Boychuk and Buskirk on Sex Scandals and ‘Liquid Society’

By | 2017-11-22T10:42:08+00:00 November 22nd, 2017|
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American Greatness Managing Editor Ben Boychuk returned to the Seth and Chris Show to discuss the widening sexual misconduct scandals, which show no sign of slowing down anytime soon. To mix things up a bit, the discussion in the second half turned to Umberto Eco’s posthumous volume of essays, Chronicles of a Liquid Society. Listen to the audio and read the transcript.

Chris Buskirk: Sure is. I am Chris Buskirk. He is Seth Leibsohn. This is the Seth and Chris Show. This is the ultimate show of the week. “Ultimate,” meaning final, final show of the week.

Yesterday was the penultimate show of the week and it was a fun show, too. We had Orson Bean on yesterday. I had gotten so much feedback from you guys since I had Orson Bean on yesterday. Emails, texts, calls yesterday. Obviously, Orson Bean was a big hit. We had a lot of fun. We had a chance to chat a little bit offline. We’re definitely going to have him back. Boy, what a good guy. I really enjoyed that.

But guess what? Right now we have somebody who is, I don’t know, as fun, more fun? Let’s go for more fun. Ben Boychuk, my friend, my colleague, managing editor of American Greatness. He is joining us right at the top of the show today. Ben, how are you?

Ben Boychuk: Great. So, more fun and half the age I guess. That’s good. That’s a good sign that I’ll be as awesome or maybe more awesome.

Buskirk: We’re hoping for more fun, Ben. We’re hoping for more fun. We’re setting the bar high because you can do it.

Boychuk: Yeah, well, I’ll give you my best. I enjoyed that interview by the way. I got a chance to listen to it.

Buskirk: Oh, you did listen to it? He was just great. There’s not many people where you just … I mean, I did not know him before yesterday, other than we had an email exchange setting up the interview. Just very personable, and warm, and just funny, and just very, very easy to get along with. Loved him.

Boychuk: And good stories.

Buskirk: Great stories. Great stories. Loved it. So, Ben, let me jump right to something, Ben. Al Franken, our old friend.

Boychuk: Oh, no. OK.

Buskirk: I know. It’s a little uncomfortable just to even hear the name now. I didn’t like hearing the name two days ago, three days ago, whatever, before the story broke just because I always thought Al Franken was sort of cringe inducing. I’m guessing, like you Ben, I grew up watching Saturday Night Live. Loved it. He was never funny. I just never thought he was funny on Saturday Night Live. He was always kind of a little … there was always kind of a little creepiness to him, but more that kind of smug bitterness that has come to embody modern leftism.

Boychuk: So you weren’t a Stuart Smalley fan?

Buskirk: That was his high point, and that was only kind of funny, but that definitely was … I don’t know. There was this kind of weird, sardonic, kind of bitterness to even just… Stuart Smalley. And that was as good as he got. But do you remember the thing he did where he was the reporter where he kind of had all the accoutrements on his back? He would always be reporting from some place like a helicopter blade, and backpack and all this stuff. That wasn’t funny.

Boychuk: No. It wasn’t. I did like him as Paul Tsongas though. Remember that?

Buskirk: Yeah, I do. I do.

Boychuk: Now we’re really dating ourselves because, you know…

Buskirk: Because who knows who Paul Tsongas is?

Boychuk: Well, right, probably, three-quarters of the listeners are scratching their heads going, “Wait a minute. I vaguely remember that name.” He ran for president. What was it? ’92?

Buskirk: I want to say it was ’92, yeah, it’s gotta be, I’m remembering a friend. I’m remembering a friend, not a political person, he now owns a successful business in the northwest. I remember he was all about Paul Tsongas in ’91 and ’92, which was so out of character because he was not a Tsongas-type of person. I’m like, “Really? What is it? The plaid shirts?”

Boychuk: I had a friend, too, who was all about what he called “the vaunted Paul Tsongas juggernaut.”

