Get PJ Media on your Apple

Ed Driscoll

Podcasts

shaidle_confessions_failed_slut_cover_4-9-14-2

“Push back against the age as hard as it pushes against you,” Flannery O’Connor famously said was her motto, and certainly Kathy Shaidle’s writing lives up to that ideal. As she told me during our new interview, “I grew up in the ‘70s and ‘80s, being born in the ‘60s, and in those days, it was all about free love and women should be able to have sex just like men and casual sex is great.  And let’s all read Cosmo’s sex tips and ‑‑ and sort of recreate Sex and the City in our actual lives,” the author of the popular Five Feet of Fury Blog, and a frequent contributor to PJ Media, Taki’s Magazine, and other Websites says.

Kathy’s new book, Confessions of A Failed Slut, an anthology of several of her related articles, “is my story of having tried and failed to live up to these social messages that were just everywhere when I was growing up, and finding that deep down, I wasn’t really temperamentally or morally, shall we say, cut out for a life of nonstop, no-fault, casual sex, and just sleeping around and pretending not to care, and doing the walk of shame and all that stuff.”

During our 29-minute interview, Kathy will explore:

● How the Love Boat, that weekly video voyage of the Hollywood damned, caused Kathy to begin seeing the world is “though a Gen-X filter of self-defensive snark.”

● Why Glen Close’s character in Fatal Attraction is “one of the most misunderstood females on film.”

● Why today’s women in rock and pop make the first generation of women in punk rock seem positively chaste by comparison.

● How TV’s Dr. Phil caused a Twitter storm when his show tweeted, “If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her?”

● In a pop culture obsessed with sex, why does it seem like the male metrosexual is so…asexual?

● Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean somebody of the opposite sex isn’t out to meet you: Going undercover in the 9/11-“Truther”-themed InfoWars Internet dating site.

● How to break free of the Nanny State’s crushing group hug.

And much more. Click here to listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(29 minutes and 7 seconds long; 26.6 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 8.32 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 | 13 Comments bullet bullet

dave_barry_cover_4-4-14-1

“One day at 4:30 in the afternoon,” Dave Barry writes in his latest book, his 13-year old daughter Sophie, “went into her bathroom, which is pink, and WHOOM!, some kind of massive hormone bomb went off there.”

The result has been utter chaos, both for Sophie, and especially for Dave himself, who’s having to deal with a massive influx of boys visiting his house. “They come around.  They come around all the time now.  There didn’t used to be boys in our life.  And now there are boys on the lawn, on the roof, in the trees.  They’re like squirrels; they’re just boys coming around.”

“And I don’t like it, Ed,” he insists. “ I used to be a boy.  I’ve been a male my entire life.  And let’s be honest.  We’re scum.  Of all the genders, we’re the worst one.  And that’s exactly the gender that is showing up now around our house.  And I Don’t. Like. It.”

Which is why the title of Dave’s latest book is based on reading the Riot Act to his daughter: You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About.

Perhaps Barry is overreacting just a minuscule amount to the situation. On the other hand, you’d be feeling a bit harried too, if you recently returned from the following nightmare scenarios:

  • Going to your first Justin Bieber concert and listening to a stadium full of teenage girls shouting “I loooooove you!!!! I loooooove you, Justin!!!!!!”  into your ear all night long.
  • Paying a fortune for tickets to take your daughter to said Justin Beiber concert, only for her to eventually discover that the Bieb is an idiot. Which Barry had pointed out to her before plunking out money for the concert.
  • Pondering what women see in 50 Shades of Grey, and asking your wife if she wants to try out the book’s scenario.
  • Visiting Israel on a quest for free Wi-Fi throughout the Holy Land.
  • Rappelling down an Israeli desert cliff and risking pooping on a rabbi due to total loss of sphincter control.
  • Having people approach you constantly to praise your article on the importance of colonoscopies.
  • The easy way for first time authors to promote their works by get booked on nationally-watched network talk shows by showing up at the studio door unannounced 15 minutes before airtime.

All of which we’ll discuss in our latest interview, and more. Click here to listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(19 minutes and 55 seconds long; 18.2 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 5.69 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 | 8 Comments bullet bullet

bostom_iran_cover_3-28-14-1

“Iran has named a member of the militant group that held 52 Americans hostage in Tehran for 444 days to be its next ambassador to the United Nations,” Bloomberg News reported on Saturday, a reminder that the totalitarian mindset that fueled the Iranian revolution of the late 1970s is still very much a factor in that radical Islamic state.

As is the desire to obliterate Israel off the map via nuclear weapons — and as the above Bloomberg story highlights, the incandescent uselessness of the United Nations.

All of these topics come together in frequent PJM contributor Andrew Bostom’s new book, Iran’s Final Solution for Israel: The Legacy of Jihad and Shi’ite Islamic Jew-Hatred in Iran, which he has self-published for the Kindle format and in traditional “dead tree” format.

● Who are the members of United Nations’ P5+1 group, and what are the odds they will successfully cause Iran to disarm?

● Trusting Khomeini was of course perfidy. Why does the Obama administration think it can trust Khamenei?

● Can we trust the so-called Iranian Green Movement?

● What has Israel done proactively to fight the threat from Iran?

● What is involved in self-publishing for the Kindle?

● How did Andrew acquire endorsements for his book from conservative luminaries such as Angelo Codevilla, Bat Ye’or, Robert Spencer, and Diana West?

And much more. Click here to listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(18 minutes and 23 seconds long; 16.8 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 5.26 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 | 9 Comments bullet bullet

L to R: Breitbart, Glenn Reynolds, Driscoll at 2008 GOP convention.

Today is the second anniversary of the death of the ultimate happy warrior, Andrew Breitbart. I met and interviewed Andrew on several occasions from 2005 until his death in 2012 at age 43, which was the very definition of the phrase “untimely passing.” That year, shortly after he passed away, I dusted off the cassette tape of the first interview I had with Andrew, recorded a couple of weeks after meeting him for the first time at the PJM launch in Manhattan on November of 2005. We discussed his first book, Hollywood Interrupted, for quotes and background material for an article on Tinseltown’s woes that I was writing for Tech Central Station. What follows below is the post I wrote in 2012, when I originally ran that interview.

