This week we’re delving into the world of sports, and also the world of the 1980s, and also the world of essays that are maybe kind of mean? Pat Jordan is a real titan of sports writing, one of those figures that’s always cited as an influence by younger writers. He was particularly celebrated for his profiles of athletes; unlike so many other magazine writers, Jordan was known for being unsparing with his subjects. But when does that tip over into mean-spiritedness? That’s one of the questions we consider this week.
You can read a copy of Jordan’s story here, to see if you agree with our take on its tone and style.
In the second half of the show, we talk about what makes a good celebrity or athlete profile versus a bad one. We also discuss an ill-conceived Vogue profile of Asma al-Assad, wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which basically wrote around the inconvenient part about her husband being a horrible autocrat. Vogue eventually wiped the piece off the internet.
As always, you can stream the episode right here on our site, or download the mp3 file. You can also find us in the iTunes store, or in just about any app you might use to listen to podcasts.
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Stream Episode 229:
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