Episode 98: WH Reps Face Tough Interviews

This week Sarah Huckabee Sanders went on Fox News Sunday and This Week on ABC. Kellyanne Conway was interviewed by Chuck Todd on Meet the Press. In each instance we find two women defending policies that bush the boundary of the law. 

  • Intro 

  • Highlight /Lowlight

  • Explosive Kellyanne Interview on MTP

  • Fox News Sunday Enters Polilogue

  • George Sets the Stage

  • Jerry Nadler on SOTU

  • Jake’s Sassy Tone

  • Closing

The shows we focused on today include:

We found this explainer about the Federal Reserve is helpful.  

Email us at podcast@polilogue.com or you can send us your feedback @PolilogueCast. You can also follow us at @sotonaomi_ and @bsteidle.

Want to stalk us some more? Check out some of our other work: 

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com  

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Naomi Soto
Episode 97: Hosts Introduce 2020 Candidates

We are 19 months away from the 2020 presidential election. Approximately about a year away from the primaries and almost two months away from the first Democratic primary debate. 

But with 20+ Democratic candidates, news organizations are making conscious choices about which candidates to introduce to the American public and how rigorous to make those those introductions.

Today on Polilogue we look at four different candidate introductions and ask ourselves, what is the journalist trying to do— and do we, as potential voters, learn anything new?

  • Introduction

  • Highlight/Lowlight

  • Andrew Yang pushes UBI

  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg 

  • Mike Bennet pushes Medicare X 

  • Tim Ryan 

  • Biden drops the ball

  • Changes in Polilogue

  • Show Rankings

  • Closing

The shows we focused on today include:

We found this explainer about the Federal Reserve is helpful.  

Email us at podcast@polilogue.com or you can send us your feedback @PolilogueCast. You can also follow us at @sotonaomi_ and @bsteidle.

Want to stalk us some more? Check out some of our other work: 

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com  

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Naomi Soto
Episode 96: Republicans Try Healthcare (Again)

After Robert Mueller concluded his investigation with no direct evidence of collusion, President Trump could have taken a victory lap. He could have claimed the moment and directed the coverage to any Republican priority. He could have demanded that Congress move on and take action on a bipartisan priority like infrastructure.

Instead President Trump took on the last issue that Republicans want to work on: healthcare.

Today on Polilogue, we look at the latest Republican effort to overturn Obamacare. We also discuss the allegation against Joe Biden by Nevada Democrat Lucy Flores.

  • Introduction

  • Highlight/Lowlight

  • The Missing Republican Healthcare Plan

  • Allegation Against Biden

  • Show Rankings

  • Closing

The shows we focus on include:

A couple of resources that helped inform today’s episode

Email us at podcast@polilogue.com or you can send us your feedback @PolilogueCast. You can also follow us at @sotonaomi_ and @bsteidle.

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Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com  

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Naomi Soto
Episode 95: Mueller Investigation Concludes

After almost two years, Robert Mueller concluded his investigation. With the support of 19 attorneys and 40 FBI agents, Mueller issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained 230 orders for communication records, and interviewed 500 witnesses. 

The country has waited for months for proof and assurance that the President is legitimate or a liar.  

Today on Polilogue, we look at the the unique predicament of the Sunday morning political shows: the Mueller investigation over, the findings still unknown, and somehow they had to create an hour-long show that was informative about unknown news. 

  • Introduction

  • Highlight/Lowlight

  • Barr Summarizes Findings 

  • Show Objectives

  • Release the Report

  • “No Collusion!” 

  • What’s Next

  • Being a Savvy Media Consumer

  • Show Rankings

  • Closing

The shows we focus on include:

For more reading on the Barr summary:

You can email us at podcast@polilogue.com or you can send us your feedback @PolilogueCast. You can also follow us at @sotonaomi_ and @bsteidle.

Want to stalk us some more? Check out some of our other work: 

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com  

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Naomi Soto
Episode 94: A Critical Look at Sunday

Good political journalism is more than just one good story. Or a breaking tweet. It’s an ongoing conversation about the policy and politics that impacts every piece of our lives.

In today’s episode of Polilogue we discuss our motivations for creating the show. We explore all facets of the Sunday morning talk shows: the hosts, guests, topics, interviews, questions, asides, panels — just to name a few!

