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Slow Burn

49 episodes - English - Latest episode: 7 days ago - ★★★★★ - 21.4K ratings

In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq without provocation. Most Americans supported the war—as did most politicians and intellectuals, both liberal and conservative. Today, it’s universally considered a disaster.
Hosted by award-winning reporter Noreen Malone, the fifth season of Slow Burn explores the people and ideas that propelled the country into the Iraq War, and the institutions that failed to stop it. How did the Iraq catastrophe happen? And what was it like to watch America make one of its most consequential mistakes?

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Episodes

Season 5 Trailer

April 15, 2021 12:30 - 2 minutes

In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq without provocation. Most Americans supported the war—as did most politicians and intellectuals, both liberal and conservative. Today, it’s universally considered a disaster. Hosted by award-winning reporter Noreen Malone, the fifth season of Slow Burn explores the people and ideas that propelled the country into the Iraq war, and the institutions that failed to stop it. How did the Iraq catastrophe happen? And what was it like to watch America make one...

Introducing: I Spy

January 29, 2021 15:00 - 28 minutes

We're excited to introduce you to I Spy, a production of Foreign Policy. Each week on I Spy, a former intelligence operative from somewhere around the world tells the story of a single mission. They've featured guests from the CIA, Mossad, MI5, the KGB, and more. The host is three-time Emmy winner Margo Martindale, who played Claudia the KGB handler on FX’s hit show The Americans.  In this first episode of season 3, DEA special agent Steve Murphy describes his role in the hunt for narco-terr...

S4 Extra: What We Can Learn From 1991

October 29, 2020 21:59 - 32 minutes

A few excerpts from Season 4's bonus interviews, and a special Slow Burn announcement. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free episodes of all Slate podcasts. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

S4 Ep. 6: A Concerned Citizen

July 22, 2020 09:00 - 1 hour - 87.1 MB

In the fall of 1991, David Duke looked like a real threat to become the governor of Louisiana. On the sixth and final episode of Slow Burn's fourth season: What arguments did David Duke's opponents make? Who did they hope to persuade? And what did it mean, in those four weeks in 1991, to stand up and be counted? Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. Mixing by Paul Mounsey. Slow Burn’s production assistant is Madeline Ducharme and Sophie Summergrad is the pod...

S4 Ep. 5: The Road to Hell

July 15, 2020 09:00 - 50 minutes - 69 MB

Edwin Edwards was a towering force in Louisiana politics. Buddy Roemer dethroned him and promised to modernize the state. In 1991, David Duke challenged both of them—and was soon on the verge of the biggest victory of his life. In Episode 5 of Slow Burn: How a Louisiana governor’s race became one of the most consequential elections in modern American history. Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. Mixing by Paul Mounsey. Slow Burn’s production assistant is Ma...

S4 Ep. 4: A Silent Army

July 08, 2020 09:00 - 50 minutes - 116 MB

David Duke wasn’t content being a state representative. He wanted to go national, and in 1990 he expanded his base of white voters to try to attain that goal. In Episode 4 of Slow Burn: How David Duke made himself a political sensation—and the message that his supporters sent when they cast their ballots. Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. Mixing by Paul Mounsey. Slow Burn’s production assistant is Madeline Ducharme and Sophie Summergrad is the podcast’...

Cold Call

July 01, 2020 09:00 - 25 minutes - 34.9 MB

In 1989, a Black 12-year-old girl in New Orleans found the David Duke phenomenon, and Duke himself, hard to comprehend. So she called Duke on the phone to ask him some questions. In this Slow Burn interlude: how a budding journalist outdid the professionals. Plus, why we won’t be interviewing David Duke for our series. Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. Mixing by Paul Mounsey. Slow Burn’s production assistant is Madeline Ducharme and Sophie Summergrad i...

S4 Ep. 3: The Nazi and the Republicans

June 24, 2020 09:00 - 54 minutes - 73.5 MB

In 1989, David Duke got a foothold in American politics. To build on that victory, he’d have to fend off a Republican official determined to bring him down. In the third episode of our series: the people who tried to stop David Duke’s rise, and the ones who accommodated him. Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. Mixing by Paul Mounsey. Slow Burn’s production assistant is Madeline Ducharme and Sophie Summergrad is the podcast’s assistant producer. Slate Pl...

