Family some time). But the very public war between creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and breakout star Delta Burke included Emmy nominations, fat shaming, and a secret Barbara Walters special that no one involved with Designing Women knew Delta had filmed until it aired. Dixie Carter got dragged into the fray along the way, while Annie Potts and Jean Smart wisely stayed out of it. Join us as Mark walks Kasey through the history of Designing Women, why Nacogdoches is a key par ..read more
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