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The Commentary Magazine Podcast

Commentary Magazine

News, Politics, News Commentary

4.6 • 4.2K Ratings


Commentary is America's premier monthly magazine of opinion: General, yet Jewish. Highly variegated, with a unifying perspective.

1284 Episodes

The Horrors at Columbia

The refusal both of Columbia University officials and New York City's mayor to confront and end the siege of the school's campus and the open threats to Jews is the culmination of 40 years of academic rot, and we describe why. Also: The House passes aid to Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan, and moves to end Chinese Communist control of TikTok. Is this a new path forward or a one-off success for House Speaker Johnson? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 22 April 2024

Israel Hits Iran and Columbia's Turn

Jonathan Schanzer joins the podcast for an immediate after-action report on the details of the Israeli strike on Iran, whether deterrence has been reestablished, and how last night might represent the most significant game-changing moment in recent Middle Eastern history. And what's this? Columbia University throws the book at the Hamas-supporting tent city on its campus and has the NYPD arrest more than 100 people? Is this a game-changer too? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 19 April 2024

Israelis Need to Watch 'The Godfather'

That's the advice of podcast guest Liel Leibovitz, zooming in from Tel Aviv to discuss the Columbia hearings before the House yesterday and how the anti-Semitism revealed there has unmistakable echoes of past horrors—and threatens future horrors. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 18 April 2024

Trump at the Bodega

Joe Biden is having a good month at the polls, but Donald Trump is finding new and inventive ways to campaign for president despite his humiliating courtroom experience—will it help? And do Israelis want a strong strike against Iran or not? And what is Mike Johnson doing? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 17 April 2024

Return of the Weathermen?

Yesterday's protests in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Seattle suggest again that the pro-Hamas Left is moving into a new and more dangerous phase, one in which they are openly chanting "Death to America" and may be readying violent acts of "resistance." The parallels to the 1960s are unmistakable. And things are only going to get more heated as Israel does what it has to in Rafah and against Iran. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 16 April 2024

The Iran Attack

A full house of COMMENTARY podcasters today as we try to reckon with the many possibilities relating to Iran's repelled attack on Israel—and the fact that America now seems fixated yet again on holding Israel back rather than making Iran pay for its aggression. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 15 April 2024

OJ's Nightmarish Legacy

The death of OJ Simpson this week prompts us to discuss everything that changed in the wake of the murders he committed, the escape he bungled, and the trial at which he was acquitted. Also, what are we to make of the chatter about Iran striking Israel imminently? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 12 April 2024

The Iranian Threat

Iran is said to be preparing or on the verge of a direct strike on Israel, and it's not clear Americans know about it. They will when it happens, and we discuss why they'd do it and what Joe Biden has done to suggest to them it might be worth the cost. Republicans in the House continue to display paralysis. Sonia Sotomayor continues to serve on the Supreme Court despite liberal efforts to get her to quit. And the Japanese prime minister is here! Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 11 April 2024

The 5 Percent Fantasy

Joe Biden tells an interviewer Israel should do a unilateral ceasefire for six to eight weeks. Tom Friedman of the New York Times explains there's a 5 percent chance for a Palestinian state and that we should focus on that 5 percent. People are yelling "Death to America" inside America and the president says nothing. What on earth is going on here? We try to explain. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 10 April 2024

Trump's Abortion Buzzsaw

Did Donald Trump help or hurt his chances in November with his statement yesterday that he did not want federal action on abortion? Did Joe Biden help or hurt his chances in November by announcing a new effort to pay off student-loan debt? Did Wolodymyr Zelensky help or hurt his nation's future by saying Ukraine would lose the war if the American aid package stalled in the House didn't pass? Did Bibi Netanyahu help or hurt his nation by acceding to Joe Biden's demands over the weekend and then declaring there is a date certain for the invasion of Rafah? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 9 April 2024

A Dark New Reality

Today's podcast tries to make sense out of the Biden administration's now-undeniable harsh turn against Israel and the incomprehensible behavior of the Israeli government over the last 48 hours in relation to the war in Gaza, the negotiations over the hostages, and the threat from Hezbollah. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 8 April 2024

Biden Makes Israel the Bad Guy

Today's podcast reels in horror from the administration response to the tragic errors that led to the Israeli attack on a food convoy and how it represents what may be the final turn of the Bidenites against the war effort to extirpate Hamas. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 5 April 2024

