Hi, Portlanders. It’s your friends at Willamette Week, and we would like to say that you should listen to the latest episode of our podcast. It’s pretty cool.

This week, we are joined by U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley. If you’ve listened to the show before, your immediate response is probably: “OK, Merkley and who else?” While we normally have two interviews, this week we forswore normalcy and chose to play you a longer taping of our interview with Merkley.

Why? Because it’s fun.

On this episode of the Dive podcast, we ask Merkley about climate change, COVID-19, police reform and a lot more.

I’m gonna speak candidly for a minute with you; We’re all friends here. Usually, politicians are really boring. You ask them a question and they speak quickly for three minutes and you realize that while they said so much, they also said so little. It’s almost like they see these interviews like Bridge Pedal. No matter how slow you go or how few bridges you ride, you get the same consolation prize as the first person across the finish line. That’s to say, a lot of politicians treat interviews like, “As long as I get through the 30 minutes, it will be a good interview,” and yet the listener is stuck here thinking “Wow, I could have watched an episode of Schitt’s Creek and instead I listened to some guy discuss the merits of both sides of an argument.”

That is not this interview, and that is not Jeff Merkley. Full disclosure, Merkley’s team is not paying me to say this. But I think if you listen, you will find one of the most frank politicians out there talking to me—one of the most mediocre question askers of all time. Give it a listen, it’s way better than Schitt’s Creek.

Also, give our cover story a read if you haven’t already.

Listen on Spotify.

Listen on Apple Podcast.