A.J. Feather

Journalist, Developer

I'm a Missouri native currently seeking a dual masters in computer science and journalism from Columbia University in New York City. Every week I also host an awesome podcast called "Integrate" with my friend Mikah, which you can find at Integrate.FM.

Before moving to New York, I obtained undergraduate degrees in journalism and economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia. In Columbia, I hosted a weekly show called "Talking Politics" for KBIA, the local NPR member station and produced, wrote and anchored video for Newsy.com way too early in the morning.

There has never been a political column I did not enjoy reading or an Apple product I did not enjoy using.

Reads of the Week 02/02/14

The Washington Post - Our Healthcare Myths

It's funny how so frequently we run across evidence that contradicts common knowledge, especially with regard to health.  Charles Krauthammer took on a number of these myths this week in a Washington Post column.

Take the average adult temperature. Everyone knows it’s 98.6 . Except that when some enterprising researchers actually did the measurements — rather than rely on the original 19th-century German study — they found that it’s actually 98.2. ...

It’s long been assumed that insuring the uninsured would save huge amounts of money because they wouldn’t have to keep using the emergency room, which is very expensive. Indeed, that was one of the prime financial rationales underlying both Romneycare and Obamacare.

Well, in a randomized study, Oregon recently found that when the uninsured were put on Medicaid, they increased their ER usage by 40 percent.

Rolling Stone - 'Dookie' at 20

Green Day's "Dookie" turned 20 this year and Billie Joe Armstrong, the band's frontman, did an interview with Rolling Stone.  He opened up about what he was actually going through during the record and expanded on the meaning of the tracks.

For me, it was important to have an opinion – and to be an individual. There was a lot of whining in rock at that time. By nature, we're extroverts. So that's what came across in our songs. We knew we were entering an arena of bands that we didn't like [laughs]. It was important for us to be ourselves, no matter what, and have a devil-may-care attitude about it. F*** it – life is pretty silly.

Vulture - In Conversation:Saturday Night Live's Lorne Michaels

No producer in TV history has done more with an 11:30 p.m. time slot than Lorne ­Michaels. Since creatingSaturday Night Live in 1975, Michaels has built the comedic universe as we know it, sparking a revolution in topical satire, redefining the limits of broadcast, and launching the careers of Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Mike ­Myers, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Chris Farley, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Kristen Wiig, to name but a few. ...

Are there any basic rules for what works and what doesn’t politically?

Republicans are easier for us than Democrats. Democrats tend to take it personally; Republicans think it’s funny. But we’re not sitting here every week going, “We’ve really got to do the First Family.” This week, our cold open is about three big stories. We have Piers Morgan interviewing A-Rod, Chris Christie, and Justin Bieber. We’re doing more of that kind of thing than stuff about Benghazi or the new budget agreement. The country has lost interest in it. I can’t tell you why. It’s no less important, but in some way you can’t do health care more than twice, at which point there’s just nothing left. But Jay Pharoah does a really good Obama.