Buskirk: We’re still waiting for it.

Boychuk: Yeah, we’re still … history will reflect it . . .  it was overly vaunted and not much of a juggernaut. Also, Al Franken… couple things about Al Franken, for people who are sort of hardcore fans of Saturday Night Live. There are a couple of great books, histories of the program, and Franken was there almost from the beginning of the show.

Buskirk: Yeah.

Boychuk: And so much of that show’s legacy, especially early on, was very drug-fueled.

Buskirk: Hold on a second. You’re telling me John Belushi was taking drugs when he was doing that? That sounds unsafe.

Boychuk: He didn’t say no.

Buskirk: He did not say no.

Boychuk: He didn’t say no.

Buskirk: Ever, to anything.

Boychuk: You know, Franken had a book out earlier this year. I didn’t read it but I saw excerpts of it. He was very candid about the fact that he was a fairly regular recreational drug user, but as far as I know, there was nothing really so much … I guess it’s easier now when you’re a politician, you inhaled and inhaled a lot, but sexual escapades are still very much off the table. And especially now that we’re all losing our minds.

Buskirk: You know what’s interesting about this Franken thing? There’s a second woman who’s now got her own Al Franken stories, who’s come out as of earlier today. One thing that nobody seems to have talked about, I don’t know why, Al Franken has been married since 1975. Does Mrs. Franken mind that he’s sticking his tongue in other women’s mouths and grabbing their breasts?

Boychuk: That’s a good question.

Buskirk: Yeah. Right. There’s a focus, which I understand, on the act itself, which is abusive as a number of people have pointed out and in most states, qualifies as assault. But there’s also the P.S. he’s married.

Boychuk: Yeah. You know what? I didn’t know that. I always . . .

Buskirk: So you, like me, were thinking, “Who would marry this guy? He’s gotta be single.”

Boychuk: Does he have kids?

Buskirk: Two.

Boychuk: What? Oh. This is a revelation to me. Wow. Wow. Well, I did read about the second accuser, but I also saw that his office put out a statement signed by seven current or former staffers of his, attesting to his honor and moral rectitude.

Buskirk: Oh, is that the way we do it now? We just tell people, “Oh, he didn’t assault me.”

Boychuk: Right. Right. We have dueling, you know . . .

Buskirk: That’s a good way to do it. So if you go rob a bank, and at your trial, do you then get letters from the other banks that say, “Well, he must be okay. He didn’t rob us.”

Boychuk: “He didn’t rob us. He didn’t rob us.”

Buskirk: “We were just down the block. He didn’t rob us, so I think you should let him off for the place that he did rob.”

Boychuk: Yeah. You know, this is becoming … where do you suppose this is going to end, Chris?

Buskirk: That really is the question, because I don’t know is the answer. I mean, this is … it either is just at the beginning or people lose interest. And I could not tell you at this point which one it’s going to be. The only reason I think people might lose interest is because, and this is going to sound terrible, I think that in certain industries, I’m going to just throw government out there as an industry. I think it might be so pervasive that we could have stories like this, a couple a week, for the next decade.

Boychuk: Sure. I think so. The reason why I think this story probably has long legs is that, we haven’t yet discussed this little aspect of it, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, from my state of California, she’s the one who’s kind of come out over the past week and said, “Would anyone be interested in knowing that we’ve spent upwards of, between 15 and 17 million taxpayer dollars on settlements for sexual harassment claims in Congress?”

Buskirk: Yeah, this is the now-notorious slush fund. Laura was on this other night, talking about this slush fund.

Boychuk: Right. And not only that …

Buskirk: Slush fund never sounds good.

Boychuk: No, no, slush funds are … it’s hard to put a positive spin on that . . . but not only that, the congresswoman alleges that some of these shenanigans have gone on, on the floor of the House. The money didn’t really surprise me that much, but for these things to go on, on the floor was a bit surprising to me. Every time I think I can’t be surprised or shocked by something, then something like that comes up and I was sort of shocked by that. It’s one thing in the 19th century where you have members caning each other and getting into blows.

