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Purpleness

35:15

Episode description

On The Gist, music writer Chris Molanphy guides us through the purple rain. We’ll remember Prince’s impact on the Billboard chats over the course of his career. Chris writes Slate’s Why Is That Song No. 1 column. He recently wrote about Prince for Slate: “How Prince Ruled the Charts in the ’80s—Even When His Name Wasn’t on the Songs.” For the Spiel, where should we draw the line when it comes to how we treat our prisoners?




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32:50
On The Gist, Boeing is in a tight spot.   

In the interview, the boxing match between Mike Tyson and Buster Douglas was one for the ages. Everyone so expected Tyson to win that people weren’t even placing bets until the …

Trump’s Post-Mueller Strategy

March 27th, 2019

35:24
On The Gist, the latest gridlock facing the Green New Deal should clue in its backers in Congress.

In the interview, Huwe Burton was 16 years old …

The Mueller Report Report

March 26th, 2019

35:30
On The Gist, we should be willing to accept that the Barr letter and Mueller report won’t lead to any indictments.

In the interview, David Priess, …

The Real March Madness Upset

March 22nd, 2019

31:14
On The Gist, ISIS may be defeated, but the people who made up its forces aren’t gone. 

In the interview, novelist John Lanchester is here to discuss …

The Past and Future Biden

March 22nd, 2019

33:19
On The Gist, who paid for those two Chinese-born tech magnates to take photos with Trump? 

In the interview, Vanderbilt professor Jonathan Metzl is …

Solving Maternal Mortality

March 21st, 2019

28:51
On The Gist, have you heard about the mob hit that took place a few weeks ago?

In the interview, journalist Sarah Kliff joins us to discuss maternal mortality rates in the United States, what California has done to fix …

What Merchants of Truth Gets Right

March 20th, 2019

38:23
On The Gist, it wouldn’t just be morally right for Trump to finally denounce white nationalism. It would be politically smart.

In the interview, Jill …

Beto Takes a Stand

March 19th, 2019

31:57
On The Gist, Beto O’Rourke, the countertop candidate.

In the interview, historian Rutger Bregman got in a spat with Fox host Tucker Carlson, but you …

In New Zealand, the Internet at Its Worst

March 16th, 2019

35:15
On The Gist, Senator Thom Tillis’ op-ed, now with moral fiber!           

In the interview, no one’s ever had to wonder what was on tech journalist Kara Swisher’s mind (she’ll just tell you) and that includes the litany …

Manafort in Ostrich Court

March 15th, 2019

29:33
On The Gist, Beto O’Rourke is running for president. But should he?

In the interview, Tim Alberta, chief political correspondent for Politico,  …

How to Close the Justice Gap

March 14th, 2019

33:30
On The Gist, three stray thoughts on the college admissions scandal. 

In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back to talk about those naïve millennials. …

The Fraud Squad

March 13th, 2019

37:35
On The Gist, Bill de Blasio flapping his arms to R. Kelly.

In the interview, Sal Gentile writes for late night television, but he lives in president Trump’s mind around the clock. Every day he writes insights and jokes …

Let the Sun Shine in 2020

March 12th, 2019

33:28
On The Gist, much ado about a toothpick ban. In the interview, Wikipedia is famously edited by its own readers. And no one has made more contributions than Steven Pruitt. A third of English language pages on the site …

American Carnage? It’s Real

March 9th, 2019

34:12
On The Gist, Rep. Ilhan Omar and Israel.

In the interview, the Guardian’s Chris McGreal covered the deadly toll opiates take on poor American …

The Endless Fact Check

March 8th, 2019

30:03
On The Gist, Stormy is in the news (but not that Stormy).

In the interview, Donald Trump speaks many untruths every day, and someone has to track them all. Somehow that task has fallen to a Canadian. The Toronto Star’s …

The Unbelievably Bad Michael Jackson Defense

March 7th, 2019

35:59
On The Gist, distracting Congress from H.R. 1.

In the interview, sexual promiscuity is judged differently among men compared to women, and that goes double for sex addiction. Franco-Moroccan novelist Leïla Slimani’s …

Top Chef, the Anti-Reality TV?

March 6th, 2019

36:23
On The Gist, Fox News isn’t distributing Trump’s talking points. Worse, it’s defining them.

In the interview, reality TV typically thrives on drama and negativity. Top Chef isn’t necessarily an exception, but season 16 …

The Incoherent Right

March 5th, 2019

31:52
On The Gist, the White House PR machine.

In the interview, John Carlin is a former Asst. Attorney General for the Dept. of Justice and former Chief of Staff to Robert Mueller, and his new book Dawn of the Code War

Believing Jackson’s Accusers

March 2nd, 2019

29:34
On The Gist, John Hickenlooper might be running for president.

In the interview, Dan Reed reached out to Wade Robson and James Safechuck before #MeToo exploded, but its influence is clear. In the director’s documentary …

Is AOC Post-Truth Too?

February 28th, 2019

24:09
On The Gist, the empty political rhetoric that is “everyday people.”

In the interview, fact-checking is big business in the age of Trump. But one …

Michael Cohen Isn’t Smart

February 27th, 2019

21:13
On the Gist, Michael Cohen is not a smart guy, and that makes his testimony all the more trustworthy. 

In the interview, Casey Burgat of R Street is here to talk about Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s staff turnover data. Does she …

The Spring Breaker Vote

February 26th, 2019

28:28
On The Gist, corn syrup and beer. 

In the interview, what’s the difference between a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old? In terms of maturity, not so …

Mayor for America

February 26th, 2019

33:17
On The Gist, asymmetric warfare means America’s got some pretty lame enemies.

In the interview, women aren’t the only demographic group making the …

Billionaire Bashing Is Just for Sport

February 23rd, 2019

35:09
On The Gist, even with a genuinely good story, president Trump just can’t get his facts right.

In the interview, his name is Mo Rocca, and he’s out with a new podcast of obituaries. So it’s only natural, of course, that …

A Show, But a Riddle Too

February 22nd, 2019

36:38
On The Gist, the deep state or a shallow president?

In the interview, director Leslye Headland has been on The Gist before, and is back for more. But …

The Viability of Bernie Sanders

February 21st, 2019

34:41
On The Gist, news should be new.

In the interview, our resident vexillologist Ted Kaye is back to talk about San Francisco’s flag. Where does its …

The Chinese Threat is Overblown

February 20th, 2019

31:57
On The Gist, Bernie is in. Are billionaires out?

In the interview, president Trump may be the chief saber-rattler when it comes to China, but acting tough against the world’s second biggest economy is a bipartisan …

New York’s Bad Math

February 15th, 2019

37:36
On The Gist, racy names for missiles.

In the interview, Chris Molanphy is here to talk about the Billboard hits of 1979, disco’s last hurrah, and how …

Matt Braunger, Funny Dummy

February 14th, 2019

31:48
On The Gist, sometimes Howard Stern can be helpful.

In the interview, stand-up comedian and podcaster Matt Braunger is here to discuss his new …

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Seconds

February 13th, 2019

33:28
On The Gist, Democratic leaders should slow down the next time a Virginia-sized fiasco comes along.

In the interview, podcasters can storm off a set …

Open Season For America’s Wars

February 12th, 2019

34:49
On The Gist, if president Trump wanted to denounce bullying, he could have done better than inviting a boy named Trump (no relation) to the State of …

Quoth the Maven

February 9th, 2019

26:16
On The Gist, wise words from the mouth of Jeff Bezos… by way of Amazon’s Alexa.

In the interview, green energy may be clean, but that doesn’t mean its infrastructure is any less garish. Energy reporter Amy Harder …

The Green New Deal Is a Dream

February 8th, 2019

34:33
On The Gist, don’t lick people you work with.

In the interview, reading a whole book is great, but sometimes all you need is the introduction. Author …

The State of the Union is… Overrated

February 7th, 2019

29:16
On The Gist, who oh who will govern the state of Virginia?

In the interview, when Roger McNamee jumped in as an early investor in Facebook, he might not have figured he’d end up testifying about the company in front of …

The Culture of Wealth

February 6th, 2019

26:12
On The Gist, Gov. Andrew Cuomo still doesn’t understand puns.

In the interview, Lauren Greenfield has been documenting the wealthy for the past 25 years and has finally turned that into her new film Generation Wealth, …

To Russia With Love

February 5th, 2019

34:18
On The Gist, parsing president Trump’s one-on-one press interviews may be a fool’s errand, but at least it’s a fun one.

In the interview, the …

This Festival Was Fyre

February 2nd, 2019

30:40
On The Gist, throwback to Mike Pesca's unnecessarily censored yearbook quote.

In the interview, Seth Crossno, also known by his online persona

Kids Are Weird. You Can Be Weird Too.

January 31st, 2019

28:02
On The Gist, get off of your phone and out of my way when it’s snowing. 

In the interview, there’s no one right way to raise a child, but a few hacks sure help. Podcaster, author, and mother Hillary Frank gives you …

Medicare for All, Dissent From None

January 31st, 2019

29:47
On The Gist, this one is brought to you by the letter T.

In the interview, does using a stool really help your stool? Can the Squatty Potty offer any …

E Pluribus Unum, Still?

January 30th, 2019

33:50
On The Gist, “the big game” is a dumb way to refer to the Super Bowl.

If you were to pick a moment in U.S. history that put it on the path to …

Stone Cold Weirdos

January 29th, 2019

32:03
On The Gist, Nancy Pelosi is a skilled politician, sure… but she’s scoring her wins against an incompetent one in president Trump.

In the interview, …

Big Tent Primaries

January 26th, 2019

33:20
On The Gist, pairing 2020 candidates with this or that Oscar-nominated film.

In the interview, don’t take a shot every time Donna Brazile calls herself one of the Democratic Party’s “original gangsters.” But it’s true: …

Digital Journalism, a Market Failure

January 25th, 2019

31:34
On The Gist, Necco Wafers are out this Valentine’s Day, but don’t shed a tear.

In the interview, some movies live for the twist. Steven Knight’s latest film, Serenity, is ostensibly about a sea captain’s Melvillian …

The Dismissal of Kamala Harris

January 24th, 2019

25:55
On The Gist, you can’t give Ann Coulter a win. 

Rick Pitino is a former American basketball coach who experienced a number of scandals in the past …

Will #MeToo Face the Music?

January 23rd, 2019

28:48
On The Gist, Joni Ernst’s divorce filing.

When Jessica Hopper started out writing about music, trolls and affronted fans didn’t tweet at you; they …

For 2020, Steve King Is Dead Weight

January 19th, 2019

33:20
On The Gist, BuzzFeed’s new report on Trump. 

Earlier this week Rep. Steve King was denounced by much of his party because of remarks he gave to the New York Times about white supremacy. He may have misspoken or chosen …

Know Your Memes, or Be Fooled by Them

January 18th, 2019

30:33
On the Gist, the knife-wielding skills of Nancy Pelosi.

In the interview, An Xiao Mina has tracked the meme from its goofy origins to its use in anti-authoritarian protest and (more recently) disinformation. What’s …

Tax Their Stuff, Not Their Money

January 17th, 2019

30:35
On The Gist, Kirsten Gillibrand running for president. 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently floated the idea of a 70 percent marginal tax rate on America’s highest earners. That’s bad for millionaires, but is it even that …

Stop Going Nuclear

January 16th, 2019

34:38
On The Gist, ’twas an eventful news day (William Barr, opioid fatality statistics, Brexit … ), but Mike’s got a big Spiel to fry.

In the interview, …

Against Steve King, Words Aren’t Enough

January 15th, 2019

29:14
On The Gist, president Trump is far from tough on Russia, and too many news talk shows let his allies make that claim.

In the interview, Jennifer Traig thought she knew what she was getting into when she became a parent, …

The Future (of A.I.) Is Chinese

January 12th, 2019

33:53
On The Gist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s star power isn’t something to fear. Especially if you’re a Democrat.

“The world is a very dangerous place!” as a statement from President Donald Trump’s desk once put it. Eurasia …

When Fact Meets Fiction

January 11th, 2019

28:30
On The Gist, costs and benefits in the government.

In the interview, Matthew Heineman is here to discuss his new film A Private War. Though usually a documentary filmmaker, this time around he tried his hand at a …

The Kids Are Not All Right

January 10th, 2019

31:00
On The Gist, the days are getting longer, the brand names shorter.

In the interview, millennial whisperer (or, you know, just plain millennial) Anne Helen Petersen recently diagnosed “the burnout generation” in a viral

Addressing the Facts

January 9th, 2019

32:13
On The Gist, do presidential addresses change anything? 

In the interview, NPR’s David Folkenflik joins us to talk about Donald Trump’s Oval Office …

The Likeability Illusion

January 8th, 2019

33:27
On The Gist, news networks should do us a favor and not air Trump’s prime-time speech on Tuesday night.

In the interview, Greg Sargent is an …

What’s Wrong With Motherf---er?

January 5th, 2019

27:22
On The Gist, works produced 75 years ago are now entering the public domain. And some are what 2019 would call “problematic.”

David Bowie once sang …

There’s Something in the Water

January 4th, 2019

31:00
On The Gist, what do Kim Jong-un’s letters and Shaquille O’Neal sneakers have in common?

In the interview, you’ve likely heard of microplastics, but are they something to worry about? Maria Konnikova is here with …

Impeachment Is a Real Crapshoot

January 3rd, 2019

34:46
On The Gist, the government shutdown continues.

In the interview, impeachment proceedings have never removed a president from office (in Bill Clinton’s case, they even offered a bump in approval ratings). So is it …

Andy Serkis, Motion Capture Master

December 28th, 2018

32:39
On The Gist, Mike Pesca is leaving Facebook, mostly.

In the interview, Andy Serkis is here to discuss his newest movie, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, along with the film’s star Rohan Chand. They talk about the magic of …

The Babies Are Not All Right

December 28th, 2018

29:45
On The Gist, why do daily news podcasts think they can take off for the holidays?

In the interview, journalist Priska Neely has been writing about …

The Same Old Mike, Plus The New One

December 22nd, 2018

32:14
On The Gist, Donald Trump is to "wall" as zombies are to "braaaains."

In his Broadway show (The New One) Mike Birbiglia tells you why procreation is a terrible idea, before waxing lyrical on the joys of raising a …

Free Money for Everyone?

December 21st, 2018

34:45
On The Gist, Amazon or marijuana?

In the interview, Andrew Yang has declared his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election, and his platform is universal basic income. But how does that work? Is there room for that …

Adam Keeps Ruining Everything

December 20th, 2018

34:53
On The Gist, the government shutdown and Santa.

In the interview, Adam Conover joins us to discuss the latest season of Adam Ruins Everything, how they ruin things like guns and mattresses, the mistakes they’ve made …

The Alt-Right Downturn

December 19th, 2018

36:18
On The Gist, why Mick Mulvaney’s trash talk didn’t cost him a job under Trump.

In the interview, is the alt-right waning? An expert on the movement, …

Don’t Trust the Stars

December 18th, 2018

28:52
On The Gist, maybe Rudy Giuliani isn’t deteriorating. Rather, his job now (defending Trump’s shenanigans) is tougher than any he’s had.

Maria …

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

December 15th, 2018

32:49
On The Gist, the demise of the Weekly Standard.

Then, going with your gut isn’t always best (despite what President Donald Trump may tell you). Writer Steven Johnson says making better decisions can be as simple as …

One Quiet Leap for Mankind

December 14th, 2018

30:41
On The Gist, Jeff Bezos is one rich man. That doesn’t make him (and Amazon) bad for New York City.

In the interview, First Man is as much about Neil Armstrong the man as it is about Neil Armstrong the astronaut. Instead …

When the President Speaks …

December 13th, 2018

29:57
On The Gist, President Trump interrupted Nancy Pelosi because he interrupts everyone.

In the interview, the deputy executive director of U.N. Women, …

Halls of Fame Need Diversity, Too

December 12th, 2018

39:06
On The Gist, it’s tough to find a host for the Oscars.

In the interview, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame can quickly become incestuous, since past …

They Can’t Hear You, Theresa

December 11th, 2018

28:06
On The Gist, the bottomless Pinocchio.

Americans are filled with anxiety in the pursuit of happiness, and social media isn’t making it any better. But how do we even define happy, and will changing our online habits …

High Time for Impeachment?

December 8th, 2018

36:46
On The Gist, the GOP isn’t overtly racist. But it once was.

In the interview, Liz Holtzman was the youngest woman to be elected to the House of …

The Walk of the Town

December 7th, 2018

29:10
On The Gist, is Sherrod Brown annoying?

In the interview, Matt Green is on a yearslong mission to walk all the streets of New York City—and Jeremy Workman filmed him doing many of them for a documentary, The World …

The Eulogy Myth

December 6th, 2018

29:56
On The Gist, stop wishing Jews happy holidays if Hanukkah has already passed.

How do you explain wit? James Geary attempted to answer that question …

Sullying a Pup’s Good Name

December 5th, 2018

24:53
On The Gist, a “tariff man” sing-along!

Then, Maria Konnikova is back for another round of “Is That Bullshit?” She and Mike discuss the cigar-shaped …

Wild Wild Story

December 4th, 2018

30:49
On The Gist, in doing less than his son did in the Middle East, George H.W. Bush did better.

In the interview, Wild Wild Country was one of the year’s most riveting documentaries. But one of its sources, journalist Les …

Very Legal, Very Cool

December 1st, 2018

31:40
On The Gist, should people be let go for one bad idea?

30 for 30 has been a hugely successful documentary series in both video and audio form for …

How to Shoot a Fight

November 30th, 2018

31:05
On The Gist, cows are beef, even if they’ve reached internet fame.

In the interview, Steven Caple Jr. watched everything from Jean-Claude Van Damme movies to street-fight videos before directing Creed II, the latest film …

The Parent Police

November 29th, 2018

33:59
On The Gist, the Nancy Pelosi nonstory (spoiler alert: she’s going to win the speakership) is distracting us from the Trump administration’s latest misdeeds.

In the interview, Kim Brooks received 100 hours of community …

Would the U.S. Win World War III?

November 28th, 2018

31:06
On The Gist, Cindy Hyde-Smith is on the MAGA wagon. 

In the interview, the U.S. has long been the global leader in military spending. But is that enough to guarantee victory in a war against Russia, China, or both? Aaron …

Make Voting Rights Sexy Again

November 27th, 2018

36:06
On The Gist, Danielle Pletka’s thoughts on climate change and Saudi Arabia.

In the interview, the Republican Party’s voter suppression isn’t the …

Obesity, and You, and Me!

November 21st, 2018

35:22
On The Gist, the state of the runoff Senate election down in Mississippi.

Fat shaming is inexcusable. But so is denying some of the health problems that come with being obese. Maria Konnikova gives us a pre-Thanksgiving …

The Many, Many Ways to Think About Running

November 21st, 2018

33:31
On The Gist, a historian at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner? Why not?

When a young Peter Sagal was labeled “not great at sports,” it didn’t sit well with him. But if that drove him to running in the first place, …

Uncle Verne Pulls Up a Chair

November 20th, 2018

32:51
On The Gist, violent, vicious, and terrible. These are a few of Trump’s favorite words.

In the interview: Verne Lundquist announced sports games for …

Ben Stiller’s Big Prison Break

November 17th, 2018

32:50
On The Gist, President Donald Trump has finally made a nomination for ambassador to South Africa. And it is a terrible one.

It’s hard to make comedy when your story, like Ben Stiller’s latest direction, is based on a …

Cult Classic

November 15th, 2018

30:14
On The Gist, Nancy Pelosi and new House leadership.

Then, the self-help organization known as NXIVM had thousands of paying customers, but only some …

Priming New York for Amazon

November 15th, 2018

35:03
On The Gist, who’s running in 2020? Should we even speculate yet? 

Time for another segment of Mike debates Slate. Staff writer Henry Grabar is here …

More Show Than Showdown

November 14th, 2018

32:40
On The Gist, when will everyone stop walking and chewing gum at the same time? 

In the interview, it may have been a political stunt ahead of the …

The Love of the (Basketball) Game

November 13th, 2018

32:26
On The Gist, what kind of sped-up sports replays is Kellyanne Conway watching?

The simplicity of basketball is also its genius, allowing players to exercise skill, heart, genius and passion in endlessly creative ways. …

Two Countries, at the Cost of One

November 10th, 2018

30:35
On The Gist, by any previous standard, we’d be saying that President Donald Trump lost the midterms, plain and simple.

In the interview, Tuesday’s …

In a Political Bind? Call Bradley Tusk

November 9th, 2018

36:37
On The Gist, the Democrats’ big win.

Bradley Tusk has been in the background everywhere. His hand guided the rise of big political and tech brands, …

A Congresswoman Speaks

November 8th, 2018

32:11
On The Gist, was last night a wave or not?

If congresswoman Jackie Speier still kept a gratitude journal (“I don’t have time to do it!”), it would …

Just Ask Mimi

November 7th, 2018

31:46
On The Gist, who gets to vote?

Mimi Sheraton, the first female food critic at the New York Times, has had a prolific career sharing her opinion on …

What Newt Gingrich Wrought

November 6th, 2018

35:22
On The Gist, live, from Slate, it’s a post-apocalyptic skit that just might come to pass if you don’t vote on Tuesday.

