Would Lincoln Have Done Between Two Ferns?

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
March 14 2014 1:50 PM

The Between Two Ferns Gabfest

Listen to Slate’s show about the showdown between the Senate and the CIA, the Republican win in Florida-13, and Obama’s interview with Zach Galifianakis.

Become a fan of the Political Gabfest on Facebook. We post to the Facebook page throughout the week, so keep the conversation going by joining us there. Or follow us @SlateGabfest!

To listen to the discussion, use the player below:

Advertisement

Slate’s new political interview podcast, Weigelcast, starts this Sunday! For the first episode, Dave Weigel will interview Howard Dean. You can find it in the iTunes Store.

On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss Sen. Dianne Feinstein's claims that the CIA spied on Senate staffers, what David Jolly’s victory in Florida means for midterm elections, and why Obama went between two ferns with Zach Galifianakis.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

  • Feinstein has accused the CIA of spying on Senate staffers who are investigating the CIA. Here’s a Q&A explaining the complicated backstory.
  • John says this is not just a predictable fight between two branches of government as anticipated by the Framers.
  • CIA agents fear they’re going to be punished for using interrogation tactics that they were ordered to use—a situation that reminds Emily of the Zero Dark Thirty line ”Don’t be the last person left holding the dog collar.”
  • Until now, Feinstein has been a huge apologist for intelligence agencies.
  • Our Audible recommendation this week was The Tin Princess by Phillip Pullman.
  • Republican David Jolly won the special election in Florida’s 13th District this week; Democrat Alex Sink had been favored to win, and some people see this as a bad omen for Dems in the midterm elections.
  • Special elections aren’t predictive of anything.
  • Obamacare is hurting Democrats because Republicans are hurting Obamacare, Alec MacGillis writes in the New Republic.
  • Obama appeared on the Internet comedy show Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis to plug for healthcare.gov. It worked.
  • Bill O’Reilly says Obama’s appearance on the show was a disgrace—Lincoln would never have done it. He's wrong.

Emily chatters about a father who sued to be in the delivery room when his child was born.
John chatters about Kevin Cook’s new book debunking some of the myths about Kitty Genovese’s murder.
David chatters about the feud between Provincetown and Plymouth over where the Pilgrims landed first.

Listener Daniel Westreich wrote this week’s credits, which were in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet.

Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Rebecca Cohen.

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and the author of Sticks and Stones

John Dickerson is Slate's chief political correspondent and author of On Her Trail. Read his series on the presidency and on risk.

David Plotz is Slate's editor at large. He's the author of The Genius Factory and Good Book.

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The End of Pregnancy

And the inevitable rise of the artificial womb.

Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola in New York City

How a Company You’ve Never Heard of Took Control of the Entire Porn Industry

The Hot New Strategy for Desperate Democrats

Blame China for everything.

The Questions That Michael Brown’s Autopsies Can’t Answer

Foreigners

Kiev Used to Be an Easygoing Place

Now it’s descending into madness.

Technology

Don’t Just Sit There

How to be more productive during your commute.

There Has Never Been a Comic Book Character Like John Constantine

Which Came First, the Word Chicken or the Word Egg?

  News & Politics
The Slate Quiz
Oct. 24 2014 12:10 AM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 23 2014 5:53 PM Amazon Investors Suddenly Bearish on Losing Money
  Life
Outward
Oct. 23 2014 5:08 PM Why Is an Obscure 1968 Documentary in the Opening Credits of Transparent?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 6:55 PM A Goodfellas Actor Sued The Simpsons for Stealing His Likeness. Does He Have a Case?
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 23 2014 11:47 PM Don’t Just Sit There How to be more productive during your commute.
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 23 2014 5:42 PM Seriously, Evolution: WTF? Why I love the most awkward, absurd, hacked-together species.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.