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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!
380 Episodes
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Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough discusses his latest book The Pioneers, how it fulfilled his lifelong dream to write a nonfiction version of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, and why he wants his book to serve as reminder of fundamental American values.  He tells the story of the New England minister who played an instrumental role in the creation of the Ohio Settlement, how he fought to outlaw slavery in the territory, and how his son carried on his fight for abolition a few years later.  He talks about the wealthy Irish couple who built a paradise on an island in the Ohio River and how they lost everything when they became embroiled in the Aaron Burr treason scandal. McCullough reveals what he’s learned in his 50 plus years of studying history, the importance of hindsight, and why historical figures feel like old friends. Order The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  This podcast was sponsored by Ancestry.com and Soundtrap for Storytellers.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.
Bill Hader (SNL, Trainwreck, Barry) talks about his childhood love of film, his early days as a struggling production assistant in Hollywood, and how he's finally getting back to his cinematic roots with his dark comedy series Barry.  He discusses directing the much talked about episode 5 this season, how he staged an epic 30 minute fight scene, and why he had to hire a construction crew to build him the perfect tree.  Hader recalls his original audition for Saturday Night Live, his first meeting with Lorne Michaels, and a few of his favorite obscure impressions from SNL.  He shares what he learned about story from his time in the writers room on South Park and how his love of cheesy true crime shows like Forensic Files and Snapped inform the grittier aspects of Barry. Watch the season finale of Barry this Sunday May 19 on HBO.  For more on Barry including out-takes and behind the scenes extras, Visit www.hbo.com/barry for more on Barry including outtakes and behind-the-scenes extras.  Today's episode was sponsored by Kronos HR Solutions, BetterHelp.com, and Soundtrap for Storytellers.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.
Jordan Klepper returns to the podcast to talk about getting out of the studio and getting out in the real world again for his new Comedy Central docu-series Klepper.  He tells the story of a wrestling club in Texas that is helping veterans body slam their way through PTSD, what it says about how vets get treated by the VA and by their fellow Americans, and how Jordan faired when he donned a cape and got in the ring with them.  Then Jordan recalls sleeping in the swamp for two nights and capsizing his boat in the Louisiana bayou as part of a direct action protest.  He discusses how Georgia is making life difficult for children of undocumented workers and how they are looking to the civil rights movement of the 60’s for inspiration.  Plus Jordan opens up about the incident that got him arrested and his memorable stay in the Fulton County Jail. Jordan Klepper's new series Klepper airs Thursdays at 10:30PM ET on Comedy Central.  Visit www.comedycentral.com for more information and follow Jordon on Twitter at @jordanklepper.  Today's episode was sponsored by SiriusXM radio.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.
Oscar nominated actor and director Sir Kenneth Branagh is the greatest living interpreter of the works of William Shakespeare, and today he talks about his life long love of Shakespeare and stepping into the shoes of his hero for his new film All Is True.  Branagh discusses why he chose to focus on the three years following Shakespeare’s retirement and why he wasn’t afraid to deviate from the accepted biography and embrace the mystery around the man.  He talks about teaming up with writer Ben Elton, forgoing digital graphics in favor traditional matte painting techniques, and the makeup that transformed Kenneth Branagh into the bard himself.  Plus he weighs in on the rumors that the mysterious "dark lady" in Shakespeare’s love sonnets might not have been a lady at all, the sex scandals that embroiled Shakespeare's family in his final years, and speculation that William Shakespeare wasn't the real author of his famous plays. Kenneth Branagh's film All Is True opens in New York and LA on Friday, May 10 followed by a wide release.  Check your local listings for showtimes.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author, scientist, and renowned polymath Jared Diamond reveals that many of the factors in how individuals cope with personal crises can also predict how countries survive national crises.  He profiles six nations in transition in his new book Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis, and shares his personal experiences and observations about those countries including why one should never utter the word "Finlandization" in Finland, how Chileans in the 1960’s never thought that their democracy would fall to a bloody dictator, and he says this doesn’t bode well for the U.S.  He discusses why some countries like Germany choose to acknowledge their violent past while others like Indonesia choose to bury it.  Then he warns of two nations currently facing crises Japan, who suffers from crippling national debt and an aging/shrinking population, and the United States, where he says the decline of political compromise and voting rights is eroding our democracy. Order Jared Diamond's terrific book Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold beginning Tuesday May 7.  Today's episode was sponsored by So, Bob podcast, SiriusXM radio, and Zebit.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich talks about his new political thriller Collusion: A Novel and how writing fiction has given him a chance to let his imagination run wild about the darker side of Washington.  He discusses why it’s almost impossible to make up a fictional super-villain like Vladimir Putin, his fascination Putin’s deadly penchant for high profile poisonings, and why he believes that Putin doesn’t mind taking the blame for those murders.  Plus he weighs in on President Trump’s Russia policy, the Mueller Report, what issues will drive the next election, and which Democrat could conceivably beat Donald Trump in 2020. Order his book Collusion: A Novel on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with Newt at www.gingrich360.com, subscribe to his podcast Newt's World, and follow him on twitter at @newtgingrich.  Today's episode was sponsored by BetterHelp.com.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.
