The Gist

By Slate Podcasts

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

Subscribers: 1175
Reviews: 4

 May 12, 2019
consistently great

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

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

 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.


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
When the CIA’s “Dark Side” Works
On The Gist, if Peter Navarro wants to criticize the Wall Street Journal, he really ought to read it once in a while. <br><br>In the interview, it’s easy to condemn the CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation techniques in retrospect. But as agency alumnus Philip Mudd puts it, “boy, back then, people said ‘take out the stops, make sure it doesn’t happen again.’” He talks about the relative effectiveness of harsh interrogation techniques, and why that shouldn’t be a factor if ever American forces countenance them again (answer: the issue is a moral one). Mudd is a former deputy director at the Counterterrorism Center and the author of <a href=""><em>Black Site: The CIA in the Post-9/11 World</em></a>. <br><br>In the Spiel, there isn’t all that much conservative hand-wringing over the New York Times’ special coverage of historical slavery in America… but what’s there is pretty uninspired.<br><br>Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. <a href=";utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=The_Gist&amp;utm_source=show_notes">Sign up</a> now.<br><br>Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets <a href="">here</a>!<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Aug 21, 2019
Tim Ryan’s Big Plans
On The Gist, despite what Peter Navarro says, a yield curve inversion there was indeed (and a recession there may be). <br><br>In the interview, in a Democratic field crowded with grand policy promises, Tim Ryan’s more centrist ideas have been crowded out. But should they be? The Ohio congressman tells Mike about increasing manufacturing and focusing education on social and emotional learning. <br><br>In the Spiel, the difference between bad politics and bad policy.<br><br>Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. <a href=";utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=The_Gist&amp;utm_source=show_notes">Sign up</a> now.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Aug 20, 2019
What Happened to Sha Na Na
On The Gist, the varying sizes of Trump and Greenland. <br><br>In the interview, journalist Steve Rushin is here to talk with Mike about his new memoir <a href=""><em>Nights at White Castle</em></a>. They discuss the amorphous nature of nostalgia, why children should go on boring vacations, and the podcast <a href=""><em>Ball &amp; Chain</em></a> that he hosts with his wife, basketball great Rebecca Lobo. <br><br>In the Spiel, Sha Na Na. <br><br>Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets <a href="">here</a>!<br><br>Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. <a href=";utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=The_Gist&amp;utm_source=show_notes">Sign up</a> now.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Aug 17, 2019
The Leftist Takeover Edition
On The Gist, Slate’s Jordan Weissmann tells guest host Sean McElwee which presidential candidates’ signature ideas are hot (and which are not). <br><br>In the interview, the Green New Deal isn’t just a set of climate policies—it’s a chance to break with the uneven benefits afforded by the original New Deal and other progressive policies. Julian Brave NoiseCat (McElwee’s colleague at <a href="">Data for Progress</a>) and activist Adrien Salazar (of the think tank <a href="">Demos</a>) are in the studio to share their expertise on the stimulus package.&nbsp; &nbsp; <br><br>In the Spiel, McElwee digs into polling results from his own Data for Progress.<br><br>Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. <a href=";utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=The_Gist&amp;utm_source=show_notes">Sign up</a> now.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Aug 15, 2019
The Problem With “White Supremacy”
On The Gist, getting a bit willy-nilly with “white supremacy.” <br><br>In the interview, John Hickenlooper may be mulling a pivot from presidential to Senate candidate, but he was at the Iowa State Fair to weigh in on issues that affect the entire country—and to strike a moderate tone. In last year’s midterms, he says, “the successful Democrat did not embrace the Green New Deal and did not embrace ‘Medicare for All.’ That’s what we’re going to need to do to beat Donald Trump.”&nbsp; <br><br>In the Spiel, there is no greater joy than knowing which kids’ shows—from our own generation or not—are crap.<br><br>Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. <a href=";utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=The_Gist&amp;utm_source=show_notes">Sign up</a> now.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Aug 14, 2019
Are Attention Spans Shrinking?
On The Gist, Biden’s gaffes. <br><br>In the interview, Maria Konnikova, author of <a href=""><em>The Confidence Game</em></a>, is back for another round of Is That Bullshit? This time she and Mike talk all about attention spans. There always seem to be claims that attention spans are shrinking, but is that true? Should we be worried that we feel distracted more and more or just take a deep breath and embrace it?&nbsp; <br>In the Spiel, the Ebola cure. <br><br>Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets <a href="">here</a>!<br><br>Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. <a href=";utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=The_Gist&amp;utm_source=show_notes">Sign up</a> now.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Aug 14, 2019
Who’s the Filibuster For?
On The Gist, the opinions of the people at the Iowa State Fair. <br><br>In the interview, Jay Inslee was among the 21 Democratic presidential candidates to converge on the Iowa State Fair this past weekend. Washington’s governor grabbed a seat with Mike to talk about applying his state’s environmental victories to the federal level, taxing Amazon, and getting rid of the gridlocking filibuster. <br><br>In the Spiel, The Gist went to the Iowa State Fair and got answers from Democratic presidential candidates about filibuster reform.<br><br>Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets <a href="">here</a>!<br><br>Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. <a href=";utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=The_Gist&amp;utm_source=show_notes">Sign up</a> now.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Aug 13, 2019
How to Rob a Bank, And Be Funny While You’re at It
On The Gist, the real consequences of immigration laws. <br><br>In the interview, Charles Duhigg is who you get when you combine an investigative reporter with an agony aunt. In his new Slate podcast (<a href="">How To!)</a>, he teases out advice on everyday problems, from how to tell a good joke to how to rob a bank (alright, the problems aren’t <em>that</em> common). You can subscribe to How To! on <a href="">Apple Podcasts</a> or wherever you listen to podcasts. <br><br>In the Spiel, Trump, children, and shootings.<br><br>Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets <a href="">here</a>!<br><br>Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. <a href=";utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=The_Gist&amp;utm_source=show_notes">Sign up</a> now.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Aug 09, 2019
Politics Is a Circus
On The Gist, Montana has gone a little berserk. <br><br>In the interview, Joshua Cohen is here to discuss his new book <a href=""><em>Attention: Dispatches From the Land of Distraction</em></a>,&nbsp; and the many discursions he and Mike go on thanks to it. Like the depth of Bernie’s political policies, Trump’s time in Atlantic City, and why the circus is so important to the history of American culture. <br> <br>In the Spiel, Trump’s distraction tactics.<br><br>Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets <a href="">here</a>!<br><br>Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. <a href=";utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=The_Gist&amp;utm_source=show_notes">Sign up</a> now.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Aug 09, 2019
Turning Out the 2020 Voter
On The Gist, Dayton and El Paso deserve better than the presence of Donald Trump.&nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, <em>FiveThirtyEight</em> elections analyst Geoffrey Skelley talks through what Democrats need to do to turn out voters in 2020. Should they focus on the “Obama coalition” that elected him twice? Or is it smarter to turn toward Obama voters that then voted for Trump in 2016? Why not both?<br><br>In the Spiel, anyone telling you the decade-long Assault Weapons Ban was ineffective is talking nonsense.<br><br>Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets <a href="">here</a>!<br><br>Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. <a href=";utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=The_Gist&amp;utm_source=show_notes">Sign up</a> now.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Aug 07, 2019
Trade War Rumblings? We’re Already In One.
On The Gist, if you want gun control, you clearly have to just vote Democrat. <br><br>In the interview, the tit-for-tat trade war with China is unceasing. Slate’s Jordan Weissmann tells Mike about the latest developments in the fight between presidents Trump and Xi Jinping, whether or not China is really manipulating its currency, and the potential paths ahead.&nbsp; <br><br>In the Spiel, Americans are getting angry over all the wrong things. It’s infuriating!<br><br>Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. <a href=";utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=The_Gist&amp;utm_source=show_notes">Sign up</a> now.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Aug 07, 2019
There Are the “Maybe” Factors, and Then There’s the Rifle Factor.
On The Gist, this weekend’s mass shooters had different motives. It won’t do to draw lessons from just one of them. <br><br>In the interview, Amherst College professor Austin Sarat wants to enlist gun owners themselves in the fight for firearm regulation. “48 percent of gun owners favor a ban on assault weapons,” he says, citing the <a href="">Pew Research Center</a>. The problem is convincing them that gun control advocates aren’t pushing for full-on confiscation. Sarat is the co-editor of <a href=""><em>The Lives of Guns</em></a>. <br><br>In the Spiel, the one clear factor in America’s growing mass shooting problem? Rifles.<br><br>Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. <a href=";utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=The_Gist&amp;utm_source=show_notes">Sign up</a> now.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Aug 06, 2019
The Case of “The Case of Al Franken”
On The Gist, a theory as to why we still hear dusty old terms like “happy warrior”—at least during election season. <br><br>In the interview, Slate writer Christina Cauterucci, <a href="">who recently wrote about Al Franken</a>, criticizes a recent New Yorker <a href="">story</a> on the ousted senator. She and Mike break down what they think its author Jane Mayer got wrong and right, the facts of the reporting, and why we shouldn’t think of the #MeToo movement as one with winners and losers. <br><br>In the Spiel, John Ratcliffe is thankfully out of consideration for the job of Director of National Intelligence. But it’s a shame that he’s still acceptable as a congressman.<br><br>Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. <a href=";utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=The_Gist&amp;utm_source=show_notes">Sign up</a> now.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Aug 03, 2019
How Fantastic Negrito Started From Scratch
On The Gist, the Democrats making Republican soundbites. <br><br>In the interview, Fantastic Negrito walked a long and winding road to blues stardom. His first album (under his legal name, Xavier) was a bust—“everyone hated it”—and saw him dropped from his label. He’d also gotten into a serious car accident and sold off his instruments before returning to music. That’s when the Grammys started rolling in—he’s won two in the last three years, for best contemporary blues album. His latest record is <a href=""><em>Please Don't Be Dead</em></a>. <br><br>In the Spiel, Joe Biden at the debate.<br><br>Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. <a href=";utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=The_Gist&amp;utm_source=show_notes">Sign up</a> now.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Aug 02, 2019
Chuck Klosterman and the Ivory Tower
On The Gist, Jeffrey Epstein’s ideas. <br><br>In the interview, when Chuck Klosterman writes non-fiction, he worries about missing some grand historical context in a way that would ruin his work. With fiction, that anxiety goes out the window— if someone reads one of his short stories and thinks something “completely unrelated to what I thought, it's still okay.” Klosterman digs into that, the advantages of an education outside the ivory tower, and what the Beatles really did for rock music. His new book of short stories is <a href=";linkCode=df0&amp;hvadid=366307899763&amp;hvpos=1o1&amp;hvnetw=g&amp;hvrand=6513892735166679025&amp;hvpone=&amp;hvptwo=&amp;hvqmt=&amp;hvdev=c&amp;hvdvcmdl=&amp;hvlocint=&amp;hvlocphy=9004338&amp;hvtargid=pla-790641466697&amp;psc=1&amp;tag=&amp;ref=&amp;adgrpid=77768497178&amp;hvpone=&amp;hvptwo=&amp;hvadid=366307899763&amp;hvpos=1o1&amp;hvnetw=g&amp;hvrand=6513892735166679025&amp;hvqmt=&amp;hvdev=c&amp;hvdvcmdl=&amp;hvlocint=&amp;hvlocphy=9004338&amp;hvtargid=pla-790641466697"><em>Raised in Captivity: Fictional Nonfiction</em></a>. <br><br>In the Spiel, the first night of the CNN debates and Marianne Williamson. <br><br>Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. <a href=";utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=The_Gist&amp;utm_source=show_notes">Sign up</a> now.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Aug 01, 2019
The Consultants of Yore Weigh in on 2020
On The Gist, billionaire Tom Steyer didn’t qualify for this round of Democratic debates, but he’s bought a lot of CNN ad space to make up for it. <br><br>In the interview, political consultants David Axelrod and Mike Murphy have spent years advising politicians on the best ways to run campaigns—Axelrod with Barack Obama and Murphy with candidates like John McCain and Mitt Romney. Now they’ve come together on a new podcast, <a href=""><em>Hacks on Tap</em></a>, to talk through how the political machine actually runs, the Democratic debates, and what Trump’s prospects look like in 2020.<br><br>In the Spiel, among the septuagenarian presidential candidates, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are the only ones with all their marbles.<br><br>Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. <a href=";utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=The_Gist&amp;utm_source=show_notes">Sign up</a> now.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 31, 2019
