Reason Podcast

CNN's Mary Katharine Ham Loves Waffle House, Isn't So Sure About Twitter: Podcast

A conversation about social media, privacy, and the public-private, left-right free speech fight


"The beauty of a free country is that you can choose to Twitter or not to Twitter," says Mary Katharine Ham in a wide-ranging discussion about personal privacy, social media, and polarization.

Ham first snuck into America's living rooms as a regular on Fox News' O'Reilly Factor, where she made her name sparring with Juan Williams and occasionally O'Reilly himself over everything from drug legalization to partisan politics. A year and a half ago, she made the hop to CNN, where she now serves as the token center-right Trump semi-skeptic. She's also a writer and podcaster for The Federalist.

In our conversation, Ham and I talk about social media, privacy, and civility. We grapple with the question of whether new social media platforms make America great or carry the seeds of our nation's destruction. (Answer: little bit of both.)

"The saving grace of the federal government is often its incompetence," says Ham, as we consider how worried we should be about the eroding barrier between what Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg knows about us and what Attorney General Jeff Sessions knows.

Tune in to hear about why Ham doesn't show her kids' faces in photos online, her love of Waffle House (and that time people tried to get her fired for tweeting about it), CVS coupons, and her recently sullied Star Wars virginity.

We swear, we can quit social media anytime. But in case we can't, you can follow Ham at @mkhammer on Twitter and @mkhammertime on Instagram, and you can follow me at @kmanguward on all the platforms.

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Audio production by Ian Keyser.

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