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The News Podcast: Audie Cornish Shows Her Work

Audie Cornish, host of NPR's All Things Considered and Profile from BuzzFeed News, hops in the studio and we get updates on the Paul Manafort trial from our politics crew.

Posted on August 11, 2018, at 5:01 a.m. ET

In this week's episode:

  • In The Lede, Julia Furlan interviews the legendary Audie Cornish.

  • We make sure you're up to date on the trial of Paul Manafort with politics editor Matt Berman and SCOTUS reporter Chris Geidner.

  • And we have another round of Highly Recommended where folks from around the newsroom let you know what you should be watching, what sturdy pants to buy, and which books to read this week.

We're everywhere you want us to be, including right here 👇🏽 as well as Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or Spotify!

Check out BuzzFeed’s other podcasts here and you can find transcripts for other episodes here.


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The Lede — 01:22

Julia Furlan: For the Lede this week, I sit down with the one and only: audie cornish, host of profile from buzzfeed news and npr’s all things considered.

Okay, great. Your headphones are good?

Audie Cornish: This is like the easiest part of being in this building for me right now. Like, if I could just come here then that would make sense to me.

JF: In that you feel comfortable, at home, in your little woomie, woom?

AC: Yeah.

JF: Yeah. It's very um, yeah, that's what we're trying to go for. You know?

AC: You got it.

JF: Um, So hi Audie Cornish!

AC: Hello!

JF: Icon. A diva. Thank you for being here. Thank you for making time.

AC: Yeah.

JF: So you are obviously famous for your voice.

AC: I did not know that but I like it. I like the idea of it.

JF: I mean...What has the experience been like so far, moving into a visual medium?

AC: Right. I've always had a lot of respect for my friends who do television. Obviously in DC there's a lot of reporters I know, you know, who do TV and there's just so much more involved when you do anything on camera...

JF: Yeah.

AC: ...Than in radio and um, I mean just to give you an idea. We just love taping of the show, very glammed-out. We start to put my clothes on and there's just like deodorant, like white stuff, all over the shirt. Just like, I mean, it was like a commercial and I was the before part of the commercial. And you know, I would throw a jacket on that and make it work, like, and I would do like ten interviews, radio interviews and not blink. Everything's fine, wouldn't think of anything. But you know, see, it's distracting.

JF: All of a sudden it matters.

AC: It matters. Really small gestures and facial expressions and things like that. All really matter. So it's been an educational experience and it's been a lot of fun because I think that you don't get an opportunity sometimes in your career to flex new muscles and try new things.

JF: Right.

AC: And so this is an opportunity, an opportunity to do that and it's been really exciting.

JF: Did you feel a desire in the past to do things in the visual medium, to have your face connected to your voice?

AC: Um, you know, I think part of it is that I really really fell in love with radio and voices in a very profound way, and I really fell in love with a kind of conversation you have. Where you can be a little less self-conscious about how you look.

JF: Right.

AC: And that's a very comfortable place to be, right? And I think that this has been an experience also in like self-esteem, right? Which you never think you need those as you, uh, get older but you still do, reminding yourself that like, yeah, you know, you look fine. Like, it'll be fine. It’s okay.

JF: Right.

AC: And get out of your own head. Right?

JF: Right. Take yourself less seriously.

AC: Like stop taking yourself so seriously, it’s fine.

JF: Absolutely. You come from a long line of NPR interviewers. You know, Terry Gross, these people who to us were audio people. We love them.

AC: Yes, are like Gods.

JF: Yeah.

AC: mean, they're really amazing. Terry Gross. You can't talk about doing the interview shows of any kind, modern interview shows, without kind of talking about her. I think.

JF: Of course. What do you think is the Audie Cornish style of interview? I've been immersing myself in your work for the past couple of days. And it’s been really lovely.

AC: What do you think it is?

JF: It's that. It's where you flip the interview. That's literally what it is. You're really really good at these deft, sort of like surprising turns of... Of power. Not power, but like…

AC: No. That's right. Sometimes the conversation is that, right? I mean, it's not a duel but depending on who you're sitting across from, there is always a power dynamic. And I think for women, we know there's always a kind of power dynamic. And it's funny, I can't think of what my style would be. I would like to think that it's unadorned. I would like to think that it is the thing you come away with and I always consider it a compliment when I talk to someone about an interview I've done, and they say ‘Oh I heard that interview, and it was so interesting when the person said this’, ‘And it was so interesting when the person said that’ and they never mentioned me. That's ideal because it means they've just taken away so much and they've like had this experience, and they felt like they were in the conversation right? I was there, Ready Player One. And so that seems like an ideal situation. I don't know how it actually sounds though. I'm like saying all these lofty things. I don't know if that actually sounds like that.

