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Deconstructed with Mehdi Hasan
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Deconstructed with Mehdi Hasan

Author: The Intercept

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Journalist Mehdi Hasan is known around the world for his televised takedowns of presidents and prime ministers. In this new podcast from The Intercept, Mehdi unpacks a game-changing news event of the week while challenging the conventional wisdom. As a Brit, a Muslim and an immigrant based in Donald Trump's Washington D.C., Mehdi offers a provocative perspective on the ups and downs of American—and global—politics.
95 Episodes
It’s been two years since the peak of public outcry over the Trump administration’s decision to begin separating the children of unauthorized migrant families from their parents. Yet the massive crisis that policy spawned remains arguably the darkest chapter in Donald Trump’s very dark presidency. MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff has been back and forth from the border and central America covering the family separation saga since it began, a story he chronicles in his new book Separated.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
Deep down, are humans really selfish, brutal, and cruel? For much of the last century the most famous experiments in social science, from the Stanford prison experiment to the Stanley Milgram electric shock study have purported to prove that we all have a monster lurking just behind a carefully crafted social veneer. In his new book Humankind: A Hopeful History, Dutch historian and author Rutger Bregman aims to shed new light on this idea by examining the latest social science research, knocking over some of the discipline’s sacred cows in the process. The book offers hopeful answers to anyone looking for a way forward in this era of political turmoil and confusion.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
This week’s Democratic primaries in Kentucky, New York, and Virginia saw a number of progressive challengers defeating moderate or establishment rivals. Of particular note were the victories of two insurgent candidates in New York: Jamaal Bowman, who defeated 16-term incumbent Eliot Engel, and Mondaire Jones, who triumphed over a crowded field in the 17th district to become one of the first openly gay black men ever elected to congress. Jones joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss his victory. Then, Intercept DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim joins Mehdi to place this week’s elections in historical context.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
The United States has by far the world’s largest military budget, accounting for 15% of all federal spending, and nearly half of all discretionary spending. Presidents of both parties have repeatedly failed to bring the Pentagon budget under control. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has been one of the loudest voices in congress arguing for substantial cuts; his senior foreign policy adviser, Matt Duss, joins Mehdi Hasan to make the case for defunding the Pentagon.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
In the wake of global protests over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, a movement to redirect public resources away from traditional policing and towards community-oriented systems of public safety has taken hold around the country. What are advocates of “defunding the police” really arguing for, and could it work? Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the future of policing in the United States.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
President Trump has seized on the nationwide protest movement that followed the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer to advance his most authoritarian political instincts. This week he threatened to deploy the military to cities whose leaders were unable to contain the violence themselves. Could this be an inflection point in his presidency? And is it time to finally use the F-word in discussing Trump? Fascism scholar Ruth Ben-Ghiat joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
The U.S. passed a tragic milestone this week, becoming the first country in the world to record 100,000 deaths from Covid-19. Is there an end in sight? Is this the new normal? Yale epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss where we go from here.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
Attorney General William Barr has emerged as the shrewdest and most effective member of the Trump administration, weaponizing the Department of Justice to protect the president and his allies while threatening his enemies with legal retribution. He has made it clear that in sharp contrast to the traditionally independent role of the AG, he is willing to serve as Trump’s enforcer, providing a facade of legal propriety to the president’s election-year political maneuverings. What does this mean for the future of American politics? How bad could things get if Trump secures a second term this November? Emily Bazelon — Yale research fellow, staff writer for New York Times magazine, and host of Slate’s Political Gabfest — joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
Is Elon Musk a Fraud?

Is Elon Musk a Fraud?


