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But I do like the bacon, egg and cheese from Dunkin Donuts. Yeah. And I thought to myself, wait a second, this is McDonald's. They have bacon. I bet if I asked for an Egg McMuffin with bacon instead of the ham, which honestly, in 35 years of getting fast food, I've never occurred to me to to do that, to seek it out.
And I had a bag. I had a is a long story. Yeah. No, I'm wait.
So I'm always at the end I had a bacon Egg McMuffin, no ham bacon and said, OK, you understand what I'm talking about. Substitute the ham for bacon. Yep. There's still egg. There's still cheese on the Egg McMuffin muffin. You got it. Yeah.
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Welcome to love it or leave it back to the future. Now those to go back to the future. All right, again, he's got a sense of humor. He's a straight shooter. All right. All right. Everything will be fine now that we've said good bye. Don, I haven't heard from him since he stepped off Air Force One. That's the way I like it. Uh huh, uh huh, let's go next to the film, shall we?
Thanks, Sanjay. Well, thanks to the future China. Well, I. That song was by Savanah, Jane and Lee Meadow's, it was awesome. If you want to make it back to the future theme song, please send it to us at Leave It at Crooked Dotcom before we get to the show. Some housekeeping here in the U.S. in the year 2021, people are still being elected, appointed and hired as the first black anything. The what did they put together?
An incredible montage in Friday's episode with black men and women who just became the first in a variety of fields and what that means to them. Find the montage on what a day's most recent episode that came out Friday. And there are more great features coming soon to subscribe to the show to hear them all. What a day is an amazing way to start your day to get a rundown of news. It is hilarious. It is informative. Check it out.
Also over on the crooked YouTube channel, Jon Favreau, not the one from chef, the other one, he joins Alissa M. Monaco on her series. Let's break it down to talk about how he went from a blank page to the State of the Union address in the Obama White House. Take a behind the scenes and talk about how it all works and how they decided on the important details. Go to YouTube dotcom slash crooked media to check it out. Later in the show, we are joined by Adam Grant, Alicia Garza, Megan Gayly and Jason Concepcion.
But first, you know her. You love her. She's the host of everyone's favorite segment, returning champion Emily Heller in the Emily's Garden Show merchandise.
Yes, I always dress up for this podcast, but today I dressed up in my own merch, finally arrived. Very exciting and very exciting.
I look, I've made my peace with the fact that I've lost control of virtually all aspects of not just this show, but the large organization that creates it that Emily's Guardian show no longer satisfied as a joke on this show.
No now has taken on a life of its own, including a t shirt, including a t shirt.
Did you just say you made your peace with it? Because I'm making some peace in my yard right now. And let me tell you, they are photogenic as a mother fucker. How are all my friends of the Peapod doing?
I, I couldn't care less about this.
Well, I will kill you if you don't change your attitude. Oh, man.
Hey, just in the edit, if we could take some of the air out of that and make us look like we were lighter on our feet though in the edit, I've got no notes.
I think everything's going perfect. All right, let's get into it.
What a week. We'll start with our worst joke per usual. A University of New Hampshire chemistry professor quit after posing as a female immigrant on Twitter to make racist and sexist tweets. Like any chemistry teacher, he was just looking for a reaction. Oh, no.
As was that joke. And I think you got one that you want to add. Yeah, I got what I want.
I got exactly what I wanted out of that.
Meanwhile, NASA's perseverance rover landed on Mars today, flying to Mars in the middle of a pandemic. Disgusting.
I want you to know that I first wrote that to our news at Crooked and no one reacted.
It got no positive feedback whatsoever. So I just copied and pasted it, put it right in this Google doc and now I'm reading it to you.
And it went about as well to be expected. No, I like it. I think I think it's good.
I was just trying to think of, like, what a good pun about gays over covid, but for the Mars Mars of Puerto Mortify Mahsa, I don't know.
Why do I feel like it's three a.m. right now? I feel the same way. I have hit such a wall.
It's so close to the end of all of this. You know, we can really see it. And every day there's a new date for when everyone's going to get the vaccine. Oh yeah. Sometimes it's April, sometimes it's July, sometimes it's May. Sometimes any day now.
Yeah, I stop thinking about the future. I stopped even imagining a time when I will be used to talking to other people again. We've all hit a wall. And you know what I want to say? Congratulations to Donald Trump. Promises made, promises kept. He built the wall. We're all running into it right now.
The average number of new daily coronavirus cases in the U.S. dipped below 100000 for the first time since early November. You said excitedly to a volleyball you dressed up to become your quarantine friend.
Yeah, that's the other thing.
There is good news like the case numbers are dropping and it's like you can really start to feel it, like where you can see the end is in sight.
It's happening. It's yeah. It's sort of it's sort of happening. Yeah. Yeah.
But ah but nothing is really change. Just at the end is closer.
I'll believe it when I see it. I don't believe anything anymore. Do you think that you are going to bring your, like, weird quarantine habits back into the world with you when you come out?
I've been thinking a lot about that. I think it's a really good question. I am not worried about the habits I've developed that I know I've developed. Yeah, I am not worried about the changes that I know in.
Nici like for example, I'm wearing leopard print pants right now because they're pajamas. Yeah. And they've got pockets. You got, you got to do some digging when you're looking at a pair of pajamas on the Internet because sometimes there's no pockets and you can't have no in the evening even in home life. Phone air pods. I got to have pockets. You got to have pockets. What are you going to on your phone, in your hand while you're walking around like an animal?
Yeah, like a very smart animal that uses an iPhone. And but what I am worried about is like habits. I am unaware of completely things I'm doing that I don't know because I know I lack the the positive feedback or negative feedback, not even like major events of feedback, but the little almost subconscious judgments we give each other all the time when we're in the same place that have been gone.
Yeah, gone. Like I don't know if I am safe to be brought to a restaurant, but I don't know, like am I have I been eating with my hands a little bit.
You know, I feel a little bit.
There's going to be a period of time when I go back to a restaurant where I'm only ordering food that won't travel, you know what I mean?
Like, I'm ordering, like the sizzling, sizzling fajitas, bloomin onion just and yeah, fish tacos flambé, anything soggy, anything that gets soggy.
I want that in person. All right. I agree. Yeah.
Table, sidewalk. I'm just going to demand it even at like Chinese restaurants.
A UK ethics panel has approved the world's first covid-19 Challenge study in which ninety healthy volunteers will be intentionally infected with the virus.
And get this, they're all living in one house trying to marry the same woman.
What that ethics panel is the rock and roll. They're loose. They're yeah. Give it to some people. Give it to some people. And Anthony valge. You said vaccines will be available to all Americans by May. And President Biden has said vaccines should be available to reach all Americans by the end of July, adding that it could be sooner if demand drops after Bill Gates microchip switches from Dormont to rage.
I don't care. I want the Bill Gates and I want five G five to be pretty sweet. Yeah, put all the chips in me. I want if I get lost them to be able to contact my owners. Yeah, yeah.
Chips Emily's are far more likely to to find their way home.
Yeah, yeah. I am so antsy to get this vaccine a little part of me that's like.
Aren't you worried that people aren't going to get the vaccine or they're not going to be like yeah I'll worry about that the day after I get the fucking vaccine.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Japan has designated a minister of loneliness to help people home alone, joining the UK and addressing loneliness with a national cabinet position. That's a pretty good idea, said the volleyball.
You dressed up to be your quarantine friend, minister of loneliness as my nickname at any point in my childhood.
Yeah, that is definitely the only cabinet position that's going to be used as an insult more than in its official capacity.
Check out the Minister of loneliness. Yeah, you know, the Minister of Loneliness is the new album from Lana Del Rey. The Minister of Loneliness is a character in the song Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles. Those were plausible.
This week, after a once in a century snowstorm battered their power grid, millions of Texans lost power for days in freezing cold temperatures. Many others lost water. Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas hopes to have everyone's power restored in time for next week's once in a century heat wave.
Republicans blame the crisis on solar and wind energy.
And it says here Hillary Clinton, Texans scared and concerned for their safety, look to their leaders for help. And when they looked, they saw Ted Cruz wearing an open Tommy Bahama shirt, sipping a pina colada from a coconut at Senor Frogs. As I'm sure you know, family photos surfaced Wednesday night of someone very much Ted Cruz shaped boarding a flight from Texas to Cancun. Many attempted to discredit the photos, believing there was no way a sitting senator could be so dumb as to fly to a beach in Mexico while so many in his state were literally freezing.
But Internet sleuths suspected it was Ted Cruz, because if you look closely at the photos, you can see his brain is thinking about pornos.
It was Ted, it was Ted. It was Ted exhausted from attempting to overthrow a democratically elected president and from never having a real friend his whole life, Ted Cruz decided to take a little me time by flying. To the set of MTV's Spring Break 99 after getting court, crews released a statement pinning the blame on his own daughter, saying he was merely escorting them on the pandemic vacay and implied that he didn't say he had always planned to fly back from Cancun in less than 24 hours, despite the fact that he brought with him a packed tote bag and rolling suitcase.
