The Gist
The Gist

Do the Best and Brightest Ever Become President?

Elliott Kalan used to be the head writer for The Daily Show. Now, he studies presidents. And guess what: Most of them weren’t very good.

Oct. 20 2016 12:17 PMCirque du DebateWelcome, fellow voters, to the Punch and Judy show.
Oct. 19 2016 6:07 PMJill Stein Pitches a Green Foreign PolicyThe Green Party presidential candidate says de-escalating tensions with Russia should be our top priority. And neither major party candidate is up to the job.
Oct. 18 2016 7:03 PMHow Do You Prep to Debate a Dumpster Fire?Jonathan Prince has coached several Democratic candidates before major debates. Here’s his advice for Hillary Clinton.
Oct. 14 2016 7:57 PMInside Late Night With Amber RuffinThe sketch writers sit here, the monologue writers sit there, and someone is probably wearing a dinosaur costume.
Oct. 12 2016 7:31 PMYour Food Will Be Ready When You Look Hungry EnoughDan Pashman from The Sporkful compares the long lines of a legendary pizza place in Brooklyn and an exalted sausage joint in Chicago. Does a long wait enhance a meal?
Oct. 7 2016 7:17 PMPhoebe Robinson Will Teach You How to BaeThe comedian, podcaster, and author of You Can’t Touch My Hair on collaboration, cultural sensitivity, and Queens versus the Bronx.
Oct. 5 2016 7:05 PMWhy Do We Use BMI to Measure Health?Body mass index is imperfect. Is there a better way? We asked Maria Konnikova.
Oct. 3 2016 6:43 PMHow Bad Is the Trump Tax Leak?Tax expert Philip Hackney on Trump’s billion-dollar write-down.
Sept. 29 2016 6:30 PMThe Rules According to Malcolm GladwellWhat was young Malcolm like? He obsessed over ad slogans. He collected car brochures. And he insisted on being every board game’s explainer in chief. 
Sept. 27 2016 5:45 PMWhere’s the Beef in Trump’s Ground Game?Donald Trump’s get-out-the-vote effort defies convention. Then again, so does the entire 2016 presidential campaign.
Sept. 26 2016 7:34 PMThis Debate Is Not the Super BowlThe first presidential debate may be spectacular, but it lacks the final, unspinnable outcome of a sporting event.  
Sept. 22 2016 6:21 PMA How-Not-To Manual for PresidentsAmerica’s 15th president was a committed waffler: James Buchanan refused to take a stance on the country’s wide-open question of slavery and helped usher in the Civil War.
Sept. 20 2016 8:09 PMMaureen Dowd Wants a Candidate Like H.W. AgainThe New York Times columnist on her new book, The Year of Voting Dangerously, and what we’re missing about Donald Trump
Sept. 16 2016 6:27 PM“Mrs. Robinson,” “Hey Jude,” and Some Utter Schlock1968 was a year of protest and political upheaval, but the Billboard charts were dominated by novelty hits and a singing Herb Alpert.
Sept. 14 2016 7:47 PMAre Southpaws Really Criminals?Maria Konnikova on what being right- or left-handed determines. Plus, Mike finds the one U.S. voter who likes both Clinton and Trump.
Oct. 20 2016 10:33 AMNow, Slate Plus Members Can Get More of The Gist With Bonus Segments!Listen to Mike Pesca’s inaugural bonus segment for the show.
Oct. 19 2016 2:52 PM“We Are on the Verge of a Nuclear War”Jill Stein on why peace is more likely under Trump and the threat of an emerging Demo-Republican party.
Oct. 17 2016 8:36 PMThe Secret Rhetorical Genius of Donald TrumpAhead of the final debate, we check in with Jennifer Mercieca, an academic with the unenviable job of studying how Donald Trump uses language.
Oct. 13 2016 6:23 PMWhy Don’t More Women Run for Congress? Some people say there’s a bias against women running for political office. So gender and politics scholar Jennifer Lawless went looking for it.
Oct. 11 2016 6:31 PMWhere Do Republicans Go From Here?The National Review’s Reihan Salam looks at the conservative movement’s future after Donald Trump.
Oct. 6 2016 7:29 PMFact-Checking Won’t Stop Trump   The Republican nominee is saying a falsehood every five minutes. Brendan Nyhan from Dartmouth College weighs in on the failure of fact-checking in the 2016 election.
Oct. 4 2016 7:22 PMInvestigating Long Island’s Not-DeplorablesIn WNYC’s “United States of Anxiety” series, Arun Venugopal explores the real people supporting Trump in the New York suburbs.
Sept. 30 2016 6:37 PMWho Called Off the Pretension Police?Simon Doonan and Mike wonder if, in the last 20 years, we’ve seen a decline in the negativity around pretentiousness.
Sept. 28 2016 6:14 PMA Budding Storyteller Turns In His “Homework for Life”Moth champion Matthew Dicks hears from a Gist listener who took his top storytelling tip to heart: Jot down one idea every day.
Sept. 27 2016 12:34 PMThis Is How Poorly Trump CommunicatesEven his supporters struggle to make sense of his word salad.
Sept. 24 2016 9:05 AMIs Your Favorite World Oddity Wondrous Enough for Atlas Obscura?Atlas Obscura’s first printed book is your guide to Cincinnati’s lost subway, Sweden’s nose museum, and the salt-cured mummies of Iran.
Sept. 21 2016 6:03 PMHow Filmmakers Faked the Moon Landing Inside Real NASA  Matt Johnson and Matthew Miller tricked America’s space agency into helping them with the new conspiracy mockumentary, Operation Avalanche.
Sept. 19 2016 7:20 PMHow Do We Fix Down-Ballot Elections?Gerrymandering, bathroom bills, and the Koch brothers: Reid Wilson walks us through the state of state and local races.
Sept. 15 2016 6:44 PMThe Great Tightening, ExplainedRecent polls show the gap between Clinton and Trump is closing, but one FiveThirtyEight analyst says Clinton still has a hefty lead.
Sept. 13 2016 7:53 PMHillary’s Campaign Manager on Pneumonia, Voters, and StrategyRobby Mook talks about Hillary Clinton’s tough week and the struggle to pin down Trump. Plus, the rise and fall of jai alai.