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Honestly with Bari Weiss

English, Social, 1 season, 185 episodes, 1 day, 14 hours, 33 minutes
About
The most interesting conversations in American life now happen in private. This show is bringing them out of the closet. Stories no one else is telling and conversations with the most fascinating people in the country, every week from former New York Times and Wall Street Journal journalist Bari Weiss.
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NPR Editor Speaks Out: How National Public Radio Lost Americans' Trust

Uri Berliner is a senior business editor at NPR. In his 25 years with NPR, his work has been recognized with a Peabody Award, a Gerald Loeb Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award, and a Society of Professional Journalists New America Award, among others. Today, we published in The Free Press his firsthand account of the transformation he has witnessed at National Public Radio. Or, as Uri puts it, how it went from an organization that had an “open-minded, curious culture” with a “liberal bent” to one that is “knee-jerk, activist, scolding,” and “rigidly progressive.”  Uri describes a newsroom that aimed less to cover Donald Trump but instead veered towards efforts to topple him; a newsroom that reported the Russia collusion story without enough skepticism or fairness, and then later largely ignored the fact that the Mueller report found no credible evidence of collusion; a newsroom that purposefully ignored the Hunter Biden laptop story—in fact, one of his fellow NPR journalists approved of ignoring the laptop story because “covering it could help Trump.” A newsroom that put political ideology before journalism in its coverage of Covid-19. And, he describes a newsroom where race and identity became paramount in every aspect of the workplace and diversity became its north star.  In other words, NPR is not considering all things anymore.  On today’s episode: How did NPR lose its way? Why did it change? And why does this lone journalist feel obligated to speak out? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/9/202449 minutes, 53 seconds
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How the Working Class Became America’s Second Class

On Election Night 2016, many of us thought we knew who would be the next president of the United States. We were blindsided when Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump. Legacy media quickly scrambled to explain what had happened. They ultimately arrived at an explanation: Trump’s voters were racist, xenophobic conspiracy theorists, and possibly even proto-fascists. That wasn’t quite right. My guest today, Newsweek opinion editor Batya Ungar-Sargon, has been on a journey for the past eight years to understand how Trump won the White House in 2016 and how the left fundamentally misunderstood the American working class. She eventually came to the conclusion that the most salient feature of American life is not our political divide. It’s “the class divide that separates the college-educated from the working class.”  Democrats have historically been the party of the working class. But for the better part of the past decade, Democrats have seen their support among working-class voters tumble. Policy wonks and demographic experts kept saying just wait: the future of the Democratic party is a multiethnic, multiracial, working-class coalition. But that didn’t pan out.  Instead, in 2016, Trump carried 54 percent of voters with family incomes of $30,000 to $50,000; 44 percent of voters with family incomes under $50,000; and nearly 40 percent of union workers voted for Trump—the highest for a Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan in 1984. Meanwhile, in 2022, Democrats had a 15-point deficit among working-class voters but a 14-point advantage among college-educated voters. In order to understand how and why this happened, Batya decided to spend the last year traveling the country talking to working-class Americans. Who are they? Do they still have a fair shot at the American dream? What do they think about their chances to secure the hallmarks of a middle-class life?  She collected these stories in her new book: Second Class: How the Elites Betrayed America’s Working Men and Women. What she found is that for many of them, the American dream felt dead.  Today, Batya discusses who really represents the working class; why she thinks America has broken its contract with the working class; how we reinstate our commitment to them; and what will happen in 2024 if we don’t. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/2/20241 hour, 7 minutes, 25 seconds
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Why an Eco-warrior Left the Movement—and Became a Christian

If the First Industrial Revolution used water and steam to fundamentally change the nature of work, the current industrial revolution—the disruption of automation, information, the internet, and now AI—is transforming everything about the way we work, connect, and interact with the natural world.  These changes have largely been regarded as a net good. After all, poverty across the world has fallen precipitously in the last 100 years. Life expectancy has nearly doubled. Literacy is four times higher. Hunger, malnutrition, war—all down. All good things. But today’s guest, writer Paul Kingsnorth, thinks that the way in which this progress has been achieved is detrimental not only to the environment but to our own mental and physical well-being—and that underneath the extreme wealth built by human society is a massive sense of human and spiritual loss. Paul is someone who has gone through a profound transformation over the past decade, and in a very public way. He was once considered one of the West’s most radical and prominent environmentalists—even chaining himself to a bridge in protest of road construction and leading The Ecologist, a left-wing environmental magazine. But he became disillusioned with an environmental movement that he says became obsessed with cutting carbon emissions by any means, and getting captured by commercial interests in the process. Paul and his family eventually left urban England to live off the land in rural Ireland, where they currently grow their own food and the children are homeschooled.  One more thing of note this Easter week: Paul converted from a practicing Buddhist and Wiccan to an Orthodox Christian—which is about as traditional as it gets. As you’ll hear in this conversation, Paul explains why he intentionally “regressed.” In short: in our modern, hyper-connected, tech-obsessed world—what he calls “the age of the machine”—Paul and his family are trying to live wildly. We talk about what that looks like for him, and for any of us trying to be free; we talk about how the left has strayed from its original principles; why the West has abandoned God; and how to fight every day to live. . . simply. And for more of Paul’s work, check out some of our favorite essays: “The Cross and the Machine,” “The View from the Cave,” and “The Vaccine Moment, Part One” and “The Vaccine Moment, Part Two.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/28/20241 hour, 23 minutes, 25 seconds
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Jonathan Haidt: Smartphones Rewired Childhood. Here's How to Fix It.

Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has been explaining the human condition to us better than anyone else. He first did it with his book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, which explored why people were so passionately divided over politics and religion, and argued that people are fundamentally religiously inclined creatures. Then, he did it again with The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, which laid out why kids today—especially on college campuses—have become so intolerant of opinions that conflict with their own. Now, he’s done it once more with his new book, The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness. This time, Haidt explains what so many parents have been confused by for the last decade: Why are kids today more anxious than ever, more depressed than ever, more risk-averse than ever, lonelier than ever, and less social than ever? It’s pretty simple, Haidt argues: We changed childhood. The mass migration of childhood, Haidt says, from the real world to the virtual world has completely changed what it means to be a kid. By replacing free and independent play and quality time with friends with the isolation of screens and phones, we instigated what he calls the “Great Rewiring of Childhood.” What resulted, he argues, is a childhood that is “more sedentary, solitary, virtual, and incompatible with healthy human development.” Today, Haidt explains how this massive change happened, its detrimental effects on kids, and what actions we can take—both in our own lives and legislatively—in order to reverse course and free the anxious generation. The Free Press earns a commission from any purchases made through Bookshop.org links in this article. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/26/20241 hour, 14 minutes, 55 seconds
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The Free Press in Israel Part 3: The Gathering Storm

Today, we close out the Israel series with a conversation with the journalist Haviv Rettig Gur, who is one of the most important and insightful writers of our time on Israel and the Middle East. We talk about many things, including: the uncertain future for Israelis, for Palestinians, and for Jews around the world; the larger fight happening within Islam that this war represents; what progressives in the West don’t understand about that fight, or about the Middle East more generally; and why ordinary Americans need to understand that history has not ended—and that we’re still very much living inside it. Today, Part 3 of The Free Press in Israel: The Gathering Storm.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/21/20241 hour, 12 minutes, 26 seconds
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The Free Press in Israel Part 2: Shattered Illusions

When we went to Israel, we tried tirelessly to get into Gaza but Israel’s counteroffensive made it impossible for us to go to the strip during those days. Instead, we spent time in and around the West Bank. First, we went to the Qalandia checkpoint, one of the biggest in Israel, where tens of thousands of Palestinians cross from the West Bank into East Jerusalem daily. Then, we went to the key Palestinian political and cultural center of Ramallah. We wanted to hear the unfiltered voices of ordinary Palestinians and ask them what they think about October 7, about the ongoing war, and about the prospect of two states between the river and the sea. If you grew up attached to the idea of a two-state solution, what you'll hear is surprising. Over and over, people told us they supported the events of October 7. At the same time, our week in Israel revealed something else surprising about this place, and that’s how cohesive Israeli society has become, even and including among Israel's 20 percent Arab minority.  In this episode, you’ll hear from both Palestinians in the West Bank as well as one extraordinary Muslim Israeli Arab woman, who sits on the fence between these two very different worlds—and from that unique vantage point, offers a hopeful vision for the future. Today, Part 2 of The Free Press in Israel: Shattered Illusions.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/15/20241 hour, 29 minutes, 36 seconds
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The Free Press in Israel Part 1: Running Toward Fire

What happens when a country has to ask its citizens the unthinkable: What are you willing to die for?  It’s a question that feels so outside the current American experience. When was the last time you asked yourself, What would I do if I had to fight for my home, my family, my nation? When the citizens of Israel were confronted with the worst disaster imaginable, what emerged was a level of civic obligation, duty, and sacrifice that they themselves didn’t think they were capable of. Today, Part 1 of The Free Press in Israel: Running Toward Fire. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/7/202450 minutes, 10 seconds
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Trailer: The Free Press in Israel

A few weeks ago, a team of Free Press producers and reporters arrived at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. The energy was somber and still, almost like the country and its people were frozen in time. As one mother of a hostage told us, “Every single second of our lives is trauma.” And as the journalist Gadi Taub told us, “People don’t even begin to understand the extent of this earthquake and how it will change Israel.” Since the earliest hours of October 7, we’ve been reporting on the war in Israel. We’ve published no fewer than seventy articles about it, and more than ten Honestly episodes. In other words: when we arrived in Israel, we thought we already knew all about what happened that day. But there is a difference between knowing something intellectually, and actually standing in a killing field.  The events of October 7—and the ongoing war between Israel, Hamas, and other Iranian proxies—isn’t just about another war in another faraway place. This is about the difference between democracy and tyranny, between freedom and unfreedom—in a world that seems to have lost the ability to make a distinction between the two.  As one reservist told us, “We’re doing this for the world. Hamas is an idea. It looks at you in L.A. as the enemy, not just us in Israel. We just happen to be their neighbors.”  So over the next few episodes, we’re going to bring you The FP in Israel: a special limited series about our time reporting on the ground. We hope you listen. And for more of our content from Israel, subscribe to The Free Press at thefp.com, and check out our YouTube channel, where you will find additional videos and documentaries. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/5/20245 minutes, 52 seconds
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Why the Kids Aren't Alright

American kids are the freest, most privileged kids in all of history. They are also the saddest, most anxious, depressed, and medicated generation on record. Nearly a third of teen girls say they have seriously considered suicide. For boys, that number is an alarming 14 percent.  What’s even stranger is that all of these worsening mental health outcomes for kids have coincided with a generation of parents hyper-fixated on the mental health and well-being of their children. Take, for example, the biggest parenting trend today: “gentle parenting.” Parents today are told to understand their kids’ feelings instead of punishing them when they act out. This emphasis on the importance of feelings is not just a parenting trend—it’s become an educational tool as well. “Social-emotional learning” has become a pillar in public schools across America, from kindergarten to high school. And maybe most significantly, therapy for children has been normalized. In fact, there are more kids in therapy today than ever before.  On the surface, all of these parenting and educational developments seem positive. We are told that parents and educators today are more understanding, more accepting, more empathetic, and more compassionate than ever before—which, in turn, makes wonderful children. But is that really the case? Are all of these changes—the cultural rethink, the advent of therapy culture, of gentle parenting, of teaching kids about social-emotional learning—actually making our kids better? Best-selling author Abigail Shrier says no. In her new book, Bad Therapy: Why the Kids Aren't Growing Up, Shrier argues that these changes are directly contributing to kids’ mental health decline. In other words: all of this shiny new stuff is actually making our kids worse.  Today: What’s gone wrong with American youth? What really happens to kids who get therapy but don’t actually need it? In our attempt to keep kids safe, are we failing the next generation of adults? And, if yes, how do we reverse it before it’s too late? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/27/20241 hour, 25 minutes, 41 seconds
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Two Years Later: Should America Continue to Aid Ukraine? A Debate.

Two years ago, on February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. The costs of this war have been unbelievably high. Half a million Ukrainian and Russian soldiers have been either killed or wounded. In terms of cost, the U.S. alone has spent $113 billion on the war. And an aid package that includes another $60 billion for Ukraine is stuck in Congress. Americans’ changing sentiment about the war has certainly contributed to that package being in limbo. Two years ago, there was broad support for the war: 66 percent of Americans thought we needed to help Ukraine. But that view is no longer the consensus. Several polls have indicated that the majority of Americans oppose additional funding to support Ukraine. Meanwhile, the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka fell to Russian forces last weekend. The Biden administration says it’s a direct consequence of congressional inaction. Today on Honestly, a debate: Where is all of America’s aid to Ukraine going? Is Ukraine really such a clear-cut cause? Even if you believe that it is, what has all of this sacrifice gotten Ukraine—and the U.S.? Can Ukraine even win this war? What’s the endgame? And is victory in Ukraine really as important to America as many politicians claim that it is? Bret Stephens is a Pulitzer Prize-winning opinion columnist for The New York Times. His book, America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder, foresaw much of today’s world. Bret worries that the world is on the precipice of World War III. Isolationism, he argues, only contributes to global instability. Elbridge Colby is co-founder of The Marathon Initiative think tank. He served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development under President Trump, and he is the author of The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict. Colby believes the United States must make difficult defense choices in an era of great power competition. Ukraine, he argues, is not the top priority. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/22/20241 hour, 14 minutes, 58 seconds
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Alexei Navalny Died for the Truth. Tucker Carlson Fell for the Lie.

Last week, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny joined a long line of ordinary and noble people who were and are the victims of Stalinist tyranny and now Russian authoritarianism.  Just 10 days prior, Tucker Carlson interviewed Putin, Navalny’s nemesis—and soon to be murderer—in a two-hour conversation at the Kremlin. The name Alexei Navalny never came up. Then, when Carlson appeared onstage at the World Government Summit in Dubai and was asked why he hadn’t pressed Putin about Navalny, he replied: “Every leader kills people. Some kill more than others. Leadership requires killing people.” Carlson went on to talk about how wonderful the Russian capital was, how it was “so much nicer than any city in my country.” (All onstage in a country that runs on indentured servitude and sharply curbs freedom of expression, mind you.) Today, Free Press senior editor Peter Savodnik explains why Tucker Carlson—and so many on the American right—are confused about Putin’s Russia, and about what Navalny—a hero of our darkening century—died for. Putin is a warden of the deepest of deep states. So why does Carlson and his lot believe he’s worthy of admiration? And how did so many on the American right succumb to the same idiocy and myopia that grip so many progressive identitarians? The way the left and the right arrived at their own brand of anti-Americanism was different, Peter argues. But the outcome is the same: this is exactly what the Kremlin wants. For further reading on Navalny's death, check out: Alexei Navalny Lived and Died in Truth, by Bari Wiess Navalny’s Letters from the Gulag, by the Free Press Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/20/202412 minutes, 3 seconds
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Special Episode! Suzy Weiss on Dating While Problematic

Today, we’re thrilled to bring you not Honestly with Bari Weiss, but maybe something even better: Blocked and Reported with Suzy Weiss! If you haven’t heard of Blocked and Reported, it’s one of my very favorite shows hosted by two of my favorite journalists, Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal. The tagline for the show is “a podcast about internet nonsense,” but that undersells it. Katie and Jesse do a lot of good journalism on this show—it’s just swathed in humor and irreverence.  This week, Free Press reporter (and yes, my little sister) Suzy Weiss filled in for Jesse. You’ll remember Suzy from the Oberlin episode she reported for Honestly a while back or, more recently, from the 2024 Predictions episode she was on a few weeks ago, where she told us 2024 is going to be the year of “porridge food” and cheating. I’m biased, but anyone familiar with Suzy’s work knows that it’s funny, gonzo, and feels like something you used to read in an excellent magazine but don’t anymore. You’ll learn a lot more about her on today’s episode, including that she was the subject of controversy when she was a teenager and the freedom that experience gave her down the road. The title of this episode of Blocked and Reported is The Red House on Mississippi—in this case, the Mississippi isn’t the river, but a road in Portland. The house has been part of a movement to prevent a black family from eviction. Katie and Suzy also talk about dating while problematic and the spread of polyamory, and Suzy argues in favor of good, old-fashioned cheating—the perfect Valentine’s week topics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/15/20241 hour, 22 minutes, 13 seconds
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Economist Roland Fryer on Adversity, Race, and Refusing to Conform

A little over two years ago, in the pages of The Free Press, Pano Kanelos announced that he was starting a new university in Austin dedicated to the fearless pursuit of truth. The headline was stark: “We Can't Wait For Universities to Fix Themselves. So We're Starting a New One.” I was one of the founding trustees. The announcement generated a lot of headlines. As expected, a lot of people dunked on it. They said, “why in a country with thousands of colleges and universities do we need a new one?” They said it was fake; they said we didn’t have real students. They said it was a “cancel culture grift.”  Two years later, not only is UATX a very real university but in 2024, the school will accept 100 students in the inaugural class—students who won’t just be consumers but founders. To get a sense of what this school—and this cohort—is all about, there is no better thing to do than to listen to today’s episode: a conversation with Harvard economist Roland Fryer, recorded live last weekend in front of these prospective students. Roland Fryer is one of the most celebrated economists in the world. He is the author of more than 50 papers—on topics ranging from “the economic consequences of distinctively black names” to “racial differences in police shootings.” At 30, he became the youngest black tenured professor in Harvard's history. At 34, he won a MacArthur Genius Fellowship, followed by a John Bates Clark Medal, which is given to an economist in America under 40 who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge. But before coming to Harvard, Fryer worked at McDonalds—drive-through, not corporate.  Fryer’s life story of rapid ascent to academic celebrity status despite abandonment by his parents at a young age, and growing up in what he calls a “drug family” is incredibly inspiring in its own right. Because based on every statistic and stereotype about race and poverty in America, he should not have become the things he became. And yet he did.  He also continues to beat the odds in a world in which much of academia has become conformist. Time and time again, Fryer refuses to conform. He has one north star, and that is the pursuit of truth, come what may. The pursuit of truth no matter how unpopular the conclusion or inconvenience to his own political biases. He’s also rare in that he isn’t afraid to admit when he’s wrong, or to admit his mistakes and learn from them. This conversation was inspiring, courageous, and long overdue. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/13/20241 hour, 17 minutes, 44 seconds
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Andrew Sullivan on What He Got Wrong About Trump

For this week’s Honestly, we’re sharing a favorite episode from a favorite podcast, one you may not have heard of: UnHerd with Freddie Sayers. UnHerd’s mission is similar to ours: to push back against the herd mentality, and to provide a platform for otherwise unheard ideas, people, and places. On this episode, host Freddie Sayers talks to Andrew Sullivan, one of America's best known political observers and writers, about something very few public intellectuals are willing to talk about: what he got wrong about Trump. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/9/202438 minutes, 32 seconds
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The Real Team America

There’s increasing concern that as scary as this period feels—between Russia’s two-year war in Ukraine and Hamas’s ongoing war with Israel—that all of this will come to be seen as the calm before the storm. Should China decide to move against Taiwan in some way, then we’ll have war in three regions, and U.S. involvement in all three. Or perhaps by then it will not seem like separate wars, but a single global one.  Most Americans in the last fifty years, and certainly since the end of the Cold War, have lived in the luxury of safety. We live in a place where peace and security—crime and riots aside—are generally taken for granted. But a lot of Americans had a serious wake-up call after October 7, when a country with a high-tech security fortress was overwhelmed by terrorists on motorcycles and trucks and paragliders. Could this happen here? Who is actually coming over our border? If we had to fight for our country, who would actually show up? Today’s Honestly guests had that wake-up call long before the wars in Ukraine or Gaza. They’re investing their time, money, and resources into building a better American defense. And in the past few months especially, their work has come to be seen as prescient. Palmer Luckey is a 31-year-old software engineer and entrepreneur. At the age of 19, Palmer founded the virtual reality company Oculus, which was originally supposed to be sold on Kickstarter as a virtual reality prototype for VR nerds and enthusiasts. Instead, it was acquired by Facebook for more than $2 billion. Then, when he was 25, he founded Anduril Industries, an $8.5 billion company that develops drones, autonomous vehicles, submarines, rockets, and software for military use. Katherine Boyle is a Washington Post reporter turned venture capitalist; she is a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz and the co-founder of the firm’s American Dynamism arm, which invests in companies that build to support the national interest.  Joe Lonsdale is a co-founder of Palantir (along with Peter Thiel and others) and founder and general partner of the firm 8VC, which backed Anduril in its early days.  They are each attempting to disrupt the defense marketplace, bring Silicon Valley’s speed, creativity, and innovation to defense, advance our national security, and, you know. . . save America. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/1/20241 hour, 5 minutes, 13 seconds
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The Right Way to Fight Illiberalism: Christopher Rufo and Yascha Mounk Debate

Today, Yascha Mounk and Christopher Rufo debate the origins of DEI and the right way to fight the illiberal orthodoxy that has consumed our schools and institutions. Christopher is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a board member at New College of Florida, and maybe the country’s most influential conservative activist. He thinks that using the power of the law to stop DEI is essential.  Yascha is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and an international affairs professor at Johns Hopkins University. He thinks that while DEI—and woke ideology more broadly—is concerning, he doesn’t think the answer to its illiberalism should come in the form of bans and legislation. They both recently published books that investigate the changing cultural trends of the American left. Yascha is the author of The Identity Trap: A Story of Ideas and Power in Our Time. And Christopher’s book is America’s Cultural Revolution: How the Radical Left Conquered Everything. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/26/20241 hour, 54 minutes, 56 seconds
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Why We Still Need to Talk About America's Covid Failures

It’s been four years since the first American death from the coronavirus. Four years since we were told that wearing masks—even cloth masks—were essential to keeping us safe. The same goes for lockdowns and social distancing. Any inconvenience to society was outweighed by the lives saved.  And remember what President Biden told us after Covid vaccines were rolled out a year later? “The CDC is saying, they have concluded, that fully vaccinated people are at a very, very low risk of getting Covid-19,” Biden said in a Rose Garden press conference. We now know that so much of what we were told in those years was wrong. (Last week, Anthony Fauci admitted in closed-door congressional testimony that the six-feet apart rule was “likely not based on scientific data.”) And if the guidance wasn’t flat-out wrong, it was certainly debatable. But debate was not only discouraged—it was shut down. Respected dissident scientists were dismissed as fringe scientists. They were deplatformed on social media. For most of us, all of this seems like a lifetime ago. But the problem is that here we are, four years later; millions of Americans suffered, more than a million died, and it’s not clear we have any better understanding of what exactly went wrong. How was it that our leaders—and our economy—were so brutally underprepared for a global pandemic? That’s what today’s conversation on Honestly is about. Guest host Michael Moynihan talks to The Free Press’s own Joe Nocera about his new book, co-authored with Bethany McLean: The Big Fail: What the Pandemic Revealed About Who America Protects and Who It Leaves Behind. The Big Fail takes a critical look at what the pandemic uncovered about our leaders, our broken trust in government, and the vulnerability of the biggest economy in the world. Nocera also investigates the perverse incentives (and devastating effects) of hospital systems and nursing homes run by private equity firms. All this makes him ask: Does capitalism have its limitations when it comes to healthcare? Most importantly: Are we able to learn our lesson from the Covid pandemic and do better when the next emergency hits us? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/17/202456 minutes, 40 seconds
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The Silence of the Feminists

One hundred days ago, the world changed. October 7 has proven to be many things: the opening salvo in a brutal war between Israel and Hamas; an attack that could precipitate a broader, regional war; the beginning of a global, ongoing orgy of antisemitism; a wake-up call regarding the rot inside the West’s once-great sensemaking institutions; a possible realignment of our politics. One of the things it has also been is a test. A moral test that many in the West have failed. That test of moral conscience is a continuing one considering there are still 136 hostages in Gaza. Two of them are babies; close to 20 of them are young women. Across the Western world, these hostages have faded from view. And when it comes to the fate of the many young women abducted by Hamas and taken to Gaza, the silence from some corners has been deafening. Today on Honestly, Bari argues that the groups you would expect to care most about these women and hostages—the celebrity feminists who are always the first to speak up in times of crisis, the prominent women’s organizations who protested loudly when it came to #MeToo, Donald Trump, or Brett Kavanaugh, and the international, supposedly “nonpolitical” human rights organizations—have said and done next to nothing about the murder, kidnap, and rape of Israeli girls. What explains their silence—or worse, their downplaying or denial?  When Michelle Obama, Oprah, Malala Yousafzai, Angelina Jolie, Kim Kardashian—and the rest of the civilized world—saw the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in Nigeria by Boko Haram in April 2014, within days they took to Twitter and demanded “Bring Back Our Girls.” Why isn’t the world demanding the same now?  It’s been one hundred days in captivity: bring back our girls. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/15/202430 minutes, 37 seconds
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Can Dean Phillips Pull Off the Impossible: Defeat Joe Biden?

