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Is the internet slowly breaking our brains, and if so, what can we do about it? Offline with Jon Favreau is a different kind of Sunday show. A place where you can take a break from doom-scrolling and tune in to smarter, lighter conversations about the impact of technology & the internet on our collective culture. Intimate interviews between Pod Save America host Jon Favreau and notable guests like Stephen Colbert, Hasan Piker, ContraPoints, Margaret Atwood, and Megan Rapinoe spark curiosity ...
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ChatGPT has officially entered its “Her” era! Jon and Max talk about the flirty AI that debuted this week, whose husky voice and warm enthusiasm evokes Scarlett Johansson. But not all the tech titans are doing so hot; Facebook’s noxious combo of AI-generated content and the real people who are falling for it has been coined the “zombie internet.” T…
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Leave it to Tom Hanks to make internet catfishing seem so darn charming! This week, Offline’s Movie Club is watching “You’ve Got Mail,” the cozy, capitalist, and kind of creepy 90s classic. Remember when being online was a choice? When online dating was stigmatized? When Meg Ryan flounced around with unparalleled charisma? Max is joined by Jon Love…
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Is it time for you to make an AI friend? Jon and Max weigh the pros and cons of robot affirmation, sink their teeth into a new study on smart phone bans in schools, and then turn their attention to something they’re both very qualified to talk about: the rap beef between Kendrick Lamar and Drake that’s reanimating Twitter. Plus, a new East vs. West…
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Bo Burnham’s comedy has long captivated and caricatured the internet, but the era his songs skewer the best is the hyperactive, blood-thirsty, online world of peak-pandemic lockdown. Max, Jon and comedian Jamie Loftus discuss “Bo Burnham: Inside,” in which a child of the internet breaks it down and breaks down. Was 2021 the peak of performative vir…
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We all have a caveman brain—at least when it comes to navigating the internet. Amanda Montell, author of the new book The Age of Magical Overthinking, joins Offline to explain how the “cognitive biases” that we developed to make snap decisions in prehistoric times aren’t well suited to handle the volume and pace of the information era. She and Jon …
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When did we collectively agree that a hoodie-clad coder could wreak havoc on our society? Probably not long after “The Social Network” came out. This week we’re kicking off a new bonus series: the Offline Movie Club! The hosts will dive into one of their favorite films about the internet and technology to discuss what the movie gets right and wrong…
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Can Biden outpost Trump in the run up to 2024? Why is the president on TikTok if he wants to ban it? Rob Flaherty, former White House Director of Digital Strategy and current Deputy Campaign Manager for Biden joins Offline to explain. Jon and Rob talk about the ways the media environment has changed since 2020, how the Biden campaign is cutting thr…
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We did it folks! Jurors for Trump’s hush money trial are getting to read their resistance tweets to his face as Meta’s crackdown on news is slowly asphyxiating conservative media. Jon and Max celebrate the good news, and then dive into the much more somber topic of dating in the Internet Age. It turns out Gen Z is abandoning dating apps in favor of…
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Is FOMO the only thing keeping you on social media? Have we already reached peak artificial intelligence? And are Max and Jon too old to enjoy Glorb, a Spongebob Squarepants AI that’s become the hottest rapper on the internet? The guys cheer on the nosedive of Trump’s media company stocks, break down the latest research in why your friends want you…
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Are college educated Democrats going to cost Joe Biden the election? Eitan Hersh, a Political Science professor at Tufts, joins Offline to take a closer look at “political hobbyists,” aka people who think that getting involved in politics means following the news and forming political opinions. Eitan’s book, Politics is for Power, lays out a roadma…
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Dr. Laurie Santos, Yale University's “Happiness Professor,” joins Offline to lay out a scientific guide to finding happiness. On her podcast The Happiness Lab and in her course Psychology and the Good Life (the most popular in Yale’s 300 year history), Laurie educates people on the way our brains lie about what makes us happy and helps them reorien…
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Eric Klinenberg, sociologist at New York University, joins Offline to discuss why our failure to process 2020 may lead to another disastrous Trump term. His newest book, 2020, breaks down the year that reshaped our politics, unveiled cracks in our society, and transformed the ways we live, work, and interact with each other. Eric and Jon unpack how…