Blaming your daughter's is such a move. It's such a move. And one thing that gives me a lot of pleasure about this story is just knowing that those girls are going to never forget that he did that. Because I remember when my dad blamed me for things that I didn't do 15 years ago. I'm not the one who crashed his computer because of downloading something on to it. But I remember that he accused me of that.
And I will remember that until the day I die, Ronan thought that I had absconded with his air pods pro and when I found them in his pockets of a pair of his pants, I held it up like in one of those like murder shows where they hold up the piece of evidence that everybody's been searching for.
I held up the pants. I didn't even remove the air pods from the pocket because I thought it was evidence and I didn't want to I didn't want to disturb the scene.
I want to get him to remove them from my prints on it. And Emily, we also just this is breaking news.
I imagine I'm telling you this. You're learning this for the first time.
The New York Times reported moments ago that they had obtained a text, Jane, this is real between Heidi Cruz and some neighbors about the trip. Here's a quote from the Times piece.
When Miss Cruz wrote to the group text chain of neighbors trying to weather the extreme conditions early Wednesday, she said the family had been staying with friends to keep warm, but quickly pivoted to offering an invitation to get away, quote, Anyone can or want to leave for the week. She wrote, We may go to Cancun. She teased a direct flight and hotels with capacity.
Seriously, Miss Cruz promptly shared details for a Wednesday afternoon departure, a Sunday return trip and a luxurious stay at the oceanfront Ritz Carlton. In the meantime, no one appeared to bite.
Well, first of all, I imagine that those women on the text chain are probably grateful to, for once, have an excuse not to go hang out with Ted Cruz like this is probably the most airtight that excuse has ever been, which is just that would be incredibly irresponsible. And also, we're in the middle of a pandemic.
Someone on her group thread got this text. We're like, fuck this noise. This is The New York Times.
Screenshot, screenshot, screenshot. This is the thing I've been waiting for.
So right now, at this moment, I mean, this just posted, this just happened, which means we are having an experience not dissimilar to one that Heidi is experiencing, which is the Kruse's now realize that someone in their group is leaking.
Is a mall. Yeah. There's a mole in the Ted Cruz Heidi Cruz group chat friend group. I love that. I love that.
I love that. I love that so much. Like, I want to see three, like, fire fest style documentaries about this entire debacle. I want everyone in the text thread interviewed for it. I want to know everything else that's been said in that text thread. I just want all the information. Oh, but also OK, just backing up a little bit to the whole blaming his daughter's thing. He said that like it made him a good dad to give his daughters a vacation in the middle of everything that's happening while their neighbors and his constituents are freezing to death all around them.
And there is concrete good that he could do by staying in the state and, you know, doing what I was doing, like calling seniors, pitching in and helping their neighbors. It's not good parenting to indulge your children's desire to escape the reality of the world when you could instead be providing an example to them of how to be of service, especially when you're, I don't know, a fucking public servant.
I think that's a really, really good point, Emily. I don't think that he was doing it to be a good dad.
I think he wanted to I think he wanted to read a book about how the Spanish Inquisition was justified while drinking a pina colada and having nachos at the pool fully clothed.
That's sort of the Ted Cruz vacation that I imagine. I imagine there's a book about how the New Deal never worked and one super sweet drink, one plate of I, now I, I now we know it's Ritz Carlton nachos. Yeah. And that's a you know, that's what he's like. Four out of this. Anyway, to recap, over the last five years, Ted lost the Republican nomination to a man who called his wife ugly and smeared.
His father is a murderer on national television pledge during the convention to never support the Republican nominee when the backlash was swift. He immediately surrendered and phone banked in support of that nominee, even though that nominee never apologized to him or his wife or father.
He liked incest porn on Twitter on 9/11. The fact that was on 9/11 often lost in the retelling. He attempted to overthrow a legitimate presidential election on behalf of the same person who insulted his wife and father, never apologized, which led to five deaths during a domestic terror attack. And then, after all that, decided to say he left his state in the middle of a historic crisis to go on vacation because he's such a good dad, which means Ted Cruz has now sacrificed his whole family to his political ambitions.
Not one person has been spared. And it's a reminder, Emily, that sometimes politics can be fun.
Yeah, he's just he's like the epitome of someone who is not pulling off a hat. I've never seen him wear a hat. And I he he always has the vibe of someone wearing a hat that he's not pulling off. He can't. Yeah, he can't pull it off and he knows.
And and then he's like, my daughter gave me the hat.
Right. Yeah. Also this week, President Biden voiced his support for raising the minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour. Biden went on to explain that in his day, seven dollars and twenty five cents could buy a bottle of Layard's Applejack, a phosphate for your best girl with enough change left over for popcorn in a movie where Mickey Rooney plays Japanese.
But times have changed. Also during the town hall, President Biden said he would not support for giving fifty thousand dollars in student loan debt by executive action, objecting to the idea that he should do it without Congress and questioning the policy itself, calling for 10000 dollars in forgiveness and other reforms.
And at this point, Travis and I had a 20 minute argument in this Google doc about Biden in debt forgiveness until we ran out of time to write a joke. My position is that AOK is right. I don't remember Traviss position. He had something to do with his dad being a veteran, but I was barely paying attention.
I just look, I. I think I think Biden should go big. And Travis had a different point of view.
That was sort of the gist of the I argue you yourself what I heard a voice so uncharitable and it's so funny, something like that.
I don't I honestly can't remember because it was like blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But anyway.
Right. New York Assemblyman Ron accused Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatening to destroy him after Kim defended a Cuomo aide who blew the whistle on the governor's alleged burying of data on coronavirus deaths in the state's nursing homes. Sorry, Cuomo. Asexuals back in the closet with you.
Your weirdo's one lesson I think we should all take away in this age of screen shots. If you're saying to somebody, I will destroy you, it's not your is rarely effective.
I think the bottom line is if you're going to destroy somebody, you don't tell them no.
Unless you're just dirty talking. That's like it's a it's a thing you say to someone's genitals when you are trying to promise them a good time. It's not something you say to a legitimate political adversary. I just want to say I feel like the last month has borne out several different reasons why it should have been Cynthia Nixon both to prevent this bullshit that Cuomo is doing and also to prevent a Samantha Lewis Sex and the City reboot. Both crises could have been averted if Cynthia Nixon had won the primary.
I hear that I hear that I definitely would be worried about a Sex and City reboot with neither a Samantha or a cutter Miranda Miranda.
Wow. Of course she's a lawyer. Yeah, she's a lawyer named Miranda. Are you not are you not a Miranda? I just, like my mind was just blown. I was like, you can't remember the name of the one you are, are you? You don't think you're crazy, do you know?
Well, no, I guess that's right. Honestly, I know this is hard to believe. I've never thought about it.
Rush Limbaugh is dead. That's right. Dead serious about spreading racist conspiracy theories. Also dead in the sense that he is dead. Limbaugh adored lies more than anything.
So in that spirit, I'll say he died by self-immolation while trying to deep fry a Turkey stuffed with Vicodin in the Floridian cave he shared with a living, Jeffrey Epstein.
And finally, on Wednesday morning, the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, was finally demolished, this time as the building collapsed. There actually may have been Muslims cheering in New Jersey.
Oh, okay. Okay. It was a it was a big crowd. There might have been Muslims. We don't know.
How many times did you watch the building go down and repeat? I watch it. I actually go down once and I loved it.
I loved every second of it. I loved every second of it. Yeah.
We'll be right back with an interview with Alicia Garza. And Emily will be back later for the rent we'll take.
Don't go anywhere. There's more. Love it or leave it coming up.
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Some some great brightly colored pants that you get a lot of compliments on. We used to wear back in the old days and we did shows. Sorry to interrupt.
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I love it and we're back. She's the co creator of Black Lives Matter, host of the podcast Lady Don't Take No and author of the new book, The Purpose of Power. Please welcome back Alicia Garza. Alicia, good to see you.
I it's so good to be here with you. So in the book, one of the lessons you write about from 2016 is that while protests are important, they are not enough to shift politics. What do you wish accompany the protests back then? And looking forward, what tactics are you using to engage with politicians more directly?
This is why I love you, John. It's all the right questions all the time. Thank you. I wish that in 2016, what we had had alongside protests was a robust policy agenda that we could have used protests to leverage and moving into twenty, twenty one. I think we're in a very similar position in the sense that we have opportunity to change the rules that have been rigged against our communities for a long time. From police violence to a lack of access to health care, it's time for our movements to be able to put forward clear ways to unrigged the rules and to expand opportunity and to expand wellness and well-being for everyone.
