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(2556)

Rank #14 in Daily News category

Daily News
News
News Commentary

The Gist

Updated about 17 hours ago

Rank #14 in Daily News category

Daily News
News
News Commentary
Read more

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.

Read more

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.

iTunes Ratings

2556 Ratings
Average Ratings
2025
238
100
91
102

Interesting and Funny

By lordtyger9 - Dec 03 2019
Read more
I really like this podcast. I am a new listener, but I certainly like it a lot.

Glad I found you

By nickanderhoey - Oct 23 2019
Read more
So happy I stumbled upon Mike Pesca. 5 Stars!

iTunes Ratings

2556 Ratings
Average Ratings
2025
238
100
91
102

Interesting and Funny

By lordtyger9 - Dec 03 2019
Read more
I really like this podcast. I am a new listener, but I certainly like it a lot.

Glad I found you

By nickanderhoey - Oct 23 2019
Read more
So happy I stumbled upon Mike Pesca. 5 Stars!

Listen to:

Cover image of The Gist

The Gist

Updated about 17 hours ago

Read more

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.

Kamala Is Out

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On The Gist, Kamala Harris. 

In the Interview, Mike talks to Slate writer Julia Craven about Kamala Harris’ decision to end her White House bid, the internal crises that broke out within her campaign, and why, after a promising start, she struggled to stand out in the crowded Democratic race.

In the Spiel, a sperm whale and straws. 

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Dec 04 2019

28mins

Play

Alex Gibney's Citizen K

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On The Gist, Chuck Todd did good.

In the interview, documentarian Alex Gibney is here to discuss his newest film, Citizen K, about former Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Putin’s Russia. They discuss what led to Khodorkovsky’s exile, and the way his story reveals the current state of Russian affairs.

In the Spiel, Mike’s Thanksgiving weekend.

Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Dec 03 2019

39mins

Play

Trump Will Lose in 2020

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On The Gist, it’s a good day for those who love quarterly fundraising numbers among Democratic presidential candidates!

In the interview, we’re used to the Nate Silver approach to election forecasting, using constantly changing polling data to predict the likelihood of this or that result. But Rachel Bitecofer, assistant director of the Wason Center for Public Policy, has a better way. Her new model, based on negative partisanship and demographics, is more static, and proved spot-on in 2018. So what does it have to say for 2020? 

In the Spiel, a theory on what’s really keeping Kellyanne and George Conway together.

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Jul 17 2019

31mins

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Sweep the Left

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On The Gist, nobody move or the economy gets it, Trump says.

The guys behind the left’s most irreverent podcast (Chapo Trap House) want the Democratic Party to forget about Robert Mueller and set their sights on 2020. But in the short term? They’re rooting for a blue wave. Alongside Felix Biederman and Brendan James, Thursday’s guests Matt Christman, Will Menaker, and Virgil Texas are co-authors of The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto Against Logic, Facts, and Reason.

In the Spiel, when you hear “everyone does it” down in Washington, you know something’s amiss.

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Aug 23 2018

24mins

Play

Between a Rock and a Funny Place

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On The Gist, Saudi Arabia, Trump, and Jamal Khashoggi. 

Comedy Cellar owner Noam Dworman has had a post-scandal Louis C.K. take to his stage six times now. Why does he welcome him, and if he doesn’t draw the line at Louis, is it somewhere else? 

In the Spiel, the death of Nevada Republican candidate Dennis Hof. 

This episode is brought to you by Merrill Lynch. Get started today at ML.com/you.

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Oct 17 2018

30mins

Play

The Mystery of Ivanka Trump

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On The Gist, journalist and podcast host Lauren Ober was shocked to realize Chelsea Manning is back in jail.

In the interview, Ober talks with journalist Vanessa Grigoriadis about the new podcast Tabloid: The Making of Ivanka Trump. What’s it like to go from aspiring socialite to familial lackey? Is there any room for pity? And when is she headed for Burning Man?

