Jun 17, 2022 • 1HR 13M

Volts podcast: Dan Pfeiffer on the Democratic Party's megaphone problem

No message can succeed if it doesn't reach the intended audience.

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Volts is a podcast about leaving fossil fuels behind. I've been reporting on and explaining clean-energy topics for almost 20 years, and I love talking to politicians, analysts, innovators, and activists about the latest progress in the world's most important fight. (Volts is entirely subscriber-supported. Sign up!)
Episode details

You probably know Dan Pfeiffer best as one of the hosts of the wildly successful Pod Save America podcast, part of the growing Crooked Media empire of which he is a co-founder. Or perhaps you know him as the author of the Message Box newsletter, where he dispenses communications advice to left-leaning subscribers.

But before he was a new media mogul, Pfeiffer was in the thick of politics as a top aide on Obama’s campaign and then in Obama’s White House, where he ran communications and strategy.

Dan Pfeiffer
Dan Pfeiffer

Pfeiffer has seen the media war between the parties play out, and he has seen Democrats lose messaging battles again and again. He has first-hand experience of the growing power of the right-wing media machine to spread disinformation, set the agenda for the rest of the media, and deflect accountability.

Now he has written a book on the subject: Battling the Big Lie is an extended examination of the growing imbalance between the conservative movement’s massive media megaphone … and the left’s lack of one.

Listeners know that I have been obsessed with this imbalance for as long as I’ve been following politics, so I was super geeked to talk with Pfeiffer about how right-wing media grew, how it successfully intimidated both mainstream media and social media companies, and how Democrats can begin building a comparable megaphone of their own, before it’s too late.