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    Pod Save the World

    “Pod Save America” cohost Tommy Vietor thought foreign policy was boring and complicated until he got the education of a lifetime working for President Obama’s National Security Council. On “Pod Save the World,” he and former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes break down the latest global developments and bring you behind the scenes with the people who were there. New episodes every Wednesday. To get access to extended ad-free Pod Save The World episodes, sign up to be a Friends of the Pod member at crooked.com/friends
    enCrooked Media422 Episodes

    Episodes (422)

    French Election Shock, NATO Descends on D.C.

    French Election Shock, NATO Descends on D.C.

    Tommy and Ben discuss the surprising French election results and debate whether Macron’s decision to call early elections was a success or failure, the Labour landslide in the UK, and how American politics loom large at this year’s NATO summit in Washington, DC. They also talk about the election of reformist Masoud Pezeshkian in Iran and how a new president could change relations with the West, the latest on negotiations to end the war in Gaza, what to expect from Bibi Netanyahu’s address to Congress, and why you should wear a poncho if you’re planning on visiting Barcelona. Then, Ben speaks to Coco Khan and Nish Kumar of Pod Save the UK about last week’s elections.

     

    For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

    UK Election Preview with David Lammy

    UK Election Preview with David Lammy

    Ben is joined by guest host David Lammy, British MP and Shadow Foreign Secretary. They discuss the upcoming election in the UK on July 4th and how historic a Labour win by Keir Starmer would be, how to read into popular support for Nigel Farage and his far-right party, an election betting scandal from people within Rishi Sunak’s inner circle, and the key domestic and economic issues on the line. They also talk about David’s theory of “progressive realism” and how a Labour foreign policy would continue to advocate for unity on the war in Ukraine, pressure Hamas and Netanyahu to agree to a ceasefire, and what it would mean for David to represent his country as Foreign Secretary. Then, Ben touches on the arrival of a Kenyan police force in Haiti, Julian Assange’s release from prison, and speaks to New York Times reporter Edward Wong about his new book, “At the Edge of Empire: A Family's Reckoning with China”.

    Democracy or Else is OUT NOW! Buy wherever you get your books: http://crooked.com/books

    Pod Save the World
    enJune 26, 2024

    Why Is Putin Going To North Korea?

    Why Is Putin Going To North Korea?

    Tommy and Ben discuss the “Peace Summit” held in Switzerland for the war in Ukraine and the glaring problem of Russia’s absence, Putin’s first visit to North Korea in 24 years and why this growing alliance is a troubling development, and the news that Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich will stand trial next week in Russia on espionage charges. They also talk about Netanyahu disbanding his war cabinet, analysts warning of increasing terror threats to the United States because of the war in Gaza, devastating polling for Emmanuel Macron ahead of a snap election in France, protests in Argentina in response to reforms pushed through by Javier Milei, and the Pope doing influencer outreach by inviting comedians to the Vatican. Then, Ben speaks with Rep. Ilhan Omar about her letter to President Biden asking for a humanitarian parole program for Sudanese refugees.

    Finally, don’t miss Ben and Tommy discussing how they got into careers in politics – something Tommy, Jon Favreau and Jon Lovett suggest others do in their new book, Democracy or Else. Pre-order Democracy or Else, out June 25th: crooked.com/books

    Pod Save the World
    enJune 19, 2024

    Far Right Surges in European Elections

    Far Right Surges in European Elections

    Tommy and Ben discuss the success of far-right parties in the European Parliamentary elections and debate whether French President Emmanuel Macron’s call for snap elections in France is bold or disastrous. Then they talk about British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s shocking decision to skip a ceremony commemorating the 80th anniversary of D-Day, the latest developments out of Israel and Gaza, including ceasefire negotiations, Benny Gantz leaving Netanyahu’s war cabinet, and the ethics of an Israeli hostage rescue in Gaza that resulted in hundreds of civilian casualties. They also walk through the horrific state of affairs in the civil war in Sudan, a foreign election interference scandal rocking Canada, a Chinese waterfall getting a little help from the government, and why Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville is still very, very dumb. Then Ben interviews Dr. Rosa Balfour, the Director of Carnegie Europe, about the broader implications of the European Parliamentary election results on issues like climate change.