JF: It's very clear that you're doing a lot of work. You show up... You said that you appreciate people who do the work, who have done that. That's like the most important thing for you. Is that the other person has like done their research and done the preparation. And I think that that... I don't know, I don't know if that's like an Audie Cornish signature, but…

AC: Oh no, not at all. I think I respect...All the people I look up to most in the world are people who show their work, so to speak. So like Serena Williams. I was like binging the Serena Doc on HBO because I had a baby around the same time.

JF: Yeah.

AC: So I started to sort of like, use this to psych myself up, you know, I was like... I'm coming back! And you know, I may be bottom right now, but you know what? Like I just really, like I was... And on my desk at work I have like this little thing, this placard of my desk that says “What would Beyoncé do” and the thing is, I'm not the kind of person who's like dropping a bunch of money on Beyoncé tickets. Okay? To be clear.

JF: So you haven't seen On The Run yet?

AC: No, no, not why I'm into it.

JF: Right.

AC: I’m into it because she makes it clear. She has worked hard. Now you are here to see that work. And that's all you need to know. Everything before you right now is a purpose.

JF: It's intentional.

AC: It's intentional and that's how I feel about my work. I think that there are people who are very good at making things look effortless and charming and fun. And I think sometimes women are punished for showing their work because then you look like a try-hard.

JF: Oh, yeah.

AC: Um, but yeah you tried hard and you should be rewarded for that.

JF: Absolutely. I think that you're mentioning Serena, Beyonce. These...You know.

AC: These are the biggest names, but it's like, I'm saying them for a reason. You could say the same thing about Tom Cruise, right? Like he's a guy, when he's doing some stuff, you're like, all right, you know, get it with those knees. Like he clearly wants you to know he is working hard for you.

JF: Yeah.

AC: And then there's some people who are deeply invested in making everything look like it just happened to be a certain way, and I don’t buy it.


JF: Yeah, I mean it's sort of like that Instagram aesthetic lifestyle where it's like, the whole thing, you're like... Guys, that's not what your house looks like. You don't live like that. You have dirty clothes. At some point.

AC: The other thing, I think sometimes in interviewing people load up their questions with ideas and with a premise and everyone's supposed to just go along with it. And the best interview is when someone says ‘Well are you sure about that?’ and I like when people do it to me, you know, I'm like ‘Great let's get into it. Now we're having a real conversation’ and I wish I did it more. You know, I'm not always... It's something I'm constantly striving towards but I don't always get there. I don't always hit the mark. It's something that's like just a huge part of how I think about my work. As like, okay, what are you putting out in the world and like how can you engage people and get them to engage? So it's not this kind of passive back and forth.

JF: Do you think differently about the audience at BuzzFeed versus the audience at NPR? Do you feel freer, or sort of challenged by approaching this new group of people, who may be have heard of you or heard your voice certainly, but don't know?

AC: That's a good question. I don't feel that way because... Because young people or younger people, so to speak, let's face it, Millennials are in their 30s now, right?


JF: Yeah.

AC: Like um, are like ‘Oh I listen to you on X.’ You know, ‘I listen to you on Y.’ And I think what people would consider more of a boomer, or slightly older audience, um, maybe hear me on All Things Considered. But more and more everyone is hearing us on All Things Considered. It's not so much of a thing anymore where we are some niche product and a planet far away. And I think if anything, what being at BuzzFeed and and kind of being in this new platform has done for me, is it's just like...It's just allowed me to reach out to these people who I know are there. So instead of everyone being like ‘I can't believe you're here.’ Everyone's like ‘Oh right you're here.’

JF: Yeah. ‘Oh Great!’

AC: I know you! Like there's a... there's a vibe of like ‘Oh, I know you.’

JF: Yeah.

AC: Not ‘Hello fellow teens, you know, how are you doing? How is Millennial pink? I will have a rosè.’ It’s not like not me trying to like brand myself to some whole new community. It's more like these are my friends and I'm finding them in a new place. We are hanging out in a new bar.

JF: Yeah. Exactly. Or maybe, before it's the coffee shop and now it's the bar.

