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Slow Burn

66 EpisodesProduced by Slate PodcastsWebsite

In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq without provocation. Most Americans supported the war—as did most politicians and intellectuals, both liberal and conservative. Today, it’s universally considered a disaster.Hosted by award-winning reporter Noreen Malone, the fifth season of Slow Burn explores… read more

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66 Episodes | 2017 - 2021

Coming Nov. 28

November 17th, 2017

3:57

It took two years for the Watergate scandal to unfold—for a break-in at the Democratic Party's headquarters to go from a weird little caper to a …

S1 Ep. 1: Martha

November 28th, 2017

27:28

People called her crazy, and to be fair she must have seemed crazy. But she was onto something. How Martha Mitchell, the celebrity wife of one of Nixon’s closest henchmen, tried to blow the whistle on Watergate—and …

S1 Ep. 2: The Defeat of Wright Patman

December 5th, 2017

30:26

In 1973, the Senate Watergate hearings gripped the nation. But the first congressional hearings on the scandal took place a year earlier—and featured an angry Texan shouting at four empty chairs.

Slate Plus members get a …

S1 Ep. 3: A Very Successful Cover-Up

December 12th, 2017

32:44

Woodward and Bernstein, Walter Cronkite, and a host of other journalists tried to make people care about Watergate in the run-up to the 1972 election. They totally failed.

Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow …

S1 Ep. 4: Lie Detectors

December 19th, 2017

33:47

How a folksy segregationist senator, a team of young investigators, and a few whistleblowers staged the hearings that made Watergate must-see TV.

S1 Ep. 5: True Believers

January 2nd, 2018

36:34

At a bar in Queens, and in the Senate offices, Nixon's supporters stood with him long after it was clear his hands were dirty. How did they rationalize their position? And what, finally, made them waver?

Slate Plus

S1 Ep. 6: Rabbit Holes

January 9th, 2018

34:56

Why were so many Americans ready to believe conspiracy theories after Watergate? How did those beliefs help trigger Nixon‘s downfall? And given what we know about Watergate—what separates a conspiracy theory from just a …

S1 Ep. 7: Saturday Night

January 16th, 2018

39:57

What did Richard Nixon do when he felt the walls closing in? How did the country respond? And what did it feel like when people finally got to hear those tapes?

Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every …

Extra, Extra

January 23rd, 2018

24:05

Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. This week, we're releasing some samples of those episodes—interviews with people with a unique perspective on Watergate.

Next week: The end. Find out more …

S1 Ep. 8: Going South

January 30th, 2018

44:13

What had to happen for the Watergate scandals to end Richard Nixon’s career? And was his downfall inevitable? In the final episode of Slow Burn’s first season, Leon Neyfakh assesses the president’s desperate final …

Live in New York

May 22nd, 2018

54:00

A special edition of Slow Burn features Leon Neyfakh live on stage in New York City. On April 19th, Leon was joined by Bob Woodward, Virginia Heffernan, Gail Sheehy, Mary DeOreo and Marc Lackritz to discuss Trump, …

Season 2 Trailer

July 23rd, 2018

4:16

The saga of Bill Clinton’s impeachment is rich with forgotten characters, surprising subplots, and opportunities to reflect on just how much America has changed over the past 20 years. Whether you’re well-versed in the …

S2 Ep. 1: Deal or No Deal

August 8th, 2018

38:10

For 11 hours, Monica Lewinsky faced off against federal prosecutors who wanted her to help them take down the president and threatened her with decades in jail.

Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every …

S2 Ep. 2: There There

August 15th, 2018

43:39

In 1993, Bill and Hillary Clinton moved into the White House on a swell of optimism. In less than a year, the new administration was mired in a sea of scandals: Travelgate, Filegate, Nannygate, and, most …

S2 Ep. 3: Cred

August 22nd, 2018

42:24

When Bill Clinton went to Washington, rumors and accusations from his Arkansas past went with him. But even his most dedicated political enemies …

S2 Ep. 4: Alone, Together

August 29th, 2018

42:05

What happened between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky? Why did it happen? And what are we supposed to do about the fact that the whims and impulses …

S2 Ep. 5: Tell-All

September 12th, 2018

48:31

Aside from Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, the most pivotal player in the Clinton impeachment saga may have been Linda Tripp—an ordinary person who made extraordinary choices that precipitated the entire crisis. In …

S2 Ep. 6: God Mode

September 19th, 2018

49:42

Some of the most withering criticism of Clinton came from a coalition of conservative activists whose political views were bound up with their faith. …

S2 Ep. 7: Bedfellows

September 26th, 2018

47:37

Today it’s conventional wisdom that all feminists hypocritically turned their backs on Monica Lewinsky. In fact, the scandal provoked an intense debate within the feminist movement about sex, power, and consent. For …

Secret Tracks

October 3rd, 2018

32:08

Every week, Slate Plus members get a special episode of Slow Burn in which Leon Neyfakh talks to people connected with the Clinton impeachment saga. This week, we’re presenting excerpts from those bonus episodes, …

S2 Ep. 8: Move On

October 10th, 2018

57:33

Juanita Broaddrick told Ken Starr’s team of prosecutors that Bill Clinton had raped her in 1978. Her story wasn’t included in the Starr Report—but …

Slow Burn Live: Keyholes

November 28th, 2018

55:02

A special edition of Slow Burn features Leon Neyfakh live on stage. In the first of two episodes, Leon was joined in by Ruth Marcus and Rick Perlstein to explore lingering questions about the Clinton legacy. Plus, a …

Slow Burn Live: The Kingdom and the Power

December 5th, 2018

53:48

A special edition of Slow Burn features Leon Neyfakh live on stage. In the second of two episodes, Leon was joined in by Emily Bazelon, Wesley Morris, Dan Savage, and Andi Zeisler to explore lingering questions about …

Introducing The Queen

June 4th, 2019

24:49

Linda Taylor was a con artist, a kidnapper, maybe even a murderer. She was also America’s original “welfare queen,” the villain Ronald Reagan needed to create a vision of a country being taken advantage of by its …

Season 3 Trailer

October 24th, 2019

3:17

In its first two seasons, Slow Burn looked back at two of the biggest stories of the late 20th century—the Watergate scandal and the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Season three of the show tackles another: the murders of …

S3 Ep. 1: Against the World

October 30th, 2019

32:28

On the first episode of Slow Burn’s third season: How a violent robbery severed Tupac’s friendship with Biggie Smalls and sparked a bicoastal beef …

S3 Ep. 2: Cops on My Tail

November 6th, 2019

33:40

In 1992, Ronald Ray Howard shot and killed Texas state trooper Bill Davidson. His lawyer argued he’d been driven to murder by the music he’d been playing in his car: a dubbed copy of Tupac Shakur’s first album,

S3 Ep. 3: What's Beef?

November 13th, 2019

38:26

In this episode: Biggie releases “Who Shot Ya,” an instant hip-hop classic that Tupac takes as a personal affront. Tupac calls out Biggie and Puffy in a jailhouse interview. And the Death Row and Bad Boy crews start …

S3 Ep. 4: Against Those Thugs

November 20th, 2019

30:55

In this episode: Gangsta rap becomes a huge money maker. Civil rights activist C. Delores Tucker and conservative culture warrior Bill Bennett launch …

S3 Ep. 5: Wrath of a Menace

November 27th, 2019

33:03

In this episode: Tupac claims—loudly, publicly, and with very little evidence—that he’s been sleeping with Faith Evans, Biggie’s estranged wife.

Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast …

S3 Ep. 5 Plus: "East vs. West"

November 30th, 2019

1:11:18

Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. To listen to the rest of the bonus episodes this season, sign up for Slate Plus now.

In this Slow Burn bonus episode, host Joel Anderson and producer …

S3 Ep. 6: Til Somebody Kills You

December 4th, 2019

29:49

In this episode: In the summer of 1996, Tupac Shakur seemed to be on the verge of a decision—about what kind of career he wanted to have, and what kind of life he wanted to live. And then he went to Las Vegas.

