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Comedian Adam Conover on His New Show ‘The G Word’

Comedian Adam Conover on His New Show ‘The G Word’

This week on "The Tent," Daniella sits down with Adam Conover to discuss his show "The G Word," which chronicles how government affects our everyday lives.

Part of a Series

This week, Daniella sits down with comedian and television host Adam Conover to discuss his new Netflix show​, “The G Word.” They talk about ​Adam’s inspirations for the show, ​which chronicles how government affects our everyday lives, and what he hopes audiences will take away from the series​. Daniella also previews the upcoming January 6 committee hearings and reminds us once again why we need commonsense gun reforms.

Learn more about the podcast here.


Daniella Gibbs Léger: Hi everyone, welcome back to “The Tent,” your place for politics, policy, and progress. I’m Daniella Gibbs Léger. If you are looking for a summer Netflix binge, our guest today has got one for you. Today, we’ve got comedian Adam Conover on the pod. We’re discussing inspirations for his new Netflix show, “The G Word,” his experience working with former president Barack Obama, and what he hopes audiences will take away from the series.

But first, we’re back to the news this week, and it is primetime, people. What I mean is Thursday, January [June] 9, the day we release this episode, you need to set your DVRs because at 8:00 p.m., the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection will hold their first public hearing. I want to take a step back first and say what an incredible job the committee has done thus far. In the wake of one of the most precarious moments in our entire democracy, the committee has been working diligently to get the American people some answers. And contrary to what you may hear from MAGA Republicans, who don’t want their dirty laundry aired on national television, the committee’s efforts have been nonpartisan, comprehensive, and factual. I’d like to remind you that [Rep.] Liz Cheney (R-WY)—yes, the daughter of that Dick Cheney, and one of the most conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives—is vice chair of this committee.

What we’re going to see starting this week is that the events of January 6 weren’t just a random mob. They were what was very likely a clear, coordinated, criminal conspiracy by Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans to overturn an election and hold on to power that was not theirs. As of this recording, we know that the committee will present new findings, and we’ll hear the testimony of a Capitol police officer and a British documentary filmmaker who witnessed and recorded right-wing militia groups planning and carrying out their attacks. They brought on a former top TV news executive to help make the case to the American public as well.

Now, I have to imagine that MAGA Republicans are sweating a bit and not just because it’s a little humid in [Washington,] D.C., this week. It’s becoming more and more clear that the highest levels of the extremist Republican Party helped coordinate this illegal effort to overthrow the 2020 election results. We’re likely going to see this information come out in the public hearings, which is the precise reason why the Republicans fought tooth and nail from the beginning to prevent an investigation. They’re always trying to skew the narrative, from manipulating their voter base into believing the “big lie,” restricting the right to vote, to pretending the resulting violent insurrection never happened—just a reminder that MAGA Republicans will do anything, and I do mean anything—to hold on to power.

That’s one of the many reasons why this is so important. If you think election subversion is unique to 2020, please think again. MAGA Republicans are already nefariously planning for the next election cycle, putting in place election officials who will throw out results they don’t like and installing a quote, “army” of poll watchers and attorneys to compromise the results. The 2020 election and all that we saw unfold on January 6 at the Capitol could have very well been a test run for what’s to come in future elections, which is why it is so important that those who planned and organized—or aided and abetted—an insurrection against the United States of America are held responsible for their treasonous actions. We don’t want anyone in any political party to think they could do this ever again. Our democracy is literally on the line.

So, you can watch the Thursday hearing on any major news network—except one. Can you take a wild guess which one it is? If you guessed Fox quote, unquote, “News,” you’d be right. And I guess it makes sense. They can call themselves a news organization all they want, but they’re really just a network of MAGA Republicans spewing extremist talking points, spreading dangerous conspiracy theories, and doing everything they can to uphold the absolute power of Trump and MAGA politicians, even if that means undermining our democracy.

