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The Left-Wing Podcasts You Need to Get Your Mind Right

These must-listen pods don’t get smug, they get real.

by Brenden Gallagher

by Brenden Gallagher

Many of us spent the weeks and months leading up to the election listening to podcast after podcast of election prognostication. From Slate to 538, the Ringer to the New York Times, every outlet had election experts who took on the weekly task of assuring us that things were going to be just fine.

And then they weren’t. They were so far from fine that it left many of us stunned and fearful, wondering what to do, where to get reliable political coverage, and which politicians to support to start turning things around.

The time has come for something different. All of these liberal podcasts are peddling a mixture of mourning, blame, and statistics meant to make us feel better. Instead of indulging in the musings of lanyard-wearing sad sacks who thought they could condescend their way through a Hillary Clinton presidency, look to some new podcasts with some humor, some anger, and some fire. Whether they are aimed at organizing the troops or just giving them something to laugh about as fascism dawns in America, here are some of the best podcasts to get you through the last vestiges of your post-election funk and get you involved in the resistance.

Delete Your Account

Delete Your Account is a far more earnest, action-oriented companion to Chapo Trap House. Hosts Roqayah Chamseddine (@roqchams) and Kumars Salehi (@KumarsSalehi) are passionate, radical intellectuals who actively advance their goal of not only informing their audience, but also providing them with avenues to get involved. Whether they are talking the Dakota Access Pipeline, climate change, or prison riots, they encourage their guests to share their expertise and also provide a blueprint for the layperson who wants to turn their rhetoric into action.

The podcast just launched in June, but Chamseddine and Salehi have consistently provided high-quality content that is unlike anything else in the iTunes Store. One of their most compelling episodes involves a recent national prison strike, for which they spoke to a number of activists, including an inmate who communicated with them on a smuggled cell phone.

So many political podcasts talk to people who spend their days in soundproof booths and newsrooms. Delete Your Account does its best to speak with the boots on the ground week after week, addressing the issues the most need coverage in American life. If you are tired of podcasts that involve far more navel-gazing than action, Delete Your Account is the antidote you need.

Chapo Trap House

The Left has long been desperate for a smart answer to conservative talk radio. Admit it, you’ve secretly wanted something as rude, ribald, and ridiculous as what the right gets, but, you know, without the racism and oxycontin addictions. Chapo Trap House has jumped in to fill the void and it has already made quite an impact.

The creators are left-wing “weird Twitter” stars who already had large followings thanks to their blend of politics and irony online, and came together to create the perfect balance of absurd humor and thoughtful political analysis. Felix Biederman (@byyourlogic), Matt Christman (@cushbomb), Will Menaker (@willmenaker), and Brendan James (@deep_beige) started the podcast and have recently added Amber A’Lee Frost (@AmberALeeFrost) and pseudonymous Virgil Texas (@virgiltexas) to the mix. Each week the Grey Wolves—as they call themselves and their fans—interview a journalist or comedian and analyze, muse on, and bitch about the world from a young, ironic, leftist perspective.

Chapo shows no mercy whether they are attacking pretentious New York Times editorial writers, corporate HillaryMen, or uptight libertarian blowhards. They aren’t afraid to speak truth to power and challenge every aging Democratic orthodoxy that led to a Donald Trump presidency. Each week, Chapo Trap House serves as a release valve for the anger of a generation of leftists that feel they’ve been overlooked, first by the electoral shanking of Bernie Sanders, and now by the coronation of Donald Trump. Listening to Chapo is the most cathartic way to start your week, and though they’ll get you fired up, each episode leaves you feeling like there is someone else on your side.

Street Fight Radio

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Street Fight hosts Bryan Quinby (@MurderBryan) and Brett Payne (@BrettPain) might object to being characterized as left wing, as they prefer to describe themselves as an “anarcho-comedy” podcast. Quinby and Payne have the down-home charm of guys you went to high school with, but these two Ohioans are out to shift your perspective and make you laugh along the way. Whether they are taking on conspiracy theories, time theft, political protests, or consumer habits, these guys look at the world and ask why it couldn’t operate a little differently, with a few less people around trying to tell you what to do, and with everyone inflicting a little less pain on each other.

The show is addictive because rather than talking down to you in the mold of most digital media on the left, these two meet their audience where they live. Quinby and Payne often share stories about the shitty jobs they’ve worked installing cable and answering phones. They talk about the lean times where they’ve had to cheat the grocery store self-checkout or buy used tires just to get by. It’s easy to laugh along with them as they complain about their relatives who spout conspiracy theory nonsense on Facebook or the bosses who got sick of their shit, because they are always laughing with you, whoever you are. If you want a podcast that feels like you’re chatting with two awesome dudes you just met at the bar, who happen to find conspiracy theories hilarious and advocate anarchy, this podcast is for you.


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Brenden Gallagher

Brenden Gallagher works in television and writing in Los Angeles. He worked on Revenge, Heartbeat, and Famous in Love. His writing has appeared at Complex, VH1, and MERRY JANE. Follow him on Twitter @muddycreekU



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