What Do You “Need To Know”?


NTK FeatureEvery Friday on their podcast , Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger discuss, well, just about everything.  They question their guests and often each other, but until now, the listeners have never gotten to pose a question to them. 

That changes this week as Jay and Mona open the floor to questions from Ricochet members.  Ask them anything: politics, culture, music, the cello, golf, Michigan football, marching bands or anything else that comes to mind.

Leave your questions in the comments below and we’ll get to as many as we can on Friday’s show.

Yes, you do have to be a Ricochet member to pose a question, so this is the perfect opportunity to join now!

There are 35 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Ricochet Thatcher

    I know opera isn’t Jay’s favorite art form, but what is his favorite opera and why?

    I’d also be curious about Jay’s thoughts on the modernized settings of operas, especially in Europe. Does he think setting Ariadne auf Naxos in a drug rehab center in the 90’s, for example, makes opera more applicable, or does it detract?

    • #1
  2. Ricochet Inactive

    Where do you see the Western World in the year 2030 (or pick a different year if you prefer)? For instance, more free or less free, more confident or less confident, more influential or less influential….

    With Jay’s vast experience and travels in Europe and Mona’s deep knowledge of Israel I think it would be particularly interesting to hear their thoughts on where the Eastern portion of the Western world is heading (also in light of recent events).

    This is not to help me time the market (though, if Jay and Mona have any hot tips on a biotech startup, I’d love to hear them). I find that conversations on where society is headed can shed light on where, seemingly less important current trends, are leading us. Great idea and thanks!

    • #2
  3. Casey Inactive

    The world seems to be taking a leisurely walk along the path to world war.

    True statement?

    • #3
  4. Charlotte Member

    Is America still (generally) seen as a beacon of freedom to unfree people around the world, the way it (generally) was during the Cold War?

    Is freedom and the desire for it sort of a 20th-century thing?

    • #4
  5. PsychLynne Inactive

    What values (conservative, religious, etc.) have they sought to intentionally pass onto their kids?  (does Jay have kids?)

    • #5
  6. PsychLynne Inactive

    BTW, welcome back Yeti!

    • #6
  7. Leigh Inactive

    1) Mr. Nordlinger: In the last Need to Know, you concurred with an evaluation of Mendelssohn as a second-rate composer but reminded us that is very good indeed (fortunately, since I love Mendelssohn).  Who do you rank as first-rate composers?

    2) Both: Political families (Adams, Kennedy, Clinton) are one thing.  If the Republican Party were to nominate Jeb Bush, thus attempting to send a member of the family to the White House for the third time consecutively, that would be a completely different thing.  Apart from any personal respect for members of the family, should that trend concern us?

    • #7
  8. Kr5s Inactive

    Hello.  Thank you for taking questions.  I’ve listed questions for each of you below, but I’d be interested in each of your opinions on all of the questions.

    Questions for Jay:
    1)What is your favorite viola concerto?
    2)If you are familiar with the composer Rebecca Clark, what do you think of her work? 3)What do you think about Jim Harbaugh taking the coaching job at U of M?

    Questions for Mona:
    1)Who is your favorite string quartet that you have seen perform live?
    2)What is your opinion on the atmosphere for Jews in France right now?
    3)What do you think about Bobby Jindal’s speech in London?

    Thanks so much, I look forward to your podcast each week!


    • #8
  9. Scott Reusser Member
    Scott Reusser

    A year or so ago when Peter, Rob, and James took questions on the main podcast, I asked whether Rand Paul’s becoming our nominee for president would risk toppling the Republicans’ traditional Reaganite “three-legged stool”. To my surprise, they didn’t understand my meaning, the Cold War being over and anti-communism no longer relevant.

    Jay, is anti-communism really all that third leg entailed? I believe you understand my meaning and concern. Please explain, and please define “Reaganism”, as you see it, in the context of our new Long War.

    Thanks! You two are great.

    • #9
  10. Discus spinner Member
    Discus spinner

    Jay, I read your music reviews all the time in Criterion and am curious whether you have perfect pitch or not. You often remark on loss of pitch or in the case of one of my favoite groups, Chanticleer, their remarkable ability to sing in tune. Also how did you acquire your exemplary depth of classical music knowledge? Were you a pianist yourself or did you study another instrument? Thank you for your podcasts.

    • #10
  11. Gromrus Member

    1. Can Jay and Mona comment on what a Western response to jihadist Islam might have looked like in a time of more principled leadership (e.g. Thatcher, Reagan, JP II)?  Have they any suggestions for alternative effective  strategies between dithering and nation building?

    2. Any thoughts on how to restore to the Academy  a welcome for robust and wide ranging debate/ reason / argument / persuasion  rather than the need for protection from any idea foreign to self interest / world view (collegiate trigger warnings, micro aggression fetishism,   shutting down speakers by shouting,  labeling ideas as hateful or hurtful, etc, etc)?

    • #11
  12. user_1201 Inactive

    It’s often encouraging to hear about the past failures of successful people, knowing that they’ve come out of it alright. Any professional “Biggest Screw-Up/Worst Day” stories to share?

    Feel free to cap them with a “Greatest Triumph” to stitch up any old wounds that may reopen.

