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Slate's The Gist Podcast by Mike Pesca

Slate's The Gist Podcast

by Mike Pesca

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Slate's The Gist with Mike Pesca. A daily afternoon podcast about news, culture, and whatever else you'll be discussing with friends and family tonight. Part of the Panoply Network.


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The Clinton Campaign Tell-All

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Apr 25, 2017


Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes set out to write a book about Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid long before the home stretch of the campaign. In October, Allen got a note from their editor, who was having trouble reconciling his expectation of a Clinton win with his reporters’ work uncovering the aimless mess behind the “I’m With Her” stickers. Then Election Day happened. Allen is co-author of the book, Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign. 

In the Spiel, why couldn’t Clinton find a clear message? 

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Moshe Kasher Is Not an Activist

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Apr 24, 2017


Comedian Moshe Kasher is a self-professed lefty and a general fan of cultural sensitivity, but he has a big problem with outrage culture. His new talk show, Problematic, takes aim at any unabashed troglodytes, as well as their supposedly enlightened brethren. As Kasher puts it: “How could it be that both sides think the other side is arguing from a place of zero reality?” Problematic airs on Comedy Central on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. (9 p.m. Central).
In the Spiel, we're throwing out the 100-day yardstick. 

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When the ’80s Went Pro

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Apr 21, 2017


It’s 1987, and the breakthrough creativity of the early ’80s is beginning to sour. Also, everyone’s hair is ridiculous, but that’s beside the point. Chris Molanphy is our guide to the year’s Billboard’s hits, which taught us, as he says, that “fairly great art can result from commerce and studio polish.” Molanphy writes Slate’s Why Is This Song No. 1 column.

Plus, what to do about America’s antiquated industries, like steel and coal. And Mike answers your emails, tweets, corrections, and anger in the Lobstar.
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The Secrets of S-Town

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Apr 20, 2017


In 2012, a man named John B. McLemore wrote an email to This American Life asking the radio show to investigate a murder in his hometown. What resulted is S-Town, a podcast that explores McLemore and the people around him. Producer and host Brian Reed stops by to answer our burning questions about the show and how locals in Woodstock, Alabama, have responded since its release. (A warning: certain references in this interview will only make sense if you’ve heard S-Town. If you haven’t listened yet, it’s wise to save this episode for later.) 

Plus, karma finally catches up with Bill O’Reilly. 
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Up With Eggheads

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Apr 19, 2017


Experts have had a rough year. Tom Nichols sees a new fervor in the country’s anti-intellectualism, and he thinks it stems from frustration with elites. Turns out, there’s a difference between the people with expertise and the people with power. Nichols is a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College. His book is The Death of Expertise.

In the Spiel, the two recent suicides in the news tell us something about how we talk about murder.

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What Happened to the Crack Epidemic?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Apr 18, 2017


Why are crack users given such long, punishing sentences? It’s because of political gamesmanship around crime in the ’80s. In the new Audible series 100:1 The Crack Legacy, journalist Christopher Johnson looks at how inner-city drug panics led to today’s mass-incarceration crisis. 

On the Spiel, a thought about America’s warship debacle.
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Ariel Levy Was Here

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Apr 17, 2017


Ariel Levy’s 2013 New Yorker essay about losing her son, “Thanksgiving in Mongolia,” was among the most recommended pieces of writing in recent memory. Levy expands on the essay in her memoir, The Rules Do Not Apply. In the book, Levy wonders if, in wanting to do it all, she set herself up for heartbreak over the things she could not have. 

In the Spiel, a unified theory of President Trump’s policy reversals. 

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The Gist Presents the Grift

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Apr 14, 2017


Maria Konnikova has been a special correspondent on The Gist since it began, debunking common myths and pseudoscience. Now, she’s starting her own show, a narrative podcast about cons called the Grift. The first two episodes are available for download on your podcatcher of choice.  Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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The Handmaid’s Fail

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Apr 14, 2017


If aliens came to Earth looking for a dystopian novel that reflected the current political reality, would you recommend that they read The Handmaid’s Tale? Guest host Alexandra Petri considers this quandary with Mallory Ortberg, Slate’s Dear Prudence advice columnist.
In the Spiel, it’s time to talk about United Airlines. 

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Improv is Hard, Writing is Harder

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Apr 13, 2017


Joe Swanberg and Jake Johnson have made a couple of can’t-miss indie films in the last few years, including Drinking Buddies, Digging for Fire, and the new poker comedy Win It All. The collaborators talk about improv, making a believable world on-screen, and Jake’s unusual leading man role on the Fox sitcom New Girl

In the Spiel, Mike rounds up some news that fell through the cracks this week. 

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Why David Letterman Still Matters

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Apr 11, 2017


David Letterman was full of contradictions. He hated celebrity, but he hosted a talk show. He was playful, but he never seemed to be enjoying himself. In The Last Giant of Late Night, reporter Jason Zinoman explores the many facets of Letterman’s art, and how the TV landscape has suffered without him. 

In the Spiel, the real stories behind the fall of Alabama’s governor, the Wells Fargo clawback, and one teenager’s quest for free chicken nuggets. 

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When Protesters Pull the Fire Alarm

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Apr 10, 2017


Slate’s Osita Nwanevu defended the actions of Middlebury College students to silence visiting speaker Charles Murray last month. If we consider some opinions to be beyond the pale of acceptability, who’s to say that the students were wrong in putting Murray’s past writings in that category? Nwanevu is an editorial assistant at Slate
In the Spiel: If you really think about it, Bill O’Reilly is a lot like Bashar al-Assad.

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Shots Fired. What Now?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Apr 07, 2017


What does President Trump want to achieve with Thursday’s escalation of force against Syria? Fred Kaplan considers all the angles, including this one: Ordering a strike against a single Syrian air base was one of the lesser military actions President Trump could have approved. Kaplan writes the War Stories column for Slate.  In the Spiel, like a clueless boyfriend in a zip-up sweater, Trump went to Jared.  Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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Lovable Losers With Scott Simon

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Apr 06, 2017


The Chicago Cubs used to be the Susan Lucci of baseball. Now they’re looking more like Meryl Streep. As a fan, how do you become accustomed to winning? Scott Simon has written a memoir about his life as a too-devoted Cubs fan and how he’s adjusting to life as a winner. Simon is also the host of Weekend Edition Sunday from NPR.

In the Spiel, we bid farewell to a beloved, deeply tender jerk. 
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A More Human Kind of Sci-Fi

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Apr 05, 2017


In The Discovery, director Charlie McDowell imagines a world where the afterlife has been proven, and a man played by Jason Segel is trying to negotiate the emotional consequences. McDowell says he was out to make a kind of “grounded sci-fi,” in the vein of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. “It’s not focused on a futuristic look or society,” says McDowell. “It’s a backdrop for exploring the characters.” The Discovery premiered on Netflix on Friday. 

In the Spiel, one question, and one question only, about chemical weapons in Syria. 
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An Outsider’s Take on America’s Game

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Apr 04, 2017


Tabitha Soren is not a natural baseball fan. She got interested when her husband, Michael Lewis, was working on his book Moneyball. As Lewis became obsessed with teaching his readers another way to watch the game, Soren focused on showing people how to see the players in a different way: as fallible and broken people who sacrifice their bodies for a chance to play in the major leagues. The result is Fantasy Life, a 15-year span of photographs of a group of minor league draft picks for the Oakland A’s.

In the Spiel, yeah, we’re having a hard time understanding this whole “unmasking” business, too.

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Where Is the Republican Resistance?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Apr 03, 2017


Trump was the chaos candidate, but he’s finding little success as the chaos president. He’s turned off Democrats and the Freedom Caucus, failed to pass a new health care law, and faced blockades in the courts against his travel ban. We call up veteran GOP strategist Mike Murphy to discuss the impossible spot the White House is in, and why Democrats shouldn’t blockade Neil Gorsuch. Murphy’s podcast is Radio Free GOP.

In the Spiel, checkin’ in with the Trump base.
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The Return of Mystery Science Theater 3000

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Mar 31, 2017


After a long hiatus, the groundbreaking comedy show Mystery Science Theatre 3000 returns to piteously mock the worst movies ever made. Show creator Joel Hodgson and new head writer Elliott Kalan (The Daily Show) explain how to get some tiny pleasure out of cinematic garbage. The show returns on Netflix April 14
In the Spiel, why Melissa McCarthy will never keep up with relentless self-parody artist Sean Spicer.  

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Russia Doesn’t Have Any Friends

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Mar 30, 2017


Why does Russia find NATO so deeply offensive? Tom Nichols says it comes down to something quite human. NATO represents all of the successes that Russia couldn’t quite manage to achieve: “Part of the reason Russians hate NATO is because Russia just doesn’t have any friends in the world.” Nichols is a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College. He’ll be back on the show soon to discuss his new book, The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters.

In the Spiel, there was some damn fine inquiry on the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. 

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What is Homeopathy, Exactly?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Mar 29, 2017


Our resident debunker of nonsense, Maria Konnikova, returns to take on the billion-dollar homeopathy industry. Why aren’t homeopathic remedies regulated in the United States? And what can their dubious history tell us about their effectiveness? Maria Konnikova is a contributing writer at the New Yorkerand the author of The Confidence Game

In the Spiel, watching CNN go haywire for a pretty banal accident on Capitol Hill.

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How Political Parties Collapse

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Mar 28, 2017


Two Whig presidents were elected by the American people—Zachary Taylor and William Henry Harrison. They lasted a grand total of one year and five months. The Whigs cracked up in the 1850s over intense policy divisions. Now, many historians are drawing parallels between the Whigs then and the Republicans now. Philip Wallach recently penned an essay for the Brookings Institution about what can be learned by the last major political party death in America.

Plus, a visit to Vexillology Corner with Ted Kaye, who explains why you can’t cheat in your flag design by trimming the ends off. Kaye is the author of the book Good Flag, Bad Flag.

In the Spiel, the greatest presidential broken promise in history.

Today’s sponsors:

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Step Away From the Screen

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Mar 27, 2017


How much time did you spend on an anti-boredom gadget today? We watch entire seasons of television in a day, we scroll through infinite streams of social media, and we are transfixed by games designed as deftly as slot machines. Adam Alter says it’s time to consider measures that will help everyone to cut back. His book is called Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked.

For the Spiel, your leggings have become a problem.
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Feet off the Couch, Please

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Mar 24, 2017


Alyssa Mastromonaco served as White House deputy chief of staff under Barack Obama. Her job was expansive—covering everything from interviewing James Comey to making sure the White House driveway was re-paved[AM1] . Now, she’s written a memoir, Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House.

In the Spiel, Republicans weren’t able to come up with a better plan than “Obamacare bad.” Failure was inevitable.

Today’s sponsors:

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Slobs vs. Snobs

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Mar 23, 2017


Why does it feel like our political debate was brought to us by the National Lampoon? Sonny Bunch applies his powers of cultural analysis to the changing face of political conservativism. Bunch is executive editor of the Washington Free Beacon, where he also writes film criticism

In the Spiel, Devin Nunes really messed this thing up, huh?

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Health Care! It’s Trump’s Problem Now

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Mar 22, 2017


With hours to go before the official vote on Trumpcare, the bill is being altered to make sure moderates in Buffalo and Freedom Caucus members in South Carolina stay onboard. [MW1] Any chance this Frankenstein bill will fail? Slate columnists Jim Newell and Jordan Weissmann look at the costs and politics of the American Health Care Act ahead of Thursday’s consequential House vote.

For the Spiel, let’s try to be fair to Donald Trump. Just for a moment. It’s going to be hard, but dammit we’ll try.

Today’s sponsors:

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James Comey’s Slow Drip

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Mar 21, 2017


What did we learn from Monday’s public testimony of FBI Director James Comey? National security ace Ben Wittes says Comey’s statements were intriguingly “gentle,” though they should still distress the president. Wittes is editor in chief of Lawfare and a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution.

For the Spiel, Neil Gorsuch talks about a pointless race he once did and quotes David Foster Wallace, but doesn’t talk about his judicial philosophy.

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Cold, Hard Facts with Wendy Zukerman

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Mar 20, 2017


Wendy Zukerman isn’t like some other science reporters in that she doesn’t traffic in false equivalencies. “If there’s a 95 percent consensus among scientists, you report the consensus,” says Zukerman. Her podcast, Science Vs., is on its second season. The topics this year range from immigration and climate change to acne and ghosts.

For the Spiel, you know that new sound you’ve been looking for? Well, Mike’s got it right here.
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What’s Next for Travel Ban 2.0

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Mar 17, 2017


Slate senior legal correspondent Dahlia Lithwick walks us through the next steps for Donald Trump’s revised travel ban. Some judges may not use Trump’s campaign rhetoric in their rulings; however, “Every time Trump opens his mouth, he makes it harder,” says Lithwick. She also discusses next week's confirmation hearings of Neil Gorsuch. Besides covering the courts for Slate, Lithwick is the host of the Amicus podcast.

In the Spiel, it’s Lobstar time.

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Dangerous Times With Kelly McEvers

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Mar 16, 2017


Before Kelly McEvers landed in her current role as host of NPR’s All Things Considered, she was a world-weary conflict-zone reporter. But McEvers says she wasn’t bored upon returning to the states: “I came back to America, and I was like, Whoa, America, kind of messed up.” McEvers’ reporting podcast, Embedded, has just released new episodes. She talked to Mike Pesca last year at the Now Hear This Podcast Festival in Anaheim, California.

In the Spiel, not so much with the Dutch populism.   

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Stretching the Truth With Maria Konnikova

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Mar 15, 2017


Like so many dubious health claims, stretching before exercise has its roots in yoga culture. Maria Konnikova explains that stretching is exercise in-and-of itself and shouldn’t be treated like a warm-up. Then why do so many trainers and health nuts preach stretching as gospel? Konnikova is a regular guest on The Gist, a New Yorker staff writer, and the author of The Confidence Game.  
In the Spiel, Rachel Maddow’s report on President Donald Trump’s taxes was fine news but bad showmanship.  
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Todd Barry Would Rather Be Drumming

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Mar 14, 2017


Todd Barry’s stand-up comedy falls along the lower end of the register: in volume, in speed, in tone. So maybe it makes sense that he’s happiest onstage when he doesn’t have to talk at all. Fans may wonder how Barry translates his dry delivery to the page. The answer: by making liberal use of italics. His new book is Thank You for Coming to Hattiesburg: One Comedian’s Tour of Not-Quite-the-Biggest Cities in the World.
In the Spiel, joining forces with the News 4 Storm Tracker, it’s the most precise name in climate science: Wayne Tracker.
Today’s sponsors:
The Great Courses Plus, a video learning service that offers lectures on all kinds of topics. Get a Free Trial when you sign up by going toTheGreatCoursesPlus.com/gist.Green Mountain Coffee is passionate about making a smoother tasting cup. Try it today with $4 off, when you buy two boxes of most Green Mountain Coffee K-Cup pods at keurig.com with code TRYGMC.

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See You in Court!

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Mar 13, 2017


President Donald Trump’s management style has created lots of big, messy legal questions. With his new executive order on immigration, and his calls for a congressional investigation into wiretapping, Trump is plunging the government into uncharted territory. Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution is here to explain. Wittes is the editor in chief of the Lawfare blog.

In the Spiel, the fight for Tom Price’s old House seat has already become deeply silly.

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Survey Says …

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Sat, Mar 11, 2017


Anthony Salvanto, CBS News’ elections director, explains the CBS Nation Tracker poll and why it’s different from the surveys that tell you if you’re a Jessa.
In the Spiel, can you trust the job numbers?
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Trump’s Azerbaijan Problem

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Mar 09, 2017


President Donald Trump has overseen many shady deals, but New Yorker staff writer Adam Davidson thinks he may have found the most questionable one. Davidson says a Trump Organization hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan, links the president to some shady oligarchs as well as Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, a shadow-government ideological group. Read Davidson’s piece, “Donald Trump’s Worst Deal.”

Maria Konnikova has today’s Spiel on the theory of trickle-down hate-speech.
Today’s sponsor:

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A Beautiful Health Care Plan, Just Terrific

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Mar 08, 2017


Donald Trump has promised lower costs, broader coverage, and better premiums in his health care plan. Well, the new bill is out, and it’s uniting liberals and conservatives in outright disdain. “I’ve only heard from two outside groups who like this bill,” says Vox health care correspondent Sarah Kliff. Everybody else hates it. Kliff walks us through the implications of “Trumpcare” and whether it has any chance of passing through Congress.

For the Spiel, how your smart TV became a sleeper agent for the intelligence community.
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Moneyball for the Israeli Military

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Mar 07, 2017


In books like Moneyball and The Big Short, Michael Lewis has written about people who think in a completely different way from their colleagues. For his latest, The Undoing Project, Lewis profiles the patron saints of different thinking, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. The two men completely upended the study of decision-making in the early 1950s.
For the Spiel, the artist formerly known as the Affordable Care Act. 

Today’s sponsors:

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The Fonz Talks About Fonts

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Mar 07, 2017


Henry Winkler is an icon of American comedy. Between roles in Happy Days, Arrested Development, and Parks and Recreation, Winkler has been writing children’s books starring the character Hank Zipzer. Winkler says the stories have helped him come to terms with his own dyslexia, which he only discovered as an adult. His newest book is Always Watch Out for the Flying Potato Salad.
For the Spiel, you might want to learn to spell “wiretap” because you accuse someone of ordering a wiretap.

Today’s sponsors:

Stamps.com
. Buy and print official U.S. postage using your own computer and printer. Sign up for Stamps.com and get a four-week trial, plus postage and a digital scale, when you use promo code THEGIST.

