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Useful Idiots with Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper
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Useful Idiots with Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper

Author: Useful Idiots, LLC / Cumulus Podcast Network

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Useful Idiots is an informative and irreverent politics podcast with journalist Matt Taibbi and podcaster/writer Katie Halper. Episodes feature on-the-road coverage of the 2020 campaign and exclusive interviews, with humor, commentary and dissection of the politics news of the week. Join Matt and Katie as they examine important stories that have slipped through the cracks and what the media got wrong – and laugh about whatever is left to laugh about.

95 Episodes
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Also, we semi mis-predict a patent waiver outcome, discuss a sex work ruling, and relive a beaver attack Subscribe at usefulidiots.substack.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
David Sirota of The Daily Poster weighs in on SALT deductions, Biden's presidency, and the future of journalism. Subscribe at usefulidiots.substack.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A nation is gripped by a police-abuse trial, and Republicans and Democrats both find a way to suck about it Subscribe at usefulidiots.substack.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Talking with the former presidential candidate about the progressive candidate summit, smears, and "liberal bullshit." Subscribe at usefulidiots.substack.com to hear the extended interview with Marianne Williamso Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
We interview some guy named Noam Chomsky (extended interview coming next week), get to the bottom of why we broke up with Rolling Stone, and scrutinize the thrilling PBS interview of former al-Nusra/al-Qaeda leader-turned-very-handsome-man Abu Mohammed al-Jolani. Katie taps her beard-crit background, while we both investigate the two most important questions of our time: which four goateed male celebrities combined look like one PBS interviewer Martin Smith, and why do I keep thinking Smith is British? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
[This interview was recorded before the Governor of Arkansas Vetoed the anti-transgender health care bill].] The Arkansas Senate just passed a bill with a title straight out of dystopian fiction: the Arkansas Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act, or SAFE. Roundly denounced as the most extreme law of its type ever passed, the bill is one of about two dozen laws aimed at trans care currently being considered at the state level. To find out what’s actually in these bills, we spoke with Dr. Erica Anderson, a trans clinician and psychology professor from the University of California, San Francisco. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In this Useful Idiots interview, Matt Stoller walks us through some of the myths about big tech. Many members of Congress seem to believe the firms don’t intervene enough; Stoller explains that their massive existing levels of intervention are the problem, that the financial incentives of what he calls “surveillance advertising” move firms like Facebook to push users in the direction of ever more enraging, divisive, and conspiratorial content. Plus Matt (Taibbi) and Katie talk about Ted Cruz, Woke-washing and penis mishaps. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jesse Singal and Katie Herzog, co-hosts of the podcast Blocked And Reported, join Useful Idiots to talk about the failed campaign to get Singal driven off of Substack and what, according to Herzog, some of Singal's most vocal critics have in common with QAnon. They also talk about how they met and why they started their podcast and how they're not exactly canceled. Singal discusses his new book "Quick Fix," about the dangers of fad psychology. And Matt and Katie discuss the indefensible hoarding of vaccine, and debate the important question: can robbing blind people ever be funny? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
We spoke to legendary Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg about the nuclear threat nobody is talking about, the end of the world and how he, despite all that, stays hopeful. But before diving in with Ellsberg, Matt and Katie talk about, of course, Dems sucking, Republicans sucking, things being weird and terrible and even bring you a stoned moment. Stand by for the youtube episode. And, dear paying subscribers, stand by for the paywalled video and audio sections dropping soon where we talk to Ellsberg about the way he’s been cynically rehabilitated by his critics as a “good whistleblower” in order to present Snowden, Assange, and Manning as bad ones.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Useful Idiots, the podcast Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper started in the summer of 2019 at Rolling Stone, is moving. After eighty episodes that included interviews with the likes of Tulsi Gabbard (our first guest), Roger Waters, Andrew Yang, Erin Brockovich, Michael K. Williams, Noam Chomsky, Marianne Williamson, Adam McKay, Bernie Sanders, Nadya Tolkonnikova of Pussy Riot, Tim Robbins, Adolph Reed, Chris Hedges, and many others, the show that was created with the idea of being a home for voices shut out or shouted down in traditional media outlets is moving, appropriately, to Substack. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Stella Moris, lawyer and life partner of Julian Assange, joins the show to discuss the current status of Assange's case and it’s implications for global journalism. Hosts Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper discuss arguments for and against independent journalism outlet Substack. Merch link: https://teespring.com/stores/useful-idiots Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Shahid Buttar joins the show to discuss Democrats, Fox News, and free speech. Hosts Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper discuss Tennessee GOP efforts to prohibit kneeling during college sports national anthems. Merch link: https://teespring.com/stores/useful-idiots Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Journalist Aaron Maté joins the show to talk about the start of Biden's foreign policy, and his reporting on Syria and the OPCW Merch Link: https://bit.ly/3uiFz4D Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Glenn Greenwald rejoins the show to discuss recent journalism news, content moderation, and more on GameStop/Wall Street. Hosts Katie Halper and Matt Taibbi trade off takes related to the contentious confirmation hearing of Neera Tanden. Merch Link: https://teespring.com/stores/useful-idiots Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Congressman Ro Khanna makes another appearance to discuss the state of Covid relief, his experience during the January 6 riot and more. Hosts Katie Halper and Matt Taibbi discuss other recent news, including an inspired metaphor from Thomas Friedman on the Gamestop story. Merch Link: https://teespring.com/stores/useful-idiots Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
David Dayen joins hosts Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper to break down the GameStop/Wall Street Story. They also discuss the early days of Biden's presidency, and the moves that are available to him with his new authority. Merch Link: https://teespring.com/stores/useful-idiots Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Thomas Frank joins hosts Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper in this special post-inauguration episode, looking ahead to the Biden era, and how the media can transition from Trump. Merch Link: https://teespring.com/stores/useful-idiots Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Matt and Katie talk about the fallout from the storming of the capitol. Andre Damon of the World Socialist Web Site discusses how censorship has affected political opposition from the left. Merch Link: https://teespring.com/stores/useful-idiots Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Disclaimer: this episode was taped early Wednesday, before the events at the Capitol. Investigative reporter Stefania Maurizi joins the show to give an update on the Julian Assange case. Hosts Katie Halper and Matt Taibbi discuss the reconfirmation of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. Merch Link: https://teespring.com/stores/useful-idiots Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Matt and Katie discuss the latest on the debate over Covid stimulus negotiations, NYU professor Mark Crispin Miller talks academic freedom. Merch Link: https://teespring.com/stores/useful-idiots Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Comments (91)

Will Shogren

Kamala is a vacuous shitbag. Also, it's funny how no amount of spin doctoring can make anyone give a single fuck about Doug or his daughter who looks like a bush baby.

Apr 28th
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Will Shogren

Marianne has some pretty atrocious takes on Israel/Palestine but other than that she's a good egg. She's smarter and has better instincts than the vast majority of her liberal critics. Also, Marianne actually dovetails with the "Assad apologist" accusers who have baby brains and think she's a Nazi.

Apr 28th
Reply

Will Shogren

Chomsky's guide to activism: browbeat non-voters into supporting the center-right, neoliberal candidate ad infinitum until the world burns to a crisp.

Apr 16th
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Will Shogren

Does Taibbi smoke weed? He seems like the most weed smokingest guy in the world.

Apr 16th
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Travis Cutler

excellent show, I'll be paying you at your next podcast location. I remember thinking why corporate crap like Rolling Stone had a podcast that actually called out the establishment. thanks for taking one for the team.

Mar 7th
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Arthur D'Arrigo

and regarding the cloak and dagger aspect of international affairs, Aaron, like Glen Greenwald, seems to have a bit too much of a vested interest in "uncovering" fraud and deception. the patterns and justifications and rhetoric are eerily similar in both journalist's approach. and its not that they dont have a point, its that the level of hyperbole is entirely overdone. "im shocked that gambling is going on in this establishment" im against american position in syria. i think Russian position is understandable there. i dont think Assad is a good guy at all. guess what, in Syria all hands are bloody.

Feb 22nd
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Arthur D'Arrigo

quite annoying. its not that the Mueller report "found nothing" its that they could LEGALLY prove very limited stuff. Thats what you get when you put an ageing and tired Republican establishment figure in charge of the investigation. and to then raise the rhetoric to "scam" is irresponsible. there is direct evidence of russian interference and social media shenanigans. and that did favor Trump. there is not evidence that Trump instigated the interference. i find Aarons take (and Matt's) rather disingenuious.

Feb 22nd
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A Turner

You people are a *SCREAMING PANDEMIC RIOT*...much needed infotainment for us GA hospital workers 🤣!

Feb 15th
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Arthur D'Arrigo

Greenwald is very tiresome. His new flirtation with the right is entirely predictable. I will give him credit for being transparent about his motivations for anyone willing to listen. he is in love with journalism- as he understands it. and he clearly sees his role as "confronting power centers." He engages in this mission with a terrible lack of judgement and ultimately without regard to truth or falsity, without any consideration of context, or implication for consequences. He is simply a machine out to build competing story lines in the name of "exposing power." he never gives any thought to the idea that he might have it wrong, or that he might not be able to control how his stories are received and manipulated. in this sense his project works well with a long established strategy on the right to discredit progressive policies- what has been called the wrecking crew.

Feb 15th
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LetItBeMe

Greenwald raises the level of credibility and integrity of any program he is on.

Feb 13th
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Michael Coreleone

Frank again? Not that he's bad, but can you find someone new that hasn't been on the show a zillion times before? You can have Kyle Kulinski, Chris Hedges, Richard D. Wolff,Nina Turner, Justin Jackson,Mike Gravel anyone new would be fine.Useeful Idiots stop recycling guests!

Jan 24th
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David Nowak

Both of you had been down playing Trump's potential danger to the U.S. v. the media's so called culpability in covering him. That when January 6 happened it was torturous to hear you try to somehow get the media still somehow guilty?

Jan 23rd
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Juan Gomez

Open borders in socialist societies do not work. You need strong border security to sustain their social safety nets. Even Bernie has knows that.

Jan 16th
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Rick Bettencourt

truly outstanding

Jan 7th
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Oscar Romero

can't we get a podcast with only the interviews? you both seem to enjoy your pre-interview repartee but it's sadly revelatory and adolescent work a good dose of "I'm so cool and do smart and I'm hip and funny." Just interviewed please.

Dec 6th
Reply (1)

tom osran

great show you guys. The one with Jimmy Dore amazing. also the one with Tom Franks. top quality

Dec 5th
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Jldubz

happy Thanksgiving!! 🤗

Nov 25th
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LetItBeMe

Roger Waters wants peace, but he's unhappy with what Trump accomplished in the Middle East? Fascism is this guy's brand and he's most unhappy when there's a lack of it. Biden years will be much more lucrative for Pink.

Nov 22nd
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Jldubz

haha love you so much Matt

Nov 7th
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Michael Paul

Enough with the necrophilia schtick. I like the show, especially the lack of partisanship when it comes to calling out the hypocrisy of both parties but I think it would be a much stronger show if the “isn’t it weird” and “isn’t it terrible” segments were just shelved.

Oct 31st
Reply (1)
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