June 3, 2011

Old Boys Network

Stories about standing up to the man—or, really, the men. Nurses at a small Texas hospital report a well-connected doctor for dangerous medical practices, and find themselves under arrest. Plus...how political operators in Chicago get to be judges.


Host Ira Glass speaks with former FBI agent Bill Tobin about police collusion with organized crime in 1970s Chicago. It turns out that old boys networks like the mob pull in good and bad cops alike. (5 minutes)
Act One

Messing with the Bull

In a small west Texas town called Kermit, two nurses were accused of harassment after they complained to the medical board that a doctor was putting patients in danger. The nurses were fired and then arrested, facing ten years in prison. Reporter Saul Elbein found that a group of powerful men in Kermit went to extreme and sometimes ridiculous lengths to try to bring down these nurses. Saul wrote a version of this story for the Texas Observer. (28 1/2 minutes)

Act Two

Donkey See, Donkey Do

In this act: judge wannabes working with the old boys network. Ira talks with Chicago Sun-Times political reporter Abdon Pallasch, who since 1996 has covered the meeting where the Chicago political machine decides who it'll put on the ballot to become a judge.