139 episodes

Blunt truth and dark humor for a world in chaos. A Daily Beast podcast hosted by Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast. Tune in every Tuesday and Friday

The New Abnorma‪l‬ The Daily Beast

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    • 4.7 • 5.9K Ratings

Blunt truth and dark humor for a world in chaos. A Daily Beast podcast hosted by Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast. Tune in every Tuesday and Friday

    Biden Was Asked to Refinance His House After Iowa Fail

    Biden Was Asked to Refinance His House After Iowa Fail

    This is just how dire things got for the Biden campaign in early 2020. Plus, just how much damage Trump did by hiding his COVID vaccine, and Colorado’s voting model.


    How did Joe Biden manage to eke out a presidential win after washing up in fourth place in Iowa and fifth in New Hampshire? 


    Co-host Molly Jong-Fast still wants to know. “I’ve spent much of the week talking about being wrong about Cuomo, but I would like to take a minute to talk about being wrong about Biden,” she tells NBC News’ Jonathan Allen, co-author of the new book Lucky: How Biden Barely Won the Presidency, on the latest episode of The New Abnormal.


    While Jong-Fast and others were writing Biden’s political obituary in February 2020, his staffers were suggesting the former vice president refinance his house to put money into his dying campaign, Allen says.


    “It's not the most unheard of thing for a candidate to do it,” he says, but “a presidential candidate doesn't do that. And the subtext of going to him to tell him that is that it might be time to just wrap up the campaign. To Joe Biden's everlasting credit, he believed in himself.”


    Allen talks about how Biden’s key endorsement from South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn came about—and another key to his win, the coronavirus pandemic. 


    “COVID hits and Biden is taken off the trail and he is able to be scripted know for his entire career, been disciplined and reporters love him because they'll talk, but he's on disciplined. And now his campaign has the ability to control his message and choose when he talks and how he talks to who he talks to. Um, and he's able to make those discretionary decisions along with his advisors. And meanwhile, Trump is on the stage at the white house, telling people to inject disinfectant, to combat COVID.”


    Allen also talks about whether Biden will be able to unify the country and get any Republican votes to get legislation passed. “I think that there are things on which a Biden will be able to get votes from model Republicans. Um, it sort of independent thinking Republicans, you know, the converse is some of these bills are going to be incredibly difficult for them to vote against. I mean, think about voting against the COVID relief bill that's already made, you know, an entire campaign's worth of ads for an opponent. Marco Rubio is going to vote against this COVID relief bill, and he's going to have a democratic opponent next time. There's several that are thinking about getting in, including Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy from Florida.”


    Also in the episode, Jong-Fast is joined by Eric Topol, cardiologist scientist and author and the founder and director of the Scripps research transitional Institute, who talks about how the vaccinations are going and how hard the U.K. variant will hit.


    The U.K. variant, he says, will hit hard in Florida, California, and Texas, but he’s not so worried about the South African and Brazilian variants, which “ don't seem to be nearly as infectious.”


    How are vaccines going? The U.K., he says “can go much faster since they're not giving the second doses right now. We've actually been pushing for that in the US to get ready for this variant that we're going to be hit with there that you gave variant, but there isn't receptivity at the white house, uh, yet, or we're Tony Fauci. We think that just for a month to go with the one dose, uh, you know, and then get these, all these people get their second dose a little bit delayed would be really advantageous, but we haven't had success in pushing for that.”


    HE also says it’s a travesty Trump's decision to cover up the fact that he was vaccinated.


    “We have politicization of the vaccine of vaccines. We have a remarkable global gap, between the Democrats and Republicans as to their interest in getting a vaccine where only about half of Republica

    • 52 min
    ‘They Might as Well Have Torn Up the Constitution’

    ‘They Might as Well Have Torn Up the Constitution’

    For years, a central goal of the conservative movement was to install right-wing judges. A Republican president delivered, big time. And these Trumpists are still pissed. 


    Which tells you one thing. For the authoritarian wing of the Republican party, this was never about interpreting the American legal code. It was always about raw political power. 


    “It's not about the rule of law. It's not about getting good qualified judges. It's about results- oriented litigation,” former U.S. Attorney for Alabama Joyce Vance tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. “They want judges who will vote to save the election for a president who has clearly lost it. And that's just out of bounds. It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican. The notion that the courts could be used to steal an election is really the epitome of being anti-democratic. It's ludicrous. It's ridiculous. It just shows you that these folks are off the rails. They might as well have stood on a stage at CPAC and torn up the Constitution.” 


    Vance adds, “We should immediately begin to identify what's being done here as anti-democratic. I don't believe that that's where my Republican friends in Alabama are. Many of them are good people who have different principled views than I have on policy issues. They believe in the Constitution and the rule of law. And they're horrified by what they're seeing.” 


    Because the Trumpists aren’t just looking for judges that overturn elections they don’t like. They don’t want anyone outside of their crowd to be able to vote, period. “These efforts to suppress the vote previously have been relegated to dark corners of political operatives. It's now actually the platform of the Republican party to make it hard for people to vote, because they're afraid that they might not vote Republican. They should be expending half the energy they're expending on voter suppression on trying to win voters over, on creating policies that are appealing to the population,” Vance says. “This is a sickness in the American political dialogue.” 


    Vance also looks at the mushrooming scandals around Andrew Cuomo, and the mounting legal cases for Trump. Then, Olivia Troye, who worked for Trump and Mike Pence during the early days of the pandemic, talks about their botched response to COVID. “It turns out nobody in the White House cared about spreading the virus,” she says. And the Washington Post’s Dave Weigel, fresh from CPAC, talks about how even straight-laced Republicans are now espousing the Big Lie.


    If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes it's just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com
     
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    • 59 min
    TEASER: Getting ‘Canceled’ Is the Only Thing Conservatives Have Left

    TEASER: Getting ‘Canceled’ Is the Only Thing Conservatives Have Left

    The theme this year, stupidly enough, is ‘America Uncanceled.’ But the only real way to get any kinda cred at the 2021 Conversative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, to make a stink about how you’ve totally been canceled.


    One easy way? Refuse to wear a mask, even though the host city and the hotel both require it. “We’ve seen these conservative influencers who, it seems, are deliberately getting kicked out of CPAC by not wearing a mask,” The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “Because for them, CPAC is sort of just the place to see and be seen. They don't really care if they get kicked out. I mean, they don't want to hurt their brand by wearing a mask. And so we've seen a lot of these guys [showcase] the video of the ceremonial ouster from CPAC.”


    “They're really against being canceled, but it actually seems like the culture of conservatives now—the merit badge is, you got canceled. Like, Marjorie Taylor Greeene is a celebrity now, because she got canceled,” adds producer Jesse Cannon.  


    But there’s a reason the CPAC posse is coalescing around cancelation. It’s because they can’t agree on much else. “The thing that I was really struck by, Jong-Fast says, “was that they're so light on policy… There's no nuts and bolts stuff.” 


    “The only policy discussion you hear at CPAC is when some lobbyist is clearly trying to plant something,” Sommer replies. “Theoretically, CPAC is supposed to be a bring[ing] together of the factions of the conservative movement. But this year I think everyone is so shell-shocked from 2020, they can't acknowledge that they lost. Because that would mean acknowledging that Trump lost. And everyone's just so terrified of Trump.”


    The only thing left to fill the space is the performative resistance. 


    “So, apparently, to get this hotel, [the CPAC organizers] had to promise that people would wear masks,” Sommer says. “But at the same time you're inviting the people who are least willing to wear masks, to celebrate often how much they hate masks. So you have speakers like Ted Cruz saying how dumb it is to wear masks.”


    Sommer adds, “So then occasionally in CPAC you have to have the organizers stand up and say, ‘we all love property rights, right?’ ‘Yeah!’ And they're like, ‘well, what about the right to have people a mask on your property?’ And everyone goes, ‘boooooo!!!’”


    If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 3 min
    Mary Trump: Here’s How We Send Donald to Jail

    Mary Trump: Here’s How We Send Donald to Jail

    The Manhattan District Attorney’s office finally got its hands on Donald Trump’s taxes and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes clear why he spent so much time trying to keep them hidden away. In this episode of The New Abnormal, Mary Trump joins as Molly Jong-Fast’s co-host to talk about the development, a topic that she knows a lot about. (Quick recap: She helped with the New York TImes’ investigation into Trump taxes.) But these taxes are different than the taxes Mary had been involved with, she says. “The taxes I gave them are old and from my grandfather's company. So I think [the new taxes] will be really helpful in establishing patterns where such patterns actually exist,” she explains. But there’s one problem. She doesn’t think Trump is really sweating it down in Mar-a-Lago, mainly because he’s gotten away with so much shit for so long. What makes this time any different? “If he goes down because of his taxes, Al Capone style, I'm all for it,” she says. “And if it's bad enough, which it's going to be, I think his ability to stay out of jail decreases significantly.” It’s not impossible, and there is one thing she says we can keep doing to make it happen. Then! there’s still the Republicans’ MAGA Problem. “It's almost like they have Stockholm syndrome [from Trump] that they gave to themselves,” Molly says, and Mary piles on: “They are an anti-democratic party and they will do anything, including embracing counter-majoritarian tactics, to maintain their power, no matter how illegitimately.” Even if it goes against their voters’ own interest, or well-being. (“Self-interest in the name of being superior,” says Mary.) Then! Rep. Sylvia Rodriguez (D-TX) joins Molly, producer Jesse Cannon and Daily Beast congressional reporter Sam Brodey to share what the situation currently looks like in Texas, how AOC spent a few days visiting her and helping out and why running off to Cancun was never even a thought in her mind—but recruiting Sen. Ted Cruz to volunteer at the food bank with her is. (“His neighborhood is slightly different than mine, and they have a lot of access to resources and it would be helpful.”) Plus, Rep. Val Dennings (D-FL) shares what being in the Capitol during the riots was like from a former law enforcement officer perspective and faces Molly’s very blunt question. Is she going to run for Senate?


    If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just us discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 57 min
    Blaire Erskine Exposes MAGA Insanit‪y‬

    Blaire Erskine Exposes MAGA Insanit‪y‬

    Atlanta-based comedian Blaire Erskine has blown up on Twitter over the past year with videos that not only roast Trump-loving conservatives but have also managed to fool a large number of prominent liberals. With characters like Tiffany Trump’s best friend, Marjorie Taylor Greene’s daughter and Ted Cruz’s spokesperson, Blaire rides a fine line between parody and reality and nails it every time. In this episode, we talk about how she honed this new craft during the pandemic, why 90% of the hate she gets comes from the left and a lot more.
    Twitter: @blaireerskine and @mattwilstein | Instagram: @blaire.erskine and @lastlaughpod
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    • 47 min
    Orange Is the New Orange: Trump Just Might Go to Jail

    Orange Is the New Orange: Trump Just Might Go to Jail

    For years, he’s gotten away with it. He lied. He cheated. He treated the government like a get-rich-quick-scheme and his most ardent followers like marks. 


    But now, Donald Trump could be facing serious criminal charges. The kind of charges that might lead to the former president going to jail. 


    The Supreme Court turned down Trump’s final appeal, and that means his accounting firm has to turn over his tax records and business documents to Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance ASAP. “Trump's lawyers will always come up with something, but there should be no reason why the grand jury won't get these financial records tomorrow,” Daily Beast legal analyst Jay Michaelson tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. 


    “Basically, what we all know happened was: Trump inflated the value of his business when it suited him, which is in order to get on the Forbes list [of richest people] and also to get loans from Deutsche Bank. And then he deflated his worth in order to save on taxes. So that's illegal... Not only is that insurance fraud and bank fraud, but that could affect those loans,” Michaelson adds.


    “Will he go to jail for, like, the rest of his life? Probably no. Is it possible that this would lead to criminal charges that would carry jail time? I would say that's pretty likely, and we could have a grand jury indictment fairly soon,” Michaelson continues. “A lot of these kinds of white collar crimes are settled, and they're settled out for large financial settlements. In this case, I'm not sure that Cy Vance is interested in settling with Donald Trump—even if Donald Trump could afford the fines that he would have to pay, which I don't think he can.”  


    To which Jong-Fast asks, “Can he borrow it from Jared?”


    “Unfortunately, he's not the financial wizard that he makes himself out to be.”


    “Wait. But Jared made $200 trillion.”


    “Don't fall for it. I mean, he's cute, but he's not really that smart.”


    Also on a packed episode of The New Abnormal: Tommy ‘Quentin Quarantino’ Marcus talks about all the cash he raised for Planned Parenthood—in Rush Limbaugh’s name. ‘How to Be a Liberal’ author Ian Dunt tells us how post-Trump Americans should see still-Boris Brits like him: “So what you should do is look at us like we were like someone you used to date that is still taking heroin. ‘I'm so glad I left that behind,’ because that's where we are.” 


    Finally, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Mark Warner about how the fight against the far-right needs to be taken international. “We're going to do a deep dive on this anti-government extremism—and particularly some of these groups, their ties to right-wing groups in Europe, oftentimes amplified by Russia,” he says. “I know the threat is real. I know it's not just in this country.”


    If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes it's just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 59 min

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