That's why I started the Black Futures Lab after the 2016 election, because I knew that in order for us to achieve the things that we were taking to. The streets for we also needed to be able to mobilize and motivate and activate voters in this country to help support those agendas. In fact, John, I'm so excited to be here because today the Black Futures Lab and the Black to the Future Action Fund just launched our build back bolder agenda, which we are calling a black mandate for the Biden Harris administration.
We know that we've come out of four years of absolute insanity, but the truth of the matter is, things were not good for black communities before the Trump era. And with the pandemic, it really has been another nail in the coffin that we're being buried alive in already. And so what we've done is we've taken thirty thousand responses from black communities in all 50 states. We translated that into a black agenda for 20, 20. And now what we've done is we've narrowed down and said, hey, we know that there are core priorities for this administration this year and we share those recovery from covid-19 and relief.
We know that economic justice is one of the pillars of this administration, climate justice and also racial justice. So what we've done is created a mandate that provides a roadmap for how we get there using racial justice as a vehicle for us to be able to get to our goals. I'm excited because we are out here calling for not just a one time stimulus payment, but actually monthly stimulus payments with an auto stabilizer for black communities and all communities to get back on our feet, using racial justice to ensure an equitable distribution of the vaccine, which we know is not coming in to black communities, even though black communities have been hit first and worst by this pandemic, and then finally making sure that nobody is being evicted from their home or having their home foreclosed on in the midst of a pandemic and in the midst of almost a year now of trying to claw our way out of this crisis with no supports and no relief.
Those are just some of the immediate demands that we are levying at this administration and we're excited to work with them to make them real.
How receptive have they been so far? How does it feel? How much? How much? I mean, obviously, you know, we went through these this four years where on virtually anything you thought of the presidency was an adversary. They were not just against progress. I mean, they were you know, it's one of the great threats this country has ever faced. Now we have a more nuanced situation. How how often right now on a number of these issues, where do they feel like allies and where do they feel like adversaries?
I love the fact that you said nuance because we need it when talking about this administration. I got to tell the truth. You know, leading up to November, I wouldn't say that the Biden campaign was excited about partnering with progressives. That was a big contradiction that we were facing. We were trying to get rid of the devil in the White House while also dealing with someone who wanted to take more of a center position on basically everything. But we also saw black communities across the nation push that campaign over the finish line.
It was large part black communities who put Joe Biden and Kamala Harris into the White House and then subsequently change the balance of power in Congress. That's important. And now I think what we're facing is that we've gotten a lot more engagement than I think obviously we did under the Trump administration and more proactive engagement, I would say, than we did under the Obama administration. But with that comes challenges. You know, with the polarized situation in this country, there's still too many people who are trying to figure out how to appease Republicans, especially the most extreme version of this party that does not want to see forward motion.
And in fact, they've built an entire agenda around moving backwards. And then they're confronted with an administration that is essentially saying we just need to get back to the status quo. If the status quo was good for anyone. So we've seen politics in this country move farther and farther to the right. And I don't envy the position of the Biden Harris administration and having to navigate those dynamics. But that's exactly why we are pushing to build back bolder. We don't need to capitulate to a Republican Party that is a mere shadow of itself.
And frankly, I'm not sure that there is a ton of common ground that we can move forward on. Look, we've seen all of the things that have been happening over the last four weeks. And frankly, even in the face of an attempted insurrection, the Republican Party continued to be on the wrong side of history. So we're trying to encourage this administration to continue to do the engagement it's doing. It's great that we're getting phone calls from officials in the administration wanting to get to know us better.
But as we're getting to know each other better, I think it's also important. We make some commitments to each other, it was black communities that put you there, and so now you do have a mandate to deliver on the things that black communities need to see. And frankly, it's not just about what black communities want. I think we've seen time and time again that what's good for black communities is good for all of America. And I think we need to go into this next four years with that at the front of our minds.
So how do you how do you think about the balance between in this fight sort of pressure versus persuasion, even with Democrats? You know, you talk about not just like kind of talking to your own tribe, but trying to grow your tribe across differences to reach sort of common goals. How do you think about. But where does persuasion fit into this?
Well, I think the persuasion has to happen on the Democratic side of the ticket. Again, I think that the Republican Party right now is showing that it is the party of no, no thank you. And we don't have anything creative to offer. And so we know that in a lot of places, you know, bipartisan support is necessary to get things done. I think we have to take a sober look at the situation and say while we have power in all three branches of government, we need to wield it in a way that sets the terms for what governance is going to look like, not just over the next four years, but over the next decade, two decades and three decades.
At the same time. I think that Democrats have a huge issue and we've had it honestly since the beginning of the Trump era, which is this notion that everybody follows the rules and as long as everybody follows, the rules will get somewhere. If the Trump administration did not teach us that they don't give a shit about rules and that in fact, their entire existence is around eliminating any rules that will regulate their behavior or anybody else's, then we've missed the boat.
And there's a lot of talk right now about unity and coming together. But anybody will tell you you can't solve a problem that you haven't acknowledged exists in the first place. I think we've done a better job in this period of acknowledging that we have a serious problem on our hands. The challenges in a lot of ways, I hope it's not too little too late. We've spent so much time trying to acquiesce in trying to build bridges and offer olive branches that we haven't set the terms of engagement.
And that puts us at a disadvantage over and over again. I think it may have been even part of the reason, right, that we weren't able to achieve the kind of accountability that I think all Americans wanted from January 6th. Why are we seeing people who stormed the Capitol and attempted to overthrow the government really facing a lot of leniency? Why are we now kind of moving the conversation towards task forces and commissions rather than being more stalwart in our efforts to make sure that that never happens again?
We can't always spend our time looking backwards and assessing what happened. We also have to take action in the here and now to make sure that those things don't happen again, but also give people a different compass to follow around what we want this country to be and who we want to be within it.
So on this question of unity, I look Jen Psaki, who's the White House press secretary, she made this point.
We you say like when when Joe Biden talks about unity, he doesn't mean that there should just be one political party. They're still going to be Democrats are still going to be Republicans. I've joked that it's basically treat people with respect. Are you from a shared set of facts and don't burn the Capitol down? I think that's sort of like a three part rule for unity to your mind.
You know, you talked about rules. We're about to have this big fight about passing legislation to protect the right to vote, to expand the right to vote, to stop gerrymandering, to get money out of politics through H.R. one four for the People Act to begin looking at statehood for D.C. and the disenfranchised in the District of Columbia. To do that, we may have to change some rules where even some Democrats are reluctant to get rid of things like the filibuster.
How are you thinking about this fight for voting rights and what role do you think kind of outside pressure can play in the coming months?
Well, I think that this should be one of the signature issues for the Democratic Party, if not the signature issue. And in fact, if black communities had not overcome, sidestepped and been resilient in the face of rampant voter suppression from misinformation and disinformation online to literal poll taxes and, you know, voting tests. Right, that we saw in the Jim Crow era, we wouldn't have a Democratic majority. We would not have a Democrat in the White House, in the Oval Office, and certainly we wouldn't have shifted the balance of power in the Senate.
I think that part of our challenge here, again, is that I wonder sometimes if we are stuck in the politics of the 1990s or the two. Is as opposed to the politics of twenty twenty one and in the politics of twenty twenty one, we have a Republican Party that I don't even think is the Republican Party anymore. And we also have a Democratic Party that, frankly, a lot of people have lost faith in and a lot of people have lost engagement with.
And when people turned out in massive numbers this summer to oust one of the greatest threats to democracy in my lifetime, they didn't do it out of allegiance to the Democratic Party. They did it out of allegiance to themselves. People said, I got to survive. And the way things are going right now, I don't have a shot. And I think Democrats have to look at the carnage and look at the results of that and say, how do we remake ourselves into the party of the people knowing that our counterparts.
Right. Are completely in shambles and they don't even know who they are anymore. We're seeing that we saw that on television for the last three weeks right there, having a complete identity crisis. And the small amount of people left in the Republican Party that still stand for the party of the 1990s are a sad minority of that party right now. So I'm of the opinion that one, I think a lot of people are thinking maybe we need more than two parties.
I'm not going to get into the whole thing about is it the Green Party? Is it whatever? But I will say that there is increasing evidence, right. That it may be that we're at a point where parties are undergoing the kind of transformation that can either make them irrelevant or make them better. On the other hand, of things, I think that, frankly, Democrats will be in for a sad, sad time. If we don't take voting rights as seriously as it is, we have to enfranchise as many people to be able to participate in the political process as possible to avoid authoritarianism.
We narrowly escaped it in this last election cycle, but we're certainly not we're not out of the woods.
I mean, look, we we know that Republicans have the ability to gerrymander enough seats in the House to take back the House. And do we really think they wouldn't object in a 20, 24 presidential election that they have both the House and Senate? We really think they won't do the exact same thing when they have the power to actually stop electoral votes from being counted.
I mean, that's the thing they're already doing, the autopsy of how they lost. And I mean, you and I both know that it just were not on their digital game in the middle of a pandemic, maybe because they weren't paying attention to it. But that doesn't mean that they're not regrouping and making their plans right now, not just to take back power, but to keep it. That's why this issue is so incredibly important, not just to black communities, but to everybody in this country.
