I Have to Ask

I Have to Ask

United States

As Slate’s resident interrogator, Isaac Chotiner has tangled with Newt Gingrich and gotten personal with novelist Jonathan Franzen. Now he’s bringing his pointed and smart interview style to the new podcast “I Have to Ask.” Isaac will talk one-on-one with newsmakers, celebrities, and cultural icons to help us better understand them and our world.

Episodes

I Have to Ask: The Tom Cole Edition  

Tom Cole is a Republican Congressman from Oklahoma’s 4th Congressional District. He speaks with Isaac Chotiner to discuss whether Trump’s “ban” is religiously motivated, whether repealing Obamacare will cause 23 million people to lose health insurance, and how Fox News has changed the Republican Party.

I Have to Ask: The Ashley Parker Edition  

Ashley Parker is a political reporter at The Washington Post. She sits down with Isaac Chotiner to discuss what it’s really like to cover this White House, how the President’s staffers manage his personality, and the stresses of waking up to Trump’s tweetstorms.

Pankaj Mishra  

Pankaj Mishra sits down with Isaac Chotiner to discuss his new book on the roots of populist rage, the problem with critiques of “identity politics,” and whether Western liberal parties can ever win back the white working class.

I Have to Ask: The Jonathan Chait Edition  

Jonathan Chait is a writer for New York magazine, and the author of Audacity: How Barack Obama Defied His Critics and Created a Legacy That Will Prevail. He sits down with Isaac Chotiner to discuss Obama’s surprisingly resilient legacy, why populists have trouble governing, and whether the Democratic Party is destined to move leftward. 

I Have to Ask: The Pamela Paul Edition  

Pamela Paul is the editor of the New York Times book review and the woman who oversees all of the paper’s books coverage. She sat down with Isaac Chotiner to discuss what our books say about who we are and why giving someone a book is so fraught with meaning. She also discussed what it’s like to run the Times’ book review, the future of literary criticism, and the debate over pornography addiction.

David Grann  

David Grann is universally recognized as one of the masters of longform journalism. Here, The New Yorker writer sits down with Isaac Chotiner to discuss his new book, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, the difficulty of reporting unsolved murders, and President Trump’s impact on the news media.

Ethan Sherwood Strauss  

Ethan Sherwood Strauss has been covering the Golden State Warriors for

several years for ESPN, during which time the as the team became the most

popular and successful in the NBA. On the eve of the NBA Playoffs, he sat down

with Isaac Chotiner to discuss life on the NBA beat, the strange life of Steph

Curry, and fans who want ESPN personalities to “stick to sports” in the age of Donald

Trump.


Andrew Sullivan  

Andrew Sullivan has been writing about the menace of Donald

Trump over the past year for New York Magazine, warning America about

creeping authoritarianism and the danger Trump poses to American democracy.

Born in England, Sullivan was for many years known as the most prominent gay

conservative in America. He sat down with Isaac Chotiner to discuss the rise of

illiberalism, the role of racism in American politics, and dealing with Trump-

induced depression.


Elif Batuman  

Elif Batuman, is an author and staff writer for The New Yorker. She’s the daughter of Turkish immigrants and her first book, The Possessed, was about her experiences with Russian literature and her travels around the world. She sat down with Isaac Chotiner to talk about her work and her new novel, The Idiot.

Chris Hayes  

Isaac is joined by Emmy Award–winning news anchor Chris Hayes, host of All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC and author of the new book A Colony in a Nation, which argues that there are really two different Americas.



Senator Chuck Schumer  

In the inaugural episode of Slate’s interview podcast, I Have to Ask, host Isaac Chotiner speaks with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Senator Schumer finds himself in a political climate unlike anything he has witnessed in his 38 years in Washington. The Democrats face a minority in both Houses and President Donald Trump has almost completely rebuked the protocols of his office, causing traditional politicians, like Schumer, to think differently about policy making and making their message heard. 

Coming Soon: I Have to Ask  

As Slate’s resident interrogator, Isaac Chotiner has tangled with Newt Gingrich and gotten personal with novelist Jonathan Franzen.  Now he’s bringing his pointed and smart interview style to the new podcast “I Have to Ask.”  Isaac will talk one-on-one with newsmakers, celebrities, and cultural icons to help us better understand them and our world.

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