Sam Sanders | KERA News

Sam Sanders

Sam Sanders is a reporter and podcast host at NPR. Most recently, as a key member of NPR's election unit, Sam covered the intersection of culture, pop culture, and politics in the 2016 election, and embedded with the Bernie Sanders campaign for several months. He was also one of the original cohosts of NPR's Politics Podcast, which launched in 2015.

Now Sam is hard at work on a new project: a news and pop culture podcast for NPR, set to launch in 2017.

Sanders joined NPR in 2009 as a Kroc Fellow, and since then has worn many hats within the organization, including field producer and breaking news reporter. He's spent time at three Member stations as well: WUNC in North Carolina, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and WBUR in Boston, as an intern for On Point with Tom Ashbrook.

Sanders graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2009 with a Master's degree in public policy, with a focus on media and politics. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio Texas with a double major in political science and music.

In his free time, Sanders runs, eats bacon, discusses the tortured genius of Kanye West, and continues his love/hate relationship with Twitter.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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We're also joined now by NPR's Rachel Martin. She'll be hosting our election night special with us which begins in just about 10 minutes. Rachel, welcome.

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Hey, Rachel.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

I've noticed two distinct ways social media have changed the way we talk to each other about politics. Clearly, they have changed a lot, maybe everything, but two fairly new phenomena stand out.

At just about every Hillary Clinton campaign event this year, and much of last, you could find lots of rainbows and posters with the letters "LGBT" on them in the crowd. The average Hillary Clinton event has a healthy amount of gay, lesbian and transgender Clinton supporters in attendance.

It was tense even before they started. Reporters tweeted that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump entered the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner from separate sides of the room, and didn't even shake hands (which at this point really isn't a surprise).

But there was hope that Thursday night's event could serve as a comedic salve for the nation following three decidedly nasty presidential debates. The fundraising event for Catholic charities — now in its 71st year — traditionally is a time for the candidates to offer jokes about themselves and their opponent.

In front of an exuberant crowd Thursday in Delaware, Ohio, Donald Trump again addressed whether he would accept the outcome of the November election.

"Ladies and gentleman I want to make a major announcement today," Trump said, continuing, "I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters, and to all of the people of the United States, that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election ..."

Kalena Bowler remembers exactly where she was during Barack Obama's first presidential inauguration: at work. "I was the only Black person in the entire pre-production room."

While we've been slogging through what feels like the most contentious presidential election in decades, Canada seems to have been dancing on air, still caught up in the glow of a relatively new prime minister who has been compared to a Disney prince.

We on the other hand, are living through a point in the campaign where cable news might have to be censored for small children.

One could see the return of Saturday Night Live this weekend as the perfect remedy after our summer of discontent. After birtherism, and deplorables, and tax returns and emails, and rumors of affairs and and videos and body doubles, we could all use a laugh.

As such, expectations were high for the show Saturday night, after being away for months, and returning only a few days after the most-viewed presidential debate in modern history.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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