Podcast

The Gist

For thirty minutes each day, Pesca challenges himself and his audience, in a responsibly provocative style, and gets beyond the rigidity and dogma. The Gist is surprising, reasonable, and willing to critique the left, the right, either party, or any idea.

Episodes

  • An Alaskan Election Direction Inspection

    Aug 16 2022

    Sarah Palin is on the ballot to serve her home state as its At-Large member of Congress. Let’s just say, the process is hardly straightforward. Plus, Dr. Patricia Campos-Medina, the Executive Director of The Worker Institute at Cornell University, discusses union drives at Amazon and Starbucks and if there’s ever a reason for workers to reject an organizing drive. Plus, how Better Call Saul is the rare show that tried to examine what real people might really do in dramatic, made-for-TV-type circ...more

  • What He Lost When We lost Afghanistan

    Aug 15 2022

    Journalist, novelist, and former Marine, Elliot Ackerman, who fought the Taliban, joins Mike to discuss his new book “The 5th Act: America’s End In Afghanistan”. Plus, an extroverted Norwegian walrus meets an ignominious end, and assessing our current news drought.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Leave George Washington’s Thighs Alone

    Aug 13 2022

    In the interview, Mike chats with historian Alexis Coe, author of the new book You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington. They discuss the founding-father's height, dentures and that awkward obsession male historians have about the man's thighs.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey Wara and Ian ScottoEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • High Steaks Talks

    Aug 12 2022

    Nathan Allebach, brand consultant and author of https://www.vulture.com/2019/06/brand-twitter-jokes-history.html was for many years the twitter voice of Steak-umm brand meats. As such he engaged with gaseous comedians and angsty millennials and has some theories as to why it all worked. Plus, a media without breathing room makes for madness and the Mar-A-Lago black boxes are like dada experimental theater.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey Wara and Ian ScottoEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo...more

  • Twitchy Monkey Forbearing Dragon

    Aug 11 2022

    China thinks in centuries but strikes quickly. China is patient, but impetuous. Is China all these things, or is our shorthand more malleable than diagnostic? And we are joined once more by Jason Kander author of "Invisible Storm: A Soldier's Memoir of Politics and PTSD”. Plus, America plunged into day 3 of the cardboard box crisis that can undue civilization.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey Wara and Ian ScottoEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertis...more

  • Politics and PTSD

    Aug 10 2022

    Jason Kander was a Democrat-on-the-rise, who was silently struggling with demons. He tells the story of casting aside politics for his own mental survival in “Invisible Storm: A Soldier's Memoir of Politics and PTSD” Plus, our habit of publicly predicting death and civil war after every right-wing paroxysm doesn't serve anyone well, and Domino's somehow fails to take hold in the birthplace of pizza.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey Wara and Ian ScottoEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advert...more

  • Burned Again and Again

    Aug 09 2022

    Tomorrow President Biden Signs the Pact Act into law, dedicating funds and expanding VA health care to veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances. Jason Piccolo, Host of the Protectors Podcast, served in Iraq and has the lungs to show for it. Plus, what the raid on Mar-a-Lago means, and Ben and Jerry's won't have a chance to personally market their Netanyhagoo crunch or their Wailing Wall Swirl in Israel.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo a...more

  • Path Lit By Lightning

    Aug 08 2022

    Jim Thorpe was the AP's greatest Athlete of the first half of the 20th century and has a strong claim to the title Greatest of All Time. But his story, as opposed to his myth, is largely untold, until now. David Maraniss’ joins to discuss his new book is Path Lit by Lightning: The Life of Jim Thorpe. Plus, Joe Biden shouldn't get much credit for Joe Manchin's turnaround, but he shouldn't have gotten the blame either. Plus, a mini-boycott of Trump Toilet Talk.Produced by Joel Patterson, Corey War...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Unintended Consequences

    Aug 06 2022

    In this installment of Best Of The Gist, we listen back to Monday’s Spiel about “unintended consequences,” as they relate to the Dobbs decision. And that inspired us to dig up Mike’s 2017 interview with Kurt Andersen about his book Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire, in which, Andersen bemoans a system on the brink.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Learn more about your ad choices. Visi...more

  • Podcast For Sale!

    Aug 05 2022

    A Bloomberg investigation shows that some podcasters are selling guest slots for up to $50,000. We’ll open the Gist’s ledger to see who the highest- and lowest-paid guests have been. And we’re joined once more by Rafael A. Mangual, author of Criminal (In)Justice: What the Push for Decarceration and Depolicing Gets Wrong and Who It Hurts Most. Plus, Monkey Pox messaging isn’t exactly accurate, but at least it’s not mean.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo ...more

  • Disagreeing On De-policing

    Aug 04 2022

    Policing in America has no easy answers, but my guest Rafael A. Mangual suggests we aren’t even asking the right questions. He’s of the opinion that many beliefs critical of police are misplaced, while other real reforms go un pursued. His book is Criminal (In)Justice: What The Push For Decarceration And Depolicing Gets Wrong And Who It Hurts Most. Plus, charging the cops who really were responsible for the death of Breonna Taylor. And the Kansas abortion vote doesn’t mean everything has changed...more

  • Pelosi’s Taiwan Tour

    Aug 03 2022

    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan was unexpected. Accused of recklessness, dissuaded by Biden, cheered by McConnell, it was risky. What’s the possible reward? We are joined by Asia experts Neil Thomas from The Eurasia Group and Professor David Kang from USC, for an extended discussion on what the heck Nancy was doing. And while Madame Speaker is in the crosshairs of one of the world’s scariest military forces, her husband Paul is in the crosshairs of Fox News. Plus, Alex Jones u...more

  • Is It The Right Era For The ERA?

    Aug 02 2022

    Kate Shaw, Professor of Law at Cardozo Law School, and co-host of Strict Scrutiny analyzes if the women’s rights movement needs to campaign more explicitly for adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment. Plus, Beyonce amends a lyric, and Ayman al-Zawahiri is no more.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Manchin Chucklefest

    Aug 01 2022

    West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin made the rounds of every Sunday Show, and we break down the game film, so you can consider yourself a good citizen but also stay sane. Plus, the unintended suffering wrought by the Dobbs decision. And Kate Shaw, ABC Legal Analyst and co-host of the Strict Scrutiny podcast, is here to talk about the Equal Rights Amendment, which, many of its backers claim, actually passed and should be the law of the land.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegi...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Korean Edition

    Jul 30 2022

    From our archives, we listen back to Mike’s 2015 interview with Kim Jong-il’s former poet laureate, Jang Jin-sung. He’s the author of Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee: A Look Inside North Korea. And in this past Wednesday’s Spiel, Mike enlightens us about South Korea’s tradition of Presidential prosecution and revels in a low-hanging pun.Produced by Joel PattersonEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Learn more about your ad choices. ...more

  • The Joe Manchin Doom Loop

    Jul 29 2022

    West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin is now in support of the a bill to address climate, health care, and taxes. So, happy day and all is forgiven! But many are feeling scarred and even despondent. Is that useful? Plus, we’re joined by publisher Sean Michael Robinson and Eisner-nominated cartoonist Carson Grubaugh to discuss the first ever AI-generated comic, The Abolition Of Man. And, yes, it’s an Antwentig, where we discuss fundraising successes and follow-up questions…or lack thereof.Produced by...more

  • Treating The Aurora Mass Shooter

    Jul 28 2022

    Ten years ago, a disturbed young man entered a Colorado movie theater, where he shot and killed twelve people, wounding 70 more. We speak with his psychiatrist Lynne Fenton about warning signs, treatment options and what more, if anything, could have been done. Fenton’s new book is AURORA: The Psychiatrist Who Treated the Movie Theater Killer Tells Her Story. Plus, tomorrow’s $1.02 Billion lottery will probably make the winner happy, which is the point, but it seems to be one many people rebut. ...more

  • All Of The Marvel Pages Through The Ages

    Jul 27 2022

    Douglas Wolk has read every Marvel comic there is (well, except the likes of Strawberry Shortcake and corporate tie-ins )…that’s 28,000 or so comics! He answers such questions as “How?” and “Why?” on the show. Plus, Joe Manchin is now on board for a major piece of climate and tax legislation. And in South Korea, the tradition of Presidential prosecution continues, with a mass murder on a fishing boat providing the latest fodder.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepes...more

  • Space Race International Base About Face

    Jul 26 2022

    On this, the day the Russians announced a cosmic decoupling from the International Space Station, we are joined by Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi, co-creators, showrunners, writers and executive producers of the Apple TV+ show For All Mankind. Plus, judging the possibly presidential governors on their covid responses, and how grain prices explode some myths about oil prices.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertiseca...more

  • Civil War: Possible Or Probable?

    Jul 25 2022

    When the question arises: When is the right time for political violence? The answer, of course, is “never.” Strangely, though, when researchers and pollsters ask that question of the American populace, “never” has yet to be the result. We talk with Malcolm Nance about his new book, They Want To Kill Americans: The Militias, Terrorists, and Deranged Ideology of the Trump Insurgency.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://a...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: The Mailman And The Secretary

    Jul 23 2022

    In this installment of Best Of The Gist, we resurfaced a couple clips from our Tuesday interview with Douglas Farah (author of Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible), which we intentionally left on the cutting room floor but later decided they might be fun for listeners. Dust off your 90s NBA references!And then we listen back to Mike’s Thursday Spiel about Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s testimony to the House Transportation & Infrastructure Co...more

  • Trump’s Yesterdays Implicate His Tomorrows

    Jul 22 2022

    Stuart Gerson, former Assistant Attorney General in the George H.W. Bush White House, and Acting Attorney General under Bill Clinton, has been watching the January 6th hearings. He has concluded that the DOJ must prosecute Trump. We ask him how he came to his conclusion. Plus, it’s Steve Bannon’s turn in the barrel, as he’s convicted of slipping out on a subpoena. And in the Spiel, Donald Trump may not be able to say “yesterday,” but the spoken word is not his only means of expression.Produced b...more

  • Thot Thoughts

    Jul 21 2022

    A former aide to Peter Navarro rips his actually heroic former colleagues as hos and “thots”. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s testimony to the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee gets reduced to the stupidest quasi-dispute. And in the interview, Scott Small, the Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Columbia University, discusses his new book, Forgetting: The Benefits Of Not Remembering.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepe...more

  • Some Dare Call It “Cowardice”

    Jul 20 2022

    The concept of cowardice was once a constant, but it has waned as an explanation for social phenomena. Though, in recent weeks, the lack of action among the (non) responders in Uvalde, Texas has prompted a reconsideration. Bravery has many bards, but there is literally only one book on the concept of cowardice, Cowardice: A Brief History. It's author, Chris Walsh, is on the show. Plus, a Sesame Place dis leads to allegations of racism; and a moose, a goose, and a flute might soon join the symbol...more

  • Trading The Merchant Of Death For Brittney Griner

    Jul 19 2022

    Russian Viktor Bout is a notorious arms dealer who has been imprisoned in the U.S. for eleven years, and he’s being talked about as part of a trade for WNBA star Brittney Griner. We’re joined by Douglas Farah, author of Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible, which is the book on Bout. We’re also thinking of British heat by degrees. And call Joe Manchin self-interested, dishonest or corrupt for scotching the big tax and climate bill, but you know who played it...more

  • The Fog Of Cuomo, The Rationality Of Buttigieg

    Jul 18 2022

    Lis Smith, author of Any Given Tuesday: A Political Love Story, is still young, 39, but she’s a veteran political consultant. On the national stage, she helped Pete Buttigieg make his name, but she couldn’t keep Andrew Cuomo from ruining his. Also, the search for a sufficiently (but not excessively) alarmist voice on Monkeypox.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choic...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Jupiter or Saudi Arabia...which is weirder?

    Jul 16 2022

    In this installment of Best Of The Gist, with the newly switched-on James Webb Space Telescope dominating the non-political news this week, we chose a space-themed segment from the archives. In this July 11, 2016 interview, Mike talks with Summer Ash, an astronomy educator and writer, about NASA’s Juno Mission to Jupiter. It’s all about the big red spot!Then, we’ve got a Gist podcast extra with The Atlantic’s Graeme Wood. He was on the show this past Tuesday talking about Biden’s upcoming rendez...more

  • American Medicine And Race

    Jul 15 2022

    Linda Villarosa, author of Under The Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation, discusses disparate health outcomes in the U.S. Plus, what it takes for a tragic story to become a tragic story everyone knows. And there is no one man to blame for the Dem’s bill on climate failure, but if there was one, it might not be who you think.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast...more

  • A Bold Refrain Explains Ukrainian Grain

    Jul 14 2022

    An agreement is reached to help feed the world and export grain from Ukraine. Mike explains this musically, thus dipping to a Lerner & Loewe point. Plus, Biden’s verbal struggles as compare to his Republican predecessors. And the first half of our interview with Linda Villarosa, author of Under The Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https:/...more

  • Warning Shot

    Jul 13 2022

    UCLA law professor Adam Winkler says the recent SCOTUS ruling on handgun licensing wasn’t just a gun rights case, it was the first step in a big shift toward taking more and more power away from the States to do anything to stem the tide of gun violence. In the Spiel, we play “Names In The News,” including telescopes, former Clinton Officials, and the successfully fled. And, how hard is it to plan a coup anyway?Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertis...more

  • MBS, It’s Good To Meet Ya!

    Jul 12 2022

    The Atlantic’s Graeme Wood interviewed Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and travelled the country to assess the impact the 36 year old is having on a kingdom trying to unmoor itself from antiquity. President Biden might want to listen to this debrief. Plus, The January 6th Committee hears from some key figures on Teams Crazy and Normal. Also, the glories of the Webb Telescope and the valuable service it provides in our slow realization that the Hubble was lying to us all thi...more

  • Who (Or What) Caused Inflation To Rise?

    Jul 11 2022

    There's no way to solve inflation if you don't understand what caused inflation.  And what caused inflation, aside from the supply chain, and the Ukrainian war was domestic spending. David Laibson Robert I. Goldman Professor of Economics at Harvard University drops by to offer his insight and solutions.  Also on the show, SCOTUS made fetuses people when it comes to abortion, but what about in other contexts? And in the Spiel, has Joe Biden lost his desire to fight?Produced by Joel Patterson and ...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Trump’s Words and Johnson’s Own Personal Brexit

    Jul 09 2022

    In this installment of Best Of The Gist, we start with a podcast extra we held over from our Thursday interview with Professor of Rhetoric Jennifer Mercieca, author of Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump, about how the former President uses language as a weapon. And then, in honor of Boris Johnson’s removal from the UK Prime Minister role, we listen back to Mike’s 2016 interview with Financial Times columnist Ed Luce conducted shortly after Boris was named UK Foreign M...more

  • Everything You Know About Relationships Is Wrong

    Jul 08 2022

    The internet collectively dunked on an incredibly stupid statement about gun laws. Also on the show, Eric Barker, author of Plays Well with Others: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Relationships Is (Mostly) Wrong. Plus, it’s an Antwentig! A new Lobstar is born.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Usual Victims Are Usually Forgotten

    Jul 07 2022

    Professor of Rhetoric Jennifer Mercieca, author of Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump, has submitted evidence to the January 6th Committee as to how Donald Trump uses words to incite violence more slyly than meets the eye. Plus, Boris Johnson is out, and a comparison of orphaned victims of gun violence tells us what we all know but seldom grapple with: the usual victims are usually forgotten.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo ...more

  • Activists Not Talking, Not Doing…Just Gluing.

    Jul 06 2022

    Anti-oil activist have taken to gluing themselves to works of art to make a point. As if we were going to pass that one up! Also on the show, we’re joined once more by Sarah Longwell of the Bulwark, who reveals what her focus groups are telling her about the January 6th Commission. Plus, HIMARS systems are advanced weapons having a big impact in Ukraine; compared to American forms of threat abatement, they’re pretty straight forward.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mi...more

  • Abortion Changes Politics

    Jul 05 2022

    Sarah Longwell, host of the podcast The Focus Group—and also host of actual bona-fide, gold-standard focus groups—reports on the changing sentiment after the Dobbs ruling. Plus, a president tries to shame companies into lowering prices, while a governor thinks now is the time for fiscal stimulus. And the Highland Park shooter is, in some ways, atypical, but, at the same, time horrifyingly familiar.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show,...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Is SCOTUS Legit?

    Jul 02 2022

    On this week’s installment of Best Of The Gist, we listen back to a chunk of Mike’s September 2020 interview with Jonathan V. Last, editor of The Bulwark. Last explains that although remaining optimistic with regards to the legitimacy of the SCOTUS, he is ultimately losing faith that some voters care not for a system of governance that is capable of functioning competently. Then, we listen to Mike’s Monday Spiel on a similar theme.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mike...more

  • Big Lies Never Seem To Die

    Jul 01 2022

    The 1954 film Salt Of The Earth was made under enormous strain. The production crew had been blacklisted; the cast was half professionals, half laborers; and J. Edgar Hoover's FBI was interfering with this supposed piece of communist propaganda. Writer and creator John Mankiewicz, along with director Aaron Lipstadt, discuss The Big Lie, their Audible Original story (via Fresh Produce Media) of the making of the film. Plus, no one much likes fact-checking Biden, and a USB stick lost in Japan lead...more

  • General Optimism

    Jun 30 2022

    When it comes to Ukraine, former U.S. Army Lieutenant General Ben Hodges is more hopeful than much of the military establishment. The former Commanding General of the United States Army in Europe makes his case. Also on the show, the Supreme Court's makes for confusing case law...sometimes they're textualists, sometimes they find different justifications to suit their actual doctrinal goals. And in the Spiel, President Biden thinks the U.S. is experiencing comparatively low inflation, even thoug...more

  • Treating Cassidy Bombastically

    Jun 29 2022

    Does Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony change everything, clarify vividly, or demand corroboration urgently? Possibly, definitely and not necessarily says Quinta Jurecic, Senior Editor at Lawfare. Plus, Mike analyzes the idea of an "Inverse-OPEC" not to be confused with the Upside Down NATO, and the Double Reverse Unesco.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit...more

  • The Heinz Hits The Fan

    Jun 28 2022

    Cassidy Hutchinson, former Mark Meadows aid testifies before the committee that Donald Trump...did a lot. A Very lot. Plus, Princeton Professor of Sociology Patrick Sharkey and author of the 2018 book Uneasy Peace: The Great Crime Decline, the Renewal of City Life, and the Next War on Violence, talks about if we are indeed experiencing that next war. Plus, the left critique of Democratic leaders not doing enough to fight for abortion rights.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at th...more

  • Is SCOTUS Illegitimacy Talk Legit?

    Jun 27 2022

    After Dobbs, the Supreme Court can lay claim to a lot of pejorative: “extreme,” “unsafe,” “unfair,” “unkind” …but what about “illegitimate?” Also, how Chief Justice Roberts’ lonely status is entirely unsurprising. Plus Mike interviews Kim Masters of The Hollywood Reporter and host of KCRW’s The Business about the massive Netflix sell off, and how it changes what we, and Wall Street, thought about streaming.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on ...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: The Case Against The Two-Party System

    Jun 25 2022

    In this installment of Best Of The Gist, with recent gun reform regulations in our near past, the January 6th Hearings ongoing, and the ramifications of the overturn of Roe versus Wade yet to fully wash over us, we find ourselves yet again wondering about the future of our democracy. If only something could be done to lessen the chasm between the two parties…like maybe stop thinking about our politics as a binary equation? We thought it a good moment to listen back to Mike’s January 14, 2020 int...more

  • Roe's Shockingly Expected Demise

    Jun 24 2022

    The Supreme Court says we have no right to our rights, and it leaves women to suffer. Mike looks at historic death rates from abortion and advances a constitutional argument to protect the youngest victims. We’re also joined by Ben Wittes, Editor In Chief of Lawfare to talk about the Senate’s Jan 6th hearings, discuss which version of stupid-versus-crazy best serves Trump as a legal defense, and what the costs of prosecution might be.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@m...more

  • Tracy Flick Strikes Back

    Jun 23 2022

    In his latest novel, Tracy Flick Can’t Win, author Tom Perrotta attempts to wrestle his iconic character (which Reece Witherspoon helped to brand in the 1998 film Election) away from the zeitgeist and return her to the fictional universe he created for her. Mike and Tom discuss how one does that exactly. Also, you may not be following the internet the way Donald Trump does. And in the Spiel, Mike mulls over the Supreme Court ruling on guns.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at the...more

  • The Presidential Sofa Stuffed With $4 Million

    Jun 22 2022

    When $4 to $8 million was allegedly stolen from his ranch, which had been hidden inside a sofa, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa was accused of covering up his status as crime victim. Mike attempts to track a tale that winds its way through Windhoek, a spy master, an antelope auction, and, possibly, a one-armed soccer star. Plus, Sunshine Hillygus, Professor of Political Science a Duke, talks about the wrong way we try to convince young people to vote. And a January 6th insurrectionist ge...more

  • ALL The Colors Of The Rainbow (Except One)

    Jun 21 2022

    The Pride flag is synonymous with inclusion…unless, of course, you are the color indigo. Confused? That’s why we’ve convened another Vexillology Corner with Ted Kaye, secretary of the North American Vexillological Association and the author of Good Flag, Bad Flag. Plus, the Texas Senate committee on the Uvalde shooting convenes, as the US House of Representatives January 6th commission continues. And in the Spiel, a misleading CNN report purports to find massive racial disparities in hundreds of...more

  • Introducing History is US

    Jun 20 2022

    Written and narrated by award-winning author and Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, Dr. Eddie S. Glaude, “History is US” is a 6-part audio documentary produced and developed by C13Originals that asks questions about who we are as a nation, and what race might reveal about our current crisis. Through the voices of distinguished historians and scholars, this limited series gives listeners the background and education to understand how we got here and how we can all use ...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Eddie Glaude

    Jun 18 2022

    In this installment of Best Of The Gist, we listen back to Mike’s August 7, 2020 interview with Dr. Eddie Glaude, Jr. of Princeton University. The two discussed Glaude’s newest book and its release in the context of the recent civil uprisings. Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own poses a fundamental argument around how getting it wrong culturally has hurt the fabric of our nation. Glaude helps make sense of where we are today and explains that Baldwin understoo...more

  • Napoleon Dynamite Meets Sid And Nancy

    Jun 17 2022

    Kyle Gallner and Emily Skeggs talk about their movie "Dinner in America" about a a repressed suburban Michigan girl and the punk rocker who injects some needed chaos in her life. Plus how an alleged insurrectionist relates to a Lizzo lyric and in the Antwentig, a dispute over a barren rock is offered up as a lesson for us all, but especially Vladamir Putin.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist ...more

  • The Elephant (NON) Woman

    Jun 16 2022

    A State Court sensibly says elephants aren't people. But when a court case is filed, it gives legitimacy to an argument no matter how fetched. Also, Former United States Circuit Judge and conservative icon Michael Luttig lets the January 6 commission know that Donald Trump is still a clear and present Danger. Plus, former Barak Obama Aid and Pod Save America host Dan Pfeiffer joins us to discuss if jettisoning objectivity helps us all and where he places his podcasting endeavors in the media fir...more

  • Facebook, Fox And Far-Fetched Fictions

    Jun 15 2022

    Dan Pfeiffer, former a senior advisor to President Barack Obama, is out with a new book “Battling the Big Lie: How Fox, Facebook, and the Maga Media Are Destroying America”. Plus did a US Representatives give reconnaissance tours the day before the January 6 insurrection? And a farewell to the comedy, and hypothetical question stylings of Justice Stephen Breyer.Email us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Vi...more

  • A California Template For Assault Weapons Ban

    Jun 14 2022

    California children are half as likely to be shot as kids in other states, and per capita California has experienced fewer mass slaughters than the nation as a whole. One reason is the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control act of 1989. We Talk to Mike Roos about the ins and outs of getting that legislation passed. Plus, What would we think of the assaults on the capitol is they took place in another country. Mike defends America more than you'd think, maybe more than it deserves.Produced by Joel ...more

  • The Project That Collects And Projects Violence

    Jun 13 2022

    Dr. Jillian Peterson Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Hamline University is President and cofounder of The Violence Project. She has been analyzing the commonalities of mass shooters for years and has developed a profile of the perpetrators. She also has a wealth of knowledge mass shootings based on data, case histories and in-person interviews.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheG...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Larry Wilmore and James Kirchick

    Jun 11 2022

    In August 2016, Larry Wilmore’s talk show was canceled. The Nightly Show focused on issues like equality, activism, and how racism subtly wormed its way into American life. In hindsight, it feels ahead of its time. In this installment of Best Of The Gist, we will listen back to that June 9, 2017 interview with Wilmore, who then launched a podcast, Black On The Air, which continues to this day.But first, some say the power in Washington DC can be found in control of the purse strings, other say i...more

  • A Powerful Hearing; If You Were Listening

    Jun 10 2022

    A full rundown of ALLLL the coverage of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. More than you thought you needed to know. And we're joined by Professor of History and Media David Greenberg to discuss his recent essay in Liberties, The War on Objectivity in American Journalism – The War on Objectivity in American Journalism - Liberties (libertiesjournal.com)Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on th...more

  • Veteran Comic Feels The Chill

    Jun 09 2022

    Judy Gold author of Yes, I Can Say That: When They Come for the Comedians, We Are All in Trouble, says that, in fact, we are all in trouble. Plus, Justice Kavanaugh's assassin's actual goal, and PR goal thwarted, and Bernie Sanders bemoans the bumper sticker "Well, we can’t do much, but the other side is worse."Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaph...more

  • DC's Decades-long Hostility Towards Homosexuality

    Jun 08 2022

    James Kirchick author of Secret City: The hidden history of gay Washington says an unfounded fear of spilling secrets kept many inside the closet. Plus, a Washington Post retweet that set off a meltdown and the duck-sauce murderer.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Texas Politicians Perform The Two-Step On Guns

    Jun 07 2022

    Scott Braddock host of the Texas Take Podcast and Editor of the Quorum Report. Plus: Panic in Needle Spiking Park, and Chesa Budin, Boris Johnson, and the argument everyone subject to a recall makes.  http://quorumreport.com/index.cfmhttps://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/texas-take/id1122884023Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • A Place For George Carlin's Stuff

    Jun 06 2022

    Michael Bonfiglio, Director, Producer, and writer of the HBO documentary “George Carlin's American Dream” discussed where to position Carlin in the history of comedy and also within the culture of his day and today. Plus, Boris Johnson inspires at least some confidence, and how to cover the mass shootings that occur every single day.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Student Debt And Johnny Depp

    Jun 04 2022

    In this installment of Best Of The Gist, we listen back to Mike’s October 21, 2016 interview with Adam Davidson on the topic of a student loan bailout. Adam explains why eliminating college debt falls short of solving the country’s inequality crisis. Then we listen back to Mike’s take on Wednesday’s verdict in the Amber Heard versus Johnny Depp lawsuit.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Lea...more

  • The Benign Menace Of Stephen Root

    Jun 03 2022

    He played seemingly memorable roles from stapler-obsessed Office Space worker to dork vampire in True Blood and Order of the Coagula member in Get Out. Now Steven Root is Monroe Fuches on HBO's Barry. We talk goats and ghosts. Plus does Amber Heard losing mean that juries are incapable of making the right decision in cases involving abuse? Plus, Turkey wants a name change.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisec...more

  • Is Corporate Rectitude A Trap?

    Jun 03 2022

    Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Professor of Management Practice at the Yale School of Management and the president of the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute argues that doing good is good for business. Mike is a little suspicious. Also Cops shamed by Pride, and Canada strongly endorses, nay celebrates, both vulvas and vaginas at long last.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ...more

  • No Business Being In Russia

    Jun 01 2022

    Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Professor in Practice of Management at Yale and Founder of Chief Executive Leadership Institute, is maintaining a list of companies doing business in Russia. The list is working, as more businesses are finding staying in isn't worth it. Plus, in Johnny D. legal news: Depp wins, Durham loses.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megapho...more

  • Rescuing Basketball's Past

    May 31 2022

    Claude Johnson, author of The Black Fives: The Epic Story of Basketball's Forgotten Era, is here to talk about the greatest basketball teams and players that have almost been lost to obscurity, but for the efforts of Johnson and a few others. Plus, Greg Abbott goes back to 1845 to rationalize gun laws, and what wisdom Dan Bongino sheds on the gun control debate.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/The...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: It’s Time To Ban The AR-15

    May 28 2022

    On this installment of Best Of The Gist, we listen back to an interview from November 25, 2015, which, sadly, is still relevant in the wake of recent mass shootings. Three years before this interview with Ron Davis and Lucia McBath, they experienced a parent’s worst nightmare, when their 17-year-old son was shot while Black Friday shopping with his friends. The HBO documentary 3½ Minutes, Ten Bullets tells the story of how they pursued justice for their son. After that, we listen back to this pa...more

  • A Hundred Billion Dollars In The Seat Cushions

    May 27 2022

    California has a huge budget surplus, more than all but a few states have budgets. Sophia Ballag, California politics reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle discusses why spending all that money may not be so easy. Plus, The War of Words between Valadomir Zelensky and Henry Kissinger. And it’s an Antwentig.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone...more

  • GOP Has No Good Gun Answers

    May 26 2022

    Top Republican officials are offering thoughts, prayers locked doors, inaccurate stats and a call for more of the same defenses that haven't worked to address the problem of mass murders. Plus, Max Kerman, lead singer of the Canadian rock band Arkells, or as they're referred to in Canada, the rock band Arkells joins us. Bet you didn't have that on your Bingo Card. But what DO you have on that card? Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show...more

  • Uniquely Proficient Killing Machines

    May 25 2022

    Mike is once again joined by retired Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO and author of To Risk it All. Also how the Georgia primary turnout didn't seem at all suppressed, and Mike calls for a ban on the AR-15Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • A Hot War, A School Shooting

    May 24 2022

    Admiral James Stavridis, author of To Risk It All: Nine Conflicts and the Crucible of Decision joins us to discuss military developments in Ukraine. An OK state representative has an idea about reproductive health Nobody is sure to like. And Mike thinks about how to think about yet another awful school shooting, which we should be able to call unimaginable.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist ...more

  • How Not To Catastrophize The Climate Change Catastrophe

    May 23 2022

    Climate scientist Michael Mann author of The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet on an environment that is simultaneously dire and deadly but not hopeless. Plus: NY Dems have drawn themselves into a corner, and how the name a NY Yankee called a rival player that is upending the baseball world.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone....more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Without Guns, Would There Be Mass Shootings?

    May 21 2022

    In this week’s installment of Best Of The Gist, and with the tragic news of the mass shooting in Buffalo still echoing through the daily news, we listen back to Mike’s March 7, 2018 interview with the president of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City, Richard Aborn on why gun control has worked for NYC. Then, in Mike’s Spiel from this past Monday (May 16, 2022), he acknowledges the complexity of the problem of mass shootings, but floats the idea that guns and tactical gear are the part...more

  • Bear Equals Market Weakness, Fast Horse Avoids Preakness

    May 20 2022

    Rich Strike is skipping the Preakness after winning the Kentucky Derby. Racing expert Peter Fornatale of The In The Money podcast https://inthemoneypodcast.com/category/players-podcast/ explains all. Plus bears, and condors and a man who gambled away his entire town's stimulus funds.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Putin Plays Politics Too

    May 19 2022

    University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor, Yoshiko Herrera assesses if Putin can be stopped not with the bullet or the ballot but a breakdown of ballast within Russia. Plus, the US Women's Soccer Team achieves pay parity, and all the topics Mike could have covered, but didn't. You're welcome America.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adcho...more

  • Gun Control, Controlled

    May 18 2022

    Jonathan Metzl, Vanderbilt professor and gun control researcher on how gun control actually does work, except when it's not allowed to, as is increasingly the case. Also, Joe Biden's Buffalo Speech was quite like Bill Clinton in OKC and a forlorn Cawthorn.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Don't Be Soft On Speech

    May 17 2022

    Dr. Walter Kimbrough, President of Dillard University has been a consistent advocate for speech on campus in his over 30 years in academia. He and Mike discuss some of the thornier cases in his career, which ultimately weren't close calls. Plus, the threat of white Supremacists and the danger to African-Americans should be put in context.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about yo...more

  • A Bad Guy With A Gun And A Rotten Ideology

    May 16 2022

    As America grapples the mass shooting in Buffalo which left 10 dead Mike asks "Who gets to be a martyr, and who is just plain old victim?" White Supremacy fueled this gunman but high velocity rifle rounds enabled the carnage. Plus, Seth Stephens- Davidowitz author of "Don't Trust Your Gut: Using Data to Get What You Really Want in Life" is here to talk about an approach to life that's empirically better.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Plastic Straws And State Songs…You Know, The Important Stuff

    May 14 2022

    In this week’s installment of Best of the Gist, a state song mash-up. Then we flash back to August 16, 2018, when Mike took the plastic straw ban head on.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Bazelon Considers The Court

    May 13 2022

    Emily Bazelon of the NTY Magazine, Yale, and The Political Gabfest discusses if the flaw is in Justice Alito's logic or the conservative justice's project. Plus "Greedflation" is excellent branding but a terrible explanation.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Chuck Schumer, Legislation Doomer

    May 12 2022

    David Gergen actually wrote Nixon's resignation letter, that was his first great foray into what makes or unmakes a leader. After over 50 years in public life, he collects his advice and insights in Hearts Touched with Fire: How Great Leaders are Made. Plus play the Chuck Schumer inspired Game Show "Doomed to Fail " and Plagiarism all the way downProduced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more...more

  • Speech, both Fettered and Free

    May 11 2022

    The ACLU, long a champion of first amendment rights actually opposed ending campus free speech zones in Georgia. Also, presidential speechwriter Jeff Nussbaum is back to talk about the phrasings of his former boss Joe Biden, and some others who've served in that office. Plus, even though Marjorie Taylor Greene’s speech was heated, but the bid to remove her from the ballot is defeated.@JeffreyNussbaum is the author of Undelivered: The Never-Heard Speeches That Would Have Rewritten HistoryProduced...more

  • Change of Address

    May 10 2022

    Jeff Nussbaum, fresh out of the Biden White House, is out with a new book, "Undelivered: The Never-Heard Speeches That Would Have Rewritten History." Plus, elections in West Virginia and Nebraska, the states with the best and worst official state songs.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Polarization 101

    May 09 2022

    Political Science Professor Sunshine Hillygus is the director of the Duke Initiative on Survey Methodology and co-director of the Polarization Lab. We discuss how attitudes can change and if we should trust finding that show large percentage of Americans have truly wacky* ideas. Plus, how the present regards the biggest moral issues of yesterday, as told through Ed Koch and Mario Cuomo. *Technical poly sci term.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertis...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Reflecting On SCOTUS

    May 08 2022

    On this week’s installment of Best Of The Gist—which we are publishing on Sunday instead of our usual Saturday—we’ve chosen to run a large chunk of the September 18, 2020 Gist tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the day of her passing. Mike was joined that day by Emily Bazelon. We are also listening back to the opening of our Tuesday show, in which Mike laments on the stripping of a right from the American people.Produced by Joel PattersonEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, ...more

  • Isis v. Taliban

    May 06 2022

    Isis is back, they never went away, and they're torturing and killing their way through the craziest of places - Afghanistan. Michael Kugelman, the Asia Program Deputy Director and Senior Associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Center, analysis what happens when the insurgents acquire their own insurgents. Plus, we reacquaint ourselves with a New Hampshire State Rep who could be the most extreme public official in America, which is saying something. and we name the Lobstar for the Antwent...more

  • Character Test

    May 05 2022

    First, we discuss all those dead Russian Generals. Then Jing Tsu joins us to discuss her book Kingdom of Characters, about the century-long effort to make Chinese characters interoperable with Western alphabets. Finally, what if RBG had retired? Mike creates a cornucopia of counterfactuals that gets us precisely to where we are today.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Learn more about your ...more

  • What Progress Have We Seen Since The Murder Of George Floyd?

    May 04 2022

    Jerrika Richardson, Senior Vice President for Equitable Justice & Strategic Initiatives at the National Urban League discusses the actual policing reforms that have been enacted since the protests of 2020. Plus, the best messages to convey on abortion, and a failed Amazon Union vote for a Staten Island warehouse got a lot less coverage than the one a month ago that was supposed to portend a new tide of labor momentum.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comT...more

  • No Mo RO

    May 03 2022

    With the indication that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v Wade, @KathaPollitt of The Nation, and Virginia Heffernan, @page88, of the This is Critical podcast analyze the implications of the ruling, and discuss the conditions that made it so. In the spiel, the legitimacy of the court, and just how unusual it is to take away a right Americans absorbed and relied on for half a century.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: htt...more

  • How I Got Inflation Wrong

    May 02 2022

    15 months ago, Binyamin Appelbaum, who writes on economic issues as a member of the NY Editorial Board wrote a piece entitled Inflation Isn’t Lurking Around the Corner. This Isn’t the 1970s." He was very wrong. But he's owning it, and in very productive discussion talks about the macro and micro reasons he was mistaken and which parts of his approach he'll change. Plus, a San Francisco teacher is disciplined for bringing a cotton into the classroom and the NYT (that paper again!) aims 19,000 wor...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: What The F**k Is Up With David Daley And Elon Musk

    Apr 30 2022

    In this installment of Best Of The Gist, we ask yesterday’s guest, gerrymandering expert David Daley, “Why so many asterisks in the title of your bestselling book?” Turns out, focus groups made him do it. And then we rewind to Monday’s Spiel, when Mike wonders if there could be a better way to think about Elon Musk buying Twitter than simply asking yourself: How much do I like Elon Musk?Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: htt...more

  • Gerrymander Garcia

    Apr 29 2022

    After Judge Michael Garcia, and all of his peers on the NY State Court of Appeals threw out the Democrats attempt to Gerrymander the state, the national advantage from Gerrymandering moves back to the Republicans. David Daley Author of Ratf**ked: Why Your Vote Doesn't Count. Plus, how our coverage of Madison Cawthorn and Majorie Taylor Greene exemplify "the Gist Difference". And finally, we'll examine why of all the judges on NY State's Court of Appeals, why did this description highlight Michae...more

  • The Cost of Arming the Ukraine

    Apr 28 2022

    With Joe Biden asking for $33billion in new aid, Mike contemplates and calculates the costs and benefits of this, aid and what we could be spending on in America. Plus, Ken White is back to offer his analysis on the likelihood of a Trump prosecution and what the latest release of an America held captive in Russia means for Brittney Griner.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about y...more

  • Trump Legal Jeopardy VS Dems Wishful Thinking

    Apr 27 2022

    Every day another piece of potentially damning news seems to emerge from the January 6th commission or the NY Attorney General office. But it is so hard to know what are the real risks, and what is just fodder for prosecution thirsty cable news lawyers. Plus, Governor Abbott's backward bus stunt, and the value of corporate amorality.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad...more

  • Coups News

    Apr 26 2022

    After a period of relative stability, Africa coups d'etat are breaking out all over.  We discuss with Dr Nathaniel Powell,Africa Analyst with Oxford Analytica. Plus, mash notes sent between leaders on the Korean peninsula, and EVERYONE in the liberal/progressive/mainstream/blue check mark/ non-conservative community being apoplectic about Elon Twitter.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn...more

  • Unlocking the Puzzler Brain

    Apr 25 2022

    AJ Jacobs stops by to talk about the psychology of puzzles and the nerdles who wordle. His new book is The Puzzler: One Man's Quest to Solve the Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, from Crosswords to Jigsaws to the Meaning of Life. Plus, a better way to think about Elon Musk buying Twitter than simply asking yourself: How much do I like Elon Musk? And Mike battles with a journalistic convention.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: htt...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Bill Browder On Investing In Russia, And Lucky Charms Get Unlucky

    Apr 23 2022

    On this week’s installment of Best Of The Gist, we listen back to Mike’s 2015 interview with Bill Browder, who was once the single largest foreign investor in Russia. Browder talks about the perils of Russian markets and fleeing the wrath of Vladimir Putin. Then we listen back to Monday’s Spiel about Lucky Charms’ recall.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Learn more about your ad choices. V...more

  • Joyless Coitus

    Apr 22 2022

    Christine Emba, author of Rethinking Sex: A Provocation says those of her generation feel crushed and ground up by the culture that says once consent is given there's nothing you have the right to complain about. Plus, two Republicans on different sides of the establishment spectrum come under fire. Marjorie Taylor Greene testifies in Georgia, and Kevin McCarthy squirms a bit because of a taped phone from January 2021.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo a...more

  • Is The US Damned By Diversity?

    Apr 21 2022

    Author Yascha Mounk joins to discuss his book “The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure”. Florida vs Disney and math. Plus, a Michigan Senator laid into a republican colleague who accused her of being a groomer and abetting pedophilia.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Tokelahoma

    Apr 20 2022

    Paul Demko, Cannabis editor of POLITICO talks about the nation's hottest marijuana market going, Oklahoma. Also, Libs of TikTok isn't so different from Mugwumps of the Lyceum. That's today's bung starter.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Putin's Offensive

    Apr 19 2022

    Gen. Hodges was the Commanding General, United States Army Europe talks about tooth-to-tail ratio, why Russian generals are dying and how a no-fly zone could work. Plus, a spiel about the what real advocacy for the homeless should look like and Libs of Tik-Tok EXPOSED!Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Real Deal with the Courts of Appeal

    Apr 18 2022

    Though most of the attention paid to the Federal Judiciary is paid to SCOTUS the lower courts have a massive influence. Rick Hasen, Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine is our guide. Plus, a Lucky Charms recall and the Micromort, a puckish li'l fellow here to tell you about the risk of death.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Gilbert Meets His Maker, Boris Does Not

    Apr 16 2022

    In honor of a truly unique talent’s passing, we’re listening back to Mike’s August 2014 interview with Gilbert Gottfried. We’ll miss you, Gilbert. In the Spiel, Mike analyzes the aftermath of Partygate, and British tabloid headline freestyling ensues.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Interest Rates Are Too Damn Low!

