Gabfest Radio: The "2016 Starts Now!" Edition

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On this week’s episode of Gabfest Radio from Slate and WNYC, Political Gabfest panelists Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss President Obama’s election to a second term, some of the factors that led to his victory over Mitt Romney, and ballot wins for same-sex marriage and legalizing pot (well, at least until the Feds get involved). 

Then on the Culture Gabfest portion of the show, panelists Stephen Metcalf, Julia Turner, and John Swansburg discuss Flight, the new Robert Zemeckis movie starring Denzel Washington, and whether it’s a deft and emotionally complex genre mashup or a cliché-laden addiction movie. The Gabfesters then discuss Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm: Does it mean doom or rescue for the Star Wars franchise? Finally, they consider the poetry and comedy of the Twitter hashtag, its pithy functionality, and its potential future as a marketing super tool.

Join the Gabfest discussion all week long at the Political Gabfest Facebook page and the Culture Gabfest Facebook page.

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):

John says changing demographics, a well-run campaign, and a relentless effort to define Romney were the key features of Obama’s victory.

Sasha Issenberg describes how the Obama campaign used innovative, data-intensive tactics to get non-white voters to the polls.

John says “Obama did worse with white voters, but there were [fewer] of them; he did better with minorities, and there were more of them.” Tom Scocca has a closer look at the demographic profile of Romney voters.

Nate Silver defines the electoral ceiling facing the GOP as the country’s demographics change.

David thinks the GOP needs an emotional separation from Fox News; Slate’s Allison Benedikt agrees that Fox and other conservative media outlets hurt the Republicans’ electoral prospects.

Dave Weigel has more on the Republican super donors who didn’t get their money’s worth.

David says Obama has greatly improved his leverage heading into discussions about the “fiscal cliff” --  in New York Magazine, Jon Chait describes how and why.

Slate’s Nathaniel Frank describes how gay marriage finally won.

John recommends a piece by Ana Marie Cox that describes the dramatic evolution of American views on gay marriage.

Emily says Eric Holder should allow Colorado and Washington  room to experiment with drugs.

CULTURE GABFEST (Click here for this week’s individual episode at Slate):

Manohla Dargis’ review of Flight for the New York Times.

Ian McEwan’s novel Enduring Love.

Forrest Wickman for Slate on addiction and ambiguity in Flight.

The sale of Lucasfilm to Disney by Forrest Wickman for Slate.

An original trilogy Star Wars fanboy for Slate on embracing Episode VII. 

Another classic tale of a pilot with a drinking problem, the 1980 movie Airplane!.

An explanation in the Washington Post about why the Lucasfilm-Disney deal is “priceless.”

The epic directorial style of David Lean

Julia Turner on the poetry of hashtags for the New York Times Magazine.

John Swansburg’s tweet linking to an article about 2 Live Crew’s Luther Campbell.

The Twitter feed of comedian and idiosyncratic hashtagger Marc Maron.

Twitter’s top hashtags of 2011.

The hashtag memes #muslimrage and #sorryfeminists.


John’s pick: The opera The Rake’s Progress, written by Igor Stravinksy, based on William Hogarth’s engravings, with libretto by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman. This is an approachable introduction to opera for the nonbuff.

Julia’s pick: The song “In a Big City” by Titus Andronicus, the band that sounds like what the Pogues would sound like if they were from New Jersey in the early 1990s.

Stephen’s pick: The Tim Allen movie Galaxy Quest which lovingly spoofs Star Wars and the space movie genre.

Outro music: “In a Big City” by Titus Andronicus