During Reason's annual webathon, in which we ask our most loyal readers to make a tax-deductible gift to support our libertarian journalism and commentary, we have a tendency to showcase the serious stuff: the decade of pathbreaking video journalism, the development of a podcast line, the anti-hysterical political coverage, the reportage on far-flung libertarian insurgencies across the globe, the New York Times infiltration, the (otherwise unpaid!) TV representin', the crypto coverage, and…OK, the inebriated unicorn masturbation as well. But mostly very serious journalism for very serious times, and won't you please donate to Reason today?
Then there's…The Fifth Column.
Not technically a Reason joint (Freethink Media bankrolls the ongoing experiment), this weekly podcast featuring myself, Reasoner-turned Vice News correspondent Michael C. Moynihan, and host/impresario Kmele Foster from Freethink (previously of Independents fame), still showed up with some regularity in the donors' comments of last year's webathon. Why? I suspect is has something to do with abiding love for Foster (who is scheduled to become a father today, by the way, if I can bury the lede!). But I can testify that for some reason—rubbernecking?—people enjoy hearing the sound of three allegedly grown men drink alcohol and slur about media and politics.
Which brings us to the wonder that is this week's episode. We brought on the wickedly amusing Ben Dreyfuss, social media honcho over at our rival Mother Jones, to talk about the usual sex scandals, Donald Trump tweets, and clickbait ethical conundrums, all while draining a bottle and a half of listener-provided whiskey. (Mysteriously, people never stop sending us booze.) Things quickly got pear-shaped when Moynihan asked some innocent personal follow-up questions about the harrowing revelation a month ago from Dreyfuss's younger brother Harry that Kevin Spacey had groped him in the same room as their oblivious father Richard Dreyfuss (who had his face in a script) when Harry was an 18-year-old high school student. "I was like 'Look Harry, you're 18 years old, who wants to fuck you? You're fat, I'm skinny, like, I'm more attractive than you, Harry," Ben recalled of his sibling rivalry, and to reveal anything more than that may take away from one of recent history's better punchlines, so listen to the whole sloppy enchilada. The greedy can fast-forward to the Alger Hiss family impersonations beginning at around the 42:40 mark:
The Fifth Column has had an eclectic guest list over the past year including Reasoners (Katherine Mangu-Ward, Ron Bailey, Damon Root), Reason pals (Radley Balko, Kennedy, Thaddeus Russell), newsmakers (Ajit Pai, Rep. Thomas Massie), and journalists/commentators from all over the political spectrum. By all accounts the show has found special success among the non-libertarian family members of libertarians (providing they don't mind the occasional F-bomb, end-of-show verbal deterioration, and Moynihan's Jesse Jackcent).
Beginning in May, the show was picked up on weekends by SiriusXM POTUS as well, which means that weird libertarian arguments about race, Trump, and the media (not necessarily in that order) get beamed to God knows how many unsuspecting truckers. I have also become a regular guest-host over at Sirius, yakking frequently with Reason types from Bob Poole to Elizabeth Nolan Brown, in addition to interviewing (and publishing transcripts over here with) Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Sen. Mike Lee, Massie, Ken "Popehat" White, Kat Timpf, and others. Not bad for "Hey, let's sit in a room with a microphone, see what happens."
There are so very many different ways to engage the world with libertarian ideas and POVs. Your tax-deductible donations help us experiment with more of them, in ways that can have butterfly effects on the world of political discourse. We're out here creating stuff, whether it's this podcast, or the Reason podcast, or Stossel on Reason, or Andrew Heaton's hilarious Mostly Weekly. Want more like that, to share with your friends and enemies alike?