show episodes
 
Every week Chris Hayes asks the big questions that keep him up at night. How do we make sense of this unprecedented moment in world history? Why is this (all) happening? This podcast starts to answer these questions. Writers, experts, and thinkers who are also trying to get to the bottom of them join Chris to break it all down and help him get a better night’s rest. “Why is this Happening?” is presented by MSNBC and NBCNews Think.
 
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show series
 
One day after the attack on the Capitol, Chris Hayes and author Ta-Nehisi Coates sat down to process what we witnessed as a nation and what it reveals about the fragility of American democracy. RELATED READING: Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy by Chris Hayes We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates The …
 
On this edition of Living the Gimmick, Jon Alba Doug McDonald, and Josh Isenberg delve into one of the biggest angles in wrestling in some time, as Bullet Club hits AEW. What's next to come for the iconic stable in All Elite Wrestling? They discuss.Plus, a review of NXT: New Year's Evil, and Producer Josh hops on to discuss Wrestle Kingdom 15! Beco…
 
On this edition of Living the Gimmick, Jon Alba and Doug McDonald reveal the 2020 Living The Gimmick Year-End Award winners! Who will take home the prizes? Find out!Plus, a review of AEW's Brodie Lee tribute, previewing NXT: New Year's Evil, and more! Become a Patron of Living The Gimmick! Gain access to EXCLUSIVE video/audio content, LTG merchandi…
 
What can bourbon teach us about legacy, nostalgia, and consumer trends? Pappy Van Winkle is some of the most coveted bourbon in the world, but it took three generations of labor and loss to reach this pinnacle. Author Wright Thompson spent years with the third generation Van Winkle, who brought the family business back from the brink, studying the …
 
On this edition of Living the Gimmick, Jon Alba, Doug McDonald, and Josh Isenberg pay tribute to the life of former WWE and AEW star Jon Huber, also known as "Luke Harper" and "Brodie Lee."A discussion on the life of one of the most beloved talents of this era, journalism ethics, love, respect, and more as we close out 2020. Become a Patron of Livi…
 
In June 2018 Donald Trump posed with then Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou at a ground breaking ceremony for the new Foxconn facility in Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin. Touted as “the eighth wonder of the world” by the president, the multi-billion dollar deal was supposed to produce a 20-million-square-foot manufacturing comp…
 
On this edition of Living the Gimmick, Jon Alba and Doug McDonald take you through the 2020 Living The Gimmick Year-End Award nominees! Who will take home the prizes? Hear our thoughts!Plus, a review of WWE's "TLC" PPV, Josh Isenberg's thoughts on the WWE women's division, and more! Become a Patron of Living The Gimmick! Gain access to EXCLUSIVE vi…
 
Congressman Max Rose says he has no regrets. Elected in the 2018 blue wave, he flipped New York’s conservative-leaning 11th district, which includes all of Staten Island and a corner of Brooklyn. Now, two years later, he’s one of the frontline Democrats who lost their reelection left wondering what went wrong. In our continuing dissection of the 20…
 
What were the shifts in the 2020 election? Why was the polling so off? How did the coalitions change? As the dust settles, and we can dive into official numbers, a clearer picture is forming of what actually happened during this election cycle. David Shor is a political data scientist who works to help elect Democrats. This week, David joins to loo…
 
On this edition of Living the Gimmick, Jon Alba and a returning Doug McDonald take a deep dive into the emergence of Kenny Omega, the impact he makes on...Impact...and what's next for him in AEW!Plus, Josh Isenberg joins as the three give their "WWE TLC" predictions, and much more! Become a Patron of Living The Gimmick! Gain access to EXCLUSIVE vid…
 
The local newspaper is dying. Across the country, newsrooms are either shuttering completely or struggling through massive staff layoffs. It's becoming increasingly clear that in the void left by trusted local reporting, misinformation is taking root. A sweeping investigation by the New York Times uncovered a conservative pay-for-play network that …
 
They're one of the most groundbreaking tag teams in the history of professional wrestling, and they join "Living The Gimmick" on #LTG269! Jon Alba and Doug McDonald are joined by the AEW Tag Team Champions, The Young Bucks, as they discuss "Winter Is Coming," Sting's debut, working with Impact, and more!For the rest of the episode, Jon and Josh Ise…
 
