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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: July, 2018
Jul 30, 2018

Comedian Bo Burnham discusses making his directorial debut with his critically acclaimed film EIGHTH GRADE which explores the humor and horrors of modern adolescence.  He talks about why he went to great lengths to avoid nostalgia in his portrayal of life in middle school and how casting a real 13 year old girl kept him honest.  He shares how he drew inspiration from watching hours of web videos by middle schoolers, how much the internet has changed since he made his own Youtube debut in 2006, and why he doesn’t judge millennials for their addiction to social media.  He reveals why he only allowed his lead actress to read the script once before shooting and how the comedian known for very BIG humor learned to appreciate the small moments.  Plus a few words of wisdom for kids going through those awkward years!

EIGHTH GRADE is now playing in theatres nationwide. For more information and showtimes, visit www.eighthgrade.movie.  Also check out www.boburnham.com and follow him on twitter at @BoBurnham.  Today's podcast is sponsored by Dollar Shave Club and GooglePlay.

Jul 26, 2018

Famed attorney and lifelong Democrat Alan Dershowitz says even though he make not like Donald Trump's policies, the President is entitled to the same rights as any other American and impeachment is a clearly defined Constitutional procedure not political theatre.  He explains exactly what is and is NOT an impeachable offense, why even a criminal act may not necessarily lead to impeachment, and how this applies to Presidents from Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.  According to Dershowitz, President Trump has every right to fire the FBI director, shut down investigations, and pardon anyone he wants...perhaps even including himself.  He warns against a dangerous trend of criminalizing politics on both sides, argues that the Mueller investigation runs the risk of abusing attorney client privilege, and asks where has the ACLU been throughout it all?  Plus he rates Rudy Giuliani’s performance as Trump’s attorney, weighs in on the President’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and advises that Trump should absolutely NOT agree to an interview

with the Mueller investigation.

Order Alan Dershowitz's book THE CASE AGAINST IMPEACHING TRUMP on Amazon or Audible and follow him on twitter at @AlanDershowitz.  Today's podcast is sponsored by GooglePlay.

Jul 23, 2018

Comedian Jim Gaffigan opens up about his wife/writing partner Jeannie’s brain tumor scare and how she was the first person to suggest using it in his new comedy special JIM GAFFIGAN: NOBLE APE.  Jim reveals how trial and error led him back to his own authentic voice as a comedian, how he gets inside the head of the audience and plays his own worst critic on stage, and why he’s making fewer and fewer food jokes.  He discusses why he’s breaking free of the Netflix model for his latest comedy special and why he’s taken a number of dramatic film roles in no less than 13 films over the next year.  Plus Jim Gaffigan riffs on the mixed blessing of hot pockets, the worst part about getting a colonoscopy, and the hardest comedy gig in the world...opening for the Pope.

Comedy Dynamics presents Jim Gaffigan's newest comedy special JIM GAFFIGAN: NOBLE APE in theaters, OnDemand, iTunes, Amazon, and all of your favorite digital platforms.  There's eve an album available.  Follow Jim on Twitter at @jimgaffigan and visit Jim's website for tour dates and other fun stuff at www.jimgaffigan.com.  

Jim's upcoming live shows include Kettering, OH (7/27), Clarkson, MI (7/28), Atlantic City (8/4), Bethlehem, PA (8/5) Santa Rosa, CA (8/9), Fresno, CA (8/12), Casper, WY (8/13) the Iowa State Fair (8/14), ACharleston, SC (8.17).

Today's podcast is sponsored by GooglePlay, Dollar Shave Club, Purple Mattressand Morning Brew.

Jul 19, 2018

In the wake of the bizarre Trump-Putin Summit, intelligence expert Malcolm Nance says Trump has gone from being an unwitting asset of Russia to a willing asset deliberately undermining NATO, the European Union, and even his own country.  Nance says Donald Trump has betrayed his oath to uphold the Constitution and is the closest thing America's seen to another Benedict Arnold.  He reveals Russia’s broader efforts to undermine US and the influential Americans enabling Russian interference including the most powerful gun-rights organization in the country, the politician known Putin’s man in Congress, and the alt-right media baron he calls “the American Goebbles.”  What’s Vladimir Putin’s end-game?  Malcolm Nance says Putin's ultimate goal is to dismantle western democracy itself!

Order Malcolm Nance's new book The Plot to Destroy Democracy:
How Putin and His Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West on Amazon or Audible.  Follow him on Twitter at @Malcolm Nance.  Today's podcast is sponsored by GooglePlay.

