With Friends Like These

Ana Marie Cox hosts a podcast about what divides us and what doesn’t. Subscribe now.

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Hey With Friends Like These listeners! Crooked Media podcasts are switching to secure RSS feeds this week. Most listeners won’t notice a change but if you do, upgrade to the latest version of your podcast app and you’ll be back to normal listening! Enjoy!


“We Act Like It’ll Never Happen” w/ Neena Satija and Jon Lovett

First, [2:15] a conversation with Neena Satija (@neenareports) from Houston, about Harvey and the choice to not prepare for catastrophic events. Second, [32:04] Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) helps field a listener question! And then [47:18] we talk about Game of Thrones as a metaphor for climate change. Lastly: [57:18] A short reflection on the Nashville Statement and attempts by Christians to dehumanize and deny our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.

We want to hear from you! Tweet us at @crooked_friends, or email us a question at withfriendslikepod@gmail.com and we’ll get a future guest to answer it. A reminder that we are still taking your adult sex ed questions for next week’s show.

And don’t forget about our LIVE SHOW in AUSTIN, TX on 9/23 at the Texas Tribune Festival. Find out more at https://www.texastribune.org/festival/

Relevant to the discussion — Neena and team’s March 2016 piece on Houston (from The Texas Tribune and Reveal/ProPublica): https://projects.propublica.org/houston/; a little more about the Nashville Statement and the progressive Christian response to it: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hundreds-of-christian-leaders-release-lgbtq-affirming-response-to-nashville-statement_us_59a71bcee4b0a8d14572cf35; and for GOT fans: https://www.vox.com/videos/2017/7/14/15969034/game-of-thrones-theory-climate-change

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One God, Under Trump w/ Jack Jenkins and Parker Molloy

First [5:35], why aren’t evangelicals turning on the decidedly ungodly Trump? Jack Jenkins (@jackmjenkins), religion editor at Think Progress, explains how Christian nationalism has fused with Trumpism to create an unbreakable (?) bond. Second [43:06], Parker Molloy, (@ParkerMolloy), from Upworthy, joins to talk about the re-animation of the “trans ban” and why it matters beyond the military. Also, responding to a listener who asked about the ways one can help in the fight against bigotry *besides* going to protests and rallies.

Reach the pod at @crooked_friends on Twitter and email us your questions (for our new weekly segment!) at withfriendslikepod@gmail.com. We’re also taking your adult sex-ed questions for an upcoming show, so email us those, too. We welcome *audio* questions, using a recording app.

And LIVE SHOW in AUSTIN, TX on 9/23 at the Texas Tribune Festival. Find out more at https://www.texastribune.org/festival/

Relevant to the discussion — Jack’s Christian nationalism series, part 1: https://thinkprogress.org/trumps-christian-nationalism-c6fe206e40cc/ and part 2: https://thinkprogress.org/history-christian-nationalism-e3303b46c3bc/

Shout out to our sponsors!

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“Are you going to join the fight?”

The aftermath of Charlottesville, considered from the right and the left. First [4:36] , Naval War College professor Tom Nichols (@radiofreetom) helps us understand how our enemies and allies abroad will interpret Charlottesville and Trump’s response to it. We also argue about whether it’s helpful, politically speaking, to connect the modern GOP to white supremacy. Then Jane Coaston (@cjane87, MTV NEWS FOREVER!) hops on the line [48:46] to argue that Trump’s defense of white supremacy was a tactical error — but still terrifying. We respond to an email from a listener (a new weekly segment!). Finally [1:23:55], some personal thoughts on what happens next.

That email for submitting a question: withfriendslikepod@gmail.com

AND feel free to submit an *audio* question using a recording app, if you are so technically inclined.

Relevant to the discussion:

- Tom on how Trump’s Twitter feed undermines national security (it’s not that he’s revealing state secrets, it’s what he reveals about himself): http://thefederalist.com/2017/05/09/president-trumps-tweets-gold-mine-foreign-intelligence/

- Jane on “virtue signalling”: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/08/magazine/virtue-signaling-isnt-the-problem-not-believing-one-another-is.html?_r=0

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“Keep it” with Kat Rosenfield and Ira Madison III

This week’s episode is a dive into the intra-left culture wars: Who is sufficiently woke, and who gets to tell what stories (about whom)? Segment A [1:31]: New York magazine writer Kat Rosenfield (@katrosenfield) discusses her piece on “The Toxic Drama on YA Twitter” (link below). Segment B [30:32]: Culture critic for The Daily Beast and GQ and #friendofthepod Ira Madison III (@ira) joins to help us figure out what parts of the YA debate are helpful, and how it is and isn’t like the parallel debates over “Confederate” and “Detroit.” There are some digressions.

