In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil debate Liz Smith and the history of gossip columns, whether interracial friendships are possible, and evangelical responses to Roy Moore’s pedophilia scandal.
Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:
- Gossip columnist Liz Smith passed away this month, prompting us to historicize the genre she helped establish. Natalia referenced this Vanity Fair group interview of Page Six writers and editors and pointed to Anne Helen Petersen’s article about Rona Barrett.
- This New York Times op-ed by Ekow Yankah doubted whether interracial friendships are truly possible in this historical moment. Niki referred to Jamelle Bouie’s Slate essay “There Is No Such Thing as a Good Trump Voter.” Neil cited this study showing the greater diversity of African-Americans’ social networks than those of white people. Natalia referred to Brittney Cooper’s Salon essay about the limits of her friendships with white people. Niki commented on “the talk” and Natalia recommended this Public Seminar essay by historian Ed Baptist.
- Family values champion Roy Moore has been accused of pedophilia and many are surprised that evangelicals are standing by him. Natalia referenced this New Yorker article that reports that Moore often cruised for teen girls at an Alabama shopping mall, and this New Republic article that highlights how teen girls are often sexualized in evangelical cultures. Niki referenced this MSNBC segment in which Moore’s lawyer intimated that Muslim cultures condone child marriage. Neil, who has written about the limits of understanding white evangelicals through a political lens, also referred to a piece he wrote for Religion & Politics before the election last year on how the religious right moved from “outside activists” to “inside operatives.”
In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:
- Neil discussed Trump’s recent lifting of a trophy-hunting game ban. (Note: Since our recording, President Trump has put the ban reversal on hold.)
- Natalia discussed Lara Freidenfeld’s Nursing Clio essay questioning all forms of “perfect motherhood.”
- Niki discussed this Jezebel article about the 1936 advice manual Live Alone and Like It, the subject of Joanna Scutts’s new book, The Extra Woman.