The New Abnormal

By The Daily Beast

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 Mar 6, 2021
When is Rick coming back?


 Mar 1, 2021
Rick Wilson is is dispicable bigot


 Oct 17, 2020


 Oct 14, 2020


 Oct 6, 2020

Description

Blunt truth and dark humor for a world in chaos. A Daily Beast podcast hosted by Molly Jong-Fast. Tune in every Tuesday and Friday. Become a Beast Inside member to enjoy bonus episodes every Sunday: http://newabnormal.thedailybeast.com/


Episode Date
The Man Who Was Trump Before Trump
00:56:13

The president’s adviser is falling all over himself to kiss his boss’ ass. “Mr. President, we’re all so proud to work for you. You’re saving the world!” It sounds like something you could imagine Jared Kushner would say to Donald Trump. But the groveler in question is none other than Henry Kissinger, and the occupant of the White House is Richard Nixon. Yes, Trump is a descendent of Nixon’s, says former Spy magazine editor and Studio 360 host Kurt Andersen, whose new podcast is called Nixon at War. Also on the episode, New Yorker writer Susan Glasser joins Molly and co-host Jesse Cannon to dissect President Biden’s trip to Europe and summit with Vladimir Putin, and whether Democrats’ hopes for their Senate majority were all foolishness. Finally, on the episode, hilarious viral phenomenon Crackhead Barney and Drew Rosenthal join Jesse and Molly to break down their approach to MAGA rallies, how she was committed to a psych ward in Staten Island, why they think they’re going to get beat up one day, why they want to interview Thomas Markle, and how the Proud Boys greeted them.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com


 

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Jun 18, 2021
These Trump DOJ Subpoena Revelations Are Like Watergate on Crack
00:55:48

Attorney General Merrick Garland has been busy lately. In this episode of The New Abnormal, Molly Jong-Fast chats with FBI agent Peter Strzok about “Watergate on crack” aka these Trump DOJ subpoenas. Plus! Journalist Francesca Fiorentini takes on America’s hypocrisy and Sen. Alex Padilla (CA-D) drops the mic about the immigration debate.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Jun 15, 2021
We’re All Just Living Under the Tyranny of Joe Manchin w/ Andy Slavitt, Rep. Ritchie Torres & Jason Kander
00:52:59

“Everything’s a question mark, because we no longer live in a democracy. We live under the tyranny of Joe Manchin,” says Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) of the current state of Congress. The congressman, who represents “America’s most impoverished district,” New York’s 15th, joins Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal to talk about why making President Biden’s child tax credit permanent could be his administration’s greatest legacy. But it all rests in the hands of a single—tyrannical—senator. Also on the show, Andy Slavitt, Biden’s outgoing coronavirus adviser and author of the new book Preventable, says it would be “healthy for us to try to hold to account not just the president, but ourselves, each other” after 600,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. Former Missouri secretary of state and Majority 54 podcast host Jason Kander also goes in-depth with Molly—who asks how Democrats can possibly take back red states “if we can’t get people like you to run? No pressure.” Tune in for his response and what we can learn from Georgia.



 

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Jun 11, 2021
What if This Is Just the Tip of Trumpworld’s Iceberg of Crazy?
00:59:26

It was unhinged, even by Trumpworld standards. In the dying days of the Donald’s administration, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows asked the Justice Department to investigate a bizarre conspiracy theory, that an Italian defense contractor somehow swung the election to Joe Biden. Emails between Meadows and the DOJ were uncovered over the weekend. And there’s likely to be more to come. This is only “tip of the iceberg of all the crazy stuff that went on this winter,” George Conway tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “These guys were doing some wild, wild stuff. And it wasn't just the campaign and the kooky campaign hangers-on, and the lawyers who were working on the campaign, like Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell. This stuff was going on in the White House.” Plus! Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel talks about the militia movement, which has become so alarmingly potent in her state. And Dallas high school valedictorian Paxton Smith describes the reaction to her instantly-viral speech against Texas’ new anti-abortion law.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Jun 08, 2021
What the F*ck Is Wrong With Joe Manchin?
00:55:45

What does Joe Manchin want? That’s what Molly Jong-Fast, co-host of The New Abnormal, wants to know—along with “what the fuck is wrong” with him. Because of the West Virginia senator, Democrats can’t say they have the majority in the Senate. “Unfortunately, that’s the way they have to look at it,” she says. “It’s totally screwy. We are in this weird conundrum of our own Democratic making. End the filibuster to push through top Democratic legislative priorities? Forget about it, because Manchin doesn’t want to do it. The Daily Beast’s congressional reporter, Sam Brodey, joins the podcast’s latest episode to offer insight on what makes the senator tick—and what might possibly move him on the all-important filibuster. Also on the show, comedian Andy Levy laments the passing of Donald Trump’s blog and says the former commander in chief was undone by the “media he hates so much,” with reporters tweeting about his posts and thereby robbing him of vital traffic. Later in the episode, writer Sasha Issenberg talks about how same-sex marriage was “the dominant culture war issue for a long period of time. And now I think we look back at it as the most significant civil rights breakthrough of this millennium.”


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Jun 04, 2021
Does the MyPillow Guy Think He’s a Governor?
00:56:31

Mike Lindell, the MyPillow CEO and Trumpist conspiracy-peddler, flew his private jet to the Republican Governors’ Association meeting the other day. The guvs promptly threw him out. But the incident got Molly Jong-Fast thinking: does the MyPillow CEO think he’s already a governor or something? Lindell claims he wouldn’t “run to be a dogcatcher right now,” because he doesn’t trust the voting machines. Plus! Politico’s Tara Palmeri talks about her search to find Liz Cheney supporters in Wyoming. And Battle for the Soul author Edward-Isaac Dovere gives us a peek into how Biden sees the political landscape.If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Jun 01, 2021
UNLOCKED: Will Biden Ever Get Off His Ass to Save Democracy?
00:26:19

It’s “the most serious threat to the core underlying principles of American democracy since at least the Civil War.” And Joe Biden is barely doing a thing to stop it. “We are seeing a threat to the integrity of the 2022 and 2024 elections—and the ability of Americans to cast a vote—that is unfolding across multiple dimensions,” The Atlantic’s Ron Brownstein tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “Amid all of this, you've heard very, very little from Biden presenting this as a threat to democracy.”


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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May 31, 2021
Will Biden Ever Get Off His Ass to Save Democracy?
00:26:04

It’s “the most serious threat to the core underlying principles of American democracy since at least the Civil War.” And Joe Biden is barely doing a thing to stop it. “We are seeing a threat to the integrity of the 2022 and 2024 elections—and the ability of Americans to cast a vote—that is unfolding across multiple dimensions,” The Atlantic’s Ron Brownstein tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “Amid all of this, you've heard very, very little from Biden presenting this as a threat to democracy.”

 

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May 30, 2021
Trump Jr.-Bongino 2024??
01:00:33

In this episode of TNA, Molly Jong-Fast and JD Durkin discuss who would be sent to Gitmo in a Donald Trump Jr. White House, Jessica Huseman sends chills down voting spines when she reveals voting bills that are way, way worse than Georgia’s. And Tom Nichols shits on Democrats, Republicans, and teenagers.

 

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May 28, 2021
Ex-GOP Rep: My Party Was ‘Beamed Up by Aliens’
00:56:49

Former Republican Congressman and NSA official Denver Riggleman has wrote a book about BigFoot and studied terrorist groups. But his party’s fascination with QAnon? That perplexes him the most. He tells Molly Jong-Fast all about it in this episode of The New Abnormal. Then, Jacobin writer Luke Savage also joins to discuss Mitch McConnell’s fart-like legislating style and Zachary Karabell, author of Inside Money, explains why breaking up big tech companies may be more trouble than it’s worth.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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May 25, 2021
Michael Cohen Went Down First—But This Trump Crony Should Be Next
01:01:10

Tim O'Brien, a senior columnist at Bloomberg, tells TNA host Molly Jong-Fast that there is one person who could actually get Trump behind bars. Plus! The GOP has no idea how to talk about Jan. 6, the new Texas abortion ban involves suing people and Andy Levy joins to explain why Andrew Giuliani is the most pointless failson of all the failsons (even Don Jr.)


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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May 21, 2021
Republicans Are Trying to Steal Your Vote, and Dems Are Snoozing Through It
00:56:05

Republicans all over the country are pushing hard and pushing fast to make sure as few people vote as possible. In 11 states, they’ve already passed laws restricting voting rights, and more laws are coming. It’s not just a response to the Trumpist lie that the 2020 election was rigged. It’s basically an extension of the Capitol riots, argues Mother Jones’ Ari Berman—a way to “accomplish the aims of the insurrection through ‘legal, legislative’ means.” Plus! The Nation’s Jeet Heer talks UFOs. And New York City mayoral candidate Kathryn Garcia details her vision for “a more livable city.”


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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May 18, 2021
Violent Insurrection: It’s the New Camping!
00:57:21

Those Trump supporters inside the Capitol on Jan. 6? The guy who made off with the lectern, the woman who stole Nancy Pelosi’s laptop? They weren’t actually rioting. “Look, I am not here to tour shame,” humorist and former Fox News personality Andy Levy tells Molly. Next, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) comes on the show to talk about what’s happening on the border and how his state’s wacky election audit is going. Finally, economist Marshall Steinbaum joins Molly and co-host Jesse Cannon to talk about inflation, unemployment benefits, and why we shouldn’t worry about raising corporate taxes.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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May 14, 2021
FEVER DREAMS: How ‘Wannabe’ Instagram Models Kneecapped Matt Gaetz
00:57:32

If the federal investigation into Matt Gaetz does indeed end up spelling the MAGA congressman’s downfall, it’ll be partly because of a group of wannabe Instagram influencers.


On this week’s episode of The Daily Beast’s Fever Dreams podcast, hosts Will Sommer and Asawin Suebsaeng welcome fellow Beast reporters Jose Pagliery and Roger Sollenberger, the duo that’s been breaking story after story on the Gaetz scandal in recent weeks. The pair reveal new details on the Gaetz saga that haven’t been publicly released before, including additional passages from the confession letter secretly written by disgraced Gaetz wingman Joel Greenberg, and sent to Trump associate and longtime GOP ratfucker Roger Stone.

 

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May 13, 2021
Josh Hawley Is Basically Making Meth For MAGA Nation
00:58:05

In this episode of The New Abnormal, Bulwark Editor-In-Chief Charlie Sykes tells Molly Jong-Fast why Josh Hawley and his fellow GOPers have major Breaking Bad vibes when it comes to supplying the Trump base with BS and the two surmise what is going on in McCarthy’s goldfish brain. Plus! TNA’s favorite vaccine disinfo buster Dr. Eric Topol shares the next big COVID vax move that could change the game and Democratic pollster John Anzalone makes the case that Biden is America’s new Marvel hero.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes it's just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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May 11, 2021
Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Want to Fix Facebook
01:01:50

We might not have learned much from the Facebook Oversight Board’s punt this week on former President Donald Trump, but we did learn something: How utterly disingenuous Facebook has been on enforcement of its rules on hate speech.The social media giant, it turns out, never did have a strong system in place to deal with people like Trump. For years, New York Times writer Kara Swisher tells co-host Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. Also in the show, New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe talks about his new book, Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Family. Finally, the economist and editor of The Black Agenda Anna Gifty explains why if we center economic policies on Black women, then “everybody inevitably benefits.”


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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May 07, 2021
Rudy Giuliani Is in ‘Deep Shit’
00:47:48

Rudy Giuliani insists the FBI raid on his apartment was a total miscarriage of justice. His Trumpy allies swear the feds had no reason at all to execute a search warrant on his home.George Conway, a former top Republican lawyer, has a slightly different take. “I think he's in deep shit,” Conway tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. Then, science historian Steven Johnson—the man behind the new Extra Life Project—joins the pod to discuss the many lessons we’ve learned from the pandemic.

 

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May 04, 2021
Donald Trump Jr.’s Inauguration ‘Fuckery’
00:49:29

There are dozens of legal cases against the Trumps, but perhaps the most fascinating is one in the District of Columbia that has attracted little public attention according to Mother Jones’ D.C. bureau chief, David Corn, who joins the latest New Abnormal to break down an under-the-radar Trump legal case and what’s in store for Rudy Giuliani. Plus, the road ahead for voting rights with LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter and Southern Black Girls and Women’s Consortium.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Apr 30, 2021
TEASER: Will Rudy Giuliani Actually Be Held Accountable for His Alleged Criming?
00:05:10

Feds raided Rudy Giuliani’s New York City apartment on Wednesday in regards to his dealings in Ukraine, but the question many folks have, including The New Abnormal listeners, is whether he will actually be held accountable for his alleged criminal activity? In this bonus episode of The New Abnormal LIVE, Molly Jong-Fast and Jesse Cannon spoke with Daily Beast White House reporter Scott Bixby and Daily Beast politics editor, Matt Fuller, about the former Trump crony, the chances of Ron DeSantis or Trump running for president in 2024 and why liberals are drinking the John Boehner Kool-Aid.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Apr 29, 2021
Has Wall Street Completely Lost Its Mind?
00:53:58

Fast-falling apps, valued at billions of dollars. Governments printing up untold trillions in debt, just so they can buy it up themselves. Bitcoin knock-offs, soaring. Literal shell companies, all the rage. Has Wall Street (and the whole damn financial sector) lost its collective marbles?


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Apr 27, 2021
Howard Dean: The Republicans Are Now a Neo-Fascist Party
00:52:25

The Republican Party has suffered a total moral collapse and is now held together by a bunch of “nutcases” happy to endorse autocracy and neo-fascism—or so says Howard Dean, former presidential candidate and ex-chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The Democratic Party grandee tells Molly Jong-Fast he won’t run for office again so he is no longer treading on eggshells. That’s bad news for the likes of Sen. Josh Hawley and Mike Pompeo, who are on the receiving end as the former governor lets loose on the “crazies,” the “whack jobs,” and the “conspiracy theorists,” in a fiery edition of The New Abnormal podcast.

 

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Apr 23, 2021
UNLOCKED: The New Abnormal Has Turned One And Is Celebrating 20 Million Listens
00:18:34

It’s been a weird year--some might even say an abnormal year--but we’ve had a consistent bright spot: the loyal listeners of The New Abnormal podcast. Thanks to you, we’re celebrating our one-year anniversary with a major milestone: twenty million listens. Producer and host duo Jesse and Molly sat down for a speed-round of twenty questions to celebrate in style. Check out Molly’s hilarious and insightful responses in an exclusive mini-episode.

 

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Apr 21, 2021
Andrew Yang Will Shit-Talk Florida to Get Rich New Yorkers Back Home
00:54:36

Andrew Yang will do whatever it takes to get the New York City economy going again if he’s elected mayor. And by anything, we mean he will shit-talk Florida to get as many rich New Yorkers as he can to come home from the Sunshine State, he tells Molly Jong-Fast in this episode of The New Abnormal. Plus, Toure, host of the podcasts Democracy-ish and Toure Show, tells Molly why the current police system is more about making money than it is about protecting the people.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Apr 20, 2021
TEASER: Mika Brzezinski: I Was An ‘Idiot’ Signing My First Morning Joe Contract
00:03:39

Mika Brzezinski’s firing from CBS in 2006 was a total surprise. In this bonus episode of The New Abnormal, she tells host Molly Jong-Fast about how it all went down, why there should be a '70 Over 70' list for women, and her biggest regret from her first “Morning Joe” contract with MSNBC—especially after finding out what Joe Scarborough did with his.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Apr 19, 2021
Hunter Biden on Burisma, Don Jr., and Cooking Crack!
00:42:23

On a special edition of our hit podcast The New Abnormal, the president’s son opens up to Molly Jong-Fast about … well, about a lot. Why the Trumps continue to go after him so hard. Why his wife won’t let him have a laptop. How easy it is to cook crack cocaine. How hard it is to live in fear of a relapse. 


But Hunter Biden also gave some hard-to-swallow answers about the emails he traded with the bigwigs at energy companies in China and Ukraine—answers that could come back to haunt him. It’s all part of an absolutely gripping episode that you absolutely have to hear.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Apr 16, 2021
What Mika Brzezinski Did When She Read Trump’s ‘Bleeding Facelift’ Tweet
00:50:36

Trump’s tweet about Mika Brzezinski “bleeding badly from a face-lift” originated from a conversation between her and the former first couple in their bedroom. Really. In this episode of The New Abnormal, the Morning Joe co-host gives her hilarious retelling of the events that led up to this infamous tweet, and exactly how she responded when she found out about it: “I'm talking to Melania about it, woman to woman, then Donald came up and said, you know, Melania has had no work done. She's perfect. I'm like, ‘that's great.’” Then! The National’s Elie Mystal breaks down the Derek Chauvin trial and why it’s unlike any other cop murder trial he’s ever seen. Plus! Why are Matt Gaetz’s Republican enablers just as skeezy?


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Apr 13, 2021
TEASER: Rep. Grace Meng: How I’m Able to Work with GOP Racists
00:03:19

Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY)’s tearful rebuke against Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) during a House hearing on violence and discrimination against Asian Americans was semi-unplanned. She had a speech ready to go, but when Roy went on an anti-China and lynchings rant instead, she just lost it. “I had to cut out excerpts of my prepared speech, which I'm sure my staff got upset about, but I just had to say it. I had to respond to what he was saying and the disturbing way in which he said it,” she tells Molly Jong-Fast in this bonus members-only episode of The New Abnormal. “I was just so sick of the Republican party from the very top levels of leadership constantly using these [racist] terms, which literally helped embolden people to commit acts of hatred against the community.” Molly can’t help but wonder, out loud, how Rep. Meng can work with these people day in and day out. To that, she lets Molly in on a not-so-secret-secret: “The things that they say on social media is sometimes different from what they're doing,” she says, referencing the GOP members who didn’t vote for the American Rescue Plan Act, but tried to take credit for it among their constituents. There were even 164 Republicans who didn’t even vote for an anti-hate bill that just said they stand against Asian racism. But Meng isn’t surprised by that, especially after Jan. 6. “You had these members who literally talk about law and order on their conservative outlets. And then were literally blowing past, yelling at and shoving Capitol police officers because they didn't want to go through the metal detectors. It’s just a complete lack of respect for the very institution that they brag about respecting.” Molly compared it to the Trump era. “The whole Trump administration, it went from the Muslim ban to the wall with Mexico, and now they were like, you know what? This virus is from Asia. And it's like, they only have one speed. And it's racism.” Plus! Congresswoman Meng convinces producer Jesse Cannon that 16-year-olds should get the right to vote and addresses one of Molly’s favorite questions: How can Dems get better at messaging?


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Apr 12, 2021
Why Matt Gaetz Was Left Twisting in the Wind
00:58:56

Every day, sometimes multiple times a day, come eye-popping new details in the Matt Gaetz scandal. But perhaps the worst thing of all for the Florida Republican, who is accused of underage sex trafficking, may be that Donald Trump thinks he’s useless.


Yes, the congressman spent years sucking up to the former president—and even said he’d give up his job to defend him. But Trump has only managed to offer a tepid 24 words of support since the scandal broke, and George Conway has a theory about why.


Joining co-hosts Molly Jong-Fast and Jesse Cannon on the latest episode of The New Abnormal, the lawyer and Washington Post contributing columnist says, “The fact that he doesn't stick up for [Gaetz’] conduct here tells you that he has no use for the guy. And why should he?


All Gaetz’ sucking up to Trump, Conway says, is now “in the past. That doesn't get you points with Donald Trump. Now it's what you can do for a malignant narcissist.”


It’s pretty clear now that Gaetz is now toast—and of no further use to Trump or the rest of his party, which will spend this weekend at a big RNC meeting in Palm Beach “paying homage to the orange criminal form,” as Conway puts it.


The party now faces a conundrum, he says, stuck between trying to rebuild and at the same time glorify Trump. It’s a losing strategy, says Conway, that will peel off yet more centrist voters and bring more of “the kinds of candidates that drive Mitch McConnell crazy, you know, the Todd Akins of the world,” and more like Gaetz.


Also on the show, Amanda Litman, co-founder of Run for Something, which helps Democratic candidates run for office, talks about how the pandemic and the racial justice movement have inspired more people to run than hatred of Trump. 


Finally, 8chan founder Frederick Brennan talks to Molly and Jesse about how he knows that Ron and Jim Watkins are behind QAnon today, in an excerpt of an interview that will run in full on the new Daily Beast podcast Fever Dreams.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to http://newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Apr 09, 2021
Why Republicans Can’t Seem To Lay a Glove on Biden
00:57:34

That new documentary on QAnon ended with something of a bang, with one likely suspect seeming to half-confess that he was ‘Q,’ the oracle of the violent conspiracy movement. But there may not be even a single ‘Q,’ explains Will Sommer, one of the people featured throughout the documentary and the co-host of The Daily Beast’s new hit podcast, FEVER DREAMS.  


“There was kind of like this group surrounding the original Q,” Sommer, who’s writing a book on QAnon, tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “There's not even one solid Q in the beginning. I mean, Q does not use the name. All these posts that are attributed initially to Q do not use the Q name. So you get into this fight over the canon, of who is Q who's not Q.”


Speaking of delusional movements, the Republican party is at a bit of a loss these days. They can’t seem to figure out how to get in the way of Joe Biden’s agenda—or even to throw an effective counterpunch against the guy.   


“The Republicans don't how to push back. The most effective pushback of Biden's whole infrastructure relief plan has been from [Obama’s former national economic council chief] Larry Summers,” James Carville, the veteran Democratic strategist, tells Jong-Fast. “Intellectually, they just they've lost their footing.”


Carville adds, “I think the most significant 24 hours in American politics was from 8:00 PM eastern on the 5th of January to 8:00 PM eastern on the sixth. And that time you had the two Georgia wins  and you had the insurrection and those events taken in tandem have been very, very underappreciated by contemporary commentators. They were just a different party on the night of January the 6th. Everything changed in a 24-hour period. And, you know, they’re still off balance.” 


“And while they are balancing, I think the Biden people have just stayed focused and running as much through as they possibly can. But [the Republicans] don't have a coherent pushback. It's all CBS: cancel culture, the border, and senility. That's all they do,” Carville adds.


“They just completely reinvented a coalition and their messaging overnight has gone from an Episcopalian, Presbyterian, white party [to] rural and non-college... They don't want to talk about free trade or anything like that,” he continues. “And Biden is not just a polarizing figure. I mean, you can't gin it up. I mean, Obama, for obvious reasons he could get them all ginned up. They try to get a charge out of Biden, but it just doesn't work that well… They'll get it back. But right now they're having a hard time.”


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Apr 06, 2021
UNLOCKED: DNC Chair Jamie Harrison: The Democratic Brand Is Broken
00:24:31

Democrats are in control of the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives for the first time in a decade. But to the new chair of the Democratic National Committee, it’s clear that the party’s brand is broken in a large swath of America.


“I think what we have to do as a party is battle the damage to the Democratic brand,” Harrison, the former senate candidate, tells Molly Jong-Fast in the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “I experienced it on my own race, Lindsey [Graham] and his crew of dark money effectively labeled me as somebody who believed in defunding the police. My grandfather on my stepfather's side was in the Detroit police department for 40 years. So I don't believe in that. But they were able to do it because the Democratic brand had been so tarnished in South Carolina that people would believe anything. If they said, ‘Jamie kicked a puppy the other day,’ they would have believed it.” 


“It's not even just with Republicans, the Democrat brand with some of the folks who are core at the base of our party is not the greatest,” Harrison continues. “And so I want to spend a lot of time, energy, and effort understanding why the brand is where it is, what it is and how, and what we can do in order to improve it.” 


Especially in rural and red-state America, Harrison says: “We have to take credit and claim the things that we will have gotten done over the course of this next two years. We're going to do a lot for rural America. The American Rescue Plan has so much in there for rural communities across this country. And it will have a huge benefit, this infrastructure plan, when we get this done. The broadband component in it alone, will totally transform rural America.” 


“Those communities are also just as diverse as urban communities. We also need to make sure that we're listening to them,” he adds. “And then, in the end, we’ve got to deliver and I believe we can do those things. Not only will we grow our base, but I think we also persuade a few other folks to take a look at us.”

If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Apr 05, 2021
Gaetz Keeps Digging Deeper Holes for Himself
01:00:12

The New Abnormal’s least favorite Florida congressman, Matt Gaetz, is in hot water over mounting allegations that he’s been involved with underage women and taking them across state lines. To discuss the burgeoning scandal, co-hosts Molly Jong-Fast and Jesse Cannon brought on The Nation’s national affairs correspondent, Jeet Heer, who says he isn’t the least bit surprised. 


“It’s the ones you always suspect the most,” he says. 


Noting Gaetz’s strange appearance on the Tucker Carlson show, where he tried to get Carlson hitched to his sinking ship, Heer says he sees a connection with what other people in the alt-right swamp engage in. “Occasionally you see racists try to implicate the person they’re talking with, like, ‘You think this as well. You also don’t like those people right?’... To normalize this behavior. That’s basically what he’s doing: ‘Oh yeah, you remember the dinner that we were at with your wife? And wasn’t there some sort of really sleazy scandal involving you?”


To Heer, Gaetz describing his dinner with a young date along with Tucker Carlson and his wife is reminiscent of the Woody Allen movie Manhattan. “In the movie, Woody is dating a 17-year-old [Mariel Hemingway]... and they go out to these dinners with their adult friends who are middle-aged.” The imagery is hard to unsee. 


For more strange twists in the Matt Gaetz story, Molly and Jesse brought on Daily Beast senior politics editor Matt Fuller, who says he’s been hearing rumors of Gaetz’s bad behavior for over three years. 


“Let’s just say he has a proclivity for younger women. He certainly has been open to dating college-aged women, congressional staffers, maybe some interns from Turning Point USA. He’s a man about town,” Fuller says.


The crew agrees that you’re not in a good place when reporters are having to pin you down on the language you’re using around accused pedophilia. 


“It’s been very odd to hear exactly how he phrases these answers on a lot of this, because he always says, ‘I haven't had any inappropriate relationships with underage women.’ And it’s been unclear if he’s saying underage women, like, with an age of consent, or…? We don’t know what he’s talking about.” 


Also on the show, Molly sits down with one of the foremost warriors in the fight against the “anti-science movement,” vaccine scientist Dr. Peter Hotez, who talks soberly about what we have ahead of us in the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Plus, getting so high you end up flying from Kentucky to Kenya, how you troll Joseph Goebbels, and podcasting with the Original Gangster Villain—that’s all on the latest The New Abnormal.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Apr 02, 2021
FEVER DREAMS: Why QAnon Is So Bummed to See the Suez Ship Go Free
00:39:24

Did you know that everyone’s favorite Suez-Canal-blocking ship is now the subject of a QAnon conspiracy? The Daily Beast’s Asawin Suebsaeng and Will Sommer lay out why the adrenochrome set is convinced that the stuck ship’s cargo is full of trafficked children on the latest episode of our Fever Dreams podcast (Hint: it has to do with Hillary Clinton’s secret service code name—you guessed it, EVERGREEN.) 


Speaking of Hillary conspiracies, Suebsaeng and Sommer discuss why the right just can’t seem to come up with a good Joe Biden conspiracy to smear the new president; Trump’s base seems more interested in reverting to their old hatreds of Clinton and Barack Obama. (As Suebsaeng points out, Biden quite simply is not Black or a woman, and so doesn’t inspire the same level of vitriol from the hardcore racist, misogynistic Trumpites.)


Meanwhile, there’s a tug-of-war going on between those in the Trump administration who want the former president to receive “credit” for the COVID vaccine drive and the rightwing anti-government, anti-vaxx diehards who refuse to believe that their Emperor God actually wants them to get the shot. The tussle is crystallized in Trump’s former HHS staffer Michael Caputo, a “really brash, incredibly Trumpy longtime Republican operative” who has taken it upon himself to prosthelytize about the vaccine in biker bars among the “MAGA Sons of Anarchy”—and who’s running into a lot of resistance.

Keep an eye out for the interview with The Daily Beast’s own Kelly Weill, who walks our hosts through the crazy cast of lawyers and faux-lawyers who have sprung up to defend the Capitol Rioters and anti-masker businesses—one of them quotes from Lord of the Rings, another has never actually passed the bar because he thinks it’s a British conspiracy. 

And most importantly, we learn about Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes’ supervillain origin story, how Texas National Guard troops faced a hostage situation with Pizzagate overtones, and how Will Sommer is singlehandedly responsible for bringing the phrase “soy boy” out of the Internet swamp into the national spotlight.


Listen to Fever Dreams on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.

 

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Mar 31, 2021
The Right Way to Fight Georgia’s Voter-Suppression Law
00:58:05

Goldie Taylor has been working in and around Georgia politics for decades. So she knows first-hand the kind of stunt Republicans are trying to pull with this new voter-suppression law


“What [Gov.] Brian Kemp will tell you, what other state GOP office holders will tell you, is that they've done this to restore confidence in the ballot. Poppycock. They have done it to keep people who don't look like them, church like them, live like them, away from the voting booth,” Taylor tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest edition of The New Abnormal.


Taylor knows a lot of her out-of-state friends are outraged, too. But their calls to boycott Georgia over this law? They’re just wrong, she says. 


“Sometimes being an ally means shutting up,” Taylor continues. “As soon as this began to happen, we heard people, especially people in Hollywood say, ‘Oh, we're going to boycott Georgia until they stop this.’ Right. And both me and Dr. Bernice King stood up and immediately said, ‘No, you want to put the very people that you aim to help out of work in the middle of a pandemic. You're going to make it so that they can't recover in an effort to pay back a governor who won't feel it.’” 


“Sometimes you have to take on a whole state or a whole county or a whole country. I do believe in that,” she added. “In this case, that's not what the leverage lies. In this case, the leverage lies in the direct contributions, the financial pipeline that greases the pockets of state house Republicans. Dry it up. 


“How do you dry it up? You target their donors, big corporations: Coca-Cola, UPS, Home Depot, AT&T—all these companies who have huge footprints here in Georgia, who are pouring money into our state house. You put pressure on them specifically. But what you don't do is tell Major League baseball to take a game out of the city, because who gets hurt? The people who are selling the popcorn, who parked the cars. People who scan your tickets. The people who can least likely afford it.” 


Then! Punchbowl News co-founder Jake Sherman discusses why even people on the left need to take Jim Jordan seriously. And Talking Points Memo founder Josh Marshall talks about why “Washington is a town that is really wired for Republican governance.”



 

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Mar 30, 2021
FEVER DREAMS: What It’s Like When MAGA Nation Wants to Kill You for Your Movie
00:50:51

Take one self-proclaimed satanism expert. Add in a pinch of dumpster-diving. Throw in a chicken-coop fire, and (of course) pillow magnate and Donald Trump pal Mike Lindell. And you’ve got the recipe that Trump 2020 deadenders are currently leading in the great state of Arizona to try to, somehow, overturn the election there.


