The Gist

By Slate

Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.


Category: News & Politics

Open in iTunes


Open RSS feed


Open Website


Rate for this podcast


Phyllis
 Oct 10, 2018
Totally agree with Shellie's review!

Shellie
 Jul 9, 2018
This podcast has made me guffaw with laughter, shake my fist, nod vigorously, shake furiously, and has generally been my bff for the past 3 years. Thank you to everyone at The Gist and thank you Mike Pesca.

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
Will #MeToo Face the Music?
1728
On The Gist, Joni Ernst’s divorce filing. <br><br>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, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Night-Moves-Jessica-Hopper/dp/1477317880"><em>Night Moves</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the Covington Catholic teens aren't the disease, they’re a symptom.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 23, 2019
For 2020, Steve King Is Dead Weight
2000
On The Gist, BuzzFeed’s new report on Trump.&nbsp; <br><br>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 <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/15/steve-king-republicans-iowa-hypocrisy">recently wrote about King in the Guardian</a>, 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. <br><br>In the Spiel, feeding the anger machine. <br><br>This episode is brought to you by Doctors Without Borders. Donate today at <a href="http://doctorswithoutborders.org/">doctorswithoutborders.org</a>.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 19, 2019
Know Your Memes, or Be Fooled by Them
1833
On the Gist, the knife-wielding skills of Nancy Pelosi. <br><br>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 <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Memes-Movements-Worlds-Changing-Protest-ebook/dp/B07C6H7BYH"><em>Memes to Movements: How the World's Most Viral Media Is Changing Social Protest and Power</em></a>.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Pelosi can’t go to Afghanistan because Trump is one impetuous manbaby.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 18, 2019
Tax Their Stuff, Not Their Money
1835
On The Gist, Kirsten Gillibrand running for president.&nbsp;<br><br>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.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, you should have thought of that.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers:&nbsp;<br><br>Slack, the collaboration hub for work. Learn more at Slack.com.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1476755760/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Confessions of a Rogue Nuclear Regulator</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>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.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>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 <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Act-Natural-Cultural-Misadventures-Parenting/dp/0062469800"><em>Act Natural: A Cultural History of Misadventures in Parenting</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, Republicans are speaking out against congressman Steve King for his racist comments. But how about some action?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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. <br><br>“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 <a href="https://www.eurasiagroup.net/files/upload/Top_Risks_2019_Report.pdf">list</a> 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, <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/gzero-world-with-ian-bremmer/id1294461271?mt=2"><em>GZero World With Ian Bremmer</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, ringing in the year’s first Lobstar of the Antentwig.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by Slack, the collaboration hub for work. Learn more at Slack.com.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 12, 2019
When Fact Meets Fiction
1710
On The Gist, costs and benefits in the government. <br><br>In the interview, Matthew Heineman is here to discuss his new film <em>A Private War</em>. 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 href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JJQ6ZG1/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>A Private War</em></a> will be available on Feb. 5. <br><br>In the Spiel, the rhyming Kellyanne Conway.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by Capterra. Try it today, for free, at <a href="https://www.capterra.com/?utm_source=GIST&amp;utm_campaign=brand&amp;utm_medium=podcast">Capterra.com/GIST</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 11, 2019
The Kids Are Not All Right
1860
On The Gist, the days are getting longer, the brand names shorter.<br><br>In the interview, millennial whisperer (or, you know, just plain millennial) Anne Helen Petersen recently diagnosed “the burnout generation” in a viral <a href="https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/annehelenpetersen/millennials-burnout-generation-debt-work">feature for BuzzFeed</a>. 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?<br><br>In the Spiel, President Trump’s unsurprisingly empty Oval Office address.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by Doctors Without Borders. Donate today at <a href="http://doctorswithoutborders.org/">doctorswithoutborders.org</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 10, 2019
Addressing the Facts
1933
On The Gist, do presidential addresses change anything?&nbsp;<br><br>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?&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, 5G networks.&nbsp;<br><br>This episode is brought to you by Slack, the collaboration hub for work. Learn more at Slack.com.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 09, 2019
The Likeability Illusion
2007
On The Gist, news networks should do us a favor and <em>not</em> air Trump’s prime-time speech on Tuesday night.<br><br>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 <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Uncivil-War-Democracy-Disinformation-Thunderdome/dp/0062698451"><em>An Uncivil War: Taking Back Our Democracy in an Age of Trumpian Disinformation and Thunderdome Politics</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, likability in 2020? It’s overrated.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.”<br><br>David Bowie once sang that we can all be heroes … but villainy is where it’s really at. In the Ringer podcast <a href="https://www.theringer.com/villains"><em>Villains</em></a>, host Shea Serrano and his guests analyze film’s best baddies to figure out their true motives and chances at redemption. What makes <em>The Silence of the Lambs</em>’Hannibal Lecter the most memorable villain of all? How justified is Amy Dunne in <em>Gone Girl</em>? And are there any villains they won’t even touch?<br><br>In the Spiel, Rep. Rashida Tlaib used a bad word. But boy, it’s also such a great word.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by Slack, the collaboration hub for work. Learn more at Slack.com.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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? <br><br>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 <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Confidence-Game-Fall-Every-Time/dp/0143109871"><em>The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It . . . Every Time</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, and in New York City, even <em>shutting down</em> a subway train comes with delays.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 04, 2019
Impeachment Is a Real Crapshoot
2086
On The Gist, the government shutdown continues. <br><br>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, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1541788206/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>How to Get Rid of a President: History's Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives</em></a>. <br><br>In the Spiel, Louis C.K. and punching down. <br><br>This episode is brought to you by Doctors Without Borders. Donate today at <a href="http://doctorswithoutborders.org/">doctorswithoutborders.org</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 03, 2019
Andy Serkis, Motion Capture Master
1959
On The Gist, Mike Pesca is leaving Facebook, mostly. <br><br>In the interview, Andy Serkis is here to discuss his newest movie, <em>Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle</em>, 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. <a href="https://www.netflix.com/title/80993105"><em>Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle</em></a> is available on Netflix.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, finding the appropriate punishments for things like drones at the airport.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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? <br><br>In the interview, journalist Priska Neely <a href="https://www.centerforhealthjournalism.org/fellowships/projects/why-are-black-babies-twice-likely-die-white-babies-us">has been writing about the rates of black infant mortality</a> 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. <br><br>In the Spiel, Donald Trump visits Iraq and says a lot.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers: <br><br>SimpliSafe, protect your home today with twenty-four seven monitoring for just fifteen dollars a month, visit <a href="https://simplisafe.com/gist">simplisafe.com/gist</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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."<br><br>In his Broadway show (<em>The New One</em>) 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.<br><br>In the Spiel, abandoning arguments of good (or bad) faith.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 22, 2018
Free Money for Everyone?
2085
On The Gist, Amazon or marijuana? <br><br>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 <a href="https://www.amazon.com/War-Normal-People-Disappearing-Universal/dp/0316414247"><em>The War on Normal People: The Truth About America’s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, thought experiments and the extinction of the human race.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by Merrill Lynch. Get started today at ML.com/you.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 21, 2018
Adam Keeps Ruining Everything
2093
On The Gist, the government shutdown and Santa. <br><br>In the interview, Adam Conover joins us to discuss the latest season of <em>Adam Ruins Everything</em>, 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. <a href="https://www.trutv.com/shows/adam-ruins-everything/index.html"><em>Adam Ruins Everything</em></a> airs on Tuesday nights on truTV. <br><br>In the Spiel, Alice Walker, the New York Times, and narratives.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers: <br><br>Exchanges, a podcast from Goldman Sachs. Listen today wherever you get your podcasts.<br><br>Sunbasket, learn more at <a href="https://try.sunbasket.com/organic/?offer=A-PODCAST35&amp;utm_medium=podcast&amp;utm_source=gist">sunbasket.com/gist</a> and get $35 off your first order.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0190905204/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Alt-Right: What Everyone Needs to Know</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, some Pesca family lore on befriending Harlem Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers:&nbsp;<br><br>Merrill Lynch. Get started today at ML.com/you.<br><br>Helix, a new kind of DNA testing. Try today for a deep discount at helix.com/gist.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>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?<br><br>In the Spiel, goodbye Ryan Zinke. We knew ye well enough.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by Citrix. Start working smarter today at citrix.com/slate.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 18, 2018
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
1969
On The Gist, the demise of the Weekly Standard. <br><br>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1594488215/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Farsighted: How We Make the Decisions That Matter the Most</em></a>.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, pronouncing people’s names correctly.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers:<br><br>Merrill Lynch. Get started today at ML.com/you.<br><br>Helix, a new kind of DNA testing. Try today for a deep discount at helix.com/gist.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>In the interview, <em>First Man</em> 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.<br><br>In the Spiel, unpacking the latest softball interview between Fox News and President Donald Trump.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by Slack, the collaboration hub for work. Learn more at Slack.com.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 14, 2018
When the President Speaks …
1797
On The Gist, President Trump interrupted Nancy Pelosi because he interrupts everyone.<br><br>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?<br><br>In the Spiel, putting a dollar value on the election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers:&nbsp;<br><br>Exchanges, a podcast from Goldman Sachs. Listen today wherever you get your podcasts.<br><br>Helix, a new kind of DNA testing. Try today for a deep discount at helix.com/gist.<br><br>Citrix. Start working smarter today at citrix.com/slate.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 13, 2018
Halls of Fame Need Diversity, Too
2346
On The Gist, it’s tough to find a host for the Oscars.<br><br>In the interview, the Rock &amp; 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 <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/hit_parade.html">Hit Parade</a> and writes Slate’s <a href="http://www.slate.com/topics/w/why_is_this_songno1.html">“Why Is This Song No. 1?”</a> column. <br><br>In the Spiel, Andrew Sullivan’s new religions.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers: <br><br>SimpliSafe, protect your home today with twenty-four seven monitoring for just fifteen dollars a month, visit <a href="https://simplisafe.com/gist">simplisafe.com/gist</a>.<br><br>Merrill Lynch. Get started today at ML.com/you.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 12, 2018
They Can’t Hear You, Theresa
1686
On The Gist, the bottomless Pinocchio. <br><br>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 <em>happy</em>, and will changing our online habits actually change anything? Author Ruth Whippman, who wrote about the phenomenon in the recent New York Times piece, “<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/24/opinion/sunday/gig-economy-self-promotion-anxiety.html">Everything Is for Sale Now. Even Us.</a>,<em>”</em> joins us to discuss.<br><br>In the Spiel, the Brexit vote.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers: <br><br>Exchanges, a podcast from Goldman Sachs. Listen today wherever you get your podcasts.<br><br>Merrill Lynch. Get started today at ML.com/you.<br><br>SimpliSafe, protect your home today with twenty-four seven monitoring for just fifteen dollars a month, visit <a href="https://simplisafe.com/gist">simplisafe.com/gist</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 11, 2018
High Time for Impeachment?
2206
On The Gist, the GOP isn’t overtly racist. But it once was.<br><br>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, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Case-Impeaching-Trump-Elizabeth-Holtzman/dp/1510744770"><em>The Case For Impeaching Trump</em></a>, she explains what exactly is required to impeach a president and why Trump’s actions might have already justified those proceedings.<br><br>In the Spiel, it’s time to award the last Lobstar of 2018.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 08, 2018
The Walk of the Town
1750
On The Gist, is Sherrod Brown annoying? <br><br>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, <a href="https://www.theworldbeforeyourfeet.com/?fbclid=IwAR1nBkEXPXZvnTI8OiUbYnPpi5PAylsuC5WkaGPk8sXVt3OwY_psBpm-92o"><em>The World Before Your Feet</em></a>. 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.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, PETA.&nbsp;<br><br>This episode is brought to you by Helix, a new kind of DNA testing. Try today for a deep discount at helix.com/gist.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 07, 2018
The Eulogy Myth
1796
On The Gist, stop wishing Jews happy holidays if Hanukkah has already passed. <br><br>How do you explain wit? James Geary attempted to answer that question with his new book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0393254941/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Wit’s End: What Wit Is, How It Works, and Why We Need It</em></a>, 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.<br><br>In the Spiel, eulogies are the best part of any funeral, particularly a president’s.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 06, 2018
Sullying a Pup’s Good Name
1493
On The Gist, a “tariff man” sing-along! <br><br>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?<br><br>In the Spiel, Mike proudly backs the Slate stance: <a href="https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/12/sully-hw-bush-service-dog-george-hw-bush-funeral.html">George H.W. Bush’s service dog probably wasn’t mourning him</a>.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers:&nbsp;<br><br>Slack, the collaboration hub for work. Learn more at Slack.com.<br><br>Helix, a new kind of DNA testing. Try today for a deep discount at helix.com/gist.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>In the interview, <em>Wild Wild Country</em> 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.<br><br>In the Spiel, taking stock of George H.W. Bush’s legacy.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by Merrill Lynch. Get started today at ML.com/you.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 04, 2018
Very Legal, Very Cool
1900
On The Gist, should people be let go for one bad idea? <br><br><a href="https://30for30podcasts.com/"><em>30 for 30</em></a> 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 <em>FiveThirtyEight</em>’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. <br><br>In the Spiel, the very legal and very cool Donald Trump.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers: <br><br>Exchanges, a podcast from Goldman Sachs. Listen today wherever you get your podcasts.<br><br>I Travel For, a new podcast that explores what inspires us to travel. Listen and subscribe today at <a href="https://apple.co/2DPEWJE">https://apple.co/2DPEWJE</a>.<br><br>Helix, a new kind of DNA testing. Try today for a deep discount at helix.com/gist.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 01, 2018
How to Shoot a Fight
1865
On The Gist, cows are beef, even if they’ve reached internet fame.<br><br>In the interview, Steven Caple Jr. watched everything from Jean-Claude Van Damme movies to street-fight videos before directing <em>Creed II</em>, the latest film in the <em>Rocky</em> franchise. He joins The Gist to talk about how to shoot a fight scene, his favorite <em>Rocky</em> villains, and Michael B. Jordan’s rising star.<br><br>In the Spiel, Michael Cohen squeals, and we all learn once again that President Trump does not, sadly, tell it like it is.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>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, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1250089557/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear</em></a>.<br>In the Spiel, no, the missionary to North Sentinel Island did not deserve to die, and it’s appalling to suggest he did.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 29, 2018
Would the U.S. Win World War III?
1866
On The Gist, Cindy Hyde-Smith is on the MAGA wagon.&nbsp;<br><br>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.<br><br>In the Spiel, terrible arguments obscuring bad ideas.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 28, 2018
Make Voting Rights Sexy Again
2166
On The Gist, Danielle Pletka’s thoughts on climate change and Saudi Arabia.<br><br>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 <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/09/05/get-the-trailer-newsletter-and-stay-in-the-know-on-campaigns-and-elections/?utm_term=.d726ec3be746">The Trailer</a>, a newsletter on electoral politics for the Washington Post.<br><br>In the Spiel,&nbsp; the crisis of credible conservative commentators.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 27, 2018
Obesity, and You, and Me!
2122
On The Gist, the state of the runoff Senate election down in Mississippi.<br><br>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0143109871/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Confidence Game</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, yes, it’s absolutely OK to laugh (or shake one’s head in disbelief) at President Trump’s buffoonery.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by I Travel For, a new podcast that explores what inspires us to travel. Listen and subscribe today at <a href="https://apple.co/2DPEWJE">https://apple.co/2DPEWJE</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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?<br><br>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 <em>Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me!</em> and the author of <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Incomplete-Book-Running-Peter-Sagal/dp/1451696248"><em>The Incomplete Book of Running</em></a>.<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 21, 2018
Uncle Verne Pulls Up a Chair
1971
On The Gist, <em>violent</em>, <em>vicious</em>, and <em>terrible</em>. These are a few of Trump’s favorite words.<br><br>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0062684442/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Play by Play: Calling the Wildest Games in Sports—From SEC Football to College Basketball, the Masters, and More</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, there are four kinds of presidents. Trump’s the worst kind.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers:&nbsp;<br><br>Exchanges, a podcast from Goldman Sachs. Listen today wherever you get your podcasts.<br><br>Merrill Lynch. Get started today at ML.com/you.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>It’s hard to make comedy when your story, like Ben Stiller’s latest direction, is based on a state inspector general’s report. <em>Escape at Dannemora</em> 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. <em>Escape at Dannemora</em> premieres Sunday on Showtime.<br><br>In the Spiel, get this: a podcast where the interviews never get past “hello!” and “can you hear me all right?”<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 17, 2018
Cult Classic
1814
On The Gist, Nancy Pelosi and new House leadership.<br><br>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 <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/radio/uncover/uncover-escaping-nxivm-1.4675949"><em>Uncover: Escaping NXIVM</em></a>, 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.<br>In the Spiel, Brexit is back.<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 15, 2018
Priming New York for Amazon
2103
On The Gist, who’s running in 2020? Should we even speculate yet?&nbsp;<br><br>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.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials and asking multipart questions at press conferences.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 15, 2018
More Show Than Showdown
1960
On The Gist, when will everyone stop walking and chewing gum at the same time? <br><br>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.<br><br>In the Spiel, Amazon’s news and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers: <br><br>Slack, the collaboration hub for work. Learn more at Slack.com.<br>and <br>I Travel For, a new podcast that explores what inspires us to travel. Listen and subscribe today at <a href="https://apple.co/2DPEWJE">https://apple.co/2DPEWJE</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 14, 2018
The Love of the (Basketball) Game
1946
On The Gist, what kind of sped-up sports replays is Kellyanne Conway watching?<br><br>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 <a href="http://www.espn.com/watch/series/c31393a0-346f-4269-b680-18338b6e4c4f/basketball-a-love-story"><em>Basketball: A Love Story</em></a> and talks about specific players, the NBA’s leaders, and why short players deserve more credit.<br><br>In the Spiel, the DCCC may smack of establishment power, but it was damn effective at flipping House seats for Democrats.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>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.<br><br>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.<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 10, 2018
In a Political Bind? Call Bradley Tusk
2197
On The Gist, the Democrats’ big win.<br><br>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0525536493/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Fixer: My Adventures Saving Startups From Death by Politics</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, misunderstanding democracy and trying to correct someone else’s tweet.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 09, 2018
A Congresswoman Speaks
1931
On The Gist, was last night a wave or not? <br><br>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—<a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1503903605/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Undaunted: Surviving Jonestown, Summoning Courage, and Fighting Back</em></a>—and brings details on how her party’s majority will put the squeeze on President Donald Trump.<br><br>In the Spiel, Donald Trump’s latest press conference.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 08, 2018
Just Ask Mimi
1906
On The Gist, who gets to vote? <br><br>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 <a href="http://www.sporkful.com/tag/mimi-sheraton/">Ask Mimi episodes</a> of the Sporkful, and her most recent book is <a href="https://www.amazon.com/000-Foods-Eat-Before-You/dp/0761141685"><em>1,000 Food to Eat Before You Die</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, voting mistakes.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>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, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0062438980/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Red and the Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, more about (what else) the midterms. Also: Go vote.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 06, 2018
Root for the Dummy
2010
On The Gist, the Republican tax bill and insurance premiums.<br><br>In the interview: a third-century monk, Paul Revere’s horse, and Death himself … all are characters in humorist Simon Rich’s latest book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0316468894/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Hits and Misses: Stories</em></a>—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.”&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the unemployment numbers, and the lies we’ve told ourselves about the economy.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 02, 2018
American Tribes
2160
On The Gist, Pew’s analysis of European opinion surveys is out. Let’s look at Greece!<br><br>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, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Prius-Pickup-Answers-Questions-Americas-ebook/dp/B078FH3BC6"><em>Prius or Pickup?</em></a>, political scientists Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler warn that these philosophical differences are sharper than what separated the voting blocs of previous generations.<br>In the Spiel, Trump is out with a racist political ad, surprising precisely no one.<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 01, 2018
Hate Counts
1910
On The Gist, Trump’s xenophobic campaign, with a Spooktacular twist!<br><br>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.<br><br>In the Spiel, swing, baby, swing (we’re talking about congressional districts).<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 31, 2018
Signed, Sealed, Forgotten
2002
On The Gist, Mike’s bottom five causes.&nbsp;<br><br>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.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Trump’s desire to end birthright citizenship.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>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, <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/household-name"><em>Household Name</em></a>, 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).<br><br>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.<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 30, 2018
The Blue Blizzard
2002
On The Gist, the man in the van is a sad man indeed.&nbsp; <br><br>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?&nbsp; Is the blue wave cresting early? And why do Democrats care about <em>Hamilton</em>? Enten joins us to discuss, and his more detailed forecast can be found online <a href="https://www.cnn.com/election/2018/forecast">here</a>. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, time for another antentwig.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>In the interview, CNBC contributor Ron Insana on Dow drops, market swings, and the uncertain rise of the job-stealing robots.<br><br>In the Spiel, Megyn Kelly’s reportedly been fired for her latest faux pas. What did NBC expect when they hired her?<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>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?<br><br>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.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 24, 2018
Something in the Water
1918
On The Gist, first we’ve got misleading statistics.&nbsp; <br><br>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 <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Storm-Lake-Chronicle-Resilience-Heartland/dp/052555887X/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope From a Heartland Newspaper</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, gubernatorial races.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 24, 2018
The NFL Mafia
2003
On The Gist, ’tis the season (elections!) for baseless political analysis, courtesy of big network news.<br><br>Americans spend countless hours watching football, but what do they know about the owners of their favorite teams? In <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Big-Game-NFL-Dangerous-Times/dp/0399185429/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Times</em></a>, Mark Leibovich covers the exclusive billionaire boys’ club and the “very unimpressive group of inherited misfits” that fills its ranks.<br><br>In the Spiel, CNN’s Van Jones was way too chummy with interview guest Jared Kushner on Monday morning.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0735223580/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey Into the Business of Punishment</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, a debate roundup ahead of the midterms.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by Exchanges, a podcast from Goldman Sachs. Listen today wherever you get your podcasts.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 20, 2018
Land of (Only Some) Opportunity
2109
On The Gist, Democrats might actually be winning. <br><br>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 <a href="https://slate.com/author/reihan-salam">Slate alumnus</a>) 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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0735216274/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Melting Pot or Civil War?: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Omarosa again.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 18, 2018
Myth Management
1886
On The Gist, bone saws and Jamal Khashoggi. <br><br>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 <em>Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine</em>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the civility of debates.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 18, 2018
Between a Rock and a Funny Place
1802
On The Gist, Saudi Arabia, Trump, and Jamal Khashoggi.&nbsp;<br><br>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?&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the death of Nevada Republican candidate Dennis Hof.&nbsp;<br><br>This episode is brought to you by Merrill Lynch. Get started today at ML.com/you.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 17, 2018
Bare Necessities? Not in Alaska.
1795
On The Gist, unpacking CNN’s list of top Democratic challengers ahead of 2020.<br><br>Katmai National Park and Preserve’s publicity stunt worked: For one week (that’s <em>Fat Bear</em> 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!).<br><br>In the Spiel, what to make of Elizabeth Warren’s DNA-testing gambit.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers: <br><br>SimpliSafe, protect your home today with twenty-four seven monitoring for just fifteen dollars a month, visit <a href="https://simplisafe.com/gist">simplisafe.com/gist</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 16, 2018
Olive Branch, Turkey Leg
1848
On The Gist, how coverage of bisexuality has changed (for the better).<br><br>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 <em>The Oath</em>, in which a family reunion is cleaved by the federal government’s push for Americans to sign a “loyalty waiver to the president.”<br><br>In the Spiel, what Arizona Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema did as congresswoman is much more important than what she did … in a tutu?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 13, 2018
Going to The Good Place
1898
On The Gist, Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz. <br><br>At first <em>The Good Place</em> 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. <em>The Good Place </em>airs on Thursdays on NBC.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Trump’s rally in Erie, Pennsylvania.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 12, 2018
And What About Yemen?
