The Aron Bender Podcast

Everyone has a story. I get them to tell it.

About the show

The Aron Bender Podcast features conversations with media personalities about their personal and professional lives and journeys. We talk about successes and struggles, failures and firings, loss, grief, forgiveness, parenthood, recovery, mental health, self care, perseverance and love.

Episodes

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    Julie Chang: TV Journalist, Activist, 940 Life Founder

    May 7th, 2021  |  27 mins 39 secs
    #stopaapihate, #stopasianhate, 2020, 2021, 940 life, aron bender, bias, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, faith, fatherhood, forgiveness, god, grief, hard work, identity, instagram, journalism, joy, loss, love, mental health, motherhood, news, pandemic, podcast, police, positivity, race, racial identity, racism, recovery, religion, retirement, self care, self love, struggle, success, therapy, tiktok, tv news, twitter, widower, wife, youtube

    Julie Chang is a TV journalist most recently with Fox 11 here in Los Angeles but she also spent a lot of time working in New York. She’s a wife, a mother of two adorable little ones, an activist, an actress, and a brain tumor survivor. She’s also the founder of 940 Life, which she explains in this quick conversation that we had to squeeze into an afternoon a few weeks ago is about the 940 weekends we have with our children from the time they're born to when they turn 18. Julie and I talked about the crimes targeting the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, how she talks with (and learns from) her kids about racism, sliding into her now-husband's DMs, and how my late wife nudged her to say yes to coming on the podcast to begin with. Thank you for your time, Julie. Means the world!

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    Emily D. Baker: The Badass Lawyer

    April 26th, 2021  |  1 hr 1 min
    2020, 2021, aron bender, bias, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, daunte wright, depression, derek chauvin, district attorney, emily d. baker, faith, fatherhood, forgiveness, george floyd, george gascon, god, grief, hard work, identity, instagram, james charles, journalism, joy, law, law nerds, lawyer, legal commentary, loss, love, mental health, news, pandemic, podcast, police, positivity, race, racial identity, racism, recovery, religion, retirement, self care, self love, struggle, success, tati westbrook, tennessee, therapy, tiktok, tv news, twitter, widower, youtube

    Aron Bender talks with "The Badass Lawyer" Emily D. Baker. She traded the courtroom for the creator studio, and now has one of the more popular legal commentary channels on YouTube. We talk about moving from Southern California to Tennessee in the middle of the pandemic, grappling with identity when your career is taken away and how her family has grown from it, how she picks the cases she covers and how her channel gained 55,000 subscribers in a month, and we get her thoughts on Los Angeles County's new District Attorney George Gascón.

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    LZ Granderson: Chauvin Verdicts Reaction, Justice vs. Accountability, Racial and Sexual Identity

    April 21st, 2021  |  57 mins 33 secs
    2020, 2021, abc, abc news, aron bender, bias, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, daunte wright, depression, derek chauvin, espn, faith, fatherhood, forgiveness, gay, george floyd, god, grief, hard work, instagram, journalism, joy, la times, los angeles times, loss, love, mental health, news, pandemic, podcast, police, positivity, race, racial identity, racism, recovery, religion, self care, self love, sexual identity, struggle, success, therapy, tiktok, tv news, twitter, widower, youtube

    Aron Bender talks with LZ Granderson of Sedano, LZ & Kap weekday afternoons 4-7 on ESPN LA 710, the LA Times Sports & Culture Columnist, and can be seen on ABC News and other platforms. We talk about the guilty verdicts in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the differences between justice and accountability, growing up in Detroit, how he manages trauma, struggling with his racial and sexual identity, impostor syndrome, the role God has played in his life even if LZ wasn’t listening, and an unexpected deep dive into the tennis world. I'm so grateful for this conversation. Thank you, LZ!

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    Elex Michaelson: Recognizing Bias

    April 19th, 2021  |  41 mins 6 secs
    2020, 2021, abc7, aron bender, bias, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, daunte wright, depression, faith, fatherhood, forgiveness, fox 11, george floyd, grief, hard work, instagram, journalism, joy, kttv, loss, love, mental health, news, pandemic, podcast, police, positivity, race, racism, recovery, religion, san diego, self care, self love, struggle, success, therapy, tiktok, trump, tv news, twitter, widower, xetv, youtube

    Aron Bender talks with Elex Michaelson -- a Southern California native who went to USC double majoring in broadcast journalism and political science — graduating at the top of his class. He started his career at XETV San Diego 6 but quickly made it back to LA as a reporter for ABC7. He made the move to Fox 11 in 2017 and in addition to anchoring multiple newscasts a night he’s the host of the political talk show “The Issue Is …” and co-host of a nightly special on COVID-19. In this episode we talk about recognizing bias in reporting, the difficulty of covering politics at a time when that arena’s full of hate, the future of news and how it’s delivered, and his love for storytelling.

