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The Axe Files with David Axelrod
David Axelrod, the founder and director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, brings you The Axe Files, a series of revealing interviews with key figures in the political world. Go beyond the soundbites and get to know some of the most interesting players in politics.
- Ep. 405 — Nikole Hannah-JonesWhen Nikole Hannah-Jones was a high school student at a predominantly white school in Waterloo, Iowa, she complained to a teacher that the school newspaper wasn’t covering stories that mattered to Black students. He told her she had two options: stop complaining or start writing for the paper and telling her own stories. She joined the paper, launching what became a celebrated career writing for publications like ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine. Nikole is well known for her reporting ...Show moreon segregation and racial inequities in education but recently won a Pulitzer Prize for The 1619 Project, which traces the legacy of slavery throughout American history. She joined David to talk about what it was like growing up in working-class Iowa, how she finds motivation in being underestimated, and the inspiration and creation of The 1619 Project.
See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.Sep 17, 2020
- Best of the Axe Files: Vladimir Kara-MurzaVladimir Kara-Murza was just 10 years old during the Russian Democratic Revolution in 1991. Witnessing a revolution was a formative experience that led to a lifetime of pro-democracy activism. In 2018, Vladimir sat down with David to discuss Putin’s Russia, the importance of the Magnitsky Act and what it’s like to put his life on the line for democracy. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.Sep 14, 2020
- Ep. 404 — Brian StelterBrian Stelter, CNN chief media correspondent and host of Reliable Sources, got his start in journalism at a young age. At just 8 years old he would call up the local news station after a blizzard to report how much snow he had measured in his yard. Later, as a freshman at Towson University, he started a blog tracking the cable news industry, which quickly became a must-read website for those in the media and helped him land a job at The New York Times upon graduation. He joined David to talk abo...Show moreut his lifelong interest in media; the impact of losing his dad at a young age; and the symbiotic relationship between the Trump administration and Fox News, the topic of Brian’s new book, Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth.
See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.Sep 10, 2020
- Ep. 403 — Chasten ButtigiegChasten Buttigieg rose to national prominence in 2019 as the husband of presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. He quickly gained attention for his role as the only LGBTQ+ spouse on the campaign trail and his witty Twitter account. He spoke with David about growing up in a conservative small town in Michigan, the importance of family, the unexpected challenges he faced on the campaign trail, and what seeing a gay man running for president would have meant to him as a child. A teacher and thespian...Show more, Chasten recently took on the role of author as well, writing his memoir I Have Something to Tell You.
See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.Sep 3, 2020
- Best of the Axe Files: Khizr KhanOne of the most moving speakers at the 2016 Democratic National Convention was Khizr Khan, who felt compelled to address a national audience after then-candidate Donald Trump’s attacks on Muslims and immigrants. Mr. Khan, who grew up in Pakistan, spoke lovingly of his adopted country and why he believes so strongly in the promise of America. David sat down with him in 2018 to discuss the experiences that informed his belief in the United States and how he continues to honor his heroic son, U.S. ...Show moreArmy Captain Humayun Khan, who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service of this nation.
See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.Aug 31, 2020
- Ep. 402 — Rep. Jim ClyburnWhen Rep. Jim Clyburn was growing up in the 1940s and 50s in segregated South Carolina, his parents had an important message for him: study hard, work hard and dream big. That lesson stayed with Rep. Clyburn, whether he was fighting for civil rights as a college student or winning a 1992 election to become South Carolina’s first Black Congressman since 1897. As a longtime Congressional leader, Rep. Clyburn’s endorsement is one of the most coveted among presidential hopefuls each cycle. He talked...Show more with David about why he still believes that nonviolent demonstration is the best route to achieving social justice, the dangers of a president who refuses to apologize for his mistakes, why legislators need to learn to work across the aisle and what he thinks of Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s VP pick.
See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.Aug 27, 2020
- Ep. 401 — Jonathan KarlJonathan Karl was a young reporter for the New York Post when he first interviewed Donald Trump in 1994, following a tip that the newly married Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley were staying at Trump Tower. Trump gave Jonathan a tour of the tower and answered his questions, insisting Jonathan identify him only as “a source in the Trump Organization.” As the current Chief White House Correspondent for ABC News, Jonathan says his relationship with Trump has changed, but Trump’s penchant for p...Show moreress coverage has not. Jonathan joined David to talk about his decades covering politics, how his childhood years in South Dakota got him interested in journalism and the danger of Trump’s willingness to undermine the media. Jonathan’s new book, Front Row at the Trump Show, chronicles his experiences covering the Trump White House.Aug 24, 2020
- Ep. 400 — Speaker Nancy PelosiFor the 400th episode of The Axe Files, David is joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi has never been a stranger to politics—her father served in Congress and later became the mayor of Baltimore, a position her brother also held—and she has weathered countless political storms since being elected to Congress in 1987. Her most recent battle is perhaps the most unexpected: securing funding for the US Postal Service. Pelosi also spoke with David about her expectations for Democratic g...Show moreains in the House this fall, her questions regarding President Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin and her concerns for an imperiled Republican Party.Aug 20, 2020
- Best of the Axe Files: Sen. Kamala HarrisWhen David sat down with Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) in March of 2017, the last thing she wanted to do was discuss whether she would be a candidate for higher office in 2020. Now, as Joe Biden’s running mate, she’s the first woman of color to be nominated for national office by a major political party. On the first day of the Democratic National Convention, we thought it was fitting to revisit our March 2017 conversation with Senator Harris, in which she and David discussed her personal story, ...Show morecriminal justice reform, adjusting to life in the Senate in the early months of the Trump administration, and more.Aug 17, 2020
- Ep. 399 — Tina TchenTina Tchen, CEO and President of TIME'S UP, didn’t set out to become a champion for women’s rights. But in 1978 she fell into a job in Springfield, Illinois, which happened to be at the center of the fight for the Equal Rights Amendment. Her involvement in the movement helped set the foundation for a long career in law and public service. Tchen joined David to talk about progressive politics, her time as chief of staff to First Lady Michelle Obama, how the Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionatel...Show morey impacted women, and how to make the most of this pivotal moment as the country faces a reckoning on race, sexism and treatment of essential workers.Aug 13, 2020