2163
On The Gist, should we continue to trust Facebook with our data?&nbsp;<br><br>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.<br><br>In the Spiel, the disappearance of abortion providers, the rise of crisis pregnancy centers, and what Google can do about it.<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 11, 2018
Guarding the Court
1724
On The Gist, it would be cynical to view the Supreme Court as illegitimate.<br><br>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.<br><br>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).<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0393635244/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>These Truths: A History of the United States</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, don’t forget that the political pendulum always swings back.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 06, 2018
Sitting President, Standing Anger
1670
On The Gist, the hippocampus has its moment.<br><br>Tom Arnold believes incriminating tapes of Donald Trump are out there, and he wants to find them. In his new series for Viceland, <a href="https://www.viceland.com/en_us/show/the-hunt-for-the-trump-tapes-with-tom-arnold"><em>The Hunt for the Trump Tapes</em></a>, he’s looking for anything from more <em>Access Hollywood</em> obscenities to the infamous pee tape. But would publishing any of these actually change anything about politics today?<br><br>In the Spiel, the rhetoric of “sitting Trump” versus “standing Trump.”<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>Rebecca Traister is angry, and she knows other women are too. Events from Trump’s election through the #MeToo movement inspired her new book, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Good-Mad-Revolutionary-Power-Womens/dp/1501181793/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, Mike read the New York Times’ expose on how Donald Trump got rich—so you don’t have to.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 03, 2018
Mueller on the Mind
1879
On The Gist, Beto O’Rourke has the momentum but also a mountain to climb.&nbsp;<br><br>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.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, what mothers of sons have to say about Kavanaugh.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 03, 2018
College-Aged Coddling
1734
On The Gist, guest host John McWhorter considers campus safe spaces.&nbsp; <br><br>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 <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Coddling-American-Mind-Intentions-Generation/dp/0735224897/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Coddling of the American Mind</em></a>. Lukianoff joins us on the Gist to discuss.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, are the new models of protest a useful continuation of the civil rights movement?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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. <br><br>The Constitution is a sacred text in America, but should it be? Heidi Schreck’s play <em>What the Constitution Means to Me</em> 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. <a href="https://www.nytw.org/show/what-the-constitution-means-to-me/"><em>What the Constitution Means to Me</em></a> is running at the New York Theatre Workshop through Oct. 28.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Butler considers the nature of conspiracy theories in America and what Kavanaugh has made us forget.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 29, 2018
Losing Hate
1704
On The Gist, the Kavanaugh hearing. <br><br>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0385542860/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, more on the Kavanaugh hearing, and Trump’s continuing belief that 52 percent of women voted for him.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 27, 2018
The Land of Steady Filmmaking
1655
On The Gist, the GOP hired a woman!<br><br>Nicole Holofcener’s films have centered women for more than two decades, but her latest one, <em>The Land of Steady Habits</em>,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. <em>The Land of Steady Habits </em>is now on Netflix.<br><br>In the Spiel, Kavanaugh’s three accusers tell different stories, but many Republican senators are somehow dismissing them all.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 27, 2018
Generation Anxiety
1923
On The Gist, Trump gets laughs at the United Nations. <br><br>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 <em>Eighth Grade</em> (starring Elsie Fisher) seems to imitate life so well, it’s because Burnham watched hundreds of vlogs made by today’s junior high generation.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, standards of proof in the Kavanaugh case.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 26, 2018
That’s the First Straw
1909
On The Gist, how the breaking news machine bungled the Rod Rosenstein story.<br><br>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.<br><br>In the Spiel, the air is thick with terrible arguments both for and against Brett Kavanaugh.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 25, 2018
Tight Countries, Loose Countries
2007
On The Gist, <em>National Review</em> has one good take on the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation story … and a lot of bad ones.<br><br>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1501152939/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, you wrote in, and Mike read up: It’s time for the Lobstar of the Antentwig.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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. <br><br>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 <a href="https://www.netflix.com/title/80238360"><em>Secret Time</em></a>. <br><br>In the Spiel, <em>Jeopardy</em> finally notices podcasts.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 20, 2018
Coal Over Climate
1881
On The Gist, the latest in inane Trump statements.<br><br>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.<br><br>In the Spiel, ­­more on John Hockenberry.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>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 <a href="https://www.ozy.com/politics-and-power/contending-with-debt-244-midterm-candidates-are-in-the-red/88397">dug into</a> the finances of 396 political candidates to see how much they owed, and to whom.<br><br>In the Spiel, a presidential penis prognostic. You’re welcome.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 19, 2018
Ethan Hawke’s Earnest Art
1836
On The Gist, Hurricane Florence. <br><br>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<em> Blaze</em> 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. <a href="http://blazethemovie.com/"><em>Blaze</em></a> premieres nationwide on Sept. 21.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the allegations of Kavanaugh’s sexual assault.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 18, 2018
Democratic Socialists of America, for the Win?
1873
On The Gist, Vladimir Putin, RT, and the Salisbury poisoning. &nbsp;<br><br>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.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the end of primary season.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 15, 2018
After Family Separations, a Settlement
1672
On The Gist, John Hockenberry’s piece in Harper’s. <br><br>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 <a href="https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/06/how-you-can-fight-family-separation-at-the-border.html">Margo Schlanger</a>, 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.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, impeachment.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 14, 2018
Billionaires Don’t Know Best
2006
On The Gist, Vladimir Putin’s “private citizen” excuse doesn’t hold water.<br><br>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0451493249/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World</em></a><em>.<br><br></em>In the Spiel, FiveThirtyEight currently <a href="https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2018-midterm-election-forecast/house/">says</a> Republicans have a 1-in-6 chance of keeping the House. What else has that kind of odds?<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>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 <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/pod-save-the-people/id1230148653?mt=2"><em>Pod Save the People</em></a>as a national platform to speak out against police violence and highlight news that flies under the radar. Mckesson’s new memoir is <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Other-Side-Freedom-Case-Hope/dp/0525560327/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, want to feel less anxious? Put the phone down.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 12, 2018
Stylometry for Dummies
1803
On The Gist, are we having a national crisis?<br><br>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.<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>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 <a href="http://www.ynharari.com/book/21-lessons/"><em>21 Lessons for the 21st Century</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, a lawmaker’s voting record is the only thing we should judge them on.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 07, 2018
The DoD Payroll Just Got Smaller
1592
On The Gist, Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing. <br><br>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’ <a href="https://www.defensenews.com/author/aaron-mehta/">Aaron Mehta</a> says the task was nearly impossible in the first place.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, who really wrote that New York Times op-ed?&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 06, 2018
Hedging Your Bets With Lake Success
1605
On The Gist, Bob Woodward’s good intentions.<br><br>Wealth and road trips are two of America’s favorite obsessions. In his new novel, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Lake-Success-Novel-Gary-Shteyngart/dp/0812997417/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Lake Success</em></a>, 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. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Gwyneth Paltrow and jade eggs.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 05, 2018
Farming for Red Herring
1436
On The Gist, Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation is all but certain.<br><br>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 <a href="https://qz.com/author/lchutelqz/">Lynsey Chutel</a> has the actual statistics, as well as the political context—land reform—that pushed white nationalists into embracing victimhood in the first place.<br><br>In the Spiel, a roundup of the minor scandals that broke over Labor Day weekend.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 04, 2018
Bright Gays, Big City
1677
On The Gist, Democrats, Republicans, and the N-word.<br><br>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. <em>Strangers</em> 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 <em>Strangers </em>is all <a href="https://www.facebook.com/StrangersSeries/">available to stream on Facebook Watch.</a>&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, funerals.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 01, 2018
The OG GOP
1701
On The Gist, there’s no use sugarcoating Starbucks’ Frappuccino.<br><br>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0465024319/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, what do we make of the Catholic Church?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 30, 2018
Fake News Is Nothing New
1455
On The Gist, war games are back.<br><br>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/155597791X/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News</em></a> 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.<br><br>In the Spiel, Trump shouldn’t try to critique an algorithm.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>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 <a href="https://www.mariakonnikova.com/books/the-confidence-game/"><em>The Confidence Game</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, gerrymandering is bad for democracy and great for the GOP.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>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.<br><br>In the Spiel, stupid stuff comes in threes.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 28, 2018
Crazy Rich Asians Is Important
1292
On The Gist, guest host Stephanie Foo dives into <em>Crazy Rich Asians</em>, 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.&nbsp;<br><br>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.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Stephanie considers whether America has failed her, and why she is so proud of being an immigrant.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 25, 2018
Sweep the Left
1481
On The Gist, nobody move or the economy gets it, Trump says. <br><br>The guys behind the left’s most irreverent podcast (<em>Chapo Trap House</em>) 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 <a href="http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Chapo-Guide-to-Revolution/Chapo-Trap-House/9781501187285"><em>The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto Against Logic, Facts, and Reason</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, when you hear “everyone does it” down in Washington, you know something’s amiss.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.”&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br><br>#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.&nbsp;<br><br>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. &nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>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.<br><br>In the Spiel, how to engage with trolls.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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?<br><br>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.<br><br>In the Spiel, a tale of clear state borders and unclear rules. &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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?<br><br>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 <em>Everything Is Alive.<br><br></em>In the Spiel, Mike talks to the guest hosts who will rule The Gist all next week.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 17, 2018
Goodbye to the Queen of Soul
1786
On The Gist, the free press.<br><br>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 <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/hit_parade.html">Hit Parade</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the straw ban and balloons.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>Reality television has a reputation for uninhibited narcissism, ruthless competition, and terrible business pitches. But when Jon Murray created <em>The Real World</em> in 1992, he worked to make something complex and innovative, not a circus of humanity’s basest instincts. And in A&amp;E’s <em>Born This Way</em>, 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.<br><br>In the Spiel, Christine Hallquist makes history. Can she do it again in November?<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 15, 2018
Democracy Needs a Reboot
1792
On The Gist, should news outlets halt election coverage on Election Day?<br><br>“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 <a href="https://jasonkanderbook.com/"><em>Outside the Wire: Ten Lessons I've Learned in Everyday Courage</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the president and nondisclosure agreements.<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 15, 2018
Trump’s Pyrite Touch
1611
On The Gist, Trump is a racist? That’s not much of a scoop, Omarosa.<br><br>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 <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Trump-Touches-Dies-Republican/dp/1982103124/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, America’s worst kind of racism lies between microaggression and all-out white supremacy.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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 <a href="http://applepodcasts.com/slowburn">here</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 11, 2018
Venturing Into Obscurity
1543
On The Gist, “the so-called chairman of the Intelligence Committee,” Devin Nunes. <br><br>Superheroes and comic books may seem ripe for parody nowadays with the constant onslaught of nerd media, but <em>The Venture Bros.</em> has been doing it for years. Part <em>Jonny Quest </em>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 <em>The Venture Bros</em>., with its seventh season currently airing on Adult Swim.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Omarosa.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 10, 2018
On Bended Knee
1671
On The Gist, Trump’s lack of income disclosures. <br><br>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0807026999/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism</em></a><em>. <br><br></em>In the Spiel, the “unfreakingbelievable” New York Times.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 10, 2018
Regulate Me
1560
On The Gist, Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani. <br><br>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, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Crashed-Decade-Financial-Crises-Changed/dp/0670024937/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Ohio’s special election.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 09, 2018
The Egyptian Seesaw
1981
On The Gist, Trump’s lies and steel mills.<br><br>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, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Into-Hands-Soldiers-Freedom-Middle/dp/073522062X/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Into the Hands of the Soldiers: Freedom and Chaos in Egypt and the Middle East</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, who Trump calls stupid.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 08, 2018
The Smart Drug
1585
On The Gist, Turkey and Trump.<br><br>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.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Jay Sekulow and lawyers on television.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
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.<br><br>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 “<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094576518308221?via%3Dihub">The Edge of Space: Revisiting the Karman Line</a>” in Acta Astronautica.<br><br>In the Spiel, North Korea and nuclear weapons.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 03, 2018
My Life as a Sitcom
1788
On The Gist, QAnon and sound design.<br><br>Comedian Guy Branum is a hilarious intellect with an intimidating amount of pop culture knowledge. In his new book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1501170228/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>My Life as a Goddess: A Memoir Through (Un)Popular Culture</em></a>, Branum explores things like his love of civics, his Northern California childhood, and his experiences writing jokes for other people.<br><br>In the Spiel, we’ve got another Lobstar of the Antentwig.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 02, 2018
Quarter for Carter
1838
On The Gist, who makes the CNN Sucks onesie?<br><br>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1250104556/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>President Carter: The White House Years</em></a>.<br>In the Spiel, the local radio scandal of Joe Benigno.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 02, 2018
Courting Politics
1633
On The Gist, let’s face it: A.I. and robots are going to take jobs from us humans.<br><br>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.<br><br>In the Spiel, three theories on how this whole Mueller investigation thing is going to end.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 31, 2018
They’re More Bad Than We Are Good
2197
On The Gist, sorry, not every product gets to be a lifestyle brand.<br><br>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0300207131/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Great Alignment Race, Party Transformation, and the Rise of Donald Trump</em></a>.<br><br>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.<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 31, 2018
The Pushback Artist
2547
On The Gist, do we really have to give up plastic straws?<br><br>Then, and more seriously: a look back on a recent episode.<br><br>On Wednesday, The Gist ran an interview with Allison Yarrow about <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0062412345/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>90s Bitch</em></a>, 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.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 28, 2018
The Real Deep State
1568
On The Gist, the glee of seeing Facebook stock take a dive. <br><br>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0190494522/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Our Time Has Come: How India Is Making Its Place in the World</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, how autocrats are starting to use the excuse of fake news.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 27, 2018
Lights, Camera, Sexism
2032
On The Gist, let’s imagine what’s in that “enhanced” Michael Cohen tape.<br><br>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, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0062412345/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>90s Bitch: Media, Culture, and the Failed Promise of Gender Equality</em></a>.<br><br>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.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 26, 2018
The BS! It’s Everywhere!
1795
On The Gist, President Trump’s high approval ratings aren’t as significant as they seem.<br><br>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 <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Tailspin-Americas-Fifty-Year-Fall-Fighting/dp/1524731633/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America’s Fifty-Year Fall—and Those Fighting to Reverse It</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, keeping track of Trump’s bullshit claims is truly God’s work.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 25, 2018
When Death Row Stalls
1554
On The Gist, we’re proposing a 2018 Housing and Urban Development festival in Sonoma, California.<br><br>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.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, how our president reaches out to foreign leaders.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 23, 2018
Bobcat Revival
1368
On The Gist, ideals are better when kept as general as possible because the more specific the get, the more exclusive they become.<br><br>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 serie<em>s,</em> <a href="https://www.trutv.com/shows/bobcat-goldthwaits-misfits-and-monsters/index.html"><em>Misfits &amp; Monsters</em></a>, mashes up television tropes within the genres of horror and comedy.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Zoe Chace explains why we should stop hoping for Republican senators to stop Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court appointment.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 20, 2018
Democracy Dies in Dark Money
1694
On The Gist, about those outlandish celebrity baby names.<br><br>When the Supreme Court’s <em>Citizens United</em> decision made unlimited campaign contributions legal, one state put up a fight. In <a href="https://www.darkmoneyfilm.com/index.html"><em>Dark Money</em></a>, 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.<br><br>In the Spiel, would the high road be so easy to take if Papa John’s pizza were delicious?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 19, 2018
A Piece of Pai
1875
On The Gist, Girl Scouts are earning cybersecurity merit badges.<br><br>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.<br><br>In the Spiel, Vladimir Putin’s denials that he has Donald Trump in his pocket.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 19, 2018
The Schoolyard President
1617
On The Gist, the crocodile massacre in Indonesia that got no attention.<br><br>Work-life balance gets a lot of lip service, but we rarely pull it off. Brigid Schulte, host of the <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/better_life_lab_podcast/2018/07/working_too_hard_inside_a_workaholics_anonymous_meeting.html">Better Life Lab podcast</a>, is looking for solutions in a world of late-night work emails, shaky job security, and Workaholics Anonymous meetings. <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/better_life_lab.html">Better Life Lab</a> is a partnership of Slate and <a href="http://www.newamerica.org/">New America</a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, president Trump’s mea culpa was delivered with all the skill of a fourth-grader.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 18, 2018
Are You Being Servered?
1604
On The Gist, Trump’s press conference with Putin and the red herrings involved.<br><br>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1455559024/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley</em></a>, joins us to discuss where it all started—and the valley’s potential future.<br><br>In the Spiel, how journalists should respond to criticisms of the media and how they should hold talk show guests accountable. &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 16, 2018
Pardon the Arson
1757
On The Gist, it turns out your ethnicity is really easy to guess.<br><br>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.<br><br>In the Spiel, what America’s political parties can learn from cereal brand mascots.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 13, 2018
A Cancer on the Court
1819
On The Gist, the biases of Peter Strzok and the need to connect accusations with actual evidence.<br><br>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.<br>In the Spiel, Trump might not know the difference between Wisconsin and Minnesota.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 13, 2018
Gridiron Man
1965
On The Gist, “Brett” has got to be the lamest name among Supreme Court justices (or nominees).<br><br>“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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0399173447/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Jim Brown: Last Man Standing</em></a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1608468933/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Things That Make White People Uncomfortable</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, Rep. Jim Jordan picked the wrong hill to die on.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 11, 2018
Don't Forget About Sex
1913
On The Gist, Trump isn’t strategic or defiant, he’s just rapacious. <br><br>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 “<a href="https://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/harvey-weinstein-psychology-sexual-predators/">Understanding Harvey</a>,” for the Highline, and joins us to discuss.<br><br>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?&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 11, 2018
The Hole Picture
1656
On The Gist, comparing Trump’s antics to a reality show is no longer a scarlet letter.<br><br>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1608685489/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, “people trapped in holes” is a tale as old as time.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 10, 2018
Just Use My Data, People
1603
On The Gist, the shamelessness of the Wall Street Journal editorial board on Scott Pruitt leaving the Environmental Protection Agency.<br><br>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 <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Frenemies-Epic-Disruption-Business-Everything/dp/0735220867/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business (and Everything Else)</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, can we please just have targeted ads already?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 07, 2018
How Quickly We Forget
1772
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.<br><br>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.<br><br>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?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 06, 2018
Song, Dance, and Confirmation
1687
On The Gist, let’s watch the latest viral video from the conservative right.<br><br>A certain group of <em>Sherlock</em> 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 <em>Sherlock</em> fanbase—on the second episode of <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/decoder_ring/2018/06/decoder_ring_explores_how_a_conspiracy_theory_about_a_gay_sherlock_holmes.html"><em>Decoder Ring</em></a>.<br>In the Spiel, the Supreme Court confirmation process is broken.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 03, 2018
Shameless Mitch
1624
On The Gist, Mitch McConnell’s values have changed—again!<br><br>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 <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Confidence-Game-Fall-Every-Time/dp/0143109871"><em>The Confidence Game</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, let’s not get carried away. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got fewer votes than some school district board members.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 03, 2018
In 12,000 Words
2077
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.<br><br>The Atlantic recently ran a lengthy <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/07/when-a-child-says-shes-trans/561749/">article</a> 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 <a href="https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/06/desistance-and-detransitioning-stories-value-cis-anxiety-over-trans-lives.html">piece for Slate</a> and joins us to add to the debate.<br>In the Spiel, FBI agents Lisa Page and Peter Strzok were sloppy, but their take on Trump was right on the money.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 30, 2018
Does Authenticity Matter?
