Jon Mooallem is the author of "American Hippopotamus," a story included in Love and Ruin, the new Atavist Magazine collection. Buy your copy today.

Direct download: Ep._74_-_Jon_Mooallem_-_Love_and_Ruin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Ezra Klein the editor-in-chief of Vox.

“I think that if any of these big players collapse, when their obits are written, it’ll be because they did too much. I’m not saying I think any of them in particular are doing too much. But I do think, when I look around and I think, ‘What is the danger here? What is the danger for Vox?’ I think it is losing too much focus because you’re trying to do too many things.”

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Direct download: Ep._205_-_Ezra_Klein.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:42pm EDT

Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer at The New Yorker. His new podcast is Revisionist History.

“The amount of criticism you get is a constant function of the size of your audience. So if you think that, generously speaking, 80% of the people who read your work like it, that means if you sell ten books you have two enemies. And if you sell a million books you have 200,000 enemies. So be careful what you wish for. The volume of critics grows linearly with the size of your audience.”

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Direct download: Ep._204_-_Malcolm_Gladwell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:49pm EDT

Ellis Jones is the editor-in-chief of VICE Magazine.

“I’m just not an edgy person. You know what I mean? I think I am a nice person. I think VICE Magazine reflects the qualities that I want to have or think that I have or that my team has. The magazine would be terrible if I tried to make edgy content ... people would just see right through it. It wouldn’t be good.

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Direct download: Ep._203_-_Ellis_Jones.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:40pm EDT

David Remnick is the editor of The New Yorker.

“I think it’s important — not just for me, but for the readers — that this thing exists at the highest possible level in 2016, in 2017, and on. That there’s a continuity to it. I know, because I’m not entirely stupid, that these institutions, no matter how good they are, all institutions are innately fragile. Innately fragile.”

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Direct download: Ep._202_-_David_Remnick.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:56am EDT

T. Christian Miller, senior investigative reporter at ProPublica, and Ken Armstrong, staff writer at The Marshall Project, co-wrote the Pulitzer-winning article, “An Unbelievable Story of Rape.”

“I won’t forget this: when T. and I talked on the phone and agreed that we were going to work on [“An Unbelievable Story of Rape”] together, T. created a Google Drive site, and we decided we’d both dump all our documents in it. And I remember seeing all the records that T. had gathered in Colorado, and then I dumped all the records that I had gathered in Washington, and it was like each of us had half of a phenomenal story. And in one day, by dumping our notes into a common file, we suddenly had a whole story.”

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Direct download: Ep._201_-_T._Christian_Miller_and_Ken_Armstrong.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:19pm EDT

Jack Hitt contributes to Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, and This American Life.

“I’ve always lived more or less unemployed in these markets, and happily so. I think being unemployed keeps you a little more sharp in terms of looking for stories. It never gets any easier. That motivation and that desperation, whatever you want to call that, is still very much behind many of the conversations I have all day long trying to find those threads, those strings, that are going to pull together and turn into something.”

Thanks to MailChimp, Audible, and Squarespace for sponsoring this week's episode.

  1. @JackHitt
  2. Hitt on Longform
  3. [1:15] Episode #157: Margo Jefferson
  4. [1:30] Episode #129: Rukmini Callimachi
  5. [1:30] Episode #156: Renata Adler
  6. [3:15] "This Is Your Brain on God" (Wired • Nov 1999)
  7. [3:45] "61: Fiasco!" (This American Life • Apr 1997)
  8. [4:00] Hitt's This American Life Archive
  9. [4:30] "323: The Super" (This American Life • Jan 2007)
  10. [6:15] "The Billion-Dollar Shack" (New York Times Magazine • Dec 2000)
  11. [6:30] "Slumlord" (The Moth • Apr 2006)
  12. [25:30] "The $19,000 press pass: A former journalism school dean asks, is it work it?" (Carolyn Lewis • Washington Monthly • 1986)
  13. [32:00] The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence (Victor Marchetti & John D. Marks • Alfred A. Knopf • 1974)
  14. [37:00] "What Did Noah Do With the Manure?" (Washington Monthly • Feb 1987) [pdf]
  15. [38:00] "Terminal Delinquents" (with Paul Tough • Esquire • Dec 1990)
  16. [41:30] "Toxic Dreams" (Harper’s • Jul 1995) [sub req’d]
  17. [46:30] White Noise (Don DeLillo • Penguin Books • 1984)
  18. [55:30] "15: Dawn" (This American Life • Feb 1996)


Direct download: Ep._200_-_Jack_Hitt.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:32pm EDT

Kathryn Schulz is a staff writer for The New Yorker. "The Really Big One," her article about the rupturing of the Cascadia fault line, won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize.

“I can tell you in absolute sincerity: I didn't realize I was writing a scary story. Obviously I know the earthquake is going to be terrifying, and that our lack of preparedness is genuinely really scary. But, as I think often happens as a reporter, you toggle between professional happiness, which is sometimes, frankly, even professional glee—you’re just so thrilled you’re getting what you’re getting—and then the sort of more human and humane response, which comes every time you really set down your pen and think about what it is you’re actually reporting about.”

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Direct download: Ep._199_-_Kathryn_Schulz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:21pm EDT

Shane Bauer, a senior reporter for Mother Jones, spent four months working undercover as a guard in a private prison.

“The thing that I grappled with the most afterward was a feeling of shame about who I was as a guard and some of the things that I had done. Sending people to solitary confinement is hard to come to terms with even though, in that situation, I don't know what else I could have done. ... I had to do what I could to keep myself safe.”

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Direct download: Bonus_Episode_-_Shane_Bauer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:18pm EDT

Frank Rich, a former culture and political columnist for The New York Times, writes for New York and is the executive producer of Veep.

“All audiences bite back. If you have an opinion—forget about whether it’s theater or politics. If it’s about sports, fashion, or food—it doesn’t really matter. Readers are gonna bite back. And they should, you know? Everyone’s entitled. Everyone’s a critic. Everyone should have an opinion. You’re not laying down the law, and people should debate it.”

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Direct download: Ep._198_-_Frank_Rich.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:33pm EDT