Over the weekend, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to voice his frustrations about the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown in Alameda County, California. The billionaire entrepreneur threatened that he would take his auto factory to another state if it was not allowed to reopen immediately. On Monday he announced that he would be resuming production at the facility in contravention of the lockdown. By Wednesday morning, the county had caved to Musk, announcing that his factory would be allowed to resume production under government supervision. After Musk’s initial tweet threatening to leave the state, California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez took to Twitter herself, saying succinctly, “F*ck Elon Musk.” She added: “So much of the clash our state is experiencing with the tech/Silicon Valley companies is of our own making. We let gig companies violate labor laws for over a decade. We subsidized Tesla as they operated with severe safety issues & actively union busted. They got used to it… It’s time that all companies, no matter how cool, abide by the same laws.”Lorena Gonzalez discusses the situation with Musk and Tesla. Then, tech and labor reporter Jack Crosbie joins Mehdi to give the backstory on the cultish billionaire.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
Protests have broken out in and around several state capitols, with demonstrators, among them armed right-wing militia members, attempting to pressure their state governments to end the Covid-19 lockdowns. Could this end in violence, and what does it portend for the presidential election? Scholar of right-wing extremism Nicole Hemmer joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the protests.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
In March, former Joe Biden staffer Tara Reade went public with the explosive allegation that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had sexually assaulted her in 1993. Since then, Democrats, in particular surrogates of the Biden campaign, have struggled to deal with the allegation. The Biden camp has categorically denied that any wrongdoing took place, but in the first presidential election of the #MeToo era, can he really afford to dismiss Tara Reade? The Intercept’s Ryan Grim, who recently broke new revelations in the story, joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed gaping holes in the United States’ medical system, and the lack of access to tests and treatment has many wondering if fundamental reforms to the system might be necessary after all. CNN commentator and medical doctor Abdul El-Sayed joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss whether universal healthcare — Medicare for All — could be the cure for the ills of our ailing system.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
The president’s nightly Coronavirus Task Force briefings are increasingly coming to resemble campaign rallies without the crowds: excuses for Trump to showboat in front of TV cameras, praise his own managerial brilliance, and gratuitously insult reporters. So why are they still being taken seriously by cable news? Veteran broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss whether the media are repeating the mistakes of 2016.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
Deaths from Covid-19 continued to mount this week as the U.S. surpassed 200,000 confirmed cases, more than any other country in the world. Experts increasingly point to President Trump’s willful negligence as a primary cause of the pandemic’s intensity, but MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner takes things a step further, arguing controversially that Trump could be legally liable for coronavirus deaths after he leaves office. He makes the case to Mehdi Hasan on this week’s podcast.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
This week President Trump began asserting that the United States would once again be “open for business” by Easter, on April 12th. He provided no scientific or medical justification for that timeline, which Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House Coronavirus Task Force has emphasized is “flexible”. The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the President’s continuing refusal to take the Covid-19 pandemic seriously.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
Border Closures. Economic meltdown. Skyrocketing unemployment claims. Every day brings new news of the COVID-19 pandemic’s unprecedented impact on American life. Will the federal government find the political will to enact the kinds of radical measures necessary to help Americans keep their heads above water during this crisis? New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and economist Stephanie Kelton join Mehdi Hasan to discuss what needs to be done.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
The 11th Democratic primary debate on Sunday was an unusual one. It was a one-on-one encounter between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, held without an audience in Washington D.C. due to mounting fears surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. The two sparred over healthcare, social security, the Iraq War, and the 2005 bankruptcy bill. Intercept D.C. bureau chief Ryan Grim joins Mehdi Hasan to break down the debate.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
From just a handful of cases a few weeks ago, the COVID-19 outbreak in the US has ballooned to over a thousand cases nationwide. The Trump administration’s public response has ranged from incoherent to incomprehensible: denialism about the scale of the problem, failure to test in sufficient numbers, a reluctance to take coordinated, large-scale government action. It’s also raised questions about the US healthcare system’s capacity to respond effectively to a health crisis on this scale. Columbia professor and economist Jeffrey Sachs joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss American capitalism’s failure to deal effectively with the coronavirus.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
It’s being described as one of the biggest turnarounds in presidential primary history. After disappointing results in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, Joe Biden appeared to be fading in Bernie Sanders’ rearview mirror. Then came his crushing win in South Carolina, after which Tom Steyer, Amy Klobuchar, and Pete Buttigieg all dropped out of the race. Klobuchar and Buttigieg, along with former candidate Beto O’Rourke, then endorsed Biden, cementing the growing consensus among establishment Democrats that the former Vice President is the best positioned candidate to stop Bernie. Where does all this leave the Democratic race? Mehdi talks to Intercept DC bureau chief Ryan Grim and to Larry Cohen of Our Revolution about Biden's big night and about Bernie’s path forward.   See for privacy and opt-out information.
With victories in New Hampshire and Nevada and a firm lead in the national polls, Bernie Sanders is now unquestionably the frontrunner in the Democratic race. On Tuesday night the top contenders met for their final debate before the South Carolina and Super Tuesday primaries, and all of his opponents had their sights set firmly on the senator from Vermont. Mehdi Hasan talks to writer, activist, and Sanders surrogate Shaun King about Bernie’s performance and his groundbreaking answers to questions on foreign policy.Deconstructed interviews a variety of guests who share their views in order to educate and inform our listeners on the most pressing issues of the day and on the democratic process. Our guests’ views on the issues, and how elected officials and candidates approach those issues, do not reflect the views of First Look Media Works.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
Comments (109)

Shawn P.

