By: Mathis Entertainment, Inc
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!
Hot Episode Picks
Alec Baldwin and Kurt Andersen discuss their new book You Can't Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump. Alec shares his thoughts Donald Trump’s bizarre twitter war with SNL, and Alec reveals a secret fan he has in the White House. They talk about the mentally taxing process of getting into the strange mind of Donald Trump, how Trump has blurred the lines between reality and fiction, and Trump’s deep love for conspiracy theories and dictators. Plus Paul Ryan tells off the President, Ivanka tricks him into seeing a shrink, and we debate whether Trump is the Godfather or Freddo. Order Alec and Kurt’s book You Can't Spell America Without Me on Amazon or download the audio version hilariously read by Alec and Kurt on Audible. Subscribe to Alec’s podcast Here’s the Thing and Kurt's podcast Studio 360 on iTunes and look for lots more of Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump this season on Saturday Night Live. Visit the guys websites at www.kurtandersen.com and www.alecbaldwin.com and follow them on twitter at @alecbaldwin and @KBAndersen. Today’s episode is sponsored by Nadex. Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and take our annual listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/KICK.
Radio host and author Dennis Prager discusses the politicization of his recent classical concert at Walt Disney Hall, explains why the media is a greater threat to America than Vladimir Putin, and warns that America may be in the middle of a "second civil war." Dennis says he'd rather spend most of his time talking about the big issues in life than politics, he shares his philosophy of happiness, and why he believes happiness is not just a feeling but a moral obligation. Plus we talk about his love of a good cigar, the time he shared a stogie with George Burns, and why LA traffic sometimes brings out the worst in him. The Dennis Prager Show airs from 9AM to Noon Pacific and from Noon to 3PM Eastern. Visit www.DennisPrager.com to find your local station and learn more. Check out his educational videos at www.PragerU.com and consider making a donation to support Prager University. Order Dennis Prager's book Happiness is a Serious Problem on Amazon, and follow him on Twitter at @DennisPrager. Today's show is brought to you by Bombfell, an online personal styling service that helps men find the right clothes for them. Get $25 off your first purchase at www.bombfell.com/KICK. Subscribe to Kickass News on iTunes and take a minute to take our listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/KICK. Support the show by donating at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.
Comedian Pete Holmes talks about his new HBO comedy special PETE HOLMES: DIRTY CLEAN, paying his dues as a comic, and all of life’s weird and wonderful questions. Pete says standup is still his first love, but podcasting is how he makes friends these days, and he believes everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, should start of podcast of their own. He talks about being a brand new father, why his audiences always want him to complain about his baby, and why he’s determined not to be that parent who indoctrinates his daughter with his own beliefs. He discusses growing up evangelical, his spiritual evolution, how he learned that comedians aren’t all sinful scumbags...and even if they are, they can still be pretty good people. He reveals what’s autobiographical on his series CRASHING, the real life comedians behind some of the words of wisdom that he receives on the show, and how he’s addressing the Me Too movement in Season 3. Plus, Pete Holmes offers some sage advice like "tell a pregnant woman she looks small," "tell twins they’re nothing alike," "be better than a grouper," and "don’t be a slave to an iWatch." PETE HOLMES: DIRTY CLEAN debuts Saturday (12/15) at 10:00 PM E/P on HBO. Mark your calendars for Season 3 of CRASHING which begins January 20 on HBO, and subscribe to Pete's podcast YOU MADE IT WEIRD on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you like to listen. Follow Pete on twitter at @peteholmes.
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.
Historian H.W. Brands discusses his new book Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun and Daniel Webster, the Second Generation of American Giants. Professor Brands talks about how these three political giants crafted the Compromise of 1850 which barely held the Union together, why none of these three men was ever elected President, and how compromise went from being politics at its finest to a dirty word in today’s Washington. He discusses John Calhoun’s beliefs that slavery was a moral virtue and that states had the right to nullify any federal law, and he says that the moralizing of abolitionists like Daniel Webster actually drove Calhoun to take an increasingly more extreme position on slavery. He recalls Webster's legendary oratory skills in the days when eloquence was a ticket to political fame, and how one of Webster’s speeches once brought the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to tears. Then he shares how Henry Clay earned the nickname "the great compromiser" by playing referee between Webster and Calhoun, and why Clay believed that the South would eventually outgrow slavery if he could just postpone a civil war long enough. Order his new book Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun and Daniel Webster, the Second Generation of American Giants on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold and follow him on twitter at @hwbrands. Today's episode was sponsored by The Flatiron School. Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
Trevor Noah talks about his new standup special TREVOR NOAH: SON OF PATRICIA and why he dedicated it to his mom whom he calls “the first comedian that he ever saw” and “most gangster human being you’ll ever meet in your life.” He discusses growing up in South Africa during Apartheid, the power of humor to fight oppression, and why he believes that hateful words aren’t nearly as important as addressing with the hate itself. He shares how the 2016 election affected his own vision for THE DAILY SHOW, why the current President reminds him of certain African dictators, and how he deciphers what’s news and what’s nonsense in the age of Trump. Plus Trevor talks about interviewing President Barak Obama, whether he would be down to do the same with Donald Trump, and the question that he would most like ask the 45th President. Watch Trevor Noah's new standup special TREVOR NOAH: SON OF PATRICIA now available on Netflix, order his memoir BORN A CRIME on Amazon, and watch THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH every weeknight at 11PM ET on Comedy Central. Visit www.trevornoah.com for more on Trevor including upcoming tour dates, and follow him on twitter at @TrevorNoah. Today's episode was sponsored by Human Rights Watch, Espresso Monster, Zeel, and Bombas. Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
David Priess returns to deliver a colorful political history of the schemes, maneuvers, and conspiracies that have attempted to remove unwanted presidents. He discusses the various President’s who’ve died in office of natural and unnatural causes including two President’s who some suspect may have been poisoned and a bizarre conspiracy by a cabal of wealthy businessman to overthrow President Franklin Roosevelt. He explains the 25th Amendment which allows for the President’s Cabinet and Congress to declare a leader physically or mentally unfit to serve, the two Presidents who played instrumental roles in crafting it, and the closest we ever came to using it. He walks us through the surprising history of Presidential mental illness and why some of Richard Nixon’s closest advisors questioned whether he was mentally stable. We talk about the process of impeachment, when Presidential lies rise the level of a "high crime or misdemeanor," and whether he thinks Congress could realistically impeach President Trump. Plus, the man who served as the daily intelligence briefer to former FBI director Robert Mueller weighs in on the Russia investigation, what might be going through Mueller's mind right now, and what we can expect as the investigation winds toward a conclusion. Order David Priess's book How to Get Rid of a President: History's Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Keep up with David at www.lawfareblog.com/contributors/dpriess or on twitter at @DavidPriess. Today's episode was sponsored by The Flatiron School. Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
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.
Legendary newsman Dan Rather talks about his 60 year career and how his travels and conversations have given him a “wide shot” of the American experience and the values that unite us. He condemns recent attacks on some on those values (including freedom of the press), he shares his own family's experience during the Great Depression as a lesson in empathy, and he recalls how his time spent with men like Martin Luther King Jr. and Medger Evers opened his eyes to institutionalized racism in America. He talks frankly about how his own thinking has evolved on some social issues, and he weighs in on the recent rash of sexual harassment scandals that have rocked the news business. He discusses a few of the dozen Presidents he’s known in his 60 years as a journalist and reveals the one word that has always carried Dan Rather through good times and bad. Order Dan Rather's book WHAT UNITES US: REFLECTIONS ON PATRIOTISM on Amazon or download the audio version on Audible. Follow him on twitter at @DanRather or at www.newsandguts.com. Today’s episode is sponsored by Loop Jewelry.
General Stanley McChrystal talks about the myths and reality of leadership. He shares how he came to reassess the legacy of his military hero General Robert E. Lee in the aftermath of Charlottseville, how he personally learned that the man at the top often gets credit he doesn’t deserve, and why leaders aren’t always judged by their results. He discusses a 15th century Chinese admiral who has become the symbol for that country’s global ambitions, why he didn’t realize that Coco Chanel was a real person, and one leadership flaw that he shares with Walt Disney. He reveals why he decided to include his former enemy in combat Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the book, and what it was like to get into the dark mind of the Al Qaeda in Iraq leader. Order General McChrystal's book Leaders: Myth and Reality on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Today's episode was sponsored by Espresso Monster, Homecoming on Amazon Prime Video, Zeel, Bombas, and Flatiron School. Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
Oscar-nominated actor Willem Dafoe (Platoon, Spiderman, The Grand Budapest Hotel) shares how his beginnings in experimental theater inform his acting, what draws him to independent films, and what it’s like to make his 100th movie. He talks about how his latest film At Eternity's Gate challenges the image of Vincent Van Gogh as a unappreciated mad genius and rethinks the constructs of the traditional biopic. He reveals what it was like to immerse himself in Van Gogh’s world and find his inspiration in the very same scenery that inspired one of the greatest artists of all time. He discusses the pressure of having to recreate iconic works art in real time and in front of the camera, and how artist/director Julian Schnabel taught him to "paint the light." Plus we talk about the time Willem Dafoe tried to summon the ghost of Houdini and the beauty of "embracing the mystery in life." See Willem Dafoe in At Eternity's Gate opening in theaters November 16. Today's episode was sponsored by National Security Agency Career Recruitment, Homecoming on Amazon Prime Video, and Loop Jewelry. Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
Greg Miller is one of the reporters for The Washington Post who received the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for his groundbreaking stories on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, and the resulting investigations of the Trump campaign and administration. Today he shares how he cornered the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at a science conference in Washington and caught General Michael Flynn in a blatant lie about his dealings with Russian officials. He describes the almost comical level of incompetence surrounding the 2016 DNC hacks, gives an insider's look at the secretive Russian hacking agencies known as Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, and the troll farm behind Russia’s social media influence campaign. He defends the Post’s longstanding practice of using anonymous sources and explains how they go about verifying those stories. Greg reveals efforts by the White House to derail the Washington Post’s reporting on Trump’s Russia connections, and how he learned that President Trump discussed targeting him personally and even putting him in jail for refusing to reveal his sources. Plus he discusses what happened to the Trump-Mueller meeting that never was and we speculate on just what it is that Vladimir Putin might have on Donald Trump. Order Greg Miller's book The Apprentice: Trump, Russia, and the Subversion of American Democracy on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. You can read Greg’s reporting in The Washington Post and follow him on twitter at @gregpmiller. Today's episode was sponsored by National Security Agency Career Recruitment, Homecoming on Amazon Prime Video, Flatiron School, and the StarTalk All-Stars podcast. Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.