Show cover of Pod Save the World

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 developments and bring you behind the scenes with the people who were there. New episodes every Wednesday.

Tracks

Tanks for Nothing
Tommy and Ben discuss a corruption scandal in Ukraine, the debate over sending tanks to Kyiv, Mike Pence gets in on the classified hoarding game, the worst parts of Mike Pompeo’s trash new book, protests in France, Jacinda Ardern’s legacy, Kenneth Roth’s Harvard saga, and the State Department’s war on fonts. Then, Ben is joined by Olesya Vartanyan, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group to talk about the escalating Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. 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.
84:29 25/01/2023
How to handle the Biden docs
Tommy and Ben discuss the Davos summit, the latest round of Biden documents, the U.K. blocking a Scottish law that would make gender change easier, more Russian attacks in Ukraine, the new climate spotlight on the UAE, protests in Israel, China’s population on the decline, and Italy’s biggest mob boss finally getting caught.  Then, Tommy is joined by The New York Times Brazil bureau chief Jack Nicas to discuss the fallout from the riots, the comparison to January 6th, and what it all means for Brazil’s new president Lula. 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.
85:19 18/01/2023
Brazil's January 6th?
Tommy and Ben discuss the riots in Brazil, Biden’s trip to Mexico AND IMMIGRATION POLICY, what a Republican House majority means for defense spending, why you should care about Nigeria’s next election, Iran sentencing protesters to death, MIKE POMPEO’S SAD BOOK and Prince Harry letting it rip on the Royal family. Then Ben is joined by the cast of the documentary “Navalny” to discuss Alexei Navalny’s poisoning, his imprisonment, and Putin’s murderous reign. 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.
96:40 11/01/2023
New year, old problems
Tommy and Ben recap all of the world news you missed over the holidays, including the latest on the war in Ukraine, Zelensky’s visit to DC, Bibi Netanyahu’s new government, the end of China’s zero-Covid policy, the new ban from the Taliban against Afghan women, and Bolsonaro’s hideout in Florida. 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.
65:36 04/01/2023
“Can language be more inclusive?”
Tommy introduces Worldos to Radiolingo, a new limited season podcast from Crooked Media and Duolingo. Radiolingo investigates all the ways language shapes our world and how our world shapes language. Hosted by Ahmed Ali Akbar, an audio journalist and James Beard Award-winning writer, each episode introduces a new way of looking at the impact of language across our lives, our relationships, our culture and much more. Radiolingo is a Crooked Media and Duolingo production. In this episode, Ahmed asks if language can reflect and reinforce gender expectations. And are there ways to make language more inclusive? Listen to and follow RADIOLINGO for free, wherever you get your podcasts. 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.
23:06 28/12/2022
Understanding Iran
Yeganeh and Jason Rezaian join Ben to answer all of your burning questions about Iran: what life is like for girls and women, why this movement is different than any before it, the risk of civil war or wider conflict, and why we should all care about the future of Iran and its people. Then President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee David Milliband joins to discuss what the IRC is most concerned about in 2023, how to better prevent humanitarian crises and what we can all do to help. 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.
93:33 21/12/2022
Brittney Griner is Home (with Jen Psaki)
Former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki subs in as cohost, talking with Ben about Brittney Griner’s release, what a Republican House means for Ukraine, executions and risks of escalation in Iran, Morocco’s Cinderella story at the World Cup, and Jen recounts some highlights from traveling the world with Barack Obama, John Kerry and Joe Biden. Then Brittney Griner’s agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas joins to recount Brittney’s first moments back on US soil, the journey to get her home and what comes next for the basketball star.  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.
73:01 14/12/2022
Standing up to autocrats (and royals)
Tommy and Ben talk about the ongoing protests in China, Ukrainian strikes into Russia, speculation over Putin’s health, Iran sending mixed messages on the morality police, and Bostonians greeting the royals as warmly as expected. Then, Ben interviews Maria Ressa about the evolution of disinformation spread and how to combat it in the face of autocratic regimes. 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.
89:28 07/12/2022
World Corrupt Episode 7: Stoppage Time!
Tommy and Rog examine a tournament in which politics, sport and humanity have all been laid bare; USMNT captain Tyler Adams' leadership and poise when answering questions from Iran's state-run media; and what political and social scrutiny the United States could face as co-host for the 2026 World Cup.
59:08 02/12/2022
Covid protests rock China
Tommy and Ben discuss the anti-covid lockdown protests sweeping across China, soccer and politics at the World Cup, including the US win over Iran, Biden’s steady effort to thaw relations with Venezuela, updates from Ukraine, Belarus and Malaysia, news about the royal family and a victory for a boring French man. Then Ben is joined by Emma Belcher, President of the Ploughshares Fund to discuss how credible Russia’s nuclear threat really is. 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.
