Culture Gabfest

“Country So Unreal” Edition

Slate Culture Gabfest on City So Unreal, conservative media outlets, and “The Plague Year.”


Episode Notes

This week Stephen, Dana, and Julia talk about the National Geographic miniseries, City So Real, about the 2019 mayoral race in Chicago and the social and political issues that fueled it. Then New York Times writer Charlie Warzel joins the show to discuss conservative media outlets like Newsmax and OANN and the alternate reality of news that Trump supporters reside in. After that, the hosts talk about New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright’s comprehensive article, “The Plague Year,” about the way U.S. officials have reacted to the pandemic.

In Slate Plus, the hosts reply to a listener who wants to know how they distinguish between works of art that are “entertaining” and ones that are “good” and whether making that distinction makes them snobs.

Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Rachael Allen.


Dana: Dan Sallitt’s Fourteen

Julia: Katsushika Hokusai’s work as featured in this New York Times interactive piece and this Lego version.

Steve: “The American Abyss” by Timothy Snyder in the New York Times Magazine and Nina Simone’s “The Twelfth of Never


About the Show

New York Times critic Dwight Garner says, “The Slate Culture Gabfest is one of the highlights of my week.” The award-winning Culturefest features Slate culture critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner debating the week in culture, from highbrow to pop.

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