In the interview, for decades, there was no need to hope for (or fear) a blue wave; until 1994, the …

Root for the Dummy

November 2nd, 2018

33:30
On The Gist, the Republican tax bill and insurance premiums.

In the interview: a third-century monk, Paul Revere’s horse, and Death himself … all are …

American Tribes

November 1st, 2018

36:00
On The Gist, Pew’s analysis of European opinion surveys is out. Let’s look at Greece!

In the interview, the American electorate has come to sort …

Hate Counts

October 31st, 2018

31:50
On The Gist, Trump’s xenophobic campaign, with a Spooktacular twist!

In the interview, hate is hard to measure, but the Southern Poverty Law Center …

Signed, Sealed, Forgotten

October 31st, 2018

33:22
On The Gist, Mike’s bottom five causes. 

In the interview, we rewind to the story of the mail bomber, which was quickly eclipsed by a massacre in Pittsburgh and one loud president. Steve Johnson, who directs Cranfield …

For Every Brand, a Backstory

October 30th, 2018

32:31
On The Gist, surprise surprise, right-wing commentators aren’t apologizing for getting the mail bomber story totally wrong.

In the interview, brands …

The Blue Blizzard

October 26th, 2018

33:22
On The Gist, the man in the van is a sad man indeed. 

Harry Enten is a senior writer and analyst for CNN Politics and steeped in the polling data for …

Et Tu, NBC?

October 25th, 2018

30:10
On The Gist, Georgia’s exact match law is an extra hurdle for those with hyphenated last names, which, let us speculate, may be more common among …

Blame It on the Mailer

October 24th, 2018

29:54
On The Gist, Megyn Kelly’s take on blackface was obviously wrong … and wrong for NBC’s messaging.

Sleep isn’t for the weak; it’s for those who want …

Something in the Water

October 24th, 2018

31:58
On The Gist, first we’ve got misleading statistics. 

In 2016, Art Cullen wrote a series of editorials for the Storm Lake Times, a small newspaper in …

The NFL Mafia

October 23rd, 2018

33:23
On The Gist, ’tis the season (elections!) for baseless political analysis, courtesy of big network news.

Americans spend countless hours watching …

Prison Guard Confidential

October 20th, 2018

33:27
On The Gist, Europeans are fighting over daylight saving time, which is way better than having a World War.

Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer has been on both sides of a prison’s bars. After spending two years as a …

Land of (Only Some) Opportunity

October 18th, 2018

35:09
On The Gist, Democrats might actually be winning.

Supporters of open immigration policy—and immigrants themselves—often have a rosy view of what …

Myth Management

October 18th, 2018

31:26
On The Gist, bone saws and Jamal Khashoggi.

When Joe Hagan began working on the story of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone, Wenner was on board. But as …

Between a Rock and a Funny Place

October 17th, 2018

30:02
On The Gist, Saudi Arabia, Trump, and Jamal Khashoggi. 

Comedy Cellar owner Noam Dworman has had a post-scandal Louis C.K. take to his stage six times now. Why does he welcome him, and if he doesn’t draw the line at …

Bare Necessities? Not in Alaska.

October 16th, 2018

29:55
On The Gist, unpacking CNN’s list of top Democratic challengers ahead of 2020.

Katmai National Park and Preserve’s publicity stunt worked: For one week (that’s Fat Bear Week), the internet delighted in the tournament …

Olive Branch, Turkey Leg

October 13th, 2018

30:48
On The Gist, how coverage of bisexuality has changed (for the better).

Thanksgiving approaches, and with it all the tension that comes with mixing …

Going to The Good Place

October 12th, 2018

31:38
On The Gist, Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz.

At first The Good Place on NBC appears to be a light and easy sitcom about a bad apple accidentally dropped into heaven, but look at little deeper and you’ll find a smart and …

And What About Yemen?

October 11th, 2018

36:03
On The Gist, should we continue to trust Facebook with our data? 

Saudi Arabia’s disastrous war with rebel tribes in Yemen is 3½ years deep, as is …

Guarding the Court

October 10th, 2018

28:44
On The Gist, it would be cynical to view the Supreme Court as illegitimate.

Brett Kavanaugh has done it. But how will the other members of the Supreme …

Take Down the Poll

October 6th, 2018

28:12
On The Gist, after all of that, not a single senator changed his or her vote to back (or stop) Kavanaugh.

In the interview, Jill Lepore’s new book focuses in part on the marginalized groups forgotten by other American …

Sitting President, Standing Anger

October 5th, 2018

27:50
On The Gist, the hippocampus has its moment.

Tom Arnold believes incriminating tapes of Donald Trump are out there, and he wants to find them. In his …

Reignited (and It Feels So Good)

October 3rd, 2018

36:44
On The Gist, Brett Kavanaugh’s high school and college buddies had some weird nicknames, and it’s not helping his case.

Rebecca Traister is angry, and …

Mueller on the Mind

October 3rd, 2018

31:19
On The Gist, Beto O’Rourke has the momentum but also a mountain to climb. 

In the interview, Neal Katyal has argued 37 cases before the Supreme Court, and (better yet!) joined Mike Pesca on stage at Slate Day in Austin, …

College-Aged Coddling

October 1st, 2018

28:54
On The Gist, guest host John McWhorter considers campus safe spaces. 

In the past few years, college campuses have been shifting away from havens for …

The Kavanaugh Conspiracy

September 29th, 2018

30:42
On The Gist, guest host Isaac Butler talks about all the news we forgot about thanks to the Kavanaugh hearing.

The Constitution is a sacred text in …

Losing Hate

September 27th, 2018

28:24
On The Gist, the Kavanaugh hearing.

By all accounts, Derek Black was supposed to become the next David Duke. He was the man’s godson, after all, and his father, Don Black, had founded Stormfront, the world’s first and …

The Land of Steady Filmmaking

September 27th, 2018

27:35
On The Gist, the GOP hired a woman!

Nicole Holofcener’s films have centered women for more than two decades, but her latest one, The Land of Steady …

Generation Anxiety

September 26th, 2018

32:03
On The Gist, Trump gets laughs at the United Nations.

After a few eccentric comedy specials, Bo Burnham next turned to his sympathy for the anxieties …

That’s the First Straw

September 25th, 2018

31:49
On The Gist, how the breaking news machine bungled the Rod Rosenstein story.

In the interview, California is set to ban certain restaurants from serving straws unless customers ask for one. But given that straws …

Tight Countries, Loose Countries

September 21st, 2018

33:27
On The Gist, National Review has one good take on the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation story … and a lot of bad ones.

In the interview, we’re used to thinking of societies along the “liberal/conservative” spectrum, but …

What Is … a Podcast, Alex?

September 20th, 2018

28:07
On The Gist, Christine Blasey Ford deserves a hearing on her own terms, and that’s all we can say for now.

Bert Kreischer is a comic who started out …

Coal Over Climate

September 20th, 2018

31:21
On The Gist, the latest in inane Trump statements.

Climate change is bigger than any one of us, including the president of the United States. Given …

Owe Me the Money

September 19th, 2018

29:09
On The Gist, taking issue with the sloppy headlines about the support (or lack thereof) for Brett Kavanaugh.

In the interview, Stacey Abrams’ run for governor in Georgia has been criticized because of her huge …

Ethan Hawke’s Earnest Art

September 18th, 2018

30:36
On The Gist, Hurricane Florence.

Ethan Hawke has stunned us with his earnest, moving performances on-screen, but he’s also a talent behind the camera. His new directorial feature Blaze explores the life and love of the …

Democratic Socialists of America, for the Win?

September 15th, 2018

31:13
On The Gist, Vladimir Putin, RT, and the Salisbury poisoning.  

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might have scary values to conservatives. But to the national director of the Democratic Socialists of America, she’s a moderate. …

After Family Separations, a Settlement

September 14th, 2018

27:52
On The Gist, John Hockenberry’s piece in Harper’s.

Donald Trump is no stranger to settlements, and the latest of these come between his administration and hundreds of asylum-seekers. They were rejected after making …

Billionaires Don’t Know Best

September 12th, 2018

33:26
On The Gist, Vladimir Putin’s “private citizen” excuse doesn’t hold water.

In the interview, philanthropic billionaires are better than villainous …

DeRay Mckesson Makes the Case for Hope

September 12th, 2018

35:12
On The Gist, Mike is thinking he’ll vote Andrew Cuomo—but he’s open to you changing his mind.

The 2014 shooting of Michael Brown upheaved many things in the U.S., including the career of DeRay Mckesson, who quit his job …

Stylometry for Dummies

September 11th, 2018

30:03
On The Gist, are we having a national crisis?

The New York Times’ publication of an anonymous op-ed has sparked rounds of speculation as to who’s …

If You Want Power, Sell It

September 7th, 2018

30:02
On The Gist, Lincoln, Kennedy, and Lincoln Kennedy could all speak better than President Trump.

If you’re old enough to remember November 2016, you …

The DoD Payroll Just Got Smaller

September 6th, 2018

26:32
On The Gist, Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing.

The Pentagon’s third-in-command is reportedly losing his job, and it’s hardly making news. As the Defense Department’s first-ever chief management officer, John …

Hedging Your Bets With Lake Success

September 5th, 2018

26:45
On The Gist, Bob Woodward’s good intentions.

Wealth and road trips are two of America’s favorite obsessions. In his new novel, Lake Success, Gary Shteyngart explores these themes through the story of a hedge fund manager …

Farming for Red Herring

September 4th, 2018

23:56
On The Gist, Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation is all but certain.

A recent Donald Trump tweet gave credence to a bogus (and dangerous) claim: that South Africa’s white farmers are the first targets in a …

Bright Gays, Big City

September 1st, 2018

27:57
On The Gist, Democrats, Republicans, and the N-word.

Facebook now has television shows. While it might be surprising for viewers, for creators it’s an exciting new avenue to find an audience for shows not necessarily …

The OG GOP

August 30th, 2018

28:21
On The Gist, there’s no use sugarcoating Starbucks’ Frappuccino.

And in the interview… unprecedented! Preposterous! Unimaginable! Trump’s presidency and the GOP’s machinations actually do have antecedents, says historian …

Fake News Is Nothing New

August 30th, 2018

24:15
On The Gist, war games are back.

Hoaxes have fooled us at least since the era of P.T. Barnum, but they’re especially prevalent in our era of political …

Gerrymandering and You

August 29th, 2018

27:05
On The Gist, Louis C.K. isn’t as despised as Twitter makes it seem, which is why an eventual comeback is likely.

In the interview, Maria Konnikova breaks down the science of fasting, and why it’s currently associated …

#AbolishICE … and Then What?

August 28th, 2018

27:24
On The Gist, the news media reveres John McCain because he failed with grace—and wasn’t too conservative.

