American Scandal

American Scandal

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. New episodes come out every Tuesday for free, with 1-week early access for Wondery+ subscribers. Get all episodes - including exclusive seasons - ad-free on Wondery+ or on Amazon Music with a Prime membership or Amazon Music Unlimited subscription.

Episodes

September 18, 2018 36 min

A college dropout with no background in science turns himself into an expert on performance enhancing drugs. Soon he attracts some of the world’s best athletes—along with the attention of a determined federal agent.


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Track star Marion Jones gets caught in the middle of an Olympic steroid scandal and turns to Victor Conte for help. In baseball, Barry Bonds is fed up watching other players beat records and garner fame. He teams up with a trainer who sets him on a path that will have unexpected results.


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September 25, 2018 35 min

A syringe with a mysterious substance sets off a race to save the Olympics from a doping scandal. Backstabbing, recriminations and a dedicated team of investigators threaten to destroy everything Victor Conte has created. And agent Novitzky plants an undercover agent to try to bring down Barry Bonds.


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October 2, 2018 36 min

The raid on BALCO succeeds beyond Agent Novitzky’s wildest dreams. He gets all the evidence he needs to prove that some of the top athletes in the world have cheated their way to records and medals. But Barry Bonds isn’t going down without a fight and neither is Marion Jones. And when confidential testimony gets leaked to the press, all hell breaks loose.


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October 9, 2018 37 min

Victor Conte loses his battle when he’s sentenced to prison. Marion Jones’ carefully crafted defense threatens to collapse because of a bitter divorce. And agent Novitzky’s case hits some snags as Barry Bonds fights for his reputation. After investigating for eleven years at a cost of a hundred million dollars, can agent Novitzky claim victory? Or has Victor Conte won the war?


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Host Lindsay Graham talks with the journalists who broke the BALCO scandal and almost went to jail.   Mark Fainaru Wada and Lance Williams are the authors of “Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports.”


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In 2006 Eliot Spitzer is elected governor on a promise to tackle corruption in the most dysfunctional state capital in the country--Albany, NY. He is quickly challenged by one of the most powerful men in the state. Will the governor change Albany or will Albany change him?


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Troopergate explodes. Governor Spitzer finds himself embroiled in a scandal. Senator Bruno is investigated by the FBI.


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Governor Cuomo tries to stamp out corruption with an independent commission who deals with interference from unexpected places. Attorney Preet Bharara lasers in on the committee’s findings.


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Preet Bharara investigates Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos - the explosive trials and the aftermath.

You can read more about the Sheldon Silver trial here, and read about the Dean Skelos trial here.


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Host Lindsay Graham talks with Alex Gibney, director of “Client 9,” a documentary that examines the rise and fall of Eliot Spitzer.


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November 27, 2018 46 min

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. 


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December 4, 2018 40 min

Two of Reagan’s top priorities are in jeopardy: American hostages are still in the hands of terrorists in Iran, and the Contras are losing their fight against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. In early 1986, the two operations merge. In the middle of it all is Lieutenant Colonel Ollie North.

Links to books:

Firewall: The Iran-Contra Conspiracy and Cover-up by: Lawrence E. Walsh

Under Fire: An American Story by: Oliver L. North

Special Trus...

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December 11, 2018 41 min

When the story breaks that senior US 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. 

Links to books:

Firewall: The Iran-Contra Conspiracy and Cover-up - Lawrence E. Walsh

Under Fire: An American Story - Oliver L. North

Special Trust - Robert C. McFarlane

Iran-Contra: Reagan's Sc...

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December 18, 2018 42 min

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.


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December 25, 2018 43 min

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?


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January 1, 2019 43 min

How does the Iran Contra investigation compare to the Russia investigation today? We go behind the scenes with Michael Bromwich, a lawyer who worked on the Iran Contra case. He tells us what it’s like to delve into the dealings of America’s most powerful players.


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January 22, 2019 37 min

A supertanker carrying 53 million gallons of crude oil runs aground in Prince William Sound sparking the worst man-made ecological catastrophe in the country’s history at the time.  As Exxon struggles to get the cleanup underway, fishermen worry that this is the end of life as they know it

Links to recommended reading:

Not One Drop by Riki Ott

Out of the Channel by John Keeble

The Spill: Personal Stories from the Exxon Valdez Disaster

S...

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January 29, 2019 42 min

The fishermen find that damage from the spill is even worse than expected, while a winter storm destroys Exxon’s plans for a quick cleanup. Captain Hazelwood disappears.

Photos of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill


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February 5, 2019 41 min

After Captain Hazelwood’s arrest, Exxon tries to clean up its public image. President Bush tells Exxon to pick up the pace on the cleanup. Fisherman Riki Ott takes on Big Oil in the Alaska State Legislature.

Photos of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill


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