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Podfather Reviews: Get political with these politics podcasts

Just like a nice glass of red wine pairs well with a steak, radio and podcasts pair well with politics. 

Before podcasts even existed, conservatives have used radio talk shows to broadcast their views across the country to reach millions of listeners — particularly Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. 

And now with podcasts, hundreds of popular shows with liberal viewpoints are popping up —
some say because of the Trump presidency — with one VICE News reporter proclaiming podcasts are becoming the “left-wing talk radio.” 

That doesn’t mean conservatives are planning on missing out with podcasts either, with the Ricochet Podcast Network launching in late 2016. But no matter what your political leaning is, there’s a podcast out there for you. 

There’s too many to count, to be honest. Here’s a few I took a listen to this week:

“Pod Save America” 

Considering this podcast is one of the more popular ones, I was surprised I didn’t listen to this show earlier. 

This show is hosted by four former aides to former President Barack Obama – Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor – where they promise a “no-bull---- conversation about politics.”

The show is primarily interview-based, bringing on a variety of guests, from reporters like NBC’s Katy Tur to a sampling of Democratic politicians. And for someone who wants to hear genuine insight from all sorts of important people involved in liberal politics, this show delivers.

One can easily tell the hosts know each other well from how banter goes back and forth between the hosts. But not only that, the authentic commentary the hosts are able to get from guests is compelling. 

Just recently, the show had 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on to talk about her new book, What Happened. It probably helped that the guest and hosts all had similar political leanings, but the interview felt like the listener was sitting in on authentic banter among friends. 

The conversation felt real, which can be hard to capture.

Rating: 4 out of 5 earbuds

“Uncommon Knowledge”

This podcast was originally a public-television TV series produced in California in the early 2000s, but it was revived as a webcast and podcast in 2008 by the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. 

Supported by many conservative think-tanks and foundations, this podcast brings on conservative scholars and politicians, like Carly Fiorina, to give varying right-wing perspectives on the issues of the day.

And while this podcast can be as dry as stale bread, it’s one of the most educational podcasts for conservative opinion out there.

For as reactionary and explosive as some political talk show hosts can be, it’s almost refreshing to hear something that’s anything but. The host, Peter Robinson, is a fantastic interviewer presenting his guests with questions that not only provide more understanding to their views but also challenge them. 

I would rate this show higher, but stale bread isn’t really a delicacy. 

Rating: 3 out of 5 earbuds

“NPR Politics Podcast”

If you’re a politics junkie that hasn’t heard of this podcast yet, I would be shocked. It’s one of the best political “round-up” podcasts out there, and the insight NPR’s politics reporters provide is invaluable.

Usually, the hosts will post a new show a few times a week analysing news from the past couple of days, with a news “round-up” at the end of the week.

But during the months going up to the November 2016 election, the hosts would put on late-night podcasts at 2 a.m. after crucial presidential debates and other important events. These political journalists are dedicated. 

And backed with great sound producers from NPR, the experience is one of my more favorite listens out there. So for podcast listeners wanting a more routine fix for their politics addiction, this would be the place to go. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 earbuds

Liam Niemeyer is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What are your favorite political podcasts? Let Liam know by tweeting him @liamniemeyer.

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