Q: If you had to choose one story you’ve covered that you wish more people were aware of, what would it be?
It seems crazy that an ongoing war is an undercovered story, but I wish there was more debate about why and how and if we should still have 60,000 Americans in Afghanistan. It’s not done, there are still real decisions to be made, and it’s still life and death.
Q: When you brush your teeth, do you put your toothpaste on before or after you put water on the brush? When you get dressed in the morning, do you put pants or socks on first?
(1) paste then water (2) socks then pants (that’s so embarrassing).
Socks that went on first
Q: What was it like meeting Howard Stern? That was a great interview; I bought your book afterward.
Thanks! I love Howard Stern. I was intimidated to meet him just in a fangirl kind of way. But also because I knew he would ask me questions about sex that would make me blush like a cardinal. Once I realized that I could just tell him “no, i’m not answering that!” — then it was just pure fun. That was one of the best interviews I have ever been part of.
Q: Our family hung the Rolling Stone photo of you, shooting a Henry Big Boy rifle, on the front of our refrigerator. (We love you and we love repeater rifles.) Do you think the gun legislation and conversion currently brewing in the US would be more efficient if more liberals, who occasionally like to get their cowgirl on, came out of the closet? I really don’t see why the topic ends up being so right wing vs left wing. I feel like there should be much more overlap between the camps.
Two things: (1) I agree! I think this issue is way more polarized in politics than it is in real life. Gun appreciation, even gun enthusiasm (which I confess to in a small way!) is absolutely not inconsistent with a belief in rational gun-safety reform. It’s weird that we think of the political battle as gun-lovers versus gun-haters — do you know a single gun-lover (who doesn’t work in the political side of the gun movement) who thinks it makes sense for someone adjudicated mentally ill to be barred from buying a gun from a guy at a store, but allowed to buy a guy under a tent or at a convention center? Also, (2) would you please do me the favor of drawing a tiny little moustache on that picture on your fridge?
Moustache goes here.
Q: You spoke during one of your shows a while back about learning lyrics to a Dead Kennedys song. You mentioned because of your age at the time your parents weren’t too happy about it because of certain words contained in the lyrics. Do you recall which song? Also, do/did you listen to any other punk bands? Thanks for doing the AMA and keep up the good work on your show! Take care, Rachel.
My parents were very very horrified by the appearance of Dead Kennedys records in the house. I don’t remember a particular song that made them crazy — I think the band name itself did all the work there. I was obsessive about Husker Du. I also liked Meat Puppets and Black Flag, but really I would have done anything for Bob Mould. I actually got grounded when my mom found an SST records sampler LP in my room — I think it had particularly porny cover art and she was very rattled by it. As a teenager, I thought at the time that it was probably the apex of my coolness. As an adult, looking back, I realize that is true.
Q: What’s your favorite smell?
Clean river, spring day.
Q: What is your favorite rye whiskey? What is the biggest fish you have ever caught? How big was it? In the past you seem to have had a rapport of sorts with the Pauls. You’ve had Rand Paul on your show a few times. You leaned into his filibuster ramblings pretty hard, though. Is the relationship with his family still good/respectful? Do you think you’ll have him on your show again any time soon?
(1) I’m starting with the booze question because the very idea relaxes me. I love most rye, but if I had to pick a desert-island one, I would probably pick Michter’s. There’s a great one called “Pikesville,” too, but it’s really hard to find. I wouldn’t kick Sazerac 6 or Rittenhouse out of bed for eating crackers, though. (2) Biggest fish I ever caught was a striper that was two inches shorter than the one my mom caught ten minutes earlier. (3) I really wish either of the Pauls would still talk with me the way they used to. I am not a Paulite myself, but I have both respect for and interest in the way they each approach aspects of Republican politics. They both gave up on me after my difficult interview with Paul-the-younger on the issue of the Civil Rights Act. But I hope they’ll reconsider someday. Thanks for asking!
Now you know that should you meet Ms. Maddow, you should smell like a clean river on a spring day and tell her you enjoy listening to the Dead Kennedys while putting socks on before pants, but don’t identify as a Paulite.