The Mother Jones Podcast

By Mother Jones

Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.

Category: News & Politics

Open in iTunes

Open RSS feed

Open Website

Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 449
Reviews: 0


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
Julián Castro's Anti-Trump Border Battle

Democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro spoke with Mother Jones for this exclusive interview at one of his favorite restaurants in San Antonio. He told our immigration reporter Fernanda Echavarri that he’s still preaching patience—even though he’s recently been polling at around one percent in a very crowded field. This week, we hear from Castro, who remains upbeat and on message, on his top policy priorities: pushing universal health care with Medicare-for-All, addressing climate change while investing in sustainability, and putting forward “bold immigration legislation” that would give millions of undocumented immigrants a legal path to citizenship.

May 15, 2019
Trump Is Rigging the Census

The US census is conducted every 10 years and determines how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding is allocated, how much representation states receive, and how political districts are drawn. But next year’s could be different: The Trump administration wants to add a question asking for the respondent’s citizenship.

Voting rights experts say such a move has the potential to derail the entire census—and shift power to the Republican Party for the next decade—because it will greatly reduce the number of people willing to participate. If large numbers of immigrants, for example, don’t respond to the census, which has not asked about citizenship since 1950, the areas where they live could lose federal funding and representatives in Congress, and economic and political power could shift to whiter and more Republicans areas.

Three federal courts have struck down the citizenship question so far, and it was recently in front of the Supreme Court. On this week’s show, host Jamilah King talks about what’s at stake now with Dale Ho, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s voting rights project who recently went up against the government in oral arguments at the high court, and Mother Jones’s voting rights guru Ari Berman.

May 08, 2019
Want Access? Pay Your Way to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago.

This week, we take a hard look at the strange, swampy saga of President Donald Trump and a Florida spa entrepreneur.

Li “Cindy” Yang is the former owner of the Jupiter, Florida, massage parlor where New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft was busted in February for allegedly soliciting prostitution. (She sold this location around 2012, and Kraft has denied the allegations.) Yang landed in the news after the Miami Herald published photos of Yang posing with President Trump and other Republican notables.

But there was more to the story. In 2017, Yang and her husband had formed a business, GY US Investments LLC, that offered clients opportunities to “interact with the president…and other political figures” at Mar-a-Lago.

Host Jamilah King chats with Dan Schulman, our deputy bureau chief in Washington D.C., and Dan Friedman, our foreign influence and national security reporter, about what know so far.

May 01, 2019
Doug Jones Explains How to Win in the South

In a nail-biting Alabama special election in 2017 to fill the Senate seat formerly held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Doug Jones made history when he narrowly won against former state Supreme Court justice Roy Moore, who was accused of sexual misconduct, to become the state's first Democrat elected to the US Senate in 25 years.

Jones’ improbable victory was celebrated nationally by Democrats because it represented a powerful, rare opportunity—the potential for Democrats to regain a foothold in the Deep South.

The freshman senator has been in Congress for a little over a year, during which time he has served on committees that shape policy affecting senior citizens, health care, banking, and defense. He's kept a relatively low profile, particularly in comparison to more vocal freshmen like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her cohort, but he tells Mother Jones that's just not his nature. 

Jones, who plans to run for reelection next year, spoke with the Mother Jones Podcast earlier this month about what he’s learned since taking office and how the Dems can turn the tide in the South.

Apr 24, 2019
The Mueller Report Is the Opposite of an Exoneration

The long-awaited report by special counsel Robert Mueller confirms what we already knew: that Donald Trump and his campaign privately interacted with Russia while Putin’s regime was preparing—and then carrying out—an attack on the 2016 US presidential election. On today's special edition of the show, host Jamilah King talks to Washington D.C. bureau chief David Corn about the ways in which Mueller has demonstrated the Trump-Russia scandal is neither a hoax nor a conspiracy theory, and how, even if Trump has not committed crimes, the president is guilty of many serious misdeeds and transgressions.

