Gabfest Radio: The Drone Wars 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 special guest David Leonhardt, Washington Bureau Chief for The New York Times, discuss the Obama administration’s drone policy and its impact on the confirmation hearing of CIA Director-nominee John Brennan. Plus, they discuss Leonhardt’s new ebook, "Here’s the Deal: How Washington Can Solve the Deficit and Spur Growth."

Then on the Culture Gabfest portion of the show, panelists Dana Stevens, Julia Turner, and guest David Haglund discuss "House of Cards," Netflix’s new original series, and how to watch and discuss a TV show that is released one entire season at a time. The Gabfesters then ponder Vine, the new video-sharing app from Twitter that makes every smartphone user into a six-second video auteur. Finally, as the Academy Awards approach, our critics discuss the Oscar-nominated "Silver Linings Playbook," David O. Russell’s romantic dramedy. They consider where it stands in the David O. Russell oeuvre, the movie’s strong performances, and its portrayals of mental illness.

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):

Before John Brennan’s confirmation hearing to become CIA Director, The New York Times reported the presence of a secret US base in Saudi Arabia and revealed other details about the growing use of drone strikes.

The White House sought to limit The New York Times’ reporting on aspects of the drone program. David talks about how The Times handled these requests – for more info, read this post by The Times’ public editor, Margaret Sullivan.

Cora Currier, at ProPublica, posted an exhaustive aggregation of reporting about drone strikes.

Slate contributor Eric Posner thinks the leaked drone memo demonstrates Obama’s acceptance of much of the Bush administration’s approach to fighting terrorism.

David mentions Obama’s interview with Time Magazine in December.

David’s ebook is "Here’s the Deal: How Washington Can Solve the Deficit and Spur Growth."

During the election, David wrote extensively about research on whether tax cuts lead to economic growth.


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

Nancy Hass for GQ on Netflix’s efforts to launch a lineup of original programming.

Troy Patterson’s review of "House of Cards" for Slate.

Sam Adams for Slate on the rules of spoilers for Netflix series.

Slate’s June Thomas on why you should watch the original BBC miniseries "House of Cards."

The TV shows "The Office," "Modern Family," "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad," "The Wire," "The Newsroom," and "The West Wing."

“The Economics of Netflix’s $100 Million New Show.”

"House of Cards" actor Corey Stoll and his role as Ernest Hemingway in "Midnight in Paris."

The website Vinepeek, which features newly uploaded Vine videos in real time.

Salon’s Willa Paskin on whether Vine is “the new Twitter or the new Chatroulette.”

Amanda Hess for Slate’s XX Factor on Twitter’s efforts to filter Vine’s pornographic content.

“Why Vine’s Going to Grow Into Something Huge.”

"The Way Hollywood Tells It," the book that discusses the cinematic grammar to which we as viewers have become accustomed.

Dana Stevens’ review of "Silver Linings Playbook" for Slate.

Seth Stevenson for Slate on the David O. Russell oeuvre.



Julia’s pick: Seasons 1 and 2 of "Law & Order" (the pre-Jerry Orbach years), which offer a fascinating portrait of the issues that preoccupied NYC in the 1990s.

David’s pick: The Staples Singers 1965 album "Freedom Highway."

Dana’s pick: One of the best comedies of the last 20 years, David O. Russell’s 1996 movie "Flirting With Disaster," featuring an all-star cast including Ben Stiller, Patricia Arquette, Téa Leoni, Alan Alda, Lily Tomlin, Mary Tyler Moore, and George Segal.

[End music: “Freedom Highway” by the Staples Singers]