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The Political Scene | The New Yorker

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Join The New Yorker’s writers and editors for reporting, insight, and analysis of the most pressing political issues of our time. On Mondays, David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, presents conversations and feature stories about current events. On Wednesdays, the senior editor Tyler Foggatt goes deep on a consequential political story via far-reaching interviews with staff writers and outside experts. And, on Fridays, the staff writers Susan B. Glasser, Jane Mayer, and Evan Osnos discuss the latest developments in Washington and beyond, offering an encompassing understanding of this moment in American politics.
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The New Yorker staff writer Clare Malone joins Tyler Foggatt to analyze how President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are being skewered on social-media platforms like TikTok and Instagram. She discusses our shifting media habits, why the 2016 election is surfacing in new contexts online, and how both campaigns are relying on algorithms to gain momentum ahead of November.This episode originally aired on January 31, 2024. This week’s reading: “The Meme-ification of American Politics,” by Clare Malone  “What the Doomsayers Get Wrong About Deepfakes,” by Daniel Immerwahr To discover more podcasts from The New Yorker, visit newyorker.com/podcasts. To send feedback on this episode, write to themail@newyorker.com.
On July 4th—while the U.S. celebrates its break from Britain—voters in the United Kingdom will go to the polls and, according to all predictions, oust the current government. The Conservative Party has been in power for fourteen years, presiding over serious economic decline and widespread discontent. The narrow, contentious referendum to break away from the European Union, sixty per cent of Britons now think, was a mistake. Yet the Labour Party shows no inclination to reverse or even mitigate Brexit. If the Conservatives have destroyed their reputation, why won’t Labour move boldly to change the direction of the U.K.? Is the U.K. hopeless? David Remnick is joined by Rory Stewart, who spent nine years as a Conservative Member of Parliament, and now co-hosts the podcast “The Rest Is Politics.” He left the government prior to Brexit and wrote his best-selling memoir, “How Not to Be a Politician,” which pulls no punches in describing the soul-crushing sham of serving in office. “It’s not impostor syndrome,” Stewart tells Remnick. “You are literally an impostor, and you’re literally on television all the time claiming to understand things you don’t understand and claiming to control things you don’t control.”
The Washington Roundtable: Susan B. Glasser, Jane Mayer, and Evan Osnos analyze the impact of Hunter Biden’s criminal conviction and how the trial turned the spotlight on the Biden family’s private struggles through grief and addiction. Plus, how Trump supporters are waging an attack on the justice system and making its integrity one of the core issues of the 2024 Presidential election.This week’s reading: “Happy Seventy-eighth Birthday, Mr. Ex-President,” by Susan B. Glasser “Is Hunter Biden a Scapegoat or a Favored Son?” by Katy Waldman “Hunter Biden and the Mechanics of the ‘Scandal Industrial Complex,’ ” with Susan B. Glasser, Jane Mayer, and Evan Osnos To discover more podcasts from The New Yorker, visit newyorker.com/podcasts. To send in feedback on this episode, write to themail@newyorker.com with “The Political Scene” in the subject line.
The New Yorker writers Stephania Taladrid and Jonathan Blitzer join Tyler Foggatt to unpack President Biden’s stringent new executive order on asylum and the border. They discuss the strained diplomatic relations between the United States and Mexico and the political calculations underpinning Biden’s decision, and imagine what negotiations between Donald Trump and Mexican President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum would look like. This week’s reading: “Will Mexico Decide the U.S. Election?,” by Stephania Taladrid  “What’s Behind Joe Biden’s Harsh New Executive Order on Immigration?” by Jonathan Blitzer To discover more podcasts from The New Yorker, visit newyorker.com/podcasts. To send feedback on this episode, write to themail@newyorker.com.
