Crosscut Talks

Crosscut Talks

crosscuttalks.podbean.com
Replays of Crosscut’s live interviews with the people who shape our world, including conversations from Crosscut Festival. Hosted by Mark Baumgarten and produced by Jake Newman.


How Crisis Has Shaped Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Plus: Parsing Our Poll on Police and Protesting
Oct 15 • 37 min
Michael Kirk, the director of ‘The Choice,’ tells us what the presidential candidates’ response to tragedy, failure and humiliation tells us about how they lead. The two candidates are old. In fact, President Donald Trump was already the oldest American…
The Argument for Packing the Supreme Court. Plus: More Reasons to Hate Wildfire Smoke
Oct 8 • 42 min
Elie Mystal tells us why expanding the court isn’t an outlandish idea, and how it might work. When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away last month, her death marked the beginning of a fresh debate over the future of the Supreme Court. But the biggest…
The Truth About Black Life in Middle America. Plus: College Towns in the COVID Era
Sep 30 • 42 min
Terrion Williamson, the director of the Black Midwest Initiative, discusses how parachute journalism is hurting Black people in America’s heartland. When the video of Minneapolis police officers killing George Floyd went viral in the spring, the Minnesota…
The Crisis at the Core of ‘The Social Dilemma.’ Plus: QAnon comes to Washington
Sep 24 • 39 min
Director Jeff Orlowski talks about his hit documentary and how his work on climate change helped him prepare to tell the story of social media run amok. In the early days of social media, the promise was real. By democratizing connection, a new breed of…
Your Brain Wasn’t Made for 2020. Plus: What Restaurant Workers Really Think
Sep 17 • 44 min
Jacob Ward, host of ‘Hacking Your Mind,’ tells us why humans are more susceptible to misinformation and partisanship, and what we can do about it. Humanity is facing some daunting challenges right now. The pandemic, massive wildfires, civil unrest and…
The Hidden History and Possible Future of Family Separation. Plus: Concerns Over Released Prisoners
Sep 3 • 39 min
NBC News journalist Jacob Soboroff talks about Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy, its origins and its possible return. When it was first reported that the United States government was systematically separating families at the southern border, the…
What Makes the Boogaloo Movement Different and Frightening. Plus: A Tourist Town Contends With a Pandemic
Aug 27 • 37 min
Reporter Leah Sottile discusses how an internet meme became a violent new movement. When people began appearing at state capitols across the country in the spring, demanding that their governments rescind the restrictions put in place to contain the…
Imagining a Post-Trump Republican Party. Plus: The Resignation of Seattle’s Police Chief
Aug 20 • 53 min
Conservative Washington Post columnist Henry Olsen discusses the split he sees between President Trump and many of the people who vote for him. When the Republican National Convention opens next week, it will be entering uncharted territory. Not just…
Delay, Negligence and Death in Our Prisons. Plus: Will Washington’s Shield Law Protect Its Journalists?
Aug 13 • 39 min
Reporter Levi Pulkkinen discusses his investigation into the prison health care system, where a treatable illness can put a prisoner in a body bag. Gross medical negligence in America’s prisons isn’t anything new. As long as there have been reporters…
What Regulation of Big Tech Might Look Like. Plus: Are We Ever Gonna Dance Again?
Aug 6 • 40 min
This week, tech historian Margaret O’Mara visits us to discuss what could be in store for the Big Four. Last week’s congressional hearings on Big Tech lacked some of the pomp and circumstance of previous antitrust hearings, but there was little doubt that…
American Hypocrisy in the Fight for Democracy in Hong Kong. Plus: Seattle Responds to the Federal Deployment
Jul 30 • 40 min
When the Chinese government enacted new national security law that outlawed dissent in the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong, it signaled a new, and perhaps final, stage in the city’s pro-democracy movement. Since 2014, activists had staged sit-ins and…
Inside Joe Biden’s $2 Trillion Climate Plan. Plus: What Washington Voters Think About Masks
Jul 23 • 38 min
When the Joe Biden campaign introduced its Build Back Better plan earlier this month, it was delivering what promised to be a kind of silver bullet. The presumed Democratic nominee for the presidency was proposing to fuel an economic recovery, beat back…
Patty Murray’s Fight to Reopen Schools Safely. Plus: Will Seattle Really Cut Police Funding by 50%?
