Ben Smith is the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed.

“I do think as a reporter in general, most of what we deal in is ephemera. And I love that. I mean that’s the business, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, I think that’s a plus and something that shapes how you succeed at the job because you realize that this thing you’re writing is about this moment and right now, and about its place in the conversation. It’s not some piece of art to hang on the wall.”

Thanks to MailChimp, Harry's, and Reveal, and Home Chef for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._185_-_Ben_Smith.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:44pm EDT

Daniel Alarcón, a novelist and the co-founder of Radio Ambulante, has written for Harper's, California Sunday, and the New York Times Magazine.

“I’m a writer. I’ve written a bunch of books, and I care a lot about my sentences and my prose and all that. But would I be willing to defend my book in a Peruvian prison? That’s a litmus test I think a lot of writers I know would fail.”

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Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._184_-_Daniel_Alarcon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:36am EDT

Jia Tolentino is the deputy editor of Jezebel.

“Insult itself is an opportunity. I’m glad to be a woman, and I’m glad not to be white. I think it’s made me tougher. I’ve never been able to assume comfort or power. I’m just glad. I’m glad, especially as you watch the great white male woke freak-out meltdown that’s happening right now, I’m glad that it’s good to come from below.”

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


Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._183_-_Jia_Tolentino.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:53am EDT

Heather Havrilesky writes the Ask Polly advice column for New York and is the author of the upcoming How to Be a Person in the World.

“I don’t give a shit if I succeed or fail or what I do next, I just want to do things that are strange and not sound bitey. I don’t want to be polished. I want to be such a wreck that no one will ever say ‘let’s put her on her own talk show.’”

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


Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._182_-_Heather_Havrilesky.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:29am EDT

Wesley Yang writes for New York and other publications.

“If a person remains true to some part of their experience, no matter what it is, and they present it in full candor, there’s value to that. People will recognize it. Once I knew that was true, I knew I could do this.”

Thanks to MailChimpHome Chef, and Trunk Club for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._181_-_Wesley_Yang.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:06pm EDT

Mishka Shubaly is the author of I Swear I’ll Make It Up to You and several best-selling Kindle Singles.

“I remember thinking when I was shipwrecked in the Bahamas, ‘I’m going to fucking die here. I’m 24 years old, I’m going to die, and no one will miss me. I’m never going to see my mother again.’ And then the guy with the boat came around the corner and my first thought was ‘Man, this is going to be one hell of a story.’”

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Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._180_-_Mishka_Shubaly.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30pm EDT

Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton host Another Round.

“I’m just trying to follow my curiosities. You know how kids always ask the best questions because they haven’t lost the will to live? I’m just desperately trying to keep that childish curiosity about the world. Is that horribly depressing?”

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Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep_179_-_Heben_Nigatu_and_Tracy_Clayton.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:41pm EDT

Michael J. Mooney is a staff writer at D Magazine and the author of The Life and Legend of Chris Kyle.

“There are some elements of crime stories that are so absurd that it’s funny, and so working on the “How Not to Get Away With Murder” story, it was actually really funny thinking about it for a long time. Until I met Nancy Howard, the woman who was shot in the face and has one eye now. This is her entire life, and it was destroyed. This is not a crime story to her, it’s her life.”

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Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep_178_-_Mike_Mooney.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:54pm EDT

Alex Perry, based in England, has covered Africa and Asia for Newsweek and Time. His most recent book is The Rift: A New Africa Breaks Free.

“I got a call from one of my editors in 2003 or 2004, and he said something like, ‘You realize someone has died in the first line of every story you’ve filed for the last eight months?’ And my response was, ‘Of course. Isn’t that how we know it’s important?’ It took me a long time to work out that the importance of a story isn’t established only by death.”

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Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._177_-_Alex_Perry.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:28pm EDT

Grant Wahl is senior writer at Sports Illustrated and the author of The Beckham Experiment.

“I said to Balotelli, ‘I know you’re into President Obama. There’s a decent chance that he might read this story.’ He kind of perked up. I don’t think I was deliberately misleading him. There was a chance!”

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


Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._176_-_Grant_Wahl.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:42am EDT