* * * * * *

Early on in Chris K. Daley’s new e-book, Becoming Breitbart: The Impact of a New Media Revolutionary, there’s a great quote from Mickey Kaus, on the power that Andrew Breitbart had quickly acquired, very early in his career:

In retrospect hitching his star to Drudge was a brilliant decision. This was hardly a given in 1995. Political blogger Mickey Kaus, someone who understood the power of the Internet, recalled, “I first met Breitbart when he showed up at a panel I was on at UCLA. He told me he was the guy who posted items for Matt Drudge, and I immediately realized he was the most powerful person in the room. Nobody could understand why I was sucking up to the crazed hippie kid in shorts.”

The power of Drudge Report comes from the large audience it has generated. By 2007 it was regularly attracting over three million unique visits. The average visitor spent an incredible one hour and six minutes on the site, an eternity in Internet terms. The average visitor went to the site 20 times a month. The Washington Post, a popular link for Drudge, noted in 2006 that its “largest driver of traffic is Matt Drudge.”

And not coincidentally along the way, as a headline at Andrew’s Big Journalism site gloats, “Newspapers [have become] America’s Fastest Shrinking Industry.”

Flash-forward to the fall of 2004, and Andrew’s behind-the-scenes power was very much in evidence, this time changing the face of television news. As Scott Johnson of Power Line noted at the start of the month:

I learned in the course of [my week-long visit to Israel in 2007 with Breitbart] that it was Andrew who changed my life in 2004, linking to our “Sixty-First Minute” post early that afternoon with the screaming siren on Drudge. He confided that Matt Drudge did not like blogs, but that he (Andrew) was a fan. On September 9, 2004, he was following the action online. Thank you, Andrew. Thanks for everything.

But along the way, Breitbart also took detours into other ventures, such as helping to build the architecture of the Huffington Post, and co-writing, with Mark Ebner, their 2004 book Hollywood Interrupted. As I mention in the podcast below, I met Andrew in person for the first time the week of November 14th 2005, during the launch week of PJ Media in New York. After we both had returned to California, on November 28, 2005, I interviewed him by telephone for an article I was working on for Tech Central Station, now called Ideas In Action TV.com, about Hollywood’s box office woes, which was published a week later and titled, a la Woody Allen, “Hollywood Ending.”

I loved Hollywood, Interrupted, and I was certainly aware of Andrew’s backstage work at the Drudge Report and the celebrity-oriented Huffington Post. So I definitely wanted to get his take on how the movie industry, a medium that we both loved, had been utterly transformed, and not necessarily for the better, since its golden era of the 1930s through the mid-1960s.

This interview was originally recorded onto a cheap mono tape recorder, originally for the purpose of pulling quotes for my Tech Central Station article. And while I’ve done a considerable amount of restoration work (employing both extensive amounts of Izotope’s RX audio restoration software and the noise gate plug-in built into Cakewalk’s Sonar program), it’s still much cruder sounding than the podcasts and radio shows I’ve produced for PJ Media in the years since. But with Andrew’s passing, I thought it would be worth sharing. So apologies for the sound quality, but I think hearing Andrew riffing on the topic of how the Hollywood of old became, as he would say, Interrupted, is well worth listening to.

There are several observations that Andrew makes here that have withstood the test of time. Early on, there’s a grimly hilarious remark by Andrew concerning his ailing grandmother, who emitted a piercing primal scream of terror, whenever anyone attempted to change the TV channel from her beloved CBS, the only channel she apparently ever watched, in sharp contrast to today’s world of hundreds of cable and satellite channels and millions of Websites and blogs. At about 17 minutes into the interview, he mentions the punitive liberalism and growing nihilism of Hollywood’s product, the latter of which being a topic I discussed extensively with Thomas Hibbs last month, the author of the definitive look at Hollywood nihilism, Shows About Nothing. And two minutes later, Andrew makes a great observation on the popularity of today’s show-biz-oriented reality TV shows as a sort of payback by the American people for today’s drug-addled screw-up stars abandoning the glamour they maintained during Hollywood’s earlier era. Near the end of the interview, you can sort of hear the Big Hollywood Website starting to coalesce in Andrew’s mind; a topic he and I would discuss a few years later on PJM’s Sirius-XM radio show in 2009.

A transcript of this interview, which I originally typed up in 2005 as raw material for my Tech Central Station article, and thus paraphrases some of Andrew’s more stream of consciousness remarks, follows on the next page.

Click below to listen to the podcast:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(28 minutes long; 26 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this week’s show to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 8 MB lo-fi edition.)

Since in the past, a few people have complained of difficulties with the Flash player above and/or downloading the audio, use the video player below, or click here to be taken to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 | 2 Comments bullet bullet

clarey_bachelor_pad_economics_cover_2-21-14-1

Bachelor Pad Economics,” Aaron Clarey tells me about his new book in our latest podcast interview, is focused upon “maximizing your amount of time on this planet to spend on you and leisure and not be slaving away eighty hours at the office and just so you can afford that big mansion in the suburbs or the BMW SUV.” Clarey stresses the importance of minimalism in his financial planning. “Material wealth really doesn’t matter,” he tells me. “I’m the biggest capitalist there ever was.  But truthfully, the only thing that really matters, the true source of happiness is other humans.  And the great thing about humans is they’re free.”

Is it possible to enjoy America’s decline from your swank bachelor’s pad, knowing that you’re financially prepared to ride out the worst of the remaining years of the Obama era? Yes we can, shouts Clarey, the self described “Captain Capitalist” and “the only motorcycling, fossil-hunting, tornado-chasing, book-writing, ballroom-dancing, economist in the world,” in Bachelor Pad Economics. Clarey’s new book brings financial planning to the themes of his previous title, last year’s Blogosphere hit, Enjoy the Decline.

During our nearly 19-minute long interview, Aaron will explore:

● The only source of happiness in a period of national decline.

