165 episodes

Unafraid conversations about anything

andrewsullivan.substack.com

The Dishcast with Andrew Sullivan Andrew Sullivan

    • News
    • 4.7 • 72 Ratings

Unafraid conversations about anything

andrewsullivan.substack.com

    Kara Swisher On Big Tech And Media

    Kara Swisher On Big Tech And Media

    This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit andrewsullivan.substack.com

    Kara is a journalist who has covered the business of the Internet since 1994. She was the cofounder and editor-at-large of Recode, and she's worked for the NYT, the WaPo, and the WSJ. She’s now the host of the podcast “On with Kara Swisher” and the co-host of the “Pivot” podcast with Scott Galloway, both distributed by New York Magazine. Her new memoir is Burn Book: A Tech Love Story. It’s a fun read, and it was good to hang out with her again after many years. We were both web pioneers and it’s good to remember those days of the blogosphere. And we get fiery at times.
    For two clips of our convo — debating how woke the MSM really is, and how readers are smarter than journalists — pop over to our YouTube page. Other topics: Kara’s rough childhood on Long Island; losing her dad at an early age and contending with a bad stepdad; her military family and her interest in serving; how DADT made things worse for gays; being an AIDS quilt folder; lesbian tropes; our mutual dislike of Pride parades; her fearlessness as a young reporter; The McLaughlin Group; the condescension of legacy media; tycoons who buy media outlets; Jeff Bezos; Marty Peretz; Friendster, Zip2 and Suck.com; how Facebook was seen as a savior for media; how trolls are chagrined when you talk to them; how Zuckerberg is “lovely but awkward” in person; Bill Gates; Peter Thiel; how gay hookups drove the early internet; how the apps kill serendipity; the power of podcasts for community; how the right innovated direct mail and talk radio; Obama’s pioneering with web outreach; how Twitter made January 6 (and Trump himself) possible; Kara watching every single episode of The Apprentice; how Trump’s act is getting stale; how social media is not a good business model; Elon Musk; buying Twitter to “make him more interesting at parties”; the Walter Isaacson bio; Elon’s vile tweets on Paul Pelosi; his trans daughter; ketamine; Mark Cuban on DEI; abortion in the 2024 election; how social media is fracturing and losing appeal with Gen Z; the decline of cable news; the disinfo on unarmed black men killed by cops; how BLM led to more black lives lost; the grievance-industrial-complex of the right; how its reactionaries just want to “burn s**t down”; why Kara is a China hawk; why she disagrees with Jon Haidt; the TikTok ban; the Twitter Files; Hunter’s penis; Tipper Gore and dirty lyrics; and how Kara counsels her four kids about social media and porn.
    Browse the Dishcast archive for an episode you might enjoy (the first 102 are free in their entirety — subscribe to get everything else). Coming up: Adam Moss on the artistic process, Johann Hari on Ozempic, Nellie Bowles on the woke revolution, Noah Smith on the economy, George Will on Trump and conservatism, Bill Maher on everything, and the great Van Jones! Send any guest recs, dissents, and other comments to dish@andrewsullivan.com.

    • 41 min
    Eli Lake On Israel, Anti-Semitism, Kanye

    Eli Lake On Israel, Anti-Semitism, Kanye

    This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit andrewsullivan.substack.com