We're less than two weeks out from the first Democratic Primary in New Hampshire, and the mood among Democrats is grim. Joe Biden is polling behind Trump in almost every national poll. And the feeling among Democrats is well, there’s just nothing we can do about it. Enter Dean Phillips: the one lone soldier Democrat trying to make a last ditch effort to stop the 2020 rematch from hell. Dean is a moderate Democratic Congressman from Minnesota. He has political experience, but not the baggage of a long career in DC. He’s known as an incredibly bipartisan politician. He’s a philanthropist, a business magnate (who makes gelato of all things), a husband, and a father. But maybe, most importantly, he's a spry 54. By many metrics, he has what everyone claims to want in a Democratic presidential nominee. He also offers an alternative for the American voter who feels alienated by both parties. As Peter Savodnik reported this week in the FP, “nearly half of Americans today identify as independents—not necessarily because they’re centrists, or moderates, but because neither party reflects their views.” Dean believes he can win over those voters. He’s already proven he will buck the Democratic party establishment, at great personal and professional cost. (As James Carville said, Dean’s bound to be treated like a heretic in Democratic circles from here on out.) So, why is he doing this? And, can he actually pull it off? On today’s episode, a conversation with Dean Phillips about his uphill battle to knock his own party’s nominee out of the way, his motivations for running in the first place, and how the Democratic Party has gotten to this pass. We also cover his positions on issues like the border crisis, education, policing, healthcare, Israel, China, his Jewish identity and his improbable friendship with Rashida Tlaib.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/10/20241 hour, 24 minutes, 58 seconds
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What to Expect in 2024: Predictions from Niall Ferguson, Tyler Cowen, Peter Attia, John McWhorter and More

Last year was certainly eventful. 2023 brought spy balloons, Donald Trump’s indictments, the coronation of a king, the fall of a crypto prince, and no shortage of chaos in Washington, from the ousting of Kevin McCarthy to the farcical George Santos scandal. Oh and then there’s the small matter of two major wars, one in Gaza and one in Ukraine. Plus, ongoing tension between the U.S. and China. On a cheerier note, 2023 was also the year of Barbenheimer, the year when it felt like AI really arrived, and the year when the 90s were finally cool again.   But, as crazy as last year was, will the next twelve months prove that it was actually just the calm before the storm?  For many of us, 2024 begins with a distinct feeling of dread.  The Middle East grows increasingly unstable, the war in Ukraine is not going Kyiv’s way, and Xi Jinping’s rhetoric gets more bellicose by the day. Here at home, there’s the small matter of the election from hell, in which American voters face the unappetizing prospect of once again having to choose between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.  To try and figure out whether things will really be as terrible as we fear, today on Honestly Bari Weiss and FP editor Olly Wiseman are calling up some of our favorite experts to get a better sense of what’s coming down the pike.  The great Tyler Cowen looks into the economic crystal ball. Leandra Medine clues us in on fashion trends in 2024. Our very own Suzy Weiss talks through the cultural year ahead. Linguist John McWhorter looks at language. Doctor and longevity expert Peter Attia tells how to start the year healthy. Eagle-eyed political observers Nate Silver and Frank Luntz try to forecast the election. And the historian Niall Ferguson tells us whether we’re right to be having nightmares about World War III.  Some guests cheered us up, others freaked us out. All of them were a pleasure to talk to. Welcome to 2024! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/5/20241 hour, 49 minutes, 29 seconds
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Wisdom from a Teen and a Grandfather—60 Years Apart

Over the last six months, we’ve run two essay contests in The Free Press. The first was for high schoolers; we asked them to write about a problem facing American society—and how to fix it.  The second contest was for an older generation—70 years and over—and we asked them to tell a story about an event that shaped their life and helped give them wisdom or a fresh perspective.  Today, we are thrilled to bring you the winners of both of those contests. Voices of wisdom exactly 60 years apart. First, you’ll hear 17-year-old Ruby LaRocca read her winning essay, “A Constitution for Teenage Happiness.” As you’ll hear, her happiness guide involves less phones (in fact, she doesn’t own one) and more old books, less TV and more memorizing poems. Ruby is a homeschooled senior. She told us she entered the contest because she believes in our mission of finding “the people—under the radar or in the public eye—who are telling the truth.”  Then, you’ll hear Michael Tobin—a 77-year-old psychologist living in Israel—read his winning essay, “A Love Song for Deborah.” It is about grappling with his wife’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis and nearly giving in to despair—until he found the one thing that awakened her.  We hope you enjoy today’s episode, and that it moves, uplifts, inspires—and all of those other holiday spirit verbs. It sure did for us. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/25/202329 minutes, 21 seconds
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The Case of Kate Cox—and the Trouble with the Abortion Debate

Over the last month, America has been witnessing one of the biggest abortion battles in the country since the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Today, Bari shares her thoughts on the case of Kate Cox. She explains why it’s an appalling example of the cruelty of near-total abortion bans, and a tragic rebuttal to the pro-life claim that exceptions to these bans allow for a doctor and patient to make decisions in the woman’s best medical interest. And, Bari explains why she still grapples with the other side of the abortion debate—and why we all need to. For more Honestly on abortion, please listen to: Caitlin Flanagan on Why You’re Wrong—and Right—About Abortion Akhil Reed Amar on The Yale Law Professor Who Is Anti-Roe, But Pro-Choice Bethany Mandel, Katherine Mangu-Ward, and Jeffrey Rosen on America After Roe: A Roundtable  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/22/202316 minutes, 42 seconds
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Miracle in Hell: The Baby Twins Who Survived a Massacre

On October 7, Hamas terrorists stormed into the home of Hadar and Itay Berdichevsky in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, one of the Israeli communities along the Gaza border. Hadar and Itay— both 30 years old—were butchered in their own home. Miraculously, their 10-month-old twins survived. The babies were found—rescued by the IDF—14 hours later, crying in their cots. Their parents’ bodies lie in pools of blood around them. Today on Honestly, we’re talking with the twins’ aunt and uncle, Maya and Dvir Rosenfeld, who are now helping raise their orphaned twin nephews. Maya and Dvir also survived the massacre on Kfar Aza that day. They hid in their safe room for more than 24 hours with their own baby boy—holding their hands over his mouth to keep him quiet—as they heard the terrible sounds of their neighborhood being turned into a slaughterhouse around them. Maya and Dvir flew to L.A. last week to share their family’s story. They’re doing this—even in the midst of mourning the loss of family, even while trying to recover from this unspeakable terror and tragedy—because they cannot understand how there are people who either don’t know, don’t believe, or simply don’t care about what happened that day. Or about the 130 remaining hostages in Gaza. There are so many stories from October 7 that need to be told. We’ve told some of them on this show. And still, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what happened that day, of the thousands upon thousands of stories—individual, human stories of horror and tragedy—each one deserving of being shared with the world.  This one today represents a little light in a sea of darkness. These innocent babies—who will not remember the terror of October 7—represent both senseless tragedy and unbelievable bravery. Both pain and hope. Both ultimate despair and miracle beyond belief. Both death. . . and life. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/20/20231 hour, 15 minutes, 52 seconds
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A Congressional Hearing, A Resignation, and Why DEI Must End For Good

How did the congressional hearing on antisemitism last week go so awry? Was the resignation of University of Pennsylvania’s president just another cancellation, only this time on the other side of the political aisle?  How can we fix our broken universities? And what’s at stake if we don’t? Bari’s thoughts on these questions and more on today’s episode. For further reading on these topics, please check out the following pieces in The Free Press: The Ouster of Penn’s President Won’t Fix the Problem by Peter Savodnik The Treason of the Intellectuals by Niall Ferguson Even Antisemites Deserve Free Speech by Nadine Strossen and Pamela Paresky  The Things I Never Thought Possible—Until October 7 by Mathias Döpfner Claudine Gay Is Why I Never Checked the ‘Black’ Box by Eli Steele (first appeared in Newsweek) Where Free Speech Ends and Lawbreaking Begins by Ilya Shapiro  Law Students for Hamas by Aaron Sibarium How American Colleges Gave Birth to Cancel Culture by Rikki Schlott and Greg Lukianoff Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/14/202328 minutes, 50 seconds
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Why Half of American Babies are Born to Unmarried Mothers

One of the words that’s become utterly void of meaning in the last few years because of its overuse and misuse is privilege. White privilege, male privilege, able-bodied privilege, gender privilege, heterosexual privilege, even hot privilege. In these contexts, privilege is a stain, a kind of original sin meant to guilt the offending party into repenting for it at every twist and turn in their life. “Check your privilege” became a common refrain of the past decade. What all of this has done is confuse and undermine the idea of real privilege—real advantage that some situations produce over others—which, of course, really exists in this country.  But the ultimate privilege in America is not being born white or straight or male. The ultimate privilege, as Melissa Kearny argues, is being born into a household with two parents. Melissa Kearney is an economist at the University of Maryland and her new book, The Two-Parent Privilege: How Americans Stopped Getting Married and Started Falling Behind, argues that declining marriage rates in America—and the corresponding rise in children being raised in single parent households—are driving many of the country’s biggest economic problems. In the 1950s, fewer than 5 percent of babies in this country were born to unmarried mothers. Today, nearly half of all babies in America are born to unmarried mothers. Most surprising—and worrisome—is how this trend is divided along class lines, with children whose mothers don’t have a college degree being more than twice as likely—as compared to children of college-educated mothers—to live in a single parent home. Kearny asserts this is widening the economic gap in opportunities and outcomes and rendering already vulnerable populations even more vulnerable.  Many of the arguments that Kearney makes in her book are what you might call commonsensical. And yet the book has received criticism, including from those in our culture who don’t dare make judgments on issues of home and family life, perhaps because that’s long been considered to be the domain of social conservatives. But as celebrated economist and our friend Tyler Cowen said of Melissa’s book, “this could be the most important economics and policy book of the year… it’s remarkable that such a book is so needed, but it is.” The word privilege, as Melissa Kearney uses it, is not a dirty word. It is not a judgment that some people are intrinsically better or worse than others. It’s not a word meant to guilt or shame a group of people. Quite the opposite. It’s an aspirational word. It’s meant to inspire policies, programs, and changes in our social norms to even the playing field so that we can do better for all of our children. So that every child in America has the best possible chance for flourishing. That is what every child in this country deserves. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/8/20231 hour, 20 minutes, 30 seconds
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Where Have All the Democrats Gone?

In the past few decades, the Democratic Party has undergone a seismic shift. Kitchen table issues like the economy and public safety have been overshadowed by more elitist topics like identity politics, gender ideology, defunding the police, climate change, and the vaguely defined yet rigidly enforced ideology of anti-racism, which sees white supremacy as the force behind every institution in America. But while activists, lobbyists, and pundits were busy reshaping the Democratic Party, ordinary voters—including the working class, middle-class families, and ethnic minorities—were simply leaving. All of which has stranded a large group of Americans on an island, voters in the center of nowhere. Two people who have spent years thinking about how the Democratic Party lost its vision are our guests today, political analysts Ruy Teixeira and John Judis. Their new book, Where Have All the Democrats Gone?, offers up a map to help us understand how liberals lost their way. On today’s episode, guest-hosted by Michael Moynihan, Teixeira and Judis trace the influence of big money forces behind what they call the Democrats’ “shadow party,” and offer a path forward away from the radical cultural issues embraced by party elites and back to core economic issues that matter to the working class, a group that Democrats need to win back if they want to win in 2024. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/29/202344 minutes, 50 seconds
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David Sedaris: Punching Down

It’s Thanksgiving week, which for many of us means eating too much turkey and pumpkin pie. For others, it means getting into arguments with your Gen Z cousin who, in a fit of righteous rage, calls you a settler colonialist and storms out of the dining room.  Whatever your holiday may bring, we here at Honestly wanted to bring you a drop of delight from none other than the most delightful man on planet Earth: David Sedaris.  Sedaris is a humorist and author of many best-selling books: Calypso, Theft by Finding, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, Holidays on Ice, Barrel Fever. . . and most recently, Happy-Go-Lucky, which I had the privilege of talking to him about last December. It’s probably my favorite episode of all time. What makes David’s writing so unforgettable is his ability to find something meaningful and true in the utterly mundane; the way he finds humor in the most horrific moments in life; and his commitment to the lost art of making fun of ourselves.  So for today’s episode, we are thrilled to have David here to read an essay he calls “Punching Down.” It is funny, it is frank, and fair warning, if you are a parent of small children, it might also be a little bit offensive. Happy Thanksgiving. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/21/202315 minutes, 37 seconds
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Priests, Porn Stars and Public Intellectuals All Agree: Debate is Back.

When The Free Press decided to rent a theater with 1,600 seats for our first-ever live debate a few months ago, most people looked at us with a mixture of pity and concern. We would have to fill all 1,600 seats. The theater we’d booked in L.A.—not exactly a city known for its culture of public debates—was smack in the middle of downtown, where after-hours can look a little bit like San Francisco during the day. To make matters worse, we had only managed to get the place on a Wednesday night. We did it anyway. And we sold out every seat in the house. People came from all over: Vancouver, Seattle, New York, Nevada, Montana. Someone drove a retrofitted school bus from SF to hold an after-party for whoever wanted to come. There were three young priests who drove many miles to see the action, and at least one porn star who took a flight. Also in attendance: libertarian frat bros in suits; e-girls with Elf Bars; trad boys who wondered aloud if the concession popcorn had seed oil; dads who had to run out to check in with the babysitter; actors from your favorite TV shows; comedians you’ve never heard of; writers you love to hate; angry Catholics; resigned atheists; closeted Trump voters; Mormons saving themselves for marriage; young gay couples in crop tops; feminists; anti-feminists; and a whole lot of podcasters. The point is: that night, we got a sense of how diverse this community is, and holy shit, was it exciting. We learned that The FP isn’t just a newsletter and that Honestly isn’t just a podcast. We have built a community of curious people. And most importantly, we learned that debate isn’t dead. So for today’s episode, we wanted to share the full debate from that evening for those of you who couldn’t be in the theater. The proposition was this: has the sexual revolution failed?  With the hindsight that comes with half a century, four brilliant women—Sarah Haider, Grimes, Anna Khachiyan, and Louise Perry—debated whether the movement that promised women sexual equality and liberation has fulfilled its promises, or whether it has failed women. . . and maybe men too? Listen and decide for yourself. Special and huge thanks to FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, without whom this event would never have been possible. If you care about free speech, and if you believe that it’s worth defending, FIRE is an organization that should be on your radar. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/17/20231 hour, 31 minutes, 3 seconds
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You Are the Last Line of Defense

Months ago, I was asked to give a lecture at the Federalist Society’s National Lawyers Convention. It was a surprising invitation for a number of reasons. First, I am not a lawyer. Second: I am not a member of the Federalist Society—the prominent conservative and libertarian legal organization. (If the name rings a bell it’s probably because you’ve heard of it in the context of the hearings of any of the conservative justices who currently sit on the court.)  Third: If you look at the people who previously gave this particular lecture—Supreme Court Justices, Attorney Generals, people like Bill Barr, Don McGahn, and John Roberts—the idea that I would be on that list seemed nuts. But I accepted. Mostly because I was being asked to give the Barbara K. Olson lecture. Olson was 45 years old, a lawyer and a political commentator at the top of her game when she boarded American Airlines flight 77 on September 11, 2001. She was flying to Los Angeles that day so she could appear on Bill Maher’s show Politically Incorrect, and because she had changed her flight to have a birthday dinner with her husband, Ted. Barbara was murdered along with 3,000 other Americans that day. She managed to summon the composure, courage and clarity to call her husband twice in those horrifying moments before the plane slammed into the Pentagon.  Her husband, Ted Olson, has among the most impressive resumes you’ll find. But most important to me and my family: he argued in support of gay marriage in front of the Supreme Court. I had many ideas for this lecture before October 7. But after the world-transforming events of that day, I felt there was only one thing to talk about: the fight for the West. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/14/202343 minutes, 11 seconds
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Sam Harris: The Bright Line Between Good and Evil

For today’s episode, we’re thrilled to share the most recent episode of our friend Sam Harris’s podcast, Making Sense.  Moral confusion is plaguing this moment like never before. It’s everywhere: from college campuses to congress. Sam, better than almost anyone, is able to speak to that confusion, with facts, nuance and moral clarity. Importantly, he doesn’t just visit this topic with the narrow lens of this particular war between Hamas and Israel, but with a bird’s eye view of history. But according to Sam, it’s not the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that matters so much right now, but rather the history—and enduring global problem—of jihadism. And that’s what this episode is about. The episode, aptly titled, The Bright Line Between Good and Evil, is sobering, illuminating and well worth your time. Please listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/12/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 30 seconds
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Does Elon Musk Have Too Much Power?

For the longest time, when you thought about the most powerful person in the world, the person who probably came to mind was the president of the United States, the leader of the free world. But in 2023, the person who comes to mind for most people these days isn’t an elected official at all. Instead, a lot of people picture a 52-year-old civilian who, through his own determination, ambition, and sheer will, has amassed an enormous amount of wealth—more than any other person on this planet—and also an enormous amount of influence over many of the most important industries in the world, especially as we look to the future. Elon Musk’s biography is difficult to summarize, but that’s exactly what our guest today, Walter Isaacson, has spent the past two and a half years doing: outlining Elon Musk’s life to the tune of about 700 pages, in a new book simply titled Elon Musk. Isaacson is an award-winning biographer of luminaries including Henry Kissinger, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Steve Jobs, and Jennifer Doudna. But this recent undertaking has no doubt been his most complicated one to date. That’s because the man he wrote about has a story that’s very much still unfolding. In fact, when Walter Isaacson started writing the book, Musk hadn’t even purchased Twitter yet.  One of the questions that underlies the entire biography is this: What does it mean for a single man to have so much singular power? And though Walter doesn’t answer the question explicitly, we’ve all had a glimpse into exactly what it means for the world during this past month. Take, for example, how when Israel briefly cut off the internet inside of Gaza as part of their war strategy to eliminate Hamas, Elon announced that he was going to provide it himself through his company, Starlink. After widespread criticism, he posted an exploding head emoji. Then, when a commenter suggested that he must have felt pressure to provide the coverage, Elon simply responded, “yeah,” with a frowny face. Musk apparently then met with the head of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, and announced that he would, “double check with Israeli and U.S. security officials before enabling any connections.” The point, as my friend and writer Jacob Siegel put it, is that “non-state kingmakers are redefining the scope of warfare through direct intervention.” Of course, there’s also Elon’s newfound power over the information that all of us consume on X, Twitter’s new brand. It’s hard to imagine under Twitter’s previous regime that we would have had access to the raw, brutally violent footage from Hamas’s October 7 massacre. Elon’s version of Twitter, which is less censorious than the previous guard, has allowed millions of people across the globe to see—with their own eyes—exactly what Hamas did. And yet, with those loosened rules, there’s also so much genuine disinformation spread at a pace like never before. Scores of people, including elected officials like Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, are posting horrifying photos and videos of crying children from Gaza, when in reality they are photos and videos from Syria in 2013.  It has never been clearer that one man wields an enormous amount of influence over everything from social media to warfare. And the question is, should he? That’s the theme of today’s conversation.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/8/20231 hour, 24 minutes, 14 seconds
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A World Spinning Out of Control

There are a lot of experts that you may have heard on the news in the past few weeks. People who know a great deal about Hamas or Hezbollah or Iran or China or Russia—regional experts. There are also many subject matter experts who can tell us about cyber warfare or decolonization or, for example, the way that foreign governments have influenced higher education in America. All of those stories are important, but each one of those topics gives you only a slice of the whole story. What if you want to understand the whole thing? That’s when you turn to Walter Russell Mead. Mead, who is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, a professor of foreign affairs and humanities at Bard College, and the author of many profound books, is able to connect what can seem like disparate dots and pull them together to show us the big picture. That’s especially critical right now. Because despite what you read in the headlines, this isn’t just a war between a terrorist group called Hamas and a small Jewish country called Israel. This is the bleeding edge of something much more widespread that has the potential to touch the lives of every American.  Right after we recorded this conversation with Walter, Yemen declared war on Israel—with Houthi rebels firing missiles at the city of Eilat—and, in a major provocation from China, Israel was removed from Baidu Maps, China’s digital maps, late on Monday night. Though I didn’t get to talk to Walter about these discrete developments, in many ways they confirm exactly what Walter expresses in this conversation: that this war isn’t just a regional conflict. That it is representative of a world, as he puts it, “spinning out of control.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/31/20231 hour, 16 minutes, 9 seconds
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How Hamas Executed a Massacre, and How One Israeli with Nine Bullets Fought Back

It’s been almost three weeks since Hamas attacked Israel. And there are three questions that, despite having reported on it so much over the last 20 days, many people are still asking. The first is what exactly happened that day, minute by minute, and what were the battles across the south of Israel like? There are so many accounts of civilians waiting in safe-rooms for hours on end for the IDF to arrive—what happened? The second is how did it happen? How did thousands of terrorists cross a border wall that cost more than a billion dollars to carry out the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust? And the third question is what comes next in this already horrific war? Over the next two episodes of Honestly, we will answer those three questions by talking to three different people. You’ll first hear from Nimrod, a special forces reservist, who fought Hamas at several locations in the south of Israel on the morning of October 7—not because he was called by his unit to go there (he wasn't), but because he knew he needed to go save innocent civilians. His account helps paint a picture of what happened that day in Israel along the Gaza border, from a person who saw it up close and took the brutal fighting into his own hands before the army even arrived. Then you’ll hear from Avi Issacharoff, a prominent Israeli journalist who’s also one of the creators of the hit TV series Fauda, which is based on his own experience as a member of an elite undercover counterterrorism unit of the IDF. My conversation with Avi helps explain how the most fortified and militarily sophisticated country in the world could have been overtaken in the most horrific way by thousands of Hamas terrorists. In our next episode, you’ll hear from Walter Russell Mead, who I think of as one of the most prophetic foreign policy thinkers of our time. There’s no better lineup than these three people to help us make sense of what happened, how it happened, and where Israel, and the world, go from here. You’ll want to listen.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/27/20231 hour, 13 minutes, 13 seconds
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The Stories—and Stakes—of War in Israel

