Bridget Phetasy admires grit and authenticity. On Walk-Ins Welcome, she talks about the beautiful failures and frightening successes of her own life and the lives of her guests. She doesn't conduct interviews-she has conversations. Conversations with real people about the real struggle and will remind you that we can laugh in pain and cry in joy but there's no greater mistake than hiding from it all.
Bridget sits down with comedian & musician Ami Kozak for a conversation about how he uses platforms to address what’s going on as a modern Orthodox Jew, seeing the frightening consequences of bad ideas and viewing everything through oppressor/oppressee lenses, how all the early Nazi propaganda was rooted in compassion, how there’s an anti-human sentiment that has infected the left, the distinction between ignorance, lack of awareness, and hate, why the state of Israel's existence is a great example of shedding the victim mentality, trying to move the needle in a constructive direction, and why conversations in good faith are trying to arrive at a more refined understanding of the truth. They also cover the difference between our opponents and our enemies, the irony of having to fight for peace, trying to see what someone is saying and their motivations behind it from a good faith perspective, why comedy allows a window into constructive conversations, and the key to doing a good impression of someone. Check out Ami's podcast Ami's House.
Bridget sits down with Gad Saad, author of The Saad Truth About Happiness and The Parasitic Mind, to discuss the Israel/Palestine conflict, the rise in antisemitism they were seeing even before the October 7th attacks, why the level of Jew hatred allowed in society is a canary in the coal mine, and how people in the West take their own mindset for granted and don’t appreciate how different the Middle Eastern mindset is. They cover the concept of idea pathogens and how ideas like postmodernism, transgender activism, cultural relativism, and social constructivism have taken over the way they have, how these ideas start with a noble goal which morphs into complete nonsense in the pursuit of that goal and how in the service of that noble goal you murder truth, why the Israel/Palestine issue has nothing to do with land, the fundamental attribution error, Jewish sharks, how Gad maintains a sense of purpose and meaning, the two most important decisions you’ll make in life, and why despite everything, you should always have fun and play.
Greg Lukianoff returns to talk about his new book, The Canceling of The American Mind. He and Bridget discuss people who still don’t believe cancel culture is real, people who've just realized it's real because it came for them, why America’s reliance on elite higher education is distortive to our whole society, cancel culture at its worst, how even though it claims compassion for minorities in the abstract in reality it’s quite cruel, how cancel culture destroys our faith in experts, and why there’s a sense at Harvard now that they’ve done something terribly wrong and have not created an environment where people can constructively disagree. They cover how college students are being indoctrinated in an ideology and why the idea that they'll "grow out of it" is not true, why the West is so self-loathing, the fact that a substantial number of people are no longer going to college is probably healthy for our society, why government shouldn't be able to make private companies do the policing that they themselves are not allowed to do, how rising antisemitism always seems to precede a world war, and how the secret to a successful social movement is giving people the opportunity to be cruel while feeling self-righteous.
Kashmir Hill, New York Times Tech reporter, sits down with Bridget to discuss her new book, Your Face Belongs To Us: A Secretive Startup's Quest To End Privacy as We Know It. Kashmir explains how an app called Clearview AI can identify anyone based on just one snapshot of their face with astonishing accuracy and how thousands of law enforcement agencies around the world are already using this technology. She and Bridget cover the ramifications of this technology - both positive and negative, how the US has been slow to pass federal privacy laws and has not kept up with advancements in technology, the story behind the creation of Clearview AI and their advancements in facial recognition technology, how it could fundamentally change our lives and the way we interact in the world moving forward.
Bridget sits down with Noam Blum, Chief Technology Officer at Tablet magazine, for a conversation about the Israel/Palestine conflict. They discuss the atmosphere of rhetoric inflation that allows more people to speak with blatant antisemitism, ever more extreme language getting a continuous pass in progressivism, how the language of academia seems divorced from the language of the people, and seeing a lot of disillusionment and feelings of isolation among people as they react to the conflict. They cover how the people who have spent the last several years telling others to stay in their lane are now willing to lecture you about Israel and antisemitism, Noam's prediction of the cultural backlash we'll see in the next few years, how word definitions are widened due to rhetoric inflation because you’re not going to turn a lot of heads by using milder words, the actual definition of the term "settler," why antisemitism is being seen as second degree bigotry and always has to be paired with Islamophobia, resenting the necessity of having to immerse yourselves in gore and horror because the alternative is for people to say it didn’t happen, why you shouldn’t be able to make money off of war porn, and why you should never take a newly released hostage’s statement at face value. Check out Noam's podcast Ambitious Crossover Attempt for more discussion of this topic.
