Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes
By Chris Hayes, MSNBC & NBCNews THINK
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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.
||CleanThe Wicked Problem of Climate Change with Andrew Revkin||Why is it so hard to focus attention on the climate crisis? We know the damage we’re doing to the climate and we know why we’re doing it. We even know the obstacles to the solution (fossil fuel companies, denialist political parties) and yet it’s still a challenge to keep the issue front and center. After spending 30 years covering the climate crisis, Andrew Revkin knows what it’s like to be sounding the alarms that seem to fall on deaf ears. In this episode, Revkin talks about the huge role social science plays when it comes to talking about climate, explores what it would take to get the world to pay attention, and explains why he says, in his expert opinion, we’re already “in the shit”. Email us at WITHpod@Gmail.com Tweet using #WITHpod Read more at nbcnews.com/whyisthishappening||8/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRoe V. Wade's Final Hour? with Nancy Northup||Are we on the precipice of one of the most destructive social reversals in the country’s history? President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as the next Supreme Court justice initiated a heated conversation about the future of Roe v. Wade because, should he be confirmed, Kavanaugh would become the deciding vote on a ruling that could alter the lives of millions of women. This week, Chris Hayes speaks to Nancy Northup, the President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, about not just the future of Roe v. Wade but about the legal history of abortion rights. They talk about the stakes of the coming fight, the relevance of a 1923 Supreme Court ruling on teaching foreign languages in schools, and why Northup thinks a victory for anti-abortion activists could ultimately be catastrophic to their own movement. Read more at nbcnews.com/whyisthishappening||8/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSchool Segregation in 2018 with Nikole Hannah-Jones||Why are American schools resegregating? Over 60 years since the Brown v. Board of Education ruling forced schools to integrate, the nation is witnessing schools become increasingly segregated. So how did we get to this point? Nikole Hannah-Jones has firsthand knowledge of the system. Beginning in second grade, she was bussed to a wealthy, majority white school as part of a desegregation initiative in her home town. Now, she’s an award-winning investigative reporter writing for The New York Times magazine, doing extensive work on school segregation. In this episode Nikole Hannah-Jones explains why we continue to see segregation in the classroom and how, if at all, the education system can truly desegregate. Read more at NBCNews.com/WhyIsThisHappening||7/31/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanOur Real Estate Obsession with Giorgio Angelini||Why do you live where you live? Not just the state or the city but the block you walk down and the door you walk through every day. Having a space to call home is packaged as part of the ‘American Dream’ and it has become a full on real estate obsession. If you’re like Chris Hayes, you might find yourself binge watching HGTV or scanning house listings in cities you have no plans of living in. But our ability to partake in that dream is far from equal thanks to housing policies that have disenfranchised generations. Despite these forces directly ruling over where we are able to live, talking about housing policy can make the eyes glaze over. Luckily, Giorgio Angelini managed to weave together the intricate history of housing discrimination from New Jersey to California in his visually stunning new documentary, “Owned: A Tale of Two Americas”.||7/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean"Futureface" with Alex Wagner||Why is everyone taking DNA tests to find out about their heritage? While Americans are fueling an industry selling them a story of global identity, the country’s President is spreading fear and hostility about non-white immigrants. Trump seems to have an idea of “Americanness” that is limited to those of a certain ethnic inheritance and anyone from places like Mexico or South America or Haiti is fundamentally foreign and ‘other’. The most obvious fact remains that the overwhelming majority of us came from somewhere foreign, that at some point, our heritage was ‘other’. This is the intersection Alex Wagner explores in her new memoir, “Futureface”. It’s a story about how we think about who we are based on where we come from and how that fits into our conception of our own “Americanness”. Read more at NBCNews.com/whyisthishappening||7/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEnding Mass Incarceration with Larry Krasner||Have you heard about Larry Krasner? He’s a lefty progressive lawyer in Philadelphia that made his name by defending the underdogs, representing activists and suing police officers. Last year, he was elected as Philadelphia’s District Attorney, meaning he now runs the mass incarceration machine he’s spent his decades-long career criticizing. He might be the last person in the world you would expect to be the chief prosecutor for the city of Philadelphia, but if you truly want to see criminal justice reform what better place to start? People looking at the growth of mass incarceration are increasingly focusing on the key role that prosecutors play, and in just six months Krasner has already radically changed that role. Chris Hayes got a chance to talk to Larry Krasner about “storming the palace doors”. Read more at NBCNews.com/WhyIsThisHappening||7/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFracking Trump Country with Eliza Griswold||What does it look like when fracking comes to town? For folks in poor rural areas, parts of Trump Country before we had Trump Country, fracking can mean opportunity, wealth, and autonomy for some, destruction and ruin for others. Journalist Eliza Griswold tells a story that begins in the Niger delta and brings her to the doorstep of a family farm in Southwest Pennsylvania in the midst of the energy boom. There, in the towns of Amity and Prosperity, she learns about the intimate and complex reasons why people chose to bring fracking to their town, and the crisis they face when mysterious illnesses begin to appear. Read more at NBCNews.com/WhyIsThisHappening||7/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHow Bad Is It? with Ezra Klein||Families are being ripped apart at the border, a Republican Congressman retweeted a Nazi sympathizer, and Trump White House officials are being protested with increasing regularity. It is feeling pretty rough out there – so just how bad is it? There have been some folks looking to the Civil War when discussing the current landscape of political polarization. While it’s not quite that bad, just exactly where are we on the scale of ‘everything’s fine’ to ‘Civil War’? Chris Hayes and Vox editor-at-large Ezra Klein have been checking in on this very question throughout the Trump administration. In this episode, they talk about unique problems of the American political project, the staying-power of political identities, and what we can learn from the X-Men superhero, Legion. Read more at NBCNews.com/WhyIsThisHappening||6/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDestruction in Puerto Rico with Naomi Klein||How did Hurricane Maria evolve from a natural disaster into a human catastrophe in Puerto Rico? While the official death count remains at 64, a Harvard study suggests thousands were killed. While the hurricane left its devastating mark on the island, there were already destructive forces in play long before the storm made landfall. Forces that made Puerto Rico uniquely vulnerable to the ravaging effects of the storm and its aftermath. So when did the problems in Puerto Rico start? And how did they manifest in the lead up and aftermath of Hurricane Maria? Naomi Klein says that to understand what happened you need to go way back before the storm. She explains how Hurricane Maria acted as an accelerant to a process long underway and that could continue to get worse as Puerto Rico tries to pick up the pieces. Visit NBCNews.com/WhyIsThisHappening for more.||6/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanPolitical Tribalism with Amy Chua||There seems to be a lot of talk about this idea of political tribalism lately. Critiques that groups are increasingly insular not just around politics but about race or religion or any number of identity markers, and that this isolation makes it impossible to have meaningful conversations about the big issues facing our country. We’ve witnessed groups rallying around their side in ways that can be ugly, discounting the thoughts of the ‘Other’ on the mere status of being other, but is that true of all of political tribalism? Is it a dangerous group in-thinking or can it look like positive, meaningful group organizing? Chris Hayes is torn about the ambiguous use of political tribalism as a critique of certain types of politics, so he brought in Amy Chua to work them out. Amy Chua has been studying prejudice for 20 years and has a new book out called “Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations”. In this episode, Chris Hayes and Amy Chua wrestle over these questions and discuss whether political tribalism is even inherently a bad thing to begin with. Visit NBCNews.com/WhyIsThisHappening for more.||6/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSeparating Immigrant Families with Lee Gelernt||The Trump administration is forcibly separating immigrant children from their parents, something they are hoping will deter immigrants from entering the country. It's sparked widespread outrage, protests and lawsuits, with the White House now attempting to distance itself from its own policy. How did we get here? Lee Gelernt has worked on immigrants right’s issues with the ACLU since 1992 and is now the lead lawyer suing the Trump administration to stop taking kids away from their parents. In this episode, Gelernt explains how immigration and national security became so conflated, how it connects to 9/11, and describes the trauma these families are going through. Read the full transcript at NBCNews.com/WhyIsThisHappening.||6/5/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWho Broke the Internet? with Tim Wu||From the rise of fake news and the troll farms pumping it out to the harvesting of our Facebook data by groups like Cambridge Analytica, Chris Hayes knows the internet feels pretty crappy these days. In this episode, Hayes examines how something once seen as a miracle of human connection became a free-for-all frenzy to get your clicks, and marvels at the lengths companies will go to keep your eyes to your screens. These are the ideas Tim Wu has spent a career, and two books, exploring. So, when we ask what created the conditions for this environment and angst surrounding our experience with the internet, we turn to Tim.||5/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Rule of Law in the Era of Trump with Kate Shaw||Since his first day in office, Donald Trump has been testing the boundaries of the law on multiple fronts. From his open hostility towards the investigation into his campaign’s involvement with a foreign adversary, to his policy prescriptions by way of executive order, to the way Donald Trump runs his own White House, this President has challenged the rule of law like no other recent President. So, in the case of Donald Trump v. the Law – who’s winning? And what can we learn from what’s happened so far? In this episode Chris gets answers from Kate Shaw, a law professor from the Cardozo School of Law who has worked in both the White House, the Supreme Court, and who also happens to be his wife. It also happened to be her birthday on the day this was recorded, and yes, that came up. Read more at NBCNews.com/whyisthishappening||5/22/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Conservative Movement with Corey Robin||Is President Donald Trump a conservative? While other contemporary writers and thinkers may be quick to write the President off as an anomaly to the conservative movement, Corey Robin has another theory. He argues that if you trace conservatism back through the centuries to understand what the movement is really truly about, then Donald Trump makes perfect sense. Corey Robin, author of “The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Donald Trump”, is the guy who can explain why this is happening. Read more at NBCNews.com/whyisthishappening||5/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Middle East with Dexter Filkins||What is happening in the Middle East? Chris Hayes sorts through the bewildering number of individual conflicts and key players to get to the heart of what’s unfolding in the Middle East. And, at the heart of it, is one big potentially world-war-starting kind of fight that helps explains them all. To understand the details of that fight, Chris turns to one of the best foreign reporters writing today – Dexter Filkins. He has covered the area extensively, knows the Middle East inside and out, and can tell us why we could be standing on the precipice of something era-defining. Read more at NBCNews.com/whyisthishappening||5/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Personal is Political with Brittney Cooper||Talking about the politics of identity, particularly in the age of Donald Trump, can feel like you’re walking through a minefield. Whether it’s the President’s immigration policy or two black men arrested in a Starbucks, Chris Hayes argues that all the political debates we’re having are wrapped up in personal politics. But when it comes to confronting those personal politics and examining the power struggles that they invoke, conversations tend to get tense and defensive. Author and Professor Brittney Cooper’s story is compelling and traumatic and illuminating and she uses these pieces to explore how the personal becomes political within her own life in her new book, “Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower”. If there’s anyone who can talk about the politics of identity, feminism, and how we can understand those ideas through the lens of Beyoncé, it is Brittney Cooper. Read more at NBCNews.com/whyisthishappening||5/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhy IS this happening?||This podcast will help answer the BIG questions that keep Chris up at night. In this tumultuous time, the things we see play out on cable news every day are driven by big ideas, themes, and huge arcs of history. So, every week a new expert will help us better understand why this is (all) happening. Read more at NBCNews.com/whyisthishappening||5/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
Hayes’ show and podcast are essential viewing
Chris Hayes is the smartest journalist in the industry.
Fork in one hand, spoon I the other
tuck napkin into collar and wait for Chris Hayes to ladle out history and context from those in-the-know. No watery sixty second soups for us tonight kids, uncle Chris stirs his stew from the bottom up. What tender morsels await?
I am really looking forward to this new podcast!