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The Gray Area

Resist certainty, embrace ambiguity. The Gray Area is a philosophical take on culture, politics, and everything in between with host Sean Illing. We don’t pretend to have the answers, but we do offer a space for real dialogue. Get some cool takes on a very hot world. New episodes drop every Monday and Thursday. Transcripts of the show are available here.

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Embrace uncertainty

The father of environmental justice, on whether we’re all doomed

Elon Musk’s imaginary world

The remote work revolution hasn’t happened yet

The limits of popularism

We’re all famous now

The paradox of American freedom

The anti-antiracist

A contrarian take on the disinformation panic

Why Fannie Lou Hamer’s definition of “freedom” still matters

Bryan Stevenson on tracing the legacy of American enslavement to mass incarceration

The status games we all play

The case for a more radical climate movement

Ken Burns’s latest is on the Greatest

America is still stuck in the world 9/11 built

Clint Smith III on confronting slavery’s legacy in America

Adam Serwer on the all-American politics of cruelty

Bill Maher on free speech, comedy, and his haters

Robert Reich wants you to fight the system

Marty Baron on truth, democracy, and the press in an age of distrust

“Progressive prosecutors” are working within the system to change it. How is that going?

The case for optimism about US democracy

Why we love drugs

Why America’s story requires revision

Why is it so hard to forgive?

Sean Illing and Jamil Smith bring a new kind of interview show to your ears

Ibram X. Kendi on anti-racism, Juneteenth, and the reckoning that wasn’t

Wildlife is in peril, but that doesn’t mean conservation has failed

The psychedelic roots of Christianity

What we learn about the middle class by studying the rich

Olivia Nuzzi and Sam Sanders talk about the final days of the Trump White House

The brightest minds, the deepest thinkers, one important topic

The most important book I’ve read this year

The crisis isn’t Trump. It’s the Republican Party.

How Joe Biden changed, and changed, and changed — and made it to the White House

Stacey Abrams on minority rule, voting rights, and the future of democracy

Chris Hayes and Ezra Klein process this wild election

Nate Silver on why 2020 isn’t 2016

Sarah Kliff grades Biden’s and Trump’s health care plans

Trumpism never existed. It was always just Trump.