December 8, 2017
(Recorded, November 2017)
An expansive exchange with renowned social commentator and linguist, John McWhorter. McWhorter is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He's the author of twenty books including "Words on the Move" (2017), "Talk Back, Talking Black" (2017), and "Losing the Race" (2000).
“Antiracism: Our Flawed New Religion” (2015 - The Daily Beast)
“How to Listen to Donald Trump Every Day for Years” (2017 - The New York Times)
"Tragically Unfit to Be President" (2017 - The New York Times)
December 2, 2017
- Matt Lauer
- Seducing Kevin Spacey
- James O’keefe
- Fake Headlines, Faker Stats
- Dumbest News Day Ever
- Britain First, Murder Allegations
- Trashing Bob Woodward
- Some Idiot.... ABORTED
November 21, 2017
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai drops in to explain why he's returning the Internet to the dark ages of... 2015.
- Draymond vs. Mark Cuban
- The AOL-Time Warner instant messaging juggernaut
- Janet Jackson's wardrobe and Stephen Colbert's c***holster
And why won't the FCC just let Slim Shady be?
November 15, 2017
Recorded: Thursday, November 8, 2017.
We chat with Rob Mariani, former opinion editor for the Daily Caller, about Milo's first (and last) weekly column -- and how to handle radioactive things without getting burned.
- questioning Moynihan's sexuality;
- a very gay historical debate;
- the intellectual dead end of "just trolling" politics.
November 11, 2017
Recorded on Thursday, November 8th, 2017
Trump takes a long 'grueling' trip to the Far East, maybe tempers the crazy and manages to get cooked in the elections stateside.
- Aubrey and Kojo
- The Meek Mill Guide to Criminal Justice Reform
- 10 Lbs of Gelatin
- Moynihan Got it For *Cheap*
CORRECTION: "Dreams & Nightmares" was definitely a studio album and not a mixtape.
November 4, 2017
Recorded on Thursday, Novemer 2nd, 2017
With Special Guests:
Josh Zepps - Host, #WeThePeople LIVE (@WTP_Live, @joshzepps)
October 28, 2017
Recorded on Thursday, October 26th, 2017
Moynihan and Kmele are on Assignment -- Welch takes the reins.
With Special Guests:
Nancy Rommelmann - Journalist, Author of "To The Bridge"
Bill Schulz - Host of Compound Media's "Mornin'!!!! w/ Bill Schulz"
October 21, 2017
Recorded on Thursday, October 19th, 2017
"The opposite of a way with words"
- How Chad Saved Moynihan’s Life (and Why We're Huge in Canada)
- Former President Bush and John McCain Have Strong Words for Trump
- Totalitarianism, Populism and Economic Uncertainty
- US Troops in Africa, Calling Up Gold Star Parents
- The Opposite of a Way With Words
- When 'Everything' is 'Some of the Things'
- Morbid Premonitions, A Non-Fatal Stroke
- When Louis (Farrakhan) Met Richard (Spencer)
October 14, 2017
Recorded on Thursday, October 12th, 2017
The Harvey Weinstein Controversy
1) What To Do With “Shitty Media Men?
2) Why won't Hillary and Barack say anything?
Tillerson, Corker and World War III
1) The Worst of All Possible Worlds
2) Death by Non-Proliferation
Trumps Assault on the Media
1) "When the President says it in public..."
2) How We Got Lucky With Trump
Google, Twitter, and a Tangible Threat
Matt's Mom Bought Him a Mug.
Kmele Says Completely Unacceptable Things (almost every dispatch)
October 6, 2017
Recorded on Thursday, October 5th, 2017
1) First Amendment Controversies
2) Meditations on the Las Vegas and the Second Amendment
3) An Homage to Catalonia (particularly on the subject of secession, with additional remarks on Kurdistan)
- Kmele Heads to ComicCon, Bumps into TNC
- Moynihan vs Melba
September 29, 2017
Guest: Katherine Mangu-Ward, Editor-in-Chief @ Reason
Recorded: Wednesday, September 27th, 2017.
Another wide-ranging, intellectually-stimulating, and very well-lubricated dispatch.
