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The Argument

Strongly-held opinions. Open-minded debates. A weekly ideas show, hosted by Jane Coaston.

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  • 29.06.2022
    19 MB
    20:08
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    ‘This Really Changes Things’: Three Opinion Writers on Cassidy Hutchinson’s Jan. 6 Testimony

    For the past month, the House select committee on Jan. 6 has held a series of public hearings on President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Yesterday it surprised all of us with some of its most stunning evidence yet. In revelatory testimony, Cassidy Hutchinson, who was a top aide to Trump’s White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, divulged details about just how much Trump and some of his supporters knew about the potential for violence at the Capitol before Jan. 6. According to Hutchinson, Trump knew that the crowd was heavily armed, but that didn’t stop him from calling on his supporters to march to the Capitol anyway. “They’re not here to hurt me,” she overheard him say. Host Jane Coaston is joined by The Times’s columnist Bret Stephens and editorial board member Michelle Cottle to unpack the new testimony and what it might mean for Trump — and the future of the G.O.P. Recommended reading from this episode: Michelle Cottle’s Opinion essay “ Cassidy Hutchinson Did Her Job ”Bret Stephens’ column “ Will the Jan. 6 Committee Finally Bring Down the Cult of Trump? ”The Wall Street Journal opinion essay “ Trump Needs an Apprentice ” (A full transcript of the episode will be available by the end of the day on the Times website.)

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  • 22.06.2022
    35 MB
    36:38
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    Is Crime That Bad, or Are the Vibes Just Off?

    From New York to San Francisco, there’s a sense that crime is on the rise in American cities. And in some ways, that’s true: Violent crime has risen. Murders are up nearly 40 percent since 2019. But property crime has fallen for years. And how we define crime, and what’s causing its increase, is a complicated issue — as is what we should do about it. So on today’s episode of “The Argument,” Jane Coaston is joined by Rafael Mangual and Alex Kingsbury to debate what’s really going on with crime rates and why people feel so unsafe. Mangual is a senior fellow and the head of research for the Policing and Public Safety Initiative at the Manhattan Institute. “I do think this is more than just a bad-vibes moment in a lot of places. It really is as bad as it’s ever been or close to it,” Mangual says. Alex, an editor at large at New York Times Opinion, thinks we need to first change the narrative of how we understand crime. “Crime as a general term is just really broad,” Alex says, adding, “Where you sit determines what you see.” Mentioned in this episode: Rafael Mangual’s book, “ Criminal (In)Justice ”“The Argument” police reform round table episode: “ Policing Is Not Broken, It’s ‘Literally Designed to Work in This Way’ ” (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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  • 15.06.2022
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    27:18
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    Who Can Write About What? A Conversation With Roxane Gay and Jay Caspian Kang

    When does creative license become cultural appropriation? Take “American Dirt” and “The Help,” two books by white authors that drew criticism for their portrayals of characters of color. Artists’ job is to imagine and create, but what do we do when they get it wrong? To discuss, Jane Coaston is joined by the Opinion writers Roxane Gay and Jay Caspian Kang. Roxane is an author of multiple books, including “Hunger” and “Bad Feminist.” Jay is a contributor for The New York Times Magazine and writes a twice-weekly newsletter . In their work, both have thought deeply about the thorny issues of writing across identities — including what makes work authentic, the pressure of representation for writers of color and the roles social media and the publishing industry play in literary criticism. “I don’t think it’s that complicated,” Roxane says. “It’s not that we divorce identity from the conversation. It’s that we treat it as inherent because we can’t separate out parts of ourselves.” Mentioned in this episode: “ White Fever Dreams ” by Roxane Gay in Gay Magazine“ The Pity of the Elites ” by Jay Caspian Kang (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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  • 08.06.2022
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    32:13
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    Best- and Worst-Case Outcomes of the Jan. 6 Public Hearings

    On Thursday, a bipartisan House select committee will begin public hearings on the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol. The weeks ahead will be awash with news as the committee reveals what happened in the days and weeks before the attack — and to what extent the rioters were emboldened, or enabled, by the White House and Republican lawmakers. To wade through the news and help us understand what to pay attention to as the hearings unfold, host Jane Coaston calls upon two experts on the Republican Party. Nicole Hemmer is an author and historian of conservative media. Ross Douthat is a Times Opinion columnist. They give their takes on what narratives might play out in the hearings and comment on the danger of far-right extremism in the G.O.P. “I don’t see an incentive structure that pulls the Republican Party in general away from procedural extremism, or even really at the moment, anything that pulls them back to a majoritarian democratic process,” Hemmer says. Mentioned in this episode: “ What Oprah Winfrey Knows About American History That Tucker Carlson Doesn’t ” by Nicole Hemmer in The New York Times“ Are We Witnessing the Mainstreaming of White Power in America? ” episode from The Ezra Klein Show“ Why Would John Eastman Want to Overturn an Election for Trump? ” by Ross Douthat in The New York Times (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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  • 01.06.2022
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    29:42
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    A Debate Over ‘Common Sense’ Gun Legislation

    The recent shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, indicate that gun violence, and how to address it, is a conversation we unfortunately need to keep having. But what policies would make a difference and stop some of these mass casualty events? On today’s episode, host Jane Coaston focuses on the solutions to gun violence and what measures would help stop mass shootings specifically, in addition to curbing homicides, suicides and other forms of gun violence. The three policy proposals up for debate: red-flag laws, background checks and age limits. Jane is joined by Charles C.W. Cooke, senior writer for National Review, and Alex Kingsbury, Times Opinion editor at large and editorial board member. Cooke isn’t convinced that gun laws will ameliorate America’s gun problem. “It’s just not the case that every single tightening of the gun law improves things. It doesn’t,” he says. On the other side is Kingsbury, who feels that we need gun control measures and that it’s about time the government finds a solution to the problem. “I mean, you just can’t look at the death toll that the weapons have inflicted on the society and say that we overregulate weapons in this society,” Kingsbury says. Mentioned in this episode: “ It’s Too Late to Ban Assault Weapons ” by Alex Kingsbury in The New York Times“ Gunman in ____ Kills __ ” by Alex Kingsbury in The New York Times“ This Is Why We Need Guns ” by Charles C.W. Cooke in National Review (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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  • 25.05.2022
    32 MB
    33:22
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    Who Decides the Right Way to Protest?

    Two years ago, the murder of George Floyd sparked protests across America, gathering an estimated 15 million people into the streets during the summer of 2020. Since then, Americans of all political persuasions have taken to the streets to make their views known, on everything from mask mandates to abortion rights. But did protesting result in any real change? And looking back, where does that moment of collective outrage fit in the broader history of dissent in America? This week, host Jane Coaston wants to know whether there is a “right” way to protest, and what makes a protest successful. To talk it through, she’s joined by the conservative writer David French of The Dispatch and the Times Opinion columnist Charles Blow. “I think a lot of times what the protest does is that it crystallizes and defines the parameters of morality on an issue,” Blow says. “It is a narrative-setting or -changing event.” But French argues that sometimes, in pursuit of raising awareness, protests can go too far. “If a group of people can menace a public official with enough ferocity that they can undermine the will of the people, you’re really beginning to undermine the notion of democracy itself,” he says. Mentioned in this episode: “ Leave the Justices Alone at Home ” by the Washington Post editorial board“ Protests Might Not Change the Court’s Decision. We Should Take to the Streets Anyway ” by Jay Caspian Kang in The New York Times“ Do Protests Even Work? ” by Zeynep Tufekci in The Atlantic (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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  • 18.05.2022
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    27:21
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    The Economy Is Weird. Two Experts on Where It Goes From Here.

    If you’re confused about the current state of the economy and where it’s headed, you’re not alone. The United States is experiencing inflation at the highest rate since the 1980s, and most Americans generally feel as bad about the economy as they did during the Great Recession of 2008. At the same time, unemployment is low and wages are rising. On today’s episode of “The Argument,” host Jane Coaston consults two economics reporters to break down these conflicting trends in the economy and to ask the question so many people want answered: Are things going to get worse before they get better? Peter Coy is an Opinion writer for The New York Times. Alexandra Scaggs is a senior writer at Barron’s, where she covers bonds markets. Both have different takes on how the Federal Reserve can try to bring inflation down without long-term repercussions, including a recession. “There are people who would say, well, fine, that’s what needs to happen, if that’s what it takes to extinguish this high inflation, so be it,” Coy says. “And I’m just saying, I’m not willing to go that far.” Mentioned in this episode: “ Unemployment Is Low. That Doesn’t Mean the Economy Is Fine. ” by Peter Coy in The New York Times“ How Should Democrats Respond to Rising Inflation and High Gas Prices? ” by John Cassidy in The New Yorker“ Making Sense of a Complicated Economy ,” EconoFact Chats episode from EconoFact (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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  • 11.05.2022
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    32:44
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    Trump, the Primaries and the ‘Populism of Resentment’ Shaping the G.O.P.

