How convenient that this is going up right after the much anticipated season two premiere of Politically Reactive. Hosts and comedians Hari Kondabolu and W. Kamau Bell started this podcast to make better sense of the election and intended for it to be just for that; until the election actually happened. Guests have included Roxanne Gay, Jill Stein, Shaun King, Amy Goodman, Dream Hampton, Rachel Maddow, oh and S.E. Cupp. It's funny but serious and always informative.
If you follow Phoebe Robinson on any social media and/or have read her book You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain you already know how hilarious, witty, and smart she is on her own. Add a guest to the mix and you have a dynamic, funny, and lighthearted conversation about the cool work that people who aren't white guys are doing in the world - except for the end of season token white guy episode. Ilana Glazer stops by to try to find common ground with Phoebe and the rest of America on non-partisan life pleasures. Your Tuesdays will be infinitely better.
3. NPR Politics
The NPR Politics podcast crew releases two to three new episodes a week. Each episode is conversational and basically like listening in on four of your wonkiest friends recap the political events of the past few days. It's perfect for a morning and/or evening dose of news that's refreshingly not apocalyptic.
This. I love this show so much. A friend of mine introduced me to Throwing Shade two years ago and then I almost immediately listened to all of their old episodes. Each one is v topical but the themes are evergreen: women's rights, lgbtq rights, grocery store stories, hilarious #MailChimp ads, etc. Erin and Bryan's dynamic is nothing short of special and listening to them talk about cotton candy grapes is even entertaining.
Once upon a time when we had a president named Barack Obama, three young and charismatic guys by the names of Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor, and Jon Lovett were working at the White House. Now they've relocated from D.C. to the west coast and started a company called Crooked Media that is unapologetically liberal. The show frequently features interviews by past (mostly Obama era, some Bush era) White House and government employees.
Hosted by Tommy Vietor, President Obama's former National Security Spokesman, Pod Save the World focuses on the international issues that Pod Save America doesn't have the time to unpack. Episodes usually consist of a one on one interview with people like Ben Rhodes, Lisa Monaco, and former US ambassadors.
7. The Takeaway
Probably one of the most subjective of the podcasts on this list. The Takeaway is separated into segments that on their own can stand as entertaining and informative pieces of reporting. It will consistently give you perspective on what life is like in different communities across America and around the world. A perfect start to your day.
For comedy and current events nerds who would probably be tuning into Full Frontal every night if they had the chance to. Hosted by Negin Farsad, Fake the Nation releases weekly episodes that feature a panel of other writer/comedian guests like Dean Obeidallah and Sarah Pappalardo. You might know Negin from her book How to Make White People Laugh and her movie/doc The Muslims Are Coming. She also coined the term Minority President Donny Twimp and has stuck with it pretty consistently so #spreadtheword.
Maeve Higgins has the most charming way of saying things. It's partly because of her Irish accent and partly because she seems like a very sweet person. To paraphrase Maeve, the theme/purpose of Maeve in America is to share immigration stories by people who have lived them.