67:19 30/11/2022
World Corrupt Episode 6: A Dystopian World Cup
Tommy and Rog discuss what has been a surreal tournament thus far, from FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s astoundingly tone-deaf first-person speech, to a crackdown on armbands, to which countries have had the courage to stand up against injustice. 
73:22 25/11/2022
Thanksgiving Mailbag!
Tommy and Ben answer all of your burning foreign policy questions and give recommendations for what to read and watch over the holidays. 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.
61:19 23/11/2022
Did Russia bomb Poland?
Tommy and Ben cover the latest news out of Russia and Ukraine including reports that a Russian missile struck Poland, President Biden’s trip overseas, why this was a terrible week for Cryptocurrency, the UAE’s efforts to influence US politics, news about foreign corruption and influence peddling in Washington, the Iranian regime cracking down on teenage protests, a deadly attack in Turkey, and why an FBI investigation has angered the Israeli government. Then Tommy talks with US special envoy for Climate John Kerry about the COP27 UN climate summit in Egypt. 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.
75:58 16/11/2022
Hope from Brazil
Ben and Tommy cover the ongoing debate about whether the US should be having talks with Russia about the war in Ukraine, and how Republican control of Congress might impact US military support, rare candor from a Russian oligarch, disgraced Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is back, a racist lawmaker is condemned in France, the climate change summit in Egypt and more. Then Ben is joined by Brazilian politician Tabata Amaral to discuss Bolsonaro's defeat, what it means for Brazil's future, and how to protect democracy globally.  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. 
75:37 09/11/2022
World Corrupt Episode 5: A Call to Action
With the beginning of the tournament just over two weeks away, Tommy and Roger dig into the significance of athlete activism as they learn more about the dangerous and abusive living situations faced by migrant workers. Formerly imprisoned migrant worker Malcolm Bidali recounts the abuses he suffered in Qatar. Human rights activists Nick McGeehan and May Ramanos also join to articulate how and why athletes and fans alike need to keep the pressure on FIFA even after the World Cup concludes.
42:03 05/11/2022
Bye Bye Bolsonaro
Tommy and Ben rejoice over Jair Bolsonaro’s defeat in Brazil and stress over early exit polls from Israel’s election that suggest Bibi Netanyahu might get back into power. Then they cover the latest in Ukraine, tragedies in South Korea and India, the potential national security implications of Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, and some unexpected good news on climate change. Then Tommy is joined by USAID Administrator Samantha Power to discuss the worsening global food crisis, the Black Sea Grain Initiative and why it matters, and the protests in Iran. 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. 
78:54 02/11/2022
World Corrupt Episode 4: The Dark Side of the 2022 World Cup
Tommy and Roger consider the complexities and deadly consequences of Qatar hosting the World Cup. You’ll hear from human rights activists and experts about what life is like in Qatar for migrant workers, and from Norwegian FIFA president Lise Klaveness and pro footballers Megan Rapinoe and Tim Sparv about the power of sports activism in the fight for justice.
40:10 29/10/2022
The newest new British PM, with David Lammy
Tommy and Ben cover the wild week in British politics, the push for diplomacy in Ukraine from progressive Democrats, why former Chinese President Hu Jintao was dragged off stage at China’s party conference meeting, the US-Saudi relationship, former Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu’s right-wing comeback bid, Brazil’s upcoming election and more. Then Ben is joined by British Labour MP David Lammy to talk about new British PM Rishi Sunak and the future of the Labour 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.
81:43 26/10/2022
World Corrupt Episode 3: Qatar’s path to the World Cup
Tommy and Roger look at how a country roughly the size of Connecticut with documented human rights violations was awarded the World Cup bid. They’re joined by Tariq Panja of the New York Times to discuss FIFA’s corrupt history, and global sports expert Simon Chadwick to explain the concept of sportswashing and why Qatar would want hosting duties in the first place.
41:18 22/10/2022
The British PM vs a head of lettuce
Ben and Tommy cover the latest from Ukraine, the ongoing disaster that is the Liz Truss-led Tory government in the UK, how former US military officials are making big money in Saudi Arabia, China’s party congress, the Iran protests, BTS joins the military, Biden’s surprising new proposals on Venezuela and Haiti, and some comedy via Bob Woodward and Jared Kushner. Then Tommy talks with the New York Times Magazine’s Robert Draper about his new book, Weapons of Mass Delusion: When the Republican Party Lost its Mind, and about the Iraq war. 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.
79:07 19/10/2022
World Corrupt Episode 2: “The Most Corrupt Thing I’ve Ever Seen”
Roger and Tommy dig into the history of FIFA, the governing body of international football, and trace FIFA's long history of corruption up to the moment they awarded the World Cup tournaments to Russia and Qatar. Tariq Panja of The New York Times shares insight into how FIFA operates and former Justice Department official Matt Miller recounts the misconduct he witnessed firsthand at a World Cup bid.