“It could be like a Coen brothers movie. It has that atmosphere,” Daily Beast political reporter Will Sommer tells his colleague and co-host Asawin Suebsaeng on the premiere episode of  Fever Dreams, The Beast’s new podcast. “You have these kind of vigilante groups of people who connect on Facebook and say, well, let's go to the board of elections—and then they dive into the dumpster and see what they can find…Or there was a fire at a chicken farm owned by or connected to this guy who's opposed to the recount, and they said, well, he probably put the ballots in there and set the fire! And then they go out to the farm and they smell the air and they say: This smells like burnt ballot to me!”


Fever Dreams takes you inside the right’s push to retake power, from the conspiracy-slingers to the MAGA acolytes to the straight-up grifters. Thought the Trump era was crazy? Wait ’til you hear what comes next.


To start, there’s the slew of Republican efforts to not only to keep challenging the 2020 presidential contest, but to also execute further election and voter crackdowns across the country. 


“What’s going on is that Republicans need some shred of voter-fraud evidence that they can then use to impose more voting restrictions,” Will adds. “But what they’re doing here in Arizona…[the recount effort involves] this satanism guy, who maybe does not have the most credibility, or they were looking to hire this very pro-Trump outfit that’s been laughed out of other state recounts.


To help further unpack how the Trump era was just one long, aggravating, and monumentally blood-drenched Coen brothers movie that we were all forced to live through, Swin and Will welcomed Ike Barinholtz, the comedian and star of such films as Blockers and the Neighbors franchise, as well as in TV series Bless the Harts, Eastbound and Down, and The Mindy Project


The whole Trump presidency “really was Burn After Reading,” Ike contends. But “if you want to learn how the insides of the [Trump] White House work, you have to watch Step Brothers. It will all make sense.”


Ike also opens up about what it was like to co-star in the 2020 satire The Hunt, just as then-President Trump was busy issuing, in Swin’s words, a “cultural fatwa”—via tweet—on the movie. “No one loves ‘cancel culture’ more than the Republicans. It’s their favorite thing, they love it, they thrive on it,” he says. “The worst possible thing is for Donald Trump to tweet about you. Just, it changes your life in a terrible, terrible way…I was super nervous that he was going to tweet about it. And then he tweeted about it!”


As a result, he and others working on the movie were, naturally, inundated with threats of retribution and violence...  


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Mar 29, 2021
TEASER: How Ted Cruz and the GOP Are Using the Border as a Prop
00:03:01

GOP Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn led a tour for themselves and others in their party at the border on Friday, but according to Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, who took over Beto O’Rourke’s former 16th district in Texas, it’s all “political theater.” They want to “use the border as a prop, do a whole lot of complaining and finger pointing. But these are the same people who've been in the Senate for a number of years when their party had control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives, [and] they did not solve this problem,” she tells The New Abnormal co-host Molly Jong-Fast and producer Jesse Cannon. That’s not to say that Biden has all the answers, he doesn’t. But she does feel like it’s finally time we get to the root of the immgration debate in our country. “[Constituents] don't want us to be the problem,” she adds. “They want us to solve problems.” But how? It’s two fold, she explains. First, we need to have real sit-down conversations and policies in place in regards to the countries in the Southern Hemisphere to hold them accountable (“These countries are turning a blind eye in many respects to the awful human trafficking, criminal organizations and networks that have existed for a long time.”) And, it’s going to take Americans getting real with themselves. We’ love the ideal of the immigrant more than the actual immigrants themselves. “Why are Americans so afraid of immigrants?” Escobar asks. “We need to instill some compassion into the hearts of Americans.” Plus! She and Molly discuss why Latino voters, in Texas specifically, can be pro-Republican and pro-ICE. It seems irrational but there’s a reason.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Mar 28, 2021
Rep. Adam Kinzinger: ‘All We Do Is Call the Other Side Douchebags’
00:59:50

What’s our wildly divisive political climate doing to today’s 20-year-olds, who will be our political leaders of the future?


That’s what Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) asks co-hosts Molly Jong-Fast and Jesse Cannon on the latest episode of The New Abnormal.


In the past, Kinzinger says, Americans could look to Ronald Reagan and Democratic leader Tip O’Neill having a beer together, despite their differences. Today, Kinzinger says, we’re not seeing similar examples: “All we do is go on Twitter and TV and call the other side douchebags.” It doesn’t bode well for us getting back to normal politics, he warns.


Still, says Kinzinger—the first sitting GOP congressman to accept an invitation to come on The New Abnormal—former President Donald Trump’s influence on the Republican Party does seem to be waning.


Twitter’s decision to ban Trump, which Kinzinger fully supports, is a big part of that, he says. “He can put out crazy press releases calling Rove a RINO like he’s doing, but… it’s taken a lot of his influence away.”


“I think we’re going to survive this,” the Illinois lawmaker says of the future of the party. “But it’s certainly going to be an epic battle. It’s probably gonna be an epic battle that needs to happen.” 


Kinzinger also explains why he thinks the Democrats’ For the People Act is a bad bill, why Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene needs to be called out for dehumanizing transgender people, and why he thinks Trump is the real RINO.


Also on the show, MSNBC host Ali Velshi talks to Molly and Jesse about criss-crossing the country this year and somehow managing not to get COVID, and whether the media can get back to normal now that Trump is out of office and not sucking up all the oxygen.


Finally, author and editor Ronald Brownstein talks about his new book, Rock Me on the Water, and what the cultural and political atmosphere of the early 1970s have in common with the present moment.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Mar 26, 2021
Getting a Presidential Pet Is a Great Distraction From Scandal
00:57:51


When we think of presidential pets, we think of their cute moments and endless photo-ops on the White House lawn—but the reality is you sometimes need to acquire a pet to distract from a scandal. 


So it was in the 1990s, CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Mo Rocca explains on the latest episode of The New Abnormal, when the Clintons adopted Buddy the dog. 


“The Clintons had Socks,” Rocca tells co-host Molly Jong-Fast. “And then in the depths of the Lewinsky affair, when Clinton was in real turmoil, Dick Morris advised him to get a dog. This is totally true. And because dogs were more popular, they got a chocolate lab, Buddy. Labrador retrievers were at that point the No. 1 breed in America for 17 years running. And so the cat was given, I believe, to [Clinton personal secretary] Betty Currie. I mean the cat, it was like, ‘Exit, stage right.’”


Rocca also explains why he enjoys writing his popular podcast Mobituaries: “In general, I deal with dead people because they don’t have publicists, so they’re a lot easier to deal with.” 


Molly and co-host Jesse Cannon are then joined by civil rights activist and host of Pod Save the People DeRay Mckesson, who tells them that police violence is actually getting worse, not better, despite increased public scrutiny. 


“Police actually killed more people in suburban communities in almost all our communities combined,” Mckesson says, adding that the public perception of what is happening in legislative changes to policing is not reflected in the actual practices of policing. “New York City has never banned strangleholds. So when [Eric] Garner gets killed, the police immediately say, ‘We didn’t choke him.’ They’re like, ‘We strangled him.’ But that’s essentially their argument right there: ‘We did not use the “banned” technique.’” 


The conversation then turns to school reopenings amid the pandemic, with Molly and Jesse joined by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, who is none too happy about New York City mayoral frontrunner Andrew Yang leading educational policy. 


“I think that people are very, very intrigued by the universal basic income proposal that he’s made,” Weingarten says. “...And what Yang is raising by basically undermining the public schools at the same time as he has lifted up privatization charters and yeshivas is actually walking away from the common good and the public good of what a city needs to run.”


And then for the people’s favorite New Abnormal segment, “Fuck That Guy,” Molly aims her ire at New York Times best-selling author turned aspiring Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance, who is trying to up his chances of getting that seat by firing off tweets flirting with white nationalist tropes.




If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Mar 23, 2021
TEASER: Trump Isn’t the Only Person Whose COVID Response Cost Lives
00:03:33

Since the spread of COVID-19 launched a global pandemic in 2020, over half a million Americans have been killed by the virus. And experts agree that the death and infection rates have been much worse in the West—mainly the United States and Europe—than many other places in the East. In other words, while other countries like China, Cambodia and New Zealand were able to tempur the spread, the U.S. had its ass handed back to it. There are a lot of reasons for this, says David Wallace-Wells, New York magazine writer and author of How the West Lost COVID. Factors like population age and geographic location played a role in these places’ ability to control the virus, but ultimately, one of the most “catastrophic” factors that played into the death roll, is something we very much had control over. And that is how our leaders responded and our collective culture, on both a federal and local level. “I think the toll of the disease really throughout all of Europe and all of the Americas shows you just how devastating cultural and political inaction is,” he said. “South Korea looked at what was happening in January. And they said, ‘Holy, this is really bad. Like if China is locking down an entire city of 10 or 11 million people for a period of months, like this must be really scary and we should get our act together in response.’ And in the West, we just didn't.” Host Molly Jong-Fast is adamant that having a person who wasn’t inept in office, aka someone other than Trump, would have made a huge difference in saving lives. Wallace-Wells agrees. He also thinks even the Democratic leaders and bipartisan health officials dropped the ball, too, though, at least in the beginning. “Gavin Newsom, Andrew Cuomo, and even Anthony Fauci, all of them were sort of saying to some degree the same thing, which was, ‘we don't want to disrupt things too dramatically unless we need to,” and that cost lives. “Our wealth, our medical capacity, our cultural capacity was gonna prevent us from being vulnerable in the way that these other countries elsewhere in the world were vulnerable,” he added. It’s also a scary indicator of Americans’ lack of ability to take immediate action if it’s uncomfortable for future crises, like climate change Molly points out. But there is some good news: “I think the cultural lesson of this pandemic is [that] we under reacted and it's likely that we're going to be much more aggressive in the future.”



If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Mar 22, 2021
How Trump Turned Asians Into a Target
00:51:02

It didn’t have to be this way. 


The coronavirus pandemic didn’t have to become politicized—or racialized. But last March, President Donald Trump “decided to call coronavirus, which has no ethnicity or zip code or nationality, the China virus,” says Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali on the 100th episode of The New Abnormal.


“There was no reason to make coronavirus a racist thing,” co-host Molly Jong-Fast adds. 


Now, not only are people of Chinese descent coming under attack across the U.S., but other Asians—because “bigots aren’t nuanced,” adds Ali, who wrote about the wave of anti-Asian hate for the Beast before the Atlanta massage parlor murders.


“As a Muslim, as a son of Pakistani immigrants, we’ve been through this for the past 20 years,” he tells Jong-Fast. “And I realized that that story in America is the original story that gets a remake, and sometimes the villain just gets changed, right? So right now it’s Chinese or the Chinese, whoever looks Chinese. It’s been Muslims. It’s always African-Americans, it’s Latinos. We’re all the invaders.” 


“It’s a society-wide problem,” he says, “that requires a society-wide solution.”


After Ali tells Jong-Fast why we’ve got to nuke the filibuster, she welcomes freshman Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA) on the podcast to talk about the pandemic and how the vaccine campaign is going.


“The United States is probably in the best position, except maybe for Israel, throughout the world, in terms of vaccinating its population,” Auchincloss says. 


Still, he cautions: “Not to be a Debbie Downer, but this problem of cold storage is very much still with us. If you look at countries near the Equator, we are nowhere near herd immunity. And indeed we’re looking at late 2022, early 2023 to hit that tipping point. And there the cold storage supply chain is very much an issue.”


The U.S. needs to develop a Marshall Plan for vaccines, he says, because “we’re in a race right now between vaccinations and variants, and it doesn’t help the United States if we win it domestically and lose it internationally.”


Lastly, Jong-Fast brings on Evan McMullin, former 2016 presidential candidate and former CIA officer, to talk about how the GOP is changing.


The last five years, he says, were not an “anomaly” for the party. “We were headed towards that for decades,” he says. “And I don’t see us getting past the last five years immediately either. I think there is that opportunity, but you know, it, it will take time.”


McMullin says he’s still a registered Republican but is not sure how long he’ll stay that way, given the “current direction” of the party.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com


 

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Mar 19, 2021
WTF Is Wrong With Kyrsten Sinema?
00:52:29

It’s bad enough Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the Arizona Democrat, turned down the minimum wage hike with that oh-so-cute thumbs down. Now she’s threatening to derail the whole Democratic agenda, insisting on archaic Senate rules that give Mitch McConnell and the Republicans outsized power.


“I think is a lot of people feel that this groovy, bisexual Senator should be voting in a groovy way and not like a terrifying conservative,” Molly Jong-Fast says on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. 


“Do you see a world in which Democrats can get her on board for filibuster reform?” she asks Senate veteran Adam Jentleson.


“I definitely think that,” Jentleson answers. “I think she's miscalculated a little bit. I don't think she can afford to be out as far to the right as she is right now. Even [centrist West Virginia Sen. Joe] Manchin has started to shift a little bit. And so she's kind of out on a limb.” 


“Joe Manchin can say, I am the only Democrat who can hold this sea, it's me or a Republican… and that's valid,” Jentleson adds. “He's generally a pretty reliable vote for most of the things we want to pass. He can be very frustrating, but it's literally him or a Republican… Sinema cannot say that she's the only Democrat who can hold that seat. There are other credible Democrats who could run in a primary and win the general election.”


Sinema’s fellow Democrat, Sen. Mark Kelly, is up for reelection in just two years. “For him to win, he needs to accomplish a lot of things. He needs to be able to go to voters and say, here's what we did,” Jentleson adds. “And so I don't think that Sinema can, can tell Mark Kelly to go jump off a bridge... It's just untenable to say, ‘I'm going to stand in the way of all the things that Democrats want to do because of my love for the filibuster’ in a purple state. I don't think this is a long-term sustainable position.”


Then, former Stockton, California mayor Michael Tubbs talks about his push for universal basic income. And The Daily Beast’s Diana Falzone takes us inside Fox News, as staffers there lose their minds in the face of a challenge from an even crazier conservative network. “They’ve dug in their heels. And now they're going to give the viewers what they want, which is this red meat of cancel culture of Dr. Seuss of Mr. Potato Head,” she tells Jong-Fast. “Things will get even more, as the staffers say at Fox news, ‘Foxifized,’ which is the war on Christmas, the war on men. There’s always a war going on.”


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Mar 16, 2021
TEASER: Jelani Cobb: Jan. 6 Was the Beginning of GOP’s Mess, Not Ending
00:03:33

It’s not hard to see that the Republican party was the Party of Trump during the four years he was president. But what kind of party are they now? Honestly, it’s hard to tell. “When you looked at the platform for the 2020 election, they didn't create one,” says New Yorker writer and professor Jelani Cobb. There is one thing about today’s GOP, however, that is very clear: “They've doubled and tripled down on a type of politics that is very appealing to disgruntled white people or white identity politics.” If history repeats itself, as it often does, this tactic will bite them in their behinds. In this episode of The New Abnormal, Jelani chats with Molly Jong-Fast about the major similarities he sees between the current state of the GOP and parties of the past that no longer exist. Oof. “The Republican party [are] the modern version of the Whigs,” he explains. “They broke apart over debates about the expansion of slavery, and they could not figure out where they stood on these fundamental questions. They were incoherent internally. And so what was notable to me was the extent to which all those dynamics are present within the current Republican party.” And capitalizing on “white desperation,” is one of the ways it’s trying to remain in power, he adds. This explains the Jan. 6 riots and there’s some bad news: “It might be reasonable to look at January 6th as the onset of a particular kind of political violence rather than the culmination of something that's already concluded,” he says. Then! Molly asks Jelani about the Voting Rights Act and its fate, and he shares a history nugget that many people might not know about (Abraham Lincoln basically gave Black people the right to vote to offset white supremacists in the South, which he saw as a “direct threat to American democracy.”) History strikes again. “A lot more is at stake than we generally acknowledge,” says Jelani.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Mar 15, 2021
Damn Right Republicans Are Scared of the Voting Rights Bills
00:59:26

Republicans are terrified—with good reason. 


Utah Sen. Mike Lee went viral this week when he sputtered earlier that one of the new voting rights bills making its way through the House was “written in hell by the devil himself.” And Lee’s GOP colleagues didn’t exactly knock the notion down. 


“They should be scared of it,” Rep. Eric Swawell, the California Democrat, tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. “What we saw this past election in Georgia and Arizona —states that have historically made it harder for African-Americans and Latinos to vote—was that when you expand access to the polls, Democrats can win. And so I'm sure it was not comfortable for Georgians and Arizona leaders to certify the results for Joe Biden and [Sens.] Mark Kelly, [Raphael] Warnock and [Jon] Ossoff.” 


“But instead of doing the right thing and standing on the integrity [of the election], they're learning the wrong lesson,” Swalwell adds. “What they're doing now is they're going back and saying, ‘Well, we don't ever want to do that again. We don't ever want to certify a Democratic victory. So let's just change the rules... Let's get rid of early voting. Let's get rid of Sunday voting, which benefits the faith-based communities of Georgia. Let's make it a misdemeanor if you pass out food or water to a long line.... And that way we can protect ourselves from another Democratic victory.’” 


“If we do not pass HR1 and HR4—the two voting rights bills—you will see this institutionalized across the country, and the results will be devastating,” he continues. “HR1 gets rid of the dirty maps of redistricting, gerrymandering, and the dirty money. It strips down to the studs as much as you can legislatively the Citizens United ruling. HR4, The John Lewis Civil Rights act really puts back in place what's called pre-clearance—requiring approval from the courts before you can move polling places or purge voter rolls. And so if there was ever a reason to break the filibuster, which was put in place to block voting rights, it would be to advance both voting rights. It's almost a perfect completion of the circle.”


Then, Justice Democrats spokesperson Walid Shahid talks about how President Biden can avoid the traps that snagged Obama. And Carl Zimmer—a top science reporter for the New York Times and author of Life’s Edge: the Search for What It Means To Be Alive—joins Jong-Fast to discuss the pandemic, and the botched response that we are only now beginning to counteract.


“People knew this was coming for 20, 30 years, and yet we didn't prepare well enough,” he says. “If you look at countries like Nigeria or Senegal, and look at their case rate, their death rate, and all the rest, they have done incredibly well. And, and I was recently listening to a Nigerian disease specialist, talk about why this is. And one reason is that they'd been through Ebola and been through other outbreaks. They know what a virus can do when it goes berserk. And so they coordinated very early lockdowns and everyone was on board and they had good, consistent public health messaging. They didn't have a lot of money, they didn't have a lot of resources, but they were coordinated and effective. And I think we could learn a lot from them. And we should also look to ourselves and say, ‘well, why did we in the United States that makes such a spectacular mess of it.’”


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Mar 12, 2021
Florida’s Top Dem: Ron DeSantis Hid His COVID
01:00:39

While Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may have been the runner-up to former President Donald Trump in the recent CPAC straw poll, his chances of ever becoming president himself are not good, according to Florida’s top Democrat. 


“You know, he went MIA for three weeks in November claiming that he was working on some statewide plan. My take is that he probably had COVID and didn’t want to tell people when the vaccines first came to our state,” Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried tells co-host Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal


Fried also spills the tea on DeSantis’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic and his real boss—Trump. “A lot of it was, he [DeSantis] was getting his nod from President Trump and wasn’t able to do anything without President Trump’s approval, and the same thing is happening here, because now President Trump is a resident. So I’m sure that [DeSantis] is consistently calling the president and I’m sure the president’s wealthy friends in the state of Florida are asking for the vaccines, and so they’re getting it delivered to them.“


But Fried isn’t done truth-telling about DeSantis and how his vaccine rollout will burn down his presidential aspirations, after he allowed non-residents to claim coveted doses for themselves while Floridians went without. “He allowed for out-of-state people to come into the state. So we heard, you know, big donors and people on the boards of hospitals and nursing homes were flying into our state,” she tells Molly.


Also in the episode, Peter Segal of NPR’s beloved quiz show Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me! joins Molly to talk about the emotional life of politics and everything that isn’t on Twitter. Sagal feels passionately that when the aliens come down to Earth, they are going to not see much of a difference between left and right wing cable television rhetoric.


“Differences that are obvious to us would not be to a Martian,” he says. “Looking at a camera and explaining to us very seriously and very sincerely why another group of people are terrible... They’re trying to get the audience to feel the same way about the opposite group of people, to feel indignant, to feel angry, to feel righteously upset about how awful these people are to feed that fuel. And what that says to me is that we’re more alike than we thought.”


And then the crew brings on David Shor, who says his job is to “get Democrats elected” but his formal title is head of data science at Open Labs.


Shor tells us how Democrats can win elections and the big problem with the 2020 election.


“One of the big stories of this election is that those non-white conservatives started to vote more like white conservatives, that we started to see this ideological polarization that’s happened over the last four years,” he says. “This has been a long-term trend, 2018 was worse than 2016. I think it’s something that a lot of people ignored, that there were a lot of races where Democrats did substantially worse than [Hillary] Clinton among non-white voters, and it was impactful. The reason we lost the Florida Senate race, or the Georgia gubernatorial race, if we had done as well among non-white voters as Clinton did, we wouldn’t have lost those races. And in the same way, going to 2020, I think, you know, 2020 was worse than 2018. And if you look at some survey data, you get some hints as to why. We ended up asking after the election, we did a large post-election survey of Latinos and asked a battery of issue questions just to try to get at what was motivating some of these voters who switched over. I think the single largest predictor was attitudes toward crime, attitudes toward public safety, attitudes toward policing.”


All of that plus Kyrsten Sinema’s Marie Antoinette imitation and the secret to getting that sought-after “NPR voice” on the latest The New Abnormal.


If you...  


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Mar 09, 2021
TEASER: Mayoral Candidate Maya Wiley: I Won’t Take Bullying from NYPD
00:03:30

It’s safe to say that the people of New York City are ready for a new mayor, and certainly one who isn’t Bill deBlasio. Sure, he gave the city universal pre-K but had some faux paus over the years, most recently in 2020, when he was accused of antisemitism for a tweet addressed to the Hasidic Jewish community over social distancing rules during COVID and also (this one was big) for not standing up to the NYPD for harassing citizens during the George Floyd riots this summer. One of the many candidates stepping up to take his place is Maya Wiley, an activist, professor and veteran of City Hall, who says she will handle things much differently if she becomes the next mayor of New York City. To start, she doesn’t think there should have ever been a curfew during the protests, she tells co-host Molly Jong-Fast, producer Jesse Cannon and Beast editor Harry Siegel in this members-only episode of the New Abnormal. (“You can not have a control and containment model of policing that sees who are, who are expressing first amendment rights as the enemy.”) She also made it clear that she won’t bow down to bullying from police unions like many believe deBlasio did. “[The NYPD] works for us. You're public servants,” she says. “We're going to put the public back in public safety. And what I mean by that is civilian oversight are the rules of the road. Of the priorities of policing, we are going to right-size it, because it does not make any sense to have police doing functions that other experts should be doing like mental health crisis response.” When it comes to the city’s economy, she plans to take a Depression-era approach: investing in “communities that have been hard hit by COVID.” Plus! Molly asks her about Cuomo’s allegations (“There has never been any change worth fighting for where you didn't have someone who was difficult to work with.)


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Mar 08, 2021
Biden Was Asked to Refinance His House After Iowa Fail
00:52:54

This is just how dire things got for the Biden campaign in early 2020. Plus, just how much damage Trump did by hiding his COVID vaccine, and Colorado’s voting model.


How did Joe Biden manage to eke out a presidential win after washing up in fourth place in Iowa and fifth in New Hampshire? 


Co-host Molly Jong-Fast still wants to know. “I’ve spent much of the week talking about being wrong about Cuomo, but I would like to take a minute to talk about being wrong about Biden,” she tells NBC News’ Jonathan Allen, co-author of the new book Lucky: How Biden Barely Won the Presidency, on the latest episode of The New Abnormal.


While Jong-Fast and others were writing Biden’s political obituary in February 2020, his staffers were suggesting the former vice president refinance his house to put money into his dying campaign, Allen says.


“It's not the most unheard of thing for a candidate to do it,” he says, but “a presidential candidate doesn't do that. And the subtext of going to him to tell him that is that it might be time to just wrap up the campaign. To Joe Biden's everlasting credit, he believed in himself.”


Allen talks about how Biden’s key endorsement from South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn came about—and another key to his win, the coronavirus pandemic. 


“COVID hits and Biden is taken off the trail and he is able to be scripted know for his entire career, been disciplined and reporters love him because they'll talk, but he's on disciplined. And now his campaign has the ability to control his message and choose when he talks and how he talks to who he talks to. Um, and he's able to make those discretionary decisions along with his advisors. And meanwhile, Trump is on the stage at the white house, telling people to inject disinfectant, to combat COVID.”


Allen also talks about whether Biden will be able to unify the country and get any Republican votes to get legislation passed. “I think that there are things on which a Biden will be able to get votes from model Republicans. Um, it sort of independent thinking Republicans, you know, the converse is some of these bills are going to be incredibly difficult for them to vote against. I mean, think about voting against the COVID relief bill that's already made, you know, an entire campaign's worth of ads for an opponent. Marco Rubio is going to vote against this COVID relief bill, and he's going to have a democratic opponent next time. There's several that are thinking about getting in, including Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy from Florida.”


Also in the episode, Jong-Fast is joined by Eric Topol, cardiologist scientist and author and the founder and director of the Scripps research transitional Institute, who talks about how the vaccinations are going and how hard the U.K. variant will hit.


The U.K. variant, he says, will hit hard in Florida, California, and Texas, but he’s not so worried about the South African and Brazilian variants, which “ don't seem to be nearly as infectious.”


How are vaccines going? The U.K., he says “can go much faster since they're not giving the second doses right now. We've actually been pushing for that in the US to get ready for this variant that we're going to be hit with there that you gave variant, but there isn't receptivity at the white house, uh, yet, or we're Tony Fauci. We think that just for a month to go with the one dose, uh, you know, and then get these, all these people get their second dose a little bit delayed would be really advantageous, but we haven't had success in pushing for that.”


HE also says it’s a travesty Trump's decision to cover up the fact that he was vaccinated.


“We have politicization of the vaccine of vaccines. We have a remarkable global gap...  


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Mar 05, 2021
‘They Might as Well Have Torn Up the Constitution’
00:59:08

For years, a central goal of the conservative movement was to install right-wing judges. A Republican president delivered, big time. And these Trumpists are still pissed. 


Which tells you one thing. For the authoritarian wing of the Republican party, this was never about interpreting the American legal code. It was always about raw political power. 


“It's not about the rule of law. It's not about getting good qualified judges. It's about results- oriented litigation,” former U.S. Attorney for Alabama Joyce Vance tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. “They want judges who will vote to save the election for a president who has clearly lost it. And that's just out of bounds. It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican. The notion that the courts could be used to steal an election is really the epitome of being anti-democratic. It's ludicrous. It's ridiculous. It just shows you that these folks are off the rails. They might as well have stood on a stage at CPAC and torn up the Constitution.” 


Vance adds, “We should immediately begin to identify what's being done here as anti-democratic. I don't believe that that's where my Republican friends in Alabama are. Many of them are good people who have different principled views than I have on policy issues. They believe in the Constitution and the rule of law. And they're horrified by what they're seeing.” 


Because the Trumpists aren’t just looking for judges that overturn elections they don’t like. They don’t want anyone outside of their crowd to be able to vote, period. “These efforts to suppress the vote previously have been relegated to dark corners of political operatives. It's now actually the platform of the Republican party to make it hard for people to vote, because they're afraid that they might not vote Republican. They should be expending half the energy they're expending on voter suppression on trying to win voters over, on creating policies that are appealing to the population,” Vance says. “This is a sickness in the American political dialogue.” 


Vance also looks at the mushrooming scandals around Andrew Cuomo, and the mounting legal cases for Trump. Then, Olivia Troye, who worked for Trump and Mike Pence during the early days of the pandemic, talks about their botched response to COVID. “It turns out nobody in the White House cared about spreading the virus,” she says. And the Washington Post’s Dave Weigel, fresh from CPAC, talks about how even straight-laced Republicans are now espousing the Big Lie.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes it's just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Mar 02, 2021
TEASER: Getting ‘Canceled’ Is the Only Thing Conservatives Have Left
00:03:55

The theme this year, stupidly enough, is ‘America Uncanceled.’ But the only real way to get any kinda cred at the 2021 Conversative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, to make a stink about how you’ve totally been canceled.


One easy way? Refuse to wear a mask, even though the host city and the hotel both require it. “We’ve seen these conservative influencers who, it seems, are deliberately getting kicked out of CPAC by not wearing a mask,” The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “Because for them, CPAC is sort of just the place to see and be seen. They don't really care if they get kicked out. I mean, they don't want to hurt their brand by wearing a mask. And so we've seen a lot of these guys [showcase] the video of the ceremonial ouster from CPAC.”


“They're really against being canceled, but it actually seems like the culture of conservatives now—the merit badge is, you got canceled. Like, Marjorie Taylor Greeene is a celebrity now, because she got canceled,” adds producer Jesse Cannon.  


But there’s a reason the CPAC posse is coalescing around cancelation. It’s because they can’t agree on much else. “The thing that I was really struck by, Jong-Fast says, “was that they're so light on policy… There's no nuts and bolts stuff.” 


“The only policy discussion you hear at CPAC is when some lobbyist is clearly trying to plant something,” Sommer replies. “Theoretically, CPAC is supposed to be a bring[ing] together of the factions of the conservative movement. But this year I think everyone is so shell-shocked from 2020, they can't acknowledge that they lost. Because that would mean acknowledging that Trump lost. And everyone's just so terrified of Trump.”


The only thing left to fill the space is the performative resistance. 


“So, apparently, to get this hotel, [the CPAC organizers] had to promise that people would wear masks,” Sommer says. “But at the same time you're inviting the people who are least willing to wear masks, to celebrate often how much they hate masks. So you have speakers like Ted Cruz saying how dumb it is to wear masks.”


Sommer adds, “So then occasionally in CPAC you have to have the organizers stand up and say, ‘we all love property rights, right?’ ‘Yeah!’ And they're like, ‘well, what about the right to have people a mask on your property?’ And everyone goes, ‘boooooo!!!’”


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Feb 28, 2021
Mary Trump: Here’s How We Send Donald to Jail
00:57:53

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office finally got its hands on Donald Trump’s taxes and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes clear why he spent so much time trying to keep them hidden away. In this episode of The New Abnormal, Mary Trump joins as Molly Jong-Fast’s co-host to talk about the development, a topic that she knows a lot about. (Quick recap: She helped with the New York TImes’ investigation into Trump taxes.) But these taxes are different than the taxes Mary had been involved with, she says. “The taxes I gave them are old and from my grandfather's company. So I think [the new taxes] will be really helpful in establishing patterns where such patterns actually exist,” she explains. But there’s one problem. She doesn’t think Trump is really sweating it down in Mar-a-Lago, mainly because he’s gotten away with so much shit for so long. What makes this time any different? “If he goes down because of his taxes, Al Capone style, I'm all for it,” she says. “And if it's bad enough, which it's going to be, I think his ability to stay out of jail decreases significantly.” It’s not impossible, and there is one thing she says we can keep doing to make it happen. Then! there’s still the Republicans’ MAGA Problem. “It's almost like they have Stockholm syndrome [from Trump] that they gave to themselves,” Molly says, and Mary piles on: “They are an anti-democratic party and they will do anything, including embracing counter-majoritarian tactics, to maintain their power, no matter how illegitimately.” Even if it goes against their voters’ own interest, or well-being. (“Self-interest in the name of being superior,” says Mary.) Then! Rep. Sylvia Rodriguez (D-TX) joins Molly, producer Jesse Cannon and Daily Beast congressional reporter Sam Brodey to share what the situation currently looks like in Texas, how AOC spent a few days visiting her and helping out and why running off to Cancun was never even a thought in her mind—but recruiting Sen. Ted Cruz to volunteer at the food bank with her is. (“His neighborhood is slightly different than mine, and they have a lot of access to resources and it would be helpful.”) Plus, Rep. Val Dennings (D-FL) shares what being in the Capitol during the riots was like from a former law enforcement officer perspective and faces Molly’s very blunt question. Is she going to run for Senate?


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just us discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Feb 26, 2021
Blaire Erskine Exposes MAGA Insanit‪y‬
00:47:37

Atlanta-based comedian Blaire Erskine has blown up on Twitter over the past year with videos that not only roast Trump-loving conservatives but have also managed to fool a large number of prominent liberals. With characters like Tiffany Trump’s best friend, Marjorie Taylor Greene’s daughter and Ted Cruz’s spokesperson, Blaire rides a fine line between parody and reality and nails it every time. In this episode, we talk about how she honed this new craft during the pandemic, why 90% of the hate she gets comes from the left and a lot more.

Twitter: @blaireerskine and @mattwilstein | Instagram: @blaire.erskine and @lastlaughpod

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Feb 24, 2021
Orange Is the New Orange: Trump Just Might Go to Jail
00:59:45

For years, he’s gotten away with it. He lied. He cheated. He treated the government like a get-rich-quick-scheme and his most ardent followers like marks. 


But now, Donald Trump could be facing serious criminal charges. The kind of charges that might lead to the former president going to jail. 


The Supreme Court turned down Trump’s final appeal, and that means his accounting firm has to turn over his tax records and business documents to Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance ASAP. “Trump's lawyers will always come up with something, but there should be no reason why the grand jury won't get these financial records tomorrow,” Daily Beast legal analyst Jay Michaelson tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. 


“Basically, what we all know happened was: Trump inflated the value of his business when it suited him, which is in order to get on the Forbes list [of richest people] and also to get loans from Deutsche Bank. And then he deflated his worth in order to save on taxes. So that's illegal... Not only is that insurance fraud and bank fraud, but that could affect those loans,” Michaelson adds.


“Will he go to jail for, like, the rest of his life? Probably no. Is it possible that this would lead to criminal charges that would carry jail time? I would say that's pretty likely, and we could have a grand jury indictment fairly soon,” Michaelson continues. “A lot of these kinds of white collar crimes are settled, and they're settled out for large financial settlements. In this case, I'm not sure that Cy Vance is interested in settling with Donald Trump—even if Donald Trump could afford the fines that he would have to pay, which I don't think he can.”  


To which Jong-Fast asks, “Can he borrow it from Jared?”


“Unfortunately, he's not the financial wizard that he makes himself out to be.”


“Wait. But Jared made $200 trillion.”


“Don't fall for it. I mean, he's cute, but he's not really that smart.”


Also on a packed episode of The New Abnormal: Tommy ‘Quentin Quarantino’ Marcus talks about all the cash he raised for Planned Parenthood—in Rush Limbaugh’s name. ‘How to Be a Liberal’ author Ian Dunt tells us how post-Trump Americans should see still-Boris Brits like him: “So what you should do is look at us like we were like someone you used to date that is still taking heroin. ‘I'm so glad I left that behind,’ because that's where we are.” 


Finally, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Mark Warner about how the fight against the far-right needs to be taken international. “We're going to do a deep dive on this anti-government extremism—and particularly some of these groups, their ties to right-wing groups in Europe, oftentimes amplified by Russia,” he says. “I know the threat is real. I know it's not just in this country.”


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes it's just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Feb 23, 2021
TRAILER: Dem Impeachment Manager: Here’s Why We Didn’t Call Witnesses During Trump’s Trial
00:03:50

We know how the story went: Trump was impeached for a second time. There is a trial. He is found not guilty because there not enough votes needed to make it happen, despite the majority of the Senate voting against the former president. Lots of people have questions in regards to this process. Namely, what the hell? But also, why didn’t the Democrats forgo their right to call witnesses? Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CA) told co-host Molly Jong-Fast his perspective on things in this member-only bonus episode of The New Abnormal. “Whether it's five witnesses or 5,000 witnesses, it would not have changed the ultimate outcome,” he says, echoing Rep. Jamie Raskin has said on the issue. They did consider witnesses nonetheless, says Neguse, but to him, it came down to timing. “It was clear that other witnesses whom had been speculated about in the media in terms of potential witnesses that we could have heard from were unlikely to voluntarily comply and voluntarily appear, which meant we would have to issue subpoenas. And they could very well contest those subpoenas in court,” he says. Ultimately, he feels the point was made, and everyone knows Trump was responsible: “That is something that obviously was crystal clear by virtue of the evidence that we showed during the course of the trial, which of course the American public had a chance to see as well.” He shares his own experience during the Capitol insurrection, including the moment he realized things had gotten bad. “I texted my wife and told her that, uh, I loved her and our daughter,” he says. Plus! He and Molly discuss what plans the House has to make sure this doesn’t happen again and that people in power are held responsible. And is Medicare for All and federal legalization of marijuana on the horizon?

 

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Feb 22, 2021
The Vaccines Are More Effective Than You Think
00:48:57

Andy Slavitt was shocked when he joined the Biden administration. 


“I was under the impression coming in—as many, many Americans were—that there were big stockpiles of vaccines waiting to go out the door that were produced over the course of the last year. It's been much, much less the case than I think we'd been led to believe,” the White House senior adviser for COVID response tells Molly Jong-Fast and Jesse Cannon on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. 


It was one of a host of shortcomings the Biden team found, Slavitt says: “Not enough vaccines, not enough vaccinators, not enough places for people to get vaccines.”


“So when we got here January 20th, one of the things we learned as an only 46% of the vaccines delivered to states had actually made its way into people's arms. Now you'd never expect that to be 100%. But 46%? It was low,” Slavitt adds.


There’s now a plan in place to purchase as many as 600 million doses, hopefully enough for every American. States are now using 75% of their doses, a big step up from a few weeks ago. And there may be another vaccine around the corner, from Johnson and Johnson. “I would love to tell you, we weren't going to be starting with a huge stockpile of Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The truth is we're starting with a small number and we've got to build it as quickly as possible.”


Meanwhile, the virus is evolving. More contagious, deadlier variants are spreading, fast. But even here, Slavitt sees some signs for hope. “All of the vaccines work very well against the English B117 variant. So that's good. The South African variant—and there's another one that looks like the South African, that's the Brazilian variant—that one it's interesting. There is a degradation of performance of the vaccines against the South African variant. However, that degradation is thankfully still above the scientific threshold for effectiveness,” Slavitt says. “It still generates antibodies. It doesn't generate as many. But it’s good.”


The vaccines may even be a bit better than advertised, Slavitt says. “You know, we may have done a little bit of a disservice to ourselves when with the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, we talked about the end point as including [serve] and mild [COVID-19 cases], because we really don't care as much about the mild. And so we get very fixated on the fact that they're 95% percent effective against both, right. And we probably should have stepped back and said, ‘you know what, let’s just measure it against more severe symptoms.’ In which case, the Johnson and Johnson does very close to comparable.” And all of the vaccines seem to stop severe cases—from all the variants. 


There are even some indications that “viral load”—the amount of virus a person carries—“is decreased for people who are vaccinated,” indicating “that these vaccines not only reduce disease and save lives, but these vaccines also will reduce the ability of people to affect one another, which if it holds up, will be terrific news.”


But only if the vaccine gets into the arms of the people who need it the most, Slavitt cautions. 


“It's not just how many vaccines are being administered, but also how equitable equitably they're being distributed. Because look, we all know there are half the population or more would crawl over broken glass to get the vaccine, right. But the problem is they’re crawling over other people,” he adds. “You know, they're getting online and going into communities, maybe neighborhoods they've never visited or visited in a long time, but [where] we put vaccines that are really hard hit by the virus. People are coming in, refreshing their browser, and going in and getting these appointments. It's really important that we not just focus on how many people we vaccinated, but that we do it as equitably as possible. And that's a big, big push for us.”


If you haven't heard, every single week The New...  


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Feb 19, 2021
Mitch McConnell Proved He’s Even More Craven Than Ted Cruz
00:44:31

That impeachment vote in the Senate was tough to swallow, with 43 Republicans voting to acquit Trump for the insurrection done in his name, by people waving his flag. Even more gag-worthy was Sen. Mitch McConnell’s speech afterwards—blaming Trump for the wannabe coup minutes after voting to let him off.


“The most galling statements for me were the ones from the Mitch McConnells and the Rob Portmans and the Marco Rubios after they voted to acquit Donald Trump, basically saying, ‘Well, you know, the whole coup thing was kind of bad and I wish you wouldn't have tried to do it. And I wish a cop wouldn't have died. And you know, he made some bad choices. But you know, I had no choice,’” Bulwark writer-at-large Tim Miller tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. 


But of course, McConnell and his crew did have a choice. The House impeached Trump on January 13. The Senate decided to take a vacation, rather than take up the case right away. And once the vacations were over and Biden was sworn in, they decided against all reason and precedent that an ex-official like Trump somehow couldn’t be convicted.


“For Mitch McConnell to be like, ‘I really wanted to do it, but…’ Bullshit. The only reason that you didn't do it was because of you. It is galling. Give me a hundred [militia-friendly Rep.] Lauren Boberts—who are too stupid to know that it was bad, or Ted Cruzes—who are sociopaths—over Mitch McConnell, trying to try to tell me that he has some feelings about this. Give me a break,” Tim says.


Also on the show: Rep. Andy Kim tells Molly what it’s like to be the rare Democrat representing a Trumpy district. Molly gives an update on the Lincoln Project situation. And Tim keeps going in on McConnell.


“I know that many listeners will think that Mitch McConnell doesn't have a soul at all, and that's understandable. But he actually does have a flicker of one. He does love the Senate, you know,” Tim adds. “And he wanted to be able to emote about that in his weird Mitch McConnell way. And that's what actually makes it worse… Don't try to memorialize to me. You had an opportunity to do something you didn't. You made the craven move. You sided with the insurrectionists.”  


Miller says, “Basically what we saw on Saturday was a Republican party that had an opportunity—after five years of being craven cowards that rolled over for Donald Trump at every chance—finally was able to put the stake in his heart and say, ‘We don't need you anymore. We don't tolerate this. And we want to move forward, even it takes a little pain.’ And 43 of them said... ‘nah.’”


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes it's just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Feb 16, 2021
TEASER: The Marine and The Doctor Taking On Marjorie Greene and Lauren Boebert
00:03:46

Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert weren’t elected to their positions in the House of Representatives by accident. They ran campaigns like everyone else, and won. Given Greene’s “nutty” aka QAnon-supporting and anti-mask-censorship antics in particular since she arrived in Washington, it may be hard for lots of people to understand why. In this bonus members-only episode of The New Abnormal, co-host Molly Jong-Fast sat down with Doctor John Cowan, the Republican surgeon who lost to Greene in her district despite both candidates supporting Donald Trump, to get an idea for what people may have had in mind when casting their ballots for her. “I think this is why she got elected is because people really felt like these guys are absolutely crazy in Washington DC,” he explains. “And they are, many of them are, trying to actively destroy the country through their policies and rhetoric and whatnot. And [voters] looked at someone like Marjorie and said, ‘we've got the answer to that. You know, she's a fighter she'll say or do anything.’” Essentially, says Molly, she won for the same reasons Trump did. Cowan agrees: “I think they just thought, well, we've got somebody who's literally going to kick it to the government and maybe he can crack that or drain the swamp as he was off to say.” Then, Molly talks to Gregg Smith, a former Marine and ex-colleague of Erik Prince, who is running against the GOP’s Rep. Lauren Boebert in Colorado. He feels that he can and will defeat her. Donald Trump had support out there because “people out here will generally vote against the mainstream,” but that support has dwindled, and Boebert’s response to the insurrection is being questioned, he says. But Democrats aren’t going to win the area by pushing Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders-level ideologies too hard. “You've got to address the issues that are important out here.” That’s basically what both Cower and Smith have in common with one another: hope in the voters. “I do think people eventually will wake up and see that there's a lot of darkness there,” says Cowan. Plus, Smith shares the moment he knew Erik Prince couldn’t be trusted: “I never want to see him again.”


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes it's just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Feb 15, 2021
There Is a Way to Take Down Fox News (And It’s Not a Boycott)
00:57:09

Amidst hundreds of thousands of Americans dying from COVID-19, countless pleas from health officials and the CDC to wear maks and social distance, and a recent report from Lancet that put the cherry on top of the “this was basically Trump’s fault” sundae, Fox News has decided to do what Fox News does: Go against all of that. This time, their “poison pill” of choice, as Media Matters’ President and CEO Angelo Cursone calls it in this episode of The New Abnormal, is vaccine skepticism. “What Fox is doing with the vaccines right now is similar to the role that they played at every step of public health measures,” Cursone tells co-host Molly Jong-Fast. “They dismissed social distancing early on. They were sort of skeptical about the masks and Jeanine Pirro was warning her audience. That the only reason people wear masks is to do bad things.” Now, they’re telling their viewers they’re not sure about taking the “George Soros Kool-Aid.” (Rick Wilson is already seeing this play out with “MAGA moms” on Facebook). But Fox has a reason for this, adds Cursone, who shares his theory. It has to do with your cable bill—and it’s also the very way the network could be destroyed. The more outrage they get, the more viewers, the more negotiating power they have against cable companies to get them to charge cable watchers more for their channel. “Fox News, now, for every person that has cable news pays Fox news between $2 and $2 and 50 cents a month, whether or not you ever watched the channel and what they're trying to do, because they've lost so much, advertising [wants to] get that number up from about $2, a person to $3 to $3 and 50 cents over the next year,” and if there’s a way to hit them where it hurts, explains Cursone, it’s here. Of course, it’s not a New Abnormal episode if there isn’t talk of impeachment, especially the hearings going on right now involving the Capitol insurrection. Rick is particularly furious at Rick Scott and Marco Rubio: “They're basically just saying, ah, yeah, our little plot failed. Our little coup failed. So we're just going to hang out here and be the dick kids in the back of the room, throwing at the teacher.” Speaking of dicks, Molly tells the fun little tale of Marjorie Taylor Green and the Tantric Sex Guru and Daily Beast congressional reporter Sam Brodey talks about his experience witnessing the trial in person.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Feb 12, 2021
The Worst People on Facebook Now Want to Ruin Real Life
00:54:07

For years, Facebook has been a cesspool of conspiracy theorists, political ragemonsters, and quacks pushing cures for decaying Boomers. But as dangerous as these creeps were, they were mostly contained to the social network.


Until the pandemic hit.


Now, all of us are locked down. And Facebook’s worst actors and brainwormiest thinking is bursting out into the real world—and threatening to take it over.  


“I see it a lot actually in local community pages,” The Daily Beast’s Kelly Weill explains on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “To give an example, I was looking at a page, a local news site, about my 5,000-population hometown. The main restaurant, they closed down for a COVID exposure or something. And people were saying, ‘Ah! This is tyranny. We don't have to do this.’ Someone was posting an image macro in the comments with the ‘where we go one, we go all’ Qanon thing. And I'm like, ‘Oh my God, like, this is about the salad bar.’” 


“You really see the conspiracy theories and the atomization, the disconnection from real people and how you would hopefully behave in a real life setting. That just vanishes on Facebook. And I think with so many people using that now as their main means of communicating, it's spreading,” Weill tells Molly Jong-Fast.


Take the icky phenomenon of online multi-level marketing. Those “are those parasitic posts that you see all over your Facebook. It's your friend from home saying, ‘Hey, I just got a great deal on vitamin supplements. And, uh, if you, you know, give me $50, I'll send them to you. Or you can go into business with me and become my associate,’” Weill says. “It's something that you're not legally allowed to call a financial cult, but golly, does it sound like one.”


One local politician in Kansas was in so deep, he had “someone come and make a sales pitch for during a political meeting on preventing COVID,” Weill continues. “During a council meeting on COVID, he brought in someone from an essential oil company to make the pitch about how these products can help you and your family and empower you to live the healthy lifestyle.”


“I don't think there are official rules against doing that. We've just been, uh, coasting on people not doing that. That's been kind of the unspoken expectation,” Weill says.


Speaking of expectations, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) stops by the show to talk about what he wants to see from Trump’s upcoming second impeachment. And Rick Wilson has a message for the Republican senators who want to let the ex-president off the hook: “This is one of those votes, like the Iraq war or Obamacare, that you never escape. You never escape it. And if you think the tide isn't turning, you're not paying attention. Trumpism is still a threat and will be for a long time, so I know that's why those guys are afraid. But the rest of the country is done with this bullshit.”


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com



 

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Feb 09, 2021
TEASER: Democrats Don’t Care About Debt. And That’s OK.
00:03:29

The pandemic shook things up, a lot. It exposed the country’s deepest inequalities, and arguably, made them worse. Now, all eyes are on President Biden to see how he’ll fix it, and Republicans are responding exactly as expected: by crying about the debt. Here’s the thing, though, says Paul Krugman, an American economist and op-ed columnist at The New York Times, there’s really no reason to. It’s a tale as old as time. Both parties spend, but when it’s time for Dems to make the economic plans, and Biden took office, Republicans “suddenly rediscovered that they were worried about debt” he tells co-host Molly Jong-Fast on this bonus episode of The New Abnormal. But it actually doesn’t matter, he claims. “The important thing to realize is that governments are not like you and me, governments don't have to pay back their debt,” he explains. “All they have to do is make sure that their obligations don't grow beyond any reasonable estimate of what they can us over time. That means they never actually have to pay off debt. It's a threat that exists only in the imagination of people who want to have some reason to squeeze government spending.” Instead, says Krugman, lawmakers should prioritize giving money to poor families with children, which is cheap and will get them out of poverty. “You can do an enormous amount for children, fairly affordably,” he says, but for the love of Pete, stop calling it tax breaks. “It's actually just giving people money,” he says, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Will the Trump voters go for this? It’s unclear, but Krugman says Biden’s policies actually help them the most. (“There's basically no place in America that is more dependent upon federal aid. That is more lifted out of absolute misery by massive support from the taxpayers than Eastern Kentucky. And it's very, very hard to find someone who didn't vote for Trump and those in those counties.”) Plus! The past alignments of the Democratic and Republican parties are completely changed, he says. (“People used to describe [the GOP] as being a center, right party, but it's not, it's now an extreme authoritarian, anti-liberal, anti-science, anti-almost-everything party that more or less [resembles] fascist parties of Europe.”) And! A prediction of what economic recovery look like post-pandemic. It’s good news for the working class. 


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Feb 08, 2021
The Hamster Wheel of Trumpism Will Turn Greene Into a Hero
00:56:45

So how are House Republicans dealing with the fallout from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s freshly resurfaced 9/11 trutherism, school shooting denialism, and threats on fellow lawmakers’ lives?


They’re giving her a standing ovation. “Marjorie Taylor Greene is House minority leader,” co-host Rick Wilson says on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “She runs the House.” 


The newly elected Georgia Republican, Rick says, is the GOP’s equivalent of the “crazy uncle.” “You know, we know he’s drunk. We know he’s crazy. We know he comes to Thanksgiving dinner every year lit to shit. And we’ll just pretend it’s not happening.


And even though Greene was booted from her committees Thursday night in a largely partisan vote, Rick predicts she “will raise a ton of money because they will all say, ‘Oh, we have to teach the lying libtard cucks a lesson. And Marjorie Taylor Greene is a hero and Trump loves her, and therefore we love her’... I guarantee there will be a cottage industry that emerges and says, ‘Well, Marjorie Taylor Greene is rough around the edges. She says some crazy things sometimes. And you know, we don’t believe in those crazy things she says, but, but, but a little echo the distance but she’s just asking questions. She owns the libs. Don’t you want to own the libs?” 


Later in the episode, co-host Molly Jong-Fast asks Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) whether Republicans will return to the normal world now that former President Donald Trump has been defeated.


“Some of the early signals are not good,” the senator says. “Look at Kevin McCarthy yesterday, there were basically no consequences for one of the members who’s just spinning these conspiracy theories. And based on what I heard, there’s a real question about when the dust settles here in the next couple of days, whether she’s going to have more power than she did before.” 


Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tells Molly that while he has always “tried to form coalitions where I can, when you have someone like Marjorie Taylor Greene, who’s not just refusing to certify the election results but was actually threatening assassination against Secretary Clinton and President Obama and harassing members of Congress, you have to draw the line.”


“Kevin McCarthy last night displayed the greatest moment of weakness in a party leader I have seen since Newt Gingrich tried to resist the all you can eat pizza bar at Sbarro,” Rick concludes of the House GOP’s closed-door vote Wednesday night. “This idea of giving Marjorie Taylor Greene a free pass by rapping her lightly on the wrist and having her say, ‘I no longer believe wink, wink, wink that QAnon wink, wink, wink is a real thing, wink, wink, Hillary Clinton wink Adrenochrome wink the Jews wink.’ By letting her pass through there and letting his people give her a standing ovation with no punishment, no sanction, nothing, he showed his weakness and he showed how weak he was to the country, to Pelosi, and to the rest of his party.”


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Feb 05, 2021
Will Biden’s Team Find All of the Vaxx—Before It’s Too Late?
00:51:13

In recent days, top members of the Biden administration have a startling admission: That millions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were lost somewhere in the system. 


So now, the race is on to track down all of the vials. “This is the number one priority within the Biden administration right now is finding doses and making sure they don't go to waste before they start to ramp up supply through other means,” Erin Banco, The Daily Beast’s lead reporter on the COVID beat, tells Molly Jong-Fast on The New Abnormal.


“Their rhetoric right now has been, ‘we have only been here for X amount of days, please give us time. This is not easy.’ I think they're only going to be able to use that excuse for so long. Like, look, you're in government. This is your job. Yeah, these things take time—especially coordinating them across all the States and territories when everyone has a different distribution plan. It’s a slog. But from what I hear, the CDC should have a better idea of where things stand this week,” Banco adds.  


And while the scramble to find the doses continues, the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection still lingers—especially for those who were there in the Capitol as the MAGA mob raged. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) tells Molly about her harrowing experience. 


“There's pounding at the doors. Officers are yelling at people and saying ‘make sure those doors are secured,’” Dingell recounts. “My colleagues were taking benches and chairs and helping secure the doors. And we were told to sit in our chairs, pull out our escape hoods, which are the gas masks. And that if we were told to kneel, we needed to do so right away, because there could be some shooting. It still seems surreal.”


Finally, Rick Wilson addresses the revelation that John Weaver, one of his fellow co-founders of the Lincoln Project, sent unwanted, sexually explicit messages to people as young as 14. 


“If we had been aware of this, if I had been aware of this, I would not for a second have hesitated to report John Weaver to law enforcement. I would have done it in a hot minute,” Wilson says.


“I am sickened at his behavior and I'm sickened that we fell for a deception of this scope and scale. And I'm sickened by the fact that a predatory person tried to use our organization and our mission to exploit it for personal reasons,” Wilson adds. “It's a group that shares, we share a very firm belief in accountability, Okay. And I think John should be held accountable.”


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Feb 02, 2021
TEASER: Republicans Aren’t All Dumb. They’re Just Part of Cult.
00:03:52

Lots of us have been asking ourselves (and Twitter) many questions over the last year. Questions like: How did about 74 million people vote for Trump, again? Why do people actually believe in QAnon? And, more recently, if Republicans can see Trump for who he really is-—and how he has become a hero among a sect of the party that, at their worst, believe celebrities are part of a global pedophile ring, and at their best, that masks are a form of censorship—than why do the majority of them still support him? Norm Ornstein, an American political scientist and The Atlantic contributor, joined co-host Molly Jong-Fast on this members-only episode of The New Abnormal to share his insight. “There are plenty of Republicans, and I put Rob Portman in that category, who know perfectly well that this stuff is just awful, or plenty of it is, but they'd gone along because they're a part of the cult,” he says. He also adds Mitch McConnell to that list: “He knows what Trump is. He knows that Trump is a doofus and a racist and has no ability to govern, to read anything, all of that, but he could get the tax cuts and get all these judges, knowing that basically the best way they can cling to power is to stack these courts that will let any voter suppression measures pass muster, and that will block Democratic presidents and [hit] the goals they can't accomplish in Congress alone.” If it continues like this, he adds, “you can't have a democracy for long that doesn't have two functioning problem-solving oriented parties.” Then there are the Majorie Greene Taylor types in Congress to think about. How did that happen? Trump certainly fueled it, but he didn’t start that fire, says Ornstein. “The Republican party had an insurgent outlier party that was dismissive of its opposition, that was contemptuous of facts and science that had blown up norms and could care less about the others in terms of governing long before Donald Trump emerged as a potential political figure or presidential candidate,” he says. “[Republicans] just dove in headfirst into the muck.” Then! The two discuss a topic Molly gets crap for and that’s why Diane Feinstein really needs to retire. And the two roast Kevin McCarthy, big time. “McCarthy had this moment to be free of Trump. And he just went back for more,” says Molly.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Feb 01, 2021
Trump Sent a Mob to His Office. Now He’s Kissing Don’s Ass.
00:55:45

He’s supposed to be a leader—the leader, in fact, of the Republicans in the House of Representatives. But he ain’t doing much leading. 


As The Daily Beast reported, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) went in a matter of weeks from angrily criticizing Donald Trump for inciting the MAGA mob that attacked the Capitol—to kissing up to the entire Trump family.


“The House of Representatives’ [Republican caucus] is comprised of the Trump party—with the exception of 10 or 11 reps,” says Rick Wilson on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. “They're the pro-sedition, pro-insurrection, pro-mob party,” 


“Right? It does feel like McCarthy is really giving Trump the Republican party. He really is,” adds Molly Jong-Fast. “I mean, there was like a chance where the Republican party was going to escape from Trump's clutches. And then [McCarthy] was like: ‘Too scary. Let's go back.’”  


McCarthy went down, too—all the way to Mar-a-Lago, to bend the knee on Thursday. 


“Kevin McCarthy had to flee his office [during the Capitol Riot]. He begged Donald Trump to speak, to stop what was going on as it was going on. And Trump was silent. And now Kevin McCarthy is going to apologize to Donald Trump,” says Jon Allen, co-author of the forthcoming Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won the Presidency. “I don't know what to do with that… If you come to my house and try to kill me, if you bring your guns to my house, one thing I will not be doing is apologizing to you and begging for your forbearance.”


And meanwhile, the Republicans in the Senate are acting only slightly less timid. 


“I call the alligator fried chicken theory, which is you can keep throwing the alligator fried chicken [while you’re] sitting on the edge of the dock. But when you're out of fried chicken, he bites your foot off, okay?” Rick says. “They keep thinking they're going to be the last one like that. They're the last piece of fried chicken and they're going to be okay. They are not, [Trump] will always be there doing this to them from afar. He will haunt them until he is dead. And once he's dead, they'll upload them to the cloud and he'll haunt them for all the Trinity until the heat death of the universe.” 


“The only path to cutting off the pernicious infection and the metastasizing cancer that is Trumpism is to vote to convict him. Now, I recognize that that would take people in the Senate on the Republican side with these rare and terrifying characteristics that are unimaginable in modern American politics, things like courage and integrity and patriotism and a love of country and putting country before party,” Rick adds, “All these things would be, would be easy, but they're also in Congress rare as hen's teeth, as my grandma would say.”


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member...  


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Jan 29, 2021
Josh Hawley, Could You Stop Your Whining for Five Seconds?
00:40:31

Authoritarians like Sen. Josh Hawley don’t have much to defend these days. Their little insurrection failed, their Dear Leader is gone, and his stewardship helped kill more Americans than World War II. 


But they’ve still got the politics of aggrievement. Of victimhood. Of straight-up whining. 


Take this past weekend, when Hawley mewled about being silenced—on the cover of a major national newspaper. “It was the absolute pinnacle of the very white, Downy white, snowy top of Mount Snowflake,” Rick Wilson laughs on the latest edition of The New Abnormal.  


“Oh, I can't, I can't say a word—except on the Senate floor, where I was elected by the people of Missouri. I can't say a word—except on Fox, the largest cable network in the country. I can't say a word—except the New York post, which is millions of people every day. I can't say a word except on Facebook and Twitter and TikTok and every other platform in America,’” Rick adds, channeling Hawley.


“But what you should be saying, Josh Hawley, you fucking snake is this: ‘I apologize to the family of officer Brian Sicnick for having incited the crowd which murdered him.' So Josh is not muzzled. He just lacks a moral compass to speak the truth about what he is,” Rick says.


Speaking of the Senate, Adam Jentleson—author of Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy—joins the show to talk about how the Democrats can free themselves from Mitch McConnell’s grasp.


And speaking of problems with the truth, a number of MAGA men could be in a world of trouble for airing a bunch of nonsensical conspiracy theories about Dominion, the election technology firm.  The company has sued a bunch of folks in greater Trumplandia for defamation. The latest: Rudy Giuliani, for a cool $1.3 billion.  


“If you haven't read this filing, it is quite something,” says Molly Jong-Fast. “It includes such things as: ‘also during that defamatory podcast, Rudy claimed supplements would cure his viewers’ achy joints and muscles and implored them to stop wasting money and switch. He instructed them to use his name when ordering and said they could get a second bottle free if they ordered now.’”


But what’s really “interesting about this lawsuit is that they use Tucker Carlson's statements that there's no there there to then attack Sean Hannity—and to ask why Fox news gave Giuliani a platform on Sean Hannity's show, even though Tucker Carlson had said it was a scam,” she adds. 


Rudy and the rest are talking tough. But their lies—that Dominion “really is a Venezuelan company” (it’s Canadian) and helped steal the election (no)—are too big. They are going to have to back down, Rick predicts, or pay up. “The fact of the matter is, Molly, Dominion has them all by the balls.”