AC: Yeah, exactly, but it's like... Everyone's it's more like ‘It's good to see you here, not ‘Um, I've never met you, it's it's nice to meet you.’

JF: So moving on to sort of a larger body of your work. Um, I'm really curious to know and to talk a little bit about what drew you to journalism and what grounds you in journalism right now when it's not a great time to be out there doing journalism. It's hard.

AC: It’s never been a good time. If you were a journalist in the 19-teens, you know, you'd be complaining about following celebrities and the 20s. You'd probably be talkin about yellow journalism. I mean, who knows, right? Like it's always been difficult and for those women, you know, lots of people now are talking about Ida B. Wells, for example. We've always been here doing stuff.
Um, and the environment has always been difficult, and we've always been accused of bias, and we've always been accused of activism, or one thing or another thing. But we keep doing the work and I think that's how I think of it. It’s like...yeah, things can be really dark and maybe there's a bunch of people standing around hand-wringing and being like ‘This is an episode of Handmaid's Tale.’ But ,like, I still have to do my job and I still feel very profoundly in that work even on the days when it's like a little lighter and a little fluffier.
I think there still should be people who are mission-driven and a lot of people I know, not all, but there are a lot of people I know in journalism who are still mission-driven.

JF: What is your mission?

AC: Uh, well, I guess the old saying is ‘Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.’ And it sounds really corny that we still hold on to those kinds of ideas, but the truth is, like, people have to ask... People still have to ask questions. And sometimes the most obvious question is the one that, like, people are afraid to ask. And you as a journalist have to be willing to look like the fool one day and just ask that question that that person in power will be like ‘I can't believe you asked that’ when really what they're thinking is like ‘Oh my God, they they finally asked this.’ You know, like the emperor has no clothes. So I think it's just really important now to ,um, to take the work seriously, and I think people are.

JF: I agree. So I went… I went way back and found an article about you from when you were a senior in college at UMass. UMass Amherst.

AC: Oh my God.

JF: They're like, they're like, you know, student publications...

AC: Yes, way back when. You’re in the Wayback machine.

JF: And this quote from young Audie...

AC: Oh no!

JF: Really touched me in my soul.

AC:I know what this is now. Okay. Go ahead.

JF: You said ‘People of color are very poorly represented in the media. So it's important for me to someday be at the point where I'm saying what the news is.

AC: Yeah.

JF: If you looked that girl in the face right now, would you... Do you think she'd be proud of what you're doing right now?


AC: Oh, that's an interesting way of raising that question. I mean, she was pretty naive and like all journalists... All journalism Majors, she was like ‘Let me tell you what's what’, uh, which is probably not the case. But I think she would. I think she would, because one thing that I've been able to do is... I've been able to populate my stories with people who in the past weren’t necessarily neglected, but we're only shown in a very specific light. And I think that I have had times in like news meetings, or prepping a story, where I've said ‘Does it make sense to say this thing about this person?’ Or ‘That's cliche and we're trying to stay away from cliches.’ And so it's not a gender-driven. You know, I'm not like every day ‘This person of color, this woman...’ It's nothing like that. It's more like I ask a question that for a long time... It was taken for granted not to ask that question. And I think to say like ‘Oh, this is fantastic that we found this, you know ex-prosecutor in the Justice Department who's a woman, get her on here because why not?’ You know what I mean? Like I'm not going to say no, you know, it's not affirmative action getting her onto the air. It's like great. Normally we would not go to this person. We would go to this person's boss. The boss is not there.

JF: Let's work with what we’ve got.

AC: Let's work with, like, this great person and put them on and then once they're great. Why don't we use them again? You know, instead of saying well, we need to go back to this person who has such and such a title. Um, similarly, with... And when it comes to the arts and entertainment, putting people on air that, you know, maybe in the past people thought well, is that really art? Is that really interesting? Does that person really have something to say? Like, that's just kind of very coded news judgment.

JF: Yeah, gatekeeping.

AC: Gatekeeping and being able to be in a position to say like ‘Well, why don't we find out if that person has something to say by interviewing them?’ You know, like that's the way to go, not to dismiss it ahead of time out of hand.


JF: How do you put a life together when you're working on so many different things? You are... You are in Memphis reporting on the statues, you are in the NPR offices interviewing filmmakers and artists and musicians. You are booking it to New York City to do interviews with celebrities. Like how do you unplug? How do you find time for yourself? And your life?