    Apr 15 2022

    For years and years the line among liberal fiscal policy experts were that low interest rates, even 0% interest rates were the best thing to do to help struggling Americans gain employment and grow wealth. Only the wealthy, and those excessively fearful of inflation wanted them raised. But Christopher Leonard author of The Lords of Easy Money: How the Federal Reserve Broke the American Economy, tells a different story. Plus, texts from Mike Lee and an Antwentig from Mike P.Produced by Joel Patte...more

  • From Sperm To Spurned

    Apr 14 2022

    TJ Raphael is back to talk about the legal implications of the loosely regulations in the fertility industry that turned sperm donations into actual humans with feelings of betrayal years later. Also, Hasta la Moskva: A Russian warship sinks and a British politician skates.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Paternity Shockers Aren't Just for Maury Anymore

    Apr 13 2022

    TJ Raphael host of the podcast “BioHacked: Family Secrets” is chronicling the experiences of the children of anonymous sperm and egg donors, some of whom have hundreds of half-siblings. Plus the New York subway gunman and the issue of motivations.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Art of Practical Criminal Justice Reform With DeRay McKesson

    Apr 12 2022

    On Todays Show Mike examines the criminal justice from within…by performing his civic duty by jury duty. Therefore, we will be playing a two-part interview with DeRay Mckesson, a leader in the criminal justice reform movement with practical ideas that have sometimes caused friction with other factions of the movement. Plus, two other wars happing outside of Ukraine.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com...more

  • Marine Le Pen's Dédiabolisation

    Apr 11 2022

    The effort to soften the image of the French far right candidate worked a bit - can it propel her to the The Élysée Palace? Plus, Leon Neyfahk is here to discuss his new series Fiasco: The Aids Crisis. And how to convey that the Ba2 variant is new and different without overhyping its deadliness?Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Buy Me Some Peanuts And…Product Placement

    Apr 09 2022

    To commemorate the annual return of baseball (Thursday was opening day), this week on Best of the Gist, we revisit a 20-year-old piece of NPR reporting in which Mike takes us to Yankee Stadium to learn the value the Crackerjack reference in the 1908 song “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Could it be the greatest piece of product placement ever? And we replay Monday’s Spiel about mistaking trend for truth.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the s...more

  • Taking A Trip To Argyle With The Odenkirks

    Apr 08 2022

    Nate and Bob Odenkirk talk about their new Audible Original Series Summer in Argyle, the difference in comedy on a generational level, and what it is like to work with comedy legends. Plus, “Leave the gun, take the cannoli” and Mike gets a call from a pollster…and he recorded it!Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Sick Of Sports

    Apr 07 2022

    Craig Calcaterra author of Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game stops by for a little opening day grouse. Plus, MSNBC hiring Jen Psaki and the terrorists called The Beatles.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • 5 Words From Quincy Jones

    Apr 06 2022

    The words were spoken to Sonari Glinton, who went on to make The Story of Quincy Jones Podcast, an experience that reoriented Glinton's entire outlook and career. Plus, What Vlad Putin gets paid, and What if we just paid Fox viewers to watch CNN?Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Negotiating All Wrong

    Apr 05 2022

    Barry Nalebuff, Professor at Yale School of Management has a new way to look at negotiation, which is simple and eye opening. Split the Pie: A Radical New Way to Negotiate depends on, yes, splitting pie, but crucially, defining the pie. And if all that pie talk makes you hungry, I don't know what to tell you because the rest of the show is about Ben Sasse and peace talks with Putin. Interesting topics, just not really related to pie.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mi...more

  • Putin's Info Iron Curtain

    Apr 04 2022

    Irina Borogan, and Andrei Soldatov, two Russian Journalists who have documented the Kremlin's war on the internet discuss the effectiveness of suppression of news in Russia, and Putin's strengths and failings as an information warrior. In the Spiel, mistaking the trend for the truth, plus Mike resigns from the Academy.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Chuck Klosterman’s Wrong, And The Battle Over Daylight Saving Time

    Apr 02 2022

    This weekend on BEST OF THE GIST, we unearthed a 2016 interview with Chuck Klosterman, the author of The Nineties and a dozen or so other books. In this archival gem, Mike and Chuck discuss what counts as a great American novel, and how we decide who’s smart. And we’re also listening back to the Tuesday spiel about how a Harvard sleep researcher changed Mike's position in the battle over Daylight Saving Time.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise o...more

  • You Don't Need The 3!

    Apr 01 2022

    As the Final 4 finalizes a look at the instinctive, and backward, admonishment so many announcers issue as time is winding down. Plus how China is being regarded by its Asian neighbors in light of the Ukraine war, and Amazon unionizes much to the delight of other union members, including ones on the labor beat of major newspapers.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad ch...more

  • Bomb Clearing In Ukraine

    Mar 31 2022

    James Cowen, retired Maj. Gn. in the British Army is CEO of HALO Trust. He had 450 workers already in Ukraine clearing bombs and ordnance when the current invasion began. His job is to secure his people, secure unexploded munitions, and funnel relief to civilians in the crosshairs. Plus, parole for the mastermind of Americans largest kidnapping, and how Will Smith’s slap reveals which norms Americans most hold dear.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo adve...more

  • Dialing Up The Nineties

    Mar 30 2022

    Chuck Klosterman, in his latest book. "The Nineties", examines a decade and the generation attached to it; afraid of selling out, excited to be unenthused. The meaning of a decade isn't perfectly clear, but for a time Pepsi was. In the Spiel, are the Bidens just lying about all the personal correspondence they leave lying about?Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choi...more

  • Alex Jones' False False Flag

    Mar 29 2022

    The families of Sandy Hook Elementary were faced with a horrible tragedy compounded by a cynical charlatan and a cadre of like-minded conspiracists. Writer Elizabeth Williamson dissects how the tactics personalities and counter measures in Sandy Hook: An American Tragedy and the Battle for Truth. In the Spiel Mike has been restive on the subject of Daylight-saving so it’s time to follow the science. Plus, why the example of Harvey Weinstein is cited as justification of disparate agendas.Produced...more

  • Slapped Jester

    Mar 28 2022

    The Academy Awards presents a show, post-slap, that is indistinguishable from pre. We're expected to interpret what happened as a part of Smith's hero's journey. Plus Professor Aditi Paul researched if college students actually like hooking up, and if the women liked it as much as the men. Spoiler: They Didn't but just by a little.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad c...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: The Madness of March

    Mar 26 2022

    As the NCAA’s March Madness basketball tournament heats up, on this week’s Best Of The Gist, we bring you a pair of stories from college sport. The first is part two of Mike’s interview with John Tauer, the head coach of the St. Thomas University's basketball team, which made an unprecedented leap ahead of this season from Division 3 to Division 1. Tauer discusses what changes when a team makes such a bold move. Then we listen back to our Monday show, when Mike Spieled about University of Pennsy...more

  • This Year's Most Successful NCAA Basketball Coach

    Mar 25 2022

    John Tauer head coach of the St. Thomas Tommies has won two national championships on the Division III Level, this year he was thrust into Division I, which should have meant a nearly winless season. Instead, the team found a way to beat playing bigger, faster, more highly recruited opponents. In the spiel, it's an Antwentig, and Lobstars are to be awarded.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist ...more

  • Bad Date+Pandemic Onset=RomCom Gold

    Mar 24 2022

    Karan Soni (Deadpool) plays the awkward Ravi, who is a bit frightened then a bit taken with the secretly rebellious Geraldine Viswanathan (Blockers) Rita in Seven Days, which opens March 25. In the spiel Mike contemplates Candace Owens: Dupe or Dope. And does the Los Angeles mayoral race stink on ice?Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adch...more

  • Flat Earthers Are Real

    Mar 23 2022

    But so is a round Earth. So how do these square pegs in round holes justify themselves? With YouTube videos, of course, but also sometimes with some violence. Mike talks with Kelly Weill, author of Off the Edge: Flat Earthers, Conspiracy Culture, and Why People Will Believe Anything about these sometimes-problematic folks. In the Spiel, Mike considers the case against an opera about Emmett Till that was co-written by a black composer and a white librettist. And in Senate Judiciary Hearing news, ...more

  • McWhorter's Quarters

    Mar 22 2022

    John McWhorter, author of Woke Racism and Nine Nasty Words stops by to discuss a linguistic trend Mike has noticed, about phrases that are totalizing but at the same time, particular. In the Spiel Mike discusses attention spans, Ukraine, and how unrelated they are. Plus Lindsey Graham goes "Freakin' Nuts"Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/...more

  • She Swims, Wins And Splinters

    Mar 21 2022

    Lia Thomas University of Pennsylvania swimmer won the NCAA title in the 500. Other swimmers protested her inclusion in the women's division as unfair. Some swimmers, including ones she out-touched supported her right to swim as her true self. Mike looks at the arguments on both sides, points to many as ridiculous, but a few as legitimate and truly vexing. Plus, Frank Bruni on losing some of one sense, while gaining a lot of another.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mik...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Who's To Blame For Inflation, and The Political Fallout From The Passing Of RBG

    Mar 19 2022

    On this week’s Best Of The Gist, we listen back to Monday’s Spiel about who’s to blame for inflation. Weirdly, it’s not Mitch McConnell’s fault. Then, in our archival interview from September 2020, Jonathan V. Last, editor of the Bulwark, talked with Mike about the then recent passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the potential political fallout. Last walks through some of the nightmare scenarios, and then he explains that although he remains optimistic with regards to the legitimacy of the SCOTUS,...more

  • Search Party

    Mar 18 2022

    Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers, the co-creators of Search Party haven't just made a hilarious TV show for 5 seasons, they put their finger on a type of character that used to be called Millennial but now is just called "people". Plus, Do You Feel the Lavrov Tonight? Sergey Lavrov engages in media critique.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megap...more

  • Pure Index Flex

    Mar 17 2022

    Baby got Back Matter today as Dennis Duncan author of "Index, a History of The", holds forth on the surprisingly surprising story of the index. Plus, the President alleges War Crime, and March Madness' productivity costs are entirely fabricated, obviously ridiculous, and a mainstay of sports coverage.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adch...more

  • Run To Daylight

    Mar 16 2022

    Daylight Saving time ALL the time was passed by the Senate in a vote that was both bold and Sudden. Mike debunks the counterclaims that school children will be bathed in inky darkness as they wait for busses in the pre-dawn hours. Plus, the second part of an interview with Dr. Todd Kashdan author of The Art of Insubordination How to dissent and Defy Effectively.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/The...more

  • The Bad Way To Rebel

    Mar 15 2022

    Todd Kashan, author of The Art of Insubordination: How to Dissent and Defy Effectively, says there are ways to create clarity value and progress without turning disagreement into combat. Plus, a new head of Isis and a new poll that makes Republicans feel braver than Democrats.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Who Owns Inflation?

    Mar 14 2022

    Vanessa Van Edwards a behavioral investigator, body language guru, and author of “CUES: Master the Secret Language of Charismatic Communication” joins to analyze everything from Kermit the Frog to emojis. In the spiel, Mike talks about inflation, and who is to blame.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Brittney Griner and Henry Winkler

    Mar 12 2022

    On this week’s edition of The Best of the Gist, Mike bemoans Russia’s arrest of basketball star Brittney Griner and what it says about our current moment. Then, we listen back to a happier time…March 7, 2017, to be exact, when Henry “Fonzie” Winkler was our guest. Fun Fonzie Fact: Did you know that Henry has written dozens of children's books featuring the character Hank Zipzer? True story. Happy Days are here again, literally.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesc...more

  • A New Phase For Ukraine

    Mar 11 2022

    Paul Poast University of Chicago professor and author of Arguing about Alliances says we're past the open stage of the war in Ukraine. In the Spiel Mike discusses US cyber vulnerabilities and tries to get a handle on what a hack might look like and discusses how to stop one, with Glenn Gerstell, former Counsel for the NSAProduced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Vi...more

  • How To Craft A Thriller

    Mar 11 2022

    Brad Meltzer, author of the Lightning Rod, breaks down how to induce an adrenaline rush via the written word. Plus, baseball's back, but still not terribly exciting, and Madison Cawthorn, D minus demagogue.*This episode was originally posted with yesterday's spiel. If the spiel today sounds familiar, please re-download the episode to hear the corrected version*Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheG...more

  • Guns Gas And The Great Stone Face

    Mar 10 2022

    Dana Stevens is here to discuss the extraordinary life and cinematic contributions of Buster Keaton. In the spiel Mike explains why if Russian gas accounts for only 7% of US supply prices have risen much more than that. Also, what qualifies as a moderate on gun control?Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGistThis episode of The Gist is sponsored by Ground News, visit www.ground.news/thegist Learn...more

  • Kasich and Klepper

    Mar 09 2022

    The former Republican Governor of Ohio and the former left-leaning host of a Comedy Central show get together to discuss issues, find solutions, and name-drop certain Austrian muscle men. In the spiel Mike more accurately defines cancel culture and addresses the idea that punishing ideas is only a myth or a moral panic. Warning / Inducement: It’s a long SpielKasich and Klepper Podcast: Kasich & Klepper on Apple PodcastsProduced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.co...more

  • Too Far For BiIl Barr

    Mar 07 2022

    The Former Attorney General denied wrong-doing to Lester Holt, but ultimately charged Trump with willful ignorance about the lie of a stolen election. On the show Mike interviews Dan Baer, former Obama administration State Department Official on how the US can help the Ukrainians without becoming co-combatants, and how the threat of nuclear weapons overshadows nearly everythingProduced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://adver...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Special Guest…Mike Pesca!

    Mar 06 2022

    On this week’s special weekend edition of The Gist, we listen back to Mike’s February 15, 2017 interview with then Executive Producer of CBS’s The Late Show with Steven Colbert, Chris Licht. We’re replaying his interview, because this past week, Chris left that job for a very high-profile one as the head honcho at CNN. Also on the show, a 17-minute excerpt from Mike’s February 20, 2022 interview with Meghan Daum, host of The Unspeakable Podcast. But here’s the twist…Pesca is the interviewee! He ...more

  • 10 Shots But Not Guilty

    Mar 05 2022

    Brett Hankison had faced the most serious charges all the police involved in the raid that killed Breonna Taylor. Mike examines the trial and explains why this officer might have walked after others in Minnesota were found guilty. Plus, Mike Sacks has penned a massive faux- autobiography of a right wing blow hard talk show host who is so true-to-life the January 6th commission is probably subpoenaing him as we speak. And it's an Antwentig- time for Lobstars.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey W...more

  • At Least The Seas Are Calm

    Mar 03 2022

    US Naval dominance has assured an unprecedented age of peace and prosperity on world's waters. Gregg Easterbrook notes the little-observed near-miracle of Pax Marititum. Plus finding hope in the hopeless state of the climate. Here's Mike's Hopeful hint: Just think of it like Cancer!Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Ukraine Could Damn Putin

    Mar 03 2022

    A slog in Ukraine could be Putin's undoing - what would that look like? Charles Kupchan, former special adviser to President Obama is in touch with Russian officials and insiders, he games out the consequences of Ukraine as Waterloo. Plus Rashida Tlaib's SOTU clap back, and Andrew Cuomo is claiming exoneration in a new 30 second ad.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad ...more

  • Deep Throat Was An Operative

    Mar 01 2022

    Gerrett Graff author of Watergate: A New History talks about Mark Felt and what really pushed Nixon outOn today’s show Mike concludes his interview with the author of an expansive new history of Watergate, Garrett Graff. Plus a few suggestions for how to describe the State of Our Union (Hangry?) and the debut of the first bonafide jingle of Season Two.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn...more

  • Are We Crazy To Think Putin Is Crazy?

    Feb 28 2022

    The Russian President is tough, cruel and ambitious. But now that he's suffered setbacks, we're hearing he's also mad.On Todays Show Mike considers how useful it is to dwell on Putin's mental health and how accurate it is to tell ourselves that the Ukrainian resistance is indomitable. Plus, Garrett Graff author of Water Gate: A New History stops by to tell us what’s new in the land of Nixon.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit:...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: The Age Of Charlatans

    Feb 27 2022

    In this week's Best Of The Gist episode, Mike talks with Moises Naim about the rise of the autocrat, and we time warp back to July 2014 to hear an eerily familiar tale about Putin.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Glib Punditry Helped Putin

    Feb 26 2022

    We didn't take Putin's seriousness seriously.Benjamin Wittes, Editor in Chief of Lawfare, discusses if anything short of Ukrainian sacrificing their lives will keep Putin from keeping Ukraine. Plus, explaining why the Stock Market shrugged off the war.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • A Big, Long War

    Feb 24 2022

    Chris Miller, author of Putinomics: Power and Money in Resurgent Russia says Putin is out for bloodPutin has said he's rolling into Ukraine to de-Nazify the country which fought the Nazis and whose president is a Jew. But Putin doesn't even care what he says, he cares where he bombs. And in the Spiel the importance of a great nation unable to prevent one war speaks poorly of the same nation unwilling to stop another.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo adv...more

  • Police and Prostitutes in South Africa

    Feb 23 2022

    Sex work in South Africa is a hazard because the policing is haphazard.American Law Professor I India Thusi studied sex workers in South Africa, narrowly escaping some entanglements along the way. Plus, the 14-year-old mistake made by an American President that contributed to the war in Ukraine. And a congressional candidate has a believable reason for vomiting on 12-year-olds at a sleep over. Might it be that when she was 12 no one invited her to a sleep over? No, it's mixing drugs and wine.Pro...more

  • The Clever Thugs

    Feb 22 2022

    Moises Naim on The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats Are Reinventing PoliticsThe former Venezuelan trade minister who lived through Chavez wrecking his country has worked out something like the Autocratic Genome Project. What's alarming is that these clever thugs are learning from each other. Plus, the second guilty verdict for Ahmaud Arbery's killers and do sanctions ever really work?Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https:/...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Protestors And Laundromats

    Feb 19 2022

    This weekend, we’re revisiting Mike’s recent Spiel about the similarities between the protest tactics of BLM and Canadian truckers. And then we’re going way back to the first few months of the Gist (June 2014, to be exact-ish), to a laundromat in order to talk about what we now see as the nascent gig economy.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphon...more

  • The Peach State Voting Slate

    Feb 19 2022

    A spate of elections in Georgia are fascinating and important for the rest of us. Mike talks with Bill Nigut, host of Political Rewind on Georgia Public Broadcasting, about this year’s field of candidates, which includes the University of Georgia's all-time greatest running back. Plus, a light sentence for a Minnesota Police Officer who shot and killed a motorist when she had meant to use her taser.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show...more

  • Crouching Mogul, Roaring Dragon

    Feb 18 2022

    China has twisted Hollywood to suit its demands for years, and now things may be bottoming out. Erich Schwartzel, author of Red Carpet: Hollywood, China, and the Global Battle for Cultural Supremacy joins Mike to discuss how China uses access to its market to bend movie makers to their will. And in the Spiel, are we treating the tactics of Canadian truckers differently from similar tactics of BLM protesters because we disapprove of the truckers' cause?Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEma...more

  • BoE Booted By The Bay

    Feb 17 2022

    San Francisco has recalled three school board members, as voters found no comfort in their efforts to rename, re-paint, and rid schools of merit-based admissions…instead of just opening them. Plus, it's Vexillology Corner with Ted Kaye, and an eye-opening nugget of Disney Princess trivia.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Off-Label Abuse

    Feb 15 2022

    Mike talks with Evan Hughes, author of Hard Sell: Crime and Punishment at an Opioid Startup, about his coverage of an out-of-control drug maker that destroyed lives and paid a price for doing so. Also, a judge, and later a jury, decide that it will take more than inaccurately linking Sarah Palin to murder to prove a defamation case.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Learn more about your ad...more

  • The Cost Of Paying Attention To Trump

    Feb 14 2022

    If we pay Donald Trump less heed, will it diminish his words and deeds? Mike talks with David French from The Dispatch about how—and how much—to think about the Donald. Plus, using focus groups to help make mask-mandate decisions, and why Larry David is actually quite the embracer of innovations despite his Superbowl commercial.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Learn more about your ad cho...more

  • BEST OF THE GIST: Xiao Mina On Memes In Protest...And Mikaela Skis Out

    Feb 12 2022

    We listen back to our 2019 interview with author Xiao Mina on the role of social media memes in social movements. And Mike Spiels about Mikaela Shiffrin’s surprising early loss in the Olympics this past week.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Rooney Rule Ridicule

    Feb 12 2022

    Consequence-free interviewing initiatives have not inspired more than a pair of NFL teams to currently employ a Black head coach. Law professor and Former Green Bay Packer executive, Andrew Brandt on what tools the NFL has to increase the number of black head coaches. Plus, it's an Antwentig, which means Lobstars are in the offing. Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Learn more about your ad...more

  • Canucks Horror-Struck At Stuck Trucks

    Feb 10 2022

    Nelson Wiseman of the University of Toronto says the truckers clogging up the Capital are out of step with the values of Canada, a country with greater social cohesion than the United States. In the Spiel, Trump’s toilet-based filing system. Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Time Hackers Took Down Two-Dozen Texas Towns

    Feb 09 2022

    Dina Temple-Raston of the new Click Here podcast uses narrative skills to take the threat of cybercrime from the obscure to the palpable. She tells the story of how a ransomware attack in Texas portends a future of cybercriminality that should have us all worried. And, speaking of cybercrime (plus hip-hop crime), Razzlekhan is alleged to have stolen billions in bitcoin and rapped about it. Badly. In the Spiel, Mikaela Shiffrin skis out, and NBC critics freak out.Produced by Joel Patterson and Co...more

  • Al Franken Gets Specific About Senators

    Feb 08 2022

    Lindsey Graham is a cynic, Joe Manchin can still be reached on filibuster reform, Michael Bennett…that one still hurts. In the second part of his interview, Senator Al Franken discusses the failings of Betsy DeVos and explains his former colleagues’ motivations. Plus, a Spiel about Best Picture Nominee "Don’t Look Up" — a warning for everyone already heading the warning.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecas...more

  • Former Senator, Touring Comic, and De-Humor-izer Survivor Al Franken

    Feb 08 2022

    In Part 1 of a two-part interview, Al Franken, now a working standup comedian, analyzes politics and what made him such an effective questioner during Senate hearings. And Mike spiels about a visit from a boring German, and why Mike Pence's rebuke cannot be considered brave.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • BEST OF THE WEEK: Joe Rogan Goes Rogue

    Feb 05 2022

    In this week's Best Of The Gist episode, Mike Spiels about Joe Rogan's most criticized interview, with insights on the Nuremberg Codes and the shocking accusation that Anthony Faucci conspired to quash evidence, which he definitely didn't do.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • A Retelling Of Dog Day Afternoon Blows Up

    Feb 05 2022

    A project to retell the 1975 film Dog Day Afternoon from a trans character's perspective almost tore Raja Feather Kelly's dance company apart. The Feat3r Collective is ambitious, daring, and, for his recent project Wednesday, embattled. Ultimately, art persevered. Plus, Olympic Parade of Nations oddities, and New York State gerrymanders to the Dems advantage.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGis...more

  • The Well-Crafted, Certainly Amusing Sameness Of Late Night TV

    Feb 03 2022

    Jeff Maurer is a 5-time Emmy Award-winning writer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which he says never strayed from the POVs you'd expect, during the six years he wrote for the show. Jeff’s proud of the show, but he also realized that there was little opportunity to tackle topics that weren't firmly in the liberal/progressive consensus. So he left. In the Spiel, Mike assesses critics of The New York Times’ David Leonhardt. He’s cautiously offering a glimpse at a post-Covid convictio...more

  • The Techno-Utopian Internet Game That's Immiserating Filipinos

    Feb 03 2022

    Paul Butler examines how Axie Infinity, a "w3" online game sold as the future of work, is simply reinforcing drudgery. The game's makers say it's more than a game, it's a way to escape poverty. In reality, its part cynical hype and part pitiless grind. In the Spiel, Mike discusses how Jeff Zucker's resignation from CNN isn't a scandal of sex, it's a scandal of boundaries.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertiseca...more

  • Vaccine Doubters Aren't Sayin'....They're Just Saying

    Feb 02 2022

    Part 2 of an interview with Professor Jonathan Gottschall who says Netflix is to narrative what the Golden Corral is to portion control. In the Spiel a listen to all 3 hours of Joe Rogan's most criticized interview, with insights on the Nuremberg Codes and the shocking accusation that Anthony Faucci conspired to quash evidence, which he definitely didn't do.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist...more

  • Stories Are A Tool, And Tools Can Be Deadly

    Feb 01 2022

    Mike talks to Professor Jonathan Gottschall, who speaks about the sheer tonnage of stories that we all absorb, and how this basic human function affects us like a drug.In the Spiel, Mike analyzes Boris Johnson's party proclivities, and addresses if defying Covid lockdowns is a tipple too far for the British public.Produced by Joel Patterson and Corey WaraEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit me...more

  • BEST OF THE WEEK: Neil Young Takes Aim At Joe Rogan's Spotify Platform

    Jan 29 2022

    In our debut Saturday Edition, we pull out a compelling segment you may have missed during the week.Produced by Joel PattersonEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Free Speech Has Costs

    Jan 29 2022

    Suzanne Nossel, author of Dare To Speak: Defending Free Speech For All , and President of PEN, on her organization's never-wavering, but not-always-easy, commitment to defend expression. In a conversation recorded almost a year ago, and aired here for the first time, Nossel discusses with Mike the current atmosphere around censoriousness and the conceptions of what free speech means, who it harms and how it should be managed. Mike also talks about Kyle Rittenhouse's play to acquire the rifle tha...more

  • “It’s Me Or Joe Rogan!” (It’s Rogan)

    Jan 28 2022

    Neil Young wants Joe Rogan to either burn out or fade away over Covid mis-info. Mike spiels about Neil Young's Criticisms of Joe Rogan’s Covid pronouncements. And in the interview, the NYTimes Magazine’s Emily Bazelon talks about how the nationwide rise in murders will affect the agendas of progressive prosecutors.Produced by Joel PattersonEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adch...more

  • "I'm Beginning To Worry About Putin's Mental State"

    Jan 27 2022

    Today on the Gist, The former President of Estonia on Russia's aggression and German obstruction. And news that SCOTUS's Breyer will retire inspires a Spiel about domestic obstructionism.Produced by Joel PattersonEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Reports Of America’s Internal Bloodlust May Be Slightly Exaggerated

    Jan 26 2022

    Dartmouth professor Brendan J. Nyhan looks at polls showing Americans endorse violence and says those findings are off. But there’s still a lot to worry about. And in the Spiel, a troubling but little-remarked-upon argument made in the Derek Chauvin defense resurfaces in the Federal trial of former Minneapolis Police Officers.Podcast production by Joel PattersonEmail us at thegist@mikepesca.comTo advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist Learn more about your ad choices. Vi...more

  • We're Back In Time For The Revolution

    Jan 25 2022

    On the Gist, America may be poised for revolution. Or not. We're certainly obsessed with talking about it.In the interview, Mike speaks with Stephen Marche, author of The Next Civil War: Dispatches from the American Future. Marche sets the chances of a civil war at 67%. Mike challenges him by asking why this moment is so different from dozens of inflection points since the actual Civil War.In the Spiel, a commitment to keeping the Gist a place free of catastrophizing, while not minimizing the nu...more

  • The Return of The Gist

    Jan 18 2022

    The Gist Returns on Monday, January 24 for Season 2. Today, Mike recounts the guiding principles of Season 1 ( i.e. the first 1400 episodes), and delivers a promise of rigor and independence for Season 2. To advertise on the show, visit: https://advertisecast.com/TheGist  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • ‘Till the Cows Come Home

    Feb 19 2021

    On the Gist, #TedFled.In the Interview, his new documentary has been called “jaw-dropping,” “incendiary,” “riveting,” and “engrossing.” Sam Pollard’s new film MLK/FBI is about the bureau’s surveillance and harassment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The film delves into new and declassified documents as well as restored footage to reveal the government’s long past of targeting Black activists. Pollard tells Mike, “I was just trying to tell a good story. About two men on the same trajectory one wit...more

  • Limbaugh’s Lamentable Legacy

    Feb 17 2021

    On the Gist, we rush to Limbaugh’s judgment.In the Interview, political and media historian, Brian Rosenwald, joins Mike to talk about Rush Limbaugh’s rise to popularity in conservative media, his power as a voice and entertainer in talk radio, the influence he had on the Republican party, and who is primed to carry his torch over the AM dial or in podcasting. As a national broadcaster, Limbaugh developed a political perspective over his career that to the left perpetuated harmful ideas, and to ...more

  • How History Will Remember Trump

    Feb 16 2021

    On the Gist, Southern cold snap!In the Interview, Sonari Glinton is back! Which means we’re talking cars. Glinton and Pesca discuss GM's recent proclamation to go electric by 2025. Glinton says that it's not that car makers aren't making profits off of going electric, it's that General Motors' commitment is a sign that the state of things are grave. He projects that automotive companies will be entering into partnerships in an effort to solve environmental problems, and that the new Biden admini...more

  • The Directionless are Misleading

    Feb 12 2021

    On the Gist, Mike lives for the arguments Trump’s lawyers are making because, well, they’re really bad.In the Interview, “She loves America. For her, she was there showing support for the American political process.” SUNY Geneseo political science professor and author Karleen West talks to Mike about her mother’s participation in the January 6th insurrection. West has spent years studying insurrections in Latin America, but on January 6th, her personal and professional collided. Mike and West ta...more

  • When the Victims are the Jurors

    Feb 11 2021

    On the Gist, exploring the complexities of the personal stakes of the Senators in the Trump Impeachment trial.In the Interview, it’s the second half of our conversation with Jonah Blank, an anthropologist, writer, author, and former policy director for South and Southeast Asia on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Blank joins Mike to talk about the Myanmar coup, the default of cheering on populism, conflicts and communal violence, and the threat to democracy. Blank is author of...more

  • How Trump’s Lawyers Will Defend the Indefensible

    Feb 10 2021

    On the Gist, the prosecution in Trump’s Impeachment is firing on all cylinders.In the Interview, we take a look inside the FBI’s fight against white supremacy and domestic terrorism. Frank Figliuzzi is a 25-year veteran of the FBI. He joins Mike to talk about why the country needs a domestic terrorism law, the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol, and how the FBI is battling the threat from within the United States. Figliuzzi is the author of The FBI Way: Inside the Bureau’s Code of Ethics.In...more

  • Belknaps and Bad Lawyers

    Feb 10 2021

    On the Gist, the Belknap case is clear precedent.In the Interview, it’s round two of vaccine talk. Mike and Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, a former Detroit health director and epidemiologist, talk about equity and the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. They also discuss why we shouldn’t heroicize the pharmaceutical industry, using the issue of the sixth dose as a compelling example. El-Sayed’s new book Medicare for All: A Citizen’s Guide is out now. He’s also the host of America Dissected from Crooked Media,...more

  • Comparing COVID-19 vaccines and Climate Change with Dr. Abdul El-Sayed

    Feb 09 2021

    On the Gist, ads for “The Big Game” are given the Pesca treatment. In the Interview, it’s vaccine talk. Mike sits down remotely with Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, a former Detroit health director and epidemiologist about the COVID-19 vaccine. They talk about how social media has spread both information and misinformation, how the response to the coronavirus is eerily similar to climate change, and how Canadians have managed to get things right. Plus, when politics and health collide: El-Sayed’s new book M...more

  • Taking QAnon Seriously

    Feb 06 2021

    On the Gist, cost of living and minimum wage around the U.S.In the Interview, journalist David Gilbert from Vice News joins Mike to talk about QAnon, the cult of disinformation, it's propulsion into 2021, and how people from all walks of life are susceptible to believing. Plus, Gilbert translates Marjorie Taylor Greene's floor speech, and explains why it wasn't a disavowing of Q or the conspiracy theories she still believes in. In the spiel, it’s the first lobstar of the antentwig of 2021!Email ...more

  • Stand By Your Lunatic: Republicans Want Marjorie Taylor Greene to Keep her Committees

    Feb 05 2021

    On the Gist, stripping Majorie Taylor Greene of her committee membership, but Republicans still want to keep her around.In the Interview, it’s coup talk. It’s part one of an interview with Jonah Blank, an anthropologist, writer, author, and former policy director for South and Southeast Asia on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Blank joins Mike to talk about the Myanmar coup, the default of cheering on populism, conflicts and communal violence, and the threat to democracy. Bla...more

  • Trump's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Impeachment Defenses

    Feb 04 2021

    On the Gist, importing walkie-talkies into Myanmar.In the Interview, we’re coming into a new constitutional cycle, and it means Democrats could take quite a bit of power. Well, if they don’t blow it. We’ve been in the same Republican-dominated cycle for decades, according to Jack Balkin, author of The Constitutional Cycles of Time. Balkin and Mike talk about the extreme political polarization not seen since the Civil War, constitutional rot, and, just for fun, delve into conservative complaints ...more

  • Coronavirus Symptom Check

    Feb 03 2021

    On the Gist, Alexei Navalny’s sentence.In the Interview, it’s part two of a conversation with historian Jill Lepore about her latest book: If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future. Jill discusses that with data mining and analysis there is greater potential for the demeaning of democratic processes, and why in 2021, accepting social media and twitter as a proxy for public opinion and polling could be risky. Lepore is an author, a New Yorker writer, and historian. She is also ...more

  • Making Fun of the GameStop Stonks

    Feb 01 2021

    On the Gist, once a Nobel Peace Prize winner, now a war criminal.In the Interview, writer Jill Lepore joins Mike for part one of their conversation on her latest book: If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future, a precursor to data and polling companies. If Then is an account on the mid-century boom in the advertising industry and its overlap with political marketing. Lepore articulates the deep prejudice in polling at the time, the rise of awareness of computers, and how Simul...more

  • Arizona Lawmaker Says, No Vote For You

    Jan 30 2021

    On the Gist, an Arizona Representative has a plan to win - throw out votes.In the interview, it’s all about the voice; John Colapinto’s new book, This is the Voice, that is. From sexy baby voice to deep baritones, Colapinto talks about his linguistic journey in writing his new book about the importance of the sounds and the musicality of voice that come out of our mouths, and how a good bedside manner can save you from lawsuits. Colapinto is a staff writer at the New Yorker.In the spiel, crackpo...more

  • Republicans Horribilis

    Jan 29 2021

    On the Gist, what happens when a conservative pundit and a famous quarterback make a podcast: Bolling with Favre. In the interview, it’s been a lonely year, and an especially difficult 10 months to try and find love. But Logan Ury’s new book, How to Not Die Alone just may hold the key. Putting psychology first, Ury seeks to give readers a guide to finding and keeping relationships. Spoiler alert: Stop focusing on the spark! Ury explains an approach to dating that is more psychology than yenta, t...more

  • Illusions, Delusions, and Flat Out Lies

    Jan 28 2021

    On the Gist, you can’t trouble us with your labels.In the interview, what is In & Of Itself? The new Hulu special by Frank Oz and Derek DelGaudio is so much more than just a made-for-TV version of DelGaudio’s live show. As creators, Oz and DelGaudio discuss the stigma of illusion, an art form which relies on sleight of hand and audience participation, and talk about how they were able to bring to life their special for people sitting at home. Both Oz and DelGaudio elucidate the assumptions a...more

  • The Murder of Saudi Arabian Journalist, Jamal Khashoggi

    Jan 27 2021

    On the Gist, Impeachment logic games. In the interview, it’s part two of a conversation with Oscar award winning documentarian and director Bryan Fogel about his latest film The Dissident. The film centers around Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder, and its broader human rights implications. The Dissident is available in theaters, and now via premium video-on-demand. Today, Fogel and Mike focus on Fogel’s experiences putting the documentary together, and how he got unlikel...more

  • Calling Larry King; and Part One with Oscar Winner Bryan Fogel

    Jan 26 2021

    On the Gist, Larry King, ‘Hello!’In the interview, it’s part one of a conversation with Oscar award winning documentarian and director Bryan Fogel about his latest film The Dissident. The film centers around Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder, and its broader human rights implications. Fogel discusses how he seeks to right wrongs through his investigative filmmaking, and details how he put his own life on the line to tell Khashoggi’s story. The Dissident is available in t...more

  • The Cost of Convicting Trump Feat. Guest Joe Lockhart

    Jan 23 2021

    On the Gist, Trump is deserving of a trial, and a lot more.In the interview, what are the consequences of putting Trump through a Senate trial? Mike does some game theory with Joe Lockhart about the possible implications for Republicans and Democrats when it comes to voting for, and possibly convicting the former president. Lockhart is former press secretary for President Clinton, partner at strategic comms group Rational360, and a CNN political analyst. In the spiel, mask on, mask off. But seri...more

  • Pardon Me?

    Jan 22 2021

    On the Gist, before he jetted off to the sunshine state, Trump had a last bit of business to attend to. In the interview, Mike talks to Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean of leadership programs, and the Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management for the Yale School of Management. He is also founder and president of the Chief Executive Leadership Institute. Mike and Sonnenfeld discuss C.E.L.I., a nonprofit educational and research institute focused on CEO leadership and corporate...more

  • Joe Biden Takes Over

    Jan 20 2021

    On the Gist, a decent man gives a speech.In the interview, Mike talks to Sarada Peri about now President Joe Biden’s inaugural speech. The former President Barack Obama speechwriter says Biden, “knocked it out of the park.” They talk about the most effective moments and the importance of speaking directly about racism and white supremacy. Peri also discusses why Biden addressing the American people as “folks” is not only a favorite colloquialism of his, but a necessary way to relate.In the spiel...more

  • Last call for Donald Trump

    Jan 20 2021

    On the Gist, Trump is getting traded. In the interview, we bring in Chris Molanphy to discuss the music hits of 2020. They talk about how All I Want For Christmas is You keeps coming back to the top of the charts and the unexpected timeliness of Rockstar by DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch. Molanphy is a pop-chart analyst, the writer of Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” series, and host of the podcast Hit Parade. Come for the deep dive on an unusual year in music, stay for Mike explaining what W.A.P...more

  • Senate hopeful John Fetterman talks incarceration, gun control, and Trump voters

    Jan 16 2021

    On the Gist, the QAnon Shaman’s lawyer.In the interview, John Fetterman, also known as Lieutenant Governor Stone Cold, talks to Mike about his potential Senate run. The Pennsylvania native talks about his origin story from son of teenagers to Harvard graduate, his thoughts on gun control and incarceration, and the woes of being six-foot-nine. (Not enough suits.)In Remembrances of Things Trump: so many Seans, so little time.In the spiel, supposed contradictions of pro-free speech.Email us at theg...more

  • What You Might Have Missed

    Jan 14 2021

    On the Gist, Republicans use their voices to complain about not having a voice.In the interview, Melissa Murray joins Mike to discuss what the articles of impeachment can teach us about constitutional law as we review the events of last week at the Capitol Building. Murray is a professor at NYU Law, co-host of Strict Scrutiny podcast, and a contributor on MSNBC.In Remembrances of Things Trump: Goofy, Sleepy, Crazy...no those aren’t Snow White’s friends. They are Trump’s favorite nicknames. In th...more

  • His Time is Up

    Jan 14 2021

    On the Gist, the gavel was quick and sure during the impeachment hearing.In the interview, what risks lie ahead for 2021? Mike sits down with political scientist Ian Bremmer. They talk about what went wrong in 2020 (hint COVID-19 managed to make a lot of Bremmer’s predictions come true). And for 2021 - China, oil and Biden, oh my! Bremmer is the president and founder of Eurasia Group, a firm that helps investors and businesses understand the impact of politics on their investments.In Remembrance...more

  • We Are Who We Are

    Jan 12 2021

    On the Gist, this is actually who we are because we wouldn’t have let it happen.In the interview, Katie Meyer, political reporter at WHYY in Philadelphia joins Mike to talk about the Pennsylvania state legislature, and today’s federal ruling on the contested state senate race. In Remembrances of Things Trump, back to the days when Trump was able to tweet, and retweet. In the spiel, defining incitement.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Margaret Kelley, Cheyna Roth, and Jasmine El...more

  • Militias in the Mitten State

    Jan 12 2021

    On the Gist, several Republicans predicted years ago Trump’s actions would lead to violence, but they’re sticking with him anyway. One of them is Ted Cruz.In Remembrances of Things Trump, Trump denounces a Swedish terrorism attack that never happened.In the interview, Mike is joined by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. They talk about insurrection at the Capitol building in D.C., and in Michigan, and how rallies and big talk got them there. Nessel also explains her decision to seek sanction...more

  • Abandon Ship

    Jan 09 2021

    On the Gist, how do 39% of registered voters “approve” of Trump’s performance? 39%; really?In the interview, Mike is joined by Stan Barnes to talk all things Arizona. Arizona just gave its two Senate seats to Democrats in a shocking upset for the long-time red state. Barnes is a former Republican state senator turned party consultant for the Copper State. He talks to Mike about the impact of Wednesday’s Capitol chaos on the Republican party and how there’s no “putting Humpty Dumpty back together...more

  • Siege Subculture Stories

    Jan 08 2021

    On the Gist, the assault on the Capitol through extremist corners of the internet.In the interview, Mike is joined by U.S Rep. Dan Kildee of Michigan’s 5th Congressional District, and Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus. Rep. Kildee was on the House floor when violent pro-Trump extremists overtook the Capitol, causing a lockdown. Kildee shares his experience of what it was like inside the chambers before and after the electoral vote count had been certified, and what he’s hearing fr...more

  • Capitol Siege

    Jan 07 2021

    On the Gist, the Capitol is breached by pro-Trump extremists.In the interview, Mike is joined by Slate’s senior politics writer, Jim Newell, from Washington, D.C. While sequestered from inside the Capitol Building, Newell discussed the safety measures put in place to protect those remaining in the House chambers and its locked corridors, while police made desperate attempts at corralling the violence.    In the spiel, the Georgia runoff and what this means for American politics.Email us at thegi...more

  • One Needle to Predict Them All

    Jan 06 2021

    On the Gist, we return to the infamous Bean Dad.And, today in Remembrances of Things Trump: All the president’s less than capable men.In the interview, it’s part two of a conversation with David Shor, a researcher and consultant for democratic politicians. Dubbed a political data analyst prodigy, Shor developed a voter registration system as a teenager, then at age 20 subsequently moved on to work for the Obama campaign where he oversaw forecasting. Shor shares more of his experiences collaborat...more

  • Who is Ken Jennings?

