The Mike Daisey Controversy, Zooey Deschanel’s Sitcom New Girl, and Guest Panelist Elizabeth Banks on this week’s Culture Gabfest…

Slate's weekly roundtable.
March 21 2012 3:37 PM

The Culture Gabfest, “Live in Los Angeles” Edition

Listen to Slate's show about the Mike Daisey controversy, Zooey Deschanel’s sitcom New Girl, and The Hunger Games with special guest Elizabeth Banks.


Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 183 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, Julia Turner, and special guest Elizabeth Banks by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

You can also listen to the question and answer session here:

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

In this week's special live Culture Gabfest, our critics debate the controversy surrounding This American Life’s retraction of Mike Daisey’s popular monologue, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs. Next, Gabfesters ponder the princess of quirk, Zooey Deschanel, star of the sitcom New Girl. Finally, the Gabfest is joined by actress Elizabeth Banks to discuss her new motion picture The Hunger Games. 

Huge thanks to Zócalo Public Square, our partner for the LA Live Culturefest, for all their help in bringing the show to California. And a special shout-out to Zócalo’s Managing Director Dulce Vasquez. Thanks also to the Petersen Automotive Museum for hosting the event in their exquisite Italian Design gallery.

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

Slate’s Jason Zinoman calls Mike Daisey “a sad story.”
This American Life
’s retraction of their Mike Daisey episode.
’s Dan Kois reviews John D’Agata’s book The Lifespan of a Fact.
The Washington Post’s report on Mike Daisey’s talk in Georgetown.
Reuters' Jack Shafer on the fictions of In Cold Blood.
Mike Daisey’s blog post addressing the controversy.
Gawker’s Adrien Chen on how he was “duped by Mike Daisey’s lies.”
Troy Patterson’s Slate review of the sitcom New Girl.
’s Jessica Grose on Zooey Deschanel’s “girly problem.”
New York
’s profile of “the Pinup of Williamsburg,” Zooey Deschanel.
’s parody of Deschanel keeps things quirky.
New Girl
’s official site.
’s Laura Miller on The Hunger Games vs. the Twilight series.
’s Erik Sofge wonders how producers will adapt The Hunger Gamesproblematic third book.
Elizabeth Banks’ personal website.
The Hunger Games
’ official website.

See all of Slate’s coverage of The Hunger Games here.

The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:

Julia’s pick: America’s national parks, especially the Aldo Leopold Wilderness in New Mexico.
Dana’s pick: Dodie Smith’s novel I Capture the Castle. Also, M. Ward’s album Transfiguration of Vincent.  
Stephen’s pick: Robert’s Frost’s poem Once by the Pacific, and Frederick Exley’s novel A Fan’s Notes. Also, the Boss, Bruce Springsteen
Elizabeth’s pick: The graphic novel, best purchased at Los Angeles’ comic book store Meltdown Comics.

Outro: “You Really Got a Hold on Me” by She & Him

You can email us at

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

Dana Stevens is Slate's movie critic.

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



The World’s Politest Protesters

The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.

The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:58 PM The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

How Did the Royals Win Despite Bunting So Many Times? Bunting Is a Terrible Strategy.

Catacombs Where You Can Stroll Down Hallways Lined With Corpses

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.


Operation Backbone

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


How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

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

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

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

  News & Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
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 6:39 PM Spoiler Special: Transparent
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?