Congressman Seth Moulton talks about why he is running for President, what he sees as his path to the Democratic nomination, and how he plans to defeat President Donald Trump by running on Trump’s weakest issues.  He discusses why he chose do 4 tours of duty as a Marine in Iraq even though he personally opposed the war, what it was like working as a special liaison to tribal leaders in Southern Iraq, and what the experience taught him about compromise and bipartisanship. He reveals why he turned down the platinum health insurance afforded to members of Congress in favor of getting his healthcare at the Veterans Administration, what learned about what works and what doesn’t work at the V.A., and why he opposes a single payer healthcare program.  Plus we talk impeachment, abolishing the electoral college, and how he became the star of a popular Iraqi TV show “Moulton and Mohammed.” Visit www.sethmoulton.com for more information on Congressman Seth Moulton or to donate/volunteer for his Presidential campaign, and follow him on Twitter at @sethmoulton.  Today's podcast was sponsored by SiriusXM radio, and the new Hulu original series RAMY.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.
Janet Napolitano served the 4th Secretary of Homeland Security less than a decade after 9/11, and on today's podcast, she reckons with the critics who call it a Frankenstein's Monster of government run amok and takes a hard look at the challenges we'll be facing as it evolves to fight terrorism 2.0.  She likens the job to finding a needle in a haystack and describes how she used methods like "pushing the borders" and TSA-pre-check to shrink that haystack.  She says it takes a "dark imagination" to be Secretary of Homeland Security, but even in her darkest imagination, she never envisioned a hostile foreign government like Russia would interfere in a US Presidential election.  She takes to task politicians who engage in "security theatre," and this former border state governor has a few choice words about President Trump's zero tolerance policy toward illegal immigration.  Plus Janet Napolitano weighs in on the college admissions scandal and outlines what she's doing to address the issue as President of the University of California Board of Regents.  Order Janet Napolitano's new book How Safe Are We?: Homeland Security Since 9/11 on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Kronos, SiriusXM radio, and the new Hulu original series RAMY.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.
Former Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt discusses how former college football coach Bill Campbell mentored him and many of Silicon Valley's greatest visionaries from Jeff Bezos and Larry Page to Marc Andreessen and Steve Jobs.  Eric recalls how he initially reacted when venture capitalist John Doerr suggested that he work with a coach, how Coach Campbell helped shape the relationship between Eric and Google's founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and how the coach talked Eric out of resigning as Google’s CEO in 2004.  He shares how Bill Campbell coached teams more than individuals, and talks about the importance of trust and even love to a company's success.  Eric opens up about his decision to step down as Executive Chairman of Google's parent company Alphabet in 2017 and his next big bet on the positive potential of artificial intelligence.  Plus Eric Schmidt reveals why starting a meeting with some little polite chit-chat isn't just a waste of time and the power of hugs in the workplace. Order Eric's book Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by the new Hulu original series RAMY.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.
As the longest serving senior official in Obama White House, Valerie Jarrett was known as one who "got" President Obama and helped him engage his public life, but she was also an early mentor, trusted advisor, and family confidante to the Obamas for decades.  She remembers her first impression of Michelle and Barack Obama in 1991, shares her unique perspective on their marriage, and tells the story of the time when Michelle Obama recruited her to help convince a young Barack Obama to give up politics and get “a real job.”  She talks about being the person who kept President Obama connected to the world outside of Washington as director of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and how her own experience as a single working mom influenced her to advocate for women and families.  She describes the surreal/heartbreaking experience of watching the 2016 election returns with the Obamas in the White House residence, how she's been handling the Trump Presidency, and a few of her “pinch me moments” from her 8 years in the Obama Administration.   Order her book Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by the new Hulu original series RAMY.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.
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Comments (41)

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
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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
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jack mchogoff

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

Mar 30th
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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
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jack mchogoff

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

Mar 10th
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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
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jack mchogoff

the coast foundation..... WTF

Mar 10th
Reply

jack mchogoff

where do you find these dipshit people to interview?

Mar 10th
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jack mchogoff

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

Mar 10th
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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
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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
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jack mchogoff

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

Mar 10th
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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
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jack mchogoff

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

Mar 10th
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Rey Mesa

Dr Phil has a vagina.

Jan 31st
Reply

Twyla Gaeta

Mr Castro seems nice ,didn't touch base on any issues of concerns in the nation we are not in a good place today our president jeopardizes our nation repeatedly without just cause or valid purpose regarding decisions made especially internationally its like fire playing with explosives , ,

Jan 3rd
Reply

radragon

try the Adam Corolla show if you wanna be entertained. here, you'll find a yawnfest. "news?"

Dec 23rd
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