How the GOP Got Here
On The Gist, Trump and racism. <br><br>In the interview, Politico’s Tim Alberta has been covering the Republican Party since 2009, back when it was “totally rudderless and beaten into the ground.” Ten years later, and though in control of the White House, the GOP isn’t in much better shape. Alberta’s new book is <a href=""><em>American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump</em></a>.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, impeachment.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 30, 2019
The Lie of Live PD
A few months ago, Dan Taberski <a href="">joined us</a> to talk about latest season of his <em>Headlong </em>podcast, <a href=""><em>Running From Cops</em></a>, focused on reality television shows about police. One series in particular, <em>Live PD</em>, was billed as a documentary but seemed to fall into the same bad practices as other reality programming. Taberski tried to interview the Dan Abrams, the show’s host, and was never able to get him on mic.&nbsp; <br><br>Lucky for us, in 2016 <a href="">Mike interviewed Abrams for The Gist</a> when <em>Live PD</em> was first airing. So we’re airing a few clips of Mike’s conversation with Taberski, the <em>Running From Cops</em> segment about <em>Live PD</em>, and Mike’s 2016 interview with Abrams. Enjoy the cop-a-thon.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 25, 2019
Mueller Is No Showman
On The Gist, Robert Mueller was a bit of a broken record in his congressional testimony.&nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, David Wolman once happened upon a small Hawaiian museum dedicated to a small crew of cowboys in the state—and that was the first he heard of them. He teamed up with Julian Smith to dig into the fascinating history of these cowpokes and how they dazzled the world at the 1908 World Rodeo Championships. Their new book is <a href=""><em>Aloha Rodeo: Three Hawaiian Cowboys, the World’s Greatest Rodeo, and a Hidden History of the American West</em></a>. <br><br>In the Spiel, we’ve perhaps seen the last of Robert Mueller’s public statements. And the impeachment needle hasn’t moved one bit.<br> <br>Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. <a href=";utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=The_Gist&amp;utm_source=show_notes">Sign up</a> now.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 25, 2019
How to Talk About Addiction
On The Gist, the governor of Puerto Rico will not seek reelection. <br><br>In the interview, Chris Herren’s NBA career ended largely because of drug abuse that started in his teens. Now he speaks to thousands of students about making better choices—not by using the fear tactics often deployed in American schools, but by examining the emotions tied to substance use. Herren’s presentations are the subject of a new ESPN documentary, <a href=""><em>The First Day</em></a>. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Prime Minister Boris Johnson.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 24, 2019
Robert Mueller’s Return
On The Gist, Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony isn’t likely to increase the pressure on president Trump.&nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, losing weight is hard, but keeping it off is even harder. What can successful dieters do to maintain their goals, and are reality TV shows like <em>The Biggest Loser</em> painting a rosy picture? Gist regular Maria Konnikova dug into the science, and brings answers on the latest segment of Is That Bullshit? Konnikova is the author of <a href=""><em>The Confidence Game</em></a>.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, former Sen. Al Franken was hard done by.<br><br>Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. <a href=";utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=The_Gist&amp;utm_source=show_notes">Sign up</a> now.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 23, 2019
The Moon Landing’s Glory Has Faded
On The Gist, why the moon landing’s 50th anniversary isn’t getting all that much attention. <br><br>In the interview, success stories are great, but what about those business ventures that end in spectacular failure? Those tales are often better. Lauren Ober hosts the <a href=""><em>Spectacular Failures</em></a> podcast, where beer makers, hotel chains, and (in an upcoming episode) Trump’s casinos meet their end.&nbsp; <br><br>In the Spiel, it’s an Antentwig, where Mike responds to feedback from listeners.<br><br>Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. <a href=";utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=The_Gist&amp;utm_source=show_notes">Sign up</a> now.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 19, 2019
How Michael Bennet Wants to Fix America
On The Gist, Ivanka Trump is every bit the monster her father is. <br><br>In the interview, Senator Michael Bennet is here to talk about his campaign for president and his new book <a href=""><em>The Land of Flickering Lights: Restoring America in an Age of Broken Politics</em></a>. He and Mike discuss Bennet’s family plan, the importance of the filibuster, and why centrism needs to work on its branding. <br><br>In the Spiel, there is no Spiel!<br><br>Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. <a href=";utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=The_Gist&amp;utm_source=show_notes">Sign up</a> now.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 18, 2019
The EPA Is Losing Its Mandate
On The Gist, Chance the snapper.&nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, former EPA head Gina McCarthy expected the Trump administration’s backwardness on climate change—but not on no-brainers like limits on power plant mercury emissions and auto industry regulation, both of which were being complied with. “They’re just obsessed with undoing everything Obama did. You can tell this with Trump. He’s still somehow campaigning against Obama.” McCarthy was the EPA’s administrator from 2013 to 2017, and now teaches at the Harvard School of Public Health.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, which mythical being is Trump most like?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 18, 2019
Trump Will Lose in 2020
On The Gist, it’s a good day for those who love quarterly fundraising numbers among Democratic presidential candidates! <br><br>In the interview, we’re used to the Nate Silver approach to election forecasting, using constantly changing polling data to predict the likelihood of this or that result. But Rachel Bitecofer, assistant director of the Wason Center for Public Policy, has <a href="">a better way</a>. Her new model, based on negative partisanship and demographics, is more static, and proved spot-on in 2018. So what does it have to say for 2020?&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, a theory on what’s really keeping Kellyanne and George Conway together.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 17, 2019
Bring Back Late-Night Cruelty
On The Gist, Elizabeth Warren and ICE.&nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, Jason Zinoman, who writes about the New York Times, thinks the late-night shows need to return to the playful cruelty they once had. He and Mike talk about the current state of things, David Letterman’s reign, and why even Letterman seems to have lost his teeth on his new show.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Trump and tweets about the Congress squad.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 16, 2019
Acosta Is Out
On The Gist, they. <br><br>In the interview, Emily Bazelon writes for the New York Times magazine, co-hosts Slate’s Political Gabfest, and she’s out with the new book <a href=""><em>Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration</em></a>, and its <a href="">companion podcast</a>. She’s here to talk with Mike about her new projects, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Jeffrey Epstein and New York City gun laws.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Acosta quits.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 13, 2019
The CIA’s Bad Ideas
On The Gist, the metal straw incident. <br><br>In the interview, Vince Houghton is a historian and the curator of the International Spy Museum and he’s here to talk about his new book <a href=""><em>Nuking the Moon: And Other Intelligence Schemes and Military Plots Left on the Drawing Board</em></a>. Why did we want to drop goat poop on Germans? Can a cat be trained for espionage?&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the citizenship question.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 12, 2019
Soccer’s Pay Parity Problem
On The Gist, the Trump cabinet and violence against women. <br><br>In the interview, Will Wilkinson from the Niskanen Center is here to talk with Mike about his new paper <a href=""><em>The Density Divide</em></a> about the surprising way urbanization affected the rise of populism.&nbsp;<br><br><br>In the Spiel, the good and bad about the pay parity argument in soccer.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 11, 2019
The Legacy of Ross Perot
On The Gist, jail time for absurd reasons. <br><br>In the interview, journalist Jack Fairweather is out with a new book about the untold story of Witold Pilecki, a Polish resistance fighter who chose to get sent to Auschwitz so he could report back on atrocities happening there during World War II. Fairweather’s book is <a href=""><em>The Volunteer: One Man, an Underground Army, and the Secret Mission to Destroy Auschwitz</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, why Ross Perot was so important to shaping American politics.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 10, 2019
Life After Death Row
On The Gist, did Joe Biden’s apology work? <br><br>In the interview, Anthony Ray Hinton was wrongfully convicted for the murder of two teenagers in Alabama in 1985. After 30 years on death row his conviction was overturned and he was released. He’s since become an advocate for those facing the death penalty and the abolishment of it in the United States, and he’s here to talk with Mike about his experience in prison and life afterward. Hinton’s new book is <a href="">The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, farewell to Eric Swalwell.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 09, 2019
Let’s Rank the Presidents
On The Gist, should we rethink the structure of a week? <br><br>In the interview, founding CEO of C-SPAN Brian Lamb and Co-CEO Susan Swain are here to discuss their new book <a href=""><em>The Presidents: Noted Historians Rank America’s Best—and Worst—Chief Executives</em>.</a> They discuss with Mike the creation of the book, visiting presidential burial places, and some Mike’s favorite things about C-SPAN.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the passion of Mike Francesa.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 03, 2019
Solving Urban Violence
On The Gist, the Hong Kong protesters and Chinese conspiracies. <br><br>In the interview, Harvard research fellow Thomas Abt is here to discuss his new book <a href=""><em>Bleeding Out: The Devestating Consequences of Urban Gun Violence—and a Bold New Plan for Peace in the Streets</em></a>. He talks with Mike about the ways we misunderstand urban gun violence and what concrete steps communities can talk to solve it. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Tucker Carlson and Trump.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 03, 2019
Groaning Through Dad Jokes
On The Gist, the South Bend shooting and Pete Buttigieg. <br><br>In the interview, Jason Zinoman <a href="">recently wrote about dad jokes</a> for the New York Times so he’s here to talk with Mike about his grand theories, why we love to hate dad jokes, and if they really are as low-brow as people consider them to be.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the choice the Democrats face.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 02, 2019
Who Is the Real Kim Jong-un?
On The Gist, Joe Biden had no good answers at Thursday’s Democratic debate. <br><br>In the interview, the Washington Post’s Anna Fifield is out with a new book on Kim Jong-un. She interviewed as many people who have had even a fleeting interaction with the man as possible, in an effort to get the clearest picture yet of what the head of the Kim dynasty is really like. Fifield’s book is <a href=""><em>The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Kamala Harris has charisma, but is she a flip-flopper too?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 28, 2019
Pen, Sword, or Rock and Roll
On The Gist, an absurd criminal charge in Alabama.&nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, the Iron Curtain couldn’t block radio waves, or, in the ‘50s and ‘60s, a new form of music called rock and roll. András Simonyi, a former Hungarian ambassador to the United States, was electrified by Elvis and the Beatles, and says that “without rock and roll, I don’t think the Soviet Union would have broken up.” Simonyi is the author of <a href=""><em>Rocking Toward a Free World: When the Stratocaster Beat the Kalashnikov</em></a>. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, pat them on the back all you want, not every debating Democrat can be a winner.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 28, 2019
Data in the Dugout
On The Gist, the first Democratic primary debate is about to start. <br><br>In the interview, Ben Lindbergh is a staff writer at the Ringer, host of the Effectively Wild podcast, and author of the new book <a href=""><em>The MVP Machine: How Baseball’s New Nonconformists Are Using Data to Build Better Players</em>.</a> He’s here to talk America’s favorite pastime, what baseball is like in a post-<em>Moneyball</em> era, and if data is making the game less interesting to watch.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, George Will weighs in on the state of baseball.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 26, 2019
Economic Anxiety? Joy Disagrees.
On The Gist, Trump and Pence talking nonsense. <br><br>In the interview, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, especially when it comes to elections. MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid figures that “the hungriest constituency” often gets its way at the ballot box. Black voters sent Barack Obama to the White House; xenophobes got their guy in Donald Trump; and in 2020, the group that swings the vote could very well be the women who regret their inaction in 2016—especially if Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren gets the nomination. Reid is the host of <em>AM Joy</em> and the author of <a href=""><em>The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story</em></a>. &nbsp;<br> &nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, the messiness of leadership.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 26, 2019
Erdogan Loses Istanbul. Now What?
On The Gist, Kamala Harris still has a lot to answer for. <br><br>In the interview, media outlets used to employ ombudsmen—public editors who addressed readers’ concerns and weighed in on a newspaper’s reporting. Those roles have disappeared over the years but the Columbia Journalism Review wants to change that. Kyle Pope, the magazine’s editor, recently announced the <a href="">hiring</a> of four journalists to publicly engage with the work of the New York Times, the Washington Post, MSNBC, and CNN.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, voters in Istanbul have just rebuked Turkish president Recep Erdogan.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 24, 2019
Trump’s Chaotic Approach to Iran
On The Gist, how much sanity does it cost to change a lightbulb?&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, babies don’t come with instructional manuals, but the publishing industry is more than ready to bombard new parents with the latest, always evolving wisdom on how to raise a human right. But Emily Oster’s new book is a rare scientific look at child-rearing, grounded in her expertise as a rational economist and her experience as an anxious mother. Oster is the author of <a href=""><em>Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool</em></a>.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, president Trump’s directionless foreign policy is on full display against Iran.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 21, 2019
The Science of Song
On The Gist, are children growing horns?&nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, how does Pandora know what music I want to hear? That’s all thanks to the work of Nolan Gasser, musicologist and the architect of Pandora’s Music Genome Project. He’s here to talk the origins of the project, the classification of music species, and why Sarah McLachlan fans might be in for a surprise. Gasser’s new book is <a href=""><em>Why You Like It: The Science &amp; Culture of Musical Taste</em>.</a>&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the most ambitious climate deal the world has ever seen.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 21, 2019
Taffy Brodesser-Akner Doesn’t Care What You’re Wearing
On The Gist, presidential candidates say the darndest things.&nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, the best profile writer of our day doesn’t focus much on what her subjects are wearing—so we’ll only quickly mention that in the studio with The Gist, Taffy Brodesser-Akner was wearing a fetching leopard-print jumpsuit (“I’m dressed up for a party tonight”). Brodesser-Akner discusses her experience profiling the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and other untouchable celebrities, and how that work is felt in her debut novel, <a href=""><em>Fleishman Is in Trouble</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the reparations hearing.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 20, 2019
Love, Rules, and Animal Puns
On The Gist, when science proves George Carlin right. <br><br>In the interview, Raphael Bob-Waksberg is the creator of <em>Bojack Horseman</em>, but his so-earnest-it-hurts talent also extends to print. His new collection of short stories is <a href=""><em>Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory</em></a>, and he’s here to talk with Mike about love, George Saunders, and why everybody is so down on puns. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the Patrick Shanahan debacle exposes a White House in shambles.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 19, 2019
Where Christianity Meets Big Oil
On The Gist, Trump knows how to produce himself. <br><br>In the interview, America’s discovery of oil fields has long been entwined with godly significance—whether these were exploited by oil barons like the Rockefellers or the smaller producers (or “wildcatters”) they contended with. University of Notre Dame historian Darren Dochuk explores the intersection of oil and religion in America in his new book, <a href=""><em>Anointed with Oil: How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Iran and attacks on oil tankers.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 18, 2019
On The Gist, Canada declares war on the plastic straw.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, Emmy Blotnick has written for <em>The Late Show with Stephen Colbert</em> and served as head writer on <em>The President Show</em>. But she also does stand-up, including in her new album <a href=""><em>Party Nights</em></a>, where she gets into her love of pop music and why she joined a social networking site… for tea-drinkers. Blotnick’s album is <a href="">streaming</a> now—and her next show is at The Bell House in Brooklyn on July 6.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, there’s no good reason for the news media to cover Jessica Biel’s anti-vaxxer stance.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 14, 2019
A Generalist and a Scholar
On The Gist, who doesn’t get to be at the debates? <br><br>In the interview, David Epstein’s new book <em>Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World&nbsp;</em>is all about how having a wide base of knowledge is so much better than narrowing your focus. He’s here to talk Roger Federer versus Tiger Woods, how fiction helped him retool his book, and what Malcolm Gladwell got wrong.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, this is stupid.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 14, 2019
Just Take My Money
On The Gist, curse the gauntlet that is buying an event ticket online.<br><br>In the interview, John Urschel played as an offensive lineman in the NFL all while pursuing the PhD that would support an accomplished career as a mathematician. The values he practiced in each field are the same, he says, but there the similarities between pigskin and math end. Alongside sportswriter Louisa Thomas—the two are married—Urschel is the author of <a href=""><em>Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football</em></a>.&nbsp; <br><br>In the Spiel, “lock <em>him</em> up” (and you know who “him” is) isn’t a great call either.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 13, 2019
The Politics of Pith
On The Gist, Joe Biden curing cancer.<br><br>In the interview, senior writer at the National Review Michael Brendan Dougherty is here to discuss his new book <a href=""><em>My Father Left Me Ireland: An American Son’s Search For Home</em></a>. He and Mike talk about Dougherty’s journey into his father’s history, how the immigrant experience shaped his mother, and the ways Ireland has influenced his politics. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, political pithiness.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 11, 2019
Warren’s Wealth Tax Isn’t Enough
On The Gist, Democrats bob and weave around the question of abortion. <br><br>In the interview, victims of crimes are often sidelined in the judicial process—the perpetrator is punished, but his or her target isn’t given the opportunity to set up the kind of face-to-face meeting that might help them heal. Restorative justice seeks to change that, and Lara Bazelon is out with a book on how it applies to those who have been exonerated after wrongful convictions. Bazelon is an associate professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, and the author of <a href=""><em>Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, even with every benefit of the doubt, Elizabeth Warren’s policy ideas just aren’t fundable.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 11, 2019
Intellectual Agoraphobia
On The Gist, who’s on the right side of less auto pollution? <br><br>In the interview, Adam Gopnik is here to discuss his new book, <a href=""><em>A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism</em></a>, inspired by a conversation with his daughter. Who gets to make arguments? What about identity politics? And why should the rhinoceros should be the symbol of liberalism?&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, what are your go-to references?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 07, 2019
The Melodies of Evil
On The Gist, Joe Biden's careful moderation leads him astray on abortion rights. <br><br>In the interview, Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick is back to talk all about the Supreme Court. How the recent abortion laws passed in the South impact the continued dismantling of Roe v Wade? And why aren’t the Democrats more animated by the outrageous things happening to our courts? Dahlia is the host of Slate’s <a href="">Amicus</a> podcast.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, where there’s a jingle, there’s a questionable set of business practices…&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 06, 2019
What “Conservative” Means
On The Gist, holding Scott Peterson accountable after the Parkland shooting. <br><br>In the interview, George Will has led conservative thought for decades, in over a dozen books and a Washington Post column he’s penned since 1974. In his latest work, <a href=""><em>The Conservative Sensibility</em></a>, he seeks to define just what “conservative” means. While Mike had him on The Gist, he got Will’s opinion on the lost dignity of the GOP, Elizabeth Warren’s policy proposals (“I think she has a firm grip on half a point”), and the fact that no Democratic candidate is all that close to true socialism.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Biden and Warren’s new environmental plans.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 06, 2019
Saving Civilians, and the Mission
On The Gist, Trump visits the UK and drags London’s mayor.&nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, Larry Lewis doesn’t just analyze civilian casualties in the midst of wars; he’s worked within the State Department to minimize them. His research makes clear that sparing non-combatants isn’t just morally laudable, it can help generals reach their objectives and reduce anti-American sentiment.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, is Caster Semenya running?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 05, 2019
Out Like a Champ
On The Gist, even in defeat, <em>Jeopardy!</em> genius James Holzhauer made one really smart play.<br><br>In the interview, Mike Pesca sometimes bikes to work, and—in full adherence to New York City law, mind you—he doesn’t wear a helmet when he does. Should he, or are the benefits of bike helmets overrated? Maria Konnikova gets into it on the latest edition of The Gist’s “Is That Bullshit?”<br><br>In the Spiel, the best way to answer a question? Answer the actual question.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 03, 2019
The Impeachment Tree of Possibilities
On The Gist, what to make of (alleged) executions in North Korea. <br><br>In the interview, Slate’s chief news blogger, Ben Mathis-Lilley, makes the case for impeaching Trump. In his reasoning, impeachment proceedings would give Congress a stronger hand in forcing new information from the White House, which could then boost public support for the president’s removal from office. And even if it fails, it would have an immediate chilling effect on Trump’s abuse of the constitution. David Epstein, the author of <a href=""><em>Range</em></a>, also makes a cameo appearance in the interview.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, an Antentwig on mispronunciation.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 31, 2019
Enemies in Eurasia
On The Gist, using Olympic-sized swimming pools as units of measurements. <br><br>In the interview, beyond covering national security as a journalist, CNN’s Jim Sciutto worked a stint in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. In both careers, he’s seen signs of a shrinking power imbalance between America and its Russian and Chinese rivals. His latest book warns of the risks carried by Russian offensives in cyberspace, and potential Chinese aggression in actual space. Sciutto is the author of <a href=""><em>The Shadow War: Inside Russia's and China's Secret Operations to Defeat America</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the spirituality of the lost hiker in Hawaii.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 31, 2019
The Mueller Dud
On The Gist, it’s a shoe! It’s a phone! It’s… both?<br><br>In the interview, Darrick Hamilton’s ideas and research have the attention of more than one Democratic candidate for president. The Ohio State University professor—and head of the Kirwan Institute—studies income inequality and the policies that might help close it. He joins The Gist to talk baby bonds, inherited wealth, and the potential in a federal job guarantee.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, special Robert Mueller’s statement at the DOJ contained nothing new, and yet still it still moved the needle on impeachment.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 30, 2019
Impeach a President
On The Gist, calculating whether or not impeachment is the right move. <br><br>In the interview, Andrew Johnson was the first president to be impeached so Congress had to basically figure out how it worked as they did it. Brenda Wineapple is here to discuss the reasons for that impeachment, why the conviction failed, and what it can teach us about our current situation. Wineapple’s new book is <a href=""><em>The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the 1994 crime bill.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 29, 2019
The Impeachment Special
President Trump may yet face impeachment proceedings, so we’re bringing you a roundup of two previous Gist interviews on the topic. The first is with the youngest woman ever elected to the House, Liz Holtzman—who participated in the Nixon impeachment hearings—and CIA alumnus David Priess, who worked at the agency under both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Both have recently published books on impeachment. Holtzman is the author of <a href=""><em>The Case For Impeaching Trump</em></a>; Priess is the author of <a href=""><em>How to Get Rid of a President: History’s Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives</em></a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 27, 2019
The Real Crimes of the TV Show Cops
On The Gist, Theresa May’s resignation. <br><br>In the interview, Dan Taberski’s latest podcast series <a href=""><em>Running From Cops</em></a> digs into the long-running reality series <em>Cops</em> to understand what’s actually going on in those arrests on screen and how accurate the stories that we see are. He’s here to talk about why the show is so watchable, how the cops work with cameramen to exploit those being arrested, and how the nature of reality television has made us slow to notice such exploitation. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, learning from history when it’s always changing.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 24, 2019
Life After Parkland
On The Gist, a look at the worst arguments in the debate over abortion.&nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, <em>After Parkland </em>follows the lives of those affected by the Parkland shooting. That includes Tori Gonzalez, who lost her boyfriend, Joaquin Oliver, to the tragedy. Gonzalez is on The Gist alongside documentary filmmakers Emily Taguchi and Jake Lefferman to discuss the making of the film, useful ways to talk about the event, and how she continues to cope with her loss.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, why the idea of impeaching president Trump is just like riding a motorcycle.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 23, 2019
Planned Parenthood Plans for Action
On The Gist, Biden’s electability.&nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, eight states have passed bills to limit abortion access so far this year. And while these may not end up surviving challenges in court (whether Supreme or lower), getting an abortion is already difficult for women in many parts of the country. Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen reminds us that abortion providers can be vanishingly rare in some states, and that hundreds of laws have been passed in the last few years to restrict access to the procedure: "Forced waiting periods, medically unnecessary ultrasounds…things that we would never consider happening to any other aspect of medicine.”&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Michael Cohen and the pre-pardon pardon.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 23, 2019
What Basketball Gave Felipe Lopez
On The Gist, oh, Ben Carson. <br><br>In the interview, Felipe Lopez was once billed the Dominican Michael Jordan. His star power even in high school led the team to play in bigger New York City venues—the better to fit the legions of fans who cheered as he carried Harlem’s Rice High School to a championship victory. But his court domination dwindled in college, and in the NBA. Lopez joins The Gist to talk about the joys brought to him by basketball, not least of which is one that college athletes and recruiters rarely think much of: a degree. ESPN’s <a href=""><em>The Dominican Dream</em></a>, a documentary on Lopez by Jonathan Hock, is streaming now on ESPN Plus. <br><br>In the Spiel, M&amp;M’s, cannibalism, and the <em>Game of Thrones</em> finale.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 22, 2019
The First “Welfare Queen”
On The Gist, the gift to the Morehouse graduates is great, but should it be celebrated or just the standard? <br><br>In the interview, Linda Taylor committed many crimes, but only one of them—welfare fraud—really mattered to politicians, the press, and the public. Anecdotes about kidnapping and possible murder would only get in the way of the portrait Ronald Reagan presented to American voters in 1976, of a woman whose defrauding of taxpayer money was typical among those dependent on social programs. Slate national editor Josh Levin wrote <a href="">Slate’s most read story ever</a>, and has expanded it into a book—<a href=""><em>The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth</em></a>—and a Slate podcast: <a href="">The Queen</a>, available now wherever you get your podcasts.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Anand Giridharadas fact checking Jared Diamond.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 21, 2019
A Very Grumpy Death
On The Gist, Grumpy Cat is dead. So are Bill de Blasio’s chances at winning the White House. <br><br>In the interview, 1999 might be the greatest year in film—think <em>The Matrix</em>, <em>The Sixth Sense,</em> and <em>Fight Club</em>. But does <em>Magnolia </em>belong in the great movie pantheon, and should we really have been as impressed with <em>American Beauty</em> as we were? Brian Raftery, author of <a href=""><em>Best. Movie. Year. Ever.: How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen</em></a>, takes us through the last year of the ’90s and explains why there hasn’t been one like it since.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, there’s no place for centrism as far as abortion rights go.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 17, 2019
The Personal Is Geopolitical
On The Gist, what correlates with anti-abortion views (and votes) more than being a man? Being a Republican. <br><br>In the interview, Jared Diamond brings new meaning to the old slogan that the personal is political. The author of <em>Guns, Germs, and Steel </em>argues that just as individuals go through crises to which they may either adapt or flounder, nation states face moments that define their strength domestically and on the world stage. Diamond’s latest book—<a href=""><em>Upheaval</em></a>—takes Finland, Australia, and Chile (among other countries) as his case studies.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, whatever you think of Joe Biden, don’t let the dream of bipartisanship die just yet.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 16, 2019
Have a Job? Thank Yourself, Not Trump.
On The Gist, anti-abortion state legislatures know full well that the Supreme Court could one day turn on <em>Roe v. Wade</em>. <br><br>In the interview, Chuck Rosenberg is a former U.S. attorney who also once worked for Robert Mueller. He’s here to talk about his new podcast <a href=""><em>The Oath</em></a>, where he sits down with other former government officials like Preet Bharara and James Comey and discusses the ins and outs of public service. Mike gets Chuck to dive into the Mueller report with him.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, is low unemployment a sign of good federal governance? No. Just look at the U.K.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 16, 2019
“No War” Is the Best Trump Can Do
On The Gist, the NBA draft lottery. <br><br>In the interview, Richard Clarke doesn’t have security clearance anymore, so on his podcast he talks to a lot of people who still do. His 10 years as a White House official gave him the bug for asking questions to sharp experts on matters of life or death—otherwise known as national security. Clarke joins us to talk about the need to make a “frenemy” out of China, the vulnerability of America’s power grid, and how president Trump could yet leave the title of “worst president ever” to George W. Bush. Clarke is the host of <a href=""><em>Future State</em></a> and the author of the forthcoming <a href=""><em>The Fifth Domain: Defending Our Country, Our Companies, and Ourselves in the Age of Cyber Threats</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Palestine and the Holocaust.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 15, 2019
Decoding the Bliss Gene
On The Gist, groans over <em>Game of Thrones</em>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for another round of “Is That Bullshit?” Because Mike experiences less anxiety than most, he has often wondered if he has higher levels of anandamide—a neurotransmitter associated with regulating anxiety and stress—caused by a specific genetic variation. Maria walks him through the complicated biology, the research, and explains why even if it might be real, Mike’s self-diagnosis is unreliable.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Joe Biden's "gaffes."<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 14, 2019
Comedy Is No Revolution
On The Gist, Instagram and FOMO. <br><br>In the interview, they say president Trump has killed comedy. But in Larry Wilmore’s book, comedy isn’t responsible for leading us to the “right” kind of outrage or political enlightenment. Its role—get this—is to make us laugh. “Activists should engage in activism, and I always feel like that’s why we have these words that are different,” Wilmore says. “Comedy exists to be comic.” Wilmore is the host of the Ringer podcast <a href=""><em>Black on the Air</em></a> and the co-creator of HBO’s <a href="Insecure"><em>Insecure</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Uber’s IPO and Trump’s tariffs.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 11, 2019
Bigger Than Titanic
On The Gist, magic mushrooms afoot!<br><br>In the interview, every <em>Avengers</em> movie has an argument at its core. In the Marvel franchise’s finale—<em>Avengers: Endgame</em>—director Anthony Russo says it’s “that you can change destiny, but at the same time, you can’t always change it on your terms.” He and his co-director (and brother) Joe Russo weigh in on that, the term “fan service,” and the fact that in the comics, Captain America is a dud.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Mike answers questions from fellow Slate staffers—some serious, some not—in rapid succession.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 10, 2019
Who Makes The Gist?
