Reckon Radio Releases First Podcast with "Greek Gods"

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Inside "The Machine" -- An examination of politics, privilege and race

The most powerful fraternity in America.

Threats of violence, wire-tapping, boycotts, voter coercion, whatever it takes to win. That’s the playbook of The Machine, a secret society that has controlled student government at the University of Alabama for more than a century. The Machine has been described as “the most powerful fraternity in America” and its tentacles reach to the State House, Washington and beyond.

Reckon Radio presents, “Greek Gods,” an examination of politics, privilege and race hosted by Amy Yurkanin and John Archibald, winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. A four-episode miniseries examines what students learn when a handful have all the power. Yurkanin and Archibald take listeners downstairs into the fraternity basements where an anonymous group of leaders in training learn the dark art of dirty politics.

Reckon Radio is currently available for subscription on iTunes, Google Play and other podcasting platforms. Stream directly at

  • Episode One: What is “The Machine?” Hosts Amy and John trace the history of the secret society, with a focus on the events of 1970 – 1993, including allegations of arson, wiretapping, cross burning and physical assault. They also share the story of Fran Viselli, owner of Bama Bino’s, a popular pizza joint that faced a boycott after his son dared run against The Machine.
  • Episode Two: The Machine strikes back. Is the organization nefarious, or just a voting block of friends? Former members of The Machine share their side of the story, including Lee Garrison a Tuscaloosa politician who allegedly used the secret society to be elected to an office beyond the University setting.
  • Episode Three: What role does race play on campus? In recent years, the University of Alabama Greek system has been scrutinized by national media for sorority women caught on video using racial slurs and for sorority alumni intent on preserving the school’s “tradition” of white sororities. Also includes the story of Elliot Spillers, the first black student government president in 40 years, and what his surprise election says about today’s campus climate.
  • Episode Four: What does The Machine teach students about real world politics? John Archibald shares his reflections on how student politics has real world ramifications. His wife Alecia also describes how she was forced to choose between her sorority and her relationship in college, illustrating the difficult decisions young women face during their time on campus.

About Alabama Media Group
Alabama Media Group is a digitally-minded news and information company that combines the up-to-the-minute access of and with the long revered, award-winning journalism of The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times, Mobile’s Press-Register and The Mississippi Press.

Through award-winning brands, including “Reckon by,” “People of Alabama,” “It’s a Southern Thing” and “This is Alabama,” AMG brands craft compelling digital programming to connect with the community. As both a digital marketing agency and a publisher, Alabama Media Group drives daily conversations and engages millions through stories that inform, entertain, inspire, and connect our communities to the world around them.

Alabama Media Group is part of Advance Local, one of the nations’ leading media and marketing companies, attracting more than 48 million consumers across a stable of award-winning digital and print brands in markets throughout the U.S.

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Laura Bright
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