The Gist

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Subscribers: 1439
Reviews: 7

Glib, clever & full of himself
 Feb 11, 2020
Mike Pesca is a Southern Baptist preacher whose doctrine is East coast liberalism! Like any true believer, he does not question the s*** he believes in the slightest.. yet I download and listen..

Fry Guy
 Dec 5, 2019
spent a whole episode scolding anyone who criticizes vocal fry (look it up). He wouldn't go to such lengths defending an unmoderated southern or Western country or Urban accent... but condescending Rich Whitey gets full approval. He's a Dip


 Sep 27, 2019

kg
 May 12, 2019
consistently great

Titus Pullo
 Mar 14, 2019
I do enjoy the interview style and alot of the information presented. However, your rants often parrot what the popular media opinion on a given subject is.

Description

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

Episode Date
Miami and Mayor Suarez’s Plasma
1702
Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work. On the Gist, Trump and Pence can’t be honest with the public. In the interview, Miami Mayor Frances Suarez has fully recovered after testing positive for the COVID-19 virus, and now is donating his plasma for use in an experimental treatment. He talks with Mike about his experience, what Miami’s reaction to the pandemic has been, and what he’s doing to push other parts of the government to take it seriously. In the spiel, healing and physical proximity. Email us at thegist@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 04, 2020
Republicans in Christian Clothing
1997
On the Gist, nobody does it better. In the interview, Mike talks with Katherine Stewart about her new book, The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism. They discuss how the political ideology from the right wing cloaks itself in religious rhetoric, who in the Trump cabinet is part of movement, and how it inhibits the administration’s response to the coronavirus crisis. In the spiel, maybe Loeffler and Burr aren’t guilty of insider trading. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 03, 2020
You Can’t Just Cancel Rent
2006
Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work. On the Gist, Florida’s finally doing the right thing. In the interview, Jamil Zaki is here to talk with Mike about kindness during the COVID-19 crisis. He and Mike discuss studies on reactions to crises, how this time will bring us together, and what we need to do to embrace more empathy. Zaki’s latest book is The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World. In the spiel, you can’t cancel rent. Email us at thegist@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 02, 2020
Are the Extroverts OK?
2009
Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work. On the Gist, let the experts speak. In the interview, Mike speaks with three self-identified extroverts about what it’s like to live in isolation. Amanda Mull of the Atlantic, author Stephen Witt, and host of the Unorthodox podcast Mark Oppenheimer, join Mike to talk about how stifling it can be to remain indoors, how they’re coping, and what they plan to do once it’s all over. In the spiel, the Cuomo brotherhood. Email us at thegist@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 01, 2020
Improvising the Presidency
1999
On the Gist, Trump steering away from the rocks for once. In the interview, Mike talks with John Dickerson of CBS News about what it takes to be a good American leader. They discuss how Trump’s personal habits have led him to be unprepared for the coronavirus crisis, why Americans are addicted to the presidency, and what might happen to the concept of American leadership if he gets a second term in office. Dickerson’s upcoming books is The Hardest Job in the World: The American Presidency. In the spiel, FDR’s fireside chats. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 30, 2020
Corona Stimulus Dissenters
1916
Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work. On the Gist, Dr. Mark Siegel is at it again on Fox. In the interview, Mike speaks with the Globe and Mail’s health reporter André Picard about the Canadian response to COVID-19. They discuss the ways it differs from the US response, how their government and media outlets are handling it, and lessons to be learned. In the spiel, a corona quorum. Email us at thegist@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 28, 2020
Isolation in the Nation
1806
On the Gist, Trump knows Tom Brady. In the interview, Mike talks with Kate Greene, crew writer and second-in-command of the first HI-SEAS simulated mission to Mars. They discuss Greene’s experience during her four months living in the dome, how micro-stimuli can be overcome, and why astronauts love Tabasco hot sauce. Her essay collection, Once Upon a Time I Lived on Mars, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in July. In the spiel, it’s not if your community has a coronavirus outbreak, it’s when. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 27, 2020
Assessing the Risk of COVID-19
2429
Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work. On the Gist, we’ve been mean to the elderly. In the interview, Ian Bremmer, political analyst and president of the Eurasia Group, is here to talk with Mike about how to assess the risk of the coronavirus pandemic. They discuss the ways countries with different forms of government have reacted, Trump’s role in all this, and why the US is so isolation averse. Bremmer is the host of GZERO World With Ian Bremmer.  In the spiel, the media should continue coverage of Trump’s pressers. Email us at thegist@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 26, 2020
Trump’s Dangerous Optimism
1779
On the Gist, how to stay out of the ICU. In the interview, Mike talks with Andy Slavitt, former head of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act for the Obama Administration, about why the US was less prepared for a pandemic like COVID-19. They discussed why high un-insured rates, high co-pay costs, and low medical capacity make the country as a whole more vulnerable. In the spiel, foolish optimism about COVID-19. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 25, 2020
Making Outbreak Models
1971
Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work. On the Gist, state governments need help. In the interview, Dr. Jeffrey Shaman of Columbia University talks about his research modeling potential outbreaks, which is featured in the recent New York Times story, “Coronavirus Could Overwhelm U.S. Without Urgent Actions, Estimates Say.” Email us at thegist@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 23, 2020
Coronavirus Contrarianism Is a Health Risk
2081
Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work. On the Gist, Trump thinks Peter Alexander is a bad journalist. In the interview, Mike talks with MSNBC analyst and Daily Beast columnist Jonathan Alter about how Trump could position himself as a two-term president. They discuss how a leader in crisis should be conducting himself, examples of great leaders in moments of crisis, and how the economy’s nose-dive will impact the 2020 elections. In the spiel, doctors who aren’t concerned yet. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 21, 2020
Convincing in Crisis
2060
On the Gist, Trump’s press conference. In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back to talk with Mike about persuasion. They discuss the best and worst tactics for convincing people of something the don’t believe, and why it will make us feel better to try even if we fail. Maria’s latest book is The Confidence Game. In the spiel, why governing less isn’t a virtue in a crisis. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 20, 2020
We Need a Government Bail-Out
1821
Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work. On the Gist, our slow government. In the interview, In the interview, Mike talks to CEO of Three Uncanny Four and creator of Planet Money Adam Davidson about the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the US economy. They discuss the tools the Fed has to stimulate the economy, how deep of a recession we’re heading toward, and why the government needs to start spending money. Davidson’s latest book is The Passion Economy: The New Rules for Thriving in the Twenty-First Century. In the spiel, Jake Tapper and jogging. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 19, 2020
Halt the Vote?
1873
On the Gist, the election mess in Ohio. In the interview, Richard Hasen, legal expert and professor at the UC Irvine School of Law, is here to discuss closing the polls in Ohio, the legal implications of how that decision was made, and why we need emergency plans in place for elections. Hasen’s new book is Election Meltdown. In the spiel, desperate times call for desperate compliments. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 17, 2020
We Don’t Need a Revolution
2106
On the Gist, the war against invisible enemies. In the interview, Mike spoke with Dr. Fred Buckner of the University of Washington about how hospitals are dealing with COVID-19, who is and isn’t being hospitalized, and the important things we need to do during this pandemic. The resource site that the University of Washington has created can be found here. In the spiel, how governors across the country are dealing with the coronavirus crisis. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 16, 2020
Trump’s Gaffes Are a Virus
2145
On the Gist, the president is a disastrous communicator. In the interview, Mike speaks with his friend Luke Burbank, host of Live Wire Radio and Too Beautiful to Live, about what it’s like in the Seattle area right now. They discuss travel, how this might affect podcasts, and even exchange a few laughs. In the spiel, we need your help listeners. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 13, 2020
You Can’t Win a Pandemic
1676
On the Gist, Trump’s lies are so dangerous. In the interview, Mike calls his friend David Lichtman, who lives in New Rochelle, New York, on the edge of the coronavirus containment zone. They discuss what it’s like on the ground, how it’s affected local lives, and what the local government has done about it. In the spiel, Trump thinks he can win at coronavirus. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 12, 2020
Bernie’s Losses Aren’t Surprising
1939
On the Gist, maybe Sanders was never really that popular. In the interview, we have part two of David Plouffe’s interview. He and Mike go deeper on campaigns, what Trump needs to do to win again, and what Biden and Sanders could do to win the White House. Plouffe’s book is A Citizen’s Guide to Beating Donald Trump. In the spiel, you can’t count on the youth vote. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 11, 2020
Fighting the Trump Campaign
1858
On the Gist, Steve Bannon making some sense. In the interview, David Plouffe is here to discuss his new book, A Citizen’s Guide to Beating Donald Trump. He and Mike talk about strategy, lessons learned, Biden and Bernie, and Plouffe’s podcast, Campaign HQ with David Plouffe. In the spiel, the stories we tell ourselves aren’t always helpful.  Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 11, 2020
We’re Fumbling the Coronavirus Crisis
1868
Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work. On the Gist, Trump’s antics will not work with the Coronavirus. In the interview, Mike talks with staff writer and national correspondent at The Atlantic James Fallows about how the media should respond to the current Corona Virus crisis. They discuss what impact the stock market’s downward turn might have on Trump’s chances of getting re-elected, how the two remaining Democratic presidential candidates would respond if they were president, and what we can learn from China’s respond to the pandemic. In the spiel, we’re either overreacting or under-reacting to the Coronavirus. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 10, 2020
Biden Has the Obama Coalition
2108
On the Gist, the International Criminal Court. In the interview, musician Stephen Malkmus is here to talk about his new album Traditional Techniques. He and Mike discuss the various instruments he used, tennis, and Santa Con. In the spiel, Biden’s got the Obama coalition.  Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 07, 2020
Trump Is Clueless About Coronavirus
1880
Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work. On the Gist, daylight savings time. In the interview, Mike talks with journalist and political analyst Yuval Levin about his most recent book, A Time To Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream. They discuss why institutions are important to shaping individuals, why gatekeepers remain important and should be required to prove themselves, and why conservatives have damaged American institutions. In the spiel, Trump and the coronavirus. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 06, 2020
Stop Talking About Women’s Looks
2062
Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work. On the Gist, Bernie and Biden. In the interview, Lizzie O’Leary is the host of What Next: TBD at Slate, but has had her fair share of time working in TV news. During those years, she experienced so many instances of the gross expectations and double standards for women in the industry. In the wake of Chris Matthews’ departure, she’s here to discuss her working in TV, and the ways the men in power have treated her. In the spiel, Warren is grasping at straws. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 05, 2020
Chris Matthews Knew How to Hit Hard
1944
On the Gist, don’t touch your face. In the interview, Mike talks with legal analyst Jill Wine-Banks about her book, The Watergate Girl: My Fight for Truth and Justice Against a Criminal President. They discuss her role on the prosecutorial team during the Watergate scandal, the memorable Rose Mary Woods stretch, and how the American public kept Nixon accountable. In the spiel, Chris Matthews retired. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 04, 2020
The DNC’s Primary Process is Flawed
2113
On the Gist, 1946 was a good year for presidential births. In the interview, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat is here to discuss his new book The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success. He and Mike debate the meaning of decadence, Douthat’s ideas of a way out of decadence, and whether or not we just need to pivot to a different religion. In the spiel, this Democratic nomination process sucks. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 03, 2020
Busting Bernie’s Policy Myth
1932
On the Gist, complaining to the FCC. In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for another round of “Is That Bullshit?” This time she and Mike look into the light, blue light that is. Does it really affect sleep the way everybody claims it does? Should we all be buying those special glasses? Maria’s latest book is The Confidence Game. In the spiel, the filibuster and Medicare for all. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 29, 2020
Combatting Coronavirus With Clowns
1745
On the Gist, why Bernie still needs the black vote. In the interview, Mike talks with senior fellow at the Brookings Institution E. J. Dionne about his most recent book, Code Red: How Progressives and Moderates Can Unite to Save Our Country. They tease apart Dionne's arguments about visionary gradualism, and how moderates and progressives can move each other to greater social justice in the US. In the spiel, Trump’s coronavirus press conference. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 28, 2020
Electing the Muppet in Chief
2043
On the Gist, the missed opportunities of the South Carolina debates. In the interview, Mike talks with Eitan Hersh, professor of Political Science at Tufts University, about his new book Politics is for Power: How to Move Beyond Political Hobbyism, Take Action, and Make Real Change. They discuss political hobbyism and why your news consumption is actually a form of slacktivism. In the spiel, who’s the most like a muppet? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 27, 2020
The New York Times is Ready to Rumble
1599
On the Gist, Bernie Sanders’ public access past. In the interview, journalist Conor Dougherty is here to talk about his new book Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America. They discuss potential solutions to the housing shortage in major cities, why we all flock to large metro hubs, and the difficulty of this problem when looking at people versus numbers. In the spiel, the rumble between the New York Times and West Side Story. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 26, 2020
Battling Against Bernie
1871
On the Gist, caucuses are bad. In the interview, Mike talks with Touré about why his podcast title, Touré Show, doesn't have a definite article. They discuss Touré's particular interview style, how he would write his Obama-era book on race and Blackness had he written it today during the Trump administration, and his upcoming podcast series on Prince. In the spiel, where the other candidates stand with Bernie before the South Carolina debate.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 25, 2020
Leave George Washington’s Thighs Alone
1866
On the Gist, Russia is at it again. In the interview, Mike chats with historian Alexis Coe, author of the new book You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington. They discuss the founding-father's height, dentures and that awkward obsession male historians have about the man's thighs. In the spiel, a lobstar of the antentwig. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 22, 2020
Bloomberg’s Defenseless Debate
1875
On the Gist, stop the racism. In the interview, Mike talks about the democrats with director of the Center on American Politics at the University of Denver Seth Masket. They discuss the way the debate went, and what could happen at the convention with all the delegates so spread out. In the spiel, what Bloomberg could’ve said.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 21, 2020
Ye Olde Bloomberg Soundbite Shoppe
1918
On the Gist, birtherism and deatherism. In the interview, Mike chats with Daily Beast reporters, Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsang about their new book, Sinking in the Swamp: How Trump's Minions and Misfits Poisoned Washington. They discuss how they used their so-called "omni-shambles beat" to write the book and why there is nothing tempered about Trump's administration. In the spiel, visiting Ye Olde Bloomberg Soundbite Shoppe. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 20, 2020
Pardon the Crime
1942
On the Gist, critiquing Bloomberg critiques. In the interview, we’ve got the second part of our conversation with journalist Andrea Bernstein on her new book, American Oligarchs: The Kushners, The Trumps, and the Marriage of Money and Power. She and Mike went deep on Trump the first part, and now they’re digging into Michael Cohen and the Kushners. In the spiel, Trump’s pardons. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 19, 2020
Why Iran-Contra Hardly Rings a Bell
1792
On the Gist, the Houston Astros cheating scandal is like the US Democracy. Mike and former host of Slow Burn, and current host of Luminary Podcast network's Fiasco, Leon Neyfakh get into the details of the Iran-Contra Affair. They discuss the key players in the saga, why this story was such a fiasco and the new Slow Burn TV-show. In the spiel, let's just go with Caucus debacle avoidance. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 15, 2020
Unpacking the Buttigieg CIA Conspiracy
2311
On the Gist, what Bloomberg said about redlining. In the interview, Mike talks to former host of Slow Burn and current host of Luminary Podcast network's Fiasco, Leon Neyfakh. In the first part of their conversation, they talk about what the Iran-Contra Affair was and who the key players were. In the spiel, the Pete Buttigieg CIA conspiracy theory from Chapo Trap House. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 14, 2020
Bloomberg’s Bad Racial Math
2024
On the Gist, why Vindman wasn’t fired. In the interview, journalist Andrea Bernstein is here to talk about her new book, American Oligarchs: The Kushners, The Trumps, and the Marriage of Money and Power. She and Mike discuss how Trump bullied his way through New York real estate, why he puts his name on everything, and how he’s used the presidency for his own personal income. In the spiel, Bloomberg doubled down on stop-and-frisk for far too long. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 13, 2020
What Hurt Warren
1777
On the Gist, the little ones. In the interview, Mike talks to journalist and public health researcher Katherine Rowland about her new book, The Pleasure Gap: American Women and the Unfinished Sexual Revolution. They discuss why American women are reporting dissatisfaction with their sexual lives despite the current climate of sex positivity, and the debates surrounding the female Viagra. In the spiel, the future for Warren.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 12, 2020
Are Essential Oils Essentially Bunk?
2087
On the Gist, talking is hard. In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for her usual game of “Is That Bullshit?” Today she and Mike tackle essential oils, talking through the history of using essential oils, modern studies, and the potential uses they might have. Maria’s most recent book is The Confidence Game. In the spiel, weak arguments about political opponents. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 11, 2020
Moshe Kasher Surfs the Crowd
2016
On the Gist, Central Casting strikes again. In the interview, comedian Moshe Kasher is here to talk about his new comedy album Crowdsurfing. He and Mike discuss the difference between crowd work and prepared material, and the history of Moshe’s family. In the spiel, Nancy ripping his speech.  Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 08, 2020
Iowa Was Lost in Translation
1750
On the Gist, we went through hell. In the interview, Mike talks with linguist Dennis Baron about his new What's Your Pronoun?: Beyond He and She. The two analyze the history of English language pronouns and debate whether or not language is meant for communicating "correctly" or simply for communicating. In the spiel, translating the Iowa results. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 07, 2020
The Unsurprising Acquittal of Donald Trump
1872
On the Gist, Donald Trump slurred his way through the State of the Union. In the interview, Mike talks with public education advocate Diane Ravitch about her most recent book, Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America’s Public Schools. They discuss why she left the “dark side” of advocating for charter schools, and why schools should stop testing the children to death. In the spiel, the acquittal of Donald Trump. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 05, 2020
The Lesson of Iowa’s Chaos
1756
On the Gist, the Iowa caucuses was created to disenfranchise babysitters. In the interview, Mike talks with NPR’s Steve Inskeep about his new book, Imperfect Union: How Jessie and John Frémont Mapped the West, Invented Celebrity, and Helped Cause the Civil War. They discuss the ways in which the Frémonts navigated their world, and the modern currents found in their story. In the spiel, the Iowa caucuses were a mess. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 05, 2020
Oregon, Lab for Democracy
1761
On the Gist, how Elizabeth Warren inspires her supporters before the Iowa caucuses. In the interview, Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon is here to discuss how the state has the highest voter-turnout rate, the possibility of granting 16-year-olds the vote, rent-control, and her favorite sketch from the show Portlandia. In the spiel, the kingdom of the Kansas City Chiefs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 04, 2020
Jon Favreau’s The Wilderness
1958
On the Gist, Bloomberg will join the debate stage. In the interview, Crooked Media’s Jon Favreau is here to talk about the new season of his series The Wilderness, where he goes to different parts of the country and explores politic tastes with focus groups. He and Mike discuss the four types of voters he targeted, what people want from a Democratic candidate, and the importance of the upcoming election. In the spiel, landmines and military. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 01, 2020
The Deep Doo-Doo of Dershowitz
1633
On the Gist, Pam Bondi at the impeachment trial. In the interview, journalist Ezra Klein is here to discuss his new book Why We’re Polarized. They debate if extremism and polarization are related, and talk about the increasing difficulty of compromise, and if there’s a solution to this problem. In the spiel, Alan Dershowitz’s terrible argument. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 31, 2020
Could Bernie Take Iowa?
2085
On the Gist, could Bernie Sanders win in Iowa? In the interview, humorist and numbers ninja Matt Parker is here to discuss his new book Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World. He and Mike discuss the peculiarities of his page numbers, how he kept math fun, and a detailed exploration of what a decade is. In the spiel, impeachment continues. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 30, 2020
The Nuclear Power of the Presidency
1780
On the Gist, Mike Pompeo and Mary Louise Kelly. In the interview, Fred Kaplan is back and this time he and Mike are talking about nuclear bombs. They discuss the history of nuclear weapons in the US, why it’s concerning that Trump holds the detonator, and how these bombs factor into modern day peacekeeping. Kaplan’s new book is The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War. In the spiel, Trump team’s closing arguments. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 29, 2020
Kobe Bryant, Transcendent Athlete
1867
On the Gist, the likely acquittal of Trump. In the interview, we're back with political reporter and host of Stranglehold, Lauren Chooljian. We discuss how the New Hampshire primaries are likely to shake out, which candidates will remain after many of them have strategically camped out in the state, and the difference between the polls and the actual feelings of New Hampshire voters. In the spiel, the artistry and athleticism of Kobe Bryant. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 28, 2020
The Hits of 1983
2071
On the Gist, Wells Fargo strikes again. In the interview, Chris Molanphy is back to talk Mike through the hits of 1983. Enjoying vegemite sandwiches, the rains in Africa, and a bunch of sweet dreams, they indulge in the pop mainstays that continue to persist on the radio and at the karaoke bar. Molanphy is the host of Hit Parade and writes the “Why Is This Song No. 1?” column for Slate. In the spiel, too many thoughts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 25, 2020
The Monstrous Monotony of Mitch McConnell
1903
On the Gist, the how the senators are occupying themselves. In the interview, writer Will Self is here to talk with Mike about his new memoir Will. They discuss addiction, how Will accesses memory, and the difficulty of his name. In the spiel, Mitch’s monotone. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 24, 2020
A Bunch of Dopes and Babies
1952
On the Gist, revisiting the travel ban. In the interview, we talk with Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes, the editors of Lawfare, about their new book, Unmaking the Presidency: Donald Trump's War on the World's Most Powerful Office. They discuss the precedents that Trump has broken as POTUS and paint a stark picture of the future of the executive office if he is re-elected. In the spiel, “a bunch of dopes and babies.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 23, 2020
Was Killing Soleimani Worth It?
1833
On the Gist, the New York Times endorsement. In the interview, senior fellow and director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy Matthew Levitt is here to talk about the killing of Qasem Soleimani. What calculus went into the decision, whether it was worth it, and what this means for the future of the US and Iran. In the spiel, the beginning of the Senate impeachment trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 22, 2020
Journalists Aren’t Activists
1839
On the Gist, Joe Biden and the New York Times. In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for another episode of “Is That Bullshit?” This time she and Mike tackle whether or not we’re currently experiencing the latest mass extinction event. We may not have noticed, but the insects certainly have. In the spiel, the difference between journalism and activism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 18, 2020
Dave Eggers and the Struggle of Satire
1684
On the Gist, Donald Trump and Devin Nunes know Lev Parnas. In the interview, Mike talks with author Dave Eggers about his new book, The Captain and the Glory, a story about the clownish captain of a great ship. Eggers discusses how satire can help us admit the absurdities of our times and how writing the book helped him process our current political climate. In the spiel, bunging a bob for a big ben bong. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 17, 2020
The Wasted Debate
2061
On the Gist, cats will eat you. In the interview, economist Daniel Susskind is here to discuss his new book A World Without Work: Technology, Automation, and How We Should Respond. They talk about the future of work, how technology is shifting, and the effectiveness of Andrew Yang’s proposal of universal basic income. In the spiel, the debate was lackluster.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 16, 2020
Forgiveness by Fiat
1980
On the Gist, the latest debate and Corey Booker. In the interview, John Tierney is here to talk about his and Roy F. Baumeister’s new book The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It. They discuss why the bad is always more memorable than the good, and the real uses of such negativity. In the spiel, Elizabeth Warren’s plan to forgive student debt by executive order. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 15, 2020
The Issue With Oscar Noms
2112
On the Gist, Trump lying about embassies and Iran. In the interview, New America’s Lee Drutman is here to discuss his new book Breaking the Two Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America. He and Mike talk about why we need more than two parties in the US, how the two-party system came about, and what the way forward could be like. In the spiel, the Oscars need affirmative action. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 14, 2020
Marianne Williamson Teleports Away
1928
On the Gist, Marianne Williamson is out. In the interview, Adam Davidson is back, this time talking to Mike about his new book The Passion Economy: The New Rules for Thriving in the Twenty-First Century. They discuss the case studies Adam used to illustrate this positive aspect of the economy in recent years, and how people have turned their passions into professions. In the spiel, Elizabeth Wurtzel and Don Imus. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 11, 2020
The Final Great Jeopardy! Game
1805
On the Gist, accusing people of writing eulogies. In the interview, Slate’s Lizzie O’Leary and Justin Peters talk with Mike about Jeopardy!’s “Greatest of All Time” tournament. With Justin as a previous Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? contestant, and Mike and Lizzie both as Jeopardy! alums, the three discuss how this tournament stacks up to the standard fare, who they think will win, and what their own experiences were like on TV. In the spiel, the governmental vacancies thanks to Trump. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 10, 2020
What’s John Bolton’s Game?
1760
On the Gist, the Iran story isn’t over yet. In the interview, Slate’s Jim Newell is here to talk with Mike about John Bolton. They discuss why Bolton has announced he’s available to be subpoenaed by Congress, how this might play out, and where the Senate and the House stand. In the spiel, Jim Acosta’s commentary. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 09, 2020
The World’s Worst Extortion Racket
1813
On the Gist, Trump’s letters to Iraq. In the interview, journalist Lauren Chooljian is here to talk about her podcast series Stranglehold. It focuses on the New Hampshire primary, how it continues to be first primary in the nation, and what long-running New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner has to do with it. In the spiel, trying to get paid to leave Iraq. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 08, 2020
Trump’s Iranian Connection
2337
On the Gist, Kellyanne Conway and unnecessary clarifications. In the interview, New Yorker writer Adam Davidson is here to talk about Trump’s business dealings in Iran. Based on his past reporting, Davidson discusses with Mike how Trump became financially involved with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, a military force in Iran, and what impact that has had on recent events. In the spiel, movies and TV. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 07, 2020
Starting a War
1772
On the Gist, the Quds force. In the interview, Slate’s Fred Kaplan is here to talk with Mike about the recent action the Trump administration has taken against Iran. They discuss what impact the death of Qasem Soleimani will have on the Middle East, the United State’s relationship with Iran and Iraq, and why this appears to be an act of war. Kaplan writes the War Stories column for Slate. In the spiel, Soleimani and war. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 04, 2020
Julián Is Through-lian
1580
On the Gist, guns in Louisiana and New York. In the interview, the second part of our Zero Blog Thirty interview where Mike talks to Chaps and Kate about Chaps being a dog handler in the Marines and all the ways it’s different than we think it is. In the spiel, Castro is out. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 03, 2020
The Stories the Gist Skipped in 2019
1881
On the Gist, Mike makes predictions about what happened the week of Christmas. In the spiel, Mike reflects on 2019. He shares a rundown of what he didn’t cover, and a few particular standout moments from this year’s episodes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 30, 2019
Approving War Crimes?
