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The Nation Podcasts


Here's where to find podcasts from The Nation. Political talk without the boring parts, featuring the writers, activists and artists who shape the news.Start Making Sense hosted by Jon Wiener, Edge of Sports hosted by Dave Zirin, The Time of Monsters hosted by Jeet Heer.


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Here's where to find podcasts from The Nation. Political talk without the boring parts, featuring the writers, activists and artists who shape the news.Start Making Sense hosted by Jon Wiener, Edge of Sports hosted by Dave Zirin, The Time of Monsters hosted by Jeet Heer.








Edge of Sports: Why the NBA World Lost Its Joy

On this episode of Edge of Sports, we speak to Michael Lee of the Washington Post about why this has been the most dispiriting NBA season in recent history. We don’t just catalog the moments, though. We also try to understand the underlying issues. We have Choice Words about the late Willis Reed, and what his life meant for the New York Knicks as well as the city. We have a Just Stand Up awards for the Maryland Terrapins lady women’s team that went on a great tourney run. We also have a...


Start Making Sense: Low-Paid Workers Strike and Win in LA; Minor League Baseball Players Form a Union

In Los Angeles last week, a three-day strike by 30,000 public school custodians, food service workers, bus drivers and teacher's aides ended with a 30% pay increase. Harold Meyerson, the editor-at-large of The American Prospect, joins the podcast to discuss. Also: For a century, thousands of young baseball players have lived with low wages, overcrowded housing, and all-night rides in uncomfortable buses in order to play in baseball’s minor leagues, hoping to eventually make it to the...


The Time of Monsters: Trump Is Still GOP Top Dog

On this episode of The Time of Monsters, Alex Shephard discusses why Ron DeSantis and other rivals are faltering. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is the preferred Trump foe of the Republican establishment. Both the donor class and media outlets (notably those owned by Rupert Murdoch) have rallied around DeSantis as a figure who can unite the party by adopting the policies of Donald Trump but without Trump’s embarrassing personal flaws. But their theory of Ron Santis isn’t working out: he’s...


Start Making Sense: Katha Pollitt on Women in 2023, plus Christian Appy on Protest in 1969

American women in 2023: the news is bad, but it’s not all bad. Katha Pollitt is on the Start Making Sense podcast to explain. Also: the largest anti-war demonstrations in American history were the protests in the fall of 1969--with more than two million people in the streets demanding “End the War in Vietnam.” But did those demonstrations help end the war? Historian Chris Appy comments on the new documentary, “The Movement and the ‘Madman,’” out on PBS American Experience March...


The Time of Monsters: New Fronts on the Abortion Fight

Last year, the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision. This has only emboldened the anti-choice movement. Those who hoped that abortion would at least be safe in blue states and kept available in red states via mifepristone are waking up to a world where the anti-choice movement is using legal warfare to move towards its goal of a nation-wide abortion ban. As Moira Donegan notes in a recent column in The Guardian, a...


Edge of Sports: Ja Morant On The Edge

On this episode of the Edge of Sports podcast, we speak to Daily Memphian columnist Chris Herrington about the personal troubles of Memphis Grizzlies point guard and budding icon Ja Morant. We talk about the Grizzlies, the city of Memphis, and what’s next for the superstar point guard. We have Choice Words about the MVP debate going on between Embiid, Jokic, and Giannis. We also have a Just Stand Up award to Lamar Jackson for standing on his principle, and a Just Sit Down award for the NFL...


Start Making Sense: John Nichols on Banks and Regulations, plus Gregg Gonsalves on Masks and Covid

Since the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank last week, we need to understand how and why medium-sized banks have been allowed to avoid strict supervision from federal banking authorities and avoid safety requirements. John Nichols comments. Also: Do masks work to help stop the spread of COVID-19? A New York Times columnist recently said that they don’t, and cited an authoritative review of research as his source. But it turns he was wrong about that study. Gregg...


The Time of Monsters: Havana Syndrome and the Psychosomatic Empire

The good news is we have one less thing to worry about: so-called Havana Syndrome turns out not to be caused by a mysterious super-weapon to harm American diplomats and military personnel, despite numerous press reports warning of a hypothetical ray gun created by a foreign foe (Cuba? Russia? China?). Instead, an assessment by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) concluded that the symptoms of Havana Syndrome, reported by hundreds of government officials working all over the world)...


Edge of Sports: Hooked On Women's Hoops with Kate Fagan

On this episode of the Edge of Sports podcast, we speak to author and sports opinionist Kate Fagan about her new illustrated history of the women in basketball, Hoop Muses: An Insider’s Account to Pop Culture and the (Women’s Game). The book is illustrated by Sophia Chang and curated by the legendary hoopster Seimone Augustus. Fagan and I talk about her inspiration, creative process and what it was like working with Seimone Augustus. We'll have Choice Words about the effort to ban trans...


Start Making Sense: Ron DeSantis says ‘The Left Made Me Do It”; plus our Oscar preview with John Powers

Ron DeSantis has written a political autobiography, “The Courage to be Free.” The Nation's DC Bureau Chief, Chris Lehmann calls it “a paranoid rant disguised as campaign memoir.” Chris joins us on this episode of Start Making Sense to discuss it. Also: Sunday is Oscar night in America and, as usual, we have a lot of complaints about the nominations. So does John Powers, Critic at Large on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. We talk about this year’s films we didn’t like – and some we thought...


