Class #13: I Piss People Off with Joel Stein


Podcast: Download The MP3 File (Length: 33:02 — 23.8 MB)

Joel Stein [Twitter] pisses people off.  He's a columnist for Time Magazine whose work has ruffled all sorts of feathers since the '90s. Joel's not a bad guy though.  However, sometimes me means to piss people off and other time he's surprised his work had that effect.  

Joel's work has also appeared in the LA Times, GQ, Esquire, Playboy, and the New Yorker.  The largest section of his Wikipedia page is Controversial Columns.

In this episode we talk about:

  • His controversial Indian piece for Time.
  • Growing up in Edison, New Jersey and its Indian population. 
  • Pissing off people who support the troops. 
  • Pissing off dog owners.
  • Pissing off people while in college at Stanford.
  • About his provocative, funny style of writing
  • Reading hate mail and blog posts about himself. 
  • The process of backlash to his writing.  How that becomes a story in itself.
  • Wanting to calm people down and apologize. 
  • Losing a friendship because of a column he wrote.
  • The danger of trying to defend yourself on Twitter.
  • His contemplating changing careers in writing.
  • Receiving anti-Semitic hate mail. 
  • Having death threats sent to his house and being received by his wife.
  • Pissing off the Harold and Kumar actor Kal Penn. 

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