Honestly with Bari Weiss

By Bari Weiss

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 Aug 7, 2021


The most interesting conversations in American life now happen in private. This show is bringing them out of the closet. Stories no one else is telling and conversations with the most fascinating people in the country, every week from former New York Times and Wall Street Journal journalist Bari Weiss.

Episode Date
Was the Internet a Horrible Mistake?
Last week, Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower, confirmed what we already felt; that big tech platform’s algorithms are manipulating our sense of reality, and ourselves, and in doing so enriching themselves.  Jaron Lanier, the technologist, philosopher, and virtual reality pioneer has been warning us about the dangers of the internet for years. Today, a conversation with Jaron, from his home in California, about the dangers of groupthink, digital maoism, ideology sluts, censorship, capitalism, universal basic income, Facebook, robots, billionaires, wokeness and losing yourself in the ambiguity of the internet’s fake reality.  Can the problems of the Information Age be fixed by more regulation? Or will it take a fundamental shift in how we structure our society, and our relationship to emergent technologies to reclaim our humanity?  In addition to being an author of the internet, he worked at Atari and Microsoft in the early days, Jaron wrote, ”Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now” and “Dawn of the New Everything.” He appeared in the movie “The Social Dilemma.”  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 13, 2021
Why You're Wrong—and Right—About Abortion
The most honest thing I’ve ever read about abortion is by Caitlin Flanagan. It’s called “The Dishonesty of the Abortion Debate: Why We Need to Face the Best Argument From the Other Side.” You can read it here. On today’s episode, and in light of the new law in Texas, which effectively bans abortion, a conversation with my friend Caitlin. We talk about the best arguments on both sides of this issue, the reality of life before Roe v. Wade, the state of feminism and more. Read all of Caitlin’s work for the Atlantic here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 06, 2021
Wrongthink on Race With Glenn C. Loury
Four decades ago, Glenn C. Loury became the first tenured black professor of economics in Harvard’s history. Ever since then, he has made waves for his willingness to buck the elite intellectual establishment; for his iconoclastic ideas about race and inequality; and for his incisive cultural criticism.  He is a man of seeming contradictions: he rails against the divisiveness of woke politics from his post at Brown University, one of America’s most left wing campuses. He worries about what the death of God means for the country -- though he calls his own past religious beliefs a “benevolent self-delusion.” In the 80s, Glenn challenged his fellow black Americans to combat the “enemy from within,” while he himself battled demons like adultery and addiction.  But Glenn’s ability to re-examine his positions and look at his own past with clear eyes is hardly a fault. Glenn is a man who, in a time of lies told for the sake of political convenience, strives to tell the truth even when the truth is hard. Or complicated. Or an affront to our feelings. Or contradicts what we wish were true.     In today’s conversation: race, racism, Black Lives Matter, school choice, standardized tests, crack, sexual infidelity, Christianity, the Nation of Islam, neoconservatism, Harvard, groupthink, and pretty much every other hot-button subject you can imagine. Plus, Glenn’s own remarkable life story.  Glenn's own podcast, "The Glenn Show" is available through Substack and in video form on his new Youtube channel. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 29, 2021
Vaccine Hesitant? A Doctor Responds
So much of the conversation about Covid-19 is angry and full of finger-pointing. Dr. Vinay Prasad has consistently been able to cut through the noise, the confusion, and the endless bickering. He does this by consistently avoiding the blame game and following the data wherever it leads. Dr. Prasad is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California San Francisco. His writing, videos and tweets have been among my most reliable sources for information throughout the pandemic. His positions are nuanced, well-considered, and show exactly the kind of level-headedness and evidence-based decision-making that you want from someone you’re trusting your health to.  The conversation covers what the pandemic has revealed about the state of scientific research; policy questions like masking, vaccinating children, and vaccine passports. And, most importantly, vaccine hesitancy. Dr. Prasad explains why shaming, blaming, and censoring the unvaccinated is a losing strategy -- and what might be a better one. Follow Vinay on Twitter, if you like: https://twitter.com/VPrasadMDMPH?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 22, 2021
The Story of One Teenager's Escape From Afghanistan
It’s been a month since the fall of Afghanistan. And Black Hawk helicopters and Humvees aren’t the only things we left behind. Trapped in a country now controlled by the Taliban are hundreds of thousands of America’s Afghan allies. These are the interpreters, advisers and others who worked with the U.S. government and with American organizations--and who we promised we would never abandon. Their chance at freedom — at life — now relies on normal Americans who are determined to right what the White House has gotten so terribly wrong. They are a rag-tag group of military veterans, human-rights activists, ex-special forces, State Department officials, non-profit organizers and private individuals with the kind of resources necessary to charter planes. And they have formed a 21st-century Underground Railroad. In time, history books will be written about these Americans and the Afghans they saved.Today, the story of one of them. A 15-year-old girl in Kabul named Rahima. And a woman called Esther in East Moline, Illinois, who stepped into the vacuum left by the U.S. government. To learn more about the Underground Railroad: https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/inside-the-underground-railroad-out f you are interested in helping people like Rahima please consider supporting: https://nooneleft.org and https://afghanevac.org Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 17, 2021
Portland State Sacrificed Ideas for Ideology. So Peter Boghossian Quit.
