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'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner

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For the second year running, top honors at the Emmys for best dramatic series went to an AMC cable show set in a New York ad agency in the early 1960s.

The visuals of AMC’s “Mad Men” are all skinny ties and bullet bras — buttoned-down corporate America smoking and drinking and dancing on the edge of what we know would be assassinations and war and 1960s cultural revolution to come.

Its world is white, sexist, racist, homophobic, shadowed by fear of nuclear war — and compelling, right now, in 2009.

This hour, On Point: A conversation with Matthew Weiner, creator of “Mad Men.”

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guest:

Matthew Weiner joins us from Los Angeles. He is executive producer and creator of the AMC show “Mad Men,” now in its third season. This week it won its second Emmy for best drama series, as well as its second Emmy for writing in a drama series. Before creating “Mad Men,” Weiner was executive producer and writer on the HBO series “The Sopranos.”

You can watch “Mad Men” episodes online at the AMC site, which also offers a 5-minute recap of “the story so far.” Here’s a promo for Season 3:

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  • Louise

    The Sopranos was one of the most racist programs ever on cable TV. Italian Americans were portrayed in the most prejudicial and stereo-typical light. Every other word of dialogue was the “F” word. I can’t begin to imagine why you would have as a guest someone who would portray Italian Americans in such a hateful and untruthful way. Weren’t your producers aware of all the Italian American groups who protested and boycotted the show? Are the producers at On Point really that dense? You have sunk to a new low On Point.

  • Maddict

    Excellent choice! Mr. Weiner is one of the most talented people producing TV today. Sure, he’s controversial, as demonstrated by Louise, but that is part of the appeal. He takes you into a world and immerses you in it, whether it be NJ Italian-American gangsters or the buttoned down offices of a 1960′s ad agency. I never watched The Sopranos since I don’t get HBO, but I am addicted to Mad Men.

  • Carola

    Hands down our favorite show on TV, right now and possibly ever. The time in between seasons is awfully long. We’re addicted.
    I’d love to know how much of the characters and storylines is based on David Ogilvy. I find the similarities uncanny!
    Thanks so much fro creating this and delighting us every sunday night. Keep it up!

  • Julia Forbes

    Totally addicted to this show! Got my 82 year old mother watching–the art/set director is so right on–it’s fabulous to see the Barbie doll with her bubble-do, the metal cooler at the picnic, tomato juice for an appetizer!

    Fabulous writing…wonderful acting…it’s the best show on TV.

  • Susan

    I got my 20-year-old niece in college to watch it so she can fully understand what her grandmother (my mother) went through while working as a secretary for the federal government in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Sometimes we tell in her face she does not believe the stories my mother is telling her about how tough it was for women in the office. It is proof professional women have come a long way in a short time. The show is a history lesson as well as entertaining.

  • Julia

    I agree, things are still sexist…look what happened to Hiliary in the presidential campagin.

  • Ed Barna

    Ditto on “this is a repressed time.” Since the late Sixties, the Cold Cruel has been descending on our culture. You have freedom of speech until it’s published in the supposedly free press, then your company has the right to fire you, and to pass along that information to any future employer. “The Sixties” as people call them–a decade that continued into the early Seventies–began with Mario Savio and the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley. I’d add a classic moment at Woodstock involving Fish, but draconian FCC rules regarding such language might damage NPR, one of our voices of, by and for sanity.

  • Cal Kolbe

    In discussing his research into the period (films, photos, other secondary sources), Matthew Wiener says nothing
    about consulting with people who lived through the era,
    primary sources for accuracy and credibility.

    As a pre-boomer, I find some of the scripting and some
    of the wardrobe choices a little off in both cases.

    We did, however, smoke often and everywhere.

