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In 2016, a sane conversation about politics was most needed but hardest to find. Cable news panels, you may have noticed, are not the best.

Twitter is a great place to slowly lose your mind. Everywhere, the work of excellent journalists competes with clickbait, fake news, and whatever Donald Trump is tweeting about. We need a better conversation about politics in this country. That’s why we launched Crooked Media — to talk about politics in a way that doesn’t make you want to throw your phone out the window – with shows and analysis and other forms of sweet, sweet content that inform, entertain, and inspire action. No, we’re not unbiased, we’re not always serious and we’re certainly not always right. But we promise a no-bullshit conversation about politics and culture where you can laugh, cry, scream, ridicule us daily, share your ideas, and hopefully decide that you want to help fix this mess too. That’s it. End of mission.


Crooked Founders

Jon Favreau

Jon Favreau served as Barack Obama’s head speechwriter from 2005–2013, a role that was more senior and influential than Jon Lovett’s.

Since leaving the White House, Favreau has spoken about politics and speechwriting to audiences throughout the world, written for publications like The Daily Beast and The Ringer, nailed the outcome of the 2016 election, and built a media empire with three of his Obama friends in the ideologically diverse bellwether of Los Angeles, California. Jon grew up outside of Boston and graduated from the College of the Holy Cross.

A better way to cook.

Jon Lovett

Jon Lovett is a straight shooter widely respected on all sides. He earned this reputation (which is seriously fantastic, ask people) as a speechwriter for Hillary Clinton and as a presidential speechwriter in the Obama White House.

Jon has written truly excellent speeches, really great, on a range of policy issues. He helped write the president’s annual remarks to the White House Correspondents Dinner. Many people say Jon is one of the funniest guys to do this. The jokes are just terrific. In the years since he’s become a really big league writer in Hollywood. He had a hit sitcom on NBC called “1600 Penn” which was cancelled by some crooked, disgusting people. Totally rigged deal. Also Jon has a great brain. He went to Williams, OK? One of the top guys.


Tommy Vietor

Before seeking fame and fortune in podcasting, Tommy worked for President Obama for almost a decade.

He traveled the world with President Obama as his National Security Spokesman (check out Pod Save the World to learn all about it) and across Iowa with then-Senator Obama as his Iowa caucuses press guy. Medium-bodied with notes of lavender, black pepper, and used boat shoe, this Boston-born bullshit artist should peak in 2018.

Time to make the content.

Crooked Hosts

Ana Marie Cox

Host, With Friends Like These
Ana Marie Cox is a political columnist and culture critic. She conducts the “Talk” interviews featured in The New York Times Magazine.

She also hosts “With Friends Like These,” a podcast from Crooked Media. She was the senior political correspondent for MTV News from 2016 until they pivoted to video.

DeRay Mckesson

Host, Pod Save the People
DeRay Mckesson is a civil rights activist focused primarily on issues of innovation, equity and justice. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, he graduated from Bowdoin College and holds an honorary doctorate from The New School.

DeRay has advocated for issues related to children, youth, and families since he was a teen. As a leading voice in the Black Lives Matter Movement and the co-founder of Campaign Zero and OurStates.org, DeRay has worked to connect individuals with knowledge and tools, and provide citizens and policy makers with commonsense policies to ensure equity. Spurred by the death of Mike Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, DeRay has become a key voice in the effort to confront the systems and structures that have led to the mass incarceration and police killings of black and other minority populations. DeRay was named as one of the World’s Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine in 2015 and as one of the 30 Most Important People On The Internet by Time Magazine in 2016.

Dan Pfeiffer

Host, Pod Save America
Dan served President Obama for eight years as his Communications Director on both the 2008 Campaign and in the White House and finally as Senior Advisor to the President (this may or may not mean that he can’t hold a job).

In addition to podcasting, he is a CNN Contributor. Dan was born in Delaware and has been banned from traveling to Russia by Donald Trump’s friend Vladimir Putin.

Jason Kander

Host, Majority54


A husband, a father, a former Army Captain who served in Afghanistan, and Missouri’s former Secretary of State, Jason Kander is the president of Let America Vote.

Jason – who POLITICO called “the hottest star in Democratic politics” this summer – was the first millennial in the country to be elected to statewide office. He started Let America Vote in February 2017 to fight back against proposals across the country that make it harder for eligible voters to exercise their constitutional right to cast a ballot. In 2016, Jason ran for U.S. Senate in Missouri in one of the most competitive races in the country, and at over $75 million, the most expensive race in state history. Jason’s campaign was bolstered by his viral gun control ad that showed him assembling a rifle blindfolded while making the case for expanded background checks. Jason lost by one of the closest margins in the country, over performing the presidential ticket by nearly 16 points.

