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New York Times critic Dwight Garner says “The Slate Culture Gabfest is one of the highlights of my week.” The award-winning Culturefest features critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner debating the week in culture, from highbrow to pop. For more of Slate’s culture podcasts, check out the Slate Culture feed.
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Political Gabfest

Slate Podcasts

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Voted “Favorite Political Podcast” by Apple Podcasts listeners. Stephen Colbert says "Everybody should listen to the Slate Political Gabfest." The Gabfest, featuring Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz, is the kind of informal and irreverent discussion Washington journalists have after hours over drinks.
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Mexican-born journalist, broadcaster, and writer León Krauze, hosts Slate's first Spanish-language podcast, a weekly discussion of U.S. politics and current events, international news, pop culture, and of course fútbol! Joining him every week are journalists Fernando Pizarro, Ariel Moutsatsos, Janet Rodriguez, Dori Toribio, and other guests from the worlds of politics, entertainment, and beyond.
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Ever feel that you are alone in the world, talking to yourself about the television phenomenon that is CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND? Are you desperate to find your fellow Paula patrons , Darryl devotees, and believers in all things Bunch? Friend, prepare to meet-cute with your television soulmates, Crazy Ex-GirlFans. We explore all things CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND, the CW series created by Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna. Join us as we go episode-by-episode and experience everything West Covina has to ...
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David Plotz talks with author Sierra Greer about her new book, Annie Bot. They discuss how much discomfort Annie (a “Cuddle Bunny” type of robot) can feel, how the story of a robot is really about the right to control a body, and more. Tweet us your questions @SlateGabfest or email us at gabfest@slate.com. (Messages could be quoted by name unless t…
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On this week’s show, Dan Kois (writer at Slate and author of Hampton Heights: One Harrowing Night in the Most Haunted Neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) fills in for Dana Stevens. The hosts begin by exploring the latest addition to the Star Wars canon, The Acolyte, created by Leslye Headland (Russian Doll). Amandla Sternberg and Lee Jung-jae lea…
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This week, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss President Biden’s new asylum policy; the recent European Parliament elections with The Atlantic’s Anne Applebaum; and the jammed congestion pricing in New York City. Here are some notes and references from this week’s show: Corvid Research: Help, I’ve found a baby crow! Zolan Kanno-Y…
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This week, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the fallout from Donald Trump’s felony conviction; the spin-up for Hunter Biden’s trial; and the upshot for college speech from campus protests with Charles Homans. Here are some notes and references from this week’s show: Nathaniel Rakich for 538: Trump’s conviction may be hurting h…
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On this week’s show, the hosts begin by asking the question: What even is Garfield? Jim Davis’ overfed, Monday-hating (even though he’s jobless) cultural figure first appeared in comic strips in the late 1970s, and since then, has been surprisingly resilient, most recently conquering the summer box-office with The Garfield Movie. But who is Garfiel…
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In this week’s essay, John discusses instinct versus obligation, his daughter’s wit, how he has changed since episode one, and more. Notebook Entries: Notebook 58, page 10. September 16, 2021 “You don’t measure your life the way you measure your writing.” - Nan Notebook 75, page 46-47. September 2021 When your dog dies and son goes to college and y…
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This week, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the U.S. Senate seats that might turn from blue to red in 2024; The Fall of Roe with The New York Times’s Elizabeth Dias and Lisa Lerer; and the rise of Lauren Boebert with City Cast Denver’s Bree Davies and Paul Karolyi. Here are some notes and references from this week’s show: The …
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On this week’s show, the hosts begin by jumping into Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, a prequel to George Miller’s 2015 Fury Road, in which Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Furiosa, an arachnid beauty who’s stolen as a child and becomes a wasteland road warrior. She’s a “strong, silent type,” typical of the action film genre, but does that trope mean something dif…
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In this week’s essay, John discusses Mothers’s Day, playing tennis with the Attorney General, medical scares, and more Notebook Entries: Notebook 19, page 16. April 2011 Is it possible, through applied thought, to become systematic in an approach to life? If you were to do that how would you proceed? Notebook 16, page 6. July 26, 2005 “I’m here wit…
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This week, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s right-wing flag-flying; David Leonhardt’s take on A New Centrism; and OpenAI’s use – or not – of Scarlett Johansson’s voice. Here are some notes and references from this week’s show: Jodi Kantor for The New York Times: At Justice Alito’s House, a …
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On this week’s show, the hosts begin by reviewing Babes, Pamela Adlon’s (Better Things, Louie) directorial feature debut starring Ilana Glazer and Michelle Buteau. Through raunch-comedy and body horror, Babes explores childbirth and pregnancy through a refreshingly unromanticized lens, but does it succeed as a drama? Then, the three switch gears an…
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In this week’s essay, John discusses the differences between moving around New York in 1991 and 2021; remembering 9/11 twenty years later; and more. Notebook Entries: Notebook 75, page 12. September 2021 Notebooks to Garret Notebook 75, page 13. September 2021 Can you make a typo with handwriting? What’s a typo with handwriting called? Notebook 4. …
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Emily Bazelon talks with authors Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy, about their new book, Our Kindred Creatures: How Americans Came to Feel the Way They Do About Animals. They discuss the evolution of animal treatment in America, moral duties to animals, and how to care about more animals than our pets. Tweet us your questions @SlateGabfest or email us …
