If you're a frequent reader of HTJL, you may know that I went from "not getting" podcasts to being a podcast whore pretty quickly. And once the terrible events of November 2016 took place, my podcast addiction spiraled out of control.
As you probably know by now, I work from home, so I no longer hear NPR on daily commutes. And in March, my boyfriend got me an Amazon Fire TV, so I ditched cable pretty quickly, and no longer see TV news now. So podcasts have become my link to the outside world (really, I have a gym and a pool in my building too, so my reasons for ever leaving this building have dwindled significantly).
However, despite diving head first into podcastland, I was still doing a daily routine of opening each of my favorite podcast websites on my computer's browser and checking to see if they had posted new episodes yet. I had a cycle for every day. Until my tech-savvy boyfriend introduced me to the iPhone podcasts app.
OK, so I get that this has been on my phone all along. In fact, it's an Apple app which means I couldn't even get rid of it if I wanted to. But before when I had subscribed to a podcast here or a podcast there, it started downloading them for me automatically, and before I knew it, I had the always-dreaded #storageproblemz.
So if any of you out there are like me (i.e., too lazy to explore what your phone can already do for you), I will tell you, you can customize this shit! You can add podcasts to your feed, make it so you don't get notifications, and set it so they don't download, but you can stream them. After all, I'm at home ALL THE TIME, so I have access to the wiffy and won't have #dataproblemz.
Best of all, you can make an "Up Next" playlist and order them however you want to listen to them. If you're like me, sometimes you're in the mood for different things -- news and politics, foodie stuff, true crime, comedy, etc. I like to binge my podcasts that way. And so I'm launching a series of my favorite podcasts by topic for your listening pleasure.
Since all this was really inspired by Our Orange Fuhrer, this week I'm starting with national news and politics.
Many of my favorite news podcasts are daily, which is necessary since the Cheeto-in-Chief churns out news nearly hourly by tweeting pseudo governance in 140 semi-illiterate characters. I start every day with the New York Times' "The Daily," which is usually 20 minutes to a half hour in length and typically goes into depth on whatever the biggest topic of the day, be it nuclear war by tweet or discrimination based on sexual orientation...also by tweet.
For a more in-depth look at WTF is going on and my NPR fix, I turn to "NPR Politics," which comes out twice weekly, sometimes more. Depends how Ivanka's dad is feeling. This panel of NPR beat reporters somehow manages to keep it all as light as possible and I feel up-to-date thanks to them.
Like "The Daily," NPR has a daily that is second on my feed every morning. "Up First" is never longer than 13 minutes and provides quick hits of everything you need to know. Which is really convenient since, let's be real, there's only so many times I can hear Trump's voice without wanting to throw my phone through the window.
Highly recommended in the past by Jen, Slate's "Political Gabfest" comes out every Thursday night and features a panel including Atlas Obscura's David Plotz, the New York Times Magazine's Emily Bazelon, and John Dickerson of "Face the Nation." It's usually about an hour and they go deep on the biggest issues of the week. They definitely lean left, but I appreciate their analysis and the debate they have with each other.
This is a new weekly one from the folks at "The Daily." Every Saturday, Michael Barbaro and one or more of his colleagues at the NYT profile someone important in Washington right now -- usually people you've been hearing about but are like "who the fuck is that?" For instance, Jeff Flake, Trump's pre-Harvey punching bag. The interviews are on point and give you an idea of the swamp Trump managed to make swampier.
Last but not least -- my favorite of all! I've written about "Pod Save America" before, but I cannot recommend these guys enough. Led by former Obama staffers, this is a decidedly biased ("crooked media") take on the news today, but these guys are hilarious, and whenever they're raging, I'm usually raging, and it's validating to hear I'm not the only one. It comes out twice a week, and their burgeoning empire includes other podcasts too, which will appear on more lists to come. So stay tuned!