10 Best Celebrity Political Endorsements: From Stephen King to Diddy and More

Ahead of Tuesday’s midterm election, celebrities made their closing arguments Sunday for their favorite candidates and causes — or for voting in general.

Stephen King asked Iowans to vote against the like-named Rep. Steve King “for personal reasons”: He said he’s “tired of being confused with this racist dumbbell.”

Iowans, for personal reasons I hope you’ll vote Steve King out. I’m tired of being confused with this racist dumbbell.

— Stephen King (@StephenKing) November 4, 2018

Also Read: Stephen King Calls Out Susan Collins, His State’s Senator, on Day of Kavanaugh Vote

Diddy officially endorsed Stacey Abrams for Georgia governor, saying, “It’s time to fight back.”

Attention Georgia!!! I’m officially endorsing @staceyabrams for Governor. She is without a doubt the right person for the job. But the only way this can happen is if you get out and vote. Let your voice be heard, don’t let anything stop you from voting!! IT’S TIME TO FIGHT BACK. pic.twitter.com/BkaHsEK1kd

— Diddy (@Diddy) November 4, 2018

Adam Scott got right to the point about his feelings for Abrams.

I F**KIN’ LOVE YOU @staceyabrams https://t.co/gvBMzCLY2u

— Adam Scott (@mradamscott) November 4, 2018

Chelsea Handler called Illinois congressional candidate Lauren Underwood “an inspirational leader,” who “needs us to help her amplify.”

Illinois-This woman is neck in neck for her race, and she needs us to help her amplify. She is an inspirational leader and deserves this seat. It’s time for real representation in Congress. https://t.co/Cr7whnIfmg

— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) November 4, 2018

Also Read: Chelsea Handler Says She’s Working on a ‘Very Funny’ Netflix Series About White Privilege

Zachary Quinto supported Emily Skopov, who is running for state representative in Pennsylvania. He calls Skopov “an everyday citizen compelled to run for office because of the restrictive discriminatory and self-serving policies of the old guard straight white men who have clung to power for far too long.”

View this post on Instagram

i’m so grateful i got to launch today’s canvas for emily skopov! she is running for state representative in pennsylvania’s 28th district and is an incredible example of democracy in action. an everyday citizen compelled to run for office because of the restrictive discriminatory and self-serving policies of the old guard straight white men who have clung to power for far too long. she is within striking distance of defeating her opponent on tuesday and i couldn’t be more excited to support her and all that she represents – including women’s rights – lbtq rights – education – and important governance reform such as #fairmaps GET UP! GET OUT! VOTE! @emily4pa @demredistrict

A post shared by Zachary Quinto (@zacharyquinto) on

Several stars including Jodie Foster, Kyra Sedgwick and Eric McCormack got behind Katie Hill, who is a congressional candidate in Santa Clarita, California.

I cannot WAIT to go knock@on doors for @KatieHill4CA in #CA25 tomorrow at 9AM!! If you’re in the neighborhood,join me and help #TakeBackTheHouse https://t.co/8LxndYPCYy

— kyra sedgwick (@kyrasedgwick) November 4, 2018

It was great to connect, and remind people how crucial their #VOTE is. Early voting at Lancaster Library till 4 pm today, folks! @KatieHill4CA #VoteBlue2018 https://t.co/Ms3jOLS4cj

— Eric McCormack (@EricMcCormack) November 4, 2018

America Ferrera and Zoe Saldana urged Latino voters to get to the polls:

We’re heading to Miami, FL to rally the Latino Vote!  Meet us at Ball and Chain at 4:00pm https://t.co/fDLPoM1XY1 Join us!  And follow our journey on @nowthisnews #LatinosStandUp @evalongoria @hereisgina @rosariodawson @zoesaldana pic.twitter.com/4KK6gOTvvE

— America Ferrera (@AmericaFerrera) November 4, 2018

Also Read: Laura Dern, Lin-Manuel Miranda, America Ferrera Among Stars at Rallies to Protest Trump Immigration Policy

Mark Ruffallo urged voters to “stand for Standing Rock” Native Americans in the Dakotas:

This is another moment to stand for Standing Rock. Native people are here, they’re resilient, and despite the laws trying to suppress them, they’re ready to vote.

Text STAND to 788683 to take the #StandNVote pledge. Let’s bring this home. pic.twitter.com/mHYLqrkQ4u

— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) November 4, 2018

And Bellamy Young was “knocking on doors & talking w/ my North Carolina family about the need to vote for #fairmaps candidates”:

State and local politics affect our daily lives just as much as what happens in Washington. That’s why I’m home today knocking on doors & talking w/ my #NorthCarolina family about the need to vote for #fairmaps candidates all the way down the ballot on Election Day!???????????? pic.twitter.com/HK7UfBnWKC

— Bellamy Young (@BellamyYoung) November 4, 2018

Related stories from TheWrap:

Michael Rapaport Gives Brad Pitt and Leo DiCaprio Advice on Voter Outreach: ‘You’re Being Too Calm’ (Video)

Carl Reiner Wants to ‘Stick Around’ Until 2020 So He Can Vote Trump Out (Video)

Taylor Swift Encourages Fans to Vote Against ‘Fear-Based Extremism’ After Casting Ballot for Tennessee Democrat

John Oliver’s Plug for Vote411 Sparks Huge 2000 Percent Spike for Voter Information Site

Ahead of Tuesday’s midterm election, celebrities made their closing arguments Sunday for their favorite candidates and causes — or for voting in general.

Stephen King asked Iowans to vote against the like-named Rep. Steve King “for personal reasons”: He said he’s “tired of being confused with this racist dumbbell.”

Diddy officially endorsed Stacey Abrams for Georgia governor, saying, “It’s time to fight back.”

Adam Scott got right to the point about his feelings for Abrams.

Chelsea Handler called Illinois congressional candidate Lauren Underwood “an inspirational leader,” who “needs us to help her amplify.”

Zachary Quinto supported Emily Skopov, who is running for state representative in Pennsylvania. He calls Skopov “an everyday citizen compelled to run for office because of the restrictive discriminatory and self-serving policies of the old guard straight white men who have clung to power for far too long.”

View this post on Instagram

i’m so grateful i got to launch today’s canvas for emily skopov! she is running for state representative in pennsylvania’s 28th district and is an incredible example of democracy in action. an everyday citizen compelled to run for office because of the restrictive discriminatory and self-serving policies of the old guard straight white men who have clung to power for far too long. she is within striking distance of defeating her opponent on tuesday and i couldn’t be more excited to support her and all that she represents – including women’s rights – lbtq rights – education – and important governance reform such as #fairmaps GET UP! GET OUT! VOTE! @emily4pa @demredistrict

A post shared by Zachary Quinto (@zacharyquinto) on

Several stars including Jodie Foster, Kyra Sedgwick and Eric McCormack got behind Katie Hill, who is a congressional candidate in Santa Clarita, California.

America Ferrera and Zoe Saldana urged Latino voters to get to the polls:

Mark Ruffallo urged voters to “stand for Standing Rock” Native Americans in the Dakotas:

And Bellamy Young was “knocking on doors & talking w/ my North Carolina family about the need to vote for #fairmaps candidates”:

Related stories from TheWrap:

Michael Rapaport Gives Brad Pitt and Leo DiCaprio Advice on Voter Outreach: 'You're Being Too Calm' (Video)

Carl Reiner Wants to 'Stick Around' Until 2020 So He Can Vote Trump Out (Video)

Taylor Swift Encourages Fans to Vote Against 'Fear-Based Extremism' After Casting Ballot for Tennessee Democrat

John Oliver's Plug for Vote411 Sparks Huge 2000 Percent Spike for Voter Information Site

15 Podcasts for the Car, Gym or to Block the Sound of Your Neighbors Having Sex (Photos)

We get it: You have a long commute, a cardio routine to get through, or neighbors whose sex sounds you don’t want to hear anymore. The solution to all of these problems? Podcasts. Here’s how to listen to a podcast if you don’t already know.

