Washington, D.C. (November 15, 2013)—The Atlantic’s Video channel and social media platform Reddit today announced a joint video initiative entitled “Ask Washington Anything,” featuring interviews with politicians and other Washington insiders—all based on user-generated questions. The series kicks off with Joe Manchin, Democratic senator from West Virginia; Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform; and Sam Kass, executive director of Let’s Move! and former White House chef.
The format is inspired by Reddit’s popular “Ask Me Anything” question and answer sessions, which allow users to submit and vote on questions for people with unusual or exceptional life experiences. AMAs first gained broad national attention in 2012 when President Obama participated, attracting 5.6 million views. Other notable AMA participants include leaders and political figures like Al Gore, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Helen Clark.
“AMAs are popular for a reason: they offer users a chance to engage interesting people in direct, authentic, and delightfully unscripted conversation,” said Kasia Cieplak Mayr-von Baldegg, executive producer of Atlantic Video. “We hope Ask Washington Anything allows interviewees and users alike to go beyond stale talking points—to discuss the big-picture issues that matter most right now and take a behind-the-scenes look at how Washington really works.”