Three MF’in Cheers for The New Yorker Podcasts

new yorker podcastsAs a longtime New Yorker subscriber (that’s right, in print), you’d wonder why I’d bother with the podcasts as well. I can lay any questions to rest here. Each Monday (a few days before the issue lands in my mailbox) there is a lively, informed discussion with New Yorker Web editor Blake Eskin takes place in Out Loud that truly enriches the reading experience — a couple weeks back it was an actual sit-down beer tasting, this week was a personal interview with Zadie Smith, who contributed to the fiction issue.

But the killer, was aurally experiencing Hendrik Hertzberg’s column on Rod Blagojevich in which the narrator practically — blasphemically — acts out the following passage, which is never done justice in bleeps or even unadulterated print:

Blagojevich—who had remarked of the Senate seat, “I’ve got this thing and it’s fucking golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for fuckin’ nothing”—was not happy when told that no offers were forthcoming from anyone around “this motherfucker,” as he referred to the President-elect: “Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him.”

No really, listen to it:

A third great podcast falls haphazardly — it was initially the Campaign Trail and is now titled The Transition. Along with my daily listens (Buzz Out Loud, Rachel Maddow, Slate, etc) these truly awesome podcasts bring serious entertainment and value to my commute. Subscribe in iTunes, Google Reader or your favorite podcatcher via the links at

It’s almost like I don’t miss those New York Times Op-Ed podcasts anymore. Am I the only one who still misses those?

How Did Blagojevich Manage to Stay in Power so Long?

Guilty Rod BlagojevichWhat the whole world now knows about Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich comes as no surprise to Illinoisians and other observers. a quick search reveals that one of my earliest blog entries here, in Sept. 2005, mentions him as a criminal. Unbelievable?!? Hardly — Blagojevich is the fifth Illinois governor of the last nine to be indicted.

Of course, he got reelected, as Daley always does, because the machine wins — or else. And fortunately Obama made his run this year instead of waiting until the rest of the world got wind of the stench of corruption perennially consuming Springfield / Chicago politics. It always seemed Obama was careful to skirt the machine, with relationships that were chilly — at best — with Blago and Daley.

The real crime here may be at the hands of the Chicago Tribune. How long were they sitting on the story of Blagojevich’s jockeying to dump Tribune editorial board members who slammed him in exchange for working a sweet deal for the sale of the Cubs? Gotta love these quotes though:

“Unless I get something real good [for Senate candidate 1], shit, I’ll just send myself, you know what I’m saying,” Blagojevich was taped saying on November 3rd, the day before Election Day.

“[The Senate seat] is a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.”

Justice at last. Full coverage at Chicago Public Radio.

Click here for the full 76-page indictment (PDF).

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