Podcast

Kickass News

Hosted by Hollywood producer and political media strategist Ben Mathis, KickAss News is a twice weekly podcast that features the most interesting personalities and thought leaders in politics, entertainment, tech, business, science, and more. Enjoy the podcast? Then please support the show and help keep us on the air by making a donation to our GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Another way you can support the show is to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review ...more

Episodes

  • Governor Chris Christie Gets the Last Word

    Feb 14 2019

    Former NJ Governor Chris Christie sets the record straight about his tenure as a corruption-busting prosecutor and a Republican running a Democratic state, as well as what really happened on the 2016 campaign trail and inside Trump Tower.  He recalls how his friendship with Donald Trump began and the nasty details of the infamous Charles Kushner case that would later come back to haunt him.  He talks about why he passed on running for President in 2012, Hurricane Sandy and that notorious Obama h...more

  • Madeleine Albright Warns That Fascism Is Making a Comeback

    Feb 11 2019

    Madeleine Albright fled fascists during her childhood and faced them down as Secretary of State, and today she comes on the podcast to warn that fascism is once again on the rise.  She shares how her own refugee experience during World War II and the Cold War shaped her worldview and recalls her meetings with with authoritarian strongmen like Kim Jong-il, Slobodan Milošević, and Vladimir Putin.  She reveals that most fascists come into office through democratic elections or a constitutional tran...more

  • National Geographic Chair Jean Case on Being Fearless

    Feb 07 2019

    Former AOL exec and chairman of National Geographic Society Jean Case talks about her new book Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose.  She says leaders need to start viewing risk as R&D and failure as a learning experience.  In fact, Jean Case encourages people to talk about their own mistakes by sharing her own "failure resume" and hosting "fail tests."  She discusses why CEO’s need to get out of their bubble and get uncomfortable, and how greater diversity actually...more

  • Marc Freedman on Connecting the Generations

    Feb 04 2019

    Encore.org founder Marc Freedman says seniors are an untapped resource and calls on society to stop segregating the elderly from society and renew the bond between young and old.  Marc talks about the mentors who influenced his life, what we can learn from the movie The Intern, and the evidence that shows that seniors who take an interest in a young person actually live longer, happier lives.  He talks about the elderly neighbors who act as "surrogate grandparents" to his own children, calls out...more

  • White House Aide Cliff Sims Tells All

    Jan 31 2019

    Cliff Sims recalls his time as President Trump's Director of Messaging Strategy in a chaotic White House that he likens to "Game of Thrones with the cast of VEEP."  He shares the real story behind the fiasco around Trump’s inauguration numbers, how the administration takes disorganization to a whole new level, and how many times the President’s senior staff learn of about major policy decisions on cable news.  He recalls helping President Trump draft his notorious "enemies list," how he learned ...more

  • Rock Star Scientist Professor Brian Cox

    Jan 28 2019

    Science Communicator Professor Brian Cox reveals why he left a popular rock band for a career in particle physics, what he is learning through his participation in the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, and why he says the LHC has disproven the existence of ghosts.  He discusses Brexit, the vital link between democracy and science, and his concern over the growing education disparity.  He talks about walking in the footsteps of his hero Carl Sagan as a leading science communicator, t...more

  • Filmmaker Joe Berlinger Goes in the Dark Mind of Ted Bundy

    Jan 24 2019

    Award-winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Brother's Keeper, The Paradise Lost trilogy) reexamines America's most notorious serial killer on the 30th anniversary of his execution in his new Netflix documentary Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.  He discusses how one of Bundy’s first jobs gave him an inside view of the flaws in America’s law enforcement system, how Bundy exploited those weaknesses to his own devilish advantage, and how it led to dramatic changes in how the FBI hunts se...more

  • Dr. Phil Says People Never Stop Surprising Him

    Jan 21 2019

    Dr. Phil McGraw says that some of his guests still surprise him even after 2000+ episodes of his #1 daytime talk show The Dr. Phil Show.  He recalls how losing a football game in junior high school inspired him to go into psychology, what it was like to go into practice with his father, and why he eventually decided to go from getting into the minds of his patients to getting into the minds of juries as a trial consultant.  He explains how that put him into contact with Oprah Winfrey, how he con...more

  • Dr. Steven Pinker Says Good News Is a Hard Sell

    Jan 17 2019

    A year ago, Dr. Steven Pinker's book Enlightenment Now made headlines for giving hard data that proved that the world is safer, happier, and freer than ever, but he was surprised by how many people just don't want to believe good news!  Today Dr. Pinker returns to the podcast to review the metrics of societal progress that continue to show that the world just keeps getting better, but he also discusses two areas that give him cause for concern.  Steven Pinker ponders whether the immigration deb...more

  • Howie Mandel's Audience Is His Muse

    Jan 14 2019

    Howie Mandel talks about making his first comedy special in 20 years, his childhood growing up in Toronto, and how the show Candid Camera inspired him to pull an elaborate prank that got him expelled form high school. He shares how "winging it" the first time he want on stage turned into his signature improvisational style, and how he still finds much of his comedic inspiration from interacting with his audience.  He recalls opening for Diana Ross in Vegas, his very first TONIGHT SHOW appearance...more

  • Broad City's Abbi Jacobson on the Road Trip as Therapy

    Jan 10 2019

    Abbi Jacobson opens up about the frustrations of TV development hell, playing “herself” on Comedy Central’s Broad City, and being a woman in a position of power.  She discusses her ongoing struggle with work-life balance, how it took a book deal just to make her take 3 weeks off to travel the country and get over a broken heart, and how that trip taught her that “the things we’re most afraid of, are the things that will most change us.”  Abbi reveals how she and co-creator Ilana Wexler got Amy ...more

  • Brad Meltzer on the Secret Plot to Kill George Washington

    Jan 07 2019

    Brad Meltzer is the #1 bestselling author of political thrillers like The Escape Artist and The Inner Circle.  Today he talks about making his first foray into nonfiction for his latest book The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington, all the research that went into it, and his initial concern that a long forgotten rumor of a secret plot to assassinate America’s founding father might turn out to be just that - a rumor.  He tells the story of America’s "other Benedict Arnold"...more

  • Bill Murray (Rerun)

    Jan 03 2019

    Actor Bill Murray (Lost in Translation, Rushmore) discusses how his music and poetry album New Worlds evolved out of a chance meeting with classical cellist Jan Vogler on a flight from Berlin to NYC. Plus, Bill Murray shares his philosophy of life, his favorite American humorists, and his thoughts on being an internet folk hero. New Worlds is available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, or wherever you buy music.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and visit www.kickassnews.com for mor...more

  • Bob Woodward on Nixon, Impeachment, & How Power Corrupts (Rerun)

    Dec 31 2018

    Today's episode is a rerun of my interview with journalist Bob Woodward that originally aired 11/04/15.  Bob talks about his book "THE LAST OF THE PRESIDENT'S MEN" which chronicles the White House career of Alexander Butterfield, who served as deputy assistant to President Nixon.  Through countless documents and hours of interviews, Butterfield gave Bob Woodward a revealing glimpse into the disfunction, paranoia, and corruption in the Nixon White House.  Woodward talks about how Alex Butterfield...more

  • Remembering Anthony Bourdain (Rerun)

    Dec 27 2018

    Today's episode is a rerun of an interview with Anthony Bourdain that originally aired 10/12/17.  Anthony speaks candidly about the problem of food waste, who is to blame, and who is working on solutions.  He discusses how he and his fellow chefs have been fighting this battle for years in their own kitchens, including embracing the "snout to tail" movement, renaming so called "trash fish," and even turning table scraps into delicious pork.  He also shares how he manages to juggle his a hectic t...more

  • John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan on Becoming Laurel & Hardy

    Dec 24 2018

    John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan discuss their childhood love of the Laurel & Hardy movies, stepping into the shoes of the legendary comedy duo for their new film Stan & Ollie, and the transformation that allowed John to step in the famously large pants of Oliver Hardy.  They share how Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy's 35 year showbiz partnership was a lot like a marriage, what it was like for Steve and John to find that same chemistry (having never worked together before), and how their director's ...more

  • Leon Panetta on Governing by Leadership Instead of by Crisis

    Dec 20 2018

    Leon Panetta talks about hard decisions, worthy fights, and "governing by leadership instead of by crisis."  He recalls growing up in Monterey, California as the first generation of Italian immigrants and warns the Trump Administration’s harsh immigration policies could mean fewer immigrant success stories like his own.  He reveals how he started out his political career as a Republican until President Richard Nixon fired him for daring to enforce civil rights.  He shares some early lessons in ...more

  • The Office's Paul Lieberstein Turns Back Pain into Laughs

    Dec 17 2018

    Paul Lieberstein (THE OFFICE) talks about his 20 year struggle with crippling back pain inspired his funny and moving directorial debut film SONG OF BACK AND NECK.  He shares how the king of indie filmmaking Mark Duplass convinced him to make the movie himself rather than selling it to a Hollywood studio, how he made something as seemingly mundane as back pain visually interesting on the screen, and the complications that arise when you're directing yourself.  We talk about his nine seasons play...more

  • Pete Holmes Talks Fatherhood, Comedy, and Making It Weird

    Dec 14 2018

    Comedian Pete Holmes talks about his new HBO comedy special PETE HOLMES: DIRTY CLEAN, paying his dues as a comic, and all of life’s weird and wonderful questions.  Pete says standup is still his first love, but podcasting is how he makes friends these days, and he believes everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, should start of podcast of their own.  He talks about being a brand new father, why his audiences always want him to complain about his baby, and why he’s determined not to ...more

  • Tha Fabulous Tina Brown Returns

    Dec 10 2018

    The legendary Tina Brown returns to talk about growing up in an entertainment family, how she got expelled from 3 different boarding schools for being a “subversive influence,” and how that same subversiveness served her well as editor of Vanity Fair.  Tina talks about her 37 year marriage to the former editor of The Sunday Times - Harry Evans, and their morning ritual of having a “news buffet.”  She talks about turning around The New Yorker after her successful run at Vanity Fair, how she adapt...more

  • Historian H.W. Brands on Washington in the Age of Compromise

    Dec 06 2018

    Historian H.W. Brands discusses his new book Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun and Daniel Webster, the Second Generation of American Giants.  Professor Brands talks about how these three political giants crafted the Compromise of 1850 which barely held the Union together, why none of these three men was ever elected President, and how compromise went from being politics at its finest to a dirty word in today’s Washington.  He discusses John Calhoun’s beliefs tha...more

  • The Daily Show's Trevor Noah

    Dec 03 2018

    Trevor Noah talks about his new standup special TREVOR NOAH: SON OF PATRICIA and why he dedicated it to his mom whom he calls “the first comedian that he ever saw” and “most gangster human being you’ll ever meet in your life.”  He discusses growing up in South Africa during Apartheid, the power of humor to fight oppression, and why he believes that hateful words aren’t nearly as important as addressing with the hate itself.  He shares how the 2016 election affected his own vision for THE DAILY S...more

  • David Priess Reveals How to Get Rid of a President

    Nov 29 2018

    David Priess returns to deliver a colorful political history of the schemes, maneuvers, and conspiracies that have attempted to remove unwanted presidents.  He discusses the various President’s who’ve died in office of natural and unnatural causes including two President’s who some suspect may have been poisoned and a bizarre conspiracy by a cabal of wealthy businessman to overthrow President Franklin Roosevelt.  He explains the 25th Amendment which allows for the President’s Cabinet and Congres...more

  • Author Michael Connelly on Cops, Crime Reporting, and Classic Noir

    Nov 26 2018

    Best-selling crime novelist Michael Connelly talks about his literary hero Raymond Chandler, how he followed in the footsteps of the king of detective noir when he first came to Los Angeles, and how Chandler’s novels influenced his own writing.  He reveals why he spent over two decades working as a crime reporter before diving into fiction, how he went about cultivating relationships with LAPD’s top homicide detectives, and how those sources still inform his work today.  He talks about creating ...more

  • Dan Rather on the Values That Unite America

    Nov 22 2018

    Legendary newsman Dan Rather talks about his 60 year career and how his travels and conversations have given him a “wide shot” of the American experience and the values that unite us.  He condemns recent attacks on some on those values (including freedom of the press), he shares his own family's experience during the Great Depression as a lesson in empathy, and he recalls how his time spent with men like Martin Luther King Jr. and Medger Evers opened his eyes to institutionalized racism in Ameri...more

  • General Stanley McChrystal on Myths and Realities of Great Leaders

    Nov 19 2018

    General Stanley McChrystal talks about the myths and reality of leadership.  He shares how he came to reassess the legacy of his military hero General Robert E. Lee in the aftermath of Charlottseville, how he personally learned that the man at the top often gets credit he doesn’t deserve, and why leaders aren’t always judged by their results.  He discusses a 15th century Chinese admiral who has become the symbol for that country’s global ambitions, why he didn’t realize that Coco Chanel was a re...more

  • Willem Dafoe on Art, Acting and "Embracing the Mystery"

    Nov 16 2018

    Oscar-nominated actor Willem Dafoe (Platoon, Spiderman, The Grand Budapest Hotel) shares how his beginnings in experimental theater inform his acting, what draws him to independent films, and what it’s like to make his 100th movie.  He talks about how his latest film At Eternity's Gate challenges the image of Vincent Van Gogh as a unappreciated mad genius and rethinks the constructs of the traditional biopic.  He reveals what it was like to immerse himself in Van Gogh’s world and find his inspir...more

  • Washington Post Reporter Greg Miller on Trump, Russia, and the Assault on the Free Press

    Nov 12 2018

    Greg Miller is one of the reporters for The Washington Post who received the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for his groundbreaking stories on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, and the resulting investigations of the Trump campaign and administration.  Today he shares how he cornered the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at a science conference in Washington and caught General Michael Flynn in a blatant lie about his dealings with Russian officials.  He describes the al...more

  • Comedian Chris Gethard on the Art of Losing

    Nov 08 2018

    Comedian Chris Gethard illustrates his personal and professional manifesto "lose well" with hilarious and ultimately empowering tales about his own missteps, misadventures, and public failures from the cancellation of his Comedy Central sitcom after ten episodes to rediscovering his comedic voice and life’s purpose on a public access channel.  He recalls how getting miscast in a school production of Bye Bye Birdie changed his life, the time he invited a heckler on stage during his comedy set, an...more

  • Roger Daltrey on The Who, Woodstock, and his Rock 'n Roll Life

    Nov 06 2018

    Roger Daltrey, founder/lead singer of The Who, discusses how the hardships experienced by Brits in WWII paved the way for the musical revolution of the 1960s, he recalls what it was like to be the poster-boys for the British “mod” movement (and why he never fully embraced the fad), and he remembers the “utter chaos” of performing at Woodstock. He talks about how he and Peter Townsend pushed each other’s creative boundaries during the making of the first rock opera Tommy, how he managed to resist...more

  • Sir Michael Caine on Old Movie Stars, Young Cockneys, and Life Lessons

    Nov 01 2018

    Sir Michael Caine has starred in over 100 movies and won two Academy Awards, and today he shares stories and advice from his remarkable career.  He reveals why he never believed in taking advice from older movie stars, why he never wanted to be James Bond, and how the 1960’s made it cool to be a young cockney in the movies.  He recalls his humble working class beginnings in the projects of London known as the Elephant Castle, shares how he learned his famous discipline while serving in the Korea...more

  • Senator Ben Sasse on Political Division and America's Loneliness Epidemic

    Oct 29 2018

    Senator Ben Sasse does a deep dive into the societal shifts affecting modern American life and the roots of our political divisiveness.  He talk about the outsized role politics plays in our daily lives, how "polititainment" celebrities like Sean Hannity are fueling dangerous tribalism in America, and how to build a healthier tribe of family and friends instead of political outrage.  He shares recent data that indicates that Americans are feeling increasingly lonely, and explains how the digital...more

  • Anthony Atamanuik Opens Up the Trump Presidential Archives

    Oct 25 2018

    Anthony Atamanuik, host of Comedy Central's The President Show returns to the podcast to talk about his new book American Tantrum: The Donald J. Trump Presidential Archives, why the President wants to open his Presidential Library while he's still in office, and what kind of secrets we might find in there.  He shares the reason why he stopped doing field pieces in public as Donald Trump, he delves into the strange psyche of the man, and theorizes that Trump might actually welcome news of his ext...more

  • Julian Castro Is Always Looking Ahead

    Oct 22 2018

    Julian Castro graduated high school a year early, won election to city council while he was still in law school, and became San Antonio's youngest mayor at age 27, before eventually serving as President Obama's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and making Hillary Clinton's short-list for VP in 2016.  He talks about his family's American dream including the remarkable story of how his Grandmother fled the violence of the Mexican Civil War for America and the values that his political act...more

  • Legendary Sports Announcer Verne Lundquist

    Oct 18 2018

    Legendary sports broadcaster Verne Lundquist recalls some of his favorite moments in sports and some of his favorite calls from Jack Nicklaus's final victory at the 1986 Masters and Tonya Harding's attack on Nancy Kerrigan at the 1994 Olympics to Christian Laettner's buzzer beater in the NCAA tournament and the Auburn-Alabama shocker of 2013. Verne shares why one radio station owner wanted him to change his name to "Jerry Lund," why he hated his short lived stint as a local news reporter in San ...more

  • Doris Kearns Goodwin on Presidential Leadership

    Oct 15 2018

    Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin revisits four of her favorite U.S. Presidents for her new book Leadership: In Turbulent Times.  Today she discusses the ideological family tree shared by Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson, how their character was shaped by their setbacks, and how their destinies were forged in times of crisis.  She shares how Abraham Lincoln gave purpose to the Civil War, how Teddy Roosevelt averted a coal strike tha...more

  • Founder of "The Onion" Scott Dikkers

    Oct 11 2018

    As the founder of The Onion, Scott Dikkers practically invented "fake news."  He discusses the origins of the satirical news site as a print newspaper on college campuses, how he drew inspiration from National Lampoon and Spy Magazine, and the article about Bill Clinton and the War in Bosnia that prompted The Onion to finally go online.  He recalls creating cable news parodies with a young Stephen Colbert on the Dana Carvey Show, how the Onion fooled Mahmud Ahmadenijad, and the article that led ...more

  • Mitch Albom on Life, Death, and Morrie

    Oct 08 2018

    Mitch Albom is the author the all time best-selling memoir Tuesday's with Morrie and six #1 Bestsellers that have sold over a million copies worldwide.  He talks about his new novel The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, how losing his adopted daughter to cancer inspired his latest book, and what the book has to say about mistakes and forgiveness.  He reveals how difficult it was to get Tuesdays with Morrie published, some of the lessons from Morrie Schwartz that have come to mean more to him 20 ye...more

  • Jeff Bridges Gets Zen About Art, Acting, and the Environment

    Oct 04 2018

    Jeff Bridges discusses his 6 decades in Hollywood and what he learned about acting from dad Lloyd Bridges.  He recalls the "Little Rascals" version of Tucker that he and Francis Ford Coppola made prior to filming, laughing it up with Robin Williams and Terry Gilliam on the set of The Fisher King, and how he and his brother Beau tested each other during The Fabulous Baker Boys.  He shares stories about making The Last Picture Show, King Kong, Heaven's Gate, The Contender, and True Grit.  He talks...more

  • Cisco's John Chambers on Leadership in a Startup World

    Oct 01 2018

    John Chambers is widely considered one of the world’s greatest business leaders, and today he discusses how he turned Cisco into a global tech giant with $47 billion in revenues and 70,000 employees.  He talks about his early years working at IBM and Wang Laboratories and how those experiences led to his lifelong mantra “disrupt or be disrupted.”  He opens up about his struggle with dyslexia, how it helped him see 4 and 5 chess moves ahead as a CEO, and why he encourages other business leaders t...more

  • CBS White House Correspondent Major Garrett

    Sep 27 2018

    CBS News' chief White House correspondent Major Garrett has covered the last 4 administrations but says nothing could prepare him for President Donald Trump.  He recalls his strange first encounter with the reality TV star who would become President and the craziest 11 days he’s ever experienced as a White House correspondent.  He discusses the many ways in which the President is his own worst enemy, how the President’s failure at healtchare reform lead to his success on tax reform, and yet he l...more

  • Ken Burns on the Mayo Clinic Miracle

    Sep 24 2018

    Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns discusses his new film The Mayo Clinic: Faith Hope Science and tells incredible story of a country physician and a Franciscan nun who built the medical institution known as “The Miracle in Minnesota.”  He talks about the natural disaster that led to the formation of the Mayo Clinic, their astounding success rate at a time when going to a hospital was considered a death sentence, and how Dr. W.W. Mayo and his staff innovated everything from sterilization and surger...more

  • Sir Richard Branson on his Adventures in Business, Space, and Beyond

    Sep 20 2018

    Sir Richard Branson talks about The Virgin Group philosophy, why he likes to act fast when launching a new business, and how many of his best ideas came from his own desires and frustrations as a consumer.  He gives advice to young entrepreneurs and shares what he’s learned from his mistakes.  He reveals his reasons for selling Virgin America to Alaska Air, and he outlines his vision of the future with Virgin Galactic and his latest venture Virgin Hyperloop One.  Plus he talks about his strange ...more

  • Chris Stirewalt Gives a Colorful History of American Populism

    Sep 17 2018

    Fox News' politics editor Chris Stirewalt discusses the history of American populism, how economic resentment fuels populism even in times of huge prosperity, and why the will of the people doesn’t always make for great policy.  He discusses why populist leaders are so prone to hucksterism and easy answers including one politician who literally started out as snake oil salesman, and why it’s a good thing that most populist leaders never actually get to govern.  He talks about how the least likel...more

  • Comedian Sam Morrill's Therapist Misses Him

    Sep 13 2018

    Comedian Sam Morrill talks about getting his start as an intern on the Colbert Report and breaking into the New York comedy scene.  He reveals why dating and standup don't always mix and why his therapist misses him when he's on the road.  He talks about some of the jokes that have gotten him in trouble with social justice warriors on the internet and how he handles the moral outrage machine on social media. Plus borscht belt comedy, the worst gigs ever, #MeToo, and more.  Don't miss Sam's new s...more

  • Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson on the Military Astrophysics Alliance and Trump's Space Force