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Jan 26, 2021
Did Trump and Biden Swap Bodies???
00:50:23

If you don’t understand the title of this episode, which suggests some Freaky Friday voodoo between President Biden and ex-President Donald Trump, congratulations, you have logic. Unfortunately, there are many people who don’t, like the QAnon believers who are still clinging to their conspiracy theories the same way that Donald Trump attempted to cling to the presidency: with nonsensical BS. But seriously, one of the latest QAnon theories that hasn’t yet been proved false, is that Trump is still somehow president...in Biden’s body. In this episode of The New Abnormal, Rick Wilson, Molly Jong-Fast and guest George Conway unpack that and a whole lot more. “It's really the only answer that makes sense,” Molly jokes. “It’s just so simple and obvious.” What isn’t obvious, however, is how the non-QAnon Republicans will move forward with Biden as president, especially Mitch McConnell. (“They have the problem of the distortive, gravitational field that Donald Trump casts over some element of the Republican party and they need to stamp it out. And you know that in his heart of hearts Mitch McConnell wants to do that. He just doesn't want to leave any fingerprints,” says Conway.) Then, the three pivot Trump. It’s a new era, but it’s impossible to not talk about him. In fact, Molly says Biden has 99 problems, and, yes, Trump is still very much one of them. To start, he left no federal vaccine roll-out plan, and also, to quote Conway, “he's basically a criminal.” Not even a Nixon-style criminal, either. Worse. (“I mean, [Trump] was like a one man show there and people were trying to get out of the way or avoid doing what he asked them to do," says Conway.) Plus! Daily Beast Washington Bureau Chief Jackie Kucinich tells Molly what to expect from Chuck and Mitch in the next week or so, but also the next two years with a Senate that’s split down the middle: “It's still gonna be really hard to govern. This is razor-thin, as thin as it gets.”


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Jan 22, 2021
TEASER: Mitch McConnell Is Already Trying to Train Wreck the Biden Admin
00:05:37

It is said that before Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, a group of Republicans got together and vowed to oppose everything that he would do, or rather, try to do. Did the Trump loyalists on the hill and Mitch McConnell’s Republicans huddle together last night and make a similar vow, this time for President-Elect Joe Biden? It’s a possibility, says Michael Tomasky, special guest on today’s members-only episode of The New Abnormal, which happened LIVE on Zoom. Even if they didn’t, Tomasky, and co-hosts Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast, know that Mitch’s sneakiness isn’t ending with the Trump administration. Take the impeachment for example, says Rick: “They’ll pretend they’re doing to convict him,” but they, mainly Mitch, won’t. “If he meant it, they would have done it. I think he’s leaning slightly more toward it, only because the ‘22 [race] map is staring at him a little bit.” They’re all still tied to the race, so Mitch’s games will continue. In fact, he’s already trying to trainwreck Biden. “If Mitch McConnell wants Josh Hawley to wear a Spongebob outfit, he will do that. He is letting Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz play their game,” says Rick. Speaking of the Biden administration, the crew shares what 46 should say in his inauguration address, and the question almost leaves them stumped. “There needs to be an acknowledgment of the precarious place we’re in. He needs to explain to the American people what a perilous place we’re in and what we can do to come back,” says Tomasky. Rick agrees (“You can’t have a car crash like this and not talk about it. There needs to be some sternness to it, too.”) and Molly goes even further. One word: accountability. Plus! Rick, Molly and Tomasky surmise what Trump could have possibly said to Biden in the letter he left for him (a mention of a gorilla channel??), how the Bannon pardon was a “fuck you moment,” the DNC’s next moves and, of course, the Trump administration’s very last Fuck That Guy, to which Rick and Molly bring the heat.


If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes it's just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Jan 20, 2021
Preview: Sarah Cooper Calls Trump a ‘Petty Bitch’
00:05:28

In this preview of ‘The Last Laugh’ podcast’s new episode with Sarah Cooper, the comedian shares her parting message for the president she has spent the past year making fun of on TikTok


Subscribe to ‘The Last Laugh’ now to hear our full conversation, including Sarah’s thoughts on what should happen to Trump and his family after they leave the White House and why she thinks the MAGA crowd actually enjoys her Trump lip sync videos. 


Twitter: @sarahcpr and @mattwilstein | Instagram: @sarahcpr and @lastlaughpod

Highlights from this episode and others at The Daily Beast.

 

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Jan 20, 2021
How to Kill MAGA Nation’s Brain Worms
00:58:49

How will we bring the Trump supporters who live in an alternate reality back to the real world? 


A recent Pew poll asked who respondents thought was to blame for the Capitol riot—and an “astounding” number said President Donald Trump bears no responsibility, Rick Wilson told his co-host Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal.


Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers “really want to close their eyes and say, it didn’t happen. Oh, it’s just going to go away. Well, it did happen. You made it happen. It’s not going away. It’s going to be with you for a long, long time,” Wilson said.


“They’re forgetting that this particular party now has a base of people who believe in the craziest fucking things you’ve ever heard of,” he added. “And who hate Republicans if they’re not named Donald Trump.” 


Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Atlantic staff writer Anne Applebaum, joined the co-hosts to offer historical examples where societies were able to come together after insurgencies and civil wars. 


“We need to find some way to reach people who now live in this in an alternate reality,” she said. “In December, something like 35 percent of Americans said they had doubts about who won the election. More recently, something like 21 percent approve of the storming of the Capitol. So somewhere around those numbers, we have a number of people who don’t accept that the election was won by Joe Biden. Therefore, they don’t accept the rules of American democracy. Therefore, they think it’s OK to commit violence against the institutions and people who compose that democracy.”


To reach those people, Applebaum said, “All the lessons are about getting people to focus on practical and real issues and getting them away from the culture wars. So you will not win by shouting at people, ‘You are fascists!’ even if they are… and you will not win by arguing your case. You will win by getting people to talk about fixing the roads... getting people to refocus on some real project in the real world that a community can do together. 


Most important of all, said co-host Molly Jong Fast, is to avoid focusing on Trump. “If you’re building a bridge or doing something else, at least it’s not about Trump,” she said. “And I feel like when you talk about Trump, you just lose no matter what side you’re on.”


To ensure the MAGA mob doesn’t rise up again, the co-hosts agreed that the Capitol insurrections and their enablers in Congress and the White House needed to face justice.


“If Democrats who now control the Senate, even though it’s by very small margin, can’t do something here to punish people for doing an insurrection, then they’re just going to do it again,” Jong-Fast said.


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Jan 19, 2021
TEASER: Trump’s Legacy Is Going to Get Worse (Just Wait)
00:04:35

Donald Trump is not the only “bad” president this country has had in office, but from one historian's perspective, he’s certainly one of the worst. “This country has had a few [bad presidents]. There are the ones who are simply bad at the job and incompetent, and a lot of bad things happen on their watch. There are those who are corrupt and engaged in criminality, and have scandals that plagued their administration And there are those who actively do the country harm through their action or their inaction,” says historian Kevin Kruse on this bonus members-only episode of The New Abnormal. “Trump checks all of those boxes.” That even includes President Herbert Hoover who was in office during the Great Depression. (“Hoover was, aside from that glaring failure of the depression, Hoover was someone who actually had a life of real accomplishments. Trump likes to preen as a self-made man, and he's not.) Then, Kruse and co-host Molly Jong-Fast switch gears and discuss the state of voter suppression and the history of how it impacted Black Americans in this country. Essentially, says Kruse, the Voting Rights Act is an effort “to undo all of the voter suppression that had happened since reconstruction,” which was a lot. And once the Shelby County v Holder Supreme Court decision gutted it, a lot of states were very open about their suppressive tactics. It was bad, says Kruse, “the intent of these laws was just as clear as it had been in the late 1800s. But he is optimistic about a Biden administration turning the tide. Plus! He explains what people misunderstand the most about American suburbs—which is why many of them in Georgia turned blue—and why Trump has pandered to Jewish people. 


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Jan 18, 2021
MAGA Riot’s Chilling Reality: Regular Folks, Ready to Kill
00:55:21

One of the most frightening aspects of the assault on the U.S. Capitol was how, well, normal some of the participants seemed—and how openly they spoke of their willingness to murder other Americans if President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory was certified.


The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer was outside the Capitol on Jan. 6 and described his conversations with the rioters to co-hosts Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal.

 

“I was really struck by the people I talked to who were not necessarily crazed QAnon people... but kinda just like people you might think of as your neighbors, your grandparents,” Sommer said. “And just almost to, to a person, they were all just like, ‘Well, if Joe Biden gets his votes certified today, there’s going to be violence and we’re going to kill people, and there’s gonna be a civil war.


Then, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) joined Wilson and Jong-Fast to talk about what happened after he was told to “take out a gas mask and get ready to duck” inside the Capitol.


For a while, Swalwell said, the reality of the danger just was not sinking in. “I still thought, there’s no way they’re coming in here—until the house chaplain went up to the podium where the president usually speaks for the State of the Union,” he said. “And she started offering a prayer and I thought, OK, they’re going to get in here. This is not good.”


Sommer said he was struck by the “huge amount of entitlement” among the MAGA rioters.


“I do feel like so much of the reaction, both from the rioters and the people who were there at the protest in general, was this shock that laws would apply to them,” he said. “...A weird thing I heard a lot at the Capitol was this idea that if you pay taxes, you could just break into whatever federal building you feel like. And because your taxes in an indirect way pay for the Capitol Police that... you’re their boss.”


When the conversation shifted to President Donald Trump’s impeachment in the House, Wilson said more Republicans would have voted to impeach if the vote hadn’t been public. “One of the guys that voted in favor of impeachment told me… if it was a secret ballot, Trump would have been impeached with 50 percent or more of the caucus voting against him.”


“They’re fucking petrified,” Wilson said. “Well, guess what? You created this monster and you kept feeding it. You kept it in the basement. You hauled it out to vote every two years, but you kept feeding it and now it’s loose and it hates you more than it hates anything. I say this a lot: There’s nothing a Trump voter hates more than a Republican that doesn’t support Trump.”


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Jan 15, 2021
Too Many Dead Capitol Cops for Josh Hawley to Pretend He’s Innocent
00:52:52

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) just can’t understand why everyone wants him to resign.


He put out a brave tweet calling for the “violence” to end after a mob he helped incite laid siege to the Capitol, and his “woke” publisher still gave in to “cancel culture” and axed his beloved book. Now people won’t stop going on about his objecting to the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the blood-soaked wake of the riot.


To offer the senator a bit of clarity, co-hosts Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast talked to Pennsylvania’s truth-talking lieutenant governor, John Fetterman.


Fetterman, who’s faced his own challenges from Republicans who refuse to accept the 2020 election’s outcome at home, had a few choice words for Hawley and his erstwhile political ambitions on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. Plus, New York University professor and “Pivot” co-host Scott Galloway on exactly how much credit we should give Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey for kicking Donald Trump off their platforms.


“There’s blood on your hands, Josh Hawley,” Wilson says. “...You begged and pleaded to be the favorite of Donald Trump by continuing with this fucking lie, that inflamed, these conspiratorial lunatics, and they came down there.”


Wilson also calls BS on appeals for political unity if there aren’t going to be any resignations first—Hawley foremost among them. “All those excuses and this false and shallow horseshit hypocritical appeal to unity and reconciliation,” he says. “Yeah. OK. Quit first, motherfucker. And then we'll talk.”


Fetterman had a direct, searing message for Hawley and his fellow GOP “objectors.”


“Your supporters drove you from your very chamber. And after all that trauma, people were shot and people died, you still were so hell bent on exploiting this for your own political advantage. After all that, you still got up in front and continued to tell what you know are lies,” Fetterman says. “You know, [Hawley] went to Stanford and Yale law. He knows better than anybody that this is all garbage. And this is the point. And that’s what makes him so reprehensible. You know, I don’t care what your political beliefs are. If you’re willing to damage and endanger over your ambition, your, your soul is dipped in dog shit. I don’t know how else to say it.”


Then, NYU professor Scott Galloway joins for a discussion about Twitter and Facebook taking away the president’s social media accounts.


“There is nothing noble. There is nothing patriotic. There was nothing civic in Zuckerberg or Dorsey kicking these people off of their platforms,” Galloway says.


“This is them trying to wallpaper over their delay and obfuscation. People who get DUIs typically have driven drunk 200 times before they kill a family or they’re pulled over. Wow. And these guys have been driving drunk and all of a sudden a family got killed. And now they’re sorry… They deserve zero fucking credit for doing the right thing at the bottom of the ninth inning.”


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Jan 12, 2021
Michael Cohen: I Am Certain That Donald Trump Is Psychotic Right Now
00:59:53

Donald Trump is in deep shit. So deep, that he finally admitted to leaving the White House at the end of the month. And his supporters? Well, some would say Wedesnday’s riot in D.C., when his supporters-turned-domestic-terrorists defaced the Capitol, inspired an “oh-fuck” moment. As for what is going through the president’s head right now, co-hosts Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast turned to the man who spent a good deal of time with Trump to find out. Michael Cohen, author of Disloyal and host of the Mea Culpa podcast, came on the latest episode of The New Abnormal to chat about the chaos and what Trump’s next moves are. Needless to say, he did not censor himself in the slightest. “I am certain that Donald Trump is psychotic right now,” he says, adding that he fully believes a coup was the president's goal all along. “Donald Trump would rather burn down the White House, then turn over the keys.” At the least, Trump and his enablers on the Hill encouraged the events that went down and Cohen thinks they should “pay.” Yes, he was someone who encouraged him, but it’s different, he says. “I did work for him. And what did I do? I paid $130,000, you know, to keep quiet. The fact that the president got his pecker pulled by a porn star, seriously? And you want to compare that to the seditious acts of these proud boys, of the Wolverine Watchmen and all these other crazy groups? You can’t compare the two.” Then, James Carville joins and gives an ultimatum to the Biden administration: “If they're not going to look at [Trump’s crimes], I'm going to resign from the Democratic party,” he says. “If it's not an impeachable offense to encourage a mob, to interfere with a constitutionally mandated congressional procedure, then there's nothing impeachable.” Plus, Rick breaks down Wednesday's seditious acts, Josh Hawley gets inducted into the Fuck that Guy Hall of Fame, and he and Molly speculate if anyone actually would vote to keep Ted Cruz in the Senate. And! Look out for a Trump News Network! Coming soon for just $4.99 a month!


Want more? Become a Beast Inside member to enjoy a limited-run series of bonus interviews from The New Abnormal. Guests include Cory Booker, Jim Acosta, and more. Head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com to join now.

 

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Jan 08, 2021
TEASER: The Orange Lives Matter Coup Won’t End This Trumpist Chaos
00:01:34

After inciting a mob of his drooling followers to sack the Capitol, President Donald Trump proved he’s too dangerous to hold office, even if it’s just for another two weeks. But don’t count on his cabinet to do the right thing, not even after the first attack on the Capitol since 1814.


“These people are gutless, spineless, chicken-shit, horrifying, boot-lick traitor scum,” Rick Wilson says on The New Abnormal. “Even if Donald Trump had his finger on the trigger and was saying, I'm going to nuke Peoria,’ … these people would not pursue the 25th amendment. Everyone's just fooling themselves.” 


This was a day that was stupid and pointless as it was dangerous. A day for a thousand self-owns. Molly Jong-Fast wonders why these people are protesting the electoral college when “the greatest irony here is the electoral college is the only thing that gets Republicans in office. And yet they're coming out against it, right? I mean, we'll go to a popular vote. Let's go, bitches!”


The crew muses about what would have happened if Mitt Romney had gotten his hands on Ted “Fat Wolverine” Cruz today after shouting at him across the rotunda. Does the shirtless, horned “Q-Shaman” supply Q-Anon with psychedelics that explain why they believe the wacky things they do? How does one wax Roger Stone’s Richard Nixon back tattoo? Is Mike Pence planning on starting his own gang of “Prude Boys” with his new-found free time? And what exactly were those Trumpist morons really trying to accomplish? All of this on this special bonus episode of The New Abnormal.


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Jan 07, 2021
Trump Just F*cked Himself and His Party in Georgia
00:52:20

Things were already sub-ideal for the president and his Republican party in the Peach State.


The GOP’s incumbent senators, who in any normal year would be locks for re-election, both have a habit of shady stock trades. The early vote has been huge, and breaking Democrats’ way. Then came the instantly-infamous call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger—the one where the president asked to dig 11,000 votes or so out of the trash pile.


For Trump, the news may get worse. One end of the call took place in Fulton County, Georgia, where Fani Willis was just elected district attorney. “She prosecutes without fear or favor. And her folks are looking at that call closely,” Daily Beast editor-at-large and Georgia political veteran Goldie Taylor explains on The New Abnormal’s first show of 2021. “Donald Trump—and anybody else in that room, helping him—could very well face charges here in Georgia, in Fulton County. Charges that they cannot make go away.” 


I didn’t have to be like this, of course. “If Donald Trump had just shut his mouth, he probably would have sailed to reelection. If he just shut up and handled COVID right. Georgia, he would have sailed in. This primary here in Georgia, he wouldn't have a problem,” Taylor tells Molly Jong-Fast.


But this president can’t help himself. He attacked the Republican establishment for not bowing to his election fraud conspiracies. And this was a party that for decades was a “juggernaut… they have had control of the state lock stock and barrel because they were just more highly organized,” Taylor says.


Now, they’re anything but. “The President of the United States can't stop attempting, consciously or unconsciously, to screw this election up for this party. And he’s just, in new and different ways, tried to throw obstacles in and [Sen. David] Purdue and [Sen. Kelly] Loeffler’s way,” says Sam Brodey, The Beast reporter who broke many of the biggest stories about their pair’s financial shenanigans. 


Trump keeps railing about how Georgia’s November election was totally rigged—and it sure seems to be having an effect in the January election, where many die-hard Trumpists say they’re not sure they trust the system enough to vote. 


Loeffler and Perdue may still win, of course; they’ve got history on their side. But “there is this Republican civil war that is playing out in Georgia and the candidates are having to fight against that,” Brpdey continues. “This has an impact. A huge segment of voters in this state hang on every word that the president says. And like after a certain point, he's saying this every day, so it will have an impact and we'll find out what it is.”


Because today is election day in Georgia.


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Jan 05, 2021
NARAL President: We’re Prepping for End of Roe v. Wade
00:17:32

Trump did a lot to roll back women’s healthcare—from enacting a global gag rule, which prevents non-American health organizations from receiving monetary aid from the U.S., to stacking the courts with anti-choice judges all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. Add the threat of losing Roe to the mix and Biden will have his work cut out for him after he takes office in January. Should he appoint a “women’s health czar?” Molly Jong-Fast asks Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, in this members-only bonus episode of The New Abnormal? She was half-joking, but also serious. Hogue is all for it. “It would send such a clear message that that terrible era that Trump ushered in is over,” she says. But even so, it won’t be over just yet. Hogue says reproductive rights “absolutely could” be taken away and that the organization is even preparing for the possibility. “A lot of our work over the last few years has been about making sure that we have what we call ‘islands of access,’ [like] Blue States that are caudifying the right to abortion, making sure that we have like practice in place where women can go,” she says. In the meantime, Molly asks her what Biden should do as soon as possible when it comes to the anti-choice legislation in place from the Trump/Pence era (which, by the way, is not driven by morality, says Hogue, but by control). “It has always been about targeting women and women of color. And it's always been about forcing women to adhere to a very narrow period view of where they think our role in society is,” she says. To combat it, Bden can start by rescinding the global and domestic gag rule, and appoint people who believe in science. Even then, the key is to not get complacent, lookin’ at you white women: “We have to rebuild the muscle that any time we are not fighting for something, we are losing it any time.”


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Jan 03, 2021
The Most Acid Trippy Episodes of The New Abnormal
00:56:21

Trump getting COVID. Antifa plotting to take down the White House. The truth about Russia disinfo. Bill Clinton impressions. The Lincoln Project scoops. The very first year of The New Abnormal by The Daily Beast has been a wild, trippy ride. It featured scientists, politicians, whistleblowers and the Daily Beast’s best and brightest reporters. In this special episode, we compiled the most fun, most hilarious and most brutally honest clips from co-hosts Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson’s best episodes. We kick off with the duo talking about Trump getting COVID (and if Biden secretly planned it all), then go into a few clips from bonus episodes that only Beast Inside members had access to including what Rick and Molly got wrong about the election (and what Democrats should have done differently, like running celebrities, says Molly. Also, “are you out of your mind? Voter fucking registration,” said Rick). Next, there’s the episode where comedian Ike Barinholtz recounts the obviously real friendship he and Don Jr. shared while killing innocent animals and boating. We even had Rev. Raphael Warnock on the show before the special election run-off officially kicked off in November (“Kelly Loeffler was appointed appointed by Gov. Kemp to warm up the [Senate] seat before I get there,” he jokes of his incumbent opponent) and Veep showrunner Dave Mandel’s episode dives into why Mitch McConnell basically punched America in the penis. Masha Gessen drops a bomb on her episode, claiming that the country’s problem is not Russian interference, it’s the fact that we let it in. And of course, the greatest moment of TNA’s history: when lightening literally struck Rick’s house during a “Fuck that Guy” segment.


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Dec 29, 2020
TEASER: This 24-Year-Old Diabetic Is Saving Lives the Government Won’t
00:03:10

Twenty-four-year-old Madelyn Corwin’s social media feeds feature a few selfies, videos of her insulin pump, and almost always a link to a GoFundMe page. The most current fundraiser is to raise money for a woman named Nicole who lost her diabetic son in 2018 because they couldn’t afford insulin. In other words, Corwin’s pages are not just young people fodder. Her activism is literally saving lives. “I just make a statement and I'll have people message me on Twitter or Instagram and be like, ‘thanks so much for posting about this, my dad died like three years ago,’” she tells co-host Molly Jong-Fast in this bonus episode of The New Abnormal. Corwin works with the organization Mutual Aid to raise awareness for a healthcare crisis most non-Diabetics wouldn’t otherwise know about: the insanely high costs of insulin and the Americans who are dying as a result. “[People] kind of just think like, Oh, like, you know, like Joe wasn't taking care of himself, but in reality, like Joe literally couldn't afford to take care of himself.” Without insurance, insulin (which is mainly distributed in the United States by three major companies) can cost up to $1000. Some states do have cop-pay caps, says Corwin, but she cited research that found they only help up to 27% of people on the drug in each state. “I believe in ‘96 it was like around 20 us dollars,” she says, but that rate has doubled in just the last five years. “But once it started hitting like 2011, 2012, it was like hitting those $200 a vile marks. People were like, okay, well, like something's going on?” Lobbying is a thing, but it hasn’t made much of a dent. Now, they stick to financial crowdsourcing, education and accountability. In the meantime, the #insulinforall community are deciding what the next move is: “I mean, I guess in like a dream world, I want everyone to be able to get insulin for free, but we live in the United States,” says Corwin.


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Dec 28, 2020
How These Comedians Turned MAGA Men Into Laughingstocks
00:23:46

Rudy Giuliani tried really hard this year soil himself: the hair-in-the-can, the Russian agent pal, the presser by the sex shop, the buckets of conspiracy drool. But it wasn’t until he got caught red handed with Borat’s daughter that his reputation was smeared fully, finally, and forever. 


The hand-down-Rudy’s-pants incident was one of a whole bunch of different ways that political comedians rammed into Trumpworld in 2020. Matt Wilstein, The Daily Beast’s resident comedy guru, breaks down the highs and the lows with Molly Jong-Fast and Jesse Cannon on a special crossover episode of The Last Laugh and The New Abnormal podcasts.


From Jordan Kleppler’s head-first dives into the maskless hordes at MAGA rallies to the viral impressionists who took over your Twitter feeds, Matt, Molly, and Jesse break down the funniest moments, and answer some of the biggest questions as we finally leave this hell year behind: What does Sarah Cooper do if she can’t channel Trump? How did Balire Erskine manage to become Tiffany Trump’s bestie? How does Kleppler prep to make unintentional comedy with MAGAmen? What was up with Jim Carrey’s impression of Joe Biden? Was Saturday Night Live ever really funny? Ever?


For more great political comedy, listen to The Daily Beast's The Last Laugh podcast.

 

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Dec 24, 2020
How Melania Trump Destroys Her Friends
00:57:56

“I begged her to just come out and say that I was her friend, I was loyal. Nope, nothing,” says Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, author of Melania and Me.  


Stephanie Winston Wolkoff considered Melania Trump a friend—more than a friend, really. Wolkoff even followed Melania to Washington, helping produce the 2017 inauguration and advise the incoming First Lady. But when the stories started coming out about the insane overspending during the Inauguration, Wolkoff says Melania threw her to the wolves—allowing Wolkoff to take the blame in the press and kicking her out of the White House.


“I begged her to just come out and say that I was her friend, I was loyal. Nope, nothing. So the betrayal, the pain of that was like—I gave up my whole life for this woman. No one else would help Melania. I mean, she was alone,” Wolkoff tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “I should've known better. She is just like her husband.”


So Wolkoff began taping her calls with Melania—calls which formed some of the bedrock for her book, Melania and Me. Improbably, Wolkoff and the First Lady kept talking, even after Wolkoff was cast out. 


When Melania wore that instantly-infamous “I Don’t Care” jacket on a trip to a center for migrant kids, Wolkoff called. 


Their mutual friend, the fashion designer Herve Pierre, was being attacked online for the fiasco because he had made dresses for Melania in the past. But this jacket was a $39 item from Zara. Wolkoff asked the First Lady: Would she clear things up? Say something in public?


Melania admits that Pierre “had nothing to do with that jacket.” But she declines to make any kind of statement on his behalf. Instead, Melania laughs, “I'm driving liberals crazy, that's for sure. And you know… they deserve it.”


Wolkoff was horrified. “When I sent [Pierre] the photograph [of the jacket], he immediately wrote me back saying, ‘Is this Photoshop? ‘And I wanted so desperately to say yes,” Wolkoff tells Jong-Fast. “He was devastated.” 


“There's so much callousness,” Wolkoff continues. “Even in just trying to get [Pierre] paid for collaborating with her and making her first dress, it was like pulling teeth. There is no empathy or remorse for the fact that here's someone who was blamed because he's known as her ‘stylist.’”     


Moments like these—and the casual dismissal over the Inaugural—made Wolkoff feel better about recording conversations with a woman to whom she had once been so closely connected. 


“Taping a friend is, it's unacceptable. It really is. But Melania was no longer my friend when I pressed record. Because when I pressed record on the conversations I had with her, it was only after she, Donald, and the PIC [Presidential Inauguration Committee] [tried] to make me the scapegoat and to falsely accuse me for the overspending of $107 million of the inaugural funds,” she tells Jong-Fast. “First and foremost, I taped to protect myself because I needed to be protected once I knew I was going to be under investigation.”


Jong-Fast answers, “I don't think anyone ever regrets taping a Trump.”


This is part two of a two-part talk with Wolkoff. In part one, Wolkoff took us inside the war between Ivanka and Melania Trump.

 

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Dec 22, 2020
TEASER: Zerlina Maxwell: Republicans Know Dems Suck At Messaging to Black People
00:03:36

Political pundit and author Zerlina Maxwell was booed and hissed at during a Politicon a few years ago (which is “a Comic Con for political nerds”) because she said that if Bernie Sanders ran in 2020, which he did, he’d have to improve his messaging toward communities of color. Fast forward to this year and Maxwell has a book out on the subject and stands by her statement. “It seems like I was psychic or something, but really I was just saying a thing that seemed to be an obvious point that somebody needed to say, and I think Republicans understand this,” she tells Molly Jong-Fast in this bonus members-only episode of The New Abnormal. “That's one of the reasons why they try to suppress voters of color and they try to pack power in, in the court system. You know, they understand the demographic shifts in a way that I feel like Democrats needed to.” What does she think of Biden’s cabinet? Molly points out that some have criticized the president-elect for not enlisting more Black women. But Maxwell is OK with his choices, despite the bar being incredibly low thanks to Donald Trump. (“I mean, we're already doing a lot better than we were just a couple of weeks ago.”) Speaking of Trump, Maxwell shares the one thing she can’t quite wrap her head around: “I look around and I can't believe that there's 70 plus million people who are getting duped by somebody who's not intelligent,” she says, both in general and with the coronavirus messaging. “We lie to ourselves when we say that we are exceptional in particular ways in which we are proving to ourselves in this last year, we are not,” she adds. “Like, if you asked Americans to do something mildly inconvenient, uh, to protect their neighbor, they're going to sue them.” Plus! Jong-Fast asks Maxwell what white feminists can do to be more intersectional, and frankly, better to Black women and causes. To start, she says, aboriton isn’t the only cause feminists should focus on: “They need to really lean in to the fact that racism is a problem they need to care about too.”


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Dec 21, 2020
Inside the Ivanka-Melania War
00:58:41

They’re the two most important women in Donald Trump’s life. And they absolutely loathe one another. 


Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, the former Melania Trump confidant and author of Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady, spills the tea on the latest episode of The New Abnormal, starting with the very first days of the administration.  


“Melania didn't come to D.C. that week, but Ivanka stayed and Donald stayed there. And all of a sudden, that's the weekend, Donald signs the immigration, what was it called? The ban. Yes. Ivanka shows ‘Finding Dory.’ Now, if you couldn't be more tone-deaf. Children were being separated from their parents. And here you're screening a film where again, this trout fish is being separated from its mother.” 


“Is that because Ivanka is dumb or is that because Ivanka is evil?” Molly Jong-Fast asks.


“Listen, I say it as it is. I think it's a mixture. I really do. I think that Ivanka is Donald in a suit, right? All of the Trumps are taught to be Trumps. They don't show emotion. A Trump is a Trump because they are authentically and unapologetically skin deep, and also self-serving. And their attitudes and disrespect for each other is again, you have to get any inside to see it,” Wolkoff answers.


And Wolkoff does indeed go inside, accusing Ivanka of purposefully boxing Melania out at every turn. 


“So [Ivanka] impinged on Melania's duties while overstepping her rank and boundaries. And I mean that, in a sense like she poached individuals that we were for the East Wing, that we were vetting to have—Kayleigh McEnany, Mercedes Schlapp. I mean, these were people Melania was looking to bring in. We called [Ivanka] the serial poacher. It was deceptive. But you don't go and hire people that the First Lady's looking to bring in,” Wolkoff adds. “The princess wanted to render Melania irrelevant. And you know, Melania refers to them as ‘snakes,’ Jared and Ivanka, and they'll do anything to get what they want. And they do.”


Maybe none of this would’ve been that big of a deal—if Ivanka had been the mastermind she played on TV. But, uh, she wasn’t.


"What was particularly galling, not only to us, but also to Melania, was that Ivanka and Jared were no more qualified to be engaged in any governing of the country than she was. Not that any of us that had never held those positions,” Wolkoff continues. “So to hear Ivanka put her name in the same sentence, as working with [former White House Chief of Staff] General [John] Kelly, it's like, 'Oh my God, how could you even?' Who would do that? Who would just be so disrespectful to say something like that? And think I she genuinely thinks it and believes it."


This is part one of a two-part talk with Wolkoff. Part two airs next week—and includes previously-unheard tapes of Wolkoff and Melania.


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Dec 18, 2020
Cheat Sheet Podcast from The Daily Beast 12/16/20
00:06:14

The juiciest stories in politics, pop culture and more -- fast.


