What Next

The “Grooming” Panic’s Real Origins

The Respect for Marriage Act was signed against a backdrop of violent threats being leveled at the LGBTQ community—what’s behind the backlash?


Episode Notes

For decades it felt like society was growing more accepting of the LGBTQ community, but in the past few years, hospitals have faced bomb threats, drag story hours have been beset by armed protesters, and queer spaces have been violently targeted. What happened?

Guest: David Mack, senior breaking news reporter for Buzzfeed News.

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Podcast production by Elena Schwartz, Carmel Delshad, and Madeline Ducharme, with help from Anna Phillips, Tori Dominguez, and Jared Downing.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.