1894
On the Gist, John Bolton. In the interview, Mike talks to the hosts of Zero Blog Thirty, a podcast about the military from those who've lived it. They discuss the recent news about the Afghanistan papers, how Trump handled all the recent war criminals, and finding a space to talk about the inside baseball of the armed forces. Zero Blog Thirty is a podcast from Barstool, which you can listen to here. In the spiel, ‘tis the political season.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 23, 2019
Ignoring Iowa
1849
On the Gist, Pete Buttigieg and wine bars. In the interview, Mike talks to actor Rhea Seehorn and creator Mike Sacks about their new Audible original Passable in Pink, a satire of John Hughes films. They discuss their shared love of Hughes’ movies, how films like 16 Candles have held up in 2019, and the behind-the-scenes audio wizardry that made Passable in Pink come to life. In the spiel, Julian Castro’s attempt to revive his campaign.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 21, 2019
The Democrats Hardly Knew Jeff Van Drew
1830
On The Gist, impartial jurors for impeachment. In the interview, Pat Garofalo, managing editor of TalkPoverty.org is here to discuss his new book The Billionaire Boondoggle: How Our Politicians Let Corporations and Bigwigs Steal Our Money and Jobs. He and Mike the actual economic impact of things like the Super Bowl, and why cities might want to reconsider offering so many subsidies to companies. In the spiel, Jeff Van Drew. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 20, 2019
Pontius Pilate, Democrat
2231
On the Gist, the third impeachment in U.S. history. In the interview, Mike talks to reporter Dan Weissmann about the cost of healthcare, the horror stories of people navigating the complicated system, and what at all can be done to fix it. Dan’s healthcare podcast is An Arm and a Leg. In the spiel, Jesus and Trump.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 19, 2019
Capitalism Won. Now What?
2375
On the Gist, how government should work. In the interview, Mike talks to economist Branko Milanovic about the various forms of capitalism that exist in the world today, the role of higher education signaling in American society, and the ways to reduce the negative effects of inequality. His new book is Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World. In the spiel, the case for Mike Bloomberg. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 18, 2019
The Youthful Power of Greta Thunberg
2059
On the Gist, impeachment and partisanship. In the interview, Mike talks to Jonathan Metzl, Vanderbilt University professor and the research director of The Safe Tennessee Project. They discuss the latest Supreme Court case that examined a person’s right to bear arms in New York City, how the justices ruled, and what this case means for the second amendment in the future. Jonathan’s latest book is Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America's Heartland. In the spiel, Greta Thunberg is older than she looks. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 17, 2019
The Kakistocracy Depends on the Cacophony
1860
On the Gist, birds and Debird. In the interview, Mike talks to journalist and CNN correspondent Peter Bergen about Trump’s national security team, the internal feuds, and why the key players of this team have all left, three years later. His new book is Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos. In the spiel, the Republicans need all the noise to continue. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 14, 2019
The Politics of Humor
1705
On the Gist, trade symbols. In the interview, Mike talks to Dannagal Goldthwaite Young about satire, irony, and humor in a politically divided world. They discuss successful and not-so-successful examples of conservative political satire, how humor differs on the right and left, and the psychology behind comedy. Her new book is Irony and Outrage: The Polarized Landscape of Rage, Fear, and Laughter in the United States. In the spiel, the pace of impeachment. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 13, 2019
Discredited Nincompoop Nunes Is (Slightly) Vindicated
1936
On the Gist, the problem with democracies. In the interview, Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution and Lawfare is on the phone with Mike today to talk about Devin Nunes’ memo from 2017 in light of the recent Inspector General’s report. What did Nunes get right and wrong? And was it enough to let us stop calling him a nincompoop? In the spiel, McKinsey and Pete Buttigieg. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 12, 2019
Expecting History to Judge
2039
On the Gist, William Barr and malfeasance. In the interview, comedians Drennon Davis and Mike Phirman are here to talk about their podcast Bandtastic, a sci-fi musical for the family. They talk with Mike about how the project came about, adult and child humor, and DJ Yeah. In the spiel, impeachment and history.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 11, 2019
Not a Point of Order
1978
On the Gist, fighting Biden. In the interview, Mike talks to sports journalist and author Joe Posnanski about the elusive Houdini. They talk about how Erik Weisz became the great Harry Houdini, how the man transformed himself from failing magician to famous escape artist, and the myths shrouding his mysterious death. Joe’s book is The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini. In the spiel, points of order. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 10, 2019
The Truth Behind the Steele Dossier
1550
On The Gist, Chuck Todd. In the Interview, former The Wall Street Journal reporter and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson is here to talk with Mike about the Steele dossier, the infamous pee tape, and his regrets and hopes around the dossier’s coverage. His new book with co-author Peter Fritsch is Crime in Progress: Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump. In the Spiel, Cory Booker’s theory on why Kamala Harris dropped out.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 07, 2019
Biden Wants a Fight
1924
On The Gist, UNESCO. In the Interview, Mike talks to Bina Venkataraman, The Boston Globe editorial page editor. They talk about the best ways to tackle climate change, how to encourage people to think long-term, and whether or not humanity will make it past the year 2200. Her new book is The Optimist's Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age. In the Spiel, Joe Biden confronting an 83-year-old farmer in Iowa. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 06, 2019
Making the Worse Argument
2089
On The Gist, unpopular opinions. In the Interview, Mike talks to actor Kal Penn about his sitcom Sunnyside. They discuss how he came up with the idea for the show, his time working for the Obama administration, and the Easter eggs hidden throughout the season. You can watch Sunnyside on Hulu, Amazon, and other streaming platforms. In the Spiel, the rebuttal to impeachment. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 05, 2019
Kamala Is Out
1681
On The Gist, Kamala Harris.  In the Interview, Mike talks to Slate writer Julia Craven about Kamala Harris’ decision to end her White House bid, the internal crises that broke out within her campaign, and why, after a promising start, she struggled to stand out in the crowded Democratic race. In the Spiel, a sperm whale and straws.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 04, 2019
Alex Gibney's Citizen K
2399
On The Gist, Chuck Todd did good. In the interview, documentarian Alex Gibney is here to discuss his newest film, Citizen K, about former Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Putin’s Russia. They discuss what led to Khodorkovsky’s exile, and the way his story reveals the current state of Russian affairs. In the Spiel, Mike’s Thanksgiving weekend. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 03, 2019
The Great Denial
1928
On The Gist, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Maria Konnikova is back for another “Is That Bullshit?” In the Interview, she talks to Mike about DOGTV, a cable network made for dogs. Maria breaks down whether or not DOGTV helps dogs feel a little less lonely while their owners are away and if DOGTV programming is truly relaxing for dogs. Maria’s latest book is The Confidence Game. In the Spiel, Rep. Jim Jordan and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 28, 2019
The Business of Apples
1779
On The Gist, beavers. In the interview, Mike talks to The Sporkful host Dan Pashman about Washington State University’s latest creation—the Cosmic Crisp apple. Pashman explains the birth of this new apple, how it compares to other varieties, and quizzes Mike in a game called "Apple Variety or New England Town." Listen to The Sporkful episode, “A New Apple Is Born,” wherever you get your podcasts. In the Spiel, Prince Andrew.  Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 27, 2019
Paving the Way to Progressive America
2225
On The Gist, Nikki Haley. In the interview, Mike talks to Senator Sherrod Brown about his new book Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America. They talk about these forgotten figures, what people can learn from them, and the power and limits of bi-partisanship. In the Spiel, South Carolina. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 26, 2019
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Game
1990
On The Gist, Joe Biden again. Then Mike speaks with Slate blogger Ben Mathis-Lilley about impeachment. And we end with an interview with Chris Molanphy, who is back to run through the nominees for this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He and Mike talk about the new nominees, those who’ve appeared time and again, and the game theory of it all. Chris is the host of Hit Parade and writes the column “Why Is This Song Number One?” Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 22, 2019
David Shulkin Knows Sacrifice
1922
On The Gist, is Pete Buttigieg ready? In the interview, Mike talks to former United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin about his time in office, how he drastically reduced wait times at VA medical centers, and the infamous tweet that got him fired. His new book is It Shouldn't Be This Hard to Serve Your Country: Our Broken Government and the Plight of Veterans. In the Spiel, Fiona Hill.  Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 22, 2019
Gordon Sondland Has No Clue
1856
On The Gist, Representative John Ratcliffe. In the interview, Mike talks to CIA whistleblower Jeffery Sterling about his CIA career, how he blew the whistle on a bungled covert operation in Iran in 2015, and his life after serving time. His new book is Unwanted Spy: The Persecution of an American Whistleblower. In the Spiel, Gordon Sondland.  Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 21, 2019
Another Day, Another Impeachment Hearing
2035
On The Gist, the MSNBC and The Washington Post Democratic debate. In the interview, Mike talks to actor June Diane Raphael of Grace and Frankie about her call to activism after the 2016 election, working with Emily’s List, and encouraging more women to run for office. Her new book is Represent: The Woman’s Guide to Running for Office and Changing the World. In the Spiel, the impeachment saga.  Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 20, 2019
Crowdfunding Creativity
2111
On The Gist, Pete Buttigieg. In the interview, Mike talks to Yancey Strickler, co-founder of Kickstarter, about the company’s origins, the challenges of developing creator guidelines, and what he thinks about wealth in the tech industry. His new book is This Could Be Our Future. In the Spiel, Mayor Bloomberg and stop-and-frisk. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 19, 2019
Devin Nunes Is a Nincompoop
1755
On The Gist, Elizabeth Warren’s new plan. In the interview, Jamil Zaki is here to discuss his new book The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World. He and Mike debate the merits of sympathy versus empathy, and discuss the ways we view empathy may not be the way we live with it. In the Spiel, Devin Nunes, disgraced nincompoop. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 16, 2019
The Business of Celebrity Tabloids
1647
On The Gist, Nancy Pelosi.  In the interview, Mike talks to filmmaker Mark Landsman and former National Enquirer editor-in-chief Steve Coz about their new documentary Scandalous: The True Story of the National Enquirer. They discuss ethics, Trump, and how the publication’s tactics have changed over the years. In the Spiel, need a dose of pizzazz? Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 15, 2019
The Threat of Democracy
1952
On The Gist, Purple: Project for Democracy. In the interview, Mike talks to writer and National Review editor Rich Lowry about the tradition of American nationalism, how to reclaim the term, and why we need it more than ever. His new book is The Case for Nationalism: How It Made Us Powerful, United, and Free. In the Spiel, the impeachment hearing, Giuliani, and corruption. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 14, 2019
For the Love of Scandal
2090
On The Gist, treason and bribery.  In the interview, Irish writer and critic Fintan O’Toole talks to Mike about Brexit, the nationalist wave sweeping England, and country’s future without the European Union. His book The Politics of Pain: Postwar England and the Rise of Nationalism is out now.  In the Spiel, scandals and apologies. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 13, 2019
The Imperfect Republican Defense
1602
On The Gist, partisanship. In the interview, Brian T. Brown is here to talk about his new book, Someone Is Out to Get Us: A Not So Brief History of Cold War Paranoia and Madness. He and Mike discuss the ways the US and the USSR felt about each other, how those feelings persist today, and the different intelligence structures in the US and Russia. In the Spiel, Republicans and impeachment. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 12, 2019
Edward Norton’s Motherless Brooklyn
2020
On The Gist, the new book by the anonymous member of the White House. In the interview, Mike talks to actor Edward Norton about his new film Motherless Brooklyn. They discuss Robert Moses’s complicated legacy in New York, his early beginnings volunteering as a public housing advocate, and working with Alec Baldwin to make this movie come alive. Motherless Brooklyn is in theaters now. In the Spiel, Pete Buttigieg and Black voters. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 09, 2019
Steve Bullock’s Blue-Collar Candidacy
1963
On The Gist, taxing Bill Gates. In the interview, Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana is here to talk with Mike about his run for the Democratic nomination. They discuss how Bullock’s work on campaign finance reform in Montana, how he alters his message for local and national audiences, and what he thinks of the penny. In the Spiel, Pete Buttigieg’s lack of experience. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 08, 2019
The Policy Popularity Game
1929
On The Gist, political correctness? In the interview, Mike talks to political scientist James A. Robinson about why some nations have more liberty than others and what nations can do to uphold freedom in the face of political threats. His new book, co-written with Daron Acemoglu, is The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty. In the Spiel, popular policies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 07, 2019
Another Plan for That?
2053
On The Gist, it’s not good to agree with Donald Trump, Jr. In the interview, race car driver Michael Waltrip and filmmaker Paul Taublieb are here to talk with Mike about the new documentary Blink of an Eye based on the book of the same name about racing, Waltrip’s his relationship with Dale Earnhardt, Sr., and the fateful day of Earnhardt’s crash. The film is currently available to stream digitally. In the Spiel, Elizbeth Warren’s healthcare plan.  Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 06, 2019
Kellyanne Conway’s Fibs and Half-Truths
2137
On The Gist, socialism and taxes. In the interview, Thomas Chatterton Williams talks to Mike about why it’s important to reject social constructs like race, how he has reckoned with these categories, and what he has learned about identity as a parent. His new book is Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race. In the Spiel, Kellyanne Conway.  Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 05, 2019
The Future for Democrats
2672
On The Gist, Mike went to Politicon this past weekend and moderated the panel What Now Democrats, featuring James Carville, Joe Lockhart, Zerlina Maxwell, Kyle Kulinski and Jess McIntosh. They debate the future of the party, what kinds of issues will matter in 2020, and what they should stop fighting over. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 01, 2019
The Truth About Impossible Burgers
1736
On The Gist, presidential incompetency at its finest. In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for “Is That Bullshit?” She and Mike figure out what are really in Impossible and Beyond burgers and if they’re healthier than red meat burgers. Maria’s latest book is The Confidence Game. In the Spiel, the ridiculous world of taxonomy.  Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 01, 2019
Tupac and Biggie: What Really Happened?
1879
On The Gist, ghosts aren’t real. In the interview, Mike talks to Slate writer and Slow Burn host Joel Anderson about the new season, the hidden facts he learned about Tupac and Biggie, and the latest revelations he uncovered documenting the biggest hip-hop legends ever. Listen to Slow Burn here. In the Spiel, guessing what Trump says. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 30, 2019
Samantha Power’s Atrocity Prevention
1999
On The Gist, Melinda Gates and empowering women. In the final part of Mike’s two-part interview with U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, they talk about the right and wrong ways to handle human rights atrocities across the world and their love of baseball. To learn more, read her new book The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir. In the Spiel, the Katie Hill scandal continues.  Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 30, 2019
The Fall of Katie Hill
2283
On The Gist, socialism and millennials. In the first part of a two-part interview, Mike talks to Samantha Power, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, about the early beginnings of the Syrian crisis, her role in trying to stop the Assad regime, and what she has learned from her mistakes during that critical time. Her new book is The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir. In the Spiel, Katie Hill’s resignation.  Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 29, 2019
Joel Stein Knows You’re Elitist
1940
On The Gist, understanding the differences between Hispanic and Latinx. In the interview, Mike talks to journalist Joel Stein about elitism in 2019, how Trump is really part of the elite, and what the future holds for populism across the world. His new book is In Defense of Elitism: Why I'm Better Than You and You're Better Than Someone Who Didn't Buy This Book. In the Spiel, Trump and pies.  Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 25, 2019
What Is Zuckerberg’s Time Worth?
2185
On The Gist, Katie Hill’s throuple. In the interview, Mike talks to writer Coleman Hughes about how his childhood shaped his views on race in America, his case against reparations, and what he’s working on next in the world of philosophy. In the Spiel, how much is Mark Zuckerberg’s time worth? Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 25, 2019
Facebook Should Fact-Check
1982
On The Gist, storming the SCIF. In the interview, podcast producer and Canadian Chris Berube is here to talk with Mike about the recent Canadian election, how much shorter their elections are, and the government Trudeau has had to cobble together. Berube is a producer for 99% Invisible.  In the Spiel, Facebook and fact-checking. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 24, 2019
Thinking Outside the America Box
1885
On The Gist, racial slurs and context. In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for another round of “Is That Bullshit?” This time, she and Mike figure out if sunscreen is good for us, what we should be wary of, and why many of us need more sunlight. Maria’s latest book is The Confidence Game. In the Spiel, the Canadian election. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 23, 2019
Cracking Trump’s Code
1866
On The Gist, Trump is no George Washington. In the interview, Stephen Martin and Joseph Marks are here to discuss their new book Messengers: Who We Listen To, Who We Don’t, and Why. They talk about why the expert isn’t always the best vessel for information, the power dynamics involved, and why famous people often end up with that job. In the Spiel, the indirect language of Trump. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 22, 2019
Meghan Daum’s Problem With Everything
1961
On The Gist, Gordon Sondland testified before Congress. In the interview, Meghan Daum is here to talk with Mike Pesca about her new book The Problem with Everything: My Journey Through the New Culture Wars. They discuss toughness versus sensitivity, age differences, and how we should appreciate the confusion of this time more. In the Spiel, a dodeca-antentwig. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 19, 2019
The Curdling Affair in Syria
1904
On The Gist, what does quid pro quo even mean? In the interview, Mike talks to Ash Carter about his time as the 25th Secretary of Defense, what he would have down if he were Jim Mattis, and what he thinks about Trump’s military strategy in Syria. In the Spiel, Trump and Erdogan are back at it again. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 18, 2019
Unmasking the Watchmen
1994
On The Gist, the October CNN democratic debate. In the interview, Mike talks to director and executive producer Nicole Kassell about directing the Watchmen pilot, the show’s many Easter eggs, and how they honor the real-life 1921 riot in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In the Spiel, why no one supports Trump’s strategy with the Kurds. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 17, 2019
Shea Serrano’s Great Movie Debates
1909
On The Gist, too many candidates? In the interview, Shea Serrano is back to talk with Mike about his newest book Movies (And Other Things). They talk about Armageddon, why Booksmart will have such longevity and importance, and watching movies with your children. In the Spiel, George and Kellyanne Conway.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 16, 2019
Giuliani Whisperer
1902
On The Gist, Trump’s trade war with China. In the interview, Mike talks to writer Elaina Plott about her reporting on Rudy Giuliani, new White House counsel Pat Cipollone, and the future of the impeachment hearings. Plott is a staff writer at the Atlantic. Read her work here.  In the Spiel, the CNN LGBTQ+ Equality Town Hall.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 12, 2019
Who Deserves the Right to Vote?
2175
On The Gist, how should we feel about Ellen and George W. Bush? In the interview, Desmond Meade of the Florida Restorative Rights Coalition is here to talk with Mike about the recent movement in Florida to give voting rights back to individuals who have previous committed felonies. They talk about how quickly the measure passed, what regaining voting rights really means, and who is actually most affected by these laws. In the Spiel, should plans for the LGBTQ community really have been the second ever CNN town hall this year? Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 11, 2019
Uncomplicating the NBA and China
1951
On The Gist, what Trump is doing to the Kurds is everybody’s fault but Trump’s. In the interview, Mike talks to Ozy's national politics reporter Nick Fouriezos about U.S. voter apathy, where its most prevalent, and its ramifications for future elections. You can read Fouriezos’ piece, “Who Cares: Inside America's Apathy Belt,” in Ozy. In the Spiel, the fight between China and the NBA isn’t complicated. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 10, 2019
Selling Out the Kurds
2272
On The Gist, Trump and the Kurds. In the interview, Mike talks to Aaron Mehta, deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News. They talk about why Ukraine wants javelin missiles, the internal conflicts in the Pentagon, and China’s rising military dominance.  In the Spiel, the American sports media's reactions to Daryl Morey.  Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 09, 2019
The Cowardice of the NBA
2055
On The Gist, Daryl Morey versus NBA China. In the interview, Comedy Bang Bang host Scott Aukerman is here to talk about Between Two Ferns: The Movie, the early beginnings of the Between Two Ferns show, and how he writes and directs great cringe comedy. You can watch the movie on Netflix. In the Spiel, the cost of too little or too much deference. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 08, 2019
Norbert Leo Butz Is on the Long Haul
1939
On The Gist, dishonesty and the media. In the interview, Norbert Leo Butz is a Broadway powerhouse who’s been in all sorts of projects like Wicked and Catch Me If You Can, but he’s also a talented musician out with a new album, The Long Haul. He’s here to talk with Mike about his new music, how he fit writing it into his life, and the business of Broadway. In the Spiel, is Donald Trump’s presidency more dangerous than Andrew Johnson’s? Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 05, 2019
Gary Gulman’s Great Depresh
1502
On The Gist, getting pronunciations right and extremely wrong. In the interview, comedian Gary Gulman talks to Mike about his new HBO comedy special The Great Depresh, how he talks about mental health on stage, and the magic of vision boards. In the Spiel, the Ukraine saga. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 04, 2019
Presidential Temper Tantrums
1764
On The Gist, suing the swamp. In the interview, Marc Randolph is here to talk with Mike about the early beginnings of Netflix, his relationship with co-founder Reed Hastings, and what he’s doing now post-Netflix. Randolph’s new book is That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea. In the Spiel, accusing somebody of treason might be a reason to impeach. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 03, 2019
ZuckyLeaks
2185
On The Gist, the Zuckerberg audio leaks. In the interview, Martha Minow is here to talk with Mike about forgiveness, who should be forgiven, and how to incorporate more forgiveness in the U.S. legal system. Minow’s new book is When Should Law Forgive? In the Spiel, class resentment. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 02, 2019
The Self-Impeacher in Chief
1764
On The Gist, what’s going on at Café Altura? In the interview, journalist Amanda Aronczyk is here to talk with Mike about her recent series for WNYC’s The Stakes podcast, “A History of Persuasion.” Through the lens of Ted Kaczynski she explores the way behavioral psychology has been used to shape the way we think, and how the manipulation has only ramped up thanks to the tech industry. In the Spiel, Giuliani, Stephen Miller, and self-impeachment. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 01, 2019
Whistleblower Woes
1947
On The Gist, Trump and Ukraine-gate?  In the interview, journalist and author Mary Lane is here to talk with Mike about Hitler’s art, how he seized “degenerate” art in Germany, and the people who finally recovered these lost works in 2013. Lane’s new book is Hitler's Last Hostages: Looted Art and the Soul of the Third Reich. In the Spiel, the whistleblower complaint.  Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 28, 2019
The Power of Greta Thunberg
1630
On The Gist, MSNBC cutting Trump’s speech short. In the interview, writer Katy Lederer is here to talk with Mike about Greta Thunberg, why she’s such a force, and if she will bring about any change. Lederer’s latest piece on Thunberg is “Can They Read,” in n+1. In the Spiel, whistleblowing and the Maguire hearing.  Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 26, 2019
The Beginning of Impeachment
1941
On The Gist, the beginning of the Trump and Ukraine analysis. In the interview, CIA alum and head of Lawfare David Priess is here to talk with Mike about impeachment, the Ukraine phone call, and this time things are different. Priess’ latest book is How to Get Rid of a President: History’s Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives.   In the Spiel, Trump’s press conference and meeting with the Ukraine president. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 26, 2019
Lauren Duca Wants a Revolution
2064
On The Gist, journalist Lauren Duca is here to talk with Mike about her new book, inspiring young people to get more involved in politics, how activism and journalism might intersect, and the problems with our binary political system. Duca’s new book is How to Start a Revolution: Young People and the Future of Politics. In the Spiel, impeachment? Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 25, 2019
Hungry for Murder
1707
On The Gist, the news we missed during Comedy Week.  In the interview, Rachel Monroe is here to talk with Mike about why people, and women in particular, are so interested in true crime. Is it a new thing or just newly popular? Does being an at-home sleuth help in any way? Monroe’s new book is Savage Appetites: Four Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession.  In the Spiel, Trump and the hostless Emmy Awards. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 24, 2019
Comedy Week: Late-Night
2120
On The Gist, late-night writers Steve Waltien, Bryan Tucker, and Alison Leiby sit down with Mike to discuss what it’s like to write on a late-night show. How do they deal with the constant churn of topical humor? Why is it so difficult to continue laughing through Trump? And what is the Sean Penn test? Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 20, 2019
Comedy Week: Film
2007
On The Gist, screenwriters Dana Fox and John August, and film critic K. Austin Collins are here to talk all about the comedy film. What makes a funny movie? how has that changed over the years? And has humor just creeped its way into all the other genres without us realizing? Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 19, 2019
Comedy Week: Podcasts
2194
On The Gist, our third part of comedy week is all about comedy podcasts. Podcast hosts Jesse Thorn and Ron Funches join Mike to talk about the wide variety of comedy podcasts, how they both got started, and why they are such a freeing avenue for comedians.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 19, 2019
Comedy Week: Improv
2353
On The Gist, our second installment in this week of comedy focuses on the world of improv. Improvisers Amber Nash, TJ Jagodowski, and Zach Cherry join Mike to talk about what the improv scene is like in their respective cities, how the form has grown so quickly in the last 30 years, and why collaboration is such an exciting way to get a laugh. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 17, 2019
Comedy Week: Stand-Up Comedy
2308
On The Gist, we’re kicking off our week on the world of comedy by talking to three comedians about the state of stand-up comedy. Adam Ferrara, Aparna Nancherla, and Hari Kondabolu talk with Mike about the way they perform, how they interact with their audience and fans, and pushing boundaries in the art form. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 16, 2019
Do the Hustle
1973
On The Gist, questions the debate needed. In the interview, director Lorene Scafaria is here to talk with Mike about the new film Hustlers. They discuss recruiting Jennifer Lopez, Lizzo, and Cardi B, the importance of Chopin, and filming at a strip club.    In the Spiel, the crazy things said during the debate. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 14, 2019
Leave It to Lovett
1833
On The Gist, what should we care about?  In the interview, Jon Lovett is here to talk with Mike about Joe Biden, debate in liberal roundtables, the Overton window, and the live Lovett or Leave It show at Radio City Music Hall on September 13, 2019. In the Spiel, Joe Biden is fading. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 13, 2019
The Ousting of Donald Sterling
1996
On The Gist, Fort Campbell middle schoolers and the border wall. In the interview, journalist Ramona Shelburne is here to talk about her new five-part 30 for 30 series on Donald Sterling and the Clippers. She and Mike discuss how she started covering the Clippers, reporting out the Sterling story at the time, and the subsequent fallout. Her new series is The Sterling Affairs.  In the Spiel, Donald Sterling, Donald Trump, and the for-profit presidency. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 12, 2019
The Made-for-TV President
1702
On The Gist, Bolton is out. In the interview, New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik is here to talk about his new book about Trump and television. He and Mike discuss how the increasing variety of television networks and the boom of reality TV led to Trump, and his similarities to the classic anti-hero trope. Poniewozik’s new book is Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America. In the Spiel, mass shootings and mental health. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 10, 2019
Scientific Solutions to Absurdity
1777
On The Gist, Trump and Scotland. In the interview, creator of xkcd Randall Munroe is here to talk about his new book How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems. He and Mike talk about puzzling out the chicken and the egg, testing nuclear weapons on beverages, and how Serena Williams fits into his scientific exploration. In the Spiel, the Taliban and Camp David. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 10, 2019
It’s an Economist’s World
1906
On The Gist, Trump’s lightbulbs. In the interview, economists weren’t always at the levers of public policy in America. The New York Times’ Binyamin Appelbaum tracked the profession’s post-war movement into power, and how the laissez-faire philosophy economists (by and large) brought with them has failed us. Appelbaum is the author of The Economists' Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society. In the Spiel, hurricanes and global warming. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 07, 2019
How We Speak Internet
1843
On The Gist, Mike Pence and Boris Johnson. In the interview, it’s internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch on how the language we use has been shaped by the information superhighway—and for starters, people never say “information superhighway” anymore. They also write more (everyone’s a writer on the internet) and less formally, though without shedding whatever regional dialect they may have. McCulloch is the author of Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language. In the Spiel, the climate change debate. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 06, 2019
Lobbying for Good?
