Over the last year I’ve become a regular watcher of the Katie Halper Show, presented by the eponymous US comedian, filmmaker and co-host of the Useful Idiots podcast with Matt Taibbi. Unlike that equally excellent YouTube show, the New Yorker’s own podcast is much more freewheeling in nature, with an eclectic mix of guests, some of whom rarely feature in the more established left-leaning podcasts in the United States, where debates about class politics and socio-economic matters are eclipsed by an obsession with the minutiae of American identity and culture war politics.
While the show is mainly focused on domestic news in the US it is still worth a watch for an international audience, its slightly iconoclastic, slightly tongue-in-cheek views contrasting with the authoritarian conformity characterising many of the online discussions by American progressives (for which, see some of the hyperbolic commentary offered on the otherwise worthwhile Young Turks or the patronising sneering of The Majority Report).
One longs for a similarly smart podcast on the Irish left. And the republican-left in particular. Instead we have mainstream media shows parroting the neoliberal talking points of the establishment parties. And defending the indefensible actions of a dysfunctional coalition government that is more concerned with its own well-being, and that of its financial allies and backers, than that of the citizenry in its care.