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The Ezra Klein Show

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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.

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English


Episodes

David Remnick on journalism in the Trump era and why he hires obsessives

9/19/2017
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For the past 19 years, David Remnick has been the editor of the New Yorker, perhaps the greatest magazine in the English language. Under his leadership, the New Yorker has received 149 nominations for National Magazine Awards and won 37. It’s also, perhaps more impressively, been consistently profitable in an era where many august journalism organizations have seen their business models collapse. And Remnick keeps writing. He’s the author of six books, including Lenin’s Tomb, which won a...

Duration: 01:29:26


What Hillary Clinton really thinks

9/12/2017
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On page 239 of What Happened, Hillary Clinton reveals that she almost ran a very different campaign in 2016. Before announcing for president, she read Peter Barnes’s book With Liberty and Dividends for All, and became fascinated by the idea of using revenue from shared natural resources, like fossil fuel extraction and public airwaves, alongside revenue from taxing public harms, like carbon emissions and risky financial practices, to give every American “a modest basic income.” Her...

Duration: 01:00:55


Dan Rather thought he'd seen it all. But then came President Trump.

9/5/2017
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Dan Rather has covered the most momentous events of the modern era. He was in Dallas, Texas, during President Kennedy's assassination. He was in Vietnam, embedded with US troops, in 1965 and 1966. He reported on Watergate, stood at the Berlin Wall as it fell, and interviewed young Chinese dissidents as tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square. Rather has seen it all. So when I sat down with him a few weeks back, I wanted to know how he compared our current political climate to all of the...

Duration: 01:09:44


From 4Chan to Charlottesville: where the alt-right came from, and where it's going

8/29/2017
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Angela Nagle spent the better part of the past decade in the darkest corners of the internet, learning how online subcultures emerge and thrive on forums like 4chan and Tumblr. The result is her fantastic new book, Kill All the Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan And Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right, a comprehensive exploration of the origins of our current political moment. We talk about the origins of the alt-right, and how the movement morphed from transgressive aesthetics on the...

Duration: 01:27:38


Why prosecutors, not cops, are the keys to criminal justice reform

8/22/2017
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Angela J. Davis is the former director of the DC public defender service, a professor of law at American University, and editor of a remarkable new book titled Policing the Black Man, which pulls together deeply researched essays on virtually every aspect of how black men and black boys interact with the criminal justice system. It is a revelatory, comprehensive tour of the subject that’s often in the news but rarely treated in a thorough way. We cover a lot of ground in this podcast,...

Duration: 01:17:59


Chris Hayes on whether Trump should be removed from office

8/15/2017
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In the aftermath of Trump’s bizarre, dangerous North Korea tweets, I’ve been fixated on a question: Should Trump be removed from office? The mechanisms we have for curbing a dangerous presidency are limited, at least as we normally think about them. Though legal scholars argue over the founders’ intent, impeachment is thought to be a remedy for executive criminality, while the 25th Amendment is only meant to be used amid physical and mental incapacitation. But what if neither...

Duration: 01:07:02


Sen. Michael Bennet on why this is a dismal, sociopathic era in Congress

8/8/2017
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Michael Bennet is an accidental senator. He was unexpectedly appointed to fill an open seat after Ken Salazar joined the Obama administration. He had never run for elected office before, or served in a legislative body. Perhaps that’s why he’s always, in my experience, been appropriately shocked by how the US Congress actually works. Since joining the Senate (and winning reelection in 2010 and 2016), Bennet has become one of its more effective members. He was part of the Gang of Eight...

Duration: 01:19:31


What’s scary isn’t Trump’s illiberalism but America's acceptance of it

8/1/2017
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Yascha Mounk is a lecturer at Harvard, a columnist at Slate, and the host of The Good Fight podcast. He’s also an expert on how democracies backslide into illiberalism — which was the topic of our first conversation on this podcast. But when Mounk and I last spoke, fears of Trump’s illiberal instincts seemed to have been overblown. This was an administration too incompetent to be authoritarian. But Mounk made a prediction then that has, I think, been borne out: Trump’s illiberal...

Duration: 01:06:05


Julia Galef on how to argue better and change your mind more

7/25/2017
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At least in politics, this is an era of awful arguments. Arguments made in bad faith. Arguments in which no one, on either side, is willing to change their mind. Arguments where the points being made do not describe, or influence, the positions being held. Arguments that leave everyone dumber, angrier, sadder. Which is why I wanted to talk to Julia Galef this week. Julia is the host of the Rationally Speaking podcast, a co-founder of the Center for Applied Rationality, and the creator of...

Duration: 01:33:46


Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia, the first psychologist to run a jail

7/18/2017
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Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart calls the 8,000-person Cook County Jail the largest mental health institution in the country. Thirty percent of its inmates have diagnosed mental health issues, and the number with undiagnosed conditions is thought to push the true percentage much higher. So perhaps it’s not surprising that Dart chose Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia, a psychologist, to run it. What is surprising is that Jones Tapia is the first mental health profession to run a jail. In this...

