We’re almost halfway through the year, and there are already a variety of fantastic new podcasts in 2022. From historic deep dives to dishy chatcasts, there’s something for everyone to choose from.
You get a podcast, and you get a podcast! Everybody gets a podcast! On “Oprahdemics,” historians Kellie Carter Jackson and Leah Wright Rigueur unpack Oprah Winfrey’s lasting legacy and her most iconic moments. Taking on Oprah as an academic subject has led the hosts to discussions on the pageantry of Oprah’s 50th birthday, the complicated legacy of her Leadership Academy for Girls, her support of Black women writers, her response to the 1992 Los Angeles riots and so much more.
What would happen if the dead could speak? Would it change how you viewed life and death? On “Ghost Church,” Jamie Loftus explores the history of spiritualism in America. The podcast mixes Loftus’s visit to the spiritualist community of Cassadega, Florida, with the story of the Fox sisters, two young girls who popularized American spiritualism in the 1800s. Depending on how you view it, it could be a show about the birth and decline of a religion – or a show about spiritual fraudsters. Loftus leaves it up to the listener’s interpretation, but not without getting some jokes in there first. If you like “Ghost Church,” try Loftus’s other podcasts, “My Year in Mensa,” “Aack Cast” and “Lolita Podcast.”
Sometimes it can seem like everyone is running some sort of scam. On “Scamfluencers,” hosts Scaachi Koul and Sarah Hagi tell the stories of scammers like a wannabe Hollywood actor who ran a Ponzi scheme, a teenage “doctor” with no degree, a woman who adopted 51 children and more. The stories can get dark at times, but Koul and Hagi remain lighthearted without being disrespectful.
Tiffany Dover isn’t dead, but a lot of people think she is. On “Tiffany Dover is Dead,” NBC reporter Brandy Zadrozny uncovers the story of Tiffany Dover, a nurse who briefly fainted after receiving her first COVID vaccine on live television. After Dover’s appearance, conspiracy theorists started to spread online rumors that the shot had killed her. Zadrozny explores where this misinformation came from and how it spread so quickly in anti-vaccine communities. She also tries to track down Dover herself, who hasn’t posted online since her fainting spell went viral. “Tiffany Dover is Dead” is about the origins of misinformation, the dangers of being online and the quest for truth.
On “Things Fell Apart,” journalist Jon Ronson tells the origin stories of eight different “culture wars,” in American history. Ronson covers stories like the Satanic panic, the first person to be shamed online, the fight over school textbooks, students bullying each other on a racist Snapchat group and more. Although these stories might seem completely different at first, it slowly becomes apparent that they are all intertwined.
The one thing about wild animals is that they’re always going to be wild. “Wild Things: Siegfried & Roy” tells the story of the famous magicians who worked with white tigers and lions. It details their meteoric rise and the disastrous events of October 3, 2003, when the white tiger Mantacore attacked Roy Horn onstage, in front of a live audience. In the aftermath of the attack, people start pointing fingers. On “Wild Things: Siegfried & Roy,” host Steven Leckart tries to figure out what went wrong.
For more podcast recommendations, check out the full Podcast Pulse archives.
Do you listen to podcasts? Do you have any favorite new shows? Tell us about them in the comments below.