What a week it was: 2021 certainly knew how to come in with a bang. From COVID-19 numbers soaring to a power-shifting election in Georgia to the insurrection at our Capitol, this first week of the new year has been a consequential one. But in the midst of this pain, tumult and fear, I know so many of us are feeling that we can see the light — a glimmer of hope. We see vaccines being distributed and our system of checks and balances holding up. We also see people willing to engage, listen and converse. With that in mind, I want to share some of the great conversations I had this week on the show. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
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As news trickled in about Wednesday’s events, I felt these unprecedented times called for an unprecedented response, so for the first time we went live to produce a special town hall to discuss the state of American democracy. I was joined by thoughtful voices across the spectrum from Reps. Seth Moulton, Karen Bass and Conor Lamb to activist and TV personality Padma Lakshmi, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, former Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi, former CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin and, most importantly, YOU — a panel of OZY readers. This was one of my proudest moments of the show so far.
With my goal of talking to the most important voices of the moment, I couldn’t miss Dr. Anthony Fauci. It was an honor to sit down with this public health hero and discuss the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines and his future in politics, and to learn a little about his personal life. Did you know he could shoot hoops?
Legendary actor Glynn Turman spoke to me about his glittering career and was brought to tears when talking about co-starring with the late Chadwick Boseman. I was struck by his insight and wisdom in sharing candid life lessons and giving us a sneak peek of his new movie, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
I often start my day with Michael Barbaro’s iconic voice, on the New York Times’ The Daily, so I was excited to talk with this audio legend about the lessons he has learned as an audio journalist. He also gave us insight into the discussion about race happening at the Times.
I had a blast with the highly talented singer-songwriter Sevyn Streeter. Her talent shone as she improvised songs about 2020, tequila and yours truly, and she got intimate talking about how she expresses herself. This is an episode you won’t want to miss.
Feeling down about the state of democracy and partisan politics? Watch my conversation with Jeb Bush, who was unafraid to speak about his admiration for Democratic candidate Andrew Yang and share his thoughts on reparations. Hope is not lost, folks: Let's keep fighting.