Ana Marie Cox is the senior political correspondent for MTV News, conducts the “Talk” interviews in The New York Times Magazine, and founded Wonkette.

“When people are sending me hate mail or threats, one defense I have against that is ‘you don’t know me.’ You know? That wasn’t something I always was able to say. As I’ve become a stronger person, it’s been easier for me to be like, ‘The person they’re attacking, it’s not me.’”

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Direct download: Ep._232_-_Ana_Marie_Cox.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:26pm EST

Brooke Gladstone is the host of On the Media.

“I’ve learned so much about how easy it is to redefine reality in this era of billions of filter bubbles. How easy it is to cast doubt on what is undeniably true. And I think that that’s what frightens me the most. I actually think that’s what frightens most people the most. How do we make sure that we all live in the same world? Or do we?”

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Direct download: Ep._231_-_Brooke_Gladstone.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:41pm EST

Ezra Edelman is the director of O.J.: Made in America.

“When I say what I learned is that America is even more fucked up than I had previously thought, it’s that—the superficiality of it. How we are willingly seduced by these shiny people and these shiny things. And, again, when I looked at O.J.’s trajectory, that was an operating principle.”

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Direct download: Ep._230_-_Ezra_Edelman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:32pm EST

Alexey Kovalev is a Moscow-based journalist and the author of the recent article, “A Message to My Doomed Colleagues in the American Media."

“It’s really disheartening to see how little it takes for people to start believing in something that directly contradicts the empirical facts that they are directly confronting. The Russian TV channel tells you that the pill is red, but the pill in front of you is blue. It completely alters the perception of reality. You don’t know what’s real anymore.”

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Direct download: Ep._229_-_Alexey_Kovalev.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:10pm EST

Jeff Sharlet writes about politics and religion for Esquire, GQ, New York Times Magazine, and more.

“I like the stories with difficult people. I like the stories about people who are dismissed as monsters. I hate the term ‘monster.’ ‘Monster’ is a safe term for us, right? Trump’s a monster. Great, we don’t need to wrestle with, ‘Uh oh, he’s not a monster. He’s in this human family with us.’ I’m not normalizing him. I’m acknowledging the fact. Now, what’s wrong with us? If Trump is human, what’s wrong with you?”

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Direct download: Ep._228_-_Jeff_Sharlet.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:38am EST

Jace Clayton is a music writer and musician who records as DJ /rupture. His book is Uproot: Travels in 21st-Century Music and Digital Culture.

“What does it mean to be young and have some sound inside your head? Or to be in a scene that you want to broadcast to the world? That notion of the world is changing, who you’re broadcasting to is changing, all these different things—the tool sets. But there’s this very fundamental joy of music making. I was like, ‘Ok. Let’s find flashpoints where interesting things are happening and can be unpacked that shed different little spotlights on it, but do fall into this wider view of how we articulate what’s thrilling to be alive right now.’”

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Direct download: Ep._227_-_Jace_Clayton.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:52pm EST

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