    Sep 08 2018

    Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson returns to discuss the mutually beneficial relationship between war-makers and star-gazers. He says the military often serves as a source of creative inspiration for astrophysicists and shares some of the unexpected breakthroughs that emerged from government funded defense projects. Then Neil weighs in on President Trump’s proposed Space Force. He cautions that just because Donald Trump suggested it doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad idea, and in fact, he suggested just s...more

  • Mark Leibovich Exposes the NFL's Excess and Anxiety

    Sep 06 2018

    Mark Leibovich, Chief National Correspondent for the New York Times Magazine, follows up his #1 bestseller THIS TOWN with a probing examination of pro-football at a moment of peak success and high anxiety BIG GAME: THE NFL IN DANGEROUS TIMES.  This native Bostonian apologizes for those famously annoying Patriots fans, and discusses the Patriots superfan in the White House and Trump’s weird obsession with Tom Brady.  He offers an unprecedented glimpse inside the one club that Donald Trump could n...more

  • Amb. Wendy Sherman on Negotiating Nukes w/ Iran & North Korea

    Sep 03 2018

    Ambassador Wendy Sherman was the lead negotiator on the Iran Nuclear Agreement, and she writes about it in her new book titled Not for the Faint of Heart: Lessons in Courage, Power, and Persistence.  Today she recalls working with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to halt North Korea’s nuclear ambitions in the 90’s, and how they came close to an agreement only to see their efforts derailed by the chaos of the 2000 election.  She explains why negotiating with North Korea is always "one part d...more

  • Rick Wilson on Trump, Giuliani, and "Vichy Republicans"

    Aug 30 2018

    Republican strategist Rick Wilson was one of the very first conservatives to oppose Donald Trump and a co-founder of the Never Trump movement.  Today he enumerate the many reasons why Trump is so abhorrent to him, how his opposition to Trump has caused him to feel like a pariah in his own party, and how he gets far more death threats from crazed Trump-supporters than he ever got from Democrats.  He calls out the “vichy Republicans” in Washington who sold out out to Trump, and singles out former ...more

  • Arthur Brooks on the Art of Disagreement

    Aug 27 2018

    As the president of the American Enterprise Institute, Arthur Brooks has long worked to foster more civilized and productive discourse, and now he is exploring the art of disagreement on his new podcast The Arthur Brooks Show.  Arthur says the answer is not to stop talking with people on the opposite side of the political spectrum but to talk to each other better.  Arthur describes how social media lowers our inhibitions and makes us meaner, he discusses America’s addiction to moral outrage as a...more

  • Rob Riggle Talks Improv, Jet Skis, and the Marines

    Aug 23 2018

    Rob Riggle (The Hangover, Step Brothers) shares how a running joke spawned his latest project and what it’s like to play a "heightened version of himself" in Rob Riggle's Ski Master Academy.  Rob recalls his 23 years in the Marines, what it was like handling public affairs in a country where people wanted to chop your head off, how he managed to juggle his military service with his comedy career, and his fateful decision to pass up pilot school to try his hand at standup.  He talks about studyi...more

  • Dan Buettner Shares Longevity Secrets from the World's "Blue Zones"

    Aug 20 2018

    National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner has studied the the world's "blue zones" the 5 areas where people live the longest, and today he shares their secrets. He shares how calorie restriction can lengthen your life, what kind of exercises are best for longevity and mobility, and why loners rarely live to be 100.  He talks about an island in Italy where the men outlive the women, why people with daughters live longer than those with sons, and how modern conveniences are driving the world’s blue ...more

  • Greg Gutfeld: Fox News's Political Unicorn

    Aug 16 2018

    Greg Gutfeld discusses his new book The Gutfeld Monologues: Classic Rants from The Five and how it gave him a unique opportunity troll his own work.  He talks about his political evolution starting out at liberal enclave UC Berkeley, his problem with "mob thinking," and how extremism on both the left and the right led him to Libertarianism.  He recalls his early days working at the Huffington Post with his best buddy Andrew Breitbart and how a prank involving costumed dwarves got him fired as ed...more

  • Topher Grace on How David Duke Got Duped

    Aug 13 2018

    Topher Grace discusses playing David Duke in Spike Lee's latest film Blackkklansman about Ron Stallworth, the black cop who infiltrated the KKK.  Topher talks about the agony of reading David Duke’s autobiography for the role, why Duke still denies that he was ever fooled by a black man, and how Duke was using phrases like “America First” and “Make America Great Again” long before Trump.  Topher shares how director Spike Lee helped him play the king of all racists, what it was like to screen the...more

  • Jenna Elfman Talks Zombie Preparedness and Dharma & Greg in the Trump Era

    Aug 09 2018

    Jenna Elfman talks about joining the cast of AMC's Fear the Walking Dead, shares her strategy for surviving a zombie apocalypse, and reveals how working on the show got her thinking about her own family's emergency preparedness.  She discusses her first experience with a "walker" on set, how doing her own stunts has made her a bit of a badass in the eyes of her two young sons, and what it was like to interact with The Walking Dead’s diehard fans at Comicon.  Plus Jenna talks about how she and he...more

  • 977 Days Captive By Somali Pirates

    Aug 06 2018

    Journalist Michael Scott Moore went to Somalia to write an article about Somali pirates only be kidnapped and held hostage for 977 days as his mother tried to come up with his ransom.  He discusses his captivity, his one daring escape attempt, and how he didn’t even believe it when he was finally released.  He discusses how pirates use the media to drive up their ransom demands, their shocking naiveté about America, and how the man known as the Somali pirate kingpin didn't even know about US pol...more

  • "Elder Millennial" Iliza Shlesinger Gives Wedding Advice

    Aug 02 2018

    Newlywed comedian and "elder millennial" Iliza Shlesinger returns to talk about her new comedy special and give me a little advice for my own upcoming nuptials.  She defends a bride’s right to be a "princess" on her special day, explains why it’s never as simple as just "saying yes to the dress," and makes the case for doing away with the traditional bouquet toss.  Iliza also reveals how her walk down the aisle wasn’t exactly what she planned (and neither was the groom’s reaction!) and why she s...more

  • Bo Burnham Returns to Middle School

    Jul 30 2018

    Comedian Bo Burnham discusses making his directorial debut with his critically acclaimed film EIGHTH GRADE which explores the humor and horrors of modern adolescence.  He talks about why he went to great lengths to avoid nostalgia in his portrayal of life in middle school and how casting a real 13 year old girl kept him honest.  He shares how he drew inspiration from watching hours of web videos by middle schoolers, how much the internet has changed since he made his own Youtube debut in 2006, a...more

  • Alan Dershowitz on Impeachment and the Criminalization of Politics

    Jul 26 2018

    Famed attorney and lifelong Democrat Alan Dershowitz says even though he make not like Donald Trump's policies, the President is entitled to the same rights as any other American and impeachment is a clearly defined Constitutional procedure not political theatre.  He explains exactly what is and is NOT an impeachable offense, why even a criminal act may not necessarily lead to impeachment, and how this applies to Presidents from Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. ...more

  • Jim Gaffigan Talks Tumor Humor and Opening for the Pope

    Jul 23 2018

    Comedian Jim Gaffigan opens up about his wife/writing partner Jeannie’s brain tumor scare and how she was the first person to suggest using it in his new comedy special JIM GAFFIGAN: NOBLE APE.  Jim reveals how trial and error led him back to his own authentic voice as a comedian, how he gets inside the head of the audience and plays his own worst critic on stage, and why he’s making fewer and fewer food jokes.  He discusses why he’s breaking free of the Netflix model for his latest comedy speci...more

  • Malcolm Nance Says Trump Is a "Willing Asset" for Putin

    Jul 19 2018

    In the wake of the bizarre Trump-Putin Summit, intelligence expert Malcolm Nance says Trump has gone from being an unwitting asset of Russia to a willing asset deliberately undermining NATO, the European Union, and even his own country.  Nance says Donald Trump has betrayed his oath to uphold the Constitution and is the closest thing America's seen to another Benedict Arnold.  He reveals Russia’s broader efforts to undermine US and the influential Americans enabling Russian interference includin...more

  • Ben Rhodes on Hope, Change, and Pragmatism in World Affairs

    Jul 16 2018

    Former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes talks about how he survived a full 8 years in the White House, his close friendship with President Barack Obama, and what it was like to travel the world representing America.  Ben says the Arab Spring taught him that sometimes hope and change have to take a back seat to pragmatism and the big picture.  He reveals how he secretly worked with the Pope to reopen relations with Cuba, how sleeplessness led to some frayed nerves during the Iran nucle...more

  • Rob Reiner Brings the "Shock and Awe"

    Jul 12 2018

    Rob Reiner returns to talk about the long road to making his latest film Shock and Awe about the journalists who "got it right" about WMD in Iraq and why he says Americans still may not be ready to deal with the mistakes of the Iraq War.  How discusses the lesser known news syndicate that uncovered the truth about WMD and why the mainstream media at the time ignored all the warning signs.  He talks about his love for classic newsroom films like All the President's Men and his urgency to make a f...more

  • David Sedaris on the Lighter Side of Death, Aging, and Travel

    Jul 09 2018

    Bestselling humorist David Sedaris talks about why he doesn’t do social media, how a fitbit has come to rule his life, and his irritation with the British habit of bullying Americans into drinking.  David shares how watching his father grow old has him thinking about his own mortality and how he keeps politics from coming between him and his Trump-supporting dad.  David Sedaris says his heavy travel schedule has liberated him from the watching the news and he couldn't be happier about it.  Plus ...more

  • Astrophysicist Adam Frank on Alien Worlds and Saving Our Own

    Jul 05 2018

    Astrophysicist Adam Frank offers an explanation for why we have yet to made contact with extraterrestrials and says it is highly likely that many of ten billion trillion planets in the universe have hosted technologically advanced alien civilizations.  He discusses three possible fates that may have befallen those civilizations and how studying other planets could help us save our own.  He says that climate science actually holds consistent truths across all planets that have atmospheres and if ...more

  • Mike Reiss Celebrates The Simpsons' 30th!

    Jul 02 2018

    The Simpsons's longest-serving writer/producer Mike Reiss celebrates the 30th anniversary of the longest running show in TV history and shares stories, scandals, and gossip about working with America’s most iconic cartoon family.  He talks about his early days writing for the Harvard Lampoon and why Lampoon alums make up half the writers rooms in Hollywood.  He recalls working on The Tonight Show, how his only meeting with Johnny Carson was just like being a guest on his show, and a Carnac joke ...more

  • James Clapper on Trump, Russia, & a Life in Intelligence

    Jun 28 2018

    Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper recalls how tinkering with a TV set as a boy led to a career in signals intelligence, his frustration when working as an intelligence briefer to General William Westmoreland during the Vietnam War, and what it was like to be in the room when President Obama ordered the raid on Osama Bin Laden.  He discusses Russia's interference in the 2016 election, the now infamous intelligence meeting with President-elect Trump at Trump Tower, and why he ...more

  • Dave Itzkoff on Robin Williams' Comedy and Tragedy

    Jun 25 2018

    New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff talks about the surprisingly patrician upbringing of Robin Williams, his time studying to be a serious actor at Julliard, and Robin's early influences as a comedian.  Dave reveals how Star Wars helped Williams land the role of Mork the Ork, and why his shenangigans on Mork and Mindy might have landed him in hot water in the age of #MeToo.  He discusses Robin’s gradual evolution as a movie star, and why Hollywood didn’t really know what to do with him ...more

  • Eugene Jarecki Goes Road Tripping with Elvis

    Jun 21 2018

    Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Eugene Jarecki drove across the U.S. in Elvis Presley's 1963 Rolls Royce to talk to people about Elvis as a metaphor for the American dream in his new documentary The King.  He traces Elvis’s journey from his birth in a Mississippi town that's barely kept alive by Elvis tourism to the musical melting pot of Memphis, and ultimately to Las Vegas and the "sweaty sequined jumpsuit Elvis" who became more of a corporate brand than a man.  He reveals how he acui...more

  • An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia

    Jun 18 2018

    Ambassador Michael McFaul helped President Obama craft the US-Russia “reset," and he later had a front-row seat for the end of the reset with the return of the hostile, paranoid Russian President Vladimir Putin.  He recalls witnessing history unfold during the attempted Russian military coup in 1989 and early encounter with a young unimpressive Vladimir Putin in the 90s.  He gives an insiders account of being with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she presented the infamous "reset" button,...more

  • Billy Bob Thornton & Mark Duplass on Indie Film, Amazon's Goliath, and TV's Renaissance

    Jun 14 2018

    Billy Bob Thornton and Mark Duplass talk about Season 2 of Goliath.  Billy reveals why he’s so attracted to outsider roles, what he found particularly appealing about playing an attorney, and how the show’s creators David E. Kelley and Jonathan Shapiro (both former attorneys) helped him prepare for the courtroom.  He talks about some of his own favorite movie lawyers, the death of independent film, and how television has come a long way since his early days on the 90’s sitcom Evening Shade.  Mar...more

  • Bonus Episode - Akimbo

    Jun 12 2018

    I love sharing new podcasts, and in this special bonus episode, I want to introduce you to my friend Seth Godin and a great new podcast called Akimbo.  The first episode is about the hype around grand openings, whether it’s a summer blockbuster or a new startup, and in the second episode of Akimbo, Seth Godin delves into status roles in society, how we measure up alongside others, and what we’re willing to do to achieve a higher status role.  Subscribe to Akimbo in Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or w...more

  • Bob Balaban Puts the "Character" in Character Actor

    Jun 11 2018

    Bob Balaban has been a delightful part of many of the best movies and TV shows of the past 50 years including Moonrise Kingdom, A Mighty Wind, Gosford Park, Capote, and Seinfeld.  This Oscar and Emmy-nominated actor, director, and producer shares how a character actor can have a much longer career than a movie star, why he sometimes enjoys auditioning for a role more than actually getting it, and why he likes to study the famous directors with whom he works from Stephen Spielberg to Wes Anderson...more

  • Todd Purdum on Rodgers & Hammerstein's Musical Magic

    Jun 07 2018

    Todd Purdum, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a senior writer at Politico, discusses his own life-long love of the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, and why their Broadway shows like South Pacific are so timeless.  He reveals how Oklahoma! revolutionized the Broadway musical and how their shows perfectly tapped into the mood of post-war America.  He talks about how Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein bravely addressed social injustices in their work, and how Hammerstein's politics land...more

  • Max Brooks on Star Wars, Real Wars and Ewok Insurgency

    Jun 04 2018

    Author Max Brooks is well known for his bestselling zombie books like World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide, and he applies the same creative thinking to military strategy as a fellow at the Modern War Institute and The Art of Future Warfare Project.  He reveals how he gets military leaders to think outside the box about complex problems, some of the threats for which he fears the US is least prepared, and why American ingenuity and self-reliance will be crucial to surviving modern disasters...more

  • CNN's Jake Tapper on Political Fiction, the Swamp, and Secret Societies

    May 31 2018

    CNN'S Jake Tapper discusses his foray into writing fiction with his new political thriller The Hellfire Club, his interest in the politics of the 1950s, and the real-life Washington powerbrokers who make up the supporting cast of his story.  He shares how his years of observing how eager young Congressmen slowly sell their souls inspired the central character of The Hellfire Club, and he illuminates some disturbing parallels between Donald Trump and Joseph McCarthy, the infamous red-baiting Sena...more

  • Sebastian Junger Talks War, Tribalism and Honoring Our Vets

    May 28 2018

    Journalist/documentary filmmaker Sebastian Junger (Restrepo, The Perfect Storm) talks about the new PBS Memorial Day special Going to War and his experience as an embedded reporter covering the War in Afghanistan. He recalls his first close call with an I.E.D. in the Korengal Valley, the fear and exhilaration of first arriving in the combat zone, and how war taps into something primal in all of us. He discusses his own struggle with PTSD, how sharing war stories helps our soldiers reintegrate to...more

  • Al Roker on the Johnstown Flood, America's Gilded Age Disaster

    May 25 2018

    The Today Show's Al Roker talks about his book Ruthless Tide: The Heroes and Villains of the Johnstown Flood, America’s Astonishing Gilded Age Disaster.  He discusses the elite country club that compromised the structural integrity of the South Fork Dam causing the flood, he reveals some of the famous industrialists who belonged to that club, and how they escaped justice for the Johnstown flood in a notorious trial that ultimately led to important changes in US liability laws.  Plus Al Roker rel...more

  • Ethan Hawke's Spiritual Approach to Acting, Life, and Social Change

    May 21 2018

    Ethan Hawke joins me on the podcast for wide ranging conversation covering art, politics, spirirtuality, the environment, and more.  He describes working with Robin Williams on Dead Poets Society, why he finds the most creative fullfillment in music not acting, and what he calls the "spiritual marriage" between an actor and director.  He opens up about how his admiration for the work of Thomas Murton, and his thoughts on the social responsibility of religious leaders, and his own spiritual journ...more

  • Ehud Barak on Fighting for Israel & Searching for Peace

    May 17 2018

    Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak discusses the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, his role in the 2000 Camp David Summit, and his tortured dealings with Yasser Arafat.  He recalls his early years growing up on a kibbutz, how his intelligence and navigating skills lead the physically unimposing young man to become commander of Israel's special forces unit Sayeret Matkal, and the time he lead a daring mission to rescue hostages on a hijacked Sabena Flight in 1972.  He talks about current Prime ...more

  • Former CIA Director Michael Hayden on Trump's Attack on the Intelligence Community

    May 14 2018

    General Michael Hayden, former Director of the CIA, talks about his concerns over President Trump's attack on the Intelligence Community and objective facts.  He refutes the President’s paranoid narrative of a so called "deep state" operating in the shadows, explains the lasting impact of a damaged relationship between the Intelligence Community and the Commander-in-Chief, and reveals what friends inside the IC are saying about that relationship including how they have to tailor the Daily Intell...more

  • CNN's Sally Kohn on Hate, Humanity, and Twitter Trolls

    May 10 2018

    CNN political analyst Sally Kohn talks about her investigation into the epidemic of hate all around us and how we can stop it. She discusses what scientists and researchers have learned about the evolutionary and cultural roots of hate, and how incivility can be a gateway to much worse.  She shares some surprising lessons and dramatic stories from her travels to Rwanda, the Middle East, and across the United States engaging with former terrorists, white supremacists, and even her own Twitter tro...more

  • Jon Meacham on the Soul of America and Donald Trump

    May 07 2018

    Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham helps us understand the present moment of crisis in American politics by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame hatred and reveals how his latest book The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels was born in the dark days following the infamous Charlottesville rally.  He talks about similarities between the current age and the 1920’s, how America during Great Depression could have easily followed the path of Germany ...more

  • The Dark Heart of White Nationalism w/ Journalist Vegas Tenold

    May 03 2018

    For six years, journalist Vegas Tenold embedded himself among the members of three of America's most ideologically extreme white nationalist groups including the KKK, neonazis, and the Traditionalist Workers Party.  He reveals how this self-described Norwegian socialist managed to gain access to some of the worst hate groups in America, and why he says the most dangerous groups aren’t the KKK or neonazis, but a new class of well organized activists seeking to take their hateful ideology mainstre...more

  • Cinco de Funny w/ Comedian Paul Rodriguez

    Apr 30 2018

    Comedian Paul Rodriguez tells stories from his 40 year career in showbusiness, including his first time on The Tonight Show, why Johnny Carson banned him from the NBC studios, and the "higher power" who intervened on his behalf.  He talks about getting his start as a valet at the Comedy Store and how that led to his being a runner for Richard Pryor, he shares some advice Comedy Store owner Mitzi Shore gave him when he started out, and recalls some wild times from his days living in a comedians d...more

  • Michael Isikoff & David Corn on Trump's Russian Roulette

    Apr 26 2018

    Journalists Michael Isikoff and David Corn discuss Russia’s long simmering plan to undermine American democracy, and how the U.S. Intelligence Community failed to see the warning signs in 2016.  They delve into a rogue’s gallery of Russia enablers from Paul Manafort to Carter Paige and analyze why the Trump campaign and Russian cyberattackers seemed to be so suspiciously in sync.  They talk about President Donald Trump’s strange infatuation with Vladimir Putin, why President Obama didn’t do more...more

  • Bryan Cranston on Life Before Acting & Becoming Walter White

    Apr 23 2018

    Rerun of 9/5/17 episode w/ guest Bryan Cranston. Actor Bryan Cranston recalls a difficult childhood and the two year road trip that changed his life.  He shares some of his adventures before acting including traveling as a carny, catching shoplifters as security guard, and the time he ended up a suspect in a murder investigation.  He talks about getting a crash course in comedy from Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, landing the role of a lifetime on Breaking Bad, and how he built one of the most i...more

  • Steven Pinker Makes the Case for Science, Reason, Humanism, and Progress

    Apr 19 2018

    Professor Steven Pinker (Bill Gates' favorite author) discusses the irony that the news media has become measurably more negative at same time as our quality life has dramatically improved.  He outlines how the top 15 objective metrics of human progress indicate that life is getting better not worse, and he says fear of things like globalism and income inequality is greatly exaggerated and largely unfounded.  He calls for the left and the right to stop politicizing science, the embrace of humani...more

  • Louie Anderson Says Be Nicer to Your Mom

    Apr 16 2018

    Comedian Louie Anderson returns to talk about mining the more poignant moments of his childhood for comedy and some of the comedic expressions he borrowed from his own parents.  He discusses how his mother Ora Zella Anderson inspired his Emmy-winning role on Baskets, he reveals the questions he’d most like to ask his mother if she were still alive, and opens up about learning to forgive his abusive father and also himself.  Plus Louie Anderson on finally learning to eat healthy after 65 years, w...more

  • Jennifer Palmieri Empowers Women w/ Lessons from the Clinton Campaign

    Apr 12 2018

    Jennifer Palmieri, communications director of the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign, says she wants to turn the results of the 2016 election into something empowering for future female leaders and advises the next woman who runs for President to write her own playbook not emulate her male predecessors.  She shares her insider’s perspective on the Clinton campaign, gives some insight into the candidate who she says was reluctant to run for President in 2016 and was all too aware of the slings and arr...more

