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
Why everyone’s mad about equity
Everyone is fighting about “equity.” If only they could define it. Vox’s Andrew Prokop explains.
23 min
Where’s the beef?
A rancher in the Pacific Northwest scammed two companies out of $244 million. In this episode we first served in February, KUOW’s Anna King — host of the Ghost Herd podcast — explains how Cody Easterday went from ranching royalty to prison.
23 min
Inflation happens for a lot of reasons that can be hard for even economists to fully grasp. But — as we learned this spring in an episode we’re rerunning today — there’s also a more straightforward reason prices keep going up: greedy corporations are using inflation as an excuse to jack up prices.
23 min
Even more forever chemicals
The chemical manufacturer 3M will pay $10 billion to settle claims it contaminated drinking water with “forever chemicals.” Good thing we already spoke with Barbara Moran, WBUR’s climate and environmental correspondent, who explained these non-stick chemicals that stick around forever.
23 min
For the second time this month, huge sections of the US are blanketed by wildfire smoke. Vox’s Rebecca Leber and climate journalist Jeff Goodell say we’re gonna have to get used to it.
23 min
Supreme Court: Race need not apply
The Supreme Court ruled against race-conscious admissions policies at Harvard and UNC. The ruling is likely to reshape affirmative action in America.
22 min
Mall cop nation
The three biggest private employers in North America are Walmart, Amazon, and a security firm you’ve maybe never heard of: Allied Universal. Time’s Alana Semuels explains the rise of poorly trained and poorly paid private security guards across America.
22 min
Woke, woke, woke, woke, woke
How “woke” went from Marcus Garvey to Childish Gambino to Ron DeSantis.
23 min
The man behind Russia’s mutiny
Yevgeny Prigozhin rose from hot dog seller to top chef to Russia’s leading mercenary. Journalist Paul Wood and Harvard’s Timothy Colton explain why he turned on Vladimir Putin this weekend.
23 min
Deep-sea explorer G. Michael Harris has been down to the wreck of the Titanic 14 times. He begged his friend PH Nargeolet not to get on the OceanGate Titan submersible before it imploded in the sea earlier this week. He explains why he saw this coming.
23 min
Dinner and a Modi
Despite US concerns over the decline of Indian democracy and human rights, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is getting a prestigious state dinner from the Biden administration. Sadanand Dhume and Irfan Nooruddin explain.
23 min
A group in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will pay remote workers $10,000 to move there. Vox’s Rani Molla explains why the city is banking on a digital workforce — and whether the program leaves longtime Tulsans behind.
23 min
Childproofing Pornhub
States want to restrict kids’ access to harmful content online via age verification systems. New York Times reporter Natasha Singer explains how a wave of new legislation could dramatically reshape the internet.
23 min
The Today, Explained Center for Kids Who Can’t ...
For decades, American schools have taught reading with an approach that doesn’t work very well. Emily Hanford of the podcast “Sold a Story: How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong” explains how things are starting to change.
23 min
How the Saudis bought pro golf
The PGA Tour wanted nothing to do with a rival Saudi-funded golf tour, but like Silicon Valley and the White House, it couldn’t resist the Kingdom’s influence. A sports guy (Rick Maese of the Washington Post) and a foreign policy guy (Jonathan Guyer of Vox) explain.
23 min
Kids sue Montana over climate change
Held v. Montana, a first-of-its-kind climate lawsuit, pits young people — and their constitutionally enshrined right to a clean environment — against a state with pro-fossil fuel policies.
23 min
Vivek Ramaswamy explains himself
The entrepreneur is running a longshot campaign for the GOP nomination on an “American nationalist,” anti-“woke capitalism” platform. Semafor’s Dave Weigel explains why so many Republicans now think they have a chance at the crown.
23 min
Why Marvel movies look bad
Bad visual effects in movies may have less to do with technology and more to do with workers being underpaid and overworked. Vulture senior reporter Chris Lee explains in this episode of Into It.
23 min
Florida man indicted (again)
For the first time in American history, a former president faces federal charges. Vox’s Andrew Prokop explains.
23 min
Texas messed with Houston schools
The state of Texas took over Houston’s Independent School District and replaced the superintendent and the elected board. But state takeovers like this rarely make schools better.
23 min
California is becoming uninsurable
Two insurance giants will stop issuing new policies for California homes. CalMatters reporter Ben Christopher and Vox’s Umair Irfan say insurers have determined what homeowners refuse to accept: Climate change has made some parts of the country too risky to live in.
23 min
Apple’s $3,500 goggles
Apple’s launch of a new mixed reality headset shows that, for Apple, the metaverse isn’t dead. The Verge’s David Pierce explains.
23 min
Real Housebans of Tallahassee
A new Florida law will restrict where Chinese citizens can buy homes, and other states may follow suit. The legislation is eerily similar to racist land laws from over 100 years ago. Vox reporter Li Zhou and Hofstra law professor Julian Ku explain.
23 min
Hannah Gadsby and “Pablo-matic" Picasso
Comedian Hannah Gadsby railed against Pablo Picasso in “Nanette.” So why are they curating an exhibition timed to the 50th anniversary of his death? Gadsby and author Claire Dederer explain what we should do with art from monstrous artists.
23 min
Ukraine’s counteroffensive
Ukraine vowed to mount a counteroffensive against Russia. Drone attacks on Moscow might signal it has begun. The Washington Post’s Mary Ilyushina and the Guardian’s Luke Harding explain.
23 min