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Honestly with Bari Weiss

Author: The Free Press

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The most interesting conversations in American life now happen in private. This show is bringing them out of the closet. Stories no one else is telling and conversations with the most fascinating people in the country, every week from former New York Times and Wall Street Journal journalist Bari Weiss.

161 Episodes
One of the words that’s become utterly void of meaning in the last few years because of its overuse and misuse is privilege. White privilege, male privilege, able-bodied privilege, gender privilege, heterosexual privilege, even hot privilege. In these contexts, privilege is a stain, a kind of original sin meant to guilt the offending party into repenting for it at every twist and turn in their life. “Check your privilege” became a common refrain of the past decade. What all of this has done is confuse and undermine the idea of real privilege—real advantage that some situations produce over others—which, of course, really exists in this country.  But the ultimate privilege in America is not being born white or straight or male. The ultimate privilege, as Melissa Kearny argues, is being born into a household with two parents. Melissa Kearney is an economist at the University of Maryland and her new book, The Two-Parent Privilege: How Americans Stopped Getting Married and Started Falling Behind, argues that declining marriage rates in America—and the corresponding rise in children being raised in single parent households—are driving many of the country’s biggest economic problems. In the 1950s, fewer than 5 percent of babies in this country were born to unmarried mothers. Today, nearly half of all babies in America are born to unmarried mothers. Most surprising—and worrisome—is how this trend is divided along class lines, with children whose mothers don’t have a college degree being more than twice as likely—as compared to children of college-educated mothers—to live in a single parent home. Kearny asserts this is widening the economic gap in opportunities and outcomes and rendering already vulnerable populations even more vulnerable.  Many of the arguments that Kearney makes in her book are what you might call commonsensical. And yet the book has received criticism, including from those in our culture who don’t dare make judgments on issues of home and family life, perhaps because that’s long been considered to be the domain of social conservatives. But as celebrated economist and our friend Tyler Cowen said of Melissa’s book, “this could be the most important economics and policy book of the year… it’s remarkable that such a book is so needed, but it is.” The word privilege, as Melissa Kearney uses it, is not a dirty word. It is not a judgment that some people are intrinsically better or worse than others. It’s not a word meant to guilt or shame a group of people. Quite the opposite. It’s an aspirational word. It’s meant to inspire policies, programs, and changes in our social norms to even the playing field so that we can do better for all of our children. So that every child in America has the best possible chance for flourishing. That is what every child in this country deserves. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In the past few decades, the Democratic Party has undergone a seismic shift. Kitchen table issues like the economy and public safety have been overshadowed by more elitist topics like identity politics, gender ideology, defunding the police, climate change, and the vaguely defined yet rigidly enforced ideology of anti-racism, which sees white supremacy as the force behind every institution in America. But while activists, lobbyists, and pundits were busy reshaping the Democratic Party, ordinary voters—including the working class, middle-class families, and ethnic minorities—were simply leaving. All of which has stranded a large group of Americans on an island, voters in the center of nowhere. Two people who have spent years thinking about how the Democratic Party lost its vision are our guests today, political analysts Ruy Teixeira and John Judis. Their new book, Where Have All the Democrats Gone?, offers up a map to help us understand how liberals lost their way. On today’s episode, guest-hosted by Michael Moynihan, Teixeira and Judis trace the influence of big money forces behind what they call the Democrats’ “shadow party,” and offer a path forward away from the radical cultural issues embraced by party elites and back to core economic issues that matter to the working class, a group that Democrats need to win back if they want to win in 2024. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
It’s Thanksgiving week, which for many of us means eating too much turkey and pumpkin pie. For others, it means getting into arguments with your Gen Z cousin who, in a fit of righteous rage, calls you a settler colonialist and storms out of the dining room.  Whatever your holiday may bring, we here at Honestly wanted to bring you a drop of delight from none other than the most delightful man on planet Earth: David Sedaris.  Sedaris is a humorist and author of many best-selling books: Calypso, Theft by Finding, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, Holidays on Ice, Barrel Fever. . . and most recently, Happy-Go-Lucky, which I had the privilege of talking to him about last December. It’s probably my favorite episode of all time. What makes David’s writing so unforgettable is his ability to find something meaningful and true in the utterly mundane; the way he finds humor in the most horrific moments in life; and his commitment to the lost art of making fun of ourselves.  So for today’s episode, we are thrilled to have David here to read an essay he calls “Punching Down.” It is funny, it is frank, and fair warning, if you are a parent of small children, it might also be a little bit offensive. Happy Thanksgiving. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
