Five Political Podcasts to Make You Smarter

I spend what some would consider an unreasonable amount of time listening to podcasts everyday.  Remember when we talked about my favorite Radiolab episodes? Well there’s more where that came from! Here are five of the more political podcasts that keep me both educated and sufficiently entertained during long commutes.

Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan

 5. Our Hen House is Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan. This dynamic lesbian duo has created a powerhouse podcast under the catchphrase “a place to find our way to change the world for animals.” Their website offers all sorts of helpful tips for activists and their 100+ podcasts offer lots of amazing interviews with people like Kathy Freston and Peter Singer, restaurant reviews and vegan news to keep both long time activists and newbies coming back for more.

amanda marcotte

image via Marc Faletti on flickr

4. Reality Cast is a weekly podcast from RHReality Check by feminist Amanda Marcotte, writer for Pandagon, about sexual and reproductive health news. Biting commentary and insightful interviews keep you in the loop in a time when aggressive attacks to American women’s reproductive rights have reached startling levels.

Samhita Mukhopadhyay

image via Austin Chronicle

3. Opinionated is a weekly podcast of “the feminists you were warned about” with once again Amanda Marcotte, but this time in conjunction with Samhita Mukhopadhyay of feministing.

Allison Kilkenny and Jamie Kilstein

image via CS Muncy on flickr

2. Citizen Radio is the daily podcast, Monday – Friday, by stand-up comedian Jamie Kilsten and reporter Allison Kilkenny bringing you real news not covered by the mainstream media in an unabashedly humorous and quite possibly offensive way. Since they are listener supported (just like Autostraddle!) they can say basically whatever they want. Jamie and Allison interview all kinds of interesting people like Russell Simmons and Noam Chomsky, and have branched out to create the aforementioned Opinionated feminist radio show as part of their expanding Citizen Radio Productions. (They’d like to host an LGBT podcast too, so let’s hope that happens).

rachel maddow obviously

1. This is like the free space on Bingo because obviously it’s The Rachel Maddow Show! She is eye candy, can mix a mean cocktail and also happens to be a fabulous source of news. Hook yourself up with this podcast every Monday – Friday.

I subscribe to all of these podcasts using iTunes, but the Stitcher radio app is also super easy, or you can just stream them online.

What news podcasts do you recommend? Do you know of any awesome queer politics podcasts?

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Jamie J. Hagen

Jamie lives in Boston and is currently a PhD student in Global Governance and Human Security at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is a freelance writer and also a team associate for the Boston chapter of Hollaback!.

Jamie has written 76 articles for us.


  1. I love Reality Check and Opinionated. I like Citizen Radio too, but I don’t have the time for an hour plus long podcast every day (the only reason I keep up with all my other podcasts already is because I listen to them at work).

  2. As someone who reads Pandagon a lot, I’m glad you mentioned Reality Cast – I didn’t even know she did a podcast for RH Reality Check (not sure how I missed that) though I know she writes a lot of articles for them.

  3. Thanks for sharing. I am always looking for new podcasts to subscribe to. Rachel Maddow is great and I didn’t know that she had a podcast. I will definitely give these a listen.

  4. Wooo Citizen Radio! Into them in a big way :) Also Opinionated, but they don’t release new episodes so often

  5. You guys, Rachel Maddow was just a photo clue on JEOPARDY and on no one got it. They didn’t even buzz in!

  6. I love Shock and Awesome, hosted by Tj and the Tux. Their show started on East Village Radio but now they have a podcast available on itunes. I didn’t care or know very much about politics until them! Plus there hilarious!!

  7. Are you psychic. I think you could make a lot of money at it. I was just saying how I couldn’t find any good, political podcasts. I already listen to Rachel Maddow every morning before I leave for work, but I needed something more for my commute. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  8. I will definitely give these a listen. I need to thank you for introducing me to radiolab because that’s like the best thing that has ever happened to my ears.

  9. NPR Planet Money, Fresh Air (obvs), 99% Invisible (show about design with really innovative sound), WTF with Marc Maron (comedy podcast), Bullseye with Jesse Thorne, NPR Studio 360 (“creativity, pop culture, and the arts”)…tons more. none of them specifically queer, but all super awesome and informative.

  10. woops…now i feel stupid. most of those are not about politics (except planet money). whatevs, they’re still worthy.

  11. I’ve been telling myself to listen to podcasts but always forgot about it for some reason. WILL GO DO IT NOWW

  12. I fucking LOVE LOVE LOVE Our Henhouse. Jasmin & Marianne are so hilarious and well-spoken, as well as genuinely emotionally touched by the subject they touch upon. Best thing in the world to listen to on boring train rides.

    Also: Stop reading my mind, Autostraddle. <3

  13. I’ve been listening to Citizen Radio for about a year now and it was Allison and Jamie, being ardent vegans, who helped me find out about “Our Henhouse”. By funding the “Opinionated” podcast, I am finding a wealth of feminist authors and articles.

    Thank you for the other suggestions in the comments. I love “Radiolab” and “This American Life” and am absolutely devoted to Dan Savage’s “Savage Lovecast”.

    Also, comic Aisha Tyler has a podcast and there was a great interview that she did with Margaret Cho here. They went to high school together and have a great conversation about working as a stand up comic.

  14. I’ll check these out. Also want to mention Between the Lines, Counterspin (by FAIR), Truthdig Radio, and of course Democracy Now!

  15. So this thread is like, way gone by Autostraddle standards, but I went and listened to all of the Podcasts suggested here as well as some suggested in the comments. I found them to be overly concerned with the government/policy legislation/Republicans vs. Democrats. This is one small part of being politically active (and not really my cup of tea/political orientation).

    Might I instead recommend Democracy Now! which highlights issues “outside” of “politics” as it such as sexual assault in the military as well as the Occupy Movement? For those looking for something a little more…radical.

  16. The Factual Revolution Podcast is my new favorite, when I’m out of Joe Rogan Podcasts to listen to. I like their style and I think they are good at being informative and funny. I can really get drawn into them talking just like I do with the JRE. I call them a poor man’s JRE. The only bummer is you cannot get it on iTunes you have to get it from their website and then download it to iTunes. At least its free, I guess thats a small price to pay for a free hour of entertainment each week though!

  17. The podcast to watch in 2013 is Independent Underground Radio LIVE hosted on the Blog Talk Radio Network by Monica RW and Rhonda T. These Women rock and give politico analysis and opinion from a Independent Left point of view. In other words, they have no problem calling out both sides of the politico aisle. They are on BTR of course and ITunes, Blubrry, Stitcher, Learn Out Loud and Miro players.

  18. Another Great political podcast is Resonance: An Anarchist Audio Distro they are regularly putting out new content on many different issues and topics. Like “Against Innocence: Race, Gender, and the Politics of Safety” by Jackie Wang. They use different readers for each AudioZine.

  19. Pingback: As Little Fear » Blog Archive The Women are Talking: women of color podcasts - As Little Fear

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