Tech-savvy folks make podcast picks, from 'Hall of Shame' to 'Dirty John'

Photo of Joe Amarante

I’ve been slow coming around to podcasts, mainly because I prefer to hear the sounds of the everyday world instead of drifting through it with earphones constantly. Maybe I’d be a bigger fan if I was younger, had more long airline flights or a daily commute of more than a half-hour. (Lately, the commute involves walking upstairs to the home office.)

But podcasts and everything else digital have gained added importance during this time of social distancing and isolation, and they do go well with getting simple chores done, so I consulted with a few folks under 35 and here’s what they recommend for 2020 podcasts:

Crooked Media has a few podcasts, including “Pod Save America,” “Keep It” and “Hall of Shame.” A recent “Pod Save” talked about having to cancel the live version of the podcasts through May and President Trump’s failings as a leader during the pandemic.

Actor Justin Long of Fairfield has a lively podcast called “Life is Short.”

Barstool Sports, a sports and pop culture blog that has visited a few area pizza places for segments in the past year or so, was founded by Dave Portnoy in Milton, Massachusetts, in 2003. The online outfit’s “Pardon My Take” is a comedic, thrice-a-week podcast hosted by Dan Katz that is popular with “college bro’s,” I’m told.

“My Favorite Murder” is a true-crime comedy podcast (odd as that sounds) hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark.

From NPR, there are several good podcasts that began with familiar radio shows, from “Fresh Air” to “Hidden Brain,” “White Lies” and “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.”

Other podcasts, which you can explore through the Podcasts app on your iPhone:

ESPN (remember sports coverage?) has “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” “ESPN Daily” and “30 For 30.”

Favorites of my daughter in the nation’s capital are ones about people’s stories: “Invisibila” and “Serial” (both NPR-related), “Radiolab” (WNYC Studios), “American Scandal” (from Wondery, the podcast network launched by Hernan Lopez in 2016 with backing from Fox), “Dirty John” (L.A. Times/Wondery), “Dr. Death” (also Wondery, about a pschopath doctor), “The Uncertain Hour” (host Krissy Clark takes on one topic a season “to reveal origin stories of our economy”) and “The Dropout” from ABC News, about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos.

And because my kids are into science, I’ll throw in the NPR podcasts “Short Wave” (discoveries, msyteries, the science behind the headlines) and “The Pulse” (health and innovation in science).

Send in your podcast choices (to and we’ll try to showcase more of them next week.