Chances are you’ve heard #AbolishICE before. …

Crazy Rich Asians Is Important

August 25th, 2018

21:32
On The Gist, guest host Stephanie Foo dives into Crazy Rich Asians, speaking with friend and fellow producer Kat Chow about Asian representation in media, the inspiration to create, and a hope that this film will lead …

Sweep the Left

August 23rd, 2018

24:41
On The Gist, nobody move or the economy gets it, Trump says.

The guys behind the left’s most irreverent podcast (Chapo Trap House) want the Democratic Party to forget about Robert Mueller and set their sights on 2020. …

Don’t Touch The “I” Word

August 22nd, 2018

25:31
On The Gist, guest host Alex Roarty thinks Sen. Elizabeth Warren has a way better message than simply “impeach Trump.”    

#NeverTrump Republicans are a vanishing breed. Crooked Media’s Tim Miller is one of them, and he …

Trolls and Trump's Lies

August 21st, 2018

21:33
On The Gist, guest host Max Kerman considers why politicians are getting duped by Sacha Baron Cohen.

Trump has lied so many times since he took office …

What Happened to “America’s Mayor”?

August 20th, 2018

32:35
On The Gist, how will Rudy Giuliani go down in history, and in public memory?

The midterm elections are looming, and the big question is how far the …

Listening to Inanimate Objects

August 17th, 2018

34:04
On The Gist, if Trump weren’t so repulsive, would we judge his murky dealings a little more kindly?

And we don’t much think about the inanimate …

Goodbye to the Queen of Soul

August 17th, 2018

29:46
On The Gist, the free press.

Aretha Franklin has died at 76, and she was much more than a golden voice. Slate’s Chris Molanphy recalls her talents at …

The Heart of Reality Television

August 15th, 2018

24:53
On The Gist, autocracy isn’t always bad for an economy. But as Turkey shows, idiocy definitely is.

Reality television has a reputation for uninhibited narcissism, ruthless competition, and terrible business pitches. But …

Democracy Needs a Reboot

August 15th, 2018

29:52
On The Gist, should news outlets halt election coverage on Election Day?

“Usually, if you look at American history, we’ve kind of taken a relook at …

Trump’s Pyrite Touch

August 14th, 2018

26:51
On The Gist, Trump is a racist? That’s not much of a scoop, Omarosa.

There were plenty of Republicans standing against Donald Trump—before he won the White House. After the 2016 election, many of them traded in their …

Gist Presents: Slow Burn

August 11th, 2018

46:10
Mike Pesca talks with Leon Neyfakh, host of the Slate podcast Slow Burn, about season two of the hit show. Subscribe to Slow Burn here

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Venturing Into Obscurity

August 10th, 2018

25:43
On The Gist, “the so-called chairman of the Intelligence Committee,” Devin Nunes.

Superheroes and comic books may seem ripe for parody nowadays with the constant onslaught of nerd media, but The Venture Bros. has been …

On Bended Knee

August 10th, 2018

27:51
On The Gist, Trump’s lack of income disclosures.

Colin Kaepernick took a stand in 2016 by taking a knee during the national anthem at a football …

Regulate Me

August 9th, 2018

26:00
On The Gist, Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani.

The financial crisis of 2008 wasn’t just an American phenomenon. It was felt all across the globe, with …

The Egyptian Seesaw

August 8th, 2018

33:01
On The Gist, Trump’s lies and steel mills.

The Arab Spring caused a major shift in Egypt in 2011, and the politics only got murkier during the …

The Smart Drug

August 7th, 2018

26:25
On The Gist, Turkey and Trump.

We’ve got another round of Is That Bullshit? Drugs treating cognitive malfunctions like narcolepsy, ADHD, and …

Where Is Space?

August 3rd, 2018

30:12
On The Gist, guest host Jeffrey Lewis fills in for Mike and talks about trying to solve big problems.

Regulating space is tough because it surrounds …

My Life as a Sitcom

August 2nd, 2018

29:48
On The Gist, QAnon and sound design.

Comedian Guy Branum is a hilarious intellect with an intimidating amount of pop culture knowledge. In his new …

Quarter for Carter

August 2nd, 2018

30:38
On The Gist, who makes the CNN Sucks onesie?

Jimmy Carter’s reputation is that of an ineffective president. But his chief domestic policy adviser, …

Courting Politics

July 31st, 2018

27:13
On The Gist, let’s face it: A.I. and robots are going to take jobs from us humans.

Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination has restarted the debate on how we vet candidates and whether the Supreme Court is too easy to …

They’re More Bad Than We Are Good

July 31st, 2018

36:37
On The Gist, sorry, not every product gets to be a lifestyle brand.

A few decades ago, it wasn’t uncommon for voters to support the presidential candidate from one party and the senator from another. “Ticket-splitting” …

The Pushback Artist

July 28th, 2018

42:27
On The Gist, do we really have to give up plastic straws?

Then, and more seriously: a look back on a recent episode.

On Wednesday, The Gist ran an interview with Allison Yarrow about 90s Bitch, her book about sexism in …

The Real Deep State

July 27th, 2018

26:08
On The Gist, the glee of seeing Facebook stock take a dive.

Imran Khan is poised to lead Pakistan as its next prime minister. The former cricket star campaigned on a promise of transparency, but his focus “is only on …

Lights, Camera, Sexism

July 26th, 2018

33:52
On The Gist, let’s imagine what’s in that “enhanced” Michael Cohen tape.

Born in the 1990s, the 24-hour news cycle was especially unkind to women. The media of the age consistently bashed women’s sexuality, ambition, and …

The BS! It’s Everywhere!

July 25th, 2018

29:55
On The Gist, President Trump’s high approval ratings aren’t as significant as they seem.

America is a playground for the rich, and that’s in good part because of the expansion of lobbying that started in the 1970s. …

When Death Row Stalls

July 23rd, 2018

25:54
On The Gist, we’re proposing a 2018 Housing and Urban Development festival in Sonoma, California.

Convicted killer Scott Dozier was scheduled to …

Bobcat Revival

July 20th, 2018

22:48
On The Gist, ideals are better when kept as general as possible because the more specific the get, the more exclusive they become.

Bobcat Goldthwait …

Democracy Dies in Dark Money

July 19th, 2018

28:14
On The Gist, about those outlandish celebrity baby names.

When the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision made unlimited campaign contributions legal, one state put up a fight. In Dark Money, documentary filmmaker Kim …

A Piece of Pai

July 19th, 2018

31:15
On The Gist, Girl Scouts are earning cybersecurity merit badges.

Sinclair Broadcast Group is trying to acquire Tribune Media so it can extend its television reach, but Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai …

The Schoolyard President

July 18th, 2018

26:57
On The Gist, the crocodile massacre in Indonesia that got no attention.

Work-life balance gets a lot of lip service, but we rarely pull it off. Brigid …

Are You Being Servered?

July 16th, 2018

26:44
On The Gist, Trump’s press conference with Putin and the red herrings involved.

Silicon Valley is steeped in self-made mythology, with stories about …

Pardon the Arson

July 13th, 2018

29:17
On The Gist, it turns out your ethnicity is really easy to guess.

AnneMarie Sgarlata got rid of her TV months ago, but she still heard about President Trump’s pardon of Dwight and Steven Hammond this week—and she wasn’t …

A Cancer on the Court

July 13th, 2018

30:19
On The Gist, the biases of Peter Strzok and the need to connect accusations with actual evidence.

President Trump’s first appointment to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, benefited from anonymous donations worth millions. …

Gridiron Man

July 11th, 2018

32:45
On The Gist, “Brett” has got to be the lamest name among Supreme Court justices (or nominees).

“If Jim Brown’s the past, Michael Bennett’s the future.” So says sports writer Dave Zirin, who recently published both a …

Don't Forget About Sex

July 11th, 2018

31:53
On The Gist, Trump isn’t strategic or defiant, he’s just rapacious.

When discussing #MeToo, the focus is often on the power that men exerted when sexually harassing women, but are their sexual motivations getting left …

The Hole Picture

July 10th, 2018

27:36
On The Gist, comparing Trump’s antics to a reality show is no longer a scarlet letter.

Yes, there are storytelling competitions, and Matthew Dicks wins a lot of them. His secret? Keep it visual, and forget about the …

Just Use My Data, People

July 7th, 2018

26:43
On The Gist, the shamelessness of the Wall Street Journal editorial board on Scott Pruitt leaving the Environmental Protection Agency.

Advertisements are a pain, interrupting our television programs and distracting us …

How Quickly We Forget

July 6th, 2018

29:32
On The Gist, Scott Pruitt is out as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency because it turns out someone really can be too corrupt for Trump.

Song, Dance, and Confirmation

July 3rd, 2018

28:07
On The Gist, let’s watch the latest viral video from the conservative right.

A certain group of Sherlock fans were convinced that John Watson and …

Shameless Mitch

July 3rd, 2018

27:04
On The Gist, Mitch McConnell’s values have changed—again!

Lounging around in the heat of a sauna might feel nice, but is it good for you, too? Maria Konnikova has gone through the studies (most of them from Finland, …

In 12,000 Words

June 30th, 2018

34:37
On The Gist, President Trump’s demonization of journalists is awful, but it’s not the first thing to blame for the Capital Gazette shooting.

The …

Does Authenticity Matter?

June 29th, 2018

24:49
On The Gist, the return of In Search Of hosted by Zachary Quinto, which used to be hosted by Leonard Nimoy, made us notice all the times actors have …

The Self-Sufficiency Court

June 28th, 2018

28:59
On The Gist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s primary victory was thanks to low voter turnout. She still deserves it!

Lawfare’s executive editor Susan Hennessey says Trump’s SCOTUS-approved travel ban is more dangerous in how …

The Unpopular Vote and a Few Justices

June 27th, 2018

27:14
On The Gist, what a Trump tweet can teach us about wine.

The latest school shootings have galvanized an already politically minded generation. …

The New Rules of Civility

June 26th, 2018

29:29
On The Gist, why is the Democratic National Committee being held responsible for Hollywood and the media?

Calvin Buari dealt crack in the Bronx, but …

Who Needs Subtext, Anway

June 22nd, 2018

31:20
On The Gist, Rep. Jim Jordan’s underwhelming attention to detail. 

Franchesca Ramsey burst onto the YouTube scene with her viral video, “Shit White Girls Say… to Black Girls.” Ramsey’s latest video project, MTV News’

A Song You Can Graduate To

June 21st, 2018

28:31
On The Gist, those beacons of honesty—retiring Republican members of the Congress.
Cremation has the carbon footprint of a 1,000-mile road trip, your average bee has nearly 1 million brain cells, and only 3 to 4 percent …

Quitters Can’t Be Leaders

June 20th, 2018

22:54
On The Gist, how President Trump made not breaking up families look like his idea.

