240 episodes

Useful Idiots is an informative and irreverent politics podcast with journalist Aaron Maté and podcaster/writer Katie Halper. Episodes feature analysis of the political news of the week and exclusive interviews, with humor, commentary and dissection of why both Republicans and Democrats suck. Join Aaron and Katie as they examine important stories that have slipped through the cracks and what the media got wrong – and laugh about whatever is left to laugh about.

Useful Idiots with Katie Halper and Aaron Mat‪é‬ Cumulus Podcast Network

    • News
    • 4.5 • 4.3K Ratings

Useful Idiots is an informative and irreverent politics podcast with journalist Aaron Maté and podcaster/writer Katie Halper. Episodes feature analysis of the political news of the week and exclusive interviews, with humor, commentary and dissection of why both Republicans and Democrats suck. Join Aaron and Katie as they examine important stories that have slipped through the cracks and what the media got wrong – and laugh about whatever is left to laugh about.

    “Pure evil” – Dr. Mads Gilbert on Israel’s attacks on Gaza’s hospitals

    “Pure evil” – Dr. Mads Gilbert on Israel’s attacks on Gaza’s hospitals

    For $6 a month, become a Useful Idiot! Get extended interviews, Thursday Throwdowns, and bonus content at www.usefulidiotspodcast.com
    Watch this week's Thursday Throwdown: AOC calls Genocide Joe "the most successful US president" https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/aoc-calls-genocide-joe-the-most-successful?r=je5va&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
    For 30 years, Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert has risked his life to give medical care to Palestinians, performing surgeries, training medical students, and supporting their renowned healthcare system. But in their most recent assault, Israel banned Dr. Gilbert from entering Gaza.
    “This is the politics of elimination,” Dr. Gilbert tells us. “Israel is the only nation on Earth who has a military strategy to attack, to kill, and to dismantle civilian hospitals.”
    Forced to watch the unfolding tragedy from afar, Gilbert struggles to believe the horrors he’s seeing. “It is such an avalanche of human suffering that it is almost incomprehensible. And it’s all done with full will, planning, dedication. It is a 100% man-made disaster, designed to achieve exactly the goals that they have achieved: to maim and destroy Palestinian society.”
    What should have led to a huge uproar has instead been tolerated and even encouraged by Western politicians and media outlets, who have laundered false claims about militant hideouts at Palestinian hospitals.
    But while the genocide of Palestinians has only just broken through to mainstream consciousness, Dr. Gilbert explains that none of this is new.
    “Israel is going against absolutely every international law aimed at protecting civilian hospitals. This is unprecedented, but I’d like to add that for us who have been working with the Palestinians and their healthcare for many years, it’s not a new feature. The Israelis have always been attacking healthcare. In last year’s report from WHO, they reported 600 attacks on healthcare in the last two years.”
    And in the latest assault on Gaza, there have been “hundreds and hundreds” more. “We’ve seen attacks in the West Bank where they even dress up as doctors and kill patients in their beds.”
    Gilbert gives his scathing post-mortem: “This is a historical low point in human history. This enormous collapse of western morality and principles. We’re back to the jungle.”
    Hear the full, unpaywalled interview with Mads Gilbert, and listen to the end for his message on how to help. “We can all do our part: write a poem, sing a song, participate in a demonstration, write a letter to your politician. Take part in history because we need to change history now.”
    He finishes, solemnly: “What you are doing now, or what you are not doing now, is what you would have done, or not done, during the Holocaust.”
    00:00 Intro
    5:55 The Four Food Groups of News
    20:57 Dr. Mads Gilbert interview
    22:13 Israel warns of new hospital attack
    27:35 Stories of killed doctors
    40:34 Israeli doctors sign letter to BOMB MORE HOSPITALS
    55:13 Israeli protesters block humanitarian aid
    1:00:58 Israel shuts of water
    1:09:13 Answering Israeli arguments
    1:23:40 Rafah update
    1:29:01 HOW TO HELP
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    • 1 hr 33 min
    Dennis Kucinich Takes on the War Machine