    May is chock-full of primary elections, and they are starting to provide a picture of how deep the G.O.P. is entrenched in Trumpism. J.D. Vance, the 37-year-old venture capitalist and author of the acclaimed memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” won the Republican Senate primary in Ohio — with the endorsement of Donald Trump. The rise of Vance paints a telling portrait of how the G.O.P. is evolving in its appeal to its conservative base. Vance eagerly sought Trump’s endorsement and praise. Does it mean that the party is becoming a “populism of tribal loyalty,” as suggested by one of today’s guests? Today on “The Argument,” host Jane Coaston wants to know what this month’s Republican primary elections can actually tell us about the future of the G.O.P. and if it signals more Trump in 2024. She is joined two conservative writers, David French and Christopher Caldwell. French is a senior editor of “The Dispatch” and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. Caldwell is a contributing writer for New York Times Opinion. “I don’t think anyone disputes that there’s a wide open lane for populist incitement,” French says. “I think the issue with J.D. Vance and the issue with the Republican Party in general is this move that says, we’re going to indulge it. We’re going to stoke it.” Mentioned in this episode: “ The Decline of Ohio and the Rise of J.D. Vance ” by Christopher Caldwell in The New York Times“ What if There Is No Such Thing as ‘Trumpism' ?” by Jane Coaston in The National Review (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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  • 04.05.2022
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    28:56
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    ‘You Haven’t Seen Anything Yet’: What’s Next if Roe Goes

    It was a historic twist in an already historic case: A draft opinion of a Supreme Court decision overturning two landmark rulings — Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey — leaked to Politico, which published the 98-page document on Monday night. Chief Justice John Roberts said that the draft opinion was authentic but that “it does not represent a decision by the court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.” Even with that caveat, it seems to be a sign of where things are headed — the end of abortion rights as a constitutional right in America. On today’s episode of “The Argument,” Jane Coaston is joined by the Times Opinion columnist Michelle Goldberg and editorial board member Jesse Wegman to discuss the implications of the draft opinion and the future of abortion rights in America. What is your take on the Roe v. Wade draft leak? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts on The New York Times website once you’ve listened to the episode. Mentioned in this episode: Skinner v. Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson Supreme Court case Griswold v. Connecticut Supreme Court case“ The Next Frontier for the Anti-Abortion Movement: A Nationwide Ban ” by Caroline Kitchener in The Washington Post“ Thoughts on a Post-Roe Agenda ” by Patrick T. Brown in National Review (A full transcript of the episode is available on The Times website.)

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  • 27.04.2022
    37 MB
    38:38
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    How Did Queer Kids Become the Battlefield For the Right’s Midterm Strategy?

    Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, states barring transgender athletes from participating in sports and censoring school curriculums around queer and gender identity — a wave of anti-L.G.B.T.Q. legislation is spreading across the country, sustained in large part by the political right. According to the Human Rights Campaign , this year alone, more than 300 anti-L.G.B.T.Q. bills have been introduced in state legislatures. Why has this issue become the focus of the Republican Party? And how is the way society treats individuals who identify as L.G.B.T.Q. changing? In today’s episode, Jane Coaston convenes her Times Opinion colleagues, the columnists Ross Douthat and Michelle Goldberg, to debate this issue. Ross brings his conservative lens to the topic of L.G.B.T.Q. issues and Michelle shares a more liberal outlook. In the middle is Jane, who brings a deeply personal perspective to the table: “I think that a lot of these bills seem to spring from what I would say, a willful misunderstanding of how people like me became ourselves,” she says. What are your thoughts on the recent anti-L.G.B.T.Q. legislation? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments on The New York Times website once you’ve listened to the debate. Mentioned in this episode: “ How to Make Sense of the New L.G.B.T.Q. Culture War ” by Ross Douthat in The New York Times“ Gender Unicorn ” from Trans Student Educational Resources (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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  • 20.04.2022
    28 MB
    29:22
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    From Amazon to Starbucks, America Is Unionizing. Will Politics Catch Up?

    From Amazon and Starbucks to large media companies, unionization has become a siren call for workers — white- and blue-collar — fighting for rights and fair wages. But in 2022, after two years of a pandemic, how have our ideas about unions changed? And are Democrats, the so-called party of the unions, still allies in the fight for workers’ rights? On today’s episode of “The Argument,” Jane Coaston asks two leading labor voices in America to debate the current role of unions, how the watershed vote at an Amazon warehouse is changing their work and whether Democrats have failed workers. Liz Shuler is the president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. Jane McAlevey is an organizer and a campaign strategist and the author of the recent book “ A Collective Bargain: Unions, Organizing and the Fight for Democracy .” “People used to say, ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’ It’s the base, stupid, in my argument,” McAlevey says, emphasizing the need for unions and large organizations like the A.F.L.-C.I.O. to learn from Amazon and focus on bringing more workers into the fold. “If we don’t return to bottom-up organizing, we’re simply not going to have the political muscle to force Democrats and Republicans to do that which they must: to honor the essential workers coming out of this pandemic.” What’s your take on unions? How do you think unions should capitalize on this moment? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments on The New York Times website once you’ve listened to the debate. Mentioned in this episode: “ Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell) ” by Jane McAlevey“ The People, United, Must Fight Hard or Be Defeated ” by Binyamin Appelbaum in The New York Times (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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  • 13.04.2022
    41 MB
    43:24
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    The Dangerous Lesson Viktor Orban Taught Republicans

    President Biden has described the world as being in a “battle between democracy and autocracy.” And Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s recent victory in Hungary, especially, has marked it as a country in pursuit of what Orban calls an “illiberal democracy.” So what has happened to liberalism, and why is it so deeply challenged today? On today’s episode of “The Argument,” Jane Coaston brings the Vox senior correspondent Zack Beauchamp and the Times Opinion columnist Bret Stephens together to debate what’s gone wrong with liberalism. Both take vastly different positions on what the biggest challenge to liberalism is today and how to approach it, but they agree on one thing: Western liberalism is in danger, largely in part from what’s happening abroad. “I think liberalism is under profound threat in the United States, even more so in states in Europe, and the person who is effectively the global champion of that illiberal worldview right now strikes me as Vladimir Putin,” Stephens says. In January, Beauchamp posted on Twitter : "The biggest challenge for liberalism today is the use of its own key features against it: free speech enabling the spread of authoritarian propaganda, democracy empowering illiberal leaders, markets producing an unresponsive oligarchic class." How do you think liberalism is being challenged today? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments on The New York Times website once you’ve listened to the debate. Mentioned in this episode: “ Europe’s Other Threat to Democracy ” by Zack Beauchamp on Vox“ The Anti-Liberal Moment ” by Zack Beauchamp on Vox“ America Could Use a Liberal Party ” by Bret Stephens in The New York Times“The War in Ukraine, Explained,” Part 1 and Part 2 , on the “Vox Conversations” podcast with Zack Beauchamp (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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  • 06.04.2022
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    37:00
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    Why Russian Sanctions Won’t Stop Putin

    The Russian invasion of Ukraine is entering its sixth week. Atrocities committed by Russian troops have reached new levels; in Bucha, recent photos show dead, unarmed civilians lining the streets. The harrowing scenes have prompted NATO leaders to consider taking new measures against Russia, namely to equip Ukraine with more weapons and impose more sanctions on Russia. But will those measures be enough? With President Biden now calling the atrocities “war crimes” and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland “acts of genocide,” what more should NATO do to help protect Ukraine and its sovereignty? On today’s episode of “The Argument,” host Jane Coaston calls upon the former NATO top commander Gen. Philip Breedlove to give context and answers to these large questions. Breedlove is now the distinguished chair of the Frontier Europe Initiative at the Middle East Institute, and he has a lot to say about the alliance’s approach to Russia. “There are people in our government and people in NATO that believe if we keep doing nothing and we just keep doing what we’re doing, supplying them, that the risk will not grow. I’m here to tell you the risk is growing every day,” he says. (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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  • 30.03.2022
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    Ukraine Made Big Tech Pick a Side — But Who Are the Losers?

