Slate Plus

An Inferno of Takes

The Slate Plus Digest for July 29.

digest best.

Photo illustration by Slate. Images by Spencer Platt/Getty Images, Aleksey Nikolskyi/Getty Images, Streeter Lecka/Getty Images, and Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images.

You want takes on the Democratic National Convention? We got ‘em.

  • Jamelle Bouie: The Democrats have remade themselves into the party of common decency
  • Michelle Goldberg: “The DNC has been a rousing success. So why am I terrified?”
  • William Saletan: The Democrats have borrowed the language of conservatism to appeal to GOP defectors.
  • Isaac Chotiner: The GOP is no longer the party of national security.
  • Tommy Craggs: “ ‘No more war’ is a good thing to chant at a convention of Democrats.”
  • Dahlia Lithwick: Bill Clinton’s speech was long, beautiful, and finally gave Hillary the credit she deserves.
  • Ruth Graham: Chelsea Clinton shows the Trump kids how it’s done
  • Leon Neyfakh: The Clinton operation has expertly honed its messaging on police and violence—without sacrificing potency or conviction.

How about takes on the DNC email leaks? We have those too.

  • Franklin Foer: This is Watergate, but worse
  • Fred Kaplan: Vladimir Putin is trying to influence our presidential election.
  • Andrew Kahn: Trump’s “hacking” remark was, in fact, a joke.

Wow, that’s a lot of takes. Surely you’re out of takes by now? NOPE.

What about publications other than Slate? Do they have takes? SURE.

Very Short Q-and-A

This week’s personal question is addressed to culture editor Dan Kois, who’s currently in Chicago for the launch of Unelectable You, Slate’s collaboration with legendary comedy theater the Second City.

How do a bunch of journalists collaborate with a bunch of comedy people to make a show?

Second City writers and performers came to New York and D.C. in the winter to talk to staffers, including the entire political team, about what they thought the most compelling storylines of the coming election would be. Different politics writers had different opinions about the ultimate effect of the Bernie revolution, the increasing representation of minorities in the voting pool, and the role corporate money would play, but everyone agreed on one point: No way would Donald Trump win the nomination, so we didn’t need to come up with a bunch of Donald Trump jokes.

Fast forward to: As I type this, I’m sitting in Second City’s theater in Chicago watching cast member Frank Caeti sport a luscious, flowing Trump wig in a rehearsal right before opening. Many of our expectations have been upended, but luckily the election has given the Second City crew plenty to make fun of. The show was written first by a team of Second City writers and then, as with most Second City revues, by the actors themselves, who brought about 10 million ideas of their own. I sat in on a week of rehearsals and pitched in where I could, helping them make the sketches, songs, and improv structures as smart and counterintuitive as possible.

The result is pretty funny, I think! And pretty even-handed. Last night my dad and his wife saw the show; he’s a liberal and she’s a conservative, but they both found things to be offended by. Success!

Thanks, Dan! And thank you for your Slate Plus membership, which makes our journalism possible. See you next week!

Gabriel Roth
Editorial director, Slate Plus

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