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40 Episodes
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By: The Bulwark

Charlie Sykes and guests discuss the latest news from inside Washington and around the world. No shouting, grandstanding, or sloganeering. Conservative, conscientious, and civil. plus.thebulwark.com

Tyler Merritt: We Are Not Monolithic
Yesterday at 6:20 PM

The deaths of Black people awakened our nation last year. What happened to our conversation about race? Author and actor Tyler Merritt joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.

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Netflix's Big Week
Yesterday at 6:00 PM

This week on The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood, CNN’s Frank Pallotta rejoins Sonny to talk about Netflix’s big week! New subscriber numbers, new data numbers, and a newly controversial gloss to the biggest thing in entertainment. Plus, we talk a bit about Halloween Kills, Dune, and the impact of streaming on box office numbers. If you enjoyed the show, share it with a friend!

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The Democrats’ Sinking Poll Numbers
Yesterday at 2:25 PM

Eric Edelman helps unpack China’s new missile, Democrats’ decline, and McAuliffe’s tone deafness.

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Bill Kristol: Democrats, Please Don't Let a Political Meteor Hit Us Again
Last Thursday at 6:33 PM

Republicans have no agenda beyond denying the truth about 2020, and changing election rules. But if the Democrats can't get it together, there could be a Trumpian restoration. Bill Kristol joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.

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Charlie Warzel: I Should Have Warned You
Last Wednesday at 5:58 PM

Can our media rise to meet the dangerous moment we are in? Journalist Charlie Warzel joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.

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Is Netflix's Handling of Dave Chappelle a Controversy or a Nontroversy?
Last Tuesday at 6:00 PM

On this episode, Sonny Bunch (The Bulwark), Alyssa Rosenberg (The Washington Post), and Peter Suderman (Reason) ask whether Dave Chappelle, his new special, and the way Netflix has handled internal and external fallout from its airing, are controversies, or nontroversies. Then the gang reviews The Last Duel, a/k/a Medieval Me Too. (For more on The Last Duel, you can read Sonny here, Alyssa here, and Peter here.) Make sure to listen all the way to end for a special programming note! And check out our bonus episode on our favorite Ridley Scott movies. There are so many to...


Will Saletan: The Vaccination Culture War
Last Tuesday at 5:23 PM

After its embrace of the unvaccinated and the Jan. 6 insurrectionists, the GOP can no longer claim it's the party of law and order. Do the Democrats have it in them to take on that role? Will Saletan joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.

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Ben Schreckinger: The Bidens and the Media's Credibility
Last Monday at 5:55 PM

While there has been no shortage of exposés about Trump, his administration, and his family, a new book about the Bidens is getting relatively limited attention. Is the mainstream media applying a double standard? Ben Schreckinger joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.

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Bill Kristol: Clowns to the Left, Jokers to the Right
10/15/2021

When you can't align with the people who equate mask mandates to Nazi Germany — or with people who get triggered by the Federalist Society — where does the Rational Center belong? Bill Kristol joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.

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Why You Can’t Bracket Trump
10/15/2021

Protect Democracy’s Ian Bassin joins to discuss how he’s working to counter threats. Also the VA governor’s race.

Mentioned articles:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/10/07/our-planet-is-not-doomed-that-means-we-can-must-act/

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/10/12/hunter-biden-corruption-515583

https://www.brookings.edu/essay/the-long-game-chinas-grand-strategy-to-displace-american-order/

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The Business of Sports Ads
10/14/2021

Ryan Faughnder of the Los Angeles Times’s Wide Shot newsletter rejoins the show this week to discuss the boon—and burden—of sports betting ads. What are some of the rewards, and the risks, of this enormous advertising market? We also discussed Squid Game and Netflix’s efforts to internationalize entertainment as well as the age-old debate: subtitling versus dubbing. Make sure to sign up for Ryan’s newsletter (it’s free!) and if you enjoyed this episode please share it with a friend!

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Ian Bassin: Putting Democracy First
10/14/2021

Our democracy is in a crisis, but there's also a growing movement across the country to join forces to fight for it. Protect Democracy's Ian Bassin joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.

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Emma Green: Is the Claremont Institute saying the silent part out loud?
10/13/2021

The Claremont Institute is the intellectual home of America's Trumpist right — as well as election theft mastermind John Eastman. The Atlantic's Emma Green joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast. Is the conservative think tank just giving words and ideas to the ball of energy that elected Trump, or further inflaming our already inflamed politics?

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ATMA Has 'No Time to Die'
10/12/2021

On this week’s episode, Sonny Bunch (The Bulwark), Alyssa Rosenberg (The Washington Post), and Peter Suderman (Reason) highlight the IATSE union work stoppage that seems pretty inevitable at this point. What do Hollywood’s trade unions want, in terms of money and work-life balance? Then the gang sets their sights on Bond, James Bond. Did they enjoy Daniel Craig’s final turn as 007? (You can read Alyssa’s review here, Peter’s here, and Sonny’s here if you want more from them on the subject.) And, in the bonus episode, they discuss whether Craig is their favorite Bond...


David Priess: Getting the Truth on January 6
10/12/2021

Not only is Trump doubling down in support of the Jan. 6 insurrectionists, he's turning Ashli Babbitt into a martyr. Plus, when will Biden build back better bumper sticker-style messaging from the White House? Lawfare's David Priess joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast

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Larry Sabato: Our Divided America
10/11/2021

Americans hate the other side so much, they want to bust up the country, censor media they don't like, and allow "their"president to act without checks and balances. That's according to recent polling by Larry Sabato, who joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast. As long as Donald Trump remains on the stage, democracy in America is not safe, says Sabato.

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James Carville and Tim Miller: Some Tough Love For the Dems
10/08/2021

Democrats on Twitter don't win votes and won't save our democracy from the madman who's back to playing his golden escalator greatest hits. James Carville and Tim Miller join Charlie Sykes on today's podcast. When will the Democrats see that constructive criticism is really an act of love?

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“I Resent Being Called Cheerful."
10/08/2021

George F. Will joins B2D panel to discuss his new book, and also whether Facebook should be regulated, and the Democrats' hopes for social welfare.

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Scott Eyman on Daryl F. Zanuck and 20th Century Fox
10/07/2021

On this week’s episode, Sonny talks to Scott Eyman about his new book, 20th Century Fox: Darryl F. Zanuck and the Creation of the Modern Film Studio. Zanuck’s reign as a Hollywood mogul ran through nearly every major technological and business innovation Hollywood saw in the first half of the 20th century and beyond, and Mr. Eyman’s book paints a compelling portrait of a producer as both businessman and artist. You can pick up a copy wherever books are sold (here’s an Amazon link for ease’s sake), and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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Elie Mystal: Anti-Maskers, SCOTUS, and Roe
10/07/2021

Tucker Carlson's got anti-maskers yelling at schoolchildren, Texas' abortion bill is on hold — and enough with the Trump tell-all grifters. The Nation's Elie Mystal joins guest host Amanda Carpenter on today's podcast.

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Josh Kraushaar: Everything is Political, Everything is Tribal
10/06/2021

Sinema's silence gets decoded, and The Big Lie officially becomes The Great Grift. National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast and breaks down the neck-and neck governor's race in Virginia and the politics of Arizona.

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Does 'The Many Saints of Newark' Do 'The Sopranos' Right?
10/05/2021

On this week’s episode, Sonny Bunch (The Bulwark), Alyssa Rosenberg (The Washington Post), and Peter Suderman (Reason) break down the strange story of Ozy Media, the various scams of which have been chronicled by the NYT’s Ben Smith in recent weeks, and the overall state of media accountability. Then they review The Many Saints of Newark, David Chase and HBO’s new prequel to The Sopranos currently in theaters and on HBO Max. And in the members-only bonus episode, the gang debates the biggest question in the history of prestige TV: What, exactly, happened to Tony Soprano at...


Karen Tumulty on Facebook, the Debt Ceiling, and Sinema
10/05/2021

Steve Bannon is gearing up for the MAGA Revenge Tour, Mike Pence is talking like he went to a re-education camp, and Democratic activists seem to be relying on some good old-fashioned sexism to go after Kyrsten Sinema. The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast, and shares her predictions on the reconciliation bill and the debt ceiling.

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Mona Charen on The Future of the Pro-Democracy Coalition
10/04/2021

One party has embraced its inner lunatic, while the other plays political chicken. Can the Democrats not implode — and keep the pro-democracy coalition together? Mona Charen joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast. Plus, we're not living in a new Gilded Age, we're living in the Grifted Age.

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Tim Miller on Joe Manchin's Moment
10/01/2021

On today's podcast, Tim Miller joins host Charlie Sykes to discuss Julie Andrews' birthday, why Dems should be grateful to Joe Manchin, Biden's immigration mess, Liz Cheney's opponent, and why Mike Pence is fawning over Hungary.

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Democrats are Divided. Republicans are United -- as a cult. How worried should we be?
10/01/2021

A.B. Stoddard joins to discuss why we can't have nice things in America.