  • Director Barry Levinson on Paterno, Pacino, & Our "Wag the Dog" Reality

    Apr 09 2018

    Director Barry Levinson explores the Penn State sexual abuse scandal that ended Coach Joe Paterno’s career in his new film PATERNO on HBO.  He explains why he wanted to present the straight facts of the case without actually taking sides, talks the about the student riots that broke out when Penn State fired Paterno, and reveals what the film has to say about Americans’ views on issues of loyalty, tribalism, and the truth.  Barry Levinson also recalls his early days teaming up with another "coac...more

  • Ed Helms on Re-examining Ted Kennedy and Embracing Your Inner-Fool

    Apr 05 2018

    Actor Ed Helms (THE OFFICE, THE HANGOVER) talks about playing Ted Kennedy's best friend in CHAPPAQUIDDICK, why the Chappaquiddick incident is an often forgotten chapter in America’s modern political history, and how making the film led him to reassess his own ideas about "Camelot."  He also reveals how the Kennedy damage control team used the moon landing to distract from the scandal, ponders Chappaquidick’s place in Ted Kennedy’s larger legacy, and wonders how the scandal might have played out ...more

  • Tim Robbins Humanizes Immigration & Heals Prisoners w/ Theatre

    Apr 02 2018

    Actor/director Tim Robbins discusses how his new HBO series HERE AND NOW is tapping into the anxiety of America in 2018 and why his classic political mockumentary BOB ROBERTS is more relevant now than ever.  He says Harvey Weinstein reminds him of the shady operators he knew growing up in New York’s Greenwich Village, he recalls studying real studio execs for his role in Robert Altman’s THE PLAYER, and he remembers Altman's mentoring Tim's leap from actor to director.  He discusses how he funded...more

  • Andie MacDowell on Acting Over 40, Time's Up, & Her Film "Love After Love"

    Apr 02 2018

    Andie MacDowell discusses why there are so few good roles for actresses over 40 and why she thinks that’s about to change.  She talks about getting thrown into the deep end on her very first movie GREYSTOKE, the hard work she had to do to get from that film to her break-out role in SEX LIES AND VIDEOTAPE, and what she learned about grief and healing on her latest movie LOVE AFTER LOVE.  She discusses why she’s chosen to live outside of Los Angeles until recently, some of the advice she gives to ...more

  • David Mamet on Jazz, Noir, and Whorehouse Piano Players

    Mar 26 2018

    David Mamet discusses how the old gangster stories he heard as a child inspired him to write CHICAGO: A NOVEL.  He talks about his love of classic noir and hot jazz, and dislike of social media, computers, and flowery prose.  He shares why famous figures are better felt than heard in historical fiction, why he says Hollywood is dead, and why he never reads his own reviews.  He teases his latest play about Harvey Weinstein, and reveals his longing to live as a reporter in the 1920’s and die as a ...more

  • Futurist Michio Kaku on Mars, Immortality, and Interstellar Travel

    Mar 22 2018

    Futurist Michio Kaku says sooner or later humanity will face the possibility of extinction, and it’s up to scientists to come up with a plan B whether it’s another planet or even another galaxy.  He explains why it’s important for us to return to the moon, how we would go about terraforming Mars, and what he calls the new "gold rush" that could fund NASA indefinitely.  He shares his theory on why we haven’t encountered alien life and where humans fit in on his hierarchy of civilizations.  Michio...more

  • Bizarre Foods Host Andrew Zimmern

    Mar 19 2018

    Andrew Zimmern host of Bizarre Foods on The Travel Channel talks about how he became the man who’ll eat anything and some of the weirdest foods he’s tried over the years.  He reveals some of the strangest delicacies that turned out to be surprisingly good and whether he’s finally learned to love his old nemesis - the infamously stinky durian fruit.  He’ll discuss his broader mission to spread tolerance and understanding because as he puts it, "social change often starts with our stomachs."  He r...more

  • Robert Malley Lists 10 Conflicts to Watch in 2018

    Mar 15 2018

    Robert Malley, president of the International Crisis Group, discusses ICG's annual list of the 10 Conflicts to Watch in 2018.  He cautions against Donald Trump’s bluster about decertifying the Iran Nuclear Deal, warns that the stakes in North Korea are too high to be ignored, and speculates on what will happen in Syria once ISIS has been defeated militarily.  He reveals why he thinks a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is unlikely and how his childhood practically destined h...more

  • Comedian Nikki Glaser Is Up and On the Radio

    Mar 12 2018

    Comedian Nikki Glaser talks about the worst week of her life, why she’s steering clear of politics for a while, and why she decided to move to NYC rather than get up early. She reveals why she likes long distance relationships, why she prefers to follow really good comedians, and why she’s banned from Urban Outfitters. Plus, how Nikki sorta saved my relationship. Her new radio show YOU UP WITH NIKKI GLASER airs Monday through Thursday from 10:00 A.M to Noon ET and 7-9A.M. PT to 9:00 A.M. PT on S...more

  • Steve Buscemi, Armando Ianucci, & Andrea Riseborough on The Death of Stalin

    Mar 08 2018

    The cast and creator of THE DEATH OF STALIN talk about mining one of Russia’s darkest chapters for comedy and some of absurd but true stories that make into THE DEATH OF STALIN. Writer/director Armando Ianucci (VEEP, THE THICK OF IT) talks about how fighting ruthless authoritarians is a family tradition for him, why Russian officials think his movie is part of a western plot destabilize that country, and why the creator of VEEP is finally ready to give politics a break for a while. Steve Buscemi...more

  • Cass Sunstein on Authoritarianism in America

    Mar 05 2018

    Cass Sunstein attempts to answer the question "Can authoritarianism happen in America?"  He discusses a few of America’s past flirtations with authoritarianism, some of the weaknesses in our system that could be exploited by an aspiring strongman, and why if it did happen, it would likely be a very gradual process instead of a bold power-grab.  He talks about the ways that tribalism, nationalism and conspiracy theories create a fertile breeding ground for authoritarianism, he reveals whether he ...more

  • Matt Ingebretson & Jake Weisman Go Corporate

    Mar 01 2018

    Matt Ingebretson and Jake Weisman, the stars and co-creators of the new Comedy Central series CORPORATE talk about their own experiences in corporate America and the irony doing their new show for corporate conglomerate Viacom.  They discuss why they wanted a darker tone than typical workplace comedies, how they convinced Lance Reddick to play their tyranical boss, and why they took on the one holiday you that can’t make fun of in their season finale.  Plus Matt and Jake talk about development h...more

  • Gloria Allred Was Saying Time's Up Long Ago

    Feb 26 2018

    Attorney Gloria Allred was fighting for women long before anyone ever hashtagged Me Too or Time's Up, and she's the subject of a new Netflix documentary Seeing Allred.  She reveals how her own personal experience inspired to fight for victims assault, harassment, and discrimination.  She addresses critics who say she just does it all for the publicity, and explains that for many of her clients such as the Cosby accusers, a "trial" in the court of public opinion may be the only justice they can g...more

  • Comedian Ali Siddiq Goes from Jail to Jokes

    Feb 22 2018

    20 years ago comedian Ali Siddiq served six years in the Texas state penitentiary, and now he’s returning to the cellblock for his new Comedy Central standup special Ali Siddiq: It’s Bigger Than These Bars.  On today’s podcast, Ali talks about the incident that landed behind bars, and why he says “mental prison” is far worse than physical prison.  He discusses how he started his comedy career by telling funny stories to his fellow prisoners, how he convinced the Bell County Jail to let him back ...more

  • Malcolm McDowell on Mozart, Movies & Never Looking Back

    Feb 20 2018

    Malcolm McDowell has starred in over 260 films and television shows from classics like Clockwork Orange to his latest role as an egotistical conductor on Mozart in the Jungle.  He shares stories about "mostly drunken gambling and whoring" at the Royal Shakespeare Company, how he came up with the infamous Singin' in the Rain scene for Clockwork Orange, and how he got stiffed by the film’s notoriously cheap director Stanley Kubrick.  The maestro discusses his strategy for conducting the symphony ...more

  • Twice the Funny w/ the Sklar Brothers

    Feb 16 2018

    Comedians Randy and Jason Sklar talk about how they got into comedy and why they don’t just want to be known as the "twin comics." They talk about their podcast Dumb People Town that riffs on the dumbing down of America, talk about a few of the DPT characters who’ve become folk heroes to their fans, and what it says about life in the age of Donald Trump.  Plus they talk about their new docu-comedy Poop Talk that uses humor to address one the biggest social taboos of all. The Sklar Brothers' new...more

  • An Unspirational Conversation w/ Elan Gale

    Feb 12 2018

    Elan Gale, executive-producer of The Bachelor, says if you want to improve your life, be your own worst critic, not your own best cheerleader, and get to know your new best friends...shame, anxiety, and desperation.  He takes on some of the most popular and meaningless inspirational phrases explaining why only narcissists believe "everything happens for a reason and "living without regrets" is a recipe for complacency.  Plus Elan Gale on why Trump never learns anything, the best question to ask ...more

  • Whitney Cummings Hacks the Female Brain

    Feb 08 2018

    Comedian Whitney Cummings talks about the humbling experience of being a first time director on her film The Female Brain, how she learned that every moment doesn’t have to be a joke, and why she says The Female Brain isn’t just for the ladies.  She shares how she broke free of a cycle of co-depency once she started understanding the neurochemistry behind her bad choices and why she says it’s a lot harder to come up with jokes when you don’t have all that none-stop drama.  Whitney weighs in on t...more

  • David Frum on How Trump Corrupts the American Republic

    Feb 05 2018

    David Frum, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, discusses his new book TRUMPOCRACY: THE CORRUPTION OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC.  He documents how Trump and his administration is steadily damaging the tenets of American democracy, warns that Trump’s military generals could become a liability to the President, and how the Trump Administration’s buffoonery may be incompetence by design with an end game of subverting the rule of law and undermining our Democratic institutions. Plus, Frum...more

  • David Cay Johnston Tried to Warn You About Trump

    Feb 01 2018

    David Cay Johnston, bestselling author of The Making of Donald Trump, returns to the podcast to say "I told you so" and discuss his new book It’s Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America.  The Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist says the President who promised to "drain the swamp" has become the biggest swamp monster of all.  He describes how Trump is packing government agencies with "political termites" who are eating away at the very institutions they’re ...more

  • A Skeptic's Guide to the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia w/ Dr. Michael Shermer

    Jan 29 2018

    Dr. Michael Shermer, editor of Skeptic Magazine, talks about his new book Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality & Utopia.  He reveals the surprising history of our concept of heaven, he proves that out-of-body experiences are nothing more than hallucinations, and he questions why reincarnated souls only seem to hang around India.  He discusses why it’s unlikely that you or anyone else will ever live past 125, why utopian societies always end badly, and why scien...more

  • Phil Rosenthal Eats His Way Around The World

    Jan 25 2018

    Phil Rosenthal, creator of Everybody Loves Raymond, reveals how the idea for his new travel show Somebody Feed Phil came from a trip he and Ray Romano took to Italy, he recalls some of the cultural roadblocks he encountered when he later produced the Russian version of Everybody Loves Raymond, and talks about the places he likes to call the "world’s greatest hits."  He praises TelAviv as a perfect example of food’s power to overcome all differences, says Portugal is way more than just Spain’s li...more

  • Secretary of State George Shultz on Reagan, Gorbachev, and Winning the Cold War

    Jan 22 2018

    Former Secretary of State George Shultz recalls his close friendship with President Ronald Reagan, the moment he realized that Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was someone the U.S. could do business with, and Reagan's Pershing missile moment as a masterclass in peace through strength.  He suggests that President Trump may soon need to have a "Pershing moment" of his own, reveals what he learned in a meeting years ago with a young Vladimir Putin, and weighs in as an economist on the Trump tax r...more

  • Greg Barker Captures Obama's Final Year

    Jan 18 2018

    Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker Greg Barker (Ghosts of Rwanda, Manhunt, Homegrown) talks about following President Barack Obama and other senior White House officials during the final 12 months of the Obama Administration for his new film THE FINAL YEAR. He reveals some of the heartbreaking humanitarian nightmares faced by UN Ambassador Samantha Power, what it was like for Secretary of State John Kerry to return to Vietnam 45 years after fought in the war there, and why President Obama chose ...more

  • General David Petraeus on the Counterinsurgency, the Paradox of Nation Building & a Military Commander's Worst Enemy...Yes Men

    Jan 15 2018

    General David Petraeus talks about implementing the successful "Surge" strategy in Iraq, and some of the unique complexities he encountered when translating that plan to the war in Afghanistan.  He discusses the fundamentals of counterinsurgency, his personal disdain for yes men, the paradox of nation building, and how a grad school dissertation on the Vietnam War helped shape his world view.  Plus General Petraeus weighs in on President Trump and the return of large geopolitical rivalries.  Tod...more

  • Nightline's Dan Harris Becomes My Meditation Guru

    Jan 11 2018

    ABC Nightline's Dan Harris has become a self-professed meditation evangelist ever since his infamous on-air panic attack in 2004 and today he tries to win over the ultimate skeptic...ME.  He reveals how daily meditation has improved life at home and at work, he dispels some of the myths surrounding meditation, and he discusses the  science behind the physical, mental and emotional health benefits of meditation.  He gives a crash course in how you can begin meditating with as little as one minute...more

  • Daniel Ellsberg Reveals America's Secret Nuclear War Plan

    Jan 08 2018

    Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower behind the Pentagon Papers, reveals how helped design America's top secret nuclear war plan and why he has since dedicated his life to dismantling it.  He explains why the movie Dr. Strangelove is not far from the truth, discloses that the President isn’t the only one with his finger on the nuclear button, and explains just how far down the chain of command that authority may reverberate.  He reveals the potentially staggering human cost of America’s first stri...more

  • Mike Duncan Answers "Is America Rome?"

    Jan 04 2018

    Mike Duncan, host of The History of Rome podcast and Revolutions, constantly gets asked "Is America doomed to the same fate as the Roman Empire?"  Today he points to some startling parallels to US current events including populist demagoguery, economic inequality, the erosion of societal norms, and debate over who deserves to be a citizen.  He also offers ideas on how the American Republic can avoid the same fate as the Roman Republic before it's too late. Order Mike Duncan's book The Storm Befo...more

  • Dilbert Creator Scott Adams on Persuasion in the Age of Trump

    Jan 01 2018

    Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert cartoons, talks about his new book Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don't Matter.  He reveals why facts and ideology no longer matter, why Donald Trump makes what he says are intentional misstatements, and how Trump uses what he calls “linguistic kill shots” to flatten his opponents.  He also weighs in why Trump’s "persuasion skills" haven’t been very effective on Congress and whether or not Trump supporters should be insulted at being manipulated ...more

  • Ridley Scott & Charlie Plummer Talk About Saving Their Film on the Getty Kidnapping

    Dec 28 2017

    Academy Award-nominated director Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Black Hawk Down, The Martian) joins me on the podcast to discuss how he saved his movie ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD from the Kevin Spacey scandal by making the unprecedented decision to recast the role with the legendary Christopher Plummer and reshoot much of the film just 6 weeks before it hits theaters.  He talks about the late billionaire J. Paul Getty, why the richest man in the world refused to pay his own grandsons’ ransom, and w...more

  • Father Greg Boyle with a Holiday Message of Hope & Compassion

    Dec 25 2017

    Father Gregory Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang-intervention, rehabilitation, and reentry program in the world.  He reveals what inspired him to start Homeboy Industries, how he fosters kinship between the most unlikely of friends - rival gang members, and how more often then not it’s just a matter of getting two people in the same room.  He shares how law enforcement leaders are getting involved, what he’s learned from testifying in 50 death penalty trials, and how t...more

  • David Hallberg, the First American in the Bolshoi Ballet

    Dec 21 2017

    David Hallberg is a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre and the first American ever to be admitted into Russia's legendary Bolshoi Ballet.  David talks about the discipline and dedication needed to make to the top as a dancer, the unique chemistry of partnering with the right ballerina, and the behind the scenes coaches who have passed down ballet’s greatest roles since the very beginning.  He recalls his tough adjustment to life in Moscow, some of the charming age-old traditions a...more

  • Brian Kilmeade on Andrew Jackson & America's Second Revolutionary War

    Dec 18 2017

    Brian Kilmeade, co-host of Fox & Friends, talks about his new book  Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America's Destiny.  He describes a confrontation with a British officer that became a defining moment for a young Andrew Jackson, how Jackson lead an army with a bullet wound to his shoulder and dysentery, and how Jackson never deserted his men and threatened to shoot any man who deserted him!  Brian reveals why New Orleans was so strategically important, how...more

  • Corey Lewandowski & David Bossie Say "Let Trump Be Trump"

    Dec 14 2017

    Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie served as campaign manager and deputy campaign for Donald Trump's successful Presidential campaign and they write about that wild ride in their new book Let Trump Be Trump: The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency.  Today they talk about the man they still call "the boss," his seemingly limitless energy, and his obsession with leaks and loyalty. They discuss some of tense moments on the campaign from Trump's attack on Senator John McCain’s military servic...more

  • Judd Apatow Returns to Stand-up Comedy

    Dec 11 2017

    Director/writer/producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, Funny People, Trainwreck) talks about his lifelong love of comedy and how Amy Schumer got him to return to stand-up after a 25 year absence from the stage.  He shares some advice to young comedy writers, gives his take on Hollywood’s sexual harassment problem, and talks about fatherhood and his marriage to actress Leslie Mann.  Plus Judd Apatow discusses the tao of Gary Shandling, "stalking" Steve Martin, and what to do when Kermit the Frog think...more

  • Dan Rather on Patriotism, the Press, and the Values that Unite Us

    Dec 07 2017

    Legendary newsman Dan Rather talks about his 60 year career and how his travels and conversations have given him a “wide shot” of the American experience and the values that unite us.  He condemns recent attacks on some on those values (including freedom of the press), he shares his own family's experience during the Great Depression as a lesson in empathy, and he recalls how his time spent with men like Martin Luther King Jr. and Medger Evers opened his eyes to institutionalized racism in Ameri...more

  • Lawrence O'Donnell on the Lasting Impact of the 1968 Election

    Dec 04 2017

    For Lawrence O’Donnell, host of MSNBC’s The Last Word, the 1968 U.S. Presidential election was his political awakening, and it has remained one of his abiding fascinations.  Today he talks about the war that sunk LBJ’s presidency and the wild election that followed including the indignities suffered by Senator Senator Eugene McCarthy, how the assassination of Bobby Kennedy threw the Democratic primary into chaos, and the impossible political position of the eventual Democratic nominee Humbert Hu...more

  • A.J. Jacobs Explores the World's Family Tree

    Nov 30 2017

    A.J. Jacobs recounts his attempt to throw the worlds biggest family reunion, and his efforts to connect with the billions of people he calls his "cousins" via a project called the world family tree.  He discusses how this crazy project all began with an email from a dairy farmer in Israel, and quickly led him down a genealogical rabbit hole as he played "six degrees of A.J. Jacobs."  He says any person on the planet is no further than 70th cousins with anyone else, and every one of the 7 billion...more

  • Magazine Queen Tina Brown

    Nov 27 2017

    Tina Brown is arguably the most influential magazine editor of the past 50 years, having served as editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Tatler, and The Daily Beast.  She discusses her new book The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983-1992, tells stories of the glamorous and cut-throat magazine trade, and dishes about some of the larger than life personalities she encountered in that world including a young Donald Trump and disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.  She discusses the importance of ...more

  • Eric Ries on Applying Startup Thinking to Big Companies, Governments & More

    Nov 23 2017

    The Lean Startup founder Eric Ries talks about his new book The Startup Way.  Eric recalls his first crash-course in entrepreneurship, what went wrong with his very first tech venture, and why having failed startup under your belt is something of a right of passage in Silicon Valley.  He discusses the strikingly similar issues faced by both large corporations and new ventures, and why the biggest problem with many startups is that they simply never plan for success.  He discusses how he helped f...more

  • Comedian Brian Regan on Working Clean, Tennis Scores & Middle East Peace

    Nov 20 2017

    Comedian Brian Reagan talks about his very first standup act, the worst gig he ever had, and the double-edged sword of being labeled a "clean comic."  He reveals why he doesn’t like to see his audience, why he never plays the town he lives in, and the incredibly weird audition that got him on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Plus Brian has a bone to pick with whoever invented tennis scoring, and he offers his sage advice for Middle East peace. Brian Regan's Netflix comedy special Nunchucks a...more

  • Paul Reiser & Jeff Sotzing on Bringing Johnny Carson Back to Television

    Nov 16 2017

    Paul Reiser and Jeff Sotzing discuss their new show There's...Johnny!, a funny and heartwarming coming of age series set amid the backstage antics on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  They talk about bringing Carson to a new generation of TV viewers, meticulously recreating the look of The Tonight Show for There's...Johnny!, and building each episode around some of Johnny Carson's most iconic television moments.  Paul recalls his first appearance on Carson, Johnny’s impeccable sense of comed...more

  • Jenna & Barbara Bush on their Unbreakable Bond & Life in a Political Dynasty

    Nov 13 2017

    Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush discuss their surprisingly normal childhood when they assumed that everyone’s grandfather got to have an inauguration, and why they initially didn't want their dad to run for President.  Barbara discusses the difficulties of having the same name as the First Lady, and the time a Yale professor offered her an A if she could convince her dad to call off the Iraq War.  Jenna talks about the infamous night they got caught drinking underage and recalls her and...more

  • Alec Baldwin & Kurt Andersen Talk Presidential Parody

    Nov 09 2017

    Alec Baldwin and Kurt Andersen discuss their new book You Can't Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump. Alec shares his thoughts Donald Trump’s bizarre twitter war with SNL, and Alec reveals a secret fan he has in the White House. They talk about the mentally taxing process of getting into the strange mind of Donald Trump, how Trump has blurred the lines between reality and fiction, and Trump’s deep love for conspiracy...more

