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Ezra Klein gives you a chance to get inside the heads of the newsmakers and power players in politics and media. These are extended conversations with policymakers, writers, technologists, and business leaders about what they believe in and why. Look elsewhere for posturing confrontation and quick reactions to the day's news. Subscribe for the anti-soundbite.

Ezra Klein gives you a chance to get inside the heads of the newsmakers and power players in politics and media. These are extended conversations with policymakers, writers, technologists, and business leaders about what they believe in and why. Look elsewhere for posturing confrontation and quick reactions to the day's news. Subscribe for the anti-soundbite.
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United States

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Ezra Klein gives you a chance to get inside the heads of the newsmakers and power players in politics and media. These are extended conversations with policymakers, writers, technologists, and business leaders about what they believe in and why. Look elsewhere for posturing confrontation and quick reactions to the day's news. Subscribe for the anti-soundbite.

Language:

English


Episodes

Whitney Phillips explains how Trump controls the media

11/15/2018
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Here’s a fun fact: The best training for understanding the president’s media strategy is to have studied internet trolls for years and years. Okay, maybe that fact wasn’t so fun. Maybe it’s incredibly depressing. At any rate, Whitney Phillips did exactly that. She was one of the earliest scholars of online trolling (yes, that’s a job). She was studying trolling when it was a tiny sideshow. And she was there, studying it, as online trolling got amplified by algorithmic platforms and a...

Duration:01:50:41

Ask Ezra Anything

11/12/2018
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You had questions. Smart, interesting questions. Questions about the zero-sum logic of markets, about whether compromise is possible or even desirable in today’s politics, about where the left goes too far, about local vs. national politics, about how to break into journalism, about Sam Harris and the “Intellectual Dark Web,” about deep work, about spirituality and politics, tribalism and democracy, and whose job it is to persuade racists, anyway. I have, well, not answers, exactly, but...

Duration:01:38:42

Presidents in crisis with Slow Burn’s Leon Neyfakh

11/8/2018
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Slow Burn is one of my favorite podcasts of the past few years. Its first season, on Watergate, relived the confusion, chaos, and strangeness of the Richard Nixon presidency’s collapse. Its second season, on Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky and the surrounding allegations of sexual harassment and even assault, demanded a reckoning with one of the Democratic Party’s living icons. But where some histories use the past to comfort, Leon Neyfakh, Slow Burn’s host and creator, uses it...

Duration:01:27:42

Sandy Darity has a plan to close the wealth gap

11/5/2018
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Here’s something to consider: For families in which the lead earner has a college degree, the average white family has $180,500 in wealth. The average black family? $23,400. That’s a difference of almost $160,000 — $160,000 that could be used to send a kid to college, get through an illness, start a small business, or make a down payment on a home that builds wealth for the next generation, too. Sandy Darity is an economist at Duke University, and much of his work has focused on the racial...

Duration:00:55:39

How identity politics elected Donald Trump

11/1/2018
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Identity Crisis is the most important book written on the 2016 election. Based on reams of data covering virtually every controversy, theory, and explanation for the outcome, it settles many of the debates that have raged over the past two years. More importantly, it offers a framework for thinking about American politics in this era. The authors — political scientists John Sides, Michael Tesler, and Lynn Vavreck — show how identity drives American politics, why our political identities are...

Duration:01:36:54

Rep. Mark Sanford on losing the Republican Party to Donald Trump

10/29/2018
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Mark Sanford was elected to Congress in 1994, where he quickly established himself as one of the most conservative members of the chamber. In 2002, he was elected governor of South Carolina. He was, again, one of the most conservative elected officials in the country. Many expected him to be the GOP’s nominee against Obama in 2012. Then it all happened. The disappearance. “Hiking the Appalachian trail.” Sanford left public life. He was done, it seemed. And then he wasn’t. He won a House...

Duration:01:04:48

Doris Kearns Goodwin (live!) on how great presidents are made

10/25/2018
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If you’ve got a question, Doris Kearns Goodwin has a charming, insightful, well-told presidential anecdote for you. Actually, a couple of them. I interviewed the Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian live onstage for the release of her new book, Leadership: In Turbulent Times, and left the building slightly in awe: Some people are truly masterful storytellers, and Goodwin is one of them. In the book, Goodwin examines how Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt,...

Duration:01:23:15

What Nate Silver's learned about forecasting elections

10/22/2018
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This close to an election, who do I want to hear from? Nate Silver, of course. I sat down with the FiveThirtyEight founder and math wizard to talk about how he builds his forecasting models, what they’re saying about 2018, how big the Democrats’ structural disadvantage in the House and Senate really is, whether there's a purpose to predicting election outcomes, which campaign reporters he reads, and whether Trump is the favorite for 2020. Silver and I also share the experience of building...

Duration:01:21:22

Future Perfect: making prisons more humane

10/20/2018
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A sneak peek at Vox’s newest show, about provocative ideas with the potential to radically improve the world. Host Dylan Matthews tackles big questions about the most effective ways to save lives, reform prisons, fight global warming, and end world poverty, from decisions in Congress to choices in our everyday lives. This episode looks at the American prison system. Karianne Jackson was working for the North Dakota prison system in 2015 when a trip to Norway changed her life. There, she saw...

Duration:00:24:01

Jay Rosen is pessimistic about the media. So am I.

10/18/2018
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This is a tough conversation. It was a tough one to hold, and it’s a tough one to publish. I’m a journalist. I’ve been a journalist for 15 years. I believe in journalism. But right now, I’m worried we’re failing. I’m worried we’re making American politics worse, not better. That’s not because we're not doing remarkable, courageous, heroic work. It’s not because we’re fake news or biased hacks. Look at the #MeToo movement, the investigations of Donald Trump's finances, the remarkable...

Duration:01:22:24

Why Bill Gates is worried

10/15/2018
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“To put it bluntly,” wrote Bill and Melinda Gates in their foundation’s annual Goalkeepers Report, “decades of stunning progress in the fight against poverty and disease may be on the verge of stalling. This is because the poorest parts of the world are growing faster than everywhere else; more babies are being born in the places where it’s hardest to lead a healthy and productive life.” There is no topic in the philanthropic world more fraught than population growth. The history of efforts...

Duration:01:00:50

Reihan Salam makes the case against open borders

10/11/2018
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In his new book, Melting Pot or Civil War: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders, Reihan Salam tries to do something difficult: build a pro-immigrant case for a more restrictive immigration system. This is an argument, interestingly, that’s as much about inequality as it is about immigration. “Diversity is not the problem,” Salam writes. “What’s uniquely pernicious is extreme between-group inequality.” Salam, the executive editor of the National Review, thus makes a...

Duration:01:29:04

Jose Antonio Vargas on living undocumented in Trump’s America

10/8/2018
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Jose Antonio Vargas was born in the Philippines in 1981. When he was 12, his mother sent him to America, to live with family. When he was 16, he went to the DMV to get a driver's license and found out his green card was forged; he was an undocumented immigrant. Vargas went on to be a decorated journalist, winning a Pulitzer as part of the Washington Post team covering the Virginia Tech shootings. He profiled Mark Zuckerberg for the New Yorker and led a technology vertical at the Huffington...

Duration:01:29:14

Rebecca Traister: Women's rage is transforming America

10/4/2018
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Why did Christine Blasey Ford have to smile and politely ask for breaks while Brett Kavanaugh could rage at the cameras and dismiss the hearings as a farce? The answer is in Rebecca Traister’s essential, perfectly timed new book, Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger. It’s a book, Traister writes, about how anger works for men in ways it doesn’t for women. I happened to read it the weekend before the Kavanaugh/Ford hearings, and it was eerily prescient: The book was...

Duration:01:10:08

Patrick Deneen says liberalism has failed. Is he right?

10/1/2018
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Liberalism, write Patrick Deneen, "has been for modern Americans like water for a fish, an encompassing political ecosystem in which we have swum, unaware of its existence.” Deneen, a political theorist at Notre Dame, isn’t talking about the liberalism of the left, the liberalism of Elizabeth Warren or Nancy Pelosi. He’s talking about the liberalism that drives both the left and the right, the one that elevates individual flourishing over groups, families, places, nature. That’s the...

Duration:01:01:32

Francis Fukuyama’s case against identity politics

9/27/2018
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Is all politics identity politics? And if so, then what does it mean to condemn identity politics in the first place? That’s the subject of my discussion with Stanford political scientist Francis Fukuyama. In his new book, Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment, he builds a theory of what identity means in modern societies and how spiraling demands for recognition are tearing at the fabric of our politics. "The retreat on both sides into ever narrower identities...

Duration:01:30:17

Carol Anderson on the myth of American democracy

9/24/2018
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The president of the United States was the runner-up in the popular vote. The majority in the US Senate got fewer votes than the minority. And even if Democrats win a hefty majority of the vote in 2018’s House elections, Republicans, due to gerrymandering and geography, may retain control of the chamber. But it’s not just the structure of our system that eats at America’s democratic claims. It’s the rules being layered on top of it. In 2017, 99 bills to limit voting have been introduced in...

Duration:00:59:23

Martha C. Nussbaum on how fear deforms our politics

9/17/2018
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In her new book Monarchy of Fear, famed philosopher Martha C. Nussbaum identifies fear as the oldest and deepest of our emotions. Fear takes hold in our earliest infancy, when we can experience need but we can’t act. And it lurks underneath our psyches, communities, and polities forever after that. This is a conversation about what fear is and how it shapes our worldviews and our politics. It’s also a conversation about what hope is, and whether embracing it is a choice we can, and should,...

Duration:00:58:09

David French on “The Great White Culture War"

9/10/2018
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David French is a senior writer for National Review and one of the conservatives I read most closely. About a month ago, he published an interesting column responding to some things I had said, and to the broader currents cutting through our politics. “Conservative white Americans look at urban multicultural liberalism and notice an important fact,” he wrote. "Its white elite remains, and continues to enjoy staggering amounts of power and privilege. So when that same white elite applauds...

Duration:01:37:06

Your attention is being hijacked. Chris Bailey can help.

9/4/2018
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Life is the sum focus of what you pay attention to. You hear that a lot. But look at the verb there: “pay” attention to. As if attention is something we consciously spend out. As if it’s something we control. But do we? Not these days. There’s a war on for our attention, and we’re often losing it. Chris Bailey’s Hyperfocus looks, from the outside, like a book about productivity. But it’s really one of the best books I’ve read about attention: what it is, how much it can hold, how we lose...

Duration:01:08:00