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Why is This Happening?

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.
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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

Building a Movement with Rev. Dr. William Barber II

7/16/2019
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How do you build a movement? How do you connect people across race and religion and identity in order to create a united coalition? This is the work of Rev. Dr. William Barber II, one of the best and most important political voices in America right now. He has dedicated his life to the fight against systemic racism and poverty, and is known for his ability to organize diverse coalitions around every manner of social justice issues. He’s an incredible figure in movement building politics,...

Duration:00:54:33

The Case for Socialism with Bhaskar Sunkara

7/9/2019
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Let’s talk about socialism. There’s a marked generational divide in the way people think about that word, what it means, and what it conjures. For those who were adults during the Cold War, socialism evokes something very different than those who came of age after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now, there’s a growing part of the left that’s trying to make a case for socialism, inciting a definitional dispute about what it means and what it’s capable of. Bhaskar Sunkara is at the center of the...

Duration:00:58:33

A History of Concentration Camps with Andrea Pitzer

7/2/2019
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There’s been a heated national debate over what to call some of the migrant detention centers along the southern border. Are these facilities deserving of the label "concentration camps"? Andrea Pitzer has a uniquely deep perspective on this, having written a global history of concentration camps titled “One Long Night”. This conversation details the lineage of concentration camps, from the late 1800s in Cuba to the death camps of WWII to their most modern iterations we are witnessing...

Duration:00:57:51

From Red to Blue with Rep. Max Rose

6/25/2019
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After two years of a Donald Trump presidency, voters turned out in the 2018 midterms to deliver Democrats the House by a historic margin. That freshman class has its fair share of rabble-rousers who are using their platforms to shake up Congress from the left of the party. But those members of Congress aren’t the ones who won Democrats the majority – for that, you have to look at the candidates who flipped district after district on election night. That includes Rep. Max Rose (D-NY 11th), an...

Duration:01:02:24

Impeaching a President with Brenda Wineapple

6/18/2019
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Got impeachment on the mind? If you do, odds are there are two recent examples of the impeachment process you might be drawing from – Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. But what do you know about the first ever presidential impeachment? There is no better time to revisit the case of Andrew Johnson, the white supremacist President whose impeachment reveals a wild truth about the history of this country. Brenda Wineapple spent the last six years uncovering the details of an erratic and power...

Duration:01:01:26

Defending Liberalism with Adam Gopnik

6/11/2019
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Liberalism is the ordering principal of American government, and yet liberalism is embattled. After the end of the Cold War, it was widely believed that liberal democracy would spread inexorably, but instead new challenges to liberalism have emerged. Across the world, authoritarian governments flourish and some countries have begun to backslide away from liberalism. Even here at home, liberalism’s critics on the left and right have found renewed strength. This week Adam Gopnik, author of the...

Duration:00:55:52

Black Lives Matter with Alicia Garza

6/4/2019
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“Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter.” In July of 2013, Alicia Garza wrote these words in reaction to a jury’s acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. That post turned into a hashtag which became the rallying cry for one of the most recognizable social movements of this generation. While it can feel like the nation’s current racial discourse is trending downward, the last four or five years has seen an ostensible rapid expansion of social...

Duration:01:02:22

The Anniversary #WITHpod Mailbag

5/28/2019
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We just celebrated our one year #WITHpod anniversary! What!? To mark the occasion, we put together a second mailbag episode with producer Tiffany Champion to answer your questions and reflect on the year. Find out who Chris said was his favorite guest, why he loves #WITHpod listeners so much, and what he hopes to do in our second year. Thanks for listening! EPISODES MENTIONED: School Segregation in 2018 with Nikole Hannah-Jones (July 31, 2018) The Rule of Law in the Era of Trump with...

Duration:00:41:39

A Family's Lost History During McCarthyism with David Maraniss

5/21/2019
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An era of paranoia, the pull of radical politics, the way in which an entire society can fall under the sway of a fever, and how that fever eventually breaks. These themes made up one of the darkest periods of modern American History: The era of McCarthyism and the Red Scare. This week historian and journalist David Maraniss discusses his new book “A Good American Family”, that excavates the story of his own leftist parents as they lived and raised a family during the Red Scare. Maraniss...

Duration:00:49:48

The Roots of Anti-Semitism with Deborah Lipstadt

5/14/2019
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On the final day of Passover this year, a gunman walked into a synagogue outside of San Diego, killing one and injuring three more. Exactly six months earlier, a man entered the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, shouted anti-Semitic slurs and opened fire, killing 11 of those gathered. These acts of violence are part of a marked rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes unfolding across the nation in recent years. Historian Deborah Lipstadt examines these most recent manifestations of...

Duration:01:03:23

Debunking the Deficit Hysteria with Stephanie Kelton

5/7/2019
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Should you be worried about the federal deficit? While campaigning, President Trump followed in the footsteps of his conservative predecessors by fear-mongering about the ballooning deficit but when he got to the White House that concern seemed to disappear when it came to his tax cuts for the rich and increased government spending. In fact, there’s a pattern to the Republicans’ selective concern about increasing the deficit, and it all depends on who holds the power. When you look at the...

Duration:00:56:48

Breaking Government with Michael Lewis

4/30/2019
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What is the most devastating impact Donald Trump has had on the highest office? His lies and rhetoric and bigotry have all had a poisonous effect on our national discourse. But when it comes to his destruction of norms, those are only the ones most visible to the public. What about the destruction of norms going on behind the scenes, disrupting the most critical work necessary for running the federal government? Michael Lewis, the prolific author of "The Big Short", "Moneyball", and many...

Duration:00:49:51

China's Secret Internment Camps with Rian Thum

4/23/2019
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Did you know there are roughly one million people currently held in internment camps in China? One million people detained against their will, facing no criminal charges, cut off from the outside world. This is the story of the Uyghurs, a small insulated ethnic minority in Western China. The predominantly Muslim group has faced growing levels of Islamophobia and paranoia from the Chinese government. Right now, roughly ten percent of the Uyghur population has been ‘disappeared’, held...

Duration:00:46:33

BONUS: The First Family of Opioids with Patrick Radden Keefe

4/18/2019
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If you trace the prescription opioid epidemic that is gripping the country to its source, you will find yourself at the feet of the Sackler family. Patrick Radden Keefe is back in a special bonus episode to discuss the newest revelations about the origins of America's OxyContin addiction and the lengths the Sackler’s went to build their empire of pain. RELATED READING: The Family That Built an Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe Dreamland by Sam Quinones And don't miss Patrick's...

Duration:00:19:35

The Ghosts of a Dirty War with Patrick Radden Keefe

4/16/2019
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No war can last forever, and when peace comes, those who lived through the horror of violence and hatred have to find a way to live with each other. So it is in Northern Ireland, where since 1998 Catholics and Unionists have lived side by side in a tenuous peace despite the three decades of bloodshed, violence and oppression that tore it apart from 1968 to 1998. But just because peace arrives doesn't mean old dark secrets disappear. This week Patrick Radden Keefe discusses his brilliant new...

Duration:00:55:45

Abolishing Prisons with Mariame Kaba

4/9/2019
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What if we just got rid of prisons? The United States is the epicenter of mass incarceration – but exactly what is it we hope to get out of putting people in prisons? And whatever your answer is to that – is it working? It’s worthwhile to stop and interrogate our intentions about incarceration and whether it enacts justice or instead satisfies some urge to punish. Prison abolitionist Mariame Kaba wants us to explore some truly radical notions that force us to inspect those instincts towards...

Duration:01:03:17

Are We a Democracy? with Astra Taylor

4/2/2019
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Is democracy doomed? Actually, let’s take one step back: what came to your mind when you read the word ‘democracy’? It’s one of those words that on first glance seems easy enough to define but can trip you up as you get deeper in parsing it. Luckily, filmmaker Astra Taylor has a new documentary out conveniently titled “What is Democracy?” It’s a movie that traffics less in trying to answer the title’s question and more in figuring out the right questions to ask about this big flawed...

Duration:00:53:16

Dying of Whiteness with Jonathan Metzl

3/26/2019
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Life expectancy in America has gone down three years in a row. You might expect to see a decline in average life expectancy in the aftermath of war or famine – to witness it in an industrialized nation in the middle of an otherwise prosperous era, however, is unprecedented. It is a distress signal that something has gone horribly wrong. Jonathan Metzl traced that distress signal to its origin and found something remarkable. He writes that the policies promising to Make America Great Again,...

Duration:00:57:19

Building a Progressive Majority with Dorian Warren

3/19/2019
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There are a whole lot of people running for President. Already, the candidates are beginning their nationwide trek, pitching themselves to the Democratic base. Each campaign faces the same struggle: how to craft a message that appeals to a coalition made up of people from all different backgrounds and walks of life. This candidate primary of town halls and stump speeches and campaign stops is crafting the future of the Democratic party from the top down. But away from the national headlines...

Duration:00:56:11

Rethinking Identity with Kwame Anthony Appiah

3/12/2019
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There’s a reason we keep revisiting identity on WITHpod. From Brittney Cooper to Alex Wagner to Michael Tesler to Amy Chua and on, it’s a topic worth circling back to because it’s one of the most fundamental axes of conflict in our society today. Identities themselves are as old as we as a species are, but the concept of identity is relatively recent. Our ideas of identities are shifting and changing the more we learn about others. And sometimes, it can take full on social movements,...

Duration:00:56:11