Culture Gabfest: Downton Abbey, Moneyball, and Great Granola. 

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Feb. 22 2012 11:07 AM

The Culture Gabfest, “Great Granola Showdown” Edition

Listen to Slate's show about Downton Abbey, the Oscar-nominated film Moneyball, and the world’s greatest granola.


Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 179 with L.V. Anderson, Mark Garrison, Stephen Metcalf, Dan Pashman, Dana Stevens, June Thomas, and Julia Turner by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook page here:

The Slate Culture Gabfest is coming to Los Angeles on March 20, in partnership with Zócalo Public Square. Our special guest will be Elizabeth Banks. Get tickets here.


In this week's Culture Gabfest, Slate’s June Thomas joins the discussion to parse the massive success of the Anglo hit Downton Abbey. Next, Gabfesters debate whether Moneyball hits a home run or strikes out. Finally, the wait is over: It’s the Culture Gabfest’s much anticipated granola-thon! Sporkful duo Dan Pashman and Mark Garrison join our critics to adjudicate our definitive granola taste test.

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

Slate’s TV Club on the second season of Downton Abbey.
’s Brendan Tapley on how Downton Abbey cured his broken heart.
Ben Zimmer's video of Downton Abbey’s most glaring anachronisms.*
Dame Maggie Smith’s greatest Downton moments in “Sh*t the Dowager Countess Says.”
Downton Abbey
’s official site.
Dana’s review of Moneyball.
’s David Haglund on the fallacies of Moneyball.
’s Book Club on the 2003 book, Moneyball.
Cinemablend’s interview with Moneyball director Bennett Miller.
The New York Times profile of Moneyball’s real-life subject, Billy Beane.
Wikipedia’s entry for baseball statistics guru Bill James.
The’s extensive history of granola.
The Sporkful’s official site.
Neil Diamond’s classic song, “Crunchy Granola Suite.”

And the winning granola recipe: Slate’s L.V. Anderson on how to improve your granola.

Don’t forget: The Gabfest’s own Dana Stevens will be appearing on this week’s edition of “Movies on the Radio.” 

Outro: Neil Diamond’s “Crunchy Granola Suite.”

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.

Correction, May 29, 2012: This page initially listed the Downton Abbey anachronisms video as Slate's. In fact, Ben Zimmer made the video.

L.V. Anderson is a Slate assistant editor. She edits Slate's food and drink sections and writes Brow Beat's recipe column, You're Doing It Wrong. 

Mark Garrison is a reporter for the public radio program Marketplace. Follow him on Twitter @GarrisonMark.

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

Dan Pashman is the creator and host of WNYC’s food podcast The Sporkful.

Dana Stevens is Slate's movie critic.

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

Julia Turner is the editor in chief of Slate and a regular on Slate's Culture Gabfest podcast.



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