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.
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 Jewelry, GooglePlay and Morning Brew.
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.
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.
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.