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Political Gabfest

Slate Podcasts

83 episodes

Jan 21, 2021

End this Uncivil War 

Emily, John and David discuss the unusual but uplifting inauguration, Joe Biden’s priorities, and the Trump aftermath.


Here are some notes and references from this week’s show:

Joe Biden’s inauguration speech

Inauguration video from former Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton

Kevin Quealy for the New York Times: “The Complete List of Trump’s Twitter Insults (2015-2021) 


Here are this week’s cocktail chatters: 

John: The books of P.G. Wodehouse read by Jonathan Cecil

Emily: Beth LeBlanc and Craig Mauger for the Detroit News: “Michigan Republicans Seek to Replace GOP Canvasser Who Certified Election

David: Jules Suzdaltsev’s Twitter thread of photos of weird things Trump did in office.

Listener chatter from Clay Jeffries @clayjeffries: Sam Kean for the Atlantic: “22 Orphans Gave Up Everything to Distribute the World’s First Vaccine


Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Gabfest each week, and access to special bonus episodes throughout the year. Sign up now to listen and support our show.

For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment David, Emily, and John imagine some classes they would like to teach.


You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. Tweet us your cocktail chatter using #cocktailchatter. (Messages may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)


Podcast production by Jocelyn Frank.

Research and show notes by Bridgette Dunlap.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jan 14, 2021

The Greatest Betrayal 

Emily, David and John talk about impeachment, whether Americans can be deradicalized, and guest Juliette Kayyem joins in to discuss vaccine distribution.


Here are some notes and references from this week’s show:

Emily Bazelon for the New York Times Magazine: “People Are Dying. Whom Do We Save First With the Vaccine? 

Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America by John Sides, Michael Tesler, and Lynn Vavrek 

Amarnath Amarasingam’s Twitter thread on de-platforming extremists

Amarnath Amarasingam, Shiraz Maher, and Charlie Winter for the Centre for Research and

Evidence on Security Threats: “How Telegram Disruption Impacts Jihadist Platform Migration


The music of Ludovico Einaudi

The music of Joan Armatrading

The music of John Prine

The music of M.I.A.

The music of Joan Jett

The music of Maren Morris

The music of Joni Mitchell

The music of Bob Mould and Husker Du

The music of Nick Thompson

Nicholas Thompson for Wired: “To Run My Best Marathon at Age 44, I Had to Outrun My Past

Iko Iko” performed by the Grateful Dead 

You’ll Never Walk Alone” performed by Gerry and the Pacemakers

Tusk by Fleetwood Mac

Desire by Bob Dylan

In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust


Here are this week’s cocktail chatters: 

John: Nathaniel Popper for The New York Times: “Lost Passwords Lock Millionaires Out of Their Bitcoin Fortunes


Emily: Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell 


David: The Dancing Bird of Paradise Scene from “Our Planet


Listener chatter from Richard Medlicott: Steven Levy for Wired: “A 25-Year-Old Bet Comes Due: Has Tech Destroyed Society?


Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Gabfest each week, and access to special bonus episodes throughout the year. Sign up now to listen and support our show.

For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment David, Emily, and John talk about the music they turn to in order to clear their heads.


You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. Tweet us your cocktail chatter using #cocktailchatter. (Messages may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)


The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Jocelyn Frank.

Research and show notes by Bridgette Dunlap.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jan 7, 2021

Reaping the Whirlwind 

Emily, John and David discuss the invasion of the U.S. Capitol and Democrats’ historic win in Georgia.

Here are some notes and references from this week’s show: 

Yuval Levin for the National Review: “Failures of Leadership in a Populist Age

Anne Applebaum for the Atlantic: “History Will Judge the Complicit

Emily Bazelon for the New York Times Magazine: “The Pandemic Election

Emily Bazelon for Slate in 2013: “Voting Rights 2.0

Steven Lance for Atavist: “The Secret Formula: Could Shrunken Heads From the Amazon Hold the Key to Curing Cancer? One Man Thought So—and Spent a Lifetime Trying to Prove It.” 

A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812,by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich 


Here are this week’s cocktail chatters: 

John: Agence France-Presse, “Exceptionally Well-Preserved Snack Bar Unearthed in Pompeii

David: David Segal for the New York Times: “It’s Mother vs. Son in Britain’s Priciest Divorce War” 

Emily: Tweet by Kyle Machulis @qDo of the most important competitive dog dancing video

Listener chatter from Cyrus Farivar @cfarivar: Jason Kottke for Kottke.org: “The Last Documented Widow of a Civil War Veteran Has Died at the Age of 101


Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Gabfest each week, and access to special bonus episodes throughout the year. Sign up now to listen and support our show.

