Soup d'Etat | Crooked Media
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September 05, 2020
Lovett or Leave It
Soup d'Etat

In This Episode

Chowder is a weapon and Antifa has an airline. What a week. Akilah Hughes stops by for the monologue. Ronan Farrow is back so that we can test our relationship again for some reason. And activist Imani Barbarin joins to talk about the challenges facing voters with disabilities and what steps we need to take to turn out the vote.



Lovett  Welcome to the 26th and final episode of Lovett or Leave It, Back in the Closet. That song was sent in by Michael DillenBerger, crushing it on the theme, crushing it in the name department, DillenBerger.

So this is our final week of Back in the Closet episodes. Are we still recording remotely? Of course we are. But I know that for me, life from home can be hard, but politics from home feels harder. It has been six months of terrible, terrible news and noise after four very long years, all without the release valves of meeting friends at a restaurant or seeing a movie or going to a rave and we all miss raves. And there has been so much hardship for people that have lost jobs or gotten sick. And I was texting with a friend of mine who has kids, and all my friends with kids described dealing with their children as if a skittish deer broke into a pottery studio and destroyed the place and then society turned to them and said, you have to get the deer to calm down so you can teach the deer how to make a vase. So I will normally say this in a more hopeful way but today I’m going to say it like this, that we have 60 days to make them pay for the last six months. We have 60 days to shake ourselves out of a torpor if that’s where you’re at, and win and win everywhere and win by a lot. So we’re not in the closet anymore, we’re in the Homestretch and we’re gonna talk about what happened each week but more than ever, we’re gonna talk about what we can do and how we can stay in the fight. So if you haven’t signed up yet, sign up at

And if you want to submit a home stretch theme song to get people hyped, send it my way at and maybe we’ll use yours. And I want to figure out a way to share all the back in the closet themes we got because they were so amazing. And I’m so excited to hear your hype songs for the Homestretch. Now in that spirit, the conventions are over. Many states have less than one month to finish registering voters ahead of Election Day. Earlier this year, Vote Save America teamed up with Powerpack to launch the Every Last Vote Fund. The fund supports aggressive on the ground efforts to mobilize black, brown, indigenous and other marginalized communities who are routinely the victims of targeted voter disenfranchisement efforts. We want to raise $750,000 to help them do what they do so you can visit and to donate and learn more. Later in the show we’ll be joined by activist Imani Barbarin and journalist and video game completionist Ronan Farrow for a return of our version of The Newlywed Game, which was, per usual, a mess.

But first, she’s a comedian, author of the book, Obviously, and co-host of Crooked’s daily news pod, What A Day. Welcome back, returning champion Akilah Hughes.


Akilah Thank you so much, Jon. Good morning.


Lovett Let’s get into it. What a week.

On Tuesday, seemingly out of nowhere, President Trump denied that he had a series of mini strokes in November 2019. Trump followed this by saying it was a series of huge strokes, big, beautiful strokes. People say to me, people are always coming up and saying, how did you get the stroke so big? I didn’t know these strokes, they could be so incredible. And they are incredible. They really are powerful. More and more doctors are saying it.


Akilah I give that ten out of ten.


Lovett Great.


Akilah Yes, giant strokes.


Lovett We still don’t know. I mean.


Akilah  Why did he bring it up? It’s like and also people, I’m hearing that people are saying my dick doesn’t get high. Who said that? Why are people saying that like no one was thinking about that? But now we are.


Lovett  Yeah, it’s like it’s like that joke that um, you know, my shirt that says I’m not a human trafficker is raising a lot of questions answered by my shirt. That’s not my joke. It’s a it’s a Twitter joke.


Akilah I like it.


Lovett  Whoever wrote that joke, it’s a great joke.


Akilah  Shout out to you.


Lovett  Shout out. Also this week, we learned that according to Sarah Huckabee Sanders new memoir, President Trump told Sanders to “take one for the team” after Kim Jong-Un winked at her at a 2018 summit in Singapore. Look, Michele Wolf learned the hard way. If you want to joke about Sarah Huckabee Sanders in 2018, you cannot mention her makeup. Just stick to safe topics like her being jokingly order to fuck a murderous dictator.


Akilah  Ok, ok. Yeah. Yeah. Damn. Again, why did she write this? Who was curious?


Lovett  I assume it’s meant to be charming, although my understanding is that her reaction in the book is stop.


Akilah  Great. So wonderful. Oh Man.


Lovett  Also, we learned this week that the U.S. will not be participating in a global effort to develop and distribute a COVID19 vaccine, in part because the strategy is led by the World Health Organization, which Trump has targeted purely as a scapegoat for his failures to contain the virus in the US. So we’re cutting ourselves off from the rest of the world, which is great because the U.S. actually prefers to eat lunch by itself in the quiet room.


Akilah  I mean, the thing is, that makes America sympathetic and I am not sympathetic. This is like a teacher that’s like not going to grade the tests so then everybody else has to suffer. Like, can we just get out of this class a bit?


Lovett  It’s a bit like we’re at the part of the movie where the popular kid is finally getting their come up ends and actually their meanness and bullying isn’t working. And then it’s the point of the movie where the the bully villain turns to the henchmen and goes, come on, Jake, let’s get out of here. And Jake’s like, staying with the nerds.And you don’t I mean, and Jake’s like it turns out, actually, the gay kid and I are friends and maybe I’m gay.


Akilah It’s like the part in every 90s movie where the hot girl or like the girl who is regular, who got the make over, who became hot, realizes the guy is a dick and like paid to go on a date with her. But he keeps trying to pay to go on the date with her. He’s just like relentlessly, I can just, I can do this. And this is who I am now. I’m the guy who pays for sex in high school.


Lovett All right. Well, I think we ran that to ground.


Akilah Yeah, well. Yeah. I got no more metaphors and or similies.


Lovett  After spending $200,000 in Facebook ads since May disparaging vote by mail, Trump’s reelection campaign spent $650,000 on Facebook ads over the past week, encouraging his supporters to request absentee ballots. So if your great aunt, who lives in Scottsdale and refuses to try sushi because it’s raw, suddenly asked you for help working her printer, just tell her you’re busy and distract her by saying your pronouns are they/them.


Akilah  Yeah, I mean that’s fair. Yeah. She’ll get on Twitter and yell about it.


Lovett  During Trump’s intentionally divisive visit to Kenosha, he posed in front of a burned down business with a man pretending to be the current owner of the shop. The current owner was furious because he committed arson for the insurance.


Akilah  Groves. Scattered applause.


Lovett  Wait I have more. Here we go. This is a, this is in the voice of that owner. OK, you ready?


Akilah  All right.


Lovett You try to take advantage of some unrest to get a little insurance money, retire, maybe head down to Scottsdale with the misses. It’s not right, but you know what? One time you take a little extra one time and your whole goddamn life, you don’t play by the rules. You are always the guy that drove back to the bank with the extra 20 and you look around and nobody cares. Not in this America. Not now. So you count some cards and you push your chips forward. Next thing you know, the worst president history and some jagoff pretending to be you is saying blue lives matter in front of your crime scene.


Akilah Well, yeah. Dang. I want that guy to find peace. Clearly his business thing wasn’t cutting it. He just wanted a new life. I understand. Cut him some slack.


Lovett  Yeah. I mean Akilah, I know your roommate. I think you’ve probably thought about it.


Akilah  Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah.


