🎧 Tracy Chou | The Atlantic Interview

Tracy Chou by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic Interview
The Atlantic's editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg revisits a persistent problem in the tech industry: Why is it so difficult for people who aren't white and male? He talks with Tracy Chou, an engineer and long-time veteran of the start-up world whose current work focuses on that problem. She discusses her own experiences with harassment and discrimination, and why those experiences didn't drive her out of tech, as they did for many others.

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🎧 Robert Siegel | The Atlantic Interview

Robert Siegel by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic Interview
For thirty years, Robert Siegel has given us the afternoon news. Having started his career in public radio when it was a scrappy enterprise, he's spent the past three decades shaping NPR as host of All Things Considered. He retired this week, at a time when NPR plays a critical role in educating the electorate. Jeffrey Goldberg, Atlantic’s editor in chief, turns the microphone on Robert Siegel for a change.

Wherein Jeffrey Goldberg right properly suckers Robert Siegel into recording bumpers and intros for his new podcast. Siegel gives an interesting interview the day after he leaves NPR, though I hope that he get’s re-interviewed again when he’s “old” and doesn’t care anymore.

One of my favorite parts of these podcasts are the somewhat snarky bumpers Jeffrey Goldberg puts onto the the end encouraging people to give reviews and subscribe. I kind of wish he’d let loose a bit more and inject some of this kind of snark into the interviews too.

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🎧 Eric Garcetti | The Atlantic Interview

Eric Garcetti by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic Interview
The Atlantic's editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg talks with Mayor Eric Garcetti about what people misunderstand about Los Angeles, whether a mayor could win the presidency, and where he goes to find the best tacos.

There was an interesting question about the difference between Mexican and Mexican-Americans protesting/marching and Irish-American immigrants celebrating events like St. Patrick’s day. While these seem to be drastically different to mainstream Americans now, the primary difference between the two is over 100 years of the change of perception. Not many will easily recall the harsh history and racial slurs that Irish immigrants endured over a century ago and even fewer will appreciate the racial differences from that time period in which the Irish were also not considered “white”. It’s amazing the difference a hundred years of progress and change will effect. If only we could learn from the past and be a lot more open-minded.

I also really appreciate the subtle response about Los Angeles having experienced its own “Ferguson moment” over a decade ago with the Rodney King and other race-related riots, but that we experienced them without the benefit (or maybe harm) of social media amplifying them.

This episode had an odd audio effect that made Garcetti sound a bit “far away”. Perhaps it was potting him up/down between questions that created the problem? Either way, a small blip in an otherwise solidly produced podcast.

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🎧 Richard Plepler | The Atlantic Interview

Richard Plepler by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic Interview
The chairman and CEO of HBO talks with The Atlantic's editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg about what shows he should watch next. They also discuss how HBO has tried to develop a healthy company culture within a highly sexualized industry, the high-stakes business of making great TV, and what happened at the end of the Sopranos.

I feel like the first 5 minutes of the interview were missing. Compared to others in the series, this particular episode was awfully bland. I suspect it’s the case that CEOs rarely ever make good interviews because they’re generally hamstrung in what they can and can’t say in settings like these.

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🎧 Jake Tapper | The Atlantic Interview

Jake Tapper by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic Interview
The Atlantic's editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg talks with the CNN anchor Jake Tapper about learning from mistakes in journalism, watching the media destroy someone you know, and what President Trump is getting right.

Transcript

Some interesting insight on Tapper’s sense of fairness here. I appreciate the level of comfort between the two participants here and it’s interesting to hear about their personal relationship a bit as context as well. My favorite part was the revelation of Tapper’s brief relationship with Monica Lewinsky and how he viewed her treatment in the media as a result of the experience. It certainly reminds us all that the world needs more humanizing instead of less.