Now, turning to what’s sadly becoming our beat on this podcast, we need to once again talk about gun violence. Since we spoke to you last week, there have been a slew of more mass shootings—11 between last Friday and Sunday alone. At least 17 people, from Philadelphia to Chattanooga, unnecessarily lost their lives.

And guess what? If you’re sick and tired of offering your thoughts and prayers to the families of those who continue to senselessly and unnecessarily lose their lives to gun violence, you’re not alone. We know that commonsense gun reforms like universal background checks, red flag laws, safe storage laws, and banning military assault weapons are profoundly and overwhelmingly popular with the American public, because these policy proposals just make sense.

So, enter into the chat one Matthew McConaughey. Alright, alright, alright. I had to do that. Look, I’ve always been a fan of his and after this week, I’m an even bigger one. McConaughey, who is a proud gun owner, I might add, gave an incredibly moving and powerful appeal for commonsense gun reform in the White House briefing room the other day, and pleaded with leaders in Washington to do something to stop these massacres. Here he is talking about the tragic stories of children like Maite Rodriguez, who wanted to be a marine biologist when she grew up.

Matthew McConaughey, in a White House press briefing: Maite wore green, high-top Converse with a heart she had hand-drawn on the right toe because they represented her love of nature. Camilla’s got these shoes. Can you show these shoes? She wore these every day, green Converse with a heart on the right toe. These are the same green Converse, on her feet, that turned out to be the only clear evidence that could identify her after the shooting. Now, how about that?

Gibbs Léger: Enough is enough. I know some senators say that they’re hopeful that they can maybe get some sort of reforms together by the end of the week. But I hope they all watched McConaughey’s speech the other day. And a reminder that he is a native of Uvalde, [Texas,] so this is very personal to him. And I hope they watch the testimony of 11-year-old Miah Cerrillo, the fourth grader who survived the Robb Elementary School shooting by covering herself in her murdered friends’ blood to play dead.

Now, we know that whatever middle ground compromise they reach—if they get there—won’t be enough in the wake of these terrors because all MAGA Republicans want is to remain in power and pad the pockets of their allies in the gun lobby and impose an extreme agenda that the American public simply doesn’t want. But we have to do something to try and start to stop this carnage.

So, friends, as I know you’ve heard me say before, we have to remember what this moment feels like come November. We have to remind voters over and over again that their safety is literally on the line this fall. These midterm elections are so important this fall because we need more leaders in Washington who will actually choose our safety over the gun lobby.

If there’s anything else you’d like us to cover on the pod, hit us up on Twitter @TheTentPod, that’s @TheTentPod. As a reminder, we are now posting transcripts for “The Tent” each week. The link will be in the description as soon as each one is available. Stick around for our interview with Adam Conover in just a beat.

[Musical transition]

Gibbs Léger: Adam Conover is a comedian, writer, voice actor, and television personality. You may know him from his hit series, “Adam Ruins Everything,” which debunked common misconceptions on a variety of topics. His new Netflix show, “The G Word,” pulls back the curtain on the surprising ways the U.S. government impacts our daily lives. Adam, thanks so much for joining us on “The Tent.”

Adam Conover: Oh my gosh, thank you so much for having me. It’s delightful to be here.

Gibbs Léger: Well, first of all, congratulations on the launch of your new Netflix show, “The G Word.” It’s a really smart, funny, and extremely bingeable show, which we all love. For our listeners who haven’t watched yet: It explores how the U.S. government impacts different areas of our lives, including food, tech, money, and more. And you know, there are lots of insights in the show that, even as someone who’s steeped in the work of government, really surprised me. And I imagine that the research and filming process was probably full of discoveries for you. So, let’s start with: Why did you choose to tackle this rather bureaucratic topic? And what was the most surprising thing you learned while making “The G Word”?

