Episodes
Joy-Ann Reid is the host of MSNBC's A.M. Joy and she discusses her new book The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story.  She says only a New Yorker who lived in the city during the turbulent 70s and 80s can truly understand the rise of Donald Trump.  She likens that era to the lawlessness of Gotham City, and says that if NYC is Gotham than Trump is the Joker sowing chaos at every opportunity.  She tells the story of her parents' immigration from Guinea and the...
Published 07/18/19
Silicon Valley icon Guy Kawasaki recalls his childhood in Hawaii, his start in the jewelry business, and how his skills at jewelry sales came in surprisingly handy when he became chief evangelist for Macintosh. He talks about personally witnessing the genius and dark side of Apple founder Steve Jobs, he shares some rules that he calls "the Gospel According to Steve," and opens up about the argument that led him to quit Apple in the 90s.  He talks about honor and honesty in the tech industry,...
Published 07/15/19
In the President's campaign against what he calls “Fake News,” CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta has become public enemy number one, but Acosta warns that Trump's attacks on the press could have dangerous consequences for America.  Jim reveals some of the tricks that the White House uses to skew media coverage and avoid tough questions, and he says that the President’s war on the truth is changing journalism itself as reporters have to do double-duty as "real-time...
Published 07/11/19
Adam Savage (Mythbusters, MythBusters Junior) talks about building a working prototype of Marvel’s Iron Man suit for his new series Savage Builds and what it was like to fly around with tiny jet engines strapped to his forearms.  He discusses how Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson helped him take to the skies in a real World War I dogfight, why Adam's attempt recreate one of World War II’s most bizarre contraptions was less than successful, and how it served as a lesson in the importance of...
Published 07/08/19
Today's episode is a rerun of a previous podcast that aired December 3, 2018 with guest Trevor Noah.  Trevor talks about his  standup special TREVOR NOAH: SON OF PATRICIA and why he dedicated it to his mom whom he calls “the first comedian that he ever saw” and “most gangster human being you’ll ever meet in your life.”  He discusses growing up in South Africa during Apartheid, the power of humor to fight oppression, and why he believes that hateful words aren’t nearly as important as...
Published 07/04/19
Pulitzer Prize-winning Conservative columnist George Will answers the fundamental question “what is it that conservatives mean to conserve" and suggests that modern conservatives are losing sight of that purpose.  He extolls James Madison’s belief in the importance of natural rights and government’s role in protecting them, and he makes that case against his fellow Princetonian Woodrow Wilson who did the most to unravel the Founders’ vision.  George discusses his decision to change his...
Published 07/01/19
Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter takes me behind the scenes to reveal the inner workings of the Pentagon, its vital mission, and what it takes to lead it.  He describes just how massive the D.O.D. is, how he managed a $700 billion dollar budget, and how he recruited top tech talent to the Pentagon.  Ash Carter reveals why his background as a physicist came in handy in the Pentagon and how it led him to oppose President Ronald Reagan’s "Star Wars" program in the 80s.  He discusses how he...
Published 06/27/19
Vince Houghton, director of the International Spy Museum, returns to take me on a wild tour of missions and schemes that almost happened, but were ultimately deemed too dangerous, expensive, ahead of their time, or insane.  These include weaponing animals such as eavesdropping cats, spooky glow in the dark foxes, and one plan to strap incendiary bombs to bats!  He reveals some of the CIA’s wackier attempts to take out Castro, the nazi scientist who tried to build a sun gun, and the Florida...
Published 06/24/19
As a 60 Minutes correspondent and former anchor of the CBS Evening News, Scott Pelley has been a witness to events that have changed our world and he talks about some individuals who illustrate the best of America.  He recalls the heart-break and exhaustion of reporting on the 9/11 attacks and why he feels it was the finest hour for CBS News.  He shares the three rules of journalism that he learned from CBS legend Walter Cronkite, and why he believes that 24-hour cable news create even more...
Published 06/20/19
Senator Tom Cotton recalls the storied history of the Old Guard of Arlington National Cemetery and the rigorous training he went through to become a member of this elite regiment.  He describes what it’s like to perform a military funeral in America’s most hallowed cemetery and how the soldiers of the Old Guard manage to avoid getting choked up.  Senator Cotton shares some of the other ceremonies that the Old Guard performs and how the Old Guard played a pivotal role at the Pentagon in the...
Published 06/17/19
Admiral William McRaven (Make Your Bed) reveals how a high school track coach inspired him apply for the Navy SEAL program and why he still compares any struggle he faces to the grueling endurance test of the Navy SEALs “Hell Week.”  He recalls the night he got a gut feeling he was going to catch Saddam and was right, how Saddam never made his bed while he was in McRaven’s custody, and what McRaven said when he finally decided to meet with Saddam face to face.  He talks about the strange...
Published 06/13/19
Best-selling author Michael Wolff discusses his new book Siege: Trump Under Fire and how he got so many White House sources to speak to him again after his explosive tell-all Fire and Fury.  He tells how Steve Bannon remains the ultimate Trump insider even though he's on the outs with the President and why Trump's misfortune has always been Bannon's opportunity.  We talk about how Robert Mueller carefully gamed out every step of the Russia probe and whether Mueller may have actually drafted...
Published 06/10/19
Oscar-winning filmmaker Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13) discusses his new documentary Pavarotti.  He talks about the art of filmmaking and storytelling, how he approaches a documentary versus a narrative film about a real person, and how he got the idea to present Pavarotti’s story as an opera.  We get into Pavarotti the romantic, how Ron got the various women of Pavarotti’s life to participate in the film, and why Pavarotti often compared his famous voice to a tempestuous lover.  He...
Published 06/06/19
David Epstein (The Sports Gene) reveals the flaw in the "10,000 hours" theory of deliberate performance, the fallacy of giving children a head-start, and how it could actually hinder them in the long-run.  He shares why athletes should be more like Roger Federer than Tiger Woods and how "serial innovators" tend to have a broad range of knowledge and experience.  David says the internet and open source information is a boon to generalists, but artificial intelligence may put a lot of...
Published 06/03/19
Neil Gaiman talks about adapting his book Good Omens for television, the book’s long journey to the screen, and how he took the reins as show-runner in a promise to his late co-author Terry Pratchett.  Neil recalls the origins of their book as a fable about nature vs nurture and opens up about the on screen cameo that was just too painful for him to film.  He discusses his writing process, how he manages to avoid distractions, and why he chooses to write across many different mediums.  Plus...
Published 05/30/19
Liam Cunningham discusses his 7 epic seasons as Sir Davos Seaworth on Game of Thrones and going from fighting "White Walkers" to fighting Ebola in National Geographic Channel's limited series The Hot Zone.  We also talk about his original audition for Game of Thrones, why he first thought he got the polite brush off from the series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and what it's like when he encounters hard-core GoT fans in person.  Then Liam discusses the true story of America’s close...
Published 05/27/19
Jared Cohen talks about the eight men who succeeded to the presidency without being elected to it and how they changed our history for better or worse.  He reveals that presidential succession wasn’t clearly defined for most of America’s history and that most Vice-Presidents come to the Oval Office with great reluctance and a serious inferiority complex.  We talk about the best and worst accidental presidents, the one who assumed the office with the heaviest burden and the least preparation,...
Published 05/23/19
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough discusses his latest book The Pioneers, how it fulfilled his lifelong dream to write a nonfiction version of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, and why he wants his book to serve as reminder of fundamental American values.  He tells the story of the New England minister who played an instrumental role in the creation of the Ohio Settlement, how he fought to outlaw slavery in the territory, and how his son carried on his fight for abolition a few...
Published 05/20/19
Bill Hader (SNL, Trainwreck, Barry) talks about his childhood love of film, his early days as a struggling production assistant in Hollywood, and how he's finally getting back to his cinematic roots with his dark comedy series Barry.  He discusses directing the much talked about episode 5 this season, how he staged an epic 30 minute fight scene, and why he had to hire a construction crew to build him the perfect tree.  Hader recalls his original audition for Saturday Night Live, his first...
Published 05/16/19
Jordan Klepper returns to the podcast to talk about getting out of the studio and getting out in the real world again for his new Comedy Central docu-series Klepper.  He tells the story of a wrestling club in Texas that is helping veterans body slam their way through PTSD, what it says about how vets get treated by the VA and by their fellow Americans, and how Jordan faired when he donned a cape and got in the ring with them.  Then Jordan recalls sleeping in the swamp for two nights and...
Published 05/13/19
Oscar nominated actor and director Sir Kenneth Branagh is the greatest living interpreter of the works of William Shakespeare, and today he talks about his life long love of Shakespeare and stepping into the shoes of his hero for his new film All Is True.  Branagh discusses why he chose to focus on the three years following Shakespeare’s retirement and why he wasn’t afraid to deviate from the accepted biography and embrace the mystery around the man.  He talks about teaming up with writer Ben...
Published 05/10/19
Pulitzer Prize-winning author, scientist, and renowned polymath Jared Diamond reveals that many of the factors in how individuals cope with personal crises can also predict how countries survive national crises.  He profiles six nations in transition in his new book Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis, and shares his personal experiences and observations about those countries including why one should never utter the word "Finlandization" in Finland, how Chileans in the 1960’s...
Published 05/06/19
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich talks about his new political thriller Collusion: A Novel and how writing fiction has given him a chance to let his imagination run wild about the darker side of Washington.  He discusses why it’s almost impossible to make up a fictional super-villain like Vladimir Putin, his fascination Putin’s deadly penchant for high profile poisonings, and why he believes that Putin doesn’t mind taking the blame for those murders.  Plus he weighs in on President...
Published 05/02/19
Congressman Seth Moulton talks about why he is running for President, what he sees as his path to the Democratic nomination, and how he plans to defeat President Donald Trump by running on Trump’s weakest issues.  He discusses why he chose do 4 tours of duty as a Marine in Iraq even though he personally opposed the war, what it was like working as a special liaison to tribal leaders in Southern Iraq, and what the experience taught him about compromise and bipartisanship. He reveals why he...
Published 04/29/19
Janet Napolitano served the 4th Secretary of Homeland Security less than a decade after 9/11, and on today's podcast, she reckons with the critics who call it a Frankenstein's Monster of government run amok and takes a hard look at the challenges we'll be facing as it evolves to fight terrorism 2.0.  She likens the job to finding a needle in a haystack and describes how she used methods like "pushing the borders" and TSA-pre-check to shrink that haystack.  She says it takes a "dark...
Published 04/25/19