Ricochet Podcast #75: Shape and Contort

That the left is all pervasive in Hollywood is not debatable. But how much does that really affect the culture at large? That’s the question we banter back and forth with guests Andrew Klavan and with Ben Shapiro, whose book Prime Time Propaganda: How The Left Took Over Your TV is a provocative look at this issue. It’s one of our liveliest podcasts, and one that should incite a lot of comments on Ricochet. Have at it!

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  • Peter Robinson’s sleep habits have been an ongoing theme for a while now on the podcast, however this is the first time we’ve heard anything about a faux antique bed frame. Perhaps Peter will post a photo of it?

  • The Elgin Marbles, also known as the The Parthenon Marbles,&nbsp;are a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures (mostly by Phidias and his pupils), inscriptions and architectural members that originally were part of the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens. Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1799–1803, had obtained a controversial permit from the Ottoman authorities to remove pieces from the Acropolis. The debate has raged on ever since as to whether or not they ought to be returned to Greece.
  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb is the author of Black Swan&nbsp;and Fooled by Randomness.&nbsp;“Greece is peanuts” The U.S.? “A time bomb,” he says in this article in the WSJ. But, Taleb adds that “This is not an insoluble problem,” he said of the U.S. debt crisis. “You can fix it with some fiddling here and there. But you need the will to do it. And you need consciousness about the importance of debt. I don’t see that. Politicians are good at getting elected, not at solving problems like this.” Sunny side up, Nick.&nbsp;
  • The state budget crisis in California&nbsp;is an ongoing comedy. Unless you live here. But no one is talking about a shutdown unlike&nbsp;in Minnesota.&nbsp;
  • Department store heir and Minnesota governor Mark Dayton did indeed sell&nbsp;a painting by Renior (as well as another by Toulouse-Lautrec), that he inherited from his mother to help finance his campaign for governor of Minnesota. He claims he sold them for less than they were worth.
  • Thomas Nast (September 27, 1840 – December 7, 1902) was a German-born American caricaturist and editorial cartoonist who is considered to be the “Father of the American Cartoon.” Among his notable works were the creation of the modern version of Santa Claus, Uncle Sam (the male personification of the American people), as well as the political symbols of both major United States political parties: the Republican elephant and the Democratic donkey. His archives are housed at Ohio State University and are accessible online.
  • Rob is partly correct: the port of Houston is ranked first in the United States in foreign waterborne tonnage (14 consecutive years); first in U.S. imports (19 consecutive years); second in U.S. export tonnage and second in the U.S. in total tonnage (Long Beach is number one). That’s only a few of many “firsts” the port has conveniently posted online.&nbsp;
  • A couple of years ago, Rob and Mike Murphy hopped a container ship in Seattle and rode it all the way to China. He blogged about it at the time on his now defunct personal blog (this was way before Ricochet), and you can still read the remnants of those posts here. Perhaps if there is enough interest, he’ll re-post them on Ricochet.
  • Joel Kotkin was described by the New York Times&nbsp;as America’s “uber-geographer. He wrote recently in Forbes&nbsp;that the “Gulf is destined to emerge as the most economically vibrant of our three coasts.”
  • Andrew Klavan is referring to this post&nbsp;by Peter which features a video produced by the Charles Koch Foundation.&nbsp;
  • Ben Shapiro’s book Prime Time Propaganda: How The Left Took Over Your TV&nbsp;is available for purchase&nbsp;everywhere fine books are sold or downloaded.&nbsp;
  • James Burrows is a veteran TV director. His credits&nbsp;read like a museum of&nbsp;broadcasting, Any show that was a hit in the last 30 years, he directed at least some of the episodes if not the pilot itself.&nbsp;
  • The late Bruce Paltrow&nbsp;was a producer and director on both The White Shadow&nbsp;and St. Elsewhere. He’s also Gwyneth Paltrow’s dad.&nbsp;
  • Steven Crowder is a comedian who recently found himself in a public tiff with a producer from The Daily Show, who let it be known in an email that they “never hire conservative commentators.” It’s been good for business though, as the views in his YouTube channel&nbsp;have increased sharply.&nbsp;
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show&nbsp;ran from 1970-1977 on CBS. The first three seasons are available fo free on Hulu. Was the show really advancing a liberal agenda? Tell us what you think in the comments.&nbsp;
  • Vin DiBona&nbsp;is the visionary behind America’s Funniest Home Videos. In other words, he made a ton money from clips of guys getting hit in the crotch. More importantly, Di Bona was a leading member of the Caucus for Producers, Writers and Directors was censured for standing by his remarks that he accepts Hollywood’s discrimination against conservatives, causing fellow member Lionel Chetwynd to publicly resign from the Caucus the following month.
  • A posthumous congratulations to Jimmy Stewart. You sir are another member of a very elite group:&nbsp;personalities&nbsp;that Peter Robinson does a voice impression of. Other members include Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and some Russian dude.
  • All In The Family&nbsp;ran on CBS from 1971 to 1979. It was a groundbreaking and hugely influential series that reflected the culture and the issues of it’s day. Ben says the series is no longer seen because of it’s politics, we’re not so sure. Tell us what you think in the comments.
  • Ben Shapiro’s interviews of of Hollywood executive and producers should not be missed. The Hollywood Reporter&nbsp;published them&nbsp;a couple of weeks ago.
  • Huzzahs to Ricochet member Scotty Pippen&nbsp;for getting the Ricochet Podcast Member Post of The Week for his post What are the Best War Films of All Time?&nbsp;He wins a copy of Three Felonies a Day:&nbsp;How the Feds Target the Innocent&nbsp;by Harvey Silverglate. Watch your email, Scotty.&nbsp;
  • Bernard Hermann was one the greatest composers in movie history. The scores of Vertigo, North By Northwest, The Day The Earth Stood Still, and Taxi Driver&nbsp;are a small sampling of his work. However, it was Fred Steiner who composed that fight theme from Star Trek&nbsp;that Lileks sings. He died last week.&nbsp;
  • Back in May, Peter Robinson wrote a post soliciting summer reading suggestions&nbsp;for his sons. Andrew Klavan helpfully responded.&nbsp;

Music from this week’s episode:

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The Ricochet Podcast is proudly sponsored by Encounter Books. This week’s featured title is Three Felonies a Day:&nbsp;How the Feds Target the Innocent&nbsp;by Harvey Silverglate.&nbsp;Available in all formats at&nbsp;