First Episode: New podcasts about politics, introverts, and podcasts

A podcast discovery feature spotlighting new and almost-new shows. Happy Friday.

candidate confessional 250wCandidate Confessional: Ex-candidates and their campaign managers deconstruct past political campaigns (failed ones, so far) in this excellently conceived new podcast whose first episode dropped on January 14. Hosts Sam Stein and Jason Cherkis employ the unfortunate mumbling style that has become prevalent in postmodern broadcasting, even unable to properly pronounce the word “candidate,” but as interviewers they do have a good instinct for leaning in and laying back at the right times. Howard Dean and Michele Bachmann turned in energetic and illuminating histories of their failed office grabs, while Mitt Romney’s lead strategist was disappointingly flaccid — two out of three isn’t bad when the backstage concept is so interesting. We look forward to more, with hope that Stein and Cherkis will discover coffee. [LISTEN]

The Big Listen: This “Broadcast About Podcasts” had its first airing on WAMU last Sunday, January 31. It is promoted mainly as a radio show, and is thus a good example of broadcast leaping into on-demand media. Unfortunately, the broadcast mindset doesn’t promote the program effectively as on-demand Internet audio, and show is pretty hard to find. (Note to publicists: linking to iTunes is the worst way to promote a new podcast.) We found the show page here, and enjoyed host Lauren Ober’s interviews with podcasters Adam Davidson, Megan Tan, and Anna Sale. [LISTEN]

FiveThirtyEight Elections Podcast: Got election-season fever? The analysis site FiveThirtyEight always has election fever. About time it launched a podcast, right? The first episode (One Week to Iowa) dropped on January 25. This isn’t a show which should molder in your download queue for long. An irregular release schedule has seen a new show every few days — four so far. It looks like FiveThirtyEight will mix current events with election documentaries — the fourth show looks back at the Dean Scream … just as Candidate Confessional did (see above). [LISTEN]

Quiet: The Power of Introverts: We hoped this new show on the Panoply network would be 30 minutes of shy murmurs, or even silence. But host Susan Cain is extroverted enough, and is a skilled presenter of this new 10-part series whose first episode was on February 3.  This is a disciplined, well-produced program as expected from Panoply. It’s a service-oriented parenting and teaching show that explains what introversion feels like to kids, and how best to support them. [LISTEN]


Brad Hill