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The Assignment with Audie Cornish

Every Monday on The Assignment, host Audie Cornish explores the animating forces of American politics. It’s not about the horserace, it’s about the larger cultural ideas driving the American electorate. Audie draws on the deep well of CNN reporters, editors, and contributors to examine topics like the nuances of building electoral coalitions, and the role the media plays in modern elections.  Every Thursday, Audie pulls listeners out of their digital echo chambers to hear from the people whose lives intersect with the news cycle, as well as deep conversations with people driving the headlines. From astrology’s modern renaissance to the free speech wars on campus, no topic is off the table.

Why We Can’t Look Away From Reality TV The Assignment with Audie Cornish
Reality television has turned into a sprawling industry of pimple-poppers, amazing racers, the broken hearted, docusoaps, and sooo many housewives – people willing to share the good and bad of their lives with an audience that by design is meant to judge them for it. It also gave us a president. Audie talks with Pulitzer Prize winning New Yorker writer Emily Nussbaum about how and why reality shows have become must-see TV. Her new book, “Cue The Sun! The Invention of Reality TV.”
Jul 11, 2024
The Cracks in the Blue Wall The Assignment with Audie Cornish
Michigan and Wisconsin are Midwestern swing states with the power to make or break the election. They’re crucial bricks in the Democrats’ “Blue Wall” strategy, a wall that’s starting to crack. On this third installment of “All Over the Map,” John King and his team visit Milwaukee, site of next week’s Republican convention and home to a Black liberal base increasingly disaffected with a President and party they feel abandoned by. In Detroit, many, especially in the Arab-American community, are heartbroken and angry over President Biden’s response to the war in Gaza. Two voters, Eric and Ibrahim, give us their takes — and remind us why we’re traveling “all over the map”.
Jul 8, 2024
What It Means to Be Patriotic The Assignment with Audie Cornish
This Independence Day, as we gather around the grill and watch fireworks with our friends and families, we wanted to revisit a conversation Audie had with Baratunde Thurston, writer at Puck News and host of the PBS show America Outdoors.   What does it mean to love this country despite its divisions? How can we come together and hold space for the complexity of the American story? And what would those conversations sound like if we did?   Baratunde Thurston is a writer, host and executive produc...Show moreer of the PBS television series America Outdoors, creator and host of How To Citizen, and a founding partner of the new media startup Puck. His comedic memoir, How To Be Black, is a New York Times best-seller.
Jul 4, 2024
Georgia’s Swing-State Spotlight The Assignment with Audie Cornish
During the 2020 election, there was perhaps no bigger upset than Joe Biden carrying Georgia. This was the first time a Democrat had won the reliably red state in three decades — in years past, Democrats didn’t even think to campaign in the state. So, how do Georgia voters feel about their newfound swing state status? And will this change the way they vote in November? On this second installment of our series “All Over the Map,” John King and his team visit with two small-business owners aware of their electoral power.
Jul 1, 2024
What It’s Like to Be a Diplomat The Assignment with Audie Cornish
Between Russia's war with Ukraine and Israel's war with Hamas, it feels like we're seeing the limits of diplomacy. Can we still depend on global alliances and good old-fashioned negotiations to solve the problems of today, or are we better off trying a different approach? Audie speaks with Julianne Smith, United States Permanent Representative to NATO, about the state of U. S. diplomacy and what it looks like when diplomacy works and when it doesn't.
Jun 27, 2024
The Key to Pennsylvania? Nikki Haley Voters The Assignment with Audie Cornish
More than 158,000 Republicans cast Pennsylvania primary votes for Nikki Haley nearly two months after she quit the race for president. That’s enough votes to swing a state critical to victory in November – and Haley had similar showings in other battlegrounds. So, how do these critical swing voters choose between Joe Biden and Donald Trump – two candidates they do not like? In the first installment of a three-part series, CNN Chief National Correspondent John King travels to Pennsylvania to hear Haley voters share their doubts about Biden, Trump, and the future of the Republican Party.
Jun 24, 2024
A New Generation of Storytellers The Assignment with Audie Cornish
What does it mean for a news story to matter? To have impact on YOU, the audience? Does it have to be about a person who has been wronged? An institution caught in a cover up? Do you need to feel like it could affect your life personally? Audie wrestled these questions while serving as judge for this year’s Livingston Awards, which recognize impactful journalism by reporters under the age of 35. She calls up this year’s winners: Allison Behringer and Lila Hassan, for their work covering medical ...Show moremysteries for the Bodies podcast, and Samantha Hogan for her deep dive into probate and guardianship in Maine.    You can check out more of their award-winning reporting below:  Early Birds episode of Bodies  The Fight for Abortion Training episode of Bodies  Calls to overhaul Maine probate courts have stalled for half a century. The most vulnerable people may be at risk by Samantha Hogan  Eight deaths raise questions about oversight of Maine’s public guardianships by Samantha Hogan
Jun 20, 2024
How Popular Is Election Betting? The Assignment with Audie Cornish
What can we learn about the future of our elections from political prediction markets? Audie calls up Thomas Gurca, Director of Iowa Electronic Markets (IEM), an online futures market that includes political betting. He explains what makes prediction markets different from traditional gambling and how IEM continues to predict presidential elections with better accuracy than the polls.
Jun 17, 2024
Documenting the Golden Age of Hip-Hop The Assignment with Audie Cornish
Filmmaker and journalist dream hampton’s new documentary, “It Was All a Dream,” chronicles the “the golden age of Hip-Hop" in the early 1990’s. She talks with Audie about the film, which is made up of footage she shot in the 90’s that’s been in storage for 30 years: hanging out with Biggie Smalls in the studio, Lil’ Kim in the neighborhood, and interviews with a before-he-was famous Snoop Dog. Through her writing at publications like The Source, Vibe, Essence, and The Village Voice, dream became a critical activist voice — committed to the music and to the artists that she was constantly demanding more of.  Learn more about “It Was All a Dream” and watch the trailer.
Jun 13, 2024
Steve Bannon is Heading to Prison The Assignment with Audie Cornish
Steve Bannon, the standard-bearer of “MAGA media,” is set to report to federal prison on July 1st for refusing to comply with January 6 Committee subpoenas. He’s the latest in a growing list of Trump allies to face legal prosecution in defense of the former president. Bannon used the moment to paint himself as a martyr, a strategy which CNN Political Reporter Sara Murray says is in line with Donald Trump’s own plans to foment a wave of grievance through his sentencing in the Manhattan “hush money” trial.
Jun 10, 2024
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