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The Mother Jones Podcast

News & Politics Podcasts

Each episode will go deep on a big story you’ll definitely want to hear more about. We’ll share with you our best investigations (think private prisons, electoral skullduggery, Dark Money, and Trump's Russia connections), and informative interviews with our reporters and newsmakers. We're hoping to make your week more informed with the stories that really matter, told by us, the folks you trust for smart, fearless reporting.

Each episode will go deep on a big story you’ll definitely want to hear more about. We’ll share with you our best investigations (think private prisons, electoral skullduggery, Dark Money, and Trump's Russia connections), and informative interviews with our reporters and newsmakers. We're hoping to make your week more informed with the stories that really matter, told by us, the folks you trust for smart, fearless reporting.


United States


Each episode will go deep on a big story you’ll definitely want to hear more about. We’ll share with you our best investigations (think private prisons, electoral skullduggery, Dark Money, and Trump's Russia connections), and informative interviews with our reporters and newsmakers. We're hoping to make your week more informed with the stories that really matter, told by us, the folks you trust for smart, fearless reporting.








The Hidden Influence of Lady Bird Johnson

Lady Bird Johnson always fit the mold of a certain old-fashioned, stereotypical presidential wife: self-effacing, devoted to her generally unfaithful domineering husband, not particularly chic, and, being a traditional first lady one who needed a public cause, and found hers it in planting lots of flowers near highways. They called it at the time, with just a hint of disparagement, "beautification." Nowhere in the hundreds of thousands of pages written by presidential historians on the 36th...


Hope and Fear: The Dangerous New COVID Phase, Explained

Earlier this week, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky went off-script during a news conference to issue an emotional warning: a fourth coronavirus surge could be on its way. She described a “recurring feeling I have of impending doom,” saying that while there was “so much to look forward to,” the country was entering a dangerous new phase. “I’m scared,” she said. Meanwhile, the country has seen week-on-week vaccination records tumble, and officials predict that half of Americans will be...


Stop the COVID Shaming!

For many people who contract the coronavirus, shame is an underreported side-effect. Its symptoms are intense bewilderment about the cause of infection, reluctance to engage with healthcare systems, and discomfort disclosing the diagnosis to friends and family. The internal dynamic is likely reinforced by the public shaming that follows news stories about crowds of spring breakers not following social distancing rules. Or the Instagram account dedicated to calling out parties and gatherings....


A Post-Trump Guide to Stopping the Lies and Healing Our Politics

Cass Sunstein is a public intellectual and provocateur—and he has been pondering a timely issue: public lying. A longtime Harvard law professor and an expert on behavioral economics, Sunstein has written a slew of books, including volumes on cost-benefit analysis, conspiracy theories, animal rights, authoritarianism in the United States, decision-making, and Star Wars. He was recently named senior counselor at the Department of Homeland Security, where he will oversee the Biden...


What Happened in Jackson, Mississippi, Was a Catastrophe—and a Warning Sign

Boiling water to drink and bathe. Collecting rainwater to flush toilets. Using bottled water distributed by the National Guard to take care of basic hygiene. For four weeks, tens of thousands of people in Jackson, Mississippi, did not have access to clean water. Freezing winter storms wreaked havoc on Jackson’s old and crumbling water infrastructure. In mid-February the city experienced 80 water main breaks, leaving tens of thousands of residents were left without running water. But while...


All Hail Pop Queen Selena, Who Showed Us How to Belong

Anything for Selena is more than a podcast about the iconic 1990s superstar Selena Quintanilla. It’s a nine-part series about belonging itself. Journalist Maria Garcia documents her own journey as she discovers what it means to love and mourn Selena, and what her legacy can teach us about pop culture and Latinx identity today. As a fearsomely talented singer and dancer, Selena dazzled on stage with bold red lips and large hoop earrings, wearing sparkly bustiers and tight, high-waisted...


Stacey Abrams Is Hellbent on Stopping the GOP's "Jim Crow 2.0"

Stacey Abrams has a name for the series of bills that just passed the Georgia state legislature: “Jim Crow in a suit and tie.” Abrams joins the Mother Jones Podcast to explain why your right to vote is once again under attack—perhaps more so now than it has been in generations. Donald Trump’s big election fraud lie sparked a deluge of voter suppression efforts across the country. Over the past two months, GOP legislatures have pushed 253 new voting restrictions in 43 states. Under the guise...


Roxane Gay Says Cancel Culture Does Not Exist

Roxane Gay is one of the most prolific and versatile writers of our generation. She’s written a best-selling collection of essays (Bad Feminist), a blockbuster memoir (Hunger), Black Panther comics, and countless essays of cultural criticism. That’s not to mention her New York Times advice column, her book of writing advice coming out in November called How to Be Heard, a YA novel, and a screenplay for Hunger. Oh, and don’t forget her podcast. Or the TV show that she runs. How does she do...


The Vaccine Rollout Is Racist. We Can Do Something About That.

A new coronavirus vaccine from Johnson & Johnson has been approved. A new coronavirus variant in New York City has been identified—and is spreading. New data shows structural and racial disparities in who is receiving the vaccine, and who is still waiting in line. As the one year anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic in the US approaches, we’re seeing a flurry of both hopeful and concerning developments. Kiera Butler and Edwin Rios, two Mother Jones reporters who have been on the pandemic...


