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With Friends Like These


Ana Marie Cox, political columnist and culture critic, sits down with liberals and conservatives, pastors, writers, activists, and other people you should know for an open, funny, in-depth conversation about what divides us - a show about listening instead of arguing.

Ana Marie Cox, political columnist and culture critic, sits down with liberals and conservatives, pastors, writers, activists, and other people you should know for an open, funny, in-depth conversation about what divides us - a show about listening instead of arguing.
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Ana Marie Cox, political columnist and culture critic, sits down with liberals and conservatives, pastors, writers, activists, and other people you should know for an open, funny, in-depth conversation about what divides us - a show about listening instead of arguing.




Turning Off The Gaslight

WNYC’s Rebecca Carroll [2:58] gives us her perspective on an aspect of #MeToo we should be talking about more: the denigration of black women. Also, if you thanked black women on Twitter for Doug Jones’ win in Alabama, you might want to listen in for some tips on how to put that support into concrete action. Then, [36:28] writer Amy Sullivan helps us unpack a listener question about abortion, religion and politics. Specifically: why hasn’t the Left followed the Right’s lead in framing...

Duration: 01:14:25

“Karma Is A Magnificent B*tch” w/ Diana Butler Bass and Rick Wilson

First, [3:17] author and theologian Diana Butler Bass (@dianabutlerbass) drops by to give us an explainer on the really long theological history behind Trump’s decision to proclaim Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and how that decision appeals specifically to members of his conservative evangelical base who believe in dispositional premillennialism (more popular than one might think). Diana and Ana conclude it is possible to change people’s minds on Armageddon. Then, [43:50] Ana checks in...

Duration: 01:12:39

"Scale of Awfulness" with Adam Serwer and Lizzie O’Leary

Adam Serwer (@AdamSerwer), senior editor at The Atlantic, joins Ana this week to discuss his latest piece unpacking the white nationalism of Trump voters. He argues a lot more people believe in white supremacy in America than we want to talk about, but says having that conversation is unavoidable. The discussion also draws parallels between white supremacy and patriarchy. Then, Lizzy O’Leary (@lizzieohreally) of Marketplace talks sexual harassment and bad behaviour — that “grey area” — in...

Duration: 01:20:35

BONUS EPISODE: “Sometimes a Loss is More Powerful than a Win”

In this special episode, Ana takes a field trip to Chicago to visit with a group of voters long misunderstood by the coastal elites but who played a pivotal role in the 2016 election: that’s right... Hillary voters. What makes them tick? Why do they have such affection for her? Will they continue to support her, no matter what? Also, we try to humanize them a bit: Hillary voters may seem different, but really, they’re just like you or me!

Duration: 00:28:06

“Families Are a Bag of Triggers” with John Moe

John Moe of “The Hilarious World of Depression” podcast (@johnmoe) returns to the show for a special Thanksgiving episode dedicated to self care. Ana and John share some coping mechanisms for those tough days, like setting boundaries and giving your anxiety a name. Two important reminders: you have worth, and it gets better. If you missed John last time he was on the pod, find that episode here: You can also listen to...

Duration: 01:09:09

“You’re Gonna Feel a Pinch” with Ira Madison III and Bob Inglis

First, [3:35] newest Crooked Media pod host Ira Madison III (@ira) drops by to talk about why “good men” should be prepared to lose something when it comes to facing and assessing their past behaviour, which includes acknowledging a system that has afforded white men so much success. Ira and Ana start by asking: should Al Franken resign? Then, [36:00] former South Carolina Republican congressman Bob Inglis (@bobinglis) is back to help us make sense of why many Evangelical Christians in...

Duration: 01:13:34

“She Has Absorbed So Much Of The $hit" with Rebecca Traister

This week, New York Mag writer and author Rebecca Traister (@rtraister) stops by to mark one year since the election of Donald Trump with an episode dedicated to Hillary Clinton. No, we don’t re-litigate her campaign or make jokes about Wisconsin. We do put in context the first female presidential candidate ever nominated by a major party, her life and her feminism — and help Ana, a self-described Hillary skeptic, make sense of some complicated feelings about the historic figure that is...

Duration: 01:10:22

“Platoon of Chicken$**t$"

First, [3:55] we check in with our pal Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) to discuss what the Mueller indictments mean for the future of Trump’s administration, the big question being: how much longer will Congressional Republicans continue to protect this president in the face of mounting evidence? Rick has a somewhat sunnier view than Ana on how things will play out. Then, [38:29] Elizabeth Bruenig (@ebruenig) stops by for a discussion about poverty and morality in relation to the GOP tax...

Duration: 01:05:33

“Post Office With Guns” with Jon Lovett and Nate Bethea

First, [3:10] Crooked Media’s Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) stops by to answer a listener’s question about the role of gay men in #metoo, which leads to an honest discussion about female vs. male leadership. Then, [19:40] we sit down with Afghanistan war veteran Nate Bethea (@inthesedeserts) to explore how progressives should situate themselves in relation to the military (spoiler: plenty of people who serve are leftists, if not as overtly so as right-leaning troops). We also ask, is it OK to...

Duration: 01:01:20

“Look In The Mirror” with Vann R. Newkirk II and Helen Rosner

We sit down with friend of the pod Vann R. Newkirk II (@fivefifths) to discuss how white people in America can do more to fight white supremacy, The System (tip: go out and talk to people who don’t look and sound like you). Helen Rosner (@hels) also joins us to help answer a listener question from a man who admits he’s committed a sexual assault of his own, where we ask, what's the other half of #metoo? Finally, we end with some positive musings about ethical porn. Find the pod on...

