Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes

Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes

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Every week Chris Hayes asks the big questions that keep him up at night. How do we make sense of this unprecedented moment in world history? Why is this (all) happening? This podcast starts to answer these questions. Writers, experts, and thinkers who are also trying to get to the bottom of them join Chris to break it all down and help him get a better night’s rest. “Why is this Happening?” is presented by MSNBC and NBCNews Think.


Seeking Asylum with Luis Mancheno
Aug 20 • 58 min
What does it mean to apply for asylum? This is the story of one man, Luis Mancheno, and the events that unfolded in his home country of Ecuador that led him to seek refuge in the United States. His journey is heartbreaking and harrowing and powerful – and…
Holding Them Accountable with Rep. Katie Porter
Aug 13 • 50 min
Law professor Katie Porter never considered running for office. She worked under then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris and had Sen. Elizabeth Warren as a professor and mentor, but the idea of holding office herself was never even on the drawing…
This Land is Our Land with Suketu Mehta
Aug 6 • 61 min
Migration is central to the human experience. For as long as we’ve been around, people have been moving from one place to another. Though it’s never been easier to get from point A to point B, the inequality between those places could be as great as…
Fury in Puerto Rico with Julio Ricardo Varela
Jul 30 • 57 min
Last week the Governor of Puerto Rico resigned after hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in two weeks of sustained protest. Leaked inappropriate texts between Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and his inner circle provided the spark, but corruption…
The Climate Campaign with Gov. Jay Inslee
Jul 23 • 65 min
Gov. Jay Inslee is running a presidential campaign unlike any other. The Washington governor is basing his run on the fundamental organizing premise that the climate crisis is more important than anything else. It’s a unique strategy that comes at a time…
Building a Movement with Rev. Dr. William Barber II
Jul 16 • 55 min
How do you build a movement? How do you connect people across race and religion and identity in order to create a united coalition? This is the work of Rev. Dr. William Barber II, one of the best and most important political voices in America right now.…
The Case for Socialism with Bhaskar Sunkara
Jul 9 • 60 min
Let’s talk about socialism. There’s a marked generational divide in the way people think about that word, what it means, and what it conjures. For those who were adults during the Cold War, socialism evokes something very different than those who came of…
A History of Concentration Camps with Andrea Pitzer
Jul 2 • 59 min
There’s been a heated national debate over what to call some of the migrant detention centers along the southern border. Are these facilities deserving of the label “concentration camps”? Andrea Pitzer has a uniquely deep perspective on this, having…
From Red to Blue with Rep. Max Rose
Jun 25 • 63 min
After two years of a Donald Trump presidency, voters turned out in the 2018 midterms to deliver Democrats the House by a historic margin. That freshman class has its fair share of rabble-rousers who are using their platforms to shake up Congress from the…
Impeaching a President with Brenda Wineapple
Jun 18 • 62 min
Got impeachment on the mind? If you do, odds are there are two recent examples of the impeachment process you might be drawing from – Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. But what do you know about the first ever presidential impeachment? There is no better…
Defending Liberalism with Adam Gopnik
Jun 11 • 56 min
Liberalism is the ordering principal of American government, and yet liberalism is embattled. After the end of the Cold War, it was widely believed that liberal democracy would spread inexorably, but instead new challenges to liberalism have emerged.…
Black Lives Matter with Alicia Garza
Jun 4 • 62 min
“Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter.” In July of 2013, Alicia Garza wrote these words in reaction to a jury’s acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. That post turned into a hashtag which became the…
The Anniversary #WITHpod Mailbag
May 28 • 42 min
We just celebrated our one year #WITHpod anniversary! What!? To mark the occasion, we put together a second mailbag episode with producer Tiffany Champion to answer your questions and reflect on the year. Find out who Chris said was his favorite guest,…
A Family’s Lost History During McCarthyism with David Maraniss
May 21 • 50 min
