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Longform Podcast #202: David Remnick

David Remnick is the editor of The New Yorker.

“I think it’s important — not just for me, but for the readers — that this thing exists at the highest possible level in 2016, in 2017, and on. That there’s a continuity to it. I know, because I’m not entirely stupid, that these institutions, no matter how good they are, all institutions are innately fragile. Innately fragile.”

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Longform Podcast #201: T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong

T. Christian Miller, senior investigative reporter at ProPublica, and Ken Armstrong, staff writer at The Marshall Project, co-wrote the Pulitzer-winning story, “An Unbelievable Story of Rape.”

“I won’t forget this: when T. and I talked on the phone and agreed that we were going to work on [“An Unbelievable Story of Rape”] together, T. created a Google Drive site, and we decided we’d both dump all our documents in it. And I remember seeing all the records that T. had gathered in Colorado, and then I dumped all the records that I had gathered in Washington, and it was like each of us had half of a phenomenal story. And in one day, by dumping our notes into a common file, we suddenly had a whole story.”

Thanks to MailChimp, Squarespace, and Trunk Club for sponsoring this week's episode.

Longform Podcast #200: Jack Hitt

Jack Hitt contributes to Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, and This American Life.

“I’ve always lived more or less unemployed in these markets, and happily so. I think being unemployed keeps you a little more sharp in terms of looking for stories. It never gets any easier. That motivation and that desperation, whatever you want to call that, is still very much behind many of the conversations I have all day long trying to find those threads, those strings, that are going to pull together and turn into something.”

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Longform Podcast #199: Kathryn Schulz

Kathryn Schulz is a staff writer for The New Yorker. "The Really Big One," her article about the rupturing of the Cascadia fault line, won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize.

“I can tell you in absolute sincerity: I didn't realize I was writing a scary story. Obviously I know the earthquake is going to be terrifying, and that our lack of preparedness is genuinely really scary. But, as I think often happens as a reporter, you toggle between professional happiness, which is sometimes, frankly, even professional glee—you’re just so thrilled you’re getting what you’re getting—and then the sort of more human and humane response, which comes every time you really set down your pen and think about what it is you’re actually reporting about.”

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Longform Podcast Bonus Episode: Shane Bauer

Shane Bauer, a senior reporter for Mother Jones, spent four months working undercover as a guard in a private prison.

“The thing that I grappled with the most afterward was a feeling of shame about who I was as a guard and some of the things that I had done. Sending people to solitary confinement is hard to come to terms with—even though, in that situation, I don't know what else I could have done. ... I had to do what I could to keep myself safe.”

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Longform Podcast #198: Frank Rich

Frank Rich, a former culture and political columnist for The New York Times, writes for New York and is the executive producer of Veep.

“All audiences bite back. If you have an opinion—forget about whether it’s theater or politics. If it’s about sports, fashion, or food—it doesn’t really matter. Readers are gonna bite back. And they should, you know? Everyone’s entitled. Everyone’s a critic. Everyone should have an opinion. You’re not laying down the law, and people should debate it.”

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Longform Podcast Father's Day Bonus: Louisa Thomas and Evan Thomas

Louisa Thomas, a former writer and editor at Grantland, is a New Yorker contributor and the author of Louisa. Her father Evan Thomas, a longtime writer for Newsweek and Time, is the author of several award-winning books, including last year's Being Nixon.

“That's one thing I've learned from my dad: the capacity to be open to becoming more open.”

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Longform Podcast #197: Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones covers civil rights for The New York Times Magazine.

“I don’t think there’s any beat you can cover in America that race is not intertwined with—environment, politics, business, housing, you name it. So, whatever beat you put me on, this is what I was going to cover because I think it’s just intrinsic. If you’re not being blind to what’s on your beat, then it’s part of the beat.”

Thanks to MailChimp's Freddie and Co., Audible, and Trunk Club for sponsoring this week's episode.

