Hell & High Water with John Heilemann

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A ravenous pandemic. A ruinous recession. Protests, riots, racial strife, police brutality. And, of course, Donald Trump. The turmoil and upheaval roiling America in 2020 is the subject of Hell & High Water with John Heilemann. Through a series of conversations with the people shaping our culture — in politics, entertainment, business, technology, sports, food, and beyond — best-selling author and TV host John Heilemann (Game Change, Double Down, Showtime's The Circus) explores how the country is grappling with this apocalyptic moment and its existential stakes... and attempting to pull through and rise above it.

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    • Jan 24, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 1h 6m AVG DURATION
    • 196 EPISODES

    4.8 from 2,990 ratings Listeners of Hell & High Water with John Heilemann that love the show mention: nicole wallace, heilman, heilemann, nicolle wallace, love nicolle, sisters in law, james carville, deadline white house, plouffe, laddie, john h, cory booker, scarborough, dave chang, good lord, hi john, marques, render, killer mike, palin.



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    Latest episodes from Hell & High Water with John Heilemann

    Ken Burns

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 24, 2023 77:32


    In which John Heilemann talks with documentarian Ken Burns, whose new four-part series, Muhammad Ali, premiered this week on PBS. Heilemann and Burns discuss Ali's life and legacy as the most important athlete of the 20th century, in particular how his story transcends sports, intersecting with the defining issues of his era (race, religion, politics, protest) and illuminating much about the American experience in the convulsive Sixties and Seventies; Burns's prodigious body of work, which has earned him two Academy Award nominations, 15 Emmys, and two Grammys, and has made him the dominant practitioner of his art form over the past 40 years; the landmark films within his oeuvre — multi-part television events such as The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, and The Vietnam War, some running nearly 20 hours in length — and how Burns found himself imbued with the power to get such sprawling projects made; and the central role that race has occupied in his work, and in the American story. Burns also reflects on his childhood and how it inspired his career, and what it was like to co-direct the Ali series with his oldest daughter Sarah and her husband. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Julia Ioffe and Michael McFaul

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 17, 2023 60:27


    In which John Heilemann discusses the Russia invasion of Ukraine -- and its far-reaching implications for Europe, Joe Biden's presidency, Vladimir Putin's place in history, and the global security writ large -- with former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul and Puck News correspondent Julia Ioffe. Heilemann, McFaul, and Ioffe talk about Russia's unprovoked and unjustified assault on Ukraine; Putin's miscalculations regarding the strength of the NATO alliance, internal Russian opposition to the war, and the resolve of the Ukrainian people; and what's at stake for an already shaky international order. They also marvel at how elements of both the American right and left have improbably become full-fledged Putin apologists ... and even Putin admirers.One of the things that makes it possible for us to make this show is by selling sponsorships to advertisers. And one of the things that would be helpful in getting more sponsors is if you tell us a little bit about who you are. To do that, please fill out this quick survey at https://survey.fan/hhw. Thanks for your help! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Michael Bender, Part 2

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 11, 2023 45:02


    In which John Heilemann talks with Mike Bender, senior White House reporter for The Wall Street Journal and author of Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost, for a special two-part episode of the podcast. Heilemann and Bender discuss the latter's new book and its news-making account of Trump's cataclysmic final year in office and doomstruck reelection campaign; how the president mishandled the series of crises that beset the country in 2020, from Covid to the protests after the murder of George Floyd; his contraction of the coronavirus and obsession with Hunter Biden in the campaign's waning days; his actions behind the scenes and motivations in fanning the flames before and during the January 6 attack on the Capitol; the symbiotic relationship between Trump and the national media; Trump's continued post-presidential hold on the Republican Party; and both his and his party's future. Bender also discusses his career in journalism, his daily battle with his father for rights to the sports page of the Cleveland Plain Dealer when he was growing up, and the special challenges of writing about a White House filled with unreliable narrators.Check back tomorrow for the second installment of this special edition of Hell & High Water. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Michael Bender, Part 1

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 10, 2023 56:06


    In which John Heilemann talks with Mike Bender, senior White House reporter for The Wall Street Journal and author of Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost, for a special two-part episode of the podcast. Heilemann and Bender discuss the latter's new book and its news-making account of Trump's cataclysmic final year in office and doomstruck reelection campaign; how the president mishandled the series of crises that beset the country in 2020, from Covid to the protests after the murder of George Floyd; his contraction of the coronavirus and obsession with Hunter Biden in the campaign's waning days; his actions behind the scenes and motivations in fanning the flames before and during the January 6 attack on the Capitol; the symbiotic relationship between Trump and the national media; Trump's continued post-presidential hold on the Republican Party; and both his and his party's future. Bender also discusses his career in journalism, his daily battle with his father for rights to the sports page of the Cleveland Plain Dealer when he was growing up, and the special challenges of writing about a White House filled with unreliable narrators.Check back tomorrow for the second installment of this special edition of Hell & High Water. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Hasan Minhaj

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 3, 2023 100:25


    John Heilemann talks with two-time Peabody Award-winning comedian Hasan Minhaj, best known for hosting six seasons of the Netflix series Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj and his widely acclaimed Netflix special, Homecoming King. Heilemann and Minhaj discuss his early career as a comic and the centrality of his background as a first-generation Indian- and Muslim-American to his work; his breakout stint as a correspondent for The Daily Show and how it shaped his political and social commentary; his 2017 performance at the White House Correspondents dinner and his return to the capital two years later to testify before Congress on the student loan crisis; and the embrace of Homecoming King as a "calling card for a new brown America." They also discuss The King's Jester, Minhaj's current one-man show and the subject of his next Netflix special, in which he examines his pursuit of fame and social media clout — and the unexpected risks it ultimately posed both to him and his family. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Kara Swisher

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 27, 2022 76:16


    In which John Heilemann talks with Kara Swisher, arguably the preeminent chronicler (and frequent critic) of the companies, personalities, and culture of Silicon Valley and the technology world writ large. Heilemann and Swisher, a protean reporter and pundit whose vast array of endeavors includes hosting the New York Times podcast Sway and serving as a contributing opinion writer at the paper, discuss Spotify's handling of the Joe Rogan controversy, how the pandemic has shifted the tech landscape, the recent stock plunge that erased more than $200 billion from the market value of Meta, and what to make of two of the most powerful — and maddening — hyper-capitalists of the age: Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg. They also look back at their parallel paths covering Silicon Valley during the first Internet boom (and bubble, and bust) in the late 1990s; how Swisher's lesbian identity affected her ability to cover the Valley's notorious tech bro culture; and how her restlessness, entrepreneurial itch, and proud status as a self-described "bad employee" sets her apart from the journalistic herd. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Stevie Van Zandt, Part 2

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 21, 2022 69:20


    In which John Heilemann talks with Stevie Van Zandt, a founding member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, co-star of The Sopranos, and author of a new memoir, Unrequited Infatuations. In this special two-part episode, Heilemann and Van Zandt discuss his early musical influences, the foundations of his best friendship with Springsteen, the extraordinary albums they made together in the 1970s—Born to Run, Darkness on the Edge of Town, The River—and the painful breakup that caused Van Zandt to commit "career suicide" by leaving the band on the brink of its becoming the biggest rock act in the world; his solo career as a musician and political activist, in particular his crucial part in the movement to dismantle the apartheid regime in South Africa; his unlikely emergence as a beloved actor in the role of Silvio Dante opposite James Gandolfini in David Chase's acclaimed HBO mobster series; and his reconciliation with Springsteen and return to the E Street Band two decades after his departure. Van Zandt also explains why he fought The Boss over calling his group The E Street Band — and still considers it a piss-poor name — and Van Zandt's view that the debate over "sways" versus "waves" in the lyrics of "Thunder Road" is no debate at all. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Stevie Van Zandt, Part 1

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 20, 2022 69:30


    In which John Heilemann talks with Stevie Van Zandt, a founding member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, co-star of The Sopranos, and author of a new memoir, Unrequited Infatuations. In this special two-part episode, Heilemann and Van Zandt discuss his early musical influences, the foundations of his best friendship with Springsteen, the extraordinary albums they made together in the 1970s—Born to Run, Darkness on the Edge of Town, The River—and the painful breakup that caused Van Zandt to commit "career suicide" by leaving the band on the brink of its becoming the biggest rock act in the world; his solo career as a musician and political activist, in particular his crucial part in the movement to dismantle the apartheid regime in South Africa; his unlikely emergence as a beloved actor in the role of Silvio Dante opposite James Gandolfini in David Chase's acclaimed HBO mobster series; and his reconciliation with Springsteen and return to the E Street Band two decades after his departure. Van Zandt also explains why he fought The Boss over calling his group The E Street Band — and still considers it a piss-poor name — and Van Zandt's view that the debate over "sways" versus "waves" in the lyrics of "Thunder Road" is no debate at all. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Tenacious D

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 13, 2022 75:46


    When Jack Black and Kyle Gass formed the mock-rock band Tenacious D in 1994, they were just a pair of unknown members of The Actors' Gang in LA with a spiritual and satirical kinship with Spinal Tap, a penchant for R-rated lyrics about their sexual prowess and prodigious cannabis consumption, and surprisingly serious musical chops. Twenty-six years later, Tenacious D has accumulated a large and passionate following, released three platinum albums and a feature film, and won a Grammy Award — and Black, of course, has become a movie star. In this final 2020 episode of Hell & High Water, Heilemann talks with Black and Gass about the group's turn towards the political following Donald Trump's election, from its "South Park"-flavored album/YouTube series/graphic novel "Post-Apocalypto" to its viral, celebrity-studded, get-out-the-vote video cover of "Time Warp" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (which included Heilemann) ... as well as Black's breakout role in "High Fidelity," his wildly popular quarantine videos on TikTok, and Tenacious D's top five records for celebrating the end of the Trump era. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Aaron Sorkin

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2022 52:58


    Over the past three decades, Aaron Sorkin has staked a claim as America's most renowned film and television writer. With a list of credits that runs from "A Few Good Men," "The American President, "The Social Network," and "Moneyball" on the big screen to "Sports Night," "The Newsroom," and his crowning achievement, "The West Wing," on TV, Sorkin's work has achieved vast popular success, critical acclaim, and cultural resonance. On this week's episode, Hell & High Water continues its year-end review, with Heilemann and Sorkin discussing how COVID-19, Trump's final year in office, and the racial justice movement affected Hollywood in general and three of Sorkin's projects in particular: his stage version of "To Kill a Mockingbird," the reunion episode of "The West Wing," and his film "The Trial of the Chicago 7." Sorkin also offers his lists of top TV shows and movies of the year — and his favorite political films of all time. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Killer Mike, Part 2

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2022 43:42


    Michael Santiago Render, aka Killer Mike, is one of the most vital figures in the worlds of both hip hop and progressive activism. Best known as one half of the acclaimed rap duo Run The Jewels, Render gained notoriety in the political realm as a prominent backer of Bernie Sanders and a fierce advocate for Black economic empowerment. In the wake of George Floyd's killing, Render delivered a tearful televised plea to protestors not to torch his beloved home city of Atlanta; the video went viral and earned him a new legion of admirers around the country. A few days later, Run the Jewels released its fourth album, “RTJ4”, which captured the anger, despair, and calls for racial justice echoing from coast to coast and was widely hailed as the dystopian soundtrack of 2020. In this first-ever two-part episode of Hell & High Water, Heilemann and Render discuss race and police violence, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, Georgia's outsized role in the 2020 election, Ice Cube, Kanye West, Dave Chappelle, and much, much more. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Killer Mike, Part 1

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2022 65:27


    Michael Santiago Render, aka Killer Mike, is one of the most vital figures in the worlds of both hip hop and progressive activism. Best known as one half of the acclaimed rap duo Run The Jewels, Render gained notoriety in the political realm as a prominent backer of Bernie Sanders and a fierce advocate for Black economic empowerment. In the wake of George Floyd's killing, Render delivered a tearful televised plea to protestors not to torch his beloved home city of Atlanta; the video went viral and earned him a new legion of admirers around the country. A few days later, Run the Jewels released its fourth album, “RTJ4”, which captured the anger, despair, and calls for racial justice echoing from coast to coast and was widely hailed as the dystopian soundtrack of 2020. In this first-ever two-part episode of Hell & High Water, Heilemann and Render discuss race and police violence, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, Georgia's outsized role in the 2020 election, Ice Cube, Kanye West, Dave Chappelle, and much, much more. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Adam Scott

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2022 67:10


    In which John Heilemann talks with actor Adam Scott, best known for his roles in beloved sitcoms including Parks and Recreation and The Good Place. Heilemann and Scott discuss his latest role in Severance, the new Apple TV+ sci-fi series directed by Ben Stiller; why the comedy veteran was eager to take part in the psychological drama; and how the backdrop of Covid-19 and the Trump presidency contributed to the dystopian nature of the show. They also reflect on Scott's career – from his decade-plus as a struggling actor, his breakout role in Step Brothers, and his penchant for playing wanton assholes to hilarious effect – and look ahead to Scott's highly anticipated return as Henry Pollard in the forthcoming reboot of the cult comedy classic STARZ series Party Down. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Jon Meacham

