The historic audio collaboration between Nonso Christian Ugbode, Lerone D. Wilson, and Robert Thompson began in 2008 as the Blackline Podcast, a humorous take on politics and race largely in relation to the 2008 presidential election. The show evolved to include guest panelists (mostly journalists) and, later on, interviews. In Season 3 the format evolved to include satirical ads and fictitious characters voiced by the hosts. Goofy specials such as the 2012 Black History Month Special in which the trio magically does the show during various points in black history, a Halloween Special co-hosted by the Devil, and the “live” 50th episode spectacular recorded at the Bill Bojangles Robinson Theater in Harlem, marked the season as the hallmark season of Blackline. Having perfected the format, the trio chose to tear it all down and start from scratch during the 4th and 5th seasons in which Blackline rebranded as (Mostly) Public Radio, an audio stream which existed solely to parody and satirize National Public Radio (NPR).

[Fun listening game: Count the number of ways Lerone Wilson pronounces “Ugbode”]

MPR (2012-2013)

News Summary for the Week of 7/8/13
Headlines from the week in news (anchored by Nonso Christian Ugbode).

News Summary for the Week of 6/24/13
Headlines from the week in news (anchored by Nonso Christian Ugbode).

The Best of MPR
A Collection of some of our favorite stories from MPR.

The Best of MPR
A Collection of some of our favorite stories from MPR.

(Most) Things Considered – Week of 7/1/13
Headline Story: Minute Mens Pride Patrol Takes to the Streets

(Most) Things Considered – Week of 6/17/13
Headline Story: Angelina Jolie Donates Breasts to Disadvantaged Ethiopian Girl

(Most) Things Considered – Week of 6/3/13
Headline Story: Cats Protest Meme Status at Google

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This (Whatever) Life – MPR Pilot

 

The Blackline Podcast (2008-2012)

Season 3

#341
A Blackline Rewind: (Hosted by Lerone Wilson)

  • Blackline’s night at the movies. We review Game Change.
  • Kanye West hosts a presidential debate.
  • Obama declares his support for marriage equality.

#340
A Blackline Rewind: the team’s favorite political ads/skits (Hosted by Nonso Christian Ugbode and Rob Thompson)

#339
A Blackline Rewind: (Hosted by Rob Thompson)

  • The Secret Service needs protection.
  • The Osama bin Laden assasination as a campaign tactic.
  • The youth and marijuana.

#338
A Blackline Rewind: (Hosted by Nonso Christian Ugbode)

  • The Blackline Magazine launch
  • Faith healers and parenting
  • Google Wars

#337
Everyone’s talking about Bain Capital, so we will too. Plus, is Facebook a good investment?And, special guest artist Antonio McAfee.

#336
Should you be convicted of murder if you send your child to a faith healer instead of a doctor? Plus, should UFO transparency be a military priority? And, we talk to special guest Dirk Dirk Vander Ploeg of UFO Digest.

#335
Barack Obama anounces his support for gay marriage. Plus, is there really a war on women? And, our new game: Google Wars.

#334
How awesome is the Blackline Magazine? Plus, is the assassination of Osama bin Laden a fair campaign issue? And, why do young people care so much about marijuana?

#333
A Blackline Rewind:

  • Obama’s Chicken and Pizza
  • Rob’s magical African time-traveling gourd transports the team into slave times
  • Chicken should bring us together
  • Cat fight!

#332
How many “That’s what she said” jokes can we make about the Secret Service now? Plus, who’s the bigger dog lover: Mitt Romney or Barack Obama? And, does money buy elections? [Bonus: a discussion on how exactly to pronounce “Ugbode”]

#331
The National Review has problems with race, and yes, water is still wet. Plus, with student loan debt and unemployment rising, is our generation doomed? And, Rob Reads The News. [Bonus: a discussion on how exactly to pronounce “Ugbode”]

#330
The Blackline Chicken Special: Keith Olberman gets fried by Current TV. Plus, why did Burger King pull Mary J. Blige’s recent chicken add? And, with the Republican primaries over, is Romney roasted or is Obama baked?

#329
In the wake of Herman Cain’s new ad, is not winning an election a better career choice than actually winning? Plus, does the outcry surrounding the casting of The Hunger Games prove we are moving toward a less-racial society, or how racial we really are? And, are we on the cusp of a social media bubble?