Peter Boghossian is the first one to tell you: he's no victim of cancel culture. The philosophy professor has long had a taste for stoking debate, questioning orthodoxies, and exposing the brokenness of an academic system that values identity-based grievances over scholarship. He did that, in part, by writing phony papers like "The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct" and getting them published by respected, peer-reviewed journals.  That project and others painted a target on Peter’s back on Portland State's campus, where he was subjected to endless investigations and harassment.  This week, Peter resigned in a letter writing to the school's provost: “The university transformed a bastion of free inquiry into a social justice factory whose only inputs were race, gender and victimhood and whose only output was grievance and division.” In this episode, a frank conversation about the culture of higher education, and how to fight back against radicalism without becoming radicalized yourself. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 10, 2021
Courage in the Face of Book Burners
Abigail Shrier is a lawyer, a reporter and author of Irreversible Damage. One way to describe her book would be: controversial. She has been accused of spreading misinformation by GLAAD. A prominent ACLU lawyer called for her book to be banned. A favorable review of the book in Science-Based Medicine ignited an online mob, which led to the journal disappearing that first review and replacing it with a negative one. Amazon and Target have also been pressured to stop carrying Shrier's book. But it hasn’t worked. Despite being ignored by outlets like the New York Times Book Review, Irreversible Damage is an enormous bestseller. Some readers felt so passionately about this book that they took out billboards advertising it on their own dime. Both the subject that Abigail writes about and the treatment of her book deserve your attention. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 08, 2021
American Decline Is a Choice. Let's Not Choose It.
Between the catastrophic American withdrawal from Afghanistan, an endless pandemic, a broken education system, and competent leaders nowhere in sight, it can feel like America is in a constant state of meltdown. On today's episode, renowned historian Niall Ferguson answers the big questions: how did we get here? Is American decline inevitable? And if not, what can be done to renew the culture and the country? Niall is the author of nearly 20 books. His latest is: "Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 01, 2021
You’re Already Living in China’s World Pt 2: Beijing's Long Game
In Part II, a diagnosis of the global ambitions of the Chinese Communist Party with Josh Rogin. Josh explains how U.S policy mistakes in the 20th century handed more power to China in the 21st, how the Chinese government wields power over Big Tech, Hollywood, and higher education on U.S. soil, and whether we’re headed for another Cold War.   “The global scale of the China challenge is not just about China’s rise, it’s not just about the genocide,” says Josh, “It’s about what kind of world we want to live in.” Plus, a call with Josh to discuss the American withdrawal of Afghanistan, and how the execution of that withdrawal creates a power vacuum for China to fill. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 25, 2021
You're Already Living in China’s World Pt 1: The Lab Leak Lies
When the pandemic began eighteen months ago, anyone who dared suggest that the virus came from a lab in Wuhan, China, was dismissed as a crank, or otherwise accused of racism, xenophobia, and refusing to “believe science.” Why was this highly plausible theory unsayable? On today’s podcast, Josh Rogin, a foreign policy columnist for the Washington Post and author of “Chaos Under Heaven: Trump, Xi and the Battle for the Twenty-First Century” answers that question. He makes the powerful case that it all comes back to the power of the Chinese Communist Party, which he likens to the Gambino crime family. If the Gambinos, that is, were running one of the richest countries in the world. Josh is a phenomenal guest and we couldn’t contain our conversation to just one episode. So today, in Part One, a look into what went down in Wuhan and Washington during the fateful month of January 2020. We show how the “Lab Leak Theory,” due in big part to Josh’s reporting, went from a fringe conspiracy theory to a credible explanation for the virus that continues to ravage the planet. Also discussed: Anthony Fauci, Donald Trump, Rand Paul, Peter Daszak, Xi Jinping, Elaine Chao, Henry Kissinger. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 23, 2021
How We Failed Afghanistan (And Ourselves) with HR McMaster
