EP 487: The Today Show's Al Roker

Al Roker returns to the show to tell stories from The Today Show and his early days in local television including how he annoyed his way into his first gig as a TV weatherman, some of his worst on-air flubs, and what he loved about doing those quirky, feel-good segments at the end of your evening news. He says every local news team has there own version of Ron Burgundy, recalls working with a young Maury Povich back when Maury was serious DC newsman, and how he once handled a racist comment from another news anchor on live television. Al discusses the best piece of advice he got from his mentor and predecessor Willard Scott, what it’s like to wake up at 3:45AM every week day to do The Toda

EP 486: Oliver Stone on Writing, Directing and Surviving Platoon

Oscar-winning writer/director Oliver Stone (Platoon, Wall Street, JFK) discusses why he dropped out of Yale and volunteered to go fight in Vietnam, some of the horrors that he witnessed during that war, and how the black soldiers in his platoon opened his eyes to injustice and saved his life. He talks about how writing a screenplay about the experience helped him process what he had been through in Vietnam, why it took him 16 years to get Platoon made, and how the ouster of Filipino strongman Ferdinand Marcos nearly shut down production on the movie. He recalls writing the script for Scarface while trying to kick his own cocaine addiction, his wild adventures with the journalist who inspir

EP 485: Jennifer Palmieri Declares Independence from a Man's World

Jennifer Palmieri served as the former Communications Director to President Barack Obama and then for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. She spent most of her career advocating for herself and for other women from "within the system," but now she says it is time from women to break from that system and rewrite the playbook in her new book She Proclaims: Our Declaration of Independence from a Man's World. Jennifer looks back at the roots of the American feminist movement, the surprising historical events that held women back for the past 3 centuries, and why women are still fighting for equality on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote. Je

EP 484: Max Brooks Talks Sasquatches and Survival

Max Brooks (World War Z) discusses what a fictional Sasquatch massacre can teach us about the perils of eco-utopianism, what happens when man encroaches on nature, and those people who still refuse to wear a mask in public. Max says people in the 21st Century are exchanging resilience and know-how for technological convenience - a trade-off that may not serve us very well when we’re put to the test in a true emergency like the COVID-19 crisis. He talks about his childhood fascination with the legend of big foot, his hatred for the 1987 movie Harry and the Hendersons, and how his research into great apes informed his take on how Sasquatches might behave if threatened. He also recalls his b

EP 483: Ambassador John Bolton

Ambassador John Bolton reveals what he witnessed during his 17 tumultuous months as National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump. Bolton shares how he reacted to Trump’s eagerness to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, why the second North Korea summit was so hastily put together, and what took place behind closed doors in Trump’s infamous one-on-one meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. He says the President rarely ever reads and recalls his frustrations at trying to educate a Trump about history and foreign policy. We talk about President Trump’s bizarre obsession with authoritarian strongmen, his overall lack of interest in advancing freedom and human rights, and the

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