When Raphael Warnock was elected to the Senate from Georgia in the 2020 election, he made history a couple of times over. He became the first Black Democrat elected to the Senate from the Deep South. At the same time, that victory—alongside Jon Ossoff’s—flipped both of Georgia’s Senate seats from Republican to Democrat. Once thought of as solidly red, Georgia has become a closely watched swing state that President Biden can’t afford to lose in November, and Warnock is a key ally. He dismisses polls that show younger Black voters are leaning toward Trump in higher numbers than older voters; Biden’s record as President, he thinks—including a reported sixty per cent increase in Black wealth since the pandemic—will motivate strong turnout. Warnock returns to Atlanta every Sunday to preach at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he remains senior pastor, and he thinks of the election as a “moral and spiritual battle.” “Are we a nation that can send from the South a Black man and a Jewish man to the Senate?” he asks. “Or are we that nation that rises up in violence as we witness the demographic changes in our country and the struggle for a more inclusive Republic?” 
The Washington Roundtable: Susan B. Glasser and Jane Mayer speak with Sarah Longwell, a longtime G.O.P. strategist and publisher of the Bulwark. Longwell has conducted focus groups across the country for the past eight years, and her research provides an unparalleled look at what motivates certain Republican voters to stay with Trump and what causes others to abandon him. She’s applying that research to persuade a segment of Republican voters to change their vote to Biden, now that Trump has become a convicted felon. What can Democrats learn from her efforts, and from the Republican Party’s messaging tactics?This week’s reading: “Fighting Trump on the Beaches,” by Susan. B Glasser “The Trials of a Never Trump Republican,” by Susan B. Glasser “Joe Biden’s Last Campaign,” by Evan Osnos To discover more podcasts from The New Yorker, visit newyorker.com/podcasts. To send in feedback on this episode, write to themail@newyorker.com with “The Political Scene” in the subject line.
The New Yorker staff writer Rivka Galchen joins Tyler Foggatt to discuss a class at the University of Chicago with a tantalizingly dark title: “Are We Doomed?” It’s in the interdisciplinary field of existential risk, which studies the threats posed by climate change, nuclear warfare, and artificial intelligence. Galchen, who spent a semester observing the course and its students, considers how to contend with this bleak future, and how to understand the young people who may inherit it. This week’s reading: “Are We Doomed? Here’s How to Think About It,” by Rivka Galchen  “It’s a Climate Election Now,” by Bill McKibben To discover more podcasts from The New Yorker, visit newyorker.com/podcasts. To send feedback on this episode, write to themail@newyorker.com.
In “The Other Olympians: Fascism, Queerness, and the Making of Modern Sports,” the journalist Michael Waters tells the story of Zdeněk Koubek, one of the most famous sprinters in European women’s sports. Koubek shocked the sporting world in 1935 by announcing that he was transitioning, and now living as a man. The initial press coverage of Koubek and another prominent track star who transitioned, Mark Weston, was largely positive, but Waters tells the New Yorker sports columnist Louisa Thomas that eventually a backlash led to the 1936 Berlin Olympics instituting a sex-testing policy for women athletes. Any female athlete’s sex could be challenged, and cisgender women who didn’t conform to historical gender standards were targeted as a result. These policies slowly evolved to include chromosome testing and, later, the hormone testing that we see today. “And so as we talk about sex testing today,” Waters says, “we often are forgetting where these policies come from in the first place.”
The Washington Roundtable: Susan B. Glasser, Jane Mayer, and Evan Osnos discuss the consequences of a major moment in American history and politics: the first-ever trial and conviction of a former President in a court of law. Will Donald Trump’s guilty verdict threaten his campaign, or will it only shore up support from his party? This week’s reading: “The Revisionist History of the Trump Trial Has Already Begun,” by Susan B. Glasser “Trump Is Guilty, but Voters Will Be the Final Judge,” by David Remnick “When the Verdict Came In, Donald Trump’s Eyes Were Wide Open,” by Eric Lach To discover more podcasts from The New Yorker, visit newyorker.com/podcasts. To send in feedback on this episode, write to themail@newyorker.com with “The Political Scene” in the subject line.
Kyle Chayka, a New Yorker staff writer and the author of the Infinite Scroll column, joins Tyler Foggatt to discuss the latest ChatGPT release—which uses a voice that sounds, suspiciously, like Scarlett Johansson’s character in the dystopian sci-fi movie “Her.” Chayka has reported extensively on artificial intelligence, and he describes some recent blunders that tech companies, including OpenAI and Google, have made in trying to push their products through.This week’s reading: “Faux ScarJo and the Descent of the A.I. Vultures,” by Kyle Chayka  “Your A.I. Companion Will Support You No Matter What,” by Kyle Chayka, from November  To discover more podcasts from The New Yorker, visit newyorker.com/podcasts. To send feedback on this episode, write to themail@newyorker.com.
