What Next | Daily News and Analysis

What Next | Daily News and Analysis

www.slate.com/articles/podcasts.html
The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.


Left Out of the Census
Aug 11 • 20 min
The U.S. Census Bureau has faced setback after setback. And, this year, who makes it into the official population count is going to be a lot more complicated. Guest: Hansi Lo Wang covers the 2020 Census for NPR. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and…
What’s Up With the Mail?
Aug 10 • 25 min
This year, the election runs through the Post Office. And we have reasons to be concerned. Guest: Jordan Weissmann, Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn…
TBD | How One Block Got Through It
Aug 7 • 22 min
Over the past five months, city blocks have been slipping away. Bars are closed; restaurants are half-empty; retail is shuttered. As the country returns to varying states of lockdown, how long can these blocks hold on? This week: how one commercial strip…
Solving the Child Care Crisis
Aug 6 • 21 min
Even before the pandemic child care was a long, simmering crisis. With the fall approaching and school reopenings in flux, many parents are asking themselves the same question: what am I going to do with my kid? America has solved a child care crisis…
A Teacher Weighs Her Options
Aug 5 • 23 min
Schools in Oklahoma are preparing to reopen, but special education teacher Nancy Shively won’t be among the teachers going back to school. Shively, who has pre-existing medical conditions, has been forced to choose between her own health and the education…
Republicans Are Freaking Out About Kansas
Aug 4 • 17 min
Tuesday’s Kansas Senate primary has Republican party leadership concerned. Polls show that Barbara Bollier, a former Republican turned Democrat, stands a chance in the general election against one of the leading Republicans in the primary, Kris Kobach. So…
The U.S. Takes On TikTok
Aug 3 • 20 min
The past couple of weeks have seen some alarming developments in the U.S.-China relationship. Among them is how the United States plans to deal with the wildly popular Chinese social media app TikTok. The debate over the social giant has reached the White…
TBD | When America Can’t Pay the Rent
Jul 31 • 25 min
For the last four months, federal and state eviction moratoria have kept Americans in their apartments, even if they couldn’t pay rent. Now, with financial relief in question, and moratoria set to expire, the first of the month might look very different…
New York’s Mail-In Ballot Failure
Jul 30 • 22 min
At the height of New York City’s “hot-spot” status during the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo made absentee ballots available to a wider array of voters than ever before. But state and federal agencies weren’t remotely ready for the deluge of…
The Coronavirus Official Who Quit
Jul 29 • 19 min
Arizona largely avoided the coronavirus when it first reached the U.S., but after a rapid reopening of the state by Governor Doug Ducey, new cases in the state exploded. Arizona now has well over 165,000 COVID cases and more than three thousand deaths. It…
How DHS Got This Way
Jul 28 • 20 min
The Department of Homeland Security was built to protect the country from terrorists. But its mission was always expansive. After the bizarre detainments in Portland, we’re seeing a reckoning with what this super-agency does. Guest: Jonathan Blitzer,…
Senate Republicans Are Stuck
Jul 27 • 23 min
Back in May, when House Democrats were teeing up additional coronavirus relief legislation, the Senate majority made a bet. Republicans waited to see if viral spread would diminish, making additional federal aid unnecessary. Instead, U.S. COVID-19 cases…
TBD | New Orleans Without Music
Jul 24 • 22 min
More than any other U.S. city, New Orleans banks on its culture. From music to restaurants to parades, the city relies on a steady stream of tourists to support its many artists and institutions. In March, those tourists stopped visiting. And without…
Will There Ever Be Justice For Breonna Taylor?
Jul 23 • 23 min
Twenty-six-year-old Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by a Louisville Metro Police officer in March. Four months later, and in the wake of mass protests against police brutality, her case is still being investigated. What will justice look like for…
Inside the NBA Bubble
Jul 22 • 23 min
The NBA has announced an ambitious plan to restart the season more than 4 months after it was abruptly halted due to the coronavirus. 22 teams have entered the COVID-free “bubble” at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida — a state with some of…
One on One With Dr. Fauci
Jul 21 • 21 min
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID and member of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, talks about the surge in cases, reopening schools and the White House’s recent attempts to discredit him. Guest: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the…
What Is Going On in Portland?
Jul 20 • 18 min
This weekend, disturbing video of unmarked federal agents detaining a protestor in Portland circulated on Twitter. Even the state government of Oregon was unable to identify the agents. Now, the state is suing the federal government. Oregon is seeking a…
TBD | Cities Are Running Out of Money
Jul 17 • 23 min
After months of coronavirus lockdowns, cities are taking stock of their finances. The situation is bleak. With plummeting sales and property tax revenue, American cities of all sizes may be facing a budget crisis. What happens when local governments have…
The First Federal Execution in 17 Years
Jul 16 • 22 min
In the early hours of Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court authorized the federal government to carry out its first execution in 17 years. Daniel Lee was convicted back in the 1990s of murdering an Arkansas family in a white supremacist plot. Attorney…
What To Do About the Schools
Jul 15 • 21 min
As fall approaches, the Trump administration is calling for a full reopening of schools. Now, districts across the country are scrambling to figure out if it’s even possible to safely bring students back in the classroom at all. Guest: Laura Meckler,…
Sweden Screwed Up
Jul 14 • 23 min
Swedish officials eschewed sweeping shutdowns when the pandemic hit. Some reasoned that Sweden could still power down if COVID-19 cases spiked. But the spike arrived, along with a high death rate, and still there’s been no policy change. Guest: Lena…
John Roberts’ Long Game
Jul 13 • 27 min
The most recent Supreme Court term saw huge progressive wins for DACA recipients, LGBTQ rights and abortion access. However, upon further inspection it’s clear that Chief Justice John Roberts is playing the long game when it comes to conservative issues…
TBD | Is “Covid Flight” a Thing?
Jul 10 • 20 min
Tens of thousands of people leave American cities every year. Normally, they’re replaced by new arrivals seeking jobs, education, and opportunity. But in a world transformed by the coronavirus, what happens if nobody arrives to replace them? Guests: Emily…
Mary Trump’s Truth
Jul 9 • 28 min
It is impossible to write a surprising book about Donald Trump, but you can’t fault people for trying. Mary Trump writes that her uncle lived an “institutionalized” life, but was plainly never loved by his parents. John Bolton writes that the president is…
How Activists Brought Down a Massive Gas Pipeline
Jul 8 • 25 min
Local activists never expected the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to go bust. Now they’re asking each other: How did that victory happen? And can it be replicated? Guest: Lyndsey Gilpin, founder and editor-in-chief of Southerly. Slate Plus members get bonus…
How California Created Its Newest COVID Hotspot
Jul 7 • 17 min
At the end of May, California’s oldest prison, San Quentin, had zero reported cases of COVID-19. Now, the facility has more than 1,300. Guards are falling ill. Some inmates are refusing tests, making it difficult to track the severity of the outbreak. One…
The Economy Still Has the Virus
Jul 6 • 23 min
Republicans have begun embracing masks. It’s a welcome change — but it’s also an economic indicator. Guest: Slate’s Jordan Weissmann. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit…
TBD | What’s a City Without the Office?
Jul 3 • 19 min
Since March, white-collar offices in major cities across the United States have stood empty. Now, with growing evidence that the workforce is equally effective at home, companies and designers are starting to rethink the office—what it looks like, what…
The Godfather of the Anti-Immigration Movement
Jul 2 • 20 min
How did a small-town eye doctor mastermind an anti-immigration movement premised on racism? Guest: Hassan Ahmad, founder of the HMA Law Firm in Virginia. He is suing the University of Michigan to unseal the complete archives of the late John Tanton. Slate…
The Toxic Combo Behind Colorado’s Police Shootings
Jul 1 • 25 min
Colorado has one of the highest rates of officer involved shootings in the country. After looking at the data, reporters from Colorado Public Radio found that the problem is exacerbated by a complex mix of meth addiction, illegal firearms, and car theft.…
Sick for 90 Days and Counting
Jun 30 • 24 min
After a long stretch of travel back in March, Matthew Long-Middle fell suddenly ill. He started to suspect he’d contracted COVID-19. Now, in June, Matthew is still feeling symptoms and has yet to get any clear answers from a physician. Guest: Matthew Long…
What Went Wrong in Texas
Jun 29 • 27 min
Texas is dealing with a surge of COVID-19 cases, just weeks after it had begun reopening its businesses and considering plans to bring school back in the fall. The state’s governor defanged his own orders and invited Texans to reach their own conclusions…
TBD | A Hidden Side of Police Abuse
Jun 26 • 18 min
Responding to protests around the country, the New York City Council passed the POST Act: Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology last week. The bill will require the NYPD to reveal the extent of their surveillance technology deployed within the city.…
How the NYPD Gets Away With It
Jun 25 • 24 min
It was Halloween night when Eric Umansky’s wife asked him to go see what was happening around the corner from their home. She had just seen an unmarked NYPD patrol car strike a black teenager and officers had pinned another group of black kids against the…
Grief, Comedy, and COVID
Jun 24 • 24 min
Last week, comedian Laurie Kilmartin took to Twitter to talk jokingly about something that wasn’t funny –– her mom was dying. JoAnn Kilmartin, Laurie’s mother, had contracted the coronavirus in her nursing home and was on her deathbed only a few miles…
Is Bill Barr Winning?
Jun 23 • 20 min
This past weekend, Geoffrey Berman was suddenly removed from his office as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. The removal itself began with Barr announcing on Friday night that Berman was resigning. That was a lie. Berman issued his…
TBD | Why Remote Learning Failed
Jun 19 • 23 min
In March, when schools across the country shut down, few people could have guessed that students wouldn’t return until the fall. Schools weren’t equipped to deploy remote-learning curricula, technology was in short supply, and most parents weren’t free to…
The Belated National Embrace of Juneteenth
Jun 18 • 16 min
Companies from Nike to the New York Times have announced that Juneteenth will be a paid day off this year. What does wider observance of the holiday say about the progress we’re making as a country? Guest: Adam Serwer, staff writer for The Atlantic Slate…
A Politician’s Brush with NYPD Abuse
Jun 17 • 30 min
Police reform is not a new cause in New York. The same proposals have been discussed for years. But when people took to the streets in late May, they handed politicians a mandate. This is the story of how the protesters got their first big win. Guest:…
A Victory for LGBTQ Americans
Jun 16 • 23 min
On Monday, the conservative Supreme Court extended civil rights protections to transgender and gay Americans. The ruling is not controversial — supermajorities of polled citizens say discrimination against LGBTQ people should be illegal. But Monday’s…
Is the Military Turning Its Back on Trump?
Jun 15 • 22 min
In the past couple of weeks, multiple high ranking military members, active and retired, have spoken out against the Trump administration’s use of force in Lafayette Square. Usually, military officers prefer to stay silent on political matters. Does this…
TBD | Is This the End of Facial Recognition?
Jun 12 • 22 min
This week, three of the leading developers of facial-recognition technology announced they would stop, or at least pause, selling this technology to police. The decision stems from evidence of racial bias inherent in these tools. For the researchers who…
The Antifa Myth
Jun 11 • 19 min
To hear the president tell it, you would think that antifa activists are blanketing the country — bringing their campaign of vandalism and looting and lawlessness to your town. These fears are sown and circulated through digital whisper networks that can…
A Momentous Vote in Minneapolis
Jun 10 • 19 min
This week, nine members of the Minneapolis City Council announced their intention to dissolve the Minneapolis Police Department. And while this moment may belong to the protesters of Minneapolis, it has just as much to do with the conduct of the city’s…
Ferguson Revisited: The Worst Night
Jun 9 • 24 min
Looking at the images that have come out over the last few weeks: images of police violence and protest, it’s impossible not to think how similar they are to pictures we saw just a few years back in Ferguson, Missouri. Michael Brown’s death at the hands…
Pandemic & Protest
Jun 8 • 24 min
It is entirely possible to support the protests while feeling intense anxiety that they will result in additional cases of COVID-19. Guest: Dr. Howard Markel, professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and author of When Germs…
TBD | Your Delivery Habit Isn’t Helping
Jun 5 • 19 min
In the midst of the pandemic, protests and police lockdowns, restaurants are turning increasingly to delivery apps like DoorDash and Grubhub to stay afloat. But with shady tactics, soaring fees, and deep-seated flaws with the business model of the entire…
Larry Kramer Wouldn’t Be Quiet
Jun 4 • 23 min
Larry Kramer always made sure you heard him loud and clear. He was a playwright, a novelist, but he was perhaps best known for his work as an AIDS activist. In the 1980s and 1990s, Kramer sought to wake up the world to the plague that was killing millions…
A History of Violent Protest
Jun 3 • 24 min
The images are familiar now. The police in their face shields, armed with batons and cans of pepper spray. The protestors, sporting bruises, pouring milk on each others’ faces. What’s happening right now might make you feel uncomfortable and angry. Kellie…
Caught Between COVID and DACA
Jun 2 • 27 min
Supreme Court decision days are when Dalia Larios is most nervous. Now a doctor in residency at a hospital in Boston, she spends her time largely thinking about her work, reading the endless amounts of research being published about COVID-19 and studying…
Minneapolis Was a Powder Keg
Jun 1 • 21 min
The Minneapolis police lost the faith of their community long before the death of George Floyd. How did things get so bad? Guest: Jon Collins, reporter for Minnesota Public Radio and host of 74 Seconds. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit…
TBD | Trump and Twitter Go to War
May 29 • 19 min
On Tuesday, after years of inaction, Twitter fact checked President Trump’s tweets for the first time. Six words were added below the original text, directing readers to outside articles refuting his claims. Two days later, the president signed an…
Are We Headed for a Cold War With China?
May 28 • 20 min
On Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Hong Kong was no longer considered autonomous from China by the US government. Tensions were already high between the two global superpowers but with this new escalation, where do they go from…
How the US Can Dodge A Depression
May 27 • 22 min
At 14.7%, US unemployment is at its highest rate since the Great Depression. In the coming months, Washington has a narrow window to avert an even bigger economic disaster. Guest: Jordan Weissmann, Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.…
When Coronavirus Came to Navajo Nation
May 26 • 14 min
No one was ready for this coronavirus. But what’s happening on native lands is the result of generations of neglect. Guest: Wahleah Johns, co-founder of Native Renewables. Read more from Wahleah here. Read about the history of underfunded health care in…
TBD | What Is Elon Musk Thinking?
May 22 • 18 min
As the coronavirus shut down manufacturing across California in March and April, Elon Musk only wanted one thing: to start making cars again. So when local government officials in Alameda County got in his way, Musk took the fight public, and won. Guest:…
A Summer Without Camp
May 21 • 21 min
In a normal year, the next couple of weeks would be when excited campers returned to summer camp. Now, because of the coronavirus, summer camps are having to make tough calls about how and if they’ll open this year. Guest: Lisa Handelman, camp director at…
On A Wild Goose Chase for Masks
May 20 • 26 min
The global scarcity of masks has shown us the federal government’s desperate side. Procurement rules have been loosened. Prices have soared. And a shadowy market has emerged where deals fall through all the time — leaving people without the gear they need…
Can We Even Trust the Testing Data?