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🎧 Nikole Hannah-Jones | The Atlantic Interview

Nikole Hannah-Jones by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic
Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief, talks about America's unequal education system with journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. How much progress has been really made since Brown v. Board of Education in giving black kids access to equal schooling as white kids? Far from enough, Hannah-Jones has found. And she has some concrete—but difficult—ideas for fixing it.

Transcript

This may be my favorite interview of the series so far. There’s so much to unpack here that the discussion should probably have gone on for a few more hours. The differences in how this issue differ in various parts of the country make it a difficult problem to handle.

My initial inclination is that one cannot (easily) have a government take over of private schools. To equal the playing field however, one could completely defund private schools and force them to live on their own steam. This would potentially free up a pocket of money that could go to improving better integrated and un-gerrymandered schools. I suspect the economic forces would help level the playing fields, though a tremendous amount of work would still be required as follow up.

I’ll have to revisit the issue, but I have a feeling that the public good built into public schools and hospitals creates a different “market” than the traditional capitalistic ones because the root of these institutions is to build a “public good” which is hampered by the infrastructure costs of otherwise allowing directly competitive forces to create an equal access market.

I do find it interesting that in the Los Angeles area I have the option of almost 20+ potential schools while when I lived in Georgia and South Carolina there was really only ever one real option (without a tremendous amount of travel) for school choice.

I love Nikole Hannah-Jones‘s perspective and want to read more of her material. Fortunately she’s got a really interesting looking website, which should make doing so a whole lot easier. I hope others do as well as this short interview barely scratches the surface of what looks like some awesome thought.

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🎧 Masha Gessen | The Atlantic Interview

Masha Gessen by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic Interview
Author and activist Masha Gessen’s new book about Russia won the 2017 National Book Award for nonfiction. The Atlantic's editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg talks with Gessen about what Vladimir Putin wants, what Donald Trump’s election means, and how Americans should think about Russia's interference in 2016.

Transcript

A stunning interview on Russia and how it relates to world politics. I’m ordering Gessen’s book The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia.

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🎧 Maggie Haberman | The Atlantic Interview

Maggie Haberman by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic Interview
To make sense of President Donald Trump's first year in the White House, many have come to rely on Maggie Haberman. The powerhouse reporter for the New York Times talks with Atlantic editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg about how her career covering New York City politics for the tabloids has given her a unique view of Trump. To Haberman, Trump's brashness and need for approval are partly products of his distinct experience of New York City.

A fascinating interview to be sure. There’s some subtlety particularly about Donald Trump that is injected here that I wouldn’t have thought about previously. I certainly don’t have more hope as a result, but I do have a lot more nuance in how he functions and interacts with others. There is some particularly fascinating discussion on language/linguistics which impinges on some of the discussion in my article Complexity isn’t a Vice: 10 Word Answers and Doubletalk in Election 2016.

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🎧 Steve Coll | The Atlantic Interview

Steve Coll by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic Interview
Steve Coll is one of the foremost chroniclers of the war in Afghanistan, now in its eighteenth year. Coll talks with Atlantic editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg about why the war has persisted, well after the idea of a military solution lost any luster it might have had. They discuss Pakistan's struggles during the war in Afghanistan, and why disrupting the terrorism networks that now thrive in the area might require much more than just American troops.

I wish I’d caught this podcast earlier to have been able to potentially see Coll at Vroman’s in Pasadena last week. I’m putting his books on my to read list.

I love some of the discussion, retro and introspection on the topic of the issues of Pakistan and Afghanistan. I’m still working through some of Fukuyama’s ideas about the growth and formation of governments that I think could make a sea change in how we deal with issues in countries like these, but my ideas aren’t yet fully formed in terms of providing prescriptive policies yet. Hopefully I’ll get there some day.

In the erstwhile, this is a brilliant and wonderful interview. I’m loving this series more and more.