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The Year “Gangnam” Was Robbed

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Mar 03, 2017


The Gist’s Billboard charts Sherpa Chris Molanphy returns to hearken back to more recent musical history: the hits of 2012. We learn why Psy’s ubiquitous “Gangnam Style” isn’t technically on the list and how a Swedish stable of songwriters dominated the charts with “turbo pop.” Molanphy writes the Why Is This Song No. 1? column for Slate.

In the Spiel, chasing down a lesser-known lie.   

Today’s sponsors:

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The Bard of Florida

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Mar 02, 2017


The inexplicable oddness of Florida takes on a sort of logic after you listen long enough to Dave Barry, Pulitzer Prize–winning humorist and longtime denizen of the state. On The Gist, Barry provides a mental atlas for the various regions of weird within Florida, its incompetent government (but what a bargain), and its unrivaled weirdos. His book is Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland.

In the Spiel, Attorney General Jeff Sessions stands confused and, now, recused.   

Today’s sponsors:

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Coming to America With Maeve Higgins

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Mar 01, 2017


Three years ago, Maeve Higgins left a successful career as an author comedian in Ireland to try her hand at New York City. Since then, she’s been obsessed with fellow immigrants, people who have chosen to make their life in the USA, often against formidable odds. In her podcast, Maeve in America, Higgins tells these stories, from Syrian refugees to Korean academics to English comedians. 
For the Spiel, a fable that explains everything you know about Trump’s speech to Congress.
Today’s sponsors:
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A World Disorder Doctrine

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Mar 01, 2017


China isn’t a boogeyman, North Korea is genuinely frightening, and we could stand to be more diplomatic with Russia. Those ideas come from Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, who says the U.S. can be a stabilizing force in the world, so long as it does a better job of discerning when to speak softly and when to use the big stick. Haass is the author of A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order.
For the Spiel, you’re nobody until you’re somebody that President Trump considers—and then you’re everybody.
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Gonzo Journalism

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Feb 27, 2017


Who was Jim Henson, and why did he see something special in a couple googly eyes glued on felt? Best-selling history writer Brad Meltzer says he was inspired to tell Henson’s story not because of The Muppets or Sesame Street, but because of Henson’s tenacity. Meltzer’s book, I Am Jim Henson, is the latest edition of his biography series for kids, Ordinary People Change the World.
For the Spiel, Oscars so contrite.
Today’s sponsors:
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George Saunders’ American Ghosts

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Feb 24, 2017


George Saunders’ first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, is a bit of a head trip. Half of it takes place in the liminal phase between life and death. It’s about Abraham Lincoln’s son, Willie, who died at the age of 11, but we almost never hear from him. And it takes about four to five chapters to understand what’s going on. “My goal is the early difficulty pays off later,” says Saunders. “Once the book teaches you how to read it, it takes you to places you couldn’t have gone otherwise.” Saunders talks to Mike about Lincoln, research, and his recent nonfiction work for the New Yorker.

In the Spiel, why CPAC has come around on Trump. (Hint: It’s because he’s the president.) 

Today’s sponsors:

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An Experiment to Save Local News in Nevada

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Feb 23, 2017


Jon Ralston has decades of experience covering politics in Nevada, as a columnist for both major Las Vegas newspapers and a host on local TV. But as the major news outlets have cut their politics coverage, Ralston has launched an experiment to save local political news: a nonprofit site called The Nevada Independent. Ralston is also a contributing editor to Politico.

In the Spiel: Republican lawmakers face their constituents. It’s not going well for the lawmakers. 

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On Saddam Hussein’s Case

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Feb 22, 2017


John Nixon was the lead CIA analyst tasked with studying Saddam Hussein during the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. It fell to Nixon to identify Hussein when he was captured, interrogate him while in U.S. custody, and present what he learned to the Bush White House. Nixon’s book is Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein.

In the Spiel: Don’t blame the provocateur, blame his followers.
Today’s sponsors:

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Facing the News Like a Poker Champ

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Feb 22, 2017


There’s a term in poker called tilt—when players become overwhelmed by bad news and it starts clouding their decision-making. Poker star Annie Duke talks to guest host Maria Konnikova about the psychological tricks that pro card players use to get through rough patches and how it applies to our political climate today. Duke has written several books about poker and sits on the board of How I Decide, a nonprofit that helps disadvantaged young people make better decisions.     For the Spiel, Maria breaks down what Donald Trump is doing to our brains.   

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Andy Zaltzman Is Back at Exactly the Right Time

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Feb 17, 2017


For years, Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver took on the powers that be in their influential podcast The Bugle. But the show went on hiatus in 2014 when Oliver became the host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight. Now, Zaltzman is rebooting the show at a most opportune moment for satire. “It’s like throwing the javelin of truth into the swamp of corruption,” says Zaltzman. “But javelins in swamps don’t always work out.”
For the Spiel, a Lobstar of the Antentwig.
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Would a Narcissist Do This?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Feb 16, 2017


Jedediah Purdy understands President Trump’s supporters better than most champions of the left, having grown up in rural West Virginia (he has the greased-pig award to prove it). But he’s still befuddled by the prospect of peeling away voters from the president’s camp. Purdy’s recent piece in theNew Republic is titled “America’s New Opposition.”
For the Spiel, an annotated history of one of the Trump administration’s favorite lies.
Today’s sponsors:
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A Late Show for Grown-Ups

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Feb 16, 2017


Chris Licht is the executive producer for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, which has surpassed its late-night competition since the inauguration of President Donald Trump. On The Gist, Licht explains why he’s not worried about going viral or catering to a younger audience: “I think you can be likable and pointed.”
For the Spiel, who was it, again, who warned us that Trump was in cahoots with the Russians?
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John Darnielle Talks About Words and Snakes

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Feb 15, 2017


John Darnielle has always had a facility with words. As singer and songwriter behind the Mountain Goats, Darnielle has made pop poetry about lonely outsiders and cultural marginalia. Now, in his second novel, Universal Harvester, he explores the lives of desperate people in a small Iowa town. He also talks about a song title so good that no singer could ever do it justice.  In the Spiel, how competent people are quietly undoing Trump.
Today’s sponsors:
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David Frum Beseeches You to Focus

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Feb 13, 2017


David Frum has emerged as a leader of the Republican resistance in the months since President Donald Trump’s election. On The Gist, he shares his dismay that the disparate forces opposing the Trump administration can’t seem to get over old squabbles. He also explains the narrow political portfolio he’s settled on and why Never Trumpers should focus their activism. Frum is a senior editor at the Atlantic.
For the Spiel, the agony and the ecstasy of watching Stephen Miller.
Today’s sponsors:
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Oh, How This Feels Like Moscow

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Feb 10, 2017


On The Gist, guest host Julia Ioffe of the Atlantic talks about the similarities and surprising differences between President Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin with Miriam Elder, world editor at BuzzFeed. Elder shares her idea of how the two leaders fit into a global story unfolding right now. Plus, Ioffe and Elder explain “whataboutism” and other vocabulary lessons from their time reporting in Moscow.
In the Spiel: The Trump presidency is quickly putting the lie to an old Russian saw.
Today’s sponsors:
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Elvis Costello’s High-Fidelity Life

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Feb 09, 2017


Elvis Costello is one of the most accomplished songwriters of his generation. In his memoir, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, he details his songwriting process, his encounters with everyone from Paul McCartney to Joe Strummer, and his place in a rapidly changing music industry. Costello is up for a Grammy this week for the audiobook version of Unfaithful.  For the Spiel, a fairly pointless history lesson from Ted Cruz. 

Today’s sponsors:

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Plus Jamais Le Fake News

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Feb 08, 2017


With elections coming up in France and Germany, Facebook is working with media organizations across Europe to avoid the fake news pox that struck the United States last year. Slate’s senior technology writer Will Ormeus joins us to discuss the strides being made against political hoaxes online.  Also, we answer the question: Does office coffee make us more productive? What does it accomplish as a work perk? Does it taste any better because it’s free? The Sporkful’s Dan Pashman investigates as his employer, WNYC, looks for a new workplace brew.

For the Spiel, on the silencing of Sen. Elizabeth Warren. 

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An Obamacare Architect Speaks Out

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Feb 07, 2017


Before she was the governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius ran the state’s high-risk health care pool, where citizens with serious health problems could get coverage despite their pre-existing conditions. High-risk pools are a favorite idea of the GOP, including many in Congress trying to cook up a replacement for Obamacare. Sebelius says the high-risk plan doesn’t work: “Every day we heard stories of people who couldn’t afford coverage.” Sebelius helped create the Affordable Care Act while she was in President Obama’s Cabinet from 2009 to 2014.

For the Spiel, legislative antics at home and abroad! 

Today’s sponsors:

The Great Courses Plus, a video learning service that offers lectures on all kinds of topics. Get a free trial when you sign up by going toTheGreatCoursesPlus.com/gist.

And Green Mountain Coffee. Green Mountain Coffee is passionate about making a smoother-tasting cup. And now, as a special listener promotion, get $4 off when you buy two boxes of most Green Mountain Coffee K-Cup pods at keurig.com with the code TRYGMC.

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The Business of Corporate Protest

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Feb 06, 2017


After intense protest toward companies such as Uber, CEOs across America are finding it more and more difficult to stay neutral when it comes to the Trump administration. Adi Ignatius is the editor of the Harvard Business Review, whose most recent issue looks at how business leaders are approaching the Trump White House. He says more CEOs are likely to follow the lead of Disney chief Bob Iger, who double-booked himself last week instead of attending a meeting with the new White House strategic council.  For the Spiel, why niceties matter in Washington.  Today’s sponsors: Tripping.com gives you access to millions of vacation properties all in one place. Visit Tripping.com/gist to find your perfect vacation rental today.

And Stamps.com. Buy and print official U.S. postage using your own computer and printer. Sign up for Stamps.com and get a four-week trial when you use promo code[MW1]  Gist.Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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He Left the Hold Steady for Mongolia

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Sat, Feb 04, 2017


Franz Nicolay made his bones playing with big bands, in size and in popularity (The Dresden Dolls, Against Me, the Hold Steady). But Nicolay longed to strike out on his own and master the “practical craft of the old vaudevillian.” So he packed his banjo (and accordion and guitar) for a string of tours across Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Nicolay’s consequent book is The Humorless Ladies of Border Control: Touring the Punk Underground From Belgrade to Ulaanbaatar.

For the Spiel, the many types of liars employed by Donald Trump.  Today’s sponsor:

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The Case of the Frozen Trucker

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Feb 02, 2017


This week, Democrats are agonizing over how or whether to oppose Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. Emily Bazelon notes that Gorsuch has been very clear in his opposition to doctor-assisted suicide, but his position on abortion rights is less knowable. Bazelon is a staff writer for the New York Times Magazine, and a co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest.
For the Spiel, Trump finds God and uses the opportunity to ask for better Apprentice ratings.
Today’s sponsors:
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Inside the Biggest Pyramid Scheme Ever

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Feb 01, 2017


Steve Fishman is one of the few journalists to received access to notorious scam artist Bernie Madoff. His interviews form the backbone of the new Audible series Ponzi Supernova, which goes deep inside the biggest pyramid scheme in American history. Fishman talks about his new series and how Madoff outran federal investigators for decades.
For the Spiel, the folly of adding Iran to Trump’s travel ban.
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The New Queens of Satire

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Feb 01, 2017


Beth Newell and Sarah Pappalardo are founding editors of the satirical online women’s magazine Reductress, publisher of such headlines as “8 Sex Positions That Will Blow His Mind and Destroy His Penis.” On The Gist, Newell and Pappalardo discuss their site’s blend of feminism and millennialism. Their new book is called How to Win at Feminism: The Definitive Guide to Having It All—and Then Some!
For the Spiel, Americans want their dysfunctional-government-that-isn’t-working to at least show up and pretend to work.
Today’s sponsor:
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Up in the Air

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Jan 30, 2017


The Trump administration’s executive order restricting travel to the U.S. set off at least four legal challenges, an international contagion of protests, and the harshest Republican rebukes yet to a Trump White House action. But it’s not yet clear how many people have been affected by the ban or exactly what it requires. Ben Johnson, head of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, calls the policy “as ill-conceived as it is wrong.” 
For the Spiel, we could block out the sun with all the supposed trial balloons for autocracy floated in the past week.   
Today’s sponsor:
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Yeah, We’re Scared Too

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Jan 27, 2017


In one tweet, George W. Bush appointee Eliot Cohen became the face for anti-Trump conservatives: “After exchange with Trump transition team, changed my recommendation: stay away. They’re angry, arrogant, screaming ‘you LOST!’ Will be ugly.” With the news this week that senior State Department officials have resigned en masse, Cohen says there are reasons to be very worried about America’s role on the world stage. Cohen is the author of The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force.

For the Spiel, more and more reasons to distrust Vladimir Putin.   

Today’s sponsor:

Dunkin’ Donuts.
Upgrade your day with DD Perks. Earn a free Dunkin’ Donuts beverage when you enroll by using promo code DDPODCAST, and speed past the line in-store with on-the-go ordering. Download the Dunkin’ app and enroll today.

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Deregulation Nation

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Jan 26, 2017


Americans are skeptical of regulation, no matter how much they hate hair in their hot dogs. Why are Republicans winning this argument? Jacob Hacker is director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University and author of the new book American Amnesia.   For the Spiel, an ethics scandal hits South Dakota. Yes, South Dakota!

Today’s sponsor:

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Don’t Mind Us, We’re Just Collapsing

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Jan 25, 2017


The Dow hitting 20,000 might sounds like great news to you, but to anthropologist Arthur Demarest, it’s an ominous echo of what he’s seen befall the Maya, the Aztecs, and the Inca: a spectacular apogee followed by collapse. Demarest studies the decline of civilizations. He says his research has shown that societies that avoid total disintegration undergo some other kind of major political or economic crisis.

For the Spiel, good news. We’ve fixed the Oscars. 

Today’s sponsor: Policy Genius. Shop and compare all the top-rated life insurance companies in one place. Go to PolicyGenius.com today to save over 70 percent off other prices for life insurance.

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The Problem With Tracking Hate

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Jan 24, 2017


The Southern Poverty Law Center rushed to track the surge in reported hate incidents after the election—a surge that appears to have died down. Heidi Beirich explains the SPLC’s plans to weed any hoaxes out of its data and why it’s a bad idea to minimize incidents of hate just because they don’t rise to the level of a crime.

For the Spiel, getting acquainted with Canada’s Trump(s).

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The Truth About Vitamin C

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Jan 23, 2017


New Yorker staff writer Maria Konnikova returns to play “Is That Bullshit?” This week, the persistent nutritional myth about vitamin C. The actual vitamin, not the singer. Maria’s most recent book is The Confidence Game.  Plus, one of Barack Obama’s dreams has finally been realized: a plain white t-shirt store is open in Hawaii.

Sponsors:

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A Bet Against Reality

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Sat, Jan 21, 2017


President Donald J. Trump was voted into office by an impatient electorate that had no ability to measure his rhetoric against a political record. Slate political writer Will Saletan predicts that national impatience will not be kind to Mr. Trump. Saletan is the author of Bearing Right: How Conservatives Won the Abortion War.
U.S. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Calif., joined dozens of his colleagues boycotting the inauguration. He explains what Democrats can do to draw attention to Mr. Trump's conflicts of interest.
Michael Waldman penned two inaugural addresses for former President Bill Clinton. Waldman says Mr. Trump’s speech was remarkable for what it didn’t include: any mention of the Constitution, liberty, or democracy. “Which is something that presidents do," Waldman said. "It’s almost like a religious incantation in these speeches.”
For the Spiel, some non-Trump news. How Gambia got its groove and the fight against fake news in Sweden. 




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The 12-Step Program of Highly Effective People

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Jan 19, 2017


Nick Thune took the long way to stand-up comedy, performing Enrique Iglesias cover songs and making a stop in rehab before graduating from high school. On The Gist, he explains why he’s not scared of silence on stage and what made him ditch his guitar. His new special, Nick Thune: Good Guy, is streaming now on Seeso
In the Spiel, asking much of Steven Mnuchin and parrying with Rick Perry. 




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Trial by Firing Line

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Jan 19, 2017


You didn’t have to agree with William F. Buckley to marvel at his intellect, his swiftness, and his wit. Starting in 1966, Buckley got to show off his skills every week on Firing Line, his pioneering television show devoted to debate. Heather Hendershot watched nearly 1,500 episodes of the show, and though she still doesn’t agree with Buckley, she admires how he created a place for high-minded argument. Hendershot is the author of Open to Debate: How William F. Buckley Put Liberal America on the Firing Line. For the Spiel, is the circus shutting down or will confirmation hearings be going for a bit longer?

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Can The Democrats Obstruct Everything for Four Years?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Jan 17, 2017


On every major piece of legislation in the Obama era, congressional Republicans have thrown up roadblocks and been reluctant to compromise. Can Democrats do the same in the age of Trump? Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and The Atlantic looks at the options facing the Congressional opposition and the future of everyone’s favorite obstructionist tool, the filibuster. 
In the Spiel, why we don’t judge presidents based on their inauguration’s Nielsen ratings. 

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Jamelle Bouie on the Trump Cabinet

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Jan 13, 2017


So, who is Donald Trump’s most troubling Cabinet pick? Is it Jeff Sessions, who received an 11 percent score on civil rights issues from the NAACP? Or Rex Tillerson, who was unprepared for questions about Vladimir Putin’s regime? Or Ben Carson, who didn’t seem to know anything about the mandate of Housing and Urban Development? Slate’s chief political correspondent weighs in on the first week of hearings for Trump’s Cabinet picks. In the Spiel, it’s Lobstar time again.   