On the reality-TV dating show “Love Is Blind,” the most watched original series in Netflix history, contestants are alone in windowless, octagonal pods with no access to their phones or the Internet. They talk to each other through the walls. There’s intrigue, romance, heartbreak, and, in some cases, sight-unseen engagements. According to several lawsuits, there’s also lack of sleep, lack of food and water, twenty-hour work days, and alleged physical and emotional abuse. The New Yorker staff writer Emily Nussbaum has been reporting on what these lawsuits reveal about the culture on the set of “Love Is Blind,” and a push for a new union to give reality-TV stars employee protections and rights. “The people who are on reality shows are a vulnerable class of people who are mistreated by the industry in ways that are made invisible to people, including to fans who love the shows,” Nussbaum tells David Remnick. Nussbaum’s forthcoming book is “Cue the Sun! The Invention of Reality TV.”
The Washington Roundtable: Susan B. Glasser, Jane Mayer, and Evan Osnos discuss why global events—such as the death of Iran’s president, a recent meeting between Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, and the worsening situation for Ukraine—should not be overlooked in favor of domestic issues during the 2024 campaign.This week’s reading: “There Is Literally Nothing Trump Can Say That Will Stop Republicans from Voting for Him,” by Susan B. Glasser “What Raisi’s Death Means for the Future of Iran,” by Robin Wright “Is the Biden Campaign Running on False Hope?,” by Isaac Chotiner “Lara Trump’s R.N.C. Sets Its Sights on—California?,” by Antonia Hitchens “The Biden Administration’s Have-It-Both-Ways Report on Gaza,” by Isaac Chotiner To discover more podcasts from The New Yorker, visit newyorker.com/podcasts. To send in feedback on this episode, write to themail@newyorker.com with “The Political Scene” in the subject line.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who has never held elected office but is related to many people who have, is emerging as a potential threat to Democrats and Republicans in the 2024 Presidential race. “There’s nothing in the United States Constitution that says that you have to go to Congress first and, then, Senate second, or be a governor before you’re elected to the Presidency,”  he told David Remnick, in July, when he was running as a Democrat. Now, as a third-party Presidential candidate, his numbers have grown in the polls—enough to push votes away from both Biden and Trump in November, especially, it seems, among younger voters. Besides his name, the seventy-year-old environmental lawyer is known as an anti-vaccine activist and a proponent of conspiracy theories. This election season, we’re eager to hear from you. What questions do you have? Let us know at: newyorkerradio@wnyc.orgThis interview originally aired on the New Yorker Radio Hour on July 7, 2023.
The Washington Roundtable: Susan B. Glasser, Jane Mayer, and Evan Osnos discuss  the unusual and dangerous aspects of Donald Trump’s reëlection campaign, from his quid-pro-quo offer to oil executives to his daughter-in-law’s new leadership position in the Republican National Committee.This week’s reading: “On Trump and the Elusive Fantasy of a 2024 Election Game-Changer,” by Susan B. Glasser “Can You Believe What Michael Cohen Just Said at the Trump Trial?,” by Eric Lach “It’s a Climate Election Now,” by Bill McKibben “Stormy Daniels’s American Dream,” by Naomi Fry “The Historic Trump Court Cases That We Cannot See,” by Neal Katyal To discover more podcasts from The New Yorker, visit newyorker.com/podcasts. To send in feedback on this episode, write to themail@newyorker.com with “The Political Scene” in the subject line.
Naomi Fry, a staff writer and co-host of the New Yorker podcast Critics at Large, joins Tyler Foggatt to discuss her impressions of Stormy Daniels’s testimony in the hush-money trial of former President Donald Trump. Having spent weeks doing a deep dive on the adult-film star’s life, Fry explains her understanding of Daniels’s motivations in accepting the hush money and what the sordid tale says about American culture today.This week’s reading: Stormy Daniels’s American Dream, by Naomi Fry Can You Believe What Michael Cohen Just Said at the Trump Trial?, by Eric Lach To discover more podcasts from The New Yorker, visit newyorker.com/podcasts. To send feedback on this episode, write to themail@newyorker.com.