1489
On The Gist, the return of <em>In Search Of </em>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. <br><br>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 <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Countries-Journeys-Edge-Nationhood/dp/0300221622"><em>Invisible Countries</em></a>, those tiny nation-states with little recognition but great stories to tell.&nbsp;<br><br>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?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 29, 2018
The Self-Sufficiency Court
1739
On The Gist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s primary victory was thanks to low voter turnout. She still deserves it!<br><br>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.<br><br>In the Spiel, Justice Kennedy’s upcoming retirement is the perfect occasion to talk about … Justice Clarence Thomas. &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 28, 2018
The Unpopular Vote and a Few Justices
1634
On The Gist, what a Trump tweet can teach us about wine.<br><br>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.<br>In the Spiel, the Supreme Court’s support for Trump’s travel ban is what happens when our checks and balances fail.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 27, 2018
The New Rules of Civility
1769
On The Gist, why is the Democratic National Committee being held responsible for Hollywood and the media?<br><br>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 <a href="https://empireonblood.panoply.fm/"><em>Empire on Blood</em></a>, and joined us on the Gist.<br><br>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.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 26, 2018
Who Needs Subtext, Anway
1880
On The Gist, Rep. Jim Jordan’s underwhelming attention to detail.&nbsp; <br><br><a href="http://www.franchesca.net/">Franchesca Ramsey</a> burst onto the YouTube scene with her viral video, “<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylPUzxpIBe0">Shit White Girls Say… to Black Girls.</a>” Ramsey’s latest video project, MTV News’ <a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnvZ3PbKApGM-hHuQ9lNc5oSKsusjn0Z6"><em>Decoded</em></a><em>, </em>is similar: fun, earnest, and educational. Ramsey’s book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1538761033/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, about Melania’s jacket.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 22, 2018
A Song You Can Graduate To
1711
On The Gist, those beacons of honesty—retiring Republican members of the Congress. <br>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 <a href="http://walthickey.com/numlock-newsletter/">Numlock News</a>, the daily newsletter he started after four years at FiveThirtyEight.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, graduation songs over the years.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 21, 2018
Quitters Can’t Be Leaders
1374
On The Gist, how President Trump made <em>not </em>breaking up families look like his idea. <br><br>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 <em>Pod Save America</em> posse. Pfeiffer’s new book is <a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/1538711710/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, the United States shouldn’t be leaving the U.N. Human Rights Council. It should work to make it better.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 20, 2018
Polarization Nation
1949
On The Gist, the inaugural edition of “whoah there, girl!”<br><br>Political parties are like people: They grow and change, their values shift, and sometimes they become downright belligerent. <a href="https://twitter.com/lilymasonphd">Lilliana Mason</a> 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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/022652454X/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, “angel moms” deserve sympathy, but they’re being used.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 19, 2018
Oh, Stephen
1532
On The Gist, if we can’t pronounce Peter Strzok’s name right, how will we remember his newfound infamy?<br><br>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 <a href="https://www.amazon.com/New-Deal-Hidden-Story-Change/dp/1451642334"><em>The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, lookism be damned, it’s time to make fun of Stephen Miller.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 19, 2018
The Heisenberg Presidency
1790
On The Gist, why he lies: a new theory. <br>“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 <em>The Simpsons</em> 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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0062748033/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies From a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons</em></a>. &nbsp;<br>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.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 15, 2018
When Border Policy Crosses the Line
1811
On The Gist, <a href="http://www.mcclatchydc">McClatchy</a> White House correspondent <a href="https://twitter.com/FrancoOrdonez">Franco Ordoñez</a> 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 <a href="https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article213026379.html">needs more places to detain children</a> separated from their parents.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, the nasty things celebrities say—and their supposedly enormous power to get people to vote stupidly.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 15, 2018
Cup of Corruption
1723
On The Gist, some fun facts about U.S. Senate candidate Corey Stewart.<br>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 <a href="https://twitter.com/kenbensinger">Ken Bensinger</a> says “more shoes will fall.” Bensinger is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/150113390X/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Red Card: How the U.S. Blew the Whistle on the World's Biggest Sports Scandal</em>.</a><br>In the Spiel, Macedonians, Greeks, and irredentism.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 13, 2018
Summit Skeptical
2131
On The Gist, a brief review of President Trump’s roster of losers (and winners). <br><a href="https://twitter.com/selectedwisdom">Clint Watts</a> is a man of many strengths. He’s a former FBI agent and a cybersecurity expert. He can break down <a href="http://www">information warfare to bleary-eyed U.S. senators</a>. 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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0062795988/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Messing with the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News.</em></a><br>In the Spiel, the folly of Donald Trump’s new friendship with Kim Jong-un.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 12, 2018
G-7 Hangover
1706
On The Gist, if the Trump-Kim summit goes as poorly as the president’s business ventures, we’re doomed.<br><br><a href="https://twitter.com/mkonnikova">Maria Konnikova</a> 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 <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova">New Yorker</a> contributor and author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0143109871/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Confidence Game</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, the White House’s handling of the G-7 fallout was clueless, thin-skinned, and petty. In other words: peak Trumpism. &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 12, 2018
Comedians Can Be Well-Adjusted, Too
1855
On The Gist, president Trump raised the bar on what’s considered a gaffe, and EPA head Scott Pruitt is taking advantage of that.<br><br>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 <em>Live From Here</em> and his new book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1250144388/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Your Dad Stole My Rake: And Other Family Dilemmas</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, ’tis time for a Lobstar of the Antentwig (right after a response to some sexist tweets).<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 08, 2018
#MeToo and McYoga
1903
On The Gist, comparing Bill Clinton to basketball great Michael Jordan.<br><br>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: <a href="https://30for30podcasts.com/bikram/"><em>Bikram</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, punning on some of the weirder names in the news these days.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 08, 2018
James Clapper: Yeah, Russia Swung the Election
1618
On The Gist, IHOP is changing its name to IHOb. And Mike is here to make fun of that.<br><br>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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0525558640/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Facts and Fears: Hard Truths From a Life in Intelligence</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, our expectations of a first lady are sexist and constricting. Cut Melania Trump some slack for not fitting into them.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 06, 2018
So You Think You Know About Race
1652
On The Gist, at this point, whatever the Trump administration doesn’t say under oath is very possibly untrue.<br><br>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 <a href="https://www.amazon.com/What-Truth-Sounds-Like-Conversation/dp/1250199417"><em>What Truth Sounds Like</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, Miss America is scrapping its swimsuit competition, instantly making the United States perfectly meritocratic. Wait, not really.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 06, 2018
Shots Fired, but Not Really
1878
On The Gist, no matter how well the economy goes, pundits can always tell a scary story.<br><br>What do we get wrong about Darwinism? Evolutionary ornithologist Richard O. Prum says the theory was distorted by Victorian prudes. He explains why a closer look at bird sex shows us what’s really going on with adaptation and natural selection. Prum’s book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0385537212/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Evolution of Beauty</em></a><em>.<br><br></em>In the Spiel, yes, “unindictable” would mean the president could commit any crime he wants, even the colorful ones. But let’s not get carried away.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 05, 2018
It's Not Just You
1683
On The Gist, an appreciation of the man who invented <em>Pong</em>. <br>Barbara Lipska’s career as a neuroscientist did not prepare her to identify the dark effects of her own brain tumors diagnosed in 2015.&nbsp; There’s studying a damaged brain, and then there’s having one. Lipska is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1328787303/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness and Recovery</em></a>.<br>In the Spiel, let’s hear it for the ancillary news.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 01, 2018
Folks, We’re Talking About the C-Word
1704
On The Gist, Samantha Bee said it first, so let us meditate on the C-word.<br><br>In defense of Googling your own name: Kirsten Pflomm is a white woman from Connecticut who <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/14/world/europe/denmark-iceland-slavery-hans-jonathan.html">did an online search 15 years ago</a> and discovered she was the descendant of Iceland’s famous first black citizen, Hans Jonathan, who escaped slavery and became a war hero.<br>In the Spiel, the Nobel Peace Prize? All President Trump wants are apologies and thank-you’s.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 01, 2018
Our Trade Snore With China
1614
On The Gist, have you heard the one about the journalist who faked his own death to dodge Russian assassins?<br>It’s boom times for female buddy comedies. Mike talks to director <a href="https://twitter.com/AlexRi">Alex Richanbach</a> and screenwriter <a href="https://twitter.com/youdonknowme">Lauryn Kahn</a> about their new Netflix comedy, <a href="https://www.netflix.com/title/80195049"><em>Ibiza</em></a>. Who said men have to star in all the movies about hedonistic sprees?<br>In the Spiel, does anyone believe we have a coherent trade policy right now?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 30, 2018
Chris Gethard Can't Fake It
1999
On Tuesday’s Gist, <em>Roseanne</em> gets run out on a rail.<br>Comedian Chris Gethard reflects on how things have changed for his madcap live show, starting from its days on a public access channel to its current home on TruTV. “It’s more a TV show than it’s ever been, the larger platforms that we get to,” says Gethard. “But … it’s me, it’s really me and I’m letting my guard down.” The season finale of <a href="http://www.trutv.com/shows/the-chris-get"><em>The Chris Gethard Show</em></a> airs Tuesday on TruTV.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, the mysterious name of a famous Russian painting.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 29, 2018
Ratatouille Got It Wrong
1826
On The Gist, we here at Slate take GDPR compliance very seriously … just not in this monologue.<br><br>Before <em>SNL</em>, David Wain says, the countercultural comedy torch belonged to National Lampoon. The laugh magazine was created by Harvard graduates and became a creative laboratory for movies like <em>Animal House</em> and <em>Caddyshack</em>. Chief among them was Doug Kenney, the subject of Netflix biopic <a href="https://www.netflix.com/title/80107084"><em>A Futile and Stupid Gesture</em></a>, which Wain directs.<br><br>In the Spiel, the nostalgia we feel around meals and dishes is overrated. It’s not about the food; it’s about the feels.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 26, 2018
Deal With Fake News Yourself, Facebook
1858
On Thursday’s Gist, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/help/188118808357379">tips</a> for avoiding fake news? Thanks but no thanks, Facebook.<br><br>There’s a <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8092888/">new documentary</a> out about the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case, and it got us thinking about the flaws in the public’s perception of that saga. Reporter <a href="https://twitter.com/derekljohn">Derek John</a> explains how the dominant narrative of the case was warped by an amateur crime blogger and a protective football team, despite the efforts of local prosecutors. John and <a href="https://twitter.com/anderskelto">Anders Kelto</a> reported the story for <em>Gamebreaker</em><a href="#_msocom_1"><em>[NP1]</em></a>, a podcast by Audible.<br><br>In the Spiel, the NFL’s fans are way more liberal than its team owners. So how’s the kneeling ban supposed to restore its ratings dip?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 24, 2018
Thanks for Protesting … Now Stop
1832
On The Gist, the NFL can’t give a decent explanation for its kneeling ban.<br><br>Philip Roth’s novels about Jewish life earned him every accolade short of, famously, the Nobel Prize. Mark Oppenheimer, the host of the podcast on all things Jewish (<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/unorthodox/id1020815439?mt=2"><em>Unorthodox</em></a>), argues that Roth’s “radical candor” was sharply original before becoming a model to imitate.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, there are a lot of “peripheral rogues” in Trump’s orbit (how about those “taxi king” headlines?), but their public reckonings don’t necessarily spell trouble for the president himself.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 23, 2018
Girls Rule, and Boys Think They Rule More
1898
On today’s Gist, whatever happens in the governor’s primary in Georgia Tuesday night, it will be a big step forward for women named Stacey.<br><br>Neuroscientist and education researcher <a href="https://sols.asu.edu/sara-brownell">Sara Brownell</a> explains what she found studying how gender affects students’ perceptions of their own intelligence. Brownell is an assistant professor at Arizona State University.<br><br>In the Spiel, consider the “no shit” factor in Trumpian news cycles these days.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 23, 2018
Two-Party Problems
1590
On The Gist, Hawaii’s “laze” is some seriously bad branding.<br><br>In the interview, our two-party system may seem inevitable, but political scientist Sam Rosenfeld digs into its engineered history, including the 1950 government report that pushed the country “<a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/i333592">Toward a More Responsible Two-Party System</a>.” Before then, what you thought about health care, guns, or abortion had little to do with where your vote went. Rosenfeld is the author of <a href="http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/P/bo24660595.html"><em>The Polarizers: Postwar Architects of Our Partisan Era</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, the latest school shooter didn’t raise any red flags or wield an AR-15. But gun control is still what we need.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 22, 2018
Breaking Up Comedy's Boys Club
2770
On The Gist, our attempt to track the new scoops that affected the Mueller investigation. <br>We’re not playing “Is That Bulls--t” on the show today, but if we were, comedy writer Nell Scovell would probably say, “Yes.” Yes, the dearth of women in late-night writers’ rooms is bulls--t. Yes, <a href="https://www.thecut.com/2018/05/david-letterman-netflix-tina-fey-interview.html">men’s explanations are bulls--t</a>. And, yes, sometimes women themselves willingly succumb to the bulls--t because, as Scovell says, “Look, this s--t is deep.” Her new book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0062473484/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Just the Funny Parts</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, denigrating the top 80 books sold on Amazon. &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 18, 2018
Becky Hammon's Next Big Shot
1812
On today’s Gist, the <em>Alex, Inc.</em> drinking game you can play with the whole family.<br>Becky Hammon is an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs and is a leading candidate to become the first female head coach in the NBA. Hammon got passed over this week by the Milwaukee Bucks, but Ringer staff writer <a href="https://twitter.com/SheaSerrano">Shea Serrano</a> and New Yorker contributor <a href="%22http">Louisa Thomas</a> talk about why Hammon is still expected to break the NBA’s glass ceiling.<br>In the Spiel, today’s off-the-cuff remarks from the president.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 18, 2018
Disconnecting the Dots in Israel
2058
On today’s Gist: laurel or yanny? <br>We have questions about the protests in Israel. <a href="https://twitter.com/danielbshapiro">Daniel Shapiro</a> is here to answer them. Shapiro was the U.S. ambassador to Israel for most of the Obama administration. He is now a visiting fellow at the <a href="http://www.inss.org.il/">Institute for National Security Studies</a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, an irksome aspect to the coverage of the deaths in Gaza.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 17, 2018
Introducing Upon Further Review
1723
On today’s Gist, we’re tearing up the playbook. We’re playing the first episode of our new limited-run podcast, <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/upon_further_review.html">Upon Further Review</a>, based on the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1455540366/?tag=slatmaga-20">book</a> of the same name. In this episode, <a href="http://www.slate.com/ar">Slow Burn</a> host <a href="http://www.slate.com/authors.leon_neyfakh.html">Leon Neyfakh</a> imagines how American history might have been different if Richard Nixon had been any good at playing football. For more fascinating sports what ifs, subscribe to <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/upon-further-review/id1381512737?mt=2">Upon Further Review</a> now.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 15, 2018
Does Your Face Need a Workout?
1933
On today’s Gist, is Sen. John McCain really the greatest political leader of all time?<br>Have you heard of face gyms? Beauty gurus are rushing to recommend exercises for the forehead, chin, and cheeks to look younger and healthier. Our expert bullshitologist <a href="https://twitter.com/mkonnikova">Maria Konnikova</a> is here to scrutinize the case for facial toning. Konnikova is a contributor to the <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova">New Yorker</a> and the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0143109871/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Confidence Game</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, Salena Zito’s populist divining rod.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 14, 2018
Why Putin Matters
2065
On The Gist, the mainstream media is too buttoned-up when describing the Trump administration’s shenanigans.<br><br>There is no Russian Federation as we know it without Vladimir Putin. Former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul explains how parts of Russian society are eager for new leadership despite that. As for its relations with the U.S., McFaul sees continuity in how the Obama and Trump administrations (though perhaps not Trump himself) put pressure on Russia. McFaul’s new book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0544716248/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>From Cold War to Hot Peace</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, email newsletters are where you’ll find the best and worst headlines. Plus, it’s time to award a Lobstar of the antentwig!<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 12, 2018
The Long, Long Road of Tiger Woods
1703
On The Gist, torture is torture, and the news media should call it that.<br><br>Tiger Woods dominated his sport like perhaps no other athlete. But that success came at a price. Woods’ almost military upbringing as a golfing machine lead to a lack of interpersonal connections and, years later, numerous scandals in the public eye. Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian are out with the eponymous biography <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Tiger-Woods-Jeff-Benedict/dp/1501126423"><em>Tiger Woods</em></a>, and talk about the golfer's struggles, successes, and chances at redemption.<br><br>In the Spiel, more thoughts on the awful practice that is torture.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 10, 2018
Some Interrogation
1864
On today’s Gist, Michael Cohen has weaved a tangled web, but the mere fact that it’s confusing doesn’t mean we can assume he’s a criminal. <br><br><a href="https://twitter.com/timweinerauthor">Tim Weiner</a> wrote the definitive book on the CIA in 2008 with his <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0307389006/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Legacy of Ashes</em></a>. Today, he helps decipher the Senate confirmation testimony of Gina Haspel, President Trump’s pick to be the next CIA director. Why is the CIA rooting for Haspel? How did she dodge questions about the agency’s torture program? Would the hearing have gone differently if Sen. John McCain had been present?<br><br>In the Spiel, why Gina Haspel should not be confirmed. &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 09, 2018
Donald and the Don
2173
On Tuesday’s Gist, the undoing of the Iran deal. <br>Democrats are tense. 2018 is supposed to be a banner year for the left, but the party is struggling to balance an energized base and an unpredictable general electorate. As a result, there have been a lot of bigfoot sightings in primaries across the country, as Democratic Party honchos step in to pick preferred candidates. Who’s wiser, the party or the voters? <a href="https://twitter.com/alex_roarty">Alex Roarty</a>, who covers the Democrats for <a href="http://www.mcclatchydc.com/">McClatchy newspapers</a>, says it’s not so simple. <br>In the Spiel, the gall of Don Blankenship. <br> <br> After the Spiel, keep listening for a trailer of Slate’s upcoming podcast, <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/upon-further-review-with-mike-pesca/id1381512737?mt=2">Upon Further Review</a>. It’s based on Mike Pesca’s book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1455540366/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Upon Further Review: The Greatest What-Ifs in Sports History</em></a><em>.</em><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 09, 2018
Jake Tapper's Very Particular Kind of Escapism
2063
On today’s Gist, there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t want Gina Haspel to run the CIA. <br><a href="https://www.cnn.com/profiles/jake-tapper-profile">Jake Tapper</a>’s latest book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/031647231X/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Hellfire Club</em></a><em>.</em> It’s a work of historical fiction; a political thriller set in the 1950s, when Washington was gripped by McCarthyism. Tapper says he saw echoes of President Donald Trump as he read about Sen. Joe McCarthy’s attacks on his political enemies. “The people who survived the ’50s with their reputations intact were the ones who stood up to McCarthy,” said Tapper. “Either decency and truth are important to you, or they’re not.” Tapper is the host of CNN’s <a href="https://www.cnn.com/shows/the-lead">The Lead</a> and <a href="https://www.cnn.com/shows/state-of-the-union">State of the Union</a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, the armed and fabulous women of the NRA.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 08, 2018
The Dangerous Hits of 1991
1961
On The Gist, a movie pitch: Kushner family racket. <br>Returning champion <a href="http://www.slate.com/authors.chris_molanphy.html">Chris Molanphy</a> takes us back to 1991 and its chart toppers: Mariah Carey's explosive debut, the Swedish group that topped the charts for a fourth time (it wasn't ABBA!), and the Michael Jackson and Madonna music videos that had censors flustered. Molanphy is the host of Slate’s <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/hit_parade.html%22%20%5Ct%20%22_blank">Hit Parade</a>.<br>In the Spiel, the best movie lines of all time.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 04, 2018
Call of Rudy 2
1557
On today’s Gist, what’s this about a Tony Award–winning dry cleaner?<br>Presidential inexperience does not always lead to failed presidencies. Some traits can temper inexperience—like the depressive realism of Abraham Lincoln or Lyndon B. Johnson. Other traits magnify inexperience—like narcissism. <a href="https://twitter.com/gmukunda">Gautam Mukunda</a> takes a close look at presidential inexperience in his 2012 book, <a href="https://hbr.org/product/indispensable-when-leaders-really-matter/11129-HBK-ENG%22%20%5Ct%20%22_blank"><em>Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, Rudy Giuliani had a strategy.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 04, 2018
Gen. Michael Hayden
1959
On today’s Gist, a fond farewell to Ty Cobb. <br><a href="https://twitter.com/GenMhayden">Gen. Michael Hayden</a> was running the National Security Agency and then the CIA, he couldn’t talk about our national security risks. If he could have, most people would have listened to him. But things are different now. Hayden talks about the decline of fact-based arguments, the Iran nuclear deal, and the future of privacy. His latest book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0525558586/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, Kanye West knows he has flaws. He just can’t learn from them. &nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 03, 2018
How We Screwed Over Puerto Rico
1898
On today’s Gist, thick-as-bricks Lego thieves come a-tumbling down.<br>Hurricane recovery has been a disaster in Puerto Rico. <a href="https://www.npr.org/people/4624985/laura-sullivan">NPR’s Laura Sullivan</a> wanted to know why. So she found documents revealing a FEMA in shambles. She traced Puerto Rico’s economic troubles back to a <a href="https://taxfoundation.org/tax-policy-helped-create-puerto-rico-s-fiscal-crisis/">1996 tax vote</a>. And she explains how the island’s remaining wealth was wiped out by years of shady municipal debt deals. Sullivan’s report for NPR and Frontline is called “<a href="https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/blackout-in-puerto-rico/">Blackout in Puerto Rico.</a>” You should really watch it.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, is it spring yet?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 02, 2018
A Wolf in Wolf's Clothing
1710
On today’s Gist, President Trump’s Nobel in the making. <br>There is no market quite like the boomers—that was true when they were young, and it remains true as they enter their 60s and 70s. So how do you market to the olds? The answer lies in a few busted bits of conventional wisdom, the millennial lifestyle, and probably your mom’s iPad. <a href="http://agelab.mit.edu/people/joseph-f-coughlin">Joseph F. Coughlin</a> explains it all in his book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1610396634/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Longevity Economy: Unlocking the World’s Fastest-Growing, Most Misunderstood Market</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, what happened at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 01, 2018
ISIS Isn't Done With
1385
On The Gist, when your sympathy for the poor goes beyond platitudes, Paul Ryan fires you.<br><br>In the interview, the New York Times’ Rukmini Callimachi has a new podcast. <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/podcasts/caliphate-isis-rukmini-callimachi.html">Caliphate</a> lays out how she knows what she knows about ISIS. Through her reporting in Iraq, she’s learned how the group endeared itself to locals with services as simple as garbage collection. And though the would-be Islamic State has fallen, the extremists behind it persist as an insurgency.<br><br>In the Spiel, there is no Spiel!<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 27, 2018
Old Man Donald
1906
On Thursday’s Gist, EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s behavior is too plainly unethical to sweep under the rug.<br><br>What does a Malaysian party boy have to do with President Trump’s potential breach of the Emoluments Clause? Reveal’s <a href="https://twitter.com/AmyWalters_">Amy Walters</a> and WAMU’s <a href="https://twitter.com/Patrick_Madden">Patrick Madden</a> can explain everything in their story for Reveal, “<a href="https://www.revealnews.org/episodes/checking-into-president-trumps-washington-dc-hotel/">Check into Trump’s Washington Hotel</a>.”<br><br>In the Spiel, how about that batshit crazy rant courtesy of our president on Thursday morning?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 27, 2018
Korematsu, Revisited?
