Neal Brennan: What I Read

The host of Sundance TV's The Approval Matrix talks New York Times columnists, self-control with the Internet, and the best show in the history of television.

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How do people deal with the torrent of information pouring down on us all? What sources can't they live without? We regularly reach out to prominent figures in media, entertainment, politics, the arts, and the literary world to hear their answers. This is drawn from a phone conversation with Neal Brennan, comedian and host of Sundance TV's The Approval Matrix.

First thing, I’ll go to Twitter, and The New York Times, which I’m an online subscriber to. And then I’ll go to The Atlantic, Slate, The Daily Beast – I get The Daily Beast’s mailer, that goes to my email.

I have an interesting setup: I have an Internet problem. So I block my Internet from 10 to 6:30 at night, with a small window from 4 to 4:30. Because I have no self control, I’ll keep hitting refresh, refresh, refresh. So anything I do, I try to do before 10. Then, when I take my dog to the dog park, I’ll pull up the New York Times app on my phone. Usually at 4, I'll download emails and attachments, but anything else, I'll just get on my phone. Weekly, I get The New YorkerHarper's, and Scientific American Mind.

I think the only op-ed columnist in The Times – where I read all of his stuff – is Paul Krugman. At The Atlantic, I like Ta-Nehisi Coates. I find Tom Friedman and David Brooks a little something – I can't really put my finger on it. I follow tons of comedians on Twitter. My favorite's probably Rob Delaney, but there's tons; I follow 600 people.

I'll go on Reddit a lot. I should've mentioned that earlier. I'm not good at Reddit; I don't go to the most popular parts. A friend of mine last night said that if he invested in a website that just covered everything first discovered on Reddit, he'd be a billionaire. I think what he meant is, you know, Ferguson was first on there. There are things that start small on Reddit, then they sort of gather and become major trends. Having said that, I mostly stay on the Top 100 page, so it's mostly just pictures of a dog looking like Chewbacca.

Later, I go on Gizmodo, I'll go on Grantland. At night, I watch [Jimmy] Fallon and Seth [Meyers], The Daily Show, [Stephen] Colbert, and then I watch John Oliver.

And I watch Frontline. I love Frontline. It's the best TV show in the history of television.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.