Update on The Popehat Podcast

I've written about it before, and I teased it in yesterday's flag burning post, but a Popehat podcast is getting closer. (I know, I said that last December.)

I have all the content ready for the first episode. I've been listening to a lot more podcasts and have gotten more of a sense of what I want to do with it.

Tentatively it will be titled "Make No Law: The Popehat Free Speech Podcast." It will focus on free speech issues, defined very broadly to include both legal and cultural questions. The first episode — "Fighting Words" — will delve into Chaplinksky v. New Hampshire, some surprising facts about the case that put quite a different spin on it, and how it is inseparable from another burning First Amendment question of that era — the right to refuse to say the Pledge of Allegiance. First episode will be just me, but in future episodes I hope to include co-bloggers, guests, and interviews. Links to supporting written material will be provided on posts that appear here when the podcasts are released. It will be on iTunes.

The biggest barrier for me right now is the production aspect. I need recommendations for someone who can do some art to use for the Podcast (the logo, splash page, etc.). Also, through I have the equipment and software to record, I find the process of editing and finding and adding music and bumpers to be completely mysterious, so recommendations to indie producers (or companies that might take the podcast on) would be appreciated. Also there's the problem that, since my tape-recorded project on Venus in 1977, I've always found my own voice to be insufferable, but there's probably not much you can do about that.

FWIW, some of the podcasts that I like the most, and most inspire me to enter the field, include History of the World in 100 Objects, Criminal, Stranglers, History of the English Language, Lore, and Rex Factor.

All input welcomed, here or at ken at popehat dot com.

Last 5 posts by Ken White


  1. Lagaya1 says

    Well, If you can get Allie from Rex Factor to join you and ask all the layperson questions, you've got a winner!

  2. Dan says

    Looking forward to hearing your voice. I assume it's low, soft, and sweet, like Garrison Keillor dipped in molasses. Randazza, presumably, sounds like Gilbert Gottfried…

    Everyone hates their own recorded voice. I even hate my brother's voice because it sounds too much like a recording of me….

  3. Ronald says

    Corey Doctrow had an independent audio engineer do some of that stuff for his podcast. Corey has worked on and off for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and also is a science fiction author and blogger.

  4. David Lang says

    Please also provide a transcript. Speech is too slow an information transfer mechanism for me, I almost never watch any podcasts.

  5. Robert Reese says

    Despite it being a major part of my degree, I'm passable at graphic design. I'm pretty good with audio editing, though. I'm happy to offer help with whatever you'd like as a way to give back. You rock, Ken.


  6. TheHaywardFault says

    Literally everyone finds the recorded sound of their own voice off-putting. It's because it's not filtered through our skulls into our ears. I've done audio editing for my own amateur whatsits and I tell you surely that you don't want to go down that road if you can. Get someone else to do it for you. Money can be exchanged for goods and services.

  7. PA says

    Can't wait for your Podcast to arrive – it's like Christmas! Oh, yeah, well….never mind. Several people I know have trouble reading long blogs, for a number of quite good reasons. Podcasts would be perfect for them. Any non-technical help I can provide, just ask.

  8. VisserThree says

    When it comes to editing, would that be paid work? I know someone I would trust to do that, and could turn it over to him, but he does have a lot to do so could only take assignment if it was monetary.

  9. says

    Please, use equalization and compression on your vocals. Then listen to the recorded product and make adjustments. You don't want vocals that are thin, trebly, and nasal. You can do quite a lot with a simple equalizer and a touch of compression. It might take a while to get it to sound like you want, but you can save the settings and have it ready to go.

  10. darius404 says

    Matt Welch, Michael Moynihan, and Kmele Foster do a podcast together called the Fifth Column. It's entirely run by them, I'd give theirs a listen if I were you, it's the best podcast I've ever heard (most amateur podcasts are pretty awful).

  11. rovingbroker says

    David Lang wrote, "I almost never watch any podcasts."

    I also find it difficult to watch podcasts.

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