Alicia Garza, so good to talk to you. Thanks for taking the time. Thank you so much for having me. Thank you so much.
Alicia Garza for joining us. When we come back, it's time people convinced me why I'm wrong about The Bachelor.
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Hi, thanks for doing so.
Good to see you. Good to see you too. It's so funny.
Just there's more and more great Ted Cruz content coming out all the time. Just him just realizing now realizing he has to just do a bigger apology, which was so clear from the beginning. But people like Ted Cruz, it takes him a day to realize how much they need to apologize. I'm just there's leaked text messages.
Everything has been. Oh, yeah, we needed it.
Honestly, Ted, thank you for giving this gift to a lot of people who needed something to make fun of today during a hard time.
You know, Cancun is like the saddest place to go to.
Like, I can't even think of a worse decision, but it's just so trashy and fun. It's really like if he was going to the Bahamas, I wouldn't feel this good. I don't think I mean, it's Cancun.
Elevate the person. It is. It's the perfect place. It's the perfect place. This week, news broke that the host of The Bachelor, Chris Harrison, will be stepping away from the show for a bit after defending a contestant who took antebellum themed photos a long, long time ago. Back in twenty eighteen. Here's the thing about The Bachelor, though. It's a show that I just think is completely awful. It just seems so despicable as an thing that exists, but it's genuinely loved by a lot of people.
I respect a lot of people in my life. They go to bachelor watch parties, they talk about it, they're obsessed with it.
Well, obviously, no one is defending what Chris Harrison said or what this contestant did. It did make me in general curious about what I'm missing about The Bachelor. So I want to go to some experts to change my mind. So this is a segment we're calling Debate Me Coward. Here's how it works. We have two friends of the show and two audience members, all who love The Bachelor, and they will each have sixty seconds to tell me why I should love The Bachelor and then have to face 60 seconds of cross examination.
First up, you know her. You love her returning champion Megan gayly. Good to see you.
All right. I'm honored to be here. I have notes in front of me. Yes, I came prepared and I think I'm actually even prepared for your cross-examination. I did like a run through. Oh, I just want to be a witness in something, so I'm ready.
Sixty seconds. Kick it off. OK, so it is hot people acting as dumb as you've ever seen hot people do in the name of flat tummy, tea and love. Like it's not even real stakes. They're just willing to act insane on television for our enjoyment. I think there is something and someone for everyone. There's always someone who's like napping too much snacking and you're like, that would be me if I was in this weird mansion in Calabasas.
And there's all these offshoots. There's Bachelor. If you don't like that, you can go to Bachelorette. If you don't like that, then you can go to Bachelor in Paradise, which is basically survivor. It's also aspirational. If you see dumb people in Portugal having fun, you know, you'll go to Portugal and have fun. Also, they set up rules, but they're not afraid to break them, much like the Marvel Universe. They're not afraid to have characters going in and out.
It's like, well, this is Matt season. Why is there someone from Claytons season here that's not allowed, but they're not afraid to break those rules and that's why I love them.
And do you think there's any part of this show?
First of all, what what an argument do these people actually fight like this is about falling in love and getting married. Does that actually happen to these people? Have any genuine connection?
It happens so rarely that you don't even really even need to focus on that. Like in the moment, their brains think they're in love and that's really all that matters. But almost none of them have long lasting relationships.
So and they and they, like, make out and they like to pretend or they have sex.
They have sex on this TV show in the fantasy suite. Yes. They like Bill to that. They do not have sex immediately.
Does The Bachelor or Bachelorette ever have sex with multiple contestants to kind of see how it's going?
Well, yeah, they'll have their final three and I think most of the time they have sex with all three of them back to back nights.
And you don't see this as debasing at all to say, like, you know, they could have healthy relationships is like sort of a model for the for people watching.
Well, I think if you are watching it thinking this is like what relationship should be, you should not be watching it. You know, like dumb people should not be watching the dumb people. It's for people whose IQ. Is higher than the people that are on the show, got it, so it's like a zoo. Meghan Gailey, thank you so much. Great defense. Great case. So appreciative. So appreciative. I'm still on the fence, but I feel as though I've gotten some some new insights.
Thank you. Next up, we have been who is going to make his best case for The Bachelor in 60 seconds. And then I'm going to, you know, look, I found out today I didn't realize that I'm a I'm a classic Miranda, and then I will put him under cross-examination. Ben, over to you. The Bachelor, why isn't it a toxic disgrace?
It is not a toxic disgrace because it has all of the great things about fantasy shows. But they're all beautiful people making terrible, terrible decisions. And in a time where so much of everything else is terrible and we're watching the results, the other people making terrible decisions affecting our lives, sometimes it's nice to see people make terrible decisions that affect their own lives and just being able to tune out and realize that there are opportunities for these future Instagram models to make mistakes.
And it's just funny how they trip over themselves each and every season. They fall into the same archetypes.
It's somewhat comforting through all of this, all of the pandemic, that one thing is consistent, the bachelor and knowing that these beautiful people are going to continue to make horrible, horrible decisions, does it the part of the show where a bunch of people exploit the genuine need we have for human connection and companionship for the purposes of fame and attention, almost kind of like a metastasized cancer, his version of love beamed out to tens of millions of people week after week.
Does that concern you at all? A little bit.
But but also, I feel like it's not as bad as the stuff that gets beamed out anyways across other other media, for example, FOX is a thing.
OK, OK. You say The Bachelor isn't as bad as Fox News. Do you agree with me that Chris Harrison, even before he had to step away because he defended somebody going to an antebellum party in twenty eighteen in a way that reflected a kind of a, let's say, blind spot to the extreme even before that?
Would you agree that despite the fact that he was making millions of dollars, that he had a kind of sadness in his eyes that made it seem like he might be sleeping with a loaded gun in his mouth in a way.
But I think he was making so much money, he would just put it next to his pillow every night. But also he's been hosting the show for way too long. A host shouldn't be doing this for 20 years. You got to bring in some new blood.
We want a new host. You know, it's that's interesting. And just for the record, I don't think it was because he would do it. I just think he didn't feel safe unless he had it there, you know, like, that's all that I was saying.
Oh, I mean, that's probably a good point, because he really can't seem to stop putting his his foot in his mouth.
Do you think that I've hosted love it or leave it for too long? How long has this been on? For years.
That should have been easier and faster. Ben, great job defending The Bachelor. Thank you so much. I actually thought that I was going to do a better job of attacking this show, and I'm a little worried we turned this into an ad that's deeply concerning. Ben, thank you so much. Great job. Great to meet you. I'm glad you enjoy this toxic bastardization of human intimacy. Thanks so much.
Next up, our next resident scholar on the topic of The Bachelor.
Oh, no. Here he is, the newest member of the cricket family, Jason Concepcion. Thank you so much for being here.
Let's now you watch The Bachelor. I do watch it. I do watch The Bachelor. And you like The Bachelor.
I do, though I readily admit that it can be horrible and toxic. OK, OK.
So so some nuance, Jason. Yeah. Yeah. So I'm going to I'm going to hand it over to you. Just, you know, 60 seconds. Let's see what you got.
Well, first of all, it's a story about love and it's a story about finding love and it's a story about the lengths that people will go to to discover that lifelong bond with another person.
That's a classic kind of storytelling formula that has launched a million stories, a million novels, a million movies.
I think add on top of that the particular format, which adds a level of of drama, of toxicity, of pettiness.
And I think it just for me, it ups the entertainment level because I readily admit I just like pettiness. I like drama. I like people arguing. I like people messing with each other. I like people complaining about stuff. I think it's cathartic, particularly in these times, to just let people vent and complain and be be annoyed at other people.
And I think that was first of all, what a case. Thank you so much. Yeah. Some some follow up questions. Sure. Have you ever been in love and does it resemble what takes place on the program in the sense that it involves human being?
With arms and eyes and hair and skin, yeah, broadly, it broadly resembles it, yes, I've been in love. I could never imagine myself being on a show such as The Bachelor. And I think that's part of the fun, is trying to imagine what could drive a person, what desperate straits could drive a person to do this.
And, well, it always strikes me is this is a show that says it's about the oldest kind of story, the story of finding love. But really, it's actually a story about people pretending to fall in love while really trying to become famous.
Some are and some aren't. And thus the famous query is this person here for the right reasons? Who is here for the right reasons? Who is here for that lifelong bond? Who is here to just try and get cast on Bachelor in Paradise or the next season of The Bachelor as The Bachelor or Bachelorette?
How could there be a right reason? How could there be a right reason?
What is the right reason to want to fall in, quote, love, end quote, on television with a stranger over the course of 30 days?
What could be the reason to do that?
Again, finding that lifelong soulmate? Has anyone ever found that? Has anyone ever found it's happened?