Why are the U.S.’s political parties weak? Is the “job guarantee” …

Polarization Nation

June 19th, 2018

32:29
On The Gist, the inaugural edition of “whoah there, girl!”

Political parties are like people: They grow and change, their values shift, and sometimes …

Oh, Stephen

June 19th, 2018

25:32
On The Gist, if we can’t pronounce Peter Strzok’s name right, how will we remember his newfound infamy?

If you consider yourself progressive, chances …

The Heisenberg Presidency

June 15th, 2018

29:50
On The Gist, why he lies: a new theory.
“I’ve hit rock bottom. I’m writing for a cartoon.” Such were the thoughts of Mike Reiss when he joined the writers’ room for The Simpsons in 1989. Thirty years later, he’s worked …

When Border Policy Crosses the Line

June 15th, 2018

30:11
On The Gist, McClatchy White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez explains the ramifications of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy to …

Cup of Corruption

June 13th, 2018

28:43
On The Gist, some fun facts about U.S. Senate candidate Corey Stewart.
In 2010, a certain Christopher Steele was hired to look into Russia’s bid to …

Summit Skeptical

June 12th, 2018

35:31
On The Gist, a brief review of President Trump’s roster of losers (and winners).
Clint Watts is a man of many strengths. He’s a former FBI agent and a cybersecurity expert. He can break down information warfare to …

G-7 Hangover

June 12th, 2018

28:26
On The Gist, if the Trump-Kim summit goes as poorly as the president’s business ventures, we’re doomed.

Maria Konnikova is here to smoke out false …

Comedians Can Be Well-Adjusted, Too

June 8th, 2018

30:55
On The Gist, president Trump raised the bar on what’s considered a gaffe, and EPA head Scott Pruitt is taking advantage of that.

Very few comedians have never been to therapy. Jerry Seinfeld is one. Tom Papa is another. …

#MeToo and McYoga

June 8th, 2018

31:43
On The Gist, comparing Bill Clinton to basketball great Michael Jordan.

Bikram Choudhury’s status as a star yoga guru gave him license to be odd (spiritual but with a soft spot for luxury cars, and always wearing a …

James Clapper: Yeah, Russia Swung the Election

June 6th, 2018

26:58
On The Gist, IHOP is changing its name to IHOb. And Mike is here to make fun of that.

James Clapper was a senior intelligence adviser for both Republican and Democratic administrations. He was also part of the team that …

So You Think You Know About Race

June 6th, 2018

27:32
On The Gist, at this point, whatever the Trump administration doesn’t say under oath is very possibly untrue.

In 1963, Robert F. Kennedy met with black America’s greatest artists and intellectuals to talk about race. …

Shots Fired, but Not Really

June 5th, 2018

31:18
On The Gist, no matter how well the economy goes, pundits can always tell a scary story.

What do we get wrong about Darwinism? Evolutionary …

It's Not Just You

June 1st, 2018

28:03
On The Gist, an appreciation of the man who invented Pong.
Barbara Lipska’s career as a neuroscientist did not prepare her to identify the dark effects of her own brain tumors diagnosed in 2015.  There’s studying a …

Folks, We’re Talking About the C-Word

June 1st, 2018

28:24
On The Gist, Samantha Bee said it first, so let us meditate on the C-word.

In defense of Googling your own name: Kirsten Pflomm is a white woman from Connecticut who did an online search 15 years ago and discovered she …

Our Trade Snore With China

May 30th, 2018

26:54
On The Gist, have you heard the one about the journalist who faked his own death to dodge Russian assassins?
It’s boom times for female buddy comedies. Mike talks to director Alex Richanbach and screenwriter Lauryn Kahn

Chris Gethard Can't Fake It

May 29th, 2018

33:19
On Tuesday’s Gist, Roseanne gets run out on a rail.
Comedian Chris Gethard reflects on how things have changed for his madcap live show, starting from its days on a public access channel to its current home on TruTV. …

Ratatouille Got It Wrong

May 26th, 2018

30:26
On The Gist, we here at Slate take GDPR compliance very seriously … just not in this monologue.

Before SNL, David Wain says, the countercultural …

Deal With Fake News Yourself, Facebook

May 24th, 2018

30:58
On Thursday’s Gist, tips for avoiding fake news? Thanks but no thanks, Facebook.

There’s a new documentary out about the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case, and it got us thinking about the flaws in the public’s perception of …

Thanks for Protesting … Now Stop

May 23rd, 2018

30:32
On The Gist, the NFL can’t give a decent explanation for its kneeling ban.

Philip Roth’s novels about Jewish life earned him every accolade short of, …

Girls Rule, and Boys Think They Rule More

May 23rd, 2018

31:38
On today’s Gist, whatever happens in the governor’s primary in Georgia Tuesday night, it will be a big step forward for women named Stacey.

Two-Party Problems

May 22nd, 2018

26:30
On The Gist, Hawaii’s “laze” is some seriously bad branding.

In the interview, our two-party system may seem inevitable, but political scientist Sam …

Breaking Up Comedy's Boys Club

May 18th, 2018

46:10
On The Gist, our attempt to track the new scoops that affected the Mueller investigation.
We’re not playing “Is That Bulls--t” on the show today, but …

Becky Hammon's Next Big Shot

May 18th, 2018

30:12
On today’s Gist, the Alex, Inc. drinking game you can play with the whole family.
Becky Hammon is an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs and is …

Disconnecting the Dots in Israel

May 17th, 2018

34:18
On today’s Gist: laurel or yanny?
We have questions about the protests in Israel. Daniel Shapiro is here to answer them. Shapiro was the U.S. ambassador to Israel for most of the Obama administration. He is now a …

Introducing Upon Further Review

May 15th, 2018

28:43
On today’s Gist, we’re tearing up the playbook. We’re playing the first episode of our new limited-run podcast, Upon Further Review, based on the book of the same name. In this episode, Slow Burn host Leon Neyfakh

Does Your Face Need a Workout?

May 14th, 2018

32:13
On today’s Gist, is Sen. John McCain really the greatest political leader of all time?
Have you heard of face gyms? Beauty gurus are rushing to …

Why Putin Matters

May 12th, 2018

34:25
On The Gist, the mainstream media is too buttoned-up when describing the Trump administration’s shenanigans.

There is no Russian Federation as we know …

The Long, Long Road of Tiger Woods

May 10th, 2018

28:23
On The Gist, torture is torture, and the news media should call it that.

Tiger Woods dominated his sport like perhaps no other athlete. But that …

Some Interrogation

May 9th, 2018

31:04
On today’s Gist, Michael Cohen has weaved a tangled web, but the mere fact that it’s confusing doesn’t mean we can assume he’s a criminal.

Tim Weiner wrote the definitive book on the CIA in 2008 with his Legacy of Ashes

Donald and the Don

May 9th, 2018

36:13
On Tuesday’s Gist, the undoing of the Iran deal.
Democrats are tense. 2018 is supposed to be a banner year for the left, but the party is struggling to balance an energized base and an unpredictable general electorate. …

Jake Tapper's Very Particular Kind of Escapism

May 8th, 2018

34:23
On today’s Gist, there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t want Gina Haspel to run the CIA.
Jake Tapper’s latest book is The Hellfire Club.

The Dangerous Hits of 1991

May 4th, 2018

32:41
On The Gist, a movie pitch: Kushner family racket.
Returning champion Chris Molanphy takes us back to 1991 and its chart toppers: Mariah Carey's …

Call of Rudy 2

May 4th, 2018

25:57
On today’s Gist, what’s this about a Tony Award–winning dry cleaner?
Presidential inexperience does not always lead to failed presidencies. Some traits can temper inexperience—like the depressive realism of Abraham …

Gen. Michael Hayden

May 3rd, 2018

32:39
On today’s Gist, a fond farewell to Ty Cobb.
Gen. Michael Hayden was running the National Security Agency and then the CIA, he couldn’t talk about …

How We Screwed Over Puerto Rico

May 2nd, 2018

31:38
On today’s Gist, thick-as-bricks Lego thieves come a-tumbling down.
Hurricane recovery has been a disaster in Puerto Rico. NPR’s Laura Sullivan wanted …

A Wolf in Wolf's Clothing

May 1st, 2018

28:30
On today’s Gist, President Trump’s Nobel in the making.
There is no market quite like the boomers—that was true when they were young, and it remains true as they enter their 60s and 70s. So how do you market to the …

ISIS Isn't Done With

April 27th, 2018

23:05
On The Gist, when your sympathy for the poor goes beyond platitudes, Paul Ryan fires you.

In the interview, the New York Times’ Rukmini Callimachi has …

Old Man Donald

April 27th, 2018

31:46
On Thursday’s Gist, EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s behavior is too plainly unethical to sweep under the rug.

What does a Malaysian party boy have to do with …

Korematsu, Revisited?

April 26th, 2018

27:34
On Wednesday’s Gist, you didn’t think Trump’s latest political nominee was scandal-free, did you?

And as the Supreme Court weighs Trump’s travel ban …

The Plain Prince

April 24th, 2018

36:06
On Tuesday's Gist, Donald Trump’s win has inspired a whole bunch of down-ballot Republicans, and boy, are they lame.

What is retroactive …

The State of State

April 24th, 2018

34:05
On The Gist, Sen. Bob Corker’s definition of a “gotcha question” is a bad sign for public discourse these days.

Before his Pulitzer Prize-winning …

The Zen of Cohen

April 21st, 2018

34:05
On today’s Gist, the retroactively classified memos of James Comey.
New Yorker writer Adam Davidson says the raids on Michael Cohen’s offices signal the beginning of the end for the Trump presidency. Here’s why: Cohen …

Comey Can't Confess

April 19th, 2018

21:20
On The Gist, if Chuck Schumer gets his way with decriminalizing marijuana, we can finally say goodbye to the lowest-hanging fruit: pot jokes.

Crooked Media founder Jon Lovett finds the James Comey book deeply …

A Fuller Obituary for Barbara Bush

April 18th, 2018

30:03
On today’s Gist, don’t all these senators know the depths of CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s patriotism?
Plus, why are chemical weapons useful to Bashar …

The Taint Team Cometh

April 17th, 2018

27:05
On Tuesday’s Gist, that old Watergate maxim, “the cover-up is worse than the crime,” should be revised to recognize the Michael Cohen effect.
Plus, …

James Comey's Ego Trip

April 17th, 2018

31:30
On Monday’s Gist, we’re counting Pulitzers and powering up.
Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms sort power into two categories: old and new. Old power is …

Chemistry No More

April 14th, 2018

30:11
On The Gist, have you heard? Chemistry has been debunked. Thank Russia.

Ed Helms is best known for comedic roles—see Andy Bernard on The Office. But …

"I Never Said That"

April 12th, 2018

25:41
On The Gist, Zuckerberg’s hearings got crowded out by bigger news. Too bad.

