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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, 2021
Jan 28, 2021

Five-time Tony Award-winning director George C. Wolfe talks about his acclaimed new motion picture Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, the legacy of the original the original Mother of the Blues, and what went into transforming Oscar-winner Viola Davis into this larger than life icon. He discusses what the Chicago jazz scene meant to black musicians who migrated from the Jim Crow South in the 1920s and some of the creative ways that he found to visually depict the foreignness of the urban north for those who made that journey. George opens up about the process of bringing August Wilson’s play to the screen and why he chose to use Wilson’s hometown of Pittsburgh as a double for the windy city. He shares why he always has an intense rehearsal period before he shoots a frame of film, how his own experience as an occasional actor informs his directing, and how he got the performance of a lifetime out of the late Chadwick Boseman. Plus we talk about the white bandleader who appropriated black music and then had the nerve to bill himself as "the king of jazz," the relevance of Ma Rainey’s story in the wake of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, and the swirl of Oscar buzz surrounding this five-time Tony-winning director and his movie.

George C. Wolfe's fantastic film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is now showing in select theaters and streaming on Netflix. I also encourage you to check out the wonderful motion picture soundtrack by the great Branford Marsalis and discover some of the original recordings by the real Ma Rainey on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, Pandora, or wherever you like to listen. Some of my personal favorites by Ma include "See See Rider Blues," "Chain Gang Blues," "Prove It On Me," "Moonshine Blues," "Hear Me Talking to You," and of course "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom."

If you enjoyed today's episode of Kickass News, please subscribe and rate and review us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Visit www.kickassnews.com for more information on the show, and follow us on Facebook and on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod. Thanks for listening!

 

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Jan 26, 2021

In this 2017 interview, basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar talks about his 50 year friendship with the "Wizard of Westwood" UCLA Coach John Wooden.  He says Coach Wooden was more concerned with his players’ grades than with winning basketball games, he shares some of the wisdom that Coach Wooden imparted, and talks about the time Coach helped Abdul-Jabbar forgive another one of his early mentors who used a racial slur.  He talks about how he felt when the NCAA banned dunking and how Coach Wooden helped him overcome that setback by showing him how use his signature "skyhook" to maximum effect on the court.  Plus Kareem shares some of Wooden’s favorite inspirational quotes, the Coach's essential advice on how to put on your shoes and socks, and Kareem explains how his two loves - basketball and jazz are really very similar. 

Order Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's new book Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court on Amazon or download the audiobook for free with a special trial offer just for our listeners at www.audibletrial.com/kickassnews. You can learn more about what Kareem is up to these days at www.kareemabduljabbar.com and support his charity The Skyhook Foundation at www.skyhookfoundation.org.  Follow Kareem on Twitter at @KAJ33.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

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Jan 22, 2021

Dr. Robert Ballard is the famed ocean explorer responsible for some of the greatest undersea discoveries including the RMS Titanic, the German battleship Bismarck, and John F. Kennedy's WW II boat PT-109.  Today Dr. Ballard reveals that he was actually on a top secret government mission when he found the Titanic, what it was like the first time he physically went down to visit Titanic, and his outrage at those who are looting this sacred burial ground for profit.  We also discuss what really sank the Lusitania, what Russia is up to in the waters around vital fiber optic cables in the Atlantic, and the future of fishing with sustainable floating fisheries in the open ocean.  Plus, how Dr. Ballard is now trying to bring his underwater adventures right into every classroom in America.

Learn more about Dr. Robert Ballard and his Ocean Exploration Trust at www.oceanexplorationtrust.org, and as of May 12, you can follow the explorations of Dr. Ballard and the crew of the EV Nautilus in real time at www.nautiluslive.org.  Follow Dr. Ballard and his team on Twitter at @EVNautilus.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

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Jan 18, 2021

Bulletproof founder Dave Asprey talks about his latest book Fast This Way: (How to Lose Weight, Get Smarter, and Live Your Longest, Healthiest Life with the Bulletproof Guide to Fasting).  He discuss why diets and New Year's resolutions never work, the difference between fasting and dieting, and why science is just starting to take intermittent fasting seriously.  He shares how fasting can reduce inflammation, increase your sharpness and productivity, boost your immune system, and even add years to your life.  Dave also reveals how four days alone in a cave opened his eyes to benefits of fasting, why every major world religion still has some form of ritualistic fasting, and why he is now embracing something called a dopamine fast.  Plus how the most famous biohacker is protecting himself from Covid-19, why you always want to start your day with a cup of coffee, and why you finally have  permission to never eat kale again!

