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The New Abnormal
The Daily Beast
Blunt truth and dark humor for a world in chaos. A Daily Beast podcast hosted by Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast. Tune in every Tuesday and Friday
10 hours ago
Andrew Yang Will Shit-Talk Florida to Get Rich New Yorkers Back Home
Andrew Yang will do whatever it takes to get the New York City economy going again if he’s elected mayor. And by anything, we mean he will shit-talk Florida to get as many rich New Yorkers as he can to come home from the Sunshine State, he tells Molly Jong-Fast in this episode of The New Abnormal. Plus, Toure, host of the podcasts Democracy-ish and Toure Show, tells Molly why the current police system is more about making money than it is about protecting the people. If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
1 day ago
TEASER: Mika Brzezinski: I Was An ‘Idiot’ Signing My First Morning Joe Contract
Mika Brzezinski’s firing from CBS in 2006 was a total surprise. In this bonus episode of The New Abnormal, she tells host Molly Jong-Fast about how it all went down, why there should be a '70 Over 70' list for women, and her biggest regret from her first “Morning Joe” contract with MSNBC—especially after finding out what Joe Scarborough did with his. If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
4 days ago
Hunter Biden on Burisma, Don Jr., and Cooking Crack!
On a special edition of our hit podcast The New Abnormal, the president’s son opens up to Molly Jong-Fast about … well, about a lot. Why the Trumps continue to go after him so hard. Why his wife won’t let him have a laptop. How easy it is to cook crack cocaine. How hard it is to live in fear of a relapse. But Hunter Biden also gave some hard-to-swallow answers about the emails he traded with the bigwigs at energy companies in China and Ukraine—answers that could come back to haunt him. It’s all part of an absolutely gripping episode that you absolutely have to hear. If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Apr 13, 2021
What Mika Brzezinski Did When She Read Trump’s ‘Bleeding Facelift’ Tweet
Trump’s tweet about Mika Brzezinski “bleeding badly from a face-lift” originated from a conversation between her and the former first couple in their bedroom. Really. In this episode of The New Abnormal, the Morning Joe co-host gives her hilarious retelling of the events that led up to this infamous tweet, and exactly how she responded when she found out about it: “I'm talking to Melania about it, woman to woman, then Donald came up and said, you know, Melania has had no work done. She's perfect. I'm like, ‘that's great.’” Then! The National’s Elie Mystal breaks down the Derek Chauvin trial and why it’s unlike any other cop murder trial he’s ever seen. Plus! Why are Matt Gaetz’s Republican enablers just as skeezy? If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Apr 12, 2021
TEASER: Rep. Grace Meng: How I’m Able to Work with GOP Racists
Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY)’s tearful rebuke against Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) during a House hearing on violence and discrimination against Asian Americans was semi-unplanned. She had a speech ready to go, but when Roy went on an anti-China and lynchings rant instead, she just lost it. “I had to cut out excerpts of my prepared speech, which I'm sure my staff got upset about, but I just had to say it. I had to respond to what he was saying and the disturbing way in which he said it,” she tells Molly Jong-Fast in this bonus members-only episode of The New Abnormal. “I was just so sick of the Republican party from the very top levels of leadership constantly using these [racist] terms, which literally helped embolden people to commit acts of hatred against the community.” Molly can’t help but wonder, out loud, how Rep. Meng can work with these people day in and day out. To that, she lets Molly in on a not-so-secret-secret: “The things that they say on social media is sometimes different from what they're doing,” she says, referencing the GOP members who didn’t vote for the American Rescue Plan Act, but tried to take credit for it among their constituents. There were even 164 Republicans who didn’t even vote for an anti-hate bill that just said they stand against Asian racism. But Meng isn’t surprised by that, especially after Jan. 6. “You had these members who literally talk about law and order on their conservative outlets. And then were literally blowing past, yelling at and shoving Capitol police officers because they didn't want to go through the metal detectors. It’s just a complete lack of respect for the very institution that they brag about respecting.” Molly compared it to the Trump era. “The whole Trump administration, it went from the Muslim ban to the wall with Mexico, and now they were like, you know what? This virus is from Asia. And it's like, they only have one speed. And it's racism.” Plus! Congresswoman Meng convinces producer Jesse Cannon that 16-year-olds should get the right to vote and addresses one of Molly’s favorite questions: How can Dems get better at messaging? If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Apr 9, 2021
Why Matt Gaetz Was Left Twisting in the Wind
Every day, sometimes multiple times a day, come eye-popping new details in the Matt Gaetz scandal. But perhaps the worst thing of all for the Florida Republican, who is accused of underage sex trafficking, may be that Donald Trump thinks he’s useless. Yes, the congressman spent years sucking up to the former president—and even said he’d give up his job to defend him. But Trump has only managed to offer a tepid 24 words of support since the scandal broke, and George Conway has a theory about why. Joining co-hosts Molly Jong-Fast and Jesse Cannon on the latest episode of The New Abnormal, the lawyer and Washington Post contributing columnist says, “The fact that he doesn't stick up for [Gaetz’] conduct here tells you that he has no use for the guy. And why should he? All Gaetz’ sucking up to Trump, Conway says, is now “in the past. That doesn't get you points with Donald Trump. Now it's what you can do for a malignant narcissist.” It’s pretty clear now that Gaetz is now toast—and of no further use to Trump or the rest of his party, which will spend this weekend at a big RNC meeting in Palm Beach “paying homage to the orange criminal form,” as Conway puts it. The party now faces a conundrum, he says, stuck between trying to rebuild and at the same time glorify Trump. It’s a losing strategy, says Conway, that will peel off yet more centrist voters and bring more of “the kinds of candidates that drive Mitch McConnell crazy, you know, the Todd Akins of the world,” and more like Gaetz. Also on the show, Amanda Litman, co-founder of Run for Something, which helps Democratic candidates run for office, talks about how the pandemic and the racial justice movement have inspired more people to run than hatred of Trump. Finally, 8chan founder Frederick Brennan talks to Molly and Jesse about how he knows that Ron and Jim Watkins are behind QAnon today, in an excerpt of an interview that will run in full on the new Daily Beast podcast Fever Dreams. If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to http://newabnormal.thedailybeast.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Apr 6, 2021
Why Republicans Can’t Seem To Lay a Glove on Biden
That new documentary on QAnon ended with something of a bang, with one likely suspect seeming to half-confess that he was ‘Q,’ the oracle of the violent conspiracy movement. But there may not be even a single ‘Q,’ explains Will Sommer, one of the people featured throughout the documentary and the co-host of The Daily Beast’s new hit podcast, FEVER DREAMS. “There was kind of like this group surrounding the original Q,” Sommer, who’s writing a book on QAnon, tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “There's not even one solid Q in the beginning. I mean, Q does not use the name. All these posts that are attributed initially to Q do not use the Q name. So you get into this fight over the canon, of who is Q who's not Q.” Speaking of delusional movements, the Republican party is at a bit of a loss these days. They can’t seem to figure out how to get in the way of Joe Biden’s agenda—or even to throw an effective counterpunch against the guy. “The Republicans don't how to push back. The most effective pushback of Biden's whole infrastructure relief plan has been from [Obama’s former national economic council chief] Larry Summers,” James Carville, the veteran Democratic strategist, tells Jong-Fast. “Intellectually, they just they've lost their footing.” Carville adds, “I think the most significant 24 hours in American politics was from 8:00 PM eastern on the 5th of January to 8:00 PM eastern on the sixth. And that time you had the two Georgia wins and you had the insurrection and those events taken in tandem have been very, very underappreciated by contemporary commentators. They were just a different party on the night of January the 6th. Everything changed in a 24-hour period. And, you know, they’re still off balance.” “And while they are balancing, I think the Biden people have just stayed focused and running as much through as they possibly can. But [the Republicans] don't have a coherent pushback. It's all CBS: cancel culture, the border, and senility. That's all they do,” Carville adds. “They just completely reinvented a coalition and their messaging overnight has gone from an Episcopalian, Presbyterian, white party [to] rural and non-college... They don't want to talk about free trade or anything like that,” he continues. “And Biden is not just a polarizing figure. I mean, you can't gin it up. I mean, Obama, for obvious reasons he could get them all ginned up. They try to get a charge out of Biden, but it just doesn't work that well… They'll get it back. But right now they're having a hard time.” If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Apr 5, 2021
UNLOCKED: DNC Chair Jamie Harrison: The Democratic Brand Is Broken
Democrats are in control of the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives for the first time in a decade. But to the new chair of the Democratic National Committee, it’s clear that the party’s brand is broken in a large swath of America. “I think what we have to do as a party is battle the damage to the Democratic brand,” Harrison, the former senate candidate, tells Molly Jong-Fast in the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “I experienced it on my own race, Lindsey [Graham] and his crew of dark money effectively labeled me as somebody who believed in defunding the police. My grandfather on my stepfather's side was in the Detroit police department for 40 years. So I don't believe in that. But they were able to do it because the Democratic brand had been so tarnished in South Carolina that people would believe anything. If they said, ‘Jamie kicked a puppy the other day,’ they would have believed it.” “It's not even just with Republicans, the Democrat brand with some of the folks who are core at the base of our party is not the greatest,” Harrison continues. “And so I want to spend a lot of time, energy, and effort understanding why the brand is where it is, what it is and how, and what we can do in order to improve it.” Especially in rural and red-state America, Harrison says: “We have to take credit and claim the things that we will have gotten done over the course of this next two years. We're going to do a lot for rural America. The American Rescue Plan has so much in there for rural communities across this country. And it will have a huge benefit, this infrastructure plan, when we get this done. The broadband component in it alone, will totally transform rural America.” “Those communities are also just as diverse as urban communities. We also need to make sure that we're listening to them,” he adds. “And then, in the end, we’ve got to deliver and I believe we can do those things. Not only will we grow our base, but I think we also persuade a few other folks to take a look at us.” If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Apr 2, 2021
Gaetz Keeps Digging Deeper Holes for Himself
The New Abnormal’s least favorite Florida congressman, Matt Gaetz, is in hot water over mounting allegations that he’s been involved with underage women and taking them across state lines. To discuss the burgeoning scandal, co-hosts Molly Jong-Fast and Jesse Cannon brought on The Nation’s national affairs correspondent, Jeet Heer, who says he isn’t the least bit surprised. “It’s the ones you always suspect the most,” he says. Noting Gaetz’s strange appearance on the Tucker Carlson show, where he tried to get Carlson hitched to his sinking ship, Heer says he sees a connection with what other people in the alt-right swamp engage in. “Occasionally you see racists try to implicate the person they’re talking with, like, ‘You think this as well. You also don’t like those people right?’... To normalize this behavior. That’s basically what he’s doing: ‘Oh yeah, you remember the dinner that we were at with your wife? And wasn’t there some sort of really sleazy scandal involving you?” To Heer, Gaetz describing his dinner with a young date along with Tucker Carlson and his wife is reminiscent of the Woody Allen movie Manhattan. “In the movie, Woody is dating a 17-year-old [Mariel Hemingway]... and they go out to these dinners with their adult friends who are middle-aged.” The imagery is hard to unsee. For more strange twists in the Matt Gaetz story, Molly and Jesse brought on Daily Beast senior politics editor Matt Fuller, who says he’s been hearing rumors of Gaetz’s bad behavior for over three years. “Let’s just say he has a proclivity for younger women. He certainly has been open to dating college-aged women, congressional staffers, maybe some interns from Turning Point USA. He’s a man about town,” Fuller says. The crew agrees that you’re not in a good place when reporters are having to pin you down on the language you’re using around accused pedophilia. “It’s been very odd to hear exactly how he phrases these answers on a lot of this, because he always says, ‘I haven't had any inappropriate relationships with underage women.’ And it’s been unclear if he’s saying underage women, like, with an age of consent, or…? We don’t know what he’s talking about.” Also on the show, Molly sits down with one of the foremost warriors in the fight against the “anti-science movement,” vaccine scientist Dr. Peter Hotez, who talks soberly about what we have ahead of us in the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, getting so high you end up flying from Kentucky to Kenya, how you troll Joseph Goebbels, and podcasting with the Original Gangster Villain—that’s all on the latest The New Abnormal. If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Mar 31, 2021
FEVER DREAMS: Why QAnon Is So Bummed to See the Suez Ship Go Free
Did you know that everyone’s favorite Suez-Canal-blocking ship is now the subject of a QAnon conspiracy? The Daily Beast’s Asawin Suebsaeng and Will Sommer lay out why the adrenochrome set is convinced that the stuck ship’s cargo is full of trafficked children on the latest episode of our Fever Dreams podcast (Hint: it has to do with Hillary Clinton’s secret service code name—you guessed it, EVERGREEN.) Speaking of Hillary conspiracies, Suebsaeng and Sommer discuss why the right just can’t seem to come up with a good Joe Biden conspiracy to smear the new president; Trump’s base seems more interested in reverting to their old hatreds of Clinton and Barack Obama. (As Suebsaeng points out, Biden quite simply is not Black or a woman, and so doesn’t inspire the same level of vitriol from the hardcore racist, misogynistic Trumpites.) Meanwhile, there’s a tug-of-war going on between those in the Trump administration who want the former president to receive “credit” for the COVID vaccine drive and the rightwing anti-government, anti-vaxx diehards who refuse to believe that their Emperor God actually wants them to get the shot. The tussle is crystallized in Trump’s former HHS staffer Michael Caputo, a “really brash, incredibly Trumpy longtime Republican operative” who has taken it upon himself to prosthelytize about the vaccine in biker bars among the “MAGA Sons of Anarchy”—and who’s running into a lot of resistance. Keep an eye out for the interview with The Daily Beast’s own Kelly Weill, who walks our hosts through the crazy cast of lawyers and faux-lawyers who have sprung up to defend the Capitol Rioters and anti-masker businesses—one of them quotes from Lord of the Rings, another has never actually passed the bar because he thinks it’s a British conspiracy. And most importantly, we learn about Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes’ supervillain origin story, how Texas National Guard troops faced a hostage situation with Pizzagate overtones, and how Will Sommer is singlehandedly responsible for bringing the phrase “soy boy” out of the Internet swamp into the national spotlight. Listen to Fever Dreams on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Mar 30, 2021
The Right Way to Fight Georgia’s Voter-Suppression Law
Goldie Taylor has been working in and around Georgia politics for decades. So she knows first-hand the kind of stunt Republicans are trying to pull with this new voter-suppression law. “What [Gov.] Brian Kemp will tell you, what other state GOP office holders will tell you, is that they've done this to restore confidence in the ballot. Poppycock. They have done it to keep people who don't look like them, church like them, live like them, away from the voting booth,” Taylor tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. Taylor knows a lot of her out-of-state friends are outraged, too. But their calls to boycott Georgia over this law? They’re just wrong, she says. “Sometimes being an ally means shutting up,” Taylor continues. “As soon as this began to happen, we heard people, especially people in Hollywood say, ‘Oh, we're going to boycott Georgia until they stop this.’ Right. And both me and Dr. Bernice King stood up and immediately said, ‘No, y…
Mar 29, 2021
FEVER DREAMS: What It’s Like When MAGA Nation Wants to Kill You for Your Movie
Take one self-proclaimed satanism expert. Add in a pinch of dumpster-diving. Throw in a chicken-coop fire, and (of course) pillow magnate and Donald Trump pal Mike Lindell. And you’ve got the recipe that Trump 2020 deadenders are currently leading in the great state of Arizona to try to, somehow, overturn the election there. “It could be like a Coen brothers movie. It has that atmosphere,” Daily Beast political reporter Will Sommer tells his colleague and co-host Asawin Suebsaeng on the premiere episode of Fever Dreams, The Beast’s new podcast. “You have these kind of vigilante groups of people who connect on Facebook and say, well, let's go to the board of elections—and then they dive into the dumpster and see what they can find…Or there was a fire at a chicken farm owned by or connected to this guy who's opposed to the recount, and they said, well, he probably put the ballots in there and set the fire! And then they go out to the farm and they smell the air and they…
Mar 28, 2021
TEASER: How Ted Cruz and the GOP Are Using the Border as a Prop
GOP Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn led a tour for themselves and others in their party at the border on Friday, but according to Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, who took over Beto O’Rourke’s former 16th district in Texas, it’s all “political theater.” They want to “use the border as a prop, do a whole lot of complaining and finger pointing. But these are the same people who've been in the Senate for a number of years when their party had control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives, [and] they did not solve this problem,” she tells The New Abnormal co-host Molly Jong-Fast and producer Jesse Cannon. That’s not to say that Biden has all the answers, he doesn’t. But she does feel like it’s finally time we get to the root of the immgration debate in our country. “[Constituents] don't want us to be the problem,” she adds. “They want us to solve problems.” But how? It’s two fold, she explains. First, we need to have real sit-down co…
Mar 26, 2021
Rep. Adam Kinzinger: ‘All We Do Is Call the Other Side Douchebags’
What’s our wildly divisive political climate doing to today’s 20-year-olds, who will be our political leaders of the future? That’s what Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) asks co-hosts Molly Jong-Fast and Jesse Cannon on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. In the past, Kinzinger says, Americans could look to Ronald Reagan and Democratic leader Tip O’Neill having a beer together, despite their differences. Today, Kinzinger says, we’re not seeing similar examples: “All we do is go on Twitter and TV and call the other side douchebags.” It doesn’t bode well for us getting back to normal politics, he warns. Still, says Kinzinger—the first sitting GOP congressman to accept an invitation to come on The New Abnormal—former President Donald Trump’s influence on the Republican Party does seem to be waning. Twitter’s decision to ban Trump, which Kinzinger fully supports, is a big part of that, he says. “He can put out crazy press releases calling Rove a RINO like he’s…
Mar 23, 2021
Getting a Presidential Pet Is a Great Distraction From Scandal
When we think of presidential pets, we think of their cute moments and endless photo-ops on the White House lawn—but the reality is you sometimes need to acquire a pet to distract from a scandal. So it was in the 1990s, CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Mo Rocca explains on the latest episode of The New Abnormal, when the Clintons adopted Buddy the dog. “The Clintons had Socks,” Rocca tells co-host Molly Jong-Fast. “And then in the depths of the Lewinsky affair, when Clinton was in real turmoil, Dick Morris advised him to get a dog. This is totally true. And because dogs were more popular, they got a chocolate lab, Buddy. Labrador retrievers were at that point the No. 1 breed in America for 17 years running. And so the cat was given, I believe, to [Clinton personal secretary] Betty Currie. I mean the cat, it was like, ‘Exit, stage right.’” Rocca also explains why he enjoys writing his popular podcast Mobituaries: “In general, I deal with dead people because they d…
Mar 22, 2021
TEASER: Trump Isn’t the Only Person Whose COVID Response Cost Lives
Since the spread of COVID-19 launched a global pandemic in 2020, over half a million Americans have been killed by the virus. And experts agree that the death and infection rates have been much worse in the West—mainly the United States and Europe—than many other places in the East. In other words, while other countries like China, Cambodia and New Zealand were able to tempur the spread, the U.S. had its ass handed back to it. There are a lot of reasons for this, says David Wallace-Wells, New York magazine writer and author of How the West Lost COVID. Factors like population age and geographic location played a role in these places’ ability to control the virus, but ultimately, one of the most “catastrophic” factors that played into the death roll, is something we very much had control over. And that is how our leaders responded and our collective culture, on both a federal and local level. “I think the toll of the disease really throughout all of Europe and all of the Amer…
Mar 18, 2021
How Trump Turned Asians Into a Target
It didn’t have to be this way. The coronavirus pandemic didn’t have to become politicized—or racialized. But last March, President Donald Trump “decided to call coronavirus, which has no ethnicity or zip code or nationality, the China virus,” says Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali on the 100th episode of The New Abnormal. “There was no reason to make coronavirus a racist thing,” co-host Molly Jong-Fast adds. Now, not only are people of Chinese descent coming under attack across the U.S., but other Asians—because “bigots aren’t nuanced,” adds Ali, who wrote about the wave of anti-Asian hate for the Beast before the Atlanta massage parlor murders. “As a Muslim, as a son of Pakistani immigrants, we’ve been through this for the past 20 years,” he tells Jong-Fast. “And I realized that that story in America is the original story that gets a remake, and sometimes the villain just gets changed, right? So right now it’s Chinese or the Chinese, whoever loo…
Mar 16, 2021
WTF Is Wrong With Kyrsten Sinema?
