The Assignment with Audie Cornish

The Assignment with Audie Cornish

Each week on The Assignment, host Audie Cornish pulls listeners out of their digital echo chambers to hear from the people whose lives intersect with the news cycle. From the sex work economy to the battle over what’s taught in classrooms, no topic is off the table. Listen to The Assignment every Monday and Thursday.

Episodes

April 11, 2024 28 mins
The new movie “Civil War” asks: what could happen if the system of checks and balances that hold the United States together falls apart? Audie talks with the writer and director of the film, Alex Garland. It follows journalists as they make their way through a war-torn American landscape, one where Texas and California have gone to war against a three-term president who has disbanded the FBI and deemed journalists enemy combatants ...
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Last week, “No Labels,” the centrist group seeking to field a “unity ticket” for the presidential election, announced that despite raising $70 million and securing ballot access in key states, they had failed to secure a candidate and would drop their effort for the 2024 cycle. This news elicited sighs of relief all over Washington, including at Third Way, a center-left think tank. Kate deGruyter is communications director at Third...
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What is driving the concern over online gambling? The lawyer who took on Big Tobacco, Richard Daynard, says it is an addictive product. The Public Health Advocacy Institute, which he heads up, is suing the sports betting platform DraftKings for deceptive advertising. Audie talks with Daynard, who’s made a career of bringing lawsuits in pursuit of public health, a strategy he calls “wholesale” rather than “retail.” We also hear from...
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When James Carville criticized the “preachy females” at the forefront of Democratic politics, he kicked off a firestorm of outrage and perhaps a little introspection. Did “The Ragin’ Cajun” have a point, however impolitely made? Do Democrats have a problem with men? Especially Black men and other men of color? Jamil Smith is an award-winning writer and the new editor-in-chief of The Emancipator, a nonprofit newsroom run by the Cent...
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We're taking a short break on The Assignment, and today we’re bringing you a powerful episode from the latest season of All There Is with Anderson Cooper. Following Naomi Judd's death by suicide in 2022, her daughter Ashley discovered her body. In a poignant and candid discussion, Ashley Judd opens up about the challenges she has confronted in addressing her own mental health struggles, the profound sense of loss she experiences, a...
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March 25, 2024 36 mins
Sarah Longwell always felt she could argue the big issues with her fellow Republicans and still have a place in the “big tent” party. That all changed with the emergence of Donald Trump, who espoused policies and politics Longwell could never accept. Instead of sulking over her lost party, Sarah got to work, trying to bridge the gap between the Republican party she knew and what it’s become. Longwell is publisher of the center-righ...
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We're taking a short break on The Assignment, and we want to bring you an episode of Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s excellent CNN podcast Chasing Life. It's a special episode he put together about IVF after the Supreme Court of Alabama declared embryos as children, potentially subjecting those who discard frozen embryos to wrongful death charges. This decision raises questions about the implications for fertility doctors and patients in the st...
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Audie talks with journalists Amy Chozick and Abby Phillip about being a reporter on a presidential campaign bus. Amy is the creator and executive producer of the new Max dramedy “The Girls On The Bus,” which follows a group of four women on a fictional campaign trail. Amy covered Hillary Clinton’s campaigns for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. CNN’s Abby Phillip was a consultant on the show, she is the host of NewsNi...
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March 14, 2024 36 mins
Kara Swisher is a journalist turned entrepreneur, a podcast star with high wattage guests, a punchy interviewer who never backs down, and now an important voice in the public debate over whether and how to regulate tech companies.  Audie talks with Kara about her new memoir, “Burn Book: A Tech Love Story.” Their conversation was recorded in front of a live audience at American University’s Sine Institute of Policy & Politics, where...
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When the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that fertilized embryos should be treated as “extrauterine children,” they threw IVF procedures into the abortion rights fight. In his State of the Union speech, President Biden warned Republicans that they “have no clue about the power of women.” And Senator Katie Britt — from the state that has put IVF in peril — was chosen to give the Republican response. Audie talks with writer Ana Marie Cox...
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There are people in communities big and small around the country who dedicate their working lives to making sure that if you’re an eligible voter, you get to cast a ballot.   And their vital role in American democracy has gotten much harder in the last few years.  Audie talks with Defiance County, Ohio Board of Elections director Tonya Wichman and Pennsylvania’s Secretary of the Commonwealth, Al Schmidt, about how they have experie...
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It’s a massive week in politics: The Supreme Court ruling on whether Trump can be on the Colorado ballot, Super Tuesday, and the State of the Union address. And swirling around these events are issues like IVF, immigration, and Israel – all roiling the national political debate. Audie talks with Kasie Hunt, host of CNN This Morning, about the state of the race in this crucial moment. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastc...
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February 29, 2024 33 mins
What's driving the current conversation around polyamory? How do people fall into it? What are the misconceptions about how it works? And what do you do if you find yourself at the crossroads of considering a polyamorous relationship? Audie asks Kevin Patterson, author of Love's Not Color Blind: Race and Representation in Polyamorous and Other Alternative Communities and sex therapist Dr. Lexx Brown-James.  Share your thoughts or q...
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February 26, 2024 33 mins
This week, both President Biden and former president Trump will head to the US-Mexico border, underscoring just how central immigration policy has become to this year’s election. CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez covered immigration during the Trump administration and now covers the Biden White House. She and Audie talk about Biden and Trump at the border this week, and how Texas Governor Greg Abbott has successfully elevated the border issu...
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February 22, 2024 29 mins
American politicians are responsible for some of the wildest scandals in the history of our country.   CNN Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper looks back on six of the most iconic political controversies of the modern era in his new series United States of Scandal with Jake Tapper.   Audie and Jake talk about what motivates politicians to break the rules, why they think they won’t get caught, and how the public’s ...
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February 19, 2024 27 mins
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis pushed back hard after having her personal life dragged into the spotlight. Lawyers for Donald Trump are trying to dismiss her from the Georgia election subversion case she brought against the former president. They argued that she and Nathan Wade, the special prosecutor she hired to lead the case, engaged in an improper romantic relationship which financially benefitted her. Audie chats ...
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The landscape of workplace etiquette has undergone a seismic shift in the wake of the pandemic. Gen Z entered the workforce and influenced already evolving social norms, from the dilemma of camera on or off, to the choice between calling or texting, and the blurred lines between what constitutes professional attire. Audie talks with Kate Zabriskie, the founder of Business Training Works, about the change in modern workplace norms. ...
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February 12, 2024 29 mins
Mitch McConnell is facing open criticism about his leadership among some in the Senate GOP, and that criticism is being egged on by Donald Trump. All comes after bitter disputes over immigration legislation and Ukraine aid. Audie talks with CNN Congressional Correspondents Manu Raju and Lauren Fox about this moment of peril for the longest-serving Senatorial party leader in US history. Read all of Manu and Lauren’s reporting here: ...
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There is no bigger cultural story right now than the romance between NFL superstar Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift. The reaction to their relationship has been so extreme that parody is almost indiscernible from reality. It’s a potent mix of celebrity culture, sports, and extreme politics.  Audie brings together Cari Champion and Anne Helen Petersen, to dissect why all of this is happening. Why have Travis and Taylor generated a supe...
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February 5, 2024 28 mins
“We know Joe. But most importantly, Joe knows us." Congressman James Clyburn spoke those all-important words four years ago while giving his crucial endorsement to Joe Biden in his home state of South Carolina. With Biden now in the White House, Clyburn wields the power to spur lots of change, including an alteration to the Democratic party’s primary calendar, placing South Carolina at the head of the line. Audie sat down with Clyb...
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