What Next | Daily News and Analysis

Slate Magazine


The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming,...Show More

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Has Anything Changed Since Parkland?

17:05 | Feb 14th

After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, we saw a group of students speed through the stages of grief and go directly to action. One year later, have they made any lasting changes to the gun control debate? Guest: Dave Cullen, author of Parkla...Show More

How Long Will It Take the Death Penalty To Die?

24:08 | Mar 22nd

California has a new moratorium on executions, despite the fact that voters upheld capital punishment twice in recent statewide elections. Could this mark the beginning of a lasting policy change? Guest: Jordan Steiker, director of the Capital Punish...Show More

When Are We Going to Start Planning For Floods?

19:58 | Mar 21st

This week, we’re following the enormous flooding in the Midwest. Climate change is magnifying the shortcomings of our river policies. We build in the flood plains, and we bracket our rivers with dams and reservoirs. But is it folly to think that we c...Show More

Court Packing Is Not That Extreme

19:39 | Mar 20th

Some of your favorite presidents have tried to pack the Supreme Court. So why does it sound like such an extreme tactic? And why are top Democrats finally embracing it as a way out of the wilderness?Guest: Mark Joseph Stern, Slate’s legal corresponde...Show More

How the Internet Makes Murderers

24:33 | Mar 19th

The Christchurch shooter lurked in corners of the internet that most people don’t understand. But there are ways to fight extremists who are radicalized online -- and the U.S. has done it quite recently.Guest: Robert Evans, writer for Bellingcat and ...Show More

Why is Beto Running?

16:26 | Mar 18th

After weeks and weeks of mulling a decision, Beto O’Rourke finally entered the 2020 presidential race. What is he bringing to the table? Anything?Guest: Josh Voorhees, Senior Writer at Slate.Tell us what you think by leaving a review on Apple Podcast...Show More

How to Dodge a Presidential Pardon

17:52 | Mar 15th

This week, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced to a total of 7½ years in prison. Here’s how his case is one of the best examples of a special counsel making sure that those who did wrong serve the time.Guest: Jed Shugerman, a p...Show More

The Side Door Into College

22:50 | Mar 14th

The FBI submitted indictments this week into the largest college admissions scam they’ve ever prosecuted. Celebrities, millionaire parents, and college sports coaches are among the dozens charged in a scheme that sought to get wealthy kids through a ...Show More

Big Banks Say “No” to Private Prisons

17:42 | Mar 13th

If you made your way up to 1185 Park Ave. on the Upper East Side of New York, you’d find an apartment building that looks like a castle. It’s the apartment of Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase. Back in February protesters stood on the sidewalk and ...Show More

Joe Biden's Laundered History

20:36 | Mar 12th

There's really never been a national political conversation about Joe Biden's record. Partly because much of the focus today is about the time he spent as Vice President under Barack Obama. If he decides to run, what other ugly skeletons will the pub...Show More

Is Mark Zuckerberg Gaslighting You?

21:36 | Mar 11th

Facebook is reshuffling its priorities and making moves that could help it evade antitrust regulators. Will it affect users that much? No. Is it solving a problem users have been talking about? Not really. So what is Mark Zuckerberg’s latest blog pos...Show More

The Scandal Catching Up to Justin Trudeau

19:05 | Mar 8th

A scandal involving Justin Trudeau’s cabinet is putting Canada’s warts on display.Guest: Jesse Brown, publisher of the Canadaland news site and podcast network.Tell us what you think by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or sending an email to whatne...Show More

Listening to Ilhan Omar

20:01 | Mar 7th

House Democrats have scuttled a plan to chide Rep. Ilhan Omar over remarks she made about the U.S.-Israel relationship. Why were her words so triggering? Is she making a fair point? And what should she do now?Guest: Slate economics and policy writer ...Show More

