Review: “The David Feldman Show” podcast

★★★★★

The “Bobby Slayton Hates Your Wife” episode — Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

Mr. Feldman seems to have found his equilibrium the past couple of weeks. His digital detox regime coupled with retreats in the New Jersey countryside have been good to his psyche, as he is letting his brilliant guests finish their sentences and complete their thoughts.

This episode is indeed podcasting gold, opening with the always engaging and hilarious Joe Devito (a.k.a. the Italian “Andy Kindler”) — the funniest person you’ve never heard of. His quick wit always brings a giggle to me as I listen, and afterwards I am left wondering how someone can be so funny all of the time. He is quickly becoming my favorite DFS recurring guest.

Next up with a progressive candidate running for Congress in rural Indiana, Dan Canon (IN-9) gave a competent interview as Mr. Feldman peppered him with great questions such as “how can a white progressive running in a red district that has over 90% of the population white win in the age of Trump?” Mr. Canon was one of the lead lawyers in the monumental Obergefell case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, which paved the way for marriage equality. It is an informative interview, and left me optimistic for the future of the republic.

Rounding out the 3h31 podcast is perhaps the funniest insult comic working in comedy today, Bobby Slayton. His quick phone interview with Mr. Feldman was as exciting and fun as a roller coaster ride at Six Flags. The end of the show was a round-table with comics Colleen Werthmann and Scott Rogowsky, a format that always works well with intelligent, informed comedians, this final hour of the show is definitely NSFW and adults only listening.

But for me, the most rewarding portion of the show was the middle segment, a thoughtful interview with Frank Schaeffer. Most people will have no idea who Mr. Schaeffer is, certainly the overwhelming majority of progressives, but for someone of my background, having been brought up in Christian evangelicalism as a child and young adult, his name is immediately recognizable as part of the Christian Right royalty. His father, Francis Schaeffer, was a leading intellectual power for the Evangelical Right in America from the 1970s up until his death in 1994. His monumental books about culture and art from a Christian perspective were widely read — indeed I had bought the series “A Christian View of Philosophy and Culture” through a conservative book club I belonged to in the early 1980s — and his thinking heavily influenced conservative opinion makers and politicians. His son, Frank, was raised in this environment at the family / movement retreat “L’Abri” in the Swiss Alps, and eventually left both Christian Evangelicalism and conservative politics, becoming a free-thinking writer and film maker who still pondered about faith, reason, and politics.

The interview with Mr. Schaeffer centered on his own background and explored the various sub-threads of the Christian Right and how they brought to power the Republicans, eventually devouring the party and becoming the dominant force in this new Trump coalition of white nationalists, evangelicals, and the 1%. It was utterly fascinating, and I hope that the two of them meet up again for another long interview.

The “David Feldman Show” podcast is available on iTunes with new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

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