     

    For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

    Pod Save the World
    enJune 12, 2024

    World Reacts to Trump’s Guilty Verdict

    World Reacts to Trump’s Guilty Verdict

    Tommy and Ben discuss Biden’s ceasefire proposal and debate whether going public with the plan will pressure Hamas and Israel to accept it, they also try to understand why Democrats agreed to invite Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress. Then they discuss global reactions to Trump’s guilty verdict, the debate over allowing Ukraine to use American provided weapons against targets on Russian soil, British PM Rishi Sunak’s decision to call early elections on July 4th, shocking election results for Prime Minister Modi in India, an end of a political era for Nelson Mandela’s ANC party in South Africa, and a tit for tat between North and South Korea involving balloons full of trash and K-Pop songs. Then, Tommy covers the historic election of Mexico’s first female president, Claudia Sheinbaum, with Dan Restrepo, a founding partner at Dinamica Americas and President Obama’s former principal advisor on issues related to Latin America.

     

    For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

    Pod Save the World
    enJune 05, 2024

    Norwegian Prime Minister Explains Decision to Recognize a Palestinian State

    Norwegian Prime Minister Explains Decision to Recognize a Palestinian State

    Ben speaks to Jonas Gahr Store, the Prime Minister of Norway, who explains why he decided to formally recognize a Palestinian state alongside the leaders of Spain and Ireland. Then, Ben is joined by Fareed Zakaria to talk about the long term prospects for peace on multiple fronts like Israel and Palestine, Russia and Ukraine, and China and Taiwan. They also discuss Zakaria’s new book, “Age of Revolutions: Progress and Backlash from 1600 to the Present”. Finally, Ben interviews Ravi Gupta about the new podcast from Crooked Media, “Killing Justice”. 

     

    For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

    Pod Save the World
    enMay 29, 2024

    Introducing "Killing Justice"

    Introducing "Killing Justice"

    When a judge in India dies of a heart attack, his passing barely makes the news. But when his niece approaches a journalist two years later, she shares a different story: that the circumstances around Judge Brijgopal Loya’s death have made his family doubt the official story. From Crooked Media and The Branch - Killing Justice investigates how one man’s death has become a lodestone for increasingly polarized politics in India.  Following the reporting and legal fallout that arise from this tip, Host Ravi Gupta examines the conflicting evidence and grapples with the broader implications a single night in the city of Nagpur has on the world’s largest democracy.

    You can hear the first 2 episodes of Killing Justice right now on Apple or Spotify. New episodes every Monday. For ad-free episodes, join the ‘Friends of the Pod’ community at crooked.com/friends.

    Hamas and Netanyahu Accused of War Crimes

    Hamas and Netanyahu Accused of War Crimes

    Ben and guest host Alyona Minkovski discuss the ICC’s application for arrest warrants against both Hamas and Netanyahu for war crimes, the mass exodus of civilians from Rafah, a US-Saudi pact supposedly being days away from being agreed to, and public rebukes against Netanyahu from members of his own war cabinet. They also talk about the Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi’s death in a helicopter crash, Zelensky putting hopes into Xi Jinping to pressure Putin on negotiations, an assassination attempt against the Slovakian Prime Minister, the latest in the trial of Julian Assange, a failed coup involving Americans in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Anthony Blinken “Rockin’ in the Free World”. Then, Ben speaks with Tamara Chergoleishvili, who is running for office in Georgia in this October’s elections in the European Georgia party. 

     

    For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

    Pod Save the World
    enMay 22, 2024

    Biden Punishes China

    Biden Punishes China

    Ben is joined by guest hosts Daniel Kurtz-Phelan, Editor of Foreign Affairs magazine and Rana Ayyub, global opinion columnist for the Washington Post. Ben and Dan discuss a regrouped Hamas in northern Gaza, Secretary Blinken calling out the Israelis for not having a long term plan, Biden’s new tariffs on Chinese goods, the struggle to define America’s relationship with China, Russia’s new offensive in Kharkiv, and protests in Georgia over a foreign agent law. Then Ben and Rana talk about the Indian election, what a third Modi term would mean for India’s democracy, and attacks on Muslims and journalists in the country.

    Pod Save the World
    enMay 15, 2024

    Israel Begins Rafah Offensive (feat. Ali Velshi)

    Israel Begins Rafah Offensive (feat. Ali Velshi)

    Ben and guest host Ali Velshi discuss the latest developments on ceasefire negotiations between Israel and Hamas, the beginning of a military offensive in Rafah, the shutdown of Al Jazeera in Israel, and plans to ban TikTok in the United States. They also discuss Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first visit to Europe in 5 years, Putin’s inauguration and an alleged assignation plot against President Zelensky, and Canadian police bringing charges in the assassination of a Sikh separatist on their soil. Then, Ben speaks with Ali about his new book, “Small Acts of Courage: A Legacy of Endurance and the Fight for Democracy”, and interviews Slovenian activist Nika Kovač about the “My Voice, My Choice” campaign to fight for abortion rights in Europe.