In the Spiel, female political fashion.

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Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here!

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Aug 28 2019

33mins

Play

Un-Biel-ievable

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On The Gist, Canada declares war on the plastic straw.   

In the interview, Emmy Blotnick has written for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and served as head writer on The President Show. But she also does stand-up, including in her new album Party Nights, where she gets into her love of pop music and why she joined a social networking site… for tea-drinkers. Blotnick’s album is streaming now—and her next show is at The Bell House in Brooklyn on July 6. 

In the Spiel, there’s no good reason for the news media to cover Jessica Biel’s anti-vaxxer stance.

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Jun 14 2019

29mins

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Warren’s Wealth Tax Isn’t Enough

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On The Gist, Democrats bob and weave around the question of abortion.

In the interview, victims of crimes are often sidelined in the judicial process—the perpetrator is punished, but his or her target isn’t given the opportunity to set up the kind of face-to-face meeting that might help them heal. Restorative justice seeks to change that, and Lara Bazelon is out with a book on how it applies to those who have been exonerated after wrongful convictions. Bazelon is an associate professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, and the author of Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction

In the Spiel, even with every benefit of the doubt, Elizabeth Warren’s policy ideas just aren’t fundable.

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Jun 11 2019

38mins

Play

A Generalist and a Scholar

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On The Gist, who doesn’t get to be at the debates?

In the interview, David Epstein’s new book Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World is all about how having a wide base of knowledge is so much better than narrowing your focus. He’s here to talk Roger Federer versus Tiger Woods, how fiction helped him retool his book, and what Malcolm Gladwell got wrong. 

In the Spiel, this is stupid.

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Jun 14 2019

31mins

Play

Halls of Fame Need Diversity, Too

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On The Gist, it’s tough to find a host for the Oscars.

In the interview, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame can quickly become incestuous, since past winners get to vote on future inductees. But this year’s 15 nominees break the mold of guitar-slinging dudes with long hair. Sure, Def Leppard is in the running, but so are LL Cool J, Janet Jackson, and Kraftwerk. Music critic Chris Molanphy himself has a vote, and tells us what his ballot looks like. Molanphy is the host of the Slate podcast Hit Parade and writes Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” column. 

In the Spiel, Andrew Sullivan’s new religions.

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Dec 12 2018

39mins

Play

Blame It on the Mailer

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On The Gist, Megyn Kelly’s take on blackface was obviously wrong … and wrong for NBC’s messaging.

Sleep isn’t for the weak; it’s for those who want their brains flushed of misfolded proteins and fatigue-inducing adenosine. If that sounds like mumbo-jumbo, Maria Konnikova is here to explain it all and answer one question: Is the prescription for precisely eight hours of sleep bullshit?

In the Spiel, President Trump riles up his base in all kinds of ways, but we can’t honestly blame the recent spate of mail bombs on him and him alone.

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Oct 24 2018

29mins

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The Divergent Charts of 1994

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On The Gist, two popes is one pope too many.

In the interview, songs like “The Sign” and “I’ll Make Love to You” dominated the charts in 1994, but they weren’t all that emblematic of what was happening in music that year. Chris Molanphy has ideas as to why, and also opines on why there were so few number one singles that year—and why was Lisa Loeb considered alternative rock? Molanphy has answers, and is the host of the Hit Parade podcast. He also writes Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” column.

In the Spiel, Rep. Katie Porter’s viral moment—taking Jamie Dimon to task for his huge salary—is a little dishonest.

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Apr 13 2019

39mins

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The NFL Mafia

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On The Gist, ’tis the season (elections!) for baseless political analysis, courtesy of big network news.

Americans spend countless hours watching football, but what do they know about the owners of their favorite teams? In Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Times, Mark Leibovich covers the exclusive billionaire boys’ club and the “very unimpressive group of inherited misfits” that fills its ranks.

In the Spiel, CNN’s Van Jones was way too chummy with interview guest Jared Kushner on Monday morning.

