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That Jewish News Show: Talking ‘Traffic’ with Ben Smith, the Pittsburgh trial and more

On this episode ‘That Jewish News Show,’ Laura and Benyamin are joined by Ben Smith to discuss ‘Traffic’ and the future of media

That Jewish News Show

“Talking Traffic with Ben Smith”
April 27, 2023

On the April 27, 2023, episode of That Jewish News Show, Laura E. Adkins and Benyamin Cohen of the Forward discuss the antisemitic 2018 shooting at Tree of Life, Jewish views on the death penalty, and what the trial of the perpetrator of the deadliest mass shooting in American Jewish history means for the Jewish community in Pittsburgh and beyond. They were joined by Ben Smith, currently of Semafor and formerly at Buzzfeed, Politico, The New York Times and even the Forward, to discuss his new book Traffic and the future of journalism.

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That Jewish News Show is hosted and produced by Laura E. Adkins and Benyamin Cohen of the Forward. Additional help this week came from Nora Berman, Matthew Litman and Jake Wasserman. Our theme music is by The Fly Guy Five.

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Referenced articles, books and music

The Tree of Life Trial, Pittsburgh Jews and the death penalty: 

Letter: “Most families of Pittsburgh synagogue victims support the death penalty for the shooter” in the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle 

The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting Could Have Destroyed My Family — but Jewish Tradition Rejects the Death Penalty” by Beth Kissileff in The New York Times

Benyamin’s interview with a Tree of Life shooting survivor, Postcard from Pittsburgh, on the 4th anniversary of Tree of Life massacre” in the Forward

Main interview:

Ben Smith’s new book, Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race to Go Viral, out on May 2

Recommendations: 

• “A Person is a Person” (אדם הוא אדם) by Benaia Barabi (בניה ברבי)

Music video and lyrics + English translation

A Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan’s Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them” by Timothy Egan 

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