show episodes
 
From a global pandemic upending society to an especially intense U.S. presidential election cycle, we’re living in an unprecedented time. Maybe. In this show, Jody Avirgan, political historian Nicole Hemmer, and special guests rescue stories from the entirety of U.S. political history to map our journey through this era. Each episode takes one moment, big or small, from that day in the past and explores how it might inform our present –– and it does so in under ten minutes. New episodes rele ...
 
Hosted by Negin Farsad, Fake the Nation is all the comedy about politics without any of the politics about politics. Every week Negin and a cast of her funniest, smartest and most politically astute friends (John Fugelsang, Lizz Winstead, Dean Obeidallah and others) gather 'round the political roundtable to break down the news, make you laugh, think, and deliver a gut punch to the American political system.
 
Ask Roulette is a conversation series in which strangers ask each other questions, live on stage. It's a mix of conversation, comedy, and storytelling -- there's also music. David Plotz of Slate calls it "great" and the Observer says it's one of NYC's 10 Best Podcasts.The podcast features highlights from our live events at Housing Works Bookstore in New York, including appearances by special guests. Past guests have included Robert Krulwich of Radiolab, Kurt Braunohler, Julie Klausner, Barat ...
 
We can't play ultimate, but we can talk about it. Coach Speak brings you one-on-one interviews with the top coaches in Ultimate about how to find success on and off the field. Each installment focuses on one aspect of the game — planning practice, in-game adjustments, selecting Team USA — and goes deep on what players, coaches, and all of us can learn. Hosted by Jody Avirgan (FiveThirtyEight, 30for30, Radiotopia), former PoNY player and coach at the high school, national, and Team USA levels ...
 
In sports, we love to celebrate the stars who usher in game-changing new strategies and skills. But often times, they weren't the first to champion these winning tactics. This mini-series from FiveThirtyEight's "Hot Takedown" profiles some of the most innovative and under-appreciated players and managers in the history of sport.
 
Rembert Browne, writer and former New York Magazine and Grantland journalist, hosts a 24-hour podcast at the Anchor HQ to raise money for his former youth tennis camp, Coach Wink's NJTL, in Atlanta to attend the US Open. The podcast features conversations with various special guests recorded over 24 hours straight and published in one-hour episodes. Tune in all day and night starting Thursday, August 30th. You can donate to the cause at advantagekids.co/donate
 
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show series
 
Judah Friedlander and Jody Avirgan join Negin to break down Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation hearing and Trump’s decision to participate in a town hall competing with Joe Biden. They debate whether the SATs are helping or hurting students. Judah opens up about his dislike of school and discusses why memorizing facts isn’t enough.…
 
It’s October 29th. On this day in 1693, the Salem witch trials came to an end when a superior court decided it would no longer hear “spectral evidence.” Jody and Niki are joined by comedian Josh Gondelman to discuss what the witch trials were really about, and what they teach us about conspiracy theories. Josh’s podcast is “Make My Day.” Find a tra…
 
It’s October 27th. On this day in 1964, Ronald Reagan gave a televised speech that marked him as the leading voice of American conservatives. Jody and Niki discuss the “Time for Choosing” speech, Reagan’s long political evolution, and how the remarks set the stage for his eventual presidency. Find a transcript of this episode at: https://tinyurl.co…
 
It’s October 25th. On this day in 2002, Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash, eleven days before the midterm election. Jody and Niki discuss the impact of his death on the midterm election that year, and the political legacy Wellstone left behind. Find a transcript of this episode at: https://tinyurl.com/esoterichistory This Day I…
 
It’s October 22nd. On this day in 1955, President Eisenhower was recovering from a serious heart attack the month before. Jody and Niki are joined by William Hitchcock of UVA to discuss the incident and how a president’s inner circle handles the press and questions of succession when the Commander In Chief is sick. Will Hitchcock’s new podcast is c…
 
It’s October 20th. On this day in 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) began hearings to root out communist sympathizers in Hollywood. Jody and Niki are joined by William Hitchcock of UVA to discuss the long history of HUAC and how Congress has tried to define “un-American.” Will Hitchcock’s new podcast is called “Democracy In Da…
 
It’s October 18th. On this day in 1968, US Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists in a Black power salute on the podium in Mexico City. Jody and Niki are joined by Joel Anderson of Slate to discuss the backstory to the protests, the symbolism in their act, and what athletes risk when they take a political stand. Find a transcript…
 
It’s October 15th. On this day in 1995 hundreds of thousands of Black Americans descended on Washington DC for the Million Man March. Jody and Niki are joined by Joel Anderson of Slate to discuss the march, respectability politics, and the cultural moment that led to the march. Plus, why it’s so hard to estimate crowd sizes. Find a transcript of th…
 