2428
On The Gist, it’s Boris Johnson’s show now. In the interview, Thomas Sheridan isn’t your mother’s lobbyist—or wait, maybe he is? His firm, the Sheridan Group, fights for social change. He tells Mike about why lobbyists aren’t all bad, how he got his start, and the tough battles he’s faced over the years. Sheridan’s new book is Helping the Good Do Better: How a White Hat Lobbyist Advocates for Social Change. In the Spiel, there’s a solution to higher rates of maternal mortality among black women, and it involves putting the problem in perspective. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 05, 2019
The Big Power of Right-Wing Radio
1867
On The Gist, how hurricanes are like racism.  In the interview, talk radio has shaped so much of our political discourse, often in ways we don’t even realize. Brian Rosenwald sought to figure out just how much influence it’s had and condensed it all into his new book Talk Radio’s America: How an Industry Took Over a Political Party That Took Over the United States. He’s here to talk with Mike about Rush Limbaugh’s early years, the outsized importance of Roger Ailes, and where this leaves us today. In the Spiel, president Trump’s pre-hurricane golfing is the last thing we should be worrying about. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 03, 2019
To Greta Goes the Glory?
1896
On The Gist, this week in the news, truth is stranger than science fiction. In the interview, guest host Seth Stevenson talks to the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. And it turns out that when you’re a citizen for responsibility and ethics, as Noah Bookbinder is, you see plenty going wrong in Washington. In the Spiel, Greta Thunberg’s cross-Atlantic trip was an exercise in inconvenience. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 29, 2019
The Mystery of Ivanka Trump
1992
On The Gist, journalist and podcast host Lauren Ober was shocked to realize Chelsea Manning is back in jail. In the interview, Ober talks with journalist Vanessa Grigoriadis about the new podcast Tabloid: The Making of Ivanka Trump. What’s it like to go from aspiring socialite to familial lackey? Is there any room for pity? And when is she headed for Burning Man? In the Spiel, female political fashion. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 28, 2019
They Tried to Cancel You
1917
On The Gist, journalist Katie Herzog fills in for Mike Pesca and focuses on cancel culture.  In the interview, Herzog interviews filmmaker Rhys Ernst about his new film Adam, and the queer backlash against the film. What’s it like for your own community to try and cancel you? Is all the extra publicity a good thing? And how does attempted cancellation age? In the Spiel, unproductive Antifa protests. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 27, 2019
What’s in a Face, Anyway?
1961
On The Gist, Trump is a bad negotiator. In the interview, you’ve probably heard of face blindness. And you possibly wondered whether it was a real thing. Do some people really walk the world, full of other people as it is, without the ability to recognize them from their features? They do. Sadie Dingfelder shared her experience over at the Washington Post, and does so now on The Gist. In the Spiel, the Everything Is Alive tariff-a-thon. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 26, 2019
David Koch Was Bad. But Evil? Eh.
2011
On The Gist, if an eleventh Democratic candidate makes the next debate in Houston, we’ll hear more from all of them (because they’ll be split across two nights!). In the interview, it’s part II of Mike’s discussion with Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley. They talk about the filibuster (this junior senator says “it has to go”) and the daunting task that is healing the upper chamber of Congress. Merkley is the author of America Is Better Than This: Trump's War Against Migrant Families. In the Spiel, the David Koch obituaries are in. But are they fair? Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 24, 2019
Visiting the Migrant Families in Crisis
2020
On The Gist, the Amazon is on fire. In the interview, Sen. Jeff Merkley was the first member of Congress to visit the migrant detention centers along the border and view the atrocious ways we were treating the people forced to live there. He’s here to talk with Mike about the crisis, the failure of the Trump administration, and what we can do about it. His new book is America Is Better Than This: Trump’s War Against Migrant Families. In the Spiel, Trump and Israel. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 23, 2019
Trump Is America
1805
On The Gist, Scaramucci was wrong about Trump. In the interview, journalist David Robson is here to talk about his new book The Intelligence Trap: Why Smart People Make Dumb Mistakes. He and Mike talk the intelligence quotient, the blind spots smart people have, and why it might be a good idea to talk about yourself in the third person. In the Spiel, Trump as all of America. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 22, 2019
When the CIA’s “Dark Side” Works
1851
On The Gist, if Peter Navarro wants to criticize the Wall Street Journal, he really ought to read it once in a while. In the interview, it’s easy to condemn the CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation techniques in retrospect. But as agency alumnus Philip Mudd puts it, “boy, back then, people said ‘take out the stops, make sure it doesn’t happen again.’” He talks about the relative effectiveness of harsh interrogation techniques, and why that shouldn’t be a factor if ever American forces countenance them again (answer: the issue is a moral one). Mudd is a former deputy director at the Counterterrorism Center and the author of Black Site: The CIA in the Post-9/11 World. In the Spiel, there isn’t all that much conservative hand-wringing over the New York Times’ special coverage of historical slavery in America… but what’s there is pretty uninspired. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 21, 2019
Tim Ryan’s Big Plans
2053
On The Gist, despite what Peter Navarro says, a yield curve inversion there was indeed (and a recession there may be). In the interview, in a Democratic field crowded with grand policy promises, Tim Ryan’s more centrist ideas have been crowded out. But should they be? The Ohio congressman tells Mike about increasing manufacturing and focusing education on social and emotional learning. In the Spiel, the difference between bad politics and bad policy. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 20, 2019
What Happened to Sha Na Na
2022
On The Gist, the varying sizes of Trump and Greenland. In the interview, journalist Steve Rushin is here to talk with Mike about his new memoir Nights at White Castle. They discuss the amorphous nature of nostalgia, why children should go on boring vacations, and the podcast Ball & Chain that he hosts with his wife, basketball great Rebecca Lobo. In the Spiel, Sha Na Na. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 17, 2019
The Leftist Takeover Edition
2039
On The Gist, Slate’s Jordan Weissmann tells guest host Sean McElwee which presidential candidates’ signature ideas are hot (and which are not). In the interview, the Green New Deal isn’t just a set of climate policies—it’s a chance to break with the uneven benefits afforded by the original New Deal and other progressive policies. Julian Brave NoiseCat (McElwee’s colleague at Data for Progress) and activist Adrien Salazar (of the think tank Demos) are in the studio to share their expertise on the stimulus package.    In the Spiel, McElwee digs into polling results from his own Data for Progress. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 15, 2019
The Problem With “White Supremacy”
1980
On The Gist, getting a bit willy-nilly with “white supremacy.” In the interview, John Hickenlooper may be mulling a pivot from presidential to Senate candidate, but he was at the Iowa State Fair to weigh in on issues that affect the entire country—and to strike a moderate tone. In last year’s midterms, he says, “the successful Democrat did not embrace the Green New Deal and did not embrace ‘Medicare for All.’ That’s what we’re going to need to do to beat Donald Trump.”  In the Spiel, there is no greater joy than knowing which kids’ shows—from our own generation or not—are crap. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 14, 2019
Are Attention Spans Shrinking?
1700
On The Gist, Biden’s gaffes. In the interview, Maria Konnikova, author of The Confidence Game, is back for another round of Is That Bullshit? This time she and Mike talk all about attention spans. There always seem to be claims that attention spans are shrinking, but is that true? Should we be worried that we feel distracted more and more or just take a deep breath and embrace it?  In the Spiel, the Ebola cure. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 14, 2019
Who’s the Filibuster For?
2085
On The Gist, the opinions of the people at the Iowa State Fair. In the interview, Jay Inslee was among the 21 Democratic presidential candidates to converge on the Iowa State Fair this past weekend. Washington’s governor grabbed a seat with Mike to talk about applying his state’s environmental victories to the federal level, taxing Amazon, and getting rid of the gridlocking filibuster. In the Spiel, The Gist went to the Iowa State Fair and got answers from Democratic presidential candidates about filibuster reform. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 13, 2019
How to Rob a Bank, And Be Funny While You’re at It
1632
On The Gist, the real consequences of immigration laws. In the interview, Charles Duhigg is who you get when you combine an investigative reporter with an agony aunt. In his new Slate podcast (How To!), he teases out advice on everyday problems, from how to tell a good joke to how to rob a bank (alright, the problems aren’t that common). You can subscribe to How To! on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. In the Spiel, Trump, children, and shootings. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 09, 2019
Politics Is a Circus
1834
On The Gist, Montana has gone a little berserk. In the interview, Joshua Cohen is here to discuss his new book Attention: Dispatches From the Land of Distraction,  and the many discursions he and Mike go on thanks to it. Like the depth of Bernie’s political policies, Trump’s time in Atlantic City, and why the circus is so important to the history of American culture. In the Spiel, Trump’s distraction tactics. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 09, 2019
Turning Out the 2020 Voter
1974
On The Gist, Dayton and El Paso deserve better than the presence of Donald Trump.  In the interview, FiveThirtyEight elections analyst Geoffrey Skelley talks through what Democrats need to do to turn out voters in 2020. Should they focus on the “Obama coalition” that elected him twice? Or is it smarter to turn toward Obama voters that then voted for Trump in 2016? Why not both? In the Spiel, anyone telling you the decade-long Assault Weapons Ban was ineffective is talking nonsense. Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here! Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 07, 2019
Trade War Rumblings? We’re Already In One.
1957
On The Gist, if you want gun control, you clearly have to just vote Democrat. In the interview, the tit-for-tat trade war with China is unceasing. Slate’s Jordan Weissmann tells Mike about the latest developments in the fight between presidents Trump and Xi Jinping, whether or not China is really manipulating its currency, and the potential paths ahead.  In the Spiel, Americans are getting angry over all the wrong things. It’s infuriating! Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 07, 2019
There Are the “Maybe” Factors, and Then There’s the Rifle Factor.
1653
On The Gist, this weekend’s mass shooters had different motives. It won’t do to draw lessons from just one of them. In the interview, Amherst College professor Austin Sarat wants to enlist gun owners themselves in the fight for firearm regulation. “48 percent of gun owners favor a ban on assault weapons,” he says, citing the Pew Research Center. The problem is convincing them that gun control advocates aren’t pushing for full-on confiscation. Sarat is the co-editor of The Lives of Guns. In the Spiel, the one clear factor in America’s growing mass shooting problem? Rifles. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 06, 2019
The Case of “The Case of Al Franken”
2255
On The Gist, a theory as to why we still hear dusty old terms like “happy warrior”—at least during election season. In the interview, Slate writer Christina Cauterucci, who recently wrote about Al Franken, criticizes a recent New Yorker story on the ousted senator. She and Mike break down what they think its author Jane Mayer got wrong and right, the facts of the reporting, and why we shouldn’t think of the #MeToo movement as one with winners and losers. In the Spiel, John Ratcliffe is thankfully out of consideration for the job of Director of National Intelligence. But it’s a shame that he’s still acceptable as a congressman. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 03, 2019
How Fantastic Negrito Started From Scratch
2200
On The Gist, the Democrats making Republican soundbites. In the interview, Fantastic Negrito walked a long and winding road to blues stardom. His first album (under his legal name, Xavier) was a bust—“everyone hated it”—and saw him dropped from his label. He’d also gotten into a serious car accident and sold off his instruments before returning to music. That’s when the Grammys started rolling in—he’s won two in the last three years, for best contemporary blues album. His latest record is Please Don't Be Dead. In the Spiel, Joe Biden at the debate. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 02, 2019
Chuck Klosterman and the Ivory Tower
2002
On The Gist, Jeffrey Epstein’s ideas. In the interview, when Chuck Klosterman writes non-fiction, he worries about missing some grand historical context in a way that would ruin his work. With fiction, that anxiety goes out the window— if someone reads one of his short stories and thinks something “completely unrelated to what I thought, it's still okay.” Klosterman digs into that, the advantages of an education outside the ivory tower, and what the Beatles really did for rock music. His new book of short stories is Raised in Captivity: Fictional Nonfiction. In the Spiel, the first night of the CNN debates and Marianne Williamson. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 01, 2019
The Consultants of Yore Weigh in on 2020
2108
On The Gist, billionaire Tom Steyer didn’t qualify for this round of Democratic debates, but he’s bought a lot of CNN ad space to make up for it. In the interview, political consultants David Axelrod and Mike Murphy have spent years advising politicians on the best ways to run campaigns—Axelrod with Barack Obama and Murphy with candidates like John McCain and Mitt Romney. Now they’ve come together on a new podcast, Hacks on Tap, to talk through how the political machine actually runs, the Democratic debates, and what Trump’s prospects look like in 2020. In the Spiel, among the septuagenarian presidential candidates, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are the only ones with all their marbles. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 31, 2019
How the GOP Got Here
1861
On The Gist, Trump and racism. In the interview, Politico’s Tim Alberta has been covering the Republican Party since 2009, back when it was “totally rudderless and beaten into the ground.” Ten years later, and though in control of the White House, the GOP isn’t in much better shape. Alberta’s new book is American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump.      In the Spiel, impeachment. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 30, 2019
The Lie of Live PD
2536
A few months ago, Dan Taberski joined us to talk about latest season of his Headlong podcast, Running From Cops, focused on reality television shows about police. One series in particular, Live PD, was billed as a documentary but seemed to fall into the same bad practices as other reality programming. Taberski tried to interview the Dan Abrams, the show’s host, and was never able to get him on mic.  Lucky for us, in 2016 Mike interviewed Abrams for The Gist when Live PD was first airing. So we’re airing a few clips of Mike’s conversation with Taberski, the Running From Cops segment about Live PD, and Mike’s 2016 interview with Abrams. Enjoy the cop-a-thon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 25, 2019
Mueller Is No Showman
1674
On The Gist, Robert Mueller was a bit of a broken record in his congressional testimony.  In the interview, David Wolman once happened upon a small Hawaiian museum dedicated to a small crew of cowboys in the state—and that was the first he heard of them. He teamed up with Julian Smith to dig into the fascinating history of these cowpokes and how they dazzled the world at the 1908 World Rodeo Championships. Their new book is Aloha Rodeo: Three Hawaiian Cowboys, the World’s Greatest Rodeo, and a Hidden History of the American West. In the Spiel, we’ve perhaps seen the last of Robert Mueller’s public statements. And the impeachment needle hasn’t moved one bit. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 25, 2019
How to Talk About Addiction
1803
On The Gist, the governor of Puerto Rico will not seek reelection. In the interview, Chris Herren’s NBA career ended largely because of drug abuse that started in his teens. Now he speaks to thousands of students about making better choices—not by using the fear tactics often deployed in American schools, but by examining the emotions tied to substance use. Herren’s presentations are the subject of a new ESPN documentary, The First Day.   In the Spiel, Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 24, 2019
Robert Mueller’s Return
1977
On The Gist, Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony isn’t likely to increase the pressure on president Trump.  In the interview, losing weight is hard, but keeping it off is even harder. What can successful dieters do to maintain their goals, and are reality TV shows like The Biggest Loser painting a rosy picture? Gist regular Maria Konnikova dug into the science, and brings answers on the latest segment of Is That Bullshit? Konnikova is the author of The Confidence Game.    In the Spiel, former Sen. Al Franken was hard done by. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 23, 2019
The Moon Landing’s Glory Has Faded
2177
On The Gist, why the moon landing’s 50th anniversary isn’t getting all that much attention. In the interview, success stories are great, but what about those business ventures that end in spectacular failure? Those tales are often better. Lauren Ober hosts the Spectacular Failures podcast, where beer makers, hotel chains, and (in an upcoming episode) Trump’s casinos meet their end.  In the Spiel, it’s an Antentwig, where Mike responds to feedback from listeners. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 19, 2019
How Michael Bennet Wants to Fix America
1925
On The Gist, Ivanka Trump is every bit the monster her father is. In the interview, Senator Michael Bennet is here to talk about his campaign for president and his new book The Land of Flickering Lights: Restoring America in an Age of Broken Politics. He and Mike discuss Bennet’s family plan, the importance of the filibuster, and why centrism needs to work on its branding. In the Spiel, there is no Spiel! Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 18, 2019
The EPA Is Losing Its Mandate
1906
On The Gist, Chance the snapper.  In the interview, former EPA head Gina McCarthy expected the Trump administration’s backwardness on climate change—but not on no-brainers like limits on power plant mercury emissions and auto industry regulation, both of which were being complied with. “They’re just obsessed with undoing everything Obama did. You can tell this with Trump. He’s still somehow campaigning against Obama.” McCarthy was the EPA’s administrator from 2013 to 2017, and now teaches at the Harvard School of Public Health.  In the Spiel, which mythical being is Trump most like? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 18, 2019
Trump Will Lose in 2020
1864
On The Gist, it’s a good day for those who love quarterly fundraising numbers among Democratic presidential candidates! In the interview, we’re used to the Nate Silver approach to election forecasting, using constantly changing polling data to predict the likelihood of this or that result. But Rachel Bitecofer, assistant director of the Wason Center for Public Policy, has a better way. Her new model, based on negative partisanship and demographics, is more static, and proved spot-on in 2018. So what does it have to say for 2020?  In the Spiel, a theory on what’s really keeping Kellyanne and George Conway together. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 17, 2019
Bring Back Late-Night Cruelty
1975
On The Gist, Elizabeth Warren and ICE.  In the interview, Jason Zinoman, who writes about the New York Times, thinks the late-night shows need to return to the playful cruelty they once had. He and Mike talk about the current state of things, David Letterman’s reign, and why even Letterman seems to have lost his teeth on his new show.  In the Spiel, Trump and tweets about the Congress squad.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 16, 2019
Acosta Is Out
2291
On The Gist, they. In the interview, Emily Bazelon writes for the New York Times magazine, co-hosts Slate’s Political Gabfest, and she’s out with the new book Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration, and its companion podcast. She’s here to talk with Mike about her new projects, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Jeffrey Epstein and New York City gun laws.  In the Spiel, Acosta quits. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 13, 2019
The CIA’s Bad Ideas
1815
On The Gist, the metal straw incident. In the interview, Vince Houghton is a historian and the curator of the International Spy Museum and he’s here to talk about his new book Nuking the Moon: And Other Intelligence Schemes and Military Plots Left on the Drawing Board. Why did we want to drop goat poop on Germans? Can a cat be trained for espionage?  In the Spiel, the citizenship question. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 12, 2019
Soccer’s Pay Parity Problem
2290
On The Gist, the Trump cabinet and violence against women. In the interview, Will Wilkinson from the Niskanen Center is here to talk with Mike about his new paper The Density Divide about the surprising way urbanization affected the rise of populism.  In the Spiel, the good and bad about the pay parity argument in soccer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 11, 2019
The Legacy of Ross Perot
2134
On The Gist, jail time for absurd reasons. In the interview, journalist Jack Fairweather is out with a new book about the untold story of Witold Pilecki, a Polish resistance fighter who chose to get sent to Auschwitz so he could report back on atrocities happening there during World War II. Fairweather’s book is The Volunteer: One Man, an Underground Army, and the Secret Mission to Destroy Auschwitz.  In the Spiel, why Ross Perot was so important to shaping American politics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 10, 2019
Life After Death Row
1985
On The Gist, did Joe Biden’s apology work? In the interview, Anthony Ray Hinton was wrongfully convicted for the murder of two teenagers in Alabama in 1985. After 30 years on death row his conviction was overturned and he was released. He’s since become an advocate for those facing the death penalty and the abolishment of it in the United States, and he’s here to talk with Mike about his experience in prison and life afterward. Hinton’s new book is The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row.  In the Spiel, farewell to Eric Swalwell.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 09, 2019
Let’s Rank the Presidents
2008
On The Gist, should we rethink the structure of a week? In the interview, founding CEO of C-SPAN Brian Lamb and Co-CEO Susan Swain are here to discuss their new book The Presidents: Noted Historians Rank America’s Best—and Worst—Chief Executives. They discuss with Mike the creation of the book, visiting presidential burial places, and some Mike’s favorite things about C-SPAN.  In the Spiel, the passion of Mike Francesa.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 03, 2019
Solving Urban Violence
1909
On The Gist, the Hong Kong protesters and Chinese conspiracies. In the interview, Harvard research fellow Thomas Abt is here to discuss his new book Bleeding Out: The Devestating Consequences of Urban Gun Violence—and a Bold New Plan for Peace in the Streets. He talks with Mike about the ways we misunderstand urban gun violence and what concrete steps communities can talk to solve it.   In the Spiel, Tucker Carlson and Trump. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 03, 2019
Groaning Through Dad Jokes
2001
On The Gist, the South Bend shooting and Pete Buttigieg. In the interview, Jason Zinoman recently wrote about dad jokes for the New York Times so he’s here to talk with Mike about his grand theories, why we love to hate dad jokes, and if they really are as low-brow as people consider them to be.  In the Spiel, the choice the Democrats face. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 02, 2019
Who Is the Real Kim Jong-un?
2065
On The Gist, Joe Biden had no good answers at Thursday’s Democratic debate. In the interview, the Washington Post’s Anna Fifield is out with a new book on Kim Jong-un. She interviewed as many people who have had even a fleeting interaction with the man as possible, in an effort to get the clearest picture yet of what the head of the Kim dynasty is really like. Fifield’s book is The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un.  In the Spiel, Kamala Harris has charisma, but is she a flip-flopper too? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 28, 2019
Pen, Sword, or Rock and Roll
2130
On The Gist, an absurd criminal charge in Alabama.  In the interview, the Iron Curtain couldn’t block radio waves, or, in the ‘50s and ‘60s, a new form of music called rock and roll. András Simonyi, a former Hungarian ambassador to the United States, was electrified by Elvis and the Beatles, and says that “without rock and roll, I don’t think the Soviet Union would have broken up.” Simonyi is the author of Rocking Toward a Free World: When the Stratocaster Beat the Kalashnikov.   In the Spiel, pat them on the back all you want, not every debating Democrat can be a winner.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 28, 2019
Data in the Dugout
2006
On The Gist, the first Democratic primary debate is about to start. In the interview, Ben Lindbergh is a staff writer at the Ringer, host of the Effectively Wild podcast, and author of the new book The MVP Machine: How Baseball’s New Nonconformists Are Using Data to Build Better Players. He’s here to talk America’s favorite pastime, what baseball is like in a post-Moneyball era, and if data is making the game less interesting to watch.  In the Spiel, George Will weighs in on the state of baseball. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 26, 2019
Economic Anxiety? Joy Disagrees.
2316
On The Gist, Trump and Pence talking nonsense. In the interview, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, especially when it comes to elections. MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid figures that “the hungriest constituency” often gets its way at the ballot box. Black voters sent Barack Obama to the White House; xenophobes got their guy in Donald Trump; and in 2020, the group that swings the vote could very well be the women who regret their inaction in 2016—especially if Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren gets the nomination. Reid is the host of AM Joy and the author of The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story.     In the Spiel, the messiness of leadership. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 26, 2019
Erdogan Loses Istanbul. Now What?