1654
On Wednesday’s Gist, you didn’t think Trump’s latest political nominee was scandal-free, did you?<br><br>And as the Supreme Court weighs Trump’s travel ban on Muslim-majority countries, one of its most notorious decisions still stands. <em>Korematsu v. United States</em> upheld America’s wartime internment of thousands of Japanese Americans, and it’s still cited as legal precedent today. Harvard Law School’s Martha Minow recently wrote about the decision and its relevance in 2018.<br><br>In the Spiel, president Trump’s approval ratings are highest in West Virginia. Senate candidate (and former convict) Don Blankenship is rolling with it.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 26, 2018
The Plain Prince
2166
On Tuesday's Gist, Donald Trump’s win has inspired a whole bunch of down-ballot Republicans, and boy, are they lame.<br><br>What is retroactive classification, and is it going to get former FBI Director James Comey in trouble? <a href="https://twitter.com/BradMossEsq">Bradley P. Moss</a> specializes in litigation related to security clearance law. He explains why Comey may need to worry about prosecution for leaking government secrets. Moss is the deputy executive director of the <a href="http://www.jamesmadisonproject.org/index.php?page=homepage">James Madison Project</a> to promote government accountability and reduction of secrecy.<br><br>In the Spiel, is third-time dad Prince William ugly? We ask the question, for science!<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 24, 2018
The State of State
2045
On The Gist, Sen. Bob Corker’s definition of a “gotcha question” is a bad sign for public discourse these days.<br><br>Before his Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into the rampant sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Ronan Farrow worked in the State Department. His new book, <em>War on Peace</em>, documents the department’s loss of personnel and prestige under every recent president—especially the current one.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, banning high-capacity magazines would save lives. The foiled shooting in Nashville just proved it.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 24, 2018
The Zen of Cohen
2045
On today’s Gist, the retroactively classified memos of James Comey. <br>New Yorker writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/adam-davidson">Adam Davidson</a> says the raids on Michael Cohen’s offices signal the beginning of the end for the Trump presidency. Here’s why: Cohen is the key to learning about Trump’s personal peccadillos as well the international expansion of the Trump Organization, which Davidson says should be “ridiculously rich hunting ground” for prosecutors. He also thinks we’re about to learn a lot more about Trump’s sex life.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, we insult our friends: When podcasts root out artifice, starting with the edifice. &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 21, 2018
Comey Can't Confess
1280
On The Gist, if Chuck Schumer gets his way with decriminalizing marijuana, we can finally say goodbye to the lowest-hanging fruit: pot jokes.<br><br>Crooked Media founder <a href="https://twitter.com/jonlovett">Jon Lovett</a> finds the James Comey book deeply frustrating—to read, to hear about, to contemplate. “But, you know,” says Lovett, “I’m a political self-harmer so I have downloaded the audiobook.” He explains the logical fallacy at the heart of one of Comey’s most frequent recitations and does a little free campaign consulting. Listen to his shows, <a href="https://crooked.com/podcast-series/pod-save-america/"><em>Pod Save America</em></a> and <a href="https://crooked.com/podcast-series/lovett-or-leave-it/"><em>Lovett or Leave It</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, let’s draw a lesson from Meghan McCain’s faux pas (and real props) regarding J. Edgar Hoover.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 19, 2018
A Fuller Obituary for Barbara Bush
1803
On today’s Gist, don’t all these senators know the depths of CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s patriotism?<br>Plus, why are chemical weapons useful to Bashar al-Assad? “They’re really weapons of terror,” explains <a href="https://twitter.com/aaronstein1">Aaron Stein</a>, co-host of the <a href="https://www.armscontrolwonk.com/"><em>Arms Control Wonk</em></a> podcast. Stein is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1138907235/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Turkey’s New Foreign Policy</em></a>.<br>And filmmakers Tony Gilroy and Brad Anderson tell us what it was like filming their latest movie, <a href="https://bleeckerstreetmedia.com/beirut"><em>Beirut</em></a>, during a particularly long and hot Ramadan.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, a few more words about the late Barbara Bush.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 18, 2018
The Taint Team Cometh
1625
On Tuesday’s Gist, that old Watergate maxim, “the cover-up is worse than the crime,” should be revised to recognize the Michael Cohen effect. <br>Plus, we take a closer look at the vertical merger of AT&amp;T and Time Warner, and why the Justice Department has sued to stop it. Wall Street Journal reporter <a href="https://twitter.com/brkend">Brent Kendall</a> walks us through the <a href="https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/att-time-warner-antitrust-case">case so far</a>.&nbsp;<br>And in the Spiel, who is the “famous Houston sketch artist” drawn into the Stormy Daniels affair?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 17, 2018
James Comey's Ego Trip
1890
On Monday’s Gist, we’re counting Pulitzers and powering up. <br><a href="https://twitter.com/jeremyheimans">Jeremy Heimans</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/henrytimms">Henry Timms</a> sort power into two categories: old and new. Old power is like Congress: top-down, official. New power is like Facebook: decentralized, crowd-sourced. What is the best way to meld both kinds of influence to improve our lives? Heimans and Timms have the beginnings of an answer. They’re the authors of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0385541112/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World – and How to Make It Work for You</em></a>.<br>In the Spiel, James Comey does seem ego-driven. That’s not always a bad thing.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 17, 2018
Chemistry No More
1811
On The Gist, have you heard? Chemistry has been debunked. Thank Russia.<br><br>Ed Helms is best known for comedic roles—see Andy Bernard on <em>The Office</em>. But in the drama <em>Chappaquiddick</em>, Helms plays Joseph Gargan, the cousin and lawyer of Sen. Ted Kennedy. Gargan found himself in Kennedy’s inner circle as the young senator came under scrutiny for his role in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne.<br><br>In the Spiel, pervs are making news again. Plus: say hello to a new Lobstar of the Antentwig.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 14, 2018
"I Never Said That"
1541
On The Gist, Zuckerberg’s hearings got crowded out by bigger news. Too bad.<br><br>Facts are facts, even in the greatly polarized year that is 2018. <a href="https://www.weeklystandard.com/author/holmes-lybrand">Holmes Lybrand</a> writes the Weekly Standard’s “Fact Check” series, and even though it isn’t all about Trump’s latest tweets and utterances, it sometimes gets readers angry.<br><br>In the Spiel, the president’s saber rattling over Syria is classic Trump: The man lies about his past statements.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 12, 2018
Tax Cut Conundrum
1514
On The Gist, Paul Ryan cared about just one thing: cutting taxes.<br><br>Word choice is not always the most stimulating place to start an interview with an author, but it works when you’re talking to <a href="https://twitter.com/askanyone">Sloane Crosley</a>. The essayist defends metaphors like “Holocaust bunk bed” and the related analogy, “as if the Brady Bunch were filmed in Nazi Germany.” Crosley’s latest book—a collection of essays—is <a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/0374279845/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Look Alive Out There</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, Congress failed to pin Mark Zuckerberg down.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 12, 2018
It's Regulation Time
1701
On The Gist, beware the rise of the despot’s son-in-law.<br><br>In the interview, media scrutinizer Brooke Gladstone wrote a graphic novel about the “Influencing Machines” that we often blame modernity’s problems on. Facebook is the latest of these, but this time, it’s less scapegoat and more actual problem to be reckoned with. Brooke’s book, illustrated by Josh Neufeld, is <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Influencing-Machine-Brooke-Gladstone-Media/dp/0393342468"><em>The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel—attorney-client privilege, dead? No it taint!&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 10, 2018
Zuck Everlasting
1671
On The Gist, president Trump just doesn’t have the ambition to tackle a problem like Syria.<br><br>It’s a critical week for Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg has two dates with Congress, where he’ll be answering questions on the company’s loss of millions of its users’ data to Cambridge Analytica. Slate writer April Glaser tells us what to expect ahead of the hearings.<br><br>In the Spiel, the least the Trump circus can do is give us some decent TV.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 09, 2018
Andrew Cuomo's Pun Problem
1807
On today’s show, we don’t need a whole shadow Cabinet—we just need a shadow Trump. <br>Comedian Hari Kondabolu is back—and this time, he brought his brother. Hari came to comedy after working as a community activist, but his younger brother, Ashok, was a bit more wayward. On The Gist, Ashok recounts his life as a subway vagabond in New York City. Hari and Ashok’s new podcast is called <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/kondabolu-brothers/id594239207?mt=2"><em>Kondabolu Brothers</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s alarming lack of pun-sense.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 06, 2018
Kevin Williamson Dies by the Sword
2185
On today’s Gist, London’s enviable crime wave. <br>Plus, what will we think of the Obama presidency in 50 years? <a href="https://twitter.com/julianzelizer">Julian Zelizer</a> set out to get really smart people to “take a first cut” at the Obama legacy on an array of issues. One person from his brain trust is <a href="https://twitter.com/PenielJoseph">Peniel Joseph</a>, who surveys the Obama administration’s work on criminal justice. Their book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0691182108/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment</em>.</a><br>In the Spiel, why Mike rejects both tribes’ arguments on the Atlantic’s firing of conservative writer Kevin Williamson.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 05, 2018
Oh Good, It Was Just a Handgun
1733
On today’s Gist, why the YouTube shooter’s use of a handgun doesn’t take anything away from arguments to outlaw the AR-15.<br>Plus, <a href="https://twitter.com/radleybalko">Radley Balko</a> tells the story of two men who put innocent Mississippians behind bars using junk science and pseudo-expert testimony. Balko is the co-author, along with Tucker Carrington, of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/161039691X/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South</em></a>.<br>In the Spiel, why the <em>Roseanne</em> reboot isn’t harmful pop culture.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 04, 2018
Shulkin Be Sulkin'
1347
On Tuesday’s Gist, an ode to the end of March Madness. <br>Plus, <a href="https://twitter.com/mkonnikova">Maria Konnikova</a> returns to play our favorite game. Are parabens <em>really</em> bad for you? Konnikova is a contributing writer to the <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova">New Yorker</a> and author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0143109871/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Confidence Game</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, why David Shulkin got the boot.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 03, 2018
Clinging to Guns Is Our Religion
1980
On Monday’s Gist, the White House press corps needs a break. And guest host Mary Wilson knows who should take their place in the interim.<br>Plus, NationalReview.com editor <a href="https://twitter.com/charlescwcooke">Charles C. W. Cooke</a> explains why he thinks repealing the Second Amendment would be such a losing proposition for gun control advocates. <br>And in the Spiel, Slate’s <a href="https://twitter.com/OsitaNwan">Osita Nwanevu</a> says the media doesn’t have a liberal bias problem.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 02, 2018
In Defense of the Pun
1650
On The Gist, Good Friday is actually pretty great, from a cosmic perspective.<br><br>In the interview, Aparna Nancherla tells us how to go from introverted kid (“my mom was very afraid of how unassertive I was”) to making it in comedy.<br><br>In the Spiel, a deep dive into the world of acronyms.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 31, 2018
On Conservative Voices
1607
On The Gist, the Department of Energy has a chief creative officer? Let’s roll with it.<br><br>In the interview, upstanding Pennsylvanian Amanda Holt updates us on the state’s new congressional district lines.<br><br>In the Spiel, some hyperlinks are all hype, especially when it comes to censoring conservative opinion writers.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 30, 2018
Know Thy Enemy
1580
On The Gist, Sean Hannity doesn’t like this podcast.<br><br>In the interview, Korea expert Bruce Bechtol tells us what might be going on in Kim Jong-un’s mind and how to set it on denuclearization.<br><br>In the Spiel, president Trump might be acting tough on Russia, but he doesn’t get what the big deal is.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 29, 2018
Corruption Just Isn't Telegenic
1656
On The Gist, forget Stormy Daniels. The Kushners’ massive loan deals are where the real dirt is at.<br><br>In the interview, the world’s growing complexity can be measured in dusty cables, useless features, and lines of code. Chris Clearfield and András Tilcsik talk about the problems that snowball when even the smallest thing goes wrong. Clearfield and Tilcsik are the authors of <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Meltdown-Systems-Fail-What-About-ebook/dp/B073NNNMBB"><em>Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, any census that asks people about their citizenship status will be pricey and inaccurate.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 28, 2018
Hitler's Art Dealer
1708
On The Gist, “affair” is too rich a word to describe anything Donald Trump is emotionally capable of.<br><br>In the interview, arts reporter Mary M. Lane tells us about the art collection looted by Hitler’s art dealer, inherited by that dealer’s son, and finally confiscated by the German government.<br><br>In the Spiel, a survey of Republican bloviating on Sunday’s news shows.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 27, 2018
Spies Are People Too
2156
On The Gist, Donald Trump’s presidency brings race relations, at best, to a standstill. Case in point: the police shooting in Sacramento, California.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br><em>The Americans</em> is back for its final season next week. Showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg talk about their research into ruthless Soviet tactics, their obsession over historical detail, and why these spies are the good guys.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, what sound does a giraffe make? Also: It’s time for the Lobstar of the Antentwig. &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 24, 2018
As Statues Fall, Racism Stays
1341
On The Gist, what to make of yet another round of White House reshuffling.&nbsp; &nbsp; <br><br>As mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu has used his office to take down four of the city’s Confederate monuments. His new book reckons with race relations in his city, the South, and the country. Landrieu’s book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0525559442/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History</em></a>. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, semantics, sexuality, and Cynthia Nixon.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 23, 2018
This Storm Ain't Brewing
1861
On The Gist, even if we get a law to make Robert Mueller unfireable, President Trump could trample all over it.&nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, sports journalist Mary Pilon tells the story of Olympic sailor Kevin Hall’s struggle with the Truman Show delusion (where someone believes he or she is the focus of a reality TV program). Pilon’s new book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/163286682X/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Kevin Show: An Olympic Athlete’s Battle With Mental Illness</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Stormy Daniels might win the right to talk. But can her story trouble Trump’s presidency, or would it just be tabloid fodder?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 22, 2018
Will Democracy Survive Trump?
1537
On The Gist, before Donald Trump’s headline-hogging presidency, things like bridge collapses made news for more than a few days.&nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, Cass Sunstein’s new book asks if the U.S. is fundamentally immune to authoritarianism, or whether president Trump has proved the opposite. His new book—<a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/006269619X/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Can It Happen Here?: Authoritarianism in America</em></a>—puts the question to more than a dozen leading writers.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Betsy DeVos is totally incompetent, but at least that’s made obvious every time she speaks.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 21, 2018
Are Receipts Toxic?
1143
On today’s Gist, we’re nixing the Spiel to go on a Slate Podcasts retreat! Shouldn’t the White House staff have their own officewide retreat day? <br>Plus, Maria Konnikova considers receipt paper toxicity: Is it BS? Konnikova writes for the <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova"><em>New Yorker</em></a> and is the author of <a href="http://www.am"><em>The Confidence Game</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 19, 2018
The Year Groove Went Mainstream
1824
On The Gist, “meddling” is too weak a word to describe what Russia did during in the U.S. election. <br><br>In the interview, Chris Molanphy walks us through the No. 1 hits of 1969, the year flower power and psychedelic pop went fully mainstream. Chris is the host of Slate’s <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/hit_parade.html">Hit Parade</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, our Congress members represent way too many constituents—700,000 on average—to stay in touch with their needs.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 17, 2018
Hot or Not: Presidents' Edition
1530
On The Gist, the Trump administration walks back a line about U.S. trade with Canada. <br>And which American president was the studliest? Kate and J.D. Dobson are out with a book that considers Ulysses S. Grant’s quiet charisma, Franklin Pierce’s youthful charm, and the distinguished eyebrows of a certain Warren G. Harding. The Dobsons are the authors of <a href="http://hottestheadsofstate.com/book/%22%20%5Ct%20%22_blank"><em>Hottest Heads of State, Volume 1: The American Presidents</em></a>.<br>In the Spiel, the world’s greatest toy store goes down.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 15, 2018
The Rogue at State
1771
Well, it’s a tough day to be Fox News.&nbsp;<br>On today’s Gist, a closer look at the Department of State. It’s not that Rex Tillerson was wrong to want to reform how we do diplomacy—it’s that he utterly failed to deliver. Tom Hill, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, says the U.S. approach to international relations is antiquated and the diplomatic corps is bloated. Tillerson had a mandate to rethink our State Department. He blew it.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, why the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District was not so special.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 15, 2018
The Heroes of Colombia
2017
On today’s Gist, the lesser-known story of Colombia: <a href="https://twitter.com/mmcfarlandsm">Maria McFarland Sanchez-Moreno</a> has written a moving account of Colombia’s post–Pablo Escobar years, when the illegal drug trade was taken up by one of the factions in the country’s long-running civil war. Her book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1568585799/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>There Are No Dead Here</em></a>, spotlights the work of Colombians who risked their lives to wrest their country back from lawlessness. It also reveals the incoherence of the United States’ war on drugs, which indirectly fueled so much of Colombia’s suffering. McFarland is the executive director of the <a href="%22http">Drug Policy Alliance</a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, why a surprise primary win in Texas makes complete sense when you learn the victor’s name.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 14, 2018
Russian Doping, Revisited
1918
On The Gist, is it OK to ape a Russian accent when saying Russian names?<br>And we revisit an interview with filmmaker <a href="https://twitter.com/bryanfogel">Bryan Fogel</a>, whose documentary, <a href="http://www.icarus.film/"><em>Icarus</em></a><em>,</em> recently won an Academy Award.<br>In the Spiel, a short conversation with author <a href="https://twitter.com/sapinker">Steven Pinker</a> about the state of academia. Is it really doing that badly?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 12, 2018
North Korea Is Setting the Table
1931
On The Gist, if sitting down with North Korea wasn’t a good idea for past U.S. presidents, how is it a good idea for our current one?&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, Slate’s Fred Kaplan and former Ambassador to the U.N. Bill Richardson are both cautiously optimistic about upcoming negotiations between Trump and Kim Jong-un.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, some miscellaneous (positive!) news.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 10, 2018
No Rules for the Wicked
1377
On The Gist, it’s a Jon Favreau–flavored mash-up: <em>Swing Wars</em>. <br><br>In the interview, the walls cave in, the props catch fire, the actors stammer and forget … and it’s all part of the plan. Kevin McCollum, one of the producers of Broadway’s longest-running play, tells Mike how <em>The Play That Goes Wrong </em>makes audiences laugh.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel: By breaking them, at least the Trump administration is making us bone up on obscure but important rules.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 09, 2018
Guns, Controlled
1792
On The Gist, who’s left to work for Trump when even the nincompoops are quitting?&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, Richard Aborn has helped get gun control laws on the books. As president of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City, he has the data on what works, what doesn’t, and how New York City got so safe.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the average Joe has no idea how tariffs actually work. That makes it tough to reason with him.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 08, 2018
The Scapegoat in Chinatown
1830
On The Gist, Lego business is hurting.&nbsp; <br>In <a href="http://www.kartemquin.com/about/steve-james">Steve James</a>’ latest documentary, the bank is the good guy. New York’s district attorney brought charges against a Chinatown-based bank after the 2008 financial crisis, even though the bank had little to do with subprime mortgages. James is the director of the Oscar-nominated <a href="https://www.abacusmovie.com/"><em>Abacus: Small Enough to Jail</em></a>.<br>In the Spiel, the unpersuasive handwringing over putting Sam Nunberg on live TV.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 07, 2018
Ben Carson's Not Worth the Outrage
1788
On The Gist, if iHeart Media wants to do better, they really ought to change their name.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>Did you watch the Oscars? Did you think they were a little lame? Writer Catie Lazarus provides a safe space for your Academy Awards–related shade. Lazarus is host of the <em>Employee of the Month Show</em>. Come see it live on March 15 in New York with guests Hannibal Buress, Emily Mortimer, Alex Lacamoire, and the Resistance Revival Chorus.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, don’t let Ben Carson’s $31,000 fiasco distract you from the ongoing travesty that is the White House.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 06, 2018
Rejecting Jared
1696
Well, what do you know? In 2016, Trump tweeted that he wasn’t trying to get a top security clearance for his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. A year later, he’s finally right. <br>On The Gist, what’s so special about an octopus? Slate’s <a href="https://twitt">Daniel Engber</a> has a takedown of the many-armed beast of the deep: The research on cephalopod intelligence is flimsy, he says, and the octopus is hardly the first animal to have fascinated us with its methods of escape. <br>In the Spiel, it’s time to name another Lobstar. <br>One more thing: Please fill out the Slate podcast survey at <a href="http://slate.com/podcastsurvey%22%20%5Ct%20%22_blank">Slate.com/podcastsurvey</a>.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 03, 2018
Watching for a Backtrack
1671
Today on The Gist, a unified theory of Donald Trump. <br>Plus, Trump dragged his fellow Republicans and made his Democrats grin like Cheshire cats at the televised meeting on gun control. What are the chances that the White House lets Trump’s comments stand? Mike talks to Slate politics writer <a href="https://t.co/">Jim Newell</a>.<br>In the Spiel, the president has a lot of retrograde ideas that suit him. Here’s one that doesn’t: steel tariffs. <br>One more thing: Please fill out the Slate podcast survey at <a href="http://slate.com/podcastsurvey">slate.com/podcastsurvey</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 02, 2018
Heal Thyself, Dana Loesch
2136
Quick, who’s the Federal Reserve chairman? If you can’t remember, take heart: Our minds are filled to capacity with the flotsam and jetsam of the Trump White House.<br>On The Gist, are you as virtuous as you think? Likely not. <a href="http://college.wfu.edu/philosophy/miller/">Christian Miller</a> delved into social science research to find out if we tend to misjudge the strength of our own moral fiber. Miller’s book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0190264225/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Character Gap: How Good Are We?</em></a><br>In the Spiel, NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch has a hard time living up to her own media criticism.<br>One more thing: Please fill out the Slate podcast survey at <a href="http://slate.com/podcastsurvey%22%20%5Ct%20%22_blank">slate.com/podcastsurvey</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 01, 2018
The Abbreviated Highlight Reel of Stacey Dash
2056
Hang onto your skirts: <em>Clueless</em> co-star Stacey Dash is running for Congress. <br>On The Gist, returning champion <a href="https://twitter.com/mkonnikova">Maria Konnikova</a> is back to sum up the social science on poker tells: Are they BS? Konnikova writes for the New Yorker and is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0143109871/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Confidence Game</em></a>. <br>In the Spiel, we should acknowledge our progress. <br>Please fill out the Slate podcast survey at <a href="http://slate.com/podcastsurvey%22%20%5Ct%20%22_blank">slate.com/podcastsurvey</a><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 28, 2018
Dissing Dianne Feinstein
1946
On The Gist, President Trump’s latest poetry reading. <br>Last week on the show, we talked about <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/gist/2018/02/gregg_easterbrook_on_his_optimistic_book_it_s_better_than_it_looks.html">the manifold reasons for optimism in the world</a>. This week, Harvard cognitive scientist <a href="https://twitter.com/sapinker">Steven Pinker</a> builds on that argument, adding that we’ve had a roughly 300-year run of steady improvements in technology, health, and civility. It just so happens that the only thing as constant as human progress is our tendency to focus on human shortcomings. Pinker’s latest book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0525427570/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress</em></a>.<br>In the Spiel, why it should be worrying that the California Democratic Party snubbed Sen. Dianne Feinstein.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 27, 2018
Don't Fall for It
1840
On The Gist, Trump boosted an empty idea at CPAC: arming teachers to stop mass shooters. <br><br>In the interview, Derek DelGaudio is the magician of our time. His one-man show, <em>In &amp; of Itself</em>, questions identity in a political atmosphere that’s consumed by it.&nbsp; <br><br>In the Spiel, “unsubstantiated” stories about Trump’s lecherous behavior on the set of <em>The Apprentice</em> are obviously, completely, and sadly believable.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 23, 2018
Who Can Check Big Tech?
1988
On The Gist, NBC’s coverage of Olympic athletes’ backstories is a little too obvious. <br><br>Slate tech writers <a href="https://twitter.com/aprilaser">April Glaser</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WillOremus">Will Oremus</a> examine the most plausible methods for reining in our tech overlords. Glaser and Oremus are the hosts of Slate’s <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/if_then.html">If Then</a>. <br><br>In the Spiel, NRA honcho Wayne LaPierre’s <a href="https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/02/the-nra-muddles-its-message-in-surprise-cpac-speech.html">speech</a> at the Conservative Political Action Conference was downright loony.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 23, 2018
The World Is Coming Up Roses
2038
On The Gist, <em>Jeopardy!</em> host Alex Trebek will be moderating a gubernatorial debate in Pennsylvania. Mike says no thanks.&nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, Gregg Easterbrook is ever the optimist. Despite what your push alerts and Facebook news feed are telling you, the world is steadily getting safer, wealthier, and less afflicted by war and disease. Easterbrook is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/161039741X/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>It's Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear</em></a>.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, gun control advocates shouldn’t compromise.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 22, 2018
Free Money City
1793
On The Gist, Team USA’s low medal count would be a bummer if these Winter Olympics weren’t so goofy.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs didn’t campaign on universal basic income, but he’s bringing it to his city. Later this year, some residents will start getting $500 a month.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, conservative commentators have it plain wrong when it comes to gun control.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 21, 2018
Ban the AR-15
1773
On The Gist, the market for “how to survive a shooting spree” videos shows how far we’ve strayed in dealing with gun violence.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>Interracial marriage on a national level has only been legal for 50 years, after the landmark Supreme Court decision <em>Loving v. Virginia</em>. Anna Holmes and Lacey Schwartz are two of the minds behind <a href="https://www.topic.com/the-loving-generation/the-loving-generation-checking-boxes"><em>The Loving Generation</em></a>, a video series by <a href="https://www.topic.com/">Topic.com</a> on identity and dynamics within multiracial families.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, it’s a no-brainer: Ban civilian ownership of the AR-15, and fewer will die.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 17, 2018
Which Side Are You On?
1887
Filling in for Mike Pesca today is Leon Neyfakh, still smoldering after his first season as host of Slate’s hit podcast, Slow Burn.&nbsp;<br>Leon is indulging in a new fascination lately: the latest “left Twix vs. right Twix” ad campaign and its insistence that we should all pick one.&nbsp;<br>But, of course, we insist on taking sides. Slate writer Justin Peters sheds some light on the New York Times’ swift hiring and firing of tech journalist Quinn Norton.&nbsp;<br>In Leon’s Spiel: We must have some moral absolutes. But what is the cost of eschewing bothsidesism?&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 16, 2018
Runaway Military Spending
1476
On The Gist, names are stupidly important when it comes to getting elected.&nbsp; <br>The Trump administration is proposing a boost in military spending, but the country’s defense budget actually peaked under President Obama during the troop surge for the war in Afghanistan. Bipartisan support for massive defense spending has been the norm since the Reagan era. Foreign Policy’s <a href="https://foreignpolicy.com/author/dan-de-luce/">Dan De Luce</a> tells us about it.<br>In the Spiel, lawyer Michael Cohen’s out-of-pocket expenses.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 15, 2018
Spoon-Fed by the Feds
1596
On The Gist, on the White House budget’s effort to replace half of food-stamp funding with crappy meal boxes. <br><br>How do you fix one of the most gerrymandered states in the country? It helps to have a tireless amateur mapmaker in your ranks. Mike talks to <a href="http://amandae.com/">Amanda Holt</a>, who spurred Pennsylvania to redraw its legislative districts in 2013 and is closely watching the state’s ongoing court battle over its congressional districts. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the American intelligence community still has to convince the White House that Russia’s up to no good.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 14, 2018
Don’t Call It a White House Shake-Up
1618
On today’s Gist, we get metaphysical. The White House is always in chaos. But can chaos be a permanent condition? <br><a href="https://twitter.com/mkonnikova">Maria Konnikova</a> returns to play our favorite game and answer the question: Does an athletic uniform’s color affect the athlete’s performance? Konnikova writes for the <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova">New Yorker</a> is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0143109871/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Confidence Game</em></a>. &nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, why Norway is a Winter Olympics marvel.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 13, 2018
Dumb About Deficits
1656
On The Gist, it’s <em>The $10,000 Pyramid</em> with a budget deal twist. <br><br>Is it possible we don’t know enough about national debt to call our politicians when they’re peddling nonsense? <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/">New Yorker</a> staff writer <a href="https://twitter.com/adamdavidson">Adam Davidson</a> addresses some common misconceptions and sums up the Republican tax cuts and spending bill this way: “Rich people are stealing the money.”&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the Olympics are back, and the Russians got off easy.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 10, 2018
Is the Iran Deal a Dud?