We begin with an almost respectable (but undeniably illuminating) discussion of Donald Trump's "Revolutionary Tax Framework" -- (his words). Proceeding from there to the re-re-re-failure of Republican maneuvering to "Repeal and Replace" Obamacare.
Then we really pour on the gas:
- From "Taking a Knee" to "Title IV"
- Banning Uber to prevent rape is ... beyond stupid.
- Mark Warner's crusade to stop Russia from using Facebook (and hollow out the First Amendment).
- Should you ever use "cyber" as a prefix?
- What's the origin of "hang 10"?
- Gender differences.
(Sweep the leg.)
September 22, 2017
Recorded on Thursday, September 21, 2017
President Trump's remarks at the UN parley were (hilarious? /meh? /dangerous? ) and unmistakably confused.
We crack open cans of Portland's finest sangria while discussing this and other matters of profound consequence.
Cargo shorts are irredeemably awful, but should a UN human rights commission formally designate them Nazi paraphernalia?
Is Mark Zuckerberg's plan to save democracy credible? How hot would your step-granddaughter have to be before you wouldn't, not, totally date her?
- Meditations on the St. Louis and Police Shootings
- Something about the Manafort warrant and wiretaps
- and "some idiot wrote this..." and it's so awful that you should find the time to read it.
September 15, 2017
Recorded on Thursday September 14, 2017
Guest: David Weigel, political reporter for The Washington Post and author of the prog-rock history "The Show That Never Ends."
Matt's recovering from surgery, Moynihan's upright & sober, and Kmele's getting domesticated.
-Bernie Sanders is pushing a new health care plan (and he's got a dirty little anti-immigration secret).
-Trump's immigration reversal, and his infatuation with those generals.
-The best thing about Hillary's new book.
September 8, 2017
Moynihan’s back from Russia and has the drinking stories to prove it. Normally reasonable journalos lose their goddamn minds over Betsy DeVos’ intention to bring back due process on college campuses.
Matt Welch on DACA: “Call it amnesty, and do it anyway” (WaPo) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/09/08/yes-daca-is-amnesty-lets-just-call-it-that-and-then-lets-make-it-happen/?utm_term=.d7cee531cf3a
Kmele takes Anthony Fisher to task for calling President Trump’s brand “cruelty” in a DACA-related article Fisher wrote for The Week. But you gotta hear BOTH SIDES (link: https://theweek.com/articles/722742/trumps-daca-suspension-proves-brand-isnt-winning--cruelty)
Absorbing Ta-Nehisi Coates latest epistle “Donald Trump is the First White President” (The Atlantic) https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/10/the-first-white-president-ta-nehisi-coates/537909/
Matt claps back at "comic" Andy Kindler.
A rare morning recording. Sober*, salty, caffeinated.
September 5, 2017
Guest: Ronald Bailey, science correspondent for Reason magazine and Reason.com.
Natural Disasters, political photo-ops, and formulaic media coverage.
The worst thing about Mitt Romney, the fecklessness of Barack Obama, and the dark innovations of Bill Clinton.
August 25, 2017
This episode: non-existent Nazis, overblown Antifa, and Portuguese vagina-walls.
Jacob Siegel was in Boston and Afghanistan, and now he is in Moynihan's chair. He helps the guys figure out what the hell happened in Boston (and why it's not the same as Charlottesville).
PLUS: Is there a "libertarian-to-alt-right pipeline"? Should we take "Internet fascists" seriously? Would going "soft on white supremacists" actually help Trump?
AND... sunk costs in Afghanistan, fights on Planet Libertarian, and Matt doesn't want to punch any grannies.
Happy birthday, Hollywood (wherever he is).
August 17, 2017
The guys take a deep dive into Donald Trump's policy on infrastructure and Nazis.
Matt is back, Moynihan is off drugs and high on life, and Kmele once started a Bible study group.
BONUS: Kmele interviews BLM activist Deray Mckesson, and the conversation gets *dangerous*.
