Our Week in Politics & Culture: Vaccine Confidence & Comfort Zones

The weather’s nice. We’re feeling hopeful. And…a Giuliani is running for office? Not again. It can’t all be good news, and it isn’t—violence continues. Republicans are still playing stupid games. America isn’t fully out of the pandemic woods yet. But there are plenty of smart people working on that, and we just happened to interview one of them. Also some artists. Also some authors. Oh, and we also wrote about the start of the latest Giuliani campaign. American politics may be bleak, but at least they can occasionally make us laugh. Is that a good thing? Probably not. Oh well.


This week on Art Uncovered Kimberly spoke with Christalena Hughmanick is a New York-based artist who recently returned from residency at the SÍM residency is Reykjavík, Iceland. Throughout the conversation they talk about the performative social engagement work she produced while abroad as well as her interest in language and desire.

On Book Talk, Kory chats with Jessica Anya Blau about Mary Jane—a funny, wise, and tender novel about a fourteen-year-old girl’s coming of age in 1970s Baltimore, caught between her strait-laced family and the progressive family she nannies for—who happen to be secretly hiding a famous rock star and his movie star wife for the summer.

On this week’s Radio Dispatch the Knefels discuss continued and escalating Israeli violence against Palestinians in Gaza, the CDC mask guidance for vaccinated people indoors, and listener mail on organizing against student debt.

On BreakThru Radio Weekly, Joe Virgillito speaks with Dr. Celine Gounder about ways to boost confidence in the vaccines available to protect against COVID-19. Later in the episode, Jacqueline Soller and Charles Hinshaw discuss the film Those Who Wish Me Dead, directed by Taylor Sheridan and starring Angelina Jolie, Nicholas Hoult, Aidan Gillen, and Jon Bernthal. Plus a live performance from Michael Cormier, recorded exclusively for BTRtoday.


Kasey is a homebody who dislikes being in unfamiliar places, so when her band A Very Special Episode went on tour for the first time, she was full of worry. On 1st Person Kasey shares how stepping out of her comfort zone helped her overcome her anxiety and continue her dream of performing her music for others.

On Video Dispatch, MJ Knefel comments on the recent mask guidance from the CDC, noting that while the United States has been lucky with recent vaccine availability, there are a number of reasons people may be reluctant to stop masking.


A new CBS News poll shows just how grim things look inside the Republican Party. Disloyalty will be punished.

No one is coming for Joe Rogan’s voice or platform, which makes his comments about the “woke mob” all the more silly.

t’s hard to get what you want when you have no leverage. Empty threats only make the GOP look dumber.

Dr. Céline Gounder discusses how she & other health experts work to build America’s vaccine confidence.

Andrew Giuliani is doing a bad Rudy impression and running on his father’s laurels. And it’s not clear if he realizes that’ll probably hurt his chances.

Other Politics & Culture News …

The Trump DOJ secretly obtained a CNN journalist’s phone and email records during a leak investigation in 2017.

Prosecutors are attempting to bring a new charge against ex-Minneapolis police officers charged with aiding and abetting George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Derek Chauvin.

For The Baffler, Noah Kulwin writes about Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, which he describes as apologia for American butchery.