Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 319 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.
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This week, Slate Plus listeners will hear Slate’s Willa Paskin on what it’s like to be a TV critic in autumn, and the best and most overlooked shows of the season. Go to slate.com/cultureplus to learn more about Slate Plus and join today.
This week on the Slate Culture Gabfest, Slate’s war stories columnist Fred Kaplan joins the critics to talk about Laura Poitras’ documentary about the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, Citizenfour. The documentary undoubtedly records a historic event, but is this movie at heart propagandistic? Next, TV show Jane the Virgin has garnered rave reviews despite its unpromising premise: a 23-year-old pregnant virgin. Willa Paskin explains what is so riveting about the CW’s surprise breakout. Finally, Adrian Chen has reported on the unseen thousands of workers who scrub the Internet clean of gore, pornography, and worse. He joins the critics in the studio to talk about the human cost of our social networks.
Links to some of the things we discussed this week follow:
- Laura Poitras’ documentary Citizenfour
- Fred Kaplan’s review of Citizenfour for Slate
- Der Spiegel’s publication of the Snowden documents
- Fred Kaplan’s pre-Snowden column on the U.S.’s counterterrorism surveillance measures
- Willa Paskin’s review of Jane the Virgin on Slate
- The Bridge, on FX
- Dana Stevens on what Knocked Up gets wrong about women, on Slate
- Adrian Chen’s investigation for Wired into the thousands of workers who keep our social media feeds clean
- Secret-sharing platform Whisper
- The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
- Automated child pornography censoring system PhotoDNA
- The Jezebel staff’s open letter to Gawker management, calling for better comment moderation
- Sarah Roberts, who researches what she terms “commercial content moderation”
Dana: Slate’s new Supreme Court podcast from Dahlia Lithwick, Amicus
Julia: The Culture Gabfest’s hot-stuff producer turns 40 today—an endorsement for Ann Hepperman! But also: a song from the new Taylor Swift album, “Out of the Woods.”
Outro: “Happy Birthday” by Stevie Wonder
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This podcast was produced by Ann Hepperman. Our intern is Josephine Livingstone.