Things That Should Scare You More Than Momo

14:00 | Mar 6th

The Momo challenge doesn’t appear to be much of a threat, but the fact that parents are worried about it reveals a real anxiety about the videos that YouTube pushes toward kids.  Guest: Taylor Lorenz, writer for the Atlantic.Tell us what you think by...Show More

The National Emergency Isn’t Really Trump’s Fault

21:30 | Mar 5th

President Trump’s national emergency declaration is headed for a showdown. More and more Senate Republicans are peeling away from their caucus to reject it. Sen. Rand Paul says his “political soul” hangs in the balance. But Sen. Mitch McConnell is ke...Show More

Reconsidering Michael Jackson

26:08 | Mar 4th

If you’re watching the Leaving Neverland documentary about Michael Jackson’s alleged child sexual abuse, you probably want to talk to someone about it: What it left out, what it wants to accomplish, and how it complicates our view of victimhood. Gues...Show More

Sins of the Fathers

18:57 | Mar 1st

For years now, survivors of Catholic clergy sexual abuse have sought accountability at the local level, taking claims to their parish or bishop. But the Roman Catholic Church is a global institution, and experts say its cover-up of child abuse reache...Show More

The Gun-Owning Doctors Changing the Gun Debate

21:36 | Feb 28th

Last fall, doctors from all over America took to social media with the hashtag #ThisIsMyLane (or #ThisIsOurLane). They sent pictures of themselves in blood-drenched scrubs and shared stories of treating victims of shootings. They were responding to a...Show More

Civil Rights Cold Cases Find Teenage Allies

24:57 | Feb 27th

It started as a simple lesson in civil rights and ended as a bill President Trump signed into law. How did a class of New Jersey high school students create a piece of legislation to help solve civil rights crimes?Guests: Oslene Johnson, former stude...Show More

Venezuela’s Crisis Deepens

19:50 | Feb 26th

As violence erupts on the Venezuelan border, Vice President Mike Pence makes his way to Colombia to reaffirm American support for the opposition leader, Juan Guaido. How far is the U.S. willing to go? And will this be remembered as the weekend everyt...Show More

The Laquan McDonald Case Isn’t Over

16:48 | Feb 25th

Chicago’s mayoral election is Tuesday. The race has been crowded, contentious, and very much shaped by the Laquan McDonald case.Guest: Jamie Kalven, a journalist with the Invisible Institute. Tell us what you think by leaving a review on Apple Podcas...Show More

Who Wants to Be a (Heavily Taxed) Millionaire?

24:32 | Feb 22nd

As Democrats try to find an economic message that can win in 2020, a group of like-minded millionaires is making the rounds, telling any politicians who will listen, “We want to pay more in taxes.” Why now?Guest: Morris Pearl, chair of Patriotic Mill...Show More

Meet the EPA’s Ghost-Writer

21:42 | Feb 21st

A scientist on the outer fringes of his field has been patiently making the case that the U.S. government applies far too conservative controls on toxins in the environment. Now, he’s trying to implement his ideas at the EPA -- by writing a sweeping ...Show More

The Fight to Change Frat Culture

14:51 | Feb 20th

People who believe the fraternity system is broken have been trying every which way to force changes -- something, anything, to stop the parade of injuries, sexual assaults, and deaths that have happened at frat houses. Last week, we saw yet another ...Show More

Utah’s Medicaid Battle

20:01 | Feb 19th

Voters during the 2018 midterms favored the expansion of Medicaid, but it’s being met with some pushback by conservative legislators. What can Utah’s Medicaid episode teach us about how health care fights may roll out over the coming years?Guests: Ut...Show More

A Cautionary Green New Deal Tale

13:59 | Feb 15th

The Green New Deal brought attention back to the idea of high-speed rail in America. This week California squandered it. What lessons should Americans be taking from the failed high-speed rail project in California?Guest: Henry Grabar, staff writer a...Show More

