DiscoverThe Ezra Klein Show
The Ezra Klein Show
Claim Ownership

The Ezra Klein Show

Author: Vox

Subscribed: 31,801Played: 247,338
Share

Description

Ezra Klein brings you far-reaching conversations about hard problems, big ideas, illuminating theories, and cutting-edge research. Want to know how Mark Zuckerberg intends to govern Facebook? What Barack Obama regrets in Obamacare? The dangers Yuval Harari sees in our future? What Michael Pollan learned on psychedelics? The lessons Bryan Stevenson learned freeing the wrongly convicted on death row? The way N.K. Jemisin imagines new worlds? This is the podcast for you. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.
221 Episodes
Reverse
Brian Stelter is the host of CNN’s Reliable Sources, as well as the network’s chief media correspondent. But before he was the host of Reliable Sources, he was just a kid with a blog — a blog that obsessed over the coverage decisions, business models, and consequences of cable news.So he was the perfect person to have this conversation with. I’ve done — and continue to do — a lot of cable news. So I think a lot about the effect cable news has on the political system. How does it change the stories it covers? How does it decide what is and isn’t news? What are its biases? Who actually watches it? How has it been changed by Trump and Twitter? And, with apologies to Jon Stewart, is cable news hurting or helping America?Brian and I see the answers to some of these questions differently. But he’s one of the most thoughtful media analysts going today. Love it or hate it, cable news matters. So it’s worth trying to understand how it works, and why it works the way it does.Book recommendations:American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race  by Douglas BrinkleyThe Culture of Fear by Barry GlassnerEcho Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment by Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph N. Cappella
YouTube is where tomorrow’s politics are happening today.If you’re over 30, and you don’t spend much time on the platform, it’s almost impossible to explain how central it is to young people’s media consumption. YouTube far outranks television in terms of where teens spend their time. It’s foundational to how young people — and plenty of not-so-young people — form their politics. And it features a political divide that’s different than what we see in Washington, but that I think predicts what we’re going to see in Washington.Natalie Wynn, of the channel Contrapoints, is one of YouTube’s political stars. The former philosophy PhD student dropped out and found her calling producing idea-dense and aesthetically rich explanations of everything from capitalism to Jordan Peterson to incels to “the West.” In this conversation, we talk about the political divides on YouTube, how the YouTube right differs from the YouTube left, why obscure ideological movements are making comebacks online, her experience transitioning gender while in the public eye, why you need to take trollish questions seriously, and the anxieties of modern masculinity.
“Between 1830 and 1860, there were more than seventy violent incidents between congressmen in the House and Senate chambers or on nearby streets and dueling grounds.”Here’s the wild thing about that statistic, which comes from Yale historian Joanne Freeman’s remarkable book The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War: It’s an undercount. There was much more violence between members of Congress even than that.Congress used to be thick with duels, brawls, threats, and violent intimidation. That history is often forgotten today, and that forgetting has come at a cost: It lets us pretend that this moment, with all its tumult and terror, is somehow divorced from our traditions, an aberration from our past, when it’s in fact rooted in them.That’s why I wanted to talk to Freeman right now: to remind us that American politics has long been shaped by people who used the threat or practice of national violence as a way to force the political system to accept ongoing injustice. This conversation isn’t as easy as just saying political violence is bad. It’s also about recognizing that political violence has a purpose, and weighing the conditions under which it’s right and even necessary to provoke it.Book recommendations:Witness to the Young Republic: A Yankee’s Journal, 1828-1870 by Benjamin Brown FrenchFirst Blows of the Civil Warby James S. PikeThe Impending Crisisby David M. Potter
Time for another AMA! You all hit the big stuff in this one. What’s the purpose of this show? How do I prep for it? What did I think of the Whiteshift conversation? What has fatherhood changed in my worldview? What weird work habits do I recommend? How about weird techno sets? How about comic runs?Should we be optimistic about humanity in 100 years? How about 1,000? Why did I describe Elizabeth Warren as a “fighter” rather than “professor” candidate? What’s the likeliest sci-fi dystopia?All this, plus some vegan recipe recommendations and the proportions for a Vieux Carré cocktail!
2013 was David Brooks’s worst year. “The realities that used to define my life fell away,” he says. His marriage ended. His children moved out. The conservative movement was undergoing the crack-up that would lead to Donald Trump, and to Brooks’s excommunication.For Brooks, the past few years have been a radicalization. His new book, The Second Mountain, is an effort to work out a more service- and community-oriented definition of the good life. But on a deeper level, it’s a searing critique of meritocracy, of productivity, and, as I try to get him to admit in this podcast, of capitalism itself. But is Brooks really willing to embrace what that critique demands?If you liked the “Work as identity, burnout as lifestyle” episode a few weeks back, you’ll love this one.Book recommendations:Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund BurkeAnna Karenina by Leo TolstoyThe Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris 