I feel like the disconnect Mehdi describes between the authors conclusions and violence observed in society stems from the fact that we exist in a world dominated by the rules, laws and memes produced by and for a hyper wealthy capitalist class. Yes, maybe our leaders response to 9/11, largely based on lies which served the purpose of pushing through policies in the interest of the capitalist class, was to engage in large scale violence to punish entire countries of people who had nothing to do with the attacks. Meanwhile at the same time we saw millions of average people around the world join in protests against that violence.

Jul 2nd

Venice Lockjaw

why is he saying PentaGON like that?

Jun 23rd

timothy mcevenue

excellent as always.

Jun 18th

Robert Mullins

such a complex issue... I keaned things I never knew... thank you for the coverage and your wonderful guest.

Jun 14th

Hassan Mohamud

Erdogan is most democratic head of state in middleast

Jun 7th

Carlos Filho

Erdogan arrested all his opposition and unmade most of Ataturk's secular reforms. So yes, he's an authoritarian head of state.

Jun 4th

Mohammed Al Smadi

Erdogan is a fascist???????? stop smoking crack

Jun 4th
Reply (1)

Pragya GK Subedi

Good job

Jun 2nd


boooo. lol your just mad bro

May 15th
Reply (2)

David S

integral* change, not interval change.

Apr 27th


her take on "Bernie supporters having an angry tone" and thinking that's a bad thing when going up against Trump in the general, is extremely unfortunate and likely why we will lose with Biden.

Apr 16th

R U Poed

It's called eros and thanatos in psychoanalysis. Thanatos is the death drive that bests represents Trump's mental state and many of his ilk.

Mar 26th

hassan shok

in Trump's mind taking care of old people costs money so it would be great if they die a classic sociopathic behavior

Mar 26th

Will Shogren

Also, who gives a shit if the VP nominee is female? What sort of craven, cynical pandering are you farting out over there, Mehdi?

Mar 18th

Will Shogren

Mehdi thinks he's above the SNL Resistance Libs but they're cut from the same cloth.

Mar 18th

N Me

no matter what, I am voting for Bernie. I do not think I am alone in saying that the DNC & GOP no longer serve the People, if that is where their loyalties ever resided. This virus has stood to highlight many "cracks" in our system, ineptitude of leadership being the largest, however it has also put a light on us human beings and "get mine" mentality. My son showed me a video yesterday, 3/15, a woman had 6 gigantic sacks of toilet paper in her cart, there were none left on the shelves. An elderly woman was looking for toilet paper and as she saw none then she noticed the woman's overflowing cache in her cart. Right or wrong the old woman grabbed one from the young women's cart. Upon seeing this a tussle ensued, yes the young woman got physical with old woman-for toilet paper. just because our president, our Senate, other ELECTED officials have little to no regard for US, does not mean we all have to act like them. they do not reflect the constituent, they do not represent the constituent, they represent what is best for them & whoever's paying their Bill's, not us. it's not leftist or socialist to be kind to your neighbor, maybe offer them a roll of your stockpile of TP, I don't know, just a thought. have a great day everybody.

Mar 16th
Reply (3)

Will Shogren

Mehdi needs his head stuffed down a toilet bowl.

Mar 5th
Reply (1)

Will Shogren

Cool anecdote, Liz, now fuck off for all eternity.

Mar 4th

Will Shogren

Mehdi is such a vapid, liberal trash bag.

Feb 21st

Rosie P

How corrupt is the US political system? In my eyes it's completely fucked. Thankfully people are waking up to the myriad ways neoliberalism, lobbying, corporate PAC money and cronyism have failed them. The time for populism is here and if the Dems don't support left wing populism, more people will run to the right and Trump's faux populism.

Jan 30th
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