If you’ve been following our coverage at The Free Press, you’ve noticed that we’ve been covering the war in Israel nonstop since it began. We’ve never produced this much content in this short of a time about a single subject. Some of you might be thinking, why?  On October 7, we saw the single biggest massacre of the Jewish people since the Holocaust. But unlike the Holocaust, in which Germans tried to hide their war crimes, here we have the terrorists streaming it in real time on every social media platform across the internet. When the reports, and the videos, started circulating, we thought: surely this amount of blood and horror will be enough to shake the world awake.  And yet it wasn’t. Internationally, some of the most educated people—including students, professors, and administrators at the most elite universities in the world—have either equivocated or remained silent in the face of mass atrocities. Others, by the tens of thousands, have taken to the streets to rejoice in the terrorist attack, screaming “resistance is justified” and “glory to the martyrs.”  That is why this story matters. Because this is not just a war in a faraway land. It’s a battle for civilization. As my friend Sam Harris recently said, “There are not many bright lines that divide good and evil in our world, but this is one of them.”  This war should matter to everyone—not just Jews—who care about the future of civilization. Because if there is one lesson from history, it’s that what starts with the Jews never ends with the Jews. And societies in which the Jewish people are persecuted are societies in which no one is safe.  And that is why we will continue to report on this war with such urgency.  On today’s episode, we feature some of that reporting. You’ll hear just some of the stories of the more than three dozen Israelis we have spoken to. We talk to a woman, Shaked, who tells us that eleven of her family members—including her three- and eight-year-old niece and nephew—were taken hostage by Hamas. We talk to survivors of the Nova music festival, like Amit and Chen, who miraculously escaped—some by hiding in bushes for hours—as they watched their friends get killed, “like sheep to be slaughtered,” just next to them. We talk to a father whose son was kidnapped from the music festival, and to a mother whose daughter was killed there. We talk to a grandmother who hid in the safe room of her home for hours with her 10-day-old grandson as terrorists shot at the door.  These stories are difficult to hear. But we will keep reporting them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/18/20231 hour, 16 minutes, 8 seconds
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The New Axis of Evil: Condoleezza Rice on War in Israel and a Changed World

In the early hours of Saturday morning on October 7, Israel was invaded by Hamas terrorists by land, air, and sea, which The Free Press has been covering all week in detail. With over 1,300 Israeli civilians dead, hundreds taken hostage into Gaza, and many more in critical condition, this catastrophic and barbaric attack has been labeled “Israel’s 9/11.”  This is something former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice knows something about. After all, Secretary Rice led our nation as national security advisor on September 11. As one of the most powerful people in the world at a turning point in American history, Secretary Rice knows firsthand about leadership amid unthinkable crises. She also knows firsthand about the intractable conflicts Israel has faced for decades, having served in both her national leadership roles through five Gaza wars and crises.  Today, Secretary Rice discusses why this war is different than anything she has seen before in the region, whether the prospect for a two-state solution is over, what Iran’s role was in aiding Hamas, what Israel seeking normalization of relations with Saudi Arabia had to do with it, why America cannot afford to retreat from the world, and why Israel—and the world—will never be the same. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/13/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 45 seconds
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Bring Back My Children: An Israeli Mother's Plea

Given the war in Israel, we’re going to do something different on Honestly for a bit. Over the next few days—maybe weeks, depending on how the war develops—we’ll bring you firsthand stories from the ground as well as interviews with experts, like we did yesterday with Michael Oren. (If you haven’t yet heard that conversation, please listen.) We’re doing this so you can understand what is happening in Israel, and what the ramifications are for the region and the entire world. For today, I want to share the story of one mother who is desperate for help. Her two children, ages 12 and 16, were taken from their home by Hamas terrorists and are now being held hostage in Gaza, in God knows what conditions.  This is the story of just one mother. There are untold numbers of other mothers and fathers—and children and grandchildren, and brothers and sisters—like her right now in Israel. Hundreds of people are missing, including from her kibbutz, where, as you’ll hear, the terrorists came and took women, children, elders, and just disappeared them into Gaza. Please share this story. Share it widely. All this mother wants—all any Israeli wants right now—is to bring their loved ones home. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/9/202328 minutes, 13 seconds
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War in Israel: Michael Oren Explains How ‘Evil’ Infiltrated the Country

On October 7, Hamas terrorists streamed across the border in pickup trucks, on foot, by motorcycle, and even on paragliders. Once inside Israel, they abducted and murdered Israelis. They shot people in cars and at bus stops, they rounded up women and children into rooms like Einsatzgruppen—yes, the comparison is appropriate—and machine-gunned them. They went house to house to find and murder civilians hiding in their closets, and they dragged the bloody, dead bodies of Israelis back into Gaza where they are now being paraded, beaten, and mutilated in front of exultant crowds.  The official numbers as of this writing: 300 Israelis killed and 1,590 wounded. And dozens—maybe many more—taken hostage into Gaza. They include women, elders, and children.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyuahu called it a “black day.” He said that “what happened today has never been seen before in Israel.” Think about 9/11 and the kind of shock and terror we felt. That is the level of devastation Israel is now experiencing.  We are left with so many questions: How did this happen? Who is to blame for this catastrophic security failure? How will Israel respond? How will Israel save the hostages in Gaza? What was the extent of Iran’s involvement in this sophisticated operation? Will this change the Biden administration’s policy toward the Islamic Republic? And so many more. Some of those questions will be answered in the coming days and weeks. For today, historian and former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren helps us make sense of the unfolding crisis. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/7/202352 minutes, 52 seconds
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James Carville Says Wokeness “Is Over,” 2024 Will Be “Dangerous”—and Much More from the Democratic Political Icon

James Carville, America’s best-known Democratic political consultant, has been on the scene for a very long time and has worked on just about a thousand campaigns—he’s almost 80. But his most prominent victory was Bill Clinton’s successful run for the presidency in 1992, which was documented in the incredible D. A. Pennebaker documentary War Room. Some people watch Notting Hill as a comfort movie. For me, it’s War Room. So you can imagine my excitement when I met Carville at The Texas Tribune Festival and noticed that he was wearing the exact same iconic purple, gold, and green striped LSU polo that he wore in War Room. It was actually quite fitting, and symbolic: a whole lot has changed in American politics over the last 30 years. Carville’s style—blunt, charming, unconventional, and usually right—has not.  The people closest to Carville have other ways of describing the political icon. His former business partner, Paul Begala, has said that “James lives in a border town between genius and madness. Now that he’s rich and famous, he’s eccentric. I knew him when he was just crazy.” His wife, Mary Matalin, who is a Republican Party consultant, has said: “He really is a nut.” Our conversation—which was recorded in a room full of three hundred Rachel Maddow die-hards—covered a range of political commentary, criticism, and diagnosis: whether or not he thinks Biden is too old to run again, why he thinks Kamala Harris is treated unfairly by the press, the direction of the Democratic Party, why he thinks wokeness “is over,” and, of course, Trump and the future of America.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/4/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 12 seconds
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We're All "a Little Bit Dumber": A Night Among GOP Hopefuls

On Wednesday night, Fox Business and Rumble hosted the second Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in beautiful Simi Valley, California. Bari Weiss and The Free Press’s very own Peter Savodnik watched live in the spin room as the seven candidates—Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Nikki Haley, Mike Pence, Chris Christie, Tim Scott, and Doug Burgum— took the stage to spar over questions about union strikes, inflation, income inequality, the cost of childcare, the border, China, crime, policing, drugs, gun violence, education, Russia, Ukraine. . . really, nothing new. But of course, the man they really wanted to spar with and the man leading the polls by a landslide still refuses to play ball. So, we sent TFP reporter Michael Moynihan to check in on the elusive Donald Trump, who spent his night on the other side of the country speaking to a crowded room, which he claimed would be full of striking auto workers. (Though, Moynihan had a hard time finding them.) Trump’s Detroit visit came just one day after President Biden went to the picket line in Wayne County to march with union members outside a General Motors plant—an unprecedented move by a sitting president. On today’s episode, as the two likely 2024 candidates battled to portray themselves as the voice of blue-collar Americans, what were the seven GOP hopefuls hoping to achieve by squabbling at the Reagan Library instead of marching with striking auto workers? Who were the biggest winners and losers of this very strange tale of two cities? And with nearly 60 percent of GOP voters backing Trump, is anyone emerging as a viable Trump competitor, or is it time to face the fact that we’re tumbling toward a 2020 rematch between two very old men that no one really wants to see happen? Music in this episode by blue dot sessions Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/29/202352 minutes, 9 seconds
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Is Biden Too Old to Be President? Frank Foer Isn't Sure.

As we tumble toward 2024, anxiety among Democrats is beginning to simmer. It’s easy to understand why. Just look at what happened last week: Biden was giving a press conference in Vietnam about upgrading the country’s diplomatic ties when he started rambling: “The Indian looks at John Wayne and points to the Union soldier and says, ‘He’s a lying, dog-faced pony soldier!’ Well, there’s a lot of lying, dog-faced pony soldiers out there about global warming.” Then he said, on mic, that he was going to go to bed. A voice suddenly emerged and jazz music started to play. Biden tried to answer another question, but they cut off his mic. According to a recent CNN poll, 56 percent of Democrats are seriously concerned for Biden’s current level of physical and mental competence. Sixty-two percent of Democrats said they are seriously concerned about Biden’s ability to serve a full second term. Another poll, by AP-NORC, found that 69 percent of Democrats surveyed think Biden is too old for a second term. Among the people not yet convinced that Biden needs to be in a nursing home is Atlantic staff writer Frank Foer. Foer’s new book, The Last Politician, tells the behind-the-scenes story of Biden’s first two years in office. Foer says he started as a Biden skeptic. The incoming president was, in his estimation, a bloviator who dangerously fetishized bipartisanship. But he emerges some 400 pages later with a rather more charitable view of the president. Biden is “the father figure of the West,” someone deeply experienced in foreign policy and racking up policy victories at home. Biden, he writes, “is an instructive example of the tedious nobility of the political vocation. Unheroic but honorably human. He will be remembered as the old hack who could.” But. . . why doesn’t that come through to the public? Will Americans buy that narrative of Joe Biden in 2024? What of Hunter Biden’s legal troubles? The impeachment inquiry? What should we make of the many Biden alternatives eagerly waiting in the wings, and what would it take for one of them to step forward? And is America’s gerontocratic elite a fundamental challenge for American democracy? Those questions, and more, on today's episode, guest hosted by Michael Moynihan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/21/20231 hour, 12 minutes, 6 seconds
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Replay: Why Leonard Cohen Ran Toward War

In 1973, Leonard Cohen announced he was done with music for good. The same year, in October, war broke out in Israel. The Yom Kippur War would become the bloodiest in Israel’s young history—and Cohen was there to witness it. As the war broke out, he left his home on the Greek island of Hydra to fly into the warzone. Leonard Cohen never said much about why he went to the front. What we know is that in the months that followed, he would write “Who By Fire.” Five decades later, on Spotify and in synagogue, you can still hear the echoes of this trip. So what was it that happened in the desert in October of 1973 between this depressed musician and these too young soldiers going off to battle? How did it remake Leonard Cohen? How did it transform those who heard him play? And how did the war transform Israel itself? Those are just some of the questions Matti Friedman explains in his beautiful book Who By Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai. This episode aired last year on Honestly, and we’re thrilled to reshare it with you today, as we approach the 50 year anniversary of the war that remade a country—and one searching folk star.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/17/20231 hour, 22 minutes, 25 seconds
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What We're Listening To: Does Anyone Have a Right To Sex?

This week, while our audio team is on summer break, we’re featuring an episode from one of our favorite podcasts: Conversations with Tyler, hosted by the wonderful Tyler Cowen. It’s a conversation with philosopher Amia Srinivasan about her book, The Right to Sex: Feminism in the Twenty-First Century. They debate questions such as: do we have a “right” to be desired? How are our sexual desires shaped by the society around us? Is consent sufficient for a sexual relationship? How should we address falling fertility rates? What did women learn about egalitarianism during the pandemic? Why, according to her, progress requires regress. And much, much more. . .  The episode received a lot of attention and reactions, for reasons you’ll understand when you listen to it. Most importantly, it’s contentious yet respectful in a way that I think is increasingly rare in public life. As Tyler wrote at the time, on his blog Marginal Revolution, about the conversation: “You have to learn to learn from people who bother, annoy, or frustrate you. If you do, they will not in fact bother, annoy, or frustrate you.” I couldn’t agree more. In fact, this conversation between Tyler and Amia was a big inspiration for our first-ever Free Press live debate, which is happening next week in L.A. The proposition: has the sexual revolution failed? If this conversation inspires you too, please consider buying a ticket to the event: Wednesday, September 13, at the Ace Theatre in downtown L.A. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/7/20231 hour, 11 minutes, 5 seconds
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What We're Listening To: Richard Dawkins on UnHerd

The team’s on vacation, so for this week’s Honestly, we’re sharing a favorite episode from a favorite podcast, one you may not have heard of: UnHerd with Freddie Sayers. UnHerd’s mission is similar to ours: to push back against the herd mentality, and to provide a platform for otherwise unheard ideas, people, and places. On this episode, host Freddie Sayers talks to evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins about God, people’s distrust in science and vaccines, cancel culture, aliens, romantic poetry and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/31/202358 minutes, 18 seconds
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The First GOP Debate and The Elephant Not In The Room

On Wednesday night, Fox News and the streaming platform Rumble hosted the first Republican presidential debate with the eight GOP hopefuls who made the cut: North Dakota governor Doug Burgum, former governor of Arkansas Asa Hutchinson, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, former governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, former vice president Mike Pence, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.  Missing from the stage was Donald Trump, who refused to attend the debate. Instead, he sat down Tucker Carlson—a move that allowed him to flip the bird to the RNC and allowed Tucker to do the same to Fox, who fired him a few months ago. Trump’s interview with Tucker aired exclusively on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, and more than 74 million people tuned in. Here at The Free Press, we love a good debate night, and we were up until the wee hours discussing it all. So today on Honestly, TFP reporter Olivia Reingold, TFP senior editor Peter Savodnik, and Newsweek’s opinion editor Batya Ungar-Sargon are here to discuss who emerged on top? Who fell by the wayside? And did the elephant not in the room still somehow manage to dominate? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/24/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 17 seconds
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Meet Will Hurd: The Ex-CIA, Anti-Trump Republican Who Wants To Be President

If you’ve been listening to this show for the past few months, maybe even since the 2022 midterms, you probably think I sound like something of a broken record when it comes to my advice for politicians today. Again and again, I’ve said the following: elections right now are Republicans’ to lose. Biden’s approval numbers are low—41.2 percent-—which is lower than every president at this stage of their term in the last 75 years, other than Jimmy Carter.  It seems to me that all Republicans need to do is stand still and be normal, and they’d win. (Instead, the GOP often seems more focused on Bud Light and books about gay penguins with two moms.) So when former Texas congressman Will Hurd announced he was running for president last month, I thought, at long last, a normal Republican candidate. And not just that—one with an impeccable pedigree and reputation. A Republican who has never bent the knee to Trump. A Republican who is sensible, sober, and highly respected for his bipartisanship. The kind of textbook candidate that will set your heart aflutter if you count yourself among the legions of the sane and moderate. So. . . why is Hurd polling in last place? Has my advice over the last few months been misguided? Is the Republican Party just too far gone, too changed at this point for someone as normal as Will Hurd? On today’s episode, I ask him.  Hurd spent nearly a decade as an undercover operative for the CIA in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, during the height of the war on terror. In 2010, he left the agency to start his political career and in 2014, he was elected to Congress, becoming the only black Republican on the House floor. For three consecutive terms, Hurd represented one of Texas’s most sprawling districts, a district that is two-thirds Latino and covers much of the border with Mexico, from San Antonio to El Paso.  In a profile of Hurd in The Atlantic last year, appropriately titled “Revenge of the Normal Republicans,” the reporter Tim Alberta wrote this: Will Hurd knows that “a leader can’t emerge without a movement, and a movement manifests only with the inspiration of a leader. He also knows that some people view him as uniquely qualified to meet this moment: a young, robust, eloquent man of mixed race and complete devotion to country, someone whose life is a testament to nuance and empathy and reconciliation. What Hurd doesn’t know is whether America is ready to buy what he’s selling.”  So which is it: Are Americans ready to buy what Hurd is selling? Or has that ship simply sailed? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/15/20231 hour, 18 minutes, 50 seconds
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How to Live After Your Children Die

Colin Campbell says that the way our society treats grief—and people in grief—is cruel and backward, and it needs a radical reimagining.  He, of all people, would know. Four years ago, Colin, his wife Gail, and their two teenage kids were driving to Joshua Tree, when they were T-boned by a drunk and high driver going 90 miles an hour. Colin and Gail survived. Their two children, Ruby and Hart, did not. How do you live after that nightmare? How do you support a friend, a colleague, a brother or sister, who literally does not know how to go on? Colin’s new book, Finding the Words, attempts to answer those unimaginable questions. It tells the story not only of his own pain in the weeks and months following Ruby and Hart’s death, but also breaks down our society’s misconceptions about grief, which he calls the “grief orthodoxy,” and it provides practical advice for a different kind of approach to grief—one that is more truthful, real, and connected. People say to the grieving “There are no words” because they’re scared to confront the hard conversation. As Colin writes, it “acts as a perfect conversation killer. This empty phrase immediately ends any chance of a dialogue about loss and mourning. It encapsulates all that is wrong with how our society handles grief.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/10/20231 hour, 27 minutes, 29 seconds
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Presidential Candidate Vivek Ramaswamy Wants a Second American Revolution

Vivek Ramaswamy, at 37 years old, is the first ever millennial Republican presidential candidate. He graduated from Harvard, then Yale Law School, and worked as a partner at a hedge fund before starting a successful biotech company, where he made millions. It’s an impressive background. But he lacks any political experience, so he’s not someone pundits think has a shot in the already crowded GOP primary field. And yet, somehow, his name is in the news almost every single day. His tweets are constantly going viral. And recent polling suggests that he’s hitting a nerve with the American people: it’s only August and Vivek is polling in third place, ahead of established politicians and a former vice president.  On today’s show, Vivek explains he thinks he can win the nomination and the presidency—by beating Trump by going further than Trump, and by being a kind of Trump 2.0. He talks about why he thinks we’ve lost our soul as a nation, and why he thinks we need a “second American revolution.” And—from immigration to foreign policy to dismantling the Department of Education—what a President Ramaswamy, with all of his radical proposals, would do for the country.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/1/20231 hour, 39 minutes, 49 seconds
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Are We In A Pre-War Era?

Recently, Walter Russell Mead wrote an outstanding article in Tablet titled “You Are Not Destined to Live in Quiet Times.” It’s about the paradox—and great dangers—of technological progress: “Human ingenuity has made us much safer from natural calamities. We can treat many diseases, predict storms, build dams both to prevent floods and to save water against drought, and many other fine things. Many fewer of us starve than in former times, and billions of us today enjoy better living conditions than our forebears dreamed possible. Yet if we are safer from most natural catastrophes, we are more vulnerable than ever to human-caused ones.”  Today on Honestly, Walter talks about that significant vulnerability, and why human-caused catastrophes are the most serious threat to humanity today. Walter also explains why he believes we have definitively entered a pre-war era, and what he thinks needs to change in order to get us out of it.   Walter Russell Mead is a fellow at Hudson Institute, a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, and a professor of foreign affairs and humanities at Bard College. He’s written numerous books on foreign policy, including last year’s excellent book on Israel titled The Arc of a Covenant, and he is the host of the brand-new podcast What Really Matters. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/27/20231 hour, 33 minutes, 47 seconds
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Rethinking Higher Ed with Harvard’s Former President

Last week I found myself in Sun Valley, Idaho, at a conference with a lot of big wigs. Among them was Larry Summers—an economist, the Secretary of the Treasury under Bill Clinton, and a former president of Harvard University. The timing was fortuitous. Last month, Harvard went before the Supreme Court to defend its race-based admission policies—and lost the case, thus overturning the legality of affirmative action. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that those admissions programs quote, “cannot be reconciled with the guarantees of the Equal Protection Clause” of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.   This ruling has led to a debate in American life about the future of higher education, and it’s caused many to question another admissions policy that numerous American universities have long taken for granted: legacy admissions, the policy of giving preference to college applicants whose family has already attended the school. In light of the Supreme Court ruling, legacy admissions have been scrapped at top schools including Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, and just this week at Wesleyan University. So I wanted to sit down with Larry Summers to talk about the future of American higher education, whether eliminating legacy admissions actually goes far enough, what he thinks admission departments will do in the wake of the Supreme Court decision, and what he might have done differently as president of Harvard if he could go back in time. And lastly, what makes American higher education worth saving in the first place. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/21/202343 minutes, 28 seconds
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Are We Living Through 'End Times'?

Peter Turchin is not like most historians.  For starters, he has an unusual background as an evolutionary biologist studying lemmings and mice. He says that analyzing the complexities of the natural world has allowed him to understand the most complex system of all: human society. He has pioneered a field of history that he calls cliodynamics that applies hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of historical data points to a mathematical model in order to understand the present and to predict future trends. Using these tools, Peter and his team published an article in the journal Nature in 2010 making a bold prediction. They said that economic, social, and political instability in the United States would hit a “peak” in or around the year 2020. Many of Turchin’s critics said he was crazy to make such a speculation, that it’s too hard to predict how history will progress, that the study of history is more art than science. But then came 2020. It turned out to be a massively turbulent year, one that would bring outbreaks of political violence that the U.S. hadn’t experienced in decades. It felt like complete chaos, between Covid lockdowns, mask and vaccine protests, BLM riots, and then, only six days into 2021, the storming of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.  What did Peter see that everyone else missed? Peter is the author of over 200 articles and eight books, and his fascinating new one is called End Times: Elites, Counter-Elites, and the Path of Political Disintegration. It argues that societies operate cyclically, going through golden ages and end times. And he says that we’re currently looking at the telltale signs of an imminent revolution.  On today’s show, Peter talks to us about how he studies history, what American history can tell us about our current moment, why 2024 is going to be a year to watch, and what individuals can do to change the direction of history. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/19/20231 hour, 14 minutes, 7 seconds
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When Ideology Corrupts Medicine—and How One Reporter Exposed It

Last month, Britain’s National Health Service made major news when they announced that they were banning the use of puberty blockers for children, except for those enrolled in a tightly regulated clinical trial. The decision was made after an independent review found there were “significant uncertainties” surrounding the long-term effects of these drugs, which had previously been touted as totally reversible. The announcement followed another major decision that the NHS made last year on the same subject, which was to close Britain and Wales’ only treatment center for children with gender dysphoria: the Tavistock Gender and Identity Service. The NHS found that the care provided at Tavistock, which has operated for nearly 35 years, was “not safe or viable as a long-term option for the care of young people with gender related distress.” These decisions bring the UK in sync with countries like Sweden and Norway—which have also made similar policy decisions when it comes to gender care for children. But all of those countries seem light-years away from how the United States approaches these issues.  My guest today, Hannah Barnes, has reported on this topic for years. Indeed, her reporting was the catalyst for many of these new changes. She’s here to explain what happened in the UK, and why the U.S. is so out of step with one of our strongest allies. Hannah is an award-winning investigations producer at Newsnight, one of the BBC’s flagship news programs. Her new book, Time To Think, follows the story from Tavistock’s inception to its imminent closure. It investigates how a clinic can open its doors to thousands of young patients at their most vulnerable, how it can operate for more than three decades without oversight or regulation, and how—in the words of some of the clinic’s own staff—this “medical scandal” unfolded.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/12/20231 hour, 10 minutes, 29 seconds
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Affirmative Action, Gay Rights, and Free Speech: What The Supreme Court's Rulings Mean for America

Last week, the Supreme Court handed down, as they usually do as the term comes to an end, a flurry of highly anticipated major decisions. Two of them made a lot of news: one effectively ended affirmative action in American higher education, and another ruled that a Colorado web designer could refuse to create a wedding website for a same-sex couple.  The mainstream media’s prevailing sentiment over the last week has been that these are the sorry consequences of a conservative majority court. This court overturned Roe v. Wade last year in a major setback to women’s rights; now they’ve undone decades of precedent that helped historically disadvantaged students have a chance at the American dream, and they’ve weakened gay rights.  When President Joe Biden was asked at a press conference last week whether or not this is a “rogue court,” Biden basically said yes. He muttered, “This isn’t a normal court.”   Is that true? Is this court “not normal”? Or do these decisions actually reflect a legitimate reading of the Constitution?  To help separate signal from noise and fact from hyperbole, today we have three legal experts from different sides of the political aisle to hash it out. Harry Litman is an attorney who has clerked for two Supreme Court justices, Thurgood Marshall and Anthony Kennedy. He is also a host of the podcast Talking Feds. Jeannie Suk Gersen is a professor at Harvard Law School and writer for The New Yorker. She clerked for David Souter. And Sarah Isgur is a columnist for The Dispatch and an ABC News contributor. She clerked for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and served as the Justice Department spokeswoman during the Trump administration. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/7/20231 hour, 41 minutes, 25 seconds
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Chris Christie Endorsed Trump Twice. Now He Wants To Eliminate Him.