May 19 • 24 min
We closed down the country because we didn’t have enough COVID-19 tests. Now that testing capacity is improving, there’s another problem: figuring out what all this new data means, and who’s reporting accurate figures. Guest: Robinson Meyer, staff writer…
How Much Trouble Is Senator Richard Burr In?
May 18 • 21 min
A lot happened in February for Senator Ricard Burr (R-NC). He told his constituents that the country was “ready to face the coronavirus.” He told a members-only club that they should expect school closures, canceled travel, and overwhelmed hospitals. And…
TBD | Decoding the Flood of COVID Data
May 15 • 20 min
Every week, it feels like some new piece of coronavirus information dominates the headlines. Mysterious symptoms, changing government directives. This constant trickle of updates can quickly turn into a flood. How should normal people interpret this…
Inside a COVID-19 Vaccine Trial
May 14 • 21 min
All around the world, scientific research has been put on hold to concentrate resources on one thing: a vaccine for COVID-19. The usual red tape that slows down these experiments has been removed. And at a lab in Baltimore, researchers are working around…
Will Michael Flynn Get Away With It?
May 13 • 25 min
The criminal case against former Trump adviser Michael Flynn has been full of plot-twists. But the biggest about-face came last week, when the Department of Justice moved to drop the case entirely. Lawyers who had worked on the investigation registered…
Italy Emerges From Lockdown. Slowly.
May 12 • 18 min
We spoke to Greta Privitera back in mid-March, a few weeks after she and her family isolated themselves at home in northern Italy. Now, with Italy taking baby steps toward normalcy, Greta says she’s enjoying her walks outside, she still worries about…
The Shooting of Ahmaud Arbery
May 11 • 21 min
Ahmaud Arbery was shot dead on a Sunday afternoon in southern Georgia. He had been jogging a few miles from his home. The shooting happened on February 23. It took more than two months for officials to make any arrests. Why? Guest: Christian Boone, public…
TBD | Should You Get an Antibody Test?
May 8 • 24 min
Yesterday, New York City announced that it would provide 140,000 free antibody tests to residents who want to know if they have been exposed to the coronavirus. And New York isn’t alone: large-scale antibody testing is ramping up around the country. But…
Will the Post Office Go Bust?
May 7 • 20 min
For years, the Postal Service has faced financial turmoil. Now, facing a pandemic, mail volume has dropped off and the question has resurfaced: Can the post office survive? Devin Leonard wrote the book on the Postal Service and says how it got to this…
Orange County vs. Gavin Newsom
May 6 • 18 min
It all started when the weather took a turn for the better. Surfers and beachgoers flocked to Orange County shores, only to find them cordoned off, at the behest of Governor Gavin Newsom. Protestors took to the streets in Huntington Beach, demanding an…
A Biden Accuser on the Latest Biden Allegation
May 5 • 22 min
Last spring, Lucy Flores wrote in The Cut that Joe Biden invaded her personal space and sniffed her hair at a campaign event in 2014. She says Biden never reached out to her after she went public. Now, as Joe Biden faces even more serious allegations from…
How Extremists Capitalized on the Pandemic
May 4 • 23 min
As the coronavirus continues to leave people sick and out of work, alone and under stress, there’s one particular group of people taking special notice, extremists. It’s not just the virus that is spreading. Extreme and violent rhetoric is too. Guest:…
Introducing: Code Switch
May 2 • 33 min
Today we’re introducing you to one of our favorite podcasts, Code Switch! Hosted by Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Meraji, Code Switch offers some of the best stories and conversations about race you’ll find anywhere. On today’s bonus episode you’ll hear…
TBD | How the Crisis Could Embolden Big Tech
May 1 • 20 min
This week, the world’s largest tech companies posted their quarterly earnings. And—unlike most other companies in the world—things aren’t looking so bad. With the global economy reeling, and people sheltering indoors, the tech giants have an opportunity…
The Basketball Coach Who Won’t Hire Men
Apr 30 • 20 min
This episode originally aired June 2019. Notre Dame basketball coach Muffet McGraw wasn’t planning on making a speech about feminism and gender equality. But at a press conference before the Final Four tournament, that’s just what she did, launching into…
What Seattle Got Right
Apr 29 • 25 min
When the first known case of coronavirus in the United States was detected in a suburb of Seattle, the region quickly became the epicenter of the pandemic in the country. Now, almost two months later, Seattle has suffered only 500 COVID-19 deaths while…
A Small Business Owner’s Dilemma
Apr 28 • 23 min
Georgia has confirmed more than 24,000 cases of COVID-19 and tallied close to 1,000 deaths from the disease. However, Governor Brian Kemp is still allowing a number of the state’s businesses to reopen this week, citing an increased capacity for testing…
We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Stimulus
Apr 27 • 19 min
With 26 million Americans filing for unemployment in the last five weeks, it’s obvious that the economy is still broken. However, Congress hasn’t been sitting on its heels—trillions of dollars of aid have been approved with billions more signed into law…
TBD | Can We Really Make a Safe Vaccine in 18 Months?
Apr 24 • 23 min
There are over 60 vaccines for the coronavirus currently in development. Four of them are already being tested in humans. As researchers move at breakneck speed to find a vaccine, they’re debating breaking (or at least bending) the rules that ensure the…
What Happened on the Cruise Ships
Apr 23 • 26 min
In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, cruises were the poster-child of viral spread. For the world’s largest cruise company, Carnival Cruise Line, the problems began in February and quickly escalated, as more passengers and crew fell ill, and…
How Sioux Falls Became a Hot Spot
Apr 22 • 18 min
More than 700 cases of COVID-19 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota can be traced back to the city’s Smithfield pork packaging plant. Weeks before the coronavirus outbreak was confirmed, employees were asking for protective measures that didn’t materialize until…
Democrats’ Plan to Win the Senate
Apr 21 • 21 min
No one thought 2020 was going to be a boring election year. Several key Senate seats are in play, presenting Democrats with a real shot at winning back the chamber. However, with an unstable economy and a critical phase of the campaign cycle going…
What’s Happening in Florida’s Nursing Homes?
Apr 20 • 28 min
Ever since COVID-19 surfaced in Florida, local journalists began wondering how the virus was going to impact nursing home residents and employees. For weeks the facilities and the state’s health department were reluctant to release data on the more than…
TBD | Can the U.S. Really Track the Coronavirus?
Apr 17 • 23 min
Before the U.S. can start opening back up, states will need to put systems in place for “contact tracing,” or meticulous tracking of the disease within communities. South Korea’s extensive tracing program has all but eliminated the spread of the virus…
What Will Summer Be Like?
Apr 16 • 24 min
The summer is going to be marked by the slow process of learning to live with coronavirus looming. The United States is going to have to rethink what “normal” means. Guest: Ed Yong, Science writer for The Atlantic Slate Plus members get bonus segments and…
20 Years of Failing to Prepare
Apr 15 • 28 min
Back in January, the Trump administration was caught flat footed in its response to the coronavirus pandemic. Politico’s Dan Diamond took a look back at the past 20 years of pandemic preparedness in the United States and found that former administrations…
Where’s My Check?
Apr 14 • 24 min
Washington is still struggling to put the U.S. economy on ice while we wait out the coronavirus. Maybe you’re expecting your government check this week. Maybe you’re a small business owner looking for a loan. Is help on the way? And, if not, what’s the…
What America’s Biggest Nursing Union Wants
Apr 13 • 20 min
At hospitals throughout the country another fight is beginning to spill into the public eye. This one between hospital administrators and their workers who have been put in harm’s way. As nurses push for better working conditions, COVID-19 is laying bare…
TBD | The Limits of Coronavirus Predictions
Apr 10 • 19 min
As governments around the world try to predict the toll and duration of the coronavirus, they’re turning increasingly to a handful of forecasting models for answers. But many of the leading models differ drastically in their approach and methods. What do…
Seasick: How the Coronavirus Upended the Navy
Apr 9 • 25 min
The Navy prides itself on being ready for just about anything. Sailors are even trained to fight fires, if need be. But when the coronavirus started rapidly spreading aboard the USS Roosevelt in early March, the ship’s captain sent out an SOS. Instead of…
Why COVID-19 Hits Black America Hardest
Apr 8 • 26 min
By now, Americans are getting used to the patterns of the coronavirus. It largely preys on the elderly and people with certain underlying health conditions. But as cities and towns start compiling the racial data of COVID-19 patients, new trends are…
The Fight Over Wisconsin’s Election
Apr 7 • 25 min
Concerns over the coronavirus outbreak are colliding with partisan trench warfare in Wisconsin. Voters are stuck in the crosshairs. Guest: Mark Joseph Stern, Slate’s courts and law correspondent. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast…
Where Social Distancing Is Impossible
Apr 6 • 24 min
Rikers Island was not built to slow a pandemic. Buildings are decrepit, and the churn of guards and new inmates makes infectious diseases incredibly hard to contain. Over the past several weeks, Rikers has released more than 600 inmates in an attempt to…
TBD | Risking Your Life for $8.71
Apr 3 • 23 min
This week, workers at Amazon, Whole Foods, and Instacart have announced mass strikes across the country. Though demand for these services is high, pay and protection is low. What exactly do we owe to the delivery workers at the front lines of the…
Jerry Falwell Jr. vs. the Coronavirus
Apr 2 • 23 min
“Politically incorrect since 1971.” That’s the unofficial motto of Liberty University, an evangelical college located in Lynchburg, Virginia headed by Jerry Falwell Jr. The school and its president take pride in bucking conventional wisdom, so when Jerry…
Should You Be Wearing a Mask?
Apr 1 • 21 min
The CDC could soon be changing its guidelines on whether the American public should be wearing masks to combat the spread of COVID-19. What does the data say about mask usage? And how do we calculate the answer for ourselves? Guest: Aaron E. Carroll,…
“It’s Every Man for Himself”
Mar 31 • 24 min
As COVID-19 cases continue to mount across the country, many states are still preparing for the virus to hit their populations with full force. In Florida, state officials have voiced concerns about shutting down the economy, while local officials have…
What New York City Did Wrong
Mar 30 • 25 min
Just a few weeks ago, officials were saying the coronavirus outbreak posed a relatively low risk for people living in New York City. How did health experts and government officials misread the threat so completely? And what can the rest of the country…
TBD | Where Are All the Tests?
Mar 27 • 26 min
Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work. The United States failed to roll out widespread testing in the early days of the pandemic. Now it faces…
When Your Doctor Gets COVID-19
Mar 26 • 28 min
What happens when the people on the frontlines get sick? An ER doctor shares her experience with coronavirus as doctor and patient. Guest: Dara Kass, Emergency medicine physician at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center…
Does 1918 Even Apply Here?
Mar 25 • 22 min
There’s plenty to be learned from past pandemics. They tend to follow a dramatic arc: denial, blame, and mass mobilization. So far, the coronavirus tracks with some contagions of the past—but can history tell anything about where we’re headed? Guest:…
How to Hold an Election During a Pandemic
Mar 24 • 27 min
As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, the United States might have to figure out how to hold an election in a time of social distancing. Will local, state and federal officials be able coordinate in time to transform our election infrastructure? Guest: Nate…
Can Congress Save the Economy?
Mar 23 • 21 min
To understand where the country is right now in battling this pandemic you have to confront some pretty grim statistics. Roughly one in three Americans are under some kind of orders to stay at home. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surpassed 33,000.…
WN TBD: Big Tech Eyes the Pandemic
Mar 20 • 24 min
Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work. Google has spent the last decade trying to find a foothold in the health care industry. Now they’re…
Italy’s Message From the Future
Mar 19 • 21 min
Many Americans still can’t imagine how the coronavirus pandemic will upend their lives. In northern Italy, no imagination is needed. Coffins pile up in churches and cemeteries as funeral gatherings remain banned. Hospitals are overwhelmed. And those who…
How Long This Could Last
Mar 18 • 21 min
As the novel coronavirus spreads sickness and anxiety around the U.S., it’s tempting to point fingers at government agencies that seemed wholly unequipped for the crisis. And, to be clear, Washington was not prepared. But here’s what decision makers can…
We Still Have to Talk About Elizabeth Warren
Mar 17 • 18 min
When Senator Elizabeth Warren announced the end of her presidential campaign, she was asked about the role of sexism in the race. Warren didn’t venture an answer, promising she’d have more to say later. In the meantime, we have some thoughts. Guest:…
Can Our Economy Handle This?
Mar 17 • 23 min
In the face of the coronavirus outbreak, U.S. political leaders are moving faster than they have in years. But it still might not be fast enough. Guest: Jordan Weissmann, Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent. Slate Plus members get bonus…
An ER Doctor Prepares for the Worst
Mar 16 • 18 min
Open or closed? Across the country, state governors and mayors are asking themselves that question: Are we safer staying open, or are we safer closing down? Over the weekend, more cities and states ordered shutdowns to temper the spread of COVID-19. But…
WN TBD: What If They Close All the Schools?
Mar 13 • 19 min
Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work. Last week, the superintendent of the Northshore school district near Seattle made a difficult decision. With…
If Prisoners Could Vote
Mar 12 • 25 min
We talk about polls a lot on this podcast. State polls, national polls, polls that make you shrug and vote for the other guy. Today, we’re talking about one of the most unusual polls we’ve ever seen: Slate teamed up with The Marshall Project to conduct a…
What the World Left Behind in Syria
Mar 11 • 24 min
Even though Kareem Shaheen left Syria a few years back, the reminders of his time there are everywhere. For nine years a brutal conflict has left millions seeking refuge with millions more still stuck in limbo. This past December, the Assad regime…
Will the Coronavirus Tank the Economy?
Mar 10 • 22 min
On Monday morning, the Dow saw its biggest one day drop since 2008. This time, the cause was a combination of a volatile oil market and heightened fears of a pandemic. The usual economic tools may not be enough to reassure markets. Guest: Jordan…
Donald Trump Wants Your Digits
Mar 9 • 23 min
The Trump 2016 campaign had unprecedented success on Facebook. Ever since, Trump’s reelection campaign has been pumping out ads and collecting data on a massive scale. Democrats are only just beginning to catch up. Guest: Andrew Marantz, staff writer at…
WN TBD: Did the Internet Doom a Pregnancy?
Mar 6 • 23 min
Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work. For pregnant women in the U.S., there are plenty of reasons to mistrust the medical establishment. Mortality…
How Biden Made His Comeback
Mar 5 • 22 min
Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence. Sign up now to listen and support our work. Super Tuesday gave Joe Biden a blowout, in part because of a surge from black voters. While white voters…
He Saw the Coronavirus Coming
Mar 4 • 18 min
The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, started in China as a bat virus that eventually made contact with humans. Researchers say this leap between species was highly predictable – so why were communities and governments caught flat-footed? And what does…
Who’s Left Standing for Super Tuesday?