Apr 18, 2019
Columbine Changed Everything

The blitz of media coverage for this week’s 20th anniversary of the Columbine attack has once again put the perpetrators center stage. But school shooters and other would-be attackers have continued to be inspired by the pair who committed suicidal mass murder at their Colorado high school on April 20, 1999— a dynamic known as the “Columbine effect.“ Some have even taken pilgrimage-style trips from as far away as North Carolina and Washington state, to visit Columbine in suburban Denver before returning home to carry out their own shootings. On today’s show, we ask: What has changed in the last two decades in the way the media covers mass shootings? And what has changed in our resolve to finally do something about this crisis? Host Jamilah King talks with Columbine survivor Craig Scott, and Dave Cullen, a reporter who rushed to the scene that day, about their recollections and ongoing struggles. We also talk to Mother Jones’s own national affairs editor, Mark Follman, about investigating the growing problem of copycat shooters. Finally, Igor Volsky, founder and executive director of Guns Down America, shares reporting from his new book, “Guns Down: How To Defeat The NRA And Build A Safer Future With Fewer Guns,” which proposes a plan for defeating the ever-resolute National Rifle Association. Four interviews, reflecting four unique perspectives at this moment of remembrance and commemoration.

Apr 17, 2019
How One Border Town Beat Extremist Vigilantes

When gun-toting militants set up shop, this Arizona community got fed up and came together. Arivaca is a town of just 700 residents and sits 11 miles north of the Mexico border in a remote area of the Sonoran Desert. For about two decades, anti-immigrant vigilante groups have patrolled the region to try to remedy what they perceive as the federal government’s failure to secure the border. On this week's show, host Jamilah King sits down with journalist Eric Reidy and the town's "unofficial mayor" Ken Buchanan, to discuss how locals finally banded together to fight back, and what other cities and towns in America can learn from their success. Also in the show: Mother Jones Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery chats with actor Emilio Estevez about his new film, The Public.

Apr 10, 2019
Mayor Pete’s Plan to Beat Trump

Can an openly gay war-veteran millennial become president in 2020?

This week’s guest is presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, vying for a shot in a crowded Democratic field. 

In front of a sold-out crowd at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco last week, Mayor Pete, as he’s known to his constituents, had a candid conversation with Mother Jones Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery, in which he shared his plans to bring the rigor of running a small Rust Belt town to the White House. 

But first, he needs to beat President Donald Trump—and Mayor Pete says he knows how.

Apr 03, 2019
Donald Trump Should Probably Stop Dancing in the Street

We all craved a clear resolution after special counsel Robert Mueller submitted his report to Attorney General William Barr over the weekend. No such luck: We are left untangling what the combination of "no collusion" and "no obstruction" actually means, and the jury's out on obstruction of justice. Nonetheless, Trump has turned the result into an inevitable victory lap, with characteristic Trumpian vengeance. Speaking in the Oval Office on Monday, Trump said he had been victimized by Mueller’s investigation, and, ominously, he'd be taking "a look" at those he deemed responsible. So, where are we right now? Put simply, we are in a kind of political wilderness, without a roadmap, or an actual report to read, and lots of unanswered questions. In the podcast studio with host Jamilah King this week, David Corn, Washington, DC, Bureau Chief, and national security and foreign influence reporter, Dan Friedman help sort things out in the post-Mueller investigation world.

Mar 27, 2019
Mueller Is Done. Trump Is About To Go Nuclear.

A special breaking news edition of the Mother Jones Podcast: Special counsel Robert Mueller has completed his investigation of the Trump-Russia scandal and submitted a confidential report to Attorney General William Barr. It is not yet clear if Barr will release a summary or any of Mueller’s findings to Congress. Barr said he notified congressional leaders in a letter on Friday evening that he “may be in a position to advise you of the special counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend,” according to the New York Times. So. Now what? The story is far from over—and Trump's war on the truth is set to ramp up. Joining host Jamilah King is Mother Jones's Washington Bureau Chief David Corn, who argues that instead of putting the controversy to rest, Mueller's report is about to release some serious partisan rancor.

