Interviewing compelling people for your podcast is the best job ever. But when you’re doing five shows a week, they pile up. It’s all too easy to lose track of even the best conversations. Really, you should listen to every single episode of The Daily Beat, because all the interviews (and my rants about Republicans) are amazing. But if you don’t have the time, here’s a quick rundown of my favorite interviews of the year.
The Sopranos is the greatest show in history, bar none. Some people I know might say I get a little carried away with this take, but I stand by it. When I discovered a professor specializing in pop culture portrayals of the mafia, I had to interview her. Dana Renga discusses the glamorization of the American mafia and what the mafia looks like today.
Gugick was my middle school social studies teacher and is an all-around great guy. He’s also been teaching for two decades, starting just a couple years after Columbine. We discussed how the responses to school shootings have changed over the years, kids’ attitudes toward them now and Parkland, Fla. high school students.
Money isn’t everything, but when it comes to solving major public health problems fueled by capitalistic greed, it might be. Corey Rhyan discusses his study exploring the economic toll of the opioid crisis, which his research totals at more than $1 trillion.
After Kanye West’s Twitter meltdown and bizarre TMZ interview, Beaulieu posted a great Twitter thread comparing West’s (and other rapper’s) conflicts with status, race and approval of white elites to those of Basquiat. It was so interesting, I had him on the show to talk about it. You might know Trevor better as @RickyRawls or T. from Champagne Sharks.
Congress voted to roll back key regulations in Dodd-Frank back in May and no one really said anything or cared. Paul Blest wrote about it for Splinter, though, so I talked to him. Dodd-Frank, of course, was the bill put in place to (supposedly) curb bank fraud following the 2008 financial crisis.
This story was so bizarre I had to write about it. My interview with Walker was supposed to last about 15 minutes, but we wound up speaking for an hour as she discussed how alt-right trolls torpedoed her study on male self-esteem. Turns out white nationalists are concerned about the dick size—who would’ve guessed?
Bourdain’s death hit the world hard. Maria Bustillos interviewed him back in February, and about a month after he died, the Q & A was published in full length for Popula. Bustillos and I talked about how she set up the interview, spending time with Bourdain and the responsibility of handling what might be his final public comments.
Long story (which you can read here) short: I made fun of Owen Shroyer a bunch, he finally saw one of my articles, called me a coward and challenged me to a debate live on his show. I called in, and the rest is history. Honestly my greatest moment in media.
I had a lot of feelings about Dave Rubin and his pseudo-intellectual YouTube show, but I could never quite put them into words. Then, in her first piece for Current Affairs, Aisling McCrea did perfectly. We discussed her piece and Rubin’s intellectual framing, abstraction of political ideas, popularity branding and more.