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Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes
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Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes

Author: Chris Hayes, MSNBC & NBCNews THINK

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Every week Chris Hayes asks the big questions that keep him up at night. How do we make sense of this unprecedented moment in world history? Why is this (all) happening?


This podcast starts to answer these questions. Writers, experts, and thinkers who are also trying to get to the bottom of them join Chris to break it all down and help him get a better night’s rest. “Why is this Happening?” is presented by MSNBC and NBCNews Think.

99 Episodes
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Professional sports are never more than an inch away from the deepest core of what's happening in America. They are an amazing crucible of politics and culture that manage to reflect the issues we are working through as a country. And because these spaces are so integrated, particularly in football and basketball, racial politics quickly come to the foreground. This is the intersection ESPN writer Howard Bryant examines in his new book "Full Dissidence: Notes from an Uneven Playing Field". In it, he explores what it means to be black in an industry hostile to blackness. Why isn't Colin Kaepernick playing in the NFL, why do football games have military flyovers, and when do opinions become dangerous? What is happening with the Houston Astros cheating scandal? And why should non-sports fans care about what happens to players with multi-million-dollar contracts? Howard Bryant has the answers.RELATED READING:Full Dissidence by Howard BryantTwilight of the Elites by Chris Hayes
Why do white evangelical Christians support President Trump? They delivered him 81% of their votes on election day and consistently give him higher favorability ratings than any other voting bloc. As former Christianity Today editor-in-chief Mark Galli puts it, white evangelicals elected Trump to be their champion. So these were the exact people Galli hoped were listening when he published a stunning op-ed titled “Trump Should Be Removed from Office”. It was a daring departure for the signature publication of white evangelicals and the piece immediately attracted huge amounts of attention. For Galli, the President had crossed a line and he felt it was time his community reckoned with that fact. But will they?RELATED READING:Trump Should Be Removed from Office by Mark GalliThe Scandal of the Evangelical Mind
In the summer of 2017, a 25-year-old government contractor exposed detailed evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Reality Winner printed out classified US Intelligence documents, hid the papers in her pantyhose as she left work, and then put them in the mail to The Intercept. The report they published was the first piece of concrete evidence shared with the public proving the United States possessed tangible evidence that Russians hackers attacked American voting systems. After The Intercept published the story, complete with scans of the original papers, authorities immediately traced the leak back to Reality Winner. She was arrested, denied bail, and is now serving 5 years in a federal prison. Kerry Howley wrote an in-depth profile of Reality Winner for New York Magazine and joins to share the compelling story of who Winner is, why she did it, and the severe treatment she's received at the hands of the United States government.RELATED:Who Is Reality Winner? by Kerry HowleyThe Secret Government by Chris Hayeshttp://StandwithReality.org
It’s hard not to make comparisons between the political landscapes of the US and the UK. In 2016 when the UK shocked the world with the Brexit vote, a lot of folks saw it as a bellwether for the coming presidential election. If it could happen there, why couldn’t it happen here? And sure enough it did, kicking off three years of political turmoil. Now, as we prepare for the 2020 presidential election, has the UK provided us with another premonition? Earlier this month, voters turned out to deliver Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party a resounding victory while rejecting Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. So what happened and how closely should the US be reading into those results? Journalist Sarah Jaffe was embedded on the ground in the lead up to the election and joins to tell us what exactly went down.RELATED READING:Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt by Sarah JaffeYOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:Trump, Brexit, and Racial Grievance with Mehdi Hasan (Aug 28, 2018)
The #WITHpod Mailbag