Lovett  On Monday, Joe Biden came out of his basement to give a speech in Pittsburgh, America’s basement, during its birth…I want to be clear that I apologize to Joe Biden and apologize to Pittsburgh for saying those things.


Akilah I don’t. I am a Bengals fan. Pittsburgh can eat my shorts, continue.


Lovett  During the speech, Biden said this:.


Biden Clip  “He said this week, and I quote, You better vote for me or you’re going to have the greatest depression you’ve ever seen.”


Lovett  Trump in response gave a series of absolutely wild television appearances. First, he accused Biden of being on drugs.


Trump Clip “[Reporter] What do you think he’s on? [Trump] I’ll tell you, well, he’s on some kind of an enhancement, in my opinion. And I say we should both. I should take a drug test, so should he, because we don’t want to have a situation where a guy is taking some kind of, like- [Reporter] It’s like athletes? [Trump] No, no. He should take one. I want to take one. I will take one, he’ll take one. We should both take a drug test.”


Lovett  That hydroxychloroquine spokesman is right. Taking drugs outside of a controlled clinical setting is dangerous.


Akilah  I appreciate it. I appreciate it. You made the point. Yes.


Lovett  We must make sure, Akilah, that our candidates are not taking governing enhancing drugs.


Akilah That’s exactly right.


Lovett What message would that send to the child candidates? The Pete Buttigieg’s. The Jon Azoff’s. These young people, these employees.


Akilah  At this point, I would hope that Trump would take some governing enhancing drugs if it means we could get out of this shit.


Lovett  Then outdoing himself, Trump decided to share his thoughts about one of Antifas weapons of choice.


Akilah  Oh, yeah.


Trump Clip “And then they have cans of soup, soup, and they throw the cans of soup. That’s better than a brick because you can’t throw a brick. It’s too heavy, but a can of soup, you can really put some power into that. Right. And then when they get caught, they say no this is soup for my family. They’re so innocent. This is soup for my family. It’s incredible. And you have people coming over with bags of soup, big bags of soup.”


Lovett  I’ve heard of the Anarchist Cookbook, but this is ridiculous. Hey, Akilah, hey, Akilah, what do you call Donald Trump complaining about bisque? You call him a soup Nazi.


Akilah  Okay.


Lovett Hey, what’s next, Akilah? Is he going to sign an executive order that says no soup for you?


Akilah  It’s too early for that one.


Lovett  Hey, Akilah, who do you think he’s going to unleash to deal with these soup wielding Antifa?


Akilah I don’t know, Jon, who?


Lovett  It’s the gazpacho Gestapo. Sorry is my mic not working? Gazpacho Gestapo.


Akilah  You know, I think if you say it one more time.


Lovett  These militias are very serious. I don’t know. It’s very scary.


Akilah  I just, the soup thing is, is really struck me only because I’m like, how many instances of giant bags of soup were there? This is a one. This is like Paul Bunyan level like tall tale. Like it’s not like a lot of people saw this happen. This was a real thing.


Lovett  These this antifa, they got this one guy’s real strong. He’s stronger than an engine. He could have cut through a mountain with two hammers, stronger than any engine. He can beat the engine. That’s what’s so amazing about this antifa. That’s how strong their brutal, strong, evil people with with two hammers they can get of the mountain.


Akilah 20 feet tall.


Lovett 20 feet tall.


Akilah 30 feet tall.


Lovett One of these guys Anfita, they got this big blue ox.


Akilah  And they say his life doesn’t matter.


Lovett  Oh man. Blue Ox is blue ox blue-.


Akilah Blue Ox Lives matter. We’ve done at the height of comedy.


Lovett Wrap it up. We’re done.


Akilah The applause sign is down I guess.


Lovett  It’s broke. Sparks coming up. The applause sign fell on a tourist visiting from the Midwest. And they had tickets for Corden tomorrow. And then after saying Joe Biden was controlled by the far left, he said this to Laura Ingram,.


Trump Clip  “[Trump] She’s not controlling anything. [Reporter] Who do you think is pulling Biden strings? Is it former Obama people? [Trump] People that you’ve never heard of. People that are in the dark shadows. People that [Reporter] What does that mean? That sounds like conspiracy theory. Dark Shadows. [Trump] No people that you haven’t heard of, they’re people that are on the streets, they’re people that are controlling the streets. We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend. And in the plane, it was almost completely loaded with with thugs wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms, with gear and this and that they’re they were on a plane. I’ll tell you sometime, but it’s under investigation right now.”


Lovett  I don’t know about you, Akilah, but I love Antifa Air. The rewards program is comparable to Delta. The lounge is fine, but mostly they have milk and soup, but a little travel hack. All right, little tip. Don’t buy a first class ticket. That is a trap. You’ll regret it.


Akilah  Oh, I just I think my favorite part about him talking about Antifa is that they’re telling these looters that are on the plane together, are telling the people who aren’t looters who just got on the wrong plane I guess that they’re looters. Like, that’s just like, oh, what do you do? Are you traveling for business or pleasure? Looting, mostly. I was hoping to burn down a Target.


Lovett Anyway, meanwhile, as Trump is fanning the flames of conspiracy theory, Senator Joni Ernst, facing a tough reelection, parroted accused on conspiracy theory that the number of coronavirus dead is drastically inflated. Joni, if you want to get fired that badly, just tweet something awful when Betty White dies.


Akilah She’s never going to die is the problem. I mean not a problem, I’m glad she’s going to live forever. I’m just saying that that lady is never gonna get that opportunity.


Lovett The face you made, the horrified face is something I won’t forget.


Akilah  Yeah, I went through all five stages of grief at once.


Lovett  And finally this week, Senator Ed Markey defeated challenger Joe Kennedy in the Democratic Senate primary in Massachusetts. This is a huge victory for the Green New Deal Progressive’s and for Twitter users who posted pictures of Ed Markey from the 80s because it seemed like the thing to do. Shout out to all of you.


Akilah  Man, I just hope that I, that the world is still here when I’m old so that people can remember when I was hot. Any time something happened, like, remember when she was hot and I’ll be like, that’s right, post that pic.


Lovett There is an interview that Fran Lebowitz, the writer, gave about pictures and she said that when she was younger, she hated pictures of herself. But over time, she likes all old picture of herself because all the ways in which you thought you look good or bad, fade away and you just look young. And I know that that’s a smart thing to embrace when I see photos of myself now that I hate. But I can’t because I’m in it, you know.


Akilah  Yeah. Yeah, it’s like how I’ve always thought if I just lost like five pounds or like five pounds from my stomach went to my butt, like that would be everything. And I’m like, yeah but now it’s 10. Now it’s 15.


Lovett Well right. Right.


Akilah  It’s literally not getting any better so why can’t I just appreciated it.


Lovett  Yes. I feel the same way, like the deeper we get into quarantine life, the more photos from last year that I was like we gotta get our shit together are now like who is that fucking model.


Akilah Yes. I’m like look at her walk down the hall. Yeah. Her thighs were touching and like, in a beautiful way, in a way that we all appreciated it for what it was.


Lovett  It’s a lesson. And just one more note on the Ed Markey race. If you listen to the interview, you know that I’ve exacted some pretty significant concessions from Senator Ed Markey on the issue of daylight saving and I will not forget it and I will return to it and I expect him to keep his word. That’s all I’ll say about that.


Akilah  Okay, so about daylight savings, just a real quick question. Like which time do you want to be in the one that we’re now or the one from the fall?


Lovett  So here’s what I think. I want, I personally like Daylight Saving Time. I don’t want dark at 4 o’clock.


