The Mother Jones Podcast

By Mother Jones

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Each episode will go deep on a big story you’ll definitely want to hear more about. We’ll share with you our best investigations (think private prisons, electoral skullduggery, Dark Money, and Trump's Russia connections), and informative interviews with our reporters and newsmakers. We're hoping to make your week more informed with the stories that really matter, told by us, the folks you trust for smart, fearless, reporting.

Episode Date
Voting Has Never Been Harder—or More Important

On this week’s show: Everything you need to know about the fierce, multi-pronged attack on your vote in November—and how to fight back. Spoiler alert: it’s urgent, with glimmers of hope. Mother Jones voting rights reporter Ari Berman tells you which races to keep an eye on. Also on the show: An interview with Washington Governor, Jay Inslee, perpetual thorn in Trump’s side. We ask him to describe his playbook for forcefully taking on the President of the United States—in court and in person. (And what former president Barack Obama’s basketball game is really like.) All that, and a bunch of brainy environmental experts join us on stage for a live event about how to turn climate despair into hope.

Sep 19, 2018
The Viruses That Could Save Us All

On this week's show, a love story wrapped in a medical mystery—with a Cold War twist. Tom Patterson, a psychologist, was dying from a seemingly unstoppable superbug infection. For months, world-class doctors threw everything at him but nothing worked. That's when his wife, Steffanie Strathdee, an epidemiologist, began considering an unconventional treatment: phage therapy. Science journalist Maryn McKenna joins host Jamilah King, along with Tom and Steffanie, to recount Tom's incredible journey to the brink of death and back, and this fascinating field of medical science we're only just beginning to understand. Also on the show, Mother Jones DC bureau chief David Corn follows Trump's money: what's the deal with that failed Russian hotel bid during the 2016 election? 

Sep 12, 2018
The Mind-Boggling Private Prison Comeback

On this week's episode, Mother Jones senior reporter Shane Bauer reports on the surging profits of the private prison industry thanks to Trump. More than two-thirds of all immigration detainees are held by private prison companies, and nine of the 10 largest immigrant detention centers in the United States are privately operated. Bauer traces the history of the second-largest for-profit prison company in the country, CoreCivic, to its surprising roots. Also on the show, MoJo staff writer Stephanie Mencimer brings you the latest from Day One of the raucous Senate confirmation hearings for conservative Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Sep 05, 2018
America's Rage-Inducing Student Debt Machine

On this week’s show: How the nation’s flagship loan forgiveness program is failing the very people it’s supposed to help. You'll hear the disturbing firsthand account of how the mismanaged Public Service Loan Forgiveness has left one participant swimming in debt (even though she’s kept up with payments) and what you can do to protect yourself. Plus, DC Bureau Chief David Corn tries to make sense of that bizarre Roger Stone video on Instagram.

Aug 29, 2018
Cohen, Guilty. Manafort, Guilty. Now What?

Two top Trump-world figures in disgrace. This week, twin legal developments rocked the presidency: Trump's former campaign boss Paul Manafort was found guilty of tax and bank fraud, and his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations while implicating the president in a crime. MoJo’s DC bureau chief David Corn tells you what happens next. Also on the show: Kansas City mayoral candidate Jason Kander talks to Mother Jones Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery about his new memoir, "Outside the Wire"—and one of the best Twitter comebacks we’ve ever seen. And finally, MoJo’s Ben Dreyfuss chats with the author of another new book, “Obama: An Oral History,” Brian Abrams, about how to judge the Obama years, now that we know what comes next. Three fascinating conversations about where America has been, and where it's going.

Aug 22, 2018
Parkland Teens Are Throwing Everything at the Midterms

Six months ago, a group of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, changed the way America talks about guns. Before Parkland, it was relatively safe for many Democrats to oppose gun reform, but now they—and even some Republicans—are coming under intense scrutiny ahead of the midterm elections. To mark the anniversary, Mother Jones was given rare access to top student leaders, including David Hogg and Jaclyn Corin, at a critical moment in their movement—to discuss what they've learned, and what's next. In this episode, we travel to Newtown, Connecticut, as activists stage their final rally in a nationwide voter-recruitment drive. And we host an exclusive, intimate roundtable about the pressures of being held up as "superheroes" or "saviors."