Biden's Incoherence Exposed

Today we talk about the increasing failure of Joe Biden's contradictory position on Israel. He's now all but accused Israel of a war crime but will continue to supply it with weapons of war. Israel's supporters are fed up with his rhetoric and Israel-haters are fed up with his policy. Moreover, his incoherence is inviting Iranian aggression. We also discuss the unique success of NATO as it turns 75 and what Mike Johnson may or not do to push Ukraine aid. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 4 April 2024

The Israel Pile-On

Today's podcast takes up the question of the Biden administration's problematic response to the tragic strike on a food aid convoy in Gaza—something for which Israel took immediate responsibility and for which it apologized wholeheartedly at the highest levels with little effect on the condemnations that continue to pour on its head. Meanwhile, Biden's polling continues to suggest a loss in November with no changes in strategy from Biden or his people. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 3 April 2024

The Unforgivable and the Forgivable

Today we discuss unforgivable acts of Jew-hatred—including a riot outside a synagogue where money was being raised to help a Jewish burial society—and forgivable tragic events that occur during war. There is a difference. A big difference. Also, a beautiful statement by a grieving Israeli father and Donald Trump's very good day in and out of court. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 2 April 2024

Why the Delay on Rafah?

Today Jonathan Schanzer joins the podcast to talk about what's been going on in public and behind the scenes between American and Israeli officials regarding a ground operation in Rafah. How much longer can Israel afford to wait? And what can we learn from the drone attack on an Israeli naval base over the weekend? But first we discuss the White House's declaring Easter Sunday Transgender Day of Visibility. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 1 April 2024

No Excuses for Sam Bankman-Fried

Today's podcast takes up the 25 year sentence for the $8 billion fraud committed by "effective altruist" Sam Bankman-Fried, and what his law-professor mother's effort to excuse away his criminal conduct tells us about the mindset of the leftist elite. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 29 March 2024

The Lieberman Legacy

Today's podcast pays tribute to the life, times, and political wisdom of Joe Lieberman, who died yesterday at the age of 82. What was so special about him and why are we unlikely to see his style of politics and political interaction at work in American public life any time soon? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 28 March 2024

Bridge Over Troubled Nation

Today's podcast talks about how the bridge collapse in Maryland may accelerate the trust crisis in the country, already accelerating because nobody really knows or understands the condition and strength of the president of the United States. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 27 March 2024

The Biden Turn

Eli Lake joins the podcast to discuss the American abstention from yesterday's UN Security Council ceasefire resolution. Why is the Biden administration saying the policy hasn't changed when the policy has changed? Who exactly is being gaslit and how does this make an Israeli operation in Rafah any less likely? We also talk about the rise in violent crime and how it relates to the larger sense of unraveling. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 26 March 2024

The No-Congressional-Body Problem

Today's podcast considers the terrorist attack in Russia and what it means for the war in Ukraine—and what the chaos in Congress means for the war in Ukraine as well. Also, lesson #257 in what happens if you try to get a job in mainstream media when you're on the right, and what the new Netflix show Three-Body Problem might tell us about our coming debt cliff. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 25 March 2024

The Pursuit of Happiness

Today we start out discussing a new Pew poll that shows, contra Chuck Schumer and others, American Jews overwhelmingly approve of Israel and its efforts to defeat Hamas since Oct. 7. We then get into the latest World Happiness Report, which finds the U.S. ranking below the 20 most happy countries for the first time in the report's history. What's behind our recent unhappiness and why are Americans under 30 most unhappy of all? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 22 March 2024

The Stakes in Gaza

Today's podcast takes up a conversation between Israeli official Ron Dermer and our friend Dan Senor in which Dermer says a failure to secure victory in Gaza means Israel "has no future." Might this be true also of Jewry itself—especially due to the Jews who are now blaming Israel for their feeling of a lack of safety in the West? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 21 March 2024

An Anniversary of Sorts

Today we note that it was just about four years ago that this podcast went daily, and we consider the lasting impact of the pandemic and the prospects of a political reckoning. But before that, we get into the significance of Bernie Moreno's primary win in Ohio and Donald Trump's inability to make bond. We close on a discussion of Joe Biden's Israel policy and the forgotten goal of war: victory. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 20 March 2024

The Biden Breakdown and the Middle Class

Today's podcast begins with the Biden administration's increasing schizophrenia on the Gaza war and then proceeds to a powerful discussion of the elite war on the American middle class, based on our own Christine Rosen's landmark article in the current edition of COMMENTARY. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 19 March 2024