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How Should We Talk About Whiteness?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Jan 13, 2017


This week, race was front and center at the confirmation hearing for Trump’s attorney general nominee, Jeff Sessions. Cory Booker and the head of the NAACP testified that Sessions’ history of alleged racist comments and his voting record suggested he could not fairly uphold the rights of all Americans. The Alabama senator fired back that he was not a racist and had fought to honor historical figures like Rosa Parks. The whole affair raised questions about how to discuss race, “whiteness,” and issues of identity politics in the Trump era. Marc Lamont Hill is a professor at Morehouse College, a frequent commentator on CNN, and a host for BET News. His new book is Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, From Ferguson to Flint and Beyond.

In the Spiel, Kellyanne Conway’s war on the media.

Today’s sponsor:

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Twenty-Four Grueling Hours in Trumpland

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Jan 11, 2017


Between the shady unverified intelligence dossier, Trump’s strange press conference, and the Rex Tillerson hearings, this has been a head-spinning 24 hours. We called up Slate’s War Stories correspondent Fred Kaplan to make sense of it all. Kaplan is most recently the author of Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War
In the Spiel, an analysis of President Obama’s farewell and the meaning of activism. 

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How the Onion Remade Joe Biden

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Jan 11, 2017


If you’ve been reading the Onion the past eight years, you know that Vice President Joe Biden is a hair metal–loving party machine. He’s set up a fog machine at the State of the Union address. He’s regaled crowds with stories from his historic summer of ’87. And he’s been busted many, many times for his shady side hustles. Chad Nackers, head writer at the Onion, talks about how his site created a whole new character to satirize Obama’s tee-totaling vice-president, and the delicate balancing act of finding jokes that don’t normalize the next president.  For the Spiel, don’t worry, the Amazon Echo won’t turn on you, Space Odyssey–style. It’ll just order stuff you don’t want. 

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The Secret to Meaningful Work

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Jan 09, 2017


Are millennials really less money-focused than their forebears were? Do the kings of finance obsess over money because society doesn’t give them another way to measure their success? How can we make ditch-digging meaningful work? On The Gist, behavioral economist and Wall Street Journal columnistDan Ariely weighs in; think of him as the Dear Abby for the smartphone set. Ariely is the author of Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations.  For the Spiel, surely the glitz and glamour of the Golden Globes will stop Trump! Right?   

Today’s sponsors:

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Unpacking Peanuts

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Sat, Jan 07, 2017


The National Institutes of Health used to have blanket advice for parents: Don’t give peanuts or peanut products to children under the age of 4. The result? Between 2003 and 2014, it seems likely more Americas were killed by bad advice about peanuts than by acts of terrorism. Why did it take so long to change these guidelines? Marion Nestle says we know very little about the science of food allergies. She’s the author of Food Politics.  In the Spiel, explaining hacking in a way even Donald Trump would understand.    Sponsors:  What happens to our digital lives when we’re gone? LifeAfter, a new series from General Electric Podcast Theater and Panoply, the creators of last year’s award-winning The Message, explores these very questions. Listen and download LifeAfter wherever you find your podcasts.

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The Paradox of Shaving

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Jan 05, 2017


New Yorker writer Maria Konnikova returns for another round of everyone’s favorite game, “Is That Bulls--t?” Konnikova takes on a long-held theory about hair growth: The more often you shave, the faster it grows back. Konnikova’s most recent book is The Confidence Game.  In the Spiel, the Megyn Kelly backlash begins.    Sponsors:  ZipRecruiter. Post your job listing to all the top job sites with a single click. Try it for free by going to ZipRecruiter.com/gist.

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Mara Wilson’s Post–Child Star Life

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Jan 04, 2017


Mara Wilson became iconic in the 1990s, but she hasn’t appeared in a film since the year 2000. In her memoir Where Am I Now? Wilson explores the joys and difficulties of her life after child stardom. Mara’s book was recently named one of the best of 2016 by NPR.

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Ralph Nader’s Animal Instincts

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Jan 03, 2017


Ralph Nader’s second work of fiction, Animal Envy, imagines a world where animals can talk to people and start demanding rights. Nader says the fable is meant to prompt deeper thinking about our relationship with nature. “We need to talk about what-if, because if we don’t, we can’t kick in our idealism and imagine real possibilities,” says the 82-year-old author and advocate. Nader also weighs in with his thoughts on the Trump presidency, and how to win a political argument.

In the Spiel, Donald Trump’s rockin’ New Year’s Eve.  
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Bob Boilen: Tiny Desk, Big Effect

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Sat, Dec 31, 2016


Bob Boilen, creator and host of NPR’s All Songs Considered and Tiny Desk Concerts, built his book around something he learned in his nearly 30 years of covering music: Artists are tired of talking about their own work, but ask them about what inspires them, and they’ll light up. Boilen’s book of interviews is the epically titled Your Song Changed My Life: From Jimmy Page to St. Vincent, Smokey Robinson to Hozier, Thirty-Five Beloved Artists on Their Journey and the Music That Inspired It.
For the Spiel, a defense of 2016. 

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Good Grief

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Dec 29, 2016


When comedian Laurie Kilmartin found out her father had advanced lung cancer, she processed it the best way she could: by tweeting jokes about her father’s decline. The real-time mourning gave rise to Kilmartin’s stand-up special, “45 Jokes About My Dead Dad,” available on Seeso. Kilmartin is a writer for Conan on TBS and author of Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us
In the Spiel, noting the death of Debbie Reynolds and the prospects of a two-state solution. 

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The Home Movie That Changed America

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Dec 28, 2016


When the Russian ambassador to Turkey was killed in front of cameras by an assassin, Alexandra Zapruder had one thought: “There’s another Zapruder film.” Her new book, Twenty-Six Seconds, looks at how her grandfather’s film of the John F. Kennedy assassination changed media and American life, and how her family dealt with the grave responsibility of being part of American history. 
In the Spiel, there’s a war on Mike’s birthday.  

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LifeAfter’s Mac Rogers

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Dec 23, 2016


Movies are out, TV is in, and radio theater is on the rise. Playwright Mac Rogers explains the challenges of creating theater of the mind. Rogers is the writer behind hit podcast dramas LifeAfter and The Message
For the Spiel, The 12 Days of Trumpmas, revisited. 

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When There Was No Ducking Disco

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Dec 22, 2016


On the Gist, Chris Molanphy takes us back to 1976, the year we learned the true meaning of “booty” and the inherent value of shake-shake-shaking it. Molanphy writes the “Why Is This Song No. 1?” column for Slate
For the Spiel, are Christmas songs good or just familiar?

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The Year of Bill Camp

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Dec 21, 2016


Actor Bill Camp specializes in subtlety—whether as an earnest Puritan pastor in the 2016 Broadway revival of The Crucible or a veteran homicide detective in HBO’s The Night Of. On The Gist, Camp talks about preparing for roles, getting hot after age 50, and how he might fit into a Sex and the City reunion. Camp is narrating the documentary TV series EPIX Presents Road To the NHL Outdoor Classics, which follows the Detroit Red Wings, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Chicago Blackhawks, and the St. Louis Blues. The entire series is available on NHL.com, EPIX.com, Sling TV, and the teams’ websites.
For the Spiel, let’s check the calendar. 

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We’re Going Into Labor

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Dec 20, 2016


Have blue-collar workers fallen for a Republican bait-and-switch? On The Gist, journalist Steven Greenhouse sets aside globalization and turns to the domestic forces suppressing wages and hammering workers: Republican-backed anti-union laws, a feeble response from Democrats, and cultural amnesia around the labor movement’s achievements. Greenhouse is working on a follow-up to his 2008 book, The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker.
For the Spiel, the photos of the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey.

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Thank God for Hedonists

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Dec 19, 2016


There is virtue in delight! We chanced upon new building materials, better computer software, and a global economy by frittering away our time. On The Gist, author Steven Johnson says our flights of fancy may have driven most of human progress. Johnson’s new book is Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World.
For the Spiel, the passings of 2016. 

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Our Inflamer-In-Chief

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Dec 16, 2016


The current world order is fragile, and President-elect Donald Trump has shown himself to be sensitive, antagonistic, and gleeful about turning existing dynamics upside-down. How could this affect the United States’ role in defusing international conflicts? Dan De Luce, chief national security correspondent for Foreign Policy magazine, runs through a few scenarios. “The executive branch has expanded dramatically,” said De Luce. “We are a long way from where we were when this country was founded and the president has enormous power in foreign policy.” For the Spiel, the big headlines of 2017. 

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Do Strict Voter Laws Make a Difference?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Dec 15, 2016


Last summer, the Supreme Court stopped North Carolina from using a strict voter ID law that would likely disadvantage Democrats and “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.”

Now, the court is facing two more restrictive voter laws that could seriously change American elections. Rick Hasen covers the wild world of election law on his blog. He joins Mike to discuss the new cases, and other ways that Republican-governed states have tried to suppress turnout.

For the Spiel, a Pesca family musical postcard for the holidays.

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We Could Use Jon Stewart Right Now

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Dec 14, 2016


Jon Stewart had a rough time hosting The Daily Show. By 2015, he hadn’t had a good night’s sleep in years. Exposure to Fox News had taken a toll. Writer Chris Smith chronicles Stewart’s reign in a new oral history, which looks at the comedian’s broader impact on political culture. 
For the Spiel, Mike has cat scratch fever! Literally.   Today’s sponsors:
 
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Putin Plays the Long Game

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Dec 13, 2016


As Michael McFaul knows well, sometimes the interests of the United States and the interests of Exxon Mobil don’t line up. “You have to find oil where it is … and that tends to be controlled by autocrats around the world, and you have to do deals with them,” says McFaul, who was America’s ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014. Here, McFaul weighs in on the Rex Tillerson nomination for secretary of state, Russia’s likely hacking of the U.S. election, and Putin’s designs in the Baltics.

For the Spiel, what we know about Trump’s plan for Taiwan.   

Today’s sponsors:

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Let’s Talk About Rex

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Dec 12, 2016


James Osborne writes about energy and politics for the Houston Chronicle. He’s covered Rex Tillerson for years, yet they’ve never spoken directly. During his time as CEO of ExxonMobil, Tillerson has rarely granted interviews and only gives one press conference a year. For 15 minutes. Osborne says Tillerson has never really had to face the press—a luxury he’ll be forfeiting if he’s confirmed as secretary of state next year.

In The Spiel, the media still doesn’t know how to cover blue collar workers.
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Don’t Tell Kyle Kinane What To Do

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Dec 09, 2016


Kyle Kinane doesn’t want your agreement applause. Or your voting boosterism. In fact, Kinane is quite prepared to disappoint you—he’s kind of built a brand on it. On The Gist, Kinane raises a hand in support of jokes about rich people and racists—just let him explain. Kinane’s latest stand-up special is Loose in Chicago, you can see him in the Netflix series Love, and his podcast is called Boogie Monster
For the Spiel, Mike goes trawling for another Lobstar.  




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Getting Held Back in Racial Justice Class

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Dec 08, 2016


Writer Jeff Chang went to Ferguson, Missouri, on the one-year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown. What he saw there helped inspire his latest collection of essays, We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation (a book the Washington Post’s Carlos Lozada has called the year’s smartest). On The Gist, Chang explains why the calls for police accountability are valid even in cases when officers appear to follow protocol. 
For the Spiel, an evaluation of the Trump Cabinet according to age, demographic, and proximity to women in bikinis. 




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Boeing, Get Off My Plane!

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Dec 07, 2016


On Tuesday, President-elect Donald Trump decried the cost of a very important plane, tweeting, “Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!” Boeing then disputed Mr. Trump’s numbers, saying their contract was worth only $170 million. Turns out, unlike other Twitter rants, Trump was kind of right this time. But on The Gist, analyst Todd Harrison warns that lowering the cost of Air Force One might involve some compromises, like outsourcing the contract to a foreign company. Harrison is a director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. 
For the Spiel, Mike works his sources to get you the latest on Canadian birds.

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It’s Much Bigger Than O.J.

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Dec 07, 2016


Ezra Edelman wasn’t planning to make a documentary about O.J. Simpson. But then ESPN offered him five hours of airtime. Edelman’s movie (which eventually grew to nearly eight hours) explores a variety of themes through the lens of Simpson’s life and trial. O.J.: Made in America has just been named to the Oscar shortlist for Best Documentary.  
For the Spiel, Mike goes to school on the Electoral College.  






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The Blueprint for Trumpcare

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Dec 05, 2016


With the nomination of Tom Price for health and human services secretary, it’s clear that Donald Trump wants to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a more conservative plan. Sarah Kliff has spent weeks looking through the health care plans put forward by Republicans such as Price and Paul Ryan. Her conclusion? Good news for healthy people, not so much for sick people. Sarah is a co-host of The Weeds podcast
For the Spiel, what the media can and can’t do.

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The Chaos Doctrine

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Dec 02, 2016


Tidiness is tyranny, and Tim Harford is here to set you free. The author of Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives makes the case for routine-busting labor strikes, cluttered desks, and leaving your emails unsorted. He also explains why we’re smart to want scatterbrained musicians and orderly accountants. Harford writes the Undercover Economist column for the Financial Times.

For the Spiel, exciting times! Let’s dig into the Indiana tax code. 

Today’s sponsors:

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Dissecting the Carrier Deal

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Dec 01, 2016


Aaron Renn says the PEOTUS made a smart move by keeping Carrier in the United States. But saving one company is not an economic policy. Renn is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He recently argued Trump could fall into a “mayor trap” if he doesn’t start thinking about the big picture. 
For the Spiel, Mike Pesca enters the (admittedly off-brand) Shark Tank.   
Today’s sponsors: Placemakers, a new Slate podcast made possible by JPMorgan Chase. This podcast tells the stories of neighborhoods, businesses, and nonprofits that are working together to move their communities forward. Download and subscribe to Placemakers wherever you get your podcasts. MVMT Watches. Get 15 percent off today, with free shipping and free returns, by going to MVMTWatches.com/gist.
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What’s Bunk About Brainstorming

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Nov 30, 2016


Does brainstorming light a creative fire or smother the sparks of invention? Our regular guest Maria Konnikova looks at the merits of spitballing. Konnikova writes for the New Yorker and is the author of The Confidence Game. For the Spiel, Donald Trump saves a thousand manufacturing jobs! Great. Now, what about the other 311,000?  Today’s sponsors: Placemakers, a new Slate podcast made possible by JPMorgan Chase. This podcast tells the stories of neighborhoods, businesses, and nonprofits that are working together to move their communities forward. Download and subscribe to Placemakerswherever you get your podcasts. LifeAfter. What happens to our digital lives when we’re gone? LifeAfter, a new series from GE Podcast Theater and Panoply, the creators of last year’s award-winning The Message, explores these very questions. Listen and download LifeAfter wherever you find your podcasts.Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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Why Working People Left the Democrats

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Nov 29, 2016


For years, Thomas Frank has been the Cassandra of the Democratic Party, arguing that it had long since sold out working Americans and was using a socially liberal agenda to paper over its new corporate allegiances. Like Cassandra, he was largely ignored—until the election of President-elect Donald Trump. Frank is the author of Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? Ray Zaborney is a Republican political strategist based in Pennsylvania. He and Mike jousted on Twitter as the Blue Wall went red on election night. Today on The Gist, Zaborney pushes back against the notion that Trump voters in the Rust Belt were snookered by the candidate’s outsize claims.
The Spiel is on hiatus. It will be back on Wednesday.

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Stephen Dubner’s Genre-Busting Game Show

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Nov 28, 2016


Tell Me Something I Don’t Know is a new podcast game show from Stephen Dubner, the journalist behind Freakonomics. While radio quiz games are nothing new (in fact, Mike has hosted one himself), Dubner wants to do something different with this program, where experts have to engage with people from a field they are totally unfamiliar with. TMSIDK debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes podcast chart earlier this month. 

For the Spiel, Donald Trump’s distraction game.   

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Revenge of the Music Nerds

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Nov 23, 2016


Our favorite cultural cabal in Cleveland has spoken. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its nominees for induction in 2017—and the picks are incomparable as always, with Chic, Pearl Jam, and Kraftwerk in the running. Chris Molanphy discusses shoo-ins and long shots. He writes the “Why Is This Song No. 1?“ column for Slate.

For the Spiel, a special holiday message from Mike Pesca.  Today’s sponsors:

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A Former Breitbart Star Takes On Steve Bannon

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Nov 22, 2016


Ben Shapiro is a pretty conservative guy. He’s written books like Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americansand The People vs. Barack Obama, and he’s a former contributor to Breitbart. But earlier this year, Shapiro quit the site over his editor’s unwillingness to defend reporter Michelle Fields, and he declared himself a never Trump-er. Now, he’s facing waves of anti-Semitic abuse by people on the self-declared alt-right. Shapiro is the editor-in-chief of the Daily Wire.  
In the Spiel, we look to Canada for levity and insight. 

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Learning From the Fallout of Brexit

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Nov 21, 2016


As Nigel Farage described it, the election of Donald Trump was “Brexit times three.” Comedian Josie Long knows this all too well. The comedian and radio host has a new stage show, Something Better, where she takes on the gloomy nationalist politics of her homeland and the scary parallels between Brexiteers and Trumpites. The show is playing in New York until Dec. 3, and in Los Angeles and San Francisco in the new year.
In the Spiel, Tila Tequila is a Nazi.  