Conover: Well, so my journey to making the show began when I read Michael Lewis’ book, The Fifth Risk, in 2018, which was a book that was all about, you know, his own investigation of the incredible things that the government does, and, you know, among them, that the government originates, every weather prediction that you’ll ever get. The government is responsible for storing nuclear waste deep underground, all these incredible insights. I read it, and I was like, “Oh my gosh, I would love to make a television show about this at some point.” And fortuitously, about nine months later or so, I got a call from my manager saying, “Hey, Barack Obama’s company has optioned this book, do you want to pitch what you would do with it?” And I said, “Yes, of course. I would like to do that.”

And so that’s how I ended up making it. You know, I didn’t, you know, graduate from college going, “I’d love to make a show about the government one day,” but having come across the topic, I found it fascinating. In my career, I am drawn to topics that enlighten us as to how the world really works, the unseen structures that hold up our lives or that affect our lives negatively. And the government is just prime among those that, you know, we spent—as I say on the show—we spend four years arguing over who’s going to run the government. Almost none of us know what it actually does. We all we have some idea here and there. But you know, when we look at, you know, how it affects our lives—like you say, from food to technology—we don’t have a concept of what all these people are doing. I mean, literally, it’s the largest employer on planet Earth. Certainly, the largest employer in the United States is the federal government. So, we should probably have some idea of what all these people are doing. And so, once I started looking into it, I realized, “Oh, it’s a story machine.” Like, there are just so many incredible stories just under the surface here that nobody is telling. And I get to—like a miner, you know, taking my pick to virgin soil—I get to, like, just find those nuggets and hold them up for the audience.

Gibbs Léger: So, you talked about Michael Lewis’ book being the inspiration here. Like, how did you translate the material from the book into the show and kind of make it your own?

Conover: Honestly, it was a loose jumping-off point. I mean, my work as a comedian is almost always based off of journalism, or scientific research, are the two things that I normally go to. And so, Michael Lewis is, you know, an unparalleled journalist. He’s one of the best journalists we have working today. And so, we used his reporting on the National Weather Service and on for-profit weather companies’ attempts to undermine the National Weather Service. We just did an entire segment based on that reporting of his. But then, for the rest of the show, we used his reporting as a jumping-off point to do our own investigation into, you know, how the government created and still runs the entire GPS network.

Which, by the way, getting back to your earlier point, earlier question—what surprised me the most—that was the most shocking one to me, when one of our researchers brought into the room. And we had asked them, “Hey, what are the most interesting things that the government does that we don’t know about?” And one of our researchers brought in, “Well, they invented and still run the entire GPS satellite constellation, and like all GPS is a free public service provided by the federal government.” And all of us were like, “What?”—we had no idea that that was—I thought it was Garmin, or, like, Google.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, I thought it was Google!

Conover: It’s not. It’s not. It’s literally—Google Maps would not exist, Uber would not exist, Tinder would not exist, if not for 60 years of government research. And the Air Force—actually now the Space Force—is currently flying those satellites and allowing anyone in the world to use them for free. So, as I say, in the show, maybe the companies that built their businesses off of that government innovation could work a little less hard to get out of paying their taxes. That might be fair payback for us as a collective, you know, society, inventing the fundamental technology that their businesses are built on. Just my two cents.

Gibbs Léger: You know, one might think. One might say.

So, the material of the show obviously deals with some really wonky stuff, you know, like government agencies or regulation. But obviously, you inject a lot of comedy into it. How do you go about like striking the balance between entertaining and educating? And were any of the topics kind of particularly challenging to write jokes about?

Conover: I don’t think that there’s a balance that needs to be struck. I think that those two goals serve each other, entertaining and educating. Because the truth is that people love to learn. That’s one of my deep beliefs, is that people are motivated by learning. You just need to make the educational portion, like, fun to learn. I don’t mean, like, fun, like, “Oh, hide the cookie in the dog treat”—I mean, “hide the medicine in the dog treat.” I mean, you need to craft the material so that it is truly enlightening, surprising, delightful to people, because that is how you truly educate them. So, the more entertaining something is, the more educating it is. You remember being in school, your favorite teacher was not the most boring teacher. Your favorite teacher was the one that made the subject come to life, who made you laugh, who, you know, told the story of history in a way that really compelled you and made you unable to forget it. Right? Yeah, so that’s what I tried to do.

So, one way that we do that, for instance, is that our joke writing on this show—and on my previous show, “Adam Ruins Everything”—we almost never do a joke that’s tangential to the subject matter. I call those “30 Rock” jokes. If you watch “30 Rock,” you’ll see there’s a scene going on, and then one of the characters will tell a joke that is not about the scene at hand. It’s about some other thing that happened to Jenna or to Tracy Jordan sometime in their past, right? It’s like a cutaway joke. And then they go back to what they’re talking about. That’s a whole style of comedy writing. We never do that. Instead, our jokes always further the argument. So, for instance, when we’re telling the story of AccuWeather—the for-profit weather company trying to undermine the National Weather Service—we do a metaphor for that, where the National Weather Service is, you know, clean, drinkable tap water, and AccuWeather is trying to privatize that and, you know, take that water source and put it in their own private bottles that they sell to the public. Right? And we have a whole lot of jokes about, you know, water, about the guy, like, cranking the pump and trying to close it. We’ve got, like, jokes about bottled water. But all the jokes are built on that scaffold of that metaphor. That helps get the fundamental idea across that this is someone trying to privatize a public resource.

Now, as far as, you know, telling jokes about difficult subjects or boring subjects, I also don’t think it’s that difficult. What you need to do is—what we try to do is—do a joke that is commensurate to the weightiness of the story that we’re telling. So, on the show, we talked about some really dark issues. We talk about the federal government’s complete failure to save its own citizens after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, that incredible dereliction of duty. And I get very serious there for a few minutes and talk about that in a very emotional way, because I was really emotionally affected by it. But we also do jokes. The jokes are just there about how [censored] up it was. They’re not, like, making light of it. The jokes are deepening the seriousness of it. And so, to me, it’s just about like, that’s what makes it fun to write comedy this way. Because we’re not just doing jokes about airline food, or whatever happened to us that day, we’re doing jokes that serve a purpose. And that means they have to be written in the right way. But once you execute them properly, the problem dissolves.

Gibbs Léger: So, another key element of the show are the—what appears to be—unscripted scenes like where you actually go out into the field with government employees. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but you get to try out some of these unique government jobs and talk to the really interesting people that do them every day. So, what was it like to do those interviews? And how did the idea kind of come along to do these, like, ride-alongs?

Conover: I mean, it was my favorite part of the show, to do these field pieces with the incredible government workers who I got to go meet. I mean, first of all, on my previous show, “Adam Ruins Everything,” we had experts, and we had people who were affected by the issues that we talked about on the show, but we always brought them into my world onto the set of our television show. I really wanted to go to where those people are, on this show, and meet them and take the audience into their world. And the other reason the idea came about was, there are some things that the government does that are so crazy, until you see them, you cannot possibly appreciate how crazy they are. I mean, in the first two episodes, we go to a meat processing facility at [the] Cargill meat factory, one of the first times they’ve allowed cameras in one of those facilities in decades, by the way. So, we’re showing you a side of our food production system that you just never see. But also, you know, we are meeting the USDA meat inspectors who stand on the line next to the factory workers every single day and touch every single piece of meat to make sure that it isn’t contaminated by foodborne illnesses or things like that. That is, like, the enormity of that job and what it means to do it, you can’t really appreciate—unless you are seeing it happen—what kind of job that is.

Or the hurricane hunters; we go—I go—up with the Air Force hurricane hunters as we fly through a hurricane in order to get the vital measurements that, you know, we need to understand where the hurricane is going. Unless you put a camera crew on that plane and fly it through the hurricane, it is not going to be possible to convey how crazy a thing that is to do, and to do multiple times a day over and over again, every time there’s a hurricane anywhere near the Atlantic coast. It’s unbelievable. And so, taking the audience there and showing it to them is really, you know, just a key part of how we got the information across.

