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 Egypt, and the challenges it poses for the Obama administration. They also discuss Eliot Spitzer’s decision to run for office and whether the former New York governor (and Slate contributor) deserves forgiveness. During the cocktail chatter portion of the show, the Gabfesters are joined by special guest Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me.
Then on the Culture Gabfest portion of the show, panelists Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner discuss the MTV series Catfish, which is based on the 2010 documentary film of the same name. One of the show’s executive producers, Nomi Ernst Leidner, joins the Gabfest to dissect the knotty issues surrounding long-distance online relationships, fake personal profiles, and the mechanics of reality TV production. Then, our critics consider Frank Rich’s recent column in New York magazine, in which he lays the blame for privacy’s death not on the NSA or media corporations, but on American exhibitionism and our increasing lust for attention. Is he right? Do Americans no longer care about privacy? Finally, the Gabfest’s own Dana Stevens recently published a blistering screed against flip-flops—breezy summer sandals or unhygienic harbingers of the apocalypse?
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):
Need an Egypt overview? Shadi Hamid, director of research for the Brookings Doha Center, talks to the Washington Post’s Wonkblog about the recent ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.
Slate’s Will Dobson writes that the window is closing fast for a democratic transition out of Egypt’s revolution.
An unhealthy economy isn’t helping Egypt’s stability—Emily cites the country’s GDP growth rate, which began descending around 2007.
David curated his favorite Slate posts by Eliot Spitzer, several of which advocate for more shareholder activism. Spitzer wrote The Best Policy column for Slate from 2008–13.
CULTURE GABFEST (Click here for this week’s individual episode at Slate):
The 2010 film Catfish.
MTV’s Catfish TV series.
The Wrap’s interview with host Nev Schulman.
Dana Stevens’ review of the film for Slate.
The Culture Gabfest episode that featured the film.
“When Privacy Jumped the Shark,” by Frank Rich for New York.
Frank Rich’s writing for the New York Times on the Lewinski scandal.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.
A Pew Research poll on Americans’ opinions on NSA spying.
“Your Flip-Flops Are Grossing Me Out,” by Dana Stevens for Slate.
Dana: The TLC reality show about a cake shop in New Jersey, Cake Boss.
Julia: The novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple.
Stephen: Edmund Wilson’s book on the Civil War and the birth of modern America, Patriotic Gore.
Outro: “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.