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The Incredible Failure of Get-Out-the-Vote

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Nov 18, 2016


Hillary Clinton was supposed to have the most sophisticated digital ground game ever, while all Trump had was a ramshackle data bunker in San Antonio. We all know how that turned out. Sasha Issenberg is a Bloomberg contributor and author of The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns. He says there are many explanations for what happened, including the Clinton campaign’s inadvertent encouragement of Donald Trump voters in states like Florida. 
In the Spiel, it’s a Lobstar week. Oh yes, it’s a Lobstar week. 




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Can Jared Kushner Really Get Top-Secret Intel?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Nov 17, 2016


Wait, can Donald Trump really give his entire family national security clearance? It’s complicated, says Fred Kaplan, the author of Slate’s War Stories column. Kaplan also discusses the reasons to be wary of putting your family members in the White House. 

Also, David Bowie liked his art to be as haunting as his music—even if the effect, at first, was off-putting. The Gist’s art correspondent Mary Lane tells us what’s intriguing about Bowie’s private collection, which was broken up at auction this week. 

In the Spiel, what is the “new message” Democrats need to send to voters?  

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A Show That Watches the Cops

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Nov 16, 2016


Dan Abrams is the host of Live PD, a new A&E show that follows police officers, in real time, as they interact with people in cities like Tulsa, Oklahoma and Bridgeport, Connecticut. Abrams says the show is different from Cops—it captures all of the moments in a police officer’s watch, not just the most sensational. But it has also come under fire for questions about privacy and the complicated issues of embedding with a police force.  In the Spiel, we look at President Obama’s claim that the arc of history is progressive.
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The Liberal Hegemony of Pop Culture

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Nov 15, 2016


New York Times columnist Ross Douthat says the culture has changed drastically in America over the past five years. Daily Show alumni have taken over late night, late night comedy has taken a strongly liberal tinge, and companies like Apple have taken a stand on issues like transgender bathroom bills. He thinks this cultural shift has helped alienate many of the people who supported Donald Trump. Douthat wrote about the liberal hegemony of pop culture in a September column, “Clinton’s Samantha Bee Problem.”In the Spiel, what resistance should look like in the face of President Trump.  

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This Is Your Brain on Political Correctness

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Nov 15, 2016


Trigger warning: Scrutiny of safe spaces ahead. Jonathan Zimmerman discusses the political-correctness fever sweeping the nation’s elite college campuses. Zimmerman is the author of Campus Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know
In the Spiel, blinded by a baccalaureate. 




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The Fault in Our Polls

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Sun, Nov 13, 2016


Did the polls lead us astray in this election, or did we simply fail to heed everything they were telling us? FiveThirtyEight senior political writer Harry Enten says the lesson of 2016 is familiar to any close observer of politics: “There are no permanent majorities.”
Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, puts the 2016 election in historical context. Zelizer hosts the Politics & Polls podcast produced by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.  

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Solidarity, Sister?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Sat, Nov 12, 2016


It’s a rare Saturday Gist, as the show’s post-election interview blitz continues:
New York Times columnist Gail Collins explains what we tend to forget about the way women vote, and NPR’s David Folkenflik ponders the media problems exposed by the presidential race and its surprise outcome.

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The Autopsy

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Sat, Nov 12, 2016


On The Gist, another double feature.
Evan Osnos explains what Trump’s first term might look like, based on reporting he did before the election for the New Yorker.
Reid Wilson, who covers down-ballot politics for the Hill, surveys the Republican gains in statehouses across the country. 
For the Spiel, some introspection. And keep an eye on this feed for more interviews over the weekend. 

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More Rock, Less Talk

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Nov 10, 2016


The Gist isn’t serving up a Spiel today—too many questions, too few answers. Instead, Mike puzzles through the day with a few friends of the show:
Jacob Weisberg reacts to the chants of “not my president.” Weisberg is the chairman and editor-in-chief of The Slate Group and the host of Trumpcast.
The New Yorker’s Adam Davidson expects a poorer country and world under President-elect Donald Trump. He outlines the range of possible economic changes.
John Dickerson, moderator of Face the Nation on CBS, delves into the details of Hillary Clinton’s loss. Dickerson is also a political columnist for Slate and author of Whistlestop: My Favorite Stories from Presidential Campaign History

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It’s Morning in Trump’s America

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Nov 09, 2016


On The Gist, things are getting dark, but at least the show isn’t going dark, which is more than we can say for our friends at the Radio Free GOP podcast. Host Mike Murphy, a longtime GOP strategist and Trump critic, says the show will go on hiatus in light of the election result.
Plus, the New Yorker’s Adam Davidson explains the link between the presidential election and confusion in the financial markets.
For the Spiel, a clarifying idea from Slate’s Election Night Watch Party featuring author and journalist Virginia Heffernan

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Jamelle Bouie Sums It Up

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Nov 08, 2016


Jamelle Bouie has written about the deep, ugly divides in America that have surfaced during this presidential campaign. In the final hours of election day, Slate’s chief political correspondent approaches the idea of national unity after the most unruly campaign in modern history.  Bouie was recently named the breakout star of the 2016 campaign by the Poynter Institute for Journalism.  

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The Myth of the Hard-Luck Trump Voter

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Nov 07, 2016


Much of the 2016 presidential campaign media coverage has cast Trump fans not as bigoted, but “economically disaffected.” As Slate’s Michelle Goldberg reports, for many supporters, that’s far too charitable. Goldberg has been reporting on issues like sexual assault and feminism in the Republican Party throughout the campaign. She argues 2016 might turn many women off to the idea of running for president, even if the glass ceiling is broken.   
In the Spiel, the final Trump Anxiety Hotline (we hope). 

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Harry Enten Explains the FiveThirtyEight Numbers

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Nov 04, 2016


If you’re like us, you’ve been checking the FiveThirtyEight election forecast like it’s a weather report before a hurricane. This week, Donald Trump’s chance of victory in the presidential race went from 15 percent to over 30 percent, causing much anxiety for Democrats. But how serious is the swing? Harry Enten is the senior political writer for FiveThirtyEight and a frequent Gist guest.   For the Spiel, why Hillary Clinton should own her terrible comic timing.

Today’s sponsors: Indochino, the company that’s reinventing men’s fashion. Go to Indochino.com to get any premium suit for just $389, plus free shipping, when you use promo code gist at checkout. And Rocket Mortgage from Quicken Loans. Rocket Mortgage brings the mortgage process into the 21st century with an easy online process. Check out Rocket Mortgage today at QuickenLoans.com/gist.

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A Tax on Both Their Houses

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Nov 03, 2016


We have (almost) survived a presidential campaign. Are we any smarter about taxes? On The Gist, Adam Davidson considers Donald Trump’s apparent tax practices and explains the biggest barrier to bipartisan compromise on tax policy. Davidson covers business and economics for the New Yorker.  For the Spiel, even Mike Pesca can’t sooth your nerves over volatile polling. 

Today’s sponsors: Placemakers, a new Slate podcast made possible by JPMorgan Chase. This podcast tells the stories of neighborhoods, businesses, and nonprofits who are working together to move their communities forward. Download and subscribe to Placemakers wherever you get your podcasts. And InterContinental Hotels and Resorts. Take a multisensory journey into the InterContinental life, and discover stories that will excite your curiosity by going to intercontinental.com/life.

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Dominate the News, You Lose

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Nov 02, 2016


On The Gist, a pair of political heavyweights.  Obama administration alumnus Tommy Vietor wonders how the interregnum following this election will be different for Hillary Clinton than it was for President Obama. Vietor co-hosts the Ringer podcast Keepin’ It 1600 with his former White House colleagues Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, and Dan Pfeiffer. Plus, Steve Sebelius, columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, assesses the U.S. Senate race in Nevada, including the Republican candidate’s efforts to distance himself from Donald Trump without denouncing the nominee.  For the Spiel, how Clinton is using Miss Universe to bait Donald Trump all over again.  Today’s sponsors:

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Spotlight on a (Very) Close Race

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Nov 01, 2016


A look inside one of the closest congressional races this year, New York’s 19th. Former Gist guest and Bernie Sanders–favorite Zephyr Teachout takes on Republican state Assemblyman John Faso for an open seat. The race is one of the few that the Cook Political Report has labeled a toss-up, and it’s a microcosm for lots of American anxieties. Teachout opposes fracking and supports carbon pricing in a district that relies heavily on cars, while Faso is a Trump-ambivalent Republican who hasn’t even said who he’ll be voting for come Election Day.

In The Spiel, the antics of James Comey, explained. 

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The Problem With Mark Kirk

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Oct 31, 2016


Eric Zorn from the Chicago Tribune joins Mike to discuss two contentious races happening in Illinois this year that could swing the balance of power in Congress. Incumbent Republican Sen. Mark Kirk is trailing badly to his Democratic opponent, Tammy Duckworth. And in the 10th congressional district, Rep. Bob Dold is facing a tight battle against his predecessor, Brad Schneider. Both races showcase an increasingly rare breed in Congress: the moderate Republican. In The Spiel, what Halloween can tell us about partisan politics. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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A Governor You Can Make a Beer With

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Oct 28, 2016


Today we’re reaching into The Gist’s vault to bring you two favorite segments from the past year. First, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper explains why he saw the movie Deep Throat with his mother and reflects on his state’s move to legalize marijuana. Hickenlooper’s book is called The Opposite of Woe: My Life in Beer and Politics.
For the Spiel, why are we so scared when we hear talk of a rigged election? 

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Mike Debates His Former Producer About Dating

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Oct 27, 2016


We are dating longer. We are dating differently. Is it making us happier? Mike’s not buying it. Former Gist producer Andrea Silenzi wades into an impromptu debate about dating today.
Check out Andrea’s new show, Why Oh Why, a Panoply podcast about dating and relationships. Andy Miccolis created Why Oh Why’s theme music, included in today’s show.
For the Spiel, Donald Trump’s surrogates. 

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Dan Savage Diagnoses Donald Trump

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Oct 26, 2016


Does Trump so need women that he despises them? On The Gist, love and sex advice columnist Dan Savage considers Trump’s misogyny. Savage also clears the air about his withering criticism of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and gives third-party enthusiasts a reality check: “Elect some congressmen, elect a governor, and then we can talk about who you’re running for president.” Savage hosts the Savage Lovecast and writes for the Stranger
In the Spiel, poor old Admiral Kuznetsov.

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Adam Tries to Ruin a Horrible Election

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Oct 25, 2016


America’s favorite debunker, Adam Conover, takes on the election in his TruTV special. Conover, famous for “Adam Ruins Everything,” talks to Mike about how comedians can change society, and the limits of satire as an art form. Conover’s special airs Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 9 p.m. 
For the Spiel, what America was like the last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. 

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The Case Against Dropping College Debt

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Oct 21, 2016


No to a student loan bailout. No to debt-free state schools. Prepare to be enlightened, if a bit disheartened, as our friend Adam Davidson explains why eliminating college debt falls short of solving the country’s inequality crisis. Davidson is a contributing writer for the New Yorker. For the Spiel, it’s another Lobstar of the Antentwig.  Today’s sponsor: Placemakers, a new Slate podcast made possible by JPMorgan Chase. This podcast tells the stories of neighborhoods, businesses, and nonprofits that are working together to move their communities forward. Download and subscribe to Placemakers wherever you get your podcasts. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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Do the Best and Brightest Ever Become President? 

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Oct 20, 2016


On The Gist, former Daily Show head writer Elliott Kalan talks about his new Audible series Presidents are People Too! Kalan looks at the reasons so many mediocre candidates make it the White House, and tries to find something to admire in our crappiest commanders-in-chief. Kalan says watching this year’s presidential election while studying American political history has been sobering. Think America has never been more divided? Congressmen used to cane each other in the 1850s.  

Today’s sponsors: 

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Rapid Response: Cirque du Debate

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Oct 20, 2016


The first fifty minutes felt…strange. Calm. Like a real debate. Then Chris Wallace asked if Trump would recognize the election as legitimate. Mike Pesca was in the spin room after the third and final presidential showdown. 

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Jill Stein Pitches a Green Foreign Policy

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Oct 19, 2016


On The Gist, Green Party candidate Jill Stein lays out her foreign policy. She debates Mike Pesca about Hillary Clinton, Yemen, and America’s use of force. Stein believes the United States is closer to nuclear war than ever, including the Cold War. She explains how de-escalating nuclear tensions with Russia should take priority, and how neither of the major party candidates is up to the job. This year marks Stein’s second run for the presidency.  

Today’s sponsors: The Gist is brought to you by Winc, formerly known as Club W. With Winc, you get top quality wine delivered right to your door. For $20 off your first order, go to trywinc.com/gist. And by Basecamp, a cloud-based system with tools to help you get work done in a sane, organized way. Try it for free today at basecamp.com/gistJoin Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.



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How Do You Prep to Debate a Dumpster Fire?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Oct 18, 2016


On The Gist, Jonathan Prince has helped candidates such as Bill Clinton and John Edwards prep for high-stakes debates. Now, he’s got some advice for Hillary Clinton as she faces round No. 3 with the most unpredictable candidate of the modern era. Prince has worked for the Clinton and Obama administrations, but now he’s the head of communications for Spotify. For the Spiel, how do you rig the most well-observed election on Earth? The answer is: You don’t.

Today’s sponsors: Squarespace. Start your free trial today at Squarespace.com and enter offer code gist to get 10 percent off your first purchase. And by Betterment, the largest automated investing service. Get up to six months of investing FREE when you go to Betterment.com/gist Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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The Secret Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Oct 18, 2016


On The Gist, rhetoric scholar Jennifer Mercieca says that when you dig into his speeches, Donald Trump’s kind of an evil genius when it comes to rhetoric. Whether it’s his use of paralipsis (“I’m not saying, but I’m saying”) or reification (treating people like objects), Trump is an expert at using rhetoric to get under people’s skin. Mercieca is authoring a book on political rhetoric in the 2016 campaign, set to come out later this year. For the Spiel, an update on Trump’s collapse with female voters.  Today’s sponsors: Squarespace. Start your free trial today at Squarespace.com and enter offer code gist to get 10 percent off your first purchase.
And by Periscope data, the ultimate tool for fast and flexible data visualization. Get a free trial today by going to periscopedata.com/gist.

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Inside "Late Night" With Amber Ruffin

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Oct 14, 2016


In 2014, Amber Ruffin became the first black woman to write for a late-night network comedy when she joined NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers. On The Gist, Ruffin explains the banality of being a trailblazer: “We’re just dicking around in a different room.” 
For the Spiel, the dogged defenders of Donald Trump.  Panoply survey 
We want you to tell us about the podcasts you enjoy and how often you listen to them. So we created a survey that takes just a couple of minutes to complete. If you fill it out, you’ll help Panoply make great podcasts about the things you love—and things you didn’t even know you loved. To fill out the survey, just go to panoply.fm/survey.

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Why Don’t More Women Run for Congress?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Oct 13, 2016


On The Gist, Jennifer Lawless details the reasons more women don’t run for elected office in the United States. Her research documents a decline in media bias against women running for House seats. Despite that, Congress is still overwhelmingly male. Lawless authored a book with Danny Hayes called Women on the Run: Gender, Media, and Political Campaigns in a Polarized Era
For the Spiel, Bob Dylan didn’t need a Nobel Prize to confirm his status as a great writer. Panoply Survey: 
We want you to tell us about the podcasts you enjoy and how often you listen to them. So we created a survey that takes just a couple of minutes to complete. If you fill it out, you’ll help Panoply to make great podcasts about the things you love. And things you didn’t even know you loved. 
To fill out the survey, just go to www.panoply.fm/survey.

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Your Food Will Be Ready When You Look Hungry Enough

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Oct 12, 2016


If you had to engineer the perfect wait time for a meal, how would you do it? On The Gist, Dan Pashman explains the art of anticipation as applied to food. Pashman is the host of WNYC’s The Sporkful. Check out his show’s new series on food, race, and culture: “Who Is This Restaurant For?
In the Spiel, what should we call Trump’s former defectors? Undefectors? Reflectors?
Panoply Survey: 
We want you to tell us about the podcasts you enjoy and how often you listen to them. So we created a survey that takes just a couple of minutes to complete. If you fill it out, you’ll help Panoply to make great podcasts about the things you love. And things you didn’t even know you loved. To fill out the survey, just go to www.panoply.fm/survey 

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Where Do Republicans Go From Here?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Oct 11, 2016


The implosion of Donald Trump's campaign shows a party that’s divided on everything from criminal justice reform to immigration. On The Gist, National Review executive editor and Slate columnist Reihan Salam considers the future of the GOP and conservative thinking. 
For the Spiel, why did the Republican Party fall for a demagogue? Is it because conservatives still kowtow to right-wing media outlets that embrace conspiracy theories, lies, and propaganda?
Panoply Survey: 
We want you to tell us about the podcasts you enjoy and how often you listen to them. So we created a survey that takes just a couple of minutes to complete. If you fill it out, you’ll help Panoply to make great podcasts about the things you love. And things you didn’t even know you loved. To fill out the survey, just go to www.panoply.fm/survey 

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Rapid Response: The Town Hall Debate

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Oct 10, 2016


We have seen the limits of debate prep. 

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Rapid Response: Trump’s Comeuppance?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Sat, Oct 08, 2016


Just one question on the leaked “Access Hollywood” tape of Donald Trump with Billy Bush: Are we watching a Greek tragedy or a Saturday morning cartoon?

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Phoebe Robinson Will Teach You How to Bae

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Oct 07, 2016


Phoebe Robinson recounts the tributes and trolling her book has prompted with its title, You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain.