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2022 73:37


    In the aftermath of the Democratic Party's successful showing in last week's midterm elections, John Heilemann welcomes Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham, author of the recent presidential biography, And Then There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle. Heilemann and Meacham, a friend of President Joe Biden, discuss Biden's buoyant mood after the midterms and how he'll determine whether he'll run again in 2024; Meacham's belief that Americans voted to support Democrats over Republicans in key swing states because they dislike having rights taken from them; that the ability of Democrats to put democracy on the ballot was a key determinant in their favor; how Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania's next governor, has become an an ascendant political star; and why presidents and vice presidents never have close relationships. They also talk about Ron DeSantis' recent deeply narcissistic political ad and why his anti-woke message may not play well on the national scene if he tries to be the Republican's presidential nominee in two years; debate Donald Trump's chances of becoming president again; and weigh the potential for election chaos if Republicans don't support the rational rule of law in 2024. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Joe Scarborough

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2022 77:34


    John Heilemann welcomes Joe Scarborough, the co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, just two days before the final votes for the critical midterm elections are cast. Heilemann and Scarborough discuss why it's so difficult to predict the results of the key Senatorial, congressional, and gubernatorial races; the prevalence of Republican attack ads on television and the paucity of countermeasures taken by Democrats; the importance of the Hispanic vote in determining the final results and why Republicans have been able to capture a larger share of these voters; how Democrats can improve their messaging; the political genius of Barack Obama and his efforts to push back against missteps made by his party; and why Mallory McMorrow and Josh Shapiro are the rising stars the Democrat's need to succeed in the future. Joe also tells us whether a run for office is in his future; why he'll never be a Republican again; and why he thinks Donald Trump can never win another election. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Jordan Klepper

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2022 92:59


    John Heilemann welcomes Jordan Klepper, the correspondent for The Daily Show and two-time Emmy nominee, whose special, The Daily Show With Trevor Noah Presents: Jordan Klepper Fingers the Midterms -- America Unfollows Democracy, premieres November 1st on Comedy Central. They discuss the midterm elections, focusing specifically on the Pennsylvania Senatorial race and the performances of John Fetterman and Dr. Mehmet Oz in their only debate conducted last week; whether it was a wise strategy for Fetterman to debate Oz as Fetterman continues his recovery from a stroke; and Klepper's nuanced approach to talking about Fetterman in front of audiences without appearing offensive or insensitive. They also discuss Klepper's comedic influences, including the British humorists Monty Python, Chris Morris, and Steve Coogan; the author Kurt Vonnegut; and Nobel Prize winner, Bob Dylan; the winding road Klepper took that got him to The Daily Show; the awkward audition process that landed him the gig; and his fabled first appearance on the program that earned the approval of another of his revered comedy mentors, Jon Stewart. Klepper ends the show by talking about his upcoming special; what it's like to engage with the MAGA crowd at Donald Trump rallies; and why he feels that the midterms could be the beginning of the end for America's democracy. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    David Axelrod

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2022 98:04


    John Heilemann welcomes David Axelrod, the former Senior Political Adviser to President Barack Obama and host of The Axe Files podcast on CNN Audio. As we approach the crucial midterm elections in early November, Axelrod offers his thoughts on the key races that may determine the fate of America's democracy going forward, including: whether or not recent political winds have shifted in favor of Republicans and what this means to their chances of taking over both the Huse and the Senate; the Democrats over-reliance on the issue of abortion and how they should change their messaging going forward to improve their standing with voters; the rise of Marjorie Taylor Greene and the possibility that she could be a presidential candidate one day; the effect John Fetterman's health is having on the Pennsylvania Senate race and whether he's vulnerable enough on crime to tip the outcome in Dr. Mehmet Oz's favor; will Black Democratic voters in Georgia show up in numbers large enough to keep Rafael Warnock's Senate seat secure from Herschel Walker; whether the Republican stalwarts Mike Lee and Chuck Grassley will safely hold their positions in the Senate; how Mandela Barnes should be attacking the Ron Johnson campaign in Wisconsin; that Kari Lake's performative abilities outstrip those of even Donald Trump; and the danger that the Democratic Party now caters too much to college educated metropolitans and has lost its touch with America's working and middle classes. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Matthew Dowd and Jennifer Palmieri

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2022 90:44


    John Heilemann sits down with former chief strategist for George W. Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger and now a leading Never Trumper, Matthew Dowd, and former White House communications director for Barack Obama and co-host of Showtime's The Circus, Jennifer Palmieri. They discuss the recent developments that will likely determine the outcomes of the key senate and gubernatorial races in the upcoming midterm elections, including Raphael Warnock's and Herschel Walker's surprising performances in their recent debate in Georgia; the effect John Fetterman's health crisis is having on his battle in Pennsylvania against Dr. Mehmet Oz; the likelihood that Ron Johnson will keep his senate seat in Wisconsin against challenger Mandela Barnes despite his unlikeability; and assess the chances that election-denier Kari Lake has to become governor of Arizona and and the possibility that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem may be more vulnerable than most pundits realize. They also talk about whether Joe Biden's recent decriminalization of marijuana will impact the midterms; and dig deep into the what looks to be the final hearing of the January 6th House Select Committee, including Nancy Pelosi's bad-assery and concerns that the Secret Service may be deeply compromised by the MAGA movement. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Maggie Haberman, Part 2

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2022 62:48


    John Heilemann sits down with the New York Times's Maggie Haberman — the dominant/defining reporter on the Donald Trump beat for the past decade and the author of the instant best-seller Confidence Man — for an epic, two-part episode of the podcast. Haberman discusses her most recent scoop that the Justice Department believes the Former Guy still has classified documents in his possession and how it might increase his degree of legal peril; her long history of covering Trump and what it's taught her about how the outer borough, 1970-80s New York milieu from which he emerged shaped his essential character; what Trump most loves and hates about his media coverage; his performance as a candidate, president, insurrectionist, and potential future criminal defendant — and whether he will run for president again in 2024. Haberman also addresses the criticism that she withheld critical news about Trump for her book; provides an exclusive, never-before-heard audio clip from one of her book interviews with Trump on his handling of Covid; and explains why the Herschel Walker abortion scandal may prove to be a replay of Trump's own Access Hollywood imbroglio. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Maggie Haberman

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2022 87:30


    In a special two-part episode, John Heilemann welcomes the ultimate ruler of the Donald Trump beat, New York Times Senior Reporter Maggie Haberman, who's also the author of the new book that everyone is talking about, Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America. They discuss Maggie's recent scoop that that the DOJ thinks Trump still has classified documents in his possession and how this might affect Trump's legal jeopardy going forward; Maggie's over 10-year history of covering Trump and her perception that his uncanny ability to tap into the dark side of human emotions and his strong sense of entitlement explain much of his behavior; the difficulties in covering Trump and why it's hard to get him to make definitive statements; what Trump likes and hates about his media coverage; the truth behind Trump's relationships with women and how to make sense of his carefully worded responses to accusations of misogynistic behavior; the motivation behind Trump's authoritarian impulses; whether Trump is now chastened by his role in the insurrection; and if Maggie thinks he'll run for president again in 2024. Maggie also speaks extensively about the criticism that she withheld critical news about Trump exclusively for her book; and she provides an exclusive, never-before-heard audio clip from one of her book interviews with Trump, where he acknowledges that he was much more aware of the severity of COVID from the very start of the pandemic than he originally let on. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Jennifer Psaki

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 4, 2022 80:48


    John Heilemann sits down with President Biden's first White House press secretary, Jennifer Psaki, who recently left the administration to join MSNBC as a political analyst and host of a new show that will launch next year on Peacock. Psaki discusses how it feels to be free of the burdens of discussing current events from the podium in the White House briefing room, with the eyes of the world scrutinizing every word; her take on the biggest stories of last week, from Hurricane Ian to Iranian women cutting their hair as a form of protest; Psaki's tangles with Vladimir Putin and the degree to which he seems to be losing control of the narrative over the war in Ukraine; the moment in nearly a decade of working for Barack Obama that moved her the most and she knew instantly she'd remember forever; and Psaki's struggles with imposter syndrome — her recurring worry that she wasn't really qualified for any of the jobs she's done so well. Psaki also admits that no one was more surprised than her to see her regular smackdowns (aka, #psakibombs) of reporters trading in bullshit or bad faith turn into a social-media sensation. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Stuart Stevens and Rick Wilson

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 27, 2022 91:14


    John Heilemann welcomes Lincoln Project co-founder and board member Rick Wilson and senior advisor Stuart Stevens to the pod. They discuss the looming threat that Donald Trump and his MAGA enablers pose to democracy; the fear that many Republicans have of crossing Trump and their resultant willingness to lie for him to protect their jobs and their physical safety; the strategies Democrats should take advantage of to defeat their Republican opponents in the upcoming midterm elections; why Trump will almost certainly run for president in 2024 and the possibility that Ron DeSantis will end up being his running mate; the Republican Party's open embrace of fascism and its playbook to collapse the pillars of civil society to replace democracy with autocracy; and the Lincoln Project's efforts to thwart the candidacies of DeSantis, Kari Lake, and Herschel Walker. Stuart and Rick also talk about both the controversies surrounding the Lincoln Project, including the investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by co-founder John Weaver, and its many successes, as one of the nation's most prominent political action committees. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Peter Baker and Susan Glasser

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2022 86:03


    New York Times chief White House correspondent and New Yorker staff writer Susan Glasser join Heilemann for a discussion of their new book The Divider: Trump in The White 2017-2021, which aims to be the first soup-to-nuts account of the 45th president's tenure in the Oval Office. Baker and Glasser — both long-time, much-admired Washington reporters, spouses, and co-authors of previous books on Vladimir Putin's Russia and the life of James A. Baker III — discuss their thesis that Trump is the sole POTUS in history who never saw national unity as a goal, and in fact sought to profit politically from dividing the country; how Trump's 2017 inaugural address, with its invocation of "American carnage," augured the darkness (and strangeness) that would follow; Trump's disregard and disdain for democratic and institutional norms, from his politicization of the Justice Department and efforts to co-opt the military to his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election; how his foreign policy came closer than anyone knew to leading to armed (even nuclear) conflict and diplomatic chaos (including a U.S. exit from NATO) abroad; the transactional nature of Trump's relationship with his wife, Melania; and the mind-bending experience of interviewing Trump for the book and finding his mental stability as questionable as many of his top advisers did. They also assess the various investigations currently encircling Trump, along with the very real prospect that he could run for president in 2024 while under federal indictment ... and win. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Amy Walter and David Wasserman

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 13, 2022 90:28


    Eight weeks out from Election Day, John Heilemann welcomes The Cook Political Report's publisher and editor-in-chief, Amy Walter, and its senior editor, House of Representatives, Dave Wasserman, for a preview of what may be the most consequential midterm election of our lifetime. Walter and Wasserman assess the prospects of both parties at the House, Senate, and gubernatorial levels; the marked shift in the national political environment that has given Democrats an outside chance of retaining control of the House and picking up seats in the Senate; the factors that still favor Republicans, from the persistence of inflation to President Biden's approval ratings; the impact of Donald Trump (in light of both his success as a king-maker in the GOP primaries and his metastasizing legal woes) on the fall campaigns; and the potentially game-changing electoral fall-out from the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v Wade. They also offer analysis of some of the country's most closely watched races — John Fetterman v. Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania, Raphael Warnock v. Herschel Walker and Stacey Abrams v. Brian Kemp in Georgia; Tim Ryan v. J.D. Vance in Ohio; Beto O'Rourke v. Greg Abbott in Texas; and more! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Allen Hughes, Part 2

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2022 52:09


    In a special two-part episode, John Heilemann talks with visionary film and television director Allen Hughes about Dear Mama — the sprawling, spellbinding documentary series about the lives and times of hip hop icon Tupac Shakur and his mother, Afeni, a prominent member of the Black Panther Party in the Sixties and Seventies — that Hughes has been working on for much of the past three years. The first episode of Dear Mama premieres on September 15 at the Toronto International Film Festival, with the entire five-part series airing on F/X later this year; Hughes's conversation with Heilemann is the first time he has spoken in detail about the project. They discuss the director's tumultuous relationship with Tupac in both of their early years in show business, which led to Hughes being brutally beaten by gang associates of the young rapper; how the relationship between Tupac and his mother shaped his outlook, politics, and attitude toward violence; the hot-eyed feud between hip hop's East Coast and West Coast factions in the Nineties; and the still much-debated circumstances surrounding Tupac's murder in Las Vegas in 1996. In second part of the episode, Hughes and Heilemann explore the director's groundbreaking career, from Menace II Society, Dead Presidents, and The Book of Eli to the game-changing HBO doc series, The Defiant Ones, about music-industry titans Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine, as well as Hughes's tantalizing next undertaking: a biopic of Motown legend Marvin Gaye, entitled What's Going On. Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Allen Hughes, Part 1

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 6, 2022 71:07


    In a special two-part episode, John Heilemann talks with visionary film and television director Allen Hughes about Dear Mama — the sprawling, spellbinding documentary series about the lives and times of hip hop icon Tupac Shakur and his mother, Afeni, a prominent member of the Black Panther Party in the Sixties and Seventies — that Hughes has been working on for much of the past three years. The first episode of Dear Mama premieres on September 15 at the Toronto International Film Festival, with the entire five-part series airing on F/X later this year; Hughes's conversation with Heilemann is the first time he has spoken in detail about the project. They discuss the director's tumultuous relationship with Tupac in both of their early years in show business, which led to Hughes being brutally beaten by gang associates of the young rapper; how the relationship between Tupac and his mother shaped his outlook, politics, and attitude toward violence; the hot-eyed feud between hip hop's East Coast and West Coast factions in the Nineties; and the still much-debated circumstances surrounding Tupac's murder in Las Vegas in 1996. In second part of the episode, Hughes and Heilemann explore the director's groundbreaking career, from Menace II Society, Dead Presidents, and The Book of Eli to the game-changing HBO doc series, The Defiant Ones, about music-industry titans Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine, as well as Hughes's tantalizing next undertaking: a biopic of Motown legend Marvin Gaye, entitled What's Going On. Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Jeremy Allen White and Christopher Storer

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2022 108:03


    John Heilemann goes all-in on The Bear — the FX series set in the fictional sandwich shop The Original Beef of Chicagoland that came out of nowhere (Yes, chef) to become the breakout show of the summer (Heard, chef), the source of a jillion Internet memes (Hands!), and a full-blown cultural phenomenon (all day) — with its star, Jeremy Allen White, and creator, Chris Storer. White and Storer discuss the show's surprising runaway success; their passion for and commitment to creating the first scripted series ever to capture the realities of the world of restaurant kitchens accurately and authentically; their many, varied, and unlikely inspirations for The Bear, from The Panic in Needle Park to Terms of Endearment, Taxi, and Rounders; and how the rapturous reception of the show has changed both of their lives almost overnight. White, heretofore best known for his 11 seasons and 10 years playing Lip Gallagher (a gifted kid from a dysfunctional working-class Chicago family) in the signature Showtime series Shameless, reflects on his wariness about taking on the superficially similar character Carmen Berzatto in The Bear, and his approach to the seven-minute, show-stopping soliloquy in the show's finale that could make him a mortal lock for an Emmy Award next year — while Storer teases some elements of Season Two of The Bear that the show's legions of newly minted, hyper-obsessive super-fans (including Heilemann) are sure to find deliciously tantalizing. Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Dan Pfeiffer

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 23, 2022 86:14


    John Heilemann welcomes former Obama campaign and White House communications guru and Pod Save America co-host Dan Pfeiffer back to the podcast just two months after his last visit — when the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v Wade preempted a proper discussion of Pfeiffer's new book, Battling the Big Lie: How Fox, Facebook, and the MAGA Media Are Destroying America. This time, John and Dan go deep on that subject: the right-wing disinformation and propaganda machine, how it works, why it's so powerful, and what we can do to fight back; how Donald Trump's birther conspiracy theory bedeviled Obama in his first term; and the moment in Obama's second term when Pfeiffer realized Facebook had turned into "Trump on steroids." They also discuss last week's headlines — from Liz Cheney's drubbing in Wyoming to Joe Biden's biggest legislative win of 2022 to Dr Oz's ill-fated visit to a supermarket with cameras rolling, and how Dan and his Pod Save America pals helped Crudité-gate go viral ... a behind-the-scenes story that's just one of many reasons that you do NOT want to sleep on this week's episode. Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

    George Conway and Asha Rangappa

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2022 81:06


    John Heilemann goes deep with two leading voices at the intersection of law, national security, and Trumpworld – George Conway and Asha Rangappa — into the fallout from the FBI's search-and-seizure operation at Mar-a-Lago and the Justice Department's investigation of Donald Trump for illegally being in possession of classified documents, including top secret material ... some of which may pertain to nuclear weapons. Conway, an erstwhile conservative superstar litigator and one of the sharpest and most savage Never Trump Republicans – and also, ahem, husband to Trump's 2016 campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway — and Rangappa, senior lecturer at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale and a former FBI special agent focusing on counterintelligence, discuss the severity of the crimes that Trump appears to have committed; why, despite the continuing probe of Trump's culpability for the January 6 insurrection and an array of other legal threats, the document case now represents, as Conway puts it, "the shortest distance between Trump and an orange jumpsuit;" why, even so, Attorney General Merrick Garland might choose not to prosecute him; the appalling chorus of Republican elected officials and media magpies demonizing the FBI and stirring up animus, threats, and actual violence against federal law enforcement officials; and Trump's bizarro-world (but not necessarily errant) belief that, despite the imminent legal jeopardy he faces, last week's events were actually a boon to him politically. Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Derrick "D-Nice" Jones

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2022 76:30


    On the 100th episode of the podcast, John Heilemann welcomes hip hop veteran, DJ extraordinaire, and one of the inspirations for Hell & High Water: Derrick "D-Nice" Jones, fresh off a sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall in New York. Heilemann and D-Nice discuss Club Quarantine, the experiment in Instagram Live DJing that D-Nice began in the darkest early days of Covid, and how his socially distanced dance parties exploded into an overnight sensation, with hundreds of thousands of housebound partiers around the world logging on to find community and solace (and fun!) in the face of the extreme isolation imposed by the pandemic; his musical philosophy and what he's learned from other elite DJs, including Q-Tip, Mark Ronson, and Questlove; and his experiences spinning for Barack and Michelle Obama both inside and outside the White House. They also explore D-Nice's storied history in rap music, starting with his role as as founding member of the legendary old-school hip-hop collective Boogie Down Productions, his self-reinvention as a DJ after his solo career fizzled in the 1990s, and what the future holds for D and Club Quarantine. It's a centenary saturnalia that you won't want to miss! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Mark Leibovich and Tim Miller, Part 2

