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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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Dec 19, 2019

Ash Carter and Sam Kashner discuss their new book about the EGOT-winning director Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Birdcage).   They talk about his early years as one of the founders of the improv group that would become Second City, the story of how Nichols joined up with Elaine May to make comedy history, and how the creative differences that broke up Nichols and May opened the door for Mike Nichols to direct for Broadway and Hollywood.  They reveal how the first time director got the nerve to stand up to movie mogul Jack Warner during the filming of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, why Nichols originally wanted to cast Robert Redford in The Graduate, and how Orson Wells tried to usurp him as director on Catch-22.  They share stories of Nichols’ courtship and marriage of news anchor Diane Sawyer, his lavish life, his many friendships, and a lesson in how to go out in style.

Order their book Life isn't everything: Mike Nichols, as remembered by 150 of his closest friends on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow Sam and Ask on Twitter at @SamKashner and @Psmithjourno.  Today's episode was sponsored by Oris Watches.  Shop their selection of Swiss made mechanical watches at www.oris.ch/kick.

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Apr 1, 2019

Preet Bharara talks about his eight years as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, what movies and TV get wrong about criminal investigations, and why the job is more than just "connecting the dots" or "following the money."  He says if you want to get a confession out of a bad guy, food works better than playing hardball, he discusses the devil's bargain of cutting deals with cooperating witnesses, and why sometimes the cases you don’t prosecute are just as important as the ones you do.  Plus Preet weigh in on the Mueller Report, whether U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr’s interpretation of the report can be trusted, why Mueller didn’t make any recommendations, and whether Mueller intended to "punt" those decisions to Congress rather than Barr.

Order Preet Bharara's book Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to his podcast Stay Tuned with Preet on Apple Podcasts and follow him on Twitter at @PreetBharara.  Today's podcast was sponsored by BetterHelp.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listeners survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.

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Feb 14, 2019

Former NJ Governor Chris Christie sets the record straight about his tenure as a corruption-busting prosecutor and a Republican running a Democratic state, as well as what really happened on the 2016 campaign trail and inside Trump Tower.  He recalls how his friendship with Donald Trump began and the nasty details of the infamous Charles Kushner case that would later come back to haunt him.  He talks about why he passed on running for President in 2012, Hurricane Sandy and that notorious Obama hug (which he says wasn’t really a hug), and how the Romney campaign used it as a scapegoat for their own candidate’s shortcomings.  Christie reveals that he even had to convince his own son that he had nothing to do with the George Washington Bridge closure and in the end it boiled down to stupid people doing stupid things.  I ask him if he thinks the Trump-Russia collusion may turn out to be a similar situation, he says he could tell General Mike Flynn was trouble from day one, he talks about his former colleagues Bob Mueller and James Comey, and he shares the advice he gave President Trump when the whole Russia investigation began.  He reveals why he believed he was going to be tapped as Trump’s running mate, how Jared Kushner tossed out the entire Trump transition plan just to get even with him, and the day he finally got fed up and said "I’m done."  Plus Chris Christie on how he became the first Youtube Governor, why he unfollowed every New Jersey reporter on Twitter, and why it took him 3 months to convince Donald Trump to cash his check.

Order Chris Christie's book Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow him on twitter at @ChrisChristie.  Today's episode was sponsored by BetterHelp.com.

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Dec 10, 2018

The legendary Tina Brown returns to talk about growing up in an entertainment family, how she got expelled from 3 different boarding schools for being a “subversive influence,” and how that same subversiveness served her well as editor of Vanity Fair.  Tina talks about her 37 year marriage to the former editor of The Sunday Times - Harry Evans, and their morning ritual of having a “news buffet.”  She talks about turning around The New Yorker after her successful run at Vanity Fair, how she adapted from magazines to the immediacy of digital news when she founded The Daily Beast, and what is was like working with media mogul Barry Diller.  She recalls her torturous years running Talk Magazine with the infamous Harvey Weinstein, finding some peculiar open-ended book contracts with young women when she ran Talk Books, and leading the charge of the Me Too era with her Women in the World Summit.  She reveals what recently attracted her to enter the world of podcasting, how her new show TBD with Tina Brown is a return to her roots as a journalist, and why “the mix” still matters whether you’re running a magazine or a podcast.  Plus, the author of The Diana Chronicles has some advice for Meghan Markle on how to navigate palace intrigues.

Subscribe to Tina's new podcast TBD with Tina Brown on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen, learn more about her Women in the World Summit at www.womenintheworld.com, and follow her on twitter at @TinaBrownLM.  Today's episode was sponsored by Human Rights Watch, Espresso Monster, 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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Sep 13, 2018

Comedian Sam Morrill talks about getting his start as an intern on the Colbert Report and breaking into the New York comedy scene.  He reveals why dating and standup don't always mix and why his therapist misses him when he's on the road.  He talks about some of the jokes that have gotten him in trouble with social justice warriors on the internet and how he handles the moral outrage machine on social media. Plus borscht belt comedy, the worst gigs ever, #MeToo, and more. 

Don't miss Sam's new standup special Sam Morrill: Positive Influence on Friday 9/14 at 11PM ET/PT on Comedy Central. Visit Sam online at www.sammorrill.com and follow him on twitter at @SamMorrill.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Heineken and the Move the Sticks Podcast.

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May 11, 2017

Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter, president of the New America Foundation and former director of the State Department Office of Policy Planning discusses her new book The Chessboard and the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World. She talks about the old model of Cold War era game theory and how the US needs to employ more inclusive strategies to deal with an increasingly more complex and decentralized world. She discusses how criminal and terrorist networks are using this type of organization to great effect, she talks about the divide between open and closed societies as the new capitalism vs communism, and how “America First” is terrible foreign policy in the age of globalization. She also discusses her time in the State Department, what she learned working for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and what might have been if her old boss was in the Oval Office right now.

Special thanks to the Milken Institute for hosting this interview during the 2017 Milken Global Conference. Visit www.milkeninstitute.org to learn more about their work to improve global stability and connectivity.

Order Anne-Marie Slaughter’s book The Chessboard and the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World on Amazon or download the audiobook for free with a special trial offer from Audible at www.audibletrial.com/kickassnews. Follow Dr. Slaughter on Twitter at @SlaughterAM and visit the New America Foundation at www.newamerica.org.

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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