August 11, 2017
With Us This Week:
Radley Balko - Washington Post Columnist, Author "Rise of the Warrior Cop","Dr Death and The Country Dentist" (Coming - Feb 2018)
Thaddeus Russell - Host of the Unregistered podcast, Author "A Renegade History of the United States"
(Much Topics. Extra Innings)
- Criminal Justice Reform (Obama's Legacy, Trump's Trajectory, Opioids, Ferguson 3yrs On)
- Foreign Policy Miasma (Venezuela, North Korea, Manafort's Home Searched by FBI)
- A Diversity Memo, Super Angry About A Show That May Never Get Made
Pro Tip: Don't Send Send Photos of Your Junk to CoWorkers Without Their Consent. May not end well. Sure, it could, theoretically work out fine... but above average odds that it won't.
Moynihan, Fisher, Foster are in the building. (Welch is... in Europe... Claims to have no internet access)
August 3, 2017
[“And We Back." -Chance the Rapper]
- Moynihan is MIA
- Welch is trapped in a room with no AC, 75 dead flies, and a busted shoulder -- and loving every minute of it.
- Moscow is beautiful in the summer (if you believe a former RT propagandist)
- Kmele... well, yeah
- And the brilliant, talented Alyona Minkovski is IN THE BUILDING (@AlyonaMink)
- The brief but magical tenure of THE MOOCH.
- The conspicuous absence of President Steve Bannon.
- Net neutrality and banning VPN apps in Russia and China.
- Numerous other things of urgent importance.
- And there may have been a brilliant Affirmative Action *exchange* at the end of this dispatch too, but it’s all a bit of a blur.
[ … The brightest stars have the shortest lives.]
July 20, 2017
A dense, tangent-filled, and edifying new dispatch (fueled by cash-filled envelopes, adderall, and a bottle of Bushmills -- thanks, Drew.)
- Trump tells-all to the Failing New York Times: "I should have never hired Sessions!"
- Welch talks John McCain
- TrumpCare spontaneously combusted (surprising no one)
- Next on the “Trump Legislative Agenda of Failure”: screwing up legal immigration, too!
- Forensic "Science" is so terrifying
- LA 92 ("Certified Fresh!)
July 13, 2017
Recorded: July 12th, 2017
· Eli Lake Is a Superlative, Award-Winning Hebrew
· Fab Five Freddy Is a Foreign Policy Genius
· “I’m a White Male…”
· Lies, Damn Lies, and IT’S TREASON!
· Lacrosse Team Away Games
· Eli Slow Claps
· World in Disarray: Mosul/Afghanistan Edition
Eli Lake, columnist @ Bloomberg View, swings by.
July 7, 2017
A Helpful Guide to This Weeks Dispatch:
· No Mic for Anthony Fisher
· Kmele read 22 books this weekend (including Letters to a Young Contrarian, The Shadow of the Panther)
· Moynihan talks about Hitchens
· Something about the Black Panthers, Lew Rockwell, Marvin Gaye and Berry Gordy
· Russian tourist abuses child
· Moynihan outs an octogenarian former Nazi at a barbecue (sort of)
(We're at about the 20 min mark here.)
· #CNNBlackmail scandal (False Start)
· President Trump in Poland (Did You Know: POTUS was once on a show called "The Apprentice")
· An Actual #CNNBlackmail conversation
· North Korea
· Jay-Z Isn't a Feminist
· Colin Kaepernick, Fredrick Douglas (What the 4th of July Means to a Slave)
June 30, 2017
Recorded: June 29th, 2017
A journalistic-misdeed results in the firing of three prominent CNN staffers and a new front in the conflict between Trump and THE MEDIA. Why lots of the things you read/hear in the news are likely to be incorrect. Press briefings may be completely useless, but then again they may not.
And of course, the very real dangers of plastic surgery -- and the entirely legitimate reasons why POTUS may need to tell you “no” when all you want to do is hang out with him.
- The Great Serena Williams Debate
- Acceptable Reasons for Book Burnings
- Code Switching
Important Show Note: Kmele Foster is “black” (whatever that means).
June 22, 2017
Recorded: June 21, 2017
The Philando Castile case has reached a controversial conclusion. In July 2016, Castile was shot to death during a traffic stop by Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez. Yanez's acquittal has touched off a new wave of outrage.
Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old American student detained in North Korea since last January, was finally allowed to return home last week… in a coma. He would die a few days later.
And Moynihan recounts his recent visit to Evergreen State College.