#328
We play armchair police officer. Plus, should Barack Obama apologize for Robert De Niro’s First Lady joke? And, what’s the future of the Oprah Winfrey Network? Special guest/Program note: There’s a guy sleeping on the studio’s couch.

#327
Are protestors like George Clooney heroes or slacktivists? Plus, we’re at the movies with HBO’s Game Change. And, back by popular demand, another cat fight. Cat fight special guest: Billie Ugbode.

#326
With Olympia Snowe leaving the Senate, is there still room in the center? Plus, Rob Reads The News. And, our new segment: Ask A Black Person. Special Guest: Jennifer Prince, Blackline Copy Editor/White Correspondent

#325
Rush Limbaugh says something offensive. Plus, should we mourn the death of Andrew Breitbart? And, is Barack Obama a top-four president?

#324
Rick Santorum goes full Christian. Plus, Denzel Washington lashes out against Twilight. And, Barack Obama: Christian? Not Christian? Or who cares?

#323
Whitney Houston: Great or greatest? Plus, in the wake of Jeremy Lin’s success, are we officially post-Asian? And, get ready for a cat fight! Cat fight special guest: Nicholas Ugbode, the Public Relations Manager of Blackline.

#322
Who needs Black History Month? Plus, we talk about Mitt Romney vs. Rick Santorum. And, we weigh in on Barack Obama and the contraception debate. Rob Thompson didn’t show up tonight. Maybe next week you’ll hear the excuse.

#321
Another Blackline Rewind! (Hosted by Lerone Wilson)

  • The team discusses why black people don’t like Halloween with the devil himself.
  • Who hacked the Blackline website?
  • Rick Perry’s ranch is named “Niggerhead”

#320
Another Blackline Rewind! (Hosted by Nonso Christian Ugbode)

  • Maya Angelou hosts a black-off challenge between Herman Cain and Barack Obama.
  • Lucifer discusses Hillary’s resurgence with the Blackline team.
  • Patti LaBelle throws water at a child.
  • A collection of skits from Season 3 and previous seasons: A “slick” oil industry rebranding campaign; an “urban” Barack Obama campaign ad; and “Something is happening”

#319
Another Blackline Rewind! (Hosted by Robert Thompson)

  • What’s so great about Steve Jobs?
  • Is corporal punishment ever justified?
  • An interview with Detroit musical guests: The Anonymous

#318
The Blackline team discusses the Forbes piece by Gene Marks called “If I Were a Poor Black Kid.” Plus, Rob Reads The News 2.0. And, in celebration of the Christmas episode, Rob interviews a black mall Santa.

#317
The 50th Episode Spectacular, “Live” from the Historic Bill Bojangles Robinson Theater in Harlem!

#316
Herman Cain drops out of the race. Plus, is it time to give up on Black Friday? And, can HIV be cured by religion?

#315
Patti LaBelle throws a temper tantrum. Plus, Rob reads the news. And, filmmaker Hena Ashraf joins us to talk about Occupy Wall Street.

#314
Who had a tougher week: Herman Cain or Rick Perry? Plus, who should be Time‘s Person of the Year? And, is the NBA racist?

#313
Should Arkansas family court judge William Adams be prosecuted for beating his 16-year-old daughter? Plus, did race play a factor in the Herman Cain accusations? And, we speak with regular Blackline guests to figure out who hacked our website.

#312
The Blackline Halloween Special: Hillary Clinton is back from the dead. Plus, Nicki Minaj and Charlie Sheen top this year’s costume lists. And, why don’t black people care about Halloween? Special guest: Lucifer

#311
Barack Obama “Obamanates” the Middle East. Plus, is Pat Buchanan right? Are we facing the end of white America? And, we’re joined by musical guest: The Anonymous.

#310
What will be the legacy of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs? Plus, have TSA searches gone too far? And, Kanye West makes a surprise visit to Occupy Wall Street.

#309
The GOP candidate roundup. Plus, we take a trip to “Niggerhead.” And, we’re talking to Racialicious’s editor LaToya Peterson about writing on race.

#308
Does the NYPD hate hippies as much as black people? Plus, according to a new study, more than half of US states fail in teaching the Civil Rights Movement. And, why is the liberal media so terrible?

#307
Another Blackline Rewind: This time, it’s a clip show!

      • Study: the Tea Party is racist
      • Soulja Boy has a harsh lesson for the troops in a new song
      • Al Gore’s comparison between global warming and civil rights

#306
How should 9/11 anniversaries be observed? Plus, all the gay stories you could ever ask for. And, filmmaker Angela Tucker joins us to talk about her recent series, Black Folk Don’t.