● What is the chief underlying cause of American decline?

● The importance of minimalism as a financial strategy.

● How did Aaron make the jump from financial analyst to new-media maven?

● How to survive the higher-education bubble.

● What role does real estate play in Bachelor Pad Economics?

● What is the infamous “Smith & Wesson Retirement Plan”?

And much more. Click here to listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(18 minutes and 51 seconds long; 16.5 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 3.10 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 | 9 Comments bullet bullet

Interview: P.J. O’Rourke on The Baby Boom

February 5th, 2014 - 10:52 pm

pj_orourke_baby_boom_cover_2-5-14-1

If anybody deserves an interview with PJ Media, it’s certainly P.J. O’Rourke — although as I explained to him before we began rolling, while many of us have been inspired by his writing, our Website’s name of course derives from a scandal involving a very different journalist.

O’Rourke has made a career of puncturing the excesses and pretensions of tyrants both domestic and abroad, and anyone who wishes to impose big government statism on others. And since that’s been the goal of the Baby Boom since Tom Hayden wrote the Port Huron Statement in 1962, it’s no surprise that O’Rourke would eventually devote a book to his own generation’s myriad excesses.

During our interview, he’ll discuss:

● Did an AARP membership card lead to Osama bin Laden’s death?

● Were the radical shifts in culture in the 1960s foreshadowed by any previous decades?

● How do the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classes of the boomers differ from each other?

● Did the younger boomers learn anything from their older classmates?

● How did growing up as a boomer make P.J., in his college days, a man of the left, and how did he eventually join the vast right-wing conspiracy?

● The secret Hillary Clinton, Cheech & Chong connection, revealed at last!

● Does hashish and dynamite mix?

And much more. Click here to listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(22 minutes and 42 seconds long; 20.7 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 3.89 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 | 20 Comments bullet bullet

fred_siegel_cover_1-19-14-1

In the wake of World War I, there was a “tremendous intellectual upheaval,” Fred Siegel tells me, talking about his new book, The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class. American intellectuals, led by H.L. Mencken, Sinclair Lewis and heavily influenced by H.G. Wells, came to see “the American middle class as their enemy.” It’s “the beginning of the Europeanization of American politics.  And what these writers want, they want to be more like Europe.  They want a more stratified, more hierarchical society.  They dislike American small-d-democracy.  And they talk about this at great length.  This is not a conjecture.”

But it’s been largely forgotten, since in both academia and the media, the left has largely written the story of American history of the 20th century. Fortunately, Fred has done yeoman archeological work, bringing the early history of the American left to light once again, in a book that anyone who was enlightened by Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism will also find absolutely intriguing.

During our interview, we’ll discuss:

● The largely forgotten racism of H.G. Wells and Woodrow Wilson.

● Sinclair Lewis’s absurd yet highly influential It Can’t Happen Here, and its paranoid vision of American fascism rising up from the benign members of the all-American Rotary Clubs and Elks and Moose Lodges.

● When did “Progressivism” become “Liberalism,” and why?

● What really happened during the Scopes Trial?

● Why H.L. Mencken rooted for the Germans to win World War I.

● What were the three legal trials that shaped the American left of the 1920s?

● How did the Kennedy assassination unhinge American liberals?

● What shaped the radical environmentalism of Al Gore and other American leftists?

● How much of the tradition and the excesses of the early progressives was inherited by Barack Obama?

And much more. Click here to listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(24 minutes and 34 seconds long; 22.5 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 4.21 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 | 19 Comments bullet bullet

How the L-Word Was Won

January 19th, 2014 - 7:43 pm

fred_siegel_cover_1-19-14-1

In the introduction to his new book, The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class, Fred Siegel of the Manhattan Institute writes:

The best short credo of liberalism came from the pen of the once canonical left-wing literary historian Vernon Parrington in the late 1920s. “Rid society of the dictatorship of the middle class,” Parrington insisted, referring to both democracy and capitalism, “and the artist and the scientist will erect in America a civilization that may become, what civilization was in earlier days, a thing to be respected.” Alienated from middle-class American life, liberalism drew on an idealized image of “organic” pre-modern folkways and rhapsodized about a future harmony that would reestablish the proper hierarchy of virtue in a post-bourgeois, post-democratic world.

Ninety years later, and as this self-mocking Salon article titled “Let’s nationalize Fox News” highlights, very little has changed amongst that portion of the left’s goals.

If you enjoyed Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, James Piereson’s Camelot and the Cultural Revolution, and Daniel J. Flynn’s A Conservative History of the American Left, you will certainly enjoy Siegel’s new book. His early chapters chart the end of the early “Progressives” of the late 19th and early 20th century, such as Teddy Roosevelt, whom Tim Stanley of the London Telegraph describes today as a “Racist, imperialist, power-hungry megalomaniac,” and Woodrow Wilson, the man who was a big fan of the Klan (and vice versa). As Jonah noted in Liberal Fascism, Wilson’s brutal term in office during World War I (which Wilson had promised to keep America out of) has largely been airbrushed out of history — two guesses as to why. But it was during that period, Siegel writes, that “Progressives” stole a huge base from the laissez-faire conservative right, and began to describe themselves as “Liberal”:

In the standard accounts of American liberalism, both left and right argue that after the 1920s, Progressivism faced the Great Depression and as a result matured into the fully flowered liberalism of the New Deal. As I suggested in the previous chapter, this is fundamentally mistaken. While “winning the war abroad,” the Progressives “lost their war at home,” notes historian Michael McGerr. “Amid race riots, strikes, high inflation, and a frenzied Red Scare, Americans turned against the Progressive blueprint for the nation. The climax of Progressivism, World War I, was also its death knell.” Modern Republicanism — as incarnated in the 1920s by Presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover — and modern liberalism were both reactions to the excesses of Progressivism. Modern liberalism was born of discontinuity, a rejection of Progressivism — a wrenching betrayal and a shift in sensibility so profound that it still resonates today. More precisely, the cultural tone of modern liberalism was, in significant measure, set by a political love affair gone horribly wrong between Woodrow Wilson and a liberal left unable to grapple with the realities of power politics. For Progressives, reformers, and Socialists, the years from 1918 through 1920 were traumatic. During the presidential election of 1916, many leftists had embraced Woodrow Wilson as a thaumaturgical leader of near messianic promise, but in the wake of repression at home and revolution and diplomatic disappointment abroad, he came to be seen as a Judas, and his numinous rhetoric was despised as mere mummery.

