The Chatter Podcast: Spy Movies and the Oscars with Alyssa Rosenberg

David Priess, Shane Harris, Alyssa Rosenberg
Thursday, March 16, 2023, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

The Academy loves a good spy flick, and so do we! This week, Shane talks with Washington Post culture critic Alyssa Rosenberg about the enduring power of espionage on the big screen. 

Movies like Zero Dark Thirty, the Mission: Impossible franchise, and this year’s Top Gun: Maverick and All Quiet on the Western Front, which both took home Oscars, help us understand global conflict as they wrestle with questions of personal morality. How do the stories of James Bond and George Smiley help us make sense of the fate of nations? And why is Hollywood finding it nearly impossible to tell stories about great power competition between the U.S. and China? 

Shane and Alyssa go way back, and this is a fun, lively conversation about spy stories that have resonated through the decades. Alyssa has written for years about popular culture, books, and more recently parenting. 

Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Ian Enright and Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad.

Alyssa’s work at The Post

Alyssa on Twitter

Alyssa’s podcast on movies, Across the Movie Aisle

Movies discussed in this episode:

  • Zero Dark Thirty 
  • Top Gun: Maverick
  • Mission: Impossible 
  • All Quiet on the Western Front 
  • Casino Royale 
  • Skyfall 
  • The Hunt for Red October 
  • Breach 
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

David Priess is Director of Intelligence at Bedrock Learning, Inc. and a Senior Fellow at the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security. He served during the Clinton and Bush 43 administrations as a CIA officer and has written two books: “The President’s Book of Secrets,” about the top-secret President’s Daily Brief, and "How To Get Rid of a President," describing the ways American presidents have left office.
Shane Harris has written about intelligence, security and foreign policy for more than two decades. He is a staff writer with The Washington Post, covering U.S. intelligence agencies and national security. He was part of the team that won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, for stories about the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and efforts to overturn the presidential election. In 2019, he was part of the team that was a finalist for the Public Service award for coverage of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Shane has previously been a staff writer for the Wall Street Journal, the Daily Beast, and National Journal. He is the author of two books, "The Watchers: The Rise of America's Surveillance State" (Penguin Press, 2010) and "@War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex" (Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014). He frequently appears on national and international television and radio. He is also a co-host of the weekly podcast "Chatter." Shane graduated from Wake Forest University in 1998. He lives in Washington.
Alyssa Rosenberg writes about mass culture, parenting, and gender for The Washington Post's Opinions section.

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