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    This Is The New Podcast You Need To Keep Track Of Life Outside Of Quarantine

    Every weekday afternoon, News O'Clock will have the latest in news and pop culture for your ears. It's what you want to know, when you need to know it.

    by , ,

    OK, it's no secret that things are weird and kinda suck right now.

    Joy Malone / Reuters

    Between the mass unemployment and the deadly disease outbreak, it's pretty fair to call things not great out there. And with so many of us staying home, it can feel like everything outside your door is on pause.

    And that's not to mention the 2020 election, the economy, and whatever the hell is bound to happen this year.

    NBCUniversal / Via giphy.com

    (Apparently oil prices are completely collapsing right now? I mean, really?)

    That's where we come in. Today we're launching News O'Clock, a new daily podcast in partnership with iHeartRadio.

    Zachary Ares / BuzzFeed News

    And our goal is to tell you about all the things happening out there — including those that aren't nightmare-inducing.

    Global Citizen / Via giphy.com

    Things like books and movies and television and pop culture in general and how we're all managing to stay connected when we're forced apart!

    ...And whatever this is.

    no other celebrity is doing it like her

    It's hosted by these two: Hayes Brown (formerly of Impeachment Today) and Casey Rackham (currently of BuzzFeed dot com the internet website).

    Kate Bubcaz / BuzzFeed News, Jenna Benty / BuzzFeed


    And it's going to be coming to you every weekday evening. So be sure to set your alarms!

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    Listen to our first episode below, and subscribe to News O'Clock on Apple Podcasts, the iHeartRadio app or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

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    Please let us know what you think! And subscribe, tell your friends, etc.

    Full episode transcript below!

    Casey Rackham:
    There's maybe some deal in the works to get more money for small businesses, but not for food stamps. The latest versus showdown on Instagram live was more of a let down. And the world is on lockdown, but weed that's essential, so we're talking with Buzzfeed News's Scaachi Koul about how people are staying mellow in this crisis.

    Hayes Brown:
    The date April 20th, 2020.

    CR:
    The time: News O'clock.

    HB:
    Good afternoon. I'm Hayes Brown.

    CR:
    And I'm Casey Rackham.

    HB:
    Welcome to the premiere of News O'clock. We have been so excited to bring the show to life for you all and I almost can't believe that the day is finally here.

    CR:
    Confetti is everywhere right now, champagne waiting to be popped, except we're of course recording in our closets at home in lockdown. Very big sigh.

    HB:
    Now, for those of you who listened to the show when it was called Impeachment Today, thank you so much for sticking around. For those of you who just saw our sick cover art, and thought, "Sure, why not?" Welcome to the fam.

    CR:
    Here's what you're getting in this deal, every weekday, Hayes, until recently, a world news editor for Buzzfeed news and I, senior TV and film editor for buzzfeed.com, are going to be giving you the latest in news in pop culture. Quick fun, and very, very Buzzfeed.

    HB:
    This is your first time podcasting Casey, so how are we feeling about it so far?

    CR:
    Honestly, I'm feeling pretty good because I usually listen to the podcasts to get the quick news updates of the day, and now I'm saying them out loud so I don't have to do that. Done.

    HB:
    Look ma, you made it. You get the headlines, you hear the headlines, set. Sorry, everyone who Casey was subscribed to you before, she has a new love now, her own show.

    CR:
    Listen, this is your fault for asking me to do this. Here I am.

    HB:
    I take full blame for it. Okay, we've got a lot to get through. So let's dive on in. First up, we have the Corona minute where I run down the latest and the horror show currently happening in the world outside.

    CR:
    Okay. You've got one minute on the clock and go.

    HB:
    This weekend, the U.S. hit the shitty milestone that is an estimated 40,000 people who have died from the Coronavirus. Also the $350 billion in money for small business that the Congress passed a few weeks ago, that's gone, all of it, no more money, which is bonkers given how many small businesses are still hurting out there, and how many big companies managed to get some of those dollars. That includes Potbelly Sandwiches and Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, which got loans of 10 and $20 million each. Again, not small businesses. Though some of their restaurants owned by franchisees, so they count. Shake Shack though, says it got $10 million from the paycheck protection program, but said today it's giving it back. So good for them.

    HB:
    Democrats in the house and treasury secretary, Steve Minutian said there close-ish to working out a deal that will set aside billions of dollars more for the smallest of businesses. It would also see increases in funding for hospitals and testing for the Coronavirus. It would not, however, give more money to state to help fight the pandemic, or the food stamp programs trying to help people make ends meet. So not ideal.

