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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: Category: fiction
Mar 30, 2020

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich reports on the Coronavirus crisis from Italy, where his wife Callista serves as U.S. Ambassador the Vatican.  He offers some lessons for America from Italy’s early failure to stop the spread, some tips from what he say of South Korea’s successful containment of the virus, and his own theory of how COVID-19 made it’s way from China to Milan.  He also talks about how the pandemic will affect US-China relations, how he hopes it could lead to regime change in Iran, and how to best address the economic impact here at home in America.  Newt is also out with a new novel to help distract from the stress of these difficult times, and he discusses how top secret military research from World War II and the Cold War inspired the plot of his latest book, why the Russians make the perfect perennial villains, how the murderous Iranian General Qasem Soleimani lives on in his latest book, and how to kill a man with a poisonous snail!

Order Newt Gingrich's new book SHAKEDOWN: A NOVEL on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Check out his podcast Newt’s World wherever you listen to podcasts, visit his website at www.gingrich360.com, and follow him on twitter at @NewtGingrich.

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Jul 22, 2019

#1 Bestselling spy novelist Daniel Silva's books closely mirror world events, and he reveals how the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi led him to toss out 250 pages of his latest novel and start over.  The New Girl is the 19th book in his wildly successful Gabriel Allon series, and he says he never imagined that his most popular character would last more than one book.  Daniel discusses the similarities and differences between his fictional Saudi Prince and the brutal Mohammed bin Salman and why he believes that Russia may have had something to do with President Trump’s decision to give bin Salman a pass on the Khashoggi murder.  Daniel recalls his start as a journalist working at CNN in the early days of 24-hour news, being there the night when the network brought Operation Desert Storm into America’s living rooms, and meeting his wife and fellow journalist Jamie Gangel during the Iran-Iraq War.  Plus Daniel talks about his unique writing process, his fascination with art restoration, and more. 

Order Daniel Silva's latest thrilling novel The New Girl on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Visit his website at www.danielsilvabooks.com and follow him on Twitter at @DanielSilvaBook.  This episode is sponsored by TruGreen Mosquito Defense.

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May 30, 2019

Neil Gaiman talks about adapting his book Good Omens for television, the book’s long journey to the screen, and how he took the reins as show-runner in a promise to his late co-author Terry Pratchett.  Neil recalls the origins of their book as a fable about nature vs nurture and opens up about the on screen cameo that was just too painful for him to film.  He discusses his writing process, how he manages to avoid distractions, and why he chooses to write across many different mediums.  Plus Neil shares the story of the time he and Michael Sheen accidentally dined on an endangered species and got a front row seat for a federal raid.

Neil Gaiman's six-part limited series Good Omens stars Michael Sheen and David Tennant and is available on Amazon Prime Video beginning Friday, May 31st.  Keep up with Neil at www.neilgaiman.com and follow him on Twitter at @neilhimself.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Udacity.

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May 2, 2019

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich talks about his new political thriller Collusion: A Novel and how writing fiction has given him a chance to let his imagination run wild about the darker side of Washington.  He discusses why it’s almost impossible to make up a fictional super-villain like Vladimir Putin, his fascination Putin’s deadly penchant for high profile poisonings, and why he believes that Putin doesn’t mind taking the blame for those murders.  Plus he weighs in on President Trump’s Russia policy, the Mueller Report, what issues will drive the next election, and which Democrat could conceivably beat Donald Trump in 2020.

Order his book Collusion: A Novel on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with Newt at www.gingrich360.com, subscribe to his podcast Newt's World, and follow him on twitter at @newtgingrich.  Today's episode was sponsored by BetterHelp.com.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.

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Nov 26, 2018

Best-selling crime novelist Michael Connelly talks about his literary hero Raymond Chandler, how he followed in the footsteps of the king of detective noir when he first came to Los Angeles, and how Chandler’s novels influenced his own writing.  He reveals why he spent over two decades working as a crime reporter before diving into fiction, how he went about cultivating relationships with LAPD’s top homicide detectives, and how those sources still inform his work today.  He talks about creating his most famous character Harry Bosch, how he came to name him after the 15th century Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, and how Michael's role as a writer and executive producer of the BOSCH television series has influenced his novels including his latest book DARK SACRED NIGHT.  Plus Michael Connelly shares why he gravitates to characters who are loners, some of the craziest things that his friends at LAPD have ever seen, and why he’s jumping into the world of true crime podcasts for his next project.

Order Michael Connelly's book DARK SACRED NIGHT on Amazon, watch BOSCH available on Amazon Prime Video, and subscribe to his upcoming podcast MURDER BOOK on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like listen. Keep up with Michael at www.michaelconnelly.com or on twitter at @ConnellyBooks.  Today's episode was sponsored by Human Rights Watch and The Flatiron School.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

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May 31, 2018

CNN'S Jake Tapper discusses his foray into writing fiction with his new political thriller The Hellfire Club, his interest in the politics of the 1950s, and the real-life Washington powerbrokers who make up the supporting cast of his story.  He shares how his years of observing how eager young Congressmen slowly sell their souls inspired the central character of The Hellfire Club, and he illuminates some disturbing parallels between Donald Trump and Joseph McCarthy, the infamous red-baiting Senator who plays a key role in his novel.  He reveals the real secret society on which his story is based, and warns of the danger when the line between truth and conspiracy theories becomes blurred.  Plus Jake Tapper talks about his brief time in film school, Trump’s weirdly aggressive handshake, and why the U.S. Senate once investigated comic books.

Order Jake Tapper's his book The Hellfire Club on Amazon or Audible.  Watch him weeknights on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper and Sunday mornings on CNN’s State of the Union.  Follow Jake on twitter at @jaketapper.  Today’s podcast was sponsored by Outside the Box podcast, Legal Shield, and Adiamor Jewelry.

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