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Jon Favreau was President Obama’s chief speechwriter. In those days, he was a frequent critic of the political media, frustrated, as many in the Obama administration were, with its focus on conflict, on ephemera, on appearing even-handed even when reality was persistently skewed.

Today, Favreau is changing the media from the inside. He’s a co-host on Pod Save America, and co-founder of Crooked Media, both of which have seen tremendous growth in 2017.

In this conversation, we look back on 2017, talk through the first year of the Trump White House (“a day-to-day shitshow”); the Democrats he’s watching for 2020; the mechanics of building a podcast empire; Favreau’s concern about the left (“we need to take the time to persuade other people of what we believe”); and the rot in the Republican Party.

To Favreau, the right-wing media is “the real center of gravity in that party; it’s not the Republicans in Congress, it’s not even really Donald Trump, although I guess you could say that he is, in some ways, a creation of that media machine.”

Books:

What Happened by Hillary Clinton

The News: A User’s Manual by Alain de Botton

All the Truth is Out by Matt Bai

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