Osama Bin Laden's death, the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and the comedy of Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on this week's Culture Gabfest podcast.

Osama Bin Laden's death, the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and the comedy of Nightly News…

Osama Bin Laden's death, the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and the comedy of Nightly News…

Slate's weekly roundtable.
May 4 2011 7:36 AM

The Culture Gabfest, "Where Are Our Manners?" Edition

Listen to Slate's show about the U.S. reaction to the death of Osama Bin Laden, the royal wedding extravaganza, and the comedic talents of Brian Williams.


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In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and John Swansburg discuss the death of Osama Bin Laden and whether it's OK for Americans to celebrate his demise. They are then joined by Johann Hari, columnist for Britain's Independent and presenter of the Johann Hari Podcast, to discuss the recent royal wedding hoopla and whether it, too, is a cause for celebration. For their final segment, they discuss John Swansburg's New York magazine feature: " The Comic Stylings of Brian Williams."

Here are some links to the things we discussed this week:

Slate's coverage of the death of Osama Bin Laden.
The New York Daily News' headline "Rot in Hell" and other
Bin Laden front pages.
chants of "U-S-A, U-S-A" at Sunday night's Mets-Phillies baseball game.
Slate's slide show of
Americans celebrating Bin Laden's death.
George Bush's
"Mission Accomplished" speech, eight years before.
Johann Hari's column arguing that the royal wedding was
an embarrassment for all Brits.
Slate's article on
the economics of the royal wedding.
Christopher Hitchens' advice that Kate Middleton should
avoid the royal family.
Mark Oppenheimer's Slate article arguing that Americans should have
boycotted the wedding.
Slate's Simon Doonan on
fashion at the royal wedding.
The films The Queen and The King's Speech.
John Swansburg's New York magazine article, "
The Comic Stylings of Brian Williams."
Slate's Jack Shafer on "
Katie Couric and the Post-Anchor Era."
New York's roundup of "
Brian Williams' funniest moments."
Williams'rant about the "media story of 2010," the New York Times' discovery of Brooklyn.
The journalism of cultural anthropologist
Margaret Mead.

The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:

Dana's pick: Charles Portis' Western novel True Grit.
John's picks: The 1973 movie Jesus Christ Superstar and the music that inspired the film (John recommends the
original concept album recording).
Johann's picks: Clive James' book of biographical essays Cultural Amnesia (many of which are
excerpted in Slate), the Terence Rattigan plays Flare Path and Cause Célèbre, and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Tennessee Williams' Boom!
Steve's picks: Shrimp Boat's 1993 indie rock album Cavale and Wild Beasts' 2009 art rock album Two Dancers.

You can e-mail us at culturefest@slate.com.

This podcast was produced by Jesse Baker. Our intern is Forrest Wickman.

Follow us on the new Culturefest Twitter feed. And please Like the Culture Gabfeston Facebook.

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Johann Hari is a Slate contributing writer and a columnist for the Independent in London. He was recently named newspaper journalist of the year by Amnesty International. You can e-mail Johann at j.hari@independent.co.uk or follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/johannhari101.

Stephen Metcalf is Slate’s critic at large. He is working on a book about the 1980s.

Dana Stevens is Slate’s movie critic.

John Swansburg is a senior editor at the Atlantic.

Julia Turner, the former editor in chief of Slate, is a regular on Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast.