Hell & High Water with John Heilemann

The Recount

Living in America these past few years has been like living in a movie—a mashup of Blade Runner, A Clockwork Orange, and Idiocracy, that is. The never-ending pandemic, the routine mass shootings, the climate literally and figuratively on fire; the economy first battered by recession, then ravaged by inflation; an angry electorate, armed to the teeth and addled by conspiracy theories, as our democracy teeters on the brink, with Donald Trump still working overtime to push the whole thing off a cliff. On Hell and High Water, John Heilemann — host of Showtime's The Circus, co-author of Game Change, and national affairs analyst for MSNBC — explores this apocalyptic-seeming moment with seminal figures in politics, entertainment, business, tech, the media, and beyond. The conversations are deep, rich, and bracingly real, but also hopeful, as Heilemann and his guests grapple with the fact that, to quote Bob Dylan, “Everything is broken,” and try to figure out how to fix it … together.




Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.


Mark Leibovich and Tim Miller, Part 2
Aug 3 2022
Mark Leibovich and Tim Miller, Part 2
In a special two-part episode, John Heilemann talks with Mark Leibovich, former chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, current staff writer for The Atlantic, and author of This Town, the iconic skewering of the culture of pre-Trump Washington, DC; and Tim Miller, former Republican strategist, current #NeverTrump gadfly-cum-firebrand, writer-at-large for The Bulwark, and host of Not My Party on Snap. Leibovich and Miller are also the authors of a pair of hot new books — Thank You For Your Servitude: Donald Trump's Washington and the Price of Submission and Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell, respectively — that tell essentially the same tale from different sides of the looking glass: the story of "the supplicant fanboys" and "parasitic suck-ups" who "permitted Donald Trump's depravity to be inflicted on the rest of us" (Leibovich); of "the army of [GOP] consultants, politicians, media figures" who "recognized all the risks but still climbed aboard for a ride on the SS Trump Hellship" (Miller). Heilemann and the authors discuss the dom-sub nature of the relationship between Trump and Mike Pence, Lindsey Graham's soulless craving for proximity to power, Miller's own flirtation with the dark side, and the broader pattern of Republican complicity, corruption, and cowardice that enabled Trump's rise, his rule, and his violent plot to overturn a presidential election and trash American democracy ... all of which, terrifyingly, persists unabated to this day.  Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.
Mark Leibovich and Tim Miller, Part 1
Aug 2 2022
Mark Leibovich and Tim Miller, Part 1
In a special two-part episode, John Heilemann talks with Mark Leibovich, former chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, current staff writer for The Atlantic, and author of This Town, the iconic skewering of the culture of pre-Trump Washington, DC; and Tim Miller, former Republican strategist, current #NeverTrump gadfly-cum-firebrand, writer-at-large for The Bulwark, and host of Not My Party on Snapchat. Leibovich and Miller are also the authors of a pair of hot new books — Thank You For Your Servitude: Donald Trump's Washington and the Price of Submission and Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell, respectively — that tell essentially the same tale from different sides of the looking glass: the story of "the supplicant fanboys" and "parasitic suck-ups" who "permitted Donald Trump's depravity to be inflicted on the rest of us" (Leibovich); of "the army of [GOP] consultants, politicians, media figures" who "recognized all the risks but still climbed aboard for a ride on the SS Trump Hellship" (Miller). Heilemann and the authors discuss the dom-sub nature of the relationship between Trump and Mike Pence, Lindsey Graham's soulless craving for proximity to power, Miller's own flirtation with the dark side, and the broader pattern of Republican complicity, corruption, and cowardice that enabled Trump's rise, his rule, and his violent plot to overturn a presidential election and trash American democracy ... all of which, terrifyingly, persists unabated to this day.  Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.
Marie Brenner
Jul 12 2022
Marie Brenner
John Heilemann talks with Marie Brenner, Vanity Fair writer-at-larger and author of the new book, The Desperate Hours: One Hospital's Fight to Save a City on the Pandemic's Front Lines. The book provides a detailed account of the struggle of New York’s largest hospital system, New York Presbyterian, to combat the brutal Covid-19 surge in the initial months of the pandemic. Heilemann and Brenner discuss the divide between the corporate side of New York Presbyterian, which put a gag order on its personnel, and the medical professionals who wanted to tell the truth about the city’s, the state's, and the federal government's unpreparedness in the fight against COVID; the difficulties New York Presbyterian faced because of the Trump administration’s anti-science rhetoric; and the heroism of hospital employees as the pandemic raged on. John also takes Marie for a walk down memory lane and through her storied career in journalism, focusing on three stories she wrote that were adapted into critically acclaimed films (The Insider, Richard Jewell, A Private War); her experience writing about the late Marie Colvin, the legendary war correspondent; and Brenner's run-in decades ago with Donald Trump, who was so enraged by a profile she wrote about him that he took revenge on her in a public, scene-making, cowardly, incompetent -- all of which is to say, perfectly Trumpian -- fashion. Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.
Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin
May 10 2022
Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin
John Heilemann talks with Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin, national political correspondents for the New York Times, political analysts for CNN, and authors of the newsmaking account of the 2020 election This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future. Heilemann, Burns, and Martin discuss revelations in their book about the chaotic days following the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, including secret audio recordings of House minority leader Kevin McCarthy telling colleagues that he planned to urge President Trump to resign; the depth of the private disdain for Trump among other GOP stalwarts such as Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell; why the moment in which Republicans seemed determined to purge Trump from the party proved so fleeting; how President Biden's ambitions to be the next FDR or LBJ blinded him to his own team's warnings of the political peril he faced due to inflation, immigration, and crime; the thinly veiled rivalry between Biden and President Obama; the tenuous relationship between Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, and its potential implications for the 2024 Democratic ticket.  They also unpack the stunning leak of a draft opinion suggesting that Supreme Court is on the verge of overturning Roe v. Wade, and what it might mean for this year's midterm elections — and beyond. Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.