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Making podcasts skimmable since February 2018. 
#7 ·March 30, 2018 · By Michael Yessis
Greetings from Chicago, where I’m feeling the city’s love for Sister Jean. Look for her in the newsletter — and for a few format tweaks. I’m still calibrating based on your feedback. Send any suggestions, thoughts, etc. for future newsletters my way. Thanks for reading!

8 Pod Takes: Provocative Thoughts From This Week's Podcasts


1) “If you can be liked for 30 seconds in 2018 America, you’re doing something right.”

Listen: Pardon My Take: Cubs Anthony Rizzo and Jaguars CB AJ Bouye (6:07)

  • The person doing right in the eyes of America? That would be Sister Jean. No matter what happens in the Final Four, she wins March Madness.  

  • Yet even she’s not immune to the plague of backlash against those with a high profile online. The PMT bros’ standing when it comes to hot takes is questionable, but they come to Sister Jean’s defense in their look at the Final Four.

  • Also: Go Loyola-Chicago!


2) “Enjoy the moment and follow your passion.”

“And don't listen to your mother.”

Listen: Men in Blazers: Heimir Hallgrímsson (18:59)

  • That’s Iceland National Team manager Heimir Hallgrímsson (quote #1) and MIB co-host Roger Bennett (quote #2). Hallgrímsson’s another feel-good sports person you need to know.

  • The part-time dentist-turned-leader of the underdog Iceland World Cup soccer squad tells Bennett his mother was skeptical when he gave up root canals for full-time coaching.

  • Since the U.S. didn’t qualify for the World Cup, I’m on the bandwagon: Go Iceland!


3) “It is a luxury to be able to be disgusted.”

Listen: Hidden Brain: Crickets and Cannibals (28:09)

  • Rachel Herz breaks down why disgust — humans’ defense mechanism against potential contaminants — isn’t the same for everyone. Some people must eat crickets or other things that some people think are disgusting. It’s about survival.

  • Also, disgust evolves. Lobster used to be considered “vermin of the sea.” Now you have the privilege of standing in line and forking over more than $20 for a lobster roll at Red’s Eats.


4) “We’re okay with privacy violations until it helps with something that we’re opposed to.”

Listen: Channel 33: Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica Problem, a Goldilocks Story in Pro-Trump Medialand, and the Buyer’s Guide to Sports Illustrated | The Press Box (3:59)

  • That’s David Shoemaker, who agrees with co-host Bryan Curtis that the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data scandal angered many not because of the breach of privacy, but because the breach potentially helped Trump.


5) “You cannot pay your gas bill with wokeness.”

Listen: The Indicator From Planet Money: Dollars for Data (6:19)

  • That’s Cardiff Garcia, heroically putting his foot down against the word “cyberwoke.” A guest believes we all need a cyberwokeness in our lives to understand how tech companies use our data.

  • They put forth and debate an interesting question: Should everyone who uses free services like Google Maps and Facebook be paid? Is it actually work?


6) “Japan is not Narnia. Japan is not Hogwarts.”

Listen: Pop Culture Happy Hour: Isle of Dogs (11:15)

  • That’s Linda Holmes, leading the PCHH crew through a nuanced discussion about a burning hot pop culture topic: How problematic is Wes Anderson’s cultural appropriation of Japanese culture in his new movie?

  • Adds Holmes: “You can’t just make it up and say, ‘Well, this is my fictional idea of Japan.’ and not expect people to have an issue with that.”

  • The general critical consensus: Anderson’s appropriation is problematic, and his use of signifiers from other cultures is a thread that runs through many of his films.


7) “It feels good to hear something outside your body that reflects the way that it feels inside your body.”

Listen: This Song: Dessa (7:03)

  • That’s Dessa, articulating what draws her to certain music during a conversation about the impact Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” had on her life and art.

  • Dessa’s analysis is a reminder of the brilliance of “Fast Car,” and of how great art can keep surprising us as it ages.

8) “There is a market for being an asshole in the Republican Party.”

Listen: Pod Save America: “Choose your own obstruction” (9:15)

  • So says Dan Pfeiffer, in the wake of Fox News’s Laura Ingraham’s mocking of shooting survivor David Hogg’s college application rejections.

  • Ingraham’s learning that being an asshole can have consequences. Advertisers are pulling spots from her show. 
Got a Pod Take, a show to binge or a great guest I should consider for next week’s newsletter? Send it!

One Episode That Mesmerized Twitter

Today, Explained: The Survivors

  • Survivors of shootings in Chicago, Marjory Stoneman High School and Columbine High School talk about coping with their shared tragedies.

  • “Exceptional”@lindaholmes

  • “Truly great work”@tebbytater

  • “Holy fuck” @ThePodPlaylist

Go Deep

1) Empire on Blood

Listen: Empire on Blood

  • The story’s about a “seven-year investigation to uncover the truth behind a Bronx double homicide, a betrayal, and a drug kingpin's journey to overturn his life sentence.”