Facts are facts, even in the greatly polarized year that is 2018. Holmes …

Tax Cut Conundrum

April 12th, 2018

25:14
On The Gist, Paul Ryan cared about just one thing: cutting taxes.

Word choice is not always the most stimulating place to start an interview with an …

It's Regulation Time

April 10th, 2018

28:21
On The Gist, beware the rise of the despot’s son-in-law.

In the interview, media scrutinizer Brooke Gladstone wrote a graphic novel about the “Influencing Machines” that we often blame modernity’s problems on. Facebook …

Zuck Everlasting

April 9th, 2018

27:51
On The Gist, president Trump just doesn’t have the ambition to tackle a problem like Syria.

It’s a critical week for Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg has two dates with Congress, where he’ll be answering questions on the …

Andrew Cuomo's Pun Problem

April 6th, 2018

30:07
On today’s show, we don’t need a whole shadow Cabinet—we just need a shadow Trump.
Comedian Hari Kondabolu is back—and this time, he brought his …

Kevin Williamson Dies by the Sword

April 5th, 2018

36:25
On today’s Gist, London’s enviable crime wave.
Plus, what will we think of the Obama presidency in 50 years? Julian Zelizer set out to get really …

Oh Good, It Was Just a Handgun

April 4th, 2018

28:53
On today’s Gist, why the YouTube shooter’s use of a handgun doesn’t take anything away from arguments to outlaw the AR-15.
Plus, Radley Balko tells the story of two men who put innocent Mississippians behind bars using …

Shulkin Be Sulkin'

April 3rd, 2018

22:27
On Tuesday’s Gist, an ode to the end of March Madness.
Plus, Maria Konnikova returns to play our favorite game. Are parabens really bad for you? Konnikova is a contributing writer to the New Yorker and author of The …

Clinging to Guns Is Our Religion

April 2nd, 2018

33:00
On Monday’s Gist, the White House press corps needs a break. And guest host Mary Wilson knows who should take their place in the interim.
Plus, …

In Defense of the Pun

March 31st, 2018

27:30
On The Gist, Good Friday is actually pretty great, from a cosmic perspective.

In the interview, Aparna Nancherla tells us how to go from introverted kid (“my mom was very afraid of how unassertive I was”) to making it in …

On Conservative Voices

March 30th, 2018

26:47
On The Gist, the Department of Energy has a chief creative officer? Let’s roll with it.

In the interview, upstanding Pennsylvanian Amanda Holt updates …

Know Thy Enemy

March 29th, 2018

26:20
On The Gist, Sean Hannity doesn’t like this podcast.

In the interview, Korea expert Bruce Bechtol tells us what might be going on in Kim Jong-un’s …

Corruption Just Isn't Telegenic

March 28th, 2018

27:36
On The Gist, forget Stormy Daniels. The Kushners’ massive loan deals are where the real dirt is at.

In the interview, the world’s growing complexity can be measured in dusty cables, useless features, and lines of code. …

Hitler's Art Dealer

March 27th, 2018

28:28
On The Gist, “affair” is too rich a word to describe anything Donald Trump is emotionally capable of.

In the interview, arts reporter Mary M. Lane …

Spies Are People Too

March 24th, 2018

35:56
On The Gist, Donald Trump’s presidency brings race relations, at best, to a standstill. Case in point: the police shooting in Sacramento, …

As Statues Fall, Racism Stays

March 23rd, 2018

22:21
On The Gist, what to make of yet another round of White House reshuffling.   

As mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu has used his office to take down four of the city’s Confederate monuments. His new book reckons with …

This Storm Ain't Brewing

March 22nd, 2018

31:01
On The Gist, even if we get a law to make Robert Mueller unfireable, President Trump could trample all over it. 

In the interview, sports journalist …

Will Democracy Survive Trump?

March 21st, 2018

25:37
On The Gist, before Donald Trump’s headline-hogging presidency, things like bridge collapses made news for more than a few days. 

In the interview, …

Are Receipts Toxic?

March 19th, 2018

19:03
On today’s Gist, we’re nixing the Spiel to go on a Slate Podcasts retreat! Shouldn’t the White House staff have their own officewide retreat day?

The Year Groove Went Mainstream

March 17th, 2018

30:24
On The Gist, “meddling” is too weak a word to describe what Russia did during in the U.S. election.

In the interview, Chris Molanphy walks us through …

Hot or Not: Presidents' Edition

March 15th, 2018

25:30
On The Gist, the Trump administration walks back a line about U.S. trade with Canada.
And which American president was the studliest? Kate and J.D. Dobson are out with a book that considers Ulysses S. Grant’s quiet …

The Rogue at State

March 15th, 2018

29:31
Well, it’s a tough day to be Fox News. 
On today’s Gist, a closer look at the Department of State. It’s not that Rex Tillerson was wrong to want to reform how we do diplomacy—it’s that he utterly failed to deliver. Tom …

The Heroes of Colombia

March 14th, 2018

33:37
On today’s Gist, the lesser-known story of Colombia: Maria McFarland Sanchez-Moreno has written a moving account of Colombia’s post–Pablo Escobar …

Russian Doping, Revisited

March 12th, 2018

31:58
On The Gist, is it OK to ape a Russian accent when saying Russian names?
And we revisit an interview with filmmaker Bryan Fogel, whose documentary, Icarus, recently won an Academy Award.
In the Spiel, a short conversation …

North Korea Is Setting the Table

March 10th, 2018

32:11
On The Gist, if sitting down with North Korea wasn’t a good idea for past U.S. presidents, how is it a good idea for our current one?       

In the interview, Slate’s Fred Kaplan and former Ambassador to the U.N. Bill …

No Rules for the Wicked

March 9th, 2018

22:57
On The Gist, it’s a Jon Favreau–flavored mash-up: Swing Wars.

In the interview, the walls cave in, the props catch fire, the actors stammer and …

Guns, Controlled

March 8th, 2018

29:52
On The Gist, who’s left to work for Trump when even the nincompoops are quitting?   

In the interview, Richard Aborn has helped get gun control laws …

The Scapegoat in Chinatown

March 7th, 2018

30:30
On The Gist, Lego business is hurting. 
In Steve James’ latest documentary, the bank is the good guy. New York’s district attorney brought charges against a Chinatown-based bank after the 2008 financial crisis, even …

Ben Carson's Not Worth the Outrage

March 6th, 2018

29:48
On The Gist, if iHeart Media wants to do better, they really ought to change their name.   

Did you watch the Oscars? Did you think they were a little lame? Writer Catie Lazarus provides a safe space for your Academy …

Rejecting Jared

March 3rd, 2018

28:16
Well, what do you know? In 2016, Trump tweeted that he wasn’t trying to get a top security clearance for his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. A year later, he’s finally right.
On The Gist, what’s so special about an octopus? …

Watching for a Backtrack

March 2nd, 2018

27:51
Today on The Gist, a unified theory of Donald Trump.
Plus, Trump dragged his fellow Republicans and made his Democrats grin like Cheshire cats at the …

Heal Thyself, Dana Loesch

March 1st, 2018

35:36
Quick, who’s the Federal Reserve chairman? If you can’t remember, take heart: Our minds are filled to capacity with the flotsam and jetsam of the Trump White House.
On The Gist, are you as virtuous as you think? Likely …

The Abbreviated Highlight Reel of Stacey Dash

February 28th, 2018

34:16
Hang onto your skirts: Clueless co-star Stacey Dash is running for Congress.
On The Gist, returning champion Maria Konnikova is back to sum up the social science on poker tells: Are they BS? Konnikova writes for the New …

Dissing Dianne Feinstein

February 27th, 2018

32:26
On The Gist, President Trump’s latest poetry reading.
Last week on the show, we talked about the manifold reasons for optimism in the world. This …

Don't Fall for It

February 23rd, 2018

30:40
On The Gist, Trump boosted an empty idea at CPAC: arming teachers to stop mass shooters.

In the interview, Derek DelGaudio is the magician of our time. His one-man show, In & of Itself, questions identity in a …

Who Can Check Big Tech?

February 23rd, 2018

33:08
On The Gist, NBC’s coverage of Olympic athletes’ backstories is a little too obvious.

Slate tech writers April Glaser and Will Oremus examine the most plausible methods for reining in our tech overlords. Glaser and …

The World Is Coming Up Roses

February 22nd, 2018

33:58
On The Gist, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek will be moderating a gubernatorial debate in Pennsylvania. Mike says no thanks. 

In the interview, Gregg Easterbrook is ever the optimist. Despite what your push alerts and …

Free Money City

February 21st, 2018

29:53
On The Gist, Team USA’s low medal count would be a bummer if these Winter Olympics weren’t so goofy.     

In the interview, Stockton Mayor Michael …

Ban the AR-15

February 17th, 2018

29:33
On The Gist, the market for “how to survive a shooting spree” videos shows how far we’ve strayed in dealing with gun violence.   

Interracial marriage …

Which Side Are You On?

February 16th, 2018

31:27
Filling in for Mike Pesca today is Leon Neyfakh, still smoldering after his first season as host of Slate’s hit podcast, Slow Burn. 
Leon is indulging …

Runaway Military Spending

February 15th, 2018

24:36
On The Gist, names are stupidly important when it comes to getting elected. 
The Trump administration is proposing a boost in military spending, but the country’s defense budget actually peaked under President Obama …

Spoon-Fed by the Feds

February 14th, 2018

26:36
On The Gist, on the White House budget’s effort to replace half of food-stamp funding with crappy meal boxes.

How do you fix one of the most gerrymandered states in the country? It helps to have a tireless amateur …

Don’t Call It a White House Shake-Up

February 13th, 2018

26:58
On today’s Gist, we get metaphysical. The White House is always in chaos. But can chaos be a permanent condition?
Maria Konnikova returns to play our favorite game and answer the question: Does an athletic uniform’s …

Dumb About Deficits

February 10th, 2018

27:36
On The Gist, it’s The $10,000 Pyramid with a budget deal twist.

Is it possible we don’t know enough about national debt to call our politicians when …

Is the Iran Deal a Dud?

February 9th, 2018

25:54
On The Gist, the “When did you stop beating your wife?” question in the White House press briefing. 

In the interview, Iran may have shelved its nuclear ambitions, but the Middle East is still in trouble. Slate’s Joshua …

The Longest War Is Lost

February 8th, 2018

29:02
Trump wants a parade.
On The Gist, America's longest war, in Afghanistan, rumbles on under a third U.S. president. There is still no exit plan. Steve …

America Adrift

February 7th, 2018

31:34
Listen, chattering classes: Let’s at least chatter correctly. We take a minute on the proper name pronunciation for the scandals of the day.
Today on …

Phil Rosenthal Eats the World

February 6th, 2018

31:36
On The Gist: Dow goes down, Trump gets mad. 

