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Randy Cohen

11 February 2013 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

The writer Randy Cohen discusses his 12-year run as ‘The Ethicist’ columnist at the New York Times Magazine, his recent collection Be Good: How to Navigate the Ethics of Everything (Chronicle Books, 2012), ethics, David Letterman, and more, with Joseph Planta.


Be Good: How to Navigate the Ethics of Everything by Randy Cohen (Chronicle Books, 2012).

Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: Be Good


Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver at TheCommentary.ca.

I’m delighted to welcome to the program now Randy Cohen. For 12 years he wrote ‘The Ethicist’ column in the New York Times Magazine. I can’t remember how I started reading it online back in high school, but I remember loving it in those early days of the internet and reading his witty, thoughtful, clear and cogent style. Later did I learn that Mr. Cohen was a writer on the Late Night with David Letterman program, for which he won four Emmy Awards. He also wrote for TV Nation and The Rosie O’Donnell Show. He has also been published in The New Yorker, Harpers, The Atlantic, and was the creator and host of Person Place Thing, a radio program on public radio station WAMC. After over 600 columns, where he discussed ethical issues surrounding workplace drama, downloading music off the internet, paying one’s share at dinner, issues of race and religion, and other pertinent and fascinating dilemmas, Randy Cohen left the Times. He collected some of the queries sent his way in a recent book, Be Good: How to Navigate the Ethics of Everything. It’s a marvellous collection; difficult to put down; funny and poignant too. I’ve had a great time reading out questions with friends and getting their thoughts in the weeks since the Christmas holidays when I bought the book for myself. The book is published by Chronicle Books. Please welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, Randy Cohen; Mr. Cohen, good morning.

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