Before we begin, can we make a quick plug for our own podcast? TheWrap’s “Shoot This Now” features Matt Donnelly and Tim Molloy talking about stories we want made into movies. We’ve talked about comedian Barry Rothbart’s experience as a nudist camp videographer, the episode of the “Atlanta Monster” podcast in which Frank Sinatra tried to catch a killer, and the devastating “Love + Radio” story “The Living Room.” Listen here.  (If you don’t know how to get podcasts, start by watching this video.)

This American Life

One of the things that makes “This American Life” a great gateway to podcasts is that it isn’t a pure podcast, since it started 22 years ago as a public radio show: It has everything you like about radio (plus curse words that aren’t beeped), and you can pause and rewind whenever you want instead of sitting in the driveway because you just have to know how the story ends. Host Ira Glass can still break our hearts, as in his gorgeous eulogy to an old friend, Mary, at the end of one recent episode, “Ask a Grown-Up.” The show has a deep-set empathy — one that can bring you to tears — but stays hip by collaborating with many of the cool podcasts it inspired.

Fresh Air

Again, maybe it’s not a true podcast since it started out as a radio show, and even predates “This American Life.” It’s still the best interview show ever, in any medium. And Terry Gross somehow stays effortlessly cool by never worrying about whether she sounds cool.

Savage Love

Sex columnist-author-activist deserves a place on Podcasting’s Mount Rushmore alongside Glass and Gross, even if none of them started out as podcasters.

Good One: A Podcast About Jokes

Vulture editor Jesse David Fox’s new podcast, in which he talks with a different comedian each week about one of his or her signature jokes, is a must-listen for comedy nerds. You’ll laugh, but also learn how comedy works, and how some of your favorite routines came to exist. Fox is a sensitive, thoughtful interviewers, and has definitely heard the line about how taking a joke apart is like taking apart a clock — it usually doesn’t work when your done. He goes just deep enough to make you appreciate a joke more, without ruining it. Our favorite interviews so far have been with Neal Brennan (Episode 2) and Tig Notaro (Episode 6). It turns out Notaro’s Taylor Dane story, which you may have heard on “This American Life,” was pretty much entirely true.

The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast

The “American Psycho” author has a reputation as a provocateur, but listen to his podcast and you’ll see he has no interest in trolling. He truly believes in his thoughtful and often unpopular opinions, whether you like them or not. His cultural and especially film criticism do what criticism is supposed to do — spark discussion and dialogue — and if you don’t want to agree with him, you don’t have to.

Lovett or Leave It

Former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett recorded his first show the night Donald Trump failed to repeal Obamacare, and if you wanted to hear the sound of liberal glee, this was it. “Lovett or Leave It” is a spinoff from “Pod Save America,” part of Crooked Media, a political podcasting business started up by a coterie of former Obama Administration that has quickly come to rule iTunes. Lovett is the funniest of the erudite “Pod Save America” crew, providing comic relief from whatever dire news they’re discussing on any given podcast. It’s nice that he has a forum where the comic approach rules.

You Must Remember This

Host Karina Longworth combines scholarly research with a good tabloid reporter’s eye for scandal to report Hollywood stories in a way that makes them feel alive, relevant, important — and sometimes very tragic. Her latest season, entitled Dead Blondes, may ruin your enjoyment of Busby Berkeley’s choreography while giving you a new respect for Marilyn Monroe’s acting. Whatever her subject, Longworth puts on a show you won’t forget.

Radiolab

Out of NPR’s New York station, “Radiolab” is a mix between “This American Life” and “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” Hosts Jad and Robert dig into scientific concepts by relating them through interesting stories, and it’s great about keeping complex ideas palatable even for people who aren’t technically minded.

S-Town

There’s a lot of buzz around this podcast, the latest from the creators of “This American Life” and “Serial.” It starts off feeling like the latter, and then turns into something more like the former, and then… well, just listen. A great podcast has at least one hard turn, and “S-Town” has two by the end of the second episode.  It tells the story of a quiet Alabama town and its local Boo Radley… if Boo Radley were a possibly genius clockmaker with strong thoughts about climate change.

Stuff You Should Know

Exactly what it sounds like. Hosts Josh and Chuck just go through random topics and talk about them. They dive into research to find out about, say, how water fluoridation works or how optical illusions work, and then explain it to one another — and you. The result is a highly informative podcast with all kinds of information, delivered with a lot of fun.

The Message

“The Message” is a sci-fi radio drama told like a journalistic podcast in the vein of “Serial.” Sponsored by GE Podcast Theater, it follows a podcaster who takes up with a cryptography company when it gets an amazing government contract: Decode an alien message received 70 years ago that whistleblowers are about to take public. Suffice to say, things take several turns from there.

LifeAfter

Also extremely listenable is another podcast by GE, “LifeAfter,” which, like the “Black Mirror” episode “San Junipero,” imagines heaven as a digital place on earth. Or is it a hell on earth?

Snap Judgment

Another radio show turned podcast, “Snap Judgment” focuses on storytelling like “This American Life” or sometimes “Radiolab,” but with a different focus. The tagline “storytelling with a beat” gets close to what makes “Snap” so cool — it chooses stories that feel like they often come from off the beaten path, for a slightly edgier feel.

Reply All

Think of it as “This Internet Life” — all the stories somehow tie back to technology, in achingly human ways. There isn’t much hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman won’t do to expand the podcasting medium: Separately or together, they’ve microdosed on LSD, broken into a building, tried to reunite lost pets with their owners, and taken calls from anyone who wanted to talk for 48 hours. Start with “Boy in Photo,” which examined the possibly tragic fate of a Hooters-shirted teen who became a meme.

Reply All

One of the most ambitIf “This American Life” took more risks and focused exclusively on Internet mysteries, it might resemble “Reply All.” One great recent episode, “Boy in Photo,”examined the possibly tragic fate of a Hooters-shirted teen who became a meme.

The Hound Tall Discussion Series

Comedian Moshe Kasher, soon to star in Comedy Central’s “Donahue”-inspired talk show “Problematic,” mastered the format with his podcast. He invites an expert to talk about a serious subject, like whether civilization should exist, and invites comedian friends to pepper that poor sucker with interruptions. It’s great, you’ll learn a lot.

The Moth

Storytelling theater “The Moth” turns some of its best presentations into a weekly radio show and podcast. The theater brings regular people onto its stage to tell their stories, making its podcast a compilation of interesting, off-beat, intense and often funny stories that could cover just about anything.

Still Processing

When you’re ready to hear some sanity, listen to the New York Times’ Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham talk about everything from politics to”Get Out” to TV’s representation of penises.

Tobolowsky Files

Stephen Tobolowsky, a character actor you’ve seen probably hundreds of times in everything from “Groundhog Day” to “Deadwood,” tells stories from his life. Running the gamut from looks at the drug-addled 1980s to his childhood spent in the Dangerous Animals Club, Tobolowsky’s stories are always artfully told, fascinating, and full of heart.

 

We get it: You have a long commute, a cardio routine to get through, or neighbors whose sex sounds you don’t want to hear anymore. The solution to all of these problems? Podcasts. Here’s how to listen to a podcast if you don’t already know.

Before we begin, can we make a quick plug for our own podcast? TheWrap’s “Shoot This Now” features Matt Donnelly and Tim Molloy talking about stories we want made into movies. We’ve talked about comedian Barry Rothbart’s experience as a nudist camp videographer, the episode of the “Atlanta Monster” podcast in which Frank Sinatra tried to catch a killer, and the devastating “Love + Radio” story “The Living Room.” Listen here.  (If you don’t know how to get podcasts, start by watching this video.)