Which show gets it right? Which show is learning and evolving? And how can we, as media consumers, notice and expect good political journalism.

  • Introduction

  • The Podcast

  • The Story

  • The Guests

  • The Questions

  • The Panels

  • The Election

  • Closing

The shows we focus on include:

Email us at podcast@polilogue.com or you can send us your feedback @PolilogueCast. You can also follow us at @sotonaomi_ and @bsteidle.

Want to stalk us some more? Check out some of our other work: 

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com 
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Naomi Soto
Episode 93: North Korea Lied, Congresswoman Omar Rattles Congress

Without a single story dominating the news this week, the Sunday talk shows each had unique takes to summarize and explain the news.  

First, we notice obvious deflection by National Security Advisor John Bolton when asked by Martha Raddatz about new reports that North Korea is building up one of their nuclear power plants. We also discuss how Congress and the media is reacting to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s comments about Israel. 

Lastly, new 2020 candidates emerge. Governor Jay Inslee and Former Governor John Hickenlooper go on the shows to introduce themselves to America. Plus, Senator Elizabeth Warren introduces bold platform ideas that leave some people (and industries) scratching their heads. 

As always, you can jump to a section of the show by using our available chapters:

  • Introduction

  • Highlight / Lowlight 

  • John Bolton on North Korea

  • Congress Reacts to Omar Comments

  • Three 2020 Candidates, Three Approaches 

  • Show Rankings

  • Show Closing

The shows we discuss today include:

Email us at podcast@polilogue.com or you can send us your feedback @PolilogueCast. You can also follow us at @sotonaomi_ and @bsteidle.

Want to stalk us some more? Check out some of our other work: 


Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com 
Naomi's website: www.startwithaquestion.org

Naomi Soto
Episode 92: Cohen Testifies, North Korea Summit Fails

The Sunday talk shows all focused on President Trump’s extremely rough week. Last Wednesday, President Trump’s former attorney and fixer, Michel Cohen, publicly testified in front of theHouse Oversight Committee. In the marathon 7-hour hearing, Cohen asserted that President Trump is a racist, a conman, and a cheat.. He also brought corroborating evidence. 

Republicans focused on Cohen’s damaged credibility. The Democrats laid the ground work for additional investigations.  On the other side of the world on the very same day, talks betweens President Trump and North Korea dictator, Kim Jong Un fell apart.

As always, you can jump to a section of the show by using our available chapters:

  • Introduction

  • Highlight / Lowlight 

  • The Cohen Hearing

  • No Deal in Vietnam 

  • Show Rankings

  • Show Closing

The shows we discuss today include:

State of the Union on CNN

Meet the Press on NBC

Face the Nation on CBS

This Week on ABC

Dialogue challenge: Prepare for The Big One

Email us at podcast@polilogue.com or you can send us your feedback @PolilogueCast. You can also follow us at @sotonaomi_ and @bsteidle.

Want to stalk us some more? Check out some of our other work: 

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com 
Naomi's website: www.startwithaquestion.org

Naomi Soto
Episode 91: The 2020 Election Special Vol. 2

We continue reviewing the introductions of 2020 candidates on the Sunday morning talk shows.  Over the last several weeks, several prominent voices have been on the shows, including the DNC Chair, Tom Perez, and additional Democratic candidates from the midwest. Additionally, we discuss the likelihood of President Trump facing a real primary. 

As always, you can jump to a section of the show by using our available chapters:

  • Introduction

  • Tom Perez

  • Pete Buttigieg

  • Sherrod Brown

  • Bill Weld

  • Show Closing

The shows we discuss today include:

State of the Union on CNN

Meet the Press on NBC

Face the Nation on CBS

This Week on ABC

Email us at podcast@polilogue.com or you can send us your feedback @PolilogueCast. You can also follow us at @sotonaomi_ and @bsteidle.

Want to stalk us some more? Check out some of our other work: 

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com 
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Naomi Soto
Episode 90: Chuck Todd and John Reiss Interview

For this episode, we flew to Washington, DC to sit down with Chuck Todd, host of Meet the Press, and John Reiss, the Executive Producer of the show for an in-depth interview.  We talk about the Meet the Press brand, the place of the Sunday shows in our new media landscape, how they choose what to cover, who to book, how to question and how they frame the news of the week.  It was a privilege to be invited to the show and we thank Chuck and John for their time and the entire Meet the Press and NBC News team for welcoming us during a busy news week!     