    Technology defines nearly every facet of our modern world. It almost feels that to exist today in the Western world, one has no choice but to engage in it. As a result, Big Tech holds an incredible amount of power — power that continues to play a role in the Russia-Ukraine war. As the war has intensified, tech companies have been forced to take a side. It’s become what the Times reporters Adam Satariano and Sheera Frenkel described as a “defining geopolitical moment for some of the world’s biggest tech companies.” Spotify decided last Friday to suspend its services in Russia because of recently enacted Russian legislation that restricts access to news. Apple Pay also suspended services for Russia’s Mir cards, the country’s largest card payment system. It’s clear Big Tech companies hold big power. But should they? And do their moves in Russia highlight that they have too much influence in some countries? Is it time to finally reconsider tech regulation, and if so, who should be responsible for determining regulation? This week, Jane Coaston brings together two writers who spend their time reporting on the role technology plays in our lives. Charlie Warzel is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and writes the newsletter “Galaxy Brain,” about tech, media and politics. Robby Soave is a senior editor at the libertarian magazine “Reason” and is the author of the book “Tech Panic: Why We Shouldn’t Fear Facebook and the Future.” Mentioned in this episode: Charlie Warzel’s newsletter, “ Galaxy Brain ,” for The AtlanticRobby Soave’s YouTube show, “ Rising ”“ Ukraine War Tests the Power of Tech Giants ” by Adam Satariano and Sheera Frenkel“ TikTok Was Designed for War ” by Chris Stokel-Walker in Wired“ Tech Panic: Why We Shouldn’t Fear Facebook and the Future ” by Robby Soave.“Sway” episode with Jeffrey Sonnenfeld: “ The Corporations Passing — and Failing — the Ukraine Morality Test ” (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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  • 23.03.2022
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    It’s Not About Putin: Two Conservatives Break Down the G.O.P. Split Over Ukraine

    How should America respond to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine? This week, Jane Coaston sought out perspectives of a particular group on this complex question: conservatives. The group has long been divided on foreign policy and, more recently, over Putin and Russia. Could loyalty to Donald Trump lead some Republicans to support Putin? In today’s episode, these questions are tested by two conservative writers — and their answers are far from aligned. Michael Brendan Dougherty is a senior writer at National Review. He feels strongly that the United States and NATO should avoid further involvement in the conflict and argues that a declaration of neutrality by Ukraine would be a good path forward. “I think neutrality is a real strategic position that can help some countries remain independent, sovereign and avoid war,” he says. David French is a senior editor at The Dispatch. He sits on the opposite side; He is for NATO expansion and believes the United States should further help to defend Ukraine. “It’s so necessary for the West — without risking nuclear conflict with Russia — to demonstrate for a generation, if possible, that this form of aggressive warfare is going to cost far, far more than anything that Russia will gain,” he says. Whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, independent or none of those, we want to hear from you. What’s your take on Ukraine, and how do you think the Republican Party should be reacting? Share your thoughts in the comments on this page after you’ve listened to the debate. Mentioned in this episode: “ My Father Left Me Ireland: An American Son’s Search for Home ” by Michael Brendan Dougherty“ The French Press ” newsletter by David French“ Divided We Fall: America’s Succession Thread and How to Restore Our Nation ” by David French“ The War in Ukraine Is a Blow to the Nationalist, Postliberal Right ” by David French“ Wartime’s Macabre Predictions of a Populist Defeat ” by Michael Brendan Dougherty in National Review (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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  • 16.03.2022
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    34:34
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    Putin Is ‘High Off His Own Propaganda Supply’

    This week, an antiwar protester interrupted a Moscow broadcast with a sign in Russian reading: “Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They are lying to you here.” With the Russian government promoting propaganda on news channels and most recently passing a law to punish people spreading “false information” about the Ukraine invasion, it’s been hard to distill what is actually going on in both Russia and Ukraine right now. The confusion has resulted in what Masha Gessen recently described as parallel realities transpiring in Russia and an outright denial of war in Ukraine. So how can you make sense of what is true in our world of information, especially when anyone can use propaganda not only to change your mind but also to overwhelm you? Jane Coaston talks to the Soviet-born British journalist Peter Pomerantsev to talk about propaganda and how those in power — and the everyday person — use it to undermine the fabric of society and our collective understanding. Pomerantsev is a senior fellow at Johns Hopkins University and the author of the 2019 book “This Is Not Propaganda.” He talks to Jane about Vladimir Putin’s mythmaking and propaganda machine and how we as information consumers can make sense of what we know as truth. Mentioned in this episode: “ Ukrainians Find That Relatives in Russia Don’t Believe It’s a War ” by Valerie Hopkins in The New York Times“ Putin No Longer Seems Like a Master of Disinformation ” by Farhad Manjoo in The New York Times“ This Is Not Propaganda ” by Peter Pomerantsev“ Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible ” by Peter Pomerantsev“ The Mass Ornament: Weimar Essays ” by Siegfried Kracauer (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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  • 09.03.2022
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    The New Phase of the Pandemic Is Covid Exhaustion

    We’re headed into the third year of pandemic life, and one thing is clear: We’re all exhausted from Covid. Virus caseloads are waning across the country, masks are coming off, people are traveling more, and office workers have new return dates. Does that mean the pandemic is over? Maybe. And maybe not. On Feb. 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed its guidelines on mask wearing and social distancing, saying that 70 percent of Americans no longer need to heed those recommendations. But for a lot of people, like parents of kids under 5 and those who are immunocompromised, this presents more challenges. It’s clear the burden of managing Covid risk increasingly rests on the individual, so what are we supposed to do now? It’s a lot to contemplate. So on today’s show, Jane puts that question to two experts to help the rest of us. Dr. Monica Gandhi is an infectious-disease physician whose previous work on H.I.V. informs her assessment of public health messaging during this pandemic. Dr. Aaron E. Carroll is the chief health officer at Indiana University and has spent the pandemic thinking about how to keep his community safe. The good news? Both of them think we’ve got the tools to move forward safely. Mentioned in this episode: “Overcaution Carries Its Own Danger to Children” by Monica Gandhi in The Atlantic. “Why Hospitalizations Are Now a Better Indicator of Covid’s Impact” by Monica Gandhi and Leslie Bienen in The New York Times. “Covid-19 Vaccine Effectiveness Against the Omicron (B.1.1.529) Variant” in The New England Journal of Medicine. “To Fight Covid, We Need to Think Less Like Doctors” by Aaron E. Carroll in The New York Times. “Immune Cells Mean Omicron Won’t Swamp Hospitals in Vaccinated Areas” by Michael Daignault and Monica Gandhi in The Washington Post.“We Need to Talk About Covid” Part 1 and Part 2 from “The Daily.” (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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  • 03.03.2022
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    Opinion Roundtable: The 'Dirty Compromise' That Could Stop Putin

    It’s been a week since Russia invaded Ukraine. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled Ukraine and Russia continues to target major Ukrainian cities with powerful weapons. And amidst the chaos of war – President Biden held his first State of the Union address. Yara Bayoumy, the world and national security editor for Times Opinion, and the columnists Thomas Friedman and Ross Douthat joined Lulu Garcia-Navarro, a Times Opinion podcast host, to discuss what could happen next. Listen to Jane's interview this week with retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman here.

