Slate's The Gist

Slate's The Gist with Mike Pesca. A daily afternoon show about news, culture, and whatever else you'll be discussing with friends and family tonight.


  • He Got Trump’s Taxes

    Jan 26 2018

    From the annals of monkey research, how 10 primates were gassed in the service of a bad study.Today on The Gist, investigative reporter David Cay Johnston, who has been reporting on President Trump long enough to simply call him Donald. Johnston has an appreciation for Donald’s trademark swindles: refusing payment, lying to vendors, abridging photocopies. He’s not surprised to see the same methods at work in the Trump administration. He likens the Trump administration to “political termites,” ea...more

  • Odds, Ends, and Senators

    Jan 25 2018

    On The Gist, Devin Nunes probably doesn’t know squat.  In the interview, Democrats hold most of the Senate seats up for grabs in this year’s midterms, which means they have a lot to lose. But importantly, mathematician Jordan Ellenberg says election predictions often fail to account for national mood. Ellenberg is the author of How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking. In the Spiel, Mike defends his bougie laundry routine.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone...more

  • MSG Is A-OK

    Jan 24 2018

    On The Gist, more details come out about Garrison Keillor.In the interview, it turns out something can be good for your taste buds without being bad for your health. Monosodium glutamate has gotten a bad rap since 1968, when a medical journal suggested it might cause all kinds of symptoms. Dan Pashman, creator and host of the Sporkful podcast, tells us why MSG isn’t the boogeyman it’s been made out to be (and why he adds it to his own cooking).In the Spiel, behold, the mystical power of Maine Se...more

  • The Dems Have a Bad Hand

    Jan 23 2018

    On The Gist, what just happened? And are Democrats sniveling losers or Machiavellian savants?  McClatchy reporter Alex Roarty explains why the animating force driving both Democrats and Republicans right now is a loud conservative minority. In the Spiel, Greece has beef regarding which part of world gets to be called “Macedonia.”Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • One Year Down

    Jan 20 2018

    Up first on The Gist: It appears the Stormy Daniels story checks out.  Plus, Saturday marks the first anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration. The hosts of Slate’s Trumpcast join Mike to revise old predictions, make new ones, and consider whether Democrats should be rooting for impeachment via the Robert Mueller investigation.  And in the Spiel, we’re on the verge of another government shutdown. It seems normal now. Or have we lost track of what normal looks like?Learn more about...more

  • Busted: A Gist Productions Parody

    Jan 19 2018

    On The Gist, how about those Fake News Awards, huh?  Alan Jacobs questions your ability to think for yourself. Can you really rid yourself of your biases, or do you just develop better biases? Are you really any better than your estranged friends at finding answers, or have you just chosen a different group with whom to associate? Jacobs is the author of How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds.  In the Spiel, relive the horrifying 43 minutes during which America thought a ju...more

  • Wait and CR

    Jan 18 2018

    On The Gist, the bad news from Freedom House. U.S. Air Force officer Edward Lansdale promoted a “hearts and minds” approach to diplomacy in the Philippines and Vietnam, only to be steamrolled by America’s elite class of policymakers. Max Boot tells us about Lansdale and his own newfound recognition of white privilege and other ideas from the left. Boot’s new book is The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam.     In the Spiel, why the continuing resolu...more

  • Nukes and Crannies

    Jan 17 2018

    On The Gist, the press is too squeamish to clarify that “shithouse” isn’t much better than “shithole.” In the interview, more on fire and fury—nuclear fire, rhetorical fury, and the consequences of both. Jeffrey Lewis and Aaron Stein, hosts of Arms Control Wonk, assess the Trump administration’s tough talk on North Korea and the danger of a South Korea that decides to take matters into its own hands. In the Spiel, Aziz Ansari isn’t blameless, but he doesn’t deserve a total destruction of hi...more

  • Teenage Brains Are Just Different

    Jan 13 2018

    On The Gist, Mike examines Trump’s bottom-of-the-barrel statements on immigration. In the interview, Dina Temple-Raston explains how she became fascinated by the teenage brain. After years of covering terrorism for NPR, she was stunned to see so many young people leaving their homes to join ISIS. Teenagers aren’t just prone to falling in with terrorist recruiters: Their underdeveloped minds make them more susceptible to video gaming compulsions and violent behavior. Why? Temple-Raston finds answ...more

  • Is Trump Insane? Does It Matter?

