Kickass News

Hosted by Hollywood producer and political media strategist Ben Mathis, KickAss News is a twice weekly podcast that features the most interesting personalities and thought leaders in politics, entertainment, tech, business, science, and more. Enjoy the podcast? Then please support the show and help keep us on the air by making a donation to our GoFundMe campaign at Another way you can support the show is to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review on iTunes to help keep us ranking strong on the top podcasts charts. For more information visit Thanks for listening!

Society & Culture
Scott Pelley on Truth, Values, and Journalism
As a 60 Minutes correspondent and former anchor of the CBS Evening News, Scott Pelley has been a witness to events that have changed our world and he talks about some individuals who illustrate the best of America.  He recalls the...
47 min
Senator Tom Cotton on the Old Guard of Arlington
Senator Tom Cotton recalls the storied history of the Old Guard of Arlington National Cemetery and the rigorous training he went through to become a member of this elite regiment.  He describes what it’s like to perform a military funeral...
50 min
Admiral William McRaven's Life in Special Opera...
Admiral William McRaven (Make Your Bed) reveals how a high school track coach inspired him apply for the Navy SEAL program and why he still compares any struggle he faces to the grueling endurance test of the Navy SEALs “Hell Week.”  He...
49 min
Michael Wolff on Trump Under Siege
Best-selling author discusses his new book and how he got so many White House sources to speak to him again after his explosive tell-all Fire and Fury.  He tells how Steve Bannon remains the ultimate Trump insider even though he's on the...
46 min
Ron Howard on Luciano Pavarotti's Operatic Life
Oscar-winning filmmaker  (A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13) discusses his new documentary .  He talks about the art of filmmaking and storytelling, how he approaches a documentary versus a narrative film about a real person, and...
38 min
David Epstein on Dabbling vs. 10,000 Hours
() reveals the flaw in the "10,000 hours" theory of deliberate performance, the fallacy of giving children a head-start, and how it could actually hinder them in the long-run.  He shares why athletes should be more like Roger Federer...
51 min
Neil Gaiman Brings Good Omens to the Screen
talks about adapting his book for television, the book’s long journey to the screen, and how he took the reins as show-runner in a promise to his late co-author Terry Pratchett.  Neil recalls the origins of their book as a fable about nature...
37 min
Liam Cunningham Fights White Walkers, Ebola, an...
 discusses his 7 epic seasons as Sir Davos Seaworth on and going from fighting "White Walkers" to fighting Ebola in National Geographic Channel's limited series .  We also talk about his original audition for Game of Thrones, why he...
38 min
Jared Cohen on America's Accidental Presidents
Jared Cohen talks about the eight men who succeeded to the presidency without being elected to it and how they changed our history for better or worse.  He reveals that presidential succession wasn’t clearly defined for most of America’s...
50 min
David McCullough on the Pioneers Who Defined Am...
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian discusses his latest book , how it fulfilled his lifelong dream to write a nonfiction version of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, and why he wants his book to serve as reminder of fundamental American values....
46 min
Bill Hader's Long Road to Directing
Bill Hader (, Trainwreck, ) talks about his childhood love of film, his early days as a struggling production assistant in Hollywood, and how he's finally getting back to his cinematic roots with his dark comedy series .  He discusses...
43 min
Jordan Klepper Goes on the Frontlines of Change
returns to the podcast to talk about getting out of the studio and getting out in the real world again for his new Comedy Central docu-series .  He tells the story of a wrestling club in Texas that is helping veterans body slam their way...
46 min
Sir Kenneth Branagh Becomes the Bard
Oscar nominated actor and director is the greatest living interpreter of the works of William Shakespeare, and today he talks about his life long love of Shakespeare and stepping into the shoes of his hero for his new film .  Branagh discusses...
39 min
Jared Diamond on Nations in Crisis
Pulitzer Prize-winning author, scientist, and renowned polymath Jared Diamond reveals that many of the factors in how individuals cope with personal crises can also predict how countries survive national crises.  He profiles six nations in...
49 min
For Newt Gingrich, Collusion Makes Great Fiction
Former Speaker of the House talks about his new political thriller  and how writing fiction has given him a chance to let his imagination run wild about the darker side of Washington.  He discusses why it’s almost impossible to make up a...
37 min
Rep. Seth Moulton Says the Presidency Is about ...
talks about why he is running for President, what he sees as his path to the Democratic nomination, and how he plans to defeat President Donald Trump by running on Trump’s weakest issues.  He discusses why he chose do 4 tours of duty as a...
38 min
Janet Napolitano on Homeland Security Since 9/11
Janet Napolitano served the 4th Secretary of Homeland Security less than a decade after 9/11, and on today's podcast, she reckons with the critics who call it a Frankenstein's Monster of government run amok and takes a hard look at the...
47 min
Google's Eric Schmidt on Silicon Valley's Trill...
Former  chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt discusses how former college football coach Bill Campbell mentored him and many of Silicon Valley's greatest visionaries from Jeff Bezos and Larry Page to Marc Andreessen and Steve Jobs.  Eric recalls...
37 min
Valerie Jarrett Is the Ultimate Obama Insider
As the longest serving senior official in Obama White House, was known as one who "got" President Obama and helped him engage his public life, but she was also an early mentor, trusted advisor, and family confidante to the Obamas for decades....
42 min
In Therapy w/ Lori Gottlieb
Bestselling psychotherapist talks about the event that led her to seek help for herself, what it was like to switch roles and be the patient on the couch, and how her own quirky therapist got to the underlying issues of in life.  She...
44 min
George Papadopoulos on Mueller Investigation In...
As America waits for the full Mueller Report, I talk with the first Trump official to plead guilty in the Mueller Investigation.  George Papadopoulos was the young foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign who reportedly told an...
44 min
Chelsea Handler's Crush on Robert Mueller
Comedian recalls her anger in the wake of the 2016 election and how Donald Trump became the unlikely catalyst for Chelsea to work through some unresolved personal issues with the help of a clever psychiatrist named Dan.  She discusses...
54 min
Wyatt Cenac Fixes America One Problem at a Time
Comedian discusses how he wanted to distinguish his HBO docuseries from his work as a correspondent on The Daily Show including forgoing the traditional studio audience and creating a fun retro 70s look for the show.  He talks about checking...
40 min
Preet Bharara Says Justice Isn't Just for Lawyers
Preet Bharara talks about his eight years as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, what movies and TV get wrong about criminal investigations, and why the job is more than just "connecting the dots" or "following the...
35 min
Stacey Abrams Talks Politics, Star Trek, and 2020
 has become a political superstar since running for governor of Georgia in 2018 and delivering the Democratic response to President Trump's State of the Union this February.  We talk about her private meeting with Joe Biden, the...
39 min