Mar 22, 2019
How Tech Giants Gave the NZ Shooter More Firepower

Last Friday, at least 50 people were killed at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. While the perpetrator’s exact path to radicalization is still unknown, one thing has become increasingly clear: This was an attack crafted by the internet and for the internet, representing a new level of super-viral violence. The Christchurch shooter exploited an unwitting ally in the form of giant tech companies, who have proven themselves unable or unwilling to stop the spread of hate speech on their platforms. In doing so, he immediately turned some of America’s most profitable and influential companies into distributors of a lurid white nationalist recruitment video. Joining host Jamilah King are two experts on social media platforms and how they operate, Mother Jones reporters Ali Breland and Pema Levy. Also on the show, our National Affairs Editor, Mark Follman, describes how the rise of a global white supremacist movement combined with the rise of Trumpism, to create a highly combustible fuel for this kind of extreme violence.

Mar 20, 2019
Now Is the Time to Freak Out

Our guest today is David Wallace Wells, a deputy editor at New York Magazine, and author of a vividly distressing new book about the all-encompassing perils of climate change, called The Uninhabitable Earth. With every full-throated warning, on page after page, Wallace Wells fully embraces the notion that eloquently targeted fear can shake the public into action. He also presents a gripping argument that scientists, and others charged with sounding the alarm, have historically been far too timid, for fear of being branded "alarmist" or dismissed as leftist. Now is the time to panic, Wallace Wells argues. In fact, that moment passed long ago. So now what? Host Jamilah King helps listeners locate some moments of hope and optimism amid the fear.

Mar 13, 2019
The Real Border Crisis Trump’s Not Talking About

This week, we take a deeper look at what’s happening at the border. You'll go inside a Tijuana shelter where teenaged migrants—young boys and girls—are being held. They’re stuck, caught in legal limbo due to President Trump's deterrent policies. Host Jamilah King talks to Mother Jones immigration reporter Fernanda Echavarri about her recent reporting trip south of the border.

Mar 06, 2019
Rehabs Are Targeting and Trapping Opioid Users

On today's show, we hear the results of a nine-month investigation into how rehab recruiters are luring recovering opioid users into a deadly cycle. Mother Jones reporter Julia Lurie tells host Jamilah King about how some users are being wooed aggressively by rehabs and freelance “patient brokers” in an effort to fill beds and collect insurance money. These brokers scour social media and Narcotics Anonymous meetings for new customers. We get a glimpse into a broken system that’s harming, and sometimes killing, the very people it’s supposed to help, while lining the pockets of facility owners and their corporate bosses. It’s a growing business—and business is booming.

Feb 27, 2019
How to Finally Reboot the Oscars

Oscar buzz isn’t what it used to be. In recent years, the Academy Awards have been criticized—and rightfully so—for its lack of diversity and inclusion across members, nominees, and winners. Fraught with a host of issues this year, the spotlight on the night is brighter than ever. Joining host Jamilah King for a hilarious, blistering conversation about what the Oscars are getting right and wrong are April Reign, the founder of the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, and Tre'vell Anderson, the Entertainment and Culture Director at Out Magazine.

Feb 20, 2019
So Many Candidates. Who Can Beat Trump?

As each new Democratic party candidate declares a bid for the presidency—and there have been a lot—there's a new surge of hand-wringing, speculation, and noisy fights over political baggage. Whether you like it or not: the 2020 race has already begun in earnest. But with so many new candidates, is it becoming easier, or harder, to tell who might pose the most serious threat to President Trump’s chance at a second term? Do Democrats want a street brawler, or a unifier? Joining host Jamilah King in the studio for this lively political panel is Josh Barro, business columnist for New York Magazine, and the host of "Left, Right & Center" and "All the President's Lawyers" for KCRW, and Andrea González-Ramírez, who covers news and politics for Refinery29.

