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The best political podcasts to listen to in 2022

Let’s not beat around the bush: The subject of politics is pretty confusing at the moment. Everything seems highly charged, opinions and beliefs are colliding with each other from almost every direction, and it’s becoming increasingly hard to disentangle truth from spin, misrepresentation, and downright misinformation. Fortunately, there is a growing range of political podcasts to listen to, and some of them offer diverse perspectives to help you form your opinions. This is why we’ve put together a list of the best political podcasts you can listen to right now to help you cut through the noise.

Also, check out our articles on the best podcasts and the best music podcasts if you’re interested in more than just politics.

The NPR Politics Podcast

The NPR Politics Podcast logo.
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Here’s a podcast for anyone who wants a digest of the latest political news and goings-on but doesn’t have enough time to read a newspaper or watch an entire news broadcast. Every weekday, NPR’s team of political journalists and reporters take about 15 minutes of your time to explain and unpack mostly U.S. political news. The format is accessible, yet the hosts manage to provide enough important information for you to be left with a better understanding of what’s going on.

The NPR Politics Podcast

Left, Right & Center

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Aiming to provide more of a balanced approach to political discussion, Left, Right & Center is a weekly podcast assembled by Los Angeles radio station KCRW. Hosted by Josh Barro, Rich Lowry, and a range of special guests, the podcast takes a debate format, with the hosts aiming to analyze the most important political news from a variety of viewpoints. Recent topics include abortion, Ukraine, elections, and gun violence.

Apple Podcasts RSS

Pod Save America

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Pod Save America describes itself as a no-nonsense (we won’t use the term they actually use) conversation about politics. Rather than being hosted by political reporters or “everywoman/everyman” type presenters, it’s chaired by former Obama aides Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer, and Tommy Vietor, who are able to shine a more specialized light on political events. New episodes are published every Tuesday and Thursday, with the hosts being joined by a range of journalists, academics, and politicians to discuss politics in greater depth than you might find elsewhere.

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

Democracy Now

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Hosted by investigative journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Democracy Now! aims to expose corporate and government abuses of power while covering important stories of ordinary people cooperating in order to achieve political change. New episodes are produced on a daily basis, with the hosts’ analysis of events being supplemented by in-depth interviews with people at the heart of each story. Recent topics include the pandemic, climate crisis, trauma, rail strike, and Trump.

Apple Podcasts  Spotify

In the Thick

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Here’s a podcast that covers politics from more diverse perspectives. Its hosts are all journalists of color who use their backgrounds to highlight and illuminate what’s missing from mainstream news coverage on the sensitive topics of race, identity, and politics few people are discussing. They invite an interesting mix of guests to cover a wide range of issues so you learn something new with every listen. Recent topics include Hurricane Fiona, immigration policy, reproductive health equity, the Black Lives Matter movement, and Queen Elizabeth II’s passing.

In The Thick Apple Podcasts Spotify

Slow Burn

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Produced by Slate, Slow Burn is for listeners who want to catch up on past political events they may have missed or not fully understood. It gets really in-depth, spending entire seasons looking at such watershed political moments as Watergate, the Clinton impeachment, and the rise and fall of David Duke. These all may be in the past, but Slow Burn does a good job of highlighting their relevance and showing how they’ve shaped politics today.

Apple Podcasts Spotify

TrueAnon

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Originally launched as a podcast focusing on the Jeffrey Epstein case, TrueAnon has quickly become a favorite among politically-minded listeners of a more left-wing orientation. Hosted by the bantering Liz Franczak and Brace Belden, each episode (or series of episodes) tends to focus on a political story or issue in the present or recent past, with the hosts being joined by expert guests who help put things in a wider context. Previous podcasts have focused on the World Economic Forum, Julian Assange, the 2019 Bolivian election, 9/11, and more.

Apple Podcasts Patreon

Gaslit Nation

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Hosted by writers Sarah Kendzior (View from Flyover Country) and Andrea Chalupa, Gaslit Nation is a political podcast that looks to dig under the surface of political stories, finding out what is really driving recent events and issues. Its hosts have backgrounds in researching and reporting on authoritarian states, and they accordingly concentrate much of their time on the abuses of power.

Apple Podcasts Spotify   Stitcher   TuneIn

Citations Needed

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Here’s a political podcast that casts its net wider than formal politics, looking at how the media and PR industry shape, create, and maintain political power. It’s hosted by Nima Shirazi and Adam Johnson, who are joined by a range of specialists, advisers, and academics to discuss a particular issue each week. Recent episodes have focused on the labor union depictions in Hollywood, inflation, and issues in the world of education.

Citations Needed Apple Podcasts Spotify

Rational Security

Rational Security best political podcasts logo.
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If you consider yourself a political “nerd,” then Rational Security may be the political podcast for you. Produced by the Lawfare Institute, it focuses mostly on national security and foreign policy news with Scott R. Anderson, Quinta Jurecic, and Alan Rozenshtein. It comes out once a week, which each episode concentrating on a particular issue or event, which is explained and analyzed in rigorous depth by the panel of scholars and assorted guests.

Apple Podcasts   Spotify   Stitcher

Intercepted

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You may have heard of The Intercept, an investigative news site that’s most well-known for covering stories on national security leaks. Well, it has its own weekly podcast, Intercepted, which takes a closer look at political issues making (or not making) the headlines each week. The podcast is hosted by The Intercept’s co-founder, Jeremy Scahill, but features a range of notable guests and experts, including Naomi Klein. Recent episodes focused on refugees, war, and global affairs.

The Intercept Apple Podcasts Spotify

Slate Political Gabfest

Political Gabfest podcast logo.
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Voted “Favorite Political Podcast” by Apple Podcasts listeners, Slate’s Political Gabfest is a weekly political news roundup that combines close analysis with a smattering of good humor. Hosts David Plotz, John Dickerson, and Emily Bazelon focus predominantly on domestic U.S. politics, with their irreverent discussions providing a wider context on the political news making the headlines.

Apple Podcasts Spotify

The Weeds

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Another political podcast for self-professed “wonks,” Vox’s The Weeds delves into the finer details of policy and political events. New episodes are posted every Tuesday, with Dylan Matthews, Jerusalem Demsas, Dara Lind, and others pointing a magnifying glass at important national issues, covering healthcare, immigration, housing, and pretty much everything else.

Apple Podcasts Spotify

Editors' Recommendations

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Simon Chandler
Simon Chandler is a journalist based in London, UK. He covers technology and finance, contributing to such titles as Digital…
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