Pod-What: The Podcasts that I’m listening to in 2018

It seems that podcasts have taken the world by storm or maybe just my world but everyone seems to have a favorite ‘pod’ they love to talk and geek out on. Mine are hard and heavy politics and sports, which shouldn’t surprise anyone reading this. If it does, who are you? Where did you come from? Do you want to be friends?

Here are my favorite ‘pods’ and a little blurb on why you should listen. And please, send me recommendations of your favorites.

Pod Save America – Crooked Media

This is the flagship podcast from Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Tommy Vietor, and Dan Pfeiffer – (ie: The Obama Bros * insert hang loose emoji*) The twice-a-week podcast features Jon, Jon, and Tommy on Monday’s and Favreau and Pfeiffer on Thursday, as they run down the week’s events in a hilarious and down-to-earth fashion. Unabashedly liberal, they don’t play around with the ‘both-side’ bullshit that most mainstream news organizations have found themselves tangled in. More importantly, the Crooked team has embraced activism and supports like-minded organizations in the current political climate we all find ourselves in.

Lovett or Leave It – Crooked Media

Let me just put this out here front and center. This is hilarious. Jon’s game show/comedy themed take on the news of the week includes a panel of guests from culture, news, or activism. It comes out every Saturday morning-ish and is a must listen. If you like Lovett’s humor on PSA, then you get an entire show of it here.

Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me

Similar to Lovett or Leave It, WWDTM is NPR’s flagship quiz style program hosted by Peter Segal. With a rotating three-person panel, listener’s call in to answer questions of the week, figure out rhymes, plus other various game-show like material. They also always interview a somewhat famous person and make them answer trivia over something related to their name or job. It’s amazing and you should listen.

The Weeds – Vox Media

Aptly named, The Weeds is a deep, deep dive into the weeds news of the week by Ezra Klein, Sarah Kliff, and Matt Yglesias. With a liberal bent, they keep it fun while being more wonk-ish than the PSA crew. Balance is always needed, right? Additionally, what makes this one of my favorites is how each episode usually ends with a really interesting White Paper on a various subject that I would never have known about. In other words, it’s expanding my horizon.

The Daily – New York Times

This is currently the sixth-ranked podcast on Apple Podcast and it deserves the recognition. For 20 minutes M-F, host Michael Barbaro nails the important topics of the day, usually interviewing one of his NYT comrades. It’s informative but doesn’t beat around the bush. (And for me, is exactly the amount of time it takes to drive to work.)

Eye On College Basketball – CBS Sports

Hosted by Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander, their three times a week podcast keeps you informed on everything college basketball related. So, if that’s your cup of tea, I’d strongly recommend giving them a listen.

One Shining Podcast – The Ringer

Because two is never too many, OSP is another college basketball pod. Hosted by Mark Titus and Tate Frazier, they go the humor and entertainment route when being homers for their former schools covering the college landscape.

Politics Podcast – FiveThirtyEight

Analytics heavy, this is one I got addicted to in 2016, needing every poll analyzed and having to know what the odds were that the popular vote winner would lose (….go figure). I’ll get back into this one this summer ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

Game of Thrones – Bald Move

Easily the best GOT podcast I’ve listened to. However, with no Game of Thrones in 2018 (moment of silence please), they won’t heavily heavy into my listening unless I rewatch the show. They just did a rewatch of season two and recorded podcasts like they had never seen it before which helps you catch things you may have missed. Hmm, now that I’m thinking about GOT, maybe I should rewatch…. Stay tuned.

Late Night with Seth Meyers – NBC Universal 

I recently found out he has a podcast and it’s great. It’s basically his ‘Closer Look’ plus a guest interview and a quick post-show interview of said guest. For someone who doesn’t watch much late-night TV, this is a great way to still keep up – especially because I really enjoy Seth’s writing/humor.

Here are some other’s that I listen to occasionally:

  • Freakonomics
  • Wildcat Radio (UofA sports podcast)
  • BBC Global News
  • NPR Politics
  • Science Friday
  • Something You Should Know
  • Ted Talks Daily (this is one I’m tryin to get better at listening to)
  • Can I Pet Your Dog (also one I’m just starting because you can’t have too many puppers and doggos in your life)



If You Love Politics/Current Events

In addition to Pod Save America and Lovett or Leave It, Crooked Media has:

Crooked Conversations

This one has become a favorite of mine. It has different hosts and covers an array of topics. For instance, Steve Kerr, the Golden State Warriors head coach (and former Arizona Wildcat … Beardown!) was interviewed last year, while an author of a dark money in politics book was also on. If you like conversations across a plethora of topics, you’ll like this!

Pod Save the World

This is Tommy’s high level and deep dive into foreign policy. As opposed to the liberal bent of the top two, this normally stays above the fray. For those interested i international news/policy positions, this is for you

Majority 54

This is former Missouri Secretary of State and Senatorial Candidate, Jason Kandor’s, once a week show where he talks with people from across the spectrum (CIA officer, gun control advocate, conservative rancher on the Arizona border, etc). He then usually asks for people to send in common arguments against policy points and gives excellent argument points for you to debate your drunk uncle at family gatherings. Also, just between us, Kandor’s going to run for President one day and he’s awesome. Oh, and here’s a photo of us from last year.

jason kandor
My dad, myself, and Jason Kandor at an Arizona Democratic Party dinner. Summer 2017.

Pod Save the People

DeRay Mckesson and his team take a different route on the news of the week by hitting topics you probably didn’t hear about – mainly focusing on issues surround race and culture. As a white, straight male, this is where my white privilege gets checked and opens my eyes to how the world is seen from a viewpoint other than my own. In the world today, this is very important.

With Friends Like These

Ana Marie Cox dives into the uncomfortable conversations that are percolating around the country right now. The best episodes are the ones where she interviews ‘Never Trump’ Republicans and they basically have an SMH therapy sesh.

– – –

So these are what I’m consuming at the gym, while running, driving, or at work (oops?). If you start any of these, let me know and we can talk about it (especially if it’s PSA) because I want to be their friend and we’ll become best friends.

And remember, send me your recommendations!