Jul 16 • 39 min
Patty Murray has been busy. As the ranking member on the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, the senior senator from the state of Washington is intimately involved in developing legislation to guide federal oversight of the…
The Battle for Enthusiasm in the Race for the White House
Jul 9 • 36 min
Former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe discusses electoral excitement in the era of coronavirus. For years, the presidential election of 2020 has been touted as the most important of the modern era. There was little doubt that the months leading up…
What Makes a Great American President. Plus: Why Being Mayor of Seattle Sucks
Jul 2 • 44 min
Journalist John Dickerson tells us what it takes to succeed in the White House, why President Trump appears to be failing and whether Joe Biden would be any good. In the last few months Trump has been challenged by the kind of crises that demand…
Nikkita Oliver on the Future of Black Lives Matter. Plus: The Risks of Reopening During the Pandemic
Jun 25 • 32 min
The Black Lives Matter movement has made a tremendous amount of progress in a very short time. In a single month, it has gone from an afterthought for many Americans to the leading topic of conversation in the nation and a major catalyst for change.…
Why Is the Conservative Supreme Court Acting So Liberal? Plus: The Black Leaders Who Support Seattle’s Top Cop
Jun 18 • 42 min
Amicus host Dahlia Lithwick joins us to discuss the possible motivations for this week’s most surprising ruling. When the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court nearly two years ago, the consensus was that the…
Cop Culture and the New Era of Police Reform. Plus: How ‘Defund the Police’ is Playing Out in Seattle
Jun 11 • 33 min
On this week’s episode we speak with former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper about tear gas, cop culture and ridding racism from American law enforcement. In the week’s since George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police, the conversation around policing…
White America and the Future of the Anti-Racist Movement. Plus: Reporting on Unrest in Seattle
Jun 4 • 48 min
Resmaa Menakem (My Grandmother’s Hands) and Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility) join us to talk about the responsibilities they believe white Americans have in this moment and what would need to happen for change to take hold. Following the killing of George…
How George W. Bush Changed America. Plus: The Anti-Vaccine Movement of the 1920s
May 28 • 50 min
One thing is certain about the presidency of George W. Bush: It was consequential. From the Sept. 11 attacks, through the war in Iraq and Hurricane Katrina and into the financial crisis of 2008, the country was sent careening through an era of deep…
The Corporate Campaigns That Broke Americans’ Trust in Science. Plus: A Big Seattle Project in Very Big Trouble
May 21 • 34 min
After two or more months of lockdown, states across the country have begun reopening with the support of the federal government. But with infection rates holding steady or increasing in many states, risk remains for citizens and, especially, for workers.…
Dissecting America’s Meat-Packing Crisis. Plus: COVID-19’s Impact on Washington Latinos
May 15 • 31 min
As it has done in so many other aspects of American life, the novel coronavirus outbreak has lifted the curtain on the nation’s food-production system. The conditions at meat-packing plants, in particular, have become headline news, as clusters of…
The Indivisible Plan for the Future of the Democratic Party. Plus: How to Write About a Recession
May 8 • 43 min
Envisioning the future is key to movement politics. But what happens to that vision when the world as you know it comes to a screeching halt? For Democratic activists, that is the current reality, as they prepare for what is being touted as the most…
The Twist in Rick Wilson’s Plot to Unseat the President. Plus: What Washingtonians Really Think About the Shutdown
May 1 • 45 min
When Rick Wilson published Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America From Trump and Democrats From Themselves, the world was a simpler place. It was January and the center of gravity for the political world was in the chambers of the U.S. Senate,…
New Podcast Preview: A New Kind of Anxiety in the Early Days of COVID-19
Apr 8 • 24 min
This week we are sharing the first episode of a new podcast from Crosscut, This Changes Everything. Crosscut Producer Sara Bernard hosts this weekly exploration of the cultural, economic, and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through interviews…
Janet Napolitano on Political Divides and American Security
Mar 24 • 50 min
As former head of the Department of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama, Janet Napolitano has had an inside view of what national security really means. In her book, ‘How Safe Are We? Homeland Security Since 9/11,’ she discusses the difference…
Invoking the Divine Through Indian Raga with Srivani Jade
Mar 17 • 82 min
The relationship between music and spirituality spans the globe. Indian ragas are an especially powerful and unique example of this tradition. Thousands of years ago, Hindus envisioned them as manifestations of the divine. While some songs are memorized,…
Rahm Emanuel on the Power of Mayors and Dysfunction in D.C.
Mar 10 • 63 min
Mayors have been popping up in national discourse more and more often in the past few years. For instance, the race for the Democratic presidential nomination has been largely shaped by former mayors suggesting that, in an era of political gridlock,…
Why Washington State Matters More in the 2020 Presidential Race
Mar 3 • 68 min
There is a lot at stake in the 2020 presidential election, especially for Democrats. And in Washington state, 2020 marks a big change for the party. Instead of relying on caucuses to weigh in on the primary race, the party voted last year to pick its…
PBS Newshour’s Fred de Sam Lazaro on the Power of Under-Told Stories
Feb 25 • 81 min
In a time of newsroom layoffs, hot takes, “fake news” and intense political polarization, it can be difficult to find in-depth journalism that takes the time to explore underrepresented communities or attempt to tackle the world’s toughest questions. But…
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan Talks Homelessness, Crime and Solutions
Feb 11 • 67 min
Ask anyone who has lived in Seattle for the past few years and they will tell you: The city has changed, dramatically. This is a result, in large part, of the booming economy fueled by the major tech companies based here. New jobs at these firms have…
Valerie Jarrett’s Road to the White House
Dec 17, 2019 • 50 min
Few people know the Obamas as well as Valerie Jarrett. She first met Michelle Obama, then a young lawyer named Michelle Robinson, in 1991, while interviewing her for a job in Chicago city government. From there, Jarrett grew to be the Obamas’ most trusted…
The Little Things That Can Make a Big Difference
Dec 10, 2019 • 53 min
There are many things going wrong in the world. And a lot of the time those things seem just too big to do anything about. Especially when it comes to climate change, people often feel helpless. What it will take to make an impact is systemic change, not…
The Case for Fixing Philanthropy and Decolonizing Wealth
Dec 6, 2019 • 15 min
The idea of decolonization has been with us for as long as countries have laid claim to land already rich with people and an existing history. And generally it is thought of as the giving back of that land. But there is more to decolonization than mere…
Learning to Live With Climate Change
Dec 3, 2019 • 55 min
The impacts of climate change are already here. From record-breaking hurricanes to fires and floods, some communities are already in crisis. People living on the coast are especially vulnerable. A number of tribal villages in Alaska and Washington state,…
The Making of The Rising
Nov 29, 2019 • 21 min
As the impacts of climate change become more apparent, communities along the coast are facing difficult decisions. Two of those communities, the coastal villages of Queets and Taholah, are currently developing plans to relocate. These are ancestral homes…
What Really Happened During the Battle in Seattle
Nov 26, 2019 • 74 min
The WTO protests in November 1999 put Seattle on the map in a way that grunge and tech never could. The World Trade Organization had planned a meeting in the city to discuss trade agreements for the new millennium, but then tens of thousands of protestors…
How to Make Big Tech More Diverse
Nov 19, 2019 • 52 min
Big tech has a diversity problem. Some communities of color and women still represent a disproportionately small percentage of all employees at major tech companies. In 2017, for instance, African Americans made up just three percent of the workforce at…
Making Sense of Climate Change Through Art
Nov 12, 2019 • 52 min
Climate change is impacting our planet, and it’s also impacting us — our emotions, our psychology and our worldview. And now, it’s a concept that artists and curators are tackling too. The art they create and select helps translate and explore some of…
What a Future for Journalism Looks Like
Nov 5, 2019 • 52 min
The financial side of the news business has been struggling for decades now, and 2019 has been an especially bad year. Downsizing and closures continue across the country. Buzzfeed, Vice and the Huffington Post all announced major layoffs in recent…
Will Women’s Sports Ever Get a Fair Shake?
Oct 25, 2019 • 81 min
Women’s professional sports have seen a surge in popularity in recent years, with more awareness, more fans, and more ticket sales The U.S. women’s soccer team’s victory in the FIFA World Cup this past summer was an especially big reminder that women’s…
Can Environmental Policy Bring the Two Parties Together?
Oct 22, 2019 • 55 min
Republicans and Democrats don’t often agree. Environmental policy is no exception, especially climate policy. The response to the Green New Deal highlighted the clear divisions between the parties. Most Democratic leaders stood behind it, while most…
Booming Economies and the People They Leave Behind
Oct 15, 2019 • 50 min
There’s no question that the thriving economies of wealthy west coast cities have left some residents behind. The gap between rich and poor is wider than ever. And although the market has cooled some, the cost of housing continues to rise, leaving more…
Inside a New Era of Activism With the Women Leading the Charge
Oct 8, 2019 • 52 min
Grassroots activism has served a crucial role in American culture and politics throughout history. Getting out in the streets and marching in protest is still a valuable tool for the modern activist, but there are a lot of other ways activists spread the…
Poets, Plumbers and Robots: The Future of Work in America
Oct 1, 2019 • 52 min
Artificial intelligence and other forms of automation are on the horizon for a lot of different industries. From self-driving cars to robot factory workers, AI is coming, and it could have a huge impact on jobs in this country. That, combined with global…
Two Working Musicians Take on Sexism and Racism in Their Industry
Sep 24, 2019 • 51 min
he #MeToo movement has hit every corner of the U.S., and there have been public accusations of sexual harassment and assault in almost every high profile industry, from Hollywood to politics to the news media. The music industry is no different. Sexual…