    • #12
  13. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer

    In comparison to recent threats faced by the United States 20th century — particularly, national fascism and communism — how highly do you rank Islamic fascism? That is, if Pearl Harbor and the Cuban Missile Crisis each score a 9.5 out of ten, what number are we currently at?

    • #13
  14. Capt. Spaulding Member
    Capt. Spaulding

    In the previous podcast you made a passing reference to John Kerry’s using James Taylor to serenade the French people in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Would you please expand on what that moment signified?

    • #14
  15. TalkGOP Member

    First of all, thank you for an  outstanding podcast. It is nice to read columns and books, but it is wonderful to hear in your voices the passion you both bring to the issues.

    My question is:

    Assuming the Supreme Court finds a right to same sex marriage in the constitution this summer, what are the prospects for those of opposing religious opinions to have their 1st amendment rights upheld not to participate or approve of such arrangements?

    • #15
  16. ParisParamus Member

    Can either of you recommend one or more good classical radio stations and/or specific programs.  I’m trying to get more into classical music.  I remember from college (1980’s) certain radio programs that just seemed to play very interesting or coherent sets of music.

    I really enjoy Need To Know.  It’s interesting, entertaining, soothing.  So soothing, in fact that I often put in on when trying to fall asleep (Not an insult!  Whatever I miss I just listen to later on).

    Also, where are the two of you geographically?

    • #16
  17. Howellis Inactive

    What should Israel do about this incipient intifada?

    • #17
  18. user_409996 Inactive

    Do Jay and Mona have, musically, a “Guilty Pleasure” … a composer or performer they know they should not like so much but do anyway?

    • #18
  19. EThompson Inactive

    @Jay Nordlinger: No question here but a thank you for all of your musical commentary in NR. Next summer in Salzburg, please be sure to Say hello to music for me!

    • #19
  20. kmtanner Inactive

    Does right-wing media pay too much attention to MSM?

    • #20
  21. user_536506 Member

    How was it that you two came together for this podcast? You are a fantastic duo – I am envious of your intellects, wit, and charm. Thanks for a great show.

    • #21
  22. Belt Member

    Thank goodness for the internet.  Growing up in NW Iowa, there was little opportunity to listen to anything other than Rock and Country.  Now I can stream whatever I like.  I keep WCPE (TheClassicalStation.org) playing in the background all day.  No talk, just classical music.  I’ve been getting an education through osmosis.  I also listen to KPLU for jazz/blues on occasion.  Again just music.  I can recommend both.

    I also attend music concerts in my home town and at my college.  We can get some interesting groups in sometimes as well.  One of the music professors is all into the modernist cutting-edge stuff.  I attended a concert he put on last year, featuring four different performers and a half dozen new works.  None of it appealed to me, and some of it I just hated.  It just doesn’t sound like music, and I won’t be going to his next concert this spring.  In a way, that music is a lot like modernist abstract art to me; nearly all of it is simply junk.

    So, two music questions:

    First, does it have value, is it music?  Do you hold to any sort of standard when deciding what music is, and if it’s art?

    Second, if I have to appreciate it purely as an intellectual excercise but get no enjoyment out of it, is that my problem?  Should I make an effort to learn to like it, or are my instincts to ‘cover my ears’ sound?

    • #22
  23. Boisfeuras Inactive

    I am the father of 3 girls (10, 8 and 6). We live in London. I find the political indoctrination of children repellent. However, given the left-wing propaganda they are already exposed to, do Mona and Jay have any ideas on how best to inoculate them against it? (I already play “Need to Know” to them sometimes whilst making their breakfast on Saturday mornings)

    • #23
  24. J Flei Inactive
    J Flei

    I was wondering what Jay Nordlinger thinks about the composer Manuel de Falla, since he was speaking recently about Spanish history.

    • #24
  25. user_86176 Member

    Quite often, I find the first recording of something I listen to “imprints”, and subsequent interpretations seem invariably “wrong”.  Does Mr Nordlinger have this problem as well?

    • #25
  26. user_144801 Member

    Question for Jay: Perhaps it’s my pro-Brahms bias showing, but I feel you often give him short shrift when discussing composers. Are you not a fan, or just skipping over an obvious great? And if you’re not a fan, why not?

    • #26
  27. user_1201 Inactive

    What are some film scores that are too good for the movies they’re in?

    • #27
  28. Petty Boozswha Inactive
    Petty Boozswha

    Thank you for your great podcasts – you’ve definitely become the Kim Kardashian and Kanye West for many of the Ricochetti.

    I’d like to ask Mona to expand on her friendship with Ruth Marcus and ask her how to explain why such a good hearted person can be so consistently wrong even after being exposed to common sense by someone like yourself.

    • #28
  29. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue

    So, given the collapse of the pro-life law in the House today- brought to us by a turncoat- what do you two estimate the likelihood of any further pro-life legislation to be in the near term?

    • #29
  30. user_178356 Member

    You live in large liberal cities with lots of people who presumably disagree with you. Do people make a point of flashily disagreeing with you, or do you find that they are less strident in person? I ask because I live outside Boston and hear drive-by liberal comments (not intended to spark debate but rather to signal “right thinking”) all the time.  I think people  just assume that I am liberal too and probably agree with them. Usually I just nod and change the subject, but sometimes I get annoyed, thinking I should maybe stand up for myself. What do you do in these kinds of social situations?

    • #30

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.