On The Gist, maybe Trump wants to be impeached?&nbsp;<br><br>Then it’s a change of format as all the former and current producers of The Gist gather together for a roundtable. Founding producer Andrea Silenzi discusses the origins of The Gist, past producers Chris Berube and Mary Wilson talk about the thrills of covering the presidential debates, and current producers Pierre Bienaimé and Daniel Schroeder join in to dish on what it's like working with Mike.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Mike reevaluates his mistakes from the past five years.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 09, 2019
The Retro Hits and Repeats of 2014
On The Gist, president Trump’s mixes and matches idioms all the time, but his rhetoric doesn’t really suffer from it.<br><br>In the interview, 2014 was full of retro vibes and repeats, with hits like “Happy,” “All About That Bass,” and “Blank Space” echoing older styles and Eminem’s “Monster” recreating his past chart-topping collaboration with Rihanna. Chris Molanphy is on the show yet again to walk us through the big tracks from the year The Gist was born. Molanphy is the host of <a href="">Hit Parade</a> and the writer of Slate’s “<a href="">Why Is This Song No. 1?”</a> column.<br><br>In the Spiel, it’s a second interview with evolutionary biologist Patricia Brennan. The topic? Turkey genitals, of course.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 07, 2019
The Gist of the Past Five Years
On The Gist, do we need primary debates? <br><br>We're starting our fifth anniversary celebration week with a look back at the past. <em>Radiolab</em>’s Jad Abumrad was a guest on the first episode of The Gist so he’s back to reflect on the last five years, how podcasting has changed, and the impact of the medium.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, podcasts aren’t perfect, but they are progress.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 06, 2019
Bird City
On The Gist, is it unusual that Attorney General William Barr didn’t look at the underlying evidence covered in the Mueller report? <br><br>In the interview, <em>Tuca &amp; Bertie </em>is the new series from Lisa Hanawalt, best know for her art direction on <em>Bojack Horseman</em>. She’s here to discuss the origins of her new series, all the jokes she fits into the background, and how she figured out if China exists in her show’s universe. <a href=""><em>Tuca &amp; Bertie</em></a> is available on Netflix. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Stephen Moore on the Federal Reserve Board.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 03, 2019
“I’ll Take Second Place for $2,000”
On The Gist, how many people have declared they’re running for president? <br><br>In the interview, breaking a record doesn’t always mean going home a winner. Adam Levin learned that in his recent run on <em>Jeopardy!</em>, where he banked more money than any runner-up in the history of the game show (thus walking away with just $2,000). He tells Mike, a fellow <em>Jeopardy! </em>alumnus, about his tactics—and the fact that he has no regrets. Levin is sports information director of Brandeis University’s athletics program.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, is Barr a chicken?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 03, 2019
Derby or Die?
On The Gist, the latest in the Mueller report saga.&nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, the Kentucky Derby is this Saturday, but this year, the horse racing event is overshadowed by high fatality rates among equines in California's Santa Anita Park: 23 have died in just three months. Peter Fornatale follows the races closely, and sees mismanagement on both the park’s track and in the appeasement measures that followed: “[It] sort of reminded me of the classic politician’s trick of ‘you don’t like the conversation, okay, let’s change the conversation.’”&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Bill Barr, hair-splitter general.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 02, 2019
It’s a Code World
On The Gist, the New Yorker’s profile of John Bolton. <br><br>In the interview, coders have gone from a band of misfits to rulers of Silicon Valley. Clive Thompson is out with a book about that evolution, which examines the reckless product design stoked by the pursuit of hockey-stick revenue growth and a lack of workplace diversity—whether across gender, socio-economic class, or even age. “The ageism is where some of the trouble begins because you don't have people around that can tell you 'oh, we went through this rodeo 15 years ago,’” Thompson says. He is the author of <a href=""><em>Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World</em></a>.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Stacey Abrams isn’t running for Senate in Georgia.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 01, 2019
Avengers: But For Real
On The Gist, the news media is getting better at demoting the names of America’s mass shooters. That’s a good thing, even as the internet’s darker corners do the opposite. <br><br>In the interview, comedian Josh Gondelman is from Boston, but he often comes across as Minnesota nice. Can a comedian get laughs without being a bit of an asshole? Gondelman discusses that, his latest comedy album—<a href=""><em>Dancing on a Weeknight</em></a>—and why writing for Showtime’s <em>Desus &amp; Mero</em> involves shedding fewer tears than does scripting <em>Last Week Tonight</em>.&nbsp; <br><br>In the Spiel, if you’re going to enjoy this <em>Avengers: Endgame</em> parody, you’ll have to contend with a spoiler or two. Cool?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 30, 2019
Why Fools Fall in Love
On The Gist, the 2020 candidates’ proposals shouldn’t be compared to some progressive ideal, but to some of the stuff we spend taxpayer dollars on now. <br><br>In the interview, the pace of technological change means we might only be catching onto malicious disinformation techniques after it’s too late to counter them. Still, scientific inquiry is useful in telling us how manipulation works. In <a href=""><em>The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread</em></a>, authors Cailin O'Connor and James Owen Weatherall argue that social dynamics often trump intellectual ones in determining what we fall for, including bogus information peddled by anti-vaxxers. “You, in the right social context, would hold a lot of false beliefs too,” says O’Connor.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, putting the Anita Hill hearings in context.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 27, 2019
It's Getting Hot in Here
On The Gist, the difference between one million and one billion. <br><br>In the interview, Nathaniel Rich is here to discuss his new book <em>Losing Earth</em> about the decade of 1979-1989 and why they are so important to understanding America’s political history of climate change and the current state of denialism we find ourselves in.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, is impeachment worth it? If we don’t will Trump get reelected?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 26, 2019
Joe Biden’s Battle
On The Gist, whether he’s on the most electable part of the political spectrum or not, Joe Biden is about to go through the wringer.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, winning a major sports championship is a thrill few ever get to know. But what happens when you keep stacking trophies, like the NBA’s Golden State Warriors have done in recent years? The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss covers the team, and wonders “if the Warriors suffer from, shall we call it, winner’s ennui.” Strauss is the host of the <a href=""><em>House of Strauss</em></a> podcast and wrote a chapter on the Warriors in Mike Pesca’s book, <a href=""><em>Upon Further Review: The Greatest What-Ifs in Sports History</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, it’s one from the vault on HBO’s The Jinx, which, it’s now come to light, included some misleading editing.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 25, 2019
The Never-ending CNN Town Hall
On The Gist, Kate Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America.” <br><br>In the interview, comedian and filmmaker Lake Bell is here to discuss her new tv series <a href=""><em>Bless This Mess</em></a>. About a newlywed couple who move from New York City to Nebraska, it’s a play on the fish-out-of-water trope, but packed with more jokes than you know what to do with. <em>Bless This Mess </em>airs on Tuesdays at 9:30pm on ABC.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the questions at the CNN town halls weren’t all that great.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 24, 2019
Elizabeth Stormborn, Mother of Democrats!
On The Gist, Rudy Giuliani was a big, loud, and busy distraction this past Sunday.<br><br>In the interview, it’s a round of “Is That Bullshit?” with Maria Konnikova. In the hot seat: the humble egg. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that eggs can increase your chances of heart disease. But is this study all it’s cracked up to be? The nutritional science has gone back and forth on the health benefits and risks of this breakfast food. Maria boils it down.<br><br>In the Spiel, dragons roast their victims—and we roast Elizabeth Warren’s <em>Game of Thrones</em> critique.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by Simplisafe. Start protecting your home today at<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 23, 2019
The International Hilarity of Loyiso Gola
On The Gist, sick children and dead ducks are pretty convincing. <br><br>In the interview, South African comedian Loyiso Gola is here to talk about his <a href="">stand up special</a> on Netflix, what it’s like performing in different countries, and why talking about the economy is so difficult for everyday people. Gola is <a href="">performing at the Soho Playhouse</a> until April 21, 2019.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, time for an early Antentwig.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 20, 2019
It’s Mueller Overtime
On The Gist, Trump’s fundamental misreading of politics.&nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, Garrett Graff’s afternoon was as busy as any journalist’s, picking through the redacted Mueller report released by the Department of Justice. There’s something new on every page, Graff says, including the Trump campaign’s awareness of Russian efforts against Hillary Clinton—and its expectation to benefit from them politically. Graff wrote a biography of Robert Mueller. His latest ebook is <a href=""><em>Mueller’s War</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Mueller did a great job, and if this report came out in a different climate it’d actually lead to real consequences.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 18, 2019
The Better Angels of Big Business
On The Gist, the redacted Mueller report as an exercise in Zen.&nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, economist Tyler Cowen is just about the smartest person in Mike Pesca’s podcast feed. He’s on the Gist to answer rapid fire questions on the college admissions scandal, what the likes of Herman Cain would mean for the Fed, and the virtues of big American enterprises. That last topic is the subject of Cowen’s new book, <a href=";qid=1555525795&amp;s=digital-text&amp;sr=1-1-fkmrnull"><em>Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero</em></a>. His podcast is <a href=""><em>Conversations with Tyler</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, oh how we forget the gulf that lies between lived experience and public recollection.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br><br>This episode is brought to you by Constant Contact. For a free trial, sign up today at<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 17, 2019
Lock Up Your Mothers
On The Gist, sparing a thought for Notre Dame… and how Americans pronounce it. <br><br>In the interview, Politico’s Anna Palmer on what Trump is doing to America as he navigates a government he doesn’t understand. Her book, co-written with Jake Sherman, is <a href=""><em>The Hill to Die On: The Battle for Congress and the Future of Trump’s America</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, moms are not off limits for quotes—about their children—published by the New York Times.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 17, 2019
The Farmers’ Candidate
On The Gist, wait, what did I miss? <br><br>In the interview, Democratic candidates for the presidency recently flew to Iowa for a forum on agriculture to answer some questions. And asking them was <em>Storm Lake Times</em> editor Art Cullen, who knows a thing or two about corporate agribusiness and its impact on Iowans, the food Americans everywhere eat, and Chinese pork companies. Cullen is the author of <a href=";linkCode=w61&amp;imprToken=XbL3KxzRTQM6N6mMX0oPcA&amp;slotNum=0&amp;tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope from a Heartland Newspaper</em></a>, and was <a href="">previously on The Gist</a> to discuss that book as well.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Rep. Ilan Omar and our selfish president.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by Simplisafe. Start protecting your home today at<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 16, 2019
The Divergent Charts of 1994
On The Gist, two popes is one pope too many.<br><br>In the interview, songs like “The Sign” and “I’ll Make Love to You” dominated the charts in 1994, but they weren’t all that emblematic of what was happening in music that year. Chris Molanphy has ideas as to why, and also opines on why there were so few number one singles that year—and why was Lisa Loeb considered alternative rock? Molanphy has answers, and is the host of the Hit Parade podcast. He also writes Slate’s <a href="">“Why Is This Song No. 1?”</a> column.<br><br>In the Spiel, Rep. Katie Porter’s viral moment—taking Jamie Dimon to task for his huge salary—is a little dishonest.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 13, 2019
The Real Cost of Medicare for All
On The Gist, the political parties of Israel. <br><br>In the interview, Jean McConville’s murder in 1972—when The Troubles were at their bloodiest—sparked what few deaths did in Northern Ireland: a reckoning. The New Yorker’s Patrick Radden Keefe joins us to give context to McConville’s death, from the various factions at war back then to the country’s incomplete reconciliation process and oddly rehabilitated politicians. Keefe is the author of <a href=""><em>Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Medicare for all isn’t as cheap as Bernie wants us to believe.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 12, 2019
The Candace Owens Sideshow
On The Gist, Candance Owens isn't digging herself out of this ahistorical, Hitler-relativizing hole.&nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, Ian Chillag is back with another season of Everything Is Alive, a podcast where he interviews the everyday objects around us that we don’t think of. Chioke I’Anson is here too because he played a grain of sand with a surprising amount of philosophy packed in (he’s a philosopher himself). Is sand more Kantian or Heideggerian? And what’s it like to think as a collective?&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, president Trump’s public insult of Sen. Mazie Hirono rumbles on.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 11, 2019
Misquoter in Chief
On The Gist, Trump’s latest campaign video is wild. <br><br>In the interview, Scotland’s Daniel Sloss churns out comedy specials at an almost alarming rate, completing his tenth at age 28. He’s here to talk about circumcision, Brexit, and why the left is doomed to eternally shoot itself in the foot. Sloss will be <a href="">back in the United States</a> in June of 2019, and his specials "Dark" &amp; "Jigsaw” are on Netflix.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, instant replay is a contentious part of refereeing, particularly at a championship.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 10, 2019
The Puppet Masters
The worst part about the Trump administration’s high turnover? Every cabinet member is worse than the last. <br><br>In the interview, Grigori Rasputin bent the ear of the last Russian tsar, manipulating affairs of state behind the scenes as he saw fit. But how did a man like him rise to such power? And what about his spiritual successors like Phil Spector or Tom Brady’s trainer? Amos Barshad, author of <a href=""><em>No One Man Should Have All That Power: How Rasputins Manipulate the World</em></a>, has our ear. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, what does Joe Biden stand to gain from apologizing—and shouldn’t a (likely) contender for president think in those terms?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 09, 2019
Are Chiropractors Quacks?
