Political Gabfest

News #74Politics #27

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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Recent Reviews
  • FWalkerH
    Late to the (podcast) Party; but lovin’ it!
    It’s been a few years since I stumbled on to the PG; but now I feel like one of the listener family. (Note that for quite a while—till I finally researched beyond the audio feed—John Dickerson was the only voice I could put a face to; but now—like family members chatting round the kitchen table—I see/hear you all!) In any case, I too applaud you for your chemistry, your impressive intellects, your ability to communicate, your collective Wit (& the more ascerbic, the better), plus some interesting guests & road trip shows. I’m also a fan of Cocktail Chatter & am a Slate Plus member. As someone who—as a constant companion for a disabled spouse—must stay close to home for most of my daily hours, I really look forward to my weekly Gabfest fix. THX & Keep gabbing! —Frank H., Petoskey, Michigan
  • blt667
    why has navel gazing hijacked this podcast?
  • rhexvyb
    Again. Conveniently avoiding the topic of Gaza and the Israeli genocide on Palestinians
  • VioletMeadows
    No navel gazing please
    This navel gazing- slow, pointlessness- plays when I try to play other episodes. I can’t get away from it! I was trying the paid subscription out but won’t be keeping it.
  • Fuji apple
    Really enjoy your podcast, which allows me to disassociate while completing my morning rowing workout, while listening to intelligent conversations. I like this group, who don’t always agree, but who are always civil. Please disregard the naysayers in these comments, and consider doing a podcast twice a week. One comment regards the podcast rules (apparently). I became a subscriber and wanted to review older podcasts, but found out I was only allowed access to the subscriber section for about a year back. Is this a penalty for subscribing late?
  • Auron Renouille
    What on Earth is this “navel gazing” nonsense?
    The podcast is called “political gabfest;” the episodes called “navel gazing” are appropriately named - self-important rumination that has nothing to do with politics, law, or news, and are only appropriate when quietly muttered to oneself in front of a bathroom mirror. These audio essays - and “essay” is doing a lot of heavy lifting here - are inexplicable. I at first hoped that it was some sort of a soft launch of a new podcast and would go away after an episode or so but evidently it’s not going away. Please, for all that is holy, separate out the two podcasts - I fast forward the instant that I realize that it’s one of those bizarre screeds. I’ll gladly revise my review once they’re gone. The original podcast was great. This new stuff is truly ~bizarre~ and I can’t figure out why my subscription to a politics and law podcast was turned into a subscription to ~this~.
  • Zombiesun99
    Please stop putting naval gazing in the feed
    I will subscribe to slate plus if I can not have that show show up in my feed. Thanks.
  • Rober66
    Screaming voices
    Increasingly violent campus protests?? You must mean the increasingly violent response to student protests. I have spent time at the encampments and they are full of knowledge-seekers and idealistic student’s who actually believe what we teach and seek to create a better world. At Brown a recent rally ended with “learn with us, live with us, live with us.” There are so many valid perspectives on this topic. Has the gabfest expressed any concern for Gazans?
  • Vitbifr432
    Love John, hate 'gazing'
    I have to say that John's contributions to Gabfest are terrific: thoughtful, informed, and often poetic in their way. The current offering may be all that as well, but no. No. Not under the title of Gabfest. Just no.
  • Icanbuild
    Election Fraud Plain and Simple
    To think “this” Supreme Court is taking their time in making decisions for future presidents is pure folly; plain and simple!
  • Jaisaunders
    So one sided
    This show is just another prime example of fools with trump deranged syndrome. Pathetic. You fools go ahead keep supporting the regime and watch our country continue to crumble. Lame show don’t waste your time.
  • Bleecker44
    While I always enjoy hearing various points of view this show is more about a group of smart folks who agree with each other. Very little room for any meaningful significant difference of opinion. David and Emily are almost 100% in agreement. John adds a fantastic intellectual view that opens the doors to other POVs but only goes so far.
  • pwestes
    Navel gazing with John Dickerson
    Very good program. John Dickerson never disappoints. 🌼
  • Norwich42
    "Navel gazing" is lovely, generous writing. Look forward to more
  • doogald
    Why the extras?
    I’ve been listening from the beginning and this would be 5 stars if it wasn’t for the extra stuff in the feed - gabfest reads, and now navel gazing. If I want to subscribe to those shows, I’ll subscribe to those shows. Don’t put that stuff in the main feed (except for maybe the first episode- that would be fine.) I keep having to delete the stuff I don’t care to hear.
  • Queenie Von Sugarpants
    Politics, but not exhausting
    Political Gabfest is my favorite political podcast because it's pretty much the only one I've regularly consumed that doesn't either whip me into a rage or sink me into existential despair. No, I don't always agree with the hosts, and they can be tone-deaf when it comes to class and money. But I like their varied temperaments and areas of expertise, I always enjoy the guests, and I can catch up on stories I missed without suffocating on outrage or snark or cynicism, or feeling like I'm being manipulated. Besides politics, there's often a gratifying bit of frivolity or wonder or joy, or just an apt turn of phrase that really hits the spot. I look forward to it each week.