An era of paranoia, the pull of radical politics, the way in which an entire society can fall under the sway of a fever, and how that fever eventually breaks. These themes made up one of the darkest periods of modern American History: The era of…
The Roots of Anti-Semitism with Deborah Lipstadt
May 14 • 64 min
On the final day of Passover this year, a gunman walked into a synagogue outside of San Diego, killing one and injuring three more. Exactly six months earlier, a man entered the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, shouted anti-Semitic slurs and opened…
Debunking the Deficit Hysteria with Stephanie Kelton
May 7 • 57 min
Should you be worried about the federal deficit? While campaigning, President Trump followed in the footsteps of his conservative predecessors by fear-mongering about the ballooning deficit but when he got to the White House that concern seemed to…
Breaking Government with Michael Lewis
Apr 30 • 50 min
What is the most devastating impact Donald Trump has had on the highest office? His lies and rhetoric and bigotry have all had a poisonous effect on our national discourse. But when it comes to his destruction of norms, those are only the ones most…
China’s Secret Internment Camps with Rian Thum
Apr 23 • 46 min
Did you know there are roughly one million people currently held in internment camps in China? One million people detained against their will, facing no criminal charges, cut off from the outside world. This is the story of the Uyghurs, a small insulated…
BONUS: The First Family of Opioids with Patrick Radden Keefe
Apr 18 • 19 min
If you trace the prescription opioid epidemic that is gripping the country to its source, you will find yourself at the feet of the Sackler family. Patrick Radden Keefe is back in a special bonus episode to discuss the newest revelations about the origins…
The Ghosts of a Dirty War with Patrick Radden Keefe
Apr 16 • 56 min
No war can last forever, and when peace comes, those who lived through the horror of violence and hatred have to find a way to live with each other. So it is in Northern Ireland, where since 1998 Catholics and Unionists have lived side by side in a…
Abolishing Prisons with Mariame Kaba
Apr 9 • 64 min
What if we just got rid of prisons? The United States is the epicenter of mass incarceration – but exactly what is it we hope to get out of putting people in prisons? And whatever your answer is to that – is it working? It’s worthwhile to stop and…
Are We a Democracy? with Astra Taylor
Apr 2 • 54 min
Is democracy doomed? Actually, let’s take one step back: what came to your mind when you read the word ‘democracy’? It’s one of those words that on first glance seems easy enough to define but can trip you up as you get deeper in parsing it. Luckily,…
Dying of Whiteness with Jonathan Metzl
Mar 26 • 58 min
Life expectancy in America has gone down three years in a row. You might expect to see a decline in average life expectancy in the aftermath of war or famine – to witness it in an industrialized nation in the middle of an otherwise prosperous era,…
Building a Progressive Majority with Dorian Warren
Mar 19 • 57 min
There are a whole lot of people running for President. Already, the candidates are beginning their nationwide trek, pitching themselves to the Democratic base. Each campaign faces the same struggle: how to craft a message that appeals to a coalition made…
Rethinking Identity with Kwame Anthony Appiah
Mar 12 • 56 min
There’s a reason we keep revisiting identity on WITHpod. From Brittney Cooper to Alex Wagner to Michael Tesler to Amy Chua and on, it’s a topic worth circling back to because it’s one of the most fundamental axes of conflict in our society today.…
The Uninhabitable Earth with David Wallace-Wells
Mar 5 • 63 min
Is it too late for us? Scientists have spent decades sounding the alarm on the devastating effects of climate change. And for decades, society decided to do pretty much nothing about it. In fact, over the past 30 years, we’ve done more damage to the…
LIVE: The Democratic Response with Stacey Abrams
Feb 26 • 72 min
It’s our second live edition of WITHpod, featuring special guest Stacey Abrams! Just a heads up, this is one of those episodes that’ll make you laugh out loud in public. A lot.If you want to get to the heart of the most fundamental question facing the…
Blocking Big Tech with Kashmir Hill
Feb 19 • 51 min
How soon after waking up do you check your phone? Do you compulsively refresh your Twitter feed? Can you find your way around without Google Maps? There are many obvious and tactile ways in which Silicon Valley has its hooks in our everyday lives. And as…
Can We Tax the Rich? with Jesse Eisinger
Feb 12 • 58 min