The Time of Monsters: Fox News and the Quicksand of Lies

The ongoing defamation suit launched by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News for its coverage of the 2020 election has already resulted in the release of an eye-opening tranche of documents that give an unprecedented window into the inner workings of the TV network. As National columnist Chris Lehmann has noted, the major revelation is how completely beholden the network is to its right-wing base, to the extent of knowingly pushing false stories to please that audience. On this episode...


Start Making Sense: Saree Makdisi on Israelis and Palestinians; Kimberlé Crenshaw on the Battle over Black Studies

Israel’s new far-right government, headed, again, by Benjamin Netanyahu, is working to undermine democracy for Israelis and advance Israel’s annexation of Palestinian land. Provocations by Israel in the West Bank have been followed by settler pogroms against Palestinian villages. Saree Makdisi provides comment and analysis of how Israel is “destroying the fantasies of liberal Zionism.” Also: the worst thing that happened to...


Start Making Sense: John Nichols on the Most Important Election Before 2024, plus Gregg Gonsalves on the End of the Covid Emergency

The most important election of 2023 is in Wisconsin next month, where voters can change the state's supreme court and end domination by conservatives. They’ve banned abortion and enforced the worst gerrymandering in the nation. John Nichols joins the show to talk about the results of Tuesday's primary, which look good for Democrats. Also on this week's episode: COVID remains the number 3 cause of death in the US, after heart disease and cancer, with almost 3,000 deaths every week. However,...


Start Making Sense: Black history banned in Florida; “The Crown” and the Royal Family: Robin Kelley on Ron DeSantis, plus Gary Younge on the monarchy

Black history, banned in Florida—and excluded from the College Board’s recommended AP Black Studies course. UCLA professor Robin Kelley will comment on that – he’s one of the historians whose work has been targeted. Also: "The 1619 Project" on Hulu. Also: the Royal Family and “The Crown”– you know, Queen Elizabeth and Charles and Diana, and the Netflix series about them. Gary Younge explains why he loathes the monarchy in Britain, but loved “The Crown” on Netflix. Advertising Inquiries:...


Start Making Sense: QAnon & the Republicans, Ireland & the Irish: Chris Lehmann on politics, plus Fintan O’Toole on his ‘personal history’

“The government, media, and financial worlds in the U.S. are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation”—that’s QAnon’s crazy idea, and 30 million Americans say they mostly agree. Chris Lehmann comments. Also: Fintan O’Toole’s personal history of Ireland since the fifties: how a country dominated by a corrupt Catholic church came to legalize gay marriage and abortion -- by referendum. His much-honored ‘personal history’ of Ireland,...


Start Making Sense: The Constitutional Solution to the Debt Limit Crisis, plus Victor Navasky Remembered

House Republicans are refusing to raise the debt limit, threatening that the US will default on its bond payments. But the Constitution has the solution for President Biden -- that’s what historian Eric Foner says. He joins the podcast to shed light on a little-known section of the 14 Amendment. Also on this episode, we’re still thinking about Victor Navasky, who died on Jan. 23. He was editor or publisher of The Nation for 27 years, starting in 1978, and author of several books, including...


Start Making Sense: How to Defeat Kyrsten Sinema; Universal Basic Income in L.A.: Steve Phillips on politics, Sasha Abramsky on poverty

Kyrsten Sinema, the Arizona senator who quit the Democratic Party in December, is up for reelection next year, and will be challenged by progressive Democrat Ruben Gallego. Steve Phillips points to evidence that her chances of reelection are poor. His new book, “How We Win the Civil War,” has a chapter on Arizona politics. Also: What if government provided a basic income to all residents? Something like $1000 a month? How much could that change inequality and poverty? Sasha Abramsky reports...


Start Making Sense: Abortion rights battles return in the 2023 elections; plus wages at Walmart

Abortion rights voters are reshaping politics in the coming political season—starting with a special election to the Virginia State Senate. Also: the most important election of 2023 is for the open seat on the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. John Nichols explains. Also: Walmart is the biggest employer in America, and the Walton family, the children of Walmart founder Sam Walton, is the richest family in the world. The company has raised wages and become more socially conscious-but it...


Start Making Sense: Fintan O’Toole on the Next Insurrection; Katha Pollitt on “She Said”

If you were planning a future coup, what could you learn from the failure of Trump’s efforts on January 6? Fintan O’Toole says it would need a better story – not attacking Congress, but “defending democracy.” He teaches at Princeton, and is the author most recently of We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland. Also: Who’d want to see a movie about Harvey Weinstein? But the film “She Said,” about the two New York Times reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein story, is...


Nelson Lichtenstein's Post-Mortem on the UC Strike and Andrew Bacevich on America’s “Very Long War”

Teaching Assistants and other grad student employees at the University of California won a historic victory in their strike last month. What does that mean for other universities and other union organizing campaigns? Nelson Lichtenstein joins the show to comment. Also this week, Andrew Bacevich talks about our “very long war” going back to the sixties, and the relative insignificance of Donald Trump. Bacevich's new book is On Shedding an Obsolete Past: Bidding Farewell to the American...