Is there a cultural moment from your past that looks different in retrospect?

Maybe it’s a scandalous tabloid story seared into your teenage brain or a political punchline that just feels wrong now. It might be a very specific red swimsuit that inspired a decade of plastic surgery (see: “Baywatch”) or the inescapable smell of an entire generation of prepubescent boys (Axe body spray, anyone?).

Each week on IN RETROSPECT, award-winning journalists Susie Banikarim and Jessica Bennett revisit a pop culture moment from the 80s and 90s that shaped them — to try to understand what it taught us about the world, and a woman’s place in it.


Susie Banikarim

is an Emmy-winning journalist, filmmaker and recovering media executive who has run newsrooms like VICE and Gizmodo Media Group. She is the director of the 2020 documentary, “Enemies of the People: Trump and the Political Press.” Susie began her journalism career at ABC News, where she was a producer for Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos, and went on to help launch Katie Couric’s talk show. But before all that, she was a producer on Wife Swap and the short-lived Trailer Fabulous. Susie was born in Iran but spent her teen years in California, reading Sassy Magazine, watching soap operas and listening to the Beach Boys on her Walkman. Find her on Instagram at @susiebnyc.

Jessica Bennett

has spent her award-winning journalism career focusing a gender lens on social issues and culture, from the persistence of workplace inequality to the ripple effects of #MeToo. She was the first-ever gender editor of The New York Times and is the author of two bestselling books, “Feminist Fight Club: A Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace” and “This Is 18: Girls’ Lives Through Girls’ Eyes.” She is an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University, where she teaches a course called “Reporting the Zeitgeist.” Jessica grew up in Seattle, back when grunge was still a thing, and lives in Brooklyn, where it is currently a thing. Find her on Instagram at @jessicabennett.

Susie and Jessica have been friends since they met as part of an extremely disorganized and very short lived media merger a decade ago. They have been gossiping about pop culture, feminism and mismanaged newsrooms ever since. This is their first podcast together.


Do you have an In Retrospect moment you just can’t stop thinking about? Or, just want to say hello? Talk to us!


Executive Producers: Cindi Leive, Anna Stumpf, Katrina Norvell, Susie Banikarim, Jessica Bennett
Supervising Producer: Lauren Hansen
Sound engineer: Derrick Clements
Associate Producer: Sharon Attia

In Retrospect is a production of iHeartPodcasts and The Meteor. You can learn more about The Meteor, and subscribe to the newsletter here.