1554
On The Gist, the “When did you stop beating your wife?” question in the White House press briefing.&nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, Iran may have shelved its nuclear ambitions, but the Middle East is still in trouble. Slate’s Joshua Keating wonders if the Iran deal was worth it.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the world of the FEMA scammer.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 09, 2018
The Longest War Is Lost
1742
Trump wants a parade. <br>On The Gist, America's longest war, in Afghanistan, rumbles on under a third U.S. president. There is still no exit plan. Steve Coll’s new book explores the covert side of America’s campaign in Afghanistan and the secretive Pakistani intelligence wing lending support to the Taliban. Coll's book is<a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1594204586/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan</em></a>. &nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, considering Christopher Steele and Carter Page.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 08, 2018
America Adrift
1894
Listen, chattering classes: Let’s at least chatter correctly. We take a minute on the proper name pronunciation for the scandals of the day. <br>Today on The Gist, U.S. foreign policy is a mess. But U.S. foreign policy has been a mess for decades. <a href="https://twitter.com/ianbremmer">Ian Bremmer</a>, president of the Eurasia Group, explains.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, what they were thinking in the stands of President Trump’s speech on Monday in Ohio.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 07, 2018
Phil Rosenthal Eats the World
1896
On The Gist: Dow goes down, Trump gets mad.&nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, comedian Phil Rosenthal went to six cities across the globe to eat everything they had to offer and put it on Netflix. He tells Mike about his new show, <a href="https://www.netflix.com/title/80146601"><em>Somebody Feed Phil</em></a>, and the creative angst behind the sitcom that put him on the map: <em>Everybody Loves Raymond</em>. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Justin Timberlake didn’t bring sexy back thanks to white privilege alone.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 06, 2018
Philly vs. Boston
1902
On The Gist, Super Bowl LII is an occasion to ask the age-old question: Who’s more obnoxious, people from Philadelphia or Boston? <br>Plus, <a href="http://www.cc.com/shows/another-period"><em>Another Period</em></a> takes the Gilded Age as its setting to satirize the worst of reality TV: extravagant wealth, petty arguments, and a shaky camera. <a href="https://twitter.com/rikilindhome">Riki Lindhome</a> co-created and stars in the Comedy Central show.<br>In the Spiel, a reprise of the vaunted documentary, <em>Busted: 43 Minutes of Crisis and Conflict</em>, a production of the American Dream is Deadworks.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 03, 2018
LBJ, Reconsidered
1644
Lyndon B. Johnson doesn’t always get the consideration he deserves as one of America’s great presidents. On today’s Gist, historian <a href="https://twitter.com/JoshuaMZeitz">Joshua Zeitz</a> says LBJ’s fight for welfare reform and civil rights redefined the country, even as those legal achievements come under attack by today’s Republican Party. Zeitz is the author of <em>Building the Great Society: Inside Lyndon Johnson’s White House</em>.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br>Plus, a Spiel from the 2016 archives: Vote Jabba!<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 01, 2018
We Still Have No U.S. Ambassador to South Korea
2023
On The Gist, Trey Gowdy bows out. <br><a href="https://twitter.com/fmkaplan">Fred Kaplan</a> explains why foreign policy experts are concerned by the Trump administration’s move to <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/disagreement-on-north-korea-policy-could-derail-white-house">renege on its choice of ambassador to South Korea</a> at the last minute. Kaplan writes the <a href="http://www.slate.com/authors.fred_kaplan.html">War Stories</a> column for Slate. He is the author, most recently, of <a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/1476763267/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War</em></a>.<br>In the Spiel, you know what they say: The president who claps the loudest pleases the crowd best.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 01, 2018
When All the Jobs Are Gone
1806
On The Gist, the pomposity and circumstantial evidence of the State of the Union. <br>Janesville, Wisconsin, had the oldest operating GM assembly plant in the country until 2008. The factory’s closure left thousands of employees in the lurch. Amy Goldstein’s book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1501102230/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Janesville: An American Story</em></a> describes the choices facing three families as they pick up the pieces of a busted local economy.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, the right things to say when you’re being nuked and the right way to say them.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 31, 2018
The Scholarly Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
1685
On The Gist, get your clutching pearls ready. Russia alleges that the U.S. is trying to interfere in its election. <br>Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been politically precocious since well before his own sports scholarship at UCLA. His latest column for the <em>Guardian</em> argues it's "time to pay the tab for America's college athletes.” He says student players should unionize.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, the tactics that responsible Republicans use to communicate their potential opposition: They speak in their home-state argot.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 30, 2018
Good Night, Portlandia
2073
On The Gist, the Doomsday Clock would be scary if it weren’t so bogus.<br><br>In the interview, after years of gently poking fun at Portland, Oregon’s chill-but-not vibe, <em>Portlandia</em> is on its final season. Series co-star Carrie Brownstein unpacks the show’s humor and tells us how a wedding toast kind of doubled as an audition to get the show greenlit.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Mike awards a Lobstar after an especially lengthy antentwig.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 27, 2018
He Got Trump’s Taxes
1888
From the annals of monkey research, how 10 primates were gassed in the service of a bad study.<br>Today on The Gist, investigative reporter <a href="https://twitter.com/DavidCayJ">David Cay Johnston</a>, who has been reporting on President Trump long enough to simply call him <em>Donald</em>. Johnston has an appreciation for Donald’s trademark swindles: refusing payment, lying to vendors, abridging photocopies. He’s not surprised to see the same methods at work in the Trump administration. He likens the Trump administration to “political termites,” eating their way through the structures of the U.S. government, leaving holes throughout. Johnston is the author of <a href="http://www.amazo"><em>It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, the trial, coverage, and sentencing of Larry Nassar.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 26, 2018
Odds, Ends, and Senators
2087
On The Gist, Devin Nunes probably doesn’t know squat.&nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, Democrats hold most of the Senate seats up for grabs in this year’s midterms, which means they have a lot to lose. But importantly, mathematician Jordan Ellenberg says election predictions often fail to account for national mood. Ellenberg is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0143127535/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Mike defends his bougie laundry routine.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 25, 2018
MSG Is A-OK
2009
On The Gist, more details come out about Garrison Keillor.<br>In the interview, it turns out something can be good for your taste buds without being bad for your health. Monosodium glutamate has gotten a bad rap since 1968, when a medical journal suggested it might cause all kinds of symptoms. Dan Pashman, creator and host of the <a href="http://www.sporkful.com/"><em>Sporkful</em></a> podcast, tells us why MSG isn’t the boogeyman it’s been made out to be (and why he adds it to his own cooking).<br>In the Spiel, behold, the mystical power of Maine Sen. Susan Collins’ talking stick.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 24, 2018
The Dems Have a Bad Hand
1683
On The Gist, what just happened? <br><br>And are Democrats <a href="https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/01/democrats-deal-surrender-or-victory.html">sniveling losers or Machiavellian savants</a>?&nbsp; McClatchy reporter <a href="https://twitter.com/alex_roarty">Alex Roarty</a> explains why the animating force driving both Democrats and Republicans right now is a loud conservative minority.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Greece has beef regarding which part of world gets to be called “Macedonia.”<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 23, 2018
One Year Down
2025
Up first on The Gist: It appears the Stormy Daniels story checks out. &nbsp;<br><br>Plus, Saturday marks the first anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration. The hosts of Slate’s Trumpcast join Mike to revise old predictions, make new ones, and consider whether Democrats should be rooting for impeachment via the Robert Mueller investigation. &nbsp;<br><br>And in the Spiel, we’re on the verge of another government shutdown. It seems normal now. Or have we lost track of what normal looks like?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 20, 2018
Busted: A Gist Productions Parody
1793
On The Gist, how about those Fake News Awards, huh?&nbsp; <br><br><a href="https://twitter.com/ayjay">Alan Jacobs</a> questions your ability to think for yourself. Can you really rid yourself of your biases, or do you just develop better biases? Are you really any better than your estranged friends at finding answers, or have you just chosen a different group with whom to associate? Jacobs is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0451499603/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds</em></a>. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, relive the horrifying 43 minutes during which America thought a just-inaugurated President Donald Trump had removed Martin Luther King Jr.’s sacred bust from the Oval Office.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 19, 2018
Wait and CR
1728
On The Gist, the <a href="https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/freedom-world-2018">bad news from Freedom House</a>. <br>U.S. Air Force officer Edward Lansdale promoted a “hearts and minds” approach to diplomacy in the Philippines and Vietnam, only to be steamrolled by America’s elite class of policymakers. <a href="https://twitter.com/MaxBoot">Max Boot</a> tells us about Lansdale and his own newfound recognition of white privilege and other ideas from the left. Boot’s new book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0871409410/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam</em></a><em>.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</em><br>In the Spiel, why the continuing resolution is sucking all the fun out of politics.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 18, 2018
Nukes and Crannies
1989
On The Gist, the press is too squeamish to clarify that “shithouse” isn’t much better than “shithole.” <br><br>In the interview, more on fire and fury—nuclear fire, rhetorical fury, and the consequences of both. <a href="https://twitter.com/ArmsControlWonk">Jeffrey Lewis</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/aaronstein1">Aaron Stein</a>, hosts of <a href="https://www.armscontrolwonk.com/"><em>Arms Control Wonk</em></a>, assess the Trump administration’s tough talk on North Korea and the danger of a South Korea that decides to take matters into its own hands.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Aziz Ansari isn’t blameless, but he doesn’t deserve a total destruction of his career, either.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 17, 2018
Teenage Brains Are Just Different
1500
On The Gist, Mike examines Trump’s bottom-of-the-barrel statements on immigration. <br><br>In the interview, <a href="https://twitter.com/NPRDina">Dina Temple-Raston</a> explains how she became fascinated by the teenage brain. After years of covering terrorism for NPR, she was stunned to see so many young people leaving their homes to join ISIS. Teenagers aren’t just prone to falling in with terrorist recruiters: Their underdeveloped minds make them more susceptible to video gaming compulsions and violent behavior. Why? Temple-Raston finds answers in her Audible Original series, “<a href="https://www.audible.com/pd/Radio-TV/Episode-1-Band-of-Brothers-Audiobook/B077K86YGY?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&amp;pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&amp;pf_rd_r=VAT8T3VX2M6712QGJ9X1&amp;">What Were You Thinking?</a>”<br><br>In the Spiel, a skit about the science (and lopsided sex ratio) of turtle love.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 13, 2018
Is Trump Insane? Does It Matter?
1885
On The Gist, Mike skewers a columnist for concluding that President Trump is sane.<br><br>In the interview, comedian Judah Friedlander wants to let you know that his new comedy special is all him, even though it’s got Netflix’s name on it. The <em>30 Rock </em>alum talks about matters of social justice, satire, and jingoism.<br><br>In the Spiel, Democrats should stop questioning Trump’s mental acuity and focus on midterms instead.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 12, 2018
A Cry for Self-Help
1751
On The Gist, a brief look at what Norway is doing right.&nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, we turn to self-help experts Kristen Meinzer and Jolenta Greenberg about the “new you” books that are good, bad, and absolute nonsense. Meinzer and Greenberg are hosts of the Panoply show <a href="https://www.panoply.fm/podcasts/bythebook"><em>By the Book</em></a>. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Mike discovers the best transliteration ever.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 11, 2018
Radio Reconciliation
2005
On The Gist, Joe Arpaio’s life after pardon.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br>In the interview, MacArthur “genius” award winner Betsy Levy Paluck tells us about her research into mass media and public opinion. We might have the impression that our beliefs are based on reason. But what our neighbors think (or what we <em>think</em> they think) has a lot to do with it, too.<br>In the Spiel, how to charm Twitter trolls into submission.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 10, 2018
What to Make of Fire and Fury
1755
On The Gist, Sen. Lindsey Graham is defending the president extra hard on television … because he knows Trump’s watching. <br><br>In the interview, NPR’s media correspondent David Folkenflik tells us what to make of <em>Fire and Fury</em>, the book that claims to reveal how dysfunctional the Trump administration really is.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Mike gives props to Oprah for her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes. But that doesn’t mean she should run for president.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 09, 2018
Going for Gridiron
2262
On The Gist, third-party voters should answer for Donald Trump’s terrible policies at home and warmongering around the world. <br><br>In the interview, fields don’t get much more male-dominated than those of the NFL. Our guest Jen Welter made history as the first woman to hold a coaching position in the league, training the Arizona Cardinals' inside linebackers in the 2015 preseason. Welter is the author of <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Play-Big-Lessons-Being-Limitless/dp/1580056830/ref=as_at?creativeASIN=1580056830&amp;linkCode=w50&amp;tag=glamour0d7-20&amp;imprToken=nB9Qmyq52yixM51x0.taTg&amp;slotNum=0"><em>Play Big: Lessons in Being Limitless From the First Woman to Coach in the NFL</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, a story about coats, the cold, and charitable giving.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 06, 2018
Move to the Center or Keep on Losing
2075
On The Gist, Mike wonders whether the “winner picked out of a bowl” antics in Virginia’s House of Delegates will really matter much. <br><br>In the interview, former Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire has straightforward advice for candidates in blue-collar America: appeal to the center or lose out. Just as importantly, Altmire argues, the Democratic Party as a whole has to let them do it. Altmire’s book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1620067544/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Dead Center: How Political Polarization Divided America and What We Can Do About It</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Mike says the economy is looking up, and that means Republicans could keep their congressional majorities in the midterms ahead—barring a foreign policy disaster, of course.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 05, 2018
Killed, Then Counted
1804
On The Gist, Mike calls foul on the mashup terms used to describe big weather events, such as the latest: bombogenesis. &nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, police shootings regularly make headlines, but what does the big picture look like? Sam Sinyangwe is a data analyst at Mapping Police Violence, an organization that recently looked at all 1,129 cases in which a person died at the hands of the police in 2017. And yes, there is a racial disparity.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the barbs traded between President Trump and Steve Bannon truly are the stuff of Shakespeare.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 04, 2018
Behind the Scenes of Slow Burn
1840
On The Gist, Mike tips his hat to the musical talents of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, who announced his retirement Tuesday. <br><br>In the interview, it took a perfect storm to bring down Richard Nixon’s presidency, and it’s not guaranteed that another will come for Donald Trump. <strong><em>Slate</em></strong>’s Leon Neyfakh and Andrew Parsons tell us about their chart-topping podcast, Slow Burn, and why it shouldn’t necessarily give hope to those who want Trump out.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, President Trump’s latest round of self-congratulating tweets omit a few facts, as usual.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 03, 2018
It’s Fan Service or Bust
1914
On The Gist, Mike is down with feminism but argues that <em>woke</em> should be Merriam-Webster’s word of the year instead. <br><br>In the interview, Anjelah Johnson was living off grocery store gift cards in L.A. before a new thing called YouTube launched her comedy career. Someone uploaded a video of her stand-up routine to the site in 2007; it quickly racked up millions of views and landed Anjelah an agent. Johnson’s fourth comedy special, <em>Mahalo &amp; Goodnight</em>, is on EPIX, Apple Music, and Spotify.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, we should be taking a closer look at New York City’s latest crime, rape, and murder statistics.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 30, 2017
Your Brain Is Bad With Money
2227
On The Gist, Mike says goodbye to Roy Moore yet again, after an Alabama judge rejected Moore’s lawsuit to contest his opponent’s Senate win. <br><br>In the interview, Dan Ariely tells us “how we misthink money and how to spend smarter.” That’s the subtitle of his book on the ways we value the wrong things and fail to think long term. Ariely is the co-author, with Jeff Kreisler, of <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Dollars-Sense-Misthink-Money-Smarter/dp/006265120X"><em>Dollars and Sense</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Mike looks back on the worst op-eds of 2017.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 29, 2017
Hobby Lobby Is Just Getting Started
2081
On The Gist, Mike runs through the major news of the past few days, while much of the news media is on vacation.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, Hobby Lobby scored a famous Supreme Court win for evangelicals in 2014, allowing certain corporations to deny covering their employees’ contraception costs. Professor of theology Candida Moss tells us about the family behind the company, and their crusade to promote fundamental Christianity. Moss is the co-author, with Joel Baden, of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/069117735X/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Bible Nation: The United States of Hobby Lobby</em></a>. <br><br>In the Spiel, it’s <em>almost</em> as if the scales are tipped in favor of Vladimir Putin as he runs for re-election in March.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 28, 2017
Deplorables and Snowflakes
2144
On The Gist, <a href="https://twitter.com/kenpstern">Ken Stern</a> explains why the <em>deplorable</em> label doesn’t sit well with him, even if it’s defensible. Stern is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0062460781/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Republican Like Me: How I Left the Liberal Bubble and Learned to Love the Right</em></a>. <br>In the Spiel, is life better in the U.S. or Europe? Mike considers it with <a href="https://twitter.com/davidplotz">David Plotz</a>, CEO of <a href="https://www.atlasobscura.com/"><em>Atlas Obscura</em></a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 23, 2017
Tax Bill Ballyhoo
1786
On The Gist, why the Republican tax overhaul is unlikely to spur hiring. <br><a href="https://twitter.com/mikercarpenter">Michael Carpenter</a> explains what we lose when the Trump administration doesn’t try to put the heat on Russia. Carpenter is a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and foreign policy adviser to former Vice President Joe Biden. He and Biden are the co-authors of the <em>Foreign Affairs</em> article, “<a href="https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2017-12-05/how-stand-kremlin">How to Stand Up to the Kremlin</a>.”<br>In the Spiel, robots take over.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 22, 2017
Trickle Down Now
1900
On The Gist, it seems that congressional investigators have nabbed a big fish: Jill Stein.<br>Plus, <em>New York Times</em> columnist <a href="https://twitter.com/DLeonhardt">David Leonhardt</a> explains why the Republicans absolutely had to pass the tax bill, even if polls suggest it could be an albatross around their necks during the midterms. Leonhardt authors the <em>Times</em>’ absolutely essential <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/newsletters/opiniontoday?emc=edit_ty_20171219&amp;nl=opinion-today&amp;nlid=66656684&amp;te=1">Opinion Today newsletter</a>.<br>In the Spiel: Income inequality may not be the perfect descriptor for what ails us, but it’s the best term we’ve got. And the Republican tax bill makes our inequality problem worse.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 21, 2017
Behind the Scenes at The Daily
2140
On The Gist, Mike talks about the consequences of fast-tracking a major tax overhaul. <br><br>In the interview, how did the team behind <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/column/the-daily"><em>The Daily</em></a> manage to create a show that’s unlike anything we’ve heard before and also oddly perfect for this moment in news? Host <a href="https://twitter.com/mikiebarb">Michael Barbaro</a> and managing producer <a href="https://twitter.com/theobalcomb">Theo Balcomb</a> say they talked extensively about what they didn’t want to sound like. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I never want to do a jobs report,’ ” says Balcomb. “ ‘Can we promise we’re never going to do a jobs report?’ ”<br><br>In the Spiel, Republicans aren’t necessarily committing political suicide with their $1.5 trillion tax plan.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 20, 2017
Don’t Worry if Baby Turns Orange
1755
On the Gist, why we shouldn’t fret every time companies like Netflix show how they’re using our personal data.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, <a href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?screen_name=mkonnikova">Maria Konnikova</a> runs us through the foods that can turn your skin orange, blue, and red, and whether that’s even a bad thing. Konnikova is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0525427414/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Confidence Game</em></a>.&nbsp; <br><br>In the Spiel, what the latest <a href="http://www.slate.com/topics/s/star_wars.html"><em>Star Wars</em></a> movie has in common with Donald Trump.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 19, 2017
Jeff Ross Got Bored, So He Got Political
2182
On The Gist, President Trump’s judicial nominations are starting to look ridiculous. <br><br>In the interview, comedian Jeff Ross got a little tired of his shtick as a go-to roast guy for Comedy Central’s famous Friars Club sendups. So he started skewering not people, but places, ideas, and institutions. His latest special, ­­<a href="http://www.cc.com/episodes/uvdx30/jeff-ross-roasts-the-border-jeff-ross-roasts-the-border-season-1-ep-101"><em>Jeff Ross Roasts the Border</em></a>, takes viewers to Brownsville, Texas, a city along the U.S.-Mexico border where a huge steel fence is meant to keep migrants from crossing into the United States.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, bidding farewell to the legendary sports radio host, Mike Francesa.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 15, 2017
Revisiting Another Democratic Wave
1317
<a href="https://twitter.com/chrishurstva">Chris Hurst</a> doesn’t want you to know him as the guy whose girlfriend was fatally shot during a live broadcast. But it is a huge part of what compelled him to pursue elected office: “Part of what I want to do is … take this spotlight, that I wish I had a receipt for … ’cause I’d gladly return it, and shine it on people that aren’t normally seen.” Hurst is a newly elected state representative in Virginia. <br>For the Spiel, an exclusive clip from Donald Trump Jr.’s testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, courtesy of <a href="https://twitter.com/behindyourback">Maura Quint</a> and <a href="https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/an-excerpt-from-donald-trump-jrs-testimony-before-the-house-intelligence-committee"><em>McSweeney’s</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 15, 2017
The Underdog and the Bully
1686
On The Gist, Omarosa makes for the exits.&nbsp; <br>In honor of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees announced today, we’re playing an excerpt from our live show last month, when we went over the ballot with <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/hit_parade.html">Hit Parade</a> host Chris Molanphy and <em>Washington Post </em>humorist Alexandra Petri.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, reflecting on the Doug Jones win in Alabama.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 14, 2017
It’s Partisanship, Stupid
1905
On The Gist, the #MeToo movement is only influential insofar as its targets can feel shame and enact accountability. <br><br>In the interview, biographer Robert Dallek accounts for Franklin D. Roosevelt’s ruthless pragmatism. As president, FDR made the decision to round up 120,000 Japanese Americans to “strike resonant chords with most Americans,” and he was silent on anti-lynching bills to appease Democratic segregationists who would later help him pass New Deal legislation. Dallek’s book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0525427902/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the Alabama Senate election will come down to all registered voters, not just the roughly 26 percent who happen to be black and are reliably Democratic.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 12, 2017
The Abortion Fight Led Us Here
1734
On The Gist, we can have sympathy for all kinds of people—just not the guy who loses all his money on bitcoin. <br><br>In the interview, <a href="https://twitter.com/lenorachu">Lenora Chu</a> tells the story of her American family’s rude awakening to Chinese education practices. When Chu moved her family to Shanghai, she eagerly enrolled her young son into an elite Chinese public school. She expected academic rigor and an emphasis on work ethic. But she was surprised to find authoritarian teachers and desperate, obsequious parents. What, if anything, should the U.S. borrow from the Chinese education model? Chu’s book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0062367854/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Little Soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve</em></a>. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, what the abortion issue did to sort the parties.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 12, 2017
Drama in Alabama
1886
On The Gist, is President Trump to blame for today’s violence in Gaza?&nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, columnist John Archibald surveys the Senate race in Alabama, where Doug Jones has become the abortion candidate and Roy Moore has become the Trumpism candidate. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, don’t talk to Mike about Trump’s slurred speech.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 08, 2017
Can You Win as the Party of Purity?
1634
On The Gist, Walmart gets a new name.&nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, <strong><em>Slate</em></strong>’s <a href="http://www.slate.com/authors.dahlia_lithwick.html">Dahlia Lithwick</a> thought about one thing when Senate Democrats started calling for Al Franken’s resignation: Merrick Garland, which she points to as the beginning in a trend of Democrats trying to be honorable and Republicans trying to win at all costs. Are Democrats abandoning process too readily, only to see Republicans surge ahead again? Dahlia is the host of <strong><em>Slate</em></strong>’s <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/amicus.html">Amicus</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the FBI’s testimony on Capitol Hill.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 08, 2017
Next Falls Franken?
