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Fed up with flaming and unfriending, snark and shade, when discussing hot button issues like politics, religion, guns, LGBTQ rights and more? Then it’s time to join The Civilist with the Washington Post’s Steven Petrow as he and his guests take on the issues you care about. Petrow’s guests are Red, Blue, and Purple—and his focus is on how to talk together, not who’s right or wrong. He’s determined to make American kind again.Ask your question:Call 919 -263 - 0929 or leave a voice message at

The Civilist: Talking Turkey And Politics When You're 'Home For The Holidays'

Steven's "famous" pecan pie
Steven Petrow
Steven's "famous" pecan pie

Kim Severson of The New York Times joins me for a  special holiday episode of The Civilist podcast. Right at the top we make a promise: To give you the best advice we know to make your Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Christmas run smoothly, whether you're talking politics or turkey.

Kim and I tackled a number of “battleground” issues, including:

  • Politics at the table, especially after this brutal election season. With hosts canceling dinners and guests boycotting, this Thanksgiving demands some clear-cut rules. Whether it’s no politics or no name-calling at the dinner table, a host must keep the peace even if no one else in this country can.
  • Where cooks should draw the line at serving friends with picky eating habits. One of us is against catering to “dietary differences,” arguing that cooks are being driven mad by those who think someone’s house is a fancy restaurant and will cater to their every whim.
  • How not to “out” nondrinkers at your table. For starters don’t announce, “I’ve got the perfect ‘mocktail’ for you!” And remember that when a guest says no to a cocktail, no means no.
  • And, how to be a good guest. Hint: It starts with a prompt RSVP and bringing an attitude of gratitude.

All that and much more. Including what Kim and I are grateful for this year (we had a surprisingly long list). What are you grateful for this holiday season?

Steven Petrow is a respected journalist and the go-to source for modern manners, as cited by The New York Times, People, Time,and NPR. Known as "Mr. Manners” until Miss Manners threatened to sue him for trademark infringement, Steven’s often humorous, but always insightful advice has made him a nationally recognized expert. In addition to his five etiquette books, Petrow writes the "Civilities" column for the Washington Post as well as "Digital Ethics" for USA Today. Previously, he penned The New York Times's "Civil Behavior" column, "Digital Dilemmas" for Parade magazine, and "Medical Manners" for Everyday Health.
Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
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