Gibbs Léger: That’s incredible. I am, like, obsessed with weather. My colleagues will tell you that I give, like, the weather updates and tell everyone when to stay weather alert, when we have dangerous weather coming. And so, like, I’m obsessed with, like, hurricanes. And my younger self, I don’t know how I thought they got those measurements. Like, maybe, like, they dropped something from the sky. But like, learning that they actually flew a plane into, like, category four, category five hurricanes is unbelievable.

Conover: Well, you’re not wrong that they dropped stuff from the sky. But guess what drops it? A plane! Like, they literally, I always assumed. So, I grew up—my grandmother lived in South Florida just south of Miami and you know, she went through Hurricane Andrew, luckily without any, you know, harm to her personally. But you know, that was what I grew up with in the ‘90s was my dad, every hurricane season, glued to the Weather Channel, looking at the hurricanes to make sure that his mom would be okay. And I just assumed that came from radars or satellites, right? But it turns out, the only way to collect that data is to fly a plane through, because there’s wind measurements. There’s wind instruments on the sides of the planes. They also drop a payload called the “dropsonde” into the hurricane in order to, you know, pick up wind conditions as it falls and hits the ocean. And then they are also constantly steering the plane in order to figure out what the exact center is. So, there’s someone on the plane going, “Alright, the wind is going in this direction, the center’s got to be a little bit to the left,” you know, “Turn this way, turn that way.” Because their goal is to fly through the precise center with the plane so they can get a fix. And then that fix is sent to the National Hurricane Center and is then sent to all the television stations, all the news outlets everywhere else. So, when you see that hurricane updating its position, you know, here’s where it’s moving, the only reason we have that is because someone flew a plane through the middle, and then that plane lands and another plane takes off and does the same thing full of more people from the Air Force, or from [the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration] NOAA, [which] is the other agency that flies these missions. I mean, it is incredible. And like, meeting—I don’t know if you realize that your money pays for a for a pilot to do this all year round. That is their job during hurricane season. They just fly these missions. It’s stunning, unbelievable.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, that is truly fascinating. My family’s from the Caribbean, so I too am always glued to the Weather Channel and getting those updates. … Truly remarkable. You mentioned former president Barack Obama, my old boss when I worked at the White House, and how he was involved in the show and helped to produce it. So, what was it like to work with him on this?

Conover: Well, it was interesting because, you know, most people when they meet Barack Obama—or any president—think, “Oh, my God, it’s so amazing to meet you, wow, I’m in the presence of celebrity.” You know, they’re sort of overwhelmed by that. I had to have a different relationship with him because what was very important to me on this show—and important for the credibility of the show—is that we have editorial independence, that this show not be seen by the audience as being the Obama, not administration, but you know, machine point of view. Right? And so, I made that really clear to the folks that we worked with, and they granted us that. We taught, we tackled, you know. We were able to do our own research, and we tackled these topics, and took on some topics that, like, were Barack Obama writing the show, he probably would not have done. And, you know, our segment on technology, we do an entire segment on unmanned combat drones and how many civilian deaths those have led to, things like that. So, you know.

Now, that being said, we did chat with him on one or two occasions. He read some scripts, so you know, he was like, here’s some thoughts—“I have some thoughts. You can take them or leave them.” You know, very, very gracious note-giver. And we said, “Hey, that’s, that’s very helpful. On this one, we’re gonna have to respectfully disagree and stick with our current language.” And, you know, that was a little bit of, you know, for me, just a comedy writer, a little bit surreal, having to have that conversation. But, you know, that was the conversation we had, and it went great.

