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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.








A Special Announcement

Things have been a bit quiet around these parts lately, huh? After a few months bringing you some of our best feature investigations read aloud, in partnership with Audm, we’re going through some behind-the-scenes newsroom changes that will impact how we best serve you, our listener. We’re going to be taking some more time, off-air, to re-tool and recalibrate. Goodbyes are hard! But it’s not really a goodbye. It a “goodbye for now”. And Mother Jones journalism isn’t going anywhere. You can...


Today It’s Critical Race Theory. 200 Years Ago It Was Abolitionist Literature.

We bet you’ve heard one phrase more and more this year than ever before: Critical Race Theory. It’s an obsession on Fox News, and it’s the topic, along with anti-mask protests, raging at school board hearings across the country—a new frontier in a roiling culture war. But what is Critical Race Theory? And how did it come to be used to whip up a new hysteria on the right? States are now racing to ban the teaching of CRT, many successfully, even while many of its fiercest critics can barely...


Are These Black Leaders on the Cusp of a New National Movement?

With everything going on these days—we’ll spare you the list of existential crises we’re currently living through—now seems like the perfect time to hear from two leaders who have a revolutionary vision of what this country could be. Last week, in a special livestream event, Mother Jones reporter and columnist Nathalie Baptiste spoke to two fascinating politicians that may be on the cusp of a national movement. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba is the youngest-ever mayor of Jackson, Mississippi....


The Nightmare of Getting an Abortion in the South

A week ago, thousands of people turned out for Women's March rallies across the country, galvanized by Texas' recent six-week abortion ban and the very real fear that Roe v. Wade could soon be overturned, as challenges to the Texas law and another law in Mississippi wend their way to the Supreme Court and its 6-3 conservative majority. But while the battle over the Texas law rages, and people rightfully worry about a world in which abortion access is no longer protected, women in...


Ammon Bundy Is Running to Be Idaho’s Next Governor

Mother Jones reporter Stephanie Mencimer has been following Ammon Bundy for years. He's the guy you'll remember who became a kind of folk hero on the far-right after he joined his father, rancher Cliven Bundy, in leading an armed standoff against the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada in 2014. Two years later, Ammon led the armed takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, which left one occupier dead. Bundy went to trial twice on criminal charges related to the standoffs but federal...


How Flint Closed the Gap Between Black and White Suffering Under COVID

As the Delta variant upended hope of returning to normal this summer, Mother Jones reporter Edwin Rios published a deeply reported story on Flint, Michigan, recounting how residents of this predominantly Black city have battled COVID-19 in spite of government distrust, neglect, and environmental catastrophe. But the pandemic isn’t Flint’s first crisis: In 2014, public officials implemented cost-cutting measures that led to dangerous concentrations of lead in the city’s water supply. Up to...


The Afghan Refugee Crisis Has Only Just Begun

Towards the end of 2020, Mother Jones’s editorial director Ian Gordon wrote a deeply reported story about how then-President Donald Trump took a broken asylum system and turned it into a machine of unchecked cruelty. America’s system for processing refugees and asylum seekers was effectively dead, he discovered, and the myth of national decency died with it. That the United States had long-standing commitments to asylum seekers under federal law and international agreements was of little...


The Metamorphosis of Kyrsten Sinema

Every time you read the news lately, there she is: in conversations about bipartisanship, the infrastructure deal, the filibuster, even the fate of Joe Biden's presidency itself. But who is Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona? And what does she want to accomplish with her outsized influence on the passage of basically any law through the Senate, with its razor thin margins? For this week’s installation of our Summer investigation series, Mother Jones senior reporter Tim Murphy takes a look at...


CNN’s Jake Tapper Says the Media Must Confront Republicans’ Big Lie

Jake Tapper has drawn a line: no “Big Lie” proponents on-air. The CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent won’t book Republican politicians touting the conspiracy theory that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from former President Donald Trump. But when he’s not in front of the camera, Tapper enjoys blurring the lines between fact and fiction by crafting novels about real-life figures like John F. Kennedy and Frank Sinatra. His latest book, The Devil May Dance, is a sequel to...


Escape From the Billionaire Meme Mogul

Sergey Grishin is a well-connected, billionaire mogul. Last August, he made headlines when he sold his lavish estate to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Grishin’s multiple US-based businesses include a social media company in California with more than 300 million Instagram followers, called 421 Media. But what those followers probably don’t know is that they’ve been helping to enrich a man who has been accused in court documents of harassing and abusing women. In fact, women in multiple...