    Jan 05 2021

    On the Gist, President Trump made a phone call and blew apart the life of a private citizen. And, today in Remembrances of Things Trump: teleprompter stumble.In the interview, it’s part one of a conversation with David Shor, a researcher and consultant for democratic politicians. Shor discusses the value trade-offs parties have to make in order to win an election. From his analysis, he explains that when a political party’s values are out of sync with what a median voter believes, issues inevita...more

  • The World's Worst Year Ever

    Dec 30 2020

    On the Gist, Fauci guess-timates. And, today in Remembrances of Things Trump: dead ducks and poisoned undies. In the interview, Harvard professor Michael McCormick is here to tell Mike about the worst year in recorded history. According to him, it’s 536 A.D., a year when a volcanic eruption blocked out the sun, a bubonic plague that recurred every few decades began, and Ireland was without bread for four years. He and Mike discuss how we’re able to pinpoint so precisely the date of these events,...more

  • America’s Worst Year Ever

    Dec 29 2020

    On the Gist, sorting out how undemocratic of our democracy is.In the interview, the Atlantic’s James Fallows contends that while 2020 has been bad, 1968 was actually quite worse. The Vietnam War was raging, young men were being drafted, and in 1968 the North Vietnamese and Vietcong forces launched their Tet Offensive. Not to mention, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were both assassinated. Fallows and Mike discuss how the assassinations compounded on the stress of the war, how shooti...more

  • Getting Carriered Away

    Dec 28 2020

    On the Gist, we’re experiencing some loner white terrorist burnout.In the interview, we’re talking rural Republicans. Ross Benes gives us insight to Nebraska’s Republican party, and how they can help to understand Republicans everywhere. He talks about where Democrats are going wrong outside the cities, the difference between an old fashioned Republican and a Trump Toadie, and what makes rural voters tick—sometimes despite their own best interests. Benes is a journalist and analyst at eMarketer,...more

  • Simply Having a COVID Christmas Time

    Dec 23 2020

    On the Gist, Republican Grinches are scratching their heads while Santa Trump calls for more stimulus money. And, today in Remembrances of Things Trump: This president. He hasn’t talked so good. In the interview, we have Georgia on our mind yet again with Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Bill Nigut. He talks about the upcoming Georgia runoff including the impact of Republicans crying foul after the 2020 election, the (slim) chance that Republicans could blow an election that’s theirs to lose, and a...more

  • Washing Out the Trump Stain

    Dec 23 2020

    On the Gist, who wants the vaccine?And, today in Remembrances of Things Trump: Did Trump really want a moat with alligators and snakes?In the interview, it’s the second half of Mike’s conversation with author Michael Scott Alexander about his book, Making Peace with the Universe: Personal Crisis and Spiritual Healing. Alexander talks about his connection to finding a religious path and identity, the differences between religious institutions and personal enlightenment, and why the concept of spi...more

  • The Death Sentence Is Dubious

    Dec 22 2020

    On the Gist, medical innovation.And, today in Remembrances of Things Trump: charitable contributions.In the interview, it’s part one of Mike’s discussion with author, Michael Scott Alexander about his book, Making Peace with the Universe: Personal Crisis and Spiritual Healing. Alexander details how he searched for insight during an existential crisis, and retroactively explored how other great thinkers, philosophers, psychologists, and musicians found help in healing the mind. Alexander is assoc...more

  • The Shrinking Majority

    Dec 19 2020

    On the Gist, the shrinking list of Democrats in Congress. And, today in Remembrances of Things Trump: Trump trying to surprise the parents of British teenager Harry Dunn with their son’s killer.In the interview, the Gist’s favorite guest, Maria Konnikova, is back for another round of “Is That Bullshit?” She and Mike talk about long shot political wins and describe what it meant for Donald Trump to draw an inside straight in 2016. It’s a great hand to bluff with, but oftentimes it can be a bad st...more

  • Democrat Delusions

    Dec 18 2020

    On the Gist, gale-force winds from winter storm Gail. And, today in Remembrances of Things Trump: Jim Acosta was scolded and his credentials revoked.In the interview, Mike talks with Scottish sports broadcaster Andrew Cotter how his dogs Olive and Mabel became online celebrities. Earlier this year, Cotter began publishing short videos of his dogs featuring funny commentaries from his perspective. One is a sports-style chew toy play-by-play, and another is a work call with his pups over Zoom. The...more

  • Keeping an Eye on the Fall

    Dec 17 2020

    On the Gist, GOP going after themselves. And, today in Remembrances of Things Trump: Peter Navarro’s alter ego.In the interview, Mike talks with Jane McManus about the conclusions of her poll on why Americans have been spending less time watching sports in 2020. What she found has a lot to do with not just the pandemic and aging viewers, but identity politics, too. In their conversation, McManus underscores that the health of a community is oftentimes based on playing games, and that sports are ...more

  • Constructing Joe’s Cabinet

    Dec 16 2020

    On the Gist, Pete Buttigieg named Biden’s secretary of transport. And, today in Remembrances of Things Trump: Ryan Zinke, Trump’s first secretary of the interior.In the interview, it’s the final half of Mike’s discussion with writer Matthew Yglesias. After touching on Yglesias’ argument from his Vox piece, “Trump’s Gains With Hispanic Voters Should Prompt Some Progressive Rethinking,” he and Mike go deeper on the divide between white Democrats and Democrats of color, and why some social issues i...more

  • Competence Prevails

    Dec 15 2020

    On the Gist, deciphering the Zodiac Killer’s last message. And, today in Remembrances of Things Trump: Trump trying to make Andrew Puzder his Labor Secretary.In the interview, the first part of Mike’s discussion with writer Matthew Yglesias. They talk about how the world of online media has changed since Yglesias founded Vox, and begin to get into his argument about certain parts of the Democratic platform that alienated Hispanic voters and pushed them towards Trump. Tomorrow, they’ll go deeper ...more

  • Happy Fifteen Years, Political Gabfest

    Dec 11 2020

    On the Gist, don’t trust the polls. And, today’s installment of Remembrances of Things Trump: Trump loves the Great Lake.In the interview, Mike helps Slate celebrate a milestone. Fifteen years ago this week, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz recorded their first podcast together, and the Political Gabfest was born. Since 2005, the trio has roundtabled weekly about politicians, scandals, and countless court cases with millions of listeners joining them along the way. It’s a podcast s...more

  • Middle Class Musts

    Dec 11 2020

    On the Gist, unasked for resignation advice. And, today’s installment of Remembrances of Things Trump: toilets for well-endowed men.In the interview, it’s part two of Mike’s conversation with Jim Tankersley, author and New York Times economics reporter. Tankersley provides solutions to productivity gains, explains how access to education in America is not enough of a tool for progress and that extending opportunities, like V.C. to women and BIPOC, will create more opportunities leading to a virt...more

  • Medical Racism and Vaccine Fears

    Dec 10 2020

    On the Gist, the skeletons in Hunter Biden’s closet. And, today’s installment of Remembrances of Things Trump: A natural rust color on the border wall.In the interview, it’s part one of Mike’s conversation with author and economics reporter Jim Tankersley about his new book, The Riches of This Land: The Untold, True Story of America's Middle Class. Tankersley defines the middle class by economic security, and underscores how legislations and the Civil Rights act negatively impacted economic poli...more

  • Worthy of the Vaccine

    Dec 09 2020

    On the Gist, Ultimate Concrete. And, today’s installment of Remembrances of Things Trump: Harley riders for Trump.In the interview, Mike talks with Cal Matters reporter Laurel Rosenhall about her coverage of Proposition 22, an unprecedented measure pushed by app-based rideshare and livery companies to keep their workers within the gig-economy and preserve exemptions around having to pay employee job protections and benefits. Rosenhall discusses the strategies companies like Uber, Lyft, Instacart...more

  • Year of the Rat

    Dec 08 2020

    On the Gist, Trump still wants attention. And, today’s installment of Remembrances of Things Trump: Trump meeting Emmanuel Macron.In the interview, theater artist and rat about town Jonothon Lyons is here to talk with Mike about his year performing in the streets and subways of New York City. They discuss the origins of Lyons’ work in movement and mask making, the shapes and shadows that help build a mask face, and how Buddy the Rat helped Mike with his own recent engagement.In the spiel, pay in...more

  • Wrecking Public Trust

    Dec 05 2020

    On the Gist, Corey Lewandowski has caught the virus. And, today’s installment of Remembrances of Things Trump: criticizing Chucks.In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for another “Is That Bullshit?” She and Mike dissect where the stipulations around the socially distanced fifteen-minute time limit.* While in close proximity to another person, how long does it actually take to get exposed and what are the variables? Turns out, the time frame depends on a variety of factors like weather, mask...more

  • Perdue’s Share of Pfizer

    Dec 04 2020

    On the Gist, will Trump have a platform once he’s stripped of power? And, today’s installment of Remembrances of Things Trump: hoping things will work out with North Korea.In the interview, lawyer Fred Golder is here to discuss mediation and his new book Reaching Common Ground: A Comprehensive Guide to Conflict Resolution. He and Mike discuss Golder’s long career fighting for the rights of workers starting in the ’60s, and how his experience led him to believe mediation was the best tool to reso...more

  • Fiddling With Georgia’s Election

    Dec 03 2020

    On the Gist, unraveling of election results. And, today’s installment of Remembrances of Things Trump: a graveyard full of birds. In the interview, Mike is joined by Fred Kaplan, War Stories columnist at Slate, and author of The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War. Kaplan discusses the implications of the assassination of the head of the Iranian nuclear program, Trump’s stance on U.S. involvement on foreign wars, and some projections on Biden’s cabinet picks for sec...more

  • Punting on Opportunity

    Dec 02 2020

    On the Gist, potential mass fraud. Plus, the latest installment of Remembrances of Things Trump, as we pause to recall when the president claimed his father was born in Germany.In the interview, it's part two of Mike's conversation with voice actor Jess Harnell, who is reprising his role as Wakko Warner on the reboot of the beloved ‘90s cartoon The Animaniacs, now streaming on Hulu. Separate from the show, Harnell discusses his success in vocal matching and imitation, and how he successfully ada...more

  • Progressives Cry Betrayal

    Dec 01 2020

    On the Gist, voter certifications in Arizona and Wisconsin.In the interview, Mike talks with Jess Harnell, the Emmy-nominated voice artist with over 300 voice credits to his name, including Wakko Warner from The Animaniacs. The animated show executive produced by Steven Spielberg, known for bringing irreverent comedy and satire to kids in the 90’s, is back. In the first part of this two part interview, Harnell explains the inspiration behind Wakko's voice, what elements made Animaniacs an iconic...more

  • A Start-Up Letdown

    Nov 26 2020

    On the Gist, today on Remembrances of Things Trump, we look back on Trump’s 2017 visit to the annual Boy Scout Jamboree. In the interview, Mike talks with Reeves Weideman, contributing editor at New York magazine and author of Billion Dollar Loser: The Epic Rise and Spectacular Fall of Adam Neumann and WeWork. Weideman explains the internal drama inside Neumann’s fast-scaling, overly hyped WeWork, an office space leasing company billed as an in-person social network, as well as the lessons entre...more

  • Remember When

    Nov 25 2020

    On the Gist, remember when there was “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen,” and an attack on Syria.In the interview, Yuval Levin, author of A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream and American Enterprise Institute scholar talks to Mike about what conservatism looks like in a post-Trump world. As the Republican party grapples with their identity at the start of a new era,...more

  • How To With John Wilson

    Nov 24 2020

    On the Gist, Michigan meets to certify the results of the 2020 election.In the interview, documentarian John Wilson talks to Mike about steering clear of staid tropes and taking on moments of serendipity for his new HBO docuseries. How To with John Wilson is a poetic and comedic look on life, art, and philosophy in and around New York City. How To, as Wilson describes, was his experimentation with realism. As writer, cameraman, producer and narrator, Wilson creates a weirdly and beautifully raw ...more

  • Cover It Up!

    Nov 21 2020

    On the Gist, the election cannot be reversed in Trump’s favor.In the interview, comedian, actor, author, and activist Sarah Silverman joins Mike to talk about career, her characters, and how she is still learning from some controversial missteps taken along the way. Silverman candidly discusses her views on why Americans are so politically divided and why she thinks we ought to work together towards implementing progressive legislation. Her newest project, a podcast where she responds no-holds-b...more

  • No Redress for the Wicked

    Nov 20 2020

    On the Gist, Rudy Giuliani keeps trying.In the interview, Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith are here to talk about their new book After Trump: Reconstructing the Presidency. Goldsmith, former White House counsel for the George W. Bush administration, and Bauer, former Obama counsel, discuss what work needs to be done to move past the Trump presidency. They share their differing views on the efficacy of prosecuting Trump’s actions in office after Biden steps into the role, and the two explain how this...more

  • Carried Away

    Nov 19 2020

    On the Gist, how Governors Cuomo and Newsom are responding to the second wave.In the interview, it’s part two of Mike’s conversation with The Dispatch’s senior editor David French about his new book Divided We Fall: America's Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation. French discusses the principles of pluralism, how some choose to decry tribalism and then default to using pluralism as a tactic. French also details some examples of it actually working as well as when it has led to friction....more

  • Warp Speed Worked

    Nov 18 2020

    On the Gist, there is a lot of uncertainty between now and January.In the interview, we share part one of Mike’s conversation with David French about his new book Divided We Fall: America's Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation. French argues that reconciling differences within the U.S. is more than just bridging political divides. Opposing identities require broad ideological coalitions in government that seek to soothe cemented divisions and heal citizens who feel disenfranchised. Par...more

  • A Safe Thanksgiving?

    Nov 17 2020

    On the Gist, facing electoral consequences.In the interview, Roxanne Khamsi, a science writer and contributor to WIRED, joins Mike to talk about Covid-19 social distancing, mask policies, lockdown, and preparedness in the U.S. and Canada. As America approaches the start of the holidays, Khamsi shares some new data—based off of individuals isolated on offshore oil drilling rigs—that provides some guidance on testing twice and how it may help shorten the 14-day quarantine period.In the spiel, the ...more

  • Democrat Divergence?

    Nov 14 2020

    On the Gist, Democrats seeing compromise as a defeat.In the interview, political commentator Jess McIntosh talks with Mike about the fight within the Democratic party about whose messaging matters. They discuss the merits of centrist and progressive language, how important it is to have members of Congress who are further left than Biden, and why Republicans villainize Democrats regardless of the language they use. McIntosh is co-host of Signal Boost on Sirius XM.In the spiel, listener concerns....more

  • Home Is a Construct

    Nov 13 2020

    On the Gist, more of Trump’s inner circle test positive for Covid-19.In the interview, writer and urban policy specialist Diana Lind is here to talk about her new book Brave New Home: Our Future in Smarter, Simpler, Happier Housing. She and Mike discuss how the single-family home arose in the U.S. as a part of the American dream, if it’s really making us any happier to live that way, and what sorts of legal roadblocks currently prevent a variety of housing options from proliferating across the c...more

  • No Coup for You

    Nov 12 2020

    On the Gist, Trump tries a coup.In the interview, former federal prosecutor, legal scholar and law professor Mark Osler joins Mike to talk about the presidential power of pardoning, granting clemency, a benign prerogative that is slanted towards mercy and not retribution. They discuss what might happen in the next few months with Trump’s final days in office.In the spiel, who elected Biden?Email us at thegist@slate.comSlate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. ...more

  • Jeopardy, A Beloved Tradition

    Nov 10 2020

    On the Gist, brokered by Russia.In the interview, Claire McNear joins Mike to talk about her new book Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider's Guide to Jeopardy! In it, McNear explains the history of the game, what it takes to be a contestant and maintain a storied winning streak, and how so much of Jeopardy’s DNA came from its late host - Alex Trebek. Claire is a staff writer at The Ringer.In the spiel, former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe testifies.Email us at t...more

  • The News Normal

    Nov 10 2020

    On the Gist, getting back to normal.In the interview, WHYY’s Katie Meyer is here to discuss Pennsylvania politics with Mike. They talk about how the changes in voting collection and counting changed in the state during 2020, why it caused such national turmoil, and if Republican meddling even helped their strategy at all.In the spiel, anchors having too many opinions.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ...more

  • The Democrat Debrief

    Nov 07 2020

    On the Gist, Democrats practiced caution and Republicans jumped into the deep end.In the interview, Emily Bazelon and Mike recap election week, its days-long outcome, and our current reality with the two candidates. Bazelon writes for the New York Times magazine, co-hosts Slate’s Political Gabfest, and is the author of Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration.In the spiel, what is the Democratic Party’s way forward?Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcas...more

  • That Election Feeling

    Nov 05 2020

    On the Gist, election feelings.In the interview, Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes is here as we continue working through the results after election day. He and Mike discuss how the next few months could play out, what a transition might look like, and the ways Trump is considering fighting dirty. Wittes is the author of Unmaking the Presidency: Donald Trump’s War on the World’s Most Powerful Office.In the spiel, the Trafalgar group got too much wrong.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by D...more

  • The Day After

    Nov 05 2020

    On the Gist, misguided Americans.In the interview, Mike talks with Slate’s senior politics writer Jim Newell about the house races, what the democrat incumbents did wrong and why things appear to be a lot more like 2016, and theorizing that a republican controlled senate is what Biden actually wants. Plus, Jim and Mike’s thoughts on Mississippi’s new state flag.In the spiel, how much does Fox News’ framing matter?Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Ke...more

  • Election Night 2020

    Nov 03 2020

    On the Gist, the system is antiquated.In the interview, Mike talks with Anne Applebaum, author of Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism, about America’s future after election day. They talk about the small but concerning ways the country could slide towards a dictatorship, and how Trump’s tactics have made people less willing to believe in the power of democracy.In the spiel, a lot is on the ballot.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Ma...more

  • Fear the Shy Trump Voter?

    Nov 03 2020

    On the Gist, caravans of Trump supporters.In the interview, Mike talks with NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik on the organization’s decision to sidestep coverage of the Hunter Biden allegations. He and Mike discuss ways major news outlets covered the story, why it never got much traction, and what goes into evaluating a story’s worth.In the spiel, Trafalgar Group’s polling predictions.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley. Learn more abo...more

  • Broadband Is Not A Luxury

    Oct 31 2020

    On the Gist, Trump in Michigan.In the interview, Mike talks with former governor of Florida Jeb Bush about his push for access to national broadband internet access. He argues that high-speed internet in the U.S. is lagging compared to other industrialized countries. Now more than ever, digital infrastructure has become a critical resource to the economy, as well as our nation’s security. Read Gov. Bush’s piece in Slate published in early October. In the spiel, painting Trump in a terrible light...more

  • Swinging In Iowa

    Oct 30 2020

    On the Gist, the number of people who’ve already voted.In the interview, Erin Murphy, the Des Moines Bureau Chief for Lee Enterprises in Iowa, joins Mike to talk about what the election looks like in his state. They discuss how Trump is faring with farmers, what the different races look like there, and the effect anti-gun groups may be having on the state elections.In the spiel, Perdue and Ossoff face off in Georgia.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret...more

  • Lone Star Elections

    Oct 29 2020

    On the Gist, the Jim Comey letter came out four years ago today.In the interview, Mike talks with Scott Braddock, editor and Texan political analyst at the Quorum Report. Braddock is also host of Texas Take, a podcast from the Houston Chronicle. They talk about what’s at stake on the ballots for election day, and how compared with previous years Texans have been voting in record numbers.In the spiel, Trump’s exceptions.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Marga...more

  • The Last Frontier

    Oct 27 2020

    On the Gist, don’t worry about things you can’t control.In the interview, Alaska Public Media’s Nat Herz joins Mike to talk about the races above the lower 48. Herz details the dramatic Alaskan Senate race between Al Gross and Daniel Sullivan, how the Pebble Mine scandal and the salmon fishing industry are important points of discussion, and how the presidential campaigns have been able to pound the pavement in Alaska. Cue Sarah Palin appearing as a surrogate for the Trump campaign in a Cabela’s...more

  • Georgia on Our Mind

    Oct 26 2020

    On the Gist, Trump and Armenians.In the interview, Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Bill Nigut is here to talk with Mike about Georgia. He fills Mike in on the details of the fight between Kelly Loeffler, Doug Collins, and Raphael Warnock, and shares how impressed he’s been with Jon Ossoff’s debate performance against incumbent David Perdue. They also discuss how Biden is trying to reach voters in the state, and if there’s any chance it could go blue. Nigut is the host of Political Rewind.In the sp...more

  • Last Pitch Effort

    Oct 24 2020

    On the Gist, red-string theories and conspiratorial last-ditch efforts.In the interview, Mike and Slate’s national correspondent Will Saletan recap the final presidential debate. They discuss the Trump camp’s thwarted strategy of practicing restraint to expose Biden, the self-congratulatory and attacking exchanges between the two candidates, and why this debate might only make a difference for Trump in his attempts to score points with low-information and eleventh hour-voters.In the spiel, Trump...more

  • Calling It: Dan Rather

    Oct 22 2020

    On the Gist, our civic obligations in 2020.In the interview, Mike talks with journalist and veteran broadcast anchor Dan Rather about his decades-long career in covering elections, highlighting a few cautionary tales learned from the 2000 race between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Rather explains that for some major networks, making the right call in 2000 was marred by corporate interference in the control rooms, plus he stresses that unexpected delays could fuel conspiracy theories. Patience will...more

  • Calling It: Brian Rosenwald

    Oct 21 2020

    On the Gist, Mike checks in with this Lawfare piece, and the U.S. Elections Project.In the interview, Mike talks with Brian Rosenwald, a media historian and fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, about how election night might play out. They discuss the idea of a red mirage, how Republican governors can bring order to things, and how far-right talk radio is going to digest the results. Rosenwald is the author of Talk Radio’s America: How an Industry Took Over a Political Party That Took Over ...more

  • Calling It: Julie Pace

    Oct 21 2020

    On the Gist, network news election branding. In the interview, Mike talks with Julie Pace, Washington Bureau Chief for the Associated Press, about the AP’s history in counting the vote since 1848, how they’ve traditionally declared winners, and an explanation on how they will be going above and beyond in 2020 in sharing the race calls that they are and aren’t making.In the spiel, local political television ads.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelle...more

  • Calling It: Steve Kornacki and Brian Stelter

    Oct 19 2020

    On the Gist, we’re launching a week-long focus on election night and how different news organizations handle making the winning calls.In the interviews, Mike talks with NBC News’ national political correspondent Steve Kornacki about his network’s decision desk, their processes in tabulation, and how they will be closely monitoring the votes coming in days after Tuesday, November 3. Kornacki is the author of The Red and the Blue.Then, Mike speaks with CNN’s Brian Stelter about CNN’s plan for cove...more

  • Masking Over Truth

    Oct 17 2020

    On the Gist, the price of corn.In the interview, former senior strategist for the NRA Joshua L. Powell is back for the second half of his conversation with Mike. They run down a series of NRA opinions and he and Mike go back and forth about how much NRA members believe things like “the only solution to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” and whether we should own AR-15s. Powell’s book is Inside the NRA: A Tell-All Account of Corruption, Greed, and Paranoia within the Most Powerful Po...more

  • The Personal Is Judicial

    Oct 16 2020

    On the Gist, David Ruffin.In the interview, former senior strategist for the NRA Joshua L. Powell is here to discuss his new book, Inside the NRA: A Tell-All Account of Corruption, Greed, and Paranoia within the Most Powerful Political Group in America. During the first half of this two-part conversation, he and Mike talk about the nefarious ways Wayne LaPierre used the NRA to push forward polarizing but niche interests, and the case New York State Attorney General Letitia James is bringing agai...more

  • Pollster Pitfalls

    Oct 14 2020

    On the Gist, an Alaskan drama.In the interview, Mike talks with Robert Cahaly, head pollster of the Atlanta-based Trafalgar Group. Cahaly explains their polling methodology in gathering accurate opinion data, why social desirability bias comes into play, and how his team was able to predict Trump’s win in 2016. Now he posits that in 2020 Trump has more support than the polls could be showing. In the spiel, Kabuki-style hearings continue for Amy Coney Barrett.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast ...more

  • Talking Around Amy Coney Barrett

    Oct 14 2020

    On the Gist, uniting with your would-be kidnappers?In the interview, Mike talks to former Obama staffer Elliot Williams about his new podcast Made to Fail, a show where he explores the different ways governmental institutions across have been made intentionally dysfunctional, like the Florida unemployment system, and the impact it has on people in need of such infrastructure. All episodes of Made to Fail are available wherever you get your podcasts.In the spiel, processing Amy Coney Barrett.Emai...more

  • Talk Radio Rally

    Oct 09 2020

    On the Gist, mishegoss in Michigan.In the interview, Mike talks with Stephen Dubner, host and co-author of Freakonomics, and Angela Duckworth, a psychologist and best-selling author of Grit. Dubner and Duckworth are the hosts of the new podcast No Stupid Questions, where in each episode they take turns posing a question, and give each other the chance to puzzle out their responses. The questions Mike poses for them include how to separate art from artist and how to navigate microaggressions. No ...more

  • The World Needs Better Men

    Oct 09 2020

    On the Gist, the vice presidential debate and expanding SCOTUS.In the interview, Mike is joined by author, comedian, podcast host, and actor Michael Ian Black to talk about his latest book, A Better Man: A (Mostly Serious) Letter to My Son. Black was persuaded to write the book after publishing a New York Times op-ed on school shootings and gun control in 2018. Part advice and part memoir, A Better Man poses the question: why is it always boys and young men who are pulling the trigger? Black cha...more

  • Too Big to Govern?

    Oct 07 2020

    On the Gist, a vice presidential debate starring plexiglass.In the interview, Mike hosts a roundtable discussion with journalist Richard Kreitner and Vox’s Matthew Yglesias to talk about how each of their new books address the problem of an ever-increasing American population. They debate if the U.S. should split into more manageable nations, or if the country should keep pushing population growth. Yglesias’ book is One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Big, and Kreitner’s latest is Break...more

  • Rebranding Schadenfreude

    Oct 06 2020

    On the Gist, a buffet of bad takes from Joe Piscopo.In the interview, CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin is here to discuss a topic the Gist can’t seem to get enough of recently, the Mueller investigation. Toobin’s new book, True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump, explores the investigation and analyzes its failures, and he talks with Mike about Mueller’s misplaced trust in institutions, and how sympathetic we should find him in light of that.In the spiel, how do you...more

  • Iterations of Idiocy

    Oct 05 2020

    On the Gist, Trump's doctor has reasons.In the interview, former FBI agent Peter Strzok is here to discuss his new book Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump. He and Mike discuss the investigation into Trump and Russia, the ways kompromat could push Trump to make decisions based on Russian interests, and how Trump vilified two federal agents over personal text messages that were leaked to the press by the Justice Department.In the spiel, even the president can catch ...more

  • Hoisted By His Own Petard

    Oct 03 2020

    On the Gist, Trump’s mask strategy.In the interview, Mike is joined by David Priess, COO of the Lawfare Institute, an organization and online magazine which focuses on national security issues. Priess posits some worst case scenarios in light of President Trump contracting Covid-19, the unexpected vulnerabilities and uncertainties that lay ahead, historical norms of disclosure for a president, and the ultimate Continuity of Government Plan - the election. Priess is a former CIA officer, and auth...more

  • You Gotta Believe

    Oct 02 2020

    On the Gist, Trump’s falsehoods.In the interview, Mikes talks with neuroscientist, Stanford University professor and best-selling author, David Eagleman, about his latest book Livewired: The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain. Eagleman says that the way the brain is able to change and adapt to adversity is still inspiring new developments and new questions. In the spiel, making a political comeback.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Margaret Kelley and Jamila Bey.Slate Plus ...more

  • Dastardly Debate

    Oct 01 2020

    On the Gist, there were a great many missteps last night on the presidential debate stage, but despite the rhetorical slips, Biden stayed on his feet to glide past Trump.In the interview, Mike and Slate’s national correspondent, Will Saletan, recap the first presidential debate. They dissect the prep and implemented strategies of both the Trump and Biden camps, the gratuitous exchanges between the two candidates, Chris Wallace’s performance as moderator, and how to curb the electoral nightmare s...more

  • Drawing Districts

    Sep 29 2020

    On the Gist, using poker logic to analogize the upcoming presidential debates with Annie Duke. She is a former professional poker player, cognitive scientist and author of the forthcoming How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices.In the interview, Mike passes the baton to Annie Duke once more to dig into gerrymandering. Duke talks with Moon Duchin, a mathematician and professor at Tufts University, about her research into understanding how voting districts work. Through redistricting...more

  • Deliver Us From Trump

    Sep 29 2020

    On the Gist, the attack on the Knights of Columbus.In the interview, Mike talks with Philippe I. Reines, political consultant, longtime aid and former staffer of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. In light of the upcoming presidential debates between Trump and Biden, Reines details his debate preparation in 2016, shares some possible strategies that the Biden camp may be using to prepare, and what sort of tactics Biden could use to go for the jugular.In the spiel, cult of Trump.Emai...more

  • Reconsidering Comey

    Sep 26 2020

    On the Gist, a Twitter bug.In the interview, actor Jeff Daniels and writer Billy Ray are here to discuss the new two-night mini-series The Comey Rule on Showtime. The mini-series focuses on the story James Comey in the fall of 2016, and even though both Daniels and Ray had certain perceptions of how poorly James Comey handled it all, working on this project really revealed the humanity and struggle of this public servant. Mike talks with them about the creative process, adapting such recent hist...more

  • Democracy’s Nightmare Scenario

    Sep 25 2020

    On the Gist, Kelly Loeffler and Atilla the Hun.In the interview, Jonathan V. Last, editor of The Bulwark, talks with Mike about his recent piece which forecasts that after the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, America is moving one step closer to another political crisis. Last walks through some of the nightmare scenarios, particularly on the probability that a conservative justice is appointed, confirmed, and subsequently rules on the November election. Last explains that although he remains opti...more

  • Justice or Retribution?

    Sep 23 2020

    On the Gist, Trump sounds braggadocious.In the interview, it’s the second half of Mike’s conversation with CNN’s Brian Stelter. They discuss why Fox News is losing advertisers, and why executives at the organization continue to stand by their talent, and Mike questions whether news anchors have given up their objectivity with lengthy monologues about the state of democracy under Trump. Stelter’s latest book, Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth, is out now.In the s...more

  • The Consequence of Elections

    Sep 22 2020

    On the Gist, nothing is reasonable anymore.In the interview, CNN’s Brian Stelter is here to discuss his new book Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth. In the first half of his two-part interview, Stelter talks about the ways Fox changed after Roger Ailes’ exit in 2016, increasingly abandoning its news coverage in favor of polarizing commentary, and how the cycle of disinformation between Trump and Fox keeps us all trapped.In the spiel, Sen. Lindsey Graham might fac...more

  • Wishing for Democracy

    Sep 21 2020

    On the Gist, the pursuit of power through SCOTUS.In the interview, Mike talks with radio presenter and author, Eric Weiner about his latest book The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons from Dead Philosophers. In it, Weiner opines on the philosophical giants from a place that offers one of the more pleasant environments to philosophize - the railroad. In this travelogue, Weiner discusses their life-enhancing poetry, and explains how their lives were in fact just like ours, except they had...more

  • Special: SCOTUS After Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    Sep 19 2020

    Emily Bazelon joins Mike for a special episode on the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. After discussing Ginsburg’s history as a justice and legacy on the court, they begin to unpack the future political ramifications of her death. Emily and Mike talk through the ways a nomination could quickly slip through the Senate before January, the impact a conservative court could have on issues besides abortion rights, and if Ginsburg should have stepped down under President Obama.Email us at thegi...more

  • Condemn Nation

    Sep 19 2020

    On the Gist, Trump can’t pronounce Mosni, Wisconsin.In the interview, Mike talks with writers Mary Pilon and Louisa Thomas about their foray into collaborative editing. Their new collection of short sports stories called Losers: Dispatches from the Other Side of the Scoreboard is a curated volume that explores what it means to feel defeated. Pilon, a New York Times bestselling author, and Thomas, a New Yorker staff writer examine why winning isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be, and why losin...more

  • Fuel for a Cold War

    Sep 17 2020

    On the Gist, Trump deals in the Middle East.In the interview, we’ve got the second half of Mike’s conversation with Daniel Yergin, an energy expert who has advised the past four presidential administrations and author of The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations. He and Mike talk about the looming cold war with China, how our change in the global energy market affects that relationship, and what transitions to alternative energy sources could look like.In the spiel, medical atrociti...more

  • Stop Fracking Out

    Sep 16 2020

    On the Gist, delayed accuracy.In the interview, the first half of Mike’s interview with Dan Yergin, an author and energy expert who has advised the past four presidential administrations, who’s here to discuss his new book, The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations. He and Mike talk about how innovations in fracking have completely changed the landscape of global energy power, and why environmental concerns shouldn’t prevent all fracking.In the spiel, Lauren Witzke.Email us at thegi...more

  • Third Party Thieves

    Sep 16 2020

    On the Gist, Trump thinks the weather will balance everything out.In the interview, Mikes talks with Michael Sandel, a political philosopher, global lecturer, and Harvard University professor, about his latest book, The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good?. In it, Sandel argues that meritocracy offers a false promise and that it’s actually eroding American culture. Sandel is a prolific author of numerous philosophical works, notably his New York Times best seller Justice: What's t...more

  • Biden Wouldn’t Have Saved Us All

    Sep 14 2020

    On the Gist, Trump isn’t helping you.In the interview, Leon Neyfakh is here to talk about the newest season of Fiasco, which focuses on Boston’s effort to desegregate its schools. He and Mike discuss the difficulties of finding a nuanced way to tell a story that complicates it beyond racism, and the reasons Biden’s stance on bussing has changed over the years. Fiasco is available on Luminary.In the spiel, Peter Navarro vs. Jake Tapper.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Sch...more

  • Is It So Bad?

    Sep 12 2020

    On the Gist, Trump isn’t helping you.In the interview, the second part Mike’s conversation with author and former FBI counter-terrorism staffer Clint Watts on QAnon. They talk about how might time we should give QAnon, how to help those in our own life, and if we eventually have to just let these people flame out in office. He is the author of Messing With the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News.In the spiel, who gets to think things aren’t so...more

  • The QAnon Questions

    Sep 11 2020

    On the Gist, Trump’s Nobel nomination.In the interview, author and former FBI counter-terrorism staffer Clint Watts is here to talk about QAnon. He and Mike discuss the rise of the conspiracy theory and movement, why its belief structure is so murky, and the oddities of its marketing and merchandising arm. Watts will be back tomorrow for the second half of this conversation. His is the author of Messing With the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake ...more

  • Trump’s Taxpayer-Funded Defense

    Sep 10 2020

    On the Gist, the police chiefs are stepping down.In the interview, Academy Award-winning documentarian Barbara Kopple is here to talk about her latest film, Desert One. Through new archival footage and the various perspectives of key players, the film reveals the true story behind the secret mission to free hostages captured during the 1979 Iranian revolution. She and Mike discuss how she approaches the stories she tells, the narrative problems she had to solve in this film, and how persistent s...more

  • No Cause Bigger Than Himself

    Sep 08 2020

    On the Gist, gender reveal parties.In the interview, NPR’s Jacob Goldstein is here to talk about his new book, Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing. They discuss how Andrew Jackson made mistakes about national banking, why we should never return to the gold standard, and if cash is on the way out. Goldstein is a host of NPR’s Planet Money.In the spiel, Trump hates sacrifice.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder, Margaret Kelley, and Lori Galarreta.Slate Plus mem...more

  • Brainworms or Biden

    Sep 04 2020

    On the Gist, COVID-19 deaths continue to rise.In the interview, the second half of Mike’s discussion with Dr. Rashawn Ray, a sociologist studying new methods of measuring implicit bias using virtual simulations of police officer decision-making at the Lab for Applied Social Science Research at the University of Maryland, College Park. He and his team are encouraged that by researching and educating law enforcement with real life social interaction training, they might be able to incite change in...more

  • Racism In The Simulation

    Sep 04 2020

    On the Gist, a sigh.In the interview, Mike talks to Dr. Rashawn Ray, a sociologist studying new methods of measuring implicit bias using virtual simulations of police officer decision-making at the Lab for Applied Social Science Research at the University of Maryland, College Park. He and his team are encouraged that by researching and educating law enforcement with real life social interaction training, they might be able to incite change in outcomes between officers and civilians. Ray is a Bro...more

  • Villain Not Vigilante

    Sep 03 2020

    On the Gist, believing catchy rhyming couplets or policies.In the interview, writer, lawyer and author, Jill Filipovic joins Mike to talk about her latest book, OK Boomer, Let's Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind. Filipovic explains that the millennial generation has it worse than most, the relationship between millennials and their boomer parents, and how those boomers were afforded more social programs, leaving millennials with disastrous consequences.In the spiel, the charges against Rit...more

  • Is Anybody Paying Attention?

    Sep 01 2020

    On the Gist, Trump visits Kenosha.In the interview, the Wall Street Journal’s Gerald Seib is here to discuss his new book, We Should Have Seen It Coming: From Ronald Reagan to Trump—A Front-Row Seat to a Political Revolution. He and Mike talk about how the GOP has changed since the time of Reagan and paved the way for Trump’s ascendence. They also touch on why Mitch McConnell keeps blocking relief packages, and how worried we should be about the future.In the spiel, not paying attention to polit...more

  • Trumpian Chaos Theory

    Aug 31 2020

    On the Gist, Mike is back. He starts with republicans who dismiss the Hatch Act.In the interview, Mike chats with the creators and executive producers of the animated adventure Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe. Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh explain how they expanded the usual tropes of their short episodes into a feature film, the provenance of their beloved creations, and how their work on The Simpsons together and their shared sense of humor influenced them crea...more

  • One Stat to Rule Them All

    Aug 28 2020

    Today, we welcome Sonari Glinton is back as guest host. A well-known podcast and public radio voice, former NPR business reporter covering the auto industry and economics, and currently hosts the podcast Bring Back Bronco.On the Gist, sports and activism.In the interview, Sonari talks to screenwriter Patricia Resnick about her experience writing the film 9 to 5 starring Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, and Lily Tomlin. They discuss how the film became more than just a vehicle for workplace rights activ...more

  • The Curse of American Traffic

    Aug 27 2020

    Today, we welcome Sonari Glinton as guest host. A well-known podcast and public radio voice, former NPR business reporter covering the auto industry and economics, Glinton is also a big music nerd and record collector.On the Gist, RNC bingo.In the interview, Sonari discusses how Covid-19 has affected the auto industry with Scotty Reiss, the founder of A Girls Guide to Cars, a site focused on empowering women to be smarter car owners. Reiss talks about Covid-19’s impact on the global supply chain...more

  • The High Court of Facebook

    Aug 26 2020

    Today, Kate Klonick is back as the guest host. She is an assistant professor at St. John’s Law School, a fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, and researcher of the intersection between law and tech. She’s also co-host of a daily YouTube series called In Lieu of Fun.On the Gist, in 2020, every online company has a community of standards and manually reviews user content. In the interview, Kate talks to Harvard law professor Noah Feldman about his idea for Facebook to crea...more

  • In Lieu of Happy Hour

    Aug 25 2020

    We are halfway through our guest hosting week. Today, Kate Klonick takes the mic. She is an assistant professor at St. John’s Law School, a fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, and researcher of the intersection between law and tech. She’s also co-host of a daily YouTube series called In Lieu of Fun.On the Gist, how Kate found herself on a daily live show during quarantine.In the interview, Kate talks to Ben Wittes, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, co-founder ...more

  • Mistrust Your Memory

    Aug 24 2020

    For the next week, Mike passes the mic to a few guest hosts. Today, Annie Duke, former professional poker player, cognitive scientist, and author of Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts is in the seat again.On the Gist, remembering information.In the interview, Annie talks to Katherine Milkman, a researcher and professor at the University of Pennsylvania who studies behavior, about how the pandemic has thrown everybody out of their old habits and forced th...more

  • Our National Intelligence Is Broken

    Aug 21 2020

    For the next week, Mike passes the mic to a few guest hosts. Today, Annie Duke, former professional poker player and author of Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts takes the helm.On the Gist, Annie recaps the unifying messages from Sen. Sanders and V.P. Biden from the virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention.In the interview, Annie talks with Jay van Bavel, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at NYU, about how extreme partisanship occu...more

  • Pursuing Progress

    Aug 20 2020

    On the Gist, 24 hours of weird utterances.In the interview, political strategist and CNN commentator Jess McIntosh joins us as we continue our coverage of the virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention. McIntosh and Mike discuss the DNC’s short-sightedness with not allowing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a major platform, and how Elizabeth Warren’s policy speech on the childcare economy could become a centerpiece of a future President Biden’s progressive agenda. McIntosh also explains why Biden will ...more

  • Prosecuting the Past?

    Aug 19 2020

    On the Gist, Trump is trying to steal the mail.In the interview, New York Times opinion columnist Michelle Goldberg is here as we keep discussing the Democratic National Convention this week. She and Mike talk about the sorts of progressive policies Biden might adopt from his primary opponents, and if a future Biden administration should follow up on the prosecutions Trump’s DOJ ignored.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get...more

  • Moving to the Middle

    Aug 18 2020

    On the Gist, political television.In the interview, Slate’s Will Saletan is here to discuss the first night of the Democratic National Convention. He and Mike unpack how the party is positioning itself as the party of normalcy while still acknowledging the ways progressives like Bernie Sanders pushed the party forward. They look at how conservatives might flip any of the democrats talking points on them, and the coronavirus of it all.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schr...more

  • The Law’s Favorite Outlaw

    Aug 17 2020

    On the Gist, a supposedly benevolent association supports a malevolent force.In the interview, we mark the beginning of the virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention with a slightly different format; no spiel and more conversation. Mike talks with Charlie Sykes, a republican who will be voting for Joe Biden in November. Author of "How the Right Lost Its Mind," host of the Bulwark Podcast, and an outspoken critic of the Trump administration, Sykes explains how the DNC will be unlike anything we...more

  • Conspiracist for Congress

    Aug 14 2020

    On the Gist, Pence’s meat scares.In the interview, actor Kyle MacLachlan is here to discuss his performance as Thomas Edison in the new film Tesla. He and Mike talk about his approach to the role, and how this film differs from the other kinds of historical dramas he’s done. They also get into some of MacLachlan’s other work like Dune, Showgirls and Twin Peaks. Tesla will be released on August 21 by IFC Films.In the spiel, Marjorie Taylor Greene. Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production b...more

  • The Folly of Predicting the Presidency

    Aug 14 2020

    On the Gist, the close family members of politicians.In the interview, journalist, historian, and former public radio host Tom Weber is here to discuss his new book, Minneapolis: An Urban Biography. In it, Weber explores the social and political history of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and how it’s responsible for the city’s present-day racial inequities. Weber is also the Second Gentleman of Minnesota; he is the spouse of the state’s lieutenant governor.In the spiel, election forecasting.Email us at ...more

  • A Spectrum of Love

    Aug 12 2020

    On the Gist, Kamala and bussing.In the interview, creator of the TV series Love on the Spectrum, Cian O’Clery is here to talk with Mike about his new dating reality series telling the stories of people on the autism spectrum looking for love. He and Mike discuss the origins of the series, how this stands apart as a piece of documentary, and the refreshing change of watching a dating show with guileless subjects. Love on the Spectrum is available to stream on Netflix.In the spiel, over and under-...more

  • Kamala Joins the Ticket

    Aug 12 2020

    On the Gist, the spotlight on Joe Biden’s running mate.In the interview, Mike talks with Lisi Raskin, a professor and the chair of the Sculpture Department at Rhode Island School of Design about the meaning of sculpture in light of the removal of confederate monuments and statues. Raskin is an artist whose large-scale abstract works are reminiscent of the environment of the Cold War.In the spiel, Trump on fall sports leagues.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and...more

  • Wise to the Lies?

