Investigative Journalism

Andy Mills: Quitting The New York Times and Making The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling

The podcasting pioneer discusses capturing the real J.K. Rowling, quitting The New York Times, and his new show Reflector.


HD Video Download

This week's guest is Andy Mills, the co-creator of Reflector, a new documentary podcast. Reflector's early episodes delve into controversial treatments for alcoholism and the free speech implications of the trial of rapper Young Thug, whose lyrics are being used by prosecutors to build a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) case. Mills is a legend in podcasting circles. He helped create The New York Times podcast The Daily, one of the most listened-to shows on the planet, and he produced the wildly popular and controversial The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling for The Free PressReason's Nick Gillespie and Mills discuss why podcasting is having such a moment, his tumultuous tenure at the Times (which ended with his resignation in 2021), and whether there is a market for investigative journalism that isn't done in the service of partisan politics.


1:03— Reflector: Andy Mills' new podcast

3:47— Reflector Episode 1: Naltrexone for alcoholism

7:00— Reflector Episode 2: Drill rap on trial

18:16— Economics of podcasting

22:22— Has the podcast era peaked?

25:28— Starting The Daily at The New York Times

29:06— Spotify's bad Meghan Markle bet

31:04— The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling

37:15— Caliphate controversy and The New York Times part 1

41:06—  Ad: Lumen

43:09— Caliphate controversy and The New York Times part 2

45:33— What does healthy media consumption look like?

47:46— Andy Mills' rural Christian upbringing

52:50— 'Wokeness' at The New York Times

1:00:24— Q&A

Today's sponsors:

  • Students for Liberty
  • Lumen is the world's first handheld metabolic coach. It's a device that measures your metabolism through your breath. On the app, it lets you know if you're burning fat or carbs, and it gives you tailored guidance to improve your nutrition, workouts, sleep, and even stress management. All you have to do is breathe into your Lumen first thing in the morning, and you'll know what's going on with your metabolism, whether you're burning mostly fats or carbs. Then, Lumen gives you a personalized nutrition plan for that day based on your measurements. You can also breathe into it before and after workouts and meals, so you know exactly what's going on in your body in real time, and Lumen will give you tips to keep you on top of your health game. Your metabolism is your body's engine—it's how your body turns the food you eat into fuel that keeps you going. Because your metabolism is at the center of everything your body does, optimal metabolic health translates to a bunch of benefits, including easier weight management, improved energy levels, better fitness results, better sleep, etc. Lumen gives you recommendations to improve your metabolic health. It can also track your cycle as well as the onset of menopause, and adjust your recommendations to keep your metabolism healthy through hormonal shifts, so you can keep up your energy and stave off cravings. So, if you want to take the next step in improving your health, go to to get $100 off your Lumen.
  • New York City premiere of Reason's Backpage documentary and panel discussion, Tuesday, July 23. Was the federal prosecution of online classified ad site a win for opponents of sex trafficking or a loss for First Amendment rights? View a new documentary by Elizabeth Nolan Brown and Paul Detrick and participate in a panel with Brown and Old Pros' Kaytlin Bailey about the case moderated by Nick Gillespie. Tickets are $10 and include beer, wine, soft drinks, and a light buffet. Seats are limited. Details here.