Buskirk: Right, that I can get my mind around. They’re important issues of the day. People get a little heated. They take out the old cane. But this is just seedy and depraved.

Boychuk: Yeah. That’s the way I kind of sighed when you mention Franken.

Buskirk: Yeah, you gotta wonder Ben, how many congressmen, how many senators are wondering when their time is gonna come, right? How many when they’re in their bed at night, hopefully with their wife or alone, are wondering when they wake up to go to the bathroom at 2 a.m. are saying, “Oh, I hope that Blank doesn’t say anything.”

Boychuk: Right. Oh, it’s coming.

Buskirk: It’s coming. This train is coming. I am very interested to see what information Jackie Speier brings forth. More people should bring it out. Look. Where they say sunlight’s the disinfectant, let’s bring some out.

Ben Boychuk is my guest. We’re going to run to a quick break. We’ll be right back.

I am Chris Buskirk. He is Seth Leibsohn. Welcome back to the Seth and Chris Show. We are joined by our friend and colleague, Ben Boychuk. He is the managing editor of American Greatness. You can catch up with Ben and everything going on in American Greatness at www.amgreatness.com.

Ben, before we leave the subject and move on to other things, I do want to ask you about one additional thing, probe it a little bit further. This thing with Jackie Speier, I mean she has been out there. This is not somebody that you or I probably agree with maybe ever on policy issues, but I do think that she’s right in bringing this issue to the floor. Explain as well as you understand it because there’s not a ton of information that I’ve seen. So there’s 17 million dollars that Congress has spent on paying off sexual harassment claimants. What’s the time period of which she’s saying that’s been spent?

Boychuk: I think that was over a period of, I want to say, I don’t know for sure, I think it’s over the period of the past five years or so.

Buskirk: That’s a lot.

Boychuk: I’m sorry?

Buskirk: That’s a lot.

Boychuk: Oh, sure it is. Sure it is. Well, you know, in California there have been several stories about the state legislature here and that the dollar amount is much less. But it’s in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, as opposed to millions.

Buskirk: There’s a story here in Arizona, very similar, about a state legislator here that this has been just sort of boiling here in the local news over the past, I don’t know, three weeks.

Boychuk: Does that make it … so, in journalistic terms, we used to say, “Three makes it a trend.” When we’re talking about … when we start adding up all of these dollars…

[crosstalk 00:13:24]

Buskirk: 17 million must make a lot of trends. A big trend.

Boychuk: Well, I was going to say it makes it a pandemic.

Buskirk: Yeah, right.

Boychuk: And so, what Congresswoman Speier is highlighting is very much in the public interest. It’s not just [inaudible 00:13:43] interest. This is one of the reasons why all of these stories have lasted. It started with Harvey Weinstein what seems like a few months ago now, well it actually really started with the Cosby case, but it’s sort of been gaining momentum. I don’t see any sign of it slowing down. When it reaches elected officials, people who the public trust, the reason why the Franken story is so important, the reason why the Moore case is so important, and why there’s probably going to be many more stories like this as details come out about who are some of the people involved in these cases that required all these tax dollars to be distributed.

Buskirk: Right.

Boychuk: That’s very much in the public interest. The public should have a right to know if their elected representatives are getting themselves into trouble and costing them money. That’s an important thing to know.

Buskirk: And there’s more to it than just the money, though that’s not nothing, but it’s an abuse of office.

Boychuk: That’s exactly right. That’s right because one of the things when feminists talk about sexual harassment and the rape culture, the so called “rape culture,” and this is something that really started in, I think, the 1990’s, and it’s taken hold over time. They’re taking about mismatches in power. Inequality of power relationships, and you hear this all the time now as all these stories come out. It was somebody who exercised a great deal of power over a young woman’s life, whether it was a job or reputation or the prospect of future employment. Somebody who holds the public trust, somebody who is elected by the people to represent them holds a great deal of power, and with great power, as they say, comes great responsibility. And so all of a sudden when these things come out, I think we very much have a right to know who these folks are involved and people are going to need to make the judgements, whether they want to keep them around or not.

