The week in podcastery

I’ve been enjoying Alec Baldwin’s new podcast, Here’s the Thing, although I don’t think he rehabilitated Kris Kardashian Jenner‘s image quite as much as he seems to think in his latest offering. I have no doubt they’re genuine (if unlikely) friends, and Jenner doesn’t come across as one of the world’s most horrible people — which is probably the image her family’s reality television ubiquity most presents. But nor does she come across as particularly interesting or worthy of attention. At best, Baldwin convinced that, for all their faults, the Kardashians themselves are probably not pure evil. High praise indeed. His earlier interview Michael Douglas is a lot more interesting.

Jordan Jesse Go! took a page from Golden Girls with their 200th episode and offered up a clip show. This might be a good place to dive in if you’re new to the show, though keep in mind that the pair and their guests work a little bluer than Alec Baldwin. (Even this Alec Baldwin.) But they’re genuinely funny, and JJGo is easily one of my favorite guys-just-talking-about-stuff weekly podcasts. (Along with its Canadian counterpart, Stop Podcasting Yourself.)

Although I think I preferred Community‘s “clip show” better.

And finally, there’s Studio 360, which I genuinely enjoy, although I was deeply disappointed in host Kurt Andersen’s recent interview with Robert Levine about the Stop Online Piracy Act. I tried posting this as a comment at their site, but even logged in I ran into problems. Perhaps the post is closed to comments now that the show’s a week or two old, I don’t know. At any rate, I thought the rest of episode was quite good, but the one segment left a lot to be desired:

Let me just add my resounding disappointment with the piece. It’s not that Robert Levine (or even Studio 360) has a particular point of view on this contentious issue, much less one that’s antithetical to my own. It’s that no dissenting view is heard except in passing, to be dismissed as fear-mongering, exaggeration, and/or spurred by questionable and monetary motives.

Levine makes a reasoned argument in favor of copyright and anti-piracy legislation, but sweeps aside justifiable concerns that SOPA and its Senate counterpart are absolutely terrible tools in this regard. They will do little to protect the copyright of artists (or the corporations who ostensibly represent them) — who are already protected by a bevy of existing law such as DMCA. Rather, they will almost certainly open the doors to many of the “chilling effects” that Levine is so quick to dismiss. The language of the bill is vague and wide-sweeping and dangerous — not to pirates, but law-abiding businesses and users on the internet.

But, regardless of whether or not Levine — and Studio 360 — agrees with that argument, to present only one side of a thorny, ongoing public policy debate is, at best, an oversight and, at worst, irresponsible journalism. I expect more from Studio 360 and was therefore deeply disappointed.