In terms of shooting on the actual set, the most shocking part for me was, you know, as a comedian, I often work with the actors who are my scene partners, you know. I will be like, “Oh, let’s do it like this, a little bit faster,” a little bit, you know, just a little bit of light direction. And so, I found myself in the position, we’re shooting with Barack Obama, and he’s doing lines that I wrote, and I gotta be like, “On the next one, Barack, a little bit faster, if you don’t mind. Could you hit this word a little bit harder to hit the joke a little more?” And, I had, it was like an out of body experience giving it to him. But you know, the man is an extremely talented performer. And so, he was like, “Okay, yeah. Alright, here we go. One more, let’s do it,” you know. And we did it. And he, you know, he nailed it on the third take. So it was, and, you know, we finished in record time. So it was, it was a very, very smooth experience.

Gibbs Léger: So, you know, you’ve obviously talked about the goal of the show, and I think it’s clear, you know, you’ve made something really special that contributes positively and constructively to conversations about the role of government in our lives. So, I want to end by asking, like, what do you hope viewers will take away from the show?

Conover: Well, our final episode is, you know, one that was really important to me, because in it, I grapple with the question of, you know: The government is so big, and we’re so small, and the government still hurts Americans, kills Americans, fails to serve Americans in countless ways, whether we’re talking about abandoning Americans during a hurricane, whether we’re talking about the criminal justice system, you know, falsely, wrongfully imprisoning Americans or, you know, law enforcement harming or killing Americans. There’s so many problems like these that Americans have been protesting against for decades, and we’ve seen so little change, and so what do we do about it? That’s the question that is, like, animating me in that episode.

And the answer that we found is that so many of the problems in American life are caused locally, by local government, and can be solved locally by local government, and that our involvement in local politics is so much more powerful than in national politics. Obviously, we should all still vote in national elections and pay attention to them. But if you look at how much of your life is affected by local politicians, and how little coverage they get in the media, then the gap is enormous. But it also means there’s an enormous opportunity, because your vote, your donation of 50 bucks, your knocking on doors goes 100 times further for those local candidates than for, you know, the, you know, whatever politician is running against whatever bad person in whatever state you’re not from. Right? And so, that is what we really encourage people to do, is to take part in that system.

Just to give you an example, in terms of criminal justice reform, the entire game is local, you know, from police departments to prosecutors’ offices, like, the driver of mass incarceration in America, one of the biggest problems facing America today—you know? We lock up more of our own citizens than any other nation on Earth, with no positive effect to our crime rates—that problem is entirely caused by locally elected prosecutors where you live in your county or town, and almost nobody votes in their elections. But lately, we’ve started to see like a rise of prosecutors who want to tackle those issues. And we go and profile a group in Philadelphia called Reclaim Philadelphia that managed to get a new prosecutor elected there with great success, who’s transforming criminal justice in their city. So, what I’m trying to encourage people to do is go learn about those local elections. Take part in them. And then even more importantly, don’t just vote, don’t just donate, but find a group that you can show up to yourself. Find, you know, whether it is a group at your church, whether you are a member of a union, and you can volunteer with that union, whether it is joining whatever local branch of whatever political party you want to join, whether it’s joining a group like the Sunrise Movement, right, that has local branches focusing on issues everywhere in the country—fight. Join that group and start showing up every week or every month.

And if you do that, you will suddenly find that the possibilities of how you can make change will, like, flower before you in this astounding way. Because you will start to meet other people who are putting time in themselves. And they’ll say, “Hey, Adam, you’re here every week. Oh, we really like working with you. Hey, we are organizing a protest or a fundraiser or a, you know, just basic organizing. We’re trying to reach out to people in the community, let them know what’s going on. Would you be down to lead that next week?” And you’ll be like, “Yeah, of course. I mean, yes, sure. It sounds very important.” And then you will be too busy to feel pessimistic and hopeless about the state of our country because you will not be sitting at home scrolling on Twitter, reading about how bad things are. You will be up to your armpits in work. And then the first time you see—as I have seen in my own work—the first time you see change made in your community because of that, it will change your life, it will change how you see your own power and efficacy in your community. You will become addicted. And you will be unable to stop working on that, on those problems. And if we get enough people doing that, that is how we fix this country, in my view.