It’s bad enough Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the Arizona Democrat, turned down the minimum wage hike with that oh-so-cute thumbs down. Now she’s threatening to derail the whole Democratic agenda, insisting on archaic Senate rules that give Mitch McConnell and the Republicans outsized power. “I think is a lot of people feel that this groovy, bisexual Senator should be voting in a groovy way and not like a terrifying conservative,” Molly Jong-Fast says on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “Do you see a world in which Democrats can get her on board for filibuster reform?” she asks Senate veteran Adam Jentleson. “I definitely think that,” Jentleson answers. “I think she's miscalculated a little bit. I don't think she can afford to be out as far to the right as she is right now. Even [centrist West Virginia Sen. Joe] Manchin has started to shift a little bit. And so she's kind of out on a limb.” “Joe Manchin can say, I am the only Democrat who can hold this sea,…
Mar 15, 2021
TEASER: Jelani Cobb: Jan. 6 Was the Beginning of GOP’s Mess, Not Ending
It’s not hard to see that the Republican party was the Party of Trump during the four years he was president. But what kind of party are they now? Honestly, it’s hard to tell. “When you looked at the platform for the 2020 election, they didn't create one,” says New Yorker writer and professor Jelani Cobb. There is one thing about today’s GOP, however, that is very clear: “They've doubled and tripled down on a type of politics that is very appealing to disgruntled white people or white identity politics.” If history repeats itself, as it often does, this tactic will bite them in their behinds. In this episode of The New Abnormal, Jelani chats with Molly Jong-Fast about the major similarities he sees between the current state of the GOP and parties of the past that no longer exist. Oof. “The Republican party [are] the modern version of the Whigs,” he explains. “They broke apart over debates about the expansion of slavery, and they could not figure out where they sto…
Mar 12, 2021
Damn Right Republicans Are Scared of the Voting Rights Bills
Republicans are terrified—with good reason. Utah Sen. Mike Lee went viral this week when he sputtered earlier that one of the new voting rights bills making its way through the House was “written in hell by the devil himself.” And Lee’s GOP colleagues didn’t exactly knock the notion down. “They should be scared of it,” Rep. Eric Swawell, the California Democrat, tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. “What we saw this past election in Georgia and Arizona —states that have historically made it harder for African-Americans and Latinos to vote—was that when you expand access to the polls, Democrats can win. And so I'm sure it was not comfortable for Georgians and Arizona leaders to certify the results for Joe Biden and [Sens.] Mark Kelly, [Raphael] Warnock and [Jon] Ossoff.” “But instead of doing the right thing and standing on the integrity [of the election], they're learning the wrong lesson,” Swalwell adds. “What they're do…
Mar 9, 2021
Florida’s Top Dem: Ron DeSantis Hid His COVID
While Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may have been the runner-up to former President Donald Trump in the recent CPAC straw poll, his chances of ever becoming president himself are not good, according to Florida’s top Democrat. “You know, he went MIA for three weeks in November claiming that he was working on some statewide plan. My take is that he probably had COVID and didn’t want to tell people when the vaccines first came to our state,” Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried tells co-host Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. Fried also spills the tea on DeSantis’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic and his real boss—Trump. “A lot of it was, he [DeSantis] was getting his nod from President Trump and wasn’t able to do anything without President Trump’s approval, and the same thing is happening here, because now President Trump is a resident. So I’m sure that [DeSantis] is consistently calling the president and I’m su…
1 hr 1 min
Mar 8, 2021
TEASER: Mayoral Candidate Maya Wiley: I Won’t Take Bullying from NYPD
It’s safe to say that the people of New York City are ready for a new mayor, and certainly one who isn’t Bill deBlasio. Sure, he gave the city universal pre-K but had some faux paus over the years, most recently in 2020, when he was accused of antisemitism for a tweet addressed to the Hasidic Jewish community over social distancing rules during COVID and also (this one was big) for not standing up to the NYPD for harassing citizens during the George Floyd riots this summer. One of the many candidates stepping up to take his place is Maya Wiley, an activist, professor and veteran of City Hall, who says she will handle things much differently if she becomes the next mayor of New York City. To start, she doesn’t think there should have ever been a curfew during the protests, she tells co-host Molly Jong-Fast, producer Jesse Cannon and Beast editor Harry Siegel in this members-only episode of the New Abnormal. (“You can not have a control and containment model of policing that sees…
Mar 5, 2021
Biden Was Asked to Refinance His House After Iowa Fail
This is just how dire things got for the Biden campaign in early 2020. Plus, just how much damage Trump did by hiding his COVID vaccine, and Colorado’s voting model. How did Joe Biden manage to eke out a presidential win after washing up in fourth place in Iowa and fifth in New Hampshire? Co-host Molly Jong-Fast still wants to know. “I’ve spent much of the week talking about being wrong about Cuomo, but I would like to take a minute to talk about being wrong about Biden,” she tells NBC News’ Jonathan Allen, co-author of the new book Lucky: How Biden Barely Won the Presidency, on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. While Jong-Fast and others were writing Biden’s political obituary in February 2020, his staffers were suggesting the former vice president refinance his house to put money into his dying campaign, Allen says. “It's not the most unheard of thing for a candidate to do it,” he says, but “a presidential candidate doesn't do that. And the subtext of go…
Mar 2, 2021
‘They Might as Well Have Torn Up the Constitution’
For years, a central goal of the conservative movement was to install right-wing judges. A Republican president delivered, big time. And these Trumpists are still pissed. Which tells you one thing. For the authoritarian wing of the Republican party, this was never about interpreting the American legal code. It was always about raw political power. “It's not about the rule of law. It's not about getting good qualified judges. It's about results- oriented litigation,” former U.S. Attorney for Alabama Joyce Vance tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. “They want judges who will vote to save the election for a president who has clearly lost it. And that's just out of bounds. It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican. The notion that the courts could be used to steal an election is really the epitome of being anti-democratic. It's ludicrous. It's ridiculous. It just shows you that these folks are off the rails. They might as well have stood…
Feb 27, 2021
TEASER: Getting ‘Canceled’ Is the Only Thing Conservatives Have Left
The theme this year, stupidly enough, is ‘America Uncanceled.’ But the only real way to get any kinda cred at the 2021 Conversative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, to make a stink about how you’ve totally been canceled. One easy way? Refuse to wear a mask, even though the host city and the hotel both require it. “We’ve seen these conservative influencers who, it seems, are deliberately getting kicked out of CPAC by not wearing a mask,” The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “Because for them, CPAC is sort of just the place to see and be seen. They don't really care if they get kicked out. I mean, they don't want to hurt their brand by wearing a mask. And so we've seen a lot of these guys [showcase] the video of the ceremonial ouster from CPAC.” “They're really against being canceled, but it actually seems like the culture of conservatives now—the merit badge is, you got canceled. Like, Marjorie Taylor…
Feb 26, 2021
Mary Trump: Here’s How We Send Donald to Jail
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office finally got its hands on Donald Trump’s taxes and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes clear why he spent so much time trying to keep them hidden away. In this episode of The New Abnormal, Mary Trump joins as Molly Jong-Fast’s co-host to talk about the development, a topic that she knows a lot about. (Quick recap: She helped with the New York TImes’ investigation into Trump taxes.) But these taxes are different than the taxes Mary had been involved with, she says. “The taxes I gave them are old and from my grandfather's company. So I think [the new taxes] will be really helpful in establishing patterns where such patterns actually exist,” she explains. But there’s one problem. She doesn’t think Trump is really sweating it down in Mar-a-Lago, mainly because he’s gotten away with so much shit for so long. What makes this time any different? “If he goes down because of his taxes, Al Capone style, I'm all for it,”…
Feb 24, 2021
Blaire Erskine Exposes MAGA Insanity
Atlanta-based comedian Blaire Erskine has blown up on Twitter over the past year with videos that not only roast Trump-loving conservatives but have also managed to fool a large number of prominent liberals. With characters like Tiffany Trump’s best friend, Marjorie Taylor Greene’s daughter and Ted Cruz’s spokesperson, Blaire rides a fine line between parody and reality and nails it every time. In this episode, we talk about how she honed this new craft during the pandemic, why 90% of the hate she gets comes from the left and a lot more. Twitter: @blaireerskine and @mattwilstein | Instagram: @blaire.erskine and @lastlaughpod Subscribe to The Last Laugh here:https://link.chtbl.com/thelastlaugh See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Feb 23, 2021
Orange Is the New Orange: Trump Just Might Go to Jail
For years, he’s gotten away with it. He lied. He cheated. He treated the government like a get-rich-quick-scheme and his most ardent followers like marks. But now, Donald Trump could be facing serious criminal charges. The kind of charges that might lead to the former president going to jail. The Supreme Court turned down Trump’s final appeal, and that means his accounting firm has to turn over his tax records and business documents to Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance ASAP. “Trump's lawyers will always come up with something, but there should be no reason why the grand jury won't get these financial records tomorrow,” Daily Beast legal analyst Jay Michaelson tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. “Basically, what we all know happened was: Trump inflated the value of his business when it suited him, which is in order to get on the Forbes list [of richest people] and also to get loans from Deutsche Bank. And then he deflated his worth in o…
Feb 22, 2021
TRAILER: Dem Impeachment Manager: Here’s Why We Didn’t Call Witnesses During Trump’s Trial
We know how the story went: Trump was impeached for a second time. There is a trial. He is found not guilty because there not enough votes needed to make it happen, despite the majority of the Senate voting against the former president. Lots of people have questions in regards to this process. Namely, what the hell? But also, why didn’t the Democrats forgo their right to call witnesses? Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CA) told co-host Molly Jong-Fast his perspective on things in this member-only bonus episode of The New Abnormal. “Whether it's five witnesses or 5,000 witnesses, it would not have changed the ultimate outcome,” he says, echoing Rep. Jamie Raskin has said on the issue. They did consider witnesses nonetheless, says Neguse, but to him, it came down to timing. “It was clear that other witnesses whom had been speculated about in the media in terms of potential witnesses that we could have heard from were unlikely to voluntarily comply and voluntarily appear, which meant we would h…
Feb 19, 2021
The Vaccines Are More Effective Than You Think
Andy Slavitt was shocked when he joined the Biden administration. “I was under the impression coming in—as many, many Americans were—that there were big stockpiles of vaccines waiting to go out the door that were produced over the course of the last year. It's been much, much less the case than I think we'd been led to believe,” the White House senior adviser for COVID response tells Molly Jong-Fast and Jesse Cannon on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. It was one of a host of shortcomings the Biden team found, Slavitt says: “Not enough vaccines, not enough vaccinators, not enough places for people to get vaccines.” “So when we got here January 20th, one of the things we learned as an only 46% of the vaccines delivered to states had actually made its way into people's arms. Now you'd never expect that to be 100%. But 46%? It was low,” Slavitt adds. There’s now a plan in place to purchase as many as 600 million doses, hopefully enough for every American. S…
Feb 16, 2021
Mitch McConnell Proved He’s Even More Craven Than Ted Cruz
That impeachment vote in the Senate was tough to swallow, with 43 Republicans voting to acquit Trump for the insurrection done in his name, by people waving his flag. Even more gag-worthy was Sen. Mitch McConnell’s speech afterwards—blaming Trump for the wannabe coup minutes after voting to let him off. “The most galling statements for me were the ones from the Mitch McConnells and the Rob Portmans and the Marco Rubios after they voted to acquit Donald Trump, basically saying, ‘Well, you know, the whole coup thing was kind of bad and I wish you wouldn't have tried to do it. And I wish a cop wouldn't have died. And you know, he made some bad choices. But you know, I had no choice,’” Bulwark writer-at-large Tim Miller tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. But of course, McConnell and his crew did have a choice. The House impeached Trump on January 13. The Senate decided to take a vacation, rather than take up the case right away. And once the va…
Feb 15, 2021
TEASER: The Marine and The Doctor Taking On Marjorie Greene and Lauren Boebert
Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert weren’t elected to their positions in the House of Representatives by accident. They ran campaigns like everyone else, and won. Given Greene’s “nutty” aka QAnon-supporting and anti-mask-censorship antics in particular since she arrived in Washington, it may be hard for lots of people to understand why. In this bonus members-only episode of The New Abnormal, co-host Molly Jong-Fast sat down with Doctor John Cowan, the Republican surgeon who lost to Greene in her district despite both candidates supporting Donald Trump, to get an idea for what people may have had in mind when casting their ballots for her. “I think this is why she got elected is because people really felt like these guys are absolutely crazy in Washington DC,” he explains. “And they are, many of them are, trying to actively destroy the country through their policies and rhetoric and whatnot. And [voters] looked at someone like Marjorie and said, ‘we've got the ans…
Feb 12, 2021
There Is a Way to Take Down Fox News (And It’s Not a Boycott)
Amidst hundreds of thousands of Americans dying from COVID-19, countless pleas from health officials and the CDC to wear maks and social distance, and a recent report from Lancet that put the cherry on top of the “this was basically Trump’s fault” sundae, Fox News has decided to do what Fox News does: Go against all of that. This time, their “poison pill” of choice, as Media Matters’ President and CEO Angelo Cursone calls it in this episode of The New Abnormal, is vaccine skepticism. “What Fox is doing with the vaccines right now is similar to the role that they played at every step of public health measures,” Cursone tells co-host Molly Jong-Fast. “They dismissed social distancing early on. They were sort of skeptical about the masks and Jeanine Pirro was warning her audience. That the only reason people wear masks is to do bad things.” Now, they’re telling their viewers they’re not sure about taking the “George Soros Kool-Aid.” (Rick Wilson is already seei…
Feb 9, 2021
The Worst People on Facebook Now Want to Ruin Real Life
For years, Facebook has been a cesspool of conspiracy theorists, political ragemonsters, and quacks pushing cures for decaying Boomers. But as dangerous as these creeps were, they were mostly contained to the social network. Until the pandemic hit. Now, all of us are locked down. And Facebook’s worst actors and brainwormiest thinking is bursting out into the real world—and threatening to take it over. “I see it a lot actually in local community pages,” The Daily Beast’s Kelly Weill explains on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “To give an example, I was looking at a page, a local news site, about my 5,000-population hometown. The main restaurant, they closed down for a COVID exposure or something. And people were saying, ‘Ah! This is tyranny. We don't have to do this.’ Someone was posting an image macro in the comments with the ‘where we go one, we go all’ Qanon thing. And I'm like, ‘Oh my God, like, this is about the salad bar.’” “You really…
Feb 8, 2021
TEASER: Democrats Don’t Care About Debt. And That’s OK.