In 2016, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was one of 17 Republicans in a crowded field trying to beat Donald Trump. We know how that movie ended. One of the hard won lessons of that primary, especially among Republicans, was that it was foolish not to unite right away behind the strongest candidate. If they had done that, perhaps Trump wouldn't have been the nominee and then the president. Yet here we are in 2023 and we seem to be watching the same movie play out in real time, with 13 Republican candidates trying, once again, to outperform Trump in a crowded field. One of those people, once again, is Chris Christie. But this time, he insists, he can write a new ending. Christie not only believes that he could win the nomination, but he believes he can win it by going toe to toe with Trump. Christie's brand is the brash, straight-talking Jersey guy, and he's more than living up to his reputation. He's been absolutely brutal in his attacks on the former president, calling Trump a “lonely, self-consumed, self-serving mirror hog,” a “petulant child,” a “bitter, angry man,” and “the cheapest S.O.B I’ve ever met.” This, as one would expect, has made him a liberal darling of sorts. At the same time, a lot of people think, too little, too late. For a long time, Christie was very much a Trump cheerleader. After Christie dropped out of the 2016 race, he was the first establishment Republican—and the first of any of the Republican governors or senators—to endorse Donald Trump, which a lot of people say helped launch Trump to the nomination. During Trump’s presidency, Christie said things about Trump like, “he’s not only a strong leader, but a caring, genuine and decent person” and “when he makes a promise, he keeps it.” On today's show, I ask Governor Christie to explain himself. I ask him why he supported Trump in 2016 and again in 2020 and what finally led him to break ranks. I also ask him about whether this kind of rejection of Trump can resonate with a Republican base who doesn't seem to have moved on from Trump or Trumpism. And last, I ask him why he wants to be president of the United States in the first place.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/29/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 55 seconds
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RFK Jr. Is Striking a Nerve. He Explains Why.

Robert Francis Kennedy Jr. is the rare Kennedy who hasn’t yet joined the family business. But at age 69—after a long career as an environmental lawyer and activist, and many years advocating against lifesaving public health programs like childhood vaccinations on the unproven claim that they cause autism—he has decided to run for President of the United States. Many voices in the mainstream have dismissed RFK Jr. as a distraction. The New York Times called him a “crank” and a “high-profile circus act.” But the polls don’t seem to agree. RFK Jr. is polling as high as 20 percent among Democratic-leaning voters. And according to one recent poll from The Economist and YouGov, RFK Jr. has the highest favorability rating among all major candidates, including Trump and Biden. A challenger to the incumbent has never won the primaries in modern political history, and RFK Jr. doesn’t seem poised to break that historical precedent. But that he’s doing this well so early tells us a lot about the current state of American politics. Namely, people are dissatisfied with the options on the table—especially Democrats, who are desperate for a Biden alternative. It also tells us something deeper about American culture right now, and what fits into the realm of acceptable conversation. RFK Jr. says things—whether about vaccines causing autism, SSRIs leading to school shootings, or the CIA killing his dad and uncle—that are described by mainstream media as disinformation and ideas that are simply beyond the pale. But his high polling suggests that many Americans are tuning in to what he has to say. And perhaps they think that we have drawn the lines of debate too narrowly. Last week, I went to Mr. Kennedy’s house to ask him why he thinks he has hit a nerve among American voters, and how he thinks he can win the nomination, and ultimately, the presidency—all without any political experience and while hanging on to the kooky opinions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/21/20231 hour, 29 minutes, 35 seconds
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How To Dad in 2023: A Roundtable With Our Favorite Fathers

Happy Father's Day! For today's episode, a conversation about fatherhood with three dads who have thought a lot about parenthood, masculinity and being a dad in a world stripped of convention. Richard Reeves is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and the author of the book Of Boys and Men about why boys and men are falling behind in so many aspects of American life. Ryan Holiday is a writer, bookstore owner, Daily Stoic and Daily Dad podcast host. Ian Rowe is a Senior fellow at American Enterprise Institute where he works on issues surrounding education and upward mobility, family formation, adoption. He’s also Chairman of the board at the Spence-Chapin adoption organization, author of the book, Agency, and cofounder of Vertex Partnership Academies, a new network of character-based International Baccalaureate high schools in the Bronx. Along with guest host Eli Lake, the four dads talk: fatherhood, marriage and if it matters anymore, what's up with "toxic masculinity," being a role model for boys, adoption, if the rules and traditions of gender are hurting today's dads or if they offer wisdom we need to re-embrace, and much more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/16/20231 hour, 58 seconds
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What Jordan Neely’s Death Tells Us About Mental Illness and Vigilantism

On May 1, 2023, a 30-year-old homeless man named Jordan Neely boarded the F train in New York City. Neely appeared to be in the midst of some kind of mental health crisis, as witnesses describe him acting aggressively, screaming that he was hungry and thirsty and that he didn’t care if he went to jail or died. A few witnesses describe feeling threatened by Neely’s behavior. Soon, a 24-year-old man named Daniel Penny, who we later learned is a former Marine, jumped forward and put Neely in a chokehold. Minutes later, Neely was dead.  Neely’s death once again stoked our culture wars and our debate about crime, homelessness, and mental illness in American cities. Was Jordan Neely a casualty of white supremacy? Was he another example of a criminal justice system that has stopped enforcing crime, thus encouraging people to take matters into their own hands? Was Jordan Neely a victim of a mental health system that has failed both its patients and society? How could we have prevented this tragedy? And how should we prevent it going forward?  To dive into these questions and more, today on Honestly we have Rafael Mangual, Jonathan Rosen, and Kat Rosenfield. Mangual is a legal policy expert at the Manhattan Institute. Rosenfield is a novelist and a columnist for Unherd. And Rosen is the author of the book The Best Minds, which examines his childhood friendship with Michael Lauder, a graduate of Yale Law School who suffered a schizophrenic break and killed his pregnant fiancée. (You can check out our previous conversation with Rosen about that tragedy here.)  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/7/202357 minutes, 41 seconds
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The Pursuit of Forever with Dr. Peter Attia

It’s almost hard to believe, but in the 1950s doctors were frequently portrayed in TV commercials for. . . cigarettes. That’s because smoking wasn’t just seen as cool and glamorous, but as an actual health-enhancing activity.  Fast-forward to today, and Americans have been sold on a dizzying number of health trends: from grapefruit diets and Weight Watchers to Pelotons and yoga. The health industry churns through information and fads faster than anyone can possibly keep up. As soon as you’re gearing up to start a juice cleanse or go on a Costco rampage for keto-friendly ingredients, a new diet, a new drug, a new piece of equipment shows up to tell you out with the old, in with the new: here is the real key to your health.  One person who consistently cuts through all that noise is Dr. Peter Attia. His new book, Outlive: The Science & Art of Longevity, is a blueprint—based on the best available science and data—for what really matters to live a healthy life. And not just a healthier one, but a longer one. Attia is a Stanford- and Johns Hopkins-educated, NIH-trained physician who is at the forefront of some of the most important conversations around health and longevity in medicine today. His work is at the center of a new industry that has been booming in Silicon Valley for the past several years. Tech giants like Jeff Bezos, Peter Thiel, Sam Altman, Larry Page, and Brian Armstrong have poured billions into start-ups that research human life extension. But Attia doesn’t think this is only for the elites of Silicon Valley. He thinks there’s a well of everyday changes—from what we eat, how we move, and how much we sleep, to scans, blood tests, and other early interventions, to our emotional health—that can give people extra years to the very short life we have here on earth. On today’s episode: what’s possible in the uncharted science of longevity? And—from our broken medical system to our truly unhealthy lifestyles—what are the major factors preventing us from living longer, healthier lives? And what makes a life worth living anyway? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/1/20231 hour, 17 minutes, 50 seconds
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Get To Know Tim Scott: The GOP’s Newest Presidential Hopeful

Earlier today, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott entered the race for President. That makes him the sixth Republican candidate to get into the race, in a crowded attempt to beat the current frontrunner, former President Donald Trump.  So for today’s episode, a rerun of my conversation with Tim Scott from last summer. As you’ll hear, Scott’s approach is fundamentally different from many of his fellow republicans in that he’s the ultimate optimist. In part, that optimism comes from his own story. Scott’s grandfather picked cotton in the segregated south. He never learned to read or write. Within two generations, without money or connections, his grandson became a U.S. senator, and today, throws his hat in to become President of the United States. Scott told me he is frustrated at all the pessimism, including from inside his own party — and he’s frustrated at the notion that America is in decline. Though I hope Scott is right, you’ll hear that I challenge him on that idea. I see very good reasons for Americans to be fed up with the state of the union and deeply worried about the future of the country. We also talked about Trump, the state of the GOP and what it’s like to be the Senate’s only black Republican. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/22/202355 minutes, 51 seconds
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Israel at 75: Miracles and Madness

Seventy-five years ago this week, the Jewish community of Palestine (known as the yishuv) gathered in the art museum of Tel Aviv—then a city of less than 200,000 inhabitants—in order to perform a resurrection. Thirty-seven people—36 men and one woman—were about to sign Israel’s Declaration of Independence, which would reestablish Jewish political sovereignty in the Holy Land for the first time since the destruction of the Second Temple 2,000 years ago. They gathered in that museum just three years after the liberation of Auschwitz, just three years after six million Jews were murdered in Europe, to establish Israel as a place where the Jewish people could at last control their own fate and destiny and safety. More than that, in the land of Israel, there was a sense—not just among religious Jews, but all Jews—that they were finally going home. The Israel of the early days—poor, socialist, secular, where food rationing was the norm— feels so far away. Now, Israel is an economic superpower, a world leader in high tech. And the socialist left that built the country has given way to a political right that dominates the Jewish state. But throughout its 75 years, Israel has always prided itself on being the world’s only Jewish democracy. A liberal democracy in a sea of undemocratic regimes. Now, hundreds of thousands of Israelis are worried that that identity—an identity that Israelis pride themselves on and have defended since its existence—is in danger. They’ve been taking to the streets, night after night for the past five months, with Israeli flags in their hands chanting and demanding one thing: “democratya.” Democracy. One of those people is my guest today, Daniel Gordis: rabbi, academic, American Israeli, and author of eight books, including the just published Impossible Takes Longer: 75 Years After Its Creation, Has Israel Fulfilled Its Founders’ Dreams? On today’s episode, Danny helps us make sense of this complicated, tumultuous, beautiful, often indecipherable place: What did Israel’s founders want for the country? Has their promise been fulfilled? How did the Jewish people manage to become a world economic powerhouse after two in every three European Jews had been slaughtered? And in light of the ongoing political turmoil, what does the future of this small, miraculous country—both Jewish and democratic—hold? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/17/20231 hour, 36 minutes, 13 seconds
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America Needs a Self-Help Book. Tim Urban's Got One.

A few years ago, writer and cartoonist Tim Urban started becoming troubled by what he saw going on in the world around him. He noticed that while technology was progressing in unbelievable ways—people were going to space on private rocket ships and computers were the size of Starbucks coffee cups—it seemed like people were unhappier than ever before. We were petty. We were turning against each other. We were tribal. And he noticed that the very things that had allowed for unbelievable technological progress—things like democracy, liberalism, and humanism—were under siege. Why was everything such a mess? When did things get so tribal? And why do humans do this stuff to each other? Urban’s new book, What's Our Problem? A Self-Help Book for Societies, is an answer to those questions and more. Like his other work on his blog, Wait But Why, Urban uses comically simple drawings, stick figures, and charts, to make the most complex and profound questions that humans face tangible and affecting. In this book, Urban looks back at hundreds of thousands of years of history and explains how we are now living through more change, more rapidly, than at any other time—the stakes of that are almost too high to comprehend—but what he argues is that the danger we face in the end is not global warming. It’s not an asteroid racing toward Earth. It’s not an impending alien invasion. It’s ourselves. On today’s episode, Tim Urban explains how we got ourselves into this mess, and how we can also get ourselves out of it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/12/20231 hour, 16 minutes, 7 seconds
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Peter Thiel Says America Has Bigger Problems Than Wokeness

Peter Thiel doesn’t shy away from taking big bets. From Facebook (he was the company’s first outside investor) to Gawker (he successfully conspired to put the website out of business) and, of course, to Trump (he threw his support behind the nominee in 2016). Unlike many in the Silicon Valley set, who often say the popular thing in public and the thing they actually believe behind closed doors, Thiel has used his voice and his fortune to steer the country in the direction he believes is right—despite tremendous blowback. That was true in last year’s midterms, when Thiel threw his support behind two anti-establishment Republican candidates: Arizona’s Blake Masters and Ohio’s JD Vance.  But the billionaire entrepreneur and investor tells me in this conversation that he’s changing course. When I asked him who he’d back in 2024, he demurred. He says he’s decided to step away from supporting select politicians and instead is urging the political right to shift its focus from the culture wars to issues he believes matters more: like economic growth and tech innovation.  We cover a lot in this conversation. Why does Thiel believe that Democrats are the evil party and Republicans are the stupid party? Why is our infrastructure so far behind other nations? And why are Americans so impressed by the apps on our phones instead of dreaming of the next Sputnik? Also: A.I., China, TikTok, Twitter, the right way to defeat what Elon Musk musk calls the “woke mind virus” and what Thiel’s going to bet on next. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/3/20231 hour, 20 minutes, 43 seconds
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AI With Sam Altman: The End of The World? Or The Dawn of a New One?

Just six months ago, few outside of Silicon Valley had heard of OpenAI, the company that makes the artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT. Now, this application is used daily by over 100 million users, and some of those people use it more often than Google. Within just months of its release, it has become the fastest-growing app in history. ChatGPT can write essays and code. It can ace the bar exam, write poems and song lyrics, and summarize emails. It can give advice, scour the internet for information, and diagnose an illness given a set of blood results, all in a matter of seconds. And all of the responses it generates are eerily similar to those of an actual human being.  For many people, it feels like we’re on the brink of something world-changing. That the technology that powers ChatGPT, and the emergent AI revolution more broadly, will be the most critical and rapid societal transformation in the history of the world to date. If that sounds like hyperbole, don’t take it from me: Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai said AI’s impact will be more profound than the discovery of fire. Computer scientist and Coursera co-founder Andrew Ng said AI is the new electricity. Some say it’s the new printing press. Others say it’s more like the invention of the wheel, or the airplane. Many predict the AI revolution will make the internet seem like a small step. And just last month, The Atlantic ran a story comparing AI to nuclear weapons. But there’s a flip side to all of this optimism, and it’s a dark one. Many smart people believe that AI could make human beings obsolete. Thousands of brilliant technologists—people like Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak—are so concerned about this software that last month they called for an immediate pause on training any AI systems more powerful than the current version of ChatGPT. One of the pioneers of AI, Eliezer Yudkowsky, claims that if AI continues on its current trajectory, it will destroy life on Earth as we know it. He recently wrote, “If somebody builds a too-powerful AI, under present conditions, I expect that every single member of the human species and all biological life on Earth dies shortly thereafter.” Which is it? Is AI the end of the world? Or the dawn of a new one? To answer that question for us today: Sam Altman. Sam is the co-founder and CEO of OpenAI, the company that makes ChatGPT, which makes him arguably one of the most powerful people in Silicon Valley, and if you believe the hype about AI, the world. I ask him: is the technology that powers ChatGPT going to fundamentally transform life on Earth as we know it? In what ways? How will AI affect our basic humanity, our jobs, our understanding of intelligence, our relationships? And are the people in charge of this powerful technology, people like himself, ready for the responsibility? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/27/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 55 seconds
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‘My Friend’s Descent into Madness and Bloodshed’: An American Tragedy

Jonathan Rosen has spent the last few years trying to understand the story of his closest childhood friend, Michael Laudor.  Michael Laudor was, by all accounts, a genius. Maybe even a prodigy. Academically, he excelled beyond belief. Things that are hard for most young students, like reading and comprehending large volumes of material, came easily for him. His charm was infectious, and seemed to immediately attract the attention of any room he entered. As he navigated young adulthood and college, and eventually law school at Yale, one thing was clear: everyone was drawn to Michael. Then Michael did something unimaginable: he killed his fiancée.   The tragedy of Michael’s story is captured in Jonathan’s new book, The Best Minds: A Story of Friendship, Madness, and the Tragedy of Good Intentions. It’s a breathtaking account of friendship, the harrowing and insidious nature of mental illness as it takes over someone’s life, and most of all, it investigates the invisible forces—cultural, political, and ideological—that shaped Michael’s terrible fortune, and America’s ongoing failure to get people like Michael the help that they so desperately need.  On today’s episode, Jonathan shares this personal story of extreme tragedy. Which is also, as we discuss, an American tragedy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/19/20231 hour, 40 minutes, 2 seconds
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Our Favorite Passover Conversation

The Exodus—the story of the Israelites’ freedom from Egyptian slavery 3,000 years ago—is the ultimate story of freedom. And not just for Jews. But for people seeking liberation from subjugation in so many other times and places. Including here in America.  From the founding fathers, to abolitionists like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglas, to presidents like Lincoln and leaders like Martin Luther King Jr, the themes and symbols and moral truths of the Exodus story have been at the core of how Americans seeking freedom from tyranny have seen themselves. One could argue that without the Exodus there might be no America. To make that case last Passover—and to take us on a tour of the way the Exodus has been used throughout American history—we talked to Rabbi Meir Soloviechik, who teaches at Yeshiva University and helms the oldest synagogue in the United States. We loved the conversation so much that we wanted to share it again this year. You don’t need to be a believer to love this episode. You just need to be concerned with how divided we have become, how we have lost a shared sense of reality, a shared sense of ethics, and shared stories from which we can draw universal meaning and inspiration. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/10/20231 hour, 33 seconds
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New York City Mayor Eric Adams

New York City has had a rough few years. It lost nearly four percent of its population during the pandemic. There was a historic crime surge, particularly violent crime. Buildings were empty as people continued to work from home. Pundits all over the world declared New York City “over.” Into that breach, last year, stepped a new mayor: Eric Adams. He’s the kid raised in a rat-infested tenement in Bushwick, beaten up by police as a teen, who later became a cop himself. He’s tough on crime, but also critical of police brutality. He’s the health nut who makes his own vegan ice cream, but who also likes to go out on the town. But above all else, he’s the mayor who’s tried-and-true New York City.  Adams was elected on the promise of not just bringing back New York, but of reviving an old kind of Democrat that today feels like an endangered species: a practical, personable, no-bullshit type of politician. As one congressman put it: “He’s an antidote to the party’s likeability problem.” More than a year in: has Mayor Adams lived up to the hype? Today, has Mayor Adams fulfilled his promise to make the city safer? How will he address massive educational setbacks in public schools? Does New York City risk becoming like San Francisco? What does he really think of AOC? And is his brand of politics winnable nationally for the Democrats?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/3/202339 minutes, 15 seconds
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Rick Rubin Says Trust Your Gut, Not Your Audience

People don’t usually think about Adele in the same breath as Johnny Cash. The Beastie Boys in the same breath as Jay-Z. Justin Bieber and Slayer. Neil Young and Lady Gaga. The Dixie Chicks and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But all of these iconic artists have a single person in common: producer Rick Rubin. Ever since Rubin created Def Jam Recordings from his college dorm room forty years ago and helped launch the global phenomenon that is hip hop, Rubin has produced some of the world’s most popular records. If you look at his discography, it’s almost unbelievable. Rubin works on up to ten records a year, and has become something of a high-priest of popular music.  Today, I talk to Rubin about his new book, The Creative Act: A Way of Being. We talk about what it means to be creative, how to trust your own gut, separating the art from the artist, what he thinks of growing self-censorship in our music, art and culture, and what it means to listen in an era of non-stop distraction. And to follow Rubin’s next projects, you can visit tetragrammaton.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/29/20231 hour, 12 minutes, 23 seconds
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Bank Runs, Crypto Scams and World-Transforming AI with Tyler Cowen

The last time economist Tyler Cowen was on Honestly about a year ago, inflation was the highest it had been in 40 years, gas prices were nearly $7 a gallon in many parts of the country, and Russia's invasion of Ukraine was leading to a lot of fears about breadlines and nuclear war. A lot has changed since then. Especially in the last two weeks. Today, Cowen is back on the show to once again explain: what the heck is going on with the economy!? We talk about the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, the psychology of bank runs, whether or not we’re seeing a larger banking crisis, recession anxiety, persistent inflation, a beleaguered tech industry, the seduction of crypto in this moment and the potential salvation of AI. Plus, how many hours Tyler spends on ChatGPT each day, what he thinks of his interview with Sam Bankman-Fried, how altruism is a form of power and why Silicon Valley is a scapegoat. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/21/20231 hour, 14 minutes, 1 second
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Why Men Seek Danger

When most people think about war, they think about senseless killing, brutality, violence and horror. But when journalist Sebastian Junger thinks about war — even though he has witnessed firsthand how war is all of those things — he also thinks about meaning, purpose, brotherhood and community. It's why, he posits, so many veterans actually miss war when they return home. As Junger argues, war gives people all of the things that religion aspires to impart to people and often fails. War, he says, delivers. Junger was a war correspondent for many decades. His reporting on the front lines of Afghanistan was captured in his best-selling book, War, and was made into an Academy Award winning documentary, Restrepo, which follows a platoon of U.S. soldiers in one of the bleakest, most dangerous outposts in Afghanistan. Through his raw, unfiltered, on the ground reporting, perhaps no one has done more to illuminate the full picture and reality of war. One of those realities is that men seek and need danger. They have a deep desire to prove their valor. They find community and meaning in crisis. And yet, much of the Western world lives without any kind of high-stakes, high-risk danger at all. It is, of course, a great blessing we don't live in constant crisis. But our comfort, safety and affluence, he argues, come with unexamined costs. So for today, a conversation with Sebastian Junger about reporting from the most dangerous regions of the world, his new book Freedom, what it means to be human, and how danger is inextricably tied to living a meaningful life. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/16/20231 hour, 10 minutes, 17 seconds
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Honestly Presents: The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling

Honestly presents Chapter 1 of The Witch Trails of J.K. Rowling Host Megan Phelps-Roper writes a letter to J.K. Rowling—and receives a surprising invitation in reply: the opportunity for an intimate conversation in Rowling’s Scottish home. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/10/202348 minutes, 48 seconds
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Why Nikki Haley Is Running for President

