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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: January, 2019
Jan 31, 2019

Cliff Sims recalls his time as President Trump's Director of Messaging Strategy in a chaotic White House that he likens to "Game of Thrones with the cast of VEEP."  He shares the real story behind the fiasco around Trump’s inauguration numbers, how the administration takes disorganization to a whole new level, and how many times the President’s senior staff learn of about major policy decisions on cable news.  He recalls helping President Trump draft his notorious "enemies list," how he learned that Kelly Anne Conway was leaking to the press, and why he believes former WH Chief of Staff John Kelly had it in for him.  He discusses how he reconciles his own conservative evangelical values with the President’s less than Christian behavior, how he came to grips with the hard learned lesson that everyone is disposable to Donald Trump, and why he still respects the President even after Trump disavowed Sims and his book in typical Trump fashion - via an angry tweet.  Plus the Mooch is on loose, Sean Spicer needs a refrigerator, and the greatest mystery of all - Donald Trump’s hair!

Order his latest book Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by BetterHelp and Homesick Candles.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

Jan 28, 2019

Science Communicator Professor Brian Cox reveals why he left a popular rock band for a career in particle physics, what he is learning through his participation in the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, and why he says the LHC has disproven the existence of ghosts.  He discusses Brexit, the vital link between democracy and science, and his concern over the growing education disparity.  He talks about walking in the footsteps of his hero Carl Sagan as a leading science communicator, the scientific concept that he has the hardest time explaining to non-scientists, and how the digital effects wizards behind the movie INTERSTELLAR are helping him elucidate the wonders of the universe in his spectacular new live show UNIVERSAL: ADVENTURES IN SPACE AND TIME.  Plus Brian says he's ready to call a truce in his ongoing feud with Deepak Chopra.

Visit www.profbriancoxlive.com for dates, tickets and information for Brian Cox's live tour UNIVERSAL: ADVENTURES IN SPACE AND TIME.  Subscribe to Brian’s podcast THE INFINITE MONKEY CAGE and follow him on twitter at @ProfBrianCox. Today's podcast was sponsored by Homesick Candles, Flatiron School, and Blinkist. Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

Jan 24, 2019

Award-winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Brother's Keeper, The Paradise Lost trilogy) reexamines America's most notorious serial killer on the 30th anniversary of his execution in his new Netflix documentary Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.  He discusses how one of Bundy’s first jobs gave him an inside view of the flaws in America’s law enforcement system, how Bundy exploited those weaknesses to his own devilish advantage,
and how it led to dramatic changes in how the FBI hunts serial killers and how state and local police share information.  We talk about how Ted Bundy’s clean cut good looks helped him elude capture, and the movie heart-throb who Joe Berlinger cast as Bundy in his new feature film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.  We talk about the media circus that turned Ted Bundy into a household name, the influence that the Bundy trial had on the true crime genre, and why Berlinger, known as the father of the true crime documentary, doesn’t actually like the term "true crime."

Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is available on Netflix beginning January 24 and look for Joe's feature film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend and in theatres soon.  Keep up with Joe at www.joeberlinger.com or on Twitter at @JoeBerlinger.  Today's episode is sponsored by Betterhelp.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

Jan 21, 2019

Dr. Phil McGraw says that some of his guests still surprise him even after 2000+ episodes of his #1 daytime talk show The Dr. Phil Show.  He recalls how losing a football game in junior high school inspired him to go into psychology, what it was like to go into practice with his father, and why he eventually decided to go from getting into the minds of his patients to getting into the minds of juries as a trial consultant.  He explains how that put him into contact with Oprah Winfrey, how he convinced her to move her entire TV operation to Amarillo, Texas for 3 months during the famous mad cow beef trial, and why he was initially hesitant when Oprah first invited him to come on her show.  He discusses his belief that problems are complex but solutions are often fairly simple, but he also says don’t be fooled by the magic of television and his easy going manner.  He says hours of research and peer review by America’s top doctors go into every single episode of The Dr. Phil Show.  He shares a little relationship advice from his 42 years of marriage, how his wife Robin is the "Dr Phil to Dr Phil" who always keeps him in check, and why Robin still sits in the audience of every taping of his show.  Then Dr Phil discusses how his new podcast Phil in the Blanks is a welcome chance to interview interesting people without the pressure of having to solve their problems, why he desperately wants to get O.J. Simpson on the show, and why he's planning to enter the popular true crime genre for his next project.  Plus why he never volunteers advice to his friends, what he would say if he was mediating the government shutdown negotiations, and he weighs in on the prospect of an Oprah for President campaign in 2020.

Subscribe to Dr. Phil's new podcast Phil in the Blanks
on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify, and visit www.drphilintheblanks.com for more information and upcoming guests.  The Dr. Phil Show airs weekdays and you can go to www.drphil.com to find your local listings.  Follow Phil McGraw on Twitter at @DrPhil.  Today's episode is sponsored by Flatiron School.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

Jan 17, 2019

A year ago, Dr. Steven Pinker's book Enlightenment Now made headlines for giving hard data that proved that the world is safer, happier, and freer than ever, but he was surprised by how many people just don't want to believe good news!  Today Dr. Pinker returns to the podcast to review the metrics of societal progress that continue to show that the world just keeps getting better, but he also discusses two areas that give him cause for concern.  Steven Pinker ponders whether the immigration debate might actually be a positive turning point as polls show that Americans are rejecting alternative facts and alarmism.  He reveals how genetics may play a part in our political preferences and explores how linguistics can make for more productive political discussions.  Dr. Pinker recalls growing up during the turbulent 60’s in Montreal and how he went from a teenage anarchist to a leading proponent of science, reason, humanism, and progress.  Plus we discuss his ongoing fight against political correctness, why we need to stop giving words too much power, and why he says those baby boomers who say millenials are a generation of snowflakes have no one but themselves.

Order his latest book Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with him on Twitter at @sapinker or at www.stevenpinker.com.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Blinkist.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

Jan 14, 2019

Howie Mandel talks about making his first comedy special in 20 years, his childhood growing up in Toronto, and how the show Candid Camera inspired him to pull an elaborate prank that got him expelled form high school. He shares how "winging it" the first time he want on stage turned into his signature improvisational style, and how he still finds much of his comedic inspiration from interacting with his audience.  He recalls opening for Diana Ross in Vegas, his very first TONIGHT SHOW appearance, how the HBO YOUNG COMEDIANS SPECIAL changed his life, and the time when a sitcom audition led to his getting cast in the serious TV medical drama SAINT ELSEWHERE. Howie reveals why he originally turned down the offer to host DEAL OR NO DEAL and the anxiety he gets whenever he sees contestants making bad decisions on the show.  He opens up about his struggle with obsessive compulsive disorder, and how he went from fearing that it might be a career killer to using his fame to raise awareness of mental health issues.  Plus Howie Mandel gives the secret to winning the golden buzzer on AMERICA'S GOT TALENT.

Howie's new comedy special HOWIE MANDEL PRESENTS HOWIE MANDEL AT THE HOWIE MANDEL COMEDY CLUB this Friday Jan 18 at 10PM E/P on Showtime.  DEAL OR NO DEAL airs Wednesdays at 9AM ET on CNBC and AGT: CHAMPIONS airs Mondays on NBC at 8PM ET.  Follow Howie on Twitter at @HowieMandel.  Today's episode is sponsored by Flatiron School and Hackable podcast.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

Jan 10, 2019

Abbi Jacobson opens up about the frustrations of TV development hell, playing “herself” on Comedy Central’s Broad City, and being a woman in a position of power.  She discusses her ongoing struggle with work-life balance, how it took a book deal just to make her take 3 weeks off to travel the country and get over a broken heart, and how that trip taught her that “the things we’re most afraid of, are the things that will most change us.”  Abbi reveals how she and co-creator Ilana Wexler got Amy Poehler to champion Broad City for television, how they convinced Hillary Clinton to guest star in the middle of the election, and what you can learn about a TV network from the snack selection in the lobby.  Plus Abbi Jacobson talks aura readings in Sedona, feeling a little out of place at a Mormon lodge in Utah, and why a bed and breakfast is the worst place to go when you just want to be alone!

Order Abbi's new book I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff on Amazon or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with Abbi on Twitter at @AbbiJacobson, and don’t miss the final season of Broad City beginning January 24 on Comedy Central.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

Jan 7, 2019

Brad Meltzer is the #1 bestselling author of political thrillers like The Escape Artist and The Inner Circle.  Today he talks about making his first foray into nonfiction for his latest book The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington, all the research that went into it, and his initial concern that a long forgotten rumor of a secret plot to assassinate America’s founding father might turn out to be just that - a rumor.  He tells the story of America’s "other Benedict Arnold" and the deadly conspiracy by some of the very men charged with protecting George Washington’s life.  He reveals how the incident gave birth to American counterintelligence, why Washington wasted no time in making an example of one of the traitor, and why there was a deliberate effort to cover-up the plot to kill Washington for more than 240 years.  Plus he shares some of the wild conspiracy theories he hears from his fans at book signings, his alarm over the explosion of conspiracy thinking and paranoia in American politics, and a few memories of his friend the late President George H.W. Bush.

Order THE FIRST CONSPIRACY: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington on Amazon or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with Brad at BradMeltzer.com or on twitter at @BradMeltzer.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

Jan 3, 2019

Actor Bill Murray (Lost in Translation, Rushmore) discusses how his music and poetry album New Worlds evolved out of a chance meeting with classical cellist Jan Vogler on a flight from Berlin to NYC. Plus, Bill Murray shares his philosophy of life, his favorite American humorists, and his thoughts on being an internet folk hero.

New Worlds is available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, or wherever you buy music.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

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