As a bonus for Why Is This Happening? listeners, we’re sharing a special preview of “The Oath with Chuck Rosenberg.” “The Oath” returns for Season 4 with more revealing conversations with fascinating men and women who took an oath to serve America. In the first episode, Chuck talks with former FBI Director, Robert Mueller, about his service in Viet…
 
On this edition of Living the Gimmick, Doug McDonald and Jon Alba join you to watch-along with this retro-WWE PPV, "WWE Survivor Series" from 2002!Emmy-Award Winning Tier Patron Producers: Josh JonesRobert O'ReillyGeorge SinTyler SpeedJasyn Massey"Hooked" by Clementine available across all streaming platformsBumper/Advertisement music credits belon…
 
What happened to the down-ballot Democrats? Going into election day, Democrats were expecting to pick up seats and expand their control of the House. Instead, they suffered consequential blows, still managing to hold the majority but ultimately losing seats. It was a shock that launched a bevy of post-mortems trying to figure out what went wrong. F…
 
On this edition of Living the Gimmick, Doug 'O' Mac returns, and is joined by special guest host Connor Casey (from ComicBook.com)! The duo share their thoughts on Taker's "final farewell," Survivor Series 2020, what their favorite Undertaker "return" was, and more! Become a Patron of Living The Gimmick! Gain access to EXCLUSIVE video/audio content…
 
Has online activism and doomscrolling through twitter turned politics into just a hobby for people? At what point is it just a way to spend time rather than affect meaningful change? This week Tufts University professor, Eitan Hersh, joins to talk about what he diagnoses as “political hobbyism”, what real political engagement looks like, and argues…
 
Are Republicans losing their grip on Texas? Election night saw Democrats largely unable to build on the gains made in 2018 when an insurgent Beto O’Rourke ran a grassroots senate campaign that gained national attention. But despite frustrations from Democrats that they didn’t perform as well as they hoped this November, there’s still cause for conc…
 
***NOTE*** THIS EPISODE WAS TAPED PRIOR TO MONDAY NIGHT RAW, AND PRIOR TO THE SAG-AFTRA STATEMENT REGARDING ZELINA VEGAIt's one of the biggest stories of the year in pro wrestling, and Jon Alba and Josh Isenberg are here to break it down on this week's "Living The Gimmick" on #LTG266! Join the two as they discuss the prospect of WWE, pro wrestling,…
 
The U.S. just surpassed 10 million confirmed cases of coronavirus as infection rates spike across the country. If you look at the charts tracking the reported cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, it shows the country on a dangerous trajectory. How did we get to this point? Sociologist Zeynep Tufekci has spent time studying the sociology of pandemic…
 
AEW may have delivered one of its best shows ever, and we're here to break it down on LTG 265! Join Jon Alba, Doug McDonald, and Josh Isenberg as they look at "Full Gear," and look at the prospects of Eddie Kingston as a full-time top guy.Plus, a look ahead at WWE's "Survivor Series" show, New Japan's changes with the IWGP Heavyweight title picture…
 
It's one of AEW's biggest cards ever, and we're making our picks on #LTG264! Join Jon Alba, Doug McDonald, and Josh Isenberg as they break down the big show, and review NXT's Halloween Havoc special as well!Plus, some thoughts on Kylie Rae's retirement from professional wrestling.Become a Patron of Living The Gimmick! Gain access to EXCLUSIVE video…
 
What is the deal with all those fundraising emails? The ones with increasingly dramatic subject lines and maybe a dash of emotional manipulation – they’re everywhere, but do they work? There’s a science to the fundraising email, a lot of data, research, and trial and error. It’s something Michael Whitney’s spent a lot of time thinking about, first …
 
Why is Donald Trump doing better with Latino voters in 2020 than he was in 2016? The central tension in even asking that question is – who exactly are Latino voters? As campaign veteran Chuck Rocha points out, beneath that label is a deeply diverse group. Still, Rocha found success in reaching Latino voters as senior advisor to the Bernie Sanders 2…
 
