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Liar City

Everybody lies. Some are terrible at it, some do it frighteningly well. Sooner or later, most of us get caught. This is the story of the lies we tell, and what happens when they crumble. This is Liar City.
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Aug 18, 2015

This week, Liar City takes on a couple of legendary frivolous lawsuits -- Stella Liebeck v. McDonald's and David Geffen v. Neil Young. 

 

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Jul 20, 2015

Listen as Liar City celebrates an arbitrary anniversary with a very special episode. From Janet Cooke's perky prose to Jimmy Gronen's magnets, the 25th edition of Liar City is chock full of lies. 

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Jun 26, 2015

Few things in life are as timeless as the music of The Beach Boys. They had a magical combination of soaring harmonies and an unepected level of technical sophistication coupled with the constantly-evolving talents of their once-undisputed leader Brian Wilson. 

What happened to Wilson when the pressure got to be too much is what we're talking about this week. 

 

Jun 18, 2015

This week, we'll tackle a true rags to riches story: Charles Ponzi. While his specific exploits are a lot less remembered than his name, his plucky, can-do attitude in the face of overhwhelming odds gave inspiration to dozens of upstarts with names like Bernie Madoff, Nicholas Cosmo, and Charles Keating. 

 

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Jun 5, 2015

The case of the West Memphis Three might be the last gasp of the satanic panic that gripped America a couple decades ago. A horrible crime against three innocent boys, with teenagers dressed in black the only suspects in sight, the story reads like a John Grisham novel. 

Will we ever know the truth of it? 

 

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May 19, 2015

This week, rather than talk about deflated footballs, we take a stroll down memory lane and discuss the weird ending that GoodFellas should've had: The fallout from the 1978-1979 Boston College points shaving scandal. 

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May 4, 2015

Madison Square Garden was packed to capacity on the night of June 16th, 1983. Everyone was expecting a good fight, but nobody was all that excited about the undercard -- a fight between two welterweight fighters that nobody had ever heard of. 

Pretty quickly, that changed. Billy Collins and Luis Resto have had their names etched into history, but for all the wrong reasons. 

 

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Apr 24, 2015

Brian and Bren explain their unexpected absence last week, then explain why Andrew Wakefield and Jenny McCarthy are dangerously insane human beings. 

Apr 10, 2015

Jonestown, Guyana. A 3,500 acre commune in the middle of a jungle, was supposed to be a socialist paradise on earth for Jim Jones and his many followers. Instead, it became a metaphor for all the reasons why you should never put your life in someone else's hands. 

Join us as we detail the history of The People's Temple, Jim Jones, and Leo Ryan -- the congressman who came to South America for answers, but found something much, much worse waiting for him. 

Apr 3, 2015

This week, we talk about two books: one a memoir, one a diary, both of them total bullshit. 

Join us as we discuss the origins of, and the fallout from, two of the most ridiculous pieces of "non-fiction" ever published. 

 

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Mar 27, 2015

"What is true is what is true for you," L. Ron Hubbard was fond of saying.Wise words from a dangerously insane human being.

Join us as we tell the tale of Scientology's humble beginnings, its dramatic growth spurt, and the horrible things the group has done in their quest to 'clear the planet.'

Mar 20, 2015

Little Marjoe Gortner was probably the weirdest child prodigy the world has ever known. An ordained minister by the age of 4, his talent for preaching the gospel was remarkbale.

This week, we'll talk about what happened when Marjoe grew up, grew a conscience, and decided to blow it all up. 

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Mar 13, 2015

From the early 70s until the early 80s, there was only one man you thought of when you thought of adult cinema: John Holmes. As the smooth-talking detective Johnny Wadd, he thrilled audiences with semi-competent acting and incredibly competent sex scenes. His story didn't end when the camera shut off -- that's really where it started. It's a story so full of sex, drugs, murder, and lies that it almost seems like a badly written movie. 

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Mar 6, 2015

This week, we dive deep into the history of computer hacking, taking a closer look at the story of Kevin Mitnick, a.k.a. The Condor, at one time the most wanted cyber-criminal in the world. 

Listen to the story of toy whistles, blue boxes, and a scared, overzealous government, struggling to figure out what punishment might fit a new kind of crime. 

Feb 24, 2015

The legend of John DeLorean is just that: a legend. His reputation, once impeccable, was destroyed by a well-publicized arrest for cocaine trafficking. 

It’s a great story, and a familiar arc: a rich, accomplished man brought down by his own hubris and greed. The fact that it's not remotely true never really seems to come up. 

This week, we'll ressurect the legend, and piece together the remarkable story of John DeLorean, and the iconic car that bears his name. 

 

 

Feb 13, 2015

It's hard to judge Lance Armstrong. While he's certainly a man who defied horrific odds to reach the absolute pinnacle of success, there is now zero doubt that he was also a cheater, a liar, and a bully. 

Can we blame him? Should we hold athletes to higher standards than we hold, say, rock stars? Let's talk about it. 

Feb 3, 2015

Once the Satanic Panic of the early 1980s really sets in, a group of daycare workers in Manhattan Beach, California, become the most hated people in America.

The fact that the allegations were absurd -- secret tunnels, beheadings, toilet bowl passageways -- didn't matter to a world obsessed with protecting its children. 

 

 

Jan 20, 2015

Which image comes into your mind when you think of Howard Hughes? Famous aviator? American playboy? Batshit crazy person? 

All of those things are kind of true. This week's story, however, is about one of the many untrue things surrounding Howard Hughes -- Clifford Irving's "autobiography" of him. 

Jan 12, 2015

Before 1972, women weren't even officially allowed to participate in the Boston Marathon, but by 1980, a woman named Rosie Ruiz would become the most famous runner in its history. Sadly, it was for all the wrong reasons.

 

 

Jan 6, 2015

If you've ever stayed up so late on Saturday night that it turned into Sunday morning, you may have seen this week's subject at work. Robert Tilton, king of the 'prosperity gospel', was one of the most shameless, shameful preachers to ever work a crowd. 

This week, we dive into his inspirations, his history, and what he's up to today. 

Jan 1, 2015

While there's no question that Dr. Oz promotes some wacky products on his show, he's certainly not the first person to turn the public's trust into a cash machine. 

This week, we'll talk about a literal snake oil salesman -- the shifty-eyed, razzle-dazzle pitchman behind Stanley Clark's Snake Oil Liniment, and Senator Dudley Leblanc -- mastermind of Hadacol, and, of course, the magical Dr. Oz himself. 

Dec 28, 2014

 This week, we go back to the 1980's to talk about one of the weirdest and saddest episodes in American history: the satanic panic. 

 

 

Dec 20, 2014

So, where were you on October 15, 2009? A big chunk of the world spent a lot of that day glued to their television sets. That’s the day that the ‘Balloon Boy’ story took flight. A watershed moment in American journalism for all the wrong reasons, what happens next is what we’re talking about this week.

Dec 18, 2014

In this episode, we discuss the origins of Santa Claus -- the cheeriest lie ever told. Don't listen to it with kids in the room (unless you want to break their hearts / turn them into Odin-worshipping Pagans.) 

Dec 12, 2014

In this episode, we discuss the origins of (and fallout from) one of the most notorious musical scandals of the 20th century, Milli Vanilli. 

 

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