41:57 15/10/2022
Chinese Communist Party Coachella
Tommy and Ben cover the latest from the war in Ukraine, including the bombing of a Russian bridge to Crimea and Russia’s response, the latest on the protests in Iran, why an OPEC decision is leading the US to rethink the US-Saudi partnership, how British PM Liz Truss is making history and waging war on podcasters, why Elon Musk will not shut up and some scandal updates. Then Ben talks with former Australian PM Kevin Rudd about the upcoming Chinese Communist Party leadership conference. 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.
85:00 12/10/2022
World Corrupt Episode 1: A Toxic Love Affair between Politics and Sports
This fall, when the eyes of the world turn towards Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, a shadow looms over the tournament, which is one of the most watched events in the world. The sports landscape being co-opted for geo-political and corporate gain is nothing new, but this year's iteration of football's biggest competition may be the most expensive example to date. Pod Save the World’s Tommy Vietor and Roger Bennett of Men in Blazers join forces to unravel the riddle of how to enjoy the game we love while holding the powers that control it accountable for their corruptive policies and practices. On this inaugural episode of World Corrupt, a collaboration from Men in Blazers Media Network and Crooked Media, the two hosts share the memories that helped them first fall in love with soccer, while also looking back into the annals of history at past instances of a phenomenon known as "sportswashing.”
47:40 08/10/2022
Fighting for freedom in Iran
Tommy and Ben discuss the latest news out of Ukraine, including the increasingly vocal criticism of the war effort from Putin’s allies and talk of nuclear weapons use. Then they cover the election results in Brazil, prisoner releases, trickle down economics get humiliated in the UK, a coup in Burkina Faso, and shorter updates from around the world. Then Tommy speaks with Yeganeh Rezaian from the Committee to Protect Journalists about the protests in Iran, her experience with Iran’s brutal morality police, and what Americans and the US government should do to support this movement.  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.
83:40 05/10/2022
World Corrupt: Coming October 8th
Soccer is a game which has often been called “the world’s most important least important thing.” However this November’s World Cup, the most-watched sporting competition on the planet, forces fans to grapple with the complexities of a tournament which has been twisted into a public relations exercise for Qatar, a country smaller than the state of Connecticut, with a shocking human rights record, that has built the tournament’s infrastructure with migrant labor practices that have been likened to modern slavery. This dilemma is at the core of World Corrupt, a six-episode collaboration from Men in Blazers Media Network and Crooked Media. Starting October 8, Men in Blazers’ Roger Bennett and Pod Save the World’s Tommy Vietor will join forces to explore what it means to be a fan and a responsible citizen of the world while navigating a sports landscape that is increasingly being co-opted for geo-political and corporate gain.
03:03 30/09/2022
Fighting fascists with Bernie Sanders
Ben and Tommy talk about the new right-wing government in Italy, the growing protests in Iran, Russia’s troop mobilization and sham referendums in eastern Ukraine, new British PM Liz Truss nearly tanks global markets, Jared Kushner gets a big boy award, the latest on the Mar-a-Lago documents saga, Cuba, NASA and the CIA starts a podcast. Then Ben talks with Senator Bernie Sanders about the upcoming elections in Brazil.  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.
66:20 28/09/2022
How Russia could lose the war
Tommy and Ben talk about reports about Russian intelligence and misinformation operations abroad, Biden on Taiwan, El Salvador and US policy towards Central America, the Queen’s funeral, Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Armenia, protests in Iran, how the EU might punish Hungary, the Saudi golf tour hires a lobbyist, and the scandal rocking the international chess world. Then Ben interviews Kyiv Independent defense reporter Illia Ponomarenko about why Russia is losing their grip and Ukraine's pathway to success. 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. 
73:12 21/09/2022
Ukraine's shocking counteroffensive
Tommy and Ben cover the successful Ukrainian military counteroffensive, what it means for Zelensky and Putin and the next phase of the war. They also discuss the rise of a far-right party in Sweden, the latest news about the Queen of England’s funeral, famine in east Africa, Biden and refugees and why Obama yelled at Steph Curry about the moon landing. Then Tommy interviews US Trade Representative Katherine Tai about China, Taiwan, and how to make voters believe free trade will help them. 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.
68:34 14/09/2022
The life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II
In this bonus episode, Tommy and Ben discuss the life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II. Then Ben is joined by historian Dan Snow to dig deeper into the Queen’s place in British history.  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.
56:16 09/09/2022
The new British Prime Minister
This week, Ben and Tommy talk about the new British Prime Minister Liz Truss, Israel’s bizarre rules for visitors to the West Bank, Chileans vote down a new constitution, an assassination attempt in Argentina, updates on Ukraine, Politico’s new owner, China’s covid lockdowns, Kenya’s election, Nigel Farage gets a new product line and a BBQ row roils France. 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.
57:09 07/09/2022