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Matter of Opinion

Author: New York Times Opinion

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Thoughts, aloud. Hosted by Michelle Cottle, Ross Douthat, Carlos Lozada and Lydia Polgreen. Every Friday, from New York Times Opinion.

Listen to this podcast in New York Times Audio, our new iOS app for news subscribers. Download now at nytimes.com/audioapp
282 Episodes
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“The dam is breaking!” Have the Democrats reached their “break glass in case of emergency” moment? This week, Michelle, Ross and Lydia dig into the Democratic Party fissures, consider what could happen if President Biden refuses to bow out, and debate just how much this moment mirrors the Republican scramble against Trump in 2016.(A full transcript of this episode will be available within 24 hours of publication on the Times website.)Mentioned in this episode:George Clooney: I Love Joe Biden. But We Need a New Nominee.The Case for Joe Biden by Ross DouthatEzra Klein: A Path to Defeat from “The Bulwark Podcast”Thoughts about the show? Email us at matterofopinion@nytimes.com or leave a voicemail at (212) 556-7440.
Matter of Opinion is off this week, but the news hasn’t stopped. So this week we’re bringing you something from columnists across New York Times Opinion. With President Biden’s candidacy in question, we asked them: Who would you like to see as the Democratic nominee? These are their answers.Lydia Polgreen on the case for Vice President Kamala HarrisNicholas Kristof on the case for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of MichiganRoss Douthat on the case for Senator Joe ManchinPamela Paul on the case for Gov. Wes Moore of MarylandDavid French on the case for Gov. Josh Shapiro of PennsylvaniaCharles Blow on the case for President Biden(A full transcript of this episode will be available within 24 hours of publication on the Times website.)If your opinion has changed on President Biden since the debate, we want to hear from you, too. What do you hope to see happen before the Democratic convention? Leave us a voice mail at 212-556-7440 or email us at matterofopinion@nytimes.comThis audio essay was originally made for the NYT Audio App, free for Times subscribers in the Apple App Store. 
Ezra Klein joins Ross and Michelle to dissect the first presidential debate of 2024: “At some point Democrats have to decide if they want to try to win this election, or it is simply too uncomfortable for them to do anything but be on this train as it derails.”(A full transcript of this episode is available on the Times website.) Thoughts about the show? Email us at matterofopinion@nytimes.com or leave a voicemail at (212) 556-7440.
We’re getting ready for this week’s presidential debate. In the meantime, we wanted to share an audio essay from Michelle Cottle on a make-or-break vote for the MAGA warrior Lauren Boebert. The controversial lawmaker is facing a primary in Colorado that will determine her political future. Michelle visited a biker bar in Douglas County, Colo., to understand the ways Boebert is tweaking her image in a new district in hopes of winning over more traditional conservatives. Can she do it without losing hard-core Trump fans?This audio essay was originally made for the NYT Audio app, free for Times subscribers in the Apple App Store.
Populism, offered as a solution to economic and cultural woes, has gained ground in Europe following a slew of recent elections. Across the pond, the Ohio senator and potential Trump running mate J.D. Vance is championing an American version of populist politics that is also gaining traction. On this week’s episode, the hosts discuss Vance’s embrace of the ideology and consider why many voters find it so appealing.Plus, Ross shares a literary deep cut that not even Carlos has heard of.(A full transcript of this episode will be available within 24 hours of publication on the Times website.)Recommended in this episode:“What J.D. Vance Believes” by Ross Douthat in The Times“Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans,” “Fire and Blood: A History of Mexico” and “Comanches: The History of a People” by T.R. Fehrenbach“What Will Become of American Civilization?” by George Packer in The AtlanticThoughts about the show? Email us at matterofopinion@nytimes.com or leave a voicemail at (212) 556-7440.
Amid politically charged flag flying, secret recordings, and eyebrow-raising financial disclosures, there’s something fishy about the behavior of the nation’s top judges. Are they ruining faith in the Supreme Court? Or is that the partisan reaction to the decisions coming from on high?Michelle, Carlos and Lydia are joined by the Times editorial board member Jesse Wegman to discuss just how low the bar has gotten for the justices, and what could be done to restore America’s faith in the court.Plus, Michelle weighs in on the beef of the summer.(A full transcript of this episode will be available within 24 hours of publication on the Times website.)Recommended in this episode:“Not Like Us” by Kendrick LamarEmail us at matterofopinion@nytimes.com or leave a voicemail at (212) 556-7440.
Former President Donald J. Trump’s appearance at a U.F.C. match this week seems to be part of a larger strategy to attract men — especially young men — to his cause. But what can President Biden do to change the narrative that “the left doesn’t like men”?This week, Michelle Cottle and Carlos Lozada are joined by their (male) Opinion colleagues Jamelle Bouie and David French to debate why men are becoming more conservative and whether Trump’s masculine appeal is about policy or his “manliness.”(A full transcript of this episode will be available within 24 hours of publication on the Times website.)“Audience of One: Trump, Television and the Fracturing of America” by James Poniewozik“American Sniper” directed by Clint EastwoodMay 2024 Times/Siena poll of the presidential battlegroundsThoughts about the show? Email us at matterofopinion@nytimes.com or leave a voicemail at (212) 556-7440.   
In a special intercontinental episode, Lydia Polgreen reports from South Africa as the country challenges Israel for its attack on Rafah in southern Gaza.The post-apartheid nation has emerged as a critical leader and a moral voice in some (but not all) superpower struggles. Yet back at home, South Africa’s 30 years of multiracial democracy is undergoing major political upheaval. What does the nation’s recent election offer young nations hoping for postcolonialist democracy? Lydia opens her reporter’s notebook and explores these questions with the South African journalist William Shoki and her editor, Max Strasser.A full transcript of this episode will be available within 24 hours of publication on the Times websiteMentioned in this episode:“Many voters are hooked on their abusive rulers” by William Gumede in the Sunday Times“South African election turns populist as parties play anti-foreigner card” by David Pilling and Monica Mark in the Financial Times“Neither Settler Nor Native” by Mahmoud MamdaniThoughts about the show? Email us at matterofopinion@nytimes.com or leave a voicemail at (212) 556-7440