Today's podcast takes up the weekend kerfuffle over Donald Trump's use of the word "bloodbath" and how quickly his opponents in the media and elsewhere rose in horror at a word they themselves used just a week ago to describe the firing of staffers at the Republican National Committee, for example. What's going on here? And what about the continued fallout from Chuck Schumer's strange speech last week calling for Israel to depose Bibi Netanyahu? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 18 March 2024

Ground Chuck

Dan Senor joins the podcast to discuss the politics behind Chuck Schumer's dumbfounding speech calling for the deposition of Benjamin Netanyahu. What does it tell us about Democratic party politics and Israel's standing with the party Jews have historically supported by huge margins? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 15 March 2024

The TikTok Political Earthquake

James B. Meigs, our tech columnist, comes on to discuss the amazing rapidity with which a bipartisan coalition formed around the idea of forcing the Chinese-Communist company Bytedance to divest itself of TikTok. Who says the parties can't work together? But why did they manage to work together so easily this time? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 14 March 2024

And Now, the Threat from the North

Jonathan Schanzer joins the podcast to note how, just in the last week, things have been heating up between Israel and Hezbollah on the northern border of the Jewish state. We also discuss the peculiarities of the Biden administration's approach to Israel finishing the job in Gaza—and whether there might be a weird Egyptian component at work. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 13 March 2024

Is Trump Being Railroaded?

Andrew C. McCarthy joins the podcast today to talk about how the prosecutions of Donald Trump may be violating critical Constitutional and procedural protections for defendants who stand accused of crimes before the bar—and why that matters. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 12 March 2024

Joe Balaam

Eli Lake joins today's podcast to discuss the world's now-most-prominent "AsAJew," the writer-director Jonathan Glazer, who "refuted" his "Jewishness" on the Oscar podcast on Sunday night. What did he mean? And what does what he said reveal about the nature of progressive Jewry and the fact they elevate their own self-infatuated politics over the safety and history of the Jewish people? Then we turn to the continuing mystery of Joe Biden clearly wanting to separate himself from Israel but then contradicting and undermining his own efforts at distance in a manner that reminds us of the Biblical character Balaam. How? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 11 March 2024

So He Did OK!

Chris Stirewalt joins us for our State of the Union recap, including the "how do you build a pier and a road without having someone on the other side to sink in the pylons" and other thrilling topics raised by a substantively wretched but performatively successful presidential address. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 8 March 2024

Biden, Israel, and the SOTU

Ruthie Blum joins the podcast from Israel to discuss the Biden administration's rough treatment of Benny Gantz, ceasefire negotiations, Bibi's political future, Israeli public opinion, and what's holding up the Rafah offensive. Also, what is Joe Biden going to say about Israel in tonight's State of the Union address? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 7 March 2024

Not-So-Super Wednesday

The podcast takes up the Super Tuesday results—the beginning of the Palmer era in American Samoa! No, seriously, the national race begins today and Biden is behind and, we speculate, maybe he ought to toughen up his stance on Israel and Gaza. No, not by turning on Israel, but by championing Israel and letting it win. Also, the GOP veepstakes! Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 6 March 2024

SCOTUS, Trump, and the War on the Jews

Adam White joins us to discuss the Supreme Court's seemingly authoritative (9-0!) and confusing (5-4) ruling that willl prevent any efforts to keep Donald Trump off the ballot this year. What's with the confusion? And we delineate the 20 year campus war on Jews and how the chickens are now coming home to roost as these college administrators face the wrath of the victims. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 5 March 2024

Did Kamala Turn on Israel?

Today we take up the very confusing statement by Kamala Harris yesterday that the media are treating as a change in administration policy with its seeming call for an immediate ceasefire. The problem is that while Harris surely wanted the headlines she's getting, the policy itself was not changed by her words at all. Then again, who can tell what is going on in an administration whose head is now viewed by a significant majority of the American people as incapable of actually being president? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 4 March 2024

Men at Work

Today David Bahnsen joins the podcast and we talk about the aid-convoy stampede in Gaza, the career of Mitch McConnell, and finally David's new book, Full-Time: Work and the Meaning of Life. How have we come to such a poor understanding of the meaning of work? And what are the sources and consequences of today's anti-work movement? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 1 March 2024

Are We Overreading Primary Results?

