Staying informed doesn't have to be painful. In this daily news and politics podcast presented by Betches Media and hosted by Amanda Duberman, co-hosts Sami Sage, Alise Morales, Bryan Russell Smith, Milly Tamarez and Kaitlin Byrd run through the day’s wildest headlines with accessible analysis and commentary you will actually relate to. Daily episodes bring fact-based news delivered with humor plus interviews with members of Congress, candidates, activists, comedians, and political experts to discuss WTF is going on and how we’re all getting through it. For constant news updates, sign up for the Sup email newsletter at betches.co/sup and follow us on Instagram at @betches_sup.
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Alise, Sami, and Amanda break down the upcoming governor's election in Virginia and push back against calling it a “referendum” on Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress. How can we more constructively frame Biden's challenging few months without being so dramatic? Then, Betches Podcast Director Sean Kilby is back to discuss “Squid Game,” the dark Korean series that's become a global phenomenon. Why does the show resonate so strongly at this particular moment? Who were our favorite games and characters? Finally, they debate the show's closing message and speculate about season 2.
Senator Tammy Duckworth joins us to discuss a topic hugely personal to many of our listeners: miscarriage and pregnancy loss. Sen. Duckworth describes the Support Through Loss Act, which would provide paid leave to those experiencing pregnancy loss, a failed adoption, or unsuccessful fertility treatments. She shares how her own experience with pregnancy loss makes the bill personal and why men need to be a bigger part of the conversation around miscarriage and mourning. Finally, she shares how the bill recognizes the many ways people become parents in 2021 while funding additional research into pregnancy loss.
Milly, Alise, and Amanda are joined by Betches Podcast Director Sean Kilby to react to NFL head coach Jon Gruden resigning over racist, homophobic, and misogynistic emails. They detail the weekend of revelations that ultimately led to his resignation and why the specific makeup of the NFL -- 70% of players are Black -- makes them so problematic. They react to allegations of “cancel culture” and compare Gruden's commitment to hateful language with Dave Chappelle's doubling down on transphobia.
NYC Councilmember Carlina Rivera joins Milly and Amanda to discuss access to abortion among Latina communities. While much has been made about the Texas ban on abortions, Latinas around the country -- even in New York City -- have struggled to access abortion services because of onerous government restrictions like Title 10 and the Hyde Amendment. She breaks down the abortion fund she helped create to help out-of-state women access abortion care in NYC. Then Milly joins to chat with the Coucilwoman about her upbringing in a Puerto Rican community in New York's lower east side.
In this week's Afternoon Tea, Sami is joined by journalist, author, podcast host and MSNBC anchor, Alicia Menendez. To start, they begin with a conversation on Alicia's background, how she became a reporter, and finally making the jump as the anchor of her own show, "American Voices With Alicia Menendez." They chat about the key to being a great interviewer, the qualities of a good guest, and what it means for a guest to really show up. Next they discuss Alicia's book, The Likability Trap, and share their thoughts on society's obsession with perfection, how toxic it can really be, and how perfectionism holds women back. Alicia also shares the importance of finding new, diverse stories to cover and being the first in all of national TV news to bring light to the violence against the AAPI community. Finally, they close with a discussion on the Biden administration, the unique policy challenges they face, and what to expect from her upcoming MSNBC special "American Voices: Latinos Inside the White House," airing Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.
Alise, Milly, and Amanda start with a quick update on the debt ceiling agreement before discussing Instagram's impact on teen girls. Then, Secretary Julian Castro joins us for a special interview tied to Hispanic Heritage Month. He shares the songs, stories, and sayings that defined his upbringing in Texas raised by a Chicano activist in San Antonio's Mexican-American community. The hosts share common Latine experiences that often get lost in the monolithic narrative, how they relate to Selena, and the most unusual things they found in their childhood refrigerators.
Sami, Kaitlin, and Amanda debrief on Democrats' path to raising the debt ceiling with no Republican help. Will this be the push they finally need to end the filibuster? Then they react to the Facebook whistleblower's Senate testimony. What is different about these revelations? Finally, they run through the most absurd lines from Mark Zuckerberg's response.
Alise, Bryan, and Amanda debrief on the Instagram outage and how they made use of the time. They discuss how the worldwide disruption highlights how deeply Facebook's platforms are embedded in our lives -- and why that should scare us. They also detail a FB whistleblower's allegation the company knowingly drives hostility and anger to help its bottom line. Finally, they settle into congressional corner to share updates from the Dems' breakthrough and why it's absolutely no problem that protesters followed Kyrsten Sinema into the bathroom.