Feb 13, 2019
The Maddening Fight for 6-Year-Old Moira Ermentrout

Moira Ermentrout was diagnosed with a rare disease when she was born. The six-year-old's list of medical problems is long and complex: she can't breathe on her own, walk, or talk, and she requires at-home assistance 24 hours a day. Factor in doctors appointments, occasional emergency visits, and equipment, the cost of Moira’s care can be crippling on her parents. Moira’s family now faces serious cutbacks to the critical medical care she needs to stay alive—as do thousands of children like Moira around the country, caught in the midst of state-by-state rollbacks. This week, we take a look at one family's fight against a healthcare system that is failing some of the most vulnerable among us.

Feb 06, 2019
Everyone Hates the State of the Union Address

The State of the Union address: What exactly is the point? On the one hand, Pelosi's Shutdown Smackdown put Trump in a corner by threatening to deny all that attention and adulation in a stately chamber during a primetime slot. On the other hand, maybe it's time to scrap this extravagant, over-baked format altogether? Host Jamilah King explores this time-honored presidential moment with two guests: James Fallows, staff writer at The Atlantic and former chief speech writer for President Jimmy Carter, and Jeffrey Engel, founding director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. Rather than arguing the pros and cons, Fallows and Engel discuss what history can teach us about how to salvage the most important annual address of the presidency and turn it back into something both more traditional and more effective. But it wouldn't be possible to talk about any of this, of course, without assessing the lasting impact of Trump's extreme, norm-defying approach to presidential power.

Jan 30, 2019
Breaking News Edition: Why Roger Stone's Arrest Should Scare Don Jr.

A special breaking news edition of the Mother Jones Podcast: On Friday morning, the FBI arrested Roger Stone, the longtime adviser to President Donald Trump, as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Stone was charged with seven counts that include witness tampering, false statements, and obstruction. So, who is Roger Stone? What was his connection to Wikileaks and the hacking of the DNC during the 2016 campaign? And, most importantly, how close do these new charges get to the President of the United States? Joining us is Washington DC bureau chief, David Corn, and Dan Friedman, who covers foreign influence and national security for Mother Jones.

Jan 25, 2019
The Painful Reality of Surviving Trump’s Shutdown

Surviving the shutdown: Today, Mother Jones listeners who are employed by the federal government share their wrenching stories of trying to make ends meet as the longest government shutdown in US history grinds on into its fifth week. Scared he’ll miss his daughter’s health insurance payments, Jason Muzzey, a USDA contractor in Kansas City, Missouri, has been forced to apply for shifts at a local McDonalds and start a GoFundMe page. Cara Dodge normally works on educational exhibits for NASA in the Bay Area, a job she adores, but is now counting the days until she must find other work to supplement her family’s slashed income. Also on the show, you’ll visit a Washington DC food kitchen that is dishing out free hot meals to federal workers who suddenly need to watch every penny they spend. Host Jamilah King is joined by Angie Drobnic Holan, the editor of Politifact, to help you separate fact from fiction as the shutdown continues. Is there even a glimmer of bipartisan hope to solve the crisis on the horizon?

Jan 23, 2019
Mr. President, Have You Ever Worked for Russia?

This is how far things have come. Try to imagine this scene taking place in normal times: The president of the United States speaking to reporters gathered on the South Lawn of the White House and, just to clarify things, saying, “I’ve never worked for Russia." But here we are. News about special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation has been coming at us thick and fast these days. First, there was the New York Times blockbuster report that the FBI, concerned about Trump's possible work with the Russians, began a counterintelligence investigation into the president. Then, a stunning revelation from the Washington Post about the president confiscating his own interpreter’s notes after a private meeting with Vladimir Putin. And finally, Trump’s new pick for Attorney General being grilled by lawmakers about whether or not he’ll protect the Mueller investigation, and reassuring them it will not become another victim of Washington’s partisan warfare—as Trump so ardently desires. On today’s episode of the Mother Jones podcast, host Jamilah King is joined by our DC bureau chief David Corn, and Terrell Jermaine Starr, senior reporter at The Root, to help you find your way through the confusing, potentially terrifying news about the President and his loyalties.