The Democratic Divide Over Israel

16:32 | Feb 13th

President Donald Trump called on Rep. Ilhan Omar to resign after her anti-Semitic remarks this past weekend. She has since apologized, but the episode revealed a bigger problem that is bound to keep rearing its head for the Democratic Party: its stan...Show More

When a Border Wall Isn’t Enough

14:27 | Feb 12th

Nogales is the biggest port in Arizona and its wall just became the symbol of Trump’s aggressive tactics on the border. How is the city's mayor dealing with a newly weaponized border wall?Guest: Mayor of Nogales Arturo Garino.Tell us what you think b...Show More

How to Get Away With Highway Robbery

20:04 | Feb 11th

Reporters in South Carolina schlepped to all 46 courthouses in the state to document every civil asset forfeiture case in a three-year period. What they found was an impossibly flawed law that rewards bad police-work.Guests: Anna Lee, reporter for th...Show More

How an Abortion Bill Started the Mess in Virginia

15:26 | Feb 8th

Virginia is in chaos as racist stunts and allegations of sexual assault threaten to upend the political careers of four top state officials. How did we get here? It all started with a debate over an abortion bill. Guest: Anna North, senior reporter f...Show More

How Trump’s Inaugural Committee Got Into Trouble

15:20 | Feb 7th

Inaugurations are ethically dubious in the best of times. So why is the Trump inaugural committee under investigation? Consider the scale of the swindle.Guest: Ilya Marritz, co-host of Trump Inc., a podcast produced by WNYC and ProPublica. Tell us wh...Show More

Which State of the Union? Which Medicare for All?

24:16 | Feb 6th

It was a long speech that often meandered from pleas for bipartisanship to accusations of “ridiculous partisan investigations.” What do we make of this state of the union?Plus, it’s anyone’s guess what 'Medicare for All' really means on the 2020 camp...Show More

Larry Krasner and the System That Fought Back

18:36 | Feb 5th

Larry Krasner promised a sea change when he was elected to serve as Philadelphia’s district attorney. It should surprise no one that his policies are making waves.Guest: Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Chris Palmer. Read his story about Krasner’s firs...Show More

The Ferguson Effect

15:17 | Feb 4th

There's a new prosecutor in St. Louis County taking on decades of racial injustice. How will Wesley Bell, buoyed by the political movement after the death of Michael Brown, deliver on his progressive promises?Tell us what you think by leaving a revie...Show More

Anti-Vaxxers Brought Back the Measles

16:22 | Feb 1st

The latest measles outbreak in the Pacific-Northwest is a self-inflicted wound. One that Texans, and Americans alike, should all pay attention to.Guest: Dr. Peter J. Hotez, co-director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development.T...Show More

Don't Call Him El Chapo

13:14 | Jan 31st

Joaquín Guzmán operated in Mexico’s shadows for decades. His trial is shining a spotlight on who the man is and the chaos he sowed on a country . How are Mexicans dealing with the explosive allegations made against former presidents? And what are we ...Show More

Howard Schultz and the Ghost of Ross Perot

17:05 | Jan 30th

Howard Schultz's potential independent presidential candidacy has gotten off to a rough start. Why are Democrats and Republicans alike upset about the Starbucks CEO entering the 2020 fray? And will it even matter?Guest: Steve Kornacki, National Polit...Show More

How Big Tech Is Bleeding American Journalism

19:25 | Jan 29th

More than 1,000 journalists lost their jobs last week. The reason is pretty simple: Big tech is beating digital media to the money. To save journalism, what rules should the public be fighting for?Guest: Will Oremus, Slate’s Senior Technology Writer....Show More

The Gun Rights Case Headed to the Supreme Court

17:36 | Jan 28th

Why it matters that the Supreme Court is taking on a gun rights case now, after keeping its powder dry for years.Guest: Mark Joseph Stern, who covers courts & the law for Slate.Tell us what you think by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or sending a...Show More

