Talk Cocktail

A daily News and Politics podcast
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Episodes of Talk Cocktail

It wasn’t very long ago that to see a foreign language film, you wound up in the smallest theater in the multiplex or a little art theater somewhere in a college town...or you lived in New York or San Francisco or Boston. But like everything el
For journalism, it may be the best of times and the worst of times. On the one hand, the national media is more vibrant than ever. The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as broadcast and cable news network
The more we know about disasters, the more we realize that most were preordained. Covid 19 or Katrina, the current fires in California or the deep freeze this past winter in Texas. None of them were what we would call Black Swan events. We are
Survey after survey shows that trust in the news media is at an all time low. And it’s not just the left/right divide. A recent study by the American Press Association reveals that not all Americans universally embrace core journalistic values
Almost everywhere in the world, liberal democracy is, if not under siege, or at least being tested. Only in rare historical times have would-be autocrats found such fertile ground. But why?    The world's and yes, America’s standard of living i
From Alexis de Tocqueville, to Alexander Solzhenitsyn to John Lennon, it has often taken those born outside of America to help us understand and define America back to those of us that have grown up here. Those of us long engulfed in both the p
In the 1960s and early 1970s political and social battles were fought by people who were trying to reshape America. Sixty years later, we are still at war. My guests on this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, David and Margaret Talbot, label that war
If someone pitched the story idea of a guy who was a former baby clothes salesman who then started a company that sublet co-working office space to millennials, and that that company would then become the most well financed startup ever, and th
If daily news reporting is the first draft of history, books that come out almost contemporaneously to events are I suppose the second draft. But today the world is speeded up. Today, especially in the wake of Trump, we need the facts much soo
While everyone has their own personal list, we could all maybe agree on some of the most iconic cars ever made. The VW Beetle, the 1968 Ford Mustang, the 1960 Corvette, the 57 Chevy, the Porsche 911, The 1955 Mercedes gull-wing, the DeLorean, a
Two years ago if you convened a focus group to give an opinion on Bill Gates and his foundation, the response would have been overwhelmingly positive. Today, not so much.  The divorce, the behavior with respect to female employees, and violatio
When Hal asked Astronaut David Bowman to “open the pod bay doors,” it was as if our most primal fear of machines came rushing headlong into the 20th century. Today, in our 21st-century world, we understand the basics of the artificial intellige
In the period immediately following WWII, the United States dominated the global economy. We had won the war, and the economic status that went along with it.    Then over time, and initially as a result of our efforts and generosity, other e
Some days it seems that everything we’ve taken for granted with respect to the functioning of America and American democracy is under siege. Hundreds of thousands of words are written and spoken almost every day as to why. However, before we ca
We are awash in data and information. So much so that we wonder if it has any meaning at all? But what if the very existence of the information and data was actually our society's knowledge. A kind of intuitive database acquired from absorbing
Back in 1953, it was reported that Charlie Wilson, the then head of General Motors, said that what’s good for General Motors was good for America. While that quote is a bit apocryphal, the idea was real. The notion that the success of any parti
There once was a time when we were, if not united, at least we had a common set of cultural touchstones. Movies, TV, sports, even the three networks that delivered the evening news were part of a national town square that provided both water co
In an effort to make urban American understand rural America, particularly since the 2016 election, books about rural America have become almost a genre unto themselves. Works by J.D. Vance, Sarah Smarsh, Nancy Isenberg, James Fallows, Sara Ken
I think we can all stipulate that we are at a precarious moment in the relatively short history of American democracy. Even among those not following it on an hour by hour basis via an addiction to cable news, people are anxious.  So many, on b
Think of all the things you have believed in that have recently been shattered. That the government might protect us from a pandemic. That Congress and our democracy were secure. That COVID came from a wet market in Wuhan, and that Bill Ga
Fifteen months ago most of us knew very little about viruses. Today, spike proteins, mRNA, and monoclonal antibodies are household words.    Perhaps it’s this new knowledge that has forced science and the media to confront the reality, long ign
Ever since 1960, the campaign memoir has become almost a genre unto itself. Over the years many of these books have shaped our view of politics.    In each of these stories men and even some women have competed for the presidency with the stron
As divided as we are today about the state of our current politics and the debate about facts, it seems that at least we should be able to agree about our shared history. And yet even that is debated today.  When did America begin? Who gets cre
  Many of our great cities are known for one or two things. Detroit certainly for the auto industry, San Francisco for the 60s and Tech. Houston for the oil industry, and Los Angeles for Hollywood. New York in so many ways transcends that. Sur
  We have a fascination with scoundrels. Especially if they are public figures. We love to build them up, to celebrate their success and then when they make mistakes, and disappoint our false expectations, we love to tear them down. It’s a cy
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