11 episodes

“Who Is?,” an original podcast by NowThis, explores the back stories of well-known, powerful people in the U.S. Over the course of sixteen 30-45 minute episodes, the podcast will look at top leaders in Washington, Trump’s inner circle, the field of presidential hopefuls and major political donors. The podcast is hosted by NowThis correspondent Sean Morrow.

Who Is? iHeartRadio

    • Politics

“Who Is?,” an original podcast by NowThis, explores the back stories of well-known, powerful people in the U.S. Over the course of sixteen 30-45 minute episodes, the podcast will look at top leaders in Washington, Trump’s inner circle, the field of presidential hopefuls and major political donors. The podcast is hosted by NowThis correspondent Sean Morrow.

    Who is Mohammad bin Salman?

    Who is Mohammad bin Salman?

    How did Saudi Arabia get away with the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the kidnapping and alleged torture of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and even 9/11? How does it get away with war in Yemen and human rights violations at home? Oil, and the wealth that oil has brought about. On the first international episode of Who Is, Sean Morrow explores the 34-year-old trillionaire in charge of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman, and the story of a monarchy that is using its wealth to secure its global legitimacy--and expand its influence--through investments in Silicon Valley notables like Twitter, Uber, and Slack. Featuring Agnès Callamard, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions, who investigated Khashoggi’s 2018 killing.



    Hala Aldosari, Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow at the MIT Center for International Studies


    Agnès Callamard, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions and Director, Global Freedom of Expression, Columbia University


    Steven A. Cook, Eni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. His latest book is False Dawn: Protest, Democracy, and Violence in the New Middle East



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    • 37 min
    Who is Mark Esper?

    Who is Mark Esper?

    In the United States, war is big business. The Department of Defense, led by Secretary Mark Esper since 2019, has a budget of $738 billion this year. And while many of those dollars pay for those who serve in the armed forces and the maintenance of a nuclear arsenal, a significant portion of that budget will go to the military-industrial complex, which President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned Americans about in his farewell address in 1961, and which, prior to his appointment, Secretary Esper represented in Washington as a lobbyist. With the question of war in the air after the United States--in a targeted drone strike on Iraqi soil approved by President Donald Trump--assassinated the second most powerful man in Iran, Qasem Soleimani, who stands to profit? On this episode of Who Is, Sean Morrow dives deep into Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and the military-industrial complex.   



    Kate Brannen, Editorial Director of Just Security


    Jack Detsch, Pentagon Correspondent of Al-Monitor


    Aaron Mehta, Deputy Editor and Senior Pentagon Correspondent of Defense News


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    • 42 min
    Who is Nancy Pelosi?

    Who is Nancy Pelosi?

    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is the most powerful woman in the United States. The first woman to lead the House of Representatives--and third in line to the presidency--she’s passed landmark legislation like the Affordable Care Act; has been the legislative partner, or adversary, of three presidents; and is playing a decisive role in the impeachment of President Trump. All that, and she didn’t even hold elected office until she was 47, after she had raised five children. Whatever your politics, this is Nancy Pelosi’s moment. Join Sean Morrow for this not-to-be-missed look at the woman who is, arguably, the leader of the democratic party. 


    John Lawrence, former Pelosi Chief of Staff; Visiting Professor at the University of California's Washington Center; author of The Class of '74: Congress after Watergate and the Roots of Partisanship


    Paul Kane, Senior Congressional Correspondent and Columnist at the Washington Post 

    Stephanie L. Young, former White House Senior Public Engagement Advisor in the Office of Public Engagement


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    • 46 min
    Who Is Fox News?

    Who Is Fox News?

    On this episode of Who Is, host Sean Morrow explores the backstory of Fox News and its founders: media savant Roger Ailes and Australian billionaire Rupert Murdoch. A sophisticated mix of media and politics, what we know as Fox News is the result of a decades-long conservative effort, and has become a defining force in American politics and presidential elections. Featuring scholars who study conservative media and movements--A.J. Bauer, Reece Peck, and Khadijah White--as well as Caroline Heldman, who appeared on the network hundreds of times, and whose harrowing recollections of the behavior of major personalities echo in contemporary dramatizations like Bombshell and The Loudest Voice, among others.
    GUESTS:


    A.J. Bauer, Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University 


    Reece Peck, Assistant Professor at the City University of New York, Staten Island


    Khadijah White, Assistant Professor of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University


    Caroline Heldman, Professor of Politics at Occidental College


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    • 45 min
    Who Is Bernie Sanders?

    Who Is Bernie Sanders?

    Sen. Bernie Sanders is America’s most prominent self-described democratic socialist, and he’s running for president--as a democrat. Born in Brooklyn, Sanders arrived in Vermont via Chicago, where he was first elected Mayor of Burlington in 1981 by a margin of 10 votes. And from the climate crisis to income inequality to his Medicare For All plan, Sanders has been a consistent progressive voice ever since, as mayor, congressman, and finally, senator. But has Sanders had a measurable impact on our democracy? Does he know how to ‘play the game’? On this episode, host of Who Is, Sean Morrow, talks to the Vermonters who know “Bernie” best, including another former candidate for president: former Vermont governor Howard Dean.
    GUESTS:


    Howard Dean, 2004 Democratic Candidate for President; former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (2005-2009); Governor of Vermont (1991-2003)


    Alan Abbey, Director of Internet and Media at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, Israel


    Bob Kinzel, of Vermont Public Radio


    Dave Levinthal, editor-at-large at the Center for Public Integrity


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    • 46 min
    Who Is Joe Biden?

    Who Is Joe Biden?

    Former Vice President Joe Biden has been in politics for like, ever. Elected to the Senate nearly fifty years ago in 1973, Biden was Obama’s Vice President and is now running for president himself (and not for the first time). He’s been praised for his public service, criticized for his record on race, and noticed for his sunglass selection. On this episode, host of Who Is Sean Morrow unpacks Biden’s long career, for the stories you need to know about Uncle Joe.

    GUESTS:

    Ryan Grim, The Intercept

    Natasha Korecki, Politico


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    • 39 min

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