David Remnick talks with Katie Drummond, the global editorial director of Wired magazine, about the TikTok ban that just passed with bipartisan support in Washington. The app will be removed from distribution in U.S. app stores unless ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, sells it to an approved buyer. TikTok is suing to block that law. Is this a battle among tech giants for dominance, or a real issue of national security? Drummond sees the ban as a corporate crusade by Silicon Valley to suppress a foreign competitor with a superior product. She finds the claim that TikTok is a national-security threat to be “a vast overreach that is rooted in hypotheticals and that is rooted in hypocrisy, and in … a fundamental refusal to look across the broad spectrum of social-media platforms, and treat all of them from a regulatory point of view with the same level of care and precision.”  For another perspective on the TikTok ban, listen to David Remnick’s conversation with the tech executive Jacob Helberg, who lobbied lawmakers to pass it. The segment will publish on the New Yorker Radio Hour feed on Tuesday.
The Washington Roundtable: Susan B. Glasser, Jane Mayer, and Evan Osnos discuss the campus protests against Israel’s war in Gaza and the potentially decisive role that the youth vote will play in the Presidential election. Cyrus Beschloss, the C.E.O. of The Generation Lab, a company that studies trends among young people, joins the show to break down the latest polling data. This week’s reading: “Biden’s Public Ultimatum to Bibi,” by Susan B. Glasser “Israel’s Politics of Protest,” by Ruth Margalit “The Kids Are Not All Right. They Want to Be Heard,” by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor “A Generation of Distrust,” by Jay Caspian Kang To discover more podcasts from The New Yorker, visit newyorker.com/podcasts. To send in feedback on this episode, write to themail@newyorker.com with “The Political Scene” in the subject line.
The New Yorker staff writer Eric Lach joins Tyler Foggatt to share a firsthand account of the bizarre stories coming out of the first-ever criminal trial of a former U.S. President. Lach explains why the former publisher of the National Enquirer testified about catch-and-kill schemes involving celebrities like Tiger Woods and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and describes Trump’s real-time reaction as adult-film star Stormy Daniels testified in lurid detail about the alleged affair at the heart of the prosecution’s case. This week’s reading: What Is Hope Hicks Crying About?, by Eric LachTo discover more podcasts from The New Yorker, visit newyorker.com/podcasts. To send feedback on this episode, write to themail@newyorker.com.
In December, the presidents of three universities were summoned to Congress for hearings about whether a climate of antisemitism exists on campuses. Politicians like Elise Stefanik made headlines, and two of the presidents, including Harvard’s Claudine Gay, were soon out of their posts. The Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy wrote an essay for the London Review of Books about the reverberations of those events. “Folks were out to get Claudine Gay from the get-go,” he thinks, “and were going to use any openings with which to do that”—for reasons that had little to do with protecting Jews. Kennedy tells David Remnick about a lawsuit against Harvard that would equate opposition to Zionism with antisemitism, and render a range of thinkers (including many Jews) unteachable. And “this,” Kennedy asserts, “is very dangerous.” This segment is part of the New Yorker Radio Hour’s episode devoted to the protests and the speech issues that college campuses have raised.
The Washington Roundtable: Susan B. Glasser, Jane Mayer, and Evan Osnos discuss the Presidential candidacy of the anti-vaccine activist and conspiracy theorist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and explore the ways his run for the White House as an independent might spoil the election for either Joe Biden or Donald Trump. “He’s not a serious threat in terms of being able to win,” says Jane Mayer, “but he is potentially a serious threat in being able to spoil this election for one side or the other.”This week’s reading: “Is 2024 Doomed to Repeat 1968 or 2020—or Both?” by Susan B. Glasser “Trump Is Turning Victimhood Into His Legal Strategy,” by Eric Lach “Donald Trump’s Sleepy, Sleazy Criminal Trial,” by Benjamin Wallace-Wells To discover more podcasts from The New Yorker, visit newyorker.com/podcasts. To send in feedback on this episode, write to themail@newyorker.com with “The Political Scene” in the subject line.
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Comments (61)