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    Star Harvey: Weather Star

    April 16th, 2021  |  1 hr 5 mins
    2020, abc7, aron bender, bias, colorado, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, cw39, daunte wright, denver, depression, faith, fatherhood, forgiveness, george floyd, god, grand junction, grief, hard work, houston, instagram, journalism, joy, krex, loss, love, mental health, motherhood, news, pandemic, podcast, police, positivity, race, racism, recovery, religion, self care, self love, single mom, struggle, success, therapy, tiktok, tv news, twitter, weather, widower, youtube

    Aron Bender talks with Star Harvey -- a meteorologist at CW39 in Houston. Before getting to Texas she was a reporter and did the weather at KREX5 in Grand Junction, Colorado. But even before that she was one of my students at California State University, Northridge. And Star lived up to her name. Still does. She went from an on-again-off-again college student to single mom to standout university graduate to making one of the biggest TV market jumps ever … from 187 to 8. It’s a testament to her drive, ambition, and faith. Not only in God but ultimately herself. I talk with Star about why she thought she couldn't be on TV, conversations with her son about playing with guns and interactions with police, being black in Colorado, Houston humidity, and her message to her mom who raised 7 kids on her own.

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    Lori Lizarraga: LatinXed Feedback

    April 14th, 2021  |  56 mins 15 secs
    2020, aron bender, bakersfield, bias, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, denver, depression, faith, fatherhood, forgiveness, grief, hard work, instagram, journalism, joy, kget, kusa, latina, latinx, lori lizarraga, loss, love, mental health, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, race, racism, recovery, religion, self care, self love, struggle, success, therapy, tiktok, tv news, twitter, widower, youtube

    Aron Bender talks with Lori Lizarraga -- a TV news reporter who just finished a two-year stint at KUSA 9News in Denver. Prior to that she worked at KGET in Bakersfield. On her way out of Colorado she wrote an article for Denver news website Westword.com called "LatinXed: 9News Got Rid of Three Latina Reporters This Past Year, Including Me." (linked below) She writes about what she describes as oppressive policies and actions — including using “illegal” instead of “undocumented,” one reporter wasn’t allowed to cover immigration stories unless she revealed her immigration status, Lori says she wasn’t even allowed to wear her hair in a bun with a middle part as she’s seen and worn as a Mexican and Ecuadorian woman all her life, and a week after she and her colleagues presented a plan to improve the station’s coverage of last year’s racial justice movement SHE was put on improvement plan. In this episode we get into Lori’s thought process going into writing the article, concerns about what she’s done to her career, and conversations with her siblings and immigrant parents before and since it came out.

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    Stephanie Harlowe and Jon Chrymes: True Crime YouTubers

    April 12th, 2021  |  1 hr 3 mins
    2020, aron bender, bias, casey anthony, caylee anthony, chris watts, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, elisa lam, fatherhood, forgiveness, grief, hard work, hotel cecil, instagram, jon chrymes, journalism, joy, loss, love, madeleine mccann, mental health, murder, mystery, netflix, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, race, racism, recovery, religion, self care, self love, stephanie harlowe, struggle, success, therapy, tiktok, true crime, tv news, twitter, widower, youtube

    Aron Bender is joined by True Crime YouTubers Stephanie Harlowe and Jon Chrymes. Stephanie has been creating content on YouTube for three years. She posted her first video on April 12, 2018. Happy Anniversary! Initially it was lots of beauty reviews and unboxings but in July of that year she started experimenting with Mystery Mondays — posting true crime content. And as you’ll hear Stephanie tell the story — true crime quickly took over. And Stephanie co-hosts the Crime Weekly Podcast. Also in 2018, Jon Chrymes moved in to the true crime space on YouTube. He's quickly gained a loyal following. We talk about some of the cases they've covered, such as Madeleine McCann and Chris Watts, how they maintain their mental health when deep diving into mysteries and the worst of humanity, what they do for self-care, and how they handle the fame that comes with becoming stars in the true crime genre on YouTube.

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    Maria Quiban: You Can't Do It Alone

    April 8th, 2021  |  1 hr 4 mins
    2020, aron bender, bias, brain cancer, catholic, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, fatherhood, forgiveness, fox11, glioblastoma, good day la, grief, hard work, instagram, journalism, joy, kttv, loss, love, mental health, meteorologist, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, race, racism, recovery, religion, self care, self love, struggle, success, therapy, tiktok, tv news, twitter, widow, widower

    Aron Bender first talked with author and KTTV Fox 11 Good Day LA meteorologist Maria Quiban when he hosted Wake Up Call on KFI in Los Angeles. She had just returned from bereavement leave after her husband Sean died of glioblastoma (GBM), a deadly form of brain cancer. In Maria's new book "You Can't Do It Alone: A Widow's Journey Through Loss, Grief and Life After," she writes about the 18 months she, Sean and their son Gus spent from diagnosis to Sean's passing, how she and Gus handled Sean's death, and what they learned about themselves and each other. "You Can't Do It Alone" has been a big help in my life since my wife's passing 4+ months ago. Maria and I talk about watching our warrior partners power through pain, the toll it takes on us and our children, the importance of therapy and communication, how losing her own father when she was 7 helped her prepare for Sean's death, and how she and her son have bonded using TikTok. This is such a meaningful conversation, and I hope you are as moved by it as I was. Thank you for supporting The Aron Bender Podcast.