Mar 3 • 21 min
The Democratic primary field has been dramatically re-shuffled since Saturday. After Joe Biden swept up votes and delegates in South Carolina, moderate candidates dropped out to strengthen his challenge against front-runner Bernie Sanders. So, with over a…
Is The Border Patrol Accountable to Anyone?
Mar 2 • 21 min
Lower courts have consistently ruled against the Trump administration’s hardline immigration policies. But at the Supreme Court, the conservative majority almost always reverses lower court opinions, even in the most shocking cases. Last week, justices…
WN TBD: Did Money Corrupt an A.I. Utopia?
Feb 28 • 20 min
OpenAI was founded in 2015 with a billion dollars and an idealistic mission: Create artificial intelligence that could address humanity’s biggest problems, and do it out in the open. Then came the money problems. Guest: Karen Hao, senior A.I. reporter at…
Can Bernie Beat Trump?
Feb 27 • 24 min
As Bernie Sanders becomes the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, pundits have started wringing their hands about Bernie’s chances of winning in a general election. Are any of these fears grounded in reality? Guest: Steve Kornacki, National…
The Toxic Combo Behind Colorado’s Police Shootings
Feb 26 • 26 min
Colorado has one of the highest rates of officer involved shootings in the country. After looking at the data, reporters from Colorado Public Radio found that the problem is exacerbated by a complex mix of meth addiction, illegal firearms, and car theft.…
Did Bill Barr Break the Justice Department?
Feb 25 • 24 min
Attorney General William Barr has lost the confidence of more than 2,600 former Department of Justice employees. We talked to one of them. Guest: Donald Ayer, who served in the Department of Justice under George H. W. Bush. Read his piece in the Atlantic,…
Why Republicans Always Win
Feb 24 • 19 min
Republicans have relied on one organization in particular to help pass conservative laws in states across the country: The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. The kicker is that ALEC learned its tricks from public-sector unions. Guest: Alex…
WN TBD: Inside Facebook’s Supreme Court
Feb 21 • 22 min
After years of controversial content moderation decisions, from deepfakes to deplatforming, Facebook is trying something new. In January, the social network announced that its new Oversight Board, which will act as a sort of supreme court for…
Will a Union Spoil Bernie’s Chances in Nevada?
Feb 20 • 18 min
The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 has dominated Nevada politics for years. Last week, leaders announced that the union would not endorse any of the Democratic primary candidates before the caucuses this Saturday. Did union leaders make that call…
How ICE Is Weaponizing Therapy
Feb 19 • 27 min
Unaccompanied minors at the border are required to speak to a therapist on a weekly basis. Now, officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement are able to use what was once confidential against these young migrants in court. Guest: Hannah Dreier,…
Is Michael Bloomberg Sorry?
Feb 18 • 25 min
Since he launched his bid for the Democratic nomination, Michael Bloomberg has been trying to distance himself from the legacy of ‘stop and frisk.’ He says stops went down 95 percent by the end of his time as mayor. Darius Charney, one of the lawyers that…
Introducing: The United States of Anxiety
Feb 14 • 27 min
Every so often, the What Next team wants to share another great podcast with our listeners. This time, it’s The United States of Anxiety from WNYC. In its fourth season, host Kai Wright is figuring out how the intense debates happening during the 2020…
WN TBD: Coronavirus Tests China’s Surveillance State
Feb 14 • 19 min
Over the last month, as coronavirus spread across China, Xi Jinping’s vast surveillance and censorship infrastructure went into high gear. But with outrage growing over the death of a beloved doctor, and surveillance technology under strain, the virus is…
The Trump Appointee on a Mission to Gut Medicaid
Feb 13 • 26 min
A few weeks back the Trump administration made an announcement. They rolled out a new health care policy called the Healthy Adult Opportunity. It’s a policy that would give states the option of reducing benefits for millions of Medicaid patients. This is…
Inside The Base, a Secret Neo-Nazi Group
Feb 12 • 27 min
This past summer, while Ryan Thorpe was doing his day job as a reporter at the Winnipeg Free Press, some frightening posters started appearing around town. They were recruitment posters for a white nationalist organization known as The Base. Over the…
The Border Patrol’s After School Program
Feb 11 • 21 min
In border towns across the country, high school students are participating in an after school program run by the U.S. Border Patrol. When journalist Morley Musick first encountered the Border Patrol Explorers, he saw it as another example of the…
Los Angeles Confronts Its Housing Crisis
Feb 10 • 23 min
Homelessness in Los Angeles isn’t a new problem. But it has become a bigger problem. And it’s gotten really easy to see. Guests: Theo Henderson, host of the We the Unhoused podcast. Emily Alpert Reyes, City Hall reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Slate…
WN TBD: Iowa’s App-ocalypse
Feb 7 • 20 min
On Monday, the Iowa caucuses went off the rails. As the hours stretched into days, and still the results remained unclear, a new piece of election technology was identified as a central cause of the delay. An app designed to make the election process…
Michael Bloomberg’s Shot
Feb 6 • 28 min
Michael Bloomberg has toyed with running for president many times. He has the money and the political clout, but 2020 is the first time he’s thrown all his weight behind a White House bid. It might also be the only year where his abnormal approach to…
A Wake-Up Call From Iowa
Feb 5 • 18 min
The Iowa caucuses on Monday were a mess. Only 71 percent of precincts were reporting by late Tuesday night. Rick Hasen says, we’re just lucky this disaster happened early on. That means that election officials in other states have time to get it right.…
Why Don’t D.C. Residents Count?
Feb 4 • 28 min
This episode originally aired in October 2019. Growing up in D.C. during the civil rights era made the fight for D.C. statehood deeply personal for civil rights advocate Wade Henderson. He’s said that being unable to secure a voting representative in…
This Week In Impeachment: A ‘Bullet Proof’ President
Feb 3 • 31 min
On Friday, Senate Republicans blocked efforts to hear new witnesses and evidence in the impeachment trial of President Trump. The decision signals an unwillingness to challenge the executive branch, despite several Republican lawmakers conceding that…
WN TBD: Why Is the U.S. Scared of Huawei?
Jan 31 • 20 min
Recently a special delegation of senior Trump administration officials arrived in the U.K. Their mission? To convince prime minister Boris Johnson to bar Huawei from their new 5G network. Why is the U.S. so keen to influence Britain’s decision on 5G? And…
Who’s Excited About Joe Biden?
Jan 30 • 25 min
Joe Biden’s presidential campaign is making two arguments in the last few days before the Iowa caucuses. One is all about the heart—you know Joe, you love Joe. The other argument is all in the head—Democrats need to vote for a candidate who can beat…
A Threat to the Separation of Church and State
Jan 29 • 24 min
Republican lawmakers in Montana came up with a plan to help taxpayers fund scholarships for private schools, including religious ones. But Montana’s constitution makes it clear that public funding for parochial schools is not allowed. Now, religious…
A Radical Voter Suppression Tactic
Jan 28 • 29 min
Back in July, President Trump addressed the nation from the Rose Garden. The Supreme Court had just ruled that the 2020 census could not ask the citizenship question and the president was there to acknowledge that fact. However, he was also there to issue…
This Week in Impeachment: Finally, Some Answers
Jan 27 • 26 min
The House impeachment managers have wrapped up their oral arguments. The president’s legal team is getting started. The only question now, will key witnesses be able to testify? Guests: Dahlia Lithwick, covers the law and Washington for Slate. Jeremy…
WN TBD: Which Tech Companies Are Doing the Most Harm?
Jan 24 • 23 min
Last week, Slate published The Evil List, an expansive attempt to document the most concerning tech companies around the world, according to the experts. Some you’ve heard of, some you probably haven’t, and some you almost certainly use every day. Which…
How Virginia’s Gun Rally Dodged a Bullet
Jan 23 • 23 min
Earlier this week, gun rights activists arrived outside the capitol building in Richmond, Virginia to rally against proposed gun control laws. Some people worried the event would turn into another Charlottesville. But even though thousands of people…
The Rules of This Impeachment
Jan 22 • 29 min
On Tuesday, the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump began in earnest in the Senate. The debate over the rules of engagement lasted into the early hours of Wednesday morning and gave a first look at how both sides are going to approach the…
Why Trump’s Anti-Refugee Policy Could Backfire
Jan 21 • 21 min
A new executive order from the Trump administration was meant to curb refugee resettlement and further polarize the country. But most Republican governors have snubbed the policy. How did this particular anti-immigrant scheme backfire? Guest: Jonathan…
WN TBD: The Silicon Valley Dream Was Always a Fantasy
Jan 17 • 23 min
In 2013, Anna Wiener moved from New York to San Francisco to join the city’s booming tech scene. Over the course of four years, she worked at three companies: an e-book startup, a data analytics company, and an open-source software platform. Then, her…
The Trouble With the Warren-Sanders Beef
Jan 16 • 25 min
After Tuesday’s Democratic debate, the beef between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders spilled over onto national television. Derecka Purnell has been following the primary — she says the way this fight ends depends on how we think about identity…
Australia’s Fires and the Upside of Anger
Jan 15 • 27 min
Australia and the United States have a lot in common: politicians who still deny climate change, a supremely powerful energy industry, and a growing sense of dread about climate catastrophes. Guest: Journalist Emily Atkin. Check out her newsletter,…
What Mike Pompeo Does For Trump
Jan 14 • 23 min
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has had some serious staying power in the Trump administration. Now with the impeachment trial on the horizon, he’s become even closer to the president. How has he managed to keep his position in President Donald Trump’s…
What Happened to Lindsey Graham?
Jan 13 • 23 min
Before President Donald Trump took office, Lindsey Graham was willing to reach across the aisle to work on big issues like immigration reform and climate change. Now, his total loyalty to the Trump administration is baffling close friends and political…
WN TBD: How Targeted Ads Started Watching Us All
Jan 10 • 20 min
In 2019, for the first time, more advertising money went toward targeted digital ads in the U.S. than on radio, television, cable, magazine, and newspaper ads combined. The moment was the culmination of a decadeslong journey that has completely…
Will Voter Suppression Backfire in Florida?
Jan 9 • 22 min
Over a year ago, Florida residents approved the restoration of voting rights for approximately 1.4 million ex-felons in the state. But in the months since, lawmakers have tried to implement new hurdles for former convicts trying to access the ballot box.…
Why It’s So Easy To Start A War
Jan 8 • 22 min
Presidents have always skirted the rules when it comes to gaining authorization from Congress to use military force. President Donald Trump’s direction to kill Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani takes it to a whole new level and exposes just how weak the War…
Bernie Could Win This Thing
Jan 7 • 20 min
Right now, when it comes to fundraising, it certainly looks like Bernie Sanders is winning. In the last three months, his campaign has raised more money than any other Democrat in the field. And with just a few weeks left before the Iowa caucuses, Sanders…
Trump Chooses War
Jan 6 • 25 min
In a little over a week, tensions in the Middle East have gone from high to fever pitch. What started with one American civilian contractor in Iraq being killed escalated to airstrikes on militia-controlled sites in Iraq and Syria, killing 24 people and…
This Week in Impeachment: A Senate Trial in Limbo
Jan 3 • 21 min
President Donald Trump was impeached in the House of Representatives just over two weeks ago. There’s just one hitch: The articles of impeachment that were passed haven’t made it to the Senate … yet. It’s part of a tactical hold by the Democrats seeking…
WN TBD: Do Algorithms Make Sentencing Fairer?
Jan 3 • 19 min
Around the country, states are employing algorithms to help reduce prison populations and predict recidivism. This week, we hear from a Wisconsin judge with serious reservations about the algorithm used in his state. Also: a deep dive into Virginia’s…
Billionaires’ Favorite Tax Reform
Jan 2 • 24 min
When President Trump passed his tax overhaul in 2017, Democrats and Republicans were excited about the prospect of one specific provision. ‘Opportunity zones’ were meant to spur investment in low-income communities. Two years later, it’s unclear if that…
Three Stories We Can’t Stop Thinking About
Dec 30, 2019 • 26 min
As 2019 comes to a close, What Next is checking back in on three stories we did this year. From a power struggle in Venezuela to a border wall dispute in Arizona and back to Washington for an impeachment update. Here’s what happened…next! Guests: Ana…
WN TBD: A Landmark Privacy Law Takes Effect. Now What?
Dec 27, 2019 • 19 min
On January 1st, a new law will grant Californians the right to see, delete, and stop the sale of personal information collected by tech companies. But the impact of the bill may reach far beyond California. How does this landmark law affect the rest of…
WN TBD | Ring: Your Doorbell Is Watching
Dec 20, 2019 • 20 min
Back in 2013, an entrepreneur named Jamie Siminoff appeared on Shark Tank. He was seeking an investment in a new product he was calling Doorbot, a smart doorbell that would make answering the door more convenient and users’ lives “more connected.” Six…
A Year of “Remain in Mexico”
Dec 19, 2019 • 23 min
The “Remain in Mexico” policy was sold as a humane way to throttle the flow of migrant families seeking asylum in the U.S. But the immigration courts remain overwhelmed, and migrants who do make the trip to the southern border have been left to wait for…
Are Active Shooter Drills Traumatizing Kids?
Dec 18, 2019 • 22 min
Preparing for an active shooter is becoming a disturbingly normal part of the school experience. And while companies are developing new methods for how to keep students and teachers safe, it’s unclear if they’re becoming more effective. Guest: Tali…
Black Voters Fight to Count in Georgia
Dec 17, 2019 • 19 min
It’s hard to keep track of all the things that have happened in Georgia to tweak voter rights and poll access over the past several years. But a new investigation highlighted two overarching themes to recent changes: diminishing federal oversight and…
How McKinsey Became a Villain
Dec 16, 2019 • 20 min
Public sector consulting is under a new kind of scrutiny. Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign has thrust his former employer, McKinsey, into the spotlight. What’s been brought to the surface has challenged their stated values of “doing the most…
WN TBD: Inside The Influence Economy
Dec 13, 2019 • 18 min
Over the past decade, the world of influencers has grown from a fringe marketing movement to a multibillion-dollar industry. Now, tactics and strategies originally developed by influencers can be found across industries, from health care to politics to…
The Ugly Truth About America’s Longest War
Dec 12, 2019 • 22 min
On Monday, the Washington Post published a damning account of America’s war in Afghanistan. Titled “The Afghanistan Papers,” the report features dozens of interviews with people directly involved in the war, detailing the lies, deception, and misleading…
HIV’s Threat to Rural America
Dec 11, 2019 • 22 min
Two maps can help tell the story of a looming public health problem in rural America. One, published by the CDC, shows 220 of the most vulnerable counties in America either experiencing or at risk of an HIV outbreak. The other, published by the Washington…
Inside Trump’s Impeachment Bunker
Dec 10, 2019 • 23 min
Underneath the Oval Office there’s this room. It’s a windowless place with terrible cell phone reception but, right now, it’s home to a team crafting President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense strategy. Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and…
Harry Reid’s Impeachment Prediction
Dec 9, 2019 • 17 min
Former U.S. Senator Harry Reid thinks the expected impeachment trial in the Senate will fail to convict. And Reid should know — he was in the Senate during the last impeachment trial. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign…
WN TBD: What Is Google After Larry and Sergey?
