Says Who?
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Are you looking for some friendly company to help you through the hell that we find ourselves in after the 2016 election? Dan Sinker and Maureen Johnson—one journalist and one author—try to figure out what the hell is going on. Maybe, together, they can figure it out (spoiler alert: probably not)! Why not grab your coffee (or something stronger) and pull up a chair?

SAYS WHO: it's not a podcast—it's a coping strategy.

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    Ep. 24: THE SAYS WHO DISNEY SPECTACULAR with Hal Lublin and Mark Gagliardi

    It's been a long two weeks and Dan is done. It's all just gotten to be too much. Maureen is ready to talk about Comey and sentient banjo Jeff Sessions but Dan cannot do it any more. How can we save Dan Sinker before he is sunk? Maureen has an idea: A FULL-ON DISNEY SPECTACULAR with podcast superstars (and Disney superfans) Hal Lublin and Mark Gagliardi! We've long promised that when Trump leaves office--by resignation, impeachment, massive constipation from too much beef--we are off to Disney World. Well today we decide that a wish is a dream your heart makes and so we have to FOLLOW OUR DREAMS, Sayswhovians. Even if it takes us to a theme park in central Florida. What happens if you drop in the Tower of Terror 35 times a day for a month--does it better prepare you for life under Trump? What's going on inside the Hall of Presidents? If Trump went to Epcot's World Showcase, would he think it was real? And how could we trap him there? Is Trump's plane powered by his butt? How has Maureen's personality been influenced by a haunted painting? Will Blue Apron become a sponsor? When Trump leaves offices, what's the first ride YOU ride? This Says Who only happens if you truly believe. Clap! Clap! No, seriously. CLAP.

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    Ep. 23: NATIONAL LAMPOON’S PRESIDENTIAL VACATION with Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu, and Julia Angwin

    Summer arrives at Says Who and Maureen and Dan dream of bobbing in the dappled sunshine off the Florida coast. But they're not the only ones setting their sights on a little summertime outing. The president went off to see the world and, thanks to world leaders accommodating his beefy dietary needs, possibly spent 10 days without pooping. But he did get to have a friendly visit with the Pope, touch a glow orb, see Saudi Arabian country superstar Toby Keith (wait, that's not right), and have his tiny hands crushed a few dozen times in handshake wars. Plus, we all got a vacation from his Twitter account for a week or so. Felt great, didn't it? In addition, this episode really does step on to a boat and moors it right outside Mar a Lago when Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu, and Julia Angwin of ProPublica and Gizmodo join to discuss their watery investigation into the Trump Organization's cyber security. This interview is even more delightful than that sounds. So ahoy there matey, it's time to walk the plank.

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    Ep. 22: A HEDGE SALAD IS A SALAD with Clara Jeffery

    Well that escalated quickly. Maureen and Dan play catch up with the events surrounding the sudden firing of FBI Director James Comey. Sure, he didn't do well by Clinton's emails, but all indications are he was leading pretty deep investigations into all this Trump Russia stuff. Aaand, now he's not. That's convenient. Oh, and the Russia stuff? Now they're in the Oval Office too. Sure, why not. So much has happened in the last two weeks (SO MUCH) that we call in an expert to help us sort out truth from fiction: Mother Jones' Editor in Chief Clara Jeffery.

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    Ep. 21: A NEW SALAD IN TOWN with Tarini Parti

    Happy 100 days of Trump! And what a hundred days they have been, full of...wait. Forget all that. Maureen has an important salad report. She's gone back to 1972 and brought back something green. Green and fluffy. And, Buzzfeed's Tarini Parti stops by to talk about about the creeps and hustlers in orbit around Trump. How did the local bars around Mar-a-lago suddenly become a nexus of political gossip, scams, and all around strange happenings?

    100 days. It's harder than we thought!

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    Ep. 20: THE MEATLOAF FILES with Helen Rosner

    In two weeks, we've seen: an egg roll, the continued drip drip drip on the shady characters in the Trump-Russia story, a family feud between a white supremacist and a rich son-in-law, the ongoing shredding of rights and infrastructure, Sean Spicer coining the stomach-churning term "Holocaust centers," and the start of two armed conflicts by a man who's finally undone the child lock on the boom-boom room. Oh, and a possible nuclear war with North Korea because of Twitter.

    So Eater's Helen Rosner joins Maureen & Dan to talk about what Trump eats. It turns out, that's the key to understanding the man.

