The Issue Is

40 Episodes

By: The Issue Is

Discussions and debates with top newsmakers about the most controversial and interesting issues impacting California, hosted by FOX 11’s Elex Michaelson and airing on several TV stations across the state.

Mike Murphy, Ro Khanna
Today at 5:55 AM

An unprecedented week in American politics as Former President Trump was indicted by a grand jury in New York.

Karen Bass reflects on 100 days in office

With 100 days now behind her, LA Mayor Karen Bass discusses her progress, and lessons learned, in the fight against homelessness, as well as against rising crime.

Harvey Levin

Elex Michaelson visits TMZ for an extensive conversation on TMZ's new 9/11 documentary, the history of TMZ, the stories behind breaking the deaths of Michael Jackson and Kobe Bryant, 2024, and more. 

California storms and the 95th Academy Awards

This week on The Issue Is we talk about the recent California storms and potential flood dangers with Karla Nemeth, then the 95th Academy Awards takes the spotlight as Variety’s Elizabeth Wagmeister and Steve Mason, host of the “Culture Pop” podcast, join us to talk all things Oscars.  

John Kirby and Seema Mehta

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby talks about the war in Ukraine, tensions with China, his storied career, and more. 
L.A. Times writer Seema Mehta discusses the 2024 California primary polling and the battle between Governor Newsom and Governor Ron DeSantis. 

Mayor Todd Gloria

Elex Michaelson sits down with San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria during USC’s Herb Klein Lecture Series in La Jolla.

Barbara Lee, Andrew Yang, Christine Todd Whitman

California is now just over a year from the all-important 2024 primary.

George Clooney

This week, an exclusive conversation with George Clooney.

In 2022, the Oscar-winning filmmaker helped establish the Roybal Film and Television Production Magnet School at the Edward R. Roybal Learning Center in Los Angeles.

The program, a public-private partnership aims to provide a pipeline to the film industry for students from underserved communities, has been described by U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona as a model for the nation.

Following a visit to Roybal with Cardona, advisory board members Don Cheadle and Mindy Kaling, Second Gentleman of the U.S. Doug Emhoff, and other high profile...

Bob Costas

This week on "The Issue Is," politics takes a backseat, and sports reigns supreme, as Elex Michaelson is joined in-studio by legendary broadcaster Bob Costas.

Bob Costas, Feb. 2023

This week on "The Issue Is," politics takes a backseat, and sports reigns supreme, as Elex Michaelson is joined in-studio by legendary broadcaster Bob Costas.

Rob Bonta, Shane Harris, John McEntee

This week, Elex is joined by California Attorney General Rob Bonta, Democratic activist Shane Harris and former Donald Trump advisor John McEntee.

Adam Schiff, Gavin Newsom, Jennifer Siebel Newsom

This week, Elex spoke with Rep. Adam Schiff, who gave his first TV interview since announcing his run for Senate. Governor Gavin Newsom discusses recent mass shooting in California and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom talks youth mental heath and gun violence during a visit to Santa Monica.

The Issue Is: Rain water, reparations and the RNC

 This week, Elex speaks with California Office of Emergency Services' Brian Ferguson to discuss President Biden's visit to California and the federal storm aid. Eric McDonnell, the chair of the San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee stops by to discuss the debate over reparations and his committee's controversial proposal. Harmeet Dhillon discusses her run for RNC chair.
The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to

George Clooney, Alex Padilla, Katie Porter

This week, Elex is joined by Senator Alex Padilla to discuss California's deadly storms and the crisis at the border. Congresswoman Katie Porter discusses her run for Senate and her viral moment during the House Speaker race. Hollywood icon George Clooney discusses the Roybal Film and TV Production Magnet School and his push to give underserved kids a chance to get into the film industry. 

Mike Garcia, Brian Goldsmith, Joel Pollak

This week, Elex Michaelson discusses the unforgettable fight over the Speaker of the House.

Adam Schiff, Dec. 2022

As 2022 comes to an end, and Americans celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, and the holidays with family - there was no break from political news. 

LA Mayor Karen Bass, plus Gloria Allred and Larry Elder debate

Newly-elected Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass talks about the new role, and attorney Gloria Allred debates with political commentator Larry Elder on marriage equality, abortion, reparations and more.

The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to

The Issue Is Podcast: Robert Garcia, Dec. 2022

This week, Elex caught up with Long Beach-mayor-turned-Congressman-elect Robert Garcia as he settles into his new gig in Washington, D.C.

The GOP’s future

This week, Elex Michaelson is joined by Congressman-elect Kevin Kiley, Politico's Jonathan Martin and former director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office John McEntee.

