Episode Information

CMS: A Pen Warmed Up in Hell
Aired:
03/09/2010
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“A pen warmed up in hell” is the phrase Twain used to describe his acerbic writing on political matters.

 

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49:30 minutes (23.77 MB)
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"Everything is changing. People are taking comedians seriously and politicians as jokes." A timely observation, had it not been made by Will Rogers about 100 years ago.

Rogers also said nothing important is ever left up to a vote of the people. He's a good example of the tradition we will celebrate today - writers and commentators who combined wit and hyperbole and understatement and honesty and artifice and cynicism and idealism and general hell-raising and balloon-popping. That's why the Mark Twain House has a series called "A Pen Warmed Up in Hell" and that's why the next two participants in that series are Matt Taibbi and Charlie Pierce, who are on the show today.

They are crusaders against Big Business, Big Government, Big Religion, Big Oil, Big Media and, as Walt Kelly would say, Big Britches. They are angry and funny, the primordial combination that stretches from Mark Twain to Jon Stewart.

You can join the conversation. Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.


 
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