Gabfest Radio: The Strolling Pols and Dancing Waters 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 durability of President Obama’s bipartisan relationship with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the showdown over judicial appointments

Then on the Culture Gabfest portion of the show, panelists Dana Stevens, June Thomas and David Haglund chat about Before Midnight, the third installment of Richard Linklater’s ongoing chronicle of a fictional love affair. They also discuss HBO’s new Liberace biopic, Behind the Candelabra, which is directed by Steven Soderbergh and stars Michael Douglas and Matt Damon. Lastly, the Gabbers take on the topic of character likability in fiction: How important is it to you that characters in literature be likable?

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 thinks that the Obama-Christie relationship is a good test for the prospects for bipartisanship.

Emily thinks that President Obama’s legacy will be secured or lost in the courts—so he needs to make his judicial appointments a priority.

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

The first two films in Richard Linklater’s Before series: Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.

My Dinner With Andre, directed by Louis Malle.

Michael Apted’s The Up Series.

Filmmaker Whit Stillman.

Travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor.

Dana Stevens reviews Before Midnight for Slate.

Richard Brody on Before Midnight for the New Yorker.

Before Midnight Isn’t About Us, but It Sure Feels That Way” by David Haglund for Slate.

Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace, by Scott Thorson and Alex Thorleifson.

Was Liberace a Good Pianist?” by Bryan Lowder for Slate.

Dana Stevens reviews Behind the Candelabra for Slate.

Slate’s Spoiler Special on the film.

Author Claire Messud’s interview with Publishers Weekly.

The New Yorker’s forum on character likability.

I Like Likable Characters,” by Jennifer Weiner for Slate.

Boris Kachka’s interview with Messud in New York.

Claire Messud’s The Emperor’s Children and The Woman Upstairs.


June: This blog post by Marc Shaiman, on writing songs for the now-canceled TV series Smash and the inner workings of a TV show.

David: I’m Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-Up Comedy’s Golden Era, by William Knoedelseder.

Dana: A reciprocated endorsement for the band They Might Be Giants (we love you guys, too!), namely their second album, Lincoln.

Outro: “Ana Ng,” by They Might Be Giants.