Kantor and Twohey: The Reporters Who Broke the Harvey Weinstein Story
Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey are the New York Times reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein story. For five months -- perpetually in danger of losing the scoop -- they cultivated and cajoled sources ranging from the Weinsteins’ accountant to Ashley Judd. The article that emerged on October 5th, 2017, was a level-headed and impeccably sourced exposé, whose effects continue to be felt around the world. Their conversation with Alec covers their reporting process, and moves on to a joint wrestling with Alec’s own early knowledge of one of the Weinstein allegations, and his ongoing friendship with accused harasser James Toback. The guests ask Alec questions about the movie industry’s ethics about sex and “the casting couch.” Over a respectful and surprising half-hour, host and guests together talk through the many dilemmas posed by the #MeToo movement that Kantor and Twohey did so much to unleash.
Wynton Marsalis, Keeper of the Jazz Flame
Wynton Marsalis was on the cover of Time as the avatar of the "New Jazz Age." His central role in reviving the genre is thanks partly to his gorgeous, virtuosic trumpet-playing, and partly to his founding of Jazz at Lincoln Center. JALC established jazz at the heart of American high culture. That "officialness" turned off some jazz musicians: wasn't their music supposed to be looser, smaller? But Marsalis tells Alec that the desire to relegate jazz to small underground clubs is "ghettoizing." In front of a live audience at JALC's Rose Hall, Marsalis also goes deep with Alec about his father's influence -- and his racially fraught interactions with professors and conductors at Juilliard when he showed up from Louisiana in 1979.
Julie Andrews, Revisited
We often think of Julie Andrews as the prim nanny from Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music , but her personal path may have the greatest resemblance to one of her Broadway roles: Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady . Andrews grew up in a family strapped for cash during the Second World War, and her initial training as an actor was in the less-than-prestigious field of vaudeville. But right before opening night of her breakout role in The Boy Friend , it was producer Cy Feuer’s advice that we have to thank, in large part, for the level of excellence Andrews has brought to musical film and theater for generations. “Forget camp,” he told her. “Get real.”
Noah Baumbach Gets Personal in Marriage Story
Director Noah Baumbach is known for messy and realistic family dramas. The Squid and The Whale chronicles divorce within a family; Margot at the Wedding explores the relationship between two sisters; The Meyerowitz Stories tells the story of 3 adult siblings – different mothers, same father – negotiating resentment and love. And there have been plenty of comparisons between Baumbach’s own life and his movies – especially so with his most recent film, Marriage Story . Baumbach and actress Jennifer Jason Leigh divorced soon after they had a child. But Baumbach is quick to say his films are not autobiographical. They are personal, he says, and as he tells Alec, the process of turning real life into films is part of how Baumbach makes sense of things around him.
Is Cristina Tzintzun Texas Democrats' Best Bet for the Senate?
The last Democrat elected to the Senate seat Cristina Tzintzun has her sights on was Lyndon Johnson. Republican takeovers are just a fact of life in the South. And yet in some places, there's light at the end of the tunnel for beleaguered Dems. It's in the Lone Star State that they hope to reverse the trend. Texas is urbanizing, and it's getting more educated and more diverse. Tzintzun -- a political organizer who's the daughter of a Mexican immigrant and an Anglo-Texan -- tells Alec that by activating those Democratic base constituencies, she can win where others have failed. It's a trail begun by Beto O’Rourke, who almost won the state’s other Senate seat back for the Democrats in 2018, but it's a perilous strategy, too, in a state as conservative as Texas. Much of Beto's team has come over to help Tzintzun, and full disclosure: Alec, too, is a supporter, and hosted a fundraiser for her in October.