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On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, David Plotz and Emily Bazelon are joined by special guest Jack Hitt, a contributor to the New York Times Magazine and This American Life, and author of Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character. They discuss Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ purchase of the Washington Post and the challenges, from the left and right, to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s reelection campaign. They also discuss a New Yorker exposé on American civil forfeiture laws by Sarah Stillman.
Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week's show:
- David Remnick, in The New Yorker, on Don Graham’s choice.
- Matt Ygelsias charts the history of private and public ownership of American newspapers.
- If anyone can solve the problem of newspaper profitability, it’s Bezos, writes Farhad Manjoo.
- Does it matter that Bezos—not Amazon—bought the Post? Matt Yglesias thinks through some of the challenges that might constrain Bezos' aims.
- In an interview with Ezra Klein, Don Graham explains his sale of the Post—and why he’s not selling Slate.
- Dave Weigel has video and links about Mitch McConnell’s weekend appearance at the Fancy Farm, a Kentucky picnic event frequented by politicians.
- Sarah Stillman’s New Yorker report about civil forfeiture, “Taken.”
Jack chatters about the tabloid coverage of Rupert Murdoch.
Emily chatters about Orange Is the New Black, which she discovered via the Culture Gabfest, and about a plan to transport women away from the real life Danbury, Conn. prison the show depicts.
David chatters about Slate’s decision to stop printing the name of Washington, D.C.’s NFL team.
Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. The email address for the Political Gabfest is firstname.lastname@example.org. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)
Podcast production by Andy Bowers. Links compiled by Jeff Friedrich.