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Endorsing Endorsements

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Listeners to Slate Magazine’s variety of “Gabfest” podcasts (politics, culture, sports, women’s issues, etc.) are familiar with their trademark climax in which each of the participants shares some bit of information that they have found particularly interesting or provocative with the audience. On the political gabfest they call it “cocktail chatter,” and on the cultural gabfest they call it an endorsement. The sports panel finds a new name for it every week, developed from one of the topics discussed in that week’s show.

They will recommend music. Last week, someone offered up Roger Miller from the sixties, and another MGMT’s “Electric Feel.”

They will recommend articles. On the sports podcast, the essay in the New Yorker by George Packer on the gridlock in the senate.

They will recommend books, movies, television shows, and even other podcasts and websites. A while back it was the BBC’s A History of the World in 100 Objects.

Let me end, then, by endorsing their endorsements.

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