I’ve read a lot of Emily Oster over the past year. Her first book, Expecting Better, has become the data-minded parent’s bible on pregnancy. Her new book, Cribsheet, extends that analysis to the first years of life.Oster is an economist at Brown University, and what she brings to this particular pursuit is a passion for good evidence. And here’s the thing: it turns out that much of what we think we know about pregnancy and parenthood isn’t based on good evidence. Sometimes it’s not based on any evidence at all.This is, on one level, a conversation about some topics of particular interest to me right now — breastfeeding, sleep training, brain development — but, it’s also a conversation about a meta-topic of interest to us all: how we assume experts are basing their confident pronouncements on good data, when, in fact, they often are not.Book recommendations:Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth MacyThe Shakespeare Requirement: A Novel by Julie Schumacher The Odyssey by Homer (translation by Emily Wilson)
This is a special episode for me. Vox turns 5 this week! So I sat down with my co-founders, Melissa Bell and Matt Yglesias, to discuss what went right, what went wrong, what changed in the media environment, and what we learned along the way.Matt’s recommendations:Vox’s Explained on Netflix — Episode 4: “K-Pop”“Our incel problem” by Zack Beauchamp“We visited one of America's sickest counties. We're afraid it's about to get worse.” by Julia BelluzVox’s The Weeds podcastMelissa’s recommendations:Vox Observatory by Joss Fong“Apollo astronauts left their poop on the moon. We gotta go back for that shit.” by Brian ResnickToday, Explained: “Friends without benefits”Ezra’s recommendations:“Hospitals keep ER fees secret. We’re uncovering them.” by Sarah Kliff“The rise of American authoritarianism” by Amanda Taub“Show me the evidence” by Julia BelluzToday, Explained: “HQ2-1”This special episode of The Ezra Klein Show was taped in celebration of Vox’s fifth anniversary. Today, we’re hosting live tapings of The Weeds and Recode Decode with Kara Swisher at The Line Hotel in Washington, DC. Subscribe to those shows for free in Apple Podcasts, or in your favorite podcast app, to be the first to hear them when they’re released.
In the past few months, two essays on America’s changing relationship to work caught my eye. The first was Anne Helen Petersen’s viral BuzzFeed piece defining, and describing, “millennial burnout.” The second was Derek Thompson’s Atlantic article on “workism.”The two pieces speak to each other in interesting ways, and to some questions I’ve been reflecting on as my own relationship to work changes. So I asked the authors to join me for a conversation about what happens when work becomes an identity, capitalism becomes a religion, and productivity becomes the way we measure human value. The conversation exceeded even the high hopes I had for it. Enjoy this one.Book recommendations:Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials by Malcolm HarrisWhite: Essays on Race and Culture by Richard DyerThe Vertigo Years: Europe, 1900-1914 by Philipp BlomA Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer EganIf you’ll be in Washington, DC, on Thursday, April 25, join us for a morning of live podcasts in celebration of our fifth birthday. RSVP here: http://voxmediaevents.com/vox5
Democratic socialism is on the rise in the United States, but it’s been a dominant force for far longer in Europe. Ask Bernie Sanders to define his ideology and he doesn’t start naming political theorists; he points across the Atlantic. “Go to countries like Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden,” he says.The populist right is on the rise in the United States too, and that’s also been a powerful force for far longer in Europe. The mix of economic populism and resentful nationalism that Donald Trump ran on in 2016 and Tucker Carlson offers up nightly on Fox News might be unusual here, but it’s commonplace there.Understanding Europe’s politics, then, is of particular help right now for understanding our own. Sheri Berman is a political scientist at Barnard College, as well as the author of multiple books on European social democracy. We discussed what separates social democrats from progressives and neoliberals, how the populist right co-opted the European left, why social democrats lost ground in the ’90s to Blairite technocrats, whether multi-party political systems work better than our own, and why identity issues tend to unite the right and split the left. Berman is masterful in clearly synthesizing politics across countries and time periods, so there’s a lot to learn in this one.Book recommendations:Nation Building: Why Some Countries Come Together While Others Fall Apartby Andreas WimmerThe Meaning of Race: Race, History, and Culture in Western Societyby Kenan MalikMulticulturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognitionby Charles Taylor and Amy Gutmann
“The big question of our time is less, ‘What does it mean to be American?’ than, ‘What does it mean to be white American in an age of ethnic change?’” writes Eric Kaufmann in his new book Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities. Kaufmann’s book is unusual in two respects. First, it’s explicit (and persuasive) in its argument that demographic change and the white backlash to demographic change are behind the rise of rightwing populism across the West. Second, it argues that the right response is to slow demographic change and calm the fears of white majorities.I think Kaufmann’s framework of what’s driving political conflict right now is correct. I have more trouble with his vision of what to do about it. But this is a book, in my view, that gets to the core debate of contemporary politics and takes it on directly. That’s why I wanted to have this conversation.Book recommendations:The Ethnic Origins of Nationsby Anthony D. SmithThe Cultural Contradictions Of Capitalismby Daniel BellNEXT AMERICAN NATION: The New Nationalism and the Fourth American Revolutionby Michael Lind
loading
Comments (19)