For the ardent Progressive Frederick Howe, who had been Wilson’s Commissioner of Immigration, the pre-war promise of the benign state built on reasoned reform had turned to ashes. “I hated,” he wrote, “the new state that had arisen” from the war. “I hated its brutalities, its ignorance, its unpatriotic patriotism that made profit from our sacrifices and used it to suppress criticism of its acts. . . . I wanted to protest against the destruction of my government, my democracy, my America.” As part of his protest, the thoroughly alienated Howe distanced himself from Progressivism. Liberals were those Progressives who had renamed themselves so as to repudiate Wilson. “The word liberalism,” wrote Walter Lippmann in 1919, “was introduced into the jargon of American politics by that group who were Progressives in 1912 and Wilson Democrats from 1916 to 1918.” The new liberalism was a decisive cultural break with Wilson and Progressivism. While the Progressives had been inspired by a faith in democratic reforms as a salve for the wounds of both industrial civilization and power politics, liberals saw the American democratic ethos as a danger to freedom at home and abroad.

I interviewed Siegel for PJM’s old Sirius-XM radio show back in 2009, when he had just published a tremendous piece for City Journal on H.G. Wells, “The Godfather of American Liberalism,” material from which is incorporated into Revolt Against the Masses. Take a listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(Ten minutes long, 9.09 MB file size. Click here to download MP3 file directly.)

As Siegel notes in his new book:

Wells was appalled by the decentralized nature of America’s locally oriented party and country-courthouse politics. He was aghast at the flamboyantly corrupt political machines of the big cities, unchecked by a gentry that might uphold civilized standards. He thought American democracy went too far in providing leeway to the poltroons who ran the political machines and the “fools” who supported them. The “immigrants are being given votes,” but “that does not free them, it only enslaves the country,” he said. In the North, he complained, even “the negroes were given votes.”

Yet another reminder that, as Kevin D. Williamson recently wrote in What Doomed Detroit, “It is an irony of our history that the political home of black racism in American politics is also the historical political home of white racism: the Democratic Party.”

Speaking of which, here’s our obligatory Allahpundit-style Exit Question: If “Progressives” dubbed themselves “Liberal” in 1919 to distance themselves from the debacle of an inept heavy-handed leftwing administration run amok, and then ran away from the L-Word after the Carter administration, only to eventually return to the P-Word in time for Obama, what word will they choose to describe themselves in the next few years? In the meantime, as Steve Hayward of Power Line recently asked, “Now That Hillary Clinton Has Dismissed ‘Liberalism’, Can Conservatives Take It Back?”

Interview: Hugh Hewitt on The Happiest Life

January 16th, 2014 - 11:30 pm

hugh_hewitt_happiest_life_cover_1-15-14-1

In order to write his latest book, Hugh Hewitt looked back over his 25-year broadcast career and 10,000 or so interviews to “reverse engineer” the lives of the people who in his estimation “had the happiest demeanor and the most ebullient step and what was it about them that made for the common denominators of their attitude towards living,” Hugh tells me in our new interview, discussing  The Happiest Life: Seven Gifts, Seven Givers, and the Secret to Genuine Success. “And so whether it was George W. Bush or Julie Andrews or, you know, Tony Blair, or a Pulitzer winner, like Lawrence Wright, who was happy and why?  It’s a pretty good question, actually, to pursue for anyone.”

In the introduction to his new book, Hugh wrote:

My life is now fifty-eight years along, an age by which my two grandmothers had both waved good-bye to this world. Fifty-eight was barely the third quarter for my Gramps, A. T. Rohl, who made it on his own wheels and in his own house to the age of 101. My other grandfather, for whom I was named and to whom I owe a few thousand chuckles from long-distance operators and call-center handlers, made it to ninety-one. Whether I have inherited my grandmothers’ brevity genes or A. T.’ s and Grandfather Hugh’s long-distance DNA remains to be seen; but in either case, it is time to write down my observations on the secrets to being, for the most part, happy.

Let me hasten to explain that “for the most part.” As you might have guessed, it is a key qualifier, a very important one. Nobody gets out of here without pain or sorrow along the way. “Nobody has the perfect package,” said my pal Coach Jerry again and again, who like all coaches was a font of condensed wisdom, repeated often. This hard reality about the inevitability of hardship and grief is crucial to the happiness that the seven gifts make possible. Which gifts? I’m coming to those.

As I noted above, I began this book with my three children in mind, with the hope that it would contribute to their happiness and their children’s. It is about the seven genuine gifts that they can give and receive from each other and from others— especially their own spouses and children— and why I believe the act of giving those gifts produces happiness.

During our interview, Hugh will discuss:

● Why he wants fellow talk radio host and happiness author Dennis Prager arrested!

● What role does religion play in achieving happiness?

● Does Hugh know people who are happy without faith? (Answer: Yes.)

● Was former President Richard Nixon, Hugh’s early former employer, a happy man?

● What is the relationship of over-diagnosis of mental illness and happiness?

● Is being happy hindered by a societal prejudice against that simple positive emotion?

● Who is the least emotional politician on the world stage? (And no, it’s not Obama.)

● What’s Hugh’s early prognosis for the GOP and November of 2014?

● The origins and meaning of Hugh’s catchphrase, “Morning Glory, Evening Grace”…finally revealed!

