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Kickass News

Author: Kickass News

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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!
416 Episodes
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New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer grew tired of his kids’ obsession with reality TV and people who were famous for being famous so he began to write children's books about real heroes from history.  He talks about the newest additions to his Ordinary People Change the World series I Am Walt Disney and I Am Marie Curie, and  reveals some of his own childhood heroes.  He says he puts just as much historical research into his children’s books as he does into his bestselling political thrillers and explains why it was so important to show kids that even famous historical figures started out somewhere.  He talks about the new PBS TV series based on his books and how it’s a dream come true for a man who grew up with Sesame Street and Mr. Rodgers.  Plus Brad announces his next book for his adult readers - a sequel to his best-selling novel The Escape Artist.   Order I am Marie Curie and I am Walt Disney and other books in Brad’s Ordinary People Change the World series for kids on Amazon or wherever books are sold.  Visit www.bradmeltzer.com for more information, and follow Brad on Twitter at @BradMeltzer.  Today’s episode was sponsored by PuroTrader, the online community for cigar lovers. Visit www.purotrader.com and use the promo code NEWS for a chance to win a day at the Porsche Racing Experience in Los Angeles or Atlanta.
Scott Aukerman is the co-creator of hilariously awkward talk show Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis.  He talks about expanding the Ferns universe for Between Two Ferns: The Movie, how he and Zach improvised the entire film, and what it was to direct his hero David Letterman.  Scott reveals how Between Two Ferns was born out of his and Zach's love of bad cable access programming, why actual ferns were so essential to the look of the show, and how they managed to snag President Barack Obama as a guest.  Plus we celebrate 10 years of Scott's podcast Comedy Bang! Bang! Between Two Ferns: The Movie comes out on Netflix beginning this Friday, September 20.  Subscribe to Scott’s podcast Comedy Bang! Bang! on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you listen and follow Scott on Twitter at @Scott Aukerman.  Today's episode was sponsored by Bank of America's The Academy for Consumer and Small Business and Invitae. 
Randall Munroe is the former NASA physicist turned bestselling cartoonist behind XKCD and the What If blog.  He talks about his new book How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems.  Randall reveals the cost of putting a lava moat around your house, how to move your house with helicopters, how to throw a coin or just about anything across a river, and how Serena Williams takes down a drone.  Plus Randall explains fishing with electricity, why scientists still haven’t figured out how ice works, and why the US military once nuked a bunch of beer cans. Order Randall Munroe's new his book How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold, and view some of his wonderful cartoons at www.xkcd.com.  Today's episode was sponsored by Capella University's online doctoral program.
Caitlin Doughty is a best-selling author, funeral director, and host of the popular YouTube channel Ask a Mortician.  She returns to the podcast to answer children's questions about death such as "why don’t we eat human’s after they die?" and "what if they make a mistake and bury me in coma?"  She says it’s illegal to own or sell human remains, but there's a loophole that might allow you to keep human bones and you can pretty much do anything with cremated ashes.  She explains how a whole person's ashes can fit into a tiny urn and what happens when a cemetery runs out of room  She unravels some famous movie myths about death, takes me behind closed doors at a funeral directors convention, and opens up about a mortician's worst nightmare! Buy Caitlin's latest book Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow her on Twitter at @TheGoodDeath, subscribe to her YouTube series Ask a Mortician, and learn more at www.caitlindoughty.com or www.orderofthegooddeath.com.  This episode is sponsored by Kronos HR solutions, BetterHelp online counseling, White Castle microwavable sliders, and MyBookie.
Acclaimed author Salman Rushdie talks about drawing on Cervantes and pop culture for his new novel Quichotte.  He describes having to consume a massive amount of "trash tv" in preparation for the book, how Quichotte addresses the most pressing issues of our time from opioids to immigration, and why the “the age of anything can happen” may not necessarily a good thing!  Rushdie opens up about his early career as a stage actor, his secret longing to be a second rate spy novelist, and why he finally decided to make a novelist a character in one of his stories.  Then we talk about the moment when a writer finds his own voice, how he developed his signature style of magical realism, and how it manifests in his latest novel with everything from mastodons to talking crickets.  Plus we talk about the fatwa that was issued against him 30 years ago and what it was like to play that scary event for comedy in the latest season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Order Salman Rushdie's latest book Quichotte: A Novel on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow him on Twitter at @SalmanRushdie and visit salmanrushdie.com for a list of his upcoming public appearances (unless your fanatic trying to assassinate him...in which case disregard this).  This episode is sponsored by Purotrader and Invitae.
Comedian Anthony Jeselnik

Comedian Anthony Jeselnik

2019-09-0500:41:362

Comedian Anthony Jeselnik revels in making audiences a little uncomfortable and now he's making his fellow comedians uncomfortable as host of the hilarious new interview show Good Talk with Anthony Jeselnik.  He shares how the Saturday Night Live bit "Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey" inspired his uniquely off-beat style of comedy, the time he auditioned to be the anchor of SNL’s Weekend Update, and some pretty smart advice he once got from Lorne Michaels on how to write a late night monologue.  Anthony recalls the Comedy Central Roast that changed his life and what makes for the perfect roast speech.  We delve into how Good Talk deconstructs the late night talk show, why this famously confident comedian never does self-deprecating humor, the power of silence in standup, and the one thing that Anthony says is the most important element of good comedy.  Plus talks about how to out-deadpan Tig Notaro, what it was like to roast a future President, and the comedic genius of HBO’s Deadwood. Good Talk with Anthony Jeselnik premieres this Friday, September 6 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central.  Keep up with Anthony Jeselnik at www.anthonyjeselnik.com or on twitter at @Anthony Jeselnik.  This episode is sponsored by MyBookie, and White Castle.
If you’ve ever seen the Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated film Catch Me If You Can, then you know the story of the boy con artist Frank Abagnale. Abagnale has since reformed his ways and now he is a leading expert on fraud, forgery and cybersecurity who consults for Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, and law enforcement. Frank discusses his early life of crime, how he turned it all around, and how he’s helping to protect Americans from scammers. He recalls how wearing the uniform of a pilot or a doctor played on people’s trust of authority, he reveals what kind of personalities were most susceptible to his schemes, and he warns that technology has made it much easier for crooks to pull off the same cons that he got away with in the 1960s. He discusses which demographics are most vulnerable to fraud and cautions that it actually has nothing to do with how smart you are. We talk about a range of specific scams including those spam emails from a "Nigerian Prince" and automated phone calls purporting to be the IRS. Frank also gets into how con artists are using crowd funding sites, dating apps, and even ancestry companies to rip you off. Plus Frank reveals why he doesn’t own a debit card and why he wants Americans to do away with passwords once and for all. Order Frank Abagnale's new book  Scam Me If You Can: Simple Strategies to Outsmart Today’s Rip-Off Artists on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Bank of America’s The Academy for Consumer and Small Business, Capella University's online doctoral program, and BetterHelp online counseling.
Senator Jeff Merkley

Senator Jeff Merkley

2019-08-2900:47:551

In 2018 Senator Jeff Merkley posted a viral video that triggered worldwide outrage at the forced separation of migrant children from their parents.  Now over a year later, he claims that there are still families who haven’t been reunited and that family separations are the result of a deliberate effort by the Trump Administration to deter immigrants by inflicting maximum pain.  Senator Merkley makes the case that Trump’s zero tolerance policy toward illegal immigration is violating both US and international laws, and he reveals what happened when he confronted his old Senate colleague Jeff Sessions about this issue.  He recalls his travel through war-torn Central America in the 80’s and actually claims that those countries are much worse off today.  Plus he shares heart-breaking stories from refugees who risked everything to escape worst imaginable kind of evil at the hands of gangs and drug cartels. Order Senator Jeff Merkley's book America Is Better Than This: Trump's War Against Migrant Families on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow Senator Merkley on Twitter at @SenJeffMerkley.  This episode is sponsored by Anchor.  Anchor is a Spotify-owned company that makes it easy for anyone to make a podcast, for free. Get started at www.anchor.fm/kickassnews.  We're also sponsored by AncestryDNA.  Go to www.ancestry.com/kick today for 20% off your AncestryDNA kit. 
Adventurer and explorer Josh Gates has spent his career crossing the globe to investigate the world’s most intriguing mysteries as host of Expedition Unknown on Discovery Network.  In the age of Google Maps, he says there are still unexplored parts of the world full of wonders to be uncovered.  The self-described “opened-minded skeptic” talks his obsession with Yeti and why these "mystery primates" appear again and again in cultures all around the world.  He reveals how Expedition Unknown helped recover Judy Garland’s stolen ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz, new forensic evidence they found in the case of D.B. Cooper, and recent developments that have lead him to revisit several topics in the new season.  Josh recalls some of his craziest adventures in Season 7 such as braving the Siberian winter to look into the bizarre Dyatlov Pass incident and scouring the ancient caves of Israel and Jordan for the lost Dead Sea Scrolls.  He walks me through how he decides which legends to chase, which ones are too dangerous, how to handle a shakedown by local authorities in a strange country, and the most awkward of conversations - how to divvy up a treasure! Expedition Unknown airs Wednesdays at 9PM Eastern on Discovery Network.  Keep up with Josh at www.joshuagates.com or on Twitter at @JoshuaGates.  This episode is sponsored by Capella University, MyBookie, and White Castle.
This is a rebroadcast of an interview with former Secretary of State George Shultz that originally aired January 19, 2018.  Secretary Shultz recalls his close friendship with President Ronald Reagan, the moment he realized that Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was someone the U.S. could do business with, and Reagan's Pershing missile moment as a masterclass in peace through strength.  He suggests that President Trump may soon need to have a "Pershing moment" of his own, reveals what he learned in a meeting years ago with a young Vladimir Putin, and weighs in as an economist on the Trump tax reform act.  Plus George Shultz discusses why Ronald Reagan never bluffed, why foreign policy is a lot like gardening, and why the prospect of nuclear war still keeps him up at night. George Shultz is a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and you can read some of his articles at www.hoover.org.  
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Comments (44)