AC: I'm learning the answer to that question now. Some of it is just enjoying the moments when you are yes, in between, in transit, you know. Like here... They’d be like ‘Do you want to fly or take the train?’ and I'm always like ‘The train!’

JF: I love the train.

AC: Nobody knows why I want to take the train. Well because it's three uninterrupted hours where I hope the Wi-Fi doesn't work because I don't want to do anything. And also, you know, these are all jobs that are actually in the same vein. They're all... They're all things that…

JF: They are parts of you.

AC: Yeah, you know, I contribute to the back page of um, The Times Magazine top column, but it's like another interview. So to me all it is is another venue to do the thing I already like doing. And each one of these are actually just different enough that it gives you a whole jolt of energy trying to do them.
So talking to someone for 20 minutes in front of an audience, like live to tape, is such a different energy than maybe what I do for the Times where you talk to them for an hour on the phone and then edit it all down. Right? And all that is very different from being at All Things Considered where I'll do four or five interviews in a day, quick prep and turn around for each one, and in each one of those conversations, because I know it's being edited I'm thinking ‘Does this have a beginning? Does this have a middle? Does this have an end? What's the point of tension? I'm going to ask this question to get to it.’ Like I'm much more academic and like how those interviews go.

JF: It’s like surgical. You have to sort of order... I mean our questions are in order, there are topics, there are sub-question…

AC: It’s much more surgical but it also is necessary for show that is as polished and curated as that one. So even though it may seem like ‘She's doing a lot of things!’ I'm really doing one thing over and over again, in slightly different ways.

JF: There is a tweet that you did once. I really loved it. It was a picture of you holding your son at work in front of a chalkboard. There was a chalkboard with like literally... I can't remember what the names are but they were all these like big names of people that you'd want to interview.

AC: I forgot that you guys would see the names…

JF: And yeah. Somebody tweeted saying like ‘RT for visibility of parents at work’ and you took that and you said ‘Hey, just just so that we're straight here, what you're not seeing in this picture is the nanny share that allowed me to go to work this day and the producer who is holding it down in the studio so that I can do all my jobs.’ And you really said, you know, it takes a village... Has it been a process of learning to trust that village?

AC: No, the village is awesome. Trust them implicitly. Telling people about it is the hard and embarrassing part, because I think that admitting that you need help, admitting that you get help. I mean, there's so much of mothering and in the US and in our culture that is about browbeating women and telling them the ways they're doing it wrong. What I don't want to do is contribute to that by putting out a bunch of images that make things look easy, because I think that my mom did it with three kids and she had no help. And it was really really hard. And I know it was hard on her. And I think that sometimes people forget that like, we're not supposed to parent in a vacuum. Like it's not the ideal situation to parent completely by yourselves with like no relatives around or no friends around or no one ever helping you. That's just not how it ever was supposed to work. And so I don't want to ever put out the image now that, like, ‘Look at me holding it down’ like is that…No, you don't get to do all these things, unless people are helping you, trust me. Because after that tweet my husband's like ‘You know who you didn't mention?’ And he was right, you know, right this moment he, I know for fact, my phone is out there somewhere in the building and my husband is texting me a picture of my son and what he's doing. Ladies go out there and whoever you partner with, man, woman, gender non-binary, whatever it is. Make sure they are willing to really do the work.

JF: What do you think that you want to teach your son about work?

AC: Oh, I don't... I don't think I...My parents were always people who worked, they were always people who found work to be honorable. When I was doing these jobs, um, I had friends who said ‘How are you gonna manage with a family and bla bla bla?’ And my own mom just texted me like ‘You go girl. Here's the plan.’ Like her attitude is like ‘Put yourself out there. Put yourself out there. Take every opportunity in the world that comes to you because why not. If not you who else.’ And very like, you know, don't put your light under a bushel like whatever.... Whatever you can think of the saying is, for going out and doing it.
That's my mother.

JF: The myth ‘Making of immigrant childhood’, right?

AC: Yeah, I mean, she's just really intense personality and incredible and I think I want my son to look at me and think all the same things I think about her, that like ‘Wow. Work is honorable and it can be exciting and fun. And there's a difference between a job and a career and if you can get the one
that's labeled career go ahead and reach for it.’ And that man or woman like whoever you are, like that he would not see a difference in that, right? The same way he does... He looks at his dad right now and his dad is being a caretaker for him. And he's so little he doesn't think twice about that. I don't want him to think twice about that when he's 21 either.