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2022 49:25


    In a special two-part episode, John Heilemann talks with Mark Leibovich, former chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, current staff writer for The Atlantic, and author of This Town, the iconic skewering of the culture of pre-Trump Washington, DC; and Tim Miller, former Republican strategist, current #NeverTrump gadfly-cum-firebrand, writer-at-large for The Bulwark, and host of Not My Party on Snap. Leibovich and Miller are also the authors of a pair of hot new books — Thank You For Your Servitude: Donald Trump's Washington and the Price of Submission and Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell, respectively — that tell essentially the same tale from different sides of the looking glass: the story of "the supplicant fanboys" and "parasitic suck-ups" who "permitted Donald Trump's depravity to be inflicted on the rest of us" (Leibovich); of "the army of [GOP] consultants, politicians, media figures" who "recognized all the risks but still climbed aboard for a ride on the SS Trump Hellship" (Miller). Heilemann and the authors discuss the dom-sub nature of the relationship between Trump and Mike Pence, Lindsey Graham's soulless craving for proximity to power, Miller's own flirtation with the dark side, and the broader pattern of Republican complicity, corruption, and cowardice that enabled Trump's rise, his rule, and his violent plot to overturn a presidential election and trash American democracy ... all of which, terrifyingly, persists unabated to this day. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Mark Leibovich and Tim Miller, Part 1

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 2, 2022 57:44


    In a special two-part episode, John Heilemann talks with Mark Leibovich, former chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, current staff writer for The Atlantic, and author of This Town, the iconic skewering of the culture of pre-Trump Washington, DC; and Tim Miller, former Republican strategist, current #NeverTrump gadfly-cum-firebrand, writer-at-large for The Bulwark, and host of Not My Party on Snapchat. Leibovich and Miller are also the authors of a pair of hot new books — Thank You For Your Servitude: Donald Trump's Washington and the Price of Submission and Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell, respectively — that tell essentially the same tale from different sides of the looking glass: the story of "the supplicant fanboys" and "parasitic suck-ups" who "permitted Donald Trump's depravity to be inflicted on the rest of us" (Leibovich); of "the army of [GOP] consultants, politicians, media figures" who "recognized all the risks but still climbed aboard for a ride on the SS Trump Hellship" (Miller). Heilemann and the authors discuss the dom-sub nature of the relationship between Trump and Mike Pence, Lindsey Graham's soulless craving for proximity to power, Miller's own flirtation with the dark side, and the broader pattern of Republican complicity, corruption, and cowardice that enabled Trump's rise, his rule, and his violent plot to overturn a presidential election and trash American democracy ... all of which, terrifyingly, persists unabated to this day. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Jonathan Lemire

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2022 69:55


    John Heilemann talks with Jonathan Lemire, White House Bureau Chief at Politico, host of Way Too Early on MSNBC, and author of the new book, The Big Lie: Election Chaos, Political Opportunism, and the State of American Politics After 2020. Heilemann and Lemire discuss the January 6 select committee's final hearing of the summer; the scandal over the Secret Service's purge of text messages from the day of the Capitol riot; and the growing impatience among top White House officials with Attorney General Merrick Garland's Justice Department over its apparent lethargy around bringing criminal charges against former President Trump related to the insurrection. Lemire also unpacks the history of Trump's Big Lie as an idea; recalls what it was like to see his face on every TV screen in the world for days after asking the question at the 2018 Helsinki summit that led Trump to declare that he sided with Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence officials regarding Russia's interference in 2016; and discusses various 2024 scenarios, from a Biden v Trump rematch to potential presidential runs by Ron DeSantis and Gavin Newsom, the ultra-thirsty governors of Florida and California. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Lis Smith, Part Two

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2022 51:49


    In a special two-part episode, John Heilemann talks with Lis Smith, the Democratic communications guru best known for her role in guiding Pete Buttigieg's long shot presidential campaign, and now author of a new memoir, Any Given Tuesday: A Political Love Story. In Part 1 of the podcast, Heilemann and Smith discuss the 1/6 committee hearings and their potential impact on Donald Trump's political future; the early years of Smith's career working on campaigns; the saga of her romantic involvement with former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, and the furor that erupted when the relationship became tabloid fodder. In Part 2, Lis looks back fondly on her time with Mayor Pete and much less fondly on her role as a member of former New York governor Andrew Cuomo's kitchen cabinet as he faced a wave of sexual harassment charges that ultimately forced him to resign. Lis also waxes (unaccountably) rhapsodic about her beloved Cincinnati Bengals, and explains why she refers to herself as a "competitive motherfucker." See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Lis Smith, Part One

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2022 68:36


    In part one of this special two-part epic, John Heilemann talks with Lis Smith, political communications savant and author of the newest, and greatest memoir, Any Given Tuesday: A Political Lose Story, about the effectiveness of the 1/6 committee hearings and what to expect from Thursday's supposed finale in primetime; why Smith got into politics to begin with; her rise through the Democratic ranks; and what Smith lost, and gained, in the fallout of her romance-turned-tabloid fodder with former NY Gov. Elliot Spitzer. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Marie Brenner

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 12, 2022 80:58


    John Heilemann talks with Marie Brenner, Vanity Fair writer-at-larger and author of the new book, The Desperate Hours: One Hospital's Fight to Save a City on the Pandemic's Front Lines. The book provides a detailed account of the struggle of New York's largest hospital system, New York Presbyterian, to combat the brutal Covid-19 surge in the initial months of the pandemic. Heilemann and Brenner discuss the divide between the corporate side of New York Presbyterian, which put a gag order on its personnel, and the medical professionals who wanted to tell the truth about the city's, the state's, and the federal government's unpreparedness in the fight against COVID; the difficulties New York Presbyterian faced because of the Trump administration's anti-science rhetoric; and the heroism of hospital employees as the pandemic raged on. John also takes Marie for a walk down memory lane and through her storied career in journalism, focusing on three stories she wrote that were adapted into critically acclaimed films (The Insider, Richard Jewell, A Private War); her experience writing about the late Marie Colvin, the legendary war correspondent; and Brenner's run-in decades ago with Donald Trump, who was so enraged by a profile she wrote about him that he took revenge on her in a public, scene-making, cowardly, incompetent -- all of which is to say, perfectly Trumpian -- fashion. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Jason Kander

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2022 75:37


    John Heilemann talks with Jason Kander, an army veteran and former secretary of state of Missouri who was one of the Democratic Party's brightest young rising stars ... until his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder caused him to walk away from politics four years ago. Heilemann and Kander discuss the latter's new book, Invisible Storm: A Soldier's Memoir of Politics and PTSD, along with the blockbuster testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson before the House Janary 6 committed. Kander lays out his long and torturous battle with PTSD and how it affected every aspect of his life; his decision to turn away (at least temporarily) from public life and seek help in 2018; how his recovery has progressed and what he's learned about living with the disorder; and whether he might ever run for office again. Kander also assesses the 1/6 committee hearings and their potential impact on the midterms in November; the worldwide struggle between democracy and authoritarianism; and the flat-footed response by Democrats to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. And he shares his experience meeting with Barack Obama, who called Kander "the natural" and encouraged him to run for president ... while Kander was still in his thirties. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Dan Pfeiffer and Alyssa Mastromonaco