S4 Ep. 2: Robe and Ritual

June 17, 2020 09:00 - 50 minutes - 113 MB

David Duke dreamed of becoming the charismatic leader who’d bring racism to the masses. He tried to make that dream a reality by seizing on America’s most powerful symbol of white supremacist terror. On the second episode of Slow Burn’s fourth season: what David Duke’s years as a leader in the Ku Klux Klan reveal about his beliefs and ambitions, and why Duke decided to leave the Klan behind. Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. Mixing by Paul Mounsey. Slo...

S4 Ep. 1: White Knight

June 10, 2020 14:00 - 49 minutes - 65.2 MB

In the first half of the 1980s, it looked like David Duke’s career as a professional racist was over. But the former Ku Klux Klan leader had a comeback plan: He was going to keep quiet about his most hateful beliefs—and run for the Louisiana House of Representatives. On the first episode of Slow Burn’s fourth season: the campaign that changed David Duke’s life, and that made him a threat to take control of Louisiana. Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. M...

Season 4 Trailer

June 08, 2020 15:00 - 4 minutes - 3.95 MB

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a white supremacist became an American political phenomenon. David Duke’s rise to power and prominence—his election to the Louisiana legislature, and then his campaigns for the U.S. Senate and the governorship—was an existential crisis for the state and the nation. The fourth season of Slate’s Slow Burn will explore how a Nazi sympathizer and former Klansman fashioned himself into a mainstream figure, and why some voters came to embrace his message. It will ...

S3 Live: Party & Bullshit

March 18, 2020 09:00 - 54 minutes - 115 MB

Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn every season, plus zero ads. Sign up now to listen and support the show. A special edition of Slow Burn features Joel Anderson live on stage, with legendary producers Nashiem Myrick and Easy Moe Bee, and Reverend Conrad Tillard, known in the 90s as "The Hip Hop Minister." Plus, a story from the season 3 cutting room floor.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Announcement: Slow Burn's Watergate Season on TV

February 14, 2020 22:55 - 1 minute - 682 KB

Slow Burn's Watergate season is now a TV docu-series, premiering Feb. 16 on Epix. Read more about it in this interview with host Leon Neyfakh. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Introducing: Broken Record

December 27, 2019 17:30 - 52 minutes - 47 MB

Hey Slow Burn listeners. We have something special for you this week. It's an episode of Broken Record, a music podcast from Pushkin Industries, co-hosted by Malcolm Gladwell and music producer Rick Rubin. In the episode, Malcolm and Rick talk to Questlove about his memories of the MOVE police bombing in Philly, the music of his childhood, and Quest gets behind the drums to show the evolution of his playing.  Being the music lover he is, Questlove can't help but turn the tables to ask Rick ab...

S3 Epilogue: Got a Story to Tell

December 20, 2019 11:00 - 51 minutes - 104 MB

Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. This is a preview of the bonus episodes released this season:—interviews with Slow Burn host Joel Anderson and producer Christopher Johnson about the making of the series, and extended interviews they conducted with Tupac's attorney Shawn Holley, hip-hop journalist Matty C, and Biggie biographer Cheo Hodari Coker. To listen to all eight bonus episodes from this season in full, sign up for Slate Plus now. Learn more about your ad ...

S3 Ep. 8: Dead Wrong

December 18, 2019 12:58 - 39 minutes - 81 MB

Questions have swirled around the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls ever since their deaths. Who killed them, and why? How come no one was ever charged in either case? Is Tupac still alive and hiding out somewhere? On the final episode of the season, we look at the investigations into the deaths of two rap legends and the competing theories of their cases. We also explore their enormous legacies, and what hip-hop lost when they died. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn ...

