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Masks Maketh The Man (Women And Lions Too)

Who would have guessed a face mask would become the latest cultural symbol of our identity, one more way to express our politics, our sense of style, and our deepest beliefs in what it means to be American.

Whether you wear a mask might depend less on the science behind the advice, and more on how you view society - are we in this together or is it each (wo)man for him or herself. 

The mask has become a fashion statement, a staple of our daily attire as we adapt to the reality masks are likely here to stay. We may as well look good while we're going through it. Unless, you're a member of Congress.Fashion designers and DIY sewers are upping the style, many directing surplus to areas of shortage. 

Masks are even part of the politics of religion. In one case, ancient mummy masks were destroyed as part of a scam to try and rewrite the history of Christianity. We'll explain.

We have bogged down the once simple face mask with the weight of our human frailties. I hope they don't split at the seams. 


  • Ryan Lizza is Chief Washington Correspondent for Politico and a senior political analyst at CNN. He’s writing a book about 2020 with Olivia Nuzzi. (@RyanLizza
  • Robin Givhan is fashion critic for The Washington Post. She’s the author of The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History. (@RobinGivhan)  
  • Ariel Sabar is an award-winning journalist and author. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Smithsonian Magazine. His latest book is Veritas: A Harvard Professor, A Con Man, And the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife. (@arielsabar)

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Colin McEnroe, Cat Pastor, and Megan Fitzpatrick contributed to this show.

Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. She served as the Senior Producer for 'The Colin McEnroe Show' for several years before stepping down in 2021 and returning to her previous career as a registered nurse. She still produces shows with Colin and the team when her schedule allows.

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