And much more. Click here to listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(18 minutes and 40 seconds long; 17.0 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 3.20 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 | 6 Comments bullet bullet

Interview: Glenn Reynolds on The New School

January 5th, 2014 - 6:20 pm

glenn_reynolds_new_school_cover_12-30-13-1

“It’s no secret that existing schools are underperforming,” Glenn Reynolds notes in his latest book, The New School: How The Information Age Will Save American Education From Itself. “We keep putting more money and resources into them, but we keep getting poorly educated students out of them”:

In 1983 – three decades ago – the report A Nation at Risk was published by President Reagan’s National Commission on Excellence in Education and famously observed, “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.” Since then, things have, if anything, gotten worse. But in the essentials, not much has changed.

Except that these days, as the University of Tennessee law professor and host of Instapundit.com notes in the excerpt of his new book published this past weekend in the Wall Street Journal, “In the field of higher education, reality is outrunning parody”:

A recent feature on the satire website the Onion proclaimed, “30-Year-Old Has Earned $11 More Than He Would Have Without College Education.” Allowing for tuition, interest on student loans, and four years of foregone income while in school, the fictional student “Patrick Moorhouse” wasn’t much better off. His years of stress and study, the article japed, “have been more or less a financial wash.”

“Patrick” shouldn’t feel too bad. Many college graduates would be happy to be $11 ahead instead of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, behind. The credit-driven higher education bubble of the past several decades has left legions of students deep in debt without improving their job prospects. To make college a good value again, today’s parents and students need to be skeptical, frugal and demanding. There is no single solution to what ails higher education in the U.S., but changes are beginning to emerge, from outsourcing to online education, and they could transform the system.

Those potential changes are the subject of our 20-minute interview, during which, we’ll explore:

● How today’s education system is an industrial age one-size-fits all dinosaur in today’s diverse Internet-driven world.
● “It’s not white flight now.  It’s just flight,” Glenn notes: Why families of all backgrounds that can afford to are increasingly pulling their kids out of urban public schools.
● Why technology alone won’t repair the current education system.
● Could education reform help break the logjam that political correctness has imposed on education?
● What does Glenn make of parents’ recent complaints over Obama’s Common Core agenda?
● Plus some thoughts on where Obama goes next as his administration reaches its nadir.

And much more. Click here to listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(20 minutes and 19 seconds long; 18.6 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 3.47 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 | 5 Comments bullet bullet

piereson_camelot_cover_12-8-13-1
“Liberalism entered the 1960s as the vital force in American politics, riding a wave of accomplishment running from the Progressive era through the New Deal and beyond. A handsome young president, John F. Kennedy, had just been elected on the promise to extend the unfinished agenda of reform. Liberalism owned the future, as Orwell might have said. Yet by the end of the decade, liberal doctrine was in disarray, with some of its central assumptions broken by the experience of the immediately preceding years. It has yet to recover.”

“What happened?” That’s the question that James Piereson of the Manhattan Institute asked in his 2007 book Camelot and the Cultural Revolution, which was recently republished with a new forward by Encounter Books, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination. Building on his 5,000-word 2006 Commentary article, “Lee Harvey Oswald and the Liberal Crackup,” whose opening paragraph we quoted above, Piereson sets out to explore why the 1960s ended on a much darker note than they began, with the American culture in tatters.

As I wrote in 2007, when I first reviewed Piereson’s book for Tech Central Station:

It’s not primarily an attempt to once again prove that Oswald acted alone, as authors such as Gerald Posner, and most recently, Vincent Bugliosi have demonstrated, to the satisfaction of virtually everyone whose name isn’t Oliver Stone. But it is an attempt to explain an incredible transformational shift in American culture, which occurred during the years from 1963 and 1968, particularly in the media and on college campuses.

Even simply looking at photographs, it’s obvious that a decade that began with Sinatra and Miles Davis in cool sharkskin suits and ended in the mud of Woodstock had undergone a enormous cultural shift. In 1973, Pat Moynihan looked back on the decade which had recently concluded and said, “Most liberals had ended the 1960s rather ashamed of the beliefs they had held at the beginning of the decade.” The attitudes amongst liberal elites changed particularly radically during that decade.

Piereson believes that it was a combination of the news of the days leading up to Kennedy’s assassination, Jacqueline Kennedy’s desire to have her husband be a Lincolnesque martyr to civil rights, and a fear of upsetting the Soviet Union and Cuba that caused the background of Oswald to be suppressed.

But the actual causes of liberal disorientation regarding Kennedy’s death and the motives of his killer predate his assassination by several years. It was during the 1950s and early ’60s that that liberal elites declared America’s nascent and disparate conservative movements to be a greater threat to the nation than the Soviet Union, as illustrated by films of the day such as Dr. Strangelove and The Manchurian Candidate. And the subtext of those films was very much based upon “a vast literature that developed in the ’50s and early ’60s about the threat from the far right,” Piereson says, specifically mentioning Richard Hofstadter’s The Paranoid Style In American Politics, and Daniel Bell’s The Radical Right.

A trend that continues to this very day, as seen by the virulent paranoia displayed by the media and the Obama White House over the rise of the Tea Party movement in 2009.

During our interview, Piereson will discuss:

● The cognitive dissonance that occurred when Kennedy’s death at the hands of a pro-Castro Communist was recast to make Kennedy a victim of the Civil Rights movement.

● How the Camelot myth became associated with JFK’s biography — but only after his death.

● How the nostalgia that Camelot introduced into the “Progressive” movement itself also caused a dangerous element of cognitive dissonance.

● Why the country began to come apart at the seams in the years after Kennedy’s death.

● How JFK’s death transformed the center-left into a much nastier form of what Piereson calls “Punitive Liberalism.”

And much more. Click here to listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(19 and half minutes long; 17.8 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 3.35 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 | 10 Comments bullet bullet

williamson_detroit_cover_11-26-13-1

Has there been a more spectacular downfall to an American city than Detroit? As late as 1965, Jerome Cavanagh, its then-mayor, the first of what would be to this very day an unending series of Democrat party officials leading the city, could say with some honesty, “frequently called the most cosmopolitan city of the Midwest, Detroit, today, stands at the threshold of a bright new future.”

And the Titanic was thought to be unsinkable as well, right up until she left the Southampton docks.