Dec 6, 2019 • 19 min
On Tuesday, Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page announced that they are stepping down from their respective roles as president and CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. The move will leave Sundar Pichai in charge of both Google and Alphabet.…
A Toxic Mess Reaches The Supreme Court
Dec 5, 2019 • 24 min
Residents of Opportunity, Montana have a problem: their town is infected with a century’s worth of toxins from copper mining. The responsible company, Arco, and the E.P.A. have come up with a plan to fix that, but the community members say it’s woefully…
Will Republicans Derail Jerry Nadler?
Dec 4, 2019 • 22 min
The next impeachment hearing will be in the House Judiciary Committee, where Corey Lewandowski made a mockery of Democrats in September. So perhaps it’s by design that the testimony planned for Wednesday seems rather low-stakes: Four professors will speak…
Why Not Cory Booker?
Dec 3, 2019 • 23 min
Senator Cory Booker still hasn’t made the cut for the next Democratic debate, despite having all the moderate bona fides that a suburban voter could want. Why has Booker failed to pop up in the polls? Guest: Slate’s Jordan Weissmann. Read his piece, “Dear…
The Woman Who Turned on Stephen Miller
Dec 2, 2019 • 26 min
When she was a staff writer at Breitbart News, Katie McHugh exchanged hundreds of emails with Stephen Miller, who is currently one of President Trump’s senior advisors. Then, McHugh was a champion of the alt-right and a supporter of white nationalist…
This Week In Impeachment: “Presidents Are Not Kings”
Nov 27, 2019 • 21 min
For months, White House lawyers have argued that many of the president’s aides can sidestep congressional subpoenas because of their proximity to Trump. This week, a judge rejected that claim, setting the stage for another installment in the House of…
How Vaping Escaped Stiff Regulation
Nov 26, 2019 • 26 min
This summer, the explosion of vaping-related illnesses sent medical researchers on an urgent quest to figure out why teenagers were showing up at the hospital unable to breathe. Years before this became a public health crisis, federal regulators had the…
The Anxiety of Being Muslim in India
Nov 25, 2019 • 19 min
In India, Muslims are watching the secular democratic principles of their country crumble. What is it like when your country rejects your family and shakes your faith in multiculturalism? Guest: Rana Ayyub, a contributor to the Washington Post Opinion…
This Week in Impeachment: Are We There Yet?
Nov 22, 2019 • 30 min
With two weeks of public impeachment hearings in the books, how will the next phase of the inquiry take shape? Guest: Jim Newell, senior politics writer at Slate. Dahlia Lithwick, writes about the courts and the law for Slate. Slate Plus members get bonus…
WN TBD: Is TikTok Really a National Security Threat?
Nov 22, 2019 • 21 min
TikTok now has over 1.5 billion downloads, putting it in the company of social media giants like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. While all of these companies have faced scrutiny from lawmakers in one form or another, TikTok is getting attention for its…
America’s Top Elections Official Isn’t Happy
Nov 21, 2019 • 20 min
The Federal Election Commission was designed to prevent the parties from going rogue with overly punitive campaign finance regulations. But what’s paralyzed FEC is something less partisan, and more principled: Democrats think the government should enforce…
Pete Buttigieg Surges
Nov 20, 2019 • 24 min
Pete Buttigieg will take the stage at the fifth presidential democratic debate as the front-runner in the Iowa polls. His rise, while surprising for some, can’t simply be explained as luck. So, how did Buttigieg go from being the mayor of South Bend with…
The Backstory to Bolivia’s Coup
Nov 19, 2019 • 23 min
Bolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, was pushed out of office this month after attempting to secure an unprecedented fourth term. Now, the country is consumed by a power vacuum and the economy is facing challenges. How did Bolivia get here,…
What Is Devin Nunes Thinking?
Nov 18, 2019 • 24 min
Rep. Devin Nunes has been in Congress for over a decade. In those years he built up a lot of political capital in the Republican party–Nunes is currently a member of the Gang of Eight, a bi-partisan set of eight leaders in Congress who are briefed on…
This Week in Impeachment: New Evidence
Nov 15, 2019 • 24 min
Testimony of a phone call between President Donald Trump and EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland has set the stage for a dramatic Week 2 in the inquiry. What does the revelation of that call tell us about how House Republicans are mounting a defense of the…
WN TBD: How WhatsApp Got Hacked
Nov 15, 2019 • 21 min
Recently, Facebook filed a lawsuit against a little-known Israeli spyware firm called NSO Group. Facebook is accusing NSO of supplying technology that enabled a hack of 1,400 WhatsApp accounts. But NSO’s reach goes far beyond a few thousand phones.…
Virginia Democrats’ Chance to Gerrymander
Nov 14, 2019 • 21 min
The latest round of elections in Virginia brought in a new Democratic majority to the state Legislature. It’s the first time Virginia’s government has been fully Democratic in 26 years. The question now is: What will the Democrats do with all that power?…
Impeachment Goes Public
Nov 13, 2019 • 20 min
Today, when the House Intelligence Committee comes to order to host the first public impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump, Michael McFaul knows better than most what will happen next. Not only did he serve at the State Department with…
DACA’s Day in Court
Nov 12, 2019 • 20 min
Today, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that could have an enormous effect on the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people known as Dreamers. Back in 2017, the Trump administration ended DACA, a program created by the Obama…
The Televangelist Inside the White House
Nov 11, 2019 • 23 min
Many past presidents have had a spiritual advisor. President Trump’s party faithful are an extension of his brand — white, evangelical. And his most trusted preacher is a wealthy televangelist who’s been investigated by Congress. Meet Paula White, the…
What Next Impeachment: The Tortoise and the Hare
Nov 8, 2019 • 26 min
This week, in impeachment inquiry news: Gordon Sondland revised his memory, Lev Parnas said he’d cooperate with inquisitors, and Donald Trump, Jr. insisted that we focus on the whistleblower. Guests: Dahlia Lithwick, Slate’s courts correspondent, and Jim…
WN TBD: The Uber Drivers Who Don’t Want to Be Employees
Nov 8, 2019 • 18 min
California recently passed a law that would classify rideshare drivers across the state as employees, rather than contractors. Among many other benefits, they’d be allowed to unionize, collect overtime pay, and take sick leave. So why are so many drivers…
8chan, the Hate Site That’s Hard to Kill
Nov 7, 2019 • 23 min
The 8chan message board has become synonymous with hate speech. It’s been a go-to forum for mass shooters’ manifestos. It courts devotees of the cultish QAnon conspiracy theory. In August, 8chan was booted from the internet, but now the forum is making a…
What Is Tulsi Gabbard’s Deal?
Nov 6, 2019 • 24 min
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii, has always had a maverick streak. But since launching a presidential campaign, her tactics have only become more perplexing. Guest: Lisa Lerer, political reporter for the New York Times. Slate Plus…
Does Warren’s Medicare Plan Add Up?
Nov 5, 2019 • 22 min
At the last Democratic primary debate, Elizabeth Warren refused to say that her plan for Medicare for All would require raising taxes on the middle class. Critics accused her of dishonesty. But on Friday, Warren released a plan pledging to do exactly what…
California’s Wildfire Problem Goes Beyond PG&E
Nov 4, 2019 • 16 min
In California, thousands of people have evacuated their homes in yet another season of dangerous wildfires. Thousands of other residents have had their power shut off in an effort to help prevent incidents along power lines that could trigger yet more…
This Week In Impeachment: Let’s Make It Official, Again
Nov 1, 2019 • 28 min
This week, Alexander Vindman testified with firsthand knowledge of the Ukraine call and the House voted to formalize the impeachment inquiry. Plus, who’s the person you should be keeping your eye on heading into next week? Guest: Dahlia Lithwick and Jim…
WN TBD: The Price of Automating Aviation
Nov 1, 2019 • 17 min
This week, Boeing’s CEO Dennis Muilenburg appeared in front of Congress. He was there to answer questions about what his company knew, and when, before two 737 Max airplanes crashed and claimed the lives of 346 people. But beyond the planes’ technological…
Partisan Gerrymandering Is Over in North Carolina
Oct 31, 2019 • 21 min
State court rulings have ended partisan gerrymandering in North Carolina on both the state and congressional levels. The rulings could lead the way for progressive activists who’ve been shut out at the Supreme Court. This episode is a part of Slate’s Who…
Jailed Over Medical Debt
Oct 30, 2019 • 23 min
There’s a story unfolding in the courtroom of a small town in Kansas. It’s a story about runaway medical costs, aggressive debt collectors, and jail. Guest: Lizzie Presser, reporter for ProPublica Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast…
What It Took To Close Rikers
Oct 29, 2019 • 22 min
This month, the New York City Council approved a plan to close Rikers Island in 2026. The jail has become a potent symbol for those fighting to reform the criminal justice system. Where do reformers go from here? Guest: Aaron Morrison, senior reporter for…
Can Trump Save Kentucky’s Republican Governor?
Oct 28, 2019 • 19 min
Kentucky’s Republican Gov, Matt Bevin won a decisive victory in 2015 and has tethered himself to President Donald Trump ever since. But now, he’s up for reelection and his popularity has taken a nosedive—it doesn’t help that thousands of public school…
This Week in Impeachment: Storming the SCIF
Oct 25, 2019 • 19 min
We survey this week’s developments: the testimony from Ambassador Bill Taylor, a stunt at the SCIF, and what the founding fathers might have thought of our reticence to impeach. Guests: Dahlia Lithwick and Jim Newell. Slate Plus members get bonus segments…
WN TBD: Inside Facebook’s Political Ad Mess
Oct 25, 2019 • 20 min
Over the last week, Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have been under fire for declining to fact-check political ads. But a former insider says this is the wrong debate to be having—and it misses a more fundamental problem: Facebook’s business model itself.…
Russia’s Play for the Middle East
Oct 24, 2019 • 21 min
Syria is in the midst of a civil war, a refugee crisis, a war on terror, and a massive demographic shift. Why does Russia want a piece of it? Guest: Deb Amos, international correspondent for NPR. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast…
The “Detective” Behind the Wealth Tax
Oct 23, 2019 • 20 min
Gabriel Zucman and his co-authors have become known for releasing these charts that go megaviral. In a new book, Zucman claims to have found that the 400 richest Americans now pay a lower tax rate than the bottom 50 percent of the country. This finding…
How El Chapo’s Son Got Away
Oct 22, 2019 • 21 min
Last Thursday, in the city of Culiacán, a massive gun battle between Mexican government forces and the Sinaloa cartel erupted in broad daylight. It was captured on cameras by residents across the city. For hours, residents took shelter as the Mexican…
Warren and Obama: It Got Messy
Oct 21, 2019 • 26 min
Guest: Alex Thompson, covers the Elizabeth Warren campaign for Politico. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, Danielle Hewitt, and Mara Silvers. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about…
This Week in Impeachment: Testifying Anyway
Oct 18, 2019 • 24 min
One week ago, the White House released a letter effectively stating to House Democrats: no more witnesses, no more documents. This week, witnesses in the impeachment inquiry lined up to testify on Capitol Hill, and a cascade of revelations ensued. How…
Meanwhile At Fox News
Oct 17, 2019 • 18 min
There have been indications of discord at Fox News — tension between the news division and the more opinion-driven shows on the network. Shepard Smith and Tucker Carlson hashed out their differences on air. And then, Smith submitted his resignation to the…
What the Kurds Are Fighting For
Oct 16, 2019 • 21 min
When the US abandoned its Kurdish allies, it not only left the Kurds vulnerable to devastating attacks from Turkey, but it also abandoned Rojava, the Kurdish autonomous region that lies in the northeast of Syria. Right now, the Kurds are fighting to…
Impeachment Froze the Democratic Primary
Oct 15, 2019 • 17 min
The impeachment inquiry has crowded out all but the most urgent news about the 2020 presidential election. In doing so, it’s frozen the Democratic primary in ways that have helped Sen. Elizabeth Warren at the expense of almost every other candidate. How…
This Week in Impeachment: Obstruct and Distract
Oct 11, 2019 • 25 min
As the impeachment inquiry rolls on, it’s easy to get lost in the paperwork and characters surfacing each week. We’re here to help sort through it all and tell you what you really need to know. Today: the White House’s letter to Congress and what it says…
Why Don’t DC Residents Count?
Oct 10, 2019 • 26 min
Growing up in D.C. during the civil rights era made the fight for D.C. statehood deeply personal for civil rights advocate Wade Henderson. He’s said that being unable to secure a voting representative in Congress is one of his greatest disappointments.…
America’s Top Elections Official Isn’t Happy
Oct 9, 2019 • 19 min
The Federal Election Commission was designed to prevent the parties from going rogue with overly punitive campaign finance regulations. But what’s paralyzed FEC is something less partisan, and more principled: Democrats think the government should enforce…
A Dream Supreme Court Term for Conservatives
Oct 8, 2019 • 25 min
The Supreme Court embarks on its new term with a solidly conservative majority and a sense of urgency when it comes to settling legal questions that keep cropping up. Will Chief Justice John Roberts continue to strike centrist compromises in the interest…
How Long Will Affirmative Action Last?
Oct 7, 2019 • 21 min
Last week, a contentious affirmative action case came to a temporary resolution. In a lawsuit filed against Harvard by Asian American students and conservative opponents of affirmative action, a judge ruled in favor of the university’s race-conscious…
Between Trump and the Snake Moat
Oct 4, 2019 • 22 min
How independent can a Trump cabinet official be? Acting DHS chief Kevin McAleenan is testing the limits. Guest: Nick Miroff, Washington Post reporter covering immigration enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security. Slate Plus members get bonus…
Adam Schiff’s Inquiry
Oct 3, 2019 • 17 min
Adam Schiff was elected to Congress as part of the blowback against House Republicans after the Clinton impeachment saga in the late 1990s. Now he’s at the forefront of another spectacular political scandal enveloping Washington. Schiff, who chairs the…
The Ukraine Scandal Was in Plain Sight
Oct 2, 2019 • 23 min
In the late spring and early summer of 2019 there were these stories. Stories that ran in the New York Times and BuzzFeed News about Rudy Giuliani and his backchannel campaign to get Ukraine’s help securing Donald Trump’s re-election. Though not easy…
How Green is Amazon’s Future?
