Podcast

Longform

Interviews with writers, journalists, filmmakers, and podcasters about how they do their work. Hosted by Aaron Lammer, Max Linsky, and Evan Ratliff.

Episodes

  • Episode 364: Nicholas Quah

    Oct 16 2019

    Nicholas Quah founded and writes Hot Pod, a newsletter about the podcasting industry, and reviews podcasts for Vulture. “I think to some extent I’m in love with the concept of momentum. Sheer velocity. It’s painful. It’s punishing. Physically, I’m worse off for it. But I feel like if I stop moving, something will fall. Something will break. And I’m over. It’s a horrible feeling.” Thanks to Mailchimp, Pitt Writers, Audm, and Bayer for sponsoring this week's episode. @nwquah nichola...more

  • Episode 363: Radhika Jones

    Oct 09 2019

    Radhika Jones is the editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair and the editor of Women on Women. “There are a lot of people who still see the value of talking to someone, having a real conversation — about the things that they’re doing, the things that they’re caring about, the things that they’re afraid of, the things that are challenging — because in that conversation, they themselves will discover things that they didn’t realize. It obviously takes courage. It’s a payoff for the reader, certainly, b...more

  • Episode 362: Andrew Marantz

    Oct 02 2019

    Andrew Marantz is a staff writer at The New Yorker. His new book is Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation. “Some nonfiction can be reduced to a bulletpoint primer, but a good book is a good book. Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, it should create a feeling, it should create a world, it should be a feeling that you want to live in and that tilts the way you see things. Isn’t that the point?” Thanks to Mailchimp and Pitt Writers for spon...more

  • Episode 361: Ken Burns

    Sep 25 2019

    Ken Burns is a documentary filmmaker whose work includes The Vietnam War, Baseball, and The Central Park Five. His new series is Country Music. “History, which seems to most people safe — it isn’t. I think the future is pretty safe, it’s the past that’s so terrifying and malleable.” Thanks to Mailchimp, Vistaprint, and Pitt Writers for sponsoring this week's episode. @KenBurns kenburns.com [01:08] The Vietnam War (2017) [01:12] Country Music (2019) [04:58] Salesman (1969) [...more

  • Episode 360: Ta-Nehisi Coates and Chris Jackson

    Sep 18 2019

    Ta-Nehisi Coates is the author of The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power, and Between the World and Me. His new novel is The Water Dancer. Chris Jackson is Coates's editor, and the publisher and editor-in-chief of One World. “I don’t think an essay works unless I can pin a story to it. You don’t want people to just say, ‘Oh that was a cool argument.’ You want people to say, ‘I could not stop thinking about this.’ You want them to nudge their wives and husbands and say, ‘You ha...more

  • Episode 359: Paul Tough

    Sep 11 2019

    Paul Tough is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and the author of The Years That Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us. “The nice thing about a book as opposed to a magazine article is that it’s less formulaic. As a writer, it gives you more freedom — you’re trying to create an emotional mood where ideas have a place to sit in a person’s brain. And when people are moved by a book, it’s not by being told, ‘Here’s the problem, here’s the answer, now go do it.’ It’s by ha...more

  • Episode 358: Mike Isaac

    Sep 04 2019

    Mike Issac covers Silicon Valley for The New York Times. He is the author of Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber. “People try to use journalists all the time. Your job as a journalist is to figure out who’s using you, why they’re using you, and whether you can do something legitimately without playing into one side or another.” Thanks to MailChimp, Pitt Writers, and Wolverine Podcast for sponsoring this week's episode. @MikeIsaac Isaac on Longform [00:14] Wolverine Podcast [02:09]...more

  • Episode 357: Michelle García

    Aug 28 2019

    Michelle García has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post and Oxford American. She directed the PBS film, Against Mexico: The Making of Heroes and Enemies. “We have to see that within difficult stories there is a very important message of humanity triumphing over despair. If you don’t focus on joy, humanity is squashed. If all you see and all you narrate is pain, then you extinguish the possibility of joy and the important part of holding onto humanity.” Thanks to MailChimp...more

  • Episode 356: Jean-Xavier de Lestrade

    Aug 21 2019

    Jean-Xavier de Lestrade is a French documentary filmmaker. He directed Murder on a Sunday Morning and The Staircase. “The courtroom in the United States is not really about the truth. It’s more about a story against another story. It’s more about storytelling. The more compelling or believable story by the jury will win. But in the end, we don’t know: is it the truth or not?” Thanks to Mailchimp, Pitt Writers, and We Love You (and So Can You) for sponsoring this week's episode. [00:05] We Lo...more

  • Episode 355: Taylor Lorenz

    Aug 14 2019

    Taylor Lorenz just announced she is leaving her job covering internet culture for The Atlantic to join The New York Times. “With technology and internet culture, I am more of an optimist than a lot of other people who cover those topics. It’s more ambiguous for me. It's more like, ‘This is the world we live in now and here are the pros and here are the cons. There are a lot of cons, but there are also these pros.’ I like how things shift and change under me. I like to see how things are cons...more

  • Episode 354: Jia Tolentino

    Aug 07 2019

    Jia Tolentino is a staff writer at the New Yorker and the author of the essay collection Trick Mirror: Reflections of Self-Delusion. “I feel a lot of useful guilt solidifying my own advantages at a time when the ground people stand on is being ripped away. And I feel a lot of emotional anxiety about the systems that connect us - about the things that make my life more convenient and make other people’s lives worse. It’s the reality of knowing that ten years from now, when there are millions of ...more

  • Episode 353: Baxter Holmes

    Jul 31 2019

    Baxter Holmes is a senior writer for ESPN. He won the James Beard Award for his 2017 article, “The NBA's Secret Addiction.” “If there’s anything I’m really fighting for it’s people’s memory. I love the notion of trying to write a story that sticks with people. And that requires really compelling characters. It requires in-depth reporting — you have to take people on a journey. It needs to be so rich and something they didn’t know. I look for a story that I can tell well enough that it will hold...more

  • Episode 352: Jenny Odell

    Jul 24 2019

    Jenny Odell is a multidisciplinary artist and the author of How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy. “I’ve noticed that the times I’m extra susceptible to being on social media is when I am feeling personally insecure or when I’m dealing with existential dread. That within itself is not part of the attention economy—that’s just a human being having feelings and reacting to things. For me, it’s a question of like, ‘What do I do with that?’ I can either feed it back into the attention ...more

  • Episode 351: Josh Levin

    Jul 17 2019

    Josh Levin is the national editor at Slate. He is the host of the podcast Hang Up and Listen and the author of The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth. “I think it’s a strength to make a thing, one that people might have thought was familiar, feel strange. And reminding people —in general, in life—that you don’t really know as much as you think you know. I think that carries over into any kind of storytelling.” Thanks to Mailchimp, Squarespace, and Pitt Writers for sponsoring thi...more

  • Episode 350: Taffy Brodesser-Akner

    Jul 10 2019

    Taffy Brodesser-Akner is a staff writer at the New York Times and the author of Fleishman Is in Trouble: A Novel. “As a profile writer, the skill I have is getting in the room and staying in the room until someone is like, ‘Why is this bitch still in the room? Get her out of there?’ It’s a journalistic skill that is not a fluffy skill. There are people who are always actively trying to prevent your story, prevent you from seeing it, from seeing the things that would be good to see. There’s a...more

  • Episode 156: Renata Adler

    Jul 03 2019

    Renata Adler is a journalist, critic, and novelist. Her nonfiction collection is After the Tall Timber. “Unless you're going to be fairly definite, what's the point of writing?” Thanks to Mailchimp and Pitt Writers for sponsoring this week's episode. Adler on Longform Adler's New Yorker archive [7:00] I, Libertine (Theodore Sturgeon • Ballantine Books • 1956) [8:00] After Tall Timber: Collected Nonfiction (Ballantine Books • 2015) [9:00] "Letter from Selma" (New Yorker • Apr 1965) [9:...more

  • Episode 349: Alex Mar

    Jun 26 2019

    Alex Mar has written for The Believer, Wired, and New York. She is the author of Witches of America and the director of the documentary American Mystic. “I really do believe that all of us run on some kind of desire for meaning. And if someone is an atheist and they don’t subscribe to an organized system, it doesn’t mean that they don’t crave something. Maybe it’s their job. Or maybe it’s the way that they raise their children with a certain kind of intense focus. Or something else. As humans, ...more

  • Episode 348: David Epstein

    Jun 19 2019

    David Epstein has reported for ProPublica, Sports Illustrated, and This American Life. His new book is Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. “You can’t just introspect or take a personality quiz and know what you’re good at or interested in. You actually have to try stuff and then reflect on it. That’s how you learn about yourself—otherwise, your insight into yourself is constrained by your roster of experiences.” Thanks to MailChimp, Time Sensitive, Read This Summer, T...more

  • Episode 347: Michael Pollan

    Jun 12 2019

    Michael Pollan writes for The New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker and is the author of nine books. His latest is How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence. “I don’t like writing as an expert. I’m fine doing public speeches as an expert. Or writing op-ed pieces as an expert. But as a writer, it’s a killer. Nobody likes an expert. Nobody likes to be lectured at. And if you’ve read anythin...more

  • Episode 346: Casey Cep

    Jun 05 2019

    Casey Cep has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The New Republic. She is the author of Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee. “I want to meet all of these expectations. I want my book to be a page-turner. I want it to be a beautiful literary object. I want it to sell. I want it to do all of these things. But at the end of the day, I just want to feel like I’ve honored this commitment between writer and reader, and writer and source. And those are so...more

  • Episode 345: Mark Adams

    May 29 2019

    Mark Adams is the author of Mr. America and Turn Right at Machu Picchu. His latest book is Tip of the Iceberg: My 3,000-Mile Journey Around Wild Alaska, the Last Great American Frontier. “It’s always sheer and utter panic the whole time I’m on the road. I never sleep more than like three or four hours a night when I’m on the road because I wake up at 4:00 in the morning and I’m like, Who am I going to talk to today? I don’t have anything scheduled for today. What am I going to do? Sometimes ...more

  • Episode 344: Emily Bazelon

    May 22 2019

    Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and a co-host of Political Gabfest. Her latest book is Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration. “I'm pretty convinced that if everybody went to criminal court we would not have courts that are dysfunctional the way our courts are. Because what you see every day is a lot of dysfunction and disrespect. It’s kind of deadening. Most people—especially most middle and upper-class people in ...more

  • Episode 343: Sloane Crosley

    May 15 2019

    Sloane Crosley is the author of I Was Told There’d Be Cake and How Did You Get This Number. Her latest essay collection is Look Alive Out There. “The more extreme things get in reality, the more extreme escapism has to be. It’s like Game of Thrones or bust. But in reality, I think that part of what I’m trying to do with this book, or in anything I write, is to give permission to be mad about little things. Just because there’s all of this, someone still slid their hand down a subway pole and to...more

  • Episode 342: Christine Kenneally

    May 08 2019

    Christine Kenneally has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Monthly. Her 2018 Buzzfeed article, “The Ghosts of the Orphanage,” was nominated for a National Magazine Award. "I understood that the abuse was a big part of the story. But the thing that really hooked me and disturbed me and I wouldn’t forget was the depersonalization that went on in these places. It wasn’t just that the records had been lost along the way. It became really clear that the information was intention...more

  • Episode 341: David Wallace-Wells

    May 01 2019

    David Wallace-Wells is the deputy editor of New York and the author of The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming. “Between 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees of warming, just that extra half degree of warming, is going to kill 150 million people from air pollution alone. That’s 25 times the death toll of the Holocaust. And when I say that to people, their eyes open. They’re like oh my god, this is suffering on such an unconscionable scale. And it is. But 9 million people are dying already every year ...more

  • Episode 340: Linda Villarosa

    Apr 24 2019

    Linda Villarosa directs the journalism program at the City College of New York and is a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine. Her article "Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis" was one of Longform's Top Ten of 2018. She is at work on a new book, Under the Skin: Race, Inequality and the Health of a Nation, due out in 2020. “I think at the beginning I was afraid to say it right out, so I think I was saying ‘racial bias’ or something like that. Then I...more

  • Episode 339: Michael Lewis

    Apr 17 2019

    Michael Lewis is the author of several bestselling books and the host of the podcast Against the Rules. “I think anything you do, if it’s going to be any good, there’s got to be some risk involved. I think the reader or the listener will sense that you were taking chances and it will excite them. So, you never want to do the same thing twice, and you don’t want to cling to something because it’s the safe thing. I try to keep that in mind. Ok, I started with this, but if I push off shore clingi...more

  • Episode 338: Hillary Frank

    Apr 10 2019

    Hillary Frank is the creator of The Longest Shortest Time podcast and the author of Weird Parenting Wins. “I think motherhood is not valued in our culture. We don’t value the work of mothers both at home and then at work. Mothers are the most discriminated against people at work. They’re discriminated more against than fathers or people without children. Mothers are promoted less, hired less, and paid less. People are forced out of their jobs after they announce that they’re pregnant, they’re ...more

  • Episode 337: Casey Newton

    Apr 03 2019

    Casey Newton covers technology for The Verge and writes The Interface newsletter. “I remember one time a Facebook employee told me when I wrote something critical and I said something like, ‘Yeah, I know that one was a little harder on you.’ I remember he said to me, ‘Please understand that this helps to make the case internally for changes we want to make.’ When this type of criticism get published when we know that this is the conversation, we can push for these kinds of changes on the insid...more

  • Episode 336: Wesley Morris

    Mar 27 2019

    Wesley Morris is a critic at large for The New York Times, a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, and the co-host of Still Processing. “I think that the taking of extra time to be more thoughtful and less reactive is, to the extent that I have any wisdom to impart, that is it. Just wait a second. Because someone’s going to get there before you get there anyway.” Thanks to MailChimp and Pitt Writers for sponsoring this week's episode. The Mastermind (Evan Ratliff • Random House...more

  • Special Episode: Evan Ratliff, author of The Mastermind

    Mar 25 2019

    Evan Ratliff, a co-host of the Longform Podcast, is the author of The Mastermind: Drugs. Empire. Murder. Betrayal. “We’re all less moral than we think we are, including myself. I’m interested in the justifications people provide for themselves to get deep into something that starts as one thing and ends up as a murderous criminal cartel. Paul Le Roux, sure—but also doctors and pharmacists. It’s interesting to think about where the pressures in our lives create moral ambiguity that we didn't th...more

  • Episode 335: Kiese Laymon

    Mar 20 2019

    Kiese Laymon is the author of How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America and Heavy: An American Memoir. “It's ironic to me that my mom was the woman who taught me how to read—she was the black woman who taught me how to read and write—and everything I wrote outside of my house I was taught not to write to my mama. I just think that’s where we are as black writers and black creators in this country. Literally because most of our teachers are white. Principals are white. The standards are...more

  • Episode 334: Patrick Radden Keefe

    Mar 13 2019

    Patrick Radden Keefe is a New Yorker staff writer. His latest book is Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland. “What was strange for me was that it was before I was born, almost a half-century ago. I went to Belfast and asked people about it and you could see the fear on people’s faces. So this notion that this event that’s older than I am still felt so radioactive in the present day was challenging from a reporting point of view, but it also, at every step along the...more

  • Episode 333: Rosecrans Baldwin

    Mar 06 2019

    Rosecrans Baldwin is a writer and regular contributor to GQ. His latest novel is The Last Kid Left. “It requires a lot of preparation in order to just have lunch with Roger Federer. Being a person who tends toward anxiety and also a former Boy Scout—put those two things together and I will exhaustively prepare so that I can come across like a complete idiot. The idea of sitting down with someone like that is that you should know everything about their life and their career so that you can go i...more

  • Episode 332: Christie Aschwanden

    Feb 27 2019

    The Mastermind (Evan Ratliff • Random House • 2019) @cragcrest Aschwanden's personal site [3:40] Aschwanden's archive at 538 [3:45] Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery (W. W. Norton & Company • 2019) [5:20] Fleishman Is in Trouble: A Novel (Taffy Brodesser-Akner • Random House • 2019) [13:35] Courage Camp: A Master Class on the Business of Freelancing [17:35] Aschwanden's freelancing archive [25:40] "The Change in Mammogram Guide...more

  • Episode 331: Lydia Polgreen

    Feb 20 2019

    Lydia Polgreen, former foreign correspondent and director of NYT Global at The New York Times, is the editor in chief of HuffPost. “Like a lot of people, I think I went a little bit crazy after Donald Trump got elected. ... If Hillary Clinton had won the election, I have a feeling that I would still be a mid-level manager at The New York Times. But after the election, I really started to think about journalism, about my role in it, about who journalism was serving and who it was for, and I jus...more

  • Episode 330: Thomas Morton

    Feb 13 2019

    Thomas Morton is a writer and former correspondent for HBO's _Vice News_. He was at Vice from 2004-2019 and is a major character in Jill Abramson's _Merchants of Truth_. “You have to go with your gut and I feel like that’s one of the most essential qualities in doing anything of the nature of what we did. Of making documentaries or reporting news or current events, you really have to have a good sense of intuition for who you’re dealing with, what they’re telling you, what you’re telling them,...more

  • Episode 329: David Grann

    Feb 06 2019

    David Grann is a staff writer for the New Yorker. His new book is The White Darkness. “I do think in life, and in reporting, that reckoning with failure is a part of the process. And reckoning with your own limitations. I think that’s probably the arc and change I have made as I get older. Just as O’Shea doesn’t get the squid, failure is such an integral part of life and what you make of it. Too often we’re always focused on the success side, and I don’t always think the successes teach us as ...more

  • Episode 328: Tommy Tomlinson

    Jan 30 2019

    Tommy Tomlinson, a former newspaper columnist, is the host of Southbound podcast. His new book is The Elephant in the Room: One Fat Man's Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America. “The thing that galvanized me was the death of my sister. I signed the contract November 2014, she died Christmas Eve of that year. She had been overweight just like me. She was older than me and died from complications, an infection that was directly connected to her weight. And that more than anything made me thin...more

  • Episode 327: Julie Snyder

    Jan 23 2019

    Julie Snyder, one of the first producers at This American Life, is the co-creator of Serial and S-Town. Serial Season 3 is out now. “I am constantly second-guessing myself. I am full of regret and recrimination all the time. I don’t pride myself on it cause it probably goes too far, but in other ways I do feel like I am a person who is very flawed and I make mistakes and I try and learn from them. And I try to be very open to other people’s thoughts and input and everything like that. So to be...more

  • Episode 326: Doug Bock Clark

    Jan 16 2019

    Doug Bock Clark has written for GQ, Wired, and The New Yorker. His new book is The Last Whalers: Three Years in the Far Pacific with a Courageous Tribe and a Vanishing Way of Life. “I think for me the answer has always been you just find the people. You just listen to their stories. I think we're all microcosms, right? We're all fractals of the bigger world. Whether it's my own life or your life or the Lamalerans or other people I've encountered reporting. I think one of the things I'm constan...more

  • Episode 325: Lizzie Johnson

    Jan 09 2019

    Lizzie Johnson covers wildfires for the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s kind of like when you’re a beginning journalist and you have to write an obituary—calling the family of the person who died seems like this insurmountable, very invasive task and you really don’t want to do it. That’s kind of how I felt about interviewing fire victims at first. I felt like I was somehow intruding on their grief and their pain. But somewhere along the way I realized there’s healing power in talking about wha...more

  • Episode 324: Malcolm Gladwell

    Jan 02 2019

    Malcolm Gladwell is a New Yorker staff writer, the author The Tipping Point and Blink, and the host of Revisionist History. His new podcast is Broken Record. “The loveliest thing is to interview someone who’s never been interviewed before. To sort of watch them in a totally novel experience. Particularly when you’re interviewing them about things they never thought were worthy of an interview. That’s a really lovely experience. It’s like watching a kid on a roller coaster for the first time. B...more

  • Episode 243: Samin Nosrat, host and author of "Salt Fat Acid Heat"

    Dec 26 2018

    Samin Nosrat is a food writer, educator, and chef. She is the author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and hosts a series by the same name on Netflix. “I kind of couldn’t exist as just a cook or a writer. I kind of need to be both. Because they fulfill these two totally different parts of myself and my brain. Cooking is really social, it’s very physical, and also you don’t have any time to become attached to your product. You hand it off and somebody eats it, and literally tomorrow it’s shit. … Where...more

  • Episode 323: Allison P. Davis

    Dec 19 2018

    Allison P. Davis is a staff writer at The Cut and New York. “I have no real advice other than don’t fuck it up and be afraid all the time. That’s the key to success. Don’t fuck it up. Be a little bit anxious all the time.” Thanks to MailChimp, Skagen, Aspen Ideas To Go, and Pitt Writers for sponsoring this week's episode. @AllisonPDavis Davis's archive at New York Mag [0:35] "Lena Dunham Comes to Terms with Herself" (The Cut • Nov 2018) [0:40] "Cardi B Was Made to Be Famous" (The Cut • N...more

  • Bonus Episode: Dan Taberski

    Dec 14 2018

    Dan Taberski is the host of Missing Richard Simmons and Surviving Y2K. “Why would you walk into podcasting, where not a lot of rules have been written yet, why would walk into that space and be like, I'm just going to stick to the rules over here. It doesn't make any sense. ... Sourcing, respect for privacy — all these rules are here for a reason. And there's a line you shouldn't cross. But I don't see the point of not walking up to that line and looking over it. Because that is where interest...more

  • Episode 322: Maria Streshinsky

    Dec 12 2018

    Maria Streshinsky is the executive editor at Wired. “Sometimes a story comes in and it’s really lovely and well done. And you think if you just got on the phone with this person and pointed out the structure is wrong here and the chronology is wrong here, ask them to change that and send them what is known at Wired as the ‘praise sandwich letter’: how wonderful something is, how much work it will need, how wonderful it will be. … It’s not the kiss of death, it’s ‘we have a lot of work to do.’ ...more

  • Episode 321: Nicholas Schmidle

    Dec 05 2018

    Nicholas Schmidle is a staff writer for The New Yorker. His latest article is "Virgin Galactic's Rocket Man." “I think there’s a lot more pressure that I’ve put on myself to make sure that the next [article] is better than the last one. To make sure there are sourcing standards and expectations I have for myself now that I might not have had earlier. I’m putting even more priority on building long-term relationships in which I trust an individual. ... I feel like the pieces coming in are tight...more

  • Episode 320: Irin Carmon

    Nov 28 2018

    Irin Carmon is a senior correspondent at New York Magazine, a contributor at CNN, and the co-author of Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “The fact that we were part of this entire wave of reporting was actually exhilarating. Even when it was competitive. For me, my desire to do this comes out of a broader set of commitments to the world. I’m a feminist and I’m a journalist. The ability to do feminist investigative journalism felt like a gift. And it also felt like, wow,...more

  • Episode 319: Madeleine Baran

    Nov 21 2018

    Madeleine Baran is an investigative reporter for APM Reports and the host and lead reporter of the podcast In the Dark. “We’re always thinking about first not so much the narrative, but first what did we find out and how is it important? And how can we construct a story that’s going to take people along on that and they’re going to care about it and be able to follow it. That’s a challenge in any kind of serialized podcast or film where you have one narrative arc from start to finish in a seas...more

  • Episode 318: Beth Macy

    Nov 14 2018

    Beth Macy is an author and former reporter at The Roanoke Times. Her latest book is Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America. “I learned how to interview by delivering papers. I didn’t know it was interviewing, but I would stop and talk to old people who were bored and lonely and have great conversations. I think I learned how to talk to people by delivering the papers. And there’s a certain thing you have to do when you have to collect the money and learn how to ...more

  • Episode 317: Paige Williams

    Nov 07 2018

    Paige Williams is a New Yorker staff writer and the author of The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth's Ultimate Trophy. “I was just sitting in a coffee shop and saw this thing about a Montana dinosaur thief, and thought, oh that’s really interesting, I don’t know anything about that. And I knew nothing about natural history, nothing about natural history museums. I was born and raised in Mississippi. We didn’t talk about that kind of stuff. I grew up in the Baptist c...more

  • Episode 316: Joe Hagan

    Oct 31 2018

    Joe Hagan is a correspondent at Vanity Fair and the author of Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine. “It’s the story that begins with John Lennon on the cover of Rolling Stone in 1967 and ends with Donald Trump in the White House. In many ways the book takes you there, I wanted it to. It takes you through the culture as it metastasizes into what it is now. It had a lot to do with a sense of the age of narcissism. The worship of celebrity. Jann was very in...more

  • Episode 315: Elizabeth Kolbert

    Oct 24 2018

    Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change and The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, is a staff writer at The New Yorker. “I still nurse the idea in my heart of hearts that something you write, that there’s some key to this all. We’re all looking for the skeleton key that’s going to unlock it, and people will go, ‘Oh, that’s why we have to do something!’ I don’t want to say that I completely dispensed with that. I think that’s what motiv...more

  • Episode 314: Lisa Brennan-Jobs

    Oct 17 2018

    Lisa Brennan-Jobs is a New York-based writer. Her new book Small Fry is about her childhood and her relationship with her father, Steve Jobs. "You find yourself in a whole net, in a constellation of stories, each one connecting to another. It was amazing how much I remembered. Sometimes I meet people and they say, goodness, I can’t even remember what I had for lunch. How can you remember so much? And I think, oh, sit down for a while writing badly and you will remember and remember and remembe...more

  • Episode 313: Liana Finck

    Oct 10 2018

    Liana Finck writes for The New Yorker. Her new book is Passing for Human: A Graphic Memoir. "I was drawing since I was 10 months old. My mom had left this vibrant community of architects and art people to live in this idyllic country setting with my dad, and she poured all of her art feelings into me. She really praised me for being this baby genius, which I may or may not have been. But I grew up thinking I was an amazing artist. There weren’t any other artists around besides my mom, so I did...more

  • Episode 312: Rebecca Traister

    Oct 03 2018

    Rebecca Traister is a writer at New York. Her new book is Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger. “I don’t want my experience to be held up as so, ladies, your new health regimen is rage all day. Because the fact is we live in a world that does punish women for expressing their anger, that denies them jobs, that attaches to them bad reputations as difficult-to-work-with, crazy bitches. Because they’re reasonably angry about something they have every reason to be angry about. We...more

  • Episode 311: Jerry Saltz

    Sep 26 2018

    Jerry Saltz is a Pulitzer-winning art critic for New York. “To this day I wake up early and I have to get to my desk to write almost immediately. I mean fast. Before the demons get me. I got to get writing. And once I’ve written almost anything, I’ll pretty much write all day, I don’t leave my desk, I have no other life. I’m not part of the world except when I go to see shows.” Thanks to MailChimp, TapeACall, The Dream, Squarespace, and Pitt Writers for sponsoring this week's episode. @jerrysal...more

  • Episode 310: Eli Saslow

    Sep 19 2018

    Eli Saslow is a Pulitzer-winning feature writer for the Washington Post. His new book is Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist. “If I'm writing about somebody once for 5,000 words in the Washington Post — someone who's addicted to drugs, say — I am choosing in the public eye where their story ends. Like, that's it. People aren't going to know any more. That's where I'm going to leave them being written about. And of course, that is inherently artificial — nothing en...more

  • Episode 309: Jeanne Marie Laskas

    Sep 12 2018

    Jeanne Marie Laskas writes for GQ and the New York Times Magazine. Her new book is To Obama: With Love, Joy, Anger, and Hope. “I hate saying this out loud, but it’s true: I’m really shy. Fundamentally, I'm 100% scared most of the time. I’m scared and wondering how I can not be noticed because I don’t know what to say and I’m shy. If you say I’m a good listener, that's why … I become more invisible so I’m more comfortable.” Thanks to MailChimp, Techmeme Ride Home Podcast, and Pitt Writers...more

  • Episode 297: Elif Batuman, author of "Japan's Rent-a-Family Industry" and "The Idiot"

    Sep 05 2018

    Elif Batuman is a novelist and a staff writer at The New Yorker. Her latest article is “Japan’s Rent-a-Family Industry.” “I hear novelists say things sometimes like the character does something they don’t expect. It’s like talking to people who have done ayahuasca or belong to some cult. That’s how I felt about it until extremely recently. All of these people have drunk some kind of Kool Aid where they’re like, ‘I’m in this trippy zone where characters are doing things.’ And I would think to...more

  • Episode 308: Jon Caramanica

    Aug 29 2018

    Jon Caramanica is a music writer at The New York Times. “I like to interview people very early in their careers or very late in their careers. I think vulnerability and willingness to be vulnerable is at a peak in those two parts. Young enough not to know better, old enough not to give a damn. … The story I want to tell is—how are you this person, and then you became this? Then at the end, let’s look back on these things and let’s paint the art together. But in the middle when your primary o...more

  • Episode 307: Jeff Maysh

    Aug 22 2018

    Jeff Maysh is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. His latest article is "How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions." “I’ve always looked for stories with the theme of identity and identity theft. I’m very interested in people leading double lives. All of my stories are the same in a sense. Whether that’s a spy or a fake cheerleader or a bank robber or even a wrestler, someone is pretending to be someone they’re not, leading a double life. I find that really exciti...more

  • Episode 306: David Marchese

    Aug 15 2018

    David Marchese is the interviewer for New York's "In Conversation" series. "The thing I like about doing long interviews with people is that each one feels like a totally unique experience to me. It’s not like I go into an interview and already know the arc of the story I’m going to tell, and I’m going to just fill that in the best I can. I have ideas of what to talk about and what the conversation might entail, but it does feel like I’m starting at zero and the conversation can go anywhere.” ...more

  • Episode 305: Nathaniel Rich

    Aug 08 2018

    Nathaniel Rich is a novelist and a writer-at-large for The New York Times Magazine. His most recent article is "Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change." “There’s a huge opportunity with climate change because we talk a lot about the political issue with it, the industry story and the scientific story, but we don’t talk about the human story. And I would say that not only is it a big human story, but it is the human story. ... With every step of the ladder that we’ve advanced...more

  • Episode 304: Laura June

    Aug 01 2018

    Laura June is author of Now My Heart Is Full. “Parenting wasn’t considered literary fodder for a long time. I think women in particular are raised not to complain. Which is not what I was doing. If you have to boil it down, it’s base emotion. Then you’re complaining about how hard it is. Or, the opposite end, you’re bragging. There’s no in between. Most of my writing is in between.” Thanks to MailChimp, Read This Summer, Google Play, and Pitt Writers for sponsoring this week's episode. @lau...more

  • Episode 303: Rukmini Callimachi

    Jul 25 2018

    Rukmini Callimachi covers ISIS for The New York Times and is the host of Caliphate. “My major takeaway that I have come away with in this work is go to the enemy. Talk to the enemy. I think that the way that Al Qaeda and ISIS is typically covered is by reporters who just speak to officials in Washington. ... That’s only one side of the story. And I have learned so much by seeking out their documents, reading their propaganda ... speaking to them themselves.” Thanks to MailChimp, Read This Su...more

  • Episode 302: Megan Greenwell

    Jul 18 2018

    Megan Greenwell is the editor-in-chief of Deadspin. “I’m the first external hire to be the EIC in Deadspin history, so not everybody knew me or knew anything about my work. I don’t think there was resistance to me being hired, but I do think when you’re coming in from outside, there’s a need to say, ‘Hey, no, I can do this.’ Somebody told me about a management adage at one point: everybody tries to prove that they’re competent when they first start, and what you actually have to prove is you’r...more

  • Episode 301: Bryan Fogel

    Jul 11 2018

    Bryan Fogel is the Oscar-winning director of Icarus. “There was a long period of time that none of us were really thinking so much about the film. It was really that we were in a real-world crisis. Gregory's life was essentially in my hands.” Thanks to MailChimp, Read This Summer, Google Play, and Stitcher Premium for sponsoring this week's episode. @bryanfogel icarus.film

  • Episode 260: Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Pulitzer-winning author of "A Most American Terrorist: The Making of Dylann Roof"

    Jul 04 2018

    Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah is an essayist. Her 2017 GQ piece “A Most American Terrorist: The Making of Dylann Roof” won the National Magazine Award and the Pulitzer Prize. “I remember feeling like ‘you’re playing chess with evil, and you gotta win.’ Because this is the most terrible thing I’d ever seen. And I was so mad. I still get so mad. Words aren’t enough. I’m angry about it. I can’t do anything to Dylann Roof, physically, so this is ...more

  • Episode 300: May Jeong

    Jun 27 2018

    May Jeong is a magazine writer and investigative reporter. “I don’t have kids, I don’t have an expensive drug habit. Everything that I do right now at this moment in my life is to serve the story. That means that sometimes I’m not the best partner. I’m not the best friend. I’m a really terrible daughter probably. If my parents had a satisfaction survey, I don’t think I’d rank really high. I have friends who are buying houses and stuff. I’m very far away from that. What else have I sacrificed...more

  • Episode 299: Helen Rosner

    Jun 20 2018

    Helen Rosner is a food correspondent at The New Yorker. “I believe the things that are really important to me are structure over all and—forgive me, I’ve said this on other podcasts before—if I were going to get a tattoo this is what I would get a tattoo of is that it doesn’t matter what you say, it only matters what they hear. It’s my job to make sure the gulf between those two things is as narrow as possible and there’s as little ambiguity between what I say and what you hear. It’s never ...more

  • Episode 298: Reeves Wiedeman

    Jun 13 2018

    Reeves Wiedeman is a reporter at New York. “I think the main reason I love the job is reporting. And the fact that you get to go out into situations that you wouldn’t otherwise as your job. I’m someone who gets antsy if I’m just on a vacation sitting around. I’d much rather go somewhere weird and kind of have a purpose. So, just feeling like you can kind of go anywhere and see anything and talk to anyone is a pretty cool way to live your day.” Thanks to MailChimp, Pitt Writers, Thermacel...more

  • Episode 297: Elif Batuman

    Jun 06 2018

    Elif Batuman is a novelist and a staff writer at The New Yorker. Her latest article is “Japan’s Rent-a-Family Industry.” “I hear novelists say things sometimes like the character does something they don’t expect. It’s like talking to people who have done ayahuasca or belong to some cult. That’s how I felt about it until extremely recently. All of these people have drunk some kind of Kool Aid where they’re like, ‘I’m in this trippy zone where characters are doing things.’ And I would think to...more

  • Episode 296: Leon Neyfakh

    May 30 2018

    Leon Neyfakh is a writer and the host of Slow Burn. “We didn’t want to be coy about why we were doing the show. We wanted to be up front. We’re interested in this era because it seems like the last time in our nation’s history where things were this wild and the news was this rapid fire and the outcome was this uncertain. That was the main parallel we were thinking about when we started. It was only when we started learning the story and identified the turning points we kept running into the...more

  • Episode 295: Deborah Fallows and James Fallows

    May 23 2018

    James Fallows, a national correspondent for The Atlantic, and Deborah Fallows, a linguist and writer, are the co-authors of Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America. “The credo of reporting—you know, what you don’t know till you show it—that’s my 'this-I-believe.' That’s the reason I’ve stayed in this line of work for this many decades because there’s nothing more fascinating that you can do but to serially satisfy your curiosity about things. What’s it like on an aircraft...more

  • Episode 294: Sheila Heti

    May 16 2018

    Sheila Heti is the author of seven books. Her latest is Motherhood: A Novel. “[My parents] were afraid for me. As anybody who has a kid who wants to be a writer. I think they understood it was a hard life. It was a life in which you wouldn’t necessarily make enough money. It was a life in which you might be setting yourself up for a great amount of disappointment. My dad’s father was a painter, so there was in him this idea that it wasn’t so crazy to him. It wasn’t so outside his understandi...more

  • Episode 293: Adam Davidson

    May 09 2018

    Adam Davidson is a staff writer at The New Yorker. “I am as shocked this moment that Trump was elected as I was the moment he was elected. That fundamental state of shock. It’s like there’s a pile of putrid, rotting human feces on a table and like six of the people around the table are like, ‘That is disgusting.’ And four are like ‘Oh it’s so delicious. Oh, I love it. It’s delicious.’ And I keep saying, ‘Well, why do you like it?’ ... Trump is not a very interesting person in my mind. He’s a...more

  • Episode 292: Lauren Hilgers

    May 02 2018

    Lauren Hilgers is a journalist and the author of Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown. “You just need to spend a lot of time with people. And it’s awkward. I read something when I was first starting out as a journalist in China, ‘Make a discipline out of being uncomfortable.’ I think that’s very helpful. You’re going to feel uncomfortable a lot of the time, and just decide to be okay with it and just keep going with it.” Thanks to MailChimp, Substack, and Skillshare for sponsoring...more

  • Episode 291: Charlie Warzel

    Apr 25 2018

    Charlie Warzel is a senior tech writer for BuzzFeed. “Part of the big tech reckoning that we’re seeing since the election isn’t really about the election, it isn’t really about Trump or politics. It’s more about this idea that: Wow, these services have incredibly real consequences in our everyday lives. I think that realization is really profound and is going to shape how we try to figure out what it means to be online from here on out. To keep stories relevant, we have to keep that in mind an...more

  • Episode 290: Michelle Dean

    Apr 18 2018

    Michelle Dean is a journalist and critic. Her new book is Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion. “There isn’t one answer. I wish there was one answer. The answer is: You just have to wing it. And I’m learning that — I’m learning to be okay with the winging it. ... I guess the lesson to me of what went on with a lot of women in the book is: You have to be comfortable with the fact that some days are going to be good, and some days are going to not be good.” Thanks to MailChimp ...more

  • Episode 289: Craig Mod

    Apr 11 2018

    Craig Mod is a writer and photographer. His podcast is On Margins. “You pick up an iPad, you pick up an iPhone—what are you picking up? You’re picking up a chemical-driven casino that just plays on your most base desires for vanity and ego and our obsession with watching train wrecks happen. That’s what we’re picking up and it’s counted in pageviews, because—not to be reductive and say that it’s a capitalist issue, but when you take hundreds of millions of dollars of venture capital, and you’r...more

  • Episode 288: Tom Bissell

    Apr 04 2018

    Tom Bissell is a journalist, critic, video game writer, and author of The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made. His latest book is Magic Hours. “I kind of have come around to maybe not as monkish or fanatical devotion to sentence idolatry as I was when I was a younger writer, earlier in my career. I think I’m coming around to a place where a lot of middle-aged writers get to, which is: I tried to rewire and change the world with the beauty of language alon...more

  • Episode 287: Will Mackin

    Mar 28 2018

    Will Mackin is a U.S. Navy veteran who served with a SEAL team in Iraq and Afghanistan. His debut book is Bring Out the Dog. “I wanted to write nonfiction and I started writing nonfiction. And the reason I did that was — first of all, I felt all the people did all the hard work, and who was I to take liberties? And the second reason was, I just felt an obligation to the men and women who I served with not to misrepresent them, or what they’d been through, or what it had meant to them, or ...more

  • Episode 286: Nitasha Tiku

    Mar 21 2018

    Nitasha Tiku is a senior writer at Wired. “I’ve always been an incredibly nosy person—not nosy, curious. Curious about the world. It just gives you a license to ask any question, and hopefully if you have a willing editor, the freedom to see something fascinating and pursue it. It was just a natural fit from there. But that also means I don’t have the machismo, ‘breaking news’ sort of a thing. I feel like I can try on different hats, wherever I am.” Thanks to MailChimp and Credible.com for sp...more

  • Episode 285: Chana Joffe-Walt

    Mar 14 2018

    Chana Joffe-Walt is a producer and reporter at This American Life. Her latest story is "Five Women." “I felt like there was more to learn from these stories, more than just which men are bad and shouldn’t have the Netflix special that they wanted to have. And I was interested, also, in that there were groups of women, and that somehow, in having a group of women, you would have variation of experience. There could be a unifying person who they all experienced, but they would inevitably experie...more

  • Episode 284: Joe Weisenthal

    Mar 07 2018

    Joe Weisenthal is the executive editor of news for Bloomberg Digital and the co-host of What’d You Miss? and Odd Lots. "If I don’t say yes to this, then I can never say yes to anything again. Because when else am I going to get a chance in life to co-host a tv show? Even if it’s terrible, and I’m terrible at it, and it’s cancelled after three months, and everyone thinks it’s awful, for the rest of my life, I’ll be able to say I co-hosted a cable TV show. And so I was like, you know what—I have...more

  • Episode 283: Sean Fennessey

    Feb 28 2018

    Sean Fennessy is the editor-in-chief of The Ringer and a former Grantland editor. He hosts The Big Picture. "What I try to do is listen to people as much as I can. And try to be compassionate. I think it’s really hard to be on the internet. This is an internet company, in a lot of ways. We have a documentary coming out that’s going to be on linear television that’s really exciting. Maybe we’ll have more of those. But for the moment, podcast, writing, video: it’s internet. [The internet] is an ...more

  • Episode 282: Jenna Wortham

    Feb 21 2018

    Jenna Wortham is a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine and a co-host of Still Processing. “I feel like I’m still writing to let my 10-year-old self know it’s okay to be you. It’s okay to be a chubby androgynous weirdo. You know what I mean? Like this weird black kid. It’s okay. There are others like you.” Thanks to MailChimp, Mubi, "Food: A Cultural Culinary History," and "Tales" for sponsoring this week's episode. @jennydeluxe www.jennydeluxe.com Wortham on Longform [02:00] Wortham...more

  • Episode 281: Michael Idov

    Feb 14 2018

    Michael Idov is a screenwriter, journalist, and the former editor-in-chief of GQ Russia. His latest book is Dressed Up for a Riot. "It just goes to show that the best thing you can possibly do as a journalist is to forget you’re a journalist, go out, have some authentic experiences, preferably fail at something really hard, and then write about that." Thanks to MailChimp and Mubi for sponsoring this week's episode. @michaelidov Idov on Longform [01:15] "The Movie Set That Ate Itself" (GQ • ...more

  • Episode 280: Liliana Segura

    Feb 07 2018

    Liliana Segura writes for The Intercept. “My form of advocacy against the death penalty, frankly, has always been to tell those stories that other people aren’t seeing. And to humanize the people—not just the people facing execution, but everyone around them.” Thanks to MailChimp, Mubi, and Tripping.com for sponsoring this week's episode. @LilianaSegura Segura on Longform [01:50] "Dispatch From Angola: Faith-Based Slavery in a Louisiana Prison" (Colorlines • Aug 2011) [02:10] "What Happened...more