  • A Lesson in Girl Logic w/ Comedian Iliza Shlesinger

    Nov 06 2017

    Comedian Iliza Shlesinger explains the often misunderstood and highly evolved way of thinking that she calls "girl logic."  She relates girl logic to everything from the fashion and the work place to the most frustrating question a man can ask a woman - “what do you want to eat?”  Plus Iliza shares her thoughts on Harvey Weinstein, guys who fake their own deaths, how to win a reality show, and how to deal with mermaid hate mail. Order Iliza Shlesinger's new book GIRL LOGIC: The Genius and The Ab...more

  • Gilbert Gottfried Gets Real About Comedy, Family Life & His New Documentary

    Nov 02 2017

    Comedian Gilbert Gottfried talks about his fear of being "outted" as family man in his new documentary GILBERT, recalls some of the worst gigs he ever had, and reveals why he used to look down on comics who "work dirty."  He explains why nazis love him, tells traveling salesmen jokes, does his impressions Humphrey Bogart at the postoffice and Jackie Gleason as Rick in Casablanca, and tells his infamous Danny Thomas story. His documentary GILBERT opens at the IFC Center in NYC on 11/3, Laemmle F...more

  • LORE's Aaron Mahnke on Monstrous Creatures & Dark History

    Oct 30 2017

    Aaron Mahnke, host of LORE podcast, shares the real history behind the legends of ghosts, vampires and werewolves, and how our scary folktales say a lot about our attitudes toward women, outsiders, and those who are different.  He talks about the spiritualism craze of the turn of the century, the most sadistic witch hunters throughout the ages, as well as the Jersey Devil, the Beast of Bray road, gremlins, fairies and more.  Subscribe to LORE podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get podcast...more

  • Ron Chernow on Redeeming Ulysses S. Grant

    Oct 26 2017

    Pulitzer-winning author/historian Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton, Washington: A Life) wants Americans to rethink the 18th President with his new biography GRANT.  He discusses Ulysses S. Grant’s drinking and early failures, his meteoric rise through the ranks during the Civil War, and how Grant struggled with his own personal civil war at home.  He makes the case for General Grant as a brilliant military strategist, and argues that he deserves more credit for holding the Union together during R...more

  • Sir Richard Branson on his Adventures in Business, Space & Beyond

    Oct 23 2017

    Sir Richard Branson talks about The Virgin Group philosophy, why he likes to act fast when launching a new business, and how many of his best ideas came from his own desires and frustrations as a consumer.  He gives advice to young entrepreneurs and shares what he’s learned from his mistakes.  He reveals his reasons for selling Virgin America to Alaska Air, and he outlines his vision of the future with Virgin Galactic and his latest venture Virgin Hyperloop One.  Plus he talks about his strange ...more

  • King of Cards Richard Turner

    Oct 19 2017

    Richard Turner is the greatest card magician in the world and the subject of a new documentary called DEALT.  He’s virtually never seen without a deck in his hands, and today he fesses up to shuffling cards in the movies, during church and even while making love to his wife!  He shares why he doesn’t like to be called a magician or an illusionist, he discuss some of the less than ethical origins of card trickery, and talks about the man who mentored him in card manipulation.  Then after the brea...more

  • Astronaut Scott Kelly's Year in Space

    Oct 16 2017

    Astronaut Captain Scott Kelly talks about his year on the International Space Station, including how it pushed his body the limit, why the hardest physical test was re-adjusting to life on earth, and how his experience could get NASA one step closer to a manned mission to Mars.  He reveals how he combatted boredom in space, what he missed most about earth, and how he got along with his Russian crew-mates amid strained US-Russia relations.  Plus Scott tells me if the "overview effect" ever wears ...more

  • Anthony Bourdain Wants to End Food Waste

    Oct 12 2017

    Anthony Bourdain speaks candidly about the problem of food waste, who is to blame, and who is working on solutions.  He discusses how he and his fellow chefs have been fighting this battle for years in their own kitchens, including embracing the "snout to tail" movement, renaming so called "trash fish," and even turning table scraps into delicious pork.  He also shares how he manages to juggle his a hectic travel schedule, waxes about his love of Vietnam, and reveals some of his most cherished c...more

  • Grouchy Historians Ed Asner & Ed. Weinberger

    Oct 10 2017

    Ed Asner and Ed. Weinberger discuss their book The Grouchy Historian: An Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs.  They talk about the surprising origins of the Bill of Rights, their problem with Constitutional "originalists," and the motives, disagreements and private doubts of the founding fathers.  They tackle Republicans from Ted Cruz to Clarence Thomas and chastise Democrats for ceding the Constitution to Conservatives.  Plus Ed Asner ponders what t...more

  • Merry Mortician Caitlin Doughty on Changing Americans' Attitudes Toward Death & Dying

    Oct 05 2017

    Mortician, author and activist Caitlin Doughty discusses her new book From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death.  She reveasl how America’s funeral industrial complex overcharges and overregulates how we say goodbye to our loved ones and how funerals went from private family affairs to big business in just a century.  She shares how people around the world honor the dead including villagers in Indonesia who sleep, eat, and interact with their deceased on a daily basis, an...more

  • Bill Murray & Jan Vogler Explore New Worlds of Music, Poetry & Humor

    Oct 02 2017

    Actor Bill Murray (Lost in Translation, Rushmore) & classical cellist Jan Vogler discuss how their album New Worlds evolved out of a chance meeting on a flight from Berlin to NYC and a mutual love of music and poetry.  Plus, Bill Murray shares his philosophy of life, his favorite American humorists, and his thoughts on being an internet folk hero. New Worlds is available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, or wherever you buy music.  Bill and Jan's concert tour begins Friday, October 6 in Santa Barbara ...more

  • Obama's Funny Man David Litt

    Sep 28 2017

    Presidential speechwriter David Litt reflects on his political coming of age in the Obama White House, fiction vs. reality on The West Wing, and his sometimes nemesis in the White House research department.  He talks about President Obama's sense of humor, writing for the White House Correspondents Dinner speeches, and self-deprecation as a political tool.  Plus, he shares some of the jokes that DIDN’T make it into the President’s speeches. Order David Litt's book Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Change...more

  • The Improv's Budd Friedman & Entertainment Writer Tripp Whetsell

    Sep 26 2017

    The Improv's legendary founder Budd Friedman and entertainment writer Tripp Whetsell talk about their new book The Improv: An Oral History of the Comedy Club That Revolutionized Standup.  Budd discusses how much of The Improv was a happy accident and shares memories of comics like Richard Pryor, Rodney Dangerfield, Andy Kaufman, and others.  Tripp discusses how The Improv invented the comedy club, the infamous LA comedy club wars between Budd and The Comedy Store's Mitzi Shore, and some of his f...more

  • Lesley Stahl Celebrates 50 Years of 60 Minutes

    Sep 21 2017

    Lesley Stahl celebrates the 50th season of 60 Minutes and her 26th season as host/correspondent on the show.  She shares stories from her 45 years at CBS including how the young reporter beat out the other networks as the first to report on Watergate scandal, the time she broke the news that Ronald Reagan had picked George H.W. Bush as his running mate (and no one believed her), and her impressions of the three U.S. Presidents she covered during her time as CBS White House correspondent.  She di...more

  • Tennis Player Maria Sharapova on Serena, That 2016 Drug Test, and Her American Dream

    Sep 18 2017

    Tennis player Maria Sharapova shares the remarkable story of how her father brought the six-year-old Maria from Russia to Florida with only $700 in his pocket and an unwavering faith in his daughter’s dream.  She talks about the first time she watched the Williams sisters practice as a kid, and a locker room moment that has defined the rivalry between Serena Williams and her.  She reveals what went through her mind when she learned that she had failed a drug test at the 2016 Australian Open, wha...more

  • Ken Burns & Lynn Novick Re-examine the Vietnam War

    Sep 14 2017

    Acclaimed documentary filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick (The Civil War, Baseball, The War) discuss their epic 10-part film The Vietnam War which airs 9/17 on PBS.  They discuss how the Vietnam War continues to evolve 40 years later, the ways their own perceptions have changed since they were young people growing up in the turbulent 1960’s, and how hindsight has given birth to some humbling and surprising epiphanies among those who fought on both sides.  They ponder if some of the lessons of V...more

  • Astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison's Plan for a 100 Year Starship

    Sep 11 2017

    Astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison discusses her bold initiative to create a starship capable of transporting humans beyond our solar system.  She talks about the cooperation that will be necessary across all scientific fields, the logistical and biological hurdles to be overcome in order to make extended human space travel feasible and safe, and why it's important for longterm "moonshot initiatives" to inspire the next generation.  Plus the first astronaut to appear on Star Trek shares her childhood lov...more

  • Danny Strong Brings Author J.D. Salinger to the Big Screen

    Sep 07 2017

    Actor, writer, director Danny Strong talks about his new movie Rebel in the Rye about the life of author J.D. Salinger.  He discusses the challenges of portraying a man who spent so much of his life out of the public spotlight, the autobiographical aspects of his novel Catcher in the Rye, and why this film is probably the closest we will ever get to a Catcher in the Rye movie.  Plus, Danny reveals how a young video clerk named Quentin Tarantino stoked his early love of film, and we talk about Da...more

  • Bryan Cranston on Life Before Acting and Becoming Walter White

    Sep 05 2017

    Actor Bryan Cranston recalls a difficult childhood and the two year road trip that changed his life.  He shares some of his adventures before acting including traveling as a carny, catching shoplifters as security guard, and the time he ended up a suspect in a murder investigation.  He talks about getting a crash course in comedy from Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, landing the role of a lifetime on Breaking Bad, and how he built one of the most iconic characters in the history of television.  B...more

  • Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (Rerun)

    Sep 01 2017

    Today's episode is a rerun of my interview acclaimed astrophysicist, author, and a highly popular science communicator Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson.  Today Dr. Tyson talks about his new #1 New York Times Bestseller Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and why he wants to make science accessible and understandable for all.  He shares his thoughts on how movies and television portray science.  He reveals just how rapidly the universe was born and why the debate over the big bang theory vs intelligent des...more

  • Carol Burnett (Rerun)

    Aug 29 2017

    This a previous episode with the great Carol Burnett who reminisces about some of the best times on The Carol Burnett Show.  She shares stories about Harvey Korman, Tim Conway and Vickie Lawrence, including which one she almost had to fire and which one could always crack her up in front of the cameras. She talks about the boys club that was network television in the 60’s and 70’s and she reveals the comedy sketch that she wished she hadn’t done and some of her favorite questions from the audien...more

  • Richard Dawkins Has a Soul for Science

    Aug 24 2017

    Famed evolutionary biologist, author, and science communicator Richard Dawkins shares his wonder for science, debunks the entire premise of intelligent design, and calls on the scientific community to stop calling evolution a theory.  He talks about Berkley University’s recent decision to uninvite him to speak and what he calls higher learning’s dangerous elevation of opinion over truth and objective facts.  Plus the well known atheist talks about his friend the late Christopher Hitchens, where ...more

  • Al Madrigal on Comedy, Trump, and Avoiding Cilantro

    Aug 21 2017

    Comedian Al Madrigal (The Daily Show, I'm Dying Up Here) talks about exploring the dark side of the 70's stand-up comedy boom on his new Showtime series, why he’s resisted being pidgeonholed as a latino comic, and why he thinks white guys actually have it tougher in comedy.  He discusses his audition for The Daily Show, and faking a border crossing as a field correspondent.  Plus seafood as revenge, why you might want to avoid cilantro for the next 4 years, and Al Madrigal on Donald Trump and t...more

  • Dennis Prager on Politics, Religion, & Happiness

    Aug 18 2017

    Radio host and author Dennis Prager discusses the politicization of his recent classical concert at Walt Disney Hall, explains why the media is a greater threat to America than Vladimir Putin, and warns that America may be in the middle of a "second civil war."  Dennis says he'd rather spend most of his time talking about the big issues in life than politics, he shares his philosophy of happiness, and why he believes happiness is not just a feeling but a moral obligation.  Plus we talk about his...more

  • Rob Reiner Talks Movies, Politics, & Presidents LBJ to Trump

    Aug 14 2017

    Director Rob Reiner talks about his new film LBJ and how his own view of President Lyndon Johnson has changed since he was a young man of draft age during the Vietnam War.  He shares some favorite LBJ legends and talks about the evolution of Johnson as a civil rights warrior.  He discusses growing up in showbusiness, his father Carl Reiner's remarkable energy at 95, and the time a very young Rob Reiner got in trouble for grabbing Mary Tyler Moore's ass on the set of his dad's show.  Plus Rob wei...more

  • 200th Episode w/ Anthony Atamanuik, Host of The President Show

    Aug 10 2017

    Anthony Atamanuik, host of Comedy Central's The President Show joins us for the 200th episode of Kickass News!  Anthony reveals what goes into his dead-on impersonation of the President, he shares his mixed feelings about having his own fortunes tied to those of Donald Trump, and explains why he thinks "The Donald" is a lot more like "an old lonely dowager" than the macho man he pretends to be.  Atamanuik describes how Trump is not that different than the guys he grew up with in Massachusetts, h...more

  • Snopes Founder David Mikkelson on Fighting Fake News

    Aug 07 2017

    Snopes founder and CEO David Mikkelson talks about combatting fake news and why he's asking fans of the popular fact checking site to help save Snopes.  David reveals what inspired him to start Snopes 20 years ago, how it grew from a site that debunked urban legends to the most reliable fact checking site that is depended on by everyone from Facebook to the Washington Post, and a few tips on how you can verify the news you consume.  He discusses the danger of misinformation, where misleading sto...more

  • The Creators of Amazon's COMRADE DETECTIVE

    Aug 03 2017

    The creators of the new Amazon series COMRADE DETECTIVE Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka and series director Rhys Thomas talk about recreating a Cold War-era Romanian police drama that satirizes both Soviet and American propaganda of the 80's.  They discuss the 80’s cop shows and a popular Czech TV series that inspired COMRADE DETECTIVE, why graffiti was such a problem for them in post, and working with a Romanian crew that included a foul-mouthed translator.  Plus, a lesson about blindly ...more

  • The Other Russia Scandal w/ Filmmaker Bryan Fogel

    Aug 01 2017

    Filmmaker/cyclist Bryan Fogel set out to see if he could take performance enhancing drugs and get away with it, but he soon found himself in the middle of the most notorious doping scandal in sports history as he helped scientist Grigory Rodchenkov escape Russia and expose an elaborate state-run conspiracy to dope Russia's Olympic athletes.  It's all in his thrilling documentary ICARUS which is available on Netflix and in theaters starting on 8/4.   Bryan Fogel discusses how he used himself as a...more

  • Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn on the Science of Aging

    Jul 28 2017

    Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn is a Nobel Prize-winning scientist who was named one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People for her research into human telomeres and how they affect how we age.  She’ll share how everything from your marriage to where you live effects your longevity, how trauma experienced during childhood and even in the womb can shorten our lives, and some tricks you can use to change your perspective and keep life’s worries from sending you to an early grave.  She'll give tips...more

  • Cyberwar Expert Alexander Klimburg

    Jul 24 2017

    Cyber security expert Alexander Klimburg discusses his book  THE DARKENING WEB: THE WAR FOR CYBERSPACE and just what the recent Russia hack means for the US, the internet, and the state liberal democracy around the world.  He reveals what he believes Russia was really up to in the 2016 presidential race, and how it may be far more sinister and potentially devastating than simply influencing one election.  He discusses how some of America’s most fundamental democratic values make us particularly ...more

  • 99% Invisible's Roman Mars Talks Trump, the Constitution, & Ugly Flags

    Jul 20 2017

    Roman Mars, host of 99% INVISIBLE, talks about his love of good design, his hatred for ugly city flags, and his new podcast WHAT TRUMP CAN TEACH US ABOUT CON LAW. Subscribe to 99% INVISIBLE and WHAT TRUMP CAN TEACH US ABOUT CON LAW on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.  Keep up with Roman Mars at www.romanmars.com and follow him on Twitter at @RomanMars. This episode is sponsored by Outside the Box podcast and The Weather Channel.   Subscribe to Kickass News on iTunes and take a minute...more

  • Sea Power w/ Admiral James Stavridis

    Jul 17 2017

    Former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Admiral James Stavridis spent 35 years sailing the seven seas and talks about his love of the ocean and the strategic importance of America's naval power.  He takes us on an ocean by ocean tour, discussing his experiences and his concerns about geopolitical events in every region of the world, from China’s manmade islands in the South China Sea to Russia’s ambitious territorial grab in the Arctic Circle.  He urges President Trump to sign the Law of the Sea...more

  • Coral Bleaching: The Next Ecological Catastrophe w/ Filmmaker Jeff Orlowski

    Jul 13 2017

    Emmy and Sundance Award-winning documentary filmmaker Jeff Orlowski discusses his new film CHASING CORAL.  He’ll explain the extraordinary ecosystems that form around coral and how the health of our ocean’s coral is an early indicator of the health of the planet as a whole.  We discuss some of the technical and logistical hurdles that Jeff and his team faced in their race to capture images of the most recent bleaching event, whether the rapid demise of coral reefs can be reversed before it’s too...more

  • Senator Al Franken Is Allowed To Be Funny Again!

    Jul 10 2017

    Senator Al Franken talks about his journey from Saturday Night Live to the Senate and his new book AL FRANKEN: GIANT OF THE SENATE.  He shares his memories of SNL cast members like Chris Farley and John Belushi, and why he's glad Lorne Michaels didn't cast him as the anchor on Weekend Update.  He discusses how he won over a reluctant Democratic establishment in his first election and how he has had to control his comedic impulses as a Senator.  He gives the inside scoop on his confrontational ex...more

  • Science Writer Mary Roach on the Curious Science of Humans at War

    Jul 06 2017

    Science writer Mary Roach talks about her new book GRUNT: THE CURIOUS SCIENCE OF HUMANS AT WAR which explores the often ignored aspects of modern warfare that relate not to the killing, but to keeping soldiers alive.  She talks about various oddball military research projects with names like “The Chicken Gun” and “Stench Soup, why diareah is enemy #1 for US Special Forces, and how she experienced first hand the insomnia of working on a nuclear submarine.  Plus why combat fashion matters, how med...more

  • John McEnroe on Tennis, Temper, and a Few Life Lessons

    Jul 03 2017

    Tennis great John McEnroe talks tennis, temper, and his new book BUT SERIOUSLY.  He discusses winning his first grand slam at age 20, his life after the pros, and a recurring nightmare he has about his 1984 French Open match with Ivan Lendl.  McEnroe talks about some of his famous arguments with tennis umpires, and how his temper helped his game in his younger years but he says it held him back later in his career.  He’ll handicap this year’s Wimbledon finals, give his characteristically frank t...more

  • Nuns! Nuns! Nuns! w/ Kate Micucci

    Jun 29 2017

    Kate Micucci discusses her hilarious new movie The Little Hours and the origins of her comedy folk duo that became a Youtube sensation Garfunkel and Oates.  She talks about how The Little Hours satisfied her lifelong obsession with nuns that even includes a "nun collection."  She reveals why no one in the film does an accent, we talk about the funniest nude scene ever, and she shares how she became a professional sandcastle builder. The Little Hours opens in theatres tomorrow Friday June 30. Kee...more

  • Senator Mike Lee on the Forgotten Founding Fathers

    Jun 26 2017

    Senator Mike Lee returns to the podcast to talk about his new book Written Out of History and some of America's founding fathers you've never heard of.  He discusses the Iriquo chief who had a profound impact on Benjamin Franklin, the slave woman who won her own freedom and paved the way for emancipation, the founding father's who refused to sign the Constitution, and why they may have been vindicated by history.  Plus Senator Lee explains why he thinks it’s time to wrap up the Russia investigat...more

  • GMOs: Fact v. Fiction w/ Filmmaker Scott Hamilton Kennedy

    Jun 22 2017

    Scott Hamilton Kennedy is the Oscar-nominated filmmaker behind a new documentary narrated by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson called Food Evolution which explores the controvery over GMO foods and the science of genetically modified crops. Today, he explains exactly what GMO’s are, and whether there’s any scientific evidence that GMOs harm humans or the environment. He discusses how Hawaii became ground zero for the debate over GMOs and a misguided GMO ban in Uganda that threatened to starve 1/3 of the c...more

  • The Great Communicator Alan Alda Returns!!

    Jun 19 2017

    As an award-winning actor, director, writer, and science communicator, Alan Alda has become something of an expert in empathy, relating to others, and facilitating greater communication and understanding.  Today he returns to the podcast to share some of what he's learned.  He recalls how an unfortunate experience with his dentist set him on a path to teaching better communication between doctors and their patients, and how he became a much better interviewer on Scientific American Frontiers whe...more

  • The Art of Manliness w/ Brett McKay

    Jun 15 2017

    Brett McKay is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Art of Manliness, the largest independent men’s lifestyle magazine on the web, and the host of The Art of Manliness podcast.  We discuss the changing definitions of manliness, what many are calling a modern crisis of manhood, and why men don’t fix things anymore.  Brett shares his tips on things like how to be an awesome uncle, how to use your baby as exercise equipment, how to get the perfect shoe shine, survive a bear attack, and how to use...more

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Remembers Coach John Wooden

    Jun 12 2017

    NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar talks about his 50 year friendship with the "Wizard of Westwood" UCLA Coach John Wooden.  He says Coach Wooden was more concerned with his players’ grades than with winning basketball games, he shares some of the wisdom that Coach Wooden imparted, and talks about the time Coach helped Abdul-Jabbar forgive another one of his early mentors who used a racial slur.  He talks about how he felt when the NCAA banned dunking and how Coach Wooden helped him overcome that se...more

  • The Daily Show's Jordan Klepper Solves Guns

    Jun 08 2017

    The Daily Show's Jordan Klepper talks about his new Comedy Central special Jordan Klepper Solves Guns.  He reveals what enflames the passions on both sides of the gun debate, and he says Americans really aren’t so far apart on the issue of gun safety.  In fact, he shares some surprising data on where rank and file NRA members stand on things like background checks.  Plus he talks about brining his gun-owning cousin Pete on the program, embedding with the Georgia militiamen, and covering Trump Ra...more

  • Comedy Legend Carl Reiner Returns!