Longform Podcast #196: Jon Favreau

Jon Favreau, former chief speechwriter for President Obama, is a columnist at The Ringer and co-host of Keepin’ It 1600.

“And then Obama comes over to my desk with the speech, and he has a few edits. And he’s like, ‘I just want to go through some of these edits and make sure you’re ok with this. I did this for this reason. Are you ok with that?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, buddy. You’re Barack Obama.’”

Thanks to MailChimp's Freddie and Co., Freshbooks, Audible, and Squarespace for sponsoring this week's episode.

Longform Podcast #195: Leah Finnegan

Leah Finnegan, a former New York Times and Gawker editor, is the managing news editor at Genius.

“After the Condé Nast article, Nick Denton decided Gawker needed to be 20% nicer, and I took a buyout because I was not 20% nicer.”

Thanks to MailChimp, Audible, Squarespace, and Trunk Club for sponsoring this week's episode.

Longform Podcast #194: Pablo S. Torre

Pablo Torre is a senior writer at ESPN the Magazine and frequently appears on Around the Horn, PTI, and other ESPN shows.

“Most of my friends are not sports fans. My parents aren't. Brother and sister — no. So I just want to make things that they want to read. That's the big litmus test for me in deciding if a story is worth investing my time into: Is somebody who doesn’t give a shit about sports gonna be interested in this?”

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Longform Podcast #193: Robin Marantz Henig

Robin Marantz Henig, the author of nine books, writes about science and medicine for The New York Times Magazine.

“I have my moments of thinking, ‘Well, why is this still so hard? Why do I still have to prove myself after all this time?’ If I were in a different field, or if I were even on a staff, I’d have a title that gave me more respect. I still have to wait just as long as any other writer to get any kind of response to a pitch. I still have to pitch. Nothing is automatic, even after all these years of working at this.”

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Longform Podcast #192: Seymour Hersh

Seymour Hersh is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of The Killing of Osama Bin Laden.

“The government had denied everything we said. We just asked them and they said, ‘Oh no, not true, not true.’ That’s just—it’s all pro forma. You ask them to get their lie and you write their lie. I’m sorry to be so cynical about it, but that’s basically what it comes to.”

Thanks to MailChimp, Johnson & Johnson, Freshbooks, Trunk Club, and Squarespace for sponsoring this week's episode.

Longform Podcast #191: Kelly McEvers

Kelly McEvers, a former war correspondent, hosts NPR's All Things Considered and the podcast Embedded.

“Listeners want you to be real, a real person. Somebody who stumbles and fails sometimes. I think the more human you are, the more people can then relate to you. The whole point is not so everybody likes me, but it’s so people will want to take my hand and come along. It's so they feel like they trust me enough to come down the road with me. To do that, I feel like you need to be honest and transparent about what that road’s like.”

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Longform Podcast Bonus Episode: Evan Ratliff

Evan Ratliff, a co-host of the Longform Podcast, discusses "The Mastermind,” his new 7-part serialized story in The Atavist Magazine.

“On several occasions [sources] didn’t want to go into the details of how they were identified. They were just like, ‘My safety is in your hands. Just be careful.’ And I didn’t really know what to do with that. I was sort of trying to balance what to include and what not to include and trying to make these decisions. Will Paul Le Roux know it’s this person? It’s impossible to know. I tried to err on the side of caution, but there’s no ethics hotline you can call and be like, ‘What do I do in this situation?’”

Thanks to our friends at MailChimp for making today's episode possible.

Longform Podcast #190: Susie Cagle

Susie Cagle is a journalist and illustrator.

“I don’t really know what it was that made me not quit. I still kind of wonder that. There have been many times over the last couple of years even, as things are taking off in my career, things are going well, I’m writing about wonderful things that are interesting to me, and I still wonder—should I be doing this? What the hell is next year gonna look like?”