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Kate Middleton sightings have dipped below UFO sightings, and the internet is having a heyday! It’s conspiracy theory week at Offline, with Max and Jon offering up their own takes on the missing Princess of Wales. Then, they break down the latest developments of the House’s proposed TikTok ban––including content creators’ ludicrous theories behind …
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Jon Ronson, author of So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed and host of the BBC podcast “Things Fell Apart,” joins Offline to discuss culture wars—why do they originate in America? Are they going too far? Are we all becoming immune to the public-shaming superbug? But first! Max and Jon break down the latest bombardment of everyone’s favorite algorithm (Ti…
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Zeynep Tufekci, sociologist and New York Times opinion columnist, joins Offline to discuss why long covid has unleashed so much online vitriol, united the Senate, and exposed just how little Americans trust institutions. Jon also sits down with his producer, Emma, to talk about her firsthand experience with the disease, and how she navigates an inf…
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Tina Nguyen, national correspondent at Puck News, joins Offline to talk about her new memoir, “The MAGA Diaries.” The book sheds light on the conservative movement’s college recruitment pipeline, and how it’s propelled a new generation of alt-right leaders to the upper echelons of American politics, courts, and social movements. Tina chronicles how…
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Cass Sunstein, Harvard professor and coauthor of the forthcoming book, Look Again, joins Offline to discuss the dangers of habituation. When things become so commonplace that they blend into the background of our everyday lives, we stop appreciating the good and identifying the bad. Jon and Cass examine how authoritarian regimes are normalized, whe…
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Kara Swisher, longtime tech reporter and author of the forthcoming memoir Burn Book, joins Offline to talk about the tech tycoons who think they’re qualified to run our country. She and Jon break down Silicon Valley’s ever growing self importance, whether its leaders are more or less fascist than we think, and how big tech ate the media industry al…
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Peter Hamby, host of Snapchat’s Good Luck America and a founding partner at Puck News, returns to Offline to discuss whether journalism is headed towards extinction. With the latest round of media layoffs hollowing out the industry more than ever before, how will people stay informed—and do they even want to? Has the news lost its primacy in the Am…
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Kyle Chayka, New Yorker staff writer and author of “Filterworld: How Algorithms Flattened Culture,” joins Offline to expose how online feeds push us into the mainstream and away from each other. He and Jon examine how machine-guided curation changes not only what we consume, but the quality of what gets made in the first place. But first! Max and J…
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R. F. Kuang, bestselling author of Yellowface, joins Offline to discuss cultural appropriation, the flatness of social media friendships and feedback, and the tortured relationship between literature and technology. Kuang recounts how pandemic doomscrolling destroyed her attention span, the book she wrote as a result, and how she’s reclaimed her fo…
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Katy Milkman, Wharton professor and author of How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, joins Offline to discuss the limits of willpower. Katy and Max dig into the science behind habit formation, the psychology of temptation bundling, and all the strategies for sticking to New Year’s resolutions that are more…
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Maybe, your friend announced they’re not drinking anymore, or your sister’s now “California Sober,” or maybe your entire office is participating in Dry January. It’s not just you, going sober is the hot new thing, with 41% of Americans aged 18 to 35 saying they don’t drink at all. Today, we explore the changes in drinking culture, in how we think a…
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With 2024 fast approaching, Jon and Max sit down to answer listener-submitted questions. Does the show have a millennial bias? What’s the guys’ screen time 6 months after the Offline Challenge? Will Max stage a coup when Jon goes on paternity leave? Plus favorite social media trends, favorite films and favorite co-hosts of 2023. For a closed-captio…
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YouTuber Natalie Wynn, better known as ContraPoints, may be the internet’s most persuasive political commentator. Known for her carefully produced, elaborate video essays, Natalie has an uncanny ability to attract and de-radicalize viewers with reactionary, right wing politics. She sits down with Jon to talk about the importance of style in politic…
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Jeff Stein, White House economics reporter at the Washington Post, joins Offline to talk about the $16 McDonald’s meal that captivated the internet—and whether Bidenomics is to blame. Conservative media outlets sunk their teeth into the story a few weeks ago, so Jeff and Jon dig into the burger narrative to examine today’s economy: why, amid stagna…
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Happy holidays from the Offline team! Here’s a special sneak peek of our new subscriber exclusive series Inside 2024. In this preview Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor take you behind the scenes of election nights like Barack Obama’s 2008 winning campaign. It’s a show we’re really proud of and we hope you enjoy. Producer Caroline Reston moderates. If yo…
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Anna Holmes, the founder of jezebel.com, and Crooked’s own Erin Ryan—the site’s former managing editor—join Offline to discuss the origin and legacy of a publication that redefined feminism for millions of women. With Jezebel shuttering last week, Anna, Erin and Jon question whether the site was a victim of its own success, to what extent it shaped…
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Jon and Max get into the numbers behind TikTok’s supposed pro-Palestinian tilt— is the bias real, what do “views” signify, and how many of these videos are spreading misinformation? With content creators surpassing legacy media as Americans’ primary source of news, the guys discuss the future of getting credible information on social media. And to …
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Naomi Klein, activist and bestselling author, joins Offline to talk about her new book, Doppelganger, and the woman who inspired it, anti-vax crusader Naomi Wolf. The two are often mistaken for each other, and in Doppelganger Klein wades into the confusion to tell a broader story about the morass of the internet today. She and Jon talk about what i…
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Johnny Harris, filmmaker and journalist, joins Offline to talk about Joe Rogan—how he became the world’s most famous podcaster, where he stands (or doesn’t) on censorship, and how he created a brand of anti-woke contrarianism. Johnny argues that people who are tired of polarization and tribalism see Rogan’s openness, curiosity, and resistance to ma…
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Jesse David Fox, senior editor at Vulture and author of the forthcoming “Comedy Book,” joins Offline to break down how the internet changed comedy and how comedy changed politics. Jesse and Jon trace how the erosion of broadcast journalism under Reagan created a trust vacuum in America that comedians inadvertently filled. Jesse explains why this tr…
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As fighting intensifies between Israel and Hamas, Jon and Max break down the ways social media is terribly equipped for delivering news about the war, helping us process it, and recognizing people’s humanity. What’s more, the platforms have basically given up on content moderation and fact checking. The guys explore how the combination of these fac…
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Heather Cox Richardson, historian and author of the Substack’s most-read newsletter “Letters from an American,” joins Offline to explain why she’s still hopeful about the future of American democracy. Heather’s new book, "Democracy Awakening," pushes past the clamoring 24-hour news cycles and delves deep into US history: how does Trump’s rise compa…
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Brian Stelter, longtime media journalist and author of the forthcoming Fox News exposé Network of Lies, joins Offline to unpack what Rupert Murdoch’s retirement means for broadcast media, American democracy, and his four kids. Will Fox News look any different with Lachlan at the helm? Could his liberal siblings force a sale to an antagonistic, Swed…
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Simon Rich, writer and creator of TBS’s Miracle Workers, joins Offline to explain how he got his hands on an AI that makes Chat GPT look like a kindergartner. Simon and two friends used the indefatigable (and often unhinged) code-davinci-002 to generate poems on birth, art, love and death. The resulting collection, I Am Code, is the first book “wri…
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Kaitlyn Tiffany, Atlantic reporter and author of Everything I Need I Get from You, joins Offline to break down internet trolls. She and Jon unpack who these people are, and examine why the online trend of celebrating the misfortunes of strangers – including their deaths – is still very much alive. They talk about how trolls from across the politica…