    Aug 10 2020

    On the Gist, pronouncing names.In the interview, Mike is joined by Ed Yong of the Atlantic. As a science writer, not only did he warn of an epidemic in 2018, but he has been covering the coronavirus in a clear and vital way. In his latest piece, “Immunology Is Where Intuition Goes to Die,” Yong articulates how this tragedy could have been prevented, and explains why America isn’t defeating the virus any time soon; it has defeated America.In the spiel, do Trump’s lies still work?Email us at thegi...more

  • One Third of Americans Are Always Wrong

    Aug 07 2020

    On the Gist, TikTok block.In the interview, Dr. Eddie Glaude, Jr. of Princeton University joins Mike to talk about his newest book and its release in the context of the recent civil uprisings. Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own poses a fundamental argument around how getting it wrong culturally has hurt the fabric of our nation. Glaude helps make sense of where we are today, and explains that Baldwin understood our messy and uneven economic, social and politi...more

  • The Evils of Election Incompetence

    Aug 06 2020

    On the Gist, New York’s elections are not unlike Georgia’s.In the interview, our resident vexillologist Ted Kaye is back to talk about the latest in flag news. He fills Mike in on what’s happening in Mississippi as they try to swiftly get a new flag design added to the ballot in November, and the recent proliferation of the ‘thin blue line’ American flag. Kaye’s book is Good Flag, Bad Flag.In the spiel, Trump’s mispronunciations.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder...more

  • Trump’s Foundation Is Crumbling

    Aug 05 2020

    On the Gist, the Beirut blast.In the interview, we’ve got the second half of Jesse Eisenberg’s interview on his new Audible original, When You Finish Saving the World. He and Mike continue discussing the creative process and Jesse’s personal connection to the project, and the difficulty of creating things like future slang.In the spiel, Trump’s lies are pushing voters into the arms of Democrats.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus mem...more

  • Teachers Are Not Essential

    Aug 04 2020

    On the Gist, does Biden need a progressive VP?In the interview, Jesse Eisenberg is here for the first half of a two-part interview on his new Audible original, When You Finish Saving the World. Through a series of connected monologues, Eisenberg stitches together the portrait of a family and explores issues of issues of intimacy, growing up, and social change. He and Mike discuss his writing process and the origins of the project.In the spiel, teachers are inessential.Email us at thegist@slate.c...more

  • America Has Failed

    Aug 03 2020

    On the Gist, staying hopeful, but realistic.In the interview, author, podcast host, and magazine editor Kurt Andersen joins Mike to talk about his new book, Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History. In it, Andersen explains how big business ran unchecked during the final decades of the 20th century allowing greed to ascend and the working person to feel powerless, all while unraveling the fabric of middle class normalcy. In the spiel, Trump tapped Anthony Tata.Email us at thegist...more

  • Stuck in the Suburbs

    Aug 01 2020

    On the Gist, NBA jerseys.In the interview, In the interview, filmmaker Mark Duplass is here to talk about his anthology series Room 104 currently airing on HBO. He and Mike discuss the use of rules in the creative process, why the series seems to defy genre, and the experience of growing up with your brother as your artistic partner. Room 104 airs on Friday nights on HBO.In the spiel, Trump misunderstands the suburbs.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margare...more

  • The Legacy of John Lewis

    Jul 30 2020

    On the Gist, Rep. John Lewis and his legacy.In the interview, Mike checks in with Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Jonathan Levinson. As a multimedia reporter and producer, Levinson has been on the ground nightly in Portland following the protests, getting tear gassed in the process. Levinson says that it’s more than just support for the BLM movement, its boiling frustration around governmental systemic failure.In the spiel, because of John Lewis, we have Barack Obama.Email us at thegist@slate.comPo...more

  • Unmasked and Unhinged

    Jul 29 2020

    On the Gist, anti-maskers are getting the coronavirus.In the interview, Dr. Jennifer Mercieca is here to discuss her new book, Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump. She and Mike talk about the origins of Trump’s verbal tactics, and how he’s been able to manipulate information. They also touch on the variety of ways presidents appeal to the people, and Joe Biden’s best route forward in that regard.In the spiel, making a case for uppercase.Email us at thegist@slate.comPod...more

  • Bill Barr’s Tactical Boredom

    Jul 28 2020

    On the Gist, gambling the nation’s health on professional sports.In the interview, Mike talks with Capt. Lawrence Hunter, a retired commanding officer from the Waterbury Police Department in Connecticut, about policing in America. Hunter spent the majority of his career in law enforcement as a high-ranking officer, and as an educator and instructor. In his retirement, he has launched his own series, Captain Hunter’s Podcast, which seeks to “bridge the gap between police and the communities they ...more

  • Ignoring the Need Economy

    Jul 27 2020

    On the Gist, the Republicans are misers.In the interview, Zephyr Teachout is here to discuss her new book Break ‘Em Up: Recovering Our Freedom From Big Ad, Big Tech, and Big Money. She and Mike discuss how monopolies have come to dominate so many of our industries, the work that needs to be done to break them up, and why it’s a multi-pronged solution. They also touch on Gov. Cuomo’s response to the pandemic and how her team might have been different if she’d won office. In the spiel, baseball tr...more

  • Lone Star Lunacy

    Jul 24 2020

    On the Gist, losing all the stuff.In the interview, Mike heads to the Lone Star State to speak with Scott Braddock, editor and Texan political analyst at the Quorum Report. Braddock is also host of Texas Take, a podcast from the Houston Chronicle. They dissect Gov. Abbott’s coronavirus response, his backtracking, and why he paused the state’s reopening. And they get into how the state isn’t as securely Republican as many think it is.In the spiel, the Lobstar of the Antentwig.Email us at thegist@...more

  • The Mask Monologues

    Jul 23 2020

    On the Gist, Trump’s mind.In a break from our normal format, Virginia Heffernan of Trumpcast is here with Mike to analyze the most aggressive anti-mask rants out there. From across the nation, people who suffer from a touch of the QAnon are unleashing their unsound mask fears on us all, blaming anything from the Deep State to 5G. We’re going to figure out what makes for the most entertaining version of these conspiracy theorists, and what, if anything, we should take seriously.Email us at thegis...more

  • Congress Can’t Contain Its Crazy

    Jul 22 2020

    On the Gist, Life of Kanye.In the interview, Princeton History and Public Affairs Professor Julian Zelizer joins Mike to discuss his latest book on former speaker of the house, Newt Gingrich. With the help of Gingrich’s own congressional documents, Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, the Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party explains the ways Newt seized an opportunity to use C-Span cameras and modern technology to his advantage, how he gave rise to partisanship, and his...more

  • Portland Is in Peril

    Jul 22 2020

    On the Gist, Trump attempts to convince the MAGA nation to wear masks.In the interview, journalist Anne Applebaum is here to talk about her new book Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism. She and Mike discuss how democracies can give way to authoritarian leaders, the delicacy of political systems, and how essential our institutions are for protecting a functioning government.In the spiel, what’s happening in Portland, Oregon.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production...more

  • One-Trick POTUS

    Jul 20 2020

    On the Gist, John Kasich at the Democratic National Convention.In the interview, legal professor and modern Chinese law research scholar Neysun Mahboubi joins Mike to discuss the uprisings in Hong Kong and the extradition bill which would have undone Hong Kong’s independence from mainland China. Mahboubi explains the clashes between protesters and counter-protesters which began nearly a year ago, how the Chinese government has used the Covid-19 crisis as a moment to more aggressively assert cont...more

  • Losing the Liberty of Public Debate

    Jul 17 2020

    On the Gist, we’ve got something a little different. In this episode, Mike has brought together the New Republic’s Osita Nwenavu, and Yascha Mounk, a contributor to the Atlantic and the founder of Persuasion, to debate the state of public discourse. They discuss the complexities of platform regulation, whether or not the concerns rise to a level of social contagion, and how social media factors into the reactions on all sides.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder an...more

  • White Fragility Kills the Argument

    Jul 17 2020

    On the Gist, Trump is lost in the numbers.In the interview, former mayor of Minneapolis Betsy Hodges joins Mike to talk about her most recent op-ed in the New York Times, “As Mayor of Minneapolis, I Saw How White Liberals Block Change.” In it, Hodges challenges white liberals to confront the status quo of comfort and move the horizon of racial disparity that breeds police brutality.In the spiel, is the scientific method white? The Smithsonian seems to think soEmail us at thegist@slate.comPodcast...more

  • Softball Stupidity

    Jul 16 2020

    On the Gist, Trump is full of beans.In the second half of a two-part interview, novelist Curtis Sittenfeld is continues talking her new novel Rodham. She and Mike discuss the critiques of Hillary within the book, the final choices in the book, and how it might relate to modern superhero stories.In the spiel, the need for tough follow-ups with Trump.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast fee...more

  • Biden His Time

    Jul 14 2020

    On the Gist, renaming in Burlington, New Jersey.In the first half of a two-part interview, novelist Curtis Sittenfeld is here to discuss Rodham, her new novel exploring an alternative history where Hillary Clinton never married Bill. She and Mike discuss the origins of the novel, how her skills aren’t in the public part of politics, and what it’s like to create such a fiction.In the spiel, Joe Biden keeping quiet.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Ke...more

  • Uneducated Posturing

    Jul 13 2020

    On the Gist, the Washington football team have more work ahead than they realize.In the interview, Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri joins Mike to chat about her recently published book Nothing Is Wrong and Here Is Why. A hand-picked anthology of her some of her best essays that are mockingly sharp, and unsettlingly cheerful, it showcases the satirist’s gleefully distorted take on our political and social realities. In the spiel, educational idiocy.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast pr...more

  • Usain Bolt’s Greatness Code

    Jul 11 2020

    On the Gist, Trump’s bullying worked.In the interview, Olympic champion Usain Bolt is here to talk with Mike about the new documentary series Greatness Code on Apple TV+. They discuss Bolt’s love of the 200 meter race, training, and how he might feel when people start coming for his record. All episodes of Greatness Code are available to stream now on Apple TV+.In the spiel, the parent-teacher mob.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus ...more

  • Guns Make Everything Worse

    Jul 10 2020

    On the Gist, guns in the U.K. and the U.S.In the interview, we share part two of our conversation with Barry Friedman, founder of the Policing Project at NYU Law, author and legal scholar. Friedman suggests that a hurdle to creating new policies and training is the lack of accountability and uniform data gathering processes provided from police departments around the country. The central idea to the project is how to create good police departments.In the spiel, J.K. Rowling.Email us at thegist@s...more

  • Policing’s Big Picture

    Jul 09 2020

    On the Gist, Karens receiving informal justice.In the interview, Mike speaks with Barry Friedman, one of two investigators appointed by New York State Attorney General Letitia James to investigate the NYPD’s actions in protest activity. Founder of the Policing Project at NYU Law, Friedman is a legal scholar and author. In part one of the conversation, Professor Friedman discusses backend versus front end accountability within policing, the executive research forum standards and their guiding pri...more

  • Canceling Cancel Culture

    Jul 08 2020

    On the Gist, crime in unpoliced camps.In the interview, comedian Tom Papa is here to talk with Mike about his new book You’re Doing Great! and his Netflix special of the same name. He and Mike discuss the choice of happiness, getting stuck, and why we should listen to young people more.In the spiel, cancel culture.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about y...more

  • The Washington Football Team Should Move

    Jul 06 2020

    On the Gist, Trump at Mount Rushmore.In the interview, making a strong case for reparations among descendants of enslaved African Americans is economist William Darity, Jr in his new book, From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century. Darity suggests that that in order to close the racial wealth disparities, America must confront injustices and offer a detailed fiscal plan for providing financial gifts to Black Americans to aid their economic well-being.In t...more

  • Define the Police

    Jul 03 2020

    On the Gist, the greatness that will remain long after we’re gone.In the interview, we present part two of Mike’s conversation with John McWhorter on the linguistics of race, defining ‘Defund the Police,’ and how words we use today will morph over time. WcWhorter is the host of Lexicon Valley and a professor at Columbia University. Find his most recent piece in the Atlantic: “The Dictionary Definition of Racism Has to Change.”In the spiel, historical truths versus myths.Email us at thegist@slate...more

  • Redefining Racism

    Jul 02 2020

    On the Gist, the McCloskeys in Missouri.In the first part of this two-part interview, John McWhorter is here to dig into definitions with Mike. They discuss how the meanings of racism and white supremacy have changed over the years, and what that says about the ways culture is shifting. McWhorter is the host of Lexicon Valley, and his latest piece is “The Dictionary Definition of Racism Has to Change,” in the Atlantic.In the spiel, a professional bullshit artist.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodc...more

  • See No Evil, Hear No Evil

    Jun 30 2020

    On the Gist, there is no question these men needed to breathe.In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for “Is That Bullshit?” She and Mike discuss the scientific preprints published on Covid-19 and call out the credible and those rife with misinformation. How can you trust them? Maria’s newest book called The Biggest Bluff, is already a New York Times bestseller.In the spiel, how Trump consumes news.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate P...more

  • The Never-Ending Trump

    Jun 29 2020

    On the Gist, paying the Taliban and not believing the New York Times.In the interview, the around-the-clock news cycle turns 40 years old this summer. With the advent of cable television and a bright idea from an American media mogul, CNN was born. Journalist and author, Lisa Napoli, talks with Mike about her unauthorized biography, Up All Night: Ted Turner, CNN, and the Birth of 24-Hour News, and explains how the station became a trailblazing force in transforming the ways we consumed media at ...more

  • Splashing Down on a Mountain of Racism

    Jun 27 2020

    On the Gist, Disney’s Splash Mountain.In part two of their interview, Mike continues to talk with Matthew Barge about the failure of police departments to gather data and statistics that would help create and enforce meaningful policing policy change. Barge is a lawyer, a principal consultant with 21CP Solutions, and federal court-appointed monitor overseeing federal consent decrees in Cleveland, Ohio and Baltimore, Maryland.In the spiel, the Lobstar of the AntentwigEmail us at thegist@slate.com...more

  • Playing With a Viral Yo-Yo

    Jun 26 2020

    On the Gist, Biden is in the lead.In the first part of a two-part interview, Mike talks with police practices and civil rights expert Matthew Barge about how policy has failed to change how law enforcement agencies police communities, how police unions have played a huge role in where we find ourselves now, and what role consent decrees play in changing police behavior. Barge is a lawyer, a principal consultant with 21CP Solutions, and federal court-appointed monitor overseeing federal consent d...more

  • The Mechanisms in Place

    Jun 24 2020

    On the Gist, interruption by ring knocking.In the interview, Mike is joined by Lawrence Douglas, author of Will He Go?: Trump and the Looming Election Meltdown in 2020, a page-turning book of what-ifs and premonitions of constitutional chaos if Trump decides to give America a hard time at the end of his term. Douglas is the James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College. He is the prize-winning author of seven books, most recently The Right Wrong Man: Joh...more

  • Unbiased News

    Jun 24 2020

    On the Gist, refocusing our attention to local democracy.In the interview, Mike talks with Seth Stevenson, author of Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World and host of Slate’s newest business podcast Thrilling Tales of Modern Capitalism. Seth’s new podcast delves into the backstories of iconic brand, from Purell to Victoria’s Secret, and he joins Mike to talk about Carnival Cruises, one of the biggest players in an industry that jumps from one disaster to another. And yes, the expres...more

  • Crowd Size and Political Viability

    Jun 22 2020

    On the Gist, lack of humor in the Trump administration.In the interview, Mike talks with Maria Konnikova, star of our bi-weekly segment “Is That Bullshit?” This time, however, Maria is here to discuss her newest book about becoming a professional poker player. Already a New York Times bestseller, it’s called The Biggest Bluff.In the spiel, “yuge” crowd psychology.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Margaret Kelley, Daniel Schroeder and Joel Patterson.Slate Plus members get bonus s...more

  • Confronting a White Supremacist

    Jun 19 2020

    On the Gist, Trump’s ignorance.In the interview, Mike talks with Josh Levin, Slate’s national editor. A co-host of the sports podcast Hang Up and Listen, Levin is also the author of The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth. Mike and Josh discuss Levin’s latest audio project as host of Season 4 of Slow Burn, which over the course of several episodes, dissects David Duke’s rise into the political mainstream and explores how Duke maintained his status as one of the most famous white su...more

  • Give Up That Racist Tradition

    Jun 18 2020

    On the Gist, an officer cooperates.In the interview, Mike talks with co-host of Slate’s Political Gabfest, CBS 60 Minutes correspondent and contributing editor at the Atlantic, John Dickerson. His new book on the American Presidency, The Hardest Job In The World, details that there are no blueprints around the challenges of governing, and how we need to evaluate candidates and nominees for the job.In the spiel, a song gets cancelled.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schro...more

  • Get Out Already

    Jun 16 2020

    On the Gist, fireworks and progress.In the interview, Mike talks with data scientist Jeffery Morris of the University of Pennsylvania. They talk data analysis and models related to Covid-19, his predictions for states’ reopening, and his interpretations of updated CDC guidelines. You can follow his work at his site Covid-19 Data Science.In the spiel, Asian borders.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-...more

  • Campaigning Under Quarantine

    Jun 15 2020

    On the Gist, Trump doesn’t want to confront sins, he would rather perpetuate them.In the interview, Mike talks with incumbent Rep. Don Bacon from Nebraska’s 2nd District about how Covid-19 has altered his campaign strategy leading up to the election. They also discuss the protesting and looting in Omaha, as well as his recent statement following Gen. Mattis’ piece published in the Atlantic. Having served under him in Iraq, Bacon mostly agrees with Mattis, but says he and his constituents will li...more

  • An Imperfect Union

    Jun 12 2020

    On the Gist, the stock market is on a coronavirus coaster.In the interview, Dr. Christina Greer of Fordham University is here to talk with Mike about politics and police reform. They discuss Joe Biden, if police unions should continue to exist, and what the future of policing could look like. Greer is the host of FAQ NYC.In the spiel, a good-faith effort to hear out the bad-faith arguments.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members ...more

  • Crossing Out Columbus

    Jun 11 2020

    On the Gist, dominating the streets with compassion.In the interview, John Pfaff, professor of law and criminology at Fordham University and author of Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration-and How to Achieve Real Reform, joins Mike to talk about police reformation, and why politicians touting low crime under their watches could lead to more dysfunction. As one of the foremost experts on incarceration in America, Pfaff argues that we need to rethink how the system and budgets are organ...more

  • Film the Police

    Jun 11 2020

    On the Gist, Mississippi.In the interview, Ben Smith from the New York Times is here to discuss the recent ousting of editor James Bennet over an op-ed by Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas. They talk about the cultural divides it highlighted, what it means for the Times, and the future of opinion on the internet. Smith’s latest piece is “Inside the Revolts Erupting in America’s big Newsrooms.”In the spiel, Cops is canceled.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder ...more

  • Summer at Covid Camp

    Jun 09 2020

    On the Gist, the anti-ANTIFA provocateur in Buffalo, NY.In the interview, Emily Oster, professor of economics at Brown University and NY Times bestselling author of Cribsheet and Expecting Better, joins Mike to talk about kids’ summer camps, weighing options as states begin to reopen, and assessing risk when it comes to coronavirus.In the spiel, de Blasio tries again.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ...more

  • The Defund Debate Cycle

    Jun 09 2020

    On the Gist, does Barr know what chemicals are?In the interview, New York Times opinion columnist and CBS News political analyst Jamelle Bouie joins Mike to talk race and policing in America. His latest column is, “The Police Are Rioting. We Need to Talk About It.”In the spiel, defining police reformation.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad ch...more

  • Defund the Police?

    Jun 05 2020

    On the Gist, Joey Baloney.In the interview, New School Professor and MSNBC contributor, Maya Wiley is here. She is also the former chair of the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board - an independent oversight agency of the NYPD. She and Mike talk about how civilians and police officers hold the force accountable, how they’ve failed and the level of complaints they take seriously.In the spiel, can we defund the police?Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret ...more

  • How Ferguson Prepared the Protesters

    Jun 05 2020

    On the Gist, what’s happening in Omaha.In the interview, Slate’s Joel Anderson is here to talk with Mike about the parallels between the current protests and those in Ferguson, MO. They discuss the different tactics used by activists and police, how Ferguson organizers have now grown into leaders of a movement, and dissect why people loot.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign u...more

  • Trump Doesn’t Speak for Catholics

    Jun 03 2020

    On the Gist, Mark Esper’s lost honor.In the interview, Fr. James Martin, a Jesuit priest, author, and the editor-at-large of America magazine, a journal of faith and culture, joins Mike to talk about his latest piece: “The Holy Spirit is moving us to act against racism.” Fr. Martin and Mike also discuss President Trump’s manipulation of the bible during religious photo ops in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church and the St. JPII Center in Washington, D.C.In the spiel, Merrick, Long Island.Email ...more

  • Night and Day

    Jun 03 2020

    On the Gist, daytime and nighttime America.In the interview, the Atlantic’s David Frum joins Mike to talk about his Trumpocracy follow-up, Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy. Frum explains that Trump is a victim of distraction as much as he is a practitioner, that the consequences of COVID-19 will be one of the deciding factors of the election in November, and that the GOP will eventually get over being on the wrong side of Trump.In the spiel, America is on edge.Email us at thegist@slat...more

  • Trump Can’t Heal America

    Jun 02 2020

    On the Gist, guns and violence.In the interview, Jody Avirgan and Nicole Hemmer are here to discuss their new podcast This Day in Esoteric Political History. Mike talks to them about Hands Across America, the Johnstown flood, and the meaning of esoteric.In the spiel, what is reasonable, and do we need to hear from Trump?Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more a...more

  • The Leaders We Need

    May 29 2020

    On the Gist, Joe Biden’s statement gets a B minus.In the interview, we’ve got the second half of Mike’s conversation with Dave Eggers. They discuss Eggers’ experience writing The Parade and The Captain and the Glory, his last two books, at the same time, the film Idiocracy, and the NRA.In the spiel, the mayor of Minneapolis on brick and mortar symbolism and Donald Trump makes things worse.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members g...more

  • Looking Past the Looting

    May 28 2020

    On the Gist, assholes.In the interview, Mike talks with author Dave Eggers about his book, The Parade. He and Mike discuss pavement, the writing process, and the terseness of Bruce Springsteen.In the spiel, the death of George Floyd and the Minneapolis protest.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • It’s Tough to Like the Post Office

    May 27 2020

    On the Gist, wheeling and dealing with Hong Kong.In the interview, Mike talks to Dr. Leana Wen about the measures States are taking to reopen safely or remain closed. Wen is an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, a contributing columnist for The Washington Post, and previously served as Baltimore's Health Commissioner.In the spiel, postal headaches and heedlessness.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley...more

  • Putting Courageous Idiocy to Use

    May 26 2020

    On the Gist, Trump won’t back down from accusing Joe Scarborough of murder.In the interview, Mike talks to a water expert about how to manage a pandemic if too many people cannot wash their hands. Mary Grant, Director of Public Water for All, and a policy analyst on U.S. water utility privatization details which states have placed moratoriums on utility shutoffs, and which cities are setting examples for the rest of the country when it comes to access to clean and affordable water.In the spiel, ...more

  • Coaching Through Life

    May 23 2020

    On the Gist, Tara Reade.In the interview, Mike talks with author and journalist Michael Lewis about his foray into podcasting with AGAINST THE RULES, his series with Pushkin Industries. The focus of the recently launched season two is coaching, not just in sports. They look at coaches who help with finances, college admissions, and even coaches for executives. Michael explores how a good coach can make an impact, and the roles they play psychologically for adults and kids. His latest book is The...more

  • No Regrets

    May 22 2020

    On the Gist, if you look at the stats, the U.S. is doing the worst.In the interview, part two of Mike’s interview with Dr. Paul Offit, who as an infectious disease expert, and pediatrician, made some false predictions about the pandemic at first. He and Mike also discuss his new book, Overkill: When Modern Medicine Goes Too Far.In the spiel, arguments are easier to read.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley. Learn more about your ad choices. Visi...more

  • Too Many Pills

    May 21 2020

    On the Gist, judging a judge.In the interview, Dr. Paul Offit is here. In the first part of his two-part interview, he and Mike discuss his new book, Overkill: When Modern Medicine Goes Too Far. They talk about why we should be skeptical of things like vitamin D and testosterone, and how we might not need to take painkillers for a fever. Tomorrow he and Mike will get into the Covid-19 crisis.In the spiel, the diversity reversifier.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroed...more

  • Lights Out on Covid-19

    May 20 2020

    On the Gist, Trump’s cabinet meeting is not unlike a hot tub time machine.In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for another round of “Is That Bullshit?” This time she and Mike discuss UV light, inside and outside the body. Maria is a New York Times bestseller and the author of The Biggest Bluff, a journey to learning and winning at poker.In the spiel, morbidly presidentially orbit.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get b...more

  • Solving for the Future

    May 19 2020

    On the Gist, a Karl Rove drive-by.In the interview, Dan Heath is here to talk about his new book Upstream: How to Solve Problems Before They Happen. He and Mike discuss the idea of upstreaming, looking behind problems to find alternative solutions, and how we need to recalibrate so successfully predicting and preventing disaster becomes the goal.In the spiel, In the spiel, framings and shadings: the meaning of mobilization in 2020.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroed...more

  • The Most Powerful Woman in America

    May 16 2020

    On the Gist, Tara Reade again.In the interview, journalist Molly Ball is here to discuss Pelosi, her new biography of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. She and Mike talk about Pelosi’s past, how she wields her power, and why she’s so smart when it comes to making a deal.In the spiel, lobstar of the antantwig. Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ...more

  • Shining a Light on the Mask Market

    May 15 2020

    On the Gist, bail out the pigs.In the interview, Mike discusses how the novel coronavirus has exposed some weaknesses in the global supply chain. Joel Schulman of Ecomax Wholesale Lighting in D.C., breaks down how demand for PPE has changed his relationships with factories in China, and why his company has decided to pivot to masks for the time being.In the spiel, death rates of people of color being inadequately understood. Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and...more

  • Crying Wolf on Kushner

    May 14 2020

    On the Gist, where to wear face masks.In the interview, comedian Myq Kaplan is the cerebral type, who instead of doing stand-up is now performing what he calls, “stand-down.” Mike talks with him about his philosophy on how be funny, and his likeness to Marc Maron during quarantine times.In the spiel, Jared Kushner is on the fence about the election moving forward on November 3rd.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get bonus s...more

  • Divide Creep Is Ruining America

    May 13 2020

    On the Gist, lengthening your femur.In the interview, Azi Paybarah, writer of the New York Today column for the New York Times, speaks with Mike about New York State and City leadership, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s progressive missteps, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s taking control of the messaging.In the spiel, Fauci’s warning as he goes before the Senate.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. ...more

  • America’s Testing Circus

    May 12 2020

    On the Gist, Trump tells a reporter to call China.In the interview, The Atlantic’s Olga Khazan is here to talk about her new book, Weird: The Power of Being an Outsider in an Insider World. She and Mike talk about the ways weirdness has changed in America, and what’s good about being the oddball.In the spiel, Trump wants to distract the public from testing capacities.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ...more

  • Are Any Covid-19 Podcasts Worth It?

    May 08 2020

    In the Gist, Steve Mnuchin wasn’t mad at Axl Rose.In the interview, Mike calls up Robert Smith, host of NPR’s Planet Money, to talk about the influx of coronavirus podcasts. There are a lot in production right now. Mike and Robert discuss some of the best (and worst) covering the pandemic.In the spiel, the subtext of what Kayleigh McEnany says speaks loudly.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free po...more

  • Sweden’s Global Failure

    May 08 2020

    On the Gist, Tara Reade and Megyn Kelly on Instagram.In the second half of our interview with Dr. Nina Fefferman from the University of Tennessee, she and Mike discuss the types of analysis used in predictive modeling, why it’s an essential part of the crisis response, and what the future holds as the models continue to change. In the spiel, Sweden’s loose measures yielded grim results, and that should be a warning.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret ...more

  • Forecasting Federal Inaction

    May 07 2020

    On the Gist, the new White House Press Secretary reiterates that the media sometimes gets it wrong.In the first half of this two-part interview, Mike talks with Dr. Nina Fefferman from the University of Tennessee Knoxville about predictive modeling and the Covid-19 crisis. Today, they focus on the difficulty of making projections when the government is actively disregarding expert guidance, and Dr. Fefferman’s ideas about food distribution adaptations for restaurants during this time.In the spie...more

  • Tara Reade and the Difficulty of Belief

    May 06 2020

    In the Gist, the Texas Governor admits what everyone knows to be true.In the interview, Mike talks with Tomas Pueyo about his now famous Medium piece in which he coins the Hammer and The Dance theory: a choreographed end to quarantine. In the spiel, Tara Reade and belief.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...more

  • Do Morals Matter?

    May 05 2020

    In the Gist, we get no further with Biden.In the interview, Mike discusses moral judgments and how they relate to both domestic and foreign policy with none other than Joseph Nye, one of the most influential political scientists of our time, and one who co-founded the theory of neoliberalism. Nye’s book, Do Moral’s Matter? Presidents and Foreign Policy from FDR to Trump is the topic of their conversation.In the spiel, the Mississippi mindset.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Dan...more

  • Georgia Is a Laboratory

    May 01 2020

    In the Gist, Georgia is opening back up.In the interview, Mike talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and bestselling author Jon Meacham about his new podcast with Cadence13 - Hope, Through History – a documentary series on confronting and triumphing over crises in America. In the spiel, the end of irony?Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your a...more

  • Useful Interviews from Gist’s Past

    Apr 30 2020

    Slate is dark, and its staff are taking a much needed and deserved breath. And with that, Team Gist has gone dark for a day, too, so we bring you two old interviews from the fall of 2014.First, an interview with biologist and mathematical modeler Nina Fefferman, who at the time this was recorded was based at Rutgers University and working on predicting the spread of Ebola. Now she's at the University of Tennessee and modeling Covid-19.The second interview is about the power of analogies with aut...more

  • Passing Class Under Quarantine

    Apr 30 2020

    On the Gist, grades at New York City schools.In the interview, Nate Duncan and Ben Taylor of the Covid Daily News podcast talk to Mike about how two basketball analysts started covering the latest developments in this crisis, and the parallels to be drawn between basketball and Covid-19 data. Nate Duncan is the host of the Dunc’d On Basketball NBA podcast, and Ben Taylor is the host of Thinking Basketball.In the spiel, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is frequently giving offense.Email us at thegist@sla...more

  • The Pandemic That Never Happened

    Apr 29 2020

    On the Gist, consolidation.In the interview, Mike talks with Matthew Dickinson, author and professor of political science at Middlebury College, about the 1976 Gerald Ford controversy regarding the threat of a global pandemic with swine flu, as well as Richard Neustadt and Harvey Fineberg’s examination of the political failures around an approaching pandemic that never actually materialized. In the spiel, the democratic nominating process didn’t work so well.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast ...more

  • Embrace the Outdoors

    Apr 28 2020

    On the Gist, the award Trump deserves.In the interview, Slate’s Henry Grabar is here to discuss Covid-19 and spending time outdoors. He and Mike talk about contact tracing, normalizing mask culture, and why we should all be going back outside.In the spiel, advertisers soothe in these uncertain times.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices....more

  • A Top Chef on Restaurant Relief

    Apr 25 2020

    On the Gist, sarcasm.In the interview, Mike talks with celebrity chef, restaurateur, and political activist Tom Colicchio about founding the Independent Restaurant Coalition, and how they are fighting to save local restaurants and small businesses affected by COVID-19 in reaction to the government’s assistance program.In the spiel, fleeing to the country house.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free...more

  • The Homeless Can’t Stay Home

    Apr 24 2020

    On the Gist, a virtual, but actual NFL draft.In the interview, Mike talks with Josh Dean, the executive director of Human.NYC, a homeless advocacy group, about their Covid-19 campaign #HomelessCantStayHome, and the solutions officials aren’t taking to move the most vulnerable off the street, out of shelters, and into vacant hotel rooms during this unprecedented time.In the spiel, infections at the polls.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.Slate...more

  • Good News, Bad News

    Apr 23 2020

    On the Gist, we’re not all in the same boat.In the second part of Mike’s interview with Dr. J. Alex Navarro, the co-editor-in-chief of The American Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919 : A Digital Encyclopedia, they discuss politicians who, at the time, refused to comply to closure orders, and how Woodrow Wilson’s response was somewhat removed.In the spiel, the mayor of Las Vegas and concerning ideas show on television.Email us at thegist@slate.comPodcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret K...more

  • Social Distance a Century Ago

    Apr 22 2020

    On the Gist, Trump’s always politicizing at pressers.In the first half of a 2-part interview, Mike talks with Dr. J. Alex Navarro, the co-editor-in-chief of The American Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919 : A Digital Encyclopedia. Navarro explains how citizens responses 100 years ago weren’t that different from now; there was extreme compliance and tension on the ground. Yes, there were anti-maskers in 1918.In the spiel, what if we weren’t at each other’s throat’s all the time?Email us at thegist@s...more

  • Too Much Oil Anyway

    Apr 21 2020

    On the Gist, Trump doesn’t understand sizes of countries.In the interview, economist Joseph Stiglitz is here to talk about the economic impact of the coming recession. He and Mike discuss ways the government could distribute support funds better, how long it might take us to recover from such high unemployment, and what history tells us about potential growth post-recession. Stiglitz’s latest book is People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent.In the spiel, crude ...more

  • Who’s Worth Protecting?

    Apr 18 2020

    On the Gist, swimming pool fatalities.In the interview, Mikes talks with Michigan State University President, Dr Samuel Stanley, Jr about the actions he took in response to COVID-19 not just as the head of a Big 10 school, but also as a leading infectious diseases expert. Stanley discusses shifting faculty and students to remote learning in short order, housing those that must remain on campus residence halls and apartments, and how the Spartans might handle empty stadiums and a reduction in rev...more

  • Listening to Quarantunes

    Apr 17 2020

    On the Gist, Trump’s most recent briefing.In the interview, journalist Adam Cohen is here to discuss his new book Supreme Inequality: The Supreme Court’s Fifty-Year Battle for a More Unjust America. He and Mike talk about the ways the court has changed, Nixon and the poor, and how corporations factor into it all.In the spiel, coronavirus parody songs.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Real Safety of Shelter-in-Place

    Apr 16 2020

    On the Gist, Trump’s most recent briefing.In the interview, John Burn-Murdoch of the Financial Times is here to discuss data visualization and the COVID-19 outbreak. He and Mike talk about the useful ways to analyze data, why countries are often too large to be helpful samples, and what the data says about the future.In the spiel, South Dakota’s Gov. Noem failure to prevent an outbreak at a pork plant in her state.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Lear...more

  • Don’t Believe Slogans

    Apr 15 2020

    On the Gist, Bernie endorsing Biden.In the interview, Dr. Miranda Yaver, a political scientist at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health, joins Mike to discuss the political consequences of the coronavirus. Dr. Yaver explains how protecting public health is integral to democracy. She also weighs speculation on how the Supreme Court will rule on abortion.In the spiel, slogans aren’t helpful.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad cho...more

  • Preparing Weinstein for Prison

    Apr 14 2020

    On the Gist, the coronavirus task force.In the interview, it’s the second part of Mike’s conversation with Craig Rothfeld of Inside Outside Ltd., a prison consulting firm which helps clients navigate the brutal reality of life behind bars. Craig goes into detail about why he sought advice from multiple rabbis and female family members before engaging with his most famous client - Harvey Weinstein - and he explains why nobody gets special treatment once incarcerated.In the spiel, when can the eco...more

  • The Comfort of Knowledge

    Apr 11 2020

    On the Gist, antibody tests.In the interview, it turns out Mike grew up with Harvey Weinstein’s prison consultant, Craig Rothfeld. In this episode they discuss how Craig ended up in prison, his experiences there, and why he became a prison consultant afterward. Our next episode will focus on his experience working with Harvey Weinstein.In the spiel, finding comfort in the facts we know about coronavirus.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more abou...more

  • Coronavirus Conspiracy

    Apr 10 2020

    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work.On the Gist, hydroxychloroquine isn’t like snake oil.In the interview, Mike talks with Slate's National Correspondent, Will Saletan about what Donald Trump needs to win in the upcoming elections. Saletan's humble prediction in the time of Covid-19 is that the president would need to persuade the American public that his incompetence and the outbreak are...more

  • Sanders Was Too Consistent

    Apr 09 2020

    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work.On the Gist, oversight is a funny word.In the interview, Mike talks with journalist and creator of the Killing Eve novellas, Luke Jennings about adapting his British cat-and-mouse thriller series Killing Eve for television. They discuss the character’s feminine gaze, why he self-published some of the novellas, and how Villanelle would be dealing with th...more

  • Stop Saying the Virus Doesn’t Care

    Apr 08 2020

    On the Gist, Trump is a terrible communicator.In the interview, journalist Clarence Page is here to talk with Mike about the 2020 election and the Black vote. They discuss how political commentary has changed over the years, why generations of Black voters are connecting differently with Biden and Bernie, and how to bridge that divide.In the spiel, the virus doesn’t care but America still does.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad ...more

  • Making Chemicals Partisan

    Apr 06 2020

    On the Gist, Peter Navarro and partisan chemical compounds.In the interview, Mike talks with Charlotte Alter. national correspondent at Time covering the 2020 elections, about her new book, The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For: How A Generation of Leaders Will Transform America. They discuss her deeply reported analysis of the 2016 elections, the youth vote, and why political experiences when young have a lifelong impact on a person’s politics.In the spiel, tigers and other post-coronavirus problems....more

  • Miami and Mayor Suarez’s Plasma

    Apr 04 2020

    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work.On the Gist, Trump and Pence can’t be honest with the public.In the interview, Miami Mayor Frances Suarez has fully recovered after testing positive for the COVID-19 virus, and now is donating his plasma for use in an experimental treatment. He talks with Mike about his experience, what Miami’s reaction to the pandemic has been, and what he’s doing to p...more

  • Republicans in Christian Clothing

    Apr 03 2020

    On the Gist, nobody does it better.In the interview, Mike talks with Katherine Stewart about her new book, The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism. They discuss how the political ideology from the right wing cloaks itself in religious rhetoric, who in the Trump cabinet is part of movement, and how it inhibits the administration’s response to the coronavirus crisis.In the spiel, maybe Loeffler and Burr aren’t guilty of insider trading.Slate Plus members get bonus...more

  • You Can’t Just Cancel Rent

    Apr 02 2020

    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work.On the Gist, Florida’s finally doing the right thing.In the interview, Jamil Zaki is here to talk with Mike about kindness during the COVID-19 crisis. He and Mike discuss studies on reactions to crises, how this time will bring us together, and what we need to do to embrace more empathy. Zaki’s latest book is The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a ...more

  • Are the Extroverts OK?

    Apr 01 2020

    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work.On the Gist, let the experts speak.In the interview, Mike speaks with three self-identified extroverts about what it’s like to live in isolation. Amanda Mull of the Atlantic, author Stephen Witt, and host of the Unorthodox podcast Mark Oppenheimer, join Mike to talk about how stifling it can be to remain indoors, how they’re coping, and what they plan t...more

  • Improvising the Presidency

    Mar 30 2020

    On the Gist, Trump steering away from the rocks for once.In the interview, Mike talks with John Dickerson of CBS News about what it takes to be a good American leader. They discuss how Trump’s personal habits have led him to be unprepared for the coronavirus crisis, why Americans are addicted to the presidency, and what might happen to the concept of American leadership if he gets a second term in office. Dickerson’s upcoming books is The Hardest Job in the World: The American Presidency.In the ...more

  • Corona Stimulus Dissenters

    Mar 28 2020

    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work.On the Gist, Dr. Mark Siegel is at it again on Fox.In the interview, Mike speaks with the Globe and Mail’s health reporter André Picard about the Canadian response to COVID-19. They discuss the ways it differs from the US response, how their government and media outlets are handling it, and lessons to be learned.In the spiel, a corona quorum.Email us at...more

  • Isolation in the Nation

    Mar 27 2020

    On the Gist, Trump knows Tom Brady.In the interview, Mike talks with Kate Greene, crew writer and second-in-command of the first HI-SEAS simulated mission to Mars. They discuss Greene’s experience during her four months living in the dome, how micro-stimuli can be overcome, and why astronauts love Tabasco hot sauce. Her essay collection, Once Upon a Time I Lived on Mars, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in July.In the spiel, it’s not if your community has a coronavirus outbreak, it’s when...more

  • Assessing the Risk of COVID-19

    Mar 26 2020

    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work.On the Gist, we’ve been mean to the elderly.In the interview, Ian Bremmer, political analyst and president of the Eurasia Group, is here to talk with Mike about how to assess the risk of the coronavirus pandemic. They discuss the ways countries with different forms of government have reacted, Trump’s role in all this, and why the US is so isolation aver...more

  • Trump’s Dangerous Optimism

    Mar 25 2020

    On the Gist, how to stay out of the ICU.In the interview, Mike talks with Andy Slavitt, former head of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act for the Obama Administration, about why the US was less prepared for a pandemic like COVID-19. They discussed why high un-insured rates, high co-pay costs, and low medical capacity make the country as a whole more vulnerable.In the spiel, foolish optimism about COVID-19.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. ...more

  • Making Outbreak Models

    Mar 23 2020

    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work.On the Gist, state governments need help.In the interview, Dr. Jeffrey Shaman of Columbia University talks about his research modeling potential outbreaks, which is featured in the recent New York Times story, “Coronavirus Could Overwhelm U.S. Without Urgent Actions, Estimates Say.”Email us at thegist@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit me...more

  • Coronavirus Contrarianism Is a Health Risk

    Mar 21 2020

    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work.On the Gist, Trump thinks Peter Alexander is a bad journalist.In the interview, Mike talks with MSNBC analyst and Daily Beast columnist Jonathan Alter about how Trump could position himself as a two-term president. They discuss how a leader in crisis should be conducting himself, examples of great leaders in moments of crisis, and how the economy’s nose...more

  • Convincing in Crisis

    Mar 20 2020

    On the Gist, Trump’s press conference.In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back to talk with Mike about persuasion. They discuss the best and worst tactics for convincing people of something the don’t believe, and why it will make us feel better to try even if we fail. Maria’s latest book is The Confidence Game.In the spiel, why governing less isn’t a virtue in a crisis.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone...more

  • We Need a Government Bail-Out

    Mar 19 2020

    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work.On the Gist, our slow government.In the interview, In the interview, Mike talks to CEO of Three Uncanny Four and creator of Planet Money Adam Davidson about the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the US economy. They discuss the tools the Fed has to stimulate the economy, how deep of a recession we’re heading toward, and why the government needs to sta...more

  • Halt the Vote?

