Conor Friedersdorf brings an independent-minded perspective to dialogues on politics and culture.
Peter and Conor kick things off by discussing President Obama’s management skills—they agree that Mitt Romney will make them an issue, but disagree about whether Romney’s experience as a management consultant has prepared him for the White House. Conor says it’s impossible to tell what President Romney’s foreign policy would be, whereas Peter argues that he’s always been “cautiously hawkish.” Peter makes the case against the Buffett Rule. And Conor explains how his “best of journalism” awards differ from the National Magazine Awards.
Conor and Michael kick things off by discussing the trial of Anders Breivik, the far-right Norwegian terrorist, who is trying to turn his trial into an attack on multiculturalism. They next turn their attention to Katie Roiphe’s controversial Newsweek cover story about female submission fantasies. Conor argues that there is a bipartisan interest in making women feel bad. Do American voters have a psychological need to be frightened? Both diavloggers muse on why Republicans continually fail to nominate the most conservative candidates in presidential primaries. And Michael heretically argues that Pete Campbell is his favorite character in Mad Men.
Conor and Kashmir kick things off by discussing whether Google Glasses will create a surveillance state. Conor argues that the government is eventually going to legislate new privacy norms. Kashmir explains why she’s fascinated by the case of a college football player arrested for taping the sounds of a dorm mate having sex. Is technology making the Fourth Amendment prohibition of unreasonable search obsolete? They disagree about whether the smartphone app Girls Around Me is objectionable. And Conor predicts that people will start taking a “flood the zone” approach to protecting their privacy.