The #WITHpod Mailbag

2019-12-2400:34:454

It's that time of year, friends! Come sit by the fire as Chris Hayes and producer Tiffany Champion tackle your questions from the WITHpod mailbag.As promised, click here for the sketch that inspired the secret santa gift.
In the final stop of our Fall tour, we invited playwrights Tony Kushner and Jeremy O. Harris to talk about all things spectacle, storytelling, and how they relate to this political moment. They are both artists who use their firm grounding in our own reality to give life to alternate worlds, ones full of drama and conflict and pathos. In this hour, they discuss the ways they hope their art echoes through time, what it means to make art in this moment, why Jeremy O. Harris thinks Donald Trump is actually a pretty uninteresting character, and so much more. Find tickets for A Bright Room Called DayFind tickets for Slave Play
Could a wealth tax help reduce the vast income and wealth inequality in the country? It’s an idea that not only has the backing of two Democratic primary frontrunners - Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren - but also enjoys wide public support. So what would it look like to have a wealth tax, who would end up paying, and why is Wall Street freaking out about it? And how did we get to this level of wealth inequality to begin with? There’s no one better to answer all these questions than Gabriel Zucman, an expert economist who worked with both campaigns to develop their wealth tax proposals based on his years of research.RELATED READING:The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them PayYOU MIGHT ALSO LIKECan We Tax the Rich? with Jesse Eisinger
Now might be a good time to get acquainted with impeachment. In fact, we here at #WITHpod believe everyone should listen to an hour-long conversation with a person who is not only familiar with the history of impeachment but who also has granular expertise in that area of law. Heck, how great would it be if that constitutional law scholar once clerked on the Supreme Court and has firsthand experience working in a White House administration! Well luckily for us, Chris Hayes knows such a person. Because he lives with her. And is married to her. That’s right y’all, Kate Shaw is back and we have no chill about it. Listen to Professor Shaw weigh in on where we are in this moment, the history, the law, the legal theory, the practice, and much more.RELATED READING:Impeach by Neal KatyalThe Impeachers by Brenda WineappleYOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:The Rule of Law in the Era of Trump with Kate ShawImpeaching a President with Brenda WineappleStrict Scrutiny
How did Iraqi soldiers wrestle Mosul back from the grip of ISIS fighters? In the summer of 2014, at the height of their expansion, the terror group managed to take one of Iraq's largest cities in a matter of days. Two years later, it took the Iraqi army nine months to win it back. War correspondent James Verini thought his summer assignment to Iraq would be a short one. Instead, he stayed embedded with soldiers as they engaged in the brutal and bloody street by street combat that ultimately liberated Mosul. This conversation is both a gripping look into the heart of that battle as well as a crucial guide to the events that led to it. For an understanding of what is happening in Iraq today and how life there is permeated with the legacy of the American invasion 16 years ago, you need to know about the Battle of Mosul.RELATED READINGThey Will Have to Die Now by James VeriniYOU MIGHT ALSO LIKEThe Middle East with Dexter Filkins (May 15, 2018)
In our third stop of the Fall tour, Nikole Hannah-Jones, the architect behind The 1619 Project, and Ibram Kendi, author of “How To Be an Antiracist”, join Chris Hayes to examine the 400 year legacy of slavery in America. Together they examine the sinister discrepancy between the history of this nation as it *was* and the history of this nation as we are taught it, and discuss what that history then demands from us in this moment.New York City - listen for important details about our December 8th show! We have a new guest and details for how to win free tickets!RELATED READING:The 1619 ProjectHow to Be an AntiracistStamped from the BeginningBlack Reconstruction in AmericaThe Warmth of Other SunsThe South SideYOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:School Segregation in 2018 with Nikole Hannah-Jones (July 31, 2018)
What came before the #MeToo movement? Acclaimed author Linda Hirshman's new book "Reckoning" traces 50 years of brave women, crucial court battles, and social awakenings that preceded the movement we're witnessing today. This conversation illustrates in vivid detail the decades of struggle to hold those in power accountable, and introduces you to the women who worked tirelessly to make that happen. RELATED READING Reckoning: The Epic Battle Against Sexual Abuse and Harassment by Linda Hirshman Intercourse by Andrea Dworkin Deconstructing Clarence Thomas YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Women, Rage, and Power with Rebecca Traister (Oct 2, 2018) Get tickets to our New York Live show with special guest Tony Kushner!
It's our New York City live show announcement! Listen for our special guest reveal and information about presale ticket access! Presale begins 10am Wednesday November 6th and goes until 10pm Thursday November 7th. Click here to get your tickets now!
Yeah, we’re going there. In one of our mailbag episodes, Chris Hayes joked about doing an hourlong meditation on mortality. Surprisingly, more than a few of you spoke up in favor of the idea, and one of our #WITHpod listeners suggested checking out a book called “This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom” by philosopher Martin Hägglund. In his book, Hägglund takes on some of the most fundamental questions we face if, in fact, this one life is all we have. Say there’s no afterlife - what does it then mean to mourn, to love, and to be a human on this planet? What do we owe each other and what do we owe ourselves? So this week, we look at one of the biggest and scariest and, depending how you look at it, most beautiful questions yet: what if this is it? RELATED READING: This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom by Martin Hägglund Hey Chicago! Grab the last few standing room only tickets for our November 12th event with Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ibram X. Kendi! Find tickets here.