Oct 1, 2019 • 21 min
A growing contingent of Amazon employees has been pushing the company to be a leader in the fight against climate change. Recently, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos promised to reduce carbon emissions and add thousands of electric trucks to the company’s fleet.…
Jeff Flake Talks Impeachment and More
Sep 30, 2019 • 30 min
In a week that saw the talks of impeachment boil over into Congressional action, a former Republican Senator says Speaker Nancy Pelosi was right to hold off on an impeachment inquiry until now. Once a reliable critic of the Trump administration, Jeff…
In the Words of the Whistleblower
Sep 27, 2019 • 26 min
On Thursday morning, the House Intelligence Committee publicly released a whistleblower complaint providing evidence of President Trump’s alleged abuse of presidential power. The complaint came just before the Acting Director of National Intelligence was…
The Struggle for School Integration
Sep 26, 2019 • 24 min
Parents in Howard County, Maryland, are pushing back against a school redistricting plan that would address overcrowding and a lack of diversity. Opponents say the changes will disrupt communities and strap kids with longer commutes. They say it’s not…
So, This Is Impeachment
Sep 25, 2019 • 22 min
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an official impeachment inquiry into President Trump on Tuesday evening. After a year of Democratic leadership holding off, what makes this time different for Speaker Pelosi? And what happens now? Guests: Dahlia…
Will Canada Dump Trudeau?
Sep 24, 2019 • 20 min
Last week, Time Magazine released photos of a 29-year-old Justin Trudeau in blackface. In the days following, the Canadian Prime Minister admitted to two more instances of using blackface. The Canadian election is a month away. How will Trudeau’s latest…
The White House vs. The Whistleblower
Sep 23, 2019 • 27 min
Somewhere in Washington right now there is a whistleblower. We don’t know who they are, what their job is, or if they’re a man or a woman. The only thing we do know is that they are in the middle of a political firestorm. So, how did this all come about?…
Trump and Modi’s Rodeo
Sep 20, 2019 • 26 min
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held his first rally in the U.S. when he was elected in 2014. Now, he’s coming back to appear in front of 50,000 people in Houston, Texas. The other person expected to take the stage is President Trump. So, what do the leaders…
The Price of a Peanut Allergy
Sep 19, 2019 • 20 min
A buzzy new drug to help treat people with a peanut allergy was recommended for approval by an FDA advisory board this week. It would be the first government-approved method intended to combat these kinds of allergic reactions. The story behind that drug…
Are College Athletes About to Get Paid?
Sep 18, 2019 • 21 min
A star college athlete can help rake in millions for the schools they attend but never see a cent for themselves because of existing NCAA rules. California lawmakers just passed a bill that would allow collegiate athletes to profit off of their name,…
What Does It Mean to Be “for Impeachment”?
Sep 17, 2019 • 24 min
Last week the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines on new investigative procedures the panel will use as they inch closer and closer to possibly writing articles of impeachment. So, has the impeachment conversation changed on Capitol Hill?…
Is Texas Moving on Guns?
Sep 16, 2019 • 18 min
Last week the lieutenant governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, came out in support of modest background checks for gun sales. In the past, even the mere suggestion of tighter gun laws was a career ender for Texas Republicans. Are the political winds shifting on…
Trump Takes On the Auto Industry
Sep 13, 2019 • 28 min
There’s a fight brewing between four auto makers and the Trump administration. This fight is largely about environmental regulations — but it’s also about what kind of governance is required to have a thriving national economy. And the U.S. might be…
Chasing Joe Biden
Sep 12, 2019 • 23 min
Vice President Joe Biden still holds a wide lead in Democratic primary polls. Candidates who want to attack him at tonight’s primary debate do so at their own risk. Guest: Slate’s Jim Newell. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast…
Bolton Exits, But It’s Still Trump’s Show
Sep 11, 2019 • 20 min
President Donald Trump and his now former national security adviser, John Bolton, have had their differences. From North Korea to Iran, the two have been at odds with one another on some of the most important foreign policy decisions. That tension boiled…
Coal Country Has Been Burned Before
Sep 10, 2019 • 18 min
A group of unpaid miners has blockaded a railway in Harlan County, Kentucky. The goal? Stop a train car full of their former employer’s coal from going to market until they get what they’re owed. It’s a straightforward protest that has been going on for…
How the Electoral College Will Crumble
Sep 9, 2019 • 24 min
Twice in two decades, the Electoral College has created great, big questions about presidential legitimacy. Is it time for a tune-up? Guest: Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn…
When Is It Okay to Out Political Donors?
Sep 6, 2019 • 25 min
Last month, Representative Joaquin Castro tweeted out a list of Trump donors living in his district in San Antonio. Actress Debra Messing asked for an attendance list at a Trump fundraiser in Beverly Hills. Both efforts were likened to doxxing or…
Anarchy in the U.K.
Sep 5, 2019 • 22 min
Just weeks into his role as prime minister, Boris Johnson has kicked the U.K.’s Brexit drama into high gear. It culminated yesterday in a vote that would force him to delay Britain’s EU exit until Jan. 31, 2020, unless Parliament (in an unlikely scenario)…
There’s Something in the Water
Sep 4, 2019 • 26 min
When Christopher Werth saw some paint chips falling off a radiator in his daughter’s New York City classroom, he picked one up and sent it to get tested. The results spurred him to launch a larger investigation into lead exposure in New York City…
Scrapping the Senate Filibuster
Sep 3, 2019 • 17 min
What would it look like if the U.S. Senate ditched its filibuster rule, allowing legislation to pass with just a simple majority? Guest: Slate staff writer Jim Newell. Podcast production by Mary Wilson and Jayson De Leon. Slate Plus members get bonus…
Mexico’s About-Face on Immigration
Aug 30, 2019 • 17 min
How has Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador changed his country’s approach to migrants heading north? Guest: León Krauze, Slate columnist, Trumpcast co-host, and Univision news anchor. This episode originally aired in April 2019. Podcast…
Listening to Ilhan Omar
Aug 29, 2019 • 20 min
Back in March, Rep. Ilhan Omar spoke passionately about pro-Israel political forces that “push for allegiance to a foreign country.” She later apologized for unwittingly deploying an anti-Semitic trope. Why were Omar’s words so triggering? And is she…
The Recycling Crisis
Aug 28, 2019 • 17 min
Henry Grabar explains why the global market for your trash collapsed, and how American recyclers are course-correcting. Guest: Meleesa Johnson, president of the Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin. This show originally aired in April 2019. Podcast…
Court-Packing Is Not That Extreme
Aug 27, 2019 • 20 min
Some of your favorite presidents have tried to pack the Supreme Court. So why does it sound like such an extreme tactic? And how did some of the top Democrats running for president come to embrace it? Guest: Mark Joseph Stern, Slate’s legal correspondent.…
Reconsidering Joe Biden’s Record
Aug 26, 2019 • 20 min
Joe Biden might be the favorite to defeat President Trump, but that doesn’t mean Biden would defeat Trumpism. Guest: Jamelle Bouie, New York Times Columnist. This episode was first posted on March 12, 2019. Podcast production by Mary Wilson and Jayson De…
The Dangerous Idea Behind the World’s Unrest
Aug 23, 2019 • 21 min
Over the past several months, tensions have escalated in Hong Kong, Kashmir, and the United States. Each for their own reasons. But what if all these headlines are connected? Guest: Josh Keating, international editor at Slate For more information about…
The Next Housing Crisis
Aug 22, 2019 • 21 min
Henry Grabar fills in as host, surveying how the Democratic presidential candidates would try to fix the housing affordability crisis. What kinds of local policies have given rise to the crisis in the first place? Guest: Jenny Schuetz, a fellow at…
The Danger Around the Corner
Aug 21, 2019 • 16 min
When it comes to pedestrian deaths, the Sun Belt is the most dangerous area in the country. Six of the 10 most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians are located in Florida. Nineteen of the top 20 are in the Sun Belt. How is the way we build our cities and…
Writing the New Playbook for Political Women
Aug 20, 2019 • 19 min
Activists invigorated by the Women’s March and the Me Too movement are expanding the definition of what it means to be a female political leader. Meet one woman who’s coaching them along the way. Guest: Chris Jahnke, speech coach to women working in…
Delaware Could Elect the Nation’s First Trans State Senator
Aug 19, 2019 • 23 min
Sarah McBride made waves at the Democratic National Convention in 2016 as the first transgender person to speak at a major party convention. Three years and many political successes later, McBride is trying to add another win to her résumé. One that would…
How to Avoid a Recession
Aug 16, 2019 • 19 min
Did your heart skip a beat reading and hearing about all the economic news this week? Today on the show we explain just what’s happening in the markets and try to pin down why things are happening the way they are. Plus, we offer a few possible ways to…
Hong Kong’s Protesters Have No Good Options
Aug 15, 2019 • 21 min
This week the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong escalated, as activists effectively shut down an airport and beat up suspected imposters. Activists show no sign of letting up, even though the local government has withdrawn the extradition bill that…
The Iowa State Fair Will Never Make Sense
Aug 14, 2019 • 19 min
Another presidential primary means another trip to the Iowa State Fair. But the Democratic Party’s new rules for thinning down the field of candidates means a photo-op with a turkey leg isn’t all it used to be. Guest: Slate’s politics writer Jim Newell.…
The Gangs and Corruption Fueling the Border Crisis
Aug 13, 2019 • 21 min
The demographics of migrants crossing the southern border of the United States have changed over the last several decades. What used to be young Mexican men seeking economic opportunity has turned into families seeking refuge from broken Central American…
Can Any School Be Massacre-Proof?
Aug 12, 2019 • 20 min
In the absence of new federal laws to address mass shootings, school safety has become a design problem. Guest host Henry Grabar asks: How are architects responding to an era of active shooter drills and bulletproof backpacks? Guest: Jenine Kotob,…
Ferguson Revisited: A Prosecutor’s Power
Aug 9, 2019 • 20 min
Five years ago Wesley Bell watched as protests erupted across Ferguson in the wake of Michael Brown’s death. Bell, the son of a police officer, stood between the protestors and the police as he watched Ferguson descend into chaos. In an effort to make…
Ferguson Revisited: Questioning the Legend
Aug 8, 2019 • 20 min
There are two stories of what happened in Ferguson, Missouri, the day Michael Brown was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson: the story we heard immediately after, and the story we came to know months later. In the second part of our three-part…
Ferguson Revisited: The Worst Night
Aug 7, 2019 • 26 min
Its been five years since Michael Brown was shot and killed by officer Darren Wilson in the middle of Ferguson’s Canfield Drive. His death at the hands of a police officer sparked protests across the country and cemented the Black Lives Matter movement…
The Last Time We Passed Gun Control
Aug 6, 2019 • 21 min
In 1993, a mass shooting in downtown San Francisco prompted a familiar debate about restricting access to guns and assault weapons. But something unusual happened. Two major gun control bills passed Congress and were signed into law. How did it happen?…
You’ve Probably Been Hacked
Aug 5, 2019 • 20 min
Capital One is only the latest victim of a massive data breach. Equifax announced millions of users were affected by its data breach back in 2017. The fallout from Equifax’s episode is still playing out today. Why is the United States so bad at defending…
Clemency for Cyntoia Brown
Aug 2, 2019 • 18 min
Advocate Mariame Kaba explains why the Cyntoia Brown story is compelling, complicated, and deeply frustrating — why it’s wrong to portray Cyntoia Brown as a child, why Brown’s story is deeply familiar to black women in America, and why Kaba considers…
Red State Democrats Walk the Tightrope
Aug 1, 2019 • 20 min
In just over a month, North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District will hold a special election. The Democratic candidate has been running for over two years and following the red state Democrat playbook to the letter. The new Republican candidate is…
A Big Sign of a Slowing Economy
Jul 31, 2019 • 17 min
The Fed will cut interest rates Wednesday for the first time since the Great Recession. Why are they cutting the rate now, and what does that mean for the underlying strength of the economy? Guest: Jordan Weissmann, Senior Economic Correspondent at Slate…
How YouTube’s Left is Converting the Far Right
Jul 30, 2019 • 22 min
Here’s how a leftist, transgender, PhD dropout is winning over white supremacists and more on YouTube. Guest: Micah Loewinger, producer at WNYC’s On The Media. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Godfather of the Anti-Immigration Movement
Jul 29, 2019 • 19 min
How did a small-town eye doctor mastermind an anti-immigration movement premised on racism? Guest: Hassan Ahmad, founder of the HMA Law Firm in Virginia. He is suing the University of Michigan to unseal the complete archives of the late John Tanton. Slate…
Meet the EPA’s Ghost-Writer
Jul 26, 2019 • 21 min
A scientist on the outer fringes of his field has been patiently making the case that the U.S. government applies far too conservative controls on toxins in the environment. Now, he’s trying to implement his ideas at the EPA — by writing a sweeping new…
Mueller Speaks
Jul 25, 2019 • 24 min
Special Counsel Robert Mueller appeared determined to do two things in his House testimony on Wednesday: carry no water for partisans, and communicate the national security threat of Russia’s interference in U.S. elections. Guest: Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick,…
Puerto Ricans Are Fed Up
Jul 24, 2019 • 21 min
The protests in Puerto Rico are about so much more than nasty messages endorsed by the governor. The island’s political grievances were decades in the making — and even if protesters get the governor to resign, there are more complicated power struggles…
How to Stop a Racist Politician
Jul 23, 2019 • 25 min
In 1990, David Duke ran for Senate in Louisiana, appalling the Republican establishment and freaking out the Democratic consultant-class. Duke didn’t win — but he did well enough to feel emboldened, and a year later he launched a campaign for Louisiana…
The Border Patrol’s Secretive Culture
Jul 22, 2019 • 25 min
“I’m 10-15.” That’s the border patrol code for “alien in custody.” It’s also the name of a secret Facebook group where a number of Customs and Border Protection agents posted racist and sexist memes. What about this agency allows such rampant misconduct?…
Deutsche Bank Is Trying to Wash Its Hands of Trump
Jul 19, 2019 • 21 min
Deutsche Bank was the one lender that couldn’t quit Donald Trump. Now the bank holds the key to understanding President Trump’s finances. Guest: David Enrich, finance editor for the New York Times. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and…
How Trump Is Trying to Outsource His Border Crisis
Jul 18, 2019 • 20 min
It was all lined up just how President Trump wanted. A “safe-third-country” agreement with Guatemala was nearly complete, but over the weekend it fell apart. This is the second time the administration has tried to negotiate a safe-third-country agreement…
The Plan to Take Down Mitch McConnell
Jul 17, 2019 • 17 min
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is the most unpopular senator in the country. Yet, he has represented the state of Kentucky for over 25 years, defeating an array of opponents along the way. Will his challenger in 2020 suffer the same fate as the…
Trump’s Racist Tweets Have a Backstory
Jul 16, 2019 • 22 min
Over the weekend President Trump’s timeline filled with racist comments directed at members of the so-called “Squad.” This includes Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley. In a press conference on Monday, the president…
Should Everyone Quit Using Gendered Pronouns?
