On this week’s episode of Gabfest Radio from Slate and WNYC, Political Gabfest panelists Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the turmoil in the Arab world, including the death of the American ambassador to Libya, and the uproar over Mitt Romney’s response. They also assess the small polling bounce Barack Obama received after the conventions, and what the polling tells us about the state of the American electorate.
Then on the Culture Gabfest portion of the show, panelists Stephen Metcalf and Dana Stevens (Julia Turner is off this week) record the show from the Slate annual retreat in upstate New York. John Dickerson returns to talk about his great passion, Bob Dylan, who has a new album out. Then culture editor John Swansburg stops by to discuss his passion, the 1992 movie Sneakers. And tech columnist Farhad Manjoo joins Steve and Dana to argue that the recent Harvard cheating scandal is being overblown.
Here are links to some of the items mentioned in this week’s episode:
POLITICAL GABFEST (Click here for this week’s individual episode at Slate):
Just how important is a good ambassador? That and other Libya answers from Slate’s Brian Palmer.
John talks about a Sept. 11 Washington Post-ABC News poll that found a larger bounce for Obama among registered voters than among likely voters.
David thinks Obama needs to spend heavily on ground efforts to make up for his relatively worse polling among likely voters. Nate Cohn has a similar analysis.
John chatters about a harrowing tale of a climate scientist in Libya.
Emily chatters about a breast-feeding professor.
CULTURE GABFEST (Click here for this week’s individual episode at Slate):
Dylan’s earlier ripped-from-the-headlines songs, including “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll.”
No Direction Home, Martin Scorsese’s documentary about Bob Dylan.
Samuel Butler’s 1903 novel The Way of All Flesh.
Jody Rosen on Tempest for The New Yorker’s Web site.
Slate’s Culturebox discussion about the 20th anniversary of the release of the movie Sneakers as well as Stephen Tobolowsky’s memories of making the movie, Nicholas Britell on what makes the movie’s score so great, and Lowen Liu on his attempt to re-create his favorite scene from Sneakers and his explanation of how a bit of Sneakers trivia ended up on a real U.S. intelligence agency uniform.
Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1970 movie The Conformist.
The 1993 movie Tombstone.
John’s pick: Sasha Issenberg’s book The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns about the way campaigns use data and targeting to game the system and get votes.
Stephen’s pick: Margaret Millar’s 1956 genre thriller Beast in View.