This American Life

One of the things that makes “This American Life” a great gateway to podcasts is that it isn’t a pure podcast, since it started 22 years ago as a public radio show: It has everything you like about radio (plus curse words that aren’t beeped), and you can pause and rewind whenever you want instead of sitting in the driveway because you just have to know how the story ends. Host Ira Glass can still break our hearts, as in his gorgeous eulogy to an old friend, Mary, at the end of one recent episode, “Ask a Grown-Up.” The show has a deep-set empathy — one that can bring you to tears — but stays hip by collaborating with many of the cool podcasts it inspired.

Fresh Air

Again, maybe it’s not a true podcast since it started out as a radio show, and even predates “This American Life.” It’s still the best interview show ever, in any medium. And Terry Gross somehow stays effortlessly cool by never worrying about whether she sounds cool.

Savage Love

Sex columnist-author-activist deserves a place on Podcasting’s Mount Rushmore alongside Glass and Gross, even if none of them started out as podcasters.

Good One: A Podcast About Jokes

Vulture editor Jesse David Fox’s new podcast, in which he talks with a different comedian each week about one of his or her signature jokes, is a must-listen for comedy nerds. You’ll laugh, but also learn how comedy works, and how some of your favorite routines came to exist. Fox is a sensitive, thoughtful interviewers, and has definitely heard the line about how taking a joke apart is like taking apart a clock — it usually doesn’t work when your done. He goes just deep enough to make you appreciate a joke more, without ruining it. Our favorite interviews so far have been with Neal Brennan (Episode 2) and Tig Notaro (Episode 6). It turns out Notaro’s Taylor Dane story, which you may have heard on “This American Life,” was pretty much entirely true.

The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast

The “American Psycho” author has a reputation as a provocateur, but listen to his podcast and you’ll see he has no interest in trolling. He truly believes in his thoughtful and often unpopular opinions, whether you like them or not. His cultural and especially film criticism do what criticism is supposed to do — spark discussion and dialogue — and if you don’t want to agree with him, you don’t have to.

Lovett or Leave It

Former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett recorded his first show the night Donald Trump failed to repeal Obamacare, and if you wanted to hear the sound of liberal glee, this was it. “Lovett or Leave It” is a spinoff from “Pod Save America,” part of Crooked Media, a political podcasting business started up by a coterie of former Obama Administration that has quickly come to rule iTunes. Lovett is the funniest of the erudite “Pod Save America” crew, providing comic relief from whatever dire news they’re discussing on any given podcast. It’s nice that he has a forum where the comic approach rules.

You Must Remember This

Host Karina Longworth combines scholarly research with a good tabloid reporter’s eye for scandal to report Hollywood stories in a way that makes them feel alive, relevant, important — and sometimes very tragic. Her latest season, entitled Dead Blondes, may ruin your enjoyment of Busby Berkeley’s choreography while giving you a new respect for Marilyn Monroe’s acting. Whatever her subject, Longworth puts on a show you won’t forget.

Radiolab

Out of NPR’s New York station, “Radiolab” is a mix between “This American Life” and “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” Hosts Jad and Robert dig into scientific concepts by relating them through interesting stories, and it’s great about keeping complex ideas palatable even for people who aren’t technically minded.

S-Town

There’s a lot of buzz around this podcast, the latest from the creators of “This American Life” and “Serial.” It starts off feeling like the latter, and then turns into something more like the former, and then… well, just listen. A great podcast has at least one hard turn, and “S-Town” has two by the end of the second episode.  It tells the story of a quiet Alabama town and its local Boo Radley… if Boo Radley were a possibly genius clockmaker with strong thoughts about climate change.

Stuff You Should Know

Exactly what it sounds like. Hosts Josh and Chuck just go through random topics and talk about them. They dive into research to find out about, say, how water fluoridation works or how optical illusions work, and then explain it to one another — and you. The result is a highly informative podcast with all kinds of information, delivered with a lot of fun.

The Message

“The Message” is a sci-fi radio drama told like a journalistic podcast in the vein of “Serial.” Sponsored by GE Podcast Theater, it follows a podcaster who takes up with a cryptography company when it gets an amazing government contract: Decode an alien message received 70 years ago that whistleblowers are about to take public. Suffice to say, things take several turns from there.

LifeAfter

Also extremely listenable is another podcast by GE, “LifeAfter,” which, like the “Black Mirror” episode “San Junipero,” imagines heaven as a digital place on earth. Or is it a hell on earth?

Snap Judgment

Another radio show turned podcast, “Snap Judgment” focuses on storytelling like “This American Life” or sometimes “Radiolab,” but with a different focus. The tagline “storytelling with a beat” gets close to what makes “Snap” so cool — it chooses stories that feel like they often come from off the beaten path, for a slightly edgier feel.

Reply All

Think of it as “This Internet Life” — all the stories somehow tie back to technology, in achingly human ways. There isn’t much hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman won’t do to expand the podcasting medium: Separately or together, they’ve microdosed on LSD, broken into a building, tried to reunite lost pets with their owners, and taken calls from anyone who wanted to talk for 48 hours. Start with “Boy in Photo,” which examined the possibly tragic fate of a Hooters-shirted teen who became a meme.

Reply All

One of the most ambitIf “This American Life” took more risks and focused exclusively on Internet mysteries, it might resemble “Reply All.” One great recent episode, “Boy in Photo,”examined the possibly tragic fate of a Hooters-shirted teen who became a meme.

The Hound Tall Discussion Series

Comedian Moshe Kasher, soon to star in Comedy Central’s “Donahue”-inspired talk show “Problematic,” mastered the format with his podcast. He invites an expert to talk about a serious subject, like whether civilization should exist, and invites comedian friends to pepper that poor sucker with interruptions. It’s great, you’ll learn a lot.

The Moth

Storytelling theater “The Moth” turns some of its best presentations into a weekly radio show and podcast. The theater brings regular people onto its stage to tell their stories, making its podcast a compilation of interesting, off-beat, intense and often funny stories that could cover just about anything.

Still Processing

When you’re ready to hear some sanity, listen to the New York Times’ Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham talk about everything from politics to”Get Out” to TV’s representation of penises.

Tobolowsky Files

Stephen Tobolowsky, a character actor you’ve seen probably hundreds of times in everything from “Groundhog Day” to “Deadwood,” tells stories from his life. Running the gamut from looks at the drug-addled 1980s to his childhood spent in the Dangerous Animals Club, Tobolowsky’s stories are always artfully told, fascinating, and full of heart.

 

A former Obama staffer on what most politicians get wrong about using Twitter

Jon Lovett worked as a speechwriter for Hillary Clinton in the Senate and for Barack Obama in his first term as president. Earlier this year, he launched a weekly podcast, Lovett Or Leave It, where he’s joined by comedians, actors, and journalists to discuss the week’s top news. At the Now Hear This podcast festival,…

Read more…

Jon Lovett worked as a speechwriter for Hillary Clinton in the Senate and for Barack Obama in his first term as president. Earlier this year, he launched a weekly podcast, Lovett Or Leave It, where he’s joined by comedians, actors, and journalists to discuss the week’s top news. At the Now Hear This podcast festival,…

Read more...

We asked podcasters, What do you like about performing your show live?

Live podcasting has become pretty popular this year, with events like L.A. Podfest and the Now Hear This festival in New York each featuring dozens of performances. We asked some top podcasters at this year’s Now Hear This about their experiences doing live shows.

Read more…

Live podcasting has become pretty popular this year, with events like L.A. Podfest and the Now Hear This festival in New York each featuring dozens of performances. We asked some top podcasters at this year’s Now Hear This about their experiences doing live shows.

Read more...

LeVar Burton, Chris Gethard, Phoebe Judge, and more dish out some podcast recommendations

With thousands of podcasts ready to be listened to, finding and recommending one can be a daunting task (though we do our best). We asked a number of top podcasters to give us their recommendations.Read more…

With thousands of podcasts ready to be listened to, finding and recommending one can be a daunting task (though we do our best). We asked a number of top podcasters to give us their recommendations.

Read more...