Jan 16, 2019
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Biggest Fight

WTF is the Green New Deal? Washington D.C. is awash with talk of a polarizing plan to fight climate change, as freshman Democrats like U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turn up the pressure on party leaders to take urgent action. Today, we take a historical look at the Green New Deal, beginning with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s depression-era economic jumpstart, and trace how ideas of environmental justice and the green economy have evolved across subsequent presidencies. To help us assess the challenges ahead, we’re joined by Vien Truong, CEO of Green for All, an advocacy group that’s championed the Green New Deal for more than a decade, and Mother Jones climate reporter Rebecca Leber, who’s been following the deal’s newfound momentum.

Jan 09, 2019
He Was Dying. Then Doctors Tried Some Forgotten Viruses.

Happy New Year! This week, as the podcast team gears up for a brand new 2019 season, we’re revisiting two of our most talked-about segments from 2018. First up is the rage-inducing inside story of America’s student debt machine: How the nation’s flagship loan forgiveness program is failing the very people it’s meant to help. Next: Viruses that could save us all. Tom Patterson, a psychologist, was dying from a seemingly unstoppable superbug infection when his wife, Steffanie Strathdee, an epidemiologist, began considering an unconventional treatment: phage therapy. We retrace 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.

Jan 02, 2019
Be a Better You: How to Break Political Tribalism

It’s our final episode for 2018. As we take stock of this seemingly never-ending year, big questions abound: How can we rise above the worst impulses of our political tribalism to find common cause? At a time when our very identities are under attack, how do we resist the temptation to retreat to clusters of likemindedness, and instead open up to the greater good? These concerns about the nature of our democracy and the definitions of belonging in an atomized world form the basis of this illuminating conversation between moral philosopher and author, Kwame Anthony Appiah, and Mother Jones Editor-in-Chief, Clara Jeffery, recorded in October before a live audience at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. This episode contains edited highlights from that event.

Dec 26, 2018
DeRay Mckesson on How to Turn Outrage into Hope

DeRay Mckesson is a leading voice in the Black Lives Matter movement. He’s been an educator, a mayoral candidate, and now, he’s also an author. As 2018 ends and progressive communities continue to resist the Trump administration, McKesson tells engaging stories from the frontlines of activism—experiences that have led him to look beyond headlines to identify the power structures that foster inequality. He wants us to do the same.

Dec 19, 2018
"Broad City" Star Ilana Glazer Takes Over the Podcast

On this week's show, host Jamilah King hands over interviewing duties to a surprise guest: Co-creator and star of the Comedy Central hit Broad City, Ilana Glazer. This podcast was recorded live in Brooklyn in October by Generator Collective, a group Glazer co-founded that, among other civic engagement gigs, gets interesting people in front of crowds to talk about policy and politics. Just a few days after this recording, Glazer closed down another event in the series when the venue, a synagogue in Brooklyn, was vandalized with anti-Semitic slurs in the wake of Pittsburg's Tree of Life massacre. In this episode, Glazer interviews our very own voting rights reporter, Ari Berman, about the dark history and current absurdities of voter suppression in America—and President Lyndon B. Johnson's toilet habits.