The voters of Minnesota ultimately are going to have to decide. I don’t know [inaudible 00:16:19] calls, people saying Franken should resign, whatever. He’s been pretty flippant about … his apology was pretty lame and he’s taken a lot of heat for it. So, good.

Buskirk: Yeah, his apology was kind of one of those, “I’m sorry you felt that way,” type of apologies.

Boychuk: Yeah, sort of crass I think. So voters in Minnesota are going to have to take that into account. They may ultimately decide that whatever virtues he brings to that office outweigh the fact that he’s a pig. I don’t know, but certainly, it’s good that we know this and we should. I hope we learn a lot more about what’s going out there with regards to these allegations and payouts.

Buskirk: Yeah, we think about, going back to the ’90s, thinking about Bill Clinton. So, Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky did what they did. There have not been claims of other women in the White House at the time, though it would shock me if there actually weren’t or maybe they had been paid off or whatever, but there are plenty of other women wanting to, Juanita Broaddrick, and others, who have all kinds of horrendous claims against Bill Clinton, but when we looked at Bill Clinton in the ’90s, it wasn’t simply the act of what he did. He was married at the time to Hillary, which is enough to drive anyone to adultery, but it’s still no excuse. Right? It was weird he did it, and with whom he did it.

Boychuk: Right, that’s right.

Buskirk: So there was the Left, the Democrats at the time, made the arguments, “Well you know, this is just a private, sexual peccadillo and it’s nobody else’s business.” Um, maybe. If it was simply the adultery, well that really is between he and his wife, and ultimately voters at reelection, they can decide how to weigh that in their voting however they choose. But, the fact that he was doing it as president, with an intern, in the Oval Office. That to me takes it to a different level where it is a violation of the Oath of Office. It’s a violation of the public trust. It’s an abuse of the authority of the office, and that, I think, needs to be held to a higher standard.

Boychuk: Right, I think that’s right and I think that’s where a lot of people got confused about the impeachment controversy, now 20-plus years ago. There’s another aspect to this of course, and that is, the word “collusion” has entered the vocabulary like no other time in our history. There’s a great deal of collusion with the media back during those Clinton scandals. Michael Isikoff, of the Washington Post and then Newsweek, knew. He wanted to run the story, knew about Juanita Broaddrick. NBC News knew about Juanita Broaddrick in 1992. They sat on that story. And Juanita Broaddrick alleges, credibly, that she was raped by then-governor, Bill Clinton. There were lots of those stories, and the media had them. A lot of them could be corroborated, but they didn’t use them until they were kind of forced to use them.

Buskirk: Yeah.

[crosstalk 00:19:41]

At a certain point, Ben, I think there’s definitely a lot of focus definitely on this right now, but they’re going to run out of space in the papers. That sounds funny but I think that’s actually true. There’s so many of these claims out there and more and more of them are going to come to light. We’re going to have information overload. I don’t know. I guess we’ll have to figure out how to process that.

Ben, we’re going to go to a break and then we’ll be right back.

I am Chris Buskirk. He is Seth Leibsohn. Welcome back to the Seth and Chris Show. We’re joined by Ben Boychuk. He’s managing editor at American Greatness.

Ben, I don’t know about you, I think I’ve had enough of talking about sexual assault that I can take for the day, which means I can’t talk about politics barely this week.

Boychuk: I have a feeling this is going to be an awkward segue from sex scandals to tax reform or something and meanwhile people…

[crosstalk 00:21:01]

Buskirk: You’re close. It’s going to be an awkward segue to something else because I understand that you believe we’re soaking in a liquid society.

Boychuk: Oh, hey, there we go.

Buskirk: Yeah.

Boychuk: So, folks, please, don’t touch that dial but we’re going to talk a little philosophy right now.