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Dec 16, 2020
Will Trump’s Fake White House Have a Churro Bar? An Omelette Station? Or Both?
00:45:38

It’s getting near closing time for the Trumps at the White House—Monday’s electoral college vote made that official. Which means folks like Ivanka Trump have to GTFO and find themselves new careers. 


It might be a bit tricky, Daily Beast contributor and Hysteria host Erin Gloria Ryan explains. Just about everybody hates Ivanka these days—well, except for a handful of Fox-addled octogenarian creepers. That corporate feminism she used to try to embody? That “Hallmark feminism where there's absolutely no substance behind any of the things that she's saying”? It might’ve worked before. In the dying days of 2020, it just makes everyone gag.


And the only thing worse is her “naked desire for her to be seen as an American princess. We literally fought a war so we wouldn't have to live in a monarchy,” Erin tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. 


So she’s settling into a new little palace in Miami. Meanwhile, daddy will be just down the road, setting up shop in his bizarroworld castle, Mar-a-Lago. Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson think it’s only a matter of time before Trump cultists start treating Dear Leader’s place like the real White House—and Donnie looks for new ways to extract cash from his megafans. 


“I’m wondering how much it costs to get him to sign your boobs,” Molly says.


“Free—if you stop at the churro bar,” Rick answers.


“There's going to be an omelet station for sure,” Molly counters. “Or a station and you'll get to say mean things to Eric.” 


But before the festivities begin, there are still a few remaining questions: How many more cabinet members will Trump fire on his way out? How many more Trumpists will declare war on the GOP? Will Donald try to smuggle any Oval Office tchotchkes in his pants? “I'm still curious to know,” Molly says, “does Trump get dragged out of the White House or does he go to Mar-a-Lago and just forget to come back?”


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Dec 15, 2020
TEASER: COVID Whistleblower Rebekah Jones: I Knew DeSantis Would Go After Me
00:03:23

COVID whistleblower Rebekah Jones always thought that having a gun pointed in her face would be terrifying. That’s what the movies and TV shows have us all believe anyway. But she says when the Florida state police raided her home and held a gun inches from her face after she told them her two children were present, she felt “nothing.” She even let them enter peacefully, she says. “I was prepared to be arrested,” she tells Molly Jong-Fast on this special members-only episode of The New Abnormal. She was actually prepared to be arrested months ago by the Gov. DeSantis administration, when the virus numbers got bad last spring and she created her infamous COVID tracker contradicting the state’s numbers in addition to filing a whistleblower complaint “against the state for manipulating data and breaking the law.” So why are they going after her now? “I think they're purging everybody who's disloyal,” she says. Also, DeSantis doesn’t like her, or anyone who is making him look bad. Could other states be doing the same? Maybe, she says. (“Nobody wants to look like it's, they've lost control.”) As far as Florida is concerned, though, Jones isn’t shutting up. She restated her assertion that her state is absolutely underreporting hospitalizations and deaths and the DOH has even changed people’s cause of death. (“They've deleted people, [from the tracker], including children. When I drew attention to the fact that a two-year-old died in Escambia County, in Florida, less than two weeks after he was diagnosed and hospitalized for it, they reported him as a death. And as soon as I tweeted about it, and there was a big press reaction, they deleted it. They actually changed his dead status from yes to no.”) She doesn’t know what will happen next, but she wants people to keep paying attention to what’s happening with the virus. (“DeSantis would love to just distract people from what's going on with hospitalizations right now.”)


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Dec 14, 2020
Is This When Ivanka Will Run Against Little Marco Rubio?
00:47:21

Ivanka and Jared have big plans...to move to Florida, and maybe start the tropical version of the Met Ball. “If you had $30 million to spend on 1.6 acres of empty space, where would you buy it?” Molly asks Rick. “Miami,” of course, to be somewhat near Trump’s favorite kid and son-in-law and witness when Ivanka primaries against Marco Rubio, he answers. Rick can see Trump turn against Rubio now: “I await the day that little Marco after applying his lip so firmly to Trump's, his entire critique of Donald Trump being in the form of elliptical, passive aggressive Bible verses when he wakes up and goes, wait, she filed for what? And then Trump comes out and tweets about it and says, little Marco was never with me. I put up with him because blah, blah, blah.” But when? In this episode of The New Abnormal, Rick and Molly make predictions. In the meantime, Rick makes another bleak prediction of Trump Republicans (“They are scheming and planning right now to do every possible thing they can to fuck this up and cause enormous damage and cause as much pain as possible in the lives of ordinary people.”) Then, Democracy Docket founder Marc Elias walks us through what it’s been like fighting against Trump’s voter fraud cases across the country, and explains the hilarious reason the president was able to win just one. And Daily Beast reporter Olivia Messer shares horrifying stories from her COVID superspreader coverage and some of the outlandish virus lies people have told her (and they actually believe.) Plus! How Biden can prevent the Hell that is a Trump 2024 campaign and Mike Pompeo is sketchy as fuck—and not just because he’s throwing a 900-person holiday party.


Want more? Become a Beast Inside member to enjoy a limited-run series of bonus interviews from The New Abnormal. Guests include Cory Booker, Jim Acosta, and more. Head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com to join now.

 

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Dec 11, 2020
‘Look! Trump Didn’t Poop Himself! Yay! Good Job, Donald!’
00:58:28

You’d think they’d have learned by now, just a few weeks from the end of the Trump presidency. But people are still falling for the same head fakes and tricks. 


Take, Molly Jong-Fast says, Trump’s recent trip down to Georgia. “It was one of those many Trump's speeches where you saw on Twitter for the first 15 minutes people were like, ‘sometimes Trump can stick to the teleprompter’; ‘teleprompter Trump, bravo for just, like, reading the words.” 


And then, of course, things went off the rails. Like they always do. 


“These people always give him credit for doing things like, ‘Oh, look, he didn't poop himself! Yay! Good job, Donald!’ It is endlessly baffling to me that in the last 40-plus days of this goddamn hellish shitshow of an administration, there are still people in the media and the Republican party trying to normalize Donald Trump, trying to say, ‘Oh yeah, this is okay. This is cool. It's just a little weird. Yeah. He's not, not that far off the beaten path.’ When in fact it is completely cuckoo pants,” replies Rick Wilson on the latest episode of The New Abnormal.


Rick then gets a little worked up about how Trump is spending his last few days in office doing anything but actually, y’know, being president. 


To which Molly replies: “Trump hasn't worked this entire time. So it wouldn't be odd for him to start now?”


Plus! The team wrestle over whether the Democrats can ever sell “socialism.” Molly airs out Rudy Giuliani for getting the experimental COVID treatments the rest of us can only dream of. Rick reveals which Trump body part “smells like honeysuckle and rainbows and victory.” Chris Colbert joins the dynamic duo to talk about the “Say Their Name” podcast. And Kathy Griffin stops by to talk about what it’s like to be blasted by Trumpist cancel culture and accused of cyber terrorism. “I don't know how many terrorist groups are trying to get a 60-year-old, wacky, red-haired, vulgar comedian. So I would not typically think of myself as a terrorist,” she quips.


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Dec 08, 2020
TEASER: Former Trump Org VP: He Didn’t Want Black People To Build His Skyscrapers
00:03:31

Donald Trump has a long list of titles he’s accused of being: a liar, scammer, and sore loser to name a few. But racist is a title he earned long before becoming a soon-to-be one-term MAGA president. Former Trump Organization employee Barbara Res says saw it at play multiple times years ago while working as a vice president for the construction arm of the company. Res has a book coming out detailing her work with Trump before he became president, but shares sobering anecdotes with co-host Molly Jong-Fast on this bonus episode of The New Abnormal. Once, Trump reportedly saw a Black construction contractor working on one of his buildings when he turned to Res and said, “I never want to see that again.” What exactly was that? According to Res, I don't ever want to see the young Black kids sitting in my lobby where million millionaires are coming into my apartment. “I don’t want people thinking Trump Towers are being built by black people.” The remarks didn’t end there, though. Res also claims that Trump didn’t want Black kids to sit in his lobbies either, where he said, “millionaires are coming into my apartment.” Res also talks about Trump’s affinity to the mafia, or at least his wannabe mafia boss ruling style, and just how angry he can get over something as trivial as marble color and armoire doors. I thought, “he might hit me.” Will he get angry enough to barricade down in the White House? Res has an opinion on that, too.

 

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Dec 07, 2020
Julia-Louis Dreyfus: We’ve ‘Talked About’ Making More ‘Veep’
00:58:31

The gods of comedy have heard your prayers—and just might make them come true. “Veep,” the greatest political comedy of all time, could return, somehow, some way, in some form, if only for a short while. 


“We've certainly discussed it,” star Julia-Louis Dreyfus tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “Everybody's sort of gone off now and everybody's doing other projects and so on. But I don't rule it out entirely, doing some sort of ‘Veep’-related thing. I mean, there's an area that we could jump back into. I think [showrunner] Dave [Mandel] and I have talked about it.” 


Mandel adds, “We left just enough sort of like there's some time jumps in there that you could definitely—”


“Go back into,” Dreyfus offers.


“Yeah. You could kind of color in and answer a couple of questions. So I think anything is possible,” Mandel says.


Not so long ago, Mandel and Dreyfus were wondering aloud how possible it was to do political satire with Trump in the White House. How do you parody a parody?


Now, Dreyfus says, “There's always an opportunity for satire and we're hopeful that with the Biden administration, you know, things will sort of settle down and then we can be the outrageous ones.”


“Yeah. It requires a baseline of normalcy. And if we can get back to that, if we can get back to a time where you're not thinking about the president every six minutes, I think maybe we can get back to some good old fashioned political satire,” Mandel adds. “But [the Trumpists] made it difficult. They raise the bar on stupidity on a daily basis. So it was very hard to out-stupid. You know what I mean?

 

In the meantime—this weekend, in fact—the ‘Veep’ cast is getting back together to recreate one of the craziest, most prescient episodes of the show. In it, The Beast’s Kevin Fallon noted, protesters are planted [who] “alternately chant to ‘count every vote’ and ‘stop counting the votes’ as new information trickles in, changing their message based on which strategy would be more advantageous to them.” 


Sound familiar? But here’s the truly crazy part. That’s "an episode from the fifth season of ‘Veep,’ so many years back," Dreyfus says. 2016, to be exact.


"Yes, ‘Veep’ is real. It's a documentary. And it's about real life," she jokes.


The re-read of the episode——featuring guest stars Patton Oswalt, Kumail Nanjiani, Mark Hamill, and Stephen Colbert—is a fundraiser for a group looking to boost turnout in the upcoming Georgia special elections. Dreyfus thought it’d be cool to "read the very script that seemed to become reality the last couple of weeks. Let's read that, a sort of an uncut version of it."


The cast did a similar thing in advance of the general election. Maybe they’ll get used to being back together. Maybe it’ll become a habit. Maybe, maybe, just maybe… 


The gang also talk to Matt Tyrnauer, who produced Showtime's limited-series "The Reagans," about the myth of "Saint Reagan" and how he held the press in a "fog of war" to earn him his esteemed reputation which the crew find undeserved.


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Dec 04, 2020
Does Trump Really Want Republicans To Win in Georgia?
00:58:06

Trump is headed to Georgia this week, where there’s about to be a pair of special elections to decide the balance of the senate. But don’t expect the president to really talk up his Republican, MAGA AF buds, George Conway says. “It's better for him and better for his ego if they lose.”


Trump has a problem, George explains to Molly-Jong Fast and Rick Wilson on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. Well, two. First, “Republicans did better than he did” in the general election. Not only does “that undercut his claim of fraud… it means that there were significant numbers of Republicans who couldn't stomach him. And that's the reason why he lost and all these other people won.”


So now Trump is hate-tweeting Georgia’s Republican governor and Republican secretary of state. And he’s doing his damnedest to tell his followers that their votes don’t count, that they’re sure to be stolen. “It was amazing to see [RNC chair] Ronna McDaniel desperately to explain to Republicans why they need to vote in an election that will decide the balance of the Senate,” Molly remarks. 


“It was like watching a walrus trying to fuck a beach ball. It's so awkward,” Rick replies. 


Then Baratunde Thurston—host of the new podcast How to Citizen—joins Molly for a frank discussion about what led to Trumpism, and how we avoid falling for it again. He’s got a number of structural reforms in mind, to take money out of politics and put in back on the street. But there’s more. 


“I want a lot of tribunals, Molly. I want COVID tribunals because I think there are political leaders who have blood on their hands that they need to be held to account for it. And I want some kind of like media tribunals because a lot of the media establishments created this fiction that is Donald Trump,” Baratunde says.


Speaking of media monsters, Rick and Molly has had it with a certain interview formally known as the “Money Honey.”


“Maria Bartiromo was once considered a legitimate and serious journalist,” Rick says. “And now she's being fitted for a pink hanbok, much like the North Korean propaganda lady who sits at the screen and stares and screams about the glory of the Kim Jong Un family. She allowed Donald Trump to go on television this weekend on the airwaves of Fox and bleed out the craziest horseshit you've ever heard.”


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Dec 01, 2020
Alec Baldwin: Here’s Why I Won’t Run for Office (Yet)
00:20:56

Alec Baldwin has given serious thought about running for office. He already knows what it’s like for people to hate his guts (Like for things like playing the president on Saturday Night Live—“They say things like, ‘I don't know who we want to get rid of first Alec Baldwin or Trump.’”) But seriously, he has considered diving head-first into the political world, and there is a chance he still might, but there’s a few things he’d need to take care of first—and someone he’d have to convince. In this episode of The New Abnormal, the 30 Rock actor tells Molly-Jong about his wife’s opinion on the matter, and why he credits his dad for standing “on the right side” of politics these days, according to Molly. After all, out of all the Baldwins in the family, there is only one Trump supporter. “[My dad] was a very progressive guy. He was very, very humanistic, very, and he would always say things to me,” he said. “My father was somebody that kind of understood that if we give people equal rights, it's going to, I don't want to say infiltrate, but pervade through every part of our society. And that's the change.” Baldwin was actually planning on leaving the country if Trump won re-election, but now he’s thinking about still going anyway. (“We still think it's a great time to get the hell out of here.”) In the meantime, he has all eyes on 2022—and a fantasy about being appointed the ambassador to Spain. Baldwin also reveals how much he prepared for impersonating Trump on SNL, and the reason Donald rants for so long at rallies. Plus! Listen closely, there’s a moment when he and Molly are almost the victims of a horror movie that only parents would find scary.


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Nov 29, 2020
TEASER: Who Will Trump Pardon Before He Leaves Office?
00:03:22

The end of the Trump administration is like the end of a season finale of the most batshit Netflix show. Everyone has questions of how it will finally end, including one big one: Will Trump pardon himself before leaving office? Some theories predict VP Mike Pence could assume the presidency for just enough time to pardon Trump. But, Rick Wilson doesn’t see that happening. In this members-only bonus episode of The New Abnormal, Rick and co-host Molly Jong-Fast do a Q&A with producer Jesse Cannon to answer some of these burning questions about the Trump administration and their performance as political commentators (“I got wrong a lot,” says Molly. Rick also has three major predictions he got wrong during the election cycle.) But one thing they’re sure of, is that the chances of Pence pardoning the president are extremely unlikely. The two think Trump pardoning himself is more likely, but there’s a big caveat to that. “The essential thing of a pardon is it involves the admission of a crime. And so he has to admit that he violated the law,” says Rick. Rick and Molly also discuss why Biden’s ‘“boring” Cabinet picks (unlike Trump’s) will piss off Mitch McConnell: “He's picking people who are not these enormously, you know, controversial or dramatic figures. And that's okay.” Plus! The hosts talk about their favorite crimes of the Trump administration, and speaking of crime, “I think we're going to hear about Jared for a long time.” And will there be a President Dan Bongino in 2024??


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Nov 27, 2020
Ivanka’s BFF: Trump Gave Kids’ Friends Supermodel Nicknames
00:56:56

If you thought Ivanka Trump’s childhood best friend, Lysandra Ohrstrom, had enough to say about the First Daughter in her scathing Vanity Fair article, you’d be mistaken. Oh no, Lysandra isn’t finished yet. She came on the latest episode of The New Abnormal to talk about the president’s favorite kid and the offensive and crude things Ivanka and her dad would say or do when the two were growing up—and what finally made Lysandra become the “class traitor” many have been quick to call her on Twitter. “I have really been grappling with whether to do this for so long since Trump announced that he was running,” she told Molly Jong-Fast. In fact, “Ly” (as Ivanka called her) had been loyal to Ivanka over the last four years to the point where she forwarded her press requests as a heads up. But standing in line to vote early this fall, enough was enough. (“I just went home. I sat at my computer and I started writing a long essay about why her dad shouldn't be president. And it was very much pegged to my recollections of growing up with him.”) Some of the “recollections” include Trump calling out Lysandra’s looks and nicknaming Ivanka’s young friends after models like Cindy Crawford, behavior that she found “shocking as a kid.” (“Most dads didn't make comments about your weight. Most dads didn't kind of call all of my young friends after different models.”) She also addresses that necklace incident mentioned in the article, all of their friends who called to thank her for writing the article, and if Ivanka will ever be welcomed back in New York City. Plus! New York Times National Politics Reporter Astead Wesley joins to talk about an interesting call he had with AOC and the prediction about QAnon Queen and Congresswoman-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene that made Molly sick. And! Rick Wilson and Molly talk about “Coup-anon” and the ways Trump is basically “Kim Jong Un without the good hair.” Oh, and why Sidney Powell is “a complete whackadoodle,” in case it isn’t obvious.


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Nov 24, 2020
TEASER: Biden Doesn’t Want to Prosecute Trumpland. But His AG Still Might.
00:06:41

Team Biden has made his incoming style of presidency very clear: Keep the peace. Or in his aides’ words, “move the country forward.” Unfortunately, moving forward doesn’t include prosecuting Trump and his band of thieves, er, White House staffers and campaign confidants. In this bonus episode of The New Abnormal, which happened LIVE on Zoom, The Daily Beast’s DC Bureau Chief Jackie Kucinich confirms this to co-hosts Rick WIlson and Molly Jong-Fast“Where we’re at in the process, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen.” BUT. And this is a big BUT: Biden’s Attorney General still could go after Trump, points out Beast Trumpworld Reporter Asawin “Swin” Suebsaeng (“It will be interesting to see how that particular pick moves forward.”) Speaking of “what ifs,” the quad also muse about what the political world will look like without Trump as president, and sorry to say, not too much different. “One of the worst liberal fantasies is that he’s going to go to Mar-a-Lago and not come back,” Molly says, but that ain’t gonna happen. “Biden will be president January 20. But the Trump presidency as it is a state of mind is going to continue. Anyone who thinks the Republican party is going to go back to how they were before Trump is living in a fantasy land,” says Jackie. Rick and Swin have even more sinister predictions: “I don’t want to jump the gun here, but we should see if he tries to run some shadow foreign relations [scheme] from Mar-a-Lago or the Trump organization,” says Swin. Don’t forget the rallies, either! According to Rick, they’ll continue, but “they’ll be ticketed. He’ll use them as a revenue source.” Then! Jackie talks about the chances of Biden’s ole buddy Mitch McConnell coming around and the group makes their pick for which MAGA bot will make the best bachelor or bachelorette. Plus! Will Democrats have to drag GSA official Emily Murphy out of her post? And what the hell is happening in Georgia!?

 

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Nov 23, 2020
Amy Klobuchar: Forget Trump’s Election Rants. Biden Has This
00:39:14

“It's so funny,” Molly Jong-Fast tells Sen. Amy Klobuchar. “There's been so much sexist talk about women [in politics] being too emotional and being too sensitive. And then we have an entire party held hostage by the president's moods.” 


Klobuchar laughs in response: “Exactly. I think it was John Bolton that said that we just don't have time to live through seven stages of the president's grief. That is exactly what's happening.”


“Even when presidents have lost elections,” the senator adds, “they have led, they have had to deal with last-minute crises. And this guy is not doing it. I don't think we should be surprised, but the fact that he is not leading and trying to demolish our democracy at the same time and tarnish the reputation of good people like [Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency] Chris Krebs is just an unbelievable trio of evil.” 


But don’t worry, the senator says on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. Despite all the histrionics and the wackadoodle press conferences and the late-night tweets, this presidency is over. “It is getting more and more clear that there's no other paths. And at some point [the Republicans] are going to have to allow for this transition.”


It’s not even like the goal of the Trumpists is to win, despite all their quasi-fascist, overturn-the-election talk, says Rick Wilson. “The goal is to sow dissension, the goal is to build chaos. The goal is to ensure that the Trump brand for the next four years still is able to grift off of their email list and suck down rube dollars: ‘they can steal our election, but they can't steal our pride.’” 


And what should Biden do, once he’s in the Oval and Trump is still doing his authoritarian wannabe thing? And his enablers are back in the senate? There have been some leaks out of Bidenworld that Joe is disinclined towards retribution. “I think they need to recognize that playing by the Marquess of Queensberry rules and playing nice” won’t work, Rick says. “I think Lindsey Graham needs to be under investigation by the ethics committee. The guy’s involved in outright attempts to fraudulently manipulate the election. It’s just crazy.” 


Molly isn’t so sure. Quoting Masha Gessen, she says: “it's really important that the president doesn't look like he's doing that [taking retribution against Trump], because democratic norms are so important. Instead, we have to narrate the experience of the people who've gone through Trumpism.” 


Which is another way of saying this is—hopefully, please God—almost over.



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Nov 20, 2020
My Twitter War With the Congresswoman from QAnon
00:57:50

Molly Jong-Fast explains to Rick Wilson why she got into a brouhaha with the Congresswoman from the First District of QAnon in the latest episode of The New Abnormal, which features presidential transition veteran Neera Tanden of The Center For American Progress and Carl Zimmer of The New York Times, who gets us up to speed on the latest vaccine breakthroughs.

 

Molly and Congresswoman-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene, an avowed QAnon supporter, fell out on Twitter over different interpretations of government interference in a woman’s health.

 

“I did make fun of her because she used the phrase ‘My body, my choice,’ when referring to not wanting to wear a mask, which is of course an expression that is used by the pro-choice community,” Molly said. “So, I may have suggested that she might also be pro-choice, which got her just enraged because while she won’t wear a mask, she does not want anyone to have control over their own uterus.”

 

Rick said Greene will continue to court the vote of conspiracy theorists who believed President Trump went to Washington to fight a cabal of elite pedophiles even though he was now on the way out. “She’s a weaponized money suck for crazy people. And so that’s why she’s going to flirt with Q and all this other bullshit.”

 

Rick said he had been following one other Twitterstorm this week, over the blossoming friendship between forgotten Trump child Tiffany and another fringe Republican congressman Matt Gaetz. “It's someday going to grace, the pages of TMZ, and perhaps even be the subject of a Netflix show called ‘The Orange Crown.’”

 

Molly agreed this one has legs: “I feel like it's so stupid. They're probably going to get married.”

 

Neera Tanden, who worked on the 2008 Obama transition, said Trump’s “temper tantrum” over the election, which he lost, would have real terms consequences. “You may face unnecessary deaths because of their slow walking transition, which has nothing to do with anything other than feeding the defeated president’s ego,” she said.

 

In most departments, Tanden says the challenge for Biden is not understanding how the agencies work as they have ample experience of that, it’s trying to work out just how much damage has been done. “I imagine there’s a fair amount of trying to bury the bodies,” she said.




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Nov 17, 2020
TEASER: Masha Gessen: The Problem Is Not Russian Interference. It’s That We Let It In.
00:04:00

President Donald Trump may be following Vladimir Putin’s Autocratic playbook closer than we all realize—and the Russian interference was just the tip of the iceberg. In this bonus members-only episode of The New Abnormal, the New Yorker staff writer and Surviving Autocracy author Masha Gessen joins co-host Molly Jong-Fast to talk about this phenomenon. They explain that leaders like Trump and Putin put a system in place to hold power, and if you’re wondering how a man like Trump could do something so seemingly elaborate, it makes sense. “The destruction they wreak is all the more effective because of the incompetence,” Gessen explains. “They thrive on instability. The more anxious people are the less likely they are to opt for change ” Biden, they say, will have to dismantle this system (though they wish the president-elect would ditch the “Build Back Better” campaign). Why? For the same reason they dislike when people solely focus on Russian interference. “We've been very stupid to focus on it as much as we have,” Gessen explains. “The problem is not Russian interference, the problem is we sank so low to where Russian interference sank in.” Plus! Hear why they compare Trump to a ‘witch afraid of water’ when it comes to lawmakers of color like AOC and the late John Lewis.


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Nov 16, 2020
Trump’s Election ‘Coup’ Is More Like a Fake Orgasm
00:59:19

Does Donald Trump even know what a coup is? Doubtful, which is one of the reasons, in this episode of The New Abnormal, that co-hosts Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast don’t believe whatever nonsense the president is pulling counts as one. That, and the fact that the military needs to support said coup and they won’t. “They may be telling him that [they are], but it is the fake orgasm of coups. They're making noises that sound real, but it's not real,” says Rick. Still, the scammer-in-chief and his GOP minions are persistent, and asking for money to help fund these state lawsuits. (“If you wrote this in a Hollywood script about a family of presidential grifters, it would be too on the nose,” adds Rick.) The Beast’s National Security reporter Spencer Ackerman makes his TNA debut to explain the lead up to Mark Esper’s departure and how the Pentagon is basically planning to f*ck Joe Biden. “I'm not the guy who does the comforting stories,” he laughs. Then, columnist and Veep producer Frank Rich tells the crew the ways Trump is much more incompetent than Selina Meyer and Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania John Fetterman makes a very strong case against there being voter fraud in the statePlus! Rick explains how Trump’s presidency is like a robot floating through space and Molly gives a new name to his followers. Hint: It has the word cult in it.

 

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Nov 13, 2020
Ivanka Trump Is Never, Ever Going To Be Forgiven
01:01:16

She may have been hoping to spend her days jet-setting between Davos and Aspen—when she wasn’t mingling with Manhattan’s gentry. But only the super rich get those kinds of second chances. And that ain’t Ivanka. “They get forgiven because they have billions of dollars—they can float a charity. Someone like [New York Jets owner and ambassador to the UK] Woody Johnson, who's given millions and millions of dollars to Trump and who has been a real Republican piece of shit, will get forgiven because he can donate and donate, right? Someone like Ivanka, who is so clearly an eyesore—and isn't so rich—ultimately, she’s not going to get forgiven,” Molly says on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. The best Ivanka Trump can hope for, Molly Jong-Fast says, is a scuzzy reality show, like her dad. Speaking of the Trump family, Mary Trump joins the crew to discuss her uncle’s electoral loss. “It's amazing. On the one hand, losing is the thing that is the worst thing to do [in his mind]. But he's never won anything ever… never won anything legitimately. Legitimacy means nothing to him because his ego is such that if he gets the win, just by virtue of cheating, lying, stealing, he knows he deserves to win. So it's okay for him to cheat, lie, and steal.” In happier news, famed scientist and physician Eric Topol says the early results about the new COVID vaccine really are a ray of hope. He believes it might even be a so-called “superhuman vaccine… meaning it’s even more powerful than the typical human response,” he tells Molly. “We could see the virus having a hard time finding people to infect by mid-year… This virus will probably be endemic. It'll be here for years. But it's just going to have a harder time finding people.” But don’t throw out your masks or anything, he warns. “They're going to be really important in 2021… First of all, the vaccines, when we talk about 90% efficacy, that's against pneumonia or getting your body infected with illness, it doesn't sterilize the upper respiratory tract. That is the nose. And so you could be a carrier of the virus. You’re going to have to wear a mask because you won't know if the virus is sitting” in your nose. So, not back to normal any time soon. But we’ll take it.


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Nov 10, 2020
Can Dems Keep It Together Long Enough to Beat McConnell?
00:33:01

Joe Biden is asking Americans to turn down the heat. Some of his strongest supporters are busy lighting one another on fire. Biden and Kamala Harris hadn’t even been declared the winners of the election when members of their far-flung coalition began attacking one another: Blue Dog versus Democratic Socialist, the Squad versus Abigail Spanberger and other purple-district Dems. “You would think that they would want to enjoy their victory for, like, 30 seconds. You would think that after toppling a sitting president, they would want a high five once,” Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief Noah Shachtman tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson on a special edition of The New Abnormal. Especially because there are two big run-off elections in Georgia this January—races that will determine whether Mitch McConnell runs the Senate or not. Rick, for one, smells blood: “There may be some Republicans who now look at McConnell as the Alamo,, but no one has ever like gotten up on a rainy January morning and thought, ‘My God, I must defend Mitch. McConnell's honor! He is one last knight standing on the hill!’” Plus! Molly talks about the deeply weird dynamic of cable news hosts trying to get Trump to GTFO. Then she gets Rick to admit that Americans love a bit of socialism—when it’s called something else. The gang ponders what constitutes a giant raft of horseshit. Rick addresses his GOP past. And Trumpists scramble to find new jobs. (“My favorite piece of intel from election day was from one sources in the campaign. I said, ‘What you doing?’ And the response was: ‘LinkedIn.’”)


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Nov 09, 2020
Why the Trumpy Supreme Court Will Give Him the Finger
00:50:05

“Ever since RBG died, I've basically spent the last six weeks in existential terror,” Elie Mystal, The Nation’s justice correspondent, tells Molly Jong-Fast. Trump appoints Amy Coney Barrett, so she could hand the election back to president Trump. But now, Mystal says on the latest edition of The New Abnormal, “I am no longer worried about these dumb lawsuits… Where we are now is the best possible position for Biden to be in order to fend off legal challenges to his emerging electoral college victory. I have extreme confidence that none of these wackadoodle, crazy lawsuits that Trump and Trump's campaign throws out there will have any relevance—even in front of Republican appointed judges and arch conservative of Supreme courts… The reason why I have such confidence is because Biden is winning. Remember in 2000, where Gore was trying to make up a gap, right? Well, the Republican courts are probably willing to allow Trump to get as many votes counted as he needs in order to make up any perceived gap that he has. That one thing. Throwing out votes that were received by election day, counted, tabulated, and reported to the press? Throwing those votes away because they don't like who those people voted for? It’s a really different proposition.” Plus! Molly asks how can the Democratic party can ever repay Black women. Rick Wilson imagines Trump in Cats! And famed journalism professor Jay Rosen talks about the many schisms in the Murdoch media empire.