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Jon and Max are back and ready to answer your mailbag questions! But first, a post mortem on the Offline Challenge: best practices that remain, where their screen time stands now, and why on earth Jon logged 17 hours in one day. The two discuss parenting the Internet Generation, their tech predictions for 2033, and how to stay sane in the run up to…
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We're off for Labor Day! Please enjoy this exclusive episode of Terminally Online, our new Subscription show and loosest pod here at Crooked Media. Every week Pod Save America hosts are joined by your favorite Crooked producers and staffers to commiserate about being way too online as they make their shows. Get episodes of Terminally Online, ads fr…
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Maia Wyman, or Broey Deschanel as she’s known on Youtube, joins Offline to talk about her generation of movie critics and influencers—spoiler alert, they’re not the same! Her nuanced video essays break down films, analyzing everything from the political themes of Parasite to why Barbie had to spoon-feed feminism to its audience. But for every voice…
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Kate Lindsay, author of internet culture newsletter Embedded, joins Offline to talk about whether the hottest take is to have no take at all. Kate’s most recent Atlantic piece is titled “Is It Time to Embrace “Opinion Fatigue?” which argues that the internet is getting sick of discourse. She and Jon discuss how we arrived at this take apocalypse, h…
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According to a series of new studies published in Nature and Science, the way Facebook influences its users isn’t as straight forward as it seems. Does that mean Facebook is off the hook for polarizing America? Joshua Tucker, NYU professor and lead researcher on the 2020 Facebook Election Research Project, joins Offline to talk about what his team …
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Nora Princiotti and Nathan Hubbard, hosts of The Ringer’s “Every Single Album” podcast join Offline to talk about queen of pop — and queen of the internet — Taylor Swift. They break down how the one-time anti-hero has navigated the Internet Age to build one of the most successful music careers of all time and a fanbase that follows her on- and off-…
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Comedian and Writer’s Guild negotiator, Adam Conover joins Offline to talk about how the ethos of Silicon Valley has affected the livelihoods of writers, actors and everyone in the entertainment industry. He gives Jon a behind the scenes look at why Hollywood’s workers and bosses have been so far apart in these negotiations. And they talk about the…
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Madeline Ashby, futurist and WIRED contributor joins Offline to talk about her recent piece “Hollywood’s Future Belongs to People — Not Machines." She and Jon discuss how the entertainment industry is “unbundling,” the role of art in creating social cohesion, and the hubris of TV execs who think AI will deliver content that is fast, good AND cheap.…
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Jason Goldman, former Chief Digital Officer in the Obama White House, joins Offline to break down “the AI election.” He and Jon talk through their fears for AI in politics, the ways they wish they could have used AI during their stints in the White House, and Jon asks Jason, a former VP at Twitter, his thoughts on Elon Musk’s leadership at the the …
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Will Sommer, author of Trust the Plan, joins Offline to talk about what QAnon actually is, how people are drawn into the world of Q, and how the Republican party has become intertwined with these conspiracies. He and Jon peel back the layers of the movement to understand how it’s being monetized, why Michael Flynn is a QAnon hero, and where you can…
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Jon and Max answer your questions about AI, unions, writing and fallen titans — submersible and tech leader alike. Plus, America Dissected’s Dr. Abdul El-Sayed joins Offline to talk about how the internet age endangers public health, how to persuade people to get vaccinated, and why debates are the wrong setting to talk about science, especially wh…
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Simone Giertz, YouTube’s favorite inventor and robotics enthusiast, joins Offline this week to discuss the joy of building useless things and why adults should be able to play like kids do. She and the guys talk about overcoming perfectionism, the joys of “forward facing” activities, and how branding pastimes as productive vs. meaningless undermine…
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Catherine Price, science journalist and author of The Power of Fun and How to Break Up with Your Phone, joins the show to close out The Offline Challenge. After a dramatic sendoff from our Offline Chancellor, Catherine talks with Max and Jon about the effectiveness of the past month’s unplug challenges, from cold turkey to clown cases. Then she out…
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