Gibbs Léger: That is such a wonderful way to end the show, like giving people, like, hope and like, tangible things that they can do to have those wins that are so important when the national landscape can appear to be so bleak, like all politics being local. It’s a saying but it’s also extremely true. So, thank you so much for leaving us with those words, for creating this content, and thank you so much for joining us on “The Tent” this week.

Conover: Oh my gosh, thank you so much for having me. It’s been wonderful.

Gibbs Léger: Thank you.

[Musical transition]

Gibbs Léger: As always, thanks for joining us, be sure to go back and check out previous episodes. Before we go, a couple of things: One, we have our songs of the summer playlist. It is up on Spotify. We will tweet out a link. Please go take a listen. If you have other additions that you think we should add, hit us up on Twitter and tell us what we should be bopping to.

Speaking of summer … so I am excited for the Real Housewives of Potomac to be coming back soon because it is the best one. I said what I said. It is the best housewives. Now, maybe I can’t really say that because I don’t watch all of them. So let me tell you how I got into housewives. My family is from Anguilla and St. Maarten in the Caribbean. I have an auto-record on my TV for anything that has either of those islands in, like, the description. So, years ago, when the Real Housewives of Atlanta took a trip to Anguilla, it popped up. And I was like, “Oh, let me watch this. I’ve never watched it before in my life. But let me check it out because I want to see beautiful shots of my gorgeous island.” And they were there for, like, two to three episodes. And at the end of the episode—the last one, when they left—I was like, “Well, I kind of want to see what happens with these people.” Like, what is going on with, like, Kenya and this dude who, like, she’s trying to marry, but it’s very obvious he doesn’t want to marry her? And then, like, the Apollo, all of it all. So that’s how I got hooked into Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Then I did watch the one season of Real Housewives of [Washington,] D.C., and I have lots of reasons why that would never actually work in this city proper. It was boring and terrible. But then, Potomac came around and these ladies are good. They’re spicy. It’s everything that you would want from a housewives series. Then I started watching Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. Again, spicy ladies, but because my introduction to the franchise was through Atlanta, I just never started watching any of the OG, like New York. You would think maybe—I’m from New Jersey—I would watch New Jersey, Beverly Hills, like Orange County, or something. Like yeah, I just, I know who they are, but I don’t watch any of those episodes. So, I mean, that may horrify some people, like the purists of the Housewives franchises but yeah, that’s my hot takes. I can’t wait for Potomac to come back and just see the Ashley Darby stuff unfold on TV because that’s what it’s there for, to provide us mindless entertainment and to take our minds off of the—wildly gesticulating—world around us.

If you have some interesting TV that you’re watching, tell us. Let’s talk about it. It doesn’t have to be trashy TV. It can be like, you know, smart, intellectual TV. Hit us up on Twitter @TheTentPod. Yes, we are still in the pandemic. And I’m gonna say that every week as long as we’re in a pandemic. Take care of yourselves. Get double-boosted. Get your kids boosted and fingers crossed for a vaccine soon for our youngest kiddos. And we will talk to you next week.

“The Tent” is a podcast from the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It’s hosted by me, Daniella Gibbs Léger. Erin Phillips is our lead producer. Kelly McCoy is our supervising producer. Tricia Woodcome is our booking producer, and Sam Signorelli is our digital producer. You can find us on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Daniella Gibbs Léger

Executive Vice President, Communications and Strategy


Erin Phillips

Broadcast Media Manager

Kelly McCoy

Senior Director of Broadcast Communications

Tricia Woodcome

Former Senior Media Manager

Sam Signorelli

Policy and Outreach Associate, Government Affairs

Explore The Series

Politics. Policy. Progress. All under one big tent. Produced by CAP Action, “The Tent” is a news and politics podcast hosted by Daniella Gibbs Léger and co-hosted by Colin Seeberger. Listen each Thursday for episodes exploring topics that progressives are focused on.


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