Akilah  Got it. You never want to be plunged into darkness.


Lovett  I never wanna be plunged into darkness. I think in the end, most places should remain on daylight saving time permanently. But my actual position is that depending on where you are in a time zone, sunrise and sunset come earlier or later. So sunrise and sunset in Boston is almost an hour earlier than it is in Detroit. So Detroit might be better off in standard time. Right. And Massachusetts might be better off on on daylight saving time. My view is that basically right now the law says you can be on either permanent standard time or you can do the time jump to get the summer hours. The time jumps really harmful. So states need a third option, which is that states should be allowed to decide on permanent daylight saving time. Then you give states a window to choose basically one of three. Keep the time jump, which is mostly pretty harmful. There’s probably a few states that might want to keep it due standard time, which would be a change for a bunch of states, because most because virtually all states now embrace Daylight Saving Time or do permanent daylight saving time, which is already kind of proposed and passed in a number of states if we can get the federal government to change the law. So that’s the issue. That’s the that’s my view on it right now. I’m going to talk to some sleep scientist on this show to kind of keep diving in on this. All right. Because I actually think it’s one of those things that it’s not ideological, but it’s just something that can make life a little bit better. And the time shift is so stupid and harmful and deadly, like, yeah, we should probably stop doing this thing that’s unnecessary, that kills people every fall and spring. That’s my view. But this is America, and we like not making changes that can prevent preventable death. We actually embrace preventable death.


Akilah Akilah Hughes. Delight, as always. Thank you so much for joining for the monologue when we come back. Ronan’s here to play the Achoo-ly Spread game.


Favreau Hey, don’t go anywhere. There’s more of Lovett or Leave it coming up.


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Favreau  Deals. Comfort.


Lovett Their Labor Day event is happening now featuring everything you need to outfit your home this season at a fraction of the price. We love Brooklinen. I have Brooklinen on my bed and it’s very, very comfortable and it’s very soft.


Favreau  They’ve always been our favorite sheets.


Lovett  They’ve always been our favorite sheets. We think they’re terrific and we’re all using them. And everyone says we look younger than our ages. Why? Because we get good night’s sleep. And because Zoom has a filter that smooths out problems. Right, Jon?


Favreau  Right. Absolutely. Absolutely. Where are we talking about?


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Favreau  Get some new sheets. And now you’re in Temecula.


Lovett And look, we do things a little differently out here. Brooklinen’s Labor Day event is underway, and it’s a big one. Don’t miss out on big savings on all things sheets, towels, loungewear and so much more. And if you can’t wait, you’ll get 10 percent off your first order and free shipping right now when you use the promo code. Lovett. Only at Brooklinen everything you need to live your most comfortable life.


Lovett  And we’re back. Joining us…


Ronan  Hey, Akilah.


Lovett  We’re not up to you yet.


Ronan  Sorry.


Lovett  Joining us from across the couch from me, he is a Pulitzer Prize winning author, journalist. Welcome back to the show, The Grim Reaper for Hanzi Creepers, The King of Consent, The Man I Catch and Kiss, Ronan Farrow.


Ronan Really? Catch and Kiss? Hi everyone. Hi Akilah.


Akilah  Hi.


Lovett  It says here in the notes from Travis. Have a nice conversation with your husband. Don’t forget to compliment him and notice something about him you don’t normally notice. Isn’t he dreamy? You’re lucky. You should remind yourself of that more often. OK, now brushes hair behind his ears and just see where it goes. No, thank you. Travis.


Ronan  Let’s be honest, what Travis is really setting us up for is…


Lovett  What? What are you setting us up for?


Ronan  More relationship destruction.


Lovett  I know, right? That’s right, because…


Ronan He just likes to watch the world burn.


Lovett  That’s a good point. That is right. Because the questions are going to be awful. So he’s setting us up.


Akilah  So just make sure that you, you know compliment. All right. Well, here is how…


Ronan  I don’t understand the rules. We’re we’re entering our answers here. And then we’re…


Lovett  Can you just let the…


Ronan  OK. All right.


Akilah  I mean, you can host it if you want Ronan. I don’t mind. I think he’d do a great job. And Jon and I have enough history at this point that we could play.


Lovett  Since our last episode Back in the Closet, we thought we’d check in as a couple, just like we did back in April, because in 2020, when it comes to spending time as a couple, it’s about quantity, not quality and we wanted to see just how much we are learning about each other in a segment we call The Achoo-ly Spread Game. As Kumail Nanjiani pointed out, the first time he played sneezing is not a symptom usually of COVID19. But since Ronan and I will be playing this game, we are, as you can tell, bringing in a impartial ringer as the host. She’s the incredible, funny host of Crooked Media’s What A Day, you remember her from the monologue please welcome Akilah Hughes.


Akilah  Oh, my God. Thank you so much. Wow. I love it here. Warm welcome. warm welcome. Beautiful intro. All right. Well, let’s talk about how this game works. All right. So I’m going to ask one of you a question about the other person, and then that person has to write down their answer and you have to guess what they wrote down. Do you bemember that Ronan?


Lovett We’re still together. We’re still here.


Akilah All right. Well, if you all are ready, let’s just get into it. This first one is for Ronan.


Lovett Ok. OK. OK, ok. OK.


Akilah All right, Ronan, what meal has Jon learned how to make during quarantine that he’s most proud of?


Lovett  Oh, that’s a hard one.


Akilah  You have to write it down.


Lovett  All right. I have my answer written down.


Ronan  All right. I know my answer.


Akilah  OK, Ronan, what do you think?


Ronan  It’s the kind of tomatoey and anchovey heavy, saucey pasta by some chef of note. Some celebrity chef.


Lovett Wow. So.


Ronan  Am I right?


Lovett  No, because that is one pasta ago. You’re close. That was the Allison Roman pasta. But of course we’ve moved on to the Chrissy Teigen pasta.


Ronan  Well that is um, politically correct of you.


Akilah  You know, at least you’re in the pasta lane, you’re right.


Lovett  No, I want to be clear. This isn’t a political answer. This is purely because that spicy miso pasta from Chrissy Teigen rules. It rules. And if you want to make yours, you know know, make it, you’ll like it. That’s a endorsement.


Ronan  I love Chrissy.


Lovett  Oh, my. OK. All right. All right. We got it. She’s the queen. We love Chrissy. She rules over us. Whatever she says goes Chrissy Teigen.


Ronan I appreciate her animal crossing game.


Lovett OK. All right. We’ve sucked up to Chrissy plenty.


Akilah  She’s the best. All right. Well, this question is for Jon Lovett. All right, Jonathan, what is Ronan’s favorite thing he read during quarantine?


Lovett  What? What is the what has Ronan in read?


Akilah  He’s still typing. Seems like a long answer.


Lovett  First of all, by the way, it’s like we’re not doing a lot of reading, but so lets.


Akilah  Well, no that’s not true. If you’re on Twitter, you’re reading.


Ronan  I think what we’re running up against here is we are no longer literate. Akilah.


Lovett  No, but there’s one. There’s one you read one thing. You kept trying to get me to read it with you and I wouldn’t.


Akilah You read one thing.


Lovett  You know what I’m talking about though Ronan? Do you know what I’m referring to? That you were you were saying like, oh, we should read this together. And I was like, no, I’m not gonna read anything. I’m going to watch Golden Girls.


Ronan  No, I read something that was very fun that I thought you’d enjoy.


Lovett Yes.


Ronan  I was trying to get you to read.


