The Gist: Angelina Jolie’s bravery and Todd Purdum on Everett Dirksen.

How Everett Dirksen Became the Wonderful Wizard of Ooze

How Everett Dirksen Became the Wonderful Wizard of Ooze

A daily news and culture podcast with Mike Pesca.
March 24 2015 6:52 PM

The Wizard of Ooze

Everett Dirksen was a man of unbending principles, the first of which was to be flexible at all times.

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Everett Dirksen
How did Everett Dirksen become the wonderful Wizard of Ooze?

Photo illustration by Slate

Listen to Episode 221 of Slate’s The Gist:


Remember when Mike Pesca gargled Pond’s cold cream on The Gist? That gargle honored the master orator and Republican Sen. Everett Dirksen, who collaborated with a Democrat, Lyndon B. Johnson, to pass major civil rights legislation. Today, Todd Purdum tells the story of the Senate minority leader who liked to give news conferences in the lotus position. He’s the author of An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For the Spiel, Angelina Jolie is brave.


Don’t forget the #NotAMovie Challenge! From now until April 6, tweet titles of imaginary movies to @slategist using the hashtag #NotAMovie.

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Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.