No matter what portion of the political spectrum you’re on, you’re likely painfully aware of media bias and “fake news.”
TCC’s Top 10 Podcasts are recorded by radio personalities, policy wonks, and average Joes who present the facts and embrace their personal views instead of presenting themselves as completely objective newsmen. This said, I’ve tried to include podcasters who can both inspire current conservatives and peak the curiosity of apolitical (or even liberal) folks who just want to know what this “conservatism” thing is all about.
This Top 10 reflects my personal views about what makes good listening, and what material I would share with someone new to political talk radio. If you think the rankings are off, or someone got snubbed, let me know in the comments section or on social media. Maybe someone else will pick up your favorite podcast!
Here goes nothing.
1) Todd Huff Radio
If you think all conservative radio personalities yell, you don’t know Todd Huff. A Hoosier through and through, Todd shares his opinions unapologetically, often with a little Christian witness thrown in. While this style may not be attractive to all comers, his mellow delivery, personal message, and sense of humor make listening to his show more like talking to a favorite mentor or friend, rather than a know-it-all radio personality. A great place to start if you’re not a die-hard conservative or you’re looking for something “not bitter.”
2) The Glenn Beck Program
I get it. One day, a long time ago, Glenn rubbed you the wrong way. Me too. Post-Fox Glenn Beck is, in my humble opinion, the King of Conservative Radio. Smart, measured, and painfully funny, Beck brings the best of the Blaze radio guys along for the ride on his self-named show. The banter is amazing and the interviews will not disappoint – no matter what side of the aisle you’re on. This podcast puts out 3-5 minute soundbites, 15-30 minute interviews and discussions, and full radio shows, so no matter how much Glenn Beck is right for you, you can get it in a “just right” portion that would make Goldilocks proud.
3) The Ben Shapiro Show
They call it the largest conservative podcast in the nation, and I won’t contest that fact. Ben Shapiro is a master of social media and one of the fiercest debaters in the up-and-coming generation of conservative media juggernauts. He’s much less stand-offish on air than his on-campus videos might suggest, but there’s still plenty of sarcasm to throw around. Insanely brilliant and quick-witted, Shapiro shines whether he is busy “deconstructing the culture,” sharing “things I hate,” or playing a little “Good Trump, Bad Trump.”
4) Rush Limbaugh Morning Update
Limbaugh is the OG of conservative talk radio. Bombastic, but never boring, Limbaugh is an equal-opportunity offender. Are lefty environmentalists littering at a pipeline protest? Rush will call them out on it. Are Senate Republicans about to promise one thing and do another on the budget? Mr. Limbaugh has their number. Had enough of the “lame-stream media?” So has he. If you’re short on time, the Morning Update provides you with just a few minutes of Rush to get you up and ready to go on your way to work.
5) The Mark Levin Show
Mark Levin does it all. He’s been a lawyer, a best-selling author, a syndicated radio personality, and the founder of a TV network. Mark combines the passion of Rush Limbaugh with the legal prowess of Ted Cruz into a potent defense of liberty and constitutional governance. He is a proud member of the Convention of States Movement, and perhaps its most eloquent defender. He’s up to his eyeballs in people who won’t answer questions to his liking or are just too darn liberal, which means from time to time, he’s a bit short on patience.
6) The Federalist Radio Hour
Perhaps you’re familiar with the Federalist, an online magazine dedicated to “culture, politics, and religion.” Perpetually prepared for debate, the team at the Federalist Radio Hour continues their parent organization’s long-standing tradition of putting the history, philosophy, law, and current events surrounding an issue on the table and pulling no punches. Unapologetically American and fiercely patriotic, the crew at the Federalist Radio Hour makes even the most mundane material pulse with urgency.
7) The Hillsdale Dialogues
A weekly excursion into the world of academia, the Hillsdale Dialogues signal the end of the week for the Hugh Hewitt Show. Hugh invites Hillsdale College President, Dr. Larry Arnn, and his colleagues onto the show to talk current events, and discuss the great works of Western literature. While not blatantly conservative, the Hillsdale Dialogues do make a rather compelling case for political self-determination, republican governance, and self-improvement. No matter who you voted for in the last election, or how long it’s been since your freshman year, the Hillsdale Dialogues are guaranteed to leave you a little bit wiser than they found you.
8) Banter: An AEI Podcast
The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is a fiscally conservative think-tank based in Washington, D.C. Not as flashy as your typical syndicated show, Banter takes a more academic approach to issues of the day. Hosts interview scholars, authors, policy analysts, and politicians in this 15-30-minute dive into the details. Intelligent yet accessible, Banter stays away from the craziness of punditry, providing its listeners with the kind of thought-provoking content our hyper-charged political climate sorely needs.
9) Cato Daily Podcast
Like AEI’s Banter, the Cato Institute’s daily update is an interview-based policy podcast covering diverse topics such as prison reform, free speech, drug policy, and the military. Sure, Cato is technically a libertarian podcast, but as libertarian thinking is brought into the mainstream by Republicans like Rand Paul, some of Cato’s ideas seem to be gaining more popularity with a traditionally “conservative” crowd. I recommend this podcast for anyone stuck in the echo-chamber of partisan radio. Whatever side of the aisle you’re on, you’ll find familiar concepts and novel viewpoints on the Cato Daily Podcast.
10) The Federalist Society Practice Groups Podcast
Once again, I’m stretching the boundaries of “conservative” on this one. As a “non-partisan” group of lawyers and law students, the Federalist Society isn’t as blatantly political as Glenn Beck or Ben Shapiro. On the other hand, Senator Mike Lee and Vice President Pence are among the featured speakers, and Justice Scalia appears repeatedly throughout various episodes. Nice try, “non-partisan” Federalist Society; we all know who you are, and we love you for it! Unless you want short episodes, then you probably need to look somewhere else.