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Scott Tobias on the Business of Film Criticism
09/30/2021

On this week’s episode, Sonny talks to Scott Tobias, formerly of The AV Club and The Dissolve, about his new Substack endeavor with Keith Phipps, The Reveal, as well as the evolving world of film criticism. With so many local newspapers cutting back on movie reviewers for budgetary reasons and so many websites merely hitting the most popular of topics to generate clicks, it’s interesting—and, frankly, heartening—to see Substack using their Pro program to help critics like Tobias and Phipps (along with Ty Burr and Jerry Saltz) stand up their own newsletters to chase their own...


Bret Stephens: A Plea for Centrism
09/30/2021

On today's podcast, New York times columnist Bret Stephens talks about Trump's moral universe, Biden's centrist dilemma, the looming danger of inflation, and why Manchin-Sinema could actually save the Democrats.

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A.B. Stoddard: What Are They Thinking?
09/29/2021

On today's podcast, A.B. Stoddard joins host Charlie Sykes to discuss the Pentagon hearing, Mitch McConnell's endgame, the standoff over spending, Stephanie Grisham's new book, and Trump's plan for the midterm.

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Youngkin Up, Cheney Down?
09/29/2021

Sarah, Tim, and JVL talk about the governor’s race in Virginia, the Republican primary in Wyoming, and the Dems’ screwup in Washington.

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Bill Kristol: How Alarmed Should We Be?
09/28/2021

On today's podcast, Bill Kristol joins host Charlie Sykes to discuss the dangers of a constitutional crisis, the prospects of a Trumpian Restoration, and the fight over infrastructure spending.

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Will Copyright Terminations Terminate the MCU?
09/28/2021

On this week’s episode, Sonny Bunch (The Bulwark), Alyssa Rosenberg (The Washington Post), and Peter Suderman (Reason) discuss the legal back and forth between Disney and the estates of Marvel’s most famous creators, including those of Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, as well as fan reactions to the (very slight!) possibility that copyright termination notices will be the death of the MCU as we know it. Is legal wrangling the kryptonite (sorry, mixing universes) that will slay the biggest film franchise in movie history? The gang also reviews The Eyes of Tammy Faye, asking why it feels so...


Amanda Carpenter on the Arizona Fraudit
09/27/2021

On today’s podcast, Amanda Carpenter joins host Charlie Sykes to discuss the Cyber Ninja flop, the Democratic budget follies, and the Liz Cheney interview on 60 minutes.

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Sarah Longwell on the Cyber Ninjas and Democratic Brinksmanship
09/24/2021

On today's podcast Sarah Longwell joins host Charlie Sykes to discuss the Arizona Fraudit's epic flop, the ongoing threats to democracy, and the disarray among the Dems.

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Republicans are Dangerous. Can the Democrats Succeed?
09/24/2021

Sarah Longwell sits in for Linda and Tom Nichols joins to discuss the Democrats' divisions, Haitians at the border, and Biden's foreign policy.

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Rick Wilson Sounds Off on Trump, Dems, and Coups
09/23/2021

On today's podcast, Rick Wilson joins host Charlie Sykes to offer some tough love to just about everybody.

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Adam Kinzinger: Should I Stay or Should I Go?
09/22/2021

On today's podcast Rep. Adam Kinzinger joins host Charlie Sykes to discuss the House 1/6 Committee's work and the dilemma of principled GOPERs... is it better to leave the party or stay and fight?

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Geoff Duncan on GOP 2.0
09/21/2021

On today's podcast, Geoff Duncan, the lieutenant governor of Georgia joins host Charlie Sykes to discuss the Big Lie about the 2020 election, and his new book about the future of the GOP. PLUS: A special appearance by Sarah Longwell as she unveils a new Bulwark podcast: "The Focus Group"

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Why Shouldn't Activists Have to Compete?
09/21/2021

This week Sonny Bunch (The Bulwark), Alyssa Rosenberg (The Washington Post, and Peter Suderman (Reason) take a look at the controversy swirling about CBS’s instantly canceled show, The Activist. What’s so bad about making activists compete for attention dollars? And the gang reviews Cry Macho, the latest from director-star Clint Eastwood. Is he too old for this movie, or is Sonny a despicable ageist. Make sure to check out our bonus episode on our favorite Eastwood-directed movies.

If you’re a Bulwark+ member you can listen to the show on your preferred podcast app today via...


David Frum on What Never Trump Wants Now
09/20/2021

On today's podcast, David Frum joins host Charlie Sykes to discuss The Former Guy riding Velociraptors; the debate over vaccines; how Democrats can keep Never Trump voters - and the problem with Bob Woodward's books.

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