Terry Gross is the host and co-executive producer of Fresh Air.

“Part of my philosophy of life is that you have to live with a certain amount of delusion. And part of the delusion I live with is that maybe, from experience, I’m getting a little bit better. But then the other part of me, the more overpowering part of me, is the pessimistic part that says, ‘It’s going to be downhill from here.’ I try not to judge myself too much because I’m so self-judgmental that I don’t want to over-judge and get into too much of ‘Am I better than I was yesterday, or not?’”

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Direct download: Ep._226_-_Terry_Gross.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:21pm EST

Ta-Nehisi Coates is the author of Between the World and Me and a national correspondent for The Atlantic. His latest cover story is “My President Was Black."

“[People] have come to see me as somebody with answers, but I don’t actually have answers. I’ve never had answers. The questions are the enthralling thing for me. Not necessarily at the end of the thing getting somewhere that’s complete—it’s the asking and repeated asking. I don’t know how that happened, but I felt like after a while it got to the point where I was seen as having unique answers, and I just didn’t. I really, really didn’t.”

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Direct download: Ep._225_-_Ta-Nehisi_Coates.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:31pm EST

Hua Hsu writes for The New Yorker and is the author of A Floating Chinaman: Fantasy and Failure Across the Pacific.

“I remember, as a kid, my dad telling me that when he moved to the United States he subscribed to The New Yorker, and then he canceled it after a month because he had no idea what any of it was about. You know, at the time, it certainly wasn’t a magazine for a Chinese immigrant fresh off the boat—or off the plane, rather—in the early 70s. And I always think about that. I always think, ‘I want my dad to understand even though he’s not that interested in Dr.Dre.’ I still think, ‘I want him to be able to glean something from this.’”

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Direct download: Ep._224_-_Hua_Hsu.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:44pm EST

Carl Zimmer, a columnist for the New York Times and a national correspondent at STAT, writes about science.

“[Criticism] doesn’t change the truth. You know? Global warming is still happening. Vaccines still work. Evolution is still true. No matter what someone on Twitter or someone in an administration is going to say, it’s still true. So, we science writers have to still be letting people know about what science has discovered, what we with our minds have discovered about the world—to the best of our abilities. That’s our duty as science writers, and we can’t let these things scare us off.”

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Direct download: LF161204_Zimmer_V2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:43pm EST

Wesley Lowery is a national reporter at the Washington Post, where he worked on the Pulitzer-winning project, "Fatal Force." His new book is They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement.

“I think that we decided at some point that either you are a journalist or you are an activist. And I identify as a journalist, to be clear, but one of the reasons I often don’t engage in that conversation—when someone throws that back at me I kind of deflect a little bit—is that I think there’s some real fallacy in there. I think that every journalist should be an activist for transparency, for accountability—certainly amongst our government, for first amendment rights. There are things that by our nature of what we do we should be extremely activist.”

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Direct download: Ep._222_-_Wesley_Lowery.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:14pm EST

Adam Moss is the editor of New York Magazine.

“I think [change] is good for journalism—it’s what journalism is about. You can’t write about something static. News is about what is new. So there’s plenty of new right now. I’m not saying it’s good for the citizenry or anything like that, but, yeah, for journalists it’s an extremely interesting time. There’s no denying that.”

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Direct download: LF161123_Moss_v7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:57pm EST

Kyle Chayka is a freelance writer who writes for Businessweek, The Verge, Racked, The New Yorker, and more.

“I love that idea of form and content being the same. I want to write about lifestyle in a lifestyle magazine. I want to critique technology in the form of technology, and kind of have the piece be this infiltrating force that explodes from within or whatever. You want something that gets into the space, and sneaks in, and then blows up.”

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Direct download: Ep._220_-_Kyle_Chayka.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:25pm EST

Susan Casey is the former editor of O and the author of three New York Times bestselling books. Her latest is Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins.

“The funny thing is people often say, ‘You must be fearless.’ I’m always afraid of whatever it is. But for whatever reason—I think it’s partly naïvety, partly just overwhelming curiosity—I am also not going to let fear stop me from doing things even if I feel it. Unless it’s that pure …you do have to listen to your body sometimes if it tells you not to do something that could result in you really never coming up from falling on that 70-foot wave.”

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Direct download: LF161110_Casey_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:32am EST

Wesley Morris is a critic at large for The New York Times, a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, and the co-host of Still Processing. His latest article is "Last Taboo: Why Pop Culture Just Can’t Deal With Black Male Sexuality."

“You learn a lot of things about your sexuality at an early age. You know, I learned that your penis is a problem for white people, that you can’t be too openly sexual in general because that could get you in trouble because someone could misconstrue what you’re doing, and, in my case, I also knew I was gay. So I had to deal with, ‘Ok so my dick is a problem in general, and I’m not even interested in putting my penis where it’s supposed to go. This is going to be bad.’”

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Direct download: Ep._218_-_Wesley_Morris_-_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:23pm EST

Doreen St. Félix is a writer at MTV News.

“It feels like there are images of black utopias that are arising. And you can’t—even if you’re not as superstitious as me—you can’t possibly think that that doesn’t have to do with the decline, the final, to me, last gasp of white supremacy. It really does feel like we’re approaching that, [but] that approach might be a thousand years.”

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Direct download: Ep._217_-_Doreen_St._Felix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:18pm EST