S3 Ep. 7: To Live and Die in LA

December 11, 2019 10:00 - 31 minutes - 63.1 MB

In this week's episode: After Tupac’s murder: Revenge killings in Compton, a day of atonement in Harlem, and Biggie Smalls risks everything by going back to Cali. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

S3 Ep. 6: Til Somebody Kills You

December 04, 2019 10:00 - 29 minutes - 58.6 MB

In this episode: In the summer of 1996, Tupac Shakur seemed to be on the verge of a decision—about what kind of career he wanted to have, and what kind of life he wanted to live. And then he went to Las Vegas. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

S3 Ep. 5 Plus: "East vs. West"

November 30, 2019 11:00 - 1 hour - 151 MB

Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. To listen to the rest of the bonus episodes this season, sign up for Slate Plus now. In this Slow Burn bonus episode, host Joel Anderson and producer Christopher Johnson discuss the growing feud between Tupac and Biggie and the role of Faith Evans. Then, you’ll hear an extended interview with Larry “The Blackspot” Hester, a former staff writer at Vibe who interviewed Tupac, Biggie, and other people at Death Row and Bad Boy as the...

S3 Ep. 5: Wrath of a Menace

November 27, 2019 10:00 - 33 minutes - 63.7 MB

In this episode: Tupac claims—loudly, publicly, and with very little evidence—that he’s been sleeping with Faith Evans, Biggie’s estranged wife. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

S3 Ep. 4: Against Those Thugs

November 20, 2019 10:00 - 30 minutes - 61.1 MB

In this episode: Gangsta rap becomes a huge money maker. Civil rights activist C. Delores Tucker and conservative culture warrior Bill Bennett launch a crusade against offensive lyrics. And hip-hop divides black leaders along generational and gender lines. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

S3 Ep. 3: What's Beef?

November 13, 2019 10:00 - 38 minutes - 76 MB

In this episode: Biggie releases “Who Shot Ya,” an instant hip-hop classic that Tupac takes as a personal affront. Tupac calls out Biggie and Puffy in a jailhouse interview. And the Death Row and Bad Boy crews start preparing for war. Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

S3 Ep. 2: Cops on My Tail

November 06, 2019 10:00 - 33 minutes - 40.5 MB

In 1992, Ronald Ray Howard shot and killed Texas state trooper Bill Davidson. His lawyer argued he’d been driven to murder by the music he’d been playing in his car: a dubbed copy of Tupac Shakur’s first album, 2Pacalypse Now.  On the second episode of Slow Burn’s third season: How gangsta rap and law enforcement found themselves at war.  Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

S3 Ep. 1: Against the World

October 30, 2019 09:00 - 32 minutes - 40.2 MB

On the first episode of Slow Burn’s third season: How a violent robbery severed Tupac’s friendship with Biggie Smalls and sparked a bicoastal beef that consumed the world of hip-hop. In November 1994, while on trial for sexual abuse, Tupac Shakur is shot five times in a New York recording studio. In the aftermath, he starts to suspect that his erstwhile friend Christopher Wallace, better known as Biggie Smalls, might be involved. It was the start of a beef that would consume the world of hip-...

Season 3 Trailer

October 24, 2019 18:30 - 3 minutes - 2.87 MB

In its first two seasons, Slow Burn looked back at two of the biggest stories of the late 20th century—the Watergate scandal and the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Season three of the show tackles another: the murders of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. The story takes place at a moment when hip-hop was taking over pop culture, and the world’s two most famous rappers were a former theater kid from the Bay Area and a one-time crack dealer from Brooklyn. In just a few years, they changed mus...

Introducing The Queen

June 04, 2019 09:00 - 24 minutes - 51.7 MB

Linda Taylor was a con artist, a kidnapper, maybe even a murderer. She was also America’s original “welfare queen,” the villain Ronald Reagan needed to create a vision of a country being taken advantage of by its poorest citizens. In this new narrative mini-series, Josh Levin, one of the editors behind Slow Burn, reveals the never-before-told story of a woman whose singular life was forgotten in the rush to create a vicious American stereotype. This podcast is based on Josh Levin’s new book, ...