    HB:
    And that was your Corona Minute update. Did I fit it all in? Audio producer Dan is saying that I didn't. Well fine, there's a lot going on. You know what? I will try harder as we move forward to get this within one minute. You can count on that.

    CR:
    All right. It's time for today's good news, bad news. As you might guess from the name. This is where I bring you some of the most, "Aww." And some of the most, "Oh my God, no." Stories from around the internet.

    HB:
    I could use some good news up first.

    CR:
    Well, funny enough, Some Good News is what John Krasinski's new YouTube show is called. And in the latest episode, Krasinski played host to a virtual prom for all the high schoolers out there who had to miss their big night. It was super cute. Special guests included the Jonas Brothers who appeared in a bit with Rainn Wilson before performing Sucker. And then bajillion Grammy award winner Billie Eilish performed Bad Guy from her room with her brother, which was so amazing for me because Billie Eilish is actually a really big Office fan, so she was freaking out the whole time. Such a big fan that she sampled some of The Office theme song and put it into one of her songs. So that was amazing.

    CR:
    And then Chance The Rapper finished up the show. And all of this was super cute and I saw it all on TicTok, which I'm addicted to, where all of these teens basically started putting on their makeup, curling their hair, putting on their outfits, and then sitting down at their computer to watch a virtual prom. It was both sad and adorable.

    HB:
    I am really surprised looking back that getting all dressed up and sitting down in front of my computer was not how I spent my prom in 2005, which was 15 years ago. I'm basically dying as we speak. But no, me and my friends, we had our dates, a whole complicated story with that, but we went to the Applebee's and Flint, Michigan, got in my friend's parent's old van and drove to the University of Michigan Flint rec center area where we realized, "Oh, this is a promenade." And there are people getting out of limos, where the parents are taking pictures of people in their fancy dresses, and we were like, "Okay, pull the band around the back so we can schlep into this too small dance space."

    CR:
    Hayes. I would take Applebee's over what my prom was, because I don't remember my prom because I had 103 degree, fever because my body has this cool trick where it wills itself to be sick and have a fever when I'm too stressed out or anxious, it's a real fun for me. Anyway-

    HB:
    How are you feeling right now?

    CR:
    I'm feeling good. A podcast seems so much better than going to prom. I did not have interest in going to prom. So I don't really remember it due to the DayQuil and the fever, but that's my fun story that my mom hates, that I tell.

    HB:
    You win. You win promsperience, that's much better. Yes.

    CR:
    So now for some bad news, the much hype Instagram live battle between producers, Babyface and Teddy Riley, did not go exactly as planned this past Saturday. So this was all part of the versus series put on by Swizz Beatz that gave us little John and T-Pain, and basically it was Babyface versus Riley, and this was supposed to happen much earlier, but Babyface caught COVID. Luckily he's recovered, but all you need to know is that Babyface is in his 60s, Riley is in his 50s, and that there were so many technology fails that happened. Teddy Riley tried to stream the whole thing on his website and this is what people heard. Do not adjust your device. It really sounded this bad.

    HB:
    Yep, that's terrible. That is just horrible, right?

    CR:
    Listen, I don't fault them 100% because everyone is failing at like Zooming and Google Hangouts and live streaming. But a lot of people on Twitter are blaming Teddy Riley for just going way above and beyond, because it was just so extra. It wasn't just him, it was him and a hype man. It was basically a whole concert that was going on, and then Babyface was just in his studio with an iPhone.

    HB:
    See, Babyface got it. Whereas Teddy, I saw pictures and the videos behind the scenes, he had a whole crew there. No masks, social distancing who. It was just a mess at. Honestly karma got him. Karma 100% came for Teddy.

    CR:
    But in good news or maybe bad news, the live stream has been rescheduled for tonight, so everyone get ready for that.

    HB:
    Oh, I've been ready. That is entirely how my night is being spent. When we come back from panic shopping to worrying about their health, we're talking to Scaachi Koul about how the weed smokers of the world bonding to the pandemic. We'll be right back.

    CR:
    Welcome back. It's time for Say More. This is where we get to talk some of the best people out there, and just spending some quality time with us.

    HB:
    It being a very special day for a lot of people out there. We decided it was best to tick it off recognizing how hard this crisis has been for them. Yes, that's right, we're talking about marijuana on April 20th.

    CR:
    Wow, groundbreaking.

    HB:
    Cliche aside, we're joined today by Buzzfeed News, culture writer, Scaachi Koul, author of the story, People Are Still Using Cannabis During The Pandemic. How Are They Getting It?

    Scaachi Koul:
    Hello? Happy 4/20.

    HB:
    Hello Scaachi. Happy 4/20. First of all, thank you. You're our guest on the show. So you're basically setting the bar against which all future guests will be measured, no pressure.

    SK:
    That's great. Everybody will very easily be able to tip toe over this bar.

    CR:
    So you wrote this piece towards what now feels like the early part of this crisis. What inspired you to look into people's weed habits?

    SK:
    Well, I'm an immigrant in this country, so I don't think I should say too much about what inspired me work on this piece. I was thinking about it a lot because I'm from Canada, and obviously weed is legal. It's legal there, and it's also quite easy to get, you can get it delivered. The government regulates it much like they do the liquor stores in Ontario. So I was trying to figure out how this was going to work in a place like New York, which is where I live now because it's like being 10 years ago where you call a guy and he comes over and he brings a backpack, and it's an intimate experience. And we've lost a lot of examples of intimacy in the quarantine.

    HB:
    That's actually way deeper than I was expecting you to get with that. The intimacy of the weed deal experience has been lost to us.

    SK:
    It's kind of sweet, you invite a stranger to your house, or you go into their car and you assume no one will die. So I think that's a really intimate thing.

    HB:
    That's a really good point. So you put out this call on Twitter for people to answer how things are going for them. How many people actually wrote in and responded to you?

    SK:
    We got probably 500 or 600 users of weed for a variety of reasons. And then we also ended up getting a pretty sizable number of dealers across Canada and the U.S. and there were a few people in Europe as well.

    HB:
    That's a crazy high number by the way. That's a full dataset that Pollsters can use. That's wow.

    SK:
    I think people are eager to talk about their weed usage, because I think a lot of people want it to be legal and easier to get. If the liquor stores can stay open right now, I think it's reasonable to expect that weed retailers would too, which they obviously have, in places that have it legal.

    HB:
    Were there any wild responses that didn't make it into the story?

    SK:
    Yeah, a lot of the responses were people begging me to help them find a dealer, which is not really something I can help them do. But yeah, there were a lot of really tragic responses from people who use weed to medicate. Either they have a lot of physical pain or they have mental illnesses that they help treat with weed and losing access to that has been really scary and really frustrating for them and heartbreaking. At the time, and like you said, this was sort of at the beginning of our stay in shelter orders, they really didn't know what was going to happen. They really didn't know if they were going to be able to get any. And so people are hoarding it, and they are trying to ration it. They're having less than they would ordinarily have to treat their symptoms just because they're afraid of running out.

    CR:
    In your piece, you said that my inbox now has a number of emails asking for leads on new dealers from people who lost theirs. If any of you know someone, mainly in the in the area of Massachusetts. I know a guy who needs a guy. So did he ever find a guy?

    SK:
    I don't know if he ever found a guy. I couldn't find him a guy, because I didn't know anybody in that area. But I also, after the piece ran, I got a bunch of DMs from people who were like, I also live in that neighborhood and I need a guy. So I don't know what's going on in Massachusetts. But they need to get their shit together. Clearly they're having those shortage.

    HB:
    One guy is about to have a lot of customers.

    SK:
    It really sounds like there was one guy who was dealing in that area, and he decided he didn't want to during this, and now there's a bunch of people who are running dry. I feel really bad for them. I don't know what to do.

    CR:
    And that very much checks out. I went to school in Boston and coming from California, it's not a great place. Weed isn't just everywhere for everyone there.

    SK:
    And also like what else are you supposed to do during this time? Everybody needs a hobby.

    CR:
    A lot of people who you spoke with were medical patients, and were worried about the supply problem. Have you heard back from any of them?

    SK:
    Yeah, so for a few of them they ended up finding new sources and they ended up finding new people. I think the anxiety about weed running out was, I think, a little higher than what ended up happening. I don't think a lot of them have actually seen significant shortages, especially in States where it is legal, even though people were worried about curbside pickup being banned, which I don't think it has been since. But I think generally it's anxiety producing, not being able to get access to the things that make you feel good and comfortable and healthy and safe is really scary. And this is just one example of that. When there's already a lot of uncertainty, people are going to be afraid about it for a while until we have a sense of when we can feel safe going outside.

