Today, Explained

Today, Explained is Vox's daily news explainer podcast. Hosts Sean Rameswaram and Noel King will guide you through the most important stories of the day.

Part of the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Daily News
Will Kevin McCarthy become speaker?
The 118th Congress has begun with a showdown over who will be elected House speaker. Vox’s Andrew Prokop argues that this is the culmination of a decade-long trend of stonewalling in Congress.
23 min
Why we’re all on antidepressants
Ray Osheroff was a successful doctor in the DC area until his depression became debilitating. The way he was treated — and not treated — changed psychiatry. Rachel Aviv tells the surprising story of the rise of psychiatric medication.
23 min
The many lies of George Santos
George Santos is supposed to become a member of Congress this week. We still have no idea who he is.
23 min
Let’s eat lab meat
Happy New Year! Maybe you’re interested in trying new things? Sean and his mom are. In today’s episode, they drive to Alameda, California to try “hybrid meat” — a mixture of lab-grown meat and veggie meat substitute that could deliver a more sustainable (but still meaty) future.
23 min
Abortions before Roe
Before Roe v. Wade, Eleanor Oliver was a Jane: a member of a group in Chicago that helped women get safe but illegal abortions. Sean Rameswaram sat down with her on the day Roe was overturned.
23 min
How to save kids from online extremism
A lot of IRL violence starts with online radicalization. We revisit our conversation with writer and parent Joanna Schroeder, who wrote a guide for parents about what to look out for and how to intervene.
23 min
Why the Ukraine war happened
Vladimir Putin believes Ukraine belongs to Russia, and he used that a pretense to invade. In an episode originally released in February, historian Timothy Snyder explains why Putin is wrong.
23 min
What’s the dill with pickleball?
Pickleball is bringing America together. Pickleball is tearing America apart. Sports Illustrated’s John Walters explains.
23 min
Why gaslighting is the word of the year
It’s sooo 2016, but the word still mattered a lot in 2022. Merriam-Webster explains.
23 min
Criminal referrals for Donald Trump
The January 6 committee sent the Justice Department four criminal referrals against the former president, who it alleges engaged in an elaborate criminal conspiracy to remain in office after his 2020 defeat. Vox’s Andrew Prokop explains what happens next.
22 min
The case against movie trailers
Movie trailers are misleading audiences. Vox’s Alissa Wilkinson says you should stop watching them.
24 min
Do I have to care about the Twitter Files?
Maybe not, but you’re going to be hearing about them for a while anyway. Republicans are saying they’ll use them to investigate the Biden administration.
23 min
Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion is everywhere, including in court trying to convince the world she was shot by the rapper Tory Lanez. Vox’s Fabiola Cineas and Northwestern University professor Moya Bailey explain why so many are struggling to see Thee Stallion as a victim.
23 min
Throwing soup at art
Tensions are simmering in London as climate protesters turn up the heat on their soup-flinging activism. Rishi Sunak’s government is attempting to keep the situation from boiling over.
23 min
Art-ificial intelligence
Between chatbots and image generators, artificial intelligence has gotten scary good lately. The Verge’s James Vincent explains what’s behind the latest wave of AI-powered creations.
23 min
Hint of crime
Tostitos chips without real lime. Root beer made with fake vanilla. Instant mac and cheese that isn’t so instant. These products are among the hundreds targeted by lawyer Spencer Sheehan, who wants Big Food to stop misrepresenting its products.
23 min
R-E-S-P-E-C-T (for Marriage Act)
Sen. Tammy Baldwin managed to rally bipartisan support for a marriage equality bill, but she’s the first to admit the legislation is “humble.” An activist wonders if there’s an overemphasis on the institution of marriage.
23 min
The prisoner swap for Brittney Griner
US officials are sending the “Merchant of Death” — a notorious arms dealer named Viktor Bout — back to Russia in exchange for the WNBA star’s release. We revisit our conversation with author Douglas Farah, author of “Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible.”
23 min
Power-tripping sheriffs
A growing number of county sheriffs believe they hold ultimate power in their jurisdictions. Some have even stopped enforcing state and federal laws they deem unconstitutional. The Marshall Project’s Maurice Chammah explains.
23 min
The Moscow murders
Investigators are still trying to solve the brutal November killings of four college students in Moscow, Idaho. Making their work harder: the hordes of online sleuths who’ve latched on to the case.
23 min
Digging tunnels for cars
Elon Musk created The Boring Company to fix traffic, but his fantasy of underground Tesla tunnels is running on empty. Curbed’s Alissa Walker and author Paris Marx explain.
23 min
8 billion humans
The United Nations says humanity has reached 8 billion, but Western nations are worried about population decline. Africa isn’t, though. The continent is about to shape the rest of the century.
23 min
China’s biggest protests since Tiananmen Square
The protests in China might force the government to back down from its extreme Covid restrictions and ramp up its extreme surveillance programs. The Wall Street Journal’s Josh Chin explains.
23 min
Disney’s boomerang CEO
Disney’s board wished upon a star and brought back former CEO Bob Iger, who replaced his own replacement, the now-axed CEO Bob Chapek. The Hollywood Reporter’s Kim Masters explains.
23 min
Nancy podcast
Democrats vote on new leadership this week, meaning Nancy Pelosi is out. Time’s Molly Ball explains why the country might really miss her.
23 min