  • All seven of the true crime pod’s episodes dropped at once.

2) Women Owning It Online

Listen: Note to Self

  • Note to Self teamed with New York Magazine’s The Cut for a five-part series about “the highs and lows of living online,” focusing on five different women, including Lele Pons and Christiane Amanpour.


3) Kevin Durant

Listen: The Bill Simmons Podcast, Part 1 and Part 2

  • Simmons goes deep with Golden State Warriors all-star KD.


4) Escape (The Piña Colada Song)

Listen: Punch Up the Jam

  • One hour and 39 minute dissection of one of the best/worst songs of the ‘70s.

Guest Appearances By...

Bartz, Carol Freakonomics Radio

  • Convo with the former Yahoo CEO

Biden, Joe Pod Save America

  • The VP talks politics, his cancer initiative and his regrets for saying he’d fight Trump

Blakely, Sara Skimm’d From the Couch

  • A convo with the founder of Spanx

Braff, Zach Anna Faris is Unqualified

Burnham, Bo The A24 Podcast

  • A wide-ranging conversation with Jerrod Carmichael

Burton, LeVar Wait, Wait...Don’t Tell Me!

Carmichael, Jerrod The A24 Podcast

  • A wide-ranging conversation with Bo Burnham

Faris, Anna Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard

Helms, Ed ID10T

King, Larry The Adam Carolla Show

Kirchhoff, Christopher Recode Decode

  • A convo about flying cars. Again: Flying cars!

Levinson, Barry The Bill Simmons Podcast

  • They talk movies new (“Paterno”) and old, with Al Pacino

Lipman, Joanne Recode Decode

Malkmus, Stephen The Adam Carolla Show

  • Convo with the Pavement singer

Mishra, Pankaj Public Intellectual

  • Convo about “masculinity in crisis” with “The Age of Anger” author

Pacino, Al The Bill Simmons Podcast, Maltin on Movies

Palmieri, Jennifer Pod Save America

  • Hillary Clinton’s former communications director talks about her book

Penn, Sean WTF With Marc Maron, Bookworm

  • Bookworm’s Michael Silverblatt says Penn’s new novel is “constantly making you scratch your head.”

Peretti, Chelsea Comedy Bang! Bang!

Pink, Daniel The Tim Ferriss Show

  • Convo with the prolific author of books about business and behavior

Rae, Issa Edge of Fame

  • Trailing the “Insecure” star to the BET Awards

Shalizi, Moe The Bob Lefsetz Podcast

  • Convo with the manager of Marshmello and dance music artists

Shelton, Lynn WTF With Marc Maron

Stang, Chris House of Carbs

  • CEO of The Infatuation talks about his company’s acquisition of Zagat

They Might Be Giants WTF With Marc Maron

Pick From a Podcaster

This week's podcasters: Dad and daughter duo Jeff and Julia Levy of Peach and Prosperity, which tells local homegrown stories around Atlanta.

Jeff and Julia add: We’re “focused on founders with a spirit of Southern hospitality. Our stories blossom from a curiosity to learn more about people behind brands.”

Their pick: How I Built This with Guy Raz: LÄRABAR: Lara Merriken

  • Jeff and Julia say: “We admire how Guy Raz tells stories behind the world's best known companies. We aspire to share the local version of these types of stories when the companies are small and scrappy. The episode about Lara Merriken showed us the power of persevering, and that anything is possible if you have a vision and passion. She transformed her life and the lives of others by launching her product!”

Reviews, Recommendations and Links

New trial for 'Serial' subject Adnan Syed upheld by Maryland appeals court (Kevin Rector and Justin Fenton, Baltimore Sun)

Podcasts Get the Hollywood Treatment, Complete With Zach Braff (Amanda Hess, The New York Times)

  • Hess writes: “It’s just one of many podcasts angling for a Hollywood moment.”

‘Alex, Inc.’ is a sitcom about a podcast about a podcast company. How did that get on TV? (Sonia Rao, Washington Post)

S-Town’ podcast impact still felt in Woodstock, 1 year later (Drew Taylor, AP)
  • Amazing stat: "A year after its release, it still remains of the most popular podcasts in the world and topped the iTunes’ Top Podcast charts for months.”

If Nathan for You Were a Podcast, It’d Sound a Lot Like Personal Best (Nicholas Quah, Vulture)

In Naomi Alderman's Podcast, Listeners Walk Into The Story (Ari Shapiro, NPR)

Even royal wedding skeptics can delight in The Windsor Knot, a bubbly take on why none of this matters (AV Club, Podmass)

Audio drama podcast, The Amelia Project, helps fake deaths (Morgan Hines, Discover Pods)

If you like The Week in Podcasts, please pass it along to someone else who might like it, too. Thanks for reading!

Find us on Twitter @WeekInPodcasts.

Copyright © 2018 Michael Yessis, All rights reserved.

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