How did this happen? How did we spend 20 years, over 2 trillion dollars and over 2,000 American lives to wind up losing Afghanistan to the Taliban in under two weeks? Was the mission doomed from the start? Was it political incompetence? Or was it the fault of the military brass who refused to be honest about what it would take to win? Today, a frank and wide-ranging conversation with H.R. McMaster, former National Security Advisor and three-star general. We talk about Obama, Trump, Biden; the corruption and incompetence of our elites; rising isolationism; and why he’s still bullish about America. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 19, 2021
When American Doctors Are Scared to Tell the Truth
For several months, the journalist Katie Herzog has been talking to some of the country's top doctors and professors—not about COVID, or vaccines—but about a new, creeping orthodoxy that’s taken over the hospitals and medical schools where they work. Those doctors say that whole areas of research are off-limits. They say that top physicians are treating patients based on their race. That professors are apologizing for saying ‘male’ and ‘female’ and that students are policing teachers. And in more than a few alarming instances, politics has come before patients. As one doctor put it: “Wokeness feels like an existential threat."Today, Katie joins us to discuss the ideological purge happening within American medicine, where the stakes could not be higher.  If you haven't read her newsmaking stories, published in our newsletter, we highly recommend checking them out Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 11, 2021
The Real Story of “The Central Park Karen”
Amy Cooper was not the internet’s first “Karen” — the pejorative used for a demanding, entitled white woman. But as the Central Park dog walker who went viral for calling the police on a black birdwatcher last year, she quickly became the paragon of the archetype. Within 24 hours, Amy Cooper had been doxxed, fired from her job, and surrendered her dog. She wound up fleeing the country. She hasn’t spoken publicly since last summer. Until now.  In a wide-ranging interview with Kmele Foster, friend of Honestly and co-host of The Fifth Column, we revisit the story of what happened in the park that day. We show what the media intentionally left out of the story. And we examine the cost of mob justice. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 03, 2021
Bigger, Stronger, Faster: The Truth About Testosterone
Why are men the way they are? Are they naturally more aggressive? And is it fair for transwomen to compete in sports separated by sex? Is it possible to overcome our animal instincts? And why has it gotten so hard to ask these questions out loud? To admit that there are any differences between men and women? On today’s episode, a deep dive into these subjects and more with Carole Hooven, the author of “‘T: The Story of Testosterone, the Hormone that Dominates and Divides Us." The book was named one of the WSJ’s ten best. Carole is an evolutionary biologist and lecturer at Harvard, where she focuses on behavioral endocrinology and sex differences. Here, she explains the science of T, the misinformation about sex, and the importance of telling the truth, even if it makes you unpopular. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 29, 2021
A 21st Century Witch Hunt
Maud Maron is the picture of a passionate progressive. She was a Planned Parenthood escort; a research assistant for a Black Panther leader; a Bernie voter; a public school parent; and, most significantly, a public defender who worked for many years at Legal Aid. But fellow progressives, including her colleagues at Legal Aid, now insist that Maud is racist, that she supports segregation, that she is, despite all appearances to the contrary, a modern version of Bull Connor. How did this happen? Why is Maron being lied about so flagrantly? And why did she recently decide to sue Legal Aid, the institution to which she dedicated her career? You've probably never heard of Maud Maron. But I think you will be shocked by her story -- and inspired by her decision to stand up to a tsunami of lies.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 26, 2021
You're Being Lied To
One year after her resignation from the New York Times, Bari sits down with author (and America's most famous Stoic) Ryan Holiday to talk about how the media broke and who is to blame for breaking it. Holiday knows about fake news: In his 2012 bestseller, “Trust Me, I'm Lying,” he explains how he manipulated the media on behalf of himself and his clients, including Tucker Max and Dov Charney of American Apparel. Holiday is also the author of "Conspiracy," the story of how billionaire Peter Thiel brought down the gossip site Gawker. We discuss the unintended consequences of Thiel's success, the economics of outrage, Stoicism, opening a bookstore during COVID, and much more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 20, 2021
Rufo v. French: Should Schools Ban Critical Race Theory?