Helen Joyce, author of Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality, sits down with Bridget for an in-depth conversation about the trans activist movement, what inspired her to write the book, what's changed since the book came out in 2021, the bullshit idea that everything can be blamed on feminism, the detransitioners she's met, and how the trans movement is sending women’s rights back to the dark ages. They discuss the sense that women have been abandoned in the culture wars, queer theory, the rise of conspiratorial thinking, how much faith she used to have in the institutions of our society and why she no longer trusts them, the definition of a moral injury, how gender ideology breaks things in exactly the place they're meant to work, being told that it’s a civil right to choose your gender, why she feels she's doing exactly what she’s supposed to be doing, and why you should never validate the delusion because you will lose control of the ward.
Bridget sits down with the great Walter Kirn, novelist, essayist, and editor-at-large of the new print-only newspaper County Highway. Walter shares why he and David Samuels decided to start a 19th century style paper centering attention on the middle of the country rather than the edges, the feeling that the country has lost touch with itself - especially during Covid, and the importance of reading something in a media that doesn’t track you or count your clicks or pander to your opinions. They discuss the disembodiment of our era, their shared desire to get beyond addiction, watching people panic during Covid, and seeing the responses to Covid being orchestrated at the highest levels by people with the most privilege while they waged a devastating war against the middle class and poorest people. They cover the roles people got to play during the pandemic and how important it made them feel, why the toilet paper op was a way to divide the genders, the way that irony is deliberately used to keep people at bay and submissive, turning the internet into a weapon for social control, and how every bit of peasant wisdom in Walter's body told him he was being had when it came to the Covid restrictions.
Yael Bar Tur & ChayaLeah Sufrin, hosts of the Ask A Jew podcast, sit down with Bridget for a fun, freewheeling conversation about the differences between secular Jews and orthodox Jews, how thei Jewish identity is so central and core to who they are but they could not be more different in terms of how they express it, being Jewish and not believing in God, the cultural differences between Israel and the US, the gun debate, abortion, free range kids, and why a lot of secular Jews are embarrassed by Orthodox Jews. They also cover women who don't have children and whether it's a choice or due to circumstance, how much we underestimate our kids and coddle them in our society, being realistic about what you and your spouse are able to give to each other, modeling for your kids what having a relationship is, Bridget’s I Regret Being A Slut piece, creating community, and which Beverly Hills 90210 character would survive the Holocaust.
Yascha Mounk, author of The Identity Trap: A Story of Ideas and Power In Our Time, sits down with Bridget to discuss the rise of a set of ideas about race, gender, and sexual orientation in the last 10 years that have changed the world. They talk about his worries over getting cancelled for writing the book, how the topic is slightly less controversial than it was 12 months ago, why the stakes are very high, how separating kids at school based on race will probably result in more racism not less, the truth about the Covid vaccine distribution, the allure of the identity trap and why it is counterproductive. They also cover the danger of being reactionary when your own side turns on you, why we need to construct our own understanding of opposing racism and operate from the point of view of our own principles and ideals, being accused of both-sidesism, the cultural appropriation debate, why we’re going to be in this fight for the next 20 to 25 years, Yascha's definition of "woke," and how writing the book has given him greater clarity for how to articulate his own ideals.
DESCRIPTION: Paula Scanlan, former University of Pennsylvania swimmer and team member with transgender athlete Lia Thomas, sits down with Bridget to discuss her experience on the team, her decision to speak up about the controversial issue, and ultimately testifying before Congress. She and Bridget talk about how the university tried to silence the athletes, being unable to express discomfort or feelings of unfairness, being told that they are the ones with the problem, waiting for the adults in the room to step in, and making the difficult decision to speak up even when she knew the backlash she'd face would be brutal. They cover the pressure of group think, why all of this coming on the heels of Covid made it so much worse, teaching young women not to trust themselves, why this issue should not be a political one, the worry of being fired for her viewpoints, hearing from a lot of young women who are scared, how Paula's sexual assault red pilled her, and her work to enact policy change with the Independent Women's Forum.
