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The Gist

The Gist is on hiatus.A daily afternoon show about news, culture, and whatever else you'll be discussing with friends and family tonight.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Sweep the Left

On The Gist, nobody move or the economy gets it, Trump says. The guys behind the left’s most irreverent podcast (Chapo Trap House) want the Democratic Party to forget about Robert Mueller and set their sights on 2020. But in the short term? They’re rooting for a blue wave. Alongside Felix Biederman and Brendan James, Thursday’s guests Matt Christman, Will Menaker, and Virgil Texas are co-authors of The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto Against Logic, Facts, and Reason.In the Spiel, when you hear “everyone does it” down in Washington, you know something’s amiss.

25mins

23 Aug 2018

Rank #1

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College-Aged Coddling

On The Gist, guest host John McWhorter considers campus safe spaces.  In the past few years, college campuses have been shifting away from havens for free speech to safe spaces that bar divisive speakers from campus. But is this the right move, or are we damaging the growth of college students by creating these spaces rather than offering intellectual challenges. Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt explore this in their new book The Coddling of the American Mind. Lukianoff joins us on the Gist to discuss. In the Spiel, are the new models of protest a useful continuation of the civil rights movement?

29mins

1 Oct 2018

Rank #2

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The Truth Behind the Steele Dossier

On The Gist, Chuck Todd.In the Interview, former The Wall Street Journal reporter and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson is here to talk with Mike about the Steele dossier, the infamous pee tape, and his regrets and hopes around the dossier’s coverage. His new book with co-author Peter Fritsch is Crime in Progress: Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump.In the Spiel, Cory Booker’s theory on why Kamala Harris dropped out. 

26mins

7 Dec 2019

Rank #3

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Making the Worse Argument

On The Gist, unpopular opinions.In the Interview, Mike talks to actor Kal Penn about his sitcom Sunnyside. They discuss how he came up with the idea for the show, his time working for the Obama administration, and the Easter eggs hidden throughout the season. You can watch Sunnyside on Hulu, Amazon, and other streaming platforms.In the Spiel, the rebuttal to impeachment.

35mins

5 Dec 2019

Rank #4

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Halls of Fame Need Diversity, Too

On The Gist, it’s tough to find a host for the Oscars.In the interview, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame can quickly become incestuous, since past winners get to vote on future inductees. But this year’s 15 nominees break the mold of guitar-slinging dudes with long hair. Sure, Def Leppard is in the running, but so are LL Cool J, Janet Jackson, and Kraftwerk. Music critic Chris Molanphy himself has a vote, and tells us what his ballot looks like. Molanphy is the host of the Slate podcast Hit Parade and writes Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” column. In the Spiel, Andrew Sullivan’s new religions.

39mins

12 Dec 2018

Rank #5

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Democratic Socialists of America, for the Win?

On The Gist, Vladimir Putin, RT, and the Salisbury poisoning.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might have scary values to conservatives. But to the national director of the Democratic Socialists of America, she’s a moderate. Maria Svart calls the DSA a “big tent organization,” meaning it makes room for everything from AOC’s Scandinavian-style social policies to the more radical workforce ownership of businesses. In the Spiel, the end of primary season.

31mins

15 Sep 2018

Rank #6

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The Mystery of Ivanka Trump

On The Gist, journalist and podcast host Lauren Ober was shocked to realize Chelsea Manning is back in jail. In the interview, Ober talks with journalist Vanessa Grigoriadis about the new podcast Tabloid: The Making of Ivanka Trump. What’s it like to go from aspiring socialite to familial lackey? Is there any room for pity? And when is she headed for Burning Man? In the Spiel, female political fashion.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.Want to see a special episode of The Gist live in New York? Get your tickets here!

33mins

28 Aug 2019

Rank #7

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When the President Speaks …

On The Gist, President Trump interrupted Nancy Pelosi because he interrupts everyone.In the interview, the deputy executive director of U.N. Women, Åsa Regnér, knows how to bring more women into politics. Countries like Bolivia, Rwanda, and those in Scandinavia have achieved more equal representation. So how useful are quotas? Does religion play a role? How can gender parity be seen not just as a rights issue but something smarter for policymaking, the economy, and the health of the country?In the Spiel, putting a dollar value on the election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.

30mins

13 Dec 2018

Rank #8

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Between a Rock and a Funny Place

On The Gist, Saudi Arabia, Trump, and Jamal Khashoggi. Comedy Cellar owner Noam Dworman has had a post-scandal Louis C.K. take to his stage six times now. Why does he welcome him, and if he doesn’t draw the line at Louis, is it somewhere else? In the Spiel, the death of Nevada Republican candidate Dennis Hof. This episode is brought to you by Merrill Lynch. Get started today at ML.com/you.

30mins

17 Oct 2018

Rank #9

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Presidential Temper Tantrums

On The Gist, suing the swamp. In the interview, Marc Randolph is here to talk with Mike about the early beginnings of Netflix, his relationship with co-founder Reed Hastings, and what he’s doing now post-Netflix. Randolph’s new book is That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea. In the Spiel, accusing somebody of treason might be a reason to impeach.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.