For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment David, Emily, and John consider in what time period they would first go to see a doctor, given what we know now about the history of medicine.


You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. Tweet us your cocktail chatter using #cocktailchatter. (Messages may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)


The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Jocelyn Frank.

Research and show notes by Bridgette Dunlap.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Dec 31, 2020

15th Anniversary 

Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson and David Plotz reminisce about 15 years of podcasting together. They look back on past mistakes and deliver fresh kindnesses. This live show was recorded on Dec 9, 2020.


You can watch a special tribute video here and a video of the entire 15th Anniversary Show is here


Here are some references from this week’s show: 

Jonathan Rauch for the Atlantic: “How American Politics Went Insane

 

Conor Friedersdorf for the Atlantic: “Working Mom Arrested for Letting Her 9-Year-Old Play Alone at Park”

 

 

Here are this week’s cocktail chatters: 

 

John: The Washington Post: “Sept. 8 in History: Evel Knievel’s Canyon Jump, Nixon Pardon

 

Emily: Catrin Einhorn and Christopher Flavelle for The New York Times: “A Race Against Time to Rescue a Reef From Climate Change

 

David: Washington Post: “Plastic Surgeons Say Business Is Up, Partly Because Clients Don’t Like How They Look On Zoom

 

Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Gabfest each week, and access to special bonus episodes throughout the year. Sign up now to listen and support our show.

For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment David, Emily, and John share politically-themed cocktail recipes from listeners and of their own.


You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. Tweet us your cocktail chatter using #cocktailchatter. (Messages may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)


The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)


Podcast production by Jocelyn Frank.

Research and show notes by Bridgette Dunlap.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Dec 24, 2020

Conundrum 2020 

Emily, John, and David end 2020 considering listeners’ most perplexing conundrums—with special guest Alexandra Petri!


Here are some notes and references from this week’s show:

The Life of George Washington: With Curious Anecdotes, Equally Honourable to Himself, and Exemplary to His Young Countrymen by Mason Locke Weems


Marching Bands Are Just Homeless Orchestras, Half-Empty Thoughts Vol. 1 by Tim Siedell


Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand


The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand


War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy


Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

 

David G. Savage for The Los Angeles Times: “Clarence Thomas is His Own Man


The Glory and The Dream by William Manchester


The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed


Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey 


The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius


The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Waterson


FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, Netflix


Fyre Fraud, Hulu


Black Mirror: Nosedive,” Netflix


Black Mirror: Arkangel,” Netflix


Here are some of the conundrums tackled on the show: 


  • To save the world from eventual destruction, you have to live and work in one of two locations that you cannot leave for three years: one on the ocean floor, the other on the moon. Which do you choose and why? 


  • What pre-1900 social custom (especially one related to how people interact with each other in public) that has fallen out of fashion should be revived in 2021 and beyond?


  • Would you rather have read War and Peace but not be able to talk about it, or to have read Atlas Shrugged and have to talk about it?


  • A pair of 80s style magical leg warmers must be visibly worn all day to activate superhuman cheetah speed. Do you wear them? 



  • For the rest of quarantine, you must share your home with a fictional character. Who is your new roommate?


  • You can have your portrait painted by any artist from any period of history, or your biography written by any author. Whom would you pick?


  • If you could banish any widely accepted canard from people’s minds, what would it be?


  • If you, and only you, could see one statistic hovering over every person’s head, what would you want it to be?



Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Gabfest each week, and access to special bonus episodes throughout the year. Sign up now to listen and support our show. For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment David, Emily, John, and Alexandra explore some bonus conundrums.


You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. Tweet us your cocktail chatter using #cocktailchatter. (Messages may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

 

The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)


Podcast production by Jocelyn Frank.

Research and show notes by Bridgette Dunlap.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Dec 17, 2020

Barr-Barr-Barr, Barr-Barr is Gone 

Emily, John and David discuss the massive Russian hack-- with guest Alex Stamos, Bill Barr’s resignation, and Joe Biden’s cabinet.

Here are some notes and references from this week’s show:


Alex Stamos for The Washington Post: “Enough Is Enough. Here’s What We Should Do to Defend Against the Next Russian Cyberattacks.