Slow Burn Live: The Kingdom and the Power

December 05, 2018 09:00 - 53 minutes - 34.8 MB

A special edition of Slow Burn features Leon Neyfakh live on stage. In the second of two episodes, Leon was joined in by Emily Bazelon, Wesley Morris, Dan Savage, and Andi Zeisler to explore lingering questions about the Clinton legacy. Plus, Clara Jeffery discusses Hillary Clinton.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Slow Burn Live: Keyholes

November 28, 2018 09:00 - 55 minutes - 35.6 MB

A special edition of Slow Burn features Leon Neyfakh live on stage. In the first of two episodes, Leon was joined in by Ruth Marcus and Rick Perlstein to explore lingering questions about the Clinton legacy. Plus, a story from the season 2 cutting room floor.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

S2 Ep. 8: Move On

October 10, 2018 08:00 - 57 minutes - 124 MB

Juanita Broaddrick told Ken Starr’s team of prosecutors that Bill Clinton had raped her in 1978. Her story wasn’t included in the Starr Report—but members of congress found out about it anyway, and had to decide how it would affect their vote on impeachment. In the final episode of our series on Clinton’s impeachment, Leon Neyfakh talks to Broaddrick, and to Lisa Myers, the NBC News reporter whose interview with Broaddrick became a cause célèbre during the impeachment trial. What does it mean...

Secret Tracks

October 03, 2018 09:00 - 32 minutes - 26.5 MB

Every week, Slate Plus members get a special episode of Slow Burn in which Leon Neyfakh talks to people connected with the Clinton impeachment saga. This week, we’re presenting excerpts from those bonus episodes, featuring interviews with Linda Tripp, consultant Dick Morris, former acting solicitor general Walter Dellinger, and Dillon Teachout, an intern in the independent counsel’s office. Learn more about Slate Plus membership at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit m...

S2 Ep. 7: Bedfellows

September 26, 2018 08:00 - 47 minutes - 30.5 MB

Today it’s conventional wisdom that all feminists hypocritically turned their backs on Monica Lewinsky. In fact, the scandal provoked an intense debate within the feminist movement about sex, power, and consent. For some, it was obvious that Clinton had victimized Lewinsky and needed to be thrown overboard. For others, it was just as obvious that the scandal was part of a political war in which Clinton was the good guy. In the seventh episode of our series on Clinton’s impeachment, Leon Neyfa...

S2 Ep. 6: God Mode

September 19, 2018 08:00 - 49 minutes - 32 MB

Some of the most withering criticism of Clinton came from a coalition of conservative activists whose political views were bound up with their faith. The influence of the Christian right within the Republican Party had been growing steadily since the Reagan years. When the Lewinsky story broke, the movement’s leaders pounced on it with righteous vigor. In the sixth episode of our series on Clinton’s impeachment, Leon Neyfakh charts the religious right’s campaign against the president and how ...

S2 Ep. 5: Tell-All

September 12, 2018 08:00 - 48 minutes - 31.2 MB

Aside from Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, the most pivotal player in the Clinton impeachment saga may have been Linda Tripp—an ordinary person who made extraordinary choices that precipitated the entire crisis. In perhaps the deepest and most intimate interview she’s ever given, Tripp talks to Leon Neyfakh about what she did, and why.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

S2 Ep. 4: Alone, Together

August 29, 2018 08:00 - 42 minutes - 26.7 MB

What happened between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky? Why did it happen? And what are we supposed to do about the fact that the whims and impulses of individual men can—and constantly do—alter the course of history?  In the fourth episode of our series on Clinton’s impeachment, Leon Neyfakh details Clinton and Lewinsky’s reckless affair.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

S2 Ep. 3: Cred

August 22, 2018 08:00 - 42 minutes - 27 MB

When Bill Clinton went to Washington, rumors and accusations from his Arkansas past went with him. But even his most dedicated political enemies couldn't predict where their efforts would lead. Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

S2 Ep. 2: There There

August 15, 2018 08:00 - 43 minutes - 27.8 MB

In 1993, Bill and Hillary Clinton moved into the White House on a swell of optimism. In less than a year, the new administration was mired in a sea of scandals: Travelgate, Filegate, Nannygate, and, most consequentially, Whitewater. What went wrong? Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

S2 Ep. 1: Deal or No Deal

August 08, 2018 08:00 - 38 minutes - 24 MB

For 11 hours, Monica Lewinsky faced off against federal prosecutors who wanted her to help them take down the president and threatened her with decades in jail. Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn Audible is the world's largest audiobook publisher. For a 30-day trial and a free audiobook, go to audible.com/slowburn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Season 2 Trailer

July 23, 2018 20:50 - 4 minutes - 2.14 MB

The saga of Bill Clinton’s impeachment is rich with forgotten characters, surprising subplots, and opportunities to reflect on just how much America has changed over the past 20 years. Whether you’re well-versed in the tale of Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, or you’re fuzzy on the details, this season of Slow Burn will take you further into the story than you’ve ever been. From its origins in the Whitewater real estate controversy, the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit, and the suicide of Vi...

Live in New York

May 22, 2018 09:00 - 54 minutes - 34.9 MB

A special edition of Slow Burn features Leon Neyfakh live on stage in New York City. On April 19th, Leon was joined by Bob Woodward, Virginia Heffernan, Gail Sheehy, Mary DeOreo and Marc Lackritz to discuss Trump, Watergate and Nixon’s legacy.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

S1 Ep. 8: Going South

January 30, 2018 09:00 - 44 minutes - 28.9 MB

What had to happen for the Watergate scandals to end Richard Nixon’s career? And was his downfall inevitable? In the final episode of Slow Burn’s first season, Leon Neyfakh assesses the president’s desperate final campaign to save himself—and the people and institutions that finally brought him down. Slate Plus members get a bonus episode every week. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Extra, Extra

January 23, 2018 09:00 - 24 minutes - 15.1 MB

Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. This week, we're releasing some samples of those episodes—interviews with people with a unique perspective on Watergate. Next week: The end. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

S1 Ep. 7: Saturday Night

January 16, 2018 09:00 - 39 minutes - 25.3 MB

What did Richard Nixon do when he felt the walls closing in? How did the country respond? And what did it feel like when people finally got to hear those tapes? Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

S1 Ep. 6: Rabbit Holes

January 09, 2018 09:00 - 34 minutes - 21.8 MB

Why were so many Americans ready to believe conspiracy theories after Watergate? How did those beliefs help trigger Nixon‘s downfall? And given what we know about Watergate—what separates a conspiracy theory from just a theory? Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

S1 Ep. 5: True Believers

January 02, 2018 09:00 - 36 minutes - 23.6 MB

At a bar in Queens, and in the Senate offices, Nixon's supporters stood with him long after it was clear his hands were dirty. How did they rationalize their position? And what, finally, made them waver? Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

S1 Ep. 4: Lie Detectors

December 19, 2017 09:00 - 33 minutes - 21.7 MB

How a folksy segregationist senator, a team of young investigators, and a few whistleblowers staged the hearings that made Watergate must-see TV. Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

S1 Ep. 3: A Very Successful Cover-Up

December 12, 2017 09:00 - 32 minutes - 20.3 MB

Woodward and Bernstein, Walter Cronkite, and a host of other journalists tried to make people care about Watergate in the run-up to the 1972 election. They totally failed. Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

S1 Ep. 2: The Defeat of Wright Patman

December 05, 2017 09:00 - 30 minutes - 18.7 MB

In 1973, the Senate Watergate hearings gripped the nation. But the first congressional hearings on the scandal took place a year earlier—and featured an angry Texan shouting at four empty chairs. Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

S1 Ep. 1: Martha

November 28, 2017 09:00 - 27 minutes - 16.7 MB

People called her crazy, and to be fair she must have seemed crazy. But she was onto something. How Martha Mitchell, the celebrity wife of one of Nixon’s closest henchmen, tried to blow the whistle on Watergate—and ended up ruining her life. Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. Find out more at slate.com/slowburn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Coming Nov. 28

November 17, 2017 15:35 - 3 minutes - 1.93 MB

It took two years for the Watergate scandal to unfold—for a break-in at the Democratic Party's headquarters to go from a weird little caper to a constitutional crisis that brought down a president. What was it like to experience those two years in real time? Hosted by Leon Neyfakh. An eight-episode podcast series made possible by Slate Plus members. Coming Nov. 28. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices