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Get the Culture Gabfest and all of Slate's culture coverage here.

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Episodes

Working: How to Make a “Fair” Crossword Puzzle

3/3/2024
This week, host June Thomas talks to Anna Shechtman, a crossword puzzle creator whose new book is called The Riddles of the Sphinx: Inheriting the Feminist History of the Crossword Puzzle. In the interview, Anna talks about her experience writing crossword puzzles as a teenager and then going on to work with New York Times puzzle maker Will Shortz. She also discusses the subjectivity of “common knowledge” and recalls debates with Shortz about which words and phrases were puzzle-worthy. After the interview, June and co-host Ronald Young Jr. talk more about crosswords and the ever-expanding pool of “common knowledge.” In the exclusive Slate Plus segment, Anna shares how much crossword puzzle creators get paid. She also discusses a more sensitive topic: her struggle with anorexia, which coincided with her early interest in crossword puzzles. Send your questions about creativity and any other feedback to working@slate.com or give us a call at (304) 933-9675. Podcast production by Cameron Drews. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get an ad-free experience across the network and exclusive content on many shows—you’ll also be supporting the work we do here on Working. Sign up now at slate.com/workingplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:49:41

ICYMI: Rachel Karten on Snark Subreddits and Ryan Sheckler

3/2/2024
Candice Lim is joined by Link in Bio writer Rachel Karten, whose Substack breaks down how Stanley Cups went viral, why the Duolingo owl got a BBL and how “seemingly ranch” hit supermarket shelves. Karten was a social media manager who started her newsletter after leaving Bon Appétit following a racial and labor reckoning in 2020 that exposed — what the publication themselves called — a “toxic, top-down culture.” Since then, Karten has found a rapt audience of more than 55,000 subscribers who are social media managers like herself, marketing insiders and curious readers who just want to know how and why they’re being influenced at. This podcast is produced by Se’era Spragley Ricks, Daisy Rosario, Candice Lim and Rachelle Hampton. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:35:26

Dear Prudence: Am I a Bad Father If I Don't Want to Acknowledge My Kid Publicly? Help!

3/1/2024
In this episode, Jay Smooth (Underground Railroad and Think Twice: Michael Jackson) joins Prudie (Jenée Desmond-Harris) to answer letters from readers about how to find empathy for deeply unreasonable people who are totally wrong, how to navigate becoming a parent by accident, and how to reach out to support a friend without being “a cringey white person.” If you want more Dear Prudence, join Slate Plus, Slate’s membership program. Jenée answers an extra question every week, just for members. Go to Slate.com/prudieplus to sign up. It’s just $15 for your first three months. This podcast is produced by Se’era Spragley Ricks, Daisy Rosario, and Jenée Desmond-Harris, with help from Maura Currie. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:35:15

A Word: Green Black Power

3/1/2024
Environmentalism has long been viewed as a preoccupation of white, educated, affluent voters. But climate change disproportionally impacts communities of color. Now a new generation of activists is building political awareness around environmentalism in the Black community. That’s part of the mission of the Hip Hop Caucus, a group that’s been working for decades to activate young voters around climate justice as a civil rights issue. On today’s episode of A Word, Hip Hop Caucus leader Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr. joins host Jason Johnson to talk about the impact of environmental policy on Black Americans, and how to harness political power around the issue. Guest: Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr., chief of the Hip Hop Caucus Podcast production by Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola Want more A Word? Subscribe to Slate Plus to immediately access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/awordplus to get access wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:35:50

Care & Feeding: The Pop Culture Moms Who Changed Us

2/29/2024
On this episode: Jamilah sits down with Andie and Sabrina of Pop Culture Moms, ABC’s newest podcast. The three talk through the origins of the show (and Andie and Sabrina’s friendship), and the onscreen moms who shaped our understanding of motherhood. We’ll also debrief on our week in parenting with a round of triumphs and fails… including some stories about learning to shower, a shower of [redacted bodily fluid], and choosing clothes for a preteen. Join us on Facebook and email us at careandfeedingpod@slate.com to ask us new questions, tell us what you thought of today’s show, and give us ideas about what we should talk about in future episodes. You can also call our phone line: (646) 357-9318. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get an ad-free experience across the network and exclusive content on many shows—you’ll also be supporting the work we do here on Care and Feeding. Sign up now at slate.com/careplus to help support our work. Podcast produced by Maura Currie, with special thanks to Rosemary Belson. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:31:47

Outward: Polyamory and Other Non-monogamous Advice

2/28/2024
From 52 first dates to 8 boyfriends at once, Ashley Ray is a poly expert here to answer your relationship questions and demystify some poly terms. Today, Bryan and Ashley dive into the perils of unicorn hunters, metamour drama, and what to do with jealous feelings. Email us at outwardpod@slate.com Podcast production by Palace Shaw. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:39:30

ICYMI: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told…Through TikToks

2/28/2024
On today’s episode, Rachelle is joined by her best friend Danielle Hewitt, a producer at Prologue Projects and, formerly, Slate’s daily news podcast What Next. In a deeply revealing exercise, the two go through a selection of the 250 TikToks that Danielle sent Rachelle while the latter was on a six week long social media break. But first, Candice breaks down the highlights of Jennifer Lopez’s new documentary The Greatest Love Story Never Told. This podcast is produced by Se’era Spragley Ricks, Daisy Rosario, Candice Lim and Rachelle Hampton. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:43:15

Culture Gabfest: J.Lo’s This Is… What Now?

2/28/2024
On this week’s show, the panel is first joined by Wesley Morris, New York Times’ critic at large, to dissect This Is Me… Now: A Love Story, Jennifer Lopez’s bizarre, nutty, yet utterly delicious self-funded vanity project that cost the singer $20 million to produce. (Wesley wrote a brilliant piece about it for the Times.) Then, the three explore 20 Days in Mariupol, the Oscar-nominated documentary by Ukrainian journalist Mstyslav Chernov that depicts the atrocities of the Russia-Ukraine war through on-the-ground footage and harrowing accounts of civilians. Finally, in a new oral history of the Village Voice, entitled The Freaks Came Out to Write: The Definitive History of the Village Voice, the Radical Paper That Changed American Culture, author Tricia Romano tells the iconic alt-weekly newspaper’s history through 200 interviews with its legendary writers, editors, and photographers. We discuss. In the exclusive Slate Plus segment, we share an impromptu conversation between the hosts and Wesley Morris. Email us at culturefest@slate.com. Outro music: "Zero Gravity" by ELFL Endorsements: Cameron: Longtime Culture Gabfest producer, Cameron Drews, is moving onto his next project but came on one last time to endorse! He endorses movie theater subscriptions and is a big fan of Alamo Drafthouse’s season pass. Dana: The Criterion Channel’s new “Gothic Noir” series. Julia: An algorithm-recommended bop, UNTZ UNTZ by Inji. Steve: The Milk Carton Kids’ cover of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” and a performance of their song, “All of the Time in the World to Kill,” featuring some lovely on-stage banter. Podcast production by Jared Downing. Production assistance by Kat Hong. Hosts Dana Stephens, Julia Turner, Stephen Metcalf Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:01:03:50

Decoder Ring: The Gen X Soda That Was Just "OK"

2/28/2024
Thirty years ago, a new kind of soda arrived in select stores. Instead of crowing about how spectacular it was, it offered up a liquid shrug, a fizzy irony. OK Soda was an inside joke for people who knew soda wasn’t cool. But what exactly was the punchline? In today’s episode, we’re going to ask how Coca-Cola, a company predicated on the idea that soda is more than "OK," ever bankrolled such a project. It was either a corporate attempt to market authenticity or a bold send-up of consumer capitalism; a project that either utterly, predictably failed or, perhaps more surprisingly, almost succeeded. This episode was written by Willa Paskin. It was edited by Jenny Lawton. It was produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd, along with Evan Chung. Derek John is Executive Producer. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director. You’ll hear from Sergio Zyman, Brian Lanahan, Robin Joannides Lanahan, Charlotte Moore, Peter Wegner, Todd Waterbury, Dustin Ness, and Matt Purrington. Special thanks to David Cowles, Art Chantry, Seth Godin, Jeff Beer, Gabriel Roth, Mark Hensley for all the OK Soda commercials and Mark Pendergrast, whose book For God, Country, & Coca-Cola was indispensable. If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, please sign up for Slate Plus. Members get to listen to Decoder Ring and all other Slate podcasts without any ads and have total access to Slate’s website. Your support is also crucial to our work. Go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:43:48

Well, Now: Ending Racism in Healthcare

2/28/2024
The U.S. healthcare system can split the country into two Americas. Your zip code, education, class status and more all play a role in the outcome of your health as well as the kind of care you receive. Fewer markers more clearly define these disparities than race. On this week’s episode of Well, Now Maya and Kavita talk about racism in American healthcare with Dr. Uché Blackstock. Her new book Legacy: A Black Physician Reckons with Racism in Medicine gives a historical view of how racism has always played a role in U.S. healthcare. This book is also a memoir of her own experience as a physician carrying on the legacy of her late mother, Dr. Dale Gloria Blackstock. Health Resources Mentioned in the Episode: Health in Her HUE Irth App Podcast production by Vic Whitley-Berry with editorial oversight by Alicia Montgomery. Send your comments and recommendations on what to cover to wellnow@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:30:52

Hear Me Out: Horse Race Journalism Is Good, Actually

2/27/2024
On today’s episode of Hear Me Out… are journalists killing democracy? Mainstream news outlets are starting to move away from horse race election coverage and toward policy substance. Though it’s a slow change, it’s heralded by much of the news industry as a good one. But what if the horse race was never really the problem? Journalist and writer Chris Cillizza joins us to defend the horse race. If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can email the show: hearmeout@slate.com Podcast production by Maura Currie. You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus! Sign up now at slate.com/hearmeoutplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:44:38

How To!: Let Go of a Friendship

2/27/2024
Our series about friendship ends with a look at, well, how friendships end. Alice and Grace connected when their kids started dating. They became fast friends whose family lives were intertwined—in a good way. They even joked that they might end up raising grandchildren together. When the kids broke up, Alice and Grace broke apart, too. Now, Alice is wondering whether she should fight for her cherished relationship or just move on. On today’s episode, Carvell Wallace brings on Carissa Potter, an author and artist who founded People I’ve Loved and hosts the podcast Bad at Keeping Secrets. Miss last week’s episode? Learn how to evolve your friendships. If you’re enjoying this series, check out our other friendship episodes: How To Find Your People How To Make Friends as an Adult How To Make Friends… Like a Man How To Talk to Strangers How To Show Up For a Friend With Cancer Do you have a problem that needs solving? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Subscribe for free on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen. How To’s executive producer is Derek John. Joel Meyer is our senior editor/producer. The show is produced by Rosemary Belson and Kevin Bendis. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now at slate.com/howtoplus. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:31:17

Hang Up: Is Court-Storming Over?

2/26/2024
Joel Anderson, Stefan Fatsis, and Josh Levin discuss whether court-storming should be banned for good. The Washington Post’s Sally Jenkins also joins to explain why she believes the NCAA is cheapening Caitlin Clark’s scoring records. Finally, they assess the NCAA’s latest legal trouble and what comes next. Court-storming (4:41): Is it even possible to stop students from rushing the court? Clark’s records (22:48): The AIAW’s Lynette Woodard and Pearl Moore deserve respect and attention. NCAA (41:20): How much longer can the house of cards stay standing? Afterball (56:18): Joel on the precarious existence of the NBA’s G League Ignite. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:01:06:34

Working: How TV Host Carla Hall Stays Authentic On-Camera

2/25/2024
This week, host Ronald Young Jr. talks to chef and TV personality Carla Hall. In the interview, Carla talks about leaving her first career as an accountant to explore modeling and then cooking. Then she discusses her pivot to TV, her commitment to being herself on screen, and her latest project Chasing Flavor, which is now available to stream on Max. After the interview, Ronald and co-host Isaac Butler talk about big career pivots, big personalities, and their goal as extroverts to make space for other people In the exclusive Slate Plus segment, Carla shares some of her favorite dishes and talks about what it was like to be a model in Paris. Send your questions about creativity and any other feedback to working@slate.com or give us a call at (304) 933-9675. Podcast production by Cameron Drews. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get an ad-free experience across the network and exclusive content on many shows—you’ll also be supporting the work we do here on Working. Sign up now at slate.com/workingplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:44:02

ICYMI: Who TF Did Reesa Teesa Marry?

2/24/2024
Rachelle and Candice dive deep into the scammer story currently scratching the internet’s itch: Reesa Teesa’s 52-part “Who TF Did I Marry?” TikTok series. On February 14, @ReesaMTeesa detailed the very harrowing story of meeting, dating and divorcing a man she calls “Legion.” She recaps her highly suspicious relationship to a man who courted her in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and allegedly lied about his job, family and previous marriages. From faking phone calls with imaginary siblings to printing out bank statements for accounts that didn’t exist, this story is about the deceit of a man who Reesa Teesa calls “the United Nations of red flags.” This podcast is produced by Se’era Spragley Ricks, Daisy Rosario, Candice Lim and Rachelle Hampton. ICYMI is sponsored by BetterHelp. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:53:00

Hit Parade: Hello, Gorgeous Edition Part 2

2/23/2024
Barbra Streisand: star of stage and screen. Oscar-winner, film director and TV producer. Culture warrior and meme generator. Yes, all that—but don’t get it twisted: Barbra’s legend rests in her catalog of hit songs—and that voice. Even as culture vultures consume her recent doorstop of a memoir My Name Is Barbra, what’s getting overlooked are Streisand’s awesome musical benchmarks, especially on the Billboard charts. All of those records Taylor Swift has been setting on the album chart, and Billie Eilish on the Grammys? Babs got there first. At a time when rock was ascendant and showtunes were on the wane, Streisand set her own pop agenda, scoring brassy hits that weren’t trendy but topped the charts anyway. She became a pop star, Broadway legend and box-office commander practically simultaneously. Join Chris Molanphy as he tells the story of the original Queen of All Media and explains how she racked up all those hits your mom loved (be honest, you know them too) and made “memories, like the corners of [your] mind.” Trust us: It’ll be like buttah. Podcast production by Kevin Bendis. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:40:45

Dear Prudence: My Friend Has a Master’s Degree in Lying. Help!

2/23/2024
In this episode, Jenny Hagel (Jenny Hagel Gives Advice and Late Night Trash Can with Jenny Hage) joins Prudie (Jenée Desmond-Harris) to answer letters from readers about how to react to tacky gifts from your ex-husband’s girlfriend, what it means when your date says, “our energies didn’t mesh,” and whether to call out a friend who inexplicably lies about having a master’s degree. If you want more Dear Prudence, join Slate Plus, Slate’s membership program. Jenée answers an extra question every week, just for members. Go to Slate.com/prudieplus to sign up. It’s just $15 for your first three months. This podcast is produced by Se’era Spragley Ricks, Daisy Rosario, and Jenée Desmond-Harris, with help from Maura Currie. Dear Prudence is sponsored by BetterHelp. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:36:32

A Word: Diversity in the Diaspora

2/23/2024
The American obsession with categorizing people by race isn’t just a problem for our institutions. For multi-racial and multi-ethnic Americans, it can be intensely personal. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by journalist Natasha Alford. She shares her own unique experience navigating America’s complicated ideas about race in her new book, American Negra: A Memoir. Alford shares how her African American and Puerto Rican heritage shaped her understanding of race in her early life, and how those ideas were challenged when she attended Harvard University and later became a journalist. Guest: Natasha Alford, author of American Negra: A Memoir Podcast production by Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola Want more A Word? Subscribe to Slate Plus to immediately access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/awordplus to get access wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:41:38

What Next: The Basketball Phenom Shaking Up the NCAA

2/22/2024
Iowa’s Caitlin Clark has scored more points than any other NCAA women’s basketball player in history, but her impact extends even further than her substantial range on the court. Guest: Hayley McGoldrick, associate editor at Sportsnet. Want more What Next? Subscribe to Slate Plus to access ad-free listening to the whole What Next family and across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to get access wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:21:10

Working: Asking for Expert Advice

2/22/2024
For this week’s episode of Working Overtime, the hosts June Thomas and Isaac Butler dissect The Yang Slinger author Jeff Pearlman’s recent prickly advice to young professionals. Then, June and Isaac expound on their experiences of dishing out and seeking advice from others. They dig into the right and wrong ways to reach out to people in creative fields and share tips like having a sense of humility, always being specific, and never feeling discouraged from a lack of responses. Do you have questions or advice of your own about the creative process? Reach out at (304) 933-9675 or email us at working@slate.com. Podcast production by Kevin Bendis and Cameron Drews. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:25:12