Studio: The Scripps Washington Bureau
Category: News & Politics
What It Is
Former NPR reporter Andrea Seabrook heads up a program that attempts to make issues in Washington accessible to laypeople.
This show comes out every week, with an occasional bonus episode thrown in. It’s got around 115 episodes and the entire archive is available on iTunes. Episodes run around half an hour or so and usually revolve around a single topic or interviewee.
What About It
This is a solid show. Seabrook is good enough at what she does to make the show generally interesting, if somewhat bland. It isn’t a show that has a strong vision of itself or a particularly unique lens on anything. There’s an interesting hook in the idea of taking kind of obtuse or arcane elements of Washington and explaining them in layman’s terms, but quite honestly, I didn’t really feel like the show actually stuck with that idea. So, it ended up basically just being another bland news & politics commentary show. Seabrook is, like I said, good at interviewing and at reading copy, but she doesn’t have much of a personality. I guess, bland is really just the watchword here. It’s never a show that’s annoying or stupid, but it’s never insightful or really engaging or anything like that either. It’s just . . . kinda there, you know?
You think political commentary comes best with personality left to the side.
Avoid Like the Plague If
You already listen to other, better political shows.
Best Entry Point
The show does have some good episodes. I think I enjoyed an early one I listened to the most: Episode 18, The Paperwork Reduction Act. It’s a great episode that plays to the premise of the show; it takes an arcane piece of law and explains how it affects every citizen and, hilariously, how it’s a law that has had exactly the opposite of the intended effect. It’s a good one.