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Hosted by Hollywood producer and political media strategist Ben Mathis, KickAss News is a twice weekly podcast that features the most interesting personalities and thought leaders in politics, entertainment, tech, business, science, and more. Enjoy the podcast? Then please support the show and help keep us on the air by making a donation to our GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Another way you can support the show is to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review on iTune ...
 
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Ken Burns and Lynn Novick come back to the podcast to discuss their new 3-part documentary on Ernest Hemingway. They share their own memories of the first Hemingway books they ever read, the challenges of getting to the real person behind the legend, and what it was like to re-examining some of the trouble aspects of the writer’s personality from h…
 
Melissa Bernstein co-founded the wildly successful toy company Melissa & Doug. You might think that this happily-married mother of 6, who has created over 5,000 toys which have sold over a billion dollars, is always chipper and full of positivity, but Melissa reveals that many days she wonders if she'll make it tomorrow. She opens up about how her …
 
Former commander of NATO Admiral James Stavridis and decorated Marine and novelist Elliott Ackerman envision how a naval clash between the US and China in the South China Sea could lead to World War III in their disturbingly plausible work of speculative fiction titled 2034: A Novel of the Next World War. They discuss how they came together on this…
 
It's official! We're launching a brand new podcast network called Airwave this May! In addition to Kickass News, Airwave will be the new home for many of your other favorite podcasts. Airwave will also debut over a dozen original shows hosted by some of the leading thought leaders and storytellers in audio entertainment, including many of my most p…
 
Bestselling author Walter Isaacson (Jobs, Leonardo DaVinci) shares how Nobel Prize-winning scientist Jennifer Doudna and her collaborators blazed a trail in a field dominated by men and turned a curiosity of nature into an something that will transform the human race: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA. He reveals how the technology known as CRI…
 
Howie Mandel talks about making his first comedy special in 20 years, his childhood growing up in Toronto, and how the show Candid Camera inspired him to pull an elaborate prank that got him expelled form high school. He shares how "winging it" the first time he want on stage turned into his signature improvisational style, and how he still finds m…
 
Dr. Zahi Hawass is the former Egyptian Minister of Antiquities and Director of Excavations at Giza, Saqqara, the Bahariya Oasis, and the Valley of the Kings. He is often referred to as “the real Indiana Jones, and some of his major finds include the Tombs of the Pyramid Builders at Giza, the Valley of the Golden Mummies, and multiple undiscovered p…
 
James Beard Award-winning food writer and #1 bestselling author Mark Bittman offers a panoramic view of how the frenzy for food has driven human history to some of its most catastrophic moments, from slavery and genocide to our current moment, wherein Big Food exacerbates climate change, plunders our planet, and sickens its people. Mark reveals how…
 
Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels (Precious, The Butler) talks about his latest film The United States vs. Billie Holiday and how the 1971 movie Lady Sings the Blues inspired him to go into entertainment. He reveals that he always has a personal connection to each of his films, that The United States vs Billie Holiday was the first movie that he…
 
Journalist and author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon talks about the women who fought ISIS in Syria. She discusses how the female fighters of Kobani helped to deliver the first blow to the previously unstoppable forces of the Islamic State and how that victory convinced the US that it had a reliable partner against ISIS. She shares the individual stories of …
 
Pulitzer Prize-winning author, scientist, and renowned polymath Jared Diamond reveals that many of the factors in how individuals cope with personal crises can also predict how countries survive national crises. He profiles six nations in transition in his book Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis, and shares his personal experiences and …
 
True crime documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, Paradise Lost) discusses his new Netflix docu-series Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel that deconstructs the mythology and mystery surrounding infamous locations in contemporary crime. He explains the dark history of the Cecil Hotel and why…
 
In this 2018 interview with David Mamet, the Pulitzer-winning writer/director discusses how the old gangster stories he heard as a child inspired him to write CHICAGO: A NOVEL. He talks about his love of classic noir and hot jazz, and dislike of social media, computers, and flowery prose. He shares why famous figures are better felt than heard in h…
 
In this 2019 conversation with astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Neil discusses some of his favorite letters from fans on a diverse array of topics from Pluto and Bigfoot to race and religion. He shares touching personal letters from his cousin wondering about her deceased father’s spirit, and a mother whose autistic son is torn between what …
 
Jay Duplass and Zackary Drucker discuss their new docu-series The Lady and the Dale about the rise and eventual fall of automaker and trans trailblazer Elizabeth Carmichael. We talk about Carmichael's three-wheeled car that claimed to get 70 per gallon and how the 70s gas crisis fueled incredible interest in "the Dale." We Carmichael's shady past, …
 
Five-time Tony Award-winning director George C. Wolfe talks about his acclaimed new motion picture Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, the legacy of the original the original Mother of the Blues, and what went into transforming Oscar-winner Viola Davis into this larger than life icon. He discusses what the Chicago jazz scene meant to black musicians who migr…
 
In this 2017 interview, basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar talks about his 50 year friendship with the "Wizard of Westwood" UCLA Coach John Wooden. He says Coach Wooden was more concerned with his players’ grades than with winning basketball games, he shares some of the wisdom that Coach Wooden imparted, and talks about the time Coach helped Abd…
 
Dr. Robert Ballard is the famed ocean explorer responsible for some of the greatest undersea discoveries including the RMS Titanic, the German battleship Bismarck, and John F. Kennedy's WW II boat PT-109. Today Dr. Ballard reveals that he was actually on a top secret government mission when he found the Titanic, what it was like the first time he p…
 
Bulletproof founder Dave Asprey talks about his latest book Fast This Way: (How to Lose Weight, Get Smarter, and Live Your Longest, Healthiest Life with the Bulletproof Guide to Fasting). He discuss why diets and New Year's resolutions never work, the difference between fasting and dieting, and why science is just starting to take intermittent fast…
 
Mike Rowe has handled some of the toughest and most disgusting jobs during his nine seasons as host of Discovery's Dirty Jobs. Now he's putting that same work ethic to work to prove once and for all that everything in the world is connected for his discovery+ series Six Degrees with Mike Rowe. Mike reveals how he faked his way into his first job as…
 
Documentary filmmaker Ryan White (The Case Against 8, The Keepers) talks about his new film Assassins about the murder of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un's half brother Kim Jong-Nam. He recounts how Kim Jong-Nam was killed in broad daylight with the deadly VX nerve agent, questions the press’s sensational portrayal of two young Southeast Asian wo…
 
Academy Award-winning director Bryan Fogel (Icarus) discusses his gripping new documentary thriller The Dissident about the 2018 execution of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul. He discuss how Jamal Khashoggi went from being an insider in the Saudi royal family to a harsh critic of the House of Saud, how…
 
Madeleine Albright fled fascists during her childhood and faced them down as Secretary of State, and today she comes on the podcast to warn that fascism is once again on the rise. She shares how her own refugee experience during World War II and the Cold War shaped her worldview and recalls her meetings with with authoritarian strongmen like Kim Jo…
 
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