    Eli is a journalist and friend. He’s a former senior national security correspondent for The Daily Beast and Newsweek, and a former columnist for the Bloomberg View. He’s now a reporter for The Free Press, a contributing editor at Commentary Magazine, and the host of his own podcast, The Re-Education. I thought I should have a strong Israel supporter to come on and challenge my recent columns.
    For two clips of our convo — on the West Bank settlements, and Trump’s record on Israel — pop over to our YouTube page. Other topics: Eli raised as a latchkey kid in Philly; his leftwing Jewish parents; turning neocon in college during the ‘90s PC wars; Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose a formative book; Eli’s love of rap from an early age; Tribe Called Quest and the Native Tongue movement of “rap hippies”; Black Nationalism; David Samuels’ story on white kids driving hip-hop; Kanye’s genius and grappling with his anti-Semitism; the bigotry of Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot; Nietzsche’s madness; the persistence of Jew hatred across history and cultures; dissidents in the Catholic Church; Augustine; Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah; the faux sophistication of conspiracy theorists; Bob Dole as a Gen Xer; envy and resentment over Israel’s success; the First Intifada; Labor Zionism; Ben-Gurion and Arab resistance; Menachem Begin; Netanyahu’s dad; the IRA bombing British leaders; Arafat walking away from Camp David; the Second Intifada; 9/11 and Islamofascism; the Iraq War and Abu Ghraib; the settler movement and Judeo-fascists; Jared Kushner; the Abraham Accords; Arabs serving in the Knesset; Israel withdrawing from Gaza and southern Lebanon; the evil of Hamas; Yossi Klein Halevi; the IDF’s AI program; the tunnels and 2,000-lb bombs; Dresden; John Spencer’s Understanding Urban Warfare; Rafah; Trump’s vanity; Soleimani and the Damascus embassy; and the US supplying weapons to Israel.
    Browse the Dishcast archive for an episode you might enjoy (the first 102 are free in their entirety — subscribe to get everything else). Next up: Kara Swisher on Silicon Valley. After that: Adam Moss on the artistic process, George Will on Trump and conservatism, Johann Hari on weight-loss drugs, Noah Smith on the economy, Nellie Bowles on the woke revolution, Bill Maher on everything, and the great Van Jones! Send any guest recs, dissents, and other comments to dish@andrewsullivan.com.

    • 48 min
    Neil J. Young On The Gay Right

    Neil J. Young On The Gay Right

    This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit andrewsullivan.substack.com

    Neil is a writer and historian. He used to be a contributing columnist at The Week, and he now co-hosts the “Past Present” history podcast. His first book was We Gather Together: The Religious Right and the Problem of Interfaith Politics, and his new one is Coming Out Republican: A History of the Gay Right.
    For two clips of our convo — on when the Postal Service snooped on gay men’s letters, and Trump’s growing support among gays and lesbians — pop over to our YouTube page. Other topics: growing up a gay kid in a Baptist family in central Florida; college at Duke then Columbia while living in NYC for two decades; how gays are a unique minority because they’re born randomly across the US; the Best Little Boy in the World syndrome; the libertarian tradition of gay activists; the Mattachine Society; the obscure importance of Dorr Legg and One magazine; the Lavender Scare; the courage of Frank Kameny; how “privileged” white men had more to lose by coming out; the fundraising power of Marvin Liebman; his close friendship with Bill Buckley; the direct-mail pioneer Terry Dolan; Bob Bauman’s stellar career in the GOP until getting busted for prostitutes; Michael Barone; David Brock; Barney Frank’s slur “Uncle Tom Cabin Republicans”; the AIDS epidemic; how the virus sparked mass outings and assimilation; gay groups decimated by the disease; why gay Republicans wanted to keep the bathhouses open; John Boswell’s history on gay Christians; my conservative case for marriage in 1989; the bravery of Bruce Bawer and Jon Rauch; the early opposition to marriage by the gay left and Dem establishment; HRC’s fecklessness; the lies and viciousness of gay lefties like Richard Goldstein; Randy Shilts despised by fellow gays; Bayard Rustin; war hero Leonard Matlovich; how DADT drummed out more gays from the military than ever before; Clinton’s betrayal with DOMA; the peerless legal work of Evan Wolfson and reaching across the ideological aisle; how quickly the public shifted on marriage; the Log Cabin Republicans in the early ‘00s; Dubya’s marriage amendment; his striking down of the HIV travel ban; PEPFAR; Ken Mehlman; Tim Gill; Kennedy’s opinion in Obergefell; Gorsuch’s opinion in Bostock; Buttigeig’s historic run; the RNC’s outreach to gays in 2019; Jamie Kirchick’s book; Caitlyn Jenner; the groomer slur; the conflict between homosexuality and transness when it comes to kids; Tavistock; and the new conversion therapy.
    Coming up on the Dishcast: Eli Lake on Israel and foreign affairs, Kara Swisher on Silicon Valley, Adam Moss on the artistic process, George Will on Trump and conservatism, Johann Hari on weight-loss drugs, Noah Smith on the economy, Nellie Bowles on the woke revolution, Bill Maher on everything, and the great Van Jones! Please send any guest recs, dissents, and other pod comments to dish@andrewsullivan.com.

