(Austin, TX) — With an array of streaming services and a variety of podcasts, one stands out – the I am Rapaport stereo podcast hosted by the multi-talented Michael Rapaport. Rapaport, known for his roles as an actor, comedian, and public figure, has discovered a new calling through his podcast.
It raises intriguing questions: Can a public figure serve as an effective information source on global issues? Does podcasting elevate him to the status of a journalist? In a world where freedom of speech empowers anyone to host a podcast, where does entertainment end, and information begin?
Listening to Rapaport’s podcast for the first time might strike you as encountering a loud, perhaps even brash individual. His show begins with a rundown of what he’ll be talking about on the show and maybe you’ll even hear his loud, “Boom!” He even introduces himself as AKA “The Gringo Mandingo” or the “Disruptive Warrior” and his other coin phrase, “Mr. New York.” He also says that he hopes everyone is feeling safe and well before getting into his show. Once the introductions are done he has set the tone for another unfiltered episode of a non-traditional show.
In episode 1,062 titled, ‘Fired Up’, he begins the show with his “Sick F*cks of The Week” segment. The award, “goes out to a certain type of sick fuck,” he says. That week on the list was Lauren Boebert, “The Hand-Job Bandint” because she was vaping at a showing of ‘Beetlejuice’ the musical, but also was engaging in sexual activity during the musical. He said she should resign and congratulated her for being on the list. Then on a more serious note also making the list was an incident that happened at a football game where a person died due to an argument between opposing fans. Rounding up the list were the TSA agents from Miami International Airport, who were caught stealing on surveillance video. He said, “I have my eyes on you, TSA, you fucks you, keep your hands to yourself whether you’re watching ‘Beetlejuice’ or doing your job.” Yet, that’s the unfiltered authenticity of a proud New Yorker who fearlessly speaks his mind.
While traditional journalists opt for a calm, professional demeanor, Rapaport takes a different path to inform his audience. In his own unique way, he unearths the truth, albeit a bit louder. His energy and passion come through with his voice. He also takes on any issue straight on with no fear. During episode 1073 he gives us his honest take on Halloween. Basically, he’s not handing out candy this year so don’t come to his apartment expecting candy. “I’m the Grinch of Halloween,” he said and don’t plan on ding-dong ditching at his apartment because he will chase you down.
But on the flip side, besides commentary and antics about his daily life, the show has covered some major news. From politics, to news about pop stars, to sports, he covers everything in between. No topic has loomed larger in the media than all things related to Donald Trump — and Rapaport is no exception. Episode 1,030 tackled Donald Trump being indicted and Rapaport used an honest approach when it came to breaking down the story for us, “They indicted him again (poom), they indicted pig dick Donald Trump, a one mo’ time, for keeping them boxes, them boxes of paper.” Not exactly something you would hear on your nightly news telecast. Rapaport’s content often diverges from the structured format of a typical newscast. However, this departure might be the very reason audiences are drawn to his show – to experience something refreshingly different.
His candid critiques have at times landed him in hot water. During Trump’s arraignment, he made headlines by comparing Trump’s neck to an unconventional analogy. While Rapaport’s language may be crass to some, it echoes a certain raw honesty. His commentary has even ignited viral fervor, a testament to his capacity to provoke thought. He also does not shy away from his booming laugh, which has been his reaction to any negative news involving Trump.
Yet, Rapaport’s unapologetic approach has also brought him to the attention of social media platforms. Earlier this year, Instagram issued a warning to prospective followers of his account. It hinted at content violations, raising comparisons to government censorship. He even made this a topic of discussion and fought back. Rapaport’s reaction, “Yo, do you guys see me on Instagram? Cause right now they have me shadow-ban, there’s a message saying that I spread false information, get the fuck out of here!” He also stated that he won’t and can’t stop his podcast. However, it prompts a profound question: Is he being censored for stating facts rather than disseminating falsehoods?
He doesn’t shy away from colorful language, and occasionally, his posted videos on social media may contain shocking comments. Yet, consider this: When confronted with unconventional incidents like a woman shaving her legs in the New York subway, how would you react? Rapaport’s candid commentary mirrors what many may think but few might say aloud. While reacting to a shocking scene like that, would you say loudly, “Oh you animal, you sick fucking animal, go to the Starbucks bathroom if you’re going to do that, not in a train station.” It prompts a reflection on authenticity versus convention. While a video like that may not have been shown on your nightly news, it could have been shown on shows like “Inside Edition” and even been a round table discussion on any morning talk show.
In addition to dissecting viral videos, Rapaport engages in insightful interviews with a diverse array of guests, ranging from comedians to athletes and actors. Rapaport’s questions transcend expectations, proving that he can be as serious as any journalist. A notable example is his thought-provoking conversation with Alec Baldwin. He doesn’t shy away from talking with Baldwin about his troubles with the paparazzi. Baldwin even recalled an altercation with a paparazzi, who while walking backward, while taking pictures of him, slipped, fell, and landed on his neighbor’s child.
Rapaport also holds his own when he is a guest on other shows. Being a sports fan, he noticeably went on “Undisputed” and even laughed when one of the hosts told him, very nonchalantly, to back away from the camera because he doesn’t need to see him that close-up. That is another example of his laid-back style. He also makes sure that his listeners understand who he is talking about by breaking it down for you. Recently with the Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce dating rumors he thought he’d tackle this subject for us. He went into great detail explaining who Kelce was for the non-football listeners and who Swift was for the non-Swiftie listeners. The frenzy these two have caused this country he said is amazing. His take on their dating is, “Stop being a hater and be a congratulator.”
Michael Rapaport’s podcast challenges convention by posing questions about authenticity, unfiltered commentary, and creating accessible information. Whether he qualifies as a journalist or not, one thing is certain — Rapaport has etched a unique and undeniably influential space within the ever-expanding realm of podcasting.