Paradox Project Podcast

The official podcast for the Paradox Project

The Paradox team discusses a very important cultural event: the Netflix revival of "Gilmore Girls" (warning: MAJOR spoilers for "A Year in the Life"). D.C. writer and communications star Kate Bryan joined Jordan and Matthias to talk about what we loved, what we hated, and why two of the show's big storylines were redemptive and satisfying and one was definitely not (ahem, Rory).

Why "Gilmore Girls" and what the heck is up with Rory?

Jordan explains why we wanted to devote a podcast episode to "Gilmore Girls." Kate starts off our analysis with her theory that a certain Gilmore girl is a hot mess in "A Year in the Life" because creator Amy Sherman-Palladino originally envisioned this story for a 22-year-old Rory.

Are men important in Gilmore world? (Spoiler: Yes)

We contrast how male and female characters are depicted on the show. We talk some about the feminism of "Gilmore Girls" and Lorelai's powerful storyline as a single mom building her own life to make things better for her daughter. While the show is female-focused, men are important characters as well, so we take a look at individual male characters and analyze important connections like Rory's relationship with her father and Lorelai's relationship with Luke.

"My ancestors came over on the Mayflower."

Matthias kicks off a discussion of class tension on "Gilmore Girls" with an interesting point from @AllahPundit, who recently tweeted that the show is a battle between Lorelai and Emily over which class Rory should be part of.


We wrap up with predictions about whether or not Netflix will continue with another season of "A Year in the Life," which then morphs into expectations/fears/hopes for what would happen. Matthias predicts that there won't be another season. Kate hopes that Rory finds success with her book and that the baby is a boy. We try to predict exactly when Rory and Jess will get together.


The Paradox team is back after a little post-election break. Confused, concerned Coloradan Brendan Loy was our returning guest this week to talk about listening to people better (and most especially the people who disagree with us) in a post-Trump world.

Terrible Opinions

Matthias: I disagree with the recent piece from Rachel Held Evans about leaving evangelicalism. We should learn to listen to each other better instead of creating more distance.

Brendan: I love Rachel Platten's "Fight Song."

Jordan: Even though Twitter has been insane over the Hamilton stuff, I'm glad it happened because vice-president-elect Mike Pence's reaction was so kind and appropriate even in the midst of the crazy.

How can we be kind?

As people who opposed now-president-elect Donald Trump during the election, we wanted to chat about better ways to talk to people, how to rebuild trust, and what lines in the sand we want to draw going into a Trump administration.

Brendan points out flaws in the Hillary Clinton campaign's messaging, which he describes as "crafted by Brooklyn liberals for Brooklyn liberals," and analyzes why it failed to reach voters.

We detail our two biggest questions in the wake of the election: "How do we disagree without yelling at people?" and "Can journalists rebuild trust?" Brendan points out that we need to keep the lines clear between genuine bigotry and political incorrectness as well as the distinctions between policies we disagree with vs. actions that will destroy the Republic.


Jordan: Lorelai will say the famous last four words in the Netflix "Gilmore Girls" special that's coming out this weekend.

Matthias: More of a promise than a prediction: I'll stop attacking the crazy left. We need to engage and amplify voices we respect and like and that is what I want to do.


To cap off this insane election year, we invited political strategist and One Direction fan Dina Fraioli back to talk about who held the line in 2016 and whether or not the GOP survives. 

Terrible Opinions

Matthias tries to make Jordan's head explode by saying Trump wouldn't be able to do that many horrible things as president even though he's a "monster." Dina praises "establishment" Mitch McConnell, saying he would "delight" in blocking President Hillary Clinton. Jordan says BuzzFeed, the land of endless cat listicles, actually has some great long-form writing and published "the piece of this election" with Katherine Miller's heartfelt How Donald Trump Broke The Conservative Movement (And My Heart)

Don't f*** with the Clintons (unless you're Mitch McConnell)

Dina taps her 15 years of experience working for in politics envision a Clinton presidency. She thinks Hillary as president would be willing to work across the aisle, and if Republicans hold Congress, McConnell can lead them in blocking her as needed (a big "if" when the GOP may not hold the House and the Senate). 

We share some of our "silver linings" in 2016, a year when "everybody showed us who they were" and very few people held the line on their principles. Dina says this next period will be a "rebuilding year" since we don't even know what a Republican is anymore and it may be time for a conservative party. 


Matthias and Jordan have some fun with pop culture predictions, with Matthias saying that Mel Gibson's new movie will be a moderate success that makes him viable again as a director. Jordan is hopeful that the new "Gilmore Girls" special on Netflix will be thoughtfully produced and please the show's devoted fans. 


Jordan and Matthias welcomed Marybeth Glenn of epic tweet storm fame this week to talk about the future of the GOP, Hillary Clinton’s scorn for the rule of law, and the real conflict of our time: Cubs vs. Cardinals.

Terrible Opinions

Resident feminist and pop-culture-lover Jordan is uncomfortable with the report that the Netflix show “Jessica Jones” has only female directors in its second season. Marybeth demands that the Chicago Cubs lose the World Series. Matthias explains why he thinks Clinton is the true “burn it to the ground” candidate.

The GOP’s Woman Problem … and Millennial Problem … and Urban Problem … and …

We ask Marybeth what brought on her insightful viral Twitter rant about the GOP, sexism, Trump and Republican women. 

Marybeth explores the idea of a new conservative party that appeals to “middle-of-the-road” voters and gives her argument why anyone who supported Trump should not helm the GOP moving forward. We discuss Evan McMullin and the possibility of a new party as well as the GOP’s issues with women, millennials, and minority and urban voters.


Jordan predicts that even in the age of binge-watching, it will take her several months to finish “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” because it’s such an intense show. Matthias says there will be no rioting after the election. 

Matthias and Jordan are back this week to chat with Ryan Moy (@alwaysonoffense) about the future of the GOP and whether or not it can find "basic values as a party" and rebuild after the election. 

Terrible Opinions

Ryan is apparently very, very particular when it comes to his Halloween candy. Jordan is upset that Jonah Peretti's bizarre tweet about Ivanka Trump is only one more example of the media industry tossing ethics out the window to get attention. Matthias thinks "journalists" like Kevin Robillard of Politico who take decent people out of context and sic Twitter trolls on them should be (metaphorically) burned at the stake. 

Consultants! Reince! Dumpster fire!

Analysis, predictions, fears and hopes blend in our take on what the post-election conservative landscape will look like. Matthias really wants to know who exactly will be responsible for steering the GOP after Nov. 8. Is it enough for the GOP to replace Reince? Are those conversations already happening and is a plan for the party's future after Donald Trump in the works? Ryan discusses the possibility that Carly Fiorina will be tapped as the new GOP chair and details what she would bring to the table, while Jordan speculates on what the most powerful combination would be for 2020. We debate whether or not the alt-right will continue to infect the conservative movement after the election. 


Matthias depresses everyone with the prediction that the media will continue to give the alt-right oxygen by covering white supremacist events and otherwise bringing attention to their cause. Jordan points out that Trump's reaction if he loses the election could determine whether or not the media continues to make a profit from that kind of coverage (if he goes on that long vacation as promised and disappears from public view, not so much). She predicts that most of the GOP will wake up after the election and attempt to shock everyone with how much Trump never happened. Ryan predicts that Trump TV will launch and will be a fairly successful enterprise. 

This week we discuss the election in respect to the evangelical community. We're joined by Matthew Anderson, who recently noted the increasingly split on the Religious Right over Donald Trump.


Matthias and Jordan are back with a guest to bring more Terrible Opinions and a nuanced perspective on the 2016 election and the current state of the GOP. Noah Rothman of Commentary magazine joined us this week to offer some hope for Republicans after this election. His recommendation? Enough forgiveness to go around, a healthy dose of humility, and a good hard look at what went wrong. 

We discuss the big story from the weekend: Donald Trump's lewd comments about women as caught on videotape. Jordan wonders why people drew the line at this particular moment; Noah points out that these quotes are particularly damning because they're completely candid. Is this what the candidate is really like when no one's looking? 

We touch on the Trump-Clinton debate and the general horror that is the 2016 election, but mostly try to focus on what comes next. Noah details the healing process that will be necessary for the GOP to move forward and notes that anyone who took the risk of standing against Trump will be politically elevated after the election (see: Ben Sasse, Mike Lee). Matthias wonders if we can do anything about a political landscape that is post-truth and so obviously, dangerously partisan. Jordan hopes the GOP can move beyond the factions that divided the party and made way for someone like Trump. 


This week on the Paradox Podcast, our regular hosts cover Hillary's campaign & what is going wrong with her as a candidate. We also discuss how the press can possibly recover from this election.

Terrible Opinions

Matthias: Attacking Trump's weight is insane and we should never ever do it. 

Jordan: I love Top 40 music. There's something wonderful 

Zach: Voters are toblame for this election



Matthias: Georgia Tech will have a good season, 3 or fewer losses

Zach: This will get a lot worse before it gets better

Jordan: Paradox will have some news soon


Jay Caruso of RedState joins us in our ongoing conversation about the renewal of the Republican party.

But we start off with terrible opinions. Matthias feels that Ben Carson wasn't suited for politics, but thinks he's a nice guy and still really likes him. Jordan notes that the outrage mob on went way too far bashing the "women in headphones" piece. It was dumb, but they made an industry out of being angry at it. Zach asks that, if you're going to make faces at a baby, you should make eye contact with the parents. Jay doesn't think that Hillary's coughing thing was a big deal (but her fainting may alter that position).

We talk with Jay about rebuilding the GOP, specifically about his piece in the National Review ( in which he walks through how the GOP can reach out to minority and urban voters after a Hillary victory.

We also discuss the alt right and try to figure out how to balance the need to recognize themas a news story with how covering their every move gives them oxygen, energy,and the money they need to continue.

For predictions,  Jay notes that, we're going to see the elimination of the network TV model in the next five years.


For part 2 in our Rebuilding Conservatism series, Jason Pye (Director of Communication at FreedomWorks) joins us. Jason brings us a vision of rebuilding conservatism from a policy perspective that focuses on amplifying and supporting conservative voices within Congress.

Matthias: I feel like Danielle Morrill's piece on work life balance comes from a place of extreme privlidge & can be a toxic attitude for many people

Jason: I'm tired of the Harambe nonsense and also I love Nihilist Arby's

Jordan: I love Kim Kardashian & I think she uses the free market to her advantage

Zach Noble: They've found that using robot babies in sex ed courses DOESN'T disuade girls from having babies and that's great. We should have more kids.

We then talk about Jason's work with Freedom Works & the House Freedom Caucus and how to connect with the core conservative movement that is influencing policy within Congress.

For predictions...

Matthias: bots (automated comment generators) will play an increasing role in the dark part of campaigns

Jason: The Georgia Bulldogs will go 9-3 and will beat Georgia Tech in the last game of the season

Zach: The Magnificent 7 remake will be great

Jordan: Nothing at the 2016 Video Music Awards will be weirder than the 2016 presidential campaign


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