Obama Aides Say ‘Veep’ More Accurate Than ‘West Wing,’ ‘House of Cards’

A group of Obama Administration veterans say HBO’s cynically comedic “Veep” comes closer to capturing life in the White House than high-minded shows like “The West Wing” or the very dark “House of Cards.”

On an installment of their “Pod Save America” podcast this week, former Obama insiders Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor interviewed “Veep” commander-in-chief David Mandel, who took over the show from creator Armando Iannucci in the Julia Louis-Dreyfus comedy’s fifth season. It returns for its sixth season Sunday.

“The funny thing about ‘Veep’ is, we as people who worked in the White House always get asked, okay, what’s the most real? Is it ‘House of Cards? Is it ‘West Wing’? And the answer is, it’s ‘Veep.’ Because you guys nail the fragility of the egos, and the, like, day-to-day idiocy of the decision-making,” Vietor said.

Also Read: ‘Veep’ Star Julia Louis-Dreyfus Says Trump Beating Clinton ‘Rocked Our World’ (Video)

Mandel said that fragility and idiocy transcends political party.

Though Season 5 ended (spoiler alert) with Louis-Dreyfus’ Selina Meyer unexpectedly leaving the White House after a messy election. The show didn’t plan to parallel Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump. But Meyer, like Clinton, now finds herself the surprise loser of an election she very much expected to win, and trying to decide what to do next.

Mandel said the realism of the show reflects its intense research.

Also Read: TV Turns to Podcasts for New Ideas, From ‘Lore’ to ‘My Brother, My Brother, and Me’

“We try really hard. We have consultants from both sides of the aisle, as they say,” Mandel said. “We had wonderful conversations with people that worked in different White Houses. Some of the best conversations we had were with people who worked under Bush, the first Bush. Because they didn’t think they were going to lose.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Veep’ Star Julia Louis-Dreyfus Says Trump Beating Clinton ‘Rocked Our World’ (Video)

Sean Spicer’s Hitler Remarks Turned Into ‘Veep’ End Credits by YouTube Hero (Video)

‘Veep’ Season 6 Trailer Sees Selina Meyer Vow to Destroy Jonah Ryan in (Video)

A group of Obama Administration veterans say HBO’s cynically comedic “Veep” comes closer to capturing life in the White House than high-minded shows like “The West Wing” or the very dark “House of Cards.”

On an installment of their “Pod Save America” podcast this week, former Obama insiders Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor interviewed “Veep” commander-in-chief David Mandel, who took over the show from creator Armando Iannucci in the Julia Louis-Dreyfus comedy’s fifth season. It returns for its sixth season Sunday.

“The funny thing about ‘Veep’ is, we as people who worked in the White House always get asked, okay, what’s the most real? Is it ‘House of Cards? Is it ‘West Wing’? And the answer is, it’s ‘Veep.’ Because you guys nail the fragility of the egos, and the, like, day-to-day idiocy of the decision-making,” Vietor said.

Mandel said that fragility and idiocy transcends political party.

Though Season 5 ended (spoiler alert) with Louis-Dreyfus’ Selina Meyer unexpectedly leaving the White House after a messy election. The show didn’t plan to parallel Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump. But Meyer, like Clinton, now finds herself the surprise loser of an election she very much expected to win, and trying to decide what to do next.

Mandel said the realism of the show reflects its intense research.

“We try really hard. We have consultants from both sides of the aisle, as they say,” Mandel said. “We had wonderful conversations with people that worked in different White Houses. Some of the best conversations we had were with people who worked under Bush, the first Bush. Because they didn’t think they were going to lose.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Veep' Star Julia Louis-Dreyfus Says Trump Beating Clinton 'Rocked Our World' (Video)

Sean Spicer's Hitler Remarks Turned Into 'Veep' End Credits by YouTube Hero (Video)

'Veep' Season 6 Trailer Sees Selina Meyer Vow to Destroy Jonah Ryan in (Video)

Obama Speechwriters Tear Into Fox News: ‘Garbage Organization That Protects Sexual Harassers’

The Obama Administration alums behind the “Pod Save America” podcast called Fox News a “garbage organization that protects sexual harassers” following a New York Times report that the network and Bill O’Reilly have paid $13 million to five women who accused the longtime host of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior.

In the latest edition of their podcast — one of the most popular on iTunes — former Obama speechwriters Jon Favreau and Jon Lovett took turns teeing off on Fox News. At one point Lovett called it “a disgusting organization with giant old-man heads attacking pretty young women and putting them on television if they’ll do sexual favors.”

Lovett said the allegations against O’Reilly have lingered for years, just like the ones against Bill Cosby did. (They include O’Reilly’s quickly settled “loofah” case.) The “Pod Save America” hosts also pointed to the harassment allegations against former Fox News chief Roger Ailes, which Fox News settled last year for $20 million.

Also Read: 18 Podcasts to Make Your Run, Commute or Workday 300 Percent Less Boring, From ‘S-Town’ to ‘Good One’ (Photos)

“The worst part is all of these people are allowed to stay at Fox News which every day is the No. 1 defender acting as state television for a man in the White House who is a sexual predator,” said Favreau. “Bill O’Reilly every night defends Donald Trump’s agenda, and he has sexually harassed people, Roger Ailes has sexually harassed people, and no one f—ing does anything at this organization.”

Ailes did not actually stay at Fox News: The allegations led to his resignation.

“We have no idea how many settlements are out there, because those settlements are pretty ironclad,” added Lovett, a former producer of HBO’s “The Newsroom” and co-creator of the sitcom “1600 Penn.”

He added: “People come forward, they look at their options, they look at whose careers have been destroyed by going forward, and they say, ‘You know what, I’m going to settle. I’m going to take the money.’ And they write check after check after check because Fox News has generated billions of dollars or hundreds of hundreds of millions of dollars for their parent corporation and everyone looks the other way, and it’s despicable.”

Also Read: ‘S-Town’: Here’s John B. McLemore’s Beautiful Maze (Photos)

The hosts said the notion that women would call an internal Fox News hotline to report sexual harassment was absurd, because the network protects those who commit harassment.

“I’m just so sick of — in the conversation about media organizations and ideological media organizations left and right it’s like, ‘And then there’s organizations on the right like Fox News, that just have a conservative viewpoint, and organizations on the left, like the Huffington Post’ — no. You know what? No. Fox is nothing like that. Fox is a garbage organization that protects sexual harassers. And they lie all the time. … They are not a legitimate f—ing news organization.”

But he did offer one compliment: “There are some legitimate reporters in there. A few left.”

Lovett jumped in: “And Chris Wallace and … Shep Smith? You guys gotta look in the mirror because you’re part of something f—ing evil and you can’t pretend that you’re not. It is evil … Fox News is a disgusting organization with giant old-man heads attacking pretty young women and putting them on television if they’ll do sexual favors. That is not an acceptable news organization for the White House briefing room.”

“Anyway,” Favreau concluded. “I don’t know if we like Fox.”

Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Favreau and Lovett host the show with fellow Obama Administration alums Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Bette Midler Slams Fox News Viewers in Anti-Bill O’Reilly Tweet: ‘No Morality At All’

Bill O’Reilly Fallout: Mercedes, Hyundai Pull Ads After Sexual Harassment Settlements

Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly Sexual Harassment Settlements Cost $13 Million, NYT Reports

The Obama Administration alums behind the “Pod Save America” podcast called Fox News a “garbage organization that protects sexual harassers” following a New York Times report that the network and Bill O’Reilly have paid $13 million to five women who accused the longtime host of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior.

In the latest edition of their podcast — one of the most popular on iTunes — former Obama speechwriters Jon Favreau and Jon Lovett took turns teeing off on Fox News. At one point Lovett called it “a disgusting organization with giant old-man heads attacking pretty young women and putting them on television if they’ll do sexual favors.”

Lovett said the allegations against O’Reilly have lingered for years, just like the ones against Bill Cosby did. (They include O’Reilly’s quickly settled “loofah” case.) The “Pod Save America” hosts also pointed to the harassment allegations against former Fox News chief Roger Ailes, which Fox News settled last year for $20 million.

“The worst part is all of these people are allowed to stay at Fox News which every day is the No. 1 defender acting as state television for a man in the White House who is a sexual predator,” said Favreau. “Bill O’Reilly every night defends Donald Trump’s agenda, and he has sexually harassed people, Roger Ailes has sexually harassed people, and no one f—ing does anything at this organization.”

Ailes did not actually stay at Fox News: The allegations led to his resignation.

“We have no idea how many settlements are out there, because those settlements are pretty ironclad,” added Lovett, a former producer of HBO’s “The Newsroom” and co-creator of the sitcom “1600 Penn.”

He added: “People come forward, they look at their options, they look at whose careers have been destroyed by going forward, and they say, ‘You know what, I’m going to settle. I’m going to take the money.’ And they write check after check after check because Fox News has generated billions of dollars or hundreds of hundreds of millions of dollars for their parent corporation and everyone looks the other way, and it’s despicable.”

The hosts said the notion that women would call an internal Fox News hotline to report sexual harassment was absurd, because the network protects those who commit harassment.

“I’m just so sick of — in the conversation about media organizations and ideological media organizations left and right it’s like, ‘And then there’s organizations on the right like Fox News, that just have a conservative viewpoint, and organizations on the left, like the Huffington Post’ — no. You know what? No. Fox is nothing like that. Fox is a garbage organization that protects sexual harassers. And they lie all the time. … They are not a legitimate f—ing news organization.”

But he did offer one compliment: “There are some legitimate reporters in there. A few left.”

Lovett jumped in: “And Chris Wallace and … Shep Smith? You guys gotta look in the mirror because you’re part of something f—ing evil and you can’t pretend that you’re not. It is evil … Fox News is a disgusting organization with giant old-man heads attacking pretty young women and putting them on television if they’ll do sexual favors. That is not an acceptable news organization for the White House briefing room.”

“Anyway,” Favreau concluded. “I don’t know if we like Fox.”

Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Favreau and Lovett host the show with fellow Obama Administration alums Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Bette Midler Slams Fox News Viewers in Anti-Bill O'Reilly Tweet: 'No Morality At All'

Bill O'Reilly Fallout: Mercedes, Hyundai Pull Ads After Sexual Harassment Settlements

Fox News' Bill O'Reilly Sexual Harassment Settlements Cost $13 Million, NYT Reports

18 Podcasts to Make Your Run, Commute or Workday 300 Percent Less Boring, From ‘S-Town’ to ‘Good One’ (Photos)

Are you listening to “S-Town”? “Reply All”? “Good One”? Some people never listen to podcasts, because they sound complicated. But they aren’t, we promise. As we wrap up #trypod month — a month dedicated to getting people to try new podcasts — we invite you to Google “How do I download podcasts,” and then join us in obsessing over the following fantastic shows.

This American Life

One of the things that makes “This American Life” a great gateway to podcasts is that it isn’t a pure podcast, since it started 22 years ago as a public radio show: It has everything you like about radio (plus curse words that aren’t beeped), and you can pause and rewind whenever you want instead of sitting in the driveway because you just have to know how the story ends. Host Ira Glass can still break our hearts, as in his gorgeous eulogy to an old friend, Mary, at the end of one recent episode, “Ask a Grown-Up.” The show has a deep-set empathy — one that can bring you to tears — but stays hip by collaborating with many of the cool podcasts it inspired.

Fresh Air

Again, maybe it’s not a true podcast since it started out as a radio show, and even predates “This American Life.” It’s still the best interview show ever, in any medium. And Terry Gross somehow stays effortlessly cool by never worrying about whether she sounds cool.

Savage Love

Sex columnist-author-activist deserves a place on Podcasting’s Mount Rushmore alongside Glass and Gross, even if none of them started out as podcasters.

Good One: A Podcast About Jokes

Vulture editor Jesse David Fox’s new podcast, in which he talks with a different comedian each week about one of his or her signature jokes, is a must-listen for comedy nerds. You’ll laugh, but also learn how comedy works, and how some of your favorite routines came to exist. Fox is a sensitive, thoughtful interviewers, and has definitely heard the line about how taking a joke apart is like taking apart a clock — it usually doesn’t work when your done. He goes just deep enough to make you appreciate a joke more, without ruining it. Our favorite interviews so far have been with Neal Brennan (Episode 2) and Tig Notaro (Episode 6). It turns out Notaro’s Taylor Dane story, which you may have heard on “This American Life,” was pretty much entirely true.

The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast

The “American Psycho” author has a reputation as a provocateur, but listen to his podcast and you’ll see he has no interest in trolling. He truly believes in his thoughtful and often unpopular opinions, whether you like them or not. His cultural and especially film criticism do what criticism is supposed to do — spark discussion and dialogue — and if you don’t want to agree with him, you don’t have to.

Lovett or Leave It

Former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett recorded his first show the night Donald Trump failed to repeal Obamacare, and if you wanted to hear the sound of liberal glee, this was it. “Lovett or Leave It” is a spinoff from “Pod Save America,” part of Crooked Media, a political podcasting business started up by a coterie of former Obama Administration that has quickly come to rule iTunes. Lovett is the funniest of the erudite “Pod Save America” crew, providing comic relief from whatever dire news they’re discussing on any given podcast. It’s nice that he has a forum where the comic approach rules.

You Must Remember This

Host Karina Longworth combines scholarly research with a good tabloid reporter’s eye for scandal to report Hollywood stories in a way that makes them feel alive, relevant, important — and sometimes very tragic. Her latest season, entitled Dead Blondes, may ruin your enjoyment of Busby Berkeley’s choreography while giving you a new respect for Marilyn Monroe’s acting. Whatever her subject, Longworth puts on a show you won’t forget.

Radiolab

Out of NPR’s New York station, “Radiolab” is a mix between “This American Life” and “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” Hosts Jad and Robert dig into scientific concepts by relating them through interesting stories, and it’s great about keeping complex ideas palatable even for people who aren’t technically minded.

S-Town

There’s a lot of buzz around this podcast, the latest from the creators of “This American Life” and “Serial.” It starts off feeling like the latter, and then turns into something more like the former, and then… well, just listen. A great podcast has at least one hard turn, and “S-Town” has two by the end of the second episode.  It tells the story of a quiet Alabama town and its local Boo Radley… if Boo Radley were a possibly genius clockmaker with strong thoughts about climate change.

Stuff You Should Know

Exactly what it sounds like. Hosts Josh and Chuck just go through random topics and talk about them. They dive into research to find out about, say, how water fluoridation works or how optical illusions work, and then explain it to one another — and you. The result is a highly informative podcast with all kinds of information, delivered with a lot of fun.

The Message

“The Message” is a sci-fi radio drama told like a journalistic podcast in the vein of “Serial.” Sponsored by GE Podcast Theater, it follows a podcaster who takes up with a cryptography company when it gets an amazing government contract: Decode an alien message received 70 years ago that whistleblowers are about to take public. Suffice to say, things take several turns from there.

LifeAfter

Also extremely listenable is another podcast by GE, “LifeAfter,” which, like the “Black Mirror” episode “San Junipero,” imagines heaven as a digital place on earth. Or is it a hell on earth?

Snap Judgment

Another radio show turned podcast, “Snap Judgment” focuses on storytelling like “This American Life” or sometimes “Radiolab,” but with a different focus. The tagline “storytelling with a beat” gets close to what makes “Snap” so cool — it chooses stories that feel like they often come from off the beaten path, for a slightly edgier feel.

Reply All

Think of it as “This Internet Life” — all the stories somehow tie back to technology, in achingly human ways. There isn’t much hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman won’t do to expand the podcasting medium: Separately or together, they’ve microdosed on LSD, broken into a building, tried to reunite lost pets with their owners, and taken calls from anyone who wanted to talk for 48 hours. Start with “Boy in Photo,” which examined the possibly tragic fate of a Hooters-shirted teen who became a meme.

Reply All

One of the most ambitIf “This American Life” took more risks and focused exclusively on Internet mysteries, it might resemble “Reply All.” One great recent episode, “Boy in Photo,”examined the possibly tragic fate of a Hooters-shirted teen who became a meme.

The Hound Tall Discussion Series

Comedian Moshe Kasher, soon to star in Comedy Central’s “Donahue”-inspired talk show “Problematic,” mastered the format with his podcast. He invites an expert to talk about a serious subject, like whether civilization should exist, and invites comedian friends to pepper that poor sucker with interruptions. It’s great, you’ll learn a lot.

The Moth

Storytelling theater “The Moth” turns some of its best presentations into a weekly radio show and podcast. The theater brings regular people onto its stage to tell their stories, making its podcast a compilation of interesting, off-beat, intense and often funny stories that could cover just about anything.

Still Processing

When you’re ready to hear some sanity, listen to the New York Times’ Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham talk about everything from politics to”Get Out” to TV’s representation of penises.

Tobolowsky Files

Stephen Tobolowsky, a character actor you’ve seen probably hundreds of times in everything from “Groundhog Day” to “Deadwood,” tells stories from his life. Running the gamut from looks at the drug-addled 1980s to his childhood spent in the Dangerous Animals Club, Tobolowsky’s stories are always artfully told, fascinating, and full of heart.

 

Are you listening to “S-Town”? “Reply All”? “Good One”? Some people never listen to podcasts, because they sound complicated. But they aren’t, we promise. As we wrap up #trypod month — a month dedicated to getting people to try new podcasts — we invite you to Google “How do I download podcasts,” and then join us in obsessing over the following fantastic shows.

This American Life

One of the things that makes “This American Life” a great gateway to podcasts is that it isn’t a pure podcast, since it started 22 years ago as a public radio show: It has everything you like about radio (plus curse words that aren’t beeped), and you can pause and rewind whenever you want instead of sitting in the driveway because you just have to know how the story ends. Host Ira Glass can still break our hearts, as in his gorgeous eulogy to an old friend, Mary, at the end of one recent episode, “Ask a Grown-Up.” The show has a deep-set empathy — one that can bring you to tears — but stays hip by collaborating with many of the cool podcasts it inspired.

Fresh Air

Again, maybe it’s not a true podcast since it started out as a radio show, and even predates “This American Life.” It’s still the best interview show ever, in any medium. And Terry Gross somehow stays effortlessly cool by never worrying about whether she sounds cool.

Savage Love

Sex columnist-author-activist deserves a place on Podcasting’s Mount Rushmore alongside Glass and Gross, even if none of them started out as podcasters.

Good One: A Podcast About Jokes

Vulture editor Jesse David Fox’s new podcast, in which he talks with a different comedian each week about one of his or her signature jokes, is a must-listen for comedy nerds. You’ll laugh, but also learn how comedy works, and how some of your favorite routines came to exist. Fox is a sensitive, thoughtful interviewers, and has definitely heard the line about how taking a joke apart is like taking apart a clock — it usually doesn’t work when your done. He goes just deep enough to make you appreciate a joke more, without ruining it. Our favorite interviews so far have been with Neal Brennan (Episode 2) and Tig Notaro (Episode 6). It turns out Notaro’s Taylor Dane story, which you may have heard on “This American Life,” was pretty much entirely true.

The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast

The “American Psycho” author has a reputation as a provocateur, but listen to his podcast and you’ll see he has no interest in trolling. He truly believes in his thoughtful and often unpopular opinions, whether you like them or not. His cultural and especially film criticism do what criticism is supposed to do — spark discussion and dialogue — and if you don’t want to agree with him, you don’t have to.

Lovett or Leave It

Former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett recorded his first show the night Donald Trump failed to repeal Obamacare, and if you wanted to hear the sound of liberal glee, this was it. “Lovett or Leave It” is a spinoff from “Pod Save America,” part of Crooked Media, a political podcasting business started up by a coterie of former Obama Administration that has quickly come to rule iTunes. Lovett is the funniest of the erudite “Pod Save America” crew, providing comic relief from whatever dire news they’re discussing on any given podcast. It’s nice that he has a forum where the comic approach rules.

You Must Remember This

Host Karina Longworth combines scholarly research with a good tabloid reporter’s eye for scandal to report Hollywood stories in a way that makes them feel alive, relevant, important — and sometimes very tragic. Her latest season, entitled Dead Blondes, may ruin your enjoyment of Busby Berkeley’s choreography while giving you a new respect for Marilyn Monroe’s acting. Whatever her subject, Longworth puts on a show you won’t forget.

Radiolab

Out of NPR’s New York station, “Radiolab” is a mix between “This American Life” and “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” Hosts Jad and Robert dig into scientific concepts by relating them through interesting stories, and it’s great about keeping complex ideas palatable even for people who aren’t technically minded.

S-Town

There’s a lot of buzz around this podcast, the latest from the creators of “This American Life” and “Serial.” It starts off feeling like the latter, and then turns into something more like the former, and then… well, just listen. A great podcast has at least one hard turn, and “S-Town” has two by the end of the second episode.  It tells the story of a quiet Alabama town and its local Boo Radley… if Boo Radley were a possibly genius clockmaker with strong thoughts about climate change.

Stuff You Should Know

Exactly what it sounds like. Hosts Josh and Chuck just go through random topics and talk about them. They dive into research to find out about, say, how water fluoridation works or how optical illusions work, and then explain it to one another — and you. The result is a highly informative podcast with all kinds of information, delivered with a lot of fun.

The Message

“The Message” is a sci-fi radio drama told like a journalistic podcast in the vein of “Serial.” Sponsored by GE Podcast Theater, it follows a podcaster who takes up with a cryptography company when it gets an amazing government contract: Decode an alien message received 70 years ago that whistleblowers are about to take public. Suffice to say, things take several turns from there.

LifeAfter

Also extremely listenable is another podcast by GE, “LifeAfter,” which, like the “Black Mirror” episode “San Junipero,” imagines heaven as a digital place on earth. Or is it a hell on earth?

Snap Judgment

Another radio show turned podcast, “Snap Judgment” focuses on storytelling like “This American Life” or sometimes “Radiolab,” but with a different focus. The tagline “storytelling with a beat” gets close to what makes “Snap” so cool — it chooses stories that feel like they often come from off the beaten path, for a slightly edgier feel.

Reply All

Think of it as “This Internet Life” — all the stories somehow tie back to technology, in achingly human ways. There isn’t much hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman won’t do to expand the podcasting medium: Separately or together, they’ve microdosed on LSD, broken into a building, tried to reunite lost pets with their owners, and taken calls from anyone who wanted to talk for 48 hours. Start with “Boy in Photo,” which examined the possibly tragic fate of a Hooters-shirted teen who became a meme.

Reply All

One of the most ambitIf “This American Life” took more risks and focused exclusively on Internet mysteries, it might resemble “Reply All.” One great recent episode, “Boy in Photo,”examined the possibly tragic fate of a Hooters-shirted teen who became a meme.

The Hound Tall Discussion Series

Comedian Moshe Kasher, soon to star in Comedy Central’s “Donahue”-inspired talk show “Problematic,” mastered the format with his podcast. He invites an expert to talk about a serious subject, like whether civilization should exist, and invites comedian friends to pepper that poor sucker with interruptions. It’s great, you’ll learn a lot.

The Moth

Storytelling theater “The Moth” turns some of its best presentations into a weekly radio show and podcast. The theater brings regular people onto its stage to tell their stories, making its podcast a compilation of interesting, off-beat, intense and often funny stories that could cover just about anything.

Still Processing

When you’re ready to hear some sanity, listen to the New York Times’ Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham talk about everything from politics to”Get Out” to TV’s representation of penises.

Tobolowsky Files

Stephen Tobolowsky, a character actor you’ve seen probably hundreds of times in everything from “Groundhog Day” to “Deadwood,” tells stories from his life. Running the gamut from looks at the drug-addled 1980s to his childhood spent in the Dangerous Animals Club, Tobolowsky’s stories are always artfully told, fascinating, and full of heart.

 

Obama Speechwriter Calls Out CNN for Picking ‘Bulls–t Factory’ Panelists

While Ted Koppel was making headlines Sunday for telling Sean Hannity to his face that he’s “bad for America,” CNN was getting a second round of criticism from podcaster and former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett, who called the network’s choice of conservative voices “terrible.”

Lovett, who co-founded the progressive media company, Crooked Media, and started a podcast called “Pod Save America” in hopes of inspiring activism, was invited on Stelter’s show “Reliable Sources” to discuss the surge in political podcast popularity since Donald Trump was elected president.

But the conversation quickly turned to cable news, and Lovett wasn’t afraid to air his grievances, telling Stelter that CNN selects the wrong people to represent conservatives on their political panels.

Also Read: BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith, CNN’s Brian Stelter Face Off Over Published Trump Memo (Video)

“So often on CNN there are world-class journalists interviewing campaign rejects, ideologues and silly craven people who do not care about informing people, who aren’t there to help people understand what’s going on in the news,” Lovett said.

When describing how he views a CNN panel, Lovett said it consisted of “smart person, smart person, smart person, stupid person, smart person, smart person, bulls–t factory.”

“Why does it help you to insult Trump supporters that way?” responded Stelter.

”Also: ”Michael

Own Interest’ (Video)” target=””]

“I’m not insulting Trump supporters; I’m calling the people that CNN puts on television terrible representatives of the views of conservatives,” Lovett said. “[They are] not intellectually honest people. These are people building a brand, willing to say anything.”

Watch a portion of Lovett’s argument in the clip above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith, CNN’s Brian Stelter Face Off Over Published Trump Memo (Video)

CNN Digital’s 2017 Plans Include App Reboot, More Brian Stelter and K-File

Sean Hannity Rips CNN’s ‘Alt-Left’ Brian Stelter as ‘Purveyor of Fake News’ (Video)

Sean Hannity ‘Would Love to Sue’ CNN After Brian Stelter Says Hannity Wants Hillary Clinton Dead

While Ted Koppel was making headlines Sunday for telling Sean Hannity to his face that he’s “bad for America,” CNN was getting a second round of criticism from podcaster and former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett, who called the network’s choice of conservative voices “terrible.”

Lovett, who co-founded the progressive media company, Crooked Media, and started a podcast called “Pod Save America” in hopes of inspiring activism, was invited on Stelter’s show “Reliable Sources” to discuss the surge in political podcast popularity since Donald Trump was elected president.

But the conversation quickly turned to cable news, and Lovett wasn’t afraid to air his grievances, telling Stelter that CNN selects the wrong people to represent conservatives on their political panels.

“So often on CNN there are world-class journalists interviewing campaign rejects, ideologues and silly craven people who do not care about informing people, who aren’t there to help people understand what’s going on in the news,” Lovett said.

When describing how he views a CNN panel, Lovett said it consisted of “smart person, smart person, smart person, stupid person, smart person, smart person, bulls–t factory.”

“Why does it help you to insult Trump supporters that way?” responded Stelter.



Own Interest’ (Video)” target=””]

“I’m not insulting Trump supporters; I’m calling the people that CNN puts on television terrible representatives of the views of conservatives,” Lovett said. “[They are] not intellectually honest people. These are people building a brand, willing to say anything.”

Watch a portion of Lovett’s argument in the clip above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

BuzzFeed's Ben Smith, CNN's Brian Stelter Face Off Over Published Trump Memo (Video)

CNN Digital's 2017 Plans Include App Reboot, More Brian Stelter and K-File

Sean Hannity Rips CNN's 'Alt-Left' Brian Stelter as 'Purveyor of Fake News' (Video)

Sean Hannity 'Would Love to Sue' CNN After Brian Stelter Says Hannity Wants Hillary Clinton Dead

Podcaster Jon Lovett Says CNN Hires “Silly, Craven” Conservatives

Podcaster and former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett was having a perfectly pleasant conversation with CNN’s Brian Stelter on Reliable Sources this morning – even after saying cable news speaks in a “dead language” – until the subject turned to the network’s political panels.
Without naming CNN’s resident Trump supporters Jeffrey Lord or Kayleigh McEnany – but, no worries, Stelter did – Lovett said CNN recruits “campaign rejects” and “silly, craven people” to represent…

Podcaster and former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett was having a perfectly pleasant conversation with CNN’s Brian Stelter on Reliable Sources this morning – even after saying cable news speaks in a “dead language” – until the subject turned to the network’s political panels. Without naming CNN’s resident Trump supporters Jeffrey Lord or Kayleigh McEnany – but, no worries, Stelter did – Lovett said CNN recruits “campaign rejects” and “silly, craven people” to represent…

Obama TV? President Considers Launching Media Company (Report)

President Barack Obama is considering launching a digital media company, Mic’s Jake Horowitz says, citing “multiple sources” who were not “authorized to speak for the president.”

It was widely speculated that Donald Trump planned to start a media organization if he lost November’s election. But in a plot twist it appears Obama, who’s going to need a job in a couple months, is the one exploring his media options.

Horowitz reported that Obama “has been discussing a post-presidential career in digital media” and “considers media to be a central focus” of his post-White House aspirations.

Also Read: 2020 Presidential Candidates, Ranked by Vegas Odds (Photos)

The report also said the sources feel Obama’s next gig could range from anything to a Netflix show to a web series.

“While the president will remain actively engaged in inspiring young people and he is interested in the changing ways people consume information, he has no plans to get into the media business after he leaves office,” a White House spokesperson told Mic.

Obama is clearly a terrific public speaker with a huge fanbase and has proven to be competent on social media, and it’s not outrageous to suggest that people would care what the soon-to-be former POTUS has to say. However, media has been plagued by fake news, claims of bias and the threat of stricter libel laws since the 2016 election began dominating the industry nearly two years ago.

Four former aides to President Obama, Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor, host The Ringer’s “Keeping’ It 1600” podcast, so perhaps he’ll stick his toe there if he truly wants to enter the media lagoon.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Stephen Colbert Pitches Potential Trump TV Programming (Video)

Did Donald Trump Just Use the Debate to Test-Launch Trump TV?

Donald Trump Slams ‘Crooked Media’ After Meeting With TV News Executives

President Barack Obama is considering launching a digital media company, Mic’s Jake Horowitz says, citing “multiple sources” who were not “authorized to speak for the president.”

It was widely speculated that Donald Trump planned to start a media organization if he lost November’s election. But in a plot twist it appears Obama, who’s going to need a job in a couple months, is the one exploring his media options.

Horowitz reported that Obama “has been discussing a post-presidential career in digital media” and “considers media to be a central focus” of his post-White House aspirations.

The report also said the sources feel Obama’s next gig could range from anything to a Netflix show to a web series.

“While the president will remain actively engaged in inspiring young people and he is interested in the changing ways people consume information, he has no plans to get into the media business after he leaves office,” a White House spokesperson told Mic.

Obama is clearly a terrific public speaker with a huge fanbase and has proven to be competent on social media, and it’s not outrageous to suggest that people would care what the soon-to-be former POTUS has to say. However, media has been plagued by fake news, claims of bias and the threat of stricter libel laws since the 2016 election began dominating the industry nearly two years ago.

Four former aides to President Obama, Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor, host The Ringer’s “Keeping’ It 1600” podcast, so perhaps he’ll stick his toe there if he truly wants to enter the media lagoon.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Stephen Colbert Pitches Potential Trump TV Programming (Video)

Did Donald Trump Just Use the Debate to Test-Launch Trump TV?

