Culture Gabfest: Magic Mike, Nora Ephron, Anderson Cooper

Slate's weekly roundtable.
July 4 2012 8:15 AM

The Culture Gabfest, ‘I’ll Have What She’s Having’ Edition

Listen to Slate's show about the new Steven Soderbergh movie Magic Mike, the legacy of writer and director Nora Ephron, and Anderson Cooper coming out as gay.


Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 198 with Stephen Metcalf, 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 sponsors of today’s show are and Get a free audiobook from Audible’s collection of more than 100,000 titles and a subscription to a daily audio digest when you sign up for a 30-day free trial at

The Summer Strut playlist is back—Strut along on Spotify! Please note that submissions for this year’s playlist are now closed.  

On this week’s Culture Gabfest, our critics discuss the new Steven Soderbergh movie Magic Mike and debate whether it’s a vehicle of pure pleasure delivery or an allegorical tale about economic dislocation during the recession. The Gabfesters then discuss reactions to the death of Nora Ephron and her legacy as a writer and director, her insights on American womanhood, and her knack for the life beautifully lived. They are then joined by Slate culture critic June Thomas to discuss Anderson Cooper’s coming out as gay and the calculations celebrities may make when deciding whether to emerge from the “glass closet.”


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


Dana’s pick: The HBO documentary The Artist is Present, a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the mounting of the recent Marina Abramovic retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art

Julia’s pick: The original pioneer narrative, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie

June’s picks: The online international broadcast channel Link TV and one of its offerings, the Danish television drama Borgen; Syfy’s Canadian and somewhat supernatural series Lost Girl; and The Skinny, a comedy about a group of four young black gay men

Stephen’s picks: The Bryan Adams song “Heaven,” as covered by Brandi Carlile; the Portland, Ore.-based indie folk band Blind Pilot; and Dodie Smith’s classic I Capture the Castle

Outro: “Heaven” covered by Brandi Carlile

You can email us at

This podcast was produced by Dan Pashman. Our intern is Sally Tamarkin.

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. 

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



Scalia’s Liberal Streak

The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.

Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B


Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.


The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
The Slate Quiz
Sept. 18 2014 11:44 PM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Double X
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.