June 15, 2017
With high profile congressional inquests into shadowy conspiracies, media panics, and boring White House events turning into embarrassing fodder for late night comedians — the stage was set for an almost banal week in Washington DC — but a brazen attack on Republican congressmen in Alexandria, Virginia, changed all that. While most members of Congress quickly rallied around their colleagues, plenty of citizens and a good number of media types were soon leveraging the tragedy to support their own philosophical convictions.
Plus: The necessity of confronting awful people and ideas in public, and a brief glance at Jeff Sessions' congressional testimony.
June 10, 2017
Recorded June 10th 2017
Corbyn Surprises his labour party rival (and just about everyone else). Comey testifies before Congress, Trump is quite about it until he isn’t. And Bill Maher said ‘Nigga’, or was it ‘Nigger’.
Shout out to Dan Spragens for the delicious and effective bottle of "State of Jefferson" rum
June 9, 2017
[Special Dispatch #2]
A rangy and Moynihan-heavy exchange w/ Timothy Snyder, Yale University Professor of History and author of numerous books including (the magisterial) “Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin” (2010) and his latest best-selling “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century” (2017)
Fascism, Nazis, Stalinists, Trump, The Road to Serfdom, 'the square root of 69 is eight-something', and the Cavaliers are very unlikely to take the series in seven games (the last two items have almost nothing to do with this dispatch, but they're demonstrably true).
w/ Kmele Foster (Freethink), Michael Moynihan (Vice News Tonight on HBO)
Recorded: June 8th, 2017
June 3, 2017
- Pulling out of the Pairs Climate Deal
- Roiling the EU
- Surveying the Russian investigation
- Lamenting w/ LeBron (and not about that horrific game one)
May 25, 2017
"If they're buying off this president, they're really not getting their money's worth." - Michael Moynihan
Do terrorists hate us for our freedom? Are the Saudis just "guided by the beauty of our weapons"? Will Welch start drinking before 11 am? The answers may surprise you. All this and more on a new Fifth Column.
Plus: Commemorative drug paraphernalia. The Moynihans convert to Judaism (but just for the holidays). And The Fifth Column is *probably* expanding to SiriusXM!
May 19, 2017
“The most important Fifth Column History… In fact, the most important podcast all week.” - Thad Russell
The apeirogon-like ComeyGate scandal careens into its second week. Rumors seem to be the only thing emanating from Washington DC these days (for better or worse), and not-so-quiet-just-above-a-whisper speculation about impeachment can be heard all over Capitol Hill.
Plus, Thad and Moynihan get into it, again. And the guys finally fix this whole NATO business once and for all, sort of. Kmele krushes kampus racism, and Thad knows an uncomfortably large number of Irish racial epithets.
May 11, 2017
Is former FBI boss James Comey's unexpected and unceremonious termination a Nixonesque attempt to bury the Russian narrative once and for all... Is it just the latest salvo from a calculating monster with totalitarian asperations... Or maybe the Trump regime is just about as inept as it seems...
- Clapper: "You ain't no got'damn journalist, Julian!" Assange: "You's a liar!"
- What's this about Sea World!? Sounds Gross.
- And Comey may be out, but we'll always have James Taylor (FTW)
May 5, 2017
Moynihan is late; Matt went to a cocktail party; Kmele needs a date for Guardians of the Galaxy; and Jamie Kirchick (author, “The End of Europe”) drops by with dire predictions about the fate of the European Project.
Meanwhile, Obamacare is dead (long live Obamacare).
Plus: Spurious allegations, police shootings, and "the N-word."
April 27, 2017
A review of the first 100 days of the Trump Presidency: Controversy, failures, do-overs and general incompetence. Plus: Media bubbles and consequence. And that time the streets were filled with brave, angry, nerds…
April 14, 2017
A record-breaking, kiloton-length new release with all the kinetic energy of [ABRUPTLY CUTS OFF EXPLOSIVES METAPHPOR]...
Eat some chocolate cake with Xi, flatten a section of Afghanistan, (check-in with Vladimir), rattle saber at North Korea (glare menacingly in the direction of everyone else in the room, intermittently clapping your hands and screaming as loud as you can... )... and try to assure everyone that you know exactly what you're doing. Everything is fine. This is fine.