 

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Nov 06, 2020
‘We Won. And I Feel Like Shit’
00:30:52

James Carville, like the rest of us, is having some mixed emotions at the moment. After getting all kinds of polling data saying the Democrats were clean up, the truth is … well, kind of the opposite happened. The gap between expectations and reality was so big, even Joe Biden apparently being on the precipice of taking the White House seems just a little unsatisfying. “Look, this is the biggest election in my lifetime, before my lifetime. And I wake up in the morning, we won the popular vote and we're going to win the electoral college. And I feel like fucking shit,” Carville tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson on the post-election edition of The New Abnormal. “Yes, we will have competent cabinet secretaries. And yes, we will have competent ambassadors. And the trains will run on time. And that's about it, right? That's something. That's a lot more than we've got now. But it's not anything close to what we all were hopeful for.” Buck up, Rick tells Carville (and the rest of us). “Donald Trump is about to ride into the sunset—and by sunset, I mean prison—in the immediate future. People need to be of good cheer. This is a stunning victory,” Rick says, anticipating that the absentee votes in places like Pennsylvania and Michigan will break Biden’s way. “It says something about our political pessimism in the era of Trump that everyone's depressed about this outcome. Get the fuck outta here. We just beat Donald fucking Trump.” Maybe so, Molly replies. But she’s still pissed—like, beyond pissed—at the pollsters who gave so many false hope. “Fuck those fuckers,” she says, before a whole bunch of stuff we had to bleep out.

 

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Nov 04, 2020
Trump Isn’t Playing 3-D Chess. He’s Eating the Checker.
00:53:23

Trump’s hype men like to say that he’s so smart. A tactical genius. Always 14 moves ahead of you libtards. Surely, the Trumpkins say, there’s a deep logic to the president spending the waning days of his campaign attacking America’s most respected public-health expert. Under no circumstance is Trump just blurting out a bunch of… Oh, who are we kidding. The guy has the emotional control and strategic wisdom of a toddler. “I feel like it's important to remember: He is never playing three dimensional chess. He's just eating a checker,” Molly Jong-Fast quips on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “And, and the thing is, it was not a strategic move. He's just such a baby that the crowd started chanting, ‘fire Fauci, fire Fauci,’ and he can't help himself but wanting to fill that hole, that black hole, in his heart. And so, he gives the people what they want,” political strategist Tim Miller says. Rick Wilson chortles, channeling Trump: “Before I fire Fauci, I want a warm up by setting this bucket of kittens on fire.” No, but seriously. The craziest part about this crazy episode, The Beast’s Erin Banco explains, is that Trump thinks he’s absolutely crushed it on COVID response. “When the president talks about it to his advisors, he's reinforced by the people around him, who believe that they just killed it, that they did an awesome job,” she says. Plus! Bill Barr’s white horse! Marco Rubio’s parachute pants! Ric Grenell’s true obsession! New Jersey’s neo-Confederate dumbfucks! Bill Stepien escape plans! And Jesse the Producer’s first-ever Fuck That Guy!

 

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Nov 03, 2020
TEASER: Sharon Stone Worries Trump’s COVID Vaccine Won’t Be ‘Safe’
00:03:33

Sharon Stone doesn’t trust Trump one bit. In this members-only episode of The New Abnormal podcast, the actress sits down with host Molly Jong-Fast to chat about abortion, the #MeToo movement, voting, and the pandemic. Growing up, Stone attributes her involvement in politics to her father. "He was really believed that people of all races, colors, creeds, gender identities should have the same rights and privileges. And it was a very, very strong attitude in our family," Stone said. The two also spoke about her thoughts on the election, and all the things she’s doing to help get out the vote. “I had the great pleasure of moderating a zoom fundraiser. I worked with a good friend of mine and we organized a grassroots voting campaign called Vote Proud to get people out to vote who are in the LGBTQ community. Anything and everything that I possibly can do to get people out to vote," she said. Stone then touches on Trump's response to the pandemic. We’ll just say this: Don’t expect her to be first in line to get a vaccine if he’s still the president. and says there’s no way a vaccine is safe right now and touches on her work with infectious disease expert Dr. Fauci. "We do not have a clear path to a safe vaccine yet at all," she says, adding in her thoughts on Dr. Anthony Fauci and what she really thinks of the president: “He does not respect himself and others."


 

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Nov 02, 2020
TEASER: Mueller Deputy: This Is Where the Special Counsel Came Up Short
00:03:43

Hindsight is always 2020, and in this case, Andrew Weissman is pretty sure where Mueller and team came up short. He was part of the team that investigated Enron. He personally promoted former FBI attorney Lisa Page and served as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s deputy during the Russian collusion hearings. He wrote a book about the experience, but came on the newest members-only episode of The New Abnormal to share that insight with co-host Molly Jong-Fast. When it came down to it, “we didn't have sufficient proof that people in the Trump campaign were trained not to accept anything from foreigners,” says Weissman. Also, “I think we should have said whether we thought he obstructed justice or not. I didn't think we should have used very hard to understand double negatives.” Then there’s the four-eyed elephant in the room named Bill Barr, who Weissman says no one from his team anticipated “undermining the rule of law.” But it didn’t take them long in their investigation to figure out that was what was happening. Speaking of which, Weissman predicts a lot more “harm” to the justice system if Trump is re-elected for another four years. And if Trump isn’t? It won’t be gumdrops and roses just yet. Weissman has an unnerving prediction for what Trump will do if he loses. Plus! He breaks down how he got to this place and has some action items to make sure it never happens again.


 

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Nov 01, 2020
Chill the Fuck Out. This Isn’t Another 2016, and Here’s Why
01:01:10

Molly Jong-Fast, like many of us, is nervous about the election. Sure, the polls look pretty decent for Biden; they looked good for Hillary, right? Not exactly, Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report tells Molly. In the last couple of weeks of the last campaign, there was so much attention on those freakin’ emails. “You could see the race tightening. Hillary went from up 11... and then in the very last NBC poll, she was up four points, with 16% undecided,” Walter recalls on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. This time, though, the pandemic is the focus. And Trump has basically surrendered to the virus. “Now Biden's up, nine, 10 points with very few people undecided and very few people thinking they're going to vote third party. So it's just, it's a different environment. Biden's a different kind of candidate. And Donald Trump is the president at a time when we're in the middle of a crisis that the majority of Americans don't think he's handled well.” Then! Sen. Sherrod Brown talks about whether Biden has a shot in increasingly-Red Ohio. Plus! Rick Wilson debuts the Lincoln Project Time Machine! MAGA junkies chase the Dragon of Cray! Jared Kushner attempts to outsmart a sack of hair! Steve Bannon gets ready to punch out license plates instead of lies! And Eric Trump takes a delightful trip to Frog Dick, Alabama!


On election day The New Abnormal is going to do what we always do and talk about what's happening with the election and you can listen in if you Join Beast Inside today where you'll gain access to an exclusive Zoom version of our podcast where you can ask your own questions. We’ll help you stomach the last moments—or so we hope—of the longest, weirdest, crappiest presidential campaign in modern history. Join Beast Inside today and then join us on election day when we pull back the curtain, New Abnormal-style.To hear this along with the rest of our upcoming bonus episodes head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com. That's newabnormal.thedailybeast.com.

 

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Oct 30, 2020
The Lincoln Project’s Secret War Plan—Revealed!
00:59:04

Rick Wilson and his crew of Republican refugees have been getting in Trump’s head practically since the day they got together. But over the weekend, the psychological combat hit a new peak, when Jared and Ivanka sent one of daddy’s lawyers after the Lincoln Project over a billboard they put in Times Square. And Rick, for one, was loving it. “A big part of our operations has been from the beginning to disrupt the leadership of the Trump campaign and to cause Donald Trump himself to poop his diaper and to cause these people to lose their minds. [Now we’ve] pinn[ed] down Jared and Ivanka Thursday and Friday of last week, and distract[ed] Donald Trump,” Rick explains to Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal.  “So it's the eve of battle. And two of the generals of Trump's army have now been paralyzed. They have thought of nothing else for the last several days… You drag off resources, attention, time, focus from what they should be fighting and you make them fight the battles you want them to fight. Think of me as kind of like a redneck Sun-Tzu.” Then! Molly has an incredibly powerful interview with Dr. Rick Bright, the vaccine expert turned whistleblower. He was in charge of a massive federal effort to develop medical countermeasures to biological threats. But he couldn’t stand by while Team Trump pushed a bogus treatment for COVID-19. “I had to decide at that moment to be complicit and be part of a government that would put people's lives at risk—or to step out,” he tells Molly, choking up. “I still get emotional about it because I still remember that day of stepping out and how impactful it was on me, knowing that it was going to change my life. You just know they're gonna come after you. So you have to decide, is it worth it? And to me, it was absolutely worth it.” Plus! Will Trump’s wig come off in a toilet? Where’s the real power in American politics? (Hint: not in D.C.) Why did Team Trump want to inject Santa? And how in the name of Gotham City did Bane get on this podcast?


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Oct 27, 2020
TEASER: Preet Bharara: There Could Be An ‘Avalanche of Revelations' If Trump Loses
00:03:55

Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York, joins “The New Abnormal” host Molly Jong-Fast to chat about the last presidential debate, the story leading up to his resignation, and why there could be an "avalanche" of new revelations if President Donald Trump loses the election.


Bharara said that the presidential debate was "relatively normal," but that's no thanks to Trump or his opponent Joe Biden. "The person I credit most for that as most people do is Kristen Welker," he said. 


Jong-Fast then reminds Bharara of one of his proudest moments from 2016: Not calling Trump back. He details the incident and why he doesn't regret his decision for a second. 


"It is a good thing for public servants not to so badly cling to their job… that you won't do the right thing," he said. 


Next, Jong-Fast and Bharara chat about the impact of the election outcome and what will happen if Trump loses. 


"My guess is there is going to be a cascade of people who are going to write books for a lot of money, or good citizens who are going to blow the whistle on all sorts of things… that we don't know about yet," he said. 


Adding, "I also think the potential for bad conduct and bad activity during the transition, if Trump definitively loses, is going to be very high. It's going to be very difficult for either Congress or some prosecution authorities to ignore what could very well be an avalanche of revelations after January 20, about this president and the conduct of the people in this administration."


Lastly, they discuss how someone with Trump's background could never get a national security clearance, Bharara's book Doing Justice, plus more!


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Oct 26, 2020
Final Debate Just Proves Trump ‘Can Lie in Different Gears’
00:53:12

On a special episode of The New Abnormal responding to the final presidential debate Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson are joined by GOP political consultant Mike Madrid, Daily Beast senior editor Tim Teeman and Gary Peters, the Senator from Michigan, who is here to outline the fight against voter intimidation at the polls.

 

Molly was aghast at Trump’s almost normal debate performance. “It’s almost worse when Trump tries to be normal than when Trump is just insane,” she said. “When he acts like a normal president… then you have constantly fact check him in a way that you don’t when he’s just huffing and puffing and screaming.”

 

Madrid, a veteran Republican pollster now working with the Lincoln Project, said Trump’s relative calm on stage means he can’t be counted out of the race yet. “If he had just blown his top and set his hair on fire and started stomping on his feet, then we’d be like, OK, it’s done,” he said. “He can lie in different gears.”

 

But Rick is not convinced that Trump did enough to turn it around. “My theory of the case going in was that Trump needed an absolute knockout, absolutely needed to slaughter Joe Biden on that stage tonight. And I don’t think he got there. I don’t think he even got close to getting there,” he said.

 

Away from the debate stage, Tim Teeman joined the gang to discuss the Trump campaign’s last gasp “gaslighting” effort to court LGBTQ voters by claiming Trump had been an ally all along. “I don't know about Donald Trump’s personal bigotry, but it doesn’t matter if he’s a bigot personally or not,” he said. “He’s advancing a course of bigotry for his own ends. And that honestly makes him just as dangerous as the bigot with a pair of keys in their fist, ready to punch you in the face on the street.”




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Oct 23, 2020
Sacha Baron Cohen on Borat, Trump and Risking His Life for Comedy
00:52:05

Comedy legend Sacha Baron Cohen goes deep on all of the crazy things that happened during the filming of his Showtime series ‘Who Is America?’—including truly incredible stories about his interactions with Sarah Palin, O.J. Simpson, Ben Carson and more. He also talks about interviewing Donald Trump as Ali G. and reveals some big secrets behind his classic film ‘Borat.’This episode was recorded in front live audience as part of the SAG Conversations series at the SAG-Aftra Foundation in Los Angeles on May 21, 2019.Follow @SachaBaronCohen and @mattwilstein on Twitter and @lastlaughpod on Instagram. 

Highlights from this episode and others at The Daily Beast.


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Oct 21, 2020
Does Rudy Giuliani Have an Ounce of Pride Left?
00:48:21

Rick Wilson spent years working for Rudy Giuliani. He used to look up to his boss, the mayor. These days, he can barely look down without spitting. “The worst possible Greek tragedy doesn't encompass the fall of Rudy, from calamity to clown show to complete moral and physical collapse,” Rick tells co-host Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “The fact that Trump views him and uses him as this hatchet man, his delivery boy for these absurd attacks… You know, there's a part of me that like, ‘Do you have no fucking pride left? You only get trotted out for the shit jobs like these. You only get brought out and hosed off once every few months when Donald Trump has to do something disgusting.’” Caroline Giuliani, Rudy’s daughter, isn’t happy with the decisions he’s made, either. That’s why she recently announced that she’s voting for Joe Biden. “I felt like I had an obligation just because it's, it's just so bad. We're in such a crisis,” she tells Molly. “I want to be on record as being on the right side of history. I also felt like people feel so alone right now. I've had such a great reaction from so many people just saying, ‘Thank you... You articulated things I've been feeling.’ And it just made me feel a little less alone.” Then! Alabama Sen. Doug Jones talks about why his opponent, Tommy Tuberville, is even worse than Roy Moore, the last guy he beat. 


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Oct 20, 2020
Town Hall Sh*tshow Was a Truth Window into Trump
00:54:12

On the night of the duelling townhalls, Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson recorded a special episode of The New Abnormal as a desperate Trump delivered a wild performance that virtually served as an ad for Joe Biden. Two guests join the show to sum up the state of American politics right now with Jay Michaelson, legal affairs columnist at The Daily Beast, Rabbi and editor at 10% Happier, on hand to run down the latest from the Amy Coney Barrett hearings. And audience favorite Hank Gilbert, who is running for the Texas first congressional district against Republican Louie Gohmert, is back to share the unprecedented election buzz he says he is seeing in Texas. Gilbert says he can’t believe it took so long but Texans have finally realized that “this narcissistic bastard” is bad for America and they’re ready to vote him out. “People are excited. I’ve never seen this type of atmosphere before,” he said.

 

Trump seemed to be doing his best to show viewers himself that he was not fit to be president during the NBC townhall, says Rick. “You had Trump with one leg on the ground, leaning over, hunched over, glaring at Savannah Guthrie like he was a mad man, like he was about to flee the scene of a crime. And you had Joe Biden sitting in the chair, legs crossed, hands gesturing, talking smoothly and calmly.” “When he wouldn’t answer the QAnon question, all I could think was, ‘Does Joe Biden need to report this like an in-kind contribution?’ This was fucking crazy,” Rick said. “This shitshow was a truth window into Trump.” He had, at least, managed to directly criticize white supremacy after failing to do so at the presidential debate, which just confused Molly: “Wouldn't it be more of a no brainer to disavow QAnon—the Democrats eat children—than white supremacy? His supporters are already racist.”

 

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Oct 16, 2020
Cheat Sheet Podcast from The Daily Beast 10/14/20
00:07:04

The juiciest stories in politics, pop culture and more -- fast.


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Oct 14, 2020
Trump Is Polluting the Planet With a Thousand Mini-Dons
00:51:38

It’s bad enough that we have to deal with one Donald Trump here in the U.S. of A. What’s worse, Mehdi Hasan explains on the latest episode of The New Abnormal, is that Trump has become a template for a whole planet full of bad-faith actors and wannabe strongmen. Before he became the host of his own TV show in America, Hasan interviewed all sorts of international politicians. “What I noticed over the last few years is that they all now start talking like Trump. They all use the same verbal tics, the same ‘fake news,’ the same completely brazen lies,” Hasan tells Molly Jong-Fast. “This is not a coincidence. People around the world have said, ‘well, it worked for Donald Trump. Why can't it work for me?’ Of course, all politicians are bullshit artists. But what’s different today, Hasan adds, “is the way in which Trump and co. have turned lying into not just an art form, but an instrument of power. They don't lie just to get their way. They lie because they want to destroy our shared reality. They want to demonstrate their power. They want people to back them and say, yes, ‘I don't believe my lying eyes.’” Speaking of belief, you’ll be gobsmacked by the lengths Alex Gibney had to go to in order to make “Totally Under Control,” his documentary about the government’s response to COVID. For some interview subjects, he’d drop off a high-tech camera rig so they could basically film themselves. For others, “the camera person would go in alone to an Airbnb, kind of scrub it down, and then set up this shield—a series of shower curtains and tarps—between the subject and the camera person. And then there would be a lens sticking through,” he tells Molly. “That was a way… to do a proper lighting setup, but also be safe.” Then! Rick Wilson asks the questions on everyone’s mind, like: How much cash would it take to turn Texas blue? Why does Mike Lee hate democracy? Is mail order herpes a thing? And will Ted Cruz even remember Trump’s name on November 4th?


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Oct 13, 2020
TEASER: Val Demings Says She Has a Plan to Stop Trump’s SCOTUS Pick
00:03:26

Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) helped get Trump impeached, but now there's a new battle: his SCOTUS pick. She worked within the government’s Internal Affairs department and became one of the impeachment managers in Trump’s case after 27 years as an Orlando police officer. And impeached he was. So on this members-only bonus episode of The New Abnormal, co-host Molly Jong-Fast asks for her thoughts on Trump's SCOTUS appointment and how exactly Democrats and citizens alike can stop it. (Mitch McConnell is “pushing it down the throats of the American people,” she says.) Her plan? Lots of pressure. (“This is not a moment for partisan politics. And we expect our leaders, Mitch McConnell, to lead the way there. His number one responsibility is the health, safety and wellbeing of the American people. And so I am hoping that he will feel the heat, if you will, from the American people.”) The former cop also shared what the future of police departments should be, and for her, abolishment is not the way to go (“When you talk to people who live in some of the highest crime areas, they say they don't want to see less police. They want to see more police, you know, because they know what it means. We should not talk about the police and the community as if there are two separate entities. If the police are the community and the community is the police one cannot exist without the other.”) Plus! Demings subtly takes a dig at her state’s Gov. Ron DeSantis. Then she explains the best way to get Disney World, and the economy at large, back up-and-running safely. (Spoiler alert: we’ve got to get the virus under control first.)



 

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Oct 12, 2020
Why Pence Is So Good at Being Evil
00:46:41

Author and Daily Beast Editor-at-Large Goldie Taylor is, um, not exactly Mike Pence’s biggest fan. “He does things that boil me,” she tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. Take that fake gentility of Pence’s. He’s the kind of guy who’s “always genteel when he tells you, you shouldn't be in the room with him. He's always genteel when he tells you that because of his manness, his whiteness, his superiority, that he's better than you.” Molly is right there with Goldie, saying of Pence, “he is good at being evil in a way that Trump is not.” Rick Wilson adds, “Mike Pence wasn't as shouty as Donald Trump [in this week’s debate], he was still as dickish as Donald Trump in every possible respect.” Speaking of debates, Rick sizes up Trump’s threat to skip the next one. (Bluff.) Molly muses about “Fox Business, the last bastion of the impossibly racist.” (“Imagine if Lou Dobbs gets me deported, that would be like the greatest moment of my life,” she says.) And Mike Espy talks about his run for U.S. Senate in Mississippi. Plus! Trump’s imaginary girlfriend! Pence’s shellacked head! Stephen Miller’s kitten rampage! Steroid rages! Bill Barr’s strange absence! Michigan militia-fails! And super-spreader events: the new Republican brand!


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Oct 09, 2020
Kathy Griffin: Pence Is ‘Nothing But the Crap Under Trump’s Shoe’
00:23:12

Kathy Griffin joins Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson for a special episode of The New Abnormal recorded right after the vice presidential debate. The gang thought Kamala Harris was the clear winner but they couldn’t stop looking at the vice president’s eye. “The closeup shots of Mike Pence’s bleeding eyeball were like watching an eighties horror movie. I expected some sort of snake to come running out of it at any minute,” said Rick. And that was before the fly stuck to his head. “It's almost like it gets inflamed during the debate. And the fly was doing some triage,” said Griffin.

 

Pence came into the debate needing to try and help Trump win back the women voters who have deserted him since 2016, but that was a total fail.“Maybe I'm biased because I hate Mike Pence with passion and burning fire of a thousand suns,” said Molly. “But I just saw a guy who doesn’t give a shit about women and who doesn’t respect women and who talked over [the moderator] Susan Page and talked over Kamala.”

 

Rick agreed: “He comes across as a guy, who’s saying, ‘Well, hey little lady, what can I do to get you into this beautiful ‘89 Camry today?’ Just there’s a little creepiness about him.”

“I will say, as a female watching, I did feel like Pence was doing a very classic gaslighting, the woman,” said Griffin. Pence also failed to commit to President Trump accepting the result of the election and agreeing to a peaceful transfer of power. “Mike Pence will be in a Nuremberg trial someday,” said Rick.

 

Griffin said it was tragic as Pence had once been seen as a mainstream Republican. “It’s shocking to watch him get indoctrinated like a freaking member of right-wing ISIS, go on his degenerate journey to becoming nothing but the crap under Trump’s shoe,” she said. “And it’s disheartening watching him tonight… just parroting, conspiracy theories that seem to get crazier. As the night went on, I just looked at him and I went, fuck that fly—that guy.”


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Oct 08, 2020
Should We Replace the Trump Administration With Chimpanzees?
00:52:35

No, seriously. After turning the Rose Garden into a superspreader party, after lying 143 ways to Sunday about the virus and 17 more about the president’s health, maybe it’s time to let some other mammals have a shot. “I could release 50 chimpanzees in the White House and they would behave with more care,” says Rick Wilson on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. Molly Jong-Fast replies, “My favorite moment was when they”—the White House staff, not the monkeys—”said, ‘you know, he's totally fine, but we've given him this experimental drug that has only a compassionate-use approval... Being lied to about the president's health is a time-honored tradition. But this group has really done it with a kind of zeal and flare and incompetence that we have never seen before.” Speaking of those experimental drugs, Yale’s Dr. Howard Foreman breaks down all the different therapeutics the president is taking—and lays out why he thinks Trump has been sicker for longer than anyone realizes. Maybe as long as two weeks. Then! The New Yorker’s Susan Glasser and The New York Times’ Peter Baker compare covering Trump’s D.C. to covering Putin’s Moscow. Plus! Matthew McConaughey’s Camaro! Hugh Hewitt’s dumbest moment yet! White House moles emerge! Bill Barr gets even sneakier! And Rick shares his thoughts about Biden’s decision to take down his negative ads while Trump was in the hospital. “Joe Biden is falling victim to this asymmetric bullshit, civility, fuck that noise. Get on it. Get back on the negatives, do it. Now he's attacking you. He's attacked your family. He's attacked your campaign over and over again. Do not hesitate.”


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Oct 06, 2020
TEASER: Busy Phillips on Her Abortion and Embarrassing Louis Gohmert in Public
00:05:57

Busy Phillips had an abortion when she was a teenager. It’s been known for a while, but given the uncertainty of Roe v. Wade after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, she’s determined to not let people forget. (Kind of how she and many women like her will never forget the night Trump won the election—“I was really knocked back by Trump's win to the ground. I mean, I like to the floor, like in hysterics.”) In this new members-only bonus episode of The New Abnormal, the “Freaks and Geeks” actor tells Molly Jong-Fast how and why she transitioned from acting to activism, and why she is so passionate about standing up for reproductive rights. “I just wanted to say very simply, you know me, I had an abortion when I was 15 and the situation surrounding it is unimportant, but I deserve bodily autonomy. I deserve equality and I'm not going to be shamed for decisions that I've made about my own body and my own life based on my own beliefs,” she said. Of course, the two had to discuss that time last year that she testified in front of Congress about her abortion. If you missed it, it was definitely a moment worth seeing, especially if you despise Louie Gohmert (R-TX). Phillips explains the wonderful moment when she shut him DOWN from her point of view. (“I have to say that was my favorite thing that I've ever done in my life was saying that to him.”) She also poses to Molly an interesting question: What if vasectomies were as stigmatized as abortions? (“They're like, well, don't be insane. It's like, well, how is that insane?”) Plus, Phillips shares her favorite RGB quote and her feelings on Trump’s “mismanaging” of the pandemic. (“The lack of empathy in this country that's been learned is incredibly overwhelming to me.)




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Oct 05, 2020
Why Trump Can't Quit His Most Awful, Most Racist Fanboys
00:48:33

Donald Trump is now claiming he’s not a Proud Boys stan. But let’s get real. When he was on that debate stage the other night, shouting out that racist crew? That was the true Trump. Like Rick Wilson tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal, if someone told Trump, “‘Hey, a robot Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot came back from the grave along with robot zombie Saddam, and they all formed the Undead Dictators for Trump Club, would you issue a statement?’ He would say, ‘Well, they like me. So, you know, whatever they did before in the afterlife now in their necromantic incarnation,’” that’s okay. “If they like him, he likes them. This is the simplest rule of the crazy, narcissistic, authoritarian horseshit that defines Donald Trump... He knows the Proud Boys are part of his team. They're part of his base. He likes them.” Speaking of true colors, what does it say when a president surrounds himself with men accused of abusing women? From Parscale to Rob Porter to Corey Lewandowski, “it's a pattern that is really pretty shocking. And one of those people wouldn't be able to survive in a real administration,” Molly says. Plus! Princeton’s Sam Wang talks about the Democrats’ juiciest Senate targets. (Alaska? South Carolina? Kansas?) The New York Times’ Mara Gay talks about her bout with COVID—and her rage at Bob Woodward for keeping quiet for so long about what Trump really knew. (“I thought of [him] at dinner parties in Washington telling his friends, ‘Oh, make sure you get a mask,’ while the rest of us are running blind.”) Molly goes over her voting plan. (You have a voting plan, right? If not, make one right now.) And Rick discusses “the president's continued flirtation—and by flirtation I mean, they've been at a cheap hotel room fucking for three days—with white supremacists.”

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Oct 02, 2020
Trump Came Across As ‘A Total Assh*le’ In The First Debate
00:24:06

Former Republican operative Stuart Stevens joins Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson for a special episode of The New Abnormal on the night of the utterly chaotic first presidential debate. Trump’s amped up ranting reminded everyone that he’s “a guy that you just would not want in your face for another four years,” Stevens concluded. “Trump just came across as a total asshole.” It was a night when the moderator, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, was unable to keep control. Stevens suggested giving the moderators the right to cut off the microphones of unruly candidates. “I think the moderators ought to have the rights to shock collars,” said Rick.

 

They all agreed that this kind of Trump performance was unlikely to make inroads with the college-educated voters or the white moms he needs for a second term. “Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani did not kill it with the debate prep,” said Molly. “It was not a great debate for women tonight, but I don't think Trump really gives a shit about women quite frankly.” Molly wishes they would just cancel the rest of the debates. “Trump is insane and he is just so destructive. And when you give him a mainstream media venue, it ends up undermining elections and civil society as a whole,” she said. Stevens, who was part of George W. Bush’s debate team, was more upbeat. He said this had been a terrible night for the president. “I think that there's going to be a big movement for Biden after this,” he said.


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Sep 30, 2020
Trump’s America Meets All ‘Four Threats’ To Democracy
00:50:25

President Donald Trump isn’t a threat to American democracy on a metaphorical level. He’s a threat to the country’s entire political structure, literally, according to two academics who have studied American democracy throughout history and wrote a whole book on the topic. Dr. Robert C. Lieberman, Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University and co-author of Four Threats: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy, joined Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast on this episode of The New Abnormal to share which of the “four pillars” that help sustain democracy Trump has completely bulldozed over (hint: all of them.) According to Dr. Lieberman, that’s a big problem. “The American democratic system is supposed to keep one person or one small group from gaining all the levers of power at the same time. And that's where things have kind of fallen down,” he says. See, these threats have always crept up in our history (even Alexander Hamilton was involved in partisan games) but Leiberman says it’s the “piling of threats on top of each other” that triggers the alarms. (“Trump seems to have an unerring instinct to make just about every situation, worse. He is a product of this confluence of threats. He is a product of the time.”) The team also hears from Rev. Warnock, who is running for Senate in Georgia’s special election race against Sen. Kelly Loeffler and would become the first Black Senator for Georgia if he won, “at a time in which we're dealing with a renewed conversation and reckoning around our age old problem of race and racism in this country.” Plus! Rick tells Molly the cold, hard truth about the future of the Supreme Court and the two discuss why the GOP is headed for an Ice Age, just how sketchy Deutsche Bank is, and of course, Trump’s “all kinds of illegal” tax revelations.


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Sep 29, 2020
TEASER: Is Trump or Biden More Likely to Keel Over on Debate Night?
00:03:19

“People are dying, tens of thousands of people are out of work, he’s embarrassing,” is not only the quote of the year from Philippe Reines but also sums up how he, Rick Wilson, Molly Jong-Fast, and Mike Madrid feel about Donald Trump’s dwindling support among his own base. To make matters worse for the president, he is set to debate Joe Biden for the first time Tuesday night, and he doesn’t have that same 2016 anger and energy he drummed up to defeat Hillary Clinton. In this new members-only bonus episode of The New Abnormal, Rick, Molly, Philippe and Mike discuss what Joe Biden should say, word for word, when he gets on that stage with Trump and the one thing that could sink the president without Joe’s help. Two words: no crowds. “That is where Trump is at his worst,” says Mike. “Without that he’s going to be like a goat in the wilderness.” There’s also the whole painting-Biden-as-senile by the Trump campaign thing, and it just won’t work, Mike says: “They’re tried to convince people that he’s senile and will drool on people while at the same time trying to convince people he’s some mastermind of the left that’s going to being about socialism.” It is quite ironic. “If one of those guys is more likely to keel over Tuesday night on stage, it’s not Joe Biden,” adds Philippe. Then, the group switches gears to talk about Trump losing support among a few of his core voter demographics: senior citizens and non-college educated men. (“COVID has broken the Trump fever) Plus! Rick gives a dramatic reading of one of Trump’s rally quotes and it’s just as bogus as you’d expect. And the group discusses that awkward moment when the crowd booed Trump at Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s funeral: “This is the only time he’s worn his mask when we desperately needed to see his face.”


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Sep 28, 2020
It’s Time to Thank Donald Trump for His Dictator Routine
00:47:28

Most of us were horrified when Donald Trump hinted that he might not be willing to give up power. Rick Wilson was kind of appreciative. Trump has long flirted with the dictator thing. Now the mask is off. “I think the correct response to this is defiance,” Rick counsels on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “‘Thanks for being honest about it. And also fuck you, we're coming to vote you out of office and humiliate you.’” And while the Trumpkins are doing everything they can to undercut every ballot they don’t like, all of that election interference doesn’t matter if it’s a landslide. “If there is a massive voter turnout on November 3rd, these are still only marginal,” Rick says. Molly Jong-Fast puts it more urgently when she adds, “The only way our democracy is going to survive is if every Democrat goes out there and fucking votes.” Then! Molly talks to Danielle Moodie about the appalling results in the Breonna Taylor case. (“How much does this country expect Black people to swallow? You want to be able to kill us with impunity.,,. And then you expect us, what? To wait for justice that we know is not going to come?”) And Sister Simone Campbell tells Molly who she thinks is the better Catholic in the presidential race. (“What we find is, Vice President Biden is totally in line with Pope Francis, caring for the unborn and caring for the born.) Plus! A dispatch from Qongress! A love letter to Mitch McConnell! (J/K) Pig farmers run wild! What to bring to Election Day! Who’s in Marco Rubio’s ratfuck brigade! And is there enough mayonnaise in the universe to turn Comrade Ron Johnson’s chicken shit into chicken salad?