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  • 02.03.2022
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    36:14
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    Alexander Vindman on Why It’s the ‘Beginning of the End’ for Putin

    In the days since Vladimir Putin ordered Russian forces to invade Ukraine, its citizens have taken up arms to defend their borders and their right to self-determination. Where is the rest of the world in all of this? To help understand the current situation and how we got here, Jane Coaston talks with Alexander Vindman, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who was the director for European and Russian affairs at the National Security Council from 2018 to 2020. Vindman was also a key witness at Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, having listened in on the notorious 2019 call in which Trump asked President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. Vindman says of the Western response to the invasion, “We need to drop these incremental approaches that are intended for a kind of peacetime environment,” because “we’re in a new Cold War.” What is your take on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments on The New York Times website once you’ve listened to the debate. Mentioned in this episode: Alexander Vindman’s book, “ Here, Right Matters: An American Story ” “America Could Have Done So Much More to Protect Ukraine,” by Alexander Vindman in The Atlantic “Not One Inch: America, Russia, And the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate,” by M.E. SarotteAn interview with the historian Serhii Plokhy in The New Yorker: “Vladimir Putin’s Revisionist History of Russia and Ukraine” People to follow on Twitter, as suggested by Alexander Vindman: Igor Girkin , Michael Kofman , Rob Lee , Michael McFaul The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society’s Ukraine crisis response fund The MOAS humanitarian relief effort for Ukraine (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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  • 23.02.2022
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    The Complex Truth About American Patriotism

    An American flag, football, the national anthem, “Make America Great Again” — all of these can be symbols of American patriotism, but to whom? In 2022, the notion of being a patriot is complex to say the least, and in a divided nation one might ask: Who gets to be called a patriot, and what does patriotism really mean in America? This week, Jane and her guests dig into how each of them feels about patriotism and how our two dominant political parties use the idea to their own ends. Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security adviser from 2009 to 2017, posits that a fundamental sense of patriotism still holds in America today. “This has always been about the story we tell about ourselves and that we don’t live up to,” Ben says. “I think patriotism is basically about the effort to live up to the better version of the story that America tells us about itself.” Jamelle Bouie is a columnist with Times Opinion and resists the idea that it’s possible to forge a unifying sense of patriotism across the country. America is simply too large and too diverse to unite on a baseline of meaning. Patriotism, he argues, rests at the individual level: “I think all you have to do is identify what are the things that are valuable to you? What are the things that are important to you? And you pursue them,” he says. What does patriotism mean to you? Would you call yourself a patriot? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments on The New York Times website once you’ve listened to the debate. Mentioned in this episode: “After the Fall” Being American in the World We’ve Made” by Ben Rhodes. “This Is No Time for Passive Patriotism” by Ben Rhodes in The Atlantic. “After Nationalism: Being American in an Age of Division” by Samuel Goldman. “The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life” by William James in the International Journal of Ethics. (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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  • 16.02.2022
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    37:10
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    ‘This is About the Future of Freedom’: What Does America Owe Ukrainians?

    The U.S. State Department recently ordered all nonemergency diplomats and embassy employees to leave Ukraine, signaling that its personnel believe a Russian invasion of Ukraine may be imminent. Such a move by Russia would be the most consequential invasion in Europe since World War II. If Russia acts, what is America’s responsibility to Ukraine? Two of Jane’s Opinion colleagues, Bret Stephens and Farah Stockman, join her to tackle that question today. Both Bret and Farah have reported on foreign policy. Bret, a columnist for Times Opinion, told Jane: “I think Ukraine ought to be what Ukrainians want it to be. Vladimir Putin is unwilling to let Ukrainians decide their own future.” Farah, a member of the Times editorial board, sees wars as dirty pursuits that are often antithetical to democracy and freedom. Farah argues that America needs to focus on its own battles before engaging in international conflicts. “We need to do a better job picking our battles, we really do, because we have to protect ourselves and our own democracy first,” she says. “We cannot help anyone else if we’re in disarray. And guess what? We’re in disarray right now, we really are.” Mentioned in this episode: “Bring Back the Free World” by Bret Stephens. “Putin’s Pickle” by Julia Ioffe in Puck. “Stop asking what Putin wants and start asking what Ukrainians want” by Mychailo Wynnyckyj

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  • 09.02.2022
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    Affirmative Action Isn’t Perfect. Should We Keep It Anyway?

    The Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases, one involving Harvard and the other the University of North Carolina, that could reshape college admissions. Both schools are being accused of race-based discrimination in their admission practices. In the coming year, the court will examine whether it’s lawful for college admissions offices to consider a student’s race. These cases and others have brought into focus the role affirmative action plays in higher education, and whether it helps or impedes the overall goal of achieving racial equity on college campuses. So the question Jane debates this week is: Should we end affirmative action? On today’s episode, the Opinion writer Jay Caspian Kang sets the stage by sharing with Jane his view that affirmative action policies merely make for “cosmetically diverse” campuses, rather than contributing to broader social justice initiatives. Jay and Jane’s conversation is followed by a debate between two guests with starkly different views. Ian Rowe, the former chief executive of Public Prep, a nonprofit charter school network, believes that race-based affirmative action needs to be retired in favor of class-based solutions. Natasha Warikoo, a professor of sociology at Tufts University, believes affirmative action is worth saving, and we should find ways to reframe it. What is your take on affirmative action: end it, or keep it? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments on this page once you’ve listened to the debate. Mentioned in this episode: Jay Caspian Kang’s newsletter on politics, culture and the economy.Natasha Warikoo’s book “ The Diversity Bargain: And Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions and Meritocracy at Elite Universities .”“ The State Must Provide: Why America’s Colleges Have Always Been Unequal — And How to Set Them Right ,” by Adam Harris.“ Can Affirmative Action Survive? ” by Nicholas Lemann in The New Yorker.“ Affirmative Action Shouldn’t Be About Diversity ,” by Kimberly Reyes in The Atlantic.

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  • 02.02.2022
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    Can Democrats Win When They Talk About Race?

    With the midterm elections just nine months away, the Democrats face some hefty existential questions that need answers: Who are they in this post- and possibly pre-Trump era of American politics? Are they simply the anti-Trump party? Or are they the party of progress? Who are the voters they need to turn out in November? Should they excite the base by building a coalition united against white supremacy, or should they moderate their message to win over Republican-defectors? This week on “The Argument,” Jane Coaston brings together two voices that represent the factions in the Democratic Party’s existential struggle. Lanae Erickson is the senior vice president of social policy, education and politics at the center-left think tank Third Way . She argues that Democrats need to make their platform as broadly popular as possible in order to bring more voters under the party’s big tent. That’s the way to win, and then enact progressive policies. Steve Phillips disagrees. He’s the founder of the political media organization Democracy in Color and author of the book “Brown Is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority.” He counterargues that the Democrats must run and win as the party united around a vision of a multiracial, just society, unapologetically calling out racism on the other side of the ticket. The two political strategists strongly disagree on what the party needs to do to win in November, but they agree on one thing: Democrats are afraid and need to answer the question of who they are, fast. Mentioned in this episode: “The Argument” episode debating the future of the Republican Party: “ Can the G.O.P. Recover From the ‘Big Lie’? We Asked 2 Conservatives ”“The Ezra Klein Show” episode with Ron Klain: “ What Biden’s Chief of Staff Has Learned, One Year In .”Joe Biden For President first campaign video: “ America Is an Idea .”Steve Phillips’s book “ Brown Is the New White : How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority” and his forthcoming “ How We Win the Civil War : Securing a Multiracial Democracy and Ending White Supremacy for Good.”Steve Phillips’s podcast, “ Democracy in Color .”

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  • 26.01.2022
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    ‘Hell Hath No Fury Like a Voter Scorned’: What 14 Swing Voters Have to Say

    A year into the Biden administration, most of us can agree on one thing: The United States remains a deeply divided nation, with polarizing opinions on all sides. But what about the voices from the middle, the independents? Swing voters are arguably one of the most consequential groups for the midterm elections, so we wanted to hear from them about how they view President Biden’s first year and the current state of American democracy. So this month the veteran G.O.P pollster Frank Luntz convened a focus group of 14 self-identified independents and moderates to get their perspectives. And there seems to be a striking theme: They’re exasperated. As Nick from Pennsylvania put it, “We’ve been promised a lot by past politicians, and it just seems that nothing ever changes.” This week, Luntz debriefs Jane on the group’s findings — namely, that independents are very disappointed and don’t see much hope for either party. His takeaway? “Independents are simple rejecters. They reject both the left and the right. They reject the past president and the current president. And in some ways they’re actually even more negative because they don’t see a way out.” Mentioned in this episode: “ ‘The Lowest Point in My Lifetime’: How 14 Independent Voters Feel About America ”“ Why Republican Voters Think Americans Have to Get Over Jan. 6 ”“ ‘We Barely Qualify as a Democracy Anymore’: Democratic Voters Fear for America ” Sign up for one of Frank Luntz’s focus groups

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  • 19.01.2022
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    Does the Supreme Court Need More Justices?