    Dennis Kucinich Takes on the War Machine

    Click here for the full interview with Dennis Kucinich: https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/dennis-kucinich-takes-on-the-war?r=je5va&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
    For $6 a month, become a Useful Idiot! Get extended interviews, Thursday Throwdowns, and bonus content at www.usefulidiotspodcast.com
    Watch this week's Thursday Throwdown: Tucker Carlson's Putin interview enrages MSNBC https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/tucker-carlsons-putin-interview-enrages?r=je5va&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
    Mayor, Congressman, and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich is making his triumphant return to Useful Idiots. Oh, and also to Congress.
    After serving as an Ohio Representative for more than 15 years until 2013, Kucinich has been out of politics for over a decade. And after watching his country decline both internationally and domestically, the veteran lawmaker and peace advocate realized that his service is needed once again.
    “We have to consciously evolve in our politics as a nation to recognize that human unity is the underlying truth of our existence,” he says. “It’s about time that we called for a ceasefire, we gotta make sure that people aren’t paying another $97,000 out of their pockets for the next war.”
    Homelessness rates are at an all time high and half of Americans can’t afford their rent, but instead of fixing anything, Congress is sending all of our money to the military.
    “The sons and daughters of America are being sacrificed in unnecessary wars,” Kucinich says. “Their service is honorable. But the people who sent them there? Not honorable.”
    Which is why he’s running against Rep. Max Miller (just wait until you hear this war monger boast about turning Gaza into a parking lot) to rejoin Congress as an Independent.
    “People are horrified about the direction the world’s going in, and I’m stepping forward as a voice of sanity, common sense, and a willingness to say the obvious: war is stupid!”
    Subscribe to hear our full discussion with Dennis Kucinich, and if you want to help kick a psychopath out of Congress and replace him with someone fighting for peace, you can support Dennis’ campaign here.
    00:00 Intro
    00:27 The Four Food Groups of News
    17:24 Dennis Kucinich interview
    19:16 Psychopath Max Miller
    23:51 Why he's running for Congress
    27:31 Homeless as a child
    35:27 What can a member of Congress actually achieve?
    40:40 $$$ to Israel and Ukraine
    44:29 What the US SHOULD be doing
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    • 48 min
    Fmr. UNRWA Spox Refutes Israeli Smears

    Fmr. UNRWA Spox Refutes Israeli Smears

    For $6 a month, become a Useful Idiot! Get extended interviews, Thursday Throwdowns, and bonus content at www.usefulidiotspodcast.com
    Watch this week's Thursday Throwdown: Morning Joe wants to play Battleship with Iran https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/morning-joe-wants-to-play-battleship?r=je5va&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
    In early January, a former Israeli Foreign Ministry official said “It will be impossible to win the war if we do not destroy UNRWA. This destruction must begin immediately.”
    A few weeks later, UNRWA, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, had its funding cut after Israel accused 12 of its more than 30,000 employees of involvement in Oct. 7th (its since reduced the number of alleged offenders to six — half the original amount). Their purported evidence came mostly from “interrogations” of Palestinian prisoners — aka, most likely torture. The Biden administration admitted that it hadn’t corroborated Israel’s claims, but nonetheless announced a suspension of US funding for UNRWA. Other countries, including Germany and Canada, have followed suit.
    Former UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness joins the show to refute Israel’s claims. “Just as UNRWA is being held up to be accountable,” he says. “I think we have to hold the donors up to accountability and ask: ‘What did Israel give you?’ and ‘Did you independently verify it?’”
    Antony Blinken himself told the press: “We have not independently verified this evidence but we think it’s very credible.”
    Chris asks: “How would you know it’s credible if you haven’t independently investigated?”
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also called for ending the agency in yet another sign that the move was political. “UNRWA’s mission has to end,” he said. “UNRWA is self-perpetuating in its desire to keep alive the Palestinian refugee issue.”
    So the state which is lobbying thousands of munitions every day, including 2,000-pound bombs, is accusing an unarmed refugee agency of perpetuating the conflict?
    Chris argues that the opposite is true. “UNRWA wants nothing more than to go out of business. And UNRWA goes out of business when the refugees are granted full dignity, human development, prosperity, justice, and accountability in the context of a just and durable solution.
    Someone who is working hard to achieve this goal is the founder of HEAL and the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund Steve Sosebee. He shares stories of the many heroes and losses he has encountered in his thirty years working in Palestine.
    He also shares a way to help.
    “Just to see their entire lives destroyed is very, very saddening and I think all of us have a responsibility to help rebuild and show them love and compassion and give them opportunities to heal. That’s what my goal is for the rest of my life.”
    Hear these important voices share their messages in this unpaywalled Useful Idiots double header.
    Plus, catch this week’s Thursday Throwdown: Morning Joe wants to play Battleship with Iran
    00:00 Intro
    1:51 The Four Food Groups of News
    22:43 Chris Gunness interview
    25:12 UNRWA funding cut
    35:44 Netanyahu wants UNRWA ended
    45:06 Are the allegations true?
    52:51 Steve Sosebee interview
    55:08 Genocide of children
    1:03:58 Story of Palestinian child
    1:09:29 Israeli doctors call for more bombing
    1:13:08 HOW TO HELP
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 23 min
    Son of Israeli victims slams Netanyahu + Journalist reveals what REALLY happened on 10/7

    Son of Israeli victims slams Netanyahu + Journalist reveals what REALLY happened on 10/7

    Click here for the full interviews with Asa Winstanley and Maoz Inon: https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/extended-episode-son-of-israeli-victims?r=je5va&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
    For $6 a month, become a Useful Idiot! Get extended interviews, Thursday Throwdowns, and bonus content at www.usefulidiotspodcast.com
    Watch this week's Thursday Throwdown: Adam Schiff mourns the genocide he's supporting https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/adam-schiff-mourns-the-genocide-hes?r=je5va&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
    “I see the government of Israel as accountable for October 7th.”
    Israeli peace activist Maoz Inon lost both of his parents on October 7th. And while many Israelis who didn’t lose anyone want increased bloodshed, Maoz’s calls for peace show compassion and bravery.
    “It’s very difficult in Israeli society to speak out right now, and he’s one of the few people doing it. He’s not letting his tragedy become weaponized to create even more tragedies.”
    While it’s still unclear which side ultimately killed his parents, Maoz says it doesn’t matter:
    “Maybe you’re right, maybe they were killed in Israeli crossfire. But what does it matter? What does it matter? My parents died because of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. And I decided to commit my life to making peace. What does it matter who killed them. They were killed because of the conflict, and I’m going to make peace from the river to the sea.”
    And though Israeli police make it dangerous, Maoz is protesting in Israel “with a very direct call and message that the government is accountable and the government must go.”
    As information comes out about the events of October 7th, Israel’s role in the death count of its own civilians continues to increase. So we also interviewed Asa Winstanley, a journalist with the Electronic Intifada, whose reporting shows more and more evidence that Israeli forces killed their own people on October 7th.
    He explains that even today, with Israeli hostages still in Gaza, the Israeli government shows no signs of letting up their deadly assault.
    “It’s starting to seem like the political leaders of Israel do not want those captives to come home alive.”
    Subscribe for the full interview with Asa Winstanley where he uncovers more Israeli military fabrications and we discuss an article in the Washington Post that smeared Asa, the Electronic Intifada, and the Grayzone.
    00:00 Intro
    4:34 The Four Food Groups of News
    17:51 Asa Winstanley interview
    19:42 What really happened on October 7th?
    28:18 The Hannibal Directive
    39:00 Israel or Hamas?
    46:51 Maoz Inon interview
    47:36 What happened to Maoz's parents
    53:58 How Israel has responded to October 7
    57:08 Could Israel have prevented it?
    1:04:56 Who is responsible?
    1:17:17 A call for peace
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 30 min
    Jewish South African who worked under Mandela Applauds Israel Genocide Case w/ Andrew Feinstein

    Jewish South African who worked under Mandela Applauds Israel Genocide Case w/ Andrew Feinstein

