Episode 108: Trump and Pence Make the Rounds

Similar to last week, President Donald Trump sat down for another broadcast interview. This time, President Trump sat down with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press. Vice-President Mike Pence also went on the shows. Pence was in studio for an interview with Jake Tapper on State of the Union. 

In both interviews, Iran and the immigrant crisis dominated the conversations.

Chapters

  • Introduction

  • Highlight / Lowlight

  • Chuck Todd Interviews Trump

  • Tapper Interviews Pence

  • Other Voices Respond

  • Show Rankings

  • Closing

Shows discussed 

New places where you can find us!

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

Love our show and want to support us directly? You can support us on our Patreon.

Check out some of our other work: 

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com  

 Naomi's website: www.startwithaquestion.org

Naomi Soto
Episode 107: George Experiences the Trump White House

President Trump does not often sit down for long television interviews. This is interesting considering Trump is a man obsessed with the news and who also has an uncanny ability to determine (or distract) the media’s attention. This week, however, George Stephanopoulos observed, interacted, and interviewed President Trump for 30 hours. 

Many comments from that interview made news — like President Trump would be receptive to help from a foreign government during the 2020 election (this is illegal); he thinks he answered written questions on obstruction to Bob Mueller (he didn’t); Trump repeatedly stated the Mueller report says there were was no collusion (Mueller specifically did not say this); and Trump cannot handle people coughing around him (is Mulvaney on his way out?!).

In this episode of Polilogue, we also look at how Washington is responding to this interview and how the globe is reacting to the escalated tensions between the US and Iran.  We also discuss messaging strategies by 2020 candidates, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders.

Chapters

  • Introduction

  • Highlight / Lowlight

  • 30 Hours With President Trump 

  • Washington Responds to Trump

  • Iran Tension Escalates

  • Buttigieg’s Vision for the Future 

  • Sanders Socialism Talk  

  • Show Rankings

  • Listener Feedback

  • Closing

Shows discussed 

New places where you can find us! 

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

Love our show and want to support us directly? You can support us on our Patreon

Check out some of our other work: 

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com  

 Naomi's website: www.startwithaquestion.org

Naomi Soto
Episode 106: The Joe Biden Stump Speech

This week, we dive deep into the Joe Biden candidacy. Biden has been everywhere on the Sunday morning political shows this year—except in the guest seat! But that won’t stop us from getting to the bottom of this top-polling candidate. In the first in a series of special episodes that will be coming to your feed periodically throughout the rest of the year, we take a pause on looking at the Sunday shows to look at the 2020 Democratic candidates for president. In each episode of the series, we will do a Polilogue examination of the candidate’s stump speech—the well-worn collection of policy ideas, personal anecdotes, statistics, and autobiography that make up a candidate’s basic pitch to the American voter. Complete with audio clips and analysis, it’s everything you’ve come to expect from an episode of Polilogue!

This week, we examine Joe Biden’s stump speech. Biden has been running for just over a month (officially)—but we’ve heard more ABOUT him than FROM him. In this close look, we break down his “Campaign Kickoff” in Philadelphia on May 18. Here are the topics we discuss:

  • Introduction

  • Setting the Scene in Philadelphia

  • General Impressions

  • The Goals of Joe Biden

  • The Rhetoric

  • The Policies “That Matter Most”

  • The Final Grade

  • Closing

You can watch Biden’s kickoff at the link below—but be warned, the audio is atrocious and just gets worse and worse. We had to do some significant audio clean-up to make our clips listenable.

Biden kickoff video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-AEAq7jzcU&t=238s

Both the PBS Newshour and C-SPAN audio are a mess, so if you want to just read the speech transcript, you can find it here: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1905/18/cnr.04.html

We don’t like being out of town on Sundays, but we do enjoy the opportunity to record these special episodes that explore topics a bit more fully than we can on a typical episode. Invariably, they end up taking way more work to assemble than our regular ones. Let us know what you think! We will be back next week with our regularly-scheduled look at the Sunday morning political shows.

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

If you’re interested, you can check out some of our other work: 

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com  

 Naomi's website: www.startwithaquestion.org

Naomi Soto
Episode 105: WH Threatens Mexico (Again)

Asylum seekers from Central America continue to arrive on the Mexico-US border. Now, the White House is threatening Mexico with tariffs on all imported goods, if they do not play a more active role in the migrant crisis to reduce the number of migrants that reach the US. Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was on multiple shows this week defending this tariff threat that few Republicans support.

Additionally Majority Whip Jim Clyburn was on State of the Union with a clear and foretelling impeaching strategy.

Chapters

  • Introduction

  • Highlight / Lowlight

  • Mulvaney Grilled by Todd on Tariffs

  • White House Enjoys Easy Interview on Fox

  • Democratic Impeachment Strategy

  • Show Rankings

  • Two Special Notes

  • Closing

Shows discussed 

New places where you can find us! 

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

Love our show and want to support us directly? You can support us on our Patreon

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 104: Journalists Take a Stand

When there is not one prevailing topic dominating the news, journalists play a very important role in shaping a show and prioritizing conversations. 

Today on Polilogue, we examine some of the choices made by hosts this Memorial Day Weekend.

Chapters

  • Introduction

  • Highlight / Lowlight

  • Chuck Todd Fizzles

  • Chris Wallace Takes a Side

  • Dana Bash Zeroes In

  • Martha Raddatz Brings Expertise

  • Lessons From the Hosts

  • Show Rankings

  • Closing

Shows discussed 

New places where you can find us! 

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

Love our show and want to support us directly? You can support us on our Patreon

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 103: Media Fails on Abortion

Abortion has always been a passionate issue for both political parties. Recently, the intensity has increased.

In the last few weeks, many states have passed bills that restrict abortion access. States like Georgia, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Mississippi ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat could be detected— approximately 6-8 weeks— before many women even know they are pregnant. Alabama passed a bill that bans abortion, including in instances of rape and incest.

With the rhetoric and passions ever growing on this topic, we examine how the media frames the abortion conversation to begin with.

Chapters

  • Introduction 

  • Highlight / Lowlight 

  • Journalists on Abortion

  • Guests and Panelists on Abortion

  • Historical Context on Abortion in Politics

  • Show Rankings 

  • Closing 

Worthwhile reading

Shows discussed

New places where you can find us!

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

Love our show and want to support us directly? You can support us on our Patreon.

Check out some of our other work:

Brendan’s website: www.armisticedesigns.com

Naomi's website: www.startwithaquestion.org

Naomi Soto
Episode 102: Trade War with China Escalates

Last Friday President Trump increased tariffs on certain Chinese products from 10 percent to to 25 percent.

This latest escalation in the trade war with Chinese has economists, Democrats, and Republicans alike wary of the end impact Americans may face. Despite the regression in negotiations, President Trump remains optimistic that he will be able to come to an agreement with China.

In the latest episode of Fox News Sunday,  Chris Wallace interviews Director of the National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow. Kudlow makes news by acknowledging the reality that Trump seems to ignore: that tariffs increase the prices American consumers pay and lowers the Chinese GDP at the same time. 

We also explore an extensive interview with Kamala Harris on CNN’s State of the Union. 

Chapters

  • Introduction 

  • Highlight / Lowlight 

  • Tariffs Impact American Consumers 

  • Trump’s Foreign Headaches

  • Kamala Harris Builds Her Case 

  • Rankings 

  • Closing 

Helpful links

We leaned on the following two articles and studies to understand the Chinese trade war:

Shows discussed

Love our show and want to support us directly? You can support us on our Patreon.

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 101B: Pompeo Fails to Instill Confidence

[Reposting due to some technical difficulties! Our apologies on the delayed release!]

North Korea resumed missile testing. Unrest continues in Venezuela. Russia refutes election meddling. 

This week, the Trump administration struggled to maintain their composure and strong messaging on several foreign diplomacy fronts. In the latest episode of Polilogue, we explore how Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to valid and fair questions on Fox News Sunday and This Week. 

We also examine four interviews with 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls.

Chapters

  • Introduction 

  • Lowlight - Panels All Miss the Mark

  • Highlight - Melinda Gates Splits the Work

  • Highlight - Congressman David Cicilline Maintains Composure

  • Pompeo Remains Optimistic?

  • Four 2020 Candidates Make the Case

  • Rankings 

  • Closing 

Helpful links

We leaned on the following two Vox articles to understand Venezuela:

And to break down the 1982 decree, this article on Politico was helpful.

Shows discussed

Love our show and want to support us directly? You can support us on our Patreon.

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 101: Pompeo Fails to Instill Confidence

North Korea resumed missile testing. Unrest continues in Venezuela. Russia refutes election meddling. 

This week, the Trump administration struggled to maintain their composure and strong messaging on several foreign diplomacy fronts. In the latest episode of Polilogue, we explore how Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to valid and fair questions on Fox News Sunday and This Week. 

We also examine four interviews with 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls.

Chapters

  • Introduction 

  • Lowlight - Panels All Miss the Mark

  • Highlight - Melinda Gates Splits the Work

  • Highlight - Congressman David Cicilline Maintains Composure

  • Pompeo Remains Optimistic?

  • Four 2020 Candidates Make the Case

  • Rankings 

  • Closing 

Helpful links

We leaned on the following two Vox articles to understand Venezuela:

And to break down the 1982 decree, this article on Politico was helpful.

Shows discussed

Love our show and want to support us directly? You can support us on our Patreon.

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 100: News Themes

In this Special Edition to mark our 100th episode, we ask: what is the responsibility of the news consumer?  How can we increase our understanding of important topics and cut through the noise to get a sense of what the news really means?  We organize our thinking around six general themes (and a 7th that we list here and discuss later in the episode):  

  1. Context

  2. Comparisons

  3. Primary Sources

  4. History

  5. Mechanisms

  6. Questions 

  7. Voices

Then, we examine where hosts Naomi and Brendan get their news.  We share tips and recommendations on everything from newsletters to podcasts.  Oh—and we fail to say that of course you should support at least one newspaper if you can!  We’ve subscribed to four in the last few years (now cut to two)—but we find it incredibly important to pay for the great work of hard-working journalists who depend on subscribers as well as eyeballs.  

Next week, we’ll be back with our regularly-scheduled look at the Sunday Morning political shows.  Thanks for listening! 

By the way, when it comes to context, this video by The Washington Post on Rep. Ilhan Omar’s comments was incredibly helpful in sourcing audio: https://youtu.be/zWFnkNX9m2E 

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 99: Mueller Report Rattles White House

Last Thursday after months of fighting, negotiations, and evasions, Robert Mueller’s almost 500-page redacted report was released to the public. 

There were two main conclusions: 1.) No criminal conspiracy between the president’s campaign and Moscow; 2.) Mueller did not recommend charges against Trump. Mueller did, however, find several instances where the president tried to influence or shut down the investigation.

Rudy Giuiliani and Kellyanne Conway were in long interviews on the Sunday morning shows. Today on Polilogue we explore the White House’s objectives in those interviews— and ask ourselves if the hosts facilitated or impeded those objectives. 

We found this Mueller summary on Vox extremely helpful.  

  • Introduction

  • Highlight/Lowlight

  • Giuliani and Conway Defend Trump 

  • White House Strategies

  • Democrats’ Next Steps

  • Sundays’ Missed Moment

  • Show Rankings

  • 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  

 Naomi's website: www.startwithaquestion.org


Naomi Soto
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  

 Naomi's website: www.startwithaquestion.org

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  

 Naomi's website: www.startwithaquestion.org

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.

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 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  

 Naomi's website: www.startwithaquestion.org

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 
Naomi's website: www.startwithaquestion.org

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 
Naomi's website: www.startwithaquestion.org


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