    Jun 05 2017

    Comedy legend Carl Reiner returns to talk about his first break in showbiz, confronting a racist army sergeant during WW II, his friendship with Mel Brooks, Your Show of Shows, and the 2000 Year Old Man.  He also discusses his new HBO documentary about thriving in your 90's called If You're Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast and his book Too Busy to Die.  Plus, Carl Reiner says he's figured out the meaning of "cowfefe." Order Carl Reiner’s newest book Too Busy to Die at www.randomcontent.com and do...more

  • Comedian Demetri Martin on Directing, Drawing & Death

    Jun 02 2017

    Comedian Demetri Martin discusses his directorial debut on his new movie DEAN.  He talks about how writing and directing a film about coping with grief helped him deal with his own loss and required him to rely more heavily on his own creative instincts.  He also talks about lovingly lampooning LA in DEAN, working with Kevin Kline, giving up law school for comedy, and how he came to incorporate his drawings into his standup act.  Plus Demetri Martin on fatherhood, seeing the world through his ch...more

  • Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson Gives a Lesson in Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

    May 31 2017

    Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is an acclaimed astrophysicist, author, and a highly popular science communicator who serves as director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC.  Today Dr. Tyson talks about his new #1 New York Times Bestseller Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and why he wants to make science accessible and understandable for all.  He shares his thoughts on how movies and television portray science.  He reveals just how rapidly the universe was born a...more

  • WAR MACHINE Director David Michod

    May 25 2017

    Filmmaker David Michod discusses his new film WAR MACHINE starring Brad Pitt.  He talks about adapting Michael Hasting's book The Operators for film and his decision to fictionalize the character based on General Stanley McChrystal.  He discusses the flawed thinking behind counter-insurgency and the danger of leaders making decisions within a bubble.  Plus we talk about about Sir Ben Kingsley’s fopish portrayal of former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Brad Pitt’s power walk, and why no one grows...more

  • Ocean Explorer Dr. Robert Ballard on Finding Titanic, What Sank the Lusitania, & Searching for the Earliest North Americans

    May 22 2017

    Dr. Robert Ballard is the famed ocean explorer responsible for some of the greatest undersea discoveries including the RMS Titanic, the German battleship Bismarck, and John F. Kennedy's WW II boat PT-109.  Today Dr. Ballard reveals that he was actually on a top secret government mission when he found the Titanic, what it was like the first time he physically went down to visit Titanic, and his outrage at those who are looting this sacred burial ground for profit.  We also discuss what really san...more

  • Dave Anthony & Gareth Reynolds of "The Dollop" Tell Weird Tales From America's Forgotten History

    May 18 2017

    Comedians Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds, hosts of The Dollop podcast share some of the stranger tales in their new book The United States of Absurdity: Untold Stories in America's History.  They discuss quack medicine, meat showers, and straw hat riots. We talk about the excruciating death of America’s founding father, and how another U.S. president left a 1400 lb wheel of cheese sitting in the White House hallway for over year. We talk about Congress’s plan to bring hippo meat to the masses...more

  • Governor John Kasich/Dr. Richard Haass

    May 15 2017

    A double bill today w/ Ohio Governor John Kasich and Dr. Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations.  In Part 1, Governor Kasich discusses his book Two Paths: America United or Divided, the contentious 2016 GOP primary, and how to heal the country.  He talks about valuing truth in the age of alternative facts, he shares why he’s opposed to the current version of the Republican healthcare bill, and why he’s tired some in his own party telling him to shut up about it. Governor K...more

  • Anne-Marie Slaughter on Strategies of Connection in Networked World

    May 11 2017

    Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter, president of the New America Foundation and former director of the State Department Office of Policy Planning discusses her new book The Chessboard and the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World. She talks about the old model of Cold War era game theory and how the US needs to employ more inclusive strategies to deal with an increasingly more complex and decentralized world. She discusses how criminal and terrorist networks are using this type of organizatio...more

  • Bad Taste & Making Trouble w/ Director John Waters

    May 09 2017

    The king of bad taste director John Waters discusses his new book Make Trouble.  We talk about his career in film, some of his inspirations, and why he considers his biggest commercial success to be his most subversive film.  John Waters throws cold water on the romanticization of the tortured artist, extols the virtues a healthy work ethic, and suggests that in an age when everyone seems to want to be an outsider, maybe it’s more daring to be an insider.  Plus we talk about political correctnes...more

  • Prof. Allan Lichtman Predicts Impeachment for President Trump

    May 04 2017

    Professor Allan J. Lichtman has successfully predicted every US Presidential election since 1984, and now he predicts a bumpy road ahead for President Donald Trump in his new book The Case for Impeachment.  He talks about what he sees as the 8 most likely paths to impeaching Donald Trump including the possibility of removing Trump from office on the grounds that he is mentally unfit to hold office.  He discusses the surprising likehood of Republicans in Congress abandoning Trump in favor of VP M...more

  • Inside Hillary Clinton's Shattered Campaign w/ Jonathan Allen

    May 01 2017

    Political writer Jonathan Allen discusses his new book Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.  He talks about the various warring factions in the Clinton camp including Huma Abedin, John Podesta, and Robby Mook, and organizational disfunction and “too many cooks in the kitchen” undermined Hillary’s campaign. We discuss some of the fundamental flaws with Hillary Clinton as a candidate including her inability to articulate why she was running, her tone deaf response to outrage over h...more

  • Comedian W. Kamau Bell on Denzel, the KKK & Black James Bond

    Apr 27 2017

    Comedian W. Kamau Bell, host of CNN's United Shades of America discusses the online marketing skills of the KKK, his leisurely stroll through the neighborhood with one of the most notorious gangs in Chicago’s South Side, and what it’s like to open carry while black.  We debate the merits of Denzel Washington films, the phrase "All Lives Matter," and whether the term negro is actually racist.  Plus, a white nationalist who has a big problem with the idea of a black James Bond. The season premiere...more

  • Adam Campbell of NBC's "Great News"

    Apr 24 2017

    British actor Adam Campbell (Epic Movie, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) talks about Great News, NBC's new comedy series from the creators of 30 Rock.  He discusses British comedy, the English funny men who inspired him, and defines a particular type of sarcasm known as "west country humor."  He talks about living as a British ex-pat in LA, his thoughts on "fake news," and how Great News creator Tracey Wigfield may have drawn her inspiration from her time as intern at CNN. The series premiere of Grea...more

  • Chris Whipple on the President's Gatekeeper

    Apr 20 2017

    Emmy and Peabody-winning producer and journalist Chris Whipple (60 Minutes, ABC News Primetime) discusses his new book called The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency.  He'll reveal why the Chief of Staff is considered the 2nd most powerful job in government, who is considered to be the gold standard of White House Chiefs, and why the burnout rate is so high.  He'll talk about how this relatively recent position was born out of Dwight Eisenhower's experience i...more

  • Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night w/ NYT Comedy Critic Jason Zinoman

    Apr 17 2017

    Jason Zinoman, the comedy critic New York Times, talks about his new book Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night.  Jason discusses how Letterman created something totally different that parodied talk shows and rewrote the conventions of comedy and he talks about the many ways that Letterman’s legacy can be seen on every late night show on television today. We’ll get into the legendary “late night wars” between Leno and Letterman, what made Letterman a far superior interviewer to Carson or Jay L...more

  • Daniel Franklin of "The Economist" Envisions Technology in 2050

    Apr 13 2017

    Daniel Franklin, Executive Editor at The Economist discusses his book Megatech: Technology in 2050 including the best ways to predict tech trends, which sector will most benefit from technology in the 21st Century,and why some are predicting that Moore’s Law may finally be running out of steam. He reveals how 3D printing may bring manufacturing jobs back to the US, how your next car might be sewn together, and why Google glasses might be poised to make comeback. Plus Daniel Franklin talks about ...more

  • Laughing Through the Arab Spring w/ Bassem Youssef

    Apr 10 2017

    Bassem Youssef is the political satirist described as the "Jon Stewart" of Egypt and host of Fusion TV's Democracy Handbook with Bassem Youssef. Today he shares how he went from being a doctor to the host of the most popular show in the history of Arab-language television during one of the most tumultuous chapters in Egypt’s history. He talks about the Egyptian military's absurd claim that they had invented an "AIDS curing machine" and the time he had to explain to government interrogators why p...more

  • Philipp Meyer & Kevin Murphy Talk Texas Oil & Buffalo Blood

    Apr 06 2017

    Philipp Meyer and Kevin Murphy discuss adapting Meyer's Pulitzer-nominated novel THE SON into an epic new AMC drama series starring Pierce Brosnan.  They talk about the frontier spirit that led larger than life characters to risk everything, first in the cattle business and then in the Texas oil boom, and how that story fits into the mythology of America.  They talk about the violent racial history of Texas including the oft forgotten chapter known as the "bandit wars," and how popular culture g...more

  • Exploring the Dark Net w/ Mati Kochavi

    Apr 03 2017

    Mati Kochavi is the Israeli tech entrepreneur who created the Showtime docu-series Dark Net, which explores the mysterious world of the deep web and how technology is changing our lives for better and for worse. Today, he talks about the dark web, home of illegal arms sales, sex trafficking, drug deals, and chat rooms for hackers, terrorists, and other illicit communities. He discusses how his interest in the deep web began with the our failure to predict the Arab Spring and what the deep web ca...more

  • Theoretical Physicist Lawrence Krauss Answers "Why Are We Here?"

    Mar 30 2017

    Theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss (A Universe from Nothing) is at the forefront of the quest to discover the origins of the universe and human existence. He says human beings need to get past our need to believe that we’re “the center of the universe” and to start focusing on how we’re here instead of why we’re here.  Today he talks about that and his new book The Greatest Story Ever Told--So Far: Why Are We Here?  He gives a sweeping narrative of the history of science, which he says is far...more

  • P.J. O'Rourke on Election 2016: How the Hell Did This Happen?

    Mar 27 2017

    Best-selling political satirist P.J. O'Rourke (Parliament of Whores) discusses his new book How the Hell Did This Happen?: The Election of 2016.  The hilarious pundit shares his thoughts on a better way to choose the President, a tax on the Kardashians, and rates the candidates fashion.  He ponders what happened to the Libertarians' "big moment" in 2016, reminisces about his days as editor at National Lampoon, and offers some tips on how to talk like a pundit. Order How the Hell Did This Happen?...more

  • Professor Tom Nichols on the Death of Expertise & the Rise of American Ignorance

    Mar 23 2017

      Tom Nichols is a professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, an adjunct professor in the Harvard Extension School, and a 5 time Jeopardy! champion. He’s a respected expert on national security, Russia, and nuclear proliferation, and he’s alarmed by Americans sudden rebuke of experts like himself, and the elevation of ignorance to some sort of virtue. He writes about it in a new book called The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it M...more

  • Henry Winkler on the Fonz, Fonts & Helping Dyslexic Kids

    Mar 20 2017

    Actor, producer, and author Henry Winkler (Happy Days, Arrested Development) talks about his best-selling series of Hank Zipzer books for children with dyslexia inspired by his own childhood struggles with the learning disability. He shares how his reading disorder led to some creative auditioning when he tried out for Happy Days, his fondest memories of the show’s creator Gary Marshall, and why the network tried to shoot down the Fonz’s famous leather jacket. He discusses how he navigates the ...more

  • Making a Murderer: Jerome Buting vs. Ken Kratz

    Mar 16 2017

    Making a Murderer received over 16 million viewers in its first two months on Netflix, and the docu-series made convicted murderer Steven Avery a household name. Many people now believe Avery was framed and over 500,000 Americans have petitioned the President for a pardon for Avery. Today, the prosecutor Ken Kratz and Jerome Buting, the defense attorney for Steven Avery, will argue their cases and discuss what Making a Murderer did and didn’t show you. They’ll both share their thoughts on the ap...more

  • Evgeny Afineevsky Discusses His Documentary "Cries from Syria"

    Mar 13 2017

    Oscar nominated documentary filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky (Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom) returns to the podcast to talk about his new HBO documentary Cries from Syria. Evegny details how Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad helped fuel radical groups like ISIS to force the Free Syrian Army to fight a war on two fronts and misdirect media attention toward ISIS instead of Assad’s own crimes. He shares evidence that Assad continues to use chemical weapons on his own people and bombs civilia...more

  • Man of 1000 Voices Rich Little

    Mar 09 2017

    “The man of 1000 voices” celebrity impersonator Rich Little talks about his 50 years in showbiz and his memoir Little by Little: People I’ve Known and Been. He discusses the time he stood in for Ronald Reagan at a White House press conference, the time Jack Benny led him on a ridiculous quest for the perfect chicken noodle soup, an embarrassing cocktail party at Richard Nixon’s house, and how a trip to the San Diego Zoo helped him perfect his Johnny Carson impersonation. He says Ed Sullivan was ...more

  • Author Patricia Cornwell Solves Jack the Ripper Case

    Mar 06 2017

    Best-selling crime writer Patricia Cornwell discusses her investigation into the true identity of the most infamous serial killer of all time. She claims that a famous artist led a double life as Jack the Ripper, and she shares the clues in his paintings, letters, and conversations as well as forensic evidence that implicate him as the Whitechapel killer. She debunks the accepted Ripper timeline and body count, she talks about the frustrating incompetence of the original Scotland Yard investigat...more

  • The Most Famous Hacker Gives Tips For Personal Cyber-Security

    Mar 02 2017

    Kevin Mitnick is the world's most famous hacker and a leading cyber security expert.   Today he’ll reveal how vulnerable you might be to a security hack, and he’ll share some fairly simple steps you can take to protect yourself.  He’ll discuss what kind of information companies like Uber and Facebook are gathering from you (even when you’re not using their apps), how your digital photos show more than you may think, and whether your computer, your phone, and even your television might be listen...more

  • Legendary Mathematician Edward Thorp on Card Counting, Quantitative Investing, & Catching Bernie Madoff

    Feb 27 2017

    Edward O. Thorp is the legendary mathematician who invented quantitative investing, card-counting, and the first wearable computer. Today he discusses how he used mathematics to win at blackjack, some of the tricks casinos employed to try and thwart his methods, and how he created the first wearable computer in order to beat  casinos at roulette. Then he reveals how he used his math skills to become one of the best hedge fund mangers in the world, why he sees Wall Street as the biggest casino of...more

  • VICE Correspondents Gianna Toboni & Isobel Yeung

    Feb 23 2017

    Gianna Toboni and Isobel Yeung are the fearless correspondents for HBO's news magazine show VICE. On today’s episode, Gianna and Isobel voice their concerns about President Trump’s recent demonization of journalists and discuss some of the stories they cover in Season 5 of VICE.  Isobel shares her encounter with Bashar Assad’s Orwellian propaganda machine as she covered the War in Syria, and she talks about her experience spending the night in women’s prison.  Gianna reveals the difficult decisi...more

  • Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on T.P.P., Pacific Rim Security, China, & The Infamous Trump-Turnbull Phone Call,

    Feb 20 2017

      Kevin Rudd served twice as Australian Prime Minister as well as Foreign Minister and is currently the President of The Asia Society Policy Institute. He offers his perspective on the strangely confrontational phone conversation between President Donald Trump and Mr. Rudd’s successor as Prime Minister Malcomb Turnbull. He also discusses Trump’s exit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, what this means for the other partner nations including Australia, and what a new Pacific trade bloc with China...more

  • Bloomberg Tech Editor Brad Stone on Uber, AirBnB, & the New Silicon Valley

    Feb 16 2017

    Brad Stone is Senior Executive Editor for technology at Bloomberg News and author of the New York Times bestseller The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World.   Today he’ll discuss how both companies got there starts including how a James Bond movie inspired Uber and how a wiley illegal hotelier who almost wrecked AirBnB’s plans in New York City. We’ll talk about the rideshare wars between Uber and Lyft, Uber’s efforts to muscle in o...more

  • The Cast & Creators of AMC's HUMANS Imagine a Future w/ Artificial Intelligence, Robots & More

    Feb 13 2017

    The creators of the AMC drama series HUMANS Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent return to the podcast, and then I'm joined by the stars of the show Gemma Chan, Tom Goodman-Hill and Sam Palladio.  We discuss how consciousness might spread among intelligent machines, what "the singularity" might be like from their perspective, whether recent behavioral and psychological disorders arising from kids attachment to smart devices may foreshadow even more disturbing problems to come, and Gemma Chan shares...more

  • Political Dirty Trickster Roger Stone on The Making of the President 2016

    Feb 09 2017

    Legendary Republican political strategist Roger J. Stone, Jr. has been called “the lord of mischief,” “the master of rightwing political hit-jobs,” and “the most dangerous man in America.”  Stone and his political trickery played an integral role in the elections of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush, as well as George W. Bush’s victory during the 2000 Florida recount. He was also instrumental in the 2016 win of his friend of 40 years Donald Trump. He writes about it in his new b...more

  • Hugh Hewitt's "Fourth Way" for President Trump & the GOP

    Feb 06 2017

    Conservative author and radio host Hugh Hewitt has what he has described as an “unusual relationship” with President Donald Trump. He interviewed Trump 15 times during the 2016 election and was a panelist on 4 of the Presidential debates, and now Hugh Hewitt draws his personal experience with the President and his service for two previous Republican Presidents in a new book called The Fourth Way: The Conservative Playbook for a Lasting GOP Majority. Today, he comes on the show to share what the ...more

  • Amazon's Fresh Take on Zelda & Scott Fitzgerald

    Feb 03 2017

    Amazon is telling the story of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald through Zelda’s eyes in the new television series Z: The Beginning of Everything which stars Christina Ricci and David Hoflin as the original “IT” couple. Today, David Hoflin talks about filling the shoes of America’s most iconic author, the often disfunctional relationship between Scott and Zelda, and their cautionary tale about getting too much, too soon. Then I talk with the executive producers and creators of Z: The Beginning of ...more

  • John Avlon, Editor of The Daily Beast on Washington's Farewell Address

    Jan 31 2017

    John Avlon, Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Beast, comes on the podcast to talk about his new book Washington’s Farewell: The Founding Father’s Warning to Future Generations.   He’ll discuss the origins of George Washington’s Farewell Address and why he describes it as the most famous speech you’ve never read. He’ll reveal some of the other founding fathers worked as ghost writers on the address, discuss how Washington’s Farewell Address influenced President Eisenhower’s famous Farewell Address, an...more

  • In Praise of Free Trade w/ Austan Goolsbee, Martin Feldstein & Amb. Michael Froman

    Jan 27 2017

    In one of his first actions as President, Donald Trump signed an Executive Order that put the final death nail in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (T.P.P.) this week.  My guests today will discuss what was in the T.P.P., what the U.S. will be missing out on by backing out of the T.P.P., and why Trump's decision just opened a window for China to become the dominant player in the Pacific Rim.   I'll talk with the outgoing U.S. Trade Ambassador Michael Froman who negotiated the Trans-Pacific ...more

  • The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein w/ CIA Analyst John Nixon

    Jan 23 2017

    When the brutal Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was captured in 2003, senior CIA leadership analyst John Nixon was called in to confirm his identity and became the first person to conduct a prolonged interrogation of the man known as the “Butcher of Bagdad.”  He talks about it in his new book Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein. Today Nixon recalls the surreal experience of debriefing one of the most notorious men of our time.  He’ll discuss Saddam’s sadistic sense of hum...more

  • Louie Anderson, Martha Kelly & Jonathan Krisel of FX's BASKETS

    Jan 19 2017

    Today I talk with comedian Louie Anderson, who won an Emmy for his role as "Christine" on BASKETS, and Martha Kelly, who plays the brilliantly deadpan "Martha" on BASKETS.  Louie talks about starting out as a joke writer for the king of the one liners - Henny Youngman, coming up as a young comedian in the heyday of the legendary Comedy Store, and getting his big break on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, plus Louie reveals which of his family members inspired his chactacter "Christine" on BAS...more

  • The Cast & Creators of History Channel's SIX

    Jan 16 2017

    History Channel’s new dramatic series SIX authentically captures the inside world of America’s elite Special Operations unit known as SEAL Team Six. Today I talk with the creators William Broyles Jr. and David Broyles and the stars of the show Barry Sloane, Kyle Schmid, and Edwin Hodge. They discuss the dangerous and secretive nature of SEAL Team Six’s missions and how it can put a strain on SEAL’s relationships back home. They talk about the psychological strength required of a SEAL, how the s...more

  • Globalist Parag Khanna Calls for Technocracy in America

    Jan 12 2017

    Leading global strategist and best-selling author Parag Khanna returns to the show to discuss his new book Technocracy in America: The Rise of the Info-State.  On today’s podcast, he proposes a 7-person Presidency, replacing the U.S. Senate with an Assembly of Governors, and he discusses which cabinet agencies should be eliminated or combined for better efficiency.  He reveals what countries like Singapore and Switzerland are getting right, what the federal government can learn from America’s ma...more

  • Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics Wants To Tell You Something You Don't Know

    Jan 10 2017

    Stephen J. Dubner is the best-selling co-author of Freakonomics and the host of the Freakonomics Radio Podcast.  Today he comes on the show to talk about his new gameshow podcast Tell Me Something I Don't Know.  We’ll discuss the origins of the Freakonomics phenomenon and his friendship with quirkly rogue economist Dr. Stephen Levitt. We’ll talk about the Freakonomics philosophy of why incentives matter, whether or not everyone cheats, and some the perils of exploring the hidden side of everyt...more

  • Brain Warriors Dr. Daniel & Tana Amen Share Tips for Better Brain Health

    Jan 05 2017

    Dr. Daniel and Tana Amen are leading brain health experts and the best-selling authors of The Brain Warrior's Way: Ignite Your Energy and Focus, Attack Illness and Aging, Transform Pain into Purpose. Today they reveal how everything from junk food and cable news to smart phones and alcohol are eating away at our brains every day. They give some helpful advice about the foods and even herbs and spices that can give your brain a boost. They discuss what exercises and activities are not just great ...more

  • Bradley Birkenfeld, The Swiss Banker Turned Whistleblower Who Exposed UBS Switzerland

    Jan 02 2017

    Bradley C. Birkenfeld is the Swiss private banker who became the biggest financial whistleblower in history when he blew the lid of off secretive Swiss banks by exposing how UBS, the world’s largest bank, helped ultra-wealthy Americans commit billions in tax fraud.  Today he’ll reveal the dirty little secrets of Swiss Banking and UBS’s dealings with the brother of the world’s most notorious terrorist.  He’ll discuss how UBS courted wealthy Americans who wanted to hide their money, and then made ...more

  • Olympic Gold Medalist Greg Louganis

    Dec 30 2016

      Greg Louganis is a four-time Olympic champion and widely considered to the greatest diver in history.  He's also a champion of LGBT rights and today's Olympic divers.  On Monday, January 2, he will serve along-side his fellow Olympic medalists Janet Evans and Allyson Felix as Grand Marshall in the 128th Annual Rose Parade.   Today Greg will talk about his remarkable sport career and some of the hurdles he’s overcome along the way, including when the US decided to boycott the 1980 Olympics, his...more

  • AOL Founder Steve Case on the Third Wave of Tech (Rerun)

    Dec 26 2016

    Today’s guest is the co-founder & former CEO of AOL Steve Case. In his new book THE THIRD WAVE: AN ENTREPRENEUR’S VISION OF THE FUTURE, Steve describes the third wave of the internet’s evolution in which the internet is going to be ingrained in every aspect of our lives and he talks about the business sectors that stand to benefit most. He’ll discuss the key factors that will separate the successful startups from the failures and why disruptive industries won’t necessarily spring up in Silicon V...more

  • Comedian David Steinberg Talks Carson, Comedy, and Curb (Rerun)

    Dec 22 2016

    My guest today is legendary comedian David Steinberg. David Steinberg will talk about how being part of the early days of Second City in Chicago, his 130 appearances on The Tonight Show (more than anyone other than Bob Hope) and his friendship with Johnny Carson, and how his appearance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour singlehandedly got the most popular show on television cancelled. Plus David Steinberg talks about directing Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm, being bestman at a gangster’s ...more

  • Are You a Risky Drinker? w/ Dr. George Koob & filmmaker Perri Peltz

    Dec 19 2016

    Perri Peltz is a filmmaker behind the new documentary Risky Drinking.  It's a co-producting between HBO and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.  Today I talk with Perri and Dr. George Koob who is the director of the NIAAA about some of the signs that you or someone you love might have an alcohol disorder, the toll alcoholism can take on a person's physical and mental health, and some of the new treatments being used that go way beyond the traditional 12-step model. Risky Drin...more

  • Former CIA Analyst Nada Bakos Is NOT "Maya" from Zero Dark Thirty (Or So She Says!)