When The Free Press decided to rent a theater with 1,600 seats for our first-ever live debate a few months ago, most people looked at us with a mixture of pity and concern. We would have to fill all 1,600 seats. The theater we’d booked in L.A.—not exactly a city known for its culture of public debates—was smack in the middle of downtown, where after-hours can look a little bit like San Francisco during the day. To make matters worse, we had only managed to get the place on a Wednesday night. We did it anyway. And we sold out every seat in the house. People came from all over: Vancouver, Seattle, New York, Nevada, Montana. Someone drove a retrofitted school bus from SF to hold an after-party for whoever wanted to come. There were three young priests who drove many miles to see the action, and at least one porn star who took a flight. Also in attendance: libertarian frat bros in suits; e-girls with Elf Bars; trad boys who wondered aloud if the concession popcorn had seed oil; dads who had to run out to check in with the babysitter; actors from your favorite TV shows; comedians you’ve never heard of; writers you love to hate; angry Catholics; resigned atheists; closeted Trump voters; Mormons saving themselves for marriage; young gay couples in crop tops; feminists; anti-feminists; and a whole lot of podcasters. The point is: that night, we got a sense of how diverse this community is, and holy shit, was it exciting. We learned that The FP isn’t just a newsletter and that Honestly isn’t just a podcast. We have built a community of curious people. And most importantly, we learned that debate isn’t dead. So for today’s episode, we wanted to share the full debate from that evening for those of you who couldn’t be in the theater. The proposition was this: has the sexual revolution failed?  With the hindsight that comes with half a century, four brilliant women—Sarah Haider, Grimes, Anna Khachiyan, and Louise Perry—debated whether the movement that promised women sexual equality and liberation has fulfilled its promises, or whether it has failed women. . . and maybe men too? Listen and decide for yourself. Special and huge thanks to FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, without whom this event would never have been possible. If you care about free speech, and if you believe that it’s worth defending, FIRE is an organization that should be on your radar. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Months ago, I was asked to give a lecture at the Federalist Society’s National Lawyers Convention. It was a surprising invitation for a number of reasons. First, I am not a lawyer. Second: I am not a member of the Federalist Society—the prominent conservative and libertarian legal organization. (If the name rings a bell it’s probably because you’ve heard of it in the context of the hearings of any of the conservative justices who currently sit on the court.)  Third: If you look at the people who previously gave this particular lecture—Supreme Court Justices, Attorney Generals, people like Bill Barr, Don McGahn, and John Roberts—the idea that I would be on that list seemed nuts. But I accepted. Mostly because I was being asked to give the Barbara K. Olson lecture. Olson was 45 years old, a lawyer and a political commentator at the top of her game when she boarded American Airlines flight 77 on September 11, 2001. She was flying to Los Angeles that day so she could appear on Bill Maher’s show Politically Incorrect, and because she had changed her flight to have a birthday dinner with her husband, Ted. Barbara was murdered along with 3,000 other Americans that day. She managed to summon the composure, courage and clarity to call her husband twice in those horrifying moments before the plane slammed into the Pentagon.  Her husband, Ted Olson, has among the most impressive resumes you’ll find. But most important to me and my family: he argued in support of gay marriage in front of the Supreme Court. I had many ideas for this lecture before October 7. But after the world-transforming events of that day, I felt there was only one thing to talk about: the fight for the West. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
For today’s episode, we’re thrilled to share the most recent episode of our friend Sam Harris’s podcast, Making Sense.  Moral confusion is plaguing this moment like never before. It’s everywhere: from college campuses to congress. Sam, better than almost anyone, is able to speak to that confusion, with facts, nuance and moral clarity. Importantly, he doesn’t just visit this topic with the narrow lens of this particular war between Hamas and Israel, but with a bird’s eye view of history. But according to Sam, it’s not the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that matters so much right now, but rather the history—and enduring global problem—of jihadism. And that’s what this episode is about. The episode, aptly titled, The Bright Line Between Good and Evil, is sobering, illuminating and well worth your time. Please listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