In the interview, comedian Phil Rosenthal went to six cities across the globe to eat everything they had to offer and put it on Netflix. He tells Mike about his new show,

Philly vs. Boston

February 3rd, 2018

31:42
On The Gist, Super Bowl LII is an occasion to ask the age-old question: Who’s more obnoxious, people from Philadelphia or Boston?
Plus, Another Period

LBJ, Reconsidered

February 1st, 2018

27:24
Lyndon B. Johnson doesn’t always get the consideration he deserves as one of America’s great presidents. On today’s Gist, historian Joshua Zeitz says LBJ’s fight for welfare reform and civil rights redefined the …

We Still Have No U.S. Ambassador to South Korea

February 1st, 2018

33:43
On The Gist, Trey Gowdy bows out.
Fred Kaplan explains why foreign policy experts are concerned by the Trump administration’s move to renege on its …

When All the Jobs Are Gone

January 31st, 2018

30:06
On The Gist, the pomposity and circumstantial evidence of the State of the Union.
Janesville, Wisconsin, had the oldest operating GM assembly plant …

The Scholarly Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

January 30th, 2018

28:05
On The Gist, get your clutching pearls ready. Russia alleges that the U.S. is trying to interfere in its election.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been …

Good Night, Portlandia

January 27th, 2018

34:33
On The Gist, the Doomsday Clock would be scary if it weren’t so bogus.

In the interview, after years of gently poking fun at Portland, Oregon’s …

He Got Trump’s Taxes

January 26th, 2018

31:28
From the annals of monkey research, how 10 primates were gassed in the service of a bad study.
Today on The Gist, investigative reporter David Cay Johnston, who has been reporting on President Trump long enough to simply …

Odds, Ends, and Senators

January 25th, 2018

34:47
On The Gist, Devin Nunes probably doesn’t know squat. 

In the interview, Democrats hold most of the Senate seats up for grabs in this year’s …

MSG Is A-OK

January 24th, 2018

33:29
On The Gist, more details come out about Garrison Keillor.
In the interview, it turns out something can be good for your taste buds without being bad for your health. Monosodium glutamate has gotten a bad rap since 1968, …

The Dems Have a Bad Hand

January 23rd, 2018

28:03
On The Gist, what just happened?

And are Democrats sniveling losers or Machiavellian savants?  McClatchy reporter Alex Roarty explains why the …

One Year Down

January 20th, 2018

33:45
Up first on The Gist: It appears the Stormy Daniels story checks out.  

Plus, Saturday marks the first anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration. …

Busted: A Gist Productions Parody

January 19th, 2018

29:53
On The Gist, how about those Fake News Awards, huh? 

Alan Jacobs questions your ability to think for yourself. Can you really rid yourself of your biases, or do you just develop better biases? Are you really any better …

Wait and CR

January 18th, 2018

28:48
On The Gist, the bad news from Freedom House.
U.S. Air Force officer Edward Lansdale promoted a “hearts and minds” approach to diplomacy in the …

Nukes and Crannies

January 17th, 2018

33:09
On The Gist, the press is too squeamish to clarify that “shithouse” isn’t much better than “shithole.”

In the interview, more on fire and …

Teenage Brains Are Just Different

January 13th, 2018

25:00
On The Gist, Mike examines Trump’s bottom-of-the-barrel statements on immigration.

In the interview, Dina Temple-Raston explains how she became fascinated by the teenage brain. After years of covering terrorism for NPR, …

Is Trump Insane? Does It Matter?

January 12th, 2018

31:25
On The Gist, Mike skewers a columnist for concluding that President Trump is sane.

In the interview, comedian Judah Friedlander wants to let you know …

A Cry for Self-Help

January 11th, 2018

29:11
On The Gist, a brief look at what Norway is doing right. 

In the interview, we turn to self-help experts Kristen Meinzer and Jolenta Greenberg about …

Radio Reconciliation

January 10th, 2018

33:25
On The Gist, Joe Arpaio’s life after pardon.   
In the interview, MacArthur “genius” award winner Betsy Levy Paluck tells us about her research into mass media and public opinion. We might have the impression that our …

What to Make of Fire and Fury

January 9th, 2018

29:15
On The Gist, Sen. Lindsey Graham is defending the president extra hard on television … because he knows Trump’s watching.

In the interview, NPR’s …

Going for Gridiron

January 6th, 2018

37:42
On The Gist, third-party voters should answer for Donald Trump’s terrible policies at home and warmongering around the world.

In the interview, …

Move to the Center or Keep on Losing

January 5th, 2018

34:35
On The Gist, Mike wonders whether the “winner picked out of a bowl” antics in Virginia’s House of Delegates will really matter much.

In the interview, former Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire has straightforward advice for …

Killed, Then Counted

January 4th, 2018

30:04
On The Gist, Mike calls foul on the mashup terms used to describe big weather events, such as the latest: bombogenesis.  

In the interview, police …

Behind the Scenes of Slow Burn

January 3rd, 2018

30:40
On The Gist, Mike tips his hat to the musical talents of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, who announced his retirement Tuesday.

In the interview, it took a perfect storm to bring down Richard Nixon’s presidency, and it’s not …

It’s Fan Service or Bust

December 30th, 2017

31:54
On The Gist, Mike is down with feminism but argues that woke should be Merriam-Webster’s word of the year instead.

In the interview, Anjelah Johnson …

Your Brain Is Bad With Money

December 29th, 2017

37:07
On The Gist, Mike says goodbye to Roy Moore yet again, after an Alabama judge rejected Moore’s lawsuit to contest his opponent’s Senate win.

In the interview, Dan Ariely tells us “how we misthink money and how to spend …

Hobby Lobby Is Just Getting Started

December 28th, 2017

34:41
On The Gist, Mike runs through the major news of the past few days, while much of the news media is on vacation.     

In the interview, Hobby Lobby scored a famous Supreme Court win for evangelicals in 2014, allowing …

Deplorables and Snowflakes

December 23rd, 2017

35:44
On The Gist, Ken Stern explains why the deplorable label doesn’t sit well with him, even if it’s defensible. Stern is the author of Republican Like Me: How I Left the Liberal Bubble and Learned to Love the Right.
In the …

Tax Bill Ballyhoo

December 22nd, 2017

29:46
On The Gist, why the Republican tax overhaul is unlikely to spur hiring.
Michael Carpenter explains what we lose when the Trump administration …

Trickle Down Now

December 21st, 2017

31:40
On The Gist, it seems that congressional investigators have nabbed a big fish: Jill Stein.
Plus, New York Times columnist David Leonhardt explains why …

Behind the Scenes at The Daily

December 20th, 2017

35:40
On The Gist, Mike talks about the consequences of fast-tracking a major tax overhaul.

In the interview, how did the team behind The Daily manage to …

Don’t Worry if Baby Turns Orange

December 19th, 2017

29:15
On the Gist, why we shouldn’t fret every time companies like Netflix show how they’re using our personal data.   

In the interview, Maria Konnikova

Jeff Ross Got Bored, So He Got Political

December 15th, 2017

36:22
On The Gist, President Trump’s judicial nominations are starting to look ridiculous.

In the interview, comedian Jeff Ross got a little tired of his …

Revisiting Another Democratic Wave

December 15th, 2017

21:57
Chris Hurst doesn’t want you to know him as the guy whose girlfriend was fatally shot during a live broadcast. But it is a huge part of what compelled him to pursue elected office: “Part of what I want to do is … take …

The Underdog and the Bully

December 14th, 2017

28:06
On The Gist, Omarosa makes for the exits. 
In honor of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees announced today, we’re playing an excerpt from our …

It’s Partisanship, Stupid

December 12th, 2017

31:45
On The Gist, the #MeToo movement is only influential insofar as its targets can feel shame and enact accountability.

In the interview, biographer Robert Dallek accounts for Franklin D. Roosevelt’s ruthless pragmatism. …

The Abortion Fight Led Us Here

December 12th, 2017

28:54
On The Gist, we can have sympathy for all kinds of people—just not the guy who loses all his money on bitcoin.

In the interview, Lenora Chu tells the story of her American family’s rude awakening to Chinese education …

Drama in Alabama

December 8th, 2017

31:26
On The Gist, is President Trump to blame for today’s violence in Gaza? 

In the interview, columnist John Archibald surveys the Senate race in Alabama, …

Can You Win as the Party of Purity?

December 8th, 2017

27:14
On The Gist, Walmart gets a new name. 

In the interview, Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick thought about one thing when Senate Democrats started calling for Al Franken’s resignation: Merrick Garland, which she points to as the …

Next Falls Franken?

December 7th, 2017

30:37
On The Gist, Slate’s Jim Newell explains the moral and political case for forcing out Sen. Al Franken. Dozens of Senate Democrats called on Franken …

The Boys Club on the Bus

December 6th, 2017

33:35
On The Gist, why Alabama’s decrepitude is not incidental to Roy Moore’s competitive bid for Senate. 
In the interview, Russell Shorto tells the …

Pete Souza’s Photo Synthesis

December 5th, 2017

30:41
Before Pete Souza became the most famous troll on Instagram, he was the White House photographer for the duration of the Obama administration. Souza …

Bob Saget Doesn’t Think He’s That Raunchy

December 2nd, 2017

29:55
Bob Saget has long been known as the cuddly, sitcom dad with a surprisingly raunchy side. The comedian talks about the two shows that launched his career and the very first jokes he wrote as a teenager. Bob Saget’s …

Life Is Like Pachinko

December 1st, 2017

30:20
There hadn’t been an English-language novel about ethnic Koreans living in Japan until this year’s Pachinko. Author Min Jin Lee chalks it up to the …

A Founding Fathers Bromance

November 29th, 2017

39:45
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were very different guys representing opposing political parties. Jefferson was a wildly popular aristocrat from …

The Problem With America’s Rich

November 28th, 2017

36:40
Can you move toward greater income equality without asking America’s richest to give something up? In a word, no. On The Gist, Richard Reeves argues …

Is Neocon Nation-Building Done For?

November 28th, 2017

33:21
Elliott Abrams narrowly missed out on the State Department’s No. 2 job under President Trump, and it wasn’t just because of his sharp criticism of Trump, the candidate. In his book, Realism and Democracy, he argues that …

Dana Gould’s Take on Horror

November 23rd, 2017

27:14
Standup comic and writer Dana Gould talks to Mike about growing up in a family of manly hunters and writing a character inspired by his dad. Gould is …

The Anti-War Candidate Was Invented in 1968

November 22nd, 2017

30:49
The anti-war movement of 1968 looks inevitable today, but at the time, it felt “freaking bananas.” MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell explains the charisma of Bobby Kennedy, the fervor of Eugene McCarthy, and the crushing blow …

What’s Next for Zimbabwe?