The riots of 1967 would be Detroit’s equivalent of the iceberg; the 1974 election of Coleman Young as the city’s mayor for the next two decades would cement its doom permanently, until ultimately, it was forced to declare bankruptcy this past July. And in addition to the city’s institutional reverse-racism, its fiscal mismanagement has been spectacular as well. As PJM’s own Richard Fernandez noted back in September, inside Detroit’s City Hall, from 1985 through 2009, “the pension trustees were draining the pension because they were so sure, so absolutely certain that the taxpayers would have to refill the pot they felt safe helping themselves to whatever they wanted… What could go wrong? To everyone’s amazement something completely unprecedented happened: City Hall went broke. ‘They didn’t reckon with the possibility,’ [Megan McArdle wrote in Bloomberg News] ‘that the city would simply run out of money, and the state would decline to step in, leaving them with no deep pockets to make up for their mismanagement.’ And so the Detroit pension is bust unless they find something they can siphon off to replenish it.”

To borrow from one of Glenn Reynolds’ recurring leitmotifs, a paraphrase of economist Herb Stein, something that can’t go on forever, won’t.

Or as National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson sums up all of the above in the new Encounter Broadside edition, What Doomed Detroit, Detroit is a case of the parasite having outgrown the host.”

To understand how it all happened, in our latest interview, Kevin will discuss:

● Has the end come for Detroit?

● What caused Detroit to fall apart, and how quickly did the rot set in, once it did?

● How did Coleman Young’s lengthy tenure as mayor impact Detroit, and how is his legacy still impacting the city today?

● How Detroit is an extreme example of public-sector employment becoming a supplementary welfare state.

● How did a failed Soviet computer experiment predict today’s Obamacare debacle?

● Could Bill de Blasio’s administration slowly doom New York into becoming the next Detroit?

And much more. Click here to listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(24 and half minutes long; 22.4 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 4.20 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 | 24 Comments bullet bullet

steyn_america_alone_cover_11-7-13-1

When PJM launched its Freedom Academy Book Club recently, the powers that be asked me to upload my recent author interviews to the site. However, I decided to go one better, and include in the mix some of the many interviews I’ve recorded since I began podcasting in 2006, and producing PJM’s Sirius-XM radio show, which ran from the fall of 2007 through the end of 2010.

Most of these interviews simply involved cutting away the rest of the show and possibly adding new intro and outro music. However, the earliest interviews from 2006 were in pretty rough shape, with ground loops, clicks, hiss, and the like, before I had powerful tools such as Izotope’s RX plugin to clean up the noise inherent in a telephone recording.

Audio-wise, one of the worst was recorded back in September of 2006, when I interviewed Mark Steyn on his then-new book, America Alone, which grew out of his earlier magnum opus 6000-word article published simultaneously in the New Criterion and the Wall Street Journal, “It’s the Demography, Stupid.” But Mark’s comments are so interesting, as we compare the current innervated state of what was once called “The War on Terror,” with Iraq abandoned by Mr. Obama after it was secured by President Bush’s surge, Afghanistan soon to be abandoned after Mr. Obama’s own surge, Israel on its own, Iran about go nuke, Putin eating Obama and Kerry’s lunch in Syria, Benghazi, the debacle that was the “Arab Spring,” etc. No wonder Mark titled the sequel After America, whose cover featured a cadaverous Uncle Sam sporting a toe tag.

In other words, the fall of 2006, which at the time seemed like the nadir, the perigee of the Bush administration, now seems increasingly like the Good Old Days. So let’s flash back to that era, to see where the War on Terror stood, and how the left ran America off the rails in the years since.

Click here to listen; a downloadable version of the interview is also available:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

For many more author interviews, including conversations with Mark Levin, David Limbaugh, Jonah Goldberg, James Lileks, Alvin Toffler, Mitt Romney, Norman Podhoretz, Virginia Postrel, Roger Kimball, and many more, along with interviews hosted by Glenn Reynolds and Helen Smith, Stephen Green, and Col. Austin Bay, stop by the PJ Media Freedom Academy.

postrel_glamour_cover_11-2-13-1

Whenever Jimmy Page is interviewed about how he produced Led Zeppelin’s albums in the 1970s, he’s inevitably asked about the huge booming drum sounds he recorded. And he always tells the interviewer that he created that sound by moving the studio microphones away from the drum kit rather than having the mics right on top of the instruments as was the accepted practice at the time, and that it’s a recording studio axiom that “distance makes depth.”

One of the leitmotifs in Virginia Postrel’s gorgeous new book is that distance plays quite a role in creating glamour as well. In The Power of Glamour, the former Reason editor, who now writes for Bloomberg.com, notes that glamour hides the flaws of its subject, hides the difficulties in creating the photographs that give them such atmosphere. And that glamour can be a powerful tool for selling products and ideas as disparate as fashion, movies, politics, the future, and even negative subjects such as war and terrorism.

See also: the ubiquitous image of terrorist and mass murder Che Guevara, the crafting of which Virginia discusses in The Power of Glamour, along with the distance between Barack Obama, cool, distant, glamorous and exotic presidential candidate in 2008, and the bumbling wannabe technocrat of 2013.

During our 20 minute interview, we’ll explore:

● The source and meaning of The Power of Glamour’s iconic cover photograph.

● How does glamour focus its audience’s inchoate longing for transformation?

● What is the difference between glamour and charisma?

● Why does the future, particularly the technological future, seem both glamorous and terrifying?

● In the 21st century, is the role of glamour diminishing, or changing into new forms?

And much more. Click here to listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(20 minutes and 19 seconds long; 18.6 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 5.81 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 | 3 Comments bullet bullet

california_beholden_state_cover_10-28-13-1

In his introduction to The Beholden State: California’s Lost Promise and How to Recapture It, Brian Anderson, the editor of City Journal magazine, writes:

A generation ago, California was widely expected to be the dynamo of the twenty-first-century American economy — “California, Inc.,” as Joel Kotkin and Paul Grabowicz called it in a book published in the early 1980s. The Golden State had everything going for it: a famously sunny, temperate climate; a culture of innovation and entrepreneurialism; a growing population that easily found work in a diverse economy; good public schools that prepared students for success, and an even better state university system; sturdy infrastructure; and geographical proximity to increasingly prosperous Asian nations. The future was Californian.

Today, few would describe California as dynamic. Signs of decline are everywhere. In 2012, the state’s economy seemed to be recovering, at last, from the Great Recession — but that was long after the national recovery had gotten under way. In fact, California’s unemployment rate has remained above the nation’s for years now, climbing to a frightening 13 percent in 2010 and still hovering around 10 percent. In parts of the state, the numbers are worse still. New business investment, both from within California and from without, has vaporized. The public schools, once near the top in national rankings, have sunk to the bottom. Roads and bridges creak and crumble as infrastructure spending dwindles. State and municipal budgets have reeled from crisis to crisis, with several cities falling into bankruptcy. People and firms are leaving the state in record numbers.

What caused this reversal? In the broadest terms, the answer is misguided policy, rooted in a political culture too often disconnected from reality.

Heather Mac Donald, a contributing editor of City Journal magazine and the John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, who contributed several articles on California’s woes to The Beholden State (along with PJ Media’s own Andrew Klavan and Victor Davis Hanson), believes that while there’s much to still enjoy about the formerly Golden State, there’s much that’s gone wrong as well. As she told me at the start of our recent interview:

I think it’s the most beautiful state in the country; as a native, I’m obviously a little prejudiced, but I think it is a exemplar of identity politics, for one thing.  There’s too many institutions that are convinced that the most important thing about its residents is their racial or ethnic national origin identity and — and increasingly, of course, gender and sexual identity.  And we see that playing out in university admissions, in ideas about crime and policing and immigration policy, and I think that’s a betrayal of what California used to mean, which was a real meritocratic ideal, that anybody who came, through hard work could really move ahead and the — the state welcomed talent and achievement and did not worry about disparate impact or racial proportionality.

That’s no longer true of course; during our 25-minute long interview, Heather will discuss why, along with her thoughts on:

● The Golden State’s seemingly unending Mobius Loop and inability to change its death spiral.

● The role that bilingual education plays in California’s woes.

● California’s bifurcated higher education system.

● Radical graffiti chic.

● Can California be saved before it’s too late?

And much more. Click here to listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(25 minutes and 23 seconds long; 23.2 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 4.35 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 | 26 Comments bullet bullet

american_sniper_memorial_edition_cover_10-23-13-1

On February 2nd, Chris Kyle, the Navy Seal and the most lethal sniper in American military history, was one of two people killed by a fellow vet reported to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, at one of the gun ranges at a hunting lodge and resort in Glen Rose, Texas. But not before he had written American Sniper, a number one New York Times bestseller, about which, Amazon notes:

From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. Kyle earned legendary status among his fellow SEALs, Marines, and U.S. Army soldiers, whom he protected with deadly accuracy from rooftops and stealth positions. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the greatest war memoirs of all time.

A native Texan who learned to shoot on childhood hunting trips with his father, Kyle was a champion saddle-bronc rider prior to joining the Navy. After 9/11, he was thrust onto the front lines of the War on Terror, and soon found his calling as a world-class sniper who performed best under fire. He recorded a personal-record 2,100-yard kill shot outside Baghdad; in Fallujah, Kyle braved heavy fire to rescue a group of Marines trapped on a street; in Ramadi, he stared down insurgents with his pistol in close combat. Kyle talks honestly about the pain of war—of twice being shot, and experiencing the tragic deaths of two close friends.

Last week, William Morrow published an updated Memorial Edition, with numerous additional photos, and remembrances from those who knew him best. In our podcast today, we’ll talk first with American Sniper co-author Jim DeFelice, and then Chris’s widow, Taya Kyle.

During our 22-minute long interview, Jim and Taya discuss:

● How Chris went from rodeo star to Navy SEAL.

● How Jim and Taya first met Chris.

● The events leading up to Chris’s shocking death.

● The memorial tribute to Kyle in Arlington’s Dallas Cowboys Stadium and 200-mile funeral procession.

● How the new Memorial Edition of American Sniper came to be.

And much more. Click here to listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(22 minutes and 36 seconds long; 20.7 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 6.46 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 | 3 Comments bullet bullet

fontova_castro_cuba_longest_romance_cover_10-13-13-3

Considering that Dan Rather’s shameful acts during the 2004 presidential election gave PJ Media its original name, I shouldn’t be astonished, but even at this late date, it’s still pretty amazing to think that a man who once held himself out as a quote-unquote “objective” journalist would say of Fidel Castro that he’s “Cuba’s own Elvis.”

That’s just one of the many radical chic romances the MSM and Hollywood still have for Castro and his socialist prison island, as veteran author, columnist and PJM contributor Humberto Fontova tells me today, quoting from his latest book, The Longest Romance: The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. During our interview, Humberto will discuss:

● When Ernest Hemingway viewed Che Guevara’s execution squads personally.

● How did The Godfather Part II become the MSM’s go-to guide for pre-Castro Cuba?

● Which film did Robert Redford present to Fidel Castro and the widow of Che Guevara in a private showing?

● What is Cuba’s  “Military-Tourism Complex”?

● What is Fontova’s take on Diana Nyad, who recently successfully swam from Cuba to Florida?

And much more. Click here to listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(18 minutes long; 16.5 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 3.10 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 | 7 Comments bullet bullet

war_on_football_cover_10-1-13-1

“In 25 to 50 years, football still exists, but it’s marginalized the way boxing is,” Daniel J. Flynn of the American Spectator and his own Flynn Files blog predicts during our interview on his new book, The War On Football: Saving America’s Game.

As Flynn readily concedes, despite the myriad lawsuits that the NFL and related organizations such as the manufacturers of helmets and other safety equipment are being inundated with from former players, as a spectator sport, football has “probably never been better. Our national obsession is watching the NFL and to a lesser extent watching college football,” he says.

But on the other hand, “football as a participation sport is really hurting,” Flynn adds. “Last year, youth football lost six percent of its player population…If youth football loses six percent of its player population next season and the season after, there’s not going to be any youth football left in America.” And eventually, that attrition in young players will begin having an impact on recruiting for both the college and the pro game.

