Stitcher has a plethora of podcasts worth listening to. Each week, we’re giving you new episode recommendations from some of our top shows to help keep you up to speed and ease the pain of the pod discovery process.
Best Friends with Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata — “Nicole’s Gotta Adjust Those Straps.”
There is never a bad time to listen to a podcast as enjoyable as Best Friends with Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata. The latest episode has Byer and Zamata (who really are best friends) openly talking about what recently made them happy. This includes loving the direct-to-video Lion King sequel (which Zamata praises for its music, amazing story, and having a female villain), and the two taking a live snack-based BuzzFeed quiz that will recommend a Netflix movie for them.
Topics range from Tom Brokaw’s misguided comments on the protests, which prompts Byer to say once people reach a certain age, it’s probably best not to allow them to speak in public anymore and a discussion about the difficulties of making eggs benedict.
Listen to the episode to hear the two hosts ponder if lions are incestuous (“I hope a lion isn’t listening to this and is like: ‘We do not f*** our cousins!’”), the kind of cupcake that makes Zamata feel hoodwinked and bamboozled, and learn why Zamata told her co-host to adjust her straps.
Factually! with Adam Conover — “Why Is America’s Internet So Slow? with Susan Crawford”
Slow internet is making life hard. No internet is making it worse. On Factually! this week, host Adam Conover explores why the United States still won’t provide adequate, affordable internet service for its citizens, especially when countries like Japan, South Korea, and Denmark have much faster broadband speeds and pay much less.
The episode features Harvard law professor and one of the leading voices on tech and internet policy, Susan Crawford. Crawford emphasizes how the industry is full of kickbacks between cable providers and government and the citizens suffer as a result.
Conover and Crawford draw a parallel between the current internet crisis and the lack of access many Americans had to electricity in the 1930s. Prior to the New Deal, it was considered a luxury. Many Americans, farmers in particular, suffered without it as a result.
Crawford argues how crucial high-speed internet access is for students today to learn. “You need that bandwidth in order to be a member of modern society. And we’re just not there as a country.”
The episode is worth a listen for an education on how the country will continue to suffer if access to high-speed internet remains a luxury and not a basic utility. Toward the end of the episode, Crawford says: “Americans are capable of great things,” but in order to get people access to the internet, “we need to have people trust that the government is actually in their interest and that takes a lot of doing after all these decades of steady dismantling of the idea that government serves any purpose in American lives.”
Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People — “My Friend Murdered Someone”
There’s a broad range of emotions scattered throughout the latest episode of Beautiful/Anonymous. The show opens with a warning for the listener that there is talk of mental illness and suicide. But host Chris Gethard manages to mine catharsis and a little humor in an episode with such heavy subject matter.
The caller begins by saying she recently (only a few days prior) discovered that her friend murdered someone. She didn’t know who else to speak with so she called the show.
Her friend was a former coworker who, when they worked together, showed no signs of being a danger to anyone. But after he quit, he began texting her. He sent her a picture of a tattoo he had gotten to cover up the scarring that developed from self-harm. She tried to help him, but eventually, when the texts became too much to handle when he made a pass at her, she set boundaries.
When she saw he had killed someone she audibly gasped and cried. “I’m just having a hard time reconciling the person I knew and who I loved and cared about and the decision that he made,” she tells Chris.
For Gethard too, this was new. “I’ve never heard this story before,” Gethard says. “And I’ve heard a lot at this point.” The host sympathized with being on both sides of the caller’s issue: someone who has expressed feeling suicidal at times and someone people have turned to when in need. “Neither one was easy.”
The episode is intense, but Gethard expertly lowers the intensity by helping the caller grapple with feeling manipulated and wondering if she didn’t do enough to help in such a sympathetic way. Gethard reminds her she did more than she could.
— Ian Goldstein