So maybe there have been couples that have that have gotten together. Some seemed more coerced than others.
But there have been couples that have genuinely seemed like they've they've found love. And, you know, the search for that is just endlessly entertaining.
All right. All right. Jason Concepcion, that was an excellent case. So appreciative. I'm still not convinced.
That's fine. But I understand it. I appreciate your point of view. Grateful that you'd share it. Take us inside. Yeah. This show that that I bet you set off, Mike, but that you think is the best show on television.
I know that kind of captures your aesthetic, that you're a bachelor person. Well, no, I didn't say that.
But I do listen, I love it. I love it. I love the fact that I can have it on and not think too deeply about it. And I think that Chris Harrison has the easiest paycheck in Hollywood and and amazing that he put that in jeopardy. That is amazing.
I will say, I think what I've always noticed whenever I have seen snippets of The Bachelor is there's a sadness to Chris Harrison's eyes that is honestly I chilling the the not like like Jeff Probst. He likes being Jeff Probst. I don't know what that person likes. Yeah. I don't think Harrison likes being Chris Harrison. Yeah.
There's a there's an excitement and a vibrancy to Jeff Probst in his every gesture and word.
Indeed, Chris Harrison makes a reported eight million dollars a season to come out for twenty seconds when the final rose is sitting there on the table and go, ladies, that fineries.
When you're ready and then you just hear Kitching and then he walks off, that's cool, that's cool. Jason Concepcion, everybody, thank you so much.
Thank you for having me. I'm going to throw it to you. You will have 60 seconds to make your case for The Bachelor. And then I'm going to interrogate you for 60 seconds with the questions that I have based on your case, to explain to me why this isn't just a bunch of toxic garbage. No human being should let their eyeballs see Michaela, over to you.
OK, I will agree that a lot of it is toxic garbage. I will say that I am somebody my work is very stressful. I need something that is just super light hearted and fun. And so I love The Bachelor for that reason. I've been watching since I was 14, have not missed an episode or a spinoff and that entire time. Wow. Like a fan right here. I have gotten every roommate I've ever lived with attached to this show, including my husband, who is now also addicted.
And those like a lot of reasons why it's great, a lot of reasons why it's horrible. I personally keep watching because Bachelor in Paradise is a delight and it's only fun if you have watched the seasons and the people also. There are amazing podcast about it and they are also only great if you've been watching it. It's just really smart women who are talking about how it's sexist and racist and it's beautiful in this time of the pandemic. It is great because it is kind of like watching something to static but also new content.
And it's so problematic. It makes me feel very smart and I love that about it. And if it's good enough or with the best of Monaco, it's good enough for me. What a case.
What a case. Thank you. Is it racist? Is it racist? Misogynist? Yes. OK, I want to ask you, you know, I'm not. I think you made an excellent case. And here's what's on my mind, because I'm getting persuaded. I'm honestly getting a little bit persuaded, which is I'm reluctant when people say things are guilty. Pleasure, because what is a guilty pleasure if it's not hurting anybody, like what's the harm?
Right. Why are certain things, guilty pleasures? You know, traditionally there is misogyny there that rom coms are guilty pleasures. But like Moby Dick isn't like, OK, everybody chill out.
But I used to watch a show and I considered it a guilty pleasure in the sense that I felt bad watching it. And it was a show called And I'll admit this, it was called My 600 Pound Life.
I appreciated it. And I convinced myself it was acceptable to watch, even though at times it felt exploitative because it was actually a positive journey. You were seeing people that had real hardships because of weight, learn new things, try to do better, get help, put themselves on the mend. There were something inspirational about it, but I also was a part of it that did feel like you're witnessing people at their worst in their most intimate, that there is something uncomfortable and wrong about it.
It sounds like you feel like The Bachelor has some of those guilty elements, but does it have anything to justify it? Like. Like what? What totally.
What what is the good parts of The Bachelor, the parts that aren't a guilty pleasure, but just a fun part to watch?
Yeah. The parts that aren't horrible are like watching the friendships that form, especially I would say on this season. It's been pretty gross, a lot of it, but there have been really cool friendships and it's the pandemic. I'm not watching anybody else make new friends ever. And so it's really fun to watch a bunch of women just like be friends with each other and be nice, you know, once they get rid of, like, the terrible bullies, which is done now.
But like, I think is actually change happening. There's a bunch of Bayport people on this season. They're really wonderful, super smart, and there is change happening. And Chris Harrison is going to go away and he's not going to be a relic of this franchise anymore. And it can actually be a place where we see, like, different kinds of love and relationships happen.
And one other question, do they actually let them have food or is it just alcohol in the house?
I think they don't eat food, like on camera, it seems like. But they do drink a lot, not as much as they used to. Bachelor in Paradise is really where you get to see all the sloppy drunkenness. Highly recommend Bachelor in Paradise. Michaela, what a case.
Thank you so much. So nice to me. Great job. Great job.
What I really you really brought your A game. I appreciate it. Thank you.
I appreciate that means a lot coming from you. Thank you.
Thank you so much. To Meghan, Jason and to our listeners, McKayla and Ben for sharing their thoughts as bachelor experts. They've given me a lot of insight into why people might watch The Bachelor.
And after listening to the the the arguments that were made in favor of The Bachelor, I come to decide that I will 100 percent continue to not watch that show.
When we come back, I talked to Adam Grant about his new book on why and how people change their minds.
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And we're back. This is an organizational psychologist, professor and author of the book Think Again. The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know. Please welcome Adam Grant.
So happy to be back. Thanks, John. It's good to see you. I really enjoy the book, but and and I'm excited to talk to you about it. So I have a but you look, I'm in the spirit of the book. I'm going to try to first put you at ease before I get to the part where I attack you. That's what I thought the message was. Put someone at ease that attack. But that's the lesson.
So no, but I have one I have one quibble question concerned, but I'll get to it. So but first, I was in the middle of this pandemic. We are seeing a surprising skepticism around vaccines. And there was a fascinating story in the book around people you called Vaccine Whisperers. Can you talk a little bit about the kinds of conversations with vaccine skeptics that have been persuasive? Because we see a lot of hand-wringing, but I think not enough conversation about what to do about it.
So the technique that seems to be effective is called motivational interviewing. It comes out of counseling psychology originally with people who are trying to overcome addictions.
And the the basic idea is that you can't really force someone to change their mind. And the the harder you work to preach that, you know the way and prosecute them for being wrong, the more they tend to either get defensive or go on the attack. And instead of trying to force them to change their mind, what if you let them be motivated by someone they already like and trust themselves? And so the premise behind motivational interviewing is to have humility and curiosity and basically interview the person.
Right. Talk to me about what your vaccine concerns are. Are there any conditions under which you might consider getting one? You know, what do you see as the pros and cons? And you're supposed to listen in a nonjudgmental way and really try to understand whether they have any reasons to consider changing course. And it turns out to be remarkably effective when you take mothers who have major concerns about vaccines and just have a single motivational interview with them in the maternity ward after birth, the number of kids who are vaccinated goes up, I think, from seventy two to eighty seven percent on average, and you get about a nine percent increase from one conversation in the number of kids who are fully vaccinated two years later.
Are you worried at all about the way we're talking about anti Baxters specifically around the covid-19 vaccines? Do you see any signs that we're making, the kind of persuasive arguments we need to be making now?
I think we're doing a great job demonizing people who, you know, who have legitimate concerns, right. Obviously, we want to get out of the well, not all of them. Some of them have legitimate concerns. But, John, can you tell me what the long term risks of getting an MRI and a vaccine are? Well, I don't know.
Well, well, so it's funny. I talked about this with Eric Lander, who we both know. And, you know, the point that he makes is there's a risk to wearing a seatbelt. Of course, there anything we do to provide safety is not going to be perfect. That doesn't mean we don't do it, obviously, which you know.
But yes, of course it is. There are there's always the possibility of some outside risk that we don't know about, of course.
Sure. And so, you know, I think obviously for everyone, this is a cost benefit analysis. And we want to do is we want to get people to weigh not only the personal but also the collective benefit over the personal cost or risk.
And, yeah, I think from my. Outside of the evidence that it seems like most of us would be crazy not to get a covert vaccine when it's offered to us, right.
I think, though, that that that doesn't mean the fears aren't real. Instead of judging people or dismissing their concerns, if we actually asked them, you know, tell me a little bit about your sources, what kind of evidence, you know, are you looking at? It actually opens the door sometimes to have a more thoughtful conversation. And I don't think that's going to happen with somebody who's who identifies as an extreme anti vaccine. But there are a lot of people in the middle of that spectrum who are hesitant or reluctant.
And, yeah, we can usually learn how to have a reasonable conversation with them by trying to understand their fears first.