Amanda and Sami sit down with disability advocate Kelsey Lindell to discuss urgent issues for the disability community. Kelsey describes her experience as a child with a disability and later as a disabled woman in the workforce, and details the challenges she's faced ensuring accomodations and equality. She gets candid about how workplaces think they're supporting people with disabilities vs. their actual impact, and shares the harmful representations that perpetuate dehumanizing stereotypes about people with disabilities. Finally, Kelsey shares resources for Disability Employment Awareness Month.
In this episode of Afternoon Tea, Sami is joined by critically acclaimed historian, educator, and influencer living at the intersections of Black, Muslim, and bisexual identity. They discuss her forthcoming book, Read This To Get Smarter, the stresses and rewards of being an educator on the internet, and how the past several years have been a time of learning and unlearning for all of us. Blair shares how she teaches complete concepts in an easy and condense way, dealing with hate comments on social media, and influencing in the most ethical way possible. She also takes us through the behind-the-scenes of her “Smarter in Seconds” series, and how her book is an extension of her viral micro learning series, and the process of writing her book. Finally, they close with a discuission on how unlearning is the new learning and practical tips including where to start when it comes to unlearning toxic behaviors.
Alise, Kaitlin, and Amanda catch up on congressional negotiations and do their daily brainstorm of WTF Kyrsten Sinema could be thinking. Then they discuss the success of vaccine mandates for health care workers, looking at cases from North Carolina and New York. Finally, they react to YouTube's decision to ban all anti-vaccine content, and how tech platforms failed to moderate the anti-vaxx movement long before the pandemic. What catastrophic oversight could tech companies be making as we speak?
Alise, Milly, and Amanda start off with some important local news stories, including zebras in Maryland and a topless menace in Brooklyn. They break down a high stakes week in Congress and get into their frustrations with Kyrsten Sinema, and discuss whether it's sexist to critique her presentation. Finally, they unpack a long-awaited guilty verdict for R. Kelly and reflect on four years into the #MeToo movement.
Sami and Amanda are joined by dream guest Alyssa Mastromonaco, former deputy chief of staff for Barack Obama and host of the “Hysteria” podcast on Crooked Media. They discuss their journeys with special needs pets before returning to the moment Alyssa learned she'd have to give up weed to work in the White House. She describes watching a Democratic White House from the outside and offers an insider analysis of the administration's moves. Finally, they try to parse out what to expect from the next wild few weeks in Congress and answer the eternal question: Why is Joe Manchin?
USWNT player Kelley O'Hara joins Amanda and Bryan to talk Tokyo Olympics, pay equity, and “Bachelor In Paradise.” O'Hara discusses her podcast for the Just Women's Sports network and an upcoming season of incredible interviews with women athletes. She describes the unusual vibe at the Tokyo Olympics and how she feels about the responsibility imposed on women athletes to take a stand. Finally, they play a Bachelor In Paradise-inspired game in which Kelley assigns reality tv personalities to positions on the soccer pitch.
Alise, Kaitlin, and Amanda are back with a quick rundown of the debt ceiling debate: what's the debt ceiling, why do we have it, and how did it become a political bargaining tool? They detail the calamity that would take place should government funding lapse and explain how Republicans manipulate the debt ceiling to promote their anti-spending agenda.
Milly, Alise, and Amanda discuss why this year's Emmys felt especially performative on diversity and list their biggest letdowns. Then they debrief on the first set of challenges to Texas' abortion law brought by one former felon on house arrest and another pro-choice man in Chicago. Finally, they reflect on the devastating images of Haitians at the border and how the Biden administration is fighting to maintain a Trump-era asylum rule.
Amanda and Sami react to the avalanche of weekend news stories, from “The Activist” pivoting its approach to France's fury over submarines. Then they look behind the curtain of the barriers to passing the $3.5 trillion Biden agenda, including Kyrsten Sinema's pharmaceutical funding and Manchin's connections to fossil fuels. Plus, why the University of Virginia forged his daughter's business degree.
