2.24.16: Election Law and Felons, The Problem With Food Media, & The Sake Ambassador

Feb 24, 2016

While a slew of controversial election laws in recent years have prompted concerns over voter disenfranchisement...  Little attention has been paid to what may be the country's most disenfranchised population: felons. Today, an election law scholar discusses the estimated five point eight million men and women who are banned from the polls.

Plus, the head of an online food magazine takes aim at food writers that he says are skirting journalistic responsibilities, in favor of lighter fare. 

Listen to the full show. 

Election Laws and Felons

Last week, Democrats in the New Hampshire House sponsored a bill that would give incarcerated felons the right to vote via absentee ballot. The measure is unlikely to pass, but if it does, New Hampshire will become the third state in the nation with no voting restrictions for convicted felons.

While a number of new voter ID laws have raised concerns over voter fraud and disenfranchisement in recent years, little attention has been paid to voting rights among the prison population.

To learn more about the history and philosophy behind felon disenfranchisement, we reached out to Nora Demleitner, a professor of Law and formerly Dean at the Washington and Lee University School of Law. She's also the lead author of Sentencing Law and Policy, and is on the board directors at the Prison Policy Initiative.

Why Is The Boston Accent Wicked Hard To Do?

New Hampshire native Seth Meyers, host of Late Night with Seth Meyers, recently tapped into his New England roots with a faux-trailer for a movie called Boston Accent - it parodies films like The Departed, Black Mass, and The Town.

While Seth Meyers has mastered the Boston accent, not every actor has - even great actors get tripped up by it, but why? Eric Molinsky investigates this wicked awesome story.   

Listen to this story again at PRX.org

The Problem With Food Media

Late last year the Mast brothers, a pair of bearded, Brooklyn based makers of $10 chocolate bars, admitted to re-melting industrial chocolate when they first started out. The admission that they were not the "bean to bar" artisanal operation they claimed to be triggered a pig pile of "I told you so’s" from critics and foodies, many of whom had helped raised the profile of the brothers...none of whom dug into their use of low grade chocolate.

It's that kind of soft-pedal journalism by food writers and publications that eats at Chris Schonberger. He is editor in chief of the online food magazine "First We Feast", which recently published a pointed critique of food media, "The Problems With Food Media That Nobody Wants to Talk About." 

The Sake Ambassador

One adventurous food and travel magazine we've been reading lately is Roads and Kingdoms -  where you can read about everything from Afghan cuisine, to what researchers eat in Antarctica, to an article on the endangered craft of brewing sake.

That last article was written by Hannah Kirshner is a food stylist and writer based in Brooklyn - she recently spent time in a small Japanese town, where she was apprentice to a devoted bartender whose sole obsession is sake. 

The End of the Calorie

Now, we want to highlight a bit of food audio that we've been really digging into - the Gastropod podcast.  Co- hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley look at food through the lens of science and history...they've done some great stories on dubious edible aphrodisiacs, on America's first snail farm, and on the future of synthetic alcohol.  

Most gastropod episodes are in the 30 to 45 minute range, so we only have time to play an excerpt from a recent episode... This one was about the calorie, and began with pretty basic question: what is a calorie, anyway?

You can listen to this story again at Gastropod.com