No Agenda is a podcast which takes place two times a week on Thursday and Sunday in the morning, hosted by Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak on the mevio network. www.noagndashow.com The show is a free-flowing conversation that deconstructs recent news and media memes. Much of the appeal of the show comes from the odd couple relationship between the hosts. Adam Curry usually suggests theories about the news or world events, whereas John C. Dvorak is intended to present a more reasoned perspective, and as acting as the "Straight man" to Curry.
The show has no advertisers, instead relying on its listeners to voluntarily donate in either lump sums or a recurring plan. The show also relies on their listeners (known as "Producers") to provide artwork and audio clips. Numerous fan sites have sprung up to facilitate this interaction.
In September 2009, the show was nominated for Podcast Awards in two categories, "People’s Choice" and "General".
In December 2009 the show announced they had reached 450,000 listeners
No Agenda first aired in October 2007. Its premise was a simple one: the co-founder (Curry) and vice-president (Dvorak) of mevio have an unfiltered dialogue. The impetus for starting the show, according to Adam Curry (the show’s self-described bi-curious host), was a 4 minute phone call made to Dvorak saying that they "should do a show together." Little thought was given to what the show would be about, in fact only the name was agreed upon before the first show was recorded. The original tagline of No Agenda was that it would be the show with "no sponsors, jingles, and of course no agenda." The show’s only sound effect would come during the closing minute, where a sedate jazz number would play as the hosts signed off. Topics included the news of the day, restaurant reviews, and family. The song played at the end of the show is "On the Seventh Day" by the Mariott Jazz Quintet.
No Agenda continued to evolve over time with Adam and John cultivating a more consistent structure to the show, as well as gradually moving the show more in the direction of libertarian news and political commentary. Jingles have been introduced, and have evolved into catch phrases the listeners (called producers) promote to the benefit of the show. The show is dedicated to discussing Current news and conspiracy theories, with the hosts de-constructing topics in response to their belief that the mainstream media glosses over what they see as the real facts. Celebrity-type gossip and other soft news stories are brought up for ironic effect, with the one that has garnered the most attention often being named "Distraction of the week". Special numbers have been central to the show, both in the de-construction of the media stories, and press releases. Some of the most common number-related themes are; 3 is the "magic" number, "double nickels on the dime" (55.10) as the amount to become a No Agenda Minuteman, and $999.99 being the amount of donation to become a No Agenda "Knight". Episode #250 introduced the "Quad Niner" donation level: Whenever someone donates $99.99, Curry is obligated to bark: "niner, niner, niner, niner!" — a reference to his use of "niner" for "nine" in show openings.
Curry tends towards a more counter-cultural outlook of the world. He often discusses perceived links between current world events and a large number of conspiracy theories, most of which center around supposed global plans to bring about the New World Order. Dvorak is much more mild tempered, often referencing his knowledge of history and his own life experience to shed light on the topics of the day, however, he appears to share many of the same opinions as Adam. Inside jokes and references to previous topics recur with great frequency in each episode which may take time for new listeners to fully grasp. The hosts prefer not to provide a recap or explanation of a phrase or anecdote unless necessary, and Adam will often sound an alarm if John begins repeating something previously discussed.
The show was greatly influenced by the run up to the 2008 Election, the financial crisis starting that September (the September 13th show carried breaking news of the collapse Lehman Brothers which signaled the beginning of the most apocalyptic phase of the crisis), and the transition to the Presidency of Barack Obama.
Both hosts are self-proclaimed independents, having no allegiance to one political party or ideology. Much of this is attributed to their belief that there is little difference between the two main United States political parties, whether by accident or design. Adam Curry endorsed Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul during the 2008 Republican Primaries.
Recurring themes and catch phrases
Gitmo Nation- The combined United States (Gitmo Nation West), United Kingdom (Gitmo Nation East) and Netherlands (Gitmo Nation Lowlands) whose governments, in the eyes of the hosts, are in the process of stripping citizens of their rights. The phrase comes from the terrorist prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. During the introduction to the show the hosts tell the listeners from which part of Gitmo Nation they are broadcasting. John usually is at his home in "Northern Silicon Valley" and adds that location after he states he is in Gitmo Nation West. When he is at his compound in Port Angeles, Washington he says that he is speaking from Gitmo Nation Northwest. Italy is known as Gitmo Nation Pizza
Crackpot and The Buzzkill- Nicknames for Curry and Dvorak respectively. The term stems from Adam usually having wild ideas and theories about the news while John tries to ground Adam in reality.
