Reveal
Reveal

Created by The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, Reveal is public radios first one-hour weekly radio show and podcast dedicated to investigative reporting. Credible, fact based and without a partisan agenda, Reveal combines the power and artistry of driveway moment storytelling with data-rich reporting on critically important issues. The result is stories that inform and inspire, arming our listeners with information to right injustices, hold the powerful accountable and improve lives.Reveal is hosted by Al Letson and showcases the award-winning work of CIR and newsrooms large and small across the nation. In a radio and podcast market crowded with choices, Reveal focuses on important and often surprising stories that illuminate the world for our listeners.

Airs on:
SAT 4pm-5pm
50:34

‘Traitors Get Shot’

On Jan. 6, 2021, Jackson Reffitt watched the Capitol riot play out on TV from his family home in Texas. His father, Guy, had a much closer view. He was in Washington, armed with a semiautomatic handgun, storming the building.  When Guy Reffitt returned home, Jackson secretly taped him and turned the recordings over to the FBI. His father bragged about what he did, saying: “I had every constitutional right to carry a weapon and take over the Congress.” Guy Reffitt was the first person to stand trial for his role in the riot, and the case has divided his family.  This week, Reveal features the story of the Reffitt family by partnering with the podcast Will Be Wild from Pineapple Street Studios, Wondery and Amazon Music. Hosted by Andrea Bernstein and Ilya Marritz, Will Be Wild’s eight-part series investigates the forces that led to the Jan. 6 insurrection and what comes next. Support Reveal’s journalism at Revealnews.org/donatenow Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the scoop on new episodes at Revealnews.org/newsletter Connect with us onTwitter,Facebook andInstagram
50:47

A Reckoning at Amazon

The past few years have brought profits and growth to Amazon, but it’s come at a cost to many workers. Amazon warehouse employees are injured on the job at a higher rate than at other companies, even as the company has claimed to prioritize safety. Host Al Letson speaks with Reveal’s Will Evans, who’s been reporting on injuries at Amazon for years. By gathering injury data and speaking with workers and whistleblowers, he has focused national attention on the company’s safety record, prompting regulators, lawmakers and the company itself to address the issue more closely. Then, we bring back a story by Reveal’s Jennifer Gollan that looks at the most common type of injury at Amazon and other workplaces and why the government chose not to try to prevent it. We end with a reprise of a story from reporter Laura Sydell about online reviews of products and businesses and how many of them are not what they seem. Support Reveal’s journalism at Revealnews.org/donatenow Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the scoop on new episodes at Revealnews.org/newsletter Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
50:35

Crossing the Line: The Fight Over Roe

As the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, Florida is a case study in what can happen in states where abortion is easy to access.  Florida is an unexpected safe haven for people seeking abortions in the South. The state has 55 abortion clinics – more than seven other Southeastern states combined. But Florida is also increasingly an abortion battleground. Reveal found that calls to police from Florida abortion clinics for disturbances, harassment and violence have doubled since 2016. Reporter Laura C. Morel spent months investigating the anti-abortion movement there and observed what it’s like to be an abortion provider in Jacksonville, where one particular clinic is under siege by a local anti-abortion group that has figured out a way to be near the clinic’s front door. Protesters rented a room in the same office park as A Woman’s Choice and now can legally, without trespassing, hold daily protests and even religious ceremonies on the private driveway that leads to the clinic. “As abortion providers, we should not have to be harassed going to work every day,” clinic owner Kelly Flynn told Morel. “I mean, no one's picketing the urologist that's doing vasectomies.”  For doctors who perform abortions, threats of violence are not new. In the 1980s and ’90s, anti-abortion extremists bombed and blockaded clinics and murdered doctors. We hear from David Gunn Jr., whose father performed abortions and was murdered by a fundamentalist Christian in Pensacola in 1993. His death led to the passage of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which makes it illegal to intimidate patients and staff at abortion clinics through force, threat of force or physical obstruction. But Morel found that this federal law, known as the FACE Act, does little to protect against the kind of harassment and intimidation providers face today. At A Woman’s Choice, only one person – a man who called in a bomb threat – has been prosecuted under the FACE Act.  What qualifies as “intimidation” varies by state. In California, it’s illegal to photograph patients and staff outside abortion clinics. But at A Woman’s Choice, protesters regularly photograph and film videos of patients, which staffers say makes them feel frazzled and afraid. If Roe v. Wade crumbles, abortion rights advocates warn that  this kind of anti-abortion activism will spread, especially in places where abortion will remain legal.
52:03

How a 7-Year Prison Sentence Turns Into Over 100

WBEZ reporter Shannon Heffernan brings us the story of Anthony Gay, who was sentenced to seven years in prison on a parole violation but ended up with 97 years added to his sentence. Gay lives with serious mental illness, and after time in solitary confinement, he began to act out. He was repeatedly charged with battery – often for throwing liquids, like urine, at staff.  Gay acknowledges he did some of those things but says the prison put him in circumstances that made his mental illness worse – then punished him for the way he acted. With help from Chicago-based lawyers, Gay appealed to the local state’s attorney. What happens when a self-described “law and order” prosecutor has to decide between prison-town politics and doing what he believes the law requires?  Finally, host Al Letson speaks with Ear Hustle co-creator and co-host Earlonne Woods about the power of local prosecutors, including an upcoming recall election in the San Francisco Bay Area, and a recent episode from the Ear Hustle podcast that tackles the complicated politics of prison towns. This episode is a partnership with the podcast Motive from WBEZ Chicago.  Support Reveal’s journalism at Revealnews.org/donatenow Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the scoop on new episodes at Revealnews.org/newsletter Connect with us onTwitter,Facebook andInstagram
51:08