Mitchell Jackson, founder and lead communications strategist at BCC Communications, returns to the show for a conversation with Bridget about public relations, weathering scandals, the different approaches to take, what PR firms do wrong; including not paying attention to the internet or new media, not providing media training to their clients, not developing contacts within media organizations, and ultimately not delivering results. They also discuss people who make a business out of being cancelled, why LGBT marketing is a needle to thread and how to do it without alienating your current audience, how people in California have no idea what is happening in the rest of the country, what's really behind LGBTQ activists doubling down on trans issues, how left media and right media depend on each other to create controversies between them, why Mitchell believes the economy will decide whether Trump is president again, and why the term "activist" should not be synonymous with "expert." Sign up for Mitchell's newsletter here: TheBCCnewsletter.substack.com
Former Republican nominee for Congress and 14 year Air Force veteran Tamika Hamilton, sits down with Bridget to discuss the realities of running for office. Tamika shares what drove her to run for Congress, the process a normal person has to figure out along the way, the money necessary for an effective campaign, the need for volunteers, and why we should all get more involved. She and Bridget cover what it's like for a black woman to run for office in the Republican party, the areas where she sees Democrats being more successful than Republicans, why Republican candidates need to start appealing towards people in the center rather than their base, the need to present a more optimistic vision of our future, and why the party as a whole needs to have a more empathetic approach. They also talk motherhood, the realities of being married to a cop, how kids today are looking for mentorship and support, and how if we're not careful, we're gonna walk right into a Gavin Newsom presidency. Donate to Tamika's PAC at TamikaPAC.org and email her if you'd like to get involved or have questions about running for office - email@example.com.
Bethany Mandel, co-author of Stolen Youth: How Radicals Are Erasing Innocence and Destroying A Generation , sits down with Bridget for a frank conversation about motherhood, abortion, and why the gender identity debate always seems result in women paying a price. They discuss the odd disparity between the the idea that men will do anything - except lie about their gender - coming on the heels of the #metoo movement, how much of this is starting to get on the radar of the normies, how people are willing to risk the safety of other people’s children in order to not run afoul of their peers and risk being called a bigot, and the danger of girls being taught that even if they’re uncomfortable they have to stay quiet. They also cover the disdain for the average taxpayer, why most of the amazing feminist voices against the gender ideology are coming from the UK, how totalitarians try to capture a society by ideologically indoctrinating children, using the term "antisemitism" as a weapon, the staggering rates of illiteracy among children due to Covid, and why we need to radically reinvent the American classroom.
Zack Arnold, film & TV editor as well as a career strategist, coach, and the founder of Optimize Yourself, sits down with Bridget for a conversation about being in the trenches in Hollywood for over 20 years, the writers' and actors' strikes, and the piece nobody is talking about - the fact that our entire culture is going through a major identity crisis because our collective sense of self is intertwined with what we do for a living. They discuss how we’re conditioned to believe that our identity is associated with our level of productivity, whether content creation is still a viable way to make a living, the rise of the generalists and how we need to diversify, how everything feels broken, the one thing AI cannot replicate, the value of authenticity, and why if authenticity is a strategy it’s not authentic. They also cover the burden of being a provider, protecting your sense of self and sense of authenticity at all costs, the mental exercise of reframing the fear and being able to confront and control that fear, redefining success and failure, changing your systems to achieve small goals, and why his willingness to fail faster than everyone else is the secret to his success.
Jonathan Tropper, writer, producer, and creator of hit HBO Max show Warrior, sits down with Bridget to discuss how the show that Bruce Lee developed finally made it to the small screen, how it nearly died on the vine after two seasons at Cinemax, and how the pandemic and finding popularity on the HBO Max app led to a revival and a season 3. They discuss what's happening in the industry as a whole, how the economic model of pilots has changed, how you don’t really know what’s succeeding anymore because the streamers don't give you the data, and the importance and effects of the expansion of representation in the industry. They cover the historical time period in which the show is set, how this country has never really figured out its relationship with immigrants, the themes explored in the show that are still relevant today, the graphic novel vibe, how they tackled language, why swagger was the most important component of the main character, how Jonathan got his start in the industry, and why one of the skills of a showrunner is being really nice to everyone on your crew because you need everyone really badly. Watch all 3 seasons of Warrior on Max now.
Author Peachy Keenan sits down with Bridget to discuss her first book, Domestic Extremist: A Practical Guide To Winning The Culture War. They talk about operating under a pseudonym, staying anonymous on Twitter regarding her right wing beliefs to protect her job working in Hollywood, the left wing presumption that everyone is in agreement with their views in corporate culture, how she became a social conservative after meeting her husband, having 5 children in this day and age and being looked at like she's some kind extremist for doing so. They cover parenthood, trying to be a comedy writer, why young men are having a hard time finding women who share their political beliefs, how chemistry can’t be conveyed in dating app profile, the highs and lows of marriage, the effect of divorce on children, the response to her book, why there are more people out there who agree with you than you might think, and whether or not they should start hosting dating events together.
Chris Rufo, author of America's Cultural Revolution: How the Radical Left Conquered Everything , sits down with Bridget to discuss his research into how counter culture ideas from the radical Left worked their way into our institutions and tracing the ideas that led us to this point in our culture. They discuss choosing between lesser of two evils and why a lot of times people just opt out completely, how the Right hasn’t made it easy for people who might be willing to come over to their side, why he doesn't use the word "woke" in his book, and his personal goal to dismantle the DEI industry. They cover the truth about CRT, how to reconcile being both a journalist and activist, his determination to treat the subjects in his book charitably, how disillusioned many of them became with their own movements, why the politics of resentment are so seductive right now, people who are just trying to shore up their position in the media ecosystem, why you're better off doubling down on your strengths than trying to shore up your weaknesses, and why you should be grateful for your biggest failures.
Carol Roth, "recovering" investment banker and entrepreneur, sits down with Bridget for a terrifying conversation about hitting an inflection point where the global financial world order is changing. They talk about the WEF's 8 Predictions for the World in 2030, one of them being "you'll own nothing, and be happy," why Carol rages against this idea because wealth comes from ownership, defining the "they" in the conversation about who wants you to own nothing, when the US will no longer be the world’s sole superpower, other countries getting away from the stronghold of the dollar, who the emerging powers are, and what a potential new world order might look like. They also cover why the people in finance don’t want you to understand it and how they make it opaque and complex on purpose, what we don’t understand about wanting the government going after billionaires, how big tech companies have become essentially de facto governments that you don’t have any rights with because they’re “private companies,” why it's essential that we realize the stakes are shifting and come to terms with it, what people can do to protect themselves and how to set yourself up for success. Check out Carol's book You Will Own Nothing: Your War with a New Financial World Order and How to Fight Back , for the information and tools you'll need.
Bridget sits down with physician and radio host Dr. Drew Pinsky. They reminisce about Love Lines, which Bridget was a huge fan of in her teens, how Dr. Drew wound up on the radio in the first place, what struck him the most about the calls he was receiving, the massive amount of ignorance regarding sex and the human body at the time, the consequences of the sexual revolution, and how people today are less ignorant because they have access to more information but they’re still as confused as ever. The also cover the importance of therapy, the miracles he's seen happen working with addicts, how someone who’s nearly dead can go to thriving, what he's learned about addiction and its treatment, the human propensity to self-destruct, why addicts are great in extreme situations, finding humor in the darkest places, dealing with depression and OCD, the importance of human relationships to how our brains learn and understand things, and the truth about dopamine hits. Listen to Bridget's appearance on The Dr. Drew Podcast.
Writer and commentator Stephen L. Miller sits down with Bridget to discuss what drew him into journalism and media, the hypocrisy he saw, when the reality of the story and how it's being covered are vastly different, building an audience and a platform, how he and Bridget met, and when online battles seep into the real world. They cover the gender debates, Dave Chappelle, the evolution of the ongoing moral panics, what's interesting about RFK Jr's candidacy, why liberal women need to be the ones to step into the trans debates, the fallout they face when they do, the upcoming elections, when parents realized what their kids were being taught in school, and why the only thing that mattered about the Trump years is who came out of it with their integrity in tact, because they're the people worth listening to. Check out Stephen's podcast Versus Media on Substack.
Farrah Storr, former editor-in-chief of Elle, Cosmopolitan & Women's Health, sits down with Bridget to discuss the never-ending hustle of being a writer. They talk about how she got her start in the magazine industry, what her family thought of the career, the importance of getting in the door and getting experience over continuous higher education, working a lot for little to no money, how she became an editor, the difference between being a writer and an editor, and the mistakes she made along the way. They also cover how part of growing up is the ability to recognize your own mistakes, learning to look inwards and not point the blame at others, why the best editors are commercially minded but they have the soul of a writer, writers who come from money vs. writers who have day jobs, being undeniable, the death of hustle culture, when fashion magazines go all political, how the way to change someone’s mind is with love and humor, and why she doesn't look back.