Y'all - this is a good one. Trust us. It'll make you laugh, it'll make you reflect, it'll inspire...it might even give you that special WITHpod brand of existential crisis. Our second stop of the fall tour brought Chris Hayes to the stunning Theatre at the Ace Hotel with screenwriter and director Adam Mckay along with debut novelist Omar El Akkad. The question at hand - how can we use art and pop culture to properly convey the urgency of the climate crisis? How can storytelling break through the noise and get to the beating heart of the collective struggle our planet is in? And how will future generations think about the way we are meeting this moment? Like we said, maybe a teensy existential crisis. But we promise, you'll laugh a lot too. >> CHICAGO! We're releasing general admission standing only tickets for our Live WITHpod November 12th with Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ibram X. Kendi. Buy tickets here! RELATED: American War by Omar El Akkad The Great Hack The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: The Uninhabitable Earth with David Wallace-Wells (March 5)
Over the past few months communication coming in and out of Kashmir, the highly contested land between India and Pakistan, has been increasingly difficult. The Indian government lead by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken steps to blackout the region in to order to once and for all place Kashmir under Indian control. The move has been roundly condemned by international groups, and serves as another dire warning of ostensibly liberal democracies engaging in authoritarian and illiberal behavior. This week, Hafsa Kanjwal, a Kashmiri Muslim woman and assistant professor at Lafayette college, talks about the complex history of Kashmir and the current lockdown the region now faces.
CHICAGO! We have a date, we have guests, and we have a SPECIAL PRESALE CODE! Join us Tuesday, November 12th at the House of Blues Chicago with special guests Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ibram X. Kendi. Presale starts Friday, October 18 at 10am ct and goes until Sunday, October 20 at 10pm ct. Presale code -- withpod Remaining tickets will be released Monday October 21st at 10am central.
*Listen for details on how to win tickets to our Los Angeles live show!* Salman Rushdie is a most singular figure. He’s authored 19 books, accrued countless awards, and spent about a decade in hiding after the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini called for his death. Needless to say, Chris Hayes jumped at the chance to have a conversation with Salman Rushdie about his life and the ways his particular experiences shape his worldview. In one hour, they manage to cover the political climate in India and the US, the opioid epidemic, belonging, reality television, immigration, his newest novel “Quichotte”, and more. Did we mention he’s a knight?   RELATED READING: Quichotte by Salman Rushdie The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie Buy tickets to our October 21st Los Angeles live show here!
You’ve likely heard of redlining - the practice of systematizing discrimination based on where you live. You’ve probably even heard us talk about the ways its legacy continues to impact the upward mobility of communities of color. But do you know what happened next? In the wake of urban uprisings in the late 1960s, politicians pushed to end redlining, to lift people up out of poverty and improve their lives by making homeownership attainable. But that’s not what happened. Instead, bad policy and the private market worked together to create a machine that churned out new ways to exploit black homeowners. It’s what Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor describes as predatory inclusion in her new book, “Race for Profit”. In it, she describes the ways in which policy, race, and institutional forces came together to reinscribe segregation. Come see Chris Hayes in Los Angeles October 21st with special guests Adam McKay and Omar El Akkad! Get tickets here. RELATED READING: Race for Profit by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor Thick by Tressie McMillan Cottom Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe YOUT MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Thick Descriptions with Tressie McMillan Cottom Our Real Estate Obsession with Giorgio Angelini
What is conservatism in the era of Trump? During the 2016 primaries, Senator Ted Cruz argued that he alone was the true conservative candidate, consistently attacking Donald Trump as a big government liberal. So what does Sen. Cruz make of the conservatives that rejected him and went on to put Trump in the White House? At The 2019 Texas Tribune Festival, Chris Hayes and Sen. Cruz sat down in The Paramount Theatre in the first stop of the #WITHpod fall tour to talk about all things conservatism. Chris challenged the Texas Senator on foreign policy, climate change, impeachment, and the unfolding Ukraine scandal. Join us October 21st in Los Angeles with special guests Adam McKay and Omar El Akkad. Get your tickets here.
Get your tickets today! Listen for details on how to get EXCLUSIVE presale access to tickets for our WITHpod Live event in Los Angeles happening Monday, October 21st with special guests Adam Mckay and Omar El Akkad. Presale is from 10am-10pm pacific time TODAY, September 26th - you can access the website here. Regular sale starts Friday, September 27th at 10am pacific time. And don't forget to come see us in Austin this SATURDAY September 28th at the Texas Tribune Festival for our live WITHpod with Sen. Ted Cruz. You can get details for that, and any other tour announcements, on our website.
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Comments (172)