My Neighbor, the Suspected War Criminal

This month, atrocities in Ukraine have triggered new allegations of war crimes. While people around the world call for accountability, we look into why those who are suspected of committing war crimes in the past often walk free. Reporter and host Ike Sriskandarajah spent the past six months investigating the U.S. government's failure to charge accused perpetrators of the worst crimes in the world. The federal government says it is pursuing leads and cases against nearly 1700 alleged human rights violators and war criminals. Victims of international atrocities sometimes even describe running into them at their local coffee shop or in line at Walgreens.   After the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, families seeking accountability for state-sanctioned violence filed a suit against a man they say is a war criminal. A private eye was tasked with hunting down Gotabaya Rajapaksa (better known as Gota), Sri Lanka’s defense minister. The P.I. found the alleged war criminal in Southern California, shopping at Trader Joe’s.  At the close of World War II, dozens of former Nazi leaders came to the United States. After decades of inaction, in 1979, President Jimmy Carter created a special unit within the Department of Justice dedicated to hunting down Nazi war criminals.  Decades after passing the first substantive human rights statutes that make it possible to prosecute war criminals for crimes like torture and genocide, the U.S. has successfully prosecuted only one person under the laws. Sriskandrajah talks to experts about why prosecutors often take an “Al Capone” strategy to going after war criminals, pursuing them on lesser charges like immigration violations rather than human rights abuses.  With little action from the government to prosecute war criminals, victims of violence are instead using civil lawsuits to try to seek accountability. Lawyers at the Center for Justice & Accountability have brought two dozen cases against alleged war criminals and human rights violators – and never lost at trial. But when the lawyers share their evidence with the federal government, it often feels like the information disappears into a black box. Support Reveal’s journalism at Revealnews.org/donatenow  Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the scoop on new episodes at revealnews.org/weekly Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
50:45

Handcuffed and Unhoused

Up and down the West Coast, cities are struggling with homelessness. Here's a hidden side: arrests. In Portland, Oregon, unhoused people made up at most 2% of the population in recent years, but over the same time, they accounted for nearly half of all arrests. Cities have long turned to police as the answer to make homelessness disappear. But arrests often lead back to the streets – or worse.  Reveal looked at six major West Coast cities and found that people living on the streets are consistently more likely to be arrested than their neighbors who live in houses. And places including Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles are grappling with a major court decision. In 2019, the Supreme Court let a ruling stand that says it's cruel and unusual punishment to arrest people who are sleeping or camping in public places if there is no shelter available for them. In Portland, the city is building what it calls "villages" where people who are unhoused can stay temporarily. But there is pushback from residents who don’t want a shelter in their neighborhood, and do expect police to be part of the response to homelessness. Reporter Melissa Lewis tells the story of all these intersecting parts.   She follows one man’s journey through the criminal justice system as he tries to disentangle himself from arrest warrants that keep accumulating. She talks with locals who are trying to build trust and connection with their houseless neighbors and others who are tired of seeing tents and call the police for help. And we learn the commitment that it takes to move off the street, one person at a time.   This is an update of an episode that first aired in December 2021. Support Reveal’s journalism at Revealnews.org/donatenow  Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the scoop on new episodes at Revealnews.org/newsletter Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
50:23

Losing Ground

In 2021, the Biden administration approved $4 billion in loan forgiveness for Black farmers and other farmers of color, as part of the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package. The aid was supposed to make up for decades of discrimination. However, White farmers have sued, and that aid has yet to be paid out as the issue makes it way through the courts.  Eddie Wise is one farmer who claimed to face discrimination. He was the son of a sharecropper. In 1996, he and his wife, Dorothy, bought a farm with a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Twenty years later, the USDA foreclosed on the property and evicted him.  John Biewen of “Scene on Radio” teamed up with Reveal to investigate Wise’s claim of race-based discrimination. Wise’s story is one piece of the puzzle explaining how Black families went from owning nearly a million farms in 1920 to now fewer than 36,000. This episode was originally broadcast in July 2017.  Support Reveal’s journalism at Revealnews.org/donatenow Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the scoop on new episodes at Revealnews.org/newsletter Connect with us onTwitter, Facebook and Instagram
48:59

Campaigning on the Big Lie

More than a year after the 2020 election, roughly a third of Americans continue to believe, without evidence, that the results of the election were illegitimate. And now, GOP candidates are tapping into the “Big Lie,” campaigning for office on the promise to change how future elections are run. There was no meaningful election fraud in Michigan in 2020. But some local election officials who voted to certify the election have paid a price. Reporter Trey Bundy tells the story of Wayne County official Monica Palmer, a Republican who was kicked off the local canvassing board after certifying the election. And she’s just one of many: Republicans have now placed new election officials on boards in eight of Michigan’s largest counties. At least half of them have cast doubt on the integrity of the 2020 election. Finally, looking to the future, Republicans in Michigan are making it harder to vote. Since the 2020 election, the Michigan Senate, led by Republicans, has introduced nearly 40 bills to change its election laws, all of which propose new barriers to voting. Guest host Shereen Marisol Meraji talks with Branden Snyder, co-executive director of Detroit Action, a local activist group that organizes working-class Detroiters, about how his group is mobilizing against efforts to undermine the vote. Support Reveal’s journalism at Revealnews.org/donatenow  Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the scoop on new episodes at Revealnews.org/newsletter Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram