Episodes
Disinformation about COVID-19 vaccines abounds on social media, but there's more to it than meets the eye. Sam talks to Max Fisher, international reporter for the New York Times, about "disinformation for hire" and what social media platforms are doing to combat it. Plus, Sam talks to actress Hannah Waddingham, one of the stars of Ted Lasso. They're also joined by fellow cast member Jeremy Swift to play Who Said That. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at...
Published 07/30/21
The "Mother of Dragons" is out with a new comic book, Mother of Madness. Actress Emilia Clarke talks with guest host Ayesha Rascoe about superpowers in real life and fantasy, her career-launching role in Game of Thrones and how Hollywood has changed since her first season as Daenerys. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.
Published 07/27/21
The Black Hair Experience is a pop-up visual exhibit dedicated to the beauty, history and nostalgia of Black hair. Guest host Ayesha Rascoe takes a trip there and chats with its co-founder, Alisha Brooks. Then, Ayesha is joined by NPR's Susan Davis and Asma Khalid about the two huge economic priorities for the Biden administration. — Read Ayesha's essay: "The Black Hair Experience Is About The Joy Of Black Hair — Including My Own" You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at...
Published 07/23/21
Actress Sonequa Martin-Green has made a career of otherworldly roles. She survived a zombie apocalypse in The Walking Dead, she explores space — the final frontier — in Star Trek: Discovery, and she's the wife of NBA star LeBron James in Space Jam: A New Legacy. She talks to guest host Ayesha Rascoe about her career, her hair and identity, and why she felt called to speak up about her internalized racism after the murder of George Floyd. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email...
Published 07/20/21
Americans are quitting their jobs in record numbers. Guest host Ayesha Rascoe brings on CBS MoneyWatch editor Irina Ivanova to break down some of the reasons why. Then, The New Republic staff writer Jo Livingstone joins Ayesha to discuss the current state of horror movies and why nothing's better than a good scare. Author and Big Mood, Little Mood podcast host Daniel Lavery joins them to play Who Said That. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.
Published 07/16/21
The Cruelty Is The Point: The Past, Present, and Future of Trump's America, is journalist Adam Serwer's new book, based on a popular essay he wrote for The Atlantic. Serwer talks with guest host Ayesha Rascoe and lays out the ways in which Donald Trump came to power, the historical roots of his vision of law and order, and how he managed to build a loyal political following on the basis of cruelty. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.
Published 07/13/21
With Sha'Carri Richardson's recent disqualification, and the controversy surrounding the banning of natural hair swimming caps, there's a lot to talk about the treatment of Black women in the Olympics and across the sports world. Guest host Ayesha Rascoe brings on ESPN producer and podcast host Terrika Foster-Brasby and The Athletic's Kavitha A. Davidson to discuss. Then, she talks to 'We Are Lady Parts' creator Nida Manzoor about the intersection of art, faith, and representation. You can...
Published 07/09/21
Tiffany Haddish has had a busy year. From starring in prank film Bad Trip, to hosting Kids Say the Darndest Things, to voicing a self-confident toucan in animated series Tuca & Bertie, it seems like she's everywhere. Sam talks to Tiffany about her many projects, her hopes and dreams for the entertainment industry, and she tells a wild story about Nicolas Cage. — Watch the full extended version of this interview on YouTube: youtube.com/npr You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin...
Published 07/06/21
Sam sits in the guest seat at Pop Culture Happy Hour to discuss the glue that holds this nation together — The Fast and the Furious franchise. Alongside NPR White House correspondent Ayesha Rascoe, as well as PCHH hosts Linda Holmes and Aisha Harris, the group talks about the legacy of the decades-spanning series, why we love to hate it, and how action films of this caliber could be considered "hetero camp." You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.
Published 07/04/21
This week, the Trump Organization and its Chief Financial Officer were charged with fraud and tax related crimes by the Manhattan District Attorney as a result of a years-long investigation. In light of these new charges, Sam revisits his conversation from last fall with Andrea Bernstein, co-host of the WNYC & ProPublica podcast Trump, Inc. They talk about Trump's business operations, debts, and how the biggest lesson from both is "we pay, he wins." You can follow us on Twitter...
Published 07/02/21
Sam interviews Riley Keough, one of the stars of Zola— a new movie adapted from a viral 148-tweet thread story full of sex work, guns and plot twists. They talk about how Riley prepared her character's "blaccent," why she tends to play unlikeable characters, and how she became a death doula. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.
Published 06/29/21
The furor over critical race theory fits into a longer history of culture wars in schools. Sam talks to Adam Laats, a professor of history and education at Binghamton University, about what the past can teach us about today's fight. Plus, Sam talks to Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky, writers and creators of the HBO Max series Hacks. They discuss what inspired them to write the show, as well as the overlooked legacies of many trailblazing women comedians. They also play Who Said...
Published 06/25/21
Forty years ago this month, the CDC reported on patients with HIV/AIDS in the United States for the very first time. The disease was understudied, under-reported and deeply stigmatized. ACT UP united a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis. In her new book, Let The Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993, Sarah Schulman draws from nearly 200 interviews with ACT UP members to document the movement's history and...
Published 06/18/21
Where do you come from? It's a question that immigrant communities of color get asked constantly. But the answer is often not simply about a place on a map. It can be tied to identity, immigration, career, family... and even food. In this episode from NPR's audio and video series Where We Come From, New York Times food writer Priya Krishna tackles this question with her mother, Ritu. They explore assimilation through food and why dal represents comfort for their family. You can follow us on...
Published 06/17/21
Sam sits in the Fresh Air host chair to talk to actor John Boyega. Since finishing his star-making role in the Star Wars franchise in 2019 and after the protests that followed the murder of George Floyd last year, Boyega has been outspoken about his treatment as a Black actor in Hollywood, and in the Star Wars franchise itself. He talked to Sam about why he was ready to talk about the "elephant in the room" that is racism in Hollywood and what he's doing to change things. We've love your...
Published 06/15/21
We've witnessed plenty of historic moments with Joe Biden as president: widespread COVID-19 vaccinations, the reunion of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, Mare of Easttown. But Arizona Republicans are attempting to prove otherwise with an unprecedented vote recount of the 2020 election. Sam talks to Jessica Huseman, editorial director at Votebeat, about the ongoing election audit in Arizona and what it means for the future of elections and voting rights. Plus, Sam talks about summer movies to...
Published 06/11/21
Zakiya Dalila Harris was working as an editorial assistant at a New York publisher when she ran into another Black woman for the first time on her office floor. That's when she got the idea for her book, The Other Black Girl. What's it like when you're used to being the only one, but now there's another one like you? And what if things get weird? Like, really weird. Sam and Zakiya talk about how her book subverts the office drama and what lessons it has for a still very white publishing...
Published 06/08/21
When Pride comes around every June, the same arguments start up again— should there be kink, cops and corporations at Pride? And who is Pride for? Sam talks to writer and author Roxane Gay about why the queer community has the same conversations year after year and what they mean for what Pride is today. Plus, actress and filmmaker Natalie Morales on directing the new teen buddy comedy, "Plan B."
Published 06/04/21
Sam revisits his chat with best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell about his book, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know. The book explores examples such as the arrest of Sandra Bland and the Stanford rape case as to why interactions with strangers often go so wrong. This episode was taped in front of a live studio audience at The George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium in September 2019. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at...
Published 06/01/21
It's almost summer, and whether you're at a beach, at a park, or at home, it's a great time to get lost in a book. Sam is joined by Barrie Hardymon, senior editor of NPR's Weekend Edition, and Traci Thomas, host of the podcast The Stacks. They give advice on how to get back into the habit of reading and recommend a few great summer reads: Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi, How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith, Wild Rain by Beverly Jenkins and Filthy Animals by Brandon Taylor. They also play a special...
Published 05/28/21
Sam previews this summer's Supreme Court rulings with Slate's Mark Joseph Stern and why some of those cases could potentially have big repercussions on daily life. They also discuss the future of the Court, including its decision to take up two of the most controversial issues of today — abortion and gun rights — and why the drama between justices can sometimes equate to a Real Housewives–style argument over dinner (with table flip). You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us...
Published 05/25/21
The U.S. unemployment rate is still high... so why are we in a labor shortage? Sam chats with Stacey Vanek Smith, host of NPR's The Indicator, and Cardiff Garcia, former co-host of The Indicator, about the American job market and why businesses are having such a hard time hiring. Then, as vaccines have become more widely available and pandemic restrictions lift across the country, people are wandering back out into the world, having experiences they haven't had in over a year. We drop in on a...
Published 05/21/21
How do you bring up something that might be easier left unsaid? Anna Sale, host and creator of WNYC's Death, Sex & Money podcast, has answers in her new book, Let's Talk About Hard Things. She chats with Sam about how to talk to family, why we need to start having different conversations about money, and what it means to actually listen. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.
Published 05/18/21
What does defunding the police really look like? Sam talks to Austin City Council Member Greg Casar about how decreasing the city's police budget has worked— and what they aren't getting quite right yet. Then, Sam talks to KUT reporter Audrey McGlinchy about how Texas, a Republican-led state, has responded and what that could mean for other cities trying to follow in the footsteps of Austin. Plus, Sam talks to actress and comedian Michelle Buteau about hosting the Netflix reality competition...
Published 05/14/21
How transformative are President Biden's economic and infrastructure proposals? Depends on what gets passed. The comparisons to FDR and LBJ miss the vastly different political landscapes those presidents faced. Sam talks with presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin about how this moment compares to those past presidents' efforts at once in a generation legislation. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.
Published 05/11/21