Dec 12, 2018
David Byrne Rode His Bike to Our Office and Talked About Everything

On this week's show, host Jamilah King interviews the prolific artist, David Byrne about police shootings, Janelle Monáe, stage fright, “True Stories,” and fake news. Since the late-1970s, when Byrne formed Talking Heads, his career has been an endless stream of fascinating side projects, starting with his super-weird, super-cool Brian Eno collab, "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts." He founded his own World Music label, and his obsession with the National Color Guard Championships led to a documentary, "Contemporary Color." In November, as his American Utopia tour wrapped up, Byrne re-released his 1986 film, True Stories, which explores the inner lives and outer quirks of residents of a fictional Texas town. “It’s like 60 Minutes on acid,” Byrne once said. The timing was brilliant—but coincidental, he admits: “I hadn’t looked at it in a while. And a lot of it does seem prescient and newly relevant. There’s a lot of stuff that seems oddly like, ‘Oh. I recognize this! It seemed like fiction in the movie, and now it’s fact.’” Our interview with Byrne kicks off a month-long special holiday series, featuring some of our very most interesting studio interviews.

Dec 05, 2018
Trump Put a Target on Our Backs: Trans Americans Fight Back

This week, trans listeners share candid stories about life under Trump. Sarah McBride, national press secretary for Human Rights Campaign, reveals the whiplash of working for Barack Obama, the most trans-inclusive president in history, only to be targeted aggressively by Trump in the years since. Ashley Scott, a transgender veteran of the Iraq War, tells us what's at stake as the administration escalates efforts to ban transgender people from the military. And while it's been a trying time, transgender listeners also share stories about solidarity, hope, and what it takes to win at this critical time in the history of LGBTQ rights.

Nov 28, 2018
How the Trump-Addicted Media Blew Another Election

Two of the biggest, brightest minds in the media business join us in the studio this week: Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan and Vox media critic Carlos Maza. Host Jamilah King leads a lively discussion about Facebook's scandals, its ongoing battle against disinformation, and what the media learned—if anything—from the 2016 presidential campaign.

Nov 21, 2018
Lie, Block, Betray: Trump After the Blue Wave

The midterms aren't over: votes are being counted and recounted in key battleground states. This week, we take you directly to Broward County, Florida, where reporter Pema Levy is staking out the local elections offices, awaiting results from a dramatic statewide recount, as streets heat up with protesters. We also go to Atlanta, where senior editor Kiera Butler brings you the latest from the nail-biting Georgia Governor's race, between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp. Whatever happens, Kiera says the changing face of the state's electorate will get harder and harder for Republicans to ignore. And throughout the show, you'll hear from our voting rights reporter Ari Berman, who's always on-hand to help us make sense of the voting shenanigans afoot.

Nov 14, 2018
Breaking News Edition: Trump Goes Full Mob Boss

It happened: The Attorney General of the United States has been fired. This news came with a giant Trumpian thump Wednesday morning—while votes are still being counted in an election that handed the House back to Democrats for the first time in eight years. The implications of Jeff Sessions' ouster could be enormous. President Donald Trump is now installing a loyalist, Matthew Whitaker, and serious questions now hang over the future of the Russia Investigation. D.C. bureau chief David Corn joins Dan Friedman, MoJo's foreign influence and national security reporter, to tackle these questions and give us the very latest on Russia, Robert Mueller, and more. 

Nov 07, 2018
Trump Wakes Up Shaking

On this late-breaking episode: How to understand this historic night as the political makeup of the country is being written in real-time—like, as we record. Despite some big losses and reports of long lines at the polls, the Democrats had a huge night. D.C. Bureau chief David Corn and reporter Pema Levy join us from Washington to discuss some of the midterm's highest highs and lowest lows. Ari Berman, our resident voting rights expert, and senior reporter Tim Murphy discuss voter suppression, which politicians to watch, and what's next for America. Settle in as host Jamilah King guides you through one of the most exciting political events since that fated night in 2016.

Nov 07, 2018
Trump Ate the GOP. Now He’s Digesting It.

