Longform

Interviews with writers, journalists, filmmakers, and podcasters about how they do their work. Hosted by Aaron Lammer, Max Linsky, and Evan Ratliff.

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Episode 462: Ben Smith


Ben Smith is the media columnist for The New York Times. He was the founding editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News.

”I do think there's some kind of personality flaw deep in there of wanting to like, you know, find stuff out and tell people.... I'm not sure that's a totally sane or healthy personality trait, but it is definitely, for me, a personality trait…. I think that in political reporting, certainly, there's a kind of reporter who thinks that their job is basically to pull the masks off of these monsters. And I generally tend to think all these people—with some exceptions—are weird and complicated and often doing really awful things. But they aren't necessarily irredeemable or impossible to understand…. They're interesting.”

Show notes:

  • @benyt
  • Smith on Longform
  • Smith on Longform Podcast
  • Smith's New York Times archive
  • Smith's BuzzFeed News archive
  • 04:00 "Goldman Sachs, Ozy Media and a $40 Million Conference Call Gone Wrong" (New York Times • Sept 2021)
  • 11:00 "At Axel Springer, Politico’s New Owner, Allegations of Sex, Lies and a Secret Payment" (New York Times • Oct 2021)
  • 11:00 "Powerful German Newspaper Ousts Editor After Times Report on Workplace Behavior" (New York Times • Oct 2021)
  • 15:00 "Uber Executive Suggests Digging Up Dirt On Journalists" (BuzzFeed News • Nov 2014)
  • 15:00 "Starting Trouble With Times Media Columnist Ben Smith" (New York Magazine • Sept 2020)
  • 15:00 "Chaos Theory: A Unified Theory of Muppet Types" (Dahlia Lithwick • Slate • Jun 2012)
  • 21:00 "Postcard From Peru: Why the Morality Plays Inside The Times Won’t Stop" (New York Times • Feb 2021)
  • 21:00 "An Arrest in Canada Casts a Shadow on a New York Times Star" (New York Times • Oct 2020)
  • 22:00 "What’s Really Happening At The New York Times" (BuzzFeed • Nov 2019)
  • 23:00 "Why the Success of The New York Times May Be Bad News for Journalism" (New York Times • Mar 2020)
  • 23:00 "Exclusive: New York Times Editor Dean Baquet Has Been Running the Gray Lady from L.A." (Kali Hays • Los Angeles Magazine • July 2021)
  • 24:00 "Why Hasn’t the New York Times Made Ben Smith Sell His BuzzFeed Options Yet?" (Justin Peters • Slate • Oct 2021)
  • 27:00 David Carr's New York Times archive
  • 33:00 "Muslims Barred from Picture at Obama Event" (Politico • Jun 2008)
  • 36:00 "Ghostwriting" (Alex Sujong Laughlin • Study Hall • Oct 2021)
  • 38:00 "These Reports Allege Trump Has Deep Ties to Russia" (Ken Bensigner, Miriam Elder, Mark Schoofs • BuzzFeed News • Jan 2017)
  • 40:00 Platformer (Casey Newton)
  • 40:00 Garbage Day (Ryan Broderick)
  • 40:00 Ask Polly (Heather Havrilesky)
  • 40:00 Ask Molly (Heather Havrilesky)
  • 41:00 70 Over 70 (Max Linsky • Pineapple Street Studios)
  • 41:00 "What’s the Key to a Good Life? Ask the People Who’ve Lived Long Enough to Know." (Margaret Sullivan • The Washington Post • May 2021)

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 2021-10-27  1h0m