The Takeaway, hosted by Tanzina Vega (M-Th) and Amy Walter (F), is a one-hour daily news show that reveals unexpected insights into the day’s news, fills a need for greater context, and interacts with audiences in a way that no other public radio news program offers.
The Takeaway convenes conversations across social divides to give listeners not just the information, but the complex, nuanced perspectives they need for understanding and participation. It features voices of Americans from all walks of life who may have different struggles and challenges but often speak to the same desires, dreams and hopes for the future of their families and communities. It does not shy away from big and complicated stories; through exceptional sound design and production, the show breaks down complex policy and connects listeners with stories that touch their lives and their experiences.
The Takeaway is a co-production of PRX and WNYC, in collaboration with WGBH Radio Boston.
March 3, 2021
March 2, 2021
For individual segments and transcriptions, visit thetakeaway.org.
March 1, 2021
For individual transcripts, visit thetakeaway.org.
February 26, 2021
After four tumultuous years of the Trump presidency, President Joe Biden promised to put the chaos behind him and return the country to normalcy. While dysfunction and partisan gridlock in Washington were amplified during Trump’s tenure, it existed long before he arrived. Even so, it’s clear that the political divide has become deeper and democracy is more vulnerable than ever. On the final episode of Politics with Amy Walter, Astead Herndon, national political reporter for The New York Times, Adam Serwer, staff writer at The Atlantic, and Susan Glasser, staff writer for The New Yorker, join Amy Walter for a conversation about the future of American politics.
One of the takeaways from the 2016 election was to constantly question our assumptions about voting behavior. Democratic dominance in the so-called Blue Wall states of the midwest is no longer assured and neither is the GOP hold on states like Arizona, Georgia, and Texas. Even so, the assumptions about demographics, specifically the role that race has on voting preferences, continue. For years, conventional wisdom suggested that higher overall turnout would result in more wins for Democrats. And while Biden won seven million more votes than Trump, he only carried the electoral college by around 40,000 votes. Record turnout helped Democrats win in Georgia, but it also helped Republicans hold onto vulnerable Senate seats in Iowa and North Carolina.
Chryl Laird, assistant professor of government and legal studies at Bowdoin College, Julia Azari, associate professor of political science at Marquette University, and Mark Hugo Lopez, director of global migration and democracy research at Pew Research Center, describe the nuances of the electorate and debunk the assumptions we make based on demographics.
Politics with Amy Walter Theme: "Enter the Dragon" by J. Cowit is currently available for free here.
Amy's Final Take
I have had the great privilege and honor to host this show every week for the last 2 and a half years. And I am so very grateful to those who made this possible - WNYC, PRX, and the amazing team of professionals who work so hard on making sure that we get the best possible product on the air.
Over the last few years, political reporting has become more about generating outrage than seeking to explain. Covering the loudest and most controversial voices, while ignoring those who are doing the work at keeping our democracy alive.
The goal of this show was to be the opposite of all of this. We wanted to help people understand that politics wasn’t meant to be distilled in 140 characters. That curiosity is one of our most valuable - and under appreciated - assets.
That doesn’t mean that I want politics to be neat and clean. It’s messy. And, that’s ok. The more voices in the mix mean that we are hearing from people whose stories were once left out of our political narratives.
But, messy doesn’t have to mean dysfunctional. What we need more than anything in this moment is leadership. Instead of throwing up their hands and saying “well, it’s what people want” or “it’s what the market demands” leaders set boundaries and are willing to be unpopular for doing so.
I also wanted every show to convey a sense of humility and empathy. To
Accept that you don’t always have the answers or that sometimes the people you may not always agree with have some pretty good ideas.
Covering this moment in American politics has been an amazing experience. Thank you for taking this crazy journey with me.
And, while I won’t be at this microphone every week, I will be popping on every now and then to talk with Tanzina about politics and Washington. You can also catch me every Monday on PBS NewsHour or read my weekly column at CookPolitical.com.
I leave you with this: our politics is only as broken as we allow it to be. Show up. Speak up. Listen more, shout less.
February 25, 2021
Visit thetakeaway.org for individual segment pages.
February 24, 2021
Visit thetakeaway.org for individual segments.
February 23, 2021
For individual segment transcripts, visit thetakeaway.org.
February 22, 2021
For transcripts, please visit thetakeaway.org for individual segments.
February 19, 2021
Over the past 25 years, the makeup of newsrooms—and the people covering politics—has changed significantly. As more women and people of color joined the media, newsrooms began to reflect the diversity of America. While newsrooms today are still overwhelmingly white, the lens through which we view politics has evolved largely due to the diversity of opinions. But there's still a long way to go. Amy Walter spoke with Errin Haines, co-founder and editor-at-large for the 19th*, Toluse Olorunnipa, national political Reporter for the Washington Post, and Maya King, political reporter at Politico, about their experiences reporting in an era where race, racism, and our national reckoning have become mainstream conversations.
Both the pandemic and former President Trump’s baseless attacks on voting by mail underscored the importance of election administrators and volunteers. As election officials attempted to run smooth and fair elections, they also had to combat the spread of misinformation, much of which was instigated by former President Trump. Even after a year like 2020, these individuals remain dedicated to administering future elections and safeguarding our democracy. Damon Circosta, chair of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, Katie Hobbs, Arizona Secretary of State, and Evan Malbrough, founder of the Georgia Youth Poll Worker Project and Puffin Democracy fellow with the Andrew Goodman Foundation, reflect on the 2020 election cycle. Plus, Gabriel Sterling, chief operating officer and chief financial officer for the Secretary of State of Georgia, shares what it was like to face the real-time consequences of former President Trump’s lies about the results of the general election.
Former President Trump’s norm-defying presidency caused many to question the roles institutions play in checking the power of the executive branch. The lies Donald Trump created and amplified about the integrity of our elections meant that millions of Americans doubted the final result. Suzanne Spaulding, senior adviser for homeland security and director of the Defending Democratic Institutions project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, describes how prepared social media networks and other institutions were to combat misinformation related to the election in 2020 and how that compared to 2016.
February 18, 2021
For transcripts, please see individual segment pages at thetakeaway.org.
Some music in this episode by Asad Waheed.