So before there were people concerned about this specific vaccine, there have been anti vaccine movements that are rooted in misinformation, lies, no data, no evidence around autism, other concerns. And that's not to say that you shouldn't take people's fears seriously. But we're not having a debate between two sides, one of whom recognizes, well, based on a set of competing pieces of information, there's there are people kind of consumed by propaganda and then there are people who aren't.
And now in those situations, how do you think about breaking the cycle of kind of confidence?
You know, you talk about it as a flat earth cycle.
How do you think about, you know, what you say in the book is something like, you know, somebody comes to believe the earth is flat. They then join a community that confirms it in every way with tons of information, facts, data, information. They then talk to friends and family. They get a terrible response. And then the flat earth is like, I'm on to something. You know, I'm really pushing their buttons. All right.
I'm questioning the status quo.
How do you intercede in that kind of a cycle?
I don't know how doable is for the average person.
Right. It's going to be hard. I mean, I think there are there are steps you can take that might increase the probability that they open their minds. I don't think there's a silver bullet here.
But one thing I would do is I actually had a chance to do this with with a friend who believes in some strong conspiracy theories about the dangers of vaccines. I you know, I wasn't just going to directly talk him out of them. And I know from some of the research that how questions tend to be more effective than why questions.
So instead of asking him why he believed that, you know, Big Pharma and the government were in cahoots, I said, well, how do you think you could pull off a conspiracy like this?
These government agents who you think are completely incompetent, by the way, how did they manage to pull the wool over the eyes of independent scientists with tenure who, you know, have an incentive to try to get to the truth and journalists who, you know what, if this conspiracy is really happening like there is a Pulitzer waiting to be won, are you telling me there's not even one journalist who's skeptical enough and skilled enough to get to the bottom? Where are those people?
And it kind of stumped him. And we ended up having a much more thoughtful conversation than I expected. And so that would be one thing I would consider.
The other thing that maybe has a little bit of potential.
And I don't know, I think it depends a lot on the the misinformation that somebody is believing. But I made a little bit of progress by just talking about what kinds of standards we're going to agree to.
So I said, look, you know, when it comes to vaccines and you could do the same thing with, you know, with the curvature of the Earth or the the shape of the earth, I said, look, you know, I don't know all the evidence or information that you have available as a social scientist.
What I do is I evaluate evidence for a living.
And so can I just talk to you a little bit about what kind of evidence I find persuasive so that you can show me some of that. And I said, obviously, I'm a fan of randomized controlled trials, but those are very persuasive because it's one sample and it's relatively underpowered. And so what I really want is a meta analysis, a study of studies where we accumulate all the randomized controlled trials, we adjust for statistical power and bias.
Do you agree that that would be the gold standard? And he said yes. And I said, great. Show me a meta analysis that demonstrates that the costs or risks of vaccines outweigh the benefits. And he couldn't. And that doesn't mean he's suddenly lining up for his covid vaccine. Right. But it means right. That we can at least start to have a conversation on some common ground. And I don't think that's going to work with somebody who's way off the deep end of conspiracy theories.
But if you think somebody is generally reasonable human being, there may be potential there.
So that is sort of what I felt as I was reading. And I found the aspects of this outside of politics I found fascinating. But the question I had when you apply it to politics is looming. All of over that, over this, I felt I felt two big problems. One is there are obviously incredibly important opportunities to find common ground, but in some cases climate.
As an example you use in the book, you make a compelling argument that there are strategic, political kind of tactical reasons for not viewing climate change as a binary, because that is how you can bring skeptics over to your side.
But in reality, right, yes, there's, of course, you know, some gray area in terms of how fast climate change will come, how just how much damage it will do from extreme to very extreme, what the best solutions are. Of course, there's important debates. There's no there's no consensus on every aspect of this. But there really is a broad based and undeniable fact based, evidence based consensus about the harm of of climate change and a massive apparatus trying to pretend that that isn't so.
That has in store sold millions upon millions of people. And so when you talk about not seeing things as a binary, I just described it as a binary. That's I have a binary bias, according to the book. But I happen to think that you and I agree that the binary I just described is pretty fair. Is that so? So how do you think about persuading people to find common ground when that's actually just a tactic and we don't actually believe the common ground is real?
Well, I think the common ground is real. So I agree with most of what you said, John. But, you know, when you look at the spectrum and you saw me plot it in the book, the spectrum is very clear that over half of Americans are somewhere between concerned and alarmed about climate change.
If you look at the opposite end of the spectrum, it's only about 10 percent of people who are in the truly dismissive or Denyer category.
Right. And so what I want to do is I want to reach the people in the middle.
And I know that they have a variety of motivations. Some of them just don't want to believe it because it's threatening to the way they run their business or it's threatening to their worldview.
And we know that if you want to change what people believe, it's helpful to think about what they want to believe.
And so I guess what I would say is, you know, if you think about those people in the middle of the spectrum who don't get enough attention, who are actually probably more of the problem than the smaller group of deniers when it comes to behavior change and policy change, what I would want to do is I just want to be wary of lumping them into the denier category, because if you only create the believer and denier categories and somebody is on the fence, it's kind of hard to go all in all of a sudden.
Right. And so it's easier to align yourself with the skeptics. So I want to I want to work on creating a third or fourth camp and say, all right, you know, we understand that you're not bought into the one solution we're most excited about right now. But, you know, are you open to the following kinds of solutions? And maybe there's somewhere I can plant myself that doesn't let me end with these people who are very anti science.
And that's the kind of conversation I want to have. What bothers you about that conversation?
I'm teasing out the difference between two groups of people who just see the world differently. Use the example of Red Sox fans and Yankees fans and a group of people who have a pretty accurate but uncomfortable view of reality, which is climate change is an incredible threat. The solutions are often difficult or hard to think about and may cause a lot of disruption. Nobody likes it. Thinking about the end of the world is not fun. Believing in climate change introduces real anxiety for a lot of people, especially the people that focus on all the time.
And yet, despite that, it is real and it causes serious harm. And yes, it's valuable to pull people away from denial that common ground is a political place we're trying to get them to. It's not the best place to be. The best place for them to be would be to be standing with us, that you're kind of making a tactical compromise and eliding on moral judgment about what we actually have to do.
Maybe I might reframe that a little, though, and say that I'm trying to take a longer view and recognize that I'm probably not going to win an argument in one day with somebody who's pretty skeptical or even cynical. Right. And so what I want to do instead is plant seeds that allow them to to detach from, you know, the opposition and say, all right, you know what? There's a lot of nuance here. There's a lot of complexity.
I'm not a scientist. How in the world do I have strong opinions about the climate? I don't even know how to interpret these data. You know, maybe I should be a little bit more receptive to learning. And I think that's a first step, right. Toward then trying to introduce them to to more valid data.
But we're just being sneaky now. Now we're just being sneaky. We're trying to be sneaky because you you are persuaded about your you're trying to find the best argument to reach people. But it is it's a tactic. I'm not. And I think it's a good tactic. I support it. I don't think it has to be sneaky. I think you're attributing sneakiness. I supported by the way, I support the sneakiness. I think maybe we have to be a little bit sneaky, maybe.
But I also think that the moment you get found out is the moment that people realize the manipulation attempt is occurring and then they put their guard up and then we're back to the drawing board. And so what I would rather do, John, is I would I would sit down with that person and I would say I probably have a tendency to want to bring you over a certain side.
And obviously, I'm a big fan of science since you know where I to fall on that. Right. All right. That's OK. But I also don't want to be that person who's shoving my beliefs down other people's throats. If you end up changing your mind, I want it to be because you actually believe in the science, not not just because you're trying to shut me up.
Right. And so, you know, I'd love to ask you some questions and share a little bit of what I've learned over the past couple of years to, you know, to see what your reaction. I don't know, there's something that's a little bit disarming about acknowledging your persuasive intent and then trying to overcome it right.
And say I have a bad habit of preaching at people and prosecuting them.
And that's not the way I want to live my life. That's not the person I want to be. I would rather talk like a scientist.
So I and I actually and I'm pushing on this, but I obviously I totally understand. And I think we basically I'm being churlish a word I've never used on this show before. But but so I guess here's what I was thinking about, which is some piece of advice that that stuck with me about interpersonal relationships, is that when you're dealing with someone who is erratic, for lack of a better word, crazy, it'll move your baseline. You know, you have a set of kind of reasonable views trying to be evidence based, trying to see something.
From another point of view, you're dealing with a erratic, defiant, difficult, unreasonable person to reach a commonality, to reach a common ground to kind of you'll you'll move you'll move your baseline. You'll you'll you'll move toward them just to get out of a bad situation. And maybe that will help you in that moment. But it's not really leaving you in a better place than where you started. And I think about that in terms of politics, because, you know, there's data about our bubbles.
You talk about the bubbles and they exist. There is a liberal bubble. There's a conservative bubble. They don't overlap. But there's a lot of important data about what those bubbles actually look like in practice and what they look like in practice. And obviously, nothing this isn't these aren't closed systems. And so every person has a little bit of a different way of getting their information.
But they all else being equal liberals seem to get their information from very liberal sources, from mainstream sources and from a variety of sources. They go to MSNBC, they go to Fox, they go to Facebook, a little parts of America, they go to New York Times, they go to The Washington Post. Conservatives in these studies, much smaller, much tighter bubble Fox News ancillary websites.
And that's basically, you know, right wing sites. They don't go beyond that. At least they go they go beyond that far less. And so, you know, you talk about bubbles, but but what I see is I see a group of people with a kind of broad, diverse information ecosystem, maybe not enough conservative sources and a group of people kind of on an iceberg leaving us. And you say we have to figure out a way to find common ground.
And what I fear is that is a ceding to moving the baseline away from reality just to find common ground.
I definitely don't want to do that. Okay, cool. I also don't want to bully people into agreeing with me that the trick is to find something that works in between those two.
OK, how do we do that? I don't know. I know. Yeah, well, who knows. This is the problem. This is the part where like is it is hard, but I guess I think for me, like here was my butt that that you are this is I haven't even gotten to my I'm by the way, just I, I'm saying this almost defensively, but I really do mean it. I, I'm glad we're having this conversation.
Not that what's about to come is so harsh that I need to kind of preface it with a comment. I actually really enjoyed the book. I think it's really worth reading. It's a interesting way to think about a variety of different problems and ways of like ways organizations function where you can think about just engaging people in difference. And so I think it's a really valuable read. And I found it incredibly useful, even even in the parts that I took issue with.
But here was my question for you. You make a point of talking about your antipathy to party. I am a partisan. I am a partisan. I am part of I. I am the soap from which bubbles we we are. We are. We put the soap up to help people make their bubbles. But what I would say is I think you you have turned not being a partisan into an ideology and not being partisan as an ideology makes it harder for you to see the reality of a bunch of these crises, not as a situation in which we have divides we need to cross, but actually we have a big group of Americans in a relatively OK information ecosystem trying to solve problems.
And there is this rearguard action of right wing misinformation and propaganda that is actually a problem to solve, not a difference of opinion, not a difference of opinion interest, a difference of opinion.
Interesting. Yeah, I think I think that might be a fair critique.
I'm trying to choose the lesser of two evils. And what bothers me so much about partisanship is that people stop thinking for themselves. They essentially end up believing whatever the party line is. And I think that's part of how we got here. Right. The idea that someone would identify as a Republican as opposed to identifying as somebody who's interested in the truth and holds a set of values and is open to lots of different policies for how to advance those values.
That's a mistake to me. And I would say the same thing to a Democrat. And like I think about let's let's take a very concrete example of this. Let's take Abraham Lincoln. So Lincoln comes into office convinced that trying to abolish slavery would tear the Union apart. How look here we that he changed his mind on that. Right. And said, you know what? Actually, we should we should abolish slavery.
I don't think his values changed much. He. Cared about human rights, he was against the idea that people should be treated differently, let alone enslaved because they were black.
But if you look at him today, right, he was moving from one party to another and that would have been very hard for him to do. And I think creating such. Yeah, got such bubbles around parties makes it harder to say I'm going to hold fast to some core values that are important to me, but I'm going to be very open about the best policies to try to promote those values.
And that scares me. Doesn't that scare you? It does. My less defensive posture would be to say I completely agree that that's a problem. It's a big problem. But actually, what I what I see is actually two problems often being conflated, which is one is bubbles, information, ecosystem silos moving from heterodox ideologically inconsistent parties to really consistent parties. That is a problem. Right. But if the Conservative Party in the United States treated information and disagreement like the liberal movement United States, we'd be in a much better position.
And so I think we have two problems. One is polarization, which is absolutely real, but it is a small problem compared to the incredible danger of what's happening inside of one of our two political movements, and that that the effort to see oneself as nonpartisan and to approach our problems in a non-partisan way leaves us without the tools or framework to think properly about the actual mortal threat to the country right now.
That's interesting. I think my first instinct is to agree with that thinking, that instinct a little bit.
I can't help but wonder if there's not a way to rise above that and to say, look, we're going to elevate truth. Let's take social media algorithms. As an example here, I believe everybody has the right to freedom of speech. Obviously, we should leave hate speech out of that.
But I don't think that means everyone's entitled to freedom of megaphone. And you can imagine building an algorithm where before, you know, reaching more than one hundred fifty or a thousand people a post had to be fact checked. And there was an independent group that did that fact checking. Right. You can imagine maybe maybe we were too polarized now to do this, but you can imagine creating a group that's trusted by, quote unquote, both sides to do that kind of work.
And it seems to me that that would be a nonpartisan approach to solving the very problem you're worried about, unless one of the two political movements does not recognize the kind of epistemological work as valid. Yeah, that is sort of central to the liberal project. Like when one of two movements becomes authoritarian, a lot of these tools stop being useful. Yeah. So, yeah, no, I think I think that's right.
And that's that's why I said maybe we're too polarized now. And maybe what I should have said is maybe there are too many Republicans who have lost their grip on the truth or their commitment to facts and science for what I'm suggesting to work.
But I still think I still think some of the things that, you know, they opened my eyes while I was researching this book are relevant to making progress there.
Right. Like, let's take a simple idea, like solution aversion. Yes.
I never would have crossed my mind such a powerful idea in psychology that and it's very new that when people hear a solution they don't like, they will often respond by ignoring or denying the existence of the problem.
So you give me a you know, a heavy if I'm a conservative, a fact oriented conservative, and you give me a heavy government regulation approach to tackling climate change.
And I don't like that. Let's let's not worry too much about climate change. If instead you can offer me a menu of possible solutions and ask me which ones I'm more in less receptive to, all of a sudden I'm like, oh, yeah, you know, there are a bunch of ways of tackling this problem that I could get behind.
And now we have at least some people at the table who didn't want to come before. And, you know, maybe that's just progress on the margins. And you're trying to solve the more existential issue that I'm not qualified to solve.
I wanted to end by asking you what is something you've rethought since the pandemic? And one thing that was on my mind that I did want to ask you about was I see these two competing ideas at once. One says work has changed forever because of remote and the other is, I can't do this anymore. I can't be remote anymore. I'm losing it. How what what have you learned or rethought as this pandemic has unfolded about work? Because I know that that's something you talk about all the time.
Yeah, I came into the pandemic thinking that we should all be experimenting with remote work before it started. Right. And three years ago, in twenty eighteen, I tried to get a bunch of Silicon Valley companies to just even do remote Friday and run the experiment and none of them would do it like you're crazy.
We already have good evidence that productivity goes up, that there is that satisfaction goes up from the flexibility and that there are no cost to co-worker relationships as long as people are in the office half the week. And what I've rethought since then is, is how palatable that is for a lot of people permanently.
And I think now it looks like most companies are going to end up being hybrid. And the thing that I'm still rethinking is how do we make that work?
How do I have enough office space where you can actually build a culture, but I don't have to have a bunch of empty desks all the time and, you know, does that mean that we actually organize on shifts where different people are in the office on different days? And if so, how in the world do we make some kind of synchronized collaboration happen? I think there are a lot of open questions there, but I've definitely let go of my belief that remote work was going to work for a lot of the people most of the time.
One thing that I've been thinking about, which is just a small, practical problem, but I think has big consequences, is a group of people in a room together works? We've been doing that for a very long time. Five or six people sitting in a circle. We know how to do that. Being over zoom is a not ideal imitation of that, but you can have a conversation and you can have a discussion. What I wonder about is the challenge of mixed groups of people.
When you have three people on Zoome and three people in a room, it never works. One space becomes the dominant space and the others become observers. Whether it's if you have five people remote and two on speaker phone, it's a remote meeting. If you have five people in the room and talk to remote, it's an in-person meeting. How how to like this is very nuts and bolts.
But if we are going to be hybrid, how do you have a hybrid conversation?
I don't think we know yet. You know what I put on my scientist hat. That's an experiment waiting to be run. So when one experiment I would try is let's have the remote people running the meeting to make sure that their voices don't get lost, let's have them facilitate. Another is, if part of the group is remote, then everybody should be on a computer, even if they're in the same room together with headphones. Right. And that way you're at least trying to to minimise status disparities.
But I think it's going to be a hard problem to solve, and I don't think we have good approaches yet.
Adam Grant, thank you so much. The book is called Think Again. I really recommend it because I think we spend a lot of time talking about the ways we disagree and how harmful it is in so many different spheres. And this is a really thought provoking and interesting way to think about solving some of those problems. So congrats on the book.
Thanks, John. This is an interesting conversation. You've actually given me a bunch of things to rethink, which I always appreciate. Damn right.
And by the way, I let me tell you something. I learned nothing. I'm going to leave that, not leave it.
Thank you so much to Adam Graham for joining us. When we come back, the real deal.
Don't go anywhere. Love it or leave it. And there's more on the way.
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And we're back now. It's time for the rant. We'll you know where to spin the wheel wherever it lands. We rant about the topic this week on the wheel, we have the Disney announced film Cruella the Wednesday Addams Netflix series, Ted Cruz's Mask Trellising Hardening Off Seedlings Whitewashing Sunflower. Wait a second.
This isn't the rant.
We all these are the music. It's family garden show. That's right. It's the plant. We'll give you the plant. We'll it's not the we it's the plant. We'll Emily's taking over the show. And now it's time for the Welcome Family's Garden Show.
It's time for the plant.
We'll let's spend the plant will go and see what it lands on.
The plant wheel has landed on Vermes composting submitted by John Lovett, let me hear what you got.
Vermaak Composting. Yeah, it's like a worm bin.
It's a worm bin. Yeah. I'll tell you something about Vermaak composting issue. Yes. Oh, what about composting was not good enough for you is it. Just composting. But you put worms in it. Yeah.
The worms make the compost for you. It's, they turn it into the poop worm poop and then that you put that. I just don't understand why you submitted this. If you didn't have a rant prepared, let's do another one. OK, it has landed on the Wednesday Addams Netflix series that was submitted by me.
OK, can I just say Netflix announced an entire series about Wednesday, Addams from The Addams Family, directed by Tim Burton show run by two other white men over 50. And I got really mad about it because I you know, I'm sure there are women on the creative team, but they're not the ones who pitched it and sold it. And Netflix should have known better than to say yes to a pitch like that by a bunch of old men about a character like Wednesday Adams, who so many weird girls identify with and would have had a lot of fun with.
And it just made me think about Tim Burton in general as the glory hoarding Goth filmmaker that he is, where I feel like there are some.
What he could have done in his career is he could have mentored a diverse group of young, spooky filmmakers and created a legacy for himself without having to come up with a bunch of new ideas all the time about new spooky dark. I shadowed women and instead he is giving interviews about why he doesn't put people of color in his movies. He's doing shit like this and I just it just feels like a wasted opportunity.
And I want the next generation of of spooky people to get their shot. That's all I wanted to say. Let's build the plant.
We'll again. And it has landed on trellising submitted by John Lovett.
What the fuck? How did he get it over trellising trellising?
Yeah, what what method do you like to use? I've heard the Florida method is good, but it seems a little complicated for me.
One thing that I've moved away from, I'm just going to jump in here because it feels like John doesn't really have much of a rant here is I have learned that there is no substitute for just a modular trellising method of having a bunch of different stakes and a bunch of twine and just redoing it as needed. You don't need to buy a specific tomato cage, is what I'm saying.
Otros thing is, when you kind of hang when they when you type like vind, you tie them up like you so that they grow up.
Yeah. It's a plant that supports for your plants. Got it. Now that you know what we're talking about, do you have a rant. Yeah, they drive me crazy.
These trellising classic classic loving rants out of control. The trellising sick of it. Let's do one more.
It's landed on Cruella De Vil, I don't know how that ended up on this wheel because it's not a plant and I also didn't submit it, but it was submitted by John on it.
I don't understand, first of all, how the plant we all it was fine to have Wednesday Addams, but I submit Carella to the Red Wheel and on the plant we all it's a problem. Here's what I'll say.
Here's the thing is this is my show and we do things my way. That's true. And I like that. I've noted your complaint and I will do nothing more with that information. But go ahead.
I'll just say you are being such a fucking Maranda right now, Corella. Here's what I want to say. I see a lot of people right now judging the trailer for the most stoned vehicle, Cruella the origin story for the woman in 101 Dalmatians, whose only character trait we know of is that she likes to murder dogs for their skins to make a coat. And I've seen a lot of you cast many aspersions about this film based purely on the trailer.
And here's what I want to say. Have some faith. All right? Because I'm telling you, I've seen this film. All right. And I'll tell you is one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life, because by the time you get to the end of that movie, and I know this seems impossible, I know this seems hard to believe, but I am telling you, a part of you will not just understand why Cruella De Vil wanted to kill those dogs.
Part of you will agree with. That's the powerful film that Disney has created.
I know there's been some criticism, all right, that this is not a character who needed a back story.
Her only trait is the desire to literally skin dogs she stole to make a coat out of two adult dogs and ninety nine puppies.
I know that that that's troubling for you. But this is what I'm talking about with cancer culture. All right. You haven't even killed the fame.
And now that you know that I've seen it, I can tell you that I came away genuinely shocked by the depth of the Cruella De Vil story, totally relating to the fact that at some point earlier in her life, there were people who were mean to her.
And so later on, when she came to be the kind of person who wants to steal dogs from a family to turn them into a deeply uncomfortable and quite ugly coat, I hope that you can approach it with an open mind.
All right. Because this is one thing that we need right now. All right. We need more people to approach cinema with an open mind.
Yeah, you're hoping that you're hoping that by the end, you know, like, you know how at the end of Finding Nemo, all these people went out and bought those fish and put them in their aquariums as if they didn't understand the movie at all. You're hoping that at the end of Cruella De Vil, people are just super on board with killing a bunch of dogs?
I think that's what Disney's agenda is with this film. Yeah. And somebody said this to me, and I think it's exactly right. It is a testament to the homophobia so entrenched in our culture that we have a Cruella Back story before and Ursula back story. Oh, yeah.
I want to see the story of Ursula the Sea Witch. That's what I want. All right. That's the money I want to spend. Disney.
Yes. I want an Ursula story. Ursula just make deals, you know what I mean? Did she even kill anyone, much less puppies?
She didn't try. She did turn people into weird little plants. But keep in mind, the king is an authoritarian goon. All right. And yeah, it's not like what? Anyway, look, here's the thing, all right?
She's Urszula the sea, which they kill her. They kill her. Poop sees her eel's flotsam and jetsam. Yeah. Zapped to smithereens. Yeah. I just think there's probably more room for nuance there than with a character named Cruella De Vil, who is just a rich dog killer who they really they really did not want to leave you any room there.
There's no yeah. She just wants to kill those dogs. And I'll just add, Emily, I don't know if you've ever thought about this before, if you noticed it, but actually, if you look at the name Cruella De Vil, it has like, cruel devil like right in the name.
Oh, my God. Oh, my God. And that's the plant wheel or the rear wheel. Thank you so much, Emily.
Well, I guess we're still technically in Emily's Gardens, so I guess I should stop hosting and be a better guest.
I want to I still appreciate being thanked. It is well earned. That's it for Emily's Guardian Show.
When we come back, we'll end on a high note. Hard to top what we just did, but we're going to try. Hey, don't go anywhere.
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No, I definitely. I definitely think it's. Way more fun to do the music way. It's like, well, how did you become the best in the world? I tooled around with a guitar in my garage for a while and then did drugs till I was on television. What did you do? I woke up every day at 4:00 a.m. and I have not eaten red meat since 1991.
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I love it. My name is Kelly and I'm calling from Buffalo, New York. And my Heino is that my son Ronan got to try a banana for the first time yesterday. And I know that's not anything huge. But, you know, we found out about a baby in December, so kind of watched the world fall apart during my pregnancy. And he hasn't really met a lot of family yet. So each milestone just kind of feels like a light in a pretty dark time.
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This is Patrick from Buffalo, New York. I'm calling because my Heino for the week is that yesterday morning I was able to get the first dose of the Fizer vaccine for both myself and my 76 year old mother. Pretty exciting, especially since I'm a teacher. And it's still a little scary going back in the building, knowing that the virus could be out there. So everybody is doing great. And thank you for that.
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They love it. This is Fran from Chicago. I just wanted to share my high note of the week. I have been trying to open my little neighborhood coffee shop for almost a year. I signed a lease on commercial space in March of last year right before it exploded, and I finally got my permits this week. So I will actually be able to do my construction and hopefully open within a month. So that's my high note and I hope everyone stays safe.
Thank you for all you do here. My high note of every Saturday. Thanks. Bye. Hey, hello.
This is Trevor. I actually am out in Naples, Italy right now and active duty folks are starting to get our second dose of vaccine today. And that was my high note I got. It was a relief. Thanks for all you guys do over at Kirkwood. It's been the light at the end of the tunnel over the last four years. Take care. So good bye. Thanks to everybody who submitted those high notes.
If you want to leave us a message about something that gave you hope, you can call us at three two three five two one nine four five five. Thank you to Emily Heller, Adam Grant, Alicia Garza, Megale Jason Concepcion and everybody who called in. There are 626 days until the 2022 midterm elections and 79 days. Oh, man. No way. Until Travis's birthday. Yeah. Have a great weekend, everybody. Love it or leave it is a crooked media production, it is written and produced by me, Jon Lovett, Lee Eisenberg, our head writer, and the person whose gender reveal party started the fire, Travis Helwig, Jocelyn Kaufman, Cullowhee Ganon and Peter Miller are the writers are assistant producer is Sidney Rabil.
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