Aug 15, 2018
Putin Is Hacking America on Trump's Watch

The midterm elections are in serious danger of being hacked. Why has the White House and its GOP allies in Congress done so little to combat the threat? On this week's episode, reporters Pema Levy and AJ Vicens discuss their new investigation into the escalating danger Russia poses to the 2018 elections. Also on the show, MoJo DC bureau chief David Corn breaks down the biggest misconception about Robert Mueller's endgame.

Aug 08, 2018
Ben Carson’s War on Fair Housing

During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump asked black voters, "What do you have to lose?" This Illinois town found out. Mother Jones reporter Tim Murphy shares the tragic story of how one neglected community got caught up in Ben Carson's crusade against fair housing—a confrontation generations in the making. Also on the show: DC bureau boss David Corn gives you the lowdown on the first day of the Manafort fraud trial, and assesses the odds that Trump's former campaign chief will cut a deal to save his skin.

Aug 01, 2018
#MeToo Heads to Church

As a teen, Emily Joy was abused by a church youth leader. Now, she’s leading a movement to change Evangelical America. MoJo's Becca Andrews tells host Jamilah King how #ChurchToo has opened the floodgates and forced a long-awaited reckoning. Also on the show: How Trump is making sure solar's bright future is being written in Mandarin. As Trump ransacks America's clean energy policy, the Chinese are gaining on the West in the most important arena of all: innovation. Jeffrey Ball, an energy expert and lecturer at Stanford Law School, talks about his new investigation for Mother Jones. Finally, our Washington Bureau Chief David Corn gives you the latest on the Russia Investigation—including a preview of the upcoming trial of Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign boss.

Jul 25, 2018
Rev. William Barber Is Fighting Like Hell for Democracy

Tune in for a special, fiery conversation between Mother Jones senior reporter Ari Berman and The Reverend William Barber. Recorded at a live event in Berkeley, California, they discuss how Barber’s movement has built a progressive coalition in the South, how to stand up against inequality and voter suppression, and why the fight isn’t just about President Donald Trump. We also hear from folks in the audience about the messages they’re taking home with them—and what they’re inspired to do next. Follow us on Twitter: @MoJoPodcast.

Jul 18, 2018
Can Violent Racists Kick Their Addiction to Hate?

Shane Johnson was born into the Ku Klux Klan—now he works to convince others not to join hate groups. How did he get out? And what can we learn from his story?

Mother Jones senior editor Wes Enzinna shares exclusive audio from his interviews with the former KKK leader. It's a fascinating conversation that explores the difficulties of leaving hate groups and how violent extremism can be similar to addiction.

Later in this episode, DC Bureau Chief David Corn explains why President Donald Trump's behavior makes him feel like we're in the "upside down world in Stranger Things." Plus he gives us a big update in the Russia investigationand it doesn't bode well for Trump.

Follow us on Twitter: @MoJoPodcast.

Jul 11, 2018
Who Gets to Make America

A show about immigration, art, and the hidden history of the national anthem. Rapper-turned-director Boots Riley joins host Jamilah King to talk about his debut film, the dystopian comedy, "Sorry to Bother You." At the southern border, Mother Jones reporter Noah Lanard exposes the government's new tactic to prolong family separation. And on this special Fourth of July episode, the Star-Spangled Banner as you've never heard it played before—and its story of racial injustice. Follow us on Twitter: @MoJoPodcast.

Jul 04, 2018
Nightmare at the Border

As the nation reels from the sounds of crying migrant children separated from parents at the border, the Mother Jones Podcast turns to those who are desperately waiting for answers. Texas Tribune investigative reporter Neena Satija takes you to the international bridge between the US and Mexico where asylum seekers are forced to mark time, sometimes for days, struggling to find loved ones missing in the system. Meanwhile, one of Trump’s most contentious policies is here to stay: Mother Jones reporter Pema Levy breaks down this week's Travel Ban decision from the Supreme Court. We reconnect with Anthony, featured in Episode 3, to find out what the ruling means for him and his boyfriend, Reza, an Iranian refugee who had to flee the country when the police found out he was gay. Also in this week’s show, we hear from our LGBTQ listeners about which TV and movie characters they thought were queer (even when the writers didn't intend them to be.) Follow us on Twitter: @MoJoPodcast.