Steve Kornacki joins the podcast to explain how we might be reading too much into Nikki Haley's support in Republican primaries, and he breaks down the difference between voters in the those primaries and Republican voters generally. We also get into Republican gains among Hispanics, the continued partisan sorting of Americans, the fluidity of political coalitions, and more. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 29 February 2024

Who's Afraid of the 'Uncommitted'?

Today we take up the puny results of Michigan's "Uncommitted" campaign against Joe Biden and his handling of the war in Gaza. Is a 13 percent protest vote what had the Biden camp so rattled? Maybe it's time the administration peeks outside the bubble and takes a look at American popular opinion on Israel. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 28 February 2024

It's Almost Government Shutdown Time

Yuval Levin joins us to talk about how, on Friday, a quarter of the government is going to shut down and a week from Friday, the rest of it will—barring a deal between Congress and the president no one seems to be negotiating. As Joe Biden wants to run against a do-nothing Congress, is this a gift to him? And why are people celebrating suicide on social media? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 27 February 2024

Trump's Got Some Trouble

Henry Olsen, election-watcher extraordinaire, joins us today to analyze the results of the interesting South Carolina primary and the fact that across three Republican primary contests, Donald Trump is winning decisively, even overwhelmingly—but with around 40 percent of the primary electorate choosing someone else (mostly Nikki Haley). What does this portend for November? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 26 February 2024

Two Years of Putin's Monstrous War

Today's podcast points out that, as we move into the third year of Russia's effort to swallow up Ukraine whole, the great dysfunction seems not to be taking place in Ukraine, or Russia, or on the battlefield, but inside the American political process—with majorities supporting aid to Ukraine but the House unwilling to allow a vote. Can this stand? What is going on? And what is going on with AI? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 23 February 2024

Can We Trust 'Confidential Sources'?

Eli Lake joins us today to discuss the bomb dropped in the middle of the Joe/Hunter/Jim Biden investigation with the indictment and arrest of a confidential source who alleged direct payments to the Bidens around $10 million. Does this kill the case? And what about the Squad's electoral hopes in the wake of October 7? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 22 February 2024

What Is Nikki Haley Up To?

The podcast today takes note of Nikki Haley's interesting announcement that she will be staying in the GOP race until she is mathematically eliminated. What's the purpose of such a move and what does it reveal about the relative strength and power of Donald Trump in the race? Is she exposing an underbelly just at the moment when Trump is liable for $87,500 a day in fine money he has to pay? And what about this poll showing Trump winning with Jews in New York? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 21 February 2024

Will Navalny's Death Change Things?

Today's podcast asks what the practical effect of the murder of Alexei Navalny might have on the general debate over how to handle Vladimir Putin and the war in Ukraine. Then we go into the judgment against Donald Trump in a New York courtroom and whether Joe Biden is turning on Israel at the UN. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 20 February 2024

The Cross of Gould

An essay in New York Magazine that tells the story of a 40something writer and the mental breakdown that leads her to want to divorce her husband tells the entire story of 21st century elite and pop culture singlehandedly. It's called "The Lure of Divorce," and we devote most of the podcast today to explaining its inadvertent importance as a cultural document that defines our time. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 16 February 2024

Space, Gaza, and Lina Khan

Adam White joins today to discuss his article "The Power Broke Her," about the powerful Washington bureaucrat Lina Khan and her agenda. We begin, though, with the alarming word of an undefined national security threat and the fact that conventional opinion now seems obsessed with denying Israel a victory in its war on Hamas. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 15 February 2024

The Rs Lose a Seat

The special election in New York not only went to Democrat Tom Suozzi—he also won by eight points. We debate whether this means Republican hopes for immigration as a killer issue for them might be problematic, and whether the behavior of the Republican House these past two weeks is giving Democrats a serious chance of putting meat on the bones of running against the "do-nothing GOP." Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 14 February 2024

America the Evil Dad?

Tucker Carlson went to a conference in a Mideast oil city and announced that America was the dad of the world and was perpetuating evil the way a dad would if he took sides in a fight between his children. We ask some questions about this bizarre notion of proper parenting before raising more questions about what it says in relation to the rising New Right and its attitudes about this country. Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 13 February 2024

Superbowling for Dollars

Was the RFK Jr. Super Bowl ad good or bad? Was the game good or bad? Was Biden's effort to get himself into the news on Super Bowl Sunday without being interviewed good or bad? Is the polling for the Squad good or bad? Was what Trump said about NATO and Nikki Haley's husband good or bad? Give a listen.

Transcribed - Published: 12 February 2024

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