He's the most rambunctious member of The Dark Order, and he joins Jon Alba and Doug McDonald on this week's "Living The Gimmick!" AEW star John Silver goes #BTG with the boys discussing him finding his spot with AEW's most quirky group, "Being The Elite," a crazy WWE story, and much more!Plus, a comprehensive review of WWE's "Hell In A Cell" show! …
 
It's time for the season premieres for WWE TV, and we're taking it to task! Jon Alba, Doug McDonald, and Josh Isenberg size up the new WWE rosters, preview "Hell In A Cell," and look at the big upcoming shows for NXT and AEW!Plus, did the right man win the G1 Climax?Become a Patron of Living The Gimmick! Gain access to EXCLUSIVE video/audio content…
 
What does the world think of us right now? Former US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power says it isn’t surprising that our standing in the world has dropped, but rather just how precipitous those drops have been. This conversation, conducted as part of the Texas Tribune Festival, unpacks the sources of humiliation and isolation brought about by the…
 
We're drafting goobers on this week's "Living The Gimmick!" Jon Alba and Doug McDonald break down the WWE Draft, and look at what kind of tough booking decisions NXT may need to make in the face of injury.Plus, could a door be opening between AEW and NJPW? If so, what are your dream matches?Become a Patron of Living The Gimmick! Gain access to EXCL…
 
We are just weeks away from an unprecedented election day. In order to vote safely during the pandemic, more people than ever are voting by mail or early in person, and early numbers point to a strong likelihood of record turnout. There are hundreds of lawsuits across the country centered on access to polling places, ballot drop boxes, and deadline…
 
How do we stabilize an economic crisis? Years before we faced the Coronavirus pandemic and the economic crises of the 21st century, the theories of British born economist John Maynard Keynes helped lead the United States out of the Great Depression. His ideas revolutionized how we looked at scarcity and invented our understanding macroeconomics. Th…
 
On this week's "Living The Gimmick," Doug McDonald, Jon Alba, and Josh Isenberg give their thoughts on "NXT TakeOver: 31!" Which matches lived up to the hype, and did anything come up short?"Plus, Doug and Jon speak on the WWE Draft, the one-year anniversary of "AEW Dynamite," and what are our Top 5 Chris Jericho moments of all-time?Become a Patron…
 
Here by popular demand – all your QAnon questions answered with two of the best reporters on the beat. Is QAnon a cult, a religion, a conspiracy theory, a state of mind? Who or what is Q? How did it gain such prominence and capture the minds of so many? Is it harmless – or is it dangerous? NBC reporters Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins help us pull …
 
We're bringing the LAYERS of storytelling to you on this week's "Living The Gimmick" with #LTG259! Join Jon Alba and Doug McDonald as they break down the WWE "Clash of Champions: Gold Rush" pay-per-view, while Josh Isenberg joins in to discuss the direction he'd like to see WWE take with the upcoming draft.Plus, the latest with AEW's COVID-19 situa…
 
It's another edition of "Living The Gimmick" coming your way, as Jon Alba and Doug McDonald break down all the details of the latest WWE/COVID-19 outbreak, this time involving NXT. Josh Isenberg joins for a look at the "Clash of Champions" card, plus, the boys look into the official debut of RETRIBUTION.Plus, AEW's big main event match, and a break…
 
Barbara Smith has been doing The Work for decades. Born into the era of Jim Crow, Smith joined the civil rights movement as a teenager in the 60s, volunteered at the Congress of Racial Equality in Cleveland right out of high school, canvassed for housing rights, became part of the women’s movement after graduating college, and then co-founded a bla…
 
It's time to get IN YOUR FACE on "Living The Gimmick," and for a little Retribution! Jon Alba, Doug McDonald, and Josh Isenberg break down the situation with Retribution, and WWE's juxtaposition in building stars on the main roster.Plus, a look at why AEW may have been able to top 1 million viewers, a preview of the NJPW G1 Climax 30, and more! Bec…
 
Did we learn the right lessons from the Iraq war? Before we can answer that, we must understand why we went into Iraq in the first place. Author and journalist Robert Draper’s new book “To Start a War” chronicles with incredibly painstaking research and reporting how the most consequential foreign policy disaster of our time came to be. Listen to h…
 
What does it take to keep a restaurant alive in the time of coronavirus? In March, restaurants across the country closed their doors in order to combat the spread of Covid-19. Left behind is an industry that is largely made up of small business owners scrambling to figure out how they can stay afloat. This week, Tony Bezsylko, co-owner of the local…
 
It's the Season 6 premiere of "Living The Gimmick," and things get controversial! Jon Alba, Doug McDonald, and Josh Isenberg break down the Matt Hardy/AEW situation on the heels of the "All Out" PPV, and dissect the show itself as well.Plus, can WWE restrict third-party services for its talent? Become a Patron of Living The Gimmick! Gain access to …
 
It's the season-finale of "Living The Gimmick," and it's quite the BIG S(TR)OW! Join Jon Alba and Doug McDonald as they take a look at where Brock Lesnar could end up as a free agent, review "WWE Payback," preview "AEW All Out," and more! Plus, why does Josh Isenberg think Braun Strowman deserves a pass from people?Become a Patron of Living The Gim…
 
How did America’s modern conservative movement come to power? Historian and author Rick Perlstein’s prolific work has traced the arc of modern electoral politics, and specifically has laid out how modern conservatism arose. This week, he sits down to talk about his newest book “Reaganland” and how the ideological shifts and circumstances that lead …
 
It's time for #LTGSlam! Join Jon Alba and Doug McDonald as they re-watch WWE "SummerSlam" from 1998, featuring The Rock vs. Triple H in a ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker, and more!Become a Patron of Living The Gimmick! Gain access to EXCLUSIVE video/audio content, LTG merchandise, & m…
 
Whether it’s refrigerating your food or turning on the lights or connecting to the Internet, having access to power is what makes modern society possible. And yet, you likely have no choice in which company you get your power from. Whether the service is bad or they lobby against your own policy interests, it doesn’t matter – if you want power, you…
 
On this edition of "Living the Gimmick," Jon Alba, Doug McDonald, and Josh Isenberg break down all the crazy weekend that was in wrestling! Comprehensive reviews of WWE SummerSlam and NXT TakeOver: XXX, and a look ahead at Payback!Plus, what did this week mean for The Dark Order as they look to take over AEW Dynamite?Become a Patron of Living The G…
 
On this edition of "Living the Gimmick," it's time to enter THE WWE THUNDERDOME! Jon Alba and Doug McDonald break down all the details of WWE's newest production experiment. Will it pay dividends?Plus, Josh Isenberg joins in as the boys break down "SummerSlam" and "NXT TakeOver: XXX."Become a Patron of Living The Gimmick! Gain access to EXCLUSIVE v…
 
Originally Aired April 2019 Did you know there are roughly one million people currently held in internment camps in China? One million people detained against their will, facing no criminal charges, cut off from the outside world. This is the story of the Uyghurs, a small insulated ethnic minority in Western China. The predominantly Muslim group ha…
 
On this edition of Living the Gimmick, we examine what was a great week for the Wednesday Night War, how RAW did many things right on 8/09 heading into Summerslam, while Smackdown is consistently unwatchable. All this and more, coming your way on #LTG252! Josh Isenberg also shares his thoughts on Retribution and what's going on in WWE. Listen now! …
 
Does the United States have a caste system? In her research on the Jim Crow South, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Isabel Wilkerson found that the word ‘racism’ fell far short in capturing the depth and totality of oppression people existed under. In her powerful new book, “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents”, Wilkerson uses caste a…
 
We're celebrating FIVE years of "Living The Gimmick" on #LTG251! Join Jon Alba and Doug McDonald as they take you down a trip of some of their favorite memories over the last five years, and reflect on the show!Plus, Josh Isenberg joins in to discuss WWE and RAW's changes, while the boys dig in to what made AEW a bit of a misstep this past week.Bec…
 
Did Donald Trump hijack the Republican party, or is he the party’s logical conclusion? Having spent decades as a political operative putting Republicans in office, Stuart Stevens argues it’s the latter. His new book “It Was All a Lie” sifts through the party’s decades-long march that led to the election of President Trump and reckons with what rema…
 
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