A Total Eclipse Of The... Sun! | Crooked Media
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April 07, 2024
What A Day
A Total Eclipse Of The... Sun!

In This Episode

  • Israel said on Sunday that it was reducing its military presence in Gaza but rejected any suggestion that it was a sign the war was winding down. Sunday also marked six months since Hamas attacked Israel, killed 1,200 people and took another 250 hostage. Ceasefire negotiations resumed over the weekend in Cairo amid the ongoing international fallout over an Israeli strike that killed seven aid workers with World Central Kitchen.
  • A rare total solar eclipse will cross a large swath of North America on Monday, and more than a dozen states from Texas to Maine are within the “path of totality.” It’s only the second total solar eclipse to be visible in the U.S. in the 21st century. Scientists have a simple message for viewers: Don’t look directly at it!
  • And in headlines: Former President Donald Trump’s campaign claimed it raised $50 million at a weekend fundraiser, a man was arrested and charged on Sunday for starting a fire outside Sen. Bernie Sanders’ congressional office in Vermont, and the undefeated South Carolina Gamecocks bested Iowa and star guard Caitlin Clark in Sunday’s NCAA women’s championship game.


Show Notes:




Tre’vell Anderson: It’s Monday, April 8th, I’m Tre’vell Anderson. 


Josie Duffy Rice: And I’m Josie Duffy Rice. And this is What a Day. The pod that likes our music fast and American. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Chechnya last week banned new music from being too upbeat or too slow. Officials say it’s to preserve their own culture. But I’ve got to say, you should break the law for Beyonce’s Ya Ya. 


Josie Duffy Rice: You got to–


Come on now. 


Josie Duffy Rice: –break the law. It’s called civil disobedience and it is what we are doing. 


Tre’vell Anderson: There we go. [laughing] [music break]


Josie Duffy Rice: On today’s show, it’s the total eclipse of our hearts. We’ll talk about the excitement over this afternoon’s space event. Plus, undefeated South Carolina takes home the trophy in the NCAA Women’s Championship game. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Something happy coming out of South Carolina. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Truly. 


Tre’vell Anderson: I love this for me. [laugh] But first, an update on Israel’s war on Gaza. Israel announced Sunday it’s reducing its military presence in the besieged territory. But this should not be interpreted as a sign that the war may be over. In fact, an Israeli Defense Force spokesman told the BBC, quote, “War can only be over when the hostages come home and when Hamas is gone.” 


Josie Duffy Rice: So what is the current state of the devastation over there in Gaza? 


Tre’vell Anderson: Well, it has officially been six months since Hamas attacked Israel, which they say was a response to decades of occupation and more. And in that attack, Hamas killed 1200 Israelis and kidnapped 250 hostages. Since Israel’s military has killed more than 33,000 Gazans, in response, they’ve left the surviving Palestinians on the brink of famine. And as we’ve covered on the show, the longer Israel under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues waging this war against Hamas, killing tens of thousands of civilians in the process, endangering the lives and livelihoods of millions more, the more Israel loses favor with both the international community and a growing domestic contingent. 


Josie Duffy Rice: So I know that we’ve had conversations recently about the latest cease fire talks. What is going on with those? 


Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. So this weekend also marked a return to the negotiation table. Both Hamas and Israel sent delegations to Cairo yesterday to begin fresh talks. Hamas’s demands, though, remain unchanged, which include a permanent cease fire and withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, the ability for displaced folks to return to their homes. And they want to exchange Palestinian prisoners for the Israeli hostages they’re holding. As we know, Israel has not budged. But the fact that they’ve returned to the negotiating table, at least, is definitely hopeful. 


Josie Duffy Rice: We also can’t ignore that this time, as they return to negotiating a deal, it’s under the specter of increased and more explicit pressure from the U.S. on Israel. Is that right? 


Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. And it’s currently manifesting as pressure in Congress on President Biden and his administration. Following the deaths of the seven World Central Kitchen Aid workers last week, an attack Israel has claimed responsibility for saying that they thought the workers were Hamas operatives. More moderate Democrats in Congress have begun to change their tune. And then you have more progressive Democrats who sent a letter last Friday to the president and Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, urging them to both rescind a recent transfer of military arms to Israel and hold any future transfers if Israel, quote, “fails to sufficiently mitigate harm to innocent civilians in Gaza, including aid workers.” Of course, this is an ongoing story, so we’ll be sure to update y’all on any meaningful shifts going forward. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Now, turning to some exciting news in the skies. Today is the day Tre’vell. A total solar eclipse is crossing North America. And 15 states are within what they call the path of totality. So if you live in the path from Texas to Maine, you will likely be able to experience what is only the second total solar eclipse to be visible in the US in the 21st century. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Okay, so what time should I be ignoring my slacks, putting my phone on do not disturb if you know I want to watch the whole thing?