Journalist and senior director of news at Tablet magazine, Jacob Siegel, sits down with Bridget to discuss his recent article A Guide to Understanding the Hoax of the Century . In a chilling conversation Jacob explains the sudden pervasiveness of disinformation and how it became an organizing principle in most of the federal beauracracy, the wholesale fraud being perpetrated on Americans, the precipitating factors, the organizations involved, and the replacing of human centric politics with data control. He details the effort to conjure a "larger threat" in order to justify the declaration of marshal law online, how such a threat justified the calls to move beyond free speech and free discourse as antiquated and too dangerous, the concept of hybrid warfare, the institutional process for prosecuting an information war with specific narratives, and how big tech companies - the most powerful institutions in the history of the world - make decisions in a manner that is inscrutable to humans and is also becoming increasingly structurally inaccessible to humans. They also discuss the domestic use of military technologies being used to “protect us from threats” which include people’s thoughts, using another language to try and get around AI censors, how the only way out is through, and what we can do in the meantime.
Tim Urban, writer/illustrator and co-founder of Wait But Why , a long-form, stick-figure-illustrated website, sits down with Bridget to discuss his new book What's Our Problem?: A Self-Help Book for Societies . In a fun and free-wheeling conversation they talk about Tim's decision to write the book because the defining characteristic of our time is mass confusion and smart people falling for incorrect and fake narratives and he wanted to parse what was going on in our culture. They cover how his Left wing/Right wing thinking fell apart and where it led him, why it’s liberating to not have to pretend you know everything, vertical vs horizontal thinking, how people develop a preference for what they want to be true, why it would be so fun to be a culture warrior, how to know when you've slipped into tribalism, why unearned righteousness and hypocrisy are so annoying, why AI is a magic wand, and how Instagram knows exactly how old your child is.
Jena Friedman, comic and author of new book Not Funny: Essays On Life, Comedy, Culture, Et Cetera , has a frank conversation with Bridget about motherhood, parenting, and losing her mom while she was pregnant with her son. They cover the perils of turning to the internet for advice on sleep training, what gets you through grief and a staggering loss, the writer's strike, the middle class struggle, feeling disconnected, and what happened when comedians started to turn on each other. They also discuss trans activism, abortion rights, gun violence, media bias, and the process of writing a book - among other things.
Kat Timpf, co-host of Gutfeld! and author of You Can't Joke About That , sits down with Bridget to discuss writing a book about some of her most intimate, traumatic, and gut wrenching experiences. They talk about the importance of being able to joke about your own trauma, why humor is healing and we have to be allowed to joke about everything, people who try to police your grief, how grief is so misunderstood in this country, and the weird things that can happen when you're grieving. They also cover why safe spaces aren't real, expecting the world to revolve around your feelings, the idea that intention doesn't matter, being able to talk about the people you've lost, the reality of watching someone die, outrage culture, why erasing things we find offensive from our past is not the answer, why coming after the arts is sinister, and why art is a necessary tool for reviving humanity.
Comedian and Dumpster Fire writer Dave Yates, sits down with Bridget for a long overdue conversation about comedy, addiction, sobriety, and making peace with a brain that is mean to you. They cover Dave’s entrance into comedy when he quit drinking because he needed something to keep him busy, why the worst thing that can happen to you is doing well the first time you do stand up, how he stopped letting the job define him, the reality of pursuing stand up comedy and factoring in the possibility that you might wind up homeless, and why comedy is a mental illness factory. They also discuss why wanting to kill yourself when you quit drinking is probably a sign you should quit drinking, trying to work smarter, being of service to those in front of you, learning to be gentle to yourself, why you never negative self-talk your way into better behavior, and learning to love the parts of yourself that aren’t the best. Check out Dave @yatescomedy on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, and buy some of his excellent hot sauce at hahahotsauce.com
Mediated Series - Part 6: Published in 2005, Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live In It , became Bridget’s bible for understanding the changing media landscape and how it is affecting our society and behavior. Now she sits down with author Thomas de Zengotita for a multi-part series discussing the book chapter by chapter. In Part 6, Bridget and Thomas discuss the implications of technological advances and that the important thing to realize is that at the end of the day it isn’t the technology itself, it’s the way that it forces us into a whole new set of social situations that didn’t used to exist. They explore how hard it is to get people to pay attention to technological advancements when they’re concerned with social and ethical ones, people collaborating in their own disintegration by yielding to the social pressures that get generated by the technology, the way it alters our social arrangements, making the thing without stopping to think whether or not you should. They also cover the history of suicide, how the instinctive need for acknowledgment and attention that we’re all born with has been hijacked by the media environment, wanting to feel like you have authority, audience capture, and the Bill Clinton scandal and shift it signaled regarding shame in our society.