**Listen for details on how to win tickets to our live WITHpod recording with Stacey Abrams!**Why is it so hard to raise taxes on the rich? From freshmen firebrands to Presidential hopefuls, taxing the wealthy has become the Congressional conversation du…
Thick Descriptions with Tressie McMillan Cottom
Feb 5 • 55 min
Why do we summarize things into ‘tweet length versions’? It requires the flattening of nuance and personality and information that we need to talk about complicated things. Whether it’s the 280 characters of a tweet or a clickbait headline, we’re…
Live #WITHpod with Stacey Abrams! TICKET LINK IN DESCRIPTION
Jan 30 • 2 min
Presale tickets available TODAY starting at 10a ET »> Buy tickets here«« To access presale tickets, use special code — WITHPODLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Back to the Future of Transportation with Aaron Gordon
Jan 29 • 60 min
*We have a new live show on the calendar! Listen for details.* If you care about battling climate change, then you might want to pay attention to the New York City subway system. We know there’s an urgent need to cut our carbon emissions and a big part of…
BONUS: The Census Decision with Dale Ho
Jan 25 • 24 min
We have a Census update! When last we left you, Dale Ho was headed to court to argue against the Trump administration’s plan to add a citizenship question on the 2020 census. Now, Dale Ho is back to tell us what the court decided and what happens next. If…
Amazon’s Wish List with Stacy Mitchell
Jan 22 • 54 min
What does Amazon want from us? For consumers, Amazon can be a frictionless gateway to find everything from bed frames to dog food, baby clothes to award winning original tv series. There’s nothing quite like it – a position they’re in not by accident but…
Trade Wars with Lori Wallach
Jan 15 • 55 min
What was so bad about NAFTA? If you ask the President, it was one of the worst deals ever made. A common 2016 campaign riff was him promising to bring jobs back, get companies to return production to the U.S., and scrap NAFTA. This anti-trade campaigning…
Organizing in Trump Country with George Goehl
Jan 8 • 57 min
How can Democrats win in deep red America? During the midterms, momentum behind progressive candidates in red states garnered national attention – Beto O’Rourke in Texas, Andrew Gillum in Florida, and Stacey Abrams in Georgia. These were no overnight…
The #WITHpod Mailbag
Jan 1 • 27 min
You asked, Chris answered! In our inaugural mailbag episode, we talk about the organizing power of county fairs, why members of Congress contradict each other on Yemen, whether there’s any hope for the Internet, and more. Can you guess which WITHpod…
Revisiting The Rule of Law in the Era of Trump with Kate Shaw
Dec 25, 2018 • 46 min
Listen for a couple of WITHpod announcements! Since his first day in office, Donald Trump has been testing the boundaries of the law on multiple fronts. From his open hostility towards the investigation into his campaign’s involvement with a foreign…
America’s (Bad) Reputation with Fmr. Secretary of State John Kerry
Dec 18, 2018 • 57 min
Will America’s reputation survive President Trump? A common trend underlying President Trump’s policy decisions is to undo whatever President Obama accomplished. For former Secretary of State John Kerry, that means watching years of his hard-earned…
Politics and Violence with Joanne B. Freeman
Dec 11, 2018 • 67 min
Imagine what would happen if your Senator was beaten bloody on the Senate floor. Or if your Congressperson pulled a gun on a member of the opposition party. Our current political climate is ugly but that kind of violence would be unfathomable today. In…
The Information Crisis with David Roberts
Dec 4, 2018 • 53 min
How can you be sure that the things you know are true… are actually true? We have access to more information than any humans in history but we can’t process it on our own. In fact, almost all of what we know comes from others. We come to rely on people…
Live: A New Hope with Ta-Nehisi Coates
Nov 27, 2018 • 63 min
In our first ever live edition of WITHpod, Chris interviews one of the most important non-fiction writers in America - Ta-Nehisi Coates. His books and essays drive national conversations about issues like systemic racism, blackness, white privilege, and…
History and Scandal with Rachel Maddow
Nov 20, 2018 • 51 min
Listen to Rachel Maddow talk about her new podcast, what it’s like to be covering the news in this political moment, how we can use history to make sense of current events, and why are you even still reading this description – it’s Rachel and Chris! What…
Slavery’s Enduring Political Legacy with Maya Sen and Matthew Blackwell
Nov 13, 2018 • 58 min
What can soil tell us about election results? After every election, analysts pore over piles of data in order to better understand political trends. But what if a better place to search for answers is the ground beneath our feet? More specifically,…
The Trump Scheme to Rig the Census with Dale Ho
Nov 6, 2018 • 59 min
In many cases the Trump Administration isn’t shy when it comes to undermining the Constitution of the United States. But while fights over things like the Muslim ban or ending birthright citizenship play out in public, there are other massive…
BONUS: Midterm Watch with Daniel Nichanian
Nov 1, 2018 • 17 min
It’s a bonus mini-episode of #WITHpod! Daniel Nichanian joins Chris to talk about what he has his eyes on ahead of election day. Read his much more extensive list at Whatsontheballot.com and find out what’s happening in your state.Learn more about your ad…
White Identity Politics with Michael Tesler
Oct 30, 2018 • 53 min
Just one week left until the midterms and race and identity politics are playing a major role in the messaging of both parties. For Republicans, it comes in the shape of fear-mongering about the threat imposed by anyone ‘other’, a play ripped directly…
Medicare for All with Abdul El-Sayed
Oct 23, 2018 • 53 min
What would it mean to have Medicare for All? The issue of healthcare emerged as a key campaign fight in the coming midterm elections, with ads and debate questions centered on coverage of pre-existing conditions. While Republicans dig deeper into a fear…
Voter Suppression Past and Present with Carol Anderson
Oct 16, 2018 • 52 min
Why are Republicans so obsessed with voter fraud? Study after study finds no evidence of any large-scale voter fraud in the country, yet we keep hearing about necessary changes to voting systems in order to combat this major threat to democracy. Here’s…
The Myths of the Ruling Class with Anand Giridharadas
Oct 9, 2018 • 49 min
Will a ride-sharing app battle religious intolerance? Can a billionaire combat illiteracy by sending laptops to underfunded communities? Would a bank’s involvement in one of the largest financial crises in American history be forgotten if they donate…
Women, Rage, and Power with Rebecca Traister
Oct 2, 2018 • 61 min
Women are pissed. After the election of Donald Trump, the sustained fury of American women has been one of the defining features of his political backlash. From the immediate outpouring of rage in the Women’s Marches to the reckoning of the #MeToo moment…
Social Infrastructure Week with Eric Klinenberg
Sep 25, 2018 • 59 min
Can a library save your life? Could public parks help address crime and addiction in your neighborhood? Think about libraries and churches and crowded subway trains – they’re shared spaces that can push all types of people together, playing a crucial role…
Investigating the President with Nick Akerman
Sep 18, 2018 • 53 min
It’s time we talked about Watergate. The crime, the greed, the paranoia and the investigation; how does one of the most significant criminal conspiracies in the history of the American republic help to inform us about what’s unfolding with Robert…
The Left Wing of the Democratic Party with Sean McElwee
Sep 11, 2018 • 54 min
Can the Democratic Party keep up with the new left? The left-most wing of the party is growing and expanding, pushing platforms like Medicare for all, free college, and abolishing ICE. Though this group is the minority, the space they’re creating is the…
America’s Role in the World’s Worst Crisis with Shireen Al-Adeimi
Sep 4, 2018 • 51 min
The people of Yemen are experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet, according to the United Nations. They are devastated by a war that the United States supports. Why is the U.S. involved in a conflict that has left an estimated tens of…
Trump, Brexit, and Racial Grievance with Mehdi Hasan
Aug 28, 2018 • 57 min
Donald Trump’s victory wasn’t the only 2016 election result to shock the world. Just months earlier voters in the United Kingdom made history when they opted for Brexit, thereby initiating the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union. While the two…
Why Trump’s Corruption Matters with Zephyr Teachout
Aug 21, 2018 • 65 min
Is President Trump a symptom of a system of corruption, or is he the cause? The nation’s highest office is embroiled in scandal, some so brazen and shameless that it’s almost easy to grow numb to the onslaught of headlines. But corruption is a uniquely…
The Wicked Problem of Climate Change with Andrew Revkin
Aug 14, 2018 • 58 min
Why is it so hard to focus attention on the climate crisis? We know the damage we’re doing to the climate and we know why we’re doing it. We even know the obstacles to the solution (fossil fuel companies, denialist political parties) and yet it’s still a…
Roe V. Wade’s Final Hour? with Nancy Northup
Aug 7, 2018 • 53 min
Are we on the precipice of one of the most destructive social reversals in the country’s history? President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as the next Supreme Court justice initiated a heated conversation about the future of Roe v. Wade because,…
School Segregation in 2018 with Nikole Hannah-Jones
Jul 31, 2018 • 59 min
Why are American schools resegregating? Over 60 years since the Brown v. Board of Education ruling forced schools to integrate, the nation is witnessing schools become increasingly segregated. So how did we get to this point? Nikole Hannah-Jones has…
Our Real Estate Obsession with Giorgio Angelini
Jul 24, 2018 • 50 min
Why do you live where you live? Not just the state or the city but the block you walk down and the door you walk through every day. Having a space to call home is packaged as part of the ‘American Dream’ and it has become a full on real estate obsession.…
“Futureface” with Alex Wagner
Jul 17, 2018 • 40 min
Why is everyone taking DNA tests to find out about their heritage? While Americans are fueling an industry selling them a story of global identity, the country’s President is spreading fear and hostility about non-white immigrants. Trump seems to have an…
Ending Mass Incarceration with Larry Krasner
Jul 10, 2018 • 58 min
Have you heard about Larry Krasner? He’s a lefty progressive lawyer in Philadelphia that made his name by defending the underdogs, representing activists and suing police officers. Last year, he was elected as Philadelphia’s District Attorney, meaning he…
Fracking Trump Country with Eliza Griswold
Jul 3, 2018 • 47 min
What does it look like when fracking comes to town? For folks in poor rural areas, parts of Trump Country before we had Trump Country, fracking can mean opportunity, wealth, and autonomy for some, destruction and ruin for others. Journalist Eliza Griswold…
How Bad Is It? with Ezra Klein
Jun 26, 2018 • 46 min
Families are being ripped apart at the border, a Republican Congressman retweeted a Nazi sympathizer, and Trump White House officials are being protested with increasing regularity. It is feeling pretty rough out there – so just how bad is it? There have…
Destruction in Puerto Rico with Naomi Klein
Jun 19, 2018 • 41 min
How did Hurricane Maria evolve from a natural disaster into a human catastrophe in Puerto Rico? While the official death count remains at 64, a Harvard study suggests thousands were killed. While the hurricane left its devastating mark on the island,…
Political Tribalism with Amy Chua
Jun 12, 2018 • 43 min
There seems to be a lot of talk about this idea of political tribalism lately. Critiques that groups are increasingly insular not just around politics but about race or religion or any number of identity markers, and that this isolation makes it…
Separating Immigrant Families with Lee Gelernt
Jun 5, 2018 • 56 min
The Trump administration is forcibly separating immigrant children from their parents, something they are hoping will deter immigrants from entering the country. It’s sparked widespread outrage, protests and lawsuits, with the White House now attempting…
Who Broke the Internet? with Tim Wu
May 29, 2018 • 46 min
From the rise of fake news and the troll farms pumping it out to the harvesting of our Facebook data by groups like Cambridge Analytica, Chris Hayes knows the internet feels pretty crappy these days. In this episode, Hayes examines how something once seen…
The Rule of Law in the Era of Trump with Kate Shaw
May 22, 2018 • 42 min
Since his first day in office, Donald Trump has been testing the boundaries of the law on multiple fronts. From his open hostility towards the investigation into his campaign’s involvement with a foreign adversary, to his policy prescriptions by way of…
The Conservative Movement with Corey Robin
May 15, 2018 • 39 min
Is President Donald Trump a conservative? While other contemporary writers and thinkers may be quick to write the President off as an anomaly to the conservative movement, Corey Robin has another theory. He argues that if you trace conservatism back…
The Middle East with Dexter Filkins
May 15, 2018 • 34 min
What is happening in the Middle East? Chris Hayes sorts through the bewildering number of individual conflicts and key players to get to the heart of what’s unfolding in the Middle East. And, at the heart of it, is one big potentially world-war-starting…
The Personal is Political with Brittney Cooper
May 15, 2018 • 35 min
Talking about the politics of identity, particularly in the age of Donald Trump, can feel like you’re walking through a minefield. Whether it’s the President’s immigration policy or two black men arrested in a Starbucks, Chris Hayes argues that all the…
Why IS this happening?
May 9, 2018 • 1 min
This podcast will help answer the BIG questions that keep Chris up at night. In this tumultuous time, the things we see play out on cable news every day are driven by big ideas, themes, and huge arcs of history. So, every week a new expert will help us…