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May and June are typically busy months for me, thanks to the confluence of end-of-year volunteer work at the little Catholic school which, until the last one’s recent graduation, my younger three children attended, and the product release cycle of my largest client. During these months, pretty much everything else — the lawn, social media, folding the laundry, working out, recreational reading, my modest social life — takes a back seat to these seasonal exigencies.
However, my drive time remains unchanged, and I’m still able to fill it with podcasts. Two, in particular, seemed worth mentioning today.
Byron York’s eponymous podcast is a new one, and one I find myself downloading often for his balanced, non-sensational presentation and thoughtful commentary. His latest show, #14, on the subject of document declassification and the Trump administration’s refusal to accede to the latest Congressional demands, is a good example. In particular, I appreciated York’s clear explanation, in the latter half of his brief podcast, of why President Trump’s invocation of executive privilege is unlike (and more robust than) President Nixon’s.
Dave Sussman’s “Whiskey Politics” remains one of my favorite interview-focused podcasts, in large part because of the excellent guests Dave manages to snag. In his latest, #200, Dave interviews Bill Whittle, long my favorite video pundit. Whittle’s speculation about the positive implications of young men escaping into video games struck me as both plausible and hopeful — not entirely convincing, but worthy of consideration and interesting for what it suggests about the resilience of masculinity. Given my reflexive dislike of video game culture, Whittle’s comments have prompted me to pause and reconsider.
(Allow me a brief digression about my tastes in podcasters. There are a lot of smart podcasters on Ricochet, and a lot of entertaining ones. I am attracted both to serious people and to the thoughtfully humorous sorts, avoiding those who tend to pile on to trivial stories or lean toward the vitriolic or harshly critical. I listen to most of the majors — the flagship “Ricochet Podcast,” “Three Martini Lunch,” “The Daily Signal Podcast,” “The Classicist with Victor Davis Hanson,” “The Libertarian with Richard Epstein,” and several more. I have particular respect for two men who have long been in the podcast business: Bill Whittle and Andrew Klavan. Though they’re very different men, they both strike me as deeply decent and thoughtful, and I always enjoy hearing them interviewed.
And, thinking now about my favorites, I realize that I tend to prefer men of approximately my own generation. Surprise.)