On The Gist, like every week in Trump’s America, this has been a wasted one.&nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for another round of “Is That Bullshit?” She talks chiropractors, whether or not cracking your back and neck is helpful, and what strokes have to do with it. Then, Mike’s own chiropractor, Jason Fidler, steps in to offer some adjustments to the conversation.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Mike offers up a Lobstar challenge.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 06, 2019
There’s No Real Dirt on the Dems So Far
On The Gist, Mueller’s report (or much of it) is bound to go public. <br><br>In the interview, Wright Thompson has his place on the Mount Rushmore of sports writers, and his signature form is the profile. Tiger Woods, Lionel Messi, Michael Jordan and the like are fascinating in their relationship to fame, but also in their ordinary flaws. “On some level these stories are all about exploring whether or not there is even such a thing as free will,” Thompson says. “I’m fascinated by the way things in our past continue to exert gravitational pull on us now.” Wright’s new book, a collection of his past work, is <a href=""><em>The Cost of These Dreams: Sports Stories and Other Serious Business</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, a list of all the non-scandals hitting the Democratic 2020 candidates so far. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 05, 2019
We All Need to Talk
On The Gist, Trump should avoid healthcare. <br><br>In the interview, Lori Gottlieb is a journalist and a therapist, and she’s here to discuss her new book <a href=";linkCode=w61&amp;imprToken=sQvEF1jVPr6EM4TQJqEwHw&amp;slotNum=0&amp;tag=slatmaga-20"><em>Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed</em></a>, why she became a therapist, how to deal with patients who’ve Googled you, and why therapists need therapy too.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the Joe Biden crisis isn’t a crisis.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 04, 2019
The Societal Optimist
On The Gist, calming down about Trump’s bombast. <br><br>In the interview, Nicholas Christakis is here to discuss his new book <a href=""><em>Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society</em></a>, how he studied the progression of goodness throughout human history, the way healthy communities evolve, and why shipwrecks were so important to his research.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the problem with microaggressions.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 03, 2019
The Thrilling Don Winslow
On The Gist, Joe Biden’s nose nuzzle. <br><br>In the interview, Don Winslow’s new book <a href=""><em>The Border</em></a> is the final part of his trilogy on drug cartels. He’s here today to discuss the work, how it’s been twenty years in the making, and the difficulty of trying to get things right. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Betsy DeVos’ indefensible Special Olympics funding cuts.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 02, 2019
“Guest is God”
On The Gist, the next wave of start-ups should be like the tech companies we have now, but with a conscience.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, filmmaker Anthony Maras is more wedded to a theme—people in extremis—than a form, and his latest is a thriller based on true events. <em>Hotel Mumbai</em> follows a band of diverse survivors holed up in the Taj, one of the targets in India's 2008 terrorist attacks. “Something kind of magical happened, which is all these barriers that usually divide people evaporated.”&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Donald Trump: bullshitter or shitposter?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 30, 2019
Adam Schiff Is Not Okay
On The Gist, Mike Pesca, in true hipster fashion, laments the end of Wow Air. <br><br>In the interview, much of the news media was guilty of hyping up the knockout blow that Mueller’s report would deliver president Trump. But a few journalists on the left were always skeptical of the investigation’s origins and potential. Among them is <em>Nation</em> contributor Aaron Maté, who saw in the Mueller probe a distraction from the Democratic Party’s failure in 2016—and from the stories that really matter.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Rep. Adam Schiff comes out swinging.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 29, 2019
The Boeing Lesson
On The Gist, Boeing is in a tight spot.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, the boxing match between Mike Tyson and Buster Douglas was one for the ages. Everyone so expected Tyson to win that people weren’t even placing bets until the odds were 42 to 1. In the new <em>30 for 30</em> film <em>42 to 1</em>, Gist guest Jeremy Schaap (and Ben Houser) explore this shocking upset and how the fight changed boxing and these fighters’ lives.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, if we’re going to build a wall, how about the one between church and state? Looking at you, Pennsylvania.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 28, 2019
Trump’s Post-Mueller Strategy
On The Gist, the latest gridlock facing the Green New Deal should clue in its backers in Congress. <br><br>In the interview, Huwe Burton was 16 years old when detectives browbeat him into a false confession of murder. He spent about 20 years in prison as a result, and found an outlet in the quarter-mile track that he and other inmates built their endurance on. Since his release and exoneration, he hasn’t stopped running. Burton’s story is told in a <a href="">Lope Magazine article</a>—"Innocent People Don’t Run”—by Liam Boylan-Pett, who also joins us in the studio.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the Trump reelection campaign’s bizarre memo to all “Television Producers” leans on cherry-picked quotes.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 27, 2019
The Mueller Report Report
On The Gist, we should be willing to accept that the Barr letter and Mueller report won’t lead to any indictments. <br><br>In the interview, David Priess, former CIA staffer and daily intelligence briefer for Robert Mueller, is here to talk about the Mueller report. What do we know? What questions are still unanswered? And where do we go from here? Priess’ latest book is <a href=""><em>How to Get Rid of a President: History’s Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the Mueller report does not exonerate Trump, even if Trump thinks it does.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 26, 2019
The Real March Madness Upset
On The Gist, ISIS may be defeated, but the people who made up its forces aren’t gone.&nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, novelist John Lanchester is here to discuss his new novel <a href=""><em>The Wall</em></a>, the symbolic and practical use of walls, and how closely we should pay attention to our dreams. &nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, Jim Nantz shouldn’t be in those Capital One commercials for March Madness.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 22, 2019
The Past and Future Biden
On The Gist, who paid for those two Chinese-born tech magnates to take photos with Trump?&nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, Vanderbilt professor Jonathan Metzl is here to discuss his new book <a href=""><em>Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, litigating Biden’s past.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 22, 2019
Solving Maternal Mortality
On The Gist, have you heard about the mob hit that took place a few weeks ago? <br><br>In the interview, journalist Sarah Kliff joins us to discuss maternal mortality rates in the United States, what California has done to fix it, and what the rest of the country should learn from them. Kliff is the host of Vox’s <a href=""><em>The Impact</em></a>. &nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, Donald Trump on John McCain’s funeral.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 21, 2019
What Merchants of Truth Gets Right
On The Gist, it wouldn’t just be morally right for Trump to finally denounce white nationalism. It would be politically smart.<br><br>In the interview, Jill Abramson’s <a href=""><em>Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts</em></a> was released to glowing reviews—but valid accusations of plagiarism and factual errors took some of that shine off. As Mike asks Abramson (a former executive editor of the New York Times), were the negative headlines so grabby that they’ve damned the book’s valuable insights? And would that in itself prove many of her worries about journalism in the 21st century?&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the New York Times, biased? You don’t say.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 20, 2019
Beto Takes a Stand
On The Gist, Beto O’Rourke, the countertop candidate. <br><br>In the interview, historian Rutger Bregman got in a spat with Fox host Tucker Carlson, but you wouldn’t know it if it weren’t for his own video of the incident. Fox never aired it, as Bregman accused Carlson of carrying water for billionaires and Carlson responded with profane insults. Bregman joins the Gist to give us the backstory on that, but not before laying out some of the progressive economic policies—with basis in American history—that he favors, Carlson’s disapproval notwithstanding. Bregman is the author of <a href=""><em>Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World</em></a>and writes for the <a href="">Correspondent</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, New Zealand’s unity on gun control is admirable. In the big, diverse country that is the United States, things are a little more complicated.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 19, 2019
In New Zealand, the Internet at Its Worst
On The Gist, Senator Thom Tillis’ op-ed, now with moral fiber!&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, no one’s ever had to wonder what was on tech journalist Kara Swisher’s mind (she’ll just tell you) and that includes the litany of Silicon Valley oligarchs she’s interviewed. Swisher tells us how the modern world is very much shaped by company founders’ personality quirks and blind spots, what government regulation of Google and Facebook should look like, and what women can do to get what they want in the workplace. Swisher is the co-founder of Recode and the host of its <a href=""><em>Recode Decode</em></a> podcast.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, if you want to measure the ills that come with an increasingly connected world, look no farther than the shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 16, 2019
Manafort in Ostrich Court
On The Gist, Beto O’Rourke is running for president. But should he? <br><br>In the interview, Tim Alberta, chief political correspondent for Politico,&nbsp; recently wrote a piece about Reps. Ilhan Omar and Dean Phillips and the current divide in the Democratic party, “<a href="">The Democrat’s Dilemma</a>.” Alberta is here today to discuss the difficulty facing the Democratic party as some new members of Congress seem to be pushing the party further left and whether or not that’s a good thing. His upcoming book is <a href=""><em>American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Paul Manafort goes to Ostrich Court.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 15, 2019
How to Close the Justice Gap
On The Gist, three stray thoughts on the college admissions scandal.&nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back to talk about those naïve millennials. Last year many of them were duped into paying thousands for tickets to Billy McFarland’s Fyre Festival, a glamorous event that existed in name only. That begs the question: Are millennials more susceptible to being scammed than other generations, or is that bullshit?&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the rich and powerful often get off easy in the court of law (case in point: Paul Manafort). But instead of throwing the book at them, maybe we should sentence everyone else a little more kindly, too.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 14, 2019
The Fraud Squad
On The Gist, Bill de Blasio flapping his arms to R. Kelly. <br><br>In the interview, Sal Gentile writes for late night television, but he lives in president Trump’s mind around the clock. Every day he writes insights and jokes about Trump’s latest ramblings for “A Closer Look,” a segment on NBC’s <em>Late Night with Seth Meyers</em>. Gentile talks about his writing process—lots of jokes go into a first draft, but only a few make the cut—and how the instinct to laugh is itself a reliable bullshit detector.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the college admissions scandal involving Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 13, 2019
Let the Sun Shine in 2020
On The Gist, much ado about a toothpick ban. In the interview, Wikipedia is famously edited by its own readers. And no one has made more contributions than Steven Pruitt. A third of English language pages on the site bear his mark! What goes into editing a Wikipedia page, and is it as toxic as other democratic spaces on the internet? In the Spiel, which Democratic candidate gets The Gist’s vote? The one to make Daylight Saving Time permanent.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 12, 2019
American Carnage? It’s Real
On The Gist, Rep. Ilhan Omar and Israel. <br><br>In the interview, the Guardian’s Chris McGreal covered the deadly toll opiates take on poor American communities "long before it became fashionable because of Trump." He speaks to Purdue Pharma’s zealous campaign to push OxyContin (“a chemical cousin of heroin”, in the words of the <a href="">New Yorker</a>) onto doctors and patients—and the federal government’s failure to stop it. McGreal is the author of <a href=""><em>American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, another Lobstar of the Antentwig.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 09, 2019
The Endless Fact Check
On The Gist, Stormy is in the news (but not <em>that</em> Stormy).<br><br>In the interview, Donald Trump speaks many untruths every day, and someone has to track them all. Somehow that task has fallen to a Canadian. The Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale is here to tell us what counts as a lie, why details matter, and how neither the left nor the right seem satisfied with his work.<br><br>In the Spiel, theology isn’t all that interesting… unless there’s drama involved, of course.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 08, 2019
The Unbelievably Bad Michael Jackson Defense
On The Gist, distracting Congress from H.R. 1. <br><br>In the interview, sexual promiscuity is judged differently among men compared to women, and that goes double for sex addiction. Franco-Moroccan novelist Leïla Slimani’s latest protagonist, <a href=""><em>Adèle</em></a>, knows that firsthand. Slimani joins us to talk about her relationship with her translator—and her own characters—and the French sex scandal that inspired her initial research.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, bad arguments are hard to believe, like those used to defend Michael Jackson.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 07, 2019
Top Chef, the Anti-Reality TV?
On The Gist, Fox News isn’t distributing Trump’s talking points. Worse, it’s defining them. <br><br>In the interview, reality TV typically thrives on drama and negativity. <em>Top Chef</em> isn’t necessarily an exception, but season 16 competitor David Viana says morale was high on set—and that that’s a good sign for the culinary world overall. “Better, healthier kitchens are popping up,” Viana says. “It isn’t the Gordon Ramsay style.” David Viana is the executive chef&nbsp; of New Jersey’s Heirloom Kitchen. <br><br>The finale of <em>Top Chef: Kentucky</em> airs March 14, 2019 on Bravo. In the Spiel, more from Trump’s nonsensical CPAC speech.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 06, 2019
The Incoherent Right
On The Gist, the White House PR machine. <br><br>In the interview, John Carlin is a former Asst. Attorney General for the Dept. of Justice and former Chief of Staff to Robert Mueller, and his new book <a href=""><em>Dawn of the Code War</em></a> tracks the rise of global cyber threats from Russia and China, and how our country is working to respond. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the CPAC lets Trump get away with anything he wants.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 05, 2019
Believing Jackson’s Accusers
On The Gist, John Hickenlooper might be running for president. <br><br>In the interview, Dan Reed reached out to Wade Robson and James Safechuck before #MeToo exploded, but its influence is clear. In the director’s documentary for HBO, <a href=""><em>Leaving Neverland</em></a>, we hear again how the effects of sexual abuse—in this case, at the hands of Michael Jackson—can manifest in counterintuitive ways; Robson and Safechuck once shielded Jackson. Now they’re coming forward with their truth.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the House Oversight Committee and racism.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 02, 2019
Is AOC Post-Truth Too?