Kat’s piece: http://www.vulture.com/2017/08/the-toxic-drama-of-ya-twitter.html

Ira on “Confederate”: http://www.thedailybeast.com/the-game-of-thrones-creators-next-show-sounds-stupid-as-hell

Ta-Nehisi Coates on “Confederate”: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/08/no-confederate/535512/

Ira on “Detroit”: http://www.thedailybeast.com/how-kathryn-bigelows-detroit-erases-black-women

The story I sent Ira about how the Confederate flag is back: https://www.buzzfeed.com/henrygomez/the-confederate-flag-fight-is-back?utm_term=.wsBVL9Z6y#.dkwK10mPQ

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“Enormous waste and loss”: What it’s like to report on the death penalty

First [1:24], Montgomery Advertiser reporter Brian Lyman (@lyman_brian) joins to discuss covering the criminal justice system in Alabama — including being present at the most recent execution conducted in the state. Also, what can the Alabama senate race tell us about the country at large? Second [40:50], #friendofthepod Jamil Smith (@jamilsmith) talks about the moment his life intersected with the question of capital punishment…. and stays for an extended chat about what the future of criminal justice looks like at this moment in American history.

Show twitter: @crooked_friends

Show email: withfriendslikepod@gmail.com

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“Revisionist History”: If you like WFLT, you’re gonna like Malcolm Gladwell’s “Revisionist History” — the podcast that looks back and asks if we got it right the first time.


“A President Who Makes Us Less Safe” with Greg Howard and Rick Wilson

After an intro in which I acknowledge the numerous categories of people who have *some idea* of what it’s like to live with an oppressor in the White House, I am joined by New York Times Magazine writer Greg Howard (@greghoward88) to discuss the aftermath of his essay about white women ignoring his existence. [4:29] Then Rick Wilson (@therickwilson), Never Trump stalwart, stops by to talk about Trump’s short-sighted and cruel Twitter declaration banning trans people from the military. I plead with him to not call it a distraction. [49:55]

Read Greg’s essay here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/19/us/was-that-racist.html?_r=0

Some of the backlash is here: http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/07/21/new-york-times-white-women-new-york-racist-reporter-says

And here: http://thehill.com/homenews/media/343073-ny-times-reporter-accuses-white-women-of-racism-on-city-sidewalks

Send show feedback to @crooked_friends or withfriendslikepod@gmail.com

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“A Daily Insult” with Kim Cavill and Michelle Goldberg

Last week, without warning, the Trump administration cancelled over $200m in funding for research into teen pregnancy prevention (https://www.revealnews.org/article/trump-administration-suddenly-pulls-plug-on-teen-pregnancy-programs/). Sex education instructor Kim Cavill found out she was out of a job from reading about the funding cut on Twitter. She joins [3:52] to talk about the ramifications of the administration’s short-sightedness, and the importance of speaking truthfully and frankly about sex. Her blog, the Sex Positive Parent is at : http://www.chicagonow.com/sex-positive-parent/

Michelle Goldberg (@michelleinbklyn) is a writer for Slate and New York Times who has kept an unrelenting focus on what it means to have an admitted sexual assailant as our Commander in Chief — it’s a conversation no one ever wanted to have, something we don’t like to think, but that we have to talk about [51:10]. You can find her work here: http://www.slate.com/authors.michelle_goldberg.html and here: https://www.nytimes.com/column/michelle-goldberg

Her book, The Means of Reproduction, is as relevant as ever: https://www.amazon.com/Means-Reproduction-Power-Future-World/dp/0143116886

If you have had experience with any kind of sexual assault or violation, you are not alone. There is help. Two resources available:

- RAINN (the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network): Call their hotline (800–656–4673) or use their anonymous chat feature at their website, RAINN.org

- The Crisis Text Line is anonymous and available 24 hours a day to help with a wide variety of problems, including sexual assault and mental health or just an emotionally difficult time: 741741

Our sponsors

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“Health Care Is a Civil Right” with Anita Cameron and Vann Newkirk

We talk to ADAPT activist Anita Cameron (@adaptanita) [2:53] about the history of the disability rights movement and its recent success raising awareness about what TrumpCare would do to Medicaid. (She also has a few pointers for reporters covering the protests on how to not infantilize the activists.) Vann Newark (@fivefifths) [23:40] joins to talk about the intersection of health policy and civil rights, both philosophically and historically. Easter egg [46:15]: A mini-op-ed on how to correctly insult Donald Trump, Jr.