On this episode of Afternoon Tea, Sami is joined by Emily Amick, who you may know as the face behind the viral political instagram account @EmilyinYourPhone and the co-host of the We've Got Issues podcast. To start, Emily shares her background, including being a former Counsel to Senator Chuck Schumer, working as a lawyer representing victims of terrorism, and now being an internet personality. Next, they chat about the state of the Democratic Party, how she would grade them so far, and what we could possibly do about Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. Then, Emily shares her thoughts on the filibuster, before closing with some her frustrations about the way politics is covered these days. You can subscribe to Emily's podcast, We've Got Issues on Apple and Spotify.
Alise, Amanda, and Kaitlin are back to react to Governor Gavin Newsom's victory and what lessons Democrats can take into 2022. Did anyone “beat back Trumpism” and is COVID still a winning strategy? Then they break down the new voting legislation Democrats are introducing in the Senate to convince Joe Manchin that there is truly no voting rights bill Republicans will vote for.
Alise, Bryan, and Amanda are back with an absurdity-filled show. First they react to the 2021 Met Gala, from Nicki Minaj's vaccine admission to AOC's pointed statement. Did wearing a “Tax The Rich” dress to one of the most exclusive displays of wealth miss the mark? Then they discuss the new reality show “The Activist,” which pits social causes against each other for a chance to ask rich people for money they don't need. Is there any way to spotlight the activist world in a reality competition space? We have some ideas.
Bryan and Amanda are back to reflect on the weekend's September 11 events and how they each processed that tragic day, while discussing how the nation's leaders honored the occasion. Then they break down new revelations from former Trump press secretary, who details how Melania Trump reacted to the storming of the Capitol. For the Dame Buzzworthy news segment, they reflect on the electric US open.
Sami, Kaitlin, and Amanda check in on Congress's back-to-work plans and give the Democratic Senate a third-quarter report card. Then they react to two toxic girlbosses: South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and scammer Elizabeth Holmes. They discuss Noem's ban on telemedicine abortion in her attempt to lead the culture war into 2024. Finally, they break down the trial of Theranos' Elizabeth Holmes, her strange standom, and why we need more women crimelords.
Amanda Duberman is joined by Kaytlin Bailey, stand-up comic and sex worker advocate, to break down the landscape for sex workers and prostitution policy in the US. They discuss how old-school feminism tarnishes sex work as anti-woman when criminalizing it actually feeds the patriarchy. Kaytlin also runs through some huge legal fights that will change the future for sex workers, and why victories for them mean better privacy and labor rights for all of us.
Milly, Amanda, and Chris are back for something a little different -- an entirely Beyonce-themed episode in honor of her 40th birthday. They react to criticism of the star's appearance with the Tiffany Diamond, a blood diamond and symbol of colonialism. They unpack Beyonce's overall cultural influence, and how her evolution has changed her relationship with the public. And because at the end of the day they are all proud members of the Beyhive, they share their all-time favorite Beyoncé performances.
Alise, Milly, and Amanda sit down for a special Labor Day-themed episode. They detail their own work history, the role jobs have played in their lives, and the big pivots they've made along the way. They describe separating your work and your sense of self when we give so much to our jobs, and share advice for those just starting their professional lives
Milly, Amanda, and our favorite friend-of Chris Burns (@fatcarriebradshaw) discuss the fallout from the Supreme Court's decision to let the Texas abortion ban remain in place. How long will abortion be illegal in Texas? They explain how devastating this is even to women who can still access abortion out of state. They discuss all the consequences of parenthood that are never factored into the conservative calculus about abortion. They also share anecdotes from the flash flooding in New York City that left Milly stranded at an Azalea Banks concert.
Imani Gandy of Rewire News Group and the Boom! Lawyered podcast returns to break down Texas's “diabolical” new abortion law. She describes how Texas obliterated its own legal norms to deputize citizens to enforce the law, and explains the damage that's already been done even if SCOTUS blocks it. Finally, she shares the potential landscape for what comes next. Then, Kaitlin and Amanda play a round of the blame game and look back to the 2016 failures that got us here.
Milly, Amanda, and Bryan reflect on the end of the war in Afghanistan. Then, they discuss how the Biden administration has entered the chat on mask mandates, unleashing the Education Department to investigate whether mask bans violate the rights of people with disabilities. Then, they share the latest in Ron DeSantis' never-ending quest to keep fabric off kids' faces. They end with an update on potential new EU travel restrictions on the US while we keep our borders shut to Europeans.
Bryan and Amanda debrief after Alise's wild-style wedding. Then they share updates on Hurricane Ida's impact on Lousiana, and why some people can't heed “mandatory evacuations.” For the main topic, they break down how a shocking Texas law that puts a bounty on abortion providers managed to survive multiple court challenges, likely to take effect Wednesday. How did this happen? Finally, they share updates on civilian casualties from the US drone strikes in Afghanistan.
Milly, Alise, and Amanda reunite for a jam-packed show. First they react to the new COVID vaccine names and propose some punchier alternatives. Then, they discuss the rising death rates in Florida and the sense of identity that has overcome anti-vaxxers, even when it's children who are paying the price. Then they discuss the soulless monsters attempting to profit off the Afghan evacuations before asking the very important question: Why did Kylie Jenner get Stormi a school bus?
Amanda Litman of Run For Something and The Recount's “battleground” podcast join our hosts to look ahead to 2022. They explain why Democrats have historically ignored the state-level races that have created problems for national democracy, and the work Republicans have put in behind the scenes. They discuss the potential of “critical race theory” to swing white suburban voters and how 2020 funding could have been better spent. Finally, they discuss how Democrats can govern without constantly weighing how Republicans will react.
Alise, Bryan, and Amanda are back to ask the question on everyone's minds: did Andrew Cuomo try to rehome his dog? Survey says: not likely. Then, they break down a truly wild night in the House of Representatives as a group of moderates test Speaker Pelosi's patience. But who is this fight really for? Finally, they share a story from the Arizona audit absolutely dripping in irony.
Irene Merrow joins us to react to the impact of OnlyFan's decision to ban sexually explicit content on its site. What is the difference between “sexually explicit” content and “nudity”? Irene explains why the policy will be left intentionally vague in order to punish some creators (non-white with diverse body types) more than others. She explains how celebrities have appropriated stripper culture and what people like Bella Thorne could actually be doing to support sex workers.
Jessica Yellin (@jessicayellin) joins Amanda for a timely bonus episode reflecting on the week of reporting on Afghanistan and the evacuation efforts. Yellin, founder of News Not News and former White House Correspondent who's reported on Afghanistan for 20 years, explains exactly what we need to do to sustain pressure on leaders to ensure Afghans' safety, why this is our obligation as Americans. Then, Yellin shares an excerpt of her interview with a woman in Afghanistan whose life has been turned upside down, in which she shares her greatest fears and a message for the rest of the world. Listen to the full 25-minute interview on Jessica's page at @jessicayellin
Milly, Alise, and Amanda are back with your weekly politics/pop culture round-up, starting with the mess that has surrounded new Jeopardy host Mike Richards. They discuss why Richards was chosen over other fan favorites and his history of lewd comments about women. Then, they react to the charges against R.Kelly and the first high-profile #MeToo trial with mostly Black victims. Finally, they praise Larry David for going off on Alan Derschowitz in Martha's Vineyard.
The hosts are back to react to news that Texas Governor Greg Abbott has COVID and take some time to unpack the social and political factors that prolonged this pandemic longer than we ever expected. What happened to our great hopes for social change? They also share updates from Afghanistan, specifically how projecting western ideals -- including about feminism -- contributed to hopelessness after the Taliban takeover.
Alise, Bryan, and Amanda reflect on the end of a 20-year war that began dramatically in their childhoods and they watched end abruptly as adults. They discuss what we owe to the nation of 38 million people, many of them at risk because of their role in helping us. Then, they break down the basics of the California recall election and why Mitch McConnell really doesn't want voters to know about it.
Journalist Mosheh Oinounou joins Bryan and Amanda to break down the chaos and devastation in Afghanistan. He explains how the Taliban managed to take over Kabul so quickly, the effort to evacuate Americans and the tens of thousands of Afghans who helped us over 20 years, and what the US government failed to anticipate in its withdrawal. Finally, they consider the fate of women and girls whose rights and lives hang in the balance.
On this episode of Afternoon Tea, Sami hosts former US Secretary of Education John B. King, who is currently running for governor of Maryland. To kick things off, John shares the trajectory of his life so far, from leaving school at an early age to being part of the Obama administration and beyond. After that, they discuss the recent controversy surrounding Critical Race Theory, and why the whole issue is clouded by misinformation and bad-faith arguments. They also discuss his thoughts on the current state of education in the US and his policy ideas on how to improve the education system to better serve the needs of the country. To round it all off, they end by discussing his vision for the state of Maryland as he campaigns to become its governor.
Alise, Amanda, and Kaitlin start with an unfortunate story involving Subway, Megan Rapinoe, and Alise's first job. Then they discuss the fallout from Governor Cuomo's resignation. Who is Kathy Hochul and what is she walking into? They react to Cuomo's claim the lines have been “redrawn” and why disgraced Democrats are more likely to resign than Republicans. Then they preview the upcoming battle over the reconciliation bill and debt ceiling.
Milly, Alise, and Amanda discuss the Senate's newly passed infrastructure bill before learning mid-show that Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York has resigned. They react to the surprising move and what's in store for future governor Kathy Hochul. Then, they discuss why Governors Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis are willing to let children die before admitting they were wrong about the pandemic and the state of outbreaks in Louisiana and Arkansas
Sami and Amanda reflect on their favorite moments from the Olympics as the bizarre 2020 games come to an end. They discuss updates on disgraced New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and react to Brittany Commisso's dramatic interview accusing him of crimes. Finally, they break down the UN's petrifying new report that promises a century of hell, unless….
Today, the hosts start off with another round of COVID updates as NYC becomes the first city to announce vaccine requirements for indoor events. Then, they discuss the recent controversy around Hollywood's lack of meritocracy, kicked off by casting announcement of the short film THE RIGHTWAY. They round off the show with the Buzzworthy News headline brought to you by Dame, this time about Rihanna becoming the coolest billionaire yet.
The hosts start with a quick convo with U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy about what he'd tell the vaccine reluctant if he had a finsta, breakthrough infections, and why we already have the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel: vaccines. Then, Kaitlin and Sami join to react to the new eviction moratorium and the Attorney General investigation into Governor Andrew Cuomo for sexual harassment and assault.
Alise, Bryan, and Amanda are back to break down Congress's mad dash to finish its to-do list before senators simply must leave for vacation. They share easter eggs from the bipartisan infrastructure bill and what $550 billion actually gets done, and try to place blame in the eviction moratorium meltdown. Finally, they react to Senator Lindsey Graham getting COVID on Joe Manchin's houseboat.
Sami and Amanda are joined by comedian and guest host Lane Moore to indulge our collective rage about the pandemic and how they're coping as Lane embarks on a 30-city tour. Then they react to Matt Damon letting go of his favorite gay slurs and why it took the 50-year-old actor so long to say goodbye. For the Dame Buzzworthy news segment, they discuss Scarlett Johansson suing Disney+ for lost earnings related to “Black Widow.” Buy tickets to Tinder Live show in your city at lanemoore.org
Milly, Alise, and Amanda discuss the insufferable series of white men attacking Simone Biles for taking care of herself, rising COVID cases in Tokyo, and how these Olympic games could impact professional athletes long-term. Then, they break down the controversy surrounding DaBaby's homophobic comments the same week a prominent Democratic donor was convicted for murdering gay Black men.
Sami, Kaitlin, and Amanda start the show by sharing what's brought them some light and joy amid the worsening pandemic and the climate apocalypse. Then, they look at some areas with surprisingly low vaccination rates and what's contributing to it. Then they recap yesterday's hearing on January 6 and how it broke us.
Alise, Bryan, and Amanda react to Simone Biles withdrawing from today's Olympic event. Then, they contrast a male fencer credibly accused of sexual misconduct flown the games with a “safety plan” with female athletes with disabilities or children who have been denied special accommodations. Finally, Dr. Natasha Kathuria joins to answer your questions about the Delta variant, breakthrough infections, and how to tell whether you should be masking indoors.
Amanda and Sami are back to process the new phase of the pandemic, with Delta cases surging and questions about masking and breakthrough infections. They react to Republican course correcting on the vaccine, and who is still reluctant to get jabbed and why. They compare reactions to vaccine mandates in Europe and the US. Could the current polarization lead to a resurgence of dormant viruses?
Sami is joined by Malcolm Gladwell, journalist, author, and host of Revisionist History. To start, Malcolm shares what we can expect in the newest season of his podcast, which leads to a conversation about COVID-sniffing dogs. Then Sami and Malcolm dive into his upcoming 3-part series on The Little Mermaid and why it's actually problematic. They discuss the depiction of masculinity and male dominance, and even the film's parallels with the #FreeBritney movement.