November 21st, 2017

24:46
In his 37 years as president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe has learned how to play hardball. While his past methods have invited sanctions for human …

At Home With Gilbert Gottfried

November 17th, 2017

34:03
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried is known for his notorious voice and jokes that toe the borderline between daring and tasteless. In the documentary Gilbert, we see his softer side: his wife, Dara, rubs schmutz off his robe, …

The Nazi-Busting Woman Erased by History

November 17th, 2017

36:05
Elizebeth Smith got her start poring over Shakespearean verse for secret messages that were not there. But she soon used those skills to break codes used by America’s enemies in both world wars. The FBI took credit for …

People Power Beats the Courts

November 16th, 2017

26:21
How can savvy activism topple decades of legal precedent? The ACLU’s David Cole tells us about three issues in which like-minded citizens advanced …

Putting the Con in Economics

November 15th, 2017

39:21
President Trump’s top economics adviser is Kevin Hassett, a guy who has made some very bad calls—most notably, his assertion that the Bush tax cuts …

Prisons of Profit

November 14th, 2017

28:00
As America’s prison population surged in the ’80s and ’90s, private prisons were billed as the solution. They were supposed to bring innovations to …

The Family Man

November 11th, 2017

31:51
Loudon Wainwright III has been plumbing his personal relationships and dysfunctions for decades in his music. His latest book continues on that theme as he examines the influence of his father. The book is Liner Notes: …

Why Bush 41 Was the Anti-Trump

November 9th, 2017

28:13
As the Soviet Union crumbled, George H.W. Bush’s strategy was simple: say nothing. Historian Jeffrey Engel tells us about Bush’s plain oratory and his relationship with the USSR’s last leader, Mikhail Gorbachev. Engel …

About Last Night

November 9th, 2017

28:26
Democrats are feeling triumphant after Tuesday’s state and local elections. But it’s not a referendum on the president until his name is on the ballot, so E.J. Dionne and Thomas Mann are here to explain remains unique …

The Paradox of Black Patriotism

November 8th, 2017

28:30
Theodore Johnson caught our attention for his tweets about how the White House reacts to protest from black Americans. He brings an interesting perspective as a black man in the U.S. with two decades of military service …

Lynn Novick on Making The Vietnam War

November 7th, 2017

33:55
How do you attempt to document an event as complex and inexplicable as the Vietnam War? Filmmaker Lynn Novick says it helped to prioritize Vietnamese voices as well as people with a flair for speaking. “There’s a poetry …

Free to Be You and #MeToo

November 4th, 2017

28:53
The #MeToo movement is flushing out clear-cut cases of sexual harassment and assault, but is it helping us judge cases that are far murkier? Erin …

Get Inside the Brain of Michael Rapaport

November 2nd, 2017

27:08
The tax plan is out, and New Yorker writer Adam Davidson joins us to play One Question, One Question Only: Is this tax reform?
And the voluble …

Talk Like a Pirate (Party) Day

November 2nd, 2017

30:53
Birgitta Jónsdóttir has an unusual background for a politician: she’s a poet and a free speech activist. Since 2013, she’s been a member of the …

Putting Dr. Seuss on the Couch

November 1st, 2017

26:51
Was Dr. Seuss racist? Or did his books just not age well? And what is the appropriate response to a canonical work that seems to be littered with racially charged depictions? Philip Nel takes on all these questions and …

Scared to Death?

October 30th, 2017

26:19
Can you be scared to death? Can your hair go white from fear? This sounds like a job for “Is That Bullshit?” with Maria Konnikova, our favorite BS …

Fellas We Frolicked With

October 26th, 2017

28:44
Talking about sex makes some people squirm. For everyone else there’s Guys We Fucked, a podcast hosted by Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson that …

Jacob Weisberg on the Steele Dossier

October 25th, 2017

27:05
Jacob Weisberg says the Clinton campaign’s links to the Steele dossier matters, but not as much as the veracity of the oppo research itself. Weisberg is host of Trumpcast and editor in chief of the Slate Group.

In the …

Jeff Bezos Isn’t King

October 24th, 2017

30:03
Shareholder returns aren’t the only barometer of CEO success anymore, or else Jeff Bezos would be on top. In recent years, sustainability and …

A Show for Mere Mortals

October 24th, 2017

33:45
Kathleen Horan writes obituaries for the living. Her Audible original series, Mortal City, is an anthology of lesser-known New York characters: …

Marc Maron and Brendan McDonald

October 20th, 2017

36:12
Marc Maron says he “didn’t know anything about anything” when he began working in radio. But producer Brendan McDonald can tell you the moment he …

Flags Tell Fibs

October 19th, 2017

31:07
Some national flags are created to unify nations, but others are simply based on myths. The Danes believe God threw theirs from heaven, and the Catalonians tell the story of a severed arm dragged across a shield. …

Falling for the Gambler’s Fallacy

October 18th, 2017

28:40
If the roulette wheel keeps stopping on green, it’s bound to stop on red soon, right? It must be time for another round of “Is That Bullshit?” Maria …

The Stupid Genius of Dexter Guff

October 18th, 2017

35:33
Thought-leaders build careers out of TED talks, inspirational quotes, and branded products. Dexter Guff is a big player in that space, teaching his listeners how to crush it every day. But Dexter Guff is not a real guy. …

Sarah Kliff on the Big Questions

October 17th, 2017

36:41
You can’t get away from Obamacare news, and with each repeal effort there are familiar, wild-eyed claims from the law’s supporters and detractors. Will chipping away at the Affordable Care Act cause people to die? Did …

Why Now With the Weinstein Stories?

October 14th, 2017

33:11
Why did it take years of reporting before any news organizations could nail down the Harvey Weinstein story? NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik

The Shia LaBeouf of Islam

October 12th, 2017

32:14
What does it mean to be Muslim in the U.S. right now? Slate’s Aymann Ismail set out to understand, interviewing the founder of right-wing website Gateway Pundit, a former Muslim extremist, and his own family members, …

Oklahoma Is Not OK

October 11th, 2017

28:29
Things are looking bleak in Oklahoma. Low taxes and slashed state spending mean schools, prisons, and even the state capitol building itself are …

Made-Up Cabaret

October 10th, 2017

28:19
Comedian Jason Kravits can write a Broadway hit, on the spot. That’s the premise of his improv cabaret show, where he invents tunes based on audience suggestions, such as “Yom Kippur” or “a Victorian sewer.” The show, …

Masha Gessen, Putin Whisperer

October 6th, 2017

31:57
Masha Gessen returns to The Gist, this time to talk about her latest work, The Future Is History. Gessen uses the book to examine the ways in which post-Soviet Russia failed to process the traumas of totalitarianism. In …

Facebook’s Data Monopoly

October 6th, 2017

29:29
This week, we learned that Russian-linked Facebook ads targeted swing states during the 2016 election. Initially hesitant about sharing information with the government, Facebook finally gave in to avoid a deeper …

You Poor Seoul

October 4th, 2017

29:21
Has the military become more tolerant of collateral damage under President Trump? Why are there no good military options in North Korea? And who does …

The Presidency is Impossible

October 3rd, 2017

28:40
Before the Cold War, the president spent most of his time focusing on long-term problems facing the nation. But ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt, the …

The Rage Was Already There

October 2nd, 2017

31:31
On The Gist, we’re thinking about the mass shooting in Las Vegas and the errors we make when we attempt to explain the motives of an attacker. Author Masha Gessen says it’s all part of our desire to reassure ourselves …

Kurt Andersen’s History of American Wackadoodles

September 29th, 2017

37:13
Charlatans and magical thinkers aren’t new to this country; they helped shape it. So goes the thesis of Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire. Author Kurt Andersen joins Mike to consider religious quacks, the …

Recentering American Politics

September 29th, 2017

31:11
For the past 25 years, Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard and Bill Galston of the Brookings Institution have been debating the meaning of …

It’s Time to Rethink Puerto Rico

September 27th, 2017

27:39
It’s time for Vexillology Corner: Last month, the city of Pocatello, Idaho, presented a new city flag to replace their previous one, known for being …

Mark Lilla’s Advice for Liberals

September 26th, 2017

31:27
Mark Lilla made a lot of liberals bristle with his New York Times op-ed, “The End of Identity Liberalism.” But Lilla insists that what he’s …

David Litt is D.C. Funny

September 25th, 2017

31:24
Working in the White House sounds impressive, but speechwriter David Litt says it’s not like The West Wing. Some days you just find salmon in a toilet, or have to tell the president that he looks like Hitler. Litt …

2007 Defined the Next Decade In Pop

September 22nd, 2017

29:20
The chart-topping hits of 2007 featured Beyoncé at peak pop and Kanye West ahead of the curve with electronic dance music. Why do the hits of 2007 …

Dylan Moran Will Say It to Your Face

September 21st, 2017

31:31
Dylan Moran is a comedian from Ireland, a resident of Scotland, and a worried observer of politics in America. He talks to Mike about his way with …

Credit Where Credit Is Due

September 20th, 2017

25:59
This much we know: The Equifax data breach is bad. How can the credit bureaus, who have been described as the “plumbing” of our financial system, …

The Frat Doesn’t Have Your Back

September 19th, 2017

29:05
Sigma Alpha Epsilon was already the country’s deadliest fraternity when it became famous in 2015 for its racist chants. But Bloomberg News senior editor John Hechinger says SAE’s response to its scandal was unusual, as …

Was Booger Really A Nerd?

September 19th, 2017

33:06
Why does the movie Revenge of the Nerds continue to resonate today? Because, aside from how funny it is, it stands up for outcasts. Actor Curtis Armstrong explains what he took away from the film playing Booger, who was …

Ted Leo’s Hanged-Man Wisdom

September 15th, 2017

29:33
On The Gist, Mike talks to one of his favorites: Musician Ted Leo discusses letting his political frustrations fuel his songwriting (see his song, …

Which Type Are You?

September 15th, 2017

33:16
On The Gist, Gretchen Rubin explains why her system of sorting people into four personality types (Rebel, Obliger, Questioner, and Upholder) will …

Chris Gethard Wrestles With Comedy

September 13th, 2017

30:00
Late-night talk shows adhere to a form: a host behind a desk, pre-produced interviews, and tightly choreographed bits. Chris Gethard wants to break that form apart. With absurd gags like getting dunked in ice water or …

The Hygiene Hypothesis

September 13th, 2017

32:46
Do germaphobic parents doom their kids to a lifetime of allergies and irritable bowels? This sounds like a question for our favorite game, “Is That …

Nnamdi Asomugha’s Drama School

September 11th, 2017

31:32
Former NFL cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha sees his time in football as a prep course for acting.  On The Gist, he explains how he learned to study other people while developing his own style. Asomugha stars in Crown Heights
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