With Lydia in South Africa covering their election, Ross  out on parental leave and Michelle  reporting from a saloon in Colorado, Carlos  turns the mic over to his Times Opinion colleagues to respond to the news about Donald Trump’s guilty verdict in the New York hush-money trial.The columnists Michelle Goldberg and David French — who calls himself “a recovering litigator” — join the deputy Opinion editor, Patrick Healy, to discuss Trump’s 34 guilty counts and debate what they mean for the former president, whether he’ll face jail time and how it will affect the 2024 presidential race.
We’re taking a break to enjoy the Memorial Day weekend and will be back next week. Until then, enjoy an audio essay from NYT Opinion’s other Michelle — Michelle Goldberg — on what Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s campaign could mean for President Biden and Donald Trump. Thoughts about the show? Email us at matterofopinion@nytimes.com or leave a voice mail at (212) 556-7440.
This week, the hosts debate what the latest Times/Siena poll reveals about Joe Biden’s weaknesses and mull over the question of whether Vice President Kamala Harris is one of them. Plus, Carlos on some advice that’s gold, Jerry, gold.(A full transcript of this audio essay will be available within 24 hours of publication on the Times website.)Mentioned in this episode:“Biden’s Polling Denial: Why He Doesn’t Believe He’s Behind” by Hans Nichols and Alex Thompson in Axios“An Interview With Kamala Harris on What’s at Stake in 2024” from “The Run-Up”“Kamala Harris Should Try to Be Really Popular” by Matthew Yglesias on his blog, Slow Boring“What Happened” by Hillary Rodham Clinton“Did the President Call?” mash-up from HBO’s television series “Veep”“The Last Politician: Inside Joe Biden’s White House and the Struggle for America’s Future” by Franklin Foer“Democrats Have a Better Option Than Biden” from “The Ezra Klein Show”“This New Book About ‘Seinfeld’ Is Worth Double-Dipping” by Carlos Lozada in The Washington PostJerry Seinfeld’s 2024 Commencement Address at Duke University“Why Conservatives Give Better Commencement Speeches Than Liberals” by Carlos Lozada in The Washington PostThoughts about the show? Email us at matterofopinion@nytimes.com or leave a voicemail at (212) 556-7440.
Donald Trump is searching for a running mate, and his list of potential candidates is getting smaller and smaller. This week, the hosts discuss whether Trump is considering other qualities beyond loyalty, and they debate what his eventual choice could mean for the future of Trumpism in the Republican Party.Plus, Michelle wants to worm her way into candidate medical records.(A full transcript of this audio essay will be available within 24 hours of publication on the Times website.)Recommended in this episode:“How Trump Plans to Wield Power in 2025: What We Know” by Jonathan Swan, Maggie Haberman and Charlie Savage in The Times Thoughts about the show? Email us at matterofopinion@nytimes.com or leave a voicemail at (212) 556-7440.
On this episode, the hosts get heated about the political divisions and contradictions revealed by the recent campus protests and ask why some in Washington seem so invested in perpetuating the demonstrations.(A full transcript of this audio essay will be available within 24 hours of publication on the Times website.)Thoughts about the show? Email us at matterofopinion@nytimes.com or leave a voicemail at (212) 556-7440.
How worried should we really be about the threat of political violence? On this week’s episode of “Matter of Opinion,” columnist Jamelle Bouie joins the hosts to set the record straight on whether we’re actually living through an unusually violent era, and they discuss whether the new movie, “Civil War,” could come true.Plus, Keanu Reeves in his most beautiful form yet.(A full transcript of this audio essay will be available within 24 hours of publication on the Times website.)Recommended in this episode:“Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning” by Liz Cheney“Johnny Mnemonic: In Black & White,” a 2022 rerelease of Robert Longo’s 1995 filmThoughts about the show? Email us at matterofopinion@nytimes.com or leave a voicemail at (212) 556-7440.
Will Israel and Iran’s unprecedented attacks escalate into a wider mideast conflict? A “forever war”? This week, columnist Tom Friedman joins the hosts to unpack the latest developments, what it means for Gaza, and the implications for the region writ large.A full transcript of this audio essay will be available within 24 hours of publication on the Times website.Mentioned in this episode:“How to Be Pro-Palestinian, Pro-Israeli and Pro-Iranian” by Thomas L. Friedman“Iran Just Made a Big Mistake. Israel Shouldn’t Follow.” by Thomas L. Friedman“A Biden Doctrine for the Middle East Is Forming. And It’s Big.” by Thomas L. Friedman“Netanyahu Must Go” by Bret StephensThoughts about the show? Email us at matterofopinion@nytimes.com or leave a voicemail at (212) 556-7440.
This week, the hosts debate how religious voters will react to Donald Trump’s betrayal of anti-abortion positions, the evolution of Christianity as the domain of the right and whether religion is actually as powerful as it seems in modern U.S. politics.Plus, Ross finds aliens, again.(A full transcript of this audio essay will be available within 24 hours of publication on the Times website.)Mentioned in this episode: “This Is Probably Not the Deal the Pro-Life Movement Bargained for With Trump” by Ross Douthat“Can the Left Be Happy?” by Ross DouthatThoughts about the show? Email us at matterofopinion@nytimes.com or leave a voicemail at (212) 556-7440.
It’s not just bad vibes — America’s kids are not OK. As study after study shows worsening youth mental health, a popular theory has emerged: The rise of smartphones and the addictive nature of social media is making young people miserable. But can it really be that simple?This week, the hosts debate the myriad possible factors contributing to teenagers’ unhappiness, and discuss how parents, schools and the government can protect kids without doing further harm. Plus, a sui generis Lozada family vacation.(A full transcript of this audio essay will be available within 24 hours of publication on the Times website.)Recommended in this episode:“The Anxious Generation,” by Jonathan Haidt“Reclaiming Conversation,” by Sherry Turkle“A Canticle for Leibowitz,” by Walter M. Miller Jr.Thoughts about the show? Email us at matterofopinion@nytimes.com or leave a voicemail at (212) 556-7440.
The sociologist and New York Times columnist Tressie McMillan Cottom joins the hosts this week to discuss the role of celebrity in politics. Could Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, with their tens of millions of fans, sway the presidential election? And beyond brand-name pop stars, what role does celebrity play within the political system?Plus, Tressie goes a little “Dr. Oz” on us.(A full transcript of this audio essay will be available within 24 hours of publication in the audio player above.)Thoughts about the show? Email us at matterofopinion@nytimes.com or leave a voicemail at (212) 556-7440.
Texts From the Swamp