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 28, 2022 79:37


    John Heilemann talks with Alyssa Mastromonaco and Dan Pfeiffer, both former senior advisers to Barack Obama in the White House and on his two presidential campaigns, both best-selling authors, and both members of the Crooked Media team. Heilemann spoke with Mastromonaco and Pfeiffer just hours after the historic Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson that overturned Roe v. Wade. They discuss the political implications of the decision and how Democrats might combat its effects; the possibility that Republicans ultimately aim to ban abortion nationwide; the profound erosion of the public legitimacy of the Supreme Court and Mitch McConnell's role in that development; and the apparent lies by Justices Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh regarding Roe during their Senate confirmation hearings. They also assess the impact of the January 6 committee's hearings and Matthew McConaughey's emotional remarks at the White House about the Uvalde school massacre. And Pfeiffer gets in a few words (too few ... he'll be back on the pod with more) about his new book, Battling the Big Lie: How Fox, Facebook, and the MAGA Media Are Destroying America. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Liev Schreiber

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2022 74:41


    John Heilemann talks with Liev Schreiber, the acclaimed actor, director, and narrator who recently co-founded the non-profit BlueCheck Ukraine to identify, vet, and fast-track financial support to humanitarian groups on the ground in that war-torn country. Heilemann and Schreiber discuss the actor's close bond with his maternal grandfather, a Jewish Ukrainian immigrant, and how that relationship and his Ukrainian roots helped motivate him to start BlueCheck; Schreiber's experience feeding refugees in Poland with chef and World Central Kitchen founder José Andrés; and his assessment of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Ukraine's prospects in the war with Russia. Schreiber, who earned three Emmy Award nominations for his performance in the title role in the Showtime series Ray Donovan, also reflects on the emotional toll that inhabiting that dark and violent role for seven seasons took on him; what it was like to play newspaper legend Marty Baron in the renowned film Spotlight; and his unique working relationship with director Wes Anderson, in whose forthcoming movie, Asteroid City, Schreiber co-stars -- and about which he spills some beans, along with uncorking an unforgettable tale involving his big screen debut, the foxtrot, and the embarrassing form that Schreiber's excitement took during one dance rehearsal with Steve Martin. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Introducing History is US

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 15, 2022 3:46


    Written and narrated by award-winning author and Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, Dr. Eddie S. Glaude, “History is US” is a 6-part audio documentary produced and developed by C13Originals that asks questions about who we are as a nation, and what race might reveal about our current crisis. Through the voices of distinguished historians and scholars, this limited series gives listeners the background and education to understand how we got here and how we can all use history to clarify the choices before us. There will always be something distinct about our present day, yet history haunts. “History is US” is a presentation of Shining City Audio, a C13Originals and Jon Meacham Studio. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Symone D. Sanders

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 14, 2022 69:44


    John Heilemann talks with Symone Sanders, former senior adviser and spokesperson for Vice President Kamala Harris, top aide on Joe Biden's 2020 campaign and Bernie Sanders's 2016 bid, and now host of a new weekend show on MSNBC, Symone. Heilemann and Sanders discuss the launch of the January 6th House Select Committee's televised hearings, the strength of Liz Cheney's performance, and the shocking evidence of Donald Trump's dereliction of duty on 1/6; Symone's memories of being at the DNC that day with VP Harris when they learned that a bomb had planted there; her assessment of whether Trump will run again in 2024, whether President Biden will do the same, and whether Biden would support Harris if he doesn't run and she does. Symone also reminisces about growing up Black in Omaha, Nebraska, how she convinced Bernie Sanders to hire her (at just 24 years old, with no presidential-campaign experience) as his campaign press secretary, and a childhood spent acting out (with the help of an imaginary alter ego named Donna Burns) the very role she's playing now as a TV host. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Denver Riggleman, Part 2

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2022 56:43


    In this special two-part episode previewing the forthcoming hearings of House Select Committee on January 6, John Heilemann talks with Denver Riggleman, former Republican congressman from Virginia, and, until recently, 1/6 committee staffer. Heilemann and Riggleman discuss the staggering scope of what the committee has learned since its inception (including the explosive text messages to and from former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, which Riggleman helped uncover) about the involvement of Donald Trump and his inner circle in the attempt to overturn the 2020 election; how the story of the pressures placed on Mike Pence to prevent Joe Biden from taking office will be among the key facets of the hearings; and Riggleman's assessment of the case for bringing criminal charges against Trump for his role in the 1/6 insurrection. They also discuss the part Q-Anon played in ending Riggleman's career in Congress, the centrality of conspiracy theories to the identity of today's GOP, and strange tale of how Riggleman's interest in Bigfoot became part of his public profile. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Denver Riggleman, Part 1

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 7, 2022 67:45


    In this special two-part episode previewing the forthcoming hearings of House Select Committee on January 6, John Heilemann talks with Denver Riggleman, former Republican congressman from Virginia, and, until recently, 1/6 committee staffer. Heilemann and Riggleman discuss the staggering scope of what the committee has learned since its inception (including the explosive text messages to and from former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, which Riggleman helped uncover) about the involvement of Donald Trump and his inner circle in the attempt to overturn the 2020 election; how the story of the pressures placed on Mike Pence to prevent Joe Biden from taking office will be among the key facets of the hearings; and Riggleman's assessment of the case for bringing criminal charges against Trump for his role in the 1/6 insurrection. They also discuss the part Q-Anon played in ending Riggleman's career in Congress, the centrality of conspiracy theories to the identity of today's GOP, and strange tale of how Riggleman's interest in Bigfoot became part of his public profile. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Eric Holder and Sam Koppelman

    Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2022 88:11


    John Heilemann talks with former Attorney General Eric Holder and speechwriter Sam Koppelman, co-authors of the new book Our Unfinished March: The Violent Past and Imperiled Future of the Vote — A History, a Crisis, a Plan. Heilemann, Holder, and Koppelman discuss the importance of the right to vote and why it has been under siege since the Supreme Court's 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act; their wide-ranging prescriptions for saving the American democratic process, including not just protections of voting rights but fundamental reforms to the Supreme Court, the U.S. Senate, congressional redistricting, and the Electoral College; and Holder's reluctant embrace of the arguments in favor of indicting former President Donald Trump for his actions related to the January 6 insurrection. They also discuss the fatal shooting of 19 schoolchildren and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, the Republican Party's intransigence on the Second Amendment, and what might be required to shock voters and their representatives in Congress into reforming the nation's gun laws. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Mallory McMorrow