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    Ep. 19: FINKER, FAILURE, F**KER, SPY with Ted Leo

    Dan and Maureen are back after a month of dealing with life, and the new Says Who is here! What is new? Well, they’re back with guests and a SCHEDULE! And there's certainly been a lot to catch up on. We’ve had the first battle over health care. The President pretended to drive a big truck and golfed thirteen times. And then, Russia! Maureen attempts to create an audio flowchart of events and issues the first Says Who Crafting Challenge: make your own conspiracy wall! Dan busts in with critical info he’s been keeping from Maureen and issues the second Says Who Crafting Challenge: let’s put a billboard outside of Paul Ryan’s grocery store! Then we turn to our guest--musician and all-round good guy Ted Leo--to talk about how he stays creative inside this awful Trump headspace. Turns out, he likes to read some really relaxing books. Then he drops a bombshell of an Action Park story that brings everything full circle and Maureen loses it a little. Says Who is back in town--bigger and better than ever. Let’s ride the slide together while we’re all still insured. Wheeeeeee!

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    Minicast: INSIDE THE SAYS WHO TEST KITCHEN

    We know a ton is going on right now, but some Life Stuff made it so we had to hit the pause button on new full-length episodes of Says Who for the time being. In fact, this will be the last episode of any size from Says Who for a couple more weeks BUT DON'T DESPAIR SAYSWHOVIANS because in this Minicast we do the one thing that you all have been asking for more than anything else: We make that theme park favorite, Dole Whip! That's right, Dan steps into the Says Who Test Kitchen to whip up a batch of this tasty frozen treat. Plus, there's a special treat of a song by Neko Case for those that stay all the way through the end. Grab your blender and follow along folks, It's a special Says Who Minicast!

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    Ep. 18: OH SHIP!

    Ahoy! Maureen is on a boat. Specifically, she is on the Joco Cruise—a ship full of musicians, podcasters, comedians, artists, and nerds, which is happily sailing the Baja peninsula. She’s been a little out of touch, what with all the shows, games, and taco bars she has to attend. Dan is left to fill her in on what’s been happening. And what has been happening? Oh, nothing. It’s been super quiet since last Tuesday. Except for the news about Russia, Jeff Sessions, the accusations of wire tapping, the new travel ban, and the Trumpcare bill. Just those things.

    In Dole Whip news, Dan has ALSO injured his finger trying to make a homemade Dole Whip. Maureen sees this as a portent. How long can the center hold? How can we take this much news? Will Maureen just remain at sea on the nerd boat and become part of a new society? Will Dan get ensnared the yarn of his crazy wall and never emerge from his basement again?

    Put on your life jackets, Sayswhovians. It’s seven bells, and the ship is tilting.

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    Ep. 17: CUT AND RUN

    Dan spent last night sitting up watching Trump’s speech. Maureen spent last night in the emergency room getting her finger sewn up and missed Trump speech. How did Maureen hurt her finger? On a Dole Whip. Who had the better night? We know the answer. Maureen did. She is living the Says Who dream. After two strange weeks in the gaslit fog of the Trump presidency, we gather once again to discuss haunted mansions, bizarre speeches, lies, deceit, ketchup on steaks, and yes, Dan’s personal favorite, Mar-a-Lago! Who let KellyAnne put her feet on the sofa? Who is in charge of putting Xanax into Trump’s blue cheese dressing? And how can you make Dole Whip at home? Only some of these questions will be answered, but you will hear the tap of Maureen’s metal fingersplint, and that is pretty good. Step into the Says Who office. The doctor will see you now.

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    Ep. 16: A WEDGE SALAD IS NOT A SALAD

    Like many of you, Dan and Maureen have lost all sense of what time means. Now that every day feels like a year, they are struggling to compress two weeks of Trump news into one podcast. This is a near-impossible task, but that won’t stop them. We visit Dan’s Crazy Wall, where he is pointing his laser pointer to the new Mar-a-Lago and Michael Flynn wings. Maureen is in a tropical paradise and seems to have a better grip on reality, but then the subject of salad wedges comes up and things rapidly fall apart. Never before has a quarter head of lettuce lead to the complete devolution of political and social mores. (Sidenote: that salad is known as “Mr. Trump’s Wedge Salad” on the Mar-a-Lago menu.) This episode contains strong language, but you can probably handle it. We think. Look, it was a rough two weeks. Anyway, we’ll see you at Nordstroms.

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    Ep. 15: THE SILVER TRACK

    What the hell just happened? Is something you might be asking yourself. Because something is happening every damn hour. This is Trump's America, where if you stop for a minute, you're catching up for a year.

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    Ep. 14: INAUGURATION BATTLE STATIONS

    Well, here we are. We’ve gotten on the roller coaster car, the bar has come down, and now it’s making that tick-tick-tick as it takes us up the big hill. This is happening. Dan and Maureen discuss the glories of the inauguration entertainment lineup. Maureen is kind of obsessed with it. Dan’s is thinking about his escape to Disneyland. His hotel sells Dole Whip. IN THE HOTEL. But most of this episode features YOU, the listeners, calling in and telling us what you plan to do for the inauguration. The only way we’re going to get through this is together, so we’re drawing on the voices of others to lift ourselves up. Listen while you’re marching. Listen when you’re at home not watching the inauguration. The way is together.