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🎧 Bill Gates | The Atlantic Interview

Bill Gates by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic Interview
The mission of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to ease suffering around the world may be somewhat at odds with the "America First" sentiments that propelled Donald Trump into the presidency. But Bill Gates is moving ahead with enthusiasm. He tells Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic's editor in chief, why he's still optimistic, and how he feels about no longer being the richest man in the world.

Here’s a case where this podcast runs a bit off the rails in interviewing someone perhaps too “popular”. It’s a good interview and certainly a “get”, but I’m not sure I learned too much interesting here that I haven’t seen or heard elsewhere. Much of the strength of what I’ve heard thus far stems from interviews with people that are slightly off the beaten path, but with serious messages and interesting viewpoints. The other strength is that the show can give them additional time and depth than they might receive on other shows. I’m not saying that Bill Gates doesn’t have anything interesting or important to say, just that he isn’t revealing anything particularly new here that I haven’t seen elsewhere.

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🎧 ‘Take My Hand, Precious Lord’ | NPR

'Take My Hand, Precious Lord' by Linda Wertheimer from NPR.org
Sung at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" is the most-recorded gospel song ever. NPR's Linda Wertheimer speaks with Dr. Michael Harris, a professor of history at Union Theological Seminary, who has written extensively about the song's author, gospel musician Thomas Andrew Dorsey. NPR 100 Fact Sheet: Artist: Words/music by Thomas A. Dorsey; Interviewees: Michael Harris, Union Theological Seminary; Recordings Used: Take My Hand Precious Lord, Mahalia Jackson

A stunning bit of history in this little mini episode. I always find myself wishing they’d do about 10-15 minutes of the history and a bit less of the song, though this episode did rightly have several covers of it.

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🎧 1.06: Mr. Willis of Ohio (with Janel Moloney) | The West Wing Weekly

1.06: Mr. Willis of Ohio (with Janel Moloney) by Josh Malina and Hrishi Hirway from The West Wing Weekly
Janel Moloney joins Josh and Hrishi to talk about playing Donna, and Ben Casselman gives us an update on the state of the census. Bonus photos: - Hrishi, when he was a Dungeons & Dragons loving teenager. - Josh, at his Bar Mitzvah.

Ms. Moloney wasn’t as interesting in the interview as I would have hoped, but she does have an interesting take on how she responds to the fame and adulation of the show these many years later. I highly recommend this portion of the episode for actors who are just starting out.

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🎧 1.05: The Crackpots and These Women (with Eli Attie) | The West Wing Weekly

1.05: The Crackpots and These Women (with Eli Attie) by Josh Malina and Hrishi Hirway from The West Wing Weekly
For Big Block of Cheese Day, Josh and Hrishi are joined by Eli Attie, who was Vice President Al Gore's chief speechwriter before leaving politics and joining The West Wing as a writer and producer. Plus, the truth about David Rosen. President Ronald Reagan's Challenger Disaster address...

Elie Attie’s appearance on the show made it infinitely much stronger. There was a nice richness to the additional background he brings here in comparisson to Hill’s recent performance. Notes about Gore using the same campaign idea that appeared behind Bartlett in the episode were great to hear.

I’m trying to catch up on episodes of the podcast to match my recent push at rewatching episodes.

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🎧 1.04: Five Votes Down | The West Wing Weekly

1.04: Five Votes Down by Josh Malina and Hrishi Hirway from The West Wing Weekly
The limits of practical idealism. Plus, Hrishi sets Leo's dialogue to music, and Josh unwittingly reveals a secret.

It’s all about the small tidbits one can discover or rediscover upon watching episodes. This episode had a particularly interesting walk & talk in the opening.

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🎧 1.03: A Proportional Response (with Dulé Hill) | The West Wing Weekly

1.03: A Proportional Response (with Dulé Hill) by Josh Malina and Hrishi Hirway from The West Wing Weekly
Dulé Hill joins Josh and Hrishi to talk about shooting his first episode of The West Wing, visiting the real White House, and losing to Martin Sheen in 1-on-1.

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