1837
On The Gist, <strong><em>Slate</em></strong>’s <a href="http://www.slate.com/authors.jim_newell.html">Jim Newell</a> explains the moral and political case for forcing out Sen. Al Franken. Dozens of Senate Democrats called on Franken to resign after a seventh woman accused him of sexual misconduct on Tuesday. <br><br><a href="https://twitter.com/Bobosphere">Bob Garfield</a> has spent much of his journalism career talking to eccentrics. In his one-man show, <a href="https://ruggedlyjewish.com/"><em>Ruggedly Jewish</em></a>, the quest to explore his own identity dovetails with the story of an uneasy America. The show is <a href="https://www.parkwestchicago.com/event/1560355-ruggedly-jewish-evening-bob-chicago/">touring in Chicago on Saturday, Dec. 9</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>And for the Spiel, why President Trump’s Jerusalem announcement solidifies his reputation as the chaos candidate.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 07, 2017
The Boys Club on the Bus
2015
On The Gist, why Alabama’s decrepitude is not incidental to Roy Moore’s competitive bid for Senate.&nbsp; <br>In the interview, <a href="http://www.russellshorto.com/">Russell Shorto</a> tells the stories of six people living through the Revolutionary War—one is George Washington; the other five, you’ve probably never heard of. Shorto’s book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/"><em>Revolution Song</em></a>. <br>In the Spiel, a counterpoint to Jill Filipovic’s <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/01/opinion/matt-lauer-hillary-clinton.html"><em>New York Times</em>&nbsp;column</a> arguing that the sexual harassers who covered the election threw the whole thing to Donald Trump.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 06, 2017
Pete Souza’s Photo Synthesis
1841
Before <a href="https://www.instagram.com/petesouza/?hl=en">Pete Souza</a> became the most famous troll on Instagram, he was the White House photographer for the duration of the Obama administration. Souza explains his approach to capturing moments and shares why he doesn’t consider his work to be propaganda. His book of pictures from the Obama presidency is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/"><em>Obama: An Intimate Portrait</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, should the store that sells you candy also sell you health care?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 05, 2017
Bob Saget Doesn’t Think He’s That Raunchy
1795
Bob Saget has long been known as the cuddly, sitcom dad with a surprisingly raunchy side. The comedian talks about the two shows that launched his career and the very first jokes he wrote as a teenager. <a href="http://bobsaget.com/">Bob Saget</a>’s comedy special is <a href="https://itunes.a"><em>Zero to Sixty</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, Mike pays an overdue visit to mail from listeners, and awards a Lobstar.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 02, 2017
Life Is Like Pachinko
1820
There hadn’t been an English-language novel about ethnic Koreans living in Japan until this year’s <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1455563927/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Pachinko</em></a>. Author <a href="https://www.minjinlee.com/">Min Jin Lee</a> chalks it up to the complicated history of the Korean Japanese. They were colonized by Japan, they were forced or compelled to migrate, and they were targets of anti-Korean discrimination. But Lee was surprised to find that many Korean Japanese don’t see themselves as victims of racism. “They would actually see it as, culturally, their norm,” says Lee. “I think it’s very hurtful to think that you’re hated all the time, so you have to think of the story that you can live with.”&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, are President Trump’s tweets worse than President Nixon’s paranoia?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 01, 2017
A Founding Fathers Bromance
2385
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were very different guys representing opposing political parties. Jefferson was a wildly popular aristocrat from Virginia; Adams was a middling, dyspeptic lawyer from Massachusetts. But they were fast friends, and their relationship ultimately survived a presidential election in which they faced off as candidates. Historian Gordon S. Wood explains why their friendship should give us hope. Wood’s book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0735224714/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson</em></a>.<br>In lieu of a Spiel today, we’re sharing a piece of The Gist’s Washington live show. Mike talked to <em>FiveThirtyEight</em> senior writer <a href="https://twitter.com/perrybaconjr">Perry Bacon Jr.</a> about the Alabama Senate race and the growing momentum behind the Republican tax bill.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 29, 2017
The Problem With America’s Rich
2200
Can you move toward greater income equality without asking America’s richest to give something up? In a word, no. On The Gist, <a href="https://www.brookings.edu/experts/richard-v-reeves/">Richard Reeves</a> argues that the upper echelons of the U.S. are bogarting wealth that would otherwise go to the middle class. His latest book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/081572912X/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It. </em></a><br><br>And today, Mike pulls a Spiel from the archives: What President Trump means when he says <em>everybody.</em> Or <em>anybody.</em> Or <em>nobody.</em><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 28, 2017
Is Neocon Nation-Building Done For?
2001
Elliott Abrams narrowly missed out on the State Department’s No. 2 job under President Trump, and it wasn’t just because of his sharp criticism of Trump, the candidate. In his book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1108415628/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Realism and Democracy</em></a><em>,</em> he argues that the U.S. should stay involved ­in the Arab world, going against the Trump administration’s “America First” doctrine. Abrams also sounds off on Trump’s use of the presidential pardon. <br><br>In the Spiel, Mike weighs the <em>New York Times</em>’ coverage of your run-of-the-mill American Nazi.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 28, 2017
Dana Gould’s Take on Horror
1634
Standup comic and writer <a href="https://twitter.com/danagould">Dana Gould</a> talks to Mike about growing up in a family of manly hunters and writing a character inspired by his dad. Gould is the creator of IFC’s <a href="http://www.ifc.com/shows/stan-against-evil"><em>Stan Against Evil</em></a>, a show about a small-town New Hampshire sheriff who fights demons. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, how to get a rise out of your uncle over the holidays.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 23, 2017
The Anti-War Candidate Was Invented in 1968
1849
The anti-war movement of 1968 looks inevitable today, but at the time, it felt “freaking bananas.” MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell explains the charisma of Bobby Kennedy, the fervor of Eugene McCarthy, and the crushing blow they dealt to sitting President Lyndon B. Johnson, who withdrew from the campaign after a narrow win in the New Hampshire primary. O’Donnell wrote about the race in his latest book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0525498222/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Playing With Fire</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Mike skewers president Trump’s double standards when it comes to sexual assault.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 22, 2017
What’s Next for Zimbabwe?
1486
In his 37 years as president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe has learned how to play hardball. While his past methods have invited sanctions for human rights violations, the 93-year-old is staying within the confines of the law to fend off the coup at his doorstep. <a href="https://twitter.com/drDendere?lang=en">Chipo Dendere</a>, a visiting assistant professor of political science at Amherst College, tells us more.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Mike considers Charles Manson and why serial killers don’t get attention like they used to.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 21, 2017
At Home With Gilbert Gottfried
2043
Comedian <a href="https://twitter.com/RealGilbert">Gilbert Gottfried</a> is known for his notorious voice and jokes that toe the borderline between daring and tasteless. In the documentary Gilbert, we see his softer side: his wife, Dara, rubs schmutz off his robe, his kids hug him goodbye before padding off to school, he sweet-talks a hotel concierge into giving him free deodorant. Gottfried, Dara, and the film’s director <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3286105/?ref_=tt_ov_dr">Neil Berkeley</a> joined Mike to talk about what makes <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6495526/"><em>Gilbert</em></a> special. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, are you running for office? A sitting senator? A first-term president? Mike Pesca is here to give you advice on surviving your sexual misconduct scandals.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 17, 2017
The Nazi-Busting Woman Erased by History
2165
Elizebeth Smith got her start poring over Shakespearean verse for secret messages that were not there. But she soon used those skills to break codes used by America’s enemies in both world wars. The FBI took credit for her decryptions of Nazi messages, and her husband’s work received much greater attention from the wars’ historians. <a href="https://twitter.com/jfagone">Jason Fagone</a> changes that with his latest book,­ <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0062430483/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Woman Who Smashed Codes</em></a>, and joins Mike to talk about it. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Mike surveys podcasting comedians’ reactions to Louis C.K.’s admitted sexual misconduct.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 17, 2017
People Power Beats the Courts
1581
How can savvy activism topple decades of legal precedent? The ACLU’s <a href="https://www.aclu.org/bio/david-cole">David Cole</a> tells us about three issues in which like-minded citizens advanced their agenda: marriage equality, gun ownership, and checking George W. Bush’s war on terror. Cole’s book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0465060900/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Engines of Liberty</em></a><em>: The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law</em>. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Mike considers Brett Talley, President Trump’s odd pick for federal district judge.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 16, 2017
Putting the Con in Economics
2361
President Trump’s top economics adviser is Kevin Hassett, a guy who has made some very bad calls—most notably, his assertion that the Bush tax cuts would make the U.S. economy recession-proof. <em>New Yorker</em> writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/adam-davidson">Adam Davidson</a> takes us to economics school and parses some of Hassett’s years old gobbledygook.&nbsp; In the Spiel, holding Bill Clinton’s accusers to today’s standards.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 15, 2017
Prisons of Profit
1680
As America’s prison population surged in the ’80s and ’90s, private prisons were billed as the solution. They were supposed to bring innovations to incarceration and save tax dollars. But as criminal justice expert <a href="https://twitter.com/lbeisen">Lauren-Brooke Eisen</a> tells us, private prisons are no more cost-effective, and the corporations behind them operate in secrecy. Eisen’s book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0231179707/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Inside Private Prisons</em></a>.&nbsp; In the Spiel, Mike skewers the Republican tax plan.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 14, 2017
The Family Man
1911
<a href="http://www.lw3.com/">Loudon Wainwright III</a> has been plumbing his personal relationships and dysfunctions for decades in his music. His latest book continues on that theme as he examines the influence of his father. The book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0399177027/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Liner Notes: On Parents &amp; Children, Exes &amp; Excess, Death &amp; Decay, &amp; a Few of My Other Favorite Things</em></a><em>.</em><br>In the Spiel, Mike is not yet done talking about Roy Moore and Louis C.K.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 11, 2017
Why Bush 41 Was the Anti-Trump
1693
As the Soviet Union crumbled, George H.W. Bush’s strategy was simple: say nothing. Historian Jeffrey Engel tells us about Bush’s plain oratory and his relationship with the USSR’s last leader, Mikhail Gorbachev. Engel says Bush Sr. and Trump scarcely look like they’re from the same party—which, of course, they aren’t. His book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0547423063/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>When the World Seemed New</em>.</a><br>In the Spiel, reacting to the allegations against Roy Moore and Louis C.K.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 09, 2017
About Last Night
1706
Democrats are feeling triumphant after Tuesday’s state and local elections. But it’s not a referendum on the president until his name is on the ballot, so <a href="https://twitter.com/EJDionne">E.J. Dionne</a> and <a href="https://www.brookings.edu/experts/thomas-e-mann/">Thomas Mann</a> are here to explain remains unique about this moment in American history. Dionne, Mann, and Norman Ornstein are the authors of the book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1250164052/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, hating on the latest iOS update.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 09, 2017
The Paradox of Black Patriotism
1710
<a href="https://twitter.com/drtedj">Theodore Johnson</a> caught our attention for his <a href="https://twitter.com/DrTedJ/status/922482240445145093">tweets</a> about how the White House reacts to protest from black Americans. He brings an interesting perspective as a black man in the U.S. with two decades of military service under his belt—identities, <a href="https://www.vox.com/2016/9/13/12901126/colin-kaepernick-black-veteran">he writes</a>, that stand “toe to toe.” Johnson is a fellow at New America and a former speechwriter for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, what Harvey Weinstein’s network of spies tells us about the power of legacy media.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 08, 2017
Lynn Novick on Making The Vietnam War
2035
How do you attempt to document an event as complex and inexplicable as the Vietnam War? Filmmaker <a href="https://twitter.com/LynnNovick">Lynn Novick</a> says it helped to prioritize Vietnamese voices as well as people with a flair for speaking. “There’s a poetry in just how people express themselves that we look for,” said Novick. She and Ken Burns co-directed <a href="http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/the-vietnam-war/home/"><em>The Vietnam War</em></a>, airing now on PBS.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, Mike tsk-tsks Donna Brazile’s tell-all.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 07, 2017
Free to Be You and #MeToo
1733
The #MeToo movement is flushing out clear-cut cases of sexual harassment and assault, but is it helping us judge cases that are far murkier? <a href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/author/erin-gloria-ryan">Erin Gloria Ryan</a>, senior editor for the <em>Daily Beast</em>, wonders whether people will separate into two camps: those who think accusers should be listened to, regardless of consequences, and those who think the accused should be punished, regardless of evidence. <br>In the Spiel, is this <em>really</em> the lowest point in U.S. history?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 04, 2017
Get Inside the Brain of Michael Rapaport
1628
The tax plan is out, and <em>New Yorker</em> writer <a href="https://www">Adam Davidson</a> joins us to play One Question, One Question Only: Is this tax reform?<br> And the voluble Michael Rapaport unleashes his opinions about various “stickmen” (read: athletic Casanovas) and why he’s embarrassed to be a Knicks fan. Rapaport’s new book is <a href="https://www.amazon.com/This-Book-Has-Balls-Talking/dp/1501160311/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>This Book Has Balls: Sports Rants from the MVP of Talking Trash</em></a>, and he hosts the podcast <a href="http://www.iamrapaport.com/"><em>I Am Rapaport</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>And in the Spiel, what went wrong in protecting Americans from armies of Russian trolls.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 02, 2017
Talk Like a Pirate (Party) Day
1853
Birgitta Jónsdóttir has an unusual background for a politician: she’s a poet and a free speech activist. Since 2013, she’s been a member of the Icelandic parliament representing the anti-establishment Pirate Party. Jónsdóttir talks to Mike about what it’s like to work within a fledgling political party and why she’s disappointed with what Wikileaks has become.<br>In the Spiel, how not to respond to a terrorist attack.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 02, 2017
Putting Dr. Seuss on the Couch
1611
Was Dr. Seuss racist? Or did his books just not age well? And what is the appropriate response to a canonical work that seems to be littered with racially charged depictions? <a href="https://www.k-state.edu/english/nelp/">Philip Nel</a> takes on all these questions and poses some more of his own in his latest book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/019063507X/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Was the Cat in the Hat Black?</em></a><br>In the Spiel, what if the office of the presidency were leveraged for the sake of constant distraction? We are finding out.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 01, 2017
Scared to Death?
1579
Can you be scared to death? Can your hair go white from fear? This sounds like a job for “Is That Bullshit?” with <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova">Maria Konnikova</a>, our favorite BS detector. Konnikova writes for the <em>New Yorker</em> and is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0525427414/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Confidence Game</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, the never-ending baseball game and a bothersome T-Mobile ad.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 30, 2017
Sen. Cory Booker Has a Message for Pot Smokers
1918
Democratic New Jersey <a href="https://twitter.com/CoryBooker">Sen. Cory Booker</a> has rolled out the kind of marijuana legalization bill <a href="https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/8/1/1686036/-Sen-Booker-introduces-most-far-reaching-bill-to-legalize-marijuana-ever">progressives love to fawn over</a> and <a href="http://reason.com/blog/2017/08/01/cory-bookers-revolutionary-marijuana-ref">libertarians love to ridicule</a>. The plan would pressure states to legalize marijuana by withholding federal money. Booker cedes that the bill’s passage doesn’t seem imminent, but he likens marijuana legalization to gay marriage, another proposal that saw a rapid surge in popular support: “I’m believing in—I’m claiming a sea change coming in the future.”<br>In the Spiel, what is justice for Bowe Bergdahl?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 27, 2017
Fellas We Frolicked With
1724
Talking about sex makes some people squirm. For everyone else there’s <a href="https://soundcloud.com/guyswefucked"><em>Guys We Fucked</em></a>, a podcast hosted by Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson that started off as a series of interviews with their old partners. Now it’s more of a coffee klatsch between two raunchy feminists.Their new book is <a href="https://www.amazon.com/cked-Sexually-Explorative-Self-Confident-Screwed/dp/0062666916/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>F*cked: Being Sexually Explorative and Self-Confident in a World That’s Screwed</em></a>.<br><br>And in the Spiel, Bannon, Bulgarian mutiny, and beluga whales.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 26, 2017
Jacob Weisberg on the Steele Dossier
1625
<a href="https://twitter.com/jacobwe">Jacob Weisberg</a> says the Clinton campaign’s links to the Steele dossier matters, but not as much as the veracity of the oppo research itself. Weisberg is host of <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/trumpcast.html">Trumpcast</a> and editor in chief of the <strong>Slate Group</strong>.<br><br>In the Spiel, the death of Fats Domino.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 25, 2017
Jeff Bezos Isn’t King
1803
Shareholder returns aren’t the only barometer of CEO success anymore, or else Jeff Bezos would be on top. In recent years, sustainability and diversity have gained importance—and in those areas, European CEOs are lapping their American competitors. Adi Ignatius, editor in chief of the <em>Harvard Business Review,</em> joins us to discuss the metrics for CEO success and how businesses struggle to diversify. The <em>Harvard Business Review</em> just published its rankings of <a href="https://hbr.org/2017/11/the-best-performing-ceos-in-the-world-2017">the best-performing CEOs in the world of 2017</a>.<br>And a discursive Spiel about President Trump’s chances of passing tax reform.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 24, 2017
A Show for Mere Mortals
2025
<a href="https://twitter.com/kathleenhoran?lang=en">Kathleen Horan</a> writes obituaries for the living. Her Audible original series, <a href="https://mobile.audible.com/pd/Radio-TV/Mortal-City-Audiobook/B075SGPKY6"><em>Mortal City</em></a>, is an anthology of lesser-known New York characters: Douglas the sanitation worker, Serge the barman, Rocky the ambulance commandant. “I just kept feeling like there were people that I was missing,” says Horan. She prefers to talk to people who live and work on the city’s margins: “They just can’t help but show you higher up on the thigh of their story.”<br>In the Spiel, the latest page in the very long scrapbook on President Trump’s communication catastrophes.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 24, 2017
Marc Maron and Brendan McDonald
2172
Marc Maron says he “didn’t know anything about anything” when he began working in radio. But producer Brendan McDonald can tell you the moment he knew Maron could be a radio star. It was during a morning show on the ill-fated Air America network, and then-host Maron was ranting about overcooked lentils. “The phones lit up,” said McDonald. The two went on to create <a href="http://www.wtfpod.com/"><em>WTF With Marc Maron</em></a>, the podcast now known for intense interviews with comedians, many of whom Maron quarreled with in the past. Maron’s latest book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1250088887/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Waiting for the Punch</em></a>, is a collection of interview excerpts.<br>In the Spiel, a few things Mike doesn’t understand about other people.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 20, 2017
Flags Tell Fibs
1867
Some national flags are created to unify nations, but others are simply based on myths. The Danes believe God threw theirs from heaven, and the Catalonians tell the story of a severed arm dragged across a shield. Vexilloligist and author Tim Marshall joins us to explain these myths and the complex politics of national flags. Marshall’s new book is <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Flag-Worth-Dying-Politics-National/dp/1501168339/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>A Flag Worth Dying For</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, a right-wing provocateur provokes often, but not well.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 19, 2017
Falling for the Gambler’s Fallacy
1720
If the roulette wheel keeps stopping on green, it’s bound to stop on red soon, right? It must be time for another round of “Is That Bullshit?” <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/maria-konnikova">Maria Konnikova</a> returns to debunk our ideas about probability and gambling. Konnikova writes for the <em>New Yorker</em> and is the author of <a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/0143109871/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Confidence Game</em></a>. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the Russian connection.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 18, 2017
The Stupid Genius of Dexter Guff
2133
Thought-leaders build careers out of TED talks, inspirational quotes, and branded products. Dexter Guff is a big player in that space, teaching his listeners how to crush it every day. But Dexter Guff is not a real guy. His podcast, <a href="https://itunes.app"><em>Dexter Guff Is Smarter Than You</em></a>, is a satirical show starring actor <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0646185/">Peter Oldring</a>. Oldring explains the origins of the Dexter Guff character and the difficulties of executing dry humor. <br>In the Spiel, <strong><em>Slate</em></strong> contributor <a href="http://www.slate.com/authors.seth_stevenson.html">Seth Stevenson</a> sizes up Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 18, 2017
Sarah Kliff on the Big Questions
2201
You can’t get away from Obamacare news, and with each repeal effort there are familiar, wild-eyed claims from the law’s supporters and detractors. Will chipping away at the Affordable Care Act cause people to die? Did the health care law “bend” the cost curve? Did your taxes go up to pay for healthcare for the poor and the sick? Mike interrogates some of these pronouncements with <em>Vox</em>’s <a href="https://www.vox.com/authors/sarah-kliff">Sarah Kliff</a>. Listen to her new weekly podcast, <a href="https://www.vox.com/the-impact"><em>Impact</em></a>. <br>Pitchforks down, please: a Spiel about why <em>New York Times</em> op-ed columnist Mayim Bialik isn’t a monster.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 17, 2017
Why Now With the Weinstein Stories?
1991
Why did it take years of reporting before any news organizations could nail down the Harvey Weinstein story? NPR media correspondent <a href="http://www.npr.org/people/4459112/david-folkenflik">David Folkenflik</a> says previously, the allegations received only “twilight” coverage. He considers why NBC might have whiffed on the Weinstein story, and how the network’s hard pass is being recast in conservative circles. Folkenflik is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/161039089X/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Murdoch’s World: The Last of the Old Media Empires</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, who was the star of the New York City mayoral debate? It wasn’t Oxford-style discourse.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 14, 2017
The Shia LaBeouf of Islam
1934
What does it mean to be Muslim in the U.S. right now? <strong><em>Slate</em></strong>’s <a href="http://www.slate.com/authors.aymann_ismail.html">Aymann Ismail</a> set out to understand, interviewing the founder of right-wing website <em>Gateway Pundit</em>, a former Muslim extremist, and his own family members, among others. What Aymann has learned so far has surprised him. His <strong><em>Slate</em></strong> video series is “<a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/video/whos_afraid_of_aymann_ismail/2017/06/aymann_ismail_s_muslim_series_confronts_who_s_afraid_of_islam_in_america.html">Who’s Afraid of Aymann Ismail?</a>”&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, jokes didn’t take down Harvey Weinstein. &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 12, 2017
Oklahoma Is Not OK
1709
Things are looking bleak in Oklahoma. Low taxes and slashed state spending mean schools, prisons, and even the state capitol building itself are failing. <a href="http://russellcobb.pressfolios.com/">Russell Cobb</a>, a native Okie, explains how his home state <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/29/oklahoma-education-system-four-day-school-weeks-poor">came to be so screwed up</a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, what’s so wrong with a gun registry? &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 11, 2017
Made-Up Cabaret
1699
Comedian Jason Kravits can write a Broadway hit, on the spot. That’s the premise of his improv cabaret show, where he invents tunes based on audience suggestions, such as “Yom Kippur” or “a Victorian sewer.” The show, Off the Top, is on the second Saturday of every month at the Duplex in Manhattan. His next show is <a href="https://www.offthetop.nyc/">Oct. 14 at 7 p.m.</a><br><br>In the Spiel, the Environmental Protection Agency.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 10, 2017
Masha Gessen, Putin Whisperer
1917
<a href="https://twitter.com/mashagessen">Masha Gessen</a> returns to The Gist, this time to talk about her latest work, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/159463453X/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Future Is History</em></a><em>. </em>Gessen uses the book to examine the ways in which post-Soviet Russia failed to process the traumas of totalitarianism. In failing to reckon with its past, did Russia doom itself to a bleak future?&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, the dearth of details in the Trump administration’s tax plan.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 06, 2017
Facebook’s Data Monopoly
1769
This week, we learned that Russian-linked Facebook ads targeted swing states during the 2016 election. Initially hesitant about sharing information with the government, Facebook finally gave in to avoid a deeper discussion on regulation, but tech companies have grown so big that it might be time for the government to step in. Journalist Franklin Foer explains how tech has become so powerful, and why it’s essential to be skeptical of technological innovation. Foer’s new book is <a href="https://www.amazon.com/World-Without-Mind-Existential-Threat/dp/1101981113/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, gun-control regulations.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 06, 2017
You Poor Seoul
1761
Has the military become more tolerant of collateral damage under President Trump? Why are there no good military options in North Korea? And who does it hurt when the president goes off-script about Kim Jong-un? Retired <a href="https://www.thayerleaderdevelopment.com/people/faculty/major-general-spider-marks">Maj. Gen. James “Spider” Marks</a> has the answers.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, the cost of paying constant attention to the president’s myriad sins and insults.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 04, 2017
The Presidency is Impossible
1720
Before the Cold War, the president spent most of his time focusing on long-term problems facing the nation. But ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt, the president has had to devote more time to immediate crises than overarching strategy. Author Jeremi Suri explains how the office of the president has changed so drastically—and whether there’s any way for occupants to succeed now. Suri’s new book is <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Impossible-Presidency-Americas-Highest-Office/dp/0465051731/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, more ways to think about gun reform.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 03, 2017
The Rage Was Already There
1891
On The Gist, we’re thinking about the mass shooting in Las Vegas and the errors we make when we attempt to explain the motives of an attacker. Author <a href="https://twitter.com/mashagessen">Masha Gessen</a> says it’s all part of our desire to reassure ourselves that we won’t fall victim to a bomb blast or a spray of bullets. “As soon as we find an explanation, we set it aside and we’re reassured that it’s not going to happen to us.” Gessen went in search of an explanation for the Boston Marathon bombing in her book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1594634009/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Brothers</em></a>. She’ll be back soon to talk about her latest book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/159463453X/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, Mike found the perfect metaphor for our familiar reaction to a mass shooting.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 02, 2017
Kurt Andersen’s History of American Wackadoodles
2233
Charlatans and magical thinkers aren’t new to this country; they helped shape it. So goes the thesis of <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Fantasyland-America-Haywire-500-Year-History-ebook/dp/B004J4WNJE"><em>Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire</em></a>. Author <a href="https://twitter.com/KBAndersen">Kurt Andersen</a> joins Mike to consider religious quacks, the wackadoodles of the left and right, and the shrinking authority of the academy. Andersen is the host of <a href="https://www.pri.org/programs/studio-360"><em>Studio 360</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, we’re long overdue for another Lobstar.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 29, 2017
Recentering American Politics
1871
For the past 25 years, Bill Kristol of the <em>Weekly Standard</em> and Bill Galston of the Brookings Institution have been debating the meaning of presidential elections. But in 2016, they found themselves agreeing much more frequently on issues such as immigration, the tech industry, and tax reform. These men, on opposite sides of center, decided to develop a plan to recenter American politics. Galston and Kristol’s new project is the <a href="http://www.newcenter.org/">New Center</a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, a librarian rejected books donated by Melania Trump.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 29, 2017
It’s Time to Rethink Puerto Rico
1659
It’s time for Vexillology Corner: Last month, the city of Pocatello, Idaho, presented a new city flag to replace their previous one, known for being one of the ugliest flags in the United States. But what makes a flag ugly? Vexillologist Ted Kaye describes Pocatello’s new flag and reminds us why a kid should be able to draw it. Kaye is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/097477281X/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Good Flag, Bad Flag</em></a>. <br>In the Spiel, a brief word from economist <a href="https://twitter.com/tylercowen">Tyler Cowen</a>, who summarizes the <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/view/">grim outlook for Puerto Rico</a>.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 27, 2017
Mark Lilla’s Advice for Liberals
1887
Mark Lilla made a lot of liberals bristle with his <em>New York Times</em> op-ed, “<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/20/opinion/sunday/the-end-of-identity-liberalism.html">The End of Identity Liberalism</a>.” But Lilla insists that what he’s suggesting should not make the bleeding hearts clutch their hemp necklaces in horror. His premise is simple: To make meaningful gains, Democrats need institutional power (i.e., election wins). And far too often, Lilla says, liberals have sacrificed such ends for what he calls “noble defeats.” Lilla’s book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0062697439/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 26, 2017
David Litt is D.C. Funny
1884
Working in the White House sounds impressive, but speechwriter David Litt says it’s not like <em>The West Wing</em>. Some days you just find salmon in a toilet, or have to tell the president that he looks like Hitler. Litt shares his experience as a self-described unimportant person working in the most important place in America. Litt’s new book <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Thanks-Obama-Hopey-Changey-White/dp/1538454440/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Thanks, Obama</em></a> is out now, and you can find him <a href="https://twi">on Twitter</a>.<br>In the Spiel, it’s a sports talk hot take.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 25, 2017
2007 Defined the Next Decade In Pop
1760
The chart-topping hits of 2007 featured Beyoncé at peak pop and Kanye West ahead of the curve with electronic dance music. Why do the hits of 2007 have such impressive staying power? <a href="http://www.slate.com/authors.chris_molanphy.html">Chris Molanphy</a> says it might be because the 2007 <em>Billboard</em> charts were more comprehensive than ever, marking the first time that digital music sales were incorporated into a song’s ranking. Molanphy writes <strong><em>Slate</em></strong>’s <a href="http://www.slate.com/topics/w/why_is_this_songno1.html">Why Is This Song No. 1?</a> column and hosts the podcast <em>Hit Parade</em>.<br>In the Spiel, John McCain just keeps on delivering.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 22, 2017
Dylan Moran Will Say It to Your Face
1891
<a href="https://www.dylanmoran.com/">Dylan Moran</a> is a comedian from Ireland, a resident of Scotland, and a worried observer of politics in America. He talks to Mike about his way with words and why he thinks satire might bring down the 45th president. Moran is touring the U.S. now with his latest stand-up show, <a href="https://www.dylanmoran.com/wandering/">Grumbling Mustard.</a><br><br>In the Spiel, democracy is exacerbating international tragedy.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 21, 2017
Credit Where Credit Is Due
1559
This much we know: The Equifax data breach is bad. How can the credit bureaus, who have been described as the “plumbing” of our financial system, show so little regard for the people whose data they collect? <em>New York Times</em> columnist <a href="%22New%20York%20Times%20columnist%20Gretchen%20Morgens">Gretchen Morgenson</a> says it’s simple: We are not their customers, we are their product. Morgenson writes the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/column/fair-game">Fair Game</a> column. Her most recent book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0805091203/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon</em></a><em>.</em>&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, the Jimmy Kimmel test.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 20, 2017
The Frat Doesn’t Have Your Back
1745
Sigma Alpha Epsilon was already the country’s deadliest fraternity when it became famous in 2015 for its racist chants. But Bloomberg News senior editor <a href="https://www.johnhechinger.com/">John Hechinger</a> says SAE’s response to its scandal was unusual, as leaders used his reporting to try to reform members. Even so, the rising costs of insuring national fraternities might cause local chapters to shut down before reforms can take root. “The leaders of SAE know they are a legal judgment away from oblivion,” writes Hechinger. His book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1610396820/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>True Gentlemen: The Broken Pledge of America’s Fraternities</em></a><em>.<br><br></em>In the Spiel, Trump’s speech at the United Nations.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 19, 2017
Was Booger Really A Nerd?
