On The Posner Show, Sarah and Betsy talk about the political fallout from this week’s revelations about NSA communications surveillance. Will Rand Paul‘s pledge to reform the security state be a political asset for him, or will it damage his credibility with the GOP base? They then turn to the House GOP turmoil over immigration reform, and the role that evangelical support for immigrants might play. They also discuss Betsy’s piece on E.W. Jackson, the controversial GOP nominee for lieutenant governor in Virginia, and in particular his preaching of the prosperity gospel.
On The Score, Michael and Craig discuss baseball’s burgeoning Biogenesis scandal. Is this a sign that MLB is finally serious about cracking down on performance-enhancing drugs? Craig wonders whether baseball is putting public relations ahead of effective punishment. They examine whether Tony Bosch, the key figure in the scandal, has damaged his credibility too much for the case to hold up. How are media leaks that accuse big names of misconduct shaping the case? They close by predicting how the story will play out, with Michael explaining why he wants to see a mass suspension of players.
On The DMZ, Bill and Matt tackle the big issues—like the difficulties of dressing for cable news appearances. They turn to Obama’s appointments of Susan Rice as National Security Adviser and Samantha Power as UN Ambassador, and how those picks will affect the situation in Syria. Bill calls on Chris Christie to consider his legacy when appointing a new senator from New Jersey. What is the Erick Erickson–Josh Barro feud really about? And how has Barro attracted so much attention so early in his career?
On Friedersdorf, Conor and Elizabeth consider how Bushwick, Brooklyn quickly went from post-apocalyptic wasteland to hipster paradise. They discuss the new season of Arrested Development on Netflix and how binge watching has changed our relationship with TV. They move on to a controversial essay by a woman who chooses not to use birth control, which leads to a consideration of new ways that non-fiction writers can tell stories. Is Mark Bittman wrong about eating meat? And is a Northwestern student wrong to refuse to sing a song with lyrics by Walt Whitman?
Spoiler alert! On Critic Proof, Alyssa and Sean dive deep into the infamous “Red Wedding” episode of Game of Thrones. How did the climactic scene compare to the book? Has the show done a disservice to the character of Catelyn? They discuss how GoT portrays spectacle and extreme violence on a limited budget, compare Walder Frey and Craster, and analyze the series’ portrayal of the evils of war. Turning to Sunday night’s other prestige drama, they wonder whether Mad Men is stuck in a rut and guess where the show will go next.
On Critic Proof, Alyssa and Noreen compare New Girl creator Liz Meriwether with Girls creator Lena Dunham, especially in terms of their presentation of sex on TV. Alyssa describes how New Girl has grown on her despite her apprehensions about star Zooey Deschanel. She also discusses Mindy Kaling’s show The Mindy Project. Why are the breakout characters on the new crop of female-centric comedies mostly male? Is charm on the decline among men? Is the “unromantic comedy” on the rise? Are traditional romantic comedies bad for women? Turning back to New Girl, they suggest that romcoms could succeed by becoming more realistic about love and life.