On this week’s episode of Gabfest Radio from Slate and WNYC, Political Gabfest panelists Emily Bazelon and David Plotz are joined by special guest Jack Hitt, a contributor to the New York Times Magazine and This American Life, and author of Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character. They discuss Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ purchase of the Washington Post, and the New Yorker’s exposé on American civil forfeiture laws by Sarah Stillman.
Then on the Culture Gabfest portion of the show, Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner discuss James Ponsoldt’s new high school romance The Spectacular Now. Does the movie manage to capture the adolescent ennui that older films like Say Anything and The Breakfast Club nailed, or is it just another one of those coming-of-age dramas? Also, the gabfest was inspired by a recent essay on the power of melody written by Jan Swafford in Slate. Our critics discuss Swafford’s piece, share how melodies move them, and cite some of their favorites in the process.