For the longest time, when you thought about the most powerful person in the world, the person who probably came to mind was the president of the United States, the leader of the free world. But in 2023, the person who comes to mind for most people these days isn’t an elected official at all. Instead, a lot of people picture a 52-year-old civilian who, through his own determination, ambition, and sheer will, has amassed an enormous amount of wealth—more than any other person on this planet—and also an enormous amount of influence over many of the most important industries in the world, especially as we look to the future. Elon Musk’s biography is difficult to summarize, but that’s exactly what our guest today, Walter Isaacson, has spent the past two and a half years doing: outlining Elon Musk’s life to the tune of about 700 pages, in a new book simply titled Elon Musk. Isaacson is an award-winning biographer of luminaries including Henry Kissinger, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Steve Jobs, and Jennifer Doudna. But this recent undertaking has no doubt been his most complicated one to date. That’s because the man he wrote about has a story that’s very much still unfolding. In fact, when Walter Isaacson started writing the book, Musk hadn’t even purchased Twitter yet.  One of the questions that underlies the entire biography is this: What does it mean for a single man to have so much singular power? And though Walter doesn’t answer the question explicitly, we’ve all had a glimpse into exactly what it means for the world during this past month. Take, for example, how when Israel briefly cut off the internet inside of Gaza as part of their war strategy to eliminate Hamas, Elon announced that he was going to provide it himself through his company, Starlink. After widespread criticism, he posted an exploding head emoji. Then, when a commenter suggested that he must have felt pressure to provide the coverage, Elon simply responded, “yeah,” with a frowny face. Musk apparently then met with the head of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, and announced that he would, “double check with Israeli and U.S. security officials before enabling any connections.” The point, as my friend and writer Jacob Siegel put it, is that “non-state kingmakers are redefining the scope of warfare through direct intervention.” Of course, there’s also Elon’s newfound power over the information that all of us consume on X, Twitter’s new brand. It’s hard to imagine under Twitter’s previous regime that we would have had access to the raw, brutally violent footage from Hamas’s October 7 massacre. Elon’s version of Twitter, which is less censorious than the previous guard, has allowed millions of people across the globe to see—with their own eyes—exactly what Hamas did. And yet, with those loosened rules, there’s also so much genuine disinformation spread at a pace like never before. Scores of people, including elected officials like Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, are posting horrifying photos and videos of crying children from Gaza, when in reality they are photos and videos from Syria in 2013.  It has never been clearer that one man wields an enormous amount of influence over everything from social media to warfare. And the question is, should he? That’s the theme of today’s conversation.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
There are a lot of experts that you may have heard on the news in the past few weeks. People who know a great deal about Hamas or Hezbollah or Iran or China or Russia—regional experts. There are also many subject matter experts who can tell us about cyber warfare or decolonization or, for example, the way that foreign governments have influenced higher education in America. All of those stories are important, but each one of those topics gives you only a slice of the whole story. What if you want to understand the whole thing? That’s when you turn to Walter Russell Mead. Mead, who is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, a professor of foreign affairs and humanities at Bard College, and the author of many profound books, is able to connect what can seem like disparate dots and pull them together to show us the big picture. That’s especially critical right now. Because despite what you read in the headlines, this isn’t just a war between a terrorist group called Hamas and a small Jewish country called Israel. This is the bleeding edge of something much more widespread that has the potential to touch the lives of every American.  Right after we recorded this conversation with Walter, Yemen declared war on Israel—with Houthi rebels firing missiles at the city of Eilat—and, in a major provocation from China, Israel was removed from Baidu Maps, China’s digital maps, late on Monday night. Though I didn’t get to talk to Walter about these discrete developments, in many ways they confirm exactly what Walter expresses in this conversation: that this war isn’t just a regional conflict. That it is representative of a world, as he puts it, “spinning out of control.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
It’s been almost three weeks since Hamas attacked Israel. And there are three questions that, despite having reported on it so much over the last 20 days, many people are still asking. The first is what exactly happened that day, minute by minute, and what were the battles across the south of Israel like? There are so many accounts of civilians waiting in safe-rooms for hours on end for the IDF to arrive—what happened? The second is how did it happen? How did thousands of terrorists cross a border wall that cost more than a billion dollars to carry out the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust? And the third question is what comes next in this already horrific war? Over the next two episodes of Honestly, we will answer those three questions by talking to three different people. You’ll first hear from Nimrod, a special forces reservist, who fought Hamas at several locations in the south of Israel on the morning of October 7—not because he was called by his unit to go there (he wasn't), but because he knew he needed to go save innocent civilians. His account helps paint a picture of what happened that day in Israel along the Gaza border, from a person who saw it up close and took the brutal fighting into his own hands before the army even arrived. Then you’ll hear from Avi Issacharoff, a prominent Israeli journalist who’s also one of the creators of the hit TV series Fauda, which is based on his own experience as a member of an elite undercover counterterrorism unit of the IDF. My conversation with Avi helps explain how the most fortified and militarily sophisticated country in the world could have been overtaken in the most horrific way by thousands of Hamas terrorists. In our next episode, you’ll hear from Walter Russell Mead, who I think of as one of the most prophetic foreign policy thinkers of our time. There’s no better lineup than these three people to help us make sense of what happened, how it happened, and where Israel, and the world, go from here. You’ll want to listen.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
