The New York Times Unveils Another Politics Podcast, Called The New Washington

It's a limited-run program

NYT breakout podcast hit The Daily gets its own spinoff with The New Washington. Unlike The Daily, The New Washington is a weekly show with a limited run that will last through the fall, and will feature interviews with politicians and Washington types as well as analysis from Times reporters sorting through what this new Washington is all about.

“The story of Washington right now is filled with characters, characters that we are all talking about. Cabinet secretaries and political aides have become household names,” The Daily host Michael Barbaro explains in the intro to the first episode. “Steve Bannon. Betsy DeVos. Scott Pruitt. Jared Kushner. They are remaking Washington. They are the new Washington. We know their nicknames, we know their rivalries, but we don’t know them, or their motivations. That’s why The Daily is launching a new series, The New Washington.”

The first episode features Barbaro interviewing New York Times chief Washington correspondent Carl Hulse. It is Hulse who will be doing most of the interviews in subsequent episodes; Barbaro may make occasional appearances in the future.

The pair get to the Washington characters early in the episode with a “lightning round” in which Hulse provides brief impressions to the names prompted by Barbaro.

Here’s Hulse on Sen. Mitch McConnell:

Senator McConnell is famous for walking through the hallways and refusing to acknowledge questions from reporters, and he told me once that when he was a junior senator and he’d come out of a lunch and then see all the reporters chase the other senators that he was so jealous, that he wished he could be the guy that they, reporters, were all trying to track down and ask questions. Now he is that guy and he wants nothing to do with us.

Hulse also talked about how podcasts can change not just the form journalism takes, but the reporting, too:

One of the advantages of the things you’re doing with these podcasts, and I’ve discovered this with lawmakers–if you give them a chance to talk and they know that a lot of their words are going to be used, they can be forthcoming. It’s a situation that’s different where I’m going to sit there and scribble down a few notes and take some quotes and put it in the paper, and I get to select those quotes, and I get to select what comes ahead of that quote or after that quote. I have found that if you give them a chance and you’re going to sit them down and have an intelligent conversation in front of a microphone, that they are willing to talk, but you have to give them a little room.