Tatyana Noyb

I know little about sports, but have been thinking the revisit of what happened to Kaepernick is lost in the onslaught of news about desentigration of America. Thanks, this was insightful. Racism is the foundational element.. Was listening to Moore's podcast on MLK on Monday....racism, militarism, and economic injustice, pillars of capitalism. But only in the dark one can see the stars. Let's dream big.

Jan 23rd
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scott daiss

great podcast.

Jan 19th
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Sasha Anne Lyn

How do you measure that? We measure you by your actions which have supported the worst version of the United States of America. Blaming troubled immigrants for struggling under a wealthy-for-the-few political parties policies is decidedly unchristian. It makes me wonder what version of Jesus these people have in their hearts? It must be the version that looks just like them. If anything, everyone I know and everyone they know has lost all respect for Evangelicals. All.

Jan 19th
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Tatyana Noyb

I was so happy there was that editorial. Aside of it...Chris gets to remind Mark that Jesus would've helped the homeless. Laughing all along of the role reversal obserdity. Mark gets to talk about Mexicans in racist ways because someone of course should identify nationality when they think others took their jobs, and it's OK as long as they explain their anger reason. Can't even... But the wall is bad. Yes, this helps understanding of a whole lot..

Jan 15th
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Diane Thompson

terrific discussion...thanks much to Chris and Mark Galli...i was one of those Christians who was SO thankful for that article

Jan 14th
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Scarface Snuggle Puppy Rules

Thank you, Kerry Howley & Chris Hayes for keeping #RealityWinner in the press. Based on what I know, I feel that there are certain things that you got wrong but given the lifetime gag rules that have been put on Reality & her family, this is the best that could be expected. It truly amazes me that people make comments like she broke the rules etc when Flynn was literally committing treason while he was in office & he is getting 6 mos. Better yet, an admitted foreign agent (a spy) working for Russia, Maria Butina, served 6 mos & was returned home to a heroes welcome. And, don't even get me started on Manafort, who literally DID get the Ukrainian president's political opponent " locked up". Something is really wrong w/ the people willing to be so incredibly harsh w/ Reality for alerting us to Russian interference in our elections but so lenient w/ people like Flynn, Butina, Manafort, Papadopoulos & Carter Page. It also truly amazes me that there is not more of a push to get justice for Reality. For more information, please check out https://standwithreality.org/

Jan 13th
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Tatyana Noyb

Meanwhile all the traitors, old white men, are walking around cheerfully and expecting pardons. Ridiculous. "Double standard" doesn't begin to describe the injustice. :( I signed the petition.

