According to one of the most liberal newspapers in the country, one of the most popular liberal podcasts on the internet will be getting more attention this year, thanks to help from one of the most liberal channels on television. The New York Times wrote February 8 that HBO will be broadcasting a special series of “Pod Save America” to air later this year, surrounding the 2018 midterms.
Originally inspired by the election of President Trump, the extremely partisan bi-weekly show started in January 2017 and is hosted by several young former Obama staffers, from speechwriter Jon Favreau, to fellow aides Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor. Radical feminist Erin Gloria Ryan has also hosted the podcast in recent months.
The Times warmly described the show as “a refuge to liberal Americans during the beginning of the Trump era,” crediting its success to the liberal rage directed at Trump’s presidency. The paper puts the relatively young show in the ranks of MSNBC and longtime comedian Stephen Colbert:
In keeping with how Donald J. Trump’s victory has upended much of the media world — Stephen Colbert is the most-watched host in late night, MSNBC has seen a huge ratings surge — “Pod Save America” averages around 1.5 million listeners a show. HBO made the deal with Crooked Media, the media company founded by Mr. Favreau, Mr. Lovett and Mr. Vietor.
The Times has fawned over the liberal show several times before in its relatively short existence. Just three months after its debut, the paper praised the show as one of the “big breakout hits of the nascent resistance movement.” Last November, NYT Magazine writer Jason Zengerle again devoted an entire splashy writeup to the show, calling it the left’s answer to conservative talk radio.
Even before their show was brought into being, the podcast hosts were already on the media’s side, simply by their association to their former boss. As Favreau left the White House at the end of Obama’s first term, NBC’s Today show sat down with the speechwriter to gush over his “words that made history,” in a fawning interview.
Favreau, Lovett, Pfeiffer and Vietor have since made appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Late Night with Seth Meyers and Chelsea Handler's show on Netflix. They have taken their show on the road in recent months, speaking to large auditoriums with celebrity guests, from musician John Legend to late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel recently made headlines after he told the hosts at a live broadcast, that late night hosts were all liberals because the it required “a measure of intelligence.”