Josie Duffy Rice: Well, you’re in California, so you got to be on slack because you won’t be seeing anything, but it will be visible starting in Texas at about 1:27 central, and will end up in Maine at about 3:35 eastern. So it’ll be across America for about a little over an hour, and each place is just going to get a few minutes of eclipse time around four minutes before it keeps moving. So if you’re in the path, make sure to look up the exact time to pay attention. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Gotcha. Okay, so now let’s take it back to, you know, school really quickly for those out there who may not have paid attention during Earth science, remind us what exactly is a solar eclipse? 


Josie Duffy Rice: So basically it happens when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun. So it basically turns a little sliver of the Earth dark during what would normally be sunlight hours. And solar eclipses occur every 18 months or so. But unlike a lunar eclipse, where basically the entire night sky experiences it, solar eclipses can only be viewed by a very small sliver of the world, which means they only occur in any specific place every like 350 to 400 years. So very rare and very exciting event. You may remember that there was an eclipse back in 2017. That one ran the path of Oregon to South Carolina. Famously, Donald Trump looked straight at it. Remember those pictures? 


Tre’vell Anderson: Listen. Doing what he was told not to do. Okay. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. 


Tre’vell Anderson: As usual. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Mm hmm. There have been two in the U.S. relatively recently, but most of the people that could see the first from home will not be able to see this again, and vice versa. 


Tre’vell Anderson: That is right, unless they traveled. And we know that so many people did. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Oh yeah, this has become a major, major travel event. There’s a map showing that Airbnb bookings are basically completely sold out along that path of totality. And it turns out that eclipse viewings can actually bring in major cash and tourists to places that may not normally be like real tourist attractions like Rochester, New York. Rochester, New York is expected to get half a million visitors for the eclipse. And local authorities claim that the city could make as much as $12 million from this visit. So, you know, pretty good money being made on the solar eclipse. Meanwhile, hotels in some of these places are suddenly very expensive. According to the New York Times, there’s a Super 8 in Grayville, Illinois that is currently advertising $949 a night per room. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Mmm mm. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Super 8 in Grayville. Its normal rate is $95 a night. So some people are getting paid. 


Tre’vell Anderson: I’m gonna say ain’t no Super  8 worth that much money. I’m a let you know that now. Okay. 


Josie Duffy Rice: I’m not $949 Super 8 rich. But if you are, way to go. Meanwhile, our own executive producer, Adriene Hill, is actually in Texas right now. She planned this trip way back in September. And here she is talking about what’s going on there. 


[clip of WAD executive producer Adriene Hill] Hey, I’m here in Dallas to see the eclipse with my family. There are a whole lot of people here with the same idea. Folks wearing eclipse t-shirts, people selling eclipse glasses, lots of parties getting set up. I’m really excited and hoping the weather holds. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Adriene, if you’re listening, I would love an eclipse T-shirt. [laughter] I just want one Eclipse T-shirt. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Well, shout out to everyone who traveled for this experience, but we know that this is also big for scientists. What are they watching for today? 


Josie Duffy Rice: So Scientific American says that this eclipse could give scientists the ability to, quote, “predict the appearance of the sun’s outer atmosphere,” which is also known as the corona. No relation to the virus, separate things. Apparently that is going to help scientists, quote, “test their understanding of how the sun’s magnetic field governs the star’s atmosphere.” I am glad someone is testing that. Now, if you are looking at the eclipse, you have to wear special glasses or you risk seriously damaging your eyes. And don’t try to look through your phone either, even through your phone you have to have a special lens filter to capture the eclipse, or else your eyes will be damaged and your phone will be damaged. And then you’ll have nothing. Nothing to live for. And don’t forget to ensure that your glasses are certified for eclipse viewing. As you can imagine, a lot of eclipse glasses scammers are out there selling glasses that are not going to sufficiently protect you. So do your research. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Do your research. 


Josie Duffy Rice: And that is the latest for now. We will be back after some ads. [music break]




Tre’vell Anderson: Now let’s wrap up with some headlines. 


[sung] Headlines. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Former President Donald Trump’s campaign said it raised more than $50 million this weekend at a Florida fundraiser with a bunch of big money donors. The event was held at the Palm Beach home of billionaire investor John Paulson. The $50 million haul, if true, would be a single event fundraising record, though the number hasn’t been verified. Attendees were encouraged to donate the maximum amount they could, which was a little more than $800,000, which would be divided up between Trump’s campaign, the RNC, and more. Naturally, a portion of that money will also go toward paying Trump’s mounting legal bills, according to The Washington Post. Trump’s campaign is also playing fundraising catch up to President Joe Biden, with roughly seven months to go to Election Day. Late last week, the Biden campaign announced it raised $90 million in March and had close to 200 million on hand. That’s more than double the cash on hand, Trump and the RNC reported. 


Josie Duffy Rice: A man was arrested and charged on Sunday for starting a fire outside Senator Bernie Sanders congressional office in Vermont. Officials said that on Friday, 35 year old Shant Soghomonian doused the door to the senator’s office with some kind of liquid before setting it ablaze. The fire did damage some of the building’s interior, but no one was hurt. Sanders was not in his office when the incident occurred. According to Vermont’s U.S. attorney. Soghomonian was arrested yesterday and charged with using fire to damage a building used in interstate commerce, a federal crime that carries a maximum 20 year prison sentence. But his motive is still unclear. Local and federal authorities are still investigating the incident. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Mexico’s government said it was cutting off diplomatic ties with Ecuador late Friday. The announcement came after police in Ecuador raided the Mexican embassy in the country’s capital of Quito to arrest Ecuador’s former vice president, Jorge Glas. Let’s give you the backstory. Glas, a leftist, was forced from office in 2017 and convicted of bribery in two different cases. Then he was released early from a six year prison sentence tied to one of those convictions after his lawyers argued he wasn’t safe behind bars. But Glas faced even more charges for embezzling public funds. And in December, he sought political asylum at Mexico’s embassy. He claimed he was being politically persecuted by Ecuador’s center right government. His arrival at the Mexican embassy increasingly strained relations between the two countries. That brings us to last Friday, when Mexico officially granted Glas’s asylum request just hours before the raid. Glas was transferred to a maximum security prison on Saturday. Mexico’s left wing president, Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, called the raid a violation of international law. And Mexico’s foreign minister says she will take the issue to the UN’s International Criminal Court in The Hague. 


Josie Duffy Rice: And finally, it was an exciting finish to the women’s NCAA tournament title game yesterday. 


[clip of ESPN basketball reporter] Here’s Johnson. Johnson the pull up no rebound. [?] Cardoso. Unstoppable. 


Josie Duffy Rice: That is part of ESPN’s coverage when the South Carolina Gamecocks played against and beat the Iowa Hawkeyes. The champions were undefeated all season, wild, only the 10th in college women’s basketball history to do so. And Iowa guard Caitlin Clark played her last game of her record shattering college career. She may not have secured a championship title while in college, but she scored the most points in Division one women’s or men’s history and brought in a new wave of fans for women’s basketball. Her legacy is undeniable. Take a listen to this ESPN clip of South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley after Sunday’s game. 


[clip of Dawn Staley] Caitlin Clark, if you’re out there, you are one of the goats of our games and we appreciate you. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, it was an incredible game. South Carolina was amazing and it has really been an incredibly spectacular season of women’s college basketball. We are so excited for all the ladies heading to the WNBA, including this year’s MVP, USC’s Kamila Cardoso, also Caitlin Clark and also LSU’s Angel Reese. Tonight, Purdue and UConn face off in the men’s NCAA championship game. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Also, shout out to Coach Staley for coming out, you know, in favor of trans women playing women’s sports as well. She’s having a great weekend I would say. 


Josie Duffy Rice: I love Coach Staley. I mean was incredible as a player, incredible as a coach. 


Tre’vell Anderson: We love to see it. 


Josie Duffy Rice: We love to see it. And those are the headlines. 




Josie Duffy Rice: That is all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe, leave a review, congratulate the Gamecocks and tell your friends to listen. 


Tre’vell Anderson: And if you are into reading and not just my horoscope during an eclipse like me, What a Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Tre’vell Anderson. 


Josie Duffy Rice: I’m Josie Duffy Rice. 


Tre’vell Anderson: And don’t look directly at the sun. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Don’t do it. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Listen, y’all know better, okay? 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. It’s not worth it. 


Tre’vell Anderson: What a Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Our associate producers are Raven Yamamoto and Natalie Bettendorf. We had production help today from Michell Eloy, Greg Walters, and Julia Claire, and our showrunner is Leo Duran. Adriene Hill is our executive producer. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.