Last month, Nikki Haley announced she is running for President. Haley is someone who has consistently proven doubters wrong: she was the first female governor of South Carolina, she has never lost a race, she’s self-made, and she survived as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations during a turbulent, chaotic Trump White House without so much as a scrape. For the latter, some see her as a savvy, smart player of politics. Others see her as having dodged an important question, as she allied herself with Trump enough to stay in his good graces, but also stayed away from him just enough to appease his critics. Her position on Trump is just one of many challenges that Haley will have to face in the Republican primaries. The other big issue is that in a post-Trump political landscape, can Haley’s oldschool Republican worldview resonate with the base of the party, which is increasingly isolationist and populist? On the flip side, perhaps Haley can be a breath of fresh air for the Republican party: a normal candidate who – as the Midterms seemed to prove – voters are more than ready to support.  On today’s show, a conversation with Nikki Haley about why she’s running for president, who the Haley constituency is, how she responds to her fiercest critics (Don Lemon, we’re looking at you), her vision for the future of the country, and why she thinks she has what it takes to be the next President of the United States.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/2/20231 hour, 13 minutes, 45 seconds
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A Gen Z Religious Revival: 250 Hours of Worship in Kentucky

For the past two weeks, tens of thousands of people, most of them college students, poured into a small chapel at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. Some drove from South Carolina and Oklahoma. Others flew in from Canada and Singapore. They waited in line for hours to stand next to people they share nothing in common with except for a single conviction: God was visiting a two-stoplight town in Kentucky. Religion has been on the decline in America for years. But last year, for the first time in American history, house-of-worship membership dropped below 50%. And nowhere is the decline in religion and faith more dramatic than when you look at our youngest generation. Gen Z is the most likely generation ever to say they don’t believe in God, and they are the least religiously affiliated and the least likely to attend church. Zoomers are also a generation riddled with anxiety and depression, and inundated with nihilistic and fatalistic messages – TV shows, movies, pop songs – throughout the culture. In poll after poll, they are the generation with the least positive outlook on life. The CDC recently published a report stating that “almost 60% of female students experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness during the past year.” And yet, in this tiny chapel in Kentucky, God, faith, meaning and hope have been on full display. What moved so many young people to nonstop prayer – more than 250 hours – at a moment like this? How did this revival come to be? And why is it happening now? Today, Free Press reporter Olivia Reingold explains from the chapel at the Asbury Revival. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/22/202337 minutes, 16 seconds
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Will Ozempic Solve Obesity in America? A Debate

Ozempic, the brand name drug for a medication called semaglutide, is one of the most popular drugs on the market right now. Originally developed to treat type 2 diabetes, the injectable drug has recently boomed in popularity for its off-label use to help people lose weight... fast. Celebrities and public figures have admitted they're taking it. Instagram influencers are showing off remarkable before and after photos. It's been called "TikTok's favorite weight loss drug." As one doctor said, "we haven't seen a prescription drug with this much cocktail and dinner chatter since Viagra came to the market." But alongside the rise in Ozempic prescriptions come many questions still unknown: Who should be taking it? Is it safe for longterm use? Who is it safe for? Should children be prescribed it to treat childhood obesity, as the American Academy of Pediatrics recently advised? Is Ozempic a permanent solution to the obesity epidemic? Or is it more like a bandaid, a quick fix that does little to address the root causes of obesity? And, to that end, what is the root cause of obesity? Is it a "brain disease," as one Harvard doctor recently declared on 60 Minutes that warrants medication? Or do diet, exercise, willpower and other behavioral lifestyle choices still matter? These are questions that my guests do not agree on. Dr. Chika Anekwe is an obesity medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Vinay Prasad is a hematologist-oncologist and a professor at the University of California San Francisco. His most recent book is Malignant: How Bad Policy and Bad Evidence Harm People with Cancer. And Calley Means is a former consultant for food and Pharma companies who now works to expose their practices and instead incentive healthy food as the foundation of health policy. Today, Dr. Anekwe, Dr. Prasad, and Means debate: will Ozempic solve obesity in America? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/15/20231 hour, 18 minutes, 46 seconds
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Why 65% of Fourth Graders Can't Really Read

For many parents, the last few years have been eye-opening, as they saw the education system in America crumble under the weight of the pandemic. School closures that went on far too long, ineffective zoom school for kids as young as kindergarten, and other stringent policies that we’re still just beginning to understand the devastating effects of. But like many things during the pandemic, COVID didn’t necessarily cause these structural breakdowns as much as it exposed just how broken the system was to begin with.  Nowhere is that more clear than in our episode today about why 65% of American fourth grade kids can barely read. And about how during the pandemic, parents, for the first time, came face to face with just how bad and ineffective the reading instruction in their kids’ classrooms is and started asking questions about why. That is the subject of Emily Hanford's new podcast from American Public Media, Sold a Story, where she investigates the influential education authors who have promoted a flawed idea and a failed method for teaching reading to American kids. It’s an expose of how educators across the country came to believe in something that isn’t true and are now reckoning with the consequences – children harmed, money wasted, an education system upended.  Today, guest host Katie Herzog talks to Emily about her groundbreaking reporting and what we can do to make things right.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/10/20231 hour, 7 minutes, 17 seconds
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A Golden Age of Gurus

Over the last decade, the internet has devolved into a playground for influencers who sell and show off anything and everything you could ever imagine. But my guest today, Helen Lewis, says it isn’t all just superficial TikTok stars telling you how to properly contour your face to look like a Kardashian. Helen argues that the internet has actually become a digital revival tent, and that it’s full of new gurus. In fact, she says, we’re living in a golden age of gurus.  Helen Lewis is a writer for The Atlantic and the host of the new podcast for the BBC, The New Gurus, which explores what it means to be a 21st century guru and how the internet got completely overtaken by them. She profiles productivity hackers, dating coaches, wellness influencers, crypto bros, diversity experts, and heterodox intellectual heroes, all of whom are making a living captivating millions of people with their unconventional ideas (like drinking your own urine to get healthy or paying $5000 to go to a dinner where you’ll be told you’re racist.) So today, a conversation with Helen about why these figures are so appealing right now, what it is about our current moment that is so ripe for people to believe in the most outlandish ideas, the limits of individual experts, why we still need institutions, and what, if anything, she’s learned about fighting our worst instincts that the internet makes so easy to indulge.    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/31/20231 hour, 18 minutes, 43 seconds
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America's Role in the Holocaust: Ken Burns on The Most Important Film He Will Ever Make

Ken Burns is the most famous documentary filmmaker in America. He has made 35 films over the past 5 decades on historical and cultural subjects like the Civil War (which is the most streamed film in public television history), baseball, jazz, the Roosevelts, Jefferson, Vietnam, Benjamin Franklin, the Statue of Liberty, Muhammad Ali... and many, many more. But of his most recent film, The U.S. and The Holocaust, he said: "I will never work on a film more important than this one." Even if you've seen many movies or read many books on the Holocaust, Burns' new film, which focuses on the U.S.'s response to the worst genocide in human history—what America did and didn't do, could have done and didn't, and the way the Nazis derived inspiration from ideas popular in America at the time—is bound to both horrify and surprise. So today, on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I talk to Burns about why a filmmaker of American history takes on the Holocaust and what this dark period of history tells us about the chasm between America's ideals and our actual reality. And later, we get into an intense and rich discussion about the responsibilities of telling American history, the uses and misuses of the Holocaust as a political metaphor, and what pitfalls we face when drawing parallels between history and now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/26/20231 hour, 11 minutes, 1 second
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America’s Broken Immigration System: An Honest Debate

The debate about immigration brings out some of the deepest anxieties and biggest disagreements in America. And right now, all of it feels like it’s coming to a head. In 2022, there were over 2.76 million illegal migrant crossings at the Southwest border. That’s roughly the population of Chicago, America’s third largest city. To address this unprecedented surge, President Biden recently announced tougher restrictions and made a show of visiting the border himself.  But unlike a decade or two ago, when the immigration debate was mostly about economics, today it’s an issue that’s subsumed by the culture wars and our polarized discourse. Republican governors bus migrants to sanctuary cities and they’re called “xenophobic” and “cruel” by the left. But what happens when a Democratic governor does much the same thing, bussing migrants from Colorado to New York City and Chicago? Is it still a heartless political stunt? Or is all of this just an inevitable consequence of our broken immigration system?  So today: a debate moderated by guest host Kmele Foster between Alex Nowrasteh and Jessica Vaughan. Are current levels of immigration helping or hurting America? How do we balance humanitarian concerns with America’s economic and security needs? Should we be trying to enforce more or less restrictions at the border? And what exactly should we do to fix our immigration policies? Alex is the director of Economic and Social Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. Jessica is the director of Policy Studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank that describes themselves as “pro-immigrant but low immigration.” While Alex and Jessica couldn’t be more opposite in their approach – Alex favors free immigration, while Jessica argues for restrictionist policies – today on Honestly we look for common ground, debate the facts, and search for solutions Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/17/20231 hour, 17 minutes, 12 seconds
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Raw & Unclassified: A Friday Roundtable

From Biden getting on board the classified documents train to the raw milk revolutionaries who are skeptical of Big Dairy, today we bring you a roundtable to discuss, debate and pull apart the news of the week beyond the headlines. New York Sun columnist Eli Lake hosts this week's conversation with guests Shadi Hamid, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution and writer at The Atlantic, and Honestly's very own Bari Weiss, with a special appearance by Free Press columnist, Suzy Weiss. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/13/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 8 seconds
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Bad Moms with Emily Oster

When my wife Nellie was pregnant last year, we became obsessed with Economist Emily Oster’s book, Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong–and What You Really Need to Know. Amidst a barrage of conflicting and confusing pregnancy advice, Oster laid out the data on everything we needed to know. Despite what doctors said, sushi, cheese, and the occasional glass of wine were all okay during those nine long months. It gave us the much needed calm we needed during a time of so much uncertainty.  With her two subsequent books Cribsheet and The Family Firm, Oster popularized a new phenomenon that has defined our generation of parents: data-driven parenting. It ditches the long lists of paternalistic rules, and instead examines peer-reviewed evidence and lets parents make their own informed decisions about their kids based on risks and tradeoffs. Nowhere was the Oster mentality more front and center, and more divisive, than during Covid. She argued very early on in the pandemic for less draconian and more nuanced policies. She wrote pieces in the Atlantic like, Schools Aren’t Superspreaders and Your Unvaccinated Kids Is Like A Vaccinated Grandma, when those words were considered heresy. And while she made quite a few enemies on the left over the last few years, recently she wrote Let’s Declare A Pandemic Amnesty, and earned herself some enemies on the right as well. Today, my wife Nellie Bowles joins me to talk to Oster about why a Harvard-educated economist at Brown University decided to become a parenting guru, how she used her parenting framework to become a leading expert on pandemic policies, and the unwinnable position of… actually following the science. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/5/20231 hour, 21 minutes, 9 seconds
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A Holiday Treat with David Sedaris!

David Sedaris is a humorist and author of many best selling books: Calypso, Theft By Finding, Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, Holidays On Ice, Barrel Fever… just to name a few. He’s also one of my favorite writers of all time.  What makes Sedaris – who got his start on NPR back in 1992 with his, now famous, Santaland Diaries essay about the time he worked as a Christmas Elf at Macy’s – so mesmerizing and funny, is his ability to find something meaningful and true in the utterly mundane, the way he finds humor in the most horrific moments in life, and his commitment to the lost art of making fun of ourselves.  Nowhere is that more clear than in his newest book, Happy-Go-Lucky. Like most of his writing, it’s a book about his beloved and crazy family. But it’s also a book about some of the most contentious societal issues of the last few years. For the writer who so many think of as a public radio darling, the pages of Sedaris’ new book are not like what you find on today’s member stations. He writes about observing Black Lives Matter protests and COVID lockdowns with such candor – and without agenda or moral ideology – which results in something not only hilarious and relatable, as usual, but also extraordinarily refreshing.  So for today, if you find yourself tuning in from an overcrowded plane, a car full of bickering cousins, or maybe you miraculously get a quiet moment to yourself on a long and snowy walk, this is the perfect episode for you… and, hopefully, the perfect holiday escape. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/22/20221 hour, 20 minutes, 9 seconds
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The Twitter Files and the Future of the Democratic Party With Silicon Valley's Congressman

Ro Khanna is a progressive congressman representing California's 17th District, the wealthiest Congressional district in the U.S. He's the Silicon Valley congressman, and his constituents are the coastal elites of the elites. But if you didn't know any of that, you might think Ro Khanna is a congressman from a place like Indiana. He wants to revitalize American industry, bring manufacturing back home, and really sound the alarm on who the digital revolution has left behind. In fact, when you hear Ro Khanna make the case for the dignity of working people, the negative effects of globalization, and campaign with slogans like “​​make more stuff here,” and “buy American,” he kind of sounds like… Donald Trump. That tells you everything you need to know about our current political moment and how the old rules about what is left and what is right, and which party represents the working class is totally up for grabs. And Khanna thinks that Democrats should be dominating on these issues. On big tech, Khanna’s policies are not exactly the ones you'd imagine coming from the congressman whose neighbors are the creators of the next Googles and Facebooks. Not only does he think big tech needs to be broken up, but he also was one of the only Democrats to diverge from his party's censorious impulses, when he reached out directly to Twitter in 2020 to criticize its decision to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story, as we reported in the Twitter Files story. In an era where the Democratic Party and big tech often seem to be marching in lockstep, Khanna says, hold on. Maybe we should be skeptical of this kind of corporate power. And isn't that the core of what the Democratic Party is supposed to be about? And if not, when did that change and why? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/16/20221 hour, 8 minutes, 39 seconds
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The State of the Black-Jewish Relationship in America: A Roundtable

For the last month, Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has been all over the internet with his conspiratorial, antisemitic tirades. Most recently, he went on Alex Jones’ InfoWars show with White Nationalist Nick Fuentes and said things like, “I love Nazis” and “I see good things about Hitler.”  Last month, there was also Kyrie Irving sharing a link to a video that claimed that blacks are the real Hebrews and the Holocaust didn’t happen. There was also the Black Hebrew Israelite march outside of Barclays Center that got almost no media coverage. All of this, took place in a country where Jews still suffer the largest total number of hate crimes, year after year.  What’s happened over the last month isn’t about one celebrity or basketball player. As Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and I talked about recently, the antisemitic ideas we’ve seen in the news lately are not new in America. Especially not in black America.  Black-Jewish relations in America have a long and dynamic history, from the shared struggle during the Civil Rights movement to the horror of the Crown Heights Riots in 1991. Throughout all of it, it’s hard not to think about the outsized influence of Louis Farrakahn, often dubbed the most popular antisemite in America.  So today, an honest conversation with guests Chloe Valdary, Bret Stephens, Eli Lake and Kmele Foster about the history of these two communities in America, and how, as a society, we should respond to public figures who spew antisemitism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/9/20221 hour, 43 minutes, 43 seconds
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Bibi Netanyahu: Israel's New Prime Minister. Again.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a polarizing figure. For some, he's the ultimate defender of the State of Israel, willing to do whatever he thinks it takes to protect the one Jewish state located in the most volatile region of the world. For others, Bibi symbolizes everything that's wrong with 21st century Israel: the state's rightward turn and its never ending conflict with the Palestinians. His supporters chant “Bibi, King of Israel!” at his rallies, while at protests, his enemies call him “crime minister.” Bill Clinon said: “you should never underestimate him.” Barack Obama said he was “smart, canny, tough” but that they “did not share worldviews.” And Trump called him “the man that I did more for than any other person I dealt with” but then later, infamously “f— him.” But there's one thing that everyone can agree on: Benjamin Netanyahu is the reigning master of Israeli politics. And despite being ousted from the Prime Ministership just over a year ago, Bibi is back. For a third stint. Why is Benjamin Netanyahu the man that Israelis just can't quit? And what does it mean for Israel that he's attempting to form a government with some of the most radical, far-right parties in Israel?  Today, an interview with Prime Minister Netanyahu on the eve of his return to power and on the occasion of the publication of his book, Bibi: My Story, an autobiography about his evolution from soldier to statesman. We talked about how he draws moral lines as a leader, about the prospect of peace with the Palestinians and the prospect of peace with the Saudis, and about how he plans to uphold Israel's delicate balance between Judaism and democracy as he steps in to lead his country once more.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/30/20221 hour, 7 minutes, 12 seconds
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A Better Way to Disagree

A few months ago, I had writer Freddie deBoer on the podcast for an episode we called, “Does Glorifying Sickness Deter Healing?” We talked about his experience living with severe bipolar disorder and the dangerous ways in which mental illness has gotten wrapped up in our growing cultural obsession with identity politics. It’s almost like sickness, he argued, has become chic. We spent some of the conversation talking critically about a New York Times article by writer Daniel Bergner about a movement away from medication and more towards acceptance. A movement that replaces words like “psychosis” with “nonconsensus realities.” This article, in Freddie’s view, was exemplary of the very phenomenon he was calling out.  A lot of people responded extremely positively to my conversation with Freddie. Others, not so much. One of those people was Daniel Bergner. So I invited him on the show. Today’s episode is not just a debate about how society should handle the epidemic of mental illness. It’s a model for how to disagree with someone productively, respectively, honestly. It’s a reminder not only that it’s okay to come out of a conversation strongly disagreeing with someone, but that it’s of vital importance. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/23/20221 hour, 14 minutes, 35 seconds
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Nuclear War Games with HR McMaster

Last week, Ukraine recaptured the city of Kherson from the Russians. It was one of the most stunning victories for Ukraine since the war began eight months ago. And yet, the road ahead is long and uncertain. Just this week, Putin unleashed a heavy bombardment of missiles across Ukraine, in an attempt to destroy Ukraine's energy infrastructure. The stakes of this war are already high for Ukraine, but they are made exponentially higher – for countries across the globe – because of the looming danger of nuclear war.  Today, three star Lieutenant General HR McMaster returns to Honestly to talk about the chance of nuclear escalation, what plans our military has in place in the case of a nuclear attack on Ukraine, what a realistic end to the war might look like, how concessions will only embolden Putin, and why McMaster believes America needs to remain actively invested in this war until Putin is finally convinced that he has been defeated. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/16/20221 hour, 1 minute, 22 seconds
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The Midterms No One Saw Coming: A Postmortem

With inflation soaring, the worst crime wave in decades, and Biden’s approval rating at a pitiful 41%, everyone predicted last night’s midterm elections would be a bloodbath. It wasn’t. The red wave the Republicans were hoping for did not arrive. In fact, it was barely a red trickle. While results are still coming in, it looks like Republicans will narrowly win control of the House, and Democrats will remain in control of the Senate.  What happened? Today, journalists Mary Katharine Ham, Josh Kraushaar from Axios, Batya Ungar-Sargon from Newsweek, and Olivia Nuzzi of New York Magazine – all of whom didn’t sleep a wink last night – discuss the stunning results of the 2022 Midterms.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/9/20221 hour, 20 minutes, 28 seconds
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Who Do Voters Hate More? A Midterm Roundtable.

Less than a week out from election day, and more than 20 million people have already cast their votes – a record number of early voters for a midterm election. But it isn’t so surprising when you consider the stakes: inflation at a 40-year high, economists saying we’re heading towards a recession, and the largest crime surge across America in decades. Just to name a few small issues voters may be thinking about. Midterms are typically hard for the party in power, but President Biden’s approval numbers are among the worst for a first-term president. Given this, many are predicting a red wave. And yet, Republicans have problems of their own: candidates who spent their primaries trying to out-MAGA each other and continue to pedal election denial conspiracies, others who seem entirely unfit to serve, and, of course, since Roe v Wade was overturned this summer, many young voters, especially women, are particularly motivated this election cycle to vote against the GOP. So what’s going to happen on Tuesday? Will Democrats keep control of the Senate? The House? What races should we be watching? Could Oregon go red for the first time in decades? Today, as voters head to the ballot box, a roundtable with Mary Katharine Ham, Josh Kraushaar, and Batya Ungar-Sargon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/3/20221 hour, 40 minutes, 50 seconds
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Has Criminal Justice Reform Made Us Less Safe? A Debate.