It’s October 13th. On this day in 1912 (well, technically the 14th), Teddy Roosevelt is shot as he’s on his way to a speech in Milwaukee. He still gave the speech. Jody and Niki are joined by Alex Schmidt to discuss the incident, the wild election of 1912, and violence in politics. Alex’s podcast is called “Secretly Incredibly Fascinating” and is a…
 
It’s October 11th. On this day in 1991, Anita Hill provided testimony during the confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. Hill alleged that Thomas sexually harassed her while they were colleagues. Jody and Niki are joined by Farai Chideya to discuss the hearings, the changing (and not changing) nature of the sexual harassment…
 
It’s October 8th. On this day in 2001, the FBI opened an investigation into a series of letters containing anthrax powder that were mailed to news organizations and politicians. Jody and Niki discuss the case of the anthrax letters, why it remains somewhat unsolved, and why this story doesn’t get better remembered. Find a transcript of this episode…
 
It’s October 6th. On this day in 1961, President Kennedy penned a letter urging the country to prepare fallout shelters and take other steps in anticipation of nuclear warfare. Jody and Niki discuss the fear that pervaded the era and what it teaches us about how we prepare for disasters. Find a transcript of this episode at: https://tinyurl.com/eso…
 
It’s October 4th. On this day in 1988, Lloyd Bentsen delivered one of the most memorable debate lines of all time when he told his VP opponent Dan Quayle that he “was no Jack Kennedy.” Jody and Niki are joined by Mike Pesca, the host of Slate’s “The Gist,” to discuss why Benson’s line worked so well and what it can teach us about other great debate…
 
With the news that President Trump has COVID, we are reposting our episode from early April about the time that President Wilson caught the Influenza virus in 1919. We’ll be back with a new episode this Sunday. This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or j…
 
Tochi Onyebuchi and Sarah Pappalardo join Negin to break down the most insane moments of Tuesday night's presidential debate. They also discuss whether composting is a form of doomsday prepping and dig into Trump's taxes. Sarah explains why the $750 that Trump paid in federal income taxes isn't even the worst part.…
 
It’s October 1st. On this day in 2013, the United States government shut down after the Congress was unable to agree to a new budget proposal, that had been saddled with provisions that would have defunded Obamacare. Jody and Niki are joined by NBC/MSNBC correspondent Steve Kornacki to discuss the shutdown, how Ted Cruz used it to increase his prof…
 
It’s September 29th. On this day in 1970, the United States Senate came six votes shy of voting for an amendment that would have scrapped the Electoral College system in favor of a much more straightforward popular vote. Jody and Niki are joined by NBC/MSNBC correspondent Steve Kornacki to discuss the context for that amendment push, the way the El…
 
It’s September 27th. On this day in 1994, Republicans in the House of Representatives gathered on the steps of the Capitol to announce the “Contract with America,” a plank of ten policy points that they pledged to uphold if they seized back power in the upcoming midterm elections. Jody and Niki are joined by pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson of Eche…
 
It’s September 24th. On this day in 1810, a band of rebels took control of a fort in Baton Rogue and shortly thereafter established “The Republic of West Florida,” which would last for… just under 50 days. Jody and Niki are joined by pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson of Echelon Insights to discuss the breakaway republic, and the very weird history o…
 
It’s September 22nd. On this day in 1842, Abe Lincoln almost duels, using swords, with a man named James Shields, but manages to get out of it. Jody and Niki are joined by historian Alexis Coe to talk about why the duel isn’t part of the Lincoln mythology, and how scores were settled in the 1840s. Alexis Coe’s book is called “You Never Forget Your …
 
It’s September 20th. On this day in 1976, Democratic presidential candidate Jimmy Carter gave an interview to Playboy magazine in which he admitted that he has “lust in his heart” for women. Jody and Niki are joined by historian Alexis Coe to talk about how the comments set off a firestorm, in several different directions, and how Carter was never …
 
It’s September 17th. On this day in 1959, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev was in New York City as part of his goodwill tour of the United States. Jody and Niki discuss the visit by Khrushchev, the protests against it, and the difference between political and cultural diplomacy. Find a transcript of this episode at: https://tinyurl.com/esoterichist…
 
It’s September 15th. On this day in 1992, the congressional district on Manhattan’s west side held its Democratic Primary. Incumbent Ted Weiss won handily. There was just one catch — Weiss had died of heart failure the day before. Jody and Niki discuss the aftermath of Weiss’s death which saw Jerry Nadler assume the seat. They also look at the incu…
 
It’s September 13th. On this day in 1988, Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis baorded an M-1 tank in order to set up a photo op, ostensibly to make him look tough on defense. It backfired horribly. Jody and Niki are joined by Amy Walter of the Cook Political Reporter and The Takeaway to discuss the tank photo, huge polling collapses, and the power o…
 
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