As Flynn notes, while football is indeed a rough game where injuries occur, it’s not the only sport that can result in dangerous injuries and even death. He likens the current war on football, some of which is being driven by MSM sports reporters, to earlier forms of media hysteria, such as the annual shark attack stories that newspapers and TV news shows run every summer, the 1970s reports of looming “killer bee” invasions, and the 1990s Y2K scare.

In sharp contrast to all of the fear mongering, “I want parents to be equipped with facts so that they can form decisions about whether they want to allow their kid to play football or not,” Flynn tells me. “I think right now they’re being guilt-tripped out of signing their kid up for football because of this national hysteria.”

For an antidote, click below to listen, and read the transcript of our interview on the following pages.

During our 28-minute long interview, we’ll discuss:

● How dangerous is football, both on the professional and the amateur level?

● Why former NFL players have chosen en masse to sue the league they voluntarily participated in.

● Are any former pros who have never actually played in an official NFL game suing the league for long-term injuries?

● How has parenting changed in recent years, and how is that impacting the war on football?

● What is the average lifespan is for football players, compared with those who haven’t played sports?

● What is the percentage of former NFL players committing suicide, versus the suicide rate of adult American males in general?

And much more. Click here to listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(27 minutes and 50 seconds long; 25.5 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 7.96 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

Pages: 1 2 | 5 Comments bullet bullet

jesse_walker_us_paranoia_cover_8-28-13-2

In 1964, liberal historian Richard Hofstadter wrote “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” With the 50th anniversary fast approaching for that landmark article, still the benchmark for many on the American left today, how is it holding up?

“Not all that well,” Jesse Walker of Reason magazine tells me during our interview to discuss his new book, The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory. Hofstadter could spot conspiracies on the right, but was blind to his fellow liberal elites also internalizing their own share of paranoia. “He was writing in the early 1960s, at the time when there was a lot of sort of overexcited fear about the extreme right, and he drew on that in his own essay,” Walker adds. “But he didn’t recognize that just as there were anti-Communists who were sort of mimicking Communists, there were anti-anti-Communists, who were emulating the McCarthyists, who were, putting together reports on the fellow traveling organizations of the Birchers. Or who are, even within the government talking about or using the IRS or the FCC to harass people or harass organizations the way that McCarthy and people in the McCarthy era had harassed people on the left.”

And today, with domestic spying, a newly-politicized IRS, and leftwing elites who believe that they have Bletchley Park-level abilities to decode the hidden racism in every statement uttered by anyone to their right (and not just Republicans), in a sense, little has changed. But then, Walker’s insight is that even if a conspiracy theory is, as most of them are, pure bunkum, they can tell us a lot about which fears were most pressing at a particular time to the corner of society which dreamed it up.

During our 19-minute long interview, we’ll discuss:

● What are the five patterns that fit most conspiracy theories?

● What was the inspiration for Walker’s book?

● How the nature and reasons for paranoia in America have changed over the centuries.

● Why was the Hollywood left of the 1970s seeing so many rightwing boogiemen lurking behind every corner, just as the New Left was accomplishing many of their political goals?

● How did a seemingly right-wing icon like Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo character grew out of those earlier paranoid leftwing films of the 1970s?

● How conspiracy theories from fluoride paranoia to the birther movement can start on one side of the political aisle, before hopping the fence to the other.

And much more. Click here to listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(19 minutes and 17 seconds long; 17.6 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 3.30 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 | 15 Comments bullet bullet

kennedy_mtv_book_cover_8-26-13-1

If you were a red-blooded American teenager in the 1980s, chances are at some point, you not only wanted your MTV, you wanted to work there, either behind, or ideally in front of the cameras. Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, better known simply as “Kennedy,” was someone who lived the dream, becoming part of the second wave of VJs to arrive at the television network, when it was still (usually) showing rock videos.

However, Kennedy had an at times bruising run there, when it was discovered that she was – gasp! – a conservative. As she mentions in her new and thoroughly enjoyable book, The Kennedy Chronicles: The Golden Age of MTV Through Rose-Colored Glasses. Things got particularly grim at the 1994 MTV Video Awards:

[Roseanne’s] joke that Kennedy was backstage performing oral sex on Rush Limbaugh sparked Kennedy’s mock fellatio performance on a microphone while standing next to New York City Rudy Giuliani. Later, when fellow VJ Bill Bellamy asked her if she wanted to say anything to Roseanne, she responded: “Roseanne, ease up on the Prozac, and by the way, Rush Limbaugh says you give [much better oral sex].” Roseanne later wrote Kennedy a letter saying she was one of the few people that had ever stood up to her “and she had a lot of respect for me,” Kennedy said in an interview. “It was such a nice letter, one of those kind moments that taught me a lot about class and supporting a lot of women.” Although the incident almost got her fired, Kennedy points out that MTV had approved Roseanne’s joke because it appeared on the teleprompter.

Fortunately, though, she survived Roseanne’s disgusting sucker punch (and Roseanne would only go downhill from there), and left the network in 1997 on her own terms. She’s now a DJ at L.A.’s ALT 98.7, creates videos for Reason TV, and contributes to John Stossel’s show on the Fox Business Channel. And she’s still on great terms with her fellow VJs from the period, as well as MTV News host Kurt Loder, who also contributes to Reason.

During our interview, we’ll discuss:

● How Roger Ailes gave a surprising assist to her early MTV days.

● How she was able to smuggle her conservatism into the perilously liberal world of MTV.

● How Kurt Loder helped her make the transition from conservative to libertarian.

● The confining worldview of many left-wing rock artists.

● Why “Zappa Family Values” aren’t an oxymoron.

● Why so many musicians suffer from what Keith Richards calls LVS – “Lead Vocalist Syndrome.”

● Young people and libertarianism in 2013.

●How the media world today differs from the MTV era.

And much more. Click here to listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(17 and a half minutes long; 15.9 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 4.79 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 | 9 Comments bullet bullet