Season 11, Episode 7

Breaking news! Sources say American journalism exploits our negativity bias to maximize profits, and social media algorithms add fuel to the fire. Stephen Dubner investigates. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “Why Is U.S. Media So Negative?” and “Reasons to Be Cheerful.”

Why Is U.S. Media So Negative? (Ep. 477)

Breaking news! Sources say American journalism exploits our negativity bias to maximize profits, and social media algorithms add fuel to the fire. Stephen Dubner investigates.

That’s a Great Question! (Ep. 192 Rebroadcast)

Verbal tic or strategic rejoinder? Whatever the case: it’s rare to come across an interview these days where at least one question isn’t a “great” one.

Season 10, Episode 26

Most of us are are afraid to ask sensitive questions about money, sex, politics, etc. New research shows this fear is largely unfounded. Time for some interesting conversations! To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “Can I Ask You a Ridiculously Personal Question?” and “That’s a Great Question!”

That’s a Great Question! (Ep. 192)

Having been at the Freakonomics Radio podcast for a while now, I've noticed a trend. During an interview, you ask someone a question and, before they answer, they say "That's a great question!" Believe me, most of the questions I ask aren't that great. So what's going on here? Where did this reply come from? Is it a verbal tic, a strategic rejoinder, or something more?

That's the topic of our new episode, called (shockingly) "That's a Great Question!" (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript, which includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.)

You'll hear from the linguist Arika Okrent, who examined a few huge databases for us (including the British National Corpus and the Corpus of Contemporary American English) to see if the phrase is indeed as common as it seems.