Studio: Dan Carlin
Category: News & Politics
What It Is
Journalist/podcaster/radio host/writer Dan Carlin applies his own particular point of view to political & social issues in the news.
Episodes run from forty-five to seventy minutes long typically. Stripped down as it could be, just Carlin talking into a microphone. Shows are released sporadically when something is of enough interest to Carlin that he needs to talk about it. One or two a month typically. iTunes archive has the most recent 23 episodes at any given time; the rest of the archive is available for purchase on the official website.
What About It
This is right up there with my very favorite news & politics shows. Carlin is an erudite and compelling host. Several people around here have brought up his other big podcast, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. On that show he tends to talk into a microphone for around four hours to an episode and I’ll listen to those in one sitting, so this is a piece of cake. He just has a compelling way of speaking and getting to the heart of issues. Carlin’s perspectives are refreshingly non-partisan and the show lives up to its name in spades. It’s a pragmatic, clear-eyed look at the politics of the day and the only slant Carlin brings to the analysis is a slant towards government actually serving the people it governs. He doesn’t always have the answers; in fact, he could even be said to have no answers “often.” But he asks the right questions and stirs the listener to think about the issues in a different way. He preaches critical thinking, common sense and a simple philosophy of, well, at the end of the day, a simple philosophy of knowing what’s going on and having a defensible position on it. And, if there are ways to do so, moving towards fixing the problems of our modern political system. Carlin rides the edge of cynicism; he often muses on whether or not America is past the tipping point. Can the problems in our society even be fixed at this point? Well, there are days I say yes and days I say no, so I’m putting no money on it. But if they can be, talking about the problems is the first step; that’s just Common Sense.
You’re interested at all in America not being a train-wreck.
Avoid Like the Plague If
Where to Start
Well, this is a show that often discusses items in the news, so I’m going with the typical “download the latest one” ploy. But I should say that the old episodes are worth a listen too. The specific events that spark Carlin’s episodes pass away into memory, but the issues at the core of the events are things like civil rights, privacy, corruption, the two-party system, foreign policy, etc. And those things are evergreens. So plunge into the archive at will. You’ll always find something interesting there.