We have a lot to get to with legendary tech journalist Kara Swisher this week: the deplatforming of President Trump, the conservative obsession with Section 230 (what even is Section 230), why Parler went dark (what even is Parler), and why some Republicans would rather complain about losing Twitter followers than address the deadly attack on the Capitol. Check out Kara Swisher’s interview with Parler CEO John Matze on her podcast, Sway.
One day after the attack on the Capitol, Chris Hayes and author Ta-Nehisi Coates sat down to process what we witnessed as a nation and what it reveals about the fragility of American democracy. RELATED READING: Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy by Chris Hayes We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
1 hr 1 min
What can bourbon teach us about legacy, nostalgia, and consumer trends? Pappy Van Winkle is some of the most coveted bourbon in the world, but it took three generations of labor and loss to reach this pinnacle. Author Wright Thompson spent years with the third generation Van Winkle, who brought the family business back from the brink, studying the careful craftsmanship and rich history that goes into every barrel they produce. With a drink so inextricably tied to a distinct time and place, Wright found an opportunity to interrogate the mythology of the South, the seduction of nostalgia, and what it means to make things that last. RELATED READING: Pappyland: A Story of Family, Fine Bourbon, and the Things That Last by Wright Thompson Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America’s Whiskey by Reid Mitenbuler
In June 2018 Donald Trump posed with then Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou at a ground breaking ceremony for the new Foxconn facility in Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin. Touted as “the eighth wonder of the world” by the president, the multi-billion dollar deal was supposed to produce a 20-million-square-foot manufacturing complex, thousands of jobs, and the beginning of a new well-paying manufacturing sector in the American Midwest. Over two years later, almost none of that has happened. Instead of thousands of new jobs and a promising facility, Wisconsin looks to have been left holding the bag on a deal that was over promised and under delivered. This week, investigations editor and feature writer at The Verge, Josh Dzieza, joins to talk about what happened with the Wisconsin-Foxconn deal and why its promise was doomed to fail. The Eighth Wonder of the World by Josh Dzieza Foxconn tells Wisconsin it never promised to build an LCD factory by Josh Dzieza
Dec 29, 2020
Congressman Max Rose says he has no regrets. Elected in the 2018 blue wave, he flipped New York’s conservative-leaning 11th district, which includes all of Staten Island and a corner of Brooklyn. Now, two years later, he’s one of the frontline Democrats who lost their reelection left wondering what went wrong. In our continuing dissection of the 2020 election, we sat (back) down with Rep. Rose to get a candid perspective on what pundits are getting wrong and what, if anything, he’d do differently. You Might Also Like: From Red to Blue with Rep. Max Rose (June 25, 2019) The Democratic Coalition After 2020 with David Shor (Dec 15, 2020) The Down-Ballot Democrats with Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (Dec 1, 2020) How Red is Texas with Abby Livingston (Nov 17, 2020)
Dec 22, 2020
What were the shifts in the 2020 election? Why was the polling so off? How did the coalitions change? As the dust settles, and we can dive into official numbers, a clearer picture is forming of what actually happened during this election cycle. David Shor is a political data scientist who works to help elect Democrats. This week, David joins to look at the data and help answer some of the outstanding questions about the 2020 election. As well as layout the trends that have led to this political moment and the landscape going forward.
Dec 15, 2020
The local newspaper is dying. Across the country, newsrooms are either shuttering completely or struggling through massive staff layoffs. It's becoming increasingly clear that in the void left by trusted local reporting, misinformation is taking root. A sweeping investigation by the New York Times uncovered a conservative pay-for-play network that disguises itself as unbiased local coverage. The enterprise includes 1300 sites spanning all 50 states, and with familiar web layouts and innocuous titles like Wichita Standard or Illinois Valley Times, you may have come across one and been none the wiser. New York Times reporter Davey Alba is one of the journalists who broke the story and joins to explain what tipped her off, who is behind it all, and the role social media plays in this moment. RELATED READING: As Local News Dies, a Pay-for-Play Network Rises in Its Place by Davey Alba and Jack Nicas Here Are the Hundreds of Sites in a Pay-to-Play Local News Network Find more of Davey Alba’s work here Dozens of new websites appear to be Michigan local news outlets, but with political bent by Carol Thompson
Dec 8, 2020
As a bonus for Why Is This Happening? listeners, we’re sharing a special preview of “The Oath with Chuck Rosenberg.” “The Oath” returns for Season 4 with more revealing conversations with fascinating men and women who took an oath to serve America. In the first episode, Chuck talks with former FBI Director, Robert Mueller, about his service in Vietnam and his ascent through the Justice Department to become the FBI Director. Listen to the first episode and subscribe to the series: https://link.chtbl.com/oath_s4_feed
Dec 2, 2020
What happened to the down-ballot Democrats? Going into election day, Democrats were expecting to pick up seats and expand their control of the House. Instead, they suffered consequential blows, still managing to hold the majority but ultimately losing seats. It was a shock that launched a bevy of post-mortems trying to figure out what went wrong. For Florida Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell it was impossible to sit back and listen as folks diagnosed from the sidelines what she had experienced firsthand; elected to office in part of the 2018 blue wave, Rep. Mucarsel-Powell lost her re-election bid this November. In fact, her majority-Hispanic district swung 22 points to Trump this year. While there are no straightforward clean cut answers about what unfolded in the election, Congresswoman Mucarsel-Powell offers a clear-eyed take of what she witnessed in Southern Florida and what she thinks the biggest lesson is for the Democratic Party.
Dec 1, 2020
Has online activism and doomscrolling through twitter turned politics into just a hobby for people? At what point is it just a way to spend time rather than affect meaningful change? This week Tufts University professor, Eitan Hersh, joins to talk about what he diagnoses as “political hobbyism”, what real political engagement looks like, and argues how this self-gratifying online hobbyism can be detrimental to the real political activism needed to create change. Politics is for Power: How To Move Beyond Political Hobbyism, Take Action, And Make Real Change
Nov 24, 2020