Welcome to Left Jab, Sirius XM’s most irreverent and informative original political talk show! Join hosts Jon Aberman, Mark Walsh and Dave Zirin as they talk politics, tech, business and sports with a wide variety of guests from across the country. You’ll get the low-down on life in Washington from some of its best-known insiders, a refreshing perspective on sports from one of the field’s hottest firebrands, and insights into emerging markets and trends from a wide array of innovative investors. Featuring regular visits from communications expert and “Left Jab” Dave Goodfriend and other exciting contributors including Thomas Frank, Matt Taibbi, John Nichols, and more.
Jon Aberman (Host)
Jon Aberman is the managing director of Amplifier Ventures (www.amplifierventures.com), a venture capital firm focusing on government funded technology in the Washington, DC region. He is also the Chair of FounderCorps (www.FounderCorps.org) a regional not for profit that promotes technology entrepreneurship, and the founder of Endeka Consulting, a technology policy consulting company focused on technology transfer and commercialization.
Jon has been in the technology, legal and financial services industries for over twenty five years, working in the financial services industry at Goldman Sachs and Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette, being a partner in technology law firms Fenwick & West, Fish and Richardson and Pillsbury, before becoming a full time venture investor with Amplifier Ventures. Since 2005 he has helped start 14 emerging technology companies in software, mobile and energy conservation technologies.
He has been a technology policy advisor to state and federal government leaders in both parties, and has produced a number of White Papers and reports that relate to entrepreneurship, venture capital, technology commercialization and regional economic development. He is also a member of the faculty of the Robert H. Smith School of Business, where he teaches a wide range of entrepreneurship classes to graduate and undergraduate students.
He has a BA/MA in law from Cambridge University, an LLM in Corporate Law from New York University, an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and a BA in Political Science/Economics from George Washington University. Jon also plays lead guitar in a regional rock band – Two Car Living Room – and denies any suggestion that his business activities are merely an excuse to acquire capital to purchase more guitars.
Mark Walsh (Co-Host)
Mark Walsh is the head of a small venture capital firm focusing on interactive/internet technology and services, Ruxton Ventures, LLC, and CEO of GeniusRocket (www.geniusrocket.com), an internet advertising platform.
He has been in the internet industry for over twenty five years, heading up consumer internet efforts for GE, running AOL’s internet and business to business efforts, and as CEO of VerticalNet, a business to business internet company which he took public in early 1999.
Since 2001 he has been active in politics, serving as the first Chief Technology Advisor for the Democratic National Committee, then internet head for the John Kerry for President Campaign, and then as founding CEO of Air America Radio. For the last six years he has co-hosted a weekly political talk show called “Left Jab” on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio.
At his venture capital company, he has invested in a number of small to medium technology/startup companies and serves on a number of their boards. Investment and/or board highlights include NutriSystems (NASDAQ: NTRI), Blackboard (NASDAQ: BBBB), Half.com (sold to eBay), Day.com (sold to Adobe), Spectrum K12 Software (Sold to Scantron), Hook & Ladder Brewing Company, MobilePosse, Transactis and ARPU. He is also active in a number of non-profits, serving or having served on the boards of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and In2Books. He is chairman of the advisory council at The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland Business School, and is chairman of the New Leaders Council.
He started his business career in television, as anchorman and News Director of a CBS-TV affiliate, and as New Business Development director for HBO in New York. He has a BA from Union College (where he serves as chairman of the board of trustees) and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Dave Zirin (Sports Siren and Co-Host)
Named one of UTNE Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World”, Dave Zirin writes about the politics of sports for the Nation Magazine. He is their first sports writer in 150 years of existence. Winner of Sport in Society and Northeastern University School of Journalism’s 2011 ‘Excellence in Sports Journalism’ Award, Zirin is also the host of Sirius XM Radio’s popular weekly show, Edge of Sports Radio. He has been called “the best sportswriter in the United States,” by Robert Lipsyte. Dave Zirin is, in addition, a columnist for SLAM Magazine and the Progressive.
His most recent books include, in collaboration with Dr. John Carlos, The John Carlos Story, (Haymarket Books), Bad Sports: How Owners are Ruining the Games We Love (Scribner), A People’s History of Sports in the United States, part of Howard Zinn’s People’s History Series for the New Press, Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics, and Promise of Sports (Haymarket Books), and What’s My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States (Haymarket Books) now in its third printing.
Zirin has brought his blend of sports and politics to multiple television programs including NBC’s Last Call with Carson Daly, ESPN’s Outside the Lines, MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, ESPN Classic, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, CNN, MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, Comcast Sports Network’s Washington Post Live, C-SPAN’s BookTV, and Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman. He has also been on numerous national radio programs including National Public Radio’s Tell Me More, Talk of the Nation, and All Things Considered.
Zirin has debated FOX Sports president Ed Goren on college football’s Bowl Championship Series for National Public Radio, Bridgestone Firestone President Dan Adomitis in the pages of the Los Angeles Times on whether his company should be the “official tire of the Super Bowl” while in court for using child labor in Liberia, and the issue of steroids in sports with Jose Canseco and John Rocker. His writing has also appeared in Vibe Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the New York Daily News, New York Newsday, the Baltimore Sun, the Pittsburgh Courier, The Source, and numerous other publications.
David Goodfriend (Contributor)
David Goodfriend runs his own public policy practice in Washington, D.C. and is the founder of Sports Fans Coaltion, a public policy group for sports fans nationwide. He was Vice President, Law and Public Policy, for Echostar Satellite L.L.C (“DISH Network”). Prior to joining EchoStar, he served as Media Legal Advisor to F.C.C. Commissioner Susan Ness and served as Deputy Staff Secretary to President Clinton. He worked for Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) and Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) and was an associate in the telecommunications group of the law firm of Willkie Farr & Gallagher. He co-founded Air America Radio, the Nation’s first progressive talk radio network, serving as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the enterprise before orchestrating a transfer of control to an investment group led by Real Networks founder and CEO Rob Glaser. David appears regularly as a political commentator on MSNBC, CNBC and many other television and radio networks. He graduated, cum laude, from the Georgetown University Law Center and summa cum laude from Beloit College.
Michael Goodfriend (Executive Producer / Writer)
Michael is an actor, writer and producer. He was involved in the founding of Air America Radio, where he produced “The Majority Report”, hosted by Janeanne Garofalo. He is the Executive Producer of “Edge of Sports Radio”, hosted by Dave Zirin, and has produced for AOL, E!TV and Yale Cabaret Hollywood. As an actor, Michael has performed extensively in New York and at theatres throughout the United States and abroad, as well as on numerous television shows and independent films. He has written several stage plays and screenplays and enjoys contributing satire and comedy to every episode of “Left Jab”. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and the British American Drama Academy and graduated Magna Cum Laude / Phi Beta Kappa from Beloit College and Glasgow University. You can learn more about Michael at michaelgabrielgoodfriend.com.