Finding Hope in the Hopelessness of Climate Change
Sep 17, 2019 • 50 min
The scientists charting the impacts of climate change continue to issue dire predictions about our planet’s future. In late 2018, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report stating that some of the most devastating…
What to Do About Wildfires in Washington
Sep 10, 2019 • 51 min
There’s no question that wildfires have been getting worse. They’re bigger, stronger, and more destructive than ever before, and the fire season is longer than ever before, too. This is especially true in the western states. Last year, for instance,…
Dictatorships, Democracies and the New Era of Global Unrest
Sep 3, 2019 • 51 min
Authoritarian regimes around the world are having a renewed impact on American politics. The nuclear threat from North Korea, the presidential crisis in Venezuela and the ongoing conflict in Syria have all driven news cycles this year and are all products…
Separating Fact From Fiction in Trump’s Immigration Policy
Aug 27, 2019 • 63 min
President Donald Trump has made immigration a cornerstone of his political agenda. And his rhetoric, while inflaming his critics and galvanizing his base, is not always based in fact. That makes it difficult for journalists, who are attempting to report…
The Power and Prejudice Behind Mass Incarceration
Aug 20, 2019 • 50 min
The United States incarcerates more people per capita than any other country in the world. And a vastly disproportionate number of the people we lock up are people of color. A growing bipartisan movement wants reform, but how do we transform our nation’s…
A Journey Into the Queer Communities of Conservative America
Aug 13, 2019 • 46 min
The movement for LGBT rights has gained a lot of traction around the country, but there are still many places that remain unfriendly or unsafe for the queer community. Often, those places are in the more conservative parts of America. But transgender…
White Nationalism and the State of Hate in America
Aug 6, 2019 • 49 min
In August 2017, hundreds of white nationalists marched in the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia. They were gathered under the banner of “Unite the Right” and said they were there to protest the removal of a confederate monument. The event quickly…
How Republicans Plan to Take Back Power in Olympia
Jul 30, 2019 • 50 min
Washington generally is thought of as a very blue state. It’s been decades since voters here elected a Republican governor or U.S. senator, and the state has long been considered a lock for whichever Democrat happens to be running for president. Democrats…
Assault, Accusations and Accountability: Breaking a #MeToo Story
Jul 23, 2019 • 51 min
Journalism has played a prominent role in the #MeToo era. Since the revelation in the New York Times of the accusations of sexual assault against movie producer Harvey Weinstein, more and more survivors have spoken out publicly about their experiences.…
How Washington’s Attorney General Keeps Beating Trump
Jul 16, 2019 • 49 min
In January 2017 Bob Ferguson became the first state attorney general to sue the Trump Administration. That was in response to the president’s attempt to ban travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries. Since then, the Washington state attorney general…
Covering the Trump White House
Jul 9, 2019 • 47 min
The life of a White House correspondent has changed dramatically in the last few years. From early-morning tweets to alternative facts to the outright vilification of the news media, President Donald Trump has upended the conventions of Washington, and…
Has the Next Civil War Already Started?
Jul 2, 2019 • 50 min
In America, Civil War as long been relegated to history books and Ken Burns films. But recently it has become a live topic. Crosscut gathered a panel of political experts and journalists to discuss the deepening tribalism of extreme partisan politics,…
Jeff Merkley on Trump, Mueller and Making Congress Work Again
Jun 27, 2019 • 52 min
Jeff Merkley has made a name for himself by challenging President Trump on the courts and immigration, inspiring some chatter that the junior senator from Oregon might run for president. But earlier this year, Merkley joined a rarefied group: Democrats…
2020 Visions: Presidential Election Predictions and Projections
Jun 21, 2019 • 90 min
The 2020 election is almost a year and a half away, but the race is already on. There are two dozen Democrats, and one Republican, lining up to challenge President Donald Trump. And the news cycle is dominated by big questions about who can win, and how.…
Pramila Jayapal’s Case for a More Progressive Politics
Jun 13, 2019 • 50 min
She has been in congress for less than 3 years, but Pramila Jayapal is already shifting the conversation in the other Washington. As the co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus at the dawn of newfound Democratic power, the Seattle-area representative has…
How Macklemore and Doug Baldwin Jr. Use Their Fame to Make Social Change
Jun 4, 2019 • 60 min
Some activists need to use loudspeakers, but others are fortunate enough to already have the world’s attention. Colin Kaepernick, for example, showed how a single act — and the commitment to repeat it — can both inspire and agitate on a national scale.…
Christine Todd Whitman Takes on Trump
May 30, 2019 • 50 min
As the head of the Environmental Protection Agency in the early ‘00s, Christine Todd Whitman served at the pleasure of one Republican president. Now the former Republican governor of New Jersey is being very public about her displeasure with another.…
Is Socialism the Future of the Democratic Party?
May 24, 2019 • 50 min
Socialism may ignite the ire of Republicans and many baby boomers, but it is gaining broad acceptance from millennials as politicians like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Bernie Sanders urge the country to adopt some of its tenets. We bring together…