On The Gist, the empty political rhetoric that is “everyday people.”<br><br>In the interview, fact-checking is big business in the age of Trump. But one politician diametrically opposed to the president—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—is playing fast and loose with statistics too, and journalists have noticed. Should she be called out? NY Magazine’s Eric Levitz says it’s complicated.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 28, 2019
Michael Cohen Isn’t Smart
On the Gist, Michael Cohen is not a smart guy, and that makes his testimony all the more trustworthy.&nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, Casey Burgat of R Street is here to talk about Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s staff turnover data. Does she seem to churn through staff more than most, or are a few big exits skewing the numbers? And is it so bad to have high turnover anyway?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 27, 2019
The Spring Breaker Vote
On The Gist, corn syrup and beer.&nbsp;<br><br>In the interview, what’s the difference between a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old? In terms of maturity, not so much. But only one of them has the right to vote. In Oregon, state Sen. Shemia Fagan is hoping to change that, and she’s letting young activists take the lead.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, who wants to talk about reparations?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 26, 2019
Mayor for America
On The Gist, asymmetric warfare means America’s got some pretty lame enemies. <br><br>In the interview, women aren’t the only demographic group making the 2020 race especially diverse. Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is considering a run for office; he’s a millennial, a veteran, and openly gay. We get his thoughts on the size of the Supreme Court and Congress, and his feelings about the humble penny. Buttigieg’s new book is <a href=""><em>Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model for America’s Future</em></a><em>.</em> &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, what the Oscars, the Virginia governorship, and Amazon HQ2 have in common.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 26, 2019
Billionaire Bashing Is Just for Sport
On The Gist, even with a genuinely good story, president Trump just can’t get his facts right. <br><br>In the interview, his name is Mo Rocca, and he’s out with a new podcast of obituaries. So it’s only natural, of course, that it be called <a href=""><em>Mobituaries</em></a>. His audio tributes can be for both people and things, including <a href="">JFK impersonator Vaughn Meader</a> and the humble station wagon.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, America’s billionaires do some good, and they don’t make the rest of us any poorer.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 23, 2019
A Show, But a Riddle Too
On The Gist, the deep state or a shallow president? <br><br>In the interview, director Leslye Headland has been on The Gist before, and is back for more. But unlike the protagonist of <em>Russian Doll</em>, her new Netflix show, he isn’t likely to find herself stuck in a time loop, reliving the same moments over and over again. Headland joins alongside Rebecca Henderson, who stars in the show. And, fun fact: the two are married!&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Disney World’s Hall of Presidents.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 22, 2019
The Viability of Bernie Sanders
On The Gist, news should be new. <br><br>In the interview, our resident vexillologist Ted Kaye is back to talk about San Francisco’s flag. Where does its design come from, and is it really the best modern representation of the city? <br><br>Kaye’s book is <a href=""><em>Good Flag, Bad Flag.</em></a> In the Spiel, Bernie Sanders and the viability of policy ideas.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 21, 2019
The Chinese Threat is Overblown
On The Gist, Bernie is in. Are billionaires out?<br><br>In the interview, president Trump may be the chief saber-rattler when it comes to China, but acting tough against the world’s second biggest economy is a bipartisan pastime. With challenges like global warming and nuclear armament on the line, Kaiser Kuo says, the U.S. might do better with cooperation instead of rivalry. Kuo is a co-founder of the <a href="">Sinica podcast</a> and the editor-at-large of <a href="">SupChina</a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, algorithms aren’t just for Facebook—they’re also used in criminal justice. Here’s why they shouldn’t be.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 20, 2019
New York’s Bad Math
On The Gist, racy names for missiles. <br><br>In the interview, Chris Molanphy is here to talk about the Billboard hits of 1979, disco’s last hurrah, and how the year prepares for the coming wave of pop. Molanphy is the host of <a href="">Hit Parade</a> and writes the column <a href="">Why Is This Song No. 1?</a>&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, Amazon leaving New York City is a big loss but people don’t seem to realize it.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 15, 2019
Matt Braunger, Funny Dummy
On The Gist, sometimes Howard Stern can be helpful. <br><br>In the interview, stand-up comedian and podcaster Matt Braunger is here to discuss his new special <a href=""><em>Finally Live in Portland</em></a>, his podcast <a href=""><em>Advice From a Dipshit</em></a>, and whether or not he would eat racist fudge.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the human tragedy of losing animals.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 14, 2019
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Seconds
On The Gist, Democratic leaders should slow down the next time a Virginia-sized fiasco comes along. <br><br>In the interview, podcasters can storm off a set too—even if it’s their own. <a href=""><em>Words Matter</em></a> host Adam Levine pressed his colleague Steve Schmidt on details about his advising gig for 2020 hopeful Howard Schultz. And it wasn’t just because that posed a possible conflict of interest for the political podcast; Levine says his regular listeners wanted answers on the guy who, in their eyes, could get enough votes to cause another Trump victory.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, and in El Paso on Monday: presidential logorrhea.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 13, 2019
Open Season For America’s Wars
On The Gist, if president Trump wanted to denounce bullying, he could have done better than inviting a boy named Trump (no relation) to the State of the Union address. <br><br>In 2001, Congress gave president Bush a nearly blank check for command of an American military bent on punishing the terrorist groups directly (and not so directly) responsible for 9/11. The Authorization for Use of Military Force still benefits U.S. presidents, and few in Congress today seek to curb it. Our guest, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, of Connecticut, is among them. <br><br>In the Spiel, Sen. Amy Klobuchar is in for 2020, and reports of her being too tough a boss should be taken in stride.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by Simplisafe. Start protecting your home today at <a href=""></a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 12, 2019
Quoth the Maven
On The Gist, wise words from the mouth of Jeff Bezos… by way of Amazon’s Alexa. <br><br>In the interview, green energy may be clean, but that doesn’t mean its infrastructure is any less garish. Energy reporter Amy Harder reminds us that one of the lesser-discussed obstacles to a Green New Deal is good old-fashioned nimbyism: “A lot of people don’t like power lines being constructed right in their backyards.” Harder covers energy for Axios, and writes its <a href="">Harder Line</a> column.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, it may feel right to ask that we believe women making accusations of sexual assault. But a better corrective would be simply to not discredit them out of hand.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 09, 2019
The Green New Deal Is a Dream
On The Gist, don’t lick people you work with. <br><br>In the interview, reading a whole book is great, but sometimes all you need is the introduction. Author Elisa Gabbert <a href="">thinks so</a>, and joins us to talk about intros and other “front matter”; a novel that unfolds over the course of an escalator ride; and how sitcoms have thrown our beauty barometers out of whack. Gabbert is the author of <a href=""><em>The Word Pretty</em></a>.&nbsp;<br>In the Spiel, the Green New Deal needs more scrutiny before it moves forward.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 08, 2019
The State of the Union is… Overrated
On The Gist, who oh who will govern the state of Virginia? <br><br>In the interview, when Roger McNamee jumped in as an early investor in Facebook, he might not have figured he’d end up testifying about the company in front of Congress. McNamee charts Facebook’s worrying evolution in his new book: <a href=""><em>Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, the State of the Union address is like baseball’s All-Star Game. Flashy, but without consequence.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 07, 2019
The Culture of Wealth
On The Gist, Gov. Andrew Cuomo still doesn’t understand puns. <br><br>In the interview, Lauren Greenfield has been documenting the wealthy for the past 25 years and has finally turned that into her new film <em>Generation Wealth</em>, an exploration of the rise of wealth culture and the implications it has on those immersed in it. Can money really make you happy? Is there any way for the rest of us to ascend to wealthy status? Would we even want to? <em>Generation Wealth</em> is currently available on Amazon. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, who are the guests at the State of the Union?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 06, 2019
To Russia With Love
On The Gist, parsing president Trump’s one-on-one press interviews may be a fool’s errand, but at least it’s a fun one.<br><br>In the interview, the Washington Post’s Greg Miller has reported from the murkiest depths of the Trump swamp. He’s on The Gist to talk about Russia’s connections to the Trump campaign, the challenges of covering a hostile White House, and what he suspects Putin really has on Trump. Miller is the author of <a href=""><em>The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, Virginia governor Ralph Northam has to go, but we should still question the warp-speed guillotine that is the internet.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 05, 2019
This Festival Was Fyre
On The Gist, throwback to Mike Pesca's unnecessarily censored yearbook quote. <br><br>In the interview, Seth Crossno, also known by his online persona <a href="">William Needham Finley IV</a>, thought it would be fun to go to the Fyre Festival with his buddies. And while the festival might have been a mess, being a part of two competing documentaries about the experience and winning a lawsuit about it was quite the trip. Crossno is here to discuss what it was like, and why he doesn’t understand how people found Fyre Festival scammer Billy McFarland so charming.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, who can advertise during the Super Bowl.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 02, 2019
Kids Are Weird. You Can Be Weird Too.
On The Gist, get off of your phone and out of my way when it’s snowing.&nbsp; <br><br>In the interview, there’s no one right way to raise a child, but a few hacks sure help. Podcaster, author, and mother Hillary Frank gives you permission to do what it takes to make your kid’s childhood easier on <em>you</em>, including turning tasks into games and telling white lies (call pork “chicken” if that’s all they’ll eat). Hillary Frank is the creator of <a href=""><em>The Longest Shortest Time</em></a> and the author of <a href=";keywords=weird+parenting+wins&amp;tag=googhydr-20&amp;index=aps&amp;hvadid=284052520532&amp;hvpos=1t1&amp;hvnetw=g&amp;hvrand=12352116649345634007&amp;hvpone=&amp;hvptwo=&amp;hvqmt=e&amp;hvdev=c&amp;hvdvcmdl=&amp;hvlocint=&amp;hvlocphy=9004338&amp;hvtargid=kwd-491689006545&amp;ref=pd_sl_1dgp9qbrso_e&amp;tag=googhydr-20&amp;ref=pd_sl_1dgp9qbrso_e&amp;adgrpid=56434984494&amp;hvpone=&amp;hvptwo=&amp;hvadid=284052520532&amp;hvpos=1t1&amp;hvnetw=g&amp;hvrand=12352116649345634007&amp;hvqmt=e&amp;hvdev=c&amp;hvdvcmdl=&amp;hvlocint=&amp;hvlocphy=9004338&amp;hvtargid=kwd-491689006545"><em>Weird Parenting Wins</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, centrism sucks.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jan 31, 2019
Medicare for All, Dissent From None
On The Gist, this one is brought to you by the letter T. <br><br>In the interview, does using a stool really help your stool? Can the Squatty Potty offer any actual health benefits or is that smooth dookie all in your mind? Maybe the contraption’s popular just because it rhymes… Anyway, Maria Konnikova is here to judge, appropriately, whether that is bullshit. <br><br>In the Spiel, Medicare is only a minefield if Democrats make it one.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by Capterra. Try it today, for free, at <a href=";utm_campaign=brand&amp;utm_medium=podcast"></a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jan 31, 2019
E Pluribus Unum, Still?
On The Gist, “the big game” is a dumb way to refer to the Super Bowl.<br><br>If you were to pick a moment in U.S. history that put it on the path to polarization, you could do worse than Watergate. What followed were the blue and red bubbles staked out by CNN in the '80s, Fox News in the '90s, and social media in the 2000s. Princeton professors Kevin Kruse and Julian Zelizer lived through that history, created a course on it, and cover it in their new book,<a href=""><em>Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, Chris Christie’s new book.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by ZipRecruiter. Get started today at <a href=""></a>Gist.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jan 30, 2019
Stone Cold Weirdos
On The Gist, Nancy Pelosi is a skilled politician, sure… but she’s scoring her wins against an incompetent one in president Trump. <br><br>In the interview, we obsess about the lives of stars, but what about their not-so-famous siblings? Comedy Central’s <em>The Other Two </em>focuses on the brother and sister of a pre-teen who rocketed to pop stardom. Drew Tarver plays one of those siblings, and discusses what it’s like living in the shadow of a more famous family member (not just in this role, but in real life). <em>The Other Two </em>airs on Thursdays on Comedy Central. In the Spiel, on the eccentricities of Roger Stone and Randy Credico.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by Slack, the collaboration hub for work. Learn more at<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jan 29, 2019
Big Tent Primaries
On The Gist, pairing 2020 candidates with this or that Oscar-nominated film.<br><br>In the interview, don’t take a shot every time Donna Brazile calls herself one of the Democratic Party’s “original gangsters.” But it’s true: she’s been at the heart of its workings for decades. In 2020, she plans on keeping out of the Democratic primaries, all while keeping up with the many rule changes they’ve adopted since 2016. Brazile is the co-author of <a href=""><em>For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics</em></a>.<br><br>In the Spiel, an analysis of Trump’s shutdown backdown.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jan 26, 2019
Digital Journalism, a Market Failure
On The Gist, Necco Wafers are out this Valentine’s Day, but don’t shed a tear. <br><br>In the interview, some movies live for the twist. Steven Knight’s latest film, <em>Serenity</em>, is ostensibly about a sea captain’s Melvillian obsessions. Knight joins us to talk about how Matthew McConaughey gets it right, Saint Lucia, and writing screenplays in a detached state of mind (“It’s almost like accessing whatever the hell it is that creates dreams”).&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, journalists are losing their jobs. And there’s some BS out there about why that is.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jan 25, 2019
The Dismissal of Kamala Harris
On The Gist, you can’t give Ann Coulter a win.&nbsp; <br><br>Rick Pitino is a former American basketball coach who experienced a number of scandals in the past few years, leading him to leave America for the Greek Basket League. But how did a renowned basketball coach find himself coaching in Greece? Journalist Michael Sokolove is here with the story. Sokolove’s new book is <a href=""><em>The Last Temptation of Rick Pitino: A Story of Corruption, Scandal, and the Big Business of College Basketball</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, dismissing Kamala Harris.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by Slack, the collaboration hub for work. Learn more at<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jan 24, 2019
Will #MeToo Face the Music?