On today's show, our Washington D.C. bureau chief David Corn offers his assessment of how the president and his party are mining the worst of America's ancient grievances—on race, religion, and nationalism—for new electoral advantages. Also on the show: A few weeks ago, Mother Jones asked you if you’re voting for the first time in the midterm elections. Dozens of readers shared their stories with our team, about your frustration and inspiration at this crazy-important time, and what casting your vote in 2018 means. On today's show, a sampling of those stories, including from a new candidate, a new activist, and a new citizen.

Oct 31, 2018
It’s Finally Time to Talk About the Polls

On this week’s show: After 2016, can we really trust the polls? With just two weeks until the midterm elections on November 6, we gather some of the biggest brains in the business to round up everything you need to know about numbers, numbers, numbers. Our all-star cast includes MSNBC's National Political Correspondent, Steve Kornacki; FiveThirtyEight's managing editor, Micah Cohen, and HuffPost's polling editor, Ariel Edwards-Levy. We fill you in on what you need to watch for during the minute-by-minute coverage on election night—and the biggest issues driving voters to the ballot box.

Oct 24, 2018
Road Trip Through the Battleground States

On this week's show: Buckle up for a Mother Jones road trip to three of the most contentious battleground states in the upcoming November elections—and they’re all in the Southwest. First, Senior Reporter Tim Murphy travels to Arizona to meet activists fighting to mobilize one tribal nation, the Tohono OíOdham, at a time when Native American voting rights are under relentless assault across the country. Next, we head to Nevada where casino workers, cooks, and housekeepers are reinventing the Democratic Party, one sweaty voter registration drive at a time. If successful, can what happens in Vegas be replicated nationwide? And finally, we land in Texas to see if Beto O'Rourke really has what it takes to win.

For Democrats, these are all make-or-break races if they want any chance at taking back America on election day.

Oct 17, 2018
The Argument for Rage

This week: We’re in the home stretch—only 27 days to go until the midterms. As Brett Kavanaugh gets to work, rockstar feminist writer Rebecca Traister joins MoJo’s Becca Andrews to discuss the political power of women’s rage and how it is reshaping America. And we hear from you, our listeners, about how you reacted to the historic Supreme Court appointment. We also take a look inside Florida’s long-awaited movement to restore voting rights to 1.4 million people, featuring senior reporter Ari Berman.

Oct 10, 2018
The Conservative Case for Destroying the GOP

On this week's episode, Mother Jones DC Bureau Chief David Corn chats with Max Boot, the lauded conservative stalwart who now believes the GOP must be destroyed—for good. Boot says that the Trumpian poison cannot be leeched. And with the stakes so high in November, Boot is making a case for Republicans to vote for every Democrat, in every race, for every position. This epiphany is a message for the politically marooned, in the time of Trump.

Oct 03, 2018
Breaking News Edition: Ford’s Bravery, Kavanaugh's Fury

A special episode of the Mother Jones Podcast: All the breaking news from the Kavanaugh hearings, explained. First, the gut-wrenching testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teens—told in gripping and personal detail. Then: Tears and outrage from Kavanaugh, who unequivocally denied the allegations in a fiery performance. Jamilah King hosts a breaking news panel with Supreme Court reporter Stephanie Mencimer and Washington DC Bureau Chief David Corn to tell you everything you need to know about this historic day on the Hill—and what comes next.

Sep 28, 2018
A Constitutional Crisis Is Just a Tweet Away

On this week's episode, inside the fight for Medicaid expansion at the polls in November. The fate of Obamacare is on the ballot—and now up to voters in Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, and Utah. Meet one campaigner in this Red State Resistance trying to expand coverage to those who need it the most. We give you the state-by-state nitty gritty. Also on the show: chaos reigns in Washington D.C. Everything you need to know about the dueling news stories of Kavanaugh and Rosenstein, and more importantly, how to understand them, with our Supreme Court expert Stephanie Mencimer, and Russia guru, David Corn. And finally: we asked, and you told us. Stories about a year in limbo awaiting a final decision about DACA—the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Sep 26, 2018
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