Lovett But I’m really. I know.


Akilah  Do we have an answer?


Lovett  I don’t have an answer. But…


Akilah This is amazing. Any book. You could lie.


Lovett  Do you have a book? Did you write a book down?


Ronan  I did write a book down. And it is a book that I, I read during quarantine.


Akilah Can you give him a hint about the book?


Lovett Give me a hint. Give me one tiny hint.


Akilah  Is the book heavy?


Akilah  You all are killing me.


Lovett  I’m going to guess In Cold Blood.


Ronan  No, I was going to say Kafka By The Shore.


Lovett  Oh Kafka By The Shore. That was something you read when you… I we just, we blew it.


Akilah  You know, it’s okay. This is the beginning of the game. It’s not over. All right. Here is a question for Ronan, who read Kafka By the Shore. As we all know now. What traits, skill or interest, does Jon Lovett have now that has been transferred to you over the course of this quarantine?


Ronan OK.


Akilah  Immediately thought of something.


Ronan Oh, yeah, I know.


Lovett  Oh no. You know what it is.


Ronan  Yeah. Absolutely.


Lovett   It’s like really clear.


Ronan  Yeah. Very clear to me.


Lovett Oh no. What awful trait have I conveyed to him just during quarantine. It’s like really daring quarantine.


Akilah  Yeah. Over the course of quarantine.


Ronan  Oh, it has to be exclusively during the quarantine?


Akilah  It says over the course.


Lovett  I think I know what you’re referring to.


Akilah  If it has to be I mean, I listen. I guess I’m the one who decides. So it doesn’t have to be I guess only, but.


Lovett OK. Thank you. My answer is Diet Coke fiend.


Ronan Yeah, that’s it.


Lovett  Yes.


Ronan  That’s it.


Lovett  Oh, wait. He’s supposed to say it. He was supposed to say it and I confirm it.


Ronan  You’re just gonna have to trust me that I was going to say.


Akilah I trust you because you didn’t even waiver. There was not even a moment.


Ronan  No there’s no doubt. I was not a diet soda drinker or a soda drinker. Full stop. I was a water guy. I was a juice guy. I was a milk guy. And now devices have transferred.


Lovett Yeah.


Ronan  Especially with the soda. Really, no no fun vices, actually. Just the the diet coke.


Akilah  Yeah. You’re like it’s a really wholesome vice.


Lovett Sort of insulting to eating cookie dough by the jar. Yeah. All right.


Ronan  That has yet to transfer over.


Lovett  Listen, you don’t turn down the spoon.


Akilah Well, here is a question for Jon Lovett. All right. Who should have Ronan kept in better touch with during quarantine?


Lovett  Wow.


Akilah  I mean, I know my answer. I miss you Ronan.


Ronan  I miss you Akilah. Lets hang.


Akilah  I could stand outside your house and just wave.


Ronan You know, that would be better than my social life baseline at this point. I don’t see people.


Akilah  My serotonin isn’t hard to refill.


Ronan  This is a hard one.


Lovett  I’m going to do a category. I’m going to do a category of person.


Akilah  Oh, wow.


Ronan Curveball.


Lovett Maybe. I don’t know.


Ronan  Okay. Category’s fine.


Lovett  Childhood friends.


Ronan  The answer is Law School friends.


Lovett  Oh, that was my other answer.


Akilah  Did you know any of your childhood friends in law school? Did they go to law school?


Ronan  No. But I am still friends with a few, like second grade, fifth grade. Some of my friends.


Lovett  Not high school, because he skipped high school.


Akilah  That’s pretty tight.


Ronan   It’s not a big deal.


Lovett  Yeah, I don’t think it’s actually a good thing because you didn’t, because there’s a bunch of social cues he missed.


Ronan Which is why I’m so dysfunctional.


Akilah  You know, I can relate. I skipped middle school, so I have this inflated sense of confidence that was a beaten out of me.


Lovett  That’s what happened here. That’s what happened here.


Akilah I’m like sorry, guys. I just by the time you knew me, I was hot. It’s unfortunate, but we all know the truth.


Lovett  Yeah, my awkward phase is about to end.


Ronan  High school seems like a nightmare. Everything I know about high school is from, like, you know, Breakfast Club or something and it just seems terrible to me.


Akilah  Yes, if you learned from movies, it’s just like people with hot steps siblings that want to date them. That’s what I’ve learned from high school movies. Nothing else. Well, Ronan this one’s for you. What is the hobby that Jon decided to pick up in quarantine that he has already abandoned? Has he given up on a dream?


Ronan So many dead dreams. Dead inside hobby.


Lovett You know, it was easy? You know the answer instantly? It was simple to you?


Ronan For me.


Lovett  OK. OK.


Akilah It seems like Ronan has been thinking about all of these things.


Ronan Just negative, dark thoughts racing through my mind.


Akilah  Like I know he’s given some thought about it.


Lovett  I’m going to say um…


Akilah I mean, is this fully abandoned or sometimes returns to…


Ronan Hope springs eternal, Akilah.


Akilah  That’s right. You know, I can never judge.


Ronan The correct answer is ring fit adventure.


Lovett  Oh I said cooking because I couldn’t think of anything but I did give up on the ring adventure, that’s fair.


Akilah Yeah I mean we just heard about this pasta.


Lovett I was grillin’ salmon.


Ronan I had to like borrow, beg and steal and strangle a man with my bare hands to get a copy of Ring Fit Adventure.  If you don’t know, it’s a it’s a fitness game. A tension ring.


Akilah  Oh, I’ve heard about this.


Ronan I had to kill Yoshi, it was very sad.


Akilah You guys have just like pieces of this game?


Ronan  I still do the ring fit occassionaly. It’s a very good workout.


Lovett It must be nice. All right. Some of us are struggling with motivation. I got it. Point taken. I’ll work out more.


Akilah  All right, Mr. Lovett, this is for you.


Ronan  I think both of us, with the motivation as ask my editors.


Akilah  It’s Tuesday evening and Ronan wants to flake on a Zoom happy hour. What is the excuse?


Lovett Okay, that’s easy. That’s easy. That’s easy. I got it.


Ronan  I’m so flattered that you think that I’m invited to happy hours.


Akilah  We’re supposed to believe you wouldn’t be invited? You’re a Disney princess.


Lovett  I have a I have my answer easy. I’m ready to call it out. It’s super simple. Super easy.


Akilah  All right.


Lovett  The excuses is, he’s on deadline.


Ronan   That is correct. I’m on deadline.


Akilah  Perfect.


Lovett [00:34:11] I’ve got to say, what’s really exciting about this is we did much worse in April. All right. We did much worse in April.


Ronan  Yeah. Oh yeah there was great discourse.


Lovett  We were really stuggling and we are getting questions, right.


Ronan  Yeah. I just want to be clear. This is a real excuse.


Lovett He’s always on deadline.


Ronan  It’s not a fake excuse.


Akilah Yeah. I mean, if you think about it life is just one long deadline. Yeah. You’re never lying.


Lovett  Dying since the day we were born Akilah.


Akilah Yeah. Every day I get a little closer to the whatever happens there. Well, that got dark again.


Ronan  This is a really dark edition


Lovett  No its not we’re having so much fun.


Akilah  Yeah. The backdrop is the end of the world, not us. We’re just living in it. Oh, God. All right. Well, this is the final question for Ronan.


Lovett  Final question.


Akilah  There’s two there’s a final question for both of you. Final question for Ronan. It is 2:00 a.m. and Postmates is at the door again. Why did Jonn order?


Ronan Oh, that’s easy.


Akilah  All right, Jon, are you ready to confirm?


Lovett Go.


Ronan Chicken parm.


Akilah  The look.


Ronan  McDonald’s?


Lovett  At 2am? At 2am? what’s open at 2a.m?


Ronan  Okay, 2am.


Lovett  It’s hard to find a good chicken parm at 2a.m., but I can get some nugs.


Ronan All right. I stand corrected. That is that is a fair correction. He is discerning in his chicken parm fandom.


Akilah  That’s a good point. And I personally haven’t had a chicken nugget this entire time. And that is what I’m having for lunch now. So thank you for that.


Ronan  I love a chicken nugget.


Lovett  Yeah. It’s, um, there’s an, um, there’s that Internet chain letter called Rocko’s Basilisk, which is this idea that the entire world is an evil simulation by an A.I. that’s testing us to see if when the time comes, we will bough to the A.I. and so this is a simulation to find out if we’re people that are on the robot side or people on, humans side and so the test is, somebody will say to you, have you heard of Rocko’s Basilisk? And then you find out that you’re living in a simulation and you have to decide whether or not you would support the robot or not. I obviously support the robot. I support the A.I. I would do whatever they said. That’s how the robot knows to unplug me and give me a good life and not punish me for all eternity. The point being…


Ronan  Oh, we just we just got the tolerant nod from Akilah.


Lovett  The point being the point being, chicken nuggets are in many ways like the Rocko’s Basilisk, in the sense is when somebody introduces the concept of chicken nuggets to you in the simulation, simulation, then finds out whether or not you’ll order them or not, because just the idea of them compels us to eat them.


Ronan  I think Jon just vented his secret anxiety that I’m a Cylon is what just happened.


Lovett I think I got to cut down on the micro doses.


Akilah  Yeah, you got to, like, really lock up your inbox. I feel like you’re getting a lot of spam that you’re reading for some reason. Delete.


Lovett Final question. So here we go.


Ronan  Oh, there’s there’s one more.


Akilah  Yes. For Jonn. OK, here we go. Everyone knows. Wow, I didn’t write this question so before I get to it, I just want to apologize.


Ronan  Is this the one that tears us apart?


Lovett  We’ll find out.


Akilah  I mean. It might ruin our friendship. So I just want you to know I didn’t write this.


Lovett  We know that this is whatever is is about to happen is a instigation by scamp named Travis and won’t  fall for it.


Ronan  The only thing we can say for sure at any given time in this game is that Akilah’s and my friendship will remain strong.


Akilah  That’s right. I am never going to be invited back. Well, this was, this has been real this these years of friendship. I appreciated it Jon.


Lovett  Oh, my God. What is this fucking question?


Akilah  All right.


Ronan  It was going so well.


Akilah  I don’t feel comfortable asking, but I’m going.


Lovett  I just want to be clear that I may end the segment. I just may end this. Whatever this question is, I am very much prepared to end this right now. What is the question, Akilah? Here we go.


Akilah  The question is…


Lovett  Fuck you, Travis.


Akilah  How dare you, Travis.


Lovett I want everyone to know that we actually cut the last question. We actually cut it.


Akilah We should leave all the build up.


Ronan We should let the team decide.


Lovett  No, no the team will not decide. Akilah Hughes…


Ronan  This is great.


Lovett  This got so weird at the end.


Ronan  Especially the stuff we cut was great.


Akilah  Yeah. All I can say is you all missed out on the real after dark version of this.


Lovett  When we come back.


Ronan  We’ll see if you succeed in booking us on a segment again.


Akilah  Yeah, I just got fired, weirdly. It was weird.


Lovett   Everybody did great except for Travis. When we come back, we’ll have my interview with Amani Barber in about some of the hurdles people with disabilities face to participate in democracy and what we can do to be involved.


Lovett  Thank you, Akilah.


Ronan  Bye, guys. By Akilah.


Lovett  Thank you, Ronan.


Akilah  Bye Ronan.


Favreau Don’t go anywhere. This is Lovett or Leave It. And there’s more on the way.


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Favreau  Guy Pearce.


Lovett  I picked him, Jon. You know why I picked him.


Favreau Yes, why no tell me.


Lovett  Because I would say in the last 10 to 15 years, somewhere in that range, roughly, I read a profile about Guy Pearce and it said that he was Brad Pitt with better skin. And I remember that description of Guy Pearce ever since. It really may be a 20 year old article. Maybe a 20 year old memory. With Rory you don’t even have to go to the pharmacy. Your custom skin care is delivered right to you with free two day shipping. You can also follow up with a health care professional anytime if you need to make a change to your treatment or have any questions there with you every step of the way on your skin care journey. With Rory there are no commitments and you can cancel at anytime. Go to to try out nightly defense for just $5, it’s free to chat with a health care professional and your first order is just $5. That’s Eligibility requirements in additional terms apply.

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Favreau What a great story. Love, love. Nordstrom Rack.


Lovett  He loves Nordstrom Rack. Look at him. He’s basically a Nordstrom rack. Clear the rack is back, the rack is back. Clear the rack is back.


Favreau Something that you like to say.


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Favreau  Huge.


Lovett  You know, Emily and I used to go in person and it was real exciting thing for her because we could she could shop for herself and she could buy clothes that weren’t somewhere in the range of gray and blue.


Favreau Yeah, no and I love that she went with you and I didn’t have to go.




Lovett [00:41:39] And we’re back! She’s a writer, blogger and disability rights activist. Welcome, Imani Barbarin. Thanks for being here.


Imani Thank you for having me. I’m so glad to be here.


Lovett So I’ve been eager to talk to you for a while but look, right now, at this moment, we are in the midst of a kind of cycle of political conversation. And I know you’ve tweeted about this, but, you know, Trump today denied that he had mini strokes and that it’s not affecting his gait. There’s been this attack and insults directed at him after, you know, he walked down the ramp slowly. On the other hand, Trump attacks Biden for being sleepy, Joe for not being all there, for being mentally unfit and taken over by AOC and Antifa. So this is obviously become a part of this campaign. How do you feel about that? How do you see it? And what do you think is the if there is any kind of appropriate way to push back on Trump’s attacks on Biden on issues like this?


Imani Well, I think any sort of conversation around capacity is the wrong one. Anybody has the capacity for harm, whether or not you believe they’re intelligent or not, which intelligence is a construct as well. And so I really think that we need to be evaluating people’s actions, absent of this conversation of intelligence and brainpower or willpower, physicality, because we have we’re seeing a very, very detrimental record from the Trump administration on disability. When we think about the hundred eighty thousand lives lost, most of them are people with disabilities or preexisting conditions. I’d rather talk about that than talk about whether or not he’s using a ramp to get up to his speech to spew hate. For me, I’m like who cares about how he got up there, what is he saying when he’s there? A lot of times we like to think of these isms, whether it be ablism or racism, as a way to hurl and discredit any sort of political candidate and it doesn’t really work because it always harms people that are marginalized based on ability. You know, having a conversation on whether or not Trump could hold a cup doesn’t hurt Trump and hurts the person that needs the help holding a cup. Having talks about intelligence doesn’t hurt people like quote unquote, Sleepy Joe. It hurts the person who’s thinking about running for political office that may have a preexisting condition and it sets the mindset of people and potential voters whenever a person with a disability decides they may or may not want to run for office.


Lovett  I obviously agree with you, and I’ve even found myself after the ramp incident. Right. Trump then does this crazy speech where he spends like 30 minutes, we’re in the  middle of a pandemic, he spends 30 minutes talking about the ramp. We made fun of him on one of the shows. I don’t know about how much of a big deal he was making about this ramp, how much it got to him. And a few people commented that, you know, you’re contributing to this ablest discussion. And I really, it really did give me pause. Like, wait, hold on a second, am I am I, like, making a mistake here? Am I am I not being thoughtful enough about this issue where I landed? Was that, that’s right. Of course that’s right. What do we do when there’s somebody like Trump who makes basically being strong, being able a centerpiece of his both his persona and his attack against Joe Biden when one of our jobs has to be to make Trump look weak? To attack him for being a hypocrite, to attack him on some of these scores. What is the way to have that conversation without being ablest, without contributing to the harm you’re talking about to a person who deserves every opportunity but can’t lift a cup? And it shouldn’t be part of how we evaluate that person?


Imani Well, I mean, just the way you ask that question, use the word crazy, which is a euphemism for for mental health illness and so you have to really evaluate our everyday language around ability and disability. When you use an analogy like mental health illnesses to denote something that is out of place or it does not belong, then it’ll never belong. And so when we talk about presidential candidates who use bluster and who use this idea of strength, there’s a lot of ways in which he’s weak that have nothing to do with his physicality or mental health. He likes to talk about making deals. He can’t make a deal to save his life. He talks about his pandemic response that has been nonexistent. He talks about the way in which voters see him. He’s now, what, 13 percent down in the polls in comparison to Biden. We have to start thinking about who people are and not necessarily how they present themselves, because that’s the way you evaluate in which they are, quote unquote, really strong, because there are people like Tammy Duckworth whose physicality does not lend itself to looking, quote unquote, strong in the traditional sense. Yet she could dress somebody down in a congressional hearing any day of the week. Right. So we have to think that.


Lovett You know, it’s I’m glad you pointed, it’s funny, I even in a conversation where I’m trying to be as thoughtful as possible, the word, you know, where I’m trying to to kind of reflect the values we’re trying to sort of represent in this conversation. I say crazy, right? It just it’s a word that just comes to me naturally. And I was the you know, what do I mean when I call him crazy in that circumstance? I mean, self-defeating, narcissistic, giving an extra amount of attention to something that doesn’t deserve it. In some ways, untethered from reality. I go to this word crazy and I’m really honestly just sort of reflecting on the fact that, like, even those parts of our language are so common. How do we begin to make that change to shift away from those words? Because I know there’s a lot of people that hear something like this and are like it’s just a word that means we all know what it means when we ascribe it to Trump. What’s wrong with using the word? It’s not like doctors diagnose people as crazy right now, like we use that. It’s not in the list of it’s not a diagnosis. It’s not a specific illness. It’s a kind of representation of something we all know when we see it. How do you how do you fight that kind of ingrained thing? Something I’m displaying in real time.


Imani I mean, it took a lot of work and I’m not going to pretend that changed your lexicon in the way you describe things will not. It takes a lot of work. I slip up all the time and I’m not saying that anybody is perfect. Where it gets to a place where it’s 100 percent accurate in terms of not using ablest language. But I know that I really try to reflect on what am I actually trying to say? Is it quote unquote crazy or is it nonsensical? Is it going insane or is it out of place like losing the actual what I actually mean instead of the place holder? Because a lot of times, it is language as a place holder for something else. So I really try to go back on what I’m trying to say and think, what am I actually trying to get across with this word?


Lovett  Yeah, shocking and unexpected and wrong or dangerous or silly or what have you. So let’s talk about voting. At Crooked we’ve launched every last vote, which is about supporting organizations and volunteer organizations that are helping fight voter suppression and turn out the vote, especially among marginalized communities. What are the big obstacles or challenges for the disabled community in voting and accessing voting? And what are some of the ways the pandemic has heightened those problems?


Imani  There are so many different aspects of voting and disability. Sometimes I’m at a loss for words for just how deep it goes. There are people that don’t believe people with disabilities should vote. There are people that think that disabled people are too much of a burden in terms of the electoral process. You know, there are also things like signature matching in some places. There are people confused proximity with accessibility. So simply because I have a voting, a ballot in my hand does not make it accessible to a lot of people. There are people who need plain language ballots. There are people that need who are blind, that need digital ballots so that they can read it on their computer screen using a screen reader. There are people who have dexterity issues, they cannot fill out a ballot. And even for me, like ballots are confusing. What am I voting on? And you just check it off, you’re like okay was that a good or bad thing I just did? So in a lot of ways, voting is inaccessible. There are polling stations where the machine isn’t even plugged for an accessible voting unit. There are people in jails who are not convicted of a crime who don’t know that they can vote. These are all disability issues. And so with the pandemic, a lot of people with disabilities are extremely fearful of being outside because we’re automatically high risk. Not only that, but you’re wondering, do pollworkers have enough training because there’s a new poll worker incentive. We’re trying to get more poll workers that are under the age of 60. So will they really be trained well enough to get disabled people to vote and things like that? So there’s so many different aspects. There’s mailbox issues. There’s will I get my ballot in time. The list goes on.


Lovett  It’s all the, um, the universal access problems compounded by specific accommodation issues. So for people listening, you know, we actually are right now signing up people to work in the polls. We’re reaching out to people to be volunteers. What can a person without a disability who’s gonna be a poll worker, who’s going to be a volunteer and canvass and reach out to people? What is the best way to your mind that they can be allies to make sure that people with disabilities can vote and every one of their votes will be counted?


Imani Make sure your rentiers are accessible and make sure that you’re using multiple ways of expressing the exact same information. Make sure that there’s no barrier between the person you’re speaking to and the information you want to give them. Also, make sure that you’re incorporating people with disabilities in the planning process of everything that you do. So when we talk about signing people up to vote, people with disabilities should be poll workers, too, if they feel so led. I know that this is a scary time, but I think that there are those that want to take that risk. I think that there’s a lot of power to being seen at the polls and being seen casting your ballot. Traditionally, there are people like myself who’s black and disabled, whose ancestors fought for the right to vote. So there’s a power of being, going to the polls. So there will always be a certain percentage of people with disabilities going because they simply desire to be seen and counted. And making sure that you have seating available for people who want to wait on line. There’s a whole host of things that you could be doing and always checking with your production advocacy agency for your state. And they do a lot of work around voting every single year. And they’ll have advice for you.


Lovett In the fight to save the Affordable Care Act, to protect access to Medicare, to prevent the repeal of preexisting conditions. There were no groups that fought harder and I think had a bigger impact than disability advocates. They were an extraordinary part of the coalition who through sit ins, through through protests, through campaigns, really played an instrumental role in saving the Affordable Care Act. We are now, you know, heading into this election. What do you view as the biggest fight for disability rights? If we do manage to win, if we are in a different world come January, what is on your mind then? What do you think people need to know are they sort of the next transformational fights, not just about what we can save, but about changes we can make?


Imani The big one is home and community based services. What we’re seeing right now with the pandemic is that a majority of the clusters are in congregate care settings like nursing homes, institutions, jails and prisons. And so people need to be served medically in their own homes. We need to get people to move into their own communities because it is lifesaving that is necessary. We need to have it happen. And right now, there’s such a big push in disability circles to get that done because things like nursing homes are extremely scary. I lived in a nursing home for about two months in 2015 and it was a depressing, devastating place. You wouldn’t want anyone to live there, including people with disabilities. That is the big push that people are looking for now, making sure people get the services that they need in their own communities. And a note to that is that people think that just because a person with a disability needs help, they need to be warehouse somewhere in order for that to happen. Needing help does not make you helpless and needing help does not mean that your life is any less than anyone or anyone else’s. So we need to start unpacking that stereotype and getting people into their communities.