1932
On The Gist, Kamala Harris still has a lot to answer for. In the interview, media outlets used to employ ombudsmen—public editors who addressed readers’ concerns and weighed in on a newspaper’s reporting. Those roles have disappeared over the years but the Columbia Journalism Review wants to change that. Kyle Pope, the magazine’s editor, recently announced the hiring of four journalists to publicly engage with the work of the New York Times, the Washington Post, MSNBC, and CNN.  In the Spiel, voters in Istanbul have just rebuked Turkish president Recep Erdogan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 24, 2019
Trump’s Chaotic Approach to Iran
1846
On The Gist, how much sanity does it cost to change a lightbulb?    In the interview, babies don’t come with instructional manuals, but the publishing industry is more than ready to bombard new parents with the latest, always evolving wisdom on how to raise a human right. But Emily Oster’s new book is a rare scientific look at child-rearing, grounded in her expertise as a rational economist and her experience as an anxious mother. Oster is the author of Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool.     In the Spiel, president Trump’s directionless foreign policy is on full display against Iran. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 21, 2019
The Science of Song
1802
On The Gist, are children growing horns?  In the interview, how does Pandora know what music I want to hear? That’s all thanks to the work of Nolan Gasser, musicologist and the architect of Pandora’s Music Genome Project. He’s here to talk the origins of the project, the classification of music species, and why Sarah McLachlan fans might be in for a surprise. Gasser’s new book is Why You Like It: The Science & Culture of Musical Taste.  In the Spiel, the most ambitious climate deal the world has ever seen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 21, 2019
Taffy Brodesser-Akner Doesn’t Care What You’re Wearing
1794
On The Gist, presidential candidates say the darndest things.  In the interview, the best profile writer of our day doesn’t focus much on what her subjects are wearing—so we’ll only quickly mention that in the studio with The Gist, Taffy Brodesser-Akner was wearing a fetching leopard-print jumpsuit (“I’m dressed up for a party tonight”). Brodesser-Akner discusses her experience profiling the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and other untouchable celebrities, and how that work is felt in her debut novel, Fleishman Is in Trouble.  In the Spiel, the reparations hearing.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 20, 2019
Love, Rules, and Animal Puns
1935
On The Gist, when science proves George Carlin right. In the interview, Raphael Bob-Waksberg is the creator of Bojack Horseman, but his so-earnest-it-hurts talent also extends to print. His new collection of short stories is Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory, and he’s here to talk with Mike about love, George Saunders, and why everybody is so down on puns.   In the Spiel, the Patrick Shanahan debacle exposes a White House in shambles. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 19, 2019
Where Christianity Meets Big Oil
1536
On The Gist, Trump knows how to produce himself. In the interview, America’s discovery of oil fields has long been entwined with godly significance—whether these were exploited by oil barons like the Rockefellers or the smaller producers (or “wildcatters”) they contended with. University of Notre Dame historian Darren Dochuk explores the intersection of oil and religion in America in his new book, Anointed with Oil: How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America.  In the Spiel, Iran and attacks on oil tankers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 18, 2019
Un-Biel-ievable
1760
On The Gist, Canada declares war on the plastic straw.    In the interview, Emmy Blotnick has written for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and served as head writer on The President Show. But she also does stand-up, including in her new album Party Nights, where she gets into her love of pop music and why she joined a social networking site… for tea-drinkers. Blotnick’s album is streaming now—and her next show is at The Bell House in Brooklyn on July 6.  In the Spiel, there’s no good reason for the news media to cover Jessica Biel’s anti-vaxxer stance. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 14, 2019
A Generalist and a Scholar
1873
On The Gist, who doesn’t get to be at the debates? In the interview, David Epstein’s new book Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World is all about how having a wide base of knowledge is so much better than narrowing your focus. He’s here to talk Roger Federer versus Tiger Woods, how fiction helped him retool his book, and what Malcolm Gladwell got wrong.  In the Spiel, this is stupid. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 14, 2019
Just Take My Money
2119
On The Gist, curse the gauntlet that is buying an event ticket online. In the interview, John Urschel played as an offensive lineman in the NFL all while pursuing the PhD that would support an accomplished career as a mathematician. The values he practiced in each field are the same, he says, but there the similarities between pigskin and math end. Alongside sportswriter Louisa Thomas—the two are married—Urschel is the author of Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football.  In the Spiel, “lock him up” (and you know who “him” is) isn’t a great call either. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 13, 2019
The Politics of Pith
1595
On The Gist, Joe Biden curing cancer. In the interview, senior writer at the National Review Michael Brendan Dougherty is here to discuss his new book My Father Left Me Ireland: An American Son’s Search For Home. He and Mike talk about Dougherty’s journey into his father’s history, how the immigrant experience shaped his mother, and the ways Ireland has influenced his politics.   In the Spiel, political pithiness. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 11, 2019
Warren’s Wealth Tax Isn’t Enough
2312
On The Gist, Democrats bob and weave around the question of abortion. In the interview, victims of crimes are often sidelined in the judicial process—the perpetrator is punished, but his or her target isn’t given the opportunity to set up the kind of face-to-face meeting that might help them heal. Restorative justice seeks to change that, and Lara Bazelon is out with a book on how it applies to those who have been exonerated after wrongful convictions. Bazelon is an associate professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, and the author of Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction.  In the Spiel, even with every benefit of the doubt, Elizabeth Warren’s policy ideas just aren’t fundable. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 11, 2019
Intellectual Agoraphobia
1929
On The Gist, who’s on the right side of less auto pollution? In the interview, Adam Gopnik is here to discuss his new book, A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism, inspired by a conversation with his daughter. Who gets to make arguments? What about identity politics? And why should the rhinoceros should be the symbol of liberalism?  In the Spiel, what are your go-to references? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 07, 2019
The Melodies of Evil
1867
On The Gist, Joe Biden's careful moderation leads him astray on abortion rights. In the interview, Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick is back to talk all about the Supreme Court. How the recent abortion laws passed in the South impact the continued dismantling of Roe v Wade? And why aren’t the Democrats more animated by the outrageous things happening to our courts? Dahlia is the host of Slate’s Amicus podcast.  In the Spiel, where there’s a jingle, there’s a questionable set of business practices…  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 06, 2019
What “Conservative” Means
2052
On The Gist, holding Scott Peterson accountable after the Parkland shooting. In the interview, George Will has led conservative thought for decades, in over a dozen books and a Washington Post column he’s penned since 1974. In his latest work, The Conservative Sensibility, he seeks to define just what “conservative” means. While Mike had him on The Gist, he got Will’s opinion on the lost dignity of the GOP, Elizabeth Warren’s policy proposals (“I think she has a firm grip on half a point”), and the fact that no Democratic candidate is all that close to true socialism.  In the Spiel, Biden and Warren’s new environmental plans. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 06, 2019
Saving Civilians, and the Mission
1633
On The Gist, Trump visits the UK and drags London’s mayor.  In the interview, Larry Lewis doesn’t just analyze civilian casualties in the midst of wars; he’s worked within the State Department to minimize them. His research makes clear that sparing non-combatants isn’t just morally laudable, it can help generals reach their objectives and reduce anti-American sentiment.  In the Spiel, is Caster Semenya running? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 05, 2019
Out Like a Champ
1924
On The Gist, even in defeat, Jeopardy! genius James Holzhauer made one really smart play. In the interview, Mike Pesca sometimes bikes to work, and—in full adherence to New York City law, mind you—he doesn’t wear a helmet when he does. Should he, or are the benefits of bike helmets overrated? Maria Konnikova gets into it on the latest edition of The Gist’s “Is That Bullshit?” In the Spiel, the best way to answer a question? Answer the actual question. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 03, 2019
The Impeachment Tree of Possibilities
1847
On The Gist, what to make of (alleged) executions in North Korea. In the interview, Slate’s chief news blogger, Ben Mathis-Lilley, makes the case for impeaching Trump. In his reasoning, impeachment proceedings would give Congress a stronger hand in forcing new information from the White House, which could then boost public support for the president’s removal from office. And even if it fails, it would have an immediate chilling effect on Trump’s abuse of the constitution. David Epstein, the author of Range, also makes a cameo appearance in the interview.  In the Spiel, an Antentwig on mispronunciation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 31, 2019
Enemies in Eurasia
1942
On The Gist, using Olympic-sized swimming pools as units of measurements. In the interview, beyond covering national security as a journalist, CNN’s Jim Sciutto worked a stint in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. In both careers, he’s seen signs of a shrinking power imbalance between America and its Russian and Chinese rivals. His latest book warns of the risks carried by Russian offensives in cyberspace, and potential Chinese aggression in actual space. Sciutto is the author of The Shadow War: Inside Russia's and China's Secret Operations to Defeat America.  In the Spiel, the spirituality of the lost hiker in Hawaii. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 31, 2019
The Mueller Dud
1798
On The Gist, it’s a shoe! It’s a phone! It’s… both? In the interview, Darrick Hamilton’s ideas and research have the attention of more than one Democratic candidate for president. The Ohio State University professor—and head of the Kirwan Institute—studies income inequality and the policies that might help close it. He joins The Gist to talk baby bonds, inherited wealth, and the potential in a federal job guarantee.  In the Spiel, special Robert Mueller’s statement at the DOJ contained nothing new, and yet still it still moved the needle on impeachment. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 30, 2019
Impeach a President
2300
On The Gist, calculating whether or not impeachment is the right move. In the interview, Andrew Johnson was the first president to be impeached so Congress had to basically figure out how it worked as they did it. Brenda Wineapple is here to discuss the reasons for that impeachment, why the conviction failed, and what it can teach us about our current situation. Wineapple’s new book is The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation.  In the Spiel, the 1994 crime bill.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 29, 2019
The Impeachment Special
2066
President Trump may yet face impeachment proceedings, so we’re bringing you a roundup of two previous Gist interviews on the topic. The first is with the youngest woman ever elected to the House, Liz Holtzman—who participated in the Nixon impeachment hearings—and CIA alumnus David Priess, who worked at the agency under both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Both have recently published books on impeachment. Holtzman is the author of The Case For Impeaching Trump; Priess is the author of How to Get Rid of a President: History’s Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 27, 2019
The Real Crimes of the TV Show Cops
2011
On The Gist, Theresa May’s resignation. In the interview, Dan Taberski’s latest podcast series Running From Cops digs into the long-running reality series Cops to understand what’s actually going on in those arrests on screen and how accurate the stories that we see are. He’s here to talk about why the show is so watchable, how the cops work with cameramen to exploit those being arrested, and how the nature of reality television has made us slow to notice such exploitation.   In the Spiel, learning from history when it’s always changing.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 24, 2019
Life After Parkland
1869
On The Gist, a look at the worst arguments in the debate over abortion.  In the interview, After Parkland follows the lives of those affected by the Parkland shooting. That includes Tori Gonzalez, who lost her boyfriend, Joaquin Oliver, to the tragedy. Gonzalez is on The Gist alongside documentary filmmakers Emily Taguchi and Jake Lefferman to discuss the making of the film, useful ways to talk about the event, and how she continues to cope with her loss.  In the Spiel, why the idea of impeaching president Trump is just like riding a motorcycle. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 23, 2019
Planned Parenthood Plans for Action
1951
On The Gist, Biden’s electability.  In the interview, eight states have passed bills to limit abortion access so far this year. And while these may not end up surviving challenges in court (whether Supreme or lower), getting an abortion is already difficult for women in many parts of the country. Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen reminds us that abortion providers can be vanishingly rare in some states, and that hundreds of laws have been passed in the last few years to restrict access to the procedure: "Forced waiting periods, medically unnecessary ultrasounds…things that we would never consider happening to any other aspect of medicine.”  In the Spiel, Michael Cohen and the pre-pardon pardon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 23, 2019
What Basketball Gave Felipe Lopez
1927
On The Gist, oh, Ben Carson. In the interview, Felipe Lopez was once billed the Dominican Michael Jordan. His star power even in high school led the team to play in bigger New York City venues—the better to fit the legions of fans who cheered as he carried Harlem’s Rice High School to a championship victory. But his court domination dwindled in college, and in the NBA. Lopez joins The Gist to talk about the joys brought to him by basketball, not least of which is one that college athletes and recruiters rarely think much of: a degree. ESPN’s The Dominican Dream, a documentary on Lopez by Jonathan Hock, is streaming now on ESPN Plus. In the Spiel, M&M’s, cannibalism, and the Game of Thrones finale. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 22, 2019
The First “Welfare Queen”
2162
On The Gist, the gift to the Morehouse graduates is great, but should it be celebrated or just the standard? In the interview, Linda Taylor committed many crimes, but only one of them—welfare fraud—really mattered to politicians, the press, and the public. Anecdotes about kidnapping and possible murder would only get in the way of the portrait Ronald Reagan presented to American voters in 1976, of a woman whose defrauding of taxpayer money was typical among those dependent on social programs. Slate national editor Josh Levin wrote Slate’s most read story ever, and has expanded it into a book—The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth—and a Slate podcast: The Queen, available now wherever you get your podcasts.  In the Spiel, Anand Giridharadas fact checking Jared Diamond. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 21, 2019
A Very Grumpy Death
2429
On The Gist, Grumpy Cat is dead. So are Bill de Blasio’s chances at winning the White House. In the interview, 1999 might be the greatest year in film—think The Matrix, The Sixth Sense, and Fight Club. But does Magnolia belong in the great movie pantheon, and should we really have been as impressed with American Beauty as we were? Brian Raftery, author of Best. Movie. Year. Ever.: How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen, takes us through the last year of the ’90s and explains why there hasn’t been one like it since.  In the Spiel, there’s no place for centrism as far as abortion rights go. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 17, 2019
The Personal Is Geopolitical
2010
On The Gist, what correlates with anti-abortion views (and votes) more than being a man? Being a Republican. In the interview, Jared Diamond brings new meaning to the old slogan that the personal is political. The author of Guns, Germs, and Steel argues that just as individuals go through crises to which they may either adapt or flounder, nation states face moments that define their strength domestically and on the world stage. Diamond’s latest book—Upheaval—takes Finland, Australia, and Chile (among other countries) as his case studies.  In the Spiel, whatever you think of Joe Biden, don’t let the dream of bipartisanship die just yet. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 16, 2019
Have a Job? Thank Yourself, Not Trump.
2022
On The Gist, anti-abortion state legislatures know full well that the Supreme Court could one day turn on Roe v. Wade. In the interview, Chuck Rosenberg is a former U.S. attorney who also once worked for Robert Mueller. He’s here to talk about his new podcast The Oath, where he sits down with other former government officials like Preet Bharara and James Comey and discusses the ins and outs of public service. Mike gets Chuck to dive into the Mueller report with him.  In the Spiel, is low unemployment a sign of good federal governance? No. Just look at the U.K. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 16, 2019
“No War” Is the Best Trump Can Do
2129
On The Gist, the NBA draft lottery. In the interview, Richard Clarke doesn’t have security clearance anymore, so on his podcast he talks to a lot of people who still do. His 10 years as a White House official gave him the bug for asking questions to sharp experts on matters of life or death—otherwise known as national security. Clarke joins us to talk about the need to make a “frenemy” out of China, the vulnerability of America’s power grid, and how president Trump could yet leave the title of “worst president ever” to George W. Bush. Clarke is the host of Future State and the author of the forthcoming The Fifth Domain: Defending Our Country, Our Companies, and Ourselves in the Age of Cyber Threats.  In the Spiel, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Palestine and the Holocaust. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 15, 2019
Decoding the Bliss Gene
1886
On The Gist, groans over Game of Thrones.  In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for another round of “Is That Bullshit?” Because Mike experiences less anxiety than most, he has often wondered if he has higher levels of anandamide—a neurotransmitter associated with regulating anxiety and stress—caused by a specific genetic variation. Maria walks him through the complicated biology, the research, and explains why even if it might be real, Mike’s self-diagnosis is unreliable.  In the Spiel, Joe Biden's "gaffes." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 14, 2019
Comedy Is No Revolution
2005
On The Gist, Instagram and FOMO. In the interview, they say president Trump has killed comedy. But in Larry Wilmore’s book, comedy isn’t responsible for leading us to the “right” kind of outrage or political enlightenment. Its role—get this—is to make us laugh. “Activists should engage in activism, and I always feel like that’s why we have these words that are different,” Wilmore says. “Comedy exists to be comic.” Wilmore is the host of the Ringer podcast Black on the Air and the co-creator of HBO’s Insecure.  In the Spiel, Uber’s IPO and Trump’s tariffs.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 11, 2019
Bigger Than Titanic
2489
On The Gist, magic mushrooms afoot! In the interview, every Avengers movie has an argument at its core. In the Marvel franchise’s finale—Avengers: Endgame—director Anthony Russo says it’s “that you can change destiny, but at the same time, you can’t always change it on your terms.” He and his co-director (and brother) Joe Russo weigh in on that, the term “fan service,” and the fact that in the comics, Captain America is a dud.  In the Spiel, Mike answers questions from fellow Slate staffers—some serious, some not—in rapid succession. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 10, 2019
Who Makes The Gist?
2257
On The Gist, maybe Trump wants to be impeached?  Then it’s a change of format as all the former and current producers of The Gist gather together for a roundtable. Founding producer Andrea Silenzi discusses the origins of The Gist, past producers Chris Berube and Mary Wilson talk about the thrills of covering the presidential debates, and current producers Pierre Bienaimé and Daniel Schroeder join in to dish on what it's like working with Mike.  In the Spiel, Mike reevaluates his mistakes from the past five years. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 09, 2019
The Retro Hits and Repeats of 2014
2279
On The Gist, president Trump’s mixes and matches idioms all the time, but his rhetoric doesn’t really suffer from it. In the interview, 2014 was full of retro vibes and repeats, with hits like “Happy,” “All About That Bass,” and “Blank Space” echoing older styles and Eminem’s “Monster” recreating his past chart-topping collaboration with Rihanna. Chris Molanphy is on the show yet again to walk us through the big tracks from the year The Gist was born. Molanphy is the host of Hit Parade and the writer of Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” column. In the Spiel, it’s a second interview with evolutionary biologist Patricia Brennan. The topic? Turkey genitals, of course. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 07, 2019
The Gist of the Past Five Years
2086
On The Gist, do we need primary debates? We're starting our fifth anniversary celebration week with a look back at the past. Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad was a guest on the first episode of The Gist so he’s back to reflect on the last five years, how podcasting has changed, and the impact of the medium.  In the Spiel, podcasts aren’t perfect, but they are progress.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 06, 2019
Bird City
1731
On The Gist, is it unusual that Attorney General William Barr didn’t look at the underlying evidence covered in the Mueller report? In the interview, Tuca & Bertie is the new series from Lisa Hanawalt, best know for her art direction on Bojack Horseman. She’s here to discuss the origins of her new series, all the jokes she fits into the background, and how she figured out if China exists in her show’s universe. Tuca & Bertie is available on Netflix.   In the Spiel, Stephen Moore on the Federal Reserve Board. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 03, 2019
“I’ll Take Second Place for $2,000”
1914
On The Gist, how many people have declared they’re running for president? In the interview, breaking a record doesn’t always mean going home a winner. Adam Levin learned that in his recent run on Jeopardy!, where he banked more money than any runner-up in the history of the game show (thus walking away with just $2,000). He tells Mike, a fellow Jeopardy! alumnus, about his tactics—and the fact that he has no regrets. Levin is sports information director of Brandeis University’s athletics program.    In the Spiel, is Barr a chicken? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 03, 2019
Derby or Die?
1834
On The Gist, the latest in the Mueller report saga.  In the interview, the Kentucky Derby is this Saturday, but this year, the horse racing event is overshadowed by high fatality rates among equines in California's Santa Anita Park: 23 have died in just three months. Peter Fornatale follows the races closely, and sees mismanagement on both the park’s track and in the appeasement measures that followed: “[It] sort of reminded me of the classic politician’s trick of ‘you don’t like the conversation, okay, let’s change the conversation.’”  In the Spiel, Bill Barr, hair-splitter general. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 02, 2019
It’s a Code World
1686
On The Gist, the New Yorker’s profile of John Bolton. In the interview, coders have gone from a band of misfits to rulers of Silicon Valley. Clive Thompson is out with a book about that evolution, which examines the reckless product design stoked by the pursuit of hockey-stick revenue growth and a lack of workplace diversity—whether across gender, socio-economic class, or even age. “The ageism is where some of the trouble begins because you don't have people around that can tell you 'oh, we went through this rodeo 15 years ago,’” Thompson says. He is the author of Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World.              In the Spiel, Stacey Abrams isn’t running for Senate in Georgia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 01, 2019
Avengers: But For Real
1914
On The Gist, the news media is getting better at demoting the names of America’s mass shooters. That’s a good thing, even as the internet’s darker corners do the opposite. In the interview, comedian Josh Gondelman is from Boston, but he often comes across as Minnesota nice. Can a comedian get laughs without being a bit of an asshole? Gondelman discusses that, his latest comedy album—Dancing on a Weeknight—and why writing for Showtime’s Desus & Mero involves shedding fewer tears than does scripting Last Week Tonight.  In the Spiel, if you’re going to enjoy this Avengers: Endgame parody, you’ll have to contend with a spoiler or two. Cool? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 30, 2019
Why Fools Fall in Love
2218
On The Gist, the 2020 candidates’ proposals shouldn’t be compared to some progressive ideal, but to some of the stuff we spend taxpayer dollars on now. In the interview, the pace of technological change means we might only be catching onto malicious disinformation techniques after it’s too late to counter them. Still, scientific inquiry is useful in telling us how manipulation works. In The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread, authors Cailin O'Connor and James Owen Weatherall argue that social dynamics often trump intellectual ones in determining what we fall for, including bogus information peddled by anti-vaxxers. “You, in the right social context, would hold a lot of false beliefs too,” says O’Connor.  In the Spiel, putting the Anita Hill hearings in context. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 27, 2019
It's Getting Hot in Here
2053
On The Gist, the difference between one million and one billion. In the interview, Nathaniel Rich is here to discuss his new book Losing Earth about the decade of 1979-1989 and why they are so important to understanding America’s political history of climate change and the current state of denialism we find ourselves in.  In the Spiel, is impeachment worth it? If we don’t will Trump get reelected? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 26, 2019
Joe Biden’s Battle
2112
On The Gist, whether he’s on the most electable part of the political spectrum or not, Joe Biden is about to go through the wringer.    In the interview, winning a major sports championship is a thrill few ever get to know. But what happens when you keep stacking trophies, like the NBA’s Golden State Warriors have done in recent years? The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss covers the team, and wonders “if the Warriors suffer from, shall we call it, winner’s ennui.” Strauss is the host of the House of Strauss podcast and wrote a chapter on the Warriors in Mike Pesca’s book, Upon Further Review: The Greatest What-Ifs in Sports History.  In the Spiel, it’s one from the vault on HBO’s The Jinx, which, it’s now come to light, included some misleading editing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 25, 2019
The Never-ending CNN Town Hall
2131
On The Gist, Kate Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America.” In the interview, comedian and filmmaker Lake Bell is here to discuss her new tv series Bless This Mess. About a newlywed couple who move from New York City to Nebraska, it’s a play on the fish-out-of-water trope, but packed with more jokes than you know what to do with. Bless This Mess airs on Tuesdays at 9:30pm on ABC.  In the Spiel, the questions at the CNN town halls weren’t all that great.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 24, 2019
Elizabeth Stormborn, Mother of Democrats!
1860
On The Gist, Rudy Giuliani was a big, loud, and busy distraction this past Sunday. In the interview, it’s a round of “Is That Bullshit?” with Maria Konnikova. In the hot seat: the humble egg. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that eggs can increase your chances of heart disease. But is this study all it’s cracked up to be? The nutritional science has gone back and forth on the health benefits and risks of this breakfast food. Maria boils it down. In the Spiel, dragons roast their victims—and we roast Elizabeth Warren’s Game of Thrones critique. This episode is brought to you by Simplisafe. Start protecting your home today at SimpliSafe.com/gist. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 23, 2019
The International Hilarity of Loyiso Gola
2056
On The Gist, sick children and dead ducks are pretty convincing. In the interview, South African comedian Loyiso Gola is here to talk about his stand up special on Netflix, what it’s like performing in different countries, and why talking about the economy is so difficult for everyday people. Gola is performing at the Soho Playhouse until April 21, 2019.  In the Spiel, time for an early Antentwig.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 20, 2019
It’s Mueller Overtime
1890
On The Gist, Trump’s fundamental misreading of politics.  In the interview, Garrett Graff’s afternoon was as busy as any journalist’s, picking through the redacted Mueller report released by the Department of Justice. There’s something new on every page, Graff says, including the Trump campaign’s awareness of Russian efforts against Hillary Clinton—and its expectation to benefit from them politically. Graff wrote a biography of Robert Mueller. His latest ebook is Mueller’s War.  In the Spiel, Mueller did a great job, and if this report came out in a different climate it’d actually lead to real consequences. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 18, 2019
The Better Angels of Big Business
1723
On The Gist, the redacted Mueller report as an exercise in Zen.  In the interview, economist Tyler Cowen is just about the smartest person in Mike Pesca’s podcast feed. He’s on the Gist to answer rapid fire questions on the college admissions scandal, what the likes of Herman Cain would mean for the Fed, and the virtues of big American enterprises. That last topic is the subject of Cowen’s new book, Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero. His podcast is Conversations with Tyler.  In the Spiel, oh how we forget the gulf that lies between lived experience and public recollection.     This episode is brought to you by Constant Contact. For a free trial, sign up today at constantcontact.com/GIST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 17, 2019
Lock Up Your Mothers
1807
On The Gist, sparing a thought for Notre Dame… and how Americans pronounce it. In the interview, Politico’s Anna Palmer on what Trump is doing to America as he navigates a government he doesn’t understand. Her book, co-written with Jake Sherman, is The Hill to Die On: The Battle for Congress and the Future of Trump’s America.  In the Spiel, moms are not off limits for quotes—about their children—published by the New York Times. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 17, 2019
The Farmers’ Candidate
1983
On The Gist, wait, what did I miss? In the interview, Democratic candidates for the presidency recently flew to Iowa for a forum on agriculture to answer some questions. And asking them was Storm Lake Times editor Art Cullen, who knows a thing or two about corporate agribusiness and its impact on Iowans, the food Americans everywhere eat, and Chinese pork companies. Cullen is the author of Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope from a Heartland Newspaper, and was previously on The Gist to discuss that book as well.  In the Spiel, Rep. Ilan Omar and our selfish president. This episode is brought to you by Simplisafe. Start protecting your home today at SimpliSafe.com/gist. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 16, 2019
The Divergent Charts of 1994
2351
On The Gist, two popes is one pope too many. In the interview, songs like “The Sign” and “I’ll Make Love to You” dominated the charts in 1994, but they weren’t all that emblematic of what was happening in music that year. Chris Molanphy has ideas as to why, and also opines on why there were so few number one singles that year—and why was Lisa Loeb considered alternative rock? Molanphy has answers, and is the host of the Hit Parade podcast. He also writes Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” column. In the Spiel, Rep. Katie Porter’s viral moment—taking Jamie Dimon to task for his huge salary—is a little dishonest. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 13, 2019
The Real Cost of Medicare for All
2172
On The Gist, the political parties of Israel. In the interview, Jean McConville’s murder in 1972—when The Troubles were at their bloodiest—sparked what few deaths did in Northern Ireland: a reckoning. The New Yorker’s Patrick Radden Keefe joins us to give context to McConville’s death, from the various factions at war back then to the country’s incomplete reconciliation process and oddly rehabilitated politicians. Keefe is the author of Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland.  In the Spiel, Medicare for all isn’t as cheap as Bernie wants us to believe. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 12, 2019
The Candace Owens Sideshow
2187
On The Gist, Candance Owens isn't digging herself out of this ahistorical, Hitler-relativizing hole.  In the interview, Ian Chillag is back with another season of Everything Is Alive, a podcast where he interviews the everyday objects around us that we don’t think of. Chioke I’Anson is here too because he played a grain of sand with a surprising amount of philosophy packed in (he’s a philosopher himself). Is sand more Kantian or Heideggerian? And what’s it like to think as a collective?  In the Spiel, president Trump’s public insult of Sen. Mazie Hirono rumbles on. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 11, 2019
Misquoter in Chief
2115
On The Gist, Trump’s latest campaign video is wild. In the interview, Scotland’s Daniel Sloss churns out comedy specials at an almost alarming rate, completing his tenth at age 28. He’s here to talk about circumcision, Brexit, and why the left is doomed to eternally shoot itself in the foot. Sloss will be back in the United States in June of 2019, and his specials "Dark" & "Jigsaw” are on Netflix.  In the Spiel, instant replay is a contentious part of refereeing, particularly at a championship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 10, 2019
The Puppet Masters
1893
The worst part about the Trump administration’s high turnover? Every cabinet member is worse than the last. In the interview, Grigori Rasputin bent the ear of the last Russian tsar, manipulating affairs of state behind the scenes as he saw fit. But how did a man like him rise to such power? And what about his spiritual successors like Phil Spector or Tom Brady’s trainer? Amos Barshad, author of No One Man Should Have All That Power: How Rasputins Manipulate the World, has our ear.   In the Spiel, what does Joe Biden stand to gain from apologizing—and shouldn’t a (likely) contender for president think in those terms? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 09, 2019
Are Chiropractors Quacks?