Jul 15, 2019 • 21 min
Why not go by they/them? Would a gender-neutral world be better? And what would it look like? Guest: Farhad Manjoo, New York Times op-ed columnist. Read their latest, “Call Me ‘They.’” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This Bad Legal Argument Could Finally End the ACA
Jul 12, 2019 • 20 min
This week, an appellate court in New Orleans heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of the ACA. The argument? That Obamacare is more coercive without a tax penalty. This position - one that has lawyers on both sides of the isle scratching their…
The Ambassador Who Was Too Honest About Trump
Jul 11, 2019 • 20 min
The intriguing story of a British ambassador’s hasty resignation, and why it perfectly encapsulates our current geopolitical moment. This story has everything: leaked confidential reports, world trade implications, and a reference to the movie The…
The Cloud Over Joe Biden’s Son
Jul 10, 2019 • 24 min
Is there something fishy about the way Hunter Biden made money while his father was serving as vice president? One reporter looked into it. But he didn’t find corruption. He found something far more complicated — and commonplace. Guest: Adam Entous, staff…
The Long, Ugly Road to Jeffrey Epstein’s Arrest
Jul 9, 2019 • 22 min
Over the weekend, multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on charges of sex trafficking. But back in 2003, journalist Vicky Ward had the inside scoop on Epstein: She interviewed two of his victims and wrote up the story for Vanity Fair. And then,…
A Rare Look Inside a Private Prison
Jul 8, 2019 • 17 min
At a prison in southern Mississippi, guards can’t do basic population counts. They can’t keep cellphones, drugs, and weapons out of the building. They are at the mercy of gang leaders to control the inmates. Is this just what happens when you try to do…
Can New York Desegregate Its Schools?
Jul 3, 2019 • 17 min
Jumaane Williams has been an activist, a city councilman, and is currently New York City’s public advocate. However, before that, he was a student in New York City’s public education system. As a product of the system, Williams is thinking about ways to…
The “Busing” Skeleton in the Democrats’ Closet
Jul 2, 2019 • 22 min
Last week, Kamala Harris challenged Joe Biden on his record with respect to busing. Most Americans understand busing in the context of the segregated south, but for Kamala Harris, the story is different. What does her experience as a child in the Berkley…
Can Nipsey Hussle’s Death Bring Peace to L.A.’s Gangs?
Jul 1, 2019 • 17 min
In the days after rapper Nipsey Hussle was killed, members of rival gangs across Los Angeles came together to mourn his death. In the months since, that mourning has turned into action as gang leaders attempt to broker peace within their warring factions.…
Supreme Court Hands Democrats Small Win and Big Loss
Jun 28, 2019 • 24 min
On Thursday, the Supreme Court blocked the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census and delivered a staggering win for the Republican party in the case of partisan gerrymandering. Is this just another case of a small win for progressives and…
Oregon Republicans Walked Out, Democrats Caved
Jun 27, 2019 • 20 min
Republican state senators in Oregon are refusing to go to work. In a state legislature where Democrats hold a supermajority, the walkout is one way Republicans can put a halt to their rivals progressive agenda. With several statehouses throughout the…
Mayor Pete’s Policing Problem
Jun 26, 2019 • 24 min
Eric Logan, a black resident in South Bend, Indiana, was shot and killed by a police officer in the early morning hours on Father’s Day. Mayor Pete Buttigieg returned to the city, putting a halt to his presidential campaign, to deal with the fallout. The…
A Polluted Town Fights for Its Right to Breathe
Jun 25, 2019 • 24 min
For years the residents of St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana thought their town was simply the victim of bad luck. Suffering more than their share of illnesses. Almost everyone in the town knows someone that has died of cancer. It was only in July…
An Iran Deal Architect Watches It Get Nuked
Jun 24, 2019 • 18 min
Last week, a series of escalations brought the US to the brink of a strike on Iran. But only a few short years ago, the leaders of both countries were celebrating a landmark nuclear agreement. What changed? One of the architects of the Iran Nuclear Deal…
The Smugglers Getting Rich Off Trump’s Policies
Jun 21, 2019 • 16 min
Mexico has agreed to crack down on immigration in response to threats from President Trump. But that isn’t stopping the flow of migrants — it’s pushing it further underground. Guest: Emily Green, freelance reporter. You can read her latest story on VICE…
He Got a Pardon. Now He’s Administering Them.
Jun 20, 2019 • 17 min
For a long time, Brandon Flood kept his criminal history quiet - he worked in the Pennsylvania state government, and didn’t want his former convictions to detract from his career success. But now, that history makes him uniquely suited for his new job as…
How Pelosi Holds the Line on Impeachment
Jun 19, 2019 • 24 min
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s political philosophy is an elegant one: If you want to do something bold, you must follow public sentiment, not lead it. Now why can’t House Democrats seem to shape public sentiment? And what makes them so afraid to cross…
Strange Alliances on the Supreme Court
Jun 18, 2019 • 23 min
It’s June, which means it’s the season of highly anticipated Supreme Court rulings. We’re taking a look at two cases that shook up the typical partisan fault line on the bench. How did conservative and liberal justices find themselves making unusual…
For Women’s Soccer, An Elusive Goal
Jun 17, 2019 • 23 min
At the Women’s World Cup this year, the U.S. players talk about living in a “bubble” — thinking of nothing but the game, eschewing any distractions. What looms outside that bubble is their lawsuit against their federation for gender discrimination, and…
What Bernie Gets Wrong About Socialism
Jun 14, 2019 • 21 min
The Bernie Sanders campaign billed his speech on Wednesday as a “major address on how democratic socialism is the only way to defeat oligarchy and authoritarianism.” Besides being a mouthful, the speech was an attempt for Bernie to explain why he calls…
How Facebook Made an Enemy of Nancy Pelosi
Jun 13, 2019 • 20 min
Mark Zuckerberg used to avoid traveling to Washington, D.C., leaving a lot of the political outreach Facebook needed to do to COO Sheryl Sandberg. Now? He’s personally putting in phone calls to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (who won’t return his…
It’s Mitch McConnell’s Swamp. We Just Live in It.
Jun 12, 2019 • 20 min
If you walk to the Ohio riverfront from Owensboro’s City Hall, past the Courthouse, and the Museum of Science and History, you’ll get to McConnell Plaza. Mitch McConnell Plaza. For years, this town has been courting the Senate majority leader and,…
Elizabeth Warren Is Not Here to Charm You
Jun 11, 2019 • 23 min
Elizabeth Warren might be a different kind of presidential candidate. Is America ready for that? Guest: Dahlia Lithwick, Slate writer and host of the Amicus podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Why Gun Bills in Virginia Always Die
Jun 10, 2019 • 24 min
Before Chris Hurst was a legislator in Virginia’s House of Delegates, he was a local news anchor. Working out of the same newsroom as his then-girlfriend, Alison Parker. Alison was tragically shot and killed on live TV alongside her colleague Adam Ward…
Who Wants to Tax a Millionaire?
Jun 7, 2019 • 19 min
As Democrats try to find an economic message that can win in 2020, a group of like-minded millionaires is making the rounds, telling any politicians who will listen, “We want to pay more in taxes.” Why, though? Guest: Morris Pearl, chair of Patriotic…
A Health Care Tale of Two States
Jun 6, 2019 • 18 min
Washington and Connecticut set out to change health care in their own states using “public option” legislation. With the 2020 candidates discussing Medicare for All, these two states may serve as an example on the kinds of resistance the idea will meet in…
The Crowd-Funded Border Wall Is Not a Joke
Jun 5, 2019 • 15 min
The strange tale of how a group of Trump supporters started building the border wall themselves, and why the southern border has become a proving ground and businesses and politicians who want to catch the president’s eye. Guest: Politico reporter Ben…
The GOP Operative Haunting Republicans From the Grave
Jun 4, 2019 • 22 min
Tom Hofeller was a dedicated Republican operative, committed to achieving GOP political dominance and doing it with utmost discretion. Now, his political legacy is in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court—and all because his daughter shared his old computer…
The Basketball Coach Who Won’t Hire Men
Jun 3, 2019 • 19 min
Notre Dame basketball coach Muffet McGraw wasn’t planning on making a speech about feminism and gender equality. But at a press conference before the Final Four tournament, that’s just what she did, launching into a screed about the dearth of women in…
Why Can’t California Fix Its Housing Crisis?
May 31, 2019 • 23 min
“California is full.” That’s effectively what some residents and lawmakers in the state said when they chose to punt on a bill that would build more financially sane housing across its biggest metropolitan areas. What does the story of that bill tell us…
Mueller Would Like You to Read His Report, Please
May 30, 2019 • 21 min
Special Counsel Robert Mueller breaks his silence to reiterate the conclusions of his investigation’s report — and remind the American people to read it. Guest: Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick, host of the Amicus podcast. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson…
Brexiteers Receive Milkshakes and Results
May 29, 2019 • 22 min
It was the election that was never supposed to happen in the UK in the first place. Several delays, a few milkshakes, and a resignation later the British found themselves voting over the weekend for European Parliament. How did Brexiteers and Remainers…
Why Trump Keeps Losing in Court
May 28, 2019 • 19 min
Everywhere President Trump turns, he’s finding himself hemmed in by the courts. But could upcoming rulings from the Supreme Court make lower court judges take a more expansive view of the president’s executive powers? Guest: Slate writer Mark Joseph…
The “American Taliban” Goes Free
May 24, 2019 • 24 min
In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, U.S. forces scoured Afghanistan for Taliban fighters. They weren’t expecting to find John Walker Lindh, a young man from California who had converted to Islam and moved abroad to study the Quran. Lindh was dubbed…
Losing the Abortion Fight in Georgia
May 23, 2019 • 25 min
Last week, Georgia joined the wave of states passing stringent anti-abortion laws in a bid to topple Roe v. Wade. One Democratic state senator says she hasn’t lost her resolve to fight for women’s bodily autonomy. Guest: Georgia state Sen. Jen Jordan,…
Smile! You’re on Amazon’s Camera
May 22, 2019 • 25 min
Sheriff’s offices across the country are signing up to beta-test a facial recognition tool made by Amazon. Law enforcement proponents say the technology helps find perpetrators who otherwise may go free. But civil liberties advocates have questions about…
Billionaire Gifts Can’t Fix College Debt
May 21, 2019 • 20 min
Over the weekend, billionaire Robert F. Smith ended his commencement address to the Morehouse Class of 2019 with an extraordinary pledge: He would pay off the entire class’s student debt. Smith’s pledge will undoubtedly transform the lives of those…
Why No One Takes Bill de Blasio Seriously
May 20, 2019 • 22 min
When New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he would run for president, the mockery was swift. City tabloids were typically disdainful (New York Post: “Everyone Hates Bill!”). New York’s attorney general quipped, “Why?” Even de Blasio’s former…
Who Got Hacked in Florida?
May 17, 2019 • 21 min
For the past couple years, politicians in Florida have been raising concerns about election security and making vague allusions to Russian hackers gaining access to voter databases. With the Mueller report, we finally got confirmation—but that’s about all…
Harvard’s Harvey Weinstein Mess
May 16, 2019 • 19 min
Ronald Sullivan joined Harvey Weinstein’s defense team in January. This set off a wave of protests and sit-ins across the Harvard campus asking for the removal of Sullivan as faculty dean at the university. And those student protests worked. On Saturday,…
John Bolton’s One-Man Show
May 15, 2019 • 25 min
If the U.S. stumbles into a war with Iran, it’ll be largely one of John Bolton’s making. The national security adviser appears to be running the foreign policy show at the White House and has a taste for regime change in several countries, including Iran.…
The Trade War Escalates
May 14, 2019 • 18 min
Monday marked another escalation in the trade war with China. And yes, even by the academic definition, our guest says this is a full-blown trade war. Who’s feeling the effect most, and how is the administration handling the fight it began with the…
A Battle Over Abortion in Alabama
May 13, 2019 • 25 min
Anti-abortion activists in Alabama are rushing to topple Roe v. Wade. But have they crafted an abortion ban that’s too extreme, even for Alabama’s Republicans? Guest: Brian Lyman, reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser. Podcast production by Mary Wilson,…
The Progressive Critic Inside the Church
May 10, 2019 • 23 min
Last weekend, Slate published an obituary for Rachel Held Evans, the blogger who championed liberal values and challenged evangelicals on their politics. She was known to her devoted readers as RHE, and she represented something new in evangelical…
The Mayoral Scandal Gripping Baltimore
May 9, 2019 • 20 min
On May 2nd, Catherine Pugh resigned as mayor of Baltimore - making her the second mayor in less than ten years to leave office amid corruption allegations. The scandal forcing her to step down involved a children’s book, an FBI raid, and a host of…
The Constitutional Tug-of-War Is Just Getting Started
May 8, 2019 • 19 min
The House Judiciary Committee is set to vote on holding Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, for failing to provide a full and unredacted copy of the Mueller report. It’s the latest in a series of clashes between the legislative and…
(Fixed) An ERA Advocate On Why She’s Optimistic
May 7, 2019 • 24 min
We got our files mixed up this morning! This is the corrected show for Tuesday, May 7. The proposed Equal Rights Amendment is simple: It would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. To become part of the U.S. Constitution, the ERA has to be passed…
Why Don’t Democrats Want to Run for Senate?
May 6, 2019 • 18 min
With all the breathless enthusiasm for the presidential race, no one seems very interested in the U.S. Senate. Why not? Guest: Slate writer Jim Newell. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Anna Martin, with help from Samantha Lee. Learn…
The Bank That Holds Trump’s Financial Secrets
May 3, 2019 • 21 min
Deutsche Bank was the one lender that couldn’t quit Donald Trump. Now the bank holds the key to understanding President Trump’s finances. Guest: David Enrich, finance editor for the New York Times. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and…
The Battle Over the Mueller Report
May 2, 2019 • 18 min
Attorney General William Barr showed up to the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify, but the spotlight was also on his colleague, Special Counsel Robert Mueller. What will it take to resolve the growing divide between these two men and their views of the…
What Does Joe Biden Owe to Anita Hill?
May 1, 2019 • 21 min
Back in 1991, when a 35-year-old law professor named Anita Hill accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, it was Joe Biden who got to decide how to handle the allegation. Why does Hill think Biden failed her and all subsequent…
An Uprising at Brigham Young
Apr 30, 2019 • 21 min
At Brigham Young University, students and alumni are forcing a conversation about the severe enforcement of the school’s strict Honor Code. How did BYU’s high standards lead to some students feeling less safe? Guest: Erin Alberty, reporter for the Salt…
Inside the Crisis at the NRA
Apr 29, 2019 • 17 min
The NRA is in a financial mess of its own doing. A number of executives, vendors, and contractors have used their positions to enrich themselves, extracting hundreds of millions of dollars from the organization in the process. How did secrecy, poor…
How Black Feminists Exposed the Alt-Right Online
Apr 26, 2019 • 18 min
Back in 2014, a mysterious hashtag started trending on Twitter: #EndFathersDay. The accounts tweeting the extremist sentiments appeared to be the accounts of black women. But black feminists on Twitter knew something was amiss. So they got to the bottom…
This Immigration Judge Has a Fix for Immigration Courts
Apr 25, 2019 • 17 min
Immigration judges walk into work everyday knowing that the system they operate in is broken. It has been for decades, through multiple administrations. So what’s the fix? The answer isn’t as radical as you might think. Guest: Judge A. Ashley Tabaddor,…
How to Break the Census
Apr 24, 2019 • 18 min
The Trump administration wants to add a citizenship question to the U.S. Census, and the proposal has former Census directors up in arms. If the Supreme Court votes to allow the citizenship question, what could happen to the nation’s decennial headcount?…
He Got a Pardon. Now He’s Administering Them.
Apr 23, 2019 • 17 min
For a long time, Brandon Flood kept his criminal history quiet: He worked in the Pennsylvania state government and didn’t want his former convictions to detract from his career success. But now, that history makes him uniquely suited for his new job as…
The Case for Impeachment
Apr 22, 2019 • 17 min
You’ve heard the legal argument for starting impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. Maybe you’ve heard the moral argument supporting impeachment. But what is the political case for impeachment? What could House impeachment proceedings…
Are You There, Congress? It’s Me, Mueller.
Apr 19, 2019 • 24 min
What is Washington to do with a report that is damning, but doesn’t condemn? Slate’s legal team takes a look at the case made by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Guests: Dahlia Lithwick, Jeremy Stahl, and Mark Joseph Stern. Tell us what you think by…
A Fox Guarding the Henhouse at the Interior Department?
Apr 18, 2019 • 21 min
The new head of the Department of the Interior has close ties to industry and a penchant for relaxing environmental regulations. He’s also the subject of an ethics investigation. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt represents a new phase in the Trump…
What Ilhan Omar Gets Right
Apr 17, 2019 • 20 min
How did a March speech by Rep. Ilhan Omar get shrunk down to a single phrase and turned into an attack on her character? Guest: Aymann Ismail, Slate writer and host of the upcoming podcast, Man Up. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and…
Trump’s Plan to Politicize the Fed
Apr 16, 2019 • 20 min
President Donald Trump has floated the idea of nominating former presidential candidate Herman Cain and conservative pundit Stephen Moore to policy seats on the Federal Reserve’s board. Would Cain and Moore alone swing interest rates? Probably not. But…
Democrats Could Lose Wisconsin Forever
Apr 15, 2019 • 17 min
Last week’s Wisconsin Supreme Court race got ugly, fast. The Republican favorite, Judge Brian Hagedorn, eked out a win by about 6,000 votes. Our guest today says it’s hard to overstate the political fallout from this result. It could mean that…
Mexico Fuels the Humanitarian Crisis on the Border
Apr 12, 2019 • 17 min
To understand what’s happening on the border, you have to look at the policies and leaders on both sides of it. So, how has Mexico, under its new president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, changed its approach to refugees and migrants fleeing north? And how…
The Trash Crash
Apr 11, 2019 • 17 min
Here’s something you may not know. You (listener) are a member of the global trash trade. Every time you recycle a Coke bottle or throw a banana peel away, you’re entering a market of buyers, sellers, and fierce competition. Today on the show, why the…
Bernie Hasn’t Really Changed
Apr 10, 2019 • 17 min
Bernie went from virtual unknown in the 2016 election to front-runner with the highest campaign contributions in the first quarter of the 2020 race. And while some things have changed since he last ran four years ago, a lot about his campaign looks pretty…
When A Border Wall Isn’t Enough
Apr 9, 2019 • 14 min
Nogales is the biggest port in Arizona, and has been a focal point of Trump’s increasingly aggressive tactics on the border. How do the president’s efforts to shut down the border change a place like Nogales? Note: We first aired this episode on February…
California Weighs When Police Can Use Deadly Force
Apr 8, 2019 • 19 min
Stephon Clark was shot and killed by police officers in his grandmother’s backyard on March 18th, 2018. He was black. He was unarmed. Last month, the Sacramento DA decided not to press charges against the two officers who fatally shot Clark citing an…
Brexit Isn’t Over and Everything Hurts
Apr 5, 2019 • 22 min
This week, we learned something: A messy, “no-deal” Brexit is likely off the table. This means that Britons can look forward to a slightly less messy, negotiated Brexit – provided that government officials can agree on what that looks like. With Theresa…
Liberals Treat Puerto Ricans Like Second-Class Citizens, Too.
Apr 4, 2019 • 20 min
President Trump’s naked disdain for Puerto Rico’s struggles might be rhetorically jarring. But it reflects long-standing U.S. policies toward the territory. Guest: Yarimar Bonilla, political anthropologist and author of the book, Aftershocks of Disaster:…
Security Clearances Were Hard to Get. Then Trump Won.
Apr 3, 2019 • 17 min
Late last month, someone paid a call to Congress. She wanted to talk about the Trump administration’s disregard for established national security protocols. The call was coming from inside the house — inside the White House, that is. Guest: Ned Price,…
Mick Mulvaney Is Trump’s Chief Enabler
Apr 2, 2019 • 21 min
Mick Mulvaney is not here to rein in the president. How Trump’s new acting chief of staff has the White House pursuing a Freedom Caucus agenda. Guest: Jordan Weissmann, Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent. Tell us what you think by leaving…
Is the Measles Panic Warranted?
Apr 1, 2019 • 23 min
Officials in New York’s Rockland County declared a state of emergency after yet another measles outbreak. In Brooklyn, more cases of measles have cropped up over the last several months as well. Both places are home to a tight-knit Orthodox Jewish…
A Pilot on Whether He’ll Ever Trust Boeing Again
Mar 29, 2019 • 22 min
After the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10—and the Indonesian Airlines crash before that, in October—country after country began grounding the deadly Boeing 737 Air Max fleet, and the U.S. belatedly followed suit. This week, Congress held hearings…
Is the Court Ready to Curb Gerrymandering?
Mar 28, 2019 • 18 min
This week, the Supreme Court returned to the subject of partisan gerrymandering. After kicking the can down the road last time, will the court finally decide on the constitutionality of drawing election maps to rig elections? And who’s the most…
Trump is Trying to Kill Obamacare, Again
Mar 27, 2019 • 21 min
The president’s week was off to a great start. The Attorney General’s letter regarding Mueller’s Russia investigation largely exonerated him of any crimes. So why did Trump start talking about health care again? It’s anybody’s guess, but Democrats are…
New York City’s School Segregation Problem
Mar 26, 2019 • 20 min
New York City’s top public high school has a diversity problem. How did the crown jewel of the city’s public education system come to look so unlike the public? Guest: Mara Gay, writer for the New York Times Editorial Board. Podcast production by Mary…
About That Mueller Report
Mar 25, 2019 • 28 min
What we know about the Mueller report. Spoiler: not a whole lot. Guest: Dahlia Lithwick, Slate’s legal correspondent and host of the Amicus podcast. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Anna Martin. Learn more about your ad choices.…
How Long Will It Take the Death Penalty To Die?
Mar 22, 2019 • 24 min
California has a new moratorium on executions, despite the fact that voters upheld capital punishment twice in recent statewide elections. Could this mark the beginning of a lasting policy change? Guest: Jordan Steiker, director of the Capital Punishment…
When Are We Going to Start Planning For Floods?
Mar 21, 2019 • 19 min
This week, we’re following the enormous flooding in the Midwest. Climate change is magnifying the shortcomings of our river policies. We build in the flood plains, and we bracket our rivers with dams and reservoirs. But is it folly to think that we can…
Court Packing Is Not That Extreme
Mar 20, 2019 • 19 min
Some of your favorite presidents have tried to pack the Supreme Court. So why does it sound like such an extreme tactic? And why are top Democrats finally embracing it as a way out of the wilderness? Guest: Mark Joseph Stern, Slate’s legal correspondent.…
How the Internet Makes Murderers
Mar 19, 2019 • 24 min
The Christchurch shooter lurked in corners of the internet that most people don’t understand. But there are ways to fight extremists who are radicalized online — and the U.S. has done it quite recently. Guest: Robert Evans, writer for Bellingcat and host…
Why is Beto Running?
Mar 18, 2019 • 16 min
After weeks and weeks of mulling a decision, Beto O’Rourke finally entered the 2020 presidential race. What is he bringing to the table? Anything? Guest: Josh Voorhees, Senior Writer at Slate. Tell us what you think by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts…
How to Dodge a Presidential Pardon
Mar 15, 2019 • 17 min
This week, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced to a total of 7½ years in prison. Here’s how his case is one of the best examples of a special counsel making sure that those who did wrong serve the time. Guest: Jed Shugerman, a…
The Side Door Into College
Mar 14, 2019 • 22 min
The FBI submitted indictments this week into the largest college admissions scam they’ve ever prosecuted. Celebrities, millionaire parents, and college sports coaches are among the dozens charged in a scheme that sought to get wealthy kids through a…
Big Banks Say “No” to Private Prisons
Mar 13, 2019 • 17 min
If you made your way up to 1185 Park Ave. on the Upper East Side of New York, you’d find an apartment building that looks like a castle. It’s the apartment of Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase. Back in February protesters stood on the sidewalk and…
Joe Biden’s Laundered History
Mar 12, 2019 • 20 min
There’s really never been a national political conversation about Joe Biden’s record. Partly because much of the focus today is about the time he spent as Vice President under Barack Obama. If he decides to run, what other ugly skeletons will the public…
Is Mark Zuckerberg Gaslighting You?
Mar 11, 2019 • 21 min
Facebook is reshuffling its priorities and making moves that could help it evade antitrust regulators. Will it affect users that much? No. Is it solving a problem users have been talking about? Not really. So what is Mark Zuckerberg’s latest blog post all…
The Scandal Catching Up to Justin Trudeau
Mar 8, 2019 • 19 min
A scandal involving Justin Trudeau’s cabinet is putting Canada’s warts on display. Guest: Jesse Brown, publisher of the Canadaland news site and podcast network. Tell us what you think by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or sending an email to…
Listening to Ilhan Omar
Mar 7, 2019 • 20 min
House Democrats have scuttled a plan to chide Rep. Ilhan Omar over remarks she made about the U.S.-Israel relationship. Why were her words so triggering? Is she making a fair point? And what should she do now? Guest: Slate economics and policy writer…
Things That Should Scare You More Than Momo
Mar 6, 2019 • 14 min
The Momo challenge doesn’t appear to be much of a threat, but the fact that parents are worried about it reveals a real anxiety about the videos that YouTube pushes toward kids. Guest: Taylor Lorenz, writer for the Atlantic. Tell us what you think by…
The National Emergency Isn’t Really Trump’s Fault
Mar 5, 2019 • 21 min
President Trump’s national emergency declaration is headed for a showdown. More and more Senate Republicans are peeling away from their caucus to reject it. Sen. Rand Paul says his “political soul” hangs in the balance. But Sen. Mitch McConnell is keeping…
Reconsidering Michael Jackson
Mar 4, 2019 • 26 min
If you’re watching the Leaving Neverland documentary about Michael Jackson’s alleged child sexual abuse, you probably want to talk to someone about it: What it left out, what it wants to accomplish, and how it complicates our view of victimhood. Guest:…
Sins of the Fathers
Mar 1, 2019 • 18 min
For years now, survivors of Catholic clergy sexual abuse have sought accountability at the local level, taking claims to their parish or bishop. But the Roman Catholic Church is a global institution, and experts say its cover-up of child abuse reaches the…
The Gun-Owning Doctors Changing the Gun Debate
Feb 28, 2019 • 21 min
Last fall, doctors from all over America took to social media with the hashtag #ThisIsMyLane (or #ThisIsOurLane). They sent pictures of themselves in blood-drenched scrubs and shared stories of treating victims of shootings. They were responding to a…
Civil Rights Cold Cases Find Teenage Allies
Feb 27, 2019 • 24 min
It started as a simple lesson in civil rights and ended as a bill President Trump signed into law. How did a class of New Jersey high school students create a piece of legislation to help solve civil rights crimes? Guests: Oslene Johnson, former student…
Venezuela’s Crisis Deepens
Feb 26, 2019 • 19 min
As violence erupts on the Venezuelan border, Vice President Mike Pence makes his way to Colombia to reaffirm American support for the opposition leader, Juan Guaido. How far is the U.S. willing to go? And will this be remembered as the weekend everything…
The Laquan McDonald Case Isn’t Over
Feb 25, 2019 • 16 min
Chicago’s mayoral election is Tuesday. The race has been crowded, contentious, and very much shaped by the Laquan McDonald case. Guest: Jamie Kalven, a journalist with the Invisible Institute. Tell us what you think by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts…
Who Wants to Be a (Heavily Taxed) Millionaire?
Feb 22, 2019 • 24 min
As Democrats try to find an economic message that can win in 2020, a group of like-minded millionaires is making the rounds, telling any politicians who will listen, “We want to pay more in taxes.” Why now? Guest: Morris Pearl, chair of Patriotic…
Meet the EPA’s Ghost-Writer
Feb 21, 2019 • 21 min
A scientist on the outer fringes of his field has been patiently making the case that the U.S. government applies far too conservative controls on toxins in the environment. Now, he’s trying to implement his ideas at the EPA — by writing a sweeping new…
The Fight to Change Frat Culture
Feb 20, 2019 • 14 min
People who believe the fraternity system is broken have been trying every which way to force changes — something, anything, to stop the parade of injuries, sexual assaults, and deaths that have happened at frat houses. Last week, we saw yet another…
Utah’s Medicaid Battle
Feb 19, 2019 • 20 min
Voters during the 2018 midterms favored the expansion of Medicaid, but it’s being met with some pushback by conservative legislators. What can Utah’s Medicaid episode teach us about how health care fights may roll out over the coming years? Guests: Utah…
A Cautionary Green New Deal Tale
Feb 15, 2019 • 13 min
The Green New Deal brought attention back to the idea of high-speed rail in America. This week California squandered it. What lessons should Americans be taking from the failed high-speed rail project in California? Guest: Henry Grabar, staff writer at…
Has Anything Changed Since Parkland?
