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Tara Henley is a Canadian journalist and bestselling author. On the Lean Out podcast, she interviews heterodox writers and thinkers from around the world, in an attempt to widen the Overton window of acceptable thought in society. You can learn more about her work at tarahenley.substack.com
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The Henley Festival Podcast

The Henley Festival Podcast

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The Henley Festival Podcast - exclusive interviews from acts, artists comedy starts and singers who have appeared at the festival, such as Spice Girl Melanie C, Geno Washington, Russell Kane, Stephen K Amos.
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#HenleyInsights

Henley Intelligence

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During this Henley Intelligence feature, we get answers to your most burning and important questions from the best and brightest in their fields - specialists and experts who have put their 10 000+ hours in and can help us get things right the first time.
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Dogs of Henley

Dogs of Henley

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Dogs are the best thing that ever happened to Planet Earth. Fact. We started our doggy daycare & boarding business back in 2017 and since then we have seen, heard and experienced an enormous amount. We are now keen to share our passion for these incredible four legged family members with the wider public. We started this podcast so we could talk about all things dog. Whether it's simple discussions between ourselves or speaking to guests, we aim to provide a lighthearted, interesting and eas ...
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We hear a lot of grim predictions about the future of local news, both in the United States and in Canada. But my guests on today’s program are feeling optimistic. For their new book, the pair did a deep dive into innovative local and regional news startups across America, and they say these startups are changing the media landscape, one outlet at …
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On the Lean Out podcast, we’ve talked a lot about plummeting birth rates in the West, about high rates of unhappiness among modern women, about the loneliness epidemic in our society, and about the crisis unfolding among men, with large numbers of suicides and overdoses. Our guest on the program today says there’s a factor we should consider with e…
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What does it take to speak out against orthodoxies in an age of outrage? This is something that our guest on today’s program has spent years contemplating, interviewing people from all walks of life who have managed to stick to their principles in the face of an online mobbing, and not back down. Katherine Brodsky is a Canadian writer and commentat…
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Canada has, once again, made international headlines. The Federal Court has ruled the government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act, in response to the trucker protests, was illegal. My guest on today’s program argued during the crisis that the government had done something that it had no constitutional power to do — and he joins me on the program…
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For decades now in Canada, there has been a bipartisan, pro-immigration consensus. But in recent weeks, we have watched that consensus fall apart. Our guest on today’s program has been covering this development in his columns for The Globe and Mail. He argues that it was the Liberal government that broke the consensus — and it must be the Liberals …
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In Ontario, where Tara lives, schools were closed for 135 days during the pandemic. Both there and in the United States, there was very little critical media coverage on this unprecedented public policy. But our guest on today’s program was reporting on those left behind by school closures from the very beginning. Now, he’s covering an element of t…
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2024 is an election year for the United States. And one of the stories so far is the political realignment that we’re continuing to witness — with the working class moving to the right. This is something that is also happening here in Canada. My guests on today’s program have written an entire book about the phenomenon, and what it might mean for t…
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The Lean Out podcast kicked off two years ago this week, aiming to push back on mainstream media conformity, to reaffirm old school journalistic values like viewpoint diversity and curiosity and respect — and, in some small way, to help widen the Overton window of ideas considered acceptable for discussion and debate. Happily, this approach seems t…
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This year has not been an easy one for a lot of people. Not only are many coping with economic instability, but our culture is polarized and often extremely hostile. But our guest on today’s program — the last episode of the year — wants to leave us with a vision of unity. And of hope for a better, and more harmonious, 2024. Monica Harris is the au…
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With the pandemic finally in the rearview mirror, a lot of people are eager to put it behind us — and move on. But our guest on today’s program says it’s important that we take a look at the mistakes that were made, and understand what went wrong. Joe Nocera is a veteran business journalist and a columnist at The Free Press. His latest book, co-aut…
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On Thanksgiving weekend, an essay started circulating — and it was an essay that I felt like I’d been waiting a long time to read. The essay explores a troubling trend: a renewed skepticism of interracial relationships, and, indeed, of interracial families. Its author is a white man, married to a Black woman. And while progressives had applauded th…
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In times of crisis, artists often feel the need to take a stand, to engage in activism. But our guest on today’s program says we should recognize that art and politics have very different agendas. “These are different realms,” he writes, “and the values of one can be inhospitable — even deadly — to the values of the other.” George Packer is a staff…
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This week on Lean Out, we turn our attention to freedom of expression in the arts. Our guest on today’s program is an acclaimed and controversial choreographer who says the UK’s creative industries are in crisis — experiencing a culture of widespread fear and intimidation. And she’s launched a new organization to address this. Rosie Kay is the CEO …
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This week in New York City, a longtime defender of free speech was honoured by her peers. My guest on today’s program accepted the Judy Blume Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Coalition Against Censorship benefit. She returns to the podcast to mark that occasion — and to talk through the big issues of our current moment, including rising a…