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Sep 25, 2020
Mitch McConnell Is About to Punch America in the Penis
00:55:20

You know our politics are beyond fucked up when the showrunner of Veep says he can’t compete with real-life Washington. “I mean, we did a Supreme court episode. And as sort of horrible and tragic as our Veep worldview was, we have lapped it, maybe even double lapped it,” David Mandel tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “I shake my whatever to Mitch McConnell. He really has outdone himself, best comedy writer of our generation... And he's literally about to punch the country in the penis. I mean, I'm sorry. There's no other way of saying it. It's literally a dick punch.” (To which Rick quips, “that would be so on brand for 2020.”)  Then! Molly and Planned Parenthood Action Fund chief Alexis McGill Johnson talk about the Supreme Court fight—and what it means for the November election. (“I feel pretty fucking galvanized,” Molly says.) Plus! Meet the new polling firm of “Rasputin, Devil, and Death Squad”! Listen to Rick render his opinion on the SCOTUS-packing talk (“dumber than a fucking sack of hair.”) And take a trip with Mandel down Republican National Convention memory lane: “I've never seen a convention where you thought to yourself as you were watching, ‘boy, a lot of these people seem really high on cocaine.’ Like, person after person after person. What convention could you even say that about? I'm not even sure you could say that about a cocaine convention, that this many people [are high]. I think at a cocaine convention, people pull themselves together for their big speech and they'd go, ‘I'll do cocaine after my speech. Not before I address the nation from the White House.’” 


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Sep 22, 2020
TEASER: The Real Reason Trump Won’t Stop Yelling About Mail-In Voting
00:05:16

What you're about to hear is a teaser for our new bonus episodes we are doing for subscribers to Beast Inside, the Daily Beast's membership program. We have a very special guest with Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz who is going to be talking to us about a wide variety of subjects including Facebook and where the race stand with the senate.

Again, this is for Beast Inside members only. To hear this along with the rest of our upcoming bonus episodes head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com. That's  newabnormal.thedailybeast.com.


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Sep 21, 2020
How the Trump Campaign Lit a Billion Dollars on Fire
00:50:54

The Trump campaign raised more cash than just about any campaign in history—and it’s still broke, pulling TV ads in big states and slowing down key data operations. On the latest episode of The New Abnormal, Rick Wilson breaks down for Molly Jong-Fast—and the rest of us—how Team Trump managed to burn a billion bucks. First off, the Trump spent something like $400 million to raise that billi, an absolute ungodly sum, straight into the fundraisers’ pockets. So you’re down to $600 million. Then you take the Trumps’ skim off the top, call it 20%, and you’re at $480 million. Throw in some bonehead moves, like $11 million on Superbowl ads and another million on D.C. market ad buys. Layer in $20 million per month in staff costs and—well, it ain’t the first enterprise Trump has run into the ground. But that doesn’t mean you should count Team Trump out of the election. “There's nothing they won't do to hold power,” Rick says. “If Donald Trump was told tomorrow, 'you have to go personally kill Ruth Bader Ginsburg.' He would do it. If Donald Trump's told tomorrow that you have to feed Melania to dogs, he would do it. This guy has to hold power or he is in the deepest possible hole.” Then! Molly talks about taking part in a COVID vaccine trial—to show the skeptics on the left that it’s safe. Former Obama national security aide Ben Rhodes talks about how world leaders have “already moved on” from America. And progressive congressional candidate Jamaal Bowman dishes on the advice he got from AOC: “Jamal, don't be shocked when you get here. It's like an upside down world.” Plus! Fascist Huckleberry Hound! ‘Sexy’ Ben Shapiro! Gourmet food stores filled with Antifa! Teen trolls! And the Trump campaign kid who’s monitoring this pod for his slice of that billion-dollar pie.


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Sep 18, 2020
Cheat Sheet Podcast from The Daily Beast
00:06:20

The juiciest stories in politics, pop culture and more -- fast.


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Sep 16, 2020
Adam Scott: The Parks & Rec Cast Has Never Gotten Too Political—Until Now
00:52:18

Dems say that the Russians hacked into our political system to help Trump win. Trump and associates blame former President Barack Obama for the interference. But the truth is, both sides have it wrong. Filmmaker Alex Gibney (known for documentary films like “Enron and “Taxi to the Dark Side”) has been immersed in the world of foreign hacking, troll farms, and most importantly, what happened in 2016 for his upcoming docuseries “Agents of Chaos.” And he knows the real reason that the Kremlin came after our democracy. “It wasn't a ‘flip votes in order to give Trump the election’” kind of thing, he tells Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast on this episode of The New Abnormal. It actually was all about Hillary. (“It's that kind of ruthless de-legitimizing of the rule of law and democracy that I think is ultimately the larger agenda here, both for Putin and for Trump.) Speaking of Trump and the 2020 election, Gibney says there’s definitely a lot more “scary” disinfo campaigns to come—and they’re “more sophisticated.” Is there anything we can do to fight it? Good news: Yes. Bad news: It’s on the Trump administration to take certain actions, and well, yeah. Then, actor Adam Scott joins the party (er, podcast) to talk about the just-announced Parks & Rec reunion in Wisconsin to support Democrats. (Leslie Knope, 2024) and why he is not gonna “stick to acting” despite ticking off the “shut-up-and-be-an-actor” Twitter trolls: “I think I'm just looking for ways to help out without being too gross and annoying. It's tough, because I'm frightened. I think a lot of people are.” Plus! Rick and Molly give Adam the special honor of his very own Fuck That Guy pick. And! The two discuss Roger Stone’s Civil War, QAnon’s own Jason Gelanis (who works for CITIGROUP!!) and whether Trump has secretly gotten the COVID vaccine.


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Sep 15, 2020
TEASER: Will The Republican Party Ever Be the Same Again?
00:04:28

What you're about to hear is a teaser for our new bonus episodes we are doing for subscribers to Beast Inside, the Daily Beast's membership program. We have a very special guest with Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse who is going to be talking to us about a wide variety of subjects including how dark money is affecting this country and how the GOP has become a toxic force. Want more? Become a Beast Inside member to enjoy a limited-run series of bonus interviews from The New Abnormal. Guests include Cory Booker, Jim Acosta, and more. Head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com to join now.


Senator Sheldon Whitehouse thinks the biggest problem with climate change deniers is the people that line their pockets. The Rhode Island Democrat joined The New Abnormal co-host Molly Jong-Fast and producer Jesse Cannon to talk about the environment, the GOP dropping the ball, and how putting an end to secretive political cash could be the key to solving it all. “The key thing to do on the environment is to focus on the dark money problem,” says Whitehouse. “I don't care whether you're talking to Tea Partiers or Bernie Bros, the notion that big, powerful, special interests can spend unlimited money anonymously through front groups and deploy huge political power out of sight is equally offensive across the board.” He explained how certain groups are in the pockets of political donors (cough cough, Republicans) and how the party's disdain for science has similarities to their COVID-19 response. “The power of the science denial industry is manifest in both examples, Coronavirus and climate, and the willingness of Republicans to bear pain and scorn and deny truth.” But does the GOP stand a chance of ever going back to being that Grand Ole Party? For the sake of the climate, at least? In Whitehouse’s opinion, there are two options for that to happen, one of them involves a complete overhaul. (“You wait until the Republican party is so discredited and its climate denial that a surge of new Republicans come in and sweep out.”) Then, the three discuss Trump’s eerie Supreme Court scouting and the funding of the Federalist Society: “The whole thing is being basically run like our intelligence community would run a covert operation against a hostile nation.” Plus! Molly really wants to know how Whitehouse can work with Rand Paul and if Rhode Island calamari is really as amazing as the DNC made it seem.


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Sep 14, 2020
Has Any American Killed More Americans Than Donald Trump??
00:33:59

So Donald Trump copped to it. He told Bob Woodward that he knew how deadly the virus was—and downplayed it anyway, encouraging MAGA nation to act as if COVID-19 was a cheap Chinese knock-off of the flu. “It's remarkable that in these interviews, the President of the United States confessed to fucking manslaughter,” Molly Jong-Fast says on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. The lawyers might debate whether Trump has any criminal culpability. But to Rick Wilson, there’s no question about Trump’s moral responsibility. “No American has killed more of their fellow Americans in this country than Donald Trump, except for Robert E. Lee and Jefferson fucking Davis. No one has a body count to rival Trump's. He knew it. He knew it was there. He did it. He let it happen. It is the most unbelievable and horrifying outcome that we can imagine.” Molly adds, “Mike Pence was at a pro-life event the other day. And I was thinking about the irony, right? This administration has killed 100,000 plus plus plus people. And they're talking about embryos. Like, it's almost beyond parody.” Mike Schmidt, the Pulitzer-winning New York Times reporter, joins Rick and Molly to talk about his new book, which examines some of Trump’s closest confidants—to stop the president from using his power. “What is that human experience to be one of those guardrails and those containers? What is that like? What is the human experience of standing between the president and the abyss?”




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Sep 11, 2020
UNLOCKED: Trump DHS Official: Of Course There Are Racists in the Administration
00:34:13

As you’ve probably heard, we also run bonus episodes every Sunday that are only for Beast Inside members. As a small token of our gratitude, we’re sharing one of those bonus episodes in full with you here. If you want more bonus episodes like this, with more of the spicy interviews and blunt banter you know and love, consider joining Beast Inside. Doing so supports us, The New Abnormal, and the rest of fearless journalism from The Daily Beast. Head over to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com to become a member now – or after you listen to this amazing interview with Elizabeth Neumann. 


Even a former member of Trump’s Department of Homeland Security thinks he is bat-shit, and surrounded by actual racists. It would be funny if some of the stories that former DHS official Elizabeth Neumann told Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast on this episode on The New Abnormal weren’t so terrifying. She admits that she did “hold her nose” and vote for him in 2016 and really believed he would rise to the occasion. But that dream died super quick—by the end of summer 2017 to be exact: “It was clear he didn’t have a strong enough character to put aside some of his bad habits,” she said. There was one moment, though, that changed it all. Or, as Molly put it, “made you realize we’re not in Kansas anymore.” “He was having some sort of school yard bully fight with a man who is trying to launch a nuclear weapon,” she explained. “It was a huge wake up call for the department.” Neumann also spoke to the influence Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller had on immigration and when she, a pro-lifer, realized the president “wasn’t a true Christian.” And then she makes two scary admissions, which says a lot because they are all pretty scary, tbh. The first is that Nuemann can say with certainty that many of those in Trump’s orbit are racist. In fact, she had a moment while working in the department in which she thought, “Oh my God, some of these people are racist.” The second, and related to the first, is the role that Trump has had on domestic terrorism and white supremacy in the United States: “The president not speaking out against white supremacy and against QAnon is extremely dangerous. He is creating that fear that creates vulnerability in people to be recruited and radicalized by groups that have an intention of violence.” Plus! Will more former administration officials come out? Neumann shares her thoughts.


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Sep 09, 2020
Who Is Trump’s Handler in Russia?
00:45:48

Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who helped launch the Trump-Russia investigation, says the current occupant of the Oval Office “poses the greatest counterintelligence threat of any president in modern history.” It’s not just that Trump and all of his top people have lied about their connections to Moscow, Strzok tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson in the latest episode of The New Abnormal. (Although that is super weird.) It’s that he takes all of these inexplicably pro-Kremlin positions on issues he clearly doesn’t care about. (Montenegro? Really?) Which leads Molly to wonder: If Trump is really acting like a Russian asset, who would be Trump’s handler in Moscow? “I don't think he needs one,” Strzok responds. This isn’t some old-school spy case, with dead drops and covert communications. “The best intelligence relationship… if you want them to do something is: ‘I've got you on the hook. I know you're going to do, you know what I want. And I don't ever have to tell you because of the leverage I have over you.’ And that's what I think Russia has over Trump. How else do you explain all these fucking inexplicably things that he's doing with regard to NATO, with refusing to say word one about [Putin critic Alexei] Navalny being poisoned, about the bounties” Russia offered the Taliban for killing U.S. troops. Plus! Strzok addresses the charges that the White House dialed up his  investigation into Trump’s Russian connections. (No way, Strzok says.) Rick teases some material from Michael Cohen’s newly released book. Molly sheds tears over the sunken Trump flotilla—and reports from the raging hellscape that is Manhattan. And! Strzok reconsiders his earlier position. “I was maybe a little too flippant about saying [Trump] doesn't have a handler,” Strzok says. There are so many things Trump “says and does that are very much in Russia's interests [and] that he doesn't have an independent knowledge of.” It makes this counterintelligence veteran wonder.

 

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Sep 08, 2020
TEASER: Lev Parnas: Trump’s Cronies Made Fun of Him Behind His Back
00:02:56

What you're about to hear is a teaser for our new bonus episodes we are doing for subscribers to Beast Inside, the Daily Beast's membership program. We have a very special guest with Lev Parnas a person from inside Trump and Guilliani’s inner circle. In this interview we talk through all the fuckery around Giuliani's attempts to get dirt to smear Joe Biden as well as the horrors of being inside Trump world. Again, this is for Beast Inside members only. To hear this along with the rest of our upcoming bonus episodes head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com. That's  newabnormal.thedailybeast.com.


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Sep 07, 2020
What Will Happen to Fox News When Rupert Murdoch Dies?
00:50:06

Everybody has got to die sometime, even the Great and Powerful Fox News giant Rupert Murdoch. But what will happen to the empire when papa ‘Doch finally does kick the bucket? CNN’s Brian Stelter shared his theory with Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast on this episode of The New Abnormal and it’s hard not to see it as a possibility. But spoiler alert: It’s super complicated. (“There will be a battle over the future of the company because there's this trust right now. There's eight votes in the trust,” he says. “Rupert has four votes and the kids have four votes. So he wins. If, and when he dies, there will be four votes from four children,” and dun dun, dun” one of them leans more liberal.) Stelter did the work none of us wants to and wrote a whole book about Fox. He brought up a personal Molly Jong-Fast nightmare (Tucker Carlson 2024?) and the trio discussed the very obvious occurrence of the network literally controlling what the president says or does. (“Tucker will tweet or say something on the air. And two days later, it's Donald Trump's policy.”) Then! Dr. Al Gross, who is running for Senate in Alaska as an Independent, spoke with Molly and producer Jesse Cannon about why the state isn’t as red as everyone thinks and how he’s able to balance his time as a commercial fisherman, an orthopedic surgeon, and Master of Public Health. Oh, and that stimulus check the state’s citizens get called UBI. Plus! Find out which hill Bill Barr is dying on to protect Trump this time.


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Sep 04, 2020
Trump Jr. Loves Boats, Hates Rhinos and Is So-So on Democracy
00:36:50

Ike Barinholtz—of Eastbound and Down, Suicide Squad, and Mindy Project fame—loves, and I mean LOVES, Donald Trump Jr. It was a passion that grew white hot on safari. “I went with DJ TJ, we went to beautiful Tanzania back in 2014 and it was amazing,” Ike tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. “We talked to the locals and they were really great. And then this really nice man, he was a guide. And he took us to just the most majestic group of sleeping rhinoceroses and we just blew their fucking heads off. It was beautiful.” But Ike admires one of the president’s top four smartest children for more than his guns. Ike also appreciates Don’s nuanced political views, especially when it comes to boats. “Look, everyone is born with a boat. We know that, but only people who really commit—to not just the boating lifestyle, but also the MAGA lifestyle—have earned the privilege to fuck up all of the wakes in a lake. And so once again, DJ TJ is right and that's why I'm supporting him in 2024.” Plus! Trump Senior turns the White House lawn into a NASCAR parking lot. Melania goes dictator chic. And Molly—this part is serious, I swear—recites a Tiffany Trump tweet over an electropop beat. 


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Sep 01, 2020
TEASER: Trump DHS Official: Of Course There Are Racists in the Administration
00:05:28

What you're about to hear is a teaser for our new bonus episodes we are doing for subscribers to Beast Inside, the Daily Beast's membership program. We have a very special guest with Elizabeth Nuemann is a former member of Trump’s Department of Homeland Security and will be talking to us about the racism and horrors she saw inside the administration. Again, this is for Beast Inside members only. To hear this along with the rest of our upcoming bonus episodes head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com. That's  newabnormal.thedailybeast.com.


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Aug 31, 2020
Ivanka Is an Idiot but Unequivocally the Smartest Trump
00:27:31

It’s the last night of the Republican National Convention and former GOP operative Tim Miller joins Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast to break down what Rick calls “four hours of sweaty Castro-esque speechmaking.” The most surreal speechmaker of all may have been Ivanka Trump. “There were a lot of lies,” says Miller. “But I thought the lie that really stood out to me was when she talked about how much he loves his grandchildren.”Molly was impressed, sort of. “I did think tonight, Ivanka is an idiot, and she is absolutely unequivocally the smartest of all of the kids.” Aside from Trump, himself, the gang agrees that Rudy Giuliani gave the most despicable speech of the night. Former Giuliani staffer, Rick, says the former Mayor of New York was kickstarting a Republican race war that will run until the election. “There's never been a more perfect exemplar of ‘everything Trump touches dies,’ because that speech tonight; it was, at one point, everything but the n-word… They're coming for you, they're coming for you to your suburbs. These black lives matter…” And when it came to Trump himself, Molly says he was totally off-form: “He finds reading very boring. So, I mean, every speech where he's not saying crazy shit is him being totally bored by whatever they're making him read."Rick agrees “it was very low energy speech,” but predicts the calm—maybe even electable—Trump will not last long. “We all know something about Donald Trump. After he’s been disciplined and held down by his staff for a couple of days, he has an equal and opposite reaction and goes fucking nuts.”


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Aug 28, 2020
Mary Trump on Whether ‘Despicable’ Ivanka Could Be New VP
00:23:14

Mary Trump, The New Abnormal’s favorite guest, is back for the third night of the Republican National Convention. Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast want to know if it’s too late for Trump to drop Mike Pence as his running mate and bring in fresh blood. “Pence is a total drip and his only value to Donald is that he sucks up to him,” says Mary. “Do we seriously think that Mike Pence could not be convinced to step down?”

Rick admits it would be incredibly tough to bring in a new vice presidential candidate at this late stage, but can see why Trump would do it. “It's a difficult enterprise. Although, I think Donald would be tempted don't you, Mary? Because it’s like a reality TV play. It’ll be dramatic. The ratings will be yuge.”


Molly was taken back by the sheer scale of dishonesty at the convention tonight. “Those were C-PAC-level lies, not RNC-level lies,” she says. Rick suggested Richard Grenell, who was briefly Acting Director of National Intelligence, was making a strong entry into “the Trumpian liars Olympics” with his convention speech. Mary says he was the undisputed champion. “It was the worst, most damaging performance of the evening, if not of the entire convention, because of the things he was lying about with a straight face. Everything he said was a lie.” Rick selects Trump as today’s ‘Fuck that guy’ for his defunding of FEMA as a hurricane makes landfall in Louisiana and Texas, but Mary says: “You know, that money stolen from FEMA that may not have been needed if Bannon hadn't stolen it from the GoFundMe…”


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Aug 27, 2020
Why Are These Crazy People at The RNC Saying What They’re Saying?
00:23:41

Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum joined Molly-Jong Fast and Rick Wilson on a special edition of The New Abnormal for the second night of the Republican National Convention and he just couldn’t work out what the Hell the GOP thought they were doing? Stephen Harper, the former prime minister of Canada, used to have a sign up on all four walls of his campaign war room, Frum explains: “And the sign said, ‘Why are you saying this?’” While the Democrats realized they needed to create lots of short video segments that would be shared online, Frum compares the RNC disaster as a low-rent version of the Tucker Carlson show on Fox News. “He's a professionally competent white supremacist with a volume controls on the input device that matches the volume output,” he says.

 

Molly was also unimpressed by Melania’s “dictator chic” and her very long speech. “In the end she was just like this weird alien trying to mimic a human,” she says. Amid the cavalcade of nepotism, Molly also thought Tiffany Trump’s performance was instructive. “There's always been a liberal fantasy that Tiffany is not as evil as the rest of the adult children. I think tonight, that fantasy has been put to bed,” she says. The sight of former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi prompted Rick to issue a warning that Bondi has been working with Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon on concocting “Hillary's emails 2.0”—some kind of opposition research attack on the Bidens. “Tonight was a preview of the October surprise,” he says.


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Aug 26, 2020
White House Insider: Trump Wanted to 'Maim' Immigrants
00:32:00

It’s the first night of the Republican National Convention and Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast are joined by Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security, who shares eye-watering tales of what Trump is really like when the cameras are switched off. You thought what happened on screen on night one of the convention was crazy? It’s nothing compared to Trump behind the scenes, where national security officials couldn’t get through a meeting “without him doing 20 tangents, becoming irascible, turning red in the face, demanding a diet Coke, spewing spit,” Taylor explained. “Literally out of goddamn nowhere, he'd be like, ‘You know, who’s just my favorite guy? The MyPillow guy. Do any of you have those pillows?’ When it came to the issue of the border wall, Trump would be dreaming up “sickening” medieval plots “to pierce the flesh” of migrants, rip all the families apart, “maim,” and gas them. “This was a man with no humanity whatsoever,” Taylor says. “He says, we got to do this, this, this, and this, all of which are probably impossible, illegal unethical,” Taylor recalls, but he was writing them down as the president spoke. “And he looks over me and he goes, you fucking taken notes?”


All that, and there was still time for the “Fuck that guy” segment, and Jerry Falwell Jr. won a hotly contested race after it was claimed that the anti-LGBT preacher had encouraged the pool boy to have sex with his wife while he watched from the corner of the room. “I would like to salute you for providing the most meta and self-referential ‘Fuck that guy’ ever,” Rick says to Molly. “Because Jerry Falwell said to his wife, ‘Fuck that guy.’”


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Aug 25, 2020
TEASER: Trump Is Pushing Even the Quietest Celebs to Speak Out
00:05:02

What you're about to hear is a teaser for our new bonus episodes we are doing for subscribers to Beast Inside, the Daily Beast's membership program. Actor, comedian and activist Billy Eichner totally gets why Taylor Swift took so long to get publicly political. In this bonus episode of The New Abnormal, the “Billy on the Street” star explains why celebrities may take a long time to speak up—and how Trump is changing that. “It's easy to sit back from a distance and say like, ‘why doesn't so-and-so get more political.’ And I definitely feel that way sometimes, but the few times I've had like internet backlash for something or, you know, people being angry at something, I can hold my own. And it doesn't, like, ruin my life at all,” he explained. “I think Trump pushed us to a place” where celebs who were previously silent on major issues now feel compelled to speak up. That said, he is just “sick of getting angry on Twitter.” Eichner also spoke about the ways he’s trying to make one of his biggest dreams come true: “It would make me so pleased to flip the Senate.” Plus, he shares his thoughts on the South Carolina race between Lindsey Graham and Jaime Harrison. “Lindsey Graham, to me, is the epitome of someone who makes me physically ill,” he added. And of course, he answers our burning question: When is Billy on the Street going to come back? (“Coronavirus killed my career.”). Again, this is for Beast Inside members only. To hear this along with the rest of our upcoming bonus episodes head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Aug 24, 2020
The Fall of Steve Bannon, the Gristle Icarus
00:23:11

On the final night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson team up with The Daily Beast’s senior White House correspondent Asawin Suebsaeng, who thinks this week’s online convention felt like the best PBS telethon since they threatened to publicly execute Elmo. Joe Biden gives his big headline speech and sounds suspiciously like a U.S. president. “It blew up the bullshit trope from the Republican party and from the Trump campaign, that Biden is some doddering senile old man… he came out and he tore the goddamn bark off Donald Trump,” says Rick, who also had praise for an old adversary. “Michael Bloomberg went out there and just stuck a goddamn shiv in, Donald Trump. It was some sweetness.”

 

The team debated whether progressives in the Democratic party should fight harder to drag Biden to the Left, but they were united in their glee over the arrest of Steve Bannon.Molly describes it as “a moment I have long dreamed of.” Rick says this was his “favorite ‘Fuck that Guy’ of all time.” “It’s the gristle Icarus; it’s the whiskey necromancer; it’s Steve Fucking Bannon, the human skin tag, a gigantic sack of bile that walks on two legs.”

 

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Aug 21, 2020
Rockstar Obama Sure as Hell Triggered Trump
00:24:26

It’s night three of the Democratic National Convention and The New Abnormal team are getting a little punchy. Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson are joined by Hillary Clinton’s former senior advisor Phillipe Reines and it’s a barnburner.There were always going to be two gigantic rockstar performances from Barack Obama and Kamala Harris tonight that were going to trigger President Trump—"and sure as hell, they did!” said Rick. “You could disagree with Barack Obama about every policy thing under the sun, but you could always remember that the guy was a spectacular speaker and communicator, and he brought that shit tonight. I mean, he peeled the paint off the damn walls without raising his voice.”Reines nailed Trump’s fury at Obama. “He brings something to the table that really no one else in the world does, which is he can't be called a loser... He was elected president twice. He got more votes twice. I think there's an intimidation there.”Molly has warm words for Hillary Clinton’s focus on winning the election itself, and Reines praises his old boss: “She refrained from mentioning Jim Comey, which is always a positive.”The team agree that Trump is “the platonic ideal of an asshole” but debate whether it would be worth trading a few more years of Trump in office if it meant Don Jr. and Jared Kushner wound up in jail.“Donald Trump can be president for life,” said Rick. “If I can watch Jared torn apart by a pack of wild dogs.” Want more? Become a Beast Inside member to enjoy a limited-run series of bonus interviews from The New Abnormal. Guests include Cory Booker, Jim Acosta, and more. Head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com to join now.

 

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Aug 20, 2020
Why Mueller Dropped the Ball. Was He Corrupt or Incompetent?
00:24:24

Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson were up late to fight crime after a “seamless” night two of the Democratic National Convention. Former Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell joined a special edition of The New Abnormal which asked—after the publication of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s final report on Russian electoral interference—what the Hell happened with Robert Mueller?

 

Molly’s interpretation of the 1,000 page report was pretty clear: “It seemed like a lot of shoes dropped in that the Trump campaign was giving clues to Roger Stone, which got passed to Julian Assange to influence the 2016 election. But it seems like Mueller dropped the ball on this… I’m no expert, but it, it sort of looks like collusion.”

 

“Is Mueller incompetent? is Mueller corrupt? What is happening with him?” she asked.

 

Rick, a former Republican insider, suggested that the failure of the Mueller report to nail the Trump campaign came down to Mueller’s temperament. “I think Mueller was too much of an institutionalist and too much of an incrementalist. And I think when you’re that kind of person, you have trouble understanding sometimes just how fucking wily and corrupt people like this are.”

 

Rep. Swalwell had another answer. “He did not pursue the finances. And also he did not put the President's ass in a witness chair. And those, I think, were the two shortcomings.”

 

Trump’s failure to stand up to Russia on behalf of the U.S. has left a huge opening for former Vice President Joe Biden and Rick was impressed by his move to lock down the kind of voters who backed Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

 

“The Democratic Party for the first time, in a lot of ways, since John F. Kennedy seized control of the national security narrative again, and position themselves as the party of strength because they came right out and made it a centerpiece of tonight,” he said.

 

Molly suggested the DNC also did well to contrast the potential First Ladies. “It seems almost unfair, you know, to watch Jill Biden in the school she is teaching at versus Melania building a tennis pavilion.”



 

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Aug 19, 2020
What Biden, Harris, and the Dems Need to Do Next
00:19:54

Night one of the Democratic National Convention is barely done. And Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson are already previewing nights two, three, and four on a special edition of The New Abnormal … with a little help from James Carville, the legendary political strategist. The thing to watch, he says? How much Joe Biden and Kamala Harris make this “about Trump and themselves, and how much of it is about voters. And the ratio that’s about voters should be at least two thirds,” Carville says. “The great mistake of 2016 was that Trump would be so unacceptable that people wouldn't have a place to go.” So yeah, even though the first part of the convention’s first night was awkward and telethon-y, at least it kept the focus where it needed to be: on real voters, and their real struggles. Rick nods, “In some ways I think there's an appeal to that. Ordinary people will watch that performance, and say, ‘Hey, you know, they're doing the best they can. They're struggling through this thing.’” Plus, Molly says, “Bernie really delivered for Biden tonight.” But did the DNC really need the celebrity hosts? Really? Like Molly says, “It's not the Emmys.” Then! Rick muses about contracting herpes from a rabid badger. Carville wonders what genius thought attacking the post office was a good idea. And Don Jr. gets an extra pep in his step.

 

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Aug 18, 2020
TEASER: What the Fuck is Happening with the Mail?
00:05:02

What you're about to hear is a teaser for our new bonus episodes we are doing for subscribers to Beast Inside, the Daily Beast's membership program. We have a very special guest with Gary Peters Sr. who is the junior United States Senator from Michigan and hes going to talk to us about the fuckery with the postal service as well as why Mitch McConnel is holding up the COVID aid. And the other voice you will be hearing in this interview is our producer Jesse Cannon Again, this is for Beast Inside members only. To hear this along with the rest of our upcoming bonus episodes head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com.