The pandemic shook things up, a lot. It exposed the country’s deepest inequalities, and arguably, made them worse. Now, all eyes are on President Biden to see how he’ll fix it, and Republicans are responding exactly as expected: by crying about the debt. Here’s the thing, though, says Paul Krugman, an American economist and op-ed columnist at The New York Times, there’s really no reason to. It’s a tale as old as time. Both parties spend, but when it’s time for Dems to make the economic plans, and Biden took office, Republicans “suddenly rediscovered that they were worried about debt” he tells co-host Molly Jong-Fast on this bonus episode of The New Abnormal. But it actually doesn’t matter, he claims. “The important thing to realize is that governments are not like you and me, governments don't have to pay back their debt,” he explains. “All they have to do is make sure that their obligations don't grow beyond any reasonable estimate of what they can us over time…
Feb 5, 2021
The Hamster Wheel of Trumpism Will Turn Greene Into a Hero
So how are House Republicans dealing with the fallout from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s freshly resurfaced 9/11 trutherism, school shooting denialism, and threats on fellow lawmakers’ lives? They’re giving her a standing ovation. “Marjorie Taylor Greene is House minority leader,” co-host Rick Wilson says on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “She runs the House.” The newly elected Georgia Republican, Rick says, is the GOP’s equivalent of the “crazy uncle.” “You know, we know he’s drunk. We know he’s crazy. We know he comes to Thanksgiving dinner every year lit to shit. And we’ll just pretend it’s not happening. And even though Greene was booted from her committees Thursday night in a largely partisan vote, Rick predicts she “will raise a ton of money because they will all say, ‘Oh, we have to teach the lying libtard cucks a lesson. And Marjorie Taylor Greene is a hero and Trump loves her, and therefore we love her’... I guarantee there wil…
Feb 2, 2021
Will Biden’s Team Find All of the Vaxx—Before It’s Too Late?
In recent days, top members of the Biden administration have a startling admission: That millions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were lost somewhere in the system. So now, the race is on to track down all of the vials. “This is the number one priority within the Biden administration right now is finding doses and making sure they don't go to waste before they start to ramp up supply through other means,” Erin Banco, The Daily Beast’s lead reporter on the COVID beat, tells Molly Jong-Fast on The New Abnormal. “Their rhetoric right now has been, ‘we have only been here for X amount of days, please give us time. This is not easy.’ I think they're only going to be able to use that excuse for so long. Like, look, you're in government. This is your job. Yeah, these things take time—especially coordinating them across all the States and territories when everyone has a different distribution plan. It’s a slog. But from what I hear, the CDC should have a better idea of whe…
Feb 1, 2021
TEASER: Republicans Aren’t All Dumb. They’re Just Part of Cult.
Lots of us have been asking ourselves (and Twitter) many questions over the last year. Questions like: How did about 74 million people vote for Trump, again? Why do people actually believe in QAnon? And, more recently, if Republicans can see Trump for who he really is-—and how he has become a hero among a sect of the party that, at their worst, believe celebrities are part of a global pedophile ring, and at their best, that masks are a form of censorship—than why do the majority of them still support him? Norm Ornstein, an American political scientist and The Atlantic contributor, joined co-host Molly Jong-Fast on this members-only episode of The New Abnormal to share his insight. “There are plenty of Republicans, and I put Rob Portman in that category, who know perfectly well that this stuff is just awful, or plenty of it is, but they'd gone along because they're a part of the cult,” he says. He also adds Mitch McConnell to that list: “He knows what Trump is. He knows that T…
Jan 29, 2021
Trump Sent a Mob to His Office. Now He’s Kissing Don’s Ass.
He’s supposed to be a leader—the leader, in fact, of the Republicans in the House of Representatives. But he ain’t doing much leading. As The Daily Beast reported, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) went in a matter of weeks from angrily criticizing Donald Trump for inciting the MAGA mob that attacked the Capitol—to kissing up to the entire Trump family. “The House of Representatives’ [Republican caucus] is comprised of the Trump party—with the exception of 10 or 11 reps,” says Rick Wilson on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. “They're the pro-sedition, pro-insurrection, pro-mob party,” “Right? It does feel like McCarthy is really giving Trump the Republican party. He really is,” adds Molly Jong-Fast. “I mean, there was like a chance where the Republican party was going to escape from Trump's clutches. And then [McCarthy] was like: ‘Too scary. Let's go back.’” McCarthy went down, too—all the way to Mar-a-Lago, to bend the knee on Thursday.…
Jan 26, 2021
Josh Hawley, Could You Stop Your Whining for Five Seconds?
Authoritarians like Sen. Josh Hawley don’t have much to defend these days. Their little insurrection failed, their Dear Leader is gone, and his stewardship helped kill more Americans than World War II. But they’ve still got the politics of aggrievement. Of victimhood. Of straight-up whining. Take this past weekend, when Hawley mewled about being silenced—on the cover of a major national newspaper. “It was the absolute pinnacle of the very white, Downy white, snowy top of Mount Snowflake,” Rick Wilson laughs on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. “Oh, I can't, I can't say a word—except on the Senate floor, where I was elected by the people of Missouri. I can't say a word—except on Fox, the largest cable network in the country. I can't say a word—except the New York post, which is millions of people every day. I can't say a word except on Facebook and Twitter and TikTok and every other platform in America,’” Rick adds, channeling Hawley. “But what…
Jan 22, 2021
Did Trump and Biden Swap Bodies???
If you don’t understand the title of this episode, which suggests some Freaky Friday voodoo between President Biden and ex-President Donald Trump, congratulations, you have logic. Unfortunately, there are many people who don’t, like the QAnon believers who are still clinging to their conspiracy theories the same way that Donald Trump attempted to cling to the presidency: with nonsensical BS. But seriously, one of the latest QAnon theories that hasn’t yet been proved false, is that Trump is still somehow president...in Biden’s body. In this episode of The New Abnormal, Rick Wilson, Molly Jong-Fast and guest George Conway unpack that and a whole lot more. “It's really the only answer that makes sense,” Molly jokes. “It’s just so simple and obvious.” What isn’t obvious, however, is how the non-QAnon Republicans will move forward with Biden as president, especially Mitch McConnell. (“They have the problem of the distortive, gravitational field that Donald Trump casts…
Jan 20, 2021
TEASER: Mitch McConnell Is Already Trying to Train Wreck the Biden Admin
It is said that before Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, a group of Republicans got together and vowed to oppose everything that he would do, or rather, try to do. Did the Trump loyalists on the hill and Mitch McConnell’s Republicans huddle together last night and make a similar vow, this time for President-Elect Joe Biden? It’s a possibility, says Michael Tomasky, special guest on today’s members-only episode of The New Abnormal, which happened LIVE on Zoom. Even if they didn’t, Tomasky, and co-hosts Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast, know that Mitch’s sneakiness isn’t ending with the Trump administration. Take the impeachment for example, says Rick: “They’ll pretend they’re doing to convict him,” but they, mainly Mitch, won’t. “If he meant it, they would have done it. I think he’s leaning slightly more toward it, only because the ‘22 [race] map is staring at him a little bit.” They’re all still tied to the race, so Mitch’s games will continue. I…
Jan 20, 2021
Preview: Sarah Cooper Calls Trump a ‘Petty Bitch’
In this preview of ‘The Last Laugh’ podcast’s new episode with Sarah Cooper, the comedian shares her parting message for the president she has spent the past year making fun of on TikTok. Subscribe to ‘The Last Laugh’ now to hear our full conversation, including Sarah’s thoughts on what should happen to Trump and his family after they leave the White House and why she thinks the MAGA crowd actually enjoys her Trump lip sync videos. Twitter: @sarahcpr and @mattwilstein | Instagram: @sarahcpr and @lastlaughpod Highlights from this episode and others at The Daily Beast. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Jan 19, 2021
How to Kill MAGA Nation’s Brain Worms
How will we bring the Trump supporters who live in an alternate reality back to the real world? A recent Pew poll asked who respondents thought was to blame for the Capitol riot—and an “astounding” number said President Donald Trump bears no responsibility, Rick Wilson told his co-host Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers “really want to close their eyes and say, it didn’t happen. Oh, it’s just going to go away. Well, it did happen. You made it happen. It’s not going away. It’s going to be with you for a long, long time,” Wilson said. “They’re forgetting that this particular party now has a base of people who believe in the craziest fucking things you’ve ever heard of,” he added. “And who hate Republicans if they’re not named Donald Trump.” Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Atlantic staff writer Anne Applebaum, joined the co-hosts to offer historical examples where societies were able to co…
Jan 18, 2021
TEASER: Trump’s Legacy Is Going to Get Worse (Just Wait)
Donald Trump is not the only “bad” president this country has had in office, but from one historian's perspective, he’s certainly one of the worst. “This country has had a few [bad presidents]. There are the ones who are simply bad at the job and incompetent, and a lot of bad things happen on their watch. There are those who are corrupt and engaged in criminality, and have scandals that plagued their administration And there are those who actively do the country harm through their action or their inaction,” says historian Kevin Kruse on this bonus members-only episode of The New Abnormal. “Trump checks all of those boxes.” That even includes President Herbert Hoover who was in office during the Great Depression. (“Hoover was, aside from that glaring failure of the depression, Hoover was someone who actually had a life of real accomplishments. Trump likes to preen as a self-made man, and he's not.) Then, Kruse and co-host Molly Jong-Fast switch gears and discuss the stat…
Jan 15, 2021
MAGA Riot’s Chilling Reality: Regular Folks, Ready to Kill
One of the most frightening aspects of the assault on the U.S. Capitol was how, well, normal some of the participants seemed—and how openly they spoke of their willingness to murder other Americans if President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory was certified. The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer was outside the Capitol on Jan. 6 and described his conversations with the rioters to co-hosts Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “I was really struck by the people I talked to who were not necessarily crazed QAnon people... but kinda just like people you might think of as your neighbors, your grandparents,” Sommer said. “And just almost to, to a person, they were all just like, ‘Well, if Joe Biden gets his votes certified today, there’s going to be violence and we’re going to kill people, and there’s gonna be a civil war. Then, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) joined Wilson and Jong-Fast to talk about what happened after he was told to “…
Jan 12, 2021
Too Many Dead Capitol Cops for Josh Hawley to Pretend He’s Innocent
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) just can’t understand why everyone wants him to resign. He put out a brave tweet calling for the “violence” to end after a mob he helped incite laid siege to the Capitol, and his “woke” publisher still gave in to “cancel culture” and axed his beloved book. Now people won’t stop going on about his objecting to the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the blood-soaked wake of the riot. To offer the senator a bit of clarity, co-hosts Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast talked to Pennsylvania’s truth-talking lieutenant governor, John Fetterman. Fetterman, who’s faced his own challenges from Republicans who refuse to accept the 2020 election’s outcome at home, had a few choice words for Hawley and his erstwhile political ambitions on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. Plus, New York University professor and “Pivot” co-host Scott Galloway on exactly how much credit we should give Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey for kicking Donald Tru…
Jan 8, 2021
Michael Cohen: I Am Certain That Donald Trump Is Psychotic Right Now
Donald Trump is in deep shit. So deep, that he finally admitted to leaving the White House at the end of the month. And his supporters? Well, some would say Wedesnday’s riot in D.C., when his supporters-turned-domestic-terrorists defaced the Capitol, inspired an “oh-fuck” moment. As for what is going through the president’s head right now, co-hosts Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast turned to the man who spent a good deal of time with Trump to find out. Michael Cohen, author of Disloyal and host of the Mea Culpa podcast, came on the latest episode of The New Abnormal to chat about the chaos and what Trump’s next moves are. Needless to say, he did not censor himself in the slightest. “I am certain that Donald Trump is psychotic right now,” he says, adding that he fully believes a coup was the president's goal all along. “Donald Trump would rather burn down the White House, then turn over the keys.” At the least, Trump and his enablers on the Hill encouraged the events…
Jan 7, 2021
TEASER: The Orange Lives Matter Coup Won’t End This Trumpist Chaos
After inciting a mob of his drooling followers to sack the Capitol, President Donald Trump proved he’s too dangerous to hold office, even if it’s just for another two weeks. But don’t count on his cabinet to do the right thing, not even after the first attack on the Capitol since 1814. “These people are gutless, spineless, chicken-shit, horrifying, boot-lick traitor scum,” Rick Wilson says on The New Abnormal. “Even if Donald Trump had his finger on the trigger and was saying, I'm going to nuke Peoria,’ … these people would not pursue the 25th amendment. Everyone's just fooling themselves.” This was a day that was stupid and pointless as it was dangerous. A day for a thousand self-owns. Molly Jong-Fast wonders why these people are protesting the electoral college when “the greatest irony here is the electoral college is the only thing that gets Republicans in office. And yet they're coming out against it, right? I mean, we'll go to a popular vote. Let's go, bitc…
Jan 5, 2021
Trump Just F*cked Himself and His Party in Georgia
Things were already sub-ideal for the president and his Republican party in the Peach State. The GOP’s incumbent senators, who in any normal year would be locks for re-election, both have a habit of shady stock trades. The early vote has been huge, and breaking Democrats’ way. Then came the instantly-infamous call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger—the one where the president asked to dig 11,000 votes or so out of the trash pile. For Trump, the news may get worse. One end of the call took place in Fulton County, Georgia, where Fani Willis was just elected district attorney. “She prosecutes without fear or favor. And her folks are looking at that call closely,” Daily Beast editor-at-large and Georgia political veteran Goldie Taylor explains on The New Abnormal’s first show of 2021. “Donald Trump—and anybody else in that room, helping him—could very well face charges here in Georgia, in Fulton County. Charges that they cannot make go away.…
Jan 3, 2021
NARAL President: We’re Prepping for End of Roe v. Wade
Trump did a lot to roll back women’s healthcare—from enacting a global gag rule, which prevents non-American health organizations from receiving monetary aid from the U.S., to stacking the courts with anti-choice judges all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. Add the threat of losing Roe to the mix and Biden will have his work cut out for him after he takes office in January. Should he appoint a “women’s health czar?” Molly Jong-Fast asks Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, in this members-only bonus episode of The New Abnormal? She was half-joking, but also serious. Hogue is all for it. “It would send such a clear message that that terrible era that Trump ushered in is over,” she says. But even so, it won’t be over just yet. Hogue says reproductive rights “absolutely could” be taken away and that the organization is even preparing for the possibility. “A lot of our work over the last few years has been about making sure that we have…
Dec 29, 2020
The Most Acid Trippy Episodes of The New Abnormal
Trump getting COVID. Antifa plotting to take down the White House. The truth about Russia disinfo. Bill Clinton impressions. The Lincoln Project scoops. The very first year of The New Abnormal by The Daily Beast has been a wild, trippy ride. It featured scientists, politicians, whistleblowers and the Daily Beast’s best and brightest reporters. In this special episode, we compiled the most fun, most hilarious and most brutally honest clips from co-hosts Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson’s best episodes. We kick off with the duo talking about Trump getting COVID (and if Biden secretly planned it all), then go into a few clips from bonus episodes that only Beast Inside members had access to including what Rick and Molly got wrong about the election (and what Democrats should have done differently, like running celebrities, says Molly. Also, “are you out of your mind? Voter fucking registration,” said Rick). Next, there’s the episode where comedian Ike Barinholtz recounts the obvio…
Dec 28, 2020
TEASER: This 24-Year-Old Diabetic Is Saving Lives the Government Won’t
Twenty-four-year-old Madelyn Corwin’s social media feeds feature a few selfies, videos of her insulin pump, and almost always a link to a GoFundMe page. The most current fundraiser is to raise money for a woman named Nicole who lost her diabetic son in 2018 because they couldn’t afford insulin. In other words, Corwin’s pages are not just young people fodder. Her activism is literally saving lives. “I just make a statement and I'll have people message me on Twitter or Instagram and be like, ‘thanks so much for posting about this, my dad died like three years ago,’” she tells co-host Molly Jong-Fast in this bonus episode of The New Abnormal. Corwin works with the organization Mutual Aid to raise awareness for a healthcare crisis most non-Diabetics wouldn’t otherwise know about: the insanely high costs of insulin and the Americans who are dying as a result. “[People] kind of just think like, Oh, like, you know, like Joe wasn't taking care of himself, but in reality, like…
Dec 24, 2020
How These Comedians Turned MAGA Men Into Laughingstocks
Rudy Giuliani tried really hard this year soil himself: the hair-in-the-can, the Russian agent pal, the presser by the sex shop, the buckets of conspiracy drool. But it wasn’t until he got caught red handed with Borat’s daughter that his reputation was smeared fully, finally, and forever. The hand-down-Rudy’s-pants incident was one of a whole bunch of different ways that political comedians rammed into Trumpworld in 2020. Matt Wilstein, The Daily Beast’s resident comedy guru, breaks down the highs and the lows with Molly Jong-Fast and Jesse Cannon on a special crossover episode of The Last Laugh and The New Abnormal podcasts. From Jordan Kleppler’s head-first dives into the maskless hordes at MAGA rallies to the viral impressionists who took over your Twitter feeds, Matt, Molly, and Jesse break down the funniest moments, and answer some of the biggest questions as we finally leave this hell year behind: What does Sarah Cooper do if she can’t channel Trump? How did Balir…
Dec 22, 2020
How Melania Trump Destroys Her Friends
“I begged her to just come out and say that I was her friend, I was loyal. Nope, nothing,” says Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, author of Melania and Me. Stephanie Winston Wolkoff considered Melania Trump a friend—more than a friend, really. Wolkoff even followed Melania to Washington, helping produce the 2017 inauguration and advise the incoming First Lady. But when the stories started coming out about the insane overspending during the Inauguration, Wolkoff says Melania threw her to the wolves—allowing Wolkoff to take the blame in the press and kicking her out of the White House. “I begged her to just come out and say that I was her friend, I was loyal. Nope, nothing. So the betrayal, the pain of that was like—I gave up my whole life for this woman. No one else would help Melania. I mean, she was alone,” Wolkoff tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “I should've known better. She is just like her husband.” So Wolkoff began taping her ca…
Dec 21, 2020
TEASER: Zerlina Maxwell: Republicans Know Dems Suck At Messaging to Black People
Political pundit and author Zerlina Maxwell was booed and hissed at during a Politicon a few years ago (which is “a Comic Con for political nerds”) because she said that if Bernie Sanders ran in 2020, which he did, he’d have to improve his messaging toward communities of color. Fast forward to this year and Maxwell has a book out on the subject and stands by her statement. “It seems like I was psychic or something, but really I was just saying a thing that seemed to be an obvious point that somebody needed to say, and I think Republicans understand this,” she tells Molly Jong-Fast in this bonus members-only episode of The New Abnormal. “That's one of the reasons why they try to suppress voters of color and they try to pack power in, in the court system. You know, they understand the demographic shifts in a way that I feel like Democrats needed to.” What does she think of Biden’s cabinet? Molly points out that some have criticized the president-elect for not enlisting mo…
Dec 18, 2020
Inside the Ivanka-Melania War
They’re the two most important women in Donald Trump’s life. And they absolutely loathe one another. Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, the former Melania Trump confidant and author of Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady, spills the tea on the latest episode of The New Abnormal, starting with the very first days of the administration. “Melania didn't come to D.C. that week, but Ivanka stayed and Donald stayed there. And all of a sudden, that's the weekend, Donald signs the immigration, what was it called? The ban. Yes. Ivanka shows ‘Finding Dory.’ Now, if you couldn't be more tone-deaf. Children were being separated from their parents. And here you're screening a film where again, this trout fish is being separated from its mother.” “Is that because Ivanka is dumb or is that because Ivanka is evil?” Molly Jong-Fast asks. “Listen, I say it as it is. I think it's a mixture. I really do. I think that Ivanka is Donald in a suit,…
Dec 16, 2020
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Dec 15, 2020
Will Trump’s Fake White House Have a Churro Bar? An Omelette Station? Or Both?
It’s getting near closing time for the Trumps at the White House—Monday’s electoral college vote made that official. Which means folks like Ivanka Trump have to GTFO and find themselves new careers. It might be a bit tricky, Daily Beast contributor and Hysteria host Erin Gloria Ryan explains. Just about everybody hates Ivanka these days—well, except for a handful of Fox-addled octogenarian creepers. That corporate feminism she used to try to embody? That “Hallmark feminism where there's absolutely no substance behind any of the things that she's saying”? It might’ve worked before. In the dying days of 2020, it just makes everyone gag. And the only thing worse is her “naked desire for her to be seen as an American princess. We literally fought a war so we wouldn't have to live in a monarchy,” Erin tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. So she’s settling into a new little palace in Miami. Meanwhile, daddy will be just down the road, se…
Dec 14, 2020
TEASER: COVID Whistleblower Rebekah Jones: I Knew DeSantis Would Go After Me
COVID whistleblower Rebekah Jones always thought that having a gun pointed in her face would be terrifying. That’s what the movies and TV shows have us all believe anyway. But she says when the Florida state police raided her home and held a gun inches from her face after she told them her two children were present, she felt “nothing.” She even let them enter peacefully, she says. “I was prepared to be arrested,” she tells Molly Jong-Fast on this special members-only episode of The New Abnormal. She was actually prepared to be arrested months ago by the Gov. DeSantis administration, when the virus numbers got bad last spring and she created her infamous COVID tracker contradicting the state’s numbers in addition to filing a whistleblower complaint “against the state for manipulating data and breaking the law.” So why are they going after her now? “I think they're purging everybody who's disloyal,” she says. Also, DeSantis doesn’t like her, or anyone who is making…
Dec 11, 2020
Is This When Ivanka Will Run Against Little Marco Rubio?
Ivanka and Jared have big plans...to move to Florida, and maybe start the tropical version of the Met Ball. “If you had $30 million to spend on 1.6 acres of empty space, where would you buy it?” Molly asks Rick. “Miami,” of course, to be somewhat near Trump’s favorite kid and son-in-law and witness when Ivanka primaries against Marco Rubio, he answers. Rick can see Trump turn against Rubio now: “I await the day that little Marco after applying his lip so firmly to Trump's, his entire critique of Donald Trump being in the form of elliptical, passive aggressive Bible verses when he wakes up and goes, wait, she filed for what? And then Trump comes out and tweets about it and says, little Marco was never with me. I put up with him because blah, blah, blah.” But when? In this episode of The New Abnormal, Rick and Molly make predictions. In the meantime, Rick makes another bleak prediction of Trump Republicans (“They are scheming and planning right now to do every possible th…
Dec 8, 2020
‘Look! Trump Didn’t Poop Himself! Yay! Good Job, Donald!’
You’d think they’d have learned by now, just a few weeks from the end of the Trump presidency. But people are still falling for the same head fakes and tricks. Take, Molly Jong-Fast says, Trump’s recent trip down to Georgia. “It was one of those many Trump's speeches where you saw on Twitter for the first 15 minutes people were like, ‘sometimes Trump can stick to the teleprompter’; ‘teleprompter Trump, bravo for just, like, reading the words.” And then, of course, things went off the rails. Like they always do. “These people always give him credit for doing things like, ‘Oh, look, he didn't poop himself! Yay! Good job, Donald!’ It is endlessly baffling to me that in the last 40-plus days of this goddamn hellish shitshow of an administration, there are still people in the media and the Republican party trying to normalize Donald Trump, trying to say, ‘Oh yeah, this is okay. This is cool. It's just a little weird. Yeah. He's not, not that far off the beat…
Dec 7, 2020
TEASER: Former Trump Org VP: He Didn’t Want Black People To Build His Skyscrapers
Donald Trump has a long list of titles he’s accused of being: a liar, scammer, and sore loser to name a few. But racist is a title he earned long before becoming a soon-to-be one-term MAGA president. Former Trump Organization employee Barbara Res says saw it at play multiple times years ago while working as a vice president for the construction arm of the company. Res has a book coming out detailing her work with Trump before he became president, but shares sobering anecdotes with co-host Molly Jong-Fast on this bonus episode of The New Abnormal. Once, Trump reportedly saw a Black construction contractor working on one of his buildings when he turned to Res and said, “I never want to see that again.” What exactly was that? According to Res, I don't ever want to see the young Black kids sitting in my lobby where million millionaires are coming into my apartment. “I don’t want people thinking Trump Towers are being built by black people.” The remarks didn’t end there, thoug…
Dec 4, 2020
Julia-Louis Dreyfus: We’ve ‘Talked About’ Making More ‘Veep’
The gods of comedy have heard your prayers—and just might make them come true. “Veep,” the greatest political comedy of all time, could return, somehow, some way, in some form, if only for a short while. “We've certainly discussed it,” star Julia-Louis Dreyfus tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “Everybody's sort of gone off now and everybody's doing other projects and so on. But I don't rule it out entirely, doing some sort of ‘Veep’-related thing. I mean, there's an area that we could jump back into. I think [showrunner] Dave [Mandel] and I have talked about it.” Mandel adds, “We left just enough sort of like there's some time jumps in there that you could definitely—” “Go back into,” Dreyfus offers. “Yeah. You could kind of color in and answer a couple of questions. So I think anything is possible,” Mandel says. Not so long ago, Mandel and Dreyfus were wondering aloud how possible it was to do political satire wit…
Dec 1, 2020
Does Trump Really Want Republicans To Win in Georgia?
Trump is headed to Georgia this week, where there’s about to be a pair of special elections to decide the balance of the senate. But don’t expect the president to really talk up his Republican, MAGA AF buds, George Conway says. “It's better for him and better for his ego if they lose.” Trump has a problem, George explains to Molly-Jong Fast and Rick Wilson on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. Well, two. First, “Republicans did better than he did” in the general election. Not only does “that undercut his claim of fraud… it means that there were significant numbers of Republicans who couldn't stomach him. And that's the reason why he lost and all these other people won.” So now Trump is hate-tweeting Georgia’s Republican governor and Republican secretary of state. And he’s doing his damnedest to tell his followers that their votes don’t count, that they’re sure to be stolen. “It was amazing to see [RNC chair] Ronna McDaniel desperately to explain to Re…
Nov 29, 2020
Alec Baldwin: Here’s Why I Won’t Run for Office (Yet)
Alec Baldwin has given serious thought about running for office. He already knows what it’s like for people to hate his guts (Like for things like playing the president on Saturday Night Live—“They say things like, ‘I don't know who we want to get rid of first Alec Baldwin or Trump.’”) But seriously, he has considered diving head-first into the political world, and there is a chance he still might, but there’s a few things he’d need to take care of first—and someone he’d have to convince. In this episode of The New Abnormal, the 30 Rock actor tells Molly-Jong about his wife’s opinion on the matter, and why he credits his dad for standing “on the right side” of politics these days, according to Molly. After all, out of all the Baldwins in the family, there is only one Trump supporter. “[My dad] was a very progressive guy. He was very, very humanistic, very, and he would always say things to me,” he said. “My father was somebody that kind of understood tha…
Nov 27, 2020
TEASER: Who Will Trump Pardon Before He Leaves Office?
The end of the Trump administration is like the end of a season finale of the most batshit Netflix show. Everyone has questions of how it will finally end, including one big one: Will Trump pardon himself before leaving office? Some theories predict VP Mike Pence could assume the presidency for just enough time to pardon Trump. But, Rick Wilson doesn’t see that happening. In this members-only bonus episode of The New Abnormal, Rick and co-host Molly Jong-Fast do a Q&A with producer Jesse Cannon to answer some of these burning questions about the Trump administration and their performance as political commentators (“I got wrong a lot,” says Molly. Rick also has three major predictions he got wrong during the election cycle.) But one thing they’re sure of, is that the chances of Pence pardoning the president are extremely unlikely. The two think Trump pardoning himself is more likely, but there’s a big caveat to that. “The essential thing of a pardon is it involves the admiss…
Nov 24, 2020
Ivanka’s BFF: Trump Gave Kids’ Friends Supermodel Nicknames
If you thought Ivanka Trump’s childhood best friend, Lysandra Ohrstrom, had enough to say about the First Daughter in her scathing Vanity Fair article, you’d be mistaken. Oh no, Lysandra isn’t finished yet. She came on the latest episode of The New Abnormal to talk about the president’s favorite kid and the offensive and crude things Ivanka and her dad would say or do when the two were growing up—and what finally made Lysandra become the “class traitor” many have been quick to call her on Twitter. “I have really been grappling with whether to do this for so long since Trump announced that he was running,” she told Molly Jong-Fast. In fact, “Ly” (as Ivanka called her) had been loyal to Ivanka over the last four years to the point where she forwarded her press requests as a heads up. But standing in line to vote early this fall, enough was enough. (“I just went home. I sat at my computer and I started writing a long essay about why her dad shouldn't be president.…
Nov 23, 2020
TEASER: Biden Doesn’t Want to Prosecute Trumpland. But His AG Still Might.
Team Biden has made his incoming style of presidency very clear: Keep the peace. Or in his aides’ words, “move the country forward.” Unfortunately, moving forward doesn’t include prosecuting Trump and his band of thieves, er, White House staffers and campaign confidants. In this bonus episode of The New Abnormal, which happened LIVE on Zoom, The Daily Beast’s DC Bureau Chief Jackie Kucinich confirms this to co-hosts Rick WIlson and Molly Jong-Fast: “Where we’re at in the process, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen.” BUT. And this is a big BUT: Biden’s Attorney General still could go after Trump, points out Beast Trumpworld Reporter Asawin “Swin” Suebsaeng (“It will be interesting to see how that particular pick moves forward.”) Speaking of “what ifs,” the quad also muse about what the political world will look like without Trump as president, and sorry to say, not too much different. “One of the worst liberal fantasies is that he’s…
Nov 20, 2020
Amy Klobuchar: Forget Trump’s Election Rants. Biden Has This
“It's so funny,” Molly Jong-Fast tells Sen. Amy Klobuchar. “There's been so much sexist talk about women [in politics] being too emotional and being too sensitive. And then we have an entire party held hostage by the president's moods.” Klobuchar laughs in response: “Exactly. I think it was John Bolton that said that we just don't have time to live through seven stages of the president's grief. That is exactly what's happening.” “Even when presidents have lost elections,” the senator adds, “they have led, they have had to deal with last-minute crises. And this guy is not doing it. I don't think we should be surprised, but the fact that he is not leading and trying to demolish our democracy at the same time and tarnish the reputation of good people like [Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency] Chris Krebs is just an unbelievable trio of evil.” But don’t worry, the senator says on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. Despite all the histrionics a…
Nov 17, 2020
My Twitter War With the Congresswoman from QAnon
Molly Jong-Fast explains to Rick Wilson why she got into a brouhaha with the Congresswoman from the First District of QAnon in the latest episode of The New Abnormal, which features presidential transition veteran Neera Tanden of The Center For American Progress and Carl Zimmer of The New York Times, who gets us up to speed on the latest vaccine breakthroughs. Molly and Congresswoman-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene, an avowed QAnon supporter, fell out on Twitter over different interpretations of government interference in a woman’s health. “I did make fun of her because she used the phrase ‘My body, my choice,’ when referring to not wanting to wear a mask, which is of course an expression that is used by the pro-choice community,” Molly said. “So, I may have suggested that she might also be pro-choice, which got her just enraged because while she won’t wear a mask, she does not want anyone to have control over their own uterus.” Rick said Greene will continu…
Nov 16, 2020
TEASER: Masha Gessen: The Problem Is Not Russian Interference. It’s That We Let It In.
President Donald Trump may be following Vladimir Putin’s Autocratic playbook closer than we all realize—and the Russian interference was just the tip of the iceberg. In this bonus members-only episode of The New Abnormal, the New Yorker staff writer and Surviving Autocracy author Masha Gessen joins co-host Molly Jong-Fast to talk about this phenomenon. They explain that leaders like Trump and Putin put a system in place to hold power, and if you’re wondering how a man like Trump could do something so seemingly elaborate, it makes sense. “The destruction they wreak is all the more effective because of the incompetence,” Gessen explains. “They thrive on instability. The more anxious people are the less likely they are to opt for change ” Biden, they say, will have to dismantle this system (though they wish the president-elect would ditch the “Build Back Better” campaign). Why? For the same reason they dislike when people solely focus on Russian interference. “We've…
Nov 13, 2020
Trump’s Election ‘Coup’ Is More Like a Fake Orgasm
Does Donald Trump even know what a coup is? Doubtful, which is one of the reasons, in this episode of The New Abnormal, that co-hosts Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast don’t believe whatever nonsense the president is pulling counts as one. That, and the fact that the military needs to support said coup and they won’t. “They may be telling him that [they are], but it is the fake orgasm of coups. They're making noises that sound real, but it's not real,” says Rick. Still, the scammer-in-chief and his GOP minions are persistent, and asking for money to help fund these state lawsuits. (“If you wrote this in a Hollywood script about a family of presidential grifters, it would be too on the nose,” adds Rick.) The Beast’s National Security reporter Spencer Ackerman makes his TNA debut to explain the lead up to Mark Esper’s departure and how the Pentagon is basically planning to f*ck Joe Biden. “I'm not the guy who does the comforting stories,” he laughs. Then, columnist and…
Nov 10, 2020
Ivanka Trump Is Never, Ever Going To Be Forgiven
She may have been hoping to spend her days jet-setting between Davos and Aspen—when she wasn’t mingling with Manhattan’s gentry. But only the super rich get those kinds of second chances. And that ain’t Ivanka. “They get forgiven because they have billions of dollars—they can float a charity. Someone like [New York Jets owner and ambassador to the UK] Woody Johnson, who's given millions and millions of dollars to Trump and who has been a real Republican piece of shit, will get forgiven because he can donate and donate, right? Someone like Ivanka, who is so clearly an eyesore—and isn't so rich—ultimately, she’s not going to get forgiven,” Molly says on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. The best Ivanka Trump can hope for, Molly Jong-Fast says, is a scuzzy reality show, like her dad. Speaking of the Trump family, Mary Trump joins the crew to discuss her uncle’s electoral loss. “It's amazing. On the one hand, losing is the thing that is the worst thing to do […
1 hr 1 min
Nov 9, 2020
Can Dems Keep It Together Long Enough to Beat McConnell?
Joe Biden is asking Americans to turn down the heat. Some of his strongest supporters are busy lighting one another on fire. Biden and Kamala Harris hadn’t even been declared the winners of the election when members of their far-flung coalition began attacking one another: Blue Dog versus Democratic Socialist, the Squad versus Abigail Spanberger and other purple-district Dems. “You would think that they would want to enjoy their victory for, like, 30 seconds. You would think that after toppling a sitting president, they would want a high five once,” Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief Noah Shachtman tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson on a special edition of The New Abnormal. Especially because there are two big run-off elections in Georgia this January—races that will determine whether Mitch McConnell runs the Senate or not. Rick, for one, smells blood: “There may be some Republicans who now look at McConnell as the Alamo,, but no one has ever like gotten up on a rainy January mor…
Nov 6, 2020
Why the Trumpy Supreme Court Will Give Him the Finger
“Ever since RBG died, I've basically spent the last six weeks in existential terror,” Elie Mystal, The Nation’s justice correspondent, tells Molly Jong-Fast. Trump appoints Amy Coney Barrett, so she could hand the election back to president Trump. But now, Mystal says on the latest edition of The New Abnormal, “I am no longer worried about these dumb lawsuits… Where we are now is the best possible position for Biden to be in order to fend off legal challenges to his emerging electoral college victory. I have extreme confidence that none of these wackadoodle, crazy lawsuits that Trump and Trump's campaign throws out there will have any relevance—even in front of Republican appointed judges and arch conservative of Supreme courts… The reason why I have such confidence is because Biden is winning. Remember in 2000, where Gore was trying to make up a gap, right? Well, the Republican courts are probably willing to allow Trump to get as many votes counted as he needs in order t…
Nov 4, 2020
‘We Won. And I Feel Like Shit’
James Carville, like the rest of us, is having some mixed emotions at the moment. After getting all kinds of polling data saying the Democrats were clean up, the truth is … well, kind of the opposite happened. The gap between expectations and reality was so big, even Joe Biden apparently being on the precipice of taking the White House seems just a little unsatisfying. “Look, this is the biggest election in my lifetime, before my lifetime. And I wake up in the morning, we won the popular vote and we're going to win the electoral college. And I feel like fucking shit,” Carville tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson on the post-election edition of The New Abnormal. “Yes, we will have competent cabinet secretaries. And yes, we will have competent ambassadors. And the trains will run on time. And that's about it, right? That's something. That's a lot more than we've got now. But it's not anything close to what we all were hopeful for.” Buck up, Rick tells Carville (and the rest o…
Nov 3, 2020
Trump Isn’t Playing 3-D Chess. He’s Eating the Checker.
Trump’s hype men like to say that he’s so smart. A tactical genius. Always 14 moves ahead of you libtards. Surely, the Trumpkins say, there’s a deep logic to the president spending the waning days of his campaign attacking America’s most respected public-health expert. Under no circumstance is Trump just blurting out a bunch of… Oh, who are we kidding. The guy has the emotional control and strategic wisdom of a toddler. “I feel like it's important to remember: He is never playing three dimensional chess. He's just eating a checker,” Molly Jong-Fast quips on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “And, and the thing is, it was not a strategic move. He's just such a baby that the crowd started chanting, ‘fire Fauci, fire Fauci,’ and he can't help himself but wanting to fill that hole, that black hole, in his heart. And so, he gives the people what they want,” political strategist Tim Miller says. Rick Wilson chortles, channeling Trump: “Before I fire Fauci, I wan…
Nov 2, 2020
TEASER: Sharon Stone Worries Trump’s COVID Vaccine Won’t Be ‘Safe’
Sharon Stone doesn’t trust Trump one bit. In this members-only episode of The New Abnormal podcast, the actress sits down with host Molly Jong-Fast to chat about abortion, the #MeToo movement, voting, and the pandemic. Growing up, Stone attributes her involvement in politics to her father. "He was really believed that people of all races, colors, creeds, gender identities should have the same rights and privileges. And it was a very, very strong attitude in our family," Stone said. The two also spoke about her thoughts on the election, and all the things she’s doing to help get out the vote. “I had the great pleasure of moderating a zoom fundraiser. I worked with a good friend of mine and we organized a grassroots voting campaign called Vote Proud to get people out to vote who are in the LGBTQ community. Anything and everything that I possibly can do to get people out to vote," she said. Stone then touches on Trump's response to the pandemic. We’ll just say this: Don’t expect…
Nov 1, 2020
TEASER: Mueller Deputy: This Is Where the Special Counsel Came Up Short
Hindsight is always 2020, and in this case, Andrew Weissman is pretty sure where Mueller and team came up short. He was part of the team that investigated Enron. He personally promoted former FBI attorney Lisa Page and served as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s deputy during the Russian collusion hearings. He wrote a book about the experience, but came on the newest members-only episode of The New Abnormal to share that insight with co-host Molly Jong-Fast. When it came down to it, “we didn't have sufficient proof that people in the Trump campaign were trained not to accept anything from foreigners,” says Weissman. Also, “I think we should have said whether we thought he obstructed justice or not. I didn't think we should have used very hard to understand double negatives.” Then there’s the four-eyed elephant in the room named Bill Barr, who Weissman says no one from his team anticipated “undermining the rule of law.” But it didn’t take them long in their investigatio…
Oct 30, 2020
Chill the Fuck Out. This Isn’t Another 2016, and Here’s Why
Molly Jong-Fast, like many of us, is nervous about the election. Sure, the polls look pretty decent for Biden; they looked good for Hillary, right? Not exactly, Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report tells Molly. In the last couple of weeks of the last campaign, there was so much attention on those freakin’ emails. “You could see the race tightening. Hillary went from up 11... and then in the very last NBC poll, she was up four points, with 16% undecided,” Walter recalls on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. This time, though, the pandemic is the focus. And Trump has basically surrendered to the virus. “Now Biden's up, nine, 10 points with very few people undecided and very few people thinking they're going to vote third party. So it's just, it's a different environment. Biden's a different kind of candidate. And Donald Trump is the president at a time when we're in the middle of a crisis that the majority of Americans don't think he's handled well.” Then! Sen. Sherrod…
1 hr 1 min
Oct 27, 2020
The Lincoln Project’s Secret War Plan—Revealed!
Rick Wilson and his crew of Republican refugees have been getting in Trump’s head practically since the day they got together. But over the weekend, the psychological combat hit a new peak, when Jared and Ivanka sent one of daddy’s lawyers after the Lincoln Project over a billboard they put in Times Square. And Rick, for one, was loving it. “A big part of our operations has been from the beginning to disrupt the leadership of the Trump campaign and to cause Donald Trump himself to poop his diaper and to cause these people to lose their minds. [Now we’ve] pinn[ed] down Jared and Ivanka Thursday and Friday of last week, and distract[ed] Donald Trump,” Rick explains to Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “So it's the eve of battle. And two of the generals of Trump's army have now been paralyzed. They have thought of nothing else for the last several days… You drag off resources, attention, time, focus from what they should be fighting and you make th…
Oct 26, 2020
TEASER: Preet Bharara: There Could Be An ‘Avalanche of Revelations' If Trump Loses
Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York, joins “The New Abnormal” host Molly Jong-Fast to chat about the last presidential debate, the story leading up to his resignation, and why there could be an "avalanche" of new revelations if President Donald Trump loses the election. Bharara said that the presidential debate was "relatively normal," but that's no thanks to Trump or his opponent Joe Biden. "The person I credit most for that as most people do is Kristen Welker," he said. Jong-Fast then reminds Bharara of one of his proudest moments from 2016: Not calling Trump back. He details the incident and why he doesn't regret his decision for a second. "It is a good thing for public servants not to so badly cling to their job… that you won't do the right thing," he said. Next, Jong-Fast and Bharara chat about the impact of the election outcome and what will happen if Trump loses. "My guess is there is going to be a cascade of people who…
Oct 23, 2020
Final Debate Just Proves Trump ‘Can Lie in Different Gears’
On a special episode of The New Abnormal responding to the final presidential debate Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson are joined by GOP political consultant Mike Madrid, Daily Beast senior editor Tim Teeman and Gary Peters, the Senator from Michigan, who is here to outline the fight against voter intimidation at the polls. Molly was aghast at Trump’s almost normal debate performance. “It’s almost worse when Trump tries to be normal than when Trump is just insane,” she said. “When he acts like a normal president… then you have constantly fact check him in a way that you don’t when he’s just huffing and puffing and screaming.” Madrid, a veteran Republican pollster now working with the Lincoln Project, said Trump’s relative calm on stage means he can’t be counted out of the race yet. “If he had just blown his top and set his hair on fire and started stomping on his feet, then we’d be like, OK, it’s done,” he said. “He can lie in different gears.”…
Oct 21, 2020
Sacha Baron Cohen on Borat, Trump and Risking His Life for Comedy
Comedy legend Sacha Baron Cohen goes deep on all of the crazy things that happened during the filming of his Showtime series ‘Who Is America?’—including truly incredible stories about his interactions with Sarah Palin, O.J. Simpson, Ben Carson and more. He also talks about interviewing Donald Trump as Ali G. and reveals some big secrets behind his classic film ‘Borat.’This episode was recorded in front live audience as part of the SAG Conversations series at the SAG-Aftra Foundation in Los Angeles on May 21, 2019.Follow @SachaBaronCohen and @mattwilstein on Twitter and @lastlaughpod on Instagram. Highlights from this episode and others at The Daily Beast. Please subscribe to ‘The Last Laugh’ podcast to hear more great interviews with comedians. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Oct 20, 2020
Does Rudy Giuliani Have an Ounce of Pride Left?
Rick Wilson spent years working for Rudy Giuliani. He used to look up to his boss, the mayor. These days, he can barely look down without spitting. “The worst possible Greek tragedy doesn't encompass the fall of Rudy, from calamity to clown show to complete moral and physical collapse,” Rick tells co-host Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “The fact that Trump views him and uses him as this hatchet man, his delivery boy for these absurd attacks… You know, there's a part of me that like, ‘Do you have no fucking pride left? You only get trotted out for the shit jobs like these. You only get brought out and hosed off once every few months when Donald Trump has to do something disgusting.’” Caroline Giuliani, Rudy’s daughter, isn’t happy with the decisions he’s made, either. That’s why she recently announced that she’s voting for Joe Biden. “I felt like I had an obligation just because it's, it's just so bad. We're in such a crisis,” she…
Oct 16, 2020
Town Hall Sh*tshow Was a Truth Window into Trump
On the night of the duelling townhalls, Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson recorded a special episode of The New Abnormal as a desperate Trump delivered a wild performance that virtually served as an ad for Joe Biden. Two guests join the show to sum up the state of American politics right now with Jay Michaelson, legal affairs columnist at The Daily Beast, Rabbi and editor at 10% Happier, on hand to run down the latest from the Amy Coney Barrett hearings. And audience favorite Hank Gilbert, who is running for the Texas first congressional district against Republican Louie Gohmert, is back to share the unprecedented election buzz he says he is seeing in Texas. Gilbert says he can’t believe it took so long but Texans have finally realized that “this narcissistic bastard” is bad for America and they’re ready to vote him out. “People are excited. I’ve never seen this type of atmosphere before,” he said. Trump seemed to be doing his best to show viewers himself that he was n…
Oct 14, 2020
Cheat Sheet Podcast from The Daily Beast 10/14/20
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Oct 13, 2020
Trump Is Polluting the Planet With a Thousand Mini-Dons
It’s bad enough that we have to deal with one Donald Trump here in the U.S. of A. What’s worse, Mehdi Hasan explains on the latest episode of The New Abnormal, is that Trump has become a template for a whole planet full of bad-faith actors and wannabe strongmen. Before he became the host of his own TV show in America, Hasan interviewed all sorts of international politicians. “What I noticed over the last few years is that they all now start talking like Trump. They all use the same verbal tics, the same ‘fake news,’ the same completely brazen lies,” Hasan tells Molly Jong-Fast. “This is not a coincidence. People around the world have said, ‘well, it worked for Donald Trump. Why can't it work for me?’ Of course, all politicians are bullshit artists. But what’s different today, Hasan adds, “is the way in which Trump and co. have turned lying into not just an art form, but an instrument of power. They don't lie just to get their way. They lie because they want to des…
Oct 12, 2020
TEASER: Val Demings Says She Has a Plan to Stop Trump’s SCOTUS Pick
Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) helped get Trump impeached, but now there's a new battle: his SCOTUS pick. She worked within the government’s Internal Affairs department and became one of the impeachment managers in Trump’s case after 27 years as an Orlando police officer. And impeached he was. So on this members-only bonus episode of The New Abnormal, co-host Molly Jong-Fast asks for her thoughts on Trump's SCOTUS appointment and how exactly Democrats and citizens alike can stop it. (Mitch McConnell is “pushing it down the throats of the American people,” she says.) Her plan? Lots of pressure. (“This is not a moment for partisan politics. And we expect our leaders, Mitch McConnell, to lead the way there. His number one responsibility is the health, safety and wellbeing of the American people. And so I am hoping that he will feel the heat, if you will, from the American people.”) The former cop also shared what the future of police departments should be, and for her, abolishment is…
Oct 9, 2020
Why Pence Is So Good at Being Evil
Author and Daily Beast Editor-at-Large Goldie Taylor is, um, not exactly Mike Pence’s biggest fan. “He does things that boil me,” she tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. Take that fake gentility of Pence’s. He’s the kind of guy who’s “always genteel when he tells you, you shouldn't be in the room with him. He's always genteel when he tells you that because of his manness, his whiteness, his superiority, that he's better than you.” Molly is right there with Goldie, saying of Pence, “he is good at being evil in a way that Trump is not.” Rick Wilson adds, “Mike Pence wasn't as shouty as Donald Trump [in this week’s debate], he was still as dickish as Donald Trump in every possible respect.” Speaking of debates, Rick sizes up Trump’s threat to skip the next one. (Bluff.) Molly muses about “Fox Business, the last bastion of the impossibly racist.” (“Imagine if Lou Dobbs gets me deported, that would be like the greatest moment of…
Oct 8, 2020
Kathy Griffin: Pence Is ‘Nothing But the Crap Under Trump’s Shoe’
Kathy Griffin joins Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson for a special episode of The New Abnormal recorded right after the vice presidential debate. The gang thought Kamala Harris was the clear winner but they couldn’t stop looking at the vice president’s eye. “The closeup shots of Mike Pence’s bleeding eyeball were like watching an eighties horror movie. I expected some sort of snake to come running out of it at any minute,” said Rick. And that was before the fly stuck to his head. “It's almost like it gets inflamed during the debate. And the fly was doing some triage,” said Griffin. Pence came into the debate needing to try and help Trump win back the women voters who have deserted him since 2016, but that was a total fail.“Maybe I'm biased because I hate Mike Pence with passion and burning fire of a thousand suns,” said Molly. “But I just saw a guy who doesn’t give a shit about women and who doesn’t respect women and who talked over [the moderator] Susan Pag…
Oct 6, 2020
Should We Replace the Trump Administration With Chimpanzees?
No, seriously. After turning the Rose Garden into a superspreader party, after lying 143 ways to Sunday about the virus and 17 more about the president’s health, maybe it’s time to let some other mammals have a shot. “I could release 50 chimpanzees in the White House and they would behave with more care,” says Rick Wilson on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. Molly Jong-Fast replies, “My favorite moment was when they”—the White House staff, not the monkeys—”said, ‘you know, he's totally fine, but we've given him this experimental drug that has only a compassionate-use approval... Being lied to about the president's health is a time-honored tradition. But this group has really done it with a kind of zeal and flare and incompetence that we have never seen before.” Speaking of those experimental drugs, Yale’s Dr. Howard Foreman breaks down all the different therapeutics the president is taking—and lays out why he thinks Trump has been sicker for longer than…
Oct 5, 2020
TEASER: Busy Phillips on Her Abortion and Embarrassing Louis Gohmert in Public
Busy Phillips had an abortion when she was a teenager. It’s been known for a while, but given the uncertainty of Roe v. Wade after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, she’s determined to not let people forget. (Kind of how she and many women like her will never forget the night Trump won the election—“I was really knocked back by Trump's win to the ground. I mean, I like to the floor, like in hysterics.”) In this new members-only bonus episode of The New Abnormal, the “Freaks and Geeks” actor tells Molly Jong-Fast how and why she transitioned from acting to activism, and why she is so passionate about standing up for reproductive rights. “I just wanted to say very simply, you know me, I had an abortion when I was 15 and the situation surrounding it is unimportant, but I deserve bodily autonomy. I deserve equality and I'm not going to be shamed for decisions that I've made about my own body and my own life based on my own beliefs,” she said. Of course, the two had t…
Oct 2, 2020
Why Trump Can't Quit His Most Awful, Most Racist Fanboys
Donald Trump is now claiming he’s not a Proud Boys stan. But let’s get real. When he was on that debate stage the other night, shouting out that racist crew? That was the true Trump. Like Rick Wilson tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal, if someone told Trump, “‘Hey, a robot Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot came back from the grave along with robot zombie Saddam, and they all formed the Undead Dictators for Trump Club, would you issue a statement?’ He would say, ‘Well, they like me. So, you know, whatever they did before in the afterlife now in their necromantic incarnation,’” that’s okay. “If they like him, he likes them. This is the simplest rule of the crazy, narcissistic, authoritarian horseshit that defines Donald Trump... He knows the Proud Boys are part of his team. They're part of his base. He likes them.” Speaking of true colors, what does it say when a president surrounds himself with men accused of abusing women? From Parscale to Rob…
Sep 30, 2020
Trump Came Across As ‘A Total Assh*le’ In The First Debate
Former Republican operative Stuart Stevens joins Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson for a special episode of The New Abnormal on the night of the utterly chaotic first presidential debate. Trump’s amped up ranting reminded everyone that he’s “a guy that you just would not want in your face for another four years,” Stevens concluded. “Trump just came across as a total asshole.” It was a night when the moderator, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, was unable to keep control. Stevens suggested giving the moderators the right to cut off the microphones of unruly candidates. “I think the moderators ought to have the rights to shock collars,” said Rick. They all agreed that this kind of Trump performance was unlikely to make inroads with the college-educated voters or the white moms he needs for a second term. “Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani did not kill it with the debate prep,” said Molly. “It was not a great debate for women tonight, but I don't think Trump really gives…
Sep 29, 2020
Trump’s America Meets All ‘Four Threats’ To Democracy
President Donald Trump isn’t a threat to American democracy on a metaphorical level. He’s a threat to the country’s entire political structure, literally, according to two academics who have studied American democracy throughout history and wrote a whole book on the topic. Dr. Robert C. Lieberman, Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University and co-author of Four Threats: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy, joined Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast on this episode of The New Abnormal to share which of the “four pillars” that help sustain democracy Trump has completely bulldozed over (hint: all of them.) According to Dr. Lieberman, that’s a big problem. “The American democratic system is supposed to keep one person or one small group from gaining all the levers of power at the same time. And that's where things have kind of fallen down,” he says. See, these threats have always crept up in our history (even Alexander Hamilton was involved in partisan ga…
Sep 28, 2020
TEASER: Is Trump or Biden More Likely to Keel Over on Debate Night?
“People are dying, tens of thousands of people are out of work, he’s embarrassing,” is not only the quote of the year from Philippe Reines but also sums up how he, Rick Wilson, Molly Jong-Fast, and Mike Madrid feel about Donald Trump’s dwindling support among his own base. To make matters worse for the president, he is set to debate Joe Biden for the first time Tuesday night, and he doesn’t have that same 2016 anger and energy he drummed up to defeat Hillary Clinton. In this new members-only bonus episode of The New Abnormal, Rick, Molly, Philippe and Mike discuss what Joe Biden should say, word for word, when he gets on that stage with Trump and the one thing that could sink the president without Joe’s help. Two words: no crowds. “That is where Trump is at his worst,” says Mike. “Without that he’s going to be like a goat in the wilderness.” There’s also the whole painting-Biden-as-senile by the Trump campaign thing, and it just won’t work, Mike says: “They…
Sep 25, 2020
It’s Time to Thank Donald Trump for His Dictator Routine
Most of us were horrified when Donald Trump hinted that he might not be willing to give up power. Rick Wilson was kind of appreciative. Trump has long flirted with the dictator thing. Now the mask is off. “I think the correct response to this is defiance,” Rick counsels on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “‘Thanks for being honest about it. And also fuck you, we're coming to vote you out of office and humiliate you.’” And while the Trumpkins are doing everything they can to undercut every ballot they don’t like, all of that election interference doesn’t matter if it’s a landslide. “If there is a massive voter turnout on November 3rd, these are still only marginal,” Rick says. Molly Jong-Fast puts it more urgently when she adds, “The only way our democracy is going to survive is if every Democrat goes out there and fucking votes.” Then! Molly talks to Danielle Moodie about the appalling results in the Breonna Taylor case. (“How much does this country e…
Sep 22, 2020
Mitch McConnell Is About to Punch America in the Penis
You know our politics are beyond fucked up when the showrunner of Veep says he can’t compete with real-life Washington. “I mean, we did a Supreme court episode. And as sort of horrible and tragic as our Veep worldview was, we have lapped it, maybe even double lapped it,” David Mandel tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “I shake my whatever to Mitch McConnell. He really has outdone himself, best comedy writer of our generation... And he's literally about to punch the country in the penis. I mean, I'm sorry. There's no other way of saying it. It's literally a dick punch.” (To which Rick quips, “that would be so on brand for 2020.”) Then! Molly and Planned Parenthood Action Fund chief Alexis McGill Johnson talk about the Supreme Court fight—and what it means for the November election. (“I feel pretty fucking galvanized,” Molly says.) Plus! Meet the new polling firm of “Rasputin, Devil, and Death Squad”! Listen to Rick…
Sep 21, 2020
TEASER: The Real Reason Trump Won’t Stop Yelling About Mail-In Voting
What you're about to hear is a teaser for our new bonus episodes we are doing for subscribers to Beast Inside, the Daily Beast's membership program. We have a very special guest with Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz who is going to be talking to us about a wide variety of subjects including Facebook and where the race stand with the senate. Again, this is for Beast Inside members only. To hear this along with the rest of our upcoming bonus episodes head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com. That's newabnormal.thedailybeast.com. Want more? Become a Beast Inside member to enjoy a limited-run series of bonus interviews from The New Abnormal. Guests include Cory Booker, Jim Acosta, and more. Head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com to join now. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Sep 18, 2020
How the Trump Campaign Lit a Billion Dollars on Fire
The Trump campaign raised more cash than just about any campaign in history—and it’s still broke, pulling TV ads in big states and slowing down key data operations. On the latest episode of The New Abnormal, Rick Wilson breaks down for Molly Jong-Fast—and the rest of us—how Team Trump managed to burn a billion bucks. First off, the Trump spent something like $400 million to raise that billi, an absolute ungodly sum, straight into the fundraisers’ pockets. So you’re down to $600 million. Then you take the Trumps’ skim off the top, call it 20%, and you’re at $480 million. Throw in some bonehead moves, like $11 million on Superbowl ads and another million on D.C. market ad buys. Layer in $20 million per month in staff costs and—well, it ain’t the first enterprise Trump has run into the ground. But that doesn’t mean you should count Team Trump out of the election. “There's nothing they won't do to hold power,” Rick says. “If Donald Trump was told tomorrow, 'you…
Sep 16, 2020
Cheat Sheet Podcast from The Daily Beast
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Sep 15, 2020
Adam Scott: The Parks & Rec Cast Has Never Gotten Too Political—Until Now
Dems say that the Russians hacked into our political system to help Trump win. Trump and associates blame former President Barack Obama for the interference. But the truth is, both sides have it wrong. Filmmaker Alex Gibney (known for documentary films like “Enron and “Taxi to the Dark Side”) has been immersed in the world of foreign hacking, troll farms, and most importantly, what happened in 2016 for his upcoming docuseries “Agents of Chaos.” And he knows the real reason that the Kremlin came after our democracy. “It wasn't a ‘flip votes in order to give Trump the election’” kind of thing, he tells Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast on this episode of The New Abnormal. It actually was all about Hillary. (“It's that kind of ruthless de-legitimizing of the rule of law and democracy that I think is ultimately the larger agenda here, both for Putin and for Trump.) Speaking of Trump and the 2020 election, Gibney says there’s definitely a lot more “scary” disinfo cam…
Sep 14, 2020
TEASER: Will The Republican Party Ever Be the Same Again?
What you're about to hear is a teaser for our new bonus episodes we are doing for subscribers to Beast Inside, the Daily Beast's membership program. We have a very special guest with Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse who is going to be talking to us about a wide variety of subjects including how dark money is affecting this country and how the GOP has become a toxic force. Want more? Become a Beast Inside member to enjoy a limited-run series of bonus interviews from The New Abnormal. Guests include Cory Booker, Jim Acosta, and more. Head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com to join now. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse thinks the biggest problem with climate change deniers is the people that line their pockets. The Rhode Island Democrat joined The New Abnormal co-host Molly Jong-Fast and producer Jesse Cannon to talk about the environment, the GOP dropping the ball, and how putting an end to secretive political cash could be the key to solving it all. “The key thing to do on the envir…
Sep 11, 2020
Has Any American Killed More Americans Than Donald Trump??
So Donald Trump copped to it. He told Bob Woodward that he knew how deadly the virus was—and downplayed it anyway, encouraging MAGA nation to act as if COVID-19 was a cheap Chinese knock-off of the flu. “It's remarkable that in these interviews, the President of the United States confessed to fucking manslaughter,” Molly Jong-Fast says on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. The lawyers might debate whether Trump has any criminal culpability. But to Rick Wilson, there’s no question about Trump’s moral responsibility. “No American has killed more of their fellow Americans in this country than Donald Trump, except for Robert E. Lee and Jefferson fucking Davis. No one has a body count to rival Trump's. He knew it. He knew it was there. He did it. He let it happen. It is the most unbelievable and horrifying outcome that we can imagine.” Molly adds, “Mike Pence was at a pro-life event the other day. And I was thinking about the irony, right? This administration has killed…
Sep 9, 2020
UNLOCKED: Trump DHS Official: Of Course There Are Racists in the Administration
As you’ve probably heard, we also run bonus episodes every Sunday that are only for Beast Inside members. As a small token of our gratitude, we’re sharing one of those bonus episodes in full with you here. If you want more bonus episodes like this, with more of the spicy interviews and blunt banter you know and love, consider joining Beast Inside. Doing so supports us, The New Abnormal, and the rest of fearless journalism from The Daily Beast. Head over to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com to become a member now – or after you listen to this amazing interview with Elizabeth Neumann. Even a former member of Trump’s Department of Homeland Security thinks he is bat-shit, and surrounded by actual racists. It would be funny if some of the stories that former DHS official Elizabeth Neumann told Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast on this episode on The New Abnormal weren’t so terrifying. She admits that she did “hold her nose” and vote for him in 2016 and really believed he would ri…
Sep 8, 2020
Who Is Trump’s Handler in Russia?
Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who helped launch the Trump-Russia investigation, says the current occupant of the Oval Office “poses the greatest counterintelligence threat of any president in modern history.” It’s not just that Trump and all of his top people have lied about their connections to Moscow, Strzok tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson in the latest episode of The New Abnormal. (Although that is super weird.) It’s that he takes all of these inexplicably pro-Kremlin positions on issues he clearly doesn’t care about. (Montenegro? Really?) Which leads Molly to wonder: If Trump is really acting like a Russian asset, who would be Trump’s handler in Moscow? “I don't think he needs one,” Strzok responds. This isn’t some old-school spy case, with dead drops and covert communications. “The best intelligence relationship… if you want them to do something is: ‘I've got you on the hook. I know you're going to do, you know what I want. And I don't ever have to tell…
Sep 7, 2020
TEASER: Lev Parnas: Trump’s Cronies Made Fun of Him Behind His Back
What you're about to hear is a teaser for our new bonus episodes we are doing for subscribers to Beast Inside, the Daily Beast's membership program. We have a very special guest with Lev Parnas a person from inside Trump and Guilliani’s inner circle. In this interview we talk through all the fuckery around Giuliani's attempts to get dirt to smear Joe Biden as well as the horrors of being inside Trump world. Again, this is for Beast Inside members only. To hear this along with the rest of our upcoming bonus episodes head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com. That's newabnormal.thedailybeast.com. Want more? Become a Beast Inside member to enjoy a limited-run series of bonus interviews from The New Abnormal. Guests include Cory Booker, Jim Acosta, and more. Head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com to join now. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Sep 4, 2020
What Will Happen to Fox News When Rupert Murdoch Dies?
Everybody has got to die sometime, even the Great and Powerful Fox News giant Rupert Murdoch. But what will happen to the empire when papa ‘Doch finally does kick the bucket? CNN’s Brian Stelter shared his theory with Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast on this episode of The New Abnormal and it’s hard not to see it as a possibility. But spoiler alert: It’s super complicated. (“There will be a battle over the future of the company because there's this trust right now. There's eight votes in the trust,” he says. “Rupert has four votes and the kids have four votes. So he wins. If, and when he dies, there will be four votes from four children,” and dun dun, dun” one of them leans more liberal.) Stelter did the work none of us wants to and wrote a whole book about Fox. He brought up a personal Molly Jong-Fast nightmare (Tucker Carlson 2024?) and the trio discussed the very obvious occurrence of the network literally controlling what the president says or does. (“Tucker will…
Sep 1, 2020
Trump Jr. Loves Boats, Hates Rhinos and Is So-So on Democracy
Ike Barinholtz—of Eastbound and Down, Suicide Squad, and Mindy Project fame—loves, and I mean LOVES, Donald Trump Jr. It was a passion that grew white hot on safari. “I went with DJ TJ, we went to beautiful Tanzania back in 2014 and it was amazing,” Ike tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. “We talked to the locals and they were really great. And then this really nice man, he was a guide. And he took us to just the most majestic group of sleeping rhinoceroses and we just blew their fucking heads off. It was beautiful.” But Ike admires one of the president’s top four smartest children for more than his guns. Ike also appreciates Don’s nuanced political views, especially when it comes to boats. “Look, everyone is born with a boat. We know that, but only people who really commit—to not just the boating lifestyle, but also the MAGA lifestyle—have earned the privilege to fuck up all of the wakes in a lake. And so once again, D…
Aug 31, 2020
TEASER: Trump DHS Official: Of Course There Are Racists in the Administration
What you're about to hear is a teaser for our new bonus episodes we are doing for subscribers to Beast Inside, the Daily Beast's membership program. We have a very special guest with Elizabeth Nuemann is a former member of Trump’s Department of Homeland Security and will be talking to us about the racism and horrors she saw inside the administration. Again, this is for Beast Inside members only. To hear this along with the rest of our upcoming bonus episodes head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com. That's newabnormal.thedailybeast.com. Want more? Become a Beast Inside member to enjoy a limited-run series of bonus interviews from The New Abnormal. Guests include Cory Booker, Jim Acosta, and more. Head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com to join now. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Aug 28, 2020
Ivanka Is an Idiot but Unequivocally the Smartest Trump
It’s the last night of the Republican National Convention and former GOP operative Tim Miller joins Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast to break down what Rick calls “four hours of sweaty Castro-esque speechmaking.” The most surreal speechmaker of all may have been Ivanka Trump. “There were a lot of lies,” says Miller. “But I thought the lie that really stood out to me was when she talked about how much he loves his grandchildren.”Molly was impressed, sort of. “I did think tonight, Ivanka is an idiot, and she is absolutely unequivocally the smartest of all of the kids.” Aside from Trump, himself, the gang agrees that Rudy Giuliani gave the most despicable speech of the night. Former Giuliani staffer, Rick, says the former Mayor of New York was kickstarting a Republican race war that will run until the election. “There's never been a more perfect exemplar of ‘everything Trump touches dies,’ because that speech tonight; it was, at one point, everything but the n-word…
Aug 27, 2020
Mary Trump on Whether ‘Despicable’ Ivanka Could Be New VP
Mary Trump, The New Abnormal’s favorite guest, is back for the third night of the Republican National Convention. Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast want to know if it’s too late for Trump to drop Mike Pence as his running mate and bring in fresh blood. “Pence is a total drip and his only value to Donald is that he sucks up to him,” says Mary. “Do we seriously think that Mike Pence could not be convinced to step down?” Rick admits it would be incredibly tough to bring in a new vice presidential candidate at this late stage, but can see why Trump would do it. “It's a difficult enterprise. Although, I think Donald would be tempted don't you, Mary? Because it’s like a reality TV play. It’ll be dramatic. The ratings will be yuge.” Molly was taken back by the sheer scale of dishonesty at the convention tonight. “Those were C-PAC-level lies, not RNC-level lies,” she says. Rick suggested Richard Grenell, who was briefly Acting Director of National Intelligence, was maki…
Aug 26, 2020
Why Are These Crazy People at The RNC Saying What They’re Saying?
Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum joined Molly-Jong Fast and Rick Wilson on a special edition of The New Abnormal for the second night of the Republican National Convention and he just couldn’t work out what the Hell the GOP thought they were doing? Stephen Harper, the former prime minister of Canada, used to have a sign up on all four walls of his campaign war room, Frum explains: “And the sign said, ‘Why are you saying this?’” While the Democrats realized they needed to create lots of short video segments that would be shared online, Frum compares the RNC disaster as a low-rent version of the Tucker Carlson show on Fox News. “He's a professionally competent white supremacist with a volume controls on the input device that matches the volume output,” he says. Molly was also unimpressed by Melania’s “dictator chic” and her very long speech. “In the end she was just like this weird alien trying to mimic a human,” she says. Amid the cavalcade of n…
Aug 25, 2020
White House Insider: Trump Wanted to 'Maim' Immigrants
It’s the first night of the Republican National Convention and Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast are joined by Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security, who shares eye-watering tales of what Trump is really like when the cameras are switched off. You thought what happened on screen on night one of the convention was crazy? It’s nothing compared to Trump behind the scenes, where national security officials couldn’t get through a meeting “without him doing 20 tangents, becoming irascible, turning red in the face, demanding a diet Coke, spewing spit,” Taylor explained. “Literally out of goddamn nowhere, he'd be like, ‘You know, who’s just my favorite guy? The MyPillow guy. Do any of you have those pillows?’ When it came to the issue of the border wall, Trump would be dreaming up “sickening” medieval plots “to pierce the flesh” of migrants, rip all the families apart, “maim,” and gas them. “This was a man with no humanity…
Aug 24, 2020
TEASER: Trump Is Pushing Even the Quietest Celebs to Speak Out
What you're about to hear is a teaser for our new bonus episodes we are doing for subscribers to Beast Inside, the Daily Beast's membership program. Actor, comedian and activist Billy Eichner totally gets why Taylor Swift took so long to get publicly political. In this bonus episode of The New Abnormal, the “Billy on the Street” star explains why celebrities may take a long time to speak up—and how Trump is changing that. “It's easy to sit back from a distance and say like, ‘why doesn't so-and-so get more political.’ And I definitely feel that way sometimes, but the few times I've had like internet backlash for something or, you know, people being angry at something, I can hold my own. And it doesn't, like, ruin my life at all,” he explained. “I think Trump pushed us to a place” where celebs who were previously silent on major issues now feel compelled to speak up. That said, he is just “sick of getting angry on Twitter.” Eichner also spoke about the ways he’s t…
Aug 21, 2020
The Fall of Steve Bannon, the Gristle Icarus
On the final night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson team up with The Daily Beast’s senior White House correspondent Asawin Suebsaeng, who thinks this week’s online convention felt like the best PBS telethon since they threatened to publicly execute Elmo. Joe Biden gives his big headline speech and sounds suspiciously like a U.S. president. “It blew up the bullshit trope from the Republican party and from the Trump campaign, that Biden is some doddering senile old man… he came out and he tore the goddamn bark off Donald Trump,” says Rick, who also had praise for an old adversary. “Michael Bloomberg went out there and just stuck a goddamn shiv in, Donald Trump. It was some sweetness.” The team debated whether progressives in the Democratic party should fight harder to drag Biden to the Left, but they were united in their glee over the arrest of Steve Bannon.Molly describes it as “a moment I have long dreamed of.” Rick say…
Aug 20, 2020
Rockstar Obama Sure as Hell Triggered Trump
It’s night three of the Democratic National Convention and The New Abnormal team are getting a little punchy. Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson are joined by Hillary Clinton’s former senior advisor Phillipe Reines and it’s a barnburner.There were always going to be two gigantic rockstar performances from Barack Obama and Kamala Harris tonight that were going to trigger President Trump—"and sure as hell, they did!” said Rick. “You could disagree with Barack Obama about every policy thing under the sun, but you could always remember that the guy was a spectacular speaker and communicator, and he brought that shit tonight. I mean, he peeled the paint off the damn walls without raising his voice.”Reines nailed Trump’s fury at Obama. “He brings something to the table that really no one else in the world does, which is he can't be called a loser... He was elected president twice. He got more votes twice. I think there's an intimidation there.”Molly has warm words for Hillar…
Aug 19, 2020
Why Mueller Dropped the Ball. Was He Corrupt or Incompetent?
Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson were up late to fight crime after a “seamless” night two of the Democratic National Convention. Former Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell joined a special edition of The New Abnormal which asked—after the publication of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s final report on Russian electoral interference—what the Hell happened with Robert Mueller? Molly’s interpretation of the 1,000 page report was pretty clear: “It seemed like a lot of shoes dropped in that the Trump campaign was giving clues to Roger Stone, which got passed to Julian Assange to influence the 2016 election. But it seems like Mueller dropped the ball on this… I’m no expert, but it, it sort of looks like collusion.” “Is Mueller incompetent? is Mueller corrupt? What is happening with him?” she asked. Rick, a former Republican insider, suggested that the failure of the Mueller report to nail the Trump campaign came down to Mueller’s te…
Aug 18, 2020
What Biden, Harris, and the Dems Need to Do Next
Night one of the Democratic National Convention is barely done. And Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson are already previewing nights two, three, and four on a special edition of The New Abnormal … with a little help from James Carville, the legendary political strategist. The thing to watch, he says? How much Joe Biden and Kamala Harris make this “about Trump and themselves, and how much of it is about voters. And the ratio that’s about voters should be at least two thirds,” Carville says. “The great mistake of 2016 was that Trump would be so unacceptable that people wouldn't have a place to go.” So yeah, even though the first part of the convention’s first night was awkward and telethon-y, at least it kept the focus where it needed to be: on real voters, and their real struggles. Rick nods, “In some ways I think there's an appeal to that. Ordinary people will watch that performance, and say, ‘Hey, you know, they're doing the best they can. They're struggling through thi…
Aug 17, 2020
TEASER: What the Fuck is Happening with the Mail?
What you're about to hear is a teaser for our new bonus episodes we are doing for subscribers to Beast Inside, the Daily Beast's membership program. We have a very special guest with Gary Peters Sr. who is the junior United States Senator from Michigan and hes going to talk to us about the fuckery with the postal service as well as why Mitch McConnel is holding up the COVID aid. And the other voice you will be hearing in this interview is our producer Jesse Cannon Again, this is for Beast Inside members only. To hear this along with the rest of our upcoming bonus episodes head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Aug 14, 2020
Blame Fox News For the Rise of QAnon
It’s the “secret sauce” of Fox News: “tell people who feel socially inferior that you're really the smart one. You're really informed, you know the real secrets about what's really going on,” explains Rick Wilson on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. For 20 years, Fox has been force-feeding this sauce to its listeners, saying “that your life would be perfect if it wasn't for that George Soros, your life would be perfect if it wasn't for ANTIFA. They prep these people's minds to reject empirical truth all the time.” And finally, you have them believing in lizard people. In satanic pedophile rings. In QAnon. But maybe, Molly Jong-Fast offers, the QAnon takeover of the Republican party isn’t so bad. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the conspiratorial congressional nominee? Maybe “she and Devin Nunes could someday be on a reality show where they've run away from their spouses. And they're living in a bunker in South Dakota. It's called ‘My Dumb Congressmen.’” Then! Rep.…
Aug 11, 2020
Donald Trump Actually Did Us All One Big Favor
Kurt Andersen has been tooling on Donald Trump for decades—the Spy magazine co-founder once even tricked the Donald into cashing a check for 17 cents. But, Andersen tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson, Trump did us all a favor. He showed America just how rigged our system is in favor of the ultra-rich. “His final ad [of the 2016 campaign] was all ‘Wall Street has taken all of your wealth and ruined the working class. And we must defeat these people of whom my opponent is a puppet,’” Anderson recounts on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “Well, yeah, you had a point. But you didn't actually govern at all on that basis. So maybe, maybe he's sort of put that critique of the system on the table”—especially for Republicans who couldn’t take in that kind of message from someone left-of-center. Rick, the GOP consultant, says it’s time for Republicans to realize that “the party of free markets is full of shit because it [isn’t] about free markets. It’s about g…
Aug 10, 2020
TEASER: Jim Acosta: CNN Wanted Me to Have Bodyguards at Trump Rally
What you're about to hear is a teaser for our new bonus episodes we are doing for subscribers to Beast Inside, the Daily Beast's membership program. We have a very special guest with CNN Chief WH Correspondent Jim Acosta who tells us about Trump’s inner circle—and the dangers of calling out this president. Again, this is for Beast Inside members only. To hear this along with the rest of our upcoming bonus episodes head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Aug 7, 2020
The Yachts, the Private Jets, the Safaris: NRA Grift Exposed
National Rifle Association boss Wayne LaPierre rails against the elites trying to take real Americans’ guns Meanwhile, the NRA is taking gun-owners donations—to fund LaPierre’s ultra-lux lifestyle. That’s the crux of New York Attorney General Tish James’ landmark lawsuit against the NRA. “And it looks like they're in a ton of trouble,” The Beast’s Harry Siegel tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “Tish has the receipts”—from the 107-foot yachts to the complimentary safaris to the private charters to the gazillion-dollar wardrobe. Then! Rebekah Jones, the former Florida state government data geek and whistleblower, talks about how she was pushed to juke the COVID stats by Ron DeSantis’ cronies. “We changed how we count cases. We changed the criteria itself. So pneumonia was originally one of the surveillance criteria—we had ER, data for pneumonia, influenza, and COVID-like illness. And one of the first things they d…
Aug 6, 2020
TEASER: Why Cory Booker Won't Punch Trump in the Face
What you're about to hear is a teaser for our new bonus episodes we are doing for subscribers to Beast Inside, the Daily Beast's membership program. To start things off we have a very special guest with the one and only Sen. Corey Booker, who talks about everything from his relationship to Rosario Dawson to whether he'd punch Donald Trump in the face. Again, this is for Beast Inside members only. To hear this along with the rest of our upcoming bonus episodes head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Aug 4, 2020
Trump Has Us on the Brink of a Social Civil War
There’s two things that Rick Wilson loves the most in this world and that’s food and politics. On this episode of The New Abnormal, Taste the Nation host Padma Lakshmi joins Rick and co-host Molly Jong-Fast to chat about her experiences foraging onions in the desert, hanging out with Thai women in Las Vegas and gaining 20 pounds, on purpose. Oh, and how immigrants and Native Americans have way more MAGA clout than Trump ever will. “It should be mandatory that [politicians] go and embed themselves for a week,” she says. Then, MSNBC’s Joy Reid joined to discuss her history-making career move, the impending “social civil war” and Trump’s ability to praise a drug that could kill people. (“It's like a cult leader in a way,” she says.) She and Rick also walk Molly through a typical day in Florida (most notably the bath salt, face-eating zombie incident—not to be confused with the also-mentioned “Zombie bin Laden.”) Plus! The duo opine about Trump’s failing ad stra…
Jul 31, 2020
Tammy Duckworth: Trying to Teach Kids During COVID Is FUBAR
Sen. Tammy Duckworth may be on Biden’s VP shortlist. But when it comes to childcare during the pandemic, she’s just as confused as the rest of us. “So my choice is five hours of homeschooling every day for my daughter and failing her, because I'm not a trained educator, or sending her to a school where she could very likely get this virus or bring it home and get her two year old sister sick or my 79 year old mom, who lives with us,” Duckworth tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “That's the problem: impossible choices.” Duckworth also opens up about just how hostile the Senate was to working moms until a hot second ago. One particularly ridiculous question stands out. “They want to know if you're gonna breastfeed on the floor. [And I said,] ‘I’m not exactly planning on whipping one out in front of them. But if the baby is hungry, I'll feed her.’” Then! Princeton’s Sam Wang talks about the out-of-the-way campaigns that…
Jul 28, 2020
‘Pretty Close to a Hundred’ New Epstein Accusers
Julie K. Brown, the Miami Herald reporter who helped expose Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes, joins The New Abnormal to talk about what’s next now that Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s right hand, is behind bars. “There's a lot of women right now that are coming forward a lot and they're talking to prosecutors,” she tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson. “There's pretty close to a hundred, from what I hear.” Meanwhile, a judge is close to unsealing a giant pile of documents related to Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking ring. “I hope somebody is standing in Maxwell’s cell when this happens,” Brown says. A year ago, she notes, when just some of those documents were unsealed, and a few big names were found to be in those papers, “Epstein was dead the next day.” Plus! Why Biden needs to be up 15 points in Florida before you can rest easy; how “Jared is slipperier than an eel in a barrel of KY”; why we’re now in the “most dangerous hundred days in American history”; w…
Jul 24, 2020
Trump Has a Nuclear Arsenal—and Can Remember 5 Whole Words
Feeling comfy? Secure? Relatively unbothered by the state of the world? Then consider this: The President of the United States, who holds at his fingertips a devastating nuclear arsenal, also is bragging on television about acing a dementia test that involves remembering five whole words and counting backwards by seven. It’s one of a number of pleasant scenarios contemplated by Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “What I am so impressed with in this administration is how dumb everyone is,” Molly quips. She and Rick muse about which rich scumbags will get shout-outs in those sealed Ghislaine Maxwell court documents. Prof. Eddie Glaude, the Chairman of Princeton’s African American Studies Department, ponders whether Trump is the worst president in 150 years—or the worst one ever. The Beast’s Michael Tomasky wonders which foreign government will attack our election this time. And Molly has a few words for all the media geniuses who think…
Jul 21, 2020
Mary Trump: What Really Shocked Me About My Family & the KKK
Mary Trump joins The New Abnormal with a giant barrel of tea to spill about her family. Her uncle Donald? “He was protected at every turn from his incompetence, from his total inability to handle money. The media, the banks kept propping him up and protecting him and letting him fail up consistently and constantly—until the Republican party started doing the same thing.” Her grandfather Fred, the family patriarch who got arrested by a Ku Klux Klan rally? “Honestly, that story surprised me. Not because my grandfather wasn’t antisemitic, he was, but because he would spend time doing something other than making money. I'm totally serious. Like he went to a Klan rally with what free time? He's perfectly happy being racist and anti-semitic in his own house and his place of work.” And on the pathologies that drove them all, Mary dives deep. “Just like being kind was weak, or being wrong was weak, so is needing to sleep like a normal human being. I think that's why Donald doesn'…
Jul 17, 2020
Donald Trump Is America’s Abusive Dad
Legendary filmmaker Judd Apatow really liked Donald Trump—when he was on TV. “I watched [the Apprentice] all the time because I found it so hilarious that all of his opinions were so wrong and everyone he would fire was always for the wrong reason. It was so terrible and crazy that it was fun to watch,” Apatow tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. These days, Apatow isn’t laughing. “When you're in show business, you meet people like Trump, you meet people who literally don't exist in the same dimension as you; they're just gone. And that's what he's like. He's like Cosby in a way, these people who are completely deluded and they've been famous and all of their wishes are attended to — they lose complete touch with reality,” Apatow adds, calling Trump the “abusive parent to the country.” Then! Washington Post media editor Margaret Sullivan weighs in on the Bari Weiss controversy. “If Bari was truly bullied at work, then that…
Jul 14, 2020
Joe Biden is so far ahead of Trump, James Carville jokes on the latest episode of The New Abnormal, that the former Vice President could win, even with Gov. Youbetcha by his side. The strategy is simple, Carville tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson: “Attack, attack, attack. Attack from the right, attack from the left, attack from the center, attack everywhere. People say, ‘Well, you know, you got 89% of Republicans will be for [Trump] no matter what.’ Yeah. Maybe so. But watch the number of people that identify as Republicans go down. 89% of 34 is a lot different than 89% of 30.” Then! The Beast’s Erin Banco describes the Trump administration’s “parallel conversations” on the escalating COVID-19 threat. There’s the one the professionals are leading, Banco explains, and “those tend to be pretty serious and Dr. Birx is not shy about issuing warnings to the nation's governors.” Meanwhile, “you have president Trump seemingly either unaware of the conversations tha…
Jul 10, 2020
How Silicon Valley’s Sociopath CEOs Are Just Like Trump
Recode co-founder Kara Swisher has this thing she likes to call the “prick to productivity ratio”—how big of a jerk a particular executive is, verus how much he gets done. And these days, both in Silicon Valley and in Washington, that ratio has gone all wrong. “Taking advantage, just not caring about the consequences—that's being played out in Silicon Valley over and over again. So don't be surprised at what Trump is doing. Silicon Valley sets the tone,” Swisher tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson in the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “Their lack of self reflection is so vast that I always say they can't see themselves in mirrors, like they're vampires.” Then! Separated author Jacob Soboroff talks about exposing the Trump administration’s child detention facilities. “But when you had the opportunity to see what these 5,400 families go through,” he tells Rick and Molly, “it's impossible to understand this for anything other than a government-sanctioned tor…
Jul 7, 2020
The Trump Family’s Civil War Could Blow Us All Up
Mary Trump legal battles against her uncle might seem like a fun little political soap opera. It’s way more than that, Mary’s lawyer Ted Boutrous explains on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. The attempt to stop her tell-all book before publication—“I think it's really an effort to intimidate people from speaking, to intimidate the press. But also it's a political tool. It's a fundraising tool. It seems to excite people who support president Trump,” he tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson. Then! The Beast’s Kate Briquelet—who has broken some of the biggest stories about Jeffrey Epstein’s cabal—joins the dynamic duo to talk about the arrest of Epstein ‘madam’ Ghislaine Maxwell. “There are power players in New York,” she explains “who are very nervous that Ghislaine is going to spill the secrets.” Plus! Does Trump know how to listen to a podcast? Could Kanye’s ‘run for president’ could really, really backfire? How is Ye like Vermin Supreme? And…
Jul 3, 2020
Ben Stiller Dishes on Trump’s Obsession with Zoolander
Ben Stiller had no idea he was casting a future president when he grabbed Donald Trump and Melania for a quick cameo in Zoolander. But Trump apparently never forgot about it, Stiller tells Molly Jong-Fast, Rick Wilson, and Matt Wilstein in the latest episode of The New Abnormal. Stiller recalls how Trump even derailed an interview during the last campaign to talk about Zoolander 2. Trump “started going into detail about, you know… in the culture, people don't care about male models anymore,” Stiller recalls. Not that Stiller is particularly gratified by the attention. “Everybody has their own theories about whether or not [Trump] still wants to be president, but I think it's gone so far now. People's lives are being affected. And really, to me, it's not funny anymore. It's kinda just like, it's a little bit insane,” Stiller says. The actor/writer/director/comedian also discusses his work as an advocate for refugees, what it’s like to play Michael Cohen on SNL, what he wants…
Jun 30, 2020
Did Trump Blow Off Some Sketchy Intel? Or Commit Treason?
Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast have some thoughts on the matter in the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “It's not just treason. It's historic treason,” Rick says about the revelation that the Russians offered bounties on U.S. soldiers—and Trump kissed up to the Kremlin anyway. “This is a guy who was already going down into the dustbin of history. And now there's going to be a line at his grave where they're going to have to throw cat litter down. Because people are gonna piss on it for all time.” Plus! Democratic Rep. Connor Lamb talks up his favorite Republican. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison gets real about police unions. (“I'm reluctant to even call it a police union because a union is an honorable, wonderful institution,” he says. “These institutions are not like that at all. The teacher's union does not deliberately harm the kids. Nurses don't hurt the patients. UAW doesn't break the cars.”) And Molly dishes on White House press secretary Kayleigh M…
Jun 26, 2020
Is Agent Margaritaville On MySpace For Fascists?
Digital soldiers. Agenta Margaritaville. Laura Ingraham. What do all these things have in common? They’re all part of the world of QAnon, where up is down, down is right and the end goal is seeing anyone who Tweets negatively about Trump get shipped off to Guantanamo Bay. In Episode 20 of The New Abnormal, Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast talk to Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer about the craziest Q conspiracies (“The first level of Q Anon is sort of a step beyond Sean Hannity.”) Then the two chat with #Resistance superstar Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) about Trump’s racist “Kung Flu” comment, Devin Nunes’ reading level and why Congress won’t just impeach Bill Barr. (“What he's done ranges from the unethical to the potentially criminal.”) Plus! Rick and Molly discuss the MySpace for fascists, Louie Gohmert and how Florida is “killing it,” literally. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Jun 23, 2020
Does Henry Winkler Have an Antifa Membership?
The Henry Winkler Antifa rumors can finally be put to rest. In episode 19 of The New Abnormal, the Barry actor—who went viral this weekend for proving that he, too, can drink a glass of water with one hand—addresses whether or not he is a card-carrying Antifa member. He also tells hosts Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast his thoughts on the president’s rally (“We are so not in control of the country we think we live free in.”) and what aliens and government have in common. The duo also chat with Andy Slavitt, President Obama’s former head of healthcare, who explains why other countries are running circles around the U.S.’s COVID numbers and what will happen with the virus this fall. Plus, Molly has a younger guest explain the K-pop fandom and Rick shares a special message for Brad Parscale, the website guy. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Jun 19, 2020
What the Hell Is John Bolton?
Molly Jong-Fast, like the rest of us, is rather confused. On the latest episode of The New Abnormal, Rick Wilson and Molly try to puzzle through the mystery of Donald Trump’s mustachioed menace. Plus! The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Cartwright tells the juicy backstory behind his big scoop that Mary Trump has written a tell-all book about her fucked-up family. The Beast’s Nicole Phillip talks about how the United States tried to disappear the Tulsa Race Massacre. (“American history, the sins of America? When it comes to race, when it comes to slavery, when it comes to native Americans, it's sanitized. It's whitewashed. It's covered up,” she says.) And be sure to listen to the end, or you’ll miss a very MAGA guest appearance by the Dragon of Budapest himself. No, really. Rick & Molly’s Cameo greeting from Dr. Sebastian Gorka https://www.cameo.com/v/pWetTAiUS See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Jun 16, 2020
Can You Force Fox News To Be Less Racist?
There’s so much packed into the latest edition of The New Abnormal, it’s hard to know where to start. Let’s see… Molly Jong-Fast heralds the return of Matt “Hot Tub Crime Machine” Whittaker, the one-time Attorney General. (He mixes “a toxic cocktail of macho mega swagger, the angry cant of the Christian [ultra-conservative], and the whining of a petulant child.”) Rick Wilson wonders whether Trumpists could “solve a complex puzzle, like stacking blocks in order,” and ponders the contents of Ted Cruz’s erotic fan fiction. Plus! Former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu goes deep on his long fight to take down confederate monuments. And Sleeping Giants’ Matt Rivitz talks about what it’s like to take on Brietbart, Bill O’Reilly, and Tucker Carlson — and win. He’s been pushing advertisers to drop the race-baiters, and they’ve responded. “This is like the Super Bowl... It's like, okay, brands finally get it. What they choose to support with their media dolla…
Jun 14, 2020
BONUS - Rep. Katie Porter on How Working Moms Are Wiping Congress' Ass
Surprise! As a bonus for our listeners, we have released an interview with Congresswoman Katie Porter who represents California’s 45th District. She tells us about how single mothers are changing congress, why her workplace is often dysfunctional and the resolution she’s supporting to demilitarize the police. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Jun 12, 2020
Will Bill Barr Go to Jail When This Is All Done?
Attorney General Bill Barr was in on Trump’s scheme to bribe and lean on Ukraine’s president. He let his boss’ criminal cronies off the hook. But the worst part, former DOJ prosecutor Glenn Kirschner says, was Barr’s crackdown in Lafayette Square on people just expressing their First Amendment rights. And if Barr isn’t under criminal investigation in 2021 for that, he tells Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast, then “shame on us.” It’s part of a jam-packed episode of The New Abnormal. Rachel Bitecofer of the Niskansen Center for Public Policy, joined Molly and Rick to present her forecast for this November. Of course, the dynamic duo tackle the ultimate fuckery that is the Donald Trump White House, including the president “playing footsie” with Confederate flag truthers, his Twitter-gasm over his Tulsa rally and how the “Bitch Boy” and his minions did the seeming impossible: became even more racist. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Jun 9, 2020
DC Mayor: We Had to ‘Defend Our Borders’ from Trump’s Troops
Trump sent in goons from the Bureau of Prisons, and National Guardsmen from as far away from Utah to take over her town. On the 15th episode of The New Abnormal, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson what it was like to be under siege from the President of the United States — and how she tried to resist. “We have spent the last week trying to defend our borders, defend our autonomy, and make sure protesters could be in the city peacefully,” Bowser says. Plus! Bowser schools Trump, kindergarten-style; Molly talks about the GOP’s ability to “seize defeat out of the jaws of defeat”; Trump’s “just the tip” excuse; deep state ninjas; and Rick Wilson’s secret past as a NASCAR driver. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Jun 5, 2020
Are We All Trapped in Tom Cotton’s Authoritarian Wet Dream?
Lindsey Graham’s new, Trumpy bouffant. Bill Barr’s little authoritarians’ playbook. Tom Cotton’s statist masturbation.They’re all featured on a very not-safe-for-Democracy edition of The New Abnormal. Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson talk to The Daily Beast’s Pilar Melendez how rough the NYPD is being on New York’s streets, and to Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, about peaceful protesters getting teargassed there. Plus! Our dynamic duo ask the important questions, like: Will Cotton’s pseudo-strongman schtick make him a new GOP king? And who is Meghan McCain’s father, anyway? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Jun 2, 2020
Justice Is Not White Folks’ Possession to Give
You might look at the way some of these cops are going after nonviolent protesters, and think it’s a one-of-a-kind horror. Princeton Prof. Eddie Glaude has a different perspective. “I was looking at the aggression, I was looking at the contempt and the insult, and the first thing I thought was, ‘this is the way in which black communities are often policed.’” It’s part of an episode of THE NEW ABNORMAL filled with hard truths. Rick Wilson dishes on the “GOP cop cult,” and confronts some of the ugly bargains he cut in his past life as a Republican consultant. Molly Jong-Fast talks about Antifa as the Trumpists’ new caravan. Then she asks Prof. Glaude if he’s got a message for white liberals in this moment. “It's not about white liberals giving black folks something,” he answers. “It's not about a kind of charitable gesture, right? Justice is not white folks’ possession to give to anyone.” See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
May 29, 2020
How To Screw Up a Vice Presidential Pick
Steve Schmidt and Philippe Reines worked on the McCain/Palin and Clinton/Kaine campaigns. So they know a little something about sub-stellar Veep picks. On the latest edition of THE NEW ABNORMAL, Schmidt and Reines talk to Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson about what went wrong, and how Biden can avoid the same fate. (“In a perfect world, he would pick Bernie Sanders,” says Reines, before clarifying greatly.) Plus! Our dynamic duo asks the important questions, like: What exactly is wrong with Mark Zuckerberg? And will the caregivers at the White House assisted living facility try to give Donnie the pudding he likes? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
May 26, 2020
Julian Castro on Why Everyone Hates Ted Cruz
On the latest episode of THE NEW ABNORMAL, the former presidential candidate talks to Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson about Trump’s chances to take Texas in 2020 (not great!), Biden’s “you ain’t black” comment (also not great!), and sycophantic Senator Ted Cruz (even worse!). Then! Rick and Molly discuss Trump’s amazing workout regimen, the chlamydia vs. COVID smackdown in the Ozarks, and golf’s new turn as the dumbest of MAGA signifiers. Plus! Welcome to the resistance, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions and Ann Coulter! (J/K, you’re both awful racists.) See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
May 22, 2020
Eric Swalwell: 'We Aren't Being Told the Truth About Russia'
Rep. Eric Swalwell brought the real talk on the latest episode of THE NEW ABNORMAL. He told Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson that he’s “afraid” America’s intelligence agencies aren’t telling “the truth about what Russia is doing” to sabotage election 2020. Swalwell offered BS-free assessments of the Mueller probe — “Trump got his way and we lost" — and impeachment, telling Rick and Molly, “I don't think we would have moved forward with impeachment if we were in a pandemic.” Swalwell also came clean about his quarantine beard, his blink-and-you’d-miss-it presidential run, and the “ankle monitor [Donald Trump needs.” Plus! Rick and Molly dish on the Florida’s dumbest election, the Trump campaign’s cannibal clan, and the “competition of the dumbfuck supervillians.” See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
May 19, 2020
Why Michelle Malkin Is Den Mother of the Alt-Right Dipsh*ts
On the latest episode of THE NEW ABNORMAL, Rick Wilson explains why he’s avoiding sushi, tea, helicopters, and, perhaps, knives. Molly Jong-Fast wonders what is going on in Michelle Malkin’s mind, and unexpectedly wins an alt-right prize. And our dynamic duo talk to Daily Beast reporter Olivia Messer about her new story involving Ashton Kutcher, Joe Exotic, and some rather suspect coronavirus tests. Plus! Molly and Rick debut two new features: Breaking Dumb, and Trump Those Fuckbros (or is it the other way around?). See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
May 15, 2020
Adam Schiff on Bob Mueller’s Biggest Mistake
On the eighth episode of THE NEW ABNORMAL, the House Intelligence Committee Chairman talks about the moment Devin Nunes went off the rails, Paul Manafort’s suspiciously-timed release, and the serious strategic error Robert Mueller made during the Russia probe. Plus! Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson discuss “boob bait for the conspiracy-addled,” “the saddest, dumbest moment in the Trump presidency,” and whether leeches, crystals, or hydroxychloroquine work best on COVID-19. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
May 12, 2020
How George Conway Moved Into Donald Trump’s Head
In this episode of THE NEW ABNORMAL, Republican lawyer George Conway reveals to Rick Wilson and Molly-Jong-Fast what irks him the most about Donald Trump, and how he’s managed to troll the president so hard, so well. (Spoiler alert: Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale accidentally gave Conway the idea.) Plus! Rick and Molly discuss comic opera dictatorships, Facebook’s about-face, and the man who chews Trump’s food. The meme referred to in our George Conway interview: https://twitter.com/skolanach/status/1259511266000830465 See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
May 8, 2020
Gretchen Whitmer’s Chilling Call With the White House
On the latest episode of THE NEW ABNORMAL, Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast talk with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer about the protesters who stormed the Michigan capitol, the sheriffs who refuse to enforce the lockdown, and a terrifying call she had with the White House. Plus! Rick and Molly chat about the ad that drove the president batty, the Trumpkins who want to wrestle Rick, and the former MAGAites finally departing the S.S. Dumbf*ck. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
May 5, 2020
Jared Kushner, Our First Android Vampire President
In the latest episode of The New Abnormal, Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast discuss Baby Trump’s high chair, his low-rent supervillain of a Treasury Secretary, and whether Jared the K is undead or just a robot. Rick reveals that some of Trump’s own campaign staffers are afraid to give the boss real polling numbers. Plus! Philippe Reines joins our dynamic duo to discuss his week-long MAGA media diet, and how it feels to return to the land of the libtard cucks. Tune in! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
May 3, 2020
BONUS - Extended Interview With The Atlantic's James Hamblin
Surprise! As a bonus for our listeners, we have released an extended interview culled from our second episode of The New Abnormal with Dr. James Hamblin. Dr. Hamblin goes further in-depth on the COVID-19 crisis and the effects it can have on the body. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
May 1, 2020
What’s Next for Andrew Yang — And How to Stop the Trumpy Apocalypse
In this episode of The New Abnormal, Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast talk to Andrew Yang about whether he’d take a gig in a Biden administration, and why he’s talking to Mike Bloomberg’s team (hint: there might, might, just might be a run for mayor of New York in his future). Then the trio rap about what it’s like to try to raise $100 million for 100,000 food stamp recipients in 100 days, and how totally weird it is to meet a guy with a tattoo of your face on his calf. Plus! Rick explains how “the zombie apocalypse will be largely indistinguishable from a Trump rally.” See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Apr 28, 2020
The White House's Racist Kool-Aid Man Episode
In the third episode of The New Abnormal, Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast discuss goat blood, Donald Trump's 4th Filet o' Fish of the day, and how to put the fancy in sycophancy. Then the dynamic duo talk to Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng, The Daily Beast's Trumpland reporters, about whether Jared Kushner has any real responsibilities — or is just padding out his college application. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Apr 24, 2020
Mitch Antoinette and the Goldfish Brain
In the second episode of The New Abnormal, Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast contemplate Mitch McConnell in a bodice, Judge Jeanine Pirro in a lovely Korean pink hanbok, and George governor Brian Kemp with a modicum of gray matter. Then the duo talks to Dr. James Hamblin about how Trump's chaotic approach to COVID is turning traditional epidemiology on its head. Plus: Rick eyes an incoming tornado. "We should hurry because my lights are flickering and the wind is blowing like insanity out there." See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Apr 21, 2020
Dope Fiend For The Dow Jones
On the first episode of The New Abnormal by The Daily Beast, Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast talk Trump, Tiger King, and why asking grandma to die for the sake of the stock market may not be the wisest political move. Then Rick and Molly chat with The Beast's Will Sommer, who's been talking with lots of anti-lockdown protesters. Weirdly, they're obsessed with Bill Gates ... and motorboats?! Take a listen as they try to make sense of this world gone haywire. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Apr 15, 2020
The New Abnormal Trailer
Blunt truth and dark humor for a world in chaos. A Daily Beast podcast hosted by Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast. Tune in every Tuesday and Friday. Subscribe today on your favorite podcast app! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.