It’s not just a new president starting in 2017. The team behind the popular Keepin’ It 1600 political podcast launched a new online media company Monday with the timely name Crooked Media.
It comes with a new podcast, called Pod Saves America, which features political commentary from the same team as The Ringer‘s Keepin’ It 1600. That show was hosted by several former Barack Obama aides and speechwriters: Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor.
In a phone call with Mashable Monday afternoon, all three hosts talked about their new show and site while driving to a media interview in Los Angeles. Vietor called the new podcast a reprise of their old show with the same hosts and “very similar tones.”
He explained how the new site came together after Hillary Clinton’s loss, much to their surprise. With Donald Trump’s presidency on the horizon, the trio decided the next day they couldn’t miss this opportunity.
“The conversation about politics in this country is broken,” Vietor said.
While not vehemently anti-Trump (though the name of the site is a take on Trump’s blatant attacks on the media industry), Vietor said it’s clear where the three stand on issues and who they’ve worked for (Obama, Clinton and other Democratic offices).
Prior to the election it was well known that I have interests in properties all over the world.Only the crooked media makes this a big deal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016
That’s part of what prompted them to leave The Ringer, which they have credited (along with the site’s founder Bill Simmons) for giving their first show such a large audience — they wanted to take on a more activist approach to covering politics and show people how they can get involved. Plus they aren’t shying away from their biases and partisan ideas.
But this podcast won’t just be an echo chamber.
“We want to have conversations with anyone willing to have an honest conversation,” Vietor said. “We just refuse to have some awful talking-point debate with a Trump supporter.” They plan to bring in Republicans and others, not just die-hard Obama and Clinton fans. “We want to have our points of view challenged,” he added.
They are self-funding the project for now, but are looking into possible investors. Vietor said 1600 would have kept going if Election Day had turned out a bit differently. “If (Clinton) had won we would have kept this as a hobby.”
Instead, this is a full-time effort and the three are back in action with shows every Monday and Thursday.
The first episode is up and ready for listening.