Chris A

this guy is a jerk

Sep 7th
Reply

cassandra cochran

yikes

Aug 11th
Reply

Thomas Zarod

Wolff is stammering like a child caught in a lie.

Jun 11th
Reply

Dan Thornhill

McCain was a man of the people. Not! He was not the man he was touted to be. His Dad was an Admiral in the Navy. I have read he wasn't that great of a pilot. He crashed planes and had a hand in some of his fellow crew members dying.

May 3rd
Reply

Jeff Root

Would you believe that this guy (Ben Mathis) runs a film production company that specializes in GOP campaign advertisements? That surprised me. Jack Mcgoff is barking at the wrong guy... I like the pod. And the weird music. Thx

Apr 27th
Reply

jack mchogoff

please let Stacy Abrahams run for president! that racist ghetto lady is a gift to the Republican party.

Mar 30th
Reply

jack mchogoff

still listening to this podcast for news...... I don't think this guy know the true definition of new vs opinion journalism? this week he brings on a comedian to give (news).

Mar 17th
Reply

jack mchogoff

ok, his interview has disproven the existence of ghosts. this is not news, total bullshit opinion......

Mar 10th
Reply

jack mchogoff

total bullshit podcast. this is not news, liberalism is a mental disorder.

Mar 10th
Reply

jack mchogoff

keyword. IMPACT INVESTING..... this is the stupidest woman I've ever heard, I'm guessing she's a renter in a very overpriced apartment in San Francisco?

Mar 10th
Reply

jack mchogoff

the coast foundation..... WTF

Mar 10th
Reply

jack mchogoff

where do you find these dipshit people to interview?

Mar 10th
Reply

jack mchogoff

total fake news. did you actually mention Michelle Obamas book. WTF......

Mar 10th
Reply

jack mchogoff

then one minute later she says, "I feel..." when talking of facism. Total opinion, not news. not a bad listen but definitely not news. I'm good to listen to all the rest of the podcasts. BTW, not a trumpster. just pointing out fake news. this opinion journalism.

Mar 10th
Reply

jack mchogoff

the show starts out, "Madeline Albright believed....." this is not news. feelings don't equal news. interesting listen but definitely not news. been needs to learn what actually counts as news. I'll school you ben. facts = news..... this is opinion not news.

Mar 10th
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jack mchogoff

then he said I felt. one minute later the interviewer said, "did you feel...." this not news.

Mar 10th
Reply

jack mchogoff

Chris Christy said I believe..... this is not a news show. it's opinion journalism.

Mar 10th
Reply

jack mchogoff

not news, opinion journalism. as Daddy Donald calls it, "FAKE NEWS"

Mar 10th
Reply

jack mchogoff

sorry this is not news reporters don't say I think I feel I heard.....

Mar 10th
Reply

jack mchogoff

this is not news, it's progressive opinion journalism. it's more of a documentary of socialism.

Mar 10th
Reply
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