Low Key


Episode 22: Liam Neeson's Confession and What We Can Learn From It

Season 1, Ep. 22

Liam Neeson admits that for a time, he walked the streets looking for an excuse to kill a random black man because of his anger over a friend's rape. On this episode, we talk about the deep history of insidious and deadly lies that fed his mindset, and what we can all learn from his admission.

We go from Neeson to Trayvon Martin to Jussie Smollet to why growing up on an island that's 96 percent white might make you susceptible to some backward views on race. And we also talk about some of the ways the media coverage of Neeson's admission could have been better.

Just when we're about to sign off, we instead go into a deep dive about the long, long history of white people using accusations of aggression by one black man to justify horrific behavior against large numbers of African-Americans. If this subject interests you, we'd recommend reading up on Rosewood, Florida and the Scotsboro case, to start.

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Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado

Season 1, Ep. 70
In this episode we explore Netflix's Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado, about a Puerto Rican TV astrologer who rose from humble beginnings to become a sequin-caped inspiration to millions.With his distinctive look, aura of mystery — especially about his sexuality — and ability to blend many religious beliefs into a medley of optimism, Walter Mercado gave hope to the hopeless — until an ugly legal dispute yanked him from the air and cost him control of his own carefully cultivated image.:45: Our late-night infomercial memories3:00: Is the Michael Jordan-approved The Last Dance real journalism? Is Walter Mercado getting the Michael Jordan treatment?5:45: "Celebrities nowadays are derivatives of celebrities back in the day."5:50: How Walter Mercado was like Michael Jackson and Prince7:05: About that psychic phone line...7:50: How is Walter Mercado different from a televangelist?8:50: "You just can't swindle a swindler"10:00: Let's talk about Walter Mercado and his manager's relationship11:45: Zodiac signs12:40: "What's the difference between a Walter Mercado and a Tony Robbins?"15:00: Tim has the same religious beliefs as Walter Mercado: "No one has a monopoly on God"18:00: "He had a much better life than most people have"24:00: A Billy Dee Williams story (and here's the background on the gender-fluid story)27:00: Another excellent famous-person story30:55: "The only person I ever saw solve racism was Prince"31:50: "Netflix, again, coming through on the diversity point before it was fucking cool. ... They've been on this train."33:15: Netflix's $120 million donation to HCBUs36:00: "I have an appreciation for any man that dresses up like a wizard"Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado is now streaming on Netflix.