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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, 2020
Jul 30, 2020

Al Roker returns to the show to tell stories from The Today Show and his early days in local television including how he annoyed his way into his first gig as a TV weatherman, some of his worst on-air flubs, and what he loved about doing those quirky, feel-good segments at the end of your evening news.  He says every local news team has there own version of Ron Burgundy, recalls working with a young Maury Povich back when Maury was serious DC newsman, and how he once handled a racist comment from another news anchor on live television.  Al discusses the best piece of advice he got from his mentor and predecessor Willard Scott, what it’s like to wake up at 3:45AM every week day to do The Today Show, and what happened on the one time he overslept.  Plus Al Roker shares his favorite live shot from outside on Rockefeller Plaza, his riskiest in person encounter with a major hurricane, and why he thinks five-year plans are overrated.

Order Al Roker’s book You Look So Much Better in Person: True Stories of Absurdity and Success on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  You can see Al every weekday on NBC’s The Today Show and follow him on twitter at @alroker. Today's episode was sponsored by Chili.  One of the most effective ways to get better sleep is through temperature regulation.  Chili makes both the chiliPAD and OOLER, two really cool gadgets that fit over the top of your mattress and use water to control the temperature of your bed.  Go to www.chilitechnology.com/KICK, and get one-hundred fifty dollars off any sleep system with code KICK.

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Jul 27, 2020

Silicon Valley icon Guy Kawasaki recalls his childhood in Hawaii, his start in the jewelry business, and how his skills at jewelry sales came in surprisingly handy when he became chief evangelist for Macintosh. He talks about personally witnessing the genius and dark side of Apple founder Steve Jobs, he shares some rules that he calls "the Gospel According to Steve," and opens up about the argument that led him to quit Apple in the 90s.  He talks about honor and honesty in the tech industry, his litmus test for doing business with someone, and why many of his best deals are done on a handshake.  He shares plenty of of sage marketing advice including what he calls "Guy’s Golden Rule" and gives me a crash course in how to be a social media influencer without letting it dominate your life.  Plus Guy discusses the costly mistake Hillary Clinton made with her Silicon Valley supporters, a cost/benefit analysis of standing up to Donald Trump, and the two asian celebrities for whom Guy always gets mistaken!

Order Guy Kawasaki's book WISE GUY: LESSONS FROM A LIFE on Amazon, Audible, and wherever books are sold.  Keep up with him at www.guykawasaki.com, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter at @GuyKawasaki.  

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Jul 23, 2020

Oscar-winning writer/director Oliver Stone (Platoon, Wall Street, JFK) discusses why he dropped out of Yale and volunteered to go fight in Vietnam, some of the horrors that he witnessed during that war, and how the black soldiers in his platoon opened his eyes to injustice and saved his life.  He talks about how writing a screenplay about the experience helped him process what he had been through in Vietnam, why it took him 16 years to get Platoon made, and how the ouster of Filipino strongman Ferdinand Marcos nearly shut down production on the movie.  He recalls writing the script for Scarface while trying to kick his own cocaine addiction, his wild adventures with the journalist who inspired his movie Salvador, and how that film opened his eyes America’s role in propping up Central American dictators in the 80s.  Plus Oliver Stone reveals the hardest part about filming in the jungle, what he learned from a young Martin Scorsese in film school, and why he learns as much from his successes as he does from his failures. 

Order Oliver Stone's new memoir Chasing the Light: Writing, Directing, and Surviving Platoon, Midnight Express, Scarface, Salvador, and the Movie Game on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today's episode was sponsored by Chili.  One of the most effective ways to get better sleep is through temperature regulation.  Chili makes both the chiliPAD and OOLER, two really cool gadgets that fit over the top of your mattress and use water to control the temperature of your bed.  Go to www.chilitechnology.com/KICK, and get one-hundred fifty dollars off any sleep system with code KICK.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 20, 2020

Jennifer Palmieri served as the former Communications Director to President Barack Obama and then for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.  She spent most of her career advocating for herself and for other women from "within the system," but now she says it is time from women to break from that system and rewrite the playbook in her new book She Proclaims: Our Declaration of Independence from a Man's World.  Jennifer looks back at the roots of the American feminist movement, the surprising historical events that held women back for the past 3 centuries, and why women are still fighting for equality on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote.  Jennifer recalls times in her own career when she was hesitant to ask for what she deserved and times when she has caught herself filtering her real opinions for men, but says that the women actually outlasted the men in both the Clinton and Obama White Houses.  She shares some startling psychological research about the gender dynamics that  influenced the 2016 election, why women held Hillary Clinton to an impossible standard, and what some voters really meant when they said “there’s just something about Hillary that I don’t like.”  Plus Jennifer remembers when she hired a young intern named Monica Lewinsky in the Clinton White House and how her perspective on the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal has changed over the years. 