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“Be it resolved, liberalism gets the big questions right.” That was the motion posed at Friday’s Munk Debate in Toronto, to a group of public intellectuals from across the globe. The starting point for the debate was that liberalism is in crisis. That tensions have reached a boiling point. That its critics believe “liberalism has become an impedime…
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For some time now, there have been calls for Canada to launch an independent public inquiry into its handling of the Covid pandemic — including from the British Medical Journal. But this past week, as reported by Blacklock’s Reporter, Liberal MPs rejected an inquiry, opting for a closed-door review by advisors to the Minister of Health. My guest on…
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There are still people who believe that cancel culture does not exist. But it’s about to get a whole lot harder to make that argument publicly. Our guest on today’s program has a new book out that provides irrefutable evidence that cancel culture is a serious phenomenon — that it is now a common tactic on the right and the left, that it is a threat…
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Crime in Canada is on the rise. According to recent Statistics Canada data, violent crime is at its most severe since 2007, and the murder rate is the highest it’s been since 1992. My guest on today’s program says our criminal justice system is not working - that it is expensive and ineffective and inhumane, and that the time has come to transform …
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Earlier this month, a prominent Canadian academic made headlines when he announced his departure from the University of London. “Progressive conformity and cancel culture are distorting the teaching and research mission of universities,” he wrote on Twitter. “Between the extremely controversial and the progressive-controlled monoculture of academia…
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Is cancel culture controlled by women? It’s a question that my guest on today’s program has been asking for some time. Her conclusion is that, yes, the phenomenon is driven by women — and only women can stop it. She’s founded a community that, online and in person, has begun actively pushing back. Meghan Daum is the author of six books, including T…
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In 2019, in the magazine Current Affairs, a former McKinsey consultant wrote, “There is no secret society shaping every major decision and determining the direction of human history. There is, however, McKinsey & Company.” My guest on the program today has spent years doing a deep-dive into the prestigious consulting company — and he’s here to talk…
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Schools across the country are back in session — and this fall, the spotlight is on trans issues in the classroom. Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have come out with new policies for parental consent on student pronoun changes, and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association has launched a lawsuit, saying this violates the Charter and human rights. Add…
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Between the years of 2010 and 2020, a new way of thinking about identity travelled from elite universities, to Internet subcultures, to social media, and to mainstream media, finally landing at many of our most important social, cultural, and governmental institutions, transforming longstanding rules and norms. Our guest on the 100th episode of Lea…
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For the past few months on Lean Out, we’ve been doing a deep-dive into the crisis in Canadian media, speaking to critics of the status quo — and asking what’s gone wrong and where we go from here. Tara's guest on today’s program, the last episode in our summer media series, has a unique perspective on our media’s collapse. And he says government an…
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In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, America’s streets filled with protesters — in some of the largest demonstrations in the country’s history. But three years later, very little concrete change has been achieved. Tara's guest on the podcast today asks: What happened? Why did this mass movement achieve so little? Freddie deBoer is an American…
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One of the most important tasks for a seasoned journalist is to pass on what you know. Journalism is something that’s learned by doing, usually alongside someone who’s done it longer. Tara enjoyed this process while at CBC, and is pleased to now be at a point with Lean Out that she can expand the operation to include working with up-and-coming jour…
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This week, the friends and family of a school principal in Toronto gathered to celebrate his life. Richard Bilkszto, sadly, took his life last month, at the age of 60, and much of the reporting on his death has focused on a DEI training and the lawsuit that he launched about it. A reminder to listeners that the claims you will hear have not been pr…
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This summer at Lean Out, we’ve been doing a deep dive into the collapse of the Canadian media — and the role that new legislation, Bill C-18, has played in exacerbating the crisis. Tara's guest on the program today is someone who has thought a lot about the media and digital policy and public broadcasting, and she has a lot to say about where our m…
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In the past few decades, something has gone wrong in American life, leaving its citizens subject to increasing levels of coercion. That’s the thesis of a new book, and its author, Tara's guest on the program today, argues that what’s gone wrong is a form of private tyranny, with corporations exercising more and more control over ordinary people’s l…
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What does it mean to be a heretic? Why is dissent from the dominant orthodoxies of our age so important? It’s a topic Tara's guest today has thought a lot about, as a progressive who frequently questions the thinking on his side of the aisle. And he says that, in fact, we owe much of human progress to the heretics throughout history who have dared …
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This week, in the wake of controversial new legislation, Bill C-18, Meta has announced that it will be ending news sharing on its platforms in Canada. So, for a special bonus episode of the podcast, we reached out to a Canadian academic who’s been following this story closely, to get his reaction to the development — and to hear his analysis on wha…
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“Once you question the food, you question everything.” That’s a quote from Rory Feek, a farmer and filmmaker in the growing homesteading movement, which is seeing numbers of Americans turn away from processed foods and rediscover how to grow what’s on their plates, sustaining their communities in the process. Feek made this comment at the inaugural…
