Sacha Baron Cohen’s controversial Who is America?  is performing a valuable service in that it’s exposing how “shameless” are those members of the GOP who will “literally do anything,” the hosts and creators of Pod Save America told TV critics at TCA.

The four Dems on the HBO TCA panel said their party need not clutch its pearls over Cohen, insisting his very divisive Showtime series is not going to hurt Claire McCaskill’s chances in Missouri.

The most depressing thing about what Cohen does “is that he’s not that manipulative… He does not have to push them too hard,” Jon Lovett said.

(Late Tuesday, it was announced that Georgia state Rep. Jason Spencer, who mooned the camera and yelled racist slurs on Cohen’s program, will resign from the legislature.)

Lovett got asked the inevitable question about his short-lived NBC sitcom 1600 Penn about a zany dysfunctional family in the White House. Lovett noted critics did not find it believable calling the characters “too zany.”
“In hindsight, we did not realize it should have been a dark moody drama on HBO,” he joked, faulting the project only for lack of sufficient corruption and Russian intrigue.

“And, it was a hit” he added, insisting that anything you read stating otherwise is Fake News. “It had one perfect season, people are still talking about it, still buying it. Everything you’re seeing out there that says it’s not a hit I would not believe.”

Hit political podcast Pod Saves America has been downloaded more than 270M times since launching in January of ’17. It comes to HBO this fall in four hour-long specials on the campaign trail. The hosts, former Obama administration staffers Lovett, Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor, and Dan Pfeiffer, will be joined by journalists, politicians and activists to talk politics, press and Trump’s presidency.

Asked what he’d like to see political reporters do better as they cover trump, Pod host Dan Pfeiffer said they need to ask more policy questions of Trump because “I don’t think he can sustain a 30-second conversation on his tax plan. They know he can’t answer the question, so they don’t ask the question.”