Bad Watchdog

In this award-winning investigative podcast, host Maren Machles explores how accountability failures in Washington D.C. impact the lives of people all over the country, and she showcases the investigators, experts, and activists who keep our government working for the people. 

In the second season, Maren and POGO’s investigative reporters take a look at the Department of Homeland Security. They trace how an agency established to protect the nation from security threats has doubled down on detaining migrants,  sometimes in horrifying conditions, while failing to address the more immediate security threat caused by far-right extremism — even within the agency’s own ranks.

In the first season, Maren focused on the department’s Office of Inspector General, revealing a shocking pattern of misconduct that resulted in a failure to investigate some of the most troubling events in recent history. 

In 2024, Bad Watchdog won a silver medal for investigative journalism podcasting at the New York Festivals Radio Awards and was nominated for the Ambie Awards' Best Politics or Opinion Podcast. 

If you enjoy Bad Watchdog, consider signing up for emails from the Project On Government Oversight to learn more about POGO’s mission and work. 

Bad Watchdog is a member of the Airwave Media network and a part of The Democracy Group, a network of podcasts that examines what’s broken in our democracy and how we can work together to fix it.

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Bad Watchdog Episode 2: The Tip of the Iceberg

Bad Watchdog Episode 2: The Tip of the Iceberg

Government forces teargassed a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters gathered in Lafayette Square, across the street from the White...

January 26, 2023 | Podcast

Podcast Series Trailer: Bad Watchdog

Podcast Series Trailer: Bad Watchdog

What happens when the watchdog tasked with overseeing the most powerful law enforcement agency in the country doesn’t do its...

January 18, 2023 | Podcast