6.21.16: No Escaping the Top of the Ballot & Sexism in Entertainment

Jun 21, 2016

With a divisive candidate at the top of the ticket, some republicans up for re-election in 2016 are looking to pivot their campaigns towards local issues. But can these low-level contenders avoid being tarred by the brush of presidential politics?

On today’s show, how Democrats and outside groups plan to play the trump card against local GOP candidates.

Also today, crowd sourced ratings of movies, TV and music allow everybody to chime in, but from movie critics boycotting the new Ghostbusters movie, to dismissing Taylor Swift songs as shallow, the whiff of sexism is all over online reviews...or is it?

Listen to the full show:


How the Top of the Ballot Impacts Local Elections

"All politics is local", Tip O'Neill famously declared. At least that's what some congressional and state politicians are banking on this election year. In 2016, anti-establishment candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders cracked party politics open. Trump's triumph in particular has many loyal republicans scrambling to distance themselves from the polarizing candidate at the top of the ticket. Those who may have banked on benefiting from a straight-ticket vote led from the top are now aiming local -- focusing on constituencies far from the incendiary language and messy stew of national politics.  

Michelle Cottle is a contributing editor at The Atlantic, where she wrote about the uphill battle for local pols to go local despite the ongoing trend of campaigning on national issues.

Related: "There's No Escaping the Top of the Ballot"

Digging Up Miles Standish

Historical revisionists demand that we question the conduct and standing of celebrated figures with a critical eye. Should Andrew Jackson still be on the twenty-dollar bill, for example, given his decimation of Native Americans?  Does Woodrow Wilson's name deserve to be on buildings at Princeton, given the racism of his policies? How about flying the confederate flag in southern statehouses? Annie Sinsabaugh explored the complicated history of a renowned pilgrim for Transom's spring story workshop.

Listen to this story again at PRX.org.

Sexism and Entertainment Consumption

When director Paul Feig announced a cast of all female leads for his reboot of Ghostbusters, negative reactions exploded across the internet. But the grumbling isn't limited to Ghostbusters - men consistently under-rate entertainment aimed at and produced by women. We invited some watchers of pop culture for a closer look 

Linda Holmes is editor at NPR and host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, a podcast discussing books, movies, television, comics, and everything else you think is cool. 

Maura Johnston is a writer, music/pop culture critic, and editor of Maura Magazine.

Walt Hickey is chief culture writer at FiveThirtyEight - his article "Men Are Sabotaging the Online Reviews of TV Shows Aimed at Women," inspired us to ask -- how is sexism affecting our entertainment and media consumption these days?