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Oct 20, 2020 at 5:00 pm

The Heist

An inside look into the Promises made and broken by the Trump Administration with Sally Herships, Allan Holmes, Mei Fong, Nina Perry & Alison MacAdam.

Gearing up for this year’s election, we’re excited to host a livestreamed conversation with producers behind The Heist, exploring the promises made and broken by the Trump Administration. Pulling from clips,  we will unpack the process and production of the podcast’s story and episodes. Event moderated by Podcast Host and EP Sally Herships and Editor Allan Holmes

In Donald Trump’s America, wealthy people and large corporations have won big. The Trump Administration promised the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 would pay for itself and boost the middle class. But in truth, the tax cuts funneled hundreds of millions into the pockets of the rich and ballooned the national debt. Then, something similar happened again with the 2020 pandemic bailout. Promises made, promises broken.

The Heist is the story of a huge political swindle, how it happened, and how power works in a Donald Trump presidency. Reporters spent months behind the scenes: we get to know a big Republican donor, a senator who caves to political pressure, and the enigmatic Secretary of the Treasury, Stephen Mnuchin, who led the charge for these laws.

Episode One: The Dallas Piggy Bank
In 2017, rich Republican donors demanded a legislative victory, and this is how they got it. We meet one big donor from Dallas who goes on the record to explain how money and power work in Trump’s America. This is the behind-the-scenes story of how political pressure led to the 2017 tax bill, a huge giveaway to the wealthy.

Episode Two: Mnuchin’s World
Who is Steven Mnuchin? He somehow manages to fly under the radar, but as Treasury Secretary he has tremendous power. How did a man with no record of public service and the nickname the “Foreclosure King” become the guy in charge of America’s money? The answer? This is how power works in Trump’s America.

Episode Three: Buyers Remorse
Republicans say they hate debt. So why did they push for a tax bill that would add almost two trillion dollars to the country’s tab? Only one Republican senator broke ranks — until he didn’t. This episode tells the story of the flip-flops, backroom deals and magical thinking that led to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Episode Four – Better Off?
What did companies do with their huge tax break? The Trump administration made grand promises about the 2017 tax law — that corporations would invest the windfall in their workers, boosting the entire economy. So, are we better off? We look at the case of American Airlines, which is now furloughing thousands of workers in the middle of the pandemic.

Episode Five – The Virus (Oct. 15)
The coronavirus has hit and America is experiencing its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The Trump administration rolls out the Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses decimated by the pandemic. What could go wrong?

We’ll be broadcasting online with other guests and online viewers. RSVP to join this conversation!


Sally Herships - The Heist

85 min., 2020

The Heist is the story of a huge political swindle, how it happened, and how power works in a Donald Trump presidency. Reporters spent months behind the scenes: we get to know a big Republican donor, a senator who caves to political pressure, and the enigmatic Secretary of the Treasury, Stephen Mnuchin, who led the charge for these laws.

The Heist is produced by the Center for Public Integrity. One of America’s oldest, Pulitzer-winning nonprofit newsrooms reporting on democracy, power & privilege

102 min

Sally Herships hosts the live storytelling night Stories You Can’t Tell on the Radio and teaches writing for the ear at Sarah Lawrence College. Her stress eating food of choice is the crinkle cut potato chip.”

Allan Holmes heads the Center’s inequality, opportunity and poverty team, and writes about the economic effects of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. He previously reported on broadband and internet governance. Before joining Public Integrity in 2013, Holmes led a team of technology reporters and analysts at Bloomberg Government. At Atlantic Media, he oversaw the launch of the technology website Nextgov. He is a three-time winner of the American Society of Business Publication Editors’ award for best government coverage and website. He also is a two-time Neal Awards finalist, including an honor for reporting how Maine’s botched Medicaid system threatened the state’s health program for the poor. Holmes received a journalism degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s in Public Policy from Duke University.

Nina Perry (PhD) is a composer, audio producer and academic researcher whose interests lie in sound, storytelling, voice and the art of making. She composes music and sound design for media and performing arts and is a singer-songwriter and former BBC Radio Drama composer-in-residence. Nina has produced award-winning radio features for the BBC and international networks and specialise in music and narrative, and creating through-composed narratives. Nina is a visiting fellow at Bournemouth University.

Curtis Fox is a veteran podcast producer with deep roots in public radio. Curtis has produced everything from radio drama and comedy to personal essays and documentaries. He was story editor for Radiotopia’s Ear Hustle, and his radio pieces have aired on WNYC, NPR, Studio 360 and other outlets. He originated four podcasts for The New Yorker, including The New Yorker Fiction Podcast, and produced podcasts for Esquire Magazine, Parents Magazine, the ACLU, WNYC and others. For The Poetry Foundation he produces The Poetry Magazine Podcast and Poetry Off the Shelf, which he also hosts. Curtis loves helping to shape new shows.

Alison MacAdam is a freelance story editor. She spent 15 years at NPR, working as a producer and then Senior Editor for All Things Considered and as NPR’s audio storytelling trainer. Since leaving NPR in 2018, she has worked on multiple podcasts including Believed (Peabody, DuPont-Columbia awards), The Heist, Code Switch, The New Yorker Radio Hour, Land of the Giants, Embedded and Latino USA.

Presented With

Center for Public Integrity

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Oct 20, 2020
5:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Free – $30.00


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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