Former Obama Speechwriter Turned Podcast Celebrity Jon Favreau '03 Discusses Navigating Politics in 2018

The successful podcast, 'Pod Save America,' makes its way to television with four one-hour HBO TV specials covering the midterm elections

In a Q&A interview with Boston Globe Magazine, former head speechwriter for President Barack Obama and Holy Cross alumnus Jon Favreau "03 talks about his overnight success in the world of podcasts and political commentary.

Along with two other former Obama staffers — Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor — Favreau launched what the Globe calls "the scorchingly irreverent political podcast 'Pod Save America'" and the company behind it, Crooked Media, in January of 2017. The twice-weekly podcast, which averages about 1.5 million listeners per show, offers a conversational — often cheeky — breakdown of the week's political news and features politicians, activists and journalists who offer expertise from their particular vantage points.

"When we started Crooked Media and 'Pod Save America,' the other thing we hadn’t seen media do on the left or the right is actually tell people what they can do about the news that they’re seeing, reading, or hearing," Favreau explains in the Q&A. "And so we wanted to make sure that on 'Pod Save America,' when we talk to people about news stories, that we say, 'OK, if you don’t like this, you can go contribute to this candidate. If you are worried about Congress ripping away your health care, here’s a way to contact a member of Congress. Here’s a way to organize a rally or a town hall.'"

On the heels of their audial success, Favreau and his co-hosts have introduced several spinoff podcasts as well as live shows, performing in sold-out venues across the United States and Europe. Most recently, "Pod Save America" secured four one-hour HBO TV specials slated to air this fall covering the midterm elections.

Favreau, a political science major at the College, co-founded the communications and speechwriting firm Fenway Strategies before these new-age media ventures.  In 2014, he returned to Holy Cross to " target="_blank" rel="noopener">offer the commencement address, and was awarded a Doctor of Public Service honorary degree.

Read the full interview at Boston Globe Magazine.

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