Texts From the Swamp

2024-03-2237:46

It can often feel as if politicians use a lot of words without saying much of anything. So how do journalists and citizens make sense of what’s said (and unsaid) in the many congressional reports, court decisions and campaign memoirs that pour out of Washington?This week, Carlos makes the case for reading the Capitol, and uses insights from his new book, “The Washington Book,” to help his co-hosts decode everyone from Donald Trump to Mike Pence to Barack Obama.(A full transcript of this audio essay will be available within 48 hours of publication in the audio player above.)Recommended in this episode:“The Washington Book” by Carlos Lozada“What Were We Thinking” by Carlos Lozada“The Woman at the Washington Zoo” by Marjorie Williams“Postwar” by Tony Judt“The Emerging Republican Majority” by Kevin Phillips“The Emerging Democratic Majority” by John Judis and Ruy Teixeira“Chain Reaction” by Thomas B. Edsall and Mary D. Edsall“Dead Right” by David Frum“The Grand New Party” by Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam“The Speechwriter” by Barton SwaimThoughts about the show? Email us at matterofopinion@nytimes.com or leave a voicemail at (212) 556-7440.
We’re working on this week's episode. While you wait, listen to this audio essay from one of our hosts, Lydia Polgreen, on the situation unfolding in Haiti. This audio essay was originally made for the NYT Audio App, free for Times subscribers in the Apple App Store.
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Comments (292)

rom

Shame on all of you. Shame on every single one of you. You know, one thing these two weeks revealed to me, is how deceptive, and filled with propaganda the western media is. Eventually, the truth prevails and I’ll tell you one thing, history won’t forget, it won’t forget your support of colonialism, of massacres and for the continuation of lies. When Palestine is freed, people will look back to these recordings as examples of how the American media completely failed.