    Mar 17 2020

    On the Gist, the election mess in Ohio.In the interview, Richard Hasen, legal expert and professor at the UC Irvine School of Law, is here to discuss closing the polls in Ohio, the legal implications of how that decision was made, and why we need emergency plans in place for elections. Hasen’s new book is Election Meltdown.In the spiel, desperate times call for desperate compliments.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Vi...more

  • We Don’t Need a Revolution

    Mar 16 2020

    On the Gist, the war against invisible enemies.In the interview, Mike spoke with Dr. Fred Buckner of the University of Washington about how hospitals are dealing with COVID-19, who is and isn’t being hospitalized, and the important things we need to do during this pandemic. The resource site that the University of Washington has created can be found here.In the spiel, how governors across the country are dealing with the coronavirus crisis.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcas...more

  • Trump’s Gaffes Are a Virus

    Mar 13 2020

    On the Gist, the president is a disastrous communicator.In the interview, Mike speaks with his friend Luke Burbank, host of Live Wire Radio and Too Beautiful to Live, about what it’s like in the Seattle area right now. They discuss travel, how this might affect podcasts, and even exchange a few laughs.In the spiel, we need your help listeners.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • You Can’t Win a Pandemic

    Mar 12 2020

    On the Gist, Trump’s lies are so dangerous.In the interview, Mike calls his friend David Lichtman, who lives in New Rochelle, New York, on the edge of the coronavirus containment zone. They discuss what it’s like on the ground, how it’s affected local lives, and what the local government has done about it.In the spiel, Trump thinks he can win at coronavirus.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...more

  • Bernie’s Losses Aren’t Surprising

    Mar 11 2020

    On the Gist, maybe Sanders was never really that popular.In the interview, we have part two of David Plouffe’s interview. He and Mike go deeper on campaigns, what Trump needs to do to win again, and what Biden and Sanders could do to win the White House. Plouffe’s book is A Citizen’s Guide to Beating Donald Trump.In the spiel, you can’t count on the youth vote.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoi...more

  • Fighting the Trump Campaign

    Mar 11 2020

    On the Gist, Steve Bannon making some sense.In the interview, David Plouffe is here to discuss his new book, A Citizen’s Guide to Beating Donald Trump. He and Mike talk about strategy, lessons learned, Biden and Bernie, and Plouffe’s podcast, Campaign HQ with David Plouffe.In the spiel, the stories we tell ourselves aren’t always helpful. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • We’re Fumbling the Coronavirus Crisis

    Mar 10 2020

    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work.On the Gist, Trump’s antics will not work with the Coronavirus.In the interview, Mike talks with staff writer and national correspondent at The Atlantic James Fallows about how the media should respond to the current Corona Virus crisis. They discuss what impact the stock market’s downward turn might have on Trump’s chances of getting re-elected, how th...more

  • Biden Has the Obama Coalition

    Mar 07 2020

    On the Gist, the International Criminal Court.In the interview, musician Stephen Malkmus is here to talk about his new album Traditional Techniques. He and Mike discuss the various instruments he used, tennis, and Santa Con.In the spiel, Biden’s got the Obama coalition. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Trump Is Clueless About Coronavirus

    Mar 06 2020

    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work.On the Gist, daylight savings time.In the interview, Mike talks with journalist and political analyst Yuval Levin about his most recent book, A Time To Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream. They discuss why institutions are important to shaping individuals, why ga...more

  • Stop Talking About Women’s Looks

    Mar 05 2020

    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work.On the Gist, Bernie and Biden.In the interview, Lizzie O’Leary is the host of What Next: TBD at Slate, but has had her fair share of time working in TV news. During those years, she experienced so many instances of the gross expectations and double standards for women in the industry. In the wake of Chris Matthews’ departure, she’s here to discuss her w...more

  • Chris Matthews Knew How to Hit Hard

    Mar 04 2020

    On the Gist, don’t touch your face.In the interview, Mike talks with legal analyst Jill Wine-Banks about her book, The Watergate Girl: My Fight for Truth and Justice Against a Criminal President. They discuss her role on the prosecutorial team during the Watergate scandal, the memorable Rose Mary Woods stretch, and how the American public kept Nixon accountable.In the spiel, Chris Matthews retired. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The DNC’s Primary Process is Flawed

    Mar 03 2020

    On the Gist, 1946 was a good year for presidential births.In the interview, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat is here to discuss his new book The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success. He and Mike debate the meaning of decadence, Douthat’s ideas of a way out of decadence, and whether or not we just need to pivot to a different religion.In the spiel, this Democratic nomination process sucks. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Busting Bernie’s Policy Myth

    Feb 29 2020

    On the Gist, complaining to the FCC.In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for another round of “Is That Bullshit?” This time she and Mike look into the light, blue light that is. Does it really affect sleep the way everybody claims it does? Should we all be buying those special glasses? Maria’s latest book is The Confidence Game.In the spiel, the filibuster and Medicare for all. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Combatting Coronavirus With Clowns

    Feb 28 2020

    On the Gist, why Bernie still needs the black vote.In the interview, Mike talks with senior fellow at the Brookings Institution E. J. Dionne about his most recent book, Code Red: How Progressives and Moderates Can Unite to Save Our Country. They tease apart Dionne's arguments about visionary gradualism, and how moderates and progressives can move each other to greater social justice in the US.In the spiel, Trump’s coronavirus press conference. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm...more

  • Electing the Muppet in Chief

    Feb 27 2020

    On the Gist, the missed opportunities of the South Carolina debates.In the interview, Mike talks with Eitan Hersh, professor of Political Science at Tufts University, about his new book Politics is for Power: How to Move Beyond Political Hobbyism, Take Action, and Make Real Change. They discuss political hobbyism and why your news consumption is actually a form of slacktivism.In the spiel, who’s the most like a muppet? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The New York Times is Ready to Rumble

    Feb 26 2020

    On the Gist, Bernie Sanders’ public access past.In the interview, journalist Conor Dougherty is here to talk about his new book Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America. They discuss potential solutions to the housing shortage in major cities, why we all flock to large metro hubs, and the difficulty of this problem when looking at people versus numbers.In the spiel, the rumble between the New York Times and West Side Story. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Battling Against Bernie

    Feb 25 2020

    On the Gist, caucuses are bad.In the interview, Mike talks with Touré about why his podcast title, Touré Show, doesn't have a definite article. They discuss Touré's particular interview style, how he would write his Obama-era book on race and Blackness had he written it today during the Trump administration, and his upcoming podcast series on Prince.In the spiel, where the other candidates stand with Bernie before the South Carolina debate.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/a...more

  • Leave George Washington’s Thighs Alone

    Feb 22 2020

    On the Gist, Russia is at it again.In the interview, Mike chats with historian Alexis Coe, author of the new book You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington. They discuss the founding-father's height, dentures and that awkward obsession male historians have about the man's thighs.In the spiel, a lobstar of the antentwig. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Bloomberg’s Defenseless Debate

    Feb 21 2020

    On the Gist, stop the racism.In the interview, Mike talks about the democrats with director of the Center on American Politics at the University of Denver Seth Masket. They discuss the way the debate went, and what could happen at the convention with all the delegates so spread out.In the spiel, what Bloomberg could’ve said.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Ye Olde Bloomberg Soundbite Shoppe

    Feb 20 2020

    On the Gist, birtherism and deatherism.In the interview, Mike chats with Daily Beast reporters, Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsang about their new book, Sinking in the Swamp: How Trump's Minions and Misfits Poisoned Washington. They discuss how they used their so-called "omni-shambles beat" to write the book and why there is nothing tempered about Trump's administration.In the spiel, visiting Ye Olde Bloomberg Soundbite Shoppe. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Pardon the Crime

    Feb 19 2020

    On the Gist, critiquing Bloomberg critiques.In the interview, we’ve got the second part of our conversation with journalist Andrea Bernstein on her new book, American Oligarchs: The Kushners, The Trumps, and the Marriage of Money and Power. She and Mike went deep on Trump the first part, and now they’re digging into Michael Cohen and the Kushners.In the spiel, Trump’s pardons. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Why Iran-Contra Hardly Rings a Bell

    Feb 15 2020

    On the Gist, the Houston Astros cheating scandal is like the US Democracy.Mike and former host of Slow Burn, and current host of Luminary Podcast network's Fiasco, Leon Neyfakh get into the details of the Iran-Contra Affair. They discuss the key players in the saga, why this story was such a fiasco and the new Slow Burn TV-show.In the spiel, let's just go with Caucus debacle avoidance. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Unpacking the Buttigieg CIA Conspiracy

    Feb 14 2020

    On the Gist, what Bloomberg said about redlining.In the interview, Mike talks to former host of Slow Burn and current host of Luminary Podcast network's Fiasco, Leon Neyfakh. In the first part of their conversation, they talk about what the Iran-Contra Affair was and who the key players were.In the spiel, the Pete Buttigieg CIA conspiracy theory from Chapo Trap House. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Bloomberg’s Bad Racial Math

    Feb 13 2020

    On the Gist, why Vindman wasn’t fired.In the interview, journalist Andrea Bernstein is here to talk about her new book, American Oligarchs: The Kushners, The Trumps, and the Marriage of Money and Power. She and Mike discuss how Trump bullied his way through New York real estate, why he puts his name on everything, and how he’s used the presidency for his own personal income.In the spiel, Bloomberg doubled down on stop-and-frisk for far too long. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone....more

  • What Hurt Warren

    Feb 12 2020

    On the Gist, the little ones.In the interview, Mike talks to journalist and public health researcher Katherine Rowland about her new book, The Pleasure Gap: American Women and the Unfinished Sexual Revolution. They discuss why American women are reporting dissatisfaction with their sexual lives despite the current climate of sex positivity, and the debates surrounding the female Viagra.In the spiel, the future for Warren.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Are Essential Oils Essentially Bunk?

    Feb 11 2020

    On the Gist, talking is hard.In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for her usual game of “Is That Bullshit?” Today she and Mike tackle essential oils, talking through the history of using essential oils, modern studies, and the potential uses they might have. Maria’s most recent book is The Confidence Game.In the spiel, weak arguments about political opponents. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Moshe Kasher Surfs the Crowd

    Feb 08 2020

    On the Gist, Central Casting strikes again.In the interview, comedian Moshe Kasher is here to talk about his new comedy album Crowdsurfing. He and Mike discuss the difference between crowd work and prepared material, and the history of Moshe’s family.In the spiel, Nancy ripping his speech. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Iowa Was Lost in Translation

    Feb 07 2020

    On the Gist, we went through hell.In the interview, Mike talks with linguist Dennis Baron about his new What's Your Pronoun?: Beyond He and She. The two analyze the history of English language pronouns and debate whether or not language is meant for communicating "correctly" or simply for communicating.In the spiel, translating the Iowa results. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Unsurprising Acquittal of Donald Trump

    Feb 05 2020

    On the Gist, Donald Trump slurred his way through the State of the Union.In the interview, Mike talks with public education advocate Diane Ravitch about her most recent book, Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America’s Public Schools. They discuss why she left the “dark side” of advocating for charter schools, and why schools should stop testing the children to death.In the spiel, the acquittal of Donald Trump. Learn more about your ad choices. Vis...more

  • The Lesson of Iowa’s Chaos

    Feb 05 2020

    On the Gist, the Iowa caucuses was created to disenfranchise babysitters.In the interview, Mike talks with NPR’s Steve Inskeep about his new book, Imperfect Union: How Jessie and John Frémont Mapped the West, Invented Celebrity, and Helped Cause the Civil War. They discuss the ways in which the Frémonts navigated their world, and the modern currents found in their story.In the spiel, the Iowa caucuses were a mess. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Oregon, Lab for Democracy

    Feb 04 2020

    On the Gist, how Elizabeth Warren inspires her supporters before the Iowa caucuses.In the interview, Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon is here to discuss how the state has the highest voter-turnout rate, the possibility of granting 16-year-olds the vote, rent-control, and her favorite sketch from the show Portlandia.In the spiel, the kingdom of the Kansas City Chiefs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Jon Favreau’s The Wilderness

    Feb 01 2020

    On the Gist, Bloomberg will join the debate stage.In the interview, Crooked Media’s Jon Favreau is here to talk about the new season of his series The Wilderness, where he goes to different parts of the country and explores politic tastes with focus groups. He and Mike discuss the four types of voters he targeted, what people want from a Democratic candidate, and the importance of the upcoming election.In the spiel, landmines and military. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adc...more

  • The Deep Doo-Doo of Dershowitz

    Jan 31 2020

    On the Gist, Pam Bondi at the impeachment trial.In the interview, journalist Ezra Klein is here to discuss his new book Why We’re Polarized. They debate if extremism and polarization are related, and talk about the increasing difficulty of compromise, and if there’s a solution to this problem.In the spiel, Alan Dershowitz’s terrible argument. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Could Bernie Take Iowa?

    Jan 30 2020

    On the Gist, could Bernie Sanders win in Iowa?In the interview, humorist and numbers ninja Matt Parker is here to discuss his new book Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World. He and Mike discuss the peculiarities of his page numbers, how he kept math fun, and a detailed exploration of what a decade is.In the spiel, impeachment continues. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Nuclear Power of the Presidency

    Jan 29 2020

    On the Gist, Mike Pompeo and Mary Louise Kelly.In the interview, Fred Kaplan is back and this time he and Mike are talking about nuclear bombs. They discuss the history of nuclear weapons in the US, why it’s concerning that Trump holds the detonator, and how these bombs factor into modern day peacekeeping. Kaplan’s new book is The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War.In the spiel, Trump team’s closing arguments. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/ad...more

  • Kobe Bryant, Transcendent Athlete

    Jan 28 2020

    On the Gist, the likely acquittal of Trump.In the interview, we're back with political reporter and host of Stranglehold, Lauren Chooljian. We discuss how the New Hampshire primaries are likely to shake out, which candidates will remain after many of them have strategically camped out in the state, and the difference between the polls and the actual feelings of New Hampshire voters.In the spiel, the artistry and athleticism of Kobe Bryant. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adc...more

  • The Hits of 1983

    Jan 25 2020

    On the Gist, Wells Fargo strikes again.In the interview, Chris Molanphy is back to talk Mike through the hits of 1983. Enjoying vegemite sandwiches, the rains in Africa, and a bunch of sweet dreams, they indulge in the pop mainstays that continue to persist on the radio and at the karaoke bar. Molanphy is the host of Hit Parade and writes the “Why Is This Song No. 1?” column for Slate.In the spiel, too many thoughts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Monstrous Monotony of Mitch McConnell

    Jan 24 2020

    On the Gist, the how the senators are occupying themselves.In the interview, writer Will Self is here to talk with Mike about his new memoir Will. They discuss addiction, how Will accesses memory, and the difficulty of his name.In the spiel, Mitch’s monotone. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • A Bunch of Dopes and Babies

    Jan 23 2020

    On the Gist, revisiting the travel ban.In the interview, we talk with Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes, the editors of Lawfare, about their new book, Unmaking the Presidency: Donald Trump's War on the World's Most Powerful Office. They discuss the precedents that Trump has broken as POTUS and paint a stark picture of the future of the executive office if he is re-elected.In the spiel, “a bunch of dopes and babies.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Was Killing Soleimani Worth It?

    Jan 22 2020

    On the Gist, the New York Times endorsement.In the interview, senior fellow and director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy Matthew Levitt is here to talk about the killing of Qasem Soleimani. What calculus went into the decision, whether it was worth it, and what this means for the future of the US and Iran.In the spiel, the beginning of the Senate impeachment trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adch...more

  • Journalists Aren’t Activists

    Jan 18 2020

    On the Gist, Joe Biden and the New York Times.In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for another episode of “Is That Bullshit?” This time she and Mike tackle whether or not we’re currently experiencing the latest mass extinction event. We may not have noticed, but the insects certainly have.In the spiel, the difference between journalism and activism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Dave Eggers and the Struggle of Satire

    Jan 17 2020

    On the Gist, Donald Trump and Devin Nunes know Lev Parnas.In the interview, Mike talks with author Dave Eggers about his new book, The Captain and the Glory, a story about the clownish captain of a great ship. Eggers discusses how satire can help us admit the absurdities of our times and how writing the book helped him process our current political climate.In the spiel, bunging a bob for a big ben bong. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Wasted Debate

    Jan 16 2020

    On the Gist, cats will eat you.In the interview, economist Daniel Susskind is here to discuss his new book A World Without Work: Technology, Automation, and How We Should Respond. They talk about the future of work, how technology is shifting, and the effectiveness of Andrew Yang’s proposal of universal basic income.In the spiel, the debate was lackluster.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Forgiveness by Fiat

    Jan 15 2020

    On the Gist, the latest debate and Corey Booker.In the interview, John Tierney is here to talk about his and Roy F. Baumeister’s new book The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It. They discuss why the bad is always more memorable than the good, and the real uses of such negativity.In the spiel, Elizabeth Warren’s plan to forgive student debt by executive order. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Issue With Oscar Noms

    Jan 14 2020

    On the Gist, Trump lying about embassies and Iran.In the interview, New America’s Lee Drutman is here to discuss his new book Breaking the Two Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America. He and Mike talk about why we need more than two parties in the US, how the two-party system came about, and what the way forward could be like.In the spiel, the Oscars need affirmative action. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Marianne Williamson Teleports Away

    Jan 11 2020

    On the Gist, Marianne Williamson is out.In the interview, Adam Davidson is back, this time talking to Mike about his new book The Passion Economy: The New Rules for Thriving in the Twenty-First Century. They discuss the case studies Adam used to illustrate this positive aspect of the economy in recent years, and how people have turned their passions into professions.In the spiel, Elizabeth Wurtzel and Don Imus. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Final Great Jeopardy! Game

    Jan 10 2020

    On the Gist, accusing people of writing eulogies.In the interview, Slate’s Lizzie O’Leary and Justin Peters talk with Mike about Jeopardy!’s “Greatest of All Time” tournament. With Justin as a previous Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? contestant, and Mike and Lizzie both as Jeopardy! alums, the three discuss how this tournament stacks up to the standard fare, who they think will win, and what their own experiences were like on TV.In the spiel, the governmental vacancies thanks to Trump. Learn more...more

  • What’s John Bolton’s Game?

    Jan 09 2020

    On the Gist, the Iran story isn’t over yet.In the interview, Slate’s Jim Newell is here to talk with Mike about John Bolton. They discuss why Bolton has announced he’s available to be subpoenaed by Congress, how this might play out, and where the Senate and the House stand.In the spiel, Jim Acosta’s commentary. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The World’s Worst Extortion Racket

    Jan 08 2020

    On the Gist, Trump’s letters to Iraq.In the interview, journalist Lauren Chooljian is here to talk about her podcast series Stranglehold. It focuses on the New Hampshire primary, how it continues to be first primary in the nation, and what long-running New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner has to do with it.In the spiel, trying to get paid to leave Iraq. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Trump’s Iranian Connection

    Jan 07 2020

    On the Gist, Kellyanne Conway and unnecessary clarifications.In the interview, New Yorker writer Adam Davidson is here to talk about Trump’s business dealings in Iran. Based on his past reporting, Davidson discusses with Mike how Trump became financially involved with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, a military force in Iran, and what impact that has had on recent events.In the spiel, movies and TV. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Starting a War

    Jan 04 2020

    On the Gist, the Quds force.In the interview, Slate’s Fred Kaplan is here to talk with Mike about the recent action the Trump administration has taken against Iran. They discuss what impact the death of Qasem Soleimani will have on the Middle East, the United State’s relationship with Iran and Iraq, and why this appears to be an act of war. Kaplan writes the War Stories column for Slate.In the spiel, Soleimani and war. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Julián Is Through-lian

    Jan 03 2020

    On the Gist, guns in Louisiana and New York.In the interview, the second part of our Zero Blog Thirty interview where Mike talks to Chaps and Kate about Chaps being a dog handler in the Marines and all the ways it’s different than we think it is.In the spiel, Castro is out. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Stories the Gist Skipped in 2019

    Dec 30 2019

    On the Gist, Mike makes predictions about what happened the week of Christmas.In the spiel, Mike reflects on 2019. He shares a rundown of what he didn’t cover, and a few particular standout moments from this year’s episodes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Approving War Crimes?

    Dec 23 2019

    On the Gist, John Bolton.In the interview, Mike talks to the hosts of Zero Blog Thirty, a podcast about the military from those who've lived it. They discuss the recent news about the Afghanistan papers, how Trump handled all the recent war criminals, and finding a space to talk about the inside baseball of the armed forces. Zero Blog Thirty is a podcast from Barstool, which you can listen to here.In the spiel, ‘tis the political season.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adch...more

  • Ignoring Iowa

    Dec 21 2019

    On the Gist, Pete Buttigieg and wine bars.In the interview, Mike talks to actor Rhea Seehorn and creator Mike Sacks about their new Audible original Passable in Pink, a satire of John Hughes films. They discuss their shared love of Hughes’ movies, how films like 16 Candles have held up in 2019, and the behind-the-scenes audio wizardry that made Passable in Pink come to life.In the spiel, Julian Castro’s attempt to revive his campaign.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoic...more

  • The Democrats Hardly Knew Jeff Van Drew

    Dec 20 2019

    On The Gist, impartial jurors for impeachment.In the interview, Pat Garofalo, managing editor of TalkPoverty.org is here to discuss his new book The Billionaire Boondoggle: How Our Politicians Let Corporations and Bigwigs Steal Our Money and Jobs. He and Mike the actual economic impact of things like the Super Bowl, and why cities might want to reconsider offering so many subsidies to companies.In the spiel, Jeff Van Drew. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Pontius Pilate, Democrat

    Dec 19 2019

    On the Gist, the third impeachment in U.S. history.In the interview, Mike talks to reporter Dan Weissmann about the cost of healthcare, the horror stories of people navigating the complicated system, and what at all can be done to fix it. Dan’s healthcare podcast is An Arm and a Leg.In the spiel, Jesus and Trump.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Capitalism Won. Now What?

    Dec 18 2019

    On the Gist, how government should work.In the interview, Mike talks to economist Branko Milanovic about the various forms of capitalism that exist in the world today, the role of higher education signaling in American society, and the ways to reduce the negative effects of inequality. His new book is Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World.In the spiel, the case for Mike Bloomberg.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more a...more

  • The Youthful Power of Greta Thunberg

    Dec 17 2019

    On the Gist, impeachment and partisanship.In the interview, Mike talks to Jonathan Metzl, Vanderbilt University professor and the research director of The Safe Tennessee Project. They discuss the latest Supreme Court case that examined a person’s right to bear arms in New York City, how the justices ruled, and what this case means for the second amendment in the future. Jonathan’s latest book is Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America's Heartland.In the spiel...more

  • The Kakistocracy Depends on the Cacophony

    Dec 14 2019

    On the Gist, birds and Debird.In the interview, Mike talks to journalist and CNN correspondent Peter Bergen about Trump’s national security team, the internal feuds, and why the key players of this team have all left, three years later. His new book is Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos.In the spiel, the Republicans need all the noise to continue. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Politics of Humor

    Dec 13 2019

    On the Gist, trade symbols.In the interview, Mike talks to Dannagal Goldthwaite Young about satire, irony, and humor in a politically divided world. They discuss successful and not-so-successful examples of conservative political satire, how humor differs on the right and left, and the psychology behind comedy. Her new book is Irony and Outrage: The Polarized Landscape of Rage, Fear, and Laughter in the United States.In the spiel, the pace of impeachment. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit ...more

  • Discredited Nincompoop Nunes Is (Slightly) Vindicated

    Dec 12 2019

    On the Gist, the problem with democracies.In the interview, Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution and Lawfare is on the phone with Mike today to talk about Devin Nunes’ memo from 2017 in light of the recent Inspector General’s report. What did Nunes get right and wrong? And was it enough to let us stop calling him a nincompoop?In the spiel, McKinsey and Pete Buttigieg. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Expecting History to Judge

    Dec 11 2019

    On the Gist, William Barr and malfeasance.In the interview, comedians Drennon Davis and Mike Phirman are here to talk about their podcast Bandtastic, a sci-fi musical for the family. They talk with Mike about how the project came about, adult and child humor, and DJ Yeah.In the spiel, impeachment and history.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Not a Point of Order

    Dec 10 2019

    On the Gist, fighting Biden.In the interview, Mike talks to sports journalist and author Joe Posnanski about the elusive Houdini. They talk about how Erik Weisz became the great Harry Houdini, how the man transformed himself from failing magician to famous escape artist, and the myths shrouding his mysterious death. Joe’s book is The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini.In the spiel, points of order. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Truth Behind the Steele Dossier

    Dec 07 2019

    On The Gist, Chuck Todd.In the Interview, former The Wall Street Journal reporter and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson is here to talk with Mike about the Steele dossier, the infamous pee tape, and his regrets and hopes around the dossier’s coverage. His new book with co-author Peter Fritsch is Crime in Progress: Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump.In the Spiel, Cory Booker’s theory on why Kamala Harris dropped out.  Learn more about your ad choices. Vis...more

  • Biden Wants a Fight

    Dec 06 2019

    On The Gist, UNESCO.In the Interview, Mike talks to Bina Venkataraman, The Boston Globe editorial page editor. They talk about the best ways to tackle climate change, how to encourage people to think long-term, and whether or not humanity will make it past the year 2200. Her new book is The Optimist's Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age.In the Spiel, Joe Biden confronting an 83-year-old farmer in Iowa. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Making the Worse Argument

    Dec 05 2019

    On The Gist, unpopular opinions.In the Interview, Mike talks to actor Kal Penn about his sitcom Sunnyside. They discuss how he came up with the idea for the show, his time working for the Obama administration, and the Easter eggs hidden throughout the season. You can watch Sunnyside on Hulu, Amazon, and other streaming platforms.In the Spiel, the rebuttal to impeachment. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Kamala Is Out

    Dec 04 2019

    On The Gist, Kamala Harris. In the Interview, Mike talks to Slate writer Julia Craven about Kamala Harris’ decision to end her White House bid, the internal crises that broke out within her campaign, and why, after a promising start, she struggled to stand out in the crowded Democratic race.In the Spiel, a sperm whale and straws.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Alex Gibney's Citizen K

    Dec 03 2019

    On The Gist, Chuck Todd did good.In the interview, documentarian Alex Gibney is here to discuss his newest film, Citizen K, about former Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Putin’s Russia. They discuss what led to Khodorkovsky’s exile, and the way his story reveals the current state of Russian affairs.In the Spiel, Mike’s Thanksgiving weekend.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Great Denial

    Nov 28 2019

    On The Gist, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.Maria Konnikova is back for another “Is That Bullshit?” In the Interview, she talks to Mike about DOGTV, a cable network made for dogs. Maria breaks down whether or not DOGTV helps dogs feel a little less lonely while their owners are away and if DOGTV programming is truly relaxing for dogs. Maria’s latest book is The Confidence Game.In the Spiel, Rep. Jim Jordan and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and a...more

  • The Business of Apples

    Nov 27 2019

    On The Gist, beavers.In the interview, Mike talks to The Sporkful host Dan Pashman about Washington State University’s latest creation—the Cosmic Crisp apple. Pashman explains the birth of this new apple, how it compares to other varieties, and quizzes Mike in a game called "Apple Variety or New England Town." Listen to The Sporkful episode, “A New Apple Is Born,” wherever you get your podcasts.In the Spiel, Prince Andrew. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up ...more

  • Paving the Way to Progressive America

    Nov 26 2019

    On The Gist, Nikki Haley.In the interview, Mike talks to Senator Sherrod Brown about his new book Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America. They talk about these forgotten figures, what people can learn from them, and the power and limits of bi-partisanship.In the Spiel, South Carolina.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Game

    Nov 22 2019

    On The Gist, Joe Biden again.Then Mike speaks with Slate blogger Ben Mathis-Lilley about impeachment.And we end with an interview with Chris Molanphy, who is back to run through the nominees for this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He and Mike talk about the new nominees, those who’ve appeared time and again, and the game theory of it all. Chris is the host of Hit Parade and writes the column “Why Is This Song Number One?”Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign u...more

  • David Shulkin Knows Sacrifice

    Nov 22 2019

    On The Gist, is Pete Buttigieg ready?In the interview, Mike talks to former United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin about his time in office, how he drastically reduced wait times at VA medical centers, and the infamous tweet that got him fired. His new book is It Shouldn't Be This Hard to Serve Your Country: Our Broken Government and the Plight of Veterans.In the Spiel, Fiona Hill. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about y...more

  • Gordon Sondland Has No Clue

    Nov 21 2019

    On The Gist, Representative John Ratcliffe.In the interview, Mike talks to CIA whistleblower Jeffery Sterling about his CIA career, how he blew the whistle on a bungled covert operation in Iran in 2015, and his life after serving time. His new book is Unwanted Spy: The Persecution of an American Whistleblower. In the Spiel, Gordon Sondland. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Another Day, Another Impeachment Hearing

    Nov 20 2019

    On The Gist, the MSNBC and The Washington Post Democratic debate.In the interview, Mike talks to actor June Diane Raphael of Grace and Frankie about her call to activism after the 2016 election, working with Emily’s List, and encouraging more women to run for office. Her new book is Represent: The Woman’s Guide to Running for Office and Changing the World. In the Spiel, the impeachment saga. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad ch...more

  • Crowdfunding Creativity

    Nov 19 2019

    On The Gist, Pete Buttigieg.In the interview, Mike talks to Yancey Strickler, co-founder of Kickstarter, about the company’s origins, the challenges of developing creator guidelines, and what he thinks about wealth in the tech industry. His new book is This Could Be Our Future.In the Spiel, Mayor Bloomberg and stop-and-frisk. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Devin Nunes Is a Nincompoop

    Nov 16 2019

    On The Gist, Elizabeth Warren’s new plan.In the interview, Jamil Zaki is here to discuss his new book The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World. He and Mike debate the merits of sympathy versus empathy, and discuss the ways we view empathy may not be the way we live with it.In the Spiel, Devin Nunes, disgraced nincompoop.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Business of Celebrity Tabloids

    Nov 15 2019

    On The Gist, Nancy Pelosi. In the interview, Mike talks to filmmaker Mark Landsman and former National Enquirer editor-in-chief Steve Coz about their new documentary Scandalous: The True Story of the National Enquirer. They discuss ethics, Trump, and how the publication’s tactics have changed over the years.In the Spiel, need a dose of pizzazz?Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Threat of Democracy

    Nov 14 2019

    On The Gist, Purple: Project for Democracy.In the interview, Mike talks to writer and National Review editor Rich Lowry about the tradition of American nationalism, how to reclaim the term, and why we need it more than ever. His new book is The Case for Nationalism: How It Made Us Powerful, United, and Free.In the Spiel, the impeachment hearing, Giuliani, and corruption.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone...more

  • For the Love of Scandal

    Nov 13 2019

    On The Gist, treason and bribery. In the interview, Irish writer and critic Fintan O’Toole talks to Mike about Brexit, the nationalist wave sweeping England, and country’s future without the European Union. His book The Politics of Pain: Postwar England and the Rise of Nationalism is out now. In the Spiel, scandals and apologies.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Imperfect Republican Defense

    Nov 12 2019

    On The Gist, partisanship.In the interview, Brian T. Brown is here to talk about his new book, Someone Is Out to Get Us: A Not So Brief History of Cold War Paranoia and Madness. He and Mike discuss the ways the US and the USSR felt about each other, how those feelings persist today, and the different intelligence structures in the US and Russia.In the Spiel, Republicans and impeachment.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices....more

  • Edward Norton’s Motherless Brooklyn

    Nov 09 2019

    On The Gist, the new book by the anonymous member of the White House.In the interview, Mike talks to actor Edward Norton about his new film Motherless Brooklyn. They discuss Robert Moses’s complicated legacy in New York, his early beginnings volunteering as a public housing advocate, and working with Alec Baldwin to make this movie come alive. Motherless Brooklyn is in theaters now.In the Spiel, Pete Buttigieg and Black voters. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Steve Bullock’s Blue-Collar Candidacy

    Nov 08 2019

    On The Gist, taxing Bill Gates.In the interview, Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana is here to talk with Mike about his run for the Democratic nomination. They discuss how Bullock’s work on campaign finance reform in Montana, how he alters his message for local and national audiences, and what he thinks of the penny.In the Spiel, Pete Buttigieg’s lack of experience.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoi...more

  • The Policy Popularity Game

    Nov 07 2019

    On The Gist, political correctness?In the interview, Mike talks to political scientist James A. Robinson about why some nations have more liberty than others and what nations can do to uphold freedom in the face of political threats. His new book, co-written with Daron Acemoglu, is The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty.In the Spiel, popular policies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Another Plan for That?

    Nov 06 2019

    On The Gist, it’s not good to agree with Donald Trump, Jr.In the interview, race car driver Michael Waltrip and filmmaker Paul Taublieb are here to talk with Mike about the new documentary Blink of an Eye based on the book of the same name about racing, Waltrip’s his relationship with Dale Earnhardt, Sr., and the fateful day of Earnhardt’s crash. The film is currently available to stream digitally.In the Spiel, Elizbeth Warren’s healthcare plan. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free ...more

  • Kellyanne Conway’s Fibs and Half-Truths

    Nov 05 2019

    On The Gist, socialism and taxes.In the interview, Thomas Chatterton Williams talks to Mike about why it’s important to reject social constructs like race, how he has reckoned with these categories, and what he has learned about identity as a parent. His new book is Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race.In the Spiel, Kellyanne Conway. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Future for Democrats

    Nov 01 2019

    On The Gist, Mike went to Politicon this past weekend and moderated the panel What Now Democrats, featuring James Carville, Joe Lockhart, Zerlina Maxwell, Kyle Kulinski and Jess McIntosh. They debate the future of the party, what kinds of issues will matter in 2020, and what they should stop fighting over.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Truth About Impossible Burgers

    Nov 01 2019

    On The Gist, presidential incompetency at its finest.In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for “Is That Bullshit?” She and Mike figure out what are really in Impossible and Beyond burgers and if they’re healthier than red meat burgers. Maria’s latest book is The Confidence Game.In the Spiel, the ridiculous world of taxonomy. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Tupac and Biggie: What Really Happened?

    Oct 30 2019

    On The Gist, ghosts aren’t real.In the interview, Mike talks to Slate writer and Slow Burn host Joel Anderson about the new season, the hidden facts he learned about Tupac and Biggie, and the latest revelations he uncovered documenting the biggest hip-hop legends ever. Listen to Slow Burn here.In the Spiel, guessing what Trump says. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Samantha Power’s Atrocity Prevention

    Oct 30 2019

    On The Gist, Melinda Gates and empowering women.In the final part of Mike’s two-part interview with U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, they talk about the right and wrong ways to handle human rights atrocities across the world and their love of baseball. To learn more, read her new book The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir.In the Spiel, the Katie Hill scandal continues. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit ...more

  • The Fall of Katie Hill

    Oct 29 2019

    On The Gist, socialism and millennials.In the first part of a two-part interview, Mike talks to Samantha Power, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, about the early beginnings of the Syrian crisis, her role in trying to stop the Assad regime, and what she has learned from her mistakes during that critical time. Her new book is The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir.In the Spiel, Katie Hill’s resignation. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about ...more

  • Joel Stein Knows You’re Elitist

    Oct 25 2019

    On The Gist, understanding the differences between Hispanic and Latinx.In the interview, Mike talks to journalist Joel Stein about elitism in 2019, how Trump is really part of the elite, and what the future holds for populism across the world. His new book is In Defense of Elitism: Why I'm Better Than You and You're Better Than Someone Who Didn't Buy This Book. In the Spiel, Trump and pies. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad cho...more

  • What Is Zuckerberg’s Time Worth?

    Oct 25 2019

    On The Gist, Katie Hill’s throuple.In the interview, Mike talks to writer Coleman Hughes about how his childhood shaped his views on race in America, his case against reparations, and what he’s working on next in the world of philosophy.In the Spiel, how much is Mark Zuckerberg’s time worth?Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Facebook Should Fact-Check

    Oct 24 2019

    On The Gist, storming the SCIF.In the interview, podcast producer and Canadian Chris Berube is here to talk with Mike about the recent Canadian election, how much shorter their elections are, and the government Trudeau has had to cobble together. Berube is a producer for 99% Invisible. In the Spiel, Facebook and fact-checking.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Thinking Outside the America Box

    Oct 23 2019

    On The Gist, racial slurs and context.In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for another round of “Is That Bullshit?” This time, she and Mike figure out if sunscreen is good for us, what we should be wary of, and why many of us need more sunlight. Maria’s latest book is The Confidence Game.In the Spiel, the Canadian election. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Cracking Trump’s Code

    Oct 22 2019

    On The Gist, Trump is no George Washington.In the interview, Stephen Martin and Joseph Marks are here to discuss their new book Messengers: Who We Listen To, Who We Don’t, and Why. They talk about why the expert isn’t always the best vessel for information, the power dynamics involved, and why famous people often end up with that job.In the Spiel, the indirect language of Trump. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Meghan Daum’s Problem With Everything

    Oct 19 2019

    On The Gist, Gordon Sondland testified before Congress.In the interview, Meghan Daum is here to talk with Mike Pesca about her new book The Problem with Everything: My Journey Through the New Culture Wars. They discuss toughness versus sensitivity, age differences, and how we should appreciate the confusion of this time more.In the Spiel, a dodeca-antentwig.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...more

  • The Curdling Affair in Syria

    Oct 18 2019

    On The Gist, what does quid pro quo even mean?In the interview, Mike talks to Ash Carter about his time as the 25th Secretary of Defense, what he would have down if he were Jim Mattis, and what he thinks about Trump’s military strategy in Syria.In the Spiel, Trump and Erdogan are back at it again. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Unmasking the Watchmen

    Oct 17 2019

    On The Gist, the October CNN democratic debate.In the interview, Mike talks to director and executive producer Nicole Kassell about directing the Watchmen pilot, the show’s many Easter eggs, and how they honor the real-life 1921 riot in Tulsa, Oklahoma.In the Spiel, why no one supports Trump’s strategy with the Kurds. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Shea Serrano’s Great Movie Debates

    Oct 16 2019

    On The Gist, too many candidates?In the interview, Shea Serrano is back to talk with Mike about his newest book Movies (And Other Things). They talk about Armageddon, why Booksmart will have such longevity and importance, and watching movies with your children.In the Spiel, George and Kellyanne Conway.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Giuliani Whisperer

    Oct 12 2019

    On The Gist, Trump’s trade war with China. In the interview, Mike talks to writer Elaina Plott about her reporting on Rudy Giuliani, new White House counsel Pat Cipollone, and the future of the impeachment hearings. Plott is a staff writer at the Atlantic. Read her work here. In the Spiel, the CNN LGBTQ+ Equality Town Hall.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Who Deserves the Right to Vote?

    Oct 11 2019

    On The Gist, how should we feel about Ellen and George W. Bush? In the interview, Desmond Meade of the Florida Restorative Rights Coalition is here to talk with Mike about the recent movement in Florida to give voting rights back to individuals who have previous committed felonies. They talk about how quickly the measure passed, what regaining voting rights really means, and who is actually most affected by these laws. In the Spiel, should plans for the LGBTQ community really have been the secon...more

  • Uncomplicating the NBA and China

    Oct 10 2019

    On The Gist, what Trump is doing to the Kurds is everybody’s fault but Trump’s. In the interview, Mike talks to Ozy's national politics reporter Nick Fouriezos about U.S. voter apathy, where its most prevalent, and its ramifications for future elections. You can read Fouriezos’ piece, “Who Cares: Inside America's Apathy Belt,” in Ozy. In the Spiel, the fight between China and the NBA isn’t complicated.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about ...more

  • Selling Out the Kurds

    Oct 09 2019

    On The Gist, Trump and the Kurds. In the interview, Mike talks to Aaron Mehta, deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News. They talk about why Ukraine wants javelin missiles, the internal conflicts in the Pentagon, and China’s rising military dominance.  In the Spiel, the American sports media's reactions to Daryl Morey.  Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Cowardice of the NBA

    Oct 08 2019

    On The Gist, Daryl Morey versus NBA China.In the interview, Comedy Bang Bang host Scott Aukerman is here to talk about Between Two Ferns: The Movie, the early beginnings of the Between Two Ferns show, and how he writes and directs great cringe comedy. You can watch the movie on Netflix.In the Spiel, the cost of too little or too much deference.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Norbert Leo Butz Is on the Long Haul

    Oct 05 2019

    On The Gist, dishonesty and the media.In the interview, Norbert Leo Butz is a Broadway powerhouse who’s been in all sorts of projects like Wicked and Catch Me If You Can, but he’s also a talented musician out with a new album, The Long Haul. He’s here to talk with Mike about his new music, how he fit writing it into his life, and the business of Broadway.In the Spiel, is Donald Trump’s presidency more dangerous than Andrew Johnson’s?Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds...more

  • Gary Gulman’s Great Depresh

    Oct 04 2019

    On The Gist, getting pronunciations right and extremely wrong.In the interview, comedian Gary Gulman talks to Mike about his new HBO comedy special The Great Depresh, how he talks about mental health on stage, and the magic of vision boards.In the Spiel, the Ukraine saga.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Presidential Temper Tantrums

    Oct 03 2019

    On The Gist, suing the swamp. In the interview, Marc Randolph is here to talk with Mike about the early beginnings of Netflix, his relationship with co-founder Reed Hastings, and what he’s doing now post-Netflix. Randolph’s new book is That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea. In the Spiel, accusing somebody of treason might be a reason to impeach.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visi...more

  • ZuckyLeaks

    Oct 02 2019

    On The Gist, the Zuckerberg audio leaks. In the interview, Martha Minow is here to talk with Mike about forgiveness, who should be forgiven, and how to incorporate more forgiveness in the U.S. legal system. Minow’s new book is When Should Law Forgive? In the Spiel, class resentment. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Self-Impeacher in Chief

    Oct 01 2019

    On The Gist, what’s going on at Café Altura? In the interview, journalist Amanda Aronczyk is here to talk with Mike about her recent series for WNYC’s The Stakes podcast, “A History of Persuasion.” Through the lens of Ted Kaczynski she explores the way behavioral psychology has been used to shape the way we think, and how the manipulation has only ramped up thanks to the tech industry.In the Spiel, Giuliani, Stephen Miller, and self-impeachment. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free ...more

  • Whistleblower Woes

    Sep 28 2019

    On The Gist, Trump and Ukraine-gate?  In the interview, journalist and author Mary Lane is here to talk with Mike about Hitler’s art, how he seized “degenerate” art in Germany, and the people who finally recovered these lost works in 2013. Lane’s new book is Hitler's Last Hostages: Looted Art and the Soul of the Third Reich. In the Spiel, the whistleblower complaint.  Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.f...more

  • The Power of Greta Thunberg

    Sep 26 2019

    On The Gist, MSNBC cutting Trump’s speech short. In the interview, writer Katy Lederer is here to talk with Mike about Greta Thunberg, why she’s such a force, and if she will bring about any change. Lederer’s latest piece on Thunberg is “Can They Read,” in n+1. In the Spiel, whistleblowing and the Maguire hearing.  Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Beginning of Impeachment

    Sep 26 2019

    On The Gist, the beginning of the Trump and Ukraine analysis. In the interview, CIA alum and head of Lawfare David Priess is here to talk with Mike about impeachment, the Ukraine phone call, and this time things are different. Priess’ latest book is How to Get Rid of a President: History’s Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives.  In the Spiel, Trump’s press conference and meeting with the Ukraine president. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Lauren Duca Wants a Revolution

    Sep 25 2019

    On The Gist, journalist Lauren Duca is here to talk with Mike about her new book, inspiring young people to get more involved in politics, how activism and journalism might intersect, and the problems with our binary political system. Duca’s new book is How to Start a Revolution: Young People and the Future of Politics. In the Spiel, impeachment?Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Hungry for Murder

    Sep 24 2019

    On The Gist, the news we missed during Comedy Week.  In the interview, Rachel Monroe is here to talk with Mike about why people, and women in particular, are so interested in true crime. Is it a new thing or just newly popular? Does being an at-home sleuth help in any way? Monroe’s new book is Savage Appetites: Four Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession. In the Spiel, Trump and the hostless Emmy Awards. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Comedy Week: Late-Night

    Sep 20 2019

    On The Gist, late-night writers Steve Waltien, Bryan Tucker, and Alison Leiby sit down with Mike to discuss what it’s like to write on a late-night show. How do they deal with the constant churn of topical humor? Why is it so difficult to continue laughing through Trump? And what is the Sean Penn test?Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Comedy Week: Film

    Sep 19 2019

    On The Gist, screenwriters Dana Fox and John August, and film critic K. Austin Collins are here to talk all about the comedy film. What makes a funny movie? how has that changed over the years? And has humor just creeped its way into all the other genres without us realizing?Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Comedy Week: Podcasts

    Sep 19 2019

    On The Gist, our third part of comedy week is all about comedy podcasts. Podcast hosts Jesse Thorn and Ron Funches join Mike to talk about the wide variety of comedy podcasts, how they both got started, and why they are such a freeing avenue for comedians.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Comedy Week: Improv

    Sep 17 2019

    On The Gist, our second installment in this week of comedy focuses on the world of improv. Improvisers Amber Nash, TJ Jagodowski, and Zach Cherry join Mike to talk about what the improv scene is like in their respective cities, how the form has grown so quickly in the last 30 years, and why collaboration is such an exciting way to get a laugh. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Comedy Week: Stand-Up Comedy

    Sep 16 2019

    On The Gist, we’re kicking off our week on the world of comedy by talking to three comedians about the state of stand-up comedy. Adam Ferrara, Aparna Nancherla, and Hari Kondabolu talk with Mike about the way they perform, how they interact with their audience and fans, and pushing boundaries in the art form. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Do the Hustle

    Sep 14 2019

    On The Gist, questions the debate needed. In the interview, director Lorene Scafaria is here to talk with Mike about the new film Hustlers. They discuss recruiting Jennifer Lopez, Lizzo, and Cardi B, the importance of Chopin, and filming at a strip club.   In the Spiel, the crazy things said during the debate.Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here!Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choi...more

  • Leave It to Lovett

    Sep 13 2019

    On The Gist, what should we care about?  In the interview, Jon Lovett is here to talk with Mike about Joe Biden, debate in liberal roundtables, the Overton window, and the live Lovett or Leave It show at Radio City Music Hall on September 13, 2019. In the Spiel, Joe Biden is fading.Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here!Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adc...more

  • The Ousting of Donald Sterling

    Sep 12 2019

    On The Gist, Fort Campbell middle schoolers and the border wall. In the interview, journalist Ramona Shelburne is here to talk about her new five-part 30 for 30 series on Donald Sterling and the Clippers. She and Mike discuss how she started covering the Clippers, reporting out the Sterling story at the time, and the subsequent fallout. Her new series is The Sterling Affairs.  In the Spiel, Donald Sterling, Donald Trump, and the for-profit presidency. Want to see a special episode of The Gist li...more

  • The Made-for-TV President

    Sep 10 2019

    On The Gist, Bolton is out. In the interview, New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik is here to talk about his new book about Trump and television. He and Mike discuss how the increasing variety of television networks and the boom of reality TV led to Trump, and his similarities to the classic anti-hero trope. Poniewozik’s new book is Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America. In the Spiel, mass shootings and mental health.Want to see a special episode of The Gi...more

  • Scientific Solutions to Absurdity

    Sep 10 2019

    On The Gist, Trump and Scotland. In the interview, creator of xkcd Randall Munroe is here to talk about his new book How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems. He and Mike talk about puzzling out the chicken and the egg, testing nuclear weapons on beverages, and how Serena Williams fits into his scientific exploration. In the Spiel, the Taliban and Camp David.Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here!Slate Plus members get bonus segme...more

  • It’s an Economist’s World

    Sep 07 2019

    On The Gist, Trump’s lightbulbs. In the interview, economists weren’t always at the levers of public policy in America. The New York Times’ Binyamin Appelbaum tracked the profession’s post-war movement into power, and how the laissez-faire philosophy economists (by and large) brought with them has failed us. Appelbaum is the author of The Economists' Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society. In the Spiel, hurricanes and global warming.Want to see a special episode of The G...more

  • How We Speak Internet

    Sep 06 2019

    On The Gist, Mike Pence and Boris Johnson. In the interview, it’s internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch on how the language we use has been shaped by the information superhighway—and for starters, people never say “information superhighway” anymore. They also write more (everyone’s a writer on the internet) and less formally, though without shedding whatever regional dialect they may have. McCulloch is the author of Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language. In the Spiel, the clim...more

  • Lobbying for Good?

