Podcast | Ezra Klein on Roe v. Wade, the war in Ukraine and hope

The New York Times columnist and popular podcast host discusses what he pays attention to and why.

Triptych with the U.S. Supreme Court building, Ezra Klein and a tank in the street

Ezra Klein discusses the recent leak of a draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (left: Jacquelyn Martin/AP; center, Vox Media; right: Evgeniy Maloletka/AP)

Ezra Klein makes a living paying attention. As a columnist for the New York Times and the host of the Ezra Klein podcast, he must decide what to focus his attention on, how long to focus it and when to move on. And, given the unforgiving churn of the modern newscycle, that is no small task.

Klein’s journalism is expansive enough to effectively respond to that news cycle. He delves into topics as divergent as white nationalism, science fiction, abortion rights and cryptocurrency. But he is no dilettante. Klein comes to each of these topics deeply researched and with well-developed ideas and questions. And when he really wants to understand something, he goes all in and takes his listeners with him.

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That was the case earlier this year when, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Klein decided to go deep into the conflict. Over the course of a few months, he committed 11 episodes of his hourlong interview podcast to the conflict, investigating numerous aspects of the conflict with expert guests.

For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, recorded as part of the 2022 Crosscut Festival, we invited Klein to discuss the thinking that went into his coverage of the war in Ukraine and what understanding he gained from that deep dive. And because we couldn’t focus all our attention on one thing, we asked him about the recent leak of a draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court and what hope there is for an end to the partisan rancor that defines our national conversation.


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