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Husband and wife duo behind podcast about Sunday political shows hits 250 episodes

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Every Sunday morning, politicians and public figures "Meet The Press" or "Face The Nation," discuss "This Week," appear on "Fox News Sunday."

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

And every week, one husband and wife duo watches all the political talk shows and makes a podcast about them.

(SOUNDBITE OF PODCAST, "POLILOGUE")

NAOMI SOTO: Hello and welcome to "Polilogue," a weekly dialogue on the substance and style of the Sunday morning political shows.

SHAPIRO: That's Naomi Soto. She and her co-host husband, Brendan Steidle, have produced "Polilogue," a combination of politics and dialogue, every week since 2017. That's also the same year they got married.

BRENDAN STEIDLE: After the wedding, we were on our honeymoon, and we said, well, that wedding project's gone. We've got to come up with something else to work on. And we had this idea for the podcast.

KELLY: The show was born out of their unhappiness with coverage of the 2016 election cycle.

SOTO: There were just a lot of journalistic changes and institutional decisions that were being made, and we felt like nobody was really talking about the role of the media in decisions, you know, media organizations were making.

SHAPIRO: So they created the show they were craving to hear all for fun.

STEIDLE: On Sundays - we did the math - it takes 8 to 9 hours to put the show together.

SOTO: We get it posted late, late Sunday night.

STEIDLE: Yeah, usually 2 or 3 a.m.

SOTO: (Laughter) Yeah. The goal is to get it out before, you know, Monday morning commutes on the East Coast.

KELLY: And all this while parenting their 15-month-old daughter and preparing for their actual jobs. Steidle says after years of criticizing panels that mix journalists and pundits...

(SOUNDBITE OF PODCAST, "POLILOGUE")

SOTO: Yeah.

STEIDLE: It gets very confusing...

SOTO: Because literally...

STEIDLE: ...As a viewer. Like, you know what to expect...

SHAPIRO: Or bad questions asked by hosts.

(SOUNDBITE OF PODCAST, "POLILOGUE")

SOTO: It seems almost trolly, his question, is my frustration. He's...

KELLY: They've learned that the Sunday shows still have immense value because they provide a platform to hear from newsmakers for an extended period of time.

SHAPIRO: Steidle says the shows have also changed a lot over the years.

STEIDLE: For example, the panels - when the pandemic happened, almost all the Sunday shows canceled their political panels because they recognized that they needed to provide real value and context for the viewer of what the heck was going on and that people arguing over, you know, this is how the Democrats see it or this is how the Republicans see it is - was not a good use of airtime.

KELLY: The question remains - has the podcast been a good use of their time or good for their marriage?

SOTO: It's forced us to be really active listeners. And, you know, it's one thing to say to, like, respect the other opinion, right? But then to have to do it every week on the mic with your spouse, I think, is always - you know, it's such a challenge.

STEIDLE: Yeah. And it's made me respect things that I wouldn't have seen but Naomi sees and those qualities that, you know, come out in that sort of joint venture that you might not see when you're, you know, talking about who's going to wash the dishes.

SHAPIRO: And as of last Sunday, Soto and Steidle have produced 250 episodes of "Polilogue" and managed to do the dishes.

(SOUNDBITE OF SLOW SIX'S "THESE RIVERS BETWEEN US") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.