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People I Listen To: Stuff You Should Know

A while ago, I did a series of posts called ‘People I Read’. In that series, I gave little blurbs about the other blogs and sites I regularly read. It was sort of a callback to the blogrolls of the early days of blogs. I thought it would be nice to do something similar for the podcasts I listen to. So here is a new series of blurbs. As with the previous series, I’ll try to put up a new one every couple of weeks.

Today’s podcast I listen to is Stuff You Should Know.

Stuff You Should Know is a podcast from the people at How Stuff Works, hosted by Charles “Chuck” Bryant and Josh Clark. On every episode, they take a medium-sized dive into a single topic, ranging from how Meals on Wheels works to whether vaping is bad for you. Admittedly, it can sometimes feel a little like an undergraduate report hastily pulled together from secondary sources and given off-the-cuff in front of the whole class. But if you want to learn a little bit about a new topic — and especially if you want to learn whether you want to learn more about a new topic — Stuff You Should Know provides a great entry point to subject after subject after subject. And with more than 1,000 episodes, there’s always something new to learn!

Listen on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

People I Listen To: Opening Arguments

A while ago, I did a series of posts called ‘People I Read’. In that series, I gave little blurbs about the other blogs and sites I regularly read. It was sort of a callback to the blogrolls of the early days of blogs. I thought it would be nice to do something similar for the podcasts I listen to. So here is a new series of blurbs. As with the previous series, I’ll try to put up a new one every couple of weeks.

Today’s podcast I listen to is Opening Arguments.

This is a new podcast for me, but I’ve listened to several episodes (even going back into the archives) and find it really enjoyable. In Opening Arguments, lawyer Andrew Torrez and guy-who-I-think-maybe-went-to-law-school Thomas Smith examine legal issues that are in the news, from Stormy Daniels to DACA to Constitutional originalism with intelligence and humor. As the intro to Opening Arguments says, don’t take legal advice from a podcast. But definitely take the time to listen!

Listen on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

People I Listen To: Vox’s the Weeds

A while ago, I did a series of posts called ‘People I Read’. In that series, I gave little blurbs about the other blogs and sites I regularly read. It was sort of a callback to the blogrolls of the early days of blogs. I thought it would be nice to do something similar for the podcasts I listen to. So here is a new series of blurbs. As with the previous series, I’ll try to put up a new one every couple of weeks.

Today’s podcast I listen to is Vox’s The Weeds.

Vox.com is well known as a place to go for explanatory journalism, providing context to current and ongoing news stories so that people can know more than the headlines. The Weeds is one of its companion podcasts, where Ezra Klein, Sarah Kliff, and Matthew Yglesias provide a deep dive into one or more current stories. It’s a great place to learn more about bank regulations, steel tariffs, Medicaid work requirements, or whatever else is in the news.

Listen on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

People I Listen To: Kaleidoscope

A while ago, I did a series of posts called ‘People I Read’. In that series, I gave little blurbs about the other blogs and sites I regularly read. It was sort of a callback to the blogrolls of the early days of blogs. I thought it would be nice to do something similar for the podcasts I listen to. So here is a new series of blurbs. As with the previous series, I’ll try to put up a new one every couple of weeks.

Today’s podcast I listen to is Kaleidoscope.

Kaleidoscope is a fairly new podcast — as I write this there are only two episodes out (there will be more by the time I publish) — from award winning journalist and writer Deborah Jian Lee. On the podcast, Lee, along with pastor-in-residence Erin James-Brown, explore faith and justice with activities, authors, and spiritual leaders. It isn’t an academic conversation, though. The first two episodes featured deeply person conversations with M. Barclay (the first non-binary trans person commissioned as a deacon in the United Methodist Church) and Eboo Patel (founder of Interfaith Youth Core and former spiritual advisor to President Obama). On Kaleidoscope, there is a profound meeting of personal narrative and broader ideas about faith and justice in difficult times.

Listen on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

People I Listen To: Whiting Wongs with Dan Harmon and Jessica Gao

A while ago, I did a series of posts called ‘People I Read’. In that series, I gave little blurbs about the other blogs and sites I regularly read. It was sort of a callback to the blogrolls of the early days of blogs. I thought it would be nice to do something similar for the podcasts I listen to. So here is a new series of blurbs. As with the previous series, I’ll try to put up a new one every couple of weeks.

Today’s podcast I listen to is Whiting Wongs with Dan Harmon and Jessica Gao.

Race has been a major driver in many aspects of American life — far more than we tend to think — for all of American history. A famous political example is the relationship between the three-fifths clause of the Constitution and the electoral collage. The three-fifths clause let states count three-fifths of the slaves who lived there for the purposes of representation. Since those slaves couldn’t vote — and no white person cared about their opinion — that basically amplified the voice of every white person in those states. While that obviously applied to the House of Representatives, where the representation of each state is determined by population, the electoral college ensured that it also applied to presidential elections. The electoral college is a system that doesn’t make sense unless you look at it through the lens of the role of race in American history.

Entertainment is another area where race is an important driver. As a white person, it’s easy for me to ignore the lack of diversity in my entertainment diet. But the fact is that the American media landscape is dominated by white people. In addition to that, people of color — and women, and LGBTQ folks, and others — are often erased from their own stories. It’s common to have a character of color ‘whitewashed’: played or voiced (in the case of animation) by a white person.

In Whiting Wongs, Dan Harmon (CommunityRick and Morty) and Jessica Gao (Rick and MortySilicon Valley) take on race in media. Everything from diversity in the writers’ room to the importance of seeing people like you on television to Dan’s hatred of sharks gets attention. And these topics get attention with humor, honesty, vulnerability, and grace.

Listen on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

People I Listen To: The Uncertain Hour

A while ago, I did a series of posts called ‘People I Read’. In that series, I gave little blurbs about the other blogs and sites I regularly read. It was sort of a callback to the blogrolls of the early days of blogs. I thought it would be nice to do something similar for the podcasts I listen to. So here is a new series of blurbs. As with the previous series, I’ll try to put up a new one every couple of weeks.

Today’s podcast I listen to is The Uncertain Hour.

One of my favorite newish podcasts is The Uncertain Hour, from the same people who bring us Marketplace. Each season of this podcast tackles one issue, allowing host Krissy Clark to take a deep dive into things like welfare reform (season one) and regulation (season two). The first season, for example, was an excellent primer on welfare form, thematically tied together by a single weird album focused on welfare-to-work. I highly recommend it if you want to learn the backstories behind some pressing current events.

Listen on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

People I Listen To: Preet Bharara

A while ago, I did a series of posts called ‘People I Read’. In that series, I gave little blurbs about the other blogs and sites I regularly read. It was sort of a callback to the blogrolls of the early days of blogs. I thought it would be nice to do something similar for the podcasts I listen to. So here is a new series of blurbs. As with the previous series, I’ll try to put up a new one every couple of weeks.

Today’s person I listen to is Preet Bharara.

Preet Bharara is the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Near the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency, the administration asked for resignation letters from all 46 U.S. Attorneys who were still serving at the time. Bharara refused to resign and was fired. He is well-known for his anti-corruption stances  work and for being largely apolitical and fair-minded.

Stay Tuned with Preet is a podcast about justice and fairness, featuring Bharara talking with figures like John Miller, Bill Browder, and Jeff Flake about issues ranging from civil rights to the Russia investigation and beyond.

Listen on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

People I Listen To: Pretty Much Everyone at Crooked Media

A while ago, I did a series of posts called ‘People I Read’. In that series, I gave little blurbs about the other blogs and sites I regularly read. It was sort of a callback to the blogrolls of the early days of blogs. I thought it would be nice to do something similar for the podcasts I listen to. So here is a new series of blurbs. As with the previous series, I’ll try to put up a new one every couple of weeks.

Today’s person I listen to is pretty much everyone at Crooked Media.

Crooked Media is a podcasting network founded by three Obama administration staffers: Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor. It features podcasts by those founders, plus others with media personalities like Ana Marie Cox and activists like DeRay McKesson. Every one of their podcasts is excellent, bringing deep conversations, serious analysis, and humor together in “a no-bullshit conversation about politics and culture where you can laugh, cry, scream, ridicule us daily, share your ideas, and hopefully decide that you want to help fix this mess too.”

Here’s the list of Crooked Media podcasts (current as of the time I’m writing this):

Crooked Conversations

Lovett Or Leave It

Pod Save America

Pod Save the People

Pod Save the World

With Friends Like These

Listen on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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