Everything You're Getting Wrong About the Culture Wars

Everywhere you turned in the aftermath of the 2020 election, someone was arguing a hard line on cultural issues as an explanation for the outcome. The point was made by different commentators of at least outwardly different political persuasions, with different code words and different bogeys—feminists, socialists, wokeness. However they might have varied, these arguments all circled the same thesis: The members of the working class—by which is always meant the white working class and very...


Garry Trudeau on Lampooning Trump and Other Lessons from 5 Decades of Doonesbury

For five decades, Garry Trudeau has been writing what is one of the most important—and entertaining—comic strips in American history: Doonesbury. He started the strip in October, 1970 as a student at Yale. With its sharp-witted look at American politics and American life, it quickly became a phenomenon, eventually appearing in over 1,000 newspapers. He’s lampooned every president of the last half-century and has introduced us to scores of original and engaging characters. After the first...


Can America’s Problems Be Fixed By a President Who Loves Jon Meacham?

Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer who has spent the last two decades pounding out bestselling accounts of American presidents such as Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and George H.W. Bush. In June 2019, Joe Biden invited Meacham to Newark, Delaware, for a conversation about the biographer’s recent volume, The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels, a 416-page meditation on how enlightened political leaders, propelled by a civic-minded citizenry, have rescued...


A Special Summer Announcement from the Podcast Team

After three years of weekly episodes—that’s 181 shows, if you’re counting—the Mother Jones Podcast team has decided to switch things up for the next couple of months, as we, like you, emerge from a year that has thrown up enormous challenges, journalistically, politically, and personally. It’s time for Summer! We’ve always strived to bring you the very best of our newsroom, and that includes the deeply reported stories and characters that our journalists to life. So, starting soon, we’re...


The Insurrection Was a Giant Recruitment Exercise for Extremists

The deadly insurrection at the US Capitol wasn’t the start of something, nor was it the end. What happened on January 6 had been planned for weeks, and the ideology behind it, brewing for years. That day’s chaos was the moment in which a dangerous mix of far-right factions came together in a way that won’t be disentangled anytime soon. Even now, nearly five months later, there’s still so much to process and still so many questions to answer (especially as Republicans work to forget the...


Doctor, Lawyer, Insurrectionist: The Radicalization of Simone Gold

As we approach the five-month anniversary of the January 6 insurrection, the Republican Party has made one thing clear: They want to forget all about it—holding Trump and his big lie closer than ever. In the House, the party just kicked out a top leader, Rep. Liz Cheney, for calling out Trump’s lies and authoritarianism. Over in the Senate, Republicans are likely to stymie efforts to formalize a January 6 commission to investigate the attack. The GOP might be desperate to move on, but the...


Leaked Video: How a Dark Money Group Is Trying to Rig Our Elections

The right-wing dark money group Heritage Action for America claims to be the mastermind behind the recent fire hose of state-level voter suppression laws, a new Mother Jones scoop reveals. Mother Jones voting rights reporter Ari Berman joins Jamilah King to walk through the explosive video he obtained of Jessica Anderson, the head of Heritage Action and a former Trump administration official, bragging about having drafted and funded voter suppression legislation in eight battleground states:...


“We’re Torn Apart”: Inside India’s Worsening COVID Nightmare

A Mother Jones investigation has found that hundreds of visa workers are stuck in India with no way to get back to their families in the United States. India is the in the midst of a shocking COVID-19 crisis. Health officials are reporting approximately 400,000 new cases a day. Hospitals are experiencing shortages of beds, oxygen, and medical supplies. Deaths are projected to reach 1 million by August. Sinduja Rangarajan, Mother Jones’ Data and Interactives Editor, has reported that...


“Queen Sugar” Author Natalie Baszile: Black Farmers Can Help Save the Planet

Natalie Baszile knew she was onto something when she got the call from Oprah’s people. A novelist and food justice activist, Baszile had been working for years on a semi-autobiographical novel about a Los Angeles-based Black woman who is unexpectedly faced with reviving an inherited family farm in Louisiana. The book became “Queen Sugar,” was published in 2014 and, with Oprah’s backing, it debuted as a television series on OWN in 2016. It was executive produced by Oprah Winfrey herself and...


The Black Farmer Movement Battling History to Return to the Land

Agriculture was once a major source of wealth among the Black middle class in America. But over the course of a century, Black-owned farmland, and the corresponding wealth, has diminished almost to the point of near extinction; only 1.7 percent of farms were owned by Black farmers in 2017. The story of how that happened–from sharecropping, to anti-Black terrorism, to exclusionary USDA loans–is the focus of this episode on the Mother Jones Podcast. Tom Philpott, Mother Jones’ food and...