You can reach the show via Twitter at @crooked_friends or email: withfriendslikepod@gmail.com

Our fabulous sponsors:

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“An existential crisis happening to America every day” w/ Neera Tanden

We sit down with Neera Tanden (@neeratanden), CEO of the Center for American Progress and friend of the pod, to discuss why we should stop debating the election — it’s everybody’s fault! — and the reasons she’s optimistic the Trump presidency will build a progressive majority.

We were remiss in letting you know about the podcasts recommended by Jon Ward in last week’s pod. They are:

Truth’s Table: “Black Christian women who love the truth and seek it out wherever it leads us.” https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/truths-table/id1212429230?mt=2

Pass the Mic: “Every month Jemar and Tyler sit down with voices from across the reformed movement with the mission of addressing the core concerns of African Americans biblically.” http://www.podasterynetwork.com/category/passthemic/

The Benjamin Dixon Show https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMCioqY4zblWt7Uw0E0VTGA

You can reach the pod at @crooked_friends on Twitter or email us your comments at withfriendslikepod@gmail.com

Our sponsors!

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“Typical white dude attitude”

Jon Ward (@jonward11) was one of the people I had in mind when we came up with “With Friends Like These”: A seriously smart and dedicated reporter who doesn’t see the world the same way I do, but with whom I have found fertile common ground. He joins to discuss his reporting and his faith, and what it means to embrace the evangelism of racial reconciliation.

Jon is a Political Correspondent for Yahoo News and is writing “a narrative history of Ted Kennedy’s decision to challenge Jimmy Carter.” He has a new podcast, “The Long Game,” about “the lost art of solving problems through the lens of institutions,” it is available here: https://medium.com/jon-ward/soft-launch-of-my-podcast-the-long-game-e3e728ccea3

The podcasts Jon mentions in the show are:

Truth’s Table: “Black Christian women who love the truth and seek it out wherever it leads us.” https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/truths-table/id1212429230?mt=2

Pass the Mic: “Every month Jemar and Tyler sit down with voices from across the reformed movement with the mission of addressing the core concerns of African Americans biblically.” http://www.podasterynetwork.com/category/passthemic/

The Benjamin Dixon Show https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMCioqY4zblWt7Uw0E0VTGA

You can reach the pod at @crooked_friends on Twitter or email us at withfriendslikepod@gmail.com

Our sponsors deserver your attention and patronage!

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“It’s not who we’re supposed to be, but it is who we are”

A bonus pod about the Philando Castile verdict and what happens next, with Greg Doucette (@greg_doucette) and Jane Coaston (@cjane87).

Jane is a political correspondent at MTV News, you can browse her content here: http://www.mtv.com/news/author/coastonj/

Greg is a criminal defense attorney and criminal justice reform advocate, and is also known as Durham’s “Weed lawyer.” He now has his own podcast, Fsck ’Em All: https://www.fsckemall.com/

Greg and Jane have appeared on the pod before, on the same episode but different segments. It’s here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/being-called-racist-is-white-peoples-kryptonite/id1207507389?i=1000384636264&mt=2 This is their first time in conversation with each other.


“I have no regrets.”

We take a field trip to Iowa to interview Trump supporters in line for his don’t-call-it-a-campaign rally. Our main question: Have any of your relationships suffered because of political differences? Their answers will probably not surprise you. Their attitudes might.


“Surprised you called me a feminist”

A Very Special Father’s Day episode.

First, some words on saying the wrong thing. Then at 4:40, Anil Dash (@anildash) explains why he doesn’t retweet men, and we discuss the (incredibly light) burden of being a woke person with relative priviledge. Next at 31:26, New York Times writer Claire Cain Miller (@clairecm) joins me and my dad (@samcox) to talk about how to raise a feminist. Lastly at 50:46, Some words on words, and shout-out to a hero from the GOP congressional baseball shooting in Alexandria, VA: Crystal Griner.

You can reach the show on Twitter: @crooked_friends or via email: withfriendslikepod@gmail.com. Let us know if you have a question or situation you’d like to be featured on the show.

Please, consider patronizing our sponsors!

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“Justice is a mechanical duck”

— Trump agoniste Rick Wilson (@therickwilson) sheds some light on the chasm between how Trump loyalists and Trump skeptics will receive the Comey testimony. 
 — Quinta Jurecic (@qjurecic), associate editor at Lawfare, elaborates on the insight that gripped many Comey observers: His story parallels that of anyone who’s been the target of a sexual predator. 
 — Commentary editor Noah Rothman (@noahcrothman) helps field a listener question about a relationship that’s soured since the election.