Duration: 01:08:45


Eddie Izzard on World War I, cake or death, and marathoning

7/11/2017
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Now that I've gotten Eddie Izzard to re-derive his famed "cake or death?" routine in real time, I'm ending this podcast. Always good to go out on top. Okay, maybe I won't actually end it. But this episode was a thrill to do. Eddie Izzard has long been one of my favorite comics. I've watched his specials more times than I can count. And this conversation was a real pleasure. Izzard — whose new memoir, Believe Me, is now on shelves — thinks fast, and not always linearly, so we covered a lot...

Duration: 01:13:51


Avik Roy and Ezra debate the Senate GOP's health bill

7/3/2017
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According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Senate GOP’s health care bill — officially known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act — will lead to 22 million fewer people with health insurance and plans with such high deductibles that low-income people won’t be able to afford them. On the bright side? Massive tax cuts for the rich. It’s not a widely popular vision — the bill is struggling to attract Republican support, and is polling between 12 and 17 percent. But it does have...

Duration: 01:26:05


danah boyd on why fake news is so easy to believe

6/27/2017
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danah boyd is an anthropologist and computer scientist who studies the way people actually use technology. Not the way we wish we used technology, or the way we hope we will use technology, but the way we actually use it. “Technology,” she says, "is made by people. In a society. And it has a tendency to mirror and magnify the issues that affect everyday life.” boyd is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research, the founder of Data & Society, a visiting professor at New York University,...

Duration: 01:28:01


Al Franken on learning to be a politician

6/20/2017
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Sen. Al Franken’s new book, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, is the rare politician memoir that’s actually interesting. And note that I said interesting, not funny (though it is also funny). Most books by politicians are about how they’re not really politicians — they’re authentic, they’re honest, they shoot from the hip, they still remember what it was like growing up in a mill town raised by feral dogs and subsisting on nothing but hay. Franken’s book is the opposite: It’s the story of...

Duration: 00:56:37


Zephyr Teachout on suing Trump, fighting corruption, and breaking monopolies

6/13/2017
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Zephyr Teachout is a law professor at Fordham University, the author of Corruption in America, one of the lead lawyers in the emoluments case that’s been brought against Donald Trump, and a former gubernatorial and congressional candidate. Which is all to say that Teachout is someone who knows a lot about political corruption, and so we dive deep into that topic in this podcast. We talk about how political corruption was defined by the Founding Fathers, and why, during the Constitutional...

Duration: 01:33:56


Masha Gessen offers a plausible Trump-Russia theory

6/6/2017
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Masha Gessen is a Russian-American journalist and the author of, among other books, The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. Since the election, she has been analyzing Donald Trump through the lens of Russian politics and personalities in a series of viral essays in the New York Review of Books. But as the Trump campaign's relationship with Russia has evolved into a dominant storyline of his presidency, Gessen has grown skeptical. She thinks the left has been...

Duration: 01:06:17


Kwame Anthony Appiah on cosmopolitanism

5/30/2017
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Few words are as reviled in American politics as “cosmopolitan.” The term invokes sneering, urban, elite condescension. It’s those smug cosmopolitans who led to Donald Trump’s election. It’s those rootless cosmopolitans who’re shipping jobs overseas with no thought for their home communities. Cosmopolitans. Ick. Kwame Anthony Appiah is a British-born Ghanaian-American philosopher at New York University, as well the writer of the New York Times Magazine’s “Ethicist” column. He’s also the...

Duration: 01:08:02


Yascha Mounk: Is Trump’s incompetence saving us from his illiberalism?

5/23/2017
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Yascha Mounk is a Lecturer on Government at Harvard University, a Fellow in the Political Reform Program at New America, and host of the podcast, The Good Fight. He’s also the author of some of the scariest political science research I’ve seen in a long time. What Mounk found is that the consensus we thought existed on behalf of democracy and democratic norms is weakening. The percentage of Americans who think it’s important to live in a democracy has been plummeting in recent decades....

Duration: 01:35:02


Bryan Stevenson on why the opposite of poverty isn’t wealth, but justice

5/16/2017
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Bryan Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. He and his staff have won reversals, relief, or release for more than 115 wrongly convicted prisoners on death row. He’s the author of the power book Just Mercy, and a winner of a MacArthur “Genius” grant. There are only a few people I’d say this about, but he’s a genuine American hero. This conversation begins with one of Stevenson’s most provocative arguments. “The opposite of poverty isn’t wealth,”...

Duration: 01:33:45


Death, Sex, and Money’s Anna Sale on bringing empathy to politics

5/9/2017
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There’s much talk of “empathy” in today’s politics, but it’s a cramped, weaponized form of empathy — an empathy designed to force us to grudgingly tolerate each other, or an empathy used to explain away the reasons we hurt each other. You can glimpse something better in the space Anna Sale creates on the WNYC podcast Death, Sex, and Money. Her show is, in this moment, powerful; the empathy she extends to her guests feels real and deep; the conversations she holds are bracingly difficult...

Duration: 01:13:39

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