53 episodes

“Who Is?,” an original podcast from NowThis, explores the biographies of influential people in the United States and beyond. Now in a third season, “Who Is?” presents deep dives into the stories of political power players, the donor class, and more. The podcast is hosted by NowThis correspondent Sean Morrow.

Who Is‪?‬ iHeartRadio

    • News
    • 4.1 • 749 Ratings

“Who Is?,” an original podcast from NowThis, explores the biographies of influential people in the United States and beyond. Now in a third season, “Who Is?” presents deep dives into the stories of political power players, the donor class, and more. The podcast is hosted by NowThis correspondent Sean Morrow.

    Who Is Inherited Wealth?

    Who Is Inherited Wealth?

    If you work hard in the United States, there is no limit to the possibility of what you might achieve. That’s the American Dream. But the reality is that America today increasingly resembles aristocratic societies of the past, which were characterized by little social mobility and dramatic inequality perpetuated in part by the passage of enormous fortunes from one generation to the next. How and why this has occurred in the United States is largely the result of power, politics, and policy choices--choices that enable the coding of wealth in the legal systems that structure not only our economy, but our society and our democracy. The system is rigged--and rigged in favor of the few. Join Sean Morrow on the final episode of the third season of “Who Is?” for a look directly at the money, what it means for the rest of us, and what we can do about it. 


    James Henry, an economist, attorney, tax justice activist, and a senior advisor to the Tax Justice Network

    Paul Krugman, an economist, author, and longtime columnist at The New York Times. His most recent book is “Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future”

    Katharina Pistor, a professor at Columbia Law School. Her most recent book is “The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality”


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    • 55 min
    Who Is Rebekah Mercer?

    Who Is Rebekah Mercer?

    Rebekah Mercer may be the most powerful woman in conservative politics today, and she’s never held--and probably will never run for--elected office. Since 2004, Rebekah Mercer has been the director of the Mercer Family Foundation, which means for nearly twenty years she has been one of the key people who is in charge of how her father Robert Mercer’s vast fortune is spent. And following the Citizens United decision in 2010, millions of dollars of that vast fortune have been dedicated to American politics, and primarily to American politics on the far right. The Mercers have played a major role in the contemporary rise of the far right, and from Cambridge Analytica to Kellyanne Conway, Rebekah Mercer and her father were instrumental in the election of President Donald Trump. But after Trump won, it was Rebekah who was named to his transition team. In 2021, however, Trump’s election almost feels like ancient history, and the real question is what will Rebekah Mercer do next, and what does that mean for the rest of us and our democracy? 


    Brendan Fischer, Director of Federal Reform at the Campaign Legal Center 

    Jane Mayer, Chief Washington Correspondent at The New Yorker, and author of several books, including “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right”  


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    • 57 min
    Who Is Pete Buttigieg?

    Who Is Pete Buttigieg?

    Mayor Pete is now Secretary Buttigieg, which means that the former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is now a member of the Biden Administration. A surprisingly popular presidential candidate in 2020, Buttigieg has an unusual story, and in just a few years, he’s gone from planning bike lanes and roundabouts to overseeing the nation’s highways, airports, and more. Buttigieg has already run for president once and he’ll almost certainly do it again, so it’s South Bend and beyond on this episode of "Who Is?," for a look at the man who could one day be America’s first (openly) gay president. 


    Sam Centellas, Executive Director of la Casa de Amistad, a community center which has been serving the needs of immigrants and residents of South Bend, Indiana, since 1973

    Beth Osborne, Director of Transportation for America. During the Obama Administration, Osborne served as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy 

    Adam Wren, a Features Correspondent at Insider's Washington Bureau


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    • 54 min
    Who Is Andrew Yang?

    Who Is Andrew Yang?

    In 2020, Andrew Yang ran for president, and although he never really had a serious chance, he became a familiar name, and a familiar face. In 2021, he’s running for Mayor of New York City, and this time, he might win. If he does, Yang will face an enormous challenge: navigating one of the world’s most important cities through an uncertain recovery. A man with essentially no political experience but a lot of ideas and a lot of charisma, Yang has the opportunity to reimagine how the post-pandemic city functions. But he’ll also have to contend with the day-to-day realities of governing, from policing to public schools to public housing. On this episode of “Who Is?,” Sean Morrow dives deep into Yang himself, examines the policy and the people behind his current campaign for mayor, and explores how a city like New York can build an inclusive economy as it recovers from Covid-19.


    Katie Honan, who covers City Hall in New York City for The Wall Street Journal

    Amy Liu, vice president and director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, which she co-founded in 1996

    Harry Siegel, a senior editor at The Daily Beast, columnist at The New York Daily News, and co-host of the podcast FAQ NYC


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    • 59 min
    Who Is Geoengineering?

    Who Is Geoengineering?

    Unless you’re lucky enough to live on another planet, you’ve probably heard about the climate crisis. It’s a problem we must address if we want humanity--and the rest of the Earth’s animal and plant population--to continue to survive and thrive. But in order for that surviving and thriving to happen, we must immediately and definitively cut emissions and begin the transition away from fossil fuels. How’s that going? As you’ve probably heard, not so well, and as a result, more radical approaches are increasingly in the mix. Geoengineering is one of these, and while it won’t solve the climate crisis, it may enable us to remove some of the carbon dioxide we’ve emitted and even artificially lower global temperatures while we detox from fossil fuels. The catch? We don’t really know what would happen if we did it, and we may not be able to undo it. On this episode of “Who Is?,” it’s a look at one of the big choices we may have to make in the not so distant future.  


    Elizabeth Kolbert, who has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1999. Her most recent book, “Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future,” was published in February of 2021 

    Janos Pasztor, executive director of the Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative (C2G). Pasztor was previously United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Climate Change in New York under Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon


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    • 49 min
    Who Is Big Weed?

    Who Is Big Weed?

    Americans aren’t in agreement about much these days, but there does appear to be one thing that they overwhelmingly support: legalizing the medical and recreational use of cannabis. Across the country, cannabis is winning at the ballot box and in the statehouse, and whether you partake or not, legalization has major implications for civil rights and civil liberties, for social and racial justice, and, of course, for those who see cannabis as an enormous opportunity to make a lot of money. While federal legalization remains distant, how states legalize could play a significant role in determining the type of cannabis economy that may emerge in America. Will it be a market characterized by equity and competition--a small business success story--or a market dominated by politically influential corporate interests: Big Weed? On this episode of “Who Is?,” Sean Morrow takes a look at legalization and who stands to benefit from it.    


    Emily Dufton, a writer and historian. Her first book is “Grass Roots: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Marijuana in America”

    Beau Kilmer, Director of the Drug Policy Research Center and McCauley Chair in Drug Policy Innovation at RAND

    Majority Leader Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, who represents District 141 in the New York State Assembly 

    Shaleen Title, Distinguished Cannabis Policy Practitioner in Residence at the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center of the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law


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    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
749 Ratings

749 Ratings

plainoldclara ,

Worth the listen!

Awesome podcast. All the guests interviewed are mostly first/second hand witnesses. Might seem “leftest” - but after actually listening, you’ll understand it’s not at all. It’s investigating and informative. If you care about equality and can recognize classism & other systematic issues etc. that creates real life occurring injustices, highly recommend. Also just a side note, can “Who is” do one on Ben Shapiro?

DJinKy ,

Woke Joke

Propaganda from the left.

nomadval ,

Really, very good.. but could be better!

I’ll start by stating that I am a registered Democrat.
So that established - here’s my take on this podcast.
It’s excellent, but it could be better and have a great deal of wider impact if it wasn’t presented in such a partisan way. There’s fantastic information in these episodes-important facts! And it is intel and discussions that those on the right, or even the middle, should hear and could possibly be persuasive to them. But they never will entertain it, because anything that comes off as left leaning to them is like garlic & sunlight to a vampire and they won’t even acknowledge it. I challenge the fine folks behind the podcast to take this amazing concept they have going here, bridge some gaps, and consider their delivery of the facts into something that doesn’t sound so hateful to the right. This is the type of thing that could help some people to see things for what they really are if there was less biased commentary in its telling. All that said - GREAT job on this podcast with the facts and information that is presented. I’ll keep listening and hope to be able to amend this review that is truly not meant to be pessimistic, but perhaps present a thought that could bring value to all. Peace and love to you!

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