The Blotter Presents, Episode 115: Scam Goddess And Ghost Adventures

Plus: Excerpts from Catch and Kill

Your appreciation of Scam Goddess is predicated on your fondness for comedy pods. So say Sarah and The Blotter Presents guest Stephanie Early Green, who discuss the new con-focused podcast on this week’s episode. The show -- which, per host Laci Mosley (the titular “scam goddess”), is “dedicated to fraud and all those who practice it,” and features a weekly guest comedian off whom Mosley bounces various news items and tales.

The show dropped its first episode on September 30, in which Paul F. Tompkins and Mosley cover Anna Sorokin. Sarah and Stephanie were stunned to discover that Tompkins hadn’t heard about Sorokin, and after it was explained to him, he still didn’t seem to understand the case. I’ve been sitting here for like five minutes trying to think about another medium in which an ignorant guest would be entertaining -- like, can you imagine a panel discussion, or a televised roundtable, or any other sort of presentational format where a featured speaker wouldn’t bother to know their stuff before appearing -- or where what they’d have to say would be of value?

That said, ignorance might, in some cases, make for good comedic riffing, which is likely the goal here. That suggests that the podcast isn’t intended for audiences like us, which is fine. I know a couple readers have said in no uncertain terms that they disliked Scam Goddess, and we’d love to hear from anyone else who’s listened. Until then, you can check out Scam Goddess here, and listen to Sarah and Stephanie’s discussion of it here. -- EB

Did you really expect Sarah and Stephanie to praise Ghost Adventures: Serial Killer Spirits?!? I mean, come on, have you even met those folks? The Travel Channel show, which stars Zak Bagans and his merry crew of ghost adventurers, was quite predictably a source of ire for them both, with Sarah saying, “I mean where to fuggin' start, honestly,” regarding the limited series. For what it is, both agree, it’s…fine, but it’s not a serious option for any true-crime fans.

Having also watched the screeners, I do think it could be a solid drinking game or party backgrounder, as it can be quite hilarious (more hilarious than Scam Goddess? Perhaps! As intentionally as Scam Goddess? Unlikely!). Bagans’s self-important and deliberate delivery -- god, why does that guy irritate me so much? [“it’s at least partly the glasses” - SDB] -- also makes for fun impressions, if you have any amateur Rich Littles in your social group. In any case, the show (which premiered last Saturday) can be found here and Sarah and Stephanie’s conversation about it is here. -- EB

The New Yorker has just dropped the third installment in its three-part series of excerpts from Ronan Farrow’s new book. The book, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, doesn’t drop until October 15, but we’re already seeing bombshell reports from leaked copies. (For example: rape allegations against Matt Lauer by an NBC staffer, allegations which Lauer has since denied.) The New Yorker also ran lengthy excerpts on Monday, Tuesday and today, and they’re all kind of amazing -- definitely some of the best advance marketing you could imagine for the book, and a remarkable insight into how the sexual assault allegation journalism sausage is made.

If you’re a subscriber, you have access to all of them for free, and if you’re not, I think you get four articles from the mag a month for free. These would be a good use of that metered paywall.

  • Part one: “The Black Cube Chronicles: The Private Investigators”

  • Part two: “The Black Cube Chronicles: The Undercover Operative”

  • Part three: “The Black Cube Chronicles: The Double Agent”

Has anyone checked out The Godfather of Harlem yet? After its press push back in August, I hadn’t heard much more about the series, which is about Ellsworth Raymond Johnson, a “Lucky” Luciano associate, mob boss, and bookmaker who ended up doing time in Alcatraz. It apparently dropped on September 29 and is three episodes into an 10-episode run on Epix (episode three airs on October 13, but is available for streaming now). Reviews for the series have been lukewarm, with The Hollywood Reporter calling it “solid but familiar” and The New York Times saying that it “doesn’t consistently live up to its cast,” which includes those you see above, Vincent D'Onofrio, and Nigel Thatch (as Malcolm X). Have you given it a shot, and if so, what did you think? -- EB

The Irishman will be running on Broadway. No, there’s not, like, a musical adaptation of the Netflix mob drama (though that does sound amusing), this is an arguable attempt to generate buzz for the true-or-maybe-not-so-true crime tale. Deadline reports that the film will screen at the Shubert Organization’s Belasco Theatre for the entire month of November, “mimicking the standard Broadway schedule of eight performances per week (Tuesday through Sunday evenings, with matinees on Saturday and Sunday; as is traditional on Broadway, the theater will be dark on Mondays, with no screenings).” Tickets will be $15, and will go on sale next week -- or you can just wait and watch it in your own historic home theater as of November 27, when it drops on Netflix. -- EB

Thursday on Best Evidence: Journalists on She Said, and a new podcast detailing crime on the high seas.

What is this thing? This should help.

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