If you’ve been following our coverage at The Free Press, you’ve noticed that we’ve been covering the war in Israel nonstop since it began. We’ve never produced this much content in this short of a time about a single subject. Some of you might be thinking, why?  On October 7, we saw the single biggest massacre of the Jewish people since the Holocaust. But unlike the Holocaust, in which Germans tried to hide their war crimes, here we have the terrorists streaming it in real time on every social media platform across the internet. When the reports, and the videos, started circulating, we thought: surely this amount of blood and horror will be enough to shake the world awake.  And yet it wasn’t. Internationally, some of the most educated people—including students, professors, and administrators at the most elite universities in the world—have either equivocated or remained silent in the face of mass atrocities. Others, by the tens of thousands, have taken to the streets to rejoice in the terrorist attack, screaming “resistance is justified” and “glory to the martyrs.”  That is why this story matters. Because this is not just a war in a faraway land. It’s a battle for civilization. As my friend Sam Harris recently said, “There are not many bright lines that divide good and evil in our world, but this is one of them.”  This war should matter to everyone—not just Jews—who care about the future of civilization. Because if there is one lesson from history, it’s that what starts with the Jews never ends with the Jews. And societies in which the Jewish people are persecuted are societies in which no one is safe.  And that is why we will continue to report on this war with such urgency.  On today’s episode, we feature some of that reporting. You’ll hear just some of the stories of the more than three dozen Israelis we have spoken to. We talk to a woman, Shaked, who tells us that eleven of her family members—including her three- and eight-year-old niece and nephew—were taken hostage by Hamas. We talk to survivors of the Nova music festival, like Amit and Chen, who miraculously escaped—some by hiding in bushes for hours—as they watched their friends get killed, “like sheep to be slaughtered,” just next to them. We talk to a father whose son was kidnapped from the music festival, and to a mother whose daughter was killed there. We talk to a grandmother who hid in the safe room of her home for hours with her 10-day-old grandson as terrorists shot at the door.  These stories are difficult to hear. But we will keep reporting them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In the early hours of Saturday morning on October 7, Israel was invaded by Hamas terrorists by land, air, and sea, which The Free Press has been covering all week in detail. With over 1,300 Israeli civilians dead, hundreds taken hostage into Gaza, and many more in critical condition, this catastrophic and barbaric attack has been labeled “Israel’s 9/11.”  This is something former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice knows something about. After all, Secretary Rice led our nation as national security advisor on September 11. As one of the most powerful people in the world at a turning point in American history, Secretary Rice knows firsthand about leadership amid unthinkable crises. She also knows firsthand about the intractable conflicts Israel has faced for decades, having served in both her national leadership roles through five Gaza wars and crises.  Today, Secretary Rice discusses why this war is different than anything she has seen before in the region, whether the prospect for a two-state solution is over, what Iran’s role was in aiding Hamas, what Israel seeking normalization of relations with Saudi Arabia had to do with it, why America cannot afford to retreat from the world, and why Israel—and the world—will never be the same. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Given the war in Israel, we’re going to do something different on Honestly for a bit. Over the next few days—maybe weeks, depending on how the war develops—we’ll bring you firsthand stories from the ground as well as interviews with experts, like we did yesterday with Michael Oren. (If you haven’t yet heard that conversation, please listen.) We’re doing this so you can understand what is happening in Israel, and what the ramifications are for the region and the entire world. For today, I want to share the story of one mother who is desperate for help. Her two children, ages 12 and 16, were taken from their home by Hamas terrorists and are now being held hostage in Gaza, in God knows what conditions.  This is the story of just one mother. There are untold numbers of other mothers and fathers—and children and grandchildren, and brothers and sisters—like her right now in Israel. Hundreds of people are missing, including from her kibbutz, where, as you’ll hear, the terrorists came and took women, children, elders, and just disappeared them into Gaza. Please share this story. Share it widely. All this mother wants—all any Israeli wants right now—is to bring their loved ones home. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