All of a sudden, the phrase "Critical Race Theory" seems like it's everywhere. If you are confused by the phrase, or wonder how everyone seems to have an opinion about it, you aren't alone. Despite what some in the mainstream media insist, you do not need a PhD or a law degree to understand this subject. Today, we clear up what it means. We explain why parents across the country are showing up at school board meetings to voice their opposition to it. And we host a debate between Chris Rufo and David French about what the government ought to do about it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 13, 2021
America's Sex Recession
A recent study from the American Medical Association found that one-third of men between the ages of 18 to 24 reported having no sex at all in the previous year — and that was before the COVID lockdowns. Meantime, the marriage rate and the birth rate are both at historic lows. What’s at a historic high is online porn. In 2019, more than five billion hours of porn were watched on Pornhub alone. That’s 500 thousand years worth of time. My guest today has been at the forefront of this change. Meet Aella. She has been doing sex work online and in real life for the past decade and she’s now killing on a platform called OnlyFans, where she charges for her followers for her explicit content. It’s like Substack. Sort of. Whatever preconceptions you have about porn stars I assure you she will challenge them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 07, 2021
Why Winston Marshall Left Mumford & Sons
For 14 years, Winston Marshall was the banjo player and lead guitarist of the massively successful band Mumford & Sons. Last week, following a viral incident over a tweet, he quit the band: "I could remain and continue to self-censor but it will erode my sense of integrity. Gnaw my conscience. I’ve already felt that beginning." On today's episode, Winston speaks exclusively with Bari about why he chose to walk away from the band he loved. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 01, 2021
When a Free Society Becomes a Police State
For 26 years, the swash-buckling, pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily was a thorn in the side of the Chinese Communist Party. This week, after its offices were ransacked, its founder was jailed ,and five of its executives were arrested, it printed its very last edition. The paper's death marks the death of Hong Kong's free press.We hear from a dogged young reporter who takes us inside the newsroom to the last days of Apple Daily, and hear her explain why what is happening to her and her colleagues is not only a threat to them, but to us all. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 27, 2021
Revolt of The Public
Why does every institution feel so broken? Why would newspapers sacrifice their credibility to suppress something like the lab leak theory? Why does it feel like small differences of opinion so quickly turn into hate? Martin Gurri saw it all coming. The CIA analyst predicted Trump, Brexit, WallStreetBets, BLM, the Yellow vests, and believes all of these movements are connected by a single force: THE INTERNET. The printing press transformed humanity in the 1400s, but Gurri argues that we are now living through a more radical transformation. One that is just beginning. Gurri's prescient book is recommended by our host more than any other. If you haven't read it, don't wait.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 16, 2021
Mark Cuban on F*ck You Money
The billionaire entrepreneur on the ProPublica tax report, capitalism, corporate cowardice, the Chinese Communist Party, crypto & more Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 14, 2021
America's Cultural Revolution
What the public shaming of Palestinian immigrant Majdi Wadi — and the boycott of his Minneapolis business — says about who we are becoming. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 09, 2021
Official Trailer: Honestly with Bari Weiss
The most interesting conversations in American life now happen in private. This show is bringing them out of the closet. Stories no one else is telling and conversations with the most fascinating people in the country, every week from former New York Times and Wall Street Journal journalist Bari Weiss. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 04, 2021