This Week's Guest: Bad With Money's Gaby Dunn
What happens when you allow yourself to become a character in the stories that you tell about the world around you? My guest on this episode is the fantastic Gaby Dunn -- actress, journalist, writer, comedian, activist, blogger. Her podcast and forthcoming book are both entitled Bad with Money, and chronicle Gaby's attempts to help others manage their finances as she learns to manage her own. Gaby's background is in journalism, where the first rule is to remain neutral and never inject yourself into the story. But she felt drained by the pressure to hide behind her reporting, and discovered that getting personal and revealing was a gateway to more fulfilling work, and a more fulfilling life.
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Also! If you're looking for more queer podcasts, check out the show I host with some fantastically funny drag queens called Queens of Adventure. We play an ongoing and very queer game of Dungeons & Dragons and we just announced some more live shows. Subscribe, sign up for the mailing list, and get tickets at QueensOfAdventure.com.
This Week's Recommendation: His Girl Friday
For my recommendation this week, take a look at the movie His Girl Friday, staring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russel. It's one of my very favorite films, following a will-they-won't-they pair of reporters who struggle with their feelings for each other and their dedication to covering the news. His Girl Friday comes from the era of fast-talking black and white screwball comedies, and it veers from farce to romance to an indictment of mass media that's still relevant -- in fact, perhaps even more relevant -- to this day.
We talked a lot on this episode of the podcast about journalism, and the long-standing rule that reporters must keep their writing as impersonal as possible. And at first, that might seem like a good rule of thumb, since you'd think that the whole point of news is to receive an objective reporting of the facts. But there's a problem with that: first, as we discussed, that exacts a pretty heavy toll of journalists. And second, it's impossible for news to ever be truly objective
Although his Girl Friday is definitely a Hollywood depiction of journalism, it has a brilliant appreciation for the fact that there are actual human beings behind the words you read, whether they're printed on a page or today glowing on a screen. It shows how newsworthy events intersect with the personal lives of those covering them, and how impossible it can be to maintain a firewall of objectivity -- since the very act of relaying information is always going to include a point of view.