1830
On The Gist, like every week in Trump’s America, this has been a wasted one.  In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for another round of “Is That Bullshit?” She talks chiropractors, whether or not cracking your back and neck is helpful, and what strokes have to do with it. Then, Mike’s own chiropractor, Jason Fidler, steps in to offer some adjustments to the conversation.  In the Spiel, Mike offers up a Lobstar challenge. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 06, 2019
There’s No Real Dirt on the Dems So Far
2161
On The Gist, Mueller’s report (or much of it) is bound to go public. In the interview, Wright Thompson has his place on the Mount Rushmore of sports writers, and his signature form is the profile. Tiger Woods, Lionel Messi, Michael Jordan and the like are fascinating in their relationship to fame, but also in their ordinary flaws. “On some level these stories are all about exploring whether or not there is even such a thing as free will,” Thompson says. “I’m fascinated by the way things in our past continue to exert gravitational pull on us now.” Wright’s new book, a collection of his past work, is The Cost of These Dreams: Sports Stories and Other Serious Business.  In the Spiel, a list of all the non-scandals hitting the Democratic 2020 candidates so far. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 05, 2019
We All Need to Talk
1911
On The Gist, Trump should avoid healthcare. In the interview, Lori Gottlieb is a journalist and a therapist, and she’s here to discuss her new book Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed, why she became a therapist, how to deal with patients who’ve Googled you, and why therapists need therapy too.  In the Spiel, the Joe Biden crisis isn’t a crisis.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 04, 2019
The Societal Optimist
1957
On The Gist, calming down about Trump’s bombast. In the interview, Nicholas Christakis is here to discuss his new book Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society, how he studied the progression of goodness throughout human history, the way healthy communities evolve, and why shipwrecks were so important to his research.  In the Spiel, the problem with microaggressions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 03, 2019
The Thrilling Don Winslow
1746
On The Gist, Joe Biden’s nose nuzzle. In the interview, Don Winslow’s new book The Border is the final part of his trilogy on drug cartels. He’s here today to discuss the work, how it’s been twenty years in the making, and the difficulty of trying to get things right.   In the Spiel, Betsy DeVos’ indefensible Special Olympics funding cuts.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 02, 2019
“Guest is God”
1971
On The Gist, the next wave of start-ups should be like the tech companies we have now, but with a conscience.    In the interview, filmmaker Anthony Maras is more wedded to a theme—people in extremis—than a form, and his latest is a thriller based on true events. Hotel Mumbai follows a band of diverse survivors holed up in the Taj, one of the targets in India's 2008 terrorist attacks. “Something kind of magical happened, which is all these barriers that usually divide people evaporated.”  In the Spiel, Donald Trump: bullshitter or shitposter? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 30, 2019
Adam Schiff Is Not Okay
2211
On The Gist, Mike Pesca, in true hipster fashion, laments the end of Wow Air. In the interview, much of the news media was guilty of hyping up the knockout blow that Mueller’s report would deliver president Trump. But a few journalists on the left were always skeptical of the investigation’s origins and potential. Among them is Nation contributor Aaron Maté, who saw in the Mueller probe a distraction from the Democratic Party’s failure in 2016—and from the stories that really matter.           In the Spiel, Rep. Adam Schiff comes out swinging. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 29, 2019
The Boeing Lesson
1970
On The Gist, Boeing is in a tight spot.    In the interview, the boxing match between Mike Tyson and Buster Douglas was one for the ages. Everyone so expected Tyson to win that people weren’t even placing bets until the odds were 42 to 1. In the new 30 for 30 film 42 to 1, Gist guest Jeremy Schaap (and Ben Houser) explore this shocking upset and how the fight changed boxing and these fighters’ lives.  In the Spiel, if we’re going to build a wall, how about the one between church and state? Looking at you, Pennsylvania.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 28, 2019
Trump’s Post-Mueller Strategy
2124
On The Gist, the latest gridlock facing the Green New Deal should clue in its backers in Congress. In the interview, Huwe Burton was 16 years old when detectives browbeat him into a false confession of murder. He spent about 20 years in prison as a result, and found an outlet in the quarter-mile track that he and other inmates built their endurance on. Since his release and exoneration, he hasn’t stopped running. Burton’s story is told in a Lope Magazine article—"Innocent People Don’t Run”—by Liam Boylan-Pett, who also joins us in the studio.  In the Spiel, the Trump reelection campaign’s bizarre memo to all “Television Producers” leans on cherry-picked quotes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 27, 2019
The Mueller Report Report
2130
On The Gist, we should be willing to accept that the Barr letter and Mueller report won’t lead to any indictments. In the interview, David Priess, former CIA staffer and daily intelligence briefer for Robert Mueller, is here to talk about the Mueller report. What do we know? What questions are still unanswered? And where do we go from here? Priess’ latest book is How to Get Rid of a President: History’s Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives.  In the Spiel, the Mueller report does not exonerate Trump, even if Trump thinks it does. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 26, 2019
The Real March Madness Upset
1874
On The Gist, ISIS may be defeated, but the people who made up its forces aren’t gone.  In the interview, novelist John Lanchester is here to discuss his new novel The Wall, the symbolic and practical use of walls, and how closely we should pay attention to our dreams.   In the Spiel, Jim Nantz shouldn’t be in those Capital One commercials for March Madness. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 22, 2019
The Past and Future Biden
1999
On The Gist, who paid for those two Chinese-born tech magnates to take photos with Trump?  In the interview, Vanderbilt professor Jonathan Metzl is here to discuss his new book Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland.  In the Spiel, litigating Biden’s past. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 22, 2019
Solving Maternal Mortality
1731
On The Gist, have you heard about the mob hit that took place a few weeks ago? In the interview, journalist Sarah Kliff joins us to discuss maternal mortality rates in the United States, what California has done to fix it, and what the rest of the country should learn from them. Kliff is the host of Vox’s The Impact.   In the Spiel, Donald Trump on John McCain’s funeral. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 21, 2019
What Merchants of Truth Gets Right
2303
On The Gist, it wouldn’t just be morally right for Trump to finally denounce white nationalism. It would be politically smart. In the interview, Jill Abramson’s Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts was released to glowing reviews—but valid accusations of plagiarism and factual errors took some of that shine off. As Mike asks Abramson (a former executive editor of the New York Times), were the negative headlines so grabby that they’ve damned the book’s valuable insights? And would that in itself prove many of her worries about journalism in the 21st century?  In the Spiel, the New York Times, biased? You don’t say. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 20, 2019
Beto Takes a Stand
1917
On The Gist, Beto O’Rourke, the countertop candidate. In the interview, historian Rutger Bregman got in a spat with Fox host Tucker Carlson, but you wouldn’t know it if it weren’t for his own video of the incident. Fox never aired it, as Bregman accused Carlson of carrying water for billionaires and Carlson responded with profane insults. Bregman joins the Gist to give us the backstory on that, but not before laying out some of the progressive economic policies—with basis in American history—that he favors, Carlson’s disapproval notwithstanding. Bregman is the author of Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal Worldand writes for the Correspondent.  In the Spiel, New Zealand’s unity on gun control is admirable. In the big, diverse country that is the United States, things are a little more complicated. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 19, 2019
In New Zealand, the Internet at Its Worst
2115
On The Gist, Senator Thom Tillis’ op-ed, now with moral fiber!            In the interview, no one’s ever had to wonder what was on tech journalist Kara Swisher’s mind (she’ll just tell you) and that includes the litany of Silicon Valley oligarchs she’s interviewed. Swisher tells us how the modern world is very much shaped by company founders’ personality quirks and blind spots, what government regulation of Google and Facebook should look like, and what women can do to get what they want in the workplace. Swisher is the co-founder of Recode and the host of its Recode Decode podcast.  In the Spiel, if you want to measure the ills that come with an increasingly connected world, look no farther than the shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 16, 2019
Manafort in Ostrich Court
1773
On The Gist, Beto O’Rourke is running for president. But should he? In the interview, Tim Alberta, chief political correspondent for Politico,  recently wrote a piece about Reps. Ilhan Omar and Dean Phillips and the current divide in the Democratic party, “The Democrat’s Dilemma.” Alberta is here today to discuss the difficulty facing the Democratic party as some new members of Congress seem to be pushing the party further left and whether or not that’s a good thing. His upcoming book is American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump.  In the Spiel, Paul Manafort goes to Ostrich Court. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 15, 2019
How to Close the Justice Gap
2010
On The Gist, three stray thoughts on the college admissions scandal.  In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back to talk about those naïve millennials. Last year many of them were duped into paying thousands for tickets to Billy McFarland’s Fyre Festival, a glamorous event that existed in name only. That begs the question: Are millennials more susceptible to being scammed than other generations, or is that bullshit?  In the Spiel, the rich and powerful often get off easy in the court of law (case in point: Paul Manafort). But instead of throwing the book at them, maybe we should sentence everyone else a little more kindly, too. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 14, 2019
The Fraud Squad
2255
On The Gist, Bill de Blasio flapping his arms to R. Kelly. In the interview, Sal Gentile writes for late night television, but he lives in president Trump’s mind around the clock. Every day he writes insights and jokes about Trump’s latest ramblings for “A Closer Look,” a segment on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers. Gentile talks about his writing process—lots of jokes go into a first draft, but only a few make the cut—and how the instinct to laugh is itself a reliable bullshit detector.  In the Spiel, the college admissions scandal involving Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 13, 2019
Let the Sun Shine in 2020
2008
On The Gist, much ado about a toothpick ban. In the interview, Wikipedia is famously edited by its own readers. And no one has made more contributions than Steven Pruitt. A third of English language pages on the site bear his mark! What goes into editing a Wikipedia page, and is it as toxic as other democratic spaces on the internet? In the Spiel, which Democratic candidate gets The Gist’s vote? The one to make Daylight Saving Time permanent. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 12, 2019
American Carnage? It’s Real
2052
On The Gist, Rep. Ilhan Omar and Israel. In the interview, the Guardian’s Chris McGreal covered the deadly toll opiates take on poor American communities "long before it became fashionable because of Trump." He speaks to Purdue Pharma’s zealous campaign to push OxyContin (“a chemical cousin of heroin”, in the words of the New Yorker) onto doctors and patients—and the federal government’s failure to stop it. McGreal is the author of American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts.  In the Spiel, another Lobstar of the Antentwig. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 09, 2019
The Endless Fact Check
1803
On The Gist, Stormy is in the news (but not that Stormy). In the interview, Donald Trump speaks many untruths every day, and someone has to track them all. Somehow that task has fallen to a Canadian. The Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale is here to tell us what counts as a lie, why details matter, and how neither the left nor the right seem satisfied with his work. In the Spiel, theology isn’t all that interesting… unless there’s drama involved, of course. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 08, 2019
The Unbelievably Bad Michael Jackson Defense
2159
On The Gist, distracting Congress from H.R. 1. In the interview, sexual promiscuity is judged differently among men compared to women, and that goes double for sex addiction. Franco-Moroccan novelist Leïla Slimani’s latest protagonist, Adèle, knows that firsthand. Slimani joins us to talk about her relationship with her translator—and her own characters—and the French sex scandal that inspired her initial research.     In the Spiel, bad arguments are hard to believe, like those used to defend Michael Jackson.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 07, 2019
Top Chef, the Anti-Reality TV?
2183
On The Gist, Fox News isn’t distributing Trump’s talking points. Worse, it’s defining them. In the interview, reality TV typically thrives on drama and negativity. Top Chef isn’t necessarily an exception, but season 16 competitor David Viana says morale was high on set—and that that’s a good sign for the culinary world overall. “Better, healthier kitchens are popping up,” Viana says. “It isn’t the Gordon Ramsay style.” David Viana is the executive chef  of New Jersey’s Heirloom Kitchen. The finale of Top Chef: Kentucky airs March 14, 2019 on Bravo. In the Spiel, more from Trump’s nonsensical CPAC speech. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 06, 2019
The Incoherent Right
1912
On The Gist, the White House PR machine. In the interview, John Carlin is a former Asst. Attorney General for the Dept. of Justice and former Chief of Staff to Robert Mueller, and his new book Dawn of the Code War tracks the rise of global cyber threats from Russia and China, and how our country is working to respond.   In the Spiel, the CPAC lets Trump get away with anything he wants.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 05, 2019
Believing Jackson’s Accusers
1774
On The Gist, John Hickenlooper might be running for president. In the interview, Dan Reed reached out to Wade Robson and James Safechuck before #MeToo exploded, but its influence is clear. In the director’s documentary for HBO, Leaving Neverland, we hear again how the effects of sexual abuse—in this case, at the hands of Michael Jackson—can manifest in counterintuitive ways; Robson and Safechuck once shielded Jackson. Now they’re coming forward with their truth.  In the Spiel, the House Oversight Committee and racism.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 02, 2019
Is AOC Post-Truth Too?
1449
On The Gist, the empty political rhetoric that is “everyday people.” In the interview, fact-checking is big business in the age of Trump. But one politician diametrically opposed to the president—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—is playing fast and loose with statistics too, and journalists have noticed. Should she be called out? NY Magazine’s Eric Levitz says it’s complicated. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 28, 2019
Michael Cohen Isn’t Smart
1273
On the Gist, Michael Cohen is not a smart guy, and that makes his testimony all the more trustworthy.  In the interview, Casey Burgat of R Street is here to talk about Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s staff turnover data. Does she seem to churn through staff more than most, or are a few big exits skewing the numbers? And is it so bad to have high turnover anyway? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 27, 2019
The Spring Breaker Vote
1708
On The Gist, corn syrup and beer.  In the interview, what’s the difference between a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old? In terms of maturity, not so much. But only one of them has the right to vote. In Oregon, state Sen. Shemia Fagan is hoping to change that, and she’s letting young activists take the lead.  In the Spiel, who wants to talk about reparations? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 26, 2019
Mayor for America
1997
On The Gist, asymmetric warfare means America’s got some pretty lame enemies. In the interview, women aren’t the only demographic group making the 2020 race especially diverse. Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is considering a run for office; he’s a millennial, a veteran, and openly gay. We get his thoughts on the size of the Supreme Court and Congress, and his feelings about the humble penny. Buttigieg’s new book is Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model for America’s Future.   In the Spiel, what the Oscars, the Virginia governorship, and Amazon HQ2 have in common. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 26, 2019
Billionaire Bashing Is Just for Sport
2109
On The Gist, even with a genuinely good story, president Trump just can’t get his facts right. In the interview, his name is Mo Rocca, and he’s out with a new podcast of obituaries. So it’s only natural, of course, that it be called Mobituaries. His audio tributes can be for both people and things, including JFK impersonator Vaughn Meader and the humble station wagon.  In the Spiel, America’s billionaires do some good, and they don’t make the rest of us any poorer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 23, 2019
A Show, But a Riddle Too
2198
On The Gist, the deep state or a shallow president? In the interview, director Leslye Headland has been on The Gist before, and is back for more. But unlike the protagonist of Russian Doll, her new Netflix show, he isn’t likely to find herself stuck in a time loop, reliving the same moments over and over again. Headland joins alongside Rebecca Henderson, who stars in the show. And, fun fact: the two are married!  In the Spiel, Disney World’s Hall of Presidents. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 22, 2019
The Viability of Bernie Sanders
2081
On The Gist, news should be new. In the interview, our resident vexillologist Ted Kaye is back to talk about San Francisco’s flag. Where does its design come from, and is it really the best modern representation of the city? Kaye’s book is Good Flag, Bad Flag. In the Spiel, Bernie Sanders and the viability of policy ideas. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 21, 2019
The Chinese Threat is Overblown
1917
On The Gist, Bernie is in. Are billionaires out? In the interview, president Trump may be the chief saber-rattler when it comes to China, but acting tough against the world’s second biggest economy is a bipartisan pastime. With challenges like global warming and nuclear armament on the line, Kaiser Kuo says, the U.S. might do better with cooperation instead of rivalry. Kuo is a co-founder of the Sinica podcast and the editor-at-large of SupChina. In the Spiel, algorithms aren’t just for Facebook—they’re also used in criminal justice. Here’s why they shouldn’t be. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 20, 2019
New York’s Bad Math
2256
On The Gist, racy names for missiles. In the interview, Chris Molanphy is here to talk about the Billboard hits of 1979, disco’s last hurrah, and how the year prepares for the coming wave of pop. Molanphy is the host of Hit Parade and writes the column Why Is This Song No. 1?  In the Spiel, Amazon leaving New York City is a big loss but people don’t seem to realize it.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 15, 2019
Matt Braunger, Funny Dummy
1908
On The Gist, sometimes Howard Stern can be helpful. In the interview, stand-up comedian and podcaster Matt Braunger is here to discuss his new special Finally Live in Portland, his podcast Advice From a Dipshit, and whether or not he would eat racist fudge.  In the Spiel, the human tragedy of losing animals. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 14, 2019
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Seconds
2008
On The Gist, Democratic leaders should slow down the next time a Virginia-sized fiasco comes along. In the interview, podcasters can storm off a set too—even if it’s their own. Words Matter host Adam Levine pressed his colleague Steve Schmidt on details about his advising gig for 2020 hopeful Howard Schultz. And it wasn’t just because that posed a possible conflict of interest for the political podcast; Levine says his regular listeners wanted answers on the guy who, in their eyes, could get enough votes to cause another Trump victory.  In the Spiel, and in El Paso on Monday: presidential logorrhea. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 13, 2019
Open Season For America’s Wars
2089
On The Gist, if president Trump wanted to denounce bullying, he could have done better than inviting a boy named Trump (no relation) to the State of the Union address. In 2001, Congress gave president Bush a nearly blank check for command of an American military bent on punishing the terrorist groups directly (and not so directly) responsible for 9/11. The Authorization for Use of Military Force still benefits U.S. presidents, and few in Congress today seek to curb it. Our guest, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, of Connecticut, is among them. In the Spiel, Sen. Amy Klobuchar is in for 2020, and reports of her being too tough a boss should be taken in stride. This episode is brought to you by Simplisafe. Start protecting your home today at simplisafe.com/gist. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 12, 2019
Quoth the Maven
1576
On The Gist, wise words from the mouth of Jeff Bezos… by way of Amazon’s Alexa. In the interview, green energy may be clean, but that doesn’t mean its infrastructure is any less garish. Energy reporter Amy Harder reminds us that one of the lesser-discussed obstacles to a Green New Deal is good old-fashioned nimbyism: “A lot of people don’t like power lines being constructed right in their backyards.” Harder covers energy for Axios, and writes its Harder Line column.  In the Spiel, it may feel right to ask that we believe women making accusations of sexual assault. But a better corrective would be simply to not discredit them out of hand. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 09, 2019
The Green New Deal Is a Dream
2073
On The Gist, don’t lick people you work with. In the interview, reading a whole book is great, but sometimes all you need is the introduction. Author Elisa Gabbert thinks so, and joins us to talk about intros and other “front matter”; a novel that unfolds over the course of an escalator ride; and how sitcoms have thrown our beauty barometers out of whack. Gabbert is the author of The Word Pretty.  In the Spiel, the Green New Deal needs more scrutiny before it moves forward. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 08, 2019
The State of the Union is… Overrated
1756
On The Gist, who oh who will govern the state of Virginia? In the interview, when Roger McNamee jumped in as an early investor in Facebook, he might not have figured he’d end up testifying about the company in front of Congress. McNamee charts Facebook’s worrying evolution in his new book: Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe. In the Spiel, the State of the Union address is like baseball’s All-Star Game. Flashy, but without consequence. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 07, 2019
The Culture of Wealth
1572
On The Gist, Gov. Andrew Cuomo still doesn’t understand puns. In the interview, Lauren Greenfield has been documenting the wealthy for the past 25 years and has finally turned that into her new film Generation Wealth, an exploration of the rise of wealth culture and the implications it has on those immersed in it. Can money really make you happy? Is there any way for the rest of us to ascend to wealthy status? Would we even want to? Generation Wealth is currently available on Amazon.   In the Spiel, who are the guests at the State of the Union? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 06, 2019
To Russia With Love
2058
On The Gist, parsing president Trump’s one-on-one press interviews may be a fool’s errand, but at least it’s a fun one. In the interview, the Washington Post’s Greg Miller has reported from the murkiest depths of the Trump swamp. He’s on The Gist to talk about Russia’s connections to the Trump campaign, the challenges of covering a hostile White House, and what he suspects Putin really has on Trump. Miller is the author of The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy. In the Spiel, Virginia governor Ralph Northam has to go, but we should still question the warp-speed guillotine that is the internet. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 05, 2019
This Festival Was Fyre
1840
On The Gist, throwback to Mike Pesca's unnecessarily censored yearbook quote. In the interview, Seth Crossno, also known by his online persona William Needham Finley IV, thought it would be fun to go to the Fyre Festival with his buddies. And while the festival might have been a mess, being a part of two competing documentaries about the experience and winning a lawsuit about it was quite the trip. Crossno is here to discuss what it was like, and why he doesn’t understand how people found Fyre Festival scammer Billy McFarland so charming.  In the Spiel, who can advertise during the Super Bowl.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 02, 2019
Kids Are Weird. You Can Be Weird Too.
1682
On The Gist, get off of your phone and out of my way when it’s snowing.  In the interview, there’s no one right way to raise a child, but a few hacks sure help. Podcaster, author, and mother Hillary Frank gives you permission to do what it takes to make your kid’s childhood easier on you, including turning tasks into games and telling white lies (call pork “chicken” if that’s all they’ll eat). Hillary Frank is the creator of The Longest Shortest Time and the author of Weird Parenting Wins.  In the Spiel, centrism sucks.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 31, 2019
Medicare for All, Dissent From None
1787
On The Gist, this one is brought to you by the letter T. In the interview, does using a stool really help your stool? Can the Squatty Potty offer any actual health benefits or is that smooth dookie all in your mind? Maybe the contraption’s popular just because it rhymes… Anyway, Maria Konnikova is here to judge, appropriately, whether that is bullshit. In the Spiel, Medicare is only a minefield if Democrats make it one. This episode is brought to you by Capterra. Try it today, for free, at Capterra.com/GIST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 31, 2019
E Pluribus Unum, Still?
2030
On The Gist, “the big game” is a dumb way to refer to the Super Bowl. If you were to pick a moment in U.S. history that put it on the path to polarization, you could do worse than Watergate. What followed were the blue and red bubbles staked out by CNN in the '80s, Fox News in the '90s, and social media in the 2000s. Princeton professors Kevin Kruse and Julian Zelizer lived through that history, created a course on it, and cover it in their new book,Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974. In the Spiel, Chris Christie’s new book. This episode is brought to you by ZipRecruiter. Get started today at ziprecruiter.com/Gist. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 30, 2019
Stone Cold Weirdos
1923
On The Gist, Nancy Pelosi is a skilled politician, sure… but she’s scoring her wins against an incompetent one in president Trump. In the interview, we obsess about the lives of stars, but what about their not-so-famous siblings? Comedy Central’s The Other Two focuses on the brother and sister of a pre-teen who rocketed to pop stardom. Drew Tarver plays one of those siblings, and discusses what it’s like living in the shadow of a more famous family member (not just in this role, but in real life). The Other Two airs on Thursdays on Comedy Central. In the Spiel, on the eccentricities of Roger Stone and Randy Credico. This episode is brought to you by Slack, the collaboration hub for work. Learn more at Slack.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 29, 2019
Big Tent Primaries
2000
On The Gist, pairing 2020 candidates with this or that Oscar-nominated film. In the interview, don’t take a shot every time Donna Brazile calls herself one of the Democratic Party’s “original gangsters.” But it’s true: she’s been at the heart of its workings for decades. In 2020, she plans on keeping out of the Democratic primaries, all while keeping up with the many rule changes they’ve adopted since 2016. Brazile is the co-author of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics. In the Spiel, an analysis of Trump’s shutdown backdown. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 26, 2019
Digital Journalism, a Market Failure
1894
On The Gist, Necco Wafers are out this Valentine’s Day, but don’t shed a tear. In the interview, some movies live for the twist. Steven Knight’s latest film, Serenity, is ostensibly about a sea captain’s Melvillian obsessions. Knight joins us to talk about how Matthew McConaughey gets it right, Saint Lucia, and writing screenplays in a detached state of mind (“It’s almost like accessing whatever the hell it is that creates dreams”).  In the Spiel, journalists are losing their jobs. And there’s some BS out there about why that is. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 25, 2019
The Dismissal of Kamala Harris
1555
On The Gist, you can’t give Ann Coulter a win.  Rick Pitino is a former American basketball coach who experienced a number of scandals in the past few years, leading him to leave America for the Greek Basket League. But how did a renowned basketball coach find himself coaching in Greece? Journalist Michael Sokolove is here with the story. Sokolove’s new book is The Last Temptation of Rick Pitino: A Story of Corruption, Scandal, and the Big Business of College Basketball.  In the Spiel, dismissing Kamala Harris. This episode is brought to you by Slack, the collaboration hub for work. Learn more at Slack.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 24, 2019
Will #MeToo Face the Music?
