For Your Listening Pleasure: Podcasts
Lede of the week, from the Washington Post’s Alexandra Petri, captures the constant state of disbelief pearl-clutching aghast I find myself in: "To call this past weekend in the Trump administration a garbage fire would be a disservice to garbage fires, which at least shed light and get rid of garbage."
Which is why I’ve put my post-election true-crime podcast binge on hold, and started re-entering politics into my listening system, much like one delicately eats saltines after a 48hr bout of soul-wracking food poisoning. So here’s what I’ve subscribed to:
Slate’s Political Gabfest features my podcast favorite John Dickerson from Face The Nation, Emily Bazelon and David Plotz. They combine the frank and funny conversation of friends with heavily sourced reporting and insight.
Start with the wonderfully named “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses… Ah, Screw It."
I couldn’t listen to Keepin’ it 1600 in the weeks preceding and after the election, because the memory of just how sure they were that Hillary would win made their shell-shocked election response even more frustrating. But the self-described Obama Bros Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, Tommy Vietor and (my favorite) Jon Lovett licked their wounds, quit their jobs and started the Crooked Media Company. Their debut Pod Save America has the camaraderie, insider insight and NSFW language of 1600 but interlaced with real calls to action and ways for progressives to get involved and resist. Pod Save the World is Vietor’s spinoff focusing on international relations and is a must-listen for anyone who follows the UN for fun.
Start with "Obama’s last interview" (!!!)
Reveal by the Center for Investigative Reporting is one of the best podcasts out there, period. Host Al Letson and his team of reporters find ways to illuminate and explore parts of America not seen by those of us in coastal bubbles. Reveal had boundless empathy for people, but doesn’t pull punches when it comes to issues.
Start with "A frank conversation with a white nationalist,” wherein Letson, who is African American, interviews alt-right leader Richard Spencer - he of “Nazi Punching” and proclaiming "Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!” fame. It’s an indepth and civil conversation, which means it is more chilling as Spencer calmly describes his work towards a white ethnostate.