2020年10月16日 星期五

The Daily: The Political Is Personal, Too

We go behind the scenes on our abortion debate coverage. Plus, Barbaro's birthday.

We made it to Friday! After a busy, politics-heavy week, our team is headed into the weekend like Jake Gyllenhaal in “Demolition” (though we’re not commuting much, these days).

This week, we asked why the left is losing on abortion on Monday; got an update on the economy on Tuesday; listened in with Adam Liptak to Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings on Wednesday; and finished the week with a series examining both President Trump’s and former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign promises on Thursday and Friday.

This weekend, we have a Sunday Read coming honoring the work of our late colleague Jim Dwyer. We hope you’ll listen.

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An abortion rights demonstration outside the Supreme Court in January.Olivier Douliery/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Behind the scenes on our abortion coverage

The Daily inbox is a stethoscope, our way of checking listeners’ pulses as they react to the show. Every week, we read your opinions on just about everything: Michael’s voice, our music choices and, most importantly, the issues we cover.

Our inbox has been particularly busy in the last few weeks as we have released two episodes on the battle over abortion rights in the wake of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death.


Women around the world have written in describing their experiences terminating pregnancies. Their emails took us to homes and hospitals, Brazilian schoolyards and mango tree forests. They wrote intimately about the costs and calculations they were forced to weigh, and the complications that often followed, in places where access to abortion was criminalized. “I survived this struggle,” one listener said. “I know of some that did not. It was harder to write that I thought it would be.”

These stories underscore that the political is often personal, too — a truism that informed how we planned and produced these episodes.

“That week, it felt like a lifetime. You know, the ultimate 2020 cliché,” the editor M.J. Davis Lin said. “We understood that immediately her seat was going to become the biggest political battle maybe of 2020. But we also knew this political decision would affect millions of people. So we wondered: Who was behind this fight? And what brought them to this moment?”

When the producers Rachel Quester and Neena Pathak asked our reporters whom we should be speaking to, two names kept coming up: Marjorie Dannenfelser, an anti-abortion campaigner and president of the Susan B. Anthony List, and Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.


So we decided to give them calls. A few weeks ago, we heard Marjorie describe the strategic electoral and judicial considerations that have gone into conservatives’ decades-long fight against abortion access. And this week, Ilyse examined how reproductive rights campaigners, and the broader progressive movement, had failed to effectively fight back against the erosion of rights established by Roe v. Wade. But beyond both women’s analysis, we again heard the personal stories that animated their politics.

Marjorie described her conversion from anti-Trump campaigner to friend and adviser of the president. “We were struck by her journey, her story, her absolute candor and the compromises she was willing to make along the way,” M.J. said. Ilyse, too, referenced the personal journeys of politicians like Wendy Davis, Jen Jordan and Cora Faith Walker in their campaigns for abortion rights.

Ilyse said she ultimately believed the resolution to the question over abortion access will be settled by shifts in public opinion — like those expressed in the stories that have filled our inbox. “Right now, the abortion rights movement is figuring out how to knit together all the experiences and the people when defeat is literally on the horizon,” she said.

Happy birthday, Michael!

This is how we used to do birthdays, back in the Office Era.Annie Brown

Michael Barbaro turned one year older this week. To celebrate, we dug up the producer Annie Brown’s tribute to him and his hmms (the hmms never age).

And this year, we’ve got a new gem featuring another beloved Barbaro-ism: “What do you mean?” Give it a listen, brought to you by the host-whisperer Michael Simon Johnson and the producer Neena Pathak.

The return of the Modern Love podcast

Brian Rea

The Modern Love podcast is back! If you haven’t listened before, it’s a podcast that explores love in all its forms — through the first-person stories of real people.

But this season, love is going to sound a little different. For one, the podcast is now produced entirely by The Times. “We wanted the show to feel like you’re slipping into a warm bath, a respite from challenging times,” the editor Wendy Dorr said.

And it’s hosted by a new duo: Daniel Jones, who created the Modern Love column in 2004, and Miya Lee, who began working on the column as a submission reader during her freshman year of college.

On the premiere, “Driveway Elegies,” we hear from two women who look to the everyday objects around their homes — stained teacups, the car in the driveway, the razor and shaving cream by the sink — to piece together why their marriages unraveled.

Tune in every Wednesday for a new episode and feels. You can subscribe to Modern Love wherever you get your podcasts.

That’s it for The Daily newsletter. See you next week.

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