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    Ep. 13: WEE THE PEOPLE

    Oh boy oh boy oh boy, Sayswhovians. It's been a wild 24 hours, so your hosts went to their closets and basements to break it all down. From last night's urine-soaked news, to Dan's first person report of Obama's final address, to this morning's hearings, and finally the day unspooling into the bizarre real-time breakdown that was the Trump press conference. We reconstruct the events, perhaps just to prove to ourselves that they really happened and that we're all in the same reality. From a night in Chicago to a spray in Moscow: we go through it all. Come for the urine, stay for the fake news. Maybe we'll even show you what's in this stack of folders we've collected next to this podcast. You're the puppet!

    Content note: contains current. Possibly not suitable for tiny ears, tiny hands.

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    Ep. 12: FLASHLIGHTCAST IN THE DARKNESSCAST

    Welcome to 2017! Dan has been snowed in to a Marriott Residence Inn in Colorado for two days with two children and a dog. Maureen is sitting in her dark closet in New York City with a small, retractable flashlight she refuses to turn on. Somehow, these things explain the course of the new year. This is Weird America, and we’re ready. It’s time to push ahead and pick up tools. Which tools? Where to go? We’re ready to start asking the questions and making plans. Let’s talk about the Affordable Care Act, the right to health care, driving in Colorado, crane rides, log flumes, and small, retractable flashlights. Did we mention the flashlights? They will come up. Listen for them. Take heart, take hope, get weird. It’s 2017. Wherever you are, you are not alone. Shine your tiny light and others will find you. Together, you will make one bigger, brighter light.

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    Ep. 11: THE SAYS WHO HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR

    Ho Ho Ho holiday pals! Maureen and Dan don their kerchiefs and caps, force their faces into a grin-like shape and settle down for a long winter's nap. Sure, Santa stops by for a moment, but then he finds out about Trump. And then Dan and Maureen are left to talk about cults, conspiracy theories, and the insane, awful reality we all now find ourselves in. But it's not all gloom: They also bring you the first annual Says Who Holiday Gift Guide--full of actually useful ideas for ways of supporting journalism, the arts, your local community, your friends, and yourself. So have yourself a merry little whatever and enjoy the Says Who Holiday Special.

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    Nanocast: A WISH IS A DREAM YOUR HEART.... ah forget it

    It's an Audio Update from Dan. We have to take a couple weeks off the show so Maureen can finish your new favorite book, so Dan slides into your headphones to let you know we're alive and also to give you some Says Who Approved charities and organizations that we're supporting here in the post-election holiday season (links in the show notes). Wish upon a star or whatever you do this holiday season and we'll see you soon!

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    Ep. 10: DAWN OF THE DONALD

    Once again, Dan and Maureen set up mics and record their rough impressions of the 21 days after the election. We’ve woken up in a weird new world. Much like people in a zombie movie, Americans are wandering around wondering what the hell is going on and trying to figure out how to make tools to fight. Life went on as Trump floated above like a demented Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon from hell. Dan has been at breakfast buffets in Iowa. Maureen couldn’t outrun the news in Dublin. Now, they’re back and having a raw talk about mental health, self care, long-term planning, the bullshit nature of doom, and making the Excel spreadsheet of resistance. Time to figure it out--there’s work to do. Welcome to Radio Free Says Who. We’re here to talk you through it--or at least keep you company. Resist, friends. Resist.

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    Ep. 9: THE DARKEST TIMELINE

    We weren’t prepared for this episode. We mean that in every way. We did not expect this outcome. We did not mentally prepare ourselves. We had no plan for this. Like a lot of people (we’re guessing most of you), we’ve been dealing with the emotional fallout and confusion that comes with this election result. Without any script or any plan, we decided to record our raw reactions 36 hours after the event. There’s no cold open, no special guest, no bleeping of swear words--just two people trying to process. Dan tells a story about visiting a local library. Maureen talks about running headfirst into chaos. Mostly, we wanted to make something to make people feel less alone. We talk about building and about taking the time to process before making decisions about what’s next. For sure, the rawest episode of Says Who ever but maybe the one we’d most like people to hear. Stay together. Reach out. Do what you need to right now.

