Wednesday, August 07, 2013

My Podcast List


About a month ago, I asked for some suggestions on podcasts from my Facebook and Twitter followers. The response was underwhelming. All is not in vain. I now have something to write about.

I'm not going to go to a lot of trouble linking these things. I assume everyone has a different way to get podcasts. I use a program on my iPhone called Downcast and I'm guessing you don't. I'm sure you'll figure out how to get these on your device.

The Rachel Maddow Show -- Still, far and away my favorite daily podcast. Rachel will occasionally drone on a little too long on the gay thing, but she's usually right about whatever it is she's droning on about. And if she's wrong, she admits it with a wit, sense of grace and honesty that is all too rare. Basically, I don't always agree with her but I like her even when I think she's wrong. And she isn't wrong very often. She's usually ahead of the pack.

MarketPlace -- Kai Ryssdal is my idea of the perfect host. I don't know why. He just has a great voice and a great style. He's normally LA-laid-back but he can bite when someone deserves it. I'm not really into money but I know I should keep up with it. Kai makes it easy. He's also an ex-Naval aviator. If you listen close, you'll occasionally hear it.

Fareed Zakaria's Global Public Square -- Now we're starting to get a little more serious. Fareed's expertise is foreign affairs and he interviews people from all over the globe. It's what I love best about his show -- he brings in experts from other countries to discuss global issues, including America. He can get anybody -- Henry Kissenger, Bill Gates, Wen Jiabao -- but it's the guys you've never heard of before that fascinate me.

I think Fareed works a little too hard to stay in the center of politics but I respect him for it. I don't see a false equivalence that you hear so much about. I perceive that he works very hard at not letting the crazies enjoy any legitimacy.

Bill Moyers & Company -- Embrace your inner liberal. Bill Moyers (for the young folks) was LBJ's White House Press Secretary. Seriously, how liberal can you be if you were working for a guy from Texas 50 years ago? And yet, Bill is considered one of the true liberals of our time. I consider him great. He appeals to our better angels and he's very, very good at it. I hope you'll give him a try. These other podcasts will make you smarter. Bill Moyers will make you better.

NPR: TED Radio Hour Podcast -- These are radio versions of the famous TED talks. I'm not sold on the format. But I'm sold on TED Talks. The podcast isn't a bad way to find out about them.

The RSA -- Pay dirt. These are my new favorites. The RSA is The Royal Society of Arts (and various other things.) I'd bet this is where the idea for TED Talks came from but that's just a guess. The talks are very British so they may be a little tough to follow. But it's a very smart audience and they act as if liberals are as natural as the Sun rising in the East. I've already picked one out for you to try.

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History -- It's the history they should have taught you in high school and college...except you didn't know enough to appreciate it. It's seriously fascinating stuff and the guy is really into telling a story. But I'm a history nut. Some folks may be overwhelmed with 4 hours of Cuba/USA relations. I thought it was great.

This American Life -- It's only the most popular podcast is America. As I've said before, I'm a slow learner. It's quirky. It's brilliant. You'll like it. Everybody does.

I've got a few others I'm trying out but I'm running out of time. I rarely listen to the radio anymore. I now listen to podcasts when I'm driving. Or walking. Or just waiting around. If you've never tried them, I encourage you to do so. They cover every topic under the sun. And best of all, most are commercial free.

Don Brown
August 7, 2013

1 comment:

drydiggins said...

Thanks for the reminder about podcasts. I've gotten out of the habit.