    Dec 15 2016

    Nada Bakos was a CIA analyst and the Chief Targeting officer charged with finding the godfather of ISIS and mastermind of al Qaida in Iraq - Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. She’s also (according to some) the inspiration for the character of “Maya,” the CIA analyst in the Oscar-winning film Zero Dark Thirty. Today, Nada Bakos will talk about how she rose up through the predominantly male world of the CIA to become one of the agencies top analysts and the chief targeter of the most wanted man in the world. ...more

  • Middle East Peace w/ Senator George Mitchell & Alon Sachar

    Dec 12 2016

    Senator George J. Mitchell was the primary architect of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement for peace in Northern Ireland and the U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace. Today he and his co-author Alon Sachar discuss their new book A Path to Peace: A Brief History of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations and a Way Forward in the Middle East. They talk about why the peace process has failed time after time, and they outline the specific concessions each side must make to finally achieve lasting peace. Se...more

  • The Daily Show: An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests

    Dec 08 2016

      For almost seventeen years, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart brilliantly re-defined the borders between television comedy, political satire, and opinionated news coverage. Now a new book called The Daily Show: An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests chronicles the show's behind-the-scenes gags, controversies, and camaraderie. Today, the journalist and author Chris Smith talks about how The Daily Show rose from a scrappy jester in the age of 24-hour political...more

  • Michael Medved on The American Miracle

    Dec 05 2016

    Talk radio host and author Michael Medved disucsses his new book The American Miracle: Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic. He’ll talk about the idea of American exceptionalism, and why it’s about more than just ego. He says fortune has favored America from the very start, and he points to watershed moments like the Louisiana Purchase as evidence that a divine hand has guided the United States through her most troubled times. He’ll also talk about the responsibility that comes with tha...more

  • Award-winning Author Deirdre Bair on Al Capone's Life, Legacy & Legend

    Dec 01 2016

    Two time American Book Award winning author Deirdre Bair digs deep into the notorious gangster who ruled Chicago with an iron fist in her new biography Al Capone: His Life, Legacy, and Legend. Today she’ll share how she got unprecedented access to the surviving relatives of Al Capone and how their stories passed down through the family revealed the human side of the notorious gangster. She’ll cut through some of the many myths surrounding Capone including the famous baseball bat scene and talk ...more

  • Dana Perino Says "If You Want a Friend in Washington, Get a Dog!"

    Nov 28 2016

    The former White House Press Secretary and co-host of The Five on Fox News Channel says if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.  She talks about her new book called Let Me Tell You about Jasper...How My Best Friend Became America's Dog and how pets can bridge political divides between humans.  She also talks about her time as White House Press Secretary, the post-election vibe at The Five, how her dog Jasper became a social media celebrity, and her ideas for the next White House dog.   If...more

  • Rebroadcast: Arianna Huffington Is Starting A Sleep Revolution

    Nov 25 2016

    My guest today is Arianna Huffington, co-founder, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post and author of the new best-seller THE SLEEP REVOLUTION: TRANSFORMING YOUR LIFE ONE NIGHT AT A TIME. She talks about America's dangerous sleep crisis and how our culture of ambition discourages us from getting a proper night's sleep. But she says we've got it all wrong. In fact, sleep is the ultimate performance enhancer. She'll discuss the research that shows how sleep deprivation has a negati...more

  • The Boston Marathon Bombings w/ Documentary Filmmakers Ricki Stern & Annie Sundberg

    Nov 21 2016

    Emmy-nominated documentary filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg talk about their new film Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing, which airs 11/21 on HBO. Today, they discuss the 2013 Boston marathon bombings, the long road to recovery for the 264 people who were injured, and the unique bond that has formed between these survivors and our warriors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. They also talk about some of the remarkable advances in prosthetics that are helping them regain their mobility...more

  • Space Journalist Leonard David on NatGeo's MARS

    Nov 18 2016

    MARS, a six-part miniseries from Ron Howard, premiered this week on National Geographic Channel, and today my guest is space journalist Leonard David. He authored the companion book to the miniseries titled MARS: Our Future on the Red Planet. He discusses why we want to go to Mars, how we’ll get there, and how long it may take. Leonard David also shares how humans will survive the harsh environment of the red planet including little oxygen, gail force winds, and cancer causing radiation. He talk...more

  • Carol Burnett Reminisces About 11 Hilarious Years of "The Carol Burnett Show"

    Nov 14 2016

    The great Carol Burnett joins me to reminisce about some of the best times on The Carol Burnett Show.  She shares stories about Harvey Korman, Tim Conway and Vickie Lawrence, including which one she almost had to fire and which one could always crack her up in front of the cameras. She talks about the boys club that was network television in the 60’s and 70’s and she reveals the comedy sketch that she wished she hadn’t done and some of her favorite questions from the audience. Plus some advice f...more

  • Supermensch Shep Gordon on Film, Food, & Rock 'n Roll

    Nov 10 2016

    Shep Gordon is a legendary music manager, film producer and inventor of the “celebrity chef.” Among his many clients, he has guided the careers of Alice Cooper, Luther Vandross, Pink Floyd, Blondie, Teddy Pendergrass, Groucho Marx, and Raquel Welch. He is beloved in the entertainment business for his kindness, honesty, and sense of service in an otherwise cut-throat industry, and it has earned him the nickname “Supermensch.” Today, Shep Gordon will reveal how checking into the right motel and a ...more

  • An Anti-Endorsement and Final Thoughts on the 2016 Election

    Nov 09 2016

    It's almost finally over!  Today, I share some final thoughts on the 2016 election and make my closing arguments against Donald Trump.  With guests Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, Pulitzer-winning New York Times journalist David Cay Johnston, former CIA/NSA director, General Michael Hayden, Stuart Stevens, chief strategist for Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, Jonah Goldberg, senior editor at National Review, CNN Global contributor Parag Kanna, Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief of Slate Ma...more

  • Historian H.W. Brands on the Epic Rivalry Between Truman & MacArthur

    Nov 05 2016

      Today, author/historian H.W. Brands talks about his new book The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War.  The Pulitzer finalist and master story-teller reveals the two men’s competing vision for America during the Cold War, just how close we came to a nuclear war with China and the Soviets, and the significance of the Korean War as the first real test of the newly formed United Nations. He’ll discuss why taking a stand in the Korean Peninsula was important ...more

  • Chef Mario Batali Celebrates America's Favorite Regional Comfort Foods

    Nov 01 2016

    Celebrity Chef Mario Batali (host of The Chew) comes on the show to celebrate America’s favorite regional dishes and talk about his new book Big American Cookbook: 250 Favorite Recipes from Across the USA. We talk about the history of our regional cuisines and how they evolved from popular “Old World” recipes brought over by our immigrant forefathers. We discuss the amazing diversity of barbecue, the age-old debate over New England clam chowder vs. Manhattan clam chowder, and where he thinks th...more

  • Author James Patterson on the Shocking True Crimes of Billionaire Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein

    Oct 25 2016

    Author James Patterson has sold over 350 million books and had more #1 New York Times Bestsellers than any author in history. He is best known for his fictional Alex Cross novels, but today he comes on the show to talk about his newest book - a true crime story about the sensational case of Jeffrey Epstein, the Palm Beach billionaire accused of sexually assaulting or molesting as many as 47 underaged girls as young as 12 and 13. James Patterson reveals how Epstein went about recruiting teenage g...more

  • Critical Thinking in the Information Age w/ Dr. Daniel Levitin

    Oct 20 2016

    Dr. Daniel J. Levitin is the #1 best-selling author of A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age and today he’ll teach you how to sharpen your b.s. detector.  He exposes ways supposedly reliable news sources like USA Today and Fox News monkey with charts and graphs to fool you and how to tell whether a website is a reliable news source or has a hidden a agenda.  We discuss some terms you should know when looking at health data, we make sense of the proliferation of counter-...more

  • Kevin Kelly, Senior Maverick At Wired, On 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future

    Oct 17 2016

    Kevin Kelly is co-founder and senior maverick at Wired magazine. He has a new book called The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Techonological Forces That Will Shape Our Future, and he lays out his optimistic view of the next 30 years. He says right now is the best time in history to invent something, and he has a simple formula for the next 10,000 startups.  We talk about big trends like the shift from an ownership society to an access society and how consumers are now becoming active participan...more

  • Director Rod Lurie on "Killing Reagan" for National Geographic Channel

    Oct 14 2016

    Director Rod Lurie talks about his new film Killing Reagan for Nat Geo.  He sets the record straight about the popular myths of a situation room crisis and a power grab by Alexander Haig while Reagan was in the operating room.  Rod talks about where he was on the day Reagan was shot, collaborating with Killing Reagan author Bill O'Reilly, and the recent release of Reagan attacker John Hinckley Jr. Killing Reagan airs Sunday, October 16 at 8/7 Central on the National Geographic Channel or you can...more

  • Dylan Thuras of Atlas Obscura on the World's Hidden Wonders

    Oct 10 2016

    Dylan Thuras is the co-founder and creative director at AtlasObscura.com, the popular travel site that revels in the weird, the unexpected, the overlooked, the hidden and the mysterious.  He co-authored a new book based on the site and it's called Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders.   Today we'll talk about some of the strangest attractions the world has to offer including a Fiery crater that has been burning in the desserts of Turkmenistan since 1971, the independe...more

  • Artificial Intelligence (Pt. 2) w/ Prof. Nick Bostrom, Dr. Seth Baum, & the Creators of AMC's HUMANS

    Oct 07 2016

    In Part 2 on Artificial Intelligence, we examine the possibility of A.I. achieving "the singularity," the moment when technology achieves human-like consciousness and  the possible consequences for humanity if and when machines surpass us. Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley, the creators of AMC's drama series HUMANS, discuss how intelligent machines and people might interact, what the singularity might be like from the perspective of a conscious A.I., and whether a man-made system that thinks and...more

  • Artificial Intelligence (Pt. 1) w/ Michio Kaku, IBM's Guru Banavar, Wired's Kevin Kelly, & Martin Ford

    Oct 05 2016

    Artificial Intelligence is coming, and in Part 1 of this two part podcast, I talk with some of the leading A.I. scientists, tech journalists, and futurists about how A.I. may change our lives within the next three decades.  First I ask futurist Prof. Michio Kaku about just how close we are to developing real artificial intelligence.  Then I talk with Dr. Guruduth Banavar, Vice President and Chief Science Officer in charge of IBM's Cognitive Computing Division, about the latest version if IBM's W...more

  • Phoebe Judge and Lauren Spohrer of CRIMINAL Podcast

    Sep 29 2016

    CRIMINAL is the wildly popular true-crime podcast hosted by Phoebe Judge and produced Lauren Spohrer.  These "partners in crime" talk about the criminal justice system, their love of fictional detective stories, and how the name of their podcast sometimes proves problematic when booking guests.  They share some of the quirkier and more touching stories they’ve investigated including a truck stop owner with a Bengal tiger, the black market for a famously hard to get bottle of bourbon, and a white...more

  • CNBC'S Larry Kudlow & Historian Brian Domitrovic on JFK the Tax-Cutter

    Sep 28 2016

    CNBC's Larry Kudlow and historian Brian Domitrovic talk about their new book JFK and the Reagan Revolution: A Secret History of American Prosperity.  They dismantle the perception of John F. Kennedy as a Keynesian and make the case that he was the first President to embrace supply-side economics and an inspiration for Reagan's Presidency.  Brian and Larry talk about the popular myth of post-war prosperity in the 1950s, the unusual team of rivals who advised Kennedy on economic policy, and how th...more

  • Al Jean, Head Writer/Exec Producer of "The Simpsons" Is Doing What He Loves

    Sep 23 2016

    The moment Al Jean completed the first episode of The Simpsons in 1989, he knew that he wanted to work on that show for the rest of his career.  He's been doing just that as the head writer and exec producer of The Simpsons, guiding that groundbreaking series to a record-breaking 28 seasons.   Today Al Jean talks about his early days writing for “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” including those famous letters to Santa that were supposedly from little children. Then he talks about the birth o...more

  • HBO's "Three Days of Terror: The Charlie Hebdo Attacks" w/ filmmaker Dan Reed

    Sep 19 2016

      Emmy-nominated filmmaker Dan Reed talks about his new HBO documentary THREE DAYS OF TERROR: THE CHARLIE HEBDO ATTACKS. He discusses the cartoons that served as the catalyst for the vengeful massacre of 10 employees at the French satiric magazine Charlie Hebdo by two brothers affiliated with Al-Qaeda in Yemen and the sympathy attacks by a third terrorist which became the Islamic State’s first assault on the French homeland. We talk about the broader issue of freedom of speech, the French gover...more

  • James Carville Makes the Democrats' Case for 2016

    Sep 17 2016

    Political strategist, author and pundit James "The Ragin' Cajun" Carville comes on the show to talk about his new book We're Still Right, They're Still Wrong: The Democrats' Case for 2016.  Carville says "it's still the economy, stupid!" and he claims to have the hard data that proves that the economy does better under Democratic Presidents than Republican Presidents.  He credits Donald Trump with dragging the Republican Party to the issue of income inequality but says Trump's solutions to the p...more

  • Discovery Network's "Taking Fire" w/ Kyle Boucher & J.J. McCool

    Sep 13 2016

    TAKING FIRE is a 5-part docu-series for The Discover Network that follows a handful of rookies with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division who packed helmet cameras to film their one year deployment to the farthest flung region of the Taliban-held Korangal Valley in Afghanistan in 2010.  Today I talk with Kyle Boucher and J.J. McCool who did triple duty as soldiers, cameramen and stars of this unconventional series. They reveal how they were able to film this remarkable footage without interfer...more

  • David Cay Johnston On The Making of Donald Trump

    Sep 08 2016

    David Cay Johnston is a Pultizer Prize winning investigative reporter who covered Donald Trump for 30 years for the New York Times. He pulls back the curtain on the carefully crafted illusion of Donald Trump in his new best-seller The Making of Donald Trump.  Today David shares what he knows about Trump’s shady family history, and his close ties to organized crime bosses and a convicted drug trafficker. He calls into question Trump’s claims that he is a billionaire, a philanthropist, and a Whart...more

  • Ann Coulter on Trump, Immigration, The Roast & More

    Sep 06 2016

    Ann Coulter follows up her Comedy Central Roast appearance by coming on Kickass Politics to talk about Trump, immigration, and more.  She explains what the Trump phenomenon is really about, why she says he is uniquely suited to take on the political establishment, and why it’s time for the GOP stop living in the 80’s and get past Reagan.  We talk about Trump’s meeting with Mexican President Nieto and the speculation that Trump is “softening” his stance on deportation.  Plus she answers listener ...more

  • David Priess Reveals All About "The President's Book of Secrets"

    Sep 02 2016

    My guest today is former CIA analyst and daily intelligence briefer Dr. David Priess, and he talks about his new book The President's Book of Secrets: The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings to America's Presidents from Kennedy to Obama. Today he’ll talk about the history of the top secret document, how it’s tailored to each President’s taste, and the massive intelligence bureaucracy that goes into publishing what is essentially a highly classified daily newspaper created just for one custome...more

  • CNN Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin on the Patty Hearst Kidnapping

    Aug 29 2016

    Jeffrey Toobin is a CNN legal analyst, journalist, and best-selling author.  Today he talks about his new best-seller American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes, and Trial of Patty Hearst.  He discusses bizarre story of her captors the Symbionese Liberation Army, some of the desperate measures the FBI resorted to in their effort to find her, and Patricia Hearst’s strange transformation from captive to criminal. We talk about how the case influenced media coverage of breaking news ...more

  • Mary Matalin Says the GOP Needs to Change, not Donald Trump

    Aug 25 2016

    Mary Matalin is one of the most respected conservative strategists, authors and pundits in America, and this April she left the Republican Party to register as a Libertarian, but says she will still vote for the GOP nominee Donald Trump.  We discuss her motives for leaving the GOP, why she says it’s been a long time coming, and why she’s more inclined to vote for Trump over the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.  Plus I ask Mary Matalin how her mentor President George H.W. Bush and her husband ...more

  • Creators of AMC's Halt & Catch Fire, Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers

    Aug 22 2016

    Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers are the creators, show-runners, and executive producers of AMC's Halt and Catch Fire, and today they talk about the real stories and personalities that inspired them to create the fictional series about the personal computer revolution that came out of the Texas "Silicon Prairie" in the 1980's.   We discuss the constant tug of war between the programmers and the visionaries in the tech industry and which Steve they'd rather be (Wozniak or Jobs).  They hint at what...more

  • Can a Robot Take YOUR Job? w/ guest Martin Ford

    Aug 12 2016

    Martin Ford is a prominent futurist, best-selling author, and leading expert on artificial intelligence and robotics and their potential impact on the job market, economy and society.  His new book Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future warns that rapid advances in robotics and artificial intelligence are going fundamentally disrupt the world economy and your job just might be a lot more replaceable than you think.  We talk about which jobs are most susceptible AI and ...more

  • Alexandra Pelosi Exposes the World of Political Mega-Donors

    Aug 09 2016

    My guest today is Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi who has a new film called MEET THE DONORS on HBO.  Today she’ll talk about the Top 100 people who fund US political campaigns including the Koch Bros and George Soros, and she’ll reveal why one Soros family member is working to get money OUT of our politics. We’ll discuss what these mega-donors want from politicians, the perils of this nuclear arms race to buy political influence, Citizens United, and possible solutions to c...more

  • 100th Episode! Special Guest Dick Cavett

    Aug 01 2016

    TV legend and witty raconteur Dick Cavett joins me for my 100th episode. Known as the “thinking man’s talk show host,” Dick Cavett shares stories from his 5 decades in television.  He discusses how he broke into show business, his long friendship with his personal idol Groucho Marx, his surprisingly chummy relationship with late-night rival Johnny Carson, his not so chummy relationship with the Nixon White House, and the time a guest actually died on air.  He reminisces about Muhammad Ali, Truma...more

  • Ben Shapiro on Political Correctness & Journalistic Integrity in the Age of Trump

    Jul 25 2016

    Ben Shapiro is a conservative political commentator, nationally syndicated columnist, author, radio talk show host, and founder/editor-in-chief at The Daily Wire.  Today Ben Shapiro talks about his on-going fight against political correctness on our college campuses, why he cringes every time Donald Trump misuses the cause against political correctness as a "get-out-of-jail-free-card" for Trump's bad behavior, and why Shapiro won't vote for him.  Ben also talks about journalistic integrity and h...more

  • The Holdouts - Prominent Republicans Against Trump

    Jul 22 2016

    Today I talk to prominent Republicans who say Donald Trump doesn’t speak for them. My guests include GOP political operatives like Stuart Stevens, who was the lead strategist behind Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, and Tim Miller, who served as communication director for the Jeb Bush campaign and the leading anti-Trump SuperPAC. I also talk with conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg of National Review and former Republican Governor of New Jersey Christine Todd Whitman. Plus Kendal Unruh, founder of ...more

  • The Dawn of Driverless Cars

    Jul 15 2016

    Self-driving cars are coming faster than you think.  Today I talk with Raj Rajkumar, co-director of the General Motors-Carnegie Mellon Autonomous Driving Research Lab about the tech behind driverless cars, the challenges they're encountering, and how they plan to protect passengers from a hostile cyber-attack.  Then I talk with Doug Newcomb, the founder and president of the Connected Car Council, about selling American drivers on the idea of giving up so much control, the life-saving/time-saving...more

  • Alan Alda on Making Scientists & Doctors Better Communicators

    Jul 11 2016

    My guest today is six-time Emmy and Globe Award-winning actor, director and writer Alan Alda. Science and medicine have influenced his acting in roles like Army Surgeon Hawkeye Pierce on the hit TV series MASH but now he’s using his art to help scientists and doctors become better communicators. He discusses the need for scientists to get better at explaining their very important work to the rest of us and how he’s using improv to help them do just that. He talks about teaching empathy to doctor...more

