The Positively Dreadful podcast is on a mission to keep everyone engaged with the news. It comes with the understanding that the news can make people feel anxious and detached. Yet, something within a story should always make people think differently. Brian Beutler, the chief editor of Crooked Media, hosts the podcast. Before this job, he was a writer and reporter for various news sites. He's passionate about finding the balance between optimism and cynicism.
Each week, on Positively Dreadful, Brian discusses a different news story, from Roe v. Wade to what's new on social media. "Disorganized crime" is the topic of conversation in one episode. Brian discusses Washington, DC, and how it's changed over time. Changes include levels of crime and the affordability of housing. A desire to change the criminal code has gone from a local decision by the mayor to President Joe Biden. Brian talks to Slate writer Mark Joseph Stern to find out more.
Another podcast episode, "We'd Like To Spank The Academy," focuses on the film industry. Brian asks listeners not to expect a recap on the latest award ceremonies. This episode reviews how the industry has changed due in part to streaming services and the impact of the pandemic.
Brian believes in the benefits of creating a collective viewing experience through film. Following this idea, Brian and his team have made new award categories and share their honest reviews on the latest films. Categories include "the best mom in movies this year" and "most overhyped movie." They discuss opinions on representation and the latest trends.
Positively Dreadful reviews interesting and complicated news stories. "Press This Mess" is about the accountability of the media and asks the question: can we fix it? "TikTok Dirty To Me" investigates the popular social media app. Is it right to ban the app? Is it influencing political elections? Each episode offers an insightful and informative debate on current topics. New episodes debut each week.