    • 46 min
    Daniel Finkelstein On Hitler, Stalin, And His Mum And Dad

    Daniel Finkelstein On Hitler, Stalin, And His Mum And Dad

    This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit andrewsullivan.substack.com

    Danny is a journalist, politician, and old friend. Formerly an adviser to Prime Minister John Major, he was appointed to the House of Lords in 2013. He’s a former executive editor of The Times of London and is still there as a weekly political columnist. He’s also a director of Chelsea Football Club. His latest book is Two Roads Home: Hitler, Stalin, and the Miraculous Survival of My Family (the title in the UK is way, way better: Hitler, Stalin, Mum and Dad). It’s an astonishingly well-researched thriller of a story.
    For two clips of our convo — comparing the horrors of the Soviets and the Nazis, and whether Anne Frank would have been a Justin Bieber fan — pop over to our YouTube page. Other topics: growing up in Hendon (“my parents chose it because it wasn’t exciting”); his grandfather Alfred as “one of the great archivists of the 20th century”; his work contributed to the Nuremberg and Eichmann trials; The Protocols of the Elders of Zion; the Hitler/Stalin pact; their carving up of Poland; the purging of the bourgeois; “If you spoke Esperanto or had stamp collection you were considered a spy”; the horrific cattle-trucks into the Soviet interior meant to cull the weak; the gulags; the state collective farms; working for your food; keeping captives on the bring of starvation; the Katyn Massacre; the devastation in Ukraine; Danny’s relatives who knew Anne Frank as a neighbor in Amsterdam; the dangerous extremes of group identity; “the liberating value of truth”; the main crime of the Jews was their success; the question of Zionism; the Jewish Labour tradition; Danny’s experience as a Jewish Tory; and his mum attending his induction into the House of Lords.
    Browse the Dishcast archive for an episode you might enjoy (the first 102 are free in their entirety — subscribe to get everything else). Coming up: Neil J. Young on his history of the gay right, Eli Lake on Israel and foreign affairs, Adam Moss on the artistic process, Johann Hari on weight-loss drugs, Bill Maher on everything, George Will on Trump and conservatism, and Nellie Bowles on the woke revolution. Please send any guest recs, dissents, and other pod comments to dish@andrewsullivan.com.

    • 39 min
    Richard Dawkins On God, Sex, Race

    Richard Dawkins On God, Sex, Race

    This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit andrewsullivan.substack.com

    Richard is a scientist, author, and public speaker. From 1995 to 2008 he was the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford, and he's currently a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Royal Society of Literature. Among his many bestselling books are the The Selfish Gene, The God Delusion, and his two-part autobiography, An Appetite for Wonder and A Brief Candle in the Dark. He also has substack called The Poetry of Reality — check it out and subscribe!
    A pioneering New Atheist, Dawkins is a passionate defender of science and denigrator of religion. Who better to talk to about God? For two clips of our convo — on whether faith is necessary for meaning, and which religion is the worst — pop over to our YouTube page.
    Other topics: Richard growing up in England and colonial Africa; his father serving as an agricultural officer; the paternalistic racism of that period; Orwell’s “Such, Such Were the Joys”; genetic variation and natural selection; how evolution is “stunningly simple” but yields “prodigious complexity”; the emergence of consciousness; the crucial role of language for humans; how our intelligence will destroy us; life on other planets; birds-of-paradise and seducing the opposite sex; how faith and the scientific method aren’t mutually exclusive; Einstein’s faith; Pascal; Oakeshott; religious practice over doctrine; the divinity of nature; Richard’s love of cathedrals and church music; Buddhism; virgin births and transubstantiation; Jesus as a moral teacher; his shifting of human consciousness; the Jefferson bible; Hitchens; GK Chesterton; Larkin; Richard as a “cultural Anglican”; gender as “fictive sex”; gamete size; respecting pronouns; science and race; tribalism and “the other”; the complex blend of genetics and culture; the heritability of intelligence; the evolutionary role of religion; the heretical violence of Islam; gays in the Catholic Church; falling rates of religious faith; Judith Butler’s new book; and my awful experience on Jon Stewart’s now-terminated show.
    Browse the Dishcast archive for an episode you might enjoy (the first 102 are free in their entirety — subscribe to get everything else). Next up: Daniel Finkelstein on his memoir Hitler, Stalin, Mum and Dad, and Neil J. Young on his history of the gay right. After that: Johann Hari on weight-loss drugs, Adam Moss on the artistic process, and George Will on Trump and conservatism. Please send any guest recs, dissents, and other pod comments to dish@andrewsullivan.com.

    • 41 min
    Abigail Shrier On Therapy For Kids

    Abigail Shrier On Therapy For Kids

    This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit andrewsullivan.substack.com

    Abigail is an independent journalist and author. Her first book, Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, was a bestseller, and her new book is a bestseller even the NYT has had to recognize eventually. It’s called Bad Therapy: Why The Kids Aren’t Growing Up. She also has a substack, The Truth Fairy. Check it out.
    For two clips of our convo — on the news of UK restricting puberty blockers, and the harm that therapy can do to normal kids — pop over to our YouTube page. Other topics: the brittle bones and teeth-splitting that result from puberty blockers; their effect on IQ; when blockers are necessary; the suicide canard with trans kids; the radio silence around Bostock; how 40 percent of kids are in some form of therapy — “awash in psychopathology”; kids publicizing their mental health on social media; How to Talk So Kids Will Listen; the work of Haim Ginott; “neurotic hovering parents” who rarely correct bad behavior; parents giving up authority; dysregulated kids; Abigail’s upbringing; my tumultuous childhood; Gabor Maté; drug addiction and childhood trauma; iatrogenesis; smartphones; Covid; social emotional learning; why breathwork and mindfulness doesn’t work for kids; how SSRIs can kill adolescent sex drive as it’s developing; Richard Bing’s study on convicts and PTSD; the benefits of therapy for adults; psychotherapy as a literary practice; how therapy has filled the void of religion; kids rushing to become “LGBTQ” because it’s valorized; gay kids today are more accepted but more miserable; the parents who use their trans kids as props; the benefits of same-sex schools; the spike in days off for mental health; and the current cover-story by Andrea Long Chu.
    Browse the Dishcast archive for an episode you might enjoy (the first 102 are free in their entirety — subscribe to get everything else). Coming up: Richard Dawkins on religion, Johann Hari on weight-loss drugs, Adam Moss on the artistic process, and George Will on Trump and conservatism. Please send any guest recs, dissents, and other pod comments to dish@andrewsullivan.com.

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
72 Ratings

72 Ratings

Elsa Bumbletrot ,

Thank you Andrew!

Andrew’s grounded, thoughtful sometimes churlish and often playful conversation has been my weekly companion for the last couple of years. Never miss an episode, often listen more than once and am extremely grateful for this work. I’ve questioned many of my own attitudes and beliefs as a consequence. Thanks so much Andrew for all the work you’re doing - it’s generous and important.

PLRUK ,

Great Listen

Always been a huge admirer of Andrew’s journalism and this podcast brings the same level of courage and open mindedness.

David Renfree ,

Thoughtful and insightful, without following trends.

Andrew, in the podcast with Fiona Hill you mentioned not being a free rider and to subscribe to ‘The Dish’. I will, I am so inured to irritating adverts on podcasts that it hadn’t occurred to me that you are not advertising. I will subscribe forthwith. Thank you.

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