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Offline with Jon Favreau
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Offline with Jon Favreau

Author: Crooked Media

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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 and introspection around the various ways our extremely online existence shapes everything from the ways we live, work, and interact with one another. Together we’ll figure out how to live happier, healthier lives, both on and offline. New episodes drop every Sunday morning, wherever you get your podcasts.
138 Episodes
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Has this pod saved America…from phone addiction?! We got Jon Lovett to take a rather extreme version of the Offline challenge in Fiji, AND America’s top doctor and friend of the pod Vivek Murthy is now calling for a Surgeon General’s warning label on social media platforms. Max and Jon bask in their success, then mourn the dismantling of the Stanford Internet Observatory, the nation’s leading mis- and disinformation research organization. Then, Max sits down with longtime tech journalist Brian Merchant to talk about whether AI development is slowing down, why workers should organize against the technology, and what good AI use cases and centaurs have in common. 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.
The kids are not alright, and the culprit is their phones. That’s the thesis of social psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s new book, The Anxious Generation. He joins Offline to discuss why he thinks smartphones and social media are fueling a teen and adolescent mental health epidemic, the evidence behind his claims, and the criticism his anti-phone crusade has received. Then he and Jon dive into the four recommendations Haidt believes will lead us out of this crisis. 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. 
Why are Republicans apologists for misinformation? How should campaigns respond to online trolls? Are Democrats still using an Obama-era digital strategy? Journalist Sasha Issenberg joins Offline to talk about his new book, The Lie Detectives, and to break down how to defeat conservatives in a truth-agnostic world. He and Jon discuss how today’s political class is adapting to a tumultuous and Trumpy social media landscape, and why controlling today’s narrative is more elusive than ever before. 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.
Critic Emily St. James and Crooked’s Halle Kiefer join Max to talk about “WALL-E.” The 2008 Pixar film depicts a future in which humans are so addicted to their screens that it takes a robot mutiny led by a mobile trash compactor to get them to log off. Why did the filmmakers opt for a trashpocalypse? How problematic is the movie’s portrayal of fatness? Why wasn’t there cancel culture aboard the spaceship? Find out in our last installment of Offline Movie Club (for now!). 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.
Birds Aren’t Real founder, Peter McIndoe, joins to talk about the impact of the satirical conspiracy that captured the imagination of Gen Z and what he learned about the appeal of false realities after spending years in character as one of the nation’s leading conspiracy theorists. But first: Is TikTok helping Trump win? Why is Google telling people to eat rocks? And what’s the story behind the “All Eyes on Rafah” image going viral across Instagram? Jon and Max break it down. 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.
Are we all living in The Matrix? Eh, probably not. But our tech obsessed, social media driven world is a lot closer to the reality The Matrix posed in 1999 than the Wachowskis probably ever dreamed of! New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie and host of Hysteria Erin Ryan, join Max to watch the beloved sci fi film and break down the ways The Matrix inspired a generation of tech bros and why so many people — from the online right to the LGBTQ+ community to recovering tech journalists — see themselves in its allegory. 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.
Do we treat political affiliation like a religion? Which parts of our identity are based off factual belief vs. imaginary belief? This week, Max talks to Professor Neil Van Leeuwen about the difference between thinking and believing, the power of groupish thought, and the similarities between religious creeds and political ideologies. But first! Jon and Max break down the drama between Scarlet Johansson and OpenAI, pick apart the TikTok blockout, and suspend their disbelief that a close friend of the pod is…on Survivor?! Will he love it or leave it? 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.
Ezra Klein joins Offline Movie Club to discuss “Her,” the movie that more or less incited this week’s Scarlett Johansson v. OpenAI drama. Back in 2013, when ChatGPT was just a twinkle in Sam Altman’s eye, no one thought a writer falling in love with his sentient virtual assistant was a near-term scenario. But here we are! Ezra, Max and Jon debate what AIs mean for relationships, how  “Her” introduced emotional stakes that are absent from AIs in real life, and why Altman definitely copies Johansson’s husky voice in the latest GPT-4o. 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.
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.” The guys discuss Meta’s spam problem, then take a look at how mental health curricula in schools can actually make things worse for students. 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. 
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 Lovett and Crooked Executive Producer Kendra James to soak up the nostalgia of AOL, a roaring economy, and a time before Amazon. 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. 
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 feud takes shape as the guys face off for Vote Save America’s “Organize…or else” campaign. Head to votesaveamerica.com/2024 to ally yourself with your favorite Offline host. 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.
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 virtue signaling? Which host impersonated a flamingo on stage with Bo himself? Is apathy a tragedy and boredom a crime? Find out on this week’s Offline Movie Club. 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. 
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 talk about biases like the halo effect, zero-sum biases, and declinism, and identify how these biases have supercharged celebrity fandom, influenced our news media, and made Democrats nostalgic for the George W. Bush era. 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.
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, and how it shapes our understanding of the digital era. This week Max, Jon and Halle Kiefer, host of the "Ruined" podcast, break down David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin’s 2010 biographical drama. What did it get right and wrong about Offline’s second favorite disruptor, Mark Zuckerberg? What creative liberties did the filmmakers take in retelling the story of Facebook’s founding? And has Sorkin ever given a female character a last name? 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.
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 through the noise this time around, and the importance of acknowledging voters’ frustrations. 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.
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 social media and the “old school” approach of meeting people in person. Then, Max interviews blogger Jenny Livingston about what it’s like to learn you’re going to live 50 more years, thanks to a new drug that’s working miracles for her and many other people with cystic fibrosis. 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.
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 to quit social media, and answer mailbag questions like “will Jon ever stop getting in Twitter fights?” 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.
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 roadmap for folks who are tired of online takes and ready to get involved in politics at the community level—where engagement could make a real impact. He and Jon talk about what organizing looks like in every day life, and how the most important activism is the kind you probably won’t find on social media. 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.
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 reorient their priorities to find genuine happiness. She sits down with Jon to talk about the root causes of declining happiness among young people, why in-person interaction is a crucial part of being human, and why putting others before ourselves makes us happier than fulfilling what we think we want. But first! Jon and Max are surprised to learn they agree with Ron DeSantis and break down the ridiculous conspiracy theories that have taken over Twitter after the collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge in Baltimore. 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.
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 Trump’s Covid-era leadership politicized public health and left Americans to fend for themselves. They discuss how to best address widespread resentment and institutional distrust, and consider how to grapple with the lasting effects of a year we’d rather forget. 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.
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Comments (13)