We are firm believers that the Sunday shows influence and shape the news for the entire week. Conversations like this are exactly what we had in mind when we first dreamed up Polilogue. And we’re so thrilled to share this with you—and hope to have more conversations like it in the future.  

Each week on the Polilogue podcast, we discuss the Sunday morning political shows.  We take a critical look at the policy maker, the politician, and the journalist because each is critical and each demands criticism.  To learn more about the Polilogue podcast, visit www.Polilogue.com

If you enjoyed this episode, please consider supporting the show so we can produce more episodes just like it.  Visit our Patreon at www.Patreon.com/Polilogue 

Meet the Press photo with Chuck Todd and John Reiss
Naomi Soto
Episode 89: Defeated, Trump Declares Emergency

On Friday, February 15, President Trump announced he was going to declare a national emergency. The day before on Thursday, February 14, Congress averted a second government shutdown by approving a budget deal. The deal provided $1.375 billion for new border fencing — less than a quarter of the amount Trump originally sought to build his border wall. 

People in both parties do not approve of President Trump’s expanded executive authority and believe he is breaking an important precedent. Since 1976, 59 national emergencies have been declared, but in no instance did a president declare an emergency after Congress had already responded to the issue at hand.

In our second segment, we discuss Amazon’s decision to abruptly pull out of its HQ2 plans in New York City. What does it mean that one of the biggest companies in America would pull out of an agreement with the biggest city in America without any discussion or negotiations due to local community criticisms? And is there room in the Democratic Party for a pro-business progressive? 

Stay tuned this week for a special episode of our interview with Chuck Todd and the executive producer of Meet the Press, John Reiss! 

As always, you can jump to a section of the show by using our available chapters:

  • Introduction

  • Highlight/Lowlight

  • Trump’s Non-Emergency  

  • Amazon Splits with NYC 

  • Show rankings 

  • Closing

The shows we discuss today include:

State of the Union on CNN

Meet the Press on NBC

Face the Nation on CBS

This Week on ABC

Fox News Sunday on FOX

Email us at podcast@polilogue.com or you can send us your feedback @PolilogueCast. You can also follow us at @sotonaomi_ and @bsteidle.

Want to stalk us some more? Check out some of our other work: 

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com 
Naomi's website: www.startwithaquestion.org

Naomi Soto
Episode 88: Scandals from Bezos to Virginia

On today’s episode of Polilogue we talk about the explosive allegations from Jeff Bezos that American Media tried to exploit and blackmail him. American Media is the same company that owns the National Enquirer and has a special agreement with the Southern District of New York to cooperate in Trump investigations. 

We also talk about the three scandals hitting Virginia at the same time. Governor Ralph Northam bungles blackface allegation. Two women accuse Lt. Gov Justin Fairfax of sexual assault. And Attorney General confesses to his own participation of blackface when he was in college. Now the state must decide try to figure out who can heal the commonwealth and move it forward. 

As always, you can jump to a section of the show by using our available chapters:

  • Introduction

  • Highlight/Lowlight

  • Bezos exposes AMI  

  • Virginia Officials Embarrass State 

  • Avoiding the Next Shutdown

  • Show rankings 

  • Closing

The shows we discuss today include:

Email us at podcast@polilogue.com or you can send us your feedback @PolilogueCast. You can also follow us at @sotonaomi_ and @bsteidle.

Want to stalk us some more? Check out some of our other work: 

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com 
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Naomi Soto
Episode 87: Northam Digs In

In the span of ~24 hours, the governor of the commonwealth of Virginia became a man without a party. Last Friday, a racist photo of a man in blackface and another man in a KKK costume was discovered on Governor Ralph Northam’s medical yearbook page. Within hours, he apologized. Then the next day, he denied he was in the picture.

Most people are asking Governor Northham to step down, but he isn’t budging… which leaves everyone to wonder: How does Virginia move forward? And how can Governor Northam possibly lead?

As always, you can jump to a section of the show by using our available chapters:

  • Introduction 

  • Highlight / Lowlight

  • Northam Stays Put

  • Margaret Brennan Interviews Trump

  • Rankings 

  • Closing 

The shows we discuss today include:

Email us at podcast@polilogue.com or you can send us your feedback @PolilogueCast. You can also follow us at @sotonaomi_ and @bsteidle

Want to stalk us some more? Check out some of our other work: 

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com 
Naomi's website: www.startwithaquestion.org

Naomi Soto
Episode 86: Notes from a Live Taping of Meet the Press

Due to travel delays, the full recap and analysis of the Sunday shows from February 3 will be released a day late on Tuesday morning, February 5.

Brendan, however, has some exciting observations after attending a live taping of Meet the Press in Washington, DC this morning!

Email us at podcast@polilogue.com or you can send us your feedback @PolilogueCast. You can also follow us at @sotonaomi_ and @bsteidle

Want to stalk us some more? Check out some of our other work: 

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com 
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Naomi Soto
Episode 85: The 2020 Race Begins

One of the motivations for starting Polilogue was our frustration of the 2016 election. Trump was allowed to call into the Sunday talk shows. The panels frequently dismissed his campaign and his candidacy. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton rarely went on the shows. And over and over again, we saw the shows focus on the wrong parts of the Democratic and Republican campaigns.

So for 2020, we’re keeping a close eye on how the Sunday talk shows cover the next presidential election. In today’s episode of Polilogue, we look at how the shows have introduced five early candidates and the performances of these presidential hopefuls.

As always, you can jump to a section of the show by using our available chapters:

  • Introduction 

  • John Delaney

  • Julian Castro

  • Bill DeBlasio

  • Kirsten Gillibrand

  • Tulsi Gabbard

  • Closing 

The shows we discuss today include:

Email us at podcast@polilogue.com or you can send us your feedback @PolilogueCast. You can also follow us at @sotonaomi_ and @bsteidle

Want to stalk us some more? Check out some of our other work: 

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com 
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Naomi Soto
Episode 84: The Wall Hits a Wall

In an effort to reopen the government, the  Trump administration proposed temporary protection for immigrants in the DACA and TPS programs for $5.7 billion in border money. Democrats remain firm: no deal until President Trump reopens the government. 

In the midst of this infighting, 800,000 federal workers are without pay and millions of dollars are being lost in communities across the country. 

President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani also made news this morning when he admitted that the Moscow trump tower was an effort up and until the election. 

As always, you can jump to a section of the show by using our available chapters:

  • Introduction 

  • Highlight / Lowlight

  • Shutdown Developments

  • The Wall Hits a Wall

  • One Giuliani, Two Hosts

  • Rankings 

  • Closing 

The shows we discuss today include:

Email us at podcast@polilogue.com or you can send us your feedback @PolilogueCast. You can also follow us at @sotonaomi_ and @bsteidle

Want to stalk us some more? Check out some of our other work: 

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com 
Naomi's website: www.startwithaquestion.org

Naomi Soto
Episode 83: Trump Taunts National Emergency

We are officially in the longest government shutdown in American history. As Congressional Democrats and the White House fail to make to any movement on a compromise, President Trump threatens to declare a national emergency to obtain funding for his border wall.

We also examine the disturbing news by the New York Times that the FBI opened an investigation into President Trump to determine if he was secretly working for Russia. Most Sunday news treated this news as just another piece of White House chaos. Meet the Press was the only show to explain the gravity of the Times’ reporting. 

As always, you can jump to a section of the show by using our available chapters:

  • Introduction

  • Highlight/Lowlight

  • Shutdown Negotiation Stalls 

  • What’s an Emergency?

  • Obstruction may be Collusion 

  • Show rankings 

  • Closing

The shows we discuss today include:

You can read the New York Times article we discuss in segment three here.

Email us at podcast@polilogue.com or you can send us your feedback @PolilogueCast. You can also follow us at @sotonaomi_ and @bsteidle

Want to stalk us some more? Check out some of our other work: 

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com 
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Naomi Soto
Episode 82: Shutdown Showdown

The White House and Congressional Democrats are no closer to ending the now-three week partial government shutdown. It seems very likely that 800,000+ furloughed federal employees will miss their next paycheck on Jan. 17. 

Other Americans could be impacted by the shutdown as well. Food-insecure families could be without food stamps, rent vouchers may not arrive in time, and tax refunds could be delayed for millions of households.

Today on Polilogue, we question if and when this standstill will be over. We also review a powerful interview with Sarah Huckabee Sanders on a show we normally don’t review: Fox News Sunday wit hChris Wallace !

As always, you can jump to a section of the show by using our available chapters:

  • Introduction

  • Highlight/Lowlight

  • Sarah Sanders Stumbles

  • Republicans Won’t Budge 

  • Democrats Stand Firm 

  • Early 2020 Candidates

  • Show rankings 

  • Closing

The shows we discuss today include:

Email us at podcast@polilogue.com or you can send us your feedback @PolilogueCast. You can also follow us at @sotonaomi_ and @bsteidle.

Want to stalk us some more? Check out some of our other work: 

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com 
Naomi's website: www.startwithaquestion.org

Naomi Soto
Episode 81: The 'Wall' and Climate Change

Ten days into the partial government shutdown — and a compromise between congressional Democrats and the White House is still no where in sight. 

On today’s episode of Polilogue, we look at the various proposals to open the government back up. We also look at a special climate change-focused episode of Meet the Press.

As always, you can jump to a section of the show by using our available chapters:

  • Intro

  • Highlight/Lowlight

  • The ‘Wall’ Shutdown

  • The MTP Climate Special

  • Rankings

  • Closing

The shows we discuss today include:

Articles and research we cite:

Email us at podcast@polilogue.com or you can send us your feedback @PolilogueCast. You can also follow us at @sotonaomi_ and @bsteidle.

Want to stalk us some more? Check out some of our other work: 

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com 
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Naomi Soto
Episode 80: Merry Shutdown and Withdrawal Greetings

After two chaotic years in office, President Trump struggles to maintain any semblance of control. And even for a dysfunctional administration like this one, the turmoil was more pronounced than ever this week.

Despite the objections of his Cabinet, Trump unilaterally decides to withdraw US troops from Syria— enraging Congress and dumbfounding allies; Secretary of Defense James Mattison and presidential anti-ISIS envoy Brett McGurk both resign in protest; the government partially shuts four three days before Christmas, and the stock market has its worst week in a decade.

How will Congress maintain a check on this administration when it feels like the wheels are coming off? And is the White House ready for an even more chaotic next two years?

As always, you can jump to a section of the show by using our available chapters:

  • Intro

  • Highlight/Lowlight

  • Withdrawal from Syria  

  • Christmas Government Shutdown 

  • Rankings

  • Closing

The shows we discuss today include:

Check out Brendan’s analysis of Chris Christie’s Mic-Takeover Analysis :

Christie takes over the panel on  This Week

Email us at podcast@polilogue.com or you can send us your feedback @PolilogueCast. You can also follow us at @sotonaomi_ and @bsteidle.

Want to stalk us some more? Check out some of our other work: 

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com 
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Naomi Soto
Episode 79: Investigations Isolate President Trump

In a normal presidential administration, mid-December could be a quiet month. Instead, we are  realizing that every organization connected to the President is currently under investigation: Trump University, the Trump campaign, the Trump organization, the Trump Inaugural Committee, and the Trump White House. At the same time, we are 5 days away from a government shut down, because President Trump demands that Congress authorize him $5 billion to build a border wall.

Today on Polilogue, we look at how two prominent voices defend President Trump: Rudy Giuliani and Advisor Stephen Miller. We also discuss how the rest of Washington tries to find solutions despite the priorities of the White House. 

As always, you can jump to a section of the show by using our available chapters:

  • Introduction

  • Highlight/Lowlight

  • Investigations Surround Trump

  • Trump’s Shutdown Showdown

  • Show rankings 

  • Closing

The shows we discuss today include:

Email us at podcast@polilogue.com or you can send us your feedback @PolilogueCast. You can also follow us at @sotonaomi_ and @bsteidle.

Want to stalk us some more? Check out some of our other work: 

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com 
Naomi's website: www.startwithaquestion.org


Naomi Soto