48 episodes

Battleground brings you inside the fight for political power.
Hosts Amanda Litman and Faiz Shakir aren't your typical pundits – in fact, they're not pundits at all. They're doing the work day-in and day-out, and have the inside scoop on what's really happening behind the tweets and headlines. (Imagine listening to the mic'd-up quarterback in the final down of the fourth quarter, but instead of talking football, it's about saving democracy.)
Every week, Amanda and Faiz have a wide ranging, unguarded, and occasionally profanity-laden conversation with reporters, activists, organizers, political scientists, campaign operatives – and even some conservatives – in order to shine a light on the problems we face and figure out how we can fix them.
Both bring deep knowledge and experience building grassroots movements for change. Amanda is the co-founder and executive director Run for Something, which recruits and supports young progressives running for local state and local offices, and host of the Run for Something podcast on Dear Media. Faiz was the campaign manager for Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign, and he's the founder of the progressive media non-profit More Perfect Union. Listen to new episodes each Thursday on your favorite podcast app.

Battleground with Amanda Litman and Faiz Shakir iHeartRadio

    • Government
    • 4.8 • 3.1K Ratings

Battleground brings you inside the fight for political power.
Hosts Amanda Litman and Faiz Shakir aren't your typical pundits – in fact, they're not pundits at all. They're doing the work day-in and day-out, and have the inside scoop on what's really happening behind the tweets and headlines. (Imagine listening to the mic'd-up quarterback in the final down of the fourth quarter, but instead of talking football, it's about saving democracy.)
Every week, Amanda and Faiz have a wide ranging, unguarded, and occasionally profanity-laden conversation with reporters, activists, organizers, political scientists, campaign operatives – and even some conservatives – in order to shine a light on the problems we face and figure out how we can fix them.
Both bring deep knowledge and experience building grassroots movements for change. Amanda is the co-founder and executive director Run for Something, which recruits and supports young progressives running for local state and local offices, and host of the Run for Something podcast on Dear Media. Faiz was the campaign manager for Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign, and he's the founder of the progressive media non-profit More Perfect Union. Listen to new episodes each Thursday on your favorite podcast app.

    How to Undo GOP Control of the Courts with Brian Fallon

    How to Undo GOP Control of the Courts with Brian Fallon

    It’s no surprise that the Supreme Court has a 6-3 conservative majority: progressive legal elites have been telling Democrats for decades that the judicial branch must remain apolitical, while for decades, Republicans have been successfully reshaping the courts. Brian Fallon, the co-founder and executive director of Demand Justice (and a recovering establishment Democrat), explains the history behind the Republicans’ decades-long judicial strategy and how Democrats can counter it. He and Amanda also discuss Stephen Breyer’s decision to remain on the court; what Democrats should do about the FBI’s bungled investigation into Brett Kavanaugh; and term limits for Supreme Court justices. (Amanda flies solo this week as Faiz continues to hang with his very cute new baby.)
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    • 48 min
    Why ‘No Climate, No Deal’ Makes Sense with Jamal Raad

    Why ‘No Climate, No Deal’ Makes Sense with Jamal Raad

    ExxonMobil, and other major polluters like it, would love for you to feel like your personal choices are what will make or break this climate crisis, but the truth is, global warming can only be slowed through massive, systemic changes to the energy, transportation, and building sectors. Legislators must pass new laws curbing emissions, and the reconciliation bill winding its way through Congress is the best, and possibly last, chance to get this right. Amanda and Faiz talk to Jamal Raad, the co-founder and executive director of Evergreen Action, a climate advocacy group fighting to ensure that real action on climate change doesn’t get derailed by politicians bought by the oil and gas industry. The trio discusses why clean energy standards need to be in the reconciliation bill; how Republicans aren’t interested in good faith negotiations; and whether climate advocacy groups should continue to focus their energy and ire at Biden and the Democrats, or pivot towards Republicans.
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    • 43 min
    How to Spend Ad $$ with Danielle Butterfield of Priorities USA

    How to Spend Ad $$ with Danielle Butterfield of Priorities USA

    Campaigns spent $8.5 BILLION on political advertising in the 2020 election cycle. That may seem astonishing, excessive, or even absurd, but if you want to know how campaigns win (and lose), you need to understand ad dollars. Danielle Butterfield is the executive director of Priorities USA – the largest Democratic super PAC. Before Priorities she ran digital advertising campaigns for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in 2016 and 2012.
    Amanda and Faiz talk with Danielle about the challenge of convincing Democrats to fully fund digital advertising campaigns (as opposed to TV); why Donald Trump does so well online; and why new privacy changes will make it difficult to target voters.
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    • 44 min
    Anti-CRT is the New Tea Party with Tyler Kingkade

    Anti-CRT is the New Tea Party with Tyler Kingkade

    Americans are being treated to a new and improved version of last decade’s infamous Tea Party movement. It’s another astroturfed moral panic, sponsored by conservative think tanks, brought to you by Fox News, and designed to win votes for Republicans: the war on “critical race theory.” Faiz and Amanda talk to Tyler Kingkade, a national reporter for NBC News who has written extensively on the subject, about how a term from the world of legal scholarship is on the tip of everyone’s tongues – and what progressives should do about it.
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    • 43 min
    Introducing: The Recount Daily Pod

    Introducing: The Recount Daily Pod

    Every morning on The Recount Daily Pod, host journalist Reena Ninan will break down the most important news of the day, both domestically and abroad. In 5 minutes or less, you’ll walk away feeling smarter and more in sync with the world. Then, tune in for an interview with journalists who are on the forefront of the stories that affect us all. 
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    • 1 min
    A Nuanced Look at ‘Cancel Culture’ with Alyssa Rosenberg

    A Nuanced Look at ‘Cancel Culture’ with Alyssa Rosenberg

    What are the costs and benefits of living in a society where people can be cancelled for their speech? Are "cancelled" people, like Gina Carano, irredeemable? Amanda and Faiz use “cancel culture” as a jumping off point for what ends up being a wide-ranging, deeply analytical conversation with Washington Post columnist Alyssa Rosenberg. They cover the performative nature of online discourse; the primacy of persuasion; whether or not (and how) to engage with people spewing hate online; and ultimately, the idea that we may come to understand e ach other better by working through our differences.
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    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
3.1K Ratings

3.1K Ratings

ccpatter74 ,

Brian Fallon

Excellent interview! More Brian Fallon, please.

Jlcod ,

6/3/21

I knew I would miss David and Steve but I have to say I am really enjoying hearing Amanda and Faiz’s point of view. Their quests are quite good too.

Looking forward to them helping me see all points of view going into the 2022 elections.

Thanks

Wilder773 ,

Luntz Interview

I suggest you do some homework and invite Frank back to discuss education. He caught you flat footed on an issue. You had a great opening. Luntz has realized (as many of us white privileged folks have) that American systems haven’t worked so well for brown and black Americans. The problem in education is complex but it’s not a problem of not enough accountability. To close the achievement “gap” the trajectory of kids who begin behind in the “race” has to be STEEPER than the trajectory of the kids who begin at the starting line of the race or ahead of the starting line. Now WHAT is a plan for that? I spent 30 years teaching young children to read. By the end of my career I felt like I was spending way too much time testing - it felt like my job shifted from planting, watering and nourishing young plants to pulling them up every day to see if they were growing!

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