Burak

The interview is kinda short, isn't?

May 7th
Reply

dinky witch

the grating voice of the woman makes this otherwise interesting podcast (an AUDIO medium) impossible to listen to. need to skip her parts to keep my sanity

Apr 14th
Reply

selena

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Mar 16th
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Patel Ravi

Tramp = idiot

Feb 18th
Reply

Football 360

Test

Feb 15th
Reply

Eric Everitt

this one was as snarky as can be. Two women laughing at men.. nice.. sooo 2024!

Jan 18th
Reply

Arsalan

Trump never start any war👏

Dec 9th
Reply

Nick Sheldon

I can't listen to this. The false grating whining American voice (made up accent) makes it impossible to concentrate because all I want to do is punch my phone.. shame really as it sounded like it was going to be a good episode.

Nov 13th
Reply

Darcie Harris

Perhaps voters would respond differently in polls if the media would cover more substantive issues, like the impact of the infrastructure bill, the chips act & lower prescription drug costs instead of obsessively talking about Biden’s age.

Nov 11th
Reply

farzaneh rezaei

the exact same material was broadcasted on Radio Hour.

Oct 31st
Reply

Miles Greb

this guy is acting surprised Russians used the Russian horde stradgey?

Aug 3rd
Reply

Anthony Kelsick

This wad a very sad interview. I pray that Robert finds peace from his truly tortured past.

Jul 11th
Reply

Krisztina Szabo

no "prominent elected" democratic candidate challenging Biden? right, but there *ARE* other challengers - please now do a segment on Ms. Williamson! i know you are not impartial, but please at least aknowledge.

Jul 10th
Reply

Jack Of All Creative Trades

the cluelessness of the guest and host about censorship form social media mobs shocks me. because we should allow th author to publish the novel and allow people to read it to judge for themselves. no matter where there from inorser to judge foe themselves to see if the criticism is right or wrong. because now the author pulled it no one can see or judge if it harmful or not. to me this is censorship for one simple reason. the author pull it due to an outrage of a handful of passionate peiple on social media. who review bomb her book on good read. review bombing to me is a harassment tactics you see when a group of people want people to enjoy a price of entertainment. for her to pull the book from these harassers no matter the reason scares me because if you get a group of on social media pissed off enough you can get people to shut up and agree with you. that what I see as possible cenorship going forward.

Jun 22nd
Reply

mota

The New Yorker, presents conversations and feature stories about current events. On Wednesdays, the senior editor Tyler Foggatt goes deep on a consequential political story via far-reaching interviews with staff writers and outside experts. And, on Fridays, the staff writers Susan B. Glasser, Jane Mayer, and Evan Osnos discuss the latest developments in Washington and beyond, offering an encompassing understanding of this moment in American politics

Jun 9th
Reply

Mahbobe Rabani

Hi.how can i see thr script of this podcast?

May 13th
Reply

Zank Frappe

Fantastic interview!

Apr 3rd
Reply

Don Young

Is there a way to get at real human beings and thought and bypass chatGPT if it is dangerous?

Mar 2nd
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Mar 2nd
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Feb 28th
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