Jul 16, 2018

Former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes talks about how he survived a full 8 years in the White House, his close friendship with President Barack Obama, and what it was like to travel the world representing America.  Ben says the Arab Spring taught him that sometimes hope and change have to take a back seat to pragmatism and the big picture.  He reveals how he secretly worked with the Pope to reopen relations with Cuba, how sleeplessness led to some frayed nerves during the Iran nuclear negotiations, and how wild conspiracy theories around Benghazi continue to follow him even today.  He throws some cold water on Trump’s accusation that President Obama ordered the FBI to investigate him, discusses how he and Obama emotionally processed Trump’s 2016 victory, and talks about the somber mood on President Obama's final foreign trip as he tried to console/encourage other world leaders like Angela Merkel.  Plus the we talk about the Syrian red line, Hillary Clinton’s private server, sanctions against Russia, and Trump’s North Korean photo-op.

Order Ben's book The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House on Amazon or Audible and follow him on twitter at @BRhodes.  Today's podcast is sponsored by GooglePlay and Morning Brew.

Jul 12, 2018

Rob Reiner returns to talk about the long road to making his latest film Shock and Awe about the journalists who "got it right" about WMD in Iraq and why he says Americans still may not be ready to deal with the mistakes of the Iraq War.  How discusses the lesser known news syndicate that uncovered the truth about WMD and why the mainstream media at the time ignored all the warning signs.  He talks about his love for classic newsroom films like All the President's Men and his urgency to make a film about great journalism at a time when the free press and the truth are under greater assault than ever.  Rob Reiner gives an update on his group the Committee to Investigate Russia, he cautions that the rhetoric on the Left treads a thin line between energizing their base and energizing the other side, and we ponder how Archie Bunker went from a punchline to a political movement.

Rob Reiner's movie Shock and Awe opens in theaters Friday, July 13.  Follow Rob Reiner on Twitter at @RobReiner and learn more about The Committee to Investigate Russia at www.investigaterussia.org.  Today's podcast is sponsored by Adiamor JewelryGooglePlay and Morning Brew.

Jul 9, 2018

Bestselling humorist David Sedaris talks about why he doesn’t do social media, how a fitbit has come to rule his life, and his irritation with the British habit of bullying Americans into drinking.  David shares how watching his father grow old has him thinking about his own mortality and how he keeps politics from coming between him and his Trump-supporting dad.  David Sedaris says his heavy travel schedule has liberated him from the watching the news and he couldn't be happier about it.  Plus he shares a few of his favorite travel tips and regional insults from around the globe.

Order David Sedaris's book Calypso on Amazon or Audible.  For more, visit www.davidsedarisbooks.com.  Today's podcast is sponsored by GooglePlay and Morning Brew.

Jul 5, 2018

Astrophysicist Adam Frank offers an explanation for why we have yet to made contact with extraterrestrials and says it is highly likely that many of ten billion trillion planets in the universe have hosted technologically advanced alien civilizations.  He discusses three possible fates that may have befallen those civilizations and how studying other planets could help us save our own.  He says that climate science actually holds consistent truths across all planets that have atmospheres and if we can predict climate change on Mars, we are certainly able to predict climate change here on earth. Plus Adam talks about the significance of the recent discovery of methane gas on Mars, his experience as a science consultant on Marvel’s Dr Strange,
and why he doesn’t like the term "alien."

Order Adam Frank's book Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth on Amazon or Audible.  Keep up with Adam at www.adamfrankscience.com or on Twitter at @AdamFrank4.  Today's podcast is sponsored by Outside the Box podcast.

Jul 2, 2018

The Simpsons's longest-serving writer/producer Mike Reiss celebrates the 30th anniversary of the longest running show in TV history and shares stories, scandals, and gossip about working with America’s most iconic cartoon family.  He talks about his early days writing for the Harvard Lampoon and why Lampoon alums make up half the writers rooms in Hollywood.  He recalls working on The Tonight Show, how his only meeting with Johnny Carson was just like being a guest on his show, and a Carnac joke taught him that there’s just no science to comedy.  He discusses coming on board the first episode of The Simpsons, why Fox had little faith in the first primetime cartoon since The Flintstones, and why The Simpsons became a cultural phenomenon right out of the gate.  He reveals that Simpsons characters are just bad impersonations of old movie stars, how the writers add special guest roles into the script just to meet their childhood heroes, and Mike shares a few of favorite celebrity guests and some of the ones that got away.  He talks about the fans' love/hate relationship with the show, some of the crazier conspiracy theories swirling around The Simpsons, and the show's complicated relationship with Seth McFarlane's Family Guy.  Plus Mike Reiss tells me which countries have actually banned and even sued The Simpsons and how his own popular children's book got boycotted by the Texas Board of Education.

Order Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons on Amazon or Audible. Watch The Simpsons every Sunday night on Fox and follow Mike Reiss on Twitter at @MikeReissWriter.  Today's podcast is sponsored by Michelin Premiere Tires and Dollar Shave Club.

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