  • Dana Loesch Stands Up for Flyover Country

    Jul 08 2016

    Dana Loesch is the host of Dana on Glenn Beck's The Blaze TV and the nationally syndicated radio show The Dana Show: The Conservative Alternative.  She has a new book called Flyover Nation: You Can't Run a Country You've Never Been To, and on today's podcast, she stands up for the good folks of the so-called "flyover states" and corrects misperceptions and media portrayals of the hardworking people in middle America.  Dana talks about what matters in Flyover Nation, including issues like gun con...more

  • Glenn Beck Talks Trump, Libertarianism, & Orson Wells

    Jul 05 2016

    Glenn Beck hosts the third highest-rated radio talk show in America - The Glenn Beck Program, and he is the founder of www.theblaze.com.  He's also the author of 7 #1 New York Times Best-Sellers.  Today we talk about how Orson Wells inspired Glenn Beck's an early love of radio and why he went the independent route when he left Fox News to found The Blaze.  He shares his worries over recent incidents of people taking the law into their own hands, he reiterates his gravest concerns about Donald Tr...more

  • The Hilarious Gilbert Gottfried

    Jun 28 2016

    Comedian Gilbert Gottfried talks about the misery of working on the infamous Season 6 of Saturday Night Live and his ongoing problem with his podcast guests kicking the bucket just before they can make it on his show.  He talks about his lifelong battle against political correctness from his joke at the Friar’s Club Roast 2 days after 9/11 to his tweets about the Japanese Tsnumani that got him fired from his gig as the voice of the Aflac duck.  He talks about old movies and does his impressions ...more

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Trump, the GOP, & Playing the Political 'Long Game'

    Jun 24 2016

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks about his childhood battle with polio, the longshot bid that got him elected to the Senate in 1984, and his difficult re-election in 2014.  He discusses what the institution of the Senate means to him, his frustration with the 2013 government shutdown, and the need to put an end to Republicans attacking Republicans.  Senator McConnell discussed his endorsement of Donald Trump and the serious concerns he has about the presumptive GOP nominee.  He also ...more

  • Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper Talks Beer, Politics & More

    Jun 21 2016

    Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is rumored to be on Hillary's short list for VP and today he talks about his unconventional path to political office, his success as a brewmaster, and how he sees his state as a microcosm for America.  He also discusses Colorado as a test case for marijuana legalization and bridging the gap between environmentalists and the energy industry.  Plus Governor Hickenlooper talks about drinking frack fluid, nude photography, what makes a good beer, and why he once t...more

  • Comedian David Steinberg Talks Comedy, Carson & "Curb"

    Jun 16 2016

    My guest today is legendary comedian David Steinberg.  David Steinberg will talk about how being part of the early days of Second City in Chicago, his 130 appearances on The Tonight Show (more than anyone other than Bob Hope) and his friendship with Johnny Carson, and how his appearance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour singlehandedly got the most popular show on television cancelled.  Plus David Steinberg talks about directing Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm, being bestman at a gangster’...more

  • Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Suing the President, Restoring the Constitution, & Rising to the Top from a Wheelchair

    Jun 08 2016

    Texas Governor Greg Abbott talks about his plan to restore the Constitution to our federal government as outlined in his new book BROKEN BUT UNBOWED: THE FIGHT TI FIX A BROKEN AMERICA.  Governor Abbott also discusses his inspiring story of how he rose to become the longest serving Attorney General in Texas history and now Governor of that state despite being a paraplegic, how being wheelchair bound may have helped him win one of his first cases, and his thoughts on the Americans with Disabilitie...more

  • General Wesley Clark on Vietnam, the Wars in Bosnia & Kosovo, and the Future of U.S. Military

    May 31 2016

    My guest today is General Wesley Clark.  In his 38 years of military service, he served in various positions including Director of Strategic Plans and Policy during the War in Bosnia and NATO commander and Supreme Allied Commander in Europe leading Operation Allied Force during the war in Kosovo.  Today General Clark will talk about the harrowing experience that earned him a Silver Star in Vietnam and what strategic mistakes were made in that war.  He'll talk about leading the allied campaign du...more

  • Parag Khanna Explains Why Globalism Is Great for America and the World

    May 26 2016

    My guest today is global strategist, world traveler and best-selling author Dr. Parag Khanna.  He's written a new book called Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization.  In contrast to the demonization of globalization, trade and immigration that's taking place in the 2016 election, Parag Khanna offers a hopeful vision of the future in which global supply chains matter more than borders, resources are shared most efficiently, and the most connected nations and people will thrive....more

  • Dr. Francis Collins, Director of NIH & Head of the Human Genome Project

    May 23 2016

      Today I'm talking about genomics with the man who headed the Human Genome Project Dr. Francis Collins.  He is currently the director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.  On the podcast Dr. Collins explains how genomics works, how it is leading to breakthroughs in our understanding of many diseases, and leaps in early detection and targeted treatment of them.  He also discusses the limits of genomics and some of the ethical and regulatory issues that have arisen from it. If you enjoyed m...more

  • Director Jay Roach Goes ALL THE WAY with LBJ

    May 19 2016

    Emmy-winning director Jay Roach talks about his new biopic ALL THE WAY which stars Brian Cranston (BREAKING BAD) as President Lyndon B. Johnson.  Jay Roach is the Emmy & Golden Globe Award-winning director/producer behind such hits as the AUSTIN POWERS films, MEET THE PARENTS & its sequel MEET THE FOCKERS, THE CAMPAIGN, RECOUNT, GAME CHANGE, and last year’s critically acclaimed movie TRUMBO.  His new film ALL THE WAY (premieres 5/21 on HBO) follows L.B.J. during the tumultuous year when he assum...more

  • Paul Wolfowitz on Fighting Dictators, Encouraging Freedom, & His Problem with the Term "Neoconservative"

    May 16 2016

    My guest is Paul Wolfowitz, former President of the World Bank, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Ambassador to Indonesia.  Today the world’s most famous neoconservative will tell us why he doesn’t like the term neocon.  He'll talk about how his hatred of dictators and the teachings of Leo Strauss have shaped his own political philosophy, and how that has led to a lifelong passion for promoting freedom and combatting corruption as the first step to ending global poverty and preventing wars.  Amba...more

  • Campaign Advance Man Josh King On White House Stagecraft, Photo-Ops Gone Wrong & The "Hat Rule"

    May 13 2016

    My guest Josh King is a master of political optics. He is the former White House director of production for presidential events under President Bill Clinton. He has a new book called OFF SCRIPT: AN ADVANCE MAN’S GUIDE TO WHITE HOUSE STAGECRAFT, CAMPAIGN SPECTACLE, AND POLITICAL SUICIDE. Today he talks about some of the most infamous political blunders caught on camera including the infamous Dukakis in the tank image and his experience on the ill-fated Dukakis campaign. He’ll discuss how advance ...more

  • Vicente Fox Unloads on Trump, Trade, & The Wall

    May 10 2016

    In his frankest interview yet, former Mexican President Vicente Fox pulls no punches about the man he calls a “false prophet."  It was recorded the same week as his apology to Donald Trump, and President Fox strikes a very different tone, doubling down on his statement "I'm not going to pay for the f-ing wall" and adding "and please don’t take out the f-ing full word." Vicente Fox compares the man he calls the "hated gringo" and "ugly American" to Latin American dictators like Hugo Chavez and Ju...more

  • Disaster Response w/ Steven McAndrew, Head of Emergency Operations at Red Cross

    May 08 2016

    Today’s guest is Steven McAndrew, Head of Emergency Operations for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.  He's been on the front lines of some of the biggest disasters in recent history including earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, super-typhoons, disease outbreaks, and violent conflicts.  He'll talk about what it's like to snap into action, coordinate a disaster response, and mobilize his teams every passing hour can be the difference between life and death.  He'll talk about his w...more

  • AOL Co-founder Steve Case on the Third Wave of Tech

    May 06 2016

    Today’s guest is the co-founder & former CEO of AOL Steve Case. In his new book THIRD WAVE: AN ENTREPRENEUR’S VISION OF THE FUTURE, Steve describes the third wave of the internet’s evolution in which the internet is going to be ingrained in every aspect of our lives and he talks about the business sectors that stand to benefit most. He’ll discuss the key factors that will separate the successful startups from the failures and why disruptive industries won’t necessarily spring up in Silicon Valle...more

  • Juan Williams of Fox News on the Modern-Day Founding Fathers

    Apr 28 2016

      Fox News political analyst and co-host of “The Five” Juan Williams talks about the modern day figures who have reshaped and affirmed the founding father’s vision of America. They range from Billy Graham and Ronald Reagan to Martin Luther King and Eleanor Roosevelt. Juan Williams talks about the situations that the framers of our Constitution never dreamt of and how 20th Century leaders applied their founding principles to meet the challenges and changes of modern day America. If you enjoyed to...more

  • Nominate KICKASS POLITICS for the 2016 Podcast Awards

    Apr 27 2016

    Go to www.podcastawards.com and nominate KICKASS POLITICS in the categories for PEOPLE'S CHOICE and NEWS & POLITICS.   Share your support on Twitter by tagging @podcastawards and @KApolitics & using the hashtag ‪#‎pca16‬.  The deadline for nominations is this Sat 4/30 so don't wait and nominate the show now!  Thanks for listening!  

  • Arianna Huffington Says Go To Bed!

    Apr 25 2016

    My guest today is Arianna Huffington, co-founder, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post and author of the new best-seller THE SLEEP REVOLUTION: TRANSFORMING YOUR LIFE ONE NIGHT AT A TIME.  She talks about America's dangerous sleep crisis and how our culture of ambition discourages us from getting a proper night's sleep.  But she says we've got it all wrong.  In fact, sleep is the ultimate performance enhancer. She'll discuss the research that shows how sleep deprivation has a ne...more

  • Comedy Legend Carl Reiner

    Apr 18 2016

    My guest today is comedy legend Carl Reiner. With a dozen Emmys, he’s behind some of the funniest television shows and movies from his start on Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show” to his collaboration with Mel Brooks on the Grammy-winning “The 2000 Year Old Man” and Steve Martin on films like “The Jerk.” On today’s show, Carl Reiner talks about the early days of television, his start in showbiz on Sid Caesar's “Your Show of Shows,” and how it inspired him to create th...more

  • China's One Child Policy w/ Mei Fong, Pulitzer-winning Reporter for Wall Street Journal

    Apr 15 2016

      On today’s episode, I talk about China's One Child Policy with Mei Fong, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who served as the China correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. She has a new book called ONE CHILD: THE STORY OF CHINA’S MOST RADICAL EXPERIMENT. We’ll talk about how the One Child policy started as a “quick fix” to China’s overpopulation problem and how it suddenly came to an end 35 years later in October 2015. We’ll talk about the many people who were collateral damage in China’s ...more

  • Documentary Filmmaker Ken Burns

    Apr 10 2016

    My guest today is renowned documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.  He has made 26 documentary specials for PBS including The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, The War (about World War II), The West, and The Roosevelts: An Intimate Portrait which have earned him 13 Emmy Awards, 2 Oscar nominations, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.  He has a new two-part documentary on the life of Jackie Robinson which airs April 11 & 12 at 9PM Eastern on PBS. On today's podcast...more

  • Cyber War w/ National Security Journalist Fred Kaplan

    Apr 07 2016

    Fred Kaplan, Pulitzer Prize-winning national security journalist for Slate Magazine, talks about his new book DARK TERRITORY: THE SECRET HISTORY OF CYBER WAR. We discuss why it took Washington decades to take cyber threats seriously, and how a computer pioneer and a Mathew Broderick film led President Ronald Reagan to sign the first presidential directive on cyber security. Fred Kaplan reveals how the 2010 cyber attack that damaged Iranian nuclear facilities may have opened a pandora’s box, we’...more

  • Jacob Weisberg, Editor-in-Chief of Slate Magazine, On All Things Donald Trump

    Apr 05 2016

    My guest today is Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief of Slate.com.  He has a new podcast called Trumpcast, and he's determined to warn voters about Donald Trump until he puts an end to Trump's political ambitions once and for all. We'll talk about how the whole Trump phenomenon happened in the first place, the prospect of a brokered GOP convention, and Trump’s chances in the general election.  Jacob will discuss what a psychologist's analysis revealed about Donald Trump, what it is that Trump vote...more

  • Innovation Expert Alec Ross on The Industries of the Future

    Mar 31 2016

    Today I’m learning about the innovations that will drive the next industrial revolution with my guest Alec Ross, author of the best-selling book THE INDUSTRIES OF THE FUTURE.  Alec served for four years as Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, acting as the diplomatic lead on a range of issues including cybersecurity, Internet Freedom, disaster response, and the use of network technologies in conflict zones.  Now he’s a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Johns Hopkin...more

  • War Correspondent Michael Ware On The War In Iraq & The Birth of ISIS

    Mar 28 2016

    My guest today is Australian journalist Michael Ware. He’s a former Bagdad Bureau chief for Time Magazine and war correspondent for CNN. In 2003 Michael Ware arrived in Baghdad as a novice reporter on a three-week assignment to cover the invasion of Iraq. He left seven years later, having gained unprecedented access to the Iraqi insurgency and American troops and scarred by having seen the unimaginable brutality of the group that eventually became ISIS. Now his story is told in a new documentary...more

  • Part 2: Futurist Dr. Michio Kaku On Amazing Inventions Coming In Our Lifetime

    Mar 25 2016

    Today in Part 2 of my interview with theoretical physicist and futurist Dr. Michio Kaku, we look as some of the incredible advances in science and technology that will radically transform our lives within our lifetime.  In many cases, these inventions are already in the testing phase and may be widely available within the next 5 to 10 years.   These include computers that will fit into a contact lens, Iron Man-like super soldiers, modular robots, liquid biopsies that will detect cancer 10 years...more

  • Part 1: Dr. Michio Kaku, Theoretical Physicist & Futurist Talks About Einstein, Gravity Waves, & The Future

    Mar 22 2016

    My guest today is world renowned theoretical physicist, futurist, best-selling author, and popularizer of science Dr. Michio Kaku.  He is the co-founder of string field theory and he continues to work on his ambitious mission to complete Albert Einstein's Unified Field Theory a.k.a. Einstein's Theory of Everything.  Today he'll talk about his work on the Unified Field Theory, he'll discuss how the recent discovery of Einstein's Gravitation Waves will give scientists "a window into creation," and...more

  • Steve Forbes, Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Magazine on Reviving America

    Mar 18 2016

    My guest today is Steve Forbes is chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media. He’s authored or co-authored 4 books including his most recent one titled REVIVING AMERICA: HOW REPEALING OBAMACARE, REPLACING THE TAX CODE, AND REFORMING THE FED WILL RESTORE HOPE AND PROSPERITY. Steve Forbes discusses the tragic irony of a healthcare system caters to the insurance companies, employers and big government while all but ignoring the needs of the end user. He’ll reveal how one of the unintended conseq...more

  • Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard On the GOP Primary

    Mar 14 2016

     My guest today is Bill Kristol, founder and editor of The Weekly Standard and a political contributor to ABC’S This Week with George Stephanopalis. Just in time for the big GOP primaries in FL & OH, we talk about whether  Rubio, Cruz, and Kasich may have missed chance to beat Donald Trump outright. We discuss the possibility of a brokered convention and the prospect of an alternative conservative launching a third party run. Plus we talk about Bill Kristol’s 20 year career as editor of the #1 w...more

  • Debunking Conspiracy Theories w/ Dr. Michael Shermer, Founder of Skeptic Magazine

    Mar 10 2016

      On this episode, we tackle that special breed of whacko known as the conspiracy theorist.  You've probably encountered them at a cocktail party or on your social media.  They're the ones who are always carrying on about the JFK assassination or Obama's birth certificate and they say things like "that's exactly what THEY want you to believe" or "you have to connect the dots."  The problem is that in most instances they're connecting "dots" that aren't there and fueling ignorance, irrationality...more

  • General Michael Hayden, Former Head of CIA & NSA

    Mar 08 2016

    General Michael Hayden is the only person in U.S. history to have served as head of both the CIA and the NSA.  General Hayden served as the Director of the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005 where he implemented a dramatic overhaul and expansion of the agency in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks.  He later serves as America's first Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and then as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency under President George W. Bush.  General Hayden ...more

  • Pulitzer Prize-Winning Political Cartoonist Michael Ramirez

    Mar 04 2016

    My guest today is two time Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative political cartoonist Michael Ramirez.  His cartoons appear daily in Investor's Business Daily where he serves as co-editor and his work is also syndicated in over 550 newspapers and magazines. He'll will talk about what makes good political satire, what’s fair game and when is "too soon."  Plus we’ll discuss the very first political cartoon that he drew in college, how President Obama has been a gift comedy gods, and how one innocen...more

  • Donald Rumsfeld On Modernizing The Military, Saddam Hussein, Snowflakes, & Churchill Solitaire

    Mar 01 2016

    My guest is former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.  In his remarkable 50 year career, he has served as a U.S. Congressman, Director of the Office Economic Opportunity and U.S. Ambassador to NATO under President Richard Nixon, White House Chief of Staff to President Gerald Ford, Special Middle East Envoy for President Ronald Reagan, and Secretary of Defense...both for Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush.  In fact, Donald Rumsfeld has the distinction of being both the youngest and the ...more

  • Oscar-Nominee Evgeny Afineevsky On His Documentary WINTER ON FIRE

    Feb 22 2016

      Just in time for Oscar weekend, my guest is Evgeny Afineevsky director/producer of WINTER ON FIRE: UKRAINE'S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, which is currently nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.  He and his crew spent 93 days risking their lives to film the 2013/2014 Ukrainian revolution from the initial protests in Kiev's Maidan Square through the murderous government crackdown in the streets to the eventual overthrow of corrupt President Viktor Yanukovych. We talk about what s...more

  • Doug Schoen, Pollster & Fox News Political Analyst, Talks About "The Nixon Effect"

    Feb 19 2016

    Doug Schoen is Democrat pollster, campaign consultant, author, and Fox News political analyst. He pioneered overnight polling and has worked on the campaigns on Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Evan Bayh, Michael Bloomberg, Tony Blair, Silvio Berlusconi and three Israeli Prime Ministers just to name a few. He’s a regular columnist for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Newsmax. He’s authored eleven books, and today he comes on the podcast to talk about his latest book THE NIXON EFF...more

  • Iconic Photographer Platon On Shooting World Leaders & Human Rights

    Feb 16 2016

    Over the years, Iconic photographer Platon has captured every living U.S. President from Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama on film, and he’s photographed well over a hundred world leaders including Tony Blair, Ban Ki Moon, Benjamin Netanyahu, Mahmoud Adhmadenijad, Silvio Berlusconi, Mohamar Qaddafi, Hugo Chavez, and Vladimir Putin for the 2007 Time Man of Year cover.   His work has been featured on 20 Time Magazine covers as well as GQ, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Esquire, New York Times ...more

  • Mark McKinnon, Co-Host of Showtime's Political Docuseries "The Circus"

    Feb 12 2016

    Today I talk with campaign media advisor Mark McKinnon about his new documentary series for Showtime called THE CIRCUS: INSIDE THE GREATEST POLITICAL SHOW ON EARTH.  He co-stars with journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann of Bloomberg Politics as they follow all of the Presidential candidates as well as the campaign teams and traveling reporters.  They give an inside glimpse into the stress and craziness and the ups and downs of running for the most powerful position in the world.   Mark ...more

  • Greg Barker, Director of HBO's "Homegrown: The Counter-Terrorism Dilemma"

    Feb 08 2016

    Today I talk with filmmaker Greg Barker, who won an Emmy for his HBO documentary MANHUNT: THE UNTOLD STORY BEHIND THE HUNT FOR BIN LADEN, about his new film for HBO called HOMEGROWN: THE COUNTER-TERRORISM DILEMMA.  In his latest project, he explores the threat of "self-radicalizing" terrorists right here in America through the eyes of the Deputy Directors of the National Counter Terrorism Center and the FBI's National Security Branch, as well as the family members of the Ft. Hood shooter and oth...more

  • What's an Iowa Caucus? w/ Congressman Steve King, radio host Steve Deace, & Cody Hoefert, Co-Chair of the Iowa GOP

    Feb 01 2016

    Today is the Iowa Caucuses when the first votes are cast in the 2016 Presidential election!  But what exactly is a Caucus?  And why does Iowa get to be the first?  Is it different from a Primary?  Does the weather really affect caucus results?  Can a candidate win Iowa without loving ethanol?  And what the heck is a "full Grassley?"  We'll answer all of these questions and I take a comprehensive look at the Iowa Caucuses with my guests today - Congressman Steve King, nationally syndicated radio ...more

  • Senators Trent Lott & Tom Daschle on Fixing the Partisan Divide in Washington

    Jan 29 2016

    For 10 years The Senate Majority Leader office traded hands between Senators Tom Daschel (Democrat) and Trent Lott (Republican).  As the leaders of their respective parties in the U.S. Senate, Senator Lott and Senator Daschle often found themselves on opposite sides of an issue, but they kept things moving in the Senate and got things done for the American people by working together, showing mutual respect, and engaging in that four letter word-compromise.   Today they say that politics is gett...more

  • Rich Lowry, Editor of National Review, on Donald Trump, Buckley, & More (Re-broadcast)

    Jan 27 2016

    This week National Review Magazine published a special edition with the headline "Against Trump."  In that issue, the editors of National Review along with 22 noted conservatives like Bill Kristol, Glenn Beck, Katie Pavlock, Michael Medved, and Dennis Prager made an impassioned plea for Republican voters not to nominate the brash real estate billionaire as the Republican nominee.  They look at Donald Trump's record (including his many years as a Democrat) and make a thorough case that Donald Tru...more

  • Congressman Michael McCaul, Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee

    Jan 21 2016

    As Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Congressman Michael McCaul has looked into the dark minds of America’s enemies and their most diabolical plans. In his new book FAILURES OF IMAGINATION: THE DEADLIEST THREATS TO OUR HOMELAND AND HOW TO THWART THEM, he lays out 8 horrifying scenarios for how terror groups and hostile nations might attempt to attack the U.S. The scariest part of it all is that these nightmarish situations are largely based on real intel about past, present a...more

