While it seems everyone and their mother has a podcast these days, almost no one co-hosts a podcast with a sitting U.S. senator to hash out an ongoing impeachment trial, but Michael Knowles can make such a claim.
Knowles, who hosts the "The Michael Knowles Show" for the Daily Wire, now co-hosts "Verdict with Ted Cruz," which is the number one podcast in the country — with over one million downloads. Knowles and the Texas Republican spend around 25 minutes to break down and discuss the ongoing Senate impeachment trial into President Trump. Cruz goes directly from the Capitol building after the day is done to a recording studio.
Co-hosting a podcast with Cruz is a bit of a dream come true for Knowles since he's been a longtime fan of his, even appearing in a campaign ad for him in 2016.
"The idea had been floated for a Ted Cruz podcast for sometime, but everybody gets busy. Obviously he's very busy in the capital and I was busy in L.A.," Knowles told Townhall. "The opportunity presented itself [for a podcast] with impeachment. This is an historic event. We've only done this three times in history and this is the first time we've ever impeached a president for no reason, or rather without accusing him of committing a crime."
Knowles said they were blown away at how popular the podcast has become, even replacing longtime iTunes number one spot-holder "The Joe Rogan Experience," Joe Rogan's podcast.
"None of us expected it. I thought it would be a fascinating experience to sit down with a U.S. senator, particularly a senator as intelligent and accomplished as Senator Cruz, right after the impeachment trial, hear exactly what he was thinking from his perspective."
"What I did not expect was the popular appeal and I think it's because people are a lot smarter than they get credit for," Knowles continued. "You always hear, especially on the left, people lamenting the lack of civic engagement, the lack of paying attention to news and politics, it's not that people don't want to engage with their government. It's the people don't want these hack soundbites and these boring talking points that we're used to getting in the mainstream media and that we're getting in these impeachment hearings."
Cruz's ability to "pull back the curtain" and provide a behind-the-scenes perspective to the trial, Knowles said, is certainly a major factor to the podcast's success.
Trump's impeachment trial will eventually end, but would that mean the podcast will end as well? Knowles said he certainly hopes the program can continue, pointing to how they are already talking about other topics on the show, it just depends on Cruz's busy schedule.
"I would love to keep the podcast going, clearly there's an audience for it and there's an eagerness out there to engage with the government, to engage with these political issues beyond these five-minute soundbites or shallow talking points on cable news."