Over the past two years, the United States has experienced the largest crime surge in decades. Aggravated assaults went up. Shoplifting went up. Domestic violence went up. Homicides went up. In 2020, the U.S. murder rate rose 30%, the largest single year increase in recorded U.S. history. And yet, the most dominant voices in the last few years, are the ones that believe our attempts to mitigate crime have been too punitive, and that the solutions lie in less people in prison and less police on the streets.  Today, guest host Kmele Foster moderates a debate with Lara Bazelon and Rafael Mangual about the state of criminal justice in America. Bazelon has spent her career advocating for criminal defendants, directs The Criminal and Juvenile Justice Clinic and The Racial Justice Clinic at the University of San Francisco School of Law, and was a federal public defender in LA. Mangual, author of Criminal Injustice, is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, where he's the head of research for the Policing and Public Safety Initiative. While Foster, Bazelon and Mangual all agree that the criminal justice system is, in many ways, broken, today they debate the particular defects, the scale of the issues, the root causes, and ultimately what we ought to do about it.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/26/20221 hour, 20 minutes, 20 seconds
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Why We Must Save Our Boys

Let’s talk about the state of men in America: For every 100 bachelor degrees awarded to women, 74 are awarded to men; among men with only a high-school education, one in three is out of the labor force; mortality from drug overdoses, suicides, and alcohol-related illnesses are almost three times higher among men than women. The list goes on. The reality is that boys and men are falling behind. And we need to do something about it. So for today, Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution, on his new book, Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male Is Struggling, Why It Matters, and What to Do About It. Guest host Mary Katharine Ham and Reeves talk about the three biggest areas where men are floundering (education, work, and home) and why truly caring about gender equality means fighting not just for women, but for men too.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/19/20221 hour, 23 minutes, 50 seconds
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How to Change Your Mind

In a world where the personal has become political, and politics has swallowed everything, the stakes of changing your mind can feel really high. To change your mind is to risk betrayal – of your people, your culture, your tribe. But there may be nothing more important to a functioning democracy than to be able to influence each other, and be influenced ourselves, on the basis of conversation. So for today’s episode: the neuroscience of belief change. It’s an interview that aired last year on The Making Sense podcast, hosted by Sam Harris. Sam Harris is a lot of things: a best-selling author, a neuroscientist and a meditation teacher. In this conversation, Sam talks with cognitive neuroscientist Jonas Kaplan about how we can be more amenable to persuasion, why we mistake emotion as evidence, wishful thinking, and how we can become more critical of ourselves as we form new opinions.  As Sam has said many times before, we only have two choices to resolve conflict as human beings: violence or conversation. To change your mind, or to be open to changing your mind, is to choose the latter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/13/20221 hour, 7 minutes, 39 seconds
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The Iranian Regime's Most Wanted Woman

Last month, a 22 year old Kurdish Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, was arrested in Tehran by the Islamic Republic's so-called morality police for not wearing her hijab correctly. Three days later, on September 16th, she died in their custody. Her death ignited a movement, as Iranians took to the streets across the country to demand change, women cutting off their hair in public and lighting their hijabs on fire. The protesters, many of whom are teenagers, have been chanting: “women, life, and freedom” and “death to the dictator.”  Perhaps no one has been a louder and more forceful voice for change in Iran than Masih Alinejad, a journalist and activist who has spent her entire adult life fighting for human rights in Iran and exposing the regime’s brutality. For this, she has paid a heavy price. The regime has accused her of being a spy for western governments. They’ve targeted her family – they arrested her brother, interrogated her mother, and forced her sister to denounce her on state television. And most recently, they tried to kill her on American soil. She has been living in a safe house ever since. None of this has deterred her. As she wrote last month, “I am not fearful of dying, because I know what I am living for.” Today, guest host Mary Katharine Ham talks to Masih about all of this – the young woman’s death that sparked the protests, what the U.S. should do to support the protests, whether or not this could really be the beginning of the end of the Islamic Republic, and why the Iranian regime wants Masih dead. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/7/20221 hour, 1 minute, 2 seconds
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From Racial Reckoning to Race Abolition

Today’s episode is borrowed from the feed of the great podcast The Fifth Column. Usually hosted by Kmele Foster, Michael Moynihan, and Matt Welch, this episode, which aired in July of 2022, features Kmele and two guests who have become elder statesmen around the persistent issue of race in America: John McWhorter and Glenn Loury.  Over the past few years McWhorter, Loury and Foster each have written, discussed and lectured exhaustively on anti-racism, the role race plays in America, and the changing meaning of the word “racism” itself. In this episode, they talk about the inadequacies of regarding people solely by their racial category, the dignity of the individual and what a future might look like if we were to abolish race all together. While all three men bring a contrarian streak to this discussion, you’ll find that they have disagreements when it comes to questions of race abolition and the so-called “Racial Reckoning” of 2020.  Loury is an economist and professor of social science at Brown University. You can listen to his interview with Bari here. McWhorter is the author of numerous books, including Talking Black and Woke Racism. He's also professor of Linguistics, Philosophy and Music at Columbia University, and a columnist at The New York Times. Since 2015 Kmele Foster has been a prominent voice in a number of discussions about race in America, including his reporting challenging the mainstream media’s verdict on Amy Cooper, better known as the Central Park Karen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/28/202254 minutes, 41 seconds
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The Great Canadian Mass Graves Hoax

Last year, The New York Times dropped a bombshell headline: “‘Horrible History’: Mass Grave of Indigenous Children Reported in Canada.” As other outlets picked up the shocking story, marches, protests and riots erupted across Canada. One former Canadian minister called it Canada’s George Floyd moment. But according to my guest today, the bombshell story about a mass grave… wasn’t true. Today, a conversation with journalist Terry Glavin about “the year of the graves,” and what the mainstream media got so, very wrong. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/22/202257 minutes, 28 seconds
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Eating Ourselves to Death

Fifteen years ago, there was a lot of talk about the obesity epidemic. In 2008, Michelle Obama started a government program called “Let’s Move!” that sought to reduce childhood obesity. You might remember the First Lady teaming up with everyone from Beyonce to Big Bird to promote exercise and better eating habits. Unfortunately, the program was largely a failure. And the obesity statistics continued to rise. 74% of Americans today are either obese or overweight. And yet, we’re no longer talking about it. The national conversation around health and weight has turned away from things like good nutrition, weight loss and the importance of physical fitness, and instead adopted phrases like “fat acceptance” and “healthy at any size.” In some circles, there’s even blanket denial that there is anything unhealthy at all about being obese.  Shaming people for being overweight is unequivocally wrong. But in our attempt to not offend, we’ve lost sight of the very real fact that there’s a problem. Americans are heavier than ever, sicker than ever, dying earlier than ever, and... it's all preventable. So today, a conversation with Dr. Casey Means, a Stanford trained physician who left the traditional medical system behind to solve the one problem that she says is going to ruin us all: bad food. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/15/20221 hour, 34 minutes, 29 seconds
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Has Freedom Failed Us? A Debate

If there is a headline to the past half-decade, it’s this: liberal democracy is under threat across the West and populist movements are on the march. There’s Brexit in the UK. There’s Viktor Orbán in Hungary. There’s Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. And in the United States, of course, there’s Donald Trump. So today: a debate. Should we be fighting to preserve liberalism, the system that prizes our individual rights and the very foundation upon which America was built? Or is the system itself the problem? It’s a high-stakes debate—the future of America and liberal democracy—and we couldn’t have two better people for this conversation: Political Science Professor and author of the book, Why Liberalism Failed, Patrick Deneen; and New York Times opinion columnist Bret Stephens. Both Bret and Patrick are what people would label “conservatives,” but there is likely more disagreement between the two of them than between the average Democrat and Republican. Bret believes the problems we see today are happening because we have lost too much of our individual freedom. Patrick, on the other hand, believes that having so much freedom has actually damaged us– that our problems are caused precisely by the system that puts individual liberty on a pedestal. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/8/20221 hour, 57 minutes, 20 seconds
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Oberlin Accused the Gibsons of Racism. Now It Owes Them $36 Million.

On November 9, 2016, the day after Trump was elected president, three students from Oberlin College were caught shoplifting wine from Gibson’s Bakery, a local staple that had been around for 137 years. Allyn Gibson, who was running the register that night, and who is white, called the cops on the three students, who were black. They fled, he chased them outside of the store, a brawl ensued and the three students were arrested.  The next day, students, along with Oberlin administrators, began protesting outside the bakery, accusing them of racism. There were signs, and a Student Senate resolution, and articles in the paper, and then, the college canceled its orders with the bakery.   Months after the three students pleaded guilty, with their business wounded and their reputation destroyed, the Gibsons decided to sue the college for libel. All said and done, the Gibsons were awarded $36 million.  So far, the school hasn’t paid a penny, continuing to appeal the decision and deny any wrongdoing. This Tuesday, the supreme court of Ohio declined Oberlin’s last appeal, which means that they can either pay, file an appeal for reconsideration, or appeal, again, to the U.S. Supreme Court. Today, an exclusive sit down with Lorna Gibson, the matriarch of the bakery, about what happens when a powerful college decides to go to battle with your family.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/1/202246 minutes, 28 seconds
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Bill Barr Calls Bullsh*t

Attorney General William Barr is only the second person in American history to lead the Justice Department twice: first under President George HW Bush and then again, three decades later, under arguably the most divisive president we’ve ever had.   Today, we talk about . . . all of it. Why he took the job in the first place; his time in the chaotic Trump White House; Russiagate; whether he regrets how he handled the Mueller investigation; and what finally pushed him to break away from the president.   We also talk about January 6; the raid on Mar-a-Lago; whether he thinks Trump will be indicted; and what he calls Trump’s “extortion” of the GOP.   Later, we discuss the rise in violent crime under his tenure; how he squares his Catholicism and his conservatism with the death penalty; why he sees militant secularism as the biggest threat to freedom; and what makes him optimistic in the face of American decline.    A frank conversation you don’t want to miss. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/25/20221 hour, 33 minutes, 9 seconds
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Larry Summers: The High Price of Getting it Right

Larry Summers is one of the most important economists in the world. He’s been the chief economist at the World Bank. He was Treasury Secretary under President Clinton. He was director of the National Economic Council under Obama. And from 2001 to 2006 he was president of Harvard. But perhaps more than anything on his resume, the thing Summers is most well-known for is his willingness to speak his mind—even if it means being the skunk at the garden party, warning about inflation when everyone else was downplaying it and publicly criticizing the Biden administration’s spending policies. And yet, Summers is somehow the skunk that everyone–particularly the very administration he’s been critical of–wants to stick around. Summers has been a force behind the scenes on the Inflation Reduction Act—the massive climate, health and tax bill signed into law by President Biden this week. He also worked behind the scenes to get Joe Manchin—who earlier this summer said he would not vote for the bill—to reverse course. (Read more about that here.) Today a conversation with Larry Summers about the state of the economy, how we can turn it around, and whether or not the new law will actually reduce inflation. He also sounds off on the future of higher education and what he calls “the new McCarthyism.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/18/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 35 seconds
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We Ignored Salman Rushdie’s Warning

We live in a culture in which many people believe that words are violence. In this, they have much in common with Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who issued the first fatwa against Salman Rushdie in 1989, and with Hadi Matar, the 24-year-old who stabbed the novelist in the neck on a stage in Western New York.  Today, as Rushdie recovers from his injuries, reflections from Bari on the profound impact that the words are violence crowd has had on our culture. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/16/202218 minutes, 35 seconds
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The Senate’s Only Black Republican Says: Stop Being Pessimistic

Tim Scott is a rare bird: He is the only black Republican in the Senate. But the quality that makes him arguably more unique at the moment is his optimism. Much of that optimism comes from his own story. Scott’s grandfather picked cotton in the segregated south. He never learned to read or write. Within two generations, without money or connections, his grandson became a U.S. senator from South Carolina. Scott is frustrated at all the pessimism, including from inside his own party— and he’s frustrated at the notion that America is in decline. Or that perhaps we are heading for some kind of crack up. Or civil war. He makes the case for optimism in his new book: America, A Redemption Story. I hope Scott is right. But also, as you’ll hear in our conversation, I see very, very good reasons for Americans to be fed up with the state of the union and deeply worried about the future of our democracy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/10/202258 minutes, 37 seconds
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Sex, Porn, Feminism: A Debate!

It’s hard to think of an invention that has been more transformative to women than the birth control pill. Suddenly, American women possessed a power that women never before in history had: They could control when they got pregnant. They could have sex like . . . men.  The pill—and the profound legal, political and cultural changes that the sexual revolution and feminism ushered in—liberated women. Those movements have allowed women to lead lives that literally were not possible beforehand. But here we are, half a century later, with a culture in which porn and casual sex are abundant, but marriage and birth rates are at historic lows. And many people are asking: Did we go wrong somewhere along the way? Was the sexual revolution actually bad for women? The debaters: Jill Filiopvic is an author and attorney who has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian and many other publications. You can follow her writing on her newsletter. Louise Perry, based in London, is columnist at the The New Statesman. She is the author of the new book: “The Case Against the Sexual Revolution.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/3/20221 hour, 37 minutes, 40 seconds
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The Eternally Radical Idea

There is no organization that’s done more to fight for freedom of speech on American campuses over the past 20 years than FIRE, The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. If you care deeply about the First Amendment and a robust culture of free speech, FIRE is the kind of organization you hope will go out of business.  Unfortunately, as our friend Andrew Sullivan has perfectly put it, we all live on campus now.  As the culture of campus has become the culture of the country—one in which ideological conformity is enforced by mobs that wield the weapons of shame and stigma—it should not come as a surprise that 62% of Americans say they hold views they are afraid to share in public. All of which is why FIRE is radically expanding its scope and its ambition. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is now The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. And the organization has announced a goal of $75 million in order to pick up the flag the ACLU has put down by becoming the premier civil liberties organization in America. Today: a conversation with the president and CEO of FIRE, Greg Lukianoff. Lukianoff is also the author of “Unlearning Liberty” and the co-author, with Jonathan Haidt, of “The Coddling of the American Mind.”  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/27/20221 hour, 12 minutes, 29 seconds
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Election Denial: A Roundtable

Denying the outcome of elections has become alarmingly popular these days. In one corner, Democrats are claiming that gerrymandering has made our elections illegitimate, that the Senate is anti-Democratic and so is the Supreme Court. The White House Press Secretary has claimed that Trump stole the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton. In the other corner, a majority or close to a majority of Republicans (depending on what polls you look at) believe that Trump was cheated out of a fair election in 2020. Here’s how the Texas GOP put it last month: “We hold that acting President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was not legitimately elected by the people of the United States.” Today, a roundtable about how worried we should be about the state—and future—of American democracy. With guests: Jonah Goldberg (founder of The Dispatch and author of Suicide of the West); Jeremy Peters (New York Times reporter and author of Insurgency) and Kristen Soltis Anderson (pollster and author of The Selfie Vote). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/20/20221 hour, 31 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Infamous Andrew Schulz

There’s a tried-and-true playbook for comedians who want to make it big: hit the road, get in front of as many audiences as possible, and try to grab the attention of the TV executives who decide which comics are lucky enough to get a special. But Andrew Schulz and his generation of comics has something those guys didn’t: The internet. In 2018, one of Schulz’s self-published specials went to number one across Apple Music, Google Play and Amazon. That led to sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall and, eventually, a four-part series on Netflix.  This summer, right as he was about to release his newest special with another big streamer, he was told he’d need to edit out some of his offensive jokes. Instead of censoring his work, he bought back the rights to the show and is going to release it on his website this weekend.  We talk about why he feels so confident betting on himself, the state of comedy in an era of censoriousness, and why a healthy society needs people who are willing to be offensive. Check out his new special on July 17th at: https://theandrewschulz.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/15/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 50 seconds
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Does Glorifying Sickness Deter Healing?

In Bari’s view, Freddie deBoer is one of the best writers in the country. It’s not because she always agrees with him. Hardly. Freddie is a self-described Marxist.  What she appreciates about him is that he is unflinching about criticizing “his side.” Freddie is one of the most trenchant critics of what he calls “Social Justice Politics”—which he argues distracts the left from the real issue of class.  He is also unflinching in his views about mental illness and the way it is being glorified in our culture right now. Freddie knows about this subject intimately. He has severe bipolar disorder, and has been institutionalized in the past when he was on the verge of violently acting out. Today: a conversation about “the gentrification of disability,” how sickness became chic, and how our society should handle the epidemic of mental illness. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/13/20221 hour, 29 minutes, 15 seconds
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The New Founders America Needs

There are nearly 4000 universities in the U.S.. Many of them have billions of dollars in endowments and histories that go back to well before the country's founding. So you'd be forgiven for thinking that it would be a bit ridiculous to try and compete with those Goliaths.  But that's exactly what the new University of Austin or UATX is doing. The premise, of course, is simple, and it goes like this. While the brand name schools have the money, they no longer have the mission. They have fundamentally abandoned the point of the university, which is the pursuit of truth. The good people at UATX, where I'm proud to be on the board, are not waiting for the broken status quo to change. They're not sitting around criticizing or whining. They are doing.  Just a few weeks ago, UATX opened its doors to its first students at its inaugural summer school. I was blown away by the students that I met there, and I was honored to lecture alongside teachers like Neil Ferguson, Kathleen Stock, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Rob Henderson and Thomas Chatterton Williams. And today I wanted to share with all of you the talk that I gave at the old parkland in Dallas to that first class of students. It's about the broken moment that we're in as a culture and a country, but more it's about what I think is required of us to meet this moment. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/7/202245 minutes, 24 seconds
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The Holy Anarchy of Fun

No writer stokes more consistent envy among Common Sense editors than Walter Kirn. Two of his essays from last year—The Bullshit and The Power and the Silence—got our vote for the best of 2021. But we never miss anything he writes. You might know Kirn’s name from his novels, including “Up in the Air” and “Blood Will Out.” We hope you’ll love his debut piece for us as much as we do. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/4/202216 minutes, 42 seconds
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Power and Politics with Mike Pompeo

With everything going on here at home you can be forgiven for not focusing on what’s going on in Mariupol or Hong Kong. But what’s going on in those faraway places has a profound impact on us. For evidence of that truth, look no further than Wuhan. Or at the current price of gas. The point is that there is little distinction between domestic and foreign politics. If you are the world’s superpower—and at least for now we still appear to be—they are profoundly connected. That’s the case former CIA head and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo makes in my conversation with him today.  In this wide-ranging and frank conversation, Pompeo answers my questions about China, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia and Iran. But also: the stop the steal movement, the future of the GOP and whether or not he’s running for president. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/1/20221 hour, 8 minutes, 1 second
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America After Roe: A Roundtable

Few decisions could inspire so much anger and sadness in one group of Americans—and so much joy and relief in another—than last week’s decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Depending on where you sit, the Court just rolled back women’s rights by 50 years, or corrected an egregious instance of judicial overreach. Today, a deep and honest conversation about the Dobbs decision with two women–both mothers–who represent the pro-choice and pro-life sides of this debate. Katherine Mangu-Ward is the editor in chief of Reason Magazine. Bethany Mandel is the editor of the children’s series “Heroes of Liberty.” Joining them is the head of the National Constitution Center, Jeffrey Rosen, who the LA Times called the nation’s most influential legal commentator. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/28/20221 hour, 32 minutes, 36 seconds
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Is Crypto Over? A Debate!

If you watched the Super Bowl this year, it was hard not to notice that cryptocurrency had fully arrived. Even Larry David was hawking crypto.  But over the past several weeks, the crypto markets, like other markets, have been melting down. Some coins have completely imploded. Some crypto banks have shut their digital doors, refusing to give customers access to their money. And companies like Coinbase are laying off workers. Crypto winter has arrived. Today: a debate. Is crypto really the future of money? And is this blip just a normal hiccup in an otherwise exciting, transformational technological advancement? Or was crypto always more hype than reality?  Anthony Pompliano is a crypto believer. He’s an entrepreneur and investor and a former lead at Facebook. He's also the host of the Pomp podcast and the writer of a crypto newsletter called Off the Chain. Michael Green is a major crypto skeptic. He has been an investor for more than 30 years. He recently joined Simplify, where he's introducing new innovations in ETFs. He's previously, among other jobs, been at Thiel Macro, where he managed the personal capital of Peter Thiel. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/21/20221 hour, 15 minutes, 35 seconds
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TGIF! Inflation, Drag Queens & DA's

If you read Common Sense, you know that the best day of the week is Friday, when Nellie Bowles delivers us all the news from the week that was. This Friday, we bring you an Honestly special: TGIF! This time built just for your ears and brought to you by America’s favorite lesbians: Nellie and dear friend of the pod, Katie Herzog.Featuring: drag queens, inflation, prosecutors who just won't prosecute. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/17/202239 minutes, 42 seconds
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The Case for American Seriousness

We live in a culture that is driven by nay-saying. In one corner, people insist that the individual stands no chance against structural and systemic maladies. From the other, people say that we are in inexorable decline as a civilization and that decadence is everywhere we turn. Both wind up arguing against risk-taking, against the possibility of creating new things and new worlds. How can we recover the adventurous, optimistic, forward-thinking, risk-taking attitude that has made America the most innovative country in the history of the world? Today, the venture capitalist (and former journalist) Katherine Boyle explains how. She makes the powerful case that that spirit of building is very much alive in America—just not in the places that we once assumed we’d find it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/15/202216 minutes, 5 seconds
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What To Do About Guns

Tulsa. Buffalo. Uvalde. Philadelphia. Chicago. And that’s just the past few weeks. If you’re like me, you’ve had too many despairing conversations about the epidemic of gun violence in this country to count. This isn’t that. This is a conversation about what can actually, practically be done.  David French is a senior editor of The Dispatch and the author of “Divided We Fall,” among other books. David is a veteran. He is also, as you’ll hear, a gun owner.  Rajiv Sethi is a professor of economics at Barnard College at Columbia University who has been researching gun violence and writing about innovative solutions to the problem—even in a country with a robust Second Amendment. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/9/20221 hour, 38 minutes, 55 seconds
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Marianne Williamson on America’s ‘Dark Psychic Force’

When Marianne Williamson stood on the presidential debate stage in 2020 and spoke about the “dark psychic force” unleashed in America, she became an instant meme. But these days—with our epidemic of loneliness and addiction, rising crime and violence like the kind we just witnessed in Uvalde, Texas—can anyone deny the existence of this darkness? Long before others were willing to name the anti-human, anti-social sickness in our culture, Williamson was warning of it. She is one of the most beloved self-help authors in the world, having sold more than three million copies of her more than a dozen books. If you are heartsick about the state of the country and find yourself asking how it can be made right, this episode is for you. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/31/20221 hour, 35 seconds
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The Battle for the American Right

We are living through a seismic political realignment. The parties and the political movements that fuel them are being dramatically redefined—and are up for grabs in ways that would have been unthinkable even two decades ago. Today, we are focusing on “the right” side of that divide: what the right has meant historically; what it means today; and what it might look like a decade or a century from now. My guest is Matthew Continetti, author of the new book: “The Right: The Hundred-year War for American Conservatism.” We talk about Donald Trump, of course. But more so we talk about whether or not he was a departure from conservatism or a return to something deeper in American history that the movement’s elites had long kept at the periphery. We talk about the gap between those elites and the base. And we talk about the emerging group known as the “New Right” and whether or not they represent the future of American politics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/25/20221 hour, 28 minutes, 33 seconds
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What’s the Best Way to Raise Good People? A Debate

There is no subject—not Trump, not abortion, not immigration, not taxes-–that is more contentious than the one we tackle today: parenting.  This subject has particular urgency because my wife is pregnant! As are two of my producers. But you don’t need to be pregnant to be curious about the following: What is the right way to raise kids who become good, responsible, kind adults? Can we blame our problems as adults on our parents? What about Or do parenting styles not really matter? Is it nature that determines just about everything? That–and a thousand more questions–are what we discuss on today’s show. So today: a debate with three parenting experts who have radically different ideas about raising kids. Bryan Caplan, an economics professor at George Mason, is the author of “Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids.” Michaelleen Doucleff is a NPR global health correspondent and the author of “Hunt, Gather, Parent.” And Carla Naumburg is a clinical social worker and the author of “How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/18/20221 hour, 21 minutes, 23 seconds
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The Yale Law Professor Who Is Anti-Roe, But Pro-Choice

Akhil Reed Amar is the Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale university, where he’s been teaching constitutional law since the ripe old age of 26. He is the author of more than a hundred law review articles and several award-winning books. Amar’s work has been cited in more than 40 supreme court cases—more than anyone else in his generation—including in the shocking draft opinion by Justice Alito that was leaked to the press last week. What may be confusing about that is that Amar is a self-described liberal, pro-choice Democrat. So why is Alito citing his work in an opinion to overturn Roe? Today, Amar explains why he, in fact, agrees with Alito, what overturning Roe might mean for the country, what the leak says about the culture of American law, and what supporters of legal abortion, like himself, should do now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/11/20221 hour, 14 minutes, 6 seconds
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TGIF: Welcome Back to Both 1973 and 1984

If you read Common Sense, you know that the best day of the week is Friday, when Nellie Bowles delivers us all the news from the week that was.  Today, we bring you: Everything you need to know about this week's Supreme Court Leak, the new singing-and-dancing truth czar, revelations about youth gender transition and signs of change in the Republican party. Plus some attempts at tasteful humor. TGIF! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/6/202229 minutes, 39 seconds
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Why This Gay Rights Pioneer Opposes Gender Ideology

In 1989, Andrew Sullivan wrote “Here Comes The Groom,” an essay making the conservative case for gay marriage. Less than four decades later, the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges. How did that happen in such an amazingly short time? Why were gay rights won so quickly? Was there something about the nature of that movement that made it so successful?  Today, a provocative conversation with Andrew Sullivan about what we can learn from the history of gay rights, how gay became LGBTQIA+ . . . and why he doesn’t support gender ideology. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/3/20221 hour, 48 minutes, 24 seconds
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Your Attention Didn't Collapse. It Was Stolen.

