258 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.

    UK diplomat reveals NATO STARTED the WAR in Ukraine

    UK diplomat reveals NATO STARTED the WAR in Ukraine

    Click here for the full interview with Ian Proud: https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/uk-diplomat-reveals-nato-started?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: White House would NEVER pause shipments to Israel, reports White House https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/white-house-would-never-pause-shipments?r=je5va&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
    Join us LIVE on Youtube every Monday at 10am EST for Monday Mourning, where we watch the Sunday morning news shows so that you don't have to.
    From July 2014 to February 2019, veteran diplomat Ian Proud was posted to the British Embassy in Moscow where he advised UK Ministers on sanctions against Russia.
    His embrace of diplomacy over war made him a Misfit in Moscow.
    Proud joins Useful Idiots to explain how British diplomacy failed in Russia, and how a strategy other than aggression and saber-rattling could have averted Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He gives a complex history of the conflict, beginning with the 2014 West-backed coup in Ukraine, and culminating in Boris Johnson’s infamous in person threat to Zelensky that he must reject a peace deal.
    We ask Ian if it was Biden who instructed Johnson to do so.
    And today, with a (“so-called”) peace summit convened by the Ukrainian government and Putin making his most concrete peace offer to date, Ian’s long history as a British diplomat in Moscow gives us a chance to pull back the curtain on the talks that could potentially end the proxy war.
    Subscribe to hear the full interview with Ian Proud where he explains:
    •How the US’s Victoria Nuland undermined peace talks at every step since 2014
    •Boris Johnson’s admission that the proxy war is about “defending western hegemony” (and his embarrassing meeting with the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion)
    •The UK’s role in the dirty war in Syria
    •The UK’s role in aiding Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza
    •How much the British government and its allies invest in propaganda (or, as they call it, strategic communications) to deceive the public into going along with their proxy wars
    •And the 2024 US presidential election: Would there would be any foreign policy difference between Biden and Trump?
    00:00 Intro
    01:11 The Four Food Groups of News
    15:17 Ian Proud interview
    16:05 Peace talks in Ukraine
    18:26 What the media gets wrong about Putin
    23:06 The bridge that could have prevented a war
    27:26 Did Biden instruct Johnson to threaten Zelensky?
    33:10 Censoring his new book
    38:02 Was the west involved in the 2014 coup?
    40:50 Victoria Nuland undermines it all
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 46 min
    Former Israel negotiator Daniel Levy: THIS is Israel's real goal

    Former Israel negotiator Daniel Levy: THIS is Israel's real goal

    Click here for the full interview with Daniel Levy: https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/former-israel-negotiator-daniel-levy?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: Brian Stelter warns Trump will arrest Rachel Maddow https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/brian-stelter-warns-trump-will-arrest?r=je5va&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
    President of the US/Middle East Project Daniel Levy used to be an Israeli peace negotiator. Today, he’s a leading critic of the Israeli government. This former insider talks to us about the real goals behind Israel's assault on Gaza, why the U.S. is so enabling of Israel, and the political impact this will have on Biden.
    He describes Israel's depressingly narrow political spectrum: “from apartheidists with a smiley face, through to ‘reoccupy Gaza permanently,’ through to the expulsionist eradicationist camp.” It’s a bleak but increasingly undeniable reality that what was once considered the left in Israel and the US has now become ‘the right but nicer about it.’
    And what is Netanyahu's plan?
    “Right now I'm not sure that Netanyahu has a plan of what his morning-after looks like. To the extent to which there is an ongoing Israeli position, it’s ‘entrench the control,’ it's ‘maximum land,’ and it's this matrix of domination which is going to prevent any Palestinian freedom rights. The idea is push them out and resettle Gaza now.”
    Daniel also blasts the so-called peace process: “What they’re essentially saying,” Daniel explains, “is ‘let's go back to the status quo ante,’ which is a regime accurately described by Palestinians, Israeli human rights NGOs, Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, and the International Court of Justice as meaning the bar of a legal definition of apartheid.” 
    Subscribe to hear the full interview with Daniel Levy where he explains what the US gets out of its enabling of Israel, Hamas’s new goals, and how he went from Israeli government official to leading critic.
    00:00 Intro
    04:36 The Four Food Groups of News
    29:12 Daniel Levy interview
    29:37 What's going on with the ceasefire?
    34:35 Netanyahu's real goal
    38:04 Israel's real goal
    42:36 A refuge of scoundrels
    46:34 How does peace happen?
    52:42 Will Palestinians have rights?
    57:31 Why is the US fueling this?
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Pulitzer Winner Nathan Thrall on Israel’s ceasefire ruse

    Pulitzer Winner Nathan Thrall on Israel’s ceasefire ruse

    Click here for the full interview with Nathan Thrall: https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/pulitzer-winner-nathan-thrall-on?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: Aaron Maté debunks the Washington Post's Grayzone propaganda https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/aaron-mate-debunks-the-washington?r=je5va&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
    “Netanyahu has messaged over and over again that he will not end this war. Israel absolutely and categorically refuses to end the war until Hamas is totally defeated.”
    This is the analysis of Nathan Thrall, the Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and writer who lives in Jerusalem. What’s surprising, however, is the newly announced deal brokered by Israel and the US which stipulates that Israel would agree to a ceasefire if the hostages were returned.
    “The giant loophole in this deal,” explains Thrall, “is that it comes in three phases. A permanent ceasefire comes in the second phase. The first phase is a limited prisoner exchange, and so Hamas has very little reason to believe that Israel will go into this and actually see it through to the end of the three phases.”
    Israel’s intransigency and unyielding occupation makes Thrall loath to talk about the potential of a one state or two state solution.
    “The discussion about solutions and about one-state-versus-two has served to distract people from the real present day reality. What that distraction has allowed people to do is to treat the present reality, the more than half century long present reality, as though it's temporary.”
    Focusing on the one or two state solution allows people to “debate the fantasy Utopia” and perpetuates the lie that the occupation is “only temporary. Clearly it can't last, they say, Israel is going to have to choose either to give Palestinians citizenship or give them a state”
    The reality is that “Israel doesn't have to choose. It will require a revolution in the way that the world treats Israel for it to have to choose, and maybe we're on the road to that now but it's a very long road.”
    Subscribe to watch the full interview with Nathan Thrall in which he discusses his Pulitzer-winning book, A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy, which tells the story of a deadly school bus crash caused by harsh restrictions imposed on Palestinians living in Jerusalem.
    Thrall also updates us about how the main characters have been affected by Israel’s response to October 7. For example, Abed recently told Thrall “in all his life and experience of this occupation, these are the greatest restrictions on movement he has ever seen. It can take hours to travel distances that used to take half and hour inside the West Bank.”
    Also in the extended interview: For people who claim that Hamas broke the ceasefire, what was the state of violence in the occupied West Bank prior to October 7? What is life like in Gaza, where he spent 6 weeks. What’s it like being an American Jew in Gaza? And what kind of revolution would have to happen to reach peace?
    00:00 Intro
    01:08 The Four Food Groups of News
    17:57 Nathan Thrall interview
    19:00 Is the ceasefire real?
    22:15 What's going on in Jerusalem?
    23:40 Israel's goal
    26:14 Hamas's goal
    32:12 Life for Palestinians in Jerusalem
    38:48 A Day in the Life of Abed Salama
    43:02 The crime of saving children
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 47 min
    UN Rapporteur accuses Israel of sexual violence against Palestinian women