On The Gist, Robinson wonders whether dreadlocks have really entered the mainstream (and are they ever acceptable on white guys?), and gives Mike a lesson in cultural sensitivity. Robinson is the goofball complement to her co-host Jessica Williams’ deadpan delivery on the 2 Dope Queens podcast. She is also the host of the interview podcast, Sooo Many White Guys
For the Spiel, the West Virginia governor race pits a wealthy Democrat against both coal and Cole.

Today’s sponsor: 
Money Mind, a new podcast from Prudential. Learn how to financially plan for every stage of life. Download and subscribe to Money Mind wherever you find your podcasts, and learn more at Slate.com/MoneyMind. 
Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at Slate.com/gistplus.

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Fact-Checking Won’t Stop Trump

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Oct 07, 2016


On The Gist, we look at the proliferation of fact-checking in the 2016 campaign. One empirical analysis found that Donald Trump is telling a falsehood every five minutes during his speeches. But why isn’t the aggressive fact-checking of the Republican making a difference? We called up Brendan Nyhan, a professor in the department of government at Dartmouth College and the former editor of Spinsanity, a nonpartisan watchdog site focused on political messaging.   

In The Spiel, the faltering cease-fire in Syria.  

Panoply survey

We want you to tell us about the podcasts you enjoy and how often you listen to them. So we created a survey that takes just a couple of minutes to complete. If you fill it out, you’ll help Panoply to make great podcasts about the things you love—and things you didn’t even know you loved 

To fill out the survey, just go to panoply.fm/survey.

Today’s sponsors:

Casper. Get an obsessively engineered mattress at a shockingly fair price. Go to Casper.com/gist and use promo code gist to get 50 dollars toward any mattress purchase. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more.  Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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Why Do We Use BMI to Measure Health?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Oct 05, 2016


On The Gist, dig into body mass index with our resident bulls--t debunker Maria Konnikova. Does a healthy BMI actually mean anything? The question came up after Donald Trump’s recent appearance on The Dr. Oz Show, in which his weight and height were revealed—if his numbers are to be believed, his BMI is 30.3, which qualifies as obese. But does BMI actually tell us anything meaningful about health? Or is it an arcane measurement that needs to be phased out?

Also, more on Tuesday’s testy vice presidential debate.

Panoply survey

We want you to tell us about the podcasts you enjoy and how often you listen to them. So we created a survey that takes just a couple of minutes to complete. If you fill it out, you’ll help Panoply to make great podcasts about the things you love—and things you didn’t even know you loved.

To fill out the survey, just go to panoply.fm/survey.

Today’s sponsors:

Get quality shaving products delivered right to your door with Harry’s. Sign up for a shave plan at Harrys.com and use promo code gist at checkout to claim your Free Trial Set and post-shave balm.

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Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus. 

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Rapid Response - The VP Debate

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Oct 05, 2016


Mike weighs in on the one and only debate between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine. 

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Investigating Long Island’s Not-Deplorables

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Oct 04, 2016


In The Gist, Arun Venugopal looks at a place that could stand in for America as a whole during this election: Long Island, New York, home to high levels of taxation, opioid addiction, and support for Donald Trump. Venugopal walks us through some of the stories that help explain the psychology of this year’s campaign.

For the Spiel, Mike takes a look at the closest Senate races. 

Panoply survey

We want you to tell us about the podcasts you enjoy and how often you listen to them. So we created a survey that takes just a couple of minutes to complete. If you fill it out, you’ll help Panoply to make great podcasts about the things you love—and things you didn’t even know you loved.

To fill out the survey, just go to panoply.fm/survey.

Today’s sponsors:

Indochino, the company that’s reinventing men’s fashion. Go to Indochino.com to get any premium suit for just $389, plus free shipping, when you use promo code gist at checkout.

Rocket Mortgage from Quicken Loans. Rocket Mortgage brings the mortgage process into the 21st-century with an easy online process. Check out Rocket Mortgage today at QuickenLoans.com/gist. 

Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus. 

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How Bad Is the Trump Tax Leak?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Oct 03, 2016


In The Gist, what can we really find out from the Donald Trump tax leak? As Philip Hackney argues, not a lot. Hackney is a professor of tax law at Louisiana State University and formerly worked as counsel at the Internal Revenue Service. He says that Trump’s returns don’t indicate any wrongdoing per se. But there’s lots of ways he might have used the tax system to his advantage to save money. For the Spiel, even more on Trump, taxes, and hypocrisy. Panoply survey: We want you to tell us about the podcasts you enjoy and how often you listen to them. So we created a survey that takes just a couple of minutes to complete. If you fill it out, you’ll help Panoply to make great podcasts about the things you love—and things you didn’t even know you loved. To fill out the survey, just go to panoply.fm/survey. Today’s sponsors: Indochino, the company that’s reinventing men’s fashion. Go to Indochino.com to get any premium suit for just $389, plus free shipping, when you use promo code gist at checkout.
Rocket Mortgage from Quicken Loans. Rocket Mortgage brings the mortgage process into the 21st-century with an easy online process. Check out Rocket Mortgage today at QuickenLoans.com/gist.

Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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Who Called Off the Pretension Police?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Sep 30, 2016


On The Gist, Simon Doonan ponders the rise and fall of pretentiousness in the past 20 years. Doonan writes for Slate and is creative ambassador for Barneys New York.   
For the Spiel, it’s the Lobstar of the Antentwig. 

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The Rules According to Malcolm Gladwell

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Sep 29, 2016


Malcolm Gladwell’s career has been all about ideas—but what he really specializes in is their packaging and delivery. On The Gist, Gladwell tells the story behind his earliest obsessions and explains what he’s learned trafficking in unconventional theories. He is working on the second season of his hit Panoply podcast, Revisionist History.
For the Spiel, a contrarian take on Donald Trump’s comments about former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. 

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A Budding Storyteller Turns In His “Homework for Life”

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Sep 28, 2016


Storyteller Matthew Dicks has one rule for getting better at telling stories: At the end of every day, scribble down the moment that makes the most promising tale. Today on The Gist, we hear from a listener who followed that advice. 
For the Spiel, a bungled marriage proposal at the New York Yankees game. 

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Where’s the Beef in Trump’s Ground Game?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Sep 27, 2016


In The Gist, PBS NewsHour correspondent Lisa Desjardins surveys the presidential campaigns’ get-out-the-vote efforts: “The first caveat is a lot of the rules don’t apply to this campaign.” 
In the Spiel, are presidential debates like the NFL Scouting Combine? They’re not enough to show if a player will be good on the field, but they're enough to show a player has no business being there in the first place?

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Rapid Response: The First Presidential Debate

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Sep 27, 2016


Hillary shimmied, Donald interrupted and Lester Holt tried to keep it all together. The Gist team was at Hofstra University for the first presidential debate, and spoke to everyone from campaign managers to senators to a ribald former general.  


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This Debate Is Not the Super Bowl

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Sep 26, 2016


The Gist is awaiting the first presidential debate and preparing a rapid response for early Tuesday morning. In the meantime, we hear from Jeremy Epstein: Four years ago, he was a 20-year-old Hofstra University student facing uncertain job prospects. But after he asked Barack Obama and Mitt Romney about the economy during the first debate, he became briefly famous. He was even impersonated by Fred Armisen on Saturday Night Live. Now, Epstein walks us through what it’s like to ask a question on the debate stage, and if he thinks Lester Holt should pull a Candy Crowley.   

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Is Your Favorite World Oddity Wondrous Enough for Atlas Obscura?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Sep 23, 2016


The world is not flat, Google hasn’t yet mapped everything, and there are yet places in the world that don’t take your AmEx card. Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders is the immense catalog of the world’s curiosities, from the rainbow river of South America to the medical device museum in Minnesota. On The Gist, editors Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton of Atlas Obscura explain their taxonomy of awe-inspiring sights.

In the Spiel, the return of the Trump Anxiety Hotline.

Today’s sponsors: The Girl on the Train, in theaters Oct. 7.

Upstanders, a new podcast from Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chandrasekaran. Hear stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to create positive change in their communities. Listen and subscribe to Upstanders on iTunes starting Sept. 7.  

Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.  



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A How-Not-To Manual for Presidents

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Sep 22, 2016


Do you have great aspirations of being the best president the United States has ever known? On The Gist, journalist Robert Strauss says you’d be better off trying to learn from the mistakes of America’s duds. That’s why Strauss wrote Worst. President. Ever. about James Buchanan, who has the distinct dishonor of setting the national stage for the Civil War.

In the Spiel, Mike takes on the myth of the “perfect voter.”





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How Filmmakers Faked the Moon Landing Inside Real NASA

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Sep 21, 2016


For their second movie, Matt Johnson and Matthew Miller gave themselves a challenge: Make a period mockumentary about the faking of the moon landing, on a total shoestring budget. Johnson says the finished product, Operation Avalanche, wouldn’t have been possible without the (unwitting) support of NASA, who let the filmmakers shoot inside the unaltered mission control from 1969. The film opens across North America this month.

On the Spiel, Mike tries to get through to those millennials kicking the tires on Gary Johnson and Jill Stein.

Today’s sponsors:

The Gist is brought to you by The Girl on the Train, in theaters October 7th.

And by ABC’s new series, Designated Survivor. Kiefer Sutherland stars as a Cabinet member who is thrust into the presidency after a devastating attack on the government. Designated Survivor premieres Wednesday night at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT on ABC.

Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.



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Maureen Dowd Wants a Candidate Like H.W. Again

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Sep 20, 2016


Maureen Dowd has covered every president since the early ’90s. The second President Bush even gave her a nickname: “The Cobra.” In her new book, Dowd examines what it takes to lead the country and what the press is missing about the current Republican nominee.

On the Spiel, Mike laments a bygone age of TV advertising. 

Today’s sponsors:

The Gist is brought to you by Betterment, the largest automated investing service. Get up to six months of investing FREE when you go to Betterment.com/gist.

And by ABC’s new series Designated Survivor. Kiefer Sutherland stars as a Cabinet member who is thrust into the presidency after a devastating attack on the government. Designated Survivor premieres Wednesday, Sept. 21 on ABC.

Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.



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How Do We Fix Down-Ballot Elections?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Sep 19, 2016


In 2012, Republicans won a solid majority in the House of Representatives, but only 48 percent of the vote. How did it happen? The Hill’s national correspondent, Reid Wilson, talks about the unusual forces influencing down-ballot races this year. There’s more money from outside forces, like the Koch brothers, but also hyperlocal issues that get lost in coverage of the presidential race. 

On the Spiel, Mike considers an appropriate response to the bombings in Manhattan and New Jersey.  Today’s sponsors: 

Rocket Mortgage from Quicken Loans. Rocket Mortgage brings the mortgage process into the 21st century with an easy online process. Check out Rocket Mortgage today at QuickenLoans.com/gist.

ABC’s new series Designated Survivor. Kiefer Sutherland stars as a Cabinet member who is thrust into the presidency after a devastating attack on the government. Designated Survivor premieres on ABC Wednesday, Sept. 21.

Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at Slate.com/gistplus.




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“Mrs. Robinson,” “Hey Jude,” and Some Utter Schlock

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Sep 16, 2016


The political upheaval of 1968 was ferocious, but the Billboard charts still reflected a calm, placid sensibility. Our guest Chris Molanphy looks at the year in radio hits, from Herb Alpert’s debut as a singer to the novelty tracks competing for air time with the Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel. Molanphy writes Slate’s Why Is This Song No. 1? column.  
For the Spiel, a debate with Politico Magazine writer Bill Scher: Was Hillary Clinton taking a risk with her “deplorables” comment?

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The Great Tightening, Explained

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Sep 15, 2016


On The Gist, FiveThirtyEight senior political writer and analyst Harry Enten says an averaging of the polls still shows Hillary Clinton has a hefty lead over Donald Trump. Enten also explains the difference between election forecasting and weather forecasting.
For the Spiel, seeing the world through Trump-shaded glasses. 

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Are Southpaws Really Criminals?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Sep 14, 2016


Does being left-handed make you a threat to civilized society? On The Gist, Maria Konnikova tells the story of the mustachioed Italian criminologist who gave southpaws a bad reputation. But what does handedness really tell us about the brain? Konnikova writes for the New Yorker and is the author of The Confidence Game.
This week, Mike challenged his audience to find someone in the country who is torn between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Well, the search is over: We talk to a listener who likes ’em both. 
For the Spiel, does Donald Trump believe children are our future?

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Hillary’s Campaign Manager on Pneumonia, Swing Voters, and Strategy

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Sep 13, 2016


Robby Mook has a tricky job. As Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, he has to find a way to pin down Donald Trump, whose gaffes are constantly overtaking each other. Mook talks to Mike Pesca about the challenge of crafting a single message to combat Trump and recent events on the campaign trail, including Hillary Clinton’s pneumonia diagnosis. 
Plus, director Ryan Suffern on his recent ESPN documentary “What the Hell Happened to Jai Alai?” which looks at the swift rise and fall of the sport in America. How come jai alai was never seen as a competitor to football, hockey, and baseball? 
For the Spiel, going to school on college rankings. 

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What Does the Charity World Think of the Clinton Foundation?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Sep 12, 2016


The Clinton Foundation is a superstar in the world of philanthropy—is it OK that it leverages power and celebrity to achieve its mission? On The Gist, two experts disagree. 
Kenneth Stern, former CEO of NPR, sheds no tears for the Clinton Foundation. He thinks vanity-giving helps inferior charities persist. Stern is the author of With Charity for All: Why Charities Are Failing and a Better Way to Give. His company has done work for the Clinton Foundation. 
Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropysays the Clinton Foundation uses its political heft for good. She adds that the most ambitious charities in the U.S. were started by titans of industry seeking to improve their reputations.  
For the Spiel, a few choice words about Rudy Giuliani. 

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Tony Kornheiser Will Make Fun of Your Pants

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Sep 09, 2016


Tony Kornheiser is joining the pod people. On The Gist, the man behind the Tony Kornheiser Show explains his dive into podcasting: “I watched newspapers die under me.... I began to get the sense that radio was going to die under me too. And so I jumped.” Kornheiser also hosts ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption alongside Michael Wilbon.
For the Spiel, pencils down: It’s time for the Lobstar of the Antentwig.

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Courting Controversy With Drew Magary

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Sep 08, 2016


Drew Magary is down to hang. His past story assignments for GQ include a day with Duck Dynasty and a trip with the Kid Rock cruise. But Magary, author of the “Why Your Team Sucks” series­­ on Deadspin, is not one to equivocate. On The Gist, he shares his secret to immersive reporting and explains why he’s OK with grown men who wear sports jerseys. His latest book is The Hike: A Novel. 

For the Spiel, Donald Trump’s generalizing about generals.

Today’s sponsors:

Blue Apron. Blue Apron’s meal kits are delivered right to your door and make cooking at home easy. Get your first three meals free by going to BlueApron.com/gist.

Indochino, creators of one-of-a-kind men’s suits that are customized just for you. Get any premium suit for just $399—plus free shipping—by going to Indochino.com and using the promo code GIST at checkout. 

Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.



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Telling Jokes in the Age of Trigger Warnings

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Sep 08, 2016


College campuses have become hostile territory for some comedians. A wrong-headed joke can provoke everything from walkouts to protests to death threats. But how should students push back against material they find offensive? Director Ted Balaker and comedian Karith Foster discuss their new film Can We Take a Joke? and the tricky line between free speech and needless offense. 

For the Spiel, Mike takes on the dueling accusations of pay-for-play. Rendering judgement on the optics of the appearance of the whiff of the feeling of potential impropriety.   

This Gist is supported by Rocket Mortgage from Quicken Loans. Rocket Mortgage brings the mortgage process into the twenty-first century with an easy online process. Check out Rocket Mortgage today at QuickenLoans.com/gist.

And by Club W. Get top quality wine delivered right to your door. For 20 dollars off your first order, go to ClubW.com/gist.

Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at Slate.com/gistplus.



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A GOP Apostate Explains Her Vote for Hillary

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Sep 06, 2016


Kori Schake, a former adviser to President George W. Bush, blanches at the idea of a Donald Trump presidency. But she still has reservations about Hillary Clinton. On The Gist, Schake says Clinton’s poor follow-through at the Department of State gives her something in common with the Bush administration. Schake is a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and regular guest on Foreign Policy’s The Editor’s Roundtable podcast. She edited the recently published Warriors & Citizens: American Views of Our Military with Jim Mattis. 

For the Spiel, Mike examines the enduring appeal of unsophisticated ’80s video games—even Mr. Do




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The Year Nirvana Lost Out to Bryan Adams

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Aug 26, 2016


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times: Our guest Chris Molanphy says 1991 was a tale of multiple cities, as radio stations began to tailor their playlists to narrower audiences. The result? Little crossover among the Billboard pop, rock, and rap songs charts, and a very eclectic Hot 100 chart. Molanphy writes Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” column. 

For the Spiel, Mike cleans out the fridge before vacation.

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Do You Rely on GPS? Thank Chuck E. Cheese and William F. Buckley

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Aug 25, 2016


Most of us would be lost without GPS. So why do we think it’s hilarious when people drive into the ocean or walk to the Arctic Circle because phone maps told them to? In Pinpointauthor Greg Milner looks at our uneasy relationship with the technology and the ways GPS has reorganized our culture and our brains. 

On The Spiel, Mike looks at Donald Trump’s latest failed endeavor: public opinion polling.   



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A Sympathetic Serial Imposter

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Aug 24, 2016


Director Joshua Marston has done his share of shape-shifting. He’s spent time as a teacher abroad. He’s learned Albanian and made some stories for NPR. And he’s directed critically acclaimed movies like Maria Full of Grace. His newest, Complete Unknown, stars Rachel Weisz as a serial imposter who gets stuck at a dinner party with someone from her past. 