The average American adult spends over three hours a day staring into their phone. If you’re a teenager it’s even worse – seven hours. What’s really troubling is that in study after study, people say that they want to be looking at their screens less. They just don’t know how. They’ve lost control.  Johann Hari interviewed over 200 of the world’s leading experts on focus and attention for his new book, Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention and How to Think Deeply Again. What he found was that your attention didn’t collapse. It’s been stolen from you. So on today’s episode, while everyone is busy debating what Elon Musk is doing to Twitter, Johann explains what Twitter is doing to all of us. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/27/202259 minutes, 4 seconds
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TGIF! Libs of TikTok, CNN+ and Much More

If you read Common Sense, you know that the best day of the week is Friday, when Nellie Bowles delivers us all the news from the week that was.  This Friday, we bring you an Honestly special: TGIF! This time built just for your ears and brought to you by America’s favorite lesbians: Nellie and dear friend of the pod, Katie Herzog. Featuring: The end of the mask mandates, Biden and fellow aging American leaders, the end of CNN+, Libs of Tiktok, and finding some hope in unity around... balls. It's a strange world, but it's our world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/22/202243 minutes, 28 seconds
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The Inflation Economy: What You Need to Know

If you’re confused about what is happening with the economy right now, so are we. Why is inflation up 8.5%? Who’s to blame? Is it the Democrats? Or everyone that’s been pushing easy money? What should we do in the long term? The short term? Should we be renting? Buying? Good time to get into the market? Or should we be putting a couple thousand away under the mattress? Or into crypto? Today, Tyler Cowen is here to answer all of your burning questions about the economy. Cowen is a professor at George Mason, runs one of the most useful blogs on the internet (it’s called Marginal Revolution), and is widely considered one of the most influential economists in the country. Cowen, as always, reminds us that conversations about money are often much bigger than money – that at the heart of the conversation about the state of the dollar are fundamental questions about institutional distrust and broken cultural incentives. Cowen helps us answer those questions, too.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/19/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 23 seconds
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The Story That Made—and Saved—America

The Exodus—the story of the Israelites’ freedom from Egyptian slavery 3,000 years ago—is the ultimate story of freedom. And not just for Jews. But for people seeking liberation from subjugation in so many other times and places. Including here in America.  From the founding fathers, to abolitionists like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglas, to presidents like Lincoln and leaders like Martin Luther King Jr, the themes and symbols and moral truths of the Exodus story have been at the core of how Americans seeking freedom from tyranny have seen themselves. One could argue that without the Exodus there might be no America. To make that case on the eve of Passover—and to take us on a tour of the way the Exodus has been used throughout American history—Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, who teaches at Yeshiva University and helms the oldest synagogue in the United States.  You don’t need to be a believer to love this episode. You just need to be concerned with how divided we have become, how we have lost a shared sense of reality, a shared sense of ethics, and shared stories from which we can draw universal meaning and inspiration. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/14/20221 hour, 32 seconds
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Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid

Perhaps you’ve noticed that the thing we call “social media'' is deeply antisocial—the thing that promised to unite us has done precisely the opposite.  A lot of people have tried to explain why. They blame Mark Zuckerberg. Or Jack Dorsey. Or the attention-stealing algorithms of TikTok. Or capitalism. Or human nature. But the best explanation I have read to date was just published in the Atlantic by my guest today Jonathan Haidt. It is a must-read essay, as are Jonathan’s books, “The Righteous Mind” and “The Coddling of the American Mind.”  Our conversation today, fitting the importance of this subject, is long and deep. It spans the advent of the like button–and how that transformed the way we use the internet–to Jon’s argument that social media is making us unfit for democracy. And that unless we change course we stand to lose everything. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/12/20221 hour, 40 minutes, 4 seconds
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TGIF! The Week That Was With Nellie Bowles and Katie Herzog

If you read Common Sense, you know that the best day of the week is Friday, when Nellie Bowles delivers us all the news from the week that was.  This Friday, we bring you an Honestly special: TGIF! This time built just for your ears and brought to you by America’s favorite lesbians: Nellie and dear friend of the pod, Katie Herzog. Featuring: Elon Musk v. Twitter, BLM corruption, inflation, “don’t say gay,” plus special guest Jeff Ross, America’s Roastmaster General, on jokes about alopecia. Including his own. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/8/202245 minutes, 11 seconds
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Who By Fire: Why Leonard Cohen Ran Toward War

In 1973, Leonard Cohen announced he was done with music for good. The same year, in October, war broke out in Israel. The Yom Kippur War would become the bloodiest in Israel’s young history—and Cohen was there to witness it. As the war broke out, he left his home on the Greek island of Hydra to fly into the warzone. Leonard Cohen never said much about why he went to the front. What we know is that in the months that followed, he would write “Who By Fire.” Five decades later, on Spotify and in synagogue, you can still hear the echoes of this trip. So what was it that happened in the desert in October of 1973 between this depressed musician and these too young soldiers going off to battle? How did it remake Leonard Cohen? How did it transform those who heard him play? And how did the war transform Israel itself? Those are just some of the questions Matti Friedman explains in his beautiful new book Who By Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/6/20221 hour, 23 minutes, 5 seconds
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How Big Tech Is Strangling Your Freedom

David Sacks is a paradox. The entrepreneur and venture capitalist helped lay the foundations of the digital world we now live in: He was one of the members of what's known as the PayPal Mafia, alongside people like Peter Thiel, Elon Musk and Max Levchin. He’s also been an early investor in some companies you may have heard of: Airbnb, Facebook, Slack, SpaceX, Twitter, Uber.  At the same time, he is something of a whistleblower from inside the world of tech. He believes that Big Tech has far too much power. He argues that the fact that a handful of billionaires get to decide what we are (and aren’t) allowed to say in the new, digital public square is something that the Framers would have been repelled by—and that all Americans should oppose. Today I spoke to David, now a general partner at Craft Ventures, about the rise of America’s social credit system and how we can defend our civil liberties in the age of the Internet. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/29/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 33 seconds
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Leaving the Mainstream to Build Media Without Fear

Today we are republishing Bari’s appearance on Hoover Institute’s Uncommon Knowledge Podcast, hosted by Peter Robinson.  Peter Robinson is probably best known as a speech-writer for President Ronald Regan. He was the guy who wrote the famous line, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" Bari and Peter talk about the social movements shaping our culture, how the personal has become political, anti-semitism and the future of the news media. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/25/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 6 seconds
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“The Fight Against Evil”: Three Reporters in Ukraine

It’s been a month since Russia invaded Ukraine. About a fourth of Ukraine’s population has been displaced. Thousands, if not more, have died. And still, ordinary Ukrainians – professors, engineers, ballerinas – are taking up arms to defend their homes and their land. Why do they stay? And do they think the fight can be won? Today, I talk to three people who have become inadvertent war correspondents in what they call “the fight against evil.” Katerina Sergatskova reported from Kiev and Lviv. Vladislav Davidzon has reported from many of the border crossings as well as from Odessa and Lviv. And Maria Avdeeva remains in Kharkiv. I talk to them about what they’ve seen and what the war has revealed to them about themselves and about their country. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/23/20221 hour, 9 minutes, 59 seconds
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Why No One Trusts Anything

What if I told you that all the brokenness in our society—from the increased rates in suicide and addiction to the decreased rates in marriage and sex to the crisis of faith in everything from the CDC to political leaders to our democratic elections—weren’t a series of separate catastrophes but symptoms of one underlying condition? That’s the argument of my guest today, Yuval Levin.  Yuval is a journalist and academic. He has served as a congressional staffer and as a domestic policy staff member under President George W Bush, he’s the author of several books including The Fractured Republic and “A Time to Build.”  I think of him as one of America’s most insightful political philosophers. I learned so much from this conversation and I hope you do, too. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/18/20221 hour, 29 minutes, 29 seconds
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Things Worth Fighting For

For the past three weeks, we have watched the people of Ukraine and their president breathe life into virtues that many of us thought were dead or on life support: duty, sacrifice, responsibility, leadership…and courage. Unbelievable courage.  The Ukrainian people know what they’re fighting for. Do we? Today, no interview. Instead Bari speaks about what we can learn from watching President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people. To read the full text, please go to: bariweiss.substack.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/16/202237 minutes, 56 seconds
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The Stakes of a No Fly Zone

Russia’s war against Ukraine has been raging on for almost two weeks now and Ukraine is in crisis. President Zelensky has been begging the United States, together with their allies, to enforce a “no fly zone,” to save innocent lives and help Ukraine win a war they seem likely to lose otherwise. The U.S. has refused. So has NATO. Why?  On today’s episode, Eli Lake and Damir Marusic explain the benefits and risks of imposing a no fly zone over Ukraine, and what’s at stake—for Ukraine, for the U.S., and for the world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/10/202247 minutes, 49 seconds
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Watching Lia Thomas Win

Lia Thomas is a transgender woman who has, in one year, become the star athlete of the women’s swim team at The University of Pennsylvania. When she competed on the men’s team, she was seeded no. 462 in the NCAA. Now, she’s seeded No. 1 and expected to beat Olympic gold medalist Katy Ledecky, widely considered one of the greatest female swimmers of all time, later this month at the NCAA championship. Thomas won’t stop there. She recently told Sports Illustrated that she has her sights set on the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. What does the rise of Lia Thomas mean for the future of women’s sports? Suzy Weiss reports from the Harvard pool, where Lia Thomas recently smashed Ivy League records. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/6/202226 minutes, 8 seconds
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Russia's War on Ukraine: A Roundtable

Air raid sirens have been ringing out over the capital of Ukraine for the past week. Russian troops have laid siege to Kharkiv, the second biggest city in the country, and the city of Kherson in the south has already fallen. More than a half of a million Ukranians have fled their homes, with little more than a suitcase or two. Hundreds have been confirmed dead, and surely that number is just the beginning.  Why did Putin invade Ukraine at this moment? What is his endgame—and what is the West’s? Does this war augur the beginning of a new era? Perhaps even a new Cold War? Today, Niall Ferguson, Walter Russell Mead and Francis Fukuyama discuss whether or not America is up to the task of truly, as Biden said at the State of the Union address, defending freedom from tyranny. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/3/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 12 seconds
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America Is Afraid of War. Putin Knows It.

Zoe Strimpel on the collapse of Western authority, self and geopolitical understanding— and the predictably catastrophic results of our politics of retrenchment, appeasement and pacifism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/25/202223 minutes, 9 seconds
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Condoleezza Rice on Race, Russia, Freedom and Why America’s Best Days Are Still Ahead

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is one of those pioneering American leaders whose story is for the history books. Born in the segregated south in the 1950s, Rice couldn’t step foot in certain movie theaters and restaurants when she was a little girl. By the time she stepped foot in the White House as a National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State, she was one of the most powerful people in the world—and the highest ranking black woman in the history of the United States. On today’s episode, a conversation with Secretary Rice, who now serves at the Director of Stanford's Hoover Institution, about the most pressing issues facing the country: the future of the GOP, the continued popularity of Donald Trump, the state of our democracy, the culture wars on race and identity politics, immigration, the rise of China, possible war in Russia … and much more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/22/202258 minutes, 23 seconds
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Beijing's Genocide Olympics

Right now, the Winter Olympics are underway in Beijing. But for the Chinese Communist Party, the 2022 Games are an opportunity not simply for athleticism, but for authoritarianism. Athletes at the Games are subject not just to official Olympics rules, but also the heavy hand of the CCP. They are being spied on—and they have been warned, including by Nancy Pelosi, not to criticize the injustices China is committing in plain sight. Why is America participating in an Olympics in a country committing genocide? What does it say about our relationship with China? And will historians remember these games in the way we remember the 1936 Berlin Olympics? Josh Rogin is a foreign policy columnist for The Washington Post, the author of “Chaos Under Heaven: Trump, Xi, and the Battle for the 21st Century,” and a favorite Honestly guest. Today he breaks down what you aren’t seeing when you tune into this year’s Olympics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/16/20221 hour, 1 minute, 44 seconds
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Former Google CEO on Big Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Bitcoin and the Future

Eric Scmidt has been a pioneer at every chapter of the tech revolution… from the very beginnings of the internet to helming Google for more than a decade. Now, he’s focused on the next iteration of our digital world: artificial intelligence. His most recent book, written with Henry Kissinger and Daniel Huttenlocker, is called “The Age of AI: And our Human Future.” It investigates how AI is transforming the very foundations of what it means to be human. Today, our quick question to Google’s former CEO is this: how long do we have until the robots take over?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/11/202258 minutes, 15 seconds
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Matt Taibbi v. Bret Stephens on American Power

Ever since the end of World War II, America has been the dominant world superpower. We have been ready to use that power to defend our national interest. Or to defend a certain set of values. Or both. But there has always been a tension in this country between isolationism and interventionism. Between those among us who think we should maintain an active role in world affairs—and those who want to pull back and focus on our myriad problems here at home.  That long standing debate is being reignited right now on the Russian-Ukrainian border.  So for today, a debate between Bret Stephens and Matt Taibbi on American Power. When should we use our might? And has recent history proven that we do more harm than good? Bret Stephens is author of America in Retreat. Matt Taibbi is the author, most recently, of Hate Inc. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/9/20221 hour, 28 minutes, 32 seconds
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Why Are We Boosting Kids?

The Covid vaccines are medical miracles. During the pandemic they have been literal life-savers; I’ll never forget the relief I felt after getting that first shot.  Despite the conspiracy theories in some corners of the web or on Fox News, there is simply zero evidence that they are killing people; that they are harming people in large numbers; or that this is all some malicious plot by Big Pharma. There is overwhelming proof that these vaccines prevent serious illness. Like all medical interventions, though, vaccines can have side effects. And in the case of mRNA vaccines—those from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna—there is a small but real risk for young people, especially young males. The need for an evidence-based discussion about the wisdom of requiring boosters is urgent. But that’s easier said than done.  Over the course of this pandemic, the public has been told that pronouncements from federal health officials represent “the science.” Distinguished medical experts, including some from our nation’s most elite institutions, who have questioned official Covid recommendations and policies—on everything from lockdowns to masking to vaccine mandates—have often been demonized and sometimes silenced.  And so healthy debate about scientifically complicated and morally complex subjects has been shut down, both by censors and by self-censorship.  David Zweig has been one of those rare journalists who, from the start, has challenged the accepted narrative on Covid. He has published a stream of investigations for New York Magazine, the Atlantic, and Wired—from questioning the wisdom of closing schools, to hospitalization metrics, to masking children—that initially were maligned or ignored, only to be accepted by legacy media and acknowledged by health officials months later.  Today, he reads an article he wrote for Common Sense that tackles the knotty subject of boosters and myocarditis. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/4/202227 minutes, 50 seconds
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The Tiger Mom Won't Stop Roaring

It’s hard to think of an institution in American life that’s more broken than higher education. As universities have abandoned core liberal principles like free speech, bending to students’ demands for censorship, perhaps the most striking feature of all has been the cowardice and silence of tenured professors. Yale Law professor Amy Chua is not one of them. Since Chua wrote her bestselling parenting memoir Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother in 2011, she has been no stranger to controversy. She wrote a book, The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America, about why certain cultural groups succeed—and was accused of “cultural racism.” She refused to recant her support for Brett Kavanaugh—and was accused of misogyny. The list goes on.  None of this has stopped her from speaking her mind. Today, why Amy Chua remains an optimist in the face of unprecedented political tribalism; how her students continue to inspire her even as she’s lost faith in Yale; and why she did, indeed, threaten to burn her daughter’s stuffed animals if she didn’t practice her piano perfectly.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/2/20221 hour, 18 minutes, 18 seconds
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An Imam Blows the Whistle on Muslim Antisemitism

As a boy growing up in Turkey, Abdullah Antepli thought hating Jews was normal. He read Mein Kampf before he was 15. His parents gave him a children's version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He burned Israeli flags. Today, he is an imam, a professor at Duke University, and, as he puts it, a recovering antisemite. Imam Adbullah has been fearless about blowing the whistle about rising antisemitism in the Muslim community. In the wake of the recent hostage-taking at the synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, he tweeted: “Houston, we have a problem!” He wrote, “we need to honestly discuss the increasing anti-semitism within various Muslim communities.” Today, on Holocaust Remembrace Day, a conversation with a man who has paid a heavy personal price for working to eradicate Jew-hate and to promote peace between Muslims and Jews. Learn more about Imam Abdullah’s work here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/27/20221 hour, 20 minutes, 16 seconds
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The Aftermath Part 2: The Haves and The Have Nots

At this point in the pandemic, one group of Americans generally gets to show their faces. The other still does not. One group orders groceries from Amazon, while the other packages it. One group enjoys take-out. And the other delivers it in the rain. Today, in part two of my conversation with ProPublica journalist Alec MacGillis, we unpack the ways the pandemic has exacerbated the already enormous divide between the haves and the have nots. MacGillis discusses his recent book, Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America, and how Democrats became such a big part of what he calls “the Amazon coalition.” We also talk about how the stubbornness of our political and media class—and their insistence on doubling down on short-sighted policies—is already reshaping our politics and culture. If you haven’t yet listened to part one of the conversation, you can do so here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/21/202234 minutes, 36 seconds
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The Aftermath Part 1: Kids, Schools, and the Crime Surge

As we approach the third year of this pandemic, it’s become painfully clear that the stringent measures we took to mitigate against the virus had all kinds of unintended consequences. For mental health. For the economy. For our cities. And, especially, for our kids. Today, award-winning investigative journalist Alec MacGillis helps us understand the morally urgent costs of school shutdowns on our youngest generations, and how pandemic policies contributed to the crime surge plaguing so many American cities. MacGillis reported on these hidden costs with rigor, diligence and empathy well before the rest of the country caught up and said: hold on, these costs may be too high. (You can read many of those stories here.) Today’s episode is part one of my conversation with MacGillis. Stay tuned for part two, where we’ll talk about his recent book about Amazon, Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America, and how Big Tech and progressive policies are accelerating the inequalities that were already running rampant in America. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/19/20221 hour, 15 seconds
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Bringing Sanity to the Omicron Chaos: Three Doctors Weigh In

Have you hit a wall with Covid? We have.  The irrationality of the current policies and conversations surrounding Covid—guidelines that are coming from our public health authorities; rules coming from our schools and our workplaces; and information coming from our media—is making skeptics out of even the most compliant. What gives? Why do things seem so nonsensical? Who should we trust? How can we get back to normal—or at least some semblance of normal? And how can we do it responsibly and safely?  To answer these questions, we brought together three doctors who have been islands of sanity in a sea of misinformation and confusion.  Dr. Vinay Prasad is an associate professor of epidemiology at UCSF. Dr. Stefan Baral is a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. And Dr. Lucy McBride is a practicing internist in Washington D.C., and author of a popular COVID-19 newsletter. This was a live subscriber-only Zoom event, and the thousands of listeners who tuned in had the chance to ask the panelists their most pressing and burning COVID questions. If you want to be able to participate in events like this one in the future, head over to bariweiss.substack.com and hit subscribe.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/14/20221 hour, 30 minutes, 38 seconds
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Humans Are More Resilient Than You Think

We are living in an era in which Americans–especially younger ones–say they are increasingly traumatized. In one recent study, 82% of Gen Z respondents said they regularly felt so sad that nothing could cheer them up. And that was before the pandemic.  What is happening? Are things really worse now than they were for the generation that lived through the world wars? Or the Great Depression? And why does it feel–at least in some parts of the culture–that victimhood grants us status? George Bonanno has thought deeply about these questions. He’s a clinical psychologist at Columbia University, where he heads the Loss, Trauma, and Emotions Lab, and he has studied the nature of human resilience for over 30 years. Bonanno’s work with war veterans, 9/11 survivors and more provides an antidote to the idea that humans are fragile or helpless in the face of loss, challenge and grief. Instead, Bonanno claims, when people are exposed to violent or life-threatening events, those events are only “potentially traumatic” and that “a good part of the rest of it is up to us.”  His new book is called The End of Trauma: How the New Science of Resilience is Changing How We Think About PTSD. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/12/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 56 seconds
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Investigating January 6th: The Price Liz Cheney Paid

A year ago today, something big happened in Washington. Was it a coup? Was it an insurrection? Was it “the worst attack on our democracy since the civil war,” as Joe Biden said? Who is responsible? Should the former president of the United States, Donald Trump, face criminal charges? Few Republican leaders have been clearer in their answers to those questions–and none have paid a higher price–than Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney. Because of her decision to impeach the president, Rep. Cheney went from being the highest ranking Republican woman in Congress to being shunned by her own party and stripped of much of her power. Figures on the left that once called Cheney a “warmonger” and worse are now praising her as a hero.   Today, a conversation with Rep. Cheney about why she’s made the choices she’s made, the future of her political career, where the GOP goes from here, and what’s at stake for American democracy.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/6/20221 hour, 12 minutes, 33 seconds
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Replay: America's Cultural Revolution

As the year ends, we want to share where this podcast began and replay our first episode. What does the public shaming of Palestinian immigrant Majdi Wadi — and the boycott of his Minneapolis business — say about who we are becoming? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/30/202129 minutes, 4 seconds
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Replay: Why You’re Right – And Wrong – About Abortion

The abortion debate is top of mind as we enter 2022, with a pending supreme court decision that could radically change the legality and availability of abortion in this country. So, we thought we’d revisit my conversation with writer Caitlin Flanagan.  The most honest thing I’ve ever read about abortion is by Caitlin Flanagan. It’s called “The Dishonesty of the Abortion Debate: Why We Need to Face the Best Argument From the Other Side.” You can read it here. Read all of Caitlin’s work for the Atlantic here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/28/20211 hour, 3 minutes, 41 seconds
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Replay: The Real Story of “The Central Park Karen”

Over the next few days we are going to be replaying some listener favorites from the last year, starting with what was without a doubt our most provocative and popular episode: a re-examination of the Central Park Karen. Amy Cooper was not the internet’s first “Karen” — the pejorative used for a demanding, entitled white woman. But as the Central Park dog walker who went viral for calling the police on a black birdwatcher last year, she quickly became the paragon of the archetype. Within 24 hours, Amy Cooper had been doxxed, fired from her job, and surrendered her dog. She wound up fleeing the country. She hasn’t spoken publicly since last summer. Until now.  In a wide-ranging interview with Kmele Foster, friend of Honestly and co-host of The Fifth Column, we revisit the story of what happened in the park that day. We show what the media intentionally left out of the story. And we examine the cost of mob justice. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/23/20211 hour, 23 minutes, 15 seconds
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Abigail Shrier: On Freedom in an Age of Fear

Abigail Shrier, the author of the bestselling book “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters,” was recently invited to speak at Princeton. But this being a college campus in 2021, you can imagine what happened next. The event was moved off campus. It was limited to 35 people. And the police had to be called in because of threats. But despite the limited audience, Shrier’s message that night was loud and clear: don’t buckle in the face of the mobs. Don’t become a sock puppet to your institution or employer or social circle. Tell the truth. Speak your mind. Reclaim your freedom. It’s a speech that deserves to be heard by as many people–especially young people–as possible. So today, we share it with all of you. https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/abigail-shrier-on-freedom-in-an-age Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/21/202125 minutes, 52 seconds
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The Power of Kim Kardashian

Just when we think we have Kim Kardashian pinned she adds another hyphen. She’s a reality star, until she owns Instagram. She’s an influencer, until she becomes a business mogul. She’s the sexual icon of a generation, but also a mother of four. And now, this week, she’s one step closer to being a lawyer.  Somewhere between 2007, when “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” first premiered and now, she mastered media in a way that has transformed it forever. She was in digital while we were still in analog. So: what’s it like to be the first one living in the metaverse?  We ask that–plus: Trump, Kanye, cancel culture, cultural appropriation, beauty, TikTok, and her favorite cast member on SNL–and much more on today’s episode. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/16/202154 minutes, 7 seconds
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Jussie Smollett and Hate Crime Hoaxes

In 2019, Jussie Smollett’s hate crime allegations captured the nation. The actor and singer claimed that two men beat him, poured bleach over his head, and tied a noose around his neck—all while shouting homophobic and racial slurs. Many pointed to his story as proof that our country, even in liberal cities like Chicago, is still plagued by the most evil forms of racism. But a few weeks later, we got news that his story was a complete lie. And today, a jury found him guilty of just that. Why did he do it? On today’s episode, political scientist Wilfred Reilly, author of “Hate Crime Hoaxes,” explains why people like Jussie Smollett are willing to risk everything to gain the status of a victim. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/10/20211 hour, 14 minutes, 11 seconds
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Quick Question: WTF Is Going on With the Economy?

