22 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 Paul Singer?

    Who Is Paul Singer?

    On Who Is?, Sean Morrow talks a lot about the system--and the powerful financial interests that exert a profound influence on it. But who are these check-writing billionaires, where do they make their money, and how do they spend it in order to influence our democracy? One of them, Paul Singer, runs a hedge fund, Elliott Management, whose business is activism--but not the activism you might think of. Elliott’s “activism” is activist investing, and the changes Elliott advocates for--at major main street companies like AT&T--often involve tens of thousands of layoffs, and result in the collapse of small towns and regional economies. That’s not all: Elliott is also in the business of using the courts to force entire countries, like Argentina, into default, making a handsome profit in the process. What does Paul Singer do with all of the money he makes at Elliott? Invest it in politics, and think tanks that seek to advance American militarism in the Middle East. On this episode of Who Is?, the story of one of America’s financial titans, and the power he wields over not only our economy, but our democracy.     

    Michelle Celarier, a renowned finance journalist who has covered hedge funds and the men who run them for New York Magazine, Fortune, Institutional Investor, and the New York Post

    Eli Clifton, an investigative journalist who focuses on how money influences U.S. foreign policy, and research director of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft's Democratizing Foreign Policy Program

    Nell Geiser, the director of research for the Communications Workers of America

    Jen Wieczner, a senior writer at Fortune Magazine, where she covers finance, tech, and hedge funds and their role in the market


    The views expressed in this podcast include opinion unless cited as fact and Paul Singer and his hedge fund firm, Elliot Management Corporation, have previously denied any claims of wrongdoing
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    • 55 min
    Who Is Chuck Schumer?

    Who Is Chuck Schumer?

    How did Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the son of Abraham Schumer, an exterminator, and Selma Schumer, a homemaker, become the most powerful Democrat in the Senate? Schumer’s path to power is, on the one hand, a case study in the American meritocracy elevating one of its best and brightest: a hardworking, public school graduate who worked his way to the top. On the other hand, Schumer’s politics are an object lesson in the demands American democracy makes of those who aim to reach such pinnacles of power. As the November election approaches--and Democrats aim to retake the Senate--this episode features a conversation with the last Democrat to run the Senate, former Majority Leader Harry Reid. 

    Carol Kellerman, who has had a long and distinguished career in public service in New York City, and who has worked with, and for, Senator and Representative Chuck Schumer throughout his career  

    Former Senate Majority Leader and former amateur boxer Harry Reid, who represented Nevada in the Senate for 30 years


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    • 46 min
    Who Is Nikki Haley?

    Who Is Nikki Haley?

    After serving as United States Ambassador to the United Nations in the Trump Administration, former Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley, the first woman to lead the state, has fast become one of the most prominent and powerful politicians in the contemporary Republican Party. Haley, the daughter of Punjabi Sikh immigrants, grew up in rural South Carolina, and first entered politics when she defeated a longtime incumbent in a longshot race after Hillary Clinton inspired her to run for political office. As a member of the South Carolina House, Haley fought for transparency. But as Governor, Haley was in line with some of the most antidemocratic positions of her party, from fighting to limit voting rights to seeking to attract jobs to South Carolina via toady corporate giveaways. To understand one of the most talented, compelling, and complicated women in conservative politics, Sean Morrow talks to the people who have observed--and served--with Haley during her meteoric rise to the top. Featuring a conversation with former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives and CNN analyst Bakari Sellers. 


    Eleanor Openshaw, Co-Director of the New York office of the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR). She leads ISHR’s work to to promote NGO participation and protect civil society space at the United Nations

    Bakari Sellers, former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives and CNN political analyst. His new book, My Vanishing Country, was released in May 2020

    Andy Shain, Columbia Bureau Chief of South Carolina’s Post and Courier


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    • 49 min
    Who Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

    Who Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

    In 2018, after defeating a powerful corporate Democrat in one of the biggest political upsets in American history, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the most prominent progressive in the United States. In office, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has proposed visionary policy, like the Green New Deal, and become famous for her willingness to challenge the status quo directly--a formidable poise she developed over more than a decade of experience in grassroots organizing. Ocasio-Cortez, who will turn 31 in October, is a politician with a long career ahead of her. As she cruises toward a second term, more than anything else, she has proven that it is possible to fight back against the moneyed political establishment and win. On the first episode of the second season of “Who Is?,” join Sean Morrow, host of “Who Is?,” as he talks with the journalist who first covered AOC’s longshot primary challenge, the volunteers who were with her from the start, and the activists fighting on the ground to propel the progressive movement forward. 


    Naureen Akhter, Deputy District Director for Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

    Aida Chavez, who covers Congress and politics at The Intercept

    Shaniyat Chowdhury, an activist and insurgent candidate who challenged Representative Gregory Meeks in New York’s 5th congressional district

    Bianca Cunningham, a former co-chair of the New York City Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), and a co-founder of the DSA AfroSocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus


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    • 47 min
    Coming Soon: Who Is? The Podcast: Season Two

    Coming Soon: Who Is? The Podcast: Season Two

    "Who Is?," an original podcast from NowThis News that explores the lives of the powerful, is back. On "Who Is?," host and NowThis correspondent Sean Morrow dives deep into the stories and backstories of the politicians, donors, media moguls and movements that shape our lives, from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Mark Zuckerberg, and #BlackLivesMatter to George Soros. Featuring conversations with the reporters, biographers, colleagues, confidantes--and occasionally adversaries--who know these world molders best, "Who Is?" is back for another season of sixteen episodes. It's an election year, and we're living through a pandemic. There's a lot to talk about.
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    • 1 min
    Who is Charles Koch?

    Who is Charles Koch?

    A billionaire among billionaires, Charles Koch is one of the most powerful men in the world. By all accounts a brilliant businessman, Charles inherited his father’s company when Lyndon B. Johnson was in the White House, and, over decades, has transformed privately held Koch Industries into a massive multinational conglomerate with annual revenues of well over a hundred billion dollars. Since the 1970s, he’s not only reinvested that money in his company, but funneled it into American politics, financing ideas, organizations, and politicians, which together present a carefully engineered attempt to dismantle the regulatory state, and perhaps government itself. And he’s been very successful: Charles Koch, more than anyone else, may epitomize the pervasive influence of money on American democracy. On the final episode of the first season of Who Is, Sean Morrow explores the biography of Charles Koch, and the history of the Koch Network, for a look at how the very, very wealthy seek to control the political process, and what the rest of us can do about it.



    Amy Goodman, Host and Executive Producer of Democracy Now!



    Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. His most recent book is State Capture: How Conservative Activists, Big Businesses, and Wealthy Donors Reshaped the American States -- and the Nation 


    Christopher Leonard, Author of Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America



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    • 50 min

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