    Sep 05 2019

    On The Gist, it’s Boris Johnson’s show now. In the interview, Thomas Sheridan isn’t your mother’s lobbyist—or wait, maybe he is? His firm, the Sheridan Group, fights for social change. He tells Mike about why lobbyists aren’t all bad, how he got his start, and the tough battles he’s faced over the years. Sheridan’s new book is Helping the Good Do Better: How a White Hat Lobbyist Advocates for Social Change. In the Spiel, there’s a solution to higher rates of maternal mortality among black women,...more

  • The Big Power of Right-Wing Radio

    Sep 03 2019

    On The Gist, how hurricanes are like racism.  In the interview, talk radio has shaped so much of our political discourse, often in ways we don’t even realize. Brian Rosenwald sought to figure out just how much influence it’s had and condensed it all into his new book Talk Radio’s America: How an Industry Took Over a Political Party That Took Over the United States. He’s here to talk with Mike about Rush Limbaugh’s early years, the outsized importance of Roger Ailes, and where this leaves us toda...more

  • To Greta Goes the Glory?

    Aug 29 2019

    On The Gist, this week in the news, truth is stranger than science fiction. In the interview, guest host Seth Stevenson talks to the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. And it turns out that when you’re a citizen for responsibility and ethics, as Noah Bookbinder is, you see plenty going wrong in Washington. In the Spiel, Greta Thunberg’s cross-Atlantic trip was an exercise in inconvenience.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Si...more

  • The Mystery of Ivanka Trump

    Aug 28 2019

    On The Gist, journalist and podcast host Lauren Ober was shocked to realize Chelsea Manning is back in jail. In the interview, Ober talks with journalist Vanessa Grigoriadis about the new podcast Tabloid: The Making of Ivanka Trump. What’s it like to go from aspiring socialite to familial lackey? Is there any room for pity? And when is she headed for Burning Man? In the Spiel, female political fashion.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.Want to see a spec...more

  • They Tried to Cancel You

    Aug 27 2019

    On The Gist, journalist Katie Herzog fills in for Mike Pesca and focuses on cancel culture.  In the interview, Herzog interviews filmmaker Rhys Ernst about his new film Adam, and the queer backlash against the film. What’s it like for your own community to try and cancel you? Is all the extra publicity a good thing? And how does attempted cancellation age? In the Spiel, unproductive Antifa protests.Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here!Slate Plus membe...more

  • What’s in a Face, Anyway?

    Aug 26 2019

    On The Gist, Trump is a bad negotiator. In the interview, you’ve probably heard of face blindness. And you possibly wondered whether it was a real thing. Do some people really walk the world, full of other people as it is, without the ability to recognize them from their features? They do. Sadie Dingfelder shared her experience over at the Washington Post, and does so now on The Gist. In the Spiel, the Everything Is Alive tariff-a-thon.Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? ...more

  • David Koch Was Bad. But Evil? Eh.

    Aug 24 2019

    On The Gist, if an eleventh Democratic candidate makes the next debate in Houston, we’ll hear more from all of them (because they’ll be split across two nights!). In the interview, it’s part II of Mike’s discussion with Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley. They talk about the filibuster (this junior senator says “it has to go”) and the daunting task that is healing the upper chamber of Congress. Merkley is the author of America Is Better Than This: Trump's War Against Migrant Families. In the Spiel, the Da...more

  • Visiting the Migrant Families in Crisis

    Aug 23 2019

    On The Gist, the Amazon is on fire. In the interview, Sen. Jeff Merkley was the first member of Congress to visit the migrant detention centers along the border and view the atrocious ways we were treating the people forced to live there. He’s here to talk with Mike about the crisis, the failure of the Trump administration, and what we can do about it. His new book is America Is Better Than This: Trump’s War Against Migrant Families. In the Spiel, Trump and Israel.Want to see a special episode o...more

  • Trump Is America

    Aug 22 2019

    On The Gist, Scaramucci was wrong about Trump. In the interview, journalist David Robson is here to talk about his new book The Intelligence Trap: Why Smart People Make Dumb Mistakes. He and Mike talk the intelligence quotient, the blind spots smart people have, and why it might be a good idea to talk about yourself in the third person. In the Spiel, Trump as all of America. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.Want to see a special episode of The Gist liv...more

  • When the CIA’s “Dark Side” Works

    Aug 21 2019

    On The Gist, if Peter Navarro wants to criticize the Wall Street Journal, he really ought to read it once in a while. In the interview, it’s easy to condemn the CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation techniques in retrospect. But as agency alumnus Philip Mudd puts it, “boy, back then, people said ‘take out the stops, make sure it doesn’t happen again.’” He talks about the relative effectiveness of harsh interrogation techniques, and why that shouldn’t be a factor if ever American forces countenance them ...more

  • Tim Ryan’s Big Plans

    Aug 20 2019

    On The Gist, despite what Peter Navarro says, a yield curve inversion there was indeed (and a recession there may be). In the interview, in a Democratic field crowded with grand policy promises, Tim Ryan’s more centrist ideas have been crowded out. But should they be? The Ohio congressman tells Mike about increasing manufacturing and focusing education on social and emotional learning. In the Spiel, the difference between bad politics and bad policy.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-f...more

  • What Happened to Sha Na Na

    Aug 17 2019

    On The Gist, the varying sizes of Trump and Greenland. In the interview, journalist Steve Rushin is here to talk with Mike about his new memoir Nights at White Castle. They discuss the amorphous nature of nostalgia, why children should go on boring vacations, and the podcast Ball & Chain that he hosts with his wife, basketball great Rebecca Lobo. In the Spiel, Sha Na Na. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here!Slate Plus members get bonus segments an...more

  • The Leftist Takeover Edition

    Aug 15 2019

    On The Gist, Slate’s Jordan Weissmann tells guest host Sean McElwee which presidential candidates’ signature ideas are hot (and which are not). In the interview, the Green New Deal isn’t just a set of climate policies—it’s a chance to break with the uneven benefits afforded by the original New Deal and other progressive policies. Julian Brave NoiseCat (McElwee’s colleague at Data for Progress) and activist Adrien Salazar (of the think tank Demos) are in the studio to share their expertise on the...more

  • The Problem With “White Supremacy”

    Aug 14 2019

    On The Gist, getting a bit willy-nilly with “white supremacy.” In the interview, John Hickenlooper may be mulling a pivot from presidential to Senate candidate, but he was at the Iowa State Fair to weigh in on issues that affect the entire country—and to strike a moderate tone. In last year’s midterms, he says, “the successful Democrat did not embrace the Green New Deal and did not embrace ‘Medicare for All.’ That’s what we’re going to need to do to beat Donald Trump.”  In the Spiel, there is no...more

  • Are Attention Spans Shrinking?

    Aug 14 2019

    On The Gist, Biden’s gaffes. In the interview, Maria Konnikova, author of The Confidence Game, is back for another round of Is That Bullshit? This time she and Mike talk all about attention spans. There always seem to be claims that attention spans are shrinking, but is that true? Should we be worried that we feel distracted more and more or just take a deep breath and embrace it?  In the Spiel, the Ebola cure. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here!Sla...more

  • Who’s the Filibuster For?

    Aug 13 2019

    On The Gist, the opinions of the people at the Iowa State Fair. In the interview, Jay Inslee was among the 21 Democratic presidential candidates to converge on the Iowa State Fair this past weekend. Washington’s governor grabbed a seat with Mike to talk about applying his state’s environmental victories to the federal level, taxing Amazon, and getting rid of the gridlocking filibuster. In the Spiel, The Gist went to the Iowa State Fair and got answers from Democratic presidential candidates abou...more

  • How to Rob a Bank, And Be Funny While You’re at It

    Aug 09 2019

    On The Gist, the real consequences of immigration laws. In the interview, Charles Duhigg is who you get when you combine an investigative reporter with an agony aunt. In his new Slate podcast (How To!), he teases out advice on everyday problems, from how to tell a good joke to how to rob a bank (alright, the problems aren’t that common). You can subscribe to How To! on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. In the Spiel, Trump, children, and shootings.Want to see a special episode of...more

  • Politics Is a Circus

    Aug 09 2019

    On The Gist, Montana has gone a little berserk. In the interview, Joshua Cohen is here to discuss his new book Attention: Dispatches From the Land of Distraction,  and the many discursions he and Mike go on thanks to it. Like the depth of Bernie’s political policies, Trump’s time in Atlantic City, and why the circus is so important to the history of American culture. In the Spiel, Trump’s distraction tactics.Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here!Slate...more

  • Turning Out the 2020 Voter

    Aug 07 2019

    On The Gist, Dayton and El Paso deserve better than the presence of Donald Trump.  In the interview, FiveThirtyEight elections analyst Geoffrey Skelley talks through what Democrats need to do to turn out voters in 2020. Should they focus on the “Obama coalition” that elected him twice? Or is it smarter to turn toward Obama voters that then voted for Trump in 2016? Why not both?In the Spiel, anyone telling you the decade-long Assault Weapons Ban was ineffective is talking nonsense.Want to see a s...more

  • Trade War Rumblings? We’re Already In One.

    Aug 07 2019

    On The Gist, if you want gun control, you clearly have to just vote Democrat. In the interview, the tit-for-tat trade war with China is unceasing. Slate’s Jordan Weissmann tells Mike about the latest developments in the fight between presidents Trump and Xi Jinping, whether or not China is really manipulating its currency, and the potential paths ahead.  In the Spiel, Americans are getting angry over all the wrong things. It’s infuriating!Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast...more

  • There Are the “Maybe” Factors, and Then There’s the Rifle Factor.

    Aug 06 2019

    On The Gist, this weekend’s mass shooters had different motives. It won’t do to draw lessons from just one of them. In the interview, Amherst College professor Austin Sarat wants to enlist gun owners themselves in the fight for firearm regulation. “48 percent of gun owners favor a ban on assault weapons,” he says, citing the Pew Research Center. The problem is convincing them that gun control advocates aren’t pushing for full-on confiscation. Sarat is the co-editor of The Lives of Guns. In the S...more

  • The Case of “The Case of Al Franken”

    Aug 03 2019

    On The Gist, a theory as to why we still hear dusty old terms like “happy warrior”—at least during election season. In the interview, Slate writer Christina Cauterucci, who recently wrote about Al Franken, criticizes a recent New Yorker story on the ousted senator. She and Mike break down what they think its author Jane Mayer got wrong and right, the facts of the reporting, and why we shouldn’t think of the #MeToo movement as one with winners and losers. In the Spiel, John Ratcliffe is thankfull...more

  • How Fantastic Negrito Started From Scratch

    Aug 02 2019

    On The Gist, the Democrats making Republican soundbites. In the interview, Fantastic Negrito walked a long and winding road to blues stardom. His first album (under his legal name, Xavier) was a bust—“everyone hated it”—and saw him dropped from his label. He’d also gotten into a serious car accident and sold off his instruments before returning to music. That’s when the Grammys started rolling in—he’s won two in the last three years, for best contemporary blues album. His latest record is Please...more

  • Chuck Klosterman and the Ivory Tower

    Aug 01 2019

    On The Gist, Jeffrey Epstein’s ideas. In the interview, when Chuck Klosterman writes non-fiction, he worries about missing some grand historical context in a way that would ruin his work. With fiction, that anxiety goes out the window— if someone reads one of his short stories and thinks something “completely unrelated to what I thought, it's still okay.” Klosterman digs into that, the advantages of an education outside the ivory tower, and what the Beatles really did for rock music. His new boo...more

  • The Consultants of Yore Weigh in on 2020

    Jul 31 2019

    On The Gist, billionaire Tom Steyer didn’t qualify for this round of Democratic debates, but he’s bought a lot of CNN ad space to make up for it. In the interview, political consultants David Axelrod and Mike Murphy have spent years advising politicians on the best ways to run campaigns—Axelrod with Barack Obama and Murphy with candidates like John McCain and Mitt Romney. Now they’ve come together on a new podcast, Hacks on Tap, to talk through how the political machine actually runs, the Democr...more

  • How the GOP Got Here

    Jul 30 2019

    On The Gist, Trump and racism. In the interview, Politico’s Tim Alberta has been covering the Republican Party since 2009, back when it was “totally rudderless and beaten into the ground.” Ten years later, and though in control of the White House, the GOP isn’t in much better shape. Alberta’s new book is American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump.     In the Spiel, impeachment. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Lie of Live PD

    Jul 25 2019

    A few months ago, Dan Taberski joined us to talk about latest season of his Headlong podcast, Running From Cops, focused on reality television shows about police. One series in particular, Live PD, was billed as a documentary but seemed to fall into the same bad practices as other reality programming. Taberski tried to interview the Dan Abrams, the show’s host, and was never able to get him on mic.  Lucky for us, in 2016 Mike interviewed Abrams for The Gist when Live PD was first airing. So we’r...more

  • Mueller Is No Showman

    Jul 25 2019

    On The Gist, Robert Mueller was a bit of a broken record in his congressional testimony.  In the interview, David Wolman once happened upon a small Hawaiian museum dedicated to a small crew of cowboys in the state—and that was the first he heard of them. He teamed up with Julian Smith to dig into the fascinating history of these cowpokes and how they dazzled the world at the 1908 World Rodeo Championships. Their new book is Aloha Rodeo: Three Hawaiian Cowboys, the World’s Greatest Rodeo, and a H...more

  • How to Talk About Addiction

    Jul 24 2019

    On The Gist, the governor of Puerto Rico will not seek reelection. In the interview, Chris Herren’s NBA career ended largely because of drug abuse that started in his teens. Now he speaks to thousands of students about making better choices—not by using the fear tactics often deployed in American schools, but by examining the emotions tied to substance use. Herren’s presentations are the subject of a new ESPN documentary, The First Day.  In the Spiel, Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Learn more abo...more

  • Robert Mueller’s Return

    Jul 23 2019

    On The Gist, Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony isn’t likely to increase the pressure on president Trump.  In the interview, losing weight is hard, but keeping it off is even harder. What can successful dieters do to maintain their goals, and are reality TV shows like The Biggest Loser painting a rosy picture? Gist regular Maria Konnikova dug into the science, and brings answers on the latest segment of Is That Bullshit? Konnikova is the author of The Confidence Game.   In the Spiel, forme...more

  • The Moon Landing’s Glory Has Faded

    Jul 19 2019

    On The Gist, why the moon landing’s 50th anniversary isn’t getting all that much attention. In the interview, success stories are great, but what about those business ventures that end in spectacular failure? Those tales are often better. Lauren Ober hosts the Spectacular Failures podcast, where beer makers, hotel chains, and (in an upcoming episode) Trump’s casinos meet their end.  In the Spiel, it’s an Antentwig, where Mike responds to feedback from listeners.Slate Plus members get bonus segme...more

  • How Michael Bennet Wants to Fix America

    Jul 18 2019

    On The Gist, Ivanka Trump is every bit the monster her father is. In the interview, Senator Michael Bennet is here to talk about his campaign for president and his new book The Land of Flickering Lights: Restoring America in an Age of Broken Politics. He and Mike discuss Bennet’s family plan, the importance of the filibuster, and why centrism needs to work on its branding. In the Spiel, there is no Spiel!Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.  Learn more ab...more

  • The EPA Is Losing Its Mandate

    Jul 18 2019

    On The Gist, Chance the snapper. In the interview, former EPA head Gina McCarthy expected the Trump administration’s backwardness on climate change—but not on no-brainers like limits on power plant mercury emissions and auto industry regulation, both of which were being complied with. “They’re just obsessed with undoing everything Obama did. You can tell this with Trump. He’s still somehow campaigning against Obama.” McCarthy was the EPA’s administrator from 2013 to 2017, and now teaches at the ...more

  • Trump Will Lose in 2020

    Jul 17 2019

    On The Gist, it’s a good day for those who love quarterly fundraising numbers among Democratic presidential candidates! In the interview, we’re used to the Nate Silver approach to election forecasting, using constantly changing polling data to predict the likelihood of this or that result. But Rachel Bitecofer, assistant director of the Wason Center for Public Policy, has a better way. Her new model, based on negative partisanship and demographics, is more static, and proved spot-on in 2018. So ...more

  • Bring Back Late-Night Cruelty

    Jul 16 2019

    On The Gist, Elizabeth Warren and ICE. In the interview, Jason Zinoman, who writes about the New York Times, thinks the late-night shows need to return to the playful cruelty they once had. He and Mike talk about the current state of things, David Letterman’s reign, and why even Letterman seems to have lost his teeth on his new show. In the Spiel, Trump and tweets about the Congress squad.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Acosta Is Out

    Jul 13 2019

    On The Gist, they. In the interview, Emily Bazelon writes for the New York Times magazine, co-hosts Slate’s Political Gabfest, and she’s out with the new book Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration, and its companion podcast. She’s here to talk with Mike about her new projects, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Jeffrey Epstein and New York City gun laws. In the Spiel, Acosta quits. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The CIA’s Bad Ideas

    Jul 12 2019

    On The Gist, the metal straw incident. In the interview, Vince Houghton is a historian and the curator of the International Spy Museum and he’s here to talk about his new book Nuking the Moon: And Other Intelligence Schemes and Military Plots Left on the Drawing Board. Why did we want to drop goat poop on Germans? Can a cat be trained for espionage? In the Spiel, the citizenship question. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Soccer’s Pay Parity Problem

    Jul 11 2019

    On The Gist, the Trump cabinet and violence against women. In the interview, Will Wilkinson from the Niskanen Center is here to talk with Mike about his new paper The Density Divide about the surprising way urbanization affected the rise of populism. In the Spiel, the good and bad about the pay parity argument in soccer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Legacy of Ross Perot

    Jul 10 2019

    On The Gist, jail time for absurd reasons. In the interview, journalist Jack Fairweather is out with a new book about the untold story of Witold Pilecki, a Polish resistance fighter who chose to get sent to Auschwitz so he could report back on atrocities happening there during World War II. Fairweather’s book is The Volunteer: One Man, an Underground Army, and the Secret Mission to Destroy Auschwitz. In the Spiel, why Ross Perot was so important to shaping American politics. Learn more about you...more

  • Life After Death Row

    Jul 09 2019

    On The Gist, did Joe Biden’s apology work? In the interview, Anthony Ray Hinton was wrongfully convicted for the murder of two teenagers in Alabama in 1985. After 30 years on death row his conviction was overturned and he was released. He’s since become an advocate for those facing the death penalty and the abolishment of it in the United States, and he’s here to talk with Mike about his experience in prison and life afterward. Hinton’s new book is The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedo...more

  • Let’s Rank the Presidents

    Jul 03 2019

    On The Gist, should we rethink the structure of a week? In the interview, founding CEO of C-SPAN Brian Lamb and Co-CEO Susan Swain are here to discuss their new book The Presidents: Noted Historians Rank America’s Best—and Worst—Chief Executives. They discuss with Mike the creation of the book, visiting presidential burial places, and some Mike’s favorite things about C-SPAN. In the Spiel, the passion of Mike Francesa.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Solving Urban Violence

    Jul 03 2019

    On The Gist, the Hong Kong protesters and Chinese conspiracies. In the interview, Harvard research fellow Thomas Abt is here to discuss his new book Bleeding Out: The Devestating Consequences of Urban Gun Violence—and a Bold New Plan for Peace in the Streets. He talks with Mike about the ways we misunderstand urban gun violence and what concrete steps communities can talk to solve it.  In the Spiel, Tucker Carlson and Trump. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Groaning Through Dad Jokes

    Jul 02 2019

    On The Gist, the South Bend shooting and Pete Buttigieg. In the interview, Jason Zinoman recently wrote about dad jokes for the New York Times so he’s here to talk with Mike about his grand theories, why we love to hate dad jokes, and if they really are as low-brow as people consider them to be. In the Spiel, the choice the Democrats face. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Who Is the Real Kim Jong-un?

    Jun 28 2019

    On The Gist, Joe Biden had no good answers at Thursday’s Democratic debate. In the interview, the Washington Post’s Anna Fifield is out with a new book on Kim Jong-un. She interviewed as many people who have had even a fleeting interaction with the man as possible, in an effort to get the clearest picture yet of what the head of the Kim dynasty is really like. Fifield’s book is The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un. In the Spiel, Kamala Harris has cha...more

  • Pen, Sword, or Rock and Roll

    Jun 28 2019

    On The Gist, an absurd criminal charge in Alabama.  In the interview, the Iron Curtain couldn’t block radio waves, or, in the ‘50s and ‘60s, a new form of music called rock and roll. András Simonyi, a former Hungarian ambassador to the United States, was electrified by Elvis and the Beatles, and says that “without rock and roll, I don’t think the Soviet Union would have broken up.” Simonyi is the author of Rocking Toward a Free World: When the Stratocaster Beat the Kalashnikov.  In the Spiel, pa...more

  • Data in the Dugout

    Jun 26 2019

    On The Gist, the first Democratic primary debate is about to start. In the interview, Ben Lindbergh is a staff writer at the Ringer, host of the Effectively Wild podcast, and author of the new book The MVP Machine: How Baseball’s New Nonconformists Are Using Data to Build Better Players. He’s here to talk America’s favorite pastime, what baseball is like in a post-Moneyball era, and if data is making the game less interesting to watch. In the Spiel, George Will weighs in on the state of baseball...more

  • Economic Anxiety? Joy Disagrees.

    Jun 26 2019

    On The Gist, Trump and Pence talking nonsense. In the interview, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, especially when it comes to elections. MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid figures that “the hungriest constituency” often gets its way at the ballot box. Black voters sent Barack Obama to the White House; xenophobes got their guy in Donald Trump; and in 2020, the group that swings the vote could very well be the women who regret their inaction in 2016—especially if Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren gets the nom...more

  • Erdogan Loses Istanbul. Now What?

    Jun 24 2019

    On The Gist, Kamala Harris still has a lot to answer for. In the interview, media outlets used to employ ombudsmen—public editors who addressed readers’ concerns and weighed in on a newspaper’s reporting. Those roles have disappeared over the years but the Columbia Journalism Review wants to change that. Kyle Pope, the magazine’s editor, recently announced the hiring of four journalists to publicly engage with the work of the New York Times, the Washington Post, MSNBC, and CNN. In the Spiel, vot...more

  • Trump’s Chaotic Approach to Iran

    Jun 21 2019

    On The Gist, how much sanity does it cost to change a lightbulb?   In the interview, babies don’t come with instructional manuals, but the publishing industry is more than ready to bombard new parents with the latest, always evolving wisdom on how to raise a human right. But Emily Oster’s new book is a rare scientific look at child-rearing, grounded in her expertise as a rational economist and her experience as an anxious mother. Oster is the author of Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, M...more

  • The Science of Song

    Jun 21 2019

    On The Gist, are children growing horns?  In the interview, how does Pandora know what music I want to hear? That’s all thanks to the work of Nolan Gasser, musicologist and the architect of Pandora’s Music Genome Project. He’s here to talk the origins of the project, the classification of music species, and why Sarah McLachlan fans might be in for a surprise. Gasser’s new book is Why You Like It: The Science & Culture of Musical Taste. In the Spiel, the most ambitious climate deal the world ...more

  • Taffy Brodesser-Akner Doesn’t Care What You’re Wearing

    Jun 20 2019

    On The Gist, presidential candidates say the darndest things.  In the interview, the best profile writer of our day doesn’t focus much on what her subjects are wearing—so we’ll only quickly mention that in the studio with The Gist, Taffy Brodesser-Akner was wearing a fetching leopard-print jumpsuit (“I’m dressed up for a party tonight”). Brodesser-Akner discusses her experience profiling the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and other untouchable celebrities, and how that work is felt in her debut novel,...more

  • Love, Rules, and Animal Puns

    Jun 19 2019

    On The Gist, when science proves George Carlin right. In the interview, Raphael Bob-Waksberg is the creator of Bojack Horseman, but his so-earnest-it-hurts talent also extends to print. His new collection of short stories is Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory, and he’s here to talk with Mike about love, George Saunders, and why everybody is so down on puns.  In the Spiel, the Patrick Shanahan debacle exposes a White House in shambles. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit mega...more

  • Where Christianity Meets Big Oil

    Jun 18 2019

    On The Gist, Trump knows how to produce himself. In the interview, America’s discovery of oil fields has long been entwined with godly significance—whether these were exploited by oil barons like the Rockefellers or the smaller producers (or “wildcatters”) they contended with. University of Notre Dame historian Darren Dochuk explores the intersection of oil and religion in America in his new book, Anointed with Oil: How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America. In the Spiel, Iran and attacks o...more

  • Un-Biel-ievable

    Jun 14 2019

    On The Gist, Canada declares war on the plastic straw.   In the interview, Emmy Blotnick has written for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and served as head writer on The President Show. But she also does stand-up, including in her new album Party Nights, where she gets into her love of pop music and why she joined a social networking site… for tea-drinkers. Blotnick’s album is streaming now—and her next show is at The Bell House in Brooklyn on July 6. In the Spiel, there’s no good reason for ...more

  • A Generalist and a Scholar

    Jun 14 2019

    On The Gist, who doesn’t get to be at the debates? In the interview, David Epstein’s new book Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World is all about how having a wide base of knowledge is so much better than narrowing your focus. He’s here to talk Roger Federer versus Tiger Woods, how fiction helped him retool his book, and what Malcolm Gladwell got wrong. In the Spiel, this is stupid. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Just Take My Money

    Jun 13 2019

    On The Gist, curse the gauntlet that is buying an event ticket online.In the interview, John Urschel played as an offensive lineman in the NFL all while pursuing the PhD that would support an accomplished career as a mathematician. The values he practiced in each field are the same, he says, but there the similarities between pigskin and math end. Alongside sportswriter Louisa Thomas—the two are married—Urschel is the author of Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football.  In the Spiel, “lock h...more

  • The Politics of Pith

    Jun 11 2019

    On The Gist, Joe Biden curing cancer.In the interview, senior writer at the National Review Michael Brendan Dougherty is here to discuss his new book My Father Left Me Ireland: An American Son’s Search For Home. He and Mike talk about Dougherty’s journey into his father’s history, how the immigrant experience shaped his mother, and the ways Ireland has influenced his politics.  In the Spiel, political pithiness. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Warren’s Wealth Tax Isn’t Enough

    Jun 11 2019

    On The Gist, Democrats bob and weave around the question of abortion. In the interview, victims of crimes are often sidelined in the judicial process—the perpetrator is punished, but his or her target isn’t given the opportunity to set up the kind of face-to-face meeting that might help them heal. Restorative justice seeks to change that, and Lara Bazelon is out with a book on how it applies to those who have been exonerated after wrongful convictions. Bazelon is an associate professor at the Un...more

  • Intellectual Agoraphobia

    Jun 07 2019

    On The Gist, who’s on the right side of less auto pollution? In the interview, Adam Gopnik is here to discuss his new book, A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism, inspired by a conversation with his daughter. Who gets to make arguments? What about identity politics? And why should the rhinoceros should be the symbol of liberalism? In the Spiel, what are your go-to references? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Melodies of Evil

    Jun 06 2019

    On The Gist, Joe Biden's careful moderation leads him astray on abortion rights. In the interview, Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick is back to talk all about the Supreme Court. How the recent abortion laws passed in the South impact the continued dismantling of Roe v Wade? And why aren’t the Democrats more animated by the outrageous things happening to our courts? Dahlia is the host of Slate’s Amicus podcast. In the Spiel, where there’s a jingle, there’s a questionable set of business practices…  Learn m...more

  • What “Conservative” Means

    Jun 06 2019

    On The Gist, holding Scott Peterson accountable after the Parkland shooting. In the interview, George Will has led conservative thought for decades, in over a dozen books and a Washington Post column he’s penned since 1974. In his latest work, The Conservative Sensibility, he seeks to define just what “conservative” means. While Mike had him on The Gist, he got Will’s opinion on the lost dignity of the GOP, Elizabeth Warren’s policy proposals (“I think she has a firm grip on half a point”), and ...more

  • Saving Civilians, and the Mission

    Jun 05 2019

    On The Gist, Trump visits the UK and drags London’s mayor. In the interview, Larry Lewis doesn’t just analyze civilian casualties in the midst of wars; he’s worked within the State Department to minimize them. His research makes clear that sparing non-combatants isn’t just morally laudable, it can help generals reach their objectives and reduce anti-American sentiment. In the Spiel, is Caster Semenya running? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Out Like a Champ

    Jun 03 2019

    On The Gist, even in defeat, Jeopardy! genius James Holzhauer made one really smart play.In the interview, Mike Pesca sometimes bikes to work, and—in full adherence to New York City law, mind you—he doesn’t wear a helmet when he does. Should he, or are the benefits of bike helmets overrated? Maria Konnikova gets into it on the latest edition of The Gist’s “Is That Bullshit?”In the Spiel, the best way to answer a question? Answer the actual question. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaph...more

  • The Impeachment Tree of Possibilities

    May 31 2019

    On The Gist, what to make of (alleged) executions in North Korea. In the interview, Slate’s chief news blogger, Ben Mathis-Lilley, makes the case for impeaching Trump. In his reasoning, impeachment proceedings would give Congress a stronger hand in forcing new information from the White House, which could then boost public support for the president’s removal from office. And even if it fails, it would have an immediate chilling effect on Trump’s abuse of the constitution. David Epstein, the auth...more

  • Enemies in Eurasia

    May 31 2019

    On The Gist, using Olympic-sized swimming pools as units of measurements. In the interview, beyond covering national security as a journalist, CNN’s Jim Sciutto worked a stint in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. In both careers, he’s seen signs of a shrinking power imbalance between America and its Russian and Chinese rivals. His latest book warns of the risks carried by Russian offensives in cyberspace, and potential Chinese aggression in actual space. Sciutto is the author of The Shadow War: Insid...more

  • The Mueller Dud

    May 30 2019

    On The Gist, it’s a shoe! It’s a phone! It’s… both?In the interview, Darrick Hamilton’s ideas and research have the attention of more than one Democratic candidate for president. The Ohio State University professor—and head of the Kirwan Institute—studies income inequality and the policies that might help close it. He joins The Gist to talk baby bonds, inherited wealth, and the potential in a federal job guarantee. In the Spiel, special Robert Mueller’s statement at the DOJ contained nothing new...more

  • Impeach a President

    May 29 2019

    On The Gist, calculating whether or not impeachment is the right move. In the interview, Andrew Johnson was the first president to be impeached so Congress had to basically figure out how it worked as they did it. Brenda Wineapple is here to discuss the reasons for that impeachment, why the conviction failed, and what it can teach us about our current situation. Wineapple’s new book is The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation. In the Spiel, the 1994 crime bill. ...more

  • The Impeachment Special

    May 27 2019

    President Trump may yet face impeachment proceedings, so we’re bringing you a roundup of two previous Gist interviews on the topic. The first is with the youngest woman ever elected to the House, Liz Holtzman—who participated in the Nixon impeachment hearings—and CIA alumnus David Priess, who worked at the agency under both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Both have recently published books on impeachment. Holtzman is the author of The Case For Impeaching Trump; Priess is the author of How to Ge...more

  • The Real Crimes of the TV Show Cops

    May 24 2019

    On The Gist, Theresa May’s resignation. In the interview, Dan Taberski’s latest podcast series Running From Cops digs into the long-running reality series Cops to understand what’s actually going on in those arrests on screen and how accurate the stories that we see are. He’s here to talk about why the show is so watchable, how the cops work with cameramen to exploit those being arrested, and how the nature of reality television has made us slow to notice such exploitation.  In the Spiel, learni...more

  • Life After Parkland

    May 23 2019

    On The Gist, a look at the worst arguments in the debate over abortion.  In the interview, After Parkland follows the lives of those affected by the Parkland shooting. That includes Tori Gonzalez, who lost her boyfriend, Joaquin Oliver, to the tragedy. Gonzalez is on The Gist alongside documentary filmmakers Emily Taguchi and Jake Lefferman to discuss the making of the film, useful ways to talk about the event, and how she continues to cope with her loss. In the Spiel, why the idea of impeaching...more

  • Planned Parenthood Plans for Action

    May 23 2019

    On The Gist, Biden’s electability. In the interview, eight states have passed bills to limit abortion access so far this year. And while these may not end up surviving challenges in court (whether Supreme or lower), getting an abortion is already difficult for women in many parts of the country. Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen reminds us that abortion providers can be vanishingly rare in some states, and that hundreds of laws have been passed in the last few years to restrict access to th...more

  • What Basketball Gave Felipe Lopez

    May 22 2019

    On The Gist, oh, Ben Carson. In the interview, Felipe Lopez was once billed the Dominican Michael Jordan. His star power even in high school led the team to play in bigger New York City venues—the better to fit the legions of fans who cheered as he carried Harlem’s Rice High School to a championship victory. But his court domination dwindled in college, and in the NBA. Lopez joins The Gist to talk about the joys brought to him by basketball, not least of which is one that college athletes and re...more

  • The First “Welfare Queen”

    May 21 2019

    On The Gist, the gift to the Morehouse graduates is great, but should it be celebrated or just the standard? In the interview, Linda Taylor committed many crimes, but only one of them—welfare fraud—really mattered to politicians, the press, and the public. Anecdotes about kidnapping and possible murder would only get in the way of the portrait Ronald Reagan presented to American voters in 1976, of a woman whose defrauding of taxpayer money was typical among those dependent on social programs. Sl...more

  • A Very Grumpy Death

    May 17 2019

    On The Gist, Grumpy Cat is dead. So are Bill de Blasio’s chances at winning the White House. In the interview, 1999 might be the greatest year in film—think The Matrix, The Sixth Sense, and Fight Club. But does Magnolia belong in the great movie pantheon, and should we really have been as impressed with American Beauty as we were? Brian Raftery, author of Best. Movie. Year. Ever.: How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen, takes us through the last year of the ’90s and explains why there hasn’t been one l...more

  • The Personal Is Geopolitical

    May 16 2019

    On The Gist, what correlates with anti-abortion views (and votes) more than being a man? Being a Republican. In the interview, Jared Diamond brings new meaning to the old slogan that the personal is political. The author of Guns, Germs, and Steel argues that just as individuals go through crises to which they may either adapt or flounder, nation states face moments that define their strength domestically and on the world stage. Diamond’s latest book—Upheaval—takes Finland, Australia, and Chile (...more

  • Have a Job? Thank Yourself, Not Trump.

    May 16 2019

    On The Gist, anti-abortion state legislatures know full well that the Supreme Court could one day turn on Roe v. Wade. In the interview, Chuck Rosenberg is a former U.S. attorney who also once worked for Robert Mueller. He’s here to talk about his new podcast The Oath, where he sits down with other former government officials like Preet Bharara and James Comey and discusses the ins and outs of public service. Mike gets Chuck to dive into the Mueller report with him. In the Spiel, is low unemploy...more

  • “No War” Is the Best Trump Can Do

    May 15 2019

    On The Gist, the NBA draft lottery. In the interview, Richard Clarke doesn’t have security clearance anymore, so on his podcast he talks to a lot of people who still do. His 10 years as a White House official gave him the bug for asking questions to sharp experts on matters of life or death—otherwise known as national security. Clarke joins us to talk about the need to make a “frenemy” out of China, the vulnerability of America’s power grid, and how president Trump could yet leave the title of “...more

  • Decoding the Bliss Gene

    May 14 2019

    On The Gist, groans over Game of Thrones. In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for another round of “Is That Bullshit?” Because Mike experiences less anxiety than most, he has often wondered if he has higher levels of anandamide—a neurotransmitter associated with regulating anxiety and stress—caused by a specific genetic variation. Maria walks him through the complicated biology, the research, and explains why even if it might be real, Mike’s self-diagnosis is unreliable. In the Spiel, Joe ...more

  • Comedy Is No Revolution

    May 11 2019

    On The Gist, Instagram and FOMO. In the interview, they say president Trump has killed comedy. But in Larry Wilmore’s book, comedy isn’t responsible for leading us to the “right” kind of outrage or political enlightenment. Its role—get this—is to make us laugh. “Activists should engage in activism, and I always feel like that’s why we have these words that are different,” Wilmore says. “Comedy exists to be comic.” Wilmore is the host of the Ringer podcast Black on the Air and the co-creator of H...more

  • Bigger Than Titanic

    May 10 2019

    On The Gist, magic mushrooms afoot!In the interview, every Avengers movie has an argument at its core. In the Marvel franchise’s finale—Avengers: Endgame—director Anthony Russo says it’s “that you can change destiny, but at the same time, you can’t always change it on your terms.” He and his co-director (and brother) Joe Russo weigh in on that, the term “fan service,” and the fact that in the comics, Captain America is a dud. In the Spiel, Mike answers questions from fellow Slate staffers—some s...more

  • Who Makes The Gist?

    May 09 2019

    On The Gist, maybe Trump wants to be impeached? Then it’s a change of format as all the former and current producers of The Gist gather together for a roundtable. Founding producer Andrea Silenzi discusses the origins of The Gist, past producers Chris Berube and Mary Wilson talk about the thrills of covering the presidential debates, and current producers Pierre Bienaimé and Daniel Schroeder join in to dish on what it's like working with Mike. In the Spiel, Mike reevaluates his mistakes from the...more

  • The Retro Hits and Repeats of 2014

    May 07 2019

    On The Gist, president Trump’s mixes and matches idioms all the time, but his rhetoric doesn’t really suffer from it.In the interview, 2014 was full of retro vibes and repeats, with hits like “Happy,” “All About That Bass,” and “Blank Space” echoing older styles and Eminem’s “Monster” recreating his past chart-topping collaboration with Rihanna. Chris Molanphy is on the show yet again to walk us through the big tracks from the year The Gist was born. Molanphy is the host of Hit Parade and the wr...more

  • The Gist of the Past Five Years

    May 06 2019

    On The Gist, do we need primary debates? We're starting our fifth anniversary celebration week with a look back at the past. Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad was a guest on the first episode of The Gist so he’s back to reflect on the last five years, how podcasting has changed, and the impact of the medium. In the Spiel, podcasts aren’t perfect, but they are progress.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Bird City

    May 03 2019

    On The Gist, is it unusual that Attorney General William Barr didn’t look at the underlying evidence covered in the Mueller report? In the interview, Tuca & Bertie is the new series from Lisa Hanawalt, best know for her art direction on Bojack Horseman. She’s here to discuss the origins of her new series, all the jokes she fits into the background, and how she figured out if China exists in her show’s universe. Tuca & Bertie is available on Netflix.  In the Spiel, Stephen Moore on the Fe...more

  • “I’ll Take Second Place for $2,000”

    May 03 2019

    On The Gist, how many people have declared they’re running for president? In the interview, breaking a record doesn’t always mean going home a winner. Adam Levin learned that in his recent run on Jeopardy!, where he banked more money than any runner-up in the history of the game show (thus walking away with just $2,000). He tells Mike, a fellow Jeopardy! alumnus, about his tactics—and the fact that he has no regrets. Levin is sports information director of Brandeis University’s athletics program...more

  • Derby or Die?