Independent journalist, Leighton Woodhouse, sits down with Bridget for an in-depth conversation about the Censorship Industrial Complex, which is an effort to create new gatekeepers so that the elite can regain control of the media narrative by controlling visibility into the distribution of information and throttling the ability to see politically inconvenient information. They discuss the difference between disinformation, misinformation, and malinformation, why there's no reason to believe that these tools would not be used by the national security state since that is where they came from, why the effort to reinstill gatekeeping will probably succeed, the terrifying openness of young people to authoritarianism, our path towards a kind of Chinese-style social credit system, how humanity is not capable of controlling the pace of technology, and that the true danger of all the AI spectacles and deep fakes is not that people are gonna believe the fake stuff - it's that they won't believe the real stuff. They also cover flash trading bots, DAs who prosecute drug dealers vs the ones who don't, gifted programs, reporting about the death of civilization from the ground, and both being Gen X Californians, which makes them bitter. Check out Leighton's Substack with Michael Shellenberger: Public
Bridget sits down with Polish-born artist, Agnieszka Pilat, who is best known for her series of heroic portraits of technology and for paintings co-created with a quadruped robot, Spot. They discuss Agnieszka's experience going from Communist Poland to non-Communist Poland, the true realities of toilet paper shortages, why you would never make casual conversation in Poland, the spirit of benevolence in America, and her perception of the US vs. the reality when she came to live here. They also cover her work with robots as an artist, how it got started, why she likes working for machines, the parallels between AI and God, her desire to be Diego Rivera for machines, whether it's possible for robots to bring the soul that humans bring to art, the adaptability of humans, the agency they assign to robots, how there's no predicting what might happen in the future with these technological advancements, and why she thinks it's our responsibility to engage with technology. Check out Agnieszka's art here: pilatart.com
Garand Thumb Youtuber, Mike Jones, sits down with Bridget for a frank conversation about gun culture and all the factors that go into the gun debate, his time in the military as a SERE specialist, the complex topic of school shootings, their mutual love of America, and why social media plus AI might be the end of us. They also cover the importance of vulnerability among men - not just with their families - but with each other, how being a good leader is knowing when to be a hard ass and when to allow for vulnerability, why role models for men are hard to find, how your success or failure in tough situations is 100% about your mental state, the Second Amendment, traveling, the reality of being a killer, stoicism, humility, and the importance of realizing you're average. Bridget defines the word TERF for Mike, and Mike promises to teach Bridget the survival skills any 6 year old in 1830 would know.
Steve Krakauer is the author of Uncovered: How the Media Got Cozy With Power, Abandoned Its Principles, and Lost the People . He and Bridget sit down for a discussion about what's changed in the media landscape in the past 10 years, Trump's ability to harness the power of Twitter, how the major news outlets became subject to audience capture, laziness and incompetence in journalism, and why supporting censorship under the guise of stopping misinformation is so catastrophic to the principles of what journalism and media is supposed to be about. They cover building an audience of people that are intellectually flexible and along for the ride even when you say something they don't agree with, the problem with experts, how normal POVs are not represented at all in media these days, the balance of independent media vs putting something out that you know might lose you subscribers and affect the bottom line, why we should be applauding when news media outlets correct something, and the fact that people who are willing to put themselves on the line and say things, consequences be damned, are really growing in power and audience these days.
Andrew Doyle returns to discuss his latest book The New Puritans: How the Religion of Social Justice Captured the Western World . Andrew wrote the book for people who are confused by what's going on in the culture right now. He and Bridget have a riveting conversation about what actually happened during the Salem witch trials and how it can be applied to today's culture--how you might not get hanged but you could have your life ruined. They also cover why the gender ideology movement is one of the worst things that happened to the gay movement, how this progressive ideology is making us more racist, and authentic racists are starting to feel more emboldened, why there's a focus on race, gender, and sexuality, but not class, money, or poor people, why seeing the culture war as a left vs right thing is misleading, loss of trust in the media, and the sad truth that where they'll burn books, they'll burn people too.
Siddharth Kara, author, researcher, and activist on modern slavery sits down with Bridget to discuss the harsh reality of cobalt mining and the fact that the technological world is built using modern day slaves. In a powerful and important conversation Siddharth explains how people like you and I cannot function in the world for 24 hours without participating in enormous violence and destruction in the Congo. The first step in affecting change is to flood the world with truth and to confront the abhorrent conditions and violence that provide us with computers, phones, tablets and electric vehicles. He and Bridget discuss the truth about the supply chain, what it's like on the ground in the Congo, the suffering he has witnessed and what we can do about it. They also cover his journey from finance to traveling the world doing research on modern slavery and child labor, why there's a structural failing happening when there's a choice between being exploited or starving, how people in power often have it completely wrong when talking about solutions for people that they've never met, the difference between the PR and fictions told by the companies profiting off the cobalt and the reality of what's happening on the ground, why there has to be a force of moral authority imposed on capitalism, the struggle to make social change stick, how we can pressure our governments to enact change, and how the legacy of this period in time will be that we obliterated a people and their world for ours. Be sure to read Siddharth's book Cobalt Red for the full picture.
