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

Louisa Thomas, a former writer and editor at Grantland, is a New Yorker contributor and the author of Louisa. Her father Evan Thomas, a longtime writer for Newsweek and Time, is the author of several award-winning books, including last year's Being Nixon.

“That's one thing I've learned from my dad: the capacity to be open to becoming more open.”

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Show Notes:

 

Direct download: Bonus_Episode__Louisa_Thomas_and_Evan_Thomas.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:37am EDT

Nikole Hannah-Jones covers civil rights for The New York Times Magazine.

“I don’t think there’s any beat you can cover in America that race is not intertwined with—environment, politics, business, housing, you name it. So, whatever beat you put me on, this is what I was going to cover because I think it’s just intrinsic. If you’re not being blind to what’s on your beat, then it’s part of the beat.”

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Show Notes:

 

Direct download: Ep._197_-_Nikole_Hannah-Jones.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:33am EDT

Jon Favreau, former chief speechwriter for President Obama, is a columnist at The Ringer and co-host of Keepin’ It 1600.

“And then Obama comes over to my desk with the speech, and he has a few edits. And he’s like, ‘I just want to go through some of these edits and make sure you’re ok with this. I did this for this reason. Are you ok with that?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, buddy. You’re Barack Obama.’”

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Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._196_-_Jon_Favreau.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:36pm EDT

Leah Finnegan, a former New York Times and Gawker editor, is the managing news editor at Genius.

“After the Condé Nast article, Nick Denton decided Gawker needed to be 20% nicer, and I took a buyout because I was not 20% nicer.”

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Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._195_-_Leah_Finnegan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:04pm EDT

Pablo Torre is a senior writer at ESPN the Magazine and frequently appears on Around the Horn, PTI, and other ESPN shows.

“Most of my friends are not sports fans. My parents aren't. Brother and sister — no. So I just want to make things that they want to read. That's the big litmus test for me in deciding if a story is worth investing my time into: Is somebody who doesn’t give a shit about sports gonna be interested in this?”

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Show Notes:

 

Direct download: Ep._194_-_Pablo_S._Torre.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:55pm EDT

Robin Marantz Henig, the author of nine books, writes about science and medicine for The New York Times Magazine.

“I have my moments of thinking, ‘Well, why is this still so hard? Why do I still have to prove myself after all this time?’ If I were in a different field, or if I were even on a staff, I’d have a title that gave me more respect. I still have to wait just as long as any other writer to get any kind of response to a pitch. I still have to pitch. Nothing is automatic, even after all these years of working at this.”

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Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._193_-_Robin_Marantz_Henig.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:16pm EDT

Seymour Hersh is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of The Killing of Osama Bin Laden.

“The government had denied everything we said. We just asked them and they said, ‘Oh no, not true, not true.’ That’s just—it’s all pro forma. You ask them to get their lie and you write their lie. I’m sorry to be so cynical about it, but that’s basically what it comes to.”

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Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._192_-_Seymour_Hersh.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:44pm EDT

Kelly McEvers, a former war correspondent, hosts NPR's All Things Considered and the podcast Embedded.

“Listeners want you to be real, a real person. Somebody who stumbles and fails sometimes. I think the more human you are, the more people can then relate to you. The whole point is not so everybody likes me, but it’s so people will want to take my hand and come along. It's so they feel like they trust me enough to come down the road with me. To do that, I feel like you need to be honest and transparent about what that road’s like.”

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Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._191_-_Kelly_McEvers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:12pm EDT