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This week, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the latest New York Times presidential poll and the Maryland primary results; the presidential debates; and who’s talking inside and outside Donald Trump’s Manhattan trial courtroom. Here are some notes and references from this week’s show: Nate Cohn for The New York Times: Trump Lea…
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On this week’s show, the hosts begin by dissecting The Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, the fourth chapter in the Apes franchise. Set “many generations” in the future, the latest installment (directed by Wes Ball and starring Owen Teague) is an undeniably well-crafted summer blockbuster – but does it achieve the level of complexity and thought it…
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In this week’s essay, John discusses the Pomodoro Routine (among other productivity routines), why he especially needs a meditation pillow, and how a particular teacher captured his heart. Notebook Entries: Notebook 75, pages 8 and 9. September 2021 OReinstating the Pomodoro Routine… Starting Marshall again… Write Brice… Send Laura the larger proje…
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This week, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss Stormy Daniels’s testimony in Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial; marijuana rescheduling; and the media’s role and responsibility in defending democracy. Here are some notes and references from this week’s show: Josh Gerstein for Politico: Stormy spoke. Trump fumed. Jurors were c…
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On this week’s show, the hosts begin by diving head-first into The Fall Guy, director David Leitch’s love letter to stunts and stunt people. It’s a rom-com starring action set pieces, in which stuntman Colt Seavers (Ryan Gosling) falls for his director and ex-flame, Jody (Emily Blunt). The film is very telling about the work that goes into making a…
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In this week’s essay, John discusses an onboarding memo for his assistant Laura, and recounts his early days living and working in New York City. Notebook Entries: Notebook 75 Onboard memo for Laura Notebook 3, page 44. May 1991 June 17 start job. Good stuff Notebook 3, page 46. May 1991 Tips on buying renting in NYC Ask about broker 20s and 30s Ea…
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This week, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the increasing and increasingly violent campus protests of Israel’s war in Gaza, Emily’s article on How ‘History and Tradition’ Rulings Are Changing American Law, and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s chances of a vice presidential nomination after killing her dog and writing about…
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On this week’s show, the hosts begin by discussing Challengers, Luca Guadagnino’s sexy tennis flick in which Zendaya stars as Tashi Duncan, the muse and lover of two male players, Art (Mike Faist) and Patrick (Josh O’Connor). It’s a smart but silly movie, one that paints a beautifully nested portrait of friendship and rivalry, and explores the comp…
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In this week’s essay, John discusses the art of attention and how to develop the skill of slow-looking. Notebook Entries: Notebook 75, page 8. September 2021 1016 Notebook 1, page 54. June 1990 - Magna carta 1215 at Salisbury - Girls skipping - The Haunch of Venison - Chris References: Georgia O’Keeffe Museum A Little History of the World by E.H Go…
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This week, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the testimony of prosecution witness David Pecker in Donald Trump’s criminal trial, student protests against Israel’s war in Gaza, and the Supreme Court argument on presidential immunity. Here are some notes and references from this week’s show: Matthew Haag for The New York Times: D…
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On this week’s episode, the panel is first joined by Slate’s music critic, Carl Wilson, to puzzle over The Tortured Poets Department, Taylor Swift’s much-anticipated 11th studio album. Stuffed with 31 tracks, the two-part album is a departure from the billionaire pop star’s otherwise perfectly crafted oeuvre: it’s messy and drippy, and at times, ma…
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In this week’s essay, John dives deep into the loss of his beloved dog, George, the essayist’s dilemma, the comfort of quiet mornings, and more. Notebook Entries: Notebook 75, page 5. September 5, 2021 I go to the morning alone. Notebook 75, page 6. September 6, 2021 Phantom nails on the stairs References: “Every Dog Is a Rescue Dog” by John Dicker…
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John Dickerson talks with author David E. Sanger about his new book, New Cold Wars. They discuss how Russia and China came to reach their new levels of power, the role the Middle East and Obama Administration played in all of this, and more. Tweet us your questions @SlateGabfest or email us at gabfest@slate.com. (Messages could be quoted by name un…
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This week, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss Donald Trump’s first criminal trial and the Supreme Court argument on a criminal charge related to another Trump case and talk with The Atlantic’s Mark Leibovich about his profile of Governor Gavin Newsom. Here are some notes and references from this week’s show: Norman Eisen for CNN…
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On this week’s show, Slate culture writer (and Very, Very Good Friend of the Show, a.k.a. VVGFOP) Nadira Goffe sits in for Dana Stevens. The three begin with Civil War, writer-director Alex Garland’s (Ex Machina, Annihilation, Men) dystopian travelog starring Kirsten Dunst, Cailee Spaeny, and Wagner Moura that imagines a burned out, bombed out Amer…
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In this week’s essay, John remembers dropping his son off at college, and trying to hold onto moments and feelings while you can. Notebook Entries: Notebook 75, page 6. September 2021: They chose you. Notebook 15, page 4. April 2004: Sitting with Brice by waterfall. Throwing rocks in stream. Loading sand from dump truck and loader and back again. R…
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This week, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the revival of Arizona’s 1864 abortion ban; the end of No Labels; and the past and future of presidential debates. Here are some notes and references from this week’s show: Mary Jo Pitzl and Reagan Priest for The Arizona Republic: Arizona House GOP halt Democrats’ effort to overturn …
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