Writer and podcaster Brad Polumbo drops in to discuss his evolution into a content creator, the medium through which he's discovered people his age consume political content, and why Gen Z doesn't care about privacy. They talk about how ultimately the media is holding up a mirror and reflecting back to the public what they're demanding, being caught between two extreme social positions, how most of the public are politically disengaged because they feel despair about politics and the only people that do engage are on the far left and the far right, therefore internet echo chambers and backlash aren't representative of the culture as a whole, and how the true test of freedom is allowing people to live their lives in ways you don't approve of. They also discuss Brad's experience as a journalist for the school paper as at an ultra-liberal college, the backsliding into homophobia that we're seeing on the right, seeing activists pushing things that are not age appropriate for children, Brad being mong the first generation of young gay men who were willing to be conservative because the right had become so open to gay marriage, and why he sees it as a sign of tremendous progress that gay people increasingly get to be individuals. Check out Brad's podcast Based Politics.
Writer Rob Henderson sits down with Bridget to discuss Luxury Beliefs, what they are, why they disproportionately effect the lower classes, and why people who wield economic, social and cultural power are espousing public beliefs that they often don't adhere to in their own lives but seem very pleased with nonetheless. They discuss Rob's journey from foster care, to the military, to Yale, and what he noticed when he attended one of the most elite colleges in the country. They cover why education is a far better indicator of your beliefs than ethnicity these days, how the new way to demonstrate your status in society is through your beliefs, why self-censorship tends to increase the higher your education level, how instability is a far stronger predictor of detrimental life outcomes than income, how the elimination of standardized testing is actually hurting the people universities claim to be trying to help, and how true privilege is being able to enact policies that really only effect people who aren't as privileged as you. Check out Rob's Substack robkhenderson.substack.com, to find all his latest work.
Author Mary Harrington sits down to discuss her new book Feminism Against Progress. She and Bridget discuss how it's always taken for granted that progress is a good thing, but in order to view it that way you need to narrow your focus and ignore everything that doesn't fit into the narrative, and the disturbing fact that slavery exists today and it's never been more profitable. They cover Critical Theory and what it's doing to our society, how it's not possible to be a disinterested observer ever, how you build back your life from major loss and breakdown, the importance of being embodied and what the internet is doing to us, irony poisoning, how to handle the internet and your kids, being a stay at home mom, the complicated moral questions of surrogacy, and how women's interests are not the same across classes even within a single society and the repercussions of how that plays out.
Podcast host and journalist Josh Szeps sits down with Bridget for a conversation about the appeal of the rabbit holes that normal, intelligent people seem to find themselves falling down, the conspiracy theories that bring them there, the loss of faith in the media and our institutions, and why uncertainty can be a good thing. They also cover parenthood and being an "older" parent, whether being an overbearing or overcaring parent is worse, the Intellectual Dark Web, Josh's career trajectory, Russell Brand, the blindspots of mainstream media, myths about the Covid vaccine versus the actual truth about its side effects, the US's Covid policies vs Australia's Covid policies during the pandemic, the ability to admit that you're wrong, and the truth that if you have to choose between conspiracy and incompetence, the answer is usually incompetence. Check out Josh's podcast and Substack, Uncomfortable Conversations - the safe space for dangerous ideas .
Stand-up comic Ian Lara stops in to talk about the ups and downs of his career in stand-up comedy, how he veered from a political science & engineering background and pre-law trajectory into stand-up, and how his parents who immigrated from the Dominican Republic reacted to the change. They talk about his favorite parts of being on the road, competition among comedians, the delicate dance of not discussing your current relationships in your comedy, defending your right to be hyperbolic, and how comedians these days are being held to a higher standard than the President of the United States. They also cover how surprised Ian was to learn that men's rights activists were a thing because he didn't know that men were fighting for rights, comedians who don't like their fans, how any opinion can be validated on the internet, what to do when you hit a plateau, how nobody cares about you as much as you think they do, why he hopes that the average person is not who they play online, and the absurdity of someone telling you to take your own life because they don't like your comedy. Check out Ian's new comedy special Romantic Comedy.