On October 7, Hamas terrorists streamed across the border in pickup trucks, on foot, by motorcycle, and even on paragliders. Once inside Israel, they abducted and murdered Israelis. They shot people in cars and at bus stops, they rounded up women and children into rooms like Einsatzgruppen—yes, the comparison is appropriate—and machine-gunned them. They went house to house to find and murder civilians hiding in their closets, and they dragged the bloody, dead bodies of Israelis back into Gaza where they are now being paraded, beaten, and mutilated in front of exultant crowds.  The official numbers as of this writing: 300 Israelis killed and 1,590 wounded. And dozens—maybe many more—taken hostage into Gaza. They include women, elders, and children.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyuahu called it a “black day.” He said that “what happened today has never been seen before in Israel.” Think about 9/11 and the kind of shock and terror we felt. That is the level of devastation Israel is now experiencing.  We are left with so many questions: How did this happen? Who is to blame for this catastrophic security failure? How will Israel respond? How will Israel save the hostages in Gaza? What was the extent of Iran’s involvement in this sophisticated operation? Will this change the Biden administration’s policy toward the Islamic Republic? And so many more. Some of those questions will be answered in the coming days and weeks. For today, historian and former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren helps us make sense of the unfolding crisis. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
James Carville, America’s best-known Democratic political consultant, has been on the scene for a very long time and has worked on just about a thousand campaigns—he’s almost 80. But his most prominent victory was Bill Clinton’s successful run for the presidency in 1992, which was documented in the incredible D. A. Pennebaker documentary War Room. Some people watch Notting Hill as a comfort movie. For me, it’s War Room. So you can imagine my excitement when I met Carville at The Texas Tribune Festival and noticed that he was wearing the exact same iconic purple, gold, and green striped LSU polo that he wore in War Room. It was actually quite fitting, and symbolic: a whole lot has changed in American politics over the last 30 years. Carville’s style—blunt, charming, unconventional, and usually right—has not.  The people closest to Carville have other ways of describing the political icon. His former business partner, Paul Begala, has said that “James lives in a border town between genius and madness. Now that he’s rich and famous, he’s eccentric. I knew him when he was just crazy.” His wife, Mary Matalin, who is a Republican Party consultant, has said: “He really is a nut.” Our conversation—which was recorded in a room full of three hundred Rachel Maddow die-hards—covered a range of political commentary, criticism, and diagnosis: whether or not he thinks Biden is too old to run again, why he thinks Kamala Harris is treated unfairly by the press, the direction of the Democratic Party, why he thinks wokeness “is over,” and, of course, Trump and the future of America.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
On Wednesday night, Fox Business and Rumble hosted the second Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in beautiful Simi Valley, California. Bari Weiss and The Free Press’s very own Peter Savodnik watched live in the spin room as the seven candidates—Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Nikki Haley, Mike Pence, Chris Christie, Tim Scott, and Doug Burgum— took the stage to spar over questions about union strikes, inflation, income inequality, the cost of childcare, the border, China, crime, policing, drugs, gun violence, education, Russia, Ukraine. . . really, nothing new. But of course, the man they really wanted to spar with and the man leading the polls by a landslide still refuses to play ball. So, we sent TFP reporter Michael Moynihan to check in on the elusive Donald Trump, who spent his night on the other side of the country speaking to a crowded room, which he claimed would be full of striking auto workers. (Though, Moynihan had a hard time finding them.) Trump’s Detroit visit came just one day after President Biden went to the picket line in Wayne County to march with union members outside a General Motors plant—an unprecedented move by a sitting president. On today’s episode, as the two likely 2024 candidates battled to portray themselves as the voice of blue-collar Americans, what were the seven GOP hopefuls hoping to achieve by squabbling at the Reagan Library instead of marching with striking auto workers? Who were the biggest winners and losers of this very strange tale of two cities? And with nearly 60 percent of GOP voters backing Trump, is anyone emerging as a viable Trump competitor, or is it time to face the fact that we’re tumbling toward a 2020 rematch between two very old men that no one really wants to see happen? Music in this episode by blue dot sessions Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
As we tumble toward 2024, anxiety among Democrats is beginning to simmer. It’s easy to understand why. Just look at what happened last week: Biden was giving a press conference in Vietnam about upgrading the country’s diplomatic ties when he started rambling: “The Indian looks at John Wayne and points to the Union soldier and says, ‘He’s a lying, dog-faced pony soldier!’ Well, there’s a lot of lying, dog-faced pony soldiers out there about global warming.” Then he said, on mic, that he was going to go to bed. A voice suddenly emerged and jazz music started to play. Biden tried to answer another question, but they cut off his mic. According to a recent CNN poll, 56 percent of Democrats are seriously concerned for Biden’s current level of physical and mental competence. Sixty-two percent of Democrats said they are seriously concerned about Biden’s ability to serve a full second term. Another poll, by AP-NORC, found that 69 percent of Democrats surveyed think Biden is too old for a second term. Among the people not yet convinced that Biden needs to be in a nursing home is Atlantic staff writer Frank Foer. Foer’s new book, The Last Politician, tells the behind-the-scenes story of Biden’s first two years in office. Foer says he started as a Biden skeptic. The incoming president was, in his estimation, a bloviator who dangerously fetishized bipartisanship. But he emerges some 400 pages later with a rather more charitable view of the president. Biden is “the father figure of the West,” someone deeply experienced in foreign policy and racking up policy victories at home. Biden, he writes, “is an instructive example of the tedious nobility of the political vocation. Unheroic but honorably human. He will be remembered as the old hack who could.” But. . . why doesn’t that come through to the public? Will Americans buy that narrative of Joe Biden in 2024? What of Hunter Biden’s legal troubles? The impeachment inquiry? What should we make of the many Biden alternatives eagerly waiting in the wings, and what would it take for one of them to step forward? And is America’s gerontocratic elite a fundamental challenge for American democracy? Those questions, and more, on today's episode, guest hosted by Michael Moynihan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In 1973, Leonard Cohen announced he was done with music for good. The same year, in October, war broke out in Israel. The Yom Kippur War would become the bloodiest in Israel’s young history—and Cohen was there to witness it. As the war broke out, he left his home on the Greek island of Hydra to fly into the warzone. Leonard Cohen never said much about why he went to the front. What we know is that in the months that followed, he would write “Who By Fire.” Five decades later, on Spotify and in synagogue, you can still hear the echoes of this trip. So what was it that happened in the desert in October of 1973 between this depressed musician and these too young soldiers going off to battle? How did it remake Leonard Cohen? How did it transform those who heard him play? And how did the war transform Israel itself? Those are just some of the questions Matti Friedman explains in his beautiful book Who By Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai. This episode aired last year on Honestly, and we’re thrilled to reshare it with you today, as we approach the 50 year anniversary of the war that remade a country—and one searching folk star.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
This week, while our audio team is on summer break, we’re featuring an episode from one of our favorite podcasts: Conversations with Tyler, hosted by the wonderful Tyler Cowen. It’s a conversation with philosopher Amia Srinivasan about her book, The Right to Sex: Feminism in the Twenty-First Century. They debate questions such as: do we have a “right” to be desired? How are our sexual desires shaped by the society around us? Is consent sufficient for a sexual relationship? How should we address falling fertility rates? What did women learn about egalitarianism during the pandemic? Why, according to her, progress requires regress. And much, much more. . .  The episode received a lot of attention and reactions, for reasons you’ll understand when you listen to it. Most importantly, it’s contentious yet respectful in a way that I think is increasingly rare in public life. As Tyler wrote at the time, on his blog Marginal Revolution, about the conversation: “You have to learn to learn from people who bother, annoy, or frustrate you. If you do, they will not in fact bother, annoy, or frustrate you.” I couldn’t agree more. In fact, this conversation between Tyler and Amia was a big inspiration for our first-ever Free Press live debate, which is happening next week in L.A. The proposition: has the sexual revolution failed? If this conversation inspires you too, please consider buying a ticket to the event: Wednesday, September 13, at the Ace Theatre in downtown L.A. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The team’s on vacation, so for this week’s Honestly, we’re sharing a favorite episode from a favorite podcast, one you may not have heard of: UnHerd with Freddie Sayers. UnHerd’s mission is similar to ours: to push back against the herd mentality, and to provide a platform for otherwise unheard ideas, people, and places. On this episode, host Freddie Sayers talks to evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins about God, people’s distrust in science and vaccines, cancel culture, aliens, romantic poetry and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
On Wednesday night, Fox News and the streaming platform Rumble hosted the first Republican presidential debate with the eight GOP hopefuls who made the cut: North Dakota governor Doug Burgum, former governor of Arkansas Asa Hutchinson, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, former governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, former vice president Mike Pence, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.  Missing from the stage was Donald Trump, who refused to attend the debate. Instead, he sat down Tucker Carlson—a move that allowed him to flip the bird to the RNC and allowed Tucker to do the same to Fox, who fired him a few months ago. Trump’s interview with Tucker aired exclusively on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, and more than 74 million people tuned in. Here at The Free Press, we love a good debate night, and we were up until the wee hours discussing it all. So today on Honestly, TFP reporter Olivia Reingold, TFP senior editor Peter Savodnik, and Newsweek’s opinion editor Batya Ungar-Sargon are here to discuss who emerged on top? Who fell by the wayside? And did the elephant not in the room still somehow manage to dominate? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Comments (108)