squogg

I enjoy this podcast very much and have been digging the movie club episodes so far. Especially the thematic music. Very well done! My only gripe, and it's a petty one, is that Max verbally agrees with what the person says before they finish their sentence. They've said maybe 5 words and he says something like, "right" or "totally" before they even finish their thought. C'mon Max, slow down a bit - this makes it sounds like you're not actually listening.

Jun 1st
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squogg

I stopped the pod to go watch the movie, then came back to hear what they had to say. Totally worth it. I agree, watching the show now felt like it was much more about the internet than the pandemic. There were only a few parts where I was transported back to the crippling depression of that time.

May 10th
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Mia Michael

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Jan 12th
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squogg

I did grayscale this week and have to say it's something I'll definitely keep doing! I cheated when I wanted to see a video about how cloud seeding works (thanks for sparking my curiosity NPR). I tested out Instagram with and without color. I easily lost more time when the color was on. I liked it so much that I added a shortcut to the grayscale settings page on my quick settings so I can easily bounce between gray and color as needed.

May 28th
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squogg

I fully support changing the vote after hearing the cheat time *ahem* screen time for the week. Nicely done Team Peppa Pig! I wasn't sure you could pull it off as well as you did.

May 20th
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squogg

This was a deeply uncomfortable and informative conversation. They made such a great point about not having to have a formal sit-down with our sons about this kind of stuff. Children are constantly learning and even the seemingly most mundane thing or innocuous comment can really stick with them. Take every opportunity to foster a loving and respectful relationship of others, as well as themselves.

Apr 23rd
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squogg

10:20 Thank you for bringing this up. I've been wondering the same thing and haven't understood why they still keep coming back to antisemitism.

Oct 31st
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Itay Avi

Linda Sarsour? JF is holding that antisémite on a pedestal of progressive values???

Oct 25th
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squogg

The comment on outsourcing moments in time to our phones instead of memory is one of the biggest reasons I try to avoid taking tons of pictures. Remembering something is way more interesting than scrolling mindlessly through tons and tons of pictures to find the moment you're looking for.

Jul 31st
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Nuage Laboratoire

text

Jul 9th
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Nuage Laboratoire

text

Apr 9th
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squogg

I love where Kara said she used to think people were lying to her when she was a reporter, to now recognizing the interviewee is actually lying to themselves. Really interesting!

Mar 20th
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Shelley Hermes

Great episode.

Mar 20th
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