Looking for Podcasts: Politics

In today's world most of us are on the go. Time is money and money is time. However, politics in America never stops. From bills percolating through congress and decisions being made in the White House to the latest cases hitting the Supreme Court and the local/state issues are galvanizing the country. There is a lot to consume. Thus, to make life easier for those who are politically minded, Man of the Hour recommends five podcasts from diverse political perspectives that will keep you in the loop.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Host(s): Kevin D. Williamson and Charles C.W. Cooke

Political Alignment: Conservative/Libertarian

The co-host banter along with hard-hitting interviews create a unique atmosphere and perspective on current events from a conservative, slightly libertarian outlook. Kevin Williamson establishes himself as considerably intellectual, creating a conservative supervillain personality to add humor. Charles Cook’s knowledge base of history and law is extensive, guiding his perceptive judgement. Speaking with little to no bipartisanship, these hosts review issues that would interest a conservative audience. With episodes airing every 10 days or so, the main criticism stems from the length of their podcasts, around a 45 minute average.

In terms their use of comical rhetoric, these men could be viewed as cynical and intransigent towards leftist liberals and the role of government in the United States. They “say it how it is” and eliminate the cloud of political correctness from the equation to reveal the real issues. If you are a young conservative looking for a long-time, top class perception, this is your hub for current event analysis.

Political Scene

Host: Dorothy Wickenden

Political Alignment: Liberal/Social Progressivism

This podcast is focused around speaking to New York writers and editors about politically themed current issues via interviews. These New York contributors offer valuable insight from the perspective of a publisher on current topics such as gun law reform and counter terrorism policy. However, no group is without fault; this podcasts leans heavily to the left and speaks with an apparent bias. Speaking mainly on issues with current government policies, Wickenden creates a dialogue for contributors to add their own spin on these issues and materializing, over the course of the podcast’s lifetime, a unique position towards rightwing conservatives. Main criticism stems from the bias that this podcast creates by its contributor choice. Described as “political comfort food”, it creates a constant encouragement for liberal beliefs and ideology.

With the obvious bias, this podcast does not allow for partisanship. However, if you have congruent or even opposing views, it does generate an interesting and possibly contrasting opinion that will create further understand of the politically left. With that understanding, arguing for or against a specific policy becomes much easier and addition to the knowledge of a debate over the subject is always a key to success. Typically posting two or three times a week, they are a frequent podcast with more up to date, stimulating events.

Free Thoughts from Libertarianism.org

How the approach to topics and frequency of episodes. 

Host(s): Aaron R. Powell and Trevor Burrus

Political Alignment: Libertarian/Progressive

This co-hosted podcast takes a more historical, intellectual and definite route when speaking about both current and more seasoned issues. In depth conversation with leaders in interpretation of historical and current text shine a light on how these interpretations influence policy and law. The hosts of this cast What’s more, they speak on the minority of libertarian ideals in comparison to other major political parties’ ideology. Being low-key, stoic podcast has its pros and cons such as being extremely credible and known for its intellectual properties, but can be dry and long at times. They are recorded on a weekly basis.

This quiet duo bring a NPR feel to the podcast conglomerate. Their contributors, in the form of interviewees, form a bipartisan environment with the hosts to which the audience is allowed their opinion and stems more questions than answers. This is a good outcome, as answers are far less valuable to the thinkers than questions. Once outlines are drawn for what the issues are and how they can be handled they invite the audience, so to speak, to answer them on their own and which avenue is the most fruitful.

FiveThirtyEight Elections

Host(s): Nate Silver and the FiveThirtyEight Team  

Political Alignment: General/Moderate Liberal

This group of people have a unique take on current issues with an informal twist. Usually taking on these issues are discussed amongst themselves, rather than an interview format, and are gathered in such a manner to create a bipartisan assembly. With discussions set up as a friendly debate around the dinner table about politics and policies pertaining to current issues, the casual environment has friendly jabs, out loud laughing and harmless jests towards political parties and individuals. However, there are quite a few features in advertisement for their sponsors that interrupt the momentum of discussion. These episodes are recorded two times a week and on occasion utilize guest speakers.

They feature miniseries’ that last around two to five recordings. These vary from retirement to national defense to civil issues and usually last longer than the regular casts. The miniseries casts are most likely to feature a guest speaker and to be more liberal than regular casts.


Off Message

Host: Glenn Thrush

Political Alignment: General/Moderate Conservative  

Thrush brings a fresh outlook on current, as well as more historical, controversial events. The cast is a weekly recording with interval and monthly specials, featuring guests and group debates. Its main focus is targeting political figures and analyzing them as people, rather than a cog in the system. Thrush takes a look at the roots of these figures, what interested them into where they are now, their key moments and views towards the future. To take it to a whole new level, this cast tries to have those figures on the recording, as well as another figure with contrasting opinions, and have them debate their point. The cast is relatively short, with a slight bias towards the right conservatives. However, it’s hard to discern these biases without being an avid podcast listener.

This is a recommended cast for a first time political listener who hasn’t decided if they are politically incline and how they are politically affiliated. Major parties are not an influence towards these casts. The main complaint from the audience is as the title dictates: its off message.