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The 8 progressive media brains zombies would love (and you should, too)

As has become rapidly apparent over the course of the Occupy movement, the mainstream media finds it difficult to react and report on situations it doesn’t fully understand — which bodes poorly for the vast majority of the populace in the event of the Zombiepocalypse, unless they’re reading alternative media. And while some publications are more interested in the attractiveness of the people who bring us the news, we know that zombies don’t care how hot anyone is: they only care about brains.

So which brains from the alternative media do we think the zombies are going to want the most? We had some ideas, and we asked them how they’d react.

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Donna Ladd8. Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief, Jackson Free Press
Suffice it to say that one doesn’t help start a liberal-leaning alt-weekly in Jackson, Mississippi if one is faint of heart, and Ladd is no exception. Having taken on most of Mississippi’s conservative political class, exposed a still-living suspect in a racially-motivated murder and called for trials for other suspects in racially-motivated murders, you might suspect the zombies wouldn’t scare her much. You’d be right.

Where would the zombies find you?
Nearly always in the office, although our building is pretty secure, barring two things. Our hall doors would have to be fortified, and our outside brick wall could allow arms to stick through. Of course, if it’s Sunday, they will undoubtedly catch me unprepared in front of a New Orleans Saints game. Whodat.

Why would your brain be better than average?
All that hairspray I went through as a teenager in Mississippi has morphed into a force field. And my brain gets a lot of exercise figuring out how to put out a growing progressive newspaper in the heart of Dixie.

How would you escape?
My worst case scenario is an auto-release Twitter bomb that makes it appear that I’m at a conference in Vegas while simultaneously getting my hair straightened in Jackson and meeting a source in Northern Louisiana. It’s worked before.

Which zombified politician would scare you most?
How could I possibly pick just one? This state is full of them. Probably Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, who has become a Tea Party zombie during his current gubernatorial campaign. He’s terrifying to watch as he targets immigrants.

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Jeremy Scahill7. Jeremy Scahill, author and Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute.
Jeremy Scahill started at Democracy Now — where he won a Polk Award for exposing Chevron’s role in the extrajudicial murders of Nigerian environmental activists — and has been published by some of the biggest alternative media outlets in the country, including by The Nation, where he currently hangs his shingle. Scahill’s also reported from war zones, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the 2008 Republican convention, so he, too, is hardly intimidated by a few million of the brain-hungry undead.

Where would the zombies find you?
Trick question. I’d find them.

Why would your brain be better than average?
I believe the undead would enjoy feasting on a brain full of obscure facts about mercenaries (they’re sort of like zombies).

How would you escape?
Hire Blackwater.

Which zombified politician would scare you most?
Joe Lieberman.

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Shani Hilton6. Shani Hilton, Staff Writer, Washington City Paper and D.C. correspondent for Colorlines
Shani Hilton has been swimming in the shark-infested waters of D.C. media for several years now, with a full-time stint at Campus Progress as well as appearances at The American Prospect and The Atlantic. If she can survive the cutthroat world of the D.C. political scene, zombies are no problem.

Where would the zombies find you?
They wouldn’t, because I’d be on my bike. One, because it’s environmentally friendly, and two, because I read the Zombie Survival Guide and I know what’s up when the apocalypse comes.

Why would your brain be better than average?
Well, if the zombies managed to actually track me down, they’d find my brain to be a delicious mix of news about space, D.C. news, and the latest ‘Sister Wives’ gossip.

How would you escape?
I’d hop on my bike and pedal up to Maryland, avoiding clogged arterial roads and urban centers. Eventually, I think I’d try to end up somewhere like Wyoming where the human population is low and the zombies would freeze, come wintertime.

Which zombified politician would scare you most?
Let’s be real: Zombiefied Barack Obama. He’s got long arms, all the better to grab you with.

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Sarah Jaffe5. Sarah Jaffe, Associate Editor at Alternet
Sarah Jaffe was raging about the #classwar on Twitter — and in her role at Alternet and, previously, at the alternative GRITtv With Laura Flanders– long before Republicans got their knickers in a twist about it. So zombies, like Republicans and bankers, are welcome to try and have a go at her and her combat boots.

Where would the zombies find you?
They would find me occupying a coffee shop, my Brooklyn apartment, or Wall Street, armed with chai and a laptop.

Why would your brain be better than average?
Because I can quote Shakespeare, Emma Goldman, Judith Butler, Dorothy Parker, and Max Weber and I know all the words to the Misfits’ ‘Horror Hotel.

How would you escape?
I would escape by quoting unemployment statistics at the zombies until they were bored to death.

Which zombified politician would scare you most?
I’m pretty sure Paul Ryan is already a zombie. Also zombie Heath Shuler would be fairly terrifying.

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Cord Jefferson4. Cord Jefferson, Senior Editor at GOOD Magazine
Cord Jefferson’s already voluntarily given up a kidney (to his father), so the good editor isn’t keen to lose any other body parts to ravenous zombies, let alone the brain that’s gotten him published in The Onion, National Geographic, The Awl and The American Prospect. So the zombies had better watch out!

Where would the zombies find you?
This weekend I will be in one of three dark bars on the east side of Los Angeles. Obviously, in order to protect myself from any progressive-minded zombies that might be reading, I’ll not say which ones.

Why would your brain be better than average?
I have about 5,000 Simpsons quotes and 10,000 rap/Morrissey lyrics running around in my head at any one time, which I have to assume add a piquancy to my brain you won’t find in most others. The smoky flavor you’ll find in the amygdala is the Notorious BIG.

How would you escape?
It depends: If they’re the slow zombies I’ll just run away (I’ve never understood why people in the movies are scared of the slow zombies). If they’re the fast zombies I’d probably hole up in a Radio Shack. Nobody ever goes in those things. Ever.

Which zombified politician would scare you most?
I’m from Arizona, where the politicians carry handguns. If the zombies learn how to use firearms we’re fucked.

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Liliana Segura3. Liliana Segura, Associate Editor at The Nation
Liliana Segura, formerly an editor at AlterNet and an anti-death penalty advocate who is now at The Nation, reserves her feelings on the death penalty for the currently-living, and has some rather gruesome ideas of how she’d dispatch the undead, were they to try to eat her brain.

Where would the zombies find you?
It depends. Has the apocalypse caught me off-guard? I’m reading Colson Whitehead’s book, Zone One, and even though I love my job it’s made me realize how much I would hate to spend my final moments huddled in my office surrounded by prison books. But maybe that’s my fate. Hey,
maybe they would find me reading Zone One! That would be ironic. Or at least topical.

Why would your brain be better than average?
I’m not convinced it would be — too much cable news. But I do suspect my hippocampus is tender and delicious.

How would you escape?
Good question. There’s a paper cutter outside my office that might serve me well, but it would require luck and impeccable timing. Maybe I’m taking this question too literally? Ugh, I’m doomed.

Which zombified politician would scare you most?
I’d say Ronald Reagan but he walks among us every time there’s a GOP debate, so maybe not. Dick Cheney is too obvious. (Plus: could we tell the difference?) I actually think Anthony Weiner would make a terrifying zombie. Picture it!

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Adele Stan2. Adele Stan, Washington Bureau Chief for Alternet
Adele Stan, a former Ms. Magazine contributing editor, author of a book about the feminist porn wars and writer whose work includes in-depth pieces on the religious right, is no stranger to a good fight — which is what she plans to give any zombies that try to have a go at her.

Where would the zombies find you?
At a jazz club on U Street.

Why would your brain be better than average?
A delectable juxtaposition of salty and sweet, with a subtle, bitter hint, characterizes Addie Stan’s brain. Therein one finds a compendium of overheated right-wing ideologies and extremist theologies cooled by earthy savor of progressive ideals. All is overladen with a whimsical, sugary lace of show-tunes lyrics and memorized diagrams of ukulele chords. Yum!

How would you escape?
Zombies cannot withstand fire. I would whip out my ukulele and launch into that Ohio Players anthem.

Which zombified politician would scare you most?
There are too many to count, so many are the souls that have been zombified by those great voodoo masters, Charles and David Koch. We’re a good chunk of the the U.S. House of Representatives here, not to mention the Wisconsin state legislature. But among those, Herman Cain is perhaps the scariest, because he gives the appearance of being self-animated when, in fact, he is a Koch zombie.

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Gustavo Arellano1. Gustavo Arellano, staff writer at the OC Weekly and “¡Ask A Mexican!” scribe
Like many alt-weekly writers, Gustavo Arellano’s skewered enough targets — including racists and race-relations in America — on a weekly basis. So he’s already got his knives (and his sense of humor) sharpened in case of attack.

Where would the zombies find you?
In my office, barricaded by boxes of Catholic Church sex-abuse files and empty bottles of rum and tequila, brandishing a shotgun I still need to buy.

Why would your brain be better than average?
Because it’s oozing with 32 years of daily hot sauce and salsa consumption — extra-caliente!

How would you escape?
I don’t think you can escape zombies, no? Besides, even if I successfully made it out of my office, the only car I have is a VW Bus — and everyone knows how fast THOSE go. So, like a true deluded alt-weeklier, I’d fight my noble fight until the very end, roaring holy murder and making excuses for our “escort” ads.

Which zombified politician would scare you most?
There is no such thing as a zombie politician—John Carpenter clearly established they’re reptilians back in 1999 with “They Live!”. And those fuckers are 10 times scarier than zombies… but at least you can take those out.

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[Main image via Curt Bianchi, Creative Commons licensed. Image of Jeremy Scahill via truthout, Creative Commons licensed. Image of Shani Hilton via Colorlines. Images of Donna Ladd, Sarah Jaffe, Cord Jefferson, Liliana Segura, Adele Stan and Gustavo Arellano were furnished by each of them.]

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