Carlos Barron

I thoroughly enjoyed the latest episode of "Honestly with Bari Weiss" featuring . The insightful conversation delved into [specific topics discussed], providing a nuanced exploration of [relevant issues]. Bari Weiss's interviewing style, characterized by her thoughtful questions and engaged listening, brought out the best in her guest, fostering a deep and meaningful dialogue. One aspect that stood out to me was. The depth of analysis and the intellectual rigor displayed by both Weiss and the guest illuminated the complexity of the subject matter. It's evident that "Honestly with Bari Weiss" continues to uphold its reputation for delivering thought-provoking content and promoting diverse perspectives.

Nov 15th

Aakash Amanat

The podcast "Honestly with Bari Weiss" is a refreshing and thought-provoking addition to the world of long-form interviews and discussions. Hosted by the talented and insightful Bari Weiss, this podcast delves into a wide range of topics with depth and nuance. "" Bari's background as a former opinion writer and editor for The New York Times gives her a unique perspective and the ability to engage with guests from diverse backgrounds. What sets "Honestly" apart is its commitment to open and civil discourse in an era where polarized conversations often dominate.

Nov 2nd

Cindy Behrens

Mr Carville doesn't believe Biden is a currupt and treasonous president? Has he not been following the money deposited into personal family accounts from China? And he thinks The Constitution is at risk with Trump? The Biden white house controls the media, tries to control social media, arrests and jails his opponents, spies on Catholics and parents. Right. He's all about protecting the Constitution. Mr Carville has his head in the sand. Chances are he is getting paid to feed the narative.

Oct 26th
Reply (1)

Aakash Amanat

Bari Weiss, the host of the podcast "Honestly with Bari Weiss," has created a thought-provoking platform that delves into some of the most pressing issues of our time. The podcast is a testament to her commitment to open dialogue, intellectual diversity, and the pursuit of truth in an age marked by polarization and echo chambers. In each episode, Bari Weiss skillfully navigates a wide range of topics, from politics and culture to technology and society, with a refreshing candor and intellectual rigor. Her guests are often leading thinkers, scholars, activists, and experts in their respective fields, ensuring a rich and diverse range of perspectives.

