The fifth episode of Serial season 2 debuted Thursday morning, following host Sarah Koenig’s continuing journey to find out exactly what happened to Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Ahead of the episode’s debut, Koenig appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to discuss the show’s success and her reporting process. Colbert was particularly interested to learn that Koenig had actually interviewed members of the Taliban for her story.
“Did you call 1-800-TALIBAN?” Colbert asked. “How does one get in touch with the Taliban?”
Koenig said that the Taliban reporting has come through working with Afghan reporter Sami Yousafzai, who is based in Pakistan and knows some Taliban members from childhood.
“What you have to do actually, because they’re all worried about being listened to, so Sammy had to get basically a burner phone so they could safely do it,” Koenig said.
This prompted Colbert’s next question: have these same Taliban members actually listened to Serial?
“Sami told me that yeah, they have listened to it,” Koenig said.