  • Bosede

    What tickles me most about Mad Men (which I LOVE by the way) is how the show acccidently on purpose draws attention to the invisibility of black actors on television and film nowadays. Each time there is a black actor on Mad Men, they are playing the elevator boy or the coffee boy or the bathroom attendant but they are VISIBLE; viewers notice them because they’re there. And yet no one notices that black people are nowhere to found on just about every other show on television.

  • Andy

    One of the most entertaining shows on television. The dialogue is fantastic and they have done a great job capturing the time frame and the gender roles. While the controversy might not be well received by all, if it wasn’t so pronounced the show wouldn’t be as captivating.

  • Julia

    Draper=Gatsby…brilliant! Jon Hamm and the cast were terrific on SNL.

  • Cynthia Campbell

    I am in agreement with Cal Kolbe (above). The season opener has one of the execs offering a drink with, “Who’s ready for a Stoli?”. There was no Stolichnaya in the US in the early 60′s!!! People DID smoke everywhere, and even in midwestern, middle America, there was a “cocktail hour” every day.

  • Laurie Mokriski

    I was an ivy league college student looking for a summer job on Madison Avenue in 1967. All the men I knew got creative summer jobs at the big firms at $250 a week, and all we women were asked: How fast do you type? and got $80 secretarial jobs.

    I started watching the show late, with the office party scene. The attitudes toward women were so painful that I couldn’t continue watching. Then I started from the very beginning and fell for the show for its realistic portrayal of the times.

    I now love the show, even Don.

    Laurie Mokriski
    Newton, MA

  • Claudia

    I love the show…I watched one season two episode on demand without knowing anything about the show…and couldn’t stop afterwards! So I ended up watching all of season’s two episodes and then season one in the week and a half before season 3 started! All of this during nursing sessions with my daughter!!!
    When season 3 started, I liked the whole Sal development (wanted it to happen like that, but since Weiner is so true to the era, I didn’t know if he was going to go there!), and I loved all the comedy in last Sunday’s episode…but all the while feeling something was different…as if something was missing… if compared to the other seasons…couldn’t pinpoint it until this week’s episode: what I am missing is the Mad Men “fix” I was having before…the watching of one episode after the other (2-3 in a day!)…now a week seems too long for me! But I love it anyway! Got my husband hooked on it too! Keep up the AWESOME work!!!

  • B. J. Pryor

    I imagine all the male characters of Mad Men are now the elderly habitues of golf courses, and avid fans of Rush Limbaugh. The world of Man Men was the world when they guys were young, and coming, and kings. They made the rules and ran the show.

    Now the world increasingly works by different rules, and all their Gods are being knocked down. No wonder they are bitter and angry and frustrated at the world that is coming, a world where the alpha WASP male is no longer king, and the world of cigarettes and martinis and mistresses and good wives and “colored” help and and a certain sort of conspicuous consumption is increasingly an anachronism.

  • Julia

    I see Don as being attracted to strong women (even Betty was a working model when they met), but then he wants make them subservient–which he doesn’t respect. EX: the department store owner

  • janet johnson

    It was not an easy time if you had any interior life at all. Everyone was under incredible pressure to conform, and almost all of us did, often at high personal cost. Of course it all blew up in the later ’60s, and what a relief! The series has it right. It looks, sounds, and smells like the early ’60s, and that can be quite unsettling to those of us who lived it.

  • Kathy (Boston, MA)

    A question: Why is it that some people are either loving Mad Mad…or the reaction is “I don’t like it, it is too slow…I would rather watch CSI”. Is it we can’t slow down anymore? FYI: My husband and I are huge fans..sometimes watching each show twice to catch the subtle hints and hidden emotions.Thank you for this show today.

  • BJ Larson

    The one thing that is becoming annoying to me on Mad Men is how MUCH people smoke. I was a young girl then, and remember many people smoking, but not at the level that they do on the show. I wonder how much the tobacco companies give the producers to have everyone smoking all the time!!

  • Addie Read

    One of the lines on the program, in the first season, when the “girls” were trying out lipsticks, the MEN watching through the 1-way glass, and one male turned down a request to chat with the gals about their reactions to the product. His line was, “I don’t speak moron”. At first I was really offended but it has become my own stock reply to airheads who try to “converse”about sports, usually in reaction to those of us who are well read and trying to discuss anything intellectual.Thanks for the great comeback. It works.

  • Julia

    That whole secretary thing was still true in 1983–I remember having a vice president stand behind me watching me bend over a file cabinet drawer and just stare. It was humiliating. I remember other “girls” in the ladies crying because they couldn’t go in a senior manager’s office because he always stared at their chest. The stories go on and on.

  • Lon C Ponschock

    The points that B. J. Pryor has above are good ones. Having heard all the rave ups about the show I sampled an episode here and there. I found them boring.

    What has the FCC got to say if anything about the portrayal of smoking on an “historical” program? How many of the “huge fans” of the show portrayed here see themselves portrayed in the consumerist “it’s ok” world
    of all the brand name products mentioned?

    Is it not strange that a tv show can incorporate product placement in such a program and have it seen in a positive way?

    Finally it is another tv show about ‘room at the top’ to which NPR listeners to this On Point Show no doubt consider themselves members in good standing.

  • Michelle

    I came to Mad Men late, watching 6 hours strait of Season 1 while on a plane from Dublin to Ireland. I was immediately hooked and got caught up in the next two weeks following. I think its appeal is the incredibly smart and clever writing, which in my opinion captures each character individually. No one sounds the same but each fits in with the others, much like the real word. There are no caricatures of people — they ARE very much like real people.

  • Julia

    I was shocked at the picnic scene where Betty flicked all the napkins and paper plates into the wind….then I remembered: it was before Ladybird’s anti-litter campagin!

  • Michelle

    Question about when Sal was acting out the Patio ad for his wife–she has a look of horrified realization on her face. Would someone in 1963 be thinking my husband is gay, or would that not be an actuality that would occur to someone in the early 60′s? Thx–love the show!!

  • addie

    Michelle, I had the same question in mind concerning what was the wife in that era actually thinking and fearing?
    As for the FCC and smoking on TV. Who cares? In real life here in Ohio we are still bombarded with smoke in the face everywhere. I walk through smoke from a half dozen cigs on my way in to the Doctor’s office, the Hospital; smokers use the patios of every coffee shop I like to make my visit sickening and unbearable. And the ones I refer to have not even stepped into the coffee shop to buy anything. They either bring fast food from some other dump or just use the table and chair because they can. So who cares about the TV smoke? It has never caused anyone watching from home any health problems. Just looking at it makes my nauseous.

  • http://scetv Sally Price

    Watching the first two seasons of “Mad Men” on Netflix brought back fond memories of working as a client (GTE) with Doyle Dane Bernbach in the late 1970s. Meetings always included a two-martini lunch. Then we all went back to productive, creative sessions in the afternoon. It was an exciting time watching ad campaigns unfold; e.g., early VW ads. Today, advertising seems so banal and irrevelant. “Mad Men” captures some of the electricity of that period.

  • Brett

    Why, Louise, you’re being ostensibly uncharacteristically an advocate for PC?!? I guess pot stirrers never want to miss an opportunity! That’s probably what it is: more manipulative than sincere. It seems like just yesterday you were extolling the virtues of ‘On Point.’ You must’ve had a cold or something. I come from an Italian-American family. While it is true that Italian-Americans get stereotyped all the time, you’re comment is a tad over the top about ‘On Point’ showing poor judgement in airing this show and sinking to a new low…

    Tom, thanks for the show…I have watched every episode of ‘Mad Men’ and enjoy the story lines, the complexity of the characters, attention to period details (well, for the most part they are accurate), the good dialogue, etc. I am old enough to vividly remember what it was like back in those days, the social mores, the clothing styles, the home/office decor, etc. There ARE parallels to today’s society, albeit we’ve come a long way!

