Sarah Koenig: Radio Host or Robber Baron?

Sarah Koenig_Cover
Sarah Koenig: Radio Host or Robber Baron?

December 8th, 2015

There’s a reason Sarah Koenig has been so cagey about season 2 of her hit podcast, Serial: she probably plagiarized most of it.

On Facebook a few weeks ago, I re-posted a piece published by NPR entitled “Why Eating Alone Doesn’t Have to be Lonely,” citing blatant thematic similarities to my own earlier, well-received blog entry, “Spill’s Guide to Dining Alone.”  Although I played up certain coincidences for the sake of the social media sphere, I did not suspect foul play on the part of NPR or any of their regional affiliates – that is, until I discovered Sarah Koenig’s Serial, one of the public radio behemoth’s biggest cash cows and (not coincidentally) a tepid facsimile of my own episodic radio whodunnit, Mr. Mystery.

Koenig’s balanced narration, gripping interviews, and carefully delineated narratives tell the story of Adnan Syed, a Baltimore County teen convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999, a subject matter and presentation format I had already explored a whole year before Serial‘s October 2014 release.  

I know what you’re thinking: what took me so long to uncover this flagrant theft?  Well, frankly, I didn’t buy into the Serial craze until very very recently. But upon hearing the now-famous haunting piano chords of the opening theme, my soul knotted up: Koenig and co. not only stole my assiduously researched material, but viciously cannibalized my music, penned by Benny Mason Band frontman Ben Englander!

Need proof?  Below is an excerpt from the Pilot episode of Mr. Mystery (listen for the clear timestamp at the beginning):

Is your blood boiling yet??

Unlike Koenig, who needed 12 hour-long segments to wrap up her tale, I decided to retire mine after one episode, since it seemed very clear to me that Adnan was the murderer.  After all, he’s already locked up – the state found him guilty!  Case closed!

I am extremely disappointed in Sarah Koenig and her producers, and increasingly disillusioned with NPR’s matrix of lies and deceit.  That said, I will not be pursuing legal action: there is too much mystery in life to waste time quibbling over ownership, for mystery belongs to us all…



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