    UN Rapporteur accuses Israel of sexual violence against Palestinian women

    Click here for the full interview with UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese: https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/un-rapporteur-accuses-israel-of-sexual?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: John Kirby feels "perfectly comfortable" with Israel bombing Rafah https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/john-kirby-feels-perfectly-comfortable?r=je5va&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
    “They knew,” repeats Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories. “They knew this would result in killing. They knew this would result in immense physical and mental harm. They knew that by declaring a siege with no food, no water, no fuel, no medicines, people would be destined to die.”
    She continues, citing the definition of genocide: “These are conditions calculated to ‘bring about the destruction of a group in whole or part,’ and this is why it's genocide.”
    Working at the UN, Francesca Albanese released a groundbreaking report titled Anatomy of a Genocide, which concludes that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the threshold indicating Israel’s commission of genocide has been met.
    And Albanese is not alone in her conclusions. The International Court of Justice found plausible grounds for the genocide case against Israel. And the International Criminal Court has sought arrest warrants for Israeli officials over genocide.
    “The reason,” Francesca explains, “why Israeli leaders are being investigated and hopefully one day prosecuted by the ICC is because Israel has proven unwilling and unable to comply with international law [related to] war crimes against humanity, genocide, and oppression.”
    And the Biden administration is complicit:
    “The US administration considers the ‘red line’ as a sort of movable geometry. They keep on pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable, they keep on pushing the red lines further and further in order to justify their lack of action. The current administration is embroiled in this catastrophe in a way that words can’t say but justice can fix.”
    Subscribe for the full interview with Francesca Albanese where she responds to the argument that Israel has a right to defend itself, explains how mainstream media has censored her accounts of sexual violence against Palestinian women, and details the threats the ICC has received from Israel over their war crimes inquiry.
    00:00 Intro
    00:32 The Four Food Groups of News
    19:32 Francesca Albanese interview
    20:16 Can the ICJ stop Israel?
    25:01 Anatomy of a Genocide
    27:46 No red lines for John Kirby
    34:55 The trick of humanitarian camouflage
    40:59 Does Israel have a right to defend itself?
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 45 min
    How Israel Spies on the World – with Antony Loewenstein

    How Israel Spies on the World – with Antony Loewenstein

    The first 50 people to click this link get 30% off ONE YEAR of Useful Idiots: https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/first50
    See the full interview with Antony Loewenstein here: https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/how-israel-spies-on-the-world-with?r=je5va&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
    The Palestine Laboratory: https://www.versobooks.com/products/2684-the-palestine-laboratory
    Not in My Name: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOSMdSYZtMw&ab_channel=ABCNewsIn-depth
    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: Blinken's Neo N*zi Pizza Party https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/blinkens-neo-nzi-pizza-party?r=je5va&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
    “Israel makes a killing from the occupation,” says journalist Antony Loewenstein in his new book The Palestine Laboratory, which uncovers how Israel has profited off the terror it reigns over Palestinians.
    “Israel's military uses the occupied Palestinian territories as a testing ground for weaponry and surveillance technology that they then export around the world to despots and democracies.”
    And with this scheme, he explains, Israel is able to genocide three birds with one stone.
    First, most obviously, they achieve their goal of control and carnage in Palestine, making the territory unlivable for the indigenous people in an effort to take the land. Second, Israel’s military industrial complex is vastly enriched from the sale of weapons and tech. And third, Israel’s weaponry allows them to to commit mass terror in Gaza:
    “After 1967, there were many nations that publicly opposed what Israel was doing, but the insurance policy is that Israel has been selling weapons and surveillance tech to so many countries for so long that those nations were less likely to criticize Israel where it matters, like the UN.”
    And the vast extent of this insurance policy is likely greater than we realize.
    “No one even knows, by the way, how many countries Israel has sold weapons to. I calculate anywhere between 125 and 145 nations, which is the majority of nations on the planet, have bought some form of Israeli weapons, surveillance tech, or repressive technology.”
    But since October 7, Antony explains, Israel’s grip over the world is slipping. Subscribe to hear the full interview in which Antony explains why “Israel is a house of cards,” how companies like Google and Amazon “are directly complicit in potential war crimes,” and why Israel’s potential war on Hezbollah “would make what's happening in Gaza seem like kindergarten.”
    00:00 Intro
    00:49 ICC wants to arrest Israel: The Four Food Groups of News
    20:31 Antony Loewenstein interview
    21:38 How Israel exports the technology of occupation
    24:24 Israel's insurance policy
    28:25 The Palestine laboratory
    32:49 Israeli surveillance of Gaza
    36:57 How the US uses IDF tactics to silence protesters
    43:10 Google and Amazon war crimes?
    49:26 What is Israel's goal?
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 53 min
    Palestinian Writer Breaks Down At Gaza’s Mass Graves

    Palestinian Writer Breaks Down At Gaza’s Mass Graves

    The first 50 people to click this link get 30% off ONE YEAR of Useful Idiots: https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/first50
    See the full interview with Susan Abulhawa here: https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/palestinian-writer-breaks-down-at?r=je5va&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
    See Katie’s mashup of politicians’ and corporate media’s hypocrisy on Zionist violence here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDOlPim1wc0&rco=1&ab_channel=KatieHalper
    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: GOP brags Trump hates Palestinians more than Biden does https://www.usefulidiotspodcast.com/p/gop-brags-trump-hates-palestinians?r=je5va&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
    “I really have never seen anything like this, in Palestine or anywhere else in the world.”
    Palestinian-American writer and human rights activist Susan Abulhawa has been to Gaza twice since October 7th. Her harrowing experience is hard to hear, but so important to listen to.
    “The inhumanity is hard to fathom,” she says as she describes images far worse than what we’ve been told so far about Gaza. “It is a constant state of terror.”
    We had Susan on to pull back the curtain of censorship held over Palestine, and she reveals the horrifying truth: zip ties tied tight for children’s hands, a heat wave turning tents into ovens, an epidemic of flies, mosquitos, and scorpions, grandparents who have lost their entire families, and a story of a house cat wounded and orphaned from his family, barely able to survive.
    And as the US continues to fund this terror, Susan gives a stark warning: “If we allow this to continue without any accountability or serious consequences, then there will be no more limits for what these fascists will do. And it won’t stop with Gaza.”
    But this week after a just-for-show shipments pause, Biden sent another $1 billion of weapons to Israel. So we asked Susan about the 2024 election and the question that keeps coming up: But won’t Trump be worse?
    Susan responds: “I don’t know what’s worse than what Biden’s done. What can possibly be worse than genocide? What is worse than besieging two and a half million people in a tiny, densely-populated place and then bombing the hell out of them? Watching for seven months a live-streamed genocide and sending billions upon billions every month to this monstrosity to continue this genocide. What could possibly be worse?”
    Subscribe to hear the full interview with Susan Abulhawa about academic censorship, the policing of pro-Palestine speech, and why she was canceled for her comments about Zelensky.
    This episode is very hard to hear, but Susan explains that we cannot become desensitized to the horrors our governments are creating. Listen to and share Susan’s reporting. We appreciate your support of Useful Idiots and independent media.
    Subscribe to watch the full episode here:
    00:00 Intro + Special Offer
    01:14 The Four Food Groups of News
    19:44 Susan Abulhawa interview
    20:43 What's happening in Gaza?
    27:43 Susan's harrowing footage at Gaza's mass graves
    36:35 The children of Gaza
    41:27 Rescuing an orphaned cat
    46:04 Will Trump be worse than Biden?
    49:32 Canceled over Ukraine
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
4.3K Ratings

4.3K Ratings

san juan 22 ,

Excellent

Truth to power

Evil Eel ,

Required listening

Why is journalism so bad today that the only place to get the fullest picture of what’s going on is a place called Useful Idiots?

The guests are fantastic. The discussions are wide-ranging. The openings are always fun and informative.

Listen to this. Put it on your list. Essential listening.

Darling Tonia ,

A Favourite Since Episode One

I have been listening to this podcast since it first started. I am so grateful for these two wry, insightful journalists, and their stellar lineup of guests. Expect incisive critiques of imperialism, US militarism, neocons/liberals, and mainstream media. Despite often heavy topics, they manage to keep the show entertaining — an impressive feat which makes the program feel like time spent with particularly informative friends.

Those trying to smear the show as anti-Semitic are full of bull! Katie Halper and Aaron Mate are both JEWISH. So get outta here with that nonsense.

Top Podcasts In News

The Daily
The New York Times
Up First
NPR
The Ben Shapiro Show
The Daily Wire
Pod Save America
Crooked Media
Morning Wire
The Daily Wire
The Tucker Carlson Show
Tucker Carlson Network

You Might Also Like

The Katie Halper Show
Katie Halper
Max Blumenthal
Max Blumenthal
Bad Faith
Briahna Joy Gray
Empire Files
Empire Files
System Update with Glenn Greenwald
Rumble
Rania Khalek Dispatches
Rania Khalek