    May 02 2019

    On The Gist, the latest in the Mueller report saga. In the interview, the Kentucky Derby is this Saturday, but this year, the horse racing event is overshadowed by high fatality rates among equines in California's Santa Anita Park: 23 have died in just three months. Peter Fornatale follows the races closely, and sees mismanagement on both the park’s track and in the appeasement measures that followed: “[It] sort of reminded me of the classic politician’s trick of ‘you don’t like the conversation...more

  • It’s a Code World

    May 01 2019

    On The Gist, the New Yorker’s profile of John Bolton. In the interview, coders have gone from a band of misfits to rulers of Silicon Valley. Clive Thompson is out with a book about that evolution, which examines the reckless product design stoked by the pursuit of hockey-stick revenue growth and a lack of workplace diversity—whether across gender, socio-economic class, or even age. “The ageism is where some of the trouble begins because you don't have people around that can tell you 'oh, we went...more

  • Avengers: But For Real

    Apr 30 2019

    On The Gist, the news media is getting better at demoting the names of America’s mass shooters. That’s a good thing, even as the internet’s darker corners do the opposite. In the interview, comedian Josh Gondelman is from Boston, but he often comes across as Minnesota nice. Can a comedian get laughs without being a bit of an asshole? Gondelman discusses that, his latest comedy album—Dancing on a Weeknight—and why writing for Showtime’s Desus & Mero involves shedding fewer tears than does scr...more

  • Why Fools Fall in Love

    Apr 27 2019

    On The Gist, the 2020 candidates’ proposals shouldn’t be compared to some progressive ideal, but to some of the stuff we spend taxpayer dollars on now. In the interview, the pace of technological change means we might only be catching onto malicious disinformation techniques after it’s too late to counter them. Still, scientific inquiry is useful in telling us how manipulation works. In The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread, authors Cailin O'Connor and James Owen Weatherall argue that...more

  • It's Getting Hot in Here

    Apr 26 2019

    On The Gist, the difference between one million and one billion. In the interview, Nathaniel Rich is here to discuss his new book Losing Earth about the decade of 1979-1989 and why they are so important to understanding America’s political history of climate change and the current state of denialism we find ourselves in. In the Spiel, is impeachment worth it? If we don’t will Trump get reelected? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Joe Biden’s Battle

    Apr 25 2019

    On The Gist, whether he’s on the most electable part of the political spectrum or not, Joe Biden is about to go through the wringer.   In the interview, winning a major sports championship is a thrill few ever get to know. But what happens when you keep stacking trophies, like the NBA’s Golden State Warriors have done in recent years? The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss covers the team, and wonders “if the Warriors suffer from, shall we call it, winner’s ennui.” Strauss is the host of the House of Stra...more

  • The Never-ending CNN Town Hall

    Apr 24 2019

    On The Gist, Kate Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America.” In the interview, comedian and filmmaker Lake Bell is here to discuss her new tv series Bless This Mess. About a newlywed couple who move from New York City to Nebraska, it’s a play on the fish-out-of-water trope, but packed with more jokes than you know what to do with. Bless This Mess airs on Tuesdays at 9:30pm on ABC. In the Spiel, the questions at the CNN town halls weren’t all that great.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit me...more

  • Elizabeth Stormborn, Mother of Democrats!

    Apr 23 2019

    On The Gist, Rudy Giuliani was a big, loud, and busy distraction this past Sunday.In the interview, it’s a round of “Is That Bullshit?” with Maria Konnikova. In the hot seat: the humble egg. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that eggs can increase your chances of heart disease. But is this study all it’s cracked up to be? The nutritional science has gone back and forth on the health benefits and risks of this breakfast food. Maria boils it down.I...more

  • The International Hilarity of Loyiso Gola

    Apr 20 2019

    On The Gist, sick children and dead ducks are pretty convincing. In the interview, South African comedian Loyiso Gola is here to talk about his stand up special on Netflix, what it’s like performing in different countries, and why talking about the economy is so difficult for everyday people. Gola is performing at the Soho Playhouse until April 21, 2019. In the Spiel, time for an early Antentwig.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • It’s Mueller Overtime

    Apr 18 2019

    On The Gist, Trump’s fundamental misreading of politics.  In the interview, Garrett Graff’s afternoon was as busy as any journalist’s, picking through the redacted Mueller report released by the Department of Justice. There’s something new on every page, Graff says, including the Trump campaign’s awareness of Russian efforts against Hillary Clinton—and its expectation to benefit from them politically. Graff wrote a biography of Robert Mueller. His latest ebook is Mueller’s War. In the Spiel, Mue...more

  • The Better Angels of Big Business

    Apr 17 2019

    On The Gist, the redacted Mueller report as an exercise in Zen.  In the interview, economist Tyler Cowen is just about the smartest person in Mike Pesca’s podcast feed. He’s on the Gist to answer rapid fire questions on the college admissions scandal, what the likes of Herman Cain would mean for the Fed, and the virtues of big American enterprises. That last topic is the subject of Cowen’s new book, Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero. His podcast is Conversations with Tyler. In...more

  • Lock Up Your Mothers

    Apr 17 2019

    On The Gist, sparing a thought for Notre Dame… and how Americans pronounce it. In the interview, Politico’s Anna Palmer on what Trump is doing to America as he navigates a government he doesn’t understand. Her book, co-written with Jake Sherman, is The Hill to Die On: The Battle for Congress and the Future of Trump’s America. In the Spiel, moms are not off limits for quotes—about their children—published by the New York Times. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Farmers’ Candidate

    Apr 16 2019

    On The Gist, wait, what did I miss? In the interview, Democratic candidates for the presidency recently flew to Iowa for a forum on agriculture to answer some questions. And asking them was Storm Lake Times editor Art Cullen, who knows a thing or two about corporate agribusiness and its impact on Iowans, the food Americans everywhere eat, and Chinese pork companies. Cullen is the author of Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope from a Heartland Newspaper, and was previously on T...more

  • The Divergent Charts of 1994

    Apr 13 2019

    On The Gist, two popes is one pope too many.In the interview, songs like “The Sign” and “I’ll Make Love to You” dominated the charts in 1994, but they weren’t all that emblematic of what was happening in music that year. Chris Molanphy has ideas as to why, and also opines on why there were so few number one singles that year—and why was Lisa Loeb considered alternative rock? Molanphy has answers, and is the host of the Hit Parade podcast. He also writes Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” column.I...more

  • The Real Cost of Medicare for All

    Apr 12 2019

    On The Gist, the political parties of Israel. In the interview, Jean McConville’s murder in 1972—when The Troubles were at their bloodiest—sparked what few deaths did in Northern Ireland: a reckoning. The New Yorker’s Patrick Radden Keefe joins us to give context to McConville’s death, from the various factions at war back then to the country’s incomplete reconciliation process and oddly rehabilitated politicians. Keefe is the author of Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern ...more

  • The Candace Owens Sideshow

    Apr 11 2019

    On The Gist, Candance Owens isn't digging herself out of this ahistorical, Hitler-relativizing hole. In the interview, Ian Chillag is back with another season of Everything Is Alive, a podcast where he interviews the everyday objects around us that we don’t think of. Chioke I’Anson is here too because he played a grain of sand with a surprising amount of philosophy packed in (he’s a philosopher himself). Is sand more Kantian or Heideggerian? And what’s it like to think as a collective? In the Sp...more

  • Misquoter in Chief

    Apr 10 2019

    On The Gist, Trump’s latest campaign video is wild. In the interview, Scotland’s Daniel Sloss churns out comedy specials at an almost alarming rate, completing his tenth at age 28. He’s here to talk about circumcision, Brexit, and why the left is doomed to eternally shoot itself in the foot. Sloss will be back in the United States in June of 2019, and his specials "Dark" & "Jigsaw” are on Netflix. In the Spiel, instant replay is a contentious part of refereeing, particularly at a championshi...more

  • The Puppet Masters

    Apr 09 2019

    The worst part about the Trump administration’s high turnover? Every cabinet member is worse than the last. In the interview, Grigori Rasputin bent the ear of the last Russian tsar, manipulating affairs of state behind the scenes as he saw fit. But how did a man like him rise to such power? And what about his spiritual successors like Phil Spector or Tom Brady’s trainer? Amos Barshad, author of No One Man Should Have All That Power: How Rasputins Manipulate the World, has our ear.  In the Spiel,...more

  • Are Chiropractors Quacks?

    Apr 06 2019

    On The Gist, like every week in Trump’s America, this has been a wasted one. In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for another round of “Is That Bullshit?” She talks chiropractors, whether or not cracking your back and neck is helpful, and what strokes have to do with it. Then, Mike’s own chiropractor, Jason Fidler, steps in to offer some adjustments to the conversation. In the Spiel, Mike offers up a Lobstar challenge. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • There’s No Real Dirt on the Dems So Far

    Apr 05 2019

    On The Gist, Mueller’s report (or much of it) is bound to go public. In the interview, Wright Thompson has his place on the Mount Rushmore of sports writers, and his signature form is the profile. Tiger Woods, Lionel Messi, Michael Jordan and the like are fascinating in their relationship to fame, but also in their ordinary flaws. “On some level these stories are all about exploring whether or not there is even such a thing as free will,” Thompson says. “I’m fascinated by the way things in our p...more

  • We All Need to Talk

    Apr 04 2019

    On The Gist, Trump should avoid healthcare. In the interview, Lori Gottlieb is a journalist and a therapist, and she’s here to discuss her new book Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed, why she became a therapist, how to deal with patients who’ve Googled you, and why therapists need therapy too. In the Spiel, the Joe Biden crisis isn’t a crisis.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Societal Optimist

    Apr 03 2019

    On The Gist, calming down about Trump’s bombast. In the interview, Nicholas Christakis is here to discuss his new book Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society, how he studied the progression of goodness throughout human history, the way healthy communities evolve, and why shipwrecks were so important to his research. In the Spiel, the problem with microaggressions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Thrilling Don Winslow

    Apr 02 2019

    On The Gist, Joe Biden’s nose nuzzle. In the interview, Don Winslow’s new book The Border is the final part of his trilogy on drug cartels. He’s here today to discuss the work, how it’s been twenty years in the making, and the difficulty of trying to get things right.  In the Spiel, Betsy DeVos’ indefensible Special Olympics funding cuts.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • “Guest is God”

    Mar 30 2019

    On The Gist, the next wave of start-ups should be like the tech companies we have now, but with a conscience.   In the interview, filmmaker Anthony Maras is more wedded to a theme—people in extremis—than a form, and his latest is a thriller based on true events. Hotel Mumbai follows a band of diverse survivors holed up in the Taj, one of the targets in India's 2008 terrorist attacks. “Something kind of magical happened, which is all these barriers that usually divide people evaporated.” In the S...more

  • Adam Schiff Is Not Okay

    Mar 29 2019

    On The Gist, Mike Pesca, in true hipster fashion, laments the end of Wow Air. In the interview, much of the news media was guilty of hyping up the knockout blow that Mueller’s report would deliver president Trump. But a few journalists on the left were always skeptical of the investigation’s origins and potential. Among them is Nation contributor Aaron Maté, who saw in the Mueller probe a distraction from the Democratic Party’s failure in 2016—and from the stories that really matter.          In...more

  • The Boeing Lesson

    Mar 28 2019

    On The Gist, Boeing is in a tight spot.   In the interview, the boxing match between Mike Tyson and Buster Douglas was one for the ages. Everyone so expected Tyson to win that people weren’t even placing bets until the odds were 42 to 1. In the new 30 for 30 film 42 to 1, Gist guest Jeremy Schaap (and Ben Houser) explore this shocking upset and how the fight changed boxing and these fighters’ lives. In the Spiel, if we’re going to build a wall, how about the one between church and state? Looking...more

  • Trump’s Post-Mueller Strategy

    Mar 27 2019

    On The Gist, the latest gridlock facing the Green New Deal should clue in its backers in Congress. In the interview, Huwe Burton was 16 years old when detectives browbeat him into a false confession of murder. He spent about 20 years in prison as a result, and found an outlet in the quarter-mile track that he and other inmates built their endurance on. Since his release and exoneration, he hasn’t stopped running. Burton’s story is told in a Lope Magazine article—"Innocent People Don’t Run”—by Li...more

  • The Mueller Report Report

    Mar 26 2019

    On The Gist, we should be willing to accept that the Barr letter and Mueller report won’t lead to any indictments. In the interview, David Priess, former CIA staffer and daily intelligence briefer for Robert Mueller, is here to talk about the Mueller report. What do we know? What questions are still unanswered? And where do we go from here? Priess’ latest book is How to Get Rid of a President: History’s Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives. In the Spiel, the Mueller rep...more

  • The Real March Madness Upset

    Mar 22 2019

    On The Gist, ISIS may be defeated, but the people who made up its forces aren’t gone.  In the interview, novelist John Lanchester is here to discuss his new novel The Wall, the symbolic and practical use of walls, and how closely we should pay attention to our dreams.  In the Spiel, Jim Nantz shouldn’t be in those Capital One commercials for March Madness. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Past and Future Biden

    Mar 22 2019

    On The Gist, who paid for those two Chinese-born tech magnates to take photos with Trump?  In the interview, Vanderbilt professor Jonathan Metzl is here to discuss his new book Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland. In the Spiel, litigating Biden’s past. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Solving Maternal Mortality

    Mar 21 2019

    On The Gist, have you heard about the mob hit that took place a few weeks ago? In the interview, journalist Sarah Kliff joins us to discuss maternal mortality rates in the United States, what California has done to fix it, and what the rest of the country should learn from them. Kliff is the host of Vox’s The Impact.  In the Spiel, Donald Trump on John McCain’s funeral. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • What Merchants of Truth Gets Right

    Mar 20 2019

    On The Gist, it wouldn’t just be morally right for Trump to finally denounce white nationalism. It would be politically smart.In the interview, Jill Abramson’s Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts was released to glowing reviews—but valid accusations of plagiarism and factual errors took some of that shine off. As Mike asks Abramson (a former executive editor of the New York Times), were the negative headlines so grabby that they’ve damned the book’s valuable insights...more

  • Beto Takes a Stand

    Mar 19 2019

    On The Gist, Beto O’Rourke, the countertop candidate. In the interview, historian Rutger Bregman got in a spat with Fox host Tucker Carlson, but you wouldn’t know it if it weren’t for his own video of the incident. Fox never aired it, as Bregman accused Carlson of carrying water for billionaires and Carlson responded with profane insults. Bregman joins the Gist to give us the backstory on that, but not before laying out some of the progressive economic policies—with basis in American history—tha...more

  • In New Zealand, the Internet at Its Worst

    Mar 16 2019

    On The Gist, Senator Thom Tillis’ op-ed, now with moral fiber!            In the interview, no one’s ever had to wonder what was on tech journalist Kara Swisher’s mind (she’ll just tell you) and that includes the litany of Silicon Valley oligarchs she’s interviewed. Swisher tells us how the modern world is very much shaped by company founders’ personality quirks and blind spots, what government regulation of Google and Facebook should look like, and what women can do to get what they want in the...more

  • Manafort in Ostrich Court

    Mar 15 2019

    On The Gist, Beto O’Rourke is running for president. But should he? In the interview, Tim Alberta, chief political correspondent for Politico,  recently wrote a piece about Reps. Ilhan Omar and Dean Phillips and the current divide in the Democratic party, “The Democrat’s Dilemma.” Alberta is here today to discuss the difficulty facing the Democratic party as some new members of Congress seem to be pushing the party further left and whether or not that’s a good thing. His upcoming book is America...more

  • How to Close the Justice Gap

    Mar 14 2019

    On The Gist, three stray thoughts on the college admissions scandal. In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back to talk about those naïve millennials. Last year many of them were duped into paying thousands for tickets to Billy McFarland’s Fyre Festival, a glamorous event that existed in name only. That begs the question: Are millennials more susceptible to being scammed than other generations, or is that bullshit? In the Spiel, the rich and powerful often get off easy in the court of law (case i...more

  • The Fraud Squad

    Mar 13 2019

    On The Gist, Bill de Blasio flapping his arms to R. Kelly. In the interview, Sal Gentile writes for late night television, but he lives in president Trump’s mind around the clock. Every day he writes insights and jokes about Trump’s latest ramblings for “A Closer Look,” a segment on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers. Gentile talks about his writing process—lots of jokes go into a first draft, but only a few make the cut—and how the instinct to laugh is itself a reliable bullshit detector. In the...more

  • Let the Sun Shine in 2020

    Mar 12 2019

    On The Gist, much ado about a toothpick ban. In the interview, Wikipedia is famously edited by its own readers. And no one has made more contributions than Steven Pruitt. A third of English language pages on the site bear his mark! What goes into editing a Wikipedia page, and is it as toxic as other democratic spaces on the internet? In the Spiel, which Democratic candidate gets The Gist’s vote? The one to make Daylight Saving Time permanent. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/...more

  • American Carnage? It’s Real

    Mar 09 2019

    On The Gist, Rep. Ilhan Omar and Israel. In the interview, the Guardian’s Chris McGreal covered the deadly toll opiates take on poor American communities "long before it became fashionable because of Trump." He speaks to Purdue Pharma’s zealous campaign to push OxyContin (“a chemical cousin of heroin”, in the words of the New Yorker) onto doctors and patients—and the federal government’s failure to stop it. McGreal is the author of American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts. In the Spie...more

  • The Endless Fact Check

    Mar 08 2019

    On The Gist, Stormy is in the news (but not that Stormy).In the interview, Donald Trump speaks many untruths every day, and someone has to track them all. Somehow that task has fallen to a Canadian. The Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale is here to tell us what counts as a lie, why details matter, and how neither the left nor the right seem satisfied with his work.In the Spiel, theology isn’t all that interesting… unless there’s drama involved, of course. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphon...more

  • The Unbelievably Bad Michael Jackson Defense

    Mar 07 2019

    On The Gist, distracting Congress from H.R. 1. In the interview, sexual promiscuity is judged differently among men compared to women, and that goes double for sex addiction. Franco-Moroccan novelist Leïla Slimani’s latest protagonist, Adèle, knows that firsthand. Slimani joins us to talk about her relationship with her translator—and her own characters—and the French sex scandal that inspired her initial research.    In the Spiel, bad arguments are hard to believe, like those used to defend Mic...more

  • Top Chef, the Anti-Reality TV?

    Mar 06 2019

    On The Gist, Fox News isn’t distributing Trump’s talking points. Worse, it’s defining them. In the interview, reality TV typically thrives on drama and negativity. Top Chef isn’t necessarily an exception, but season 16 competitor David Viana says morale was high on set—and that that’s a good sign for the culinary world overall. “Better, healthier kitchens are popping up,” Viana says. “It isn’t the Gordon Ramsay style.” David Viana is the executive chef  of New Jersey’s Heirloom Kitchen. The fina...more

  • The Incoherent Right

    Mar 05 2019

    On The Gist, the White House PR machine. In the interview, John Carlin is a former Asst. Attorney General for the Dept. of Justice and former Chief of Staff to Robert Mueller, and his new book Dawn of the Code War tracks the rise of global cyber threats from Russia and China, and how our country is working to respond.  In the Spiel, the CPAC lets Trump get away with anything he wants.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Believing Jackson’s Accusers

    Mar 02 2019

    On The Gist, John Hickenlooper might be running for president. In the interview, Dan Reed reached out to Wade Robson and James Safechuck before #MeToo exploded, but its influence is clear. In the director’s documentary for HBO, Leaving Neverland, we hear again how the effects of sexual abuse—in this case, at the hands of Michael Jackson—can manifest in counterintuitive ways; Robson and Safechuck once shielded Jackson. Now they’re coming forward with their truth. In the Spiel, the House Oversight...more

  • Is AOC Post-Truth Too?

    Feb 28 2019

    On The Gist, the empty political rhetoric that is “everyday people.”In the interview, fact-checking is big business in the age of Trump. But one politician diametrically opposed to the president—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—is playing fast and loose with statistics too, and journalists have noticed. Should she be called out? NY Magazine’s Eric Levitz says it’s complicated. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Michael Cohen Isn’t Smart

    Feb 27 2019

    On the Gist, Michael Cohen is not a smart guy, and that makes his testimony all the more trustworthy. In the interview, Casey Burgat of R Street is here to talk about Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s staff turnover data. Does she seem to churn through staff more than most, or are a few big exits skewing the numbers? And is it so bad to have high turnover anyway? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Spring Breaker Vote

    Feb 26 2019

    On The Gist, corn syrup and beer. In the interview, what’s the difference between a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old? In terms of maturity, not so much. But only one of them has the right to vote. In Oregon, state Sen. Shemia Fagan is hoping to change that, and she’s letting young activists take the lead. In the Spiel, who wants to talk about reparations? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Mayor for America

    Feb 26 2019

    On The Gist, asymmetric warfare means America’s got some pretty lame enemies. In the interview, women aren’t the only demographic group making the 2020 race especially diverse. Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is considering a run for office; he’s a millennial, a veteran, and openly gay. We get his thoughts on the size of the Supreme Court and Congress, and his feelings about the humble penny. Buttigieg’s new book is Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Mod...more

  • Billionaire Bashing Is Just for Sport

    Feb 23 2019

    On The Gist, even with a genuinely good story, president Trump just can’t get his facts right. In the interview, his name is Mo Rocca, and he’s out with a new podcast of obituaries. So it’s only natural, of course, that it be called Mobituaries. His audio tributes can be for both people and things, including JFK impersonator Vaughn Meader and the humble station wagon. In the Spiel, America’s billionaires do some good, and they don’t make the rest of us any poorer. Learn more about your ad choice...more

  • A Show, But a Riddle Too

    Feb 22 2019

    On The Gist, the deep state or a shallow president? In the interview, director Leslye Headland has been on The Gist before, and is back for more. But unlike the protagonist of Russian Doll, her new Netflix show, he isn’t likely to find herself stuck in a time loop, reliving the same moments over and over again. Headland joins alongside Rebecca Henderson, who stars in the show. And, fun fact: the two are married! In the Spiel, Disney World’s Hall of Presidents. Learn more about your ad choices. V...more

  • The Viability of Bernie Sanders

    Feb 21 2019

    On The Gist, news should be new. In the interview, our resident vexillologist Ted Kaye is back to talk about San Francisco’s flag. Where does its design come from, and is it really the best modern representation of the city? Kaye’s book is Good Flag, Bad Flag. In the Spiel, Bernie Sanders and the viability of policy ideas. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Chinese Threat is Overblown

    Feb 20 2019

    On The Gist, Bernie is in. Are billionaires out?In the interview, president Trump may be the chief saber-rattler when it comes to China, but acting tough against the world’s second biggest economy is a bipartisan pastime. With challenges like global warming and nuclear armament on the line, Kaiser Kuo says, the U.S. might do better with cooperation instead of rivalry. Kuo is a co-founder of the Sinica podcast and the editor-at-large of SupChina.In the Spiel, algorithms aren’t just for Facebook—t...more

  • New York’s Bad Math

    Feb 15 2019

    On The Gist, racy names for missiles. In the interview, Chris Molanphy is here to talk about the Billboard hits of 1979, disco’s last hurrah, and how the year prepares for the coming wave of pop. Molanphy is the host of Hit Parade and writes the column Why Is This Song No. 1? In the Spiel, Amazon leaving New York City is a big loss but people don’t seem to realize it.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Matt Braunger, Funny Dummy

    Feb 14 2019

    On The Gist, sometimes Howard Stern can be helpful. In the interview, stand-up comedian and podcaster Matt Braunger is here to discuss his new special Finally Live in Portland, his podcast Advice From a Dipshit, and whether or not he would eat racist fudge. In the Spiel, the human tragedy of losing animals. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • How to Lose a Guy in 10 Seconds

    Feb 13 2019

    On The Gist, Democratic leaders should slow down the next time a Virginia-sized fiasco comes along. In the interview, podcasters can storm off a set too—even if it’s their own. Words Matter host Adam Levine pressed his colleague Steve Schmidt on details about his advising gig for 2020 hopeful Howard Schultz. And it wasn’t just because that posed a possible conflict of interest for the political podcast; Levine says his regular listeners wanted answers on the guy who, in their eyes, could get eno...more

  • Open Season For America’s Wars

    Feb 12 2019

    On The Gist, if president Trump wanted to denounce bullying, he could have done better than inviting a boy named Trump (no relation) to the State of the Union address. In 2001, Congress gave president Bush a nearly blank check for command of an American military bent on punishing the terrorist groups directly (and not so directly) responsible for 9/11. The Authorization for Use of Military Force still benefits U.S. presidents, and few in Congress today seek to curb it. Our guest, Democratic Sen....more

  • Quoth the Maven

    Feb 09 2019

    On The Gist, wise words from the mouth of Jeff Bezos… by way of Amazon’s Alexa. In the interview, green energy may be clean, but that doesn’t mean its infrastructure is any less garish. Energy reporter Amy Harder reminds us that one of the lesser-discussed obstacles to a Green New Deal is good old-fashioned nimbyism: “A lot of people don’t like power lines being constructed right in their backyards.” Harder covers energy for Axios, and writes its Harder Line column. In the Spiel, it may feel rig...more

  • The Green New Deal Is a Dream

    Feb 08 2019

    On The Gist, don’t lick people you work with. In the interview, reading a whole book is great, but sometimes all you need is the introduction. Author Elisa Gabbert thinks so, and joins us to talk about intros and other “front matter”; a novel that unfolds over the course of an escalator ride; and how sitcoms have thrown our beauty barometers out of whack. Gabbert is the author of The Word Pretty. In the Spiel, the Green New Deal needs more scrutiny before it moves forward. Learn more about your ...more

  • The State of the Union is… Overrated

    Feb 07 2019

    On The Gist, who oh who will govern the state of Virginia? In the interview, when Roger McNamee jumped in as an early investor in Facebook, he might not have figured he’d end up testifying about the company in front of Congress. McNamee charts Facebook’s worrying evolution in his new book: Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe.In the Spiel, the State of the Union address is like baseball’s All-Star Game. Flashy, but without consequence. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.f...more

  • The Culture of Wealth

    Feb 06 2019

    On The Gist, Gov. Andrew Cuomo still doesn’t understand puns. In the interview, Lauren Greenfield has been documenting the wealthy for the past 25 years and has finally turned that into her new film Generation Wealth, an exploration of the rise of wealth culture and the implications it has on those immersed in it. Can money really make you happy? Is there any way for the rest of us to ascend to wealthy status? Would we even want to? Generation Wealth is currently available on Amazon.  In the Spi...more

  • To Russia With Love

    Feb 05 2019

    On The Gist, parsing president Trump’s one-on-one press interviews may be a fool’s errand, but at least it’s a fun one.In the interview, the Washington Post’s Greg Miller has reported from the murkiest depths of the Trump swamp. He’s on The Gist to talk about Russia’s connections to the Trump campaign, the challenges of covering a hostile White House, and what he suspects Putin really has on Trump. Miller is the author of The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy.In ...more

  • This Festival Was Fyre

    Feb 02 2019

    On The Gist, throwback to Mike Pesca's unnecessarily censored yearbook quote. In the interview, Seth Crossno, also known by his online persona William Needham Finley IV, thought it would be fun to go to the Fyre Festival with his buddies. And while the festival might have been a mess, being a part of two competing documentaries about the experience and winning a lawsuit about it was quite the trip. Crossno is here to discuss what it was like, and why he doesn’t understand how people found Fyre F...more

  • Kids Are Weird. You Can Be Weird Too.

    Jan 31 2019

    On The Gist, get off of your phone and out of my way when it’s snowing.  In the interview, there’s no one right way to raise a child, but a few hacks sure help. Podcaster, author, and mother Hillary Frank gives you permission to do what it takes to make your kid’s childhood easier on you, including turning tasks into games and telling white lies (call pork “chicken” if that’s all they’ll eat). Hillary Frank is the creator of The Longest Shortest Time and the author of Weird Parenting Wins. In th...more

  • Medicare for All, Dissent From None

    Jan 31 2019

    On The Gist, this one is brought to you by the letter T. In the interview, does using a stool really help your stool? Can the Squatty Potty offer any actual health benefits or is that smooth dookie all in your mind? Maybe the contraption’s popular just because it rhymes… Anyway, Maria Konnikova is here to judge, appropriately, whether that is bullshit. In the Spiel, Medicare is only a minefield if Democrats make it one.This episode is brought to you by Capterra. Try it today, for free, at Capter...more

  • E Pluribus Unum, Still?

    Jan 30 2019

    On The Gist, “the big game” is a dumb way to refer to the Super Bowl.If you were to pick a moment in U.S. history that put it on the path to polarization, you could do worse than Watergate. What followed were the blue and red bubbles staked out by CNN in the '80s, Fox News in the '90s, and social media in the 2000s. Princeton professors Kevin Kruse and Julian Zelizer lived through that history, created a course on it, and cover it in their new book,Fault Lines: A History of the United States Sin...more

  • Stone Cold Weirdos

    Jan 29 2019

    On The Gist, Nancy Pelosi is a skilled politician, sure… but she’s scoring her wins against an incompetent one in president Trump. In the interview, we obsess about the lives of stars, but what about their not-so-famous siblings? Comedy Central’s The Other Two focuses on the brother and sister of a pre-teen who rocketed to pop stardom. Drew Tarver plays one of those siblings, and discusses what it’s like living in the shadow of a more famous family member (not just in this role, but in real life...more

  • Big Tent Primaries

    Jan 26 2019

    On The Gist, pairing 2020 candidates with this or that Oscar-nominated film.In the interview, don’t take a shot every time Donna Brazile calls herself one of the Democratic Party’s “original gangsters.” But it’s true: she’s been at the heart of its workings for decades. In 2020, she plans on keeping out of the Democratic primaries, all while keeping up with the many rule changes they’ve adopted since 2016. Brazile is the co-author of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics.In the Spiel, a...more

  • Digital Journalism, a Market Failure

    Jan 25 2019

    On The Gist, Necco Wafers are out this Valentine’s Day, but don’t shed a tear. In the interview, some movies live for the twist. Steven Knight’s latest film, Serenity, is ostensibly about a sea captain’s Melvillian obsessions. Knight joins us to talk about how Matthew McConaughey gets it right, Saint Lucia, and writing screenplays in a detached state of mind (“It’s almost like accessing whatever the hell it is that creates dreams”). In the Spiel, journalists are losing their jobs. And there’s so...more

  • The Dismissal of Kamala Harris

    Jan 24 2019

    On The Gist, you can’t give Ann Coulter a win.  Rick Pitino is a former American basketball coach who experienced a number of scandals in the past few years, leading him to leave America for the Greek Basket League. But how did a renowned basketball coach find himself coaching in Greece? Journalist Michael Sokolove is here with the story. Sokolove’s new book is The Last Temptation of Rick Pitino: A Story of Corruption, Scandal, and the Big Business of College Basketball. In the Spiel, dismissing...more

  • Will #MeToo Face the Music?

    Jan 23 2019

    On The Gist, Joni Ernst’s divorce filing. When Jessica Hopper started out writing about music, trolls and affronted fans didn’t tweet at you; they wrote you a letter. The world’s move to digital has changed that, and helped bring about the #MeToo movement (notice the hashtag?). But despite R. Kelly’s fall, Hopper says the rest of the music industry may prove resistant to change. Hopper is the author of a new memoir, Night Moves. In the Spiel, the Covington Catholic teens aren't the disease, they...more

  • For 2020, Steve King Is Dead Weight

    Jan 19 2019

    On The Gist, BuzzFeed’s new report on Trump.  Earlier this week Rep. Steve King was denounced by much of his party because of remarks he gave to the New York Times about white supremacy. He may have misspoken or chosen to change his wording if given the chance, but according to the Storm Lake Times’ Art Cullen, who has been covering King for years in Iowa and recently wrote about King in the Guardian, that’s just not his style. But his straight talk won’t work in Iowa if it’s riddled with dishon...more

  • Know Your Memes, or Be Fooled by Them

    Jan 18 2019

    On the Gist, the knife-wielding skills of Nancy Pelosi. In the interview, An Xiao Mina has tracked the meme from its goofy origins to its use in anti-authoritarian protest and (more recently) disinformation. What’s next, and how can we minimize the harm caused by the internet’s worst actors? An Xiao Mina is the author of Memes to Movements: How the World's Most Viral Media Is Changing Social Protest and Power.      In the Spiel, Pelosi can’t go to Afghanistan because Trump is one impetuous manba...more

  • Tax Their Stuff, Not Their Money

    Jan 17 2019

    On The Gist, Kirsten Gillibrand running for president. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently floated the idea of a 70 percent marginal tax rate on America’s highest earners. That’s bad for millionaires, but is it even that good for everyone else? The New Yorker’s Adam Davidson argues it isn’t: High taxes wouldn’t rake in that much cash, and they might even scare taxpayers out of the country. Still, he’s clear-eyed about the dangers of concentrated money and thinks a wealth tax (on the value of what ...more

  • Stop Going Nuclear

    Jan 16 2019

    On The Gist, ’twas an eventful news day (William Barr, opioid fatality statistics, Brexit … ), but Mike’s got a big Spiel to fry.In the interview, Greg Jaczko served as chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission under Obama—and soon grew disillusioned with nuclear energy technology itself. He joins us to explain what changed his thinking and where to turn for tomorrow’s energy. Jaczko’s new book is Confessions of a Rogue Nuclear Regulator. In the Spiel, a thought experiment in which Trum...more

  • Against Steve King, Words Aren’t Enough

    Jan 15 2019

    On The Gist, president Trump is far from tough on Russia, and too many news talk shows let his allies make that claim.In the interview, Jennifer Traig thought she knew what she was getting into when she became a parent, until “washing diarrhea out of neckfolds” came along. In her latest book, she turns to history to sort the parenting techniques and philosophies that are worth keeping from those that aren’t. Traig is the author of Act Natural: A Cultural History of Misadventures in Parenting.In ...more

  • The Future (of A.I.) Is Chinese

    Jan 12 2019

    On The Gist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s star power isn’t something to fear. Especially if you’re a Democrat. “The world is a very dangerous place!” as a statement from President Donald Trump’s desk once put it. Eurasia Group president Ian Bremmer gets that, which is why his firm writes a list of top geopolitical risks at the start of every year. In 2019, these include America’s response to growing tech and A.I. dominance from China, presidential elections in Ukraine and Nigeria, and cyberwar. Br...more

  • When Fact Meets Fiction

    Jan 11 2019

    On The Gist, costs and benefits in the government. In the interview, Matthew Heineman is here to discuss his new film A Private War. Though usually a documentary filmmaker, this time around he tried his hand at a feature. Focused on the life of journalist Marie Colvin, it’s surprising how many documentary techniques Heineman employed when making the film, which uniquely fits the story being told. A Private War will be available on Feb. 5. In the Spiel, the rhyming Kellyanne Conway.This episode i...more

  • The Kids Are Not All Right

    Jan 10 2019

    On The Gist, the days are getting longer, the brand names shorter.In the interview, millennial whisperer (or, you know, just plain millennial) Anne Helen Petersen recently diagnosed “the burnout generation” in a viral feature for BuzzFeed. Student debt, the 2008 financial crisis, relatively low levels of family wealth—all have contributed to their dire straits. But could their biggest burden be a mental one?In the Spiel, President Trump’s unsurprisingly empty Oval Office address.This episode is ...more

  • Addressing the Facts

    Jan 09 2019

    On The Gist, do presidential addresses change anything? In the interview, NPR’s David Folkenflik joins us to talk about Donald Trump’s Oval Office address. Should the networks give airtime to someone so averse to facts, even if he is the president? Is there any precedent for this? And what repercussions for lying will Trump face, if any? In the Spiel, 5G networks. This episode is brought to you by Slack, the collaboration hub for work. Learn more at Slack.com. Learn more about your ad choices. V...more

  • The Likeability Illusion

    Jan 08 2019

    On The Gist, news networks should do us a favor and not air Trump’s prime-time speech on Tuesday night.In the interview, Greg Sargent is an indispensable voice for anyone looking to grasp the inner workings of American democracy. In his new book, he argues that compromise is possible even on issues as stark as voter suppression (the implementers are all Republican on this one, folks). Sargent’s book is An Uncivil War: Taking Back Our Democracy in an Age of Trumpian Disinformation and Thunderdome...more

  • What’s Wrong With Motherf---er?

    Jan 05 2019

    On The Gist, works produced 75 years ago are now entering the public domain. And some are what 2019 would call “problematic.”David Bowie once sang that we can all be heroes … but villainy is where it’s really at. In the Ringer podcast Villains, host Shea Serrano and his guests analyze film’s best baddies to figure out their true motives and chances at redemption. What makes The Silence of the Lambs’Hannibal Lecter the most memorable villain of all? How justified is Amy Dunne in Gone Girl? And ar...more

  • There’s Something in the Water

    Jan 04 2019

    On The Gist, what do Kim Jong-un’s letters and Shaquille O’Neal sneakers have in common? In the interview, you’ve likely heard of microplastics, but are they something to worry about? Maria Konnikova is here with answers in another round of “Is That Bullshit?”. Konnikova is the author of The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It . . . Every Time.In the Spiel, and in New York City, even shutting down a subway train comes with delays. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Impeachment Is a Real Crapshoot

    Jan 03 2019

    On The Gist, the government shutdown continues. In the interview, impeachment proceedings have never removed a president from office (in Bill Clinton’s case, they even offered a bump in approval ratings). So is it really the best route for those who see nothing but rot in Trump’s presidency? Lawfare Institute COO David Priess surveys the options in his latest book, How to Get Rid of a President: History's Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives. In the Spiel, Louis C.K. an...more

  • Andy Serkis, Motion Capture Master

    Dec 28 2018

    On The Gist, Mike Pesca is leaving Facebook, mostly. In the interview, Andy Serkis is here to discuss his newest movie, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, along with the film’s star Rohan Chand. They talk about the magic of working in motion capture, how it really isn’t all that different from other types of acting, and what it was like jumping on Christian Bale’s back. Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle is available on Netflix.   In the Spiel, finding the appropriate punishments for things like drones at ...more

  • The Babies Are Not All Right

    Dec 28 2018

    On The Gist, why do daily news podcasts think they can take off for the holidays? In the interview, journalist Priska Neely has been writing about the rates of black infant mortality and why they’re so much higher than American infant mortality rates overall. She joins us today to discuss the possible reasons, including community support systems, health care–related problems, and how racism factors into it all. In the Spiel, Donald Trump visits Iraq and says a lot.This episode is brought to you ...more

  • The Same Old Mike, Plus The New One

    Dec 22 2018

    On The Gist, Donald Trump is to "wall" as zombies are to "braaaains."In his Broadway show (The New One) Mike Birbiglia tells you why procreation is a terrible idea, before waxing lyrical on the joys of raising a daughter—it’s complicated; he’s complicated. On The Gist, he spares a thought for how to tip at an Olive Garden, the future of email leaks, and Fox News’ underwhelming Christmas tree.In the Spiel, abandoning arguments of good (or bad) faith. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaph...more

  • Free Money for Everyone?

    Dec 21 2018

    On The Gist, Amazon or marijuana? In the interview, Andrew Yang has declared his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election, and his platform is universal basic income. But how does that work? Is there room for that and other progressive platforms like free college tuition or universal health care? Yang’s new book is The War on Normal People: The Truth About America’s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future. In the Spiel, thought experiments and the extinction of the hum...more

  • Adam Keeps Ruining Everything

    Dec 20 2018

    On The Gist, the government shutdown and Santa. In the interview, Adam Conover joins us to discuss the latest season of Adam Ruins Everything, how they ruin things like guns and mattresses, the mistakes they’ve made along the way, and if there are any topics they aren’t allowed to cover. Adam Ruins Everything airs on Tuesday nights on truTV. In the Spiel, Alice Walker, the New York Times, and narratives. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The Alt-Right Downturn

    Dec 19 2018

    On The Gist, why Mick Mulvaney’s trash talk didn’t cost him a job under Trump.In the interview, is the alt-right waning? An expert on the movement, George Hawley, says that de-platforming worked to counter hateful figures like Milo Yiannopoulos and Alex Jones and that the news media may have overestimated their cunning—throwing memes at the wall until some of them stick—to begin with. Hawley is a professor of politics at the University of Alabama and the author of The Alt-Right: What Everyone Ne...more

  • Don’t Trust the Stars

    Dec 18 2018

    On The Gist, maybe Rudy Giuliani isn’t deteriorating. Rather, his job now (defending Trump’s shenanigans) is tougher than any he’s had.Maria Konnikova is back to call bullshit on astrology. She walks us through its origins in ancient Chaldea, its popularity among history’s scientists and philosophers, and the present day—where real experiments have been run. Is there any truth to it? And what about just enjoying the fun of it all?In the Spiel, goodbye Ryan Zinke. We knew ye well enough. Learn mo...more

  • Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

    Dec 15 2018

    On The Gist, the demise of the Weekly Standard. Then, going with your gut isn’t always best (despite what President Donald Trump may tell you). Writer Steven Johnson says making better decisions can be as simple as considering multiple options instead of focusing on the “should I” or “shouldn’t I.” He’s also got anecdotes about Darwin’s marital deliberations, machine learning, and the call to storm the fortress in which Osama Bin Laden (“probably,” Americans figured) was ensconced. Johnson is th...more

  • One Quiet Leap for Mankind

    Dec 14 2018

    On The Gist, Jeff Bezos is one rich man. That doesn’t make him (and Amazon) bad for New York City.In the interview, First Man is as much about Neil Armstrong the man as it is about Neil Armstrong the astronaut. Instead of depicting him planting a U.S. flag on the moon, screenwriter Josh Singer had him pay tribute to his deceased daughter. That ruffled some feathers, and Singer tells us why he stands by it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • When the President Speaks …

    Dec 13 2018

    On The Gist, President Trump interrupted Nancy Pelosi because he interrupts everyone.In the interview, the deputy executive director of U.N. Women, Åsa Regnér, knows how to bring more women into politics. Countries like Bolivia, Rwanda, and those in Scandinavia have achieved more equal representation. So how useful are quotas? Does religion play a role? How can gender parity be seen not just as a rights issue but something smarter for policymaking, the economy, and the health of the country?In t...more

  • Halls of Fame Need Diversity, Too

    Dec 12 2018

    On The Gist, it’s tough to find a host for the Oscars.In the interview, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame can quickly become incestuous, since past winners get to vote on future inductees. But this year’s 15 nominees break the mold of guitar-slinging dudes with long hair. Sure, Def Leppard is in the running, but so are LL Cool J, Janet Jackson, and Kraftwerk. Music critic Chris Molanphy himself has a vote, and tells us what his ballot looks like. Molanphy is the host of the Slate podcast Hit Para...more

  • They Can’t Hear You, Theresa

    Dec 11 2018

    On The Gist, the bottomless Pinocchio. Americans are filled with anxiety in the pursuit of happiness, and social media isn’t making it any better. But how do we even define happy, and will changing our online habits actually change anything? Author Ruth Whippman, who wrote about the phenomenon in the recent New York Times piece, “Everything Is for Sale Now. Even Us.,” joins us to discuss.In the Spiel, the Brexit vote. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • High Time for Impeachment?