Order Jennifer Palmieri's new book She Proclaims: Our Declaration of Independence from a Man's World on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold and follow her on twitter at @jmpalmieri.

 

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Jul 17, 2020

Max Brooks (World War Z) discusses what a fictional Sasquatch massacre can teach us about the perils of eco-utopianism, what happens when man encroaches on nature, and those people who still refuse to wear a mask in public.  Max says people in the 21st Century are exchanging resilience and know-how for technological convenience - a trade-off that may not serve us very well when we’re put to the test in a true emergency like the COVID-19 crisis.  He talks about his childhood fascination with the legend of big foot, his hatred for the 1987 movie Harry and the Hendersons, and how his research into great apes informed his take on how Sasquatches might behave if threatened.  He also recalls his brief stint as a writer of Saturday Night Live, how his mother Anne Bancroft inspired his love of science and research, and how his dad Mel Brooks and the late Carl Reiner got each other through quarantine.

Order Max's book Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with Max at www.maxbrooks.com and follow him on twitter at @MaxBrooksAuthor.

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Jul 13, 2020

Ambassador John Bolton reveals what he witnessed during his 17 tumultuous months as National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump.  Bolton shares how he reacted to Trump’s eagerness to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, why the second North Korea summit was so hastily put together, and what took place behind closed doors in Trump’s infamous one-on-one meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.  He says the President rarely ever reads and recalls his frustrations at trying to educate a Trump about history and foreign policy.  We talk about President Trump’s bizarre obsession with authoritarian strongmen, his overall lack of interest in advancing freedom and human rights, and the numerous times Bolton considered resigning.  Plus Ambassador Bolton weighs in on whether he thinks Trump would willingly step down if defeated in the November election.

Order John Bolton's new book The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold, and follow him on Twitter at @AmbJohnBolton.

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Jul 9, 2020

Adam Savage (Mythbusters, MythBusters Junior) talks about building a working prototype of Marvel’s Iron Man suit for his series Savage Builds and what it was like to fly around with tiny jet engines strapped to his forearms.  He discusses how Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson helped him take to the skies in a real World War I dogfight, why Adam's attempt recreate one of World War II’s most bizarre contraptions was less than successful, and how it served as a lesson in the importance of embracing your failures.  Adam talks about his love of juggling and magic, his friendship with magician and skeptic the Amazing Randy, his own relationship with the skeptic community, and how he discovered that Darwinism doesn’t make for good television.  Plus Adam talks about obsession with the dodo bird and why wire coat hangers are a maker's best friend.

Visit Adam Savage at www.adamsavage.com for more fun stuff and follow him on twitter at @donttrythis.  Today's episode was sponsored by Mutual Mobile.  If you have mobile app design or development needs, schedule a free 30 minute consultation with Mutual Mobile at www.mutualmobile.link/kick to get started.

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Jul 6, 2020

Andrew Zimmern host of Bizarre Foods on The Travel Channel talks about how he became the man who’ll eat anything and some of the weirdest foods he’s tried over the years.  He reveals some of the strangest delicacies that turned out to be surprisingly good and whether he’s finally learned to love his old nemesis - the infamously stinky durian fruit.  He’ll discuss his broader mission to spread tolerance and understanding because as he puts it, "social change often starts with our stomachs."  He recalls how he went from living on the streets to globe trotting on The Travel Channel, he explains why his newest show The Zimmern List is his most personal one yet, and why he finally decided to share the one special restaurant that he swore he’d never reveal to the public.  Plus, Andrew discusses why freshness matters when eating testicles, the best bird fetus he ever ate, and two words...snake wine.

Watch Bizarre Foods and The Zimmern List on The Travel Channel.  To learn more, visit www.travelchannel.com.  You can also check out lots of other cool stuff at www.AndrewZimmern.com and follow Andrew on twitter at @AndrewZimmern.

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Jul 2, 2020

This Monday June 29, the world lost comedy legend Carl Reiner at the ripe old age 98.   In his honor, we’re sharing a conversation that I had with Carl in 2017.  He talks about working with Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows, making The 2000 Year Old Man, and directing Steve Martin in The Jerk.  He also discusses his pride over his son director Rob Reiner's career, his thoughts on politics and Donald Trump, his enduring friendship with Mel Brooks, and how he stays sharp and spry well into his 90s.

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