Eccentric economist and brilliant thinker Tyler Cowen answers our questions about the confusing state of the economy. We talk about: inflation, the stock market, “The Great Resignation”, billionaires, income inequality, crypto, Texas vs San Francisco, the metaverse, good food, working remotely, what states like Virginia swinging back toward the right might mean for national politics and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/3/202145 minutes, 9 seconds
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Vanished by China: One Couple’s Story

Desmond Shum knows well the cost of doing business in China. Born to a humble family that was marginalized during the Cultural Revolution, he became a wildly successful entrepreneur, along with his ex-wife Whitney, to the tune of billions of dollars. But just as quickly as the Chinese Communist Party elite helped enrich the couple, it tore them down. In 2017, Whitney disappeared, not to be seen or heard from for four years. She reemerged only on the eve of Desmond’s new book, Red Roulette. If this sounds familiar, it’s because the CCP routinely disappears people who fall out of the Party’s favor. Most recently, tennis champion Peng Shuai vanished after accusing a high-ranking official of sexual assault.  Today, Desmond Shum talks about how all of this happens, as well as his personal experiences during China’s economic boom, how companies like Blackrock both support and fall for CCP propaganda and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/1/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 59 seconds
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Is Covid… Over? And Other Burning Questions This Thanksgiving

If your family is anything like mine, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to take a break from work, to bask in one others’ presence, and to fight savagely over the hottest political issues of the day. And nothing is more contentious than Covid: mask policies; vaccine mandates; whether kids should be confined to the backyard; and, most urgently, whether we can safely--and finally--call time on the pandemic. To answer those questions and more, I called up Marty Makary, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health of nearly 20 years and a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Makary has published over 250 scientific articles and is the author, most recently, of “The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care and How to Fix It.” He offers a no-nonsense approach to the two pandemics he sees plaguing the country; the coronavirus and the “pandemic of lunacy.”  Veteran Honestly listeners will notice that this episode may sound a bit different. We’re piloting a new format, which we’re calling “Quick Question.” So email your burning ones-- even if they’re not quick--to [email protected]. Please include “QQ” in the subject line.  Happy Thanksgiving! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/23/20211 hour, 4 minutes, 20 seconds
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The Media’s Verdict on Kyle Rittenhouse

Here is what I thought was true about Kyle Rittenhouse in the last days of August 2020: The 17-year-old was a racist vigilante. I thought he drove across state lines, to Kenosha, Wisc., with an illegally acquired semi-automatic rifle to a town to which he had no connection. I thought he went there because he knew there were Black Lives Matter protests and he wanted to start a fight. And I thought that by the end of the evening of August 25, 2020 he had done just that: killing two peaceful protestors and injuring a third. It turns out, I was mostly wrong. And if you relied on the mainstream media when it came to Kyle Rittenhouse, you would have been too. Today, a conversation with Jesse Singal, one of the independent journalists who got this story right, and about why so many got it so wrong. Follow Jesse’s work at jessesingal.substack.com Read my full column on the Rittenhouse trial: https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/the-medias-verdict-on-kyle-rittenhouse Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/17/202159 minutes, 35 seconds
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Can Andrew Yang Fix Our Two-Party Dumpster Fire?

First, Andrew Yang ran for President, and he could barely get mainstream media’s attention. Then, he ran for Mayor of New York City, and suddenly, his every move was being scrutinized.  Following those two failed campaigns Andrew announced that he was leaving the Democratic Party altogether and announced the formation of a new third party, Forward, this past October. Today, a conversation on how, and why, Yang plans to take on the two-party system, and what last week’s elections tell us about the political temperature of the country. Plus, universal basic income, Dave Chapelle, open primary voting, establishment politics, The New York Times, the left wing of the Democrats, cryptocurrency, and Confederate statues.     Andrew’s new book is called, “Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/10/20211 hour, 18 minutes, 49 seconds
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Weekend Extra: Why ‘People Love Dead Jews’

It’s been three years since the Tree of Life synagogue shooting, the most lethal attack on Jews on U.S. soil. That day was, for me, as it was for so many others, a watershed event. The country I knew was changing. While anti-semitic incidents in America had been climbing for a few years, this was different. Jews were afraid, and no longer felt safe. After Pittsburgh, there were countless other disturbing incidents: from a shooter at a kosher supermarket in New Jersey to a man with a machete at a Hanukkah party in Munsey. This past spring, antisemitic attacks skyrocketed, and even in a year where George Floyd’s killing and attacks against Asian Americans rightly captured our attention, Jews are still the number one victim of hate crimes in America.   But what’s most shocking is that in an era where we worry so much about hatred and bigotry and exclusion, Jews don’t seem to count; Jews don’t seem to make headlines. My guest today, Dara Horn, whose book ‘People Love Dead Jews’ is a brilliant explanation of anti-semitism in 2021, joins us for a conversation about how most of the world thinks about Jews, and how the future of America, and the future of American Jews, may be one and the same.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/7/202154 minutes, 27 seconds
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How “Luxury Beliefs” Hurt the Rest of Us

"Defund the police" or "healthy at every size" or "marriage is just an oppressive institution of the patriarchy" - these are just a few of the ideas that are becoming common doctrine among American elites. And Rob Henderson has described these new orthodoxies as “Luxury Beliefs.”  He says, much like second homes on the beach or Bentleys, luxury beliefs are thoughts that can only be afforded by people whose wealth shields them from the very harm those beliefs can cause to the rest of us. Henderson, a graduate of Yale and a PhD student at Cambridge, should have been susceptible to the very ideas he now criticizes. But the reason he remained immune to the groupthink of academia is because he was, in many ways, an outsider looking in. He grew up in a kind of chaos and suffering that most people shouting about white privilege and the evils of the musical Hamilton could never understand. And that’s why he is able to so accurately observe the indulgence and hypocrisy of our elite class, and call it out for what it is: a luxury. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/4/202159 minutes, 21 seconds
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Women Like Hunting Witches, Too

If you’ve just heard of the word “TERF” (it stands for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist) it was probably because of Dave Chapelle’s new Netflix special, “The Closer.” The comedian declared himself “Team TERF.” But what does that really mean?  Julie Bindel would know. She has been physically attacked; her work has been banned; and she’s been disinvited from lectures all because of the accusation that she is a TERF. Bindel isn’t new to the culture wars. The self-proclaimed radical feminist has been active in the movement since 1979. Today she breaks down the battle raging inside the feminist movement and makes me wonder: am I a feminist? Her new book, endorsed by J.K. Rowling, is called “Feminism for Women: The Real Route to Liberation.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/28/20211 hour, 29 minutes, 26 seconds
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Pain, Wisdom and Mercy

Ross Douthat is a New York Times columnist, a father of four, an author . . . and also someone who lives with a tremendous amount of pain. Ross has been battling chronic Lyme disease since 2015. It's a disease that doesn’t officially exist, but it managed to bring this otherwise healthy man to his knees. This is a conversation about something we all have or will experience: pain. How pain can distort, but also how it can clarify and humanize. In Ross's telling, pain has proven a deeply powerful teacher.  Ross is one of my favorite thinkers and writers, so we also covered some of his core topics: Catholicism, populism, the future of the political right and left, the internet, and, of course, decadence. You can buy his new book, "The Deep Places," here: https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Places-Memoir-Illness-Discovery-ebook/dp/B08Y1BFFWC Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/19/20211 hour, 30 minutes, 55 seconds
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Was the Internet a Horrible Mistake?

Last week, Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower, confirmed what we already felt; that big tech platform’s algorithms are manipulating our sense of reality, and ourselves, and in doing so enriching themselves.  Jaron Lanier, the technologist, philosopher, and virtual reality pioneer has been warning us about the dangers of the internet for years. Today, a conversation with Jaron, from his home in California, about the dangers of groupthink, digital maoism, ideology sluts, censorship, capitalism, universal basic income, Facebook, robots, billionaires, wokeness and losing yourself in the ambiguity of the internet’s fake reality.  Can the problems of the Information Age be fixed by more regulation? Or will it take a fundamental shift in how we structure our society, and our relationship to emergent technologies to reclaim our humanity?  In addition to being an author of the internet, he worked at Atari and Microsoft in the early days, Jaron wrote, ”Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now” and “Dawn of the New Everything.” He appeared in the movie “The Social Dilemma.”  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/13/20211 hour, 21 minutes, 5 seconds
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Why You're Wrong—and Right—About Abortion

The most honest thing I’ve ever read about abortion is by Caitlin Flanagan. It’s called “The Dishonesty of the Abortion Debate: Why We Need to Face the Best Argument From the Other Side.” You can read it here. On today’s episode, and in light of the new law in Texas, which effectively bans abortion, a conversation with my friend Caitlin. We talk about the best arguments on both sides of this issue, the reality of life before Roe v. Wade, the state of feminism and more. Read all of Caitlin’s work for the Atlantic here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/6/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 39 seconds
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Wrongthink on Race With Glenn C. Loury

Four decades ago, Glenn C. Loury became the first tenured black professor of economics in Harvard’s history. Ever since then, he has made waves for his willingness to buck the elite intellectual establishment; for his iconoclastic ideas about race and inequality; and for his incisive cultural criticism.  He is a man of seeming contradictions: he rails against the divisiveness of woke politics from his post at Brown University, one of America’s most left wing campuses. He worries about what the death of God means for the country -- though he calls his own past religious beliefs a “benevolent self-delusion.” In the 80s, Glenn challenged his fellow black Americans to combat the “enemy from within,” while he himself battled demons like adultery and addiction.  But Glenn’s ability to re-examine his positions and look at his own past with clear eyes is hardly a fault. Glenn is a man who, in a time of lies told for the sake of political convenience, strives to tell the truth even when the truth is hard. Or complicated. Or an affront to our feelings. Or contradicts what we wish were true.     In today’s conversation: race, racism, Black Lives Matter, school choice, standardized tests, crack, sexual infidelity, Christianity, the Nation of Islam, neoconservatism, Harvard, groupthink, and pretty much every other hot-button subject you can imagine. Plus, Glenn’s own remarkable life story.  Glenn's own podcast, "The Glenn Show" is available through Substack and in video form on his new Youtube channel. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/29/20211 hour, 41 minutes, 33 seconds
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Vaccine Hesitant? A Doctor Responds

So much of the conversation about Covid-19 is angry and full of finger-pointing. Dr. Vinay Prasad has consistently been able to cut through the noise, the confusion, and the endless bickering. He does this by consistently avoiding the blame game and following the data wherever it leads. Dr. Prasad is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California San Francisco. His writing, videos and tweets have been among my most reliable sources for information throughout the pandemic. His positions are nuanced, well-considered, and show exactly the kind of level-headedness and evidence-based decision-making that you want from someone you’re trusting your health to.  The conversation covers what the pandemic has revealed about the state of scientific research; policy questions like masking, vaccinating children, and vaccine passports. And, most importantly, vaccine hesitancy. Dr. Prasad explains why shaming, blaming, and censoring the unvaccinated is a losing strategy -- and what might be a better one. Follow Vinay on Twitter, if you like: https://twitter.com/VPrasadMDMPH?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/22/20211 hour, 33 minutes, 37 seconds
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The Story of One Teenager's Escape From Afghanistan

It’s been a month since the fall of Afghanistan. And Black Hawk helicopters and Humvees aren’t the only things we left behind. Trapped in a country now controlled by the Taliban are hundreds of thousands of America’s Afghan allies. These are the interpreters, advisers and others who worked with the U.S. government and with American organizations--and who we promised we would never abandon. Their chance at freedom — at life — now relies on normal Americans who are determined to right what the White House has gotten so terribly wrong. They are a rag-tag group of military veterans, human-rights activists, ex-special forces, State Department officials, non-profit organizers and private individuals with the kind of resources necessary to charter planes. And they have formed a 21st-century Underground Railroad. In time, history books will be written about these Americans and the Afghans they saved.Today, the story of one of them. A 15-year-old girl in Kabul named Rahima. And a woman called Esther in East Moline, Illinois, who stepped into the vacuum left by the U.S. government. To learn more about the Underground Railroad: https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/inside-the-underground-railroad-out f you are interested in helping people like Rahima please consider supporting: https://nooneleft.org and https://afghanevac.org Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/17/202151 minutes, 50 seconds
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Portland State Sacrificed Ideas for Ideology. So Peter Boghossian Quit.

Peter Boghossian is the first one to tell you: he's no victim of cancel culture. The philosophy professor has long had a taste for stoking debate, questioning orthodoxies, and exposing the brokenness of an academic system that values identity-based grievances over scholarship. He did that, in part, by writing phony papers like "The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct" and getting them published by respected, peer-reviewed journals.  That project and others painted a target on Peter’s back on Portland State's campus, where he was subjected to endless investigations and harassment.  This week, Peter resigned in a letter writing to the school's provost: “The university transformed a bastion of free inquiry into a social justice factory whose only inputs were race, gender and victimhood and whose only output was grievance and division.” In this episode, a frank conversation about the culture of higher education, and how to fight back against radicalism without becoming radicalized yourself. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/10/20211 hour, 16 minutes, 31 seconds
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Courage in the Face of Book Burners

Abigail Shrier is a lawyer, a reporter and author of Irreversible Damage. One way to describe her book would be: controversial. She has been accused of spreading misinformation by GLAAD. A prominent ACLU lawyer called for her book to be banned. A favorable review of the book in Science-Based Medicine ignited an online mob, which led to the journal disappearing that first review and replacing it with a negative one. Amazon and Target have also been pressured to stop carrying Shrier's book. But it hasn’t worked. Despite being ignored by outlets like the New York Times Book Review, Irreversible Damage is an enormous bestseller. Some readers felt so passionately about this book that they took out billboards advertising it on their own dime. Both the subject that Abigail writes about and the treatment of her book deserve your attention. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/8/202154 minutes, 51 seconds
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American Decline Is a Choice. Let's Not Choose It.

Between the catastrophic American withdrawal from Afghanistan, an endless pandemic, a broken education system, and competent leaders nowhere in sight, it can feel like America is in a constant state of meltdown. On today's episode, renowned historian Niall Ferguson answers the big questions: how did we get here? Is American decline inevitable? And if not, what can be done to renew the culture and the country? Niall is the author of nearly 20 books. His latest is: "Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/1/20211 hour, 19 minutes, 28 seconds
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You’re Already Living in China’s World Pt 2: Beijing's Long Game

In Part II, a diagnosis of the global ambitions of the Chinese Communist Party with Josh Rogin. Josh explains how U.S policy mistakes in the 20th century handed more power to China in the 21st, how the Chinese government wields power over Big Tech, Hollywood, and higher education on U.S. soil, and whether we’re headed for another Cold War.   “The global scale of the China challenge is not just about China’s rise, it’s not just about the genocide,” says Josh, “It’s about what kind of world we want to live in.” Plus, a call with Josh to discuss the American withdrawal of Afghanistan, and how the execution of that withdrawal creates a power vacuum for China to fill. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/25/202153 minutes, 22 seconds
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You're Already Living in China’s World Pt 1: The Lab Leak Lies

When the pandemic began eighteen months ago, anyone who dared suggest that the virus came from a lab in Wuhan, China, was dismissed as a crank, or otherwise accused of racism, xenophobia, and refusing to “believe science.” Why was this highly plausible theory unsayable? On today’s podcast, Josh Rogin, a foreign policy columnist for the Washington Post and author of “Chaos Under Heaven: Trump, Xi and the Battle for the Twenty-First Century” answers that question. He makes the powerful case that it all comes back to the power of the Chinese Communist Party, which he likens to the Gambino crime family. If the Gambinos, that is, were running one of the richest countries in the world. Josh is a phenomenal guest and we couldn’t contain our conversation to just one episode. So today, in Part One, a look into what went down in Wuhan and Washington during the fateful month of January 2020. We show how the “Lab Leak Theory,” due in big part to Josh’s reporting, went from a fringe conspiracy theory to a credible explanation for the virus that continues to ravage the planet. Also discussed: Anthony Fauci, Donald Trump, Rand Paul, Peter Daszak, Xi Jinping, Elaine Chao, Henry Kissinger. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/23/20211 hour, 18 minutes, 22 seconds
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How We Failed Afghanistan (And Ourselves) with HR McMaster

How did this happen? How did we spend 20 years, over 2 trillion dollars and over 2,000 American lives to wind up losing Afghanistan to the Taliban in under two weeks? Was the mission doomed from the start? Was it political incompetence? Or was it the fault of the military brass who refused to be honest about what it would take to win? Today, a frank and wide-ranging conversation with H.R. McMaster, former National Security Advisor and three-star general. We talk about Obama, Trump, Biden; the corruption and incompetence of our elites; rising isolationism; and why he’s still bullish about America. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/19/20211 hour, 15 minutes, 52 seconds
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When American Doctors Are Scared to Tell the Truth

For several months, the journalist Katie Herzog has been talking to some of the country's top doctors and professors—not about COVID, or vaccines—but about a new, creeping orthodoxy that’s taken over the hospitals and medical schools where they work. Those doctors say that whole areas of research are off-limits. They say that top physicians are treating patients based on their race. That professors are apologizing for saying ‘male’ and ‘female’ and that students are policing teachers. And in more than a few alarming instances, politics has come before patients. As one doctor put it: “Wokeness feels like an existential threat."Today, Katie joins us to discuss the ideological purge happening within American medicine, where the stakes could not be higher.  If you haven't read her newsmaking stories, published in our newsletter, we highly recommend checking them out Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/11/20211 hour, 9 minutes, 17 seconds
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The Real Story of “The Central Park Karen”

Amy Cooper was not the internet’s first “Karen” — the pejorative used for a demanding, entitled white woman. But as the Central Park dog walker who went viral for calling the police on a black birdwatcher last year, she quickly became the paragon of the archetype. Within 24 hours, Amy Cooper had been doxxed, fired from her job, and surrendered her dog. She wound up fleeing the country. She hasn’t spoken publicly since last summer. Until now.  In a wide-ranging interview with Kmele Foster, friend of Honestly and co-host of The Fifth Column, we revisit the story of what happened in the park that day. We show what the media intentionally left out of the story. And we examine the cost of mob justice. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/3/20211 hour, 22 minutes, 31 seconds
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Bigger, Stronger, Faster: The Truth About Testosterone

Why are men the way they are? Are they naturally more aggressive? And is it fair for transwomen to compete in sports separated by sex? Is it possible to overcome our animal instincts? And why has it gotten so hard to ask these questions out loud? To admit that there are any differences between men and women? On today’s episode, a deep dive into these subjects and more with Carole Hooven, the author of “‘T: The Story of Testosterone, the Hormone that Dominates and Divides Us." The book was named one of the WSJ’s ten best. Carole is an evolutionary biologist and lecturer at Harvard, where she focuses on behavioral endocrinology and sex differences. Here, she explains the science of T, the misinformation about sex, and the importance of telling the truth, even if it makes you unpopular. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/29/20211 hour, 22 minutes, 9 seconds
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A 21st Century Witch Hunt

Maud Maron is the picture of a passionate progressive. She was a Planned Parenthood escort; a research assistant for a Black Panther leader; a Bernie voter; a public school parent; and, most significantly, a public defender who worked for many years at Legal Aid. But fellow progressives, including her colleagues at Legal Aid, now insist that Maud is racist, that she supports segregation, that she is, despite all appearances to the contrary, a modern version of Bull Connor. How did this happen? Why is Maron being lied about so flagrantly? And why did she recently decide to sue Legal Aid, the institution to which she dedicated her career? You've probably never heard of Maud Maron. But I think you will be shocked by her story -- and inspired by her decision to stand up to a tsunami of lies.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/26/20211 hour, 11 minutes, 22 seconds
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You're Being Lied To

One year after her resignation from the New York Times, Bari sits down with author (and America's most famous Stoic) Ryan Holiday to talk about how the media broke and who is to blame for breaking it. Holiday knows about fake news: In his 2012 bestseller, “Trust Me, I'm Lying,” he explains how he manipulated the media on behalf of himself and his clients, including Tucker Max and Dov Charney of American Apparel. Holiday is also the author of "Conspiracy," the story of how billionaire Peter Thiel brought down the gossip site Gawker. We discuss the unintended consequences of Thiel's success, the economics of outrage, Stoicism, opening a bookstore during COVID, and much more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/20/20211 hour, 46 minutes, 53 seconds
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Rufo v. French: Should Schools Ban Critical Race Theory?

All of a sudden, the phrase "Critical Race Theory" seems like it's everywhere. If you are confused by the phrase, or wonder how everyone seems to have an opinion about it, you aren't alone. Despite what some in the mainstream media insist, you do not need a PhD or a law degree to understand this subject. Today, we clear up what it means. We explain why parents across the country are showing up at school board meetings to voice their opposition to it. And we host a debate between Chris Rufo and David French about what the government ought to do about it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/13/20211 hour, 28 minutes, 47 seconds
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America's Sex Recession

A recent study from the American Medical Association found that one-third of men between the ages of 18 to 24 reported having no sex at all in the previous year — and that was before the COVID lockdowns. Meantime, the marriage rate and the birth rate are both at historic lows. What’s at a historic high is online porn. In 2019, more than five billion hours of porn were watched on Pornhub alone. That’s 500 thousand years worth of time. My guest today has been at the forefront of this change. Meet Aella. She has been doing sex work online and in real life for the past decade and she’s now killing on a platform called OnlyFans, where she charges for her followers for her explicit content. It’s like Substack. Sort of. Whatever preconceptions you have about porn stars I assure you she will challenge them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/7/20211 hour, 4 minutes, 6 seconds
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Why Winston Marshall Left Mumford & Sons

For 14 years, Winston Marshall was the banjo player and lead guitarist of the massively successful band Mumford & Sons. Last week, following a viral incident over a tweet, he quit the band: "I could remain and continue to self-censor but it will erode my sense of integrity. Gnaw my conscience. I’ve already felt that beginning." On today's episode, Winston speaks exclusively with Bari about why he chose to walk away from the band he loved. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/1/20211 hour, 19 minutes, 59 seconds
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When a Free Society Becomes a Police State

For 26 years, the swash-buckling, pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily was a thorn in the side of the Chinese Communist Party. This week, after its offices were ransacked, its founder was jailed ,and five of its executives were arrested, it printed its very last edition. The paper's death marks the death of Hong Kong's free press.We hear from a dogged young reporter who takes us inside the newsroom to the last days of Apple Daily, and hear her explain why what is happening to her and her colleagues is not only a threat to them, but to us all. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/27/202133 minutes, 31 seconds
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Revolt of The Public

Why does every institution feel so broken? Why would newspapers sacrifice their credibility to suppress something like the lab leak theory? Why does it feel like small differences of opinion so quickly turn into hate? Martin Gurri saw it all coming. The CIA analyst predicted Trump, Brexit, WallStreetBets, BLM, the Yellow vests, and believes all of these movements are connected by a single force: THE INTERNET. The printing press transformed humanity in the 1400s, but Gurri argues that we are now living through a more radical transformation. One that is just beginning. Gurri's prescient book is recommended by our host more than any other. If you haven't read it, don't wait.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/16/20211 hour, 4 minutes, 18 seconds
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Mark Cuban on F*ck You Money

The billionaire entrepreneur on the ProPublica tax report, capitalism, corporate cowardice, the Chinese Communist Party, crypto & more Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/14/20211 hour, 8 minutes, 4 seconds
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America's Cultural Revolution

What the public shaming of Palestinian immigrant Majdi Wadi — and the boycott of his Minneapolis business — says about who we are becoming. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/9/202135 minutes, 12 seconds
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Official Trailer: Honestly with Bari Weiss

The most interesting conversations in American life now happen in private. This show is bringing them out of the closet. Stories no one else is telling and conversations with the most fascinating people in the country, every week from former New York Times and Wall Street Journal journalist Bari Weiss. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/4/20212 minutes, 29 seconds