Bannon is out (-ish). NATO is great (again?). And Brian Williams can't be the only journalist in America who LOVES a great fireworks display. What kind of asshole dosen't like fireworks? Also... PUTIN!
Michael Weiss (Senior Editor at The Daily Beast, co-author of the New York Times bestseller ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror), stops by to help sort out the mess.... opportunity? No, it's kind of a mess.
April 7, 2017
We knew things were heating up in Syria, but it was still a bit of a shock when Tomahawk missiles started flying all over the place. Fortunately for all involved, Eli Lake was on hand to explain the inner workings of Multi-dimensional Hungry Hungry Hippos (it'll make sense, honest)... and to provide a bit more context for that ‘Susan Rice Unmasking’ story he kinda* broke… And it’s our birthday!
March 29, 2017
Rep Thomas Massie swings by to provide a first person account of the failed Ryan/Trump health care bill. Plus: The prospects for Trump's Tax reform agenda and the intersections of 'economic nationalism' and libertarianism. Protesting Putin. And the two year anniversary of America's adventure in Yemen.
March 25, 2017
Health Care Reform, Trump’s Long Game, New York Real Estate Woes & Casual Racism, Burning All the Paintings, Multiple Beers and A Tall Bottle of Johnny Walker Black. Fifty episodes in (sort of) and this is what it's come to. We couldn’t be more proud.
March 18, 2017
Did the Brits actually wiretap his building? And look, he’s ‘good people’, but we’re gonna have to talk about this, ‘sources say’ stuff…
Whoa — she's got his tax returns! BUT, before we get to that crucial story, take a look at this Oort Cloud of speculative rambling: Did those planes just HAPPEN to be on the same runway? Well, what about those Yachts? They’re both on the ocean… they’re both in front of a Caribbean island… How do you explain that? How does that just happen? And how about that house in Florida!? Did you know he bought it at a low price and sold it for a higher price… to a Russian!? And if I just keep asking questions in a suspicious tone, do you think anyone will notice how lame a scoop a pair of pages from Trump’s tax return is?
March 10, 2017
It's an active week in Washington as the Trump administration takes a few mulligans. The Travel/Muslim Ban is revealed, Congress debates the deeply unpopular health care reform-reform proposal, and the administration teases a new trillion dollar infrastructure slush fund. The steady diet of (real and imagined) scandal, controversy, and leaks hasn't let up either. And while the national press is outraged over one ridiculous conspiracy theory and infatuated with another, almost no one is paying attention to the slow-motion cataclysm in the middle east... a situation that could get very bad, very fast.
Kmele's a misogynist. Moynihan is in the building. And Welch is in the back of a cab (then the airport terminal)... and Katie Halper stops by, but it's complicated.
(Recorded: March 7st, 2017)
March 5, 2017
"Two Conversations About Race, History, and Identity”
Kmele hijacks the podcast stream for a pair of conversations about race, philosophy, what history and filmmaking have in common, why he hates when people call his wife a 'beautiful black woman and his beef with Black History Month.
Dr. Henry Louis Gates
Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University
"Africa’s Great Civilizations” (PBS) 2017, "Finding Your Roots" (PBS)
Dr. George Yancy
Professor of Philosophy at Emory University
Contributor to "The Stone" - (The New York Times)
Kmele on Race and Related Topics in Various Other Contexts:
“Oscars So Black”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TizdjF5DJX0
Kmele on “Race Pride”:
March 2, 2017
"Presidential." "His Best Speech Yet." "Hey, What Happened To His Entirely-Too-Long Red Tie!?" ---- It's an all new Donald Trump. He's calm, composed, occasionally optimistic and his standard complement of half-truths, exaggerations, outright lies and impossible promises have been better calibrated and tightly scripted for maximum impact. In other words; could be he's finally getting the hang of this whole POTUS thing. Plus: 'How Code Pink Progressives Fell in Love With The War On Terror' --- 'Remembering Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens' --- 'Are You Seriously Gonna Talk Shit About HBCUs, Kmele!?' (Recorded: March 1st 2017)
February 16, 2017
The cascade of failures, missteps, scandal and controversy otherwise known as the Trump Administration has stammered into its fourth week of governance*. Michael Flynn -- Former National Security Adviser.... the man Previously responsible for reading, condensing and perhaps remixing POTUS's top-secret security briefings, has been kinda-sorta-shitcanned. There was high drama, people shouted and Kellyanne Conway, and there could* be huge* national security ramifications too. But there's something so much more important than all of that...
