Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes-logo

Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes

MSNBC

Every week Chris Hayes asks the big questions that keep him up at night. How do we make sense of this unprecedented moment in world history? Why is this (all) happening? This podcast starts to answer these questions. Writers, experts, and thinkers who are also trying to get to the bottom of them join Chris to break it all down and help him get a better night’s rest. “Why is this Happening?” is presented by MSNBC and NBCNews Think.

Every week Chris Hayes asks the big questions that keep him up at night. How do we make sense of this unprecedented moment in world history? Why is this (all) happening? This podcast starts to answer these questions. Writers, experts, and thinkers who are also trying to get to the bottom of them join Chris to break it all down and help him get a better night’s rest. “Why is this Happening?” is presented by MSNBC and NBCNews Think.

Location:

United States

Networks:

MSNBC

NBC News

Description:

Every week Chris Hayes asks the big questions that keep him up at night. How do we make sense of this unprecedented moment in world history? Why is this (all) happening? This podcast starts to answer these questions. Writers, experts, and thinkers who are also trying to get to the bottom of them join Chris to break it all down and help him get a better night’s rest. “Why is this Happening?” is presented by MSNBC and NBCNews Think.

Language:

English


Episodes

Being Michael Jordan with David Roth and Joel Anderson

5/26/2020
What is the toll of becoming one of the most recognizable figures in the world? What are the downfalls of that level of fame? This week, we thought we'd try something a little different and discuss one of the most popular pieces of pop culture to come out in the era of physical distancing: ESPN's docuseries on Michael Jordan. "The Last Dance" paints a compelling portrait of the corrosive nature of fame and what's left when you get everything you want. Joel Anderson's article in Slate titled...

Duration:00:48:18

Home From School with Dana Goldstein

5/19/2020
What does education look like in the age of the coronavirus? What will it take for schools to reopen? The education system is in uncharted territory, with students isolated from their peers and guardians tasked with navigating the technological demands required by remote learning. Like everything else in this moment, there are more questions than answers about what comes next. Education reporter Dana Goldstein joins to discuss what she’s hearing from students, how other countries are...

Duration:01:00:47

The Pandemic Behind Bars with Josie Duffy Rice

5/12/2020
How is the pandemic playing out in jails and prisons? Insufficient health care, a lack of protective gear, and the fundamental inability to physically distance have created inescapable outbreaks. Those incarcerated are at the center of some of the top coronavirus hot spots in the country. And as lawyer and president of The Appeal Josie Duffy Rice points out, these systems are porous; an outbreak in a jail could mean an outbreak in the community. So what can and should be done for the...

Duration:00:56:06

Saving the Economy with Saule Omarova

5/5/2020
Are we doing enough to keep the economy alive through this crisis? So far, economic relief efforts have been messy, convoluted, and inequitably distributed. But while we talk about the steps taken to save the economy, we first need to know the structures in which that recovery originates. Who decides where the money goes, how are those decisions being made – and can these mechanisms be more effective? Not just in this current pandemic-induced economic contraction, but on a more permanent...

Duration:00:59:31

The Cost of Division with Heather McGhee

4/28/2020
Why are African Americans getting hit the hardest by the coronavirus? In part, this public health crisis is shining a light on the ramifications of policies and politics rooted in the legacy of racism. And what’s interesting, and what Heather McGhee is writing about for her upcoming book, is the way these racially motivated politics end up creating bad economic policy overall, producing a government that makes everyone worse off. So while we watch scenes of people lining up for miles to get...

Duration:01:00:27

Solidarity in a Disaster with Rebecca Solnit

4/21/2020
Something remarkable is happening. While we must be physically isolated, separated from the world and those we love, people are finding creative ways to reach out and foster community. From sewing masks for strangers to singing with your neighbors to organizing virtual family meals, acts of generosity and grace are breaking through what can feel like an insurmountable darkness. Author Rebecca Solnit spent time studying the aftermath of tragedies like September 11th and Hurricane Katrina for...

Duration:00:54:32

Going Viral with Carl Bergstrom

4/14/2020
There are still more questions than answers about COVID-19. While the impacts of the virus are felt in every corner of human life, there’s a desire to find a neat and clean explanation for how things got to this point. This search for causality creates an environment ripe for the spread of misinformation – conspiracy theories, premature conclusions, incomplete data- and it’s crucial to learn how to think critically about the stories being told. We invited biology professor Carl Bergstrom,...

Duration:00:54:36

The Last Great Pandemic with John M. Barry

4/7/2020
What did we learn from the last great pandemic? You don’t have to dig deep into the 1918 influenza before finding eerie similarities to today – be it the White House downplaying the severity of the virus or the social distancing measures recommended by public health officials. Author John M. Barry’s meticulously researched account of the 1918 pandemic in his book “The Great Influenza” was so affecting that it inspired then President George W. Bush to develop a comprehensive pandemic plan...

Duration:00:50:06

Battling the Darkness with Thomas Burke Jr.

3/31/2020
WARNING: This episode discusses violence in war, suicide, depression and drug use. By the time he was 21-years-old, Thomas Burke Jr. had experienced enough trauma for a lifetime. After enlisting in the Marine Corps straight of high school, his deployments exposed him to horrors that dragged him down into what felt like an inescapable darkness. His journey is filled with pain and grief, struggles with depression and addiction, and attempts of taking his own life. He emerged from those depths...

Duration:00:57:22

The Fight for Asylum with Bridget Cambria and Tobias Barrington Wolff

3/24/2020
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, we know that there are marginalized groups that are exposed. Those migrants seeking asylum at the southern border are one of those exposed groups, and face even more danger in part due to the Trump administration’s immigration policies. These are policies that are intended to close off the country and deter those who are lawfully seeking asylum. This conversation with Bridget Cambria and Tobias Barrington Wolff about this administration’s policies and the...

Duration:00:58:55

REVISITED Breaking Government with Michael Lewis

3/17/2020
Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government’s catastrophically inadequate response, and the uncertainty that hangs over us all as a result, Chris decided to do something a little different this week. He wanted to revisit a conversation that feels extremely relevant and prescient right now given the state of the country. Prolific nonfiction author Michael Lewis, the man behind “The Big Short” and “Moneyball”, wrote an amazing account of what happens when the keys to the White...

Duration:00:50:24

The Origins of a Disaster with Adam Higginbotham

3/10/2020
In April of 1986 a nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the then Soviet Union. The fallout from the accident and the Soviet government’s response compounded into one of the worst manmade disasters of the nuclear era. In his masterful work of nonfiction, Midnight In Chernobyl, Adam Higginbotham weaves together the stories of the individuals and systems that contributed to the creation of one of the worst disasters in human history. It is not only a sharp eyed and...

Duration:00:53:35

Exile and Basketball with Enes Kanter

3/3/2020
Enes Kanter is a wanted man in his home country of Turkey. He’s long been a vocal critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and it’s come at a high cost. At 6′ 10″, Kanter also happens to play for the Boston Celtics in the NBA. How he came to sit at this intersection is a riveting story, one that involves an NBA draft at age 19, a failed coup d'état, and a system of retribution by the Turkish government that targets not only Kanter but the family he left behind. YOU MIGHT ALSO...

Duration:00:47:08

BONUS: Introducing Into America

2/27/2020
As a bonus for Why Is This Happening? listeners, we’re sharing a special preview of Into America, a new podcast about politics, about policy, and the power that both have in shaping the lives of the American people. It is hosted by Trymaine Lee and features the journalists of NBC News. For the first episode, Trymaine heads to East New York, a community that experienced more stops than any other part of New York City under Former Mayor Bloomberg’s stop and frisk policy. In order to have a...

Duration:00:07:09

Stacking the Courts with Dahlia Lithwick

2/25/2020
The future of our courts will be decided in the 2020 election. While the Trump administration grabs headlines with scandal after scandal, gaffe after gaffe, behind the scenes they are quietly chipping away at their central agenda of reshaping the courts. It’s a transformation happening at an historic rate, where one in four circuit judges is now a Trump appointee. They’ve already flipped the balance of the Supreme Court to a 5-4 conservative majority. If given another four years, Donald...

Duration:01:02:34

Between God and Man with Daniel M. Lavery

2/18/2020
"What if you were a man, sort of?" In his new memoir, author Daniel M. Lavery remembers how, in the early days of his transition, he would say it was as if a demon ambushed him in the night, whispered this question into his ear, and then disappeared without another word. It was an immediate and instantaneous revelation, but also exceptionally vague on what was supposed to happen next. "Something That May Shock and Discredit You" (published under Daniel Mallory Ortberg - he got married!) is a...

Duration:00:52:27

The Gettable Voter with Jon Favreau

2/11/2020
Democrats can beat Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Another four years of a Trump White House is not a foregone conclusion. With nine months to go before the general election, there’s a tremendous amount of fear and uncertainty hanging over many of us about the future of the American republic. Amidst this fear, Democratic voters are deciding which candidate is best suited to run against the President. But a lot of the fights over who that person could be are actually fights over how to...

Duration:00:54:56

The Frontlines of Addiction with Beth Macy

2/4/2020
This is an intimate portrait of what addiction looks like in America. From the board rooms of pharmaceutical companies to the living rooms across America, Beth Macy traces the path of devastation wrought by opioids. Her latest book, “Dopesick” gives life to the urgency of the epidemic, illustrating just how woefully insufficient the national response has been to the scale of the crisis. She lays out the often-insurmountable barriers that stand between someone suffering and the treatment they...

Duration:00:59:17

Why We’re Polarized with Ezra Klein

1/28/2020
The title says it all on this one, folks. What is it about the American political system that cultivated this deeply dysfunctional and polarized climate? Last year, we had Ezra Klein on the show to assess how bad things were in the Trump era (conclusion: not great). Now, Klein is back to discuss his new book "Why We're Polarized" which provides a systematic look at the deep structural defects in American democracy that are manifesting themselves in two coalitions that are increasingly at...

Duration:01:09:27

INTRODUCING: So You Wanna Be President? with Chris Matthews

1/27/2020
Lesson one: win Iowa. An astounding number of Democrats and Republicans won their party's nomination after winning first in the Iowa caucuses—but America's first battleground hasn't always been a priority for campaigns. Jimmy Carter was the first to realize that a win there could propel a candidate into the national spotlight. Chris Matthews examines Carter's approach to the 1972 campaign with Gerry Rafshoon, who handled political advertising for the candidate, and veteran journalist Judy...

Duration:00:32:49