1728
On The Gist, Joni Ernst’s divorce filing. When Jessica Hopper started out writing about music, trolls and affronted fans didn’t tweet at you; they wrote you a letter. The world’s move to digital has changed that, and helped bring about the #MeToo movement (notice the hashtag?). But despite R. Kelly’s fall, Hopper says the rest of the music industry may prove resistant to change. Hopper is the author of a new memoir, Night Moves.  In the Spiel, the Covington Catholic teens aren't the disease, they’re a symptom.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 23, 2019
For 2020, Steve King Is Dead Weight
2000
On The Gist, BuzzFeed’s new report on Trump.  Earlier this week Rep. Steve King was denounced by much of his party because of remarks he gave to the New York Times about white supremacy. He may have misspoken or chosen to change his wording if given the chance, but according to the Storm Lake Times’ Art Cullen, who has been covering King for years in Iowa and recently wrote about King in the Guardian, that’s just not his style. But his straight talk won’t work in Iowa if it’s riddled with dishonesty. Art Cullen is here to discuss. In the Spiel, feeding the anger machine. This episode is brought to you by Doctors Without Borders. Donate today at doctorswithoutborders.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 19, 2019
Know Your Memes, or Be Fooled by Them
1833
On the Gist, the knife-wielding skills of Nancy Pelosi. In the interview, An Xiao Mina has tracked the meme from its goofy origins to its use in anti-authoritarian protest and (more recently) disinformation. What’s next, and how can we minimize the harm caused by the internet’s worst actors? An Xiao Mina is the author of Memes to Movements: How the World's Most Viral Media Is Changing Social Protest and Power.       In the Spiel, Pelosi can’t go to Afghanistan because Trump is one impetuous manbaby. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 18, 2019
Tax Their Stuff, Not Their Money
1835
On The Gist, Kirsten Gillibrand running for president.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently floated the idea of a 70 percent marginal tax rate on America’s highest earners. That’s bad for millionaires, but is it even that good for everyone else? The New Yorker’s Adam Davidson argues it isn’t: High taxes wouldn’t rake in that much cash, and they might even scare taxpayers out of the country. Still, he’s clear-eyed about the dangers of concentrated money and thinks a wealth tax (on the value of what you own, not what you make) is where it’s really at.  In the Spiel, you should have thought of that. This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers:  Slack, the collaboration hub for work. Learn more at Slack.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 17, 2019
Stop Going Nuclear
2078
On The Gist, ’twas an eventful news day (William Barr, opioid fatality statistics, Brexit … ), but Mike’s got a big Spiel to fry. In the interview, Greg Jaczko served as chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission under Obama—and soon grew disillusioned with nuclear energy technology itself. He joins us to explain what changed his thinking and where to turn for tomorrow’s energy. Jaczko’s new book is Confessions of a Rogue Nuclear Regulator.  In the Spiel, a thought experiment in which Trump is given the benefit of the doubt regarding Russia … and still comes out looking like a scoundrel. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 16, 2019
Against Steve King, Words Aren’t Enough
1754
On The Gist, president Trump is far from tough on Russia, and too many news talk shows let his allies make that claim. In the interview, Jennifer Traig thought she knew what she was getting into when she became a parent, until “washing diarrhea out of neckfolds” came along. In her latest book, she turns to history to sort the parenting techniques and philosophies that are worth keeping from those that aren’t. Traig is the author of Act Natural: A Cultural History of Misadventures in Parenting. In the Spiel, Republicans are speaking out against congressman Steve King for his racist comments. But how about some action? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 15, 2019
The Future (of A.I.) Is Chinese
2033
On The Gist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s star power isn’t something to fear. Especially if you’re a Democrat. “The world is a very dangerous place!” as a statement from President Donald Trump’s desk once put it. Eurasia Group president Ian Bremmer gets that, which is why his firm writes a list of top geopolitical risks at the start of every year. In 2019, these include America’s response to growing tech and A.I. dominance from China, presidential elections in Ukraine and Nigeria, and cyberwar. Bremmer is also the founder of GZero Media and hosts its podcast, GZero World With Ian Bremmer. In the Spiel, ringing in the year’s first Lobstar of the Antentwig. This episode is brought to you by Slack, the collaboration hub for work. Learn more at Slack.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 12, 2019
When Fact Meets Fiction
1710
On The Gist, costs and benefits in the government. In the interview, Matthew Heineman is here to discuss his new film A Private War. Though usually a documentary filmmaker, this time around he tried his hand at a feature. Focused on the life of journalist Marie Colvin, it’s surprising how many documentary techniques Heineman employed when making the film, which uniquely fits the story being told. A Private War will be available on Feb. 5. In the Spiel, the rhyming Kellyanne Conway. This episode is brought to you by Capterra. Try it today, for free, at Capterra.com/GIST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 11, 2019
The Kids Are Not All Right
1860
On The Gist, the days are getting longer, the brand names shorter. In the interview, millennial whisperer (or, you know, just plain millennial) Anne Helen Petersen recently diagnosed “the burnout generation” in a viral feature for BuzzFeed. Student debt, the 2008 financial crisis, relatively low levels of family wealth—all have contributed to their dire straits. But could their biggest burden be a mental one? In the Spiel, President Trump’s unsurprisingly empty Oval Office address. This episode is brought to you by Doctors Without Borders. Donate today at doctorswithoutborders.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 10, 2019
Addressing the Facts
1933
On The Gist, do presidential addresses change anything?  In the interview, NPR’s David Folkenflik joins us to talk about Donald Trump’s Oval Office address. Should the networks give airtime to someone so averse to facts, even if he is the president? Is there any precedent for this? And what repercussions for lying will Trump face, if any?  In the Spiel, 5G networks.  This episode is brought to you by Slack, the collaboration hub for work. Learn more at Slack.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 09, 2019
The Likeability Illusion
2007
On The Gist, news networks should do us a favor and not air Trump’s prime-time speech on Tuesday night. In the interview, Greg Sargent is an indispensable voice for anyone looking to grasp the inner workings of American democracy. In his new book, he argues that compromise is possible even on issues as stark as voter suppression (the implementers are all Republican on this one, folks). Sargent’s book is An Uncivil War: Taking Back Our Democracy in an Age of Trumpian Disinformation and Thunderdome Politics. In the Spiel, likability in 2020? It’s overrated.    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 08, 2019
What’s Wrong With Motherf---er?
1642
On The Gist, works produced 75 years ago are now entering the public domain. And some are what 2019 would call “problematic.” David Bowie once sang that we can all be heroes … but villainy is where it’s really at. In the Ringer podcast Villains, host Shea Serrano and his guests analyze film’s best baddies to figure out their true motives and chances at redemption. What makes The Silence of the Lambs’Hannibal Lecter the most memorable villain of all? How justified is Amy Dunne in Gone Girl? And are there any villains they won’t even touch? In the Spiel, Rep. Rashida Tlaib used a bad word. But boy, it’s also such a great word. This episode is brought to you by Slack, the collaboration hub for work. Learn more at Slack.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 05, 2019
There’s Something in the Water
1860
On The Gist, what do Kim Jong-un’s letters and Shaquille O’Neal sneakers have in common? In the interview, you’ve likely heard of microplastics, but are they something to worry about? Maria Konnikova is here with answers in another round of “Is That Bullshit?”. Konnikova is the author of The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It . . . Every Time. In the Spiel, and in New York City, even shutting down a subway train comes with delays. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 04, 2019
Impeachment Is a Real Crapshoot
2086
On The Gist, the government shutdown continues. In the interview, impeachment proceedings have never removed a president from office (in Bill Clinton’s case, they even offered a bump in approval ratings). So is it really the best route for those who see nothing but rot in Trump’s presidency? Lawfare Institute COO David Priess surveys the options in his latest book, How to Get Rid of a President: History's Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives. In the Spiel, Louis C.K. and punching down. This episode is brought to you by Doctors Without Borders. Donate today at doctorswithoutborders.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 03, 2019
Andy Serkis, Motion Capture Master
1959
On The Gist, Mike Pesca is leaving Facebook, mostly. In the interview, Andy Serkis is here to discuss his newest movie, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, along with the film’s star Rohan Chand. They talk about the magic of working in motion capture, how it really isn’t all that different from other types of acting, and what it was like jumping on Christian Bale’s back. Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle is available on Netflix.    In the Spiel, finding the appropriate punishments for things like drones at the airport. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 28, 2018
The Babies Are Not All Right
1785
On The Gist, why do daily news podcasts think they can take off for the holidays? In the interview, journalist Priska Neely has been writing about the rates of black infant mortality and why they’re so much higher than American infant mortality rates overall. She joins us today to discuss the possible reasons, including community support systems, health care–related problems, and how racism factors into it all. In the Spiel, Donald Trump visits Iraq and says a lot. This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers: SimpliSafe, protect your home today with twenty-four seven monitoring for just fifteen dollars a month, visit simplisafe.com/gist. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 28, 2018
The Same Old Mike, Plus The New One
1934
On The Gist, Donald Trump is to "wall" as zombies are to "braaaains." In his Broadway show (The New One) Mike Birbiglia tells you why procreation is a terrible idea, before waxing lyrical on the joys of raising a daughter—it’s complicated; he’s complicated. On The Gist, he spares a thought for how to tip at an Olive Garden, the future of email leaks, and Fox News’ underwhelming Christmas tree. In the Spiel, abandoning arguments of good (or bad) faith. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 22, 2018
Free Money for Everyone?
2085
On The Gist, Amazon or marijuana? In the interview, Andrew Yang has declared his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election, and his platform is universal basic income. But how does that work? Is there room for that and other progressive platforms like free college tuition or universal health care? Yang’s new book is The War on Normal People: The Truth About America’s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future.  In the Spiel, thought experiments and the extinction of the human race. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 21, 2018
Adam Keeps Ruining Everything
2093
On The Gist, the government shutdown and Santa. In the interview, Adam Conover joins us to discuss the latest season of Adam Ruins Everything, how they ruin things like guns and mattresses, the mistakes they’ve made along the way, and if there are any topics they aren’t allowed to cover. Adam Ruins Everything airs on Tuesday nights on truTV. In the Spiel, Alice Walker, the New York Times, and narratives. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 20, 2018
The Alt-Right Downturn
2178
On The Gist, why Mick Mulvaney’s trash talk didn’t cost him a job under Trump. In the interview, is the alt-right waning? An expert on the movement, George Hawley, says that de-platforming worked to counter hateful figures like Milo Yiannopoulos and Alex Jones and that the news media may have overestimated their cunning—throwing memes at the wall until some of them stick—to begin with. Hawley is a professor of politics at the University of Alabama and the author of The Alt-Right: What Everyone Needs to Know. In the Spiel, some Pesca family lore on befriending Harlem Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 19, 2018
Don’t Trust the Stars
1732
On The Gist, maybe Rudy Giuliani isn’t deteriorating. Rather, his job now (defending Trump’s shenanigans) is tougher than any he’s had. Maria Konnikova is back to call bullshit on astrology. She walks us through its origins in ancient Chaldea, its popularity among history’s scientists and philosophers, and the present day—where real experiments have been run. Is there any truth to it? And what about just enjoying the fun of it all? In the Spiel, goodbye Ryan Zinke. We knew ye well enough. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 18, 2018
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
1969
On The Gist, the demise of the Weekly Standard. Then, going with your gut isn’t always best (despite what President Donald Trump may tell you). Writer Steven Johnson says making better decisions can be as simple as considering multiple options instead of focusing on the “should I” or “shouldn’t I.” He’s also got anecdotes about Darwin’s marital deliberations, machine learning, and the call to storm the fortress in which Osama Bin Laden (“probably,” Americans figured) was ensconced. Johnson is the author of Farsighted: How We Make the Decisions That Matter the Most.     In the Spiel, pronouncing people’s names correctly. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 15, 2018
One Quiet Leap for Mankind
1841
On The Gist, Jeff Bezos is one rich man. That doesn’t make him (and Amazon) bad for New York City. In the interview, First Man is as much about Neil Armstrong the man as it is about Neil Armstrong the astronaut. Instead of depicting him planting a U.S. flag on the moon, screenwriter Josh Singer had him pay tribute to his deceased daughter. That ruffled some feathers, and Singer tells us why he stands by it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 14, 2018
When the President Speaks …
1797
On The Gist, President Trump interrupted Nancy Pelosi because he interrupts everyone. In the interview, the deputy executive director of U.N. Women, Åsa Regnér, knows how to bring more women into politics. Countries like Bolivia, Rwanda, and those in Scandinavia have achieved more equal representation. So how useful are quotas? Does religion play a role? How can gender parity be seen not just as a rights issue but something smarter for policymaking, the economy, and the health of the country? In the Spiel, putting a dollar value on the election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 13, 2018
Halls of Fame Need Diversity, Too
2346
On The Gist, it’s tough to find a host for the Oscars. In the interview, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame can quickly become incestuous, since past winners get to vote on future inductees. But this year’s 15 nominees break the mold of guitar-slinging dudes with long hair. Sure, Def Leppard is in the running, but so are LL Cool J, Janet Jackson, and Kraftwerk. Music critic Chris Molanphy himself has a vote, and tells us what his ballot looks like. Molanphy is the host of the Slate podcast Hit Parade and writes Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” column.  In the Spiel, Andrew Sullivan’s new religions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 12, 2018
They Can’t Hear You, Theresa
1686
On The Gist, the bottomless Pinocchio. Americans are filled with anxiety in the pursuit of happiness, and social media isn’t making it any better. But how do we even define happy, and will changing our online habits actually change anything? Author Ruth Whippman, who wrote about the phenomenon in the recent New York Times piece, “Everything Is for Sale Now. Even Us.,” joins us to discuss. In the Spiel, the Brexit vote. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 11, 2018
High Time for Impeachment?
2206
On The Gist, the GOP isn’t overtly racist. But it once was. In the interview, Liz Holtzman was the youngest woman to be elected to the House of Representatives, and she did it in 1973. She also served as a member of the House Judiciary Committee as they held impeachment hearings for Richard Nixon. In her new book, The Case For Impeaching Trump, she explains what exactly is required to impeach a president and why Trump’s actions might have already justified those proceedings. In the Spiel, it’s time to award the last Lobstar of 2018. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 08, 2018
The Walk of the Town
1750
On The Gist, is Sherrod Brown annoying? In the interview, Matt Green is on a yearslong mission to walk all the streets of New York City—and Jeremy Workman filmed him doing many of them for a documentary, The World Before Your Feet. Alongside Workman and executive producer Jesse Eisenberg, Green talks about Staten Island’s ordinary charm, the odd street-naming conventions of Queens, and how a life of perpetual walking makes dating pretty hard.  In the Spiel, PETA.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 07, 2018
The Eulogy Myth
1796
On The Gist, stop wishing Jews happy holidays if Hanukkah has already passed. How do you explain wit? James Geary attempted to answer that question with his new book, Wit’s End: What Wit Is, How It Works, and Why We Need It, but quickly found that the only way to write about comedy is to write comedy. He joins us to discuss the difficulties of examining this subject, the various types of wit, and why Buster Keaton is a master of the form. In the Spiel, eulogies are the best part of any funeral, particularly a president’s.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 06, 2018
Sullying a Pup’s Good Name
1493
On The Gist, a “tariff man” sing-along! Then, Maria Konnikova is back for another round of “Is That Bullshit?” She and Mike discuss the cigar-shaped space object (known as ‘Oumuamua) picked up by astronomers last year. Was it an alien vehicle, or just another flying rock? In the Spiel, Mike proudly backs the Slate stance: George H.W. Bush’s service dog probably wasn’t mourning him. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 05, 2018
Wild Wild Story
1849
On The Gist, in doing less than his son did in the Middle East, George H.W. Bush did better. In the interview, Wild Wild Country was one of the year’s most riveting documentaries. But one of its sources, journalist Les Zaitz, argues that it pulls punches on the cult that overtook a small town in Oregon, committed the biggest bioterror attack in American history, and had designs to assassinate its critics. In the Spiel, taking stock of George H.W. Bush’s legacy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 04, 2018
Very Legal, Very Cool
1900
On The Gist, should people be let go for one bad idea? 30 for 30 has been a hugely successful documentary series in both video and audio form for ESPN. Jody Avirgan sits at its podcast helm with a new season covering stories like Jose Canseco’s steroid use, the 2003 World Series of Poker, and Japanese baseball player Hideo Nomo trying to join the Major League. He also hosts FiveThirtyEight’s political podcast, offering fresh and smart insight wherever he can. Avirgan joins us today to talk the difference of the audio documentary medium, how soon after events documentaries can be made, and what stories they almost told this season.  In the Spiel, the very legal and very cool Donald Trump. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 01, 2018
How to Shoot a Fight
1865
On The Gist, cows are beef, even if they’ve reached internet fame. In the interview, Steven Caple Jr. watched everything from Jean-Claude Van Damme movies to street-fight videos before directing Creed II, the latest film in the Rocky franchise. He joins The Gist to talk about how to shoot a fight scene, his favorite Rocky villains, and Michael B. Jordan’s rising star. In the Spiel, Michael Cohen squeals, and we all learn once again that President Trump does not, sadly, tell it like it is. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 30, 2018
The Parent Police
2039
On The Gist, the Nancy Pelosi nonstory (spoiler alert: she’s going to win the speakership) is distracting us from the Trump administration’s latest misdeeds. In the interview, Kim Brooks received 100 hours of community service in 2011 for leaving her son alone in a car during a quick errand. Then she connected with other parents who’d been policed by their community in harmful ways. Do Americans worry so much about the safety of children that they’re blind to common sense? Brooks explores this, and the dangers of involving the police too quickly, in her new book, Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear. In the Spiel, no, the missionary to North Sentinel Island did not deserve to die, and it’s appalling to suggest he did. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 29, 2018
Would the U.S. Win World War III?
1866
On The Gist, Cindy Hyde-Smith is on the MAGA wagon.  In the interview, the U.S. has long been the global leader in military spending. But is that enough to guarantee victory in a war against Russia, China, or both? Aaron Mehta covers the Pentagon for Defense News and has written about a bipartisan commission’s new report on America’s readiness for big conflicts. In the Spiel, terrible arguments obscuring bad ideas. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 28, 2018
Make Voting Rights Sexy Again
2166
On The Gist, Danielle Pletka’s thoughts on climate change and Saudi Arabia. In the interview, the Republican Party’s voter suppression isn’t the result of philosophy or values—it just helps them win. In making the fight over voting rights public, Democrats have two advantages: It’s obviously the right thing to do, and it would help them compete up and down the ballot. Our guest Dave Weigel writes The Trailer, a newsletter on electoral politics for the Washington Post. In the Spiel,  the crisis of credible conservative commentators. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 27, 2018
Obesity, and You, and Me!
2122
On The Gist, the state of the runoff Senate election down in Mississippi. Fat shaming is inexcusable. But so is denying some of the health problems that come with being obese. Maria Konnikova gives us a pre-Thanksgiving report on the latest science and reminds us that obesity in the U.S. is driven by social “superforces” more than by personal choices. Konnikova writes for the New Yorker and is the author of The Confidence Game. In the Spiel, yes, it’s absolutely OK to laugh (or shake one’s head in disbelief) at President Trump’s buffoonery. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 21, 2018
The Many, Many Ways to Think About Running
2011
On The Gist, a historian at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner? Why not? When a young Peter Sagal was labeled “not great at sports,” it didn’t sit well with him. But if that drove him to running in the first place, he now has plenty of reasons to keep up the pace—not the least of which is that it’s a good thing to think, talk, and write about. Sagal is the host of NPR’s Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! and the author of The Incomplete Book of Running. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 21, 2018
Uncle Verne Pulls Up a Chair
1971
On The Gist, violent, vicious, and terrible. These are a few of Trump’s favorite words. In the interview: Verne Lundquist announced sports games for decades. But in retirement, he has more time for classical music than whatever game is on TV. “I’m not a passionate sports fan,” he says. “I’ve got X number of years to live in this life—let’s experience as much of it as we can.” Lundquist is the author of Play by Play: Calling the Wildest Games in Sports—From SEC Football to College Basketball, the Masters, and More. In the Spiel, there are four kinds of presidents. Trump’s the worst kind. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 20, 2018
Ben Stiller’s Big Prison Break
1970
On The Gist, President Donald Trump has finally made a nomination for ambassador to South Africa. And it is a terrible one. It’s hard to make comedy when your story, like Ben Stiller’s latest direction, is based on a state inspector general’s report. Escape at Dannemora is drama through and through, based on the prison break of two men, aided by a female employee (and lover), from New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility. Stiller talks filming bad sex, turning villains into heroes, and what makes Patricia Arquette a great actress. Escape at Dannemora premieres Sunday on Showtime. In the Spiel, get this: a podcast where the interviews never get past “hello!” and “can you hear me all right?” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 17, 2018
Cult Classic
1814
On The Gist, Nancy Pelosi and new House leadership. Then, the self-help organization known as NXIVM had thousands of paying customers, but only some were involved in the cultish operations that, once exposed, brought it crashing down. In Uncover: Escaping NXIVM, host Josh Bloch follows one of the company’s unknowing recruiters, who disavowed the group and became central to the ongoing FBI charges against its founder, Keith Raniere. We also hear from Susan Dones, another former member of NXIVM. In the Spiel, Brexit is back. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 15, 2018
Priming New York for Amazon
2103
On The Gist, who’s running in 2020? Should we even speculate yet?  Time for another segment of Mike debates Slate. Staff writer Henry Grabar is here to discuss Amazon’s choice of New York City, why people seem to keep misunderstanding what subsidies are, and how the benefits of Amazon moving to Long Island City outweigh the costs to the city.  In the Spiel, Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials and asking multipart questions at press conferences. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 15, 2018
More Show Than Showdown
1960
On The Gist, when will everyone stop walking and chewing gum at the same time?  In the interview, it may have been a political stunt ahead of the midterms, but president Trump’s deployment of U.S. service members to the border continues. What are they even up to? Veteran and writer Jack Murphy fills in the details, including how the mission is being received in the military community at large. Murphy is the editor in chief of NEWSREP. In the Spiel, Amazon’s news and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 14, 2018
The Love of the (Basketball) Game
1946
On The Gist, what kind of sped-up sports replays is Kellyanne Conway watching? The simplicity of basketball is also its genius, allowing players to exercise skill, heart, genius and passion in endlessly creative ways. Dan Klores embraces just that in his ESPN documentary Basketball: A Love Story and talks about specific players, the NBA’s leaders, and why short players deserve more credit. In the Spiel, the DCCC may smack of establishment power, but it was damn effective at flipping House seats for Democrats. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 13, 2018
Two Countries, at the Cost of One
1835
On The Gist, by any previous standard, we’d be saying that President Donald Trump lost the midterms, plain and simple. In the interview, Tuesday’s midterms saw red states get redder and blue ones bluer. If results like those keep repeating themselves, Slate panelists—Dahlia Lithwick, Jamelle Bouie, and Jim Newell, hosted live in New York by Mike Pesca—say America could soon feel like two distinct legal worlds. In the Spiel, Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker was a tight end at the University of Iowa! And uh, that tells us nothing about his character. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 10, 2018
In a Political Bind? Call Bradley Tusk
2197
On The Gist, the Democrats’ big win. Bradley Tusk has been in the background everywhere. His hand guided the rise of big political and tech brands, from advising Rod Blagojevich not to extort Rahm Emanuel to facilitating Uber’s explosive growth. He joins us to discuss his political savvy saving campaigns and startups and why he’s so passionate about voting with your smartphone. Tusk’s new book is The Fixer: My Adventures Saving Startups From Death by Politics.  In the Spiel, misunderstanding democracy and trying to correct someone else’s tweet. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 09, 2018
A Congresswoman Speaks
1931
On The Gist, was last night a wave or not? If congresswoman Jackie Speier still kept a gratitude journal (“I don’t have time to do it!”), it would include an entry about the Democratic Party reclaiming the House in Tuesday’s midterms. Instead she’s out with a new memoir—Undaunted: Surviving Jonestown, Summoning Courage, and Fighting Back—and brings details on how her party’s majority will put the squeeze on President Donald Trump. In the Spiel, Donald Trump’s latest press conference. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 08, 2018
Just Ask Mimi
1906
On The Gist, who gets to vote? Mimi Sheraton, the first female food critic at the New York Times, has had a prolific career sharing her opinion on everything like ladyfinger sellers, hope chests and china patterns, and why we’re all eating kale wrong. She joins us today to talk her career as a food critic, why smelt isn’t a crowd pleaser, and the importance of eating as a family. She’s a delight on the Ask Mimi episodes of the Sporkful, and her most recent book is 1,000 Food to Eat Before You Die.  In the Spiel, voting mistakes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 07, 2018
What Newt Gingrich Wrought
2122
On The Gist, live, from Slate, it’s a post-apocalyptic skit that just might come to pass if you don’t vote on Tuesday. In the interview, for decades, there was no need to hope for (or fear) a blue wave; until 1994, the Democratic Party enjoyed a 40-year monopoly on the House of Representatives. Then came Newt Gingrich, who engineered the Republican sweep of the lower chamber, and who looms large in our guest Steve Kornacki’s latest book, The Red and the Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism. In the Spiel, more about (what else) the midterms. Also: Go vote. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 06, 2018
Root for the Dummy
2010
On The Gist, the Republican tax bill and insurance premiums. In the interview: a third-century monk, Paul Revere’s horse, and Death himself … all are characters in humorist Simon Rich’s latest book, Hits and Misses: Stories—and none are in on the joke. “I always related to the characters like Homer Simpson that knew less than they should,” Rich says. “As a child those are the ones that I found more sympathetic and more rootable.”  In the Spiel, the unemployment numbers, and the lies we’ve told ourselves about the economy.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 02, 2018
American Tribes
2160
On The Gist, Pew’s analysis of European opinion surveys is out. Let’s look at Greece! In the interview, the American electorate has come to sort itself not just on political issues, but by worldview. Life is either a gauntlet of hazards (say Republicans) or an array of sights to see (as the Dems think). In their latest book, Prius or Pickup?, political scientists Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler warn that these philosophical differences are sharper than what separated the voting blocs of previous generations. In the Spiel, Trump is out with a racist political ad, surprising precisely no one. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 01, 2018
Hate Counts
1910
On The Gist, Trump’s xenophobic campaign, with a Spooktacular twist! In the interview, hate is hard to measure, but the Southern Poverty Law Center paints a picture of growing prejudice in America. Heidi Beirich and the organization’s Intelligence Project go beyond FBI and Department of Justice statistics to include press reports and even tips from the public. In the Spiel, swing, baby, swing (we’re talking about congressional districts). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 31, 2018
Signed, Sealed, Forgotten
2002
On The Gist, Mike’s bottom five causes.  In the interview, we rewind to the story of the mail bomber, which was quickly eclipsed by a massacre in Pittsburgh and one loud president. Steve Johnson, who directs Cranfield University’s Forensic Explosive and Explosion Investigation program in the U.K., provides details about Cesar Sayoc’s homemade devices.  In the Spiel, Trump’s desire to end birthright citizenship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 31, 2018
For Every Brand, a Backstory
1951
On The Gist, surprise surprise, right-wing commentators aren’t apologizing for getting the mail bomber story totally wrong. In the interview, brands don’t make it big by mistake. Behind the success of Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte and Jell-O are stories worth hearing. Dan Bobkoff’s podcast for Business Insider, Household Name, explores the odd origins of TGI Fridays, the reason there’s a Mattress Firm on every corner, and how a Donald Trump ad may have saved Pizza Hut (it’s all about the stuffed crust). In the Spiel, the Pittsburgh shooter was fueled by hate. But just as importantly, he was armed with an AR-15. It’s time to ban it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 30, 2018
The Blue Blizzard
2002
On The Gist, the man in the van is a sad man indeed.  Harry Enten is a senior writer and analyst for CNN Politics and steeped in the polling data for the election. Will Beto O’Rourke beat Ted Cruz?  Is the blue wave cresting early? And why do Democrats care about Hamilton? Enten joins us to discuss, and his more detailed forecast can be found online here.   In the Spiel, time for another antentwig.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 26, 2018
Et Tu, NBC?