On The Spiel, the Clinton Foundation pay-for-play mega-scoop that never was.





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There’s a Viking on the Delta

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Aug 24, 2016


Why so many music phenoms from Iceland? On The Gist, Kaleo frontman JJ Julius Son says he comes from a “fearless” people. About that: Kaleo recently recorded in a volcano. Their latest album is called A/B

Plus, Slate’s very own Mallory Ortberg, writer of the Dear Prudence column, tells us how to be an entertaining advice-giver. Ortberg is the author of Texts From Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations With Your Favorite Literary Characters. In the Spiel, Russia’s Paralympics propaganda.



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The ’80s Really Were the Best

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Aug 22, 2016


What made the movies of the 1980s so special, especially as compared to movies being made now? On The Gist, the Guardian’s Hadley Freeman explains. She’s the author of Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned From Eighties Movies (and Why We Don’t Learn Them From Movies Anymore).
For the Spiel, Mike revisits the items that have escaped his searching, skeptical gaze. 

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W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu Want Equal Time

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Aug 19, 2016


On The Gist, the hosts of the podcast that has made the best use yet of the jazz drummer’s brush technique: Politically Re-Active with W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu. The show picks up where the comedians left off when they stopped working in the same TV writers room. Bell hosts CNN’s United Shades of America, and returning guest Kondabolu is on tour with a new comedy album, Mainstream American Comic
For the Spiel, grilling Jill Stein. 

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Why We’ve Never Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Aug 18, 2016


Are the nation’s most dangerous warheads secure if a rag-tag troika of peaceniks can break through the storage facility’s back door? On The Gist, Washington Post reporterDan Zak considers the good and not-so-good arguments for nuclear weapons. His book is Almighty: Courage, Resistance, and Existential Peril in the Nuclear Age
For the Spiel, Jill Stein’s unforgivable comments on debt forgiveness.

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Women’s Gymnastics Gets the Hard-Boiled Treatment

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Aug 17, 2016


On The Gist, Megan Abbott discusses her latest book, You Will Know Me, a psychological thriller set in the high-pressure world of elite women’s gymnastics.
In the Spiel, a send-off for John McLaughlin. 

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Brazil’s Redeemer Has Subpoena Power

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Aug 16, 2016


Things are bleak in Brazil. Prices are high, governments are broke, and gangs are tightening their control over the country’s slums. But on The Gist, Slate contributing editor Franklin Foer has hope for a national renewal. The reason? A prominent federal judge is dead set on rooting out political corruption, though it may rival soccer as the national pastime. 
For the Spiel, hands across the ages. 

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The R?sum? Says “Loafer,” but the Loafers Scream “Executive”

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Aug 15, 2016


The Gist has been bedeviled by one question: Do the clothes really make the man? On today’s show, regular guest Maria Konnikova joins us to investigate the link between clothing and performance. Konnikova writes for the New Yorker and is the author of The Confidence Game.
For the Spiel, Trump, truth, and fact-checking. 

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Mike Birbiglia and Ira Glass Followed the Fear Here

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Aug 12, 2016


On every great improv team there’s an undertow of angst. Who will get snatched up by a TV show? Who will toil in relative obscurity? Who will quit after the big break doesn’t come? On Ep. 560, comedian Mike Birbiglia and This American Life creator Ira Glass talk about their film Don’t Think Twicean ode to improvisational comedy and recalibrating what it means to be a success. Find it in a theater near you
For the Spiel, our Lobstar of the Antentwig. 

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Should You Have Your Silver Medal Bronzed?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Aug 11, 2016


On The Gist, Republican “merchant of mud” Mike Murphy ponders Donald Trump’s effect on down-ballot GOP candidates. Murphy is known for putting the “!” in “Jeb!” as an adviser to Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign. His podcast is called Radio Free GOP.
For the Spiel, Mike tries to get to the bottom of an Olympian canard about the happiness of bronze medalists. 

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John Dickerson Has a Follow-Up. He’s Willing to Ask It Seven Times.

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Aug 10, 2016


Are voters in 2016 better compared to an angry customer at a drive-thru window? Or are the two major parties on completely different planets, unable to agree on a shared reality? On The Gist, Slate columnist and Face the Nation moderator John Dickerson discusses elections past and present. He is the author of Whistlestop: My Favorite Stories From Presidential Campaign History.
For the Spiel, when it comes to Donald Trump’s Second Amendment comment, it’s hard for the media to acknowledge what everyone knows they heard.  

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Republicans Are Using Leeches to Cure Cancer

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Aug 09, 2016


On The Gist, Trump critic and longtime Republican consultant Stuart Stevens shares his bleak take on his party’s chances at winning the White House anytime soon. Stevens was a top strategist for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign and is the author of The Innocent Have Nothing to Fear
The Spiel is taking a brief hiatus. 

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Playing the Spanish Card

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Aug 08, 2016


On The Gist, who cares that Tim Kaine speaks Spanish? Nelson Flores says white liberals might be more excited about it than Latino voters are. Flores is an assistant professor in educational linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. Plus, Foreign Policy’s Michela Wrong describes some of the more curious memorials popping up in Rwanda. Wrong recently published her first novel, Borderlines
For the Spiel, why the news should be fair, but not balanced.

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History’s First Benedict Arnold

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Aug 05, 2016


On The Gist, Brad Meltzer from Lost History explains why he thinks of himself as one part of a “literary peanut butter cup.” Meltzer teamed up with Tod Goldberg to write The House of Secrets, a spy novel that imagines the final moments between Benedict Arnold and George Washington. 
For the Spiel, the kiddie press corps takes over. 

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If It Feeds, It Leads

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Aug 04, 2016


On The Gist, Facebook has become one of the world’s biggest disseminators of journalism, but it doesn’t care about journalism. Is that a problem? Farhad Manjoo ticks off a few reasons to be wary. Manjoo writes the State of the Art technology column in the New York Times. His podcast is called the Jay & Farhad Show.
For the Spiel, the RINOs among us.  

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Is Your Grill Killing You?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Aug 03, 2016


On The Gist, should you swear off summer cookouts? Our regular guest Maria Konnikova joins us for a round of “Is That Bulls---?” Konnikova writes for the New Yorker and is the author of The Confidence Game.
For the Spiel, the parade of worries ahead of the Olympic Games. 

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Jessi Klein Says Women Are Dogs

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Aug 03, 2016


On The Gist, Jessi Klein explains her theory that women can be sorted into two categories: poodles and wolves. It’s an idea she explores in her new book, You’ll Grow Out of It. Klein is the head writer on the Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer
For the Spiel, Trump is giving voice to an element we’ve known about—but he’s still losing.

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Diary of a Soon-to-Be-Freed Detainee

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Aug 01, 2016


On The Gist, we bring you this never-before-aired interview with writer and human rights advocate Larry Siems, who edited the writings of Guant?namo Bay detainee Mohamedou Slahi for the 2015 book Guant?namo Diary. Slahi has been approved for release.
For the Spiel, a quick game of “Have You Even Read the Constitution?” 

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The Little-Known Story of Sabotage in the New York Harbor

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Jul 29, 2016


100 years ago, a man named Michael Kristoff strolled onto an island in the New York harbor armed with explosives cooked by German chemists. He was there to blow up a stockpile of munitions pledged to the Allied Powers. 
On The Gist, Chad Millman tells the story of the first major act of foreign terrorism on the United States. His 2006 book, The Detonators: The Secret Plot to Destroy America and an Epic Hunt for Justicehas just been released in e-book form to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the attack. 
The regular Spiel will be back next week -- get your fix by checking out out the past two weeks of a.m. Spiels on the Republican and Democratic conventions. 

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AM Spiel: Hillary Takes the Mic

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Jul 29, 2016


Hillary Clinton’s remarks to the Democratic National Convention didn’t match those of the exceptional orators who preceded her, but she’ll have significant advantages in the presidential debates this fall. 

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Celebrating the Nerd Mentality

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Jul 28, 2016


On The Gist, Mike confesses his nerdy fascinations to Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen, hosts of WBEZ’s Nerdette podcast
Check back Friday for another a.m. Spiel, complete with a Quick and Dirty Dissection of the fourth and final day of the Democratic National Convention.  

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AM Spiel: No Room for Gloom

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Jul 28, 2016


A Quick & Dirty Dissection of Day 3 of the Democratic National Convention, where heavy hitters lined up to vaunt the nominee President Obama called “the woman in the arena.”

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Finally, a Pro-Kidnapping Film

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Jul 27, 2016


On The Gist, Mike realizes he’s not the liberal he thought he was, and the film Tallulah shows you what a sympathetic child-snatcher looks like. The movie’s writer and director, Sian Heder, (who also writes for Orange Is The New Black) and starring actress Tammy Blanchard stop by to discuss (fictional) women with abandonment issues.
Check back for another a.m. Spiel offering a Quick and Dirty Dissection of Day 3 of the DNC. 

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AM Spiel: Hillary, Humanized

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Jul 27, 2016


On Day 1, the speakers galvanized. On Day 2, they humanized. A Quick & Dirty Dissection on the latest from the Democratic National Convention.

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Optimum Optics

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Jul 26, 2016


On The Gist, should Sandra Bland’s mother be part of the DNC’s Day 2 lineup? Then, former political advance man Josh King shows us how to spot the subtle stage-managing of the nominating conventions. His book is Off Script: An Advance Man’s Guide to White House Stagecraft, Campaign Spectacle, and Political Suicide
Check back for an a.m. Spiel Quick & Dirty Dissection of the DNC, Day 2. 

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AM Spiel: DNC Quick & Dirty Dissection, Day 1

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Jul 26, 2016


Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention brought dissension, a speech for the ages, and one good zinger. 

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Pity the Peckish Politician

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Jul 25, 2016


On The Gist, the problem with corn dogs. Dan Pashman from the Sporkful podcast explains why Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump don’t eat in public. 
In the Spiel, it’s the return of the Trump Anxiety Hotline. 
And check back for an a.m. Spiel about the Democratic National Convention’s first day.

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P.C. Policing the Border

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Jul 22, 2016


On The Gist, comedian Hari Kondabolu says he doesn’t mind updating his jokes to heed the sensitivities of his fans. His new stand-up comedy album is Mainstream American Comic. He hosts the Politically Re-Active podcast with comedian W. Kamau Bell.
For your Spiel fix, check out the three a.m. Spiels on the Republican National Convention. More of that to come for the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

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AM Spiel: Points For Averting Disaster

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Jul 22, 2016


Donald Trump’s laundry-list speech on Day 4 of the Republican National Convention was full of falsehoods and gloom. Will it have any sway over voters who don’t already support the official GOP presidential candidate?

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“Your Dog Smells My Dog”

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Jul 21, 2016


On The Gist, regular guest Maria Konnikova returns to play “Is That Bulls--t?” The assertion: “Your dog is going crazy because he smells my dog on me.” Konnikova writes for the New Yorker and is the author of The Confidence Game.
Wherefore art the Spiel? Check back Friday morning for an a.m. Spiel on Day 4 of the Republican National Convention.  

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AM Spiel: Cruz Control

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Jul 21, 2016


Day 3 of the Republican National Convention brought a Ted Cruz crescendo, a little Cruz-splaining. 

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Cutting Class

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Jul 20, 2016


On The Gist, crackers, rednecks, hillbillies—Nancy Isenberg explains the persistence of these terms and why they can’t be called ethnic identities. Her book is called White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America.
Where’s the Spiel? Check back Thursday morning for another a.m. Spiel on the Republican National Convention.  

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AM Spiel: RNC Rapid Response

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Jul 20, 2016


A special morning Spiel on Day 2 of the Republican National Convention.

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To Catch a Cartel

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Jul 20, 2016


On The Gist, how not to blow your cover while laundering money for drug cartels. Robert Mazur was an undercover government agent who got an inside look at the Medell?n Cartel. Bryan Cranston plays him in the film The Infiltrator, based on Mazur’s book.
For the Spiel, the disaster otherwise known as Day 1 of the Republican National Convention. 

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O Captain Fantastic!

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Jul 19, 2016


On The Gist, actor and director Matt Ross (who plays Gavin in HBO’s Silicon Valley) talks about parenting and a man’s place in the world. Ross directed the film Captain Fantastic, a story about an extreme father who is compelled to bring his kids out of their cocoon-like home in the woods and into mainstream society. 
For the Spiel, what Ghostbusters can tell us about Hillary Clinton’s electoral chances.

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And We Never Looked at Music the Same Way Again

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Jul 15, 2016


On The Gist, disco is out, MTV is in, and we’re getting buns of steel with Olivia Newton-John. We harken back to the Billboard hits of 1981 with our regular guest Chris Molanphy. He writes Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” column. 
For the Spiel, how does a Sharia test work?

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The Ungeheuerlich Mr. Johnson

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Jul 14, 2016


On The Gist, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large Deborah Birx describes the challenges in fighting the AIDS/HIV epidemic. She oversees the nation’s plan for AIDS relief. For the Spiel, a brief meditation on renowned charmer Boris Johnson, now the United Kingdom’s top diplomat. 

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Type A Anonymous

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Jul 13, 2016


On The Gist, we take a closer look at Type A. Is it real? How is it measured? Can it get you out of a ticket for aggressive driving? We get answers from Maria Konnikova, writer for the New Yorker and author of The Confidence Game. For the Spiel, Rudy Giuliani’s lies matter. 

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Art That Makes You Angry

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Jul 12, 2016


On The Gist, what political ad men might have picked up from Caravaggio. Adam Levine, associate director of the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio, explains the thinking behind the upcoming exhibition, “I Approve This Message: Decoding Political Ads.” For the Spiel, screwing around with Zika funding. 

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A Kamikaze Mission to Jupiter

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Jul 11, 2016


On The Gist, why it’s better to crash our spacecrafts than to litter the solar system with our earthly microbes. Summer Ash explains everything you didn’t know you wanted to know about the Juno space probe orbiting Jupiter. Ash is the Director of Outreach for Columbia University’s Department of Astronomy
For the Spiel, discord will always be with us. 

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The Life and Death of Aaron Swartz

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Jul 08, 2016


On The Gist, Slate correspondentJustin Peters on the life and death of free-culture crusader Aaron Swartz and the history of copyright in the United States. Peters wrote The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet. In the Spiel, reflecting on recent shootings of black men by police and of police by a black man. 

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It Was the Best of Timesheets, It Was the Worst of Timesheets

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Jul 07, 2016


On The Gist, a case for the modern office as a subject of high literature. J. Bradford Hipps discusses finding more than mockery in the anonymous office park where he set his novel, The Adventurist
For the Spiel, an economical five minutes on the five hours the FBI director spent testifying at a congressional hearing.   

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Mister Postman, Lower Your Price Points for Me

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Jul 06, 2016


On The Gist, Devin Leonard returns with the last installment of our postcard series to discuss the evolving economics of the U.S. Postal Service. Leonard’s book is Neither Snow nor Rain: A History of the United States Postal Service. Plus, Bruce Shapiro ponders the best way to cover mass shootings if the goal is to limit future massacres. Shapiro is executive director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia Journalism School. 
For the first-ever, midshow Spiel: Twinkies. For the traditional closing Spiel: dying in vain. 

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Reduce, Reuse, and Re-Evaluate

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Jul 06, 2016


On The Gist, are you really saving the planet with your recycling? New Yorker writer Maria Konnikova, takes on what may be our most controversial round of “Is That Bulls--t?” Konnikova is the author of The Confidence Game. On the Spiel, porn on the Juno spacecraft’s hard drive. 

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Fantastic Negrito Returns

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Jul 01, 2016


On The Gist, Xavier Dphrepaulezz, aka the Fantastic Negrito, returns to reflect on his second career in music, Prince’s influence, and the gentrification of America’s greatest cities. His new album is The Last Days of Oakland. For the Spiel, it’s time for another Lobstar of the Antentwig.

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Wyatt Cenac Wants Kermit the Frog’s Job

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Jul 01, 2016


On The Gist, Wyatt Cenac explains the thinking behind his comedy showcase series Night Train With Wyatt Cenac,
premiering on NBC’s comedy streaming service Seeso on Thursday. For the Spiel, Borisexit: the fanfare and drama of Boris Johnson’s thanks-but-no-thanks speech.

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Poll Analysis From a Spiritual 60-Year-Old

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Jun 29, 2016


On The Gist, senior political writer and analyst Harry Enten explains FiveThirtyEight’s 2016 Election Forecast
For the Spiel, a forewarning about forearms: Are we ready for our Army men and women to roll up their sleeves? 

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Do the Dead-Cat Bounce

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Jun 28, 2016


On The Gist, author Sloane Crosley on writing characters who are smarter than you, literary witch hunts, and borrowing Spider-Man’s ethos when writing. Her novel, The Clasp, is now out in paperback. 
For the Spiel, will we remember the Brexit as an argument against direct democracy? 

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Brittle England

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Jun 27, 2016


On The Gist, Financial Times journalist Edward Luce returns to discuss the Brexit vote and its imminent consequences. Luce’s latest book is Time to Start Thinking: America and the Spectre of Decline (though the American title is the more pointed Time to Start Thinking:America in the Age of Descent). 
For the Spiel, what’s the value of a cri de coeur?

