Slow Burn

Clarence Thomas is one of the most powerful figures in America today. Nearly every issue of national consequence has his fingerprints all over it, from voting rights to gun rights and from abortion access to affirmative action. But nothing about his journey from rural Georgia to the Supreme Court was inevitable.In the eighth season of Slate’s Slow Burn, host Joel Anderson traces Justice Thomas’ surprising path from youthful radical to conservative icon. You’ll hear about why he came to despise the race-based admission policies that personally benefitted him, how he credited his political rise to the Black self-sufficiency preached by Malcolm X, and what the American people didn’t hear during his explosive confirmation hearings.

Decoder Ring: Who Owns the Tooth Fairy?
The Tooth Fairy’s freak flag is still flying.
34 min
Decoder Ring: Why You Can’t Find a Damn Parking...
Parking is a mess we’ve gotten ourselves into. We can get ourselves out of it.
33 min
Decoder Ring: The Artist Who Was Both Loved and...
The painter LeRoy Neiman was adored by many Americans—but not the art critics.
33 min
Decoder Ring: The Curious Case of Columbo's Mes...
Why does no one remember the T.V. detective’s Cold War missive?
36 min
Decoder Ring: The Curious Case of Columbo's Mes...
Was the cigar-chomping detective also a Cold War diplomat?
39 min
Announcing Slow Burn Season 8
Slow Burn: Becoming Justice Thomas
0 min
Decoder Ring: The Mailbag Episode
From kids menus to succulents to the chicken that crossed the road, we answer your questions.
34 min
Decoder Ring: ‘You’ve Got Mail’ Got It Wrong
Who's afraid of... Barnes & Noble? The now quaint conflict that inspired the 1998 romantic comedy.
36 min
Decoder Ring: Cellino & Barnes, Injury Attorney...
Cellino and Barnes became the literal poster-men for personal injury advertising.
35 min
Decoder Ring: How Preppy Became Streetwear
Ralph Lauren’s modern Ivy style was remixed by ’Lo-Heads.
32 min
Decoder Ring: The New Age Hit Machine
How a PBS pledge drive turned Yanni and John Tesh into rock stars.
24 min
Slow Burn: Roe v. Wade special announcement
The women who fought for legal abortion, the activists who pushed back, and the justices who thought they could solve the issue for good.
2 min
S7 Ep. 5: Creating a Winning Show
The team behind Slow Burn: Roe v. Wade reveals how they made Apple Podcasts Show of the Year.
45 min
One Year: 1942 - The Black-Japanese Axis
A shadowy organization, a mysterious leader, and an alleged conspiracy against America during World War II.
35 min
Decoder Ring: The Butt and the Bustle
It may be old-fashioned, but the bustle still has a lot to tell us about race, sex and power.
41 min
One Year: 1942 - When Internment Came to Alaska
The U.S. military claimed it was protecting indigenous Alaskans during World War II. The real story is much darker.
37 min
Decoder Ring: The Truth About #TheDress
An unassuming photo of a party dress showed how seeing is believing.
32 min
One Year - 1942: The Info Wars of World War II
How the Nazis used radio propaganda as a weapon against the United States.
43 min
One Year: 1942 - The Day the Music Stopped
How a 1942 recording ban changed America forever.
52 min
One Year: 1942 - The Year Everyone Got Married
In 1942, matrimony was a national obsession. How would those weddings change America?
39 min
One Year: 1942 - The Most Hated Man in America
In 1942, it was up to Leon Henderson to stop inflation. He became a nationwide villain.
42 min
Decoder Ring: McGruff Takes a Bite Out of Crime...
Did a trench-coat wearing dog’s catchy anti-drug anthems actually work?
42 min
Decoder Ring: McGruff Takes a Bite Out of Crime...
The unlikely origins of the trench-coat wearing bloodhound who tackled personal safety, guns and drugs.
32 min
One Year - 1986: The Man From Fifth Avenue
The stranger-than-fiction story of a mysterious American who starred in a Soviet propaganda film.
53 min
One Year - 1986: The Miracle of Cokeville
How the worst school attack in U.S. history was miraculously averted.
62 min