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The basic formula for The Weekly Dish — which, as with all things Dish, will no doubt evolve — is the following: my main column; one or two shorter posts; a serious dissent section, where I can air real disagreement with my column, and engage with it constructively and civilly; a reader forum, to continue the debate and share stories; a podcast, which I’ve long wanted to do, but never found a way to fit in; transcripts; recommended reading from other Substackers; notable quotes from the news cycle; various fun features like Mental Health Break and Cool Ad Watch; and yes, window views from readers once again, and the return of The View From Your Window Contest.
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For me, dissents are the key reason to subscribe: to sustain honest, accountable discourse. I’m the only columnist I know of who subjects himself each week to rigorous critiques which I’m obliged to answer. The extraordinary Chris Bodenner selects and edits the best arguments and makes me answer them. (You can always email dissents to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will read them all and try to respond.) If you believe in this kind of accountability, subscribe! And see you every Friday.