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Longform Podcast #189: Maciej Ceglowski

Maciej Ceglowski is the founder of Pinboard. He writes at Idle Words.

“My natural contrarianism makes me want to see if I can do something long-term in an industry where everything either changes until it's unrecognizable or gets sold or collapses. I like the idea of things on the web being persistent. And more basically, I reject this idea that everything has to be on a really short time scale just because it involves technology. We’ve had these computers around for a while now. It’s time we start treating them like everything else in our lives, where it kind of lives on the same time scale that we do and doesn’t completely fall off the end of the world every three or four years.”

Thanks to MailChimp, Audible, and Casper, and MIT Press for sponsoring this week's episode.

Longform Podcast #188: Nate Silver

Nate Silver is the founder of FiveThirtyEight and the author of The Signal and the Noise.

“I know in a perfectly rational world, if you make an 80/20 prediction, people should know that not only will this prediction not be right all the time, but you did something wrong if it’s never wrong. The 20% underdog should come through sometimes. People in sports understand that sometimes a 15 seed beats a 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. That’s much harder to explain to people in politics.”

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Longform Podcast #187: Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert has written for Spin, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine. She is the author of several books, including Eat, Pray, Love.

“I call it the platinum rule. The golden rule is do unto others as you would have them do unto you, but the platinum rule is even higher: don’t be a dick.”

Thanks to MailChimp, Bombas, Squarespace, and Audible for sponsoring this week's episode.

Longform Podcast #186: Gabriel Snyder

Gabriel Snyder is the editor-in-chief of The New Republic.

“I had a new job, I was new to the place, and I came to it with a great deal of respect but didn’t feel like I had any special claim to it. But in that moment I realized that there were all of these people who wanted to see the place die. And that the only way The New Republic was going to continue was by someone wanting to see it continue, and I realized I was one of those people now.”

Thanks to MailChimp, Bombas, Harry's, and Trunk Club for sponsoring this week's episode.

Longform Podcast #185: Ben Smith

Ben Smith is the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed.

“I do think as a reporter in general, most of what we deal in is ephemera. And I love that. I mean that’s the business, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, I think that’s a plus and something that shapes how you succeed at the job because you realize that this thing you’re writing is about this moment and right now, and about its place in the conversation. It’s not some piece of art to hang on the wall.”

Thanks to MailChimp, Harry's, and Reveal, and Home Chef for sponsoring this week's episode.

Longform Podcast #184: Daniel Alarcón

Daniel Alarcón, a novelist and the co-founder of Radio Ambulante, has written for Harper's, California Sunday, and the New York Times Magazine.

“I’m a writer. I’ve written a bunch of books, and I care a lot about my sentences and my prose and all that. But would I be willing to defend my book in a Peruvian prison? That’s a litmus test I think a lot of writers I know would fail.”

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Longform Podcast #183: Jia Tolentino

Jia Tolentino is the deputy editor of Jezebel.

“Insult itself is an opportunity. I’m glad to be a woman, and I’m glad not to be white. I think it’s made me tougher. I’ve never been able to assume comfort or power. I’m just glad. I’m glad, especially as you watch the great white male woke freak-out meltdown that’s happening right now, I’m glad that it’s good to come from below.”

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Longform Podcast #182: Heather Havrilesky

Heather Havrilesky writes the Ask Polly advice column for New York and is the author of the upcoming How to Be a Person in the World.

“I don’t give a shit if I succeed or fail or what I do next, I just want to do things that are strange and not sound bitey. I don’t want to be polished. I want to be such a wreck that no one will ever say ‘let’s put her on her own talk show.’”

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Longform Podcast #181: Wesley Yang

Wesley Yang writes for New York and other publications.

“If a person remains true to some part of their experience, no matter what it is, and they present it in full candor, there’s value to that. People will recognize it. Once I knew that was true, I knew I could do this.”

Thanks to MailChimp, Home Chef, and Trunk Club for sponsoring this week's episode.