The Opposition Comes for Venezuela’s Maduro

20:49 | Jan 25th

How Venezuelans reached a breaking point, and how a team of savvy politicians orchestrated the break. No one expected the greatest threat of a proxy war to come out of South America -- right?Guests: Ana Vanessa Herrero, reporter for the New York Time...Show More

Congress Does Something

19:30 | Jan 24th

The Senate is readying a vote on two bills to fund the government. The measures aren’t expected to pass, but they might signal the beginning of the end of the shutdown.Guest: Jim Newell, who covers Congress for Slate. Tell us what you think by leavin...Show More

Kamala Harris & the Rise of Progressive Prosecutors

23:00 | Jan 23rd

More and more reform-minded district attorneys are taking office as self-avowed progressive prosecutors. Why don’t some advocates think Kamala Harris deserves the label?Guest: Lara Bazelon, associate professor at the University of San Francisco Schoo...Show More

The Women Fleeing Saudi Arabia

20:51 | Jan 22nd

What Mohammed bin Salman’s rise to power has meant for women in Saudi Arabia. Guest: Journalist Sarah Aziza. Read her latest reporting in the New Yorker. Tell us what you think by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or sending an email to whatnext@sla...Show More

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Flips the Script

22:21 | Jan 18th

Why aren’t conservatives’ usual tricks working on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Guest: Slate writer Lili Loofbourow. Read her piece here. Tell us what you think by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or sending an email to whatnext@slate.com. Follow us on...Show More

The L.A. Teachers' Strike

26:10 | Jan 17th

What makes the Los Angeles teachers’ strike different from the strikes that swept the country last year? In L.A., a robust charter school sector competes with the traditional public schools for funds. Guest: Dana Goldstein, education reporter for the...Show More

The Gymnast Who Went Megaviral

20:47 | Jan 16th

UCLA’s Katelyn Ohashi wowed the internet this week with a viral video of her college gymnastics floor routine. As Ohashi’s star rises, the U.S. women’s gymnastics program is imploding. Fans of the sport wonder: What is the price of being world-class?...Show More

Pardons, Presidential Power, and Worry About Bill Barr

26:07 | Jan 15th

More than 25 years after serving as Attorney General under George HW Bush, Barr is set to return to the role this week. What should we expect? And what should the senators at the confirmation hearing be asking?Guest: Noah Feldman, professor of consti...Show More

The Three-Headed Beast Leading U.S. Foreign Policy

17:29 | Jan 14th

Slate’s Fred Kaplan explains how two different Trump advisers, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, are trying to carry out U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.Tell us what you think by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or sending an email to whatnext@sl...Show More

The Threat of National Emergency

19:47 | Jan 11th

What would a national emergency look like, and why hasn't Trump declared one yet? Dahlia Lithwick has answers. Plus: Was it weird that Ruth Bader Ginsburg wasn't at work this week?Tell us what you think by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or sendin...Show More

How We Became Shutdown Nation

20:06 | Jan 10th

How could congressional leaders end the current government shutdown? Come to think of it, how could they put an end to shutdowns altogether?Guests: Tom Davis, former Republican congressman from Virginia, and Slate’s Jim Newell.Tell us what you think ...Show More

Clemency for Cyntoia Brown

17:38 | Jan 9th

Advocate Mariame Kaba explains why the Cyntoia Brown story is compelling, complicated, and deeply frustrating -- why it's wrong to portray Cyntoia Brown as a child, why Brown’s story is deeply familiar to black women in America, and why Kaba consider...Show More

Battling 2020 Fatigue

22:39 | Jan 8th

Jamelle Bouie sees each presidential election like a grand experiment. On today’s show, he shares some of his hypotheses going into the 2020 campaign season. Will the rift grow between President Trump and the establishment GOP? Will Democrat presiden...Show More

The Republican Party Shake-Out in Kansas

19:06 | Jan 7th

The rightward shift of the Republican Party is kind of like global warming: Each political ecosystem is feeling it differently. In Kansas, lifelong Republicans are finding themselves without a habitat.  Guests: Barbara Bollier Kansas state senator, a...Show More

We're Back Monday, January 7th

01:06 | Jan 4th

Every weekday morning. 5AM. Don't start your day without knowing What Next!

We're in the New York Times

01:27 | Dec 9th, 2018

No big deal. Did you see What Next mentioned in the New York Times? We'll be back with more shows in January. Until then, these are some of our favorite episodes:The Gun-Owning Doctors Changing the Gun Debate, Nov. 15thSins of the Fathers, Nov. 14thT...Show More

Jeff Flake Takes Another Stand

21:49 | Nov 17th, 2018

Sen. Jeff Flake is demanding legislation to protect the Mueller probe. High-profile conservatives are peeling off from the Federalist Society to stand up to the Trump administration. Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick explains why she thinks this is a pivotal m...Show More

The Gun Owning Doctors Changing the Gun Debate

29:07 | Nov 16th, 2018

This week doctors from all over America took to social media with the hashtag #ThisIsMyLane (or #ThisIsOurLane). They sent pictures of themselves in blood-drenched scrubs and shared stories of treating victims of gun violence. Much of this was in res...Show More

Sins of the Fathers

19:35 | Nov 14th, 2018

Survivors of Catholic clergy sexual abuse have gone after the church in a piecemeal fashion. But the Roman Catholic Church’s cover-up of child sexual abuse goes back decades, and experts say it reaches the upper echelons of church leadership. What wo...Show More

The Wildfires to Come

18:15 | Nov 14th, 2018

Stephen Pyne has made fire his life’s work. He put them out for 15 summers and has thought about them ever since. Today on the show – the conversation we’re not having about wildfires and why despite the devastation in California this week, he remain...Show More

The Legacy of the Last Florida Recount

20:52 | Nov 12th, 2018

Rick Hasen, founder of the Election Law Blog, explains how we got here: Shrinking away from the hard election reforms, ignoring the easy reforms, and enacting short-sighted remedies. Hasen is a professor at UC Irvine and a Slate contributor. 

Sessions’ Last Act Deals Blow to Police Reform

20:30 | Nov 10th, 2018

Just as he was getting kicked out the door, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions wanted to do one last thing: strongly limit the strength and use of consent decrees moving forward. It’s a move that deals a significant blow to the Department of Justi...Show More

What to Watch After Sessions’ Ouster

20:35 | Nov 9th, 2018

Ben Wittes of Lawfare and the Brookings Institution tells us four things to watch for in the wake of the ouster of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. For more from Wittes on this, check out the latest episode of The Lawfare Podcast. Plus, Mary McCord, w...Show More

What Won for the Democrats?

22:01 | Nov 7th, 2018

Democrats ran all sorts of different campaigns and won (or lost) in all sorts of different ways. Is there a lesson they could take from the midterms and carry into the next election? Plus, how did racism figure into the Florida and Georgia governor’s...Show More

Happy Election Day?

27:52 | Nov 6th, 2018

Alfredo Corchado calls in from the border to talk about voter enthusiasm in his area. Amy Walter from the Cook Political Report shares her tips for watching election night returns. Slate’s Molly Olmstead explains why she’ll be eyeing the teacher cand...Show More

What Story Will This Election Tell Us?

17:37 | Nov 5th, 2018

With less than 36 hours to go until the final voting deadline for the midterm elections, it's important to know what's at stake. Amy Walter, a host on The Takeaway and National Editor of the Cook Political Report, knows that each election tells us a ...Show More

They Forecast a Hate Wave in 2008

21:32 | Nov 2nd, 2018

Daryl Johnson tried to warn Homeland Security about the growing momentum behind right-wing extremists. He was not well-received. On Friday’s show, how the actions of the Obama and Trump administrations fueled far-right violence. Plus, there’s electio...Show More

The State of Red State Democrats

22:50 | Nov 1st, 2018

President Trump wanted to make this the election of the caravan. For red state democrats, that’s becoming the case. So with only days to go until midterms how will Trump’s immigration rhetoric shape close races? Slate’s Jim Newell joins us today to d...Show More

Understanding the Crisis in Yemen

20:15 | Oct 31st, 2018

Eric Nagourney, an international desk editor for the New York Times, explains the paper’s decision to publish harrowing photographs of malnourished Yemeni children. And Fatima Alasrar, a Yemeni and a senior analyst for the Arabia Foundation, explains...Show More

"And Subject to the Jurisdiction Thereof..."

13:07 | Oct 30th, 2018

There's a clause in the 14th amendment that people wanting to change it continue to come back to: "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof." Today on the show, Professor Garrett Epps of The Atlantic joins us to explain why its absurd for Trump to thi...Show More

Words Matter

17:57 | Oct 29th, 2018

Slate’s April Glaser explains the futility of expelling bigots from one social media platform, only to see them find safe harbor on another. 

The Blame Game

25:09 | Oct 26th, 2018

While we wait for news on the bomb suspect, a debate between Slate’s Mike Pesca and Mary Harris: Can we blame the potential explosives on provocative political speech? 

Does Corruption Matter?

15:49 | Oct 25th, 2018

When it comes to the people we vote for, how corrupt is too corrupt? With Herb Jackson, Washington correspondent for USA Today and The Record. We take a whirlwind tour of the U.S. politicians hitting the campaign trail with a dark cloud hanging over ...Show More

Midterm Trolls - Online and Off

20:02 | Oct 24th, 2018

US Cyber Command launched its first cyber operation to deter Russian interference in the 2018 midterm elections, but is it too late? Clint Watts, the author of Messing With the Enemy, "Oh yeah." Today on the show, the continued assault on our informa...Show More

Turkey Makes the Most of Its Moment

23:48 | Oct 23rd, 2018

Slate senior editor Josh Keating explains why Turkey has seized on the disappearance of a foreign journalist to stick it to Saudi Arabia. And Slate writer Aymann Ismail reconsiders going on hajj.  We’ll be piloting What Next in public for the next se...Show More

The Health Care Turnabout

19:44 | Oct 23rd, 2018

Andrew Gillum began his candidacy as a "Medicare for All" supporter. His subtle slide from that position to another is a small, but telling one. Today on the show, a look into the health care debate in the lead up to midterms. Plus, Slate's Mark Jose...Show More

Just an Old Sweet Song

23:43 | Oct 19th, 2018

Kai Wright of WNYC and Slate’s Jamelle Bouie on the governor’s race in Georgia. Plus, Deadspin’s Dvora Meyers explains the implosion of USA Gymnastics. We’ll be piloting What Next in public for the next several weeks. Tell us what you think: whatnext...Show More

Now Is a Good Time to Cheat on Your Taxes

18:16 | Oct 18th, 2018

Budget cuts have crippled the IRS allowing tax cheats to run rampant. ProPublica's Jesse Eisinger says the agency's ability to pursue criminal cases is in collapse because of budget cuts and the fact that the agency still has the same number of audit...Show More

From One Caravan to Another

22:30 | Oct 17th, 2018

Mary Harris is joined by Vox’s Dara Lind to discuss how the latest caravan from Honduras is shining a light on the danger and red tape facing asylum seekers. Plus, what else did you miss today?We’ll be piloting What Next in public for the next severa...Show More

Could the Saudi Monarchy Fall Over This?

28:18 | Oct 16th, 2018

Host Mary Harris talks to Dexter Filkins of the New Yorker on the fraught relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Plus, Slate’s Jim Newell explains why you should care about the final debate tonight between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke.  This i...Show More

Trailer: Introducing What Next

02:18 | Oct 1st, 2018

A smart round-up of the biggest stories of the day. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for the show every weekday afternoon.