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Pod Save the World

Author: Crooked Media

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“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.
328 Episodes
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Israel attacks Iran

Israel attacks Iran

2023-02-0101:24:262

Tommy and Ben talk about an Israeli drone attack in Iran, Tony Blinken’s meeting with Bibi Netanyahu, Ukraine’s requests for F-16 fighter jets, Putin’s bizarre threat towards Boris Johnson, the latest on Biden’s documents, deadly protests in Peru, Bolsonaro’s request for a US visa, and the Saudi LIV tour’s deal with Trump. Then, Tommy is joined by Save the Children CEO Janti Soeripto to talk about her nine meetings with the Taliban last week in response to the education bans on women and children in Afghanistan. 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. 
Tanks for Nothing

Tanks for Nothing

2023-01-2501:24:532

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.
How to handle the Biden docs

How to handle the Biden docs

2023-01-1801:27:504

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.
Brazil's January 6th?

Brazil's January 6th?

2023-01-1101:51:343

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.
New year, old problems

New year, old problems

2023-01-0401:06:055

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.
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.
Understanding Iran

Understanding Iran

2022-12-2101:34:362

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.
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.
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.
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.
Covid protests rock China

Covid protests rock China

2022-11-3001:07:22

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.
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. 
Thanksgiving Mailbag!

Thanksgiving Mailbag!

2022-11-2301:01:39

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.
Did Russia bomb Poland?

Did Russia bomb Poland?

2022-11-1601:16:082

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.
Hope from Brazil

Hope from Brazil

2022-11-0901:15:531

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. 
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.
Bye Bye Bolsonaro

Bye Bye Bolsonaro

2022-11-0201:19:014

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. 
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.
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.
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.
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Comments (172)

Itay Avi

you guys are attributing dogma and idealism to a corrupt leader whose only driving force is pragmatic avoidance of legal consequences. Bibi doesn't give a flying duck about his coalition partners and he didn't want this match up "all along." he probably detests them. they're just useful.

Jan 5th
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Étienne

Really disappointed by this series of PodSave the world. It has always topped my podcast list but this was an embarrassment. Roger should take up language classes to correct his dialect and be more genuine instead of cavorting his voice in every sentence. I have always appreciated your geopolitical analysis and hold high respect for Tommy and Ben. So this is a sincere review and a request, against my discontent.

Nov 14th
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Étienne

Roger's voice is superbly annoying. Please refrain from getting him overthe podcast ever again. Also absolutely pathetic episode. Half the time sponsorship, other time Roger blabbing his stupid experiences. No actual valuable content. Really disappointed. Had to make an account just to put in this review.

Nov 14th
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Itay Avi

nothing muddies the waters and creates ambiguity about US policy toward Taiwan quite as effectively as contradictory messages depending on who is asked

Sep 21st
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Itay Avi

so fucking obsessed with Israel stfu

Sep 8th
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Itay Avi

Calling Abbas powerless is ridiculous. The boys also never once said that what he said in Germany is demonstrably wrong. Progressive media needs to stop the Palestinian circle jerk

Aug 24th
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ID25905423

Outstanding podcast. How can I help?

Aug 7th
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Itay Avi

rich of American privilege to blame Israel for the slow down of peace process with the Palestinians while excusing American political deadlock for inaction on everything. No Israeli government has had the political mandate to negotiate for peace in over 3 years. Palestinian politics are in shambles. Instead of throwing blame around PSTW can be more nuanced in this discussion: the same powerlessness exists domestically in the US.

Jul 21st
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Layer Cake

Great commentary on world affairs with journalists from all over. Far more dogmatic than UK political pods. Maybe this is the American norm now sadly. Certainly worth skipping the Western politics in certain episodes as can get very cringe. Ukraine coverage been excellent.

Apr 29th
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Itay Avi

as always lies and omissions where it comes to I/P.

Apr 26th
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Itay Avi

it's incredible how ignorant even Rhodes and Vietor are where it comes to Jewish history, Israel, and the Holocaust.

Mar 23rd
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Cody Buttron

Can we begin to tie Republican election subversion attempts to the way Putin has defrauded done the same with Belarus, and in his own country. And then appeal to people that times are dangerous and they need to bring the Republican party back to sanity so we can stand again united against tyrants.

Mar 4th
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Cailín Anne

Sobbing for tommy and hanna, wish I could hold them. It’s one of the hardest thing to ever go through.

Feb 3rd
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Cody Buttron

When will people learn.....tennis sucks lol

Jan 19th
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e-n M

bit of prep work re. Djoko Vs Australia guys 🙄 Morrison was heavily criticized by Australian VIPs (and gen pop) for double standards, and may have reacted too quickly to satisfy those critics...then realised he'd created an international incident, but too late to reverse.

Jan 14th
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E P

Bojangles all day!

Nov 29th
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Tim McMinn

I'm 10% of the way in and still on cross promos. get to the subject quicker team!

Sep 22nd
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Joop Zomer

"FUCKER GNARLSON, IS a CERTIFIED WHITE SUPREMACIST", the US should never have let him back on our soil, that "SON OF A BITCH should get the DEATH PENALTY for being a TRAITOR to the USA"!!!!!!!!

Aug 23rd
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Silvia Lang-Griffes

good show guys. Jason Kander, Olivia Troye, please interview.

Aug 21st
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Lora Hebert

I never would have thought that there was something that I knew that you guys didn't regarding world geography but Flagstaff is almost 7,000 ft and is rarely as hot as it is in Phoenix. It's definitely not in the 110s.

Jul 16th
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