Jan 8th
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Bart Stavisky

I understand completely the situation but she broke the oath to the United States of America which she took. What she did was wrong.

Jan 8th
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Tatyana Noyb

Berkeley professor lol. France fixed haha how sad.

Dec 13th
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Doan Demiran

So you have fixed France and want to fix the US now?

Dec 11th
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Ino

4rert4 ttttttttt643e77 ttttttttt643e77 gt

Nov 29th
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JRoss Levine

Ted Cruz is a nefarious evil man in the mode of Antonin Scalia... someone who uses his great intellect to twist and deform objectivity and reality to satisfy his ideology. This is the very definition of "rationalization", which represents the use of rational sounding rhetoric, and rational sounding arguments to "prove" an objectively irrational conclusion. His arguments in support of AGW Denialism provide painful evidence of this. He invokes straw man arguments, cherry picking, ad hominem, and red herrings to support his position. If his position were rationally justified, these rhetorical techniques would not be required, and he could simply rely on facts based on scientific evidence. Unbridled use of logical fallacies is one of the telltale signs of denialism in any form, and all forms of denialism are hateful and evil. To me, this raises a profound moral & ethical issues. Ted Cruz's rhetorical style and political positions are immoral not because they are conservative, which I could tolerate and respect, but because they are based on lies and deception, rather than on truth and objectivity. I feel fortunate that my political inclinations lean only slightly in the conservative direction, because if I were conservative enough to call myself such, and if I retained the same moral sensibilities that guide my thinking now, I would despise myself as well as fellow members of the conservative movement for our rank duplicity.

Nov 16th
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Rishabh Gupta

I think Dr. Kanjwal does an excellent job at highlighting the human rights violations in the Indian part of Kashmir. And none of that is justified. But I think a lot of the history was current geopolitical factors were overlooked. For example legally Kashmir is a part of India because of the Instrument of accession and yet India got UN involved for mediation on the issue. While it's true that the UN resolution required India to conduct a plebicite, it was conditioned on Pakistan withdrawing it's army from the area (area which it illegally took) as the very first step which Pakistan never did. The issue of terrorism was also pretty conviniently side stepped.

Nov 1st
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Tatyana Noyb

Unexpectedly for a climate change exchange, thoughts as to how we got here and how to interpret things can be both eye opening and "well yeah!" at the same time. That's how this remarkable conversation made me feel in its entirety - with the exception to the shell taco ring ;) - the most reasonable statements brought tears to my eyes. With a sparkle of odd hope in my heart, i purchased American War, and words aren't really enough to thank WITH team and the guests. I'm grateful.

Oct 30th
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Kate Hay

reference to book by "Danielle", what is name of book, full name author?

Oct 27th
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Tatyana Noyb

Thank you, Chris and co, for your consistent pursuit of just information dissemination, yes on so many horrors taking place everywhere. And as such, isn't it time someone covered Ukraine and Russian war on their territory? 13000+ died in the few past years. Quid pro quo circus blocking tragedy in plain sight. Surely you could find experts not like the two clowns on bail but someone credible. Perhaps someone who was jailed by Russia. I challenge you in the kindest of requests. :)

Oct 23rd
Reply (2)

Angela Baker

I know this isnt the place, but you never see all your tweets sooo..what would it take for you, Rachel, Lawrence and Brian to report on something other than trump, the impeachment etc? not one of you reported on the assualt weapons ban hearings where El Paso victims testified..not a peep..not even a 2min segment. we tune to MSNBC to see THE NEWS..not JUST THE TRUMP NEWS..how hard could it be for you all to spend a few minutes on OTHER news.

Oct 18th
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#Royalebleu

I like this show.

Oct 17th
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#Royalebleu

Good listen

Oct 15th
Reply (1)

Phillip Seeberg

I was never a Cruz fan, but now I am. Very wide body of knowledge.

Oct 10th
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