Jun 27, 2018
Dan Pfeiffer Tries to Save America

Dan Pfeiffer, one of the most influential political voices from the Obama White House, has a plan to fight back. In this week's episode, the former White House communications chief talks about his new book, "Yes We (Still) Can," which elaborates on the lessons he learned about the far right during the Obama years, and how progressives can get their message out in today’s fractured media environment. He should know: As one of the hosts of the popular podcast, "Pod Save America," Pfeiffer offers insights, humor, and some measure of solace during these dark political times. Here, he talks with MoJo's DC Bureau Chief David Corn about how Obama can’t save us, what we can do now to fight disinformation, and how mainstream Republicans aided Trump’s rise.

Jun 20, 2018
Strippers, Guns, and Cash: Selling Painkillers in America

The historic nuclear summit. Mother Jones DC bureau chief David Corn explains why President Trump's Singapore appearance was one of the worst days of his presidency. Also on the show: MoJo's Julia Lurie talks with host Jamilah King about her exclusive reporting on recently unsealed whistleblower lawsuits alleging scandalous tactics by a pharmaceutical company to push doctors to prescribe opioids—including strip clubs and kickbacks. David Beard shares a story about a valedictorian silenced no longer. And finally, if you love Jonathan Taylor Thomas, you're not going to want to miss the end of this episode. Follow us on Twitter: @MoJoPodcast.

Jun 13, 2018
Torn Apart by Trump's Travel Ban

Extraordinary stories of living in limbo: On this week’s episode, you’ll hear from real Mother Jones readers who have had their lives upended by President Trump’s travel ban and are now awaiting a fateful Supreme Court decision on the policy. Host Jamilah King speaks to Anthony about being separated from his boyfriend, Reza, an Iranian refugee who fled his home because the police found out he was gay. MoJo’s Aaron Wiener sits down with David Corn to bring you the latest in the Russia saga, including the seriously bone-headed recent move by Trump's former campaign chief, Paul Manafort. And of course, your weekly dose of uplifting news from reporter David Beard. Follow us on Twitter: @MoJoPodcast

Jun 06, 2018
Make America Toxic Again

It's been a year since President Trump announced the US would pull out of the Paris climate accord. Join host Jamilah King as she speaks with Mother Jones environmental reporter Rebecca Leber about what's going on inside the Environmental Protection Agency, from its aggressive deregulation to the ethics scandals threatening to engulf Scott Pruitt, the agency's head. Reporter Pema Levy gives us a look inside the life and times of one of Trump's staunchest supporters, Fox News's Jeanine Pirro, and what her fiery television performances mean for the frightening future of right-wing punditry. Washington Bureau Chief David Corn brings us the latest in the Russia investigation; and finally, reporter David Beard has a jolt of good news from primary season in America. Follow us on Twitter: @MoJoPodcast.

May 30, 2018
Primary Season in America

Welcome to our first-ever show! Here's what we have in store this week. We start with Senior Reporter Tim Murphy who profiles the candidates ripping up West Virginia’s political blueprint, and asks: what do their successes and failures mean for national politics come November? Then, moving south, Democrat Stacey Abrams pulls off an historic victory in Georgia, but her toughest battle is ahead: Can this national political darling beat a well-funded Republican in a deep-red state to become the first female black governor in America? And MoJo’s resident Russia guru David Corn boils down all the latest in the Mueller investigation. Join host Jamilah King and the Mother Jones team.

May 23, 2018
Coming Soon: The Mother Jones Podcast

Follow the thread. Untangle the news. The Mother Jones Podcast is coming soon, featuring original and independent journalism from our award-winning newsroom.

May 17, 2018