Donald Trump Slams 'Crooked Media' After Meeting With TV News Executives

Is It OK for Reporters to Call Racists Racist?

When is journalistic objectivity too objective? That’s the question many reporters and their readers are asking as they debate whether to call racists racists.

Many racists feel empowered by Donald Trump’s presidential win — activists count more than 700 cases of hateful harassment since election day — though Trump has told the instigators to “stop it.” Reporters have hesitated to call out racism for reasons ranging from objectivity to confidence that their audiences can draw their own conclusions.

You’ve probably already read countless stories that tortuously explain how “some critics say” certain people are racist, anti-Semitic or sexist. Those stories have earned plenty of derision online.

Also Read: Publicist Who Denies Working for Steve Bannon Works for Bannon’s Publicist

Literal Nazi: “I am a literal Nazi.”
Media: “This alt-right reactionary is stirring up nationalist fervor.”

— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) November 21, 2016

On Tuesday, CNN apologized for a chyron that appeared across the screen that read, “Alt-Right Founder Questions If Jews Are People” — a case of flatly presenting an anti-Semitic view without also noting that it was repulsive.

“It was poor judgement and we very much regret it and apologize,” a network representative told TheWrap. 

The alt-right movement is one of many groups that some critics say includes people who are racist, anti-Semitic or sexist. And, of course, some of its members are just flat-out racist.

Over the weekend, people at a gathering of the alt-right National Policy Institute spouted Nazi propaganda in German and did the “Sieg Heil” salute. One speaker proclaimed, “To be white is to be a creator, an explorer, a conqueror.”

Also Read: Rebranding Steve Bannon: Inside the PR Campaign to Rehab Trump Adviser’s Image

Or so the New York Times reported. The Los Angeles Times‘ story, meanwhile, focused on how normal the attendees seemed at first glance.

US press in…

2015: Is the confederate flag a white supremacist symbol?

2016: Is the Nazi salute part of nazism?

2017: Which way is up?

— Bree Newsome (@BreeNewsome) November 22, 2016

“Sitting around conference tables, the formally dressed men more resembled Washington lobbyists  than the robed Ku Klux Klansmen or skinhead toughs that often represent white supremacists, though they share many familiar views,” the Los Angeles Times said.

The story clearly noted the link between the conference attendees and more overt hate groups — but not bluntly enough for some critics. Those critics included Jon Lovett, a former speechwriter for President Obama turned Hollywood writer who tweeted that people should cancel their L.A. Times subscriptions and subscribe to other newspapers instead.

“The reporter @LisaMascaro, the editors of the story, and the publisher owe it to the readers of the @latimes to reflect and apologize,” Lovett wrote. “By the way, thanks to the New York Times, we know what actually happened at this conference.”

Lovett co-hosts the “Keepin’ It 1600” podcast, which routinely calls out the news media for facile and shortsighted coverage. The Los Angeles Times did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.

Why are people quicker to append the term ‘Nazi’ on to feminist than they are for actual Nazis? Does it just need to be a neat portmanteau?

— James Harris (@TDregs) November 22, 2016

Also Read: As President-Elect, Trump Uses YouTube, Twitter to Cut Out the Press

There are, of course, good reasons for reporters, and everyone else, to be careful about calling people racists or Nazis.

There’s the “crying wolf” factor, where a charge loses any power if it’s made too frivolously. Or when someone calls someone else out, and then turns out to be wrong.

Reporters also need to be careful that people on one political side don’t goad them into making generalizations about those on the other side. Some Trump critics have taken a guilt-by-association approach, suggesting that because the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups have embraced Trump, and because Trump himself has said things that meet the “textbook definition” of racism, all of his followers — nearly half of American voters — must be racist.

Also Read: Donald Trump Cancels, Then Uncancels, Meeting with ‘Failing’ New York Times (Updated)

Racists, of course, will try to muddy the issue, dressing nicely and reviving old canards like: I’m not anti-anyone, I’m just pro-white. The Los Angeles Times story didn’t break any news when it said racists wear suits now: Chuck D and Ice Cube said the same thing in the early 1990s.

And so reporters find themselves trying not to make the same sloppy, ignorant, despicable generalizations used by racists — without giving racists a pass.

Some critics say racism is like pornography — we know it when we see it. The question is how to say it when we see it.

My humble plan, so far, is to try to present it the way I did in this story. To call out racism as racism, but not to cry wolf. To give people the benefit of the doubt, when it is reasonable to do so. And to be meticulous in calling out textbook racism, whether by the the alt-right or the president-elect.

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When is journalistic objectivity too objective? That’s the question many reporters and their readers are asking as they debate whether to call racists racists.

Many racists feel empowered by Donald Trump’s presidential win — activists count more than 700 cases of hateful harassment since election day — though Trump has told the instigators to “stop it.” Reporters have hesitated to call out racism for reasons ranging from objectivity to confidence that their audiences can draw their own conclusions.

You’ve probably already read countless stories that tortuously explain how “some critics say” certain people are racist, anti-Semitic or sexist. Those stories have earned plenty of derision online.

On Tuesday, CNN apologized for a chyron that appeared across the screen that read, “Alt-Right Founder Questions If Jews Are People” — a case of flatly presenting an anti-Semitic view without also noting that it was repulsive.

“It was poor judgement and we very much regret it and apologize,” a network representative told TheWrap. 

The alt-right movement is one of many groups that some critics say includes people who are racist, anti-Semitic or sexist. And, of course, some of its members are just flat-out racist.

Over the weekend, people at a gathering of the alt-right National Policy Institute spouted Nazi propaganda in German and did the “Sieg Heil” salute. One speaker proclaimed, “To be white is to be a creator, an explorer, a conqueror.”

Or so the New York Times reported. The Los Angeles Times‘ story, meanwhile, focused on how normal the attendees seemed at first glance.

“Sitting around conference tables, the formally dressed men more resembled Washington lobbyists  than the robed Ku Klux Klansmen or skinhead toughs that often represent white supremacists, though they share many familiar views,” the Los Angeles Times said.

The story clearly noted the link between the conference attendees and more overt hate groups — but not bluntly enough for some critics. Those critics included Jon Lovett, a former speechwriter for President Obama turned Hollywood writer who tweeted that people should cancel their L.A. Times subscriptions and subscribe to other newspapers instead.

“The reporter @, the editors of the story, and the publisher owe it to the readers of the @ to reflect and apologize,” Lovett wrote. “By the way, thanks to the New York Times, we know what actually happened at this conference.”

Lovett co-hosts the “Keepin’ It 1600” podcast, which routinely calls out the news media for facile and shortsighted coverage. The Los Angeles Times did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.

There are, of course, good reasons for reporters, and everyone else, to be careful about calling people racists or Nazis.

There’s the “crying wolf” factor, where a charge loses any power if it’s made too frivolously. Or when someone calls someone else out, and then turns out to be wrong.

Reporters also need to be careful that people on one political side don’t goad them into making generalizations about those on the other side. Some Trump critics have taken a guilt-by-association approach, suggesting that because the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups have embraced Trump, and because Trump himself has said things that meet the “textbook definition” of racism, all of his followers — nearly half of American voters — must be racist.

Racists, of course, will try to muddy the issue, dressing nicely and reviving old canards like: I’m not anti-anyone, I’m just pro-white. The Los Angeles Times story didn’t break any news when it said racists wear suits now: Chuck D and Ice Cube said the same thing in the early 1990s.

And so reporters find themselves trying not to make the same sloppy, ignorant, despicable generalizations used by racists — without giving racists a pass.

Some critics say racism is like pornography — we know it when we see it. The question is how to say it when we see it.

My humble plan, so far, is to try to present it the way I did in this story. To call out racism as racism, but not to cry wolf. To give people the benefit of the doubt, when it is reasonable to do so. And to be meticulous in calling out textbook racism, whether by the the alt-right or the president-elect.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Publicist Who Denies Working for Steve Bannon Works for Bannon's Publicist

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