    Dec 08 2018

    On The Gist, the GOP isn’t overtly racist. But it once was.In the interview, Liz Holtzman was the youngest woman to be elected to the House of Representatives, and she did it in 1973. She also served as a member of the House Judiciary Committee as they held impeachment hearings for Richard Nixon. In her new book, The Case For Impeaching Trump, she explains what exactly is required to impeach a president and why Trump’s actions might have already justified those proceedings.In the Spiel, it’s tim...more

  • The Walk of the Town

    Dec 07 2018

    On The Gist, is Sherrod Brown annoying? In the interview, Matt Green is on a yearslong mission to walk all the streets of New York City—and Jeremy Workman filmed him doing many of them for a documentary, The World Before Your Feet. Alongside Workman and executive producer Jesse Eisenberg, Green talks about Staten Island’s ordinary charm, the odd street-naming conventions of Queens, and how a life of perpetual walking makes dating pretty hard. In the Spiel, PETA.  Learn more about your ad choices...more

  • The Eulogy Myth

    Dec 06 2018

    On The Gist, stop wishing Jews happy holidays if Hanukkah has already passed. How do you explain wit? James Geary attempted to answer that question with his new book, Wit’s End: What Wit Is, How It Works, and Why We Need It, but quickly found that the only way to write about comedy is to write comedy. He joins us to discuss the difficulties of examining this subject, the various types of wit, and why Buster Keaton is a master of the form.In the Spiel, eulogies are the best part of any funeral, p...more

  • Sullying a Pup’s Good Name

    Dec 05 2018

    On The Gist, a “tariff man” sing-along! Then, Maria Konnikova is back for another round of “Is That Bullshit?” She and Mike discuss the cigar-shaped space object (known as ‘Oumuamua) picked up by astronomers last year. Was it an alien vehicle, or just another flying rock?In the Spiel, Mike proudly backs the Slate stance: George H.W. Bush’s service dog probably wasn’t mourning him. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Wild Wild Story

    Dec 04 2018

    On The Gist, in doing less than his son did in the Middle East, George H.W. Bush did better.In the interview, Wild Wild Country was one of the year’s most riveting documentaries. But one of its sources, journalist Les Zaitz, argues that it pulls punches on the cult that overtook a small town in Oregon, committed the biggest bioterror attack in American history, and had designs to assassinate its critics.In the Spiel, taking stock of George H.W. Bush’s legacy. Learn more about your ad choices. Vi...more

  • Very Legal, Very Cool

    Dec 01 2018

    On The Gist, should people be let go for one bad idea? 30 for 30 has been a hugely successful documentary series in both video and audio form for ESPN. Jody Avirgan sits at its podcast helm with a new season covering stories like Jose Canseco’s steroid use, the 2003 World Series of Poker, and Japanese baseball player Hideo Nomo trying to join the Major League. He also hosts FiveThirtyEight’s political podcast, offering fresh and smart insight wherever he can. Avirgan joins us today to talk the d...more

  • How to Shoot a Fight

    Nov 30 2018

    On The Gist, cows are beef, even if they’ve reached internet fame.In the interview, Steven Caple Jr. watched everything from Jean-Claude Van Damme movies to street-fight videos before directing Creed II, the latest film in the Rocky franchise. He joins The Gist to talk about how to shoot a fight scene, his favorite Rocky villains, and Michael B. Jordan’s rising star.In the Spiel, Michael Cohen squeals, and we all learn once again that President Trump does not, sadly, tell it like it is. Learn mo...more

  • The Parent Police

    Nov 29 2018

    On The Gist, the Nancy Pelosi nonstory (spoiler alert: she’s going to win the speakership) is distracting us from the Trump administration’s latest misdeeds.In the interview, Kim Brooks received 100 hours of community service in 2011 for leaving her son alone in a car during a quick errand. Then she connected with other parents who’d been policed by their community in harmful ways. Do Americans worry so much about the safety of children that they’re blind to common sense? Brooks explores this, a...more

  • Would the U.S. Win World War III?

    Nov 28 2018

    On The Gist, Cindy Hyde-Smith is on the MAGA wagon. In the interview, the U.S. has long been the global leader in military spending. But is that enough to guarantee victory in a war against Russia, China, or both? Aaron Mehta covers the Pentagon for Defense News and has written about a bipartisan commission’s new report on America’s readiness for big conflicts.In the Spiel, terrible arguments obscuring bad ideas. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Make Voting Rights Sexy Again

    Nov 27 2018

    On The Gist, Danielle Pletka’s thoughts on climate change and Saudi Arabia.In the interview, the Republican Party’s voter suppression isn’t the result of philosophy or values—it just helps them win. In making the fight over voting rights public, Democrats have two advantages: It’s obviously the right thing to do, and it would help them compete up and down the ballot. Our guest Dave Weigel writes The Trailer, a newsletter on electoral politics for the Washington Post.In the Spiel,  the crisis of ...more

  • Obesity, and You, and Me!

    Nov 21 2018

    On The Gist, the state of the runoff Senate election down in Mississippi.Fat shaming is inexcusable. But so is denying some of the health problems that come with being obese. Maria Konnikova gives us a pre-Thanksgiving report on the latest science and reminds us that obesity in the U.S. is driven by social “superforces” more than by personal choices. Konnikova writes for the New Yorker and is the author of The Confidence Game.In the Spiel, yes, it’s absolutely OK to laugh (or shake one’s head in...more

  • The Many, Many Ways to Think About Running

    Nov 21 2018

    On The Gist, a historian at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner? Why not?When a young Peter Sagal was labeled “not great at sports,” it didn’t sit well with him. But if that drove him to running in the first place, he now has plenty of reasons to keep up the pace—not the least of which is that it’s a good thing to think, talk, and write about. Sagal is the host of NPR’s Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! and the author of The Incomplete Book of Running. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megapho...more

  • Uncle Verne Pulls Up a Chair

    Nov 20 2018

    On The Gist, violent, vicious, and terrible. These are a few of Trump’s favorite words.In the interview: Verne Lundquist announced sports games for decades. But in retirement, he has more time for classical music than whatever game is on TV. “I’m not a passionate sports fan,” he says. “I’ve got X number of years to live in this life—let’s experience as much of it as we can.” Lundquist is the author of Play by Play: Calling the Wildest Games in Sports—From SEC Football to College Basketball, the ...more

  • Ben Stiller’s Big Prison Break

    Nov 17 2018

    On The Gist, President Donald Trump has finally made a nomination for ambassador to South Africa. And it is a terrible one.It’s hard to make comedy when your story, like Ben Stiller’s latest direction, is based on a state inspector general’s report. Escape at Dannemora is drama through and through, based on the prison break of two men, aided by a female employee (and lover), from New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility. Stiller talks filming bad sex, turning villains into heroes, and what makes...more

  • Cult Classic

    Nov 15 2018

    On The Gist, Nancy Pelosi and new House leadership.Then, the self-help organization known as NXIVM had thousands of paying customers, but only some were involved in the cultish operations that, once exposed, brought it crashing down. In Uncover: Escaping NXIVM, host Josh Bloch follows one of the company’s unknowing recruiters, who disavowed the group and became central to the ongoing FBI charges against its founder, Keith Raniere. We also hear from Susan Dones, another former member of NXIVM.In ...more

  • Priming New York for Amazon

    Nov 15 2018

    On The Gist, who’s running in 2020? Should we even speculate yet? Time for another segment of Mike debates Slate. Staff writer Henry Grabar is here to discuss Amazon’s choice of New York City, why people seem to keep misunderstanding what subsidies are, and how the benefits of Amazon moving to Long Island City outweigh the costs to the city. In the Spiel, Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials and asking multipart questions at press conferences. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaph...more

  • More Show Than Showdown

    Nov 14 2018

    On The Gist, when will everyone stop walking and chewing gum at the same time? In the interview, it may have been a political stunt ahead of the midterms, but president Trump’s deployment of U.S. service members to the border continues. What are they even up to? Veteran and writer Jack Murphy fills in the details, including how the mission is being received in the military community at large. Murphy is the editor in chief of NEWSREP.In the Spiel, Amazon’s news and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Learn...more

  • The Love of the (Basketball) Game

    Nov 13 2018

    On The Gist, what kind of sped-up sports replays is Kellyanne Conway watching?The simplicity of basketball is also its genius, allowing players to exercise skill, heart, genius and passion in endlessly creative ways. Dan Klores embraces just that in his ESPN documentary Basketball: A Love Story and talks about specific players, the NBA’s leaders, and why short players deserve more credit.In the Spiel, the DCCC may smack of establishment power, but it was damn effective at flipping House seats fo...more

  • Two Countries, at the Cost of One

    Nov 10 2018

    On The Gist, by any previous standard, we’d be saying that President Donald Trump lost the midterms, plain and simple.In the interview, Tuesday’s midterms saw red states get redder and blue ones bluer. If results like those keep repeating themselves, Slate panelists—Dahlia Lithwick, Jamelle Bouie, and Jim Newell, hosted live in New York by Mike Pesca—say America could soon feel like two distinct legal worlds.In the Spiel, Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker was a tight end at the University of...more

  • In a Political Bind? Call Bradley Tusk

    Nov 09 2018

    On The Gist, the Democrats’ big win.Bradley Tusk has been in the background everywhere. His hand guided the rise of big political and tech brands, from advising Rod Blagojevich not to extort Rahm Emanuel to facilitating Uber’s explosive growth. He joins us to discuss his political savvy saving campaigns and startups and why he’s so passionate about voting with your smartphone. Tusk’s new book is The Fixer: My Adventures Saving Startups From Death by Politics. In the Spiel, misunderstanding democ...more

  • A Congresswoman Speaks

    Nov 08 2018

    On The Gist, was last night a wave or not? If congresswoman Jackie Speier still kept a gratitude journal (“I don’t have time to do it!”), it would include an entry about the Democratic Party reclaiming the House in Tuesday’s midterms. Instead she’s out with a new memoir—Undaunted: Surviving Jonestown, Summoning Courage, and Fighting Back—and brings details on how her party’s majority will put the squeeze on President Donald Trump.In the Spiel, Donald Trump’s latest press conference. Learn more a...more

  • Just Ask Mimi

    Nov 07 2018

    On The Gist, who gets to vote? Mimi Sheraton, the first female food critic at the New York Times, has had a prolific career sharing her opinion on everything like ladyfinger sellers, hope chests and china patterns, and why we’re all eating kale wrong. She joins us today to talk her career as a food critic, why smelt isn’t a crowd pleaser, and the importance of eating as a family. She’s a delight on the Ask Mimi episodes of the Sporkful, and her most recent book is 1,000 Food to Eat Before You Di...more

  • What Newt Gingrich Wrought

    Nov 06 2018

    On The Gist, live, from Slate, it’s a post-apocalyptic skit that just might come to pass if you don’t vote on Tuesday.In the interview, for decades, there was no need to hope for (or fear) a blue wave; until 1994, the Democratic Party enjoyed a 40-year monopoly on the House of Representatives. Then came Newt Gingrich, who engineered the Republican sweep of the lower chamber, and who looms large in our guest Steve Kornacki’s latest book, The Red and the Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political ...more

  • Root for the Dummy

    Nov 02 2018

    On The Gist, the Republican tax bill and insurance premiums.In the interview: a third-century monk, Paul Revere’s horse, and Death himself … all are characters in humorist Simon Rich’s latest book, Hits and Misses: Stories—and none are in on the joke. “I always related to the characters like Homer Simpson that knew less than they should,” Rich says. “As a child those are the ones that I found more sympathetic and more rootable.” In the Spiel, the unemployment numbers, and the lies we’ve told our...more

  • American Tribes

    Nov 01 2018

    On The Gist, Pew’s analysis of European opinion surveys is out. Let’s look at Greece!In the interview, the American electorate has come to sort itself not just on political issues, but by worldview. Life is either a gauntlet of hazards (say Republicans) or an array of sights to see (as the Dems think). In their latest book, Prius or Pickup?, political scientists Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler warn that these philosophical differences are sharper than what separated the voting blocs of pre...more

  • Hate Counts

    Oct 31 2018

    On The Gist, Trump’s xenophobic campaign, with a Spooktacular twist!In the interview, hate is hard to measure, but the Southern Poverty Law Center paints a picture of growing prejudice in America. Heidi Beirich and the organization’s Intelligence Project go beyond FBI and Department of Justice statistics to include press reports and even tips from the public.In the Spiel, swing, baby, swing (we’re talking about congressional districts). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoi...more

  • Signed, Sealed, Forgotten

    Oct 31 2018

    On The Gist, Mike’s bottom five causes. In the interview, we rewind to the story of the mail bomber, which was quickly eclipsed by a massacre in Pittsburgh and one loud president. Steve Johnson, who directs Cranfield University’s Forensic Explosive and Explosion Investigation program in the U.K., provides details about Cesar Sayoc’s homemade devices. In the Spiel, Trump’s desire to end birthright citizenship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • For Every Brand, a Backstory

    Oct 30 2018

    On The Gist, surprise surprise, right-wing commentators aren’t apologizing for getting the mail bomber story totally wrong.In the interview, brands don’t make it big by mistake. Behind the success of Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte and Jell-O are stories worth hearing. Dan Bobkoff’s podcast for Business Insider, Household Name, explores the odd origins of TGI Fridays, the reason there’s a Mattress Firm on every corner, and how a Donald Trump ad may have saved Pizza Hut (it’s all about the stuffed...more

  • The Blue Blizzard

    Oct 26 2018

    On The Gist, the man in the van is a sad man indeed.  Harry Enten is a senior writer and analyst for CNN Politics and steeped in the polling data for the election. Will Beto O’Rourke beat Ted Cruz?  Is the blue wave cresting early? And why do Democrats care about Hamilton? Enten joins us to discuss, and his more detailed forecast can be found online here.  In the Spiel, time for another antentwig.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Et Tu, NBC?

    Oct 25 2018

    On The Gist, Georgia’s exact match law is an extra hurdle for those with hyphenated last names, which, let us speculate, may be more common among black Americans.In the interview, CNBC contributor Ron Insana on Dow drops, market swings, and the uncertain rise of the job-stealing robots.In the Spiel, Megyn Kelly’s reportedly been fired for her latest faux pas. What did NBC expect when they hired her? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Blame It on the Mailer

    Oct 24 2018

    On The Gist, Megyn Kelly’s take on blackface was obviously wrong … and wrong for NBC’s messaging.Sleep isn’t for the weak; it’s for those who want their brains flushed of misfolded proteins and fatigue-inducing adenosine. If that sounds like mumbo-jumbo, Maria Konnikova is here to explain it all and answer one question: Is the prescription for precisely eight hours of sleep bullshit?In the Spiel, President Trump riles up his base in all kinds of ways, but we can’t honestly blame the recent spate...more

  • Something in the Water

    Oct 24 2018

    On The Gist, first we’ve got misleading statistics.  In 2016, Art Cullen wrote a series of editorials for the Storm Lake Times, a small newspaper in Iowa, uncovering the murky depths of a fight between local and state governments about water pollution. They followed the money, and discovered a fight funded by agricultural corporations, and ended up winning the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Cullen’s new book is Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope From a Heartland Newsp...more

  • The NFL Mafia

    Oct 23 2018

    On The Gist, ’tis the season (elections!) for baseless political analysis, courtesy of big network news.Americans spend countless hours watching football, but what do they know about the owners of their favorite teams? In Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Times, Mark Leibovich covers the exclusive billionaire boys’ club and the “very unimpressive group of inherited misfits” that fills its ranks.In the Spiel, CNN’s Van Jones was way too chummy with interview guest Jared Kushner on Monday morning. Le...more

  • Prison Guard Confidential

    Oct 20 2018

    On The Gist, Europeans are fighting over daylight saving time, which is way better than having a World War.Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer has been on both sides of a prison’s bars. After spending two years as a political prisoner in Iran, he returned to the U.S. and got a job as a private prison guard. His real aim, of course, was to report on why the American prison system—private and public—is broken. Bauer’s new book is American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey Into the Business of ...more

  • Land of (Only Some) Opportunity

    Oct 18 2018

    On The Gist, Democrats might actually be winning. Supporters of open immigration policy—and immigrants themselves—often have a rosy view of what awaits them in the United States. National Review executive editor (and Slate alumnus) Reihan Salam says high costs of living can put immigrants in debt rather than on a path to the middle class. “When we’re totally sentimental about this, we miss some of those struggles, and those struggles are inconvenient. People don’t want to hear about them.” Salam...more

  • Myth Management

    Oct 18 2018

    On The Gist, bone saws and Jamal Khashoggi. When Joe Hagan began working on the story of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone, Wenner was on board. But as Wenner slowly realized Hagan was writing the true story rather than Wenner’s story, things got a bit rough. Hagan joins us to discuss Wenner, reactions since publication, and the tricks of writing about a narcissist. Hagan’s book is Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine. In the Spiel, the civility of debates. Le...more

  • Between a Rock and a Funny Place

    Oct 17 2018

    On The Gist, Saudi Arabia, Trump, and Jamal Khashoggi. Comedy Cellar owner Noam Dworman has had a post-scandal Louis C.K. take to his stage six times now. Why does he welcome him, and if he doesn’t draw the line at Louis, is it somewhere else? In the Spiel, the death of Nevada Republican candidate Dennis Hof. This episode is brought to you by Merrill Lynch. Get started today at ML.com/you. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Bare Necessities? Not in Alaska.

    Oct 16 2018

    On The Gist, unpacking CNN’s list of top Democratic challengers ahead of 2020.Katmai National Park and Preserve’s publicity stunt worked: For one week (that’s Fat Bear Week), the internet delighted in the tournament bracket that would crown the plumpest predator of them all. Carnivore ecologist Rae Wynn-Grant tells us about the brown bear’s diet, the unknown mechanics of hibernation, and why fattest really means fittest for the competition’s chunky winner (Beadnose!).In the Spiel, what to make o...more

  • Olive Branch, Turkey Leg

    Oct 13 2018

    On The Gist, how coverage of bisexuality has changed (for the better).Thanksgiving approaches, and with it all the tension that comes with mixing family and politics in the age of Trump. In that setting, Ike Barinholtz saw grist for a political comedy. He directs and stars in The Oath, in which a family reunion is cleaved by the federal government’s push for Americans to sign a “loyalty waiver to the president.”In the Spiel, what Arizona Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema did as congresswoman is mu...more

  • Going to The Good Place

    Oct 12 2018

    On The Gist, Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz. At first The Good Place on NBC appears to be a light and easy sitcom about a bad apple accidentally dropped into heaven, but look at little deeper and you’ll find a smart and dense comedy about moral philosophy. Creator Mike Schur joins us to discuss this show’s moral compass, baseball, and the Kant of it all. The Good Place airs on Thursdays on NBC. In the Spiel, Trump’s rally in Erie, Pennsylvania. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/ad...more

  • And What About Yemen?

    Oct 11 2018

    On The Gist, should we continue to trust Facebook with our data? Saudi Arabia’s disastrous war with rebel tribes in Yemen is 3½ years deep, as is America’s support for it. Michael Knights, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, details the kingdom’s goals: stopping the missile attacks sailing in from Yemen, restoring the country’s ousted leaders, and countering the rebels’ biggest ally, Iran.In the Spiel, the disappearance of abortion providers, the rise of crisis pregna...more

  • Guarding the Court

    Oct 10 2018

    On The Gist, it would be cynical to view the Supreme Court as illegitimate.Brett Kavanaugh has done it. But how will the other members of the Supreme Court treat him? And does his promotion affect the American people’s faith in the nation’s highest court? Slate’s courts correspondent Dahlia Lithwick joins us to discuss.In the Spiel, back in the private sector, Nikki Haley can look forward to making Hope Hicks–level money (which, incredibly, is a lot of money). Learn more about your ad choices. V...more

  • Take Down the Poll

    Oct 06 2018

    On The Gist, after all of that, not a single senator changed his or her vote to back (or stop) Kavanaugh.In the interview, Jill Lepore’s new book focuses in part on the marginalized groups forgotten by other American histories. It also denounces the polling industry born in the ’30s, which turned politics into business even as it ignored black Americans, slowing their march for civil rights. Lepore’s book is These Truths: A History of the United States.In the Spiel, don’t forget that the politic...more

  • Sitting President, Standing Anger

    Oct 05 2018

    On The Gist, the hippocampus has its moment.Tom Arnold believes incriminating tapes of Donald Trump are out there, and he wants to find them. In his new series for Viceland, The Hunt for the Trump Tapes, he’s looking for anything from more Access Hollywood obscenities to the infamous pee tape. But would publishing any of these actually change anything about politics today?In the Spiel, the rhetoric of “sitting Trump” versus “standing Trump.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/a...more

  • Reignited (and It Feels So Good)

    Oct 03 2018

    On The Gist, Brett Kavanaugh’s high school and college buddies had some weird nicknames, and it’s not helping his case.Rebecca Traister is angry, and she knows other women are too. Events from Trump’s election through the #MeToo movement inspired her new book, Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger.In the Spiel, Mike read the New York Times’ expose on how Donald Trump got rich—so you don’t have to. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Mueller on the Mind

    Oct 03 2018

    On The Gist, Beto O’Rourke has the momentum but also a mountain to climb. In the interview, Neal Katyal has argued 37 cases before the Supreme Court, and (better yet!) joined Mike Pesca on stage at Slate Day in Austin, Texas. Our condensed version of the interview covers the implications of a confirmed Brett Kavanaugh, why Robert Mueller “will have the last laugh” when it comes to taking on Trump, and what the indictment of a sitting U.S. president would look like. In the Spiel, what mothers of ...more

  • College-Aged Coddling

    Oct 01 2018

    On The Gist, guest host John McWhorter considers campus safe spaces.  In the past few years, college campuses have been shifting away from havens for free speech to safe spaces that bar divisive speakers from campus. But is this the right move, or are we damaging the growth of college students by creating these spaces rather than offering intellectual challenges. Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt explore this in their new book The Coddling of the American Mind. Lukianoff joins us on the Gist to ...more

  • The Kavanaugh Conspiracy

    Sep 29 2018

    On The Gist, guest host Isaac Butler talks about all the news we forgot about thanks to the Kavanaugh hearing. The Constitution is a sacred text in America, but should it be? Heidi Schreck’s play What the Constitution Means to Me tackles that question through her high school experience of giving speeches about the Constitution to put herself through college. Today, she and her director, Oliver Butler, join us to discuss the fresh importance of the play, what sort of impact the Constitution has o...more

  • Losing Hate

    Sep 27 2018

    On The Gist, the Kavanaugh hearing. By all accounts, Derek Black was supposed to become the next David Duke. He was the man’s godson, after all, and his father, Don Black, had founded Stormfront, the world’s first and biggest white nationalist website. But then Derek went to New College of Florida, where—as told by the Washington Post’s Eli Saslow—he was shunned by many of his peers for his racist views, and embraced by a few despite them. Saslow’s book is Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of ...more

  • The Land of Steady Filmmaking

    Sep 27 2018

    On The Gist, the GOP hired a woman!Nicole Holofcener’s films have centered women for more than two decades, but her latest one, The Land of Steady Habits,focuses on a man’s tumultuous story arc. She joins us to talk about adaptations (it was a novel before Holofcener made it into a movie), the slow and deliberate process of directing, and why she hates hearing people chew. The Land of Steady Habits is now on Netflix.In the Spiel, Kavanaugh’s three accusers tell different stories, but many Republ...more

  • Generation Anxiety

    Sep 26 2018

    On The Gist, Trump gets laughs at the United Nations. After a few eccentric comedy specials, Bo Burnham next turned to his sympathy for the anxieties of middle school girls, and made a movie. If Eighth Grade (starring Elsie Fisher) seems to imitate life so well, it’s because Burnham watched hundreds of vlogs made by today’s junior high generation. In the Spiel, standards of proof in the Kavanaugh case. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • That’s the First Straw

    Sep 25 2018

    On The Gist, how the breaking news machine bungled the Rod Rosenstein story.In the interview, California is set to ban certain restaurants from serving straws unless customers ask for one. But given that straws represent a tiny fraction of the plastics choking our oceans, can initiatives like these really make a difference? Ban-the-straw advocate Dune Ives says targeting the straw is, in part, a way to move on to blocking other plastics from the world’s waste stream.In the Spiel, the air is thic...more

  • Tight Countries, Loose Countries

    Sep 21 2018

    On The Gist, National Review has one good take on the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation story … and a lot of bad ones.In the interview, we’re used to thinking of societies along the “liberal/conservative” spectrum, but cultural psychologist Michele Gelfand has her own axis to consider: tight versus loose. They aren’t quite the same: Abu Dhabi, for instance, may be conservative, but its role as the crossroads of the Middle East lends it looser norms. In Scandinavia, we’ve got the opposite. Gelfand’s b...more

  • What Is … a Podcast, Alex?

    Sep 20 2018

    On The Gist, Christine Blasey Ford deserves a hearing on her own terms, and that’s all we can say for now. Bert Kreischer is a comic who started out as just the biggest college partier in America according to Rolling Stone magazine in 1997. Since then he’s been grappling with fame, how much of his own life to use for comedy, and the way his father shamed him into doing stand-up comedy. Kreischer’s new special on Netflix is Secret Time. In the Spiel, Jeopardy finally notices podcasts. Learn more ...more

  • Coal Over Climate

    Sep 20 2018

    On The Gist, the latest in inane Trump statements.Climate change is bigger than any one of us, including the president of the United States. Given his backward policies and denials of scientific fact, he deserves his share of criticism in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. Climate scientist Andrea Schumacher explains which aspects of hurricane season can be expected to get worse as the planet warms. Schumacher is a research associate at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere ...more

  • Owe Me the Money

    Sep 19 2018

    On The Gist, taking issue with the sloppy headlines about the support (or lack thereof) for Brett Kavanaugh.In the interview, Stacey Abrams’ run for governor in Georgia has been criticized because of her huge outstanding debt. That got Ozy.com reporter Nick Fouriezos wondering how much political candidates typically owe as they run for office. He dug into the finances of 396 political candidates to see how much they owed, and to whom.In the Spiel, a presidential penis prognostic. You’re welcome....more

  • Ethan Hawke’s Earnest Art

    Sep 18 2018

    On The Gist, Hurricane Florence. Ethan Hawke has stunned us with his earnest, moving performances on-screen, but he’s also a talent behind the camera. His new directorial feature Blaze explores the life and love of the largely forgotten musician Blaze Foley. He joins us to talk filmmaking, the difficulty of music, comic book movies, and why we should appreciate criticism from our elders. Blaze premieres nationwide on Sept. 21. In the Spiel, the allegations of Kavanaugh’s sexual assault. Learn mo...more

  • Democratic Socialists of America, for the Win?

    Sep 15 2018

    On The Gist, Vladimir Putin, RT, and the Salisbury poisoning.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might have scary values to conservatives. But to the national director of the Democratic Socialists of America, she’s a moderate. Maria Svart calls the DSA a “big tent organization,” meaning it makes room for everything from AOC’s Scandinavian-style social policies to the more radical workforce ownership of businesses. In the Spiel, the end of primary season. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone....more

  • After Family Separations, a Settlement

    Sep 14 2018

    On The Gist, John Hockenberry’s piece in Harper’s. Donald Trump is no stranger to settlements, and the latest of these come between his administration and hundreds of asylum-seekers. They were rejected after making their cases under the duress of being separated from their children … or their parents. “How are the kids supposed to say why they fear persecution? Try having that conversation with a 4-year-old,” says Margo Schlanger, who headed the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil...more

  • Billionaires Don’t Know Best

    Sep 12 2018

    On The Gist, Vladimir Putin’s “private citizen” excuse doesn’t hold water.In the interview, philanthropic billionaires are better than villainous ones, but Anand Giridharadas argues they could do better. Instead of insisting on the superiority of private efforts, they ought to pay more taxes and leave some things to the government. Giridharadas’ book is Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.In the Spiel, FiveThirtyEight currently says Republicans have a 1-in-6 chance of keepi...more

  • DeRay Mckesson Makes the Case for Hope

    Sep 12 2018

    On The Gist, Mike is thinking he’ll vote Andrew Cuomo—but he’s open to you changing his mind.The 2014 shooting of Michael Brown upheaved many things in the U.S., including the career of DeRay Mckesson, who quit his job as an educator to become a full-time activist. Now he uses his podcast Pod Save the Peopleas a national platform to speak out against police violence and highlight news that flies under the radar. Mckesson’s new memoir is On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope.In the Spie...more

  • Stylometry for Dummies

    Sep 11 2018

    On The Gist, are we having a national crisis?The New York Times’ publication of an anonymous op-ed has sparked rounds of speculation as to who’s behind it—and the deep-state trappings it describes. Some see the word “lodestar” as signature Mike Pence, but as Sadia Afroz explains, stylometry—the analysis of prose to uncover its author’s identity—is a little more complicated than looking at individual words. Afroz is a senior research scientist at the International Computer Science Institute. Lear...more

  • If You Want Power, Sell It

    Sep 07 2018

    On The Gist, Lincoln, Kennedy, and Lincoln Kennedy could all speak better than President Trump.If you’re old enough to remember November 2016, you know that telling a good story—even an untrue one—wins elections. Author Yuval Noah Harari worries that populism has liberalism beat on this front, especially given an uncertain future looming with AI, biotechnology, and the possible obsolescence of the human worker. Harari’s new book is 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.In the Spiel, a lawmaker’s votin...more

  • The DoD Payroll Just Got Smaller

    Sep 06 2018

    On The Gist, Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing. The Pentagon’s third-in-command is reportedly losing his job, and it’s hardly making news. As the Defense Department’s first-ever chief management officer, John Gibson is in charge of saving billions of dollars for reinvestment. He’s to be fired because of a reported “lack of performance,” but Defense News’ Aaron Mehta says the task was nearly impossible in the first place. In the Spiel, who really wrote that New York Times op-ed?  Learn more ...more

  • Hedging Your Bets With Lake Success

    Sep 05 2018

    On The Gist, Bob Woodward’s good intentions.Wealth and road trips are two of America’s favorite obsessions. In his new novel, Lake Success, Gary Shteyngart explores these themes through the story of a hedge fund manager who, after a crisis, takes a trip across the country by bus. Shteyngart joins us today to discuss his research on Wall Street, the concept of privilege, and his trips on Greyhound busses.  In the Spiel, Gwyneth Paltrow and jade eggs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaph...more

  • Farming for Red Herring

    Sep 04 2018

    On The Gist, Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation is all but certain.A recent Donald Trump tweet gave credence to a bogus (and dangerous) claim: that South Africa’s white farmers are the first targets in a looming genocide. Quartz reporter Lynsey Chutel has the actual statistics, as well as the political context—land reform—that pushed white nationalists into embracing victimhood in the first place.In the Spiel, a roundup of the minor scandals that broke over Labor Day weekend. Learn mor...more

  • Bright Gays, Big City

    Sep 01 2018

    On The Gist, Democrats, Republicans, and the N-word.Facebook now has television shows. While it might be surprising for viewers, for creators it’s an exciting new avenue to find an audience for shows not necessarily meant for the mainstream. Strangers is precisely one of those shows, about two queer women trying to make it in New York City. Creator Mia Lidofsky joins us to discuss her show, how wonderfully queer it is, and what it’s like making a show for Facebook. The new season of Strangers is...more

  • The OG GOP

    Aug 30 2018

    On The Gist, there’s no use sugarcoating Starbucks’ Frappuccino.And in the interview… unprecedented! Preposterous! Unimaginable! Trump’s presidency and the GOP’s machinations actually do have antecedents, says historian Heather Cox Richardson. They’re in the 1890s, when robber barons partnered with the Republican Party to pack the courts. Richardson is the author of To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party. In the Spiel, what do we make of the Catholic Church? Learn more about your ad...more

  • Fake News Is Nothing New

    Aug 30 2018

    On The Gist, war games are back.Hoaxes have fooled us at least since the era of P.T. Barnum, but they’re especially prevalent in our era of political disinformation. Kevin Young is the author of Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News and tells us about the racist roots of the hoax and how hoaxes often lead us to believe what we wanted to in the first place.In the Spiel, Trump shouldn’t try to critique an algorithm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visi...more

  • Gerrymandering and You

    Aug 29 2018

    On The Gist, Louis C.K. isn’t as despised as Twitter makes it seem, which is why an eventual comeback is likely.In the interview, Maria Konnikova breaks down the science of fasting, and why it’s currently associated with cancer treatments. Can it really help reduce cancer growth? And is it a useful practice for healthy individuals? Konnikova is a New Yorker contributor and the author of The Confidence Game.In the Spiel, gerrymandering is bad for democracy and great for the GOP. Learn more about ...more

  • #AbolishICE … and Then What?

    Aug 28 2018

    On The Gist, the news media reveres John McCain because he failed with grace—and wasn’t too conservative.Chances are you’ve heard #AbolishICE before. Journalist and activist Sean McElwee kick-started it and argues it’s not just the agency that needs to go down, but the criminalization of undocumented residence within American borders.In the Spiel, stupid stuff comes in threes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Crazy Rich Asians Is Important

    Aug 25 2018

    On The Gist, guest host Stephanie Foo dives into Crazy Rich Asians, speaking with friend and fellow producer Kat Chow about Asian representation in media, the inspiration to create, and a hope that this film will lead to more Asian-centered media. Then she speaks with producer and former film professor B.A. Parker about seeing your own culture depicted on screen, and how exciting it is to see stories and jokes not meant for you. In the Spiel, Stephanie considers whether America has failed her, a...more

  • Sweep the Left

    Aug 23 2018

    On The Gist, nobody move or the economy gets it, Trump says. The guys behind the left’s most irreverent podcast (Chapo Trap House) want the Democratic Party to forget about Robert Mueller and set their sights on 2020. But in the short term? They’re rooting for a blue wave. Alongside Felix Biederman and Brendan James, Thursday’s guests Matt Christman, Will Menaker, and Virgil Texas are co-authors of The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto Against Logic, Facts, and Reason.In the Spiel, when you...more

  • Don’t Touch The “I” Word

    Aug 22 2018

    On The Gist, guest host Alex Roarty thinks Sen. Elizabeth Warren has a way better message than simply “impeach Trump.”    #NeverTrump Republicans are a vanishing breed. Crooked Media’s Tim Miller is one of them, and he tells Alex that the news media’s biases favor president Trump more than they weigh him down. In the Spiel, history suggests Democrats will sweep the House in November. But don’t forget that we’re dealing with the poll-defying Donald Trump here.   Learn more about your ad choices. ...more

  • Trolls and Trump's Lies

    Aug 21 2018

    On The Gist, guest host Max Kerman considers why politicians are getting duped by Sacha Baron Cohen.Trump has lied so many times since he took office that it’s difficult for the normal person to focus on them. Luckily we’ve got Daniel Dale at the Toronto Star keeping track. Dale joins us to talk about what it’s like reporting on American politics as a Canadian, including the similarities of covering former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.In the Spiel, how to engage with trolls. Learn more about your ad c...more

  • What Happened to “America’s Mayor”?

    Aug 20 2018

    On The Gist, how will Rudy Giuliani go down in history, and in public memory?The midterm elections are looming, and the big question is how far the Democrats will go. Are they really likely to retake the House of Representatives? And how would that affect Trump’s re-election campaign in 2020? Gist guest host Steve Kornacki talks to another political statistics wiz, Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics, about why we should be wary of using probabilities to predict elections.In the Spiel, a tale of cl...more

  • Listening to Inanimate Objects

    Aug 17 2018

    On The Gist, if Trump weren’t so repulsive, would we judge his murky dealings a little more kindly?And we don’t much think about the inanimate objects in our lives, never considering the rich inner life of the lamppost, the can of Coke, or the humble pillow. But Ian Chillag knows they have stories to tell, and he gets them to speak out in his new podcast Everything Is Alive.In the Spiel, Mike talks to the guest hosts who will rule The Gist all next week. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit m...more

  • Goodbye to the Queen of Soul

    Aug 17 2018

    On The Gist, the free press.Aretha Franklin has died at 76, and she was much more than a golden voice. Slate’s Chris Molanphy recalls her talents at the piano and in the composition room, where she wrote timeless music and, with her covers, transformed songs from her own genre and beyond. (See “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Let It Be,” and, of course, “Respect.”) Molanphy is the host of the Slate podcast Hit Parade. In the Spiel, the straw ban and balloons. Learn more about your ad choices. Visi...more

  • The Heart of Reality Television

    Aug 15 2018

    On The Gist, autocracy isn’t always bad for an economy. But as Turkey shows, idiocy definitely is.Reality television has a reputation for uninhibited narcissism, ruthless competition, and terrible business pitches. But when Jon Murray created The Real World in 1992, he worked to make something complex and innovative, not a circus of humanity’s basest instincts. And in A&E’s Born This Way, Murray follows the lives of individuals with Down syndrome in Los Angeles, sharing their laughter and te...more

  • Democracy Needs a Reboot

    Aug 15 2018

    On The Gist, should news outlets halt election coverage on Election Day?“Usually, if you look at American history, we’ve kind of taken a relook at our democracy every 50 years.” And now we’re overdue, according to Jason Kander, an Army veteran and Democratic candidate for mayor of Kansas City. The big things to shake up: how we draw district lines, run primaries, and finance electoral campaigns. Kander’s book is Outside the Wire: Ten Lessons I've Learned in Everyday Courage. In the Spiel, the pr...more

  • Trump’s Pyrite Touch

    Aug 14 2018

    On The Gist, Trump is a racist? That’s not much of a scoop, Omarosa.There were plenty of Republicans standing against Donald Trump—before he won the White House. After the 2016 election, many of them traded in their values for a seat on the bandwagon. Rick Wilson isn’t among them, and he explains why in his new book Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever.In the Spiel, America’s worst kind of racism lies between microaggression and all-out ...more

  • Gist Presents: Slow Burn

    Aug 11 2018

    Mike Pesca talks with Leon Neyfakh, host of the Slate podcast Slow Burn, about season two of the hit show. Subscribe to Slow Burn here.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Venturing Into Obscurity

    Aug 10 2018

    On The Gist, “the so-called chairman of the Intelligence Committee,” Devin Nunes. Superheroes and comic books may seem ripe for parody nowadays with the constant onslaught of nerd media, but The Venture Bros. has been doing it for years. Part Jonny Quest parody, part exercise in the esoteric, this show really leans into its own quirks. Jackson Publick, one of the show’s creators, helps us understand the wonderful absurdity of The Venture Bros., with its seventh season currently airing on Adult S...more

  • On Bended Knee

    Aug 10 2018

    On The Gist, Trump’s lack of income disclosures. Colin Kaepernick took a stand in 2016 by taking a knee during the national anthem at a football game, sparking a debate about racial injustice that continues to roil. But he’s just the latest in a long line of black activist athletes that have used their status to raise awareness and protest. Howard Bryant uncovers the history of these athletes in his book The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism. In the Spie...more

  • Regulate Me

    Aug 09 2018

    On The Gist, Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani. The financial crisis of 2008 wasn’t just an American phenomenon. It was felt all across the globe, with other Western countries suffering the same pain, but enough hasn’t been done about our banks to ensure long-term stability. Will we ever be able to recover fully without a complete overhaul of the current system? Adam Tooze explores this in his new book, Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World. In the Spiel, Ohio’s special electio...more

  • The Egyptian Seesaw

    Aug 08 2018

    On The Gist, Trump’s lies and steel mills.The Arab Spring caused a major shift in Egypt in 2011, and the politics only got murkier during the military coup in 2013. But are autocrats really the best allies for the United States, or just for our current president? David Kirkpatrick explores what happened to Egypt during the Arab Spring and the military coup in his new book, Into the Hands of the Soldiers: Freedom and Chaos in Egypt and the Middle East. In the Spiel, who Trump calls stupid. Learn ...more

  • The Smart Drug

    Aug 07 2018

    On The Gist, Turkey and Trump.We’ve got another round of Is That Bullshit? Drugs treating cognitive malfunctions like narcolepsy, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s disease, are useful for people with those conditions—but what about the rest of us? Can ADHD medication make us smarter? Can narcolepsy drugs really keep us awake longer? Resident debunker Maria Konnikova explains. In the Spiel, Jay Sekulow and lawyers on television. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Where Is Space?

    Aug 03 2018

    On The Gist, guest host Jeffrey Lewis fills in for Mike and talks about trying to solve big problems.Regulating space is tough because it surrounds the whole world, and people can’t even agree where the Earth’s atmosphere stops and space begins. Jonathan McDowell, astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, thinks he has the definitive answer to where that line is. McDowell recently published “The Edge of Space: Revisiting the Karman Line” in Acta Astronautica.In the Spiel...more

  • My Life as a Sitcom

    Aug 02 2018

    On The Gist, QAnon and sound design.Comedian Guy Branum is a hilarious intellect with an intimidating amount of pop culture knowledge. In his new book, My Life as a Goddess: A Memoir Through (Un)Popular Culture, Branum explores things like his love of civics, his Northern California childhood, and his experiences writing jokes for other people.In the Spiel, we’ve got another Lobstar of the Antentwig. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Quarter for Carter

    Aug 02 2018

    On The Gist, who makes the CNN Sucks onesie?Jimmy Carter’s reputation is that of an ineffective president. But his chief domestic policy adviser, Stuart Eizenstat, argues that Carter fought for America’s energy independence, doubled the size of the national park system, and appointed “more minorities and women to judgeships and senior positions than all 38 presidents before him put together.” Eizenstat’s book is President Carter: The White House Years.In the Spiel, the local radio scandal of Joe...more

  • Courting Politics

    Jul 31 2018

    On The Gist, let’s face it: A.I. and robots are going to take jobs from us humans.Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination has restarted the debate on how we vet candidates and whether the Supreme Court is too easy to game. Lori Ringhand, a professor of law at the University of Georgia and an expert on the Supreme Court, explains how much the court has actually changed, or not, in our lifetime.In the Spiel, three theories on how this whole Mueller investigation thing is going to end. Learn mor...more

  • They’re More Bad Than We Are Good

    Jul 31 2018

    On The Gist, sorry, not every product gets to be a lifestyle brand.A few decades ago, it wasn’t uncommon for voters to support the presidential candidate from one party and the senator from another. “Ticket-splitting” is pretty rare now, and as Alan Abramowitz argues, just one of the many signs of an America divided. Abramowitz’s book is The Great Alignment Race, Party Transformation, and the Rise of Donald Trump.In the Spiel, there may well be discrimination in college admissions offices. But l...more

  • The Pushback Artist

    Jul 28 2018

    On The Gist, do we really have to give up plastic straws?Then, and more seriously: a look back on a recent episode.On Wednesday, The Gist ran an interview with Allison Yarrow about 90s Bitch, her book about sexism in the age of 24-7 news coverage. And in the Spiel, Mike offered a rebuttal of sorts with statistics on the plight of women in the ’80s versus the ’90s. It improved, didn’t it? A shrinking gender wage gap! Less domestic violence! Greater representation in the Senate! But some listeners...more

  • The Real Deep State

    Jul 27 2018

    On The Gist, the glee of seeing Facebook stock take a dive. Imran Khan is poised to lead Pakistan as its next prime minister. The former cricket star campaigned on a promise of transparency, but his focus “is only on anti-corruption when it comes to finding ways to bring down political opponents,” says Alyssa Ayres, formerly of Obama’s State Department for South Asia. Ayres is the author of Our Time Has Come: How India Is Making Its Place in the World. In the Spiel, how autocrats are starting to...more

  • Lights, Camera, Sexism

    Jul 26 2018

    On The Gist, let’s imagine what’s in that “enhanced” Michael Cohen tape.Born in the 1990s, the 24-hour news cycle was especially unkind to women. The media of the age consistently bashed women’s sexuality, ambition, and presentation of women such as Monica Lewinsky and Nancy Kerrigan (case in point: a Washington Post article that asked, “Is Nancy a bitch?”). Journalist Allison Yarrow explores this double-standard and its repercussions in her new book, 90s Bitch: Media, Culture, and the Failed Pr...more

  • The BS! It’s Everywhere!

    Jul 25 2018

    On The Gist, President Trump’s high approval ratings aren’t as significant as they seem.America is a playground for the rich, and that’s in good part be