    Tucker Carlson Interviews "Putin's Brain"

    Tucker Carlson Interviews "Putin's Brain"

    Ben and Tommy discuss reports that a temporary ceasefire and hostage release deal between Israel and Hamas may be imminent, that Saudi Arabia has decided to normalize relations with Israel, and that the ICC may issue an arrest warrant for Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu. They also hear from campus protestors in New York, discuss leaked intelligence reports about whether Putin ordered opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s death, Tucker Carlson’s interview with a far-right ultranationalist close with Putin, Secretary of State Tony Blinken’s trip to China, why an Iranian rapper got a death sentence, major leadership changes in Scotland, and a dramatic reading care of Scotland. Then Tommy speaks to John McDermott, Chief Africa Correspondent for the Economist about South Africa’s upcoming election, waning western influence in the western Sahel, and the 30th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide.

     

    For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

    Gaza Protests Roil College Campuses

    Gaza Protests Roil College Campuses

    Ben and Tommy discuss the House approving $26 billion in military aid to Israel despite strikes on Rafah and a continuously deteriorating humanitarian situation, the resignation of Israel’s intelligence chief, a report concluding that there’s no evidence for UNRWA having broad terrorist ties, and student protests over the war in Gaza at American universities. They also discuss supplemental funding for the war in Ukraine, angry reactions from Russian officials, Trump’s personal aide saying he was promised a pardon if he lied to the FBI, Elon Musk’s battle with a Brazilian judge, the US agreeing to withdraw all troops from Niger, and why Biden should stop talking about cannibalism. Then Ben speaks to Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal about her “no” vote on offensive weapons to Israel and her recent trip to Cuba.

     

    For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

    Breaking: Israel Strikes Back at Iran

    Breaking: Israel Strikes Back at Iran

    In a bonus episode, Tommy and Ben talk about the reports that Israel launched a retaliatory strike deep inside Iran, why Iranian leaders are downplaying what happened, why the logic of deterrence is stupid, and the Biden administration’s muted response. They also talk about supplemental funding bills for Israel and Ukraine that the House will vote on this weekend, the messaging incoherence of the US calling for a ceasefire in Gaza while sending Israel more weapons, the US vetoing a UN resolution on Palestinian statehood, and then they take audience questions from the Discord.

     

    For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

    Iran Attacks Israel

    Iran Attacks Israel

    Tommy and Ben discuss Iran’s missile and drone attack on Israel and whether Israel will retaliate, Biden’s message of restraint to Prime Minister Netanyahu, the republicans calling for all out war with Iran, and what Iran’s strike means for efforts to end the war in Gaza and pass additional funding for Israel and Ukraine. They also talk about Ukrainian President Zelensky’s criticism of other countries’ willingness to shoot down Iranian missiles but not those from Russia, a grim anniversary for the civil war in Sudan, a mass stabbing in Australia, former US Ambassador Manuel Rocha pleading guilty to being a Cuban spy, and the arrival of Meghan Markle’s strawberry jam. Then Tommy talks with Middle East expert Khaled Elgindy about post-war reconstruction in Gaza, and what kind of political path forward could actually create a Palestinian state.

    Don't forget to vote for Pod Save the World for a Webby Award!

     

    For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

    Biden Gives Israel An Ultimatum on Gaza

    Biden Gives Israel An Ultimatum on Gaza

    Tommy and Ben discuss Biden’s call with Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu and threat to cut off US support for the war in Gaza, Israel’s announcement that it would open more aid corridors into Gaza, and the head spinning change in political support for the war in Washington. They also explain why Ecuadorian police raided Mexico’s embassy and sparked a global diplomatic crisis, Trump’s “secret plan” to end the war in Ukraine, the election of a pro-Russian president in Slovakia, the Japanese Prime Minister’s State Visit with Biden, how a trillion-dollar Saudi infrastructure project has already become a disaster, and the world’s saddest political tweet via the Tory Party in the UK. Then Ben speaks to David Miliband, the President of the International Rescue Committee, about the moral and legal imperative to try to save lives in Gaza.

    Pod Save the World is nominated for a Webby award for Best News & Politics podcast! Vote for us if you can. 