Buskirk: Yeah, let’s do it. So, you wrote, I thought a really interesting piece for the Sacramento Bee. It’s posted American Greatness. You can get it there. But it’s called … maybe I’m dating myself here Ben, but I thought the headline was great. “A Liquid Society? You’re Soaking In It.”

Boychuk: Thank you. So that was mine, and yeah, that refers to ad slogan from the ’80s. I don’t know how many people are going to get it, but usually, when I suggest headlines on my column, usually the way it works with newspapers and things like that, you suggest the headline and the editor immediately throws it out. But this one, my editor at the Sacramento Bee actually used it. So, thanks, Foon!

So the piece is really about … I wanted to do something a little bit different this week and so I happened to be reading this new book of essays published by Umberto Eco, who died last year, the Italian philosopher and novelist wrote The Name of the Rose in 1980 and several other very difficult to read novels.

Buskirk: Have you read that?

Boychuk: No. I started it. I couldn’t get into it.

Buskirk: Have you seen the movie?

Boychuk: No. No.

Buskirk: I’m with you on this one, Ben. I could not drag myself through that book. I tried. It’s been years. Maybe it’s worth trying again at some point. The movie on the other hand, very enjoyable, and kind of very intense but well made and worth watching.

Boychuk: Yeah, Sean Connery is in it, I know, and a young Christian Slater, so I might have to check that out. But, so Eco, I’ve always liked his nonfiction, his essays. He was an interesting guy, very much a man of the Left but had some interesting insights of the world and so the new published book of essays, all taken from magazine columns he’s written over the years, it talks about this concept of “liquid society” or “liquid modernity,” which it’s really just this idea that without a lot of certainty, there’s been such a diminishment of institutions and destruction of institutions [like] the church, or state, or business, or anything… And, of course, as society becomes more secular and people lose their faith in God, what are they left with? There’s no clear sort of guidance and people are left essentially to worship themselves, or to worship, or to follow other false idols, like fame or the cult of the body, or greed, or power, or any number of things.

Eco in his essays, he talks a lot about how technological progress is often regress and what the sort of desire for attention, because in one of these pieces, he says if there’s no longer an “all-seeing Witness,” like God—and Eco incidentally was an atheist but, “If there’s no longer a witness, capital W witness, then people are left to fight against the void by seeking attention for themselves—and they will do it in terrible ways. They will do it. They’ll try to get on television. The rise of reality TV and sort of fake celebrity.

Buskirk: Instagram famous.

Boychuk: Oh, sure. Instagram. That’s right. And I hear this. My own daughter has asked… she saw a picture of herself once on my Facebook wall, she said, “I’m famous!” I said, “Well…”

Buskirk: Yeah, you and a billion and a half other people.

Boychuk: Right. So, it’s problem and it has vast sort of social and cultural implications, so I try to just kind of tweak it a little bit in 600 words and I’m actually getting some interesting feedback on it from readers but yeah.

Buskirk: 600 words?

Boychuk: That’s all they give me.

Buskirk: Oh my gosh. I guess I didn’t notice when I read it, but yeah, you’re right. That was a quick read but that’s kind of where it is today. Ben, I do want to ask you a question about this piece when we come back but there’s not time really to even get the question out before we have to go to this break. We have more on this when we come back to more of the Seth and Chris Show.

Alright, Ben, name the show.

Boychuk: Fall Guy.

Buskirk: Of course it’s the fall guy. And yes, I did have the poster up in my room. Too much information? Apparently not. The things that I used to think were too much information, given what comes out of Washington and Hollywood these days, I’m not even on the scale of too much information.

Boychuk: Right. With Lee Major singing that by the way—and incidentally, you’ve asked me that on the air before.

Buskirk: Have I?

Boychuk: You’ve asked me that on the air before, yeah, but I was prepared this time.

Buskirk: This is one of these shows that needs to have a comeback. Not a remake, just a comeback. I just want us to be able to stream the old shows.

Boychuk: That would be great. Look, that was one of the quintessential 1980’s action shows. It was great.

