Past Present Podcast: Comey’s Firing, Teeth & Dentistry, and the Bachelorette


On this week’s episode of Past Present, Niki, Natalia, and Neil debate Jim Comey’s firing, teeth and dental care, and the Bachelorette’s first black star. Comey’s Firing Donald Trump has admitted he fired FBI director Jim Comey because he was investigating Russia’s role in the 2016 election. We discussed the usefulness of comparing Comey’s firing to Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre. Natalia shared the historian Nathan Connolly’s Facebook post that Trump’s decision reflected his businessman mindset where firing someone makes a problem go away. Teeth & Dentistry The Washington Post article, “The Painful Truth About Teeth,” investigated the huge divide in […]

Past Present Podcast: Transparent, Wells Fargo, and Cable News

Wells Fargo

In this week’s episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia debate the place of Transparent in the history of LGBTQ representation on television, fraud at Wells Fargo, and the 20th anniversary of Fox News. Transparent The third season of the hit show Transparent recently launched on Amazon. Natalia recommended the roundtable on Transparent held by Public Books. Neil sketched a history of LGBT television, starting with the controversial CBS documentary “The Homosexuals” from 1967. Niki remarked on the depiction of AIDS in the 1980s, including the movie “Philadelphia.” Neil remembered the controversy over Melrose Place’s same-sex kiss in 1994. Wells Fargo Wells Fargo is under investigation for opening more […]

Past Present Podcast: Antonin Scalia, Samantha Bee, and the Grammys

Kendrick Lamar

On this week’s Past Present podcast, Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, and Neil Young discuss Antonin Scalia, Samantha Bee and women in comedy, and the Grammy Awards. Replacing Scalia The death of Antonin Scalia has opened up a spot on the Supreme Court and created a political controversy about his replacement. Niki noted Scalia’s reputation as a Constitutional originalist, and but Neil noted Scalia pivoted between originalist and textualist interpretations depending on the cases. While most originalists are conservatives, Neil commented that some liberals, like Yale Law School’s Akhil Reed Amar, have also claimed the originalist mantle. Niki argued that […]