Quinta brings up two relevant pieces: Alexandra Petri’s imagined transcript of Comey/Sessions chats https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2017/06/07/james-comey-is-this-man-bothering-you/?utm_term=.3006acd4459e

And this piece from Slate, about Comey’s written testimony as pulp fiction: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/06/07/james_comey_s_testimony_about_trump_and_the_russia_investigation_shows_off.html

(I also wrote my column on this subject, and you may hear me quote myself a bit: http://www.mtv.com/news/3019180/comeys-testimony-reminds-us-that-trump-is-a-predator/)

This week’s sponsors! 
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“Proud pigheadedness”

W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell), of CNN’s United Shades of America, joins to help a listener puzzle through how (and if) to have a relationship with her Trump-supporting parents. As he put it: Do they deserve the privilege of her children’s company? Also: What Kamau’s TV show has taught him about a post-election America, and a primer on the *good* kind of white pride.

Kamau’s new book! The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama’s Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian 
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LZXZK2F/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

He is on tour! http://www.wkamaubell.com/calendar/

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Got a question or comment? @crooked_friends if it’s 140 characters or less, withfriendslikepod@gmail.com if it’s not. Got an experience or problem to share relating to politics and relationships? Let us know if you want us to try to address it on the show.

The theme song is by Ross Flournoy (@ApexManor) and we know that it sounds like the 90s. That’s exactly what we asked for.


“You can’t build things with pitchforks and torches”

Segment 1: Bob Inglis (of RepublicEN.org) is a conservative climate change denier turned conservative climate change activist. We talk about what he’s learned about how to approach those who disagree with him — there are some concrete tips! Lots of Greek and Roman references! 
Segment 2: We dive into the power and powerlessness of prayer with Washington Post writer and editor Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig. (TRIGGER WARNING: CONTAINS JESUS.)

Bob on Twitter: @bobinglis 
Liz on Twitter: @ebruenig 
The show: @crooked_friends

Here’s a profile of Bob that gets into his conversion experience: http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2016-6-november-december/feature/bob-inglis-takes-stand-climate-change

(And here’s an interview we did for my day job: http://www.mtv.com/news/3007121/a-republican-evangelizes-for-action-on-climate-change/)

Liz’s essay on prayer during a period of personal troubles: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/12/24/my-husband-lost-his-job-his-sister-was-murdered-heres-what-it-did-to-my-faith/?utm_term=.7f18875fbedd

We’re still collecting listener questions for an upcoming call-in show! Send you comments and heartfelt queries to withfriendslikepod@gmail.com

Our delightful sponsors this week:

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Ziprecruiter: The best way to find candidates. Listeners can post for free by going to ZipRecruiter.com/friends.


“Poetic justice and justice are not the same thing”

This episode wound up being about the limits and costs of empathy. First up: Franchesca Ramsey (@chescaleigh), creator and star of the hilarious social justice (really, all of that!) series, “Decoded.” We discuss about what she still feels uncomfortable talking about and who she feels uncomfortable talking to. Second segment: National correspondent for The Atlantic Graeme Wood (@gcaw), whose profile of honest-to-god Nazi and high school classmate Richard Spencer wound up being closer to his usual beat — ISIS — than Wood ever thought it would be.

Wood is also the author of “The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State”: https://www.amazon.com/Way-Strangers-Encounters-Islamic-State-ebook/dp/B018PD2HIG/

Decoded: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnvZ3PbKApGM-hHuQ9lNc5oSKsusjn0Z6

“His Kampf: Richard Spencer is a troll and an icon for white supremacists. He was also my high-school classmate”: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/06/his-kampf/524505/

Sponsors this week: 
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You can follow the show on Twitter! @crooked_friends 
Got a comment or a question about politics and relationships (or relationships and politics?) write us at withfriendslikepod@gmail.com.


“Women in power are always complicit”

Red State contributor and Never Trump stalwart (who made the Trump doc “The Sociopath”) Ben Howe (@benhowe) comes on to talk about what the Left can learn from the Tea Party’s successes and mistakes. We also dive into how leaving the conservative movement has changed how he thinks about social issues such as abortion. In the second segment, Brandy Jensen (@BrandyLJensen) helps us dispose of the question, “Is Ivanka a feminist?” Instead, we wonder if neoliberal feminism is itself the problem.


“More of a Fetish Than a Mission”

HuffPost’s Jason Linkins (@dceiver) guests on a special non-awkward, non-boundary-challenging episode in which we play some serious inside-DC media-criticism baseball! If that is the kind of thing you like, you will love this. Consider it a kind of ironic palate cleanser from last week’s intense earnestness. We’ll be back next week with your regularly scheduled discomfort.


“The Help Is Coming From Inside The House”

John Moe, of “The Hilarious World of Depression” and @johnmoe, joins for a special crossover pod about depression, suicide, and stigma. This is an intense episode and those who might be sensitive to this discussion, take care of yourselves. If you are struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800–273-TALK. Be well. You are loved.


“I always assume everyone knows”

Upworthy writer Parker Molloy has been unapologetically out and feisty as both a trans person and someone who struggles with depression and anxiety; we chat about why she’s chosen that path and what it means for her in real life. (Next time she’s on we will talk about the Cubs.) Doreen St. Felix of MTV News joins the show to discuss the latest in Clinton campaign autopsies, and the aesthetics of the Trump presidency (and why it’s so important that Michelle’s not wearing J. Crew anymore).


“Being Called Racist is White People’s Kryptonite”

Criminal Defense Attorney Greg Doucette discusses how he went from traditional Republican to racial justice warrior. MTV political reporter Jane Coaston helps field a call from Marcus in California, who wants to know what to do when your friends say racist stuff they don’t realize is racist. Also watch out for a cameo from #husbandofthepod.


“Let’s create messy coalitions”

Can’t make it to church this weekend? Get your God and hellfire here! First, a talk with @JeffChu, author of “Does Jesus Really Love Me? A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America,” about squaring faith and real life. Then official #friendofthepod @TheRickWilson joins to discuss the Republicans’ thirst for a “presidential” Trump (ain’t happening, we’re all going to die).


“Contentment is a professional risk”

Author of “Listen, Liberal” and genuine, actual, #friendofthepod, Tom Frank, stops by to answer the specific question, “With friends like the professional class, does the working class need enemies?” There is much discussion of how much music used to matter, damnit, and how Tom stays angry despite having a lovely family and beautiful life.


“No one cries, no one gets asked to prom.”

Disability rights activist Alice Wong jumps right in with the awkward as we discuss who can even say “#cripthevote.” We discuss the coming deluge of #inspiring #promposals involving disabled people, and why she hopes they go away eventually. David Perry, a journalist covering disability issues, talks about avoiding able-ism and best practices for reporters.


“If you’re worried about the future, look at the past”

Disagreeing about facts is one thing, what if you disagree about reality? Adam Savage (“Mythbusters,” Tested.com) joins to help a WFLT listener whose sister has embraced right-wing conspiracy theories. MTV’s Ezekiel Kweku comes by to discuss how America’s dystopian future could be based on its dystopian past.


“Police violence didn’t just stop happening”

Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery talks about reporting on police killings while black, and political consultant Jessica Byrd speaks about how Michael Brown’s death drove her to try to change the world. Ana’s fellow MTV News correspondent, Jamil Smith, fills in this week.


“Too soon to start shooting”

#NeverTrump diehard Rick Wilson discusses his past as an attack ad maker, and whether he helped create the post-truth era. MTV writer Jane Coatson joins to ponder when violence against the government is justified.


“Discomfort is a tool of oppression”

Culture critic Ira Madison III (@ira) joins the show for a very meta conversation about white people and what it’s like to be “the black friend.”


“Hope and Trust in Trump.” The first episode!

Ana Marie Cox talks with Pastor Christopher Jackson about why his Wisconsin community voted for Obama… before voting for Trump. She’s then joined by Jamil Smith of MTV News for a conversation about the big stories this week.


Your pals at Crooked Media could not be more excited about this show. Ana Marie Cox, political columnist, culture critic, twitter early adopter, pet photo enthusiast, FRIEND OF THE POD, and one of the funniest and most thoughtful writers around, is joining this burgeoning network with a podcast about, well, what divides us.

And good news: there’s a lot!

Ana will talk to liberals and conservatives, religious leaders, writers, activists, and people you should know for a show that’s about listening instead of arguing. And this isn’t just about figuring out why some dude in Michigan voted for Trump. Though that’s part of it. We should figure that out. It’s about actually exploring division instead of putting it in side-by-side boxes on television, whether it’s a conversation about politics or religion, race or gender, or belief itself. Ana has accrued a bunch of unlikely friends in politics, and she has strong disagreements with those friends, like this one guy whose name rhymes with “whoa far borough” for example.

So why not have a civilized, thoughtful conversation (with some jokes and maybe the occasional “oh come on” because these are important issues and people feel strongly) and see what happens?

Subscribe immediately:

iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | TuneIn | Spotify | and RSS for you nerds

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