#305
Did President Obama solve the unemployment crisis in his speech Thursday night? Plus, is Al Gore’s comparison between global warming and civil rights fair? And, Sarah Palin made her first policy speech. Is she flirting with a 2012 run?

#304
With the US Postal Service in financial trouble again, how necessary is the post office in the 21st Century? Plus, did comedian Katt Williams go a little too far in a recent comedy set? And, rapper Soulja Boy has a harsh lesson for the troops in a new song.

#303
Are black people tired of defending Barack Obama? Plus, what is the big deal about James Franco? And, is a recent print ad for Nivea cosmetics racist?

#302
Rick Perry threatens the life of the Federal Reserve chairman. Plus, a new study confirms that the Tea Party is racist. And, is the black church still radical?

#301
The Blackline team explains their long break from podcasting. Also, in the two years’ recess between podcasts, how has President Barack Obama lived up to expectations?

Season 2

#208
Has Barack Obama merchandise gone too far? Plus, we talk about our favorite campaign moments from the 2008 presidential race. And, one more time: PREDICTIONS! [Bonus: a discussion on how exactly to pronounce “Ugbode”]

#207
Ten years later, and another OJ verdict. Plus, Barack Obama is Times Person of the Year. And, Jesse Jackson Jr.: What’s going on?

#206
President Bush moves to an all-white neighborhood. Plus, will the next congress include a black senator? And, say hello to Blackbird, the world’s first African-American web browser.

#205
Giant’s wide receiver Plaxico Burress shoots himself in the foot. No, really, he shot himself in the thigh, but it’s just as funny. Plus, a man is killed by Black Friday shoppers. Is it time to give up shopping altogether? And, say hello to new Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

#204
Barack Obamaaaaaaaaaaa!

#203
PREDICTIONS! What will a post-November 4th America look like? Plus, what’s in store for the political futures of the losing candidates? And, we talk numbers: A John McCain miracle or a Barack Obama landslide?

#202
Crazy lady Ashley Todd proves to be yet anaother embarrassment to the McCain campaign. Plus, the $150,000 wardrobe: How will Sarah Palin’s big-city wardrobe conflict with her small-town values? And, Colin Powell gives Barack Obama the endorsement of a lifetime… because he’s black.

#201
It’s Palin time! We give our view on McCain’s surprise VP pick. Plus, ad wars. How low will the McCain campaign go? And, The View goes legit. Did Barbara Walters slash the tires on the Straight-Talk Express?

Season 1

#124
Blackline Rewind: a series of news stories, interviews, and some of our best segments from the Blackline podcast.

      • “Black Banks: Is There A Need?” Rob Thompson brings us a story on black banking on the occasion of the first anniversary of the death of William Hudgins, founder of Carver Bank.
      • Lerone Wilson interviews Francis Rice, chairperson of the National Association of Black Republicans on the question of if racial identity trumps political affiliations.
      • Finally, a Blackline Rewind conversation from episode #108 with Dave Mayers: the Blackline editors discuss members of the Congressional Black Caucus leaving the Clinton camp and jumping on the “O Train.”

#123
Who’s the real flip-flopper on campaign finance: Barack Obama or John McCain? Plus, is Michelle Obama’s image makeover working? And, get ready for a nap. We’re talking John McCain. Nonso Christian Ugbode is in the jungles of Africa. Special guest: Adam Serwer.

#122
What does Tim Russert’s death mean to the world of journalism? Plus, Barack Obama takes absent fathers to task. And, an Illinois city seeks to cap the number of black barbershops. Nonso Christian Ugbode is on a safari. Special guest: Blackline copy editor Jennifer Prince

#121
We’ll give the so-called Clinton-Obama dream ticket one last thought. Plus, is John McCain right about saying that bringing the troops home from Iraq isn’t too important_ And, filmmaker Spike Lee is back, or at least his mouth is. Both Nonso Christian Ugbode and Rob Thompson are out this week. Special guests: John Dorman and Martina Guzmán.

#120
Barack Obama finally ties up the Democratic nomination. Plus, the New York Times reports that Hillary Clinton will officially suspend her campaign on Friday. Is this another trick? And, we’ll break down all the speeches from last night’s primaries. Nonso Christian Ugbode is on a temporary leave of absence. Special guest: Ndoni Khanyile

#119
In light of her recent Robert Kennedy remarks, is it time for Hillary Clinton to drop out of the race? Plus, the vice presidential search begins for the presidential candidates. And, is Oprah Winfrey losing relevance?

