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NewsFeed with @BuzzFeedBen

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BuzzFeed Editor In Chief Ben Smith hosts conversations on the intersection of politics, media, and technology — and all of 2017's insanity.
13 Episodes
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13: @redsteeze

13: @redsteeze

2017-07-2900:48:20

Stephen Miller, who writes under the name @redsteeze and isn't to be confused with the White House adviser of the same name, is among the most effective of the self-appointed public editors who harry journalists on Twitter. (He also got some attention recently for attending a women-only showing of Wonder Woman.) He comes from the right and has a belief that most media sins can be tracked to an attempt to push a progressive agenda. But in a universe increasingly dominated by bad faith trolls whose explicit goal is to destroy the traditional media, Miller — despite his vitriol — is usually in good faith.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A conversation with Ivan Kolpakov, editor in chief of the Russian news site Meduza, and Inga Springe, a founder of the non-profit investigative journalism site Re:Baltica, about reporting on Russia from just across the border in Latvia, what it's like to live inside Russia's media bubble, and why journalists over there aren't particularly interested in the story of Russia's meddling in the U.S. election.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11: Zeynep Tufekci

11: Zeynep Tufekci

2017-07-0200:45:23

Nobody has thought more about the intersection of media, technology, and politics than Zeynep Tufekci. Her new book Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest, is about the incredible promise and the real weaknesses of these new social media movements that have been central to the news cycle and the way news is made over the last five to ten years.Although Tufekci dates that back much further. In this interview, recorded live in front of an audience of BuzzFeed reporters, she talks about her roots and what she sees as these movements' roots in the Zapatista revolution in the 1990s in Mexico. And with the explosion of social movements around the world on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms, there's been backlash and crackdowns that a lot of people, other than Tufekci, did not see coming.Find more of Tufekci's work at technosociology.org.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10: Benjamin Wittes

10: Benjamin Wittes

2017-06-1800:33:07

What a student of executive power and friend of James Comey makes of Rod Rosenstein, Robert Mueller's investigation, and the first 147 days of Trump's presidency.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9: Bill de Blasio

9: Bill de Blasio

2017-06-1000:37:46

Ben interviews New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on stage at the Northside Festival in Brooklyn. They talk about de Blasio's relationship with the press — and its parallels with Donald Trump's approach to dealing with the media — recent subway breakdowns, and his very particular gym routine at the Park Slope YMCA.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Margaret Sullivan, the longest-serving of the New York Times public editors, talks about the awkwardness of being the paper's in-house critic, the process of choosing to elevate some criticisms over others, and why — when she was chief editor of The Buffalo News, before taking the job at the Times — she reacted with "horror" when her publisher suggested they hire their own public editor.For tickets and info about the Northside Festival, visit northsidereport2017.eventbrite.com.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7: Al Sharpton

7: Al Sharpton

2017-05-2100:30:13

The Reverend Al Sharpton, whose career was shaped by the same New York tabloid media that created Donald Trump, said Trump called him soon after the election to praise his analysis on MSNBC of Trump's New York roots. He also said Trump's notoriously thin skin is the result of the fact that he has no cause beyond his own brand. "I don't mind getting the crap beaten out of me if I can turn around and say to Abner Louima, “those cops went to jail for forty years.” And we did," he said on NewsFeed. "So if you're only goal is you — yeah, we all have an ego, yeah we like the spreads in Vanity Fair. But that's not the goal. That's the means to the end. To him, that is the end. So if you're attacking him, you're attacking his goal." Sharpton also talked about another longtime acquaintance on the right, the late Fox News chief Roger Ailes. "I'd see Roger Ailes and we'd talk, and the funniest thing, he would always tell me, 'You know,' and he showed me a picture he took with Malcolm X back in the day, as a reporter. And I used to tease him, I said, 'So you're going to show me the Malcolm X picture. Why don't you show me the Nixon picture?' I said, 'I think you might've interviewed Malcolm. You worked and helped create Nixon.'" And he blamed Hillary Clinton's defeat not on her failure to bring in white voters, but on her lack of effort in rallying black ones. "You lost Michigan, by what, 15,000, 20,000 votes? You could've got that if you mobilized two housing projects or three churches," he said. "You didn't identify with those in identity politics, that's why you had the lowest turnout you had around blacks in a long time."Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
When Roger Ailes' wife Elizabeth sent a statement on her husband's death to The Drudge Report instead of Fox News it was, according to NPR Media Correspondent David Folkenflik, "the final act of Roger Ailes' revenge" against the network he created. In an interview for the podcast NewsFeed with @BuzzFeedBen, BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith talks with Folkenflik about Ailes' contentious relationship with the Murdochs and the way he wielded — and abused — his power as the head of Fox News. "It was a paranoid cult culture, it was a control culture, we knew that it was a punitive culture," said Folkenflik.  In the interview, Folkenflik also talks about the allegations of sexual abuse that got Ailes kicked out of Fox News and how the network is navigating Trump's presidency without him. "The people who are in that [morning] meeting basically have a triptych, incense, candles, a hologram machine, designed to conjure up the spirit of Roger Ailes and figure out what the hell would he do if he was handed these cards to play," he said. David Folkenflik is the author of Murdoch's World: The Last of the Old Media Empires.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5: Lydia Polgreen

5: Lydia Polgreen

2017-05-0700:38:06

"I think facts and truth are essential to journalism but you need to reckon with emotion. You have to deal with how people feel, otherwise you miss the story." The new editor-in-chief of the renamed HuffPost says she's positioning the site in the spirit of the best of tabloid journalism."The great tabloids were always driven by a sense of outrage, you know a sense of righteous indignation...and had this sensibility of, you know, like, there are people out there that are trying to screw you—and we’re going expose them for it," Lydia Polgreen tells Ben Smith. "The tabloid is fundamentally an emotional form of journalism."Polgreen says she's steering directly into the populist moment, and aiming to write not about, but for, people who feel "screwed" by the existing power structure. She also breaks the news in the interview of a major hire: Jim Rich, who turned the New York Daily News into a confrontational national voice on the 2016 election with a series of front pages mocking, usually, Donald Trump.Polgreen also speaks of her career at the New York Times, about how foreign correspondents were often the first to grasp the power of new media, and of her singular life story — she was raised in Ghana by a Baha'i missionary — and her complicated reaction to being celebrated as the first black lesbian to lead a major publication.Read the full transcript of this conversation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
"Is it strange to be that far inside the head of the President of the United States?" "I try not to think about it." The two New York Times reporters on the Trump beat talk about obsessing over Donald Trump, and about his obsession with them. Plus: their shared roots in New York media, their reporting partnership, and their love (Thrush) and hate (Haberman) relationship with Twitter.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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