    Jan 12 2018

    On The Gist, Mike skewers a columnist for concluding that President Trump is sane.In the interview, comedian Judah Friedlander wants to let you know that his new comedy special is all him, even though it’s got Netflix’s name on it. The 30 Rock alum talks about matters of social justice, satire, and jingoism.In the Spiel, Democrats should stop questioning Trump’s mental acuity and focus on midterms instead.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • A Cry for Self-Help

    Jan 11 2018

    On The Gist, a brief look at what Norway is doing right.  In the interview, we turn to self-help experts Kristen Meinzer and Jolenta Greenberg about the “new you” books that are good, bad, and absolute nonsense. Meinzer and Greenberg are hosts of the Panoply show By the Book.  In the Spiel, Mike discovers the best transliteration ever.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Radio Reconciliation

    Jan 10 2018

    On The Gist, Joe Arpaio’s life after pardon.   In the interview, MacArthur “genius” award winner Betsy Levy Paluck tells us about her research into mass media and public opinion. We might have the impression that our beliefs are based on reason. But what our neighbors think (or what we think they think) has a lot to do with it, too.In the Spiel, how to charm Twitter trolls into submission. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • What to Make of Fire and Fury

    Jan 09 2018

    On The Gist, Sen. Lindsey Graham is defending the president extra hard on television … because he knows Trump’s watching. In the interview, NPR’s media correspondent David Folkenflik tells us what to make of Fire and Fury, the book that claims to reveal how dysfunctional the Trump administration really is.   In the Spiel, Mike gives props to Oprah for her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes. But that doesn’t mean she should run for president.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit m...more

  • Going for Gridiron

    Jan 06 2018

    On The Gist, third-party voters should answer for Donald Trump’s terrible policies at home and warmongering around the world. In the interview, fields don’t get much more male-dominated than those of the NFL. Our guest Jen Welter made history as the first woman to hold a coaching position in the league, training the Arizona Cardinals' inside linebackers in the 2015 preseason. Welter is the author of Play Big: Lessons in Being Limitless From the First Woman to Coach in the NFL. In the Spiel,...more

  • Move to the Center or Keep on Losing

    Jan 05 2018

    On The Gist, Mike wonders whether the “winner picked out of a bowl” antics in Virginia’s House of Delegates will really matter much. In the interview, former Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire has straightforward advice for candidates in blue-collar America: appeal to the center or lose out. Just as importantly, Altmire argues, the Democratic Party as a whole has to let them do it. Altmire’s book is Dead Center: How Political Polarization Divided America and What We Can Do About It. In the Spiel...more

  • Killed, Then Counted

    Jan 04 2018

    On The Gist, Mike calls foul on the mashup terms used to describe big weather events, such as the latest: bombogenesis.  In the interview, police shootings regularly make headlines, but what does the big picture look like? Sam Sinyangwe is a data analyst at Mapping Police Violence, an organization that recently looked at all 1,129 cases in which a person died at the hands of the police in 2017. And yes, there is a racial disparity.        In the Spiel, the barbs tra...more

  • Behind the Scenes of Slow Burn

    Jan 03 2018

    On The Gist, Mike tips his hat to the musical talents of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, who announced his retirement Tuesday. In the interview, it took a perfect storm to bring down Richard Nixon’s presidency, and it’s not guaranteed that another will come for Donald Trump. Slate’s Leon Neyfakh and Andrew Parsons tell us about their chart-topping podcast, Slow Burn, and why it shouldn’t necessarily give hope to those who want Trump out.    In the Spiel, President Trump’s latest round of s...more

  • It’s Fan Service or Bust

    Dec 30 2017

    On The Gist, Mike is down with feminism but argues that woke should be Merriam-Webster’s word of the year instead. In the interview, Anjelah Johnson was living off grocery store gift cards in L.A. before a new thing called YouTube launched her comedy career. Someone uploaded a video of her stand-up routine to the site in 2007; it quickly racked up millions of views and landed Anjelah an agent. Johnson’s fourth comedy special, Mahalo & Goodnight, is on EPIX, Apple Music, and Spotify. In ...more