     

    For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

    Can Saudi Money Whitewash a Murder?: World Corrupt Season 2, Episode 4

    Can Saudi Money Whitewash a Murder?: World Corrupt Season 2, Episode 4

    In the final episode of this four-part series, Rog and Tommy trace the massive flow of Saudi money into Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Wall Street, and how the biggest venture capitalists and A-list celebrities seem to no longer care about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record. They also look back at the history of the US-Saudi relationship, and how President Biden went from pleading to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” to traveling there to fist bump Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah. And finally, they dive into the possible motivations behind Saudi Arabia’s investments, from the need to diversify the Saudi economy, to whitewashing the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and changing the subject from other human rights violations. Despite all the depressing news, Rog and Tommy try to find glimmers of hope where grassroots activism and football can lead the way in creating a more just world. All of this and more, on the final episode of World Corrupt, Season 2.

    Israeli Strike Kills World Central Kitchen Staff in Gaza

    Israeli Strike Kills World Central Kitchen Staff in Gaza

    Ben and Tommy discuss an Israeli airstrike on an Iranian embassy building in Syria that killed several top Iranian generals, Israeli drone strikes that killed seven World Central Kitchen humanitarian relief workers in Gaza and what they tell us about Israel’s lack of concern about civilian causalities, and growing protests in Israel against Netanyahu. Then they talk about Trump’s “shadow Secretary of State” Ric Grenell, the Qataris investing in Newsmax, a 60 Minutes report blaming Russia for “Havana Syndrome”, and one year since Russia arrested WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich. Finally, they cover a new anti-hate speech law in Scotland, the barring of an opposition candidate in Venezuela, Chinese disinformation promoting Trump in the US, a big loss for Erdogan’s party in Turkey’s local elections, and Reagan’s almost assassin complaining about cancel culture.

     

    For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

    Saudi Arabia: The New Home of Global Football: World Corrupt Season 2, Episode 3

    Saudi Arabia: The New Home of Global Football: World Corrupt Season 2, Episode 3

    In episode three of this four part series, Rog and Tommy explore the rise of Saudi Arabia’s domestic football league and why superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar are flocking there. iNews’s chief football writer Daniel Storey joins the show to tell the tale of one of those players, former Liverpool captain and one-time “moral center” of English football Jordan Henderson, whose move to the Saudi pro-league led to one of the starkest falls from grace in recent sporting history. Plus, Saudi Arabia has all but secured hosting rights for the 2034 Men’s World Cup....but did football’s global governing body FIFA rig the bidding process years in advance? And with Saudi Arabia also eyeing hosting duties for the 2035 Women's World Cup, former US Women’s National Team legend Megan Rapinoe gives her thoughts on what it would mean to play football's crown jewel tournament in a country where women are assigned a male guardian and homosexuality is illegal. All of this and more on the latest episode of World Corrupt. 

    How Will Putin Respond to an ISIS Attack? (feat. Bernie Sanders)

    How Will Putin Respond to an ISIS Attack? (feat. Bernie Sanders)

    Tommy and Ben discuss the deteriorating relations between the White House and Bibi Netanyahu's government after the UN Security Council calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, the stalling hostage negotiations in Qatar, and Trump's PR advice to Israel. Then, they talk about the ISIS attack at a Moscow concert hall and Putin's response. They also discuss Hong Kong's new national security law, two surprising political resignations, a democratic election in Senegal, why the former president of Brazil was hiding in a foreign embassy, and Kate Middleton's cancer diagnosis. Plus, Senator Bernie Sanders and Ben discuss the looming famine in Gaza, conditioning aid to Israel, and changing US foreign policy for the better.

     

    For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

    Saudi Arabia’s Despotic Ruler: World Corrupt Season 2, Episode 2

    Saudi Arabia’s Despotic Ruler: World Corrupt Season 2, Episode 2

    Roger Bennett and Tommy Vietor take a look at the history of Saudi Arabia, US-Saudi relations, and the Kingdom’s path to becoming a geopolitical force. They trace the unlikely rise of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman from a lowly place in the royal hierarchy to de facto leader of the country, and examine his record of enacting major social reforms while brutally cracking down on critics and rivals. Guests Ben Hubbard, Sarah Leah Whitson, and Khalid Al Jabri provide insight through stories about the infamous lock-up at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh, the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the disappearance of even the family members of MBS’ political rivals. And finally, they unpack what MBS’ massive investment into soccer means for the global game. Listen to the second episode of this four-part series to find out.

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