American Fever Dream

American Fever Dream
From under the desk to in your ears, V. Spehar joins Betches Media in a new podcast dedicated to curing the collective malaise brought on by our chaotic political environment. Every week, Spehar and co-host Sami Saage will tenderly guide you through the biggest moments in politics and pop culture with a healing dose of perspective and humor. Rather than spiral over the latest unprecedented event, the hosts dig for the 2024 political tea you *really* want to hear while offering all the information you need to be an empowered citizen, without the side of despair to keep you up at night.

Latest Episodes

Where to Start

Friday, April 12th, 2024

Today’s Headlines: In Arizona, Republican lawmakers blocked a bill aimed at repealing the state's 1864 abortion ban, with one Republican briefly supporting the repeal before a colleague moved to adjourn, effectively stalling the vote. Meanwhile, the Biden administration announced a major gun control measure, closing the gun show loophole and requiring all gun dealers to obtain federal licenses and conduct background checks regardless of where they sell firearms. However, in Tennessee, the state senate advanced a bill allowing teachers to be armed in public schools, prompting outrage from gun control advocates and families of shooting victims. Additionally, OJ Simpson passed away after battling prostate cancer, just two months after claiming he was in good health. Finally, as if election year politics weren't enough, a double cicada year is upon us, with two broods of periodical cicadas emerging across the midwest, southeast, and Illinois, promising an onslaught of relentless buzzing. Resources/Articles mentioned in this episode: Axios: Arizona update, republicans blocked bill to repeal ban Reuters: Biden admin closed ‘gun show loophole and require more background checks’  MSNBC: GOP-led Tennessee Senate advances bill to arm teachers without informing parents People: OJ dead at 76 The Hill: Trump faces do-or-die moment with hush money trial CBS News: Periodical cicadas will emerge in 2024 Morning Announcements is produced by Sami Sage alongside Bridget Schwartz and edited by Grace Hernandez-Johnson

Thursday, April 11th, 2024

Today’s Headlines: House Republicans, led by Matt Gaetz, sabotaged a procedural vote to start debate on the reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, citing concerns over an exclusionary amendment that Trump claimed would protect Americans but others argued would dismantle the program. By blocking the debate, any chance to advocate for the amendment was effectively quashed. Meanwhile, Kevin McCarthy hinted during an interview at Georgetown University that Gaetz's actions contributed to him losing the chance to become Speaker, referencing allegations of unethical behavior involving a 17-year-old. In other news, a shooting during a Ramadan event in West Philadelphia left three injured, including the 15-year-old suspect who was subsequently apprehended by police. Additionally, Donald Trump stated he wouldn't endorse a national abortion ban, while South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem faced backlash from Native American tribes for offensive comments, and the New York state director for RFK Jr’s campaign openly discussed diverting votes from Biden in favor of Trump. Sunday’s Women’s NCAA Basketball National Championship game became the most watched basketball game since 2019.  Resources/Articles mentioned in this episode: The Hill: Group of Republicans blocks FISA bill with spy powers deadline looming Axios: McCarthy takes shot at Gaetz scandal when discussing his ouster CBS News: Shooting at Ramadan event in West Philadelphia leaves 3 injured, 5 in custody, police say The Hill: Trump says he wouldn’t sign a national abortion ban The Daily Beast: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem Is Now Banished From 10 Percent of Her Own State Politico: RFK Jr. ballot access consultant promotes strategy to throw the election to Trump Forbes: NCAA Women's Basketball Championship Game Audience Peaked At 24 Million, Ending A Record-Breaking Tournament Morning Announcements is produced by Sami Sage alongside Bridget Schwartz and edited by Grace Hernandez-Johnson

Wednesday, April 10th, 2024

Today’s Headlines: ​​Arizona's Supreme Court upheld a near-total abortion ban, initially enacted in 1864, which makes nearly all abortion procedures illegal, without exceptions for rape or incest, to be enforced within 45 days. However, efforts to counteract this ban are already in motion, with plans to amend the state constitution directly on the November ballot to safeguard abortion rights, gathering significant support with over 500,000 signatures. In a separate development, concerns have been raised by Republican congressmen about the infiltration of Kremlin propaganda within their own party, highlighting the broader challenge of combating foreign influence and misinformation within the American political landscape. Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced new regulations targeting toxic pollution from over 200 chemical plants across the United States, aiming to reduce the risk of cancer for nearby communities. In court case updates, James and Jennifer Crumbley were sentenced to 10-15 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter charges related to their son Ethan Crumbley's mass shooting, where he killed four classmates and received a life sentence without parole while The European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of over 2,000 Swiss women who sued the government for failing to address climate change adequately, potentially forcing Switzerland to reduce fossil fuel consumption and Donald Trump's attempt to sue Judge Juan Merchan to delay his campaign finance trial was denied. Finally, Cowboy Carter made Beyoncé the first Black woman to top Billboard's country albums chart since its inception in 1964. Resources/Articles mentioned in this episode: NPR: The Arizona Supreme Court allows a near-total abortion ban to take effect soon NBC News: GOP Rep. Mike Turner: Russian propaganda is 'being uttered on the House floor' NY Times: To Cut Cancer Risks, E.P.A. Limits Pollution From Chemical Plants NBC News: Parents of Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley both sentenced to 10-15 years for involuntary manslaughter CNN: International court rules Switzerland violated human rights in landmark climate case brought by 2000 women Axios: Earth has its warmest March on record, beating 2023's milestone CNN: Appeals judge denies Trump’s request to delay start of hush money trial so he can challenge gag order AP News: Beyoncé becomes first Black woman to hit No. 1 on Billboard country albums chart Morning Announcements is produced by Sami Sage alongside Bridget Schwartz and edited by Grace Hernandez-Johnson

The Hosts

Sami Sage
Sami Sage is the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Betches. She’s the host of the @Betches and Morning Announcements podcasts and in her spare time likes to scroll on her phone and stare at her dogs, Bruce Bader Ginsburg and Larry David.
V. Spehar (They/Them)
Vitus “V” Spehar is an accomplished TikToker, political advocate, and host of the newest podcast from Betches Media. Their signature brand, Under The Desk News, started out as a series expanding on news events in a nutshell and quickly became GenZ and Millennials go-to source for news. V’s in-depth citizen journalism led them to collaborate with notable figures like former President Obama, President Biden and more than a dozen members of Congress to inform their massive audience in a sustainable way while pushing for civic participation.

Featured Guests

Katie Couric
Tammy Duckworth
Kirsten Gillibrand


My favorite way to get the news
“Just the vibe I need to hear troubling news in a crazy world”
Informative and fun to digest
“This podcast is amazing! With the news constantly being such a drag, it’s great to have a safe place to learn what’s going on, with a side of comic relief. Can’t recommend it enough!”
Digestible and entertaining
“I’m a news junkie and I work in media. The Sup is one of my favorites. They’re incredibly entertaining, relatable, and knowledgeable. They make news concepts digestible and reach out to a broader audience than many traditional media organizations do.”