  • Brad

    The brilliance of Mad Men is the writing. Period. At least once an episode, a character tosses out a great one-liner that just sums everything up. Most recently was when Sally said “I’m sorry I woke him up” at the end of this week’s episode – both meaning the baby and the memory of her grandfather which was a source of tension for Don and Betty.

    My favorite though, was in Season 1 when Harry slept with the secretary after the election party. He’s the only Mad Man at that point in the show that follows the moral rules of society by being faithful to his wife, and also the only one that wears glasses. He wakes up hungover in his office, realizing what happened, and that his glasses are broken. The secretary exclaims “I hope I didn’t do that.” The glasses were a metaphor for his broken morals, and he spend the rest of the season trying to glue them back together.

  • Louise

    Weiner,such an appropriate name for a writer/producer whose work really “blows”.

  • Lon C Ponschock

    All this talk about being addicted to a program featuring all the excesses of that era and the total obliviousness to the advertising content within the show is a real area of concern.

    If you take a small step back in the board room of Mad Men rather than the set of Mad Men I wonder what sort of cigarette company personnel would appear as “advisers” or unnamed producers of the program.

    The good memory I have of that era and this topic is getting more dim by the year. However I still remember David Susskind’s short-lived drama called Mr. Broadway starring Craig Stevens. That should be available for viewing again as should East Side, West Side, The Reporter and other Susskind break through television dramas.

  • Kay Shawn

    Just listened to the interview, and have a couple of comments as a 58-yr-old who clearly remembers this era. Newspaper classified ads used to run as “Help Wanted: Male,” and “Help Wanted: Female.” My niece can’t believe this! My Seventeen magazines constantly advised me to take up the interests of the boy you like or whom you want to like you. Who cares what you yourself were interested in! Teacher, nurse, secretary jobs were OK to aspire for, but only if you were very bold would you go for being a “lady doctor” or a “lady lawyer.” Yes! This is how is was, youngsters!
    By the way, love the use of Robert Morse as J. Pierrepont Finch grown old. [look up the reference!]

  • Putney Swope

    Louise your comments are an endless source of amusement.
    Apparently you speak “moron”.

  • Louise

    Putney Swope, they say you are what you eat, that would explain your love for the taste of horse manure.

  • Putney Swope

    hmmm… Louise is that your comeback? That I eat horse poop. What are you 6 years old?

  • Louise

    Mr. Swope, as I blogged to you before, any anti-American, degenerate mal-content such as yourself can rest assured, your feeble little insults are like manna from Heaven to me. All that climate change must have really thickened your numb skull.

  • Putney Swope

    hmmm… your a real piece of work Louise.
    Your source of so much amusement with your fascistic diatribes. You call anyone who does not believe in your ideology anti-American, I think you need to read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

  • Louise

    Whatever.

  • Yolanda

    I agree with Louise. I don’t know what the producers of this show were thinking.

    I admittedly don’t watch “Mad Men”–I don’t know why an NPR program would waste its time covering television, which is a low art form–but I have heard that it has an appalling dearth of African-American characters. When these characters do appear, it’s as low-level employees, without any personality of their own.

    I had been willing to give Mr. Weiner the benefit of the doubt about this, but now I have suspicions about his political views. He spent the first third of the program discussing how “repressed” we are in our current society. Arguably true, but he failed to mention that, in the Age of Obama, things are getting better everyday. This cynicism–the focus on the negative, rather than on the good that Mr. Obama has accomplished–is not very helpful to our President, and I can only suspect that the cynicism has roots in latent racism, whether Mr. Weiner cares to admit it or not.

    I will not even comment extensively on how Mr. Weiner called Mr. Obama a “black president.” Black is a color, sir, not an identity. Mr. Obama is an “African-American,” and by calling him otherwise, we other him.