1810
On The Gist, Georgia’s exact match law is an extra hurdle for those with hyphenated last names, which, let us speculate, may be more common among black Americans. In the interview, CNBC contributor Ron Insana on Dow drops, market swings, and the uncertain rise of the job-stealing robots. In the Spiel, Megyn Kelly’s reportedly been fired for her latest faux pas. What did NBC expect when they hired her? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 25, 2018
Blame It on the Mailer
1794
On The Gist, Megyn Kelly’s take on blackface was obviously wrong … and wrong for NBC’s messaging. Sleep isn’t for the weak; it’s for those who want their brains flushed of misfolded proteins and fatigue-inducing adenosine. If that sounds like mumbo-jumbo, Maria Konnikova is here to explain it all and answer one question: Is the prescription for precisely eight hours of sleep bullshit? In the Spiel, President Trump riles up his base in all kinds of ways, but we can’t honestly blame the recent spate of mail bombs on him and him alone. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 24, 2018
Something in the Water
1918
On The Gist, first we’ve got misleading statistics.  In 2016, Art Cullen wrote a series of editorials for the Storm Lake Times, a small newspaper in Iowa, uncovering the murky depths of a fight between local and state governments about water pollution. They followed the money, and discovered a fight funded by agricultural corporations, and ended up winning the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Cullen’s new book is Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope From a Heartland Newspaper.  In the Spiel, gubernatorial races. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 24, 2018
The NFL Mafia
2003
On The Gist, ’tis the season (elections!) for baseless political analysis, courtesy of big network news. Americans spend countless hours watching football, but what do they know about the owners of their favorite teams? In Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Times, Mark Leibovich covers the exclusive billionaire boys’ club and the “very unimpressive group of inherited misfits” that fills its ranks. In the Spiel, CNN’s Van Jones was way too chummy with interview guest Jared Kushner on Monday morning. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 23, 2018
Prison Guard Confidential
2007
On The Gist, Europeans are fighting over daylight saving time, which is way better than having a World War. Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer has been on both sides of a prison’s bars. After spending two years as a political prisoner in Iran, he returned to the U.S. and got a job as a private prison guard. His real aim, of course, was to report on why the American prison system—private and public—is broken. Bauer’s new book is American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey Into the Business of Punishment. In the Spiel, a debate roundup ahead of the midterms. This episode is brought to you by Exchanges, a podcast from Goldman Sachs. Listen today wherever you get your podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 20, 2018
Land of (Only Some) Opportunity
2109
On The Gist, Democrats might actually be winning. Supporters of open immigration policy—and immigrants themselves—often have a rosy view of what awaits them in the United States. National Review executive editor (and Slate alumnus) Reihan Salam says high costs of living can put immigrants in debt rather than on a path to the middle class. “When we’re totally sentimental about this, we miss some of those struggles, and those struggles are inconvenient. People don’t want to hear about them.” Salam’s book is Melting Pot or Civil War?: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders.  In the Spiel, Omarosa again. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 18, 2018
Myth Management
1886
On The Gist, bone saws and Jamal Khashoggi. When Joe Hagan began working on the story of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone, Wenner was on board. But as Wenner slowly realized Hagan was writing the true story rather than Wenner’s story, things got a bit rough. Hagan joins us to discuss Wenner, reactions since publication, and the tricks of writing about a narcissist. Hagan’s book is Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine.  In the Spiel, the civility of debates. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 18, 2018
Between a Rock and a Funny Place
1802
On The Gist, Saudi Arabia, Trump, and Jamal Khashoggi.  Comedy Cellar owner Noam Dworman has had a post-scandal Louis C.K. take to his stage six times now. Why does he welcome him, and if he doesn’t draw the line at Louis, is it somewhere else?  In the Spiel, the death of Nevada Republican candidate Dennis Hof.  This episode is brought to you by Merrill Lynch. Get started today at ML.com/you. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 17, 2018
Bare Necessities? Not in Alaska.
1795
On The Gist, unpacking CNN’s list of top Democratic challengers ahead of 2020. Katmai National Park and Preserve’s publicity stunt worked: For one week (that’s Fat Bear Week), the internet delighted in the tournament bracket that would crown the plumpest predator of them all. Carnivore ecologist Rae Wynn-Grant tells us about the brown bear’s diet, the unknown mechanics of hibernation, and why fattest really means fittest for the competition’s chunky winner (Beadnose!). In the Spiel, what to make of Elizabeth Warren’s DNA-testing gambit. This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers: SimpliSafe, protect your home today with twenty-four seven monitoring for just fifteen dollars a month, visit simplisafe.com/gist. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 16, 2018
Olive Branch, Turkey Leg
1848
On The Gist, how coverage of bisexuality has changed (for the better). Thanksgiving approaches, and with it all the tension that comes with mixing family and politics in the age of Trump. In that setting, Ike Barinholtz saw grist for a political comedy. He directs and stars in The Oath, in which a family reunion is cleaved by the federal government’s push for Americans to sign a “loyalty waiver to the president.” In the Spiel, what Arizona Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema did as congresswoman is much more important than what she did … in a tutu? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 13, 2018
Going to The Good Place
1898
On The Gist, Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz. At first The Good Place on NBC appears to be a light and easy sitcom about a bad apple accidentally dropped into heaven, but look at little deeper and you’ll find a smart and dense comedy about moral philosophy. Creator Mike Schur joins us to discuss this show’s moral compass, baseball, and the Kant of it all. The Good Place airs on Thursdays on NBC.  In the Spiel, Trump’s rally in Erie, Pennsylvania. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 12, 2018
And What About Yemen?
2163
On The Gist, should we continue to trust Facebook with our data?  Saudi Arabia’s disastrous war with rebel tribes in Yemen is 3½ years deep, as is America’s support for it. Michael Knights, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, details the kingdom’s goals: stopping the missile attacks sailing in from Yemen, restoring the country’s ousted leaders, and countering the rebels’ biggest ally, Iran. In the Spiel, the disappearance of abortion providers, the rise of crisis pregnancy centers, and what Google can do about it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 11, 2018
Guarding the Court
1724
On The Gist, it would be cynical to view the Supreme Court as illegitimate. Brett Kavanaugh has done it. But how will the other members of the Supreme Court treat him? And does his promotion affect the American people’s faith in the nation’s highest court? Slate’s courts correspondent Dahlia Lithwick joins us to discuss. In the Spiel, back in the private sector, Nikki Haley can look forward to making Hope Hicks–level money (which, incredibly, is a lot of money). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 10, 2018
Take Down the Poll
1692
On The Gist, after all of that, not a single senator changed his or her vote to back (or stop) Kavanaugh. In the interview, Jill Lepore’s new book focuses in part on the marginalized groups forgotten by other American histories. It also denounces the polling industry born in the ’30s, which turned politics into business even as it ignored black Americans, slowing their march for civil rights. Lepore’s book is These Truths: A History of the United States. In the Spiel, don’t forget that the political pendulum always swings back. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 06, 2018
Sitting President, Standing Anger
1670
On The Gist, the hippocampus has its moment. Tom Arnold believes incriminating tapes of Donald Trump are out there, and he wants to find them. In his new series for Viceland, The Hunt for the Trump Tapes, he’s looking for anything from more Access Hollywood obscenities to the infamous pee tape. But would publishing any of these actually change anything about politics today? In the Spiel, the rhetoric of “sitting Trump” versus “standing Trump.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 05, 2018
Reignited (and It Feels So Good)
2204
On The Gist, Brett Kavanaugh’s high school and college buddies had some weird nicknames, and it’s not helping his case. Rebecca Traister is angry, and she knows other women are too. Events from Trump’s election through the #MeToo movement inspired her new book, Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger. In the Spiel, Mike read the New York Times’ expose on how Donald Trump got rich—so you don’t have to. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 03, 2018
Mueller on the Mind
1879
On The Gist, Beto O’Rourke has the momentum but also a mountain to climb.  In the interview, Neal Katyal has argued 37 cases before the Supreme Court, and (better yet!) joined Mike Pesca on stage at Slate Day in Austin, Texas. Our condensed version of the interview covers the implications of a confirmed Brett Kavanaugh, why Robert Mueller “will have the last laugh” when it comes to taking on Trump, and what the indictment of a sitting U.S. president would look like.  In the Spiel, what mothers of sons have to say about Kavanaugh. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 03, 2018
College-Aged Coddling
1734
On The Gist, guest host John McWhorter considers campus safe spaces.  In the past few years, college campuses have been shifting away from havens for free speech to safe spaces that bar divisive speakers from campus. But is this the right move, or are we damaging the growth of college students by creating these spaces rather than offering intellectual challenges. Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt explore this in their new book The Coddling of the American Mind. Lukianoff joins us on the Gist to discuss.  In the Spiel, are the new models of protest a useful continuation of the civil rights movement? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 01, 2018
The Kavanaugh Conspiracy
1842
On The Gist, guest host Isaac Butler talks about all the news we forgot about thanks to the Kavanaugh hearing. The Constitution is a sacred text in America, but should it be? Heidi Schreck’s play What the Constitution Means to Me tackles that question through her high school experience of giving speeches about the Constitution to put herself through college. Today, she and her director, Oliver Butler, join us to discuss the fresh importance of the play, what sort of impact the Constitution has on women, and what can be drawn from a theatrical analysis of the Kavanaugh hearing. What the Constitution Means to Me is running at the New York Theatre Workshop through Oct. 28.  In the Spiel, Butler considers the nature of conspiracy theories in America and what Kavanaugh has made us forget. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 29, 2018
Losing Hate
1704
On The Gist, the Kavanaugh hearing. By all accounts, Derek Black was supposed to become the next David Duke. He was the man’s godson, after all, and his father, Don Black, had founded Stormfront, the world’s first and biggest white nationalist website. But then Derek went to New College of Florida, where—as told by the Washington Post’s Eli Saslow—he was shunned by many of his peers for his racist views, and embraced by a few despite them. Saslow’s book is Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist.  In the Spiel, more on the Kavanaugh hearing, and Trump’s continuing belief that 52 percent of women voted for him. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 27, 2018
The Land of Steady Filmmaking
1655
On The Gist, the GOP hired a woman! Nicole Holofcener’s films have centered women for more than two decades, but her latest one, The Land of Steady Habits,focuses on a man’s tumultuous story arc. She joins us to talk about adaptations (it was a novel before Holofcener made it into a movie), the slow and deliberate process of directing, and why she hates hearing people chew. The Land of Steady Habits is now on Netflix. In the Spiel, Kavanaugh’s three accusers tell different stories, but many Republican senators are somehow dismissing them all. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 27, 2018
Generation Anxiety
1923
On The Gist, Trump gets laughs at the United Nations. After a few eccentric comedy specials, Bo Burnham next turned to his sympathy for the anxieties of middle school girls, and made a movie. If Eighth Grade (starring Elsie Fisher) seems to imitate life so well, it’s because Burnham watched hundreds of vlogs made by today’s junior high generation.  In the Spiel, standards of proof in the Kavanaugh case. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 26, 2018
That’s the First Straw
1909
On The Gist, how the breaking news machine bungled the Rod Rosenstein story. In the interview, California is set to ban certain restaurants from serving straws unless customers ask for one. But given that straws represent a tiny fraction of the plastics choking our oceans, can initiatives like these really make a difference? Ban-the-straw advocate Dune Ives says targeting the straw is, in part, a way to move on to blocking other plastics from the world’s waste stream. In the Spiel, the air is thick with terrible arguments both for and against Brett Kavanaugh.      Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 25, 2018
Tight Countries, Loose Countries
2007
On The Gist, National Review has one good take on the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation story … and a lot of bad ones. In the interview, we’re used to thinking of societies along the “liberal/conservative” spectrum, but cultural psychologist Michele Gelfand has her own axis to consider: tight versus loose. They aren’t quite the same: Abu Dhabi, for instance, may be conservative, but its role as the crossroads of the Middle East lends it looser norms. In Scandinavia, we’ve got the opposite. Gelfand’s book is Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World. In the Spiel, you wrote in, and Mike read up: It’s time for the Lobstar of the Antentwig. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 21, 2018
What Is … a Podcast, Alex?
1687
On The Gist, Christine Blasey Ford deserves a hearing on her own terms, and that’s all we can say for now. Bert Kreischer is a comic who started out as just the biggest college partier in America according to Rolling Stone magazine in 1997. Since then he’s been grappling with fame, how much of his own life to use for comedy, and the way his father shamed him into doing stand-up comedy. Kreischer’s new special on Netflix is Secret Time. In the Spiel, Jeopardy finally notices podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 20, 2018
Coal Over Climate
1881
On The Gist, the latest in inane Trump statements. Climate change is bigger than any one of us, including the president of the United States. Given his backward policies and denials of scientific fact, he deserves his share of criticism in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. Climate scientist Andrea Schumacher explains which aspects of hurricane season can be expected to get worse as the planet warms. Schumacher is a research associate at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at Colorado State University. In the Spiel, ­­more on John Hockenberry. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 20, 2018
Owe Me the Money
1749
On The Gist, taking issue with the sloppy headlines about the support (or lack thereof) for Brett Kavanaugh. In the interview, Stacey Abrams’ run for governor in Georgia has been criticized because of her huge outstanding debt. That got Ozy.com reporter Nick Fouriezos wondering how much political candidates typically owe as they run for office. He dug into the finances of 396 political candidates to see how much they owed, and to whom. In the Spiel, a presidential penis prognostic. You’re welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 19, 2018
Ethan Hawke’s Earnest Art
1836
On The Gist, Hurricane Florence. Ethan Hawke has stunned us with his earnest, moving performances on-screen, but he’s also a talent behind the camera. His new directorial feature Blaze explores the life and love of the largely forgotten musician Blaze Foley. He joins us to talk filmmaking, the difficulty of music, comic book movies, and why we should appreciate criticism from our elders. Blaze premieres nationwide on Sept. 21.  In the Spiel, the allegations of Kavanaugh’s sexual assault. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 18, 2018
Democratic Socialists of America, for the Win?
1873
On The Gist, Vladimir Putin, RT, and the Salisbury poisoning.   Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might have scary values to conservatives. But to the national director of the Democratic Socialists of America, she’s a moderate. Maria Svart calls the DSA a “big tent organization,” meaning it makes room for everything from AOC’s Scandinavian-style social policies to the more radical workforce ownership of businesses.  In the Spiel, the end of primary season. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 15, 2018
After Family Separations, a Settlement
1672
On The Gist, John Hockenberry’s piece in Harper’s. Donald Trump is no stranger to settlements, and the latest of these come between his administration and hundreds of asylum-seekers. They were rejected after making their cases under the duress of being separated from their children … or their parents. “How are the kids supposed to say why they fear persecution? Try having that conversation with a 4-year-old,” says Margo Schlanger, who headed the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties under Obama. If approved by the court, the settlement would give the migrants a second chance to apply for asylum.  In the Spiel, impeachment.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 14, 2018
Billionaires Don’t Know Best
2006
On The Gist, Vladimir Putin’s “private citizen” excuse doesn’t hold water. In the interview, philanthropic billionaires are better than villainous ones, but Anand Giridharadas argues they could do better. Instead of insisting on the superiority of private efforts, they ought to pay more taxes and leave some things to the government. Giridharadas’ book is Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World. In the Spiel, FiveThirtyEight currently says Republicans have a 1-in-6 chance of keeping the House. What else has that kind of odds? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 12, 2018
DeRay Mckesson Makes the Case for Hope
2112
On The Gist, Mike is thinking he’ll vote Andrew Cuomo—but he’s open to you changing his mind. The 2014 shooting of Michael Brown upheaved many things in the U.S., including the career of DeRay Mckesson, who quit his job as an educator to become a full-time activist. Now he uses his podcast Pod Save the Peopleas a national platform to speak out against police violence and highlight news that flies under the radar. Mckesson’s new memoir is On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope. In the Spiel, want to feel less anxious? Put the phone down. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 12, 2018
Stylometry for Dummies
1803
On The Gist, are we having a national crisis? The New York Times’ publication of an anonymous op-ed has sparked rounds of speculation as to who’s behind it—and the deep-state trappings it describes. Some see the word “lodestar” as signature Mike Pence, but as Sadia Afroz explains, stylometry—the analysis of prose to uncover its author’s identity—is a little more complicated than looking at individual words. Afroz is a senior research scientist at the International Computer Science Institute. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 11, 2018
If You Want Power, Sell It
1802
On The Gist, Lincoln, Kennedy, and Lincoln Kennedy could all speak better than President Trump. If you’re old enough to remember November 2016, you know that telling a good story—even an untrue one—wins elections. Author Yuval Noah Harari worries that populism has liberalism beat on this front, especially given an uncertain future looming with AI, biotechnology, and the possible obsolescence of the human worker. Harari’s new book is 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. In the Spiel, a lawmaker’s voting record is the only thing we should judge them on. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 07, 2018
The DoD Payroll Just Got Smaller
1592
On The Gist, Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing. The Pentagon’s third-in-command is reportedly losing his job, and it’s hardly making news. As the Defense Department’s first-ever chief management officer, John Gibson is in charge of saving billions of dollars for reinvestment. He’s to be fired because of a reported “lack of performance,” but Defense News’ Aaron Mehta says the task was nearly impossible in the first place.  In the Spiel, who really wrote that New York Times op-ed?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 06, 2018
Hedging Your Bets With Lake Success
1605
On The Gist, Bob Woodward’s good intentions. Wealth and road trips are two of America’s favorite obsessions. In his new novel, Lake Success, Gary Shteyngart explores these themes through the story of a hedge fund manager who, after a crisis, takes a trip across the country by bus. Shteyngart joins us today to discuss his research on Wall Street, the concept of privilege, and his trips on Greyhound busses.   In the Spiel, Gwyneth Paltrow and jade eggs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 05, 2018
Farming for Red Herring
1436
On The Gist, Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation is all but certain. A recent Donald Trump tweet gave credence to a bogus (and dangerous) claim: that South Africa’s white farmers are the first targets in a looming genocide. Quartz reporter Lynsey Chutel has the actual statistics, as well as the political context—land reform—that pushed white nationalists into embracing victimhood in the first place. In the Spiel, a roundup of the minor scandals that broke over Labor Day weekend. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 04, 2018
Bright Gays, Big City
1677
On The Gist, Democrats, Republicans, and the N-word. Facebook now has television shows. While it might be surprising for viewers, for creators it’s an exciting new avenue to find an audience for shows not necessarily meant for the mainstream. Strangers is precisely one of those shows, about two queer women trying to make it in New York City. Creator Mia Lidofsky joins us to discuss her show, how wonderfully queer it is, and what it’s like making a show for Facebook. The new season of Strangers is all available to stream on Facebook Watch.  In the Spiel, funerals.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 01, 2018
The OG GOP
1701
On The Gist, there’s no use sugarcoating Starbucks’ Frappuccino. And in the interview… unprecedented! Preposterous! Unimaginable! Trump’s presidency and the GOP’s machinations actually do have antecedents, says historian Heather Cox Richardson. They’re in the 1890s, when robber barons partnered with the Republican Party to pack the courts. Richardson is the author of To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party.  In the Spiel, what do we make of the Catholic Church? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 30, 2018
Fake News Is Nothing New
1455
On The Gist, war games are back. Hoaxes have fooled us at least since the era of P.T. Barnum, but they’re especially prevalent in our era of political disinformation. Kevin Young is the author of Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News and tells us about the racist roots of the hoax and how hoaxes often lead us to believe what we wanted to in the first place. In the Spiel, Trump shouldn’t try to critique an algorithm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 30, 2018
Gerrymandering and You
1625
On The Gist, Louis C.K. isn’t as despised as Twitter makes it seem, which is why an eventual comeback is likely. In the interview, Maria Konnikova breaks down the science of fasting, and why it’s currently associated with cancer treatments. Can it really help reduce cancer growth? And is it a useful practice for healthy individuals? Konnikova is a New Yorker contributor and the author of The Confidence Game. In the Spiel, gerrymandering is bad for democracy and great for the GOP. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 29, 2018
#AbolishICE … and Then What?
1644
On The Gist, the news media reveres John McCain because he failed with grace—and wasn’t too conservative. Chances are you’ve heard #AbolishICE before. Journalist and activist Sean McElwee kick-started it and argues it’s not just the agency that needs to go down, but the criminalization of undocumented residence within American borders. In the Spiel, stupid stuff comes in threes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 28, 2018
Crazy Rich Asians Is Important
1292
On The Gist, guest host Stephanie Foo dives into Crazy Rich Asians, speaking with friend and fellow producer Kat Chow about Asian representation in media, the inspiration to create, and a hope that this film will lead to more Asian-centered media.  Then she speaks with producer and former film professor B.A. Parker about seeing your own culture depicted on screen, and how exciting it is to see stories and jokes not meant for you.  In the Spiel, Stephanie considers whether America has failed her, and why she is so proud of being an immigrant. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 25, 2018
Sweep the Left
1481
On The Gist, nobody move or the economy gets it, Trump says. The guys behind the left’s most irreverent podcast (Chapo Trap House) want the Democratic Party to forget about Robert Mueller and set their sights on 2020. But in the short term? They’re rooting for a blue wave. Alongside Felix Biederman and Brendan James, Thursday’s guests Matt Christman, Will Menaker, and Virgil Texas are co-authors of The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto Against Logic, Facts, and Reason. In the Spiel, when you hear “everyone does it” down in Washington, you know something’s amiss. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 23, 2018
Don’t Touch The “I” Word
1531
On The Gist, guest host Alex Roarty thinks Sen. Elizabeth Warren has a way better message than simply “impeach Trump.”     #NeverTrump Republicans are a vanishing breed. Crooked Media’s Tim Miller is one of them, and he tells Alex that the news media’s biases favor president Trump more than they weigh him down.  In the Spiel, history suggests Democrats will sweep the House in November. But don’t forget that we’re dealing with the poll-defying Donald Trump here.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 22, 2018
Trolls and Trump's Lies
1293
On The Gist, guest host Max Kerman considers why politicians are getting duped by Sacha Baron Cohen. Trump has lied so many times since he took office that it’s difficult for the normal person to focus on them. Luckily we’ve got Daniel Dale at the Toronto Star keeping track. Dale joins us to talk about what it’s like reporting on American politics as a Canadian, including the similarities of covering former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. In the Spiel, how to engage with trolls. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 21, 2018
What Happened to “America’s Mayor”?
1955
On The Gist, how will Rudy Giuliani go down in history, and in public memory? The midterm elections are looming, and the big question is how far the Democrats will go. Are they really likely to retake the House of Representatives? And how would that affect Trump’s re-election campaign in 2020? Gist guest host Steve Kornacki talks to another political statistics wiz, Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics, about why we should be wary of using probabilities to predict elections. In the Spiel, a tale of clear state borders and unclear rules.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 20, 2018
Listening to Inanimate Objects
2044
On The Gist, if Trump weren’t so repulsive, would we judge his murky dealings a little more kindly? And we don’t much think about the inanimate objects in our lives, never considering the rich inner life of the lamppost, the can of Coke, or the humble pillow. But Ian Chillag knows they have stories to tell, and he gets them to speak out in his new podcast Everything Is Alive. In the Spiel, Mike talks to the guest hosts who will rule The Gist all next week. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 17, 2018
Goodbye to the Queen of Soul
1786
On The Gist, the free press. Aretha Franklin has died at 76, and she was much more than a golden voice. Slate’s Chris Molanphy recalls her talents at the piano and in the composition room, where she wrote timeless music and, with her covers, transformed songs from her own genre and beyond. (See “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Let It Be,” and, of course, “Respect.”) Molanphy is the host of the Slate podcast Hit Parade.  In the Spiel, the straw ban and balloons. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 17, 2018
The Heart of Reality Television
1493
On The Gist, autocracy isn’t always bad for an economy. But as Turkey shows, idiocy definitely is. Reality television has a reputation for uninhibited narcissism, ruthless competition, and terrible business pitches. But when Jon Murray created The Real World in 1992, he worked to make something complex and innovative, not a circus of humanity’s basest instincts. And in A&E’s Born This Way, Murray follows the lives of individuals with Down syndrome in Los Angeles, sharing their laughter and tears, their beautiful community, and how they strive to be just like everyone else. In the Spiel, Christine Hallquist makes history. Can she do it again in November? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 15, 2018
Democracy Needs a Reboot
1792
On The Gist, should news outlets halt election coverage on Election Day? “Usually, if you look at American history, we’ve kind of taken a relook at our democracy every 50 years.” And now we’re overdue, according to Jason Kander, an Army veteran and Democratic candidate for mayor of Kansas City. The big things to shake up: how we draw district lines, run primaries, and finance electoral campaigns. Kander’s book is Outside the Wire: Ten Lessons I've Learned in Everyday Courage.  In the Spiel, the president and nondisclosure agreements. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 15, 2018
Trump’s Pyrite Touch
1611
On The Gist, Trump is a racist? That’s not much of a scoop, Omarosa. There were plenty of Republicans standing against Donald Trump—before he won the White House. After the 2016 election, many of them traded in their values for a seat on the bandwagon. Rick Wilson isn’t among them, and he explains why in his new book Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever. In the Spiel, America’s worst kind of racism lies between microaggression and all-out white supremacy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 14, 2018
Gist Presents: Slow Burn
2770
Mike Pesca talks with Leon Neyfakh, host of the Slate podcast Slow Burn, about season two of the hit show. Subscribe to Slow Burn here.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 11, 2018
Venturing Into Obscurity
1543
On The Gist, “the so-called chairman of the Intelligence Committee,” Devin Nunes. Superheroes and comic books may seem ripe for parody nowadays with the constant onslaught of nerd media, but The Venture Bros. has been doing it for years. Part Jonny Quest parody, part exercise in the esoteric, this show really leans into its own quirks. Jackson Publick, one of the show’s creators, helps us understand the wonderful absurdity of The Venture Bros., with its seventh season currently airing on Adult Swim.  In the Spiel, Omarosa. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 10, 2018
On Bended Knee
1671
On The Gist, Trump’s lack of income disclosures. Colin Kaepernick took a stand in 2016 by taking a knee during the national anthem at a football game, sparking a debate about racial injustice that continues to roil. But he’s just the latest in a long line of black activist athletes that have used their status to raise awareness and protest. Howard Bryant uncovers the history of these athletes in his book The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism. In the Spiel, the “unfreakingbelievable” New York Times. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 10, 2018
Regulate Me
1560
On The Gist, Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani. The financial crisis of 2008 wasn’t just an American phenomenon. It was felt all across the globe, with other Western countries suffering the same pain, but enough hasn’t been done about our banks to ensure long-term stability. Will we ever be able to recover fully without a complete overhaul of the current system? Adam Tooze explores this in his new book, Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World.  In the Spiel, Ohio’s special election.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 09, 2018
The Egyptian Seesaw
1981
On The Gist, Trump’s lies and steel mills. The Arab Spring caused a major shift in Egypt in 2011, and the politics only got murkier during the military coup in 2013. But are autocrats really the best allies for the United States, or just for our current president? David Kirkpatrick explores what happened to Egypt during the Arab Spring and the military coup in his new book, Into the Hands of the Soldiers: Freedom and Chaos in Egypt and the Middle East.  In the Spiel, who Trump calls stupid. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 08, 2018
The Smart Drug
1585
On The Gist, Turkey and Trump. We’ve got another round of Is That Bullshit? Drugs treating cognitive malfunctions like narcolepsy, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s disease, are useful for people with those conditions—but what about the rest of us? Can ADHD medication make us smarter? Can narcolepsy drugs really keep us awake longer? Resident debunker Maria Konnikova explains.  In the Spiel, Jay Sekulow and lawyers on television. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 07, 2018
Where Is Space?
1812
On The Gist, guest host Jeffrey Lewis fills in for Mike and talks about trying to solve big problems. Regulating space is tough because it surrounds the whole world, and people can’t even agree where the Earth’s atmosphere stops and space begins. Jonathan McDowell, astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, thinks he has the definitive answer to where that line is. McDowell recently published “The Edge of Space: Revisiting the Karman Line” in Acta Astronautica. In the Spiel, North Korea and nuclear weapons. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 03, 2018
My Life as a Sitcom
1788
On The Gist, QAnon and sound design. Comedian Guy Branum is a hilarious intellect with an intimidating amount of pop culture knowledge. In his new book, My Life as a Goddess: A Memoir Through (Un)Popular Culture, Branum explores things like his love of civics, his Northern California childhood, and his experiences writing jokes for other people. In the Spiel, we’ve got another Lobstar of the Antentwig. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 02, 2018
Quarter for Carter
1838
On The Gist, who makes the CNN Sucks onesie? Jimmy Carter’s reputation is that of an ineffective president. But his chief domestic policy adviser, Stuart Eizenstat, argues that Carter fought for America’s energy independence, doubled the size of the national park system, and appointed “more minorities and women to judgeships and senior positions than all 38 presidents before him put together.” Eizenstat’s book is President Carter: The White House Years. In the Spiel, the local radio scandal of Joe Benigno. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 02, 2018
Courting Politics
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On The Gist, let’s face it: A.I. and robots are going to take jobs from us humans. Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination has restarted the debate on how we vet candidates and whether the Supreme Court is too easy to game. Lori Ringhand, a professor of law at the University of Georgia and an expert on the Supreme Court, explains how much the court has actually changed, or not, in our lifetime. In the Spiel, three theories on how this whole Mueller investigation thing is going to end. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 31, 2018
They’re More Bad Than We Are Good
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On The Gist, sorry, not every product gets to be a lifestyle brand. A few decades ago, it wasn’t uncommon for voters to support the presidential candidate from one party and the senator from another. “Ticket-splitting” is pretty rare now, and as Alan Abramowitz argues, just one of the many signs of an America divided. Abramowitz’s book is The Great Alignment Race, Party Transformation, and the Rise of Donald Trump. In the Spiel, there may well be discrimination in college admissions offices. But let’s face it: Top-notch schooling is available way beyond the Ivy League. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 31, 2018
The Pushback Artist
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On The Gist, do we really have to give up plastic straws? Then, and more seriously: a look back on a recent episode. On Wednesday, The Gist ran an interview with Allison Yarrow about 90s Bitch, her book about sexism in the age of 24-7 news coverage. And in the Spiel, Mike offered a rebuttal of sorts with statistics on the plight of women in the ’80s versus the ’90s. It improved, didn’t it? A shrinking gender wage gap! Less domestic violence! Greater representation in the Senate! But some listeners said that wasn’t the point, and took issue with the episode. Christina Cauterucci, June Thomas, and Veralyn Williams of the Waves (Slate’s podcast on gender and feminism) join Mike to discuss the episode, the reactions, and the lessons learned. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 28, 2018
The Real Deep State
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On The Gist, the glee of seeing Facebook stock take a dive. Imran Khan is poised to lead Pakistan as its next prime minister. The former cricket star campaigned on a promise of transparency, but his focus “is only on anti-corruption when it comes to finding ways to bring down political opponents,” says Alyssa Ayres, formerly of Obama’s State Department for South Asia. Ayres is the author of Our Time Has Come: How India Is Making Its Place in the World.  In the Spiel, how autocrats are starting to use the excuse of fake news. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 27, 2018
Lights, Camera, Sexism
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On The Gist, let’s imagine what’s in that “enhanced” Michael Cohen tape. Born in the 1990s, the 24-hour news cycle was especially unkind to women. The media of the age consistently bashed women’s sexuality, ambition, and presentation of women such as Monica Lewinsky and Nancy Kerrigan (case in point: a Washington Post article that asked, “Is Nancy a bitch?”). Journalist Allison Yarrow explores this double-standard and its repercussions in her new book, 90s Bitch: Media, Culture, and the Failed Promise of Gender Equality. In the Spiel, that was an interesting interview, right? To go with it, Mike pulls statistics on the plight of American women in the ’90s compared with the ’80s. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 26, 2018
The BS! It’s Everywhere!
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On The Gist, President Trump’s high approval ratings aren’t as significant as they seem. America is a playground for the rich, and that’s in good part because of the expansion of lobbying that started in the 1970s. Steven Brill lays out the many ways in which power begets power in Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America’s Fifty-Year Fall—and Those Fighting to Reverse It. In the Spiel, keeping track of Trump’s bullshit claims is truly God’s work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 25, 2018
When Death Row Stalls
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On The Gist, we’re proposing a 2018 Housing and Urban Development festival in Sonoma, California. Convicted killer Scott Dozier was scheduled to become Nevada’s first executed inmate since 2006, until the procedure was canceled with just hours to go. That wasn’t a victory for Dozier, who has dropped his appeals and spoken out to the media—including Vice’s Gianna Toboni—about his willingness to die.     In the Spiel, how our president reaches out to foreign leaders. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 23, 2018
Bobcat Revival
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On The Gist, ideals are better when kept as general as possible because the more specific the get, the more exclusive they become. Bobcat Goldthwait made a name for himself with an oddball stand-up act complete with shrieks, grunts, and experimental jokes. But some 10 years after burying that character, his latest work is as a writer and director. His TruTV anthology series, Misfits & Monsters, mashes up television tropes within the genres of horror and comedy.  In the Spiel, Zoe Chace explains why we should stop hoping for Republican senators to stop Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court appointment. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 20, 2018
Democracy Dies in Dark Money
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On The Gist, about those outlandish celebrity baby names. When the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision made unlimited campaign contributions legal, one state put up a fight. In Dark Money, documentary filmmaker Kim Reed and journalist John Adams exposed the influence of anonymous campaign contributions on Montana’s state government even before the Supreme Court rubber-stamped the problem. In the Spiel, would the high road be so easy to take if Papa John’s pizza were delicious? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 19, 2018
A Piece of Pai
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On The Gist, Girl Scouts are earning cybersecurity merit badges. Sinclair Broadcast Group is trying to acquire Tribune Media so it can extend its television reach, but Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is throwing up roadblocks, which is odd because Sinclair is so pro-Trump. NPR’s David Folkenflik joins us to explain exactly what’s going on and why Pai is hindering the company he previously seemed to help. In the Spiel, Vladimir Putin’s denials that he has Donald Trump in his pocket. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 19, 2018
The Schoolyard President
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On The Gist, the crocodile massacre in Indonesia that got no attention. Work-life balance gets a lot of lip service, but we rarely pull it off. Brigid Schulte, host of the Better Life Lab podcast, is looking for solutions in a world of late-night work emails, shaky job security, and Workaholics Anonymous meetings. Better Life Lab is a partnership of Slate and New America. In the Spiel, president Trump’s mea culpa was delivered with all the skill of a fourth-grader. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 18, 2018
Are You Being Servered?
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On The Gist, Trump’s press conference with Putin and the red herrings involved. Silicon Valley is steeped in self-made mythology, with stories about giants like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and Marissa Mayer. But how did Silicon Valley really come into being? Adam Fisher, whose new book is Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley, joins us to discuss where it all started—and the valley’s potential future. In the Spiel, how journalists should respond to criticisms of the media and how they should hold talk show guests accountable.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 16, 2018
Pardon the Arson
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On The Gist, it turns out your ethnicity is really easy to guess. AnneMarie Sgarlata got rid of her TV months ago, but she still heard about President Trump’s pardon of Dwight and Steven Hammond this week—and she wasn’t happy. Sgarlata was among the lawyers who originally prosecuted the Hammonds for burning federal land and putting the lives of firefighters, hunters, and a teenage boy at risk. In the Spiel, what America’s political parties can learn from cereal brand mascots. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 13, 2018
A Cancer on the Court
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On The Gist, the biases of Peter Strzok and the need to connect accusations with actual evidence. President Trump’s first appointment to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, benefited from anonymous donations worth millions. To Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, this “dark money” has created a frightening loop: Deemed lawful by the Supreme Court in 2010, it gives special interests a lock not just on elected officials, but on the courts themselves. In the Spiel, Trump might not know the difference between Wisconsin and Minnesota. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 13, 2018
Gridiron Man
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On The Gist, “Brett” has got to be the lamest name among Supreme Court justices (or nominees). “If Jim Brown’s the past, Michael Bennett’s the future.” So says sports writer Dave Zirin, who recently published both a biography of Brown and co-authored Bennett’s memoir. Why the contrast between these two football players? Michael Bennett is a deliberate progressive, while Jim Brown’s work to save young men from gang life is marred by a history of domestic abuse. Zirin’s books are Jim Brown: Last Man Standing and Things That Make White People Uncomfortable. In the Spiel, Rep. Jim Jordan picked the wrong hill to die on. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 11, 2018
Don't Forget About Sex
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On The Gist, Trump isn’t strategic or defiant, he’s just rapacious. When discussing #MeToo, the focus is often on the power that men exerted when sexually harassing women, but are their sexual motivations getting left out of the conversation? Emily Yoffe wrote about this in her new piece “Understanding Harvey,” for the Highline, and joins us to discuss. In the Spiel, Hollywood has taught us that cars explode, but in reality they hardly ever do. Shouldn’t movies teach us more practical lessons about how to handle crises?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 11, 2018
The Hole Picture
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On The Gist, comparing Trump’s antics to a reality show is no longer a scarlet letter. Yes, there are storytelling competitions, and Matthew Dicks wins a lot of them. His secret? Keep it visual, and forget about the tangents. Dicks’ new book is Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling. In the Spiel, “people trapped in holes” is a tale as old as time. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 10, 2018
Just Use My Data, People
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On The Gist, the shamelessness of the Wall Street Journal editorial board on Scott Pruitt leaving the Environmental Protection Agency. Advertisements are a pain, interrupting our television programs and distracting us while we play games on our phones. They’re a necessity though, funding all the entertainment we consume. Ken Auletta joins us to discuss the current state of advertising and its uncertain, data-driven future. Auletta’s new book is Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business (and Everything Else).  In the Spiel, can we please just have targeted ads already? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 07, 2018
How Quickly We Forget
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On The Gist, Scott Pruitt is out as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency because it turns out someone really can be too corrupt for Trump. Let us next turn to the Supreme Court—not in America, but Poland, where the rightwing government is forcing nearly 40 percent of judges into retirement. Eurasia Group president Ian Bremmer says the country’s latest swerve toward authoritarianism proves that democracy can erode just about anywhere. In the Spiel, Michael Moore claims to know where the Democratic Party has gone wrong and what it needs to do to change direction, but how reliable is he? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 06, 2018
Song, Dance, and Confirmation
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On The Gist, let’s watch the latest viral video from the conservative right. A certain group of Sherlock fans were convinced that John Watson and Sherlock would fall in love. When they didn’t, those fans turned on the showrunners. But what responsibility do creators have to their fans? Should they take suggestions? Slate TV critic Willa Paskin dove into the question—and the Sherlock fanbase—on the second episode of Decoder Ring. In the Spiel, the Supreme Court confirmation process is broken. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 03, 2018
Shameless Mitch
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On The Gist, Mitch McConnell’s values have changed—again! Lounging around in the heat of a sauna might feel nice, but is it good for you, too? Maria Konnikova has gone through the studies (most of them from Finland, where you can’t throw a hot rock without hitting a sauna) and is here to boil them down for us. Konnikova writes for the New Yorker and is the author of The Confidence Game. In the Spiel, let’s not get carried away. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got fewer votes than some school district board members.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 03, 2018
In 12,000 Words
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On The Gist, President Trump’s demonization of journalists is awful, but it’s not the first thing to blame for the Capital Gazette shooting. The Atlantic recently ran a lengthy article about kids who consider the process of gender transition. Many critics took issue with the author’s approach, accusing him of bias and an obsession with trans children. But were his efforts really in bad faith? Alex Barasch wrote a response to the piece for Slate and joins us to add to the debate. In the Spiel, FBI agents Lisa Page and Peter Strzok were sloppy, but their take on Trump was right on the money. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 30, 2018
Does Authenticity Matter?
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On The Gist, the return of In Search Of hosted by Zachary Quinto, which used to be hosted by Leonard Nimoy, made us notice all the times actors have filled the shoes of others through multiple different reboots. The FIFA World Cup is great, but only the ConIFA World Football Cup has competitors from Székely Land, Abkhazia, and the County of Nice. Slate’s Josh Keating wrote the book on Invisible Countries, those tiny nation-states with little recognition but great stories to tell.  In the Spiel, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated Joe Crowley in the recent Democratic primary race for Congress. Many commentators have called her authentic, but does that word have any actual meaning? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 29, 2018
The Self-Sufficiency Court
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On The Gist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s primary victory was thanks to low voter turnout. She still deserves it! Lawfare’s executive editor Susan Hennessey says Trump’s SCOTUS-approved travel ban is more dangerous in how it changes norms than how it changes facts on the ground. Also: Reality Winner’s guilty plea is a no-brainer. In the Spiel, Justice Kennedy’s upcoming retirement is the perfect occasion to talk about … Justice Clarence Thomas.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 28, 2018
The Unpopular Vote and a Few Justices
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On The Gist, what a Trump tweet can teach us about wine. The latest school shootings have galvanized an already politically minded generation. Harvard’s John Della Volpe studies the voting habits of millennials, and how they could swing election results in 2018 and beyond. In the Spiel, the Supreme Court’s support for Trump’s travel ban is what happens when our checks and balances fail. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 27, 2018
The New Rules of Civility
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On The Gist, why is the Democratic National Committee being held responsible for Hollywood and the media? Calvin Buari dealt crack in the Bronx, but that doesn’t make him a killer. Buari was convicted of a double murder in 1995 and started a campaign to prove his innocence from behind bars. A big part of that was making phone calls to journalist Steve Fishman, who turned his years of reporting into the binge-worthy Panoply podcast Empire on Blood, and joined us on the Gist. In the Spiel, Mike tackles the decline of civility, whether democrats should jeer at Trump’s staff in public, or if we’ve just found a new stasis. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 26, 2018
Who Needs Subtext, Anway
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On The Gist, Rep. Jim Jordan’s underwhelming attention to detail.  Franchesca Ramsey burst onto the YouTube scene with her viral video, “Shit White Girls Say… to Black Girls.” Ramsey’s latest video project, MTV News’ Decoded, is similar: fun, earnest, and educational. Ramsey’s book is Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist.  In the Spiel, about Melania’s jacket.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 22, 2018
A Song You Can Graduate To
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On The Gist, those beacons of honesty—retiring Republican members of the Congress. Cremation has the carbon footprint of a 1,000-mile road trip, your average bee has nearly 1 million brain cells, and only 3 to 4 percent of gossip is actually “malicious.” Those are all statistics relayed in Walt Hickey’s Numlock News, the daily newsletter he started after four years at FiveThirtyEight.  In the Spiel, graduation songs over the years.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 21, 2018
Quitters Can’t Be Leaders
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On The Gist, how President Trump made not breaking up families look like his idea. Why are the U.S.’s political parties weak? Is the “job guarantee” policy smart? Do voters perceive the economy accurately? Dan Pfeiffer has all the answers. He’s a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama and part of the Pod Save America posse. Pfeiffer’s new book is Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump. In the Spiel, the United States shouldn’t be leaving the U.N. Human Rights Council. It should work to make it better. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 20, 2018
Polarization Nation
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On The Gist, the inaugural edition of “whoah there, girl!” Political parties are like people: They grow and change, their values shift, and sometimes they become downright belligerent. Lilliana Mason says America’s two political parties are in the middle of a shift, and it won’t be over anytime soon: “What happened to conservative southern Democrats after the Civil Rights Act passed? They didn’t like it. … It took an entire generation for conservative Southern Democrats to become Republicans.” Mason is the author of Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity. In the Spiel, “angel moms” deserve sympathy, but they’re being used.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 19, 2018
Oh, Stephen
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On The Gist, if we can’t pronounce Peter Strzok’s name right, how will we remember his newfound infamy? If you consider yourself progressive, chances are Trump’s presidency feels like a nightmare. But Politico’s Michael Grunwald returns to the Gist with the argument that Obama’s legacy is mostly intact—at least on the domestic front. Grunwald’s latest book is The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era. In the Spiel, lookism be damned, it’s time to make fun of Stephen Miller. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 19, 2018
The Heisenberg Presidency
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On The Gist, why he lies: a new theory. “I’ve hit rock bottom. I’m writing for a cartoon.” Such were the thoughts of Mike Reiss when he joined the writers’ room for The Simpsons in 1989. Thirty years later, he’s worked on all but two seasons of the show, and says it’s had one real impact: making television smarter and faster. Reiss’ book, co-written with Mathew Klickstein, is Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies From a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons.   In the Spiel, stop us if you’ve heard this one before: President Donald Trump creates a problem, sometimes makes the problem a little less bad, and then takes a load of credit.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 15, 2018
When Border Policy Crosses the Line
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On The Gist, McClatchy White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez explains the ramifications of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy to prosecute migrants who cross the border illegally. One early consequence: The U.S. government needs more places to detain children separated from their parents.  In the Spiel, the nasty things celebrities say—and their supposedly enormous power to get people to vote stupidly. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 15, 2018
Cup of Corruption
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On The Gist, some fun facts about U.S. Senate candidate Corey Stewart. In 2010, a certain Christopher Steele was hired to look into Russia’s bid to host the World Cup in 2018. What he found ultimately led to a U.S. investigation into FIFA’s thoroughgoing sleaziness. There are, around the world, multiple criminal probes around FIFA, and BuzzFeed’s Ken Bensinger says “more shoes will fall.” Bensinger is the author of Red Card: How the U.S. Blew the Whistle on the World's Biggest Sports Scandal. In the Spiel, Macedonians, Greeks, and irredentism.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 13, 2018
Summit Skeptical
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On The Gist, a brief review of President Trump’s roster of losers (and winners). Clint Watts is a man of many strengths. He’s a former FBI agent and a cybersecurity expert. He can break down information warfare to bleary-eyed U.S. senators. He’s been known to track al-Shabaab adherents on Twitter. Watts returns to The Gist to explain how the U.S. government underestimated Russia, and how he himself fell for fake news when trying to protect his daughter. Watts’ new book is Messing with the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News. In the Spiel, the folly of Donald Trump’s new friendship with Kim Jong-un. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 12, 2018
G-7 Hangover
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On The Gist, if the Trump-Kim summit goes as poorly as the president’s business ventures, we’re doomed. Maria Konnikova is here to smoke out false claims about cannabidiol, or the CBD oil extracted from cannabis. Can it help with insomnia, depression, and epilepsy? We find out in the latest round of “Is That Bulls—t?” Konnikova is a New Yorker contributor and author of The Confidence Game. In the Spiel, the White House’s handling of the G-7 fallout was clueless, thin-skinned, and petty. In other words: peak Trumpism.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 12, 2018
Comedians Can Be Well-Adjusted, Too
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On The Gist, president Trump raised the bar on what’s considered a gaffe, and EPA head Scott Pruitt is taking advantage of that. Very few comedians have never been to therapy. Jerry Seinfeld is one. Tom Papa is another. Papa tells us about cracking jokes at Minnesota Public Radio’s Live From Here and his new book, Your Dad Stole My Rake: And Other Family Dilemmas. In the Spiel, ’tis time for a Lobstar of the Antentwig (right after a response to some sexist tweets). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 08, 2018
#MeToo and McYoga
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On The Gist, comparing Bill Clinton to basketball great Michael Jordan. Bikram Choudhury’s status as a star yoga guru gave him license to be odd (spiritual but with a soft spot for luxury cars, and always wearing a Speedo). But there was more to it than quirkiness, as sexual assault allegations beginning in 2013 basically expelled Choudhury from the United States. ESPN’s Julia Henderson practiced Bikram Yoga, before capturing the rise and fall of its founder in a five-part podcast: Bikram. In the Spiel, punning on some of the weirder names in the news these days. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 08, 2018
James Clapper: Yeah, Russia Swung the Election
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On The Gist, IHOP is changing its name to IHOb. And Mike is here to make fun of that. James Clapper was a senior intelligence adviser for both Republican and Democratic administrations. He was also part of the team that informed President-elect Donald Trump of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Now, as a private citizen, Clapper says he believes Russia actually swung the vote. “That’s why you write books,” says Clapper. “Because you can express your opinions freely. And I did.” His latest is Facts and Fears: Hard Truths From a Life in Intelligence. In the Spiel, our expectations of a first lady are sexist and constricting. Cut Melania Trump some slack for not fitting into them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 06, 2018
So You Think You Know About Race
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On The Gist, at this point, whatever the Trump administration doesn’t say under oath is very possibly untrue. In 1963, Robert F. Kennedy met with black America’s greatest artists and intellectuals to talk about race. “And they lit his ass up,” according to our guest, making known just how much needed to be done to address racial inequality. Michael Eric Dyson wrote a book about the encounter and its relevance to race issues today. Dyson’s book is What Truth Sounds Like. In the Spiel, Miss America is scrapping its swimsuit competition, instantly making the United States perfectly meritocratic. Wait, not really. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 06, 2018
Shots Fired, but Not Really
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