Feb 14, 2019 • 17 min
After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, we saw a group of students speed through the stages of grief and go directly to action. One year later, have they made any lasting changes to the gun control debate? Guest: Dave Cullen, author of Parkland.…
The Democratic Divide Over Israel
Feb 13, 2019 • 16 min
President Donald Trump called on Rep. Ilhan Omar to resign after her anti-Semitic remarks this past weekend. She has since apologized, but the episode revealed a bigger problem that is bound to keep rearing its head for the Democratic Party: its stance on…
When a Border Wall Isn’t Enough
Feb 12, 2019 • 14 min
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
How to Get Away With Highway Robbery
Feb 11, 2019 • 20 min
Reporters in South Carolina schlepped to all 46 courthouses in the state to document every civil asset forfeiture case in a three-year period. What they found was an impossibly flawed law that rewards bad police-work. Guests: Anna Lee, reporter for the…
How an Abortion Bill Started the Mess in Virginia
Feb 8, 2019 • 15 min
Virginia is in chaos as racist stunts and allegations of sexual assault threaten to upend the political careers of four top state officials. How did we get here? It all started with a debate over an abortion bill. Guest: Anna North, senior reporter for…
How Trump’s Inaugural Committee Got Into Trouble
Feb 7, 2019 • 15 min
Inaugurations are ethically dubious in the best of times. So why is the Trump inaugural committee under investigation? Consider the scale of the swindle. Guest: Ilya Marritz, co-host of Trump Inc., a podcast produced by WNYC and ProPublica. Tell us what…
Which State of the Union? Which Medicare for All?
Feb 6, 2019 • 24 min
It was a long speech that often meandered from pleas for bipartisanship to accusations of “ridiculous partisan investigations.” What do we make of this state of the union? Plus, it’s anyone’s guess what ‘Medicare for All’ really means on the 2020 campaign…
Larry Krasner and the System That Fought Back
Feb 5, 2019 • 18 min
Larry Krasner promised a sea change when he was elected to serve as Philadelphia’s district attorney. It should surprise no one that his policies are making waves. Guest: Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Chris Palmer. Read his story about Krasner’s first…
The Ferguson Effect
Feb 4, 2019 • 15 min
There’s a new prosecutor in St. Louis County taking on decades of racial injustice. How will Wesley Bell, buoyed by the political movement after the death of Michael Brown, deliver on his progressive promises? Tell us what you think by leaving a review on…
Anti-Vaxxers Brought Back the Measles
Feb 1, 2019 • 16 min
The latest measles outbreak in the Pacific-Northwest is a self-inflicted wound. One that Texans, and Americans alike, should all pay attention to. Guest: Dr. Peter J. Hotez, co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. Tell…
Don’t Call Him El Chapo
Jan 31, 2019 • 13 min
Joaquín Guzmán operated in Mexico’s shadows for decades. His trial is shining a spotlight on who the man is and the chaos he sowed on a country . How are Mexicans dealing with the explosive allegations made against former presidents? And what are we all…
Howard Schultz and the Ghost of Ross Perot
Jan 30, 2019 • 17 min
Howard Schultz’s potential independent presidential candidacy has gotten off to a rough start. Why are Democrats and Republicans alike upset about the Starbucks CEO entering the 2020 fray? And will it even matter? Guest: Steve Kornacki, National Political…
How Big Tech Is Bleeding American Journalism
Jan 29, 2019 • 19 min
More than 1,000 journalists lost their jobs last week. The reason is pretty simple: Big tech is beating digital media to the money. To save journalism, what rules should the public be fighting for? Guest: Will Oremus, Slate’s Senior Technology Writer.…
The Gun Rights Case Headed to the Supreme Court
Jan 28, 2019 • 17 min
Why it matters that the Supreme Court is taking on a gun rights case now, after keeping its powder dry for years. Guest: Mark Joseph Stern, who covers courts & the law for Slate. Tell us what you think by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or sending an…
The Opposition Comes for Venezuela’s Maduro
Jan 25, 2019 • 20 min
How Venezuelans reached a breaking point, and how a team of savvy politicians orchestrated the break. No one expected the greatest threat of a proxy war to come out of South America — right? Guests: Ana Vanessa Herrero, reporter for the New York Times.…
Congress Does Something
Jan 24, 2019 • 19 min
The Senate is readying a vote on two bills to fund the government. The measures aren’t expected to pass, but they might signal the beginning of the end of the shutdown. Guest: Jim Newell, who covers Congress for Slate. Tell us what you think by leaving a…
Kamala Harris & the Rise of Progressive Prosecutors
Jan 23, 2019 • 23 min
More and more reform-minded district attorneys are taking office as self-avowed progressive prosecutors. Why don’t some advocates think Kamala Harris deserves the label? Guest: Lara Bazelon, associate professor at the University of San Francisco School of…
The Women Fleeing Saudi Arabia
Jan 22, 2019 • 20 min
What Mohammed bin Salman’s rise to power has meant for women in Saudi Arabia. Guest: Journalist Sarah Aziza. Read her latest reporting in the New Yorker. Tell us what you think by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or sending an email to…
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Flips the Script
Jan 18, 2019 • 22 min
Why aren’t conservatives’ usual tricks working on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Guest: Slate writer Lili Loofbourow. Read her piece here. Tell us what you think by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or sending an email to whatnext@slate.com. Follow us on…
The L.A. Teachers’ Strike
Jan 17, 2019 • 26 min
What makes the Los Angeles teachers’ strike different from the strikes that swept the country last year? In L.A., a robust charter school sector competes with the traditional public schools for funds. Guest: Dana Goldstein, education reporter for the New…
The Gymnast Who Went Megaviral
Jan 16, 2019 • 20 min
UCLA’s Katelyn Ohashi wowed the internet this week with a viral video of her college gymnastics floor routine. As Ohashi’s star rises, the U.S. women’s gymnastics program is imploding. Fans of the sport wonder: What is the price of being world-class?…
Pardons, Presidential Power, and Worry About Bill Barr
Jan 15, 2019 • 26 min
More than 25 years after serving as Attorney General under George HW Bush, Barr is set to return to the role this week. What should we expect? And what should the senators at the confirmation hearing be asking? Guest: Noah Feldman, professor of…
The Three-Headed Beast Leading U.S. Foreign Policy
Jan 14, 2019 • 17 min
Slate’s Fred Kaplan explains how two different Trump advisers, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, are trying to carry out U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Tell us what you think by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or sending an email to…
The Threat of National Emergency
Jan 11, 2019 • 19 min
What would a national emergency look like, and why hasn’t Trump declared one yet? Dahlia Lithwick has answers. Plus: Was it weird that Ruth Bader Ginsburg wasn’t at work this week? Tell us what you think by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or sending an…
How We Became Shutdown Nation
Jan 10, 2019 • 20 min
How could congressional leaders end the current government shutdown? Come to think of it, how could they put an end to shutdowns altogether? Guests: Tom Davis, former Republican congressman from Virginia, and Slate’s Jim Newell. Tell us what you think by…
Clemency for Cyntoia Brown
Jan 9, 2019 • 17 min
Advocate Mariame Kaba explains why the Cyntoia Brown story is compelling, complicated, and deeply frustrating — why it’s wrong to portray Cyntoia Brown as a child, why Brown’s story is deeply familiar to black women in America, and why Kaba considers…
Battling 2020 Fatigue
Jan 8, 2019 • 22 min
Jamelle Bouie sees each presidential election like a grand experiment. On today’s show, he shares some of his hypotheses going into the 2020 campaign season. Will the rift grow between President Trump and the establishment GOP? Will Democrat presidential…
The Republican Party Shake-Out in Kansas
Jan 7, 2019 • 19 min
The rightward shift of the Republican Party is kind of like global warming: Each political ecosystem is feeling it differently. In Kansas, lifelong Republicans are finding themselves without a habitat. Guests: Barbara Bollier Kansas state senator, and…
We’re Back Monday, January 7th
Jan 4, 2019 • 1 min
Every weekday morning. 5AM. Don’t start your day without knowing What Next! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
We’re in the New York Times
Dec 9, 2018 • 1 min
No big deal. Did you see What Next mentioned in the New York Times? We’ll be back with more shows in January. Until then, these are some of our favorite episodes: The Gun-Owning Doctors Changing the Gun Debate, Nov. 15th Sins of the Fathers, Nov. 14th The…
Jeff Flake Takes Another Stand
Nov 16, 2018 • 21 min
Sen. Jeff Flake is demanding legislation to protect the Mueller probe. High-profile conservatives are peeling off from the Federalist Society to stand up to the Trump administration. Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick explains why she thinks this is a pivotal moment…
The Gun Owning Doctors Changing the Gun Debate
Nov 15, 2018 • 29 min
This week doctors from all over America took to social media with the hashtag #ThisIsMyLane (or #ThisIsOurLane). They sent pictures of themselves in blood-drenched scrubs and shared stories of treating victims of gun violence. Much of this was in response…
Sins of the Fathers
Nov 14, 2018 • 19 min
Survivors of Catholic clergy sexual abuse have gone after the church in a piecemeal fashion. But the Roman Catholic Church’s cover-up of child sexual abuse goes back decades, and experts say it reaches the upper echelons of church leadership. What would…
The Wildfires to Come
Nov 13, 2018 • 18 min
Stephen Pyne has made fire his life’s work. He put them out for 15 summers and has thought about them ever since. Today on the show – the conversation we’re not having about wildfires and why despite the devastation in California this week, he remains…
The Legacy of the Last Florida Recount
Nov 12, 2018 • 20 min
Rick Hasen, founder of the Election Law Blog, explains how we got here: Shrinking away from the hard election reforms, ignoring the easy reforms, and enacting short-sighted remedies. Hasen is a professor at UC Irvine and a Slate contributor. Learn more…
Sessions’ Last Act Deals Blow to Police Reform
Nov 9, 2018 • 20 min
Just as he was getting kicked out the door, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions wanted to do one last thing: strongly limit the strength and use of consent decrees moving forward. It’s a move that deals a significant blow to the Department of Justice’s…
What to Watch After Sessions’ Ouster
Nov 8, 2018 • 20 min
Ben Wittes of Lawfare and the Brookings Institution tells us four things to watch for in the wake of the ouster of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. For more from Wittes on this, check out the latest episode of The Lawfare Podcast. Plus, Mary McCord, who…
What Won for the Democrats?
Nov 7, 2018 • 22 min
Democrats ran all sorts of different campaigns and won (or lost) in all sorts of different ways. Is there a lesson they could take from the midterms and carry into the next election? Plus, how did racism figure into the Florida and Georgia governor’s…
Happy Election Day?
Nov 6, 2018 • 27 min
Alfredo Corchado calls in from the border to talk about voter enthusiasm in his area. Amy Walter from the Cook Political Report shares her tips for watching election night returns. Slate’s Molly Olmstead explains why she’ll be eyeing the teacher…
What Story Will This Election Tell Us?
Nov 5, 2018 • 17 min
With less than 36 hours to go until the final voting deadline for the midterm elections, it’s important to know what’s at stake. Amy Walter, a host on The Takeaway and National Editor of the Cook Political Report, knows that each election tells us a story…
They Forecast a Hate Wave in 2008
Nov 2, 2018 • 21 min
Daryl Johnson tried to warn Homeland Security about the growing momentum behind right-wing extremists. He was not well-received. On Friday’s show, how the actions of the Obama and Trump administrations fueled far-right violence. Plus, there’s election…
The State of Red State Democrats
Nov 1, 2018 • 22 min
President Trump wanted to make this the election of the caravan. For red state democrats, that’s becoming the case. So with only days to go until midterms how will Trump’s immigration rhetoric shape close races? Slate’s Jim Newell joins us today to…
Understanding the Crisis in Yemen
Oct 31, 2018 • 20 min
Eric Nagourney, an international desk editor for the New York Times, explains the paper’s decision to publish harrowing photographs of malnourished Yemeni children. And Fatima Alasrar, a Yemeni and a senior analyst for the Arabia Foundation, explains why…
“And Subject to the Jurisdiction Thereof…”
Oct 30, 2018 • 13 min
There’s a clause in the 14th amendment that people wanting to change it continue to come back to: “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” Today on the show, Professor Garrett Epps of The Atlantic joins us to explain why its absurd for Trump to think he…
Words Matter
Oct 29, 2018 • 17 min
Slate’s April Glaser explains the futility of expelling bigots from one social media platform, only to see them find safe harbor on another. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Blame Game
Oct 26, 2018 • 25 min
While we wait for news on the bomb suspect, a debate between Slate’s Mike Pesca and Mary Harris: Can we blame the potential explosives on provocative political speech? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Does Corruption Matter?
Oct 25, 2018 • 15 min
When it comes to the people we vote for, how corrupt is too corrupt? With Herb Jackson, Washington correspondent for USA Today and The Record. We take a whirlwind tour of the U.S. politicians hitting the campaign trail with a dark cloud hanging over their…
Midterm Trolls - Online and Off
Oct 24, 2018 • 20 min
US Cyber Command launched its first cyber operation to deter Russian interference in the 2018 midterm elections, but is it too late? Clint Watts, the author of Messing With the Enemy, “Oh yeah.” Today on the show, the continued assault on our information…
Turkey Makes the Most of Its Moment
Oct 23, 2018 • 23 min
Slate senior editor Josh Keating explains why Turkey has seized on the disappearance of a foreign journalist to stick it to Saudi Arabia. And Slate writer Aymann Ismail reconsiders going on hajj. We’ll be piloting What Next in public for the next several…
The Health Care Turnabout
Oct 22, 2018 • 19 min
Andrew Gillum began his candidacy as a “Medicare for All” supporter. His subtle slide from that position to another is a small, but telling one. Today on the show, a look into the health care debate in the lead up to midterms. Plus, Slate’s Mark Joseph…
Just an Old Sweet Song
Oct 19, 2018 • 23 min
Kai Wright of WNYC and Slate’s Jamelle Bouie on the governor’s race in Georgia. Plus, Deadspin’s Dvora Meyers explains the implosion of USA Gymnastics. We’ll be piloting What Next in public for the next several weeks. Tell us what you think:…
Now Is a Good Time to Cheat on Your Taxes
Oct 18, 2018 • 18 min
Budget cuts have crippled the IRS allowing tax cheats to run rampant. ProPublica’s Jesse Eisinger says the agency’s ability to pursue criminal cases is in collapse because of budget cuts and the fact that the agency still has the same number of auditors…
From One Caravan to Another
Oct 17, 2018 • 22 min
Mary Harris is joined by Vox’s Dara Lind to discuss how the latest caravan from Honduras is shining a light on the danger and red tape facing asylum seekers. Plus, what else did you miss today? We’ll be piloting What Next in public for the next several…
Could the Saudi Monarchy Fall Over This?
Oct 16, 2018 • 28 min
Host Mary Harris talks to Dexter Filkins of the New Yorker on the fraught relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Plus, Slate’s Jim Newell explains why you should care about the final debate tonight between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke. This is the…
Trailer: Introducing What Next
Oct 1, 2018 • 2 min
A smart round-up of the biggest stories of the day. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for the show every weekday afternoon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices