Culture Gabfest: J.Edgar, Univision, and Private Eye.

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Nov. 16 2011 10:42 AM

The Culture Gabfest, “Cultureballs” Edition

Listen to Slate's show about J. Edgar, Univision, and the 50th anniversary of the British satirical magazine Private Eye.


The Culture Gabfest is doing a live show in New York on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at City Winery. Doors open at 6 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. Listeners can purchase tickets here. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 the day of the show.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 165 with Stephen Metcalf,
Dana Stevens, and June Thomas by clicking the arrow on the audio player below or opening this player in another tab:

Don't miss a single episode of the Culture Gabfest. Subscribe to the free Culturefest podcast in iTunes or directly with our RSS feed. You can also download this week's episode here. And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook here:

In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and June Thomas parse J. Edgar, Clint Eastwood’s new film about the infamous FBI Director. Next, they consider the popularity of the Spanish-language television channel Univision. For their final segment, Gabfesters celebrate the 50th anniversary of the British satirical magazine Private Eye.

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


Dana’s Slate review of J. Edgar.
An interview with J. Edgar screenwriter Dustin Lance Black.
A scathing review of J. Edgar, at Salon.
The career of Leonardo DiCaprio, in the New York Times.
The official website of Clint Eastwood’s new film J. Edgar.
Slate’s June Thomas on the cultural importance of Univision.
The A.V. Club on Univision’s success.
President Obama’s interview with Don Francisco on Univison’s Sábado Gigante.
The official website of Univision.
The long-running British television series Coronation St.
Private Eye: The First 50 Years exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
Vanity Fair’s Christopher Hitchens on Private Eye.
The Guardian’s Will Self reviews Private Eye: The First 50 Years.
The official website of Private Eye.

The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:

Dana’s pick: HBO’s documentary series Kindergarten.
June’s pick: Christine Becker’s aggregation blog News for TV Majors and Alyssa Rosenberg’s blog at Think Progress.
Steve’s pick: “Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House” on the album And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out by the band Yo La Tengo and sports commentator Mike Francesa’s coverage of the Penn State child abuse scandal.

Outro: Yo La Tengo’s “Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House.”

You can email us at

This podcast was produced by Jesse Baker. Our intern is Matt Sigl.

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

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

Dana Stevens is Slate's movie critic.

June Thomas is a Slate culture critic and editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section. 



Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?