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Battleground with Amanda Litman and Faiz Shakir

Battleground with Amanda Litman and Faiz Shakir

The Recount

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. 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.


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114 - ‘Speed Kills’ with Maggie Haberman and Addisu Demissie
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  • 114 - ‘Speed Kills’ with Maggie Haberman and Addisu Demissie

    Amanda brings Battleground fans a very special series finale, featuring guest co-host Addisu Demissie and a conversation with Maggie Haberman of The New York Times. Addisu is the CEO of More Than a Vote, a voting rights organization started by LeBron James. He has spent decades in politics, most recently as a campaign manager for Senator Cory Booker’s presidential run, and California Governor Gavin Newsom’s gubernatorial campaign in 2018. Maggie is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the Washington correspondent for The New York Times. She is currently writing a book about the former president. 


    In the last episode of Battleground, the three friends argue and agree about all things Twitter, the media, and politics. Plus, Amanda and Addisu discuss election results across the country, with progressives securing some big wins at the municipal level, while other Dems got served a rude awakening at the state level. But stay positive, folks, as we head into 2022 — teamwork makes the dream work. A big thanks to everyone who’s supported the show — now get out there and run for something.





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    Thu, 04 Nov 2021 - 48min
  • 113 - Digging in the Dirt with David Brock

    “In conservative media, there’s an incentive to put out misinformation, and to essentially lie.” David Brock, founder of Media Matters — a rightwing media watchdog group — knows exactly how the conservative media ecosystem works, because that’s where he cut his teeth. For the first half of his career as a journalist, David got caught up in what he now describes as a cult, working at places like the Washington Examiner and the Heritage Foundation, until he managed to break ranks and turn against them. David joins Amanda this week to discuss the unconscionable actions of Fox News, his efforts to create robust media infrastructure for Democrats and progressives, and the struggle to get investors on the left to pay attention to Virginia’s elections, despite their massive importance to the Democratic party heading into 2022. Plus: while the rest of the world enjoys an average of 26 weeks paid maternity leave, the great USofA and our highly functional legislative branch can’t even manage a measly four. Cool.


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    Thu, 28 Oct 2021 - 36min
  • 112 - Secret Contracts and Slow-Moving Coups with Luppe Luppen

    Amanda’s Twitter fav, Luppe B. Luppen — also known as @nycsouthpaw — joins Battleground this week to contemplate the meaning of a bizarre agreement unearthed recently between Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin about reconciliation spending. They pick apart the sad efforts put forth by Biden’s SCOTUS Commission to-date, and discuss legal options the January 6th Commission has (and does not have) when enforcing subpoenas served to Trumpists for their roles in attacking the seat of the legislative branch earlier this year. Luppen, a lawyer and political writer, laments the 2020 Iowa caucus debacle, and how the window for reforming their time-consuming and inaccessible primary process is quickly closing. Plus: it’s Striketober!


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    Thu, 21 Oct 2021 - 38min
  • 111 - TX Republicans are Cavemen Living on Borrowed Time with Julián Castro

    Julián Castro, former Mayor of San Antonio and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for the Obama administration, joins the show this week to shed light on a range of issues troubling America. The groundbreaking 2020 presidential candidate and Amanda discuss the ongoing housing affordability crisis; the transformational impact universal pre-K could have on our society; and the small group of conservative Texas politicians desperately clinging to their gerrymandered power, one regressive state bill at a time. Plus: why understanding the media ecosystem in which Democratic candidates operate is just as — if not more — important than the messaging they’re running on.


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    Thu, 14 Oct 2021 - 38min
  • 110 - To Reach Young Voters, Try Giving a Sh*t with Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez

    More than half of Americans are under the age of 40, and according to Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, President and Executive Director of NextGen America, they are facing three crises simultaneously — a climate catastrophe, a democracy in decline, and grotesque income inequality. Cristina is a progressive labor organizer and former 2020 U.S. Senate candidate who truly understands the complexity of the youth vote, especially in her home state of Texas, and particularly within the Latino community. She joins Amanda this week to pull apart the Democrats’ mistaken assumption that young voters are all college kids; discuss why campaigns clinging to the ‘young people don’t vote’ myth after impressive turnout in 2020 do so at their own peril; and, as always, they tackle money in politics. Plus, breaking up Facebook: it’s time.


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    Thu, 07 Oct 2021 - 37min
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