    I do hope that, in the future, On Point and NPR will not give over its airwaves to people who not only waste valuable airtime discussing such frivolity, but who show an un-American disloyalty to our President. This is Public radio, and it should constantly be in service to the public.

  • gina

    Yolanda, I’ll presume your comments were made in good faith. (Your willingness to critique a program you have never watched speaks for itself, however.)

    I am pleased that Onpoint and NPR present programs featuring high-caliber art and entertainment like Mad Men, whatever media they represent. As to your concerns about “un-American disloyalty to our President”, you might want to consult your history books (start by googling McCarthyism).

    Finally, I will draw your attention to the president’s recent appearance on Letterman, in which he said “I think it’s important to realize that I was actually black before the election.” I doubt he was trying to “other” himself by describing himself as black – nor was Mr. Weiner.

  • Yolanda

    McCarthyism was not acceptable, because it was not in our nation’s best interests. It was a reactionary movement led by the rich and powerful. However, what we have to remember now is that those who either challenge our president directly or do not give him due deference for the progress that he has made do not have the public interest at heart, either. Their motivations are unduly selfish and, as we have seen of late, more often than not rooted in racism. Unless we push back against them and do more promotion for our cause, the national interest is doomed to suffer.

    I’m still unclear as to how we can call a show that does not feature America’s diversity as “high-caliber art.” I am upset that the program did not highlight these problems.

    As for President Obama’s use of the adjective “black”–clearly there are some descriptors that people of color can use, but which are inappropriate for others. As a white person, I understand that there are words I should never use, but which my multicultural brothers and sisters can use to make political points.

  • Putney Swope

    Yolanda being that you have not watched the show how on earth can you criticize it. If you had you would have seen a well written character rich drama that is taking a very critical eye to time and place it is depicting.

    As far as your comments on white people using the word black person, I see your point but I don’t think Matthew Weiner was doing it in the context your alluding to.

    As for your ultra PC outlook on what should be in TV or anything else, well I find that kind of mentality to be a bit much.

    I’m Jewish and there were no Jews working at the Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency and in fact there were some pretty crude jokes about Jews when they were trying to get a Jewish department stores business. Did this offend me? Nope, I knew I was watching a drama based on the ideas and morals of the period. It’s called drama, and just Shakespeare had what appeared to be a dim view of Jews, I still love his work. It’s the art not the man that one is attracted to.

  • Brett

    I live in and work in a racially diverse, metropolitan area, and I know of no one who thinks the word “black” is a racial epithet. Besides, Matthew Weiner called Obama a “black president” within the context of talking about how far the US has come since 1961, 62 and 63. Perhaps using the term “African-American” would have been considered more PC, but your fault, Yolanda, with Mr. Weiner’s adjective has to do with putting people in categories. Wouldn’t putting President Obama in an African-American context unnecessarily create an identity of “other” for him? As for your criticism that you’ve heard there is “an appalling dearth of African-American characters…” on Mad Men: in those days in the white, middle-class society portrayed on the show, blacks weren’t allowed to have multidimensional personalities of their own. In white society most were relegated to positions of elevator operators or maids. The show accurately portrays what the racism, as well as the sexism, of the time was like. Otherwise, it would be a sanitized, dumbed down portrayal.

    As far as your perception of “high art” vs. “low art;” both are valid and have value in society. Think of Classical music (“high art”) and Blues music (“low art”). Yolanda, you seem to want to use these terms by how much they display cultural diversity, which is not the way the terms are used.

  • Eric Westby

    Loved the program, and was loving the comments until the utterly execrable and sophomoric personal insults began to fly among a few commenters.

    I hope the producers will add a “Flag this post for removal” function to the comments section, so visitors can help you identify and delete puerile garbage such as that.

  • Yolanda

    Wow! I would have expected reaction to my comments like this on Glenn Beck’s message board, but not here! This profoundly saddens me.

    First, I am appalled that someone would write that “blacks weren’t allowed to have multidimensional personalities of their own.” Just because someone was an elevator operator means that he didn’t have a personality?! Are you kidding me?!! How difficult would it be for Mr. Weiner to let us into the personal lives and psyches of some African-American characters?!! No one here has told me that he has, and so therefore I feel justified in my criticism of the show.

    Second, I find it odd that the censor police come out to argue that my posts should be flagged for deletion, yet they seem to have no problem letting guests on this program who a) produce culturally insensitive programming, and b) (and this is something certainly not limited to Mr. Weiner) refuse to give our President his due for the tremendous progress he is making. I commend Mr. Ashbrook for reacting with skepticism at Mr. Weiner’s characterization of our current age.

    I am saddened that so many people worked so hard to elect our new President, but then turn their back on him when he is in office. We need to continue to organize against the plutocracy, the lies, and the bias, and we need to be vigilant everyday! I am sorry if I offended people by bringing up something as insignificant as politics when you were all trying to discuss a television program, which is obviously more important. Put down the remote, pick up “The Audacity of Hope,” and open up your minds!

  • Putney Swope

    Yolanda the show is about a an advertising agency in the late 50′s and early 60′s. Not only did they not hire African Americans, and while we are at being PC what about all the Caribbean people, they did not hire Jews.
    Also being gay was a HUGE no no. So while some of the characters seem to be gay, and some are it’s treated with morals of the day.

    You have not watched the show, you can’t be a critic without at least watching it. As far as dealing with race well I have only watched up to season 2 but one of the copywriters is involved with an African American woman and she was anything but one dimensional. In fact the way she has been written into the show is very well done. As with a lot of the writing there is a lot under the surface. This is what’s so brilliant about it. There are so many levels happening at the same time and they are sometimes hard to see at first.

    I’m sorry Yolanda I really think your off base here.

  • Putney Swope

    One more point, you talk about politics in your last post.
    By the way Obama is turning into a huge disappointment, despite him being African American. Obama has changed his tune on so many things he promised that I will not vote for this man unless I start to see some of the change he promised. The list is long, from not reinstating Habeas corpus to health care but that’s another subject.

    Watching Mad Men does not have anything to do with ones political ideology anymore than going to see The Merchant of Venice in the theater.

  • Brett

    Yes, Yolanda, in 1962, in many circles, African-Americans were expected to stay in a certain one-dimensional mode around white people. Many whites thought of a black person as “uppity” if he or she didn’t behave subserviently. Many blacks around whites stayed very quiet, averted eye contact and were even reluctant to offer an opinion if asked. Even much later, this sort of thing lingered. In 1970 my family moved to a southern town. My parents bought some sod for their lawn from a local farm. An old black man delivered the sod. He worked on the farm and was essentially an indentured servant, as was his father and his father before him. It was a very hot day that day, and when the man was finished delivering the sod my father asked me to ask the man if he would like a beer. The man accepted the beer but was very reluctant to come up on the porch to drink it. He stayed by his truck at the foot of the driveway.

    Additionally, you grossly misunderstood Tom Ashbrook’s criticism of Weiner’s view of current society. Weiner was saying our society has not come very far, really, from those days or at least not far enough.

    If you are going to be “vigilant” against social injustice, you’d better listen and understand what people are really saying much more carefully than you do!

  • Yolanda

    Brett–

    Sometimes you need to read between the lines of what someone is saying. It’s obvious that we have come very far, yet Mr. Weiner denies that. By denying that, he denies the tremendous strides we have made and are continuing to make with President Obama as our leader. I am just curious as to why someone would deny the work that President Obama has done and is doing. Mr. Asbhrook was willing to embrace that progress.

    Putney–

    The point remains, why construct a show’s premise in a way in which huge segments of the population are excluded?!

    I’m not even going to dignify your comments about President Obama with a detailed response. I’m sure your ideas will be welcomed on Rush Limbaugh’s site, but keep them off of a progressive forum, please. Children might be reading this.