Karen Bass on historic win in LA Mayor's race

The Issue Is was joined by Karen Bass as she discusses her historic win in the race for Los Angeles Mayor. She also discusses her plan to address homelessness.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nov. 2022

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joins The Issue Is to discuss his rivalry with Sylvester Stallone, 20 years of Proposition 49 and the rise in antisemitism.

“The Issue Is”: The 2022 midterms are over, attention turns to 2024

Political experts Brian Goldsmith and Lynn Vavreck joined The Issue Is to break down the midterm outcomes.

Dan Schnur and Ben Oreskes

This week, we preview key California races in the upcoming midterm elections.

Rob Bonta

In this final stretch of the midterms, California Attorney General Rob Bonta joins Elex Michaelson on The Issue Is to make his final pitch to voters.

Karen Bass, Rick Caruso

This week on The Issue Is, as voters head to the polls, Elex Michaelson sits down one last time with both candidates, businessman Rick Caruso and Congresswoman Karen Bass. Elex also sits down with each candidates’ family, for an in-depth, and emotional conversation about the side of the candidates the public does not get to see.

Gustavo Arellano, LZ Granderson, Nathan Hochman

This week, LA Times' Gustavo Arellano and LZ Granderson discuss the LA City Council scandal. Candidate for California AG Nathan Hochman discusses Rob Bonta, George Gascon and the ongoing fentanyl crisis. President Joe Biden visits California ahead of the midterms.

Christy Smith

Congressional candidate Christy Smith (D) makes her case to voters.

Brian Dahle, Lanhee Chen

Sen. Brian Dahle joins the Issue Is to discuss rising gas prices, homelessness and his run for California Governor against incumbent Gavin Newsom. State Controller candidate Lanhee Chen discusses the role of the controller, abortion rights and California's fiscal future.

Ronna McDaniel, Will Rollins

This week, Elex Michaelson is joined by Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee. Congressional candidate Will Rollins also joins the show to discuss midterm issues.

Karen Bass and Dennis Prager

This week, Elex is joined by LA Mayoral Candidate and Congresswoman Karen Bass as she discusses the break-in at her home and public safety in Los Angeles. Dennis Prager also stops by to discuss the state of the Republican Party in California and his nonprofit "Prager U."

Gavin Newsom, Pete Buttigieg and Melissa Giller

During another week in which temperatures soared across Californa, the issue continues to be energy and the state’s power grid.

Jennifer Granholm, Jeremy B. White and Alexei Kossef

This week's The Issue Is, Elex is joined by U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm as she discuses the push for more electric vehicles. Politico's Jeremy B. White and Alexei Kossef from CalMatters discuss the end of the California Legislative session.

Peter Hamby, Mark Takano

This week, Elex is joined by journalist and 'Good Luck America' host Peter Hamby as they discuss California voters wanting President Biden to step aside in 2024 and possibly be replaced by Governor Gavin Newsom. Rep. Mark Takano stops by to discuss the Congressman's much-debated tour stop in Taiwan.

Gavin Newsom and Ron Brownstein

This week on "The Issue Is," a look ahead into the political future and a look back into the cultural past during an in-depth conversation with journalist and author Ronald Brownstein.

Brian Tyler Cohen and Michael Knowles

Michael Knowles and Brian Tyler Cohen square off in a rematch of political debates. The two discuss FBI raid of Former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago home to whether or not President Biden deserves more credit for recent legislative victories.

Dr. Erica Pan and Lis Smith

This week on The Issue Is, Elex speaks with California State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan. Democratic Strategist Lis Smith also stops by to chat on the show.

Rep. Adam Schiff, State Senator Bob Hertzberg

Elex Michaelson is joined Sen. Bob Hertzberg, who authored the legislation, modeled after the Texas abortion law, that allows Californians to sue makers of illegal guns. Rep. Adam Schiff stops by to discuss this week’s hearing of the House January 6th Committee.

Gov. Gavin Newsom goes to Washington

This week, "The Issue Is" is on the road, taking the show to Washington, D.C. This, as California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) visited the nation’s Capital for a series of high-profile meetings and to accept an Education Innovation Award on behalf of the Golden State.

Gloria Allred and Larry Elder

This week's The Issue Is features an all-star debate like you've never seen before. We bring in two longtime friends who have little politically in common: legendary attorney Gloria Allred and radio host Larry Elder.

Gloria Allred, Eric Early, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Adam Schiff

To discuss and debate, Elex Michaelson is joined on The Issue Is by attorney Gloria Allred and former GOP Candidate for California Attorney General Eric Early.