IN THE MORNING!- Inspired by the Family Guy episode "Mother Tucker" where Stewie and Brian become DJs. The phrase was taken from “Weenie and the Butt in the morning 97.1 WQHG” where the two DJs use a lot of sound clip jockeying. Originally used by Adam Curry to mock DJs and traditional radio media, it soon became a popular phrase with both Curry and the listeners. Adam then had the line professionally recorded in a typical Top-40 radio station style, and it now adorns most show bumpers and intros. It is also interspersed at various moments of the show as a "rimshot" or just thrown in by Curry as an ironic sting. The letters ITM are also used (much like the word Mahalo is used in Hawaiian) when chatting with other users in the No Agenda show chat room and on Twitter.
The Fractal- A theory put forth by John that the world power structure is based on a mathematical fractal, an infinite self-replicating shape. He came to this realisation after news of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme scandal broke. Dvorak contends that the Madoff scandal is merely a replication of the larger financial system’s deceitful nature and shortcomings. The fractal principle has been used by both hosts to describe similarities between a specific example of wrong doing and the larger failings of the system.
Now Back to Real News- An ironic intro for stories in the news that have little importance or serve only to distract. These tend to be of the celebrity gossip or other soft subject variety. Adam and John mock the media’s fascination with stories that appeal to the lowest common denominator, or simply giving the public what it wants rather than what it needs.
Adam Curry’s/John C. Dvorak’s Pet Peeve of the Day. – When either Adam and John discuss a topic they find to be most irksome (usually termed a rant) they will nominate it as the pet peeve of the day. The nomination usually occurs after a deconstruction of why they find the topic to be irksome.
Nothing to See Here!- Usually played when something that the hosts feel is important receives little or no coverage in the mainstream media which is instead focusing on the latest celebrity gossip or other issue of relatively minor importance. Examples may include a debate in the senate over an important law or a presidential visit to a foreign country that may not have received coverage.
You Will Obey! – Refers to situations where the hosts feel those in power are using their power to control others. An example given by the hosts includes the security checkpoints at airports where people are forced to take off their shoes in the name of security.
Shut up Slave! – Used with examples of media or government authorities not allowing others to finish their opinion. This also represents situations where in the hosts opinion government officials would rather the public at large just obey laws quietly instead of trying to change things. This is commonly used in conjunction with discussions about the "New World Order."
Mon-san-to!- played when the duo discuss GMO foods, usually involving the Monsanto Corporation and their agriculture products.
Our formula is this: We go out; we hit people in the mouth!- The quote is from a commercial spoken by the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Singletary. In the show this refers to the hosts desire to bring the news and issues to their listeners without being controlled or censored by government officials or any big business sponsors. It is the opinion of the hosts that many mainstream news sources are under the control of their sponsors and/or government officials.
To the gate, to the gate, to the Climate-gate. – news related to Climate-gate, or climate change in general.
Two to the head. – refers to deaths that were reported as suicides, where the victims shot themselves twice, in the head. It is the opinion of the hosts that this is very unlikely if not impossible. In their view being shot twice in the head instead is a result of a professional assassination made to look like a suicide. In their opinion this could be done by a professional hitman hired by big business or by a government agent. In this scenario the gun is often placed in the left hand (assuming the person being ‘suicided’ is right-handed) further insinuating that the suicide was not genuine.
No Agenda Swine Flu Minute – comments on the marketing aspects of Swine Flu management
No service for you! – liberal use of this catchphrase from Seinfeld’s "Soup Nazi." This represents certain services that the hosts feel could be denied to rebellious citizens. A recurring example is the ACTA treaty that if signed may be use to cut off Internet service to those accused of file sharing by media companies.
The distraction of the week, on No Agenda. – This refers to a relatively unimportant story that has garnered a lot of media attention which in turn leads to news issued the hosts feel are important receiving little or no coverage. Examples often include celebrities in the news.
Trains good, planes bad refers to topics regarding the "big business" side of high speed passenger rail, including efforts by government officials, professional public relations corporations, and rail manufacturers to surreptitiously marginalize air transportation. The hosts think that U.S. high speed rail plans, as opposed to the ostensible goal of speeding passenger transport, are actually schemes to provide government-funded infrastructure improvements to politically-connected freight railroads, such as BNSF.
Earthquake Machine refers to a constant topic raised by Adam, where every earthquake or natural disaster is because of a secret weapon that can cause earthquakes, or weather modifications.
Just send your cash refers to the Haiti earthquake and its aftermath, where Adam theorises that the Haiti earthquake was done on purpose by an earthquake machine so that Bill Clinton can build hotels on the northern shores of Haiti. The "just send your cash" quote comes from George W. Bush during a fundraiser for Haitian relief.
Hot Pockets the Hot Pockets jingle plays when Adam feels something is inedible or could make a comment generally more enjoyable. During the 9/2/2010 No Agenda show live stream, Curry (wrongly) mentioned that CitizenX, a member of the No Agenda chat room, had created the new catch phrase "Twat Pockets" after hearing a story about people who are tattooing their vaginas and Curry played the Hot Pocket’s ding after the story.