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Oct 23 2018

33mins

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Democratic Socialists of America, for the Win?

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On The Gist, Vladimir Putin, RT, and the Salisbury poisoning.  

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might have scary values to conservatives. But to the national director of the Democratic Socialists of America, she’s a moderate. Maria Svart calls the DSA a “big tent organization,” meaning it makes room for everything from AOC’s Scandinavian-style social policies to the more radical workforce ownership of businesses. 

In the Spiel, the end of primary season.

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Sep 15 2018

31mins

Play

The Great Denial

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On The Gist, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Maria Konnikova is back for another “Is That Bullshit?” In the Interview, she talks to Mike about DOGTV, a cable network made for dogs. Maria breaks down whether or not DOGTV helps dogs feel a little less lonely while their owners are away and if DOGTV programming is truly relaxing for dogs. Maria’s latest book is The Confidence Game.

In the Spiel, Rep. Jim Jordan and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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Nov 28 2019

32mins

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Prison Guard Confidential

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On The Gist, Europeans are fighting over daylight saving time, which is way better than having a World War.

Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer has been on both sides of a prison’s bars. After spending two years as a political prisoner in Iran, he returned to the U.S. and got a job as a private prison guard. His real aim, of course, was to report on why the American prison system—private and public—is broken. Bauer’s new book is American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey Into the Business of Punishment.

In the Spiel, a debate roundup ahead of the midterms.

This episode is brought to you by Exchanges, a podcast from Goldman Sachs. Listen today wherever you get your podcasts.

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Oct 20 2018

33mins

Play

American Tribes

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On The Gist, Pew’s analysis of European opinion surveys is out. Let’s look at Greece!

In the interview, the American electorate has come to sort itself not just on political issues, but by worldview. Life is either a gauntlet of hazards (say Republicans) or an array of sights to see (as the Dems think). In their latest book, Prius or Pickup?, political scientists Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler warn that these philosophical differences are sharper than what separated the voting blocs of previous generations.

In the Spiel, Trump is out with a racist political ad, surprising precisely no one.

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Nov 01 2018

36mins

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Take Down the Poll

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On The Gist, after all of that, not a single senator changed his or her vote to back (or stop) Kavanaugh.

In the interview, Jill Lepore’s new book focuses in part on the marginalized groups forgotten by other American histories. It also denounces the polling industry born in the ’30s, which turned politics into business even as it ignored black Americans, slowing their march for civil rights. Lepore’s book is These Truths: A History of the United States.

In the Spiel, don’t forget that the political pendulum always swings back.

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Oct 06 2018

28mins

Play

Trump’s Chaotic Approach to Iran

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On The Gist, how much sanity does it cost to change a lightbulb?   

In the interview, babies don’t come with instructional manuals, but the publishing industry is more than ready to bombard new parents with the latest, always evolving wisdom on how to raise a human right. But Emily Oster’s new book is a rare scientific look at child-rearing, grounded in her expertise as a rational economist and her experience as an anxious mother. Oster is the author of Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool.    

In the Spiel, president Trump’s directionless foreign policy is on full display against Iran.

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Jun 21 2019

30mins

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Where Christianity Meets Big Oil

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On The Gist, Trump knows how to produce himself.

In the interview, America’s discovery of oil fields has long been entwined with godly significance—whether these were exploited by oil barons like the Rockefellers or the smaller producers (or “wildcatters”) they contended with. University of Notre Dame historian Darren Dochuk explores the intersection of oil and religion in America in his new book, Anointed with Oil: How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America

In the Spiel, Iran and attacks on oil tankers.

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Jun 18 2019

25mins

Play

Discredited Nincompoop Nunes Is (Slightly) Vindicated

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On the Gist, the problem with democracies.

In the interview, Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution and Lawfare is on the phone with Mike today to talk about Devin Nunes’ memo from 2017 in light of the recent Inspector General’s report. What did Nunes get right and wrong? And was it enough to let us stop calling him a nincompoop?

In the spiel, McKinsey and Pete Buttigieg.

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Dec 12 2019

32mins

Play

Expecting History to Judge

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On the Gist, William Barr and malfeasance.

In the interview, comedians Drennon Davis and Mike Phirman are here to talk about their podcast Bandtastic, a sci-fi musical for the family. They talk with Mike about how the project came about, adult and child humor, and DJ Yeah.

In the spiel, impeachment and history. 

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Dec 11 2019

33mins

Play

Not a Point of Order

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On the Gist, fighting Biden.

In the interview, Mike talks to sports journalist and author Joe Posnanski about the elusive Houdini. They talk about how Erik Weisz became the great Harry Houdini, how the man transformed himself from failing magician to famous escape artist, and the myths shrouding his mysterious death. Joe’s book is The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini.

In the spiel, points of order.

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Dec 10 2019

32mins

Play

The Truth Behind the Steele Dossier

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On The Gist, Chuck Todd.

In the Interview, former The Wall Street Journal reporter and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson is here to talk with Mike about the Steele dossier, the infamous pee tape, and his regrets and hopes around the dossier’s coverage. His new book with co-author Peter Fritsch is Crime in Progress: Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump.

In the Spiel, Cory Booker’s theory on why Kamala Harris dropped out. 

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Dec 07 2019

25mins

Play

Biden Wants a Fight

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On The Gist, UNESCO.

In the Interview, Mike talks to Bina Venkataraman, The Boston Globe editorial page editor. They talk about the best ways to tackle climate change, how to encourage people to think long-term, and whether or not humanity will make it past the year 2200. Her new book is The Optimist's Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age.

In the Spiel, Joe Biden confronting an 83-year-old farmer in Iowa.

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Dec 06 2019

32mins

Play

Making the Worse Argument

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On The Gist, unpopular opinions.

In the Interview, Mike talks to actor Kal Penn about his sitcom Sunnyside. They discuss how he came up with the idea for the show, his time working for the Obama administration, and the Easter eggs hidden throughout the season. You can watch Sunnyside on Hulu, Amazon, and other streaming platforms.

In the Spiel, the rebuttal to impeachment.

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Dec 05 2019

34mins

Play

Kamala Is Out

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On The Gist, Kamala Harris. 

In the Interview, Mike talks to Slate writer Julia Craven about Kamala Harris’ decision to end her White House bid, the internal crises that broke out within her campaign, and why, after a promising start, she struggled to stand out in the crowded Democratic race.

In the Spiel, a sperm whale and straws. 

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Dec 04 2019

28mins

Play

Alex Gibney's Citizen K

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On The Gist, Chuck Todd did good.

In the interview, documentarian Alex Gibney is here to discuss his newest film, Citizen K, about former Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Putin’s Russia. They discuss what led to Khodorkovsky’s exile, and the way his story reveals the current state of Russian affairs.

In the Spiel, Mike’s Thanksgiving weekend.

Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Dec 03 2019

39mins

Play

The Great Denial

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On The Gist, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Maria Konnikova is back for another “Is That Bullshit?” In the Interview, she talks to Mike about DOGTV, a cable network made for dogs. Maria breaks down whether or not DOGTV helps dogs feel a little less lonely while their owners are away and if DOGTV programming is truly relaxing for dogs. Maria’s latest book is The Confidence Game.

In the Spiel, Rep. Jim Jordan and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 28 2019

32mins

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The Business of Apples

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On The Gist, beavers.

In the interview, Mike talks to The Sporkful host Dan Pashman about Washington State University’s latest creation—the Cosmic Crisp apple. Pashman explains the birth of this new apple, how it compares to other varieties, and quizzes Mike in a game called "Apple Variety or New England Town." Listen to The Sporkful episode, “A New Apple Is Born,” wherever you get your podcasts.

In the Spiel, Prince Andrew. 

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Nov 27 2019

29mins

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Paving the Way to Progressive America

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On The Gist, Nikki Haley.