    2022 is a big year for supporters of Supreme Court reform. Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that gave women nationwide the right to have abortions, might be overturned, and the debate around changing the way we structure the bench — in particular, packing the court — is getting only more heated. The past decade has brought a shift in the makeup of the court — from Brett Kavanaugh, appointed despite sexual assault allegations, to Merrick Garland, blocked from confirmation, and Amy Coney Barrett, rushed to confirmation. It’s the culmination of decades of effort by Republicans to make the courts more conservative. And now Democrats want to push back by introducing some radical changes. Today, Jane Coaston brings together two guests who disagree on whether altering Supreme Court practices is the right call and, if yes, what kind of changes would make sense for the highest judicial body in the nation. Russ Feingold is the president of the American Constitution Society and was a Democratic senator from Wisconsin from 1993 to 2011. And Russ Miller is an attorney and law professor at Washington and Lee and the head of the Max Planck Law Network in Germany. Mentioned in this episode: “ Americans No Longer Have Faith in the U.S. Supreme Court. That Has Justices Worried ,” by Russ Feingold in The Guardian, published in October 2021.“ We Don’t Need to Reform The Supreme Court ,” by Russ Miller in Just Security, published in February 2021.“ The Future of Supreme Court Reform ,” by Daniel Epps and Ganesh Sitaraman in Harvard Law Review, published in May 2021.

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  • 12.01.2022
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    Can the G.O.P. Recover From the 'Big Lie'? We Asked 2 Conservatives

    There’s a divide in the Republican Party between those who believe the ‘Big Lie’ — that the election was stolen from President Donald Trump — and those who don’t. But which side is ultimately the future of the party? That’s the question Jane Coaston poses to Charlie Sykes, a founder and editor at large of The Bulwark, and Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review. Sykes and Lowry discuss what the G.O.P. has learned from Donald Trump’s tenure as president and what Glenn Youngkin’s gubernatorial victory in Virginia might mean for the Republican midterms playbook. They also debate whether it’s Representative Liz Cheney or Marjorie Taylor Greene who’s a harbinger of the party to come. Also, if you’re a Republican, we want to hear from you. What do you think of the party right now and where it should go next? Would you be excited to vote for Trump in 2024? Or if you’re a former Republican, why did you leave the party? And who would you rather vote for instead? Leave us a voice mail message at (347) 915-4324 and we’ll share some of your responses later this month. Mentioned in this episode: “ Against Trump ,” editorial in National Review“ Trump: Maybe ,” by Charles C.W. Cooke in National Review“ The Right: The Hundred-Year War for American Conservatism ,” by Matthew Continetti“ Blunt Report Says G.O.P. Needs to Regroup for ’16 ,” Times report on the G.O.P. 2012 autopsy

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  • 05.01.2022
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    American Democracy: A Status Check

    Just how much trouble is American democracy in? When we look to 2024, it’s easy to focus on the doomsday scenario: an election where legitimate results get thrown out. But our democracy has been eroding for years — and we’ve never been an equal democracy for everyone in the first place. Host Jane Coaston discusses the state of the U.S. democracy and whether Jan. 6 was a turning point with Masha Gessen, a staff writer at The New Yorker, and Corey Robin, a political scientist at Brooklyn College. Mentioned in this episode: “ We Won’t Know the Exact Moment When Democracy Dies ” by Masha Gessen “ By Declaring Victory, Donald Trump Is Attempting An Autocratic Breakthrough ” with the interview with Bálint Magyar, by Masha Gessen “ The Anatomy of Post-Communist Regimes ” by Bálint Magyar “ Trump and the Trapped Country ” by Corey Robin

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  • 29.12.2021
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    The ‘End of an Ending’: Was 2021 Really The Worst?

    As the days left in 2021 dwindle, you may feel that annual tug to judge this calendar year as cruelly as possible. After all, it was yet another year lived in a pandemic, on a warming planet, with teetering democracies and aspirational autocrats (tune in next week for that debate). But is it actually true? Did the world really get worse in 2021? For this Very NYT Opinion New Year’s Eve* episode of “The Argument,” Jane Coaston called upon podcast listeners and Opinion voices like the columnists Michelle Goldberg , Farhad Manjoo and Jamelle Bouie , the editorial board member Michelle Cottle and the musician and contributing writer Tom Morello to make the case for whether the world will enter 2022 a little bit better, or a little bit worse for wear. *close enough Mentioned in this episode: Michelle Goldberg’s column “ The Problem of Political Despair ”Michelle Cottle’s editorials on Liz Cheney , Joe Manchin , progressive frustrations with Democrats and the future elections that could shake both parties Jamelle Bouie’s newsletter on “ Nightmare on Elm Street ” — sign up for Jamelle’s newsletter here Farhad Manjoo’s columns on the wind and solar energy boom , the California drought and the carbon footprint of travel Tom Morello’s newsletter on his 98-year-old mom’s radical compassion — sign up for Tom’s newsletter here “ Devil Put the Coal in the Ground, ” by Steve Earle“The Argument” episode on qualified immunity and Tony Timpa’s case

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  • 22.12.2021
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    Sherrilyn Ifill: ‘There Is No Guarantee We Make It Out of This Period as a Democracy’

    Last month, Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted on all charges related to the shooting of two people at a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisc. Before, during and after the trial, journalists and pundits broke down the most sensational moments on the stand, and many tried to discern what Rittenhouse’s not-guilty decision meant about the country at large. People were eager to draw direct connections between the arguments used in court and the inequities that are seen in the country on a daily basis. But is looking at the Rittenhouse trial and other high-profile cases really the best way to understand where we are as a nation? This is a question that Sherrilyn Ifill has had to contend with during the nearly 10 years she’s led the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Ifill oversaw the LDF as they sued the Trump administration and as the battle over voting rights has escalated over the past four years. Jane and Ifill discuss how the LDF has navigated the role of practicing law while advocating political movements in the country. Ifill also shares why she decided to step down from the LDF next April, and what she will be working on next. Mentioned in this episode: A Perilous Path: Talking Race, Inequality and the Law , published in 2018.The LDF’s Statement on the Acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse published on Nov. 19, 2021.

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  • 15.12.2021
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    Is News Media Setting Trump Up For Another Win?

    With the midterms just months away and the 2024 presidential race around the corner, the press is gearing up to cover more deeply polarizing election cycles. And how it should do that is an equally polarizing question. The media’s role in preserving — and reporting on — our democratic institutions is up for discussion. Last week, the New York Times Opinion columnist Ross Douthat pushed back on media critics like the N.Y.U. associate professor Jay Rosen. Jay asserts that the press should strive to be “pro-truth, pro-voting, anti-racist, and aggressively pro-democracy.” Ross disagrees, claiming that such a stance could feed more polarization. So, this week Jane Coaston invited Ross and Jay to the show for a lively debate over how the press should cover politics in a democratic society. Mentioned in this episode: “ Can the Press Prevent a Trump Restoration? ” by Ross Douthat, published last week “ You Cannot Keep From Getting Swept up in Trump’s Agenda Without a Firm Grasp on Your Own ” and “ Two Paths Forward for the American Press ,” by Jay Rosen, published in PressThink in May 2020 and November 2020, respectively.

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  • 08.12.2021
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    Can a New University Really Fix Academia’s Free Speech Problems?

    A group of scholars and journalists announced last month that they were founding the University of Austin on the belief that free speech is being stifled on college campuses across America. “The reality is that many universities no longer have an incentive to create an environment where intellectual dissent is protected and fashionable opinions are scrutinized,” wrote Pano Kanelos, the inaugural president, in the initial statement. But the news was followed by intense scrutiny and backlash on social media as part of a longstanding debate about the state of free speech on college campuses. From students boycotting controversial guest speakers to petitions demanding the resignation of faculty members with polarizing opinions, institutions of higher education have been hotbeds of a larger conversation around censorship of speech in the country. To debate the free speech crisis — or lack thereof — on campuses, Jane Coaston brought together Greg Lukianoff, the president and C.E.O. of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), and Mark Copelovitch, a professor of political science and public affairs and the director of the Center for European Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They discuss whether the new university can address deep-rooted issues on campus or will just fall into the same “thought bubble” that plagues other institutions. Mentioned in this episode: “ Why We Need New Colleges ” by Ross Douthat in The New York Times “ It’s the University of Austin Against Everyone — Including Itself ,” by Derek Robertson in Politico “ Greg Lukianoff: We Are Creating a Culture of Student Fragility ,” a podcast episode of “The Bulwark” This op-ed on the Thompson Center’s “free speech” report, by Mark Copelovitch, Jon C.W. Pevehouse and Jessica L.P. Weeks in The Cap Times

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  • 01.12.2021
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    Could Breaking Up Meta Make Things Worse?

    Facebook, Meta — whatever you want to call it, the tech titan has drawn a lot of ire, and not just from privacy advocates and people fighting misinformation. Antitrust regulators are sharpening their knives, too. Forty-eight attorneys general want to slice the Big Tech giant into less-powerful pieces. They’ve joined a parallel lawsuit with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to challenge what the agency alleges to be a monopoly engaging in illegal acquisitions. And overseas, Britain’s competition regulator has already directed Meta to sell one of its companies, the gif-sharing platform Giphy. Meta reaches 3.6 billion monthly active users across platforms, including Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook itself. Amid a growing techlash, how to fix Meta is a big question. In today’s episode, Jane Coaston explores two opposing views on whether breaking up the company might help. Sarah Miller, the director of the American Economic Liberties Project, argues Meta engaged in anticompetitive practices by buying its rivals. And Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University, is a champion of big business who lauds Meta as an “antimonopoly” engine. (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.) Mentioned in this episode: The case summary of Federal Trade Commission v. Facebook, Inc. "Breaking Up Facebook Is Not the Answer" by Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president for global affairs and communicationsSway's episode with Lina Khan "She's Bursting Big Tech's Bubble"

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  • 24.11.2021
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    How to Find Common Ground With Your Most Problematic Family Members

    It’s holiday time again, and this year feels different. Unlike the shelter-in-place aesthetic of 2020’s holiday celebrations, many people are now vaccinated and hoping to take part in the sort of family and friend events that are more reminiscent of the prepandemic time. With that warmth and community, we all may find ourselves in another seasonal tradition: getting into an argument with people over the dinner table. Maybe it’s a longstanding rivalry with a cousin, or a nosy aunt asking about your biological clock — or perhaps the uniquely 2020-2021 disagreements over masking, vaxxing and who actually won the election. Whatever your flavor of argument, host Jane Coaston and special guest Dylan Marron are here to help. Gleaning tips and advice from Dylan’s podcast and forthcoming book of the same name, “ Conversations With People Who Hate Me ,” Jane and Dylan lay out how to engage empathetically with the people who disagree with you, and how to avoid classic pitfalls that keep the discussion from being productive. Mentioned in this episode: Dylan’s podcast, “ Conversations With People Who Hate Me ”Dylan’s forthcoming book, “ Conversations With People Who Hate Me ”Dylan’s TED Talk, “ Empathy Is Not Endorsement ”

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  • 17.11.2021
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    Why Identity Politics Isn’t Working for Asian Americans

    Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial group in the United States, and understanding their representation in culture, politics and society is getting increasingly complex. In the New York City mayoral election this month, the Republican candidate, Curtis Sliwa, won 44 percent of the vote in precincts where more than half of the residents are Asian, a rate higher than for any other racial group tracked. This came as a surprise, given the popular belief that Asian Americans, particularly the younger generation, are largely liberal. One of our guests on this week’s show argues that the conversation surrounding the Asian American identity is often limited to upwardly mobile immigrants with careers in highly skilled sectors like tech and medicine. But a term as vague as “Asian American” includes everyone from an Indian lawyer to a Hmong refugee, and with that comes the complication of identifying with a phrase that is meant to define such a wide range of experiences. Jane Coaston speaks to two Asian Americans who look at the term in different ways: the writer Jay Caspian Kang, who thinks it ignores class differences and so is meaningless, and his podcast co-host E. Tammy Kim, who believes there’s value in building political power by organizing around the identity and even across these class differences. Mentioned in this episode: “ Time to Say Goodbye ,” a podcast hosted by Jay Caspian Kang, E. Tammy Kim and Andy Liu on Asia, Asian America and life during the coronavirus pandemic Kang’s new book, “ The Loneliest Americans ” Kim’s essay “ Asian America ,” in The London Review of Books “ An Asian American Poet on Refusing to Take Up ‘Apologetic Space,’ ” on “Sway,” a New York Times Opinion podcast

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  • 10.11.2021
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    Got Climate Doom? Here’s What You Can Do to Actually Make a Difference

    It’s no wonder so many people feel helpless about averting climate catastrophe. This is the era of dire warnings from many scientists and increasing natural disasters, record-breaking temperatures and rising tides. Fossil-fuel executives testify before Congress while politicians waver on whether they’ll support urgently needed changes to make American infrastructure sustainable. Thousands of youth activists at the Glasgow climate talks this week demonstrated for action from world leaders whose words convey the seriousness of the emergency but whose actions against major carbon contributors are lacking. But, as host Jane Coaston says, “as fun as doomerism is, doomerism doesn’t do anything.” So what is an individual to do? Recycle? Compost? Give up meat or flying or plastic straws? Protest in the streets? To parse which personal actions matter and which don’t, Jane is joined by the climate activist and author Genevieve Guenther, who argues that for the wealthier citizens of the world, there are real steps that can be taken right away to help fight the current and impending climate catastrophes. Guenther lists them according to one’s ability, time and resources. Also joining the debate is the author of “The Uninhabitable Earth,” David Wallace-Wells, who argues that while individual behavior is a good start, it won’t bring the change needed; only large-scale political action will save us. In this episode, Guenther and Wallace-Wells disagree about extinction and blame, but they agree that when individual political pressure builds into an unignorable movement, once-impossible-to-imagine solutions will be the key to saving our future. Mentioned in this episode: David Wallace-Wells for New York magazine, “ The Uninhabitable Earth ”Auden Schendler’s guest essay “ Worrying About Your Carbon Footprint Is Exactly What Big Oil Wants You to Do ”Jason Mark for Sierra, “ Yes, Actually, Individual Responsibility Is Essential to Solving the Climate Crisis ”

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  • 03.11.2021
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    Why Do We Still Change Clocks Twice A Year?

    On Nov. 7, most of us will fall back an hour and restart the decades-old discussion of why we shift time twice a year. A quick reminder: In spring, we “spring forward” to Daylight Time, giving us daylight well into the evening. But this Sunday, we’ll be back to Standard Time. Which is nice for bright mornings. But it means it’s dark before dinner. The clock change is cumbersome and confusing, and only about 70 countries in the world follow it. Even in the United States there’s no cohesion around Daylight Time; Arizona and Hawaii don’t make the switch. And it’s something politicians of all parties can agree on. Senators Marco Rubio and Ed Markey have pushed to make Daylight Time permanent. The Sunshine Protection Act was introduced in 2018, and 19 states have already passed similar legislation to pave the way for year-round daylight savings, should Congress eventually allow it. But some scientists have their reservations, given how Daylight Time affects our body clocks and sleeping patterns. This week, Jane Coaston digs into the debate with Dustin Buehler, a lecturer at the Willamette University College of Law and general counsel for Oregon’s governor, and Dr. Joseph Takahashi, the chair of the neuroscience department at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Mr. Buehler thinks Daylight Time should be permanent, while Dr. Takahashi says Standard Time is the way to go. Mentioned in this episode: “ Daylight savings year-round could save lives, improve sleep and other benefits ,” in The Conversation in 2019 “ Why We Should Abolish Daylight Saving Time ” in Michigan Medicine, March 2021 Listen to “ Matters of Time ,” an episode of 99% Invisible

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  • 27.10.2021
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    I Love True Crime. Should I Feel Guilty?