Jesse Hoffner ☭

Brian Stetler? Really?

May 16th
Reply

RDubs

Honestly? I played this podcast just to have something in the background while cleaning house. Instead, I found myself putting down the dust mop so I could rewind or grabbing a pen to write down an interesting reference or some idea worth exploring. I was really blown away by how fascinating this interview became. The range of topics explored, the ideas exchanged and the eloquence with which David Brooks talks about his personal journey left me feeling not only enriched but also inspired. Another great episode; thank you Ezra!

May 7th
Reply

Granny InSanDiego

So basically Ezra you think the Dems are fucked no matter what. Why am I listening to you?

Apr 30th
Reply

Granny InSanDiego

Nervino Karas They understand the real people not the plutocrats who pay you to troll.

May 16th
Reply

Nervino Karas

Granny InSanDiego They're "fucked" because they refuse to understand the people.

May 16th
Reply

Granny InSanDiego

Krugman cannot explain his ideas. He depresses me.

Apr 29th
Reply

Tenman X

Hmm... Justice and fairness will follow when the Left learn to soothe the socio-cultural anxieties of the white overclass. Such sophistry, Professor Kaufmann! Bye, Felicia!

Apr 18th
Reply

chaitanya kumar

This was such a painful listen. Not sure how ezra managed to continue the interview - Eric doesn't see the massive cultural and political imbalances between races, doesn't agree that structural racism exist and is fully behind a white history month! His diagnosis is elementary and his solutions more so. Sigh.

Apr 17th
Reply

Tara O'Donnell

This was excellent! It is this kind of strategy for the Republican party that even a liberal Democrat could get behind. If I were a lawmaker, I would reach out a hand to and work with this kind of Republican. We would have a vastly better world with more of this forward and deeply thoughtful thinking on the right. Thank you!

Apr 14th
Reply

Jesse Chan

sounds like audio issues around 5:40?

Apr 2nd
Reply

Jesse Chan

Jesse Chan also around 13:20

Apr 2nd
Reply

Otto Bruun IV

Excellent podcast! Buttigieg is a very impressive guy. Congratulations on the kiddo.

Apr 1st
Reply

Thaís Bara Di Vita

Deeyah shows how courage and intelligence is made better by sensibility. I was very impressed and touched by this interview, i cant thank ezra enough for bringing it to me.

Mar 15th
Reply

J. Kupperman

So insightful. Thank you for this interview

Mar 12th
Reply

Donna McLocklin Cermak

Congratulations Ezra!!

Feb 26th
Reply

Natalie Schreiber

All discussions on M4A that don't include specifically that: while taxes may be raised, 1)there will be no more out of pocket deductibles, 2)there are no more co-pays, 3)no more in-network vs out of network bs red tape, & 4)there's a general peace of mind that comes with not having your medical coverage tied to a specific job, is an incomplete discussion and often down right misleading.

Feb 7th
Reply

fajar ahmad setiawan

Wow. Your book recommendations are exceptionally old and perhaps, outdated. It doesn't mean these books are useless, it's just becoming niche literature now when there are many more innovative and revolutionary thinkers like Zizek and Dawkins.

Feb 7th
Reply

Jim Lane

these conversation keep going back to Will Store's ideas on the self and individualism

Feb 4th
Reply

Natalie Schreiber

I agree with everything except the Hillary Clinton bit. While I am willing to acknowledge the truth of misogyny directed at her to a point, it is also extremely important to recognize that from a principaled policy standpoint, her ideology is neoliberal and she is a corporatist. period. That is why I voted for the other woman in the race Jill Stein. So, misogyny does not explain the whole picture. Clinton represents the new aristocracy that modern day patriots oppose. Kamala Harris will have the same problem in 2020. That's why I currently support Marianne Williamson 2020.

Feb 2nd
Reply
loading
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store