16 episodes

Grid contributor Matthew Yglesias and his longtime editor, Laura McGann, Grid’s executive editor, discuss a take each week that’s gotten under their skin. They peel back the layers of the "bad take” to figure out what it tells us about American politics and policy.

Bad Takes Grid

    • News
    • 4.5 • 236 Ratings

Grid contributor Matthew Yglesias and his longtime editor, Laura McGann, Grid’s executive editor, discuss a take each week that’s gotten under their skin. They peel back the layers of the "bad take” to figure out what it tells us about American politics and policy.

    SBF was not for real

    SBF was not for real

    This week, the call is coming from inside the house: Laura deems Matt’s old take defending Sam Bankman-Fried’s character the “bad take.” A debate ensues about whether the FTX founder’s good intentions matter. Matt argues the cryptocurrency billionaire is an “effective altruist” who was funding projects no one else wanted to, like pandemic preparedness. Meanwhile, Laura maintains SBF is a bad actor but doesn’t take away from the “effective altruism” movement at large.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    2024 predictions are irresistible

    2024 predictions are irresistible

    Matt and Laura agree it’s a “bad take” to say Democrats are in a great position for 2024, not because it’s wrong but because it’s unknowable. But they still can’t resist disregarding their own advice. They discuss their most embarrassing presidential predictions of yore and, for some reason, go all in on who they think will win in 2024.

    • 48 min
    Republicans’ real agenda

    Republicans’ real agenda

    In the homestretch of the campaign, Sen. Rick Scott of Florida claimed he doesn’t know any Republicans who want to cut Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. Matthew Yglesias and Laura McGann can name a few.

    In fact, as much as the election has been a debate about inflation, abortion and democracy, none of those issues will be at the top of either party’s agenda at the start of the next Congress. Instead, House Republicans are planning to force President Joe Biden to make cuts to Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. It would be risky to cut these popular programs on their own, but Democrats won’t agree to join them without a compromise, like raising taxes. So that leaves Republicans hoping to hold up a vote on the debt ceiling to force Biden’s hand.

    • 39 min
    Pelosi attack is politics

    Pelosi attack is politics

    The morning after Paul Pelosi was attacked, the New York Times relegated the story to the bottom corner of its front page, framing the incident as a banal crime rather than attempted assassination of the speaker of the House within two weeks of the midterm elections.

    Matt and Laura call the decision to place the story so low and to frame it as they did a bad take. Holding it up as a proxy for media coverage, Matt and Laura agree that in ducking the straightforward political context, the media allowed the right to hijack the story and cast doubt on what happened.

    Matt argues that to understand why Pelosi has become a villain of the right, you have to understand her legacy as an effective leader, but one who has bucked conventions around keeping power. Laura thinks you also have to understand sexism.

    • 55 min
    Fetterman's stroke threatens Matt and Laura's friendship

    Fetterman's stroke threatens Matt and Laura's friendship

    After a stroke, Senate candidate John Fetterman of Pennsylvania needs captions to hold a conversation. Matthew Yglesias sees this as a neutral statement of fact and sympathizes with lefty Twitter for lashing out at how NBC promoted a recent interview with the Senate hopeful. Laura McGann disagrees. She wants opinion writers, like Matt, to be better — to stop insulting voters who have legitimate questions, like how a stroke affects the brain. Where the two agree is on why unorthodox candidates, like celebrity TV doctor Mehmet Oz, running against Fetterman in Pennsylvania, or Herschel Walker, a former football star running in Georgia, win in our polarized age.

    • 50 min
    Kanye West — free speech martyr?

    Kanye West — free speech martyr?

    The right holds up Kanye West as a conservative folk hero, even calling his bid for social media platform Parler a “groundbreaking move into the free speech media space.” Hosts Matthew Yglesias and Laura McGann point out all the things conservatives are willing to overlook to have a Black celebrity on their side.

    Plus: Laura wonders if this should be a political story at all, raising larger questions of how the media covers mental health.

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
236 Ratings

236 Ratings

wslambeth ,

Love it

I loved Matt Yglesias back at Vox and was sad when he left, but I don’t know man I guess it’s just good to have his voice and takes back in my ears. Laura McGann is new to me and she’s great.

jrm36 ,

Mea culpa?

I love Matt’s work and enjoyed seeing him on the hot seat this week. He took responsibility for not giving as enough context about the problems with the FTX business model, in a column praising his donations. (He should have ended the hour with a straight up I’m-sorry - I just want to hear him say it!) But the discussion was excellent and went into the interesting parts of EA and financial regulation not just the headlines.

Sinai Staff ,

Fantastic show

Love hearing Matt back on podcasts

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