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In 2019, a white woman in Austin, Texas signed up for a diversity training seminar, in the hopes of better understanding growing polarization in America. But that workshop, in her view, was itself divisive. She went on to publish an essay about it, ending with a call for others to reach out to her with their own experiences — and soon got a letter …
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Last week on Lean Out, we heard from Canadian journalist Jen Gerson. The response from listeners was overwhelming. You asked for more coverage of the collapse of our media, including, of course, controversial new legislation. Bill C-18 aims to save journalism in this country — but Tara's guest this week argues that it has instead “accidentally push…
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If you listen to this podcast, you know that the Canadian media is in serious trouble. But in recent weeks, that crisis has intensified, with wave after wave of bad news for the industry. Bell Canada laid off 1300 staff. And, when this was episode was recorded, merger talks between the two biggest newspaper publishers were ongoing — negotiations ha…
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Earlier this spring, student protesters at the University of Cambridge successfully cancelled an event on campus, a screening of a documentary on fertility. Students accused the film of being misogynistic, despite the fact that, as student event organizer Charlie Bentley-Astor put it in The Critic magazine, this was a film “made primarily by women,…
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This week Lean Out is back from our annual summer hiatus, and we are recharged and ready to get back to tackling the big issues of the day. One of the things that Tara did while she was away was attend Plebity’s inaugural virtual conference, Free Speech and the Left, a timely and important gathering that brought together many prominent writers and …
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In recent years, we have seen the diversity, equity, and inclusion industry explode in popularity and prevalence. But Tara's guest today says that at its worst, DEI runs from useless to counterproductive. And he thinks companies would be better off giving the lavish DEI consulting fees directly to the poor. Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at T…
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“What do falling fertility in the United States, a plague of loneliness and lack of friendship, bitter conflicts over racial and gender identity, and a politics of culture wars and moral panics have to do with one another?” The answer to that question, according to a compelling new book, is too many bad, low-wage jobs. Michael Lind is a bestselling…
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People on the left have been reaching out to Tara for years, saying that they feel like the mainstream media has become politicized, is biased in favour of the left — and they no longer trust it to report the news fairly. Now, a group of international scholars has published an interesting research paper that addresses this dynamic. It finds that wh…
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Life in North America is becoming increasingly lonely — and this trend is impacting all areas of our lives, including our physical health. So much so, in fact, that the United States Surgeon General recently issued an advisory on loneliness, characterizing it as a critical public health concern. But Tara's guest today says that that report fails to…
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One of the questions of this podcast has been: How do we begin to rethink feminism — given the fact that, in the current era, so many women are so unhappy? A group of powerhouse writers and thinkers gathered at Harvard last month to contemplate that very question. Tara's guest on the podcast today moderated that panel, which, one could argue, marke…
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Since the pandemic, we’ve been hearing more and more about the mental health crisis impacting teenaged girls. Tara's guest on the program today is a journalist with a special interest in the well-being of young women. In her own adolescence, she was hospitalized nine times for anorexia — which she’s written about in a new book — and in recent years…
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With the rising tensions in our society has come increased conflict, including generational conflict. There are now lots of stereotypes being thrown around about existing generations, from Boomers to Millennials. But our guest on today’s program prefers to deal in facts. Her latest book analyses data from 39 million people, debunking dominant ideas…
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In recent weeks, on the Lean Out podcast, we’ve been exploring the issue of declining fertility in rich countries. And Canada is not exempt from this trend. Canada’s fertility rate has been dropping for years, and is now at 1.4 births per woman — well below population replacement levels. Tara's guest on the program today argues that these statistic…
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Liberal feminism is predicated on the idea that more is always better. More freedom, more technology, more autonomy. But Tara's guest today says this ethos is dissolving the bonds between men and women, between women and children, and between women and their bodies. And she argues that it’s time to rethink feminism. Mary Harrington is a columnist a…
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On the Lean Out podcast, we delve into the subjects that don’t get talked about enough in society. And one of the topics that’s still considered third rail is women’s fertility — even as the birth rate in Canada has dropped to a record low. My guest on the podcast today writes a lot about this issue, and she recently published a fascinating piece o…
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One of the goals of the Lean Out podcast is to complicate the dominant narratives. And Tara's guest on today’s episode does this all the time in his work. He’s an independent thinker, a prolific essayist — and, as we’ll hear, his conclusions are often surprising, rarely conforming to the orthodoxies on either the left or the right. Wilfred Reilly i…
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Earlier this month, a federal court judge went to speak to students at Stanford Law School. Judge Kyle Duncan has referred to the explosive protest that ensued as a “struggle session,” while student hecklers have defended their actions as counter-speech. Tara's guest on today’s program has some thoughts on this free speech controversy — and where t…
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If you’re a regular listener of the Lean Out podcast, you know that it has not been a good couple of years for the media. From the lab leak theory to the Hunter Biden laptop, we in the press have gotten a lot of big stories wrong. Tara's guest on the program today is a media veteran, and he has some insights on how this all has happened — and where…
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