Oct 22nd
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rom

Lydia, it’s terrifying for you? How self absorbed can a person be? Thousands of Palestinians are losing their lives in this minute and you’re the one terrified?

Oct 22nd
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rom

Shame on you for not condemning Israel for their war crimes against the Palestinians!! History won’t forget!!

Oct 17th
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William Salyers

"Dress like grown-ups." Gross.

Oct 12th
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Jared Poulter

I considered myself libertarian because I generally like the idea of limited government until 2 things happened: 1) I took enough economics classes to recognize that no market is actually free so basing an entire economic philosophy on trusting the free market is fundamentally flawed. 2) I met other people who call themselves libertarian and quite often they are not actually libertarian, but rather anarchists. I decided I didn't want to associate myself with those people so I stopped using that label to describe myself.

Dec 15th
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Andi-Roo Libecap

As a Gen-X mom to both Millennial AND Gen-Z kids, I found this conversation fascinating! Thank you, Jane, for hosting such an intriguing and respectful dialog.

Oct 30th
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yung.Yerp.

the irony of Jane and the nyt team arguing how to use language properly so you can convey a particular message and don't misconstrue and saying English classroom is one of the few places where kids have to wrestle with big ideas (never mind science and shit). I hope i made.multiple.grammar and stylistic faux pas as additional irony points.

Sep 12th
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jems bond

Amazing. https://www.dinarrecaps.onl/

Jul 22nd
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Rick Turner

Thank you for this!

Jun 1st
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andre dixon

This podcast episode drove me nuts. No mention that the economic policies supported by Sanders and justice Democrats etc are popular across the political spectrum. No mention of corporate money special interest money and how it muddies the process. Jane Coaston should really have progressive voices like krystal ball and brihana joy gray on to properly articulate this point

Feb 2nd
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yung.Yerp.

I feel like a fair question to be asking here is also can the Democrats and Democratic _li beral_ media _ news information distribution conglomerates recover let alone face similar grievances for the overwhelming amount of "critical" headline world shaking reports prior to his presidency, Andddddd down right underwhelming amount of actual truth and or veracity to the claims (And again the shocking? amount of those are which proven false other is proven irrelevant and further some hahaha this is an interesting trend for another time). lol this argument is just funny. I feel like Jane and the editors are not being let's say very fair over the past few actually episodes really

Jan 13th
Reply (1)

Andi-Roo Libecap

Fantastic discussion -- another fruitful exchange. Well done, Jane!

Jan 9th
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yung.Yerp.

bro are you kidding me?? no arguments against the points for Jan 6th, shit was crazy and stupid and they are weirdos. but that line (and general Outlook) that if reps don't win, they call foul ---- uhhh, 2018_2020 (and I'm being generous) was full of deflated arguments against Trump by Dems?? I'm not arguing for either side here but wtf was that Jane

Jan 5th
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Richard Fisher

she being 'Michelle' btw

Dec 30th
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Richard Fisher

bizarre. she speaks of Trumpism and is totally blind to the Swamp Monster of Shitshow Joe Biden as though there aren't issues on the Left. im in the Left and see them and want to fix them so we can win. is this person a plant? stooge? enemy asset? like just ignore the identity and critical theory and metanarrative post modernist left. not remotely relevant...🤦‍♂️

Dec 30th
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jonathan

this lady is disgusting. so divisive.

Dec 23rd
Reply (1)

Death Doula ☠

Radical empathy for another is a luxury - you don't have to be there. #exhausted #safespace #empathyisnotendorsement #noclapbacks

Nov 26th
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Death Doula ☠

No such thing as a bad actor. #ad

Nov 25th
Reply (26)

Death Doula ☠

Should I be convicted for loving 'true crime'? That was 'stupid', sorry. 🤥

Nov 25th
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Douglas Van Aartsen

I'm worried about this podcast. The reason that I subscribed years ago was so that I could hear people who disagreed talk about something they disagreed about and still talk politely and make good points. It seems lately, that the argument is mostly not an argument but a podcast which talks about a topic without any disagreement. you can get that most anywhere.

Nov 25th
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