Oct 18th


Utterly guided by ideology, and thus, she's completely unwilling to hear any evidence or criticism that has a modicum of contradiction to her worldview. She brings to her argument absolute nonsense evidence.

Sep 10th

Kim Hoff

Amazing, amazing podcast. Colin and Gail sound like really incredible human beings, as do Ruby and Hart. Almost painfully honest and courageous. I took away so much from this podcast. Cried and laughed during Colin's interview. Thank you for providing this podcast.

Aug 13th


How do you do a "scientific” study on Puberty Blockers on kids and not have a Control Group? 🤦‍♂️ So much for Science™

Jul 17th
Reply (3)


that Left handedness comparison is so annoying

Jul 14th
Reply (1)

Dave Martin

Just an outstanding discussion and right depth of dive for the format and topics covered. Disagreement on some issues with zero disagreeableness.

Jul 7th

Joe Capani

oops, you Progressives forgot to mention that the perp died; not was killed. and threatened passengers with their lives. that's why we can't take you seriously. please be more honest in your "reporting".

Jun 15th

Don Ross

Interesting in lots of ways, but ultimately irritating because Americans so love to paint themselves as traumatised victims.

Jun 6th

Nikki Pants

This man gets it. Being able to criticize your own party is rare and we need more thinking like this man's. Best episode so far. Bari, however, continues to prove she's not as centrist as she claims to be. "So you buy the idea that January 6th came close to being a coup?! Ugh 🙄

Mar 16th

Brian J Burke

I came upon this sham in 1989 when helping my 6 year old niece "read", or more appropriately called word guessing. When I tried to get her to use phonics she had no idea what I was talking about. I can't believe this is still going on 34 years later. I don't agree that this was a result of teachers just not knowing how to teach. I think this more speaks to how uncritical, in the thinking sense, education professors and educators can be. Using phonics is self-evident to any adult who comes across a word that they do not recognize, we sound it out not just guess it. This is even more obvious to anyone trying to learn to read in a foreign language, like Spanish or French, if you know the phonics you can make a very good guess and pronunciation, even without knowing the word. Does anyone see a parallel of how Wokeism spread so quickly in schools of education and subsequent teachers. Don't think, just follow orders.

Feb 15th

little red book

Thanks so much for this reporting, Emily. I listened to Sold a Story and kept saying, "Yes, yes, yes, this!" And thank you, Bari and Katie, for bringing even more attention to Emily's work. I basically couldn't read until the third grade. My mom got me glasses and enrolled me in an after-school phonics program. I went from a kindergarten to 5th grade reading level in one yr. I made damned sure my kiddos learned to read using phonics and they both could read by kindergarten, but not all parents have this luxury.

Feb 14th

Adam Itinerant

I love Honestly and what BW has made of a hard time for her personally and 'liberal values' (please make a roundtable episode around this phrase). The whole civility porn, let's be polite no matter what thing, has limits and I don't think Honestly always hits the right note. Even when BW talks with belligerent American-exceptionalists I learn something. I often learn about myself. But these intelligent roundtable discussions will keep me coming back and next time I'm in a financial position to subscribe, it will be to Honestly and BW's substack that I subscribe first. Thank you team.

Dec 10th

Larry Martinez

I'm from California. I'm Mexican. is this tension between blacks and jewish people an east coast thing? I don't understand why there would even be an issue.

Dec 10th

Tyler Creasman

We get it, Mike. In your mind, you crushed it during your tenure.

Nov 16th

Robert James Somerville

The answer is journalists

Nov 3rd

Farhad Rad

#Mahsa_Amini #Nika_Shakarami #Sarina_Smailzade #Dictator_Governance #Protest #Iran #مهسا_امینی #نیکا_شاکرمی #سارینا_اسماعیل_زاده ✌️✌️✌️

Oct 7th

Yoga Nasim

Thank you for being our voice 🤍🕊

Oct 7th
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