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=""><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=""></a>
Jan 23, 2019
For 2020, Steve King Is Dead Weight
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="">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=""></a>.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jan 19, 2019
Know Your Memes, or Be Fooled by Them
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=""><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=""></a>
Jan 18, 2019
Tax Their Stuff, Not Their Money
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<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jan 17, 2019
Stop Going Nuclear
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=""><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=""></a>
Jan 16, 2019
Against Steve King, Words Aren’t Enough
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=""><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=""></a>
Jan 15, 2019
The Future (of A.I.) Is Chinese
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="">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=""><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<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jan 12, 2019
When Fact Meets Fiction
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=""><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=";utm_campaign=brand&amp;utm_medium=podcast"></a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jan 11, 2019
The Kids Are Not All Right
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="">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=""></a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jan 10, 2019
Addressing the Facts
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<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jan 09, 2019
The Likeability Illusion
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=""><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=""></a>
Jan 08, 2019
What’s Wrong With Motherf---er?
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=""><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<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jan 05, 2019
There’s Something in the Water
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=""><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=""></a>
Jan 04, 2019
Impeachment Is a Real Crapshoot
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=""><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=""></a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jan 03, 2019
Andy Serkis, Motion Capture Master
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=""><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=""></a>
Dec 28, 2018
The Babies Are Not All Right
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="">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=""></a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Dec 28, 2018
The Same Old Mike, Plus The New One
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=""></a>
Dec 22, 2018
Free Money for Everyone?
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=""><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><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Dec 21, 2018
Adam Keeps Ruining Everything
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=""><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><br><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=""></a>
Dec 20, 2018
The Alt-Right Downturn
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=""><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><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Dec 19, 2018
Don’t Trust the Stars
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><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Dec 18, 2018
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
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=""><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><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Dec 15, 2018
One Quiet Leap for Mankind
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><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Dec 14, 2018
When the President Speaks …
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><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Dec 13, 2018
Halls of Fame Need Diversity, Too
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="">Hit Parade</a> and writes Slate’s <a href="">“Why Is This Song No. 1?”</a> column.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, Andrew Sullivan’s new religions.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Dec 12, 2018
They Can’t Hear You, Theresa
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="">Everything Is for Sale Now. Even Us.</a>,<em>”</em> joins us to discuss.<br><br>In the Spiel, the Brexit vote.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Dec 11, 2018
High Time for Impeachment?
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=""><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=""></a>
Dec 08, 2018
The Walk of the Town
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=""><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><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Dec 07, 2018
The Eulogy Myth
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=""><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=""></a>
Dec 06, 2018
Sullying a Pup’s Good Name
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="">George H.W. Bush’s service dog probably wasn’t mourning him</a>.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Dec 05, 2018
Wild Wild Story
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><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Dec 04, 2018
Very Legal, Very Cool
On The Gist, should people be let go for one bad idea? <br><br><a href=""><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.&nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, the very legal and very cool Donald Trump.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Dec 01, 2018
How to Shoot a Fight
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=""></a>
Nov 30, 2018
The Parent Police
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=""><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=""></a>
Nov 29, 2018
Would the U.S. Win World War III?
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=""></a>
Nov 28, 2018
Make Voting Rights Sexy Again
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="">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=""></a>
Nov 27, 2018
Obesity, and You, and Me!
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=""><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><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Nov 21, 2018
The Many, Many Ways to Think About Running
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=""><em>The Incomplete Book of Running</em></a>.<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Nov 21, 2018
Uncle Verne Pulls Up a Chair
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=""><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><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Nov 20, 2018
Ben Stiller’s Big Prison Break
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=""></a>
Nov 17, 2018
Cult Classic
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=""><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=""></a>
Nov 15, 2018
Priming New York for Amazon
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=""></a>
Nov 15, 2018
More Show Than Showdown
On The Gist, when will everyone stop walking and chewing gum at the same time?&nbsp;<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><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Nov 14, 2018
The Love of the (Basketball) Game
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=""><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=""></a>
Nov 13, 2018
Two Countries, at the Cost of One
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=""></a>
Nov 10, 2018
In a Political Bind? Call Bradley Tusk
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=""><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=""></a>
Nov 09, 2018
A Congresswoman Speaks
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=""><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=""></a>
Nov 08, 2018
Just Ask Mimi
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="">Ask Mimi episodes</a> of the Sporkful, and her most recent book is <a href=""><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=""></a>
Nov 07, 2018
What Newt Gingrich Wrought
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=""><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=""></a>
Nov 06, 2018
Root for the Dummy
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=""><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=""></a>
Nov 02, 2018
American Tribes
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=""><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=""></a>
Nov 01, 2018
Hate Counts
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=""></a>
Oct 31, 2018
Signed, Sealed, Forgotten
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=""></a>
Oct 31, 2018
For Every Brand, a Backstory
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=""><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=""></a>
Oct 30, 2018
The Blue Blizzard
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="">here</a>. &nbsp;<br><br>In the Spiel, time for another antentwig.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Oct 26, 2018
Et Tu, NBC?
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=""></a>
Oct 25, 2018
Blame It on the Mailer
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=""></a>
Oct 24, 2018
Something in the Water
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=""><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=""></a>
Oct 24, 2018
The NFL Mafia
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=""><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=""></a>
Oct 23, 2018
Prison Guard Confidential
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=""><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=""></a>
Oct 20, 2018
Land of (Only Some) Opportunity
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="">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=""><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=""></a>
Oct 18, 2018
Myth Management
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=""></a>
Oct 18, 2018
Between a Rock and a Funny Place
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<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Oct 17, 2018
Bare Necessities? Not in Alaska.
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=""></a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Oct 16, 2018
Olive Branch, Turkey Leg
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=""></a>
Oct 13, 2018
Going to The Good Place
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=""></a>
Oct 12, 2018
And What About Yemen?
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=""></a>
Oct 11, 2018
Guarding the Court
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=""></a>
Oct 10, 2018
Take Down the Poll
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=""><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=""></a>
Oct 06, 2018
Sitting President, Standing Anger
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=""><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=""></a>
Oct 05, 2018
Reignited (and It Feels So Good)
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=""><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=""></a>
Oct 03, 2018
Mueller on the Mind
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=""></a>
Oct 03, 2018
College-Aged Coddling
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=""><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=""></a>
Oct 01, 2018
The Kavanaugh Conspiracy
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=""><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=""></a>
Sep 29, 2018
Losing Hate
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=""><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=""></a>
Sep 27, 2018
The Land of Steady Filmmaking
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=""></a>
Sep 27, 2018
Generation Anxiety
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=""></a>
Sep 26, 2018
That’s the First Straw
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=""></a>
Sep 25, 2018
Tight Countries, Loose Countries
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=""><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=""></a>
Sep 21, 2018
What Is … a Podcast, Alex?
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=""><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=""></a>
Sep 20, 2018
Coal Over Climate
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=""></a>
Sep 20, 2018
Owe Me the Money
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 reporter Nick Fouriezos wondering how much political candidates typically owe as they run for office. He <a href="">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=""></a>
Sep 19, 2018
Ethan Hawke’s Earnest Art
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=""><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=""></a>
Sep 18, 2018
Democratic Socialists of America, for the Win?
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=""></a>
Sep 15, 2018
After Family Separations, a Settlement
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="">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=""></a>
Sep 14, 2018
Billionaires Don’t Know Best
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=""><em>Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World</em></a><em>.<br><br></em>In the Spiel, FiveThirtyEight currently <a href="">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=""></a>
Sep 12, 2018
DeRay Mckesson Makes the Case for Hope
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=""><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=""><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=""></a>
Sep 12, 2018
Stylometry for Dummies
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=""></a>
Sep 11, 2018
If You Want Power, Sell It
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=""><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=""></a>
Sep 07, 2018
The DoD Payroll Just Got Smaller
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="">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=""></a>
Sep 06, 2018
Hedging Your Bets With Lake Success
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=""><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=""></a>
Sep 05, 2018
Farming for Red Herring
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="">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=""></a>
Sep 04, 2018
Bright Gays, Big City
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="">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=""></a>
Sep 01, 2018
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=""><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=""></a>
Aug 30, 2018
Fake News Is Nothing New
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=""><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=""></a>
Aug 30, 2018
Gerrymandering and You
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=""><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=""></a>
Aug 29, 2018
#AbolishICE … and Then What?
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=""></a>
Aug 28, 2018
Crazy Rich Asians Is Important
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=""></a>
Aug 25, 2018
Sweep the Left
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=""><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=""></a>
Aug 23, 2018
Don’t Touch The “I” Word
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=""></a>
Aug 22, 2018
Trolls and Trump's Lies
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=""></a>
Aug 21, 2018
What Happened to “America’s Mayor”?
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=""></a>
Aug 20, 2018
Listening to Inanimate Objects
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=""></a>
Aug 17, 2018
Goodbye to the Queen of Soul
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="">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=""></a>
Aug 17, 2018
The Heart of Reality Television
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=""></a>
Aug 15, 2018
Democracy Needs a Reboot
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=""><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=""></a>
Aug 15, 2018
Trump’s Pyrite Touch
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=""><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=""></a>
Aug 14, 2018
Gist Presents: Slow Burn
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="">here</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Aug 11, 2018
Venturing Into Obscurity
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=""></a>
Aug 10, 2018
On Bended Knee
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=""><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=""></a>
Aug 10, 2018
Regulate Me
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=""><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=""></a>
Aug 09, 2018
The Egyptian Seesaw
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=""><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=""></a>
Aug 08, 2018
The Smart Drug
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=""></a>
Aug 07, 2018
Where Is Space?
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="">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=""></a>
Aug 03, 2018
My Life as a Sitcom
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=""><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=""></a>
Aug 02, 2018
Quarter for Carter
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=""><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=""></a>
Aug 02, 2018
Courting Politics
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=""></a>
Jul 31, 2018
They’re More Bad Than We Are Good
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=""><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=""></a>
Jul 31, 2018
The Pushback Artist
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=""><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=""></a>
Jul 28, 2018
The Real Deep State
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=""><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=""></a>
Jul 27, 2018
Lights, Camera, Sexism
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=""><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=""></a>
Jul 26, 2018
The BS! It’s Everywhere!
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=""><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=""></a>
Jul 25, 2018
When Death Row Stalls
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=""></a>
Jul 23, 2018
Bobcat Revival
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=""><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=""></a>
Jul 20, 2018
Democracy Dies in Dark Money
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=""><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=""></a>
Jul 19, 2018
A Piece of Pai
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=""></a>
Jul 19, 2018
The Schoolyard President
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="">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="">Better Life Lab</a> is a partnership of Slate and <a href="">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=""></a>
Jul 18, 2018
Are You Being Servered?
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=""><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=""></a>
Jul 16, 2018
Pardon the Arson
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=""></a>
Jul 13, 2018
A Cancer on the Court
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=""></a>
Jul 13, 2018
Gridiron Man
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=""><em>Jim Brown: Last Man Standing</em></a> and <a href=""><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=""></a>
Jul 11, 2018
Don't Forget About Sex
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="">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=""></a>
Jul 11, 2018
The Hole Picture
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=""><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=""></a>
Jul 10, 2018
Just Use My Data, People
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=""><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=""></a>
Jul 07, 2018
How Quickly We Forget
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=""></a>
Jul 06, 2018
Song, Dance, and Confirmation
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=""><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=""></a>
Jul 03, 2018
Shameless Mitch
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=""><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=""></a>
Jul 03, 2018
In 12,000 Words
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="">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="">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=""></a>
Jun 30, 2018
Does Authenticity Matter?
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=""><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=""></a>
Jun 29, 2018
The Self-Sufficiency Court
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=""></a>
Jun 28, 2018
The Unpopular Vote and a Few Justices
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=""></a>
Jun 27, 2018
The New Rules of Civility
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=""><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=""></a>
Jun 26, 2018
Who Needs Subtext, Anway
On The Gist, Rep. Jim Jordan’s underwhelming attention to detail.&nbsp; <br><br><a href="">Franchesca Ramsey</a> burst onto the YouTube scene with her viral video, “<a href="">Shit White Girls Say… to Black Girls.</a>” Ramsey’s latest video project, MTV News’ <a href=""><em>Decoded</em></a><em>, </em>is similar: fun, earnest, and educational. Ramsey’s book is <a href=""><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=""></a>
Jun 22, 2018
A Song You Can Graduate To
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="">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=""></a>
Jun 21, 2018
Quitters Can’t Be Leaders
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=""><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=""></a>
Jun 20, 2018
Polarization Nation
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="">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=""><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=""></a>
Jun 19, 2018
Oh, Stephen
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=""><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=""></a>
Jun 19, 2018
The Heisenberg Presidency
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=""><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=""></a>
Jun 15, 2018
When Border Policy Crosses the Line
On The Gist, <a href="http://www.mcclatchydc">McClatchy</a> White House correspondent <a href="">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="">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=""></a>
Jun 15, 2018
Cup of Corruption
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="">Ken Bensinger</a> says “more shoes will fall.” Bensinger is the author of <a href=""><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=""></a>
Jun 13, 2018
Summit Skeptical
On The Gist, a brief review of President Trump’s roster of losers (and winners). <br><a href="">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=""><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=""></a>
Jun 12, 2018
G-7 Hangover
On The Gist, if the Trump-Kim summit goes as poorly as the president’s business ventures, we’re doomed.<br><br><a href="">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="">New Yorker</a> contributor and author of <a href=""><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=""></a>
Jun 12, 2018
Comedians Can Be Well-Adjusted, Too
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=""><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=""></a>
Jun 08, 2018
#MeToo and McYoga
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=""><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=""></a>
Jun 08, 2018
James Clapper: Yeah, Russia Swung the Election
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=""><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=""></a>
Jun 06, 2018
So You Think You Know About Race
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=""><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=""></a>
Jun 06, 2018
Shots Fired, but Not Really
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=""><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=""></a>
Jun 05, 2018
It's Not Just You
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=""><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=""></a>
Jun 01, 2018
Folks, We’re Talking About the C-Word
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="">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=""></a>
Jun 01, 2018
Our Trade Snore With China
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="">Alex Richanbach</a> and screenwriter <a href="">Lauryn Kahn</a> about their new Netflix comedy, <a href=""><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=""></a>
May 30, 2018
Chris Gethard Can't Fake It
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=""><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=""></a>
May 29, 2018
Ratatouille Got It Wrong
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=""><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=""></a>
May 26, 2018
Deal With Fake News Yourself, Facebook
On Thursday’s Gist, <a href="">tips</a> for avoiding fake news? Thanks but no thanks, Facebook.<br><br>There’s a <a href="">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="">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="">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=""></a>
May 24, 2018
Thanks for Protesting … Now Stop
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=""><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=""></a>
May 23, 2018
Girls Rule, and Boys Think They Rule More
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="">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=""></a>
May 23, 2018
Two-Party Problems
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="">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=""><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=""></a>
May 22, 2018
Breaking Up Comedy's Boys Club
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="">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=""><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=""></a>
May 18, 2018
Becky Hammon's Next Big Shot
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="">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=""></a>
May 18, 2018
Disconnecting the Dots in Israel
On today’s Gist: laurel or yanny? <br>We have questions about the protests in Israel. <a href="">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="">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=""></a>
May 17, 2018
Introducing Upon Further Review
On today’s Gist, we’re tearing up the playbook. We’re playing the first episode of our new limited-run podcast, <a href="">Upon Further Review</a>, based on the <a href="">book</a> of the same name. In this episode, <a href="">Slow Burn</a> host <a href="">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="">Upon Further Review</a> now.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
May 15, 2018
Does Your Face Need a Workout?
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="">Maria Konnikova</a> is here to scrutinize the case for facial toning. Konnikova is a contributor to the <a href="">New Yorker</a> and the author of <a href=""><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=""></a>
May 14, 2018
Why Putin Matters
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=""><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=""></a>
May 12, 2018
The Long, Long Road of Tiger Woods
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=""><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=""></a>
May 10, 2018
Some Interrogation
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="">Tim Weiner</a> wrote the definitive book on the CIA in 2008 with his <a href=""><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=""></a>
May 09, 2018
Donald and the Don
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="">Alex Roarty</a>, who covers the Democrats for <a href="">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="">Upon Further Review</a>. It’s based on Mike Pesca’s book, <a href=""><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=""></a>
May 09, 2018
Jake Tapper's Very Particular Kind of Escapism
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="">Jake Tapper</a>’s latest book is <a href=""><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="">The Lead</a> and <a href="">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=""></a>
May 08, 2018
The Dangerous Hits of 1991
On The Gist, a movie pitch: Kushner family racket. <br>Returning champion <a href="">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="">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=""></a>
May 04, 2018
Call of Rudy 2
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="">Gautam Mukunda</a> takes a close look at presidential inexperience in his 2012 book, <a href=""><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=""></a>
May 04, 2018
Gen. Michael Hayden
On today’s Gist, a fond farewell to Ty Cobb. <br><a href="">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=""><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=""></a>
May 03, 2018
How We Screwed Over Puerto Rico
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="">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="">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="">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=""></a>
May 02, 2018
A Wolf in Wolf's Clothing
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="">Joseph F. Coughlin</a> explains it all in his book <a href=""><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=""></a>
May 01, 2018
ISIS Isn't Done With
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="">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=""></a>
Apr 27, 2018
Old Man Donald
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="">Amy Walters</a> and WAMU’s <a href="">Patrick Madden</a> can explain everything in their story for Reveal, “<a href="">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=""></a>
Apr 27, 2018
Korematsu, Revisited?
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=""></a>
Apr 26, 2018
The Plain Prince
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="">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="">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=""></a>
Apr 24, 2018
The State of State
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=""></a>
Apr 24, 2018
The Zen of Cohen
On today’s Gist, the retroactively classified memos of James Comey. <br>New Yorker writer <a href="">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=""></a>
Apr 21, 2018
Comey Can't Confess
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="">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=""><em>Pod Save America</em></a> and <a href=""><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=""></a>
Apr 19, 2018
A Fuller Obituary for Barbara Bush
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="">Aaron Stein</a>, co-host of the <a href=""><em>Arms Control Wonk</em></a> podcast. Stein is the author of <a href=""><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=""><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=""></a>
Apr 18, 2018
The Taint Team Cometh
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="">Brent Kendall</a> walks us through the <a href="">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=""></a>
Apr 17, 2018
James Comey's Ego Trip
On Monday’s Gist, we’re counting Pulitzers and powering up. <br><a href="">Jeremy Heimans</a> and <a href="">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=""><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=""></a>
Apr 17, 2018
Chemistry No More
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=""></a>
Apr 14, 2018
"I Never Said That"
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="">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=""></a>
Apr 12, 2018
Tax Cut Conundrum
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="">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=""><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=""></a>
Apr 12, 2018
It's Regulation Time
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=""><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=""></a>
Apr 10, 2018
Zuck Everlasting
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=""></a>
Apr 09, 2018
Andrew Cuomo's Pun Problem
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=""><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=""></a>
Apr 06, 2018
Kevin Williamson Dies by the Sword
On today’s Gist, London’s enviable crime wave. <br>Plus, what will we think of the Obama presidency in 50 years? <a href="">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="">Peniel Joseph</a>, who surveys the Obama administration’s work on criminal justice. Their book is <a href=""><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=""></a>
Apr 05, 2018
Oh Good, It Was Just a Handgun
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="">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=""><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=""></a>
Apr 04, 2018
Shulkin Be Sulkin'
On Tuesday’s Gist, an ode to the end of March Madness. <br>Plus, <a href="">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="">New Yorker</a> and author of <a href=""><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=""></a>
Apr 03, 2018
Clinging to Guns Is Our Religion
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, editor <a href="">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="">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=""></a>
Apr 02, 2018
In Defense of the Pun
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=""></a>
Mar 31, 2018
On Conservative Voices
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=""></a>
Mar 30, 2018
Know Thy Enemy
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=""></a>
Mar 29, 2018
Corruption Just Isn't Telegenic
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=""><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=""></a>
Mar 28, 2018
Hitler's Art Dealer
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=""></a>
Mar 27, 2018
Spies Are People Too
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=""></a>
Mar 24, 2018
As Statues Fall, Racism Stays
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=""><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=""></a>
Mar 23, 2018
This Storm Ain't Brewing
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=""><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=""></a>
Mar 22, 2018
Will Democracy Survive Trump?
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=""><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=""></a>
Mar 21, 2018
Are Receipts Toxic?
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=""><em>New Yorker</em></a> and is the author of <a href=""><em>The Confidence Game</em></a>.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 19, 2018
The Year Groove Went Mainstream
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="">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=""></a>
Mar 17, 2018
Hot or Not: Presidents' Edition
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=""><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=""></a>
Mar 15, 2018
The Rogue at State
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=""></a>
Mar 15, 2018
The Heroes of Colombia
On today’s Gist, the lesser-known story of Colombia: <a href="">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=""><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=""></a>
Mar 14, 2018
Russian Doping, Revisited
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="">Bryan Fogel</a>, whose documentary, <a href=""><em>Icarus</em></a><em>,</em> recently won an Academy Award.<br>In the Spiel, a short conversation with author <a href="">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=""></a>
Mar 12, 2018
North Korea Is Setting the Table
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=""></a>
Mar 10, 2018
No Rules for the Wicked
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=""></a>
Mar 09, 2018
Guns, Controlled
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=""></a>
Mar 08, 2018
The Scapegoat in Chinatown
On The Gist, Lego business is hurting.&nbsp; <br>In <a href="">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=""><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=""></a>
Mar 07, 2018
Ben Carson's Not Worth the Outrage
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=""></a>
Mar 06, 2018
Rejecting Jared
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=""></a>.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 03, 2018
Watching for a Backtrack
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="">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=""></a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 02, 2018
Heal Thyself, Dana Loesch
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="">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=""><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=""></a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Mar 01, 2018
The Abbreviated Highlight Reel of Stacey Dash
Hang onto your skirts: <em>Clueless</em> co-star Stacey Dash is running for Congress. <br>On The Gist, returning champion <a href="">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=""><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=""></a><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 28, 2018
Dissing Dianne Feinstein
On The Gist, President Trump’s latest poetry reading. <br>Last week on the show, we talked about <a href="">the manifold reasons for optimism in the world</a>. This week, Harvard cognitive scientist <a href="">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=""><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=""></a>
Feb 27, 2018
Don't Fall for It
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=""></a>
Feb 23, 2018
Who Can Check Big Tech?
On The Gist, NBC’s coverage of Olympic athletes’ backstories is a little too obvious. <br><br>Slate tech writers <a href="">April Glaser</a> and <a href="">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="">If Then</a>. <br><br>In the Spiel, NRA honcho Wayne LaPierre’s <a href="">speech</a> at the Conservative Political Action Conference was downright loony.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 23, 2018
The World Is Coming Up Roses
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=""><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=""></a>
Feb 22, 2018
Free Money City
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=""></a>
Feb 21, 2018
Ban the AR-15
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=""><em>The Loving Generation</em></a>, a video series by <a href=""></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=""></a>
Feb 17, 2018
Which Side Are You On?
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=""></a>
Feb 16, 2018
Runaway Military Spending
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="">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=""></a>
Feb 15, 2018
Spoon-Fed by the Feds
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="">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=""></a>
Feb 14, 2018
Don’t Call It a White House Shake-Up
On today’s Gist, we get metaphysical. The White House is always in chaos. But can chaos be a permanent condition? <br><a href="">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="">New Yorker</a> is the author of <a href=""><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=""></a>
Feb 13, 2018
Dumb About Deficits
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="">New Yorker</a> staff writer <a href="">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=""></a>
Feb 10, 2018
Is the Iran Deal a Dud?
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=""></a>
Feb 09, 2018
The Longest War Is Lost
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=""><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=""></a>
Feb 08, 2018
America Adrift
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="">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=""></a>
Feb 07, 2018
Phil Rosenthal Eats the World
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=""><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=""></a>
Feb 06, 2018
Philly vs. Boston
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=""><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="">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=""></a>
Feb 03, 2018
LBJ, Reconsidered
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="">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=""></a>
Feb 01, 2018
We Still Have No U.S. Ambassador to South Korea
On The Gist, Trey Gowdy bows out. <br><a href="">Fred Kaplan</a> explains why foreign policy experts are concerned by the Trump administration’s move to <a href="">renege on its choice of ambassador to South Korea</a> at the last minute. Kaplan writes the <a href="">War Stories</a> column for Slate. He is the author, most recently, of <a href=""><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=""></a>
Feb 01, 2018
When All the Jobs Are Gone
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=""><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=""></a>
Jan 31, 2018
The Scholarly Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
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=""></a>
Jan 30, 2018
Good Night, Portlandia
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=""></a>
Jan 27, 2018
He Got Trump’s Taxes
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="">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=""></a>
Jan 26, 2018
Odds, Ends, and Senators
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=""><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=""></a>
Jan 25, 2018
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=""><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=""></a>
Jan 24, 2018
The Dems Have a Bad Hand
On The Gist, what just happened? <br><br>And are Democrats <a href="">sniveling losers or Machiavellian savants</a>?&nbsp; McClatchy reporter <a href="">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=""></a>
Jan 23, 2018
One Year Down
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=""></a>
Jan 20, 2018
Busted: A Gist Productions Parody
On The Gist, how about those Fake News Awards, huh?&nbsp; <br><br><a href="">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=""><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=""></a>
Jan 19, 2018
Wait and CR
On The Gist, the <a href="">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="">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=""><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=""></a>
Jan 18, 2018
Nukes and Crannies
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="">Jeffrey Lewis</a> and <a href="">Aaron Stein</a>, hosts of <a href=""><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=""></a>
Jan 17, 2018
Teenage Brains Are Just Different
On The Gist, Mike examines Trump’s bottom-of-the-barrel statements on immigration. <br><br>In the interview, <a href="">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=";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=""></a>
Jan 13, 2018
Is Trump Insane? Does It Matter?
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=""></a>
Jan 12, 2018
A Cry for Self-Help
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=""><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=""></a>
Jan 11, 2018
Radio Reconciliation
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=""></a>
Jan 10, 2018
What to Make of Fire and Fury
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=""></a>
Jan 09, 2018
Going for Gridiron
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=";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=""></a>
Jan 06, 2018
Move to the Center or Keep on Losing
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=""><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=""></a>
Jan 05, 2018
Killed, Then Counted
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=""></a>
Jan 04, 2018
Behind the Scenes of Slow Burn
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=""></a>
Jan 03, 2018