JF: I love that. Yeah. I feel like we've gone through most of the questions. Is there anything that you wanted to talk about that you didn't get an opportunity to?

AC: You know, I am in a moment where I'm trying something new and so I sort of feel like everything I say could be meaningless when it comes to advice or just like ‘How I live my life now.’

JF: You're just figuring everything out!

AC: I'm really just figuring everything out. Um, I have tons of days where I'm not very good at it. I've tons of days where I like am in the hotel room pacing back and forth talking to the mirror. I have tons of days where I do an interview and I just think ‘Uff, that, I didn't really get to where I wanted to go. That felt really surface.’ And if anything, I want people out there listening to know that, like, it's okay to have those days. It's just what you do with them after.

JF: Yes Audie.

AC: How you learn from it. Like whether it's taking a bunch of notes and being like ‘I won't do this next time, or I will do this next time.’ Not beating yourself up over it. That part is hard emotional work to do, but it's so worth it. And like, I'm still doing it. So…

JF: Absolutely.

AC: And I am not Beyoncé...Yeah, I am not Serena like, you know, like inspirational quotes after this. I'm just like, okay. Let me just light a candle against the dark and keep going another day.

JF: But they're probably doing it too, you know what I mean? Like I feel like, if you're not thinking critically about the work that you put into the world and what it means…

AC: Yeah. Now's the Time.

JF: It really is.

AC: Yeah, and if it's not through your work, what are other areas of your life where you feel like you can do good, where you can make a difference in someone else's life? I think there are more places to do that than people sometimes realize or give themselves credit for.

JF: Absolutely and I see you out there. I see your work and I really... I so appreciate it. Thank you Audie.

AC: Thank you for having me. This was awesome.

JF: Thank you.

Watch Profile from BuzzFeed News on Facebook! It airs live on Sunday evenings and truly, you can’t miss it. Tomorrow, Audie’s going to be sitting down with billionaire democratic activist Tom Steyer. Some people consider him the democratic version of the Koch Brothers. You can find Profile at facebook.com/profilebuzzfeednews, OR you can text jojo the word “profile” at 929.236.9577.


Manafort Update — 20:32

JF: It has been quite a week for Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager who’s been on trial for a bunch of things, including money laundering and generally shady business deals. Here to break down what happened and why we should care are politics editor Matt Berman and Supreme Court correspondent Chris Geidner, who’s on the line from DC.

Matt Berman: Hi Chris. How's it going?

Chris Geidner: It is just going great here in D.C. You know? D.C. Summers they are... Always, always perfect.

MB: Nothing makes one feel better. So we are here to talk a little bit about the Paul Manafort trial. So I figure to kick things off. I will just ask you Chris, who is deep on all things legal, what is a Paul Manafort?

CG: What is a Paul Manafort? That's actually a really good question. He obviously was most relevant to why we know him today. He was Trump's campaign chairman for several months during the 2016 election. But he also has a long and storied history as a Republican campaign consultant and as a lobbyist.

MB: So he was charged, what was it, late last year? Late last year?

CG: This trial has been going on for about two weeks now. A little over a year ago the Muller investigation began as an investigation into Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. Any involvement of U.S. campaigns in that effort and any matters arising from that. And one of those matters arising from that is Paul Manafort's actions in lobbying for Ukraine, pro-Russian Ukrainian interests. Which obviously is going to be the sort of thing that you're going to look into, if you are doing an investigation into Russian efforts, if the one time campaign chairman of the Trump campaign has significant ties to pro Russian interests.

MB: So Chris what is some of the most important but also to some of the bonkers things that have come out of this trial so far?

CG: Yeah, I mean so... I talked to Zoe Tillman whos are a legal reporter who's been in the trial every day. Talked to her Wednesday night after they had finished their seventh day of testimony. And I mean, what she said is that the prosecution sort of backed into their case. They started out by talking about all of these expensive, extravagant purchases. 'This is the the ostrich jacket. This is the dozens of suits. This is just the lifestyle' The pictures that the federal government submitted into evidence.

MB: Let me interrupt you for one second. I mean, when you say ostrich jacket, just to be clear, we're not talking about feathers. It's the...Just a legal leather skin?