    Click here for the full interview with Andrew Feinstein: https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/jewish-south-african-who-worked-under?r=je5va&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
    For $6 a month, become a Useful Idiot! Get extended interviews, Thursday Throwdowns, and bonus content at www.usefulidiotspodcast.com
    Watch this week's Thursday Throwdown: "Butcher Biden" Loses Irish Citizenship https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/butcher-biden-loses-irish-citizenship?r=je5va&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
    Andrew Feinstein, a Jewish South African son of a Holocaust survivor, who was an ANC Member of Parliament under Nelson Mandela, joins the show to shed light on South Africa’s genocide case of against Israel at the International Court of Justice.
    He explains Israel’s history as an occupier, an international arms dealer, and a friend to apartheid-era South Africa itself.
    “Israel and apartheid South Africa had an incredibly close relationship,” he says. “Israel really assisted South Africa to remain a brutal apartheid state in that they provided huge amounts of weaponry, significant amounts of military training in the horrific techniques that they had used and continue to use in the occupied territories, but most important of all enabled South Africa to become a nuclear power.”
    Israel, he believes, will become a pariah state just like South Africa did. But it isn’t just the occupiers that tie the countries together.
    “The South African struggle for liberation was always fraternal with the Palestinian struggle for liberation,” he explains, which explains why South Africa is taking huge political, financial, and security risks by bringing the US’s client state to court.
    “When Nelson Mandela emerged after 27 years in imprisonment, he didn’t dance and shout and say yay I’m free, but instead he said: ‘Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinian people.’
    “The struggle of the Palestinian people is really at the forefront of South African politics.”
    Subscribe for the full interview with Andrew Feinstein where he explains the extent to which South Africa is taking a risk by challenging Israel and the US, the fight for Palestinian freedom in the International Court of Justice, and the shadow world of international arms trade.
    00:00 Intro
    00:50 The Four Food Groups of News
    14:17 Andrew Feinstein interview
    19:02 Israel's dark history with South Africa
    26:59 The ICJ Case
    35:48 South Africa's huge risk
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 40 min
    Genocide trial should convict Blinken and other US officials – Palestinian analyst

    Genocide trial should convict Blinken and other US officials – Palestinian analyst

    Click here for the full interview with Mouin Rabbani: https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/genocide-trial-should-convict-blinken?r=je5va&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
    And see Katie LIVE this Tuesday at the People’s Forum: https://peoplesforum.org/events/live-at-tpf/
    For $5 a month, become a Useful Idiot! Get extended interviews, Thursday Throwdowns, and bonus content at www.usefulidiotspodcast.com
    Watch this week's Thursday Throwdown: Jamie Raskin defends democracy by removing peace activist https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/jamie-raskin-defends-democracy-by?r=je5va&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
    Palestinian analyst and Middle East expert Mouin Rabbani joined Useful Idiots this week ahead of the International Court of Justice’s genocide trial against Israel. And though the ICJ’s verdict is not actionable (only the Security Council can punish countries, and we already know where who's boss there), Rabbani explains why the case still has huge ramifications.
    “This same state that has hid behind the extermination of Europe’s Jews for every one of its actions,” he tells us. “Now itself stands accused of genocide. I think after this case, irrespective of its outcome, Israel will forever be tainted by what it is doing in the Gaza strip, and people will begin to recognize that Israel is not the Jewish state, but rather it is a Zionist state.”
    Meanwhile, as the case begins its first days in court, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is back in the region, trying to convince other Middle East countries to support Israel, bombing those that don’t, and condemning the ICJ case, calling it meritless and galling.
    And he should be upset, says Mouin. “Antony Blinken should be outraged because if Israel is guilty of genocide, then not only the United States, but Blinken personally is complicit in genocide and would be hauled before a court and convicted of his role in perpetrating this genocide as well.”
    If Israel is convicted, it won’t be hard to show the secretary’s influence: “Blinken’s not only implicated, he’s been giving it a standing ovation since the moment it started.”
    Subscribe for the full interview where Mouin Rabbani lays out Israel’s history of ethnic cleansing, exposes the New York Times’ faked claim that Hamas used the Al Shifa hospital as a command center, and explains Biden’s plans to ramp up his support for Israel even further.
    00:00 Intro
    01:13 The Four Food Groups of News
    12:40 Mouin Rabbani interview
    18:31 Israel carrying out assassinations
    23:27 Israel is creating enemies
    26:45 Blinken condemns ICJ case
    35:36 PREDICTING the VERDICT
    40:09 history of Israeli ethnic cleansing
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
4.3K Ratings

4.3K Ratings

Me Berle ,

They say all the things we want to say but can’t

Amazing show. What an ethical take on issues

מונומ ,

Tiresome idiots. Tediousssssssssss

It’s not even interesting. Just the old kill the Jews save Russia stuff

PhHammz ,

Perfect Balance

Just what I needed in these trying times. Informed, funny, passionate, and effective means of better understanding the most pressing issues of the day.

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