Posted on January 23, 2018
Tuesday Tip: 6 Podcasts to Keep You Sane During the Trump Era
6 Progressive Podcasts to Keep You Sane During the Trump Era
“May you live in interesting times,” goes the old curse. We are certainly doing that. There are billion-dollar corporations getting tax cuts, then announcing mass layoffs. There are weather events across the country verging on the apocalyptic. There are world leaders willing to risk war by means of a tweet. I don’t know about you but I’m hoping for more uneventful times—and the sooner the better.
Until then, there are many interesting (in the best sense of the word!) podcasts that help us make sense of this odd era we live in. In fact, at least a thousand political podcasts—most progressive podcasts have launched since the 2016 election.
Here are six of our favorites.
1. Daily Kos Radio
Daily Kos, if you don’t already know, is one of the premier progressive websites—a news organization, community and activist hub with over 10 million unique visitors every month. Daily Kos Radio is its voice. Episodes cover news of the day and progressive politics with insight, dry wit, and sardonic humor from host David Waldman (contributing editor at Daily Kos) and a cast of friends and other experts. Their podcast is engaging and approachable, as they explore topics with the enthusiasm and affability of pals sharing a chat over coffee at the local cafe. Find it here.
2. Democracy Now!
You may be familiar with Democracy Now!, the excellent independent TV and radio news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. This is that daily program in podcast form. It features global news headlines, in-depth interviews and long-form investigative reports free of advertising and government funding. Goodman and Gonzalez frequently discuss corporate and government abuses of power and often focus on ordinary people working to make change in these extraordinary times. The podcasts feature video for watching on-screen. Find it here.
“Could very well be the best political podcast available at the moment,” says Salon.com. Hosted by Jeremy Scahill—investigative reporter, war correspondent, and founding editor of pioneering “adversarial journalism” site the Intercept—the Intercepted podcast focuses each week on a particular news story. Lately, of course, it has zeroed in on Donald Trump and his rolling disaster but the show also features interviews with artists, thinkers, and newsmakers who challenge prevailing preconceptions. Episodes are ad-free and run an hour or more. Find it here.
4. Majority Report with Sam Seder
Seder is a comedian, writer, film director and actor who once appeared in Sex and the City, among other TV shows and movies. His podcast provides informed, thoughtful political analysis with a healthy dose of scathing humor and features insightful interviews with guests ranging from politicians to musicians. Daily 40-minute episodes are free but if you pay a small monthly membership, you get access to the “fun half,” an extra hour of content that includes more comedy, as well as banter with listeners on topics like, “Can social movements change policy or must we engage in bourgeois electoralism?” Find it here.
5. Pod Save America
It’s been called the new Daily Show and the best podcast for surviving the Trump era. It’s definitely the breakout hit of this genre. Four former aides to President Obama—Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor—are joined by politicians, activists, journalists, and comedians for irreverent, entertaining, “no bullshit” conversations about politics. Notable guests have included Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, and Barack Obama, who did his last interview as president with Pod Save America. Episodes are twice weekly and run 40-80 minutes. Find it here.
6. Politically Re-Active
Sometimes you just have to laugh. Hosts W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu can help. Bell is a standup comedian and host of the CNN docu-series United Shades of America. Kondabolu is “one of the most exciting political comics in standup today,” says the New York Times. Together, they discuss living in the age of Trump—how to be active in the resistance and smile in the face of our national dumpster fire. The wide-ranging show has in the past hosted guests from Neil deGrasse Tyson to Jake Tapper. Weekly episodes run about an hour. Find it here.
Those are our six podcasts for riding out the Trump era, long may it not live. If you’re listening to others, let us know! We’re always on the lookout for informative and entertaining political podcasts.