February 11, 2017
POTUS is at war with the courts, with the press, and on account of it's leaking like a sieve, he's kinda at war with his own administration. Reason's resident legal aficionado Damon Root stop by to expound on the legal wrangling over the immigration ban, the tension between the executive and judicial branch, and there's some stuff about Waco, Devos, Black History Month and Axel Rose too.
February 1, 2017
Is it a Muslim Ban? Should America just 'bar the damn door'? Is it racism? Or is it perhaps just more 'what-about-ism'? What is the connection between Trump's Immigration policy and the location of his many real estate holdings? There are perhaps good answers to these questions, I can't promise you'll find them here... but given the other sources you've probably already consulted, you could do so much worse.
Kevin Williamson of National Review sits in.
January 27, 2017
A week under our belts and we're still reeling...
A deluge of executive activity, constitutional controversies, 'emoluments'(?!), lawsuits, like -- a lot of lawsuits, sex tapes (well, not yet, but you wouldn't really be surprised by that, would you?), media panics, entirely legitimate media outrage, a twitter beef with geopolitical consequences, more media panics, more very legitimate outrage, a $40-billion-30-foot-high wall, a future entirely devoid of guacamole... and, there's more, but you get the idea... Seriously, it's only been a week!
...time is a flat circle.
January 19, 2017
The waning hours of President Obama's tenure, on the eve of Trump-Mageddon, and the hits just keep on coming.
The President-Elect finds himself embroiled in a nasty fight with an almost universally revered CIVIL RIGHTS ICON -- who in this particular showdown may just be playing the part of a cuddly Alex Jones.
And of course, since 'two beefs are always better than one,' Trump is simultaneously mixing it up with CNN too. Is this a prelude to a broader Trumpian assault on the free press!? Maybe? Did you see hopefully?
Plus: Thad Russell makes his pick for the next President of the United States (sort of). Manning gets freed. Matt asks questions about drones and of course other important things happen.
Moynihan is someplace in DC covering the inauguration (or is he ducking Thad)? No problem, we'll just put words in his mouth and strawman the hell out of him.
January 11, 2017
After a day of confirmation hearings and protesters in pink t-shirts, amid growing uncertainty about the future of Obama Care, and just ahead of President Obama's Farewell Address in Chicago; a dossier filled with potentially explosive and definitively explicit allegations about the incoming President-Elect explodes onto the scene. Is it accurate? Where did it come from? Has Trump been compromised? Wait -- did someone say "golden shower"? WOULD YOU PLEASE SHUT UP -- WE'RE STILL TRYING TO READ THE DAMN THING!
January 7, 2017
Welch has been eying the guitar in the corner all night, some thoughtful listeners sent the fellas a huge bottle of Johnny Walker Black, and appears they've been reading newly released intelligence briefs for the last hour. If you were in the room, you'd probably be a little drunk too. It's the first fifth of 2017...
December 30, 2016
In the final dispatch of 2016, THE COLUMNISTS examine the recent terror attacks in Berlin -- parsing predictable responses, likely fallout, and beyond.
And as the Obama Presidency draws to a close, an increasingly 'complicated' (if not entirely frosty... but perhaps 'cold-ish') relationship with Vladimir Putin (or is it 'some 400lb guy sitting around in his mom's basement') are hogging the spotlight and throwin' shade on POTUS's legacy.
And about this legacy business... they kick that around too. Good, bad, above average... Welch, Moynihan and Foster discuss. See you in 2017.
December 19, 2016
Definitive accusations from the US intelligence community. Promises of reprisals from President Obama. A last ditch effort to sway Electoral College voters and prevent Donald Trump from moving into the White House.
SPOILER ALERT: You’ll hear exactly zero mentions of Archduke Ferdinand in this dispatch (and perhaps that’s for the best).