Abrams covers the NBA for Grantland.

"Players know that with the stories I do I'm not trying to burn anybody. I'm trying to tell a story for what it's worth and be honest to that person… That's one of my main goals, that you know why this person is [a certain] way when they step on the court. You know why Monta Ellis is going to keep shooting the ball. You know why Zach Randolph is such a gritty player. What these guys have gone through growing up, it materializes in their game."

Show notes:

Direct download: Ep._44_-_Jonathan_Abrams.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:12pm EST

Margalit Fox is a senior obituary writer for The New York Times and the author of The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code.

"You do get emotionally involved with people, even though as a journalist you're not supposed to. But as a human being, how can you not? Particularly people who had difficult, tragic, poignant lives. But there are also people that you just wish you had known. And, of course, the painful irony is that you're only getting to know them by virtue of the fact that it's too late."

Show notes:

Direct download: Ep._43_-_Margalit_Fox.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:32am EST

Mat Honan is a senior writer at Wired.

"[The tech] industry — especially as it relates to a lot the silly apps and the silly websites and the silly shit that we put up with — is ridiculous. It's just such a hype fest, people living off of jargon and nonsense. There are entire conferences devoted to nonsense! ... I like to skewer that stuff, because I don't want to feel responsible for it. I don't want to feel like I'm making someone go out and buy some piece of shit they don't need."

Show notes:

Direct download: Ep._42_-_Mat_Honan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:14pm EST

Jonathan Shainin, senior editor at The Caravan.


"Working in an environment that's foreign, where you have to kind of think through a lot of things from the ground up...I find it to be really stimulating to have to interrogate the assumptions that you have as an editor about what's interesting and what's not interesting, what's a good story and what's a bad story, what's the story that's been done a million times already. When you get out of a place that is your place, you have to kind of think through some things in a fresh way. And that can be really productive."


Show notes:

Direct download: Ep._41_-_Jonathan_Shainin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:44pm EST

Vanessa Grigoriadis, contributing editor at New York and Vanity Fair.

On the art of the celebrity interview: "People are smart. Particularly these people. They're sitting there thinking, "When is she going to drop that question?" They know what you're doing. So the way I think about it is: let's have an actual, genuine, human, interesting conversation. ... [Journalists] have all sorts of schemes of what they think works for them. My scheme is no scheme."

Show notes:

Direct download: Ep._40_-_Vanessa_Grigoriadis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:25pm EST

Natasha Vargas-Cooper, writer.

Show notes:

Direct download: Ep._39_-_Natasha_Vargas-Cooper.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:46am EST

Ted Conover, author of five books and the recent Harper's article "The Way of All Flesh."

Show notes:

Direct download: Ep._38_-_Ted_Conover.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:27pm EST

Ann Friedman, writer, editor and co-founder of Tomorrow.

Show notes:

Direct download: Ep._37_-_Ann_Friedman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:36pm EST

Patrick Symmes, foreign correspondent and contributor to Outside and Harper's

Show notes:

Direct download: Ep._36_-_Patrick_Symmes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:47pm EST

Jay Caspian Kang, writer and editor at Grantland.

Show notes:

Direct download: Ep._35_-_Jay_Caspian_Kang.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:02pm EST