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Billboard Hits From 1964

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Jun 24, 2016


Seems as good a day as any to talk about the British Invasion. On The Gist, we listen back to the Billboard hits of 1964, the beginning of Beatlemania in the states. Regular guest Chris Molanphy explains how other groups rode the Beatles’ coattails to the top of the pop charts. Molanphy writes Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” column. 
Plus, Chad Millman’s big lesson after the betting markets got the Brexit vote wrong. Millman is the host of ESPN’s Behind the Bets podcast. 
For the Spiel, we have just witnessed the triumph of gut over brains.  

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The Character Actor’s Studio

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Jun 23, 2016


On The Gist, Ren? Auberjonois shares his tips for defying typecasters and enjoying a varied acting career. He plays a minister in Blood Stripe, the psychological thriller about a female Marine adjusting to life after the military
In the Spiel, one unifying theory for all the day’s news. 

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If You Build It, Alonzo and Alie Will Come

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Jun 22, 2016


Why don’t we all have jetpacks? Who’s the weirdest docent at your local natural history museum? On The Gist, comedian (and former airplane mechanic) Alonzo Bodden and science communicator Alie Ward explain. Their new show, How to Build … Everythingairs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. Eastern on the Science Channel.
For the Spiel, trying to summon up some concern for the Donald Trump of North Korea.

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Can Boris Fool Britannia?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Jun 21, 2016


Would Donald Trump by any other name be Boris Johnson? On The Gist, Financial Timescolumnist Ed Luce, author of Time to Start Thinking: America and the Spectre of Decline, traces the parallels between Brexit supporters and Trump fans. For the Spiel, how gun laws are like insulin. 

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Brexit Stage Right

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Jun 21, 2016


On The Gist, teetering on the brink of a Brexit, a scrutiny of Team Leave’s propaganda. And a futile attempt to find out if Big Freedia goes through with her wedding. The answer lies in Season 5 of her Fuse TV show, Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce. For the Spiel, editing the transcript of the Orlando shooter’s 911 calls. 

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Charmed and Disgusted With Dave Hill

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Jun 17, 2016


On The Gist, performer, musician, and comedian Dave Hill reflects on his contribution to the Donald Trump empire: ringtones. His new book is Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
For the Spiel, all dogs go to heaven—copycats, however, take the “Stairway to Heaven.”

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We Are Never Ever Joining Quail Forever

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Jun 16, 2016


On The Gist, Black Flag vocalist Henry Rollins talks about being more than the guy from the band. His latest movie is The Last Heist. Jesse Armstrong explains satirical string-pulling in his book, Love, Sex, and Other Foreign Policy Goals
For the Spiel, lovers of quail, unite! 

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Against All Owls

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Jun 15, 2016


On The Gist, New Yorker writer Maria Konnikova takes a gimlet eye to explanations for sleepy eyes: Are owls and larks bulls--t? Konnikova is the author of The Confidence Game
For the Spiel, Donald Trump’s sanest line is crazier than Mitt Romney’s biggest gaffe.  

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You’re Not the Real Trump

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Jun 14, 2016


On The Gist, impressionist John Di Domenico discusses embodying The Donald. Plus, another installment of our “postcard” series: Devin Leonard talks about the U.S. postal service and how early visionaries thought it might topple slavery. Leonard is the author of Neither Snow Nor Rain: A History of the United States Postal Service.   For the Spiel, have you noticed something different at Mets games?

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Shut Your Lie Hole

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Jun 13, 2016


On The Gist, former military interrogator Lena Sisco on deception detection. Her book is called You’re Lying: Secrets From an Expert Military Interrogator to Spot the Lies and Get to the Truth.
For the Spiel, a few thoughts on the shooting in Orlando. 

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ali

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Jun 10, 2016


On The Gist, Dave Zirin calls in from Muhammad Ali’s funeral procession in Louisville. Zirin is sports editor at The Nation, host of the Edge of Sports podcast, and author of the Muhammad Ali Handbook. For the Spiel, questioning the assumptions in the Stanford rape case.  

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Hoping Tevye Gets a Cold

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Jun 09, 2016


On The Gist, actor Michael C. Bernardi is Mordcha the Innkeeper in Fiddler On The Roof, now on Broadway. His father, Herschel Bernardi, was the third man to play Tevye in the musical. For the Spiel, who will be remembered with as much veneration as Muhammad Ali? 

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The Gangbanger Who Switched Sides

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Jun 08, 2016


On The Gist, former Corey Pegues wanted to stop being a drug runner in his Queens neighborhood. So he enlisted in the military and joined the top brass of the NYPD. His new book is Once a Cop: The Street, the Law, Two Worlds, One Man. For the Spiel, pretty much a direct appeal for angry emails from Bernie Sanders supporters.

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How the Post Office Cured “Going Postal”

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Jun 07, 2016


On The Gist, a postcard with Devin Leonard on the origins of the phrase “going postal.” Leonard’s new book is Neither Snow Nor Rain: A History of the United States Postal Service. Plus, Stephen Teret on smart guns. For the Spiel, Hillary Clinton’s cinch of a clinched nomination. 

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Chuck Klosterman Is Wrong! (He Says.)

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Jun 07, 2016


On The Gist, Chuck Klosterman imagines how time erodes common ideas, like what counts as a great American novel and how we decide who’s smart. His new book is But What If We’re Wrong? For the Spiel, tyrants and their cats. 

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Tim Heidecker Is Tired of Being Meta

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Jun 03, 2016


On The Gist, comedian and musician Tim Heidecker. He attracted a cult following with Adult Swim television hits such as Decker and Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Some of the same deadpan observations can be heard in his music. Heidecker’s first solo album is In Glendale. For the Spiel, elections make us all relativists. 

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The Myth of Kitty Genovese’s Murder

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Jun 02, 2016


On The Gist, filmmaker James Solomon discusses his documentary The Witness, which reinvestigates the death of Kitty Genovese—whose reported murder became emblematic of New York City indifference. In the film, Kitty’s brother Bill goes on a quest to figure out what really happened and finds little truth in the earliest newspaper accounts. For the Spiel, Siri runs away with your radio.

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Ghost Bluster

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Jun 01, 2016


On The Gist, 2015 MacArthur fellow Matthew Desmond talks about moving into a trailer park to document life in poverty and what he calls an eviction epidemic. Desmond is the author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. For the Spiel, revisiting Ghostbusters—that is, revisiting the movie that’s revisiting Ghostbusters

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Are Skim Drinkers Milking It?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, May 31, 2016


On The Gist, for our game “Is That Bulls—t?” we ask Maria Konnikova of the New Yorker if we’re any better off drinking skim milk. Konnikova is the author of The Confidence Game. For the Spiel, do we really have to talk about the gorilla? 

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You Can’t Handle the Spoof

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, May 27, 2016


On The Gist, comedy writer Paul Scheer explains the thinking behind his new series, Filthy Preppy Teen$, available on Fullscreen. For the Spiel, the lobstar of the antentwig.

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Suing the Saudis

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, May 26, 2016


On The Gist, New Yorker writer James Surowiecki on breaking up the banks, and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer discusses his bill to open up the Saudi Arabian government to lawsuits from victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. For the Spiel, taking the romance out of bygone factory jobs. 

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Trump Anxiety Hotline Reconvenes

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, May 25, 2016


On The Gist, Moby talks about growing up poor in Connecticut and his family ties to Herman Melville. He has just published Porcelain: A MemoirFor the Spiel, we return to the Trump Anxiety Hotline. 

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Gov. John Hickenlooper Gets His Ass in Gear

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, May 24, 2016


On The Gist, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper reflects on his state’s social experiment legalizing marijuana. He is the author of the book The Opposite of Woe: My Life in Beer and Politics. For the Spiel, a closer look at what policy experts think of Donald Trump’s plans. 

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Kevin Spacey Is a Cat

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, May 24, 2016


On The Gist, Ivan Oransky argues that when it comes to faulty claims, peer-review is a first defense, not an airtight one. He’s the vice president and global editorial director of MedPage Today. For the Spiel, a breakdown of that movie clich? of the workaholic dad who reconnects with his kids. 

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If the Dog Turns Left, Think Novel

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, May 20, 2016


On The Gist, storyteller Matthew Dicks spills his secret for juggling six different jobs—purposeful showers, lots of oatmeal, and no mental idling. For the Spiel, Bernie Sanders supporters are sore losers, but who can blame them?

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The Whigs Were Right

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, May 19, 2016


On The Gist, a refresher course on the Whig Party with the American History Guys: professors Peter OnufEd Ayers, and Brian Balogh. They host the BackStory podcast. For the Spiel, tuning in to ISIS news without freaking out. 

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When a Joke Almost Works Too Well

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, May 19, 2016


On The Gist, comic Dan Soder of Showtime television drama Billions on finding his killer closing joke—and letting it go. His new hourlong standup special premieres May 21 on Comedy Central. For the Spiel, a new soundtrack for the primary election.  Today’s sponsor:
Blue Apron. For less than $10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers right to your door everything you need to create a home-cooked meal. Visit BlueApron.com/gist to get your first two meals free.

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Enlightened Titans of Industry

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, May 17, 2016


On The Gist, the New Yorker’s James Surowiecki on businesses taking up the vanguard of LGBTQ rights—and why it might be problematic for conservatives and liberals alike. For the Spiel, a theory: We live in overcontextualized times.   Today’s sponsor:
Hiscox Small Business Insurance. Get customized insurance for your business right now. Go to Hiscox.com to learn more and to get a free quote. 

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Saving Paul Ryan

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, May 16, 2016


On The Gist, Tianna Gaines-Turner recounts her experience testifying before Congress on life for the working poor. She’s featured in the short film, A Hug From Paul Ryanpart of a new series from AMC Networks’ SundanceNow Doc Club. For the Spiel, the transformative power of personal experience when it comes to lawmakers’ views on LGBT rights and mental illness. 

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Vote Jabba

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, May 13, 2016


On The Gist, comedy writer and radio personality Andy Breckman tells Mike about the dog-eat-dog world of the game industry and shows us his latest card-game creation: Shit Happens. For the Spiel, a focus group with voters in a galaxy far, far away… why do they support Jabba the Hutt? 

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Did the Media Create Trump?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, May 12, 2016


Happy National Limerick Day! (We’re sorry.) On The Gist, NPR’s David Folkenflik joins us to explain why he thinks the media failed the general public this year. He’s the author of Murdoch's World: The Last of the Old Media Empires. For the Spiel, will Donald Trump be able to get the GOP’s buy-in? 

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I'll Know Porn Addiction When I See It

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, May 11, 2016


Is watching too much porno addictive? And why don’t we say “porno” anymore? On The Gist, Maria Konnikova of the New Yorker explains what evidence we have about the validity of pornography addiction. She’s the author of The Confidence Game, and you can read her essay about pornography research in Aeon. For the Spiel, Mike reveals his unfair advantage when it comes to political things—remembering them.

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Neither Frightened Nor Rabbit

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, May 10, 2016


On The Gist, an elephant news roundup. Then, Scott Hutchison from the indie rock band Frightened Rabbit joins us to discuss their new album Painting of a Panic Attack. The band is currently on tour, and you can visit their website for tour dates. For the Spiel, what is the likelihood of a Brexit? 

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He’s Not Pivoting

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, May 10, 2016


On The Gist, has conventional become synonymous with lame? Mike’s advice for Hillary Clinton. Then, Kembrew McLeod discusses the musical legacy of the Blondie album Parallel Lines, and offers connection between teen pop and punk in the 1970’s. He’s the author of Blondie's Parallel Lines (33 1/3). For the Spiel, we will not allow members of the media to get away with saying, “Donald Trump is executing a pivot.” Let’s begin the #contradictionnotpivot
movement. 

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A Rob Reiner-mentary if You Will

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, May 06, 2016


On The Gist, director Rob Reiner join us to discuss his latest film Being Charlie, which indirectly tells the story of his son’s battle with drug addiction. It was written by Reiner’s son, Nick Reiner, with co-writer Matt Elisofon. For the Spiel, it’s time for another Lobstar of the Antentwig.

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Trump as Napalm

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, May 05, 2016


When it comes to Donald Trump, our guest says we need to set up FEMA tents to distribute all the blame that deserves to go around. On The Gist, Jonah Goldberg from the National Review joins us to discuss why many conservative pundits and thinkers have used Trumps popularity as an excuse for overlooking his issues. For the Spiel, renaming the lame duck period of the presidency. 

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Welcome to the Abyss

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, May 05, 2016


On The Gist, it’s May 4th so... may the fourth be with you. Yes, that’s a Star Wars pun to help introduce you to our guest legal scholar Cass Sunstein. He’s the author of The World According to Star Wars, now available for preorder. For the Spiel, the return of the Trump Anxiety Hotline.

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Trumpeting Mike Tyson’s Endorsement

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, May 04, 2016


On The Gist, on the wake of the sentencing of Sheldon Silver, we explore the connection between corrupt politicians and bodily corruption. Then, Mike interviews Robert Mrazek, a former Democratic member of the House of Representatives who represented New York's 3rd congressional district for most of the 1980s. He wrote and co-directed the new film The Congressman. For the Spiel, the endorsement that certainly will not knock out Trump’s chances at the Republican nomination.
 



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The End of Conventional Wisdom in Politics

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, May 03, 2016


On The Gist, Chuck Todd has HAD IT with Ted Cruz. We’ll hear what that sounds like. Then, a look at some lasting lessons from the Bernie Sanders campaign with BuzzFeed’s White House correspondent Evan McMorris-Santoro. He’s the host of the new podcast No One Knows Anything. For the Spiel, the icky coziness of the White House Correspondents dinner.

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Buzz Aldrin! He Walked on the Moon!

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Apr 29, 2016


They say no one ever remembers the second man who walked on the moon. That’s so not true! On The Gist, octogenarian Buzz Aldrin steps into our studios to discuss his unique life story and the future of international space travel. His new book is called No Dream Is Too High: Life Lessons From a Man Who Walked on the Moon. For the Spiel, why the NFL and ESPN networks should stop tut-tutting Miami draft pick Laremy Tunsil.

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Behind the Scenes at Wait Wait

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Apr 28, 2016


On The Gist, comedian and journalist Faith Salie shares her journey to becoming a recovering approval addict. Her new memoir is Approval Junkie: Adventures in Caring Too Much. For the Spiel, what dirty politicians have in common with a woman on the beach wearing a loose bikini top.

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The National Emergency We Call Donald Trump

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Apr 27, 2016


On The Gist, Jacob Weisberg helps present favorite moments from the first month of Slate’s Trumpcast. First, he talks to journalist Mark Leibovich about Donald Trump’s transition into a more tolerable candidate. Then, we ask clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis about narcissistic personality disorder and how he would treat Trump. To close out the episode, Hanna Rosin of Slate’s DoubleX Gabfest and NPR’s Invisibilia gives her mom a call to ask a simple question: Mom, why are you voting for Trump?

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The So-Called “So-Called Acela” Primary

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Apr 26, 2016


On The Gist, we discuss the connection between infrastructure and money with Justin Fox from Bloomberg View. Then, Noah Charney explains why the art of Hieronymus Bosch is so hauntingly freaky. He’s the author of The Art of Forgery: The Minds, Motives and Methods of the Master Forgers. For the Spiel, inside the so-called “so-called Acela primary.” There’s no Gist Wednesday, but we’ll be back with a normal show on Thursday.

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Bathroom President Ted Cruz

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Apr 25, 2016


On The Gist, we make a deal with Ted Cruz. Then, futurist Brian David Johnson joins us from the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University. He’s currently on tour asking about the future of the American Dream. For the Spiel, is Bernie behind because poor people don’t vote?

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Purpleness

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Apr 22, 2016


On The Gist, music writer Chris Molanphy guides us through the purple rain. We’ll remember Prince’s impact on the Billboard chats over the course of his career. Chris writes Slate’s Why Is That Song No. 1 column. He recently wrote about Prince for Slate: “How Prince Ruled the Charts in the ’80s—Even When His Name Wasn’t on the Songs.” For the Spiel, where should we draw the line when it comes to how we treat our prisoners?




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The Energy Crisis and the End of American Liberalism

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Apr 21, 2016


On The Gist, Josh King answers our question about President Obama’s visit with King Salman of Saudi Arabia. He was our guest earlier this week, and he’s the author of Off Script: An Advance Man’s Guide to White House Stagecraft, Campaign Spectacle, and Political Suicide. Then, Meg Jacobs joins us to discuss the lasting political legacy of the ’70s gas crisis. She’s the author of Panic at the Pump: The Energy Crisis and the Transformation of American Politics in the 1970s. For the Spiel, the president who was usurped off the $20. It’s not who you might think.

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Did Bernie Pull Hillary to the Left?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Apr 20, 2016


Is Bernie Sanders part of a long Democratic tradition of progressive insurgency? On The Gist, Slate’s Jamelle Bouie explains the shifting politics of the Democratic party. Read his front-page story, “There Is No Bernie Sanders Movement.” For the Spiel, how to interpret your changing life expectancy.

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Get a Life ... Coach

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Apr 19, 2016


On The Gist, Maria Konnikova of the New Yorker explains why our growing motivational industry needs some oversight. She’s the author of The Confidence Game. For the Spiel, the lasting impact of the 1994 crime bill on today’s candidates and voters.

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Bill Clinton’s Advance Man Tells All

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Apr 18, 2016


On The Gist, Mike offers keen insight into Sheldon Silver. Then, which Republican presidential nominee is nailing visual optics? Josh King joins us to explain why the visuals and headlines are becoming increasingly important for political campaigns. He’s the author of Off Script: An Advance Man’s Guide to White House Stagecraft, Campaign Spectacle, and Political Suicide. For the Spiel, the Google Play app introduces Mike to ’90s agro anthems. Listen to find out what happened next.

