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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: June, 2018
Jun 18, 2018

Ambassador Michael McFaul helped President Obama craft the US-Russia “reset," and he later had a front-row seat for the end of the reset with the return of the hostile, paranoid Russian President Vladimir Putin.  He recalls witnessing history unfold during the attempted Russian military coup in 1989 and early encounter with a young unimpressive Vladimir Putin in the 90s.  He gives an insiders account of being with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she presented the infamous "reset" button, the first meeting between Putin and the newly elected President Obama, and his own thoughts on what motivates the Russian President.  He talks about arriving to protestors in Moscow on his first day as Ambassador, the Russian FSB’s sinister surveillance and harassment campaigns against him and his family, and the extensive efforts to gain Kompromat on US officials as well as certain wealthy American businessmen.

Order From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia on Amazon or Audible. Follow Michael McFaul twitter at @mcfaul or at www.michaelmcfaul.com.  Today’s podcast was sponsored by Michelin Premiere Tires, Just for Men Control GX, and Travel Guard Travel Insurance.

Jun 14, 2018

Billy Bob Thornton and Mark Duplass talk about Season 2 of Goliath.  Billy reveals why he’s so attracted to outsider roles,
what he found particularly appealing about playing an attorney,
and how the show’s creators David E. Kelley and Jonathan Shapiro (both former attorneys) helped him prepare for the courtroom.  He talks about some of his own favorite movie lawyers, the death of independent film, and how television has come a long way
since his early days on the 90’s sitcom Evening Shade.  Mark Duplass talks about his excitement to play a bad guy on Goliath, what it's like to be one half of the acclaimed filmmaking duo the Duplass Brothers, why it took a while for them to learn to “individuate,” and what it's like to work as an actor on another director's set.  

Season 2 of Goliath is available on Amazon beginning Friday, June 15. For more information, visit http://a.co/i02m9ob and follow Mark Duplass on twitter at @MarkDuplass.  Today’s podcast was sponsored by Legal Shield.

Jun 12, 2018

I love sharing new podcasts, and in this special bonus episode, I want to introduce you to my friend Seth Godin and a great new podcast called Akimbo.  The first episode is about the hype around grand openings, whether it’s a summer blockbuster or a new startup, and in the second episode of Akimbo, Seth Godin delves into status roles in society, how we measure up alongside others, and what we’re willing to do to achieve a higher status role.  Subscribe to Akimbo in Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you listen, or go to www.akimbo.me.  You can also follow Seth Godin on twitter at @ThisIsSethsBlog or at www.sethgodin.com.

Jun 11, 2018

Bob Balaban has been a delightful part of many of the best movies and TV shows of the past 50 years including Moonrise Kingdom, A Mighty Wind, Gosford Park, Capote, and Seinfeld.  This Oscar and Emmy-nominated actor, director, and producer shares how a character actor can have a much longer career than a movie star, why he sometimes enjoys auditioning for a role more than actually getting it, and why he likes to study the famous directors with whom he works from Stephen Spielberg to Wes Anderson.  He recalls his family’s early roots in the golden age of Hollywood, his first break playing Linus in the original production of Your A Good Man Charlie Brown, and how he ended up playing Francois Truffaut’s translator (both on and off screen) in Close Encounters.  Bob Balaban discusses reuniting with his old friend William Hurt for the miniseries Condor, getting to play his first role as a "bad guy" in ages, and what this remake of Three Days of the Condor says about America’s growing paranoia the so-called “deep state.”  Plus we talk about Bob’s career as "six degrees of Warren Littlefield," why strangers still come up to him pitching ideas for television, and how to shoot a film about the richest woman in the world on a shoestring budget.

Condor airs Wednesdays at 10PM ET/PT on ATT Audience Network and Direct TV.  Visit http://start.att.net/exclusive/audience/condor to learn more. Follow Bob on Twitter at @BobBalaban.  Today’s podcast was sponsored by Legal ShieldGrasshopper, and Travel Guard.

Jun 7, 2018

Todd Purdum, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a senior writer at Politico, discusses his own life-long love of the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, and why their Broadway shows like South Pacific are so timeless.  He reveals how Oklahoma! revolutionized the Broadway musical and how their shows perfectly tapped into the mood of post-war America.  He talks about how Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein bravely addressed social injustices in their work, and how Hammerstein's politics landed him in hot water at the height of McCarthyism.  He discusses their troubled relationship with Hollywood and why the film version of The Sound of Music has been something of a mixed blessing for the R & H legacy.  Plus Todd Purdum talks about how the troubling themes of spousal abuse and suicide in Carousel play with modern audiences in a new Broadway revival, what Donald Trump could learn from The King and I, and the Dominican nun who served as Rodgers and Hammerstein’s behind-the-scenes collaborator.

Order Todd Purdum's fantastic book Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution on Amazon or Audible, and look for his regular political articles in Vanity Fair.  Today’s podcast was sponsored by Outside the Box podcast, Michelin Premiere Tires, and Legal Shield.

Jun 4, 2018

Author Max Brooks is well known for his bestselling zombie books like World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide, and he applies the same creative thinking to military strategy as a fellow at the Modern War Institute and The Art of Future Warfare Project.  He reveals how he gets military leaders to think outside the box about complex problems, some of the threats for which he fears the US is least prepared, and why American ingenuity and self-reliance will be crucial to surviving modern disasters like an attack on the power grid.  He discusses how his mother the late Anne Bancroft helped him cope with dyslexia, how Alan Alda taught him to write, and why his dad Mel Brooks is still a bundle of energy (and laughs) at age 91.  Max weighs in on everything from President Trump's North Korea policy to the Russian cyber-attacks, plus he shares what the military can learn from the Star Wars movies, how to survive a zombie apocalypse, and why an Ewok insurgency is not so cute.

Order Strategy Strikes Back: How Star Wars Explains Modern Military Conflict (co-edited by Max Brooks) on Amazon.  Learn more about Max at www.maxbrooks.com and follow him on twitter at @maxbrooksauthor.  Today’s podcast was sponsored by US Markerboard, Michelin Premiere Tires, Simple Contacts, Grasshopperand Legal Shield.

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