29mins

3 Oct 2019

Rank #10

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What Is … a Podcast, Alex?

On The Gist, Christine Blasey Ford deserves a hearing on her own terms, and that’s all we can say for now. Bert Kreischer is a comic who started out as just the biggest college partier in America according to Rolling Stone magazine in 1997. Since then he’s been grappling with fame, how much of his own life to use for comedy, and the way his father shamed him into doing stand-up comedy. Kreischer’s new special on Netflix is Secret Time. In the Spiel, Jeopardy finally notices podcasts.

28mins

20 Sep 2018

Rank #11

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The Pushback Artist

On The Gist, do we really have to give up plastic straws?Then, and more seriously: a look back on a recent episode.On Wednesday, The Gist ran an interview with Allison Yarrow about 90s Bitch, her book about sexism in the age of 24-7 news coverage. And in the Spiel, Mike offered a rebuttal of sorts with statistics on the plight of women in the ’80s versus the ’90s. It improved, didn’t it? A shrinking gender wage gap! Less domestic violence! Greater representation in the Senate! But some listeners said that wasn’t the point, and took issue with the episode. Christina Cauterucci, June Thomas, and Veralyn Williams of the Waves (Slate’s podcast on gender and feminism) join Mike to discuss the episode, the reactions, and the lessons learned.

42mins

28 Jul 2018

Rank #12

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The Plain Prince

On Tuesday's Gist, Donald Trump’s win has inspired a whole bunch of down-ballot Republicans, and boy, are they lame.What is retroactive classification, and is it going to get former FBI Director James Comey in trouble? Bradley P. Moss specializes in litigation related to security clearance law. He explains why Comey may need to worry about prosecution for leaking government secrets. Moss is the deputy executive director of the James Madison Project to promote government accountability and reduction of secrecy.In the Spiel, is third-time dad Prince William ugly? We ask the question, for science!

36mins

24 Apr 2018

Rank #13

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The Blue Blizzard

On The Gist, the man in the van is a sad man indeed.  Harry Enten is a senior writer and analyst for CNN Politics and steeped in the polling data for the election. Will Beto O’Rourke beat Ted Cruz?  Is the blue wave cresting early? And why do Democrats care about Hamilton? Enten joins us to discuss, and his more detailed forecast can be found online here.  In the Spiel, time for another antentwig. 

33mins

26 Oct 2018

Rank #14

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Why Now With the Weinstein Stories?

Why did it take years of reporting before any news organizations could nail down the Harvey Weinstein story? NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik says previously, the allegations received only “twilight” coverage. He considers why NBC might have whiffed on the Weinstein story, and how the network’s hard pass is being recast in conservative circles. Folkenflik is the author of Murdoch’s World: The Last of the Old Media Empires. In the Spiel, who was the star of the New York City mayoral debate? It wasn’t Oxford-style discourse. 

33mins

14 Oct 2017

Rank #15

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Trump Will Lose in 2020

On The Gist, it’s a good day for those who love quarterly fundraising numbers among Democratic presidential candidates! In the interview, we’re used to the Nate Silver approach to election forecasting, using constantly changing polling data to predict the likelihood of this or that result. But Rachel Bitecofer, assistant director of the Wason Center for Public Policy, has a better way. Her new model, based on negative partisanship and demographics, is more static, and proved spot-on in 2018. So what does it have to say for 2020? In the Spiel, a theory on what’s really keeping Kellyanne and George Conway together.

31mins

17 Jul 2019

Rank #16

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The Future for Democrats

On The Gist, Mike went to Politicon this past weekend and moderated the panel What Now Democrats, featuring James Carville, Joe Lockhart, Zerlina Maxwell, Kyle Kulinski and Jess McIntosh. They debate the future of the party, what kinds of issues will matter in 2020, and what they should stop fighting over.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.

45mins

1 Nov 2019

Rank #17

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My Life as a Sitcom

On The Gist, QAnon and sound design.Comedian Guy Branum is a hilarious intellect with an intimidating amount of pop culture knowledge. In his new book, My Life as a Goddess: A Memoir Through (Un)Popular Culture, Branum explores things like his love of civics, his Northern California childhood, and his experiences writing jokes for other people.In the Spiel, we’ve got another Lobstar of the Antentwig.

30mins

2 Aug 2018

Rank #18

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The Business of Celebrity Tabloids

On The Gist, Nancy Pelosi. In the interview, Mike talks to filmmaker Mark Landsman and former National Enquirer editor-in-chief Steve Coz about their new documentary Scandalous: The True Story of the National Enquirer. They discuss ethics, Trump, and how the publication’s tactics have changed over the years.In the Spiel, need a dose of pizzazz?Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.

27mins

15 Nov 2019

Rank #19

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Starting a War

On the Gist, the Quds force.In the interview, Slate’s Fred Kaplan is here to talk with Mike about the recent action the Trump administration has taken against Iran. They discuss what impact the death of Qasem Soleimani will have on the Middle East, the United State’s relationship with Iran and Iraq, and why this appears to be an act of war. Kaplan writes the War Stories column for Slate.In the spiel, Soleimani and war.

30mins

4 Jan 2020

Rank #20