Buskirk: And I think … I have not seen it in years and years, but I am going to guess that it probably aged pretty well.

Boychuk: I don’t know. I haven’t seen it in probably about as long, so I don’t … my memory of it is good.

Buskirk: All good, right?

Boychuk: That sort of warm, fuzzy memories, so yeah. I think so.

Buskirk: Alright. Umberto Eco. Try and say that five times fast. Umberto Eco, he makes the point, which I think is kind of the obvious point, but the answer not so obvious, is the struggle that we have. What happens a society becomes secularized? This is I think in part what he’s getting at, which is when there is … what was the expression that he used? When there is no all seeing conscience, or how did he express it?

Boychuk: Witness.

Buskirk: All seeing witness.

Boychuk: When there’s no seeing witness, right.

Buskirk: How does he answer that question? It’s particularly interesting he was an atheist, so what’s his answer?

Boychuk: Well, I think what he was trying to do was trying to find some sort of humane way to reconcile with the absence of God. That’s what I think he was trying to do. I don’t think he succeeded, but that’s what I think he was trying to do. I think he was … and I think that’s so much of what sort of the thing about the new atheists, Christopher Hitchens and Dawkins and some of those guys. Those guys are making the assertion that theism is a lie, there is no God, but we don’t need necessarily lose our moorings. There can be a humane way to reconcile these things.

Eco, in his writings and these essays—and the book is called “Chronicles of the Liquid Society,” and it consists of essays that he wrote for an Italian magazine roughly since 2000, all on similar themes or variations on this theme. We see him developing over a period of 10 or 15 years, kind of wrestling with this, and he never really came to an answer. He never really had a good answer for it. He says in the outfit of the book, “We need a new mechanism,” like could never just find what the mechanism was. What I say in the column is, well, maybe we don’t need a new mechanism. Maybe it’s staring us right in the face.

Buskirk: And what is it? What’s your answer?

Boychuk: We would just believe. Orthodoxy is hard. That’s the trouble. Orthodoxy is really hard. Religious beliefs, faith is hard. It puts way more demands on people than a lot of people in this time, in this culture, in this age are willing to commit. It’s hard and so that’s why you get the cult of fame, you know, people seeking phony bologna fame on Instagram and the cult of the body, people sort of obsessing about their looks and their physical appearance and their physique and that’s why dieting is a multi-billion dollar a year industry.

Buskirk: Ben, don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.

Boychuk: Well, you know, it’s hard sometimes. But all of these things, in the absence of God, we’re gonna seek out something else and it invariably, well not always, but often is going to be something not good for us, whether it’s spiritually, mentally, physically. It’s going to be something that’s just a little bit off. You know, there’s this medieval idea of sin as “love misdirected.” We misdirect our love to the wrong things.

Buskirk: Right. Human beings are going to love, follow, honor, worship something. It’s either going to be a god, or it’s going to be themselves in some form.

Boychuk: Right.

Buskirk: It’s going to be one or the other. It manifests itself in all kinds of different ways but those are basically the choices. That’s the way I see it.

Boychuk: Yeah. Yeah, and I do too, and I struggle with it all the time, and it took me a long time to get to that point, and I struggle with it every day. I say that with so many words in the newspaper column that we’re discussing, like we said before the break, it’s only 600 words. I often write these columns as sort of provocations. I’m pulling the pin on the grenade and rolling it into a crowded room and seeing what happens. Because they only give me so much to work with, and I just don’t want to write disdain for mundane stuff all the time and I don’t want to kind of echo conventional wisdom, and so from time to time, I like to throw in some things. I’ll do some things to kind of irritate my editors. I’ll try to throw in some Latin. That always gets taken out. I do like to do things like this because I don’t know how many … I’m getting some really interesting feedback from readers.

Buskirk: I was going to ask you what’s the feedback from, I mean we see this on the show here all the time. People are smart. What kind of feedback have you been getting?

Boychuk: Well, I think a lot of people are saying to me … I got one guy who wrote into me just about an hour ago saying, “You know, your column is completely misguided,” and he goes into a discourse on Martin Buber and it’s great. I love it, and I love getting the pushback and the challenges.

Buskirk: He goes into a discourse on what, or whom?

Boychuk: Martin Buber, he’s a …

Buskirk: Oh yeah, I wasn’t sure if you said that or Luther. I misheard.

Ben Boychuk: No. That’ll be good for the transcript. I love getting some pushback from readers most of the time and this has been one of those columns where it’s really brought out the best in people, even in their criticism.

Buskirk: Well, that’s good. That’s actually really good because this, I mean I think this is the most … in some sense, this is the most important or one of the most important questions that every society has to answer in some way. I think that we’ve sort of blithely said, “Oh, it just doesn’t matter,” and we’ve said that for too long. That’s sort of the post modern, “Yeah, it’s okay. We’ll just find something else to believe in.” Boy that’s not so easy is it?

Boychuk: No, no. It’s hard.

Buskirk: Ben, we’ve got one more short segment in the hour. We’ll be right back with more of the Seth and Chris Show and that means more of Ben Boychuk. Be right back.

Seth Liebsohn: Welcome back to the Seth and Chris Show. I’m Seth Liebsohn. From Lee Majors to all kinds of great country music here. Ben, thank you for everything you’ve been doing with us on Umberto Eco. It makes me want to ask this question because you’re a prolific and prodigious writer. What are you working on next? Are we going to get something from Chinua Achebe or are we gonna do something on Sartre? I know you have a column in the Sacramento Bee. You write for American Greatness. What’s the next big thing you’re working on, buddy?

Boychuk: I don’t know, but let me just say this. It is so good to hear your voice. My jaw just hit my lap when I heard your voice coming out of the break. How are you, Seth?

Liebsohn: Ben, it’s really good to hear your voice.

Boychuk: So yeah, what’s next? I spend most of my time editing the content that folks read on American Greatness, so it’s hard to write my own stuff. It’s nice that the Bee gives me 600 words to play with. I’m not sure that I would have time to do any more than that.

Liebsohn: Can I give you a suggested column? I know it’s not Umberto Eco, but you know, you knew off the top right within three bars about you knew the Lee Majors voice and you knew the “Fall Guy.” How about a piece on what those great shows of the ’80s represented and from the “Fall Guy” and “Magnum PI” and how we don’t have that anymore?

Boychuk: That’s a good idea. That’s very good idea.

Liebsohn: Something is lost. Something in the martial virtues. Manhood. Something’s been lost tremendously.

Boychuk: I think that’s right and I think we’ve had a few pieces in the last couple of weeks at American Greatness on that topic, but it is not one of those topics that’s easily exhausted so I think that’s a good approach. We’re also trying to do more on culture too, and so we’ve been having some terrific pieces lately.

Liebsohn: Spoiler alert, we’re in favor of it.

Boychuk: Yeah, well, yes, we are. We had a couple of pieces. We had a piece go up last weekend on “The Right Stuff” as the last great all-American film by Ashley Hamilton, who’s the actor and son of George Hamilton, and it was a really good piece. And if people missed it, go to amgreatness.com and look for that.

Liebsohn: Ashley Hamilton, by the way, George Hamilton’s son.

Boychuk: That’s right. Yeah, I know.

Liebsohn: I love George Hamilton.

Boychuk: Yeah, so we’ve got a lot of good stuff going.

Liebsohn: Ben, you want to interview on Magnum PI, you do, for your next column. You do.

Boychuk: I will.

Liebsohn: OK.

Boychuk: Alright. We’re on. For sure.

Liebsohn: We love you, Ben.

Boychuk: Likewise. Right back at you.

Liebsohn: You can keep up with Ben Boychuk and all his great work and all the work of American Greatness at amgreatness.com. I’m Seth. He’s Chris. We’ll go out with a little Doc Severinsen and we will be right back.

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