 

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Aug 17, 2020
Blame Fox News For the Rise of QAnon
00:46:59

It’s the “secret sauce” of Fox News: “tell people who feel socially inferior that you're really the smart one. You're really informed, you know the real secrets about what's really going on,” explains Rick Wilson on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. For 20 years, Fox has been force-feeding this sauce to its listeners, saying “that your life would be perfect if it wasn't for that George Soros, your life would be perfect if it wasn't for ANTIFA. They prep these people's minds to reject empirical truth all the time.” And finally, you have them believing in lizard people. In satanic pedophile rings. In QAnon. But maybe, Molly Jong-Fast offers, the QAnon takeover of the Republican party isn’t so bad. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the conspiratorial congressional nominee? Maybe “she and Devin Nunes could someday be on a reality show where they've run away from their spouses. And they're living in a bunker in South Dakota. It's called ‘My Dumb Congressmen.’” Then! Rep. Lauren Underwood, a public health nurse and the youngest Black woman in Congress, talks about her experience doing pandemic preparation in the Obama administration—and whether we can do anything now to reverse Team Trump’s missteps. And! Hank Gilbert, who’s running against Congressman COVID Louie Gohmert, talks about staring down pistol-toting Trump minions for daring to question Dear Leader. Plus! Molly breaks down Kamala Harris’ generational strengths. America’s worst governor compares reopening schools to killing bin Laden. And the ghouls running the late Herman Cain’s twitter account attack


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Aug 14, 2020
Donald Trump Actually Did Us All One Big Favor
00:36:29

Kurt Andersen has been tooling on Donald Trump for decades—the Spy magazine co-founder once even tricked the Donald into cashing a check for 17 cents. But, Andersen tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson, Trump did us all a favor. He showed America just how rigged our system is in favor of the ultra-rich. “His final ad [of the 2016 campaign] was all ‘Wall Street has taken all of your wealth and ruined the working class. And we must defeat these people of whom my opponent is a puppet,’” Anderson recounts on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “Well, yeah, you had a point. But you didn't actually govern at all on that basis. So maybe, maybe he's sort of put that critique of the system on the table”—especially for Republicans who couldn’t take in that kind of message from someone left-of-center. Rick, the GOP consultant, says it’s time for Republicans to realize that “the party of free markets is full of shit because it [isn’t] about free markets. It’s about gaining enough power to use the regulatory state and legislative process to advantage your individual companies or markets. That's not capitalism, that's crony capitalism on a good day and something much worse on a bad one.” Then! Molly and Rick answer listener questions, revealing how they met (not on a chain gang, they swear) and what their surprising super powers are (“I can hit my head on almost anything,” says Molly). Plus! Will our dynamic duo actually open a dogfighting pit, or will they go straight to selling meth? And what does Rick enjoy more than “getting rip shit on cheap gin and watching the Teletubbies?”


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Aug 11, 2020
TEASER: Jim Acosta: CNN Wanted Me to Have Bodyguards at Trump Rally
00:05:34

What you're about to hear is a teaser for our new bonus episodes we are doing for subscribers to Beast Inside, the Daily Beast's membership program. We have a very special guest with CNN Chief WH Correspondent Jim Acosta who tells us about Trump’s inner circle—and the dangers of calling out this president. Again, this is for Beast Inside members only. To hear this along with the rest of our upcoming bonus episodes head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Aug 10, 2020
The Yachts, the Private Jets, the Safaris: NRA Grift Exposed
00:57:44

National Rifle Association boss Wayne LaPierre rails against the elites trying to take real Americans’ guns Meanwhile, the NRA is taking gun-owners donations—to fund LaPierre’s ultra-lux lifestyle. That’s the crux of New York Attorney General Tish James’ landmark lawsuit against the NRA. “And it looks like they're in a ton of trouble,” The Beast’s Harry Siegel tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “Tish has the receipts”—from the 107-foot yachts to the complimentary safaris to the private charters to the gazillion-dollar wardrobe. Then! Rebekah Jones, the former Florida state government data geek and whistleblower, talks about how she was pushed to juke the COVID stats by Ron DeSantis’ cronies. “We changed how we count cases. We changed the criteria itself. So pneumonia was originally one of the surveillance criteria—we had ER, data for pneumonia, influenza, and COVID-like illness. And one of the first things they did was cut out pneumonia. It was too high,” she says. Jones is convinced a similar game is going on throughout the country. “We really don't know how many COVID cases we have in America; we’ll probably never really know.” Plus! Molly rolls out a new campaign slogan: “Vote for Trump, even if we kill you.” Rick opines on drool buckets. And Alexa orders a rat stick for Molly.


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Aug 07, 2020
TEASER: Why Cory Booker Won't Punch Trump in the Face
00:06:15

What you're about to hear is a teaser for our new bonus episodes we are doing for subscribers to Beast Inside, the Daily Beast's membership program. To start things off we have a very special guest with the one and only Sen. Corey Booker, who talks about everything from his relationship to Rosario Dawson to whether he'd punch Donald Trump in the face. Again, this is for Beast Inside members only. To hear this along with the rest of our upcoming bonus episodes head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com

 

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Aug 06, 2020
Trump Has Us on the Brink of a Social Civil War
00:55:41

There’s two things that Rick Wilson loves the most in this world and that’s food and politics. On this episode of The New Abnormal, Taste the Nation host Padma Lakshmi joins Rick and co-host Molly Jong-Fast to chat about her experiences foraging onions in the desert, hanging out with Thai women in Las Vegas and gaining 20 pounds, on purpose. Oh, and how immigrants and Native Americans have way more MAGA clout than Trump ever will. “It should be mandatory that [politicians] go and embed themselves for a week,” she says. Then, MSNBC’s Joy Reid joined to discuss her history-making career move, the impending “social civil war” and Trump’s ability to praise a drug that could kill people. (“It's like a cult leader in a way,” she says.) She and Rick also walk Molly through a typical day in Florida (most notably the bath salt, face-eating zombie incident—not to be confused with the also-mentioned “Zombie bin Laden.”) Plus! The duo opine about Trump’s failing ad strategy and the morons pushing our country into an economic crisis tailspin.


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Aug 04, 2020
Tammy Duckworth: Trying to Teach Kids During COVID Is FUBAR
00:56:03

Sen. Tammy Duckworth may be on Biden’s VP shortlist. But when it comes to childcare during the pandemic, she’s just as confused as the rest of us. “So my choice is five hours of homeschooling every day for my daughter and failing her, because I'm not a trained educator, or sending her to a school where she could very likely get this virus or bring it home and get her two year old sister sick or my 79 year old mom, who lives with us,” Duckworth tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “That's the problem: impossible choices.” Duckworth also opens up about just how hostile the Senate was to working moms until a hot second ago. One particularly ridiculous question stands out. “They want to know if you're gonna breastfeed on the floor. [And I said,] ‘I’m not exactly planning on whipping one out in front of them. But if the baby is hungry, I'll feed her.’” Then! Princeton’s Sam Wang talks about the out-of-the-way campaigns that could make a huge difference for decades to come. Plus! A Trump ambassador goes to a Nazi cemetary—and gets all wistful. A Republican candidate swears “celebrities and Democrats catch COVID and magically heal.” The Stephen Hawking of the U.S. House of Representatives displays his genius—at infecting everyone around him. Finally! Rick asks the big questions: Who’s more popular, Zombie Bin Laden or Ron DeSantis? Was Tulsa Trump’s Jonestown? And does Chuck Schumer realize that “he's got Mitch McConnell's balls in a bag for once?” 


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Jul 31, 2020
‘Pretty Close to a Hundred’ New Epstein Accusers
00:52:39

Julie K. Brown, the Miami Herald reporter who helped expose Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes, joins The New Abnormal to talk about what’s next now that Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s right hand, is behind bars. “There's a lot of women right now that are coming forward a lot and they're talking to prosecutors,” she tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson. “There's pretty close to a hundred, from what I hear.” Meanwhile, a judge is close to unsealing a giant pile of documents related to Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking ring. “I hope somebody is standing in Maxwell’s cell when this happens,” Brown says. A year ago, she notes, when just some of those documents were unsealed, and a few big names were found to be in those papers, “Epstein was dead the next day.” Plus! Why Biden needs to be up 15 points in Florida before you can rest easy; how “Jared is slipperier than an eel in a barrel of KY”; why we’re now in the “most dangerous hundred days in American history”; what is “douchebag entropy”; and how, in Molly’s words, “hell hath no fury like a mediocre man trying to get his hands on my uterus.” 


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Jul 28, 2020
Trump Has a Nuclear Arsenal—and Can Remember 5 Whole Words
00:48:08

Feeling comfy? Secure? Relatively unbothered by the state of the world? Then consider this: The President of the United States, who holds at his fingertips a devastating nuclear arsenal, also is bragging on television about acing a dementia test that involves remembering five whole words and counting backwards by seven. It’s one of a number of pleasant scenarios contemplated by Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “What I am so impressed with in this administration is how dumb everyone is,” Molly quips. She and Rick muse about which rich scumbags will get shout-outs in those sealed Ghislaine Maxwell court documents. Prof. Eddie Glaude, the Chairman of Princeton’s African American Studies Department, ponders whether Trump is the worst president in 150 years—or the worst one ever. The Beast’s Michael Tomasky wonders which foreign government will attack our election this time. And Molly has a few words for all the media geniuses who think Donald Trump has totally changed his M.O. because he’s finally starting to acknowledge the pandemic: “The guy only has one tone, which is deranged.” Plus! Will Mike Flynn do donuts in a tank on the White House Lawn? Will Bill Barr literally wipe his ass with the Constitution, or settle for a metaphorical move? And what does this phrase mean? “Person. Woman. Man. Television camera. Sean Hannity. Bat shit cuckoo pants.”


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Jul 24, 2020
Mary Trump: What Really Shocked Me About My Family & the KKK
00:48:21

Mary Trump joins The New Abnormal with a giant barrel of tea to spill about her family. Her uncle Donald? “He was protected at every turn from his incompetence, from his total inability to handle money. The media, the banks kept propping him up and protecting him and letting him fail up consistently and constantly—until the Republican party started doing the same thing.” Her grandfather Fred, the family patriarch who got arrested by a Ku Klux Klan rally? “Honestly, that story surprised me. Not because my grandfather wasn’t antisemitic, he was, but because he would spend time doing something other than making money. I'm totally serious. Like he went to a Klan rally with what free time? He's perfectly happy being racist and anti-semitic in his own house and his place of work.” And on the pathologies that drove them all, Mary dives deep. “Just like being kind was weak, or being wrong was weak, so is needing to sleep like a normal human being. I think that's why Donald doesn't sleep, because daddy wouldn't approve. So that's maybe why he drinks 12 diet Cokes a day and is up until three in the morning tweeting,” the Too Much and Never Enough author tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson. Then! The Nation’s Elie Mystal joins Rick and Molly to discuss the passing of John Lewis—and the rise of a new generation of activists. Plus! Can Allen West turn Texas blue? Is Rick part of Antifa? And is there anything—anything—Bill Barr hates more than graffiti?


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Jul 21, 2020
Donald Trump Is America’s Abusive Dad
00:55:04

Legendary filmmaker Judd Apatow really liked Donald Trump—when he was on TV. “I watched [the Apprentice] all the time because I found it so hilarious that all of his opinions were so wrong and everyone he would fire was always for the wrong reason. It was so terrible and crazy that it was fun to watch,” Apatow tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. These days, Apatow isn’t laughing. “When you're in show business, you meet people like Trump, you meet people who literally don't exist in the same dimension as you; they're just gone. And that's what he's like. He's like Cosby in a way, these people who are completely deluded and they've been famous and all of their wishes are attended to — they lose complete touch with reality,” Apatow adds, calling Trump the “abusive parent to the country.” Then! Washington Post media editor Margaret Sullivan weighs in on the Bari Weiss controversy. “If Bari was truly bullied at work, then that's very regrettable and I'm sorry to hear that, but she was not forced to resign. I guess you could say cancelled herself,” says Sullivan, author of the new book Ghosting the News. Plus! How many minutes will Trump’s new campaign manager last? WTF is up with the Trumps and Goya beans? And how did Molly possibly survive an entire day without Twitter?! 


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Jul 17, 2020
Biden-Palin 2020?
00:47:47

Joe Biden is so far ahead of Trump, James Carville jokes on the latest episode of The New Abnormal, that the former Vice President could win, even with Gov. Youbetcha by his side. The strategy is simple, Carville tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson: “Attack, attack, attack. Attack from the right, attack from the left, attack from the center, attack everywhere. People say, ‘Well, you know, you got 89% of Republicans will be for [Trump] no matter what.’ Yeah. Maybe so. But watch the number of people that identify as Republicans go down. 89% of 34 is a lot different than 89% of 30.” Then! The Beast’s Erin Banco describes the Trump administration’s “parallel conversations” on the escalating COVID-19 threat. There’s the one the professionals are leading, Banco explains, and “those tend to be pretty serious and Dr. Birx is not shy about issuing warnings to the nation's governors.” Meanwhile, “you have president Trump seemingly either unaware of the conversations that are happening within the taskforce or deliberately twisting the truth.” Plus! Rick begs to go to Gitmo! Molly ponders how the hell you can close Starbucks and open schools. And our wonder twins ask themselves: Are Trump Steaks actually made of … Trump himself?!


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Jul 14, 2020
How Silicon Valley’s Sociopath CEOs Are Just Like Trump
00:52:03

Recode co-founder Kara Swisher has this thing she likes to call the “prick to productivity ratio”—how big of a jerk a particular executive is, verus how much he gets done. And these days, both in Silicon Valley and in Washington, that ratio has gone all wrong. “Taking advantage, just not caring about the consequences—that's being played out in Silicon Valley over and over again. So don't be surprised at what Trump is doing. Silicon Valley sets the tone,” Swisher tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson in the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “Their lack of self reflection is so vast that I always say they can't see themselves in mirrors, like they're vampires.” Then! Separated author Jacob Soboroff talks about exposing the Trump administration’s child detention facilities. “But when you had the opportunity to see what these 5,400 families go through,” he tells Rick and Molly, “it's impossible to understand this for anything other than a government-sanctioned torture program.” Plus! Rick and Molly discover that the Donald used to kick his own children back in the day. And our dynamic duo wonder if anyone can stop the man in the White House from making this pandemic worse. “We need a federal government to control our president,” Molly says.


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Jul 10, 2020
The Trump Family’s Civil War Could Blow Us All Up
00:43:47

Mary Trump legal battles against her uncle might seem like a fun little political soap opera. It’s way more than that, Mary’s lawyer Ted Boutrous explains on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. The attempt to stop her tell-all book before publication—“I think it's really an effort to intimidate people from speaking, to intimidate the press. But also it's a political tool. It's a fundraising tool. It seems to excite people who support president Trump,” he tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson. Then! The Beast’s Kate Briquelet—who has broken some of the biggest stories about Jeffrey Epstein’s cabal—joins the dynamic duo to talk about the arrest of Epstein ‘madam’ Ghislaine Maxwell. “There are power players in New York,” she explains “who are very nervous that Ghislaine is going to spill the secrets.” Plus! Does Trump know how to listen to a podcast? Could Kanye’s ‘run for president’ could really, really backfire? How is Ye like Vermin Supreme? And what the hell is “the McKinsey of grift?”


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Jul 07, 2020
Ben Stiller Dishes on Trump’s Obsession with Zoolander
00:38:37

Ben Stiller had no idea he was casting a future president when he grabbed Donald Trump and Melania for a quick cameo in Zoolander. But Trump apparently never forgot about it, Stiller tells Molly Jong-Fast, Rick Wilson, and Matt Wilstein in the latest episode of The New Abnormal. Stiller recalls how Trump even derailed an interview during the last campaign to talk about Zoolander 2. Trump “started going into detail about, you know… in the culture, people don't care about male models anymore,” Stiller recalls. Not that Stiller is particularly gratified by the attention. “Everybody has their own theories about whether or not [Trump] still wants to be president, but I think it's gone so far now. People's lives are being affected. And really, to me, it's not funny anymore. It's kinda just like, it's a little bit insane,” Stiller says. The actor/writer/director/comedian also discusses his work as an advocate for refugees, what it’s like to play Michael Cohen on SNL, what he wants to see from Joe Biden if he wins, and what are the boundaries of comedy in 2020. (“Tropic Thunder probably would not have been made... It would be tone deaf right now to make it,” he says.) Plus! Rick, Molly, and George Conway talk about whether Tucker Carlson will run for president (yes, with Eric Trump as a running mate); whether a war criminal is about to become a new Trumpworld star (unfortunately, that’s a yes, too); and whether our commander-in-chief actually gives a shit about the troops he’s supposed to be leading (hard no). As George says, Trump “expressed more concern about how he was perceived walking down that ramp at West point than he did about the fact that the soldiers that he spoke to that day could go to Afghanistan and get killed, because some Russians are paying money to the Taliban.”


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Jul 03, 2020
Did Trump Blow Off Some Sketchy Intel? Or Commit Treason?
00:51:10

Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast have some thoughts on the matter in the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “It's not just treason. It's historic treason,” Rick says about the revelation that the Russians offered bounties on U.S. soldiers—and Trump kissed up to the Kremlin anyway. “This is a guy who was already going down into the dustbin of history. And now there's going to be a line at his grave where they're going to have to throw cat litter down. Because people are gonna piss on it for all time.” Plus! Democratic Rep. Connor Lamb talks up his favorite Republican. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison gets real about police unions. (“I'm reluctant to even call it a police union because a union is an honorable, wonderful institution,” he says. “These institutions are not like that at all. The teacher's union does not deliberately harm the kids. Nurses don't hurt the patients. UAW doesn't break the cars.”) And Molly dishes on White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany: “At least with Sean Spicer, you did feel he possessed a human soul. Whereas with Kaylee, it's just this sort of terrifying, blonde sea of obfuscation.” 


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Jun 30, 2020
Is Agent Margaritaville On MySpace For Fascists?
00:50:46

Digital soldiers. Agenta Margaritaville. Laura Ingraham. What do all these things have in common? They’re all part of the world of QAnon, where up is down, down is right and the end goal is seeing anyone who Tweets negatively about Trump get shipped off to Guantanamo Bay. In Episode 20 of The New Abnormal, Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast talk to Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer about the craziest Q conspiracies (“The first level of Q Anon is sort of a step beyond Sean Hannity.”) Then the two chat with #Resistance superstar Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) about Trump’s racist “Kung Flu” comment, Devin Nunes’ reading level and why Congress won’t just impeach Bill Barr. (“What he's done ranges from the unethical to the potentially criminal.”) Plus! Rick and Molly discuss the MySpace for fascists, Louie Gohmert and how Florida is “killing it,” literally.

 

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Jun 26, 2020
Does Henry Winkler Have an Antifa Membership?
00:54:10

The Henry Winkler Antifa rumors can finally be put to rest. In episode 19 of The New Abnormal, the Barry actor—who went viral this weekend for proving that he, too, can drink a glass of water with one hand—addresses whether or not he is a card-carrying Antifa member. He also tells hosts Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast his thoughts on the president’s rally (“We are so not in control of the country we think we live free in.”) and what aliens and government have in common. The duo also chat with Andy Slavitt, President Obama’s former head of healthcare, who explains why other countries are running circles around the U.S.’s COVID numbers and what will happen with the virus this fall. Plus, Molly has a younger guest explain the K-pop fandom and Rick shares a special message for Brad Parscale, the website guy.

 

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Jun 23, 2020
What the Hell Is John Bolton?
00:45:11

Molly Jong-Fast, like the rest of us, is rather confused. On the latest episode of The New Abnormal, Rick Wilson and Molly try to puzzle through the mystery of Donald Trump’s mustachioed menace. Plus! The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Cartwright tells the juicy backstory behind his big scoop that Mary Trump has written a tell-all book about her fucked-up family. The Beast’s Nicole Phillip talks about how the United States tried to disappear the Tulsa Race Massacre. (“American history, the sins of America? When it comes to race, when it comes to slavery, when it comes to native Americans, it's sanitized. It's whitewashed. It's covered up,” she says.) And be sure to listen to the end, or you’ll miss a very MAGA guest appearance by the Dragon of Budapest himself. No, really.


Rick & Molly’s Cameo greeting from Dr. Sebastian Gorka https://www.cameo.com/v/pWetTAiUS

 

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Jun 19, 2020
Can You Force Fox News To Be Less Racist?
00:57:55

There’s so much packed into the latest edition of The New Abnormal, it’s hard to know where to start. Let’s see… Molly Jong-Fast heralds the return of Matt “Hot Tub Crime Machine” Whittaker, the one-time Attorney General. (He mixes “a toxic cocktail of macho mega swagger, the angry cant of the Christian [ultra-conservative], and the whining of a petulant child.”) Rick Wilson wonders whether Trumpists could “solve a complex puzzle, like stacking blocks in order,” and ponders the contents of Ted Cruz’s erotic fan fiction. Plus! Former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu goes deep on his long fight to take down confederate monuments. And Sleeping Giants’ Matt Rivitz talks about what it’s like to take on Brietbart, Bill O’Reilly, and Tucker Carlson — and win. He’s been pushing advertisers to drop the race-baiters, and they’ve responded. “This is like the Super Bowl... It's like, okay, brands finally get it. What they choose to support with their media dollars really drives the conversation.”

 

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Jun 16, 2020
BONUS - Rep. Katie Porter on How Working Moms Are Wiping Congress' Ass
00:21:59

Surprise! As a bonus for our listeners, we have released an interview with Congresswoman Katie Porter who represents California’s 45th District. She tells us about how single mothers are changing congress, why her workplace is often dysfunctional and the resolution she’s supporting to demilitarize the police.

 

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Jun 14, 2020
Will Bill Barr Go to Jail When This Is All Done?
00:52:01

Attorney General Bill Barr was in on Trump’s scheme to bribe and lean on Ukraine’s president. He let his boss’ criminal cronies off the hook. But the worst part, former DOJ prosecutor Glenn Kirschner says, was Barr’s crackdown in Lafayette Square on people just expressing their First Amendment rights. And if Barr isn’t under criminal investigation in 2021 for that, he tells Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast, then “shame on us.” It’s part of a jam-packed episode of The New Abnormal. Rachel Bitecofer of the Niskansen Center for Public Policy, joined Molly and Rick to present her forecast for this November. Of course, the dynamic duo tackle the ultimate fuckery that is the Donald Trump White House, including the president “playing footsie” with Confederate flag truthers, his Twitter-gasm over his Tulsa rally and how the “Bitch Boy” and his minions did the seeming impossible: became even more racist.


 

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Jun 12, 2020
DC Mayor: We Had to ‘Defend Our Borders’ from Trump’s Troops
00:28:06

Trump sent in goons from the Bureau of Prisons, and National Guardsmen from as far away from Utah to take over her town. On the 15th episode of The New Abnormal, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson what it was like to be under siege from the President of the United States — and how she tried to resist. “We have spent the last week trying to defend our borders, defend our autonomy, and make sure protesters could be in the city peacefully,” Bowser says. Plus! Bowser schools Trump, kindergarten-style; Molly talks about the GOP’s ability to “seize defeat out of the jaws of defeat”; Trump’s “just the tip” excuse; deep state ninjas; and Rick Wilson’s secret past as a NASCAR driver.

 

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Jun 09, 2020
Are We All Trapped in Tom Cotton’s Authoritarian Wet Dream?
00:40:34

Lindsey Graham’s new, Trumpy bouffant. Bill Barr’s little authoritarians’ playbook. Tom Cotton’s statist masturbation.They’re all featured on a very not-safe-for-Democracy edition of The New Abnormal. Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson talk to The Daily Beast’s Pilar Melendez how rough the NYPD is being on New York’s streets, and to Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, about peaceful protesters getting teargassed there. Plus! Our dynamic duo ask the important questions, like: Will Cotton’s pseudo-strongman schtick make him a new GOP king? And who is Meghan McCain’s father, anyway?

 

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Jun 05, 2020
Justice Is Not White Folks’ Possession to Give
00:30:53

You might look at the way some of these cops are going after nonviolent protesters, and think it’s a one-of-a-kind horror. Princeton Prof. Eddie Glaude has a different perspective. “I was looking at the aggression, I was looking at the contempt and the insult, and the first thing I thought was, ‘this is the way in which black communities are often policed.’” It’s part of an episode of THE NEW ABNORMAL filled with hard truths. Rick Wilson dishes on the “GOP cop cult,” and confronts some of the ugly bargains he cut in his past life as a Republican consultant. Molly Jong-Fast talks about Antifa as the Trumpists’ new caravan. Then she asks Prof. Glaude if he’s got a message for white liberals in this moment. “It's not about white liberals giving black folks something,” he answers. “It's not about a kind of charitable gesture, right? Justice is not white folks’ possession to give to anyone.”

 

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Jun 02, 2020
How To Screw Up a Vice Presidential Pick
00:45:28

Steve Schmidt and Philippe Reines worked on the McCain/Palin and Clinton/Kaine campaigns. So they know a little something about sub-stellar Veep picks. On the latest edition of THE NEW ABNORMAL, Schmidt and Reines talk to Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson about what went wrong, and how Biden can avoid the same fate. (“In a perfect world, he would pick Bernie Sanders,” says Reines, before clarifying greatly.) Plus! Our dynamic duo asks the important questions, like: What exactly is wrong with Mark Zuckerberg? And will the caregivers at the White House assisted living facility try to give Donnie the pudding he likes?

 

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May 29, 2020
Julian Castro on Why Everyone Hates Ted Cruz
00:39:21

On the latest episode of THE NEW ABNORMAL, the former presidential candidate talks to Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson about Trump’s chances to take Texas in 2020 (not great!), Biden’s “you ain’t black” comment (also not great!), and sycophantic Senator Ted Cruz (even worse!). Then! Rick and Molly discuss Trump’s amazing workout regimen, the chlamydia vs. COVID smackdown in the Ozarks, and golf’s new turn as the dumbest of MAGA signifiers. Plus! Welcome to the resistance, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions and Ann Coulter! (J/K, you’re both awful racists.)

 

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May 26, 2020
Eric Swalwell: 'We Aren't Being Told the Truth About Russia'
00:43:54

Rep. Eric Swalwell brought the real talk on the latest episode of THE NEW ABNORMAL. He told Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson that he’s “afraid” America’s intelligence agencies aren’t telling “the truth about what Russia is doing” to sabotage election 2020. Swalwell offered BS-free assessments of the Mueller probe — “Trump got his way and we lost" — and impeachment, telling Rick and Molly, “I don't think we would have moved forward with impeachment if we were in a pandemic.” Swalwell also came clean about his quarantine beard, his blink-and-you’d-miss-it presidential run, and the “ankle monitor [Donald Trump needs.” Plus! Rick and Molly dish on the Florida’s dumbest election, the Trump campaign’s cannibal clan, and the “competition of the dumbfuck supervillians.”

 

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May 22, 2020
Why Michelle Malkin Is Den Mother of the Alt-Right Dipsh*ts
00:34:24

On the latest episode of THE NEW ABNORMAL, Rick Wilson explains why he’s avoiding sushi, tea, helicopters, and, perhaps, knives. Molly Jong-Fast wonders what is going on in Michelle Malkin’s mind, and unexpectedly wins an alt-right prize. And our dynamic duo talk to Daily Beast reporter Olivia Messer about her new story involving Ashton Kutcher, Joe Exotic, and some rather suspect coronavirus tests. Plus! Molly and Rick debut two new features: Breaking Dumb, and Trump Those Fuckbros (or is it the other way around?).

 

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May 19, 2020
Adam Schiff on Bob Mueller’s Biggest Mistake
00:36:25

On the eighth episode of THE NEW ABNORMAL, the House Intelligence Committee Chairman talks about the moment Devin Nunes went off the rails, Paul Manafort’s suspiciously-timed release, and the serious strategic error Robert Mueller made during the Russia probe. Plus! Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson discuss “boob bait for the conspiracy-addled,” “the saddest, dumbest moment in the Trump presidency,” and whether leeches, crystals, or hydroxychloroquine work best on COVID-19.

 

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May 15, 2020
How George Conway Moved Into Donald Trump’s Head
00:40:24

In this episode of THE NEW ABNORMAL, Republican lawyer George Conway reveals to Rick Wilson and Molly-Jong-Fast what irks him the most about Donald Trump, and how he’s managed to troll the president so hard, so well. (Spoiler alert: Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale accidentally gave Conway the idea.) Plus! Rick and Molly discuss comic opera dictatorships, Facebook’s about-face, and the man who chews Trump’s food.


The meme referred to in our George Conway interview: https://twitter.com/skolanach/status/1259511266000830465

 

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May 12, 2020
Gretchen Whitmer’s Chilling Call With the White House
00:40:51

On the latest episode of THE NEW ABNORMAL, Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast talk with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer about the protesters who stormed the Michigan capitol, the sheriffs who refuse to enforce the lockdown, and a terrifying call she had with the White House. Plus! Rick and Molly chat about the ad that drove the president batty, the Trumpkins who want to wrestle Rick, and the former MAGAites finally departing the S.S. Dumbf*ck. 

 

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May 08, 2020
Jared Kushner, Our First Android Vampire President
00:29:23

In the latest episode of The New Abnormal, Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast discuss Baby Trump’s high chair, his low-rent supervillain of a Treasury Secretary, and whether Jared the K is undead or just a robot. Rick reveals that some of Trump’s own campaign staffers are afraid to give the boss real polling numbers. Plus! Philippe Reines joins our dynamic duo to discuss his week-long MAGA media diet, and how it feels to return to the land of the libtard cucks. Tune in!

 

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May 05, 2020
BONUS - Extended Interview With The Atlantic's James Hamblin
00:15:26

Surprise! As a bonus for our listeners, we have released an extended interview culled from our second episode of The New Abnormal with Dr. James Hamblin. Dr. Hamblin goes further in-depth on the COVID-19 crisis and the effects it can have on the body.

 

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May 03, 2020
What’s Next for Andrew Yang — And How to Stop the Trumpy Apocalypse
00:37:19

In this episode of The New Abnormal, Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast talk to Andrew Yang about whether he’d take a gig in a Biden administration, and why he’s talking to Mike Bloomberg’s team (hint: there might, might, just might be a run for mayor of New York in his future). Then the trio rap about what it’s like to try to raise $100 million for 100,000 food stamp recipients in 100 days, and how totally weird it is to meet a guy with a tattoo of your face on his calf. Plus! Rick explains how “the zombie apocalypse will be largely indistinguishable from a Trump rally.”

 

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May 01, 2020
The White House's Racist Kool-Aid Man Episode
00:38:16

In the third episode of The New Abnormal, Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast discuss goat blood, Donald Trump's 4th Filet o' Fish of the day, and how to put the fancy in sycophancy. Then the dynamic duo talk to Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng, The Daily Beast's Trumpland reporters, about whether Jared Kushner has any real responsibilities — or is just padding out his college application. 

 

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Apr 28, 2020
Mitch Antoinette and the Goldfish Brain
00:28:05

In the second episode of The New Abnormal, Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast contemplate Mitch McConnell in a bodice, Judge Jeanine Pirro in a lovely Korean pink hanbok, and George governor Brian Kemp with a modicum of gray matter. Then the duo talks to Dr. James Hamblin about how Trump's chaotic approach to COVID is turning traditional epidemiology on its head. Plus: Rick eyes an incoming tornado. "We should hurry because my lights are flickering and the wind is blowing like insanity out there." 

 

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Apr 24, 2020
Dope Fiend For The Dow Jones
00:25:48

On the first episode of The New Abnormal by The Daily Beast, Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast talk Trump, Tiger King, and why asking grandma to die for the sake of the stock market may not be the wisest political move. Then Rick and Molly chat with The Beast's Will Sommer, who's been talking with lots of anti-lockdown protesters. Weirdly, they're obsessed with Bill Gates ... and motorboats?! Take a listen as they try to make sense of this world gone haywire. 

 

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Apr 21, 2020
The New Abnormal Trailer
00:01:10

Blunt truth and dark humor for a world in chaos. A Daily Beast podcast hosted by Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast. Tune in every Tuesday and Friday. Subscribe today on your favorite podcast app!

 

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Apr 15, 2020