CG: Unfortunately not. It was not feathers. There was great debate when the news came out. But then when the government shared the exhibits at the end of the day and we got to see... Those of us not in the courtroom got to see the exhibit, it was unfortunately a leather ostrich jacket. Which was not a thing that I knew you could do. But it apparently is.

MB: I'm not sure if I'm disappointed.

CG: And so I mean the government started out with that. And this is, was one of the first areas where the government sort of faced off with the judge. Judge Ellis is... He's a senior status judge meaning he's already basically semi-retired. He basically question the lawyers that first day about, like, why do you need to get into this? It's not a crime to have money. But what they were doing...What's come out in the days since is that this was sort of the end of where his money ended up. And some of the questions that they asked those first witnesses, who were the various people that he bought things from, was how did he pay. And they would say 'Well he...' I mean several of the witnesses said 'We got money from a bank account in Cyprus.'And...

MB: Who have been the witnesses so far? I think there have been a handful of names that...

CG: I mean there have been a ton of witness. Honestly I mean all of these people like... There were several people who testified in the first few days about the purchases. I mean, the actual people he... Who counted him as one of their top clients at these various high-end men's suit shops. That was the first batch of what the government did, is they presented all of these purchases. The second that was his longtime bookkeeper and an account his accountant. And they started to lay out this idea that what they were doing was potentially crimes. And that the second one, Cindy Laporta, the accountant, is one of the people who was given immunity for what she testified. And Rick Gates who was his longtime partner, who since has basically pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the government. And later became their star witness against Manafort.

MB: So given everything that's happened and all the specific details that we've had so far, what is the thing that has come out of this trial so far or looks to be coming out of this trial, that really matters in terms of Trump's administration itself? Or the way that Trump has handled his campaign and could handle his future campaign? And then also just for Muller's actual investigation into Russian interference, have we learned something here?

CG: Yeah. I mean the truth is that we haven't learned a lot from this trial about those larger issues. This is a financial trial. This is about Manafort's financial dealings and crimes that were uncovered in the course of the Muller investigation.

MB: So what comes next? How... I know this trial seems to be moving incredibly quickly, but what are the next steps for Manafort?

CG: Well yeah. This this is the rocket docket. This is... Judge Ellis is moving it forward quickly and the prosecution has said that they were aiming to finish their case within two weeks. It's not quite clear, beyond the going after Gates, what the defense is going to be. But they'll put on their case and then we'll get closing arguments and then the jury will get the case. And then they'll go back into the jury room and see if they can reach a result.

MB: OK. Sounds like that will somehow happen way sooner than... It even feels like now.

CG: Yeah. It should not take a long time if Judge Ellis has his way.

MB: Chris thanks for coming on to talk about it.

CG: Thank you. And be certain to be watching Zoe Tillman on Twitter and reading her stories each day. She's been providing some of the best coverage of the trial.

JF: That was politics editor Matt Berman and SCOTUS correspondent Chris Geidner. Our reporter Zoe Tillman has been so busy covering the trial that we couldn’t get her on the podcast today. But if you want to follow the latest updates and analysis from the trial, she is your PERSON. Text jojo the word “trial” to get a link to her twitter account, which is the hub for all things Manafort.


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Sierra Tall: I recommend some Dickies pants. That's what I got yesterday when I went shopping. Um, I'm a big fan. I used to wear them when I was a little tomboy, you know, they just have like bones to him. They're sturdy. I just feel like they're a hardy pair of pants.

Alan Haburchak: So I've gotten really into reading this book, uh, which is both interesting for me because it is a nonfiction book that I don't usually read and because I've been reading it as a paper book and I really like it. So the book is called The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin by Masha Gessen. So Masha Gessen is this journalist who lived in Russia for a long time and now lives in the US and it's basically like shows you how Vladimir Putin went from being this like no name government official to the most powerful person in Russia, and it's like a crazy story but also relates so much to what's going on in the world between the US and Russia and I can't stop reading it.

JF: That was Lam Thuy Vo, Neah Gray, Sierra Tall, and Alan Harbuchak. So You heard the people! Go out and get yourself some sturdy pants and deep books!


Thanks!

This episode was produced by the PodSquad! That's Megan Detrie, Alex Laughlin, Camila Salazar, and Julia Furlan. Our boss is Cindy Vanegas-Gesuale, and our music is by Chad Crouch. And special thank you to JoJo, who, fun fact: Applied to be an NPR intern with Audie. He didn't get it. Awkward.

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