In the interview, Mike talks to Senator Sherrod Brown about his new book Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America. They talk about these forgotten figures, what people can learn from them, and the power and limits of bi-partisanship.

In the Spiel, South Carolina.

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Nov 26 2019

36mins

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Game

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On The Gist, Joe Biden again.

Then Mike speaks with Slate blogger Ben Mathis-Lilley about impeachment.

And we end with an interview with Chris Molanphy, who is back to run through the nominees for this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He and Mike talk about the new nominees, those who’ve appeared time and again, and the game theory of it all. Chris is the host of Hit Parade and writes the column “Why Is This Song Number One?”

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Nov 22 2019

33mins

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David Shulkin Knows Sacrifice

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On The Gist, is Pete Buttigieg ready?

In the interview, Mike talks to former United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin about his time in office, how he drastically reduced wait times at VA medical centers, and the infamous tweet that got him fired. His new book is It Shouldn't Be This Hard to Serve Your Country: Our Broken Government and the Plight of Veterans.

In the Spiel, Fiona Hill. 

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Nov 22 2019

32mins

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Gordon Sondland Has No Clue

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On The Gist, Representative John Ratcliffe.

In the interview, Mike talks to CIA whistleblower Jeffery Sterling about his CIA career, how he blew the whistle on a bungled covert operation in Iran in 2015, and his life after serving time. His new book is Unwanted Spy: The Persecution of an American Whistleblower.

In the Spiel, Gordon Sondland. 

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Nov 21 2019

30mins

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Another Day, Another Impeachment Hearing

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On The Gist, the MSNBC and The Washington Post Democratic debate.

In the interview, Mike talks to actor June Diane Raphael of Grace and Frankie about her call to activism after the 2016 election, working with Emily’s List, and encouraging more women to run for office. Her new book is Represent: The Woman’s Guide to Running for Office and Changing the World.

In the Spiel, the impeachment saga. 

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Nov 20 2019

33mins

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Crowdfunding Creativity

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On The Gist, Pete Buttigieg.

In the interview, Mike talks to Yancey Strickler, co-founder of Kickstarter, about the company’s origins, the challenges of developing creator guidelines, and what he thinks about wealth in the tech industry. His new book is This Could Be Our Future.

In the Spiel, Mayor Bloomberg and stop-and-frisk.

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Nov 19 2019

35mins

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Devin Nunes Is a Nincompoop

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On The Gist, Elizabeth Warren’s new plan.

In the interview, Jamil Zaki is here to discuss his new book The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World. He and Mike debate the merits of sympathy versus empathy, and discuss the ways we view empathy may not be the way we live with it.

In the Spiel, Devin Nunes, disgraced nincompoop.

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Nov 16 2019

29mins

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The Business of Celebrity Tabloids

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On The Gist, Nancy Pelosi. 

In the interview, Mike talks to filmmaker Mark Landsman and former National Enquirer editor-in-chief Steve Coz about their new documentary Scandalous: The True Story of the National Enquirer. They discuss ethics, Trump, and how the publication’s tactics have changed over the years.

In the Spiel, need a dose of pizzazz?

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Nov 15 2019

27mins

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The Threat of Democracy

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On The Gist, Purple: Project for Democracy.

In the interview, Mike talks to writer and National Review editor Rich Lowry about the tradition of American nationalism, how to reclaim the term, and why we need it more than ever. His new book is The Case for Nationalism: How It Made Us Powerful, United, and Free.

In the Spiel, the impeachment hearing, Giuliani, and corruption.

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Nov 14 2019

32mins

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For the Love of Scandal

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On The Gist, treason and bribery. 

In the interview, Irish writer and critic Fintan O’Toole talks to Mike about Brexit, the nationalist wave sweeping England, and country’s future without the European Union. His book The Politics of Pain: Postwar England and the Rise of Nationalism is out now. 

In the Spiel, scandals and apologies.

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Nov 13 2019

34mins

Play