Missourians elected Jason as Secretary of State in 2012, when he over performed the presidential ticket by nearly 10 points on his way to becoming the youngest statewide elected official in the country. Before that, Jason volunteered to serve as a military intelligence officer in Afghanistan. After his deployment, Jason came home to Missouri, becoming a leadership instructor in the Missouri Army National Guard’s Officer Candidate School.

Jason is a graduate of American University and Georgetown Law School. He lives in Kansas City with his wife, Diana, an entrepreneur, and their four-year-old son, True.

Crooked Team

Brian Beutler

Editor in Chief
Brian Beutler cut his teeth in the crooked media for 12 years before finally dropping all pretense and joining a company that embraces its Crookedity.

He was a senior congressional reporter for the news site TPM for five years, where he covered all the major reforms of the Obama era, and the conservative backlash that ultimately gave rise to Donald Trump. He was a columnist for Salon, and comes to Crooked Media from The New Republic, where he was senior editor, wrote a daily column and hosted the podcast Primary Concerns. Brian studied physics and astronomy at U.C. Berkeley, where he graduated without particular distinction in 2004.

Corinne Gilliard

Talent and Development Producer
Corinne spent eight years living her “best life” working on the final two seasons of The Oprah Winfrey Show, and producing non-scripted television for OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.

She now works in podcasting. Some might call this “peaking early”, but she’s not into labels.  When she isn’t producing and developing dope Crooked pods, she’s volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters and obsessing over the Academy Awards.  She also reps Howard University all day, everyday (HU, you know!).

Elijah Cone

Digital Manager
Elijah Cone has spent his career in Los Angeles hand-crafting authentic, GMO-free, farm-to-table #content experiences for a variety of faceless corporations and brands.

After a breathtaking series of #content home-runs at Fox Sports, Cone joined the world of political podcasting. “Touchdown.” Growing up in North Carolina, Elijah pivoted to video before he could walk. He graduated from Wesleyan University and continues to credit himself for other alums’ achievements to this day. Enjoy the #content everyone! Like and subscribe.

Elisa Gutierrez

Operations and Production Assistant
Elisa came to Crooked having no idea what to expect but much like the company she works for, she has become a juggernaut of an assistant.

She’s excited to work in the podcasting world and loves hearing people’s stories. She came to Crooked after a fellowship at Univision and Fusion and is a graduate of Columbia University.

Mukta Mohan

Mukta Mohan was asked to write a bio and it sent her spiraling into existential crisis.

How could 150 words capture her desire to seek beauty in unexpected places or convey her sense of wonder? Should she mention that her favorite feeling is being in a new place for the first time or that she likes to listen to the sound of spaces? That she loves to cook for friends and spend time in nature and write in her journal? Or should she stick to her qualifications: that she worked on the Rookie podcast, a variety of shows at MTV News, and in public radio at Marketplace, the economics show? What’s even happening anymore? Does this count as a bio?

Sarah Wick

Chief Operations Officer
Sarah spent the last five years building digital audiences at Maker Studios / Disney, where she most recently served as the general manager of an entertainment, gaming and philanthropy vertical called Revelmode that had more than one billion aggregate monthly views and raised a million dollars in 2017 for charity.

She wishes she didn’t have to use the term “vertical” but that’s just what it was called. Sarah went to Harvard where she was on the Harvard Lampoon, which is why this bio is so funny.

Tanya Somanader

Chief Content Officer
Tanya is an alum of the Obama White House and a former speechwriter/digital-whatever for Nancy Pelosi.

She roots for every team in Cleveland’s factory of sports sadness. Slow walker. 32/f/los angeles.


Chief Executive Doodle
Leo Favreau dropped out of puppy school to join the #Resistance.

He is a grassroots organizer and grasstops pooper who greets every visitor to Crooked Media with two paws and a full heart. Leo is fighting for better toys, more string cheese, longer walks, and a political revolution that will deliver social and economic justice for all. He believes in the power of one voice to change a room, like when his half-sister Pundit barks during Game of Thrones.


Chairdoodle of the Board
Pundit was born believing that both sides are equally to blame for our current partisan morass and that the two parties should come together to actually solve problems again by cutting Social Security.

Currently, Pundit is licking her privates and hoping that General Kelly will finally get Trump to pivot.

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