Sep 24, 2012

The Fact of the Matter

Getting a firm hold on the truth is never as simple as nailing down the facts of a situation. This hour, we go after a series of seemingly simple facts -- facts that offer surprising insight, facts that inspire deeply different stories, and facts that, in the end, might not matter at all.

We start with the story of Errol Morris' obsessive search for a straightforward answer about a photograph. He travels the globe to get to the bottom of things, and ends up with an odd peek into a slice of time 150 years ago. Then, one of the strangest stories to come out of the Cold War hinges on evidence that turns out to be deeply entangled with a little-reported tragedy, and a history-shaping accusation. And we end with a story about friendship, and a moving case for how truly knowing someone often requires seeing beyond the details.

Editor's Note: this episode, which was originally podcast on September 24th, 2012, was amended on October 5th, 2012.

Read More:

Robert responds to concerns about the "Yellow Rain" segment from this hour.

Jad offers more context on this segment.

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