The Best Progressive (and Not So Progressive) Podcasts

The Best Progressive (and Not So Progressive) Podcasts
October 18, 2006

In addition to the two excellent podcasts available here at – I'm paid to say that – there are some great podcasts that Progressive readers might want to check out. If you've looked at podcast offerings in the past and been unimpressed, it might be a good idea to look again. There have been some great additions.

Here's a roundup of my favorites:

Slate Explainer. These gems aren't necessarily political or progressive in nature. They run about 4-5 minutes each and basically explain a detail about a story that we were afraid to ask. Recent episodes include: How Accurate Is the New Iraqi Death Count?, Can the Amish Ride in Helicopters?, Can I Have a Satellite Radio Show?

Penn Radio Podcast. Here's one for the libertarians. Penn Jillette's podcast is basically a condensed version of his daily radio show, which he hosts from Las Vegas. Penn Jillette is the talking half of Penn & Teller, the magic duo and hosts of the Showtime show Bullshit, which has gone after everyone from PETA to Mother Teresa. Penn is sometimes a little too libertarian right for my personal tastes, but I find him to be personally engaging, witty, and self-effacing.

New York Times Columnists. Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman, and Bob Herbert's columns make great podcasts. They are available separately but they are getting lumped together here to save space. The downside is that the authors themselves don't read them.

Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. It's a witty and fun news quiz show.

The President's Weekly Radio Addresss. No not the real one. The excellent parody.

This American Life. Simply the best radio program ever, and it's now available as a free podcast!

Stephanie Miller Show Bits. We love Stephanie Miller!

MSNBC Countdown with Keith Olbermann. This one usually contains one segment from Olbermann's excellent cable news show. It definitely leaves you wanting more. Olbermann is the best thing to happen to cable since Phoebe Cates.

Democracy Now! and BBC Radio NewsPod. News that you will simply not find anywhere else.

Science Talk. The official podcast of the Scientific American Magazine. This one isn't as medicinal as it may sound and it presents science news in a conversational and fun way. As a bonus, it is not afraid to stand up to the anti-global warming nitwits and creationists.

(Use the comments or email me if you want to share your favorites.)