  • Episode 279: Seth Wickersham

    Jan 31 2018

    Seth Wickersham is a senior writer for ESPN. His latest article is "For Kraft, Brady and Belichick, Is This the Beginning of the End?" “You want to write about something real. I hate stories that are, the tension of the story is, talk radio perception versus the reality that I see when I’m with somebody. I can’t stand those stories because to me, you’re just writing about the ether versus a real person, and that’s not a real tension to me. The inner tensions are the best tensions. You can’t ge...more

  • Episode 278: Nathan Thornburgh

    Jan 24 2018

    Nathan Thornburgh is the co-founder of Roads & Kingdoms. "You have to remain committed to the kind of irrational act of producing journalism for an uncaring world. You have to want to do that so bad, that you will never not be doing that. There’s so many ways to die in this business." Thanks to MailChimp, Mubi, and Rise and Grind for sponsoring this week's episode. @thornburgh Thornburgh on Longform [01:45] Roads & Kingdoms [02:50] Pico Iyer [01:45] Coin Talk [05:35] "SATW Foundatio...more

  • Episode 277: Kiera Feldman

    Jan 17 2018

    Kiera Feldman is an investigative reporter. Her latest article is "Trashed: Inside the Deadly World of Private Garbage Collection." "I used to have a lot of anxiety that I don’t seem like an investigative reporter. Utlimately, my reporting personality is just me. It’s just, I want to be real with people. And the number one rule of reporting is to be a human being to other people. Be decent. Be kind." Thanks to MailChimp, RXBAR, and Tripping.com for sponsoring this week's episode. @kierafeld...more

  • Episode 276: Azmat Khan

    Jan 10 2018

    Azmat Khan is an investigative reporter and a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine. "For me, what matters most is systematic investigation, and I think that’s different than an investigative story that might explore one case. It’s about stepping back and understanding the big picture and getting to the heart of something. It doesn’t have to be a number’s game, but being able to say: Look, I looked at a wide enough sample of whatever this issue is, and here is what this tells us. ...more

  • Episode 210: Ben Taub, New Yorker Staff Writer

    Jan 03 2018

    Ben Taub is a staff writer at The New Yorker. “I don’t think it’s my place to be cynical because I’ve observed some of the horrors of the Syrian War through these various materials, but it’s Syrians that are living them. It’s Syrians that are being largely ignored by the international community and by a lot of political attention on ISIS. And I think that it wouldn’t be my place to be cynical when some of them still aren’t.” Thanks to MailChimp and Tripping for sponsoring this week's episode....more

  • Episode 254: Maggie Haberman, New York Times White House Correspondent

    Dec 27 2017

    Maggie Haberman covers the White House for The New York Times. “If I start thinking about it, then I’m not going to be able to just keep doing my job. I'm being as honest as I can — I try not to think about it. If you’re flying a plane and you think about the fact that if the plane blows up in midair you’re gonna die, do you feel like you can really focus as well? So, I’m not thinking about [the stakes]. This is just my job. This is what we do. Ask me another question.” Thanks to MailChimp fo...more

  • Episode 275: Tina Brown

    Dec 20 2017

    Tina Brown, the former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, is the founder of Women in the World. Her latest book is The Vanity Fair Diaries. “I believed that my bravado had no limit, if you know what I mean. I see limits now, let’s put it that way. I do see limits. But you know, I’m still pretty reckless when I want something. That’s why I don’t tweet much. I’ll say something that will just cause me too much trouble.” Thanks to MailChimp and Squarespace for sponsoring this week's episod...more

  • Episode 274: Mara Shalhoup

    Dec 13 2017

    Mara Shalhoup was until recently editor-in-chief of LA Weekly. She is the author of BMF: The Rise and Fall of Big Meech and the Black Mafia Family. “I’m so fearful about what it will look like for cities without an outlet for [alt-weekly] stories. And for young writers, who need and deserve the hands-on editing these kind of editors can give them and help really launch careers … it’s a tragedy for journalism. It’s a tragedy for young people, people of color. It’s a tragedy for the subjects of ...more

  • Episode 273: Zoe Chace

    Dec 06 2017

    Zoe Chace is a reporter and producer at This American Life. “Radio is a movie in your head. It’s a very visual thing. It’s a transporting thing—when it’s done well. And it’s louder than your thoughts. It is both of those things. It would just take me out of the place that I was, where I was lost and couldn’t figure things out. ... They had a very personal way of telling the story to you, so that you kind of felt like you’re there with them. Like it’s less lonely, it’s literally less lonely to ...more

  • Episode 272: Jason Leopold

    Nov 29 2017

    Jason Leopold is a senior investigative reporter for Buzzfeed and the author of News Junkie. “I made the worst mistake that cost me my credibility and I could have done two things. I could have walked away, and said I’m done with this, no one wants me anymore. Or I could have—which I did—say, I’m going to learn how to do this differently, and be better. And that’s ultimately is what paved the way to this FOIA work. Because no one trusted me anymore.” Thanks to MailChimp, Credible, Mubi, and S...more

  • Episode 271: Kara Swisher

    Nov 22 2017

    Kara Swisher is the executive editor and co-founder of Recode. “I do the work. I just work harder than other people. I really do. I work harder, I interview more people, I call more people, I text more people. And so I find out, and they can not talk to me — fine. I know anyway. I’d like to talk to you, I’d like to give you a chance. I’d like to be fair. I’d like to hear your side of the story. And the most important thing is, I think smart people – and these are very smart people — like smart...more

  • Episode 270: Tyler Cowen

    Nov 15 2017

    Tyler Cowen is an economist, the co-founder of Marginal Revolution, and the host of Conversations with Tyler. His latest book is The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream. “I think of my central contribution, or what I’m trying to have it be, is teaching people to think of counter arguments. I’m trying to teach a method: always push things one step further. What if, under what conditions, what would make this wrong? If I write something and people respond to it that...more

  • Episode 269: Jodi Kantor

    Nov 08 2017

    Jodi Kantor is a New York Times investigative reporter and the author of The Obamas. “Being a reporter really robs you of self-consciousness and shyness. You realize that it’s this great gift of being able to ask crazy questions, either really personal or very probing or especially with a powerful — to walk up to Harvey Weinstein, essentially and say, ‘What have you been doing to women all these years, and for how long? All of these other people may be afraid to confront you about it, but we a...more

  • Episode 268: Jim Nelson

    Nov 01 2017

    Jim Nelson is the editor-in-chief of GQ. “One of the things that was initially a challenge was we would all think of ‘the print side’ and ‘the digital side.’ Now what we all think about is, ‘Okay, stop saying GQ.com and GQ the print edition. It’s just GQ!’ And once you cross that line, you don’t ever want to go back to it. I can’t imagine. The job has changed so much, even in the last three years, that when I look back, I think, ‘God, I was just such a quaint little fucker.’” Thanks to MailCh...more

  • Episode 267: Sarah Ellison

    Oct 25 2017

    Sarah Ellison is a special correspondent at Vanity Fair and the author of War at the Wall Street Journal. “There’s no lack of stories. ... There’s always an element where you’re going to be parachuting into something that someone has likely written about, to some degree. You can’t shy away from going into something that’s a crowded field.” Thanks to MailChimp, Quip, and BarkBox for sponsoring this week's episode. @Sarahlellison sarahlellison.com Ellison on Longform [00:15] 11/15: Longform P...more

  • Episode 266: Patricia Bosworth

    Oct 18 2017

    Patricia Bosworth is a journalist and biographer. Her latest book is The Men in My Life. “The [acting] rejections are hellish and ghastly. At least they were to me. And I got tired of being rejected so much and also tired of not being able to control my life. And as soon as I became a writer, I had this control, I felt more active, more energized. But it was a decision that took a long time coming.” Thanks to MailChimp, Squarespace, and Heaven's Gate for sponsoring this week's episode. @p_b...more

  • Episode 265: Michael Barbaro

    Oct 11 2017

    Michael Barbaro is the host of The Daily. “I don’t think The Daily should ever be my therapy session. That’s not what it’s meant to be, but I’m a human being. I arrive at work on a random Tuesday, and I do an interview with a guy like that, and it just punched me right in the stomach.” Thanks to MailChimp, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Blinkist for sponsoring this week's episode. @mikiebarb Barbaro on Longform [00:55] The Daily [01:20] Barbaro’s Archive at The New York Times [...more

  • Episode 264: Vanessa Grigoriadis

    Oct 04 2017

    Vanessa Grigoriadis writes for Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times Magazine. Her new book is Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus. “I’m a controversial writer. I’ve never shied away from controversy. I’ve only really courted it because I realized a lot earlier than a lot of other people who are involved in this whole depressing business that clicks are the way to go, right? Or eyeballs, as we used to call them, or readership. I come out of a Tom Wolfe-like...more

  • Episode 263: Jelani Cobb

    Sep 27 2017

    Dr. Jelani Cobb is a New Yorker staff writer and the author of three books, including The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress. He teaches journalism at Columbia University. “Ralph Wiley — the sports writer, late Ralph Wiley — told me something when I was 25 or so, and he was so right. He said I should never fall in love with anything I’ve written. … The second thing he told me was, ‘You won’t get there overnight, and believe me, you don’t want to.’ I’m embarrassed to sa...more

  • Episode 262: PJ Vogt of Reply All (Part 2)

    Sep 20 2017

    PJ Vogt is the co-host of Reply All. “Every radio story is broken. Everything is missing some piece it’s supposed to have. Everything has some weird interview that didn’t go the way you thought it was going to go, or you thought you had an answer but you were wrong.” Thanks to MailChimp, Squarespace, and Blinkist for sponsoring this week's episode. @PJVogt [01:00] "Black Box" (This American Life • Oct 1988) [1:45] On The Media [1:50] TLDR [03:10] David Sedaris’s Archive at This American Lif...more

  • Episode 262: Alex Goldman of Reply All (Part 1)

    Sep 20 2017

    Alex Goldman is the co-host of Reply All. “I am not the authority on the internet. I’m not an expert on particularly anything, except stuff that I like.” Thanks to MailChimp, Squarespace, and Blinkist for sponsoring this week's episode. @AGoldmund Goldman on Longform [01:30] "Long Distance" (Reply All • Jul 2017) [01:30] "Long Distance, Part II" (Reply All • Jul 2017) [02:00] "This Website is For Sale" (Reply All • Dec 2014) [02:45] TLDR [05:15] metafilter.com [05:15] Matt Haughey on Stoner...more

  • Episode 261: Hillary Clinton

    Sep 13 2017

    Hillary Clinton is the former Democratic nominee for president. Her new book is What Happened. “I hugged a lot of people after [my concession speech] was over. A lot of people cried … and then it was done. So Bill and I went out and got in the back of the van that we drive around in, and I just felt like all of the adrenaline was drained. I mean there was nothing left. It was like somebody had pulled the plug on a bathtub and everything just drained out. I just slumped over. Sat there. … And t...more

  • Episode 260: Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah

    Sep 06 2017

    Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah is an essayist. Her latest piece is “A Most American Terrorist: The Making of Dylann Roof.” “I remember feeling like ‘you’re playing chess with evil, and you gotta win.’ Because this is the most terrible thing I’d ever seen. And I was so mad. I still get so mad. Words aren’t enough. I’m angry about it. I can’t do anything to Dylann Roof, physically, so this is what I could do.” Thanks to MailChimp, HelloFresh, and Squarespace for sponsoring this week's episode. the-rac...more

  • Episode 259: Ellen Barry

    Aug 30 2017

    Ellen Barry is the former New York Times bureau chief for South Asia. “Every time you leave a beat—and this is something that I think as foreign correspondents we rarely communicate to our readers—you’re walking away from a story which has really been your whole life for four or five years. And it’s hard to walk away…The majority of us live a story for a certain number of years, and then we just turn our backs on it.” Thanks to MailChimp, Audible, and Of a Kind for sponsoring this week's epis...more

  • Episode 258: Kate Fagan

    Aug 22 2017

    Kate Fagan is a columnist and feature writer for ESPN. Her latest book is What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen. “When I was professionally closeted, I was kind of bitter. I didn’t have a ton of empathy. And I don’t think I always asked the right question, because I wouldn’t ask people questions that I wouldn’t want to be asked…I had walls up. I wouldn’t even allow myself to be vulnerable in my writing. Because the whole point of my existence at tha...more

  • Episode 257: Jay Caspian Kang

    Aug 16 2017

    Jay Caspian Kang is a writer at large at The New York Times Magazine and a correspondent for Vice News Tonight. “I make a pretty provocative argument about how Asian American identity doesn’t really exist—how it’s basically just an academic idea, and it’s not lived within the lives of anybody who’s Asian. Like you grow up, you’re Korean, you’re a minority. You don’t have any sort of kinship with, like, Indian kids. You know? And there’s no cultural sharedness where you’re just like, ‘oh yeah…A...more

  • Episode 256: David Gessner

    Aug 09 2017

    David Gessner is the author of ten books. His latest is Ultimate Glory: Frisbee, Obsession, and My Wild Youth. “The ambition got in my way at first. Because I wanted my stuff to be great, and it froze me up. But later on it was really helpful. I’m startled by the way people don’t, you know, admit [they care] … it seems unlikely people wouldn’t want to be immortal.” Thanks to Casper, Squarespace, and MailChimp for sponsoring this week's episode. @BDsCocktailHour davidgessner.com Gessner on L...more

  • Episode 255: Matthew Klam

    Aug 02 2017

    Matthew Klam is a journalist and fiction writer. His new novel is Who Is Rich?. “The New Yorker had hyped me with this “20 Under 40” thing…and when the tenth anniversary of that list [came], somebody wrote an article about it. And they found everybody in it, and I was the only one who hadn’t done anything since then, according to them. And the article, it was a little paragraph or two, it ended with ‘poor Matthew Klam.’” Thanks to MailChimp, Casper, and Squarespace for sponsoring this week's ...more

  • Episode 254: Maggie Haberman

    Jul 26 2017

    Maggie Haberman covers the White House for The New York Times. “If I start thinking about it, then I’m not going to be able to just keep doing my job. I'm being as honest as I can — I try not to think about it. If you’re flying a plane and you think about the fact that if the plane blows up in midair you’re gonna die, do you feel like you can really focus as well? So, I’m not thinking about [the stakes]. This is just my job. This is what we do. Ask me another question.” Thanks to MailChimp, B...more

  • Episode 253: Steven Levy

    Jul 19 2017

    Steven Levy writes for Wired, where he is the editor of Backchannel. “It’s about people. Travis Kalanick’s foibles aren’t because he’s a technology executive. It’s because he’s Travis Kalanick. That’s the way he is. There is a certain strain in Silicon Valley, which rewards totally driven people, but that is humanity. And advanced technology is no guarantee—and as a matter of fact I don’t think it’ll do anything—from stopping ill-intentioned people from doing ill-intentioned things.” Thanks t...more

  • Episode 252: Mark Bowden

    Jul 12 2017

    Mark Bowden is a journalist and the author of 13 books, including Black Hawk Down and his latest, Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam. “My goal is never to condemn someone that I’m writing about. It’s always to understand them. And that, to me, is far more interesting than passing judgment on them. I want you to read about Che Thi Mung, an 18-year-old village girl, who was selling hats on corners in Hue in the daytime and going home and sharpening spikes to go into booby t...more

  • Episode 239: S-Town's Brian Reed

    Jul 05 2017

    Brian Reed, a senior producer at This American Life, is the host of S-Town. “It’s a story about the remarkableness of what could be called an unremarkable life.” Thanks to MailChimp, Babbel, and Squarespace for sponsoring this episode. @brihreed Reed's This American Life archive [28:45] Cops See It Differently, Part One (This American Life • Feb 2015) [28:45] Wake Up Now (This American Life • Dec 2014) [44:30] Stoner (John Wiliams • Viking • 1965) [45:15] Photo of the S-Town planning room [...more

  • Episode 251: Ginger Thompson

    Jun 28 2017

    Ginger Thompson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning senior reporter at ProPublica. Her most recent article is "How the U.S. Triggered a Massacre in Mexico." “How many times have I written the phrase ‘a town that was controlled by drug traffickers?' I had no idea what that really meant. What does it mean to live in a town that’s controlled by drug traffickers? And how does it get that way? One of the things I was hoping that we could do by having the people who actually lived through that explain it to...more

  • Episode 250: Patricia Lockwood

    Jun 21 2017

    Patricia Lockwood is a poet and essayist. Her new book is Priestdaddy: A Memoir. “[Prose writing is] strange to me as a poet. I’m like, ‘Well I guess I’ll tell you just what happened then.’ But the humor has to be there as well. Because in my family household…the absurdity or the surrealism that we have is in reaction to the craziness of the household. So something like your underwear-clad father with his hand in a vat of pickles, sitting in a room full of $10,000 guitars and telling you that ...more

  • Episode 249: John Grisham

    Jun 14 2017

    John Grisham is the author of 38 books, including his latest novel, Camino Island. “A Time to Kill didn’t sell. It just didn’t sell. There was never any talk of going back for a second printing. No talk of paper back. No foreign deal. It was a flop. And I told my wife, I said, ‘Look, I’m gonna do it one more time. I’m gonna write one more book…hopefully something more commercial, more accessible, more popular. If this doesn’t work, forget this career. Forget this hobby. I’m just gonna be a law...more

  • Episode 248: Erin Lee Carr

    Jun 07 2017

    Erin Lee Carr is a documentary filmmaker and writer. Her new film is Mommy Dead and Dearest. “I feel like I’ve always had the story down—that’s not been really difficult for me. So the difficult thing, I think, for me, has always been access. Can I get the access? Can I withstand the pressure? You know, there’s been so many times where I wasn’t being paid to do the job, and I had to wait on the access. And it’s not for the faint of heart. You know, I could have spent a year and a half of ...more

  • Episode 247: Ariel Levy

    May 31 2017

    Ariel Levy, a New Yorker staff writer, is the author of The Rules Do Not Apply. “I don’t believe in ‘would this’ and ‘would that.’ There’s no ‘everything happens for a reason.’ Everything happens, and then you just fucking deal. I mean we could play that game with everything, but time only moves in one direction. That’s a bad game. You shouldn’t play that game—you’ll break your own heart.” Thanks to MailChimp, Kindle, V by Viacom, and 2U for sponsoring this week's episode. @avlski...more

  • Episode 246: Jeffrey Gettleman

    May 24 2017

    Jeffrey Gettleman is the East Africa Bureau Chief for the New York Times and the author of Love, Africa: A Memoir of Romance, War, and Survival. “I’m not an adventure-seeking adrenaline junky. I like to explore new worlds, but I’m not one of these chain-smoking, hard-drinking, partying types that just wants thrills all the time. And unfortunately that’s an aspect of the job. And as I get older and I’ve been through more and more, the question gets louder. Which is: Why do you keep doing this? ...more

  • Episode 245: Rafe Bartholomew

    May 17 2017

    Rafe Bartholomew is the former features editor at Grantland and the author of Two and Two: McSorley’s, My Dad, and Me. “I never saw it as something negative because [my dad] comes out, to me, at the end, extremely heroic. … He becomes this dad who I idolized as a bartender, a guy who would hang out with me and make me laugh, a guy I just adored almost every step of the way. I mean, of course, everybody gets into fights. But to me it was always so obvious that he had overcome the problems in hi...more

  • Episode 244: Nick Bilton

    May 10 2017

    Nick Bilton is a special correspondent for Vanity Fair and the author of American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road. “I’ve been covering tech for a long, long time. And the thing I’ve always tried to do is cover the people of the tech culture, not the tech itself. … I've always been interested in the good and bad side of technology. A lot of times the problem in Silicon Valley is that people come up with a good idea that’s supposed to do a good thing—you k...more

  • Episode 243: Samin Nosrat

    May 03 2017

    Samin Nosrat is a food writer, educator, and chef. Her new book is Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking. “I kind of couldn’t exist as just a cook or a writer. I kind of need to be both. Because they fulfill these two totally different parts of myself and my brain. Cooking is really social, it’s very physical, and also you don’t have any time to become attached to your product. You hand it off and somebody eats it, and literally tomorrow it’s shit. … Whereas with writin...more

  • Episode 242: Sarah Menkedick

    Apr 26 2017

    Sarah Menkedick is a freelance writer and the founder of Vela. Her upcoming book is Homing Instincts: Early Motherhood on a Midwestern Farm. “I’d been rejected a ton of times—I had that 400-page thing that never became a book. So there were plenty of epic rejections that felt catastrophic. And I’d sort of arrived at this point where I was like: I’m living in my parents' cabin, and I’m pregnant, so whatever. Fuck it. I’m gonna write whatever I want to write.” Thanks to MailChimp and Blue Apron...more

  • Episode 241: David Grann

    Apr 19 2017

    David Grann is a staff writer at The New Yorker. His new book is Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. “The more stories I reported over time, the more I just realized there are parts of the story I can’t always get to. You know, unless this is a reality show and there’s 18 cameras in every room, and people [talk] before they sleep, and maybe you have some mind-bug in their brain for their unconscious, there are just parts you’re just not gonna know. You get a...more

  • Episode 240: Alex Kotlowitz

    Apr 12 2017

    Alex Kotlowitz is a journalist whose work has appeared in print, radio, and film. He’s the author of three books, including There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America. “The truth of the matter is, given what we do, we’re always outsiders. If it’s not by race or class, it’s by gender, religion, politics. It’s just the nature of being a nonfiction writer—going into communities that, at some level, feel unfamiliar. If you’re writing about stuff you already k...more

  • Episode 239: Brian Reed

    Apr 05 2017

    Brian Reed, a senior producer at This American Life, is the host of S-Town. “It’s a story about the remarkableness of what could be called an unremarkable life.” Thanks to MailChimp, Casper, and Squarespace for sponsoring this week's episode. @brihreed Reed's This American Life archive [30:00] "Cops See It Differently" (This American Life • Feb 2015) [30:00] "Wake Up Now" (This American Life • Dec 2014) [45:45] Stoner (John Wiliams • Viking • 1965) [49:30] Photo of the S-Town planning room ...more

  • Episode 238: Hrishikesh Hirway

    Mar 29 2017

    Hrishikesh Hirway is the host of Song Exploder. “I love the idea that somebody would listen to an episode [of Song Exploder] and then the feeling that they would have afterwards is, ‘Now I want to make something.’ That’s the best possible reaction. Whether it’s music or not, just that idea: ‘I want to make something.’ Because that is the thing that I love most, getting that feeling.” Thanks to MailChimp and MeUndies for sponsoring this week's episode. @HrishiHirway [00:00] Stoner [01:45] BB...more

  • Episode 237: Sheelah Kolhatkar

    Mar 22 2017

    Sheelah Kolhatkar is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street. “Suddenly the financial crisis happened and all this stuff that had been hidden from view came out into the open. It was like, ‘Oh, this was actually all kind of a big façade.’ And there was all this fraud and stealing and manipulation and corruption, and all these other things going on underneath the whole shiny ro...more

  • Episode 236: Al Baker

    Mar 15 2017

    Al Baker is a crime reporter at The New York Times, where he writes the series “Murder in the 4-0.” “When there’s a murder in a public housing high rise, there’s a body on the floor. Jessica White in a playground, on a hot summer night. Her children saw it. Her body fell by a bench by a slide. You look up and there’s hundreds of windows, representing potentially thousands of eyes, looking down on that like a fishbowl. …They’re seeing it through the window and they can see that there’s a scarci...more

  • Episode 235: Caity Weaver

    Mar 08 2017

    Caity Weaver is a staff writer at GQ. “I always try to remember: you don’t have to tell people what you’re not good at. You don’t have to remind them of what you’re not doing well or what your weak points are. Don’t apologize for things immediately. Always give a little less information than they need. Don’t overshare.” Thanks to MailChimp for sponsoring this week's episode. @caityweaver caity.info Weaver on Longform [02:30] "Kim Kardashian West Has a Few Things to Get Off Her Chest" (GQ • ...more

  • Episode 234: Matthew Cole

    Mar 01 2017

    Matthew Cole is an investigative reporter at The Intercept, where he recently published “The Crimes of Seal Team 6.” “I’ve gotten very polite and very impolite versions of ‘go fuck yourself.’ I used to have a little sheet of paper where I wrote down those responses just as the vernacular that was given to me: ‘You’re a shitty reporter, and I don’t talk to shitty reporters.’ You know, I’ve had some very polite ones, [but] I’ve had people threaten me with their dogs. Some of it is absolutely col...more

  • Episode 233: Alexis C. Madrigal

    Feb 22 2017

    Alexis C. Madrigal is an editor-at-large for Fusion, where he’s producing the upcoming podcast, Containers. “Sometimes you think like, 'Man the media business is the worst. This is so hard.' When you spend time with all these other business people, you probably are going to say, ‘Capitalism is the worst. This is hard.’ Competition that’s linked to global things is so hard because global companies are locked in this incredible efficiency battle that just drives all of the slack out of the syste...more

  • Episode 232: Ana Marie Cox

    Feb 15 2017

    Ana Marie Cox is the senior political correspondent for MTV News, conducts the “Talk” interviews in The New York Times Magazine, and founded Wonkette. “When people are sending me hate mail or threats, one defense I have against that is ‘you don’t know me.’ You know? That wasn’t something I always was able to say. As I’ve become a stronger person, it’s been easier for me to be like, ‘The person they’re attacking, it’s not me.’” Thanks to MailChimp, Squarespace, and Blue Apron for sponsoring th...more

  • Episode 231: Brooke Gladstone

    Feb 08 2017

    Brooke Gladstone is the host of On the Media. “I’ve learned so much about how easy it is to redefine reality in this era of billions of filter bubbles. How easy it is to cast doubt on what is undeniably true. And I think that that’s what frightens me the most. I actually think that’s what frightens most people the most. How do we make sure that we all live in the same world? Or do we?” Thanks to MailChimp, Texture, and School of the Art Institute of Chicago for sponsoring this week's episode....more

  • Episode 230: Ezra Edelman

    Feb 01 2017

    Ezra Edelman is the director of O.J.: Made in America. “When I say what I learned is that America is even more fucked up than I had previously thought, it’s that—the superficiality of it. How we are willingly seduced by these shiny people and these shiny things. And, again, when I looked at O.J.’s trajectory, that was an operating principle.” Thanks to MailChimp, Squarespace, Casper, and Secrets, Crimes, & Audiotape for sponsoring this week's episode. @ezraedelman [00:45] "Vanish" (Evan...more

  • Episode 229: Alexey Kovalev

    Jan 25 2017

    Alexey Kovalev is a Moscow-based journalist and the author of the recent article, “A Message to My Doomed Colleagues in the American Media." “It’s really disheartening to see how little it takes for people to start believing in something that directly contradicts the empirical facts that they are directly confronting. The Russian TV channel tells you that the pill is red, but the pill in front of you is blue. It completely alters the perception of reality. You don’t know what’s real anymore.” ...more

  • Episode 228: Jeff Sharlet

    Jan 18 2017

    Jeff Sharlet writes about politics and religion for Esquire, GQ, New York Times Magazine, and more. “I like the stories with difficult people. I like the stories about people who are dismissed as monsters. I hate the term ‘monster.’ ‘Monster’ is a safe term for us, right? Trump’s a monster. Great, we don’t need to wrestle with, ‘Uh oh, he’s not a monster. He’s in this human family with us.’ I’m not normalizing him. I’m acknowledging the fact. Now, what’s wrong with us? If Trump is human, what’...more

  • Episode 227: Jace Clayton

    Jan 11 2017

    Jace Clayton is a music writer and musician who records as DJ /rupture. His book is Uproot: Travels in 21st-Century Music and Digital Culture. “What does it mean to be young and have some sound inside your head? Or to be in a scene that you want to broadcast to the world? That notion of the world is changing, who you’re broadcasting to is changing, all these different things—the tool sets. But there’s this very fundamental joy of music making. I was like, ‘Ok. Let’s find flashpoints where inte...more

  • Episode 226: Terry Gross

    Jan 04 2017

    Terry Gross is the host and co-executive producer of Fresh Air. “Part of my philosophy of life is that you have to live with a certain amount of delusion. And part of the delusion I live with is that maybe, from experience, I’m getting a little bit better. But then the other part of me, the more overpowering part of me, is the pessimistic part that says, ‘It’s going to be downhill from here.’ I try not to judge myself too much because I’m so self-judgmental that I don’t want to over-judge and ...more

  • Episode 225: Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Dec 21 2016

    Ta-Nehisi Coates is the author of Between the World and Me and a national correspondent for The Atlantic. His latest cover story is “My President Was Black." “[People] have come to see me as somebody with answers, but I don’t actually have answers. I’ve never had answers. The questions are the enthralling thing for me. Not necessarily at the end of the thing getting somewhere that’s complete—it’s the asking and repeated asking. I don’t know how that happened, but I felt like after a while it g...more

  • Episode 224: Hua Hsu

    Dec 14 2016

    Hua Hsu writes for The New Yorker and is the author of A Floating Chinaman: Fantasy and Failure Across the Pacific. “I remember, as a kid, my dad telling me that when he moved to the United States he subscribed to The New Yorker, and then he canceled it after a month because he had no idea what any of it was about. You know, at the time, it certainly wasn’t a magazine for a Chinese immigrant fresh off the boat—or off the plane, rather—in the early 70s. And I always think about that. I always t...more

  • Episode 223: Carl Zimmer

    Dec 07 2016

    Carl Zimmer, a columnist for the New York Times and a national correspondent at STAT, writes about science. “[Criticism] doesn’t change the truth. You know? Global warming is still happening. Vaccines still work. Evolution is still true. No matter what someone on Twitter or someone in an administration is going to say, it’s still true. So, we science writers have to still be letting people know about what science has discovered, what we with our minds have discovered about the world—to the bes...more

  • Episode 222: Wesley Lowery

    Nov 30 2016

    Wesley Lowery is a national reporter at the Washington Post, where he worked on the Pulitzer-winning project, "Fatal Force." His new book is They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement. “I think that we decided at some point that either you are a journalist or you are an activist. And I identify as a journalist, to be clear, but one of the reasons I often don’t engage in that conversation—when someone throws that back at me I kind of deflect ...more

  • Episode 221: Adam Moss

    Nov 23 2016

    Adam Moss is the editor of New York Magazine. “I think [change] is good for journalism—it’s what journalism is about. You can’t write about something static. News is about what is new. So there’s plenty of new right now. I’m not saying it’s good for the citizenry or anything like that, but, yeah, for journalists it’s an extremely interesting time. There’s no denying that.” Thanks to MailChimp, BarkBox, Squarespace, and Sock Fancy for sponsoring this week's episode. [03:15] "Meet the Editor:...more

  • Episode 220: Kyle Chayka

    Nov 16 2016

    Kyle Chayka is a freelance writer who writes for Businessweek, The Verge, Racked, The New Yorker, and more. “I love that idea of form and content being the same. I want to write about lifestyle in a lifestyle magazine. I want to critique technology in the form of technology, and kind of have the piece be this infiltrating force that explodes from within or whatever. You want something that gets into the space, and sneaks in, and then blows up.” Thanks to MailChimp, Audible, and Texture for sp...more

  • Episode 219: Susan Casey

    Nov 11 2016

    Susan Casey is the former editor of O and the author of three New York Times bestselling books. Her latest is Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins. “The funny thing is people often say, ‘You must be fearless.’ I’m always afraid of whatever it is. But for whatever reason—I think it’s partly naïvety, partly just overwhelming curiosity—I am also not going to let fear stop me from doing things even if I feel it. Unless it’s that pure …you do have to listen to...more

  • Episode 218: Wesley Morris

    Nov 02 2016

    Wesley Morris is a critic at large for The New York Times, a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, and the co-host of Still Processing. His latest article is "Last Taboo: Why Pop Culture Just Can’t Deal With Black Male Sexuality." “You learn a lot of things about your sexuality at an early age. You know, I learned that your penis is a problem for white people, that you can’t be too openly sexual in general because that could get you in trouble because someone could misconstrue what you...more

  • Episode 217: Doreen St. Félix

    Oct 26 2016

    Doreen St. Félix is a writer at MTV News. “It feels like there are images of black utopias that are arising. And you can’t—even if you’re not as superstitious as me—you can’t possibly think that that doesn’t have to do with the decline, the final, to me, last gasp of white supremacy. It really does feel like we’re approaching that, [but] that approach might be a thousand years.” Thanks to MailChimp, Texture, Harry’s, and HelloFresh, for sponsoring this week's episode. @dstfelix [7:45] "'Emp...more

  • Episode 216: Emily Witt

    Oct 19 2016

    Emily Witt is a freelance writer and the author of Future Sex. “I think I had always thought that—maybe this is coming from a WASPy, protestant background—if I presented myself as overtly sexual in any way, it would be a huge turnoff. That they would see me as a certain type of person. They wouldn’t have respect for me. And I thought this both professionally—I thought maybe writing this book was going to be really bad for my career, that nobody would take me seriously anymore—and also that nob...more

  • Episode 215: Krista Tippett

    Oct 12 2016

    Krista Tippett is the host of On Being and the author of Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living. “Good journalists in newsrooms hold themselves to primitive standards when they’re covering religious ideas and people. They’re sloppy and simplistic in a way that they would never be with a political or economic person or idea. I mean they get facts wrong. They generalize. Because they don’t take it seriously, and they don’t know how to take it seriously.” Thanks to MailChim...more

  • Episode 214: Luke Dittrich

    Oct 05 2016

    Luke Dittrich is a contributing editor at Esquire. His new book is Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets. “As soon as I told [my mom] that I got my first book deal for this story about Patient H.M., her first words were, ‘Oh no.’ That was sort of her gut reaction to it because, I think, she knew at a certain level that I was going to be dredging up very painful stories. And I think at that point even she didn’t know the depth of the pain that some of the stories that I w...more

  • Episode 213: A.J. Daulerio

    Sep 28 2016

    A.J. Daulerio is the former editor-in-chief of Gawker. “The choices they’ve given me are take back everything that you loved about Nick [Denton], Gawker, and your job, and we’ll give you your $1,000 back or your ability to make money. You can walk away from this, but you just can’t talk about it ever again. I don’t see there’s any question for me. I definitely thought long and hard about it, and I’ve talked to a lot of people about it. It’s just not in me. Some days I absolutely wish I could s...more

  • Episode 212: Julia Turner

    Sep 21 2016

    Julia Turner is editor-in-chief of Slate. “That’s what we’ve been focused on: trying to double down on the stuff that feels distinctive and original. Because if you spend all your time on a social platform, and a bunch of media brands are optimizing all their content for that social platform, all those media brands’ headlines say the same, all the content is pretty interchangeable. It turns media into this commodity where then what is the point of developing a media company for 20 years? You m...more

  • Episode 211: Naomi Zeichner

    Sep 14 2016

    Naomi Zeichner is editor-in-chief of The Fader. “Right now in rap there’s kind of a huge tired idea that kids are trying to kill their idols, and kids have no respect for history, and kids are making bastardized crazy music, and how dare they? I just don’t even know why we still care about this false dichotomy. Kids are coming from where they come from, they’re going where they’re going. And it’s like, do you want to try to learn about where they’re coming from and where they’re going, or do y...more

  • Episode 210: Ben Taub

    Sep 07 2016

    Ben Taub is a contributing writer at The New Yorker. “I don’t think it’s my place to be cynical because I’ve observed some of the horrors of the Syrian War through these various materials, but it’s Syrians that are living them. It’s Syrians that are being largely ignored by the international community and by a lot of political attention on ISIS. And I think that it wouldn’t be my place to be cynical when some of them still aren’t.” Thanks to MailChimp, Audible, and Squarespace for sponsoring ...more

  • Episode 209: Sarah Schweitzer

    Aug 31 2016

    Sarah Schweitzer is a former feature writer for the Boston Globe. “I just am drawn, I think, to the notion that we start out as these creatures that just want love and were programmed that way—to try to find it and to make our lives whole. We are, as humans, so strong in that way. We get knocked down, and adults do some horrible things to us because adults have had horrible things done to [them]. There are some terrible cycles in this world. But there’s always this opportunity to stop that cyc...more

  • Episode 208: Rachel Monroe

    Aug 24 2016

    Rachel Monroe is a freelance writer based in Texas. “I will totally go emotionally deep with people. If I can find a subject who is into that then it will probably be a good story. Whether that person is a victim of a crime, or a committer of a crime, or a woman who spends a lot of time on the internet looking for hoaxes, or whatever it may be—I guess I just think people are interesting. Particularly when those people have gone through some sort of extreme situation.” Thanks to MailChimp, Clu...more

  • Episode 207: McKay Coppins

    Aug 19 2016

    McKay Coppins is a senior political writer for Buzzfeed News and the author of The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party's Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House. “I am part of the problem. Not in the sense that it’s my fault Trump ran, but in the sense that I’m one of many who for his entire life have mocked him and ridiculed him. He’s a billionaire—I don’t feel any moral guilt about it. But if being I’m honest with myself that same part of me can also, when...more

  • Episode 206: Gabriel Sherman

    Aug 17 2016

    Gabriel Sherman is the national affairs editor at New York and the author of the New York Times best-seller The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News—and Divided a Country. “There was a time when we got death threats at home. Some crank called and said, ‘We’re gonna come after you. You’re coming after the right, we’re gonna get you.’ That was scary because, again, you don’t know if it’s just a crank when you have right wing websites that are turning ...more

  • Special 'Love and Ruin' Reissue: Jon Mooallem

    Aug 12 2016

    Jon Mooallem is the author of "American Hippopotamus," a story included in Love and Ruin, the new Atavist Magazine collection. Buy your copy today.

  • Episode 205: Ezra Klein

    Aug 10 2016

    Ezra Klein the editor-in-chief of Vox. “I think that if any of these big players collapse, when their obits are written, it’ll be because they did too much. I’m not saying I think any of them in particular are doing too much. But I do think, when I look around and I think, ‘What is the danger here? What is the danger for Vox?’ I think it is losing too much focus because you’re trying to do too many things.” Thanks to MailChimp, Casper, and Squarespace for sponsoring this week's episode. @ez...more

  • Episode 204: Malcolm Gladwell

    Aug 03 2016

    Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer at The New Yorker. His new podcast is Revisionist History. “The amount of criticism you get is a constant function of the size of your audience. So if you think that, generously speaking, 80% of the people who read your work like it, that means if you sell ten books you have two enemies. And if you sell a million books you have 200,000 enemies. So be careful what you wish for. The volume of critics grows linearly with the size of your audience.” Thanks to Ma...more

  • Episode 203: Ellis Jones

    Jul 27 2016

    Ellis Jones is the editor-in-chief of VICE Magazine. “I’m just not an edgy person. You know what I mean? I think I am a nice person. I think VICE Magazine reflects the qualities that I want to have or think that I have or that my team has. The magazine would be terrible if I tried to make edgy content ... people would just see right through it. It wouldn’t be good. Thanks to MailChimp and EveryLibrary for sponsoring this week's episode. @ellisjones [00:15] "RNC 2016" (Justin Peters • Atavis...more

  • Episode 202: David Remnick

    Jul 20 2016

    David Remnick is the editor of The New Yorker. “I think it’s important — not just for me, but for the readers — that this thing exists at the highest possible level in 2016, in 2017, and on. That there’s a continuity to it. I know, because I’m not entirely stupid, that these institutions, no matter how good they are, all institutions are innately fragile. Innately fragile.” Thanks to MailChimp, Audible, EveryLibrary, and Igloo for sponsoring this week's episode. Remnick on Longfor...more

  • Episode 201: T. Christian Miller & Ken Armstrong

    Jul 13 2016

    Christian Miller, senior investigative reporter at ProPublica, and Ken Armstrong, staff writer at The Marshall Project, co-wrote the Pulitzer-winning article, “An Unbelievable Story of Rape.” “I won’t forget this: when T. and I talked on the phone and agreed that we were going to work on [“An Unbelievable Story of Rape”] together, T. created a Google Drive site, and we decided we’d both dump all our documents in it. And I remember seeing all the records that T. had gathered in Colorado, and...more

  • Episode 200: Jack Hitt

    Jul 06 2016

    Jack Hitt contributes to Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, and This American Life. “I’ve always lived more or less unemployed in these markets, and happily so. I think being unemployed keeps you a little more sharp in terms of looking for stories. It never gets any easier. That motivation and that desperation, whatever you want to call that, is still very much behind many of the conversations I have all day long trying to find those threads, those strings, that are going to pull together ...more

  • Episode 199: Kathryn Schulz

    Jun 29 2016

    Kathryn Schulz is a staff writer for The New Yorker. "The Really Big One," her article about the rupturing of the Cascadia fault line, won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize. “I can tell you in absolute sincerity: I didn't realize I was writing a scary story. Obviously I know the earthquake is going to be terrifying, and that our lack of preparedness is genuinely really scary. But, as I think often happens as a reporter, you toggle between professional happiness, which is sometimes, frankly, even profess...more

  • Bonus Episode: Shane Bauer

    Jun 27 2016

    Shane Bauer, a senior reporter for Mother Jones, spent four months working undercover as a guard in a private prison. “The thing that I grappled with the most afterward was a feeling of shame about who I was as a guard and some of the things that I had done. Sending people to solitary confinement is hard to come to terms with even though, in that situation, I don't know what else I could have done. ... I had to do what I could to keep myself safe.” Thanks to MailChimp for sponsoring this week...more

  • Episode 198: Frank Rich

    Jun 22 2016

    Frank Rich, a former culture and political columnist for The New York Times, writes for New York and is the executive producer of Veep. “All audiences bite back. If you have an opinion—forget about whether it’s theater or politics. If it’s about sports, fashion, or food—it doesn’t really matter. Readers are gonna bite back. And they should, you know? Everyone’s entitled. Everyone’s a critic. Everyone should have an opinion. You’re not laying down the law, and people should debate it.” Th...more

  • Bonus Episode: Louisa Thomas and Evan Thomas

    Jun 19 2016

    Louisa Thomas, a former writer and editor at Grantland, is a New Yorker contributor and the author of Louisa. Her father Evan Thomas, a longtime writer for Newsweek and Time, is the author of several award-winning books, including last year's Being Nixon. “That's one thing I've learned from my dad: the capacity to be open to becoming more open.” Thanks to MailChimp's Freddie and Co. for sponsoring this bonus episode. Show Notes: @louisahthomas louisathomas.com Louisa Thomas on Longform [:3...more

  • Episode 197: Nikole Hannah-Jones

    Jun 15 2016

    Nikole Hannah-Jones covers civil rights for The New York Times Magazine. “I don’t think there’s any beat you can cover in America that race is not intertwined with—environment, politics, business, housing, you name it. So, whatever beat you put me on, this is what I was going to cover because I think it’s just intrinsic. If you’re not being blind to what’s on your beat, then it’s part of the beat.” Thanks to MailChimp's Freddie and Co., Audible, and Trunk Club for sponsoring this week's episo...more

  • Episode 196: Jon Favreau

    Jun 08 2016

    Jon Favreau, former chief speechwriter for President Obama, is a columnist at The Ringer and co-host of Keepin’ It 1600. “And then Obama comes over to my desk with the speech, and he has a few edits. And he’s like, ‘I just want to go through some of these edits and make sure you’re ok with this. I did this for this reason. Are you ok with that?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, buddy. You’re Barack Obama.’” Thanks to MailChimp's Freddie and Co., Freshbooks, Audible, and Squarespace for sponsoring this we...more

  • Episode 195: Leah Finnegan

    Jun 01 2016

    Leah Finnegan, a former New York Times and Gawker editor, is the managing news editor at Genius. “After the Condé Nast article, Nick Denton decided Gawker needed to be 20% nicer, and I took a buyout because I was not 20% nicer.” Thanks to MailChimp, Audible, Squarespace, and Trunk Club for sponsoring this week's episode. Show Notes: @leahfinnegan leahfinnegan.com genius.com/Leah [02:00] "Sunk" (Mitch Moxley • Atavist Magazine • May 2016) [05:00] Alec Baldwin’s Blog at The Huffington Post [...more

  • Episode 194: Pablo S. Torre

    May 25 2016

    Pablo Torre is a senior writer at ESPN the Magazine and frequently appears on Around the Horn, PTI, and other ESPN shows. “Most of my friends are not sports fans. My parents aren't. Brother and sister — no. So I just want to make things that they want to read. That's the big litmus test for me in deciding if a story is worth investing my time into: Is somebody who doesn’t give a shit about sports gonna be interested in this?” Thanks to MailChimp, Johnson & Johnson, FreshBooks, and Squares...more

  • Episode 193: Robin Marantz Henig

    May 18 2016

    Robin Marantz Henig, the author of nine books, writes about science and medicine for The New York Times Magazine. “I have my moments of thinking, ‘Well, why is this still so hard? Why do I still have to prove myself after all this time?’ If I were in a different field, or if I were even on a staff, I’d have a title that gave me more respect. I still have to wait just as long as any other writer to get any kind of response to a pitch. I still have to pitch. Nothing is automatic, even after all ...more

  • Episode 192: Seymour Hersh

    May 11 2016

    Seymour Hersh is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of The Killing of Osama Bin Laden. “The government had denied everything we said. We just asked them and they said, ‘Oh no, not true, not true.’ That’s just—it’s all pro forma. You ask them to get their lie and you write their lie. I’m sorry to be so cynical about it, but that’s basically what it comes to.” Thanks to MailChimp, Johnson & Johnson, Freshbooks, Trunk Club, and Squarespace for sponsoring this week's episode. ...more

  • Episode 191: Kelly McEvers

    May 04 2016

    Kelly McEvers, a former war correspondent, hosts NPR's All Things Considered and the podcast Embedded. “Listeners want you to be real, a real person. Somebody who stumbles and fails sometimes. I think the more human you are, the more people can then relate to you. The whole point is not so everybody likes me, but it’s so people will want to take my hand and come along. It's so they feel like they trust me enough to come down the road with me. To do that, I feel like you need to be honest and tr...more

  • Bonus Episode: Evan Ratliff

    Apr 29 2016

    Evan Ratliff, a co-host of the Longform Podcast, discusses"The Mastermind,” his new 7-part serialized story in The Atavist Magazine. “On several occasions [sources] didn’t want to go into the details of how they were identified. They were just like, ‘My safety is in your hands. Just be careful.’ And I didn’t really know what to do with that. I was sort of trying to balance what to include and what not to include and trying to make these decisions. Will Paul Le Roux know it’s this person? It’s i...more

  • Episode 190: Susie Cagle

    Apr 27 2016

    Susie Cagle is a journalist and illustrator. “I don’t really know what it was that made me not quit. I still kind of wonder that. There have been many times over the last couple of years even, as things are taking off in my career, things are going well, I’m writing about wonderful things that are interesting to me, and I still wonder—should I be doing this? What the hell is next year gonna look like?” Thanks to MailChimp, FreshBooks, and AlarmGrid for sponsoring this week's episode. Show Not...more

  • Episode 189: Maciej Ceglowski

    Apr 20 2016

    Maciej Ceglowski is the founder of Pinboard. He writes at Idle Words. “My natural contrarianism makes me want to see if I can do something long-term in an industry where everything either changes until it's unrecognizable or gets sold or collapses. I like the idea of things on the web being persistent. And more basically, I reject this idea that everything has to be on a really short time scale just because it involves technology. We’ve had these computers around for a while now. It’s time we s...more

  • Episode 188: Nate Silver

    Apr 13 2016

    Nate Silver is the founder of FiveThirtyEight and the author of The Signal and the Noise. “I know in a perfectly rational world, if you make an 80/20 prediction, people should know that not only will this prediction not be right all the time, but you did something wrong if it’s never wrong. The 20% underdog should come through sometimes. People in sports understand that sometimes a 15 seed beats a 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. That’s much harder to explain to people in politics.” Thanks to Ma...more

  • Episode 187: Elizabeth Gilbert

    Apr 06 2016

    Elizabeth Gilbert has written for Spin, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine. She is the author of several books, including Eat, Pray, Love. “I call it the platinum rule. The golden rule is do unto others as you would have them do unto you, but the platinum rule is even higher: don’t be a dick.” Thanks to MailChimp, Bombas, Squarespace, and Audible for sponsoring this week's episode. Show Notes: @GilbertLiz elizabethgilbert.com Gilbert on Longform [36:00] "Buckle Bunnies" (Spin • Sep 1994) [...more

  • Episode 186: Gabriel Synder

    Mar 30 2016

    Gabriel Snyder is the editor-in-chief of The New Republic. “I had a new job, I was new to the place, and I came to it with a great deal of respect but didn’t feel like I had any special claim to it. But in that moment I realized that there were all of these people who wanted to see the place die. And that the only way The New Republic was going to continue was by someone wanting to see it continue, and I realized I was one of those people now.” Thanks to MailChimp, Bombas, Harry's, and Trunk C...more

  • Episode 185: Ben Smith

    Mar 23 2016

    Ben Smith is the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed. “I do think as a reporter in general, most of what we deal in is ephemera. And I love that. I mean that’s the business, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, I think that’s a plus and something that shapes how you succeed at the job because you realize that this thing you’re writing is about this moment and right now, and about its place in the conversation. It’s not some piece of art to hang on the wall.” Thanks to MailChimp...more

  • Episode 184: Daniel Alarcón

    Mar 16 2016

    Daniel Alarcón, a novelist and the co-founder of Radio Ambulante, has written for Harper's, California Sunday, and the New York Times Magazine. “I’m a writer. I’ve written a bunch of books, and I care a lot about my sentences and my prose and all that. But would I be willing to defend my book in a Peruvian prison? That’s a litmus test I think a lot of writers I know would fail.” Thanks to MailChimp, Audible, and Home Chef for sponsoring this week's episode. Show Notes: @DanielGAlarcon danie...more

  • Episode 183: Jia Tolentino

    Mar 09 2016

    Jia Tolentino is the deputy editor of Jezebel. “Insult itself is an opportunity. I’m glad to be a woman, and I’m glad not to be white. I think it’s made me tougher. I’ve never been able to assume comfort or power. I’m just glad. I’m glad, especially as you watch the great white male woke freak-out meltdown that’s happening right now, I’m glad that it’s good to come from below.” Thanks to MailChimp, Squarespace, and Home Chef for sponsoring this week's episode. Show Notes: @jiatolentino jiat...more

  • Episode 182: Heather Havrilesky

    Mar 02 2016

    Heather Havrilesky writes the Ask Polly advice column for New York and is the author of the upcoming How to Be a Person in the World. “I don’t give a shit if I succeed or fail or what I do next, I just want to do things that are strange and not sound bitey. I don’t want to be polished. I want to be such a wreck that no one will ever say ‘let’s put her on her own talk show.’” Thanks to MailChimp, Audible, and Squarespace for sponsoring this week's episode. Show Notes: @hhavrilesky rabbitblog...more

  • Episode 181: Wesley Yang

    Feb 24 2016

    Wesley Yang writes for New York and other publications. “If a person remains true to some part of their experience, no matter what it is, and they present it in full candor, there’s value to that. People will recognize it. Once I knew that was true, I knew I could do this.” Thanks to MailChimp, Home Chef, and Trunk Club for sponsoring this week's episode. Show Notes: @wesyang Yang on Longform [02:00] "Paper Tigers" (New York • May 2011) [10:00] "The Snakehead" (Patrick Radden Keefe • N...more

  • Episode 180: Mishka Shubaly

    Feb 17 2016

    Mishka Shubaly is the author of I Swear I’ll Make It Up to You and several best-selling Kindle Singles. “I remember thinking when I was shipwrecked in the Bahamas, ‘I’m going to fucking die here. I’m 24 years old, I’m going to die, and no one will miss me. I’m never going to see my mother again.’ And then the guy with the boat came around the corner and my first thought was ‘Man, this is going to be one hell of a story.’” Thanks to MailChimp and Audible for sponsoring this week's episode. Sho...more

  • Episode 179: Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton

    Feb 10 2016

    Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton host Another Round. “I’m just trying to follow my curiosities. You know how kids always ask the best questions because they haven’t lost the will to live? I’m just desperately trying to keep that childish curiosity about the world. Is that horribly depressing?” Thanks to MailChimp, Casper, Igloo, and Squarespace for sponsoring this week's episode. Show Notes: @heavenrants @brokeymcpoverty Another Round [8:00] "1128: Free the McGriddle" (The Black Guy Who Tips ...more

  • Episode 178: Michael J. Mooney

    Feb 03 2016

    Michael J. Mooney is a staff writer at D Magazine and the author of The Life and Legend of Chris Kyle. “There are some elements of crime stories that are so absurd that it’s funny, and so working on the “How Not to Get Away With Murder” story, it was actually really funny thinking about it for a long time. Until I met Nancy Howard, the woman who was shot in the face and has one eye now. This is her entire life, and it was destroyed. This is not a crime story to her, it’s her life.” Thanks to M...more

  • Episode 177: Alex Perry

    Jan 27 2016

    Alex Perry, based in England, has covered Africa and Asia for Newsweek and Time. His most recent book is The Rift: A New Africa Breaks Free. “I got a call from one of my editors in 2003 or 2004, and he said something like, ‘You realize someone has died in the first line of every story you’ve filed for the last eight months?’ And my response was, ‘Of course. Isn’t that how we know it’s important?’ It took me a long time to work out that the importance of a story isn’t established only by death.”...more

  • Episode 176: Grant Wahl

    Jan 20 2016

    Grant Wahl is senior writer at Sports Illustrated and the author of The Beckham Experiment. “I said to Balotelli, ‘I know you’re into President Obama. There’s a decent chance that he might read this story.’ He kind of perked up. I don’t think I was deliberately misleading him. There was a chance!” Thanks to MailChimp, Audible, Feverborn, and Squarespace for sponsoring this week's episode. Show Notes: @GrantWahl Wahl's Sports Illustrated archive Wahl on Longform [4:00] "Hidden Damages" (M.R....more

  • Episode 175: Brooke Gladstone

    Jan 13 2016

    Brooke Gladstone is the co-host of On the Media and the author of The Influencing Machine. “I'm not going to get any richer or more famous than I am right now. This is it, this is fine — it's better than I ever expected. I don't have anything to risk anymore. As far as I’m concerned, I want to just spend this last decade, decade and a half, twenty years, doing what I think is valuable. I don’t have any career path anymore. I’m totally off the career path. The beautiful thing is that I just don’...more

  • Episode 174: Venkatesh Rao

    Jan 05 2016

    Venkatesh Rao is the founder of Ribbonfarm and the author of Breaking Smart. “I would say I was blind and deaf and did not know anything about how the world worked until I was about 25. It took until almost 35 before I actually cut loose from the script. The script is a very, very powerful thing. The script wasn’t working for me.” Thanks to MailChimp and CreativeLive for sponsoring this week's episode. Show Notes: @vgr Ribbonfarm Rao on Longform [3:00] "Seeking Density in the Gonzo Theater"...more

  • Episode 173: Doug McGray

    Dec 23 2015

    Doug McGray is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of California Sunday and Pop-Up. “Your life ends up being made up of the things you remember. You forget most of it, but the things that you remember become your life. And if you can make something that someone remembers, then you’re participating in their life. There’s something really meaningful about that. It feels like something worth trying to do.” Thanks to MailChimp, Smart People Podcast, Howl, and CreativeLive for sponsoring this w...more

  • Episode 172: Kliph Nesteroff

    Dec 16 2015

    Kliph Nesteroff writes for WFMU's Beware of the Blog. His book, The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and the History of American Comedy, was released in November. “Well, comedy always becomes stale. Whether it’s offensive or not offensive, it has an expiry date, unfortunately. A lot of people don’t want to hear this because that means a lot of their favorite comedians suddenly become irrelevant. But that’s the history of comedy: the hippest, coolest guy today—whoever that is to you in co...more

  • Episode 171: Adrian Chen

    Dec 09 2015

    Adrian Chen is a freelance journalist who has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and Wired. His latest article is "Unfollow," about a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church. “Twitter and social media get such a bad rep for being full of hate and trolls. And, you know, a lot of the stories I’ve written have probably bolstered that stereotype. I think a lot of people have a lot of anxiety and ambivalence about social media even though they love it—they’re on it all the...more

  • Episode 170: Aleksandar Hemon at the Miami Book Fair

    Dec 04 2015

    Aleksandar Hemon is a writer from Bosnia whose fiction and non-fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and Granta. His books include The Lazarus Project, The Question of Bruno, and The Book of My Lives. “For me and for everyone I know, that's the central fact of our lives. It's the trauma that we carry, that we cannot be cured of. The way things are in Bosnia, it's far from over. It's not peace, it's the absence of war. It's always there as a possibility. There's no way to imagine anything beyon...more

  • Episode 169: Chip Kidd at the Miami Book Fair

    Dec 02 2015

    Chip Kidd is a book designer and author. His most recent book is Only What's Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts. “The curious thing about doing a book cover is that you're creating a piece of art, but it is in service to a greater piece of art that is dictating what you're going to do. I may think I've come up with the greatest design in the world, but if the author doesn't like it, they win. And I have to start over.” Thanks to The Standard Hotels, MailChimp, Mack Weldon, Pru...more

  • Episode 168: Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Nov 25 2015

    Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic. His latest book, Between the World and Me, just won the National Book Award. “When I first came to New York, I couldn't see any of this. I felt like a complete washout. I was in my little apartment, eating donuts and playing video games. The only thing I was doing good with my life was being a father and a husband. That was it. David [Carr] was a big shot. And he would call me in, just out of the blue, to have lunch. I was so l...more

  • Episode 167: Kurt Andersen

    Nov 18 2015

    Kurt Andersen is the co-founder of Spy Magazine, the author of several books, and the host of Studio 360. “As a young person, I never thought of myself as a risk-taker. Then I did this risky thing that shouldn't have succeeded, I started this magazine. And it did encourage me to think, ‘Eh, how bad can it be if it fails? Sometimes these long shots work. So fuck it, try it.’” Thanks to MailChimp, MasterClass, The Message, RealtyShares, and Prudential for sponsoring this week's episode. Show No...more

  • Episode 166: Ed Caesar

    Nov 11 2015

    Ed Caesar is a freelance writer based in England whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, British GQ, and The Sunday Times Magazine. He is the author of Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon. “That was a really horrific situation. People were being killed in the street in front of us. People were firing weapons in all directions. It was really chaotic and quite scary. It freaked me out. And I thought, 'Actually, there's not a huge amount more of this I want to do in my life.'” ...more

  • Episode 165: Jazmine Hughes

    Nov 04 2015

    Jazmine Hughes is an associate editor at The New York Times Magazine. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Elle, Cosmopolitan, and The New Republic. “You hope that one day when you’re the editor-in-chief of Blah, Blah, Blah, that you’ll wake up and be like, ‘Okay, I deserve my job.’ But so far I haven’t met anyone who has told me that they feel that way. But, I will say, I don’t talk to white men a lot.” Thanks to MailChimp, MasterClass, and The Great Courses Plus for sponsoring th...more

  • Episode 164: Lena Dunham

    Oct 28 2015

    Lena Dunham, the creator and star of HBO's Girls, is the co-founder of Lenny and the author of Not That Kind of Girl. A special episode hosted by Longform Podcast editor Jenna Weiss-Berman. “Writing across mediums can be a really healthy way to utilize your energy and stay productive while not feeling entrapped. But at the end of the day, the time when I feel like life is most just, like, flying by and I don't even know what's happening to me is when I'm writing prose. It's such an intimate rel...more

  • Episode 163: Matthew Shaer

    Oct 21 2015

    Matthew Shaer is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, New York, GQ, and The Atavist Magazine. “I could not turn off the freelance switch in my head. I could not not be thinking about these different types of stories. My Google Alert list looks like a serial killer's.” Thanks to MailChimp, Squarespace, Howl, and MasterClass for sponsoring this week's episode. Show Notes: @matthewshaer matthewshaer.com Shaer on Longform [12:00] "A Shtetl Divided" (Harper'...more

  • Episode 162: John Seabrook

    Oct 14 2015

    John Seabrook is a New Yorker staff writer and the author of The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory. “Whether or not the piece succeeds or fails is not going to depend on whether I’m up to the minute on the latest social media spot to hang out or the latest slang words that are thrown around. It’s going to be the old eternal verities of structural integrity. So much of it is narrative and figuring out the tricks—and they are tricks, really—that make it go as a narrative. And that’s really the...more

  • Episode 161: Karina Longworth

    Oct 07 2015

    Karina Longworth is a film writer and the creator/host of You Must Remember This, a podcast exploring the secret stories of Hollywood. “For me the thing that’s exciting about it is that it’s research, and it’s reportage, and it’s criticism. But it’s also art. It’s creatively done. It’s drama. It consciously tries to engage people on that emotional level.” Thanks to MailChimp, Squarespace, and MasterClass for sponsoring this week's episode. Show Notes: @KarinaLongworth Longworth on Long...more

  • Episode 160: Jessica Hopper

    Sep 30 2015

    Jessica Hopper is editor-in-chief of the Pitchfork Review and the author of The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic. “I have an agenda. You can’t read my writing and not know that I have a staunch fucking agenda at all times.” Thanks to MailChimp, Blue Apron, and Fracture for sponsoring this week's episode. Show Notes: @jesshopp Hopper on Longform Hopper's Pitchfork archive [28:00] "Review of Superchunk's I Hate Music" (Brandon Stosuy • Pitchfork • Aug 2013) [35:00]...more

  • Episode 159: Ira Glass

    Sep 23 2015

    Ira Glass is the host and executive producer of This American Life. “You can only have so many questions about feelings, I think. At some point people are just like alright, enough with the feelings.” Thanks to MailChimp, EA SPORTS FIFA 16, Fracture, and FRONTLINE's "My Brother's Bomber for sponsoring this week's episode. Show Notes: @iraglass Out on the Wire (Jessica Abel • Broadway Books • 2015) [10:00] "1: New Beginnings" (This American Life • Nov 1995) [14:00] Serial [21:00] "75: K...more

  • Episode 158: Peter Hessler (live)

    Sep 16 2015

    Peter Hessler is a staff writer for The New Yorker. “It may have helped that I didn’t have a lot of ideas about China. You know, it was sort of a blank slate in my mind. …I wasn’t a reporter when I went to Fuling, but I was thinking like a reporter or even like a sociologist: try to respond to what you see and what you hear, and not be too oriented by things you’ve heard from others or things you may have read. Be open to new perceptions of the place or of the people.” Thanks to MailChimp and ...more

  • Episode 157: Margo Jefferson

    Sep 09 2015

    Margo Jefferson, a Pulitzer Prize winner, has written for The New York Times, Newsweek, and Harper's. Her latest book is Negroland: A Memoir. “One of the problems with—burdens of—‘race conversations’ in this country is certain ideological, political, sociological narratives keep getting imposed. This is where the conversation should go, these are the roles we need. In a way, this is the comfort level of my discomfort. ... Maybe we’re all somewhat addicted—I think we are—to certain racial conver...more

  • Episode 156: Renata Adler

    Sep 02 2015

    Renata Adler is a journalist, critic, and novelist. Her latest collection of nonfiction is After the Tall Timber. “Unless you're going to be fairly definite, what's the point of writing?” Thanks to MailChimp, and Squarespace for sponsoring this week's episode. Show Notes: Adler on Longform Adler's New Yorker archive [7:00] I, Libertine (Theodore Sturgeon • Ballantine Books • 1956) [8:00] After Tall Timber: Collected Nonfiction (Ballantine Books • 2015) [9:00] "Letter from Selma" (New Yorker...more

  • Episode 155: S.L. Price

    Aug 26 2015

    S.L. Price is a senior writer at Sports Illustrated. “The fact is, if you write about sports and people think they're just reading about sports, they'll read about drug use. They'll read about sex. They'll read about sex change. They'll read about communism. They'll read about issues they couldn't possibly care about, issues that if they saw them in any other part of the paper they would just gloss over. But because it's about sports—because there's a boxing ring or a baseball field or a footba...more

  • Episode 154: William Finnegan

    Aug 19 2015

    William Finnegan is a New Yorker staff writer and the author of Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life. “I suppose in retrospect I was just trying to find out what the world held that nobody could tell me about until I got there. I was a big reader and had a couple of degrees by that point, but there was something not well over the horizon that I wanted to get near and record and understand, and I even felt like it would transform me.” Thanks to TinyLetter, SquareSpace, and The Great Courses for spons...more

  • Episode 153: Tim Ferriss

    Aug 12 2015

    Tim Ferriss is the author of The Four Hour Workweek and The Four Hour Body. “If you have a fitness magazine, you can’t just write one issue, ‘Here are the rules!’ ... My job, conversely, is to make myself obsolete. The last thing I want to be is a guru, someone people come to for answers. I want to be the person people come to for better questions.” Thanks to TinyLetter and The Great Courses for sponsoring this week's episode. Show Notes: @tferriss Ferriss's blog Ferriss's podcast [8:00] "B...more

  • Episode 152: Carol Loomis

    Aug 05 2015

    Carol Loomis retired last summer after 60 years at Fortune. She continues to edit Warren Buffett's annual report. “Writing itself makes you realize where there are holes in things. I’m never sure what I think until I see what I write. And so I believe that, even though you’re an optimist, the analysis part of you kicks in when you sit down to construct a story or a paragraph or a sentence. You think, ‘Oh, that can’t be right.’ And you have to go back, and you have to rethink it all.”  Tha...more

  • Bonus Episode: Noreen Malone

    Jul 31 2015

    Noreen Malone wrote "Cosby: The Women — An Unwanted Sisterhood," this week's cover story in New York. “We interviewed them all separately, and that was what was so striking: they all kept saying the same thing, down to the details of what they say Cosby did and how they processed it. Those echoes were what helped us know how to shape the story.” Thanks to our sponsor, TinyLetter. Show Notes: @noreenmalone Malone on Lognform [2:00] "Hannibal Buress Called Bill Cosby a Rapist During a St...more

  • Episode 151: Ian Urbina

    Jul 29 2015

    Ian Urbina, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, just published "The Outlaw Ocean," a four-part series on crime in international waters. “It is a tribe. It has its norms, its language, and its jealousies. I approached it almost as a foreign country that happened to be disparate, almost a nomadic or exiled population. And one that has extremely strict hierarchies—you know when you’re on a ship that the captain is God.” Thanks to TinyLetter and Casper for sponsoring this week's epis...more

  • Episode 150: Margaret Sullivan

    Jul 22 2015

    Margaret Sullivan is the public editor of The New York Times. “Jill Abramson said to me early on, ‘What will happen here is you’ll stick around and eventually you’ll alienate everybody, and then no one will be talking to you, and you’ll have to leave.’ I’m about three-quarters of the way there.” Thanks to TinyLetter and Netflix for sponsoring this week's episode. Show Notes: @Sulliview [5:00] "One Year Later, 11 Questions for Dean Baquet"(The New York Times • May 2015) [6:00] The Public Edi...more

  • Episode 85: Tavi Gevinson

    Jul 15 2015

    Tavi Gevinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of Rookie. "I just want our readers to know that they are already smart enough and cool enough." Thanks to our sponsor, TinyLetter. Show notes: @tavitulle Rookie thestylerookie.com [4:00] "Tavi Says" (Lizze Widdicombe • New Yorker • Sep 2010) [30:00] "A Teen Just Trying to Figure It Out" (TED • Mar 2012) [33:00] Rookie Yearbook Two (Drawn and Quarterly • Oct 2013) [40:00] Longform Podcast #75: George Saunders [43:00] "Super Heroine: An Interv...more

  • Episode 149: Ross Andersen

    Jul 08 2015

    Ross Andersen is the deputy editor of Aeon Magazine. “One of the things that’s been really refreshing in dealing with scientists—as opposed to say politicians or most business people—is that scientists are wonderfully candid, they’ll talk shit on their colleagues. They’re just firing on all cylinders all the time because they traffic in ideas, and that’s what’s important to them.” Thanks to TinyLetter and AlarmGrid for sponsoring this week's episode. Show Notes: @andersen Andersen on Longfo...more

  • Episode 148: Anna Holmes

    Jul 01 2015

    Anna Holmes, the founding editor of Jezebel, writes for The New York Times and is the editorial director of Fusion. “I think that Jezebel contributed to what I now call ‘outrage culture,’ but outrage culture has no sense of humor. We had a hell of a sense of humor, that's where it splits off. ... The fact that people who are incredibly intelligent and have interesting things to say aren't given the room to work out their arguments or thoughts because someone will take offense is depressing...more

  • Episode 147: James Verini

    Jun 24 2015

    James Verini, a freelance writer based out of Nairobi, won the 2015 National Magazine Award for Feature Writing. “That is probably the most alien, jarring thing about working in Africa: life is much cheaper. More to the point, death is very close to you. We're very removed from death here. Someone can die at 89 in their sleep here and it's called a tragedy. In Africa, I find that I'm often exposed to it. That's part of why I wanted to live there.” Thanks to TinyLetter and Trunk Club for spons...more

  • Episode 146: Rembert Browne

    Jun 17 2015

    Rembert Browne is a staff writer at Grantland. “I'm ok with not being at my most refined online. It's happening in real time and some of that is therapeutic. I could write a lot this stuff privately, but I'd rather just hit publish and see what happens. It's a weird world. But I'm super deep in.” Thanks to this week's sponsors: TinyLetter, Trunk Club, and QuickBooks Self-Employed. Show Notes: @rembert REMBLR Browne on Longform [6:00] 500 Days Asunder [7:00] The Dartmouth, America's Oldest C...more

  • Episode 145: Ashlee Vance

    Jun 10 2015

    Ashlee Vance covers technology for Bloomberg Businessweek and is the author of of Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. “To be totally clear, I don’t cover them (apps). I like people who try to solve big problems. Wherever I go, I try to run away from the consumer stuff. I love writing about giant manufacturing plants that make stuff and employ tens of thousands of people.” Thanks to this week's sponsors: TinyLetter, Trunk Club, QuickBooks, and The School of Cont...more