Slate Plus …

S3 Ep. 7: To Live and Die in LA

December 11th, 2019

31:48

In this week's episode: After Tupac’s murder: Revenge killings in Compton, a day of atonement in Harlem, and Biggie Smalls risks everything by going back to Cali.

Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and …

S3 Ep. 8: Dead Wrong

December 18th, 2019

39:36

Questions have swirled around the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls ever since their deaths. Who killed them, and why? How come no one was ever charged in either case? Is Tupac still alive and hiding out …

S3 Epilogue: Got a Story to Tell

December 20th, 2019

51:28

Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. This is a preview of the bonus episodes released this season:—interviews with Slow Burn host Joel Anderson and producer Christopher Johnson about the …

Introducing: Broken Record

December 27th, 2019

52:33

Hey Slow Burn listeners. We have something special for you this week. It's an episode of Broken Record, a music podcast from Pushkin Industries, …

Announcement: Slow Burn's Watergate Season on TV

February 14th, 2020

1:56

Slow Burn's Watergate season is now a TV docu-series, premiering Feb. 16 on Epix. Read more about it in this interview with host Leon Neyfakh.

Learn …

S3 Live: Party & Bullshit

March 18th, 2020

54:19

Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn every season, plus zero ads. Sign up now to listen and support the show.

A special edition of Slow Burn features Joel Anderson live on stage, with legendary producers …

Season 4 Trailer

June 8th, 2020

4:04

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a white supremacist became an American political phenomenon. David Duke’s rise to power and prominence—his …

S4 Ep. 1: White Knight

June 10th, 2020

49:16

In the first half of the 1980s, it looked like David Duke’s career as a professional racist was over.

But the former Ku Klux Klan leader had a …

S4 Ep. 2: Robe and Ritual

June 17th, 2020

50:59

David Duke dreamed of becoming the charismatic leader who’d bring racism to the masses. He

tried to make that dream a reality by seizing on America’s …

S4 Ep. 3: The Nazi and the Republicans

June 24th, 2020

54:13

In 1989, David Duke got a foothold in American politics. To build on that victory, he’d have to

fend off a Republican official determined to bring him …

Cold Call

July 1st, 2020

25:42

In 1989, a Black 12-year-old girl in New Orleans found the David Duke phenomenon, and Duke himself, hard to comprehend. So she called Duke on the …

S4 Ep. 4: A Silent Army

July 8th, 2020

50:47

David Duke wasn’t content being a state representative. He wanted to go national, and in 1990 he expanded his base of white voters to try to attain that goal.


In Episode 4 of Slow Burn: How David Duke made himself a …

S4 Ep. 5: The Road to Hell

July 15th, 2020

50:33

Edwin Edwards was a towering force in Louisiana politics. Buddy Roemer dethroned him and promised to modernize the state. In 1991, David Duke …

S4 Ep. 6: A Concerned Citizen

July 22nd, 2020

1:00:05

In the fall of 1991, David Duke looked like a real threat to become the governor of Louisiana.

On the sixth and final episode of Slow Burn's fourth season: What arguments did David Duke's opponents make? Who did they …

S4 Extra: What We Can Learn From 1991

October 29th, 2020

32:24

A few excerpts from Season 4's bonus interviews, and a special Slow Burn announcement.


Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free episodes of all Slate podcasts. Sign up now.

Learn more about your ad …

Introducing: I Spy

January 29th, 2021

28:54

We're excited to introduce you to I Spy, a production of Foreign Policy. Each week on I Spy, a former intelligence operative from somewhere around …

Season 5 Trailer

April 15th, 2021

2:07

In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq without provocation. Most Americans supported the war—as did most politicians and intellectuals, both liberal …

S5 Ep. 1: The Exile

April 21st, 2021

52:40

Eighteen years have passed since the United States invaded Iraq. It’s a war that killed hundreds of thousands of people and destroyed America’s credibility on the world stage. How much can that war be traced to one …

S5 Ep. 2: Terror

April 28th, 2021

47:31

Just hours after 9/11, American decision makers had already started thinking about attacking Iraq. When the anthrax attacks began a month later, those ideas went into overdrive. Did Iraq have anything to do with mailing …

S5 Ep. 3: Mushroom Clouds

May 5th, 2021

45:33

To start a war of choice, you need a casus belli—a case for war. Why did the Bush administration settle on weapons of mass destruction as their case for war? And how did they make that case to the American people?

Season …

S5 Ep.4: Fighting Words

May 12th, 2021

47:51

In the year leading up the invasion, George W. Bush sketched his justification for the war: good vs. evil, us vs. them. The president wasn’t interested in fleshing out the details beyond that, but lots of other people …

S5 Extra: More on the Road to Iraq

May 19th, 2021

17:11

This week, we're highlighting a few excerpts from this season's Slate Plus episodes—interviews with Ann Curry, Slate writers and editors who blogged about the war in 2003, and people who personally knew Ahmad Chalabi.

To …

S5 Ep.5: Four Dicks (and Vice President Cheney)

May 26th, 2021

48:58

Four men in Congress—two from each party—helped determine whether President George W. Bush would be given the authority to invade Iraq. All of them …

S5 Ep.6: Big, if True

June 2nd, 2021

44:09

On Feb. 5, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell went to the United Nations to make the Bush administration’s closing argument for war with Iraq. …

S5 Ep. 7: Judy

June 9th, 2021

50:40

In the months before the invasion of Iraq, the media mostly backed the Bush administration’s narrative about weapons of mass destruction. No reporter was more influential on that beat than the New York Times' Judith …

S5 Ep. 8: Shock and Awe

June 16th, 2021

45:26

The Bush administration didn’t just fail to plan for post-war Iraq. Before and during the invasion, they made choices that compounded the mistake of going to war. Those decisions had lasting consequences for the world …

One Year: Anita Bryant's War on Gay Rights

July 9th, 2021

1:05:53

Slate's new podcast One Year and will introduce you to people and ideas that changed American history--one year at a time. The show is hosted by Josh Levin, Slate's national editor and host of Slow Burn Season 4. And …

Decoder Ring: The Sign Painter

July 22nd, 2021

1:02:06

Decoder Ring is Slate's show about cracking cultural mysteries. In each episode, host Willa Paskin takes a cultural question, object, or habit, …

One Year: Mary Shane's Rookie Season

July 29th, 2021

54:32

Mary Shane made history with the Chicago White Sox, becoming the first woman hired as a legitimate major-league baseball announcer. But in 1977, she had to fight to be taken seriously in one of America’s most sexist …

One Year: The Miracle Cure

August 2nd, 2021

1:02:14

Medical authorities said that Laetrile was dangerous quackery. It became a sensation anyway. Diana Green saw this drug made from apricot pits as her son Chad’s best chance to survive leukemia. Her shocking actions, and …

One Year: Elvis, the Pledge, and Extraterrestrials

August 5th, 2021

59:54

Three stories from one day in August 1977. Elvis Presley dies, and the National Enquirer goes after the ultimate tabloid scoop: a photo of the King …

One Year: Mr. Marijuana and the Drug Czar

August 10th, 2021

50:53

America’s top weed evangelist and the nation’s drug czar shared the same goal: to loosen up the country’s marijuana laws. In 1977, everything was trending their way—until a blowout Christmas party destroyed their plans, …

One Year: Roots: The Saga of Alex Haley

August 12th, 2021

57:24

Alex Haley’s Roots displayed the brutal realities of slavery to more than 100 million Americans. The book and mini-series also made a bold claim: …

One Year: Jesus on a Tortilla

August 20th, 2021

55:25

After Maria Rubio saw Jesus on a tortilla, her family got besieged by believers and gawkers and the national press. But for the Rubios, the tortilla wasn’t just a public spectacle. It was the miracle that changed their …

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