#118
Newsflash: Barack Obama is a Christian, or so his mailer says. Plus, was Mike Huckabee’s assasination joke funny or scary? And, has Chris Matthews finally gone crazy? Special guest: Mohammad Al-Kassim

#117
Clinton and Obama take it negative. Plus, who is the most elitist candidate? And, we explain Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s nuclear options. Will this race end in a ball of flames?

#116
Was the Sean Bell shooting racially motivated or simply a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Plus, is Wesley Snipes a hero or a zero? And, Barack Obama finds himself in hot water once again. Guess who’s back?

#115
We have our take on the final Obama vs. Clinton debate. Plus, why are historically black colleges having fundraising troubles? And, can Barack Obama pull off a win in Pennsylvania? We have predictions. Special guest: John Dorman.

#114
Is Hillary Clinton bitter about Barack Obama’s bitter comments? Plus, this just in: Hillary Clinton loves guns and whisky, apparently. And, the merits of the prosperity gospel. Is God watching your bank account? Nonso Christian Ugbode is on sabbatica. Special guest: Photojournalist extraordinaire, Dave Mayers.

#113
John McCain takes on the black vote. Plus, Clinton strategist Mark Penn jumps ship. And, does Barack Obama love America? Special guest: Adam Serwer.

#112
With no news on the Obama/Clinton front, we’ll talk John McCain for once. Plus, is Vogue magazine’s cover racist? And, Obama can’t bowl. Terrorist?

#111
Should Detroit’s mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, resign? If you answered “yes,” then you’re a racist. Plus, is John McCain’s foreign policy misguided, or is he just old? And, what exactly does Barack Obama’s postracial society promise? Rob Thompson is somewhere that’s not here. Special guest: Adam Serwer.

#110
Prostitition finally pays dividends. Plus, did Obama’s pastor go a little too far? And, is America ready for a Muslim president? Special guest: Mohammad Al-Kassim.

#109
Is Tina Fey a racist? Plus, with another black state on the horizon, Barack Obama fights back. And, an update on the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal. Will voters love him long time?

#108
It’s 3am and your children are safe, which candidate will keep them that way? Plus more and more black people are climbing aboard the “O Train.” And, in the face of a make-or-break election on Tuesday, is Hillary out it, or ’bout it? Special guest: Photojournalist Dave Mayers.

#107
What is the black State of the Union, at least by Tavis Smiley’s standards? Plus, the Hillary Clinton scandal of the day. And, the Obama mailers. Shame on you, Barack Obama! Special guest: Martha St. Jean

#106
Are Hillary Clinton’s recent accusations of plagiarism overblown or fair game? Plus, “Wild” Bill Clinton goes wild… again. And more general election outlook from Blackline. Nonso Christian Ugbode is away on assignment. Special guest: Adam Serwer.

#105
Blackline puts their spin on the results from Super Tuesday. The editors also provide an update on MSNBC suspension of reporter David Shuster. Finally, they tackle the question: after a string of primary victories, can Barack Obama stand up to the Clinton firewall? Special guest: the blogger known as DNA, also known as Adam Serwer.

#104
With Super Tuesday eight days away, Lerone, Nonso, and Rob explore the fallout from Saturday’s South Carolina primaries. Also, the team offers their take on that evening’s State of the Union address. Finally, a “real reporter” joins the Blackline staff as a contributor. Lerone, Nonso, and Rob talk with Megan “Church” Chuchmach, Blackline’s “white correspondent” who never contributed again and was later replaced in her role by Blackline copy editor, Jennifer Prince.

#103
On Martin Luther King Day of 2008, the Blackline podcast discusses the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the status of King’s legacy in light of the recent political meltdown between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

#102
Lerone, Nonso, and Rob discuss the performance of Barack Obama at the final 2007 Democratic primary debate in Iowa, jumping off from Senator Obama’s quip: “Hillary, I’m looking forward to you advising me as well.

#101
The “Black on Black Podcast” kicks off by discussing the genesis of Blackline, imagined (quite prophetically) by Nonso Christian Ugbode as a sort of a black Daily Show if it were hosted by Larry Wilmore. Lerone Wilson and Rob Thompson, at that moment both students in Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, sought to add legitimate news told from a black perspective.