    HB:
    So like we've mentioned, you're from Canada, Casey is in California, you and me, Scaachi, were in New York, which is far less civilized. Of the people who reached out to you, was there any sort of disparity between people being more concerned where weed was illegal versus where it is legal? Not just about supply, but about the actual legality of it and how that would make it harder to across.

    SK:
    Yeah, let me tell you, I've never understood why Americans were so frustrated with Canadian smugness than I did working on this piece, because the number of responses that were like, "What do you mean? I just put an order and the government sent it to my house. How could this ever be a problem?" I was like, "This is why nobody cares that we burn down the White House because we're so obnoxious about the three things that you've done we have to talk about it all the fucking time." Yeah, I got a ton of responses like that. And those people are not worried and I'm very happy for them, and they shouldn't be worried. And I wished that was more commonplace. But now Canada has a health insurance and they have weeds. So come on, America do one thing. Do one thing.

    CR:
    So this story ran on March 30th we're almost a month further into the lockdown. Have you considered an update on how the situation has changed?

    SK:
    Well, I don't know. I haven't really thought about it yet, only because I don't know if there really is one. I think, frustratingly, it's a case by case thing. So there are people who continue to have access because they know a guy, and that guy's happy to keep coming to their house and other people don't, and they don't know what to do. And that's why I have so many DMs from people asking if I know a guy that can hook them up. But tragically, it's another example of the lack of certainty we have right now.

    HB:
    Final question for you, Scaachi. What are you doing with your day, this special blessing day, once you're off the line with us?

    SK:
    Again, I'm an immigrant to this country, so I'm going to like pray, and recite the amendments and I'm going to read up on U.S. History and memorize all the presidents in order. And then I'm going to write a letter to all of them and tell them that I'm so thankful for letting me stay in this beautiful country, which is Freedom, and Eagles, America, Flag, Liberty

    CR:
    Wow.

    HB:
    Well put.

    SK:
    Thank you.

    HB:
    Thank you so much Scaachi.

    SK:
    Some of us are waiting for a green card guys, so we can't go running our mouths. It's also my mother's birthday so I'm going to write her a letter about the Indian Government, where I say the exact same things.

    HB:
    Sounds great Happy birthday Mama Koul.

    SK:
    Everybody was getting a letter about Liberty and Eagle and Flag.

    CR:
    Well thank you so much Scaachi.

    SK:
    Do you guys still love flag? Because it's important that we end this with you admitting that you love flag. Say it.

    HB:
    We love flag so much. Flag is very important to us. Scaachi, thank you for keeping us patriotic and on our toes during our first episode.

    CR:
    And a very, very happy 4/20 to you, and to everyone.

    CR:
    It's time for the list, because if you know BuzzFeed at all, you know how much we love lists. Today, we've got six of the most indecipherable push alerts from CoStar.

    HB:
    CoStar, for those of you out there who somehow don't care about star signs, is the premier astrology app for millennials between the ages of 24 and 35.

    CR:
    And which are supposed to sum up your day, have gotten pretty weird lately. Without further ado, here's some of our favorites. The only library you need is the one inside your mind.

    HB:
    Number two, poetry teeters on the edge of insanity.

    CR:
    Number three, every person you've met is a mirror.

    HB:
    Number four, you are not a corpse, karma yet.

    CR:
    Number five, it can be hard to tell the difference between good and bad luck when you don't have a father.

    HB:
    And finally, number six, this inscrutable masterpiece, research words 86 and five B with someone, period. What? None of them make any sense whatsoever. I personally love the good luck, bad luck, when you don't have a father one, because that's like several layers of judgment, that I don't know where that's coming from.

    CR:
    And I like the library one because it was sent to me. I got that push. I kid you not when I was on my way to a library to get a new library card, but it was telling me apparently not to go. I still went. I don't know.

    HB:
    Just denying the stars. I like astrology, but only as far as like the star signs and picking out character trait. I don't like the, "Here's what the star say your day is going to be like." Pretty much.

    CR:
    I totally agree with that, because I'm not looking for something to tell me how to live my day. I know how to do that. What I'm looking for is astrology to tell me everything about my personality, the personality of my friends and the personality of my enemies so that I better prepare to handle them.

    HB:
    The enemy's one is really key. You have to know how to properly take down a, probably, Scorpio. No apology to Scorpios out there.

    CR:
    I need to know their weak spots. I need to know. And that's coming from a Capricorn, if that makes sense.

    HB:
    There's soft underbellies. Okay listeners, have you spotted a good/confusing push alert out there in the wild. Please tell us all about it. Open up the voice memo app on your phone, hit record, then send yours to us at newsoclock@buzzfeed.com, that's newso'clock@buzzfeed.com, or you can DM us on Twitter, we're at @newsoclock, all one word there as well. Be sure also to let us know where you're sending yours in from, because we gather all the best of submissions from our lists throughout the week and compile them into one mega list. So keep an ear out for yours.

    CR:
    We have time for one more thing because we just can't let you go until we talk about this. Keira Knightley's secret talent is everything I didn't know we needed in this world.

    HB:
    I'm listening.

    CR:
    I know we're all learning a lot about ourselves during quarantine and learning about each other.

    HB:
    Sometimes too much about each other, but yes.

    CR:
    Okay, you seem very unsympathetic to the plight of the extroverts out there, but fine.

    HB:
    Not everything requires jumping on Instagram live, but I digress.

    CR:
    No, I get it. We really have sort of devolved back into an earlier time of social media when everyone was just really boring.

    HB:
    Years later and suddenly everyone's tweets are like we're back in 2008, "Eating a sandwich. Just looked outside, it was pretty."

    CR:
    Have chosen this time to share with us a talent that I dare say we needed now more than ever. Keira Knightley was asked to do a video for World Health Day earlier month for the Hope From Home Fundraising Project.

    HB:
    But I feel like we knew Keira Knightley was mad talented though. So what's she been hiding from us?

    CR:
    Just you wait, feast your ears on this.

    Kiera Knightley:
    I was trying to think of something entertaining to do, and I couldn't think of anything. So I'm going to play my teeth, which is my one and any party trick. Here's Yesterday by the Beatles.

    CR:
    Hayes, that is what I call having raw talent.

    HB:
    That was like a skit from the Muppets show brought to life, and I honestly don't know how to feel about this.

    CR:
    What's really great is that I looked up Keira Knightley playing music on teeth, because I wanted to know more, and this is not the first time she has done this. She's also done it on Conan and the Graham Norton show. So I just love that she's doing this one woman show just going around playing music on her teeth.

    HB:
    It's the same song every time. Is it always Yesterday by the Beatles?

    CR:
    No, I think on Conan she did Despacito.

    HB:
    I'm stunned. How bored do you have to be to start just clicking your teeth like that and realize I can make tune out of this one?

    CR:
    Really bored, but also perfect time during quarantine. She's like one ahead of all of us. She has a talent. What do we have? I can do puzzles. Everyone can do puzzles.

    HB:
    I'm not about to go to a party to be like, "Want to watch me do The New York Times crossword." No, everyone will leave me completely standing isolated alone, which I guess is up to par with quarantine [inaudible 00:22:32].

    CR:
    Wait, but do you have any party tricks that that you've shown people before?

    HB:
    God, I wish. I feel like any party trick I've ever attempted to show people looking back on it is just a huge cringe moment. So no, I got nothing Casey. How about you?

    CR:
    No. You know what? I don't put myself out there like that, but I do know that when I was in elementary school, I used to tell people that I had dimples on my shoulders that only appeared when I smiled, but really I just have these weird dimples on my shoulders I was born with and they're, there always.

    HB:
    Keira Knightley look out, Casey's coming for you with a new secret talent. All right, that's it for today. Thank you for joining us for the first show. Join us tomorrow for a look at the Anti-stay At Home Protests that are happening in Michigan and the rest of the country.

    CR:
    And friends remember, stopping to smell the roses is only a good idea still if you keep your face mask on all the way over your nose and mouth, seriously.

    HB:
    Be sure to subscribe to News O'clock on the iHeartRadio app, Apple podcast or wherever you go for your sound stories.

    CR:
    A please take some time to give us a rating and a review. It helps us figure out what you like about the show versus what you love about the show. You can also give us a follow on twitter.com at News O'clock.

    HB:
    And finally be sure to tell your friends about the show and have them set their alarms so they never miss News O'clock.

    CR:
    And please take the time to leave us a rating and a review. It helps us figure out what you like about the show versus what you love about the show. You can also give us a follow on twitter.com at New O'clock.

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