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Billboard Hits From 1986

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Apr 15, 2016


On The Gist, we travel back to the year our host and music writer Chris Molanphy were in their music-listening prime. We’ll count down the Billboard hits from 1986 that marked a significant pivot in music history. Chris writes Slate’s Why Is That Song No. 1 column. For the Spiel, favorite moments from Thursday night’s Democratic debate in Brooklyn, New York.

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Hurry Up and Fast

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Apr 14, 2016


On The Gist, Maria Konnikova of the New Yorker explains what researchers have found when they looked into the health benefits of fasting. She’s the author of The Confidence Game. If you enjoyed this interview, you should also check out our past segment with Maria about eating late. For the Spiel, honoring the breakfast cereal spokes-things tradition.



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An Interesting and Beautiful Day

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Apr 13, 2016


On The Gist, itching to visit the president of the Republic of Molossia? Or hear the dark histories of Patarei Prison in Tallinn, Estonia? David Plotz from Atlas Obscura offers advice for creating your own adventures on Saturday, April 16 for this weekend’s Obscura Day. For the Spiel, why we’re not impressed by the depth of your worldview, Mark Zuckerberg.



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Pinocchio’s Got a Gun

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Apr 12, 2016


On The Gist, we use Yodely Guy to discuss the latest news from Goldman Sachs. Then, let’s dive deep into Wyoming delegate math with Aimee Van Cleave from the Wyoming Democratic Party. For the Spiel, does Hillary have too many Pinocchios but not enough truths?

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It’s Time We Talk About Wolverines

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Apr 11, 2016


On The Gist, we again compare the value of winning states vs. winning delegates in Democratic primaries. Which could be more valuable? Then learn the definition of an “S.O.B. flag” when we visit Vexillology Corner with our favorite vexillologist Ted Kaye. He’s the author of Good Flag, Bad Flag. For the Spiel, it’s time we talk about wolverines.

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Twisted F--king Sister

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Apr 08, 2016


“Hair too long,” “pants too tight,” “sounds like Kiss,” “Alice Cooper’s dead,” and other reasons Twister Sister spent a decade trying to get a record deal. On The Gist, John French Segall (you know him as Jay Jay French) and director Andrew Horn join us to tell the story behind a new Twisted Sister documentary. You can read Jay’s Inc. magazine column here. For the Spiel, it’s time for another Lobstar of the Antentwig.




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If I Were Hillary

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Apr 07, 2016


On The Gist, a case for playing politics in Myanmar. Then, a clever strategy for preventing a full Zika virus epidemic—genetically modified mosquitos. We’ll speak with Nina Fedoroff about her recent op-ed in the New York Times. For the Spiel, Mike imagines what life would look like if he were held to the same standards as Hillary Clinton.

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Burning Down Bernie’s Momentum

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Apr 06, 2016


On The Gist, arts reporter Mary Lane shares insights from the exhibit “Art From the Holocaust” at the German Historical Museum in Berlin. She wrote “ ‘Art From the Holocaust’: The Beauty and Brutality in Forbidden Works” for the New York Times. For the Spiel, why Wisconsin’s primary results tell us so little about who the Democrats want as a nominee.

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You’re Getting Very Sleepy

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Apr 05, 2016


On The Gist, a top Armenian comic joins us to discuss if Azubaijan is even a country. Then, Mike asks Maria Konnikova of the New Yorker about the health benefits of hypnosis for a game we call “Is That Bulls--t?” She’s the author of The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It ... Every Time. For the Spiel, can we talk about chalk at Emory
University?  Today’s sponsors: Squarespace.com. Get a free trial and 10 percent off your first purchase when you visit Squarespace.com and enter offer code GIST.  Betterment, the largest automated investing service—managing billions of dollars for people just like you. Get up to six months of investing free when you go to Betterment.com/gist.  Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up
for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus

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Jon Ronson, Imam of Shame

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Apr 04, 2016


On The Gist, we explore an abuse of power taking place on social media. Journalist Jon Ronson shares why
he was compelled to tell the stories behind the public shaming of Jonah Lehrer and Justine Sacco. He’s the author of So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, now out in paperback. For the Spiel, meet Wisconsin’s Jimmy Boy.   Today’s sponsor: Squarespace.com. Get a free trial and 10 percent off your first purchase when you visit Squarespace.com and enter offer code GIST.  Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial
today at slate.com/gistplus

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The Hamilton Rule

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Apr 01, 2016


On The Gist, actress Erinn Hayes joins us to share her experiences performing as Dr. Lola Spratt on Childrens Hospital from Adult Swim. The show will be ending this year after seven seasons. For the Spiel, Zoe Chace
from This American Life takes over. She’s been speaking with Republican stalwarts about how Alexander Hamilton
inspired them to vote for … Hillary?  Today’s sponsors: Slack, bring all of your communication at work into one place. Create a new team right now at Slack.com/gist, and you’ll get $100 in credit for when you decide to upgrade to a paid plan.  Goldman Sachs. Information about developments currently shaping markets, industries, and the global economy, on the firm’s podcast, Exchanges at Goldman Sachs, available on iTunes. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus

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Abolitionist Heroes Lost to History

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Mar 31, 2016


On The Gist, Manisha Sinha joins us to discuss the long roots of the abolitionist movement in American history.
She’s the author of The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition. For the Spiel, there’s no backsies or whoopsies for presidents. Today’s sponsor: Betterment, the largest automated investing service—managing billions of dollars for people just like you. Get up to six months of investing free when you go to Betterment.com/gist Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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Are The Winter Blues BS?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Mar 30, 2016


On The Gist, Mike asks Maria Konnikova of the New Yorker to explain the link between seasonal affective disorder and winter blues. Is it a real condition, or an overly convenient acronym? For the Spiel, why arguing about
instant replays is a beloved American pastime. Today’s sponsors: Monster. Find employees who work as hard as you at Monster.com/hiring. Monster. Find Better.  Betterment, the largest automated investing service—managing billions of dollars for people just like you. Get up to six months of investing free when you go to Betterment.com/gist Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up
for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus

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The Huge Lingering Why

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Mar 29, 2016


On The Gist, we ask Los Angeles Times reporter Joel Rubin what the San Bernardino investigators are hoping to learn from the decrypted iPhone. For the Spiel, hijacker hijinks! Today’s sponsors: Slack. Slack brings all of your communication at work into one place. Create a new team right now at Slack.com/gist and you’ll get 100 dollars in credit for when you decide to upgrade to a paid plan.  Texture, the mobile app that lets you tap directly into the world’s most popular magazines using
your phone or tablet. Dive deeper into 
VoguePeopleEsquireTime—with interactive content for a richer reading experience. Try Texture for free at Texture.com/gist. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a
free trial today at slate.com/gistplus

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40 Years for Genocide

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Mar 28, 2016


On The Gist, the Guardian’s Julian Borger joins us to discuss the International Criminal Court trial of one of the Bosnian War’s main malefactors, Radovan Karadzic. Julian is the author of The Butcher's Trail: How the Search for Balkan War Criminals Became the World's Most Successful Manhunt. For the Spiel, Democracy is a pretty good system, except for all the dummies. Today’s sponsors: Squarespace.com. Get a free trial and 10 percent off your first purchase when you visit Squarespace.com and enter offer code GIST.  Betterment, the largest automated investing service—managing billions of dollars for people just like you. Get up to six months of investing free when you go to Betterment.com/gist Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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The Height of Clinton-Era Pop Music

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Mar 25, 2016


On The Gist, we travel back
to the year 14-year-olds shouted their favorite hits from Times Square to
Carson Daly. Music writer Chris Molanphy shares Billboard
hits from 1999 that shaped the future of today’s pop charts. Chris writes Slate’s Why Is That Song No. 1 column. Mike will be back with a traditional Spiel on
Monday.  Listen back to the 1999 hits
mentioned in today’s show in this Spotify playlist. 

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Crazy Funny with Sara Benincasa, Chris Gethard, and Gary Gulman

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Mar 24, 2016


On The Gist, a classic episode from August 2014. When Amy Solomon was growing up in Chicago, she was obsessed with Gilda Radner. She wanted to be a comedian but worried she didn’t have enough problems to talk about. For her Princeton senior thesis, Solomon explored the link between confessional comedy and mental health. In this special segment, Mike also speaks with comedians Sara BenincasaChris Gethard, and Gary Gulman about where they find balance.  Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus

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1,145 Police Killings

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Mar 22, 2016


On The Gist, Guardian US editor Lee Glendinning joins us to share findings from their award-winning data initiative the Counted. For the Spiel, Mike offers a textural analysis of the president’s visit to Cuba. Today’s sponsors: Goldman Sachs. Information about developments currently shaping markets, industries, and the global economy, on the firm’s podcast, Exchanges at Goldman Sachs, available on iTunes. Betterment, the largest automated investing service—managing billions of dollars for people just like you. Get up to six months of investing free when you go to Betterment.com/gist Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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When Words Change World Events

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Mar 21, 2016


On The Gist, Mike predicts what Donald Trump will say at Aipac. Then, the latest bear news headlines
reviewed with our regular expert Rae Wynn-Grant from the American Museum of Natural History. For the Spiel, three recent world events where language matters. 

Today’s sponsors: 

Amazon. Detective Harry Bosch is back on the new season of Amazon’s original series Bosch, based on the best-selling novels by Michael Connelly. Stream the new season now on Amazon Prime Video

Betterment, the largest automated investing service—managing billions of dollars for people just like you. Get up to six months of investing free when you go to Betterment.com/gist.  

Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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The Secret Genius of the T-Shirt Cannon

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Mar 18, 2016


On The Gist, L. Jon Wertheim from Sports Illustrated explains the effects of sports on the brain. With Sam Sommers, he’s the author of This Is Your Brain on Sports. For the Spiel, Mike addresses his white male brethren. Today’s sponsors: Texture, the mobile app that lets you tap directly into the world’s most popular magazines using your phone or tablet. Dive deeper into VoguePeopleEsquireTime—with interactive content for a richer reading experience. Try Texture for free at Texture.com/gist. Betterment, the largest automated investing service—managing billions of dollars for people just like you. Get up to six months of investing free when you go to Betterment.com/gist Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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A Triumph of Small Talk

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Mar 17, 2016


On The Gist, Slate’s Ruth Graham demonstrates her total mastery of small talk from her piece, “In Defense of Small Talk.” For the Spiel, are GMO labels informative or
misleading?  Today’s sponsors: Monster. Find employees who work as hard as you at Monster.com/hiring. Monster. Find Better.  Harry’s, the shaving company that offers German-engineered blades, well-designed handles, and shipping right to your door. Visit Harrys.com for $5 off your first purchase with the promo code GIST.  Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus

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Are The Dangers of GMOs BS?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Mar 16, 2016


On The Gist, we ask Slate’s chief political correspondent Jamelle Bouie if Donald Trump is a viable candidate in a general election. Then, Maria Konnikova of the New Yorker ends the debate over the dangers of GMOs. She’s the author of The Confidence Game. For the Spiel, do the rules apply to Donald Trump? Today’s sponsor: Monster. Find employees who work as hard as you at Monster.com/hiring. Monster. Find Better.  Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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All Things Horse Race

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Mar 15, 2016


On The Gist, Mike answers the question, “Why all the horse race?” by offering a close look at the issue of magic from House Resolution 642. Then, Harry Enten from FiveThirtyEight uses his polling expertise to explain what today’s many caucus results will means for little Marco Rubio. For the Spiel, even more advice for interpreting Super Tuesday 2 results. 

Today’s sponsor:

Roku and HBO Now. Roku players offer the biggest selection of streaming channels, like HBO Now. Learn more and try HBO Now free for one month by going to roku.com/thegist.

Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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The Duke Lacrosse Case, 10 Years Later

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Mar 14, 2016


Last night ESPN’s 30 for 30 series aired the documentary about the Duke Lacrosse case called Fantastic Lies. Back when the Gist was being piloted in April 2014, we spoke with author William D. Cohan about the case following his book The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, the Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of Our Great Universities. For the first time ever, we’ll air that interview on The Gist. For the Spiel, why all right-thinking Americans should want Donald Trump to be the Republican nominee. Today’s sponsor: Squarespace.com.
Get a free trial and 10 percent off your first purchase when you visit 
Squarespace.com and enter offer code GIST.  Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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The Year of Travolta

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Mar 11, 2016


On The Gist, our regular guest Chris Molanphy tells us how disco music swallowed up rock in 1978. We’ll discuss Billboard chart hits from 1978, and just about all of them have a disco beat. He writes Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” column. For the Spiel, a belated Lobstar of the Antentwig. Do check out this Spotify playlist to hear the songs mentioned in today’s show one more time. It’s got groove, it’s got meaning! Today’s sponsors:  Amazon. Detective Harry Bosch is back on the new season of Amazon’s original series Bosch, based on the best-selling novels by Michael Connelly. Stream the new season now on Amazon Prime Video. Goldman Sachs. Information about developments currently shaping markets, industries, and the global economy, on the firm’s podcast, Exchanges at Goldman Sachs, available on iTunes. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus

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Ctrl-Alt-DESTROY

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Mar 10, 2016


On The Gist,Slate’sFred Kaplan shares the history and stories behind our ongoing cyberwar.
He’s the author of Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War. For the Spiel, a collection of news
from the states. Today’s sponsor:  Harry’s, the shaving company that offers German-engineered blades,
well-designed handles, and shipping right to your door. Visit 
Harrys.com for $5 off your first purchase with
the promo code GIST.  
Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more.
Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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The Things That Dreams Are Made Of

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Wed, Mar 09, 2016


On The Gist, the only conversation about dreams that promises not to bore you to death. Maria Konnikova of the New Yorker joins us for a game we call “Is That Bulls---?” She’s the author of The Confidence Game. For the Spiel, the Clinton campaign bravely pushes forward.

Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.



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What Detroit Gave America

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Mar 08, 2016


On The Gist, a new SAT is here, and the Today show has already failed the test. Author David Maraniss tells the story of an
inflection point for Detroit from his book Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story. For the Spiel, no one is being offered 55 million dollars to be spied on naked. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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Is Torture Ever Worthwhile?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Mar 07, 2016


On The Gist, can we use game theory to make the case for or against the use of torture during an investigation? We explore various models compiled in Does Torture Work? with our guest John Schiemann from Fairleigh Dickinson University. For the Spiel, how the New York Times explains humor. Today’s sponsors: Casper, the online retailer of premium mattresses for a fraction of the price. Get $50 toward any mattress purchase by visiting casper.com/gist and using the promo code GIST. Squarespace.com. Get a free trial and 10 percent off your first purchase when you visit Squarespace.com and enter offer code GIST. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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Adam Davidson Makes Negative Interest Rates Positively Interesting

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Sat, Mar 05, 2016


On The Gist, Adam Davidson explains the latest experimental development of a desperate economy—negative interest rates. Davidson is columnist for the New York Times Magazine and host of a new podcast with Adam McKay called Surprisingly Awesome. For the Spiel, oh yeah, more Trump. Today’s sponsors: Texture, the mobile app that lets you tap directly into the world’s most popular magazines using your phone or tablet. Dive deeper into Vogue, People, Esquire, Time—with interactive content for a richer reading experience. Try Texture for free at Texture.com/gist. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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Would I Be Happier in an Arranged Marriage?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Mar 03, 2016


On The Gist, the story behind the so-called Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times.” Maria Konnikova of the New Yorker tells us about international efforts to find the recipe for a happy, lasting marriage. She’s the author of The Confidence Game. For the Spiel, is a Donald Trump nomination inevitable or likely? Today’s sponsor:  Roku and HBO NOW. Roku players offer the biggest selection of streaming channels, like HBO NOW. Learn more and try HBO NOW free for one month by going to roku.com/thegist. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus. 

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Trump’s Tiny Little Lead

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Mar 03, 2016


On The Gist, Josh Putnam from Frontloading HQ explains what last night’s Super Tuesday results mean when you do the delegate math. He’s a lecturer at the University of Georgia, where he specializes in campaigns and elections. For the Spiel, common abortion arguments that aren’t good arguments. Today’s sponsor: Roku and HBO NOW. Roku players offer the biggest selection of streaming channels, like HBO NOW. Learn more and try HBO NOW free for one month by going to roku.com/thegist. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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This Podcast Is for Losers

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Tue, Mar 01, 2016


On The Gist, do we have more to learn from losers than winners? Huffington Post senior politics editor Sam Stein joins us to share the stories behind his podcast Candidate Confessional. For the Spiel, Mike reveals his workout secrets. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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Bernie Down the House

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Mon, Feb 29, 2016


On The Gist, writer Matt Bruenig makes the case for electing Bernie Sanders and explains why the candidate’s top economic advisors say his policies could bring 5.3 percent gross national product growth. For the Spiel, a post-Oscars joke recap. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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Chappelle's Show Co-Creator Neal Brennan

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Fri, Feb 26, 2016


On The Gist, we speak with the brilliant comic mind Neal Brennan about his new one-man comedy show 3 Mics. It’s showing at the Lynn Redgrave Theater in New York City through mid-March. For the Spiel, a crazy 24 hours in presidential politics. What a country! Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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What’s Next for #OscarsSoWhite?

Author: Slate Magazine / Panoply
Thu, Feb 25, 2016


On The Gist, why the Oscars matter to the future of Hollywood. We discuss the ideas behind #OscarsSoWhite with Slate’s Aisha Harris and NPR TV critic Eric Deggans. Aisha recently wrote “Why Creed’s Best Picture Snub Matters” and Eric Deggans is the author of Race-Baiter. For the Spiel, scary Trump supporters. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gistplus.

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