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Kickass News

Hosted by Hollywood producer and political media strategist Ben Mathis, KickAss News is a twice weekly podcast that features the most interesting personalities and thought leaders in politics, entertainment, tech, business, science, and more. Enjoy the podcast? Then please support the show and help keep us on the air by making a donation to our GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Another way you can support the show is to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review on iTunes to help keep us ranking strong on the top podcasts charts. For more information visit www.kickassnews.com. Thanks for listening!
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Now displaying: February, 2016
Feb 22, 2016

 

Just in time for Oscar weekend, my guest is Evgeny Afineevsky director/producer of WINTER ON FIRE: UKRAINE'S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, which is currently nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.  He and his crew spent 93 days risking their lives to film the 2013/2014 Ukrainian revolution from the initial protests in Kiev's Maidan Square through the murderous government crackdown in the streets to the eventual overthrow of corrupt President Viktor Yanukovych.

We talk about what separates the Maidan demonstrations from the Arab spring and other recent revolutions, and how it can serve as a blueprint for democracy and reform around the world.  We also talk about the brutality of the now disbanded Ukrainian Berkut police force and how it brought Ukrainians of all types together in unity against the corrupt and criminal government of Viktor Yanukovych.   Plus Evgeny will talk about the emotional toll that making WINTER ON FIRE took on the filmmakers, and the inspiring story of one brave 12 year old boy who risked his life for freedom and his country.

If you enjoy this episode, then I encourage you to see WINTER ON FIRE: UKRAINE’S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM. You can order it on Netflix or see it in select theatres.

Please subscribe to KickAss Politics on iTunes and leave us a review. You can also help us reach our fundraising goal for this year and donate at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Or go to the website for the show at www.kickasspolitics.com and click on the donate button. Thanks for listening!

Feb 19, 2016

Doug Schoen is Democrat pollster, campaign consultant, author, and Fox News political analyst. He pioneered overnight polling and has worked on the campaigns on Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Evan Bayh, Michael Bloomberg, Tony Blair, Silvio Berlusconi and three Israeli Prime Ministers just to name a few. He’s a regular columnist for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Newsmax.

He’s authored eleven books, and today he comes on the podcast to talk about his latest book THE NIXON EFFECT: HOW RICHARD NIXON’S PRESIDENCY FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED AMERICAN POLITICS. Doug makes the case that Richard Nixon was one of the most accomplished Presidents in history and the most liberal president in modern times. He’ll also talk about the profound effect that Nixon has had on the politics of the past 40 years including inventing the wedge issue, creating the “Silent Majority,” launching the GOP’s often misunderstood “Southern Strategy,” polarizing the two parties in ways we still see today, and unintentionally giving birth to the modern conservative movement.

Plus we talk about why the polling business has missed the mark in several recent high profile elections, what can be done to improve polling accuracy, and Doug’s recommendations for the most reliable public polls.

If you enjoyed this episode, then order Doug Schoen’s book THE NIXON EFFECT: HOW RICHARD NIXON’S PRESIDENCY FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED AMERICAN POLITICS on Amazon. You can follow Doug Schoen on twitter at @DouglasESchoen or at www.dougschoen.com. You can also read his regular column for Newsmax Magazine at www.newsmax.com.

Please subscribe to KickAss Politics on iTunes and leave us a review. You can also help us reach our fundraising goal for this year and donate at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Or go to the website for the show at www.kickasspolitics.com and click on the donate button. Thanks for listening!

Feb 16, 2016

Over the years, Iconic photographer Platon has captured every living U.S. President from Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama on film, and he’s photographed well over a hundred world leaders including Tony Blair, Ban Ki Moon, Benjamin Netanyahu, Mahmoud Adhmadenijad, Silvio Berlusconi, Mohamar Qaddafi, Hugo Chavez, and Vladimir Putin for the 2007 Time Man of Year cover.

 

His work has been featured on 20 Time Magazine covers as well as GQ, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Esquire, New York Times Magazine, Wired, Texas Monthly, and the New Yorker Magazine, with whom he won a Peabody Award for his large scale photo essay on Russia’s Civil Society. Platon also started his own non-profit foundation called The People’s Portfolio which “aspires to create a visual language to break barriers and enlist public support human rights around the world.”


