Gabfest Radio: The “Are Cats Evil?” 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 the politics of immigration reform and whether it’s too late for the GOP to embrace it. Plus they dive into Emily’s New York Times Magazine cover story about compensating the victims of child pornography.

Then on the Culture Gabfest portion of the show, panelists Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner are joined by Slate music critic Jody Rosen to discuss the indie rap sensation Macklemore, the popularity of his hit single “Thrift Shop,” and the mainstreaming of hipster culture. Then, the Gabfesters talk about the movie John Dies at the End, the popularity of low-budget, craft-conscious “artisanal horror” films and their favorite horror movies of all time. Finally, our critics discuss an economist’s proposal to do away with the feline population of New Zealand, leading the Culturefest to confront the ultimate preference binary: dogs vs. cats.

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 writes that Marco Rubio is using immigration to get to the big stage.

Could supporting the “octogang’s” proposal actually help the GOP win Hispanic voters? Dave Weigel explores the GOP's demographic dare

Emily says that tougher enforcement of the border has, in fact, already happened

John says that the gang of eight does not represent a new spirit of bipartisanship

In addition to her cover story about the victims of child pornography, Emily talked to the New York Times Magazine about reporting the piece.

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

Macklemore’s song and video “Thrift Shop.” 

Jody Rosen’s review for Rolling Stone of the album The Heist by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. 

The Spin critique of Macklemore that calls “Thrift Shop” the worst song in the country.

The Jay-Z/Kanye West collaboration Watch the Throne.

Hit singles “Gangnam Style,” “Call Me Maybe,” and “Somebody That I Used to Know.”

The Paranormal Activity horror franchise.

Hammer Film Productions, best known for their Gothic “Hammer Horror” films.

The science fiction author Philip K. Dick and the horror/fantasy writer H.P. Lovecraft.

Director Don Coscarelli and his movies Bubba Ho-Tep and the Phantasm series.

Laura Helmuth for Slate on an economist’s proposal to rid New Zealand of its cat population.

Psychologist and human-animal interaction expert Hal Herzog on the genetics that make some of us “animal people.”


Dana’s pick: The feature movie Girl Walk//All Day about dancer Anne Marsen’s one-woman flash-mob style public dance performances.

Julia’s pick: The action classic Die Hard With a Vengeance

Stephen’s pick: Edgar Allan Poe’s masterful maritime thriller The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.  

End music: “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore.