Roger L. Simon

Of Juan Martin del Potro and Norman Podhoretz

It’s clearly true that if there’s anything worse than drinking and driving it’s texting and driving. And worse than that may be downloading an iPhone app while driving. But that’s what I did this evening while chugging North on the 405 to the Skirball Cultural Center to hear a talk by Norman Podhoretz. Tennis nut that I am, I just had to know who was ahead in the US Open final between Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro. Having seen del Potro dismantle a wounded Rafa Nadal the previous day, I suspected that King Roger was going to have his hands full with the twenty-year old Argentinian.

But I couldn’t find a single radio channel covering the event in anything close to real time. Desperate, I reached for my trusty iPhone and, although not really stalled in traffic, typed the US Open into the search function and downloaded the app. Mirabile dictu, it had a streaming podcast from the Open. I know. Tennis is terrible on the radio, but that’s how desperate I was. Happily, Del Potro proved my prediction right just as I pulled (safely!) into the Skirball. But do not, as the saying goes, try this at home – or on the 405.

As for Norman Podhoretz, he was pretty good too, though somewhat older than Del Potro, discussing his new book Why Are Jews Liberals? He will be in the PJTV studio Tuesday morning to discuss the same thing with me on our virtual set. It’s a pleasure to have such a distinguished fellow. If you have any interesting questions for him, put them down here and I’ll try to check them in the morning if I’m not too bleary-eyed.