November 26, 2014

"Do you think you’re taking a big risk by making this show without knowing for sure..."

"... whether Adnan Syed, the man convicted of killing his former high-school girlfriend in 1999, is guilty?"

"I’m not being fake-naïve or something, but I really don’t — the end was never the thing of it for me. It does not keep me up at night."

Sarah Koenig takes questions about her ultra-popular podcast "Serial" (which I've started listening to).

AND: Rereading the question, I assume it's no risk at all but that the energy comes from actually not knowing. This is hours and hours of peeling the layers away. Why expect us to watch you peel if we know where you are going?

18 comments:

Lyssa said...

I've been thinking about checking this one out after having seen the attention that it's getting, but, to be honest, I'm concerned about getting emotionally manipulated. At some point, I know that a storyteller has to make a decision between telling the absolute whole truth and the most compelling version, and, given that people are finding this so gripping, I'm concerned that they have veered towards the latter. I don't want to start feeling a connection to this case if I'm not sure whether or not it is fact-based. It does sound interesting, though.

Brent said...

This is a great series. I have been delighted to discover so many other people listening to it, because I thought maybe I was onto something not many people knew about.

The one thing that struck me early on is that Sarah seems to be too taken by Adnan's charisma. She giggles when she speaks with him and seems so hurt when he says they don't know each other. It makes me question her ability to report objectively, which seems to bear out when she gives him the benefit of the doubt too easily.

But in any case, it is very entertaining. I believe Adnan is guilty from the episodes that have been released so far, but also think there is more to the story than Jay has admitted.

mccullough said...

Nice to make money from someone's murder. Very entertaining. Give us True Crime every time.

Brent said...

"Nice to make money from someone's murder. Very entertaining."

I don't see how it is wrong to report facts and make money in the process. Do you avoid most news reports too, unless they involve someone find a lost puppy?

mccullough said...

Brent,

I read news. What is newsworthy about a 15-year-old murder?

Original Mike said...

"Do you think you’re taking a big risk by making this show without knowing for sure..."

"You know, boss, the same thing happened to Geraldo, and his career never recovered."

Ann Althouse said...

I'm still in the first episode, and I've not yet deviated from the belief that the man is guilty. Hearing him speak, I thought he was lying.

But apparently his good looking and has amazing eyes. This is radio!

Brent said...

"I read news. What is newsworthy about a 15-year-old murder?"

Because it is current, is is more ethical to make money off of entertaining people with reports of murder or other unfortunate events?

If you give the series a try, it is raising legitimate questions about whether justice was served in the 15 year old case. I think that is a worthy endeavor for a news reporter, regardless of how old the case is.

Brent said...

"Hearing him speak, I thought he was lying."

I sometimes think women have a better knack for detecting B.S. My wife is much better at it than I am. I tend to hear one side and believe it, then the other side and believe it too. I am too trusting. I am constantly trying to improve my B.S. meter, since it is a valuable tool for an in-house attorney.

Original Mike said...

"I sometimes think women have a better knack for detecting B.S."

/nsert gratuitous Obama dig here/

Ann Althouse said...

"I sometimes think women have a better knack for detecting B.S."

I'm not all women... and I'm only on audio here. Maybe if I saw the big eyes, I'd be duped.

Pat said...

I was a little disappointed reading the notes after listening to the first episode. She makes such a big deal out of finding the alibi witness. They check on the security tapes--no luck, the tapes were videotapes and erased weekly. They check on the sign-in sheets for the library computers--just pieces of paper that are thrown out at the end of the day.

What they don't check is the corroborating detail that the witness mentioned--that it was snowing that day--until six weeks after airing the first episode. Guess what? No snow. So the alibi witness turns out to be useless.

Brent said...

"I'm not all women"

True, and I have contradicted myself. Earlier I say Sarah is taken by his charisma, and then I say women are better at detecting B.S. Are women better at detecting B.S., except when charisma is involved? It probably isn't a gender thing at all. Just an individualized thing.

Brent said...

At least in one study, it appears gender played a different role than I suspected. Men and women are both bad at detecting lies in men, but better at detecting lies in women.

http://scholarlyrepository.miami.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1260&context=oa_theses

The Cracker Emcee said...

"I sometimes think women have a better knack for detecting B.S."

I was genuinely surprised to read that. Everything I've seen in life strongly suggests the opposite is true.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I am adoring Serial, all caught up, and I think Jay's story is completely, obviously, utterly bullshit.

Revenant said...

Because it is current, is is more ethical to make money off of entertaining people with reports of murder or other unfortunate events?

Yes.

Kovacs said...

How could Jay's story obviously be utter bullshit when he gave the police at least one specific thing they didn't already know: the location of Hae's car? Doesn't that indicate that he must have had some direct involvement in the murder?