  • Brett

    Yolanda,
    There’s a difference between ‘reading between the lines’ and thinking something was said that wasn’t! You’ve misinterpreted the discourse that occurred on the show just as you’ve misinterpreted the commentary on this blog.

    I’m sure Putney can speak for himself, but for you to suggest that his wariness of Obama’s abilities is something akin to the vitriol Limbaugh spews on his show is way, way off the mark, as is the shameless cautioning of his language because ‘children might be reading…’

    I am pulling for Obama, I truly am, and I’m sure Mr.Swope wants success, but it is healthy to question and doubt the President’s approach, especially considering Obama is proving to be ineffectual in managing the health care debate in Congress, make reasonable decisions about Afghanistan and stimulate job growth. He should be making better progress, considering he has a unique situation with a majority in the Congress. I am willing to say he hasn’t had enough time to get control of his presidency, but he is starting to look like he floundering.

    The positive side is that it’s a plus that Congress is developing a health care bill at all, and that there is not a quick jump to turn Afghanistan into another Iraq. Yet Obama is spending his political capital very quickly with little result. My fear is that there will be a backlash in 2010 and in 2012 and we will be subjected to a regression. I hope those fears prove to be unfounded.

  • Yolanda

    I certainly expected other educated readers of this board to challenge the comments of Brett and Putney, but it does seem like everyone else is asleep at the switch.

    I take an objective look at the state of this country today, and I am just aghast at how people could use words like “floundering,” “ineffectual,” and “disappointment” with reference to the President. If one compares our current environment to the unmitigated horrors of the last eight years, I shudder to think that anyone could be using such negative phrasing. The fact that some people are so quick to judge our President, to use such negative words, and to attack him makes me wonder the true motivations behind their cynicism. Thank goodness the de jure days of Jim Crow have passed, but we need to remind ourselves that the legacy lives on, and to act appropriately.

    Surely NPR listeners are educated and discerning enough to know better.

    My fear is that it is far too easy for us to recognize and dismiss the hatred that is spewed by Limbaugh, Palin, Beck, McCain, Rove, Bush, and their ilk. But the true danger to our democracy comes, I fear, from those who couch their retrogressive views in more subtle, apparently “acceptable” ways.

  • Putney Swope

    Yolanda for a person crying about social ills in society you seem pretty quick to use your censorship when comments are not to your liking. By the way, your a phony progressive and this is evident your numerous posts here.

    By the way this is not a progressive or conservative forum. As far as challenging me, your idea of that is to silence me. I voted for Obama. I was fooled by the “brand”. I am not using any langauge that insults him, his race or even his political party. I’m pointing to facts. Facts that are there for all to see.

    I’m entitled to be pissed off with Obama’s back room dealings with the pharmaceutical corporations and all the wall street deals as well. Posting these opinions is kind of the point of this forum.
    You seem to misunderstand that for some reason.
    It’s not an echo chamber for your ideology.

    It is a fact, Obama has kept almost all the Bush legal rulings on surveillance of American citizens, the suspension of Habeas corpus and a host of other things that I find worrying as it erodes our democracy. You point to words as “disappointment” and “ineffectual” as being to negative and it seems that what your suggesting is that I should stop being so critical of Obama because it offends your sensibilities and for some reason has something to do with race. My critique of Obama is based on what I heard him say during the campaign.

    He vowed to “do our business in the light of day” — with health care negotiations broadcast on C-Span — and to “restore the vital trust between people and their government.” He said, “I intend to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over.” These quotes were picked from Frank Riches OPED in the NY Times.

    Well the corporate lobbyists seem to be doing business as usual and I’m still waiting for that transparency Obama promised.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/opinion/04rich.html?ref=opinion

    As far as your comments on Mad Men go well you never watched the show so how can make any kind of educated comments on it or Mr Wienr’s intent.
    This is a vacant intellectual discourse based on nothing but your imagined idea of what the show is.

  • Putney Swope

    Yolanda correct me if I’m wrong here. You seem to be saying that Obama should get a pass on critical comments because he’s an African American. I am reading this in your comments as a subtext. Shame on you if this is your underlying agenda.

  • Yolanda

    No–I was saying that Obama should not receive critical comments, not because he’s an African American, but because those criticisms are simply not warranted. Never before has a president been so criticized for doing such a wonderful job. The consensus of the public is correct–such undue criticism is, more often than not, rooted in retrogressive racism.

    Although since you bring it up–We cannot forget the centuries of racial oppression in this country, and we should certainly bear that in mind when making comments against multicultural office holders.

    Finally–how dare you call me a “phony progresive!” I’m the one here urging support for our President’s (progressive) agenda, while you are merely making petty comments that, frankly, are not in proper service to him or the needs of our country. I have no interest in supporting the agendas of the Sarah Palins and the Glenn Becks of the world!!

  • Yolanda

    Frankly, I am tempted to give up here and target my energies elsewhere. I thought I could come to an NPR page for dialogue with open-minded individuals, and instead I find little more than venom from McCainiacs who want their women to remain silent and supportive in the face of injustice. The world has changed, and is changing, and it is time for Mr. Weiner and many people here to deal with that!!

  • Putney Swope

    Yolanda Obama hired Larry Summers as his economic adviser. That’s not what I would call progressive.
    He hired Geithner as well. The mere fact that Obama met with the Big Pharma behind closed doors to cut a deal shows me he is a smart politician, but no progressive.

    He has not reinstated Habeas corpus as I have stated already. You seem to to be over looking a lot of what’s going on and giving Obama a pass. By the way Obama is not a progressive, he’s a centrist and even Dr. Cornel West is stating this and is highly critical of Obama and states that people should be.

    http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/30/dr_cornel_west_on_his_new

    My comments on your progressive credentials are based on how you treat people like myself, when we make comments that do not line up with your beliefs. That’s not progressive, that’s regressive.

    You keep missing the point on Wiener, it’s amazing and so short sited that a person who fens wanting an educated dialogue can make such inane comments about a show you did not watch and a writer whom you seem to know little about.

  • BC

    For people to charge (albeit in a particularly sleazy, indirect way) that liberals who express their perfectly justified disappointment in Obama (sorry, “our leader” — should I salute?) are doing so because we’re racists is … disappointing.

    Obama himself is smarter than that, and it’s sad to see that people who thoughtlessly cheerlead for him evidently aren’t looking beyond his color themselves, in their (also perfectly justified) enthusiasm for the history-making fact of his electoral victory.

    Putney Swope is right about habeas corpus. But it’s worse than that — the president hasn’t just failed to revive it, he’s been kicking it in the teeth and stomping on it to make sure it’s dead.

    Of COURSE he’s better than Bush; like testicular cancer is better than bladder cancer. But one isn’t a cure for the other.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1261192041 Anish Tripathi

    i paused watching mad men after season 1 episode 2 because i was annoyed by the number of times people were smoking in it. I have nothing against smoking but it was the most distracting thing on the show and got annoying after a while…. might have been a reason to ruin the show!!!! too much smoke!

  • Pingback: Do We Crave the Authority of the ‘Mad Men’ World? « dispatches from anonymous land.

  • Pingback: ‘Mad Men’ Season 6 Recap And The Redemption Of Don Draper? | Cognoscenti

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 28, 2014
This June 4, 2014 photo shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston. Walgreen Co. _ which bills itself as “America’s premier pharmacy” _ is among many companies considering combining operations with foreign businesses to trim their tax bills. (AP)

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Jul 28, 2014
U.S. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker watches as wounded American soldiers arrive at an American hospital near the front during World War I. (AP Photo)

Marking the one hundredth anniversary of the start of World War One. We’ll look at lessons learned and our uneasy peace right now.

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