John Dickerson for 60 Minutes: “Excited Delirium: The Controversial Syndrome That Can Be Used to Protect Police From Misconduct Charges


Here are this week’s cocktail chatters: 


John: Thomas B. Edsall for The New York Times: “America, We Have a Problem”; The New Yorker Documentary, Episode 30: “The Man Who Invented More Than Eight Hundred Iconic Toys


Emily: Daniel Nichanian for The Appeal: “Newly Elected Prosecutors Are Challenging The Death Penalty”; Rob Hayes for KABC: “LA County Da George Gascon's Plan To Reduce Sentences Sparks Concern From His Own Prosecutors”; Daniel Nichanian’s Twitter feed, @taniel 


David: Azam Ahmed for The New York Times: “She Stalked Her Daughter’s Killers Across Mexico, One by One


Listener chatter from @greenneck: Eric Simons for Bay News: “With Fewer than 2,000 Butterflies Counted So Far, Western Monarch Takes an Astonishing Step Closer to Extinction


Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Gabfest each week, and access to special bonus episodes throughout the year. Sign up now to listen and support our show.

For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment David, Emily, and John discuss John’s reporting on “excited delirium,” the dubious medical justification for an increasing number of deaths of young Black men in police custody.


You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. Tweet us your cocktail chatter using #cocktailchatter. (Messages may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)


The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)


Podcast production by Jocelyn Frank.

Research and show notes by Bridgette Dunlap.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Dec 10, 2020

Breaking Up Facebook 

Emily, John and David talk about the coup attempt, Facebook’s legal troubles, and which presidential norms to restore or discard, with guest Tim Wu.


It's conundrum season! Pass along your most pressing conundrums here: www.slate.com/conundrum. Our annual Conundrum show is coming soon.


Here are some notes and references from this week’s show:


Tim Wu for the New York Times: “What Really Saved the Republic From Trump?


Zeynep Tufekci for the Atlantic: “ ‘This Must Be Your First’


They Might Be Giants


Here are this week’s cocktail chatters: 


John: Dalya Alberge for the Guardian: “ ‘Sistine Chapel of the Ancients' Rock Art Discovered in Remote Amazon Forest


David: Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield

 

Emily: Esmé E. Deprez for Bloomberg Businessweek: “How Medela Lost Moms


Listener chatter from Charlotte Hope, @charlottehope: Elizabeth Yuko for Architectural Digest: “How Previous Epidemics Impacted Home Design


Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Gabfest each week, and access to special bonus episodes throughout the year. Sign up now to listen and support our show. 

For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment David, Emily, and John consider a question from listener Daniela Koontz about ideal road trips.


You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. Tweet us your cocktail chatter using #cocktailchatter. (Messages may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)


The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)


Podcast production by Jocelyn Frank.

Research and show notes by Bridgette Dunlap.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Dec 3, 2020

Neutral Laws of General Applicability 

It's conundrum season! Pass along your most pressing conundrums here: www.slate.com/conundrum. Our annual Conundrum holiday show is coming soon.


Emily, John and Jamelle discuss presidential pardons; coronavirus exemptions for houses of worship; and David joins in for a conversation with Australia's former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull about disinformation.

Here are some notes and references from this week’s show:


Jamelle Bouie for The New York Times: “It Started With ‘Birtherism’


Greg Nunziata for The Atlantic: “Republicans With Any Love of Country Must Acknowledge That Trump Has Lost


Spencer S. Hsu for The Washington Post: “Court-Appointed Adviser in Michael Flynn Case Says Justice Dept. Yielded to Corrupt ‘Pressure Campaign’ Led by Trump


Amy Howe for SCOTUSblog: “Christian School in Kentucky Asks Justices to Intervene in Dispute Over In-Person Classes at Religious Schools


Emily Bazelon for the New York Times Magazine: “The Problem of Free Speech in an Age of Disinformation


A Bigger Picture, by Malcolm Turnbull 


To celebrate our 15th anniversary we'd love to know about your clever, politically themed, original cocktail! Please send us the details here: www.slate.com/cocktail

Here are this week’s cocktail chatters: 


Jamelle: Jamelle chatted about the superior experience of watching films on a Blu-Ray player, as opposed to streaming.