Fred Mwangaguhunga, founder of urban celebrity news site, Media Takeout, sits down for a conversation about entrepreneurship, the three businesses he's started, what he learned from each of them, and why you should always see your mistakes as an opportunity to learn. He and Bridget talk about parenthood and what it's like as the father of triplets, why families need more support than they're getting, how money you lost should be viewed as paying for the lesson that you learned, why you have to be a certain level of delusional to start a company, why it's good that your mistakes keep you up at night, finding the balance in a team, respecting your audience, and being able to admit when you're wrong. They also cover wanting to do something that actually provides value to people, finding holes in the market, why he didn't want to stay in the laundry business even though he believes it could have been worth $10 billion, how he wound up starting Media Takeout, and why being the boss means you're the lowest man on the totem pole.
Wilfred Reilly, professor & author, sits down with Bridget for a fascinating conversation about the disconnect between what people in upper middle class America believe and reality, the power of victimization, and racial dynamics in the US. They cover the true stats on police killing unarmed civilians, interracial crimes, the politicization of Covid and the vaccines, and people in leadership making decisions based on completely bullshit data. They also discuss the actual definition of the word "woke," why wokeism invariably ignores class and just focuses on race, sexual orientation & gender, how normal people need to get together and oppose crazy people, the long term effects of riots and looting, how journalists and social scientists are trying to shoehorn criminals into a pre-planned narrative, and the simple fact that if you don't enforce the law, people will commit crimes. Don't miss Wilfred's latest book, Taboo: 10 Facts You Can't Talk About .
Michael Shermer stops in to talk about his new book Conspiracy: Why the Rational Believe the Irrational . He and Bridget discuss trying to diffuse the pejorative nature of the word "conspiracy", the difference between a hypothesis and a conspiracy, why a lot of conspiracy theories turn out to be true, the eroded trust in our institutions, and why we still have to maintain some of that trust or we can't have a civil society, and the entertainment value and appeal of conspiracy theories - they make you feel like you have an inside track on complex issues. They also cover Ponzi schemes & crypto, people who fall down a Q rabbithole, queer science, price gouging and price fixing, conscious capitalism vs. effective altruism, scientific fraud, selection bias, audience capture, and the most important factor in being able to tell the likelihood that a conspiracy is legit.
Katherine Dee, writer and internet historian, sits down with Bridget to discuss the strange corners of the internet she's explored and how she manages to predict coming trends in our culture. They talk about internet culture & internet history, whether you can really tell who someone is via Twitter, drunk Tweeting, the definition of a lolcow, feedback loops, the coming wave of sexual negativity, and how we don't truly appreciate how much AI might change things. They also cover the coming trend of middle and upper class women having babies younger and staying closer to home, how Twitter changed both of their lives, addicts who test their drugs for fentanyl, the real-life fallout of cancel culture, trying to pivot out of the culture war, trends on their way out, and why Katherine thinks the most disturbing thing she sees online is people's isolation, alienation, and loneliness. Check out Katherine's Substack at defaultfriend.substack.com
Comedian Phil Hanley drops in to talk about his new stand up special Oh La La. He and Bridget discuss what it was like for him growing up with undiagnosed dyslexia, the challenges but also the gifts of dyslexia, the book he is writing about it, and the most important thing he thinks parents should know about raising a child who is dyslexic. They talk about the failures of the school system to support children with dyslexia, why it made him good at crowd work as a comic, dealing with stage fright, drinking and stand up, the triumph of the human spirit, and the things we take for granted.
Published in 2005, Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live In It , became Bridget's bible for understanding the changing media landscape and how it is affecting our society and behavior. Now she sits down with author Thomas de Zengotita for a multi-part series discussing the book chapter by chapter.
Joel Stein (columnist, author & podcast host) joins Bridget for the first video edition of Walk-Ins Welcome! They sit down for a fun and wide-ranging conversation about their obsession with super yachts, the one-upsmanship of the super wealthy, why people in rural America know all about liberals yet liberals know nothing about them, Joel's propensity for smugness, and why he thinks our differences as a country are severe but not irreconcilable. They cover how democracy is young and fragile and the assumption that it's going to keep going forever is ignorant, why the whole idea of a Civil War seems preposterous to Joel, how television disintegrated society in a way we don't necessarily understand, being addicted to tech, living through butt-pinching as a server, and the Christmas tree selling racket in New York City. Don't miss Joel's podcast Story of the Week with Joel Stein , where he investigates random stories don't get enough attention these days.