On today’s podcast, he’ll reveal some of his secrets to getting the most powerful people in the world to let their guard down, he’ll talk about the most intimidating shoot of his life (Vladimir Putin), and he’ll give the inside scoop on his now infamous cover photo of Bill Clinton for Esquire. Plus he’ll talk about his photographing the Arab Spring protests and his new mission to put a face on human rights sufferers around the world.

 

If you enjoy this episode, you can view Platon’s work at www.platonphoto.com or on instagram at @platon. You can find out more about the People’s Portfolio at www.thepeoplesportfolio.com.


Please subscribe to KickAss Politics on iTunes and leave us a review. You can also help us reach our fundraising goal for this year and donate at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Or go to the website for the show at www.kickasspolitics.com and click on the donate button. Thanks for listening!

Feb 12, 2016

Today I talk with campaign media advisor Mark McKinnon about his new documentary series for Showtime called THE CIRCUS: INSIDE THE GREATEST POLITICAL SHOW ON EARTH.  He co-stars with journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann of Bloomberg Politics as they follow all of the Presidential candidates as well as the campaign teams and traveling reporters.  They give an inside glimpse into the stress and craziness and the ups and downs of running for the most powerful position in the world.  

Mark McKinnon will talk about the break-neck pace of THE CIRCUS and how they manage to produce a political reality series in real time as well as what it's like for him going from being the ultimate campaign insider to being a member of the media following the campaigns.  He'll also talk about his experience as the chief media strategist to President George W. Bush's campaigns in 2000 and 2004 and Senator John McCain in 2008.  Plus he'll give his observations from the trail and predictions for 2016.  

If you enjoy this episode then be sure to see Mark McKinnon in THE CIRCUS: INSIDE THE GREATEST POLITICAL SHOW ON EARTH every Sunday at 8PM EST on Showtime.  You can also read his weekly column at www.thedailybeast.com and support his efforts to take money out of politics at www.mayday.us.

Please subscribe to KickAss Politics on iTunes and leave us a review. You can also help us reach our fundraising goal for this year and donate at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Or go to the website for the show at www.kickasspolitics.com and click on the donate button. Thanks for listening!

Feb 8, 2016

Today I talk with filmmaker Greg Barker, who won an Emmy for his HBO documentary MANHUNT: THE UNTOLD STORY BEHIND THE HUNT FOR BIN LADEN, about his new film for HBO called HOMEGROWN: THE COUNTER-TERRORISM DILEMMA.  In his latest project, he explores the threat of "self-radicalizing" terrorists right here in America through the eyes of the Deputy Directors of the National Counter Terrorism Center and the FBI's National Security Branch, as well as the family members of the Ft. Hood shooter and other U.S. citizens convicted of providing "material support to terrorism."  

We talk about the film and the many aspects of the issue of homegrown terrorism including domestic surveillance, 1st Amendment rights, the availability of jihadi propaganda online, and the need for U.S. Muslims to take a more proactive role in combating that propaganda and saving young Muslim-American men from the influence of groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS.  

Greg Barker's film HOMEGROWN: THE COUNTERTERRORISM DILEMMA premieres Monday, February 8 at 9PM EST on HBO.

Please subscribe to KickAss Politics on iTunes and leave us a review. You can also help us reach our fundraising goal for this year and donate at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Or go to the website for the show at www.kickasspolitics.com and click on the donate button. Thanks for listening!

Feb 1, 2016

Today is the Iowa Caucuses when the first votes are cast in the 2016 Presidential election!  But what exactly is a Caucus?  And why does Iowa get to be the first?  Is it different from a Primary?  Does the weather really affect caucus results?  Can a candidate win Iowa without loving ethanol?  And what the heck is a "full Grassley?"  We'll answer all of these questions and I take a comprehensive look at the Iowa Caucuses with my guests today - Congressman Steve King, nationally syndicated radio host Steve Deace, and Dr. Cody Hoefert Co-Chairman of the Iowa GOP.

Please subscribe to KickAss Politics on iTunes and leave us a review. You can also help us reach our fundraising goal for this year and donate at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Or go to the website for the show at www.kickasspolitics.com and click on the donate button. Thanks for listening!

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