The 8 interviews that helped get this project started

I didn't plan on starting a podcast as part of this newsletter, but here we are.

Hello! As I’m more than two full months into my podcast, I wanted to put out a recap post to promote the first 8 episodes. From congressmen to comic book writers, it’s been a fun and fulfilling set of interviews.

I’d also appreciate any (constructive) feedback anyone has out there for me. Yes, I know I say “you know” too much. Yes, it would be nice to get an actual intro song for this. But what else? Do people like the transcripts that come with these or do they seem unnecessary? Just trying to read the room on this! Thanks! Check back in tomorrow for a brand new edition of the newsletter.


Episode 1: Dan Slott

I really enjoyed this conversation. Dan and I have followed each other on social media for years and chatted on a couple of occasions, but this was a great opportunity to discuss fandoms, what it’s like being at the center of the comic book universe, and which Spider-Man stories he wanted to write that got shot down by his editors.

The Present Age
Comic book writer Dan Slott is grateful for editors, especially when they tell him "No." (podcast + transcript)
Listen now (34 min) | …
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Episode 2: Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh is a former congressman from Illinois who was elected as part of the Tea Party wave election of 2010. Joe and I do not agree on much when it comes to policy. I still thought this was an important conversation to have because he represented a story that we really don’t hear much about: the Trump supporters who came to realize they’d made a mistake in offering that support. There are plenty of people who started off as “Never Trump” but made the eventual shift to throwing their support behind him. Joe did the opposite.

The Present Age
Former Congressman Joe Walsh is trying to stop a monster he helped create (podcast + transcript)
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Episode 3: Sara Benincasa

Sara and I had a great chat a couple of months back. We discussed the stress of the pandemic, mental health, and of course, her work. She’s one of the smartest, funniest, most creative people I know, and it was an honor to host her for the podcast.

The Present Age
Writer and comedian Sara Benincasa is getting by with a little help from her friends (podcast + transcript)
Listen now | Parker Molloy: So, I was on your podcast, Well, This Isn't Normal, back in April of last year. And I think at the time I was still under this impression that this was all going to be somewhat temporary, in terms of pandemic-related stuff, that by the fall things would return to a sense of normalcy. And now more than a year later, it seems like we're jus……
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Episode 4: Carlos Maza

I’m Carlos’ biggest fan, to be entirely honest. When it comes to media criticism, he’s one of the best voices out there. In my opinion, Vox made a major mistake when they ended his video series. If you’re not familiar with his work, I highly recommend listening to the podcast (of course) and also checking out this other post I wrote where I embedded a bunch of my favorite pieces of his.

The Present Age
Carlos Maza at the end of the world (podcast + transcript)
Listen now (41 min) | Welcome to the Present Age Podcast. I’m your host Parker Molloy. On today’s show, I speak with my friend Carlos Maza. As the host of Vox’s “Strikethrough,” Carlos helped shine a light on the way the choices made by the media helped raise Donald Trump and Republicans to power…
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Episode 5: Keith Law

Keith is a baseball writer who famously got suspended from Twitter by ESPN several years back because he corrected Curt Schilling on the topic of evolution. Keith and I chatted on the day of Major League Baseball’s trade deadline, so I tried to keep this one quick.

The Present Age
Baseball writer Keith Law talks memes, vaccines, and what it’s like covering baseball during COVID (podcast+transcript)
Listen now | Welcome to this week’s edition of the Present Age podcast. I’m your host Parker Molloy. Joining me on today’s show is baseball writer and all-around good dude Keith Law. Keith is the author of two books — Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, The New Ones that are Running it, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball…
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Episode 5: Joe Galbo

I don’t think it’s possible to put into words just how excited I was to be able to interview Joe. He was quite literally the first person I reached out to when I decided to start a podcast. As Joe works for the U.S. government, however, getting the ok from his overlords at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission took a bit of time.

The Present Age
Joe Galbo is the man making memes for the U.S. government (podcast + transcript)
Listen now (25 min) | Welcome to this week’s edition of the Present Age podcast. I’m your host Parker Molloy. Joining me on today’s show is the man behind what I’ve long referred to as “the only good government Twitter account.” His name is Joe Galbo, and he’s the social media specialist at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission…
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Episode 6: Eric Holthaus

Going into my conversation with Eric, I was feeling pretty bummed out about… well… everything. I kept thinking to myself, “If we can’t even come together to tackle this pandemic, how are we going to address climate change?” I finished this conversation feeling a bit better about things. Maybe you will, too.

The Present Age
Climate journalist Eric Holthaus believes in a better world [podcast + transcript]
Listen now (30 min) | Welcome to the Present Age podcast. I’m your host Parker Molloy. Joining me this week is meteorologist and climate scientist Eric Holthaus. Eric operates The Phoenix, a Substack about humanizing the climate emergency. He’s the author of The Future Earth: A Radical Vision for What’s Possible in the Age of Warming…
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Episode 7: Bryan Brinkman

I’m really glad to have had the chance to chat with Bryan for the podcast. I’d long enjoyed seeing his art in my Twitter feed, but couldn’t wrap my head around the format in which he was selling them: NFTs. Thankfully, he was patient and walked me through the basics. I’d like to do more of these interviews where I talk to experts in a field outside of my own understanding and just learn. If you don’t know what an NFT is, give this a listen.

The Present Age
Artist Bryan Brinkman explains the WTFs of NFTs [podcast + transcript]
Listen now (31 min) | Welcome to the Present Age podcast. I’m your host Parker Molloy. Joining me on today’s show is animator and crypto art creator Bryan Brinkman. His work has appeared at places like The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Life, and even Sesame Street. Today, he’s going to teach me a bit about…
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Episode 8: Molly Jong-Fast

Molly and I both write about politics a lot of the time. And that’s why I was so excited to talk to her about something that was not politics. We discussed anxiety, fear, and worry. She’s a smart, insightful writer.

The Present Age
Writer Molly Jong-Fast has health anxiety — and maybe you do, too [podcast + transcript]
Listen now | Welcome to another episode of The Present Age podcast. I’m your host Parker Molloy. Joining me on this week’s episode is writer and podcast host Molly Jong-Fast…
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As always, thanks for reading. If you enjoy my work, please share links to these posts on social media and whatnot. I’d really appreciate it.