Doge help me, I've become a political news junkie. I never was before. I don't like it. But my hate for Donald Trump burns with the fire of a thousand suns and I cannot stop listening to political podcasts.
If you're in the same boat as me, I've got some new podcasts for you to tap into during your commute/travel/cooking time. And if you make it all the way to the end (come on, there aren't that many), there's a treat in store for you in the form of an apolitical, highly entertaining podcast that I consider my weekly dose of escapism.
My favorite political podcast, Slate's Political Gabfest, only comes out once a week, and with Trump mouthing off every day and signing executive orders willy nilly, once a week is not nearly enough to quench my thirst for political news and analysis. I guess I'm not the only one, because a few weeks ago, the New York Times came out with The Daily, a Monday-Friday podcast with 20- to 30-minute episodes running down everything that happened the day (or night) before. Tweets included (rolls eyes). On uncharacteristically slow days, they go a little bit in depth into some of the implications of said news. For instance, they are currently following the story of Sammy, an orphaned teenage refugee whose immigration to the United States was paused just days before his departure date when Kings Bannon and Trump decided to hand down their nefarious Muslim ban.
Now that I am living the dream by working from home and never having a commute, I don't hear as much NPR as I used to. Luckily for me, the NPR Politics podcasts comes out a few times a week, depending on how much news there is. There's a rotating panel of the NPR correspondents you know and love, discussing and analyzing WHAT IT ALL MEANS. Trump might consider them fake news, but I trust these guys to give a relatively unbiased rundown of what the fuck is going on.
When I ran out of new episodes of all my old go-tos, I checked the top podcast charts on Apple and saw "Pod Save America" near the top of the overall charts and at the top of the News and Politics chart constantly. So I decided to give it a go. Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer, and Tommy Vietor tout themselves as four guys basically shooting the shit about politics -- a "no-bullshit conversation." Two of them worked for the Obama administration as speech writers and they are decidedly on the left, but I don't think this takes away at all from their critique of everything going on, especially in terms us non political hacks can understand. They're super witty and funny, and fun fact! When I started listening, I thought Jon Favreau was Jon Favreau, and Jon Lovett was Jon Lovitz.
I mentioned this one a while ago, but it's become part of my weekend routine. During one of my darkest moments since January 20, I happened to turn on NPR on a Saturday and hear people actually laughing about what's going on with Trump. Laughing! Telling jokes that made ME laugh too! Which was great, because that week I believe I had done quite a bit of crying. Now on the weekends, I put myself on a news and social media diet for my mental well-being, but I semi-cheat with "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" It's NPR's "current events quiz" with guest stars, a rotating panel of the quickest, funniest brilliant people, and listeners calling in. Yes, Trump comes up because we can't get away from the Omnipresent Orange, but there are also quizzes and fill-in-the-blank limericks and other good stuff about the week's weirdest stories. And if these awesome people can laugh at a time like this, I can too.
As promised, here's my little treat for you for making it through all my politically charged podcast picks of this post. "Who Weekly?" is basically a riff off "Us Weekly"...except it's about C- and D-list celebrities. WHO-lebrities, if you will. As you know, Jen and I are regular listeners of "Call Your Girlfriend," and Amina has mentioned "Who Weekly?" once or twice since she is a guest contributor. Also, I used to follow co-host Bobby Finger on Tumblr back years ago when I spent most of my working hours on Tumblr, so despite the fact that I am not one for celebrity news, I figured it was a good bet I'd like this one. As it turns out, I am not the only one who sees Rita Ora all the time but has no idea who the fuck she is! Literally every episode of "Who Weekly?" makes me LOL for real. Bobby and Lindsey have the best sense of humor, and this is now my go-to when I can't take the real world anymore. Good form, Bella Thorne!