    Does our culture have a true crime problem? The genre seems ubiquitous — there’s always a new documentary to stream or a grisly podcast to binge, not to mention entire cable channels dedicated to true crime programming. Some, including Jane Coaston, the host of “The Argument,” call themselves “obsessed” with the genre. Is that a bad thing? Does being a fan of crime storytelling inform the listener of the failures of our criminal justice system, bring exoneration to wrongfully convicted people and reveal possible dangers in the world? Or does true crime cause net harm as it twists the ways we think about punitive justice, perpetuate myths around who the typical victims of violent crimes are and convince many that their armchair sleuthing could solve a case? Jane takes the debate around consuming and creating modern true crime content to two true crime creators: Rabia Chaudry, an attorney, the author of “ Adnan’s Story ” and the host of the “ Undisclosed ” podcast, and Sarah Weinman, a writer and editor and the author of “ The Real Lolita ” and the forthcoming “ Scoundrel .” Mentioned in this episode: Amelia Tait in The Guardian, “ The internet has turned us all into amateur detectives ” “ Suspect ,” a podcast by Wondery and Campside Elon Green in The Appeal, “ The Enduring, Pernicious Whiteness of True Crime ” Helen Rosner’s interview with Jean Murley in The New Yorker, “ The Long American History of ‘Missing White Woman Syndrome ’” “ In the Dark ,” a podcast by American Public Media “ Murder in Alliance ,” a podcast by Obsessed Network “ Through the Cracks ,” a podcast by WAMU and PRX A full transcript of the episode will be available midday Wednesday on the Times website.

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  • 20.10.2021
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    If Cannabis Is Legalized, Should All Drugs Be?

    Medical marijuana is now legal in more than half of the country . The cities of Denver, Seattle , Washington and Oakland, Calif., have also decriminalized psilocybin (the psychedelic element in “magic mushrooms”). Oregon went one step further, decriminalizing all drugs in small quantities, including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. Attitudes toward drugs have changed considerably over the years. But the question of whether all drugs should be legalized continues to be contentious. How much have attitudes toward illegal drugs changed? And why? This week, Jane Coaston talks to Ismail Ali, the policy and advocacy director for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, and Jonathan P. Caulkins, a professor of operations research and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College, about the pros and cons of legalizing all drugs. Mentioned in this episode: “ Is there a Case for Legalizing Heroin? ” by Benjamin Wallace-Wells in The New Yorker “ The Drug-Policy Roulette ” by Jonathan P. Caulkins and Michael A.C. Lee in the National Affairs Summer 2012 edition “ Michael Pollan’s ‘Trip Report,’ ” on The New York Times Opinion podcast “Sway”

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  • 13.10.2021
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    What Biden Is Still Getting Wrong on Immigration

    Our immigration system is broken. So is the way we talk about it. Most conversations about immigration come down to a yes-or-no debate. Two sides talking over each other with very little constructive and achievable propositions. That might be part of the reason that little effective reform has made its way through Congress in the past 20 years, despite calls from both Democrats and Republicans for an overhaul. In reality, immigration is a complicated system and there’s no easy answer to the problems it entails. This week, Jane Coaston breaks down one group of approaches that could have a significant impact on individuals and families who want to enter the United States: temporary work programs. These programs allow migrants to come to the United States to work based on the labor needs of certain industries. And because their legal status is tied to employment, workers are beholden to their bosses and the companies that hire them. Oftentimes, the companies use that power to take advantage of workers. The guests today analyze these programs and debate whether they should be expanded without other changes or what reforms are necessary to ensure workers aren’t exploited. Michael Clemens is an economist and the director of migration, displacement and humanitarian policy at the Center for Global Development. Daniel Costa is a human rights lawyer and the director of immigration law and policy research at the Economic Policy Institute. Mentioned in this episode: Daniel Costa’s paper “ Temporary Migrant Workers or Immigrants? The Question for U.S. Labor Migration ” Michael Clemens’s study on the Bracero program in a paper he co-wrote called “ Immigration Restrictions as Active Labor Market Policy ” “ Making President Trump’s Bed: A Housekeeper Without Papers ” in The New York Times “ The Fixer: Visa Lottery Chronicles ” by Charles Piot with Kodjo Nicolas Batema Love listening to New York Times podcasts? Help us test a new audio product in beta and give us your thoughts to shape what it becomes. Visit nytimes.com/audio to join the beta.

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  • 06.10.2021
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    Are You Contributing to America’s Affordable Housing Crisis?

    Rent is soaring, but close to two-thirds of renters remain on leases because of financial reasons. In 2019, nearly 70 percent of millennials surveyed said that they could not afford to buy a home on account of rising prices, and the number of people in the United States without shelter has increased by about 30 percent in the past five years. We’re in a housing crisis. There’s a ton of debate on how we should go about solving these issues, particularly in dense cities. People who are for building more housing units in cities argue that zoning restrictions should be reduced, which would increase the number of homes, ideally allowing supply to keep up with demand. On the other hand, some residents support strict land use regulations that prevent further development in their areas. Today, Matt Yglesias, a D.C. resident, and Joel Kotkin, who lives in California, join host Jane Coaston to talk about the pros and cons of building more housing and single-family zoning and why moving to the suburbs isn’t the only answer. Also, the Times columnist Jamelle Bouie tells Jane about zoning policy in his city, Charlottesville, Va. Mentioned in this episode: “ Building Housing — Lots of It — Will Lay the Foundation for a New Future ” by Matt Yglesias on Vox “ In Defense of Houses ” by Joel Kotkin, published in City Journal “ How Blue Cities Became So Outrageously Unaffordable ,” an interview with the Vox policy reporter Jerusalem Demsas on “The Ezra Klein Show”

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  • 29.09.2021
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    What We Get Wrong About Online Sex Work

    This episode contains strong language. The online content-hosting platform OnlyFans declared in August that it would ban all “sexually explicit content” from its website. After immense backlash from users, the company reversed that decision just six days later. OnlyFans isn’t the only site to come under fire for providing a platform for adult content. Pornhub and Backpage have been threatened with restrictions over child exploitation and trafficking allegations. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation filed a lawsuit against Twitter, accusing it of allowing and profiting from human trafficking. But a big part of this conversation includes legal sex work and the rights of sex workers. The move to online work has made it possible for performers to have a direct line to their clients and to the general public. And with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, such sites have provided an avenue for content creators to continue earning money. In today’s episode, Jane Coaston speaks with two women who are intimately aware of the workings of the sex industry. Jamie Rosseland is an advocate for victims and survivors of trafficking. And Cherie DeVille is a 10-year porn veteran and a contributor to The Daily Beast. Mentioned in this episode: “ What We Can Really Learn From the OnlyFans Debacle ,” by Jessica Stoya on Slate “ OnlyFans Is Not a Safe Platform for ‘Sex Work.’ It’s a Pimp ,” by Catharine A. MacKinnon in New York Times Opinion “ OnlyFans and the Future of Sex Work on the Internet ,” an episode on NPR’s “1A” podcast

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  • 22.09.2021
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    34:08
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    How They Failed: C.A. Republicans, Media Critics and Facebook Leadership

    In a special Opinion Audio bonanza, Jane Coaston, Ezra Klein ( The Ezra Klein Show ) and Kara Swisher ( Sway ) sit down to discuss what went wrong for the G.O.P. in the recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom of California. “This was where the nationalization of politics really bit back for Republicans,” Jane says. The three hosts then debate whether the media industry’s criticism of itself does any good at all. “The media tweets like nobody’s watching,” Ezra says. Then the hosts turn to The Wall Street Journal’s revelations in “ The Facebook Files ” and discuss how to hold Facebook accountable. “We’re saying your tools in the hands of malevolent players are super dangerous,” Kara says, “but we have no power over them whatsoever.” And last, Ezra, Jane and Kara offer recommendations to take you deep into history, fantasy and psychotropics. Read more about the subjects in this episode: Jane Coaston, Vox: “ How California conservatives became the intellectual engine of Trumpism ”Ezra Klein: “ Gavin Newsom Is Much More Than the Lesser of Two Evils ” and “ A Different Way of Thinking About Cancel Culture ”Kara Swisher: “ The Endless Facebook Apology ,” “ The Medium of the Moment ” “ ‘They’re Killing People’? Biden Isn’t Quite Right, but He’s Not Wrong. ” and “ The Terrible Cost of Mark Zuckerberg’s Naïveté ”

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  • 15.09.2021
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    Is Being a Football Fan Unethical?

    It’s the start of another N.F.L. season, the time of year Americans turn on their televisions to watch their favorite teams make spectacular plays and their favorite players commit incredible acts of athleticism. But is America’s favorite pastime actually its guiltiest pleasure? Can fans ethically enjoy watching a football game? The effects of the tackles on players’ brains is one reason you might feel guilty for watching. The injuries come on top of long-running disagreements between players and the league. How do you balance the brutality of the sport with the athleticism and beauty? Steve Almond gave up watching football because of the values he sees it embracing. Kevin Clark watches football as part of his job as a writer and reporter at The Ringer. Mentioned in this episode: “ Paper Lion: Confessions of a Last-String Quarterback ” by George Plimpton (1966) “ Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto ” by Steve Almond Kevin Clark’s recent reporting at The Ringer

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  • 08.09.2021
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    'I Fear for My Country Today:' Vets Reflect on 9/11

    As the world reflects on the anniversary of Sept. 11, what does the day of the attacks — and the 20 years of war it precipitated — feel like to America’s veterans? With the Afghanistan withdrawal suddenly reclaiming attention for the “forever” wars, is the 9/11 era finally over, on the home front and in America’s foreign policy? Jane Coaston brings together Kenneth Harbaugh and Michael Washington, two friends and veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom, to discuss the pax Americana, the 9/11 roots of today’s divide in the veteran community and the political weaponization of service members’ patriotism. Harbaugh is a former Navy pilot and is a podcaster and veterans’ advocate. Washington is a former Marine and firefighter who today works as a licensed therapist for veterans and emergency workers. Resources mentioned in this episode: Ken Harbaugh’s podcasts, “ Burn the Boats ” and “ Warriors in Their Own Words .” Call, text or chat online with the Veterans Crisis Hotline . Team Rubicon , a nonprofit that utilizes the skills and experiences of military veterans to rapidly deploy emergency response teams to disaster zones. Find a Veterans Affairs location and explore other available benefits and services . If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741-741. You can also visit speakingofsuicide.com/resources .

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  • 01.09.2021
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    Is It Time to End Capital Punishment?

    The death penalty — and the morality behind it — has long divided America. Joe Biden is the first sitting president in our nation’s history to openly oppose capital punishment. By comparison, his predecessor oversaw the executions of 13 people between July 2020 and the end of his tenure. In light of the Department of Justice’s recent moratorium on federal executions, Jane and her guests question the morality of capital punishment through a religious lens. Elizabeth Bruenig, a staff writer at The Atlantic, is Roman Catholic and stands against it, while David French, the senior editor of The Dispatch, argues that there are situations where it is the only just form of punishment. Mentioned in this episode: “ The Man I Saw Them Kill ,” by Elizabeth Bruenig for The New York Times Opinion section in December 2020. “ Not That Innocent ,” by Elizabeth Bruenig for The Atlantic in June 2021. “ The Death Penalty Helps Preserve the Dignity of Life ,” by David French for National Review, published in August 2018. (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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  • 25.08.2021
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    36:47
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    Vaccine Mandates Won’t Save Us

    Requiring proof of vaccination isn’t a novel idea. Schools across the United States require students to get certain vaccinations before the age of 6 . You need a yellow fever vaccine to travel to parts of Africa and South America. Now, with a global pandemic, the conversation has shifted to Covid vaccination requirements. With little more than 50 percent of the United States fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and the Delta variant leading to increased case counts, it’s no surprise that our focus has shifted to vaccine mandates. This week, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was granted approval by the Food and Drug Administration, which likely means more mandates and boosters. Cities like New York and San Francisco already have mandates in place, for accessing indoor dining, gyms and concerts. But do these requirements really help those on the fence? Will the F.D.A.’s declaration sway the roughly 30 percent of Americans who said they’d be more likely to get the vaccine after it was fully approved? Or will it just alienate an entire population of people already hesitant to get the vaccine? In this episode, Jane Coaston and her guests discuss the benefits and risks of vaccine mandates. Angela Rasmussen is a virologist at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) at the University of Saskatchewan. And Marcella Tillett is the vice president of programs and partnerships at the Brooklyn Community Foundation, an organization that’s helping those in the area get vaccinated. Mentioned in this episode: “ Do Mandatory Vaccines Violate Human Rights? ” published in Quartz “ Everybody I Know Is Pissed Off ” in The Atlantic, which gathers together some of the latest polling on vaccine mandates. (A full transcript of this episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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  • 18.08.2021
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    What Should We Be Teaching When It Comes to Racism and America’s Past?

    For many politicians and parents, there’s growing concern over critical race theory. It maintains that race and racism in America are about not individual actors and actions as much as bigger structures that lead to and maintain gaps between racial groups. The theory started in the legal academy, and some fear that it has begun to take over the American education system. How concerned should you be? Jane Coaston and her guests disagree. Chris Rufo is a senior fellow and the director of the initiative on critical race theory at the Manhattan Institute. Professor Ralph Richard Banks is a co-founder and the faculty director of the Stanford Center for Racial Justice. Mentioned in this episode: “ Critical Race Theory: An Introduction ” by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, published in 2001 “ How a Conservative Activist Invented the Conflict Over Critical Race Theory ” in The New Yorker “ Does Teaching America It’s Racist Make It Less Racist? ” podcast episode by “The Argument” “ Critical Race Theory: On the New Ideology of Race ” panel discussion from the Manhattan Institute

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  • 11.08.2021
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    Are Workplace Diversity Programs Doing More Harm Than Good?

    It’s time to rethink what’s working in the modern workplace and what’s failing. Amid a pandemic that overturned how so many work, increased calls for racial and social justice put a new pressure on companies to ensure — or at least to seem as if they ensure — equality among their employees. Diversity, equity and inclusion (D.E.I.) programs are an increasingly popular solution deployed by management. But do these initiatives do marginalized employees any good? And who are the true beneficiaries of diversity programs, anyway? Jane Coaston has spent years on the receiving end of diversity initiatives, and for that reason, she’s skeptical. To debate D.E.I. programs’ efficacy, she brought together Dr. Sonia Kang, the Canada Research Chair in Identity, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Toronto, and Lily Zheng, a D.E.I. strategy consultant and public speaker, to argue what works and doesn’t when it comes to making workplaces fair for all. Mentioned in this episode: Sonia Kang’s podcast, “ For the Love of Work, ” episode “ Leaning Into Diversity, Equity and Belonging ” Lily Zheng, Harvard Business Review, “ How to Show White Men That Diversity and Inclusion Efforts Need Them ” Kim Tran, Harper’s Bazaar, “ The Diversity and Inclusion Industry Has Lost Its Way ” Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev “ Why Diversity Programs Fail ” The Washington Post, “ To improve diversity, don’t make people go to diversity training. Really. ”

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  • 04.08.2021
    32 MB
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    Should We Stop Talking Politics at Work?

    The ousting of Donald Trump, the election of Joe Biden, a ransacking of the Capitol, a summer of protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and a pandemic that is still raging in parts of the United States and abroad. It has felt like a very political few years. But should we not be allowed to talk about it at work? Some bosses would strongly prefer that you stayed away from politics at work. A number of companies have proposed policies that would ban or significantly reduce political discussions at the workplace. But who gets to decide what’s political? And does it really benefit the company or its employees to keep these conversations from happening? Liz Wolfe is an editor at Reason and Johnathan Nightingale is an author and a co-founder of Raw Signal Group. They join Jane to debate whether eliminating politics is possible and how it would change the future of the workplace. Mentioned in this episode: “ Basecamp Becomes the Latest Tech Company To Ban Talking Politics at Work ,” by Liz Wolfe at Reason. “ Fundamentally, this is a story about power ,” in Johnathan Nightingale’s newsletter. “ Breaking Camp ,” by Casey Newton at The Verge.

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  • 28.07.2021
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    The Great Debate of 2021: WFH or RTO?

    You might be someone who has spent a majority of the past year working from home. A survey from October 2020 found 71 percent of American workers turned their apartments into office spaces. But starting this fall, companies are opening up their offices again. The C.E.O. of Morgan Stanley made it clear that its employees have to be back by September . Amazon is hoping for the same . But is returning to in-office work the right move for everyone? Over the next three weeks, we’re going to be focusing on what work could and should look like as we begin to emerge from the pandemic. This week, Jane Coaston is joined by Sean Bisceglia, the C.E.O. of Curion, a consumer insights company, and Anne Helen Petersen, the writer of the newsletter “Culture Study” and the author of “Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation,” to debate the pros and cons of returning to the office. Mentioned in this episode: Sean Bisceglia’s interview with CNN: “ Why Some Companies Want Everyone Back in the Office ” “ Imagine Your Flexible Office Work Future ,” by Anne Helen Petersen The Slate podcast episode of “What Next: TBD”: So, What Happens to WFH Now?

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