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    Corey Nathan: Talkin' Politics & Religion Without Killin' Each Other

    March 31st, 2021  |  44 mins 35 secs
    2020, aron bender, bias, christian, christianity, corey nathan, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, fatherhood, forgiveness, grief, hard work, instagram, jew, jewish, journalism, joy, loss, love, mental health, news, pandemic, podcast, politics, positivity, privilege, race, racism, recovery, religion, santa clarita, self care, self love, struggle, success, therapy, tik tok, trump, twitter, white, white privilege

    Aron Bender and Corey Nathan are practically neighbors in Santa Clarita, California. Corey was born in New York but raised on the Jersey side. He's been in SoCal since 1995. Over the years he’s worn a lot of hats: stockbroker, theatre, independent film, and is a partner in the team-building firm Nathan, McDowell & Rose. But what drew me to Corey was his podcasting. He hosts two podcasts. The first is Trailer Geeks & Teaser Gods — going behind the scenes of the trailers that go viral on social media. But much of our conversation centered around Corey’s newest podcast: Talkin’ Politics and Religion Without Killin’ Each Other. I’m actually his guest on the latest episode of TP&R (link below). We talk about how he told his Jewish parents he's converting to Christianity, why he moved to California, sometimes co-hosting the podcast with his dad, and channeling his creativity into podcasting.

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    Destiny Malibu: Out of the Shadows

    March 31st, 2021  |  1 hr 22 secs
    2018, 2020, american idol, aron bender, bias, borderline shooting, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, destiny malibu, fatherhood, forgiveness, grief, hard work, instagram, journalism, joy, latin music, latina, loss, love, mental health, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, privilege, race, racism, recovery, self care, self love, struggle, success, therapy, tik tok, twitter, white, white privilege, woolsey fire

    Aron Bender first found Destiny Malibu on LinkedIn. As I started to reconnect with the world after my wife passed away LinkedIn was actually the first social media I spent any time on. And there she was: Destiny Malibu "Singer-Songwriter, Mental Health Advocate." It's the last part for me. That someone would so proudly put into their title they're a "mental health advocate." So I reached out and it’s been such a treat to learn more and follow her these last few months — and it’s cool that my girls can actually watch her videos and listen to her music. We talked about self-care and self-love, how her family got through the Borderline Bar & Grill Shooting and losing their house in the Woolsey Fire in 2018 -- just months after being on American Idol, her upbringing with a mom who had her own singing career, and how she deals with haters and trolls in her IG Live that she does every weeknight at 8. Yes, Destiny is from Malibu but for now she lives in Las Vegas.

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    DJ Hed: How White People Shower

    March 30th, 2021  |  54 mins 32 secs
    2020, aron bender, bias, black, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, dj hed, fatherhood, forgiveness, grief, hard work, instagram, jeans, journalism, joy, los angeles, loss, love, mental health, news, pandemic, poc, podcast, positivity, privilege, race, racism, recovery, self care, shower, struggle, success, therapy, twitter, west coast, white, white privilege

    Aron Bender first talked with DJ Hed for a podcast a couple years ago. Had to bring him back for this new one. Hed and Chuck Dizzle are Home Grown Radio Monday through Saturday nights in Los Angeles on hip hop station Real 92.3. That's fitting because Hed’s all about real, authenticity and honesty. DJ Hed is Southern California born and raised. His motto is "West Coast." We talk about Hed's "white family," how it was growing up as a "square" and a nerd, and I explain to him why I don't always wash my feet in the shower -- and rarely wash my jeans!

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    Chenue Her: #StopAsianHate

    March 26th, 2021  |  21 mins 8 secs
    #stopasianhate, aron bender, asian american, atlanta, bias, chenue her, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, fatherhood, forgiveness, grief, hard work, hmong, instagram, journalism, joy, loss, love, mass shooting, mental health, minneapolis, minnesota, news, pandemic, poc, podcast, positivity, privilege, race, racism, recovery, self care, siblings, spa shooting, struggle, success, therapy, twitter, white privilege

    Aron Bender is joined for this special episode by WXIA TV reporter Chenue Her in Atlanta. The Hmong American who grew up in Minnesota has been covering the March 16th mass shootings at Young's Asian Massage, Gold Massage Spa and Aromatherapy Spa in metro Atlanta. We talk about the disgusting rise in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans, handling all the layers of covering a mass shooting that targeted Asian Americans while being Asian American himself, how to have uncomfortable conversations, how allies can help, and maintaining mental health and self care as someone who grew up in a culture where mental health wasn't talked about.

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    Tyrah Majors: Golden Ticket

    March 25th, 2021  |  42 mins 15 secs
    african-american, aron bender, author, bakersfield, bias, black, children's book, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, csuf, dad life, daughter, depression, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, failure, fatherhood, filters, forgiveness, fullerton, girl dad, grief, hard work, instagram, journalism, joy, loss, love, major moves, mental health, music, networking, news, pandemic, poc, podcast, positivity, privilege, race, racism, recovery, san diego, santa barbara, seattle, self care, siblings, small business, sports, struggle, success, therapy, traffic, twitter, tyrah majors, white privilege

    Aron Bender is joined by Tyrah Majors -- who is barely out of college but already making major moves. She grew up in San Diego, went to school in Santa Barbara, Orange County and quickly ran through grad school at USC. She just started a new job KOMO 4 TV in Seattle as a reporter and morning traffic anchor, but she also was just awarded a Golden Mike from the Radio Television News Association of Southern California for her work at KBAK in Bakersfield. We talked about her love of storytelling (she's the author of a children's book "Grammy and Me") and how she uses her childhood experience as a model and actress to work through difficult times. Tyrah and I also discuss what life was like growing up as the middle child between two brothers and a baby sister, growing up in mostly-white San Diego, her role as a torchbearer for the next generation of young black women, her self care methods, tips and tricks, and the importance of mental health during and after the pandemic.

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    DJ EFN: Miami on the Map

    March 18th, 2021  |  37 mins 57 secs
    aron bender, bias, cuba, cuban, dad life, daughter, depression, divorce, dj efn, drink champs, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, failure, fatherhood, filters, florida, forgiveness, girl dad, grief, hard work, hiphop, instagram, journalism, joy, latino, loss, love, mental health, miami, mixtape, music, networking, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, privilege, race, racism, rap, recovery, self care, small business, sports, struggle, success, therapy, twitter, white privelege

    Aron Bender is joined by DJ EFN -- a legend in Miami hiphop and a trailblazer in the podcast game. Eric Narciandi came up in the 90's and early 2000's dropping dozens of mixtapes that didn’t just put him and his crew on the map. He helped put South Florida on the map. And as we get into in this conversation, he wasn’t about to settle with just music. He’s started an international documentary series called "Coming Home," and is one of the creators of one of the most successful podcasts: "Drink Champs." But his story doesn’t start in Miami … it starts in Southern California. He lived in Anaheim Hills and then South Gate before finally settling in Miami after his Cuban parents divorced. We talk about his relationship with his Vietnam War veteran father, how he broke into the music business shooting his shot at a conference in Miami in the early 90's, his career "pivots," and what it's like being a 40-something dad with two young kids.

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    Beto Duran: Mr. 1099

    March 18th, 2021  |  1 hr 1 min
    aron bender, bias, dad life, daughter, depression, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, failure, filters, forgiveness, girl dad, golf, grief, hard work, instagram, journalism, joy, latino, loss, love, mental health, music, networking, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, privilege, race, racism, recovery, self care, small business, sports, struggle, success, therapy, twitter, white privelege

    Aron Bender hangs out with Beto Duran -- a fixture in Southern California sports media. He came up through the ranks at ESPN, has called and covered all kinds of games and fights, and can be seen Sunday afternoons alongside the legend Jim Hill on CBS2 Sports Central. Beto’s nickname is Mr. 1099 because of all the freelance work he does. We talk about dad life, how he pushes his son to be the best and realest he can be, why he posts the silliest pics on Instagram, and at some point we turn into old men talking about going to school before email and the internet.

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    Bernadette Capulong: Designer, Entrepreneur, Mom

    March 11th, 2021  |  41 mins 51 secs
    adoption, aron bender, bias, daughter, depression, design, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, failure, forgiveness, girl dad, grief, hard work, journalism, joy, loss, love, mental health, music, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, race, racism, recovery, self care, small business, son, struggle, success, therapy

    Aron Bender's guest this episode is no stranger to struggles and challenges. Bernadette Capulong started her own design firm pretty much in her kitchen in Southern California during the recession in 2009. She stepped back into the corporate world but a few years later would put the entrepreneur hat back on. And around the same time she stepped into the most meaningful shoes of motherhood: adopting her son. We talk about her leadership philosophy, the challenges of being an entrepreneur and a single parent, and why Bernadette wanted to adopt.