Order Dave's book Fast This Way: (How to Lose Weight, Get Smarter, and Live Your Longest, Healthiest Life with the Bulletproof Guide to Fasting) on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold, and you can learn more at www.fastthisway.com.  Listen to Dave's podcast Bulletproof Radio wherever you get your podcasts, and keep up with Dave at www.bulletproof.com and on Twitter at @bulletproofexec.

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Jan 14, 2021

Mike Rowe has handled some of the toughest and most disgusting jobs during his nine seasons as host of Discovery's Dirty Jobs.  Now he's putting that same work ethic to work to prove once and for all that everything in the world is connected for his discovery+ series Six Degrees with Mike Rowe.  Mike reveals how he faked his way into his first job as an opera singer, some of the strangest products he used to pitch as a late-night host on QVC, and the hardest thing he ever had to do as host of Dirty Jobs.  Mike talks about the party game that inspired his latest show, his own habit of getting lost down rabbit holes on Google (especially when history’s involved), and how he is using everything from puppets and animation to his high school best friend to make history fun on Six Degrees.  Plus he shares where he gets his famous work ethic, what he’s doing to help young people find honest work in the vocational trades, and why he believes that 4-year colleges are becoming increasingly out of touch.  

Watch all six episodes of Six Degrees with Mike Rowe on discovery+, subscribe to Mike’s podcast The Way I Heard It wherever you like to listen, and learn more about the Mike Rowe Works Foundation at www.mikeroweworks.org.  Keep up with Mike at www.mikerowe.com and follow him on Twitter at @MikeRoweWorks.

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Jan 11, 2021

Documentary filmmaker Ryan White (The Case Against 8The Keepers) talks about his new film Assassins about the murder of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un's half brother Kim Jong-Nam.  He recounts how Kim Jong-Nam was killed in broad daylight with the deadly VX nerve agent, questions the press’s sensational portrayal of two young Southeast Asian women as diabolical black widow assassins, and reveals that the truth of what happened is even more bizarre than anything that the media could make up. Ryan discusses his belief that the two women were unwitting pawns of North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un, explains why the dictator would want to murder his own brother in such a sensational manner, and shares how 8 North Korean agents, who were suspected of masterminding the plot, slipped right through the hands of Malaysian authorities.  He recalls covering every moment of the very public show trial of the two accused murderers, what it was like to become so emotionally invested in the fate of two people he had never even met, and what kind of security precautions he had to take as he unravelled an international thriller involving one of the world’s most ruthless strongmen.

Assassins is now showing in theaters and available on Video-on-Demand starting January 15.  Follow Ryan White on Twitter at @RyanWhiteIV and at www.tripod-media.com.




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Jan 7, 2021

Academy Award-winning director Bryan Fogel (Icarus) discusses his gripping new documentary thriller The Dissident about the 2018 execution of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul.  He discuss how Jamal Khashoggi went from being an insider in the Saudi royal family to a harsh critic of the House of Saud, how a sophisticated cyber hack and the ultimate Twitter war put Khashoggi squarely in the cross hairs of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (aka MBS), and what he learned from friends, allies, and the fiancé of the late Saudi dissident.  Bryan reveals why no major Hollywood film distributor or streaming service would even touch his movie (despite the widespread acclaim for The Dissident), he explains how Saudi Arabia’s massive sovereign wealth fund turns dollars into censorship, and calls out everyone from major US corporations to President Donald Trump for cowering and kowtowing to Mohammed bin Salman.  We talk about the gruesome audio of Jamal Khashoggi’s execution that emerged shortly after his death, who may have been responsible for those recordings, and whether MBS may finally suffer consequences for this brutal murder once President-elect Biden takes office.

The Dissident is currently showing in select theaters, and available on paid video on demand starting January 15.  Visit www.thedissident.com for showtimes and information, help support the Human Rights Foundation at www.hrf.org, and follow Bryan on Twitter at @bryanfogel.

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Jan 6, 2021

Madeleine Albright fled fascists during her childhood and faced them down as Secretary of State, and today she comes on the podcast to warn that fascism is once again on the rise.  She shares how her own refugee experience during World War II and the Cold War shaped her worldview and recalls her meetings with with authoritarian strongmen like Kim Jong-il, Slobodan Milošević, and Vladimir Putin.  She reveals that most fascists come into office through democratic elections or a constitutional transfer of powers, not a bloody coup, and in her experience, dictators can be surprisingly normal and polite despite their monstrous cruelty.  She discusses the upcoming summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, says Putin plays a poor hand well and Trump plays a good hand poorly, and calls out Donald Trump as "the least democratic President in American history."

Order Madeleine Albright's book Fascism: A Warning on Amazon and follow her on twitter at @madeleine.  

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