Biden Can't Make Trump's Immigration Cruelty Vanish Overnight

Overflowing ICE detention centers. Families separated at the border. A multi-billion-dollar border wall. Over the course of his four-year presidency, Donald Trump used executive power to wage war on the United States’ immigration system–leaving millions of immigrants and asylum seekers in impossibly tough situations. Now, President Biden is making immigration reform a top priority. Mother Jones immigration reporters Fernanda Echavarri and Noah Lanard join Jamilah King on this week’s show to...


What the Hell Is “Truth and Reconciliation”, Anyway?

House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin delivered a speech during Trump’s impeachment trial last week in which he made a direct appeal to reality: “Democracy needs a ground to stand upon,” he said. “And that ground is the truth." There’s a lot of demand for reckoning in America right now. Cities around the country are debating and in some cases instituting some forms of reparations for Black residents. Last June, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced a bill to establish a “United States...


Impeachment Trial Day One: The Damning Case Against Donald Trump

Tears on the Senate floor. Shocking footage of the insurrection. A bumbling and widely panned performance by Donald Trump’s legal team. The former president’s second impeachment has now moved to trial, and House Democrats came prepared. A little over one month after a riotous mob laid siege to the very chamber in which the trial was now taking place, Democrats presented such a damning trail of evidence that that it caused one GOP senator, Bill Cassidy, to change his vote on the trial’s...


Biden Confronts Our Climate Crisis Head On

Stopping climate change is back on the White House agenda. President Biden came into with the most ambitious climate change plans of any administration to date. He not only promised to reverse the Trump administration's regressive climate policies, including regulatory rollbacks and a withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, but also to push the United States farther on climate change action than it has ever gone before. He named climate change action as a top priority, right alongside the...


Dr. Seema Yasmin Grew Up Believing Conspiracies. Now She Fights Them.

Trump is gone. But assessing the wreckage wrought by his lies has only just begun. Emerging, battered, from a year advising the former president, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, and Dr. Deborah Birx, the former coronavirus taskforce coordinator, both agree: Trump’s embrace of disinformation and chaos made the pandemic worse. “I think if we had had the public health messages from the top right through down to the people down in the trenches be consistent, that...


The Post-Trump Era Is Here: Inside Joe Biden's Historic Inauguration

Today, Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States. Two weeks after an armed mob stormed the Capitol, the new president painted a picture of hope and collective effort in his inaugural address. His message sharply contrasted with former president Donald Trump’s dystopian “American carnage” speech from four years ago. “This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge,” Biden said in his address. “And unity is the path forward.” DC Bureau Chief David Corn and...


Twice Impeached: Trump’s Name Will Live Forever in Shame and Infamy

Today, President Donald Trump became the first president in US history to be impeached twice. A majority of the US House of Representatives—including 10 Republican members—voted to impeach Trump following last week’s violent attack by right-wing extremists on the US Capitol. “Donald Trump will go down in history as the most impeached president, ever,” says Washington DC bureau chief David Corn, on this breaking news edition of the show. By the time House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s gavel...


Trump's Terror Tactics and America's History of Racist Violence

The January 6 attack on the US Capitol by a mob of extremist Trump supporters was shocking and scary—but not surprising. Incendiary rhetoric and racist dog whistles have been centerpieces of President Trump’s politics since he first ran for office. Trump has encouraged his supporters to bully immigrants, journalists, and Democratic politicians. He tapped into a thick vein of right-wing extremism that has led to violence countless times in American history: from the Ku Klux Klan, to the...


I Watched the Capitol Siege Begin. I Was Threatened For Being a Reporter.

On Wednesday, a mob of Trump supporters surged towards the US Capitol as the Senate was debating certification of Joe Biden’s election win. “No one gets out alive, not today!” a man brandishing a Trump flag shouted, according to MoJo reporter Matt Cohen, who was there when the barricades fell and the insurgency began. The rioters then scaled the walls, smashed windows, and ran through the Capitol building, ransacking and looting as they went, forcing unprepared police officers to issue tear...


BREAKING: Goodbye, Mitch. Democrats Win the Senate.

NOTE: This episode was recorded just before violence erupted on Capitol Hill when pro-Trump extremists, inflamed by the president, rampaged inside Congress. Goodbye, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Hello, razor-thin Democratic control of the US Senate, and the chance for President-Elect Joe Biden to actually get stuff done. After a pair of neck-and-neck runoff contests in Georgia on Tuesday, Rev. Raphael Warnock will be the first Black senator in that state's history and the first...


Trump Won't Stop Lying, Extorting, and Cheating, Even If It Kills the GOP

Wow. What a start to the year. For those of you hoping high-stakes political drama might be confined to the 2020 presidential election, think again. In the year's opening week alone, we've heard a raging president, caught on tape, bullying state officials to fake the election result; witnessed a band of would-be coup-plotters launch an unheard-of attack on democracy; and watched a runoff election in Georgia that will decide the fate of the US Senate—and Biden's agenda. To explain the meaning...