1986
Why does the movie <em>Revenge of the Nerds</em> continue to resonate today? Because, aside from how funny it is, it stands up for outcasts. Actor <a href="https://twitter.com/curtisisbooger">Curtis Armstrong</a> explains what he took away from the film playing Booger, who was accepted by the nerds despite not really being one of them. Armstrong is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1250113946/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Revenge of the Nerd: Or… The Singular Adventures of the Man Who Would Be Booger.</em></a><em><br><br></em>In the Spiel, health care for all!&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 19, 2017
Ted Leo’s Hanged-Man Wisdom
1773
On The Gist, Mike talks to one of his favorites: Musician <a href="https://www.tedleo.com/">Ted Leo</a> discusses letting his political frustrations fuel his songwriting (see his song, “William Weld in the 21st Century”) and explains how he finds solace in the tarot card image of the hanged man, which inspired the name of his new album. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B074P43QKZ/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Hanged Man</em></a> is available now. For more on Ted Leo, read Michael Tedder’s story in <em>Stereogum</em>, “<a href="https://www.stereogum.com/featured/ted-leo-is-like-you/">Ted Leo Is Like You.</a>”<br>In the Spiel, why it’s silly to say that speech equals violence.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 15, 2017
Which Type Are You?
1996
On The Gist, <a href="https://twitter.com/gretchenrubin">Gretchen Rubin</a> explains why her system of sorting people into four personality types (Rebel, Obliger, Questioner, and Upholder) will make your life easier. Rubin is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1524760919/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Four Tendencies</em></a> and host of the podcast <a href="https://gretchenrubin.com/podcasts/"><em>Happier</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, what happens when politics seeps into sports.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 15, 2017
Chris Gethard Wrestles With Comedy
1800
Late-night talk shows adhere to a form: a host behind a desk, pre-produced interviews, and tightly choreographed bits. Chris Gethard wants to break that form apart. With absurd gags like getting dunked in ice water or staying awake for 36 hours, Gethard wants to disarm his celebrity guests and put his viewers in charge. Gethard’s new season of <em>The Chris Gethard Show</em> airs Thursday nights at 11 p.m. Eastern on truTV.<br><br>In the Spiel, the fatberg of London.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 13, 2017
The Hygiene Hypothesis
1966
Do germaphobic parents doom their kids to a lifetime of allergies and irritable bowels? This sounds like a question for our favorite game, “Is That Bullshit?” Returning champion <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/maria-konnikova">Maria Konnikova</a> helps us sort good bacteria from bad. Konnikova writes for the<em> New Yorker</em> and is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0143109871/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Confidence Game</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, what should we consider before changing the definition of sexual assault?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 13, 2017
Nnamdi Asomugha’s Drama School
1892
Former NFL cornerback <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3060479/">Nnamdi Asomugha</a> sees his time in football as a prep course for acting.&nbsp; On The Gist, he explains how he learned to study other people while developing his own style. Asomugha stars in <a href="http://www.ifccenter.com/films/crown-heights/"><em>Crown Heights</em></a>, a film based on the true story of a Brooklyn man trying to prove the innocence of his imprisoned friend. <em>Crown Heights</em> is in select theaters and will be available nationwide starting Friday, Sept. 15.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, why does anyone listen to Ivanka Trump?&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 11, 2017
Patricia Williams Isn’t Joking
1854
Standup comic <a href="http://www.mspatcomedy.com/">Ms. Pat</a> is used to getting follow-up questions about her jokes. Did your mom really shoot a gun in the house? Did you really get pregnant when you were 13? Did you really have fleas? It’s all true, and now it’s even been fact-checked. Patricia Williams tells Mike about what it was like to write her book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0062407309/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat</em></a>.<br>In the Spiel, a special statement from the president of Equifax.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 08, 2017
Three Cheers for Houston
1756
Hurricane Harvey has caused a huge amount of property damage, but so far the death toll remains remarkably low. Why? Mike talks to <a href="http://www.earthinstitute.columbia.edu/articles/view/2358">John Mutter</a>, a Columbia University professor who studies how natural disasters affect the poor. Mutter is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1137278986/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Disaster Profiteers</em></a>. In the Spiel, the deal-making wizardry of President Trump.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 07, 2017
Music Is Sex
1870
Did the sexual revolution inspire rock ’n’ roll or vice versa? Was Elvis Presley a knowing sex symbol or a total innocent? Is it true that there are still blue laws on the books against playing “Tutti Frutti” after dark? NPR’s music critic <a href="https://twitter.com/annkpowers">Ann Powers</a> tackles these and other questions in her book, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Good-Booty-Bl"><em>Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, the perfect late-summer sports scandal.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 06, 2017
Choosing Who Gets Flooded
1771
The nation has weathered another major natural disaster, and the Army Corps of Engineers once again finds itself under scrutiny. NPR’s national desk correspondent <a href="http://www.npr.org/people/1939802/wade-goodwyn">Wade Goodwyn</a> says the corps made a choice to open the floodgates of two major reservoirs in southeast Texas, flooding certain neighborhoods and sparing others.&nbsp;<br>Mike Pesca is back to take his rightful place as spieler in chief. Tuesday’s topic: Jeff Sessions finally gets to stick it to the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 05, 2017
Is Amazon a Monopoly?
2023
Hosting today’s Gist is <a href="https://twitter.com/radiosmith">Robert Smith</a> from <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/money/">NPR’s <em>Planet Money</em></a>. <br>On the show, he’ll talk to <a href="https://twitter.com/linamkhan">Lina Khan</a>, whose research encouraging tighter regulations on Amazon caught some heat from the company’s general counsel. Khan works at the Open Markets Program, formerly housed under the New America Foundation.&nbsp;<br>And in the Spiel, Robert Smith observes a new trend in broadcast news: reporters becoming heroes on live television. What could possibly go wrong?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 01, 2017
Dan Savage on the Nashville Statement
1848
Today's guest host is Dan Savage, from the <a href="https://www.savagelovecast.com/">Savage Lovecast</a>. Dan is the internationally syndicated columnist of “Savage Love” and the author of several books. With his husband Terry Miller, he cofounded the It Gets Better project and edited the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0525952330/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0525952330&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=slatmaga-20"><em>It Gets Better</em></a><em> </em>collection.<br>On The Gist, Dan talks to author Peggy Orenstein about the lack of sexual education for young women and how book tours can change the writing process. Orenstein is the author of <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Girls-Sex-Navigating-Complicated-Landscape/dp/0062209744/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Girls &amp; Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape</em></a><em>.</em><br>In the Spiel: the clueless conservatism of the Nashville Statement.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 31, 2017
Shake It Off, Taylor
1626
Question: What’s the best way to take a vacation in a Communist society? Answer: With utmost utilitarian seriousness, and possibly without your family. On this last week before Labor Day, guest host and <strong><em>Slate</em></strong> writer Leon Neyfakh talks to historian Diane Koenker about how the Soviet Union came to embrace personal holidays and reconcile them with the Communist doctrine. Koenker is the author of <a href="http://www.cornellpress.cornel"><em>Club Red: Vacation Travel and the Soviet Dream.</em></a>&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, the cautionary tale of Taylor Swift’s latest single.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 30, 2017
The Flood Trap That Houston Built
1484
<strong><em>Slate</em></strong>’s Henry Grabar explains how rampant building in the Houston suburbs have made the area worse for wear during Tropical Storm Harvey. And in the Spiel, guest-host Osita Nwanevu breaks his self-imposed moratorium against criticizing columnist David Brooks.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 29, 2017
Al Letson Became A Human Shield
1766
Al Letson was just trying to cover a demonstration – an anti-hate rally in Berkeley. When he saw a group of balaclava-clad men descend on an apparent right-wing agitator, he <a href="https://twitter.com/shane_bauer/status/901910682030882816">jumped into the fray</a>, using his body to defend the man from kicks and punches. Letson is the host of <em>Reveal</em> from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX.&nbsp;<br>And for the Spiel, is “#whaboom” the worst of our culture today?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 29, 2017
Mismatch
2420
The hype surrounding the Saturday night fight between boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and MMA fighter Conor McGregor is overtly racially charged. Why? Because people are eating it up, says <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/by/wesley-morris?mcubz=3">Wesley Morris</a>, critic-at-large for the <em>New York Times. </em>Morris and Mike talk about the role of race in the NFL’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick, Dana Schutz’s <em>Open Casket</em> painting of Emmett Till, the closing of the Broadway show <em>The Great Comet</em>, and more. Morris is the co-host of the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/column/still-processing-podcast?mcubz=3"><em>Still Processing</em></a> podcast.&nbsp;<br><br> In the Spiel: We live in interesting times. &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 26, 2017
America Is Weird About Sex
1706
Understanding sexual consent is complicated. Colleges are working to clarify this issue while also policing sexual assault. But when does this cross over into legislating feelings versus facts? Vanessa Grigoriadis helps us understand the current iteration of the sexual consent debate happening on campuses today. Grigoriadis is the author of <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Blurred-Lines-Rethinking-Consent-Campus/dp/0544702557/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus</em></a>.<br>In the Spiel: Should we tear down statues?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 25, 2017
Sure, Punching Nazis Feels Good…
1988
The antifa movement is resurging. It started in 1920s Europe to fight Hitler and Mussolini and has returned to oppose the current wave of xenophobia in the United States. Author Mark Bray walks us through the history of the antifa movement. Bray is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1612197035/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook</em></a>.<br>In the Spiel: Trump’s campaign speech in Phoenix.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 23, 2017
Russia's Lab Rat
1878
Filmmaker <a href="https://twitter.com/bryanfogel">Bryan Fogel</a> had a simple hypothesis: The worldwide anti-doping system is a joke. To test his theory, Fogel wanted to dope himself and evade detection. A Russian anti-doping lab director agreed to help. Months later, Fogel’s personal doping coach was blowing the whistle on Russia’s piss-swapping scam to get around anti-doping rules. Fogel’s documentary, <a href="http://www.icarus.film/"><em>Icarus</em></a>, is available on Netflix.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel: The Instagram drama of Louise Linton, wife of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 22, 2017
The Many Theories of Malcolm Gladwell
2215
<a href="https://twitter.com/Gladwell">Malcolm Gladwell</a>’s hit podcast <em>Revisionist History</em> spits out neat, distilled theories in every episode. Some of them are careful, others are reductive. But Gladwell says his theories aren’t all meant to be airtight: They just help him organize his stories, or merely spruce them up. “In some of them I’m trying to make a very, very serious, moral point. Sometimes I’m just—I’m making intellectual mischief.”&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel: the parallels between the Obama administration and the Trump administration on race relations.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 21, 2017
The Year MTV Took Over the Charts
1931
In 1982, MTV started guiding <em>Billboard</em>’s taste in music. The year was filled with elaborate videos and cheesy ballads. Chris Molanphy takes us through all the hand claps and synth vibes of that year’s <em>Billboard</em> hits. Molanphy writes <strong><em>Slate</em></strong>’s <a href="http://www.slate.com/topics/w/why_is_this_songno1.html">Why Is This Song No. 1</a> column and hosts the podcast <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/culturegabfest/2017/07/the_rise_and_fall_of_the_charity_megasingle.html">Hit Parade</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel: The last time anything good happened to Donald Trump.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 18, 2017
Is This the End of Steve Bannon?
2114
Did Steve Bannon <em>really </em>misunderstand the meaning of <em>off the record </em>during his now-infamous <a href="http://prospect.org/article/steve-bannon-unrepentant">“interview”</a> with the American Prospect? “Yup,” says Joshua Green, author of <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Devils-Bargain-Bannon-Storming-Presidency/dp/0735225028"><em>Devil’s Bargain</em></a>, a book about Bannon’s influence on the Trump presidency. Green addresses the latest rumors of Bannon’s political demise, and tries to sort out why, exactly, Trump’s chief strategist always wears three shirts at once.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, a nuclear war with North Korea no longer feels inevitable. So what now?&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 17, 2017
The Overreaction Doctrine
1515
Political scientist <a href="http://www.moshemaor.net/">Moshe Maor</a> says Donald Trump’s policy ideas are very, very over-the-top. But that’s exactly the point. On issues like immigration and transgender service members, bold overreactions are the only kind of policies that speak to cynical voters. “People want immediate action,” says Maor. “Morality aside, Trump is playing his cards right.” Maor is a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. <br><br>In the Spiel, is Donal Trump a smart racist or a stupid racist? <br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">Slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 16, 2017
Why Are Police Unions So Aggressive?
1658
Guest host <a href="http://www.slate.com/authors.leon_neyfakh.html">Leon Neyfakh</a> speaks with retired Boston cop Tom Nolan about the politics of police unions. While unions in other industries put on a progressive face to the world, police unions tend to be defensive of everything from disrespecting the mayor of New York to rough treatment of prisoners. But Nolan says he’s encouraged by their recent condemnation of President Trump’s comments about police violence. “I think they know the speaker of those words does not know what the hell he was talking about,” says Nolan, who <a href="http://www.merrimack.edu/live/profiles/40-tom-nolan-edd">now teaches at Merrimack College</a>.&nbsp; <br><br>In the Spiel, Google is a massive company. It’s also an increasingly bad search engine. <br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">Slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 15, 2017
There Is No Order in Congress
1618
Typically Congress has an order to follow when creating bills and passing them into law. There’s committee writing, revisions, and a bipartisan back-and-forth. In recent years that order has broken down and caused major divides inside both parties. Georgetown senior fellow Joshua Huder details this process and how it went wrong. Huder’s writing can be found on the blog <a href="https://rule22blog.org/2017/07/26/the-healthcare-process-is-not-just-bad-its-damaging/">Rule 22</a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, Mike heads to the Bobby Fischer museum in Iceland and explores the tricky balance of memorializing the controversial star. <br><br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">Slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 14, 2017
Brandt Tobler Has a Problem With Authority
1908
Brandt Tobler has had a crazy life. His stand-up comedy is the sum of his stories as a small-town wayward kid busting out of Wyoming. He was the don of a criminal syndicate he called the “mallfia,” he ran the Las Vegas strip placing bets for gambling titans, and he plotted to kill his estranged father. He’s also kind of a sweetheart. Tobler’s book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0998794805/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Free Roll</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, how cynicism breeds fake news. <br><br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 11, 2017
About the Google Memo
2148
Google’s reputation for openness took a tumble when its CEO fired James Damore, the author of a memo questioning the company’s efforts to achieve gender parity. <a href="https://twitter.com/amywebb">Amy Webb</a>, founder of the Future Today Institute, blames the internet. She says easy access to data is allowing us to make dumb arguments.<br><br>In the Spiel, Mike has more thoughts on the Google memo. Guess what? He dislikes it.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 11, 2017
Muhammad Ali’s Biggest Fight
1752
Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century, but he didn’t spend his entire life in the ring. During the Vietnam War, he spent his time trying to avoid the draft as a conscientious objector. Journalist <a href="https://twitter.com/leighmontville">Leigh Montville</a> says the struggle changed Ali’s life—and the country. Montville’s new book is <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Sting-Like-Bee-Muhammad-1966-1971/dp/0385536054/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Sting Like a Bee</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, a closer look at the CV of the most important soil-health civil servant in the news.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 10, 2017
Somewheres vs. Anywheres
1803
Over the last few years, the meaningful fault line between political camps has separated people rooted to certain places and people rooted to certain ideas. David Goodhart says the anywheres have become too dominant, and the somewhere have rightly felt excluded. How can we bridge the divide? Goodhart’s book is <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Road-Somewhere-Populist-Revolt-Politics/dp/1849047995/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Road to Somewhere</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, speak loudly domestically and you might hurt your credibility. Speak loudly internationally and you might end civilization.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 08, 2017
The Social Experiment on TV
1869
Be bold, but not arrogant. Apologize when wrong, but don’t accept blame. Stay calm in a crisis. These are some of the lessons <a href="https://twitter.com/mrichtv">Mike Richards</a> has learned hosting GSN’s <a href="https://www.gsntv.com/divided"><em>Divided</em></a>, the social experiment masquerading as a game show.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, why the Dow is for fuddy-duddies.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 07, 2017
Maria Bamford Wants to See Emotion
2084
<a href="https://twitter.com/mariabamfoo">Maria Bamford</a> has been making top comedian lists for years, but she knows her stand-up isn’t for everyone: “I can bomb any moment of the week, any day.” On The Gist, she rebuts Mike’s assertion that comics are more likely to struggle with depression. Bamford also explains why she wishes ESPN’s postgame analysis were swapped out for televised confessional booths for the athletes. Her new Netflix show is <a href="https://www.netflix.com/title/80046193"><em>Lady Dynamite</em></a><em>.</em><br>In the Spiel, Mike reads some of the mail responding to his takedown of the term <em>white privilege</em> and names another Lobstar. &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 04, 2017
The Scaramucci Tapes
1859
It’s a special combo Gist, with an interview and Spiel rolled into one segment: <a href="https://twitter.com/zchace">Zoe Chace</a>, producer for <em>This American Life</em>, digs up some old audio from one of her conversations with Anthony Scaramucci. The tape is from 2016, when the Mooch was pondering whether to support Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. What Scaramucci said back then may indicate what he’ll do next.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 03, 2017
A Video Game Thoreau Might Play
1804
What would you expect from a video game inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s sojourn in the woods? In <a href="http://waldengame.com/"><em>Walden, a game</em></a><em>,</em> players can contemplate the forest, go boating with Ralph Waldo Emerson, and practice civil disobedience. The game was developed by the <a href="http://www.gameinnovationlab.com/">Game Innovation Lab</a> at the University of Southern California. <a href="http://www.tracyfullerton.co">Lab Director Tracy Fullerton</a> explains why she thinks Thoreau might have liked the game.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, our faith in the military might not be blind, but it is blinkered.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 02, 2017
No Hard Feelings
2144
Psychologist and neuroscientist <a href="https://lisafeldmanbarrett.com/about/">Lisa Feldman Barrett</a> is the grand inquisitor of human emotions. Her book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0544133315/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>How Emotions Are Made</em></a>, inspired a big chunk of the latest season of NPR’s <em>Invisibilia</em>. Barrett says scientific research shows that emotions are highly variable and utter creations of our minds. Some of her resulting conclusions may surprise you.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, Mike goes there: white privilege and rape culture.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 01, 2017
How to Beat a Casino
1949
A few years ago, an unassuming young woman named Kelly Sun teamed up with Phil Ivey, the world’s most famous poker player. Using some questionable strategies, the two managed to win millions of dollars from casinos across the world. Now the casinos are saying what they did is cheating, and they’re trying to get their money back in court. Reporter Rose Eveleth tells Sun and Ivey’s story in a new audio documentary, <a href="http://www.espn.com/espnradio/play/_/id/20092430"><em>A Queen of Sorts</em></a>, part of the <a href="https://30for30podcasts.com/%22%20%5Cl%20%22episodes">ESPN podcast series <em>30 for 30</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, yeah, no, #NoConfederate.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 31, 2017
Alan Alda Seeks Clarity
1793
Alan Alda’s new book is called <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0812989147/"><em>If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?</em></a> The title comes from his own bad experiences talking to doctors and other science professionals, including one that screwed up his smile for years. “We need to get people talking like people…it’s all about empathy,” says the actor, who also founded the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University.&nbsp; In The Spiel, why we should actually care about the bizarre Scaramucci–<em>New Yorker</em> interview. &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 28, 2017
They Called Him Son of Sam
1758
Tom Jennings dug through hours of archival media footage to tell the story of Son of Sam, the serial killer who terrorized New York City in 1976 and 1977. The resulting documentary is part of the Smithsonian Channel’s <em>Lost Tapes</em> series. <a href="http://www.smithsonianchannel.com/shows/the-lost-tapes/son-of-sam/1004513/3437441"><em>The Lost Tapes: Son of Sam</em></a> airs Sunday on the Smithsonian Channel. <br><br>Also, a breakdown of the Boy Scouts’ apology for Donald Trump’s jamboree speech. <br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 27, 2017
How Democrats Condescend to the White Working Class
2130
According to <a href="https://twitter.com/JoanCWilliams">Joan C. Williams</a>, about a third of the country feels talked down to. These are the white working class folks, the people who went for Trump, the people who feel that terms like <em>disruption</em> just mean more hassle and pain. “We can’t expect people to have elite values if we don’t give them elite lives,” says Williams. She’s the author of the book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1633693783/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>White Working Class</em></a>.&nbsp; <br><br>For the Spiel, why does everyone sound like <em>Goodfellas</em> while doing an Anthony Scaramucci impression?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 26, 2017
Why Did Trump and Putin Meet in Secret?