John: Caroline Lange for Food52: “A History of The American Milkman”; Matt Novak for Smithsonian Magazine: “The Milkman’s Robot Helper”; Atticpaper.com’s prints from the Mid-century advertising campaign “Beer Belongs” 


Emily: The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans 


Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Gabfest each week, and access to special bonus episodes throughout the year. Sign up now to listen and support our show.  

For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment David, Emily, and John learn about navigating water sports in shark-infested waters from Former Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull.


You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. Tweet us your cocktail chatter using #cocktailchatter. (Messages may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

 

The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)


Podcast production by Jocelyn Frank.


Research and show notes by Bridgette Dunlap.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 26, 2020

Sabotage for Christmas 

It's conundrum season! Pass along your most pressing conundrums here: www.slate.com/conundrum. Our annual Conundrum holiday show is coming soon.


This week, Emily, David and John discuss the Trump Administration's efforts to hobble the Biden transition; ethical problems in vaccine distribution; and how to deal with the damage of the election fraud lie.

Here are some notes and references from this week’s show:


Alex Kalman for the Atlantic: “The Letters That Outgoing Presidents Wrote to Their Successors


John Dickerson for The Atlantic: “Why You Don’t Mess Around With Presidential Transitions


The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: “A Framework for Equitable Allocation of Vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus


Kathryn Olivarius for The New York Times: “The Dangerous History of Immunoprivilege


Jeanna Smialek and Alan Rappeport for The New York Times: “Mnuchin Cites Principles in Clawing Back Fed Money. Democrats See Politics.


Kevin Roose, Mike Isaac, and Sheera Frenkel for The New York Times: “Roiled by Election, Facebook Struggles to Balance Civility and Growth


Colin Dickey for Medium: “How to Talk to a Conspiracy Theorist


To celebrate our 15th anniversary we'd love to know about your clever, politically themed, original cocktail! Please send us the details here: www.slate.com/cocktail

Here are this week’s cocktail chatters: 


John: W.E.B. Du Bois: Writings; The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry 


David: Death, Sex & Money: “51 Years Loving A Man Named Sissy”; David’s twitter thread pitch for remaking Love Actually every year.


Emily and listener Barbara Torrey Workman @thethirdbarbara: Twitter thread by United Farm Workers @UFWupdates featuring farm workers at work harvesting the ingredients in favorite Thanksgiving recipes. 


Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Gabfest each week, and access to special bonus episodes throughout the year. Sign up now to listen and support our show.

For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment David, Emily, and John discuss the elements of pre-pandemic Thanksgiving that they won’t miss this year and don't plan to reinstate next year.


You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. Tweet us your cocktail chatter using #cocktailchatter. (Messages may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

 

The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)


Podcast production by Jocelyn Frank.

Research and show notes by Bridgette Dunlap.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 19, 2020

COVID Tsunami 

As part of our 15th anniversary celebration please share an original political cocktail recipe with us. Visit www.slate.com/cocktail to submit your recipe!


Here are some notes and references from this week’s show:


Emily Bazelon for The New York Times Magazine: “The Pandemic Election


Isaac Chotiner for The New Yorker: “How We Can Contain the Second Wave of the Coronavirus


Mike Pence for The Wall Street Journal: “There Isn’t a Coronavirus ‘Second Wave’


Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates


Between the World and Me on HBO


Ta-Nehisi Coates for The Atlantic: “The Case for Reparations


The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates


Josie Duffy Rice for Vanity Fair: “The Abolition Movement


Barack Obama for The Atlantic: “I’m Not Yet Ready to Abandon the Possibility of America


Jed Sugerman for The Washington Post: “Trump’s Legal Challenges to the Election Will Help Democrats


Here are this week’s cocktail chatters: 


Emily: Blood Runs Coal: The Yablonski Murders and the Battle for the United Mine Workers of America by Mark A. Bradley 


John: John’s fundraising page for Covenant House's Virtual Sleep Out; Charlotte Regan’s short documentary, “No Ball Games: Life and Play Through the Eyes of Children Across the UK


David: Washington Post: “Fort Hood is named for a Confederate traitor. Is it time for ‘Fort Benavidez’?

 

Listener chatter from Mike @rifenbury: Kanazawa Kenichi video 


For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment David and John discuss the holiday movies they’d like to see made.


You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. Tweet us your cocktail chatter using #cocktailchatter. (Messages may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

 

The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)


Podcast production by Jocelyn Frank.


Research and show notes by Bridgette Dunlap.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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