Lovett Joe Biden. The campaign has launched a plan for full participation and equality for people with disabilities. Does that plan do enough to your mind on helping people stay at home, stay in their communities? How do you think Joe Biden is doing as a candidate in terms of advocating for people disabilities?


Imani  Yeah, to my knowledge, a lot of disabled people are extremely excited about this aspect. Kamala Harris was actually the first candidate in the primaries to introduce a disability plan that incorporated common community based services. And so I do think that it is a step in the right direction. I think there’s so many other things that we could be doing, like Social Security, cost of living increases, means testing for Medicare and Medicaid as well, because the current system kind of traps disabled people in poverty unless they decide to try to find a way to work, which is very much so a tightrope walk. I am kind of upset with his reluctance to embrace universal health care. And I think that we really do need universal health care. I think we underestimate how many people with disabilities and with chronic illnesses live in this country who are uninsured or underinsured because they’re kind of this in-between population. So that’s kind of where I want him to go next.


Imani What are you watching right now? What are you streaming? What’s the dumbest thing you’re watching? What are you streaming?


Imani  Well, I’ve I watched two seasons of Cobra Kai in two nights.


Lovett  People like Cobra Kai.


Imani I was very shocked that I liked it and was like why am I watching this? My dad and I used to watch The Karate Kid when I was younger so it kind of brought back memories. Pretty much that or The Game, which is this show I used to watch with my mom. But yeah, I’m not proud of my streaming choices at all.


Lovett  Here’s the thing. This has been a terrible, terrible time. But I think the one permission it has given all of us is to not be apologetic about the things that we’re watching. Forget drama or tension. I do not have the acuity right now to meet new characters. I don’t want to learn any new names. I do want to find out any backstories. I need Dorothy. Blanche, Rose and Sophia. I need Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer. I cannot deal with new people. I need to just unwind. So I don’t think we should be apologetic at all for watching Cobra Kai.


Imani Yeah, the Rose family from Schitt’s Creek knows me extremely, extremely well. Shoutout to Dan Levy. So, yeah, he’s really been my rock through all of this, which is which is very, you know. My boyfriends in the other room like can you stop watching you’ve watched it like six or seven times at this point. But it’s so comforting.


Lovett Well, Imani, thank you so much for taking the time. You know, these are important issues that we should be, I think, talking about more. So I’m glad to finally get a chance to have you on the show and maybe we can touch base again as we are closer to election about ways people can help to make sure everybody gets the chance to vote yes.

Imani  Absolutely. Thank you for having me.


Lovett  Thanks to Imani Barbarin for joining us. We come back, we’re going to hear from listeners about the things they’re doing to stay motivated as we head into the election.


Favreau  Don’t go anywhere. There’s more of Lovett or Leave It coming up.


Lovett  Lovett or Leave It is brought to you by Cash App. Cash App is the simplest way to transfer money from one user to another. We love using it because it doesn’t charge monthly fees or fees to send and receive money. There’s also an option to secure a free debit card that allows users to make transactions and withdraw the money that they have in their Cash App account. If you download the app and use the promo code Crooked, you’ll receive $10 and Cash App will send $10 to Donors Choose, which is helping teachers in the classroom. Look, we’ve said it before, we’ll say it again, Cash App the best way to pay people back or have friends pay you back. We don’t use the other payment apps anymore. Cash App has supported Crooked Media from the beginning. We’ve raised tens of thousand dollars for a host of different good causes. But you haven’t downloaded it yet, which means you haven’t gotten ten dollars for free yet, which doesn’t make any sense.


Favreau  If you hate ten dollars, that’s one thing. If you hate money that’s fine. Then you can stop listening. But otherwise maybe maybe download it.


Lovett  Maybe you live in a post fiat currency society. Maybe your bartering only. That’s the problem. Maybe you trade Citris for spices and pelts. I don’t. Okay. Download the Cash App, use the code Crooked. Lovett or Leave It is brought to you by Better Help. Is something preventing you from achieving your goals?  Better help is committed to facilitating great therapeutic matches so they make it easy and free to change counselors if needed. The service is available for clients worldwide and it’s more affordable than traditional offline counseling. They even offer financial aid. There is a broad range of expertize available which may not be locally available in many areas. They offer licensed professional counselors who are specialized in depression, anger, stress, anxiety, relationships, sleeping and trauma. In fact, so many people have been using Better Help that they are recruiting additional counselors in all 50 states. You can schedule weekly video or phone sessions, all without ever having to sit in an uncomfortable waiting room. The service is both convenient and affordable, and anything you say is confidential. I want you to start living a happier life today. We all do. All of us. Everybody wants them. As a listener, you’ll get 10% off your first month by visiting Join over one million people taking charge of their mental health. Again, that’s Here’s the thing. More people should be in therapy.


Lovett [00:59:04] And we’re back this week instead of a high note. We wanted to talk to listeners directly about what they’re doing to stay motivated as we head into the homestretch. So let’s hit the phones.


Listener 1 Hello?


Lovett  Is it Aubrey or Abrie?


Listener 1 Abree.


Lovett Abree. See there was a third option. Hi, Abree, this is Jon. You’re on with Jon, as we say here on a podcast. How you doing?


Listener 1 Oh my goodness this is so exciting. I’m doing great. How are you?


Lovett  You know we’re fine. Everybody’s we’re OK. All right. We’re in the homestretch. There are 60 days to go. What are you doing to stay motivated?


Listener 1  So I work for a criminal justice reform organization called Cut 50. We work with formerly and currently incarcerated people, and people that are just involved with our justice system. And so I am very committed to working to make sure that their rights are restored specifically to vote, especially in elections. And I think I’m encourage every day by seeing people who have been defined by the worst thing they’ve ever done and turn that pain into motivation to change the world and to change laws. I think there’s a lot more that can be done. I think if things change in November, I think we’ll have a really good shot at getting people freedom. So I’m motivated by that. You know, we are a country that thrives in our democracy, functions better when everybody has a voice in it. So I am motivated by that and excited about it. I think our justice involved community is the community that needs to be heard, and they are the community that will turn out and vote because they’re impacted by laws in a disproportionate way.


Lovett Okay. Abree, thank you so much for sharing that. Let me ask you this question. What are you streaming right now? What are you watching?


Listener 1  What am I watching right now? Oh, my goodness, this is going to sound so bad. But I have watched Vanderpump Rules like fifteen times during quarantine.


Lovett  Oh no, rewatched rewatched. That is awful. That is awful. I don’t want to judge.


Listener 1  My brain is just like mush.


Lovett  I don’t want to judge. All of our brains are mush but I’m rewatching things too. I just, I’m watching Seinfeld and I’m rewatching Golden Girls.


Listener 1 You know what a Crooked cast is watching the Golden Girls.


Lovett  That’s what’s happening.


Listener 1  I listen to you want you guys to keep it and Ira talks about Golden Girls all the time. I just I never watched you growing up and I don’t know if I can commit to it on Hulu right now.


Lovett And I understand that. And I joke, but I support. Look, all of our brains are mush and I can’t meet new characters. And so I totally understand watching Vanderpump Rules. Abree, thank you so much for sharing what motivates you. Appreciate it.


Listener 1  Of course. Take care. Stay safe. You too. What Vanderpump Rules and have a good day.


Lovett No. Everything but that.


Listener 1 All right. Have a good one.


Lovett Hi, this Laura.


Listener 2 Yes, it is Laura.


Lovett  Hi, Laura. You’re on with Jon calling from my podcast.


Listener 2 Oh my gosh, yes. This is so crazy. OK, hello.


Lovett Hi, Laura. OK. So, Laura, we’re in the homestretch.


Listener 2 We sure are.


Lovett  Sixty days to go. What are you doing to stay motivated?


Listener 2  So my husband just became a U.S. citizen this past June. Very exciting. He fled Syria to Jordan. I was living in Jordan and we came here in 2015 and this is the first time he’s ever going to vote in his life. And he is so motivated and it’s so exciting to see how motivated he is. That it like I’m like even more excited. It’s going to be a crazy election for us, for our family and for everybody, really. And then I’m working as a poll worker. I was inspired and now I think Arlington has like too many poll workers. So I’m waiting for my precinct to be assigned to me, but I’m very excited about that, too.


Lovett  That’s awesome. Thank you for signing up to do that. Yeah, it’s a really scary election. But, man, to get to have your first vote is to be in this kind of consequential moment given what Trump has been doing around immigration is an incredible statement. So I think that’s it’s inspiring.


Listener 2  When we came to the United States in 2015, he received his green card literally the day after the 2016 election. And like it was the scariest moment, but a big sigh of relief. And we’ve just worked hard to get him to become a U.S. citizen. His naturalization ceremony had been postponed because of COVID. Thank God he was able to get it in June. And, yeah, it’s been a wild ride. But we’re ready. We’re ready for to make a change.


Lovett  We’re ready. We’re ready. Right now, Laura, I’m asking everybody today, what are we what are we clicking play on? What are we. What are you watching? What horrible thing are you streaming during this time?


Listener 2  Oh, my gosh. I’m a giant fan of Love Island and Below Deck. Those are my mindless TV shows. I’m very invested.


Lovett  No one. No one, literally no one is like, oh, I’m watching a documentary about Vietnam. It’s a 100 percent shit and I love it.


Listener 2  Oh, my gosh. She had no. No one has time for that. My brain needs like a go to and Love Island it is.


Lovett [01:04:10] Well, Laura congratulations to you. Congratulations to your husband on becoming a citizen and getting to vote in this election. And thank you for, thank you for sharing your story. Thanks for being a poll worker.


Listener 2  Thanks for, for all the content you guys put out, it keeps me going.


Lovett  That’s what we do here. Content to keep you going. Bye Laura.


Listener 2  Thank you.


Lovett   Let’s do one more.


Elisa  I think we only have women who wrote in.


Lovett  Usually there’s a couple of gay guys mixed in.


Sydney  There’s a guy, Will, he’s been on the show a couple times.


Lovett  Oh no. Hey, you know what? Let’s leave this in. I want Will to know that we’re not calling you.


Elisa  I can’t believe you said it like we wouldn’t remember Will either.


Lovett Yeah Sydney’s like there’s this guy, Will, we know Will alright.


Elisa  Yeah like we haven’t met him 60 times.


Sydney  It’s a common name, it could be a different Will.


Lovett  It’s not. It’s not.


Lovett Hi, is this Jess?


Listener 3 Yeah.


Lovett  Hi, Jess. You’re on with Jon. As we say here at Lovett or Leave It. How you doing?


Listener 3  Hey, I’m doing well. How are you?


Lovett  I’m doing fine. Everybody is fine. Ronan’s fine. I’m fine. But the point here is we’re trying to get people motivated in the last 60 days, after a hard 6 months after a hard four years. What are you doing to stay motivated? To stay upbeat?


Listener 3 So aside from being enraged all the time, by doom scrolling. I try to channel that energy into different local groups around here in Charlotte, North Carolina. So we have an indivisible chapter and they have to me to be the leader in their voter suppression efforts, which is huge in North Carolina as you may have heard.


Lovett  To fight voter suppression. You’re not trying to suppress the vote.


Listener 3 Yeah, I’m not for voter suppression.


Lovett Anti voter suppression.


Listener 3 Anti voter suppression. Yes. So we’re trying to tap voter suppression. So we’re working with groups like Black Voters Matter. They’re getting a caravan to go around to different districts to help get out the vote. So we’re making sure that rolls through District Nine, which tried to disenfranchize voters last time. I’m writing letters through Vote Forward. That’s a good way to have my wine at the end of the night.  Also making phone calls, through like phone banking for You Can Vote, helping to register voters and helping people to navigate all the different ways in North Carolina that you can vote here.


Lovett  Hear that people? You hear what Jess is doing? She’s writing letters with her Chardonnay. With her Chablis.


Listener 3  Jon, I’m trying.


Lovett  She’s working with LaTosha’s Group. She’s really trying.


Listener 3  I’m really trying. I’m really afraid and that’s the only way that I can get through the next 60 days is by doing something.


Lovett We’re all afraid. You can either be afraid and trying or just afraid I think. When you finish writing your letters to Democratic voters who maybe haven’t voted in a while or when you’re done with your meeting with the LaTosha’s Group about turning out the vote. You open up your your laptop or you turn on your TV and look, let’s all face it, no one has ever said in these conversations that they’re watching something that they’re proud of. What are what are you watching?


Listener 3  I started watching Friday Night Lights. I’ve never watched that before.


Lovett  Compared to some of the reality shows that we have heard today that is that is opera compared to some of the some of the choices people are making, which I support to be clear.


Listener 3  You know, I’m still in the cerebral path. I’m not like going like trash.


Lovett  Amazing.


Listener 3 But, I mean, the football and the dad in Texas is still a little much for me. I’m trying to get past that.


Lovett Okay, Okay. Well, Jess, thanks for everything that you’re doing and thanks for writing all those letters.


Listener 3 Great. Thanks so much. Your call me Levay. Appreciate all you guys doing for keeping us motivated.


Lovett [01:07:59] Thanks everybody who called in. We still want to hear your high notes and if you want to leave us a message, you can call us about something that gave you hope, at 424-341-4193. There are now 59 days until the election. Sign up for Vote Save America to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, hold the House, win the Senate and elect Democrats up and down the ballot. Thank you to Akilah Hughes, Ronan Farrow, Imani Barbarin and and everyone who spoke to us on the phone. Thank you to our grocery workers, truck drivers, delivery people, restaurant workers, flight attendants, teachers, administrators. Thank you to our doctors and nurses and EMT and first responders. Thank you to our whole staff working to keep this show going out and Crooked going strong. And here to send us out a few more back in the closet songs we didn’t get to share. Thanks so much for sending them and have a great weekend.


Lovett or Leave It is a Crooked Media production. It Is written and produced by me, Jon Lovett,  Elisa Gutierrez, Lee Eisenberg and our head writer and the president of the Eastside or Biden riders Travis Helwig. Jocelyn Coffman, Alicia Carroll and Peter Miller are the writers. Our assistant producer is Sydney Rapp. Bill Lance is our editor and Kyle Seglin is our sound engineer. Our theme song is written and performed by Shursha. Thanks for designers Jesse McLean and Jamie Skeel for creating and running all of our visuals which you can’t see because this is a podcast. And to our digital producers, Nar Melkonian and Milo Kim for filming and editing video each week. So you can.