In Wake of 2016 Election, Former Obama Staffers Launch Crooked Media
Today former Obama White House staff members, Tommy Vietor, Jon Favreau, and Jon Lovett announced the launch of their new media company, Crooked Media. The trio formerly hosted the podcast “Keepin’ It 1600,” which was published on Bill Simmons’ sports, tech, and pop culture site The Ringer. Now that podcast will be reimagined as “Pod Save America” and will place a greater focus on political advocacy, rather than punditry. Vietor was formerly President Obama’s national security spokesperson. Favreau was Obama’s former chief speechwriter, and Lovett was also an Obama speechwriter.
Vietor told The Daily Beast that the result of the 2016 presidential election spurred the company’s launch. “If Hillary Clinton had won the election, like we all wrongly prognosticated, I think all of us would have been content to keep doing this as a hobby,” said Vietor. “But that night changed things for a lot of people, us included. I woke up feeling like sitting on the sidelines wasn’t an option anymore.” Vietor added that one of the site’s goals is to inspire voters to more actively participate in the political process and help shape government policy.
Eventually Crooked Media will launch other podcasts, video, and develop original content. Although the founders readily admit that they are not journalists and that they are biased in their political views, they promise readers a “no-bullshit conversation” about politics in America.
“We know this is hard and we're throwing ourselves into something we have no background in,” Vietor told Politico in a recent interview. “We're doing this with a lot of humility but it feels right to try."
All three founders will work on Crooked Media full-time. Dan Pfeiffer, the fourth host of “Keepin’ It 1600,” will continue as VP of communications and policy at GoFundMe and will join the other hosts on “Pod Save America” once a week.