  • B the Guy
    Great podcast
    Interesting and fun
  • kla212
    2/3rds great
    Congratulations on listening to a Palestinian voice only six months after the genocide began.
  • historyty7
    Teachers and COVID
    Your assertion that the “date doesn’t show” that teachers were at elevated risk quickly ignores the fact that teachers are older than students, and many have medical conditions that would have placed them at higher risk. Many live with adults with health conditions that would be at risk if teachers brought home COVID. Young students with healthy immune systems skew the data to make it seem like the fears were overblown. Instead of just saying that teachers failed and need to “own it” please express the limitations of your own limited analysis. As a teacher I can say from my first hand and ongoing experience that you have no idea what happened. I feel you owe and apology and a correction.
    GREAT pod
    I tell everyone I know to listen to this pod. I love the chemistry between David, Emily and John. I learn so much every week…from each of them but particularly from Emily because I know nothing about the justice system. Thursdays are the highlight of my week. HIGHLY recommend.
  • MyraCara
    Very good for keeping informed about politics
    The hosts have comprehensive knowledge about politics in the U.S. are good explainers.
  • VSLNew
    Wait for it to drop every Thursday
  • DrDK2
    Emily is Quite Conventional
    I have to comment on your latest discussion on engagements. I was appalled at how conventional, and dare I say sexist, Emily B was. As a 68 yr old female physician married for 40 years, I can’t imagine my husband “proposing.” We are equals. It was a discussion. And we’ve had a lifetime of special memories without relying on a patriarchal proposal. On the other hand, my daughter-in-law proposed to my son. It was a surprise, but not a performance. Emily needs to get with modern times. And it’s pretty bad you have to be told that by a 68 yr old.
  • Crystalash
    Regurgitating, not real journalism
    Offers not much insights beyond commentaries on whatever has been circulated in the mass media. Even the occasional quibbles fall within the narrow framework of the consensus.
  • ChristinaLBW
    Never Miss This
    I have been listening every week for years
  • MeggoAH
    Disappointed Listener
    I’ve listened to this podcast for around 7 years. I used to find the analysis interesting and relied on it heavily as the pandemic unfolded. Now I see that these three (Emily by far the least, but still) are all much closer to the center than I realized. They’re elitist and out of touch. Their coverage of Gaza and Israel has left me confused about their moral compasses.
  • Montana lib
    I’m done with mainstream pundits who seem to have almost no knowledge of what’s really going on with the right wing. I hear almost nothing on this show about most of the conspiracies, the religious extremism and the powerful think tanks who are not the fringe but are rather directing the GOP and the trump campaign. Stop ignoring what is vile, stupid and terrifying just to be “balanced.”
  • Jman11215
    I’m not sure what’s happening…
    Longtime listener, I have always enjoyed the podcast. No issues with John or Emily but David Plots has become elitist, spoiled and kind of whiney. Democracy is at stake and he’s not bringing anything necessary, interesting or of value to the show. Sorry.
  • hm122221
    Reliably outstanding
    Started listening in the summer of 2016 and haven’t missed an episode! Three brilliant minds. I am constantly in awe of listening to David describe the things he takes interest in—makes me interested too!
  • Co elk do
    Two years ago I, too, used to enjoy listening to the conversation here by the 3 hosts. But in the last year, I have found better podcasts by more authoritative voices when it comes to constitutional law and even politics. David Plotz seems out of his depth here. Emily Bazalon does not have the same chops to discuss constitutional law that others have. John Dickerson has the best /most interesting perspective on issues and the one I enjoy listening to.
  • TLaball
    Destroy the Ivy League
    When David Leonheart said that Americans care about who attends elite universities, I almost dropped my phone. Eat the rich, right? Every conversation on this show about the university system somehow starts with the premise that the continuation or protection of the Ivy system is paramount to the continuation or protection of America. It’s the shocking idea that because so many politicos or CEOs or judges come from that system that it must mean something good is happening. There is never a real conversation about how that system perpetuates the class distinctions in this country or how all of those powerful people coming from a handful of institutions might be bad for us. And the idea that sometimes they’ll let in a poor Black kid is the disguise of diversity and only seeks to hide the truth: the Ivy system is foundational to upholding Americas class system that depends on a mass of poor to maintain the wealthy few. David Leonheart is wrong; Americans don’t care who goes to Harvard. Americans are poor, overworked, tired, and would rather use Harvard for kindling to warm themselves through this long, cold winter. Can these very bright people get off twitter, stop naval gazing and see the privileged bubble they inhabit? Doubtful.
  • JukinJen
    No longer very interesting
    I’ve loved this for years but recently have been disappointed and bored by the episodes. They are repetitive (polls are unreliable!) and they seem so worried about offending campus Progressive types that they never really explore topics. I hope that they become more courageous and varied in their opinions again.
  • Mr. Larke
    Idk i find it listenable most of the time but sometimes it’s hard for the host to hide the fact their not liberal and just institutionalists and sometimes it comes off as just ignorant white voices.
  • Rich in GA
    Kill the conundrum
    I’ve listened weekly since 2007. I agree with some of the recent comments about David’s descent into madness but as a legacy listener I plod on with Plotz. But one thing I’ve never enjoyed is the Conundrum Show. Please kill it.
  • rng.reviews
    Conundrum 2023
    I found the guest pretty unlistenable. Just not my taste. Very disappointed for this year’s show but looking forward to 2024!
  • WishIhadACar
    morally corrupt podcast
    the hosts have no moral backbone. i’ve been incredibly disappointed with their representation of the palestinian genoicide. i’ve been a nearly decade long listened of the podcast but can’t listen in good conscious anymore.
  • elysianlight
    I listen to a million podcasts and this is my favourite
    The hosts have excellent chemistry and I truly look forward to seeing this in my feed :) they are just great, funny and also informative. I appreciate the lawyerly political perspective coupled with a more moderate devil’s advocate view from David.
  • Undiversified Opinions
    Too bias in favor of Israel
    I am a long time listener, and have been listening since 2010. However, the two episodes involving the genocide on Gaza by the Israeli government was lacking analysis and context. David and Emily failed to acknowledge the Israeli government’s absolutely atrocious actions over 75 years towards Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. There was absolutely no acknowledgement that Israel is occupying Palestine, and has created Hamas through its war crimes and torture on the Palestinian people. They parroted the Israeli government rationale that they are trying to “rid Gaza of Hamas” when statement after statement and video after video and image after image show that the Israeli government just wants to get rid of Palestinians and to take over Gaza and the West Bank. The most biased discussion and flippant disregard of Palestinian people I have heard from supposed liberals. Emily even said that people need to humble themselves (ie Palestinian supporters), and that this conflict is complicated (it’s not complicated. Killing 11,000 Palestinians for land is wrong). It sickens me. Just proves that this podcast is yet again made up of people who benefit from and encourage colonialism, and oppression of others.
  • Sucyvtddt
    Biden’s Accomplishments
    Please state all of Biden’s successes rather than his age! The economy, technology jobs, climate jobs, environmental changes, supports union…there, I helped you out.
  • Sara___—
    Extremely disappointed
    I’ve listened to Gabfest for six years. I have recommended it to many people, and enjoyed many episodes. However, I am exceptionally disappointed in the initial complete lack of discussion about Israel – Palestine. And now I am extremely disappointed in how they have finally addressed it. It is not complicated. I do not think anybody, including David Plotz, should be advocating that we just look away from this and stop talking about it. I understand that being Jewish and feeling an identity alignment with the concept of Israel might present some additional considerations, but what is happening is NOT complicated, and a political podcast should not be saying otherwise, especially without giving literally any context at all. I’m sad to unsubscribe, but I cannot, in good conscience, continue to support Israeli apologists who think that what Israel is doing is acceptable and who literally did not even mention the thousands and thousands of dead and injured Palestinians. Shame on you, David Plotz, Emily Bazelon, and John Dickerson. I expected more.
  • Boilingrug
    It’s really gross how open David is in his admiration of corrupt politicians. He has mentioned this in various ways for years. I suspect it’s because, like inflation, he is wholly unaffected by it. It’s merely something juicy to talk about.
  • Sonneveldt
    Great show!
    Look forward to listening to David, Emily and John every week.
  • unicorn h0rns
    their dynamic. Always a great listen.
  • Ajlr87
    I can’t anymore
    I’ve been listening to the Gabfest for as long as I remember. I’m so sad to let it go, but I can’t listen anymore. Every show is just pablum. No one says anything insightful - it’s so, so predictable and boring. Their latest episode on Israel was downright unlistenable. There was almost no compassion shown for the 1,300+ people who were slaughtered in their homes, just hand-wringing nothingness.
  • AnnoyedLiberal
    Unsubscribed after years of listening
    Because I can’t listen to another sneering journalist lecture listeners about how crime was worse in the 90s and therefore there ought to be zero concerns about crime now. It is so so clueless
  • Amadeo Bordiga
    Great if you like listening to rich white liberals complain about their POC neighbors
    There’s an incredible moment in the October 5th, 2023 episode of this show where David Plotz reveals over the course of ten minutes that: 1. He is very concerned about crime (said explicitly) 2. He lives in a rich neighborhood of dc where there is almost no crime (said explicitly) 3. His girlfriend is very concerned about videos of designer dogs being stolen (said explicitly) 4. He has never read or has failed to internalize any prison abolitionist literature (this you have to infer) A few minutes later John Dickerson helpfully reminds us that “cops are important” and that “they take care of us,” and you know exactly who “us” is.
  • Esmo2000chess
    Great show but David talks over people too much
    I'm a long time listener and I love this show but I frequently have to turn it off because David plotz can't breathe, lower his voice, and stop talking over his colleagues. It's painful to listen to.
  • Everard61
    Automakers with $15B in profits are working with thin margins?
    Girl, bye.
  • Leigh Karen
    Too many commercials
    Otherwise very good.
  • Eskier
    Too many ads
    The last episode was 6 minutes of ads, zero minutes of content
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