1834
After the G-20 Summit, <a href="https://twitter.com/ianbremmer">Ian Bremmer</a> broke the news to Americans about Trump’s secret second meeting with Vladimir Putin. He says he did it because so many American allies were commenting on the rendezvous in private. “The people in the room, they found it disconcerting that the person Trump was more comfortable with is their adversary,” says Bremmer. He joins us to discuss Russia, Rex Tillerson’s future in the White House, and the decline of American power. Bremmer is an author and risk analyst at the Eurasia Group. <br><br>For the Spiel, did you know the <em>Washington Post</em> is owned by Amazon? Trump really wants you to know that. <br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 25, 2017
A Kid in the Hall Tells All
1684
When <a href="https://twitter.com/kevinthekith">Kevin McDonald</a> moved to New York, his sketch troupe, Kids in the Hall, had a deal with Lorne Michaels to make a new comedy show. But these were during some lean years for Michaels. “We were in a closet,” says McDonald, “and he was being audited, so it was us and a bunch of auditors. Once in a while, if we said something really funny, we could hear the auditors giggling on the other side of the room.” <br><br>While <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004J713KQ/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Kids in the Hall</em></a> was never as famous as <em>Saturday Night Live</em>, the show became legendary for a discerning subset of comedy fans. “It’s like unsweetened lemonade—only 20 percent of people like us, but those who do <em>really</em> love us.” <a href="http://foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/kevin-mcdonald-show/">McDonald is now hosting a podcast</a> with live shows across the U.S. <br><br>For the Spiel, a not so surreal end for Salvador Dalí’s remains.&nbsp; <br><br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 24, 2017
Al Gore, Ever Hopeful
2070
If things had gone well, America would still be in the Paris Agreement on climate change, green energy would be spreading across the country and Al Gore wouldn’t have needed to make a sequel to <em>An Inconvenient Truth</em>. But it didn’t work out that way. With his <a href="https://inconvenientsequel.tu">new movie</a> hitting theaters next week, Gore remains hopeful during these depressing times. “If somebody told me five years ago, marriage equality would be the law in all 50 states, I would have asked what they were smoking,” says the former vice president. “But it did happen, because it became a choice between right and wrong. That’s where the climate movement is now.” &nbsp;<br>For the Spiel, why persuading doubters is so hard when it comes to climate change science.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 21, 2017
Unearthing a Cult Classic
1772
<a href="https://twitter.com/michaelbsacks">Mike Sacks</a> is not just a comedian; he’s also a comedy historian. This summer, he’s unearthed a rare artifact, the cult classic, Dixie-fried action movie <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Stinker-Lets-Loose-James-Johnston/dp/0692832084"><em>Stinker Lets Loose</em></a>. “Some famous people have cited this movie as a big influence on them,” says Sacks, citing Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. “You can hear it in some of his lyrics, for sure.” A 40th-anniversary novelization of <em>Stinker </em>is available now, with an intro by Sacks. <br>For the Spiel, why does Donald Trump keep saying stupid things to the <em>New York Times</em>, a newspaper he purports to hate?&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 20, 2017
The Garbage Art of Handwriting Analysis
1832
<a href="https://twitter.com/mkonnikova">Maria Konnikova</a> returns to look at a tool prosecutors have used for decades: handwriting analysis, or graphology. Older versions of the practice have used handwriting to predict everything from a person’s mental state to their capacity for murder. “People have been convicted based on it,” says Konnikova. “We’re not talking about phrenology. Graphology is still something that exists in the United States. There are societies of graphologists.” Konnikova is the author of <a href="https://www.ama"><em>The Confidence Game</em></a> and host of the Panoply podcast <a href="http://thegriftpodcast.com/"><em>The Grift</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>For the Spiel, Trump’s voting commission may be hobbled, but it can still do some real harm. &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 19, 2017
Tyler Cowen Fears for Our Future
1857
Economist <a href="http://marginalrevolution.com/">Tyler Cowen</a> is disdainful of social media, heartened by recent immigrants, and wary of pot. He thinks that, in our collective desire for comfort, we are postponing big and necessary changes that will sow instability in the years ahead. “Right now Americans are failing to regenerate sources of future progress,” Cowen writes, “and thus they are borrowing against the future rather than paying their bills.” Cowen’s latest book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/d"><em>The Complacent Class</em></a><em>.</em><br>In the Spiel, are things going any better abroad?&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 18, 2017
Dan Pashman on the Psychology of Taste
1618
Our friend Dan Pashman from the <a href="http://www.sporkful.com/"><em>Sporkful</em></a> podcast returns to explain the new field of study known as gastrophysics and why our brains have a big influence over how we taste food. For example, research shows we like the taste of food served with heavy cutlery and ice cream presented with brighter colors. “It could be something evolutionary,” says Pashman. “With brighter colors, ice cream tastes sweeter.” Check out Pashman’s <a href="http://www.sporkful.com/why-lefties-buy-less-soup/">interview with gastrophysicist Charles Spence</a>.&nbsp;<br>For the Spiel: Ann Coulter versus Delta, Day 3.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 17, 2017
Haunted By “A Ghost Story”
1542
Director <a href="https://twitter.com/davidlowery">David Lowery</a> has made one of the most remarkable films of 2017 so far, and he’s built it around a ridiculous image: a white sheet with two eye-holes cut out. So what makes “<a href="https://aghost.store/shop/welcome">A Ghost Story</a>” feel so epic? And what’s with that 10-minute pie scene? Spoilers abound.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;For the Spiel: so, who was in the room with Don Jr. and the Russians?&nbsp; Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 14, 2017
At Sea With James Stavridis
1698
Retired Admiral <a href="https://twitter.com/stavridisj">James Stavridis</a> wants to remind us: Despite headlines about the rise of ISIS, there are bigger existential threats to America. “Terrorism is not apocalyptic, it’s a tool,” says Stavridis. He warns that conflicts with Russia and China are much more worrisome and likely to include a maritime component. “Again and again when there’s a crisis, the first question from the president is, where are the [aircraft] carriers? They are flexible and they can strike.” His new book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/073522059X/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Sea Power</em></a>. <br><br>In the Spiel, making a supergroup of the musicians in Trump’s White House. <br><br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 13, 2017
Look at All the Struggling Democracies
1775
It’s not that things are so terribly bad right now, it’s that circumstances have failed to keep up with expectations. So says <a href="https://twitter.com/EdwardGLuce">Edward Luce</a>, chief U.S. columnist for the <a href="https://www.ft.com/"><em>Financial Times</em></a>, whose new book surveys the ensuing crisis of confidence in liberal democracies. Luce’s book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0802127398/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Retreat of Western Liberalism</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, Bridgegate winds down. <br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 12, 2017
Ben Wittes on the Latest News Bomb
1753
Lawfare’s <a href="https://twitter.com/benjaminwittes">Benjamin Wittes</a> on the latest #ENSH (errant national security horses---) and the brewing scandal surrounding Donald Trump Jr.’s emails.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, we’re going back to the event that set all this in motion: the Miss Universe pageant of 2013.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 11, 2017
Twitter Should Drop Trump Already
1507
The jobs report has been good, the U.S. isn’t in a shooting war, and the economy is booming. So why is Trump still in the high 30s in terms of popularity? Political scientist <a href="https://twitter.com/smotus">Seth Masket</a> says it’s because of Trump’s abrasive presence on Twitter. Masket recently made the case for why it’s in everyone’s best interest for the president and the social media giant to part ways in the <a href="https://psmag.com/news/trump-wont-drop-twitter-but-twitter-should-drop-trump"><em>Pacific Standard</em></a>.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Kellyanne Conway, the gift that keeps on giving.<br><br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">Slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 10, 2017
In Defense of Ombudsmen
1503
<a href="https://twitter.com/okrent">Daniel Okrent</a> did not have a lot of fun as the first public editor for the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/"><em>New York Times</em></a>. “I was like internal affairs in a police department,” said Okrent. “Nobody liked to see me coming.” That said, Okrent defends the role ombudsmen play at news organizations, and he thinks the <em>Times</em> messed up earlier this year when it axed the public editor position.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, there was no Labrador at the Trump-Putin meeting, so …&nbsp; good sign?&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 07, 2017
Centrists Won’t Save Health Care
1798
Conservative <a href="https://twitter.com/philipaklein">Philip Klein</a> doesn’t think the presence of moderate senators means we’ll get better health care policy. “Centrists always get credit and adoration by many elements of the media for talking to the other side and not being ideologically rigid,” he says. “But I think that’s another way of saying they can be bought off easily.” Klein writes about health policy for the <a href="http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/philip-klein"><em>Washington Examiner</em></a>. <br>Also, the failing <em>New York Times</em> op-ed. &nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 06, 2017
Chris Christie’s Biggest Mistake
1653
Gov. Chris Christie’s time in the national spotlight has been full of bloopers. But no goof appears as consequential as his call to cancel the ARC project, halting construction of an additional train tunnel between New Jersey and New York City. WNYC’s Matt Katz explains why Christie killed ARC.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, Chris Christie and the fat-man theory of optics. &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 05, 2017
The Incredible Eddie Izzard
2058
Eddie Izzard once thought about playing piano for a living. He’s done one professional show. It was in front of tens of thousands of people. That’s because fans will watch the comedian do pretty much anything, from running marathons, to telling jokes in German. His new book is <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Believe-Me-Memoir-Death-Chickens/dp/1611764696"><em>Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death and Jazz Chickens</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>Also, we celebrate an unheralded date in history: July 3rd.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 03, 2017
Invisibilia Questions Your Emotions
1874
NPR’s <a href="https://twitter.com/hannarosin">Hanna Rosin</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/aspiegelnpr">Alix Spiegel</a> explain what they learned about feelings from their third season of <a href="http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510307/invisibilia"><em>Invisibilia</em></a>. Society has come around to the idea that emotions are a force to be reckoned with – is that a good thing?<br><br>In the Spiel, it’s time to name another Lobstar. <br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 30, 2017
Writing Cop Fiction in the Age of Black Lives Matter
1438
Crime writer Don Winslow says writing a novel about cops and cartels involves some pretty serious research. “In researching these books,” says Winslow, “I meet people. I’ve been to the funerals, talked to the cops. I’ve made the sympathy calls!” His newest book, about the NYPD, is <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Force-Novel-Don-Winslow/dp/0062664417"><em>The Force</em></a>. <br><br>In the Spiel, Trump’s worst tweet yet! Oh boy. <br><br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 29, 2017
I Hate This, Don’t Quote Me
1876
Reporter <a href="https://twitter.com/mffisher">Marc Fisher</a> explains why he called out a classic game of D.C. deceit in the <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/when-a-liberal-power-lawyer-represents-the-trump-family-things-can-get-ugly/2017/06/11/2af453e4-4b88-11e7-9669-250d0b15f83b_story.html?utm_term=.eea2af16f866">pages of the <em>Washington Post</em></a><em>. </em>And <a href="https://twitter.com/drmichellelarue">Michelle LaRue</a>, the official <em>Gist </em>penguin expert, returns to explain some news about those troublesome birds. <br><br>In the Spiel, how would a normal president handle our world affairs?<br><br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 28, 2017
Big Turmoil in Big Sky Country
1817
<a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/annehelenpetersen">Anne Helen Petersen</a> returns to discuss her new posting—as the Western correspondent for <em>BuzzFeed</em>. Petersen will be reporting on U.S. political culture from her new home, Missoula, Montana. “There’s a reason every newspaper used to have bureaus in every part of the country,” says Petersen, who recently covered <a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/annehelenpetersen/theres-so-much-to-learn-from-the-montana-special-election?utm_term=.sbr9dX8Yy#.wmyL3XmOw">the recent razor-thin House race</a> in which notorious Republican Greg Gianforte came out on top.<br><br>On the Spiel, when everything becomes a calamity, nothing is a calamity. <br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 27, 2017
The Rise and Reign of Unruly Women
1616
<a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/annehelenpetersen">Anne Helen Petersen</a> has made a career on the rigorous, deep, academic study of celebrity culture. In her new book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0399576851/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud</em></a>, Petersen explores the rise of norm-breaking women such as Lena Dunham and Serena Williams and what their ascendency can tell us about the political moment we’re living in. Petersen’s day job is senior culture writer at <em>BuzzFeed</em>. <br><br>Also, the Supreme Court makes a surprise ruling, and the Congressional Budget Office makes an unsurprising report.<br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">slate.com/gistplus</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 26, 2017
Do Radicals Change the World?
2062
Author <a href="https://twitter.com/jxmccarter">Jeremy McCarter</a> (co-writer of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1455539740/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Hamilton: The Revolution</em></a> with Lin-Manuel Miranda) has written a new book tracing five American radicals from the 1910s and ’20s. “I had thought this was going to be a book about a chapter of progress in history we could learn from,” says McCarter. “But 1917 is a lot closer to what I thought I would see in my lifetime.” <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0812993055/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Young Radicals</em></a> is available now. &nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, a lot of people really, really did not like Otto Warmbier.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 23, 2017
Scaachi Koul on Surviving the Trolls
1746
<a href="https://twitter.com/Scaachi">Scaachi Koul</a>, a writer for <a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/scaachikoul"><em>BuzzFeed</em></a>, talks about growing up as a brown girl in Canada’s “Cowtown,” and how she set off a tweetstorm by soliciting job applications from writers who are “not white and not male.” Koul’s book of essays is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0385685351/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, legislative and executive reaction to the healthcare bill.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 22, 2017
The Musings of Wallace Shawn
1896
There are two Wallace Shawns. There’s the character actor, known for playing eccentrics in <em>The Princess Bride </em>and <em>The Good Wife</em> and voicing cartoon dinosaurs. (“I don’t get cast as a lot of real people,” he notes.) Then there’s the acclaimed playwright, thinker, and ardent leftist. Shawn is out with a new collection of political musings, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1608468127/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Night Thoughts</em></a>, which address everything from inequality to the changing climate. <br><br>In the Spiel, Travis Kalanick, don’t let the cab door hit you on the way out. <br><br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 21, 2017
Is Terrorism Coverage Racist?
1962
Tom Shapiro is back to explain the thinking behind the title of his book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0465046932/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Toxic Inequality</em></a><em>. </em>What’s so toxic about it? Shapiro is a professor at Brandeis University, where he directs the Institute on Assets and Social Policy.&nbsp; <br>In the Spiel: Based on the information available, what can we conclude about the media coverage of terrorism? Mike talks to <a href="http://www.start.umd.edu/people/erin-miller">Erin Miller</a>, who oversees the Global Terrorism Database.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 21, 2017
Lies vs. BS
1701
The U.S. has a racial wealth gap problem. By one estimate, at current levels of wealth growth it would take <a href="https://prosperitynow.org/about/our-approach">228 years</a> for the average black family to catch up with levels of wealth among white families. Thomas Shapiro explains some of the surprising reasons parity remains so elusive in his book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0465046932/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Toxic Inequality: How America’s Wealth Gap Destroys Mobility, Deepens the Racial Divide, and Threatens Our Future</em></a>. <br>In the Spiel, there’s a reason why the wise people over at <em>Lawfare</em> say this administration is malevolence tempered by incompetence.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 19, 2017
Jon Ronson on Writing the Year’s Wildest Movie
1785
The new movie <em>Okja</em> has pretty much everything. Car chases. Giant mutant pigs. A dystopian future. Jake Gyllenhaal with an outlandish moustache. A subtle social message. Tilda Swinton pretending to be Tony Blair. The movie is written by Korean director Bong Joon-ho (<em>Snowpiercer</em>) and returning guest Jon Ronson. Ronson takes us into the craft of writing the year’s wildest movie.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, why congressional comity is overrated.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 16, 2017
The Delicate Art of Political Persuasion
1727
A big problem with political arguments, says <a href="https://www.robbwiller.org/">Robb Willer</a>, is that everyone sees himself or herself as the hero in a zombie movie. “American liberals see themselves as Brad Pitt warding off a zombie horde,” says Willer. “But the problem is conservatives see themselves the same way,” and no one is able to make arguments that appeal to the other side. Willer teaches sociology at Stanford and writes about the delicate art of political persuasion for places such as the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/15/opinion/sunday/the-key-to-political-persuasion.html?ref=opinion&amp;_r=0"><em>New York Times</em></a>. <br><br>In the Spiel, please Mr. President, don’t throw the special prosecutor into the briar patch.&nbsp; <br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 15, 2017
He Ate Human Flesh for Science
1873
Bill Schutt says no one from his childhood is surprised to find out he’s been studying cannibalism—after all, he was into vampire bats as a kid. For <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1616204621/?tag=slatmaga-20">his new book</a>, he’s investigated the (natural) history of people eating one another and why it’s only been taboo in some countries, like China, for a short time.&nbsp; <br><br>In the Spiel, how we talk about domestic terrorism. <br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 14, 2017
Awk-ward!
1921
You’re awkward, but maybe not in the way you think. Psychologist <a href="https://twitter.com/tytashiro">Ty Tashiro</a> explains the hallmarks of social awkwardness, why we’re sensitive to it, and why it’s not such a bad thing. Tashiro is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0062429159/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Awkward: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome</em></a>. <br><br>In the Spiel, more on Donald Trump’s ‘dear leader’ cabinet meeting. <br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 13, 2017
Autocrats Can’t Take a Joke
1594
<a href="https://twitter.com/Byoussef">Bassem Youssef</a> hasn’t cut open a chest in six years. And he doesn’t miss it. “Being into medicine for 19 years, it’s a character builder,” says the Egyptian comedian, who says his old job prepped him well for his new one. Youssef went from being a surgeon in Cairo to the Jon Stewart of Egypt, a satirist with 40 million views a week. Youssef’s brief reign as the king of Egyptian comedy is the focus of a new documentary, <a href="http://www.ticklinggiants.com/"><em>Tickling Giants</em></a>, which is now out on VOD. <br><br>On the Spiel, Trump has finally accomplished something unthinkable as president. He’s got people talking about Shakespeare in the Park.&nbsp; <br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">Slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 12, 2017
Larry Wilmore is Black on the Air
2174
Last August, <a href="https://twitter.com/larrywilmore">Larry Wilmore</a>’s talk show was canceled. <em>The Nightly Show</em> focused on issues like equality, activism, and how racism subtly wormed its way into American life. In hindsight, it feels ahead of its time. Wilmore is out with a new podcast, <a href="https://theringer.com/larry-wilmore-black-on-the-air-podcast-d9c4bfa76be6"><em>Black on the Air</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel: Sometimes democracy sucks. &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 09, 2017
What We Get Wrong About Mass Incarceration, Pt. II
1538
Wednesday on The Gist, <a href="https://twitter.com/JohnFPfaff">John Pfaff</a> refuted the conventional wisdom about mass incarceration. Thursday, Pfaff explains some of the obstacles to reform. Pfaff’s book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0465096913/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration—and How to Achieve Real Reform</em></a><em>.</em>&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, a loyally honest review of James Comey’s testimony.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 08, 2017
What We Get Wrong About Mass Incarceration, Pt. I
1710
<a href="https://twitter.com/JohnFPfaff">John Pfaff</a> is on a mission to topple the well-worn myths of the U.S. prison population boom. He says the data tells us to focus on the district attorneys, not the Department of Justice. Pfaff teaches at <a href="https://www.fordham.edu/info/23171/john_pfaff">Fordham University School of Law</a> and is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon"><em>Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform</em></a><em>.</em> This is Part I of our interview with Pfaff -- listen tomorrow for Part II.<br>In the Spiel, how are YOU celebrating Infrastructure Week?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 07, 2017
Why So Morose About Lactose?
1763
There’s almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, soy milk, hazelnut milk, oat milk, and milk <a href="http://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/smart-choices/what-is-pea-milk">made from anything that grows</a>, pretty much. But is <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2017/06/are_soy_almond_coconut_and_rice_milk_really_milk.html">any of it actually <em>milk</em></a>? And is it actually healthier than dairy? Our debunker-in-chief, <a href="https://twitter.com/mkonnikova">Maria Konnikova</a>, investigates the lofty claims of nondairy milks. Konnikova is a contributor to the<em> New Yorker</em>, and the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0143109871/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>The Confidence Game</em></a>. Her new podcast is called <a href="http://thegriftpodcast.com/">the<em>&nbsp;Grift</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In today’s Spiel, the White House’s long con on infrastructure.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 06, 2017
O Great Confessor Google
1938
People tell Google things they wouldn’t say to anyone else. That’s the big insight that motivated the research of <a href="https://twitter.com/seths_d">Seth Stephens-Davidowitz</a>. His book<em>, </em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0062390856/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Everybody Lies</em></a>, is about the stories and secrets he uncovered by digging into internet search data.<br><br>In the Spiel, the best jokes that Mike made on vacation.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 05, 2017
You Can’t Say That, Mr. Senator
2295
In 2008, Al Franken was elected to the United States Senate. Since then, he’s become a well-respected member of the upper chamber. But he hasn’t lost his keen eye for satire. After the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage, “I wanted to release a thing saying, ‘Mr. Franken is very happy, but he thinks Justice Scalia’s dissent was very gay,’ ” he tells guest host Zoe Chace. “My team told me I couldn’t do that.” Franken is the author of a new book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1455540412/?tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Al Franken: Giant of the Senate</em></a>. <br><br>Today’s Spiel, an ode to the underappreciated, soon-to-be-extinct White House press briefing. <br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">Slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 03, 2017
The Path of Most Resistance
1840
In April, Donald Trump authorized rocket strikes on a military target in Syria. Most Democrats agreed with it. But when Trump makes a decision, does that make it inherently wrong? <em>New Republic</em> editor and Twitter star <a href="https://twitter.com/HeerJeet">Jeet Heer</a> offers a critique of the first few months of Democratic resistance. He <a href="https://newrepublic.com/article/142425/path-resistance-promise-perils-democrats-fight-against-trump">wrote about it</a> in the magazine last month.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>Today’s Spiel comes from the archives: For President Trump, you’re nobody until you’re somebody. And then, you’re not just anybody—you’re everybody.<br>Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">Slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 01, 2017
A Playwright in the Rust Belt
1632
Reading, Pennsylvania is the poorest city of its size in the United States. It’s also where <a href="https://twitter.com/Lynnbrooklyn">Lynn Nottage</a> did most of her research for the Pulitzer-winning Broadway show, <em>Sweat</em>. Nottage talks with guest host <a href="https://twitter.com/craftingmystyle">Aisha Harris</a> about the different kinds of working class in America, and how to maintain empathy when talking with people quite different from yourself.&nbsp; In the Spiel, why calling something a “woman problem” misses the point.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 31, 2017
Donald Trump, Body Snatcher
1594
When can we expect the first tell-all book by a former Trump administration official? David Rosenthal explains the physics of personal memoirs and dishes about what he’s heard around the industry rumor mill. Rosenthal runs the Blue Rider Press imprint at the Penguin Group.&nbsp; In the Spiel, guest host Leon Neyfakh explains how the president nearly ruined an otherwise perfect holiday weekend.&nbsp; Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">Slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 30, 2017
The Colony and the Nation
2198
Richard Nixon once warned of an America cut in two, a colony of poor, disenfranchised people wi