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2022 77:25


    John Heilemann talks with Mallory McMorrow, the 35-year-old Democratic state senator in Michigan whose fiery, 5-minute floor speech last month denouncing the Republican Party's divisive rhetoric and demagogic tactics on cultural issues (and its targeting of LGBTQ Americans in particular) went wildly viral .... turning her into an overnight national political sensation. Heilemann and McMorrow discuss her decision to speak out after being baselessly accused of "grooming” children by a GOP colleague; how Democrats can and should fight back against the Republican culture war and reclaim the language of faith from those using it as a weapon; why the recent racially motivated mass shooting in Buffalo is connected to the rising trend of hate speech on the right; how the likely overturning of Roe v. Wade will impact the midterm elections; and why the future of American democracy may be decided this fall in places like Michigan. McMorrow also explains why she agrees with James Carville that Democrats have a "wokeness problem" — and why her method of arguing in favor of progressive goals in language suited to the factory floor, not the faculty lounge, is the solution. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Hasan Minhaj

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2022 97:22


    John Heilemann talks with two-time Peabody Award-winning comedian Hasan Minhaj, best known for hosting six seasons of the Netflix series Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj and his widely acclaimed Netflix special, Homecoming King. Heilemann and Minhaj discuss his early career as a comic and the centrality of his background as a first-generation Indian- and Muslim-American to his work; his breakout stint as a correspondent for The Daily Show and how it shaped his political and social commentary; his 2017 performance at the White House Correspondents dinner and his return to the capital two years later to testify before Congress on the student loan crisis; and the embrace of Homecoming King as a "calling card for a new brown America." They also discuss The King's Jester, Minhaj's current one-man show and the subject of his next Netflix special, in which he examines his pursuit of fame and social media clout — and the unexpected risks it ultimately posed both to him and his family. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin

    Play Episode Listen Later May 10, 2022 81:20


    John Heilemann talks with Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin, national political correspondents for the New York Times, political analysts for CNN, and authors of the newsmaking account of the 2020 election This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America's Future. Heilemann, Burns, and Martin discuss revelations in their book about the chaotic days following the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, including secret audio recordings of House minority leader Kevin McCarthy telling colleagues that he planned to urge President Trump to resign; the depth of the private disdain for Trump among other GOP stalwarts such as Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell; why the moment in which Republicans seemed determined to purge Trump from the party proved so fleeting; how President Biden's ambitions to be the next FDR or LBJ blinded him to his own team's warnings of the political peril he faced due to inflation, immigration, and crime; the thinly veiled rivalry between Biden and President Obama; the tenuous relationship between Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, and its potential implications for the 2024 Democratic ticket. They also unpack the stunning leak of a draft opinion suggesting that Supreme Court is on the verge of overturning Roe v. Wade, and what it might mean for this year's midterm elections — and beyond. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Bob Crawford

    Play Episode Listen Later May 3, 2022 92:23


    John Heilemann talks with Bob Crawford, bassist for The Avett Brothers and creator of Concerts of Change: The Soundtrack of Human Rights, a new audio docu-series on SiriusXM. Through conversations with artists including U2's Bono, Bob Geldof, and Joan Baez, historian Douglas Brinkley, and civil rights icon Andrew Young, Crawford explores the surge in humanitarian and political activism by musicians -- particularly focused on Africa -- in the seventies and eighties. Heilemann and Crawford discuss the rise of star-studded benefit shows from George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh to Live Aid; the genesis and behind-the-scenes stories of the chart-topping charity singles "Do They Know It's Christmas?" and "We Are The World"; the singular influence of Geldof in launching Band Aid and Live Aid; the role played by Steven Van Zandt's "Sun City" in ending apartheid in South Africa; and how Bono institutionalized his activist impulses to help combat poverty and AIDS in Africa. They also reflect on Crawford's career with The Avett Brothers, and how his daughter Hallie's battle with cancer changed him and his band. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Andrew Ross Sorkin

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 26, 2022 93:10


    John Heilemann talks with Andrew Ross Sorkin, co-anchor of CNBC's “Squawk Box,” columnist and assistant editor at the New York Times and founder and editor-at-large of the paper's financial news franchise, DealBook, and author of the best-selling book Too Big to Fail. Heilemann and Sorkin discuss the two enormous business stories dominating headlines in the past week: the stunning $44 billion acquisition of Twitter by SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose roughly $275 billion net worth makes him the world's richest person, and the Walt Disney Company's increasing embroilment in the culture wars, particularly as a whipping boy for Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida. They also reflect on Sorkin's precocity as a young journalist at the Times, his role as co-creator of the hit Showtime series Billions, and the apparently insatiable appetite for movies and TV shows about the one percent — from Succession to WeCrashed to Super Pumped. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Mike Birbiglia and Alex Edelman

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 19, 2022 86:25


    John Heilemann talks with comedians Mike Birbiglia, best known for his acclaimed one-man shows Sleepwalk With Me, Thank God for Jokes, and The New One, and Alex Edelman, whose buzzy new monologue Just For Us, produced by Birbiglia, is one of New York's hottest tickets. Heilemann and the two performers discuss why Birbiglia took Edelman under his wing and how their mentor-pupil relationship works; what Just for Us — in which Edelman unfurls an extended, acutely observed, often hilarious yarn about the night he crashed a meeting of white nationalists in Queens — says about broader questions of identity in American culture; and what drove Edelman's decision to focus the show on his Judaism, which has long been central to his sense of self but not his comedy. They also assess the arc of Birbiglia's career from stand-up to storytelling; his biggest influences, from Mitch Hedberg to Steven Wright; the personal experiences that have inspired him to be vulnerable on stage and take emotional risks; and why, for both Birbiglia and Edelman, a pair of comics who readily and repeatedly land killer jokes, there's a lot more to comedy than making people laugh. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Michael Beschloss

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 12, 2022 75:24


    John Heilemann talks with Michael Beschloss, NBC News Presidential Historian, host of Fireside History with Michael Beschloss on Peacock/MSNBC, and author of ten books focusing on occupants of the Oval Office – Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and more. Heilemann and Beschloss discuss Joe Biden's handling of Russia-Ukraine war, and why Biden isn't benefitting politically from his leadership on the world stage; the ongoing risk of Russia deploying nuclear weapons and the lessons from the Cuban Missile Crisis; and how foreign policy crises have reshaped American presidencies from World War II's effect on the legacies of FDR and Truman to Vietnam's on LBJ's. They also discuss the historic dimensions of Ketanji Brown Jackson's confirmation to the Supreme Court, along with Mitch McConnell's hint that, if Republicans take control of the Senate, he might take the unprecedented step of denying Biden the opportunity to put another justice -- any justice, under any circumstances -- to SCOTUS. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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