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    Ep. 8: SULLY, IT'S ME with Brian Stetler

    Dan has been in England for a week and now it’s time to come back to America and Election 2016--but first, he has a nice, quiet plane ride with no access to the news. Surely that will go well. Like Dan’s plane, this election is coming in for a landing. How will this last week go? We asked CNN’s Brian Stelter to talk us through it and to talk about the role the media has played in this entire, never-ending (but maybe actually almost ending?) election. Come on, everyone. We’re landing on the Hudson. Hang on tight.

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    Ep. 7: DONALD DARKO with Olivia Nuzzi

    It’s Halloween! Welcome to this SPOOKY (though remarkably ghost-free) episode of Says Who. Dan is just trying to get to the basement to record, but reality isn’t cooperating. Maureen has finally broken into her many spectral forms. And who keeps calling on the phone? Then the real chills and thrills come: Olivia Nuzzi of the Daily Beast is here to talk about her fifteen months covering Donald Trump, including her trips into Trump Tower. You’ll need to sleep with the lights on after this one, presuming you sleep at all. Ring, ring.

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    Ep. 6: THREE IS A MAGIC NUMBER with Molly Ball

    We did it! We made it through the third debate! Everything is fine now. Except, who is at the door? What’s that strange machine? Did you know that there have been twenty-five debates in this election cycle? Did you want to know that? Neither did we. Dan is eating too much pie. Maureen has been up to something. And Molly Ball from The Atlantic speaks to us, fresh off a plane from Las Vegas. Together, three people try to make sense of the third debate. Who’s the puppet? You’re the puppet!

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    MINICAST: RELAX WITH SAYS WHO

    Today’s episode is a MINICAST. The full episode this week will be up on Friday for our POST DEBATE discussion with Molly Ball, politics reporter from The Atlantic. But! We wanted to give you something you could use to help you in this trying time. This is the official Says Who relaxation hypnosis tape. Feel your election stress melt away. Come relax with us. RELAX.

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    Ep. 5: THE GHOST OF TWOoOoOoo DEBATES with Jamelle Bouie

    After living through the leaked Trump tape and the second debate (not to mention the VP debate that feels like a million years ago but was actually a week ago), Maureen and Dan try to get out of covering the election, but a spectral visitor brings sets them back on task. The ghost that visits them is nowhere near as terrifying as reality, as the Republican party splits with Trump and the second debate goes completely off the rails. Thankfully, Maureen and Dan are joined by Jamelle Bouie, chief political correspondent for Slate Magazine, and a political analyst for CBS News. Jamelle joins Says Who straight from landing back in New York after being at the debate--and he lived to tell the tale. Join us this week, where we dig into the dynamics of an election turned upside down and where we go from here.

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    Ep. 4: SEX, TAXES, AND AUDIOBOOKS with Farai Chideya

    Maureen has been listening to audiobooks at night; Dan has some serious questions about where she’s been getting them from. No one has been sleeping much, not Maureen, or Dan, or Donald Trump. It has been a week of midnight creeping, late night tweeting, and general mayhem. Debate meltdowns, imaginary sex tapes, leaked taxes, and increasingly inflammatory proclamations--how to cope with it all? Enter 538’s Farai Chideya, who has been traveling the country this election season, getting to know voters up close. She shares a deeply enlightening, uplifting, and humane take on how we can come together, despite our differences (and how we may not be as different as we seem).

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    Ep. 3: THE GREAT DEBATE COASTER with Chris Hayes

    Something strange is happening in the Says Who? studio. Dan and Maureen are visited by a terrible spectre with a strangely familiar voice. Dan isn’t sleeping and Maureen walks through her troubled theme park past. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes comes along and talks about his favorite gum! Also the election. He definitely talks about the election too. Learn what happens behind the scenes on MSNBC, and get a measured take on the debate. Chris is here to set it all straight.

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    Ep. 2: SUPER PALS, SUPER POLLS with Josh Katz

    We’ve been hanging on polls for months, but we realized that we didn’t know how polls work. So we got Josh Katz of the New York Times’ website The Upshot to explain it to us. Come walk through the process of polling with someone who truly understands how this numerical sausage gets made! Plus, Dan loses his grip on reality.

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    Ep. 1: MAKE ANY OTHER YEAR GREAT AGAIN ALSO with Ana Marie Cox

    In this inaugural episode of SAYS WHO, Dan and Maureen talk to senior political correspondent for MTV news and creator of Wonkette, Ana Marie Cox. We sing some songs. We talk of tacos, hats, haunted mansions, and balloons. Oh and also the grinding reality of the 2016 Presidential election. Also that.

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    Ep. 0: 537 Days? Dear God. 537 Days.

    Maureen Johnson and Dan Sinker say hello, grapple with time being unforgivingly linear, and introduce Says Who? the new podcast dedicated to surviving the last eight weeks of this never-ending election cycle.

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