  • Criminal Justice Reform w/ Sen. Rob Portman, Julie Stewart & Jeff Smith

    Jan 12 2016

    In today's episode, I explore the areas where America's prisons are failing society and the growing call for sensible, results-based criminal justice reform.  My guests are Senator Rob Portman, author of the Second Chance Act, Julie Stewart president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, and Jeff Smith, author of Mr. Smith Goes to Prison: What Me Year Behind Bars Taught Me About America's Prison Crisis.   In the first part, Jeff Smith will recount his eye-opening year in federal prison, and ...more

  • (Rebroadcast) Part 2: The Political Genius of George Washington

    Jan 08 2016

    Ben is sick this week, but he'll be back with a brand new episode on Monday.  In the meantime, enjoy this rebroadcast.  In part 2 of The Political Genius of George Washington, I'll talk again with author and historian John Ferling about motivated George Washington to run for President, what motivated him to leave the office after two terms and what he might think of the political climate today.  If you enjoyed this episode, then please subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review on Itunes for...more

  • (Rebroadcast) Part 1: The Political Genius of George Washington

    Jan 08 2016

    Ben is sick this week, but he'll be back with a brand new episode on Monday.  In the meantime, enjoy this rebroadcast.  In this episode, I'll talk with author and historian John Ferling about the hidden political genius of our first President.  If you enjoyed this episode, then please subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review on Itunes for a chance to win Ben's book of the week.  All you have to do to enter is subscribe and leave a review.  For more information, visit www.KickAssPolitics.co...more

  • (Rebroadcast) Pt. 2: E.M.P. - The Day the Earth Stood Still w/ guest Dr. Peter Vincent Pry

    Jan 08 2016

    Ben is a little sick this week, but he'll be back with a new episode on Monday.  In the meantime, enjoy this rebroadcast of Part 2 of his expose on E.M.P. In Part 1 on E.M.P. or the phenomenon known as an electromagnetic pulse, guest Dr. Peter Vincent Pry (director of the Task Force on National & Homeland Security) warned that an electromanetic pulse, either caused naturally by a solar flare or by a high altitude nuclear detonation by our enemies, has the ability disable the entire U.S. electri...more

  • (Rebroadcast) Pt. 1: E.M.P. - The Day the Earth Stood Still w/ guest Dr. Peter Vincent Pry

    Jan 08 2016

    Ben is a little sick this week, but he'll be back with a new episode on Monday.  In the meantime, enjoy this rebroadcast on E.M.P. If you have heard of an electromagnetic pulse at all, it's probably from sci-fi movies like The Matrix or novels, but an E.M.P. is not science fiction.  E.M.P. is a real scientific phenomenon that has the ability to destroy not just every single electronic in your home, but the entire U.S. electric grid.  It has happened before and will almost certainly happen again...more

  • Daniel Pipes, President of the Middle East Forum on Radical Islam

    Dec 30 2015

    My guest today is one of the leading scholars on the Middle East and Middle East history.  He's Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum and publisher of Middle East Quarterly.  Prior to that he was appointed to the Board of the U.S. Insitute for Peace by President George W. Bush, and he served as director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute.   He says it is Islamists, not Muslims, who represent an existential threat to Israel and the West.  He says America should support moderate ...more

  • Rich Lowry, Editor of National Review on William F. Buckley, Trump as Jacksonian, Hashtag Heroics, & More

    Dec 09 2015

      In 1955, a 30-year-old conservative intellectual named William F. Buckley Jr. founded National Review magazine.  Since then it has become the most widely read and influential magazine for conservative news, commentary, and opinion.     In honor of the 60th Anniversary of National Review, my guest is editor of National Review Rich Lowry.  You've also seen him as a regular political commentator on Fox News, The McGlaughlin Group, and NBC'S Meet the Press.   On the podcast, we talk about his...more

  • Garry Kasparov Warns That Vladimir Putin Is The Enemy of the Free World

    Dec 04 2015

    My guest today is the Garry Kasparov.  For 20 years he was the World Chess Champion and is widely considered to the greatest chess master of all time. Then in 2005, he retired from chess to become a political activist in his native country of Russia. He has since become the most vocal and high profile critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In 2008, he even ran for President against Putin’s hand-picked successor Dimitri Medvedev until being forced out of the election due to rampant corrupt...more

  • Karl Rove on William McKinley & Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters

    Dec 01 2015

    This is officially the 50th episode of KickAss Politics, and we’re celebrating with Karl Rove! He’s a Fox News political contributor and writes a weekly op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. He was the Senior Advisor to the President George W. Bush and Deputy White House Chief of Staff. As Bush’s chief political strategist, Karl Rove masterminded the successful Bush/Cheney campaigns in 2000 and 2004 as well as the historic 2002 midterm election earning him the nickname “The Architect.”   Today he...more

  • Brian Kilmeade, Co-Host of "Fox & Friends" on Thomas Jefferson & America's First War w/ Radical Islam

    Nov 17 2015

    Brian Kilmeade is the co-host of Fox News morning show Fox & Friends and host of his own national radio show called Kilmeade & Friends. He's the co-author of the  bestseller GEORGE WASHINGTON’S SECRET SIX, and new he and his co-author Don Yaegar have a new book on a often over-looked chapter in American History.  The book is called THOMAS JEFFERSON AND THE TRIPOLI PIRATES: THE FORGOTTEN WAR THAT CHANGED AMERICAN HISTORY. 200 years before Al-Qauda or ISIS, a young America led by Thomas Jefferson...more

  • The Young Turks - Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian, & John Iadarola

    Nov 12 2015

      With over 2 billion views on YouTube, The Young Turks has become the largest online news show in the world.  Every day, an average of a million and a half people watch The Young Turks or one of many programs from The Young Turks Network.     On today's podcast, I visit the Young Turks Studio in Culver City, California to talk with TYT founder Cenk Uygur as well as Ana Kasparian (co-host of The Young Turks) and John Iadarola (co-host of TYT's Think Tank).  We'll talk about the future of news...more

  • The Rise & Reign of Vladimir Putin w/ guest Steven Lee Myers

    Nov 09 2015

    Forbes Magazine recently announced their annual list of the most powerful people in the world, and for the third year in a row, they chose Russian President Vladimir Putin as #1. In explaining why Putin was picked as the most powerful person in the world for the 3rd year in a row, Forbes said “Russia's president continues to prove he's one of the few men in the world powerful enough to do what he wants --and get away with it.”   Putin has been described as cold, enigmatic, calculating, ruthles...more

  • Rebroadcast: Reagan's "A TIME FOR CHOOSING" speech w/ guest Dr. Steven F. Hayward

    Nov 07 2015

    This is a rebroadcast of an episode that aired in November 2014 celebrating the 50th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's famous "A Time for Choosing" speech.     In the final days of the 1964 Presidential election, actor Ronald Reagan gave a 30 minute televised speech in support of Republican Barry Goldwater. Goldwater lost by a landslide, but Reagan's "A Time for Choosing," later known simply as "The Speech," put Ronald Reagan on the road to the White House and defined the Conservative movement ev...more

  • Bob Woodward on Nixon & The Last of the President's Men

    Nov 04 2015

      My guest on this podcast is Bob Woodward.  Together with fellow reporter Carl Bernstein, he tied the Watergate break-in to the Nixon White House in 1972, bringing down President Richard Nixon and earning the first of two Pulitzer Prizes for the Washington Post.  Today he remains associate editor at the Washington Post and has authored a dozen #1 Best-Sellers on the New York Times Nonfiction list.   He comes on the show to talk about his new book "THE LAST OF THE PRESIDENT'S MEN" which chron...more

  • Fred Barnes & Mort Kondracke from Fox News' "The Beltway Boys" on Jack Kemp, 2016 & Tonight's GOP Debate

    Oct 28 2015

    My guests today are Fred Barnes and Mort Kondracke. Fred Barnes is the co-founder and executive editor of The Weekly Standard and Mort Kondracke served as the executive editor of Roll Call and former Washington bureau chief for Newsweek.  For over ten years, they co-hosted the popular weekly political show The Beltway Boys on Fox News. Today they still regularly appear as political commentators on Fox News, and they recently teamed up to write the first ever biography exploring the legacy of the...more

  • Congresswoman Michele Bachmann on Tax Reform, the Tea Party, & America's Role in the World

    Oct 26 2015

    My guest in this podcast is former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. From 2007 until just this year, she represented Minnesota’s 7th district in Congress and in 2012 Michele Bachmann ran for the Republican nomination for President. In Congress, she served on the House Financial Services Committee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence which oversees the CIA, the NSA, and other intelligence agencies. She has been a strong supporter of the Tea Party movement from it’s earliest days and f...more

  • Mike Pesca, Host of Slate's The Gist

    Oct 26 2015

      Mike Pesca hosts Slate's The Gist podcast 5 days a week and he's a weekly panelist on Slate's Hang Up & Listen podcast.  Before that he was a national desk correspondent for NPR covering sports, culture and politics.  He's won two Edward R. Murrow Awards for Excellence in Electronic Journalism, and he has a loyal following of fans who tune in daily to heir his "spiel" of the day. Today, he'll talk about the House Speakers race, money in politics, and the filibuster.  Plus he'll go off on his...more

  • Curator of the International Spy Museum Dr. Vincent Houghton on the story behind BRIDGE OF SPIES and more

    Oct 19 2015

    Just in time for BRIDGE OF SPIES, Dr. Vincent Houghton comes on the show.  Vince is historian and curator of the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC and host of SPYCAST, a popular weekly podcast covering all things espionage.   On today's show, he'll talk about the true story and the real people behind the U-2 spy plane incident and the movie BRIDGE OF SPIES.  Plus he'll talk about the greatest spy who ever lived, Cold War espionage, America's spy history from the Revolutionary War thro...more

  • David Axelrod On The President, Hillary Clinton, & Why He's Still A Believer After 40 Years in Politics

    Oct 13 2015

    David Axelrod joins me on the show from Politicon in Los Angeles.  In his 40 year career in politics, he has advised over 150 Democrat campaigns.  He's the campaign wizard behind President Barack Obama's victories in 2008 and 2012 and he served in the White House as Senior Advisor to the President.  Today he's founder and director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago and he now has his own podcast called The Axe Files.   On the podcast, he talks about his very first campai...more

  • Michael Reagan On Why Conservatives Need To Stop Looking For The Next Ronald Reagan

    Oct 05 2015

    Following the Reagan Library Republican debate, I talk with conservative author, radio host, and speaker, Michael Reagan.  He also happens to be the son of the late President Ronald Reagan.  He says the 2016 GOP candidates need to stop trying to imitate his father and repackage the Reagan legacy to better match their own political brands.  Instead they should embody Reagan's spirit and his leadership qualities. He says if conservatives want to win in 2016, they need to focus on the future of th...more

  • ISIS's War on Cultural Heritage & the Modern Day Monuments Men Fighting to Stop Them

    Sep 25 2015

    In the past month, the murder of a Syrian Archeologist by ISIS terrorists and their senseless destruction of two temples at the UNESCO World Heritage site at Palmyra sent shockwaves through the archeological community, and drew media attention to what very well may be the biggest threat to the word’s shared cultural heritage since World War II. The maniacs of the so called Islamic State are blowing up historic monuments and looting and selling priceless ancient antiquities in what is now their s...more

  • Cuba Under Castro w/ guests Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado & author Carlos Eire

    Sep 12 2015

    Following President Obama’s decision to normalize relations with Cuba and re-open the U.S. embassy in Havana, I talk with two men who bore witness the brutality and economic collapse of Cuba under Fidel Castro.  They both escaped to the U.S. as young boys, but their fathers weren’t so lucky, and they’ll tell their stories in today’s episode.     My first guest is Carlos Eire.  Today he’s a history and religion professor at Yale University and a best-selling author who won the 2003 National Bo...more

  • Senator Lindsey Graham on the Iran Nuclear Deal, Running for President, & Trump

    Sep 08 2015

    Just in time for the Senate debate over President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, Senator Lindsey Graham comes on the show to talk about why the deal is bad for America & the Middle East and how he intends to prevent Iran from getting a nuke.  Plus we talk about the GOP primary, Trump, and the advice Senator John McCain gave him about running for President.     For more information, visit www.KickAssPolitics.com, and if you enjoyed the show and would like to help keep us on the air, then plea...more

  • Millennials & the 2016 Election w/ Pollster Kristin Soltis Anderson

    Aug 27 2015

    Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson is founding partner at the polling firm Echelon Insights.  She's also the co-host of the political podcast The Pollsters and author of a new book called The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials Are Leading America (and How Republicans Can Keep Up).       She'll talk about what separates millennials from previous generations and how their values and priorities are shaping their politics.  Kristen warns that if Republicans write off millennials now, they ma...more

  • The End of Doom with Ronald Bailey, Science Writer for REASON Magazine

    Aug 24 2015

    My guest today is Ronald Bailey.  He's an award-winning science journalist for Reason Magazine and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute.  In his new book THE END OF DOOM: ENVIRONMENTAL RENEWAL IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY, he says the sky ISN'T falling, and in fact, the world is becoming safer, cleaner, and healthier than ever before.  On this podcast, he'll present the proponderance of scientific data debunking a wide range of environmental alarmist myths about overpopulation, world hunger, ...more

  • THE CONSERVATIVE HEART w/ Author Arthur C. Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute

    Aug 18 2015

    Welcome to the preview station for KickAss Politics with Ben Mathis!  My guest today is Arthur C. Brooks, best-selling conservative author and president of the American Enterprise Institute.  He has a new book called THE CONSERVATIVE HEART: HOW TO BUILD A FAIRER, HAPPIER, AND MORE PROSPEROUS AMERICA.  He says conservatives need to stop just being against things and start being FOR people.  He talks about his journey to from a french horn player and a liberal ex-patriot living in Barcelona to eco...more

  • A Governor, a Speechwriter & the Scandal That Became a Trainwreck w/ guest Barton Swaim

    Aug 17 2015

    In the summer of 2009, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford was a darling of the Tea Party and a leading contender for the GOP nomination in 2012 until it all came crashing down in a bizarre sex scandal and an even more bizarre attempt at "damage control."  His speechwriter Barton Swaim had a front row seat for the fiasco and he writes about it in his new book THE SPEECHWRITER: A BRIEF POLITICAL EDUCATION.   He'll discuss the scandal as a case study in how NOT to do damage control.  He'll also ...more

  • Former Israeli Ambassador Danny Ayalon On The Iran Nuke Deal & Israel

    Aug 17 2015

    Welcome to the preview station for KickAss Politics with Ben Mathis!  In the last podcast, we covered the broad strokes of President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran as well as the ramifications of this deal for the Middle East and for U.S. diplomacy.  In today’s podcast, we’ll focus on the one who has the most to lose in this deal - Israel.  Today’s guest is Danny Ayalon.  He’s the former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. and served as the Deputy Foreign Minister under the current Prime Minister Ben...more

  • The Iran Nuke Deal w/ guest Michael Rubin, Middle East Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

    Aug 16 2015

    In today's episode, we'll look at just what's in President Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran and what it means for U.S. prestige, Israel, and the Middle East.  Will it set Iran on a path torward a nuclear bomb?  Will it set off a nuclear arms race among other Middle East nations?  Will it set a dangerous precedent in U.S. foreign policy.  We'll discuss all of this with Michael Rubin.  He's a former Pentagon official specializing in Iran and a Middle East scholar with the American Enterprise In...more

  • Bruce Carlson, Host of MY HISTORY CAN BEAT UP YOUR POLITICS

    Aug 16 2015

    In today's episode, I talk with Bruce Carlson, the host of the very popular podcast "My History Can Beat Up Your Politics."  Bruce takes the politics of today and puts it into larger historical context for listeners.  He says knowledge of the political history of America    is key to putting political devleopments into perspective, controlling heated partisanship, and creating better and more informed voters.  He'll share historical precedents for the 2016 election, give us a crash course in the...more

  • John Tamny, Editor of RealClearMarkets.com & Author of Popular Economics

    Aug 15 2015

    Today's guest is John Tamny.  He is the editor of RealClearMarkets.com and the political economy editor at Forbes Magazine.  He’s got new book called Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, and LeBron James Can Teach You About Economics.  He’ll pull back to the curtain to explain how economics is one of the simplest and most basic disciplines to understand because according to him everyone is an economist.  He’ll explain how the Dallas Cowboys, and Paris Hilton are excellent e...more

  • Dr. Ben Carson On The Debate, His Vision For America & His Journey From Surgeon To Candidate

    Aug 12 2015

    Famed neurosurgeon, author and now Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson comes on the podcast to talk about the GOP debate, his suprising political ascent, the issues that matter most to him, and some of the life lessons he's picked up along the way.  He'll tell us how his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast two years ago and his subsquent political rise interrupted his plan for a quiet retirement and why he feels compelled to run for office for the first time in his life.  Plus Dr. Carson w...more

  • Senator Mike Lee on Our Lost Constitution

    Aug 12 2015

    Does it seem like America is straying farther from the original framework designed by our Founding Fathers?  Does it seem like the Federal government is increasingly encroaching on the rights of individuals and the states?  Do you think the President is expanding the powers of the Executive Branch into dangerous Constitutional territory? If so, then you are not alone.  Senator Mike Lee says he's spent the past 4 years in the U.S. Senate getting a crash course in how politicians, judges, and bur...more

  • Grover Norquist Says It's Time to END the IRS

    Aug 12 2015

    Did you know that many of the 13 colonies were founded as tax havens from the British?  Or that our Founding Fathers declared independence from Britain because King George wanted to raise the 1-2% on colonial Americans to 3-4%?  Compare that to the 33% income tax that the average American pays today!  Did you know that the tax on your telephone calls was originally intended to be a "temporary tax" to pay for the Spanish-American War over 100 years ago?   How did taxes get so out of control bet...more

  • Policing for Profit - The Civil Asset Forfeiture Nightmare (Part 2)

    Aug 11 2015

    In yesterday's episode, we talked about how law enforcement agencies at the local, state and federal levels have been misusing U.S. civil asset forfeiture laws to seize billions in property and money from ordinary law-abiding Americans.  They're taking homes, cars, boats, and even the cash out of your wallet. In this episode, you'll hear about how the feds are taking civil asset forfeiture abuse one step farther and literally stealing money out of the bank accounts of citizens who have done not...more

  • Policing For Profit - The Nightmare Of Civil Asset Forfeiture (Part 1)

    Aug 11 2015

    Can law enforcement take your stuff even if you've committed no crime?  Yes the can.  Money?  Yep, they can take that too.  In fact, law enforcement at the federal, state and local levels are doing it every day.  They're seizing cars, boats, jewelry, cash, and even homes and businesses all without ever charging the owner with any crime.   It's a little known but widely abused area of law called Civil Asset Forfeiture and it's turning entire police departments into financial predators.  In this ...more

  • George Washington Deserves His Own Day

    Aug 11 2015

    Last week was President's Day and in this episode, I'll provide a brief history of the holiday and talk about how our founding father George Washington has really gotten shortchanged with this whole President's Day thing.  I'll look at the many ways in which our country would not be the same or might not even exist today if it hadn't been for our first President and our greatest patriot.  Today I'm making the case for why George Washington deserves his own day.   Be sure to subscribe on iTunes...more

  • Bonus Episode - The Wit And Wisdom Of Winston Churchill

    Aug 11 2015

    In yesterday's podcast, Churchill on Leadership, I talked with Dr. Steven F. Hayward about the leadership qualities that made Winston Churchill one of the greatest men in history.  In this short bonus podcast, I'll take a look at the lighter side of Sir Winston with a collection of some of my favorite quotes and anecdotes that highlight the razer sharp wit of Winston Churchill.   Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review on iTunes.  For more information, visit www.KickAssPoli...more

  • Churchill on Leadership with guest Dr. Steven F. Hayward

    Aug 11 2015

    50 years ago this past Saturday, the world mourned the passing of the greatest leader of the 20th Century - Sir Winston S. Churchill.  On the anniversary of Churchill's death, I'll sit down with Dr. Steven F. Hayward, author of Churchill on Leadership to discuss some of the qualities that made Winston Churchill a remarkable leader and a towering figure in history.   Be sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes and leave us a review.  For more information, visit www.KickAssPolitics.com, and if ...more

  • Stephen Hadley, Former National Security Advisor To The President

    Aug 11 2015

    In this episode, I ask Stephen Hadley, the former National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush, just how dangerous is the world today?"  We also talk about the Islamic State, Vladimir Putin, and the need for a greater U.S. investment in conflict prevention and post-conflict infrastructure.     If you like this episode then subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes.  For more information, visit www.KickAssPolitics.com, and if you enjoyed the show and would like to help keep us on ...more

  • African-Americans Deserve A Leader Like Nelson Mandela, Not Al Sharpton

    Aug 11 2015

    Welcome to this preview station for KickAss Politics.  In my recent interview with Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin, we discussed her experience as a journalist in South Africa covering the end of apartheid and the release of Nelson Mandela after 27 years in prison.  Our conversation inspired me dedicate an entire episode to Nelson Mandela.  He was a man of remarkable personal strength, wisdom and humility who represented the very best of the human spirit.  Sadly though, Mandela's memory ...more

  • Fox News National Security Correspondent Jennifer Griffin On ISIS, Middle East Peace, & The Concerns That Keep Her Up At Night.

    Aug 11 2015

    Welcome to this preview station for KickAss Politics!  In this podcast, I talk with Fox News National Security Correspondent Jennifer Griffin.  We talk about her and her husband's experiences in the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and her early years covering the fall of Aparheid and the release of Nelson Mandela.  She also tells me about the transition from reporting in some of the most dangerous places in the world to being a working mom and Fox Pentagon Correspondent and how that ex...more

  • Disruptive Technology vs. Government Regulation w/ guest Grover Norquist

    Aug 05 2015

    In this first episode of KickAss Politics, I'll explore how the emerging "sharing economy" and innovative businesses like Uber, Lyft and AirBnB are radically reshaping our notions of ownership and traditional distribution models.  Then I'll talk with Grover Norquist, president and founder of Americans for Tax Reform, about how government regulators and politicans are stifling the sharing economy and going out of their way to tax, over-regulate, and even destroy innovative companies in spite of o...more