Duration: 01:11:47

“The Human Shock Doctrine hits Puerto Rico” w/ Naomi Klein and Jamil Smith

“The Human Shock Doctrine hits Puerto Rico” w/ Naomi Klein and Jamil Smith With a friend like the United States, does Puerto Rico need enemies? Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) stops by to discuss how the U.S. created the preconditions for the island’s *un*natural (very much man-made) disaster. And Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) helps answer a listener question about an awkward conversation at the office. Bonus mini-essay for listeners that make it all the way to the end. Find us on Twitter at...

Duration: 01:02:49

“A Novel and Disturbing Place” w/ Sam Sinyangwe and Rick Wilson

First, [4:10] Sam Sinyangwe (@samswey) joins us to talk about how media coverage of the Las Vegas massacre largely ignored America’s long history of mass shootings, including the deadliest mass shooting ever, perpetrated by white supremacists. You can read Sam’s tweets about the topic here: We also discuss why gun control policies need to be conscious of race and racism, and why mixing sports and politics continues to be a good...

Duration: 01:24:16

“Can’t Countenance the Bullshit Anymore” w/ Michael Steele

Former RNC chairman Michael Steele (@MichaelSteele) joins us for a live conversation from the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin, Tx. We discuss why Steele no longer recognizes the Republican party [10:00], whether he sees Trump as an existential threat to American democracy [43:00], and why those three words “We The People” mean so much to him [50:40]. Another genuine With Friend Like This, Steele is also the former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland and a current political analyst on...

Duration: 01:20:34

“A Brick Through The Overton Window" w/ Timothy Faust

This week we get more Weedsy than The Weeds about America’s uniquely fucked up health care system with single-payer activist and Chapo wonk Timothy Faust (@crulge), an incredibly fun and energetic tour of health care with two people who curse a lot. First, how we got here (Otto von Bismarck comes up); then, why the latest GOP attempt to repeal Obamacare is their worst yet; and finally, an examination of Bernie Sanders’ “refreshingly ambitious” Medicare For All bill — prefaced with a...

Duration: 01:17:25

"Too Tired to be Angry" w/ Rembert Browne

A conversation with writer Rembert Browne (@rembert) [1:21]on how his “write-around” profile of football player Colin Kaepernick (Bleacher Report) became a piece about this moment in America — and why the stakes are too high to avoid the uncomfortable conversations needed to change it. You can read that very good piece here: Also relevant to the discussion:...

Duration: 01:12:38

“Nothing messier than sex” with Kim Cavill

This week, sex education instructor Kim Cavill (@sexposparenting) is back on the pod to answer your (adult) questions about perhaps the messiest coalition of all: sex. We discuss when and how to talk to your kids about porn [2:46], what to do if a friend tells you they’ve experienced a sexual assault [56:13], plus the importance of asking for what you want [64:57]. Kim’s website, Tea and Intimacy, is at If you have had experience with any kind of sexual...

Duration: 01:20:26

“We Act Like It’ll Never Happen” w/ Neena Satija and Jon Lovett

First, [2:15] a conversation with Neena Satija (@neenareports) from Houston, about Harvey and the choice to not prepare for catastrophic events. Second, [32:04] Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) helps field a listener question! And then [49:00] we talk about Game of Thrones as a metaphor for climate change. Lastly: [59:03] A short reflection on the Nashville Statement and attempts by Christians to dehumanize and deny our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. We want to hear from you! Tweet us at...

Duration: 01:03:33

One God, Under Trump w/ Jack Jenkins and Parker Malloy

First [5:35], why aren’t evangelicals turning on the decidedly ungodly Trump? Jack Jenkins (@jackmjenkins), religion editor at Think Progress, explains how Christian nationalism has fused with Trumpism to create an unbreakable (?) bond. Second [43:06], Parker Malloy, (@ParkerMolloy), from Upworthy, joins to talk about the re-animation of the “trans ban” and why it matters beyond the military. Also, responding to a listener who asked about the ways one can help in the fight against bigotry...

Duration: 01:15:46

"Are you going to join the fight?”

The aftermath of Charlottesville, considered from the right and the left. First [4:36] , Naval War College professor Tom Nichols (@radiofreetom) helps us understand how our enemies and allies abroad will interpret Charlottesville and Trump’s response to it. We also argue about whether it’s helpful, politically speaking, to connect the modern GOP to white supremacy. Then Jane Coaston (@cjane87, MTV NEWS FOREVER!) hops on the line [48:46] to argue that Trump’s defense of white supremacy was...

Duration: 01:28:15

“Keep it” with Kat Rosenfield and Ira Madison III

This week’s episode is a dive into the intra-left culture wars: Who is sufficiently woke, and who gets to tell what stories (about whom)? Segment A [1:31]: New York magazine writer Kat Rosenfield (@katrosenfield) discusses her piece on “The Toxic Drama on YA Twitter” (link below). Segment B [30:32]: Culture critic for The Daily Beast and GQ and #friendofthepod Ira Madison III (@ira) joins to help us figure out what parts of the YA debate are helpful, and how it is and isn’t like the...

Duration: 01:09:17

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