  • Your Brain Is Bad With Money

    Dec 29 2017

    On The Gist, Mike says goodbye to Roy Moore yet again, after an Alabama judge rejected Moore’s lawsuit to contest his opponent’s Senate win. In the interview, Dan Ariely tells us “how we misthink money and how to spend smarter.” That’s the subtitle of his book on the ways we value the wrong things and fail to think long term. Ariely is the co-author, with Jeff Kreisler, of Dollars and Sense. In the Spiel, Mike looks back on the worst op-eds of 2017.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit me...more

  • Hobby Lobby Is Just Getting Started

    Dec 28 2017

    On The Gist, Mike runs through the major news of the past few days, while much of the news media is on vacation.      In the interview, Hobby Lobby scored a famous Supreme Court win for evangelicals in 2014, allowing certain corporations to deny covering their employees’ contraception costs. Professor of theology Candida Moss tells us about the family behind the company, and their crusade to promote fundamental Christianity. Moss is the co-author, with Joel Baden, of Bible Nation:...more

  • Deplorables and Snowflakes

    Dec 23 2017

    On The Gist, Ken Stern explains why the deplorable label doesn’t sit well with him, even if it’s defensible. Stern is the author of Republican Like Me: How I Left the Liberal Bubble and Learned to Love the Right. In the Spiel, is life better in the U.S. or Europe? Mike considers it with David Plotz, CEO of Atlas Obscura.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Tax Bill Ballyhoo

    Dec 22 2017

    On The Gist, why the Republican tax overhaul is unlikely to spur hiring. Michael Carpenter explains what we lose when the Trump administration doesn’t try to put the heat on Russia. Carpenter is a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and foreign policy adviser to former Vice President Joe Biden. He and Biden are the co-authors of the Foreign Affairs article, “How to Stand Up to the Kremlin.”In the Spiel, robots take over. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoice...more

  • Trickle Down Now

    Dec 21 2017

    On The Gist, it seems that congressional investigators have nabbed a big fish: Jill Stein.Plus, New York Times columnist David Leonhardt explains why the Republicans absolutely had to pass the tax bill, even if polls suggest it could be an albatross around their necks during the midterms. Leonhardt authors the Times’ absolutely essential Opinion Today newsletter.In the Spiel: Income inequality may not be the perfect descriptor for what ails us, but it’s the best term we’ve got. And the Republica...more

  • Behind the Scenes at The Daily

    Dec 20 2017

    On The Gist, Mike talks about the consequences of fast-tracking a major tax overhaul. In the interview, how did the team behind The Daily manage to create a show that’s unlike anything we’ve heard before and also oddly perfect for this moment in news? Host Michael Barbaro and managing producer Theo Balcomb say they talked extensively about what they didn’t want to sound like. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I never want to do a jobs report,’ ” says Balcomb. “ ‘Can we promise we’re never going to do a ...more

  • Don’t Worry if Baby Turns Orange

    Dec 19 2017

    On the Gist, why we shouldn’t fret every time companies like Netflix show how they’re using our personal data.   In the interview, Maria Konnikova runs us through the foods that can turn your skin orange, blue, and red, and whether that’s even a bad thing. Konnikova is the author of The Confidence Game.  In the Spiel, what the latest Star Wars movie has in common with Donald Trump.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Jeff Ross Got Bored, So He Got Political

    Dec 15 2017

    On The Gist, President Trump’s judicial nominations are starting to look ridiculous. In the interview, comedian Jeff Ross got a little tired of his shtick as a go-to roast guy for Comedy Central’s famous Friars Club sendups. So he started skewering not people, but places, ideas, and institutions. His latest special, ­­Jeff Ross Roasts the Border, takes viewers to Brownsville, Texas, a city along the U.S.-Mexico border where a huge steel fence is meant to keep migrants from crossing into the Unit...more

  • Revisiting Another Democratic Wave

    Dec 15 2017

    Chris Hurst doesn’t want you to know him as the guy whose girlfriend was fatally shot during a live broadcast. But it is a huge part of what compelled him to pursue elected office: “Part of what I want to do is … take this spotlight, that I wish I had a receipt for … ’cause I’d gladly return it, and shine it on people that aren’t normally seen.” Hurst is a newly elected state representative in Virginia. For the Spiel, an exclusive clip from Donald Trump Jr.’s testimony to the House Intelligence ...more

  • The Underdog and the Bully

    Dec 14 2017

    On The Gist, Omarosa makes for the exits.  In honor of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees announced today, we’re playing an excerpt from our live show last month, when we went over the ballot with Hit Parade host Chris Molanphy and Washington Post humorist Alexandra Petri. In the Spiel, reflecting on the Doug Jones win in Alabama.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • It’s Partisanship, Stupid

    Dec 12 2017

    On The Gist, the #MeToo movement is only influential insofar as its targets can feel shame and enact accountability. In the interview, biographer Robert Dallek accounts for Franklin D. Roosevelt’s ruthless pragmatism. As president, FDR made the decision to round up 120,000 Japanese Americans to “strike resonant chords with most Americans,” and he was silent on anti-lynching bills to appease Democratic segregationists who would later help him pass New Deal legislation. Dallek’s book is Franklin D...more

  • The Abortion Fight Led Us Here

    Dec 12 2017

    On The Gist, we can have sympathy for all kinds of people—just not the guy who loses all his money on bitcoin. In the interview, Lenora Chu tells the story of her American family’s rude awakening to Chinese education practices. When Chu moved her family to Shanghai, she eagerly enrolled her young son into an elite Chinese public school. She expected academic rigor and an emphasis on work ethic. But she was surprised to find authoritarian teachers and desperate, obsequious parents. What, if anyth...more

  • Drama in Alabama

    Dec 08 2017

    On The Gist, is President Trump to blame for today’s violence in Gaza? In the interview, columnist John Archibald surveys the Senate race in Alabama, where Doug Jones has become the abortion candidate and Roy Moore has become the Trumpism candidate.  In the Spiel, don’t talk to Mike about Trump’s slurred speech.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Can You Win as the Party of Purity?

    Dec 08 2017

    On The Gist, Walmart gets a new name.  In the interview, Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick thought about one thing when Senate Democrats started calling for Al Franken’s resignation: Merrick Garland, which she points to as the beginning in a trend of Democrats trying to be honorable and Republicans trying to win at all costs. Are Democrats abandoning process too readily, only to see Republicans surge ahead again? Dahlia is the host of Slate’s Amicus. In the Spiel, the FBI’s testimony on Capitol ...more

  • Next Falls Franken?

    Dec 07 2017

    On The Gist, Slate’s Jim Newell explains the moral and political case for forcing out Sen. Al Franken. Dozens of Senate Democrats called on Franken to resign after a seventh woman accused him of sexual misconduct on Tuesday. Bob Garfield has spent much of his journalism career talking to eccentrics. In his one-man show, Ruggedly Jewish, the quest to explore his own identity dovetails with the story of an uneasy America. The show is touring in Chicago on Saturday, Dec. 9. And for the Spiel, ...more

  • The Boys Club on the Bus

    Dec 06 2017

    On The Gist, why Alabama’s decrepitude is not incidental to Roy Moore’s competitive bid for Senate.  In the interview, Russell Shorto tells the stories of six people living through the Revolutionary War—one is George Washington; the other five, you’ve probably never heard of. Shorto’s book is Revolution Song. In the Spiel, a counterpoint to Jill Filipovic’s New York Times column arguing that the sexual harassers who covered the election threw the whole thing to Donald Trump. Learn...more

  • Pete Souza’s Photo Synthesis

    Dec 05 2017

    Before Pete Souza became the most famous troll on Instagram, he was the White House photographer for the duration of the Obama administration. Souza explains his approach to capturing moments and shares why he doesn’t consider his work to be propaganda. His book of pictures from the Obama presidency is Obama: An Intimate Portrait. In the Spiel, should the store that sells you candy also sell you health care?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Bob Saget Doesn’t Think He’s That Raunchy

    Dec 02 2017

    Bob Saget has long been known as the cuddly, sitcom dad with a surprisingly raunchy side. The comedian talks about the two shows that launched his career and the very first jokes he wrote as a teenager. Bob Saget’s comedy special is Zero to Sixty.In the Spiel, Mike pays an overdue visit to mail from listeners, and awards a Lobstar.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Life Is Like Pachinko

    Dec 01 2017

    There hadn’t been an English-language novel about ethnic Koreans living in Japan until this year’s Pachinko. Author Min Jin Lee chalks it up to the complicated history of the Korean Japanese. They were colonized by Japan, they were forced or compelled to migrate, and they were targets of anti-Korean discrimination. But Lee was surprised to find that many Korean Japanese don’t see themselves as victims of racism. “They would actually see it as, culturally, their norm,” says Lee. “I think it’s ver...more

  • A Founding Fathers Bromance

    Nov 29 2017

    Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were very different guys representing opposing political parties. Jefferson was a wildly popular aristocrat from Virginia; Adams was a middling, dyspeptic lawyer from Massachusetts. But they were fast friends, and their relationship ultimately survived a presidential election in which they faced off as candidates. Historian Gordon S. Wood explains why their friendship should give us hope. Wood’s book is Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.In lieu of a...more

  • The Problem With America’s Rich

    Nov 28 2017

    Can you move toward greater income equality without asking America’s richest to give something up? In a word, no. On The Gist, Richard Reeves argues that the upper echelons of the U.S. are bogarting wealth that would otherwise go to the middle class. His latest book is Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It. And today, Mike pulls a Spiel from the archives: What President Trump means when he says eve...more

  • Is Neocon Nation-Building Done For?

    Nov 28 2017

    Elliott Abrams narrowly missed out on the State Department’s No. 2 job under President Trump, and it wasn’t just because of his sharp criticism of Trump, the candidate. In his book, Realism and Democracy, he argues that the U.S. should stay involved ­in the Arab world, going against the Trump administration’s “America First” doctrine. Abrams also sounds off on Trump’s use of the presidential pardon. In the Spiel, Mike weighs the New York Times’ coverage of your run-of-the-mill American Nazi.Lear...more

  • Dana Gould’s Take on Horror

    Nov 23 2017

    Standup comic and writer Dana Gould talks to Mike about growing up in a family of manly hunters and writing a character inspired by his dad. Gould is the creator of IFC’s Stan Against Evil, a show about a small-town New Hampshire sheriff who fights demons.  In the Spiel, how to get a rise out of your uncle over the holidays.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Anti-War Candidate Was Invented in 1968

    Nov 22 2017

    The anti-war movement of 1968 looks inevitable today, but at the time, it felt “freaking bananas.” MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell explains the charisma of Bobby Kennedy, the fervor of Eugene McCarthy, and the crushing blow they dealt to sitting President Lyndon B. Johnson, who withdrew from the campaign after a narrow win in the New Hampshire primary. O’Donnell wrote about the race in his latest book, Playing With Fire. In the Spiel, Mike skewers president Trump’s double standards when it comes...more

  • What’s Next for Zimbabwe?

    Nov 21 2017

    In his 37 years as president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe has learned how to play hardball. While his past methods have invited sanctions for human rights violations, the 93-year-old is staying within the confines of the law to fend off the coup at his doorstep. Chipo Dendere, a visiting assistant professor of political science at Amherst College, tells us more. In the Spiel, Mike considers Charles Manson and why serial killers don’t get attention like they used to.Learn more about your ad ch...more

  • At Home With Gilbert Gottfried

    Nov 17 2017

    Comedian Gilbert Gottfried is known for his notorious voice and jokes that toe the borderline between daring and tasteless. In the documentary Gilbert, we see his softer side: his wife, Dara, rubs schmutz off his robe, his kids hug him goodbye before padding off to school, he sweet-talks a hotel concierge into giving him free deodorant. Gottfried, Dara, and the film’s director Neil Berkeley joined Mike to talk about what makes Gilbert special.  In the Spiel, are you running for office? A si...more

  • The Nazi-Busting Woman Erased by History

    Nov 17 2017

    Elizebeth Smith got her start poring over Shakespearean verse for secret messages that were not there. But she soon used those skills to break codes used by America’s enemies in both world wars. The FBI took credit for her decryptions of Nazi messages, and her husband’s work received much greater attention from the wars’ historians. Jason Fagone changes that with his latest book,­ The Woman Who Smashed Codes, and joins Mike to talk about it.  In the Spiel, Mike surveys podcasting comedians’...more

  • People Power Beats the Courts

    Nov 16 2017

    How can savvy activism topple decades of legal precedent? The ACLU’s David Cole tells us about three issues in which like-minded citizens advanced their agenda: marriage equality, gun ownership, and checking George W. Bush’s war on terror. Cole’s book is Engines of Liberty: The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law.  In the Spiel, Mike considers Brett Talley, President Trump’s odd pick for federal district judge.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Putting the Con in Economics

    Nov 15 2017

    President Trump’s top economics adviser is Kevin Hassett, a guy who has made some very bad calls—most notably, his assertion that the Bush tax cuts would make the U.S. economy recession-proof. New Yorker writer Adam Davidson takes us to economics school and parses some of Hassett’s years old gobbledygook.  In the Spiel, holding Bill Clinton’s accusers to today’s standards.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Prisons of Profit

    Nov 14 2017

    As America’s prison population surged in the ’80s and ’90s, private prisons were billed as the solution. They were supposed to bring innovations to incarceration and save tax dollars. But as criminal justice expert Lauren-Brooke Eisen tells us, private prisons are no more cost-effective, and the corporations behind them operate in secrecy. Eisen’s book is Inside Private Prisons.  In the Spiel, Mike skewers the Republican tax plan.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoice...more

  • The Family Man

    Nov 11 2017

    Loudon Wainwright III has been plumbing his personal relationships and dysfunctions for decades in his music. His latest book continues on that theme as he examines the influence of his father. The book is Liner Notes: On Parents & Children, Exes & Excess, Death & Decay, & a Few of My Other Favorite Things.In the Spiel, Mike is not yet done talking about Roy Moore and Louis C.K. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Why Bush 41 Was the Anti-Trump

    Nov 09 2017

    As the Soviet Union crumbled, George H.W. Bush’s strategy was simple: say nothing. Historian Jeffrey Engel tells us about Bush’s plain oratory and his relationship with the USSR’s last leader, Mikhail Gorbachev. Engel says Bush Sr. and Trump scarcely look like they’re from the same party—which, of course, they aren’t. His book is When the World Seemed New.In the Spiel, reacting to the allegations against Roy Moore and Louis C.K.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • About Last Night

    Nov 09 2017

    Democrats are feeling triumphant after Tuesday’s state and local elections. But it’s not a referendum on the president until his name is on the ballot, so E.J. Dionne and Thomas Mann are here to explain remains unique about this moment in American history. Dionne, Mann, and Norman Ornstein are the authors of the book One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported. In the Spiel, hating on the latest iOS update.Learn more about yo...more

  • The Paradox of Black Patriotism

    Nov 08 2017

    Theodore Johnson caught our attention for his tweets about how the White House reacts to protest from black Americans. He brings an interesting perspective as a black man in the U.S. with two decades of military service under his belt—identities, he writes, that stand “toe to toe.” Johnson is a fellow at New America and a former speechwriter for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In the Spiel, what Harvey Weinstein’s network of spies tells us about the power of legacy media. Le...more

  • Lynn Novick on Making The Vietnam War

    Nov 07 2017

    How do you attempt to document an event as complex and inexplicable as the Vietnam War? Filmmaker Lynn Novick says it helped to prioritize Vietnamese voices as well as people with a flair for speaking. “There’s a poetry in just how people express themselves that we look for,” said Novick. She and Ken Burns co-directed The Vietnam War, airing now on PBS. In the Spiel, Mike tsk-tsks Donna Brazile’s tell-all. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Free to Be You and #MeToo

    Nov 04 2017

    The #MeToo movement is flushing out clear-cut cases of sexual harassment and assault, but is it helping us judge cases that are far murkier? Erin Gloria Ryan, senior editor for the Daily Beast, wonders whether people will separate into two camps: those who think accusers should be listened to, regardless of consequences, and those who think the accused should be punished, regardless of evidence. In the Spiel, is this really the lowest point in U.S. history?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit...more

  • Get Inside the Brain of Michael Rapaport

    Nov 02 2017

    The tax plan is out, and New Yorker writer Adam Davidson joins us to play One Question, One Question Only: Is this tax reform? And the voluble Michael Rapaport unleashes his opinions about various “stickmen” (read: athletic Casanovas) and why he’s embarrassed to be a Knicks fan. Rapaport’s new book is This Book Has Balls: Sports Rants from the MVP of Talking Trash, and he hosts the podcast I Am Rapaport. And in the Spiel, what went wrong in protecting Americans from armies of Russian trolls...more

  • Talk Like a Pirate (Party) Day

    Nov 02 2017

    Birgitta Jónsdóttir has an unusual background for a politician: she’s a poet and a free speech activist. Since 2013, she’s been a member of the Icelandic parliament representing the anti-establishment Pirate Party. Jónsdóttir talks to Mike about what it’s like to work within a fledgling political party and why she’s disappointed with what Wikileaks has become.In the Spiel, how not to respond to a terrorist attack. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices