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I recently received this question in my inbox:
“wasn’t sure who to ask about this, and i’ve been loving your queer your tech column on autostraddle. super helpful. would you and/or others on the autostraddle team consider putting together a post about podcasts to listen to right now? i’ve been loving keepin’ it 1600; for once, the cis white men therein are helping me feel more sane. samantha bee hasn’t been doing it for me since the election. i want frank, in-depth discussion — i’m still not really ready for jokes. any thoughts? i know rachel did a great post about newsletters that’s been a total game-changer for me.”
Oh friend, I am not ready for jokes either. I was not a terribly jokey person before this election, and let me tell you, this killed my very limited sense of humor dead. I’m with you. In my podcast listening landscape, I crave things that have nothing to do with the American political landscape, but get actively angry when my faves don’t denounce white supremacy and the neo-Nazi movement. They seem to be existing in a world where this isn’t happening; it’s super frustrating. So not only am I with you on “not ready for jokes,” I am also “not ready for other things.” It’s exhausting. But as Mad-Eye Moody reminds us, CONSTANT VIGILANCE.
Here’s a list of podcasts that either I listen to, researched or have been vouched for by my sister-in-law, who isn’t queer but is a total raging feminist and consumes more podcasts than I do. They might engage in some pop culture on occasion, they might not only be about politics but when they touch politics, they do so really thoughtfully and discuss the terrifying reality of our current political landscape with a well-informed and educated perspective. I hope this helps. Stay strong.
Call Your Girlfriend
It’s not solely politics, but this podcast for long-distance besties hosted by long-distance besties Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow centers the concerns of women in this totally fucked time. They are tender about feelings during these discussions and also intellectually rigorous. It’s been one of the only things soothing me in the aftermath of this, our American tragedy. Listen here.
538 Politics Podcast
As upset as I am with 538 and polls, this podcast delves into some nerdy things to do with data and facts. This feels like a good antidote to a world where post-truth is Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year. Their latest episode is a repub and analyzes the use of polling in The West Wing—the television show, not the actual West Wing—so it’s both an excellent respite from the litany of awful things AS WELL AS still discussing something extremely relevant to this dumpster fire of a year. Listen here.
Okay, W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu aren’t putting out any more episodes as of yet (though if you like them, you should Tweet at them and ask them to continue using the hashtag #politicallyreactive), but if listening to dispatches from a pre-Trump-Presidency-world won’t enrage you, this might be a good way to process some of the shit that went down. I was first introduced to this podcast when these two lovely gentlemen answered kids’ questions about the election on The Longest Shortest Time. It’s a pretty wonderful episode and you should listen to it, too. Listen here.
The New York Times’s The Run-Up
This podcast was designed to cover the surprising news that came out of the campaign. But as they say, the story has just begun. So they’re continuing to cover all the weird and scary things that the incoming administration is doing. Their latest episode includes audio from an interview with Alec Baldwin about how he crafted his portrayal of Trump. Listen here.
Buzzfeed’s Another Round
Okay, this is one that’s not always politics, but when they touch on politics (like when they interviewed Hillary Clinton), they are unafraid to ask hard questions. Tracy and Heben interview National Security Advisor Susan Rice in their latest episode. Listen here.
Slate’s Political Gabfest
This is one is recommended by my sister-in-law, and after listening to a few minutes of it, I gotta say, I agree. I tried out the “How Bad Could 2017 Be Anyway” episode. The world is terrifying and North Carolina is a facsimile of a democracy! Lalalala. Listen here.
I really quite like Virginia Heffernan and the latest episode of this Trump-critical podcast is her talking to Ian Bremmer about the end of American leadership. Listen here.
NPR Politics Podcast
This one might be obvious, but in case it’s not—NPR’s podcasts are generally good, well-rounded takes that stand up to high standards of journalistic integrity. NPR’s Politics Podcast is no different. They provide good overviews so you don’t have to be in the weeds to know what’s happening. Listen here. And speaking of in the weeds…
Vox’s The Weeds
I’m new to The Weeds, but I like that they’re unapologetic policy nerds AND that they call Bannon a “crazy Breitbard person.” I’m all about this one right now. Listen here.
The President’s Inbox
This also comes recommended by my sister-in-law. It’s a newish look at all the things the President-Elect will have to deal with as he steps into office and is put together by the Council on Foreign Relations. Because it’s newer, it’s easy to catch up if you want to have a total look at things. This started before the election, so it’s not necessarily focused at Trump and it’s pretty nonpartisan. Listen here.
In this podcast, Glenn Thrush interviews the movers and shakers in politics today. The latest is Keith Ellison, so. Listen here.
So, what does your podcast library look like in the aftermath? Help each other out in the comments below.